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St Nicholas' Church - Hopes and Dreams

20th to 21st October 2000.

St Nicholas' Church presents a brand new musical for the year 2000, an evening of music, mime, dance and drama.

This was the review from the Newbury Weekly News.

Remarkable musical affirmation

'HOPES AND DREAMS', at The Corn Exchange, on October 20 and 21

Hopes and Dreams, a musical for the Millennium by Paul Field, was a remarkable event.

Presented by 14 Newbury area churches, it brought together a large cast of singers, dancers, musicians, puppeteers and actors of all ages in a programme based on the affirmations and petitions of the Lord's prayer. Seven scenes included songs, dances, short dramas, mimes and narration.

Paul Walter narrated 'Red Shift' with slides of galaxies and stars, describing the beginning of time, the 'Big Bang' and 'Let there be light'.

The creation of man and woman in the garden of Eden was beautifully mimed by Christopher Evans and Ruth Isaac, later to be tempted by the serpent, played by Tsiporah McAuliffe.

It is impossible to mention all the delightful performances by groups of young people of all ages and the contributions of the older actors but highlights included Lilla Rendall's dancing, Tom Humphries' 'News', the prayer link narrators, and puppetry by the Church of the Vine, the parable of the unforgiving servant, and those contributions from older actors which, among lighter themes, referred to the failures and problems of the present.

'Banking on trouble', under 'Give us this day our daily bread', used a young man trying to borrow money from a bank to illustrate the scandal of huge Third World debt (Richard Hunter and Sue Threfall) and later (Elaine Giles and Jean Divall) vainly searching for a fulfilling earthly destination at a travel agency.

The whole evening was a credit to the expertise and devotion of music directors, Sarah and Nick Cope, dance choreographer, Jacqui Rendall, choreographers, Ruth Isaac and Tsiporah McAuliffe and the whole team of helpers under the direction of Mark Broadhurst.

The adult choir and musicians dressed in rainbow colours were tiered at the back of the stage behind a transparent curtain, through which they were seen from time to time.

The enjoyment and real conviction of all taking part conveyed itself to the audience, particularly during the final 'Hopes and Dreams' song and the Lord's prayer, lead by a very young violinist and a boy treble.

GRISELL DAVIES