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Operatic society outshines its peers to scoop top award

Pictured: cast group - standing l to r Earl Mountararat (Bruce Walton), Phyllis (Ann Sloan), Strephon (Philip Fine), Private Willis (David Hornsby), Iolanthe (Ruth Anker, Lord Chancellor (Fred Riches) - seated Queen of ther Fairies (Sally Watts).

Pictured: cast group - standing l to r Earl Mountararat (Bruce Walton), Phyllis (Ann Sloan), Strephon (Philip Fine), Private Willis (David Hornsby), Iolanthe (Ruth Anker, Lord Chancellor (Fred Riches) - seated Queen of ther Fairies (Sally Watts).

BANBURY Amateur Operatic Society has scooped a top regional award for its most recent Gilbert and Sullivan production.

The society has been given the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) Dorothy Lawson Trophy for the best G&S show of the year for its Iolanthe.

The presentation last October was part of the society’s 50th anniversary celebrations. And it beat off strong opposition from hundreds of other shows in the 14 busy districts in the extensive London region of the association.

“Iolanthe was directed by Janet Bishop, who comes to Banbury from Great Rissington to work on the shows,” said society founder-member and treasurer, Gareth Jeremy.

“She has a great knack of giving everyone on stage a character. In some shows the principal actors are coached but many societies don’t give the chorus members a character. Janet does and it shows.

“Janet has directed many productions for us and she has been given the NODA Flame Award for those who have gone well beyond the call of duty.”

Iolanthe was choreographed by Alison Halford and the musical director was Philip Shaw.

The Banbury Operatic Society performs its shows at Wykham Hall, usually undertaking seven shows over six days.

To cover costs of up to £22,000 a show for costumes, rehearsal space, props, orchestra and royalties, the 65 members organise other fundraising activities. The next show is a concert at Marlborough Road Methodist Church, Banbury on Friday-Saturday, October 19-20.

The show called Shakespeare and Love it is a witty, amusing celebration of love and the works of William Shakespeare in music and song. Tickets are £10 including a ploughman’s supper or cream tea from Anker Estate Agents on 01295 271414.

 
 
 

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