As part of their fund-raising to preserve the Kenneth More Theatre, Ilford they are presenting yesterday and today the oratorio “Not the Messiah” by permission and with the encouragement of Eric Idle. The five soloists, the choir and symphony orchestra have all given the services totally without charge in support of the effort the theatre are making to compensate for the loss of the council grant which I understand amounts to £50,000.
Ann and I went yesterday evening and we both thoroughly enjoyed this magnificent production which was originally staged in the Hollywood Bowl and later at the Royal Albert Hall. It’s very funny as well as being very entertaining. The final number is “Always look on the bright side of life” which the audience are invited to sing along and which they did with gusto.
The Kenneth More Theatre, Ilford is a beautiful small theatre which caters for both professional and amateur productions. The highlight every year is the pantomime which runs for several weeks and which this years is Cinderella.
Whilst I understand that the Council have to make cutbacks during this difficult economic time I would hate to see this theatre close because of it. As someone remarked to me; “the developers are there waiting with their cheque books”. It would be a real shame if Ilford/Borough of Redbridge lost live theatre. Its achievements were brought home to us when we learnt that everybody appearing had been nurtured in this theatre. Can Redbridge afford to loose such a wonderful asset.