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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Travelling Troupe's town hall triumph

* The Travelling Troupe present a number from the musical Chicago. Picture by Barrie Potter.
Llangollen Operatic Society’s Travelling Troupe stopped travelling long enough to wow a home audience last night (Friday).

The group of strolling performers, which sings gigs around the region to raise money for the society, was presenting the first of two showcase evenings entitled Lost in Music.

The second comes tonight at the same venue, starting at 8pm – with tickets still available.

On the programme for both nights is a powerful selection of songs from some of the biggest shows around and a few other well-known belters that aren’t.

The entire 15-strong outfit got straight down to business by blasting out their interpretation of Masquerade from Phantom of the Opera before Simon Orton-Jones fronted the Anthem from Chess.

The full troupe – attired in their usual black with colourful trimmings – was back on stage to rattle out the intricate Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, then it was off to Chicago  where impressive soloist Tessa Orton-Jones told us what happens When You’re Good to Mama.

We stayed in Chicago while the ladies of the troupe Razzle Dazzled us and then gave us All That Jazz.

A switch in time, pace and geography conveyed us to Dickensian London where the throaty and magnificent Bill Hughes assumed the grisly mantle of Fagin to inform us he was Reviewing the Situation – leaving the stage afterwards to inform us that the kids in his thieves’ kitchen were “all for sale”. Nice atmospheric touch!

Quest for Camelot was the musical that was tabled next, with Helen Belton and Simon Orton-Jones giving us a poignant rendition of The Prayer.

The graphics department shone as bright as the singers in the next number – Gary Barlow’s Diamond Jubilee piece, Sing. 

A huge moving depiction of highlights from Elizabeth II’s reign flickered from a screen sunk into the backcloth as the full troupe augmented by kids from the operatic society’s junior section, The Young ‘Uns, led us delightfully through the number.

It was then back over to the States for a medley by the full troupe from Guys & Dolls.

Everything was true to the original, right down to the authentic Nu Yoik accents.

From Manhattan in the 1930s it was a quick dart across time and the Atlantic to Paris in the 1840s for the next piece – I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables presented by the creamy-voiced Helen Belton.

We stayed with Lez Miz for the final three numbers – On My Own from super soprano Louisa Jones, Bring Him Home from the big-voiced Bill Hughes and One day More delivered with suitable verve by the entire troupe.

A marvellously entertaining evening thus came to a close - to the delight of a jam-packed town hall audience.

The whole thing was a credit to the on-stage performers and musical director Elen Mair Roberts and to the versatile four-member band that so faultlessly accompanied them.    

Don’t forget tickets are still available for tonight’s show at £8 and £5 concessions.

* The full troupe on stage for another powerful number. Picture by Barrie Potter. 



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