Mr Cinders

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Cast & Creative

Cast List

Character Actor
Jim Lancaster James Meehan
Jill Kemp Janet Simpson
Lady Lancaster Lynne Tompkins
Sir George Bob Salter
Guy Lancaster Gavin Morgan
Lumley Lancaster Andrew MacBean
Henry Kemp Martin Elliff
Phyllis Maggie Rose
Minerva Sheila Fitzgerald
Lucy Smith Suzanne Yeates
Donna Lucia d’Esmeralda Merian Ganjou
PC Merks Will Brooks
Bunny Hayes Carl Smith
Enid Brinkley Janet Turner
Charles Wylde Martin Wilcox
Billy Whymper Andrew Yeates
Cynthia Boyce Sally Hester
Becky Bartlett Sarah Pearson
Smith the Butler Carl Smith
Piano Carole Baker
Piano Alex Collinson
Cello Emma Campbell
Woodwind Phil Shaw

Creative Team

Role Name
Director John Hebden
Musical Director Carole Baker
Assistant to Director Melanie Edwards
Stage Manager Melanie Edwards
Stage Crew Wesley Henderson-Roe
Stage Crew Bob Hicks
Production Co-ordinator Carl Smith
Production Co-ordinator Gavin Morgan
Costumes Marion McLaren
Set Design John Hebden
Set Construction Carl Smith
Lighting Paul Saban
Props Terry Parsons
Prompt Tricia Vandepeer
Box Office Suzanne Yeates
Front of House Helen Jenkins

Reviews & Awards

Spreading Happiness

As the second half of its double bill at the Parkshot Studio, Barnes and Richmond Operatic Society last week celebrated the great English musical with a joyful revival of Mister Cinders that also teasingly hinted at our pantomime tradition.

Fresh as the day it was written, with all the original 1927 gags and business lovingly preserved, this was actually the version that transferred to the Fortune Theatre from the King’s Head in 1983. It included the new title song especially written by octogenarian Vivian Ellis, here sung with wistful charm by Janet Simpson as the rich little poor girl Jill and an all-star BROS chorus, a medley that has stayed with me all the week.

Indeed John Hebden’s enchanting production, a winner in every department, will go on singing and dancing in the memories of all those who saw it long after the applause has faded. With a simple three-part revolving set, it was perfectly matched to the tiny stage, except for an overcrowded ballroom scene with a large cast dressed regardless of cost for the 18 th Century Drag.

Not quite a dancer, but a deft mover with a lightsome comedy style, newcomer James Meehan spread a lot of happiness with one of the best and certainly most tuneful performances I’ve seen in the title role, for once making even the Amazon catalogue song not only endurable but, with splendid hand and footwork, worthy of its encore.

There were many scene stealers in this strongly cast production: none more enchanting than Maggie Rose playing Phyllis as a Joyce Grenfell lookalike, and Gavin Morgan in his best ever performance as her semaphoring boyfriend Guy; the two joining Sheila Fitzgeralds Minerva and Andrew Macbeans Lumley in a gladsome Honeymoon for Four.

Just space for a special word for Merian Ganjou as the fiery Donna Lucia; and the ever amusing Bob Salter as Sir George, who has only to step on the stage to raise an anticipatory chuckle of delight.

John Thaxter

Richmond & Twickenham Times

Show Date: May 1991

Venue: Parkshot Studio

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