Award-Winning Composer Howard Goodall sends Good Luck Message to Playgoers

March 24, 2014

BAFTA-winning composer Howard Goodall has sent a personal good luck message to the director and cast of his musical ‘Love Story’ which receives its Welsh premiere at the Dolman Theatre in April.

It’s love at first sight for Oliver (David Constant) and Jenny (Eloise Rossiter) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

It’s love at first sight for Oliver (David Constant) and Jenny (Eloise Rossiter) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Mr Goodall, whose musicals have won many international awards, took time off from composing his latest work, to write to Steve Bissex-Williams who is directing the musical version of the hit 1970s tear-jerker.

“I was really pleased to receive the letter from such an illustrious composer who has won EMMY, BRIT and BAFTAs for his choral music, stage musicals, film and TV scores such as ‘Blackadder’ and ‘The Vicar of Dibley’,” said Steve. “He apologised for missing our production but he’ll be busy in France writing his latest musical.”

Mr Goodall wrote, “I hope you could pass on to the company my very best wishes for the opening night and the subsequent performances in Newport. I am touched that your interest in the piece stretches back to its first incarnation at the Minerva Chichester.

The cast rehearse with musical director Jeff Davies at the piano. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

The cast rehearse with musical director Jeff Davies at the piano. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

“’Love Story’ presents a fair few challenges for its performers, especially those playing Jenny and Oliver who are more or less never off stage, and for the emotional stamina of its audience but I do hope that your players and audience alike will find it also surprisingly good-humoured, even funny, before its closing stages. Oddly enough, for a show with such a famously sad ending, we were a very happy crew putting it together in Chichester and London and enjoyed many a laugh in the rehearsal room. I very much hope that same has been true of your Newport company and you might have been encouraged by the experience to try on another occasion one of my other musicals with sad endings!

Smiles hide a secret heartache when Oliver (David Constant) and Jenny (Eloise Rossiter) marry. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Smiles hide a secret heartache when Oliver (David Constant) and Jenny (Eloise Rossiter) marry. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

“So break some collective legs and here’s to a great success for you all. Again, thank you for bringing Love Story to Welsh audiences with such obvious dedication and enthusiasm.”

Based on the best-selling novel by Erich Segal, the musical tells of a rich boy, Oliver, who falls in love with a poor girl, Jenny. He is a Harvard graduate who comes from a wealthy family, Jenny is a working-class, quick-witted student. He is sporty, she plays music. The two decide to marry against the wishes of Oliver’s father who severs all ties with his son and cuts off his financial support. The couple struggle to survive as Oliver works his way through Harvard Law School.

‘Love Story – The Musical’ is at the Dolman Theatre from Wednesday 2 – Saturday 5 April at 7.15 pm, with an extra matinee performance on the Saturday at 2.30 pm. To book tickets call 01633 263670 or visit www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.

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West End Star Caroline Sheen to Top Bill at Gala Night of Entertainment

February 22, 2011
West End star Caroline Sheen

Top West End musical star Caroline Sheen, who is currently touring America as Mary Poppins, is returning to Wales to top the bill at a gala night of entertainment at the Dolman Theatre on Saturday 19th March.

Mary Poppins will be coming to Newport– in the shape of top West End musical star Caroline Sheen, who is returning to Wales to top the bill at a gala night of entertainment at the Dolman Theatre on Saturday 19th March.

 Caroline, who is currently touring America as the lead in the hit musical ‘Mary Poppins’, will join of host of talent from local musical societies, dance schools and Newport Playgoers Society (NPS), for an evening which promises to be packed with music and mirth. As well as singing a host of familiar favourites, Caroline will be performing songs from her debut album, ‘Raise The Curtain’.

A former pupil at Caerleon Comprehensive School, Caroline gained invaluable experience performing with Gwent Young People’s Theatre and the National Youth Theatre of Wales before going on to study at Guildford School of Acting where she graduated with first class honours. Her West End roles include Marty in ‘Grease’, Eponine in ‘Les Miserables’ and Truly Scrumptious in ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’.

“This gala event has been organised as a fund-raiser for Newport Playgoers Society which owns and runs the 400-seat Dolman Theatre,” explained NPS spokesperson Phil Mansell. “We’re really pleased to have such a talented and well-known performer as Caroline to headline a feast of entertainment that will include something for everyone.”

Tickets for the event, on Saturday 19th March are £15 – and include a glass of bubbly and canapés before the curtain goes up. To book, contact the Dolman Theatre box office on 01633 263670.