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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

Directed by
Tony Muzzall

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“Inventive stagecraft”
– West Sussex Gazette –


Rols Ham-Riche – Jack Chesney

Simon Druce – Brassett

John Garland – Charley Wykeham

Mark Best – Lord Fancourt Babberley

Jenny Burtenshaw – Kitty Verdun

Maria Skinner – Amy Spettigue

Peter Thompson – Sir Francis Chesney

John Barham – Stephen Spettigue

Rosemary Mose – Donna Lucia D’Alvadorez

Katie Foulsham – Ela Delahay


Production Crew

Directors AssistantJoan Bearman

Directors AssistantSue Whittaker

LightingMike Medway

SoundSimon Snelling

Stage ManagerDavid Comber

Technical Stage ManagerDavid Bickers

ASMSheila Holgate-Wright

TechniciansChris Grey

TechniciansJanice Gooch

PropertiesSue Whittaker

PropertiesMargaret Davy

WardrobeMargaret Pierce

WardrobeCherry Briggs

Special Costumes & WigsSheila Neesham

Set ConstructionDavid Collis

Set ConstructionMike Davy

Set ConstructionBrian Box

Set ConstructionDavid Comber

Set ConstructionMarc Lewis

Set PaintingSheila Neesham

Press & PublicityRosemary Bouchy

Press & PublicityRosemary Brown

Press & PublicityJudith Berrill

Box OfficeMargaret Murrell

Front of House Co-ordinatorBetty 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”.