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Your Midlands and Shropshire am dram round-up

By Alison Norton | Entertainment | Published:

Is that the jingling of sleigh bells I can hear? Christmas must be just around the corner!

Land of make believe – Moat Players present Peter Panto

All across the region there are plenty of Christmas shows and concerts to choose from, and here are just a few of them.

The Moat Players will present their annual Christmas show, the aptly named Peter Panto, from December 14-16, at St Mary’s Church Hall, Solihull, with 7.30pm performances nightly and a 2.30pm Saturday matinee.

Based on J M Barrie’s classic tale, this panto has just the right amount of magic for the children and mischief for the adults.

When Wendy Darling and her two brothers, John and Michael are lured to join Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up in his make-believe world called Neverland, little did they know they were off to fight the evil Captain Hook!

l For tickets priced at £8 for adults and £6.50 for concessions, visit www.moatplayers.co.uk or call 07760306605.

Snow White and her dwarfs are making an appearance at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Cannock, with shows from December 22-30.

l For tickets visit www. boxoffice.wlct.org or call 01543 578762.

Viva Musica, the seventy-strong mixed choir who rehearse and perform in Stourbridge, will be presenting a wonderful evening of festive favourites entitled A Concert for Christmas, on December 16 at St James’s Church, Wollaston, starting at 7pm.

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The singers will be joined by guests, the choir of St. James’s C of E Primary School from Wollaston and there will even be an appearance by Father Christmas.

l Tickets are just £10 each and includes mince pies and wine, so call 0121 550 5581 or 01562 883480 to book. Alternatively, visit www.vivamusica.co.uk

Tomorrow and Sunday, you can catch A Holly Jolly Christmas, presented by the Theatre Collective at Blue Orange Theatre in Birmingham.

This concert pays homeage to the golden era of Hollywood, featuring all of your best-loved Christmas classics, suitable for the whole family. The group will be paying tribute to the greatest stars of the MGM years, so start your Christmas holidays with an evening of song and dance,

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l For tickets priced at £14-£10, visit www.thetheatrecollective.co.uk, or www.blueorangetheatre.co.uk or call 07855770013.

Amid all the happiness at this time of year, sadly there are still some am dram folk who are finding it hard to maintain their groups, but fear, there is a happy ending.

The Marston Singers from Wolverhampton have had a tough year after losing their dear Musical Director, Maureen who passed away. However, help was on hand and Steve Cooper has now taken over and got the choir back on track.

They are performing their Christmas concert entitled, the Marston Singers Present Christmas Time, on December 16, starting at 7pm, at St Joseph’s Church in Penn, Wolverhampton, supported by the City of Wolverhampton Brass Band.

The choir is mixed and currently has around 35 members, although they are always on the lookout for new recruits.

l For more information on the Marston Singers and to purchase tickets for their concert, email stevecooper1971@gmail.com or call 07467192281.

Tettenhall Operatic Society, who rehearse and perform at the Towers Theatre within Tettenhall College, will be presenting their yuletide offering on December 16 at 7.30pm, and December 17 at 2.30pm, entitled Festive Fayre.

The programme for the evening will include festive music, both solos and ensemble pieces, as well as readings, instrumental items and Christmas carols for everyone to join in with.

l Tickets are priced at £12.50 and include refreshments and are available by phoning Marilyn Goodwin on 01902 751729, or visiting www.tettenhalloperatic.weebly.com

News now of a new musical which is premiering in Birmingham on Sunday at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s Recital Hall, stating at 2pm.

The Last Christmas tree is the tale of two young foxes, Rusty and Amber, who venture into a tumbledown old barn. The last thing they are expecting to meet in there is a new best friend – Chris, a Christmas tree who longs for fun and excitement.

But their newfound friendship is disapproved of by the barn’s resident owl, Noel and when the foxes come up with a plan to grant Chris’s dearest wish, Noel is furious. Chris and the foxes ignore her words of warning and embark on an adventure which doesn’t turn out quite as they expected, but along the way there is laughter, tears, danger and surprises, all set to song.

The show has been written by actress Valerie Hall and features music composed by her stepson, Joel Hall, who is a Royal Birmingham Conservatoire post graduate composition student.

The production features more than twenty students amongst its cast and crew including those training to be actors and musicians from the conservatoire as well as scholars from the Birmingham School of Art.

Valerie says: “I am very excited to see this work to come to life. It has a great score and is being performed by a wonderful young company. It is the perfect production for this time of year, mixing larger than life characters with subtle comedic moments. It really is a theatre experience for the whole family.”

l For tickets for The Last Christmas Tree, visit www.bcu.ac.uk or call 0121 331 6738.

Dudley Choral Society will be presenting their Christmas concert, Christmas Cracker, at St James’s Church, Eve Hill in Dudley tomorrow at 7.30pm.

Described as a relaxing, warm and spicy yuletide special, the concert will include Vaughan Williams cheerful Fantasia on Christmas carols.

There will also be some special arrangements of best loved carols and a comedy version of The Twelve Days of Christmas, with spoken commentary through which members of the choir will attempt to keep a straight face.

l For tickets priced at £8 each call 01384 259250 or email a.shirley30@googlemail.com

And finally this week, at the Crescent Theatre in Birmingham, you can catch an evening full of festive cheer, mulled wine and mince pies, as the Crescent Theatre Company presents A Christmas Wassail.

It’s a festive feast of music, comedy and the spoken word, guaranteed to warm your heart this Christmas.

l For tickets priced at £20 each, visit www.crescent-theatre.co.uk

Alison Norton

By Alison Norton
@AlisonNorton

Theatre critic and unofficial 'am dram queen' for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star

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