Lambeth wide-boy, Bill Snibson, learns he is by birth an aristocrat but will he join his new found titled relations and become upper-class... and forget all about his Lambeth sweetheart Sally. Originally written as a musical comedy vehicle for Lupino Lane who starred in all four productions between 1937 to 1950 as 'Bill Snibson' - over 2,200 performances in total!. Music by Noel Gay, book and lyrics by L Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber. The 1984 revival featured a revised book by Stephen Fry with additional contributions by Mike Ockrent.
Me and My Girl - Original West End Production 1937 - 1950
Opened 16 December 1937, Closed 29 June 1940 at the Victoria Palace Theatre
Returned 25 June 1941, Closed 1 November 1941 at the London Coliseum
Returned 6 August 1945, Closed 30 March 1946 at the Victoria Palace Theatre
Returned 12 December 1949, Closed 11 February 1950 at the Winter Garden Theatre
(now rebuilt as the New London Theatre)
The original 1937-40 season played 'twice-nightly' for a hugely successful run of 1,646 performances, with the production returning to the West End three more times over the next ten years. Lupino Lane headlined each of these runs as 'Bill Snibson' - playing the role over 2,200 times! Directed by Lupino Lane with choreography by Fred Leslie.
Me and My Girl - 1st West End Revival 1985 - 1993
Previewed 2 February 1985, Opened 12 February 1985, Closed 16 January 1993 at the Adelphi Theatre in London
A major revised revival of the 1930's Noel Gay hit musical Me and My Girl in London featuring original Noel Gay songs including Lambeth Walk, The Sun has Got His Hat On, Love Makes the World Go Round, Leaning on a Lamp Post and Me and My Girl.
The original cast featured Robert Lindsay as 'Bill Snibson' and Emma Thompson as 'Sally'. Directed by Mike Ockrent with choreography by Gillian Gregory, sets by Martin Johns, costumes by Ann Curtis, lighting by Chris Ellis and sound by Rick Clarke. Music by Noel Gay, book and lyrics by L Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber, with revised book by Stephen Fry and contributions to revisions by Mike Ockrent. Noel Gay's songs are also featured in the musical comedy Radio Times at the Queen's Theatre.
The show's director Mike Ockrent said: "Working on the show we were very much aware that it's a typical story from the Thirties depression; somebody from a very poor background is suddenly offered a fantastical million-pound prize. Many Hollywood musicals of the thirties have exactly the same story; someone finds a bank book in which an ancestor in 1253 has invested tuppence ha'penny, which means that he owns the whole of New Jersey! In times of depression people gravitate towards that kind of story." While the original 1930's production starring Lupino Lane run for over 2,000 performances, Ockrent hopes, with this revised version that "another generation will be brought in by the show's modern musical production values." This production comes to London's West End following a season at the Leicester Haymarket Theatre over Christmas 1984.
"Anyone with fixed prejudices against the pre-war musical stage as a benighted enclave of snobbery, vapid optimism and ghastly dialogue will find them richly confirmed in the opening scene in this revival of Noel Gay and Arthur Rose's 1937 hit. A baronial house party is in full swing, every face clenched in an idiot grin, every figure suggesting a tailoring or shampoo advertisement. News runs through the merrymaking throng that one Bill Snibson, a Lambeth resident of low degree, has inherited the title: whereupon the 14th Earl of Hareford makes his entrance in check suit and bowler, ramming home his credentials with cries of 'Oi oi', and 'Wotcha cock'. Perhaps the pre-war version continued along the same lines. At the Adelphi Theatre - probably thanks to Stephen Fry's revised book, and certainly to Mike Ocktent's production - this immediate impression is promptly displaced by a cunningly-balanced and technically brilliant show that sends pre-conceptions up in smoke. We knew the music was good. But it only reveals its full strength in the context of comedy of matching quality." The Times
"This revival sets the British musical back by 50 years, 48 to be precise, since it was in 1937 that this condescending romp first wowed the British public. Now, despite the addition of extra songs from the Noel Gay canon and a revised book by Stephen Fry, the show is chiefly remarkable for its patronising and sentimental view of British working class life... Even on the pure entertainment level the show suffers from a threadbare plot. What keeps the evening tenuously afloat are the amiable Noel Gay songs... But Mike Ockrent's cutesy production cannot disguise the fact that the show is snobbish codswallop. It is also based on a thundering lie: that life in Lambeth is inherently preferable to that in a comfortable country estate." The Guardian
Me and My Girl in London at the Adelphi Theatre previewed from 2 February 1985, opened on 12 February 1985 and closed on 16 January 1993.