Variety show proves depth of talent for Haddenham Players

Cassie Childs
Cassie Childs

Haddenham Players once again provided an evening of much mirth and high quality entertainment in their ‘One Night Standing’ variety show at the village hall on Saturday October 7, writes Graham Tyack.

From comedy of the 1940s to current stand-up, and from duets to solo performances, the accomplishment of the participants shone through.

Adrian Ripley

Adrian Ripley

Put together and directed by Hannah Austin and amusingly compered by Mike Sullivan, it opened with a musical conversation between Hannah and Cassie Childs about what might be possible and then burst into an opening number by the whole cast that ably set the scene for a lively and entertaining evening.

The four singers, Hannah Austin, Cassie Childs, James Kershaw and Stuart Taylor, were remarkably competent and sang in the style of many of the professionals in West End musicals. The guitar pieces by Jamie Brook were also very impressive.

The musical sketch by the four singers about unrequited love made some of us realise for the first time that we were quite boring and probably quite lucky to find a spouse!

The sketch about memory loss by Adrian Ripley in the second half was a little uncomfortable for some of the more mature members of the audience and his Spanish joke in his first appearance probably made certain that none of the males present would ever aspire to be a toreador!

The Haddenham Hand Bell Ringers played several pieces, giving a chance for a bit of a sing-along, and then finished with an interesting simulation of church bell ringing. Their concentration was palpable and the result most entertaining.

During the interval, Mike Sullivan made a presentation to nonagenerian Tom Chisholm in recognition of his many years as a thespian, as both an actor and a director, and his outstanding support for, and participation in, the Haddenham Players.

After the interval Graham Stoney and Mike Sullivan reminded us of Flanagan and Allen with some period wise-cracks and an opportunity to sing about arches and rabbits, which we did with considerable enthusiasm.

The poems by Rebecca Taylor were witty and entertaining and her accompaniment on the keyboard demonstrated her versatility. The monologue by Cassie Childs condemning the tyranny of the ‘box’ and exhorting children to read made some of us feel glad that we were born before TV began to dominate our living rooms!

The whole event had the ambience of quiet confidence and good organisation whether on the stage or in support. It showed the depth of talent amongst the players and bodes very well for their next production, ‘Robin Hood’ on January 12-14.

Well done Haddenham Players!