Autumn News 2018
We are very sorry to be losing our colleague, Alyson Tipping, who has helped to develop the company over the last five years with her consummate skills and commitment, from which Wonderful Beast has benefited enormously. She is taking up a fulltime post with Eastern Angles and we wish her the very best. The good news, for us, is she is about to become a Trustee of Wonderful Beast, so we can still benefit from her experience and creative thinking.
Wonderful Beast Singers Workshop
Robert Gildon and Alys Kihl co-led a singing workshop for our steadily growing group of singers. Always extending its skills and robustly taking on unusual musical challenges (e g immersive weekends of Eastern European songs in the original languages), the choir had the fun of partaking in a slice of opera (Carmen) and plenty of doo-be-doo-dooing from The Rhythm of Life (Sweet Charity) as well as the beautiful round Dona Nobis Pacem. Due to the enthusiasm of the group we will get together for a Christmas singing workshop in December. The singers started as a scratch choir for Wonderful Beast’s first community opera in 2014 and has been performing in productions and events ever since.
The Last Woodwose - A Reading
Wonderful Beast was delighted to round off the Aldeburgh High Tide Festival with a reading of a new play written by Thea Smiley inspired by the success of Return of the Wildman by the same playwright. Diana Quick, who took the part of the woodwose, or wild woman created an enthralling and mythical character and was magnificently supported by Martin Bonger (our Wildman from the earlier play) and new comer to the Beast, Rosalind Burt. Sylvia Hallett provided a haunting score including folk songs resonant of the forest. The Jubilee Hall was packed and the response enthusiastic. The play is currently in further development after the reading and details of performances will follow in due course.
Martin Bonger, Diana Quick, Rosalind Burt photo by Malachy Curry
The Wonderful Beast Singers spent from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon in a glorious singing workshop with composer, musician and choir leader Martina Schwarz ending in a performance to raise funds for the company’s work in the community. Songs from round the world were learnt and performed to a small but enthusiastic audience (we were competing with Wimbledon and World Cup finals, and Latitude!) and Martina sang and played a rich variety of music on her accordion ranging from French Chanson to Romanian gypsy dances that added an exciting element to the performance.
Orla's Moon and Orla and the Sun Tour May 2018
Spurred on by an overwhelming demand from families, libraries and Early Year’s organisations for more high-quality live performances for 0-3 years and their parents and carers, Wonderful Beast revived and developed both Orla and the Sun, and Orla’s Moon, our interactive music-theatre-storytelling shows. We were on the road for a three-week tour of libraries in Suffolk and an Early Childhood Festival in Queens Park, London, curated by Creative Futures UK. Our free booklets and CDs of the shows were snapped up by parents as a valuable legacy to be enjoyed and shared with their little ones.
Brilliant! Far exceeded expectations. Boys, 3 months, 2 years and 4 years all loved it. Orla’s Moon Mildenhall Library
“Perfectly pitched for my 16 months old. He was captivated, and I loved it too. The sensory elements were brilliant. Orla and the Sun, Lowestoft
Wonderful. Full of joy. Amazing to see how the babies responded. Such a safe atmosphere full of magic. Orla and the Sun, Early Years Festival, London
Free play after the show
Abimaro Gunnell and David Ogle