Wednesday 1st July, 2009 is a date to put in your diaries! St Michael’s Village, St Albans will be filled with music, dance and fun for all.
It's official, the Christmas lights of St Albans are switched on! Entertainment and fun started yesterday at noon.By the afternoon, the town centre was filled with hundreds of happy little faces who were all set for the countdown with Santa, Elvis Schmelvis, Sarah-Jane Honeywell and The Little Mermaid Pantomine Stars.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a local group was to perform 'Spamalot'. St. Albans Musical Theatre (previously known as St Albans Operatic Society) have been producing high-quality productions for some years now and I must say expectations were high. St. Albans is blessed with many high-quality amateur and professional performers (being located close to London being one of the main reasons), as well as directors and choreographers.
A few years ago, I asked Imogen de la Bere what she would consider to be the essence of life. 'Truth' was her answer. Interestingly, the OVO philosophy of theatre is that the 'emotional truthfulness of the acting should supply everything.'
This was the first time I had seen a performance in the studio part of the Abbey Theatre. I must say I liked the intimacy this created. Allowing the audience to feel a part of the production, almost. The play is quite short, in two acts of 45-50 minutes or so and this felt right. All the dialogue and action had meaning and impact.
Next Saturday, I will be enjoying 'old meets new' when the St Albans Symphony Orchestra, performs a musical journey under their new conducter Bjorn Bantock. The orchestra will play well-known and loved pieces like Dvorak's Symphony No 9.....
Inequality and sexual politics in the workplace are common themes in the theatre today, but not something you would expect from a 1930’s play. However, London Wall, at the Abbey Theatre from next week, is set in a City solicitor’s office at that time. It’s a fascinating and touching play that strongly evokes the atmosphere of the time, and the concerns of working women.
The next production by the Company of Ten will take audiences back to the 1970’s, with one of the best loved comedies of the time, Abigail’s Party by Mike Leigh. Like most of Leigh’s projects, Abigail’s Party was devised by the cast developing their characters and the story through improvisation.
Holly Road Productions (Ben Hill and St Albans local Alex Bell) are presenting 6 new short plays written in response to theme of "White Lies" which will premiere over two weekends in August. The plays will be directed by Stanley Walton (another St Albans local) and star just 4 actors. The actors Tom Crowhurst, Liam Hynes, Daisy May Parsons and Sarah Cullum will have one day to rehearse each play and will be playing all characters. The entire production will be designed by Wimbledon College of Arts graduate Lauren Woodward and will feature original music composed by Henry Mitton.
St Albans Operatic Society is proud to present Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Alban Arena, St Albans from Tuesday 13th to Saturday 17th October 2009. For those of you who don't know the show, or haven't seen the Jonny Depp film, it is a dark tale of love and revenge that is thrilling, chilling and, in places, extremely funny. The show won many awards on its debut 30 years ago and has starred a number of musical legends from Angela Lansbury, Sheila Hancock, Julia Mackenzie in the Mrs Lovett role to George Hearns, Dennis Quilley, Alun Armstrong, Johnny Depp and Bryn Terfel in the Todd role.