Musical’s leading lights make a silent movie

BROADWAY musical Mack and Mabel is all about silent movies. And members of Dronfield Light Opera Group have made a silent movie of their own to feature in their production of the show.

Mack and Mabel is the story of the tempestuous relationship between Keystone Cops creator Mack Sennet and his leading lady on screen and off, Mabel Normand.

The script calls for a silent move sequence featuring two of the Dronfield cast, so a film crew had cameras and clapper boards at the ready to shoot the film at the Ringwood Hall Hotel, Brimington.

The group used the elegant staircase of the hotel to recreate the silent movie era and then used digital wizardry to make the black and white film look authentic.

The result can be seen during the production, which is at Dronfield Civic Hall from tonight (Tuesday, May 17) to Saturday, May 23.

Said producer Alan Powell: “The story of Mack and Mabel is set against the background of making movies and that is the atmosphere we are creating for the show, It has been a big technical challenge for us but the result will be that our audiences will have an opportunity to see and hear one of Broadway’s most enduring productions.”

The score was made even more famous when it was used by Torvill and Dean for one of their classic medal-winning routines.

Title roles are taken by David Pierce and Rachel Cooper Bassett with Lindsay Ashmore as Lottie Ames, David Winstanley as Frank Capra and Ed Hodd as Fatty Arbuckle.

Choreographer Andrea Powell has risen to the challenge of teaching the cast to tap dance for the big “Tap Your Troubles Away” number and the music is under the direction of Brian Winter, who will also conduct the on-stage orchestra

For tickets, call Val Howard on (01246) 416364 or visit the website