Stop The World, I Want To Get Off (1977)

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Poster by Poster Designer

by Anthony Newley & Lesley Bricusse

Produced & Directed by Audrey Broderick

Musical Direction - Donald Halliday

Performances: Sun 2nd – Sat 9th July 1977, Bell Theatre


Text about the play

The Company

The Orchestra

Christopher Gunia - Bassoon

  • Manya Baxter - Flute/Piccolo
  • David Shields - Clarinet/Saxophone
  • Ian Aldis - Clarinet/Bass Clarinet
  • Patrick Gundry-Whyte - French Horn
  • Oliver Frith - Trumpet
  • Fred Ponsonby - Trumpet
  • frank Seago - Trompone
  • Andrew Stoddart - Trombone
  • George Anderson - Bass Trombone
  • George Mascall - Tuba
  • Sally Poplar - Double Bass
  • Mark Cosby - Percussion


No record of the crew has been kept in the archive book.


Some review quotes go here

Little Man by Donald Madgwick. In their brilliant musical "Stop the World I Want to Get Off!", Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse prophetically pointed the mood of the 1960s, the "never had it so good" era, the age of frantic searching after hollow things. / The circus ring seeing, with the clown as hero, gives the tale its universal application. It is a parable of the opportunism which motivates man's behaviour, a story of the little man who, by marrying the boss's daughter, rises from factory hand to elder statesman. / But the end of his strivings is always mirrored in the clown's face, in the blank, chalky, impassive stare of the Nobody, who comes from dust and to dust returns. / All the scheming and struggling are finally revealed as the maundering of a lonely old fool, of no significance whatever to the world's progress. He might just as well have stopped it and got off, for all the difference he has made to it. / The musical is idiosyncratic in that it employs only two principals, Little Chap and the wife-mother-lover Evie. The rest are merely appendages to the Little Chap circus, doing solo bits then merging into the crowd again. Yes, even daughters Jane and Susan, whom Little Chap never really understands. / Audrey Broderick's production at South London Theatre Centre this week, prodigiously, employs an offstage orchestra of 13 players, under Donald Halliday. They make a big, bouncy sound, replete with brass and woodwind, and with Christopher Gunia's bassoon wittily "speaking" the dialogue of the boss. / Sometimes the sound becomes too strident, and a few of Little Chap's songs (eg, "I Want to be Rich" and "Mumbo Jumbo") are overborne by the brass. But it is wonderful to see the resources of a musical being put to such good use in such an intimate theatre. / The production is full of drive and purpose, though I feel Little Chap needs to be distanced more from the action by lighting, to emphasise his "apartness". While the mimes of the opening sequence were not too clear to this viewer, the chorus are used effectively, often brilliantly. Their involvement with the action is intelligently shown, as is their purpose as joint and several commentators. / Kevin Hastings gives a likeable performance as Little Chap. Too passive a figure, perhaps, wanting in bounce and Cockney ebullience, but making his mark keenly enough. / Anne Mattey's Evie, with her archetypal equivalents from other lands, adds up to a tremendous explosion of personality. Her Russian and German songs mine a rich vein of parody, and the orchestra respond with musically apt and witty accompaniments. Members will have no excuse to miss this most ambitious production of 1977.


Reminiscences and Anecdotes

Members are encouraged to write about their experiences of working on or seeing this production. Please leave your name. Anonymous entries may be deleted.

With two Prompt Corner productions under my belt - Medea (1975) and Our Kids (1976), my now-veteran 12-year-old self embarked on my first Main Stage production. Again, my memories are very limited, except the excitement of working behind the scenes. My role was Little Chap's son. It was fairly short and non-speaking part - I came on stage in darkness and was revealed centre-stage rolled up in a ball, from where I was 'born'. I think that was about it. Audrey Broderick and several of the women cast members were very kind to me, and looked after me. I recall the tremendous 'team spirit' that built up during a week-long performance, and being invited to the after show party felt very grown up; the sense of loss when it all came to an end was very real and affecting to me as a child. Philip Parker (cast member)

See Also

Have there been other SLTC/SLT productions of this play? Link to them here.

Or add anything that is related within this site. The author's page for instance or other plays with a similar theme.



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