CHEAP & CHEERFUL

CHEAP & CHEERFUL

Devised and written by Alan Ayckbourn - Music by Denis King and Simon Cryer

Alan Ayckbourn’s answer to “What to do for our Christmas show when we can’t afford to do a pantomime?” is an affectionate take on Twice Nightly Variety and the very worst of the “end of the pier” shows, complete with Reg ‘Mr. Mirth’ Pittock, The ‘Fabulous’ Jackie Bunstone Dancers, Astrkanoff - Juggler Extraordinaire, and the Incredible Raymondo!

“The programme and advertising built up the illusion this was a genuine variety show with the expected acts and dancing girls. However, once the show began, the various acts failed to turn up, leaving the host Reg Pittock to desperately draw a show from a deputy stage manager, an usher and a member of the audience, leading to an increasingly bizarre set of acts including a near fatal disappearing act, a sock puppet rendition of Hamlet, an imaginary dog-show and a sing-a-long. Apparently several members of the audience were expecting a real variety show and walked out of the theatre. The reaction for this lightweight and extremely silly piece was generally positive though and in Reg Pittock, Alan created one of his most memorably monstrous comic characters (who is also name-checked on the television in the play Private Fears In Public Places). - Simon Murgatroyd www.alanayckbourn.net


Kings Comment

PERFORMANCES

First performed at The Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, 18 December 1998

Director: Alan Ayckbourn
Design: Pip Leckenby
Choreographer: Sheila Carter
Lighting: Kath Geraghty
Musical Director: Simon Cryer

CAST (2 M, 2W)

Robert Austin, Julian Forsythe, Dorothy Atkinson, Nicola Sloane

MUSICAL NUMBERS

  • TEN TIMES TABLE
  • TURTLE FINGERS
  • WHEN SUSIE PARTNERS ME
  • UNCLE TED
  • IN THE RAIN
  • IT GREW ON ME
  • BRING ON THE GIRLS
  • WHY CAN’T WE FALL IN LOVE
  • BITCH
  • KISSING LUCY (Bouncing Ball Finale)

KINGS’ COMMENTS

Alan’s and my first collaboration. Simon Cryer, the musical director, also composed some of the songs, but we worked separately. Alan would FAX me his lyrics in London, I would set them to music, put them on a cassette and post them up to Scarborough. I had reservations at one point about one slightly imperfect rhyme (I’m a stickler about this), but even more reservations about telling The Great Man about my reservations. Fortunately, I found the courage, and fortunately, Alan FAXed me four alternative versions within seconds, all of which were perfect. Denis King

Key Changes

Black Beauty

Fact of the Day

During the whole time he appeared onstage with Maureen Lipman in her one-woman (and one piano player) show "Re:Joyce", Denis screwed up only once.

King Brothers Album

Listening Post

So Many Stars


Now playing
nothing