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Your Midlands and Shropshire am dram guide

By Alison Norton | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

One of the best musicals to be released for amateur performance recently is Chicago.

The cast of Chicago presented by Limelight

All over the region, groups are taking on the challenge of presenting the Bob Fosse classic which you can catch at The Civic in Stourport on Severn from November 12 to 16 presented by Limelight.

This multi-award-winning show is set in the roaring twenties, when the liquor was free flowing, the jazz was hot and the girls were even hotter and tells the tale of the complex relationship between Vaudevillian criminals Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly

The pair are sent to Cook County Jail after they both commit murders and the musical comedy drama takes the audience through their crimes, their time in prison and their subsequent trials, in a satirical look at corruption in the administration of justice and the concept of the ‘celebrity criminal’.

With a classic score, featuring numbers such as All That Jazz, Cell Block Tango and Razzle Dazzle, this is a show full of famous, timeless hits.

Choreographer, Jane Bennett said: “We have a fantastically talented cast, utilising some seasoned local performers, past students who are ex-professional dancers and actors, along with those who are about to enter the industry.”

Musical director David Howles will be conducting a 13-piece orchestra, positioned on stage to bring the audience even closer to the action and Grace Gordon, plays Velma and Alisha Marshall, is Roxie.

The smooth-talking lawyer, Billy Flynn, is played by Doug Forrester, Zoe Darkes appears as Mama Morton and Ryan Donnell is Mary Sunshine.

For tickets and all that jazz, priced from £13.50 to £14.50, visit ticketsource.co.uk.

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For groups of 10 or more, please contact Limelight on 07772 364735. There are concessions for youngsters aged 15 and under and senior citizens.

Chicago is amazing, but just be aware that the production contains mild adult themes, gunshot sounds and flashes. It is recommended for children aged 12 and over and younger children are at parents’ and guardians’ discretion.

Another group in the area performing Chicago from December 9 to 13 is West Bromwich Operatic Society.

The show is at the Mill Theatre in Sedgley.

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For tickets visit www.wbos.co.uk or call 01384 377 402. Performances as 7.30pm nightly with a 2.30pm matinee on the Saturday.

News of a brand-new musical now, entitled Rhiannon.

Written, produced and directed by Claire Flack, who also appears in the leading role, Rhiannon is a fictional story about a girl striving to achieve her dreams and the characters she meets along the way.

Will she succeed and if she does, what is the price to pay for doing so? The play will be enhanced by Claire and her team’s tribute to the music of Fleetwood Mac.

Joining Claire is a group of talented singers, dancer and actors, as well as the students from Claire’s musical theatre School, Team Productions.

Following a short tour around the area, the next performance of Rhiannon can be seen at the Civic in Stourport on Severn on November 24.

Call 01299 823339 or visit https://www.thecivicstourport.co.uk/ for tickets.

Also on November 24, but at the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton this time, you can see Magical Mysteries, a wonderful showcase of the talents of the pupils of the RSM Stage Academy.

The show features a range of age groups, guaranteed to put a spell on you.

For tickets, visit https://wlv.ticketsolve.com/shows/873611857 or call 01902 321321.

Whodunnit fans will be delighted to hear that the Whittington Players are presenting a murder mystery entitled Girls’ Night Out from November 22 to 23 at their local village hall.

Four women, on their way to an evening at the theatre, stop for dinner at the establishment owned by the ex-husband of one of them, but between the salad and entree, he ends up dead.

Each has a reason to wish him dead, or perhaps more than one of them did. Or maybe it was one of the other guests. Only unwinding the plot will reveal the murderer.

Tickets are £10, which include a fish and chip supper and are available from Kay on 01543 490355 or 07868493180, or visit www.whittingtonplayers.co.uk.

There is comedy a plenty, courtesy of Charlemont Dramatic Society from November 20 to 23, as this award-winning group presents The Vicar of Dibley at The Theatre, Gayton Road in West Bromwich.

This stage adaptation follows three of the four seasons in Dibley, with Autumn, The Christmas Lunch (who could forget the sprouts?) and Winter when Alice gives birth to her and Hugo’s first of many children during the Nativity.

For tickets, contact hilld28@sky.com or call 0121 357 4169.

Meanwhile, a local company is seeking a very special actor for their forthcoming production of Gershwin’s Crazy for You.

The Manor Musical Theatre Company has just started rehearsing the show, which they will perform in April 2020 at Sutton Town Hall.

This friendly society needs to cast the supporting role of Bela Zangler, a mature gentleman with a baritone voice and exceptional comic timing.

The character is a sophisticated theatrical producer and director who is imposing and dapper and the actor lucky enough to get this part also needs to be capable of a Hungarian accent.

Fancy a crack at this wonderful role? If so, please contact www.manormusicaltheatrecompany.co.uk for more information or to offer your services.

Finally this week, Aldridge Musical Comedy Society is presenting Magic of Menken on November 28 to 30 at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Cannock.

This concert is a tribute to the composer Alan Menken, who has written so many wonderful songs during his career, including music from Little Shop of Horrors, Hercules, Sister Act and The Hunchback of Notre Dame to name but a few.

With a programme of 30 songs, it promises to be an evening of pure entertainment.

For tickets, visit the group’s Facebook page, call 01543 578762 or 075881418421 or visit www.princeofwales.live.

That’s all for this week. Please send all your news and good quality colour photos to me at 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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