Association of Community Theatre


PADOS Theatre Group


Director: Simon Fletcher

Choreographer: Helen Marland

Music supplied by backing tracks


This was another production of acclaimed entertainment by this group. I have been fortunate to have seen all of the ‘Swing’ shows. It cannot be said this production, or sections of previous presentations, had the edge on the others. A lot of time, passion and anguish from the creative team goes into each of the Simon Fletcher ‘Gotta Swing’ revues.


The presentation captured the era of swing giving a perfect setting for the song’s stories to unfold. The costumes gave an impressive picture of a sophisticated era , men in evening dress and the ladies looking so elegant, completing the overall image


The lighting added to the mood and atmosphere while the sound mix of music and vocals brought out all that is best in this genre. It was the fabulous arrangements that gave the troupe of singers the platform to deliver.


Putting together a programme to follow previous winning formulae must have been a daunting task. The director will tell you he is not a theatre director, or an M.D., but that he is a performer who knows and feels his music. In tune with the talents of his company, a collection of swing / big band numbers was selected. The over-riding question was, “Will it work?” but only an audience will tell you that.


From solo, to duet, to ensemble pieces and polished dance routines each section was all a part of the winning formula. The nightclub scenes, with bar and barman, Gary Griffin, (who knew how much business to put in without diverting attention) took the audience on a glorious musical journey!


In the company were Charlie Lewis, David Glynn Whitehead, Amanda Ernest, Gary Griffin, Jack Martin, Esme Mather, Abi Henry, Richard O’Connor, Susan Glover, Ella-Leticia Gumbs, Helen Marland and Simon Fletcher. They all equally contributed to the overall spectacle of the production. Each song was like a mini-drama that has to be acted out. The audience was carried through the highs and lows of each number. The audience has to be worked all the time.  When the mood is brought down, it then has  to be lifted again. The climax was the final number by the men, ‘My Way’. The audience applause was proof that all the hard work had paid off.


The next ‘Swing’ extravaganza has an audience in waiting.