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Strictly Musicals: Happily Ever After

strictly musicals two programme

Welcome to Strictly Musicals: Happily Ever After; the 151st production by the Sainsbury Singers. A genuinely collaborative creation, this show was a labour of love and we hope you enjoyed every moment.

strictly musicals two programmeThis production was a first for us with the libretto being written by one of our members Matthew Smith, who used this production for his directorial debut and we were pleased to welcome back Jon Brooks as Musical Director.

Back in 2010, The Sainsbury Singers performed “Strictly Musicals”, a concert style show with a variety of songs from several different musicals. The society voted to perform a follow up to this as the Autumn 2015 show. A creative team was formed by a dozen or so volunteers from within the group, all tasked with deciding a name, song list and an overall theme for the new production.

Powered by copious amounts of tea and sugary cakes, the creative energy began to flow and the group decided on an American and British theme, set during World War II. A brief overall story was decided and shortly after, a script was written, and “Strictly Musicals: Happily Ever After…” was born. The ethos of the show was simple: to be as inclusive as possible – not only for our audience, but the cast and society as well.

Every song is from a different musical, to cater for the varied tastes of our audience. Members of the creative team were invited to help choreograph specific numbers and everyone in the cast had a chance to showcase their talents. As well as this, we invited a few special guests to join us onstage for the opening number.

Read our full NODA report of Strictly Musicals: Happily Ever After here.

The Songs

    • Seasons of Love Rent
    • Memory/Can’t Help Falling in Love Cats/All Shook Up
    • Cabaret Caberet
    • Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You Jersey Boys
    • I Can Hear The Bells Hairspray
    • Getting To Know You The King And I
    • Only Love The Scarlet Pimpernel
    • Flash Bang Wallop Half A Sixpence
    • Let’s Face The Music And Dance Top Hat
    • You Two Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
    • When This Lousy War Is Over Oh What A Lovely War
    • No One But You We Will Rock You
    • One Short Day Wicked
    • Somewhere That’s Green Little Shop of Horrors
    • Always Look On The Bright Side of Life Spamalot
    • For Now Avenue Q
    • Where Is Love Oliver
    • We’re In The Money 42nd Street
    • Look With Your Heart Love Never Dies
    • Spread The Love Around Sister Act

What the audience said

Huge thanks and congratulations to all involved, an amazing collaboration of so many talented people. Songs had been sounding great through rehearsals but really stepped up a notch this week. Looking forward to getting started again next week!

We had such a fantastic afternoon today, congratulations everyone for all your hard work. We joined in at one point in “Bright Side of Life”…we were the only ones around us but did so heartily!

A great team production but I wish to especially thank Matthew, Jon and Kim for their immense contribution to its success.

Great show, well done everyone!

Congratulations on the show, particularly loved the tap dancing.

Great show – mum and I really enjoyed it. Perfect seats, felt really part of the whole performance. Parking worked out fine, nice easy walk to the theatre and refreshments – great venue. Really good to see/hear you in all your different parts last night, you all looked as though you were having so much fun it was great to see. Nice touch bringing on the little ones at the beginning and talking of now not so little, your Laura wow! What a lovely dancer! Great mix of ages on the stage.

I was impressed with the storyline and enjoyed it immensely, it had been well written and the song choice fitted the narrative perfectly.

Brian Bretney and Hilary Latimer as the two narrators linking the story they were perfect. They both had believable characters and built a rapport with the audience which drew us into the action. Jack had a sense of fun with good projection, diction and accent. He portrayed just the right amount of sentiment and the final scene when he finally finds Mary was quite poignant. Mary had an easy natural manner which transmitted well to the audience and he diction and projection were excellent. The marriage of Memory and Can’t Help Falling in Love worked exceddingly well with both singers giving emotionally charged renditions.

This was an enormous undertaking and one that paid huge rewards. The script had been skillfuly written with a great storyline and two three-dimensional characters to hold the plot together. I really liked the way it gave so many performers the chance to take their turn as Jack or Mary; a unique and inspired concpt. Staging was minimalist which worked well giving the actors the maximum available space in which to perform. This was an excepional directorial debut and one of which Matthew Smith should be extremely proud.


Click here to view all the images of the show.

strictly musicals two gallery


      • Jack Brian Bretney
      • Mary Hilary Latimer

The Ensemble

Amy Hale, Cath Hannan, Chris Reeves, Chris Thomas, Denise Schult, Emily Hiscock, Emma Fry, Emma Reeves, Freya Wilson, Gareth Wells, Godfrey Chigona, Helen Long, Helen Thomas, Jackie Stoffels, Jessamy Vincent, Joanne O’Mahoney, Katie Wise, Kazia Grainger, Laura Schult, Lorraine Cox, Louise Quelch, Michael Schult, Rob Latimer, Ruth Howard and Stephen Cox.

Guests of The Sainsbury Singers

Catherine Carney, Sophie Hannan, Tabitha Howard, Harry Latimer, Anne Lowder, Jasper Morrin, Lilly Morrin, Nicola Morrin, Arthur Reeves, Lawrence Reeves and Carolyn Steed.

The Strictly Musicals Band

      • Keyboards Jon Brooks
      • Percussion Julian Brown
      • Bass Phil Berry

Behind The Scenes

      • Producer and Writer Matthew Smith
      • Choreographer Denise Schult
      • Musical Director Jon Brooks
      • Musical Arrangements Jon Brooks
      • Lighting Designer Kim Hollamby
      • Sound Operator Ashley Hillier
      • Sound No2 Joe Wilson
      • Followspots Louis Martin and Maz Massey
      • Deputy Stage Manager Becca Simons
      • Stage Crew Joe Daniels
      • Lighting and Sound Hire Dinrino Theatre Services
      • Additional Lighting Equipment Kim Hollamby
      • Props and Set Kazia Grant and Matthew Smith
      • Sound Effects Brian Bretney
      • Wardrobe Designer Amanda Bretney
      • Wardrobe Supervisor Emma Reeves
      • Makeup Design Kerry Thomas
      • Makeup Team Jessamy Vincent
      • Hair Catherine Hannan
      • Prompt Anne Lowder
      • Displays Marketing Team and Emma Reeves
      • Website Kim Hollamby
      • Marketing Team Sara El-Hanfy, Kazia Grant, Louise Quelch, Denise Schult and Katie Wise
      • Programme and Handbill Design Jessamy Vincent
      • Publishing Manager Jessamy Vincent
      • Photography Ray Wilmott 
      • Fundraising Team Rob Latimer, Michael Schult, Kerry Thomas
      • Social Team Stephen Cox, Catherine Hannan, Chris Reeves, Emma Reeves
      • Ticket Officer Anne Jones
      • Front of House Manager John Jones
      • Head of Bar Justin Simons
      • Head of Cafe Sara El-Hanfy
      • Lead Usher/Fire Marshall Patrick Bretney
      • Front of House Liaison Michael Schult

Society Front of House Volunteers

Brian Bennett, Olivia Bretney, Maria Carratt, Lynne Furnell, Rob Furnell, Dan Groves, Chris Howard, Pat Long, Rob Mair, Rachel Masters, Nicola Morrin, Steve O’Mahoney, Laurent Petithuguenin, Marek Rakowski, David Schult, Gordon Wyard and Susan Wyard