Sarah Singleteon looks at what is happening in Swindon this weekend

Plenty to celebrate

CLOSE harmony singing group Ten in a Bar enjoy their 25th anniversary with a show called Let’s Celebrate, at Swindon Arts Centre tonight and tomorrow night.

Renown for mixing both classical and popular music, as well as adding their own pinch of comedy, the group will present a selection of songs, and a return of the comedy sketch set in an A&E hospital - all to the music of Les Miserables.

This group of like-minded singers got together under the leadership of Swindon’s Jill Hodge to form Ten In A Bar in 1992. With members aged from 17 years, each spring they produce a full scale show every spring.

Jill graduated with a BA honours degree in music and became a teacher in Swindon. She set up The Ridgeway School Choir and the Swindon Songsters alongs with a 100-strong community choir for the Wyvern Theatre.

The singers have all had varied musical careers or stage experience, including founder member Peter Kent, who sang with professional harmony group Panache. Peter performed at The Savoy, on television and for summer seasons before returning to Swindon in the early 1990s and joining Ten In A Bar. The other singers are Heather Reynolds, Helen Asprey, Paul Skidmore, Liz Meek, Tracy Cuthbert, Alison Canning and founder members Jane Kingstone, Sue Hills and Steve Brain, who will be retiring from the group this year.

Tickets are £14. To book, call 01793 524481 or 01793 881798, or visit

Wine and dine your loved one with a Valentine supper

KEEP the romance blossoming at a Vintage Valentine Supper with Ruby Rose Ray at the Wyvern Theatre tonight.

Blending theatre and music, acclaimed vocalist Rachael Pennell will star as Ruby Ray, a woman with a complicated love life.

Guests will dine in The Place on a delicious three-course meal, while Ruby Ray unravels her affairs and provides musical entertainment with the romantic recordings of yesteryear.

Doors open at seven, and the meal begins at 7.30pm, with a menu including such treats as ham hock, creamy mustard and tarragon supreme, and salted caramel and chocolate torte.

As you dine, magical melodies will be recreated by Ruby’s Radio Band, as you wait to find out if the chaotic love life of the chanteuse will be resolved before coffee is served.

Pennell has been described as one of the UK’s finest jazz singers, and her band includes Clive Morton, Ian Bateman and Stephen Sherriff.

Why not get into the mood and dress 1940s style for vintage evening of romance? Tickets are £40, including the supper. To book, call 01793 524481 or visit

Search for young actors to star in 42nd Street

ASPIRING young actors can audition tomorrow for a role in the musical 42nd Street.

Tanwood Youth Theatre is searching for the stars of the future through a series of workshops in acting, singing and dancing at The Studios in Delta 700, Welton Road in Swindon.

42nd Street, recently relaunched in the West End, is an American dream fable about Broadway, featuring songs such as We’re In The Money and I Only Have Eyes For You.

Director of the Tanwood Youth Theatre, Pollyann Tanner, said: “It is ideal as a stepping stone for those hoping for a career in theatre.

“As always there is a distinct lack of men and boys and this show most definitely needs them.’’ The show will run from Friday April 13 to Sunday April 15 at the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon and the cast, aged from nine to 21 years, will be accompanied by a live orchestra. Tickets are from £17 to £22.

For more details about Tanwood Youth Theatre or tomorrow’s auditions visit