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Letchworth Arcadians is one of the premiere amateur operatic societies in the East of England.
27th November 2020

Latest Newsletter

From the Chairman’s Cupboard

Well, here we are in 2015 and we are all wondering where 2014 went to!

In the world of Letchworth Arcadians, it was a successful year both financially and aesthetically! We started the year with The Cabaret Showcase at The Arts Centre, making £750 followed by a Summer Concert at Old Warden Church making £165. This concert was repeated at The United Reform Church in Baldock which made an amazing £430 and we finished the year with A Peace of Christmas which returned a profit of £1486!

This stability is really important if we want to continue to move the society forward. All of the events through 2014 brought new audience members to Arcadians and this will help us to spread the word! Tickets sales are essential for presenting balanced budgets for shows and I would urge all of you to support every event and to sell as many tickets as possible.

If you came to The Christmas Concert you will have seen the wonderful images drawn by Martin Impey, a local illustrator from Baldock. His pictures, along with his book, The Place where Peace was Found, formed the basis of the concert and complemented the singing beautifully. We have had some lovely messages from members of the audience saying how they found it very moving. It was a wonderful way to start our Christmas Celebrations!

But Arcadians are never quiet for long! Rehearsals for Fiddler ran concurrently with Christmas rehearsals and the show is now fully cast and floor rehearsals have begun! This will be our first major show for a couple of years and we really hope that all of you will come along and support us in one way or another! Putting together a show like Fiddler is a huge financial undertaking and although we are trying to cut corners financially, we don’t want the standards to diminish in any way!

Looking ahead to 2015, obviously we have Fiddler on the Roof at St Christopher’s School Theatre from 8th – 11th April 2015. We then look ahead to An Evening of Rogers and Hammerstein Classics from 11th – 14th November 2015. This will be a table show at The Icknield Centre. I know many people find the sight lines at The Icknield Centre difficult and we hope that by making this a table show, it will make this easier! There will be further information about this in the near future.

We also hope to present another Christmas Concert next December. This is likely to be the 11th and 12th December which I know will clash with other events but we are quite limited with weekends in December for a Christmas Concert!

Throughout 2014 we have also had a number of social events which have also helped to boost the funds! The Quiz Night in September made a whopping £473 and the film night, courtesy of Pearce Productions, was a great success! Not only did we make £150 but we had a great night laughing at how we had all changed! 2015 has started with Burns Night which made in the region of £650 was another

success! The next social event is The Barn Dance on March 20th 2015. More details to follow! Thanks to Dennis Rusted and his social team for organising these events.

So, as you can see we have a busy 2015 ahead of us and we are already talking about plans for 2016! However, I am still very concerned about the infra-structure of the society. We still do not have a Treasurer – Rick Nott is doing a wonderful job holding the fort but we need to find someone to fill this gap permanently! There is also a small core of people who seem to do most of the work for the society and we need to expand this. We need to have a much larger bank of volunteers who are willing to help us promote the society. Please read the article about The Volunteer Bank carefully and see how you can help out!

Please remember that Letchworth Arcadians is your society and I am sure you will have opinions on what we should be doing! Please talk to any of your committee members or to me, I can always be contacted on robandmare@sky.com . As I said we are currently looking at a programme for 2016 and it is important that we choose things that members want to do! So please tell us! However with the proviso that we can present a balanced budget! We are not yet financially secure enough to be able to take risks!

Thank you all for your continued interest in Letchworth Arcadians and for your support of the various events and productions. Please keep this going during 2015 and I look forward to seeing you all during the week of The Young Arcadians production of Grease!

Mary Driver


Young Arcadians

We are now well into rehearsals for our 2015 YA Production of GREASE which will be hitting the St. Christopher School’s theatre from Wednesday 18th – Saturday 21st February.

Tickets are available from "Kenickie" on 01462 453801

It has been great fun at rehearsals. David Walker (Director), Chris Gardiner (Musical Director),

Lucy Walker and Emily Vivian (Choreographers) have worked very hard and the show will be great.

We have 41 youngsters in the show.

Evening Performances begin at 7.30 pm Wednesday to Saturday

Matinee Performance on Saturday begins at 2.30 pm.

Ticket Prices: Adults £12.00 Concessions £10.00 (OAP’s and children)

We look forward to seeing you there!

Gilly Nott

Membership/Production Secretary

Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof is a musical with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein. Set in 1905 in the village of Anatevka, it is based on Tevye and his Daughters and other tales by Sholem Aleichem. The story centres on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his Jewish religious and cultural traditions, as outside influences encroach upon the family's lives. He must cope both with the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters, who wish to marry for love – each one's choice of a husband moves further away from the customs of his faith – and with the edict of the Tzar that evicts the Jews from their village.

Songs include: Tradition, Matchmaker, Miracle of Miracles, Far From The Home I Love, Sabbath Prayer, Anatevka, Sunrise Sunset and of course, If I Were a Rich Man.

Social events

Friday 20th March 2015

Barn Dance at Baldock United Reformed Church from 7.30 pm

Tickets £12 including fish & chip supper

For tickets, please contact Dennis.

Dennis Rusted

Social Committee


As most of you know, I took over as Membership Secretary last year and since then have tried to simplify the paying of annual membership subscriptions. I am pleased to say this in now in order as everyone has paid a percentage of subs throughout the year (depending on when they last paid) and now everyone will be due to renew their membership on 1st July each year. If anyone has a standing order / direct debit set up on their bank account, could you please alter the date for July each year? May I please remind you that subs are to be increased to £50 per annum this year, as agreed at the AGM. It would also be most helpful, if everyone could arrange to settle before the end of the month of July.

I am happy to receive cash or cheques at rehearsals, or alternatively, subs can be paid direct to Arcadians bank account.

Jan Milton

Membership Secretary


Are you willing to become a member of our Volunteer Bank?

Sometimes there are occasions when we need to call on people to help in a small way for some of our productions or events.

We understand that people cannot commit to every event but I am sure you would be more than willing to help us out for the odd night if you are free!

We hope that by having a list of willing volunteers and by making a direct approach for a specific job, we will receive all the help we need!

Please add your name and number to the list of volunteers being collated by the committee. Your name, telephone number and email address will be kept confidential.

Please contact me on robandmare@sky.com

Thank you!


Congratulations to former YA member, James Fletcher, on his recent casting as Dylan Jenkins in Channel 4’s popular soap, Hollyoaks.


It was with great sadness we learnt about the death of Ron Keech last December. Ron had been involved with Young Arcadians for many years and was an integral part of the technical team. Apart from his expertise with sound, he was a great support for me and nothing was too much trouble. If I ever asked him if he knew where I may source something, no matter how obscure, he would say "leave that with me" and he would find it from somewhere!

We shall miss his cheery personality and his kindness. Our sympathies go to his wife, Glynis and their family.

David Walker

President’s Postscript

Literary inspirations (could win you a bottle of wine)

The debate about whether stage and film adaptations encourage or distract people (especially young ones) from reading rumbles on. Seeing the film The Theory of Everything recently set me thinking about this. It tells the story of Professor Stephen Hawking, portrayed by Eddie Redmayne in an excellent, deservedly Golden Globe-winning performance. It almost persuaded me to get out my copy of Hawking’s best-selling A Brief History of Time and read the remaining seventy percent of it!

More heartening has been the effect of TV and film adaptations on our thirteen year-old granddaughter. The TV Sherlock series (and, it has to be said, Cumberbatch) has inspired her to read many of Conan Doyle’s stories of the great detective while the musical film of Les Misérables has taken her to Victor Hugo’s original (in English; she hates French lessons!).

I wonder if any of the musicals we have performed have inspired you to read the stories on which they are based. Here’s a quiz to test your knowledge of adaptations but, to make it easier for you - rather than ask you to name the sources - I have listed the books and plays that inspired well-known musicals and I want you to name the show to which they gave rise. Easy ones first:

1) Tales of the South Pacific (book) by James Mitchener

2) Anna and the King of Siam (book) by Margaret Landon

3) A Christmas Carol (book) by Charles Dickens

4) Stories (book) by Sholem Aleichem

5) The Ugly Duckling (book) by Hans Christian Anderson

6) The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown and other stories by Damon Runyon

7) The Matchmaker (book) by Thornton Wilder

8) Pygmalion (play) by George Bernard Shaw

9) The Once and Future King (book) by T H White

10) Berlin Stories (book) by Christopher Isherwood

11) Green Grow the Lilacs (play) by Lynn Briggs

Enter your answers opposite the title then copy and paste them into an email to send to me at roger@naturomed.co.uk before the end of February with ‘Arcadians quiz’ in the Subject line. Correct answers will go into a draw for a bottle of wine.

(Note: these are all shows we have performed with one exception)

Roger Newman-Turner

Editor’s note: Apologies, if like me, you found the last edition of On Stage distorted when viewed on an iphone. I hope this PDF version is iphone friendly!

If you have any suggestions or would like to contribute anything for our next newsletter, please email gilly.mac@hotmail.co.uk

Gilly Mackilligan