Scrooge 2015 Blog! Every Week a different member of our Cast will talk about their own development along with how rehearsals are progressing.
20th September 2015
Hi, My name is Joanne and I am lucky enough to be playing Mrs Cratchit in this year’s production of Scrooge. I have 2 children who are seven and four and who love to come watch their mummy in shows. Who knows, they may follow in my footsteps!
I have been performing since the age of nine, my first ever show was The King and I with The Variations. I played many roles with them over the years; Nancy in Oliver, Benjamin in Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, the Prince in Cinderella and many more. I was with them until the age of 18 and then in 2003 I joined the Hull Savoyards for their production of Patience where I found my love of light operettas. My first role with them was in Yeomen of the Guard, playing Kate and singing a quartet. I stayed with them until I had my daughter in 2010.
In 2005 I joined the chorus at Hull Musical Society for South Pacific. Over the years I have mainly been in the chorus but took on my first role in 2013 playing Bet in Oliver alongside Jane Bradley as Nancy. I enjoyed playing Nancy’s sidekick but even more so, I got to shoot Bill Sykes (which was terrifying!).
This year, as I said, I am playing Mrs Cratchit, alongside Peter Abraham as Mr Cratchit. Together we hope to be able to control our 4 children and have a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas, as long as Mr Scrooge doesn’t spoil it. I am enjoying getting my teeth into an actual speaking part, although it is rather daunting. With the support of the whole cast and our great director Brian, I know I can make this part my own.
There has been a lot of hard work put into the show, I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I am enjoying being part of it.
13th September 2015
Hello, I’m Peter and I will be playing the part of Bob Cratchit in Hull Musical Society’s production of Scrooge – The Musical in October. I first appeared on stage (apart from as the Angel Gabriel in nativity plays) as an urchin in a production of Oliver in my hometown of Southampton. A slight change in character! My stage career then took a very long holiday (25 years) before I joined Hessle Theatre Company for their production of Titanic in 2007. I made up for lost time, joining Hull shortly afterwards for the production of The Likes of Us, and I have been involved with both companies ever since. I have also performed twice with Beverley Musical Theatre.
Since my return to the stage I have tended to perform mainly in the chorus, but my roles have got bigger as I have gained experience. My first role with any significant dialogue was the vicar in Jane Eyre and earlier this year I had more lines (and a pen portrait in the programme!) when I was Rod in Singin’ in the Rain. Now I move on to my biggest role so far – Bob Cratchit in Scrooge, but more of that later. When not on stage I have often assisted in other areas: backstage, front of house, and also as Musical Director. Once theatre got into my blood it has been difficult, if not impossible to get it out, partly because of my love of music, but also because of the family feel that comes with it.
I have just mentioned my love of music, and outside the theatre I am organist and choirmaster at St. Alban’s church in North Hull (new singers, especially men, are welcome…). I also spend time composing and arranging music – I have had two anthems performed, as well as an arrangement of songs from Cabaret. More arrangements are being worked on at the moment, so if you come to our concerts you might hear some, if our Musical Director (Gill Barker) can be persuaded.
When I’m not involved in any of the above I am a teacher, beginning a new post next week teaching English at a school in Selby. Part of the curriculum that I am going to be teaching is Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, so performing in Scrooge should enable me to get more of a feel for the story; it is, of course, one of the best-loved stories in English literature. Whilst the story is largely about the redemption and transformation of Scrooge, his clerk Bob Cratchit (who I play) is an essential person in the story. A hard-working, upright family man, Bob represents the opposite of the penny-pinching killjoy Scrooge (played by Ian Start, who assures me this is a role in which he has to act totally out of character). Add in the fact that one of Bob’s children, Tiny Tim (Owen Dulson), is poorly and you have a morality play for all time. So far I have really enjoyed trying to develop my character under the direction of Brian Hossack, although a recent break for the summer has proved awkward for all, with lines – and especially dance moves – being forgotten. Fortunately all is coming back.
The one thing that I am really looking forward to is developing the Christmas punch, said to be a speciality of the Cratchits. If you want to find me after a rehearsal or performance I will probably be undertaking valuable research into this essential part of the show!
30th August 2015
Its blog time for Scrooge again! and this time its me Jane and I am delighted to be taking the role of Isabel, Scrooge’s long lost Girlfriend and Helen Scrooge’s Nephew’s wife. As well as a performing member of the Society I have been on the Committee for many years and now I am the Chairman of the Society!!! As its my first show as Chairman, its more nerve wracking then performing!! I first started with Hull Musical Society in 1993, to join alongside my mother who had been a member since the 70’s. I was lucky enough to land my first role, which was Ann
Pornick in Half a sixpence. Half a Sixpence was such a happy show, after that came Sound of Music playing the role of Liesel. Through out my time with Hull I have had the privilege of playing many roles and leads including Eliza in My Fair Lady, Laurey and then later playing Ado Annie in one of my favorite musicals, Oklahoma! Kate in Kiss me Kate and most recently Nancy in Oliver. I have also been in other society’s across the years and have played a numerous roles in Gilbert and Sullivan’s light Opera’s which I fondly look back on. I feel like I have always been performing I started dancing at the age of three and started singing alongside my mother with her group she used to call Matinee, it gave me great experience of performing and the confidence to actually do it. So I will always be a performer first then a Chairman!
I am very lucky to have a growing strong team and cast to hopefully make Scrooge a success, and feel things are coming together nicely with great help and support from all of back stage – Brian the Producer, Nikki and Sarah our Choreographers, Gill Barker – MD. And just recently we have the delight of Alison our fantastic props lady and Ann and Angela as Costume ladies join the crew. So if you are at a lose end from October 28th to October 31st please come and see Scrooge at The Winifred Holtby theatre, what a way to celebrate Halloween with a show ram packed with Ghosts!!!!
Written by Jane Bradley Aka Chairman, Aka Isabel Aka Helen!!
23rd August 2015
Hi we are the Dulson family and we have all been really lucky to be involved in the production of Scrooge. We first became involved with Hull Musical Society when my son, Sam played the main role of Oliver in the production of ‘Oliver’. Sam, age 10, has been involved in a number of productions performing with Marti Pellow in Evita at Hull New Theatre, playing Kurt from the Von Trapp family in the Sound of Music with Beverley Musical Theatre and performing in Cats as Asparagus in a school production. Sam has also performed in the East Riding Theatre in Beverley alongside many famous faces in the production ‘A Christmas Carol’ last Christmas in which he played Tiny Tim. In this production of Scrooge Sam is now rather a little too tall to play the role of Tiny Tim. He is playing Young Ebeneizer and the Turkey boy. His younger brother, Owen, has been lucky enough to take on the role of Tiny Tim in this show. He is 7 years old and always singing and performing at home. He is excited to be singing a solo of ‘On a beautiful Day’ and has been having extra lessons with the musical director, Gill Barker.
All of my children attend Stagecoach drama and performing arts school. They are always singing and dancing, keeping me very entertained. There is never a quiet moment in our house!!!! Owen has been lucky to audition for roles in A Game of Thrones and Priscilla and although not successful has gained much experience and confidence from these opportunities.
Katie Dulson, my 12 year old daughter , attends stagecoach but also dances with Miss Fleur’s Dance Academy. She is playing Jen in the production of Scrooge and Martha in the Cratchitt family. Katie is performing in roles alongside both her brothers in Scrooge. She has previously performed in Joseph at Hull New Theatre, played the leading role of Tallulah in Bugsy Malone and sang with a choir on tv for Children in Need.
Oh and there is also me!!! I am part of the chorus. I am not sure if my children are proud of me or just happy to giggle at my dancing. I am a full time primary teacher so I suppose I perform everyday in front of my class. It is lovely spending time with my children. I am a proud mum of four gorgeous children. We are all really enjoying spending time with Hull Musical Society. We are made to feel welcome and rehearsals are hard work but fun. We have shared much laughter during the dance rehearsals with many of us trying hard to learn all the steps and coordinate our feet and hands whilst singing!!!! We are looking forward to the show and hope that the whole casts hard work and commitment is truly reflected in a fantastic performance.
9th August 2015
Well it’s my turn to produce this week’s blog for “Scrooge-The Musical” so here goes:
I’m playing the title role, probably the biggest role I’ve had since I got involved with musical theatre some 14 years or so ago and one that I have wanted to play since first seeing it on stage many years ago.
Scrooge is a complex character, in his early years, a handsome, loving and much loved young man even becoming engaged to the beautiful Isabel ( played by Jane Bradley ), the daughter of his employer Mr Fezziwig. As he matures, he begins to be more concerned with accumulating wealth than using his skills and intelligence for doing good, even though this is to cost him his chance of marrying the love of his life.
It takes the intervention of a ghost, in the guise of his late partner Jacob Marley ( Paul Sorfleet ), to show him the error of his ways and it is then we see the reversion of Scrooge to the person he was before greed became his master.
Rehearsals have been under way for a couple of months now and most scenes have now been “blocked”, that is, everyone has been shown what to do and where to do it by our Director ( Brian Hossack ). All we have to do now is learn the lines and the songs and say them at the right time !!!!!
I have quite a few solo songs to perform in this show as well as a duet ( with my younger self played by Stuart Raywood ) and I’m involved in a chorus number or two as well, so there’s quite a lot for me to learn. Fortunately, our Musical Director ( Gill Barker ) has been giving me extra rehearsal time and I’ve sneaked in a couple of sessions of singing with an experienced singing teacher ( Honor Petch ) and I think I’m on track to get the bulk of these songs under my belt before we get to floor rehearsals and runs through at the beginning of September.
My wife, Ann, has agreed to help out with wardrobe duties for the show and has started to gather costumes together. She has already provided me with a nightshirt and cap in which I will spend most of my time on stage as I’m whisked around the scenes of my past, present and future as shown to me by the three visiting Christmas spectres.
The rest of the cast have been busy, over the past month or so, learning the dance routines for many of the chorus numbers. I’m glad to say I don’t get involved too much in these as for the most part I am an invisible spectator to these events….. and in my nightshirt !!!!!
I hope you find the show as enjoyable to watch as we all find it to perform and can follow the transition of Dickens’ character from good to bad and good again in what is one of my favourite musicals.
2nd August 2015
My name is Rachel Lawson and I’m playing the role of Miss Dilber in “Scrooge.” I only have a small role but I’m enjoying it. I really get to belt my one solo line and the rest of the time I get to dance and sing with the chorus (although I’m still not very good at doing both at the same time). This is my first few months with Hull Musical Society and I’m really enjoying working with everybody.
I’ve been attending Bilton Amateur Dramatics Society for about four years now and am currently rehearsing for my debut performance as part of the Adults section. I’ve always liked singing, acting and being different characters but, when I was younger, I didn’t have a lot of confidence and didn’t like performing in front of other people. Once I left school, however, my confidence seemed to sky rocket and now I’m constantly volunteering for large roles or to read in for someone else. I also passed my Grade 8 singing exam last year, which, along with previous singing exams, has helped my confidence a lot. Now I just need to get my dancing skills as high as my singing!
Although my dancing needs some serious work, our choreographers Sarah and Nikki are a lot of fun to work with and they’re very kind and don’t put in any hard steps, so even I can get the hang of the routines quite quickly. As for the acting side of things, I only have two lines to learn as opposed to the hundred or so I usually have at BADS, so that hasn’t been hard to memorize at all and our director is very good at explaining his ideas very easily to us so we can make his vision become reality.
The singing is a lot of fun (although I have a bit of trouble remembering which parts I’m meant to be singing) and, now that we’ve started going through Act Two, I’m looking forward to the rest of the second Act.
In my spare time, I draw a lot and enjoy writing stories. I’m quite a creative person by nature and my desk is always piled with doodles and short story ideas. I also love singing and probably drive my family mad as I never seem to stop and I can be quite loud. I’m also studying for my Grade 3 JLPT (Japanese Language Profiency Test) which I hope to take towards the end of the year.
Anyway, thanks for reading about my experience as a newcomer to the Hull Musical Society, bye for now!
19th July 2015
Hello there! I hope you like the new series of blogs from our Society – I know I enjoyed reading all the ones that Beverley Musical Theatre did prior to their production of “Singing In The Rain”, so was definitely interested in taking part when Tom suggested it at a meeting a few weeks ago.
My name is Helen Davison and I will be playing the part of Mrs Fezziwig in “Scrooge”. I’m really looking forward to displaying a permanent smile whilst singing and dancing – something that doesn’t really come naturally to me (I smile, don’t get me wrong, just not usually at the same time as I’m singing or dancing). However, I will give it my best shot, as I do with everything I’m given.
I first joined Hull Musical Society 6 years ago, and was thrilled to take part in “The Likes of Us” in October 2009 – I think because it was my first foray into musical theatre, I have extremely fond memories of performing it (including that one night in Hornsea when my wig went awry) . I’ve been hooked on drama since the age of about 4 – the only thing I wanted to do when I was growing up was to be an actress, and was always performing in school plays whenever possible. I took lessons and exams in speech & drama as a teenager, joined the Hull Truck Youth Theatre when it first began (and John Godber used to pop in to give us the odd improvisation workshop), then in 1990 I joined Bilton Amateur Dramatic Society and have been an active member there ever since. Acting was always a passion, but I have also always liked singing as well – just never really had the confidence to sing in front of anyone (even at home I still only sing if I’m in the house alone). I used to have piano lessons, too, and got up to grade 4 in piano playing and music theory before concentrating on drama instead.
Mrs Fezziwig will be the second named part I’ve had with the society – I find auditions extremely nerve-wracking and have to really force myself to get through them, but thankfully I’ve not yet made any mistakes during the actual shows, so I must be ok eventually! We’ve been rehearsing for about 3 weeks now, and I think the dance rehearsals are my favourite at the moment (but don’t tell Gill or Brian, as obviously the singing and acting rehearsals are just as enjoyable) because it’s led by the most infectiously happy people you could meet – Sarah and Nikki. They’re sisters and are incredibly patient with us non-dancers – we never feel as though we can’t do the steps, we’re just encouraged and helped all the time.
At the singing rehearsals, we’ve just about covered Act 1 – and some of the lyrics are already embedded in our minds. I can’t say the harmonies have gone in just yet, but we’re getting there! We will soon be having a full run through of Act 1, so that’s good progress.
Rehearsals for me have been hectic lately, as I’ve been at Scrooge rehearsals on a Tuesday and Thursday, and on a Monday and Wednesday, we’ve been directing the Junior and Youth section at Bilton for their Summer Production, which concludes this evening, actually (Sunday 19th July). There’s no rest for me, however, as tomorrow we begin the rehearsal process for our next play at Bilton, which I’m directing – I’ve managed to recruit Tom (who is playing Tom Jenkins in Scrooge) as an actor for that.
My step-grand-daughter, Evie is also in Scrooge – she last appeared with HMS in “Oliver” and enjoyed the experience so got involved as one of the children for this show. It’s lovely to have family members taking part – I tried to persuade my husband, Keith, to join (he played a doctor in “Oliver”) but he couldn’t be swayed this time. Being in a production of any kind is always a bit like spending time with your family – there are times when you laugh so much it hurts, you can sometimes fall out or get offended for no reason, and of course there are some great friendships formed from spending so much time together, aiming for a common goal. Our director this time, Brian, is someone I’ve not worked with before, and he seems to be very organised and positive about how he sees the production going – as a director myself, I know how important it is to be focused and always have “the answer” to any questions that may be thrown at you during rehearsals – no matter how silly they may at first appear.
When I’m not singing or acting or directing, I spend my time creating art. I’m currently self-employed, and as well as creating paintings to sell online, I take on commissions via my web-site for almost any type of painting. I have in the past few years diversified my art, and currently concentrate on making small gift items to sell at a shop in Hull, called Eden. In there I have a range of mini canvas paintings on easels, hand-painted notebooks, jewellery boxes, tooth fairy boxes, photo frames etc. I also have a Facebook Page, Arty Aitch, from where I get a lot of commissions. My painting skills have been used numerous times on scenic painting at Bilton, and I have also enjoyed creating various props that require a certain amount of creativity. I do not, however, take kindly to using those things that require needles and thread – we’ve never got on and are never likely to. I am in awe of anyone who can sew – it will always remain a mystery to me.
I think I’ve probably waffled on enough now – but I really can’t leave without mentioning the fact that I am also a completely crazy cat lady. We have two cats, and I can’t imagine not having at least one in my life at any time. Right, I’m going now, I promise.
This photo is from the first show I was in with Hull Musical Society, “The Likes Of Us”. It’s probably my favourite photo – taken by my husband, Keith, I might add!