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Your Midlands and Shropshire am dram group

By Alison Norton | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

We never tire of tales of magic and mischief, do we? I guess in this day and age Harry Potter and his pals are the latest version of this type of story but over 100 years ago, Gilbert and Sullivan’s popular operetta, The Sorcerer was just as popular.

The cast of The Sorcerer in rehearsal

With this in mind and keeping the works of G&S alive, Walsall Gilbert and Sullivan Society is presenting The Sorcerer at Forest Arts Centre in Walsall from February 28 to 29.

It is exactly what you would expect from the duo. Witting, intelligent lyrics which perfectly depict the tale and a charming, well written score.

The Sorcerer was in fact based on a Christmas story, An Elixir of Love, written by Gilbert for a magazine in 1876 and premiered in London the following November to critical acclaim.

A young man, Alexis, is obsessed with idea of love defying all, regardless of rank or social distinction. To promote his beliefs, he invites the proprietor of J. W. Wells & Co., Family Sorcerers, to brew a love potion.

This causes everyone in the village to fall in love with the first person they see and results in the pairing of comically mismatched couples. In the end, Wells must sacrifice his life to break the spell.

As is a common theme in G&S compositions, the plot is often complex and intricate and The Sorcerer is no exception, but if you can cope with remembering who is in love with who and why, it’s actually very enjoyable.

The score includes Ring Forth Ye Bells, Oh Love True Love, Happy Are We in our Loving Frivolity and Prepare for Sad Surprises.

This talented, experienced cast is sure to bring the magic of this delightful piece to life.

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For tickets, priced at £11 to £13, visit http://www.walsallarena.com or call 01922 646977 or 0300 555 2898.

A plea now from Charlemont Amateur Dramatic Society from West Bromwich; they are looking for a gentleman to play the role of Roger in their May production of Outside Edge.

The character has a playing age of around 40 and he is the captain of the local cricket team. But, as well as organising the matches, Roger has to contend with all their personal problems, including issues with his own wife!

The chosen actor needs to be versatile and have a flair for comedy too and the play will take place from May 13 to 16.

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For more information, contact 0121 357 4169 or email hilld@sky.com or visit www.thecads.weebly.com.

There is no better musical for a good old-fashioned belly laugh than Monty Python’s Spamalot! I have been in this show and believe me, the tears of laughter roll down your face from the beginning of rehearsals until the final curtain and beyond.

Lichfield Operatic Society is presenting this medieval romp from February 25 to 29 at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre.

Lovingly ripped off from the 1975 film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot retells the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table in its own, very unique way.

Enter glittering show girls, killer rabbits, flying cows and of course our arch enemies - The French.

Featuring hilarious musical numbers such as He’s Not Yet Dead, Find Your Grail, The Song That Goes Like This and of course, the Python anthem, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, you are guaranteed an evening of pure entertainment.

For tickets visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com or call 01543 412121.

Also at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre, but in complete contrast, from February 19 to 22 you can catch a production of Lloyd-Webber and Rice’s rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, presented by the Garrick Young Rep Musical Group.

The show depicts the final week in the life of Jesus through the eyes of his disciple, Judas Iscariot, from the glorious arrival in Jerusalem to the crucifixion, told though song.

Musical numbers include Heaven on Their Minds, Hosanna, the beautiful ballad I Don’t Know How to Love Him, What’s the Buzz and of course the title song.

For tickets, visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com or call 01543 412121.

Thriller fans will be delighted to hear they can see a production of Edith in the Dark, as the title would suggest, a dark, gripping horror story, from February 28 to March 7, presented by Hall Green Little Theatre in Birmingham.

As midnight swiftly approaches, Edith gives a reading of her work. Not one of her cherished children’s tales, but her terrifying early horror stories. As the stories unfold it becomes clear all is not what it seems. Someone in the attic is hiding a deadly secret.

Fancy being scared out of your wits? For tickets, visit www.hglt.co.uk or call 0333 666 3366.

At the Crescent Theatre, also in Birmingham, the resident group there is presenting Hamlet from February 29 to March 7.

This tale of treachery and murder needs no introduction I am sure, but those of you who are not familiar with the plot, the ghost of the King of Denmark tells his son Hamlet to avenge his murder by killing the new king, Hamlet's uncle.

Hamlet feigns madness, contemplates life and death and seeks revenge. His uncle, fearing for his life, also devises plots to kill Hamlet.

For tickets, visit www.crescent-theatre.co.uk or call 0121 643 5858.

Finally this week, Brownhills Musical Theatre Company is seeking a production team for their next show, Legally Blonde.

If you are a Director, Choreographer or Musical Director keen to join this talented group and help produce this delightful modern musical, email brownhillsmtc@gmail.com for more information before February 29.

That’s all for this week. Send me details of your shows, together with good quality colour photos to 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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