Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Barry Manilow’s COPACABANA by The Rattonians, Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, 23rd July 2008

Cast - See ***** below

If you are going to see a West End Show, even booking at the last minute, you can easily expect to pay around £37+ for the poorest theatre seat locations. Add on to that the cost of getting there, if outside London, and a couple could easily be forking out £100+ for one evening.

Copacabana - The RattoniansWhy bother? If you want to see a West End quality show both in terms of singing, acting and costume quality just keep an eye on what The Rattonians are performing at Eastbourne's Theatres?

The Rattonians are a non-profit making amateur group established in Eastbourne in 1984. In that year ex-Ratton school pupils and their drama teacher, Mark Adams, put on their first show holding a 24 hour play reading to raise money to fund a show in Eastbourne's smallest theatre, the Tivoli.

The rest is history and The Rattonians now perform regularly at Eastbourne's major Theatres - The Congress and The Devonshire Park Theatre.

From what I have seen, since dicovering this outstanding company, is that they regularly put "more bums on seats" than many of the big name celebrity shows. In fact there is nothing amateur whatsoever about this amateur group.

Oh no I lie the Rattonians website is, as I am sure they would admit, a bit basic. However, I am sure that is the least of their worries with all effort going into productions, rehearsals etc. which is understandable. But boy I'd like to give it a total facelift given the chance!!!! (anybody from the Rattonians reading this please note!!!! I would be glad to help!)

Ticket prices? Well top price tickets this year were £14 for Copacabana and with any profit raised going to charity they had raised over £50,000 before this show. Last year (2007) Cancer Research benefited from £7000.

For several years now this amateur (I hate that word for these people) group have managed to put on more than one very professional performance during the year.

Last year, 2007, saw Sweet Charity, Fame and Fame Forever. We saw both Fame and Fame Forever - absolutely unbelievable - the cast work so very hard and it shows! These really are West End quality productions minus the big name celebrity with their mugshot on the posters. Believe me, no celebrities required here, every performer is a star.

Earlier this year The Rattonians performed Les Miserables at the Devonshire Park Theatre. I was unable to see that so I can't pass comment but from what I have heard it was as outstanding as always.

The Rattonians perform CopacabanaThen from 23rd July to 2nd August Copacabana was scheduled at the Congress Theatre. We did not hesitate to book and went on opening night.

What an outstanding spectacle of glittering costumes, great singing, dancing and fine acting! Barry Manilow would be so proud of the performers and production team.

As I said we were there on opening night and, as far as I could see, the only glitch was a table and chairs that stubbornly refused to fit through a gap in the stage wings.

***** Now at this point I would have loved to have mentioned a few of the cast.

That part I find a little awkward here as whilst I have all the cast names many of the cast members prefer to remain mainly anonymous on social networking sites. I'll therefore leave the wonders of this cast for you to discover when you go to see them.

This year (2008) The Rattonians are doing even more hard work than they usually do and we have an extra show

The following I have blatantly copied word for word from the Congress Theatre site. I make no apology for this as it is an honest description.

A Celebration of Musical Theatre and Christmas Music

Congress Theatre, Eastbourne
Sunday, 30 November 2008

"An evening of song and dance in true Rattonian style. The evening will consist of a selection of The Groups' favourite show numbers, celebrating their 24 years of producing musicals in Eastbourne.

Also included are fun Christmas songs including Winter Wonderland and the favourite White Christmas to get you into seasonal mood."

Performance Times:

Ticket Prices:

To book the Rattonians Christmas show follow this link

Well there you have it. Just £12 for what will be a guaranteed great evening's entertainment and at the same time you are not lining somebody's pocket but helping a good cause.

If you live in easy reach of Eastbourne why not watch what this company can actually do and discover why they have become so well known in this area?

The Congress can seat 1689 people. Lets give the Rattonians a full house on Sunday, 30th November 2008!

Please note I am not connected with The Rattonians in anyway whatsoever and the link above is straight to the Congress Theatre. It should also be pointed out that it is a non-commission link. I am just glad to give them this plug as they all deserve it.

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