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Scene Theatre And Music: Bible's Tale Told In Song

And this is the event, if ever there was one, when Christians can come together to celebrate the second millennium with a work which combines the talents of more than 400 people, all actors, singers and musicians.

With music and lyrics by Purley-based composer David Palmer, Light Of The World presents the story of the birth, life and death of Jesus.

But this is no straightforward bible story, it has a strong underlying theme, telling the work of the Holy Spirit - from creation to the modern day.

Described as a dramatised choral work, The Light Of The World will have a choir comprising a staggering 400 singers. The drama also involves 30 actors.

Light Of The World is on June 10-11 at the Fairfield Croydon and for details or to book tickets ring the box office on 020 8688 9291.

Spanish passion alights

One of the fieriest and best loved of all operas comes to Croydon's Ashcroft next weekend.

Carmen, presented by Surrey Opera, combines a story of passion and revenge with a vibrant, tempestuous score that has been a firm favourite with opera-goers ever since Bizet penned the masterwork. Sumptuously costumed, with full orchestra and chorus, the production has already received rave reviews in East Grinstead and Redhill where it was premiered in February.

Set in the steamy Spanish city of Seville in the early 19th century, the opera tells the tale of a beautiful, wayward gypsy girl who seduces soldier Don Jose into deserting his regiment for her.

Against his better judgement and despite his mother's wish for him to marry childhood sweetheart Michaela, he joins Carmen in a life of treachery and danger with a band of smugglers.

The path of true love, perhaps inevitably, does not run smoothly. When dashing toreador Escamillo appears on the scene, Carmen shuns Jose's obsessive love with tragic consequences.

The role of the feisty gypsy is shared by Alison Crookendale (pictured) and Shaunaid Amette.

The traditional production is sung in a modern English translation, but organisers promise this does not distract from the full Mediterranean explosion that is Carmen. Carmen appears at The Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon, from June 15 to June 17.

Details on 020 8688 9291.

gig review

Moyz II Hen at The Cartoon, Croydon

Insane. Eclectic. Loony Tunes minus animation. That's the best way to describe Moyz II Hen, writes Jo Pitches.

As their name suggests, amusement is clearly the band's essence. And with an image sufficient to raise concern among their parents, eyebrows among more conservative folk and sniggers among the crowd, they certainly provided plenty!

Moyz II Hen are a musical pick'n'mix. Colourful and funky as jelly beans, at times as light as marshmallows, suddenly changing with lightning bolt rapidity to snippets as dark as a lorryload of humbugs. Frequent style and mood changes all contribute to their sonic schizophrenia. Moyz II Hen certainly were a vision. But an entertaining one nonetheless.

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