Mark Drower and the Everyones

Mark Drower and the Everyones

Mark Drower and the Everyones was an ensemble of teachers and students from The King’s Grammar School, Ottery St Mary.

In July 1982 it was Project Week at King’s School. All manner of projects were available, from aviation to windsurfing.

Two of the teachers, Mark Drower and Lynne Schofield, both from the Religious Studies department, decided it would be fun – and a great learning experience for the students – to stage a performance of a play. Everyone by Frederick Franck was the play that was selected to be performed.

A full crew of actors, dancers, musicians, stage hands, technicians and so on would be needed. A company of talent signed up for the fun that would follow. It was an extraordinary and memorable event.

Who Were the Everyones?

Project Week was optional for students in the fifth and upper sixth forms because they were finished with formal exams. Nevertheless, three fifth formers and one member of the upper sixth form chose to take part.

From the fifth form, George, whose parents had just moved from Sidmouth to Exeter bang in the middle of his ‘O’ Levels, wanted to keep in touch with his friends so he joined the group.

So did two of the three dancers. Amanda Drew, who was about to move away from Devon altogether, joined with her best friend Caireen Toms.

Lisa Williams, from the upper sixth, played the role of Treasure in the play.

Apart from Simon from the lower sixth on lead guitar, everyone else was from the fourth form or below.

Mark Drower was the leader. He was a young new teacher, just coming to the end of his first full academic year at the chalkface. He choose the music, wrote the songs and directed the play.

Mark was a composer and musician of extraordinary talent. He was understated, yet vastly inspirational. Mark Drower and the Everyones became manifest as the ensemble of teachers and students from Project Week 1982.

The Everyones, who provide backing vocals and atmosphere to the recording, came from the cast and crew of the play. We are confident that the entire ensemble to make the journey to Blaze numbered 17 in total. They were Mark Drower, Lyn Schofield, Simon Miller, Lisa Williams, Emma Leach, Tim Atkins, Richard Rugg, Jon Kneebone, Caireen Toms, Pete Rippin, Ian Barratt, Mark Colson, Rachel Pettet, Miranda Blayney, Allanah Tomkins, Andrew Lazenby and George Davies. At least, we think so!

According to the original programme, and adjusted for possible inaccuracies based on memories of what people said they did, the players for the school performances were as follows:

Mark Drower – vocals and acoustic guitar, director
Simon Miller – electric guitar

Amanda Drew – dancer
Caireen Toms – dancer
Adrienne Law – dancer

Andy Roper – Everyone

Lynne Cruwys – The Voice of God
Andrew Lazenby – Death

Dave Wareham – father
Miranda Blayney – mother
Delphy Knowles – child

Mark Colson
Mark Taylor
Rebecca Steel
Rachel Pettet

Lisa Williams – Treasure

Allanah Tomkins – Insight

Emma Leach – lighting
Jon Kneebone – lighting
Tim Atkins – follow spot
Pete Rippin – sound
Ian Barratt – sound
George Davies – guitar technician

Jo Coker – prompt
Jenny Dennis – choreography
Lynne Schofield – stage manager

Colette Burnet – backstage
Andrea Tree – backstage

At the Cathedral, there were a few changes of personnel.
Jo Wilson – dancer (for Amanda)
Sam Lotz – Treasure (for Lisa)
Rick Rugg – a friend

There are four photos in the gallery from the first set of performances at the school. There is more backstory in the gallery as well – click here to view.

Everyone Rocked!

Everyone sold out all three evening performances at King’s School. The event was such a success that the play was staged again, in November, at Exeter Cathedral. It was the very first time Exeter Cathedral had ever been used for such a production.

A poster and a press cutting from the cathedral performances have materialised (thanks Jon!). These have been added to the gallery.

Thanks also to Miranda for sending us the original programme and a ticket for the show at the school. These have also been added to the gallery.

What with the November performances taking place in a new academic year, some of the original cast members changed. Amanda’s parents had moved to Leicester taking her with them, to everybody’s great dismay and sadness. She was replaced as a dancer by Jo Wilson, who did a fantastic job. Lisa had gone to university and was replaced as Treasure by Sam Lotz, who also gave an excellent performance. Miranda was replaced as the mother in the Family scene, although we are not sure who replaced her.

A number of great songs were used to enhance the show. Punctuating the acting, music played and the three beautifully choreographed swishy-haired dancers would mesmerise the audience, writhing and frolicking in black leotards among the shadows and light beams.

The songs have been compiled into a Spotify playlist by Emma. Now you can taste a flavour of the atmosphere and imagine all of those scenes for yourself.

You can enjoy it here:

Oh Lucky Man by Emerson, Lake and Palmer was not included originally for the school performances. It was subsequently added into the Cathedral shows. Breadfan by Budgie was played from the beginning of the quieter wistful refrain, from about halfway in. It was perhaps the most memorable scene from the play, among many memorable scenes. Only the end section of Rudy by Supertramp was used.

In Hindsight…

In many ways, Everyone was the dawning of Wud. The Blaze Tape is the oldest recording in our collection. Even after four decades, it still invokes powerful and fond memories in the personel who were a part of it. The songs Mark wrote are wonderful, timeless classics.

Special thanks and enormous gratitude go out to the fabulous people who helped clarify vague recollections and contribued to helping put the Mark Drower and the Everyones pages together. Emma Leach, Tim Atkins, Jon Kneebone, Miranda Blayney, Alannah Tomkins, Pok, Andy Roper – you people totally rock!