Felix The Cat by John & Ciaran Chillingworth – Music in Felixstowe and Felixstowe Children at Causton School last night
Hattie and Emily Bennett of Music in Felixstowe and Kaye Stone who runs Felixstowe Children’s Choir, should certainly be admired for the work they do bringing music into the lives of local young people. This world premier of new musical written by John & Ciaran Chillingworth – two experienced and talented performers in their own right – was put together in a day and then performed over two evenings to an admiring audience of parents, relatives and friends. And it was for me a privilege to be asked to attend and experience the amazing future talent emerging within our Felixstowe schools.
The musical featured Helen Clarke as a ‘salty’ narrator, an old man of the sea living in Felixstowe who had lost his seafaring cat and hoped that by telling some old yarns of seafaring times would result in the cat returning. So he tells of the cat’s adventures crossing the world with a group of pirates – while always looking for a way home.
Interspersed with original songs inspired by each country on the journey – we visited Sweden, Spain, New York, Australia, Jamaica and France while the pirates did a bit of swash and buckle and the local residents tried to persuade the sea mates to stay in their beautiful country. But Felix is never persuaded – because how can anywhere compare to Felixstowe, his home?
Katie Mitton was a lovely Felix – with a lot of nice cat moves and a beautiful light voice. Her four pirate chums were delightful – and the supporting chorus for each country gave it their all, accompanied by John on the keyboards, Spencer Horton on drums and Hattie on Bass.
It may have been a little ragged round the edges – but the indomitable Emily kept them all on track – the songs were catchy and the result was a delightful hour of entertainment from a very talented bunch.
Schools represented were Causton, Colneis, Felixstowe Academy, Grange, Ipswich High School and Kingsfleet. Kaye Stone’s Children’s Choir also played a prominent part – and there has obviously been a lot of work behind the scenes, not only by Kaye and Emily but by the teachers as well.
This was a well written, fun musical – very suitable for a children’s production – that I hope will have legs and be performed again. It certainly deserves to be.