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Your Midlands and Shropshire am dram guide

By Alison Norton | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

I am a sucker for an old, all singing, all dancing musical and they don’t come much better than the iconic Singin’ in the Rain.

Singin' In The Rain

Musical theatre fan or not, everyone is familiar with the wonderful Gene Kelly dancing his heart out in the puddles and showers as he declares his love for Kathy Selden.

The show is occasionally performed by amateur groups, the latest being Quarry Bank Musical Theatre Company, who will present Singin’ in the Rain at Brierley Hill Civic Hall from June 4 to 8.

It is a hard show for an amateur group; I know, I have done it with my home company, South Staffs MTC and a lot of effort has to go into the casting to ensure the characters are able to execute the complex dance routines and have superb comedic timing. That said, if you can pull it off successfully, it is an absolute delight of a show to perform in.

The storyline of the show has some depth to it too, which is unusual for some of the older musicals and simply oozes comedy and romance.

Set in the 1920’s, when the transition is being made from silent films to `talkies', everyone has trouble adapting. Hollywood stars of the silent silver screen, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont, have been cast repeatedly as a romantic couple, but when their latest film is remade into a musical, only Don has the voice for the new singing part. Lina’s voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard!

The score of the show includes some wonderful tunes including You Are My Lucky Star, Good Mornin’, All I Do the Whole Night Through Is Dream of You, Fit as a Fiddle and of course the title song and the unforgettable comedy solo, Make ‘Em Laugh.

Best take your macs and umbrellas if you are going to see this show, as there will be real rain on stage.

For tickets, call the box office on 0300 123 5334 or visit www.qbmtc.org.uk

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Local amateur theatre company Trinity Players are hoping to inject a touch of Hollywood glamour into Sutton Coldfield Town Hall, when they return to perform there next month, with the wonderful Top Hat.

Based on the 1930s film starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, the show features a stunning score including hits such as Putting On The Ritz, White Tie, Top Hat and Tails and Cheek to Cheek and follows the story of Broadway star Jerry Travers, as he dances his way across the world to win over the girl of his dreams.

With Astaire and Rogers famed for their dancing, Trinity Players are working tirelessly to create stunning dance routines that live up to their predecessors and are aiming to fill the Town Hall with dancers.

Director, Leigh-Ann James explained “We decided from the beginning to make the most of the Town Hall’s beautiful ballroom. The show will be performed both on the traditional stage and out on the dance floor, with some audience seated at cabaret tables around the edge. We will be bringing our wonderful tap and ballroom dance up close to the audience, so hopefully they will really feel part of the action.”

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Tickets for the production which runs June 4 to 8 are now available from Sutton Coldfield Town Hall, with some availability for the special cabaret tables near the dance floor.

Tickets available at www.townhallsuttoncoldfield.co.uk or 0121 296 9543.

Looking for a show to take your young performers to see during the half term holiday next week?

If so, Market Drayton Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society is presenting their Junior Theatre Workshop show, Disney’s Peter Pan at the Festival Drayton Centre on May 30 and 31 at 7.45pm and June 1 at 2.30pm and 5.30pm.

Join Peter and the Lost Boys, Wendy and her brothers on their adventures.

For tickets visit www.festivaldraytoncentre.com or call 01630 654444.

Pantomime is never far away is it? This week Harlequin Pantomime Productions based at Perton Civic Centre near Wolverhampton is starting the audition process for new members to join them for their production of Aladdin next January.

Talk about well in advance.

Being in a pantomime is the perfect way to ease yourself into performing if you have never been on stage but have aspirations, or a really fun show to take part in if you are experienced but have never done comedy before.

Rehearsals for Aladdin don’t start until September, but the open audition for new members will take place on June 12 at Perton Civic Centre. You will be required to sing a song of your choice, dance a little (but nothing too strenuous!) and just generally show you are capable of appearing on stage. The process is friendly and fun, so don’t be shy.

For more information contact harlequinpantoproductions@gmail.com or visit the group’s Facebook page.

Looking for a really good night out and some laugh out loud moments? One show guaranteed to put a smile on your face, is Monty Python’s madness and mayhem musical, Spamalot, which you can catch at The Crescent Theatre in Birmingham from June 1 to 8.

Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, featuring a bevy of beautiful show girls, not to mention cows, killer rabbits, and French people.

Sounds like total madness? It is.

The score of this crazy musical includes some funny, feisty tunes such as What Ever Happened to My Part? Come With Me, The Song That Goes Like That, The Knights of the Round Table and of course the optimistic anthem, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

It’s hilarious and even if you are not a fan of the Pythons, I defy you not to raise a smile at this one.

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

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

Break a leg!

Alison Norton

By Alison Norton
@AlisonNorton

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

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