The Little Matchgirl

December 2010

PUKKA  Productions presents The Little Matchgirl

In December 2010 PUKKA performed The Little Matchgirl, with the kind permission of Keith Strachan, Leslie Stewart and Jeremy Paul.

The show ran over six nights and seven perfomances, from 6th – 11th December 2010. The venue was the Porthceri Arts Centre, previously Porthkerry Road Methodist Church, and a spectacular custom-built set made for a really atmospheric performace.

Little Matchgirl proved a big hit with audiences through its week-long run, proving once again that when it comes to shows that hit home, Pukka really packs a punch.

This was never going to be a warm and fuzzy Christmas show and for those unfamiliar with the story, the ending was something of a surprise. Pukka have always embraced shows that have a strong emotional punch and want you to have a truly memorable theatrical experience; they also want to make you think, and judging by some of the comments received after the show, they certainly achieved that.

From the moment the audience stepped through the church gates they were immersed in a Victorian world. Street urchins scurried about causing mischief and picking fights amongst themselves while their elders tried to keep them in line; there were pie sellers and drunkards; tarts and ‘toffs’, all rubbing shoulders. Then once inside the doors the audience had a sneak peek at what was to come as they were shown through the set to their seats and offered warm fruit punch to stave off the cold.

No formal start to this show either, all the characters were going about their business until the ‘petite’ urchins carolled “Mistletoe and Wine” and then we were off… ther fabulous cast giving the audience a glimpse into the lives of the rich, wretched and poor alike.

We saw humour and poignancy in the tentative friendship between the matchgirl and Arthur (a fine first PUKKA performance by Jared Cornish); there was humour supplied by the Cook and Butler (Carmen Brookes & Dean Matthews) with their never-ending budding romance; and foot-stomping merriment from the rabble-rousing urchins.

In an outstanding field of actors, special praise must be given to Hannah Gaskin and Chloe Lipscombe in particular, both of whom showed remarkable maturity in their ability to handle this heartbreaking and ultimately tragic role. Their scenes with Jeb and Josie (Duncan Creasey and Fiona Cowling) were particularly unsettling as the little matchgirl dreams of a loving family and home but is rebuffed by a father who cares more about money than his own kin, and a ‘tart with a heart’ who sees her own descent into the world of prostitution mirrored in the matchgirl’s future.

This show was always going to be an emotional journey. Poverty, prostitution, child abuse and death were all integral to this story and when the lights did finally came up we realised we should have supplied tissues as well… there was hardly a dry eye in the house!


Production Photographs

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Cast

The Little Matchgirl
Hannah Gaskin
Understudy
Chloe Lipscombe

Arthur
Jared Cornish

Jebb Macklin
Duncan Creasey

Josie Roberts
Fiona Cowling

Mrs Roberts
Jude Lawrence

Mr Fairbrother
Tim Reynolds

Mrs Fairbrother
Hayley Jefferies
Sarah Creasey

Liza
Rhian Williams

Charlotte
Harriet Knowles
understudy
Abi Simms

Rich Man / Pie seller
Paul McCabe

Butler
Dean Matthews

Grandmother / Cook
Carmen Brookes

Winifred / Elsie
Lynsey Fisher

Maud
Lorraine Jones

 Janey (a Tart)
Cerys Rock

Landlord / Policeman
Kevin Brookes

Lead Urchin
Rachel Hazelton

Little Urchin
Hollie Allinson

Child Carol Singer
Celyn Evans

Carol Singers
Emma Jenkins & Sophie Williams

PUKKA Petites

Iolo, Caitlyn, Connor, Seren, Freya, Mia,
Bella, Malachi, Grace, Rebecca, Calum Jay

 PUKKA Potential

Megan, Gabby, Elizabeth, Caitlyn, Mali, Amy,
Elysia, Maisy, Olivia, Paige, Ellie, Hannah, Lowri,
Llio, Annabel, Katie, Marissa, Maisie, Rhianna,
Hannahlise, Celyn, Livvy, Eliza, Emily

PUKKA Plus

Rachel C, Hannah G , Holly, Molly, Amelia,
Gabby, Rachael H, Katy, Harriet, Chloe, Hannah M,
Abi, Claudia, Caitlyn, Sophie, Molly Mc,
Amber, Bethan, Emma, Mari, Sam, Courtney

Band

Musical Director / Keyboard 1
John Murray

Keyboard 2
Chris Williams

Percussion
Martin Locke

Bass
Paul Hillman


Production Team

Director
Sarah Creasey

Choreographer
Nicola Boyd-Anderson

Set creator
Scott Fisher

Set design
Sarah Millward

Artists

Sarah Millward, Sue Williams, Kath Williams, Eve Hart

and a cast of many!

 Right hand Men:

Mike Hazelton, Richard Gaskin, Paul McCabe,
Duncan Creasey, Ian Lipscombe, James Gaskin

Right hand Women:

Angela Gaskin, Claire Lipscombe, Jo McCabe,
Theresa Colligan, Meriwen Kingsley, Sarah Knowles
.

 Accounts
Duncan Creasey

Costume
Sue Williams and Kath Williams
CostumeWOW

Photography and design
Kath Williams

Printing and promotion
Justin Coles

PUKKA Theatre School Teachers:
Nicola Boyd-Anderson, Carmen Brookes,
Hayley Jefferies, Calum Small

Theatre School Assistants:
Rachael Shankland & Lou Ball

Sound & Lighting
PG Sound
Tim Phipps & Paul Lewzey

 

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