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Your Midlands and Shropshire am dram guide

By Alison Norton | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

With the long summer holidays just around the corner now, I am sure some of you will be looking for ways to amuse young performers over the coming weeks.

Wrekin College Drama Camp students also taking part in summer workshops

Why not send them along to a summer theatre school project? Here are some of the best in our area.

Popular children’s theatre school, Stagecoach, will be holding holiday workshops in the Dudley and Wolverhampton areas, giving children the chance to participate some family favourites.

From August 5 to 9, at Newhampton Arts Centre in Wolverhampton, there is a Madagascar workshop, then from August 19 to 23, Stagecoach is presenting is The Golden Ticket.

Meanwhile from August 12 to 16 at the Dormston Mill Theatre in Sedgley, there is a workshop of Circle of Life.

All the workshops run from 9am to 4pm daily, with the final performance of the show being performed on the Friday and can be booked at www.stagecoach.co.uk/wolverhampton or www.stagecoach.co.uk/dudley.

The Lichfield Garrick is inviting youngsters to join them for a week of drama, poetry, song and dance entitled Fairy Tale Reconstructed from August 19.

Imagine how you could twist well-known fairy stories beyond all recognition and bring them into a whole new light in this celebration of creativity, culminating in a performance for friends and family at the end of the week.

The workshop runs from 10am-4pm daily between August 19 to 23 and is suitable for children aged 8-16 years old.

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For more information, visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com or call 01543 412121.

There is an exciting two-day drama workshop for children to explore a range of techniques in drama and dance at Newhampton Arts Centre from July 29 to 30 between 10am to 3pm under the instruction of actress, writer, director and producer Tonia Daley-Campbell.

For more information, visit www.newhamptonarts.co.uk or call 01902 572090.

Then at the Birmingham Rep Theatre in Birmingham, children aged 7 to 11 years old can join the Young Rep Spy School on July 29.

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The spy school was so popular in previous years that it is back with another top-secret mission, so why not begin work as a secret agent and be part of an exhilarating story about espionage and scientific secrets? Follow suspects, decipher codes, create secret identities, and learn to blend into your surroundings.

For more information visit www.birmingham-rep.co.uk.

In Shropshire, Wrekin College is running a Drama Camp from August 5 to 7 for children aged 10 to 13 years old, run by Strictly Arts Theatre Company, who specialise in dramatic education for youngsters.

The camp runs from 9am to 4.30pm daily and offers children the chance to learn new skills, challenge themselves and have an exciting experience during their summer holidays.

To join in the fun, visit www.wrekincollege.com and search for Drama Camp or call 01952 265600.

Another way of keeping the children occupied of course it to take them to the theatre and Get Your Wigle On, the Shrewsbury based musical theatre company, has the perfect show for families this August.

They will be presenting Annie Junior, the children’s version of the original musical Annie by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin, and Thomas Meehan.

Annie Junior features everyone’s favourite red-headed kid and her adventures. Determined to find her parents who abandoned her on the steps of a New York Orphanage, Annie foils the evil matron, Miss Hannigan and finds a new home with billionaire Oliver Warbucks and his secretary Grace.

The score of the show includes It’s a Hard Knock Life, I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here, Easy Street, You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile and of course the unforgettable ballad, Tomorrow.

It’s funny, feisty and fabulous entertainment and of course there is a cute dog playing the role of Sandy too, so what’s not to like?

Catch Annie Junior on August 2 at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury. For tickets visit www.theatresevern.co.uk or call 01743 281281.

Also at Theatre Severn, there is just time to catch Electricity, a fun 1980’s High School extravaganza, which PQA Shrewsbury will perform on July 21.

Imagine it’s 1988, Prom is approaching and the hairdos are huge. Tommy has a hard decision to make; Henry, his arch enemy is doing everything in his power to get in Tommy’s way and Shelly just wants to be noticed.

Packed with high energy show tunes including some 80’s classics too, Electricity promises to be a crazy show which will leave you dancing in the street.

For tickets, visit www.theatresevern.co.uk or call 01743 281218.

RSM Stage Academy, based in Wolverhampton, will be presenting their summer showcase on July 27 at The Arena Theatre in the city.

Celebrating their tenth anniversary, this lively performance includes some outstanding performances in song and dance from students alongside professional performers.

For tickets visit www.rsmstageacademy.co.uk, or call 01902 321321. The show starts at 7.30pm.

Finally this week, I was really pleased to see The Grange Playhouse in Walsall well and truly back on its feet, following a very difficult period for the groups who perform there.

Now newly refurbished to a very high standard, the theatre regularly plays to sell out audiences and has been the home of am dram performers for no less than 68 years.

The resident group there, The Grange Players are now looking for new members to join them.

Spokesperson Pete Smith said, “We are about to announce our new season which will start in September and are looking for anyone interested in acting, lighting, sound, set work, stage management, props, directing, make up or costumes.”

Interested? Call 01922 625100, 07580 691333 or visit www.grangeplayers.co.uk You do need to be 18 years and over though.

That’s all for this week. Please keep sending me details of your am dram news and remember to include good quality, colour photos too. Alternatively, you can call me on 01902 319662 or follow me on Twitter @AlisonNorton or visit my Facebook page.

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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