Changing loves in romantic city
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 a romantic musical play, Wedding in Paris by Vera Caspary, which was staged by the society in 1956.
The show was on for one week at the Empire Theatre in Bacup, starting Monday, November 5 and was performed nightly at 7.15pm, with a matinee on the Saturday at 2.15pm.
Proceeds from the show were donated to local charities.
The play is set in the fictional town of Hitchemup, where, at the time, excitement is building as Angy Dobson is preparing to leave for France to marry a local boy, Dix Aiken, whose broad shoulders are his main asset.
Dix works in the Paris office of the company International Grain and Cereal, so Angy sets off to meet him, taking her first sea trip abroad on the S S Queen Anne.
On the ship she meets a newspaper reporter called Paul Chandler and later comes across wealthy, middle-aged Jaques Devallée, who she discovers is in fact the president of International Grain and Cereal.
Both men become interested in Angy and find themselves attracted to her.
Together they become involved in a host of amusing and awkward situations.
Meanwhile, also on the boat is the beautiful Marcelle Thibault, an old friend of Jaques’.
Angy is trying to be faithful to Dix, however she finds it difficult to resist Paul’s advances and turns to Jaques for fatherly comfort.
He misunderstands the way Angy is acting, however, thinking she has finally fallen in love with him.
In Paris, Jaques plans to transfer Dix to the Canadian office, leaving the way open for him to claim Angy for himself.
He manages to transfer Dix, but then he starts to feel guilty and has a change of heart.
He decides to bring Dix back to Paris and cables him, asking him to return to his original job.
By the end of the tale, the relationships have changed completely.
In a twist, Jaques ends up with Marcelle, while Paul and Angy get together.
At the time of the play in 1956, the president of Bacup Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society was Henry Howard, while John Broadbent was wardrobe master and James Walker held the role of stage manager.
In the play, Angy was played by Jean Carter, Paul was John Heyworth and Dix was William Ashworth.
Marcelle was played by Joan Dugdale and Jacques was Neville Carter.
Our first picture this week (top left) shows the cover of the souvenir programme for the society’s performance of Wedding in Paris.
Next to this (top centre is a snap of producer John Havard.
Top right, the picture shows the dancing troupe in the show, ready for action in their leotards.
Underneath that is a picture of the ladies and gentlemen of the chorus.
Underneath we have a selection of headhsots of members of the cast.
Clockwise from top left are William Ashworth, Neville Carter, John Heyworth and Jean Carter.
Did you see the show in 1956 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.