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St. Augustine's Musical Theatre Company

The UK Midlands' Award Winning Premier Local Theatre Company - Entertaining for 48 Years - 1974 to 2022

2022 Production - KIPPS (The New and Re-imagined Version of Half a Sixpence
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Kipps will run from 15 to 19 November 2022 at The Core Theatre, Solihull.
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KIPPS (The New and Re-imagined Version of Half a Sixpence)

15 to 19 November 2022

'Flash, Bang Wallop!'

We are delighted that our production for November 2022 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 will be performed at The Core Theatre in November 2022. The show runs from 15 to 19 November and tickets are now available. We have a fabulous cast and rehearsals will be getting underway soon.

Book early for the best seats! See the
Tickets page for more information or visit The Core Theatre's website to book now.

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.

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.

There are still opportunities to join the Company in smaller supporting roles and the Chorus/Ensemble.

If you are interested in auditioning, please get in touch with us as soon as you can -
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)
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 16 or above.
Audition Song:
Flash, Bang, Wallop! (bars 29 to 46)
CAST for 2022
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We are thrilled to announce that WIL NEALE has been cast in the title role of ARTHUR KIPPS for our 2022 production of KIPPS.

Wil trained in musical theatre at Mountview Academy in London and since then has appeared in a number of professional productions including
We Will Rock You in the West End and various touring productions such as Hairspray.

More locally, he has played the roles of Joe Casey in
Our House, Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, Joe Cable in South Pacific, Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Curve Theatre in Leicester, and Jean Valjean in Les Misérables where he won the NODA award for Best Performer.

This is Wil’s first production with Stags MTC and we are very excited to have him join the Company, bringing his wealth of performing experience to the central role of Arthur Kipps.

Welcome Wil!
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We are delighted to announce that ROSIE HARVEY has been cast in the role of ANN PORNICK for our 2022 production of KIPPS.

Rosie is new to Stags MTC but has been performing since an early age. She more recently has played the roles of Belle in
Beauty and the Beast, Jasmine in Aladdin, Urleen in Footloose and The Ghost of Christmas Past/Lamplighter in A Christmas Carol.

Other show credits include
Miracle on 34th Street, My Fair Lady, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Rent and Company. In many of these shows, Rosie was a featured dancer and she is currently rehearsing the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in a contemporary retelling of The Nutcracker.

Rosie’s involvement in theatre has seen her previously perform in a number of professional venues in London including Her Majesty’s Theatre, The Barbican, The Royal Festival Hall, The Royal Albert Hall, and The Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham.

We welcome Rosie warmly to the Company!
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We are really pleased to announce that MARTIN KNOTT has been cast in the role of SID PORNICK for our 2022 production of KIPPS.

Martin is originally from Harrow and trained in musical theatre at The BRIT School of Performing & Creative Arts in Croydon. He now lives in Solihull with his family.

During his time at The BRIT School, Martin performed on BBC Radio 2’s
Friday Night is Music Night and has also appeared on the West End in the show One Night Only. With local companies in London, he has performed in Oliver! and Zombie Prom and most recently in Solihull, he appeared in Legally Blonde with Peterbrook Players.

In his first role with Stags MTC, Martin plays kind-hearted and determined apprentice Sid Pornick, a good friend of Arthur Kipps and brother to Ann Pornick, and we welcome Martin warmly to the Company!
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We are delighted to announce that ELLEN HASTINGS has been cast in the role of HELEN WALSINGHAM in our 2022 production of KIPPS.

After some time away attending performing arts school, Ellen 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.

Ellen most recent appeared with Stags MTC was in the 2019 production of
The Producers, as a dancer, in the Ensemble, and as Dance Captain.

Welcome back Ellen!
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We are very happy to announce that DAVID CHARTER has been cast in the role of PIERCE for our 2022 production of KIPPS.

Whilst he has always loved singing, David caught the theatre bug when he ended up as an unofficial swing in a youth production of ‘Les Misérables, covering the roles of Factory Foreman / Feuilly for the entire show's run when a cast member became ill the day before it opened! 

However he has not stopped performing since: in light operas, musicals, pantomimes, plays, and concerts, as well as serving as a director, musical director, and lighting designer.

Recent roles include Major General Stanley in
The Pirates of Penzance, Sasha in Fiddler on the Roof, and Salty in Teechers. Other show credits include Jekyll & Hyde, Aladdin, Treasure IslandThe Gondoliers, HMS Pinafore, and Ruddigore.

He is currently practising his evil laugh to play the villain Fleshcreep in a pantomime production of
Jack & the Beanstalk.

Welcome to the Company David!
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We are delighted to announce that JACK HANLEY has been cast in the role of JAMES WALSINGHAM for our 2022 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.

Jack studied theatre at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and now works as a recruitment consultant. He has also worked in the theatre as a Director. Welcome Jack!
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Following auditions, NICOLA SIVYER has been cast in the role of FLO EVANS for our 2022 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 in 2019.

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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We are really pleased to announce that NICK SALTER has been cast in the role of CHITTERLOW for our 2022 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 in 2019.

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 joined St. Augustine’s MTC in 2019 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.

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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Following auditions, KATE DYER has been cast in the role of LADY PUNNET for our 2022 production of KIPPS.

The Producers in 2019, 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 numerous chorus appearances!
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Following auditions, DANIEL MORRIS has been cast in the role of BUGGINS for our 2022 production of KIPPS.

Dan came to St. Augustine’s MTC in 2018 and took the part of Fender in
Hairspray. In The Producers in 2019 he multi-tasked in the roles of The Stormtrooper, Jack Lapidus and Bryan the Set Designer, as well as being in the Ensemble!

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!
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We are really pleased to announce that RICHARD PERKS has been cast in the role of CARSHOT for our 2022 production of KIPPS.

Richard took the lead role of Leo Bloom in our 2019 show
The Producers and received huge praise for his comic performance. He now returns to the company for Kipps to take the role of Carshot, the floorwalker of Shalford's Bazaar.

Richard has also played many roles with other companies in the Midlands area. Welcome back Richard!
Rehearsals are held at Widney Junior School, Clifton Crescent, Solihull, B91 3LQ and will begin in Spring 2022.

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 Sharyn Hastings (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 6 November 2022 from 10.00am to 1.00pm and Sunday 13 November 2022 from 2.00pm to 5.00pm. Venues to be confirmed.
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Kipps - Flyer Front
(click image to enlarge - right click to download)
Kipps - Flyer Back (Ticket Booking Form)
(click image to enlarge - right click to download)