Dec 2012 - Book your seats!
CLICK HERE to book your 'Witchfinder' tickets online. Rehearsals are in full swing for this exciting new production and it promises to be a thrilling night at the theatre. We look forward to seeing you there!
May 2012 - Next show announced
The society are very excited to announce that their February 2013 show will be the spellbinding new musical 'Witchfinder'... a moving story with a stunning score that has won five major regional awards. Dates to mark in your diary are 20-23 February 2013.
April 2012 - The Sound of Music reviewRochdale Amateur Operatic Society put on a spectacular production of Barry Manilow’s Copacabana, with many of the audience commenting that it was the society’s ‘best show yet’.
14th Feb - 18th Feb 2012 at The Gracie Fields Theatre
Rochdale Amateur Operatic Society pulled out all the stops in their recent production of The Sound of Music, directed by Howard Raw, with Musical Direction by John Stevens.
No introductions are needed for this Rodgers & Hammerstein timeless classic, which tells the story of Maria and the Von Trapp family and is packed to the brim with well-loved songs, such as My Favourite Things, Do-Re-Mi, Edelweiss and Climb Every Mountain.
Laura Meredith-Hoyle shone as Maria, perfectly capturing the spirit and mischievousness of the character. She was well supported by the very talented James Cockerill as Captain Von Trapp, who gave a tear-jerking rendition of Edelweiss.
The seven Von Trapp children won the hearts of the audience, each giving professional and spirited performances.
Vicky Radburn showed off her impressive vocal ability as Mother Abbess in her powerful delivery of Climb Every Mountain. Sean Howarth (Rolf) and Angela Grady (Countess Elsa Shraeder) also put in strong performances and the a cappella singing nun's never failed to impress.
The cast received an enthusiastic applause from a very satisfied audience, many of whom found it hard to resist humming Do-Re-Mi as they left the theatre!
Reviewed by Rochdale Style Magazine
Jan 2012 - Noda North West nominations!
The society is delighted to have received two NODA nominations for last year’s thrilling production of Sweeney Todd; Best Musical and Best Leading Actress (Joanne Gill). The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in May.
March 2011 - Sweeney Todd review
Rochdale Amateur Operatic Society had the audience on the edge of their seats, with their recent spine-tingling production of ‘Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’, directed by Michael Jones-McCaw, with Musical Direction by John Stevens.
Stephen Sondeim’s popular musical is a thrilling tale of vengeance and true love, featuring some of the finest music ever written for the theatre. Set in Victorian London, it tells the infamous story of Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street, who forms an enterprising business relationship with Mrs Lovett, the proprietor of the downstairs pie-shop.
Returning to the greedy streets of London after being wrongly exiled, Sweeney embarks upon a murderous campaign to right the wrongs he has endured, re-opening his Fleet Street barber shop and slitting the throats of his customers before they are turned into London’s tastiest pies.
John Wood gave an exceptional performance as Sweeney Todd and was perfectly paired with the outstanding Joanne Gill, as Mrs Lovett. The pair’s relationship was totally believable, with spot-on comic timing.
Claire Morris was suitably angelic as Johanna and showed off her strong vocal talents. Her knight in shining armour, Anthony, was played by the talented Gary Jones-McCaw, who also choreographed the production.
Superb young actor Tom Shiels stole the show as Tobias, with a beautiful rendition of ‘Not While I’m Around’, whilst David Gill was suitably creepy as Judge Turpin. Sarah Thewlis impressed with her fantastic acting skills and provided the laughs as ‘The Beggar Woman’, who of course, turned out to be Sweeney’s beloved wife.
Other strong performances came from Richard Sanderson as Pirelli, Peter Wakefield as Beadle Bamford and Ian Wharmby as Fogg.
By the end of the production, few of the cast had escaped the barber’s vengeful blade. Sweeney’s unlucky clients went straight down the trap door and into Mrs Lovett’s bakery… with the audience jumping out of their seats every single time! But Sweeney himself also met a gruesome end, thanks to young Tobias who had witnessed his evil deeds.
The chorus never failed to impress, with fantastic numbers such as ‘The Ballad of Sweeney Todd’, ‘God That’s Good’ and ‘City On Fire’.
With an exciting, yet chilling score, a highly talented cast, strong chorus, spectacular scenery and a live orchestra, Rochdale Amateur’s production was certainly a thrilling night at the theatre.
Reviewed by Rochdale Style Magazine
Feb 2011 - Next Show announced
The Society are delighted to announce that their February 2012 show will be The Sound of Music!
Jan 2011 - Noda North West nominations 2010
The Society are delighted to announce that their 2010 production of Copacabana has received two Noda North West nominations; Paul Nicholls for Best Musical Direction and Laura Meredith-Hoyle for Best Actress. Mr Jack Heaton (our past President & Chairman) has also received a nomination for a Special Achievement award for services to Amateur Theatre (posthumously). These awards will be announced at the forthcoming NODA NW awards evening on Sunday 1st May 2011 at the Hilton Hotel, Blackpool.
March 2010 - Copacabana review
'Her name was Lola'...the unforgettable opening lyric of Barry Manilow's hit Copacabana, is the inspiration for this exciting musical tale, of love and romance, set at the heart of the swinging nightclub scene of the 1940s. While creating the world's next big hit, Stephen (Gary Jones), an aspiring songwriter, is carried back to an era when 'music and passion were always the fashion' at the world famous and glamorous Copacabana nightclub in New York City. In his dream, Lola La Mar (Laura Hoyle), a hopeful showgirl, is launched on the path to stardom as a Copa Girl with the help of Tony Forte (Gary Jones), a bartender with dreams of his own. Captivated by her performance, the villainous Rico (Steve Harrison) whisks her away to the Tropicana nightclub in Havana. From this exotic, distant new world, a tale of old-fashioned love, jealousy and murder in the entangled lives of Lola, Tony and Rico unfolds.
Laura Hoyle stole the show, putting in an exceptional performance, as Lola. Gary Jones deserves a special mention for not only giving a faultless leading man performance, but also directing and choreographing the production, alongside Assistant Director, Mike McCaw and Assistant Choreographer, Claire Egerton. Dawn Leigh was perfectly suited to the role of latino bombshell Conchita Alvarez and Steve Harrison captured the danger, but charm of his character, Rico Castelli. Tony Stones, as Sam Silver, and Nicky Mead, as Gladys Murphy, gave strong performances and Tom Varey had excellent comic timing as Willy the waiter. The Copa girl dancers had the audience mesmerized, during some brilliantly choreographed numbers; their stunning costumes adding to the effect. The male dancers also showed off their talents, with some very energetic routines.
The 13-piece band, under the direction of Paul Nicholls, remained visible behind the action throughout most of the production, adding greatly to the ambience of the nightclub scenes. The 20+ chorus made for some impressive numbers, even dancing into the audience for the finale. This feel-good musical certainly seemed to prove a hit with the audience and a fitting tribute to the memory of Jack Heaton, the society ’s dedicated and long-standing President and Chairman.
Reviewed by Rochdale Style Magazine
July 09 - Jack Heaton
It is with great sadness that the society must announce the death of their dedicated and long standing Chairman and President, Jack Heaton, on July 2nd 2009. Jack passed away suddenly but peacefully in hospital, surrounded by his loving family, aged 87 years. Jack will be greatly missed by his family and the many people whose lives he touched. His passion, dedication and hard work has kept the society going through the highs and lows. A member since 1946, Jack's huge contribution to the society will never be forgotten.
May 09 - Hitting high notes
The Society presented ‘Another Evening of Song and Dance’ on the 16th and 17th May. The concert proved a great success, with something for everyone, including music from Joseph, Evita, Hairspray, Wicked and Mary Poppins, to name but a few. A James Bond and Richard Rogers medley also kept the audience thoroughly entertained.
March 09 - Next show announced
RAOS are delighted to announce that their 2010 production will be the hugely popular Copacabana! The musical will be staged at the Gracie Fields Theatre, Tuesday 16th February - Saturday 20th Feburary 2010. Watch this space for more details...
Dec 08 - NODA North West Awards 2009
The Society would like to congratulate Mike Ward who has been nominated in two categories at the forthcoming NODA North West Awards; Best Choreography for Hello Dolly and also Best Supporting Actor for his role of Barnaby.
Nov 08 - Hello Dolly! (Reviewed by Style Magazine)
Rochdale Amateur Operatic Society presented Hello Dolly!, at The Gracie Fields Theatre from 28 Oct – 1 Nov. The society put on a stunning show, under the direction of Martyn Preston, and the audience clearly loved every second.
The plot concerns a rich merchant, Horace Vandergelder, who requires a wife and employs Dolly Levi to find him one. But Dolly decides she wants him for herself. Jill Ratcliffe was excellent as the fast talking match-maker Dolly Levi and Phil Clegg convincingly captured Vandergelder’s grumpy personality, being transformed at the end by Dolly’s charm… and persistence!
Whilst pursuing Vandergelder, Dolly does some matchmaking, succeeding in matching up the young widow Irene Molloy with Vandergelders head clerk, Cornelius Hackl, his assistant Barnaby Tucker with Mrs Molloy’s assistant Minnie Fay, and the struggling artist Ambrose Kemper with Mr Vandergelders niece, Ermengarde.
Gary Jones and Mike Ward found perfect comic timing as Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker, and brought endless energy to their roles. Laura Hoyle was delightful as Molloy, and sang her rendition of Ribbons Down My Back beautifully, whilst Keara Johnson was sweet and suitably giddy as Minnie Fay.
Also shining in their roles were the dancers, who sparkled throughout, choreographed by Mike Ward. The young male dancers showed off their outstanding talents in the hilarious Waiters Gallop.
The strong chorus pulled off show-stopping numbers such as Put On Your Sunday Clothes, Before The Parade Passes By, and of course Hello Dolly! The band, directed by Sarah Day, complemented the action and the excellent singing perfectly. Add to that spectacular costumes and scenery and it made for a magical night at the theatre!
Sept 07 - Annie rehearsals are in full swing!
May 07 - Success at the NODA North West Awards 2007
The Society would like to congratulate the following nominees for the NODA North West Awards:
Jon Crebbin (Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde) – Best Actor in a Musical for Jekyll & Hyde
Laura McLaughlin (Florence) – Best Actress in a Musical for Chess
Kerry Newton (Lucy Harris) – Best Supporting Actress for Jekyll & Hyde
The presentation was held on Sunday 6th May 2007 at the Hilton Hotel, Blackpool and all three of our nominees attended along with other members of the society for a very enjoyable weekend. We are very pleased to report that Laura McLaughlin was awarded the trophy for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Florence in our October 2006 production of Chess at the Gracie Fields Theatre. Congratulations Laura!
June 05 - Success at the NODA North West Awards Evening 2005
At the 2005 NODA Awards Evening held at the De Vere Hotel in Blackpool, Rochdale AOS swept the board with a string of nominations and awards for the 2004 production of The Scarlet Pimpernel. We were nominated in 6 categories:
Best Actor in a musical – Martin Roche
Best Actress in a Musical – Anne Birchenough
Best supporting actor in a Musical – Gary Davis
Best Musical Direction – Harry Butterworth
Best Artistic Director (Musical) – James Masters
Best Musical (2004) – The Scarlet Pimpernel
We won 3 awards: Best Actor for Martin, Best Director for James and the most coveted one of all was for Best Musical of 2004. About 25 of our members attended the dinner and were ecstatic when the result was announced. Congratulations to everyone involved in the show. What a fantastic result!