The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre
September 24, 25, 26, 29, 30 – October 1, 2 & 3, 1998
On the Razzle[with Southwick Players] by Tom Stoppard
1998 BHAC Full Length Drama Competition
– Best Stage Setting : beautifully constructed using a stunning design – a set to be acclaimed!
David Creedon – Zangler
Joan Bearman – Gertrud
Roland Ham-Riche – Sonders
Kati Szeless – Marie
Ron Common – Belgian
John Garland – Melchior
Derek Fraser – Hupfer
Phil Balding – Weinberl
Judith Berrill – Christopher
Sharon Watts – Lightning
Vanessa Strong – Lightning
Jenny Burtenshaw – Philippine
Maggie Hall – Madame Knorr
Margaret Faggetter – Frau Fischer
Ron Common – Waiter
Derek Fraser – Waiter
Liam Whitfield – Waiter
Daniel Jones – Waiter
Roger Howarth – Coachman
Liam Whitfield – Constable
Jan King – Fraulein Blumenblatt
Suzanne Green – Lisette
Daniel Jones – Ragamuffin
Company Producer – Betty Dawes [WT]
Company Producer – Gerry Lane [SP]
Stage Manager – Des Young
ASM – David Comber
ASM – Dave Collis
ASM – Jean Porter
ASM – Patrick Johnson
Lighting Producer – Trevor Langley
Sound Producer – Greg Starns
Lighting & Sound – Trevor Langley
Lighting & Sound – Mike Medway
Lighting & Sound – Ralph Dawes
Lighting & Sound – Sally Diver
Set Construction & Stage Crew – Roger Howarth
Set Construction & Stage Crew – Brian Box
Set Construction & Stage Crew – Mike Davy
Set Construction & Stage Crew – Paul Watts
Set Construction & Stage Crew – Les Ogden
Set Construction & Stage Crew – Paul Strong
Set Construction & Stage Crew – Ralph Dawes
Set Construction & Stage Crew – David Comber
Set Construction & Stage Crew – Dave Collis
Set Construction & Stage Crew – Dave Yarlett
Set Painter – Sheila Neesham
Set Painter – Frances Thorne
Set Painter – Smudge Roberts
Properties – Margaret Davy
Properties – Sue Whittaker
Costume Manager – Judith Berrill
Costume Manager – Margaret Faggetter
Costume Manager – Adrian Kenward
F.O.H. Manager – Brian Moulton
F.O.H. Manager – Mark Flower
Press & Publicity – Rosemary Bouchy
Press & Publicity – Rosemary Brown
Press & Publicity – Anna Barden
Box Office – Margaret Murrell
Budget Manager – Ralph Dawes
Budget Manager – Margaret Ogden
Programme Note #1: On the Razzle
BR wrote “Tom Stoppard’s On the Razzle appeared in 1981, but the plot goes back a long way. The trail starts with a one-act play, John Oxenford’s A Day Well Spent  which was turned into A Lad Needs a Fling in 1842 by legendary Viennese playwright and actor, Johann Nestroy. Before Stoppard got to it, Thornton Wilder used parts of the story in The Merchant of Yonkers  and The Matchmaker  – and the latter went on to become Hello Dolly! in 1963.
Although Stoppard has used much of Nestroy’s basic characters and plot, all of the dialogue is unmistakably his own. It fizzes with brilliant wordplay at one moment, corny jokes and crude double meanings the next. His is also a highly visual play, using dozens of gags and tricks in the best tradition of music hall and comic theatre.
On the Razzle was a great critical success when it opened at the Edinburgh Festival, and then enjoyed a popular run at the National Theatre in London and on tour. That original production featured Felicity Kendall as the young shop-boy, following Nestroy’s tradition of having the rôle of Christopher played as a ‘breeches’ part – a tradition which we also follow here.
On the Razzle calls for a large cast, which is probably why professional revivals of the play are so rare. Fortunately, Southwick is able to muster the resources needed! Of course, the challenge is not simply about the scale of the production. It is also about the difficult and deadly serious business of making great comedy look like effortless fun. To that end, the large acting and technical team assembled by the Southwick Players and Wick Theatre Company have put in an enormous effort – and even had some fun as well.
It is a pleasure to be directing this production as a collaboration between these two fine old theatre companies, one now in its 50th year, the other in its 60th, in the splendid new Barn. The joint production is very much a celebration – both of these companies’ many achievements and of the reopening of the theatre itself. What better way to celebrate than with the heady brew of On the Razzle!
Publicity #1: On the Razzle
Publication: SOUTHWICK COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION NEWS SHEET
Publication Data: APRIL : JULY – number 182
It’s celebration time at Wick! 1998 marks 50 years-continuous presentation in Southwick. Founder members Betty and Ralph Dawes are both still actively involved as President and Treasurer, while several present members have clocked up over 40 years with the Company. Since the Company was formed we have met on Monday evenings for play readings, workshops and so on, with regular coffee evenings on the first [Monday] of every month.
The re-opening of the Barn Theatre makes this an exciting year in more ways than one, calling for a special season. What could be more special than a JOINT PRODUCTION with the Southwick Players to make the most of the larger stage, new workshops, wonderful new lighting and sound systems.
The play chosen is Tom Stoppard’s brilliant comedy On the Razzle. It will be directed by Bob Ryder; with the help of Gerry Lane [Southwick Players] and Betty Dawes. Cast and crew will be selected from both Companies very soon.
Publicity #2: On the Razzle
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: September 17 1998 issue – page 1
Text Header: “Set for 19th century romp”
MEMBERS of the Wick Theatre company and the Southwick Players have joined forces to go, On The Razzle. The groups are back with a bang at the new and improved Barn Theatre and its bigger and better stage, for Tom Stoppard’s scintillating comedy.
Directed by Bob Ryder, the show promises to have audiences laughing in all the right places. Out on the town while their employer, Zangler, is away arranging his nuptials with his fiancee, two employees of a high class grocery store get up to high jinks. At the same time, Zangler is on the track of his errant niece and her would-be suitor.
The fun gets fast and furious as all the characters play hide and seek in 19th century Vienna.
Join them for an evening of side-splitting mirth from September 24 to 26, 29 to 30, and October 1 – 3 at the Barn Theatre in Southwick.
Review #1: On the Razzle
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: October 1 1998 issue – page 17
Reviewer: – Stephen Critchett
Text Header: “Razzle dazzles at Southwick Barn”
A HOST of individual scintillating performances ensured Tom Stoppard’s hilarious comedy On the Razzle left the audience at the newly-restored Barn Theatre in Southwick intoxicated with laughter. The fast-moving production jointly staged by The Southwick Players and The Wick Theatre Company was a great team effort with cast members putting in amusing, lively portrayals of the various characters. Directed by Bob Ryder, the dialogue was action-packed and crammed full of brilliant wordplay and corny gags executed to perfection.
Weinber [Phil Balding] and Christopher [Judith Berrill] both got their share of the laughs, thanks to their energetic and witty portrayals of two down trodden grocer’s boys in search of adventure in Vienna. Unfortunately their maniacal boss Zangler [David Creedon] has also gone to town, to woo his bride and chase after his eloping niece; Marie [Kati Szeless]. Their paths all interweave, with narrow escapes, mistaken identities and total confusion at some stages as they bump into a host of other peculiar and hilarious characters. None was more peculiar and outrageous than the rough and ready coachman [Roger Howarth], who had the audience in stitches and virtually stole the show with every fleeting appearance. Roland Ham-Riche impressed on his début at the Barn as Sonders, as did pantomime horse Lightning [Sharon Watts and Vanessa Strong] with its fancy footwork.
As Bob Ryder points out in his programme notes, what better way to celebrate the re-opening of the theatre than with a heady brew of On the Razzle!
On the Razzle runs from tonight [Thursday] to Saturday [October 3] inclusive at the Barn Theatre. All performances are 7.45pm and tickets are £5 with reductions for groups of 10 or more. For reservations call the box office  597094.
Review #2: On the Razzle
Publication: Words & Music
Publication Data: Issue 78 – January/February 1999 – page 11
Reviewer: Angela Goodall
This combined production was billed as Tom Stoppard’s brilliant comedy and it was just that. Gaining pace after the rather wordy First Act start, the comedy never flagged and there were superbly sustained facial moments.
As the coachman, Roger Howarth seized the opportunity to make the most of his marvellous cameo rôle. His lechery with the maid, Suzanne Green, was hilarious. Casting Judith Berrill in a breeches part as the young shop boy Christopher worked splendidly and she gave a convincing and amusing performance as the young accomplice of Weinbert, ably played by Phil Balding. Their antics in avoiding their employer, Zangler, David Creedon, gave rise to the entire plot. Most notable were their scenes with Lightning, a panto horse of amazing intelligence and versatility treating us to a tap-dance at one point!
The whole cast were excellent, well directed and the production was so enjoyable I would happily have seen it again and again. This was the Barn Theatre’s entry in the Brighton and Hove Drama festival and at the time of going to press adjudication was pending – but we wish them well.
Review #3: On the Razzle
Publication: Wick News
Publication Data: November 1998
Reviewer: Charles Porter
Kevin Isaac – Wick News Editor wrote “What a major success the recent performances of On The Razzle were. Jo and I attended the second Thursday performance and were highly entertained by the production. I would like to congratulate all involved and along with everyone I hope for success at the awards evening in December.
Here follows a review by Charles Porter.
“The two resident Southwick theatre groups staged an excellent production of Tom Stoppard’s On the Razzle in a neat solution to the ‘who performs first in the new Barn’ conundrum. A total rebuild of the stage together with a refurbishment of the original Barn Hall has given Southwick one of the finest community Arts venues in the country and this show was a fitting entrée.
On the Razzle tells the tale of two Viennese shop assistants – Weinberg [Phil Balding] and Christopher [Judith Berrill] – as they take advantage of their proprietor Zangler’s [David Creedon] absence to live it up in Nineteenth Century Vienna for a day. Needless to say they end up having more adventures than they bargained for as they become inadvertently entwined in Zangler’s attempts to woo his fiancée Madame Knorr [Maggie Hall] whilst at the same time defending the virtue of Marie [Katie Szeless] – his niece.
The unique Stoppard style of switching effortlessly between comic word-play, corny jokes and outright farce is much in evidence and was beautifully handled by a talented cast under the direction of Bob Ryder. A fine balance between keeping the pace but not running away with the words – they are so many gags that one could see this play three nights running and spot new laughs every time.
David Creedon was resplendent in his tightly tailored uniform complete with jingley [sic] spurs and was ably supported by John Garland as Melchior, his new servant. Phil Balding and Judith Berrill formed a tremendous double act together On the Razzle. There were some lovely cameo performances in smaller rôles from, amongst others, Roger Howarth as the burly, buttock crazed Coachman, Jan King as Fraulein Blumenblatt and Suzanne Green as Lisette, her sexy French maid.
The many scene changes were slickly handled using a stylish and inventive set. A show stopper was the equine dance routine by Lightning [Sharon Watts and Vanessa Strong] who ultimately trotted to the rescue of our intrepid adventurers just in the nick of time! A memorable evening indeed.”[/showhide]