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You Must Remember This

Date

16th October 2019

Society

Audley Players Theatre Club

Venue

Audley Theatre

Type of Production

Concert

Director

Wendy Brough Bryan Williams

Choreographer

Wendy Brough

Report

Author: Alan Bruce

AUDLEY THEATRE - YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS

A 50 Year Romp by Wendy Brough & Bryan Williams

You Must Remember This, the final event in Audley Theatre's 50th Anniversary celebrations. Writers Wendy Brough and Bryan Williams have certainly packed an amazing amount of detail, music, pop culture and for people of a certain age, a wonderful memory tingling trip through the last fifty years.

Viewing each decade from the perspective of a typical family of the era this concept worked very well indeed. The theatre opened in 1969, has had a long tradition of being a tight knit family feel to it's cast and shows. We open in the year 1970, T.Rex with Get It On (Bang a Gong) a mass of glam rockers make their way to the stage down each isle, a great vibrant foot tapping opening sequence quickly usurped by the angry mid 70s Punk Rockers.

1970 - Our first family introduce us to the format to follow, a typical Stoke family reflecting the state of the local economy with some brilliantly observed ironic dialogue as ex-miner Grandad tells his Steel Worker son, who is facing redundancy at the announcement to close the local one hundred and fifty year old Shelton Bar Steel Works, he should have gone down the pit like he did, folks'll always need coal. He lamented about the loss of wonderful music he'd grown up with, playing and dancing to the gramophone record of You Must Remember This from Casablanca. I loved this slice of 70s family life, power cuts included, it set the bar high for the whole show which followed.

Leading us neatly into a disco music montage with a goodly sprinkling of well known songs, which cleverly segues into the family sitting down together to watch Saturday night TV, a classic Generation Game Shakespearean sketch, done in the local Stoke-upon-Trent dialect - 'Omlette', this was absolute comic genius.

1980 - Second family, a sixteenth birthday present, a Sony Walkman, gave us a great Top of the Pops montage, leading into one of the many highlights of the night, ITV's teatime soap Crossroads. Brilliant. We also saw the advent of video recorders and film rental, treating us to a very funny trip through a host of classic 80s movies.

1990 – Third family, teen wars, reliving Cool Britannia rivalry between Oasis and Blur fans. A fabulously stirring rendition of Three Lions complete with match projection of Euro 1996, leading us to party like it was 1999, the Millennium Eve, silver themed outfits of course, ending the first act with us all singing Auld Lang Sine.

Act II 2000 As the party eventually ends, ushering in 2000 our hungover fourth family, flop in front of the telly for Nan's favourite film musical, The Sound of Music, showing a different side to the wonderful cast, running through the well known numbers from the show, perfectly timed, it slowed the pace of the show just enough.

2010 - Family five, two mums, pack two teens off to Glastonbury with their groovy Nan, the daughter from family one, while they watch it on TV with their youngest girl. Again brilliantly observed and performed it was a blasto at Glasto, the teens and gran join the mass thronged crowd bopping to Dolly Parton, they turn ninety degrees to rave to another band, then again, finally one last turn for Stormzy as crowd surfing Nan heads for the stage. This was visually and aurally so effectively done.

We end on an emotional look at London 2012 Olympics. In fact the whole show stirred a raft of raw emotion, memories and feelings. On their return, the teens have brought a record player, Nan looks out her grandad's record of You Must Remember This, as she dances his spirit appears and dances with her, I don't think there was a dry eye in the house.

A very well put together and envisioned show. Wonderfully detailed costumes, Great atmospheric lighting throughout, really painting the decade scene by scene. You Must Remember This had so many highlights, all served up with a sense of hope for the future and great laugh out loud humour. A truly fitting tribute to Audley Theatre in their fiftieth year. Here's to the next fifty.