Ruby celebration show is a hit

DRONFIELD’S own musical theatre group is 40 years old this year – so what better way to mark it than with a celebration. And that’s the title of their compilation show at the town’s Civic Hall all this week.

With more than 50 people on stage, members of the Dronfield Light Opera Group have taken the opportunity to showcase some of their favourite songs from the more than 100 productions they have put on in the four decades since they began.

And it is the singing strength of the chorus, along with some top drawer solos that gives this show its appeal.

All tastes are catered for ranging from Gilbert and Sullivan to modern musicals and musical documentaries. And the audience even get a look in too.

The show springs a few surprises – there’s a magical moment when Andrea Ryder Smith springs from nowhere to give a superb rendition of Poor Wandrin’ One from Pirates of Penzance; and there’s even a Wicked Queen and Good Fairy to acknowledge the group’s annual pantomimes. And you can add to that the antics of Katie Marshall Preece as a star-struck Popsey Wopsey.

The Civic Hall has a movable film screen and this is put to good use for archive pictures and video as the show progresses.

Some of the group’s former members have come back to take part in the show, which provides a splendid evening of nostalgia for audience members who have supported the group over the years.

Chorus highlights include The Farmer and the Cowman from Oklahoma, The Sun Has Got His hat On from Me and My Girl, and Black Hills of Dakota from Calamity Jane. There’s also a version of Zadok the Priest which sends a shiver down the spine, and a rousing rendition of When I’m 64 which sends audiences home with a spring in their step.

This ruby anniversary is a real gem.

Celebration is running until Saturday, May 26. Tickets are available on (01246) 416364.