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British comedy Song for Marion released in the UK

The film focuses on a community choir and stars a host of British acting talent.

By Sonali Hindmarch (Former Content Producer (Learning))

22 February 2013 at 5.58pm | 5 Comments

Song for Marion, starring Vanessa Redgrave and Terence Stamp, can be seen in UK cinemas from today.

Written and directed by Paul Andrew Williams, the film follows Marion (Redgrave), who is terminally ill but loves singing for a local chorus, and her husband, Arthur (Terence Stamp), who grumpily disapproves. When tragedy strikes, Arthur has to revise his ideas about the choir.

Only a handful of the choir members in the film were professional actors. They were picked from a community chorus in Newcastle, where the film was shot.

Watch the trailer of Song for Marion here:

Arthur’s skepticism about the choir is mirrored by the gender imbalance in many singing groups around the country. Our community choir, the Royal Opera House Thurrock Community Chorus, had a drive for new male members in January, and the number of men taking part has doubled since then.

ROH Thurrock Community Chorus member Eric Smith tells us:

‘I have been singing for 50 years but had never considered myself to be a “serious” singer so it was with some trepidation that I joined the ROH Thurrock Community Chorus in January 2012. I need not have worried. At our collective best, we sound amazing - it's our passion and commitment that allow that to happen. So bring it on for 2013!’

Find out more about our ROH Thurrock Community Chorus here:

The ROH Thurrock Community Chorus will be performing live on 29 and 30 June as part of FUSED Thurrock Choral Festival. During this event, there will be workshops and performances and the chance to find out more about the choir. For information about tickets, contact

Education charity Damaris has created a number of resources to encourage people to think about personal, everyday life issues raised in Song for Marion.

Are you a member of a choir? Let us know what the experience has been like for you.

By Sonali Hindmarch (Former Content Producer (Learning))

22 February 2013 at 5.58pm

This article has been categorised Learning, Music and tagged cinema, Damaris, Film, FUSED, Royal Opera House Thurrock Community Chorus, Song For Marion, Terence Stamp, Thurrock, Vanessa Redgrave

This article has 5 comments

  1. Daniela McDonach responded on 28 February 2013 at 9:21pm Reply

    I am a fairly new member of the ROH Thurrock Community Chorus and I am so very glad I joined. I'm a mum of three young children and I work full-time so my life is incredibly stressful; it's so hard to switch off and unwind. But when I'm at choir I'm doing something for me, for a change. Concentrating on the music for a couple of hours really clears my mind and the buzz I get from doing my bit to create such a glorious sound keeps me humming all week. I didn't know anyone else in the choir when I joined but everyone has been really friendly. I love Mondays now!

  2. Anna Richardson responded on 1 March 2013 at 12:30am Reply

    I had not sung in a choir for 12 years when I saw the advert in a local paper about the ROH Thurrock Community Chorus. I joined in January 2012, the past year has been wonderful, especially performing at the ROH Covent Garden. I find it challenging learning and singing a foreign language, but enjoy every minute, it takes my mind off of my work which can be very stressful. I look forward to 2013

  3. I joined the ROH Community Chorus in October 2013.
    I am an extremely experienced amateur choral singer, but even so the experience of being in this chorus has had some unique moments of enjoyment for me.
    The key word that stands out is 'community'. Everyone shares a passion for singing, and really values the opportunity to make music together. Some might say that the variety of levels of choral ability is a challenge - but as our conductor Jeremy says, it's a team challenge. We all want the performance to be as good as it can be, so we all put the effort into making that so. People help each other to perform in many different ways; sometimes with understanding the words, sometimes with getting the tune or the pitching right, sometimes with physical or emotional challenges.
    The shared love of music making is the driver, but the result is a caring, sharing group of lovely folks that I am proud to know.

  4. Amanda Game responded on 1 March 2013 at 12:24pm Reply

    I joined the ROH Community Chorus a year ago ,I was invited by other chorus members to come and try, I had no experience singing but love music and relished the challenge.I had to give up work due to health problems and felt very isolated so this is a wonderful outlet for me the Choir are a lovely bunch and are so helpful. Jeremy our choirmaster is so passionate about what we do it is infectious. I have improved my singing, performed to audiences,learnt new languages,met new people, sung at a wedding and sung at the R.O.H with professionals and had a fantastic time doing it , and all of this in a year! I am looking forward to an exciting 2013 with the Chorus.

  5. Madeline Beesley responded on 6 March 2013 at 2:01pm Reply

    It has been an incredible journey for me since I joined the ROH Community Chorus in 2011 and I have loved every moment of it.
    I went along when I saw the advert for new members in the local paper, I was looking for a different interest and as I love to listen to music I decided to give it a go. I never imagined that I could sing opera and I didn’t expect to last long but “nothing ventured” as they say!
    I have met the loveliest people from all walks of life and all ages. Many of us were new to singing and the repertoire can be quite challenging but with much laughter and encouragement from each other we always seem to crack it. Then the blend of our voices when we all sing together sounds truly wonderful.
    We are led and guided with great skill and humour (and they need it) by two amazing and talented teachers Jeremy Haneman and Michalis Angelakis. They have taken us from singing at the Orsett Show, battling to be heard above the noise of steam engines and public announcements, to singing at the Olympic Torch Ceremony and other concerts. We have then gone on to sing at least three times at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and we have sang with the ROH Chorus making it a truly wonderful concert.
    The professionalism and hard work by the team at Get Involved make me feel very privileged to be part of the ROH Community Chorus. These have been things I would never have dreamed I would do in my lifetime and I will never forget them.

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