Farnham’s main producer of musical theatre is doing everything it can to support the local hospice’s finances. Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care, the Farnham-based charity that provides a range of free services to adult patients and families living with an advanced or terminal illness, has seen its fund-raising hit hard by the Coronavirus crisis. With so many of its supporters’ events cancelled, the charity is experiencing a massive drop in its income.
Some of the singers from FAOS Musical Theatre Group have gathered in hyperspace to record Always Look on the Bright Side of Life from Monty Python’s Spamalot. The song also featured in FAOS’s 2018 stand-out production of Spamalot. Strictly observing social distancing by staying at home, the group has managed to sound like the expert singers Farnham audiences know them to be.
The group’s business and publicity manager, Nigel Morley, explained that performing a virtual song was something of an experiment, given the very real technical challenge of rehearsing when everyone is in a different location. And there is a further hurdle facing each singer as they have not only to sing well but act as sound engineer, lighting camera operator, studio floor manager and IT expert all at the same time. The video can be viewed on YouTube by searching for ‘FAOS Always’.
FAOS performs twice a year in the Great Hall at Farnham Maltings and supports Phyllis Tuckwell at each of its shows, donating a proportion of the ticket sales revenue to the charity. Their performance of HMS Pinafore, scheduled for June, is in jeopardy because of the uncertainty of when people will be permitted once again to gather in venues like the Maltings.
Phyllis Tuckwell provides supportive and end of life care for adult patients and families who are living with an advanced or terminal illness, such as cancer. Every day it supports over 250 patients, relatives and carers – in their own homes, in the community, at the Hospice in Farnham and at the Beacon Centre in Guildford – but as the NHS/Government only covers 20% of its costs, it has to raise over £20,000 a day to do this.
Donations to support Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care can be made by going to justgiving.com and searching for ‘FAOS’.