Wellington Arts Association

It is AGM time!

The WAA and Critics club are holding their Annual General Meeting on 7th September, starting promptly at 7.30pm. On the same night, Genesis will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting.

AGMs and EGMs are a good time to take stock of the previous 12 months, hear from the Chairmans of the groups, find out what money has been spent on and elect a new committee for the next 12 months.

To be able to become a committee member or vote on matters at the meeting you must be a paid-up WAA member!

The notices of the AGMs and EGMs are attached below.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE RESIDENTS OF CASEY STREET AND OUR NEW SHOW DATES!

Rob Spurway Wellington Operatic Sociecty August 30, 2021 2 Comments

Firstly, we have some important news…. our show dates have changed slightly to  

Wednesday 27th– Saturday 30thApril 2022 

(with a Matinee on Saturday) 

This is because we perform our shows at our fantastic Wellesley Theatre.  Most of the year, the building is used as a cinema by Merlin Cinemas, until we transform it into a theatre to perform in.  In May 2022, Merlin Cinemas have secured a Disney film on it’s release date (look out for details in the press nearer the time) so we thought this was exciting and have moved our show week dates a week earlier! 

So here’s the buzz… during lockdown we were fortunate to be able to completely refurbish the Arts Centre! It’s nearly completed and the association have the wheels in motion to get going with all of our shows – in our brand new, swanky rehearsal space!! Excited is an understatement! 

The first events for OUR HOUSE, are the workshops and auditions in December, followed by a social night / admin night in January, before we hit the road running with rehearsals in February.  More details soon! 

However, we know what you really want to know is; “Who are the characters and what can I audition for?”  

So… we have attached a character description list and a synopsis of the show. 

If you follow this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bap8r-UZgE it takes you to the West End version on YouTube.  Whilst the version we’re doing isn’t exactly the same, it’s pretty close.  Have a watch – it’s great for research! 

The Production Team 

Cazz Redstone (Production Coordinator) 

Rob Spurway (Director) 

Joe Beckhelling (Musical Director) 

Beth Swan (Choreographer) 

WAA Programme September – October 2021

SEPTEMBER

Event Location Date/Time Contact Notes
AGMs: WAA, Critics Club + Genesis EGM A Tues 7th Sept 19.00 secretary@w-a-a.co.uk  Open to the public but must be WAA members to vote/stand for committee positions
“Last night of the Proms” M Sat 11th Sept 18.00 rob.spurway@w-a-a.co.uk  Members-only
Acoustic Music club M Sat 18th Sept 19.30 acousticclub@w-a-a.co.uk  
Opsoc in the park Park Sun 26th Sept opsoc@w-a-a.co.uk  

OCTOBER

Event Location Date/Time Contact Notes
“The Elements – Songs of Fire Earth and Water” – John Walker Band. A 2nd Oct evening & 3rd Oct matinee John W (01823 667112)  There will be a bucket collection for Wellington Hospital League of Friends.
Acoustic Music club M Sat 16th October 19.30 acousticclub@w-a-a.co.uk  

Locations:

A= Arts Centre, main hall

M = Arts Centre, multi-function room

Pantomime Group ready to begin Treasure Hunt!

Rob Spurway Wellington Pantomime Group August 14, 2021 Leave a reply

The committee and the creative team would like to thank all that auditioned, I loved seeing lots of new faces as well as regular cast members. I know, with the talent involved, we can put on the show that Wellington deserves to see after an enforced absence! We look forward to sharing our journey through this blog to the stage!

Kirk Shepherd, Director

The cast is as follows:

Mrs Hawkins/Dame Ian Jones

Jim Hawkins Kiera Chard

Squire Trelawney Rev Andrew Norris

Jenny Trelawney Lizzie Harvey

Seadog Sam Annalise Houghton

Seaweed Willy Shane Mace

Ben Gunn/Billy Bones Pete Meredith

Long John Silver TBC

Blood Boiler Chris Barrett

Gizzard Slitter Jeremy Secret

The Fridge Pete Watts

Polly Bridgette Sells

Mrs Henderson Steph Colman

Mrs Snook Georgina Legg

Mrs Battersby Penny Bradnum

Miss Normington Mary Lewis

Additional WI Members:

Caz Redstone, Mischa Veysey-Milton, Keira Lissaman 

and Lona Marie Jones 

Senior Dancers

Harry Taylor

Lily Raine Fuller

Flick Rickard 

Maddy Bouchta

Junior Chorus

Ruby Hitchcott

Amy Colman

Morwenna Fuller

Evie Warwick 

Emily Sellick

James Redstone

Lois Redstone 

Harriet Groves

Darcey Jones

Robin Hill

Aniya Troake

Sally Forster-Touray

Pantomime 2022 Auditions

Andrew Samuel Wellington Pantomime Group June 8, 2021 6 Comments

Wellington Panto 2022 will be the first opportunity to get back on stage at the Wellesley since Covid!

We’re delighted to provide you with the audition materials attached below, please contact treasureisland@w-a-a.co.uk to register your interest in auditioning.

Auditions will be held on Sunday 8th August 2021 at 9:30am.

You do not have to specify what you’re auditioning for, only what age you will be on the first of September (if under 18 at that time).

As for the show, Treasure Island is a fun, fast paced script with lots of parts for our cast to shine! With a new creative team we hope to produce a lively and entertaining pantomime worthy of the WAA’s return to the Wellesley.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us through email or social media… or even if you spot Kirk, Holly, Bridgette, Dawn or Ian walking down the street!

We look forward to seeing everyone at auditions and proving that The Wellington Pantomime Group is one of the things that make Wellington great!

Audition Materials

Foundations have been laid for Our House

Rob Spurway Wellington Operatic Sociecty May 31, 2021 Leave a reply

Our House is a London love story set in Camden Town.  It tells the story of Joe Casey, who on the night of his sixteenth birthday takes his girlfriend, Sarah, out on their first date.  In his enthusiasm to impress her, he breaks into a housing development to show her the view overlooking his family home on Casey Street.  The police interrupt their date, and Joe is forced to make a decision: stay and turn himself in or make a run for it!  Joe’s life is then split in two and we follow the fortunes and misfortunes of both possibilities. The story is told through the clever writing of Tim Firth, who adapted ‘Calendar Girls’ for stage and screen, and many iconic hits from the band Madness including It Must Be Love, House of Fun, Baggy Trousers and of course, Our House! 

The musical will be staged at the Wellesley Theatre, 4th-8th May 2022 with Rob Spurway taking on Directing, Beth Swan as Choreographer, and Joe Beckhelling as the Musical Director. The show has something for everyone, from big principal characters to smaller cameo roles, chorus and off-stage singers (for anyone who loves singing but doesn’t like being in the limelight). The casting will be open to everyone aged 14+ from the date of the auditions.  

I’m pleased to tell you that we’ve had our first official production meeting, and the creative team have so many amazing ideas!  We were buzzing with excitement at the end of the meeting, and we cannot wait to get going! 

Here’s the team:  

ROB – Director 

Rob has plenty of experience both on and off stage with amateur groups throughout Somerset, although primarily with Wellington Arts Association (WAA).  This will be his directorial debut for Wellington Operatic Society at the Wellesley, but Rob is no stranger to the creative team of WAA shows, having directed “The Adventures of Mr Toad” in 2019, musically directed Dick Whittington in 2020 and produced several other shows.  He is looking to creating a high-energy fast paced show with professional production values.  

BETH – Choreographer 

Beth has been a member of the WAA since childhood. Her time with the group started primarily on stage as a dancer. Having studied ballet, tap, acro, modern and jazz as a child, Beth later went on to study contemporary dance at Bridgwater College. Where she achieved both an AS level in dance, and a BTEC National diploma in Performing Arts, which contained a substantial amount of choreography as part of the course. Beth has a passion for musical theatre, especially shows that are new to Wellington. “Our House” creates a perfect opportunity for her to explore her creativity and she can’t wait to get stuck in! This will be Beth’s ‘debut’ as Choreographer for Wellington Operatic Society.   

JOE – Musical Director 

With a wealth of experience from performing in various pit-bands and a background in orchestral and choral conducting, Joe is well-equipped for his debut Wellington Operatic Society production as Musical Director. Alongside his professional performance work, Joe also has a passion for community music and is heavily involved in music-making in schools around Somerset. He is also involved in adult community projects such as Canticle Choir in Taunton, which he directs. “Our House is a show full of incredible tunes with an excellent storyline, too. I can’t wait to get going!” 

So, we’ve started the journey, towards a fabulous show!  The set design has been finalised and is currently under construction, and we’re in the process of recruiting the rest of the production team, so now is a great opportunity to get involved!  If you would like to be one of the first to find out about our launch night, workshops and auditions, please complete the form accessed through the button below and we’ll keep you updated! 

Cazz Redstone 

Production Coordinator, Wellington Operatic Society 

Our House – 2022 

X marks the spot for Panto Group in 2022

Rob Spurway Wellington Pantomime Group May 4, 2021 1 Comment

This year I have been chosen to direct Wellington Pantomime Group’s 2022 production. Well, it was meant to be 2021, but the less said about that the better.

Treasure island, a Robert Louis Stevenson tale, makes no reference to pantomime dames or talking parrots. The story is a lesser well known Pantomime story, however, the story of Long John Silver is famous the world over. The script the committee have agreed to stage is by Ben Crocker, an award winning pantomime script writer, which has 16 principal parts and 7 smaller cameo roles. The show has the potential to have a large chorus.

The story, without giving too much away, involves the aforementioned Pirate villain but pitches him against the ‘Smugglers Cove Women’s Institute’! What I like about this script is it’s pace and stageability, lots of quick scenes with plenty going on for the cast and audience. While this will be my first pantomime as director, I’ve been involved in pantomime in one form or another for the last 10 years! I absolutely love the genre because it engages the whole family by telling fun and engaging stories.

We will be announcing our audition process shortly. To get a feel for the show, please email me for more information, including script excerpts and a cast.

Kirk J Shepherd

Kirk.Shepherd@w-a-a.co.uk

Op Soc Plan for Autumn Show

Rob Spurway Wellington Operatic Sociecty February 13, 2021 4 Comments

We are delighted to bring to your attention the plans for the next show at the Arts Centre. No date is decided obviously but this does not mean we will not be ready to roll out this production as soon as it is safe and secure to do so.

The production is open to all members and new members, people who would like to rejoin or join the Arts Association.

We hope this information will encourage you all to look forward to another show stopping evening in the revamped/refurbished/redecorated Arts Centre.

A WALK WITH LLOYD-WEBBER

Please find here the proposed play list for the ‘autumn’ show. It is not definitive and if you wish to choose a different song from a particular show you are welcome to do so. However, even if your audition is great it does not mean that your choice will take precedent over the choice of the Director.

The YouTube versions are for you to hear each song as some of them are lesser known. These will not necessarily be the versions used, it will depend upon the accessibility of backing tracks.

Where no song is identified from a specific musical it is because it will be dependent on the person auditioning (male or female), and those can be decided by the auditionee.

Auditions will take place at the end of MARCH via the internet and so feel free to choose a backing track yourself.

Please notify me BEFORE March 20th of your choice for audition. I will then schedule Facetime/messenger/WhatsApp auditions accordingly.

Successful auditionees will be notified by the end of April. You will then be notified of the backing track to use and will be expected to learn your song(s) by the end of August.

The intention is that as soon as the A/C is available we can then start rehearsing choreography and production without having to spend time on solos and duets – company numbers will obviously need time when we are all together.

This show MAY not happen in the Autumn, however, we intend to have it ready to roll out as soon as we can, not having to wait but getting something on the stage at the earliest opportunity.

Thank you for your interest,

Nancy Powell-BraceDirector

All statements of intention should be sent to npowellbrace@gmail.com

1 The likes of Us 1965 L-W & Rice A strange and lovely song Male solo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q363JhvFclk

2 Joseph 1968 L-W & Rice Any Dream will Do Chorus and Genesis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfNMhu9wdl0

3. Jesus Christ Superstar 1971 L-W & Rice TBC

4. By Jeeves 1975 L-W & Ayckbourn Today Male solo with dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs9HEnyKTds

5. Evita 1976 L-W & Rice Another suitcase female solo with backing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpmNrFahG2c

6. Tell me on a Sunday 1978 Lloyd-Webber & Black Take that look of your face Female with backing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtxPMvafqbE

7. Cats 1981 Lloyd-Webber & Eliot Memory female Solo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm5w7gHEtJI

8. Song and Dance 1982 LW,Black & Maltby Come Back Female solo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pH6JC7_oU8M

9 Starlight Express 1984 LW & Stilgoe Next Time you fall in Love M/F duet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAFVgMjXOko

10. Phantom of the Opera 1986 LW, Stilgoe and Hart Masquerade Company https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mON5dbdm63M

11. Aspects of Love 1989 lW, Black and Hart Love Changes Everything Company https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnOQ1VV3CqU

12. Sunsert Boulevard 1993 LW, Black and Hampton As if we never said goodbye Female solo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Y-hmaltmxs

13. Whistle Down the Wind 1998 LW & Steinman No Matter What Male ensemble https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eul_Vt6SZY

14 The Beautiful Game 2000 LW & Elton Don’t Like you Youth ensemble https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbjZ1RB2jRU

15. Woman in White 2004 LW & Zippel I Believe my Heart F/M duet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZG3lRqN6lw

16. Love Never Dies 2010 LW & Slater TBC

17 The Wizard of Oz 2011 LW, Rice & Harburg Already Home Female ensemble https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpoeV1wlQLw

18 Stephen Ward 2013 LW, Black & Hampton I’m hopeless when it comes to you Female solo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ey5uPehduo

19. School of Rock 2015 LW & Slater TBC

20 Cinderella 2020 LW & Zippel TBC Full Company

Scrubs up at the WAA

Rob Spurway Uncategorized February 1, 2021 Leave a reply

At this time of year, members of WAA would be normally busy making final preparations for the annual Pantomime at the Wellesley, but these are no ordinary times.

This year, instead of sewing costumes, as she has done for over 20 years (and more recently making props), Penny Bradnum, who is also President of Wellington Pantomime Group, has been sewing scrubs.  Just a week ago, she got a call from  WAA members Bridgette Sells and Jane Burt, who had both volunteered as a Covid vaccinators at Taunton Racecourse, to say that they were not being provided with scrubs, and could she help?. Penny had been sewing face masks for a charity during the first lockdown, and hadn’t made scrubs before, but thanks to the Taunton Scrubbers, she obtained a pattern and some material, plus whatever could be found from her own fabric store, and set to work.

So if you are called to the Racecourse for your vaccination, look out for some particularly colourful  scrubs, that might look more at home on the stage than a medical scenario. As Penny says –“ it’s not been so different from making some Aladdin chorus costumes, and I just hope they brighten peoples’ day a bit.”

Many Arts Association members have been busy volunteering during the past year. They vary from being Vaccination Volunteer Stewards, doing shopping,  collection of  prescriptions , transporting people to their vaccinations,, being NHS volunteers as Check-in & Chat reps, producing online exercise videos, sewing scrubs and masks, right up to opening a Community Shop and running a Community Support Group, and creating support software

Wellington Arts Centre has been undergoing a major refurbishment since the Spring, so the members are keen to get back to putting on Musicals, Pantos and Plays, and welcome back the public as soon as they are safely able to.