KAOS presents Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'The Likes of Us'
First written in 1965, this was the first collaboration between the famous composer and lyricist and is based around the story of Dr Barnardo. The plan was to stage the first production at Oxford University where Lloyd-Webber was a student but these plans were shelved in favour of a full West End production preceded by a run in Dublin.
As often happens in theatreworld, things became unstuck and the production never happened, though The Likes of Us was never quite forgotten. 40 years after it was written the musical received its stage debut at the Sydmonton festival in 2005. In 2008 Lloyd-Webber announced that the musical would be available for selected amateur performances and KAOS were quick to act.
It was wardrobe mistress Lesley Reed who first brought the musical to the attention of the KAOS committee. She played a CD of the Sydmonton performance and everyone fell in love with the music. The services of John Flay as producer and Ken Webb as musical director were quickly secured and then it was a case of applying to The Really Useful Group (Lloyd-Webber’s production company) for the licence.
When a script is released for amateur productions the copyright holders naturally want to ensure that any productions in the first few years are top class so KAOS had to go through a complicated registration process to show that they have the calibre to be the first in the North West to produce this show. Anyone who has seen previous shows will be in no doubt about this and KAOS were soon able to agree terms.
In addition to the problem faced by all musical societies – not enough men – the producer had a few unique issues to deal with. With hardly any production history there was nothing to go on in terms structure, scenery or even wardrobe. Happily KAOS have a very experienced team; all problems have been overcome and The Likes of Us promises to be a very impressive production.
Understandably, interest in this production is very high and tickets are already selling well. In anticipation of this KAOS took the decision to stage the show at The Grange Theatre which has a bigger capacity than Knutsford Little Theatre and will enable more people in the Northwest to enjoy a unique opportunity to see this fabulous show.
The production is at The Grange Theatre, Hartford from 19th – 23rd May at 7.30pm