Mack and Mabel
Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman
York Production Directed and Choreographed by
is an amateur production by arrangement with
Samuel French Ltd.
Thespians are pleased to announce their production of Mack &
Mabel which will be performed at the Gordon Craig Theatre,
Lytton Way, Stevenage from 6th to 11th March 2000.
show, inspired by the lives of two celebrated personalities
from the pre-talkies age, promises a memorable first for
both the Gordon Craig Theatre and the East of England
amateur stage. Jim Snell will produce the show, with musical
direction by Roger Heath.
The plot is
based in 1928, at the onset of the "talkies" era and
flashing back through the years since 1911.
The show opens
with Mack Sennett, a comic actor-come-director, back in his
old studio reflecting upon the past. He first encounters
Mabel Normand as she delivers sandwiches to the set amid the
melee caused by creditors trying to close it down. Mack
admires the character of a woman refusing to leave without
due payment and in time falls in love with her. Mack turns
Mabel into a silver screen star but their relationship is
based upon the rocky foundation of Mack's consuming love of
her and eventually she leaves him, persuaded by the famous
director William Desmond Taylor to make a movie with him.
But the idea is not a good one as she screens a sequence of
bad movies. One morning she returns to Sennet's studio to
give it another try, but Mack's resolve to shoot a movie for
her is broken by his latest discovery: the Keystone Kops,
and she walks out again. Back with Taylor, this time things
get even worse for Mabel as her lover is murdered.
to 1928, Mack realises that Mabel really needs him this time
and now he is ready. He will make the movie; and just like
the old times, Mabel will be a star!
Numbers include: "Movies were movies", "Look what happened
to Mabel", "Big Time", "I won't send roses", "So who needs
roses", "I wanna make the world laugh", "Wherever he ain't",
"Hundreds of girls", "When Mabel comes in the room", "My
heart leaps up", "Time heals everything", "Tap your troubles
away", "I promise you a happy ending".
opening was on 6 October 1974 at the Majestic Theater, New
York City: it ran for just 66 performances. Directed by
David Merrick and choreographed by Gower Champion, the cast
included Bernadette Peters, Robert Preston, Lisa Kirk and
In the UK,
interest in the show was aroused in 1984 when Torvill and
Dean used its Overture as accompanying music in their bid
for Gold in Olympic Ice Dance. Since then, music from the
cast album has been popularised on the radio by one of its
staunch supporters, David Jacobs.
opening on 7 November 1995 heralded the start of a longer
West End run. It was directed by Paul Kerryson (one of
Hitchin Thespians' previous producers!) with Julian Kelly as
Musical Director. It starred Howard McGillin as Mack,
Caroline O'Connor as Mabel and Kathryn Evans playing the
part of Lottie. This production saw a revision to the
original book with a less sombre ending (not mentioning
Mabel's death in 1930 as the previous one had) and the
addition of two new songs "Mack & Mabel" and "Hit 'em on the
Jonathan Underwood as Mack Sennet
Tracey Gwynne as Mabel Normand
Veronica Crowley and Barry McKay as Lottie and Fatty
Alex Evans and Neil Canfer as Ella and Frank
Mike Barber and SteveWilks as Fox and Kleiman
Michael Roberts and Tom Evans as Freddie and Andy
Production Photographs - Click for larger photos
Reports - click to read