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In The News

 


29th February 2016 - NODA Review

Now the moment I know many of you have been waiting for- the NODA review -  and this is what Jean Beard our Regional representative has summarised about the show:

Phoenix Theatre Company

24th February 2016

The King and I                    The Mill Theatre, Dormston School, Sedgley

A visit to Phoenix Theatre Company always invokes thoughts of the golden days of theatregoing.  A show with a large cast, beautiful costumes, pretty dancing girls and a rich sounding orchestra.  The “King and I” had all of these ingredients.  The 6 months of hard work in preparation for the final production certainly paid off. Although a long show Janette Cole kept the action moving long and Lindsey Grant’s choreography was fresh and interesting with lots of new routines. The story of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was well told in the ballet sequence and the movement was slick and well executed.

A talented principal cast and in the leading roles of Anna and The King, Tina Stephenson and Stephen Harper gave the time honoured story a new feel, and the star crossed lovers, Tuptim played by Beth Berwick-Lowe and Lun Tha, Martin Munn, gained everyone’s sympathy for their desire to escape the wicked King.

Louis, George Wesley-Smith, and Prince Chululongkorn, Nathaniel Williams, were charming and alternately enemies and friends. Good support to the leading players from Lady Thiang, Rachel James, and Kralahome, Adrian Peakman.

Visually this was a most lavish show and Phil James had the orchestra under tight control even if a little over loud at times. Every opportunity to show the chorus work and singing was used and the audience were, at times, humming along with the people on stage.

A full house audience thoroughly enjoyed the evening as was evident by the warm applause and curtain calls at the end of the show and the buzz of conversation as people were leaving.

Jean Beard.  Noda District 07

In conclusion, when you have known Jean Beard for as long as we all have on committee I can tell you that she is never a woman who is backwards in coming forwards and some of her show summaries personally witnessed over the years for other companies have made rather painful reading. I think we can all be most satisfied with what she has reported on the whole.

Richard Bourne
Chair of Phoenix

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28th February 2016 - Virgin Trains Prize Draw Result

I am delighted to be able to announce that the winner of the Virgin Prize Draw which took place at the Mill Theatre on Saturday 27th February was Mr Tim Bolas.

On behalf of Phoenix Theatre Company I would like to thank everyone who took part in the draw event which raised over £300 to be shared 50/50 between Phoenix and Action Heart.

We wish Tim a very pleasant trip to wherever Virgin will take him in the UK as a first class traveller.

Richard Bourne
Chair of Phoenix

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25th February 2016 - Fine Praise Indeed!

Good afternoon to you all and although I was intending to send my next communal message out at the end of the week I felt obliged to give you all some interim and unprecedented feedback. I haven't done this before but when you get a message from your NODA representative saying that in his opinion your show is 'AWESOME' then you feel duty bound to share this with every Phoenix member. He not only relayed that about the cast but every section of our company.

Of course I think you are all marvellous but some may say I am a touch biased ! However when you receive the sheer number and depth of comments we have received over the last 48 hours after only 2 shows and then topped off with a remark like that then you have to share it sooner rather than later.

The Mayor of Dudley also tweeted to all his followers that in his opinion the show was superb and a privilege to be in the audience. That message will have been relayed all around the Dudley borough last night to so many of his Black Country followers. 

Keep up this high standard right through now and then we will have successfully delivered the very best of amateur theatre to our grateful audience to the very highest professional standard possible.

Richard Bourne
Chair of Phoenix

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30th January 2016 - King and I Promotional Video

 

The countdown begins for our next big Black Country show, the King & I at the Mill Theatre, Dormston Centre, Sedgley from Tuesday 23rd February.

Phoenix look forward to welcoming our audience and entertaining you all as we take you on a mystical journey east to Siam.

Richard Bourne
Chair of Phoenix

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2nd December 2015 - E&S Cash In Your Community Annoucement

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Well what a fabulous effort by all at ‘Team Phoenix’!

The Cash for your Community campaign which ran from September through to the end of October, culminated in us being invited to the special presentation day at Bescot Stadium, Walsall.

Selection for this day was determined by the number of tokens we had all collected and our total of 10,439 meant we were at least in the top 20 out of 150 organisations originally selected.

When the announcement was finally made, we finished in 4th place overall being a fantastic achievement and led to our cash award of £1,151.78 towards the King and I costume budget.

Well done folks, you should all be very proud!

Richard Bourne
Chair of Phoenix

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14th November 2015 - Phoenix Quiz Night


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Another successful quiz night was held at Brewood Cricket Club on Saturday 14th November with a full house in attendance.

The eventual winners were 'Keith' captained by Greg Simkins who just pipped our runners up 'The Cruisers' headed up by Martin Chalk by 3 points. In fact it was a very tightly fought contest with just 8 points separating the top five teams so a really good night all round.

Many thanks to Ian Spencer-Clarke and his family for helping to compile the questions and running the quiz so efficiently, to Andy Cole for co-ordinating the event as our social  event organiser and to Jan for preparing the food for us all.

Finally I must thank Andy Gubby from the Cricket Club together with his girlfriend Ruth for running the bar and looking after us throughout  the evening.

Richard Bourne
Chair of Phoenix

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12th November 2015 - E&S Cash In Your Community

The results are in for the Cash in our Community token collection scheme and I am delighted to be able to announce that I was personally able to deliver a large box of tokens this week to the Express & Star offices in Queen Street containing 10,439 tokens.

Bearing in mind that last year we managed just over 2,200 gives you some idea as to the huge increase in support for Phoenix Theatre Company over the last 12 months.

We will find out over the coming weeks where we finish in the final league table out of the 150 organisations specially selected for the project by Home Serve and the Express & Star. As soon as I know I will keep everybody posted via the website. Ultimately our final position will determine how much money we receive towards our costume budget for The King & I so all very exciting !

I would like to take the opportunity of thanking everyone both inside and outside the company for your enthusiasm and support. We have all had great fun each Wednesday at rehearsals cutting and trimming tokens and I am sure all this scissor work will pay off in the end!

Richard Bourne
Chair of Phoenix

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11th November 2015 - Children in Need Pyjama Party

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A great fun night all round at our recent rehearsal when we held a Pyjama Party for the Under 16s by way of recognising the forthcoming Children in Need appeal. We raised £100 on the night towards the appeal as members had gone to the trouble of baking cakes specially for the occasion.

Well done to Lindsey and Jeannette Grant for organising the party and to Lindsy Darcy for co-ordinating the 'cake stall' - a sterling effort all round folks!

Richard Bourne
Chair of Phoenix

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24th September 2015 - E&S Cash In Your Community Article

Please follow the link below to see our Cash in your Community article by Expresss and Star

Express and Star Article

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23rd September 2015 - E&S Cash In Your Community

Phoenix Theatre Company are one of the fortunate groups selected to take part in the Express & Star's 'Cash for the Community' Scheme. The tokens start in tomorrow's (Thursday Evening) newspaper and we need to collect as many tokens as possible to win a share of £35,000 jackpot. Please cut out the tokens (featured daily) and return them at rehearsals or to a member of the company to pass on your behalf . We would really appreciate you sharing this post to your Facebook friends as the more supporters we have of this scheme, the best chance we have for receiving some funding to enhance our productions! Thank you!

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9th September 2015 - Donation of our new company music centre


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Phoenix theatre Company are most grateful to David James for most generously donating funds specifically to purchase a new Music Centre in memory of his Mother and Father, Beryl and Les James who were both big supporters of local theatre in the Black Country. David is pictured handing the new equipment over to Richard Bourne (Chair), Jan Cole (Producer) and Lindsey Grant (Choreographer) at a recent rehearsal night.

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8th September 2015 - E&S Cash In Your Community Annoucement

I am delighted to be able to announce that Phoenix have been selected by the Express & Star to participate in the 2015 Cash in your Community project.

This is where we now need the help of all Phoenix members, friends and followers as we collect tokens to be printed in the paper starting from Thursday 24th September and running right through to the end of October.

The more tokens we collect the greater the share of the £35,000 prize fund we receive.

For all members Jeannette Grant has very kindly made a special post box which will be situated over the coming weeks on the Subs and Admin table manned by Ian Spencer-Clarke and Mike Couchman- Crook.

If you are a friend or follower of Phoenix and would like to help us then please either hand your tokens to a member OR simply post to me before the end of October to my home address which is:

7 The Beeches
Ebstree
Road
Seisdon
Wolverhampton
WV5 7EU

Many thanks to you all and let’s see how well we can do.

With kindest regards

Richard Bourne
Chair of Phoenix

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28th August 2015 - Express and Star Article

In the lead up to rehearsals we are starting to generate publicity for the show. Please see the below photo plus a small write up in tonight's E&S by Alison Norton.

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21st August 2015 - New Member Auditions & Getting To Know You

Well just 19 days to go now before we all meet up to begin working on our next production, The King & I and the excitement is certainly starting to build.

There was much chatter about this at our Curry Night on Wednesday and at a recent Management Committee meeting there was much discussion about marketing plans and how we will move to make this huge production just as big and just as successful as those that have gone before.

So what is the plan?

Well on the first Wednesday (9th September) this has been earmarked as a ‘Getting to know You’ night………………. Get it? Okay so I won’t be called on to write any future panto scripts but I think you will catch my drift!

On the first Wednesday we will welcome many new members - and there will be a lot to position and explain in terms of the show as well as a myriad of other very important issues to discuss.

This show will see many new young people joining us for the first time. All of our new members have been specially selected at an open audition day we ran back in July and I would like to ask all of our current members to make the new ones feel most welcome as it is always a daunting thing when joining any organisation for the first time.

A special request for all parents – Can I please ask you all to stop for the first evening in order to help your child to settle in (especially if it is their first night with us) and to also listen to the very important announcements that we will be making about the way forward, tickets for the show, Principal Audition Day on Sunday 27th September etc etc? Also about the very strict new child licensing laws we have to adhere to. Gill Fenner, our Child Licensing Officer will talk to you about this and our Child Liaison Officer, Lisa Bourne will also talk to the Under 16s. Lisa’s role is to offer support to all of our young people and to make sure that their best interests are served at all times as we pride ourselves in making people feel at home and safe at Phoenix.

We also follow a very strict signing in and out process for all under 16s which is monitored by Jeannette Grant and Martin Chalk. No U16s are ever allowed to leave the premises under any circumstances unless this is fully agreed and sanctioned by either Jeannette or Martin in association with parents or responsible guardians.

There will also be an opportunity on the night to see samples of the new t-shirts especially for The King & I that Lindsey Grant is sourcing for us. You will therefore be able to put your orders in as well as to pay subs etc.

We do have one extra special request - and you may all be able to help us here;

Jan (Producer) and Lindsey (Choreographer) have determined that they will need 3 more lady chorus members and possibly 2/3 more men for this production. We have a big push arranged for this in the press and on Social media during the next couple of weeks but if you do happen to know anyone who may fit the bill and who therefore would like to audition at 7.00pm on the same night that we start (9th) then please let me know.

I will see you all from around 7.15pm in just over a couple of weeks’ time.

Any questions in the meantime please do not hesitate to ask.

Richard Bourne
Chair of Phoenix

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13th July 2015 - Phoenix Treasure Hunt


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The annual Treasure Hunt took place on Sunday 12th July with over 30 ‘treasure hunters’ taking part.

This year we were taken into the beautiful county of Shropshire to search out clues along country lanes with stops along the way in Alveley and then in Bridgnorth.

After a few hours with sleuth style magnifying glasses all hunters eventually arrived at the final destination, The Punchbowl Inn on the Bridgnorth – Ludlow Road. A most pleasant carvery dinner with accompanying liquid refreshments was served up for us all to enjoy in our private room!

Jan and Andy then proceeded to give all the answers and put us all out of our misery especially in Bridgnorth Town where some obvious clues were missed therefore sorting the men from the boys (and the women from the girls of course!)

Finally after crunching the numbers on the answer sheets it emerged that the victorious team ‘No Direction’ led by Richard Probert were the eventual winners. In second place was Linz’s team and the team from ‘The Chair’ were well beaten this year and relegated to third place.

All in all another superb day and our grateful thanks must go to Jan and Andy for all there dedicated hard work in putting this together for us to all enjoy.

Richard Bourne
Chair of Phoenix

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13th June 2015 - Audition News


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Phoenix Theatre Company are already planning for their next and most challenging production to date when they bring the classic musical King &I to the Black Country next February.

To add to their already highly talented group of performers there are some very specific types of performer they are looking for and therefore the open audition day on Sunday 5th July provides an excellent opportunity for local and talented performers of all ages to come along and show us what they can offer.

We look forward to hearing from you and also if you know of friends who you also think would fit the bill then please pass our details on to them and ask them to get in touch to book their place.

Regards

Richard Bourne
Chair of Phoenix

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3rd June 2015 - Aviva Community Vote Outcome

I am delighted to confirm that our project The King and I Costume Support - Community Group successfully won an award at the national finals of the Aviva Community Fund award scheme. 

AVIVA had over 4 million votes cast overall so to have made it to the final is a great achievement with our hugely impressive voting number of 3,179.

As our project was in the ‘Up to £1,000’ funding level, the awards were decided on voting alone and because we were one of the highest supported projects in the UK we are going to be awarded funding in FULL towards our costumes. This in turn allows me to increase the costume budget to a much higher figure giving our production team all the support they need when bringing this fantastic musical to Sedgley in February next year.

It goes without saying that I am hugely proud and grateful not only to all company members who have worked so hard to project our next show in the Black Country but also all our followers on social media together with our huge number of friends who have supported Phoenix since we started just under 3 years ago. We have matured and grown as a company way beyond all expectations and I would personally like to thank you all for all your help and encouragement along the way.

Tickets for the show go on sale at 9.00am on Thursday 8th October so please come along and enjoy what YOU have all helped us to achieve for the Black Country Community as a whole.

With kindest regards

Richard Bourne
Chair of Phoenix

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1st May 2015 - Aviva Community Vote


Click the banner above to vote for our project

Phoenix Theatre Company are delighted to have been accepted as one of the few worthy organisations in the UK to be taking part in this year's AVIVA Community fund awards project.

This fund offers us the chance to secure funding for our next production of The King & I and the selection process at AVIVA has identified us as a company that deserves support.

They believe good projects come in all shapes and sizes. So the best way to support a variety of organisations is to let both large and small projects share the funding.

The Aviva Community Fund will finance 362 entries across four different fund levels and four categories, spreading their awards to communities throughout the UK.

So what happens next?

Well we now have to secure enough votes from friends, family and supporters of Phoenix and if this hits sufficient numbers then we will be entered into the Finals, where a judging panel will award the funds accordingly.

The main prize is an award of £25,000 right down to 200 separate awards of £1,000 each.

The Phoenix committee would be delighted if you could support us by following the simple instructions below and voting for us between 1st May and 31st May.

Please could we also ask you to spread the word to your own family and friends as this will really help us enormously?

Many thanks for all the support we receive for Phoenix. It is all very much appreciated.

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1st March 2015 - New Member Auditions

We are pleased to announce that our auditions for new members for our production of 'The King & I' will take place during the afternoon of Sunday 5th July 2015 at Bilbrook Scout Hut, Bilbrook Road, Codsall, WV8 1EU. The auditions will take the form of a workshop with Lindsey Grant (Choreographer) and Janette Cole (Producer). The session will be split into two for our prospective new members:

1:00pm - 2:30pm - U16's to play the roles of the King's Children

3:00pm - 4:30pm - Adults

The workshops will be an informal process whereby the audition panel will assess your singing/dancing/acting ability within small groups. We endeavour to inform you nearer the time if there are any particular audition pieces or songs we would like you to prepare in advance.

Our production of Rodgers & Hammerstein classic 'The King and I' will take place:

At The Mill Theatre, Dormston School, Sedgley
Tuesday 23rd February 2016 - Saturday 27th February 2016
Evenings 7:30pm - Saturday Matinee 2:30pm

Rehearsals will commence from the middle of September 2015 on Wednesday evenings at St Jude's Church, Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton.

If you have any queries in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact us.

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18th February 2015 - NODA Review

To all Phoenix members and friends:

I have today received the following NODA report for our show which we should all be most proud of.

Alf Rai our representative for District 7 telephoned me personally last week to say that he wanted to tell me over the phone how impressed he was with the show because he felt it would be difficult to really get that message across effectively via an E-mail. He was very complimentary about Jan and Linz and what they had achieved for Phoenix and recognised how much time and effort they had both put into the show in order to achieve such a fabulous outcome delivered by our hugely talented cast.

So there you have it……………not only have we been congratulated so warmly by our audience but also officially recognised most positively by NODA.

Richard Bourne
Phoenix Chair

Society – Phoenix Theatre Company
District 7 – Wolverhampton & South Staffordshire
Title: South Pacific
Type: Musical
Reviewed by: Alf Rai
Date: 5th February 2015
Venue: Dormston Mill Theatre
Town/City: Wolverhampton
Director: Janette Cole
Musical Director: Phil James
Choreographer: Lindsey Grant

This was only the second production from Phoenix Theatre Company, a newly formed company in District 7 last year and once again didn’t disappoint with their production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “South Pacific” I have to say right from the off that the principal performers were outstanding.

Richard Probert was riveting as he brought his superb tenor voice and a rumpled romantic presence to the role of Emile de Becque. His beautiful rendition of “Some Enchanted Evening” was mesmerising and brought a gulp to many throats in the audience.

He was matched perfectly by the very talented Beth Berwick-Lowe (Nellie Forbush) as she took an emotional roller coaster journey from her home town of Little Rock to the South Pacific Islands as an army nurse. Beth’s renditions of “A Cockeyed Optimist” and “I’m in love with a Wonderful Guy” were delightful and sentimental, yet she also managed to bring a touch of comedy in “Honey Bun”.

John Sheard also delivers another fine performance as “Joe Cable” who arrives on the Island for a secret mission and falls in love with a Young Tonkinese woman “Liat”. But laments his loss in “Younger than Springtime” as he realises he can’t marry her.

Tina Stephenson is the perfect “Bloody Mary” and portrayed the sassy Tonkinese vendor of grass skirts so well.

Antony Bagshaw played the crafty Seabee “Luther Billis” just right with plenty of comedy moments especially in the thanks giving celebration song “Honey Bun”. His not so secret mission was to get over to Bali Ha’i to witness the Boar’s Tooth Ceremony where he hopes to get his hands on a valuable island artefact!

Good supporting roles from Graham Sinnott as “Capt George Brackett”, Stephen Harper as “Commander William Harbison”,  Kiri Irani as “Liat”, Amelia Kelly as “Ngana” and Nathaniel Williams as “Jerome”.

The chorus also supported the action well and It was nice to see the dancers with “Big Smiles” which is often missing on the amateur stage. Well Done Girls!

I must also mention the stage crew who faced a serious issue with the wrong stage set being delivered but managed to adapt it to fit the theatre just in time for opening night!! Well done as the set looked amazing.

Janette Cole’s (producer) effective use of the theatre helps enhance the production as does the wonderful orchestra under the capable direction of Phil James. Lindsey Grant adds some fine choreography to a neat production.

The costumes were bright and colourful although I did feel that some of the Seabees costumes were a little too nice!

This certainly didn’t detract as at the end the packed audience showed their full appreciation of another fine Phoenix production.

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12th February 2015 - Express and Star Article


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An article from the Express and Star about the success of our production South Pacific.

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8th February 2015 - South Pacific Show Week Summary

Well what a fantastic week we have all had. Simply wonderful and on behalf of the company I cannot thank everyone enough for all that you have done.

The comments on Facebook, conversations with people front of house, phone calls and E-mails have been quite simply overwhelming and it just makes me feel so proud to be your Chairman.

I am not exaggerating when I say that in my opinion we have the best of everything at Phoenix. From our Production team ( Jan, Linz and Phil),right through to back stage crew headed up by Andy, Front of House led by Martin and Lindsy D, Chaperone team led by Gill and Jeannette and two other people that I would like to make special mention of, Teresa and Luke Bennett who have worked so hard over the last few months in making and sourcing all the props for us.

Jan Cole take a bow for not only producing such a great show but also for your costume work. Now put that sowing kit away and get some sleep please!!

Linz Grant, our star Choreographer for also spending many hours running our Facebook in such an informative but fun way. As a new recruit to FB I have enjoyed all your creative work in promoting Phoenix over the last few months. Great stuff.

I think it is also appropriate to mention Phil Cole ( Andy's brother) who fetched and returned all the scenery from Suffolk in one of the biggest trucks you can imagine. He gave up a day's holiday to do it for us and I am so grateful to him as he is not actually an official Phoenix member but is certainly regarded by us as part of the 'Phoenix family'.

The ticket sales for the show have been excellent and we surpassed income receipts compared to Oliver last year which is some achievement in itself. She won't thank me for this but I am going to say a big thank you to Ange for all her many hours spent on the phone selling and organising tickets for everyone whether inside or outside the company.

The ticket sales direct to general public have increased 3 fold this year and we must be grateful to our Marketing Manager, Chris Parkes for planning and executing one of the most outstanding marketing campaigns I have witnessed at amateur theatre level. His marketing results feedback showed that we had effectively got the Phoenix name into over 60,000 homes in and around the Black Country area. Quite an achievement.

Whilst on this subject of marketing I would also like to congratulate Ian Spencer- Clarke accompanied by Mike Couchman- Crook and Nick Westley Smith for designing and printing this year's programme. It is a credit to them that they have produced such quality and again it is all these things added together that go to make everything look and feel so professional. Obviously you need a double barrelled name to feature so successfully in this department!

Whilst talking quality what about the fantastic raffle table demonstrated by Lindsy D'arcy? So beautifully presented and laid out and whilst organising this she also found time to organise the food for us all last night so as well as being our Secretary she always finds extra time to add quality in bucket loads! Well done Lindsy.

Top 10 ticket sellers for this year are as follows:

1. Public direct
2. Bourne
3. Stephenson.
4. Kelly
5. Berwick-Lowe
6. Rabone
7. Bennett
8. McWilliams.
9. Grant.
10. Probert

This top 10 sold in excess of 60% of all tickets so well done to you all for your tremendous efforts.

Right, now to all you wonderful stage performers. You were all magnificent throughout the week and every single one of you can be rightly proud of what you have achieved. You have all played your part in a production at the very highest level of amateur theatre but the word amateur goes nowhere near what you have achieved together as a stage team.

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that the audience feedback received has put our show at a level comparable with any professional production. I don't say that lightly and when I get messages from Jean Beard ( now retired NODA Rep) saying some of the things she has put in writing to Jan and myself in the last 24 hours you will know exactly where I am coming from. I haven't known Jean anywhere near as long as Olwen but in the car on the way back to Wombourne last night Olwen said that she had not heard Jean being so positive about a show at our level for many years. Jean DOES NOT GIVE PRAISE lightly so how about that?

So time to sign off and leave you all to put your feet up and bathe in the glory of your success BUT of course we can never afford to be complacent because our next trip will take us across the South Pacific to Siam for The King & I next February. So let's enjoy what we have achieved for now but let's make sure we maintain these high standards again in 2016. I am very confident that we will.

See you at the party in a couple of weeks when we will be handing out the DVDs for you all to take home and enjoy.

Warm regards to you all

Richard Bourne
Phoenix Chair

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20th December 2014 - Co-op Christmas Sing-A-Long

The Co-op Marketing event in Sedgley was a huge success on Saturday and first of all I would like to thank Chris Parkes and Gill Fenner for all their efforts in making it so succesful on the day.Plus of course Jan Cole and Lindsey Grant for all their hardwork over the last few months in getting our cast to perform to such a high standard.

All performers, together with Phil James on Keyboard, certainly left their mark on the local shoppers who came into the store and I was able to meet many of them personally whilst handing out flyers. Many remembered us performing in the store last year and they came to watch our show back in February. There were others who told me that they had friends and neighbours who came along and had a wonderful time, so they are going to come along themselves in February to see us perform South Pacific.

We are certainly leaving our mark on Sedgley and it is only right that the superb facilities on offer at the Mill Theatre are utilised for the good of the community as a whole.

All in all it was a very good team effort with so many others who came along  including Mr & Mrs James ( Phil's parents) who are always so helpful and supportive, the Westley-Smith family who do so much for Phoenix and then there were our regular stalwarts in Lindsy D'arcy, Kirran Sparrow, Andy Cole and Martin & Elaine Chalk.

Well done folks. I was most proud to be representing you all as your Chairman.

Richard Bourne
Phoenix Chair

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6th December 2014 - E&S Cash for your Community

Cash for the Community Express and Star Token News: We are delighted to announce that we were in the Express and Star's Top 25 for their Cash for the Community Project and have been awarded a total of £384.86! This goes to show how much effort everyone in the company put in and also how much support we received from the community as a whole. We'd like to thank everyone for their support! Thank you!!

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23rd October 2014 - Amelia Kelly's Success


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A very big well done to Amelia Kelly, one of our up and coming young stars, who has recently enjoyed huge success by winning the George Cooper and William Williams Memorial Trophy at a local District music festival.

This was Amelia's very first entry into such a prestigious competition. She came third in a girls solo singing The Crocodile, third in the 'Own Choice' section singing 'Me and My Teddy Bear' but then completely outshone the rest in the 'Songs from the Shows' section by lifting the trophy for her wonderful rendition of 'My Favourite Things'.

Amelia has very recently landed the role of Ngana in South Pacific and we very much look forward to seeing her performing on stage at The Mill Theatre next February.

The above photograph shows Amelia proudly holding the trophy.

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18th October 2014 - Quiz Night

Our annual quiz night at Brewood Cricket Club was another most enjoyable social occasion  where we were well looked after as usual by our very own Vicky Bull who not only joined in the quiz with her team of one but also kept the fine ale and wine flowing throughout the evening.

We are most fortunate to have Frank Clarke as our very own ‘Bamber Gascoigne’ because he spends a lot of time putting this night together for us and we are most grateful to him for organising it all for us. Frank was ably supported by Ian Spencer-Clarke ( Father and son double act!) and Pete D’arcy who announced questions, gave answers and marked papers all night between them. In fact they are now to be officially known as the Phoenix quiz ‘A’team!

Anyway after all tucking into the health food option on offer at the break ( hot dogs and doughnuts kindly organised by Jan, Andy and Lindsy D)) our brains were on over drive and a very competitive night of questions and answers culminated in a nip and tuck battle to the end.

Finally our winners emerged, and most thoroughly deserved I must say as we witnessed Antony Bagshaw ( Baggers or AB as he is affectionately known to the rest of us) come forward with his family to collect the trophy ( well a nice big box of chocolates very generously donated by Ian). They were then followed in second place by Jan’s team of ‘clever clogs’ and in third place Linz’s team of ‘bright sparks’ which included Matt Brown (aka Nipper) who unsurprisingly turned up late for the quiz and had the audacity to suggest that he wasn’t actually late for the quiz but very early for our next rehearsal ( he’s got a plaster for every cut that one!).

Anyway this does of course just go to show how lucky we are at Phoenix to have such a clever Producer and Choreographer who showed the rest of us a ‘clean pair of heels’.

Finally thanks to Andy Cole for organising all of our social functions. He does a great job so well done Andy.

See you all at the next social!

Richard Bourne
Phoenix Chair

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1st October 2014 - E&S Cash for your Community

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See article on Express & Star website here

We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the top 100 selected local organisations as a key partner in the community doing things positively for the benefit of the community.

As a mark of recognition we will receive cash to help us buy new sound equipment however the amount we receive very much depends on how many tokens we can collect as a company between now and the end of October.

So if you are a friend of Phoenix and would like to help us to become even more successful then please cut out the tokens in the Express & Star every day and send them in weekly to our Chair, Richard Bourne at 7 The Beeches, Ebstree Road, Seisdon, Wolverhampton, WV5 7EU. The more tokens we collect the bigger slice of the £30,000 pot we will become entitled to.

Many thanks for your support.

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1st September 2014 - A message from the Chair

As we approach rehearsal time for our production of South Pacific I would first of all like to welcome all members back and I look forward to seeing you at first rehearsal on Wednesday 10th September at St Judes for a 7.30pm start.

I hope you have all enjoyed your summer and are ready to go again with what I know will be another successful production after the unbelievable feedback we all had following Oliver. We knew we had a winner when the production team brought the show to the stage but with a new company and a new venue it is sometimes difficult to know exactly how things will go. Well we needn’t have worried one bit, so a big well done to you all for making such a valuable contribution towards our overall success.

How do you follow that I hear you say? Well yes we have certainly set a high bar but we now have a more established company and with some excellent new cast additions I am confident that we will pull it off again.

Yes we are ready! Your management and production team have been busy all summer planning and preparing for the start of rehearsals so let’s ‘hit the ground running’ and be ready to give it everything we’ve got and get things off to a flying start.

Just to remind you, the weekly subscription is £1.50 and this has to be paid irrespective of attendance because as you will appreciate we have to pay for the room hire and the refreshments. If you prefer to pay up front, which will cover all the Wednesdays (and Sunday’s in January), then the one off charge will be £37.50. Cheques can be made payable to Phoenix Productions.

So………. get your dancing shoes on (or the kettle in the case of the off stagers!) and let’s go out there, give it 100% but most importantly let’s go and all enjoy ourselves once again.

Richard Bourne

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August 2014 - Wolverhampton Chronicle Article

An article from the Wolverhampton Chronicle helping us to promote our search for men for South Pacific. This can be seen below.


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29th June 2014 - Car Treasure Hunt


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Our main summer social event this summer was the car treasure hunt which was a huge success and thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part.

Unfortunately highway rules only allow 12 cars to take to the roads these days however we did manage to get 44 taking part so most cars were fully accommodated.

The event started early on the Sunday morning of the 29th June at The Summerhouse near Pattingham and thanks to such a well organised trail laid by Jan and Andy, and fully checked by Ian, the hunt made its way towards Shifnal. It then meandered its way down many miles of country lane picking up clues along the way before our first port of call at the Cosford Air Museum. The museum is a perfect place for clue searching and of course enjoying a welcome cup of coffee and cake.

The hunt then proceeded to take in more lovely lanes in Shropshire finally concluding in Shifnal for the village search for clues. Then some 5 hours later we were finally directed to our final destination, the Park House Hotel, where a private room had been hired for our well earned late afternoon lunch, sheet marking and prize giving to the winners.

It was a very tightly fought contest but by a whisker the Chairman's team just pipped the Probert Pack led by Richard to first place and the trophy.

On behalf of the company I would like to say a huge thank you to Jan and Andy for all their hard work in putting this day together. It takes many hours of time and effort and I know they started planning the event in April which in itself tells you all just how much dedication is needed to pull something like this off so successfully.

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June 2014 - Children In Need Fund Raising Certificate


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Phoenix Theatre Company were proud to play their part in the annual fund raising campaign for Children in Need. We received our 'Children in Need Hero' certificate from the BBC and our Chair, Richard would like to thank all of those in the company who helped to support the campaign and especially Jeannette and Lindsey Grant for organising the fund raising on behalf of us all.

A BIG WELL DONE ALL ROUND!!

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28th May 2014 - New Member Auditions Press Release

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Phoenix Theatre Company will be performing the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic, South Pacific in February next year and are now looking mainly for men but essentially for accomplished over 16 dancers, singers and actors to join their already talented group of performers.

If you fit the bill and would like to audition then simply register your interest by contacting the company on info@phoenixtheatreco.co.uk. Auditions will be held at St Jude's Church Hall just off the Tettenhall Road in Wolverhampton on Wednesday 4th June, starting at 7pm.

Chairman Richard Bourne commented that since the tremendous reception received following their inaugural production of Oliver in February the company has gained quite a following. The choice of South Pacific will, he feels, build on their success as Rodgers & Hammerstein have also granted permission for the company to perform The King & I in 2016 which is a real coup.

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10th April 2014 - Nathaniel Williams

The committee were delighted to receive this letter from Hayley Williams as it makes everything we do so worthwhile.

Well done Natty………………..we are very proud of you.

Hi Richard,

Thought you may like to know that Nat has received an exceptional scholarship offer from Tettenhall College and will be going in September. We are very proud of him and his achievement and I’m sure that his time with Phoenix helped him no end. Thank you and Jan for  agreeing to write a reference for him we really appreciate your support! 

You will also be pleased to hear that for part of his drama assessment he sang ‘Where is Love’ and I am quite sure that the support and encouragement from everyone in Phoenix gave him the confidence and belief in himself to go for it! 

Thanks once again

Hayley

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2nd April 2014 - New Member Auditions Press Release

Phoenix Theatre Company are on the “look out” for prospective new members for their forthcoming production of the Rogers and Hammerstein classic ‘South Pacific’. They are specifically looking for a limited number of male and female actors, singers and dancers over the age of 16 to join their successful and talented Wolverhampton based company.

This epic musical romance centres on a group of American sailors and Navy nurses stationed in the South Pacific during World War II.  South Pacific is full of unforgettable songs including ‘There Is Nothin' Like a Dame’, ‘Bali Ha'i’, and ‘I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair.’

Phoenix Theatre Company have most recently completed an extremely successful inaugural production of ‘Oliver!’ at the Dormston Mill Theatre, Sedgley which entertained hundreds of local theatre goers and receiving excellent reviews from both their audiences and NODA (National Operatic & Dramatic Association). This production set an extremely high standard for Phoenix, and they hope to have as much success with ‘South Pacific’ as they had with Oliver!

Phoenix will hold Open Auditions on Wednesday 4th June from 7:00pm for new members at; St Judes Church Hall, 21a St Judes Road, Tettenhall, WV6 OEB

Rehearsals will commence on Wednesday 10th September 2014 and will run every Wednesday evening thereafter, up until the week of the show:

Tuesday 3rd February 2015 - Saturday 7th February 2015
at The Mill Theatre, Dormston School, Sedgley.

Auditionees are to prepare a song of their choice, preferably with backing track or sheet music and should expect to take part in a short movement workshop.  

To register for an audition or to seek further information please contact:

Email: info@phoenixtheatreco.co.uk
Website: www.phoenixtheatreco.co.uk
Twitter: @PhoenixTheatreC

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27th March 2014 - Lizzy Corbett

This piece was in the Express and Star tonight, well done to Lizzie from all at Phoenix!


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10th February 2014 - NODA Review

Please see below an extract from our NODA review last Wednesday.

Enjoy!!

Reviewed by: Alf Rai                   Date: Wednesday 5th February 2014

Welcome to Phoenix Theatre Company, a newly formed company in District 7. I’m always intrigued and excited to see a new company’s first offering and Phoenix decision to perform a great family classic “Oliver” didn’t disappoint.

They’re a very well organised company who offered us a very warm welcome from a very professional looking Front of House Team which was the start of an enjoyable evening.

Further evidence of their organisational abilities was provided by the principle and chorus cast as for many of them it was their first principle roles or their first time on stage and much credit must go to the experienced production team of Producer –Janette Cole, Musical Director – Phil James and Choreographer – Lindsey Grant for bringing out the best in them.

Playing the lead role of “Oliver” was Nathaniel Williams who gave an assured mature performance way beyond his years. Ben Evans was excellent as the cheeky Artful Dodger and no stranger to Oliver as he’s previously played the title role.

As for the infamous Fagin, Stephen Harper’s portrayal was just right. His mystical and charming character had the audience hanging on his every word. In particular, his musical timing within ‘Reviewing the Situation’ was excellent and generated the loudest applause of the night. Good supporting performances also from Laura Hudson as poor misguided Nancy and Antony Bagshaw as the evil Bill Sykes with his faithful hound, Bullseye, aptly named Bullseye.

More experienced performers Tina Stephenson as Widow Corney and Richard Probert as Mr Bumble were fabulous as the greedy, heartless caretakers of the workhouse and gave us some nice comic moments when Mr Bumble’s amorous advances appear to be rejected but then she ends up on his lap, kissing him!

Janette Cole uses the theatre well to ensure the audience are well immersed in the action, and also provided over 100 delightful costumes for the production.

Not forgetting the stage crew who ensured slick scene changes with a difficult set kept the action going. Whilst Lindsey Grant provided the intuitive choreography, up and coming Musical Director, Phil James kept tight control of the large orchestra which again complemented the action.

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9th February 2014 - A message from the Chair

What a fabulous week the company had at the Mill Theatre as we entertained many hundreds of local theatre going folk and treated them to a simply stunning performance of OLIVER.

Ticket sales throughout the week exceeded 96% and feedback from theatre staff expressed that our production was one of the best to be performed on their stage.

The plaudits and thanks received from so many people has been quite simply overwhelming and all of the hard work and effort put in by so many over the last 5 months has paid off in glorious style.

I have been involved in local theatre for many years but never have I experienced anything quite like this. From stage through to front of house, back stage, technical including programme design and all areas of the chaperoning including organisation and care of the children I have received such marvellous comments.

Audience observation and attention to detail also extended itself to recognising the beauty of the costumes and the authenticity and creativity of the props and in my opinion it really was all of this attention to every fine detail that made the show the success it was.

And how could we forget our new friend, Bullseye who barked out his lines with perfect timing. What a star!

To top everything off we then had a 12 piece Orchestra which included some of the finest musicians in the region and this gave the production the quality finish which not only brought out the best in all the stage performers but treated the audience to something extra special.

Please enjoy the photographs here and then look out for details of our next production which will be announced very shortly.

So from the Chair, a huge thank you to the whole ‘Phoenix family’ and many congratulations to you all.

Richard Bourne

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31st January 2014 - Express and Star Article

Alison Norton of the Express & Star helps us to promote this request via her very popular weekly column. This can be seen below.


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29th January 2014 - Stourbridge News Article

An article that has been placed onto the Stourbridge News website. The article can be seen here.


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22nd January 2014 - Express and Star Article

A further Express & Star article with a picture from when the photographer recently visited us at rehearsals to capture the exciting build up to our inaugural show.


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17th January 2014 - Express and Star Article

Details of our first show are finding their way into the local press and on top of this the Express & Star photographer recently visited us at rehearsals to capture the exciting build up to our inaugural show.


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23rd August 2013 - Express and Star Article

As we approach rehearsals for our first production and our new company is now in place, the very specifics of 'Oliver' require us to seek more young lads between the ages of 8 and 12 years.

Alison Norton of the Express & Star helps us to promote this request via her very popular weekly column. This can be seen on the Express and Star website and the printed version can be seen below.


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April 2013 - The Rising of the Phoenix

Phoenix Theatre Company officially started on 4th October 2012 and was set up by a group of friends who between them posess many years of theatre experience both on and off stage.

The founder members were Angela & Richard Bourne, Jan & Andy Cole, Jeannette & Lindsey Grant, Ian Spencer-Clarke, Margaret Mason and Olwen Rowley. These founder members took up immediate responsible positions by setting up an Inaugural committee which will remain in place until the first official annual general meeting in April 2014.

Soon after setting up, the committee appointed Lindsy D'arcy as secretary. Lindsy was for many years a PA/Secretary at one the Midlands leading firms of Solicitors so posesses all the requisite qualifications for taking on this important role.

In November performing permission had been granted by Musicscope for Phoenix to perform the highly popular musical OLIVER in February 2014 and in December the Mill Theatre in Sedgley was secured for the show to be performed for five evening performances and one matinee (Please see home page for full details).

An action plan for 2013 was then agreed. For full details please visit the Events & Social section of our site.

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