Wensum, by Jim Harding, July 11, 2017
Brian Cox in the title role in the film Churchill
Our family association with FADLOS goes back some 25 years thanks to the involvement of two sons who were dead keen to join the all-singing, all-dancing troupe.
Now this pair have left home the commitment has inevitably diminished but I still like to be supportive when I can - although these days I confess to drawing the line when it comes to pantos. Each to his own. What was especially pleasing this time round was the numbers in attendance at the community centre for every single performance. It was virtually a sell-out which normally only happens on the Friday and Saturday nights. Somehow the company has managed to keep its ticket prices very reasonable which has to be a factor these days. As a long-time watcher from the sidelines I love the way in which the whole dynamic of productions has kept pace with what might be described as the world of musicals. Brought up in a different tradition I may not have the same degree of enthusiasm for modern tastes but there’s no doubting that FADLOS has embraced ‘the now’ with great relish. Sister Act was a brilliant example of this and whilst the ‘old stagers’ performed with their customary presence and confidence it was the younger brigade who I thought particularly uplifting. After all, they are the future. Lead singer Victoria Perryman embodied this by grabbing hold of her character Deloris Van Cartier right from the start. She was terrific. Two others I must mention are Tilly Baron who, in addition to her singing and dancing capabilities, managed to choreograph the whole show. And Kara Field, surely a star in the making, who emerged from being a non-descript member of the nun’s chorus to blossom forth in her role as Sister Mary Robert. A sad footnote to this special anniversary occasion was the death last month of Roy Ferris who finally lost his battle with cancer. Roy always kept me informed about the FADLOS programmes so that I could give them some publicity and was also a stalwart worker for the company behind the scenes. In the true spirit of ‘the show must go on’ it was heart-warming to see both Lucy and Victoria up there on stage and know that Tom was doing his bit in charge of the lighting. Undoubtedly what Roy would have wanted.
As the new operators of our cinema get to grips with realities I’m encouraged to welcome a small innovation. Every Wednesday morning there’s a film showing for those in the community who no longer have to get up every day and head off to work. This is naturally designed to appeal to the older generation and so far has done well despite the summer season. With rain pouring down outside, some 30 of us turned up for the excellent My Cousin Rachel the other week and there was almost a festive atmosphere in the place. Free hot drinks were provided and the tickets were just £4. With sunshine around the audience for Churchill last Wednesday was much less but as one of them I was spellbound by the performance of Brian Cox as the great man himself. More power to Central for providing this treat and long may it continue.