Acorn Antiques: The Musical at the Festival Hall, Petersfield

Acorn Antiques: The Musical will be performed by Curtain Up Productions.
Acorn Antiques: The Musical will be performed by Curtain Up Productions.
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For the first show since their relaunch, Curtain Up! – formerly known as the Denmead Operatic Society – needed to pick a show that reflected their new direction.

The production they settled on was Acorn Antiques – The Musical, which will be at the The Festival Hall in Petersfield from Thursday.

It is a classic Victoria Wood script, filled with pathos – we are laughing one minute and saying “aww” the next

Ian Clark

Originally seen on TV in the 1980s, Acorn Antiques satirised the shortcomings of long-running soaps such as Crossroads, with wobbly sets, missed cues, crude camera work and bizarre plotlines.

Written by the show’s creator Victoria Wood, the musical’s storyline revolves around Mrs Overall, the lowly charlady (created by Julie Walters), a missing will, a hostile takeover by a global coffee chain and the Manchesterford Operatic Society’s production of A Chorus Line.

Mix in love, amnesia, family secrets and a fabulous score, also by Victoria Wood, and you have the recipe for a great night out in the theatre.

Ian Clark, director of the production, says the musical has a lot of nostalgia for him.

‘I remember tuning into BBC Two at 9 o’clock and watching the sketches on our little colour television. It holds a lot of nostalgia for me – the show is like a strange time warp to the shops you used to see on the high street before globalisation came along.’

Ian says that the script captures all the emotion of the original show.

‘It is a classic Victoria Wood script, filled with pathos – we are laughing one minute and saying “aww” the next. You are engaging with these characters that are lovely and silly, but also very relatable. You see yourselves in them.’

The production also features a set based on the television show, including Mrs Overall’s stairlift. When asked which character he relates to most, Ian says: ‘Mr Clifford, who has amnesia – trying to get this production together I feel like I have lost my marbles a bit.’

Acorn Antiques – The Musical is at the Festival Hall in Petersfield from Thursday, June 25 to Saturday, June 27 at 7.30 pm. Tickets: £12-£14, call (023) 9225 3558 to book or visit or denmeadoperatic.hampshire.org.uk