Sometimes, when we are dazzled by the array of brilliant shows with big name stars that grace this city’s stages, we can overlook the home-grown talent that keeps grass-roots theatre here alive and kicking.
This showcase featured four well-established, and let us call them non-professional rather than amateur, companies who will be bringing their talents to the King’s Theatre in the next few months.
Southern Light Opera have been treading the boards at the King’s since the 1920s, and they had been going for many years before that. This year they stage Oliver! And it is a huge undertaking with an adult cast of around 50, a similar number backstage, and a revolving cast of 140 children. A big production indeed!
The Bohemians have been around for almost as long, and are rightly renowned for the consistent quality of their productions. There latest offering is Sister Act, the musical based on the 1992 movie.
The Edinburgh Gilbert and Sullivan Society (founded 1924) present The Pirates of Penzance, with a cast of over 60 and a full orchestra. Later on this year, they’ll be taking this production to the International G & S Festival in Harrogate. They have been raising money for various charities since 1946.
Showcase celebrate their 25th anniversary with a show that features the best of pop, rock and songs from the musicals, performed by over 100 singers. This organisation (Edinburgh’s own Glee, perhaps?) performs to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
It was a pleasure to hear the excerpts from all these shows, and it certainly whetted the appetite to hear more from all of them. As we at East Coast fm know, it takes a lot of work and a great deal of commitment to keep voluntary organisations running, and all of these companies deserve more than just credit for what they do, they deserve an audience too. Go along and support them, they’re all worth your time.