We are a friendly, hard working musical theatre company based in the New Earswick Folk Hall, York, where we have been since our founding in 1914. We have lots of exciting productions in the pipeline – if you are interested in getting involved with performing, backstage or playing in our orchestra, please get in touch we’d love to hear from you.
Yippee, all our hard work paid off and Fiddler on the Roof has been a massive success, it was even more successful than OLIVER can you believe it, we sold even more seats and we were almost sold out for both Saturday performances. Wwe also made a profit which is great news for the Society and puts us in a great place going forward – Christmas Concert and Dr Dolittle are next.
We had so many great reviews ..we are on cloud nine…
All the best
Next year we are going to perform Dr Dolittle. We are very excited about bringing this amazing show to York, lots of parts for children and adults, it’s going to be great fun and we expect to sell out for all shows – so get your tickets early.
The musical opens in the summer of 1903. The family is going about their daily businesses – Tootie is playing with her dolls, Agnes is practicing her stilt walking, Esther is playing tennis, Rose is relaxing, Lon received his Princeton catalog in the mail, Mrs. Smith and Katie, their maid, went shopping, Grandpa is playing with Agnes, and Mr. Smith was at work (Opening/Meet Me In St. Louis). Upon request from Esther, Katie asks Mrs. Smith if they could have dinner an hour earlier because her sister is having trouble with her husband. We soon learn that the real reason is that Warren Sheffield, a Yale scholar and heir to a grand fortune, is calling Rose long-distance at 6:30, when they usually eat dinner. Esther was trying to get dinner to be an hour earlier so the family would be out of the room when he called. Soon Rose enters and tells Esther that John Truitt, their neighbor and the boy that Esther has a crush on, is outside with his friend. They pretend to want to go to the pool, and try to attract the boys’ attention. However, Agnes enters looking for her cat, and John leaves, causing Esther to lament about how John Truitt never notices her (The Boy Next Door).
A little later that day, Mr. Smith comes home in a bad mood, because he lost his case. He refuses to eat an hour earlier and storms offstage to go take his cool bath. Meanwhile, Tootie and Agnes begin to fight over a doll, causing the older siblings to have to break them up and remind them that they’re all friends (Whenever I’m With You). Everyone exits except for Ester and Mrs. Smith. Esther asks if she is too young to fall in love, and her mother is shocked by the question. She proceeds to tell of how she fell in love with Mr. Smith (You’ll Hear A Bell).
Dinner is approaching, and by now everyone in the family knows about Warren’s telephone call except for Mr. Smith. When he joins the family at the dinner table, everyone gulps down their food so they can leave before Warren calls. Unfortunately, they are not fast enough, and the telephone rings. Mr. Smith answers, but is confused when the operators tell him that someone is calling from New York. He hangs up, and Esther accidentally tells him everything out of anger. He soon figures out that he was the only one who didn’t know about the call, and tries to put his foot down, but when the phone rings again he tells Rose to answer it. Her phone call turns out to be less than successful, because he was only calling to ask how she was, and he said if his parents knew he was calling, they would kill him. Katie tries to lighten the mood (Meet Me In St. Louis Reprise).
A few months later, we are at Lon’s going-away party, right before he leaves for Princeton. Warren tries to apologize to Rose, but she refuses to accept (Raving Beauty). At the party, Esther is formally introduced to John Truitt, pretending not to know who he is. She takes his hat and hides it in the piano. The guests then participate in a square dance called by Lon and Warren (Skip to My Lou). Agnes and Tootie have crept to the landing to see what was going on, and after being caught, perform a dance they do with Esther (Under the Bamboo Tree). Afterwards the guests leave, but Esther asks John if he would like to come with them to the Fairgrounds on Friday. He agrees, and then she asks him if he will help her turn off the lights, because she’s afraid of the dark (Over the Bannister). He leaves, leaving Esther slightly disappointed.
On Friday, they get on the trolley to the fairgrounds, where John Truitt just barely makes it on (The Trolley Song).
Act II opens on Halloween, where Tootie and Agnes are getting ready to go trick or treating. After they leave, Katie asks the older sisters why they won’t go out to the Halloween Social. They both respond that men are too bothersome and they’d rather not. Katie gives them some advice (Touch of the Irish). Immediately following the number, a scream is heard offstage. Tootie comes in with a bloody lip, saying John Truitt hit her. When he comes by to ask if she’s alright, Esther beats him up for hurting her little sister. Agnes enters soon after, telling what happened. They stuffed one of Katie’s dresses so it looked like a body, then put it on the trolley tracks so when the motorman had to put on the breaks, the trolley would come off the tracks. Tootie then reveals that it was not John who hurt her, but she fell. Esther is ashamed and goes to apologize to John. He forgives her (The Boy Next Door Reprise).
Mr. Smith comes home and breaks the news to the family that they are moving to New York. He thought the family would be happy, but they all are shocked and upset. He tries to convince them that it will be fun, but it doesn’t work (A Day In New York). They all exit, leaving Mr. and Mrs. Smith alone. Mrs. Smith tries to comfort him, reminding him that as long as they are together, they can be happy (You’ll Hear A Bell Reprise/Wasn’t It Fun).
Now it is winter and their last Christmas in St. Louis is fast approaching. Both Rose and Warren are left without dates. Rose didn’t respond to Warren’s proposal to the dance, so he decided to go with Lucille Ballard who is Lon’s girlfriend. Esther and Katie persuade them to go with each other, and Rose and Esther make a plan to fill out Lucille’s dance card with the worst people imaginable. Unfortunately, John Truitt comes by and tells Esther that he can’t take her to the dance because his tuxedo is locked up in the tailor’s. Grandpa comes to the rescue, inviting Esther to the dance with him.
At the ball, Lucille suggests that Warren and Rose and she and Lon be partners for the evening. Esther doesn’t realize that, and ends up taking Lucille’s dances. Lon leads everyone in a dance he learned at college (The Banjo). John comes, in his tuxedo, after calling every Jones in St. Louis until he found who ran the shop. After the dance, John proposes to Esther, but she feels bad about it because he would have to give up going to college to be with her in New York (You Are For Loving).
Esther enters the house to find Tootie sitting on the couch. She’s upset about leaving St. Louis, and has been waiting for Santa to come so she can tell him that they’re moving. Esther tries to convince Tootie that New York will be fun (Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas). Mr. Smith sees how upset Tootie is and decides that they can’t move to New York.
After hearing the good news, the family goes to the fair and everything works out well (Trolley Song Reprise/Meet Me In St. Louis Reprise II/Finale).
Sunset Boulevard, New Earswick Musicals, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, until Saturday. Box office: 0333 666 3366 OPENING for the first time in London in 1993, Sunset Boulevard has had several long runs internationally and has also enjoyed extensive tours, winning numerous accolades including eight Tony Awards.
This week, New Earswick Musicals are bringing this well-known tale of ego, folly and tragedy to the Joseph Rowntree Theatre in York, with director and actor Steve Tearle promising “a wonderful show” with “amazing performances”.
Originally founded in 1914 as the New Earswick Dramatic Society, the organisation moved its performances from the New Earswick Folk Hall to the Joseph Rowntree Theatre in 1968, where it now stages two musical shows each year and has attracted a loyal cadre of fans and admirers.
The players are clearly just as enamoured of their plays as their fans, it seems, as they threw themselves wholeheartedly into their roles. Despite a few technical hiccups – most notably a recurring problem where the performers’ microphones would occasionally cut out, making their voices hard to hear over the orchestral score – there was no denying that everyone was giving it their all, their enthusiasm and energy mirroring the hectic buzz of golden age Hollywood.
The set design was similarly authentic; despite their limited resources, New Earswick Musicals managed to evoke the cluttered, fast-paced chaos of Tinseltown and the tacky grandeur of Norma Desmond’s palatial home with surprising efficacy through the clever use of projectors, semi-transparent dividers and a few well-chosen props.
Norma herself was brought to life by the stand-out performance of Ann McCreadie. Equal parts commanding, demanding and pathetic, McCreadie’s ability to change between the various facets of the character so rapidly and so completely utterly sold her portrayal of the delusional, dysfunctional and ultimately insane Norma Desmond.
Particular mentions should also be made of Robert Sagar and Amelia Cook as Joe and Betty, whose nuanced performances as partners in a doomed romance complimented each other almost perfectly, and Steve Tearle’s eccentric but also very touching turn as Max, Norma’s devoted butler.
New Earswick Musicals have assembled quite a show in their staging of Sunset Boulevard. It’s moving, dark and, for the most part, very well put together indeed.
Sunset Boulevard, New Earswick Musicals, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, until Saturday. Box office: 0333 666 3366
Glenn Close to star in West End production of Sunset Boulevard Photo by: Press Association 2014 / / Showbiz
Hollywood star Glenn Close is set to star as Norma Desmond in a West End production of Sunset Boulevard.
A partnership between the English National Opera (ENO) and the GradeLinnit Company, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the stage production will be based on the original film by Billy Wilder.
American director Lonny Price will be at the helm of the 43 performance show, which will run at the ENO’s London Coliseum. It is set to start in April 2016.
Glenn has previously played the role to critical acclaim, having won a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and a Dramalogue Award for the Broadway production of the musical.
Lord Lloyd-Webber said: “I am thrilled that London audiences will at last get a chance to see Glenn’s performance in the role of Norma Desmond which was so hugely acclaimed in the USA.”
The ENO’s chief executive officer, Cressida Pollock, said: “We at English National Opera believe that the combination of multiple award-winning Glenn Close, making her West End stage debut, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical Sunset Boulevard, will once again pack the London Coliseum with ENO regulars and new audiences for us.