I’m on a See-Saw

The BROS autumn show was a revue based on the songs of Vivian Ellis.

Ellis is a forgotten hero of British musical theatre but dominated the UK scene from the 1930s to the 1950s with shows like Mr Cinders, Bless the Bride and the Water Gipsies. He is best known for songs like “Spread a Little Happiness”, “She’s My Lovely” and “This is My Lovely Day”. Although overshadowed by the American blockbusters his songs are refreshing, light hearted and very English.

This revue brought together over two dozen songs in a concert type format and it told the story of Ellis’s career and illustrated songs from his shows. Ellis’s output ranged from comic songs through to operetta.

Cast & Creative

Cast List

Character Actor
Company Lottie Walker
Company Edz Barrett
Company Jenny Corbin
Company Perry Kitchen
Company Robbin Pearce
Company John Pyle
Company Lisa M Rose
Company Kerry Sampson
Company Janet Simpson
Company Matthew Stainer
Company Susan M Sworn
Company Barbara Thomas
Company Charlotte Walker

Creative Team

Role Name
Director Gavin Morgan
Choreographer Melanie Edwards
Production Manager Wesley Henderson Roe
Accompanist Terry Saunders
Chorus Master Matthew Stainer
Stage Manager Lynne Shirley
Lighting Operation Ian McCarthy
Costumes Wendy Godwin
Front of House Manager Alan O’Shea

Reviews & Awards

NOVEMBER 2007 • COWARD STUDIO THEATRE, HAMPTON HILL PLAYHOUSE

I’m on a See-Saw, presented as a studio production at the Hampton Hill Playhouse by BROS Theatre Co, chronicled the highs and lows in the career of English songwriter, Vivian Ellis. Devised and directed by Gavin Morgan and narrated by John Pyle, this revue celebrated some of the best loved songs from Ellis’ musicals, ranging from Mr. Cinders in the 1930s through to The Water Gypsies in 1955. The innate delicacy, simplicity and humour of the music were ably demonstrated by all twelve members of the cast, enhanced by small-scale but effective choreography from Melanie Edwards. This was basically an ensemble piece of some 27 songs, duets and choruses and it is somewhat invidious to single out individual performers. However, Terry Saunders as occasional singer and actor, but always as the unassuming and rock-solid accompanist on piano and keyboard, was a star, providing the musical glue which held the whole show together. Comedy was provided by Robbin Pierce with Me and My Dog and sentiment by Edz Barrett, Barbara Thomas and members of the company in the numbers from The Water Gypsies . Bless the Bride, first produced in 1947, contains some of Ellis’ most memorable songs. This is My Lovely Day, sung by Kerry Sampson and the Company, was a fitting climax to a nostalgic and lovely evening – a treat for those who delight in the quieter charms of English musical comedy.

Pam Frazer

Swan Award

Nominated for Best Supporting Male Performer in a Musical – Terry Saunders