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Your midlands and Shropshire am dram guide

By Emily Bridgewater | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

It’s all about casting this week.

Leave your hat on! – Bilston Operatic Company will stage The Full Monty

As the rights for more contemporary shows are released for amateur performance, finding suitable people to play certain roles can be tough.

My home group, South Staffs Musical Theatre Company has a couple of huge announcements to make regarding forthcoming shows over the coming weeks. While it’s an exciting and extremely positive time, with this also comes the feeling that we must start to cast early as it could be a struggle.

Another group who are already experiencing casting issues is Bilston Operatic Company, who will be presenting The Full Monty at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre this November.

Film fans will remember the tale of the Sheffield steel workers turned strippers, but the musical version is slightly different.

This time it’s set in Buffalo, New York, and like the British version, the six men are jobless and broke. In short, they’re down right miserable. That is until Jerry hits on the idea of making a quick buck by showing off their ‘real man’ bodies and delighting their wives and girlfriends by stripping for a living. They vow it will be a one-off, but they will go ‘The Full Monty’!

Through this experience, their insecurities, fears and anxieties surface, but the guys do find strength as a group to overcome their problems.

Now as you’dd expect, this is largely a male dominated cast and as we all know, male performers in am dram are few and far between, except for the dedicated few.

There are several small male parts (if you will pardon the pun!) who still need to be cast, but the main one is quite a challenge. Noah ‘Horse’ T. Simmons is an old groover, complete with a dodgy hip. He has just been fired from McDonalds for being too glum, but when he starts to dance, he comes alive. Oh, and one very particular thing about Horse, he is an aging African American – think Paul Barber who played the role to perfection in the British film version, or Britain’s Got Talent runner up, Donchez Dacres. Donchez would be perfect! Come on and help the group out Donchez. We know the perfect guy is out there.

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l For information call 07798792248 or email bilstonoperatic@hotmail.co.uk

CLOC Musical Theatre Company, who perform at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall is also looking to cast a gentleman for their forthcoming show.

This time it’s the Dolly Parton musical 9 to 5, which they will present from 23-27 October and the role they are looking to cast is Joe. He’s the love interest of one of the three leading ladies, the office manager Violet. Joe needs to be aged between 25-40 and preferably a tenor. He sings a lovely ballad duet with Violet entitled Let Love Grow and is really the all-round good guy.

It’s a great part for a man who prefers a lesser role without the responsibility of the lead but still has a wonderful voice to show off.

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l If you fit the bill, call 07960869250 or visit www.cloc.org.uk

Despite this hot weather, some groups are looking towards their winter pantomime!

It’s never too early to cast a dame or a fairy or – in the case of Oswestry Musical Theatre Company – a director to keep the madness under control.

This group has not actually chosen a pantomime for the 2018/2019 season yet, but instead are looking to find the perfect director to help them make that decision and then work with their members to create fun and laughter while keeping this British tradition alive.

They would prefer an experienced director, although are open to all options; enthusiasm is just as important. The show is on December 7-9 and rehearsals will take place on Monday and Thursday evenings.

l So, if you would like to join forces with this group call 07515518594 or visit their Facebook page.

Meanwhile, one group who are right at the start of their casting process is The Whittington Players who will be auditioning for Caramba’s Revenge, a highly-amusing black comedy by William Norfolk, at Whittington Village Hall, Lichfield on July 17 and 24. The show is in November, but rehearsals start very soon.

Four elderly women have been pooling their resources and sharing their lives in Violet’s rented house but are left shocked and bereft when Violet dies as a result of a mugging. Without telling the authorities, they leave Violet lying peacefully in the local cemetery, thinking they can carry on as usual, but when Violet’s granddaughter arrives from Australia in search of her grandmother, the fun and games begin.

The group is looking to cast the four women, and Ronnie the granddaughter, but in particular the role of Augustus Grubb, a Detective Inspector with a carefree attitude to life and the law.

l Interested? Call Carol Whitson on 07976666591.

Finally this week, there is just time to grab a seat, Down by the Riverside which is the title of Wombourne & District Choral Society’s summer concert on July 14.

It’s a light-hearted celebration of all things watery, in folk songs, ballads, poetry and readings.

This mixed choir is 80-strong with singers from all over the local area, boast renowned choral composer John Rutter as their patron. Their repertoire is varied but includes mainly classical works and they often perform alongside guest soloists and a local orchestra.

The real venue for the concert is Wolverhampton Grammar School, starting at 7.30pm, although if you can imagine you are lying on a riverbank and let the music wash over you, I would imagine it would be a beautiful experience.

l The choir are looking to recruit new members too, so for tickets and more information, email eileenbrown31@talktalk.net or call 01902 744447.

l That’s all for this week, keep sending me your newsn and good quality photographs to a.norton@expressandstar.co.uk or call me on 01902 319662 or follow me on Twitter @AlisonNorton

Emily Bridgewater

By Emily Bridgewater
Weekend Supplement Editor

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