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Your Midlands and Shropshire am dram guide

By Lisa Harrison | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

Finding that very special leading man to appear in a musical comedy is always hard work for amateur performers, as many groups will have experienced.

Who will fill Charlie Stemp’s shoes to play Arthur Kipps?

It was a huge challenge that when my home company South Staffs MTC set out to find a tap-dancing male to appear as Jerry Travers in our production of Top Hat. Luckily a wonderful young man called Harry Simkin saved the day, but more about Harry and the show next week. . .

Men who can dance, act and sing are as rare as hen’s teeth on the am dram circuit and yet we constantly put ourselves through hell trying to find someone. Such is the case with Bridgnorth Musical Theatre Company, who are currently seeking a triple threat to play the role of Arthur Kipps in their 2019 production of Half a Sixpence. Based on the novel by H G Wells, Kipps, Half a Sixpence was brought to life on the big screen by Tommy Steele and Julia Foster in 1967 and more recently in the West End starring overnight sensation Charlie Stemp.

Orphan shop boy, Arthur Kipps, lives and works with his fellow apprentices for the cruel draper, Mr Shalford.

After inheriting a fortune, Arthur attempts to join the upper class and soon finds himself engaged to a wealthy socialite, Helen Walsingham. However, his childhood sweetheart, Ann is the love of his life, a fact which soon becomes all too evident. When they parted, he and Ann shared half a sixpence to remind them of their love. . .

The show’s score includes huge ensemble and dance numbers including Flash, Bang, Wallop, If the Rain’s Got to Fall, Economy and of course the title song.

The Bridgnorth based group is starting rehearsals for the show in October and meets on Tuesday nights for principals and Wednesday nights for the company.

l If you think you could star in the show, visit the group’s Facebook page or call 07734527861 or email mtc.bridgnorth@gmail.com for more information and to arrange an audition.

Concert lovers will be delighted to hear that the Wolverhampton-based Wulfruna Ladies Choir have a couple of performances due.

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First of all, tomorrow, the ladies will be joined by the Coseley Male Voice Choir at St. Andrew’s Church in Sedgley for an evening of popular music and songs, starting at 7.30pm.

Tickets are available at just £6 each from Karen Moore on 01902 663185 or Sheila Rhodes on 0121 520 0739, or buy on the door on the night.

Then the following week, on Saturday, September 29, the ladies will be performing Proms in the Church at St. Chad’s Church in Coseley and will be joined by the Wolverhampton Brass Band. Tickets are £8 each but includes a drink on arrival and a plated buffet in the interval. Call Karen Moore on 01902 663185, Paul Love on 07980 542640 or John Wardell on 01902 671710 or 07770 976817 for tickets.

l For more information on the Wulfruna Ladies Choir, visit www.wulfrunaladieschoir.org

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Gilbert and Sullivan fans are in for a treat, as Walsall Gilbert and Sullivan Society will be performing a concert at the Lamp Theatre in Brownhills Community Centre next Friday and Saturday.

The concert is entitled Best of British and as the title would suggest includes a host of popular British tunes, together with some of the best loved and completely unmistakable G&S songs ever written. It promises to be a fun evening with plenty of comedy too.

l For tickets call 01543 452119 or 01922 646977. Refreshments are available on the night.

Another concert that features the Newport Male Voice Choir together with Codsall Ladies Singers sees them performing at Trinity Methodist Church in Codsall on Saturday, October 13.

It starts at 7.30pm and refreshments are included in the ticket price of £7 per person.

l For tickets call 01902 846081 or 01902 845631.

On the dramatic front, the resident group at the Crescent Theatre in Birmingham will be performing The Curse of the Sign of Four from October 4-6.

Adapted for the stage by Dennis Rosa, this mystery thriller is the second of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novels. In it the detective and his companion Dr Watson unravel a tale of hidden treasure and murder.

A young woman, Mary Morstan, requests the help of Holmes and Watson to find both her missing father and her missing pearls. She has a letter requesting her to meet an unknown person that evening.

Together they track down the villains and the pearls.

l For ticket visit www.crescent-theatre.co.uk or call 0121 643 5858.

Finally this week, Charlemont Amateur Dramatic Society is presenting the play Celebrity by Paul Matthews.

It is taking place from October 17-20 at The Theatre, Gaydon Road Community Centre in West Bromwich.

Set in modern day, the plot follows the busy lives of Max and Amber Ketel who are just starting out on their journey as parents, with a baby who never seems to stop crying. Max is a famous author who is unfortunately suffering from writer’s block and is struggling to meet his publisher’s deadlines. Amber is a PR agent to the stars and has one very promiscuous client to deal with in particular. It’s not an easy life.

Max’s sister Sarah is on babysitting duties and it really is all hands-on deck, but then an unexpected visitor arrives who creates twists and turns to the story.

l For tickets priced at £8 each, call 0121 357 4169 or email hilld28@sky.com

l Well, that’s all for this week. Send in your news and colour photographs to a.norton@expressandstar.co.uk, call me on 01902 319662 or follow me on Twitter @AlisonNorton

Lisa Harrison

By Lisa Harrison
@LKWilliams_star

Deputy Weekend Editor, based at E&S head office in Wolverhampton. Works on Weekend and Woman supplements. Features include celebrity, real life, fashion, homes, beauty and general lifestyle content.

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