OUR AUTUMN 2008 PROGRAMME

Sat 6th Sep         THE CHEEKY CHAPPIE           Dave Sealey as MAX MILLER

Dave Seeley last appeared at Whalley Village Hall as Stanley Holloway.

The spotlight tonight falls on the career, contemporaries, critics and saucy seaside postcard world of Max Miller.

Britain's top comedian in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s was born in Brighton. Max Miller excelled as a stand-up comic playing in large variety theatres where his skill was such that he could hold an audience in the palm of his hand.

In this frank appraisal of Miller's sometimes turbulent career, between generous helpings from his outrageous "front cloth" repertoire, Dave Sealey gradually reveals the strangely quiet, unassuming man behind the make-up and gaudy apparel. Actress, Jean Kent, remarked that, "off stage he was a quiet man with an almost innocent sense of humour".

Dave contrasts Max's dazzling bravado on stage with the work of some of his most celebrated contemporaries: our Gracie Fields, George Formby, Arthur Askey. All big names but none of them bigger than the Cheeky Chappie.

In his day some found him too 'cheeky', Long running disputes with VAL PARNELL and MOSS EMPIRES, spats and wrangles with 'AUNTIE BEEB', not to mention a five year ban from the radio, bad press and the cold shoulder from some in the profession often barred his progress. But Max defiantly went his own way and stayed at the top. As LORD OLIVIER said, 'MAX MILLER was a master comedian, striding boldly in a field of innuendo'.

Probably more suitable for adults and sophisticated teenagers.

Sat 4th Oct   Halton Actors in Residence  &  'William Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors'

A two-hander adaptation of Shakespeare's play of mixed identity retains most of the original text but has a modern, comic, fast paced energy which should appeal to every one; purists and lovers of pantomime alike.

The show is a side splitting Mediterranean, mad-cap farce, in which the two female actors play all roles across age and gender.

The acting and facial expressions are really great and very engaging. Fast pace, slapstick in parts, puppets, ingenious use of minimal props and tremendous humour all contribute to a fantastic night's entertainment. Both wearing white, they rapidly changed character which along with a change of hat is enough to convince us of who is who in this complex plot of mix matched sets of identical twins, separated and unknowingly reunited. The second half of the play is particularly hysterical as the pace increases and the actors manage to flip from one character to another at matrix speed; hats and headgear fly everywhere and appear from nowhere."

Could this be the easy introduction to Shakespeare you've been looking for ?

Suitable for 8 year-olds upwards.

Sat 1st Nov   Simon James and Hilary Mayor & 'Hoagy to Hornpipe'   www.mandolin.co.uk

A witty and captivating mix of folk, blues, swing and classical showstoppers, spice with a unique brand of off-beat humour.

Simon Mayor's unique brand of humour and Hilary's "wonderfully honey-dripping voice". They can slide easily from beautifully evocative Irish ballad into a mandolin and guitar version of handle's Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, and then have everyone singing one of their comic songs, holding it all together with an informal stage manner and wry humour.

Hilary James' elegant singing easily crosses the great music divides from British Ballads to blues and Berloiz. She has an unlikely taste in bass instruments even managing to step dance ...

Simon Mayor has toured the world and presented a radio 2 programme "Marooned with a Mandolin" He is also an outstanding guitarist and fiddle player.

Suitable for all ages.

Sat 6th Dec           Tom Bliss   -   'Tales of Time and Tide'           www.turnstone.tv/ttt.html

Tales of Time and Tide is a one man multimedia show specially designed for Village Halls, Arts Centres and Schools.

Video clips, pictures, soundbites and sound effects enhance Tom Bliss' 'charismatic' and 'gripping' story-telling - and his diligently researched and beautifully told tales lead directly into narrative songs which have been called 'astonishingly moving and inspirational.'

Tom sings 'like a lark' and accompanies his voice with guitar, mandocello, long-necked dulcimer and duet concertina, and he plays whistle and other instruments at other points in the show.

The stories all have maritime and historical connections - and are based on real events (from times both long past and recent) as well as ancient and modern myths and legends. Some will be familiar, like Grace and William Darling's dramatic rescue of nine men from the stricken Forfarshire, (or even, for light-hearted relief, two very funny ditties about the looting and salvaging of The Napoli), others will be new to most audiences - such as the founding of the RNLI following a tragic shipwreck on the Isle of Man.

Tom Bliss is a singer and writer with a national reputation, who has performed on the main stages of most UK folk festivals, increasingly as a headline act. His love and understanding of traditional song and music informs all his work which set him apart from other storywrights. Tom sees his creations like miniature movies.

This is not a pantomime or specifically a kid's show, though older children are welcome.

Tickets for any of these events, at the very reasonable price of 5, can be
obtained at Whalley Post Office or from Eric Ronnan on 01254 822555