February 1996 – Old Time Music Hall
In 1993 producer/director, Chris Boott, upon seeing the Parish Hall in Aldermaston for the first time had this mad impulse to put on an Old Time Music Hall in the style of the BBC’s “Good Old Days” . Chris had done several Music Halls for Mortimer Dramatic Society before this and remains grateful to them and the director Mandy Grimwade for the concept and structure of a Music Hall. So in February 1996 Aldermaston Players once again trod the boards… hoo-ra, hoo-ra! Boo! Hiss!
Victorian Music Hall for a Victorian Hall
The Parish Hall, built in 1897 has many of the characteristics of an original music hall: long & narrow, a small stage, a galleried balcony and so was ideal for this venture.
Gathering together troops Chris Boott set about organising the material and the evening with: his then wife, Sally; Chris & Jean Chapman; Cynthia Newman; the Hall Management Committee; Tony Green whose parents lived in the village; and his colleagues from The Sainsbury Singers.
Half the key to success for the evening lay in the kitchen with Jean Chapman and her team. Jean was up for the job and very quickly put together a menu and table layout to complement the entertainment. Even going as far as elaborately naming the menu … just like Leonard Sax (the BBC’s Good Old Days chairman who relished reeling rumbumptious rhetoric regarding the next recitals upon the stage!)