Show Boat 2008

Show Boat 

The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton – 2008

  2008… WBOS’ 70th Anniversary Year


The story starts in the 1880s on one of the many American riverboats that featured travelling shows. It follows the lives and loves of the troupe that work aboard the Cotton Blossom under the command of Cap’n Andy and his wife Parthy Ann. In Natchez they come up against racial prejudice when the sheriff discovers that the leading lady, Julie, is a half-caste. He does not allow mixed shows in his town. The Captain’s daughter, Magnolia, steps in to save the show together with her love, the handsome gambler Gaylord Ravenal. Gaylord also has problems with the sheriff over a little matter of gambling debts. Magnolia and Gaylord leave the relative security of the Cotton Blossom to go and live in Chicago where, for a few years they are happy. Gaylord’s luck in winning at gambling eventually makes way for losing and soon his gambling losses cause him to leave his wife and their daughter, Kim.

Two of the old showboat song-and-dance pair, Frank and Ellie, have become successful on the vaudeville circuit and they meet up with Magnolia. Realising her desperate situation they get her a job as a singer at the Trocadero to replace the, by now alcoholic, Julie La Verne, the same Julie La Verne who used to be the Show Boat star.

Years later, both Magnolia and Kim are radio stars and Cap’n Andy organises a reunion of the old team aboard the Cotton Blossom and invites them. It is the ideal opportunity for them to be reunited with the now reformed Gaylord. Frank and Ellie stop off to greet their old colleagues en route to Hollywood.

Running throughout the story is the story of Joe, a coloured stevedore and his girl, Queenie and their role in a predominantly white environment where the coloured folk are very much considered second class citizens – if they are considered at all.

Cast List

Magnolia Hawks – Kim Lavender

Gaylord Ravenal – John Wetherall

Julie Laverne – Sarah Moors

Steve Baker – Dave Storey

Captain Andy Hawks – David Hill

Parthy Ann Hawks – Sylvia Hill

Joe – Antonio James

Queenie – Linda Hargreaves

Ellie May Chipley – Emma Davis

Frank Schultz – Sam Robinson

Vallon/Jim – Craig Smith

The Company:

Grace Beecher

Janet Bingham

Lucy Brant

Debbie Cook

Jayne Crowther

Bethany Davies

Pam DeAbreu

Jayne Fields

Laura Dodd

Franchesca Fogoe

Marnie Greensmith

Victoria Hardy

Linda Higgs

Natalie Homer

Aimee Humphreys

Laura Humphreys

Trish Humphreys

Jacqueline Lacey

Susan Morris

Jane Smith

Katie Minchin

Amy Pearson

Paulette Riley

Jodie Richards

Chris Sandhu

Gemma Scattone

Zara De’Anna Sinclaire

Rebecca Thorne

Lisa Tibbets

Kathryn Trigg

Jade Trotman

Nigel Austin

Geoff Bird

O’Brian Broomfield

Joshua Dacosta

Peter Davis

Ross Fields

Tye Harris

Matthew Lucas

Bonu Ncube

Owain Prosser

Craig Worrall

Peter Worrall

Production Team

Director & Choreographer – Mike Capri

Musical Director – Jonathan Hill

Dance Captain – Claire Kramer