Tag Archives: magna carta

Little Shop Of Horrors at Magna Carta

Concorde Productions presents Little Shop of Horrors

This week we went to see the rock musical Little Shop of Horrors [music by Alan Menken] at the excellent Magna Carta Arts Centre in Egham put on by Concorde Productions, directed by Craig Howard.

Most people are familiar with the 1986 movie and recall Rick Moranis as Seymour and Steve Martin as the dentist. In fact, the film directed by Frank Oz features an assortment of recognizable faces.

The story first came to the public as a cult film in 1960…

This famous musical has lived an inverted existence… the story first came to the public as a cult film ( in 1960, with Jack Nicholson.)

This was later envisioned as an off-Broadway stage musical in 1982 and had a five-year run, with shows in London’s West End in 1983, then the big production movie in 1986 before finally moving to Broadway production.

The story is about a pitiful florist shop worker who fancies his glamorous but trashy co-worker, and raises a plant that feeds on blood and human flesh. The plant grows during the show and and although it resembles a classic “window-sill plant” cultivated by amateurs — a cross between a Venus flytrap and one of those avocados you try to grow from the stone — it eventually becomes a monster that dominates the entire stage.

The story begins in Mushnik’s Flower Shop in Skid Row where the audience is introduced to the miserly and miserable old shopkeeper (played convincingly by John Wesson.) The glamorous blond bombshell shop assistant Audrey (played by Georgie Glover) arrives late and with an injury on her face (it later becomes clear that the shiner was given to her by boyfriend Orin, the sadistic dentist played by Billy Reynolds.)

The plant grows during the show and resembles a classic “window-sill plant” cultivated by amateurs. Photo Credit: Concorde Productions

The hero of the story, Seymour (played by a lanky Christopher Blackmore who seems very Brad Majorish in this production) appears from the back-room where he’s been raising a little plant he discovered. It’s a surprisingly odd looking thing so Audrey invites Mushnik to put it into the shop window to draw-in custom. The moment they do, a woman comes in to enquire about the odd looking plant and, while there, places a huge order.

So the plant, baptized by Seymour as Audrey II [ voiced by Trevor Begley and with puppeteering by Shaun Lati] becomes a permanent feature in the window and its not long before it starts to bring good fortune to the store, and in particular to Seymour.

But, like a malicious genie, the talking plant soon starts to demand a price for the wishes it grants. And, because it’s a carnivore, the price is blood. To begin with, occasionally, its a drop from Seymour’s fingertip. But soon the cultivar gets more demanding and that’s when things get horrific.

An exemplary spectacle, a fun evening, and a slick show…

This was an excellent production with great staging and superior music. We loved the Phil Spector-style Peppermint Lounge singing group comprising of Ronette (Helen Tang-Grosso) Crystal (Julie Antoniou) and Chiffon (Cate Baines) and who drive the story and act as semi-narrative detractors. The dance (choreography by Honor Lily Redman) was spot on. And their inflections clearly accentuated.

Georgie Glover played the bimbo with a heart and she was perfect. She never let us down, although the moving aria, Somewhere That’s Green could have been given more prominence.

But our favourite song from the show, the duet Suddenly, Seymour, was perfectly rendered.

The music is largely rock and roll and doo-wop and seemed to be far more Jewish-sounding at Magna Carta than I recall, making Mushnik a recognisable Fagin character. The voice of Audrey II and the puppet-work was impeccable. The only truly amateurish scene was the final song, where the cast return with petals around their faces and was perhaps supposed to be a whimsical mockery of music-hall troupes, but actually looked pretty lame.

Photo Credit: Concorde Productions

There are several sub-texts lurking under the fundamental premise. One is the proposal that fame and fortune always costs. Sometimes the cost can be dear.

Another subtext is that when a man grows something its not so easy to control that thing and the thing can’t easily be pushed back into its container.

The story is also judgemental about the haves and the have-nots (although I couldn’t help thinking that if the musical was set in May’s Britain neither Seymour nor Audrey would still be employed by Mushnik or they would be signed to zero hours contracts.)

The other vituperative attack is on domestic violence and how, often, it’s the female partner who thinks she’s somehow “to blame” and finds it difficult to escape the brutality.

This was an exemplary spectacle, a fun evening, and a slick show. It had just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek humour and some excellent song and dance. Wonderful.

Words: @neilmach 2017 ©
Link: https://www.facebook.com/TheConcordePlayers/

Formerly known as The Concorde Players the friendly amateur dramatics group called Concorde Productions was initially for friends and colleagues of British Airways. Following the closure of the Concorde Centre in Heston, they have now moved home to the Magna Carta Arts Centre in Staines-upon-Thames, Surrey for their productions.

If you’d like to be part of their team both onstage and off you should contact them.


5 Things – This Week in Staines


See Some Art at the Sunbury Art Trail Weekend

Sunbury Art Trail

Surrey Open studios, Riverside Arts Centre, Sunbury – Art Trail

Friday 13th June to Monday 16th June

The Studio & Craft Centre, Riverside Arts Centre, Sunbury

Featuring the work of artists:

Malcolm West
Hildegarde Reid
Robert Shaw
Freda Anderson
Sue Munson
Robin Lee Hall
Douglas & Pauline Burnett
Annie Shaw
Mary Shanahan


Get the Prog-Rock Sound with Pendragon


Jun 14 2008 8:00P The Peel, Kingston, Pendragon

Back in 1978, Stroud, Gloucestershire, four friends got together and decided to form a band. Zeus Pendragon consisting of Nick Barrett [guitar/vocals], Julian Baker [guitar/vocals], Nigel Harris [the most sought after drummer in the Stroud area] and Stan Cox [bass] was born.

Young and full of ambition Zeus Pendragon started out playing cover versions of classic rock tunes by Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, and Santana and their first gig was ironically the same day that Nick left school, burning his maths text book and picking up his guitar on the way… The future had been determined.

The Zeus part of their name was later dropped when the logical and visionary Julian decided it was far too long to fit across a t-shirt, and this ridiculous cross pollination of Arthurian and Greek mythology just seemed plain silly.

Fast Forward to 2005 …. the release of Believe, the 7th studio album by Pendragon which reflected a renewed youthful exuberance and fresh approach both musically and visually for the band.Once again a line up change reared its ugly head, and after 20 odd years with the band Fudge Smith was replaced by 26 year old whipper snapper Joe Crabtree on drums. The band now had a real firecracker of a drummer underpinning the rhythm section which brought a renewed need to fight and the passion and energy of the band was almost like they were 17 years old again for the upcoming Believe tour.Pendragon undertook the biggest tour of Europe they had ever done and followed it with a release of the brilliant And Now Everybody To The Stage dvd.

2007 sees the 21st anniversary of The Jewel dvd release called Past And Presence which includes most of the musicians from those early days and shows how this tenacious band can still thrill, evolve and capitalize on its strengths over a 28 year period where so many others have failed.

So to the future, a new album is on the cards and a year full of festival dates just goes to show that in this hurly burly world of fickle pop music….some ships were built to last.



Go rock with Rough Justice – Staines

Rough Justice - Staines

Rough Justice Fri 13th June Staines Riverside Club, Laleham Road £3

Sensational rock covers band with a huge local following,

Not to be missed



Get your Dancing Shoes On… dancing in the aisle

Dancing in the Streets

Dancing in The Streets Monday 9 – Saturday 14 June 2008 – Woking Theatre

The Hit West End Show

Dancing In The Streets

Experience the energy, emotion and electricity of Motown in Dancing in the Streets, the spectacular celebration of classic music from the heart of Detroit!

Featuring legendary Motown classics including I Heard It Through The Grapevine, My Girl and Dancing in the Streets and a full supporting company of singers, dancers and an amazing live band, Dancing in the Streets re-creates the energy, style and music of all your favourite Motown stars!

Box Office: 0870 060 6645


Join in the celebrations at Egham – Magna Carta day

Magna Carta Day at Egham

HMagna Carta Celebrations – High Street Egham Sat June 14th 11:00 to 4:00P

FTo celebrate the ‘signing’ of the Manga Carta (check the facts here) this years event at Egham will include Morris Dancers. live bands, brass band, dancing irish vocals, a belly dancer and lots & lots of fun


Keep visiting www.adpontes.co.uk for up-to-date news, articles, reviews & gig guide for staines and area

Magna Carta & The Staines Connection

10 Things You Didn’t Know about Magna Carta

Every schoolboy (used to know) the old joke:-

Question: Where was the Magna Carta signed?


Answer: No, at the bottom!

1. Magna Carta was never actually signed by King John. At that period in history a man’s signature was not worth the paper it was written on (after all, most men couldn’t even sign their name) so a contract or binding agreement would always have been sealed. So the Magna Carta was sealed (not signed) by the sovereign’s ‘own hand’ at Runnymede on June 15, 1215.

The barons were never asked to sign nor seal the document.

2. There were originally 45 copies of Magna Carta created. But the original document commonly known as Magna Carta today is not this first 1215 charter but a later charter of 1225. Of these 1225 charters, several still exist. The Magna Carta is often quoted as being the earliest written statute and the earliest example of a written ‘bill of rights’ but the Charter was never fully accepted and it is the much altered 1332 version which remains on the statute books of England and Wales.

3. You can see a 1216 copy of Magna Carta at Durham Cathedral

4. There is no need to use the definite article ‘the’ when discussing or describing Magna Carta because the term is Latin and there is no consistent correlation with a definite article in Latin.

5. The first written term ‘Magna Carta’ was not actually used until 1218 (three years after the document was sealed). The document was later described as a concession of the certain liberties here written in our great charter of liberties; “Concesserimus libertates quasdam scriptas in magna carta nostra de libertatibus”.

6. One copy of Magna Carta can be found in Canberra, Australia at the Parliament House

7. Although several barons, bishops and abbots had to travel hundreds of miles to witness the sealing of Magna Carta in 1215, at least one witness, the Abbot of Chertsey, had just a short 30 minute ride to Runnymede Fields.

8. The Mayor of London (the City of London) was a surety for the document and the City of London, to this day, holds certain privileges that can be directly traced back to Magna Carta (the so-called “ancient liberties” of the City of London.)

9. Magna Carta was actually reissued in 1216 omitting certain clauses (including the all-important clause 61 – the clause that takes away the soveriegn’s power). It was again shortened by Henry III in 1217 to a lighter version with just 37 articles still without the all-important clause 61.

10. The Magna Carta was reputedly signed under a tree called the Ankerwyke yew …but Ankerwyke Priory was on the Staines side of the Thames opposite Runnymede Fields – so some historians think that the event in 1215 actually occurred in Staines and not Runnymede after all.



High School Musical - In Staines

Get ready for “the start of something new!” …

The Stage Version comes to Staines

3 Apr 2008 – 4 Apr 2008

Disney’s phenomenally successful made-for-tv movie comes to a local
stage! High School Musical is fast becoming one of the most sought
after shows and will be staged by the Star EFX Shepperton Showtime
Academy this April.

The stage production based on the Disney Channel Original Movie HIGH
SCHOOL MUSICAL is going live in STAINES with a strictly limited run
at the Magna Carta Arts Centre, Egham.

Prepare yourself for the chance to see your favourite movie brought to
life in the our home-town – this show is everything you love about the movie
with added fun. Watch the twists and turns of the lovable schoolmates – Troy, super-popular captain of the basketball team, and Gabriella, super-smart transfer
student and a genius in science class – as they surf the tricky tides of peer pressure and canteen cliques to follow their dreams and score the leads in the big school show, and a place in each others hearts.

Disney’s HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL ON STAGE follows the much-loved story
of the movie, featuring all your favourite characters and songs, together with two brand new numbers performed by the hottest localdancers and electrifying live
music. So “get’cha head in the game!” And go totally wild for Disney’s HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL

2 hrs 10 mins

19:30 on April 3rd and 4th SO BOOK NOW to avoid disappointment!

Magna Carta Arts Centre
Thorpe Road
TW18 3HJ

Event contact details
Telephone: 0800 298 4360


Adults £12 Concessions £10


Min-Jin Kym at Riverside Arts Centre

Min-Jin Kym at Sunbury, Riverside Arts Centre, Fri 4th April 7:30P

Violin and Piano Recital

Min-Jin Kym – Violin
Ian Brown- Piano

Friday 4th April 7:30P

MinJin was born in Korea in 1978. Her talent was discovered when she
became the youngest scholar accepted at the Purcell School. Aged twelve she won the Premier Mozart Competition in Italy and a Scholarship to the Royal College of
Music followed a few years later. Since then a dazzlingly successful career has included appearances with the Berlin Symphony, the Philharmonia and the Royal
Philharmonic as well as concerts throughout Europe. Future plans include performances of the Tchaikovsky and Sibelius concertos and recording Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole and Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasie with the LSO. In the words
of the virtuoso Ruggiero Ricci, “She is that rare species – a born violinist”.

Ian Brown’s career embraces solo playing, chamber music and conducting. He has partnered some of the world’s finest soloists, including Rostropovitch, Isserlis
and most recently has been touring and recording with Maxim Vengerov

Box Office 07878 193 432

Tickets £20 inc. glass of wine



Elephant Man

The Elephant Man, Richmond Theatre – 1st to 5th April

Directed by Ellie Jones, the hottest young talent around!

The Elephant Man

Tue 1 – Sat 5 April 2008


By Bernard Pomerance
Directed by Ellie Jones
Designed by Ellen Cairns

This extraordinary, sensitive play won all the major awards on
Broadway when first produced, including a Tony for Best Play, and
was made into the hugely successful BAFTA winning David Lynch movie, but has rarely been seen on stage in this country.Abandoned, alone, a freak show
attraction deemed a public indecency – John Merrick is infamous in Victorian England due to the extreme deformity of his body. Seeking the help of a young
doctor he is admitted to the prestigious London Hospitaland over the years Merrick is changed from obscene and pitiful freak to the witty favourite of the
aristocracy. But can he ever truly be accepted for who he is beneath his deformities and become a man like any other?

One of the UK’s hottest young directors, Ellie Jones, directs a
dynamic ensemble company in this electric heart-rending true story, in this brand new production of The Elephant Man.

Don’t miss this superb evening of stylishly staged, emotionally
engaging drama.A production created by Sheffield Theatres

Exclusive Offer!
£12 tickets
Tue 1 – Fri 4 April, 7.45pm
Call the Box Office on 0870 060 6651 (bkg fee)
and quote “Exclusive website offer”

“Not to be missed”
Sunday Times

Book now for a superb evening of stylishly staged, emotionally
engaging drama!