The Grayshott 24

The Grayshott Stagers presented

on 3rd July 2004

The journal:

Friday 2nd July 2004 (Day One)
19:29 - 24:01 hours to go (entry number 1)


Arrived from Thames Ditton through dreadful traffic, roadworks and pouring rain, bursting through the door with just 60 seconds to spare.
Good omen? Didn't really need that much stress before we even started!!

19:30 - 24:00 hours to go (entry number 2)
The show "Oklahoma" is announced. Big ohhh and yesss from gathered crowd.

19:30 - 24:00 hours to go (entry number 3)

Oklahoma! oh you couldn't make it up! I only did it 9 weeks ago. At least I know all the songs already!

19:31 - 23:59 hours to go (entry number 4)
(Richard the clock maker)

Thank goodness the clock works! Fingers crossed that it keeps going.

19:35 - 23:55 hours to go (entry number 5)

Graham is taking us through the chorus numbers and says we'll just do the top and bottom lines of harmony and skip the middle one - which line did I sing 9 weeks ago? - yes you guessed it - the middle line! There's no way I can unlearn what I'm used to singing and relearn something new in 24 hours so I'll just have to belt out the middle line and hope for the best!

19:48 - 23:42 hours to go (entry number 6)

They've given me Gertie - oh my god I have to laugh! This could be painful!

19:50 - 23:40 hours to go (entry number 7)
(Richard (the clock maker))

Still going. Rehearsals around the piano in the main hall have started and casting meetings have been held. Verdict awaiting...
Music sounding good so far. Plenty of time for it all to go pear shaped yet.
Set construction conference to be held. I Think that some one else should take over now as I am needed else where. I wish!

21:41 - 21:49 hours to go (entry number 8)

Chorus just having a break, gone through all the songs already, gosh that was fast!

21:43 - 21:47 hours to go (entry number 9)

Curly ponders on just how fallible the human memory can be! Oh well, show's not until tomorrow.

22:03 - 21:27 hours to go (entry number 10)
(Richard the Clock Maker)

So far done some banging, sawing, screwing and some scenery building coming along well. Quick break for some Fish & Chips. Left Stephen in shed holding some flats up!

Clock still working... Tick Tock

22:19 - 21:11 hours to go (entry number 11)

The girls may not have many a day to practise Laurie's song, but it's coming together nicely nonetheless. Meanwhile, Curly and Jud are getting all sinister on us. The Farmer and the Cowman should be friends, right?

PS just spellchecked - apparently "Grayshott" corrects to "crapshoot". Hmmm.

23:11 - 20:19 hours to go (entry number 12)

Chinese ordered, luckily we don?t have to travel to Kansas City to get it! Boys seem quite competent with their dance moves considering? Costume ladies seem to have done the ladies and are starting on the men.. oooeerrrr

23:15 - 20:15 hours to go (entry number 13)

Am meant to be playing the piano at the moment but escaping and in search of coffee. Chorus sounding less industrial than in rehearsals earlier. Always encouraging

00:15 - 19:15 hours to go (entry number 14)

Had to stop eating Chinese to write an entry.
Many of the women scenes have been done recently, I keep cringing when I hear Gertie laugh!

00:24 - 19:06 hours to go (entry number 15)

Most people have now left, I thought this was meant to be a 24 hour thing! They've gone back to get some shut eye before having to get back for 7 o'clock in the morning for breakfast at 7:30.

00:44 - 18:46 hours to go (entry number 16)

Maybe because it's late and the mind does funny things when it gets late, but I've just realised you don't know who's playing who. The main cast are as follows:
Curly: Paul Tapley (who played the role 2 years ago with FAOS)
Laurey: Suzie Hond-Stiff (who is not familiar with the show)
Ado Annie: Alex Legat (who is at least familiar with playing characters called Annie)
Aunt Eller: Jacqueline Protheroe (new to the experience)
Ali Hakim: Colin Wolrich (Same role a few months ago with Woking)
Jud Fry: Phil Street (Played opposite Colin, same time, same place)
Will Parker: Richard (Milla)
Andrew Carnes: John Hilder
Slim: Josh Wolrich (Yes, he is of the same breed!)
Gertie Cummins: Rachel Davison (Again, a Woking veteran)
Ike: Me!
Sure I've forgotten a few...
In other news, most have abandoned the brave few insomniacs. We (Colin and Josh, Jeremy and Tony, Suzie and Paul, Phil, Helen, Graham, assorted technical staff and myself) shall battle on.

01:00 - 18:30 hours to go (entry number 17)

01.00, (18 hours 29 mins and 5 seconds to go) It's very impressive to see Paul and Phil going hard at it at one in the morning - however what is more impressive is the six pints of milk that Phil is downing in between singing, a mighty drink for a mighty man. The first flat is up - we have a door and an apron. Paul seems to have mastered his swagger but still isn't up to the gun slinging.

01:08 - 18:22 hours to go (entry number 18)

Curly's log: Hey it's tomorrow morning already and we've got over 18hrs to go, that's normally six evenings of rehearsing in the real world so feels like days to go... Maybe it's the romance of the wee small hours but feels like the spectre of Curly is returning to the bones of memory! Great to sing 'Poor Jud' with Phil again. Of course it's great to have a Laurey that I can really get to grips with!

01:28 - 18:02 hours to go (entry number 19)

Quarter of the way through the time. I'm tired. I want a bed. Anybody?

01:31 - 17:59 hours to go (entry number 20)

Off to the car to find rations. Tempting to get into the driving seat

01:33 - 17:58 hours to go (entry number 21)
(Richard M)

I'm being threatened by Helen to write something so I have - I am about to rehearse the auction seen. (Happy Helen? Don't hit me... not the face...)

01:31 - 17:59 hours to go (entry number 22)

I'm off to bed, if I stay up any longer I wont be able to get up in the morning! Night!

02:12 - 17:18 hours to go (entry number 23)
(Richard M)

When we rehearsed "all or nothing", I did sing the tune that's written in the score... honest... ask Alex.

02:18 - 17:12 hours to go (entry number 24)

The pianists have gone - they'll never come back! What was Tony thinking? (The boys are doing their fighting scene. Very violent. I'm shocked and appalled. Just colour coded this whole journal by entrants identity. We're obviously running out of things to do)

02:30 - 17:00 hours to go (entry number 25)

I said I'd go to bed 21 minutes ago, but somehow I'm still up. Just watched the big clock turn from 17:00:00 to 16:59:59 with great anticipation, we do this every hour, it's sad really, but you'd be surprised what your brain does. You wouldn't believe how many Fanta, Coke, Red Bull and many other different empty bottle there are lying around - no wonder we're still awake, we're all dosed on caffeine!

02:38 - 16:52 hours to go (entry number 26)

Who thought of this anyway?

02:43 - 16:47 hours to go (entry number 27)

Persian goodbyes... Oklahoma hellos - what more could a girl want at nearly 3am?

03:00 - 16:30 hours to go (entry number 28)

I'm off to lie on a hard floor for a couple of hours under a Crayola blanket. To sleep, perchance to dream. Oh, by the way this also is the actual time that I persuaded Josh to do the same... other parents will empathise, I'm sure!

04:06 - 15:24 hours to go (entry number 29)
(Richard M)

If in 12 hours time, anyone wonders why Tony, Jeremy and myself look rough(er than usual) and are being crabby, it's because we're the only ones (foolish enough to be) awake still! But seriously, dawn is just beginning to break, the sky is turning a slightly lighter shade of dark blue and the birds are beginning to compete with Jeremy's playing to bring noise pollution to the sleepy village of Grayshott - let's hope that none of the neighbours complain and get the environmental people out for noise abatement!

04:33 - 14:57 hours to go (entry number 30)
(Richard M)

That's it - I can't work out which of the two sets of words I keep seeing are the ones to learn so it's time for some sleep. Just Tony L still on the go now - what a trooper! Fixing something to do with a washing line for Laurey... nighty night...zzzzzz.

06:30 - 13:00 hours to go (entry number 31)

Alarm clock goes off! What am I doing? Am I living on planet stupid or what? This is earlier than I get up for work...

06:50 - 12:40 hours to go (entry number 32)

I've been through the script again, and fixed up a washing line for Act I Sc I while everyone else was asleep!

06:56 - 12:34 hours to go (entry number 33)
(Richard M)

And you did it very quietly as it didn't wake me up at the other end of the hall!

07:31 - 11:59 hours to go (entry number 34)

Poor Jud Fry ain't dead: 11 hrs 59 mins to go. Curly and I had a quick blast through "Poor Jud is Daid" Certainly blew away some of the cobwebs. Mr Rathbone Esq accompanying. Ready for the next 12 hours. Wonderful.

07:43 - 11:47 hours to go (entry number 35)

Gosh I'm tired! I had about 4 hours sleep last night, which I know is more than most that stayed here, but I'm still shattered. Got to go learn my lines now!

07:43 - 11:47 hours to go (entry number 36)
(Dad - Colin)

Hmmm.. Couldn't have anything to do with playing "Minesweeper" on this laptop at 02:00 for an hour could it? (Sorry to blow your cover Josh)

08:50 - 10:40 hours to go (entry number 37)

The cast is at least partially revitalised following a bacon-butty-based breakfast. Tony is calling everybody on to stage - are we in a rush? Of course not.

09:10 - 10:20 hours to go (entry number 38)
(Heather (Jeremy?))

Tensions are running high in the Big Brother House Grayshott Village Hall. Would those terrible accompanists please come to the diary room?

09:40 - 9:50 hours to go (entry number 39)

Just what is that??? Looks like a baby holding a tangerine... Confused??? Ask Curly... :o)

11:03 - 8:27 hours to go (entry number 40)

Just finished blocking Act 2. About to do a run through of the whole show earlier than we actually planned. That must be a good sign!

11:15 - 8:15 hours to go (entry number 41)

We are due to start our run through, which means we can expect after about 15 minutes. Just passed a landmark for those mathematically inclined - 500 minutes to go!

11:19 - 8:11 hours to go (entry number 42)

THIS REHEARSAL HAS NOT COMMENCED ON TIME. PLEASE WILL THOSE RESPONSIBLE COME TO THE DIARY ROOM IMMEDIATELY. Please cast your votes for the worst accompanist to be voted off by the next dress rehearsal.
Heather really writes that Chris and Graham are trying to impersonate her.

11:33 - 7:57 hours to go (entry number 43)

During the finale we seemed to have a dog joining in. Does this mean we are squealing at supersonic pitch, or are we just rather good? Judgement will be in 7 hours and 57 mins and 26 secs.. (people are paying to see this?) the curtain has just opened for the first full run-thru, stage looks good. It a mixture of music, frantic costume fittings/alterations, lights flashing and someone learning a tap routine in the background. It feels like a bad dream or is that because I'm sleeping with my eyes open?

12:37 - 6:53 hours to go (entry number 44)

The run through is going quite well - considering we've only been doing this for 17 hrs and 7 mins!

12:55 - 6:35 hours to go (entry number 45)

The present audience of cast and crew members have recently believed themselves to be under attack following two successive gunshots. For the moment, we'll labour on under the impression that none of our neighbours have called the military police.

13:15 - 6:15 hours to go (entry number 46)
(Jonny (again))

The pianos sound awful! And, for once, it's not the pianist's fault. An emergency piano tuner has been called in. WILL THE PIANOS PLEASE COME THE DIARY ROOM IMMEDIATELY.

14:13 - 5:17 hours to go (entry number 47)
(Jonny (again))

I didn't write that last capital bit!

14:51 - 4:49 hours to go (entry number 48)

Tech rehearsal just finished, we're doing the dress in 10 mins! It went pretty well, now all we need is everyone off their books!

15:54 - 3:36 hours to go (entry number 49)
(Josh (again))

Just come back to watch some of the run through after doing - it's a scandal, it's an outrage. I'm not on until Act 2 now, gives me a chance to relax.

16:26 - 3:04 hours to go (entry number 50)

As the Dress Rehearsal first half closes the piano tuner arrives. We will have an extended interval of around 40 minutes while he does his stuff. (so to speak)

16:31 - 2:59 hours to go (entry number 51)

After admitting that in Year 6, he had stolen his pencil sharpener, Graham annoys Chris to such an extent that the latter refuses to do any more collaborative work with him (Indeed, it was never collaborative - Graham always insisted on the copyrights!)

16:33 - 2:57 hours to go (entry number 52)

Subsequently the piano tuner finds he is in for rather more than he bargained for...

16:33 - 2:57 hours to go (entry number 53)

And so it is time to expose the phantom miscreants of the Grayshott 24 Diary. They are ... a pair of eclectic badgers and they live under the stage. Naughty badgers.

17:13 - 2:17 hours to go (entry number 54)

Still tuning 1st piano, not even started 2nd! Yawn!!

18:11 - 1:19 hours to go (entry number 55)

The second piano didn't need tuning - it was just that one of them had to be tuned to the other one! Just done final "Oklahoma" chorus, Nearly time for curtain calls then last minute details with just over an hour to go.

18:30 - 1:00 hours to go (entry number 56)

We've finished! It's taken us 23 hrs exactly and boy is it looking a good show!

18:34 - 56 minutes to go (entry number 57)

We've finished dress! 56 mins till the actual show, can't wait but I'll have to!!!

Saturday 10th July - 7 days later

And on the dot of 7.30, with the audience counting down the last 20 seconds, we presented Oklahoma to an appreciative audience.

It wasn't mentioned at the time, but we had visits from photographers from theBordon Post and theHaslemere Hearld, and both papers gave us a good spread the following week, although whether thePost's decision to print a photo of me was a good one, I will leave to others to decide.

That is the end of the journal, for now, although if any participants come up with anything else that they want added, I will make the necessary additions.

I shall add more photos, and perhaps some music, within the next few days.

Director Tony Legat
Assistant Director (who did most of the work) Doreen Wylde
Musical Directors
Jeremy Legat
Graham Ross
Chris Lillywhite
Stage Manager Stephen Penny
Assistant Stage Manager David Peerman
Set Design, painting and construction Stephen Penny
David Peerman
Peter Budd
Richard Batten
John Preskett
Lighting Richard Batten
Horologist Richard Batten
Properties Barbara Badger
Angie Hilder
Mary Terry
Wardrobe Jan Ashwell
Sylvia Boddington
(and some of the cast)
Front of House Thelma Robertson
Teresa Marsh
Press Officers / Publicity Jane Sargeant
Tony Legat
Programme Heather Legat
Rachel Davison
Rehearsal Pianists Graham Ross
Chris Lillywhite
Jeremy Legat
Jonny Rathbone
Business Manager Stephen Penny
Refreshments Thelma Robertson
Betty Penny
Members of the cast
Cast Breakfast cooked by John Preskett
Thelma Robertson
Organising Committee Tony Legat
Stephen Penny
Peter Budd

Curly Paul Tapley
Laurey Suzie Hond-Stiff
Will Parker Richard Milla
Ado Annie Alexandra Legat
Andrew Carnes John Hilder
Aunt Eller Jacqueline Protheroe
Jud Fry Phil Street
Gertie Cummings Rachel Davison
Ali Hakim Colin Wolrich
Ike Skidmore Jonathan Rathbone
Slim Josh Wolrich
Cord Elam David Protheroe
Fred David Pain
Tom Danny Yates
Joe Marcus Shepperdson
Ellen Helen Hamilton
Vivian Katy Hunt
Kate Melanie Tyrrell
Virginia Jennifer Charters
Sylvie Heather Legat
Jess Laura Musco
Children Zachary Wolrich
Jodie Wolrich

Click here for the programme (PDF format)
Click here for the report in The Haslemere Herald (PDF format)
Click here for the report in The Post (PDF format)

Pictured below are some of those who took part on and off stage:
Doreen Wylde Heather Legat Paul Tapley Laura Musco Melanie Tyrrell Jeremy Legat Teresa Marsh
David Protheroe Alex Barbara Badger Angie Hilder Peter Budd Richard White Jennifer Charters Stephen Penny
Tony Suzie Hond-Stiff Thelma Robertson Jacqueline Protheroe John Hilder Jonny Rathbone Marcus Shepperdson Rachel Davison
Colin Wolrich Josh Wolrich Danny Yates Chris Lillywhite Graham Ross Richard Batten

Click here to read about the 1998 event.

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Updated: 31st October 2004