A drama group specialising in participatory historical musicals is getting ready for its most hectic Christmas period to date.
Voices Across Time is in rehearsal for not one but two separate plays and will perform both over a three-day period later next month.
In addition the three founding members, Florence Taylor, Harriet Wells and Joseph Cummings, have chosen this year’s performances as the platform they need to move to bigger venues and will be playing in both Banbury and Chipping Norton for the first time.
On December 20 a ten- strong cast will perform an updated version of I’ll Be Home For Christmas at Banbury’s St Mary’s Church from 7.30pm and again at Chipping Norton Town Hall on December 22 from 8pm.
The venue represents a daunting challenge for VAT but they see it as an opportunity to showcase their Second World War musical to a new and larger audience and with it raise more funds for Katharine House and the church.
Harriet said: “Our Christmas shows which are coming up at the end of December kind of mark the next big step for our little company. It’s really exciting but we’re probably the most terrified we’ve ever been.”
Florence added: “It’s scary, we’re taking it out of our comfort zone as it were, the place where we came up with the ideas and created the shows in Adderbury, and taking them to Banbury and Chipping Norton.”
Adderbury, however, will not miss out and will in fact be the place where the group’s new show, Christmas Across Time, will be shown in the village’s St Mary’s Church on December 21.
Christmas Across Time has been written by the trio especially for Friends of St Mary’s Adderbury (FOSMA) after their performances at the Institute got the attention of the church’s charity group.
It traces Christmas and the associated music from Tudor times, looks at the banning of Christmas by Oliver Cromwell right up to a rendition of the Pouges modern classic, Fairytale of New York.
Harriet said: “FOSMA approached us and said ‘we would love you to write a show for us’. They are raising money for the tower so this will go to that.”
The larger venues also present both a technical challenge and a great opportunity for VAT to showcase their songs and story with the use of professional stage sound equipment.
The group have even invested in new headset/microphones for the performances.
When discussing the Banbury, St Mary Church show, Florence said: “They have such incredible facilities there. The lighting, the sound, its geared up for holding big events.
She added: “It’s daunting but it is all there, ready to support you.”
Tickets for both shows for all three dates are now available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 07532446665.
For more information including videos and pictures of previous shows visit their website.