One Touch of Venus (2000 Production)
Louise Gold starred as Venus, for the second time, in a Lost Musicals production of One Touch of Venus, at The Royal Opera House's Lindbury Studio Theatre, on 9, 10, 16 and 17 December 2000. She had played the part eight years earlier at The Barbican Centre in a previous Lost Musicals production. This page is about her later performance.
Louise was not the only player in the show who had been in the earlier production. Myra Sands had played Mrs Flora Bell Kramer in both the earlier Lost Musicals production, and a BBC Radio production starring Paige O'Hara, while Delianne Forget had also been in the earlier Lost Musicals version, as a Student.
This production was put on to mark Kurt Weill's centenary. And, unusually for a Lost Musicals production, it also included The Ballets, danced by members of The Central School of Ballet
The leading lady was supposed to be on holiday from another show, but,
“Constitutionally averse to taking holidays, Louise Gold is using a break from playing Tanya in the West End phenomenon Mamma Mia, to bring one of Kurt Weill’s “lost musicals” back to life” Robin Stringer, THE EVENING STANDARD, December 2000
That lady’s own opinion of the show is
“It is very funny and very witty. There are some lovely lines and it has a lovely score even though it is not that well known.” Louise Gold to Robin Stringer, THE EVENING STANDARD, December 2000
Whitelaw Savory - Ethan Freeman
Molly Grant - Jessica Martin
Taxi Black - Kerry Shale
Stanley - Daniel Gillingwater
Rodney Hatch -
Venus - Louise Gold
Mrs Moats - Delianne Forget
Store Manager - Matthew Earnes
Sam - Dan Callaway
Mrs Kramer -
Gloria Kramer - Lori Haley Fox
Police Lieutenant - Michael Howell
Rose - Aileen Donohoe
Zuveti - Himself
Dr Rook - Dan Bates
Matron - Abigail Langham
And Dancers from The Central School of Ballet:
Genevieve de Camps, Madeliene Granville-Harris, Nicola Ruth, Claire Meehan, Hikota Taira, Sarah Reynolds, Ben Weeratunge, Poppy Ben-David, David Johnson, Robin Gladwin, Benny Maslov, Denis Ruddock, Martin Bell and principle dancers Yuiko Yoshide & Richard Winsor.
Music - Kurt Weill
Based on "The Tinted Venus" by F J Anstey
Original Production – 7 October
1943, The Imperial Theatre
Choreographer - Agnes de Mille
Reconstruction Choreographers - Antonio Castilla and Tim Almass
Orchestra - The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor & Musical Director - Kevin Amos
Musical Director -
Director - Ian Marshall-Fisher
Some performances of the show overlapped with the show Mamma Mia, in which Louise Gold was playing Tanya, so she used her holiday from Mamma Mia to appear in One Touch of Venus. She was not the only Mamma Mia cast member in the show, Lori Haley Fox, who played Gloria Kramer, was then appearing as a chorus member in Mamma Mia. Actually, Lori Haley Fox has understudied all three of the Dynamo’s including playing Tanya immediately before Louise Gold took on that role. Louise Gold went on to devote her holiday time following year to another Lost Musical Du Barry Was A Lady.
Louise Gold and Myra Sands had previously played Venus and Mrs Kramer in the first Lost Musicals production in 1992.
Myra Sands and Dick Vosburgh had previously played Mrs Kramer and Zuveti in the BBC Radio production starring Paige O’Hara, which was first broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 3 April 1995.
It is perhaps worth noting that ‘The Tinted Venus’, the title of F J Anstey’s book upon which this musical was based, was also the name given to a statue of the goddess by Victorian sculptor John Gibson. It was the first flesh-coloured statue of the time.
Louise Gold and Dick Vosburgh had previously been Team-Captains on the BBC Radio quiz show Let’s Do The Show Right Here.
Louise Gold and Ethan Freeman were both featured on the JAY/TER On The Town CD.
Louise Gold and
Louise Gold and Jessica Martin had previously appeared together in The Lost Musicals production of Something For The Boys, and on the radio in Let’s Do The Show Right Here, and, Ned Sherrin’s Review Of Revue. They also worked on Spitting Image, and feature on the album Spit In Your Ear, and in the documentary Best Ever Spitting Image .They have gone on to appear in such specials as: A Lost Musicals Occasion , and Dress Circle Grand Reopening.
Louise Gold, and Jessica Martin also went on to appear in the Regents Park 70th Anniversary Gala which Abigail Langham may have appeared in.
Louise Gold, and, Jessica Martin also paid memorial tribute to fellow cast member Dick Vosburgh (himself) by taking part in A Celebration Of The Life And Work Of Dick Vosburgh.
Myra Sands had previously appeared with Louise Gold in The Lost Musicals productions: By Jupiter | One Touch of Venus (1992 Production) | Du Barry Was A Lady (1993 Production) | New Girl In Town | Red Hot And Blue | Something For The Boys | Panama Hattie | Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and they have gone on to appear together in Darling of The Day, and, Mexican Hayride . They had previously appeared in a concert of highlights from Ratepayers' Iolanthe & Metropolitan Mikado, and, Camberwell Pocket Opera’s First Fundraising Gala, and have also appeared together on the commercial stage in Follies, and, Oliver!. They can also be heard on the cast album Oliver! (Recording).
The Imperial Theatre in New York was also the original venue for the Gershwin musicals Let ‘Em Eat Cake (which Louise Gold appeared in a staging of on of BBC Radio 3) and Oh Kay (which Louise Gold starred in a concert staging of at Barbican Cinema 1).
Kerry Shale had previously worked as a voice-artiste on the film Labyrinth
Ethan Freeman’s recording credits also include: The Best Of Broadway Musicals , Encore The Very Best From The Musicals , Great Duets From The Musicals, The Greatest Musicals of the 20th Century, The History Of The Musical, The Great Musicals - Wonderful Tales, and, 100 Hits Musicals.
Kevin Amos had previously worked on Comedy Tonight.
Jessica Martin went on to appear in A Love Letter To Dan.
Ethan Freeman’s recording credits include The Great Musicals – Dashing Heroes, Blushing Maidens, this also features The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Myra Sands, and,
The Act 1 finale of One Touch Of Venus appears to have been inspired by a real life incident at a fundraising event in aid of The Music Hall Ladies Guild, the event in question being the “party” referred to in the tale Whitelaw Savoury tells at the Art Student’s Ball. The Music Hall Ladies Guild was a sister charity to The Theatrical Ladies Guild. The latter has since been renamed The Theatrical Guild, whose fundraising events have included Shopping With The Stars and Shopping With The Stars 2009 .
“Louise Gold’s Venus is a sensual art nouveau siren” Tim Ashley, THE GUARDIAN, 13 December 2000
“Last but far from least, Louise Gold, who
also starred as Venus in the 1992 Lost Musicals production, was lusciously
seductive, calling to mind the original Broadway Venus, the incandescent Mary
Martin, physically as well as vocally. The Venus role is especially demanding,
not only in the “Speak Low” solo but also in the up-tempo swing number “I’m A
Stranger Here Myself”. Thanks to recordings of the original production,
Martin’s virtuoso interpretation of these two songs undoubtedly remains the
historical standard. Yet Louise Gold was a valiant successor to the legendary
Martin and her delivery of these two songs was impeccable.”
“Gold sings Venus's songs superbly, while Jessica Martin as Savory's wise-cracking secretary steals the show.” Mary Brennan, THE HERALD, 15 December 2000
“A very able cast and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra delivered at least three-quarters of the goods, with Louise Gold, from Mamma Mia!, glamorous and intelligent as Venus.” Ismene Brown, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12 December 2000
“Louise Gold makes a
fine and sharp Venus”
“Except for a few moments of Ethel Merman brass, Louise Gold's voice lives up to her name, and is equalled by a combination of majestic poise and spontaneous sense of fun.” Rhonda Koenig, THE INDEPENDENT, 13 December 2000
“Gold’s renditions of Weill classics, ‘I am a stranger here myself’ and ‘Foolish Heart’ were a joy.” Denise Silvey, MUSICAL STAGES, issue 28 April/May 2001
“Done from the book without props, the acting doesn’t miss a beat. Louise Gold played a wonderfully knowing Venus.” Robert Thickness, THE TIMES/THE SUNDAY TIMES (LONDON), 15 Decmeber 2000
Links about One Touch Of Venus
Review by H.E. Elsom, from H.E.Elsom’s Opera site. http://www.helsom.demon.co.uk/opera/2000/12_16_00_Venus.txt
Review from The Independent, by Rhoda Koenig: http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=49398
Review from The Guardian, by Tim Ashley: http://www.guardian.co.uk/reviews/story/0,3604,410747,00.html
Review from The Herald by Mary Brennan: http://www.theherald.co.uk/arts/archive/15-12-19100-21-47-2.html
Review from The Daily Telegraph, by Ismene Brown: http://www.lineone.net/telegraph/2000/12/12/arts/here_62.html
Mention in The Daily Telegraph, by John Gross: http://www.line1.net/telegraph/2000/12/17/arts/idealism_20.html
Kurt Weill Newsletter’s Review of the show: http://www.kwf.org/media/kwn191-3.pdf (includes a pictures of Louise – possibly actually from the earlier 1992 production).
Agency Licensing Campaign (article in The Stage): http://www.thestage.co.uk/news/newsstory.php/31022/theatre-stars-back-campaign-for-talent-agency, and Online Petition (which anyone who supports it can sign): http://www.gopetition.com/petition/41085.html , seeing as Kerry Shale is among the performers supporting this worthy campaign.