Clive Nolan: And.... relax! So there we are, a week of Alchemy in the London "off West End'. And what a week it was! Full houses every night, three sell outs and a wonderful and enthusiastic reception from our many audiences. Audiences, which we made up of dedicated followers and just people who came in off the street to see what was going on. Special thanks to the ladies (they saw the show for the first time) who announced to the manager of the theatre that 'Alchemy was even better than 'Les Mis'... That made my week!... On this general subject I would like to thank all the wonderful 'Alchemists' who have stuck with the shows over the last year or two. It is always so good to see those familiar faces in the audience, and your support has been uplifting and heartwarming! To all of you who travelled, whether from another city in England, or from France, Germany, Poland, Holland, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and goodness knows where else... Thank you so much for coming and supporting us, yet again!
And now to the team that made this all possible... I can only continue to sing your praises! Dziekuje! :-)
The wonderful crew... Alec Morris for his terrific lighting vision, Mark Westwood for dealing with some pretty tricky sound issues, and taking control of all those head mics... Magda Grabias for all her pre-show promotion and her boundless energy in the selling of merchandise (aided by Susie Brauer)... also Phil Hunter, our theatre technician for the week... Fantastic job guys... Tack!
Where would be be without Scenery and costume?! Natalie Barnett assisted by Caron Morgan (and some other workshop elves along the way) provided us with wonderful images and vibrant colours, bringing this whole production to life! Their work has provided the backbone of the production we can now take to many other theatres. Such dedication... Gracias!
And our excellent chorus... Ollie West, Caron Morgan, Ron Milsom, Ethan Barnett, Colin Greene, Ian Baldwin and Natalie Barnett... all of whom brought depth, realism and life to the many characters across the show. You were the fuel that kept this production during throughout even the toughest rehearsals. Merci mes amis!
Finally the principals... Well... it is you guys that tell the story and bring the music to the audience! We really had a stellar cast players. The romance and the 'alchemy of love' was played out so delightfully by Agnieszka Swita and Matthew Ronchetti... The evil and the thuggery was etched into our senses by the ebullient Andy Sears and Ross Andrews (who also provided us with our stoic 'Captain Farrell')... Victoria Bolley, this amazing soprano, provided us with the perfect protector for Samuel King... Verity Smith proved her quality as the 'over starched' housekeeper and a truly convincing street urchin... and Chris Lewis gave us a superb comic turn with the lead Mercenary as well as a sensationally dark appearance as the long dead alchemist, Thomas Anzeray. To you all, I can only say 'you were magnificent'... Grazie mille!
I cannot finish this massive thank you letter without a couple more mentions.
I would again like to thank all the sponsors... all the people who organised fundraisers... those who simply went online and put money towards this production.. and all the talented performers who gave up their time and energy to make each fundraiser so much fun. This was an expensive project, and I am happy to say that we have made it through in one piece thanks to your support.
I must also mention Sian Roberts for her endless driving and and unearthly patience, Beth Turner for her additional costume work, and our mysterious benefactor for financing the head mics!
Finally... the man who simply removed so much stress off my shoulders, and brought a whole new lease of life into 'Alchemy' and it's future... Ian Baldwin. Mr Director, you get the 'man of the match' award! Without your involvement, London would have been the probably end of the journey... Sadly for you... now, it's just the start! Ich danke Ihnen sehr!
So there we are. I have obviously missed a load of names out, as is the tradition with such things. To those I haven't mentioned (and you know who you are), please accept my gratitude. And no, Graeme Bell... I did not forget you this time! For your superb artwork, for the logo that is now synonymous with 'Alchemy'... for your programme designs and your T-shirts designs... Dank je wel!
THANK YOU all for helping me keep this dream alive... but it seems... Our work is not yet done!
Photos by Neil Palfreyman