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St. Augustine's Musical Theatre Company

The UK Midlands' Award Winning Premier Local Theatre Company - Entertaining for 46 Years - 1974 to 2020

Current Productions
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Kipps runs from 17 to 21 November 2020 at The Core Theatre, Solihull. Tickets available now - see the Tickets page for information, or Book online!
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2020 PRODUCTION -
KIPPS (The New and Re-imagined Version of Half a Sixpence)

Tuesday 17 to Saturday 21 November 2020

'Flash, Bang Wallop!'




**** AUDITION CALL - TWO MALE APPRENTICES - SID PORNICK AND PIERCE. We are also looking for approximately 4 males of various ages to join the Ensemble. Audition information for KIPPS can be found below - if you want to audition, please email us as soon as possible! ****

We are delighted to announce that our production for November 2020 will be KIPPS, the brand new and re-imagined version of Half a Sixpence.

Watch the trailer below to get a feel for this wonderful new version!

KIPPS is a new stage version of the well-loved Half A Sixpence, which returns to the H. G. Wells semi-autobiographical novel ‘Kipps’, in order to reinvent the musical Half a Sixpence for the modern age. The original production of Half a Sixpence in 1965 was nominated for nine Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Direction and Best Original Score. This new version, revised in 2016 and recently renamed KIPPS, has reunited book writer Julian Fellowes (of Downton Abbey fame) with composer and lyricist George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, the musical team that co-creator Cameron Mackintosh first put together to create the smash-hit stage adaptation of Mary Poppins with Disney. Julian Fellowes’ masterful adaptation returns the musical to its literary roots, in a timeless and contemporary way, and Stiles and Drewe’s brilliantly infectious new score harnesses the David Heneker classics with a joyous verve.

Nominated for three Oliviers, and now called
KIPPS, the show has a colourful and exuberant score that is inspired by, and features several of composer David Heneker’s memorable songs from the original production in new arrangements by Stiles and Drewe, including the show-stopping Flash, Bang, Wallop!, Money To Burn and of course Half A Sixpence. Stiles and Drewe have also composed several new songs including the amazingly catchy Pick Out a Simple Tune.

The new version of the show premiered at Chichester festival Theatre in July 2016 as a co-production with Cameron Mackintosh, and starring the hugely talented newcomer Charlie Stemp as Arthur Kipps alongside Devon-Elise Johnson as Ann Pornick. Following rave reviews in Chichester, the production transferred to the West End in London at the Noël Coward Theatre in October 2016. It featured all the original Chichester cast and ran for ten months in the West End following three extensions to its limited run. Combined with the Chichester run, the production played around 400 performances.

We are very excited to have secured the licence for this new version of what will be a bright, colourful production full of fantastic songs, dance and romance - another première for us at The Core Theatre, Solihull.

**** AUDITION CALL - TWO MALE APPRENTICES - SID PORNICK AND PIERCE. We are also looking for approximately 4 males of various ages to join the Ensemble. Audition information for KIPPS can be found below - if you want to audition, please email us as soon as possible! ****
Kipps - The Show
Arthur Kipps, an orphan, is an over-worked draper’s assistant at Shalford’s Bazaar, Folkestone, at the turn of the last century. He is a charming but ordinary young man who, along with his fellow apprentices, dreams of a better and more fulfilling world, but he likes his fun just like any other, but things take an unedited turn! When Kipps inherits a fortune that propels him into high society, it confuses everything he thought he knew about life.

Watching him wrestle with his new identity is his childhood companion and not-quite girlfriend, Ann Pornick, who sees with dismay how Arthur is being made over in a new image by the beautiful and classy Helen Walsingham. Helen is always there with helpful hints on how Arthur could improve himself and make his life richer and more meaningful, if only he would believe in himself, and listen to her. Both Ann and Helen love Arthur – there is no doubt about that – but which should he listen to? With the help of his friends, Arthur learns that if you want to have the chance of living the right life, you need to make the right choices.
CASTING ANNOUNCEMENTS
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CHARLIE LOUGHRAN - ARTHUR KIPPS

We are thrilled to announce that CHARLIE LOUGHRAN has been cast in the role of ARTHUR KIPPS for our 2020 production of KIPPS - The New Half a Sixpence Musical. Charlie is new to St. Augustine’s MTC and we warmly welcome him to the company to take on the central character of Arthur Kipps.

Charlie is local to Solihull and recently played Curly in
Oklahoma. He will also be appearing in a production of All Shook Up at The Core Theatre in April.

We are excited to have Charlie joining the company. In the 2016 professional production, the role of Kipps made a star of the multi-talented actor Charlie Stemp and we think in Charlie Loughran we’ve found our own star!
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ELLEN HASTINGS - ANN PORNICK

We are delighted to announce that ELLEN HASTINGS has been cast in the role of ANN PORNICK for our 2020 production of KIPPS - The New Half a Sixpence Musical.

Ellen has been dancing since the age of three and has appeared in venues such as Birmingham Hippodrome, Winter Gardens Blackpool and Disneyland Paris, as well as a dancer for Chipperfield’s Circus, She was one of the Dance Captains and Ensemble performers for
The Producers last year. This year, as well as continuing her dance involvement, Ellen is bringing her singing and acting talents to the principal role of Ann Pornick, Arthur Kipps’ devoted childhood sweetheart.

Other show credits include Miss Snow in
Carousel, Annie, Jesus Christ Superstar, Hairspray, Calamity Jane, Elegies for Raging Punks and Queens, Les Misérables, and the pantomime Sleeping Beauty.

Ellen is no stranger to us at St. Augustine’s MTC as Mum Sharyn is the company’s choreographer, and she also works with Sharyn at The Whiteman Dance Academy.
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LAUREN PRITCHARD - HELEN WALSINGHAM

We are really pleased to announce that LAUREN PRITCHARD has been cast in the role of HELEN WALSINGHAM in our 2020 production of KIPPS.

After playing the part of bubbly Tammy in
Hairspray for StagsMTC in 2018, Lauren is returning to the company to take on the role of classy, educated and well-spoken Helen Walsingham, one of Arthur Kipps’s love interests.

Credits with other companies include Audrey in
Little Shop of Horrors, Nancy in Oliver! and Made in Dagenham. Lauren will be appearing in All Shook Up at The Core theatre in April.

Welcome back Lauren!
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JACK HANLEY - JAMES WALSINGHAM

We are delighted to announce that JACK HANLEY has been cast in the role of JAMES WALSINGHAM for our 2020 production of KIPPS.

Jack is new to St. Augustine’s MTC and he joins us to play upper-class financial adviser and all-around cad James Walsingham. James may be ruthless and cold-hearted, but he is seen as a fool by the audience and so his unfeeling character becomes an element of fun.

As well as Studying theatre at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Jack is also involved as a Director and will be presenting the play
Murder with Ghosts at The Dovehouse Theatre later in March. Welcome to the company Jack!
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NICOLA SIVYER - FLO EVANS

Following auditions, NICOLA SIVYER has been cast in the role of FLO EVANS for our 2020 production of KIPPS.

Nicola memorably played the iconic comedy role of nun Sister Mary Patrick in our 2015 production of
Sister Act and since then she has appeared as a Pinkette in Hairspray in 2018 and as Shirley Markowitz and Usherette in The Producers last year.

Nicola now takes on the role of the cheeky and saucy head window dresser Flo Evans in
Kipps. If you want to know about her ‘Knickerbocker Glory’, come to see the show!
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NICK SALTER - CHITTERLOW

We are really pleased to announce that NICK SALTER has been cast in the role of CHITTERLOW for our 2020 production of KIPPS.

Nick has previously appeared with St. Augustine’s MTC as The Innkeeper in
Fiddler on the Roof in 2017, Harriman F. Spritzer in Hairspray in 2018 and the crazy Franz Liebkind in The Producers last year.

After leaving behind Franz Liebkind’s pigeons and broken legs, Nick moves from being a German playwright and brings his comic talents to being the English playwright Chitterlow, an energetic, enthusiastic and eccentric theatre impresario who becomes a good friend to Arthur Kipps.

Two playwrights, but two very different characters. Well done Nick!
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SUE BURROWS - MRS. WALSINGHAM

Sue joined St. Augustine’s MTC last year for The Producers and played a range of Ensemble parts from Showgirl to a granny in Little-Old-Lady-Land! Elsewhere, she has also been in a production of The Wedding Singer and will be appearing in All Shook Up at The Core Theatre in April.

Now Sue steps up to a principal role and will be playing Mrs. Walsingham in
Kipps, the widowed mother of Helen and James. Mrs. Walsingham heads an upper-class family and is cunning, tiresome and fussy - nothing like Sue in real life so she will have a great time discovering and playing her character! Sue’s talented daughter Jasmin will also be joining the company in the Ensemble.
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KATE DYER - LADY PUNNET

Following auditions, KATE DYER has been cast in the role of LADY PUNNET for our 2020 production of KIPPS.

In
The Producers last year, Kate joined the company to play the role of Hold-Me, Touch-Me and had everyone in stitches in rehearsals as well as on stage in the performances! Kate now moves from downtown New York to uptown Folkestone to play the wonderfully funny role of upper-class and ever-so-slightly eccentric Lady Punnet in Kipps.

Elsewhere, Kate has appeared as Grandma Addams in
The Addams Family and Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, plus numbers chorus appearances!
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DANIEL MORRIS - BUGGINS

Following auditions, DANIEL MORRIS has been cast in the role of BUGGINS for our 2020 production of KIPPS.

Dan came to St. Augustine’s MTC in 2018 and took the part of Fender in
Hairspray. Last year in The Producers he multi-tasked in the roles of The Stormtrooper, Jack Lapidus and Bryan the Set Designer, as well as being in the Ensemble!

In
Kipps, Dan will the play the role of Buggins, a loveable pessimist, and one of three apprentices working at Shalford’s Bazaar where Arthur Kipps moves to work as a draper’s assistant. All three become good friends to Kipps. Well done Dan!
AUDITIONS
**** AUDITION CALL - TWO MALE APPRENTICES - SID PORNICK AND PIERCE. We are also looking for approximately 4 males of various ages to join the Ensemble. Audition information for KIPPS can be found below - if you want to audition, please email us as soon as possible! **** - mail@stagsmtc.co.uk

When you email us, an Audition Pack with character breakdown details, audition information, and music & lyrics for audition songs to prepare will be sent to you as PDFs for ease of reference. There is no pre-set libretto to learn - libretto sections will be given to read on the day of the auditions or may be sent out in advance at the Director’s discretion.

If you are new to the Company, please give us your age, a brief outline of any past stage experience, and include a contact telephone number.

Please note the playing ages specified for each role. For the Chorus/Ensemble, the age requirement is 15 and above.

As this is a brand new version of the show, including the new name
KIPPS, there is limited online reference material, but for general reference, there is a soundtrack recording available which can be found on YouTube . This is the recording to use for help when preparing set audition pieces (and please note this latest 2016 recording is still called ‘Half a Sixpence’ - the show’s name was only recently changed to KIPPS).
PRINCIPAL AND MAIN ROLES
Please see the separate emailed PDFs of music/lyrics provided for audition songs. The bar numbers refer to the required sections. All set audition music can be heard on the 2016 cast recording, which is available on YouTube - click here).
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SID PORNICK:
One of a group of three apprentices working at Shalford’s Bazaar with Kipps, Sid is also Ann Pornick’s brother. He is working-class, a proud Socialist, kind-hearted and determined. Each of the three apprentices has their own individual character in the group. Good vocal and acting ability required, including convincing Cockney/Southern accent. Good dance requirement. Good sense of comic timing.

Vocal Range: Baritone (B2 to E4)
Stage Playing Age: Young adult, similar age to Kipps
Audition Song:
Flash, Bang, Wallop! (bars 13 to 89 - sing all the tune, whichever character is singing!)
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PIERCE:
One of a group of three apprentices working at Shalford’s Bazaar with Kipps, Pierce is something of a dandy, a dreamer, aspirational, a working-class young man, who becomes a kind-hearted friend to Kipps. Each of the three apprentices has their own individual character in the group. Good vocal and acting ability required, including convincing Cockney/Southern accent. Good dance requirement. Good sense of comic timing.

Vocal Range: Baritone (B2 to E4)
Stage Playing Age: Young adult, similar age to Kipps
Audition Song:
Flash, Bang, Wallop! (bars 13 to 89 - sing all the tune, whichever character is singing!)
SUPPORTING ROLES
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PHOTOGRAPHER:
The Photographer appears in the final main song
Flash, Bang, Wallop! to take wedding photographs for Kipps and Ann, and is a wonderful, comic character cameo. He is flamboyant, camp, delightfully precious and somewhat tipsy. This role may be cast as a separate actor, but could be doubled-up with another role, at the Production Team’s discretion.

Vocal Range: Baritone (C3 to E4)
Audition Song:
Flash, Bang, Wallop! (bars 13 to 89 - sing all the tune, whichever character is singing.)
MR. SHALFORD:
Mr. Shalford is the grumpy, middle-aged proprietor of Shalford’s Bazaar, the main important shopping emporium in the town. He employs Kipps and the apprentices Sid, Pierce and Buggins, as well as head window dresser Flo. He is short-tempered and bossy to his workforce, but must come around to accept Kipps as a rich young man when he inherits a fortune. Well-spoken accent, but not ‘posh’.

Vocal Range: Baritone (C3 to D4)
Audition Song:
Look Alive (bars 20 to 34)
CARSHOT:
Carshot works at Shalford’s Bazaar as the floor-walker. He is an important employee, but still a working-class, good-natured young man. He requires a Southern accent and his favourite phrase is “Oh my heart and lungs” !

Vocal Range: Baritone (C3 to E4)
Audition Song:
Flash, Bang, Wallop! (bars 13 to 89 - sing all the tune, whichever character is singing.)
UNCLE BERT KIPPS (spoken role) / AUNT SUSAN KIPPS (spoken role) / HAYES (spoken role) / MISS ROSS (spoken role) / MR. MAXWELL (spoken role) / FOSTER (spoken role) / MARY (spoken role):
A variety of supporting roles which will be cast in general audition. Uncle Bert and Aunt Susan are Kipps’s aunt and uncle and need to be a more mature age. Hayes and Miss Ross are members of Helen Walsingham’s wood carving evening class - ages: flexible. Mr. Maxwell is Mrs. Walsingham’s Architect and should be a more mature age. Foster is Lady Punnet’s Butler - age: flexible. Mary is Sid Pornick’s fiancée and should be a similar young age to Sid. All roles will also be part of the Ensemble and therefore require Ensemble singing.

Stage Playing Ages: Various
Audition Song:
Flash, Bang, Wallop! (bars 29 to 46)
ENSEMBLE/CHORUS:
This show requires a strong Ensemble/Chorus to play the roles of Shoppers, Crowd, Party Guests, Policeman, Waiters, Posh Ladies and Gentlemen on the Promenade, Wedding Party Guests, Mildred (Mrs. Walsingham’s maid), etc. All Ensemble cast will be required to have good vocal and dance ability and the Ensemble/Chorus appears regularly throughout what is a very busy show!
Vocal Ranges: Various - ensemble singing, with some individual lines

Stage Playing Ages: Various, but must be 15 or above.
Audition Song:
Flash, Bang, Wallop! (bars 29 to 46)
Rehearsals
Rehearsals are held at Widney Junior School, Clifton Crescent, Solihull, B91 3LQ. 

Rehearsals take place on WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY evenings at 7.30pm at Widney Junior School. 
Please note that if you have a role in this production, other than unavoidable work commitments, illness and holidays, you are expected as a priority to make yourself available on Wednesday and Thursday evenings for rehearsals. 

Availability for rehearsals is a key factor and you will be required to notify us of any known unavailability for Wednesday and Thursday rehearsals. While it is understood that people’s busy lives may result in certain unavailability developing after we start work on the show, you are required to promptly notify the Production Team of any changes in your availability, as this could affect casting.

If you cannot attend a rehearsal, contact Veronica Walsh on 0121 705 3914 initially and thereafter Stephen Powell or Liane Hughes (phone numbers are on your rehearsal schedule).  Please contact the production team directly and preferably in advance of a rehearsal, so that any disruption to a planned rehearsal can be avoided.  Do not send absence messages via another cast member or other third party!

There will also be two orchestra rehearsals - Sunday 8 November from 10.00am to 1.00pm and Sunday 15 November from 2.00pm to 5.00pm. Venues to be confirmed.
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Kipps - Flyer Front
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Kipps - Flyer Back (Ticket Booking Form)
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