“That Terrible U3A”


A Musical comedy by Tony Crimliskwith additional lyrics by David Dunn

First performed at the Civic Hall in Ormskirk, Lancashire on March 31st/April 1st 2011

by Members of the Aughton and Ormskirk University of the Third Age


Further information from:

tonycrimlisk@mac.com or tcrimlisk@gmail.com: Telephone: 01695 421602


Copyright © 1970 -2010 Tony Crimlisk


Additional copyrights David Dunn & Charles Lennon



The right of Tony Crimlisk to be identified as the Author and Composer of the Work has

been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Apart from use permitted under UK copyright law, this publication may only be reproduced,

stored or transmitted, in any form or by any means, with written permission from the

Author/Composer. All characters in this work are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons,

living or dead, is purely coincidental.


Reviewed  as an “uplifting and life-affirming spectacle...the best advert for the University of the Third Age you could ever wish to see" and “A cracking show” and an “hilarious musical comedy … a story of life, love and laughter".  The beautifully crafted songs deserve to grace much more nationally important stages than the Civic Hall”.




Charley:    A handsome man in his mid 60’s.  As a young man he got engaged to a girl but then met Doris and fell in love with her.   He felt however that he was duty bound to carry on with the marriage - which didn’t last long.  He married again but is now widowed.  He’s still in love with Doris who is married to Henry - a golf fanatic. Sings:   ‘The Early Years’, ’Wish I Had Met You’ and ‘Life’s Not Bad’ with Doris.


Doris:   Kindly, comfortable and attractive. She met Charley and fell in love with him just after he had become engaged.   On the rebound she married Henry and has become a ‘golf widow’, nevertheless she feels it her duty to look after him and her family - all of whom have come to rely heavily on her.   Sings: ‘First Love’, ‘Wish I Had Met You’, with Charley and ‘Life’s Not Bad’ with all the other principals.      


Cherry:  Glamorous, sporty, larger than life and very committed to the U3A and its activities. She dresses well.   Sings: ’That Terrible U3A’ and ’Come in, the Love is Fine’ with Don.                    


 Don:  Outwardly confident, fit, and fond of the ladies.   He very much fancies Cherry but is rather overawed by her.  He dresses smartly.  Sings and dances: ’I’m Still Doing OK’ and ’Come in the Love is Fine’ with Cherry.   


Chairman:  Does his/her best to give out notices but has a problem getting people to listen.   Sings/speaks: ‘Chairman’s Rap’, ‘What the People Talk about’ and a reprise of ‘Chitter-chatter’.


Bonnie:   A glamorous ex-showgirl with a meek husband, Arnold, who is completely under her thumb.   She dresses extravagantly.     Sings/speaks: the ‘Showgirl’ lyric, ‘My Philosophy’ and ‘Things that might have been’.


"Young" Tom:  One hundred and two and still dancing!   Could be female in disguise.   He has his own particular philosophy of life and dances the ‘U3A Tap Dance’ with others.                          


Elsie:  A new U3A member. She misses her late husband and is upset about being alone.     Sings ‘The One I Loved’ and ‘Wonders of the World’.


Arnold: Bonnie’s long-suffering husband - a non-speaking part. 


Chorus of U3A members:  All members of the U3A various shapes, sizes, and ages!      Sing: ’The Best of Everything’ and ’That Terrible U3A’ reprise


Two (or more) tap dancers:  To dance with "Young" Tom etc..          


Others: Individual members of the chorus: Group leaders. One-liners; Backing Groups etc.        



‘That Terrible U3A’ - musical by Tony Crimlisk




Act 1:

Scene 1: Stage set for a U3A coffee morning.


U3A members arrive for their weekly coffee morning.   Already seated are Cherry, Doris, Don and Elsie.   Over the noise of chatter and the clinking of teacups the Chairman tries to give out notices.  Song (Chorus) ‘Chitter-Chatter’


Elsie is a new member concerned that she is on her own.  She learns that there is a Ballroom Dancing Party that evening and also a trip to Venice.   Don shows interest in Cherry who is very involved with U3A activities; she sings: ‘That Terrible U3A’.  Enter ex-Showgirl Bonnie and her hen-pecked husband Arnold; she performs‘Showgirl’ and ‘Bonnie’s Dance’.  The Chairman wonders ‘What do people find to talk about?’ followed by a reprise of ‘Chitter-Chatter’ to new words. He announces that it’s “Young” Tom’s 102nd birthday and Tom, and others, dance to the ‘U3A Tap Dance’ based on the rhythm of ‘U3A’ in Morse code.  Everyone sings: ’The Best of Everything’.

Scene 2: Front of tabs.


Charley and Doris leave the meeting to talk outside.  He wants her to go away on a U3A holiday to Venice but she says she can’t spare the time from her responsibilities to family and husband.   They reminisce on how they felt for one another when they were young.   Doris sings: “First Love’ and Charley sings: ‘The Early Years’ – which turns into a Viennese waltz to end the first half. 


Act 2.

Scene 1: The party.


Everyone is in party mood dancing a conga and singing; ‘Isn’t This a Lovely Party?’ All exit to get some cake and ‘Champagne’ except Elsie who, feeling sad, hangs behind. She speaks with the Chairman and sings; ‘The One I Loved’.   The ‘Chairman’s Rap’, persuades her that, although she’s alone, she is still her own best friend.   Elsie cheers up and determines to enjoy life and to travel.  She sings: ‘The Wonders of the World’. Bonnie overhears and offers ‘My Philosophy’ followed by ‘Things that Might Have Been’.   Charley and Doris return and sing ‘I Wish I Had Met You (a long time ago)’.   Don & Cherry enter.   Don sings and dances: ‘I’m Still Doing OK’.    Cherry is impressed.  


Cherry begins to think she and Don might make a good pair.   They sing: ‘Come in the Love is Fine’.  In the last verse Don “accidentally” asks Cherry to marry him.    Surprised and shocked she refuses - but says she’ll take him in trial! Charley and Doris sing ‘Life’s not bad’ (When you are old). The Chairman asks Group Leaders to introduce their Groups to Elsie which they do in selected new verses of ’That Terrible U3A’.   Final chorus of  ’That Terrible (Wonderful) U3A’.


Curtain call: Reprise of ‘ The Best of Everything’