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!
Separate Tables
"A real achievement by all concerned"
The adult Theatre Company kicked the year off with an ‘in the round’ performance of Terrence Rattigan’s Separate Tables. This took place at Soham Methodist Church on 31st January and 1st & 2nd February 2019. The hall was transformed into a hotel for an immersive audience experience and the drama was nail-biting! NODA said, “The attention paid to detail in this production was laudable from having the crafted Hotel Beauregard sign over the entrance door to recreating the hotel dining room together with a small lounge area.” Read more of the NODA review
Peter Pan Jr
"A wonderful evening of youthful adventure that was a pleasure and honour to witness. More please"

Viva Youth theatre took us on a trip to Neverland with their February performance of Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. Based on the Disney film and J.M. Barrie’s enchanting play, Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. is a modern version of the timeless tale about a boy who wouldn’t grow up! The production took place from 14th – 16th February 2019 and was fun for all the family, featuring our youngest members in this twinkling classic tale. More seats were added due to popular demand. The young performers were described as “supremely confident.. and focused throughout the performance”. A big thank you to our team of volunteer chaperones who supported this fun and lively performance!

Chicago
"Talented and powerful toe tapping production"

This March musical won Viva an award for Best Youth Production at the Annual NODA Awards. This was a dazzling show performed in March 2019 at the King’s Theatre in Newmarket and featured our vibrant Viva Youth section- many of whom are now at Drama Schools across the country. Performed over six nights with two different Billy Flynns and two different Amos Harts the show was a complete sell out. The orchestra appeared on a balcony downstage and gave a smoky 1920s atmosphere!

Read more in the press from NODA and the Ely Standard.

Hi-de-Hi!
"A nice dose of nostalgia and good old fashioned humour"

The adult theatre company took us back to the late fifties in May with a stage adaptation of the much-loved Croft & Perry sitcom set at a British holiday camp. The show was performed at the Performing Arts Centre, Soham Village College and the audience were treated to live rock n roll music courtesy of Jacen Bruce on arrival to get us all in the holiday spirit! The group did a fantastic homage to the TV show featuring all the iconic characters, including Gladys Pugh, Peggy Ollerenshaw and Jeffrey Fairbrother.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019

Summertime saw us preparing to take two shows to the world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival. We are extremely proud to report that both musicals, A Slice of Saturday Night and Sister Act were a great fringe success, following their previews in Soham in July. The two groups performed every day for six days at Greenside Parish Church, Royal Terrace- which was transformed into a beautiful and modern fringe venue for the festival. Sister Act enjoyed a complete sell-out of the 60 seat theatre and A Slice of Saturday Night was awarded an Excellent Show status from Fringe Review. Both groups worked hard to promote their shows, performing on the world famous Royal Mile to give a taster to passing crowds.

The audience laughed and cheered throughout A Slice of Saturday Night, a comic musical about a group of 1960s teenagers looking for love in a nightclub under the watchful eye of the club’s owner. The show was performed by our young adult group and is a fabulously funny, nostalgic romp back to the swinging sixties.

Viva’s Sister Act was described as a lively, non-stop kaleidoscope of a variety of characters, with first class singing and choreography that had that special ‘wow’ factor and is a musical much-loved by many. It tells the story of disco diva Delores Van Cartier who is placed in protective custody, disguised as a nun in a convent. Delores breathes new life into the choir and the community and is, quite frankly, hilarious while doing it!

Well done to all involved; cast, musicians, crew and supporters, with a special thank you to Nigel at We Are Blueshed for transporting all our scenery, setting up the shows and operating the lights and sound each day.

Can’t wait to go again!

The 39 Steps
"Clever and imaginative...impressively performed with plenty of laughter"

Viva Theatre Company brought the year to a rousing end with this Hitchcock masterpiece mixed with a juicy spy novel (with a dash of Monty Python for good measure!)

The cast of six brilliant comic actors played over 128 characters between them in this fast-paced tale of an ordinary man on an extraordinarily entertaining adventure. Viva’s The 39 Steps contained every single legendary scene from the award-winning movie – including the chase on the Flying Scotsman, the escape on the Forth Bridge, the first theatrical bi-plane crash ever staged and a sensational death-defying finale!

Read the rave reviews from NODA, Rosemary Westwell for the local press and EventsWhat’sOn.

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!

Read More
2018
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).

Read More
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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