Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year

2015 is almost over and this year has been a high point for us all at Encore Theatre Company, with Annie having sell out performances and our Pantomime Sleeping Beauty selling out two weeks before opening night!

We had a successful fundraising evening at Asda Durkar with all our carol singers wishing last minute shoppers a Merry Christmas with our traditional carols. This is always a highlight of the year and was well supported by our members so thank you to everyone who joined us we made a whopping £268.27!!!


Our next blog will be in early January so we would like to wish all of our members, friends, family and audiences a wonderful Christmas and a spectacular New Year.
Here’s to 2016 and to yet more sell out performances!


A Great Opportunity

Encore Theatre Company has always relied on its members, friends and family for their support, not only in the production of shows and pantomimes, but also in the organisation and running of a wide range of fundraising activities. Shows, and musicals in particular, are becoming more and more expensive to put together, so the money generated from social events, raffles and other similar activities goes a long way towards determining the choice of production for the following year.527743_484292161587540_83318355_n

Over the last few years a lot of hard work behind the scenes in terms of promotion and publicity, redeveloping our website, growing our social media presence and careful decision making in terms of show selection has resulted in our theatre company growing from strength to strength. Our last three productions have all sold out and although the majority of our audiences still live in and around Castleford, people are now travelling from all over Yorkshire to see our shows.

1980059_888291774520908_5860910093329861070_oThis is therefore an ideal time to take advantage of one of our sponsorship packages! These not only provide an opportunity for local businesses and other organisations to support our group financially, but at the same time allow them to make the most of a range of benefits and promotional opportunities.

The three options available start with the Bronze package at just £100 for 12 months. This includes a half page advertisement in two souvenir programmes and a link to your website on our own website

The Silver package includes a full page advertisement in two souvenir programmes, two tickets for each production during the 12 month period plus a complimentary interval drink at each, a link on our website and a copy of your logo on our Facebook page which also links to your website. The price of this package is just £200.

But, for an extra £150 the Gold package includes everything in the Silver package plus an additional two tickets (four in total) for each production within period of sponsorship and a copy of your logo on all our promotional materials, displays and press releases. At just £350 for 12 months, and with almost 1200 people seeing each of our last three productions, this is by far the best value package on offer.


For more information about any of our packages, or other ways you can support our organisation, please e-mail us at or telephone (01977) 301548.

Meet Our Musical Director

This week we quiz our Musical director and pick her brain about her role with Encore!380368_470406809642742_1185807077_n

What is your name?
Sarah Crowley

What is your role and what does that involve? 
I am the Musical Director for Encore Theatre Company which involves me learning the musical numbers on piano, teaching the songs to the cast and working with the band in preparation for the main shows or pantomimes.

How long have you been involved with Encore Theatre Company?
I have now worked with Encore for 11 years.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
It’s difficult to answer this question as the songs are written already. I generally end up re-writing some songs and 9 times out of 10 I will add harmony to the melody lines. I guess I am inspired more when it comes to harmony and I usually experiment when I have the cast in front of me. Where does the inspiration come from? It may seem strange but from a young age I have been able to hear many instruments in my head and this helps me to write harmony easily. I suppose that it helps that from a young age I played piano, recorder, violin, guitar and keyboard.

What has been your favourite show with Encore and why?
My favourite shows are the ones that I can experiment with harmony! ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ has got to be in the top 3 and I enjoyed conducting ‘Annie’. The most challenging one to play and conduct was ‘Carousel’.

Do you choose the songs for the panto and how do you decide which to use?
Choosing the songs for the panto is usually a mutual decision between the choreographer, director and musical director. We try to include some songs that are recent. The difficult part is trying to find songs that fit with the scene. The opening and finale numbers are the hardest to decide especially if they lead into a market scene (there are only so many times we can sing ‘Who will Buy’).

Which part of Sleeping Beauty are you most looking forward to? 
I enjoy the week of the show, especially the band call. It’s great going to the theatre and seeing the lights and set and special effects that we use.

Can you recall a particularly memorable stage event that you contributed to? 11200965_1092161127467304_6927968330714115545_o
I only contribute with the band so, my memorable event is probably been in my tree house! It’s rather cosy up in the gods with ten musicians next to many spot lights! The funniest thing is that every year my TV monitor gets bigger and bigger which takes up more room!

Which do you prefer? Working on a panto or the summer show and why?
I prefer the panto, it’s more light-hearted and we have a laugh putting panto together. Some shows are fun but I like to decide on the musical numbers and we can experiment more.

What do you enjoy most about being part of Encore Theatre Company? 
Encore put on fantastic shows and work hard together. It’s a bit more personal for me because I get to see my mum too! It’s great to see that the society is growing in members and we have a good following from the public!

What else to you get up to when you’re not working in theatre?
Music, music, music! I teach National Curriculum, vocals and piano to nursery up to A ‘level to children around Leeds. I am also the vocal coordinator for the Leeds music service ‘Artforms’ which covers the schools in Leeds. I spend time arranging and composing music for vocal groups and orchestras and writing my own material, some of which links to the National Curriculum topics taught in lessons.

256174_231316400218452_5880961_oCan you name a best and worst moment during a show?

My worst moment has got to be playing piano for a small cabaret that we were doing and I was playing piano for the ‘Fiddler’ section. I had stuck all the music together (60 plus pages) and they fell off the stand like a domino effect. I had to make up half the music and didn’t have a clue what I was doing!! The cast kept singing and you could see the horror in their faces! A nice audience member picked up the music for me, bearing in mind it was all stuck together! Eventually I got back on track! The positive from this story is that my fellow MD friend said ‘It was worth the money to see you fighting with lots of music!’.
The best moment has got to be the applause from the audience and hearing the positive comments about the society. I get a buzz from the finale of the pantomime when everybody claps and cheers and it makes be proud of everybody on stage! It’s a great atmosphere!

Can you describe Sleeping Beauty in 3 words?
Humorous! Energetic! Magical! (I couldn’t think of a third word :0/)

Thank you Sarah for answering all of our questions!

Panto comes to an end

So, that was the week that was! Show week has come and gone in a flash. The princess has woken up and found her prince and Malificent is under control (for the time being!) as Fairy G’s cleaner.12307557_1211527675530648_7837304404049051046_o

Sleeping Beauty has come to an end and we wake up this morning with a sigh of relief and a feeling of pride that this year’s panto has been one of the best yet. After several months of hard work we are now left wondering what to do with our Tuesday and Thursday nights and missing all of the drama and fun times at rehearsals.

The show has been a great success,  practically selling out 3 weeks before opening night with the exception of around 60 tickets over the four performances. By the end of November we had completely sold out and even opened up our dress rehearsal to audiences so not to disappoint anyone who missed out on the main performances. Now that is an achievement! 12309480_1211527385530677_7411924580127377040_o

Once again the panto had a number of unexpected comedy times; ad libs, breaking wands, lost crowns and bumped heads but most of it went to plan without too many mishaps or forgotten lines! That’s what Panto is all about after all!

We’ve already had some great feedback on social media from our audiences, including the following…

Karen Copithorne
Been tonight to the pantomime, absolutely fantastic, never laughed so much at one time, well done everyone, really loved Fairy G she was brilliant, well done, see you next year xx

Diane Bond
Another brilliant performance….lots of laughs, oh yes there was. Thank you to all involved.

Will Robey
Fantastic show tonight guys. Well done to everyone involved. Another splendid job. All the hard work and effort certainly paid off. Enjoy the rest of the run.

Ruth Johnson Roche
Fantastic first night well done to everyone

We now turn our attention to our summer show, Bad Girls with auditions starting next week(!) Christmas is just around the corner too of course and perhaps we’ll see you at Asda Durkar on 22nd December while we’re there singing carols. If not, we hope you have a great Christmas and Happy New Year. Oh, and don’t forget next week’s blog too!

Just as a fin12291277_1211529985530417_51386660323341426_oal word a big thank you to all our audiences for making this a great show week and ‘We will see you all again same time same place next