A Handful of Distraction...

2020 brought an uncertain future into the world...performers everywhere stopped performing...pianists stopped playing... theatres closed...so...what to do? Produce a series of musical performances and films of course...

 

Welcome to 'A Handful of Distraction'

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WEEK 10 SERIES FINALE

CHILDREN WILL LISTEN by Stephen Sondheim. For our season finale we have brought together 26 performers to share this wonderful piece by Stephen Sondheim and lovingly arranged by Matthew Loughran. Lock down has brought up so many social issues, and non more so than the effect it has had on our children. Children look up to us to be a guiding light and we must carry that responsibility through our actions. However, children have also become the hero's of lockdown by taking on the magnitude of the worlds situation with such ease. Thank you to all who joined us this week and in our series. Keep the arts and music alive in hearts and minds and together we will bring it back to the world.

Performers this week:

Francesca Ellis, Holly-Anne Hull, Saori Oda, Aynrand Ferrer, Jenny Coyle, Hayley Louise Guest, Zheng Xi Yong, Wayne Smith, Gabriella Williams, Laura Corradi, James Hume, Vinny Coyle, Sean  Gibson &  Stratis Steele.

Accompanied by Matthew Loughran (Piano), Tina Jacobs-Lim (Violin), Henry Salmon (Violin), Rebecca Fagersten (Violin), Jordan Sian (Viola), Jon Kitchen (Cello), Sandy Suchodolski (Bass), Clare Jefferis (Flute & Alto Flute), Stuart Eminson (Clarinet), Sinéad Frost (Bassoon), Harry Haden-Brown (Trumpet), Laura Llewellyn-Jones (French Horn), Jon Kitchen (Percussion).

WEEK NINE 10th AUGUST

MY HOUSE/HOME by Tim Minchin/ Alan Menken, Tim Rice & Howard Ashman. A stunning duet this week performed by West End talents James Hume & Dominic Hodson. This newly created arrangement draws the songs from Matilda & Beauty And The Beast together and the video is inspired by our industries distance from our 'home'. As the weeks and months progress, and with little light at the end of the tunnel for our industry, people's mental health and spirit is easily damaged. So we must continue to fight to save the arts so we can all once again be home.

WEEK EIGHT- 3rd AUGUST

EASY STREET by Charles Strouse. This classic song from Annie gets a new jazzy life in this weeks addition. Brought together with the talents of Ceili O'Connor, Vinny Coyle and Laura Corradi, this week we also support the Excluded UK and Forgotten campaigns. The lyrics work brilliantly to emphasise the message that we must fight to support everyone who has been affected by COVID-19. This week we're also joined by a fabulous set of West End musicians: Jim Davies, Jennie Joy Porton, Ian Whitehead, Sandy Suchodolski and arranger Matthew Loughran.  

WEEK SEVEN- 27th JULY

IN THE BEGINNING by Stephen Schwartz. This is our biggest project yet, with a cast from the UK, Greece, Norway and Canada. This poignant song from 'Children Of Eden' asks the question of what would we do if we could start again?  With the theatre community beginning to work out how we can move forward as an industry, this song brought special meaning to us at this time. It's a song of hope and understanding. It's a song for now. 

WEEK SIX - 20th JULY

THREE FRIENDS by David Shire & Richard Maltby Jr. This song from 'Closer Than Ever' tells the story of three college friends who go on different paths through the course of 10 years. Brought to life by real friends and colleagues Laura Corradi, Jenny Coyle and Stratis Steele; this weeks performance is the closet we could get to storytelling on stage together! (and it's also the most props used in our series so far!)

WEEK FIVE - 6TH JULY 2020

LOVE'S NEVER LOST by Flaherty & Ahrens. This week we have chosen a  beautiful folk song from 'A Man Of No Importance'. Wonderfully performed by James Hume, this song tells the simple tale of a boy who leaves his mother to explore beyond  the boundaries of his small town as she tells him no matter how far he may travel; love's never lost. This week we are also joined by singers Laura Corradi, Hayley Louise Guest & Stratis Steele and accompanied by Matthew Loughran  on piano and Tina Jacobs-Lim on violin.

WEEK FOUR - 29TH JUNE 2020

TAKE ME TO THE WORLD by Stephen Sondheim. This beautiful and haunting piece from 'Evening Primrose' is perhaps one of Sondheim's lesser known works, but resonates with the world as it stands today. Originally a solo, we have arranged it for a quartet, wonderfully performed by Gabriella Williams, Laura Corradi, Claire Williamson and Jenny Coyle.  

WEEK THREE - 22ND JUNE 2020

SPARK OF CREATION by Stephen Schwartz. This week we were inspired by the ongoing struggle for supporting the arts. This song, from Schwartz's 'Children Of Eden', perfectly captures the philosophy of the need for nurturing creativity from childhood, and how without it we cannot be who we are today. A world without the arts, is unimaginable, and we will fight to save it with our peers.

SECOND UP - 15TH JUNE 2020

GOOD THING GOING/OUR TIME by Stephen Sondheim. These two songs from 'Merrily We Roll Along' seemingly fit together musically and spiritually and are brought to life by our two artists Jenny Coyle & Laura Corradi. The beautiful simplicity of the piece from Sondheim inspired our video of mankinds relationship with the world and environment surrounding us. As Sondheim writes- 'and if I wanted too much, was that such a mistake at the time?' resounds with us all in someway, and perhaps  we realise sometimes it's ok to look back.

More information about our performers can be found by clicking here:  

Laura Corradi, & Jenny Coyle 

FIRST UP - 8TH JUNE 2020

PURE IMAGINATION by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. Inspired by this wonderful song, we have created a music video to reflect the current global situation we find ourselves in due to COVID, and especially how it is effecting the Theatre & Arts Industry. Arranged by Matthew Loughran and performed by Laura Corradi, Jenny Coyle & Wayne Smith we give you 'Pure Imagination'. 

More information about our performers can be found by clicking here:  

Laura CorradiJenny Coyle & Wayne Smith 

LOCKDOWN BONUS - 

A tribute to the Sound of Music, set in the lockdown households of our Producer and Artistic Director....enjoy!