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Freelance Production: The Machine Gunners

3rd - 13th February 2010
FreelanceProduction: The Machine Gunners

Robert Westall’s The Machine Gunners was published in 1975 and won the Carnegie Medal for Children’s Literature, became a set text in schools, a million seller and a classic BBC TV series. This musical adaptation, written by Ken Reay and Tom Kelly with music by John Miles, was first staged at The Customs House in 1998 and then spent a month at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it received rave reviews. It returned to The Customs House, with a stellar cast, as part of the venue’s fifteenth anniversary season.

Fourteen-year-old Chaz McGill  is an avid collector of shrapnel and other forms of wartime memorabilia, which he finds amongst the debris of the bombsites in his home town, Garmouth. One day, he stumbles across the tail-end of a German fighter, its machine gun and its pilot.

Together with his gang of mates, Chaz decides to keep the German airman as a prisoner of war and he is secreted in a disused garden shed. Soon, though, the teenagers grow fond of Rudi and a set of unlikely friendships are formed.

Cast List
  • Chaz  - James Baxter
  • Clogger  - Steven Stobbs
  • Cem  - Tom Booth
  • Audrey  - Rachel Teate
  • Nicky - Jamie Hannon
  • Bodser - Wayne Miller
  • Rudi - Jamie Brown
  • Mr McGill - Neil Armstrong
  • Mrs McGill - Tracy Gillman
  • Mrs Spalding - Annie Orwin
  • Stan/Grandad - Donald McBride
  • Sandy - Tony Neilson
  • Sgt Green - Louis Roberts
  • John/Polish Officer - Charlie Richmond

Production Team
  • Director - Gareth Hunter
  • Musical Director - Dave Bintley
  • Choreographer - Nadia Wearn
  • Lighting Design - James Henshaw
  • Sound Design - Alison Hickman
  • Stage Manager - Martin Hogg
  • Wardrobe Mistress - Marjorie Bolam