The photo shows Linda Gregson and Susan Gritton in our 1992 production of Hansel & Gretel. The brilliant and entertaining production was directed and designed by Chris Cowell; his first ‘assignment’ for Surrey Opera. The production was so successful that we revived it in 1993, with a slightly different cast. The set was built and painted in the Salisbury Playhouse workshop by a friend of mine, David Bates (and his Co.), and so good were Chris’s design drawings that when the set arrived in Croydon it was exactly like Chris’s model box, down to the last small detail!
We auditioned hundreds of children, from the Croydon area, for the production, and ended up with an amazing ‘team’, some of whom had never had any experience of singing or performing before. After the run of performances in 1992 we needed somewhere to store the set for a year, so I made a rather general and half-hearted plea to the choir I was conducting at the time – Concordia, who were based in Crawley – and, guess what, someone came up to me at the end of the rehearsal and said we could use her school in Maidenbower for the storage – no problem. People are so kind!