REVIEW OF THE TOWN HALL CONCERT
THURSDAY 14TH JUNE 2012
By MR BUDGE GROUNSELL, N.O.D.A. REPRESENTATIVE
The Town Hall in St Helens is a fine venue and provided an appropriate backdrop to ‘A Midsummer Medley of Music’ by St Helens Gilbert & Sullivan Society. John Flood, the Musical Director, together with his Chorus Mistress/Accompanist Dorothy Parr, produced some excellent singing in a much varied and entertaining programme. The only disappointment for me was that due to unfortunate circumstances I had to leave approximately 15 minutes before the end and so missed some songs which, to judge by what had gone before, would have brought this performance to a fitting end. One of the signs of a successful show is the enjoyment that the cast feel in what they are doing and it was apparent here that they did so.
Part 1 reflected the more serious side with selections from G & S, some popular classical offerings from the likes of Mendelssohn, Verdi and Dvorak with Lloyd Webber’s ‘Pie Jesu’ thrown in, a favourite of mine, which I really enjoyed. We had a delightful solo from Clare Bullen. The solo performances were all strong and I regret not being able to add their names, they were not recorded in the programme, but they did a fine job.
Part 2 started with a selection from ‘Les Miserables’- lovely songs; and continued with an Irish selection which would have done justice to Foster and Allen. Engelbert Humperdinck then made an appearance – not the current Humperdinck! – with the duet from Hansel and Gretel which would have certainly given us more points than we received in the recent Eurovision Song Contest. ‘Plaisir d’Amour’ interspersed with Elvis’s ‘Can’t help falling in love with you’ was specially arranged by John Flood and there were many in the audience singing along, not loudly perhaps but in obvious enjoyment. This was the moment regrettably when I had to leave but I’m sure there would have been more joining in with ‘The Banana Boat Song’ and ‘Down by the Riverside’ etc.
I was in fact standing in for the N.O.D.A. Representative for the area who was unable to attend herself, she missed an excellent evening. I almost forgot to say that apart from his musical talents John Flood proved to be an excellent link man with gentle humour which was much appreciated by his audience.
Congratulations to everyone involved.