Monday, May 15, 2017

Godiva Rocks - The Coventry Musical

Godiva Rocks 
The Coventry Musical.

Saturday 7 October through to Saturday 21 October 2017 at the Belgrade Theatre.

By Pete Clemons

During a year that has seen Coventry submit a bid in an attempt to become a city of culture for the year 2021, the team who created the gripping play ‘One night in November’ have reunited once again to produce another love story unique to our home.

Writer Alan Pollock and director by Hamish Glen created the compelling and thought provoking work ‘One night in November’. And, in similar respects to now, it was released during a very poignant period for the city.

‘One night in November’ was set during the war years. Those familiar with the play will need no reminding but it was a love story with a dramatic twist. A twist that ended with Coventry history was re-shaped forever.

Alan and Hamish’s latest creation is also based around a fictitious story line. But what sets this apart, for me at least, is its musical soundtrack. 20 songs created by Coventry related artists who were either born in the city or, at least raised here, will be performed.

Just imagine if you can, these will be unique interpretations of songs that may not have seen light of day for a very long time and may never be heard live again. This really is, I think, a golden opportunity to experience the immense talent of Coventry’s glorious bygone age.

The songs to be featured will be wide ranging and were originally by a variety of artists from Frank Ifield and Vince hill through to the Hazel O’Connor, The Specials and The Enemy.

As mentioned, ‘Godiva Rocks’ is a love story. The storyline is centered on The Orchid Ballroom. Today of course, we know The Orchid as The Colly or more recently the Kasbah.

The magnificent building that the Kasbah resides in is more than 100 years old. It is one of the oldest and most enduring entertainment rooms in the city.

Situated at 51 Primrose Hill Street this incredibly proud looking building first opened as the Globe Picture Theatre in 1914. Quite incredible when you think about it now but at the time it was one of four cinemas in the Hillfields area alone. Movies were shown within it for more than 40 years until it closed in 1956. The venue was then re-opened in 1957 as the Majestic Ballroom.

Music and dance sessions continued at the Majestic until July 1961. The venue was then taken over by the Mecca organisation that spent the rest of the year rebuilding and redecorating. During early 1962 announcements began to appear that bookings were now being taken at the renovated building with its luxurious decor and modern amenities. March of that year the venue opened again as The Orchid Ballroom.

To quote Alan Pollock, Godiva Rocks is "a celebration about the greatness of this city, who we are and what we're proud of". "No-one has ever done a musical about a town...a love story, the music, the essence of the town"

If the music does not disrupt your concentration on the story line, ‘Godiva Rocks’ I am sure, will be as equally gripping as its critically acclaimed predecessor.

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