Mark Drower and the Everyones: 40th anniversary

This very week is the 40th anniversary of the original performance of Everyone by Mark Drower and the pupils of The King’s Grammar School, Ottery St Mary. Goodness knows how that happened so quickly!

To commemorate the occasion, we decided to shine the spotlight on the wonderful songs Mark composed for the performances, and upgrade the written information and backstories on all of the relevant pages – here at the Wud Records website, at our publishing partner Explicit Music, at Bandcamp and at SoundCloud.

All individual song pages on all of those websites have been similarly upgraded.

In July 1982 it was Project Week at The King’s Grammar School, Ottery St Mary. Two of the teachers, Mark Drower and Lyn Schofield, chose to stage a dramatic production of Everyone by Frederick Franck. There would be acting, music, dancing, and lots of different theatre-related technical and backstage jobs that needed doing by the students.

A company of talent signed up for the fun that would follow. It was an extraordinary and memorable event.

Mark Drower was the leader of the project. He was the new religious studies teacher, and an understated yet hugely inspirational composer and musician.

The songs that Mark wrote and performed live during the production were subsequently recorded at Blaze recording studios in Torquay. You can listen and download those beautiful and inspiring songs from Bandcamp by clicking here.

Everyone sold out all three evening performances at King’s School. Word quickly spread after the premiere and the event was a tremendous success. The performances were outstanding, far too good for a group of school pupils, and the memory of it has lingered long for those involved.

There are just four photos, complete with full descriptions, from the last night of the original performances at school. You can see them by clicking here and opening the Everyones’ gallery page.

Here are some delightfully eloquently crafted memories of those took part:


A number of other songs by well-known recording artists were used during the show. They have been compiled in a new Spotify playlist, which you can enjoy by clicking here.

The play was such a success that two further performances took place later in the year at Exeter Cathedral. It was the very first time ever that the cathedral had been used for such a production.

One of the original crew, Now drummer Jon Kneebone, recently sent a press cutting and a poster (thanks Jon!) from the second performances that took place at Exeter Cathedral in November 1982, some four months after the original. What with it being a new academic year, several cast members had changed. The recorded music for the show now also included Oh Lucky Man by Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

There were a number of logistical issues with the Cathedral performance involving scenery and electricity, but all of them were solved by the clever and resourceful crew. Jo Wilson had taken over Amanda’s role as a dancer and performed beautifully. The smiley coquettish Samantha Lotz was Lisa’s replacement as Treasure and she also did a fantastic job.

It would be amazing to hear from anybody else who was involved. Any more memories or photos that you can share and add to the collection would be most welcome. We will publish them and credit you for your contribution, so that many more can continue to enjoy the magic we all made.

If anything should turn up, we shall let you know in our News service and on Twitter, so be sure to keep an eye on them.

We had several contacts from Everyone in the old Wud Records Forums. Sadly, the forums attracted so much spam and rubbish that we had to delete the software altogether. It was swamping our website and using way too much bandwidth.

In many ways Everyone was the dawn of Wud. The Blaze Tape is the oldest recording in our entire collection. Even after four decades it still invokes powerful and fond memories in the personel who were a part of it.

Whoever could have imagined an Everyone 40th Anniversary back in the Project Week of July 1982? The Falklands War had only just ended. Prince William had just been born. E.T. and Michael Jackson’s Thriller were about to be unleashed upon the world, and the fourth terrestrial TV channel in the uk, Channel Four, was still a few months from launch.

The world feels very different now compared to those days, in so many ways, and yet it still seems like Everyone was a recent event. Many of the memories are still fresh and strong.

Why don’t you celebrate the Everyone 40th Anniversary with us by clicking here and pressing play? Go on, you can do it! And you might love it. :)