Eilmer! (Hughes & Scanlon) – December 2010

In December 2010 The Malmesbury Singers sang some traditional Christmas music and carols in a lead up to the performance of the “home-grown” Eilmer! Composed by John Hughes, libretto by Mike Scanlon.

Complete details as follows:

Eilmer (Hughes & Scanlon)

Introducing: Oscar Manners as “Young Eilmer”
Richard Oxley – Eilmer
Adrian Johnson – Abbot
Jane Henderson – Abbess
Dick Jowitt – A Monk
Tony Royle – A Drunk
Megan Mills – A Drunk
Colin Woodfield – Narrator

Conductor: Iain Duffin
Accompanist: John Hughes

Harry Smith – Violin
Julia Poynton – Flute
Julia Smith – Cello
Janet Barton – Organ
John Hughes – Keyboard
Percussionist – Megan Mills
Kathy Wyatt – Eilmer drawing

The last performance of Eilmer took place in March 2001 amid cries of “when can we hear it again!” It tells the story of a monk named Eilmer who was allegedly the first human to attempt flight using some home-made wings, back in 1010 AD.

Please click here for a write up by Chris Jager following the premiere of “Eilmer” in March 2001. (a new window will open, just click the close button to return to this page).

Hannah & the Tyger


Christmas 2006 saw the production of Hannah & The Tyger being performed for the very first time in history. A piece composed by the ever-talented, perfectly pitched John Hughes, together with his colleague Mike Scanlon who brought forth the libretto.

Complete details as follows:


(in order of appearance)

The Tyger – Adrian Jones
A Priest – Michael Harris
Hannah – Rosie Archer
The Ringmaster – Richard Oxley
A Fortune Teller – Jane Henderson
Malmesbury Characters – Margaret Greenwood;
Kate James; Brian Cook; Neil Archer
Eilmer (yes really!) – Dick Jowitt
Piano – John Hughes
Violin – Harry Smith
Flute – Julia Poynton
Narrator – Colin Woodfield

The Crowd (Chorus) – The Malmesbury Singers and members of the Malmesbury Abbey Choir;

Jim Toogood in costume

Interspersed with a narrator who kept the story flowing, the tale told of a circus coming to town complete with resident tiger. The circus made camp in the gardens of the White Lion Inn, where Hannah Twynnoy worked as a barmaid. Unable to resist the temptation of stroking the tiger in between inn keeping, this ultimately led to her downfall. See Hannah Twynnoy for more details.


Also see local news.

A Milkmaid

The Merry Widow – July 2010

The Merry Widow – July 2010

In July 2010 The Malmesbury Singers tempted fate by putting on a “semi-staged” version of The Merry Widow – An Operetta in Three Acts performance in a shortened concert version.

Complete details as follows:


Anna Glavari – Nicki Heenan
Danilo (her suitor) – Adrian Johnson

The Grisettes: Tricia Callow, Anne Cox, Pamela Loftus, Kate James, Susan Stoner, Eve Williams

Lead Dancers: Margaret Thacker, Geoff Canning

Other dancers: Shirley Collier, Ted Palmer, Jane Duffin, Geoff Miller

Conductor – Iain Duffin
Piano – Nicholas Thorne
Narrator – Colin Woodfield
Choreography – Riann Booroff
Script – Tony Briggs

Franz Lehar’s comic operetta has maintained its appeal for more than a century. Many of us have known unforgettable melodies all our lives.<!> In this rendition we performed a shortened concert version of the operetta, and for the “missing scenes” a narrator helped bridge the “gaps”.

It could be argued that aside from our talented “Anna”, skilfully and artistically played by Nicki Heenan, the Grisettes tried their hardest to steal the show and had the audience clapping along with their antics.