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Voices in Performance was born out of Village Voices, a group that was founded in the village of Felpham in 2003 by businesswoman and former actress Julia Goodman and husband Mark Mason-Jones.  When they bought an 18th Century cottage near her home town of Chichester after nearly 40 years in London, Julia decided that an interesting way of getting to know the village was to invite people into their home and get invited back!  What better way than to start a poetry group?

Julia and Village Voices like to feel that they have been at the forefront of the great resurgence that poetry has enjoyed in recent years.  VV became very popular over its first three years, and had 25 members who took turns to host the monthly meetings in their homes.

In 2007 the group was asked to help celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Felpham's famous poet, William Blake, with a public performance of his poetry and images, and Voices in Performance was formed.  Since that very successful event the ensemble of eight mixed voices has played numerous dates, including the Chichester Festivities, Arundel Festival and West Dean College.

The group, which combines professional and highly experienced amateur performers, puts on these shows for love and pleasure, and wherever possible donates a large part of any takings to the venue to finance refurbishment, scholarships, educational funds etc. 

Cafe theatre style events, with wine and buffet, have proved very successful, and the group likes to use this format wherever possible.  The performances offer a mix of narrative, prose, poetry, projected images and music, often to tell the story of someone's life and work, or to focus on a theme; for example, the title for the 2009 performances in the Chichester Festivities and Arundel Festival and in 2010 in the Titchfield Festival Theatre at the Kingston Readers Festival was No rhyme, no reason - the poetry of war.


The latest 'Carry on Cupid' team outside Blake's Cottage in Felpham
Musical Director Roger Limb (left) with Patrick Hastings, Christine West, Julia Goodman (Director),
Helena Michell, Mark Mason-Jones, Rod Beacham.
Actress Helena Michell is the daughter of actor Keith Michell and the German show will be her first appearance with VIP.

'What the Critics Say'