This year’s College Production of Black-Eyed Susan is a swashbuckling, Victorian melodrama, inspired by Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance.

College Production dancing performers

This year’s College Production saw a fantastic collaboration between our music and drama departments, as our 6.1 cast and performers, ably supported by our 6.2 technical crew and staff, brought to life a swashbuckling tale of love.

The story concerns a heroic sailor, William, who has been away at sea. His wife, Susan, has fallen on hard times and is being harassed by her crooked landlord uncle for money. A smuggler named Hatchet tries to persuade Susan that William is dead, and that he will pay her debts in return for her hand in marriage. William returns just in time to stop the smooth-talking smuggler from taking advantage, but not before another suitor – his drunken, dastardly captain – tries his luck to also seduce Susan. William, not recognising his captain from behind, strikes him with his sword. He is court-martialled for attacking a senior officer and sentenced to be hanged. But all is not lost, the captain sobers up and admits William had been discharged from the navy before he attacked him, and so William and Susan get to live happily ever after.

The play was written in the 1820s by Douglas Jerrold, and was given a modern twist by the students who took College Production as their Extension Studies. The students decided to develop some new characters to provide a current day commentary on the original story.

The play’s Director, and acting Head of Drama, Mary Cassidy, said, “For more years than I care to remember, I was in a production of Black-Eyed Susan on the Royal Mile at the Edinburgh Fringe. I had such happy memories of its melodramatic style that we wanted to see if we could keep that same energetic spirit while also giving it a bit of an update.

“Our Head of Music, Claire Whittaker, and I have wanted to collaborate for a while and we thought this was the perfect vehicle to include some musicians. Along with our Theatre Technician, Malcolm’s exquisite costume designs, Becky Voller’s input as script writer, and Michael Pratt’s singing expertise, the show started to come together.

“Our wonderfully talented cast and crew have really brought the show alive and have been involved at every stage, from script writing and editing to back-stage roles, directing and performing. They have built a strong team in just one term, and deserve every success.”

 

Congratulations to all the cast and crew;

Cast: Peter Smith (William); Etta Voss (Susan); Frances Francis (Doggrass); Freya Buckley (Gnat); Mae Mckenna (Brain); Nell Gudgin (Captain Tom Hatchet); Cassie Devlin (Bill Raker, neighbour); Mary Sullivan-Wells (Dolly Mayflower, Admiral, Susie’s mother); Isabelle Gregory (Jay Twig); Evelyn Orsmond (Ploughshare, Susie);  Char Lloyd (Lieutenant Pike); Dan Shah (Captain Crosstree, lawyer); Anya Rabie (Blue Peter, neighbour); Ellie Ruaux (Seaweed); Emily Nicholson (Quid, lawyer).

Singers:  Cassie Devlin, Isabelle Gregory, Emily Nicholson, Evelyn Orsmond, Mary Sullivan-Wells, Freya Buckley.

6.2 Technical Crew Libbi Ball, Assistant director and choreographer/box office; Nyah Felix , Script editor and ASM; Elena Gonzalez, ASM and sound;  Rachel Hudson, Assistant director and Lighting; Willow Rayner, Script writer and Sound; Max Dixon, Sound and Projection; Katie Walsh, Assistant director and DSM;  Rosie Bourached, Assistant director and DSM

Musicians:  Joshua Jarvis (MD, Piano, Guitar);  Peter Smith (Guitar, Voice); Alexander Driver (Guitar, Voice); Henry Grace (Bass Guitar, Cahon); Madeleine Folan (Vocals); Victoria Nekhaenko (Vocals, Tambourine); Sophie Ashraff (Voice, Recorder); Isaac Mason-Coombs (Oboe, Vocals); Theo Green (Viola); Alina Rasmussen (Cello).

Staff: Malcolm Hart (Production Manager); Mary Cassidy (Director); Michael Pratt (Co-Director, Singing Co-ordinator)

Special Thanks: Claire Whittaker and Becky Voller,

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Black Eyed Susan Poster
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Event,esher Collage
College Production
Event,esher Collage
College Production
Event,esher Collage