The Glee Club

Previewed 20 February 2002, Opened 22 February 2002, Closed 30 March 2002 at the Bush Theatre, Shepherd's Bush
Previewed 17 April 2002, Opened 22 April 2002, Closed 1 June 2002 at the Duchess Theatre

The West End transfer of the Bush Theatre's production of Richard Cameron's play The Glee Club in London

The Glee Club, made up of five hard-working, hard drinking Yorkshire miners and a Church Organist, is preparing for its annual appearance at the local Gala. They may not be at the vanguard of the musical revolution, but they sing like a dream. But any hopes of stardom or even a peaceful life are shattered as that summer of 1962 brings about changes in the lives of every member of the group.

Sometimes compassion and understanding, as well as bigotry and cowardice, can come from the most unlikely of places.

The cast at London's Bush Theatre and the West End's Duchess Theatre featured David Bamber as 'Phil Newsome', James Hornsby as 'Jack Horsfall', Oliver Jackson as 'Colin Shuttleworth', Shaun Prendergast as 'Scobie', David Schofield as 'Bant', and Roderick Smith as 'Wait Hemmings'.

Directed by Mike Bradwell with designs by Bruce Macadie, lighting by Rick Fisher, music arranged by Mia Soteriou, and sound by Ian Horrocks-Taylor and Ben Smith.

David Schofield's London theatre credits include the roles of 'Angelo' in Adrian Noble's revival of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, for the Royal Shakespeare Company, at the Barbican Theatre in 1984; 'John Merrick' in Roland Rees' production of Bernard Pomerance's The Elephant Man at the Hampstead Theatre in 1977 and the National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre in 1980; and 'Nick' in Nancy Meckler's revival of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre in 1981.

"The acting is dead on the mark, the situations full of tension and remorse. Songs, though far too few, are delightfully rendered in barbershop-quartet style... The flawed machismo of miners who take showers together then sing in close harmony while tip-toeing round each other's private parts and problems is beautifully expressed. One miner has lost his wife to a dancing instructor. Another cannot stop his wife having babies. A widower has never made new contact. David Schofield, Shaun Prendergast and Roderick Smith bring a world of sadness and sighs to these roles. The play is is perfectly directed by Mike Bradwell, even when some of the short scenes don't end effectively enough for the larger stage." The Daily Mail

"It is an absorbing play that seduces you with music and humour, but then gradually weaves its tales of pain and prejudice, loyalty and betrayal, callousness and compassion... The play is performed with vigour and sensitivity by Mike Bradwell's fine cast. All the actors can sing, and do so with gusto and charm and they all bring their characters vividly to life. David Bamber is both prissy and dignified as the tormented Phil, David Schofield, as Bant, shows us a man consumed from within by jealousy and regret, and Roderick Smith is particularly touching as the ineffectual widower, Walt, who cannot understand how he has lost his family. In his story, Cameron mines a rich but sad seam of buried grief." The Financial Times

"An earthy, touchin play by Richard Cameron. Set in South Yorkshire in 1962, The Glee Club refers to a close-harmony group made up of five miners and their pianist, an engineer who is the church organist. Their misty-eyed repertoire evokes an innocent age that's about to be shattered by the Beatles and a youth revolution, as well as their own personal problems... But The Glee Club is by no means a wholly ironic title. There's plenty of ribald humour and much enjoyment to be had from well-delivered renditions of songs that add resonance to the characters' feelings. Mike Bradwell's winning production boasts a great ensemble... It's a hugely entertaining evening that skilfully balances the glee and the gloom." The Times

The Glee Club in London at the Duchess Theatre previewed from 17 April 2002, opened on 22 April 2002, and closed on 1 June 2002