"... an evening of festive music, some old, some new, with readings celebrating the 'Spirit of Christmas' ... This production certainly encouraged the appreciative audience into the 'Spirit of Christmas' so very well done to all concerned in making this such an enjoyable evening's entertainment."
THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS
Under the meticulous direction of Ciara Crossley-Roberts, this was an evening of festive music, some old, some new, with readings celebrating the ‘Spirit of Christmas’. Something a little different for this time of year. Not only directing but Ciara was MD both playing and conducting and assisted by also proficient musician John King.
The opening backdrop depicted a Christmas Tree in staves and musical notes with corner NODA logo, the Egerton Players logo and the words ‘The Spirit of Christmas’ beautifully scripted, was back projected as was each of the suitably chosen beautiful scenes selected for each item. These were perfectly timed by regular Lighting Director John Sewell together with Technical Director Neil Crossley-Roberts with Assts. Patrick Crossley-Roberts and Sarah Woods.
Twenty-one performers including some juniors sang, read and danced through thirty-seven items in solos, duets, small groups and full company, perfecting their words and movement which was created by choreographer Yvonne Smith. The programme moved along with ease under the ‘eye for detail’ SM Alan Arthur, the running order contained in an easy to read A5 folded programme. Items varied from an extract from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, carol ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ a very amusing version of the 12 Days of Christmas by John Julius Norwich read as a duet to the poignant ‘Christmas Truce’ to The Polar Express Medley from the whole cast, and wonderful Dickensian readings.
Set on stage were just a red lit Christmas tree on one side with an armchair covered with a throw on the other for the narrators. Ciara’s musical arrangements contained much harmony which blended well, lyrics sung with much clarity, good use of personal mics.
Ladies were attired in long black evening dresses for the opening, the gentlemen with white shirts and red bow ties in contrast – very smart, with the children looking delightful and performing their pieces with confidence. A change for the second half with all looking very neat. Appreciation must go to Sylvia Tillman in charge of wardrobe.
F of H and Raffle sales with some excellent prizes kindly donated by local businesses, were charged to the cast and together with the programme proceeds the Dandelion Time charity, who offers help to children with challenging emotional issues was to benefit.
This production certainly encouraged the appreciative audience into the ‘Spirit of Christmas’ so very well done to all concerned in making this such an enjoyable evening’s entertainment.
Happy Christmas to one and all with best wishes for the New Year and your future productions.
This review will be posted on the NODA website very shortly.
Regional Representative, NODA SE, District 3
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