When I first read Singers not Sinners I loved the story of the first time women sang in a church choir. The prejudices of 1701 puritan Oldham reminded me that equality is something hard won.
Mark and I jumped at the opportunity to take this script and bring the angelic sounds of the choir to life in the acoustics of Millgate Arts Centre. We’ve been involved in the musical rehearsals working with the musical director Peter Wakefield and choir, and finding musical accompaniments in instruments that actually existed in 1701. A spinet accompanies many of the tracks and when we found that accordions only were invented 150 years ago we asked Ian Ball to play a tin whistle to accompany the drinking song! Carol as playwright and director is a stickler for historical accuracy.
There are many members of Saddleworth Musical Society in the show and some really talented singers and musicians who create some amazing sounds from Daniel Hick’s arrangements of early 18th century choral and drinking songs . Our job (amongst other things) is to ensure that the audience can hear the cast as “they lift up their voices to god” from the stage as well as ensuring the intensity of the cries of witchcraft in the mob scene echo around the auditorium.
Thankfully we have the talented Mark Acton, a local musician who has joined us here for the first time. Not only has Mark found his way around the new sound system but he’s added so much value and experience to the creative process with his choices of music and technical skills. Non Skills he is definitely not.
Mark Acton and Andrew Mann will be sitting in the tech box at the rear of the theatre on the sound desk with Bob Critchley running the lighting for the show Singers not Sinners. Come along and enjoy this play… it has music and singing galore layered into the story of how women changed history to create an entertaining evening for the audience .
Singers not Sinners is on 4th-9th & 11th June (we have a night off for the whit band contests in Saddleworth)