Archive-Members

NODA presentations

NODA awards were presented on-stage after the matinee performance on Saturday 22 February by Stuart McCue-Dick, Councillor for NODA (Scotland), with two other NODA personnel in attendance – Dorothy Johnstone, Regional Representative for District 6 (Edinburgh area) and reviewer for this show, and our very own Mike Pendlowski, appearing as his alter ego, the Regional Representative for District 7 (Fife).

These awards recognising service to amateur theatre went to:

  • Joan Bell: 30 year  Silver Bar
  • Geoff Strong: 30 year Silver Bar
  • Morag Riley: 25 year Long Service Medal
  • Mary Alexander: 20 year Badge
  • Clare White: 20 year Badge

This post will work its way down the page, but you can see all the recent presentation history at this link.

What NODA thought …

Dorothy Johnstone attended our Saturday matinée and reported on behalf of NODA:

An open stage revealed a stunning set with a group of sailors setting the scene meandering across the quarter deck of HMS Pinafore. These sailors then danced throughout the overture treating us to hornpipes and more balletic styles of dance. A novel concept which worked really well. The multi-level set with its many barrels and boxes strategically placed was used to great advantage. Although stylised in many ways in the manner of Gilbert and Sullivan there was a real freshness and originality about this production, especially in the use of props. Everything Little Buttercup sang about in her opening number was produced from her basket, inflatable ice cream cones and unicorn life belts appeared in the ever-popular “Never mind the why and wherefore”, and particularly impressive were the ever-changing hats worn by Sir Joseph Porter corresponding to his status as he climbed the ladder from office boy to ‘Ruler of the Queen’s Navy’. Clever!

The raucous group of sailors were in fine voice in the opening number and were disciplined and light-footed in their moves and routines using their hats. An appealing and sparkling Ralph Rackstraw (Geoff Lee) immediately gained the sympathy of the audience as he sang of his hopeless love for Josephine (Gillian Robertson), his captain’s daughter. There was a real rapport between these two, both convincing in conveying the turmoil of their feelings for each other in their duet “Refrain, audacious tar” and in Josephine’s aria “The hours creep on apace” which was wonderful and so effortless. Another clever touch here was the subtle setting left and right depicting rich and poor as Josephine weighs up the pros and cons of her future in matrimony. Josephine’s other suitor, Sir Joseph Porter (Robin Ożóg), gave a spirited performance with perfect diction and articulation in both spoken and sung word. Her father Captain Corcoran (Ross Main) looked well as a dignified upper-crust Captain, meaningfully expressing his emotions in the the lovely “Fair moon to thee I sing”. Good lighting added real atmosphere to this scene.

Buttercup (Liz Landsman) was obviously well loved by the crew and came across as a warm, caring woman who maintained her accent throughout and was quite mystical in her duet with Corcoran telling him that “Things are seldom what they seem” and finally revealing what she had done “A many years ago”. The motley crew members, the scheming almost loathsome Dick Deadeye (Nathan Macaulay-Dicks), Bill Bobstay (Jack Archibald) and Bob Becket (Willie Campbell), gave believable performances. Cousin Hebe doesn’t have a great deal to sing or say but Sinead Black injected real character into the part and looked quite charming.

This was a well-directed production with an accomplished principal cast and a very well vocally balanced chorus of sailors, sisters, cousins and aunts. There is certainly more for the men to do in HMS Pinafore than there is for women, but it is rare to see a bigger male then female chorus as was the case here. There was a real blend of voices in duets, ensembles and big chorus numbers, particularly in the finale of Act 1 and the rousing “He is an Englishman” where the part singing was most evident. A sympathetic orchestra supported the singers. The well-choreographed company movement and business using hats was well drilled and executed in a slick, confident manner. Colourful costumes and effective lighting enhanced this most enjoyable and well thought out production.

Thank you so much for inviting me along.

George Hutchison

Some of our older members may remember George Hutchison, who sang with the Society in the mid-1980s and directed four of our shows at the turn of the Millennium. More details at this link.

George’s funeral service at Perth Crematorium (PH1 2PE) will take place at 10.30am on Wednesday 5 February, when all friends are invited to celebrate the life of this incredible man. Bright colours are encouraged. You are warmly invited to the reception after the service at the Civil Service Club, St Leonard’s Bank, PH2 8EB.

Carols at Tesco

John Allen has just confirmed that the Society will be singing carols at Tesco (Fire Station) from 2.30pm on Saturday 21 December. More details later – for security reasons you’ll probably need to book your place with John in advance of the gig – but meanwhile, please keep the date!

Pinafore rehearsal schedules

HMS Pinafore will be weighing anchor before we know it, and our production rehearsals start(ed) this week – the principals yesterday; the chorus tomorrow.

Note that it still isn’t too late to join the crew! If you’re new to the Society chorus, there’s the extra bonus that your first year will be at half-price (£60, instead of £120), so there’s every incentive to be a Jolly Jack or one of Sir Joseph’s many female relations.

The schedules can be downloaded at these links – principals; chorus – though expect some adjustments to be announced as things progress. The usual arrangements: Monday rehearsals for principals; Wednesday rehearsals for chorus and most principals; Sunday afternoon rehearsals for all start on 12 January; Monday rehearsals for chorus start 3 February.

Pinafore production starting

Principals will be starting with a read/sing through on 14 October; Chorus will be starting their floor work on 16 October. Fiona hopes that everybody will have perfected the notes before then, and suggests “trying to get as much music off book as possible before we do start”.

Note that this gives you just two weeks to recruit any new crew members – after production has started it gets progressively more difficult to integrate extra people. Last chance saloon!

Pinafore cast announced!

Mike Pendlowski is happy to announce that offers were made, and have now been confirmed, for the cast list shown at this link.

Congratulations to those who were successful; commiserations to those who weren’t; and best wishes to the whole company for a great launch next February.

Next appearance

Pirates 2023

Your next chance to see the Society on stage will be on 16–18 February 2023, when we are back at Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, for our twice-delayed 50th anniversary production of The Pirates of Penzance.

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