Everything Goes – MPO are celebrating 100 years of musical theatre


Richard Gaunt plays Stan the Man, and Linda Mumford, Edith the tea lady in MPO’s Everything Goes
Images: Paul Gumbrell

Everything Goes is the exciting new show by the award-winning Milborne Port Opera (MPO). It’s a foot-tapping backstage musical about … performing in backstage musicals! A group of actors are rehearsing their next show on stage. The theatre cleaner (who knows nothing) wanders in and demands to know what is going on. The director and the cast obviously explain by performing their show – managing to provide a potted history of musical theatre from Showboat to Chicago (and back again via Hamilton and Les Miserables).
The challenge for MPO is to perform all of the show’s numbers out of context and not in full costume, in order to respect copyright and licensing laws. Matchmaker from Fiddler on the Roof is suddenly about Tinder dating. A group of men getting ready to go out on the town for the night may just find themselves Putting on a White Tie. Naturally, Oklahoma is the cast’s go-to holiday destination.
The show was devised and written by drama teacher Karen Pankhurst, who also co-directs. She joined MPO in 2019 for their smash hit Anything Goes, playing Bonnie, the gangster’s moll.
Rachel Milestone (Trial by Jury, Anything Goes and Merry Widow) and Allison Gosney are Karem’s co-directors.
Caroline D’Cruz, who joined the company in 2006, continues as musical director.

(L-R) Karen Pankhurst, Allison Gosney and Sukie Read, rehearse Ladies who Lunch from Company

The MPO company has a well-deserved reputation for beautiful choral singing in light opera, often with a modern slant. Over the last decade the company has also staged several Broadway or West End Musicals, culminating in the sell-out Anything Goes which was performed in the round on an arena stage in the village hall in 2019.
MPO is an amateur company. Its members come from all over South Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire and are farmers, teachers, business owners, scientists, students, retirees and many other occupations. It welcomes new performers, particularly younger ones. Enthusiasm, the ability to hold a note, and not knock the scenery over are the only qualifications required. You do not need to be able to read music (although you might find yourself acquiring this useful skill).

Everything Goes plays in the Milborne Port Village Hall 7.30pm 12th to 15th April. Tickets £15 (£10 concessions only on the first night).
Box Office www.mpopera.co.uk. Also from Waynes butchers, Milborne Port


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