Present Company will stage new musical on return to Buxton

Derbyshire based Present Company is returning to Buxton to present its annual weekend of live entertainment.

Sunday, 22nd August 2021, 5:30 am
Craig Arme, Amanda Bonsall (right) and Rachael Louisa Bray will be appearing in A Sentinental Affair at Buxton Opera House on August 27 and 28, 2021.
Craig Arme, Amanda Bonsall (right) and Rachael Louisa Bray will be appearing in A Sentinental Affair at Buxton Opera House on August 27 and 28, 2021.

The company is looking forward to being back at the Opera House after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of its presentations last year.

Audiences will be treated to the musical A Sentinental Affair, which Present Company premiered at Derby Theatre two years ago.

Set in London between the wars, the story revolves around journalist Cameron Blackstone, just back from covering the Spanish war, who meets a beautiful girl called Marissa. When Cameron tells his colleagues back in the Sentinel newsroom of his chance encounter, a sub-editor assumes the girl is Baroness Marissa von Gleibnitz. The Sentinel has a file on the baroness providing plenty of low-down – a femme fatale, widow of a wealthy German industrialist, a well known Nazi sympathiser and suspected Fascist spy. Cameron won’t believe a word of it.

Craig Arme plays Cameron, Amanda Bonsall is cast as Marissa and Rachael Louisa Bray takes on the role of Baroness Marissa in the production on August 27 and 28, 2021. The performance on the Friday starts at 7.30pm and the matinee on the Saturday at 2.30pm.

A Sentinental Affair was shortlisted at the Vivien Ellis Awards which was instituted by the Performing Rights Society to encourage composers and lyricists to write for the musical stage.The production will appeal to fans of 1930s and 1940s music.

To set the scene for A Sentinental Affair the orchestra, conducted by Morris Fisher, will play a selection of well loved pieces by Leroy Anderson, Ronald Binge and Eric Coates, so evocative of the 1930’s and the wartime years. Forgotten Dreams, Elizabethan Serenade, Knightsbridge March and Calling All Workers are melodies that are often used as signature tunes for iconic radio programmes.

Gems of 1920s musical theatre will be featured in Present Company’s These You Have Loved Gala on Saturday, August 29 at 7.30pm.

Show-stoppers from romantic musicals The Student Prince, The Desert Song, The Merry Widow and White Horse Inn will include One Alone, It Would be Wonderful, Romance and Deep In my Heart Dear. This nostalgic cavalcade by Sigmund Romberg, Fran Lehár and Rudolph Benatsky will captivate all lovers of romantic light operas of the pre-war era.

The company’s artistic director Jean Gemmell said: “It was very disappointing that Present Company was unable to put on any show last year due to Covid, so I was determined that our 33rd year should not suffer the same fate. The start of relaxation of restrictions in May enabled us to book our August performance dates at Buxton Opera House, but social distancing rules still applicable in theatres mean that the capacity of the dressing rooms there, normally 36/40 people is limited to only 12/14 and an orchestra of no more than 10 in the pit. Such a small number of performers severely limited the choice of musicals that we could pick.”

Tickets from £14.50 to £19.50. Go to www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk