A great time was had by everyone who came along to the first rehearsal for our semi-staged production of Princess Ida, but we’re still at the early stages, so we will be welcoming new or returning singers at 7.30pm on every Wednesday in September. Please remember that we are now meeting at Limekilns Parish Church and, before you set out, read this linked document for guidance on what we’ve done to keep you safe and the part you’ve to play.
We’ve been busy so far this year putting on an on-line panto and a Zoom version of The Mikado that attracted rave reviews, as you’ll read at this link.
Our committee have also been working on plans for our next appearance on stage at Dunfermline’s Carnegie Hall. You’ll recall that our 50th anniversary production of The Pirates of Penzance couldn’t happen in 2021 for obvious reasons! Initially we anticipated just one year’s delay. However, ongoing COVID uncertainties, compounded by concerns about theatre upgrades, mean we can’t take the financial risk of producing our usual fully-staged show with orchestra until February 2023.
But we’re really excited to tell you that, having realised that many members liked the idea of performing an entire operetta (rather than a concert), the committee decided on a semi-staged production of Princess Ida. There won’t be hired scenery, but there will be appropriately-themed costumes supplied by members, and we’ll have John Allen’s legendary lighting. Willie Campbell will be our MD, and the production will be directed by Rae Lamond. We know from Rae’s 2012 concert version of Princess Ida how much she can achieve with limited resources but limitless vision and originality.
Details are yet to be finalised, but put Saturday 19 February 2022 in your diaries as a chance to see an operetta that has some wonderful music, but is rarely seen in a stage production.
The images above were taken from the Backstage feed of our Zoom performance of The Mikado on 16 June. They tell the story of an excellent show, from early doors to final curtain. There are 97 slides which take around 5 minutes to play, but you can stop at any point by hovering over the image, or select the image you want to look at from the filmstrip below the caption line.
As you’ll see from the chat extracts below, everyone enjoyed themselves. There were a few technical glitches – thanks to Joy for reading in when Backstage (Helen) sent the direct message to Ko-Ko (Robin) “Katisha has gone offline!” – but otherwise the evening went smoothly. Thanks to Robin, Willie and Martin for making the production possible artistically, musically and technically.
Lucy and Ed: congratulations to all, really fun and such a great way to sing “together.” A joyous shout indeed!!
KatyW: Absolutely fabulous! And no covid tests needed to travel to Titipu! Huge well done to everyone!
ElspethW: that was a great evenings entertainment. well done all
Susan: Thank you for a great show – such fun to sing along, and you all obviously were enjoying yourselves so much.
GillR: Extraordinary! What an incredible, achievement and fun evening! Thank you so much everyone for bringing huge smiles to our faces!!
Our Zoom performance of The Mikado is at 7:30pm on 16 June. Please log on at least five minutes before the show starts – the waiting room will open up shortly after 7:00pm. If you haven’t yet received log-on information, drop an email to our hard-working Administrator, Ellen Patrick, at ku.gro.ssagdnull@nelle.
As with the panto, music has been pre-recorded by members – plus a wide a variety of friends from near and far – and you can sing along (muted) to the end result of work by a cast of nearly 50. See if you can spot your friends in the rolling credits in the slideshow above. [As with all such sliders, just hover your cursor over the image to stop it moving]
Remember … this is a one-off, and “such an opportunity will not occur again”!
Members have been enjoying regular weekly sessions that combine an opportunity to sing with a chance to chat and to extend our knowledge of Gilbert and Sullivan. Recently we had a really good, fun, performance of The Merryman and his Maid, a pantomime devised and directed by Robin Ożóg. A great evening was had by all, including our guests for the evening from other societies. Maybe we’ll even get an opportunity later in the year to present the work in live performance!
Last June we had to postpone our planned concert version of The Mikado, and can’t perform it live this year either, so our next project is a Zoom performance on 16 June. As with the panto, music will be pre-recorded by members, and you can sing along (muted) to the end result. We are putting a cast together and hope for even more numbers to join us for this venture.
Given the ongoing and uncertain COVID-19 situation, we’re not able to meet in person, and it’s likely that we won’t be able to commence music rehearsals as usual in August. However, we still plan to perform The Pirates of Penzance in front of a live audience, and the practicalities of how we prepare for that are being worked out.
If you’re an audience member, make sure that Thursday to Saturday 17–19 February 2022 is in your diary; if you fancy the idea of being part of the cast, why not get in touch today and join our Zoom community? For more information, drop an email to Ellen (ku.gro.ssagdnull@nelle).
Normally at this time of the year we would be well into rehearsals and starting to think about getting on the floor and beginning to find out what our director has in mind for us. Well that was then, and this is now. Whatever ‘normal’ is I’m not sure. It certainly isn’t anything that we know.
However, as many of you will know we haven’t been idle during our enforced stand-down. For the past few months we have had regular Zoom meetings, singing through a variety of G&S classics. We’ve also discovered that W S Gilbert did more than write librettos. He also wrote a number of plays, one of which we performed recently.
We have a few more things in the pipeline, but more of that later.
Now I know that Zooming isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and not everyone can or wants to take part in these sessions. If there was something else we could do, then we would, but right now we just can’t. No one knows how long this will last.
So for the time being, just keep on singing whenever and wherever you can. And above all else, stay safe and keep well.
ONFife having announced that their theatres (Carnegie Hall, Adam Smith Theatre, Lochgelly Centre and Rothes Halls) will remain closed until at least April/May 2021, we have decided to postpone our special anniversary production of The Pirates of Penzance until February 2022, so the Carnegie Hall has been booked for Thursday to Saturday 17–19 February 2022.
We are also planning to perform our postponed concert version of The Mikado in June 2021. Between now and when we are next able to rehearse together, members will continue to keep in touch, and to keep G&S alive in West Fife, by appropriately COVID-compliant means!