STRIKE UP THE BAND

17 Mar

MUSIC BY GEORGE GERSHWIN, LYRICS BY IRA GERSHWIN, BOOK BY  AND GEORGE S. KAUFMAN

UPSTAIRS AT THE GATEHOUSE.

Here is a 1927 musical by the great musical writers of the period – which has been directed by Mark Giesser with no changes to music lyrics or dialogue as it is the copyright of the Gershwin family.

Amazing done in 1927 style with girls all singing soprano, But it is a show with serious intent about the uselessness and waste of war.  Rich men who declare war in order to made more money.  The rich man in question is Horace J Fletcher played by Richard Emerson who owns an American cheese factory, he is a self made man who wants even more.

He is pursued by Mrs Draper, a woman who wants to enter into some sort of contract with him. (Pippa Winslow). Her daughter is a sweet soprano of seventeen in love with Timothy Harper who works at the Factory.

Paul Biggin plays Jim Townsend,  a pacifist hero and journalist, who longs for the countryside but is conscripted into the rich man’s army – because he doesn’t like war, or cheese and criticises the milk content of the rich man’s cheese factory.

His love is Joan Fletcher, daughter of Cheesemaker played by Beth Burrows.

Never felt the story really worked but there is lots of acerbic wit, crazy characters, and super numbers including  ‘The man/girl I love’  sung very prettily by Joan and Jim.  ‘I’ve got a Cush on You’ by Anne and Timothy and  ‘Strike Up the Band’ a rousing number sung by the company all looking forward to the fun of the war. Most of the other songs unknown to me. except for  the satire on the song ‘Oh What a Lovely War’  ‘Oh this is such a lovely War’

Absolutely fascinating.  Too many characters I felt, but it had to be so to follow the 1927 regime. . Good singing – and Terrific Band who have a long overture to themselves at the beginning. Two Reeds, Trumpet, Cello, Keys, Bass and Drums. Wow!

Musical director is Bobby Goulder, Very simple but effective choreography by Orley Quick.

A good evening’s entertainment.

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

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