Adge amd Reg

Alex Dunbar (left) as Adge and Andy McGillan as Wurzel Reg Chant

Arts Council England funded a week of rehearsals and development activities, to culminate, as such projects generally do, in a low-key, small scale script in hand read and sing through. However, word got out that we had a show about a local hero and we were (easily!) persuaded to do the show in the 330 seater Curzon Cinema, Clevedon, North Somerset. Then the wonderful people at Trowbridge Arts heard we had a show, and, despite that fact that we didn’t really have a production in the ‘we can tour it anywhere’ sense, they arranged their programme so that they could put it on the night after the Clevedon show.

Both shows sold out. People came dressed as Wurzels, the bar at the Curzon reported all previous records of takings were exceeded – dramatically – by the amount of cider consumed by the crowd. The cast, who had just a week to learn both their parts and the music were all magnificent.

Alex Dunbar as Adge Cutler had big shoes to fill and there was a palpable sense of life-long Wurzel fans scrutinising him and the rest of the band, including our version of bearded Wurzel accordionist Reg Quantrill, played by Gwen Thomson (who was five months pregnant at the time of the show). Alex, Gwen and all the others in the cast performed brilliantly and were cheered for their hard work.

In the van

The Wurzels in their van, heading to Abbey Road Studios to record their first album. Reg wears a pretty skirt and top because there was no time for Gwen to make the fast change from playing Yvonne, Adge’s wife, in the previous scene. As one of the Wurzels ad-libbed ‘Ah, see you’m dressed up special to come to Lunnon then Reg.’

Tom and Shaun are now having various meetings with organisations who might be keen to co-produce a full production of the show to tour as soon as possible, or who might be ready to support a show that really is going to be a big hit. Watch this space for more news.

Curtain Call

Taking their very well-deserved curtain call – notice the raised cider glass in the front row – are (left to right) Ben Crispin, Rowan Talbot, Joe Hall, Alex Dunbar, Gwendoline Thomson and Andy McGillan