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Charley’s Aunt

The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.

December 27, 29, 30, 2003 – January 1, 2 & 3 [+ mat.] 2004.

Charley’s Aunt

by Brandon Thomas

“Inventive stagecraft”
– West Sussex Gazette –


Directed by
Tony Muzzall


Rols Ham-Riche – Jack Chesney

Simon Druce – Brassett

John Garland – Charley Wykeham

Mark Best – Lord Fancourt Babberley

Jenny Burtenshaw – Kitty Verdun

M. Skinner – Amy Spettigue

Peter Thompson – Sir Francis Chesney

John Barham – Stephen Spettigue

Rosemary Mose – Donna Lucia D’Alvadorez

K. Foulsham – Ela Delahay


Production Crew

Directors Assistant – Joan Bearman

Directors Assistant – Sue Whittaker

Lighting – Mike Medway

Sound – Simon Snelling

Stage Manager – David Comber

Technical Stage Manager – David Bickers

ASM – Sheila Holgate-Wright

Technicians – Chris Grey

Technicians – Janice Gooch

Properties – Sue Whittaker

Properties – Margaret Davy

Wardrobe – Margaret Pierce

Wardrobe – Cherry Briggs

Special Costumes & Wigs – Sheila Neesham

Set Construction – Dave Collis

Set Construction – Mike Davy

Set Construction – Brian Box

Set Construction – David Comber

Set Construction – Marc Lewis

Set Painting – Sheila Neesham

Press & Publicity – Rosemary Bouchy

Press & Publicity – Rosemary Brown

Press & Publicity – Judith Berrill

Box Office – Margaret Murrell

Front of House Co-ordinator – Betty Dawes


Programme Note #1: Charley’s Aunt

TM wrote: “Charley’s Aunt first appeared on the London stage 111 years ago – almost to the day – and has been delighting audiences ever since. Although the author, Brandon Thomas, wrote a number of successful light plays. Charley’s Aunt is the only one that retains enormous popularity. The play is usually to be found in production somewhere in the world, To my knowledge, however, this is the first time it has found its way onto the Barn stage.

The reason for its popularity is easy to see – put a man in a dress to help out some friends and wait for the confusion and complications to arrive -they undoubtedly will! It matters not that the social etiquette no longer dictates the need of chaperones [the cause of the action], the situation is timeless. The humour comes from embarrassment this situation causes. Long may the simple things in life continue to amuse.

Throughout the past century Charley’s Aunt has seen many revisions. This has resulted in other characters assuming the rôle of the ‘aunt’. In the musical version, starring Norman Wisdom, Charley becomes his own aunt [as he does in the film version starring Arthur Askey]. In a television production Eric Sykes, playing the rôle of Brassett, is persuaded to assume the garb of ‘auntie’. In the Wick version I have kept to the original and let Babbs retain the honour of becoming “Charley’s Aunt, from Brazil, where the nuts come from”.