A Phantasmagoria of Happiness: Half A Sixpence gets everything right!

Every now and again, if you are lucky, something comes along that has the power to make you so happy that your cheeks ache from smiling and a lump comes to your throat. Something that fills you with so much joy that it just leaves you wanting more of it, like a addiction that you can’t quite control. For me, that something comes in the form of a show. And that show is Half A Sixpence. I think that I was around six or seven when I first watched the film version staring Tommy Steele in the role of Arthur Kipps, and ever since then I have loved it. I believe that it was watching that film that made me fall in love in musicals. I fell in love with the idea of people bursting into song and dancing down the street. I still smile whenever I hear Flash Bang Wallop being played on television and watching the film has always been a little treat for me, becoming lost in the world of Sixpence for a couple of hours. And musicals have been a huge part of my life ever since watching the film. Last year I was lucky enough to see Tommy Steele in a production of The Glen Miller Story, and at one point he came onto the page with a big grin on his face, wearing a red and white pin stripe suit and I just smiled, thinking yes that’s Arthur Kipps.

When I heard that there was going to be a new stage show of Half A Sixpence, I was so excited and just knew that I had to see it. After seeing it six times now, I have fallen in love with it even more. It has become a huge part of my life. Seeing the show inspired me to read the book on which it is based; Kipps, Story of a simple soul by H.G. Wells and it has quickly become one of my favourite books. I listen to the music every day and I have made new friends through a shared love of this show. And there is something very magical about that. This show seems to inspire friendship. People seem to want to go and enjoy the show together with their friends. Everyone seems to talk to each other at stage door, talking about the show and why they enjoyed it so much. Even on social media, the love for this show is talked about and shared among friends.

Every time I walk into the Noel Coward Theatre and see that beautiful stage ahead of me, I feel like I am home. For a few hours, I am swept away in the story of Arthur and all of those around him and nothing else matters. From the moment the music starts to play and you see Ann and Arthur come bounding onto the stage, I am happy. There is love and heart and joy in every second of this show. From ‘I’ve got this sixpence and I managed to file it in half’ all the way through to the final banjo pluck of ‘pick out a simple tune’, every single moment is full of energy and an outpouring of love and happiness. From one of my favourite films to my now favourite ever stage show, everything about Half A Sixpence is perfect.

People ask me why I keep going back to Half A Sixpence, ask me how I never get bored of it, and every time I tell them the same thing, I just love it. To put it simply, I just love it. I know all of the lyrics and can quote many a snippet of dialogue. I still laugh at all of the jokes, whether it be an actual line or just a look from one character to another. Every cast member appears to have a complete understanding of their character, even the smaller roles. Every character is rounded and developed, every character has their own story within the main story, whether it be Sid and his dreams of revolution or Pearce’s more simple wish of a shop of his own. I, for one, become completely involved in every characters story which only adds to the magic of this wonderful show.

Even now I knew deep down that it was always going to be a limited run show, I won’t sugar coat it. I was devastated when it was officially announced that Half A Sixpence was to close. It has become so special to me and I am going to miss it terribly. Walking past the beautiful Noel Coward Theatre will never be the same once the signage is gone. But the memories that this show has given me will stay with me forever. From the excitement I feel every time I sit in my seat waiting for the show to begin to the friendships I have made, and to the wonderful stage door experiences I have had with this show’s amazing cast.

Thank you Half A Sixpence. Thank you for being all I could have dreamed for when I thought about my favourite film being performed live on stage, thank you for being a base on which I have formed friendships and thank you for just being perfect, the dream come true show!

Thank you Half A Sixpence, for everything.

 

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2 thoughts on “A Phantasmagoria of Happiness: Half A Sixpence gets everything right!

  1. I just have to say that I totally agree with every word you have said. I am too totally enthralled with this show, so much so that I have seen it 20 times and I’ve even booked to see it at least 3 times more. The whole “Half a Sixpence” experience is so heart warming it’s difficult to explain to people whole haven’t seen it. I too will miss this production terribly but I will have my happy memories to keep me going. The happiness of this show doesn’t just jump out to you from the cast but the whole company starting with the front of house staff, who are so welcoming. The orchestra gets you tapping your feet from the first note and has your heart beating with joy throughout the show. The cast, well what can you say about the cast except for I love every single one of them and I’ve been very lucky to meet most of them at the stage door. Even when they have had a long day and all they want to do is get home and put their feet up they have always managed to say hello and let you get a selfie. All at “Half a Sixpence” have given me such joy over the past few months it’s going to be difficult when it actually finishes. Like you I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you to everybody at the “Noel Coward Theatre” and “Half a Sixpence” for some very magical and wonderful times spent watching this show. I wish you all the very best for your futures. Just one more wish if possible! It would be just brilliant if this show could be recorded into DVD so the masses who couldn’t see it could.

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    • I completely agree with you. If i lived closer to London I would have seen it much much more. During my last visit to London I saw it four times. I have tickets for both shows on the final day, and I have to say that I am sure that it will be a very emotional day for the cast and the audience. The cast are so lovely, always taking take for you at stage door and the front of house staff only add to the brilliance of the whole show experience. I love how the front of house staff start to recognise you after a few visits and I love how the box office staff joke when you are buying Day seats, calling the front row the Charlie row (row c). The whole show is amazing and I will be devastated when it does close. It brings me so much happiness. There are rumours that the show is being filmed for televison and DVD release (apparently being filmed this month from what I have heard). This would be an incredible way for the masses to see this amazing show

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