Fings ain't Wot They Used t'Be (1986)
Directed by Mike Mattey
Fred runs a failing gambling joint in a seedy Soho side street and harbours dreams of making a comeback to the halcyon days when he was "razor king of the manor".
Lil has retired from the oldest profession in the world and dreams of marrying Fred while she sweeps the floors around the feet of the tarts, ponces and layabouts who are Fred's only customers.
Sergeant Collins is the "friendly" local policeman who controls the "patch" and incidentally absorbs any profit that Fred might otherwise make. The sergeant's dream is to own a place like Fred's and be the one that pays and not just the one who 'cops' the bribes.
Paddy, the jovial tea-man; Tosher, the ponce: Betty and Rosey, Tosher's blousy tarts; Redhot, the old lag, and Norman, the leader of the local Teddy boys, are among the other dreamers who have made Fred's gaff their home.
When a horse does Fred a good turn all these dreams look like coming true and Horace, the designer, is on hand with plenty of gay ideas to put some of them into immediate effect. But gang boss, Meatface Heiman, stands in Fred's path and the only way back to the top is through a 'carve-up' with Meatface and his mob. Very nasty!
But "Fings Aint Wot They Used T'be" is above everything else an entertainment with lots of laughs and songs for everyone. It's a theatrical knees-up for all the family - a chance to forget your troubles and join in the fun.
This production was sponsored by Midland Bank.
- Frederick Cochran - John Lyne
- Lily Smith - Sally Maclean
- Paddy - John Hartnett
- Sergeant Collins - Terry Barden
- Betty - Ann Richards
- Rosey - Sally Lill
- Tosher - Matthew Lyne
- Redhot - Dennis Packham
- Horace - Alan Buckman
- Policemen - Simon Vaal & Paul Hummerston
- Norman - Godfrey Jansen
- Busker - Sue Thompson
- Gamblers - Juliet Male & Bill Pavely
- Percy - Alan Buckman
- Myrtle - Sue Thompson
- Priest - Simon Vaal
- Teddy Boys & Girls - Jeanette Hoile, Gillian Holmes & David Groves
- Newsboy - Sue Thompson
- George - John Salmins
- Designed by - Alan Buckman
- Musical Director - Bill Pavely
- Stage Manager - June McAuliffe
- Assistant Stage Managers - Carol Saunders, Robin Lill, John Kidd & John Salmins
- Lighting - Brian Fretwell
- Choreography - Malcolm Flint
- Set Construction - Canice McAuliffe with David Lamkin, Dick Lilley & Robin Lill
- Wardrobe - Ann Mattey
Some review quotes go here
Reminiscences and Anecdotes
The second night looked quite different to the first in places. I added an extra 4 1,000 watt lights geled to bright colours for the musical numbers after seeing the first full performance. Brian Fretwell.
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