A GROUP of Garstang songsters are celebrating their organisation’s 25th anniversary.
Garstang Musical Productions (originally Garstang Light Opera Group) was formed in May 1986, presided over by Jack Garner (chaiman), Tony Hindle (secretary), Peter Hine (treasurer) and Josie Hine (arts centre rep).
In the early days there was also a touring branch of the group called The Gadabouts, organised by Christine Hindle, which performed speciality reviews at local venues.
The first production consisted of an old tyme music hall held at St Thomas’s parish hall. It was enthusiastically reviewed by The Courier!
Later there followed several Gilbert and Sullivan productions and the first big show, Finian’s Rainbow, at Garstang High School in February 1988.
The group gradually expanded its range of productions to a more demanding shows such as Me and My Girl, Showboat, The King and I, and last year, The Little Shop of Horrors.
These productions were interspersed with popular concerts such as Show Stoppers and Stars and Stripes.
The new name, Garstang Musical Productions, was adopted in 2009 to better reflect the diverse range of musical theatre now performed.
In the early days the group was usaully accompanied by a single pianist, but more recently a band of high quality musicians have added extra quality to the productions, as has the introduction of a sound system.
The group has always attracted a loyal following of actors, musicians, back-stage crew and supporters.
They have chosen Hot Mikado for their 25th anniversary show. It runs at Garstang Academy later this month.
Chairman Jo Ingham said: “This show was chosen to reflect the early roots of the group while at the same time showcasing our versatility, and the energy demanded by modern productions.”
Hot Mikado is a 1940s ear adaption of Gilbert and Sullivan’s popular 1885 operetta The Mikado.
The score uses much of Sullivan’s original music which has been re-orchestrated using a wide range of styles, including jazz, hot gospel, blues, rock and swing.
Over the years more than £11,000 has been raised by generous audiences, and through sponsorship, for local charities.
* Hot Mikado, the gorup’s 49th production, runs from October 19 to 22 at the academy at 7.30pm each night. Tickets cost £8 and can be bought from Car Care, Garstang or by ringing 01995 606603.