Sheringham Savoyards

Affiliated to the National Operatic and Dramatic Association



Summer 2010


The Summer of 2010 - a heatwave after a long cool spell, and something special at the Little Theatre: a G & S opera not given before (excepting concert versions) by the Savoyards. Last time that happened it was IDA in 1988. UTOPIA LTD was in the four capable hands of Andy & Julie. What matter if they cut some lines (Gilbert flagged a bit in 1893) and added new ones (unmistakeably Westonian)? The net result had the authentic G&S feel, the show was well cast and enthusiastically performed. I especially admired the clear diction and confident delivery of the chorus singing, due this time to Elizabeth Rooke, our MD for the first but not I hope for the last time. The clever repositioning of some of the orchestra-only numbers worked well too. In short, a real step forward for the Society and a milestone in its progress. I hope you all agree!

PS. In activities like ours, team spirit is everything and one doesn’t “name names”, but this year I do want to congratulate two members who were on stage for PINAFORE 1979 and again for UTOPIA 2010. Then as now, one faithful chorus member, Monica Jarvis, and one irrepressible soloist, Molly Percival. Bright and beautiful English girls indeed.



There was a “Full House” – or at least a very full room adjoining the Windham Arms on Sat 15th - when 32 Savoyards celebrated at our Annual Dinner. The magnificent 3 course Greek meal was much appreciated, not to say praised, by all present. Food and wine was followed, with some difficulty, by brain work in the form of a far from easy quiz set by Pam McLaughlin. The winning team consisted of Val & Roger Williams, Nan Smith and John Bill. After the brain work came exercise to the accompaniment of live music, which apart from encouraging a fair amount of “singing along” to Dennis & Andy’s efforts, resulted in a fearsome display of dancing from various members who had obviously been hiding their talents previously. All in all a successful and enjoyable event for which Pam, the organiser was, and is here again, thanked. An event worth repeating according to many members - wait and see if it happens!


Utopian is defined in the dictionary as “a state of perfection or ideal existence”. While nothing, especially a stage performance, is ever actually perfect it can aspire to that state - by Saturday night, with the help of a vocal and enthusiastic audience we were coming closer. As with SORCERER, also not in the “first rank” of G&S, as far as the public are concerned, I think that UTOPIA LTD may well have gained a following due to our efforts. Those cognoscenti among our audiences who had previously seen full productions, often many years ago, were impressed by the judicious pruning and modernisation of the libretto. Almost universal praise has been forthcoming for the “Minstrel Number” in the second act - so all those early nights paid off !? Houses are best described overall as moderate - not surprising due to the relatively “unknown quantity” that was this show - but, while Saturday evening was almost full, the smallest house, the Sat Mat, was also one of the most enthusiastic. How audiences can change a performance! As usual a NODA review was forthcoming after the show – this can be viewed on our Web Site – or by application to our Hon. Sec.

For any members who would like to order pics of the Dress rehearsal - proofs will be on show at the rehearsals on 3rd + 10th Sept. – but strictly cash with order!! The same applies to copies of a DVD priced at £7 for which we thank Keith Swetman for organising – profits from sales of these come back to the Society!! Thanks again for that Keith! You can order direct from Keith on 01692 536624 / e-mail him at or wait for the list that will also be at the September evenings for orders.

On 25th Patrick hosted a showing of a DVD of “THE ZOO” at his home in Aylsham attended by 25 members, accompanied by their plates and bottles. A useful introduction to another less well known work and of course looking forward to the Autumn to yet another “first” for the Society.


Do look in on our Web Site when you can. There is now a button for members to gain access to the 2009 AGM Minutes and the NODA Review of UTOPIA LTD among many other delights. It is updated regularly, unlike some, and well worth a look when you have time.


Pam has arranged a Curry Night on Friday 30th in Aylsham. The evening kicks off at 7.30 in The Black Boys and then the participants are expected to stagger across the Market Place to The Gate of India for their curry at 8.30.

This event is already well subscribed but if you do wish to join in please ‘phone Pam on 01263 825912 as soon as possible.

Rehearsals start for “THE ZOO” & “TRIAL BY JURY” on Friday 3rd at 7.30pm PROMPT. Audition pieces were available during the run of UTOPIA. Auditions for Principal parts will be held Sat. 4th starting at 2.30pm. There will be a sheet with time-slots available on the Friday night to book your time. Another sheet will be there to book a time on the Saturday morning between 10.30 and 12.30 for a run through of pieces.

If any one who wishes to audition has not got their piece they can contact Patrick to get the information required also talk to him if they cannot make the Friday night to book an audition time. Phone 01263 732277 or email him at

7.30pm at The Oddfellows Hall in Sheringham

As most of you are aware this is a day when various retirements mean that a number of Officer posts need filling along with Committee places. Without people being prepared to help organise and run it a society must necessarily cease to function. If you have not helped in this way previously please do consider doing so now - the retirees have given their time to the Society in the past but do feel it is time to “pass over the reins”. Along with the Formal Notice announcing the AGM to you all you will find a Nomination Form for Officers and Committee.

Also included is a form to fill in with reference to a possible change to our rehearsal night. We have rehearsed on Friday nights for ever it seems but a view has been expressed that this night is part of the weekend – so that if a trip away is planned, for instance, it has to start on Saturday morning if people are conscientious about their attendance at rehearsals. Advance indication of roughly how many Members wish to change will help the discussion during the meeting.

To save the cost of printing them, in the economically straitened times in which we live, the Minutes of last years AGM are not included but are available on our Web Site – those members wishing a “hard copy” should contact Moira Weller before the AGM - her address being:
2,Arden Close , Overstrand, NR27 0PH.

SUBSCRIPTIONS for the year are due on Sept. 1st. They remain, until the AGM, at £10 for Members and £5 for Friends.

Please note the enclosed form for submission of said fees – also please note that you will get away with paying at the current rate if you pay before the AGM but if the proposed increase in fees is agreed you may well regret not paying up promptly!

Completed forms + payments can be sent to our Treasurer
Kath Whiting, 21, Cliff Road, Sheringham . NR26 8BJ

“THE ZOO” & “TRIAL BY JURY” 26th- 27th

Producer - Patrick Monk.     Musical Director - Karen Smith
Rehearsals for Show Week – all at 7.30pm
Monday & Tuesday at Woodfields School, Sheringham
Thursday Technical/Dress rehearsal in The Little Theatre.
Friday + Saturday - Performances at 7.30pm.

Friday 3rd. A Cake & Chorus night will be held to which it is hoped potential new members may be enticed as part of our Recruitment Drive! A sing through of MIKADO may help persuade them to join us. If you do know of any possible recruits please tell them about this event – it will be widely publicised nearer the time.

Saturday 11th Carol Singing in Sheringham – followed by a Christmas Lunch – venue etc to be finalised later.

Friday 7th Rehearsals start for “THE MIKADO”.  Principal auditions will be held on 22nd.

JUNE 2011
Performance Dates for “THE MIKADO” 15-18th

25-26th Autumn Show “RUDDIGORE”
Producer - Hazel Randall.    Musical Director - Lester Shaw


Chrissie Foster-Worton kindly lent a chiffon style scarf in yellow/pink + orange stripes for Utopia – this has gone missing – if you can help track it down or even return it everyone, especially Chrissie, will be very grateful.


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