Sweet Charity, this year’s all-singing, all-dancing production by the Todmorden Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (TAODS) not only has musical numbers to bring together young and old alike, but also sees the reuniting of a double act of directing talent behind the scenes.
Helen Clarkson (musical director) has a long history of musical direction, from the youth section (HYT) to NODA award winning adult shows, Helen has been involved for more than 15 years. While she has worked on great productions with other directors and choreographers, Rachel Rogers (director and choreographer) was her inseparable partner for twelve of those.
They formed a strong directing team from 1996 until their final show together, the crowd-pleasing Mack and Mabel in 2009.
“I moved away from Todmorden in 2009 and didn’t think I could commit the time a musical needs,” explains Rachel. “But I found I couldn’t stay away. I got a part in the musical Footloose in 2010 and in the play Day of Reckoning last year. It proved I could find the time if I wanted to, so when the opportunity of working with Helen came along again, I jumped at the chance.”
Helen backs Rachel up. “We’re just in tune with each other. With so much history, we trust the other’s judgement and pretty much agree on everything.”
And why choose Sweet Charity as the musical to reunite their talents? “It’s a good contrast to the last couple of musicals,” says Helen. “Rent and Footloose were very modern and edgy. Sweet Charity is a more traditional musical with some really great songs.”
“And dance routines,” adds Rachel. “That’s what excited me because I’ve directed and choreographed shows before but never at the same time. It’s been a great challenge to do both with Sweet Charity.”
Sweet Charity opens at the Hippodrome Theatre, Todmorden, on Tuesday, April 24, and runs until Saturday, April 28. Tickets are priced at £10 for Tuesday and concessions and £12 all other performances. They are available now from the Theatre website booking service at www.todhip.org or from the Tourist Information Centre on 01706 818181