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Rags-to-Riches:

Updated: May 24

OK, guess who:

*He’s a family favourite for pantomime season up and down the country.

*He rides a magic carpet.

*He dodges the guards on the rooftops of Agrabah – he “comes from a faraway place, where the caravan camels roam,” and his best friends are a monkey and a bright blue genie.

Correct, it’s the one and only Aladdin, a stage musical based on the 1992 Disney film. I can’t have been the only kid who squealed with glee when the genie made his appearance out of the lamp (played by the unforgettable Robin Williams RIP). Fast forward to today and Aladdin is the 10th highest grossing Broadway production - it's been seen by 14 million+ worldwide. Composer Alan Menken and lyricists Tim Rice, Howard Ashman and Chad Beguelin are the brains behind it. Come, hop on board the magic carpet (let’s face it, most of us wish we owned a magic carpet!). We bring you a medley of well-known hits from the musical, including ‘A Friend in Me’ and ‘A Whole New World’ – and we even have our very own genie in the form of the all-powerful Kathryn.

 

OK, here’s another one:

*He’s a creation of Charles Dickens.

*He’s the boy who dared to ask for ‘more’.

*His friends include the Artful Dodger and the lovelorn Nancy.

 - Yes, it’s Oliver Twist. The hero of Dickens’s 2nd book, published in 1837, Oliver’s story begins in a workhouse in Dunstable, where his fellow inmates dare him to ask for more food, (“glorious food”). Luckily, poor Oliver manages to escape to London where he quickly becomes a member of Fagin’s gang of pickpockets. By the end of the story, he’s off the streets and leading a much safer life with his great-uncle Mr Brownlow. (Oh, and fun fact: ten years ago, when I was in the 3rd year of my English Lit degree, I chose the theme of Dickens and childhood. Let’s just say my copy of Oliver Twist got quite dog-eared!)

The stage musical Oliver! was the work of Lionel Bart and hit the boards in 1960 – soon after came the 1968 film. It’s since received widespread acclaim both sides of the Atlantic. At our concert we bring you a medley of the musical’s songs, including ‘Consider Yourself’, ‘Where is Love?’, ‘Pick a Pocket or Two’ and ‘As Long as He Needs Me’. Though rest assured, our choir are not a gang of pickpockets in disguise!

So, if you’re a fan of rags-to-riches stories, our concert is the place to go, on Saturday 22nd June.

 

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