“Big Dreams on a Small Stage”

Jacqui Hartley wrote…

Tonight we had a joint production from Mytholmroyd St Michael’s senior society along with S’MAGIC their junior section, only formed just over twelve months ago.  A celebration of songs from well-known musicals. and some not as well-known, but all delivered with great enthusiasm.  A well balanced and contrasting programme of ensemble numbers, solos and duets.  The ladies gave us a powerful “America” from ‘West Side Story’ while the men concentrated on “Nothing like a Dame” from ‘South Pacific’. Elizabeth Wrathall performed the comedy number “Whatever Happened to my Part” from ‘Spamalot’, with great feeling, and Kevin Allen gave a strong performance of “This is the Moment” from ‘Jekyll and Hyde’.  In contrast a delightful version of “Memory” by Lesley Alston form ‘Cats’.  The children from S’MAGIC gave us a sneak preview from their forthcoming production of “Aladdin”, this was beautifully sung and well presented.  I am looking forward to the full show in July.  There was some excellent Choreography in the first act and good grouping throughout, small steps and the use of blocks for different heights worked well.  My only criticism, please move down to the front of the stage, you won’t fall off I assure you!   All the numbers reflect the title of the show, “Big Dreams on a Small Stage”.  Well done.

The Sound of Music

Jacqui Harley wrote…

It is forty years since Mytholmroyd last performed “The Sound of Music” so it really was long overdue.  I was really impressed with opening, the Nuns entered onto quite a dark stage with lighted candles and sang unaccompanied the “Preludium” making a great start to a lovely evening.  Maria (Elizabeth Wrathnall) sang beautifully and had a really good rapport with the children.  “The Lonely Goatherd” performed in her bedroom during the the storm showed how well the children could act as well as sing, and all seven children sang with confidence and clarity throughout.  Captain von Trapp (Andrew McNally) was very stiff and strict in the first act and gradually softened towards both Maria and the children in the second.  There was sterling support from the chorus of Nuns, all in fine voice led by the Mother Abbess (Veonica Walker) who delighted everyone with her “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”.  Sisters Berthe, Margaretta and Sophie were just right in their interpretations, each one falling out with the other over Maria.  The staging was cleverly thought out, the scenery just unfolded out and closed up with very little effort from the stage crew, making it look easy, not an easy task on the tiny stage.  Well done!

The Jungle Book

Author: Jacqui Hartley

This was a very successful first venture for the newly formed Junior Society “S’MAJIC”, (St Michael’s Amateurs Juniors In Concert) working under the banner of the Senior Society.

The stage set was very effective and made you think you really were in the jungle.  There were lots of ropes with leaves everywhere and a beautiful working waterfall.  Most of the children were under twelev years of age.  With just the three leading animal characters Bagheera, the Panther (Jenny Coney-Chritchley) Baloo, the Bear (Stephen Wrathall) and Shere Khan, the Tiger (Liam Greenwood) who were older.  These three, along with little Mowgli, (Archie Lovatt) all gave good characterisiations and promising performances.  Lovely clear diction from Shanti, (Beth Blacker) from the Man Village.

The facial and body make-up for all the animals was excellent.  I must mention the costumes, it was obvious a lot of hard work had gone into the design and colour cor-ordination, it made it so easy to detect each and every animal or bird.

They were supported by the young chorus, some only seven years of age, all full of life, enjoying the delightful choreography.  The production was well paced and imaginative.  Looking forward with anticipation to your next production.  Congratulations to all involved on stage and behind the scenes.



We have launched a new Society for our young members aged 7-18.

The Wizard of Oz

Jacqui Hartley, NODA Representative wrote…

Once again Mytholmroyd came up trumps, with a dull start in black and white, it burst into life and colour when they landed in OZ.  I must congratulate the stage crew who worked extremely hard all evening.  Their director came up with an ingenious idea of inventing a box which was constantly turned around,  It started off as a house, then formed several other things, and each of the characters was introduced inside it, plus it also provided the home of the Wizard.

Dorothy (Kirsty Woodsworth-Dale) led us on an adventure as she met up with her friends one by one.  Scarecrow (Elizabeth Wrathall) with her fasinating wobbly legs, and brilliant make-up, the very stiff Tinman (Stephen Wrathall) and the Cowardly Lion (Darren Pardoe) all gave memorable portrayals of their characters.  The frightfully evil Wicked Witch of the West (Kathryn Sullivan) would have scared anyone to death, the beautiful Good Witch of the North (Veronica Walker) charmed everyone.  Toto Dorothy’s dog delighted the audience as he was so well behaved, bribed with little treats of course.

I thought the Orchestra was a little loud at times and we did lose some of the words in the first act, but it did improve during the second act.

The production was tackled with great enthusiasm by the whole company, they even had little monkeys on roller skates.  You could see all the children were really enjoying themselves.  Well done St, Michael’s.


Jacqui Hartley, NODA Representative wrote…

“The boys made quite a dramatic entrance, some through the audience, a few from each side of the stage, and others down the steps from upstage, gradually filling the tables and benches and going on to perform ‘Food Glorious Food’ with great precision.  Isaac Hughes-Dennis made the most angelic Oliver I have ever seen, and he sang beautifully and confidently throughout.  Nancy (Elizabeth Wrathall) was both commanding and saucy, her delivery of ‘As Long As He Needs Me’ was very moving.  Fagin (David Hoyle) brought out the essential furtiveness of the old Jew and held the audience’s attention with his rendering of ‘I’m Reviewing the Situation’ . ,All other principal roles were well played and the esemble singers of ‘Who Will Buy’, a difficult number to perform, was a delight to listen to.  The basic set worked well, it was used for most scenes so there were no hectic scene changes and everything flowed along nicely.  The opening of the second act was happy, bright and cheerful, then along came the brutal nasty Bill Sikes and the mood changed completely, as it should.  The orchestra was well controlled under the baton of Peter Drinkel, and all the words could be heard this year.  A very enjoyable and entertaining evening. “

More news to on “Oliver!” to follow…


Jacqui Hartley, NODA representative wrote…

“Not the pantomime but Roger’s and Hammerstein’s ‘Cinderella the musical’, which they wrote together specifically for television in 1957, as a vehicle for Julie Andrews who played the title role. The prologue takes place in the village square with the Fairy Godmother (Elizabeth Wrathall) introducing the characters one by one, her song ‘Impossible’ sung during the transformation scene was delightful. Cinderella was a little nervous at first but gained confidence as the evening went on, her dress transformation was extremely well done, she just turned around and there was her ball gown brilliantly designed. It had all the usual characters we expect, but instead of men for sisters they had two pretty young girls, (Kirsty Woodworth-Dale and Jenny Doyle) being nasty and fractious throughout. Their duet ‘Stepsisters Lament’ in act two was sung and acted out well. Prince Christopher Charming (Tim Ordway) was a gentle Prince matching the delicate Cinderella, completely opposite from her bossy sisters and stepmother. Lionel (Andy McNally) the Prince’s valet acted his role well, showing a strong character as opposed to the gentle Prince. It was a good opportunity to include the children of the Society as mice, horses, a cat and a dove. It was a little slow on the first night and needed to pick up pace, which I am sure they will as the show progresses. Congratulations to St. Michael’s once again for taking up the challenge of something new and different.”


Our recent review in support of the flood victims of the Mytholmroyd area was a tremendous success. Buoyed by support from ITV’s Calendar news, the evening show audience was so full we almost ran out of chairs. We raised a superb £2,750 across the two performances, which was very kindly topped up to £3,000 by Royd Regeneration. The society aim to give 15 grants of £200 to individuals or small businesses affected by the flood . Please send all applications to Royd Regeneration @ St Michael’s Enterprise Centre, Church Street, Mytholmroyd, HX7 5DS giving your name address, phone no. and a sentence saying what you would do with £200. A heartfelt thanks to all involved in the concert.


Jacqui Hartley, NODA Representative wrote…

“It was so refreshing to see a production that is so rarely performed these days. More a musical play, yet with lovely music and a good old fashioned story we all love and know well, based on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. All the characters played their parts well, including some very impressive performances from Arthur (Andy McNally), his pretty bride Guenevere (Elizabeth Wrathall) who sang beautifully, Lancealot du Lac (Timothy Habron-Ordway) who gave quite a commanding performance, Pellinore (David Hoyle) who bounced around the stage adding lots of comical bits, and last of all Mordred (Tom Graham) who really was ‘A Nasty Little Man’. The company made the most of the small stage,with a good set including a tree for Arthur to climb,and added lots of bright colour with banners and pennants. Mytholmroyd worked very hard on this production and it showed. Afterwards I was asked to present several long service awards to various members ranging from fifteen years up to fifty years, in total 240 years service between them. My most sincere congratulations to all involved in this production.”