Tom Boyd's Tom Sawyer will next be performed at the New London Barn Playhouse, New Hampshire, USA in June, 2013.
TOM SAWYER NB: Not to be confused with a "Broadway" musical called 'The adventures of Tom Sawyer' by Don Schlitz which made a brief appearance at the Minskoff Theatre in 2001. After a fairly unfavourable review in The New York Times which was critical of the score and pronounced the show 'tame, muddled and torn' it closed after 21 performances.
The book, music and lyrics were written by Tom Boyd, an American student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. The musical was first produced at the college under the title We're from Missouri
The British press 1956
"He [Tom Boyd] has followed the original closely, his instinct for theatrical situation is strong...his lyrics grow naturally from their context...his melodies are well defined, even when chromatic." (The Times)
The British press 1960
"An excellent musical" (The Financial Times)
"A loyal and lively version of Tom Sawyer..." (Kenneth Tynan in The Observer)
"Tom Sawyer is a driving colourful show full of sturdy vitality and sharp satire." (The Stage)
A major West End production of Tom Boyd's Tom Sawyer was planned, to star the young pop idol Adam Faith as Tom Sawyer and chirpy cockney singer Joe Brown as Huckleberry Finn, when both boys were at the peak of their popularity and fame. Adam Faith's biography reports he was: "in line for the title role in a forth-coming West-End musical, Tom Sawyer, written & scored by Tom Boyd... however, shortly after he returned [from the USA], the production of Tom Sawyer was postponed indefinitely due to the lack of a suitable theatre in London".
PERFORMANCES 23rd AND 24th APRIL, 2010 in the POULTON VILLAGE HALL
and 13th JUNE in the BARN THEATRE, CIRENCESTER
"Any musical show which has the name Tom Boyd or Maria Jagusz in the programme is always destined to be a treat. To have both Tom and Maria collaborating in one production is a heady mix indeed. It was a cracking success with great music and lyrics.... this marvellous show". Di Alexander - The Wilts and Gloucestershire STANDARD (June 2010)
click here for full review
A SAMPLER OF THE SONGS
To see complete versions of the musical numbers on Youtube clips, click here
Act onexxxxxxxxxxxxAct two
Copies of book & lyrics available - UK £4.90 /USA. $7.90 + p & p
The principal characters
SAWYER - Dan
THATCHER - Jenny
DOUGLAS - Aileen
THATCHER - Josh
Thomas GRACIE MILLER
SAWYER - Ollie
JOE - Rupert
TOM SAWYER - Dan Holley
BECKY THATCHER - Jenny Webster
MUFF POTTER -Paul Bradley
WIDDER DOUGLAS - Aileen Anderson
JEFF THATCHER - Josh Thomas
GRACIE MILLER - Lauren Humphries
SID SAWYER - Ollie Humphries
INJUN JOE - Rupert Irving
Scenes from the 2010 production
below THE FULL CAST WITH MUSICIANS AND COMPOSER, TOM BOYD (centre) Injun Joe
all photos by Nik Sheppard
Review of Tom Sawyer in the Wilts and Gloucestershire STANDARD, 10 June 2010
Review of Tom Sawyer in the Gloucestershire ECHO, 15 June 2010
Twain's death marked by musical
THE characters of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn have enchanted children for generations, and there is surely no better way of celebrating Mark Twain's centenary than with a revival of Tom Boyd's musical based on his most popular book.
Tom Sawyer, the musical, received its first professional performance at Joan Littlewood's Theatre Royal in Stratford 50 years ago, yet it has the same ageless quality as that classic coming-of-age novel and has worn well.
The production, while not exactly lavish, is strong on atmosphere, thanks to projected scenes of old Missouri and some plausible American accents from the predominantly young cast. A Midwesterner himself, Tom Boyd paints life in small town America with affection and ring of authenticity.
Dan Holley acquits himself superbly in title role confronting dilemmas and gaining in maturity along the way. He is equalled by Nic Sims as Huck Finn, whose free spirit is eventally harnessed by the Widder Douglas, nicely played by Aileen Anderson. Love interest is provided by Jenny Webster as Tom's girl friend Becky. The chemistry between the pair of them works wonderfully well. However, danger lurks below the surface in the guise of Injun Joe, played by a sinister-looking Rupert Irving.
The supporting cast are excellent. Paul Bradley effects the transformation of MuffPotter from drunkard to pillar of society with great panache, LaurenHumphries is hilarious as Gracie desperate to find a boyfriend and olderpeople will empathise with Tom's long- suffering Aunt Polly played by MariaJagusz, who also directs this delightfully natural and well-paced production.