Music – Olympian Productions
01 Jan 1970 |

Ballroom California

Cali Rockabilly Opener Song
Please stop the main song before playing this song.

Tony Bignell – Director


Tony has been acting professionally for 10 years. He is probably best known for playing ‘Matt’ in the BBC3 Sitcom, ‘Coming of Age’. At the age of 12, Tony won a Full-Time scholarship to the prestigious, ‘Sylvia Young Theatre School. This is his first venture into directing, but has worked with several BAFTA and OSCAR winning directors, so he has learnt a lot from them. He is looking forward to directing and performing in the musical ‘Ballroom California’.

Simon Tabert—Musical Director
Simon is a pianist and singer with experience that spans many genres from traditional church music to modern pop. In the 80s he worked as a keyboard player in studio, well known music venues and for a well known professional group. He has also been involved in musically directing amateur theatre groups in Beds and Herts for over 25 years. His credits include, Chess, Little Shop Of Horrors, Return to the Forbidden Planet, Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar, We Will Rock You, Our House and Grease to name but a few. In 1984 he adapted the play Hobson’s Choice by writing several original songs which were critically acclaimed locally. Simon is most at home with modern musical styles and therefore an ideal choice to work on this project.

Chantelle Walker

Chantelle Walker is trained in Contemporary, Jazz, Disco, Rock n Roll, Ballroom & Latin & Street Dance.
Chantelle Studied at the University of Ripon & York St John. After completing her BA Hons Degree in Dance & Communications, she went on to perform in BBC productions as a dancer and has appeared on many programmes as an extra.
Chantelle has choreographed for the Crazy & Cool School of performing arts, Urban contemporary dance, Expressions Drama School and Pascal’s school of Dance.
Chantelle is currently employed as a Dance coach for Active Luton and teaches Dance and Physical Education to schools across Luton and Bedfordshire.

Maria Samuel

Maria Samuel was born and raised in Dunstable. After leaving school she went on to study hair and beauty. Maria then went on to become a tv extra appearing in films and tv programmes, having lots of fun on the way. Maria travelled a bit too. Then she met her husband who is also her best friend and settled in to family life having four beautiful children. Maria is happy to be involved in this exciting project, and looks forward to seeing what the future has in store.

Lian Morawski

Lian trained at Nottingham Trent University to gain her BA degree in Theatre Design.
Since graduating she has worked freelance as a costume maker and designer and toured with a number of shows.
These include UK Productions, Disneys Beauty and the Beast and various musicals with Carry on Costumes working on P&O Cruise ships.
Since returning to Dunstable she has also worked locally on a youth production at the Grove Theatre and is currently working in the charity sector.

Toni Leader


After completing A-Levels at Brentwood County High Sixth Form in her hometown Brentwood, Essex, Toni is set to graduate from her BA (Hons) degree in Media Performance this year. Currently working on her final major project; an acting monologue on the topic of sex trafficking, her interests include fashion, music and acting. A very dedicated and ambitious young lady, Toni has even performed within dance groups at Her Majesty’s Theatre, the Royal Albert Hall and Euro Disney and studies hard, whilst also working part-time as a sales assistant. With a particular interest in stage management, she has enjoyed her work placement as Assistant Stage Manager with Olympian Productions and hopes to eventually work in London within the stage management field.

Jade Emmanuel


Jade is a class of 2012 BA (Hons) Creative Writing graduate, for her final project she wrote and recited a monologue based on child abduction. The summer of 2012 ended on a high when Jade was fortunate to be more than a spectator at the Olympic games, where she worked , meeting new people and gaining lifelong skills. Jade enjoys writing prose fiction, poetry and script and hopes to one day write professionally.

Pearl Johnson- Timmika Ramsay

Ozzie Drayton – Tony Bignell

Mick Ilka – Jaymes Sygrove

Eddie Green – Mick Hale

Mrs Green – Helen Huson

Noddy Holder – Paul Skinner

Dusty Springfield – Lisa Abella

Yohan Johnson – Korin Sharpe

Mr Johnson – Errol Albert

Mrs Johnson & Ensemble – Samantha Corrigan

Christine & Ensemble – Alanna Lee

Mayor & Ensemble – Bradley Adams

Mayoress & Ensemble – Ellie Scott

Drunkard & Ensemble – Alex McKay

Photographer & Bouncer – Joe Corrigan

Mary Wilson (The Supremes) – Elsaidie Smith 



quotes…from the Cali Courtesy of

[pullquote position=”left”]We were playing a gig in Romford, Essex when Eddie Green asked us if we would perform at the opening night of the California Ballroom. The Greens were fantastic, they treated us like family. I was there when Edwin died, that was a really sad time. – Russ Sainty & the Nu-Notes[/pullquote]

[pullquote position=”right”]We worked a lot with Rhet Stoller, the band was interchangeable really, I worked on his songs and he worked on mine. I still see allthe old band, we have get-togethers at my house every now and then. – Russ Sainty[/pullquote]


[pullquote position=”left”]We were also working six nights a week, and as I was handling the bookings, I made sure that we rested on the seventh day whenever possible, to get our (sic) washing done. With the success of the records, the venues had stepped up a notch. We were now out of the pub circuit and into colleges and up-market gigs, like the Bath Pavilion, the California Ballroom in Dunstable, the Ricky-Tick in Windsor and the Red Shoes Ballroom in Elgin. – Mike Shaw, The Who’s first Production Manager[/pullquote]

Pink Floyd interview transcribed from Brain Damage Issue 20. Reproduced with kind permission from Glenn Povey.

(ZZ= Zig Zag     RW= Roger Waters     NM= Nick Mason)

ZZ: Were the gigs in the early days really scary?

NM: No, not really, we got jolly annoyed but we weren’t really scared. We just went on and on and on. We never said, ‘Damn this, lets pack it in’. We just trudged around for a daily dose of broken bottle.

RW: Where was it that we actually had broken beer mugs smashing into the drum kit?

NM: East Dereham, and The California Ballroom, Dunstable.

RW: The California Ballroom Dunstable was the one where they were pouring pints of beer on to us from the balcony, that was most unpleasant, and very, very dangerous too.

Paul Weller – from an interview with Paul Baker courtesy of

Paul Baker asks; When did the Jam start using the ‘sheet backdrop’ at their concerts? A friend of mine reckoned that someone sprayed this design in the toilets of the California Ballroom in Dunstable, and wondered if there was any truth in this?

Paul replies; “I can’t remember for certain, but it sounds feasible – I think our roadies at the time Alan and Nick done it.”

[pullquote position=”left”]I can never forget the fantastic time I had playing the California Ballroom back in Da’ Day. The crowd was awesome and the funk was thick enough to cut with a knife. – Brass Construction [/pullquote]
[pullquote position=”right”]KEEP SOUL ALIVE!! – Randy Muller[/pullquote]

[pullquote position=”left”]Message from Geno Washington to his fans…….

“Great memories and the highest respect.”[/pullquote]

When www.california– spoke to Geno at the beginning of October 2005 he instantly remembered the California.

“He asked us to pass on his best wishes to all of the fans and said that without people like you he wouldn’t have had the life he’s had.”