Half a Sixpence
Lyrics - David Heneker
Beverley Cross based upon the novel Kipps by H.G.Wells
commissioned to write a musical for the former Rock star
Tommy Steele, provided the 1960ís stage with one of the most
successful shows of the decade.
Two songs in
particular became standards for Steele, the exchange of the
lovers token, "Half a Sixpence" and the wedding day photo,
"Flash, Bang Wallop!"
Thespians recreated this merry, lively show in Autumn 2001
(October 8-13) at the Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage.
The story is
based upon the H.G.Wells novel, Kipps. Half a Sixpence, is
set at the turn of the last century and centres on the
cockney character Arthur Kipps.
Arthur is an
orphan who becomes a draperís apprentice in Folkstone. When
he inherits a fortune, Arthur finds it brings him all sorts
of problems: he trips over his own ambitions and is dogged
engaged to the snobbish socialite Helen Walsingham, then
breaks off the engagement to marry Ann Pornick, a working
class girl whom he had loved all along.
He loses his
money to Helenís brother in a hapless business deal and ends
up contentedly as the owner of a bookshop.
in the cause of economy; Half a sixpence; Money to burn; The
oak and the ash; Sheís too far above me; Iím not talking to
you; If the rainís got to fall; The old military canal; The
one thatís run away; Long ago; Flash, Bang, Wallop!; I know
what I am; Iíll build a palace; I only want a little house;
sixpence was written for Tommy Steele who starred as Arthur Kipps, appearing in both London and New York runs and also
in the film version of the musical in 1967.
21 March 1963
at the Cambridge Theatre. 677 performances.
Director: Kenneth Alwyn
Anna Barry, John Bull, Colin Farrell, James Grout, Jessica
James, Cheryl Kennedy, Tommy Steele, Anthony Valentine,
April 25 1965
at the Broadhurst Theatre. 512 performances.
Harold Fielding in association with Allen-Hodgdon and
Tommy Steele (Arthur Kipps), Polly James (Ann Pornick),
Carrie Nye (Helen Walsingham), Ann Shoemaker (Mrs Walsingham),
John Cleese (Young Walshingham - Helenís brother), Will
Mackenzie (Sid Pornick) , Grover Dale (Pearce), James Grout
Changes to the
score from the London version included some rousing dance
numbers from Onna White, notably the banjo-plucking "Money
to Burn". Tommy Steele mastered the art of dance in the
run-up to the Broadway opening. During the run, he was
succeeded by Tony Tanner, Joel Grey and Dick Kalman.
Charles H. Schneer, George Sidney
Beverley Cross (based on the novel Kipps by H.G. Wells),
Choreography: Gillian Lynne
Production Photographs - Click for larger Photos