You will like to be beside the seaside with Banbury musical

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A musical made popular in the 1960s starring Tommy Steele is being staged by Banbury Operatic Society.

Based on the novel Kipps by HG Wells, Half A Sixpence tells the story of Artie, an apprentice draper at Mr Shalford’s Drapery Emporium in Folkestone, at the beginning of the last century.

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When they were separated at the beginning of his apprenticeship, Artie gave his childhood sweetheart, Ann, a ‘lover’s token’ of a half sixpence, to remember him by.

After a few years, Ann comes to find him in Folkestone and their friendship looks set to blossom into romance, when Kipps unexpectedly comes into a fortune.

This propels him into Folkestone high society, where he meets Helen Walsingham, her overbearing mother and chinless wonder of a brother, who try their best to give him a make-over. All of which leaves this likeable young man totally confused!

Will Dyson plays the lead role of Artie Kipps while Artie’s difficult choice is between Ann played by Melanie Austin, and Helen played by Charlotte Saunders.

Kipps is helped – or maybe hindered – in his life decisions by an actor, Harry Chitterlow, played by that well-known local thespian, Dave Smith. They are joined by an enthusiastic cast of colourful characters, including a small team of children from the Youth of Banbury Operatic Society and Christopher Rawlins School.

Will Kipps marry into the upper classes? What happens to his fortune? Does he stay in the world of drapery? Does his team win the cricket match? Join Kipps and the cast for an evening of wonderful songs including Flash Bang Wallop, All in the Cause of Economy and, of course, the title song, Half A Sixpence.

Half a Sixpence runs from Tuesday to Saturday, October 24 to 28, at Wykham Theatre at Banbury Academy. It starts at 7.30pm each night.

Tickets cost £15 for adults, £13 for concessions and £50 for a family ticket for two adults and two children.

They can be booked by visiting or they are available from Edd Frost & Daughters Family Funeral Directors in Horton View or from Anker & Partners on the High Street.