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					Cirencester Operatic Society                                                                       !

The barn
JANUARY 2010                                                                                           FIFTH EDITION 

Happy New Year
Well it is 2010 and I cele-   still puts on great shows                                    SHOWS THIS YEAR 
brate 10 years of being a     and is improving year on       Calamity Jane, Trial by
member of this fantastic      year both on and off stage.    Jury and HMS Pinafore.          Mack and Mabel—May
Operatic Society.                                            We had some lovely mem-         2010
                              In the last year the com-
                                                             bers and friends events
I remember coming along       mittee have looked at how
                                                             and another year of suc-        Princess Ida—October
to my first rehearsal and     they can improve and
                                                             cess. In this newsletter I
immediately being asked       work better for the society                                    2010
                                                             want to review 2009 and
to join the members for a     in a manner of ways in-
                                                             also look forward to 2010.
drink in the pub after.       cluding how we report at
That was Carousel and         the AGM. The AGM in
back then we used to go       2009 saw a different for-
                                                             I hope you enjoy reading
to the Wagon & Horses         mat with much more in-
                                                             it. If you have any ideas
over the road. Back then      formation being provided
                                                             for future newsletters
much was different; no        to the members. In 2010
                                                             please do let us know. The
sound, basic lighting,        we want to expand the
                                                             society can be contacted
some productions with 2       AGM further in terms of
                                                             via the website, or email
pianos rather than an or-     what it gives its members
chestra. But also much is     and also allow the mem-
                                                   , or call
still the same. The society   bers to contribute further.
                                                             me on 01285 648230.
still has the same family     We may also end up with
feel. It still has many of    a glass of wine to celebrate
the same faces whilst also    another year at The Barn
                                                             Happy New Year!
welcoming new members         Theatre.
just like I was in January
                              So 2009 saw us perform
1990. Most importantly it

Membership News                                                                            Inside this issue: 
Our membership numbers        you all again in 2010.         Don’t forget you commit-
have remained the same                                       tee and you. The commit-
over the past year. We                                       tee is there to do the bor-     Membership News
welcomed new members          The last couple of editions    ing jobs but also make
including James and           I have commented on            decisions about the soci-
                                                                                             Calamity Jane Review
Simon who took lead roles     rehearsal attendance and       ety. We want to hear from
in HMS Pinafore as Ralph      this again has improved—       members if they have
and Dick Deadeye. We          so thank you. As a re-         feedback, good or bad, or       News in Brief
also saw some of our          minder, rehearsals start at    something they would like
members leave us to go to     7.30pm not 7.40pm!             to see. So please talk to
University, but we are ever   Please can you make every      the committee and be part       2010– The Year Ahead
hopeful that they will re-    effort to be there on time     of how this society oper-
turn after their studies.     as we all want to have fun,    ates as well as the shows.
                                                                                             Trial BY Jury & HMS
                              but we also need to work
We also have over 65                                         The committee meet the
                              hard—so can we ask that
Friends of the Society who                                   first Wednesday of every
support us and we would
                              your mobile phones go
                                                             month—so talk to us!
                              away other than the need
like to thank you all for
                              for urgent calls. Thank
your continual support—                                                                      Bijou Opera
we look forward to seeing
THE BARN                                                                                      Page 2 

News in Brief!
Website                             Buy Your Theatre/Dance             Swindon Gilbert & Sullivan
                                    Supplies from COS and sup-         Society
Don’t forget our website for        port the Society.
society news.                                                          COS have always had close
                                    The Society is now about to        links with Swindon G&S Soci-
www.cirencesteroperaticsociety.     provide all your dance/theatre     ety sharing members, costumes,                               supplies including tap and char-   props and audiences.
                                    acter shows at reasonable
We want to start using our                                             In 2010 they will be sharing
                                    prices. We can also supply
website more and give our                                              Directors! Between 11th and
                                    fancy dress costumes to buy. If
members and friends a site                                             13th March they will be per-
                                    you are interested in making
worth looking at on a regular                                          forming the Hot Mikado at the
                                    any purchase please see Rachel
basis. If you have any ideas for                                       Wyvern Theatre. This produc-
                                    for a catalogue.
articles or functions or anything                                      tion is directed by me and I
you would like to see on the        Costume Hire                       hope many of you will come
website please speak to Belinda,                                       along and support the produc-
or email us through the website     Ever seen something on stage
and we will see if we can en-       you would like to wear! Well if
compass your ideas.                 so, you may be able to hire the    Tickets are available by calling
                                    item from the society. Speak to    the Wyvern Theatre or by visit-
                                    Denise and she will tell you if    ing their website.
                                    the item is available.

Member News
Jenny Webster                       Samantha Hawkins                   His wife, Denise also enjoyed a
                                                                       big birthday last year, no-one
We were all very sad when           The society were pleased to
                                                                       could believe that one either.
Jenny, our leading lady in Trial    learn recently that Sam and
                                                                       Denise received some lovely
by Jury, was hurt on Christmas      Anthony are expecting their
                                                                       flowers from the society not
Day in a car accident. Follow-      second child later this year.
                                                                       only in recognition of her birth-
ing a stay in hospital we are
                                    Tony and Denise Cleal              day but also all the wonderful
pleased to see Jenny back with
                                                                       things she does for us.
us, even if she is just watching    Our wonderful Stage Manager
at the moment, with her infec-      celebrated his 70th Birthday in    Norah Bennett
tious smile returning.              December 2009 with a couple
                                                                       Norah, one of our Life Mem-
                                    of bottles of red wine from the
All of us want to wish Jenny                                           bers, celebrated her 80th Birth-
                                    society. No-one however can
well and are looking forward to                                        day with flowers from us all.
                                    believe his age—surely there is
seeing her on our stage again
                                    a mistake and he is younger!

Charles Prosser
It was with great sadness that      looked after everyone that used    who gave his life to The Barn
we mourned the loss of our          the theatre and nothing was        Theatre.
beloved Charles at The Barn         ever too much trouble. Al-
                                                                       He will be missed.
Theatre. Charles was known to       though he did like the chairs
many in Cirencester and espe-       stacked in a certain way!
cially to those who used The
                                    The Society and other users of
Barn Theatre. For many years
                                    the Theatre had a collection
he was a volunteer who ran the
                                    and a Bench is in the gardens at
theatre, often being here for
                                    Ingleside House in his memory.
hours on end, opening up early
in the morning and then return-     Charles will always be remem-
ing to lock up late at night. He    bered as a dear friend to all
Page 3                                                                           FIFTH EDITION

Calamity Jane
In May last year we per-          throughout. She demon-              created the very appropriate
formed Calamity Jane and I        strated the versatility of a fine   homely atmosphere; the back-
was very lucky to perform the     singing voice, much needed          drop projection of Calamity’s
title role.                       for this part; from the verve       little cabin once more being
                                  of “Windy City” to a strong         brought into play, and the
The production was Directed       and yet sensitive “My Secret        initial gauze drop-cloth effec-
by Jan Honeywill supported        Love”. Bill Hickock, played         tively used. This was a
by Malcolm Webb in the Or-        by Derek Hill, proved a good        charming scene received with
chestra pit.                      foil for Calamity. An experi-       delight by the audience. The
                                  enced performer, his beautiful      show-stopping favourite,
One of our Friends, Julie         rendition of “Higher than a         “The Black Hills of Dakota”,
Thompson, wrote to us about       Hawk” sent tingles down the         such a simple but lovely mel-
the show and this is what she     spine. Francis Fryer (Chris         ody, made for an evocative
said.                             Cleal) engaged with the audi-       scene with the cast looking
                                  ence immediately. His clear         just right in some beautiful
What could be more welcom-        speech and singing voice to-        costumes. The balance and
ing to a theatre-goer on a        gether with his confident           competence of the orchestra,
dreary, wet May evening than      stage presence contributed          conducted by Malcolm Webb,
to step inside the Barn Thea-     much to this character-role.        contributed much to the suc-
tre and to be greeted by
                                                                                                         “COS” is like a family,
                                  Fryer’s young love interest,        cess of the production, mov-
warmth, a pleasant and dedi-      Susan, was played in an easy        ing the performance at the
cated Front of House staff        and confident manner by             right pace and never intruding
                                                                                                          and one senses this
and lots of lovely show pho-      newcomer to COS, Jenny              on the audibility of the cast.
tographs depicting a taste of     Webster. Another newcomer                                               from the moment of
what was to come! As Ian          to the Society, Bob Desmond,        At the final curtain, it was
Carling (Chairman of the So-      cut a fine figure as Lt. Danny      obvious from the “buzz” in         entering the building.
ciety) admits, “COS” is like a    Gilmartin. In Act II he dem-        the auditorium that the audi-
family, and one senses this       onstrated his undoubted vocal       ence had enjoyed a super           It does strike me also,
from the moment of entering       talents when he sang the            show and everyone went
the building. It does strike me   sweet and tender duet, “Love        home on an extremely happy           what a wonderful
also, what a wonderful focus      You Dearly” with Katie              note, even though it was still
this little theatre is for the    Brown (played by Elizabeth          raining outside.
musical and theatrical talent                                                                            focus this little theatre
                                  Gravestock) the stage-struck
of Cirencester.                   theatrical maid who rapidly         Thank you Julie for taking the
                                  endeared herself both to the        time to review our perform-        is for the musical and
During the overture, the          inhabitants of Deadwood and         ance.
scene was immediately set         the audience. Rosie Cox, in                                              theatrical talent of
with an effective and innova-     only her second show with           If you are a friend of the soci-
tive backdrop projection of       COS gave a competent per-           ety and would like to provide           Cirencester.
the Deadwood Stage in flight      formance in the small but           us with a review, please write
from the Sioux Indians. We        integral part of Adelaide Ad-       to us at The Theatre and your
are introduced to a colourful     ams. Being tall in stature and      article may be part of our
“Deadwood community” full         wearing a beautiful gown she        newsletter next year.
of zest and vitality, and the     projected just the right image
chorus, headed by the Golden      for her song with the Stage-
Garter proprietor Henry           door Johnnies. A dressing
Miller (Gerald Elphick) gave      room set attractively painted
their all throughout the eve-     and some good props made
ning. Calamity Jane (Rachel       this a very nice scene. Act II
Wright) made a fiery and          has some really lovely
commanding entrance with          touches; the melodies and
her rendition of “The Dead-       orchestration being most
wood Stage”, establishing the     memorable. The set for “A
style and energy that she was     Woman’s Touch” was very
to bring to the character         pleasing to the eye, and nicely
                   THE BARN                                                                                          Page 4 

                   Trial by Jury and HMS Pinafore
                   In October of last year we per-       HMS Pinafore was everything          Dick Deadeye (and what an
                   formed Trial by Jury and HMS         I expected it to be: straighter       eye), shambling around like the
                   Pinafore. Producing two pro-         than the ship’s main mast and         creature from the black lagoon,
                   ductions is an enormous task,        including all the usual clichéd       while Libby Walklett com-
                   which fell to Anthony Jones          movements and formations              manded considerable attention
                   who has performed with us            that audiences love to see. It        as haughtily gorgeous cousin
                   many rimes.                          was a colourful and exception-        Hebe, regally garbed in metallic
                   Here are exerts from a review        ally enjoyable performance, and       blue. Finally, Chrissie Carling
                   written by one of our audience       there were moments of true            was perfectly cast as gypsy
                   members.                             originality, particularly the first   bumboat woman Buttercup and
                                                        appearance of the bleary-eyed         looked lovely in an eye-catching
                   “Trial by Jury and HMS Pina-
                                                        Capt. Corcoran, proving there         yellow dress. Seasoned stalwart-
                   fore are frequently performed
                                                        is still scope for new humour in      cum-director Tony Jones
                   together, and Cirencester Oper-
                                                        these creaking old relics. Derek      turned in a studied and articu-
                   atic Society’s presentation of
                                                        Hill’s earthy interpretation of       late portrayal of Sir Joseph
                   this Savoy opera double-header
                                                        the role displayed considerable       Porter. Mutating from Edwin
                   was an unqualified success.
 “Trial by Jury                                         gravitas. The collective singing      into the boatswain, Anthony
                    As the courtroom chaos in           was rich and resonant, from the       Davies-Brown was a pillar of
    and HMS                                             clear and capable principals to       strength, oozing confidence
                   Trial by Jury unfolded, and with
   Pinafore are    the unscrupulous jurors and          the small, but robust chorus,         and stirring the patriotic blood
    frequently     rowdy public in their places,        and ably supported by a coher-        in a glorious rendition of For
    performed      there was plenty of witty inter-     ent orchestra under David             He Is An Englishman.
                   play between the four leads,         Manifold. Soaring tenor James
  together, and                                         Blofield impressed as the ad-
                                                                                                 The costumes in both shows
                   spearheaded by Keith Swinford
   Cirencester                                                                                were equally exquisite, and
                   who was hilarious as the lascivi-    venturous Ralph Rackstraw,
                                                                                              Trial’s closing toast deserved to
     Operatic      ous, Micawberesque judge mak-        attempting to defy class distinc-
                                                                                              include designer Tony Cleal
                   ing a mockery of the whole           tions and win the hand of Jose-
     Society’s                                                                                who, despite the diminutive
                   legal process. Leering with de-      phine, superbly played by Eliza-
 presentation of   light, his facial expressions were   beth Gravestock. Her bravura
                                                                                              stage, created two inspired split
this Savoy opera                                                                              -level sets to offset any over-
                   a picture as he outflanked the       solo The Hours Creep On
                                                                                              crowding. “
 double-header     philandering defendant Edwin         Apace was a particular high-
                   to win the hand of the sweet         light. Elsewhere on deck,
      was an
                   and sassy plaintiff Angelina.        Simon Moss groused and guf-
   unqualified     Who cares about the verdict?         fawed as scarred rotten egg
    success. “

                   Wine Tasting and Old Time Music Hall
                   Once again Friends and Mem-          ning.
                   bers of COS enjoyed an eve-
                                                        We are looking to make this an
                   ning of wine and entertainment
                                                        annual event and are currently
                   in the Barn Theatre.
                                                        discussing dates. As soon as we
                   John and Jan did an excellent        have the dates we will publicise
                   job of arranging this wonderful      these to all.
                   evening and hosted the talk
                                                        Thanks to all those who made
                   about the Spanish Wines.
                                                        the evening a success.
                   Gerald led a small cast with
                   entertainment from old and
                   new faces. Everyone went
                   home having a splendid eve-
Page 5                                                                           VOLUME 1, ISSUE 1

2010—What is coming up?
       Mack and Mabel                         Princess Ida                        Social Events
       17th—22nd May                      25th—30th October              Social events are currently be-
                                                                         ing planned and information
Derek Hill and Liz Gravestock        In the Autumn Derek will step
                                                                         will be confirmed shortly. How-
take the title roles in this Musi-   down from the stage and Direct
                                                                         ever I can announce that we
cal which is set in the 1910s and    us all in Princess Ida, a show
                                                                         plan to have a Summer Ball on
20s. Known for the song “I           that we have not done for 17
                                                                         Saturday 10th July. More details
won’t send roses” and a famous       years!
                                                                         to follow but reserve the dates
Torvill and Dean routine, this
                                     Auditions will take place in late   in your diary now..
musical offers humour, jazz and
                                     June but Derek is already plan-
                                     ning a wonderful production.
Roles are taken in this produc-      We do hope you will join us.
tion by Beth Cox, Gerald El-
phick & John Leicester as well
as many other familiar faces.
Tickets will be on sale soon so
watch for the booking form
landing on your door step.

                                       BIJOU OPERA
                                Great performance at an intimate venue
As part of the complete refurbishment of Ingleside House, next door to the Barn Theatre, a state of
the art DVD projector has been installed in the Library Room. This produced a cinema sized pic-
ture in the screening room and there is an excellent sound system to match. The room is also pro-
vided with very comfortable seating.
Bijou opera has been created to use these facilities to present great performances of opera ad oper-
etta through the medium of film, in an environment that closely replicates the feeling of being at an
actual performance.
The programme for this year is set out below. About a month prior to each performance, a ticket
booking letter with all details will be sent to those on the mailing list. To add your name, just con-
tact the organisers, John & Janet Honeywill, 19 Ablemarle Gate, Pittville, Cheltenham, GL50 4NG
(tel: 01242 238946).
                                        Programme for 2010
The opera choices have been made to bring you two very special performances, each of the highest
quality and we hope, popularity! The Morbisch operetta productions come direct from Austria and
are entirely authentic, lavishly staged and beautifully performed. All are sung in the original lan-
guage but with English subtitles. Ticket prices are £10 with all profits going to Cirencester Operatic
Society. There will be an interval during each performance and we will do all we can to give you the
feeling of ‘good opera’!
March—Saturday 27th (evening) and Sunday 28th (afternoon and evening) - Don Giovanni—
Mozart. Royal opera House special performance to mark the retirement of Sir John Tooley.
June—Saturday 19th (evening) and Sunday 20th (afternoon and evening) - The Gipsy Baron—
Strauss. Morbisch open air operetta festival 2000.
September—Saturday 25th (evening) and Sunday 26th (afternoon and evening) - La Boheme—
Puccini. Metropolitan Opera New Your, 1981 Zeferelli production.
.December —Saturday 4th (evening) and Sunday 5th (afternoon and evening) - The Merry
Widow—Lehar. Morbisch open air operetta festival 2005.
      The Barn Theatre
       Beeches Road             DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES
                                11th—13th March                Hot Mikado at Wyvern Theatre, Swindon
         GL7 1BN

     Phone: 01285 658230        17th—22nd May                  Mack and Mabel
      Fax: 01285 885151
  cirencesteroperaticsociety@   7th June                       Cirencester Operatic Society AGM

                                14th June                      Princess Ida First Rehearsal
                                27th June                      Princess Ida Auditions
        Committee               10th July                      COS Summer Ball

Chairman—Ian Carling            12th—14th August               Seussical at The Bingham Hall by MJ-UK Productions
Secretary: Rachel Wright        25th—30th October              Princess Ida

     Bryan Bennett              8th November                   Guys and Dolls First Rehearsal
    Aileen Anderson
 Anthony Davies­Brown
  Elizabeth Gravestock
   Belinda Ogle­Skan
                                Interesting Information
      Denise Cleal
                                Website Recommendation               this production. Leigh Coggins      The Vaults is extending its of-
        Julie Cox
                                                                     who was seen as Florence in         ferings currently and they are
                                                                     Chess is in the Company and         now serving their Grill Nights
                                Local Amateur Theatre Rec-           understudying the role of           on a Thursday as well as the
                                ommendation                          Cosette. Chris Jacobson who         traditional Wednesday. On these
                                                                     has been seen in Cirencester as     nights a wide range of starters
                                MJ-UK Productions will be
                                                                     the American in Chess and Ju-       are also now on offer. These
                                performing Seussical the Musi-
                                                                     das in Jesus Christ Superstar to    starters are also on offer on
                                cal in the Bingham Hall in Au-
                                                                     name a few, is in the Company       Sundays when The Vaults con-
                                                                     and understudying the lead role     tinues to offer its traditional
                                MJ-UK have had stunning suc-         of Valjean. Indeed we have just     Sunday Roast. Booking for a
                                cesses with Jesus Christ Super-      heard news that the week of         Sunday is essential and preferred
                                star, Les Miserables and Chess.      12th April Chris will be playing    for a week day.
                                They now tackle the world of         the role when the usual actor
                                                                                                         The Vaults: 01285 885706
                                Dr Seuss brought to life through     takes a break. Tickets are very
                                music. It may not be a well          limited but this is a production    The Barn Theatre in a differ-
                                known piece, but the quality of      not to be missed if you can get a   ent light
                                the cast and the material means      seat.
                                                                                                         Thinking of having a party?
                                this is definitely worth a ticket
                                                                     The Vaults                          Don’t want to spend a fortune
                                next summer.
                                                                                                         but would like nice surround-
                                                                     As you will be aware Cirencester
                                Professional Theatre Recom-                                              ings. Ingleside House is now
                                                                     Operatic Society is very closely
                                mendations                                                               able to offer The Barn Theatre
                                                                     linked to Ingleside House and
                                                                                                         with a difference. We have
                                  A new productions of Les           The Vaults. Not only are we on
                                                                                                         invested in marquee linings that
                                  Miserables is on tour. It is       the same site, but Ingleside
                                                                                                         are placed inside the theatre to
                                  coming to Birmingham (23rd         House provides much of the
                                                                                                         bring a marquee style feel at a
                                  March to 17th April) and           catering for our functions and
                                                                                                         fraction of the cost. Able to
                                  Bristol (13th July—17th Au-        many of the members frequent
                                                                                                         seat 100 guests or 180 standing.
                                gust). For those of you who          The Vaults after rehearsals—
                                have seen MJ-UK productions,         learning their lines over a drink   Please call for more informa-
                                two of their leading lights are in   obviously.                          tion: 01285 648230.

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