www.spotlightsmtg.co.uk    Tickets  can be booked at www.ticketsource.co.uk/spotlightsmusicaltheatregroup  

John Beckitt, son of the internationally famous ventriloquist, Jack Beckitt, is starring as Colonel Pickering in the Lerner and Lowe musical, My Fair Lady, in Ascot in the summer. The musical is being performed by The Spotlights Musical Theatre Group (SMTG) at Papplewick School from July 13th - 15th.  John spent his childhood backstage in theatres at which his dad was performing and although he didn't follow him into show business - John was a pilot with BA - the theatre is in his blood and he finds singing and dancing with Spotlights great fun.

"My dad always wanted to be a ventriloquist", said John, "and after many years and much hard work he finally made it big time with appearances on "The Good Old Days", a BBC music hall programme and, for a season, at the London Palladium. His most successful wooden friend was Willie Drinkall, who liked one too many, and both of them wowed audiences at The American Hotel in Miami and at Sands in Las Vegas, one of the world's top entertainment venues".www.ticketsource.co.uk/spotlightsmusicaltheatregroup

Following this Jack performed all over the world and was particularly successful in Australia where he died in 2009.

John, who lives in Virginia Water, has performed with the SMTG for many years now starting off in the chorus and steadily progressing to principal roles including Sir Joseph Porter in HMS Pinafore, Vernon Hines in Pajama Game and now Colonel Hugh Pickering in My Fair Lady. "It's a perfect musical", said John. "All you have to do is remember Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn in the film and you're immediately reminded of such songs as "I could Have Danced all Night", "The Ascot Gavotte" and "On The Street Where You Live", all of them a perfect marriage of words and music.

"My dad, and Willie Drinkall, would have loved it", said John, "and I know our audiences will too" 

My Fair Lady will be performed at Papplewick School in Ascot from Thursday July 13 to Saturday July 15. Performances will be at 730pm and there will also be a matinee at 230pm on the Saturday. 

Tickets cost £16 for adults and £11 for children under 16 and can be bought from any SMTG member or from the group's box office on 0333 666 3366.  A transaction charge of £1.50 will be made for telephone box office bookings. They can also be purchased on line at no extra charge at www.ticketsource.co.uk/spotlightsmusicaltheatregroup




BACKGROUND: The Spotlights Musical Theatre Group, previously the Sunningdale Savoy Chorus, has been performing amateur musical theatre for the Ascot, Sunnindale and Sunninghill communities since 1991. They perform a main show each July topped and tailed by an autumn and Christmas concert. The group is approx 40 members strong and sees local charitable fund raising as an important part of its music making. The SMTG is music directed by Serena Kay.


MY FAIR LADY is a musical based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The story concerns Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins, a phoneticist, so that she may pass as a lady. The original Broadway, London and film versions all starred Rex Harrison.

The musical's 1956 Broadway production was a notable critical and popular success. It set a record for the longest run of any show on Broadway up to that time. It was followed by a hit London production, a popular film version, and numerous revivals. My Fair Lady has frequently been called "the perfect musical".