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A Night at the Musicals

by Arts Correspondent – 8th October 2018
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Wonderful Live performances in the Village Hall

Haddenham Players delivered their Annual "One Night Stand" with a twist this time – an entire evening themed around Musicals.

See lots of photos in the Galleries section of this website.

Mike Sullivan was compère for the show, which was based around local talent – and there was certainly some real talent on show.

The show was ably Produced and Directed by Hannah Austin, who also celebrated her birthday during the show. This is the 3rd such event Hannah has delivered for The Players and they get better each year. A full auditorium saw the opening number – Hannah & Mike Sullivan with – "Getting to Know You" from The King & I.

Tom Langton & Robin Nash entertained welcoming the audience with a poetic run-through of the greatest hits of Musical Theatre.

Music followed with a duet from "Wicked" performed with the outstanding voices of two of the Players' regular and core performers, Cassy Childs & Stuart Taylor followed by a rendition of the song "Poor Unfortunate Souls", Ursula's song from "The Little Mermaid", delivered and performed by talented newcomer Zoe Platt. Both songs received rapturous applause from an entranced audience.

A guitar solo from Tom Langton, performing on guitar & singing for the first time held the audience spellbound with a rendition of the Elvis ballad, "I can't help falling in Love with you". A virtuoso performance Tom, and the audience sang along too.

Proceedings were interrupted by the appearance of the Phantom of The Village Hall – James Kershaw and the imminent threat of a custard pie situation. Narrowly avoided by all.

Next, Players stalwart Sarah Wood offered a lively reading of "Gus the Theatre Cat" from Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939) by T. S. Eliot and latterly "Cats".

A return to the stage by Stuart, gave the audience a powerful rendition of "Sante Fe" from the musical "Newsies" followed by an amusing poem called "I Hate Musicals" delivered by another 'new to the stage' performer, Roberta Silva, who provided humour and gentle wit.

Proving that even a red head can be "Legally Blonde", Zoe and James worked perfectly together in the romantic comedy duet number, "Serious".

Next up, the appearance of Mary Pritchard, a long time resident of the Village who gave us a personal account of her work in the Theatrical Arts & Dance world over the decades. It was an honour for the Players to provide a stage for such a well-recognized and much loved community member.

Before the interval, Mike returned in his more familiar guise, as the Panto Dame, to herald the development of the Haddenham Players' Panto, "Aladdin" coming up in February. For his good service in this respect, Mike was rewarded with the first of several Custard Pies – this time around a cloud of talc engulfed the hall. The full cast lead into the break with "this is Me" from "The Greatest Showman".

Opening the second half, The Haddenham Hand Bell Ringers were in fine fettle and delivered a medley of tunes which held the room spellbound and in awe of their technical proficiencies and skills.

Returning with his guitar, Tom gave us a wistful rendition of a song from "La La Land", "City of Stars", another polished performance.

Show Director and songstress Hannah stepped up to the stage and delivered an amusing take on the Material Girl with "Stars and the Moon" from "Songs for a New World".

Sarah returned with a classic take on "Mr. Mistoffelees" from Cats and then, Mike declared a return to the French Revolution for the next two songs, from Les Miserables, James & Zoe delivered in turn, "Stars" and "Bring him Home" – to much acclaim from the audience for their power and characterisation.

A poetical return to Mary and her insightful ruminations on life was followed by Mike, attempting to sing "I feel Pretty", from West Side Story, when he was, this time, successfully custard-pied by James's Phantom!

The evening drew to a close with Hannah & Cassy's soulful "I know him so well" from Chess – being a Musical by Tim Rice, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. Which neatly segued us into a Grand Finale of Abba Hits.

Says Haddenham Players' Chariman Mike Sullivan: "Thanks to all the Performers, the wonderful Bar & Front of House teams and to the Audience without whom we Haddenham Players simply would not exist. Thank you Haddenham (and beyond) – see you same time next year!"

Haddenham Players can next be seen on 10th November in St Marys Church, supporting and participating in the 100 Year Centenary of the end of the Great War.

Then in Aladdin, the annual Panto, over the weekend 8th-10th February.

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