Musical Theatre

Our group already boasts a very healthy membership of 30+ people, but we’re always ready to welcome new members, not only to perform on stage, but to help backstage with scenery etc.  Why not join in the fun at our weekly rehearsals?  We look forward to your company.

Ormskirk Civic Hall (rehearsals)
Tuesdays
1 pm to 4 pm
  • Leader: John Hardiker  -  01704 530707  and 0791 2879822
  • Co-ordinator: Peter Lloyd  -  01695 575803  and 07801 106335
  • We are looking for new Members to join our ever so happy and friendly group, sing, dance and have fun which is guaranteed.

Our next Production at the Civic – October 5.6.7th, .. A  great selection of wonderful songs from our best loved Musicals.

“We Got Life ” directed by our very own Gill O’Flaherty at the Civic Hall – May 4th, 5th 2017. Gill’s synopsis for her show is as follows:-

We Got Life is a generic story located internationally, told in song and dance. Beginnings, hope, reality, oppression, despair, dreams, inspiration, protest, revolution, escape, happiness, fulfillment and renewal. We hope that will reflect history as well as present day, expressing our lives, struggles and diversity and yet have the audience experience the sensation of that space between a tear and a smile with some well loved songs that have already touched our lives and a few ones to intrigue. 

A Review from Katie and Shaun Geldart of the Pleasure Folk

We really had no idea what to expect when we went to see “We Got Life”, perhaps not one for the children we thought. We took them anyway and I’m glad we did.The show turned out to be a portrayal of the circle of life from infant beginnings to a joyous celebration of a varied life well lived in a glorious and uplifting finale. A wonderful array of costumes and use of on screen images made the show interesting visually and well delivered, though provoking narration guided the audience through the story of life. Well chosen songs were performed beautifully and well placed with emotive lyrics that brought tears to our eyes at certain moments.All in all we thoroughly enjoyed our evening. The choreography, costumes, music and narration brought together a wonderful  life affirming story. Well done to all involved.

Act Your Age – 10, 11, 12th November 2016

This was a first for the group and a Comedy Farce in classic Brian Rix style, set in a large house in a remote village: a clinic that offers sanctuary, rest and relaxation therapy to celebs, but has seen better days with just two celebrities. Meanwhile in the same village there is an old folks home. Absolute chaos then ensues when the celebs get mixed up with the old folks, there is a power cut following an explosion, and a “Real” celeb then arrives. The old folks end up as staff, new premises have to be found with make shift rooms, then more chaos following a massive flood, in and out of doors, complicated manoeuvres, narrowly avoiding their naked forms.

A good selection of pictures taken from “Act your Age “

Some nice reviews:-

Ann from St Helens U3A:- “Well done to the cast, we thoroughly enjoyed the performance, everyone worked so hard.”

Mary Hall – All Souls Dramatic club:- “Lot’s of hard work resulted in a very enjoyable evening. The fun and farce was in evidence right from the beginning and the stellar cast managed their energy and exuberance and voice throughout despite many playing more than one role. Given that many of the cast have never been on the stage before and that they range from 59 to 86, I feel that that they must be applauded and I for one look forward to their next production.”

Bill Howarth – Founder and member of Maghull U3A:- “They gave a very good account of their diverse talents and stage production in this performance of Christopher Wortley’s Musical Farce “Act Your Age”, an appropriate title for a cast of over 60’s, well prepared to do the title justice. It was evident that the riotous fun and repartee of the script had been well rehearsed and were reflected in the performance. Outstanding throughout were Valerie (Dorothy Prothero) and Pat (Maureen Morris) in “Stage Owning ” performances, with Angela (Gill O’Flaherty) bringing glamour to the set. The transformed cast in exciting costumes and a tricky moment involving towels complimented the main players. Both set design and lighting deserve credit for an outstanding set as does the Musical Director, Doreen Bridson. The journey from the old folks home to a celebratory clinic provided an abundance of laughs amongst many good performances. Well Done !!!”

Old Time Music Hall Review

Our Old Time Music Hall show is now completed and was a huge success, thanks to your support!  Both nights were very well attended and generated lots of smiles and laughter – which is just what we’ve all joined the U3A for!!

The show was directed jointly by the very talented Chris McCabe and Gaynor Hale who both have many years of stage experience behind them!  It was staged at Aughton Village Hall on May 13 and 14, 2016.

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Bob Cratchitt…retired REVIEW

Bob Cratchitt…retired was performed at Ormskirk Civic Hall in December 2015.  It was written by the very talented Eric Musical Theatre - Bob Cratchitt PosterMidwinter, one of the founder members of the U3A in Britain.

It’s a sequel to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Tony Crimlisk wrote the music, John Hardiker directed and Gaynor Hale was our choreographer.

We thank you for all your usual support for this very special show and hope it got you in a festive mood just in time for Christmas!

Bob2

Some of the cast getting into the Christmas spirit!


Here are 2 reviews starting with a letter from Eric Midwinter, the author:

What a fascinating and glorious occasion! Although I’m supposed to be a wordsmith, I’m struggling to express how much it meant to me to see ‘Bob’ spring to life with such energy, pace, colour, laughter, dazzling effects, theatrical pictures, superb costuming, enthralling music, well-executed, rounded and adeptly comprehended characterisation…, to quote ‘The King and I’, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Knowing you are meeting up on Monday, would you please convey to everyone involved a most genuinely felt and affectionate vote of appreciation from the author.

My head is full of images, sounds and sights which keep rolling around and then turning up again…I think I can also add that the ‘top brass’ from the national U3A were seriously impressed; even by the interval they were overwhelmed by the sheer wonder of it all – ‘I have seen a lot worse in the West End’, said the current chairman; ‘I always knew it would be marvellous’ said the immediate past chairman, who has shown a keen interest in ‘Bob’ ever since I told her of his forthcoming existence. Such positive reactions – and well-merited

Thank you doesn’t cover it – but ‘thank you’. I hope to see you and, who knows, collaborate with you all again in the future.


And next, Jenny Robson wrote in the Champion newspaper:

Known for pulling out all the stops to create original productions this society’s latest effort is no exception.

With the script and lyrics written by Eric Midwinter and music by the society’s own Tony Crimlisk it is an upbeat story of Bob Cratchitt as he approaches retirement age.

A giant Christmas cracker opens the show through which is seen the interior of Scrooge’s and Marley’s shop (where nothing is ever knowingly undersold) with the Company looking festive in a flurry of red costumes with white faux (I hope!) fur.

It is Bob’s 65th birthday and, after 50 years of working in the store, the staff are holding a party to send him on his way clutching a gold clock.

Jane Morley (Dorothy Prothero) has been married to Jacob Marley and is now holding a torch for Ebenezer (Tony Adamson).

David Davies takes the eponymous role with Maureen Morris as his wife, Martha.

‘Tiny Tim’ (Colin Ratcliff) has grown up and is cured of his Dickensian impediment. He’s now a wealthy banker who lives in a 27-roomed mansion. Playing his snobby wife, Theresa, is Gill O’Flaherty who takes the comic role very well. It has been good to watch her progress over the past few years from choreographer and dancer to comedy actress.

The three inevitable ghosts (who ‘like to sing in chorus’) – Ghosts of Retirement Past (Bill Edwards), Present (Teresa Edwards) and Yet to Come (Sue Hardiker) arrive to convey the message that retirement does not have to be boring when the fabulous University of the Third Age is prominent.

The good pace of the show owes thanks to John Hardiker’s expert direction and Gaynor Hale’s clever choreography together with the vivacity of the cast, seasonal costumes and stunning scenery. Congratulations to the whole team!

Score: 8/10 – Very enjoyable!


A big THANK YOU to everyone who supports our productions; our group work very hard for many months to put them on stage and it’s very encouraging to know we can depend on you after all our efforts.

Bob Cratchitt video clip

It’s a musical called ‘Bob Cratchitt, retired’ which tells the story of the character from Charles Dickens‘A Christmas Carol’ as he reaches retirement.  The musical is written by the very talented Eric Midwinter, one of the co-founders responsible for introducing the U3A to the UK during the early 1980’s.  The music has been written by our very own Tony Crimlisk and there will be more news about the production in the magazine and on the website as rehearsals progress throughout the year.

BayTV visited the group at one of our rehearsals and produced the attached video clip.

Show dates are 10, 11 and 12 December and tickets, priced at £8.00 for adults and £4.00 for children under 16, will be on sale at Horizons from Thursday, 1 October, or they can be ordered by phoning the Leader: Stan Livingston – 01695 579742 or you may still be able to Pay at Door.