Wellington Arts Association

Pantomime 2022 Auditions

Andrew Samuel Wellington Pantomime Group June 8, 2021 2 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.

December Refurbishment Update

Rob Spurway The Arts Centre December 27, 2020 Leave a reply

We are writing to update you on the progress being made with the refurbishment of the Arts Centre.

The Sub-Committee has continued to meet fortnightly with Colin, Geoff and Rob monitoring progress on a weekly basis. The project has made significant progress to date but though we planned to complete the work by the end of September, due to the ever-changing issues with the pandemic, we hope to have all major works completed by the end of January with some finishing touches carried out in February.  

Currently we are undertaking the following;

  • New boiler installed 
  • Utility room installed in the shower room
  • Complete rewire of hall electrics
  • Technical gallery construction completed
  • New heater units have been installed (replacing old radiators in the hall)
  • Toilet washing facilities have been upgraded (Non-touch taps and soap dispensers) 

Work will shortly start on the following: 

  • Deconstruct and construct a new porch
  • Install mirrors
  • Decorate interior and exterior  
  • Install roller shutter doors 
  • Install new stage

We are pleased to report that although we have been delayed, the Sub-committee are confident that we will be able to keep to the budget set by the Management Committee. We would like to thank our contractors who have been working throughout in difficult circumstances.

Stay safe and we wish you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and hopefully we can be together at the Arts Centre soon. 

Yours Sincerely 

Arts Centre Refurbishment Sub Committee 

On behalf of the Wellington Arts Association Management Committee

Light It In Red

Andrew Samuel Uncategorized August 12, 2020 Leave a reply

Although the Arts Centre is in refurbishment we bathed the building in red to show our support for the 1,000,000 jobs at risk.

Wellington Arts Associations stands with you.

Throwback Thursday

Andrew Samuel Uncategorized July 30, 2020 Leave a reply

This week, we shine the light on those who are normally shining a light on everyone performing, those without whom we would be in the dark…literally.

It takes hours sometimes days to produce some of the great lighting effects you see at the Arts Centre and the Wellesley. Teams consist of riggers, programmers, designers, operators, technicians who make, solder components and maintain the lanterns. There have been many people take up these roles over the years and we say thank you to you all!

If you want to get involved, email getinvolved@w-a-a.co.uk or drop us a message via Facebook.

Photos thanks to members and Shooting Pixels