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News: Theatre Company To Raise Money For NHS Heroes

Theatre Company To Raise Money For NHS Heroes

A successful north east theatre group is producing a compilation CD of lockdown musical theatre classics to help support the National Health Service.

Darlington Operatic Society has announced plans to release a CD called “Strictly Lockdown” – comprising up to 18 musical theatre songs – with 50 per cent of the profits being donated to NHS charities.

All of the songs have been created by members singing from their spare bedrooms, under-stair cupboards, bathrooms and conservatories. The result will be more than 70 minutes of “virtual musical theatre magic”, with the CD going on sale in early July.

DOS spokesman Julian Cound said: “This is probably one of the most challenging projects the Society has faced – and that includes having to make Chitty Chitty Bang Bang fly. The idea of creating a compilation CD came fairly soon after the lockdown happened. It has taken many weeks of planning and organisation to get it to the stage we are at now.”

The process has involved choosing the right mix of songs, arranging backing tracks, and making sure the project meets all legal requirements.

“Getting 30 or so cast members to sing accurately when they are standing shoulder to shoulder is one thing, getting voices to match when they have been recorded completely independently from all corners of the North-East has been a huge technical challenge,” said Julian. “However, from hearing the first two tracks completed, I know we have absolutely nailed it.”

DOS had been due to stage Strictly Musicals 3 at Darlington Hippodrome Theatre from April 22 but, after months of rehearsals, the show had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the Society bounced back from the disappointment by creating a virtual choir to perform One Day More, from Les Miserables, on its Facebook page. That was followed by a virtual dance video to From Now On, taken from The Greatest Showman. Those two performances have been watched by more than 33,000 people.

As well as supporting the NHS, sales of Strictly Lockdown will also help DOS through a difficult period until it can resume staging its high quality shows at the Hippodrome.

The CD will be priced at £10 plus P&P and will be available to purchase through the DarlingtonOS website in early July.

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