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Twenty Minutes South

Cover to Original Cast Recording

A musical comedy in 2 acts by Maurice Browning. Music by Peter Greenwell. Produced at the Players' Theatre under the management of the Players' Theatre io May, 1955. Restaged at the Theatre Royal, Birmingham, 27 June, 1955 and played at Nottingham 4 July. Opened at the St Martin's Theatre 13 July, 1955 for a run of 101 performances closing 8 October, 1955.

Director: Hattie Jacques; Musical Director: Peter Greenwell (piano)//Robert Probst; Choreography: Ian Stuart; Costumes and Scenery: Reginald Woolley


A Story of London suburbia

The Banister family – George, Ethel, their two daughters Jane and Susan – are outside their suburban house in Addison Park one morning and are joined by a crowd of neighbours and office workers who tell of the joys of the regular morning journey up to town.

At a London station we meet Ethel Banister's cousin Kitty, en route for Addison Park, in conversation with three London spivs, to whom she expounds her personal philosophy. That evening in Addison Park Kitty meets the Banister family, Bob Williams, Jane's fiancé, and Roger Bates, the athletic boy from next door whom Susan is determined to marry. Kitty, Roger and Susan discuss their various ideas of recreation after Kitty has surprised the two Banister girls by announcing that she has applied for a secretarial position at the firm where they both work.

Left alone, Bob and Jane declare their feelings for each other but Jane wants to wait and save enough money before they marry, while Bob is all for getting married immediately, and Kitty has expressed herself as agreeing with Bob's point of view. This causes trouble. The following morning Susan, Jane, Roger and the rest of the staff are in the office when Kitty arrives for her interview with the boss, Arthur Harris. Kitty is given the job and Arthur introduces her to the staff.

Later that day Kitty is the cause of a great deal of trouble at Addison Park. She mistakenly cuts George's prize chrysanthemums from the garden, makes trouble between Jane and Bob, and shows too much interest in Roger to suit Susan who has a fierce argument with Roger about his lack of ardour. Thus it is in no very happy frame of mind that the entire Banister family, and Kitty, attend the local Bowls Club dance where George is to be presented with a cup as Bowls champion of the year.

Further trouble arises when the three spivs gate-crash the dance in search of Susan's three typist friends. Kitty, however, is delighted at the unexpected arrival at the dance of Arthur Harris. Jane's quarrel with Bob comes to a head when Jane breaks off the engagement, leaving Bob in a very unhappy frame of mind. Kitty makes another gaffe by innocently disclosing some rather lurid details of Ethel's childhood to a group of snobbish neighbours. The evening's festivities reach a rousing climax when the spivs and their typist friends encourage everyone to try an energetic new dance.

A week later, in the local park on a Sunday afternoon, the three spivs and the typists meet Susan who is alone and furious because Roger has gone off to a concert with Kitty. They make fun of Susan's solitary state. Jane arrives, and the two girls express their annoyance with their respective boy friends. Roger returns from the concert, meets Bob, and the two boys console each other.

Back at the house, George and Ethel depart unhappily for church, and Roger arrives to have a row with Susan, during which her three typist friends telephone her to enquire mockingly about the state of her romance. Susan paints an entirely erroneous picture of her relations with Roger. When Kitty and the rest of the family return, Susan, unable to bear the situation any longer, rebukes Kitty in no uncertain terms for the trouble she has caused. Kitty is horrified that her actions have been so misinterpreted, and promises to leave as soon as possible.

The next day at the office she sets about putting things right, sorts out Susan's romantic problems with Roger, and reunites Jane and Bob. Her own troubles are solved, too, for when she hands in her notice to Arthur Harris, he somewhat unexpectedly asks her to marry him. Kitty accepts. George and Ethel are appeased and everybody, including Kitty and Arthur Harris, returns home happily.

Musical Numbers

  1. The 8.27 - The Company
  2. I Like People - Kitty and Boys
  3. One of the Family - Ethel, George, Susan. Jane, Kitty
  4. It's a Lovely Evening - Susan, Roger, Kitty
  5. This Is Love - Bob, Jane
  6. Typing, Typing - Boys and Girls, Kitty, Arthur
  7. Never Mind, I'm Delighted - Kitty, Arthur, Girls
  8. Why Never Ever? - Susan, Roger
  9. Easy To Say - Bob
  10. The Addison Mambo - Ensemble
  11. Sunday Girl - Bob, Boys and Girls
  12. Sunday Girl [reprise] - Susan, Boys and Girls
  13. I shall - Susan, Jane
  14. Do We? - Roger, Bob
  15. Having Ourselves a Wonderful Time - Susan and Girls
  16. Wondering Alone - Kitty
  17. Typing, Typing [reprise] - Boys and Girls
  18. Easy To Say [reprise] - Bob, Jane
  19. This Is Love [reprise] - Kitty, Arthur and Ensemble
  20. The 5.27 - The Company

Original Cast

Sybil Bates - Totti Truman Taylor/Patricia Kerry
Ethel Bannister - Natalie Kent
Paper Boy/Mr Casey - Brian Tipping Codd
George Bannister - George Woodbridge/Johnny Ladd/Michael Kent
Jane Bannister - Joan Bailey
Susan Bannister - Louie Ramsay
Kitty Hemming - Margaret Burton//Daphne Anderson
Henry Bates - Johnny Ladd/Michael Darbyshire
Roger Bates - Robin Hunter
Bob Williams - Donald Scott
Miss Flynn - Josephine Gordon
Miss Mason - Valerie Swinnard
Miss Martin - Mavis Traill
Mr Gray - Kenneth Luckman
Office Boy - Graham McCormack
Arthur Harris - John Le Mesurier
Mr Thompson - Philip Lewtas
Fred - Brian Blades
Harry - Douglas Squires
Bert - Jack Manuel
Mrs Thompson - Margaret Ashton/Jane Martin
Mrs Brownlow - Betty Felstead
Telegraph Boy - Frederick Frost/out
add Postman - Graham McCormack


Original London Cast Recording - Must Close Saturday Records MCSR3032