Brentwood’s Strawberry Fair is always a riot of colour and fun, but this year’s event seemed to go above and beyond its previous jollity, helped largely by dozens of brightly dressed members of the cast of the forthcoming circus-themed production of “Godspell” at the Brentwood Centre.
Following hot on the heels of last year’s wonderful version of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat”, this weekend sees Godspell bring together local people of all ages, abilities, disabilities and musical skills in a huge community production.
I am reliably informed homes throughout the Borough of Brentwood and beyond have echoed to the sound of Stephen Schwartz harmonies including “Day By Day” and “We Beseech Thee”, accompanied by the thuds and thumps of jugglers and stilt-walkers in training. And these carefully-practised circus skills were very much in evidence as the company gathered around the star of the show, “The One and Only” Chesney Hawkes, to perform some of the songs from the show on a sunny Shenfield Common.
I’m going to be watching the show this weekend with my mother-in-law, Anne Clements who, as a young actress, appeared the original 70s production of Godspell with Robert Lindsay and Jeremy Irons. She played Sonia, and was very excited to meet Nicole Faraday at the Strawberry Fair, who will be playing the same part in this week’s production.
Last year’s production of Joseph, and the build-up to Godspell, have brought so many people together in what I know will be a spectacular show for all the family. It says something about the spirit of Brentwood that such ambitious productions can be put on, and I would urge anyone who has not already bought tickets to seek them out now on the Brentwood Centre’s website www.brentwood-centre.co.uk