Hope Church, Weymouth

WITH a beautifully decorated church to provide a seasonal and atmospheric welcome, members of Weymouth Operatic Society were at a distinct advantage right from the start of this celebratory show.

The 35-strong group of well dressed singers set the tone in the first half of the production with songs from the shows ranging from Flash Bang Wallop to a Queen medley that were performed with style and polish, mostly sung as an ensemble but with some neat solos from individual members. The absence of live piano accompaniment for the show came as a surprise to faithful fans of the group who are struggling to fill the role of pianist but excellent pre-recorded orchestral backing tracks made up the deficiency and the whole evening was a notable success with help from the pa operator Roy Macleod

With carols and seasonal songs completing the show in the second half, not to mention the fun Christmas wrapping paper routine which is now a firm favourite, the audience made the most of the opportunity to join in the carols in a production that was of the high standard that WOS have maintained over many years.

Paul Beecroft and Stella Brading not only directed, but gave a stunning duet rendition of All I Ask of You from Phantom of the Opera, while Hilary Langmead was in charge of the Christmas section which included comic poems read by individual members who gained full marks for their efforts.

Next Spring the company will be back at the Weymouth Pavilion theatre with their production of the Mel Brooks farcical musical comedy The Producers by which time they will have changed their name to Wessex Musical Theatre as they move away from the classical to the popular repertoire.

Meanwhile this current show continues until Saturday and full houses are predicted for what has rightly become a firm Christmas favourite with local audiences.