The Algarveans to fulfil 25-year-old dream

Last Sunday The Algarveans Experimental Theatre Group unveiled the production to mark their 25th anniversary of providing culture and entertainment to the Algarve.

As the “experimental” part of their name suggests, they have not chosen a nice safe show to perform; instead, “Pollen: The Musical” will have its European premiere and be only the second time it has been performed later this year. The show was conceived over 25 years ago by long-time Algarve musician and entertainer Ian Carfrae, who has been a member of the Algarveans for over five years.

Ian was part of the New Vaudeville Band, who had many hits in the 1960s including the USA number one “Winchester Cathedral”, and will be the musical director of the show.

“I had a pocketful of really good songs which I just felt deserved to be part of a musical so, in the 1990s, myself and an old band member took time out to write ‘Pollen: The Musical’,” explained Ian. “And ever since it has been my dream to see the show performed live”.

“Pollen” tells the story of an enchanted garden, in an old house, where the flowers allow themselves to be able to talk to the gardener Ben, who looks after them. The story tells of their battle against the new owner of the house, who intends to destroy the beautiful garden that has been created. This is a story which will touch your heart whether you are eight or 80 years old.

Chris Winstanley, the show’s director, said: “Ian has been living with this dream for over 25 years and I have been with him for the last two years adding new lyrics and putting some additional material into the show. I cannot wait to bring it to the stage and I am completely honoured to be directing the 25-year anniversary show for the theatre group.”

The show will be performed at Lagoa Auditorium on October 20, 21 and 22 this autumn, with performances starting at 7.45pm.

New talent needed
The Algarveans are on the look out for new talent, young and old, to join the cast onstage or work backstage. The show calls for a big cast and the Algarveans want to have as many people on stage as possible to create a show to remember. Rehearsals will start in early May.

“We want to welcome young people from the age of 10 to 18 to join the cast. We currently have four former young members of the group who are studying music and drama in Lisbon or the UK, and they all say that their love of the theatre was nurtured from being members of the group,” said Algarveans’ chairperson Melanie Winstanley.

If you are interested in getting involved in “Pollen: The Musical”, call Chris Winstanley on 919 198 840 or Ian Carfrae on 964 707 084.

Photo: The “Pollen” creative team, from left, Karen Barroso (choreographer), Chris Winstanley (director), Ian Carfrae (musical director) and Karen Carfrae (vocal coach).