Artist’s stage de­sign is a hit

Macclesfield Express - - MACABRE MACCLESFIELD – PART ONE - RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL

AN am­a­teur artist who was drafted in to paint a stage scenery at the last minute has won an award for his ef­forts.

Gareth Roberts, 57, stepped into the breach when Bolling­ton Light Opera Group (BLOG) was ap­peal­ing for a set de­signer for it’s pro­duc­tion of Oliver!

And he was thrilled when his hard work was recog­nised, not only by the cast and au­di­ence, but when he was pre­sented with an award for ‘Ex­cel­lence in Stage Craft and Set Pa­tin­ing’ at the As­so­ci­a­tion of Com­mu­nity The­atre (ACT) awards.

Gareth, whose wife Norma is BLOG sec­re­tary and per­forms in the cho­rus, said: “I couldn’t be­lieve it, I didn’t ex­pect to win be­cause it was my first time do­ing any­thing like this and I didn’t have much time to do it.

“It feels re­ally good be­cause it’s nice to be ap­pre­ci­ated, art is very per­sonal and the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple are not go­ing to like what you do, so to have every­one telling you how im­pressed they are is re­ally good.”

Dad-of-four Gareth, who de­signs com­puter sys­tems, had just four week­ends to de­sign and paint nine can­vasses to form the back- drop of the stage performances.

He said: “They were stuck for some­one to paint the set so I of­fered to help. But it turned out the per­son I would be help­ing was my­self as they didn’t have any­one else. I hadn’t done any­thing on that scale for 20 years but I thought I would have a go.”

He added: “It was a big job - they were so big I couldn’t fit them in the house so I had to put them in my leaky car port - but I man­aged it.”

Gareth, who lives at Pool End Close in Tyther­ing­ton, has since painted an­other set for the group, this time for its per­for­mance of Show­time, and has been signed up to dec­o­rate next year’s set, Pi­rates of Pen­zance.

To see more of Gareth’s art go to http:// garethart.co.uk. WHAT bet­ter way to spend a snowy evening in Bolling­ton than in the pres­ence of the warmly wel­com­ing mem­bers of Bolling­ton Light Opera Group and to en­joy their 2015 pro­duc­tion of Show­time.

This was a va­ri­ety show fea­tur­ing songs and dances from mu­si­cals old and new, start­ing with a feisty se­lec­tion from Chicago, dur­ing which the men took on the clas­sic ‘Cell Block Tango’ and made it un­for­get­tably their own!

This was fol­lowed by a se­lec­tion from Les Mis­er­ables, where Sarah

●» Mem­bers of the Bolling­ton Light Opera Group per­form ‘Show­time’ with set de­signed by Gareth Roberts (see left)

●» Gareth, left, painted the set for Oliver! above

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