Musical medley from Chichester's CAOS

Laura Pickford (left) with CAOS regular Jenny Gardner who introduced her to CAOS
Laura Pickford (left) with CAOS regular Jenny Gardner who introduced her to CAOS

Chichester’s CAOS musical productions will be offering a musical medley CAOS Through The Years at Westbourne House School, PO20 2BH, on October 27 and 28 at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.

Laura Pickford, who will be one of the performers, explains: “The show is a nod to some of the shows performed over the years by CAOS.”

The first half includes songs from The Wedding Singer (It’s Your Wedding Day, If I Told You), South Pacific (Wash that Man, Nothing Like A Dame), My Fair Lady (Get Me To The Church On Time, Wouldn’t It Be Lovely), The Music Man (76 Trombones), Made in Dagenham, Half a Sixpence (Flash Bang Wallop) and a medley from Les Mis. The second half includes G&S, a medley from Oliver!, Hello Dolly, Annie and Avenue Q. Other featured shows include The Sound of Music, Sister Act and Boogie Nights.

The show comes as the new generation takes charge at the company following the retirement of chairman Liz Peacock and director Kathryn Wignall: “Liz has handed over to (new chairman) Rebecca Anderson. There were changes and the marketing dropped off a bit. Liz and Kathryn had a very loyal following, and a few other people retired. It went quiet for a while, but it has now had a new lease of life with this new group. Rebecca Anderson is now chair and has brought in musical friends and people from other companies and is good at getting the word out and creating a show which is really good. We are doing the compilation show because we haven’t done a compilation show for a while and also to say that we still exist. We have done quite a few big shows, and this felt like a lot of fun!”

Laura joined CAOS around 2010: “I went to see a show which a friend was in and I fell in love! I have always been in shows, and I hadn’t done any because we had moved to Chichester. I saw my friend in the show and fell in love with what they were doing and thought ‘I want a part of that!’ I thought the whole thing was really quite professional for an amateur show. I just wanted a piece of it. I did a few shows with them and then I had a break to have a couple of children (now aged five and three), and then I came back and was in Oliver! in May 2016.”

Laura was keen to get back to the stage: “It is my time away! It is exercise, and it’s just a chance to meet new people and to be involved with music again. It’s the music and singing I love. I love the fact that it gives you permission to sing out loud! You get enjoyment from singing with like-minded people around a piano. Everybody sings in the shower or along to the radio, but this is great – a real chance to sing together. To have that musical input with others is a unique feeling.”

But no, Laura wouldn’t wish she was doing it professionally: “It’s just a hobby at the end of the day, but it is a hobby that turns into something amazing on the night. People have got amazing voices, and it is lovely to hear the harmonies that come together.”

http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/caoschichester.