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The Blog’s drama critic, Walter Plinge writes. . .
Yeovil Amateur Operatic Society (YAOS) are currently staging the musical thriller – almost a melodrama – Jekyll & Hyde. A talented cast of singers, actors and musicians wrings every ounce of high drama and pathos from this classic Robert Louis Stevenson tale of a chemically-induced split personality (or the battle between good and evil –Ed) . There are some great show-stopping numbers and some amazing performances from the principals, especially Jekyll/Hyde and Lucy Harris, his ill-fated love interest.
Staging and musical direction are superb, as you would expect from a company with professional standards and big budgets.
Worth seeing. Octagon Theatre, Yeovil, 7.30, until Saturday 11th October
The award-winning Milborne Port Opera’s next offering ”Utopia Limited” (April 23-26) will delight anyone who believes our present situation has been caused by the antics of bankers, politicians, financiers and the absurdities of health and safety bureaucrats.
Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera is a satire about finance, royalty, bankruptcy, celebrity media and the mafia. It revolves around the small South Pacific island of Utopia’s attempts to turn itself into a limited company – with the help of British management consultants. En route, it also takes a swipe at the British Empire, overseas aid, The Lord Chamberlain (plays were censored by him right up to the 1968) and courtship rituals.
The Milborne Port production team have sharpened its satirical edge with some judicious re-writes and updating, which makes it as relevant today as it was to Victorian audiences. In fact it will leave you with the feeling that nothing much has changed.
It is one of G&S’s less well-known works. “ Utopia Limited” is Gilbert and Sullivan’s penultimate collaboration, and it the only G & S opera which has yet to be performed by the Milborne Port company.
Utopia stars its regular singers, including Horsington residents Richard Gaunt, playing the King of Utopia, and Chris Bailward.
Musical director Caroline d’Cruz conducts the talented orchestra. Stand by for a cracking evening.
STOP PRESS Horsington has been a great supporter of the MPO over the years, and this year is no exception. The Half Moon is running a minibus/coach to Utopia on Thursday 24th April. It will run from Wincanton via the Cheritons, Horsington, Templecombe and Henstridge. Cost will be £18 per head including admission ticket, interval drinks and canapés. A bargain start to the “season”.
Details and bookings from the Half Moon 01963 370140
Fasten your seatbelts for a great Saturday in Horsington. On Saturday April 5th. .Eight bands will play at an all- day music festival, alongside a crafts fair, a model circus exhibition, children’s’ rides, the Castle Carey carnival bus and a bouncy castle. Full catering will be provided. The venue is the Half Moon pub, and its environs.
There will also be plenty of trade stands selling local crafts, art, books, jewellery, clothing and local produce.
John Samson, who has organized the festival single handed, promises a great day, rain or shine, with something for everyone.
The fair opens at 10 am and the first band starts playing at 10.30
The festival is in aid of the Horsington area defibrillator fund, and the associated VETS (Village Emergency Telephone Service), which will be used to summon the volunteers in case of an emergency.
The festival has a long and distinguished list of 23 sponsors who are supporting the event financially or practically. This includes John Samsom’s company, Somerset Mini Marquees, which is providing all the tentage and weather protection.
The band running order is:
1 pm The Dissipated Men’s Washboard band
2 pm Tom Clements
3 pm King Arthur’s Rock Band
4 pm The Defibrillators
5 pm The 2-foot Moose B
6.30 pm Theya & Band
8 pm Makeshift People Band
9 pm Rip It Up
Milborne Port Opera, which features two Horsington residents, has won two major awards, against stiff opposition from companies from all over Somerset, in the annual David Beach Awards for musical theatre, presented by the Somerset Fellowship of Drama.
Milborne Port Opera were nominated by a panel of experts for 3 awards, and won two – Best Chorus, and the David Beach Challenge Trophy, for the way in which they so cleverly transform the Village Hall into a theatre. Both awards were for MilbornePort’s last show “Iolanthe” by Gilbert & Sullivan, produced by Horsington’s Chris Bailward, directed by Naomi Booth, with Peter Mumford from Wincanton as musical director.
Chris Bailward commented “ We are delighted to win 2 out of 3 awards, against stiff competition. They confirm our ability as choral singers and performers and our commitment to providing great entertainment for our audiences”.
Milborne Port Opera’s next show is Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Utopia Ltd”, a comic opera about banking, finance, aristocracy, celebrity media and the mafia. It revolves around the small South Pacific island of Utopia’s attempts to turn itself into a limited company. It is one of G&S’s less well-known works, and the production team have sharpened its satirical edge with some judicious re-writes and updating. Both Chris Bailward and Richard Gaunt appear in the show.
There’s more going on at Cineworld, Yeovil, than the usual blockbusters and crass rubbish.
Tucked away in the programme where no-one will find them is a veritable treasure trove of live (or recently recorded) performances from The Royal Opera House, The Royal Shakespeare Company, The National Theatre, The English National Opera, The Metropolitan Opera (New York) and leading west end theatres.
We have commented before that the organisers and promoters could do much more to publicise clearly what is showing, when, and how much it costs. The Blog does its bit. For more information go to http://www.cineworld.co.uk/events. Good luck!
We moaned about the sudden absence of quality arts coverage in the Blackmore Vale recently. Now, riding to the rescue is a new website covering arts, entertainment and food events in Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire. FTR -The Fine Times Recorder– is the brainchild of Gay Pirie-Weir, (who used to write for the Blackmore Vale) and some other notables, including Mark Blackham, David Grierson and Kerry Bartlett, who are all active in the arts.
FTR is updated every Friday with news on what’s on, listings, reviews , ideas for eating out, travel, and books. It has a fabulous array of goodies on offer, and no-one should be stuck for an ideas of what to do at the weekend, or any other day of the week.
We have added FTR to our “Blogroll”, so there will always be a permanent link to the site in the right hand column of the Blog. We wish the enterprise well.