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Your Midlands and Shropshire am dram guide

By Alison Norton | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

It’s good to see amateur groups across the region supporting local charities.

Donation by Cradley Heath Amateur Operatic Society to the organisation, We Love Carers

At a time when the cost of amateur theatre is so prohibitive, fortunately there are still some groups who have enough money left over after costs to help others.

Cradley Heath Amateur Operatic Society recently handed over a cheque for £500 to Rachel Gardener and her son Harry, who are from We Love Carers.

This organisation works in the local community with families of disabled children and carers of adults. Established in 2009, We Love Carers became a charity in 2012.

The money donated resulted from CHAOS’ popular production of White Christmas last year and will go towards a summer play scheme for disabled children.

The group’s next show is Evita. Rachel and Harry sat in on a musical rehearsal for the show and were very impressed.

More about Evita later in the year, but for now, Well Done CHAOS on raising money for such a worthy cause and at the same time, raising the profile of amateur theatre in our area.

For more information about Cradley Heath Amateur Operatic Society, visit www.chaosoperatics.co.uk and to contact We Love Carers, call 07772 358391.

Ballet lovers will be delighted to hear that the National Youth Ballet will perform Wonderlands,

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an exciting mixed programme of completely original works, at the Crescent Theatre in Birmingham from August 29 to 30.

The country’s finest young dancers with the creative imaginations of a carefully selected dream team of dynamic choreographers invite you to leap into magical, enchanted landscapes where words hold no power and dance is the only way to exist.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.crescent-theatre.co.uk or call 0121 643 5858.

A Stourbridge based comedy theatre group is looking for performers to join them for their forthcoming pantomime and in particular, two gentlemen aged between 20 to 30 years old to play the prince and his sidekick.

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But don’t feel left out if you don’t fit the bill, because they are also seeking an actor of any age group to play the king and similarly, an actress to take no less than three small roles.

The panto will take place on December 13 to 14 and rehearsals will commence at the beginning of October.

For more information, email acomedytheatregroup@hotmail.co.uk or visit the group’s Facebook page, A Comedy Theatre Group.

On September 7, there will be a concert at Lanesfield Methodist Church, in memory of three of the churchgoers who were also members of the Coseley Male Voice Choir, Jeff Gaskin, Mick Cripps and Cecil Baines.

The evening will contain a variety of musical numbers, both popular classics and theatre songs, one of which is Bring Him Home from Les Misérables, which fittingly was performed at Mr Cripps’s funeral.

Funds raised from the event will help to improve the facilities at the church.

For tickets priced at £6 each which includes refreshments, contact Janet on 01384 238972 or for information on the choir itself, call Sheila on 0121 520 0739.

Meanwhile, Charlemont Amateur Dramatic Society is looking for gentlemen to join them for their forthcoming production of The Vicar of Dibley.

The piece they have chosen to perform is the stage adaptation of the three hilarious seasons episodes, Autumn, The Christmas Lunch and Winter in which the character of Alice gives birth to her baby during The Nativity.

In particular, two young men with playing ages of 25 to 30 years old are required to take the roles of Simon and Tristan.

The play takes place in November. For more information and to arrange an audition, contact Sylvia Hill at hilld28@sky.com.

National choir, Got 2 Sing is delighted to be appearing at the Birmingham Symphony Hall on August 18 for the fourth time, in their concert entitled This is Us!

You can look forward to a spectacular concert of roof-raising popular songs with an audience participation finale.

There are shows at 2pm and 7pm featuring choirs from your local areas, so for more information and to book tickets, visit https://www.thsh.co.uk/event/got-2-sing-choir-proudly-presents-this-is-us.

The Grange Players from Walsall will present Jim Cartwright’s play Two, at the Grange Playhouse from September 5 to 14.

Directed by Peter Smith, Two is an unusual play for, as the title would suggest, just two actors and tells the tale of a bickering husband and wife and the dozen regulars who pass through their pub in an evening.

When a little boy is left behind by his father, a fragile reconciliation occurs as their own dark tragedy is revealed.

The two actors play all the parts and the play is broken down into vignettes depicting various scenarios in their lives. Each scene skilfully combines pathos and humour.

For tickets call 07909036835 or 01922 625100. New members are always welcome at the Grange and so if you are interested in joining the group, call 07580691333.

Finally this week, From September 7 to 14, you can catch a production of Eric Chappell’s comedy, Theft at the Oldbury Rep.

Described as a witty thriller and written by the author who gave us the hit comedy Rising Damp, Theft is the tale of a couple who find a burglar in their house on their return from an anniversary celebration.

Who does he claim to be though? Will they be able to uncover his true identity and what effect with this incident have on their relationship?

This play has been a firm favourite over the years at the Oldbury Rep, but if you missed it previously, go along and join in the fun.

For tickets, visit www.oldburyrep.org or call 0121 552 2761.

That’s all for this week. Please keep sending me all your news and remember to include good quality colour photos to accompany your information too. Alternatively, 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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