This book is the story of my time with the National Westminster Theatre Club. It is a progress from unwilling volunteer in a One Act Play to novice stage hand and Stage Manager ending with a successful stint as producer for Grease.
This is not intended nor conceived as a manual for would-be Stage Managers or for those interested in stage craft. I hope though that this will help anyone who is looking for a career or involvement in the theatre and can learn something from my experience. You learn more from your mistakes than your successes and that is a truism which will become self-evident.
There are tales of production disasters, memorable performances and the funny side of staging a show from the auditions to first night mishaps. The book concentrates mainly on the eccentrics and the things that can and usually do go wrong on stage seen from the viewpoint of a Stage Manager.
It is also a personal account looking at ten years of the Theatre Club’s history from 1978 to 1987. Now renamed the RBS Theatre Company it is the oldest active Club of its kind since being formed in 1876.
I have drawn on my own career in the Bank to explain my involvement. You will not find stories of corporate take-overs of covert city deals. My professional life in the City of London is there to illustrate the background against which amateur dramatic companies and performers operate whilst being members of a large organisation. You will meet a lot of warm, talented people who worked for the Bank and became a close group of actors, singers and stage crew.
There are accounts of the staging of shows such as Oklahoma, South Pacific, Calamity Jane, Fiddler on the Roof, Grease and other less well known shows such as No, No Nanette. There are also a few black and white illustrations.
|File size:||953 KB|
About the Author
John Barber was born in London at the height of the UK Post War baby boom. The Education Act of 1944 saw great changes in the way the nation was taught; the main one being that all children stayed at school until the age of 15 (later increased to 16). For the first time working class children were able to reach higher levels of academic study and the opportunity to gain further educational qualifications at University. This explosion in education brought forth a new aspirational middle class; others remained true to their working class roots. The author belongs somewhere between the two. Many of the author’s main characters have their genesis in this educational revolution. Their dialogue though idiosyncratic can normally be understood but like all working class speech it is liberally sprinkled with strange boyhood phrases and a passing nod to cockney rhyming slang. John Barber’s novels are set in fictional English towns where sexual intrigue and political in-fighting is rife beneath a pleasant, small town veneer of respectability. They fall within the cozy, traditional British detective sections of mystery fiction. He has been writing professionally since 1996 when he began to contribute articles to magazines on social and local history. His first published book in 2002 was a non-fiction work entitled The Camden Town Murder which investigated a famous murder mystery of 1907 and names the killer. This is still available in softback and as an ebook, although not available from Smashwords John Barber had careers in Advertising, International Banking and the Wine Industry before becoming Town Centre Manager in his home town of Hertford. He is now retired and lives with his wife and two cats on an island in the middle of Hertford and spends his time between local community projects and writing further novels.