Swindon AdvertiserOperatic society is now in wonderland (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Operatic society is now in wonderland

Swindon Advertiser: Wootton Bassett Light Operatic Society receiving the South West District Achievement Award for Alice In Pantoland.  From left, assistant director Megan Crocker, writer Elle Smart, director Ros Vickers, chairman Mike Davies, president Sheila Dunn and vice- Wootton Bassett Light Operatic Society receiving the South West District Achievement Award for Alice In Pantoland. From left, assistant director Megan Crocker, writer Elle Smart, director Ros Vickers, chairman Mike Davies, president Sheila Dunn and vice-

ROYAL Wootton Bassett Light Operatic Society has won a South West District achievement award.

The group was presented with the award by the vice president of the National Operatic and Drama Association at a ceremony in St Mellion, Cornwall, over the weekend in recognition of the success of last year’s pantomime, Alice in Pantoland.

It was also given the award in recognition of the society’s continual rise in standards over the past five years.

Delighted WBLOS chairman Mike Davies, 35, said: “It’s really nice to get the recognition “We put a lot of voluntary hours – I don’t want to think about how many hours – into WBLOS so it’s nice to get the recognition.

“At the end of the day we have our productions in the Memorial Hall, which is essentially just a stage in a village hall.

“It’ll never be like the Wyvern but we really try to make use of the space and push the boundaries as far as we can with lighting.

“I think we’ve also started having more children in our productions which is where we have improved.

“We’ve done Oliver and Annie and next year we are going to do the Sound of Music. There’s always people coming along and rejuvenating it as well.”

This year’s pantomime, Peter Pan, also won considerable praise from those who watched the show, including representatives from NODA.

Graeme Savage, 37, said: “Peter Pan is a difficult piece to turn into a traditional panto, with the original story’s dark moments, and a long introduction to the characters in the nursery.

“The performances were good across the board, with all the actors, including the children, speaking clearly and putting a lot of energy into the musical numbers.

“It was lovely to see a company that has worked so hard to improve over the past few years being able to sustain the standards which they have reached.”

Theatre-lovers can now book to see WBLOS’ latest production, Oklahoma, which will be shown at the Memorial Hall in the town from April 9 to 12.

The show stars Mike Davies as Curly and Stuart Dark as Jud, Tabby Dawson as Laurey, Sheila Dunn as Aunt Eller, Andy Johnson as Will Parker and Emily Baker as Ado Annie.

Tickets cost £9.50 for adults and £8 for conceessions and are available from the Post Office from March 17.

Alternatively, book online at www.wblos.org.uk

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