‘Radio Days’, Wellington Operatic Society’s autumn production, takes an affectionate look at the whole history of radio from the 1920s onwards. The show includes fragments of broadcasts that many in the audience will recall which act as continuity for musical numbers – lots of them – that have endured down the years and tell their own story of almost a century of entertainment.
Devised and directed by Rebecca Beard, the show illustrates the way broadcasting affected the lives of everyone before the invention of TV in the 1950s – and long before the star-burst of social and mass media. A family gathered round a bakelite set with a copy of the Radio Times during the dramatic events of the 40s and 50s is a visual reminder of the importance of radio at that time.
There’s a large cast of talented OpSoc regulars, all of them accomplished singers who have brought great musicals such as ‘Oliver’, ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ and ‘South Pacific’ to the stage at The Wellesley in recent years. And there’s choreography from Ashleigh Payne who, despite being just 16, has performed with Genesis Youth Theatre and the Pantomime Group as well as OpSoc since 2012. A talented dancer with infectious enthusiasm, Ashleigh is responsible for all the many vibrant dance numbers in the show – and is actually using the experience as part of his Drama GCSE project.
‘Radio Days’ promises to be fine entertainment for the whole family. On the evidence of the last week of rehearsals it will be lively, musically rich and varied, cleverly archived and, above all, FUN! It opens at The Arts Centre in Eight Acre Lane on Tuesday 10 November and runs until Saturday 14 November at 7.30pm with a matinee performance on Saturday at 2.30pm. Tickets from Nurtured by Nature or by phone from 01823 663597.