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On the Razzle

The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.

September 24, 25, 26, 29, 30 – October 1, 2 & 3, 1998.

On the Razzle

by Tom Stoppard

“Comedy never flagged “
– Words & Music –


Directed by
Bob Ryder


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 Howorth – Coachman

Jenny Burtenshaw, Liam Whitfield – German Couple

Joan Bearman, Ron Common – Scottish Couple

Liam Whitfield – Constable

Jan King – Fraulein Blumenblatt

Suzanne Green – Lisette

Daniel Jones – Ragamuffin


Production Crew

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 [1835] 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 [1938] and The Matchmaker [1954] – 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 unmistakeably 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 bale to muster the resources needed! Of course, the challenge is not si9mply 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!