The Minstrel Scandals

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The Minstrel Scandals was the name given to two cabaret style productions devised by Louis Burke and Joan Brickhill for African Consolidated Theatres (ACT).

The Minstrel Scandals (1966)

Opened at the Alhambra Theatre in Cape Town before playing at the Empire Theatre in Johannesburg in 1966. Frank Lazarus did the vocal arrangements, Boris Cohen was the musical director, and performers included Joan Brickhill, Aubrey Ellis, Eddie Ellis, Lynton Burns, Olive King, Michael Fisher, Stephanie Shiller, Beryl Ellis, Jeanette James, Ronnie Grainge and Charles Stodel.

Non-Stop Minstrel Scandals (1970)

In October 1970 an updated version, now called the Non-Stop Minstrel Scandals (sometimes advertised as the All-New, Non-Stop Minstrel Scandals) was devised, designed, directed, choreographed and lit by Joan Brickhill and Louis Burke and Brickhill-Burke team. This was once again done for ACT at the request of the then manager Charles Stodel, who signed the Australian comedian Lucky Grills for the show.

The rest of the cast consisted of Bobby Dennis, Ann Emery, Joan Brickhill, Helga Wicks, Barry Wicks, Peggy Palette, Julia Palette, Eddie Ellis, Ronnie Grainge, Aubrey Ellis and Jeanette Neale. The full company also included a chorus consisting of The Scandals Lovelies, a special Minstrel Choir, the The Singing Minstrels and soloists Joan Brickhill, Eddie Ellis, Ronnie Grainge and Aubrey Ellis.

Musical Direction and Orchestrations were by Boris Cohen, Decor by Roy Cooke, Costumes designed by Joan Brickhill, Vocal arrangements by Boris Cohen and Frank Lazarus. Lighting designed by Louis Burke.


Programme for the Non-Stop Minstrel Scandals, ESAT Archive

Percy Tucker, 1979: pp. 219, 270

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