Review of 2018

2018 was a huge year for us with seven full scale productions scheduled and the purchase of Spencer’s Mill! (now known as The Viva Theatre).
Bazaar & Rummage
"A thoroughly enjoyable performance of a funny play that had good emotional impact"

The adult Theatre Company opened the season in February with a production of Bazaar and Rummage by Sue Townsend (Adrian Mole Diaries). This heart-warming tragi-comedy made us smile and laugh. The Brook Entertainment Centre, Soham was transformed into a village hall in the 1980s and this small but strong cast had audiences moved to tears and crying with laughter! Another smash hit for Viva Theatre Company who worked very hard to produce this vibrant comedy with emotional depth… well done to all involved!

Read more of the NODA review

Hairspray
“An utter joy to watch!”
This March musical marked an unprecedented demand for tickets for a Viva show. Set in 1962 in Baltimore, the lovable plus-size teen Tracy Turnblad played by Zara Minns has only one desire – to dance on the popular Corny Collins Show. When her dream comes true, Tracy is transformed from social outcast to sudden star. She must use her newfound power to dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a TV network, all without denting her ‘do! This production left us all absolutely buzzing and enjoyed five standing ovations. Read all about it in the Ely Standard and a glowing report from NODA.
The Vicar of Dibley
"A first class performance!"

The adult Theatre Company triumphed in May with a stage adaptation of the much-loved BBC comedy The Vicar of Dibley. The performances took place at St Andrew’s Church, Soham on 16-19 May and met a very warm welcome! Despite a royal wedding and an FA Cup final they played to a packed church each night. Wardrobe and Wigs went above and beyond to support the uncanny portrayals of the familiar characters and the church setting worked well with a cameo from Soham’s own Reverend Eleanor Whalley!

Read all about it in these glittering reviews from the Cambs Times and NODA

Grease: School Edition
"Throbbed with energy, colour and pizzazz!"

Our youngest members brought us Grease over a few Summer Nights in June at Ross Peers Sports Centre. Having promoted the show at the Soham Carnival in a convertible vintage car the show sold out very quickly. The sports hall was unrecognisable after the stage crew moved in the scenery depicting all the famous locations from the film – complete with famous car!

Well done to everyone involved your rave reviews from The Ely Standard and NODA were well deserved!

My Fair Lady
“Positively gobsmacking”

..And the summer didn’t end there! During a beautifully warm week in July we saw an open-air production of Lerner and Lowe’s My Fair Lady. Customers booked lawn tickets and brought rugs or seated tickets on the idyllic green outside Beechhurst Hall, Soham Village College (once part of Soham Grammar School). The work that went into this production was phenomenal; the wardrobe department of volunteers worked tirelessly to create and source all the iconic outfits (and hats!) and the Ascot scene was particularly breath-taking. A horse with handler was hired to feature in the aforementioned scene and Act 1 ended with Professor Higgins driving Eliza to the ball in a real vintage motor car. The Friday performance was moved inside due to rain but the performers and crew carried on professionally and welcomed back the sunshine for the rest of the run.

Kerry Hibbert as Eliza Doolittle and Richard Dodd as Professor Higgins gave exceptional performances- as testified by The Ely Standard and NODA. Many congratulations to all involved!

Goodnight Mister Tom
“Totally engrossing, heart-warming, touching and tender”

This multi-generational theatre project took place in October at The Performing Arts Centre, Soham Village College. The play tells the tale of two broken souls at very different ends of the age scale that celebrates the value of love and proves that friendship has no barriers. Set during the dark and dangerous times of World War 2, Goodnight Mr Tom follows sad young William Beech (Oscar Vaughan), who is evacuated to the idyllic English countryside and builds a remarkable and moving friendship with the elderly recluse, Tom Oakley (Vaughan Moll). The production featured puppets superbly operated by several of the youngest cast members.

The Ely Standard called the show “Spellbinding… The tissue kindly provided inside the programme was definitely needed.” You can also read a full report from NODA.

Fiddler on the Roof
“Uninhibited joy for a wonderful production”

As the nights drew in we were treated to Viva’s Fiddler on the Roof – an immersive theatre experience where the audience was part of the village from the beginning to the end. The Granary Barns, Woodditton was transformed into the schtetl (village) of Anatevka in western Ukraine in 1905 – a poverty-stricken outpost of Imperial Russia, torn apart by prejudice and revolutionary politics, where a mother and father of five girls make the best of their life as a Jewish family amongst violence and innocent love. A professional Fiddler joined our orchestra and during the rehearsal period the cast experienced a Shabbat dinner event with a talk from a lay rabbi.

Read the reviews from NODA and the Ely Standard.

2020
Review of 2020

2020 was a strange year for most people – not least Viva! We were extremely lucky that we managed to produce one show before the country went into lockdown in March 2020 – and what a show it was!

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2019
Review of 2019

2019 was a very busy year for Viva. Seven shows were scheduled for the year, we launched our weekly performing arts classes for children aged 5-12, our baby group and our holiday workshops too, a 2017 show enjoyed a re-run at the ADC Theatre in Cambridge, and we still found time to visit and perform at the world famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival!

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2017
Review of 2017

Viva’s 20th Anniversary year, which was marked with a fund-raising ball at The Brook, Soham in March, was packed with local shows, a trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and some huge wins at the Annual NODA Gala Awards! Viva’s Educating Rita (2016) won Best Play AND Best Production and Viva member Joseph Beach was presented with the NODA District 4S Young Performer of the Year Award. This was for his fantastic performance in Viva’s production of Evita (2016) as Magaldi as well as performing with Newmarket Kings Theatre in Dream Nights over the summer.

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