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Whistle Down the Wind UK Tour 2002
Whistle Down The Wind
Member Name: momm
Whistle Down The Wind
Date: 06/08/02, updated on 19/08/02 (550 review reads)
Disadvantages: No chance to see again
It left me whistling the haunting melodies all the way home but I didn't think it would turn out that way.
A visit to Newcastle means an eighty miles round trip on the treacherous A1 and on that particular day there had been torrential rain resulting in flooding just about everywhere and then the mist and fog from the coast spread inland to the A1.
My thoughtful daughter had decided to take me to see Whistle Down the Wind as a birthday treat and if only she hadn't spent so much on the tickets (£55), perhaps we could have just given it a miss but I'm so glad we didn't. We had superb seats right at the front.
The pre-performance announcement asking for everyone's benefit, members of the audience who had sweets in noisy wrappers should take this opportunity to remove the wrappers now and that as the setting for the musical was 1950's and mobile phones were not invented then, that they should be switched off, was met with an agreeing laughter. The lights dimmed, music began, curtain rose.
~~~~~ THE STORY ~~~~~
Adapted from a novel by Mary Hayley Bell and a 1961 film produced by Richard Attenborough, the setting was transferred from Yorkshire to the American South. The show is an extraordinary tale about the transforming power of love, proving that goodness can be found in the strangest of places.
It's Christmastime in Louisiana 1959 and Swallow, a 15 year old girl who has just lost her mother, discovers a man with bloody hands and feet hiding out in a barn. When she asks who he is and the first words he utters are "Jesus Christ", it's as if all her prayers have been answered. Swallow, her sister, brother and the town's other children vow to protect the stranger from the world that waits outside - the townspeople who are determined to catch a fugitive hiding it their midst.
Is he Jesus Christ, or is he the convicted murderer reportedly on the loose? This quest
ion is the basis of Whistle Down the Wind. It contrasts the faith of the children against the caution and fear of adults.
Swallow dreams of the return of her mother and the emotional comfort and security she would bring.
Candy has invented the myth for herself that paradise lies at the end of the freeway.
Amos wants to escape the fate of his father working in the oil refinery.
Boone dreams of a better life for his motherless kids. The desire for change is uppermost in all their minds yet all are 'stuck' by circumstance.
The Man who appears out of nowhere in Swallow's barn and finally disappears as dramatically, becomes a powerful force for transformation in everyone around him.
We witness Swallow's transformation from girl to woman when her innocent and blinding faith slowly gives way to a more adult kind of love based on knowledge and forgiveness. Just as the woman is awakened in Swallow, she in turn awakens the goodness within the convict. They have the power to save each other but her innocence and his guilt are too far removed to be resolved without pain.
~~~~~ THE CAST ~~~~~
THE MAN - TIM ROGERS
SWALLOW - KATIE ROWLEY JONES
BOONE - MARK INSCOE
AMOS - SCOTT CRIPPS
EDWARD - LARRINGTON WALKER
EDWARD - REGINALD TSIBOE
SHERIFF - AARON SHIRLEY
CANDY - ADELAIDE THOMPSON
SNAKE PREACHER - CHRIS HOLLAND
PREACHER - MARTYN ANDREWS
EARL - DOMINIC BREWER
PREACHER - MARTYN ANDREWS
DEPUTY - MARK GOLDTHORP
ENSEMBLE - MARTIN NEELY
ENSEMBLE - ZABRINA NORRY
ENSEMBLE - CHRIS MIDDLEBROOK
ENSEMBLE - GEORGIE FELLOWS
ENSEMBLE - EMMA GANNON
ENSEMBLE - JENNIFER JAMIESON
ENSEMBLE - LAURA SHEPPARD
BRAT - KIRSTIE KOBER
POOR BABY - ASHLEY LLOYD
~~~ THE SONGS ~~~~~
The Vaults of Heaven*** - Minister, Baptist Congregation
Overture - The Orchestra
I Never Get What I Pray For - Swallow, Brat, Poor Baby
Home By Now - Swallow, Brat, Poor Baby
Whistle Down The Wind - Boone, Swallow
The Vow - Swallow, Brat, Poor Baby
Cold - Edward, Townspeople
Unsettled Scores - The Man
If Only - Swallow, The Man
Tire Tracks and Broken Hearts*** - Amos, Candy
Safe Haven - Townspeople
Long Overdue For A Miracle - The Children
When Children Rule the World*** - The Children
Annie Christmas - The Man, The Children
No Matter What - The Children, Townspeople
Try Not to be Afraid*** - The Man, Swallow
A Kiss is a Terrible Thing to Waste - Amos, The Man, Swallow
If Only (Reprise) - Swallow, Poor Baby
Off Ramp Exit to Paradise - Candy
Safe Haven (Reprise) - Townspeople
Wrestle With The Devil - Preacher, Candy, Amos, Townspeople
The Hunt - Sheriff, Townspeople, The Children
The Nature of the Beast*** - The Man, Swallow
Whistle Down The Wind*** - Boone, Swallow, Brat, Poor Baby
*** My particular favourites.
~~~~~ CONCLUSION ~~~~~
I thoroughly enjoyed the show and only wished it could have lasted longer (approx.2hrs).
Everything from stage management to the outstanding score was first class. I relished every minute of this brilliant musical. Every member of the cast gave a magnificent performance particularly Swallow - Katie Rowley Jones - she had the sweetest voice and the leading man - Tim Rogers - Australian, with an impressive biography and the rest of him was pretty impressive too. His pure
macho magnetism held the female members of the audience in the palm of his hand. It was an uplifting performance and the haunting melodies will remain forever. If we could have gone to see it again we would have jumped at the chance unfortunately the show moved south the next day.
REMAINING 2002 TOUR DATES
19th August - 31st August 2002
Box Office: 01702 351135
2nd Sept - 14th Sept 2002
The Marlowe Theatre
Box Office: 01227 787787
16th Sept - 28th Sept 2002
Milton Keynes Theatre
Box Office: 01908 606090
30th Sept - 12th Oct 2002
Theatre Royal (Brighton) Ltd
Box Office: 01273 328488
14th Oct - 26th Oct 2002
28th Oct - 9th Nov 2002 TBC
Chichester Festival Theatre
Box Office: 01243 781312
11th Nov - 23rd Nov
North Wales Theatre & Conference Centre
Box Office: 01492 879771
25th Nov - 7th Dec 2002 TBC
9th Dec - 14th Dec 2002 TBC
16th Dec 2002 - 4th Jan 2003
Cambridge Corn Exchange
3 Parson Court
Box Office: 01223 457555
Today I bought the original cast recording of Whistle down the Wind. It includes the whole script so whilst listening you can mentally relive the performance. I'm delighted to have found this (at a discounted price) however the orginal West End cast are nowhere near as good as the touring cast. From
American accents to the quality of their singing voices, the cast I list above beats the original hands down.
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