Friday, 3 February 2017

Substance & Shadow Theatre Company "Brexit Club" Cygnet New Theatre Friday 3 February 2017

"Brexit Club"
Midge Mullin is Melvyn Gould
Nathan Simpson is Leonard Silver

Working on the chain gang
(photo: Gavin Hodge)
Substance and Shadow's comedy duo Gould & Silver are back on stage in Exeter, and more inventive and brilliant than ever. In stark contrast with the eighties nostalgia of their last appearance, they are now firmly up to date. The action takes place in Melvyn Gould's place of work, the bottling factory of Pollard's Pickles. Len Silver, down on his luck as always, is now working a regular shift alongside Melvyn on the production line.


Generous to a fault
Melvyn is always eager
to contribute
to the staff bring-&-share
Midge Mullin is in his element playing Melvyn in his home environment. Gentle and kind, friendly to everyone, his work is a pleasure as he gets to meet all his pals on the shopfloor and in the works canteen. Len, by contrast, rubs everyone up the wrong way with his brash flippancy and cowardly selfishness. Melvyn, having helped Len into his new job, tries to keep him in line - but Len has already got himself into plenty of trouble with the management.

In a characteristic flight of genius, Midge Mullin and Nathan Simpson add to their austerity repertoire of mime, one-sided dialogue with invisible characters, and non-existent props, by playing other characters starkly different from Melvyn and Len. The changes are slick and seamless, and the previous character impossible to detect as they carry out this impressive volte-face repeatedly throughout the performance.



Not so obliging:
Don Beattie is more
likely to serve up
a knuckle sandwich
Midge is also the unnervingly forceful and determined union representative and political crusader Don Beattie. Len responds to Don with equal measures of terror and craven supplication, havering endlessly in his attempt to stay on the right side of this force majeure long enough to benefit from his influence with the factory managers.


A man of
strong principles:
Sid Vishnu
Nathan, meanwhile, is equally impressive as the fine upstanding second-generation British citizen Sid Vishnu. Even Melvyn defers to his quiet dignity. Sid's lofty ideals bring a new dimension to the unfolding political debate between the workers at Pollard's.

As before, Melvyn is ineffectually in love - this time with the Polish canteen worker Magda Krzywinska, voiced by Rosie Mullin. Magda is not British and, although the EU Referendum does not affect her directly, the dark mood it engenders does.


Don Beattie:
praises independence
in song
As the tale proceeds, a simple question regarding the pros and cons of EU membership becomes increasingly partisan, with the participants forced to take sides publicly.

It is no secret how this story will end, and Don Beattie is delighted with the outcome. Midge Mullin's delightful singing voice is a welcome surprise, although the sentiments expressed in Don's victory anthem might not be to everyone's taste. Nathan Simpson also sings a musical number as an extra fillip to an already spectacular production.


Still together despite everything
Len Silver & Melvyn Gould
This play delivered even more than expected, with Rosie and Midge Mullin's Substance & Shadow Theatre Company taking the Silver & Gould partnership to a new level of excellence, while retaining all the quirky eccentricities that are so familiar to Exeter audiences.

"Brexit Club" moves to the Clifford Room at Exeter Barnfield Theatre next week with evening performances on Monday and Thursday, 6 & 9 February. Further performances are planned for St Disen's Hall in Bradninch on Friday 17 February, The Oak Room in Tiverton on Saturday 18 February, and CIC in Taunton on Wednesday 15 March. Full details on the Substance & Shadow Theatre Company Website



Substance & Shadow on Facebook



Substance Shadow Theatre

Clifford Room Barnfield Theatre
Melvyn Gould: Midge Mullin
Leonard Silver: Nathan Simpson
Monday 6 February 7.30pm
Thursday 9 February 7.30pm
BREXIT CLUB
Producers/Directors/Writers:
Rosie Midge Mullin
Leonard Silver: Natham Simpson
Melvyn Gould: Midge Mullin
Tickets: £8
Box Office: 01392 271808
(10am-4pm Mon-Fri, 10am-2pm Sat)
Online: Barnfield Website Mon/Thur


St Disen's Hall Brandninch

Substance Shadow Theatre

Melvyn Gould: Midge Mullin
Leonard Silver: Nathan Simpson
St Disen's Hall Bradninch
Cullompton EX5 4NS
Friday 17 February 8pm
BREXIT CLUB
Producers/Directors/Writers:
Rosie Midge Mullin
Leonard Silver: Natham Simpson
Melvyn Gould: Midge Mullin
Tickets: £7
Simon Tytherleigh: 01392 881825
                                 07743 496740



Substance Shadow Theatre

Melvyn Gould: Midge Mullin
Leonard Silver: Nathan Simpson
The Oak Room, St Peter Street
Tiverton EX16 6NU
Saturday 18 February 7pm
BREXIT CLUB
Producers/Directors/Writers:
Rosie Midge Mullin
Leonard Silver: Natham Simpson
Melvyn Gould: Midge Mullin
Tickets: £8
The Busy Bee: 01884 799105






Substance Shadow Theatre

Melvyn Gould: Midge Mullin
Leonard Silver: Nathan Simpson
The Creative Innovative Centre (CIC)
Taunton TA1 3PF
Wednesday 15 March 7.30pm
BREXIT CLUB
Producers/Directors/Writers:
Rosie Midge Mullin
Leonard Silver: Natham Simpson
Melvyn Gould: Midge Mullin
Tickets: £8
Box Office: 01823 337477



Don't miss this original new tale of intolerance,
alienation and Findus crispy pancakes!!!








Sunday, 18 December 2016

Claudia Álvarez Calderón Soprano & Vihuela Recital 'Joyful Christmas' Church of St Mary & St George Totnes Saturday 17 December 2016

Vihuela: David Stanley
Soprano: Claudia Álvarez Calderón

Claudia Álvarez Calderón returned to Totnes this weekend by popular request for another afternoon of coloratura Christmas Carols accompanied by Father Kristian Paver. In his introduction, Father Kristian reminded us of Claudia's illustrious career. Born in Lima, she trained as an opera singer in Rome, while also pursuing a passionate interest in the vocal music of her native Peru.

Vihuela: David Stanley
Father Kristian also provided the piano and organ accompaniment, but took a back seat initially as Claudia sang accompanied on the traditional Spanish vihuela de mano by David Stanley. The name 'vihuela' is a variant of 'viol', but the six courses of the vihuela approximate more closely to the modern guitar - and so does the shape and internal construction. 'De mano' refers to the playing method - plucking rather than bowing - also just like a guitar.

David's vihuela was made for him by a Sussex luthier, Alexander Batov. The sound is soft and gentle, somewhat like a lute. To demonstrate it's subtlety, David had prepared a vihuela arrangement of some beautiful plainsong, the Latin hymn "Puer Natus in Bethlehem'. As David played, Claudia harmonised in perfect Latin, recounting the tale of a certain little boy's birth.

Rather than Spanish or Italian, Claudia then proceeded to entertain the audience with three Christmas songs in German. "Es ist ein Ros' Entsprungen" (A Rose has Sprung Up) expounded the prophesy of Isaiah in Christian theology, in a harmonisation created by Michael Praetorius in 1609. The more modern "Maria Wiegenlied" (Mary's Cradle Song) by Max Reger recounts the New Testament vision of Mary rocking her new-born baby in his crib.

"Stille Nacht"
Claudia Álvarez Calderón
Finally, the nativity theme was completed with the German classic carol, "Stille Nacht" (Silent Night) by Franz Gruber - dedicated by Claudia to the memory of Helga Watts who was well known in Totnes as an Austrian zither player.

Father Kristian then switched from piano to organ, and Claudia changed languages to English, so that the audience could join in with a familiar Christian hymn - Nahum Tate's Winchester Carol, "While Shepherds Watched". Although singing relatively softly, Claudia kept us all in pitch with her perfect performance from the front.

"Plegaria" (Prayer) by Fermín Álvarez and the traditional Spanish carol "Los Peces en el Río" gave Claudia a chance to display her perfect diction in her native language. The delightful story of the fishes celebrating the birth of Jesus by dancing in the river is naturally a favourite in Spain and South America - but also a joy for English audiences too.

The French section of the recital began with audience participation in "Les Anges dans nos Campagne" (We have heard angels in heaven) by James Cadwick. Claudia sang the first two verses in French, but many other voices joined in, not wanting to wait for the English verses to follow. And all boomed out in Latin "Gloria in Excelsis Deo". The French theme continued with Claudia's delightful rendition of 'Minuit Chrétiens" (O Holy Night) by Adolphe Adam, with additional verses in English.

"That was how the First Christmas Began"
Soprano: Claudia Álvarez Calderón
Piano: Margaret Merrington
After the interval Margaret Merrington returned, by popular demand, to give a repeat performance of the carol "That was how the First Christmas Began" which she introduced at last year's concert. This piece was almost lost in a house fire, shortly before the death of the composer, Margaret's husband Tom Merrington.

Particularly moving was the charred remnant of Tom's composition, which was saved from the blaze. With Margaret's ingenuity, this is now a popular carol in Totnes. As Margaret played the melody, and Claudia sang the words, the audience joined in as well - although it wasn't really their turn. As more voices joined in, the sound swelled to a joyous celebration of Tom's work.

Appropriately, the next carol was "On Christmas Night all Christians Sing" arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Marked 'audience participation', this was also a chance to hear a familiar hymn sung perfectly by Claudia.

"Salve Maria"
Claudia Álvarez Calderón
There were two Italian songs, adding to the international flavour of the afternoon. "Tu Scendi dalle Stelle" (You Came Down from the Stars) is an early eighteenth century carol attributed to St Alphonso di Liguori. This is possibly the only popular carol sung in Italy, and so a perfect representation of the Italian Christmas. "Salve Maria" (Hail Mary) by Saverio Mercadante was composed a century later, and is a more general expression of Catholic devotion. Claudia sang with operatic passion, drawing out the full meaning of the words.

The same theme was also worked by Franz Schubert as "Ellen's Third Song" in his setting of Walter Scott's "The Lady of the Lake". This Latin "Ave Maria" sounds so natural when Claudia sings it, and is instantly familiar to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Having sung a little in French, the audience were then able to try out their Latin in "Adeste Fideles" by John Francis Wade. The English version followed, with Claudia harmonising from the stage, the perfect accompaniment.

"Los Peces en el Río"
Claudia Álvarez Calderón
Claudia, as always generous in word and deed, finished the concert by distributing presents to David, Margaret and Father Kristian in recognition of their efforts. Finally she sang an encore of the sweetest song of all "Los Peces en el Río" with a little improvised introductory explanation. Spanish speakers know that the song runs on two planes. In the mundane world, Mary has household chores to attend to, not least of which is dealing with her baby's nappies. Meanwhile the fish in the river drink and drink - and drink again - rejoicing to witness the birth of God, "Beben y beben, y vuelven a beber. Los peces en el río por ver a Dios nacer."

Many thanks to Claudia and all the performers for a spectacular and enchanting end to an enthralling concert. Proceeds, as always, will go to the Church's adopted orphanage in Anjara, Jordan, Our Lady of the Mount Children's Home. Recordings will appear on future "Classical Journey" programmes on Phonic FM and Soundart Radio, and Claudia herself will be in the Soundart studio in person this Monday with David Stanley to discuss their music, and play us a live performance. (Classical Journey Redux, 1-3pm Monday 17 December, Soundart Radio 102.5 FM soundartradio.org.uk)

Friday, 16 December 2016

Amazi Trio give the final Glenorchy Lunchtime Concert for this year Wednesday 7 December 2016 Seventeen more concerts lined up for 2017

The Amazi Trio
Violin: Cecilia Griffiths Lamon
Piano: Marisa Rayner
'Cello: Annabel Rooney

On Wednesday 7 December David Lee hosted the last Glenorchy Lunchtime Concert before the Christmas break. Annabel Rooney, a familiar 'cello soloist, and member of the Exeter-based Clifton String Trio, was joined by pianist Marisa Rayner and violinist Cecilia Griffiths-Lamon in the all new collaboration, The Amazi Trio.

Amazi Trio
Violin: Cecilia Griffiths-Lamon     Piano: Marisa Rayner
'Cello: Annabel Rooney
Annabel's 'cello playing was as impressive and emotive as ever, but now enhanced and extended by the inspired violin playing of Cecilia Griffiths-Lamon. Without preamble, they exploded into action with an incredibly lively performance of the opening allegro from Vivaldi's Concerto for Violin, 'Cello & Orchestra. Cecilia played with such energy that she nearly fell off her chair, while Annabel, while apparently more relaxed, nevertheless matched her vivacity with pronounced deliberation.


Through all the fire and fury of the strings, the delicate precision of Marisa Rayner's piano playing shone through with consistency, reliability and her own determined musical passion. The piano took the part of the whole orchestra - and made a very lovely thing of it. Marisa's solid performance continued in their main piece, Mozart's Trio K542. Cecilia's introductory description sustained the excitement of the Vivaldi, while preparing the audience for a more extended exposition of musical excellence.

There were also three further delightful bagatelles to fill out the programme. Schubert's Entr'acte from 'Rosamunde' was followed by 'Jealousy' by Jacob Gade. As Cecilia promised, the music perfectly portrayed that green-eyed monster - and could not be interpreted any other way. Just to hammer the story home, Cecilia began distributing red roses during the performance - first to her husband, Claude Lamon (familiar from his trumpet performances in many local performances), and then to other men in the audience with fickle abandon.

Any sense of conflict created during 'Jealousy' was quickly dispelled with a joyous and entertaining performance of Smetana's 'Dance of the Comedians' from 'The Bartered Bride' - returning to the wild excitement of the concert's opening with sensational pizzicato, and arco, cadenzas for Cecilia and Annabel. Marisa's musical pagination seemed to get increasingly complicated as the recital progressed with several back-tracks and skipped passages. Throughout all of this, her determined concentration was coupled with obvious passion and pleasure in the music. A joy to watch, and a fabulous sound.

The larger than usual audience were hugely impressed by the whole exercise, and loved every minute. In a fit of stellar generosity, the trio had one more piece to offer as a final encore. Annabel introduced Marisa's own piano trio arrangement of - a mystery piece. Intriguingly familiar, the music was quickly recognised as the sultry opening theme to an ITV comedy series from the early 'nineties - Anne Dudley's 'Jeeves and Wooster'. What fun! The audience, who were already enraptured by the main programme, were further enamored with this new ensemble as they enjoyed this 'splendid finale'.

David Lee expressed what everyone was thinking, when he said that the Amazi Trio will be very welcome, whenever they are able to make a return visit. Let's hope they do.

An incandescent violinist: Cecilia Griffiths-Lamon
A passionate pianist and composer: Marisa Rayner
A sensational 'cellist: Annabel Rooney

The Amazi Trio


Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts
Spring 2017


Piano: Ruth Smit

Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts
Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 4 January 12 for 12.30pm
PIANO RECITAL
Piano: Ruth Smit
Admission FREE  Retiring Collection

Chris Gradwell

Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts
Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 11 January 12 for 12.30pm
SAXOPHONE/CLARINET & GUITAR
Saxophones/Clarinets: Chris Gradwell
Guitar: Andrew Barrett
Admission FREE  Retiring Collection






Alex West


Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts

Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 18 January 12 for 12.30pm
ORGAN & PIANO RECITAL
Organ/Piano: Alex West
Admission FREE  Retiring Collectio
Tony Yeates


Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts

Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 25 January 12 for 12.30pm
EXETER SINGERS
Musical Director: Tony Yeates
Admission FREE  Retiring Collection

Phil Bonser


Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts

Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 1 February 12 for 12.30pm
CLARINET RECITAL
Clarinet: Phil Bonser
Admission FREE  Retiring Collection

Tim Othen


Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts

Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 8 February 12 for 12.30pm
PIANO RECITAL
Piano: Tim Othen
Admission FREE  Retiring Collection

Dr Robert Manning


Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts
Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 15 February 12 for 12.30pm
ORGAN RECITAL
Organ: Robert Manning
Admission FREE  Retiring Collection

Alan Williams
Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts
Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 22 February 12 for 12.30pm
THE SIDMOUTH ORCHESTRA
Musical Director: Alan Williams
Admission FREE  Retiring Collection

Clifton String Trio
Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts
Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 1 March 12 for 12.30pm
THE CLIFTON STRING TRIO
Violin: Julie Hill
Viola: Emma Welton
'Cello: Annabel Rooney
Admission FREE  Retiring Collection

Anna Cockroft


Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts 

Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 8 March
12 for 12.30pm
VIOLIN
& ACCORDION
Violin: Anna Cockroft
Piano Accordion: Pam Canter
Admission FREE  Retiring Collection

Jill Govier

Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts

Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 15 March
12 for 12.30pm
PIANO DUETS

Piano: David Lee
Piano: Jill Govier
Admission FREE  Retiring Collection

An-Ting Chang


Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts

Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 22 March
12 for 12.30pm
PIANO RECITAL

Piano: An-Ting Chang
Admission FREE  Retiring Collection

Quorum

Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts

Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 29 March
12 for 12.30pm
QUORUM

Soprano: Janet Macdonald
Piano: Margaret Chave, Dorothy Raven
Clarinet: Phil Bonser
Admission FREE  Retiring Collection

Joyce Clarke


Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts

Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 5 April
12 for 12.30pm
PIANO RECITAL

Piano: Joyce Clarke
Admission FREE  Retiring Collection

Arturo Serna


Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts

Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 12 April
12 for 12.30pm
'CELLO RECITAL
'Cello: Arturo Serna
Admission FREE  Retiring Collection

Duncan Honeybourne


Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts

Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 19 April
12 for 12.30pm
PIANO RECITAL

Piano: Duncan Honeybourne
Admission FREE  Retiring Collection

Beacon Piano Trio
Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts
Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 26 April
12 for 12.30pm
BEACON PIANO TRIO

Piano: Joyce Clarke
Violin: Anna Cockroft
'Cello: Ruth Lass
Admission FREE  Retiring Collection

Monday, 12 December 2016

"Joyful Christmas" Claudia Álvarez Calderón Catholic Church of St Mary & St George Totnes Saturday 17 December 2016

Soprano: Claudia Álvarez Calderón
Piano/Composition: Margaret Merrington

PROGRAMME

1. David Stanley: "Puer Natus in Bethlehem"
Vihuela:
    (A Child is Born in Bethlehem)
    Latin hymn with David Stanley on vihuela
2. Michael Praetorius: "Es ist ein Ros' Entsprungen"
    (A Noble Flower of Juda) German carol
3. Max Reger: Mariä Wiegenlied (Mary's Lullaby) 
4. John Francis Wade: "Adeste Fideles"
    (O Come all ye Faithful) with audience participation
5. Nahum Tate: "While Shepherds Watched"
    Winchester carol - with audience participation
6. Fermín María Álvarez: "Plegaria" (Prayer)
7. Traditional: "Los Peces en el Río"
    (The Fishes in the River) Spanish carol
8. Traditional: "Les Anges dans nos Campagne"
    (Angels we have heard in heaven) French carol
Piano/Organ:
Father
Kristian Paver
    English words: James Chadwick - audience participation
9. Adolphe Adam: "Minuit, Chrétiens" (O Holy Night)

                ------------interval--------------

10. Tom Merrington: "That was how the first Christmas Began"
      Piano: Margaret Merrington - audience participation
11. Ralph Vaughan Williams:
     "On Christmas Night all Christians Sing" - audience participation
12. St Alphonsus Maria de' Liguori: "Tu Scendi dalle Stelle"
      (You Descend from the Stars) Italian carol
13. Saverio Mercadante: "Salve Maria"
14. Franz Schubert: "Ave Maria"
15. Franz Xaver Gruber: "Stille Nacht"
       (Silent Night) - with audience participation

Tickets: £7