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 cirencesteroperaticso- chestra. But also much is and also allow the mem- firstname.lastname@example.org, 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! Recommendations away other than the need like to thank you all for for urgent calls. Thank your continual support— Bijou Opera you. 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, co.uk 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 tion. 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! soon. 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- romance. 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. CIRENCESTER OPERATIC SOCIETY The Barn Theatre Beeches Road DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES Cirencester Glos 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 hotmail.com 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 www.amdram.co.uk 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- gust. 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.