Hallelujah! It’s your Midlands and Shropshire am dram round-up
Playing your first leading role is daunting to say the least. I think you’ll agree that a lot of am dram folks start young and gradually progress to taking principal parts as their talent and experience expands.
Twenty-nine-year-old Keshia Herbert from West Bromwich has however, gone in all guns blazing to play the leading lady, Deloris Van Cartier, in Quarry Bank Musical Theatre Society’s production of Sister Act, which runs at Brierley Hill Civic Hall from June 5-9.
Keshia is currently a member of a choir called Legally Sound, organised by her employers, Higgs & Sons and together with her fellow choir members has performed in and won the Legal Harmony Choir competition, which was held in London in 2016.
Obviously Sister Act requires a very special leading lady and when Keshia heard the group were looking for Deloris, she just couldn’t wait to join them.
“The role is challenging because there are a lot of songs and dances to learn as well as the dialogue,” Keshia says. “But our director and musical director have been so supportive and the members have been helpful, offering their time to go through lines, dances and songs with me, even outside of rehearsals,” she says. “I especially love acting. I get to go out on stage as someone else and I love the professionalism that the members have and the determination they show to put on the best performance possible,” says Keshia. “But most of all, I love the camaraderie. They have all been performing together for a very long time but have made me feel like part of the family.”
Sister Act is a popular choice for am dram companies at present and a show which, providing they have the right cast in place, will bring the house down. The score is different to the movie version but equally as engaging and includes Take Me to Heaven, Here Within These Walls, The Life I Never Led and of course the title tune.
In this production Keshia is joined by Sheila Wood as Mother Superior, Tom Robinson as Sweaty Eddie and Carl Cook as Curtis.
It is funny, feisty and fabulous baby!
l For tickets visit www.qbmts.org.uk
Leonard Bernstein’s musical West Side Story is another show which has suddenly become popular amongst am dram companies. West Bromwich Operatic Society will perform the tale of star-crossed lovers at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre later this year.
More about the show nearer the time, but for now, they are seeking Jets and Sharks to join them. Those who have seen the film or indeed the show will know the Jets and Sharks are the two rival gangs engaged in a turf war amid the rough and tough west side of New York, these guys need to be strong performers with outstanding vocal and dance ability.
l Ladies don’t be put off by the rough and tumble image as both sexes can apply. For more information, email email@example.com
Fans of a good old-fashioned murder mystery can look forward to an evening of fun and games when Whittington Players present The Sultan’s Pyjamas on June 9 at Whittington Village Hall.
This is a thrilling play but with a twist – you have to solve the mystery to win a prize.
l Tickets are on sale now and include supper. Contact Kay on 01543 490355, text 07868 493190 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase.
One of my absolute favourite shows is Jonathan Larson’s rock musical, Rent.
Based on Puccini’s La bohème, Rent is the tale of the lives, loves and losses of a group of impoverished artists living in 1990s New York’s East Village under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.
Probably Jonathan’s best-known composition, it’s one which he sadly never saw rise to fame, because he tragically died the night before the Broadway opening and exactly 100 years after the opening of Puccini’s opera. The show has no spoken dialogue but the score is revealing, thought-provoking and at times heart-breaking and includes One Song Glory, Rent, Tango Maureen, Take Me or Leave Me and I’ll Cover You.
Sad it may be, but there are light moments too presented by a whole host of characters based on Jonathan’s own experiences of living in the Big Apple.
Rent requires a young, energetic, vibrant cast and who better to perform it than Get Your Wiggle On, a musical theatre group based in Shrewsbury who perform at Theatre Severn.
In this production, Aaron Child plays Roger, with James Broxton as Mark, Eloise Jones as Maureen and Joe Fisher as Collins.
l Catch Rent at Theatre Severn from June 1-2. For tickets visit www.gywo.co.uk or call 01743 281281.
Albrighton Players will be presenting their summer production, Neville’s Island, at Bridgnorth’s Theatre on the Steps from May 31-June 2 and then for just one night more at Albrighton Primary School on June 9.
Tim Firth’s comedy tells the tale of four out of condition business men who set out on a team building exercise in the Lake District only to be shipwrecked on a small island on Derwent Water, that is if you can be shipwrecked on a lake. As the weather conditions worsen and wildlife begins to take control, what should have been a bonding process for Gordon, Angus, Roy and Neville turns into a muddy, bloody fight for survival.
Keith Ellis, Mark Davis, Ben Savage and David Griffin play the respective roles and Keith tells me that this play has replaced an earlier spring production the group were set to perform but, unfortunately, the Beast from the East took hold. It promises to be a hoot!
l For tickets, visit www.albrightonplayers.org.uk or call 01746 766477.
l Well that’s all for this week. Keep all your news and good quality colour photos coming to email@example.com, call me on 01902 319662 or follow me on Twitter @AlisonNorton