The success of the Otterbourne Summer Variety Show ‘Stars of the Screen’ has once again showed what talent there is within the group, with the show bringing thunderous applause from the audiences.
The show opened with the whole company singing, what has become the anthem for Hollywood ‘That’s Entertainment’ the cast looked resplendent in their colourful costumes, which were highlighted in all the numbers. The opening number was followed by three solo memorable film songs, ‘Wind beneath my Wings’ ‘Sarah Bishop’ and then ‘Gold Finger’ ‘Barbara Hancox’ followed by ‘Born Free’ ‘Steve Rickman’. Next up was the young ‘Louis Still’, with snow falling throughout his singing of ‘Walking in the Air’, from the film ‘The Snowman’. In contrast ‘The Otterbourne Tappers’ were all behind bars as they tapped danced to ‘Jailhouse Rock’ to celebrate the late Elvis Presley’s 80th birthday. A great favourite with the audience was young ‘Nathan Smith’, who performed with his ukulele that memorable George Formby number, ‘When I’m cleaning Windows’, following came a reminder that ‘Neighbours’ had been in production for 30 years, as ‘Nicky and Chris Williams’ sang the Jason and Kylie song ‘Especially for you’. Then from the back of the theatre came the surprise of the evening an appearance of ‘Charlie Chaplin’ with his famous walk and swirling cane, portrayed wonderfully by Sue Dunlop. No show in Otterbourne is complete without a melodrama and this year the film ‘High Noon’ was acted out, with ‘Samantha Oldham’ as Miss Kitty, not getting any of the men she was after! It was then time to welcome back to the Otterbourne stage the now well travelled ‘Ryan Bishop’, who delighted everyone with ‘Some Enchanted Evening’. The first half closed with salute to Hollywood and Las Vegas, with the full cast singing a medley of songs from some of the American all time film hit songs.
The second half of the show opened, with shrieks of excitement as ‘Otterbourne’s Young Generation’ opened with that colourful exciting song from West side Story ‘America’ and then came the most memorable song from Phantom of the Opera, ‘All I ask of you’ sung with feeling by ‘Barbara Hancox’ and ‘Steve Rickman’. Keeping fit was in mind as ‘Samantha Oldham’ brought laughter with her interpretation of that Victoria Wood number ‘Fattitude’. Next came three more film score solo performances by, ‘Sarah Bishop’, ‘Holly Williams’ and ‘Bethany Warne’ as that sang ‘I will always love you’, ‘Alfie’ and ‘Let it Go’, to complete these famous film score numbers, ‘Nicky Williams’ and ‘Barbara Thomas’ sang ’You know him so Well’ from Chess. Then to the audience delight young ‘Xanthe Gibbs’ sang and danced to the song ‘Lets get together’ from the film The Parent Trap. To celebrate the Centenary of the Women’s Institute, the ladies of the company sang ‘Jerusalem’ and with a touch of ‘Calender Girls’ there were calls for bigger buns as a tribute ended to the success of the years of the W.I. ‘Ryan Bishop’ returned in fine voice to sing that lovely song from ‘The Lion King’ the ‘Circle of Life’. The film ‘Mary Poppins’ is celebrating its 50th anniversary and the whole company performed a medley of songs from the film, which include ‘Holly Williams’ as Mary Poppins, leading the singing floating down from the stage heights, carrying her famous umbrella.
The finale of the show was a tribute and a celebration to ‘Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’, who on September the 9th this year will become Britain’s longest ever serving Monarch and Her Majesty is also at present the current oldest living head of state. So with the Her Majesty now at the age of 89 years old, the whole company sang two verses of ‘The National Anthem’ with the audience joining in with this wonderful tribute. The show then finished with a triumphant rendering of ‘Good – Bye- ee.
The show ‘Stars of the Screen’ was presented by the ‘Otterbourne Village Hall Committee’ devised, produced and compered by John Pitman along with Kevin Warne and the Musical Director was Richard Daniels.
(Chairman of the Otterbourne Drama Group)