History: 1990 – 1999


Mother GooseIn 1990 Abergavenny was celebrating its 900th birthday, our Production was Mother Goose. We recruited a new Choreographer; Julie Gasson and the whole show was Produced by Alan Chislett. The Curtains opened outside the cottage of Mother Goose which was played by our usual dame Neil Harvey.

1991 - 1992

In 1991 the Borough Theatre had just finished its major refurbished with a brand new looking auditorium. The Company staged ‘Babes in the Wood’ which was a firm favorite with us. During this year we lost our stalwart member Alan Chislet, who wanted a year’s break from producing and acting. Therefore Tony Brinkworths brother; Malcolm returned and took over as the familiar face of Producer. The Company also staged a Summer Show with the youngsters acting out characters from the Musical Oliver!

In 1992 our Production was to be Sinbad the Sailor. With the story of Sinbad had its origins in the ‘Tales of the Arabian Knights’ a collection of stories from which several of our traditional pantomimes are derived. Shirley Wallace rejoined the Company and undertook her usual role of Choreographer and Alan Chislett returned playing the cameo role of the Khedive of Egypt.

1993 - 1995

Sleeping BeautyFor our 60th season a milestone in the history of the Company, in 1993 we staged a pantomime classic ‘The Sleeping Beauty’. During our Diamond Jubilee the Company recruited lots of new faces. Nick Leek our Musical Director also undertook his new position asChairman.

In 1994 our production was to be The Grand Old Duke of York, which was set in the late 16th Century. Bob Woodford and Lynne Stock played their first major parts on stage as acting out The Grand Old Duke of York and Maleficent, a bad-tempered fairy. Alan Chislet decided to make this his last show and he wrote and devised one of the scenes 'The Lost Patrol'. The Junior Section also performed the musical West Side Story during July, which was one of the best shows performed by the younger members.

Dick Whittington was staged for the fourth time in 1995 with the fortunes of Richard Whittington from Gloucester, who appears at the start of the show about to walk all the way back to his home from London, who is eventually made Lord Mayor of London. Our Principal Girl – Rachel Grey, who would probably had been our youngest ever, had to drop out mid-way through December due to her selection to ’The National Music Theatre’ in Edinburgh, followed by a trip to Hong Kong, which was on the same time as our show. The junior chorus doubled in size from thirty to well over sixty. The Production Team also attempted to utilise the wonderful young talent by showing, during Dick Whittington’s inauguration, London memories through the ages.

A couple of months after the totally sold out Pantomime Week at the A.G.M Malcolm Brinkworth decided for Personal family reasons and also friction with a couple of newer Company Members to resign his post as Producer. He had voiced his concerns about certain issues at the A.G.M and at previous Committee meetings. He remains a Life Member after 31 years service. Unfortunately, despite his asking others not to do so, very many Committee, Cast and Company Members also left. His brother Tony Brinkworth who was the President and also a Life Member with 41 years in the Company also finished. The Company had to recruit many new faces to fill the void left, which we have achieved and as Malcolm had always said, the Company's interest and not individuals is the most important thing when decisions are made. In the summer the Junior Section performed ‘We kept a Welcome’, although this was not as well attended as previous summer shows.


jack and the BeanstalkIn 1996 Lynee Stock, Shirley Wallace and Bob Woodford Co-Produced Jack and the Beanstalk. The Company welcomed some new comers such as Ken Jones and Stephen (Snowy) Clark from AAODS, proving themselves to be talented and skill full performers. The script was also written by Paul Alexander from Jasper Publishing and most of the scenery and the set was designed and made by Peter Sutton and Bob Woodford. The Company shared volunteers from AAODS and ALOC to help back stage with props. It proved to be a wise decision, as older members returned and new members joined, despite the fact that disaster struck during a rehearsal a couple of days before the show. The main electric curtain rail came down with the entire front of house curtains on to cast and chorus who were practicing on stage. The remainder of the rehearsal had to be cancelled and the curtain rail could not be repaired in time for the show, although the show did carry on as normal.

1997 - 1998

CinderellaCinderella was the Pantomime for 1997, Lynne stock decided to leave the Company and we welcomed a new Director Jaci Brickley-Clark. Bob Woodford undertook the role of Production Manager. The Production Team decided that Members should audition for parts. As in the past, parts were given out only on previous talent. An extra performance was put on Saturday evening for the first time which turned out to be a success. On a sad note, however, our Production Manager and Dame Bob Woodford died later that year after a short illness. Jaci went on to Direct Aladdin in 1998 and the show was dedicated to the late Bob Woodford. Peter Holder played his favorite role ‘Abanazer’, his villainous tendencies came in handy especially as being Company Treasurer. APC also decided to affiliate to the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) at the end of that year.


The Pied Piper‘The Pied Piper’ was the next challenge for our Company in 1999, with Jaci Brickley-Clark taking a year out as Director. Her husband Stephen (Snowy) Clark took over as Producer as well a playing his usual role as the Village Idiot on stage. Snowy deserved credit for another successful show. Snowy, in fact, went on to produce the next six years. The Pied Piper was played by the familiar face of Len Lane. All the costumes were hired for the first time which made less work for the Wardrobe Department. The show had even more reason to be remembered, with fifteen minutes to go in the final act during a Tuesday night performance the fire alarms went off. Cast, chorus, theatre staff and audience alike were evacuated into "Red Square" with the Fire Brigade turning up. Ten minutes later everyone went back inside and the Company resumed with the show.