OLD TYME MUSIC HALL
Trinity Methodist Music and Drama
Chelmsford's answer to the City Varieties, an enjoyable compendium of songs I'd last encountered as shellac on my aunt's ancient Victrola, or sheet music in the dusty depths of our old piano stool.
Here's Roses of Picardie and I Wouldn't Leave My Little Wooden Hut. And the Tin Gee-Gee, beautifully delivered by David Rayner, who also introduced us to the more familiar Polly Perkins. Two military numbers from Tom Whelan, backed by the girls for his Galloping Major, and by the Ain't Half Hot men on the Road to Mandalay.
But for the most part it was a succession of glamorous ladies, in gorgeous frocks, delivering their numbers – sometimes one verse too long - and graciously acknowledging their applause. Outstanding among them, Pat Hollingsworth bravely showing her Popsy Wopsy, and giving a stupendous I Want to Sing in Opera. And “Dame” Janet Moore with The Bells of St Mary's and, less authentically, I'll Walk Beside You.
Patsy Page, who directed the show, gave a spirited revival of a patriotic recruiting song from 1914, and our orotund chairman, Michael Wilson, who introduced each act with a winning blend of eloquence and double entendre, favoured us with a melodic rendering of Stanley Holloway's Brahn Boots.
Since this was Trinity, there were some welcome helpings of operetta – the Gendarmes' Duet, Maxim's and the Chocolate Soldier. Plus a couple of all-too-brief extracts from The Arcadians and Floradora, both hugely popular with Operatic Societies in their day. Time for a revival, perhaps ?