This weekend, anybody fascinated by Swindon’s culture, heritage and history will be treated to a special Swindon175 celebration performance at STEAM by the highly acclaimed Janice Thompson Performance Trust.
Brunel: The Little Man in the Tall Hat is an hour-long youth and community opera, composed by Betty Roe MBE. With well-researched libretto by Marion Lines, the opera was originally commissioned for the Brunel 200 South-West celebrations in 2006 and performed at STEAM Museum.
Now refreshed and revived, the opera presents a keynote performance for this year’s Swindon175 events.
With a cast of 100 children and adult singers and performers, the railway-themed piece tells the story of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the railway workers of Swindon as they travel on the annual holiday ‘Trip train’ to St Ives.
Taking place on the stage inside STEAM’s Great Western Hall and complete with railway atmospherics – including a working model railway on stage – Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s life and achievements begin to unfold through the eyes of ‘the Beddows,’ a fictitious family of Swindon railway workers.
Suitable for all ages, this unique performance includes many young singers, the youngest being four years old, and takes the audience on a historic journey as they witness the chatter and excitement of family folk, the noise of the iron foundry and even the ‘ghosts’ of Box Tunnel.
Three Performances on Saturday 9 July (7pm start) and Sunday 10 July (4pm and 7pm start)
Ticket prices (on the door): £10 adults and £6 under 16s or buy tickets from the Wyvern Theatre Box Office (booking fee applies), Tel: 01793 524481.
• Swindon175 marks the anniversary of the birth of new Swindon when construction began on the Great Western Railway’s locomotive repair shed. Throughout 2016 a range of events, supported by sponsors and Swindon Borough Council and managed by Business West, involving Swindon people and businesses, are celebrating the town’s rich heritage and achievements. To get involved or for more details about Swindon 175 events visit Swindon175.com or contact Caroline@Swindon175.com
• JTPTrust, is an educational charity, now in its eleventh year, offers youth and children’s singing tuition plus adult workshops and events in the Swindon area.
Another major Swindon 175 event takes place from 12noon to 10am on 9 July – see the poster below