14th November 2022

Oliver & Soul to Sun

New Mills Art Theatre near the Derbyshire and Cheshire border, on the edge of the Peak District, is celebrating one hundred years of opening its doors as a two tier local venue. A production of Lionel Barts musical Oliver, based on the Charles Dickens 1838 novel of the same name is to be staged at the Art Theatre in November 2022. 

When filming at The Art Theatre, The Lol Cooper Band were made aware of this anniversary by Terry Barber, one of the theatres management team, who handed over a facsimile photo copy, documenting the last one hundred years of usage, of shows, and of performers, who have trodden the boards in the theatre. Terry says this will now be placed on line for all to see. The Lol Cooper Band both look for, and love a connection across time and place, and when looking back at 1922, the year proved to be a remarkably creative one, in terms of artistic change, questioning, and discovery. T S Elliot started the Criterion, and published his great modernist poem the Wasteland, which was originally to be called ‘He do the police in different voices’, a line from another Dickens book; Our Mutual Friend. 

From a year of fruition, we singled out the Wasteland, because of the Dickens connection, and because the superb seating in the theatre was procured from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theatre royal, in Drury Lane, London.  (Lol Cooper Band Soul to Sun; interviews: Terry Barber).

Mr Lloyd Webber wrote the musical Cats, which was inspired by T S Elliot’s delightful Old Possums Book of Practical Cats, and also; with Mr Elliot’s later magnum opus, of time; Four Quartets, LCB celebrate 100 years of music in poetry; A Scapeshifter, and a Soul to Sun launch: 2nd December 2022 at the New Mills Art Theatre.