Posts Tagged ‘Witchford’

Review of ‘Witchford’s Got Talent’ in Witchford Village College on Saturday 30th March 2019

March 31, 2019

Witchford Amateur Dramatic Society (WADS) put on a fantastic show in Witchford Village College on Saturday. ‘Witchford’s Got Talent’ was very aptly named for indeed, the show included an amazing array of highly talented people of all ages.

In particular, there were many excellent singers: solos, duets and ensembles. They were often accompanied live by talented guitarists or pianist Greg Lowes . These amazing performers gave us popular songs many of which came from the shows such as ‘Hamilton’, ‘Mary Poppins Returns’, ‘The Little Mermaid’, and ‘Les Miserables’. There were comedy sketches too and a delightful  demonstration of batton twirling by Aaliyah Scrine.

Highlights for me included singers Sammy Webb, Charlie-May  and Zak Wymer, and ‘The Invisible Car’ sketch by Alex Lee, Jack Dyson and Josh Andrews. Q from James Bond films was wonderful as he lost his cool after being fed up with being taken for granted.

The whole show was enhanced by the highly entertaining repartee from the wonderful WADS Witchfords got Talent 30.03.2019 Sarah Boor and Steve Barkercompères Sarah Boor and Steve Barker.


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 Witchford Amateur Dramatic Society’s pantomime ‘Little Red Riding Hood’

February 2, 2013

Witchford Amateur Dramatic Society’s pantomime ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ at Witchford Village College was a sheer delight. A stage full of colour, a cast with genuine smiles on their faces and all the necessary ingredients of a good pantomime kept us wholly entertained for the entire evening.

As in all good pantos, there was a host of varied characters: The Good Fairy (Lucy Short) and the Big Bad Wolf (Steven Barker) were highly talented contrasts representing good and evil. Attractive and charming Red Riding Hood (played by Maisie Peckham) and Billy (Claire Mead), a ‘handsome’ young wood cutter, made an ideal lead couple that went through many trials and tribulations until they finally lived happily ever after and the wonderful Dame Robyn Hood (Neil Pilling) filled the stage with hilarious over-the-top antics and amazing changes of costume. Jack (Keith Gallois) and Jill (Helen Williamson) were marvellously child-friendly, with Helen’s facial expressions and their gestures enhancing even further the highly amusing characters they had created. They were the ones who certainly raised audience participation several notches. Three piggy stooges added much to the humour. Slow-witted Sonny (Lee Coney) with his fellow ‘builders’ Al (Chris Grant) and Rich (Rob Parker) were great characters with highly effective piggy squeals. Andy Watkins made a fine Woodcutter while Teresa Dixon was an excellent globe- trotting Granny in search of a Yeti (yet another interesting addition to the amusing plot).

The whole cast exuded warmth and enjoyment. The singing, dancing, choreography, scenery, costumes and drama were good quality stuff and we were soon led into a world of nursery rhyme and evil deeds that developed and were eventually vanquished. The band (Jonathan Carter, Trevor Carter, Naomi D’Cunha and John Rodford) was phenomenal, leading and supporting great music. 

The stage was frequently filled with large groups of delightful actors and dancers who brought the place alive: namely: those in ‘Upside Down’, the 80’s girls, the Wolverines and the Fairies in training.

Particular highlights for me included Aaron, Dyland and Sophie and troupes’ ‘That’s what Makes you Beautiful’, Lucy and company’s ‘Upside Down’ and Steve Aaron Dylan and company’s ‘Boys are Back’.

Director and choreographer Lisa Barker, Producer Paul Mead, Musical Director Jonathan Carter and musical coordinator Naomi D’Cunha and their teams are to be congratulated for such a wonderful show! 

Review of Witchford Amateur Dramatic Society’s pantomime Cinderella

February 11, 2011

Witchford Amateur Dramatic Society’s pantomime Cinderella was wonderful. With moments of excitement, humour, tragedy and suspense, the packed audience was delighted with this year’s offering.

Director Claire Skilbeck, Producer Sarah Fretwell and Musical Directors Naomi D’Cunha and Jonathan Carter presented a delightful show that involved a large cast of enthusiastic participants, the most enchanting of all being the host of youngsters who assumed their roles very competently and entertainingly.

The familiar plot included the usual characters: a beautiful and talented Cinderella (played by Claire Mead), a deliciously evil stepmother Evillia Stone – Broke (Lucy Short) and her long-suffering husband (Adrian Peberdy), two wonderfully outrageous ugly sisters Florabella (Sarah Boor) and Ermytrude (Chris Grant), the amusing, loyal friend Buttons (Joe Robbins), the highly presentable Prince Charming (Carole Robbins), the highly adaptable squire Dandini (Elise Gallois), the magical Fairy Godmother (Gillian Hardman) and her amazing assistant Wildfire (Emma McClagish), the skirt chasing King (Craig D’Cunha) , his long- suffering wife (Jo Peacock) and a wordy Lord Chamberlain (Hannah Pauley).

The story unfolded gradually with plenty of space for corny jokes, a huge variety stage-packed musical numbers that were skilfully choreographed (particularly One way or Another, Don’t stop believing and Shout). The contribution of Sam Robbins and Sophie Denly singing One Time definitely added to the ‘ah’ factor.

With effective support from musicians and staging, lighting, costumes and front of house crews, this was a most rewarding and uplifting village affair.

For more information about WADS contact

Review: Witchford Voices in St. Andrew’s Church Witchford Tuesday 20th July 2010

July 23, 2010

Witchford Voices raised the roof of St. Andrew’s Church Witchford for both of their evening performances on July 19th and 20th 2010. Their popularity knows no bounds. From a village with very few singers, Witchford has fast become a centre for singing enthusiasts county wide, thanks to the hard work of Keith Gallois, Naomi D’Cunha and Helen Williamson (amongst others).

Naomi knew her music, and supported by knowledgeable colleagues produced a programme of great songs. Often singing unaccompanied or to recorded accompaniment, the singers knew their music. Not a sheet of paper was in sight – all singers’ eyes were glued to their conductor whose control and inspiration were impressive.

The 90-or-so-strong choir – with 50 of the members performing for this concert – sang with a vibrant enthusiasm that was unforgettable. The packed audience was easily caught up in this wonderful group’s exuberance.

 The opening item: ‘One Vision’, attracted our attention immediately with its tremendous impact. Some of the choir’s potential became apparent in the gentler phrases of ‘May it be’, while we were transported to other more spiky cultures with captivating rhythms in the following three Gospel-like melodic incantations. 

A variety of people interspersed the singing with snippets of information that kept us entertained and informed. Their contributions were just right – not too long and not too short and with just the information we wanted to know.     

The familiar and popular ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Don’t stop believin’ led us to the interval when a free drink was ready and waiting.

‘Adiemus’ by Karl Jenkins, ‘Down by the River to Pray’, ‘Man in the Mirror’, ‘Run’, and ‘Lean on Me’ followed and made the evening complete. In these pieces particularly, the balance and rhythmic precision of this huge choir were phenomenal. One of the highlights was ‘Run’ which began with a gorgeous rich tone in the altos and the men’s tone in ‘Down by the River we Pray’ was also impressive. 

The evening was a delightfully warm and summery and super management meant that everything went off like a dream. Our village church looked resplendent enhanced with a background of colourful lighting produced by Dee Ireland.

Cleverly arranged part singing, rhythmic zeal and excitement, and the ability to convey the sheer joy of participating in this momentous event made the evening a roaring success.  You are advised to book early for their Christmas events:

Sunday 5th December Evening Christmas Concert, St Andrew’s Church, Witchford in aid of Marie Curie

Friday 10th December Evening Christmas Concert, St. Mary’s Church. Ely in aid of Marie Curie


Choir manager


Membership secretary/treasurer

Musical Director Naomi D’Cunha

Review of An Evening of Classical European and Russian Music by Irina Tutt (Soprano) at St. Andrew’s Church, Witchford, Ely on Saturday 17th April 2010

April 29, 2010

Irina Tutt’s return to Witchford was a resounding success. The church was packed and you could feel the pride the villagers felt. Irina, a Russian soprano of note trained at the Conservatoire in St. Petersburg, married into the Tutt family in the village, and has been warmly welcomed ever since. In this generous concert she gave her time freely and wowed the audience with her amazingly powerful and rich voice.

Dr Stepehn Ades put the church organ through its paces, accompanying Irina and performing solos with skill and assurance and Dr Stephen Taylor introduced each item providing intriguing background information to the artists and pieces.

The programme included a variety of works by Bach, Handel, Purcell Mozart, Schubert, Gounod, Widor and a number of Russian composers. 

The solos Irina sang were powerfully delivered, Irina’s rich voice giving the songs extra emotion and depth. One of the highlights for me was her performance of “Dido’s Lament” by Purcell. I have heard this lovely piece sung many times, but Irina’s interpretation was special. While Stephen Ades played the recurring bass line with steady assurance, Irina reinforced the familiar pleas of the singer with a spine-chilling and highly expressive colouring. Her words “Remember me” were not the plaintive cry I am used to hearing; these words were sung with strength and passion that demanded attention. This was indeed a woman suffering.

Another highlight was “Ave Maria” by Schubert and her opening strains were the most serene I have heard. Of the Russian songs, the “Vocalise No 14” by Zavalishina was the most impressive with an amazing expressive potency infusing the phrases.

Of the organ works played by Dr Stephen Ades, Widor’s Toccata from his 5th Symphony was particularly impressive. As he told me after the performance, this work needs to be approached differently according to the nature of the organ. He showed great sensitivity to the organ in St. Andrew’s and he gave this piece, so often played at the end of weddings, rare detail, clarity, expressive variety, space and strength. This organist is no ordinary performer and his technical prowess in Mushel’s “Toccata” was also very much in evidence.   

The concert ended with two fine encores: “Danny Boy”, that familiar folk-like song expressing a father’s concern for his son away at war and a very moving performance of Gershwin’s “The Man I Love”.

This was a wonderful evening, all the better for the fine team who organized the event so well. Let us hope that Irina will return to sing again soon.

Proceeds will be shared between the Children’s Cancer Ward C2 Addenbrooke’s Hospital and St Andrew’s Church Extension Fund.

Contacts: (St. Andrew’s Church)

Review of Jean Martyn in concert at Witchford Village Hall on Saturday 20th March 2010

March 22, 2010

Ely’s Inner Wheel certainly knows how to present a good show. Jean Martyn, keyboard player extraordinaire, wowed the packed audience in Witchford. This internationally renowned performer commanded her keyboard in sparkling style. Fingers flying, feet dancing on the pedal board and a relaxed, smiling composure had the listeners thoroughly entertained.

She demonstrated just how versatile the instrument is, with sounds ranging from honky tonk piano Mrs. Mills-style, to grand piano, full orchestra, jazz ensemble, military band or brass band – your name it, she played it.

The evening started with a rollicking There’s no Business Like Show business after which a series of highly popular and delightfully arranged numbers filled the hall. Pieces included Misty, the theme from the Warsaw Concerto, Young Man, YMCA, Sweet Caroline, The Nutcracker Suite, Imagine, My Way, In the Mood, Climb Every Mountain, Consider yourself and a host of other familiar works that had our feet tapping and our memories stirred.

She interspersed her numbers with tales of her fascinating career including lessons from Johnny Dankworth, being invited to perform at St. Jame’s Palace for Princess Anne, stepping in at the last moment to perform with James Last and his orchestra, accompanying Dame Vera Lynn, and rubbing shoulders with Rolf Harris and Ester Ranson.

A medley of tradition British numbers included The White Cliffs of Dover, The Dambusters, When you’re Smiling, Down at the old Bull and Bush, Roll out the Barrell and A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square. After a series of popular requests, the evening ended in patriotic fervour, flags waving, the audience in full song with items like Rule Britannia, There’ll always be an England and Land of Hope and Glory.   

Coffee and cakes at interval, assistance from the girl guides and generous and enthusiastic support from the audience, helped make the whole evening a resounding success. Proceeds go towards establishing a haven of peace at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely.   

Contacts: tel: 01902 850843

Inner Wheel, Ely:

the secretary, Mary Spinks 01353 663693 e-mail:

Peterborough Theatre Organ Preservation Society

Songs from the Shows by the Isle Singers

October 11, 2009

Report on the Isle Singers’ Concert given on the 9th of October 2009 in St. Andrew’s Church, Witchford, Ely, Cambs. UK

The evening poured with rain. I struggled down to the church with the stand, my umbrella, a heavy raincoat and my brief case containing the music and wondered if it was worth it. It definitely was – we all enjoyed singing and hoped that the audience appreciated it too.

The programme was as follows:

The Isle Singers’ Programme  Friday 9th October 2009

In St. Andrew’s Church, Witchford 7.30 p.m.

director Dr. Rosemary Westwell   accompanist Pam Austin


The Isle Singers:

  1. “Any Dream Will Do” from “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat” music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Tim Rice
  2. “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from “Jesus Christ Superstar” music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Tim Rice
  3.  “Somewhere” from “West Side Story” music by Leonard Bernstein, words by Stephen Sondheim
  4.  “Tonight” from “West Side Story” music by Leonard Bernstein, words by Stephen Sondheim


Items by St Andrew’s Sutton Youth choir directed and accompanied by Helen Bradley


  1. “I could have Danced all night” from “My Fair Lady” music by Frederick Lowe words by Alan Lerner
  2.  “Yesterday” by Paul McCartney
  3. “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess lyrics by Du Bose Heyward music by George Gershwin arranged by William Stickles
  4.  “Edelweiss” from “The Sound of Music” music by Richard Rodgers words by Oscar Hammerstein 11


INTERVAL of about 30 minutes


The Isle Singers:

  1. “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” from “Oklahoma” music by Richard Rodgers lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein 11
  2.  “If I Loved you” from “Carousel” music by Richard Rodgers lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein 11
  3. “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from “Carousel” music by Richard Rodgers words by Oscar Hammerstein 11
  4. “My Heart will go On” (Love Them from ‘Titanic’) music by James Horner, lyrics by Will Jennings


Items by St Andrew’s Sutton Youth choir directed by Helen Bradley


  1. “Moon River” composed by Johnny Mercer (lyrics) and Henry Mancini (music) in 1961 from the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” 
  2. “When I’m 64” Paul McCartney
  3.  (both choirs) “The Lord is my Shepherd” Psalm 23 from the BBC TV series “The Vicar of Dibley” by music by Howard Goodall



The Isle Singers are an amateur female vocal group. They have been singing in the Ely area for over 30 years. The have been on TV and radio (briefly), they have been a surprise Birthday treat, a Cabaret act and they have sung madrigals in the minstrel’s gallery in Trinity College Cambridge. Contact: (01353 663918)