Once Upon A Song 2018 Review

Director -  Bethaney Rimmer
Musical Director - Nathan Warren, Jonathan Roberts and Molly Jewitt
Choreographer - Chloe French, Kirsty McKay, Bethaney Rimmer and Hayley Roberts

Report Author: Andy Brown

Described in the marketing information as ‘Escape the real world with Evesham Operatic and Dramatic Society as they delve into a land of fantasy, magic and the supernatural. Once Upon a Song was most certainly a visit to all these areas in song, dance and poetry.

Many of the songs were well known all of them from stage or screen while others probably less well known to audience members. Under Bethaney Rimmer as a first-time director a cast of 21 people took us through the journey and provided the audience with an enjoyable evening with the majority taking the lead in at least one song or poem.

With so many different pieces of work presented it is difficult to name any song or individual. However, I will highlight a selection of musical numbers. There were good performances from Emily Callaghan, Nicola Jackson and Katie Richards during, ‘I know It’s Today’ (Shrek the Musical). There were strong performances from Jonathan Roberts especially during, ‘Music of the Night’ (Phantom of the Opera) and Becs Swift and Rhianna Jacobs during, ‘One Short Day’ (Wicked) as well as Kelly Clements, ‘This is Me’ (The Greatest Showman). A mention also for Rebecca Barclay and Marcus Gilks for their rendition of, ‘Song That Goes Like This’ (Spamalot) – the song that just keeps going on and on! Finally, ‘Hushabye Mountain’ (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) which added Nathan Warren and Alister Hutton to others already mentioned. All of these were especially well done.

The acaapella singing of, ‘Pure Imagination (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) was a highlight of the evening. The poem ‘The Little Pigs by Roald Dahl was also well performed.

The choreography devised by a team comprising of Chloe French, Kirsty McKay, Bethaney Rimmer and Hayley Roberts was well thought out especially during company numbers such as, ‘Children Will Listen’ (Into the Woods) ‘One Short Day’ (Wicked) and, ‘This Is Me’ (The Greatest Showman) as well as the ice dance from

Edward Scissorhands. The choreography between one number to the next had been considered and was slick.

The use of LED lighting and a selection of trees with lights was very effective and a delight to witness. The imagination, variety of colours used, and effects portrayed was well considered and added to the enjoyment of the evening by the atmosphere created.

Congratulations to Bethaney as director, Nathan Warren, Jonathan Roberts and Molly Jewitt as the musical directors and indeed all at Evesham Operatic and Dramatic Society for an entertaining evening of song and dance. I now look forward to seeing one and all at Jesus Christ Superstar in November.