Brilliant Winky Choir sets off BBC charter demand

BBC Radio 4 must bring back the “UK Theme” before the morning shipping forecast

Sunday 17 May saw the Wincanton Choral Society (featuring several Horsington residents) in excellent form for their 25th anniversary concert. The choir seems to have recovered its former spirit, and gave us a wonderful performance. They would be truly brilliant if we could hear the words a bit better.

The choir was augmented by a larger than usual orchestra, which added a certain majesty, making a reasonant sound which filled the packed sports hall at the Leisure Centre. Their opening number was the “UK Theme”, which used to herald the start of the day before Radio 4’s early morning shipping forecast. Until they killed it.

This is a glorious piece of music, much loved by fishermen, yachtsman and seafarers, (and, we suspect, landlubbers.) Hearing it brought back many happy memories of steadying oneself on the oggin, nursing a mug of tea, pencil stub in hand, trying to jot down the details before going on deck to tell the crew what was about to befall them in Lundy, Fastnet and Fitzroy.

Loyal readers will recall that your editor offered to rescue the crisis-ridden BBC when they “lost” their director-general in 2012. The offer still stands, with the additional proviso that the “UK Theme” is re-instated before the shipping forecast.

Readers may wish to write to their new MP, that nice Mr Warburton, demanding that reinstatement must be a condition of renewing the BBCs Charter, which comes up next year. Let’s go viral with this one!

Listen to the UK Theme, arranged by Fritz Speigl, performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

VE Music night was a great hit

Congratulations to everyone involved with the Horsington VE Day celebration on Saturday 9 May. The music night, with Bertie’s Big Band, was an outstanding success.

Thanks to John Samson, who organised the event and provided the marquee, Andrew and Philippa Tarling at the Half Moon, Charles and Sonia James, Jackie Pyne, Mark Tucker, the Half Moon staff, and everyone else. It was a terrific evening, with some great music from a talented 20-piece orchestra. What a sound!
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Horsington will jump to Bertie’s Big Band

signpost2Saturday 9 May will be very special in Horsington. In order to celebrate and remember VE day, when hostilities ceased in the Europe in WW2 ,John Samson and the Half Moon are putting on a special music night featuring BERTIE’S BIG BAND – The South West’s foremost big band, plus many other entertainments, starting from 5 pm

Bertie's Big Band
Bertie’s Big Band

Every performance by Berties Big Band is a feast of entertainment and fun. Audiences are treated to the whole range of Big Band music from Glenn Miller right through to modern day arrangements.

This is a real coup for the village. Tickets are £10.00 on the door or £8.00 if you book in advance at the Half Moon before May 7.

The Band plays from 8 pm, but there will also be supporting musical acts throughout the day. Andrew Tarling will be putting on a Barbecue and some special beers.

A great opportunity to have some fun, and get over the election results gloom!

Profits from the evening will go to the Horsington and South Cheriton defibrillator project

Wincanton tunes up for 25th anniversary concert

Choral springThe Wincanton Choral Society, which boasts several Horsington residents among its membership, is celebrating its 25th year – a year younger than Milborne Port Opera.

It’s 25th Anniversary concert, on Sunday 17th May 2015 in the Wincanton Leisure Centre, remembers the First World War.

The performance will include the ‘Spirit of England’, Elgar’s last choral work, which he was inspired by Laurence Binyon’s famous post-war poetry. It’s  a powerful, inspiring and thought-provoking  work.

‘Songs of the Fleet’ by Charles Villiers Stanford was written to celebrate the accession in 1910 of a new King (George V), who was a Navy man. It’s a light-hearted piece written by and for people with a love of the sea and with pride in the Royal Navy.

Musical director, Stephen Twistelton, has written a choral piece for the anniversary performance. The choir will sing his very moving piece “The Argument of His Book”, based on a beautiful Finnish poem, with soloists Paul Bradley (Tenor) and Philip Smith (Baritone).

Tickets are available from 01749 813899 or from the Box Office: Prices are £14.00 in advance if bought by 11th May, £15.00 on the door with under 18s at £7.00 at any time. Licensed bar.

Spring Fate selling out – still tickets for Saturday

Richard Gaunt as Donovitz and Lloyd Davies as Linz in "Spring Fate" at Milborne Port Village hall
Richard Gaunt as Donovitz and Lloyd Davies as Linz in “Spring Fate” at Milborne Port Village Hall (Picture: Andrew Lakeman)

Milborne Port Opera’s “Spring Fate” opened on Wednesday 6 April to a very warm reception. Thursday is virtually full, Friday is SOLD OUT, but there are still a few tickets left for Saturday.

Take advantage of the lovely weather and the dearth of watchable TV programmes on Saturday nights and treat yourelves to a live show!  Tickets 07926 983 585

5x7ad landscape red_1Read the review on Fine Times Recorder

Award-winning Milborne Port Opera prepares to punch above its weight again

5x7ad landscape red_1Milborne Port Opera are staging their latest show, “Spring Fate” after Easter.

It is spring 1914. The war clouds are gathering over Europe and Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary, is rehearsing his famous soundbite “The lights are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our time”.

Are they bothered in Lancashire? –NO! The Earl of Westhoughton and his wife Lady Blackrod are preparing to host a lavish garden party and evening ‘do’ at their palatial mansion Anderton Hall. And what a party it will be, with hundreds of guests, and circus performers and international cabaret acts to entertain them in style.

But there are some tensions. No playwright worth his salt would write a play without tensions.

The fact is that neither the Earl nor his Uncle William (a famous explorer, newly returned from somewhere or other), are enjoying the best of marriages.  And cousin Eugene has just been shot.

The unfortunate Eugene has placed some highly sensitive documents in the safe and the future of the British Empire depends on their contents remaining secret.

But the party is buzzing with spies, assassins and intriguers, all hell bent on getting hold of the papers. Some are disguised as aristocratic German tourists, others as circus performers.

And all of them can sing!

Combine these magical elements and you have Neil Edwards’ new comedy musical “Spring Fate”, his third work for Milborne Port Opera. The music has been inspired, re written or arranged from the work of Ivan Caryll a largely forgotten theatre composer from the 1900’s. A prolific writer, performed on both sides of the Atlantic, he had the record of  5 shows running simultanaously in London’s West End in 1905.

Caryll was the natural successor to Gilbert & Sullivan and was the agent who transformed light operetta into musical theatre at the dawning of the jazz age.

Neil Edwards is an accomplished writer and musician, as well as no mean performer.

His previous works at Milborne Port are “The Lost Continent of Love”, “The Murder at Shakerley House” and now, “Spring Fate”. All three share outlandish plots, outrageous characters, and wonderful humour, which you might compare with “Allo Allo” or the “Goon show”. The music is great too.

Milborne Port Opera is a small  amateur company which regularly punches above its weight and  wins awards. In its 26 years of existence it has performed every single work by Gilbert & Sullivan, as well as other musicals. It is rare among similar organisations in that it is prepared to take the risk  to encourage and perform original works.

Spring Fate is accompanied by an 11 piece band under the direction of Caroline d’Cruz, recently nominated for the award of Best Musical Director in the Somerset Drama awards. Milborne Port won the “Show Stopper” award, and will no doubt be hoping for another next year.

The show runs at the Milborne Port Village Hall from April 8-10, the week after Easter. Tickets from Telephone 07926 983585.

See if you can spot any Horsington residents on the stage or in the orchestra. There are three -Ed.

BloggoVision: Milborne Port Opera Company gets ready for its next show

BloggoVisionRehearsals are now well under way for the Milborne Port Opera’s next show “Spring Fate”. A show which has never been performed before. So book early for a seat at the World premiere! April 8-10 (Just after Easter) at the Milborne Port Village Hall)

We will be publishing full details soon, but in the meantime BloggoVision presents a very short video of the company ‘s past shows and rehearsals for Spring Fate.

Box office telephone number 07926 983 585

Milborne Port Opera up for 4 awards

Milborne Port Opera,  Horsington’s favourite local amateur group, has been nominated by the Somerset Fellowship of Drama for 4 awards in the annual David Beach Awards for musical theatre.  (Somerset’s answer to the Oscars –Ed)

The nominations are for the group’s last production, the rarely-performed “Utopia Limited” by Gilbert & Sullivan. They are:

Best Cameo:  Former Horsington resident Andrew Armstrong as Mr Goldbury
Show Stopper:  Whole company for “Eagle High”
Best Musical Direction:  Caroline D’Cruz
Best Small Venue

The nominations are made by an expert panel of adjudicators who see each show. The winners will be  announced at a dinner in Taunton on Saturday 14th March .

There are 25 award categories in total, and 82 groups across the county competing to win them.

“Utopia Limited” was a landmark production for Milborne Port Opera, as it completed their ambition to perform every single Gilbert and Sullivan Opera.

The next show at Milborne Port Opera is an original work, “Spring Fate”, a comic opera written by MPO member Neil Edwards, who also directs. It is his third show for the MPO.

Performance is 8 to 11th April, the week after Easter. Tickets go on sale in March. More about this show soon.