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Your latest Midlands and Shropshire am dram round-up

By Alison Norton | Bridgnorth entertainment | Published:

Perhaps one of the most well-known of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories is the chilling tale of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead on his estate, with a look of terror still etched on his face, and the paw prints of a gigantic hound beside his body, the great detective Sherlock Holmes is summoned from Baker Street, with Dr Watson in tow, to unravel the mysteries surrounding his death. Opening the casebook reveals the ancient curse of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

With all the familiarity of the well-loved characters and quotes, this play will leave you howling with laughter in this wonderfully barking spoof.

l It runs from September 10-15, with curtain up at 7.30pm. Ticket prices are £13-£10 available by calling 01562 743745 or visiting www.rosetheatre.co.uk

If you prefer something a little tamer, then Dudley Little Theatre will be presenting The Shell Seekers, a play based on the novel by Rosamude Pilcher, to open their 2018 autumn season.

Adapted for the stage by Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham, this version of the 1987 best-selling novel traces the life of Penelope Keeling from young womanhood to life in her 60s.

As her family gather around her following a suspected heart attack, their motives and relationship with Penelope become increasingly focused on her artist father’s most successful work, a painting called The Shell Seekers.

In addition to the stage adaptation, there have been two versions of the story filmed for TV.

Dudley Little Theatre’s production of this delightful tale will run from September 19-22 at Netherton Arts Centre, with tickets at £9 and £8 for concessions.

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l Contact 01384 872583, 07582 318017 or 07954 424555, or visit www.dudleylittletheatre.org

In contrast to the drama, there are plenty of musical theatre concerts taking place at the moment too, one of which will be presented by Lupin Theatre Company from September 13-14 at Penn Bowling Club in Wolverhampton.

You can enjoy excepts from Evita, Rent, Chicago, Guys and Dolls, The Greatest Showman and Blood Brothers by a group of talented performers from across the West Midlands area.

l Tickets are £10 each, which includes a fish and chip supper and are available by visiting the group’s Facebook page or calling 07817365485.

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Birmingham Children’s Hospital is a wonderful charity which saves and changes the lives of young people – some of whom are am dram performers.

It’s fitting therefore that the hospital is supported by local groups, and on September 22, 250 choir members from all across our region will come together in a concert called Choirmania at The Birmingham Town Hall. Proceeds will go to the hospital.

Choirs from Wolverhampton, Wombourne, south Staffordshire, Bridgnorth and Stourbridge will be joined by West End performer Lucy Key and The Voice contestant, Megan Reece. They will perform songs from favourite musical theatre shows including Chicago and Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, as well as well known pop songs such as Paradise by George Ezra (pictured) and Human by Rag and Bone Man. The reason the choirs have chosen Birmingham Children’s Hospital is because one of their members from the South Staffordshire choir, Vanessa Prince, owes her daughter’s life to the hospital.

Vanessa says: “Thank you always and forever to the cardiac team, as without them we would not have our precious little girl today.”

This interactive singing extravaganza is certainly going to be an uplifting and unforgettable experience, make sure you are there.

l For tickets, call 0121 780 3333 or visit www.thsh.co.uk

You’re never too old for Disney and so I’m thrilled to tell you that Chase Harmony, a four-part vocal harmony group from Cannock, will be presenting a concert entitled A Disney Tale at the Red Rose Theatre in Rugeley on September 15.

The audience will be delighted with songs from The Lion King, Pocahontas, Beauty and the Beast and Moana to name but a few.

l Tickets are just £12 each, obtainable on 07850039829 or why not visit the group’s Facebook page or you could just take the second star on the right and carry straight on until morning?

Over in Solihull, Centre Stage will present Alan Ayckbourn’s tragi-comedy, Time of My Life on September 14-15, at the Heart of England School, Balsam Common.

Gerry Stratton has organised a birthday meal for his wife Laura at his favourite restaurant and of course has invited their sons and their respective partners.

They are both eager to impress their parents but as the evening wears on, family skeletons come out of the cupboard.

Since 1985 Centre Stage has been bringing every aspect of theatre to its audiences and in true Ayckbourn style this play is set to entertain.

l For tickets priced at £8 each with group discounts available, call 01676 534406 or visit www.enerstagebc.com

There is an exciting opening to the new season over at the Crescent Theatre in Birmingham with John Buchan’s tale of treachery, spies, dastardly deeds and survival at all odds – The Thirty-Nine Steps.

Published in 1935, Alfred Hitchcock directed his film adaptation that moves rapidly from music hall, misty London streets, the Highlands of Scotland, and ultimately to the mysterious Thirty-Nine Steps themselves, via suspenseful train journeys, all manner of daring-do and a cast of thousands.

However, in 2005 Patrick Barlow presented his rewrite using only a cast of four and a few suitcases! Its ingenious, breathtakingly energetic, side-splittingly funny and well worth a look.

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

l That’s all for this week. Keep all your news and good quality colour photos coming to a.norton@expressandstar.co.uk, call me on 01902 319662 or follow me on Twitter @AlisonNorton

Alison Norton

By Alison Norton
@AlisonNorton

Theatre critic and unofficial 'am dram queen' for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star

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