Bringing friends together for opera

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Ahead of performing the glorious H.M.S.Pinafore at the Devonshire Park Theatre from May 3-7, members of Eastbourne Gilbert & Sullivan Society treated the public to an impromptu show.

The talented cast became a ‘flash mob’ on Saturday in the Arndale Centre and Terminus Road and sang For He Is An Englishman which was a patriotic treat for shoppers on St George’s Day.

Last year the group was awarded funds from the Big Lottery to offer free singing workshops on the grounds of health and social benefits that singing offers.

Chairman Michael Bale said: “We went to Old Town, Seaside, Langley and back to Old Town for five weeks at each venue. We were delighted with both the response and also that several participants have elected to join us in this production giving them a new interest and us some new friends.”

The production has turned into a partnership with groups such as Matthew 25 Mission, a charity based at Christchurch, Seaside, which supports those in need, and is building the “wonderfully ambitious set.”

Michael added: “It’s our annual appearance at the Devonshire Park Theatre, and this year we are especially pleased to be supported by Southern Youth Ballet with an excerpt from Pineapple Poll. We have, in the past, supplied vocals for some of their productions, so this is in some respects, a return fixture - they are contributing some terpsichorean elegance to the evening! So the emphasis is on a lively show, with great music and elegant ballet to boot...I really feel this production has become a partnership with ourselves, Southern Youth Ballet, Matthew 25 Mission and new friends resulting from the Big Lottery Fund. Its been a happy production.”

Performances are at 7.45pm with Wednesday and Saturday Matinees at 2.30 - no performances on Wednesday evening.

Tickets cost from £13 and various discounts available, from 01323 412000 or www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk.”