Stewart Nicholls


Just-the-Ticket exists to produce, restore and revive British musicals. But why would someone in his 20’s want to spend so much time searching, restoring, revising, directing and staging old shows that would otherwise be forgotten? Well, I was a somewhat unusual child in that I didn’t listen to pop music – unlike all my friends – I was much happier to listen to old fashioned records, and I was never more excited than to go and see all the musicals that were presented by the local operatic society. It wasn’t long before I started dancing, playing the piano and performing with local amateur societies. My life changed when I was at 6th Form College and I was encouraged by my ‘A’ level music teacher to direct a musical. I was 16 and so, not knowing any better, I directed my first British musical, Stop the World – I Want To Get Off, and played the lead too! Perhaps too precocious but not put off by this, I was encouraged further and at 17 directed Half a Sixpence – and played Kipps too! I also invited the writer, David Heneker to come to the show. Unfortunately he couldn’t, but his wife Gwenol came to a rehearsal. This was wonderful because we were all being coached by the actual writer of the show. David and I became good friends from thereon and he continually supported and encouraged me throughout the next few years. At 18, I went to the Guildford School of Acting and studied Musical Theatre for three years. During that time, I started my own theatre company and produced musicals during my summer holidays! My aim was to recognise so many of the ‘forgotten’ British musicals that I knew were good but yet were never performed. Having collected cast albums since I was 12, and having read Kurt Gänzl’s excellent book, ‘The British Musical Theatre – Vol. 2’, I knew that there were many shows just waiting to be re-discovered.

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