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Red Hot & Cole

Red Hot and Cole the musical

The Sainsbury Singers presented Red Hot & Cole the musical on 30 October to 2 November 2013 to busy houses at Leighton Park School Theatre, Reading.

Red Hot & Cole takes the audience on a journey through the life of Cole Porter – his triumphs and tragedies, loves and losses. The story is told as if staged in one large party by a cast that variously assumes the character of key people in Cole’s life. In The Sainsbury Singers production this happened out in the auditorium of the theatre, with much of the action just a few feet away from the audience, some of whom were sat at similar tables to the acting area.

Red Hot and Cole the musical performed by Sainsbury SingersThe story is set against a rich tapestry of Cole Porter’s music, a reminder if ever one is needed of the rich body of his work. Tunes come from several top shows inclusing Kiss Me Kate, Anything Goes and High Society.

Music and lyrics for Red Hot & Cole are by Cole Porter and the book by James Bianchi, Muriel McAuley and Randy Strawderman. Red Hote & Cole was conceived by Randy Strawderman and musical concepts and arrangements are by Dougee Zeno.

Read our full NODA report of Red Hot & Cole here.


Red Hot & Cole cast

Finnale of Red Hot and Cole the musical in Leighton Park Theatre, Reading, BerkshireIn order of appearance:

  • Elsa Maxwell Louise Quelch
  • Irene Castle Emma Prince
  • Moss Hart Brian Bretney
  • Sara Murphy Hannah Wyard
  • Cole Porter Matt Smith
  • Monty Woolley/Ray Goetz Stephen Cox
  • Clifton Webb / English Soldier / George Kaufman / Sam Katz / Doctor/Drunk Michael Schult
  • Linda Porter Tricia Goodchild
  • Ada ‘Bricktop’ Smith Lorraine Cox
  • Young man/Paul Gareth Wells
  • Countess/Bella Spewack Jackie Stoffels
  • Ethel Merman Helen Long
  • Dorothy Parker Hilary Latimer
  • Starlet Sara El-Hanfy
  • Hedda Hopper Jessamy Vincent
  • Noel Coward / photographer Chris Reeves
  • Waiter Marek Rakowski
  • Potboy Robert Nel
Other party guests

Godfrey Chigona, Helen Gordon, Cath Hannan, Emily Hiscock, Valda Hull, Laurent Petithuguenin, Emma Reeves, Denise Schult, Helen Thomas, Chris Thomas

Red Hot and Cole by The Sainsbury Singers in Leighton Park Theatre, ReadingBegin the Beguine dancers

Brian Bretney, Godfrey Chigona, Sara El-Hanfy, Helen Gordon, Cath Hannan, Laurent Petithuguenin, Emma Prince, Emma Reeves, Denise Schult, Jackie Stoffels, Chris Thomas, Hannah Wyard

Kiss Me Kate dancers

Cath Hannan, Emma Prince, Denise Schult, Hannah Wyard

The Red Hot & Cole Band
  • Musical Director and Keyboard Jon Brooks
  • Percussionist Julian Bown
Matthew Smith as Cole Porter for The Sainsbury Singers performance of Red Hot and ColeBehind The Scenes
  • Producer and choreographer Kim Antell
  • Musical Director Jon Brooks
  • Assistant to Producer and Dance Captain Denise Schult
  • Production Co-ordinator Katie Wise
  • Assistant to Production Co-ordinator Louise Quelch
  • Stage Manager John Simmonds
  • Deputy Stage Manager Nigel Antell
  • Lighting Designer Kim Hollamby
  • Lighting Programmers Rebecca Wyard and Kim Hollamby
  • Lighting Operator Rebecca Wyard
  • Lighting Equipment Dinrino Theatre Services and Kim Hollamby
  • Followspot Operators Louis Martin and Kirsty Darbourn
  • Lighting Techical Support Chris Dinsey and Ian Reeves 
  • Lighting Assistants Peter Harley
  • Sound Design and Operation Ian Reeves
  • Lighting and sound technical support Chris Dinsey
  • Sound Equipment Dinrino Theatre Services
  • Backstage Crew Jack Smith
  • Prompt Lindsay Simmonds
  • Props Helen Gordon and Robert Nel
  • Wardrobe Designer Amanda Bretney
  • Wardrobe Supervisor Emma Reeves
  • Makeup Design Kerry Woodley
  • Makeup Team Laura Schult and Jessamy Vincent
  • Hair and Wig Design Catherine Hannan and Valda Hull
  • Displays Publicity team and Emma Reeves
  • Website creation, design and maintenance Kim Hollamby
  • Programme and Handbill Design Jessamy Vincent
  • Publicity Team Helen Gordon, Sara El-Hanfy, Louise Quelch, Denise Schult, Jessamy Vincent and Katie Wise
  • Programme and Handbill Printing Volume
  • Banner Printing ADS Signs
  • Fundraising Team Rob Latimer, Michael Schult and Kerry Woodley
  • Social Team Stephen Cox, Catherine Hannan, Chris Reeves and Emma Reeves
  • Ticket Officer and Box Office Manager Anne Jones
  • Front of House Manager John Jones
  • Front of House Co-ordinator Michael Schult
  • Bar Manager Justin Simons
  • Refreshments Manager Lucy Hutson
  • Front of House Team Brian Bennett, Sam Blake, Patrick Bretney, Sean Faulkner, Bob Furnell, Lynne Furnell, Chris Goodchild, Lynn Harrison, Daniel Johnson, Bob Lazenby, Pat Lloyd, Pat Long, Louis Martin, Rachel Masters, Stuart Pope, Lesley Vought, Katie Wise, Gordon Wyard, Susan Wyard


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What the audience said

Very good show really enjoyed it

Loved the show – what fun! All the cast seemed to be really enjoying themselves, which was great to see. Thought Mr & Mrs Cox Junior both gave very strong performances last night – wow! Table was great really felt part of the whole evening – bottle of wine was very welcome too! Everyone was very friendly especially Marek the barman

I thought that Red Hot & Cole performed by the Sainsbury Singers was sensational! Well done!

We all thoroughly enjoyed the show, great hearing all those lovely tunes

Enjoyed the show! Matt Smith was excellent and you have some new talent coming through too

Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the show on Friday. It was all so good – singing, acting, dancing, production, set – just everything. Great to see almost all seats taken too – a perfect show for Leighton Park. Thank you all involved for a great evening

Just brilliant!…we LOVED it!

Not one passenger!……all can perform as individuals and when necessary as a team. Quite unusual, I think for an amateur company……..Very well done, I hope NODA has been to visit

Excellent show Red Hot and Cole by The Sainsbury Singers at Leighton Park, Maggie (M-i-L) and I loved it

Wonderful stuff, lovely venue, lovely atmosphere and lovely company

I am so sorry I wasn’t able to be there to see an actual show but the dress rehearsal was wonderful. It was a wonderful effort by you all to put this show on. I think you are all a little bit special in providing such entertainment to those lucky enough to see you perform. That said, it wouldn’t happen without those unseen behind the stage who labour to put you stars on the boards……well done everyone.

Thanks very much for letting me see the dress run of Red Hot and Cole last night. It was lovely to see all the familiar faces (and a couple of new ones!). The staging works really well, bringing the audience closer to the cast, and Kim’s lighting is great. Everyone seems to be having a good time on stage and I am sure that you will have a fantastic week.

We really enjoyed Red Hot and Cole – a great romp through a whole number of songs that I wasn’t aware he had written. We really liked the dancing our guests who came with us also loved the show. Do you have date yet for the carol service which we really look forward to?