Opera Scotland

Show Boat 1991Opera North

Read more about the opera Show Boat

This was the first time Opera North had staged a classic Broadway musical - a tradition they have continued to pursue over many years since, and generally with striking success.  These performances were very welcome, the work being almost unknown in Scotland, and the quality of presentation helped to stimulate the idea that Show Boat may, in fact, be the greatest ever Broadway musical. It introduced a level of seriousness in its plotting never encountered before in an industry dominated by frivolous musical comedies. It's the earliest to survive in the repertoire (with the possible exception of No! No! Nanette, from 1923), and offers a strong challenge to such later wonders as Guys and Dolls, Carousel and My Fair Lady.

Ian Judge's staging was both elegant and characterful, in sets and costumes by Russell Craig and Alex Reid that could scarcely have been improved on, even if they did not look hugely expensive. While the romantic leads and the parents were all beautifully handled, and the entire company played with enormous conviction, the undoubted stars of the show were the wonderful Bruce Hubbard and Karla Burns, who had enjoyed similar success in the classic 1987 recording of the piece..

Performance Cast

Cap'n Andy Hawks owner of the 'Cotton Blossom'

David Healy

Parthy Ann Hawks Cap'n Andy's wife

Margaret Courtenay

Magnolia Hawks daughter of Andy and Parthy Ann

Jan Hartley

Frank Schultz an actor on the 'Cotton Blossom'

Simon Green

Ellie May Chipley an actress on the 'Cotton Blossom'

Janie Dee

Steve Baker leading man of the 'Cotton Blossom' company

Mark Heenehan

Julie LaVerne Steve Baker's wife and leading lady

Marilyn Cutts

Queenie ship's cook on the 'Cotton Blossom'

Karla Burns

Joe Queenie's man

Bruce Hubbard

Pete Gavin towboat engineer on the 'Cotton Blossom'

Ron Travis


Peter Johnston

Rubber Face

Alan Spencer

Gaylord Ravenal a professional gambler on the river boats

Richard Halton

Sheriff Vallon

Graeme du Fresne


Garrick Forbes


Trevor Alexander

Old Lady on the Levee

Lucy Fenwick

Mrs O'Brien a landlady

Anna Daventry


Jacqueline Perkins

Young Kim

Linda Mansouri

Deborah Pitt

Mother Superior

Teresa Wellard

Kim Ravenal daughter of Gay and Magnolia

Kate Lawson


Ron Travis

Jake pianist at the Trocadero nightclub

Graeme du Fresne

Charlie doorman at the Trocadero

Mark Heenehan


Teresa Wellard


Lucy Fenwick


Kate Lawson

Performance DatesShow Boat 1991

Map List

Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

26 Feb, 19.30 27 Feb, 14.30 27 Feb, 19.30 28 Feb, 19.30 1 Mar, 19.30 2 Mar, 14.30 2 Mar, 19.30

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