“CHESS – The Musical” was performed at Ysgol John Bright in March 2008.
The show opens in Merano, Italy in the early 1980s. The locals eagerly await the arrival of both the International Chess Championships and the International press to their small town. Freddy Trumper, the reigning American Chess Grand Master, arrives with a media frenzy which matches his overinflated ego.
Meanwhile, the arrival of the Russian challenger Anatoly Sergievsky passes by almost unnoticed. Freddy is accompanied by his partner, Florence Vassy, who was forced to flee her native Hungary when the Russiansinvaded in 1956. Having lost her family in the uprising, she remains haunted by these events – a fact which Freddy uses to keep control over her.
The Cold war is raging. Relations between America and Russia have never been worse. The match brings out bitter feelings between the two sides, inflamed by KGB agent Molokov and FBI agent Walter deCourcey. Fortunately the Arbiter is on hand to ensure fair play.
Gradually, Anatoly and Florence develop feelings for each other as Freddy’s game plan starts to fall apart. Anatoly wins and immediately claims asylum in the west so he won’t be forced to go back to communist Russia.
A year later Anatoly is in Bangkok to defend his title against a new challenger from the Soviet Union. Florence foresees trouble as rumours start about the arrival in Thailand of Anatoly’s wife – a KGB plot to force Anatoly to lose. The FBI have their own reasons for wanting Anatoly to lose – shady deals to recover political prisoners from Russia. Florence is drawn into the subterfuge as Walter promises that her long lost father can be recovered as part of the deal. As the final match concludes, Florence and Anatoly reflecton how “we go on pretending stories like ours have happy endings”.
Frederick Trumper (American grandmaster) – NATHAN BELLIS
Florence Vassy (Frederick’s second) – DEBRA FINCH
Anatoly Sergievsky (Russian Grandmaster) – MATT DAVIES
Walter de Courcey (Head of the AmericanDelgation) – CHRIS KEADY
Alexander Molokov (Head of the RussianDelegation) – SEAN THOMAS
Arbiter (Match Referee) – MICHAELA PARRY
Svetlana Sergievskaya (Anatloy’s wife) CHLOE KEENAN
Miss Gemma Bolton
Miss Dwynwen Fleur
Mrs Glesni Jones
Miss Lona Jones
Mr Andrew Lemon
Mr Elfed Morris
Mr Richard Outtram
Mr Trevor Taylor
Miss Nicki Walker
(Citizens of Merano, KGB Agents, Americans, Russians, Delegates, Civil servants, Reporters, TV personnel, Monks, Chess Pieces)
Rebecca Hornby Jones
Jamie Lee Cornish
Directors/Choreographers – Mrs Susan Collins, Miss Gemma Bolton, Miss Lona Jones
Choreographers – Miss Nicki Walker, Mrs Lesley Richardson, Miss Marie Nicastro, Bethan Foster,
Sarah Bowen, Charlotte McNamara, Sophie Algieri, Stephanie Evans, Shaunna Thomas
Cameraman/Programme design – Mr Colin Stevens
Lighting technician – Emma Gibson
Sound technician – Mr Matt Vickery
Set building & technical support – Mr John McMullin
P.A. – Miss Nicki Walker & Mrs Jill Jones
Seamstress/Logistics – Mrs Becky Davies
Head Dress construction – Ms Jenny Jones
Hair & Makeup
Front of House
Conductor – Mrs Susan Collins
Keyboards – Mr Simon Hulme, Mr Graeme Cotterill
Violins – Mr Sam Ellis, Ms Ruth Parker
Cello – Mr Tim Cotter
Bass – Mr Paul Roberts
Guitar – Mr Chris Moore
Woodwind – Miss Laura Kestell, Miss Gemma Whatmore, Miss Marie Nicastro, Ceri Armstrong, Mr Tristan Roberts
Brass – Mr Keith Jones, Mr Chris Williams, Miss Ellen Stevens, Mr Tim Heeley
Percussion – Mr Mark Haigh