Uplifting concert boosts funds for locked down Little Theatre

23rd August 2020

A sell-out concert crowd enjoyed uplifting stories and classical music as Sheringham Little Theatre signalled another big step back from lockdown.

Theatre supporters picnicked and savoured top quality music in the walled garden of spectacular moated Mannington Hall.

Mannington concert

Happy picnickers before the concert

The London Mozart Players’ relaxing sounds were mixed with positive reflections on the good things to come out the pandemic delivered by young local actors.

Enjoying walks in the surrounding countryside, spending time in family bubbles, appreciating company after isolation, and using newfound spare time to create music and writing were among the pluses of lockdown recounted by the theatre’s young talent Tilda Fassih, Charlie Randall, Katie Thompson and Jodie Weller.

Mannington concert

Katie Thompson and Tilda Fassih telling positive lockdown stories to the audience.

They reminded the 100-strong socially-distanced audience of the joys and importance of live performance, as the Little Theatre and musicians staged their first since March in an event which will raise funds for the theatre whose income dried up when the coronavirus struck.

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: “The concert was a huge success, with a crowd captivated by the music and thoughts in sunny weather and the perfect setting of the stately home belonging to our patron Lord Walpole.

“It has been fantastic to see 100 people enjoy a live event for the first time in months, which will provide us with much-needed funds.”

Leader of the 10-strong slimmed down orchestra Simon Blendis added: “We have performed live video concerts – but there is nothing like the shared experience of a live audience in front of you. You can feel them listening to the music. It gives you an extra buzz, and it was great to do it again after so long.”

London Mozart Players at Mannington

London Mozart Players in action, with leader Simon Blendis in the foreground.

The Players’ programme included works by Elgar, Greig, Tchaikovsky and Mozart.

The event was promoted by Orchestras Live, whose senior creative producer Stuart Bruce said: “It was great to have the local young people playing a huge role in helping shape the concert, curating the words, helping choose the music, and presenting at the event – as well as seeing freelance musicians back performing live and restarting their careers.”

A recorded version of the concert is available (tickets £6 and including bonus interviews) via this website. Tickets provide a link that can be viewed between August 29 and September 9. It will contain bonus material including extra music and the young people interviewing orchestra members.

Mannington concert London Mozart Players

Tilda Fassih interviewing a London Mozart Players member for the concert film.

The theatre is continuing its comeback with a series of upcoming movies, details of which will also be on the website – along with a donate button for those wishing to support the venue in its bid to survive and thrive in the future.

Mannington concert