First night in new theatre is a success for Viva

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. 

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. - Credit: MIKE ROUSE

A Soham-based theatre group finally got to perform on the stage of their years-in-the-making new theatre

After several years of fundraising, Viva Arts and Community Group has converted the old mill on Spencer’s Drove into a community arts and theatre centre. 

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. 

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. - Credit: MIKE ROUSE

Spencer’s Mill has been transformed into the Viva Theatre using funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, East Cambridgeshire District Council, Power to Change, The Arts Council, Cambridgeshire Community Foundation and Amey Vespa.

Work on the site continued throughout the pandemic, but the lockdowns and social distancing rules delayed the project and costs increased considerably.   

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. 

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. - Credit: MIKE ROUSE

Over the last six weeks, a cast and crew of more than 50 Viva members have been rehearsing a specially-licensed show to present to audiences ahead of the official theatre's opening in the New Year.

This weekend, they will join with thousands of amateur groups all over the world singing on the same weekend and celebrating being 'all together' again making theatre.

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. 

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. - Credit: MIKE ROUSE

A selection of songs from shows including Rent, Matilda, Oliver! Waitress, Fiddler on the Roof and Come from Away are featured in the new musical revue.

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Described as 'a global event celebrating local theatre', the show is being performed this weekend at 4.30pm and 7.30pm. 

Former mayor of Ely Mike Rouse was luckily enough to get a sneak preview of the show when he watched the dress rehearsal. 

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. 

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. - Credit: MIKE ROUSE

He said: "I was in my 'happy place' yesterday evening - in the theatre. And a new one!

"It was a rehearsal for this weekend's sold-out concert.

"Bridget Hickish is the managing director for 'All Together Now', which is a national initiative.

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. 

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. - Credit: MIKE ROUSE

"Lucky you if you have got tickets and lucky us to have a new theatre and a full programme being planned.

"Thank you Daniel Schumann and all the Viva! family."

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. 

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. - Credit: MIKE ROUSE

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. 

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. - Credit: MIKE ROUSE

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. 

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. - Credit: MIKE ROUSE

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. 

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. - Credit: MIKE ROUSE

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. 

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. - Credit: MIKE ROUSE

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. 

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. - Credit: MIKE ROUSE

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. 

Soham-based Viva theatre group during a dress rehearsal for their show 'All Together Now'. - Credit: MIKE ROUSE


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