Playing to packed houses

I refer to last week's Herald, (Wow supplement p45) regarding the Chichester production of Half a Sixpence.

Saturday, 27th August 2016, 8:06 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:27 am

It states that the original show was not much good, not a success, has not stood the test of time, was not done very often with intrinsic problems with the script.

I would advise that the show has been one of the most popular musicals produced in the country over the years, by all and sundry.

Worthing Musical Comedy Society has produced four different productions at the Connaught and Pier Pavilion, 1969, 1975, 1996, 2013 and played to packed houses.

I had the privilage of being in the first production of the show at the Pier Pavilion, Worthing, cast as Kipps, 47 years ago in 1969, and appeared in two following WMCS productions in supporting roles, and assisted with two others, Theatre Royal and Worthing – five produstions overall, and Flash Bang Wallupped in concerts at the Dome, Brighton, and others.

David Heneker who wrote the music and lyrics requested that I sing a new song, This is my World, which was in the film, but not in the original stage show. He came to see the show, and I believe I was the first to sing it on a stage.

It was included in all the later productions, and sadly not included in the new Chichester production.

Sadly, only two of the cast are left – Rosemary and my self.

Robert Saint regretably lost his life in recent years in the theft of his yacht

I am still, at the age of 88 with 60 years’ experience of musicals in most of the large theatres in Brighton and Worthing and now, when requested, assisting in WMCS for the coming production of 42nd Street at the Connaught Theatre, with a £60,000 budget, commencing November 1 to 5.

It is not to be missed. Great tap dancing and music score. For the record, WMCS has produced it on two previous occasions, again to packed houses.

Ernie Barnes

Fircroft Avenue


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