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Manor Players ready to say Hi-de-Hi

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Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 09:00

The ‘Hi-De-Hi’ cast The ‘Hi-De-Hi’ cast

The Manor Players of Tewkesbury have been performing for Gloucestershire audiences for over half a century.

The group, which first formed as the Mitton Manor Players in 1969, usually perform twice a year, and have announced their first show of the year.

‘Hi-de-Hi’ will be a musical take on the classic 80s sitcom, and director Peter O’Brien says the show will feature all the familiar characters.

“We’ve taken bits and pieces from the programme and we’re combining them to make an episode in the show,” he explained.

“The characterisation is all there, people know what to expect – they’re all larger than life characters.”

Peter, who has been with the Players for close to 15 years, will also be starring in the production as ballroom dancer Barry – “that role is miscast, I’m not the most graceful!” he laughed.

Whilst he has directed musicals and pantos with other theatre groups, he says it has always been a “secret ambition” of his to put on this show.

“I want to put my own stamp on it,” he continued.

“The show is not typically a musical, but as we are a musical group we’ve added songs from around that period of time, like ‘Holiday Rock’.”

The original programme was set in the late 50s at fictional holiday camp ‘Maplins’ and followed the inept the staff in charge of providing entertainment for the holidaymakers, who were known as Yellowcoats due to their uniforms.

“On the night our front of house staff will be the actors in their yellow coats,” said Peter, “and of course the bar will be open!

“We’ve also got live music rather than backing tracks which I think really adds to it. We’re getting there with rehearsals and it’s all coming together nicely.

“I should also say that a couple of our members are in hospital in Birmingham at the moment so we also want to dedicate this show to them.”

‘Hi-de-Hi’ was due to be at The Watson Hall in Tewkesbury in April but will be rearranged for a later date due to the Government advice on the Coronavirus pandemic.

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