Top Hat, the 2013 Olivier Award winner for ‘Best New Musical’.
Let’s count them carefully. The show calls for at least eighteen handsome men in top hats and tails, all delicately touching their canes on the stage while dancing behind a glamorous, gorgeous couple who are almost floating on air. Hmmm, has AOS bitten off more than it can chew this time?
Fear not, we’ll be scouring the whole of Oxfordshire and beyond to find the cast we need to bring this classic show to the Amey Theatre in Abingdon. Even Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers might struggle to make the cut!!
You can find all the latest news on this production, including character details and how to take part, by stopping by our Current Show page here.
April 2019 will see the ever-popular My Fair Lady, with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe, return to the Amey Theatre in Abingdon for the first time since 2008. This will be the fourth time AOS has performed the show, with earlier versions in 1993 and 1976.
Rehearsals for the production will begin in November 2017 and we’ll be looking for the perfect cast to bring this fantastic show to life. My Fair Lady made its debut on Broadway in 1956, with Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews in the lead roles. It’s interesting that, ever since Rex Harrison’s non-singing portrayal of Henry Higgins was first seen, it’s been the standard that other actors have tried to achieve. Even actors with wonderful singing voices slip into a Rex Harrison impersonation when they take on this role. Will this hold true for our new production?
The director for My Fair Lady will be Joy Skeels, whose previous directing credits with AOS include Sister Act, Barnum and Crazy For You. Joining Joy will be Mark Denton as musical director and Jess Townsend as choreographer.
Keep your eye on our Future Show Page if you’d like to stay up-to-date with all the production news for this show.
We’ve written elsewhere on this site about the difficulty in getting one of the ‘crown jewel’ shows. But every now and then all the calls and pleading pay off. And so, in October 2019, we’re excited to bring Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Evita to Abingdon.
The show tells the story of Eva Perón and her love affair with the people of Argentina in the late 1940s. It must have seemed a strange subject to choose to follow up the success of Jesus Christ, Superstar, and when Rice first suggested it to Lloyd Webber, he turned the idea down.
But in 1976, the pair released a concept album called ‘Evita’, with Julie Covington singing the role of Eva and Colm Wilkinson as Che. The first single from the album, ‘Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina’, went to number 1 in the UK charts, and a full staging of the show became inevitable.
Evita opened in the West End in 1978, with Elaine Paige as Evita and David Essex as Che, and ran for over 3,000 performances. The show also ran for 1,500 performances on Broadway. In 1996 it was turned into a movie, with Madonna taking the starring role.
Since then it has toured around the world in professional productions, with very few full amateur societies being given the opportunity to perform it. Which explains why we’ve already had so much interest from our membership about this. We’re certainly all looking forward to the auditions in the spring of 2019.