When I lived in Bournemouth I would often go along to a Saturday matinee at one of the theatres. One summer The Sound of Music was the main show and as it’s one of my favourite things, I wasn’t afraid and went along.
I like to see the whites of their eyes when I see a show and try to get near to the front, but not in the front row. This time I was about four rows back.
One of the thrills of watching a play is to see how the set has been designed, how will they climb those mountains and will those hills really be alive?
Liz Robertson was Maria – at the time she was a Big Star and I knew I was in for a treat.
The set designer had been inspired – Maria was atop a massive mountain and to replicate the film scene where the camera zooms in from a distance, she was thrust forward, mechanically, to the edge of the stage.
It was one of those moments when the audience gasped. Liz, however, was all but deflated. Just at that moment a family had arrived to take their seats in the front row. She would surely have seen them fumbling, but being the trooper she was, she carried on.
The rest of the show passed without incident. The cast were, as one might expect, brilliant. But just who shared the stage with Ms Robertson? Well as I rummaged for my photo with Mr Hippo I came across the programme.
Sadly the two male actors are no longer with us. Christopher Cazenove played the Captain and Robin Nedwell, Uncle Max. But what about the ‘unknowns’? It’s always fun to keep programmes, just to see if anyone ‘made it’.
Liesel, I read, was played by local girl Amanda Holden (I wonder what happened to her?). Some of the others I’ve googled - Ryan Newberry (Kurt) now works as a stuntman, most recently for some of the Harry Potter films. Fiona Reyes (Brigitta) has toured in Joseph. I’m sure the others are all successful in whatever they’ve gone on to do – but with three children playing each role I didn’t search further.
When I was 17 or 18 I saw The Rocky Horror Show at the Comedy Theatre in London. I think I still have that programme too. When I rediscovered it a few years ago I was surprised that Tracey Ullman had been in the cast – she’s now very big in America.
So there you have it. Another reason why I must hoard, I mean collect, theatre programmes!