A Night at The Musicals

A Night at the Musicals

July 13th 2018

Once again, I am inspired to put pen to paper to celebrate the wonderful musical experience shared by a packed house at the Carnegie Rooms in Thetford on Friday 13th July.

Whereas the Thetford Singers thrilled a knowledgeable audience in St Cuthberts’s Church with Mozart’s Requiem at the highest brow end of their repertoire back in March, this was an evening of the most accessible and entertaining tunes from the musicals.

Given Thetford Singers reputation, it will be no surprise that the concert was a sell-out weeks before the event, and given the quality of the entertainment on offer, the only downside is that if they continue to sparkle so well, it will indeed only become harder to get tickets!

Adding much value to the local Thetford economy by attracting a full house, I am sure this event will have added plenty of tickets sales for the West End as this delicious taster acted as a wonderful advert for the whole musicals genre.

Although with roots very much in the community, Chris Parsons, the musical director, brings a professional clarity to Thetford Singers which is fast becoming a mark of the stunning quality of this choir.

The evening’s programme was complemented by the addition of the Thetford Voices featuring not only their performance group Quire of Voices, so professionally schooled by John Weekes but also joined tonight by members of the Girls’ Choir of St Thomas Church Brentwood, accompanied Polina Sosnina.

With a wonderful guest starring role for the students of the Admirals Academy Singers, accompanied by Sally Bauer, adding a youthful freshness to evening, I can honestly say it has been many years since I have enjoyed such a broad spectrum of musical delights delivered with such skill, clarity and energy.

With a strong start, the ‘Circle of Life’ form the Lion King, a fun Medley of oldie classics from the Jersey Boys ensured that the packed house settled in to an evening of foot tapping nostalgia and fun. With some wonderful interpretations of ‘This is Me’ and ‘A Million Dreams’ from the Greatest Showman from the Admirals Academy Singers and a West Side story from medley from the Thetford Singers just in the first half of the show, there was just too much to do it justice in this review!

Highlights for me included the tension of the ‘Phantom of the Opera’ Medley, the atmosphere of the ‘Oliver’ Medley and the raw passion of the songs from ‘Les Miserables’, that with a combined choir of over 100 voices felt epic in its power.

Thetford Voices wowed with a technically demanding pitch perfect ‘musicals mashup’ including a most topical reference to Brexit in the Blood Brothers classic ‘Take a letter Miss Jones’. Joining Admirals Academy for the sweetest rendition of ‘When I Grow Up’ from Matilda the Musical, this performance suggests a river of talent will continue to flow through the musical scene in Thetford for many years to come.

The group of six local musicians provided the exceptional musical framework for this most entertaining event, always sensing the Medleys’ ebb and flow of the voices and merging skilfully in with the harmonies, the colour of their playing added only depth to the musical scene never distracting and very much true to the original scores.

It is easy to forget after a performance like this that Thetford Singers are not a professional choir, however there was a reminder at the end of the evening from Sue Garland, that Thetford Singers welcomes new members. Indeed, for young people (from year 10 upwards) there is a bursary scheme available from September.

I can only reflect that members of the choir must have fun to sing with such joy as was evident this evening. 

Jon Ford