Missing Pieces Theatre Show Ltd Presents: “Come Dance With Me” – a new Play with a touch of Strictly
“Come Dance with Me” is an epic new family dance drama – a play which also contains exciting Hollywood Fred Astaire / Ginger Rogers style dancing and Strictly Ballroom danced by world class dancers.
Leading Choreographer Richard Marcel is choreographing the dance sequences.
We are Graham Howes and Karen Lynne – Artistic Directors of Missing Pieces Theatre Show Ltd.
We aim to: “challenge preconceptions in an entertaining way”.
We are producing new writing for Theatre and TV.
We’re launching COME DANCE WITH ME with Arts Council and National Lottery Support in Autumn 2019.
What is: “Come Dance With Me”?
Come Dance With Me is a big epic Family Play with exciting Dance Routines.
And if you love Strictly Come Dancing, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Billy Elliot or Pennies From Heaven – and big stories about families struggling against the odds – this is for you!
This isn’t a Musical – but a Play – with some amazing Hollywood and Ballroom Dance routines.
And someone recently described as being like a: “slightly darker Victoria Wood!”
Which is a flattering comparison – but it misses out the stunning Ballroom and Astaire / Rogers style sequences choreographed by top Strictly choreographer Richard Marcel.
Richard was nicknamed by Craig Revell Horwood as: “choreographer to the stars” – fair enough as Britney, Kylie and Madonna could testify!
It is based around Karen Lynne’s family story.
It has three great main roles for Women.
It will be touring in 2019 and will feature Educational and Disability Workshops based around the themes of the play.
This will be offered to young carers, young disabled, and schools – which will give the play context and resonance for a modern audience.
The themes of the play explored include: aspiration, disability, being a young carer, and loss.
However, it also has a hopeful message, and positive outcome.
We will look at Ballroom Dancing in the workshop and learn a short routine.
Real local amateur dancers are offered the chance to be in a class in the play!
One audience member at the Arts Council Funded Workshop said:
“I hate Musicals – but I loved this …”
Contact us for more details on:
Landline: 01473 879561
More on: Come Dance With Me
This is an epic and ambitious play with dance – and deals with some of the hardest challenges that people have to face in life – such as: aspiration, and the obstacles of bereavement, disability, becoming a young carer for a parent, and the pressures when members of the family fall out.
This working class family lives from hand to mouth – so each setback is a real challenge in a time when working class families suffer disadvantage.
Because when they have a disabled member they can also feel socially excluded.
However – the play is darkly funny – and they face all adversity with great strength and humour.
And the show is very much about Family, Parents – and what they give us, and how we deal with loss.
It is based on a true events.
The 8 characters all aspire to a better life – but will they get what they want?
The main characters are two young working class sisters and their mother and father – all with big dreams:
Lillian: A beautiful sensitive young girl dreams of being a professional dancer. “It’s people that matter – not things.”
Joy: Is tough and no nonsense and wants a chain of shops and is ruthless in her ambition. “You don’t have to worry about others if you’ve got money!”
Harry: Is a hardline and hardworking socialist. He wishes for his own Bike Shop offering hand made bikes. Attacked for not standing for the King, when the National Anthem is played, says: “When he stands for me – I’ll stand for him!”
Vi: teaches Ballroom Dancing but loses the ability to move and ends up as a wheelchair user. She wishes for a full time Dance School. “There’s no such word as: “can’t!”
Jim: Is Lillian’s dancing partner. Easy going and sensitive and works on the Railways.
George: Is a bundle of fun and survives being married to Joy! He is a Boiler Maker.
Whenever Life gets rough everyone goes dancing.
Sometimes Dancing with the Stars but always they Keep Dancing through Life:
Because the fantasy of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers from the Saturday Night Movies “takes people out of themselves”.
When Life becomes too much the characters fantasise about the Saturday Night Pictures and being Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers
The Saturday Night Ballroom Dance takes people away from their stressful lives.
And for Lillian and her partner Jim it is about winning Ballroom Competitions.
Ballroom Dancing was hugely popular up to and through the Second World War – with even Churchill insisting that dancing continue to pep up morale!
Lillian wants to be a professional dancer but has many obstacles to overcome.
While her sister Joy wants a string of Bakeries. And she is absolutely determined that she will achieve her dream.
Both sisters will have to put their dreams on hold. But who will get what they want?
Come Dance With Me – The Story
Come Dance With Me is based on a true story of the Hauxwell family who lived in Darlington.
However it could be any family, any time, any place.
This particular family lived through The Great Depression, the Second World War and all the way through to the “10 quid tourists” of the Sixties.
Co author Karen Lynne is the Granddaughter of Vi and Harry Hauxwell, the father and mother in the play, and is the daughter of Lillian one of the female leads.
The play has three strong roles for Women.
Karen is also related to the late Hannah Hauxwell, who was the subject of a series of many books and documentaries, about her struggles as a Farmer in the Yorkshire Dales.
Richard Marcel – “Strictly Come Dancing” – Choreographer
RICHARD MARCEL was a resident Choreographer on STRICTLY COME DANCING and LET’S DANCE, and choreographed the movies CUBAN FURY, parts of EVITA, and KICKASS 2.
Richard is a world authority on correct dance styles and is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the master of most dance styles in the world.
He has choreographed Britney, Kylie, and Madonna, amongst many other stars. He often works on such shows as Sports Relief and Lip Sync Battle.. and you may have seen his He Man versus Skellator in the Money Supermarket ad.
He choreographed every step of our Arts Council sponsored workshop of COME DANCE WITH ME in the correct period dance style.
And he is going to choreograph the full show which tours end 2019.
Film and TV:
We have had expressions of interest from some large Film and TV companies for COME DANCE WITH ME – the television series!
History of Strictly
“Strictly Come Dancing” is a BBC Television developed format, which started in 2004, from the original “Come Dancing”, which began in 1950.
“Strictly Come Dancing” is now a huge worldwide phenomenon known in other countries as: “Dancing with the Stars” and other variants. It has been mounted in 42 territories around the world!
We have a Theatre tour planned for 2019.
Before “Strictly Come Dancing” there was “Come Dancing” .. before that a Family at War … come and fill in the “Missing Pieces”!
And whatever happens – Come Dance with Me!
Would you like to see more … talk to us!
Graham Howes Karen Lynne Artistic Directors
On tour there will be available in select venues:
Workshop for schools and young disabled:
The workshop will be devised by us in collaboration with Young Disabled performers, Carers Trust and a School.
The content will be written by a Top Education Professional.
The workshop puts into modern context the experience of the young daughters in the Second World War who aspire to great dreams.
When their Mother loses the ability to move and they lose their Father they are forced to care for her in a time when there was little help or sympathy for disabled people.
The workshop also looks at the World of Strictly and it’s antecedents.
Carer’s Trust Letter of Support:
“Carers Trust is delighted that Missing Pieces Theatre is staging workshops to accompany their upcoming tour of COME DANCE WITH ME.
The daily challenges faced by young people who care for a loved one are all too real, but they are rarely shown in mainstream theatre and entertainment. That’s why COME DANCE WITH ME and the accompanying workshops are so important. They will enable many young carers to meet other young people facing similar challenges and the play itself will reflect the lived experience of young carers.
We are delighted that Missing Pieces Theatre will be getting in touch with our Network Partners in each tour venue area so they can encourage as many young carers as possible to attend workshops and see a performance which reflects aspects of their own lives.”
Matt Whitticase | Senior Communications and Marketing Manager – Carers Trust
A Chance to Appear in the Show for Young Dancers / Ballroom Enthusiasts!
Participants will be sent a link via YouTube to learn and will be put into the show on the day!
Missing Pieces Theatre Show Ltd
Call: 01473 879561 / 07875720623
Choreographer: Richard Marcel
You can reach Graham or Karen at:
01473 879561 or mobile: 07875720623
Facebook: Missing Pieces Facebook site for up to the minute information
Come Dance With Me – the Development
Come Dance with Me – the real family in our story:
Left to right: Harry Hauxwell, Young Lillian, older Lillian and Vi on a wheelchair with young Joyce.
The first reading of Missing Pieces – now called Come Dance With Me – a Play with added Strictly. Photo Vincenzo Squillino
We had held a semi staged reading at Live Theatre in Newcastle in 2011.
We then held a two week rehearsed development workshop with the dance routines in October 2012 at The London Welsh Centre.
We were awarded an Arts Council Grant and a grant from Unity Theatre Trust.
We then presented our workshop to the public and industry professionals on October 11th 2012.
We were fortunate to work with an extraordinary group of collaborators who went the extra mile, and so we were able to show a good 70 percent of the work in progress!
Reactions were extremely positive and have been worked into the latest drafts
Call: 01473 879561 or mobile: 07875720623
Programme for the past Arts Council Workshop above
Missing Pieces Theatre Show Ltd
Come Dancing – the BBC TV forerunner to Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars
Competitive Dancing became so huge in the last century that eventually the BBC began the long running programme: “Come Dancing” – which ran from 1949 to 1988 making it one of the longest running shows in television history!
One of the typical comments from that show was: “2,000 sequins on that dress – and every one sewn on by hand!”
But a feature of Come Dancing was amateur dancers competing as teams and individuals from various areas to win.
And in those local areas the prizes for amateurs were often remarkably low value prizes, for instance, vases!
The prize of Come Dancing was actually the kudos of winning the coveted trophy and the glory for your local county!
And one formidable formation dance team was run by the fearsome Peggy Spencer MBE.
They featured strongly, and won often, in COME DANCING on the BBC TV.
And in training Peggy used to sit up high on a stage and issue rebukes and instructions through a loud hailer. And even the parents would sit in terrified silence
Peggy went on to become the President of the Imperial Society of Dance Teachers (ISTD) – which is still the standard bearer for excellence in Dance Training.
Peggy trained our choreographer, Richard Marcel, a nice coincidence.
She also told us that she choreographed the ballroom sequence in the “Magical Mystery Tour” for The Beatles after being rung up personally by Paul McCartney in the wee small hours!
She asked who her late night caller was; he said: “It’s Paul.”
“Paul WHO?!” she demanded!
Peggy gathered together her people and they arrived at an aircraft hanger to shoot the sequence. This involved the Beatles dancing down a huge staircase past Ballroom Dancing couples.
But there was no access to the stairs at the back!
Time passed and they played the music and she had to explain that wanting a waltz to: “Your Mother Should Know.” which was not in 3/4 time – as she had been told – but 4/4 time, was going to be difficult.
Paul said that they would freeze on each 4th beat … Peggy was not amused!
She told us that The Beatles had difficulty learning the choreography.
In the end Peggy walked just ahead of The Beatles staying out of sight just under the Camera, walking the choreography for them to follow!!
Peggy was never sure if it was the wacky baccy or the Maharishi that had made them so other worldly that they couldn’t get the routine – but it was certainly an experience that she never forgot!
Living in a Community
COME DANCE WITH ME recalls the time starting from the Recession through the Second World War, from the late forties and early Fifties, and the emigration of the “ten pound poms,” to the first appearance of Come Dancing on the BBC TV in 1949.
We look at that period without nostalgia and through the clear lens of what connects us to them
Communities looked out for each other and yet some people were at war within the community.
The community portrayed in Darlington is an actual one.
The show recalls some of the real life characters and reflect some of the major events- although names and specifics have naturally been changed for dramatic purposes!
Harry and Vi Hauxwell were certainly real people. They were the grandparents of co author Karen Lynne Foreman and lived in Darlington!
During the writing of the drama, we talked to many people who could still remember them.
Anyone remember swinging on the lamp post?
Cast of characters of Come Dance With Me:
Harry Hauxwell is a passionate socialist – which often gets him into scrapes with authority. He is a Carpenter, and builds and designs Bicycles, and he lives for his allotment!
Violetta Hauxwell teaches Ballroom and Tap. Vi has a sharp sense of humour, intelligence, and great determination – favourite saying: “I can manage!” She does not suffer fools.
Harry and Violetta have two daughters who grow up through the play:
Joy, the eldest, becomes a hard nosed entrepreneur with ambitions well beyond her surroundings.
Lillian wants to be a professional dancer – which is not taken seriously in the light of the turbulent times that they are living through.
Jim starts off as a rather serious young boy, loving opera and ballroom dancing
George is a practical joker, full of fun, and easy going, he grows up to become an engineer.
In addition for the TV series:
Charlie is the local bobby. In life, as in dance, he is always a few steps behind.
Nelly is Vi’s best friend – an ex music hall performer – salt of the Earth, salty and tough, but also capable of great kindness. She is an amazing tap dancer.
These are the main characters in our story but there are other characters like Jock the salesman, and Wilf the local wide boy, who can be played in a minimum company of eight plus local community dancer performers.
The dance routines are choreographed by Richard Marcel resident choreographer from STRICTLY COME DANCING and much more … If you love “Strictly” you will love this!
Our Musical Director for the Arts Council and Unity Theatre Trust sponsored Workshop was singer songwriter actor director Simon Egerton.
The workshop and earlier staged reading were both directed by Graham Howes.
Here is our phenomenally talented cast that were such an integral part of the Development Workshop presentation on October 11th 2012 –
Vi Hauxwell Karen Lynne
Harry Hauxwell Bill Fellows
Lillian Hauxwell Emily Holt
Joy Hauxwell Hannah Wood
Jim Tadhgh Barwell O’Connor
George Kenny Davies
Charlie Simon Egerton
Nelly Susie Fenwick
Would you like to see more of Come Dance With Me?
Call: 01473 879561
Associates: We have Paul Irving Producer, from Strictly Theatre Company, on board and our collaborator, Richard Marcel, choreographer from Strictly Come Dancing, is committed to the show.
Arts Council have funded us to make this happen.
About Graham Howes and Karen Lynne
Together we toured the UK previously with our company performing: Sing as we go for over two years and then an expressionistic physical theatre Frankenstein.
We have two plays that we are about to tour COME DANCE WITH ME and A QUESTION OF ERROL FLYNN.
We have future plans to tour Europe.
Graham has been an actor, teacher, theatre director and playwright for many years. He has appeared in TV such as The Bill and Law and Order and Kingdom – and played Sir John Scarlett in the award winning trilogy on BBC Panorama on “Why we went to War”.
He has worked in various areas of the Theatre as Claudius for ESC in Hamlet, Senator Lyons in Of Thee I sing and also Let ’em eat cake for Opera North. He was Scheinkopf for three years in various incarnations of Fame and played the role at The Aldwych coinciding with the tenth anniversary.
He has been a Clown with his clown face registered on an egg. He has also worked in some large scale Theatre in Education – one being at the Tower of London for Amnesty.
He was Victor Zorza in Taboo for Cancer Relief. Eichelberger in Promises Promises Gus Williams /Inspector in Salad Days.
Film includes: John in Love’s Kitchen and Moocher in Evil Never Dies.
Radio includes: Meltdown of the Golden squad, Yaxley’s Cat, This Green and Pleasant Land. Live broadcasts of Sunset Boulevard with Petula Clark and Michael Ball on Radio 2 and 4 xtra and Let ’em eat cake for Opera North on Radio 3.
Graham has directed Threepenny Opera, Sweeney Todd, Kiss me Kate, Sing as we go, Gulf Arabian Nights, Pinocchio and Frankenstein – to name a few.
He has written a Commedia Pinocchio, A Desert of Eden (with Mary Elliott Nelson) about John Clare, Gulf Arabian Nights parts one and two, Sing as we go (with Karen Lynne), Come Dance with me ( also with Karen).
He is a practicing Advanced Hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner in Ipswich Suffolk. Out of this he is developing a play about PTSD,
He is Co artistic director with Karen of Missing Pieces Theatre Show Ltd
Karen is an experienced triple threat – which means having the ability to act sing and dance at an expert level. She has even taught American tap and singing. She also writes professionally.
Karen has been associated with developing many new shows: She was Catherine Cookson in Tom and Cath – a new musical by John Miles, Gracie Fields in Sing as we go, Phyliss Monkman in The Golden years of Jack Buchanan. Vera Brittain in Never Goodbye.
She worked with Topol at the Palladium and toured nationally with Fiddler on the Roof in it’s 30th year anniversary tour.
She has played Helene Hanff in the epic part for 84 Charing Cross Road and Flo Manero in a national tour of Saturday Night Fever.
TV includes: Kingdom, Love Bites, Spanish Heart.
Karen Lynne has written: Never Goodbye about Vera Brittain, co wrote with Graham Sing as we go and Come Dance with me.
She also devised an evening cabaret entertainment on Hollywood in the great era of the thirties – on which she is an authority.
A Question of Errol Flynn – Karen is an expert on Flynn and was consulted by the Australian Broadcasting Corp for their documentary on Flynn.
As a singer she has sung with The Piccadilly Dance Orchestra, The Oxcentrics, 78 RPM and The Palm Court Theatre Orchestra.
She is Co artistic director with Graham of Missing Pieces Theatre Show Ltd