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Opening night is fast approaching for the members of the Cheltenham Operatic and Dramatic Society

All Areas > Entertainment > Theatre

Author: Patrick Baines, Posted: Monday, 1st October 2018, 12:30

Action from rehearsals as opening night fast approaches Action from rehearsals as opening night fast approaches

Cheltenham Operatic and Dramatic Society are on the final countdown to their next performance, as they put their own spin on one of the most famous musicals of the twentieth century.

At 7.30pm on Saturday 13th October the curtain will go up at Cheltenham’s Playhouse Theatre for the opening night of RENT, Jonathan Larson’s Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning revolutionary rock opera.

Rehearsals for the production have been taking place since June, and the countdown is well and truly on for the opening show a week on Saturday. Karen Frank, Publicity Manager for the Cheltenham Operatic and Dramatic Society, is anticipating a busy week, with eight performances taking place over seven days.

She said: “We’ve been rehearsing for RENT pretty much as soon as the curtain came down on our last production in June. Rehearsals have gone very well, we’ve assembled a superb cast and we’re all looking ahead to opening night a week on Saturday.

“RENT is a very challenging production, there’s no dialogue as such, everything is communicated through songs. The score is amazing, and the music is phenomenal.

“It’s not just the people on stage that are needed to pull off a successful production, there will be a team of backstage staff whose work is just as important. We have wonderful backstage members who manage all the scenery, make-up, costumes and more. We couldn’t do it without them.”

Based on Puccini’s ‘La Boheme’, RENT is the story of one year in the life of eight friends who are living the Bohemian life, struggling to express themselves through their art and measuring their lives in love. Against the gritty backdrop of New York’s East Village, these friends strive for success and acceptance whilst enduring the obstacles of poverty, illness and the AIDS epidemic, in the early 1990s.

The Cheltenham Operatic and Dramatic Society is the oldest amateur dramatic society in Gloucestershire, and one of oldest in the country. They have been performing musical theatre productions and plays, at both the Everyman and Playhouse theatres in Cheltenham for 128 years. It’s that longevity that Karen says has helped CODS produce top quality productions.

She continued: “I think the productions we produce are as close as you’ll get to a professional standard of performance. We’ve got a wonderful collection of talented members that turn up every week for rehearsals, they’re so committed and have that desire to put on quality productions.”

If you thought that the CODS members will be able to relax once the final performance of RENT is complete on Saturday 20th October, then think again. Their attention will turn to a run of upcoming shows in the next couple of years.

Karen added: “We’ve got some big shows at the Everyman in the next few years. Next summer we’ll be covering ‘The Producers’ and in the summer of 2020 we’ll be putting on a musical version of ‘Shrek’, which will be a great show. Talking about 2020 seems a bit strange but these shows take a lot of planning.”

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