• Barnum PosterDirected by: Lynda Clarkson
  • Choreographed by: Pat Sumner
  • Musical Director: Nic Parker

November 2000,
Lowther Pavilion, Lytham


  • The Barker: Alistair Cope
  • Phineas Taylor Barnum: Michael Stacey
  • Charity Barnum: Laura Darkins
  • Joice Heth: Rosanna Greer
  • BarnumTom Thumb: Alex Dangerfield
  • Jenny Lind: Rebecca Turner
  • Blues Singer: Stephanie Darkins
  • Ringmaster/James A. Bailey: James Dangerfield
  • Julius Goldsmith: James Warburton
  • Chester Lynam: James Geer
  • Amos Scudder: Owen Herbert
  • Sherwood Stratten: Richard Finlay
  • Mrs Sherwood Stratten: Katie Bamber
  • Wilton: Owen Herbert
  • Edgar Templeton: Shaun Couchman
  • Humbert Morrisey: Oliver Ashworth
  • 1st Woman: Elaine Tyler
  • 2nd Woman: Jessica Betts

Jennifer Alston, Jamie Bamber, Jonathan Bamber, Harriet Bingham, Laura Brayne, Elizabeth Broughton, Claire Cooper, Rachel Dangerfield, Anne Etherington, BarnumSophie Evans, Sarah Keith, Sarah Ruffley, Sami Saba, Lisa Schools, Lucie Sumner, Claire Taylor, Hazel Tyler, Rachel Vause, Charlotte Walsh, Robert Ward


“Barnum” is a musical with a book by Mark Bramble, lyrics by Michael Stewart, and music by Cy Coleman.

It is based on the life of showman P. T. Barnum, covering the period from 1835 through 1880 in America and major cities of the world where Barnum took his performing companies.

The production combines elements of traditional musical theatre with the spectacle of the circus. The characters include jugglers, trapeze artists and clowns, as well as such real-life personalities as Jenny Lind, General Tom Thumb, and Susan B. Anthony.

As he presents his circus acts around the world, Barnum resists joining with James Anthony Bailey. Finally, after his beloved wife Charity dies, he relents and joins with Bailey and they form the famous circus Barnum and Bailey…

Barnum“Barnum” opened on Broadway at the St. James Theatre on April 30, 1980 and closed on May 16, 1982, after 854 performances and 26 previews.

Directed and choreographed by Joe Layton, it starred Jim Dale as P.T. Barnum, Glenn Close in her Broadway musical debut as Charity Barnum…

The West End production opened on June 11, 1981 at the London Palladium, where it ran for 655 performances and starred Michael Crawford as P.T. Barnum!!

Circus acts, magic, song and dance, what more could we ask for to show the range of skills that may be used in theatre…. Once again, this show was a Fylde Coast Premiere, and at the time was the biggest show we’d tackled!


Phineus Taylor Barnum has, if little else, a gift of the gab and an overwhelming belief that most people can be hoodwinked into believing anything put in front of them.

This he sets out to prove in an adventure that takes him from a small sideshow exhibitor to the World’s Greatest Showman.

Mermaids and Midgets, Nannies and Nightingales, Museums and Circuses are all here – including a less than successful stopover at the Bridgeport Clock Factory and a dabble in Politics (even the best of us are entitled to an occasional failure every now and then)…

But, as in all good stories, fortune favours the bold and Barnum conquers in the end. This musical look at the trials and tribulations of “Show Business” (in the truest sense of the phrase), was brought wonderfully to life by L.A.T.A.

Michael Stacey was excellent in the title role with a perfect blend of sentimentality and cheek – his second half solo, “The Prince of Humbug”, was a joy. Barnum’s wife, Charity, was played as capably as ever by the lovely Laura Darkins. It was such a pity that she had to die before the end but at least she got to sing a super duet, “I Like Your Style” with Michael before juggling her way to Heaven. The two leads were well supported by Rebecca Turner as Jenny Lind, Alexander Dangerfield as Tom Thumb and James Dangerfield as The Ringmaster/James Bailey.

There was always going to be a mad rush when Barnum became available for Amateurs and I was always intrigued as to whether it was feasible. L.A.T.A. proved that, although this may not be a show for most societies, it is an excellent choice for Junior Companies. Carrying off this type of show requires huge amounts of energy and enthusiasm – both which were in abundance in this production.

Many congratulations to all concerned and I am looking forward to more of the same with West Side Story later this year

Categories: Shows