St Peter’s Troupers Musical Theatre repetoire includes: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Oh! Adam and Eve!; Another Story Begins; and Nanny Knight The REAL Story.
St Peter’s Troupers
Long, long ago in a far distant land (in France, 2012, to be truthful) four friends sat enjoying a glass of wine and reminiscing. They recalled how, in another distant land, Northamptonshire, and long, long ago (twenty years this time!) they had been members of a local village amatuer dramatics group, and had staged Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. After another glass of wine, one of them asked the fateful question: “Could we do it again?”
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Chances were slim. The proposed venue was St. Peter’s Church in North Tawton. There is already a thriving amateur dramatic society there, and no one wanted to offend them in any way. The church is, QED, a church not a theatre, or even a hall. Getting permission to stage the show at all had been a real struggle last time. And yes, we were all twenty years older. But…
One of the four friends was Revd Rita Bullworthy, the assistant minister in the group of parishes based around North Tawton (Sampford Courtenay, Bondleigh and Honeychurch.) Her particular brief is to think of ways of reaching out beyond those who attend church to those on the fringe or even quite separate from church. And she wondered – could we involve lots of different people from all the communities, church-goers or not? It seemed a good idea (maybe a third glass of wine?), so the Joseph cat was out of the bag, and was not going to be stopped.
Now, it happened that another of the four friends had been director of that far-distant Joseph; another had been producer and lighting man; a third had been music and sound; and the fourth had sung Mary Magdalene. Not a bad start. Revd Nick Weldon, the vicar, came on-side with enthusiasm. The Church Council PCC agreed that we could transform church into theatre for a week, and were full of enthusiasm and support. Rehearsals began. Pupils from North Tawton School were keen to be involved. And in June 2013 the production went ahead. Every show had people queuing to get into church. Now that’s something you don’t see every week!
Oh! Adam and Eve!
All very good. And of course after the show, and some recovery time, people who had been in it were wanting to do more. So after much asking around and head-scratching, the Troupers, as they were now being called, were led to a mini-musical by North Tawton’s own Richard Edwards, telling the story of the first chapters of the Bible, Oh! Adam and Eve! That became the 2014 presentation, with new people joining in along the way. And after the show, and some more recovery time, people were wanting more.
Another Story Begins
Hence the plan for 2015 – a kind of ‘Songs from the Shows’ evening, but taking a group of songs from several shows and linking them by a theme reflected in those songs which is relevant to today. It will take place in October. It will be called Another Story Begins. And once again it is attracting new people, and once again the hope is that pupils from North Tawton Community Primary School will be involved.
Nanny Knight – The REAL Story
In addition to ‘Another Story Begins’, Richard Edwards has written another mini-musical Nanny Knight – The REAL Story, which will be performed in July and will link with other activities to be held in North Tawton in celebration of Nanny Knight. It will involve the Bondleigh Barn Band, children from North Tawton Community Primary School, as well as St Peter’s Troupers.
You can find out much more, and keep up to date over the months, by visiting the Troupers’ website at e-voice.org.uk/northtawtondreamcoat/; where you can also find contact details if you want to be involved in any way.
St Peter’s Troupers by John Courtie
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