Sheringham Savoyards

Affiliated to the National Operatic and Dramatic Association



November 2009


Sundry Savoyards, plus the odd former member, disported themselves as various G&S characters along the Carnival Procession route on Wed 5th for the delectation of the assembled multitudes and even managed to get some of them to look up from their drinks and/or fish & chips to acknowledge them to the extent of getting £37.68 into the collecting bucket. Good publicity for Sheringham Savoyards and a fun evening for those taking part – thanks to Hazel for organising it all.

A few days later on 9th came the sad news of the death, following a short illness, of Sylvia Forshaw. Six Savoyards sang in the choir that was specially assembled for her funeral and many more Society members were in the congregation that filled St Andrew’s Church on 25th.

Our President writes:
Until the end Sylvia belied her 76 years, still the lively and cheerful woman we had long known and loved. Sylvia conducted and was otherwise involved in many groups and organisations in Sheringham, Cromer and district. She and her husband have been fine singers all their lives, and Eric joined us in 1988 to produce PRINCESS IDA, later singing many principal roles. Sylvia was our Musical Director for 3 consecutive summers in the early 1990’s :-YEOMEN, IOLANTHE and ,with Eric as producer, MIKADO, also directing two autumn shows: our second go at HASTE TO THE WEDDING and a concert version of TOM JONES by Edward German. She sung in our GONDOLIERS of 1994 and in the autumn was charming in the title role of PATIENCE, which we “toured” in a concert version while the Little Theatre was being renovated. Later she sang in our various “Victorian Concert Evenings”, last appearing as recently as 2005. Active and untiring, Sylvia was always a pleasure to work with and a joy to hear.

Rehearsals for “ Tan-tan-tara Tzing Boom” duly began on Friday 4th with the full production team in place – namely Producer -Pam Warren, Musical Director-Sarah Chadwick, Accompanists- Karen Smith and Lester Shaw, Narrator – Jason Bell, Man with tray &/or anything else – Rip Wright. To date things have progressed to the satisfaction of them all and movement was started on Oct 16th the music [and words!!] having been learnt at that stage.

A G M Wednesday 30th
Any fears about the lack of a quorum attending this AGM were quickly dispelled when 26 Members filled the Upper Room in the Oddfellow’s Hall to hear our President, Alan Stables, open the meeting with a short welcoming speech. This was followed by reports from the various Officers of the Society on the events of the last year. Malcolm, as Chairman, highlighted the major events in the “usual busy and successful year”. “The Magic Lozenge” and “The Sorcerer” as our full productions were top of the tree, being both enjoyable and well received as well as being profitable, due to the hard work put in by some members. Smaller performances and social events were mentioned as well as thanks being extended to the Officers and Committee. He ended his address with a plea for more people to come forward to share the duties that are necessarily performed for the continued existence of a successful Society. Dena, as Treasurer, gave her usual businesslike appraisal of the Society’s finances concluding that we were fiscally in good shape to the extent that donations to good causes were again possible. Some changes to the Constitution of the Society, previously circulated to all members in advance of this meeting, were presented for discussion and duly accepted.

The following Officers and Committee Members were voted in at this meeting.

Chairman .......................................................
Vice-Chairman .............................................
Hon. Secretary .............................................
Hon. Treasurer .............................................
Publicity Secretary ......................................
Malcolm Poore
Duncan McLaughlin
Moira Weller
Kath Whiting
Hazel Randall

Committee Members
Mike Emery, Pam McLaughlin (Social Sec.), Nan Smith, Andy Weston, Rip Wright.

Various facts about this list need to be noted.
1.  Only 5 Committee Members are mentioned as there were insufficient people willing to stand for election - normally 6 are appointed.
2.  Moira Weller wishes it to be noted that her return to the post of Secretary is for ONE YEAR ONLY. So we really do need to get a suitable candidate for this post organised in advance of next years AGM.
3.  Friend’s Secretary has, in the past, been a member of the Committee but this condition is not mandatory and the Committee are grateful to Mo Foster-Worton who has agreed to take on this role.

The formal part of the AGM being over, those attending then moved down to the Lower Room to share food & drink with each other and indulge in a Savoyard speciality – chatting. After a suitable pause for refreshment of body and mind the lighter part of the evening began on the return to the Upper room for a G&S Trivia Quiz – with John Bill as Question Master – only fitting as he had set all the questions. After 40 questions were asked and answered it turned out that the winning team had scored 41!!! – how sad is that!!!! It appears that Gennie Plunkett is, should we be kind? , a bit of an aficionado of the Savoy Operas and so the rest of her team -Barbara, Hazel and David A- took a ride on her coat-tails and all finished up with a bottle of wine –how unfair!! “I’m really very sorry for you all, but it’s an unjust world and virtue is triumphant only in theatrical performances” -said WHO?

Sadly this month marked the death on Monday 12th of our former President Ian Wallace a few months after his 90th Birthday, when he had received the best wishes of the Savoyards via a card. He had always been interested in the activities and fortunes of the Sheringham Savoyards even after relinquishing the Presidency. I am sure that other Officers of the Society have, in their time, like me, been the recipient of a number of the legendary Wallace ‘phone calls. These were invariably of quite some duration and after the “business” part of the call often reverted to a few reminiscences, sometimes a little bit of song and sometimes one of Ian’s poems, which are similar to W S Gilbert’s Bab Ballads. Latterly, on odd occasions the poem would suddenly stop and I would hear Ian calling “Pat – what’s the next line?” Then I would get to hear the rest of the poem when the appropriate prompt had been given. Ian would attend our shows when possible and often came up to the dressing rooms as well as being a good source of entertainment after the show. Those of us lucky enough to attend our Silver Jubilee Dinner will remember his “performance “ on that occasion – he always gave good value and will be sadly missed by all who were privileged to have met him over the years.

Ian’s successor as President adds a few words: I am glad to endorse all that has already been written above and to say how pleased and proud we were to have had Ian as our President, the ideal “godfather” to a local society. We were so lucky that he and Patricia came regularly several times a year to their West Runton holiday home. We saw his one-man show at the Little Theatre more than once, but our first “official” encounter was at the 1983 Mannington Hall garden party, then an annual fund-raising event for the Little Theatre Society. We established friendly relations with this distinguished but familiar figure, persuading him to become a Patron - less than a year later he agreed to become our first President, retaining that office until 2005. He always encouraged and appreciated our efforts, and I too recall many “airwave” chats all the way from Highgate Hill - my wife remembered taking a call in my absence and being treated to several Scots folk-songs. Dear Ian took a keen interest in all our doings and one never sensed any kind of gulf between our amateur and his very professional status. The humour in those twinkling eyes, and that warm North British voice, endeared him to his many fans- who became his friends and will indeed miss him greatly.


Wednesday 18th sees the Savoyards enter the Town Quiz once more. This year Malcolm and Jon will be joined for the first time by our esteemed pianist/accompanist/musical director Karen Smith. They are hoping for the usual “claque” to cheer them on in the Morley Club at 8pm.

Tan-tan-tara Tzing Boom hits the Little Theatre stage for the Dress Rehearsal on 26th followed by performances on 27 & 28th. Friends should have received their vouchers for this show already – if not please get in touch. There will be an “after show party” on 28th – Plate and Bottle as usual

A screening of the DVD of this June’s SORCERER will held on Friday 4th in St Joe’s – 7.30pm – again P&B format.

We are in possession of a Licence to go Carol Singing again on Saturday 12th. Rehearsals for this will be on Friday 11th at the Poore residence, 32a, Beeston Common, at 7.30pm. Please bring your own copies of Carols for Choirs No1 if you have them – copies for hire being a bit scarce.


Rehearsals start on Friday 8th for “UTOPIA LTD”.
Producers:-Andy & Julie Weston, Musical Director:- Elizabeth Rooke This one will consist of a showing of the DVD of our last Concert version of the show. Rehearsals proper start on 15th. Auditions to be held in St Joe’s from 2.30pm on Sat.23rd. Audition pieces will be available before the end of TTTZB.

“UTOPIA LTD” performances 16th to 19th at 7.30pm with a 2.00 pm Matinee on Saturday 19th.

Rehearsals start on Friday 3rd with Auditions on 4th for our Autumn Show , directed by Patrick Monk.

Performances of “THE ZOO”&“TRIAL BY JURY” 26th / 27th

Hazel is increasing our Archives all the time and wishes it be known that as well as our own performances on DVD she is custodian of the following D’Oyly Carte CDs :- Pinafore, Pirates, Iolanthe, Ida, Mikado, Ruddigore, Cox & Box, Yeomen & Trial + Pineapple Poll. All these are available to borrow if required. The Complete Annotated Gilbert & Sullivan, is also available. Jim Hare has compiled a “Special G&S Version of Scrabble “ which uses a standard board but restricts the words to be made to a special list involving G&S titles, characters etc. The Special Rules & lists run to 4 sides so I am not printing it in this News Letter but interested parties (remember long winter evenings and Christmas are soon upon us) are welcome to the full version on request.


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