Alice Letts

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Musical Medleys

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It was a fine evening on Saturday the 4th of April 2009 Labels.  It was also my first time to attend a performance at the Guildhall.  I had been interested in the local musical group called the ‘Good Companions Stage Society’.  And I wanted to see them perform.  To read more about the Good Companions musical group, click <here> to view their website.

It was also their 50th anniversary in 2009, and to celebrate they put on a show called ‘Simply the Best’. This show consisted of a medley of songs from a variety of popular shows including 42nd Street; My Fair Lady; Fidler on the roof; Phantom of the Opera; Guys & Dolls; and many more.

We went to the 5pm showing that was also the very last show of the season. To my delight, at the very end the production, they let out a room full of party streamers! We sat at the very back of the theatre on the balcony which had a perfect view of the performance on the stage, as well as a good view of the musicians.

I was a little surprised to see that the whole production was supported by only three musicians. For some reason I had thought there may be more musicians than that. However the three who did play did an incredible job. Kevin Smith played the grand piano, and Glyn Varney was on the drums. The multi-talented Zoe Varney was kept incredibly busy throughout the evening as she went between the clarinet, the piano, the flute, and the saxophone!

As one would expect, the evening involved a variety of acting, singing and dancing. There were a number of pieces with solos, both male and female. However I felt that these solos were somehow disappointing due to performers either missing a note and singing out of tune, or singing in tune but lacking a voice to begin with. There was however one exception. There was one solo in the musical that was exemplary. I do not remember the name of the singer, but she had blonde hair and a fringe, and she sang every note to perfection. An extremely good performance which was rewarded with louder and longer applause than all the previous performances before her.

The second half of the event was definitely the best for me. The highlights of the show for me were two comical pieces. The first was ‘There once was a man’ of the Pajama Game, performed by Shaon and Phil. The other excellent piece of work was ‘Carry on Phantom’ that is a comical play on The Phantom of the Opera, and was performed by Paul M, Paul B, Helen B, Lisa M, Lester, Jake, Scott, Helen P, and Judith.

That medley made me realise the differences between a concert and a musical. The thing that I like about musicals is the existence of a storyline that you can follow throughout the whole performance. And it is the dancing and the singing that brings the story to life and entertains.

Now, years later, in 2012, the group is still going strong!  If you fancy seeing a musical sometime over the next couple of months then you are in for a treat.  The Good Companions will be performing again, “The Songwriters’ Album”.  They will be back at the Derby Guildhall Theatre between the 28th of February and the 3rd of March 2012.  The Good Companions will perform a selection of pieces from Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lloyd Webber.
Do you like the songs “Yesterday” and “Let it be”?  If you are a Beatles fan, they you will be impressed to hear that they are also performing pieces from Lennon & McCartney.  Booking details and ticket information are online <here>, or you can telephone Ray & Brenda Harrison at +44(0)1332 515 696.


2 Comments

  1. Shawn says:

    I love supporting our small theatres with local actors. My favorite one is the Shakespeare in the Park. You can bring a sack lunch/dinner and sit on blankets in the park and enjoy a Shakespeare play.

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