Up On The Roof

Up On The Roof

Up On The Roof, written by Simon Moore and Jane Prowse, was originally developed from improvisation with Beverley Hills, Mark McGann, Felicity Montagu, Michael Mueller and Gary Olsen.

Mark arranged the music for this production.

Up On The Roof

Theatre Royal, Plymouth ~ 1st to 18th April 1987

Donmar Warehouse, London ~ 27th April '87 to 16th May '87

Apollo Theatre, London ~ 8th June '87 to 22nd August '87

Five friends, Scott, Bryony, Keith, Ange and Tim, are studying at Hull University in 1975. They get together and form a vocal harmony group, 'The Roof Club', and meet up on the roof to sing and have fun. We meet them as their days together are coming to an end.

Scott (Mark), the leader of the group, hopes to get a recording contract. He is in love with Bryony (Felicity Montagu), who is staying on to study for a phd. Ange (Beverly Hills), despite her hard work, has failed her finals, her dream of becoming a teacher has gone and she is desperately lacking in self-confidence. Keith (Gary Olsen), with his philosophy of "results don't matter just enjoy life" has gained a 2:1! Tim (Michael Mueller), however, who followed Keith's philosophy, has failed. We leave them on their last day with their promises to each other to never sell out, work 9 to 5 or get married. They pledge to meet in 10 years time at Tims parents villa in France.

It's December 1980 when we next meet them, for a brief reunion at Bryony's wedding to her art professor. Ange is now more confident, Tim has become successful as a children's TV presenter, Keith is now a successful Australian landscape gardner with his own business and Bryony is in love. Scott, however, has been less successful. He feels betrayed - he never got them the recording contract he so desired, but feels his pleas for help were ignored. Just as Bryony is about to get married he tells her he still loves her.

And so we cut to the reunion in France in 1985. Keith is a success as a husband, father and businessman. Tim is unhappy after his career was wrecked by a scandal. Bryony is enjoying her art. Scott is now happily teaching infants and Ange is a chart-toping pop star called 'Angel'!

Songs from Up On The Roof

The songs from this production were amazing, all sung accapella, and even now, twenty years on, when I hear these songs it takes me back to these performances.

'Up On The Roof', 'Bohemian Rhapsody', 'What Becomes of the Broken Hearted', 'Never can Say Goodbye', 'I'm Not In Love', 'My Eyes Adored You', 'When Will I See You Again'.

Mark's publicity photo for 'Up On The Roof'

The inscription on this reads 'yer big robber' - I obtained this photo, and the following two, from outside the Apollo Theatre the day after it closed, thanks to a nice man putting stuff in a skip who handed them over. It was only several months later, when I asked Mark to sign them, that it emerged they should have been kept and their disappearance had been a mystery. Neither Mark, Simon Moore or Jane Prowse (who both happened to be with him when I asked for the autograph!) had had any idea where they had gone.

'Up On The Roof' - 1975 and the roof club is in full swing.

1980 and it's Bryony's wedding, only not to Scott.

'Up On The Roof' in 1975

Bryony's Wedding 1980

The South of France 1985

The Roof Club

Simon Moore and Jane Prowse, with the cast (l to r)

Beverley Hills, Gary Olsen, Michael Mueller, Felicity Montagu and Mark McGann.

Gary Olsen

3.11.57 - 12.09.00

Gary played the part of Keith in this production and was an outstanding actor who never failed to make me laugh whilst on-stage. Off-stage he was quieter, though always very amusing, often causing havoc, but a lovely guy.

Gary died of cancer on 12th September 2000, only 10 months after diagnosis.

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