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New season of am dram on the horizon

Spring is definitely in the air and we are moving into a new season of am dram.

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The cast of Move Over Mrs Markham by Stafford Players

The award-winning local theatre group Stafford Players are presenting Move Over Mrs Markham, the hilarious bedroom farce by Ray Cooney and John Chapman from March 12-16, which they promise will have audiences laughing their socks off!

This is a much-loved comedy classic and is a fast-paced and highly entertaining tale of mistaken identity, deception, and hilarious consequences.

Set in 1969 in the London flat of publisher Philip Markham and his wife Joanna, the story follows the capers of three couples who have all arranged to borrow the Markham’s’ flat to entertain their lovers, each without the knowledge of the others.

Add into the mix the arrival of a strait-laced authoress hoping to sign a book deal with Philip and his business partner, and we are guaranteed a highly amusing and hectic turn of events.

It is classic late 60s farce, so if you enjoy madness and mayhem, running from bedroom to bedroom and gentleman losing their trousers, this is the one for you!

The director and co-star of the play is Stafford Players’ regular, David Harfield, and the play boasts a cast of nine; Andrea Keady and David Harfield star as Joanna and Philip Markham and are accompanied by David Dinsdale, Jordan Wingfield, Shaney Swift, Clare Watson, Linet Carter and two new members Penny Goodall and Paul Woodhead.

Tickets are £15, with concessions at £14, and are available from the Stafford Gatehouse box office or website.

For more information about Stafford Players, please visit or find them on Facebook at Stafford Players Official.

Fans of the sirens of the silver screen will enjoy the play Bette & Joan by Anton Burge, which you can catch at Oldbury Rep from March 9-16.

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford are in adjacent dressing rooms on the set of their latest movie, Baby Jane.

While Joan controls her nerves with Pepsi laced with vodka, Bette chain smokes while she muses on her love life and her ability to always pick the wrong man.

Bette & Joan was first performed at the Arts Theatre, London, starring Greta Sacchi and Anita Dobson, in May 2011. This published edition has been rewritten since the original London production.

During the play we see each woman’s insecurities and the rivalry that famously existed between them.

It’s an intriguing, thought-provoking tale of two extraordinarily talented woman who beneath the surface were far more human than they appeared on screen.

For tickets, visit or call 0121 552 2761.

At the Rose Theatre in Kidderminster, the resident youth group, KRPYT is presenting Bright, Young, Things by Georgia Christou from March 9-10, with performances at 7.30pm on the Saturday and 2.30pm on the Sunday.

Six young, remarkable geniuses are competing on a reality TV programme to become Britain’s Brainiest Child and win the coveted Golden Brain trophy.

The pressure mounts with each round as the youngsters are faced with unexpected questions.

Who will win and what exactly does it all mean anyway? See for yourselves.

Tickets are £8 for adults and £6 for children, available from or call 01562 743745.

Also at the Rose Theatre, from March 18-23, Kidderminster Operatic and Dramatic Society is presenting the musical version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

When Quasimodo escapes for one day, he encounters the beautiful gypsy, Esmeralda, who also enthrals Frollo and his handsome Captain of the Guard, Phoebus. As the three men vie for Esmeralda’s attention, the situation escalates until it envelops all of Paris.

The score of the show is written by Alan Menken, with lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book which is based on the Victor Hugo novel adapted by Peter Parnell.

Throw in songs from the Disney film of the same name and this musical has just about everything you would want; romance, humour, adventure, wonderful music and pure magic.

The songs from the show include The Bells of Notre Dame, God Help the Outcasts, Esmeralda, Top of the World and Someday, all of which are guaranteed to make your heart sing.

I have to point out though that it may not be suitable for younger children, so best to keep it to adults and teenagers to be safe.

Performances are at 7.30pm nightly and there is a 2.30pm matinee performance on the Saturday too.

For tickets, visit or call 01562 743745.

Wordsley Amateur Dramatic Society are on a short tour this month, as they present the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile from March 8-9 at Hagley Community Centre and then from March 20-22 at Bank Street Church in Brierley Hill.

This classic thriller depicts her most famous detective, Hercule Poirot, as he solves the mystery of a young heiress, Kay Ridgeway, as she enjoys her honeymoon trip along the Nile.

With a host of diverse characters on board, all of whom have a reason to kill, who could it be, and why?

This is one of my favourite murder mysteries and even though I know the ending, I just cannot resist watching it again and again.

For tickets, call 01384 279228 or visit

Finally this week, congratulations to Codsall Dramatic Society, who are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year.

During 2024, and as part of Codsall Community Arts Festival, the group will be presenting a variety of plays, the first of which is Haywire by Eric Chappel. The play will take place at Codsall Village Hall from March 13-16.

Alec Firth heads out to sunny Spain for a romantic holiday with his mistress, Liz, having organised his domestic arrangements so that his wife Maggie does not suspect anything at all.

But of course, if you are up to do good, things inevitably wrong! With a host of relatives and an endless string of problems, Alec’s plans are thwarted!

There’s Phoebe, Alec’s mother, who has discharged herself from her old people’s home; his son Jamie, with a broken ankle; his daughter, heavily pregnant and not planning to marry the child’s father, the list is endless and it serves him right!

It’s funny, silly, and very entertaining stuff.

For tickets visit or call 07375 316 679.

That’s all for this week. Please email me at, call me on 01902 319662 or follow me on X (Twitter) @AlisonNorton and on Facebook and Instagram.

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