Being a relatively young company, PUKKA’s productions are quite well documented, and this page is a link to most of their productions. Click on the poster image to see the specific production’s page.
The debut PUKKA production was Jesus Christ Superstar, a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, to be performed at the Barry Memorial Hall during Easter 2005. Performance of this show was dependent on permission from The Really Useful Company, who are understandably concerned with protecting the reputation of their show. PUKKA obviously convinced them, and anyone who saw the finished result would understand that the confidence was well placed. Jesus Christ Superstar was the first fruit of our adult company – and it was special!
A junior company, Pukka Petites, was formed in January 2005 and shortly afterwards had its first show, “Annie and Friends” at the Porthkerry Road Methodist Schoolroom.
In 2006 PUKKA directed its efforts in support of the Richard Taylor Memorial Fund, and profits from West Side Story, performed at Barry Memorial Hall in February 2006 went to this fund. Cast and crew members also supported the Kidney Foundation Wales “Walk for Life” on Sunday 19th March, an event that was tragically overshadowed by the news that John Taylor, Richard’s father, and a keen supporter of the production, had died that day after a short illness.
In November 2006 the company staged a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a magical take upon the story of Joseph and the coat of many colours. “Joseph” is a real tune-fest, and the lyrics are some of Tim Rice’s wittiest and urbane. Everybody loves a family saga that ends happily for all concerned (apart from the goat of course), and over two days PUKKA played to near capacity audiences. This production was in aid of the Jamie Adamson Fund, and it was a real privilege to have Paul, Nicola and Sam Adamson with us during our rehearsal time. PUKKA would like to thank them for the opportunity to support other children with leukaemia.
In March 2007 PUKKA performed, For One Night Only, an evening of song and dance from popular West End shows, including Miss Saigon, High Society, Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera. Also participating were Barry’s own West End star, Peter Karrie, and our own PUKKA Petites, performing numbers from their recent show “Magic of the Musicals”.
In May 2007 PUKKA performed Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story – to packed audiences at the Barry Memorial Hall. The show is a musical celebration of the legendary singer songwriter Buddy Holly, who shot to stardom in 1957, only to die in a plane crash two years later alongside 17 year old Richie Valens and J P Richardson – the “Big Bopper”. The tragedy shocks the world, snatching the lives of three of the world’s most dynamic musical talents.
In August 2007 a new venture, ‘PUKKA Plays’ was born, with a magical production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed at the open-air amphitheatre at the Amelia Trust Farm. The play follows the story of four groups of people, but centres on the rather confusing love plot of four lovers, and the mischief that ensues when Oberon, King of the Fairies, directs his servant Puck, to “sort things out”. Soon the whole of the woods has fallen into farce.
Just before Christmas 2007, PUKKA had a real treat with their totally original production of A Christmas Carol, an all new version of the traditional Christmas tale. An original musical written by members of our talented troupe, it proved to be a magical blend of song and dance; humour and sadness. Full of characters you love, it was a tale of redemption and the triumph of the human spirit.
In 2008 PUKKA had a fairly quiet year, making a special appearance at the Wedding of the Century – the “Showbiz Wedding” of Sarah and Duncan in May. A number of the PUKKA regulars did a spot of moonlighting, returning to their roots and taking parts in the Porthkerry Road Methodist Church production of “Dick Whittington”. 2008 Also saw the formation of the PUKKA Potential Theatre School, providing more advanced environment for the children that were now out-growng the PUKKA Petites.
PUKKA’s main production in 2008 was “Mistletoe and Wine“, a Christmassy themed production performed in the intimate atmosphere of the St Francis Millennium Centre in Barry, and featuring items from the PUKKA adult cast, the PUKKA Petites and the PUKKA Potential Theatre School.
In July 2009 PUKKA Performed Annie, the story of an 11 year old orphan raised and mistreated by the mean orphanage director, Miss Hannigan. Annie’s subsequent escape to find her parents is foiled, but her luck changes when Billionaire Oliver Warbucks decides to invite an orphan to his house for the holidays. Annie quickly charms the hearts of everyone she meets, and is ultimately adopted by Warbucks. The lead role of Annie and other major roles were brilliantly performed by members of the new PUKKA Plus group, almost outshining the adult performances.
In December 2009 PUKKA performed their Christmas Cracker, an evening of festive entertainment, in the Glamorgan Suite at the Barry Memorial Hall. The whole organisation was involved, with enchanting performances from the PUKKA Petites, brilliant performances from the children of PUKKA Potential and PUKKA Plus, and the usual (ok, brilliant again!) performances from the adult cast.
In March 2010 PUKKA performed FIVE, celebrating their fifth anniversary, at the Paget Rooms in Penarth. Starting with a brilliant solo from one of the youth cast, the audience enjoyed a selection of songs and dances from their major shows Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph, West Side Story, Annie and Buddy. The show closed with some rousing Rock and Roll numbers, and was staged over three nights in the Paget Rooms in Penarth, a small intimate venue with superb acoustics and a great atmosphere.
December 2010 saw the performance of The Little Matchgirl, made possible by the generous support of Keith Strachan, Leslie Stewart and Jeremy Paul. The show ran for 6 days and 7 performances at the Porthceri Arts Centre, during really sympathetic weather conditions. Not a traditional “warm and fuzzy” Christmas show by any stretch of the imagination, the tragic final scenes of this story had many of the audience in tears – and that was just the men! As usual, the Brilliant youngsters of PUKKA stole the show, and with a strong supporting cast of adults, and the atmospheric venue of the Porthceri Centre, this was a truly amazing show!
In March 2011 the PUKKA end of term show was a real extravaganza. For three nights the junior sections presented song and dance from “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, “The Wizard of OZ”, “Fame”, and, with a contribution from the PUKKA adult cast, “Les Miserables”. Real shows, performed in the Paget Rooms in Penarth, with proper costumes, sound and lighting, and clearly demonstrating the progress these talented young people make as they progress through PUKKA.
The show included all the PUKKA Theatre School classes – the PUKKA Petites performing songs from The Lion King, with a dance routine that had to be seen! The slightly older and more experienced children from PUKKA Potential performed songs from Annie, and the even more experienced PUKKA Potential PLUS kids performed hits from Fame, and supported the PUKKA Adult cast with Les Miserables.
Peter Karrie and Carmen Brookes performed solos and duets from Phantom of The Opera, and members of the PUKKA Adult cast performed various numbers from Phantom and Les Mis. In spite of a few technical issues on the night, it was an excellent evening, and bonuses like the impromptu “Peter and Sarah Show” during the interval added to the fun.