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Practice makes perfect for the Manor Players

All Areas > Entertainment > Theatre

Author: Patrick Baines, Posted: Tuesday, 23rd October 2018, 09:00

Manor Players Manor Players

Earlier this summer the entire population was stocking up on sun cream and ice lollies, while in Tewkesbury the Manor Players were singing Christmas songs.

Rehearsals for their production of ‘Scrooge’, which gets underway on Thursday 8th November, began in July, during the most intense period of warm weather Britain has experienced in decades. “Singing songs about Christmas in the middle of summer was a quite surreal moment,” said Jason Blackburn, Director of the production. “We began rehearsals during the summer holidays, we had the fans on full blast! Planning so far ahead gives us the opportunity to make sure everything is perfect, for both our performance team and backstage staff,” he added.

It will be a welcome return to the Roses Theatre for the Manor Players, who will be performing there after an absence of several years.

Jason continued: “It’s great for everyone involved with the Manor Players to be back at the Roses Theatre, they haven’t performed there for several years so to be back in the town’s main theatre is exciting for everyone.

“Scrooge is a wonderful play. It’s a musical version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens. Audience members will be able to follow Scrooge’s journey from when he’s visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. After their visits, Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man. Rob Morris is going to be playing Scrooge, he’s a great actor who has shone during rehearsals.

“I’ve got a terrific team, both onstage and backstage. I feel very lucky to be working alongside Val Lockley who is a top-class and experienced choreographer.

“We’ve got lots of children in the cast. We’ve got a young girl playing Tiny Tim that will break the heart of everyone watching. She’s got a stunning singing voice, it’s worth the price of admission alone to hear her sing, she’s a total star.”

Jason is an experienced director who has spent the best part of three decades involved in theatre here in Gloucestershire. So what words of wisdom will he be imparting on his team in the moments before the curtain rises on opening night?

“I’ll be telling them to concentrate but most of all enjoy it. If the people on stage are enjoying what they’re doing, then the audience will join in. I often remind the cast that they’ve worked so hard for months and months so go out there and show everyone that the work has been worth it. Smile and cherish every moment.”

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