‘Christmas at the Wellesley’ on Sunday 3rd December, following as it did the illumination of Wellington’s commercial centre the previous night, put the town’s vibrant cultural scene under the spotlight. And, fittingly, all proceeds will go towards next year’s Christmas lights.
The brainchild of Nancy Powell-Brace, whose energy and enthusiasm brought together not only seasoned performers from Wellington Arts Society’s groups but also children and young people from Stage Right Theatre School, Theatre for All and Genesis Youth Theatre, this was a celebration of talent.
Wiveliscombe Town Band’s contribution set the tone, Councillor Bob Bowrah provided continuity and the performers did the rest, illustrating the quality and range of musical and theatrical expertise the town is able to attract.
The programme included familiar carols (and audience participation), well-chosen readings both serious and light, a wonderfully vivacious dance routine by Theatre for All, the big voices that Wellington Arts Society audiences know and a taste of performers taking their first onstage steps. Given the talent on display, it would be a surprise if ‘Hercules; the Pantomime’ – Wellington Pantomime Group’s January show – is not sold out before Christmas.
Nancy Powell-Brace’s drive coaxed support from Merlin Cinemas to make the Wellesley available for an evening, sponsorship from a number of local business and technical backing to make this evening not just possible but outstandingly successful. Those lucky enough to get tickets (and the venue was full) will already be spreading the word.
This was a very special occasion which should rightly become an annual event – if Nancy can reprise the time and energy it needs to plan, encourage and organise. It is not just a celebration of the season but a celebration of all the best qualities, skills and talents that this small town can draw on. Those leaving the Wellesley after the show surely felt the night was brighter.
A closing collection was donated to Para-badminton World Gold-medalist Andrew Martin’s quest to be able to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Further donations can be made at Odette’s Tea Room in Wellington High Street.