Mys­te­ri­ous vil­lage is here ev­ery 100 years

Rossendale Free Press - - Memory Lane -

IN this week’s Mem­ory Lane, we take a look back at a per­for­mance by Bacup Am­a­teur Op­er­atic So­ci­ety.

Our reg­u­lar Mem­ory Lane con­trib­u­tor, Peter Fisher, has sent us a se­lec­tion of pic­tures from the show, Bri­gadoon, in 1957.

The so­ci­ety, which formed in 1935, staged the mu­si­cal play in two acts at The Em­pire The­atre in Bacup.

It ran for one week, start­ing Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 28. There were nightly shows at 7.15pm, as well as a mati­nee on the Satur­day at 2.15pm, and pro­ceeds were do­nated to lo­cal char­i­ties.

This week’s pic­tures show mem­bers of the cast and cho­rus in Bacup Am­a­teur Op­er­atic So­ci­ety’s per­for­mance of Bri­gadoon.

First (top left) is a shot of the pro­gramme cover for the show. Next (top cen­tre) is a pic­ture of Wil­liam Ash­worth as Tommy.

Top right is a pic­ture of the cho­rus.

Next is Jean Carter as Fiona, then Clare Hard­man as Jean.

Clarence Roberts played Harry (bot­tom right), then Betty Cum­mings was Mag­gie (right) and John Hey­worth played Jeff (above right).

The play fea­tures songs such as Al­most Like Be­ing in Love and re­volves around a mys­te­ri­ous Scot­tish vil­lage that ap­pears for just one day ev­ery 100 years.

Two Amer­i­can tourists, Tommy and Jeff, stum­ble upon this vil­lage, called Bri­gadoon, and Tommy falls in love with Fiona, a young woman from the vil­lage.

Mean­while, flir­ta­tious dairy­maid Meg takes a fancy to Jeff, and lures him away.

At this point ev­ery­one else in the vil­lage is busy pre­par­ing for the wed­ding of Jean Ma­cLaren and Char­lie Darym­ple.

School­mas­ter, Mr Lundie, re­veals the se­cret of Bri­gadoon to Tommy and Jeff - to pro­tect the vil­lage from be­ing changed by the out­side world, 200 years ago the lo­cal min­is­ter prayed for Bri­gadoon to dis­ap­pear, only to reap­pear for one day once ev­ery cen­tury.

Res­i­dents can­not leave the town, or the magic will be bro­ken and the vil­lage will dis­ap­pear for­ever.

As Char­lie and Jean are mar­ried, Harry, who is in love with Jean, tries to kiss her. Dis­traught, he then an­nounces her is leav­ing Bri­gadoon.

The men of the vil­lage try to find Harry be­fore he can leave, and as they search, sud­denly an ag­o­nised scream is heard.

Harry is found dead and the men carry his body away, de­cid­ing not to tell the rest of the vil­lage un­til the next day.

Tommy then tells Jeff he in­tends to stay with Fiona in Bri­gadoon, which Jeff says is ab­surd.

Jeff re­veals that he tripped Harry and ac­ci­den­tally killed him, and, as Harry’s body is brought out, Tommy de­cides he can­not stay.

Four years later, Jeff is seen drink­ing heav­ily in a New York bar, when Tommy ar­rives, still in love with Fiona.

He tells his fi­ancée in the out­side world that he can­not marry her, and he and Jeff re­turn to the spot where thy found Bri­gadoon.

At first they lament that noth­ing is there, but the Mr Lundie ar­rives and tells him any­thing is pos­si­ble if you love some­one enough, even mir­a­cles.

Tommy waves good­bye to Jeff and re­turns to Bri­gadoon with Mr Lundie to be re­united with Fiona.

Did you see the show in 1957, or were you a mem­ber of Bacup Am­a­teur Op­er­atic So­ci­ety?

If these pic­tures bring back mem­o­ries, please get in touch.

Many thanks to all our nos­tal­gia con­trib­u­tors.

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