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Musical dream is in sight for Leys singers
FOR Joseph – he of the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat fame – any dream would do.
But for Blackbird Leys mother-of-three Sasha East bringing the smash-hit musical to the estate was what she wanted to see come true.
In three weeks her vision will become a reality when Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will be performed by local community groups.
And 40-year-old Miss East, who has been the show’s driving force, still doesn’t quite know how it happened.
She said: “I was painting my youngest daughter’s bedroom over Easter and I could hear she had Joseph on so I started humming along.
“I was singing along and thought to myself ‘I wonder how hard it would be to put on a show and get the whole community involved?’.
“It’s scary how close we are now.
“Everyone has been so supportive and I have been so surprised at how many people on the estate came up to me and wanted to be involved, it has been fantastic.
“I’ve never done anything like this before so who knows where it will go?
“We had to get permission from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s team but they were very supportive, and the Oxford Theatre Guild have been great too, we can’t thank them enough.
“We aren’t looking to take it out of Blackbird Leys at the moment but in the future maybe we could put on more shows.”
She pitched the idea to Blackbird Leys Parish Council, Leys Housing Consortium, Communities First, and Westhill Endowment, which gave a collective £5,000 in funding.
The idea quickly mushroomed with involvement from Pegasus School in Blackbird Leys and an amateur choir consisting of dads from the estate.
Blackbird Leys choir, the locally renowned collective born of a Channel Five TV show eight years ago, is also involved.
Musical director of the choir Trevor Davies has helped shape the soundtrack and stage directions.
Children from the school and local community will feature as performers and the choirs will provide the backing.
About 100 people in total are involved in front and backstage roles.
The chairman of the Oxford Theatre Guild, Kate Saffin said: “An important part of the Oxford Theatre Guild's remit is education so we are helping out with some hands-on input with directing, photography and sourcing costumes.
“I am really pleased that the Guild got this opportunity to support a local community project.”
Rehearsals are currently taking place at Church of the Holy Family in Blackbird Leys Road where the production will take place from February 21 to 23.
- Tickets can be bought from The Barn in Nightingale Avenue, Blackbird Leys and online at wegottickets.com/ event/206799. Prices start at £3, with family tickets available from £10.