2006 – Viva Mexico

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Viva Mexico! was performed at Round Hill Primary School, Beeston, between Monday 23rd October and Saturday 28th October 2006.

This tongue-in-cheek romantic comedy melodrama involves bandits, American tourists and revolutionaries – and features a highly colourful Aztec ceremonial. The score is a feast of world-famous melodies and dances including “A Media Luz”, “El Rancho Grande”, “La Cucaracha” and “The Mexican Hat Dance”. The show also has songs using the best known tango music in the world (Federico) and a much used football chant (Oh! What A Shame).

With a Book by Phil Park and Bernard Dunn, lyrics by Phil Parl and with the music of Latin America adapted and arranged by Ronald Hanmer. This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Ltd.

The Story of Viva Mexico!

El Rancho Grande, run by Mama Inez, is the haunt of patriotic Mexican bandits led by a locally popular hero known as Zorro. In order to finance a revolution against the tyrant dictator, these bandits rob passing travellers. This is very frustrating for the local police, especially Captain Lopez.

The arrival of US Senator Vanders and his daughter Lucille at the same time as a visit from Mendoza, the bandit chief, brings mayhem and mischief, love and betrayal. Mendoza, Mexico’s maddest revolutionary, has heard that a stage coach due to pass by El Rancho Grande carries a million American dollars on their way to support the tyrannical rule of the current Presidente.

Ramon, Mama Inez’s son, is one of Mexico’s promising young bandits, so what is more natural than for Mendoza to despatch Ramon to rob the coach.

With the mission accomplished, Pablo and Pepe, two rather foolish ranch hands who seldom do anything right, are left to bring the stolen luggage back to the Rancho.Lopez, the villainous chief of the local police, suggests to the outraged Senator that he and his daughter could best recover from their alarming experience by resting a few days at El Rancho Grande.

Lucille, overawed by her experience, recognises Ramon as Zorro, the bandit behind the mask! This considerably disturbs his fiancée Raquelita and her fiery friend Lola. Will Lucille betray him, or must an unacceptably high price be paid for her silence?

Bernardo, the sergeant of police offers no threat, as he is more concerned with the musicianship of the police band rather than anything as dull as catching outlaws, but Mama Inez cannot suppress the creepy premonition she has about the sinister Lopez.

The story reaches a tense climax during the colourful Aztec ceremony held in a ruined temple where exactly ten years ago Ramon’s father was shot dead by Lopez. Will the fate of Ramon be the same as his father’s or will he gain revenge?

Musical Numbers

El Rancho Grande (Mama Inez, Ramon & Chorus)
Mañana (Pablo & Pepe)
Love, Stay My Heart (Raquelita & Ramon)
Oh, What A Shame (Lucille, Mama, Bernardo & Senator)
The Sergeant’s Song (Bernardo, Dancers and Chorus)
La Cucaracha (Mendoza & Chorus)
The Clapping Song (Raquelita, Casilda, Lola, Ramon, Mendoza and Chorus)
O Foolish Moon (Lucille)
It’s Aztec Night Tonight (Chorus)
Ay-Ay-Ay (Priestess, Dancers and Chorus)
Ritual of the Rising Sun (Priestess, Dancers and Chorus)
Tango For Two (Mama and Pepe)
Toreadors (Pablo, Pepe, Dancers & Choru)
In Love (Raquelita)

The Cast & Crew

The Cast

Mama Inez (Owner of El Rancho Grande) – Carolyn Smith
Lucille (The Senator’s Daughter) – Cheryl Camm
Senator Vanders (American Executive) – Martin Holtom
Bernardo (A Police Sergeant) – Jonny Dagley
Lopez (Chief of Police) – David Heard
Mendoza (Mexican Revolutionary) – Paul Mills
Pablo (Ramon’s Handyman) – Louis Ogando
Pepe (Ramon’s Handyman) – John Carley
Ramon (A.K.A. Zorro) – Dan Bates
Lola (Friend of Raquelita) – Stephanie Gray-Blest
Casilda (Friend of Raquelita) – Catherine Furber
Raquelita (A Bella Senorita) – Jennifer Tinsdeall
Priestess – Cheryl Mills

The Chorus

Alison Lawrence, Anthea Hinchliffe, Claire Farrand,
Dorothy Woodall, Erica Coleman, Jane Cottee,
Jennie Ashworth,Kathryn McAuley, Kristen Hager,
Les Davies, Mina Machin, Mollie Harwood,
Naomi Cummins, Philippa Dean, Roma Drinkwater,
Ruth Maddison, Weifeng Jiang

The Orchestra

Bass – Tony Mortimer
Clarinet – Lisa Mills, Sharon Cardwell
Conductor – Mandy Fogg
Flute – Becky Smith
Horn – Lilla Stennett
Percussion – Ben Marples
Piano – Gareth Jones, James Barnett
Trombone – Nadine Evans
Trumpet – Danny Otis

The Production Team

Producer – John Blackwell
Lighting – Mike Beedham, Margaret Beedham
Props – Tracy Woolley
Wardrobe – Nina Blackwell, Brenda Skeavington
Costumiers – Stageworld (Wolverhampton)
Make-up – Anthea Hinchliffe
Front of House Manager – Val Sutton
Bar Manager – John Maddison
Call Girl – Rachel Maddison
Programme – Stuart Veitch
Sound – Paul Frost
Stage Crew – Stuart Veitch, Bill Skeavington
Musical Director – Mandy Fogg
Choreography – Judith Mason
Répétiteur – Gareth Jones
Production Manager – Stuart Veitch
Set Design – Celia Birch
Set Construction – Mike Cottee, David Hinchliffe
Stage Manager – David Artiss
Stage Crew – Emma Watson, David Hinchliffe, John Blackwell
Poster Design – David Artiss