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Helston Theatre Company:
Following on from our production of Sunset Boulevard last year, this year we chose to do another challenging musical, but in a totally different way. Because the show is split into two stories every member of the company had numerous costume changes, no one more so that Nathan Hooper (who took the leading role of Joe Casey) and had 26 changes, many taking place within seconds enabling him to play both “Good Joe” and “Bad Joe” in completely different costumes. As the show takes place in many locations, the crew and technical teams also had their work cut out with fast paced scene changes and many lighting and sound demands.
Our House is the Madness musical and contains some of the bands best loved songs including It Must Be Love, One Step Beyond, and Driving in My Car. One of the highlights of the show was Baggy Trousers which saw the younger members of the company as disruptive school children whizzing around on wheeled desks. The choreography in this number was particularly good, with Anita Smuda working brilliantly in the “Madness” style.
We had fantastic feedback for the show, including a great 4 star review from the Whats On section of the West Britain. The company enjoyed performing the show immensely and audiences left auditorium enthused by the sheer joy and energy of the performers at the curtain call.
Our November production, The 39 Steps, was a big hit with our audiences. We were thrilled that every performance was SOLD OUT. Many am-dram enthusiasts even attended the Dress Rehearsal, as they couldn’t get their hands on a ticket! The cast of 21 was very ably directed by ALINE TURNER, who also had the task of directing the “twirlies” – the nickname we gave to our moveable flats. Despite the large cast, we managed not to trip each other up behind the scenes. GUY WATSON, playing a brilliant Richard Hannay, had countless lines to learn and was rarely off stage. Guy also provided all the projected images and a huge amount of technical know-how. With so many elements to the production, we wondered whether it would ever come together, but, as usual, it was all right on the night. Our audiences also enjoyed our USP, a selection of delicious desserts or cheese and biscuits in the interval. A massive thank you goes to all those involved in making this production such a success.
Not just another panto…
Pelynt Players pre-production publicity stated “If you go to one panto this year, it must be the remarkable Pelynt Players performance of Snow White”.
So we are exceedingly pleased that Producers and Directors Greg and Lucinda Walton, plus a talented bunch of adults and exceedingly gifted children, really did create a fabulous production of Snow White that was a must see for all pantomime buffs.
Dwarfs, fairies, woodland creatures, Snow White, a few busty wenches and a host of other characters delighted their Pelynt Village Hall audiences over six sell out performances between Thursday 28th, January and Saturday 6th February.
An added bonus for the cast was the positive atmosphere and supportive teamwork that emerged throughout rehearsals and also backstage during performances. Altogether a production to be proud of
Some magic in those beans! The Clockhouse Players’ Jack and the Beanstalk panto was a gigantic success. Here was the familiar fairytale enmeshed with the Hey Diddle Diddle nursery rhyme, honed to fit the special mix of twenty-one children, senior female chorus of dancers and twelve principals in the group. They could all sing, they could all act, and their enjoyment was infectious – we in the audience all caught the bug. The music wrapped it altogether, with well chosen up beat numbers from musical to rap to Disney and beyond making the pace. Careful choice of song and well adapted lyrics made every principal confident. They all had a chance to shine and did. The live band with guitars, percussion, keyboard and all sorts could react spontaneously – and amazingly no score in sight.
The acting was convincing and timing good. Even the youngest child had stage presence. Jokes were fast and punched home. Any dropped lines were done in style, with prompt joining the principals. The ‘straight’ characters in panto are often more difficult to play, but the principal boy and girl, in their early teens, excelled.
Act one scenery gave us great perspective as we looked up Jack’s Fore street to Dame Trott’s cowshed – with a familiar pub, shop and clocktower. The beanstalk was a 3D montage of luxuriant growth echoed by the sparkling tendrils on the front flats, thick enough for Jack to climb the rope ladder behind. Naturally no respectable fairy or witch could be without their own particular entry with a bang. But the best pyrotechnic of all was reserved for the NASA space mission. Here the lighting and sound crew had great fun! The whole show was miked very delicately and lit very considerately, and moved seamlessly.
Clockhouse Players’ costumes have always been brilliant. No exception this year. Princess Rose had a wardrobe of dazzling dresses; Fairy Beansprout had one stunning creation. I counted three or four changes for the senior chorus and the same for the twenty-one children, with slave tunics, rustic dress, flower fairy tutus and, best of all, shiny space suits, complete with red NASA caps. Changing logistics needed mission control!
The overall impression that we took home was the complete joy of being involved in this show, summed up at the final curtain by the whole company singing ‘Life’s a happy song. Everything’s perfect.’ It felt good.
“Festival of Death” was the third offering from the pen of Jules Jonklaas and proved just as popular as the first two. The annual Why-oh-Whye Literary Festival is a week away when the Chair of the Festival Committee discovers that there are only two celebrities confirmed attending the Festival – an aging child star with a terrible reputation and a “C” list actress who has seen better days and takes her clothes off at the drop of a hat! To add to the Chair’s list of woes, dastardly secrets gradually emerge which threaten all those on the Festival Committee and the Festival is in imminent danger of being scrapped altogether. When the two “celebrities” arrive a week early with dark secrets of their own to conceal, then Inspector Semma Phore and DS Bobby Clewlis pitch up to check on security for the event, they end up investigating a murder!
A two-course meal accompanied the on-stage action and a band, “Not my Jam”, entertained the audience while they were being served with the main course during the first interval. The band, a very talented group of 14-year old girls, played to raise donations for the “Make a Wish Foundation” and succeeded in raising £99.50 over the three nights’ performances. Troy Players agreed they would match the donations from their profits and will be donating £100.50 to make the sum up to £200 for this very worthy cause. A thoroughly enjoyable and riotous evening’s entertainment for cast (who never missed an opportunity to ad-lib!) and audience alike
Colour My World was the 30th Production of The Cabaret Club, Mawgan Porth. Led by the Production Team of Sue Tabner and Viv Farmer with musical direction from Debbie Jayne the club brought a riot of colour to the village hall for 8 days in March 2015. With numbers ranging from The Carpenters to Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus with various stops in between the audiences were treated to yet another rip roaring club success. With over 30 performers and an increasing number of children The Cabaret Club really is going from strength to strength and are looking forward to the next 30 years of shows!