Bev Jones Music Company to perform Strictly Live In The Park at Rowntree Park

The Bev Jones Music Company cast in rehearsal at York Maze for Strictly Live In The Park

THE Bev Jones Music Company will stage a full-sized musical theatre concert with more than 20 socially distanced singers and a five-piece band at the Rowntree Park Amphitheatre, York, on September 13.

Strictly Live In The Park promises a “spectacular show for all the family, with popular show music, pop music, dance and comedy” from 3pm to 5m.

“York deserves this fun Sunday afternoon,” says producer Lesley Jones, Bev’s widow. “We just want to give the public, mainly families, the chance to enjoy entertainment once more.

Bev Jones Music Company cast members maintaining social-distancing at the Rowntree Park Amphitheatre

“The cast are so happy to be performing once again, especially when our big spring production, Calamity Jane, was cancelled by the lockdown in March, just four days before the curtain would have gone up.”

The first York community theatre company to stage a musical theatre concert on this scale since the easing of lockdown, the Bev Jones Music Company will perform “typical Bev Jones spectacular music”.

“All the music was arranged by Bev, the company mentor, so we’ll have a huge variety with numbers from Adele to Robbie Williams, Cabaret to Hairspray, Mack & Mabel to South Pacific, The Full Monty to Chess, Miss Saigon to the finale, Les Miserables,” says Lesley.

The Strictly Live In The Park poster for the September 13 concert

“Every number has been changed to suit the current guidelines regarding singing and live music. The huge dance numbers are limited but we’re adapting what we can.” 

The company rehearsed at York Maze for the first time last week. “We only get three rehearsals to put this show together, because we cannot rehearse indoors yet, and thankfully the Maze allowed us those three rehearsals,” says a grateful Lesley.  

“We have directed the show ourselves; John Atkin is the musical director with his five-piece band; Claire Pulpher is the choreographer and all our usual cast members are performing.”

Taking shape: First day of rehearsals for Strictly Live In The Park at York Maze

Among the company for this Not For Profit production will be Chris Hagyard, Sally Lewis, Larry Gibson, Terry Ford, Kelly Bolland and two returning members, who had moved on to become full-time professional performers, Nathan Lodge and Jordan Langford.

“Our concert has been risk assessed thoroughly and all audience members will have hand sanitisers and temperature checks, plus all seating will be in socially distanced, marked-out bubbles. All the cast will be checked too,” says Lesley. 

“Picnic blankets, rugs and chairs are welcome, as are picnics as there’ll be no public refreshments on sale, in line with Government guidelines. We’ll have a large number of stewards to offer assistance and all safeguards will be in place to ensure that people feel happy and safe in every way.” 

Strictly Live In The Park is strictly an all-ticket event, with tickets on sale on 01904 501935 or at josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk. Seats will be sold in bubbles for two (£15) or up to six people (£30).

York Musical Theatre Company go online for second digital performance on Sunday

AFTER the success of their inaugural Off-Stage But Online! concert on April 26, York Musical Theatre Company return with a second free digital performance on Sunday, live on the company’s YouTube channel from 7.30pm.

This weekend’s programme is compiled again by director Paul Laidlaw and features 25 numbers performed at home by Matthew Ainsworth, Jessa and Mick Liversidge, John Haigh, Eleanor Leaper, Chris Hagyard and Florence Taylor, among others.

Expect video recordings of numbers from Rent, Les Miserables, Heathers, A Chorus Line, Follies, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, Company and Showboat.

Musical director John Atkin opens Off-Stage But Online 2! with the Star Wars theme on piano, leading into Chris Jay’s Till I Hear You Sing, from Love Never Dies; Holly Inch’s It Means Beautiful, from Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and John Haigh and daughter Sofia’s Don’t Rain On My Parade, from Funny Girl.

Peter Wookie performs Ol’ Man River; Sarah Pollard and Charly Wetherell, For Good, from Wicked; Mick Liversidge, Bless Your Beautiful Hide, from Seven Brides For Seven Brothers; Kaia Stainton, Lifeboat, from Heathers; Matthew Clare, King Of The World, and Eleanor Leaper, No-One But You, from We Will Rock You.

Matthew Ainsworth’s pick, accompanied by “And All”, is Seasons Of Love, from Rent; Amy Lacey, I Have A Dream, from Mamma Mia!; John Atkin and Cathy Atkin, By My Side, from Godspell; Sarah Pollard, Holding Out For A Hero, from Footloose, and David Martin, Only Love, from The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Next, Charly Wetherell sings When Will My Life Begin?, from Tangled; Chris Mooney, Heaven On Their Minds, from Jesus Christ Superstar; Rachel Higgs, Taylor, The Latte Boy; Helen Barugh and Peter Wookie, Falling Slowly, from Once, and Jessa Liversidge, Losing My Mind, from Follies.

Matthew Ainsworth returns for Bring Him Home; Flo Taylor performs Nothing, from A Chorus Line; Chris Gibson, Anyone Can Whistle; Jessa and Mick Liversidge, It’s The Little Things, from Company, and John Haigh, Somewhere, from West Side Story.

To watch Sunday’s online concert, tap in: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiTrGyeP93_to9uYOsvoS4w.

York Musical Theatre Company may be off stage, but tomorrow night they go digital

YORK Musical Theatre Company will present a digital concert, Off-Stage But Online!, tomorrow night on YouTube.

The 7.30pm show will feature 20 home-made videos from company members performing songs from the world of musical theatre, including Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Guys And Dolls, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cabaret and more besides.

Company member and publicist Anna Mitchelson says: “People suggested what they’d like to sing and director Paul Laidlaw put the concert programme together.”

The digital concert will open with a lovely instrumental on the piano by musical director John Atkin: Music In The Night from The Phantom Of The Opera.

To follow will be: Amy Lacy singing Over The Rainbow (The Wizard Of Oz); Dave Martin, If I Can’t Love Her (Beauty And The Beast); Jessa Liversidge, Take Me To The World, and Matthew Clare, Out There (The Hunchback Of Notre Dame).

Jessa Liversidge: Two contributions to Off-Stage But Online!

Rachel Higgs will perform Someone To Watch Over Me from George Gershwin’s Oh, Kay!; Jessa and Mick Liversidge, Anything You Can Do (Annie Get Your Gun); Eleanor Leaper, Maybe This Time (Cabaret); Matthew Ainsworth, This Is Not Over Yet (Parade) and Holly Inch, The Spark Of Creation (Eden).

Chris Gibson’s choice is Poisoning Pigeons In The Park; Heather Richmond, I’d Give My Life For You (Miss Saigon); Mick Liversidge, Luck Be A Lady (Guys And Dolls); Marlena Kelli, I Don’t Know How To Love Him (Jesus Christ Superstar) and Chris Mooney, Hold Me In Your Heart (Kinky Boots).

Next will be Charlotte Wetherell’s rendition of What I Did For Love (A Chorus Line); John Haigh’s Who Should I Wake Up? (Cabaret); Chris Gibson and Marlena Kelli’s You’re Just In Love (Call Me Madam); Flo Taylor’s I Dreamed A Dream (Les Miserables) and Peter Wookie’s Stars (Les Miserables).

To watch online, type in the link: youtube.com/channel/UCiTrGyeP93_to9uYOsvoS4w?view_as=subscriber.