The Chairman's Overture
So what has been happening in the world of Arcadia? Well, since the last newsletter in December, we have seen Christmas come and go and, very recently, the opening and closing nights of the Young Arcadians’ production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I am sure you will join me in congratulating David Walker and everyone involved in the production, especially the small team who worked tirelessly together to build and paint scenery for the production and the fantastic team of youngsters who delivered an entertaining and upbeat performance with great story-telling too.
As I write, the Senior Arcadians are busy in rehearsals for this year’s Diamond Jubilee Concert: Letchworth Arcadians’ Musical Diamonds, which will take place at The Icknield Centre in Letchworth (also known as the Letchworth Garden City Church) in May. The show is directed by Brian Seal and musically directed by Graham Albone. Tickets are already on sale so don’t miss out on this fantastic concert with well-known songs from many of the shows produced by the Arcadians over the years from 1953 to the present day.
We found out in mid-February that our Spring2012 production of Honk! has been nominated for ‘Best Musical’ and we await the NODA AGM to find out if we have been successful.
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Best wishes, Wesley Hughes Chairman
We have just received this write-up from our local NODA rep Jim Farr:
Letchworth Young Arcadians: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
A new venue for this talented youth section of Letchworth Arcadians and one must start by congratulating the production team for their creative use of the performance space by maximising the potentials and overcoming any difficulties posed by using an unfamiliar setting.
With a four piece band set in a small alcove down stage right the MD, band and sound team should also be congratulated on the good balance between voice and music. Indeed the entire fun aspect of this show can be summed up in the title of the band “Chris and the Hairy Ishmaelites” and their delivery of the musical score.
As for the vitality of this show, that of course rests with the cast, and what a splendid job the young people made with their energetic movements. The big production numbers left me breathless just watching them, goodness knows how they managed to speak let alone sing. The nifty footwork for “One More Angel in Heaven” being just one of the several numbers which demonstrated the very high standard of discipline required of the cast to deliver the superb choreography in this production. From the very youngest (especially two small lads directly in front of us who acted their socks off with some wonderful facial expressions) to the most experienced performer, every member of the cast looked terrific. A testament to their own dedication and commitment and the wonderful wardrobe from Liz Briggs et al.
Jamie Dear in the role of Joseph carried the burden of responsibility well and provided the audience with a very sensitive portrayal of the eponymous hero. His other siblings were well cast in both ability and height! As a collective they worked extremely hard in their respective numbers. Good support was provided from the cameo roles and the often understated character the Narrator. For this production the task was given to the duo of Jess Smith and Sophie Walker. Their combined efforts were very good and, as all Narrators should, set the scene well for the audience.
My abiding memories of this production will be the opening to act two; the stunning silhouettes set each side of the sphinx; the excellent walk-down; the energy of the young performers, but above all, the happy smiling faces. Congratulations to all involved with the high production values of this show. The long term future for the Arcadians looks to be in good shape.
NODA East Councillor.