Shropshire Star

Working 9-to-5? What a way to make a living . . !

I’m excited to say that today I’m celebrating 10 years of writing my am dram page for the Star. It all began on February 16, 2008, when I was asked to write a column of 500 words every Saturday, to let the region know all about latest am dram. It’s now a full page with photographs and I have met so many lovely people and seen so many wonderful shows as a result of writing it.

10 Years of Alison Norton's Midlands and Shropshire am dram round-up

Over the years, I’ve reported on some really funny instances, some sad ones, handed out many congratulations to award-winning companies and seen groups come and go. However, one thing is for sure, this is an amazing hobby and if you are part of it whether on stage or off, you will be surrounded by friends. Am dram is simply the best.

One of the groups who I’ve been in contact with for nine years is Bridgnorth Musical Theatre Company, which every February present their annual show at Bridgnorth Leisure Centre.

They have chosen Dolly Parton’s hit musical comedy, 9-to-5 as their latest show and I know from talking to their spokesperson, Alison Pipe, rehearsals have been fun, but the music is challenging.

The tale of three office workers who take revenge on their chauvinistic boss, the original movie version starred Dolly as blonde bombshell Doralee, along with Jane Fonda as Judy, a recently dumped housewife who has had to go back to work to make ends meet and Lily Tomlin as Violet, the backbone of the office.

In this production, Emma Parker takes the role of Violet and describes her role as fun because she gets to play opposite two very good friends. Ellie Farrington is Judy, and this is her first adult leading role. I know that Judy has a huge song in act two called Get Out and Stay Out and I am sure Ellie will bring the house down. And finally, our Dolly Parton lookalike is Saskia Fuchs, who says that she loves this feel good, girl power role and playing a busty country superstar is wonderful too.

The man at the centre of the girl’s revenge is Adam Wheeler who plays Franklin Hart Jr. Adam has played many leading roles over the years, but just cannot wait to transform himself into the creepy boss.

9-to-5 is a great show for the ensemble too, although the music and the harmonies are not easy, which just goes to prove what an exceptional musician and composer Dolly Parton is. The storyline oozes American humour and is guaranteed to have you laughing all the way home.

You can catch 9-to-5 The Musical at Bridgnorth Leisure Centre from February 20-24 with 7.30pm performances nightly and a Wednesday and Saturday matinee at 2.30pm too.

l For tickets priced at £15, call 01746 761541 or visit

Bridgnorth Musical Theatre Company is also seeking a production team for their 2019 show, the ever-popular Half a Sixpence, so if you are a director, musical director or choreographer who is keen to get involved, contact the group’s website or Facebook page by the end of this month.

From February 21-24 at the Dormston Mill Theatre in Sedgley, a new group, Star Struck Theatre Company is performing the quirky, black comedy musical, Little Shop of Horrors.

This is the group’s first show, although they do have a wealth of experience, having broken away from other groups to form this one.

Seymour Krelborn, the assistant at Mushnik’s Flower Shop in downtown Skid Row, becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers a strange and exotic plant. He names it Audrey Two in order to impress the glamorous Audrey, the colleague he’s secretly in love with. Audrey Two quickly starts to wilt, putting Seymour’s job and dream future with Audrey at risk. Accidentally cutting his finger, Seymour discovers Audrey Two needs a little more than plant food to thrive. The plant grows into a bad-tempered, foul-mouthed carnivore, whose voracious appetite becomes increasingly difficult to satisfy. How far will Seymour go for the woman of his dreams?

In this production, Matt Colley plays Seymour, Vicky Bull is Audrey and Richard Probert is Mr Mushnik.

Little Shop as it is affectionately known is the longest-running off Broadway musical of all time and became a household name due to the highly successful movie version starring Rick Moranis a Seymour and Ellen Greene as Audrey, not to mention the master of comedy, Steve Martin in the role of the dentist, Orin.

The score of this lovable musical includes Skid Row, Suddenly Seymour, Some Fun Now and one of my all-time favourites, Somewhere That’s Green, not to mention the title song. Performances are at 7.30pm nightly and there is a 2.30pm matinee on Saturday.

l For tickets visit or call 01902 546340. Although top price tickets are £14 each, there are some excellent discounts too for certain performances and group bookings, so go ahead and ask.

If you fancy a Saturday Night at the Movies, why not join Third From The Right Productions, a group based in Stourbridge, who will be performing an evening of songs from the silver screen on February 24 at Amblecote Royal British Legion.

This concert does exactly what is says on the tin and there is a fish and chip supper thrown in too!

l For tickets priced at just £10 each, contact 07817 680849 or visit the group’s Facebook page.

Keen to keep the children occupied this half term? If so, Halesowen College is running a week’s musical theatre workshop based on The Greatest Showman on February 21-22, for youngsters aged seven and over.

l Visit Prestige Performing Arts Facebook page for more information.

l Send me your news and quality photos to, call me on 01902 319662 or follow me @AlisonNorton.