Archive for April, 2015

Review ‘5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche’ at Witchford Village Hall on Saturday 25th April 2015

April 26, 2015

Mandy Murrum and Becky GreenThe title of this play made me decide that I didn’t really want to spend an evening with 5 lesbians, so I had decided not to review. However, after the smooth-talking of Director Keith Gallois, I relented and I’m very glad I did, for the acting was superb. If it had been the least bit uncertain, we would have collapsed into a heap of nervous embarrassed giggles, but instead there was outright genuine laughter. It was true comedy at its best. Every time I looked at the audience, a group of people I thought would never have enjoyed this topic, was smiling and thoroughly enjoying the antics on stage. Even when the play was repeated on the same night, there were many people who stayed and enjoyed a second serving. Personally, I found it useful to pick up tiny nuances that I may have missed the first time.

The play presented a group of suppressed ‘ladies’ in America at the time when there was real fear of the atomic bomb and, as the title suggests, the popularity of the quiche. The almost suffocating touchy-feely motherliness of the group of women came across really well and the metaphorical significance of the egg and associated innuendo in the situation were magnificently portrayed.

The actresses to be congratulated are Lucy Short (playing Wren), Kate Lacey (Dale), Becky Green and Sarah Boor (Lulie), Many Morrish and Kirsten Green (Ginny), and Rania Kurdi and Leisha Dodd-O’Brien (Vern).

Also to be congratulated are the Director, Keith Gallois, Producer Carolyn Sellers and technician Dee Ireland. This was a wonderful production that had a professional touch – everything went extremely smoothly, with realistic sound and effective, on cue lighting. The quiche served afterwards also went down very well.

WADS (Witchford Amateur Dramatic Society) has risen again. If you want to be involved in an up-and coming, exciting group – join the members at the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 12th May at 7 pm at the Witchford Village Hall Committee Room.Lucy ShortKate LaceyKirsten Green


Review of The Kings Men at Chatteris on Friday 24th April 2015

April 26, 2015

The Kings MenAcknowledged by many as the most renowned singers world-wide, the Choral Scholars of the Choir of King’s College Cambridge have formed themselves into a delightfully entertaining ensemble. Besides its members’ commitment to singing daily services in King’s College Chapel, this group, the King’s Men, is in huge demand. At their concert in the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul  in Chatteris last Friday, the singers not only entertained us with their exquisitely pure, sonorous voices, but they shared delightful wit and humour that only youthful talented people such as these can engender. The audience was thrilled.

Music of all kinds filled the programme: the nostalgic ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’, religious works by Byrd, di Lassus, Pitoni and Durufle, spirituals: ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’, ‘Deep River’ and ‘Steal Away’, traditional songs:  ‘Greensleeves’, ‘O Waly waly’, ‘Sally Gardens’  and ‘Dashing  away with a smoothing iron’ and popular items: ‘I want you back’ from the Jackson 5, ‘Everything’ of Michael Buble fame, ‘Summer Nights’ from ‘Grease’, Duke Ellington’s ‘Mood Indigo’ and the Beach Boys’ ‘Good Vibrations’ and ‘Get Around’.

What made the evening was not only the packed and varied programme, but the sheer beauty and skill of the singers’ voices as rich, full harmonies, pulsating rhythms, and amazingly intricate turns within sophisticated arrangements held the listeners spellbound.

‘Tame’ organist Richard Gowler provided very pleasant interludes, ably abetted by ‘a sterling page-turner’ and the encore, ‘Everytime we say Goodbye’, was most welcome and well deserved.

Forthcoming concerts provided by Chatteris Music Society include Paula Jackman’s Jazzmen on Saturday 11th July and Hertfordshire Chamber Orchestra on Saturday 12th September.

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Review of Ely Youth Choir Festival Concert in the Hayward Theatre on Sunday 19th April 2015

April 20, 2015

The crème de la crème of local choirs met on Sunday for the second Ely Youth Choir Festival. Young singers rehearsed all day and performed a concert to a large appreciative audience at the end of the day.
This year’s event was an undoubted success. Ely Youth Choir (conducted by Andrew Parnell), Saffron Walden County High School Chamber Choir (conducted by Janet Wheeler), and Cantiamo (conducted by Roger Bond) gave a splendid performance, separately and as a whole choir in a varied and interesting programme.
Songs included a number of spirituals including ‘All my Trials’, ‘Steal Away’, ‘Everytime I feel the Spirit’ and ‘Deep River’, while also featured were Bob Chilcott and Duke Ellington items along with a variety of popular pieces like ‘The Skye Boat Song’, Freddie Mercury’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Memory‘ and ‘Over the Rainbow’ mixed with lively challenging and entertaining works like Eastymology and a more serious but familiar Locus Iste. These all helped to make the concert most enjoyable for performers and listeners.
The event was supported by Richard Hayward and well-known local musician and ABRSM examiner Vivien Laird closed the events with comments that reminded us of what a splendid day it had been. Her description of beautiful, crisp, well-balanced, well-shaped singing gave the singers credit where it was undoubtedly due. Rebecca Duckworth conducted two final pieces that exemplified the skills the singers had acquired in a sonorous, well phrased performance of ‘Steal Away’ and a lively performance of ‘Chattenooga Choo Choo’ that was indicative of the whole event – pure ‘fun.’
It is no surprise to learn that a future repeat of this event is being planned and if you are a young singer you might persuade your choir leader that you should come!
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Janet Wheeler and Rebecca Duckworth

Janet Wheeler and Rebecca Duckworth

Jonathan Rogers

Jonathan Rogers

Roger Bond and Andrew Parnell

Roger Bond and Andrew Parnell
Rosemary Westwell