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Am-Dram: New worlds for Mister Tom and the 9 to 5 girls

Over the years, I have seen many, many musicals as you can imagine, performed by both professionals and amateurs, but one that has alluded me so far is Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World.

Songs For A New World
Songs For A New World

This show is not performed very often, but I was delighted to see that the Stafford Gatehouse Youth Theatre has chosen to present it from July 21-22 at their venue in Eastgate Street.

Songs For a New World tells the story of sixteen different moments in time, where a choice is made and the world of the character in question is changed forever.

The composer was just twenty-five when the musical was written, yet it depicts characters and themes you would expect from a much more mature individual who had lived a long and varied life.

With musical numbers performed by characters such as a woman debating suicide, a young mother and wife facing the challenges of motherhood, passengers on board a Spanish sailing ship looking towards a new life and a separated couple who reunite, it is a snapshot of real life and how the decisions we make affect our future.

Director Nick Earnshaw said: “We are so lucky with the talent we have. They have learnt complicated harmonies, dance, gymnastics, physical theatre and ensemble storytelling, and the whole cast is on stage throughout the piece. It is going to be a spectacular yet thought provoking show.”

Musical numbers include, Just One Step, Flying Home, The River Won’t Flow and Hear My Song.

The group is running summer schools too, so for more information, visit https://staffordgatehousetheatre.co.uk/youth/

Another group of youngsters who are working hard towards their next show, is Team Productions Musical Theatre School, who will perform the annual showcase, On With The Show on July 23 at The Old Rep theatre in Birmingham.

Their principal, Claire Flack, started the school back in 2000 and since then she has seen a host of students pass through, raising money for charities including Comic Relief, Compton Care and Children in Need.

Team Productions Musical Theatre School

The students, who can start at the tender age of just three years old, gain confidence from performing as well has having a massive amount of fun and being given the opportunity to perform for their friends and family. It’s hard work too though as every student has the chance to attain certified qualifications from leading drama associations, and many of Claire’s pupils have achieved merit and distinction grades.

On With the Show features song and dance routines to music across all eras, including swing, rock, pop, and musical theatre.

For tickets, visit https://www.oldreptheatre.co.uk or call 0121 359 9444. For more information on Team Productions Musical Theatre School, visit https://www.facebook.com/teammusicaltheatre/

Drama lovers will certainly enjoy Goodnight Mister Tom, presented by the resident group at Hall Green Little Theatre from July 22-30.

Evacuated during the build-up to World War Two, young William Beech is sent to the countryside and builds a remarkable and close friendship with and elderly recluse, Tom Oakley. A tale of two broken souls, the play celebrates the value of love and proves that friendship transcends across the age groups and knows no barriers.

You may remember the excellent BBC production of Goodnight Mister Tom starring the late, great John Thaw and young actor Nicholas Robinson. Believe it or not, it was made back in 1998, and won both NTA and BAFTA awards the following year.

The stage version promises to be just as compelling.

For tickets call 0333 666 3366 or visit www.hglt.co.uk

Finally, over at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, Curtain Call theatre group is presenting Dolly Parton’s funny, feisty, female musical, 9 to 5 on July 23-24.

Pushed to the absolute limit by their lying, cheating, hypocritical, egotistical boss, three female co-workers, Violet, Judy and Doralee, plan their revenge whilst living out their wildest fantasies of how to dispose of him!

Whilst the cat’s away, the mice give the company a complete makeover and takeover, appointing Violet as their new CEO.

The epitome of 1970’s nostalgia and fun, 9 to 5 includes the musical numbers Backwoods Barbie, Around Here, I Just Might and of course the hit single from 1980, 9 to 5.

For tickets, visit theatresevern.co.uk or call 01743 281281.

That’s all for this week. Please send me details of your news with good quality colour photographs to a.norton@expressandstar.co.uk, call me on 01902 319662 or follow me on Twitter @AlisonNorton and Facebook.

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