Ripon Operatic Players revive a musical classic

Part of the cast of Ripon Operatic Society's production of Half A Sixpence. Pictured are Kipps, played by Stuart Hutchinson, with his shopgirls from left: Flo, played by Liza Hutton, Kate played by Milly Downing and Victoria played by Michelle Rundle.

Part of the cast of Ripon Operatic Society's production of Half A Sixpence. Pictured are Kipps, played by Stuart Hutchinson, with his shopgirls from left: Flo, played by Liza Hutton, Kate played by Milly Downing and Victoria played by Michelle Rundle.

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RIPON Operatic Players’ forthcoming production of Half a Sixpence sees the principal role of Kipps played by Stuart Hutchinson, in his first leading part.

It’s also the first outing with RAOS for Hutchinson, a Performing Arts Technician at Harrogate High School, who has already appeared in a number of shows this year with other societies, notably Hello Dolly with Harrogate Operatic Players and Guys and Dolls with Deanery Players.

Directed once again by Phil Ruddy, Half a Sixpence will run at Harrogate Theatre from June 8-11 and includes memorable songs such as Half a Sixpence; Flash Bang Wallop and If the Rain’s Got To Fall.

Based on H.G. Wells’s novel Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul, the story is centred on friends Kipps and Ann who were parted as children.

Kipps cut a sixpence in half and told Ann to look at it whenever she missed him. 

Years later, Kipps is working as an apprentice in a draper’s shop in Folkestone.  Ann arrives in the town, looking for him. 

They meet and re-kindle their childhood friendship. 

Then everything changes.  Kipps meets Chitterlow, an eccentric actor/playwright, and finds out that he has inherited a fortune. 

He leaves the shop and is drawn into high society.  He meets and falls in love with Helen Walsingham. 

Many twists and turns and surprises ensue before the finale sees Kipps realising that love is more important and has been all along.

Following on from last year’s sell-out shows Oliver’ which claimed the Best Musical honours at the Wharfedale Festival and the spectacular Jesus Christ Superstar performed in Ripon Cathedral, Half a Sixpence will showcase some of the region’s best musical theatre talent.

There will also be a Saturday matinee.

l For tickets costing, telephone the theatre box office on 01423 502 116 or visit www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk