Panorama: The Musical

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Panorama was the society's summer show, performed in summer 2011.

Plot

Panorama was a jukebox musical satirising obsessive journalism. It was written by Morven Hamilton and Michael Houston, with trademark wit and profanity, and used a wide range of music to form the backbone of the musical - not all from actual musicals either. The story revolved around three well-known stories that involve children going to other words, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and Charlie and the Chocloate Factory, and follows the reporters sent to investigate such "missing children" and why their stories are never believed. The first act sees three intrepid reporters and their long suffering assistants try to gather evidence of either a grander conspiracy or the kids just being smacked off their faces at the time. Meanwhile, for Act 2 they're transported to the magical land of Oz where Willie Wonka himself seems to be behind it all - but they must all get back home before the magic of childhood wears off as Dorothy Gale turns 18 at midnight.

Characters

Hank (Dan Stanford) is a chauvinistic and lazy reporter, he's more interested in getting cheap filler stories before dicking off to the pub to seduce his female interns.

Catherine (Helena Culliney) Hank's current intern, although he hasn't even bothered to learn her name yet. She wants to dig deeper and do what real journalists should: find out the truth. And she really needs to find out what Willie Wonka is up to, and ends up taking them into the Great Glass Elevator to another world.

Richard (Chris Charlton-Mathews) The mild-mannered and award-winning housewives-favourite reporter is actually a foul-mouthed Scottish bastard when the cameras are turned off. Richard is abusive to his assistants and beyond egomaniacal about his work.

Tim (James Armstrong) Tim is Richard's long-suffering camera man, a job he got after studying at the University of The Highlands and Islands.1 While trying to get a shot of Richard in a forest without getting any "Richard-F**king-Attenbororugh style" shots of wildlife, he stumbles into a Supermassive Rabbit Hole and is transported to Oz.

Sarah (Katy Devine) As a rival to award-winning Richard, Sarah stops at nothing to get the story she wants. Even if it means she might be stuck in Oz forever.

Dorothy (Pippa Loughran) Recently returned from Oz after being swept away by a tornado, Dorothy is being interviewed by Sarah to find out exactly what happened. Sarah is just at the point of concluding Dorothy is just taking too many controlled substances when it happens again and a tornado throws her house back to Oz. But little do the others know that Dorothy is the key to getting back home.

Programme

Artistic Direction: Morven Hamilton and Michael Houston.

Mike and Morven first directed together on a production of Wicked back in 2008, having performed together in several previous productions by the society before that. After experiencing the technical limitations of working in a Langwith lecture theatre, Mike vowed never to do anything like it again. Despite this, they both went on to direct again, Morven as Co-Director for The Mikado in 2009, and Mike as Technical Director for The Sorcerer in 2010. Morven has since studied directing and is currently researching for her PhD in playwriting.

Three years on, armed with Morven's exceptional script and the arrangements of former Musical Director J. Mark Pim, they have now experienced the technical limitations of performing in a fully-equipped theatre… in which they are not allowed to use any of the equipment. Luckily, being in full control of the script, no flying characters or explosions or magic teapots were required. Except for a house swept away by a tornado, an out-of-control elevator, a giant rabbit hole and a 3-metre tall giant's foot.

They have since scaled back, and got rid of the foot.

Musical Direction: Thomas Newby

Thomas has been in the society for six years now and has covered a range of roles in that time. He's been a chorus member, a principal, a techie and now musical director for a second time. The show has been a challenge with many people committing excess time and energy to make the music a polished and memorable part of the show.

Cast

Hank - Dan Stanford
Richard - Chris Charlton-Mathews
Sarah - Katie Devine
Catherine - Helena Culliney
Tim - James Armstrong
Dorothy - Pippa Loughran
Willy Wonka - Stuart Roberts

Chorus

Cecily Blench, Kristy Bryant, Tom Bruggenwirth, Lauren Charlton-Mathews, Peter Estdale, Stijn Stefan Campbell-Hansen, Sian Lomax, Eva Ronnberg

Band

Conductor - Thomas Newby
Piano - Edd Caine, J. Mark Pim
Drums - James Gaughan
Guitar - Chris Armstrong
Bass - Richard Grant
Music arranged by J. Mark Pim

Tech Crew

Technical Direction - Ben Whitelam, Michael Houston
Lighting - Ben Whitelam
Sound - Sam Oakley

Set Design

Michael Houston, Ben Whitelam, Peter Estdale, Sarah David

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