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Five choirs to sing in fringe hit play
THEIR harmonies may be distinctly diverse, but their talents are undisputed.
Now five different Oxford choirs are lending their voices to a new award-winning play.
Blackbird Leys Choir, Sea Green Singers, Sounds Fun, the Jericho Singers and Afropean choral group Mizike are to perform an Edinburgh Fringe Festival hit as part of a run of shows.
From Tuesday, September 24 to Thursday, September 26, the groups will take part in three performances of David Greig’s The Events at the North Wall Arts Centre, Summertown.
They will sing their own songs and a soaring soundtrack by Irish composer John Browne.
The choirs have been given the music in advance, but only have a day to rehearse with the director and cast before performing for the public.
Each performance will be totally unique.
They will perform alongside Casualty and New Tricks actor Rudi Dharmalingam and Doctor Who actress Neve McIntosh.
McIntosh plays Clare, a vicar in a sleepy Scottish seaside town whose life and community is torn apart when one of her singers opens fire at a choir rehearsal.
In each performance, the different singing groups will play the choir, the community, and a Greek Chorus that questions Claire’s actions and warns her about her destructive pathway as she tries to search for answers.
Trevor Davies, director of the Blackbird Leys choir, said: “We are hugely excited to be taking part.
“We were approached by the organisers in the summer, and once I recognised a few names from other collaborations I had done, we jumped at the chance.
“We started life as a collaborative choir, so that will be a good chance to get back to our roots, but we’ll also have our own night which promises to be very special.”
The Blackbird Leys Choir was created as part of a Channel Five TV show, The Singing Estate, in 2006.
Since then it has performed all over the UK and Europe, and has began putting on visual shows to accompany its songs, such as at a recent performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
It will perform on Wednesday, September 25.
Sea Green Singers member Mike Cox said: “Two of our choir saw the show in Edinburgh and came back full of enthusiasm. We didn’t take much persuading.”
Jericho-based musician Steph Pirrie, founder of the Jericho Singers, said: “We do quite a few shows with the Mizike choir and it got back to us that this show was going on.
“We’re a jazz and choral choir which does a bit of everything, so while the subject matter of The Events is quite hard-hitting, the singing should be fun to perform and hopefully an enjoyable experience for us and the audience.”
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