The Argyle Remembered

Date 1st July 2022
Society Heswall Musical Society
Venue Heswall Hall
Type of Production Concert
Musical Director Greg Williams
Choreographer Francesca Anyon
Producer Phil Lyne
Written By Joan Clement

Report

Author: Jenny King

The Argyle Remembered

Heswall Musical Theatre

1st July 2022

 

A capacity audience waited expectantly for this show to begin, and they weren’t to be disappointed. Written and devised by Joan Clement, a long standing member of Heswall Operatic Society, until her death in 2015, she researched the history of the Argyle Theatre detailing many of the performers and their acts which became the basis of “The Argyle Remembers” a show that Heswall has performed a number of times over the years. The family of Joan Clement were in the audience to watch the performance, and I am sure they really enjoyed it.

This performance of The Argyle Remembers was directed by Phil Lyne, it was originally due to take place in 2020 but had to be cancelled owing to the pandemic so is finally on stage in 2022.

The show began in typical Music Hall format, Graham Turner taking on the ‘Leanard Sachs’ role a Master of Ceremonies, complete with his gavel!! In between each of the acts Graham outlined the history of the Theatre and the many people who performed there over the years, often for very little payment.

The Company enthusiastically opened the show with “Let’s all go the Music Hall”. This number was followed by a mixture of solos, duets and group performances; too many to name individually.

There was every “genre” of theatre to enjoy, song, dance, drama and marching, all well performed and historically costumed. The costume changes had to be quick, praise must go to Rhiannon Taylor (Backstage Dresser) you must have been very busy indeed.

Every performer gave of their best, some performances that stood out for me: “My Wedding Day” sung by Judith Shone, beautifully done, the audience loved it. The “Wartime Medley “a marching medley in pattern and direction by Becky Clewett, April Collings, Zoe Aldercroft and Lesley Lyne.

A Scottish favourite is “Roamin in the Glomin” a lively performance by Charlie Ward.  The traditional music hall number “My Old Man” sung by Margaret Jones and Ensemble was definitely an audience favourite. It would not be Music Hall without a Flanagan and Allan number, “Underneath the Arches” plus the obligatory fur coat-what else! This was sensitively sung by Eric Roberts and Dennis Cowan.

Then of course there were the audience participation numbers, “You made me love you”  led by Becky Clewett, “The Argyle Signature” Margaret Jones, Anne Williams, Lesley Lyne and Yvonne Ross and finally “There’ll Always be an England” costumes in red, white and blue, along with “Beefeaters” resplendent in their traditional outfits. At this point the audience were waving their Union Jack flags in time to the music, enthusiastically encouraged by MD Greg Williams.

Costumes were good throughout; congratulations go to Lesley Lyne, Margaret Jones, Bernadette Donahue, Julie Whitehead and Elayne Beggs. The choreography was good, being really well suited to each of the numbers, well done Francesca Anyon. The sound was just at the right level every word could be heard clearly, which complimented the band led by Greg Williams, Brian Evans, Niki Roscoe, Sara Williams and Andrew Hutchinson, a great sound for over forty songs. Thanks to Dave Molley for sound and lighting at Heswall Hall.

The evening finished with the Argyle Signature music once more, the audience filled the hall with their voices really enjoying a wonderful atmosphere applauding every performer and singing along with many of the songs.

This show proved to be a success for Heswall Musical Society, congratulations to all involved.

Thank you for an evening of pure entertainment.

Jenny King

District 4