Together at the Musicals

Date 1st July 2022
Society Orrell Musical & Dramatic Society
Venue Living Faith Church, Church Street, Orrell
Type of Production Concert
Musical Director Linda Scott
Choreographer Alison Hampson


Author: Jim Briscoe

Together at the Musicals: a concert performed by members of Orrell Musical and Dramatic Society at the ‘Living Faith Church, Church Street, Orrell on Friday 1st July, 2022. 

Wow…  has it really been two and half years since I last saw Orrell Musical and Dramatic Society on stage… oh yes it has… the 10th January 2020 to be precise, when they produced and performed a concert called ‘Melodies on the Move’ at Pemberton Masonic Hall, Chapel Street, near Wigan, although, I have had the privilege and pleasure of visiting them and speaking with them during one of their rehearsals for this concert a few weeks ago!

At great deal has changed since they last performed, but what has not changed, is the enthusiasm, energy and commitment of this extremely friendly society!  I say this a lot… but to stage any sort of production, be it a musical, a drama, a concert or revue takes a vast amount of time and effort, leadership and dedication… and there is little or no doubt that Orrell Musical and Dramatic Society are blessed with many dedicated and experienced theatre people who have helped achieve this!  So, many congratulations for this entertaining concert, to the Production Team of Linda Scott (Musical Director), Alison Hampson (Choreographer) and I would suggest many other unnamed folk who have work tirelessly behind the scenes… just making things happen… to each and every one of you…. well done, a full house, a great concert... it’s so great to see Orrell back where they belong, doing what they do best!

What made this ‘Concert’ different?  Well, we were treated to songs and music from musicals that aren’t often used in concerts… like songs from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’, ‘Jekyll and Hyde’, a medley from ‘The Jersey Boys’ a medley from ‘Mamma Mia’ and a couple of songs, one from ‘Chess’ and one from ‘Barnum’.

The concert was in two ‘Acts’ –
Act 1 featured the following…

Act 2 the featured the following…

     -      The Company opened Act 2 with a medley from ‘Mamma Mia’

     -      Louise Taylor sang ‘Another Night at Darryls’ from the musical ‘The Witches of Eastwick’
     -      We had a trio – Laura Priestley, Natasha Dunne and Sarah Farley who sang another from
            ‘The Witches of Eastwick’ – ‘I Wish I May’
     -      A medley from ‘Miss Saigon’ followed…sung by the Company
     -      Peter Carletti then sang ‘Bring Him Home’ from Les Misérables
     -      Andrew Southern, Alison Hampson and the Company sang ‘Master of the House’ again from ‘Les Misérables.
     -      The Company ended the evening with a medley from the musical ‘The Jersey Boys’

The Company - Carol Waring, Jean Budworth, Carol Clayton, Steph Shaw, Jackie Webb, Mildred Sims, Wendy Forshaw, Rachel McGunigle, Lily McGunigle, Natasha Dunne, Sarah Farley, Alison Hampson, Louise Taylor, Laura Priestley, Elaine Eccles, Janet Malone, Liz Schofield, Hannah Wallwork, Stephen Carletti, Peter Carletti, Steven Ascroft, Andrew Southern, Ray Sims and Stephen Webster.

Anyone who knows the format for my reviews will know that this is where I ‘stick my neck out’ and start to identify MY favourite performance(s) or in this case song(s).  If I’m honest, I’m not really sure where to start because this was a great concert with so many wonderful pieces… but, not being one to ‘sit on the fence’ here goes...
MY personal favourite wasn’t a solo piece but the medley of songs from ‘Miss Saigon’.  I really do love this musical; it has an amazing score with music by Claude-Michael Schonberg and Alain Boublil and lyrics by Boublil and Richard Maltby Jr.  Orrell, did an excellent job with this...  great harmonies and some great individual moments which were complemented ever so well by the entire company!  Be proud… great effort! 

Favourite solo piece came from Peter Carletti who gave us an outstanding rendition of ‘Bring Him Home’ from Les Misérables (another song with music by Schonberg and lyrics by Boublil plus Herbert Kretzmer).  Peter has a wonderful voice and he did real justice to this song… be proud sir!

I could go on… Laura Priestley, Natasha Dunne and Sarah Farley sang ‘I Wish I may’, loved this trio, great blend of voices with some great harmonies; Alison Hampson and Louise Taylor did a great job with ‘I know him so well’ as did Steven Ascoft with ‘This is the Moment’… this was an impress concert, appreciated by everyone there!

So, can I take this opportunity to thank everyone at Orrell Musical and Dramatic Society for inviting my wife and I to your concert, we thoroughly enjoyed the evening as I think everyone present did!  Can I also say ‘thank you’ for allowing me to visit you in rehearsal, it really was a privilege!  Already looking forward to meeting ‘Audrey II’ next spring… another musical (‘Little Shop of Horrors’) that I really do luv!

Stay safe and keep well…

Jim Briscoe
NODA North West
District 6 Rep