Friday, 30 July 2010

Summer break

Well, as always, it seems that the end of the school summer term was a mad rush! The last week was spent striking the set from Sweet Charity, unloading equipment from the Big Arts Day and making sure that everything is ready in the theatre for September.

The local paper included a few reviews from the Big Arts Day, for which we lent equipment to run three of the performance tents. If you managed to get down there, don't forget to give the council your views on how it all went.

I'm currently preparing for the launch of the Arts Award at Bradon next academic year. Make sure you watch this space for more information on how to get involved, but it's all looking quite exciting!

If you've taken part in the Arts Award previously, or have any resources or information you think may be of use to our students, get in touch!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Guest Review: Sweet Charity

"I was privileged to spend an evening watching the Bradon Forest School Production of Sweet Charity. Having seen the film version many years ago, my expectations were high and I was not disappointed. Lucy Bosley played the lead role of Charity Hope Valentine with confidence. She captured the eternal optimism of the character but still managed to show the vulnerability also. Her singing was excellent, managing maintain character whilst belting out “If They Could See Me Now". 

The supporting characters in the Fan-dango Ballroom were equally strong, most notably Kira Sawford and Hannah Sellars. Their voices complimented each other well and they clearly understood the characters they were playing. Rae Elias acted well but shone when she took on the role of Daddy Brubeck. The range in her vocals was outstanding and for a time I forgot all about Sammy Davis Junior in the role. Bradley Williams acted the role of Herman very well. His mannerisms and facial expressions were excellent and he performed the song “I Love to Cry at Weddings” very well indeed.

Reece Kinnet as Oscar Lindquist stood out for me. He acted superbly, particularly in the elevator seen – the timing was excellent. Clearly a lot of work and practice had gone into this role. The other supporting actors, Ryan Clarke, Kirsten Harris and Charlotte Quinn did not seen out of place in this production. Considering that Harris and Williams are only in their first year at Bradon Forest, I expect them to be scooping up bigger roles in future productions. 

The choreography was technically very challenging, Sawford, Sellars and Bosley coped well with singing and dancing at the same time. The chorus worked hard and the Rhythm of Life Church routine was breathtaking with complicated lifts and movement.

The direction by Mrs Stimson showed both an understanding of the production, taking elements from the Broadway and film versions. She managed to get good performances from all. All of the performers managed to seem real, they reacted in the background, the timing of the comical lines were well placed and it is clear that a lot of work had gone into the preparation.

Having a live band added to the ethos of the show and the direction from Miss Groom was brilliant (she does need a baton though). I understand that the group of musicians did not have long with the music and practices were sparse. I tip my hat to the professionalism from all of them.

I will close by saying that I have been to a number of productions at the Bradon Forest Theatre and this one was, once again, a most enjoyable way to spend an evening."

Big thanks to Chris Thomas for his detailed review! I have to say that extra kudos does indeed go to the band... only two rehearsals all together!  

(NB. The photo shows all the band, except Jemima Palfreyman who played the piano excellently for the evening performances. Thanks to Fiona Fleet for giving up the flute to play piano on the matinee performance.)

Little Shop of Horrors

A Chocolate Theatre Society is a small, local, musical theatre company who came together in February 2010. The members are from a diverse range of backgrounds such as SALOS, Clarendon Players & The Cotswold Players. Most of the cast have sang professionally with various bands across the country & some of the musicians, who are also members of a Jazz/swing band, have played at the West End in block busting shows such as Les Miserables.

They are currently rehearsing their debut production of...

July 29th to 31st
Swindon Arts Centre
Start: 19:30
Tickets £10 (concessions Thurs-Fri £8)
"A Little Shop Of Horrors is one of the most entertaining musicals ever written & its Broadways longest running musical to date. The musical numbers will have you tapping your feet, the characters will have you begging for more, you will be enthralled by the exquisite costumes & the flamboyant set & you will be SPEECHLESS by our wonderfully HUGE plant!"
For more information or tickets please email Michaela or call her on 07962 222190.
Tickets are also available from the Arts Centre Booking Office.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Catch The Shudders at The Big Arts Day

You should have heard by now that there's a little festival going on at Lydiard Park on Saturday 10 July called The Big Arts Day. We're supporting the event by loaning out some of our technical equipment for... I think it's three tents now! So if you see Dominic and Dan around, buy them an ice cream :o)

Obviously, for those of you paying attention, you will have noticed that Saturday is our final matinee performance of Sweet Charity followed by the cricket and BBQ on the field. I wouldn't recommend you miss this for anything! So, in the interest of supporting local culture, I'd suggest that you pop on down to the Big Arts Day after the afternoon draws to a close here!

Check out the website, and if you have really good eyesite, you'll be able to see the line-up. If you can, catch The Recs - they're a new up & coming band featuring some of our Year 8 talent! But as a final top tip from me, don't miss The Shudders. They're playing on the Sugarhill stage at some point and aside from being the perfect music to enjoy on a sunny Saturday afternoon, they have to be the best looking local band going. Wouldn't you agree?

{[NB. Photo pinched from The Shudders site, courtesy of Puttyfoot.]

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Resounding success on opening night

The first performance of Sweet Charity was well received by the audience last night! I heard one chap as he left say;
"Well, that's a lovely way to spend a Tuesday evening!"
Mr Vizor, our Head of Science, commented;
"If you want something uplifting, make sure you see Sweet Charity. Makes you think, 'our students are bloody brilliant!'"
There are still a few tickets left for the remaining shows tonight, Thursday and Friday evenings and also a few for the Saturday matinee at 12pm. Don't forget to bring some spending money as the refreshment bar is going down well! From tomorrow night onwards, the bar will be licensed too!

Give me a call to reserve your tickets - 01793 773981.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Opening Night Tonight!

Tonight is the opening night for Sweet Charity! It's finally here, after months of hard work and preparation! There are still a few tickets left for this evenings performance, so call me now to reserve yours! 01793 773981.

Last night was the last dress rehearsal and it's looking amazing. The band sound awesome - it's hard to believe they've only had 2 rehearsals all together! Make sure you come along to see not only how talented your fellow students are, but also how talented your teachers who are playing in the band are!

The show starts tonight at 7.30pm and there will be a 20 minute interval. Our lovely PTA will be doing refreshments all week, including a raffle, so make sure you bring some spending money!

There is also a Textiles Exhibition on in the textile rooms this evening from 4pm - 7.30pm. I recommend getting here a little early so that you can catch that too.

See you all there - you won't regret it!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Guest entry: News from The Dacoits...


Just a little note to let you know that we’re playing our very own show at The Victoria in Swindon on the 9th of July. That’s the Friday after this one fact fans, giving you more than enough time to start polishing up your dancing shoes in preparation. Support comes from those fine, upstanding chaps in Bodyglass, so things are already shaping up nicely for an evening of prime cut rock & roll action. And if you’re thinking to yourself that you’d really like to let your hair down on the 9th of July but the emergency budget is taking a wee all over your fireworks, then panic no more, because this little shindig is free entry. We tried to get the money saving expert in on this but our schedules clashed. Thanks anyways Martin, keep up the good work.

Due to the fun we’ve had embracing our inner acoustic troubadours over the last few months we’ve lined up another show at CafĂ© Tarifa in Oxford on the 13th of July. Pete once got into a bit of trouble for embracing an acoustic troubadour in an inappropriate manner, but that’s really a story for another time.

I think that’s it for now, see you on the 9th,


 - Phil's obviously been having a bit of a Fry & Laurie moment!  The 9th is obviously the last evening performance of Sweet Charity, but as it finishes at 10pm, you may be able to catch the end. Best bet though if you want to catch both, is to come and see Sweet Charity on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or the Saturday matinee!