It's been two months since we started rehearsals for Aladdin and things couldn't be going better, so it's about time for a long overdue blog post to catch you all up on the latest Strollers news!
Every year, we are fortunate enough to be inundated with applications to join the company; sadly, we can't say yes to everyone, but we try to bring in as many new members as we can - and this year is no exception!
Our chorus, already strong, has grown in number with some fabulous new talents, and we've welcomed a new face to this year's principal cast, too: Nick Weightman will be joining us as Aladdin, and we couldn't be more excited!
Our cast is strong, our script is fab, our dance troupe are shining brighter than ever and our backstage crew are already hard at work creating Old Peking, Egypt and a spectacular Cave of Wonders.
And as for the music?
Well, I can tell you that this year's music choices are going to blow your mind! From classic showstoppers to contemporary tunes, there's something for everyone and the singing is sounding better than ever before.
We'll be meeting some of the cast and crew over the coming months, so get ready for some sneak peeks, handy hints and maybe even a competition or two as we hurtle towards show week. Watch this space!
First on our list of cast interviewees will be this year's baddie, Tim Smith, who recently won the award for Best Performance in a Christmas Production at this year's IW Amateur Theatre Awards, for his part as Precious in Robinson Crusoe. From sensitive pirate to sinister magician, how is Tim handling his newfound villainy?
Check in with us in the new year to find out!
Our costume mistress, Karen Cassford, enjoyed a very special birthday a couple of weeks back, and celebrated with a Snow White and the Seven Dwarves themed tea party at The Essex in Godshill.
A wonderful venue and what a brilliant idea - we certainly enjoyed ourselves!
It's been a busy couple of months, that's for sure, but perhaps our most exciting moment so far was the recent engagement of one of our cast members.
A huge congratulations to Nicola Steedman and James Chastney on their engagement - we couldn't be more thrilled!
"Jose was a founding member of The Wight Strollers, a talented director and all-round entertainer. She was an amazing person with a heart of gold, and was well-known across the Island for her charity work," said Sarah Scotcher, Aladdin director.
"I learnt a lot from Jo and consider myself lucky to have shared a stage with her on many occasions. Jose will be remembered fondly by us all, but her time on life's stage has now ended. Our thoughts are with her family and friends - may she rest in peace."
Jose's is a name, a face and a presence that will never be forgotten in The Wight Strollers, and we hope she would be proud of where we are today.
I've said it before, and I will say it again: we are so very lucky to have such a wonderful history, with so many inspirational people who have all shaped the company over the years and from whom our new members, through the decades, have been privileged enough to learn so much.
Jose, from all at The Wight Strollers: Thank-you.