Cradley Heath Amateur Operatic Society casting for their production of White Christmas at Stourbridge Town Hall

By Alison Norton | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

We are having a heatwave, but not in Cradley Heath.

While the rest of us are melting in the sunshine at the moment, the members of Cradley Heath Amateur Operatic Society are busy looking forward to nippy November when they will present the classic Irving Berlin musical White Christmas at Stourbridge Town Hall.

Now it might seem a little early in the season to be thinking of snow and Santa, but they thought that all this hot weather just might entice people to buy tickets for a show if their thoughts turn to a cooler climate.

I performed White Christmas in 2015 with my home company, South Staffs MTC, and it’s just wonderful and brings back so many happy memories.

It’s glamorous, glittering and glorious with furs, finery and fir trees and the finale is so iconic it warms the cockles of your heart as the snow falls on stage. I adored being in this show and hope to do it again someday, not to mention the fact that the ticket sales were the most ever sold by an amateur company at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. I do hope that CHAOS has a similar experience.

The storyline tells of two army pals, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, who form a song and dance double act and become the stars of the time. When they receive a letter from Betty and Judy Haynes, a duet who are the sisters of an old friend, they don’t bank falling in love. For Phil and Judy, it’s instant, but Bob and Betty are much more of a slow-burner. On hearing that their old General, who owns a ski lodge in Vermont, is struggling to make ends meet over the Christmas period, the four set off to present a show to end all shows.

The 1954 movie version boasts a host of stars, with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen, while the stunning score includes some of the best-loved musical movie songs such as Happy Holidays, Snow, I Love a Piano, How Deep is the Ocean, Blue Skies, Count Your Blessings and the title song.

In addition to the four leading roles, the show requires a troupe of excellent dancers to execute the stunning tap routines, a young actress around the age of 10 to play Susan the General’s granddaughter and a strong ensemble to carry off the chorus numbers.

l For tickets priced at £14-£17 for White Christmas, which runs at Stourbridge Town Hall from November 13-17, call 0121 585 7380 or visit Performances at 7.30pm nightly, with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.

Alison Norton

By Alison Norton

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


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