wicktheatre > Archive > Performances > On the Razzle

On the Razzle

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

Directed by
Bob Ryder

1998 BHAC Full Length Drama Competition
– Best Stage Setting : beautifully constructed using a stunning design – a set to be acclaimed!

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“Comedy never flagged ”
– Words & Music –


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

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 ProducerBetty Dawes [WT]

Company ProducerGerry Lane [SP]

Stage ManagerDes Young

ASMDavid Comber

ASMDave Collis

ASMJean Porter

ASMPatrick Johnson

Lighting ProducerTrevor Langley

Sound ProducerGreg Starns

Lighting & SoundTrevor Langley

Lighting & SoundMike Medway

Lighting & SoundRalph Dawes

Lighting & SoundSally Diver

Set Construction & Stage CrewRoger Howarth

Set Construction & Stage CrewBrian Box

Set Construction & Stage CrewMike Davy

Set Construction & Stage CrewPaul Watts

Set Construction & Stage CrewLes Ogden

Set Construction & Stage CrewPaul Strong

Set Construction & Stage CrewRalph Dawes

Set Construction & Stage CrewDavid Comber

Set Construction & Stage CrewDave Collis

Set Construction & Stage CrewDave Yarlett

Set PainterSheila Neesham

Set PainterFrances Thorne

Set PainterSmudge Roberts

PropertiesMargaret Davy

PropertiesSue Whittaker

Costume ManagerJudith Berrill

Costume ManagerMargaret Faggetter

Costume ManagerAdrian Kenward

F.O.H. ManagerBrian Moulton

F.O.H. ManagerMark Flower

Press & PublicityRosemary Bouchy

Press & PublicityRosemary Brown

Press & PublicityAnna Barden

Box OfficeMargaret Murrell

Budget ManagerRalph Dawes

Budget ManagerMargaret 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 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!