Live and Local – ‘It Is Now’ Review

‘It Is Now’, Shindig play by Anonymous is a woman company.

We welcomed the company “Anonymous is a woman” on Thursday 28th march to set up, rig lightening and press costumes, create a wedding reception setting and tuck into a St. Michaels tea before performing a thoroughly enjoyable and professional programme of “It is now”.

The enthusiasm and talent of the young cast combined with the audience involvement as wedding guests on the day of the 1966 World cup proved in all to be a very enjoyable evening. It is now was an excellent entertaining evening all round! Well done! (Sandra Pagett)

The wedding reception is held on 30th July 1966 which is etched on our memories of that world cup so very much. Alas for the wedding party this helps to cause chaos but the audience all 56 of us were totally mesmerised and taken aback to the 60,s with the music and involvement as wedding guests and interactive characters. The play was delivered by 4 excellent actors and actresses, delightful in their own right and exceptionally clever at their craft.

For those of us who can remember, a number of issues around the 60’s were mentioned and subtly slipped in it certainly took us back and made us think and most of all LAUGH.

LIVE and Local — sponsored by local councils and Arts councils.

I don’t know how much people are aware, but Live and Local (shindig) company are exactly as they say -LIVE- theatre,music,puppetry, dance, groups, individuals and -LOCAL— to our county, being Worcestershire. They provide theatre for counties in the midlands.

At the beginning of the season we are invited to have a taster of the years programme in one of the village halls in Worcestershire., returning with the responsible job of choosing a topic that we hope will go down well with everyone.Then after form filling and phone calls we bid for a 1st,2nd and 3rd choice hopefully getting a successful choice which will be popular and draw an audience in.

After dates, times are sorted with the individual company we start promoting with posters everywhere, selling tickets, then arrange arrival which is usually 3 to 5 hours before the performance, help sort the staging, lighting and props, look after the cast and their needs, feed and water them and wait for you all to experience a good theatre in the sticks! After which the clearing away and finalising paper work concludes.These excellent groups of people work so hard- they are the masters of their craft and an honour for us to experience as you have done. Thank you.

“It is now” captured our attention in our own surroundings, “Reynard the Fox” (a first experiment of family performance theatre) will be received well we hope. Unfortunately we don’t make a lot of money on these performances as we agree a figure before the shows and very little profit is made. But they are delightful to welcome and so good to offer a variety to our events calendar in the village hall.

Tenbury Town Council Elections

As you may know, Tenbury Town Council will be holding an election to the Council in May of this year. A number of Councillors are standing down after many years service.

There are thirteen council members, including two representing St.Michaels parish. Liz Weston, my fellow St Michaels representative is standing down so, there is a vacancy for a local person. If anyone is interested or would like to learn more you can contact me on 01584 810137.

The Council is a non political forum, comprising members with very different backgrounds but where common sense prevails [mostly!]

The Full Council meets once a month on a Monday evening and there are Planning, Finance and Facilities committees, held usually every eight weeks, also on a Monday evening.

I would be very pleased if you would get in touch.

Eric Hudson.

“The True Queen” by Alison Weir

This historical novel is the story of Katherine of Aragon from her childhood in Spain to her death in England. She was brought up a Catholic and was very devout all through her life. It was surprising to find that she had been married to Henry VIII for 24 years before being put aside for not producing a son and heir. She would then have had an easier life had she not maintained, against the wishes of the King, that she was still his wife and therefore the true queen of England. Of the three children she bore only her daughter, Mary Tudor, survived.

Most of the readers’ group enjoyed the book and found it was well written and very well researched. The general consensus was that it was very interesting and informative.

Jane Yardley

Dear Soldiers

You will remember that 4 years ago in 2014 we commemorated the beginning of the Great War 100 years ago! Well, four years on we were here again commemorating the end of WW1.

We were planning from September 2017 so a good year to organise the exhibition and concert, collect information and do our research.

We also joined in helping to organise and plan events in Tenbury town, including around shops, St Mary’s Church and graveyard, the British Legion concert at the Regal and the parade/march on 11th November. These meetings began at Roy Winton’s house not long before he left Tenbury for Cheshire. We continued these meetings through the months leading up to the commemorations at The Fountain.

Our preparations for St Michaels involved so many people, both individuals and groups and made such a sincere and poignant time. All over our land whether young or old we came together to remember our forefathers, those who in every family gave their lives so that we could be here today! You would be amazed how passionate and enthusiastic the community of St Michaels and surroundings have been.

We had a fantastic exhibition in St Michaels church with 30 displays This filled the church and brought many people from all parts of the world to visit, some people returning for more visits. The actual creating of the exhibition took a good ten days – the exhibition open daily for 4 weeks, manned on a rota by many different volunteers. The exhibition was quite different from 4 years ago in that we remembered those of you who returned, sadly only three. We remembered the 21 who set off from this part of the world, 14 from the College and 7 from the local area. We looked at rationing held during the later times of the war, the work of the women who held the Home Front together as well as run a munitions factory nearby in Hereford and their sufferings.

Kyrewood House and other large houses became convalescent places and hospitals for so many of you suffering injuries. We looked at the suffragette movement, the land girls, poetry and letters you sent back. So many peace treaties were developing, the RAF movement was beginning, aircraft in general added to travel and communication. Warrior the great horse who returned was amongst us and true stories of his existence before retuning the spend the rest of his days on the Isle of Wight.

Poppies and doves were in abundance – the theme of Remembrance and peace very much in attendance. A wonderful installation of doves made from poems and letters from yourselves hung down making a lasting impact on all our minds.

A poetry workshop was held in October and many poems written here were used in the exhibition. Also a poetry/musical evening was held in November in a rather cold church with some excellent poets reading their pieces. The Library Choir come along also and gave a wonderful performance of war songs.
We held 2 concerts on 9th/10th November in your memory. There was music, words, poetry, reading about local history and world events of 1918. All this led to the end moments of this great war. The King’s speech, the signing of the Armistice and the coming home for so few. We told of the home front, the suffragettes, the hard times you came back to and the struggle to survive. Tenbury High School students had been involved in a short but excellent drama of War Horse – it was much appreciated and added some very special messages. We also had a wonderful team of technical lads providing light and sound which created the atmosphere it deserved. The final part of the concert involved audience participation with the singing of Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory and others.

The next day was 11th November – along with the nation, a very special Armistice service of Remembrance was held following 2 minutes silence in the bright sunshine at the memorial stone where we laid wreaths for you all and read your names out. A peace lunch was held in the village hall – a great community spirit. We were honoured and proud to have paid a tribute to you in such a poignant way over these last four years. I must admit there have been changes in these last 4 years – we have aged for one thing – but have never forgotten/
We shall always remember and aim to create peace and in the meantime live in hope and love, avoiding conflict and war.
We shall always remember in our small corner, town or city on this island, or anywhere in the world.
Our love and thoughts from all at St Michaels.

Thank you,
Ros Plested

St Michaels Singers 20th Anniversary Celebration

It was 20 years ago, this year
Bryan Fisher formed a choir, let’s cheer!
To sing along and have some fun
‘Round the piano with everyone.
No need to introduce to you
The one and only – St Michaels Singers.

On Saturday 23rd February, past and present members of St Michaels Singers gathered at Harrison’s Restaurant to celebrate this notable occasion. Some of those present had attended the first practice which had been held at Julie and Andy Cook’s almost 20 years ago. It was not long before others wanted to join and practices moved on to the Jenner’s then to the village hall. These continue to run every Tuesday evening.

In those early days, few would have envisaged the development of a choir which would go on to perform such demanding pieces as Vivaldi’s Gloria or Karl Jenkins’, Armed Man along with annual performances of Christmas Crackers. But Bryan strongly believed that this could be achieved. His original idea of forming a community choir where all are welcomed, whether they are experienced or new to singing, still holds strong and over the years has brought together friends and neighbours, forging new friendships and taking pleasure in the combined activity of singing. The choir now has new MD’s with John Swindell’s, Jacqui Cable and Kath Ainsworth setting new and interesting challenges.

As guests arrived at Cadmore Lakeside Hotel, they found they needed to discover their new identity. All were Singers, but the question, ’Who am I?’ was constantly reiterated as individuals tried to guess the name on their back. A welcoming glass of Fizz seemed to help the questioning process.

A relaxing 3 course meal followed as guests chatted, ate and sampled the occasional glass of wine. Speeches, and Peter Cole’s inventive quiz followed, to bring a truly enjoyable evening to a close.

Personnel may have changed but the values of friendship, community and the simple pleasure of singing remain.

Pat Mutton (Chairman)


If there was ever any question that Christmas 2018 was just around the corner, then the St Michaels Singers, who entertained us with their Christmas Crackers concert, left no doubt in anyone’s mind and certainly made sure that by the time we left, we were all well and truly in the festive mood.

The concert was performed on 20 and 21 December, and was well attended on both evenings. It was held in The Village Hall, adorned with Christmas decorations, and in the interval we were served hot mince pies while the raffle was drawn. The choir, directed by Jacqui Cable and accompanied by their wonderful pianist, Kath Ainsworth, performed a most entertaining programme of seasonal songs, carols and readings, and managed to convey the true spirit of Christmas with selections from the traditional and festive to the light-hearted and comical. Their opening chorus of ‘Angels Sing Glory’ showed just how versatile, talented and hard working they are to achieve such a rousing opener and their ‘Variations on Fa La La’ took us from the well- known chorus into a surprising journey culminating in the ‘1812’ with accompanying cymbals and explosions! On the way there were many highlights including the beautiful ‘He is Born’ and a delightful duet with Geoff and Jacqui singing ‘Christmastime’ and… yes, who can fail to mention Peter and his rendition of Goodness Gracious! The sketch of an alternative ‘Cinderella’ story was very entertaining and well narrated by Ros, ably assisted by Chris , Mike , Muriel, Geoff and Lesley. A special mention must go to the MC, Mike Jordan who, as well as introducing the proceedings, entertained the audience with a selection of Christmas cracker jokes which made us laugh and groan in equal measure!

There was plenty of opportunity for audience participation starting with Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ and ‘Silent Night’ and in the second half  very one joined in ‘Must be Santa’ with lots of enthusiasm. By the second attempt at ‘Christmas is Coming’ we started to sound quite tuneful, though I’m not sure Jacqui would agree!

They were thoroughly enjoyable evenings, and we all say a big Thank You to the St Michaels Singers. Also a big thank you to Muriel who raised £198 on the raffle.

Cherry and Robin