Thoroughly Modern Millie

24th - 29th April 2023

Winner of six Tony Awards in 2002, including Best Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie is the stage adaptation of the 1967 film musical, which is itself an adaptation of the 1956 stage musical "Chrysanthemum"!

New York City in 1922 - the height of the Jazz Age - and young Millie Dillmount from Kansas has come to the Big Apple to find a wealthy husband! But things don’t go according to plan. Her hotel owner is smuggling young girls to the Far East, her wealthy boss is a little slow in proposing marriage, and the man she actually loves is broke (or is he?). Filled with frisky flappers, dashing leading men and hissable villains, this is a perfectly constructed evening of madcap merriment.

Production Officials

DirectorNora Howcroft
Musical DirectorCath Hilton
ChoreographerLara Syddall


Millie DillmountCatherine Hall
Muzzy Van HossmereTeresa Harper
Miss Dorothy BrownLauren Carroll
Mrs MeersVicki Wilson
Miss FlanneryJulie Ogden
Jimmy SmithOliver Hall
Mr Trevor GraydonJoe Davies
RuthKathryn Nuttall
GloriaNicola Shallicker
RitaSue Cliffe
AliceJanet Richardson
CoraLara Syddall
Lucille Nina Dickinson
Dorothy Parker/Ethel PeasVal Greenhalgh
Ching HoAlan Moss
Bun FooDavid Witt

Gill Clough, Dave McGreavy, Matthew Shallicker, Maria Sharrocks, Janet Smith

Photographs by Katie Ball

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Reviews & Articles


Set in the Hotel Priscilla, Manhattan, in 1922, Thoroughly Modern Millie tells the story of actresses wanting to make it big time. Amongst the girls is Millie Dillmount, a girl from a small Kansas town whose aim is to marry her boss, although she does not have one, get a job to pay her rent, and to make it into the movies. Will she succeed?

A bright opening sequence of Not For The Life Of Me and Thoroughly Modern Millie was delivered with a fresh energy brought to Walmsley’s stage by Catherine Hall who is a delightful Millie. Super vocals and a great confidence that ensured she never missed a beat and set the pace for this production. A refreshing performance.

Millie forms a friendship with Miss Dorothy Brown. Newcomer Lauren Carroll shines as Miss Dorothy. An enthusiastic performance that oozed stage presence as she worked her way through each scene, song and dance with ease.

As Millie arrives at the hotel she is confronted by the owner who is evicting her for non-payment of rent. Owner, Mrs Meers is in the very safe hands of Vicki Wilson who makes this part her own, as she unscrupulously lures her unsuspecting customers into her underworld. Vicki displayed great comedy timing and kept her double character well, slipping from Chinese accent to American with ease. Some funny moments came out of this terrific performance.

As Mille secures a job she immediately seeks out the boss and knows he is the one she is going to marry. Joe Davies plays Mr Graydon well as he tries to keep his employees on track. Millie makes an unlikely ally in her supervisor, Miss Flannery. Julie Ogden is feisty as Miss Flannery and gives a withering glare to all who cross her path, which does soften when she realises Millie is a strong, independent woman.

As with all these stories, a love interest takes Millie’s eye as she is out celebrating her job success with her friends. Jimmy Smith takes them all to a speakeasy and it is there that the attraction to Millie develops, and we see a romance blossom, although there are one or two bumps along the way. Oliver Hall is refreshing as Jimmy. A good stage presence and watchable style, Oliver presents a suave Jimmy, and portrays this role with great confidence.

Whilst at the speakeasy, vocal entertainment is provided by Muzzy Van Hossmere. Who better to play this role than Teresa Harper who knows how to perform. Impressive vocals and stage presence.

In supporting roles, David Witt and Alan Moss provide hilarity as Mrs Meers’ henchmen Bun Foo and Ching Ho. Creating many a comedic situation, they were foiled at every turn, much to Mrs Meers dismay.

The ensemble was kept busy, especially the 6 dancers/Millie’s friends who took on cameo roles. Janet Richardson, Kathryn Nuttall, Nicola Shalliker, Sue Cliffe, Nina Dickinson and Lara Syddall danced the routines to a high standard, lighting up the stage.

The production team have pulled out all the stops here and the result is a cracking production. Director, Nora Howcroft has ensured the story is transferred from page to stage and Choreographer Lara Syddall provides many a toe tapping routine. Cath Hilton’s musical direction has paid off too as the cast present polished vocals which fill the auditorium with resounding success.

Thank you for your welcome and hospitality.

Paul Cohen

NODA North West

Walmsley Church AODS production is Thoroughly Modern Millie based on the 1967 feature film that starred Julie Andrews and James Fox. Interesting and sad how one of the themes - the slave trade - is still relevant today.

Composite set - in art deco style of blue, black and silver. Raised up stage at the back cleverly concealing the doors that would be used in Mrs Meers’ Boarding House and fanning steps leading down onto the stage, also used for the club where Muzzy sings. Various scenes were then played out, the Office/Prison/Typing pool with individual typing tables having seats attached and on wheels.  The scene on the outside of ledge of the office to mention a few. Some scene changes were long and I am sure as the week goes on they will get smoother and quicker. Stage Crew by Anne Cocking, Nora Howcroft, Dave McGreavy, Gill Pollitt, Zoe Pollitt, Linda West and Janet Witt. Properties by Anne Cocking. Sound was unobtrusive as it should be by Lea Royse and Elodie Perrier. Lighting on the whole was good - there was a scene with Mrs Meers in which I could not see her face. The chasing lighting at the end around the Proscenium was very effective as was the pink wash at the end. Lighting by Norman Bowers and Nathan Emmison.

Costumes were delightful and in keeping as were hair and wigs. Wardrobe by Eileen Reeves.

Lara Syddall choreographs and puts her touch on it with tap dancing office workers sat down and manoeuvring table and chairs on wheels and having fun with the Charleston. Walmsley for this show have chosen backing tracks and a new Musical Director takes to the helm with the very capable Cath Hilton. Nora Howcroft, having fifty years earlier been involved with the show but under another name ‘Chrysanthemum’, is Director of this show.

Ensemble worked well and supported the cast and great to see some youth members included too. The Office- and Boarding House girls all worked great together.  Kathryn Nuttall as Ruth, Nicola Shallicker as Gloria, Sue Cliffe as Rita, Janet Richardson as Alice, Lara Syddall as Cora and Nina Dickinson as Lucille. Val Greenhalgh as Ethel Peas and Dorothy Parker, Joe Davies as Mr Trevor Graydon and Julie Ogden as Miss Flannery all played their part.

Alan Moss as Ching Ho and David Witt as Bun Foo the undercover cops and pretending to not speak English and Ching Ho falling for Millie. Bless.

Miss Dorothy Brown was played by Lauren Carroll who had such a lovely voice and great character as did Oliver Hall playing Jimmy Smith. Both great voices – bravo!

Teresa Harper as Muzzy Van Hossmere brought out the glamour and wow with her character. Some lovely moments when imparting good advice to Millie - delightful!

Bringing the comedy was Vicki Wilson as Mrs Meers aka Daisy Crumpler frustrated actor, Boarding House proprietor and criminal. Hilarious when singing about Stanislavski. Great characterisation and jumping into different accents and her saying “Sad to be alone in the world” very watchable and brilliant.

Last but not least is the title role Millie played by Catherine Hall. Wow what a performance, what a find. Great casting and thoroughly connected to the role with a bit of comedy thrown in too and great energy. Great voice, Catherine working well with the cast. A highlight was Gimme Gimme. Great performance.

Walmsley cast and crew must be delighted with this show. Thank you for the invite and hospitality from my guest Carol and I. Look forward to seeing 9 to 5 The Musical in November.

Liz Hume-Dawson


WINNER Best Female Comedy Character NODA District 5  Vicki Wilson
WINNER Best Leading Female Character in a Musical NODA District 5  Catherine Hall
NOMINATION Best Leading Male Character in a Musical NODA District 5  Oliver Hall
NOMINATION Best Choreographer NODA District 5  Lara Syddall
NOMINATION Best Ensemble NODA District 5   
NOMINATION Best Supporting Actress in a Musical BATS Lauren Carroll
NOMINATION Best Choreographer BATS Lara Syddall