Over their 38-year history, Harrowby Singers have performed many popular musicals, and made lasting friendships along the way.
With Halloween approaching, they are turning their voices to an appropriately spooky show - Dracula: The Musical.
Member Laura Bowling told us more about the group and their upcoming production, which is at the Guildhall every night from October 15 to 18 at 7.30pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. You can also get £2 off tickets for some of the upcoming performances - see *Special Offer below.
What’s the history behind the group?
Harrowby Singers was originally formed in 1976 for the purpose of performing musicals. For many years the group performed in the Church of the Ascension on Edinburgh Road. Now and then concerts were put on to keep the group together in between main shows. By 1996 the group had grown so much that all the cast had great difficulty fitting onto the stage in the hall and a decision was made to move the performances to the then new Guildhall Arts Centre. Since then each show has played to full houses and the number of performances has had to be increased. The extra space available has enabled the group to increase in size to over 50 members. Recent productions include The Wizard of Oz, Oliver, My Fair Lady, Sound of Music, Annie get your Gun, Oklahoma, Guys and Dolls, Singin’ in the Rain - the list goes on!
What do singers enjoy about being part of the group?
As well as a shared love of musicals we are a friendly group who work hard and strive to produce the best shows possible. Members come and go but the friendships made there last forever. The group is not just the people you see on stage - many important roles are unseen and unsung, such as backstage, looking for props or costumes, helping with marketing and publicity or making the tea! A brilliant singing voice is NOT a requirement. A love of musicals helps, together with the commitment to rehearsals and learning song words. You must be 16 years to join, and we are always desperate for men as is every amateur society.
Which productions have been particularly successful in the past?
We try to ensure that every production is as successful as possible, as we want to make sure we present the best we can for every show. We found that recreating the rain in Singin’ in the Rain was a little testing! We hired a huge rain truck which cost a fortune and took about 10 men to lift into place on get in day. The effect was fantastic though – we certainly did the title song justice! We found that Oliver, Annie and Singin’ in the Rain, brought in the biggest crowds.
Tell us more about Dracula: The Musical.
We are lucky enough to be granted the rights to showcase the regional premiere of this musical. Written by the award winning team of Frank Wildhorn and Don Black this musical stays true to Bram Stoker’s famous novel Dracula. If you love the drama of Les Miserables and the passion of The Phantom of the Opera this is a must see for you. A thrilling drama of suspense and gothic romance set to a spine chillingly beautiful musical score that will mesmerize you.
*Special Offer - Harrowby Singers are offering a £2 discount off tickets for some of their upcoming performances of Dracula: The Musical. The discounts are being offered on tickets for performances on Wednesday and Thursday, October 15 and 16, at 7.30pm and the Saturday matinee at 2.30pm on October 18. To order your discounted tickets contact the Guildhall box office on 01476 406158, during opening hours between this Friday morning and Monday afternoon. and quote DRAC14 to get your £2 discount. Tickets for the Wednesday and Saturday matinee shows normally cost £6.50 and for Thursday night £8.