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Your Midlands and Shropshire am dram guide

By Alison Norton | Features | Published:

There are few harder-working companies than The Nonentities, the resident am dram group at The Rose Theatre, in Kidderminster.

Much Ado About Nothing

They somehow manage to roll out play after play, all of the highest quality of course and their latest offering is an updated version of one Shakespeare’s best, Much Ado About Nothing, which they will perform from February 24 to 29 at 7.30pm nightly.

Beatrice and Benedick have the sort of relationship siblings often display, where they continuously spar to outdo each other. Everyone knows that they were meant for each other, except these two sharp-tongued wits can’t see it themselves.

It is the mid 1940’s, and Italy is in a political turmoil. The menfolk return from the war and visit Leonato in his country villa.

Ben’s friend Claudio falls desperately in love with Hero, Bea’s cousin, only to have it shattered by the evil scheming of Don John and his pals.

It takes the determination of Bea and Ben to redeem Hero’s honour to bring the warring pair together.

Filled with eccentric clowns, heart-warming families and troublesome rogues, Much Ado About Nothing is a vibrant comic celebration of romance where love eventually wins out.

For more information and tickets call our box office on 01562 743745 or visit our website www.rosetheatre.co.uk.

Meanwhile, on February 29 at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Cannock, fans of the 1950’s and 1960’s can catch Jukebox and Bobby Sox, a wonderful live music show featuring the music of some of the greats, including Elvis Presley, Dusty Springfield, Cliff Richard, Cilla Black, Connie Francis, The Beatles and many more.

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A cast of 11 performers will take you through the most influential decades in the history of music, with a live band, colourful costumes, high energy dance routines and plenty of opportunity to audience participation.

It’s a must see for anyone who loves this era.

For tickets visit www.jukeboxandbobbysox.co.uk or www.boxoffice.wlct.org or call 01543 578762.

You can also see the show at Kidderminster Town Hall on June 12 and at Oakengates Theatre in Telford on July 3, so get your blue suede shoes and petticoats on and have fun.

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Horsehay Amateur Dramatic Society from Telford is presenting Cheshire Cats, a heart-warming play by Gail Young, from February 27 to 29 at their local village hall.

Follow a group of women as they speed walk their way to London on the Moonwalk, raising funds for breast cancer.

The play is described as a cross between a girls’ night out and a real mission to support a worthy cause, with plenty of laughs and even a few tears along the way.

For tickets, visit www.hads.me or call 01952 610555.

In contrast, The Thrill of Love is a gripping drama about Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain after she supposedly killed her lover.

The resident group at the Oldbury Rep Theatre is presenting the play from March 7 to 14.

Ruth, an aspiring model, works as a nightclub hostess where there is more than just a drink on offer.

She meets the wealthy, womanising David Blakely, a racing driver with whom she becomes obsessed, but their turbulent relationship ends in tragedy and Ruth is accused.

Written by Amanda Whittington, The Thrill of Love takes an alternative look at the murderess.

For tickets, visit www.oldburyrep.org or call 0121 552 2761.

Agatha Christie stage adaptations remain a popular choice amongst amateur drama groups and Dudley Little Theatre, who perform at Netherton Arts Centre, has chosen And Then There Were None as their next production.

It’s 1939 and Europe teeters on the brink of war. Ten strangers are invited to Soldier Island, an isolated rock near the Devon coast.

Cut off from the mainland, with their generous hosts Mr and Mrs U.N. Owen mysteriously absent, they are each accused of a terrible crime.

When one of them dies horribly and very suddenly, they realise they may be harbouring a murderer in their midst.

The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again and again.

Ideal for fans of murder mysteries, you can catch And Then There Were None from March 4 to 7 at Netherton Arts Centre with performances at 7.30pm nightly.

Visit www.dudleylittletheatre.org or call 01902 566077 for tickets.

Studio 61, who perform at The Victory Hall in Lower Penn, Wolverhampton is presenting Flamingoland, the bittersweet tale by Deborah McAndrew from February 27 to March 1. Curtain up is at 7.30pm nightly.

This play is described as a big-hearted comedy about mothers, sisters, love and lies. Its characters are each different kinds of survivors in a world which throws no lifebelts.

In her Yorkshire council house, no-nonsense Mari is having a clear out before her untimely demise, likely to be brought on by cancer.

There's a lifetime of clutter to be sorted, the house to clean from top to bottom and the squirrels in the loft to be dealt with before she can bow out.

But, as well as memories of holidays in Mablethorpe and day trips to Flamingoland, there's a big box of family secrets to dust off and unwrap.

Will Mari decide to let sleeping dogs lie? Or will she force them all to wake up and face the truth?

For tickets priced at just £8 each including refreshments, call 01902 651828 or visit www.studio61.org.uk.

Finally this week, it seems as if one round of pantomimes end and the next begins straight away.

Mary Steven’s Hospice, who have presented highly entertaining pantos for the last two years, is looking for principal performers and dancers for their 2020 show, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which they will produce in November 2020.

There is an open audition being held at 7.30pm on February 26 at the Talbot Hotel Ballroom in Stourbridge.

To be considered to join, you just need to prepare a song of your choice, be over 16 years old and available to rehearse on Sunday and Tuesday evenings.

For more information, email panto2020@mshfundraising.co.uk.

That’s all this week, but please continue to send me all your news and good quality colour photos to a.norton@expressandstar.co.uk, call me on 01902 319662 or follow me on Twitter @AlisonNorton or on Facebook.

Break a leg!

Alison Norton

By Alison Norton
@AlisonNorton

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

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