The Three Towns
Musical Director: David Kay
At the piano - Nicola Dagnall
This annual musical miscellany is looked forward to by its loyal audience. The House Full sign was up and the auditorium was full of atmosphere. This evening was a perfect showcase for the company to entertain with their award-winning singing.
The staging was in a traditional format and the company presentation was in black and white. There were rostra set stage right for solos and duets, etc. Any amplification was at a minimum in order to cover any dead spots in the auditorium. All members had their music in society folders. If I can just draw attention to that theatrical adage, eyes and teeth, although I know it is hard to maintain, at times there were a few deadpan faces. I wouldn’t normally mention this, but the standard is always so high, and a smiling face is so welcoming to an audience.
After the group’s long standing M.D. retired society stalwart, David Kay took the baton and prepared a very enjoyable programme. There was such a diverse selection of music from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tell me on a Sunday to Haydn’s The Heavens Are Telling. Most of the musical content had special arrangements highlighting the vocal sections. Maybe at times the tempo was a tad slow; but this did not detract from the enjoyment of this musical event. One of the choral highlights was the ‘Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves’ from Nabucco. All the numbers and medleys were once again introduced by David Hill who is always informative and with just the right amount of humour. Not forgetting the excellent and skilful accompaniment supplied by Nicola Dagnall.
It is so important that new talent is given a platform on which to gain experience. Jennie Heywood although just a little nervous at the opening, presented a delightful rendition of ‘Memory’ from Cats.
Over the run, different soloists were used. At the performance I attended, Tony Meehan entertained with a thoughtful ‘Bright Eyes’ by Mike Batt. In all these types of musical evenings a little light relief is needed; a comic or whimsical number to lift the mood. Richard Stilgoe’s ‘Joyce, the Librarian’ was an excellent choice. Maybe next year we can have ‘The Vicar and I’. Alan Christey-Casson delivered every nuance of Joyce’s encounters raising quite a laugh from the audience. In a different tone, but equally entertaining, Victoria Goulden told how ‘Art Is Calling for Me’. To advertise their next production a selection from the White Horse Inn, featuring Jean Forrester, was presented and well received.
The evening ended with the title number from the Cole Porter’s Anything Goes bringing this musical pageant to a rousing closure.