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The Lucies and Mark Ponsford reunited!

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poster for The Complete Works of Gilbert and Sullivan, pruned. On Sunday, I went to see an amazingly talented old friend, Mark Ponsford, who’s touring with a musical comedy that he co-wrote called "The Complete Works of Gilbert and Sullivan, Pruned". It condenses the operas of Gilbert and Sullivan into 90 minutes, using their music but Mark’s witty words, which are characteristically a teeny bit camp and smutty, but never obscene.

I’m no Gilbert and Sullivan aficionado so missed many of Marks’ references in the affectionately arch lyrics, but they weren’t lost on the almost-full house that the show brought in on a Sunday night. Mark and his co-star, Lawrence, evidently had loads of fun, too, but were never self-indulgent. Why Mark isn’t earning a fortune and living in Hollywood by now, I’ll never know. But I’m glad he isn’t, cause otherwise I’d not have had the chance to catch up with him. I haven’t seen Mark for years, but a few readers of this blog have mailed to tell me how much they enjoy his piano-playing on a song I wrote for "The Lucies", a band I was in, called "Killing Time". What made Sunday super-special was that the other founder members of The Lucies were there too: me, Andy, Shez, Mark and Paul-the-soundman.

Shez was there, and writes of a Lucies gig that went awry in his new blog, and Andy was down from near the Arctic where he lives with his new wife. Andy was the drummer, and is the only one of us to have pursued a successful career in showbiz. The lucky bugger. Mind you, listening to some of the 8 cassette tapes of 13 year old Lucies’ gigs and rehearsals that Paul-the-soundman loaned me on Sunday, I can see why we never hit the big time: my lack of ability on the guitar, and lack of discipline to actually attempt to play the song or the solo the same way twice meant that we could never be tight enough musically. Listening to some old songs that I’d forgotten writing (which I’ll post here some ime), we definitely had some good material – just not the front man. Sigh. But then, we did it because we loved it, and love it we did.

Shez and me, loitering within tent Andy being so macho. As we all forgot to bring a digicam to record the auspicious occasion of The Lucies reunited, I’ve posted some shots from 1991 of me and Shez waking up in a tent after an illegal Solstice party at Stonehenge. And here’s Andy in a typical drummer’s pose – resplendent in a pink boa, tweaking my nipple while I’m wearing an Elvis suit. Ah, the rock’n’roll life, eh?

2 Responses to “ The Lucies and Mark Ponsford reunited! ”

Comment by Mark!

Dearest Brucie,
WELL, I NEVER DID!! Literally, this has been forwarded to me just today, and I’m (in the nicest possible way) flabberghasted! I do so hope you’re well, and that we might be able to cross paths agaon sometime. I’m living nearer the centre of So’ton again – also working back at the Mayflower again, getting a bit long in the tooth for touring now! Extra-curricula Theatre still plentiful – solo evening of Oscar Wilde stories has been going since last October; new silly solo show in the Summer; and tomorrow I’ll be auditioning 300 kids for that pile of shite, High School Musical, which I’m MD for in August. No rest for the wicked, as they do say…. anyhoo, how are you? Drop me a line sometime – be lovely to hear. And thanks again so much for a lovely crit, even if I have only just seen it, it still means every bit as much.

Love ‘n’ xxs, as always,

Mark xxxx

Comment by JAMES STYLER

Hi Mark,
Not sure if you can remember me, but I was in many productions with you at the Redditch Theatre. This would have been going back to the early-mid 90’s! I used to hang around with you, Tony Lacey and Denise a fair bit and we spent a day at the Beualieu Motor show once.
I have been trying to find you and Tony for quite a while, mainly through Facebook but with no luck. I have been living in New Zealand for the last 10yrs, married with 2 beautiful daughters. We are currently living with the earthquakes and aftershocks, we’re in Christchurch and our city is currently in a partial state of chaos & disrepair.
Just thought I would reach out to you, looks like you are still doing your thing and making great music. So happy for you. All the best, kind regards and I do look forward to hearing from you. If you are still in touch with Tony, please tell him I said hi and I really hope he is well & happy. Regards from Christchurch, NZ.
JAMES STYLER.

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