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NewClere Fusion - Let's Get Away From It All

25th to 26th July 2003.

This is from the NWN.

Deserved more support

NewClere Fusion: Let's get away from it all, an evening of readings, mime, and song, at the Methodist Church, Newbury, on Friday, July 25 and Saturday, July 26

I left the Methodist Church on Friday with the feeling that I had not seen NewClere Fusion at their best, and it was not their fault.

My own presence in the audience ensured that we only just outnumbered those on stage, which must have been dispiriting for the company of four men and four women. NewClere Fusion is a peripatetic group that travels around locally raising money for various venues. Where were those who were benefiting from this week's performances? I hope they turned out in force on the Saturday!

This obviously talented octet valiantly pressed on with an interesting anthology of readings, songs and mime on the subject of travel. I was puzzled by the reading of song lyrics in the first half of the show, which ended with the only musical item, an unaccompanied rendition of Come fly with me. I was informed in the interval that they had 'lost' their accompanist, and I presume the intention was to have had much more singing. However, there was only one more song which opened the second half, and I felt that the mime sequences would have benefited considerably from some background music.

I could criticise the pace and delivery of some of the verse speaking, but that would be unfair. What was needed was audience laughter and reaction, to lift the performances to a different level.

Ashley Pearce, who not only devised the programme but contributed some original material of his own, was notable among the male trio of readers, while the three ladies, Kathleen Sharrett, Carol Norwell, and Amanda Beazley, all showed that they were versatile enough to tackle dramatic and comic material with equal skill. No Regrets was unusually moving without the music, while The Pier and Blackpool gave the trio opportunities to show their comic talents.

This group certainly deserve a bigger following. The title Let's get away from it all was not an instruction to a potential audience.