The Bollington Light Opera Group, affectionately known as BLOG,
has entertained Bollington audiences for more than 40 years with
a wide variety of high quality musical theatre performances.
New members, both on stage and back stage, are always welcome
- do get in touch with us!
Our next production ...
This Spring Bollington Light Opera Group are
once again performing their interpretation of a well loved
- To be staged at Bollington
Civic Hall from Tuesday 9th to Saturday
13th May 2017, with performances nightly
at 7.30 pm. Licensed bar.
- Ticket booking
The show tells the story of Tracey Turnblad, who discovers
the reality of discrimination in 1960s Baltimore, USA,
when she gets herself onto a local TV dance show. Can Tracey,
naïve but determined, and with her heart in the right place,
put the world to rights? You bet she can!
Energetic, emotive and above all tremendous fun, “Hairspray”
swings along with strong leading characters and chorus
producing great music right up to the final number “You
can't stop the beat”.
The show’s directors are Diane McIntyre and Matt
who also directed BLOG’s hugely successful “Oliver!” two
years ago. They have assembled a strong cast with Rebecca
Hart as Tracey with a supporting principal cast including
Emma Sheldon, Helen
Valentine, Michael Scott, Richard
Emily Bancroft, Andy
Venables, Steph Evans, Charlotte
Carol Pratt, Kalini
Kent and Paul Yandell. The part of
Tracey’s mother Edna has developed into a modern iconic
role thanks to John Travolta’s performance in a film version,
and Craig Harris steps into illustrious (high-heeled) shoes
Says Diane: "Matt and I are very excited to be
directing such a vibrant new musical. Whereas many
modern shows leave you struggling to pick a song to whistle
on the way home, "Hairspray" is full of showstopping
numbers that you'll struggle to get out of your head for
The show’s musical director is Ian
Pirates of Penzance!
Bollington Light Opera Group performed
to much aclaim Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of
In addition to their May shows, BLOG also produce an annual ‘Showtime’,
a cabaret style event which widens the horizons of the society
and gives scope for a variety of styles and numbers.
Beauty and the Beast!
CLASSIC DISNEY FANTASY ON THE BOLLINGTON STAGE
The classic Disney fantasy “Beauty and the Beast” was brought
to the local stage by Bollington Light Opera Group in
stage production, which made its debut in 1994, is based on the
popular Disney animation of the same name, and had nearly 5,500
performances on Broadway, making it the eighth longest running
show in the history of the mecca of musical theatre.
The timeless story of how the essential goodness of human nature
triumphs over evil represents a major challenge to BLOG, with
a plot featuring a vain and uncaring prince, transformed by an
enchantress into a hideous Beast and his servants into various
household objects. The enchantress gives him a rose to use as
an hour-glass, telling him the only way he can break the spell
is to learn to love another and earn her love in return by the
time the last petal falls.
prince seems to be doomed until Belle, a beautiful girl from
the nearby village, is drawn into the plot and a race against
time begins. Will Belle teach the prince the error of his ways
before the rose sheds its last petal? Or will the prince be destined
to live out his days as a lonely and hated monster?
Director Mike Raymond and Musical Director Andrew Burr have
assembled a strong cast to bring out every element of drama and
comedy, alongside powerful and poignant solo numbers and boisterous
chorus scenes, all of which will test BLOG’s membership to the
Tavis Hill took the part of the Beast, with Katherine
Cooke as Belle, while Nigel Wells played
Gaston, the village bully who sets his sights on Belle. Other
village characters were played by Jon Weinberg,
who was Le Fou, Gaston’s sidekick; Paul Shortt,
who was Belle’s father Maurice; and Paul Yandell,
who was M. D’Arque, keeper of the local asylum.
In the castle, Diane McIntyre was Mrs. Potts,
the cook transformed into a teapot. Playing other key characters
among the prince’s staff were Richard Comish as
Lumiere, the stiff and starchy maitre d’ transformed into a candlestick; Craig
Harris was Cogsworth, the flamboyant major domo transformed
into a clock; Carol Pratt was Madame La Bouche,
a retired opera singer who was housekeeper and transformed into
a wardrobe; and Angela Theobold, as Babette,
French maid transformed into a feather duster.
support was BLOG’s renowned chorus.
Said Mike Raymond: “The show is different from
anything we have done before, and is quite a challenge for the
society in terms of its staging and the costumes. It is a delightful
show which follows the enchanting tale of Belle and The Beast,
but which contains extra musical numbers which makes it so attractive
to a society such as BLOG.”
BLOG has been producing musical theatre for its Bollington audiences
at the Civic Hall since 1974. Their early years saw them perform
most of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas, but they later developed
into more mainstream musical theatre. Fiddler on the Roof, Hello
Dolly, Anything Goes, Calamity Jane, South Pacific and The Sound
of Music have all wowed capacity audiences in recent years, but
BLOG have occasionally gone back to their roots with excellent
productions of The Gondoliers, The Pirates of Penzance and The
Light Opera Group brought an Oriental flavour to the
town with their May 2012 production with a great performance
of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado.
The Mikado is classic Gilbert and Sullivan, whose works were
the cutting-edge of satire of the early 20th century, regularly
lampooning authority figures as clueless, pompous individuals.
Nowadays, their works are loved as much for their humour and
timeless melodies as much as for their satire.
The action in The Mikado centres on the quiet Japanese town
of Titipu, where life is turned upside-down by the arrival of
an outwardly innocent wandering minstrel, who is not quite what
Denise Holian assembled an experienced and talented cast. Craig
Harris took the title role of The Mikado, pursuing his errant
son, Nanki-Poo (Paul Yandell), who has fallen in love with a
local girl Yum-Yum (Sharon Davies). They are both alarmed by
the appearance of Katisha (Diane McIntyre) a mature lady, briliantly
made up for the part, who also has designs on Nanki-Poo. The
town's executioner (Mike Raymond) with local officials Pooh-Bah
(Nigel Wells), Pish-Tush (Tavis Hill), and Yum-Yum's sisters,
(Stephanie Evans and Emma-Claire Sheldon), hatch an elaborate
plan to foil The Mikado and Katisha, but things begin to go horribly
The principals were wonderfully supported by the renowned BLOG
chorus. Sheila Kent was the show's excellent musical director
with six musicians in support. The Japanese costumes were absolutely
Denise Holian said before the performance: "This will be
my first production in a few years and I am looking forward to
seeing this super cast, supported by an experienced crew, perform
during the show week. Our loyal audiences will be delighted to
hear that this particular version of The Mikado will be staged
in traditional Japanese dress, with all costumes being specially
created just for BLOG".
"Fiddler on the Roof!" a great success!
Performed at Bollington Civic Hall in May 2011.
"Fiddler on the Roof" is one of
the most popular musicals of our time. First performed in 1964,
it held the record for the longest running show on Broadway for
10 years. Central to the story is Tevye, a Jewish milkman (and
father of five daughters!), living in the Tsarist Russia of 1904,
and his attempts to maintain his family and religious traditions,
while outside influences threaten to encroach. The 1971 film
won three Oscars and made a household name out of Topol, who
played Tevye, but this evergreen show is notable for the wonderful
music from the songwriting team of composer Jerry Bock and lyricist
Sheldon Harnick, running alongside rich characterisations.
Kalini Kent, made her directorial debut for
BLOG, assembled a strong line-up of principals. Craig
Harris, an award-winning local actor (left), played
Tevye, while Diane McIntyre (left), (Dolly in
last year‘s show), took the role of his wife Golde. They were
supported by a wealth of talent, with many familiar faces and
some who were new to the society, including some very promising
young performers! Musical Director was Heather Hayes-Wilson.
The show was another sell out for ever-popular BLOG!
Concert in aid of the Mayor of Bollington's Senior Citizens'
a great success!
A medly of favourite songs from the shows including Fidler on
the Roof, My Fair Lady and the Merry Widow were beautifully sung
and presented by the singers and compèred most entertainingly
by Mike Raymond.
company included Peter Burke, Andrew Burr (Musical Director and
Piano), Craig Harris, David Kent, Kalini Kent, Peter Kent, Sheila
Kent, Diane McIntyre (Producer and Director), Lynne Patrick,
Pat Penney, Kath Portlock, Carol Pratt, Pam Puddle, Mike Raymond
(Compere), Michael Scott, Jean Snaith, Paul Yandell, Graham Lawson
(Lighting) and Ruth Stubbs (Tickets and House Management).
All proceeds from this event went to the Mayor of Bollington's
Senior Citizens' Fund. The Mayor, Cllr Mrs Angela Williams (left),
expressed her grateful thanks to the company for their wonderful
show and great generosity in staging the show for the benefit
of the Senior Citizens.
Very successful Arts Centre fund raiser
The cast singing their hearts out in the finale - New York!
New York! - of their Evening of Entertainment,
Song and Laughter in aid of the Arts Centre Roof Fund,
12 April 2008. This was enormously enjoyed by the sell out
audience which included BLOG's President, Sir Nicholas Winterton DL
The cast included Helen Valentine (centre who Produced the show),
Steph Evans (Assistant Producer), Sheila Kent (Musical Direction
and Piano), Carol Pratt, Jo Leighton, Jean Snaith, Kirsten Pearson,
Lynne Patrick, Sharron Davies, Kath Portlock, Peter Kent, Peter
Cliffe, Paul Yandell, Anthony Davies, Craig Harris, Michael Scott,
Dave Taggart, Tavis Hill, Paul Ratcliffe and the whole show was
Compèred by Mike Raymond. Back stage support was provided
by Graham Lawson (Lighting and sound) and Ruth & Graham Stubbs
Chairman: Mike Raymond
Secretary: Norma Roberts
Meet at the Arts Centre every Thursday at 8.00pm (except
in show weeks).
We give two shows each year plus a number of social functions