Littlehampton Players Operatic Society (LPOS) are in action with a production of Follies, with lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Goldman.
LPOS chairman Simon Smith said: “This show has never been performed on the Windmill Theatre stage, and the cast and crew are excited to bring this iconic musical to the local area.
“Follies tells the story of ex-showgirls, meeting for a reunion at their former workplace, the Weissman Theatre, before it is pulled down to make way for a parking lot. The reunion reawakens old emotions, and some of the ex-performers have to face up to some challenging revelations. The action takes place during one evening during which many of the Follies girls are encouraged to revisit the acts they brought to their audiences 30 years previously. The theatre is certainly an evocative location, and it appears that ghosts of the past are reliving the memories too.
“The story focuses on two couples, Sally and Buddy Plummer (played by Sue Knight and Trevor Coffey) and Phyllis and Benjamin Stone (played by Gudrun Lehmann-Shanks), each of whom is shadowed by their younger selves (Young Sally – Josie Wenham; Young Phyllis – Abigail-Esther Knight; Young Buddy – Oliver Shanks; Young Ben – Sam Shanks).
“The couples have to face up to some difficult truths about their respective relationships, and emotions and tensions are stretched. It becomes difficult to distinguish fact and fantasy.
“The score contains some of Sondheim’s most well-known songs, notably Losing My Mind” for Sally, and Broadway Baby, sung by Hattie, another returning showgirl. In fact, the score contains a wide variety of musical styles, including a Viennese waltz for the retired opera singer, Heidi.
“Our production has been directed by Carole Paternoster, with musical direction by Gareth Jones, and choreography by Katie Newman. With colourful costumes and slick dance routines, Follies promises to be an entertaining evening.”
The show runs from Wednesday, October 12-Saturday, October 15 at The Windmill Theatre. Performances start at 7.45pm. Tickets (£11 for Wednesday and Thursday, £13 for Friday and Saturday) are available on the LPOS box office on 01903 721860 or from Monday, October 10, at the Windmill Theatre box office on 01903 722224.
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