A night at the musicals with Haddenham Players

Members of Haddenham Players performing during 'One Night at the Musicals' - photos courtesy of haddenham.net
Members of Haddenham Players performing during 'One Night at the Musicals' - photos courtesy of haddenham.net

A packed audience at Haddenham Village Hall enjoyed a night of musical performances and entertainment - courtesy of Haddenham Players.

The programme was themed around musicals and all the performances were from either members of the Players or other villagers.

Members of Haddenham Players performing during One Night at the Musicals at Haddenham Village Hall

Members of Haddenham Players performing during One Night at the Musicals at Haddenham Village Hall

Mike Sullivan compèred the show, which was produced and directed by birthday girl Hannah Austin.

The pair combined for the opening number "Getting to Know You" from The King & I.

Tom Langton & Robin Nash were next providing the audience with a poetic run-through of the great hits of musical theatre.

Haddenham Players regulars Cassy Childs and Stuart Taylor performed a duet from "Wicked" and then a rendition of the song "Poor Unfortunate Souls."

Next was Ursula's song from "The Little Mermaid", delivered and performed by a newcomer to the group Zoe Platt.

Proceedings then went instrumental courtesy of a guitar solo from Tom Langton, who then had the audience singing along to the classic Elvis Presley ballad, "I can't help falling in love with you".

Proceedings were interrupted by the appearance of the phantom of Haddenham Village Hall — James Kershaw threatening to dish out custard pies however on this occasion everyone stayed clean!

Players stalwart Sarah Wood offered a lively reading of "Gus the Theatre Cat" from Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939) by T. S. Eliot and latterly "Cats".

Stuart Taylor then returned to the stage to give the audience a powerful rendition of "Sante Fe" from the musical "Newsies" which was followed by an amusing poem called "I Hate Musicals" delivered by another 'new to the stage' performer, Roberta Silva.

Zoe Platt and James Kershaw then combined for the Legally Blonde duet number, "Serious".

They were followed by long-time village resident Mary Pritchard, who gave a personal account of her work in the theatrical arts and dance world over the decades.

Before the interval, Mike returned in his more familiar guise, as the Panto Dame, to herald the development of the Haddenham Players' Panto, "Aladdin" coming up in February.

He was the recipient of the first of several custard pies before the entire cast lead into the break with "This is Me" from "The Greatest Showman".

After a break for refreshments, Haddenham Hand Bell Ringers opened up the second half of the show with a medley of tunes which demonstrated their technical proficiencies and skills.

Returning with his guitar, Tom gave a wistful rendition of a song from "La La Land", "City of Stars".

Show director Hannah Austin then stepped up to the stage and delivered an amusing take on the Material Girl with "Stars and the Moon" from "Songs for a New World".

Sarah returned with a classic take on "Mr. Mistoffelees" from Cats and then, Mike declared a return to the French Revolution for the next two songs, from Les Miserables before James and Zoe delivered in turn, "Stars" and "Bring him Home."

Mary Pritchard returned with poetry and insightful ruminations on life before Mike returned attempting to sing "I feel Pretty", from West Side Story, when he was custard pied again.

The evening drew to a close with Hannah & Cassy's soulful "I know him so well" from Chess — a musical by Tim Rice, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus which neatly segued into a grand finale of Abba hits.

Speaking about the evening Haddenham Players chairman Mike Sullivan said: "I want to thank all the performers, the wonderful bar and front of house teams and the audience without whom Haddenham Players simply would not exist.

"Thank you Haddenham and see you again next year!"

Haddenham Players will be back in action on Saturday November 10 in St Mary's Church, supporting and participating in the 100 Year centenary of the end of the Great War before the performance of the annual panto, which in 2019 will be Aladdin, from February 8 to 10.

Photos courtesy of haddenham.net.