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Your Midlands and Shropshire am dram guide

By Alison Norton | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

Even though the sun is shining at the moment, the world of theatre is preparing for the festive season already.

Snow Queen launch at the Old Rep Theatre

The Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham will present The Snow Queen this Christmas time and are launching the show in Victoria Square in the city on July 13. This will be the fifth Christmas production produced alongside Birmingham Ormiston Academy and their talented students.

This adaptation of the magical adventure follows inseparable friends Kai and Gerda. When the heartless Snow Queen steals Kai to help rebuild her broken treasure, can Gerda rescue him in time before she plunges the world into an eternal winter? With the help of an unlikely band of companions, Gerda travels to the Kingdom of Ice to confront the Snow Queen and rescue her friend.

The launch event will feature a living Snow Globe, which is the only roaming, special effect of its type in the world. Enchanting and magical, you will be able to see the Snow Queen in her globe as she enchants and mesmerises the public.

Gliding gracefully in Victoria Square, she will create her special brand of magic, making lasting memories. It sounds amazing and the perfect treat for the children this weekend.

For further information about The Snow Queen and to book tickets, please call our Box Office on 0121 359 9444 (lines open Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm) or book at boxoffice@oldreptheatre.co.uk

Meanwhile, the hunt is on for adult members to join a local company and of course in true am dram style, they are particularly looking for men!

It’s the same old story. Ladies love to perform and men do too, but are far shyer about coming forward and putting their talents on display. Come on guys, you have no idea how much fun being on stage and involved with a friendly musical theatre company can be.

Phoenix Theatre Company, based in Wolverhampton, is seeking adult members for their 2020 production of Fiddler on the Roof, which they will perform at the Mill Theatre, Dormston Centre, Sedgley from February 25 to29 2020.

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The group is holding an open audition on July 14 at 3pm at St Jude’s Church Hall on the Tettenhall Road and everyone is welcome. It’s short notice I know, but there is still time to get involved.

Written by Jerry Bock with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and a book by Joseph Stein, Fiddler on the Roof is set in the pale of settlement of Imperial Russia in 1905. It is based on the book Tevye and his Daughters and other tales by Sholem Aleichem.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the show, rest assured it is musical theatre at its best, with plenty of involvement for principals and the ensemble alike. The script is the perfect blend of tears and laughter and the score includes classic tunes such as Sunrise, Sunset, Matchmaker, Tradition, Far From the Home I Love and of course If I Were A Rich Man.

The group will be casting the principal roles in the show in September, but for now, why not go along and join in the fun?

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For more information, visit www.phoenixtheatreco.co.uk or email info@phoenixtheatreco.co.uk. Alternatively, call Richard on 01902 379900 or email him at r.bourne@piawm.net

In complete contrast, but still a great musical theatre show, Brierley Hill Musical Theatre Company’s Youth Group will be presenting Rock of Ages the High School Edition from July 18 to 20, at Crestwood School in Kingswinford, with performances at 7.30pm nightly and a 2.30pm Saturday matinee.

This is the perfect vehicle for youngsters, with all the rock and roll of the original version, but with a slightly tempered storyline and script.

The songs in the show include We Built This City, Dead or Alive, I Want To Know What Love Is, The Final Countdown and Don’t Stop Believin’.

For tickets call the box office hotline on 0345 6588095 or visit www.bhmtc.co.uk

On the drama front this week, you can catch Secga Theatre Company’s production of A Bunch of Amateurs, the hilarious comedy written by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, at The Towers Theatre, Tettenhall College from July 18 to 20.

Jefferson Steele is a fading Hollywood action hero whose career desperately needs a boost. In despair, his agent arranges for him to star in King Lear at Stratford. What Jefferson doesn’t know however, is that this Stratford isn't the home of The Bard, but a sleepy village in Suffolk and his fellow actors are not the famed stalwarts of the British stage, but a bunch of amateurs in need of a gimmick to save their ailing theatre.

If you are a fan of a crazy British comedy, this is perfect entertainment for you.

For tickets, visit ticketsource.co.uk/secga-theatre-company or reserve in advance by phoning 01902 337908 or visit www.secgatheatrecompany.vpweb.co.uk

Dance fans will be pleased to hear that Contact Dance Company will be performing a recital called Being Seen at The Walker Theatre within Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury on July 20.

Part of Shropshire Inclusive Dance, this company has built a strong reputation for its powerful and eloquent brand of contemporary dance, under the skills of choreographer Jo Fong.

The cast is made up of both able bodied and disabled dancers whose talents will delight, shock and impress.

For tickets priced at £10 for adults and £6 for children, call the box office on 01743 281281 or visit https://sidance.live/

Finally this week, Musical Youth Theatre Stafford are all set to delight musical lovers with their vibrant and heart-warming production of Godspell, which they will perform at the at the Stafford Gatehouse Theatre. There is just time to catch one of their performances as it runs from July 10 to 13.

MYTS are a multi-award-winning musical youth theatre group for children and young people between the ages of 8 and 18.

Written by John-Michael Telebak, Godspell took the world by storm when it debuted off-Broadway in 1971 and was the first musical theatre offering from the Grammy and Academy Award winning Stephen Schwartz, composer of Wicked and Pippin.

Featuring a Tony-nominated score filled with the popular hits ‘Day by Day’, ‘Light of the World’, and ‘Turn Back O Man’., Godspell was a mega-hit on Broadway, Off-Broadway and around the world and was revived in 2012 with dazzling new arrangements and an injection of contemporary references updating it for today’s audiences.

A modern twist on a timeless tale, the show portrays Jesus’ teachings of kindness, love, compassion, teamwork and tolerance through inspiring parables from the Gospel according to Matthew.

Packed with energetic choreography and innovative storytelling techniques, the 65 strong cast sing and dance their way through Jesus’ life.

For tickets, call 01785 619080 or visit www.myts.org.uk/godspell. For details on how to join MYTS, please email them at secretary@myts.org.uk for an application pack.

Dr Seuss and his amazing characters are coming to the Stafford Gatehouse Theatre with Seussical the Musical, from July 18-20, performed by youth group, Staged Right, a group of enthusiastic young theatre lovers who have worked hard to develop their characters over the last six months. The group is made up of talented Stafford children aged between 8 and 18 years and their aim is to help young people build confidence and develop skills through singing, drama, theatre and performance through team working, supporting and encouraging each other.

Seussical is a magical, musical extravaganza, starring The Cat in the Hat, JoJo, Horton the Elephant, Amazing Mayzie La Bird and Gertrude McFuzz, with great numbers from General Gengus Khan Schmitz, The Sour Kangaroo, The Amazing Wickersham Brothers, the Mayor and Mayoress of Whoville and of course the Jungle Creatures.

The show is made up of song after song of catchy, lively toe tapping hand clapping music, including Oh the Thinks You Can Think, It’s Possible, How Lucky You Are, Alone in the Universe, Biggest Blame Fool, and Solla Sollew. In fact there are no less than 30 songs to choose from!

The group has already chosen next year’s show, which is Rock of Ages School Edition, which they will perform in July 2020. Also look out for their Christmas concert. More details on both shows nearer the time.

In the meantime however, if you would like tickets for Seussical, they are priced at £10,50 for concessions and £12.50 adults. Simply visit http://www.staged-right.org.uk/contact/ or https://www.facebook.com/stagedrightstafford/, telephone the group’s mobile 07305 682933 or visit the group’s Facebook page.

That’s all for this week. Please keep sending me all your news and remember to include good quality colour photos too to a.norton@expressandstar.co.uk, call me on 01902 319662 or follow me on Twitter @AlisonNorton

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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