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2016

A Christmas Carol

Sounds Familiar kicked off the Christmas season with a musical adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" at the Casa de Cultura in Calpe on Wednesday 30th November and Thursday 1st December.

The group rehearsed songs and routines throughout the summer to tell the classic Charles Dickens tale of the miser Ebenezer Scrooge and his encounters with the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. The show was full of music ranging from Christmas Carols to well-known songs from various musical shows.

With a full set that took months to build and beautiful period costumes the show was a stunning start to the festive season on 2016

The video below shows the finale medley of Christmas Carols that ended the show.


Let's Face The Music

This show was a showcase of the music from the era of White Tie, Top Hat and Tails.

In keeping with their previous productions, the cast first appeared in their traditional outfits, but it only took two or three numbers before the coloured scarves and ties were thrown away in favour of long dresses and tailcoats. The mostly black and white set painted in art deco designs completed the effect of a bygone era of style and sophistication.

That did not mean that Sounds Familiar had lost their sense of humour. Gordon Atkinson was hilarious in his bizarre rendition of Gypsy and terrified poor Sue Williams who was left alone to deal with him. Three of the men tried their best to convince one of the other ladies to marry them in Tom Dick and Harry from Kiss Me Kate and Pat Doidge and Rosemary Brown lamented their travel problems of getting up the avenue in A Couple Swells from Easter Parade.

The harmony singing, that the group prides themselves on, was excellent and the whole evening was rounded off with a light-hearted and fun version of I Got Rhythm with half the cast playing percussion intruments.


2015

Back To The Musicals

The format show of the show was to perform 3 numbers each from 10 different shows ranging from Chicago and Carousel to Les Miserables and Starlight Express. The first half was full of colour, humour and dance from the more classic musicals and the second half focussed more on the drama of the modern musicals. It would be very difficult to pick out any specific highlights because the list would be too long, but the cast had obviously been drilled in their movement by Choreographer Joy Starling, and in their singing and general performance by Philip Ashley, creating a truly entertaining evening for the audience.

The cast were run ragged backstage as the show ran seamlessly. Everyone appeared in different costumes throughout the show that were appropriate to the current musical being showcased, and made it look effortless.

They left the very best till last with all the solo singers from the evening blending together in One Day More from Les Miserables, at one point singing 7 different tunes at the same time and keeping it together. The effect was completed when the rest of the cast joined in for the big finish, complete with flag and patriotic French colours.

Credit should also be given to Debra Miller for her skill as a Stage Manager ensuring everyone, and everything, was where they should be, and to Zach Miller for keeping the sound and lighting running smoothly so that everyone was seen and heard while also creating the right atmosphere for each musical.


2014

Disney: Not Just For Children

The magical world of Disney came to the Costa Blanca in Sounds Familiar's 2014 show "Disney - Not Just For Children".

With over seventy years' worth of films to choose there was something from everybody's childhood and proved that Disney is not just for children. Having presented the odd Disney number in many of their shows, people have been asking the group's Musical Director, Philip Ashley, to look at Disney for one of their main shows. So the group happily indulged their audience. During rehearsals Philip said that "It has been a challenge to find numbers that work well outside of a film, but we believe we have a selection of music guaranteed to entertain, and with a willing costume, scenery and prop department swinging into action the evening's show should present a spectacle for fans of Disney music and theatre-goers alike."

There were songs from Snow White, Bedknobs & Broomsticks, Beauty & The Beast, Hercules, Aristocats, Pinocchio, The Little Mermaid and many more. Everyone should find something that brings back happy memories, and have fun remembering what songs came from which films.


2013

Commercial Break

On Friday September 6th the Friends Of The Children Of Emaús presented Sounds Familiar in their end-of-summer concert "Commercial Break" in the Salon Blau, Casa de Cultura, Calpe.

It has often been said that the adverts on television are sometimes more entertaining than the programmes and it's not unusual for a song or piece of music to be referred to as "that one from the car advert" etc. So this concert was full of well-known music that has been used in commercials.

The music ranged from classical pieces such as The Anvil Chorus through jazz and swing numbers made famous by Bobby Darin and Michael Buble and included a smattering of suprises, but the one thing they all had in common is UK TV adverts. There was also a medley of advert jingles specially written for a large choir.


A World In Union

Sounds Familiar's annual Summer show for 2013 was time called "A World In Union". The show ran for two nights at the Casa de Cultura in Benissa.

With a constant bombardment of bad news from the media over the past few years, whether it's the economic climate, wars or other issues stirring up ill-will between various groups of people, the group opted to show the good in the world. With a range of styles from Pop to Musical Theatre, and from Disney to Classical, there was something for everyone with Sounds Familiar lending their own style to well-known songs.

There were offerings from Andrew Lloyd Webber, Toy Story, Michael Jackson, David Bowie & Mick Jagger to name just a few.


2012

Christmas Cracker

In December Sounds Familiar are presented their one-off "Christmas Cracker" show at Cuidad Patricia in Benidorm.

This wss not a carol concert, although there were a number of carols included for everyone in the audience to join in with if they wanted. As for the rest of the show, there were carols, Christmas songs, routines from Musical Theatre and other numbers to entertain and get everyone in the festive mood.


Sounds Familiar In Concert

From Rodgers & Hammerstein to Andrew Lloyd Webber, and from Louis Armstrong to Victoria Wood, there was something for everyone in Sounds Familiar's Autumn concert.

Since their previous show "Broadway Baby" the group spent the summer working on a variety of new music for their 2013 show "The World In Union", and also on a selection of music for this concert. As usual for Sounds Familiar the concert featured a mixture of solo singers, small groups and the entire cast performing a wide range of styles. There were serious pieces, comic songs, toe-tapping hits and well-known show tunes to sing-along to.


Broadway Baby

Sounds Familiar's major production for 2012 was Broadway Baby first performed in the Spring. A non-stop tribute to the great Broadway shows from writers such as Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Lerner & Loewe, Cole Porter and others.

A lot has changed in the group since their first performance in 2009 not least in the amount of members. Broadway Baby has nearly double the amount of people in it, than the first show had 3 and a half years ago.

The show featured selections from a number Broadway productions including Kiss Me Kate, Oklahoma, Godspell, Little Shop Of Horrors, La Cage Aux Folles, My Fair Lady, 42nd Street, and more.


2011

Party's On The House

During the summer months of 2011 Philip ran his popular 'Sing for Fun' workshops, aimed at helping participants to develop their singing technique, breath control and stage craft. The workshops culminated on the 29th of September with an end of summer concert called "The Party's On The House".

The evening also raised a total of €364 for the Friends Of The Children Of EMAÚS.


West End Nights

Sounds Familiar's major production for 2011 was West End Nights, first performed on Wednesday May 25th 2011 at the Casa de Cultura in Calpe. A non-stop tribute to the West End of London with songs from many well-known shows.

While the show was similar in format to Musical Magic from 2010, West End Nights featured an entirely different set of music. Shows included in this year's offering were Phantom Of The Opera, A Chorus Line, My Fair Lady, Beauty & The Beast, Chicago, Chess and many more.

The evening also raised a total of €900 for the Friends Of The Children Of EMAÚS.


Comedy Tonight

The first show of the year by Sounds Familiar was "Comedy Tonight", first performed to help raise funds for Jalon Valley HELP at the Careline Theatre in Alcalalí on 11th March. The show was repeated at Espai La Senieta in Moraira on Friday 18th March, raising money for the Alzheimers Association.

This show featured some of Sounds Familiar's best numbers as well as quite a few new routines and songs with a strong emphasis on comedy and laughter.

In total the two shows raised over €1500 for charity, and both audiences enjoyed themselves, even at Alcalalí where everyone made their way to and from the theatre during one of the heaviest rainstorms this winter.


2010

Celebration Of Christmas

During the Autumn of 2010 Sounds Familiar were deep in rehearsals for the December show "A Celebration of Christmas". The show, which was full of seasonal song, dance and laughter, was performed at the Rafol Theatre on Friday 10 December, and then again at the Perlamar Centre in Calpe on Thursday 23 December.

The show's producer, Philip Ashley, stressed that the show was NOT a carol concert, although there were a number of carols included for everyone in the audience to join in with if they wanted, including the hilarious site of each side of the audience getting up and sitting down as fast as they could while singing the Twelve Days Of Christmas. As for the rest of the show, there were carols, Christmas songs, tributes to the Christmas party and films, and other well-known songs to sit back and enjoy.

A portion of the ticket sales was given to charity at each performance. The money from Rafol was given to the Jalon & Orba Lions Club, and the money from Calpe went to the Friends Of The Children Of EMAÚS. In total the performances of A Celebration Of Christmas raised 840 euros.

The rehearsals for the show were featured in a documentary called "I Want To Be A Producer" and shown on local English language television.


Celebration Of Song

The participants of Philip Ashley's "Sing For Fun" workshops have spent the summer of 2010 singing a varied selection of music. To finish off this season of workshops the group will be presented the songs they have learned in a concert called "Celebration of Song" at the Benissa Casa de Cultura. The concert also included performances from Sounds Familiar, Adagio, and Sue Benson.

Music from the workshops included the opening number from Chess called Merano, I'm a Believer from the Monkees, Somebody to Love by Queen, but sung in the style of Glee, and a vocal only arrangement of The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

Each of the sungs was chosen to work on a specific aspect of singing such as breath control, diction, phrasing and voice control for close harmony singing. With a musical range stretching from Choral to Rock the singers have also had to learn how to change the way they sound for each number.

The regular cast from Sounds Familiar perfomed a few numbers from their recent show "Musical Magic". Adagio, the vocal quartet, gave a small selection including A Chorus Line and The Beatles. Sue Benson, also from Adagio, selected a few numbers from her Benidorm Cabaret show.

25% of the tickets from the concert was donated to the Lions Club of Calpe and Benissa which they used to support the work of Caritas and EMAÚS in the Benissa area. Combined with the raffle the total amount given to charity on this evening was 900 euros.


Musical Magic

Wednesday 2nd June saw a magical evening of music at the Casa de Cultura in Calpe provided by the casts of Sounds Familiar and Theatre Express. The show, produced by Philip Ashley, helped to raise over €1100 euros for the Friends Of The Children Of EMAÚS, and that money will be used to help pay for summer holidays for the children.

Musical Magic was repeated in September by the cast of Sounds Familiar on their own in Rafol de Almunia. The evening continued at the local Piscina Bar with dancing to local trio "Ménage à Trois".

The show itself was a tour of musical theatre ranging from Calamity Jane and Anything Goes through to Chicago, Les Miserables, and right up to date with a number from "13" which is one of the most recent shows to be released.

The show never stayed with one style for very long with a beautiful medley of Rodgers and Hammerstein numbers going straight into another medley this time from the Michael Jackson show Thriller.

In the Calpe show Theatre Express performed six numbers with two of them, the Thriller Medley and a medley from Glee, having been performed earlier this year at Her Majesty's Theatre in London.

Both groups presented ensemble numbers and solos. Sounds Familiar's group numbers were sung in harmonies often arranged especially for them by Philip, and thought given to the singers involved in the solos, duets and small ensembles, resulting in a bizarre and hysterical version of Hey Big Spender.

In the first half Sounds Familiar appeared in their traditional black outfits with coloured scarves for the ladies and coloured ties for the men, apart from when other costumes were needed. In the second half they unveiled their new range of coloured waistcoats made to represent the colours in the Joseph Megamix, but worn at various times throughout the second act. Each waistcoat was uniquely designed by Giulia Hartley, and all of them handmade for the cast by Anna, Giulia and Annie Hartley.




2009

Advent Of Christmas

During the Christmas season of 2009 Sounds Familar joined forces with Moraira's international choir Los Encantadores for a series of concerts around the northern Costa Blanca.

The three concerts called "Advent of Christmas" were being held with the kind permission of the Arch Diocese of Valencia in three of their churches. Los Encantadores performed chorale Christmas Music including Joy To The World, Carol Of The Bells and O Tannenbaum. Sounds Familiar performed music from religious based shows including Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar, and the Sister Act films.

The first concert was held at the Ermita de San Josep, La Fustera. 580 euros was raised on the night which was split between the Costa Blanca Anglican Chaplaincy and La Merced Church in Calpe to help with the installation of the heating system.

The second concert was at Moraira church in the town centre and 144 euros was raised through donations and given to the church. The third concert in the series was held at The Franciscan Convent in Benissa immediately after the Mass celebrating the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on Tuesday 8th December. Donations at this concert were 104 euros and were given to the convent.

A selection of songs from the performance at the Franciscan Convent in Benissa.


The Silver Screen

The second show from Sounds Familiar was performed at the Casa de Cultura in Calpe on 7th October 2009 just 8 months after their debut production.

The show was dedicated to Hollywood and the Movies. Music was included from films like First Wives Club, James Bond, Mary Poppins, Laurel and Hardy and many others.

The picture on the right is the cast photo for The Silver Screen.

Most of the cast have appeared on stage before for various groups, but there were also a few cast members who were performing for the very first time.

The show also helped to raise funds for the Lions Club of Calpe and Benissa. 1290 Euros was raised on the night by Sounds Familiar donating 25% of all ticket sales, plus the money from the programme sales and a raffle held by the Lions Club. The money was used to throw a Christmas party for the children in one of the Children's Homes.


Sounds Familiar

The debut show from Sounds Familiar was performed at the Casa de Cultura in Calpe on 27th February 2009. The featured songs from both the shows and pop culture giving a well-rounded selection of music to appeal to all ages.

The picture on the right is the cast photo of the debut show with the original cast.

Most of the cast have appeared on stage before for various groups, but there were also a few cast members who were performing for the very first time.

On the night Sounds Familiar donated 25% of all tickets sales to charity, along with the money from programme sales. The charity, The Friends Of The Children Of EMAÚS, also held a raffle. In total the show raised 1175 euros for the Children's charity.