Did you see it? Wasn't it wonderful? Weren't they brilliant?
If you didn't see this second production by the Barrow Youth
Theatre Group, you really missed something quite exceptional.
I thought that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would take
some beating but TL,TW and TW was different. It had music
and singing and some very clever stage direction.
I had forgotten how enchanting and magical this story, by
C S Lewis, really is and the Youth Theatre children, with
the help of Carol, Gordon and Marie brought it all to life.
With the four evacuee children transported to a magical land,'Where
it is always winter and never Christmas!' through the back
of a wardrobe; where a White Witch rules supreme with her
rabble entourage and a faun called Mr Tumnus is so frightened
of her power, he is forced to lure children for her to bewitch.
Eventually all of the children find themselves in Narnia.
One of them, Edmund comes under the power of the White Witch
with the help of Turkish Delight! The other three children
rescue him with the help of the animals and the lion, Aslan.The
White Witch thinks that she has won when she kills Aslan but
the lion is indestructible and comes to life again and after
a grim fight with the rabble the witch is killed and eternal
winter vanishes from Narnia.
My description of the plot is a very simple one but I'm sure
you get the idea, it's about the triumph of good over evil.The
children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy were played by Sam
Tyler, Katie Rose,Andy Kenneth and Aimee Crossley respectively.Andy
and Aimee had long speeches to learn and songs to sing which
they did wonderfully well.Abi Crossley was the White Witch,
she was fantastically wicked and spoke and sang excellently.The
faun, Mr Tumnus was played by Alex Norris who again sang very
well. Chloe North and Will Foster as Mr and Mrs Beaver were
lovely and finally Lizzie Fowler's portrayal of Aslan was
The main characters were ably supported by the witch's rabble,
the woodland birds and animals, a wolf, Father Christmas,
Professor Kirk and Mrs Macready.
However, it could not have happened without the direction
of Carol and Gordon Kenneth and the musical direction by Marie
Slater.Well done to all of you for your imagination, patience
and expertise in coaxing and coaching these children to such
a fantastic standard.These three were supported by Derek Plucknett
on the piano, Keith Chaplin on the drums, Johnny Doda who
did the lighting, the amazing skills of Bob Mee, Kevin Harrison
and the backstage crew and a real innovation for this show
that worked extremely well, the radio mikes, provided by James
White from a company called Act One.
The next performance by the Youth Theatre Group will be next
November, at the time of going to press the producers were
still reading through potential scripts.Well done all of you,
I look forward to the next production.
Screamingly funny, definitely unmissable
On Wednesday April 13th, Centre Stage will make its fourth
visit to Barrow and provide the 'Old Rope String Band' to
entertain both young and old. The event will start at 7.30pm
in Humphrey Perkins Community Centre. Come early enough to
visit the bar and then settle yourself in cabaret style.
The group has plenty of experience of entertaining communities
and quotes from their shows include the following:'Once they
were hilarious. These days they are devastating' (Glasgow
Herald); 'they stole the humour prize'. they were brilliant!
Manic, lunic energy and staggering musicianship'; 'their originality
must be seen to be properly believed';'The mad but unbelievably
funny trio took everyone by storm on Saturday night.Their
unique musical crazy comedy was appreciated by a packed-out
hall. It was screamingly funny'; 'I lost count of the number
of times I overheard the comment 'I haven't laughed so much
for ages' during the interval'.
'Well, what are they going to do?' I hear you ask. My answer:They
are three strange men who play beautiful traditional music
whilst indulging in hilarious antics and bizarre visual nonsense.With
tunes collected from Ireland, Scotland, Mexico, Sweden, and
China and songs collected from their own tortured minds, these
entertainers will stop at nothing in their quest to bring
joy to the face of the audience. Between them, they draw music
from fiddle, banjo, voice, trombone, accordion and trumpet,
sometimes all six simultaneously.
The undoubted musical strengths of the band create a foundation
on which they build a visual extravaganza of acrobatics, juggling
and dancing. The show features clogging, music played upside
down, South African wellie-boot dancing and other feats that
You can be sure of having a really good night out. So buy
your discounted tickets in advance of the show from The Paper
Shop or by contacting Judith Rodgers on 01509 412063 or by
email on firstname.lastname@example.org.They will cost £5.00 or
£4.00 (concessions) unless you leave it to the night when
tickets on the door will go up to £6.00 and £5.00.
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS
for Barrow Panto Group and Youth Theatre
It was a big step, and a happy one, when the Panto Group
decided to create a junior branch in the form of the Youth
Theatre. Its first production, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,
was an outstanding success.Then, sitting down to chew over
"where next?", the two groups started to look up towards the
stars.literally.They call it "blue sky thinking" in some circles!
It was a discussion that asked "What if." and "If only.then
To cut the story short, we decided to apply for grants so
that we could put up new stage tracking that would enable
us to hire professional backcloths, buy new stage flats (curtains)
of our own, hire costumes and bring in the expertise of a
sound technician. By December, we had achieved all these and
the outcome was 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' (see
We collected a total of £2500 in grants: from the Charnwood
Borough Council Arts Development fund, a Community Champions
Award to Judith Rodgers, an Awards for All Lottery grant,
a 3M award and last but not least, from B&Q's Better Neighbour
Inspired by this success, the groups will probably carry
on identifying further improvements that will help in the
raising of production standards. BUT WHAT WE DESPARATELY NEED
NOW CAN'T BE BOUGHT WITH MONEY: MORE VOLUNTEERS; PARTICULARLY
TO HELP BEHIND STAGE. It is huge FUN but it is also hard work.The
more people there are, both young and old, the less hard work
it is and the more fun.You can't believe what a lift it gives
you to be part of the team that successfully brings off a
Everyone is buzzing and there's a wonderful warm feeling
that comes from comradeship. Although you're relieved that
it came right in the end and it's all over, you can't wait
to get started on the next show. So, please, give Judith (412063)
or Bob (413510) or Sue (416533) or Carol (620572) a ring and
tell us you wouldn't mind putting your little toe in the water.Whatever
you can offer, we need you.
OPEN AIR PROMS CONCERT and GRAND FIREWORK DISPLAY
*Saturday June 11th 2005*
M ake a note of this date The Community Association are organising
another very popular:
OPEN AIR PROMS CONCERT and GRAND FIREWORK
with the Loughborough Orchestra and Guest
- on the Beacon Field at Humphrey Perkins School
Rule Britannia, Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory, Jupiter
Picnics from 6.00pm - concert 8.00 p.m.
Detailed information available at the beginning of April
If you require information in the mean time
please contact Mike Morley 01509 412982
Religious Houses to Romantic Ruins
An exhibition which gives an insight into life in Leicestershire's
monasteries, past and present, and how the buildings have
been adapted to all kinds of uses through the centuries is
opening at The Record Office next month.
The exhibition, entitled 'Religious Houses to Romantic Ruins',
traces the story of religious communities, from the founding
of the Anglo- Saxon monastery at Breedon in the north west
of the county to the coming of the Cistercians of Mount St
Bernard's Abbey in the 19th century.The destruction of the
monastic way of life under Henry VIII's religious reformation
was followed by the 'privatisation' of many of these buildings,
as they came under secular ownership. Monastic buildings were
converted into mansions such as Launde Abbey. Others, like
Grace Dieu, transformed into 'romantic ruins' which inspired
our Victorian ancestors. And some, like Leicester Abbey's
site, have provided a happy hunting ground for archaeologists.
Several objects from religious houses, past and present,
will be on display to accompany this exhibition, including
items from Ulverscroft Priory, Leicester Abbey and the Austin
Friars in Leicester, as well as objects and costume from Mount
St Bernard's Abbey.
Archaeological fragments on loan from Jewry Wall Museum include
medieval window glass and floor tiles with designs which influenced
the Gothic movement of the 19th century.
Religious Houses to Romantic Ruins will open on Monday, 7
March, 2005 at the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester
and Rutland in Wigston Magna. It will run until Friday 29
April. Entry to the exhibition is free, and the opening hours
are Mon,Tues, Thurs 9.15-5.00;Weds 9.15-7.30; Fri 9.15-4.45
& Sat 9.15-12.15.
For further information about this exhibition, please contact:
Margaret Bonney at the Record Office (0116 257 1080).