Memories: Oliver Symons

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Non Stop was a very important milestone in my life.

Peter had the idea at the first night party for the first ever performance of Western Theatre Ballet at Dartington Hall. He saw Hazel Merry dancing with me and wanted to use her special ballet trained jive style. He asked Hazel, Jeffrey Taylor and me if we could manage to learn and rehearse a new ballet during the very hard three weeks' tour of one night stands in the West Country and we had its first night at the Bristol Theatre Royal. We had great fun working on the ballet with Peter and dancing to the jazz music of Dizzy Gillespie and Roy Eldridge.

The ballet was a big success and we danced it at the week's season at The Arts Theatre, London, which followed Bristol. We were also asked that week to perform on TV in an Arts programme presented by Ludovic Kennedy. Subsequently we danced it hundreds of times in England and abroad and on TV in Holland and Belgium. Hazel and I did every performance for 7 years with various other boys as the other one in the trio - Dennis Griffith, Peter Cazalet, David Hepburn. When the film of Mods and Rockers was made, the first half of the film was Non Stop.

One of the best seasons was when the company played at the Prince Charles Theatre in London one Christmas and we danced the whole programme, including Non Stop to a live jazz band. Every night the music was different but always exciting. Non Stop lives on brightly in my memory.

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