President: Robert Longward
Chairman: Jane Pringle
Secretary: Lynn Taylor
Treasurer: Richard Holmes
Executive Council: Sean Brennan, Jim Butler, Margaret Hallatt, Michelle Andrews, Karen Higgins, Jennifer Normanton and Sarah Poyner, Paula Dixon, Richard Hunt
Honorary Auditor: Peter Sleigh - Sleigh and Story
Honorary Solicitor: Richard Holmes


Aladdin & Jasmines Genie-Us Adventure

A wonderful warm welcome as always from friends at BTP as I joined them for their opening night of Aladdin and Jasmine’s Genie-us Adventure.

BTP are yet another society needing to find a new “home” for recent productions and as we all try to get back into the swing of things our audiences don’t always understand the additional pressures placed onto committees and volunteers.

Brighouse High School has thankfully been able to provide a suitable alternate space, and it was intriguing for me to go back to my old school, trying to find the correct entrance, but I can only imagine the worry of having to do a half strike after each performance as the school hall is clearly needed for other activities during the daytime.

In spite of this, BTP created the perfect setting for their version of the classic Aladdin story. Simple and flexible sets made quick transformation between Hideaways, Market Places, The Palace, The Cave and of course the infamous Laundry, complete with a multitude of contraptions to keep the laughter flowing later in the show.

Written expertly by Damian Shalks and Sean Brennan we are immediately brought face to face with Abanazar as he bemoans his plight and dire need to find the renowned lamp. How wonderful to be able to work with a brand new script and have it tailor made. Sometimes I feel a panto script can be a little thin in terms of the actual story, relying on most of the audience already knowing what is happening; this version allows the performers to put a little more flesh on the bones of their characters rather than simply playing to stereotype. The script is very witty, plays to casts strengths and still allows for familiar elements to shine through. It really does have something for all ages and works for your typical panto audience and newcomers alike.

The Band is led with flair by Peter O’Hare as the MD, who ensures the performers are comfortable and supported in their vocals. He also ensures the scene changes are slick and maintains the musical elements throughout. I love the interaction with band and in this space the proximity worked well as they were both part of the action and then slightly removed. I understand we were also treated to some original songs, which gave a great mix of melodies and rhythms throughout.

The Direction by Damian Shalks is great and gives the impression that lots of fun was had during rehearsals. The cast are funny, enthusiastic and deliver the story with great energy. They work well together and drive the story forward, pausing now and then for comedic effect, jokes and empathy in good measure. There is plenty of good onstage banter and It really does show how much this is a team effort, creating a strong ensemble piece.

The Costumes are fun and flamboyant, with great attention to detail in terms of accessories, textures and vibrancy. In this production we have these in abundance, particularly with the likes of Abanazar, an Emperor and Empress and of course a Dame in all her glory. Lighting gave us a range of atmospheres and settings, enhancing the mood and without being in your face, showing it has been well integrated.

The singing was strong, grabbing our attention, enhancing the story. There was some fabulous choreography by Holly Robson, displayed with cuteness and sass and I particularly liked the Walk like an Egyptian sequence; again a team effort for bringing the UV element to life.

The whole cast blended well to form this production but I really must mention  a few by name. Aladdin was played effortlessly by Emma Riley-Tomlinson. What a great performer and we felt completely at ease in her presence. Wishee Washee is such a different character to his brother, and John Murphy is a complete natural for these character roles, a true entertainer, keeping all different areas of the story tied together. I loved Sean Brennan as Twanky, what a force of nature, sassy, sexy and so at ease in a frock. The Genie and the Spirit of the Ring were played with down to earth comedy and sass, such great elements to feature when the cast has many varied characters. Each played their role brilliantly and ensured our story reached the ending we all know and love.

Overall a wonderful production, can’t wait for next year! Jane x


By Derek Greenwood

We British seem to have an insatiable appetite for half-remembered tunes, performed against a colourful background of long-forgotten punchlines and political incorrectness – and that’s what pantomime is all about!

With fancies tickled and credibility stretched, we were introduced to the goodies, who were rather nice actually, and the baddies, who desperately tried to be worse than awful, but were mostly just very silly.

Audience involvement warmed slowly as, young and old, they struggled in their different ways to respond to a vintage dialogue with punchlines rolling on to the stage like 40-ton trucks.

With cockles warmed, boos polished and forthcoming, youngsters in the audience were relishing their roles as plot manipulators as we stomped our way into all things maritime and some things rough and sandy. With well-organised choreography from the dancers, young and very young, of the P M Gibson School of Theatre Dance, we came to terms with the concept of the principal boy, as Robinson Crusoe, strongly played by Holly Robson, gender bending her way through all the complications of women dressed as men and men dressed as women.

Fun must be had – and was, in considerable measure – as the humour rattled from one side of the stage to the other. With some hits and some misses, we were reminded why humour is the toughest format for most actors.

Were we in Brighouse or Brazil? Nobody cared, with smiles and laughter rippling through the auditorium.


By David Slattery

A ‘Break-a-Leg’ message has been recorded for inclusion in the Elaine Page show on Radio 2 on March 30 between 1pm and 3pm. And a good luck card has been sent to the cast by Ben Foster who won the ITV ‘Superstar’ programme as Andrew Lloyd Webber led the search for a singer to take the role of Jesus in the arena tour of the show.

“Please enjoy the show and love it as much as I do,” Ben wrote to the Brighouse cast.

‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ is at Brighouse Civic Hall from Tuesday, April 1 to Saturday, April 5. It was last performed in Brighouse in 1984 – and taking the role of Jesus then was David Slattery who has happy memories of being involved in the show. This time round he takes the part of Roman governor Pontius Pilate.

“ ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ will always be a special show for me and I wanted to be part of it again. Back in 1984 it was my first principal role and show. Ben Guilfoyle, who plays Jesus this time, and Luke Flacks, who plays Judas, are doing really well in their parts.”

Since making his stage debut in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, David has appeared on many shows. He has been an extra in ‘Emmerdale’ and ‘Coronat ion Street’ and sung in clubs for 20 years. Born in Halifax and now living in Huddersfield, he has been involved in the travel industry since living school. The show is produced by Jayne Davison with musical direction by Mark Breen and the cast also includes Amy Roche as Mary.

Well-known musical numbers include ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’ and ‘Superstar’.


Brighouse Echo - Jan 2014

The curtain will go up tonight, Thursday, on Brighouse Theatre Productions’ traditional family pantomime ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

The show will be presented at Brighouse Civic Hall until Sunday and promises to be a feast for the eyes and ears.

The cast includes Emma Newsome as Beauty, Ashleigh Lee Haigh as the Beast, Chris Sheard as the Dame and John Murphy as the mischievous Jacques. Dancers from the PM Gibson School of Dance are taking part and the production team of Pete Forsyth, Jill Lambert and Phillipa Gibson have been putting the finishing touches to the entertaining show over the past couple of weeks.

Publicity officer Margaret Hallatt said: “This lively show features some well-known faces as well as a number of newcomers to the Brighouse stage. Our traditional pantomimes are always popular with local audiences and we hope this one won’t disappoint. As well as the people appearing on the stage there is a whole army of people backstage making sure the show goes with a swing.

“All these people give up their time to bring smiles to the faces of the audience during the long days at the end of January.”

‘Beauty and the Beast’ will be performed at 7.15pm tonight, on Friday and Saturday, at 2.15pm on Saturday and at 1.15pm on Sunday.


Halifax Courier - 2009

Brighouse Theatre Productions Brighouse Civic Hall

For entertainment value you can’t beat shows like Oklahoma!, arguably Rodgers and Hammerstein’s best, produced in Brighouse by Ian Stead with Jon Wilby directing a quality band.

The cast responded in magnificent style with a superb colourful production – the first by the group for 18 months.

The principals were supported by a lively chorus, which only came up to full strength a few weeks ago after an appeal for more men.

The story is based around cowboy Curly, ably played by Martin Stead, and his romance with Laurey, a spark-ling Helen Wriggles-worth.

A sub plot has Ado Annie, an engaging Amy Roche, unable to make her mind up between handsome cowhand Will Parker (Stephen John) or wicked Persian pedlar Ali Hakim (Cevin Barker).

On the darker side, Gareth Jones is a menacing Jud Fry. Robert Longward brings his vast expertise to the role of rancher Andrew Carnes, Sheelagh Wood really gets into the part of farmer Aunt Eller and Gertie Cummings is played by Emily Bowers.

What a pity then that when the revamp was done at the civic hall the hard seats were not replaced by more comfortable ones.

The show is on until Saturday when there is also a matinee.


By Jayna Patel of Pivotal Web Solutions

In amongst bills, traffic jams and housework it’s easy to forget the fun and innocence of being a child. But whether it was through Brownies of Cubs or with school or a youth club, those of us that did enjoy pantomimes as kids will treasure fond memories of cringe worthy jokes, cheery group singing and the echoes of ‘he’s behind you!’ Brighouse Theatre Productions’ interpretation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs proved to be another gem to add to the cherished pantomime memory collection.

Directed by Shane Gough with Jill Lambert being the talented driving force behind the show’s music, Snow White followed pantomime’s traditional format with the result being something quite magical.

Just as Debbie Granger’s menacing Queen Avarice was greeted by with a chorus of ‘boos’ and hisses, Tom Lambert’s goofy ‘Chuckles’ character delivered jokes that resembled guilty pleasures- almost so bad they were good. Kids roared with laughter at larger than life palace house keeper Edna Bucket, portrayed by John Murphy, who carried off the many outlandish dresses his character sported with style.

The secret behind what makes pantomimes so good has to be the fact that the scripts are always laced with simple humour younger audience members can grasp, whilst brimming with hilarious innuendos and naughty double entendre for adults to appreciate- something Edna Bucket’s lines often mischievously hinted at.

Liam Parkin’s character “Scribbles'” jokes that alluded to misinterpreting the definitions of Blackberrys, I-pads, mobiles and other technology worked brilliantly in making the show relatable and contemporary. Hats also have to go off to the young actors that played the seven charismatic dwarfs. They conveyed their quips about being ‘short’ of just about anything in spot-on witty fashion, despite their tender ages.

You don’t usually to go to a pantomime harbouring high expectations of sky high singing standards but Melissa Harper, who starred as Snow White, hit some exceptionally exquisite and impressive high notes. Bouncy upbeat tunes from the piano reminiscent of the induced freedom rush bought on by the music of an end of year school assembly, played the perfect backdrop to the enthusiastic singing voices of kids and adults alike that rang out from Brighouse Civic Hall. Modern and familiar numbers like Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’, sunny track ‘Something Tells Me I’m into Something Good,’ made famous by Herman’s Hermits and Alesha Dixon’s more recent upbeat song ‘The Boy Does Nothing’ were among the hits everyone got vocally involved with.

Sublime choreography, stunning sets, sweet acting and the bonus of cheap drinks at the Hall’s bar all made the perfect ingredients for a sensational show. Amateur theatre yes, but a disappoint night? Definitely not!