©Copyright Downfield Musical Society 2015  DMS 2015 (c)

© Downfield MusicalSociety 2007

90 YEARS BANNER 1999 5 199cinderst08F 1999 5 199cindersj13F 1999 142nd st broadway22 1999 142nd principals 2 1999 4joseph----009x 1999 4joseph---ivc-002x 1998 5aladin19f 1998 4 1fp liz watts&sinclair ff2 1997 5 4x97 jack witchhjhj 1997 1 1megirl97-202 1997 1 1megirl97-160



The 1990s was the decade of DMS “on the move” this time with their productions! It was the start of their relationship with the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera in the Republic of Ireland and culminated with being part of the NODA centenary celebrations in London appearing on arguable one of the most prestigious venues in the world…..  The Royal Albert Hall.


The first visit to the Emerald Isle was in 1993. The production was “Godspell”. Before the visit the Society had presented the show in the Bonar Hall (where they first produced it back in 1982) and then prior to leaving for Ireland again for a short run in the Whitehall Theatre. 54 members of the Society made trip by bus and ferry, sailing from Holyhead, and a successful fundraising effort ensured that the £13000 needed was achieved, It was an amazing experience. The visit was very successful and the Society returned with 3 awards for Best Post-war Production, Best Male Vocalist for Graeme Neil Smith in his portrayal as Jesus, and the Festival Runner-up Award. All the trophies and Waterford Glass awards were displayed in local jewellers, Mathew Henderson for the people of Dundee to see and enjoy.


Part of the fundraising was an unexpected £600 which the society won for the best float in the Dundee City 1993 Festival parade with their “Godspell” float.


In 1994 DMS presented world amateur premier of the Musical “Windy City” which they also took to Waterford. This was their second visit to the festival and the lessons learned from the previous helped to make the organisation a good bit easier. This time the company flew instead of taking the ferry which greatly reduced the travel time. The Society was delighted when the writer of the musical Tony Macaulay travelled with his family to be part of the Irish experience. (“Windy City” had its professional world premiere at the Bristol Hippodrome in June 1982 before opening in the West End on July 20 at the Victoria Palace, where it closed on February 26, 1983 after 250 performances. The cast included Dennis Waterman as Hildy Johnson, Anton Rodgers as Walter Burns, Amanda Redman as Esther Stone, Robert Longden as Earl Williams, Diane Langton as Mollie Malloy, and Victor Spinetti as poetic reporter Bensinger. ) It had its Amateur World Premier and UK premier  in the Whitehall Theatre on Tuesday 6th September 1994 and its Irish premier in the theatre Royal Waterford on Friday 30th September 1994

Downfield also became the agents for the rights holders of “Windy City” and they still licence out productions of the show within the UK.


On 1995 DMS presented the Tayside premier of the circus spectacular show “Barnum”. The show ran for 10 performances in the Whitehall Theatre, which at that time was the longest run of any production by Downfield apart from Panto. (It has since been overtaken by “Beauty and the Beast” In 2010) It was an amazing success, with cast learning many circus skills and with a 24 feet high wire walk that people still talk about.

1997 saw DMS’s third visit of the 90s to Waterford to present “Me and My Girl”. Apart from the competitive element of the Festival relating to their production, Downfields reputation for cabaret was well known and they were invited to present the “Musical Cavalcade” on the final evening of the festival prior to the presentation of the awards. The show was broadcast on Irish radio and a packed audience greatly enjoyed the show.

This year (2012), 15 years later DMS have once again been invited to present  final cabaret at the Theatre Royal, Waterford.


In 1999 as the decade came to a close, Downfield received the ultimate accolade to represent the Scottish Area of the National Operatic and Dramatic Association at their centenary celebrations in London. Downfield were asked to be part of a show in the Royal Albert Hall and give an 8 minute piece.  The show called “Celebration” was compered by Bonnie Langford and Christopher Biggins with special guests Howard Keel and Cy Coleman. DMS’s contribution was  called “Razzle Dazzle”. It was without doubt t the quickest eight minutes in their history but it was an experience and no- one involved will ever forget.


Another part of the centenary celebrations came to the City of Dundee where the Scottish Festival of Amateur Theatre held in the Whitehall Theatre.. Over 32 society representatives and 800 individuals were involved or  appeared on stage over the week. Each evening had its own theme including a “Youth Showcase” “Grand Opera and Drama” “Light Opera” and “Musicals” etc. The DMS Clubrooms were used as the Festival Club after each evening’s performance.


In 1995, the Society were once again asked to present the Midnight Cabaret at Peebles Hotel Hydro. They also presented a cabaret at the Coylumbridge Hotel in Aviemore.


1999 also saw the start of their youth group who presented a sell out production of “Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” in the Gardyne Theatre, Dundee


Other productions in the 90’s included “Annie get Your Gun”, and “42nd Street”.

In the 90’s the Society embarked on a group of variety type shows which they entitled “Showtime”,  “Showtime - The Second Generation”,  “Showtime - The Wedding”,  and “Showtime  - The Final Frontier”,  which were all created and written by the DMS production team. These shows were based on a silly, but highly successful format, of a spaceship that travelled through time and space, and followed the antics of the crew, but specifically of Captain I. Mincharge and his assistant Pru Dential These shows ran for four years in that format and were very popular.


Around the mid nineties It was becoming very difficult to choose suitable and cost effective musicals so DMS revived the Showtime theme in 1998 after presenting a show called “Something Different” in 1996 where professional guests, George Duffus, Ian Lees and Eddie Rose joined them in variety.


It was also the decade where the number of shows each year increased to three when a more regular autumn production was added These included “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” (Which was repeated the following January) “Godspell” and “Windy City” which were transferred to Waterford, “Chess” and “Return to the Forbidden Planet” which was repeated the following February, and of course “Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”.

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(Left) Roger Buist as Sir John Tremayne and Ann Walace as Maria, Duchess of Dean (Right) Ron Wylie as Footman, Deirdre MacFarlane as Sally Smith and Stephen Crofts as Major Domo (Below) Ewan McDyer as Bill Snibson and  Deirdre MacFarlane as Sally Smith in "Me and My Girl" in 1997

1997 5 1jack97 gillian reilly d4 1997 5 4x97 jack roger&cow&jack1

(Above ) Roger Buist as Dame McTrott and Christine Howie as Jack (Above Right) Lynn MacFarlane as Nephelodus (Above Left) Gillian Brown as Silly Lilly  and Ewan McDyer as Wandering Willie in "Jalk and the Beanstalk" in 1997

1998 1 9ZZShowtime 98  girls group4 1998 1 9ZZShowtime 98 boys group7 1998 1 9ZZShowtime 98 dancers group6 1998 1 9ZZShowtime 98 groupchildren1

(Above ) The ladies and gentlemen of the "Something Different" company (Below) The Children and the Dancers of the "Something Different" company in 1978

1998 4 1fp gillian reilly gh56 1998 4 1fp liz group&monster ff1

(Above )  Steven Watt as Ariel Alex Watt as Bosun Arras and Sinclair Ross as Doctor Prospero  (Left) The Company  battle the monster (Right) Gillian Brown as Gloria and Sinclair Ross as Doctor Prospero in "Return to the Forbidden Planet" in 1998

1998 5alad 98 principals j1 1998 5aladinc010f

(Above ) Roger Buist as Widow Twankie,  Lynn MacFarlane as Aladdin  Dougie Cunningham as the Emporer in "Aladdin" 1998

1999 142stbmvc-003x 1999 4joseph--010f 1999 4Joseph---EVC-002X

(Above Left) The "Joseph" company on stage at the Gardyne Theatre (Far Top) Marcus Wylie as Rueben and Alex Hare as Potiphar/Jacob's Wives. (Above) Alex Watt as Joseph. (Left) Marcus Wylie as The Pharoh in "Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" in 1999

(Below) Jahn Auld as Julian March and Deirdre MacFarlane as Peggy Sawyer in "42nd Street" in 1999

(Below) Jahn Auld as Julian March and Lynn MacFarlane as Dorothy Brock (right) Pamela Murray as Phyllis Dale, Leigh Caird as Lorraine Flemming, Gillian Brown as Maggie Jones Deirdre MacFarlane as Peggy Sawyer Christine Low as Ann "Anytime Annie" Reilly  in "42nd Street" in 1999

(Above Right) Deirdre MacFarlane as Cinderella (Right) Roger Buist as Laburnum and Dave McQuillan as Sycamore in "Cinderella" in 1999