A couple more plugs for musical events.

This weekend I am singing in Elgar's Coronation Ode with the Balsham Singers. This is a great piece, which finishes up with Land of Hope and Glory.  Not a piece I'm normally that keen on as I associate it with the mawkish sentimentality of the last night of the proms; but this version is great.   The rest of the programme includes includes Vaughan Williams Shakespeare songs and Folk Songs.

In the first week of June I am performing in Yeomen of the Guard with Swaffham Bulbeck Summer Theatre. This is the second production in the new barn - and an extensive model of the Tower of London is under construction.  Dates are 4th to 7th June.

Christmas Cheer

Balsham_christmas_2006_2Another bit of singing coming up - proper music again this time.  Once again I am very pleased to be joining Balsham Singers for the Christmas concert.  This always a festive affair with the church packed, and mince pies and mulled wine at half time. 

Amongst other things we are doing bits from the Messiah, along with Parry's Blest Pair of Sirens, and Dyson's In Honour of the City - which I don't know and am looking forward to hearing.   Plus carols for the choir and audience.

Carmina Burana & HMS Pinafore

News of some more musical events, this weekend I am performing once again with Balsham SingersCarmina_burana - this time in Orff's Carmina Burana.  We are performing this piece in a version for piano and percussion by the composer.    It is based on the poems contained in an early 13th-century German manuscript (found in 1803) from the Benedictine abbey of Benediktbeuern, south of Munich in the Bavarian region.   Themes covered include the fickleness of fortune and wealth, the ephemeral nature of life, the joy of the return of Spring, and the pleasures and perils of drinking, gluttony, gambling and lust.    Still pretty relevant for a modern audience!    Its on on at Holy Trinity Church Balsham this Saturday 12th May.

HMS Pinafore is also relevant to a modern audience, a more recent text but older music than Carmina Burana.   This is to be Swaffham Bulbeck Summer Theatre's first production in a new Sb_barntheatre - or to be more accurate in a new barn.    The old barn is being redeveloped and so the company has moved to a new location on the other side of the village.  Wonders have already been worked converting it and building a full sized raked stage which in due course will be rigged as a ship.    With the change to the new venue we are also doing an extra night so the production will run 6th to 9th June.   I am playing Ralph Rackstraw, and my son is in it this year as the Midshipmite.

I realise that the new barn looks small in the photo compared to the old one -but in reality we didn't use all the space before.   The actual capacity is only slightly smaller - hence the extra night in the run.   What will be different is that the audience will be laid out "landscape" style toward the stage rather than "portrait" style - so it should all be more intimate.

Christmas Music

Another concert plug I'm afraid.   I'm pleased to say that the Balsham Singers have invited me to perform with them again this year, in their Christmas concertBalsham_church_interior on December 16th.  Venue is Holy Trinity Church at Balsham

The program includes Berlioz L'enfance du Christ (some of), Bach's Wachet Auf Cantata BWV 140 (we're doing all of this), Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël by Poulenc, and various audience participation carols.  All this plus the obligatory mince pies and mulled wine.   Its a great way to get in the mood for Christmas peforming appropriate music, in a large Church, with a full choir and orchestra.


Bloggin_growth_1Its ages since I last posted.  I could plead holidays and the like, but to be honest its more to do with wishing only to post when I have something to say.  I read in the papers last week of the exponential growth of blogging;  however qualified with the thought that most blogs have only one reader – the author.  Well I don’t read mine – it’d only mess up the page view statistics – so at least I know there are some folk out there looking at it. 

Awards2006logo_1 I do have a couple of things that I think are worthy of mention, first that PEM is again a finalist in the Accountancy Age annual awards, this time for Best use of Internet.

Last year we were finalists in the Medium Sized Practice of the Year section.  This is despite, or more likely because, I have yet to finish writing the Corporate Finance website, despite nagging from our marketing department.    Competition looks pretty fierce in this category, but I do enjoy a good awards dinner.

The second is a plug for my next theatrical appearance.  Mflaudrey_1This time in My Fair Lady at the Cambridge Arts Theatre between 28 November and 2 December.  Those of you who recall the show, or the film, will recall that Eliza’s dustman father has two (sometimes drunken?) sidekicks, Harry and Jamie.  I am playing Jamie – so I get some routines with Doolittle.  I have 45 words of dialogue!  But am delaying learning these in case I peak too early.  More worrying is the need to acquire a cockney accent from somewhere.    It’s a great show with not a bad number in it, and it’s funny.  Get your tickets now.


PS The title of this post is one of Eliza's early utterances prior to her "improvement" by Henry Higgins


Pirates are in this summer - I'm looking forward 2006_pirates_of_the_carribean_wallpaper_to Pirates of the Carribean II, with Johnny Depp reprising the brilliant Captain Jack Sparrow.   

I'm about to do Pirates of Penzance with Swaffham Bulbeck Summer Theatre, this will bear no resemblance to Johnny Depp et al whatsoever!   I'm playing Frederick, and while I did wonder if any of Depp / Keith Richards could be brought into it, I'm afraid he needs to be more Tim Nice but Dim than Captain Jack.   As I mentioned in an earlier post this is the company's 25th anniversary production so expect some good effects.

This production brings Pirates up to the  1920s - for some Piratesreason - so if you've ever  wondered what Pirates wore in the 1920s get yourself along.  I can confirm that as traditionalists they were still using swords.  No wonder they couldn't make piracy pay in a world full of gun toting orphans! 

Its selling well but there are tickets left for most performances apart from Saturday night.

Durufle, Shubert, and Pirates

A plug for some up and coming music events that I'm performing in. Balsham_church

20th May a concert with the Balsham Singers, amongst other things Durufle Requiem and Schubert Mass in G.   In the church at Balsham Saturday 20th May.  Just to prove that I sing some "proper" music on occasion.

I'm performing Frederick in Pirates of Penzance with Swaffham Bulbeck Summer Theatre 8th to 10th June.  Lots of great music and swords too! Venue is a victorian grain barn which miraculously converts to a theatre for the occasion. This is the company's 25th anniversary production so expect some good special effects.   Alas its also the last year in this fantastic venue as it is to become housing over the next year.

HMS Pinafore

Another plug for an upcoming theatrical performance; Cambridge Operatic staging HMS Pinafore this time at the Arts Theatre in Cambridge between 28th November and 3rd December.   

I am playing the Bosun's Mate - as there doesn't appear to be a bosun in the crew this is no doubt a ploy by the Royal Navy to keep me on half pay.  Postersmall  This is the second year I have played a "common sailor" having been Samuel in last years production of Pirates of Penzance - could this be typecasting?

The show is being directed by Award Winning Professional Director Alastair Donkin of D'Oyly Carte Opera fame, with musical direction by Tommy Thomas.  No swords this time alas,  but a good show nonetheless - get your tickets now!

Utopia Limited

Another plug for an upcoming theatrical production - this week in fact.  I am on stage with Swaffham Bulbeck Summer Theatre in Gilbert & Sullivan's Utopia Limited.  Quite appropriate for this blog as it features a chorus about the Joint Stock Companies Act of 1862, and various other numbers satirising Victorian commerce.  This includes a decidedly shady company promoter who gives the following advice for corporate failure

But the Liquidators say,
"Never mind - you needn't pay,"
So you start another Company tomorrow!

This production is in a theatre created in a 19th century grain barn on the edge of the fens - a memorable setting.  Oh and once again I get to wear a sword!   

Fitzbattleaxe The picture shows me as "Captain Fitzbattleaxe" at the dress rehersal, I'm the one with the seriously unrealistic moustache.   It was replaced for the opening night with something more convincing.