Once Upon a Time at the Adelphi   2018



 'Once Upon a Time at the Adelphi' was also presented in 2010

General Information       
Adelphi  2018


Wednesday  6th June 2018 - Saturday  9th June 2018
Evenings at 7.30pm

Matinee at 2.30pm.


Floral Pavilion, New Brighton



Sharon Henderson



Musical Director

Robert Bowness



Deborah Clark




Victoria Wells



 Music and Lyrics   Phil Willmott

Cast Members                    Adelphi  2018

click to enlarge


Jo Sophie Cottrell
Neil Nick Hawkswell
Older Alice

Joanne Poston

Younger Alice Amy Duggan
Tommy Thompson Rob Poston

Lord Rothmore

Mike Ellis

Her Ladyship Jean Taylor
Druscilla - her daughter Wendy Newton
Fred - the bell boy Joe Thurlow
Mo Thompson Helen Rex
Fritz Stuart Rathe

Babs Barlow

Samantha Arnold

Carlos Gardel Stuart Rathe
Roy Rogers Keith Phillips


Mike Lockley

Dolores Gilmore

Tia Gill

Brad Finkle

Gerry Johnston

Mr Woofles

As himself


Adelphi Guests and Staff (2018), Adelphi Guests and Staff (1930's), Kitchen staff, Hollywood Movie Stars and Producers, Secretaries and Supervisors, 1940's Adelphi Singers, Adelphi Guests, Staff, GI's
Fran Allen Mike Lockley
Hannah Bendry Wendy Newton
Jan Bradshaw Chris Pacitti
Wendy Chapman Katie Peers
Wendy Copeland-Blair Fiona Philpott
Martyn Davies Barbara Priest

Chris Ensall

 Sue Rannard
Carolyn Garland  Joan Reynolds Jones
Tony Harrison  Barbara Richards

Olivia Hathaway

 Niki Simmons
Sue Jarvis Derek Thomson
Gerry Johnston Cressida Yorke
Michael Kennedy Katriina Youde


   Dancers from Wallasey School of Ballet

Principal: Deborah Clark.
Examiner FBBO.  Deviser of the British Ballet Organisation Tap Syllabus.     Teacher: Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern. 

 Saphia Bathily  Charlotte Saverimutto
 Martha Christian  Erin Thurlow
 Emily James  Ciara Turley
 Eleanor Lambert  Beth Wilkinson
 Amelia Pickfords  Polly Woodason

ProductionTeam                 Adelphi  2018

Stage Manager

 Dave Molley

Assistant Stage Managers

 Richie Lee
 Richard Clarke

Set Construction  Dave Molley
 Richie Lee
 Clinton Ball
 Geoff Simmons
 Niki Simmons
 Bruce Riley
 Bob Jarvis
Trigger appears by kind permission of  Ken Rotchell
Stage Crew  Geoff Simmons
 Ellis Simmons
 Richard Banford
 Hayley Molley
AV Technician  Clinton Ball
Projection Design  Kathryn Moon

Microphone Dressers

 Kerry Willers
  Paige Willers


 Jenny King & team


 Carol Garland and  
 Joan Reynolds Jones

Sound Design & Operation  Floral Pavilion Theatre
Lighting Design & Operation  Floral Pavilion Theatre
Rehearsal Pianists  Victoria Wells
 Imogen Hayward


Assistant to the Chairman

 Amelia Poston
Marketing Manager  Michael Kennedy

Publicity and Programme Design

 Nick Sample

Front of House Manager

 Bob Jarvis

For Wallasey School of Ballet

Dressmakers  Patricia Chambers
 Sheila Abernethy
 Nikki Saverimutto


 Patricia Chambers
 Deborah Rodney
 Pam Townsend,
 Faith McDougall
 Charlotte Haig 


Programme                         Adelphi  2018


Photographs                         Adelphi  2018

First Act

There's somebody on the roof

Once in a Lifetime -1

Once in a Lifetime -2

Thompson goes home to meet his Mum

Musical Comedy Showtune - 1

Musical Comedy Showtune - 2

In the kitchen / 'Rats'

A Wedding and a Yacht

The Hollwood Party

Babs and Roy Rogers

On the Roof

Second Act

Thompson from Accounts

Various Goings-on in the hotel

'Boogie Woogie Dance Routine'


West Kirby Library display

Backstage photos

Band Call

Rob Poston sings Take a Moment

Band Call - finale

Promotional / Press Coverage / Videos                    Adelphi  2018

Article in Sardines magazine - interview with Phil Wilmott - click to enlarge

Promotional Leaflets - click to enlarge



Floral brochures

Cheshire Life

Wirral Globe articles - click to enlarge

Audition publicity

click to enlarge

NODA Review


The Adelphi is a landmark building in Liverpool and it is fitting that writer Phil Willmott has taken the time and effort to bring us this tribute not only to the Hotel itself but to the overall spirit of the people of that city.

The action takes back to back into the hotel's glory days as the place to stay for Hollywood royalty disembarking from luxury liners.  Adelphi's myriad legends.  Some of which are certifiably real-the cowboy star Roy Rodgers really did book his horse, Trigger, into his room - and others apocryphal are meat and drink for an author.  Willmott also knows how to pen a tune; and though much of the score is little more than functional 1930s pastiche, it has the  one big number all successful that musicals need, a proud celebration of Liverpudlian invincibility entitled “Once In A Lifetime”.  This swelling melody is hot-wired directly to the tear-ducts and could be the official anthem of the Capital.

It is an unashamedly sentimental plot which tells the riches-to-rags tale of Thompson, a  thief who rather implausibly trades a dinner suit for a greasy apron and a job in the kitchens to prove to Alice, the sweetly capable assistant manager , that he is worthy of her love.  Their love is unrequited on this earth but there are, as they say, more things in heaven and earth than this world dreams of.

The nature of the story requires that we have two Alices - one the mysterious woman on the roof (Joanne Poston) and the current one (Amy Duggan) both did all aspects of their role admirably.  Rob Poston played the lovable rogue Thompson with good style and is an excellent singer.  Samantha Arnold gave a first class performance as Babs Barlow more Liverpool than Liverpool itself. WKLOS is indeed fortunate to have so many fine players and every one of them demonstrated their ability to do justice to the varied characters  necessary to complete the overall story.  They were well supported by the ensemble of guests and staff all part of the hotel’s rich pageant of inhabitants.  They included the Wallasey School of Ballet dancers always good and splendidly trained by Choreographer Deborah Clark.

Sharon Henderson directed with a sure and confident hand and Rob Bowness once again showed his skill as a Musical Director.

A host of people go to make up an effective back stage team and this society is blessed with having such a strong team.  Finally I loved Trigger, not quite the real thing but I’m all for theatrical license.

Budge Groundsell

Culture Liverpool

Liverpool Echo article

Capital of Culture smash hit show Once Upon a Time at the Adelphi returning to Liverpool stage. Production contains romance, comedy and catchy tunes
By Mark Johnson 31 MAY 2018

A feel good family production set in Liverpool’s famous Adelphi hotel is set to return to the city. ‘Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi’ has been dubbed the city’s very own ‘capital of culture’ musical, after it had its world premiere at the Liverpool Playhouse in 2008 and it proved to be a highlight of the year’s cultural celebrations. It featured a West End cast and it was hugely successful playing to packed houses over an extended run. The musical is set in Liverpool in the 1930s when the glitz and glamour of Hollywood leave the luxury liners and enter the city’s most fashionable hotel.

Amidst the chaos and decadence, no non-sense Alice from the hotel’s reception has fallen for the dashing Thompson from the accounts section. But fate Hollywood, World War II and an array of staff and guests intervene in a Liverpool love story which spans seven decades.
In 2010 the writer and composer Phil Willmott granted West Kirby Light Opera Society (WKLOS) the rights to perform the non-professional premiere of the musical at the Floral Pavilion Theatre in New Brighton.

Phil said: "When Liverpool was announced as the City of Culture, I asked Gemma Bodinay at Liverpool Playhouse about them commissioning a new musical for the city. "I wanted to write something that was very populist with catchy tunes, big numbers, broad comedy and romance ... and the Adelphi seemed a lovely place as, in its history, it's had all those things."

And as 2018 marks both the tenth anniversary of Liverpool’s year as capital of culture and the premiere of this show, to celebrate this special milestone WKLOS is staging a brand new production at the Floral Pavilion Theatre in New Brighton from June 6 to 9 - it will be a nightly show with a Saturday matinee.

Wirral Globe article

8th May WIRRAL GLOBE - Craig Manning   Chief Reporter
'Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi' at Floral Pavilion, New Brighton
A MUSICAL celebrating the history of Liverpool's iconic Adelphi Hotel returns to Wirral next month as part of the show’s 10th anniversary celebrations.
West Kirby Light Opera Society’s production of Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi will be staged at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton from June 6-9.
The show was specially written by Phil Willmott  for the city's capital of culture year in 2008 and had its world premiere at the Liverpool Playhouse, playing to packed houses over an extended run.
It featured a West End cast and was hugely successful playing to packed houses over an extended run. In 2010, West Kirby Light Opera Society performed the show at the Floral Pavilion after being given the rights by Phil Wilmott to perform the non-professional premiere. 
Looking forward to bringing the show's Floral, Michael Kennedy, from WKLOS told the Globe: "This year marks the 10th anniversary of Liverpool's year as capital of culture and the first performance of this work."    The Caldy-based actor and producer continued: "The critics raved about it and hailed it as 'the best new show to come out of Liverpool since Blood Brothers'.
"The audiences enjoyed the show so much some people went back to see it twice and sometimes three times!   "WKLOS is bringing the show back this year to celebrate 10 years since Liverpool’s year as European capital of culture, the world premiere of the show and the reopening of the Floral Pavilion!
"The show is set in Liverpool's famous and iconic Adelphi hotel and in many ways is a joyful celebration of this grand hotel's history."
Michael continued: "The show has a heart-warming love story at its core which takes the audience on a romantic musical journey to the glitz and glamour of the 1930s (and the arrival in Liverpool of the Hollywood stars on the great transatlantic liners); the 1940s Blitz and the jumping, jiving dance craze of the American GIs; right through to the present day.
"The show will make people laugh and cry. "It has a host of colourful and often hilarious characters and a score full of lively and uplifting songs which will have the audience toe-tapping along! "It is a fun, feel-good show for the whole family.
"This brand new production has a talented cast of 50 singers and dancers, a 12-piece orchestra and a backstage and production team of over 20. "The show has been in rehearsal since early January."
This week WKLOS learned it had won the NODA Northwest award for 'Best concert / revue for their 2017 summer production Razzle Dazzle.

Facebook reviews

Officials                         Adelphi  2018


Barbara Adams

Vice- Presidents

Margaret Groome
Michael Kennedy

Colin Iveson

Executive Committee



Rob Poston


Fiona Philpott

Hon Secretary

Mike Ellis

Hon Treasurer

Wendy Chapman
Hon Asst Secretary  Gerry Johnston

Committee Members


 Beki Jenkins  Niki Simmons
   Life Members


 Barbara Adams  Ray Davies
 Carolyn Garland  Helen Banton
 Margaret Jones  Eric Mates
 Michael Kennedy  Jean Taylor
   Social Committee  
 Chairman  Wendy Newton
 Hon Secretary  Sue Jarvis 
 Hon Treasurer  Sheila Disley
 Committee Members  
 Barbara Adams  Joan Reynolds Jones
 Barbara Priest  Jean Taylor