In what is now their 96th year as a company – with 95th celebrations taking place last summer to huge success – the Finchley and Friern Barnet Operatic Society, or as they’re better-known FFBOS, are working hard in rehearsal towards their autumn show, Seussical the Musical. The musical based on the works of Dr. Seuss is a show full of colour and vibrancy with memorable and catchy songs played to an engaging and virtuous storyline. Horton the Elephant of ‘Horton Hears a Who’ fame, hears the tiny town of Whoville in peril when they are drifting helplessly on a small speck of dust, and despite their minuscule scale, proclaims he must save them as “a person’s a person no matter how small!” Of course, you can expect to see iconic Seuss characters the likes of The Cat in the Hat, Yertle the Turtle and Thing 1 and 2 as well, but it is the show’s feel-good and morally teaching story that resonates with the ethos of the North London based community theatre group. A company made from teachers, banking and HR professionals, retail workers, NHS workers, retirees and much more, the group is founded on a spirit of inclusiveness with it constantly welcoming new faces and seeing many faces go on to become stalwarts of the company and shape its future.
Performing their full scale shows at Enfield theatre venue, The Dugdale Centre, the group also perform a number of concerts and organise events such as quiz nights throughout the year that contribute to their social and fundraising efforts.
A growing society that is always on the hunt for new members, FFBOS rehearse two nights a week on Monday and Wednesday in Southgate, with the occasional Sunday rehearsal when show week beckons. But as well as on stage, the running of a successful theatre group takes more than people on stage, there are so many people behind the scenes doing pivotal work to make FFBOS shows a success; directors, choreographers, musical directors, prop makers, costumers, set makers, stage crew, and front of house staff to name but a few of the many volunteers the group rely on, and of course FFBOS are always open for more help in this department!
The company also have an honorary membership scheme of which a few historic members now enjoy life membership for, as well as their Honorary Vice President being musical theatre legend Elaine Paige, a former North London girl herself. The predecessor to her honorary title was also Baroness Thatcher who was known to frequent a few FFBOS shows in her time before she entered Number 10!
There are many ways to get involved, but the best way to find out more is to visit www.ffbos.com and get in touch via their site where a committee member will get back to your enquiry.
And of course, one should see the group in action for their next show: ‘Seussical the Musical’ / 26th November – 2nd December / The Dugdale Centre, Enfield / 02088076680 / www.dugdalecentre.co.uk