(Honorary Patron: Vanessa Redgrave CBE)
The Grayshott 24

The third Grayshott 24 took place on Friday & Saturday, 25th & 26th June 2010.

Click here to see David Phillips's photos

Click here to see Steve Georgii's photos

The third sextennial Grayshott 24 took place on the 25th & 26th June. Planning had started some months earlier, as there were some things that simply had to be done in advance, and as the evening approached, all we had to worry about was whether enough people would turn up to enable us to proceed. In fact, as 7.30pm approached, it was apparent that we did not have enough people, but as we knew that there were traffic problems on the A3, we decided to delay the start by 15 minutes. We also decided to keep to our original plan of starting the show at 7.30 on the Saturday, so the Grayshott 24 became the Grayshott 23¾.

As 7.45 approached, it looked as if there were enough people, and the show was announced: Cole Porter's "Anything Goes". We were very fortunate that Robert Gilman and Tanya Holmes-Jefferd had volunteered to play for rehearsals, and under Jeremy Legat's direction, and with assistance from Anne Bradley, music rehearsals were under way within minutes. The casting committee took around ten minutes to make their decisions, and the cast was announced. Music rehearsals continued until a little after midnight, whilst rehearsals on stage progressed, scene by scene, with people popping in and out as required. Meanwhile, the props team, Barbie Badger, Angie Hilder, Steph Ridler and Alison Owen set about finding the many and varied items that were needed, and Sylvia Boddington & Jan Ashwell set to work preparing costumes, and in some cases five or six costumes, for everybody.

As darkness fell, the stage construction crew, Stephen Penny, Peter Budd, and David Peerman were to be found in the car park wallpapering flats to create a State Room, and a cabin, after which they explored deep into the corners of the loft to find all the trappings to create the ballroom scene. Steve Georgii, our sound wizard, had been hard at work all evening putting microphones up and positioning speakers to ensure that everyone could be heard, and he continued to make adjustments and tweaks right up until the performance.

Shortly after midnight, most people, other than the principals, went home to get some sleep, whilst work continued on stage. Unfortunately, at around 1am, our Billy Crocker found that he was unable to continue with the role, and this presented us with something of a headache. Help was at hand, however, Will Forde agreeing to take on the part, but only if the other person that we had in mind was unable to do it, as he had to work all day and would be unable to be with us for the rehearsals during the day. Although he was hoping not to have to play the part, Will worked through on stage until around 6am, just in case.

Those who had gone home had been requested to return by 7am, and this they duly did, and music, dance, and stage rehearsals got under way again. By 8am, Heather Legat & Alex Yates were hard at work in the kitchen, preparing full English breakfast for everyone, and very good it was, too. About this time, Danny Yates, who had played the part for another society about eighteen months previously, agreed to take on the part of Billy Crocker.

A full run through commenced at 1pm, and slowly chugged it's way through the show. This pointed up the sections of the show that had only been rehearsed briefly, if at all, and adjustments were made accordingly. The final dress rehearsal started at 4pm, and finished just in time for us to clear the hall and put out the chairs for our audience.

At 7.30 on Saturday 26th June, the countdown clock reached zero, and the show started in front of an audience of about 60. Of course, we knew from the beginning that the show wouldn't be perfect, but our audience were very forgiving, and appeared to be enjoying themselves. As for the performers, I think that they enjoyed themselves more as the performance progressed, although whether that was because their confidence increased, or because the end was in sight, I couldn't say.

All who took part deserve congratulating on their achievements, And in particular, Choreographer Laura Musco, and Musical Director Jeremy Legat, without whom the whole event would not have been possible.

Click here for the programme.

Amongst those taking part were:

Claire Claire Rivers
Bob Fells Bob
Laura Laura Musco
Sara Rowe Sara
David David Landau
Ellis Nicholls Ellis
Susie Susie Dean
Rachel Perkins Rachel
John John Hilder
Jennifer Charters Jennifer
Steve Steve Georgii
Pauleen Dowsett Pauleen
David David Phillips
Jessie McCluskey Jessie
Lisa Lisa Bailey
Angie Hilder Angie
Peter Peter Budd
Stephen Penny Stephen
Doreen Doreen Wilde
Tony Legat Tony
Colin Colin Wolrich
Alex Yates Alex
Barbie Barbie Badger
Heather Legat Heather
Tony Tony McIntee
Danny Yates Danny
David David Peerman
Gillian Chard Gillian
Alison Alison Owen
Chris Deacon Chris
Barbie Barbie McSean
Christopher Lawrence Christopher
Mary Mary Coyte
Sally Bower Sally
Pauline Pauline Harries
Anne Bradley Anne
Abi Abigail Charters
Tanya Holmes-Jefferd Tanya
Laura Laura Mackintosh

The article that appeared in the local paper.

Grayshott Stagers presented Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" in Grayshott Village Hall on Saturday 26th June 2010. Nothing particularly remarkable about that, one might have thought, except that Grayshott Stagers did this from scratch in 24 hours.

On the evening of Friday 25th June, around forty people gathered in Grayshott Village Hall, and were told that the show to be presented was "Anything Goes". Casting was completed within ten minutes, and rehearsals commenced with volunteer musicians teaching the cast the music.

Rehearsals continued through the night, and whilst most people managed a little bit of sleep, there were three or four people who were awake for the whole night. Breakfast was provided for all on Saturday morning, as the cast continued to work on their words, their music, and their dances.

Meanwhile, the props team worked at gathering such diverse items as a wheelchair, two stuffed dogs, and a lobster, and the costume ladies had to provide outfits for forty people, and in a few cases four or five outfits. The stage crew put together a set, including two state rooms, a nightclub, the ship's deck, and a jail, and the sound man put microphones all over the place to make sure that everyone could be heard.

A full run started shortly after 1pm on Saturday afternoon, followed by a dress rehearsal at around 4pm. At 6.30 the hall was cleared, and chairs were set out for the audience, and at 7.30 the performance started in front of an audience of around 60 people, who were very forgiving of cast carrying books, and making a few mistakes.

Organiser Tony Legat said that everyone involved deserved congratulations for all their hard work, and particularly Chris Deacon, whose name was inadvertently omitted from the programme, and Danny Yates who had stepped in with just under twelve hours to go. He added that the production would not have been possible without the hard work put in by choreographer Laura Musco, and his son, Jeremy, as Musical Director.

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Updated: 22nd July 2010