People by Robin Hawdon
Six hander musical, first produced at Windsor Theatre Royal (under the title ‘Love Match’) to rave reviews. Plans were made to mount it for the West End, but star castings fell through, and the show never made it there. A shame because this piece is extremely easy to mount, with simple set, small orchestra, great numbers, and a story line which resonates in all societies. Ideal for the smaller musical theatres around the world.
A typical middle class social group. Busy professional husband, working wife, two teenage daughters, charming unmarried bachelor, divorced career girl. All apparently successful, yet all struggling with the various discontents and frustrations of modern living.
Slowly the family falls apart. The husband starts an affair with the divorcee, the older daughter falls for the bachelor and hooks him by lying about her age, the wife discovers her husband’s affair and then her daughter’s problematic relationship, the younger daughter feels abandoned because of the whole family’s involvements. The emotional complications gather pace, and take their toll on everyone, though not without their hilarious side.
Eventually the various deceptions and subterfuges are unravelled, and the whole situation comes to a climax when the younger daughter runs away from home in her distress. This brings everyone to the realisation of the damage their preoccupations have caused.
The family bond together again, the outsiders go their own way, all is (partially) right with the world.
“This is a gem of a show and one which deserves a much wider showing. Few shows in the last few years have brought such professional and perfectly constructed entertainment to the stage. With a cast of six, People tackles the problems of an adult affair coupled with a teenage romance based on a lie about age. Not since Sondheim’s COMPANY have marital problems and modern pressures been better served in a musical…” – Overtures magazine
“If People is about the battle of the sexes, then the winners’ laurels go game and set to the ladies… it rips away the façade of a comfortable middle class marriage. This is no escapist musical, but one to do with feelings… Last night at Windsor the cast were called back time and again for curtain calls – and they deserved all the applause they got.” – Evening Mail
“This delightful piece about love in and out of marriage is clever, witty, and musically nice. I say ‘nice’ because at no time does the music outshine the lyrics to the extent of subduing the narrative… Finding oneself hanging onto every word is indicative in my book of good lyric writing.” – Bracknell Times
“This was an interesting and in its way exciting night in the theatre. People has real potential and we certainly should be hearing more of it…” – Windsor and Eton Express.
“People is the well told story of a family caught up in emotional tangles. Many of the audience will no doubt identify with some of the sharply written lyrics…” – Maidenhead Observer
“A unique and moving show” – The Stage