"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
and other eccentricities
Singers at All Saints' Church
parasol over the pulpit for an ironical look at summer from the
ever-inventive Writtle Singers. They trooped in, with their beachwear
and their brochures, to Cliff's Summer Holiday, and whisked us off on
Toch's Geographical Fugue, reprised at journey's end with Thurrock
substituted for Titicaca, and a detour to the Mountains of
Chelmsford. These peaks form part of The Shifty Land, Six Nasty Songs
about Essex, by local writers Martin Taylor and David Lee: stylishly
sung, and wonderfully cynical – I loved the Southend Road and the
dark domestic tragedy of Reg's Frinton retirement.
the way, neatly shoe-horned into the concept, attractive arrangements
of Cats and G&S.
then the invites arrived – the interval bracketed by Swinglish
Mozart and Mendelssohn marriage music – for the weird wedding of
Dracula's daughter – superbly sung and acted by Jenny Haxell –
and the Son of Frankenstein: Joseph Horovitz's Handelian spoof, with
a nod to Kipling, Sullivan and Cage. The key here is deadpan
delivery, and the Singers, under Christine Gwynn with Caroline Finlay
at the piano, played it for all it was worth. Elizabeth Tiplin sang
the Poe narrator role, with Gavin Oddy hard to forget as the Dowager
Duchess – all the frocks and the fascinators followed a black and
red theme. A creative hand had tweaked this work, too, with an
Olympic moment and an encore for Private Willis [Peter Quintrell]
serenading the two-headed Coalition freak offspring of Miss D and
Martin Mason's Young Frankenstein.