Old Time Music Hall ~ 10 and 11 January 1997

The curtain came down on the Centenary Celebrations with Old Time Music Hall at its best, a variety of acts performed by a collection of over 100 people from Compton and Shawford, all played with verve, vigour and vitality.

The show commenced with a medley of melodic, mellifluous, melic music from the voices of Compton School Choir.

Next the Heathcote Players playfully playing a melodramatic offering by a pedagogue on a parchment palimpsest, ending with plaudits from the proscenium, actually the populace in front of it.

The Paintstrippers
On tap…The Paintstrippers tap dance team helped the centenary celebrations of Shawford parish hall reach a successful conclusion when they took part in an Old Time Music Hall show last weekend. The master of ceremonies, Paul Murray, under the direction of Janet West, introduced the tap dancers along with singing, dancing and a variety of sketches performed by local groups. Other events in the month-long programme of celebrations included a quiz, thanksgiving service, children’s party and pantomime FC22/86/E

By far the most polychromatic performance was a troupe of local ladies – The Paint Strippers dressed in bright array tapping to the tune ‘When Father Painted the Parlour’, to the universal hilarity of the gathering – a tantalising tangle of tenuous Tappers, with thematic, thrasonical, transcendental technique and tasty, turquoise, translucent trousseaux.

Strategically straddling the interval, and the generations, the Stauntons sang with style, stature and stamina, Ken with ‘If it wasn’t for the ‘ouses in between’ and Hannah, looking a perfect picture, singing ‘Daddy wouldn’t buy me a Bow-wow’ – both to thunderous ovations.

Then as if by accident, ‘Compton Capers’ created acrobatics, with few accoutrements but much acuity and acclamation.

Reeves Compton Women’s Institute led us on a jolly jaunt to a jamboree in Jerusalem where we were taught to make jam and much else beginning with ‘J’.

A clever dance followed by a cheeky clan of competent Cloggers, clad in classic clothes, accompanied by their very professional musical trio, performed with clamorous clarity and climactic clicking.

Vegetables were the vessel for the Horticultural Society’s own very funny ‘hiss the villain’ play ‘A Vegetable Plot’ written by venal playwright and producer, the versatile Colin Jones, Prince of Whales, the velvet voiced vehicle for vengeance and venom.

No Music Hall is complete without ‘Albert and the Lion’, performed with wondrous witty delivery by John West.

Community singing completed the programme, lustrous singing of favourite old songs, uncompromisingly compulsive and comprehensive, creating companionship encompassing one and all; the incomparable MISTER MIKE GORDON at the ivories, stage struck strolling players, stage hands, audience alike – a rousing finale to a scintillating sensational, superbly satisfactory centenary.

The biggest applause of all was given to our own, our very own MISS JANET WEST who conceived, created, produced and directed the show and also found time to perform the star turn – a solo performance of the well loved favourite ‘Hold Your Hand Out You Naughty Boy’. Her rendition would have thrilled Mr Leonard Sachs, for so long the BBC’s rather inferior imitation of our own compere MISTER PAUL MURRAY whose allegorical alliteration was an alliance of allogamy – allegedly! The entire cast received a tumultuous ovation and several cat curtain calls.

The few folk who were at the opening celebrations in 1897 all thought that the original ‘New Time Music Hall’ was nothing like as good as this one!