Express & Star

Alison Norton's fantastic am-dram round-up around the region

I am delighted to say that I am back on stage myself this month after a five-year absence.

The cast of Into the Spotlight - South Staffs Musical Theatre Company

I was last on stage in December 2019, just before the dreaded Covid hit and so to be joining my home group, South Staffs Musical Theatre Company in their musical theatre concert is a dream come true.

The concert is entitled “Into the Spotlight” and will take place on 14-15 June at Codsall Village Hall at 7.30pm each night.

We are a group of performers of all ages who just love to come together and sing, dance and have fun, and this concert is definitely going to be a delight for musical theatre fans.

Robbie Love as Willy Wonka - Birmingham and Midland Operatic Society

There are excerpts from a diverse range of shows, old and new, including “Hamilton”, “Funny Girl”, “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie”, “Chicago”, “Miss Saigon”, “Sunset Boulevard” and the mighty “Les Miserables”, so there really is something for everyone.

Tickets are just £12.50 each and there is a reasonably priced bar for drinks and snacks available, as well as a raffle.

Book now at and follow the link to “Into the Spotlight”. I will see you there.

Interested in joining us for next year’s concert? Drop me a line at or text me at 07886194144.

One of the most exciting shows to be released this year for amateur performers has to be “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

From June 11-15, the Birmingham and Midland Operatic Society will be presenting this Roald Dahl classic story at the Alexandra Theatre, and the group has worked hard to promote the show in quite a unique way.

Lucky shoppers in the Great Western Arcade were thrilled to be rewarded with a golden ticket to some scrumdiddlyumptious musical entertainment last weekend when Willy Wonka himself, well Robbie Love actually, visited Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe. Eight families can now go along and see the show for free. What a generous thing to do.

Not only that, but the group is working alongside Cure Leukaemia, a local charity, to help raise awareness for their work with sufferers and their families.

“Wonka” is filled with wonderfully wacky tunes including “Candy Ma”, “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket” and of course, “Pure Imagination”.

Alongside Robbie, Nick Owenford appears as Grandpa Joe, Rachel Richards is the vile Violet Beauregarde, Chris Fowler is August Gloop and Scott McHurley is Mike TeeVee and we mustn’t forget the hard-working ensemble some who will appear as the Oompa Loompas!

For tickets, visit or head to the group’s website at

Meanwhile, Quarry Bank Musical Theatre Society is another group tackling a humdinger of a show! Air guitars at the ready; It’s School of Rock!

You will no doubt remember the movie of the same name starring the hilarious Jack Black. Well, the show is practically the same, but with the added effect and atmosphere that live rock music brings.

Failed, wannabe rock star, Dewey Finn, needs to make some money quickly so he poses as a music teacher at an expensive private school. Then, he sets about changing a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band.

Local amateur performers Carl Cook and Sarah Coussens head up a super talented cast, as Dewey and Rosalie, supported by youngsters who play their instruments live on stage. Finley Hassall plays Zak on guitar, Adam Porter plays Freddie on drums, Maria Riga plays Lauren on keyboard and Kersten Davies plays Katie on bass!

The score of the show includes “You’re in a Band”, “Smoke on the Water”, “Where Did the Rock Go?”, and “Highway to Hell”.

There are some great group discounts available on tickets, so why not get a group of pals together and visit to book your seats?

And there are more rock classics the following week, as Wolverhampton Musical Comedy Company, or Muscom as they are affectionately known, presents the award-winning Rock of Ages at the Dormston Mill Theatre in Sedgley from June 5-8.

Rock of Ages tells the romantic tale of a small-town girl, a city boy, and their rock 'n' roll love affair set on the Sunset Strip. But when the bar where rock reigns supreme is set to be demolished, it's up to these wannabe rockers and their band of friends to save the day and of course, the music.

Rock out to songs from the show which include “We Built This City”, “Here I Go Again”, “Don’t Stop Believin’”, “Can’t Fight This Feeling” and “Any Way You Want It”.

In this production, local amateur performer Liam Sargeant plays the leading role of Drew, with Laura Stanford as Sherry, Mke Astley is Stacee Jaxx and Dennis Dupree is played by Muscom stalwart, Chris Wolverson.

I have seen all of these guys perform in previous shows and they are all uber talented!

Further afield, The Shropshire Drama Company is embarking on a short tour of their self-penned mystery play Supernatural Shropshire, which is based on some of the county’s folklore.

Written by local playwright and member of the group Michelle Rowland-Jones, the show is set in a small village pub where a woman is enjoying a quiet drink. Enter a mysterious stranger, who then proceeds to spend the evening relaying a number of Shropshire folktales of witches, ghosts and even Satan himself. But who is this stranger and why is it so important the woman believes the stories he tells?

You can catch Supernatural Shropshire at The Loft at The Old Post Office Pub in Shrewsbury on June 14, at The Belfry Theatre in Wellington on June 15, at Montgomery Town Hall in Powys on June 21 and at Wem Town Hall on June 22.

Tickets are just £10 each, available from

Finally this week, from June 13-15, Shrewsbury Musical Theatre Company is presenting the Carole King musical “Beautiful” at Theatre Severn.

This legendary singer started from humble beginnings, fighting her way into the music industry to have her first solo single at the tender age of just 17.

What followed was a wonderful life where she achieved her wildest dreams, singing with some of the biggest rock and roll acts of the time. But, when her personal life began to unravel, Carole King really found her true voice.

The score of his heart-warming musical includes some of her biggest hits, including “You’ve Got a Friend”, “So Far Away”, “Up On The Roof”, and the unforgettable “Natural Woman.”

For tickets, visit or call 01743 281281.

Well, that’s all for this week. Please send me all your news and good quality colour photos to, follow me on Twitter or Facebook, or give me a call at 01902 319662.

Break a leg!

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