Ian Carfrae.jpeg

“Very small” orchestra gets conductor with hero status

Rehearsals for The Algarveans’ forthcoming show Down at The Old Bull & Bush have been underway for several weeks now. Lines are being learnt but how quickly they sink in draws breath from both actors and directors alike.
And coupled with that there is a lot of laughter and an enjoyable time is being had by all.

One of the heroes of this show is the musical director and conductor of the orchestra (albeit a very small one), the renowned Ian Carfrae of The New Vaudeville Band fame (hits included Winchester Cathedral, Whispering, Finchley Central, Peek-A-Boo and Green Street Green) along with his wife Karen who is keeping the chorus in tune.

Ian is making sure that the orchestral department is on cue and in time with one another. “It’s quite a job writing the orchestral arrangements for this production,” said Ian.

“I have to ensure that everyone understands what is required of them. It’s going to be a feat fitting everyone into the intimate theatre that Silves is. Of course we will manage,” Ian adds confidently. Just keep thinking along the lines of Lilliputian or Dr Who’s Tardis.

I ask Ian if he knows who the Leonard Sachs style presenter will be. Has Jan Sheppeard, the show’s director, given any clues as to who he will be working with?

Ian becomes very coy and tells us that he must get on with rewriting a specific section for the trombones and trumpets. And then he disappeared. I will have to keep digging around amongst the cast and crew to find out more.

At this point, a big chap called Steve appears and asks me to produce my credentials. “It seems you’re annoying the staff,” he says. I quickly produce my press credentials, which he scrutinises very closely.

“Well, curdle the cream on my cornflakes,” says Steve, “everything appears to be in order.” Seems I’ve heard that line before.

Down at The Old Bull & Bush Old Time Music Hall will be performed at the Teatro Mascarenhas Gregório in Silves on March 31, April 1 and 2.

Remember, a prize will be awarded each night for the Ladies’ Best Hat.

Tickets can be ordered by telephone or email: 966 211 634 | 282 496 635 | algarveansboxoffice@gmail.com

Photo: Musical director and conductor of the orchestra (albeit a very small one), Ian Carfrae

By STEPHEN TREVORS