Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Palm Court Theatre Orchestra

I found this LP at a boot sale a few years ago. Released on the Chandos label in 1980. Sadly the gate-fold sleeve has been stuck together after being left in the rain so trying to read the sleeve notes is made quite difficult. No information about them could be gleaned from the internet so as far as can make out they were formed in 1978 by Mr. Anthony Godwin, bass clarinettist with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. He had inherited a complete library of theatre music dating from 1880 to 1930 and it's from this that their repetoire is mainly drawn. They try and re-create the sound and atmostphere of those early days by using instruments of that era.

Myette Godwin (daughter of Anthony Godwin ) writes -

"When I was 14 years old my Father, Anthony Godwin and Mother, Patricia Godwin started the highly popular and successful Palm Court Theatre Orchestra. Our home became a constant theatre production line with all family members engaged in costume making, painting stage sets and making props. During School holidays I got to sing with these amazing musicians and performers and tour with the company. I got to perform as part of the Palm Court Theatre Orchestra for the opening of the Orient Express in Paris, The Barbican in London, The Park Lane and Savoy Hotels and many theatres up and down the country. My sister, Saskia Godwin (recently graduated from RADA and currently working as DSM for the Mouse Trap in Londons West End) and I sang as a duo on many of the occasions either dressed as Victorian maids or as 1920s,30s 40s girls. I also appear on one of the recordings as a peasant and roisterer. My parents started this highly theatrical Orchestra after inheriting a very rare library of music from 19th and 20th centuries. This library had belonged to my granddad Norman Herbert Godwin, a conductor of light orchestras in the West Country. His entire family were on the stage in one way or another including his mother Grandma Godwin. As soon as the children could walk they were given an instrument to play in the concert entertainment to put food on the table and prevent the fears of entering the workhouse. The Great Grandmothers show was called Grandmas Birthday and every child was involved, this became a countrywide touring company. There was a bit of snobbery later between family members who went into classical music rather than the Music Hall I am very proud of them all and think it amazing to have run a touring theatre company in the Victorian and Edwardian era all that washing costumes by hand and travelling by steam train!? "

Tracks are as follows -

1. Whistle For Me (1912) - Written by Arthur Fane
2. In The Shadows (1910) - : : Herman Finck
3. Polly (1926) - : : J. S. Zamecnik
4. Down In Zanzibar (1917) : : Charles W. Ancliffe
5. The Ragtime Bass Player-(1913) : Adolph Lotter
6. Two Little Sausages (1907) : : Lionel Monckton
7. In A Persian Market (1920) : : Albert W. Ketelbey

Palm Court Theatre Orch. - Side Two

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