Am dram with Alison Norton

I do love a good old-fashioned comedy and having seen new adaptations of both Porridge and Are You Being Served on the BBC recently, I felt that even though the scripts have been updated, these sitcoms are so good that the characterisations and the fun has stood the test of time.

Am dram with Alison Norton

As they were – Jeeves and Wooster portrayed in style by Stephen Fry, left, and Hugh Laurie

Another comedy which could be next in line for modernisation is P G Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster, which Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie brought to life back in the early 1990’s.

Bertie Wooster, played to perfection by Laurie is described ‘a young gentleman with a “distinctive blend of airy nonchalance and refined gormlessness’.

His Butler, Jeeves, whom Fry delighted us with, is ‘an improbably intelligent and bold valet’. While Wooster stumbles through life without a care, it’s Jeeves who rights his wrong-doings but always come out on top.

From September 12 to 17, the Nonentities, the resident group at the Rose Theatre in Kidderminster will be performing a new stage adaptation of Jeeves and Wooster entitled Perfect Nonsense, which has been rewritten by the Goodale Brothers.

When Bertie Wooster decides to stage a one-man show revolving around his recent experiences at Totleigh Towers, he soon discovers due to typical Wooster disorganisation, the show is nowhere near ready to be staged. 

In desperation, he enlists Jeeves and another valet, Seppings, to help him which entails Bertie appearing as himself and both Jeeves and Seppings playing multiple characters. Of course it isn’t long until events quickly spiral out of control, and as usual Jeeves steps in to save the day. It’s a hoot!

For tickets priced at £10 each, visit www.rosetheatre.savoysystems.co.uk or call 01562 743 745.

At Beckminster Methodist Church in Penn Fields, Wolverhampton, the church is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a grand concert on September 10.

They are lucky enough to have their own singing group called, rather aptly, the Beckminstrals, who will presenting a programme which includes songs from nine decades, some of which relate to national and international events which have occurred over the 90 years and a special 90th birthday celebration in honour of Her Majesty the Queen.

There’s music to suit all tastes from the 1920s to the war years, from The Beatles to Abba and songs from many recent musical theatre shows For tickets priced at just £5 or £10 for a family of four, call 01902 344 910 or 01902 746 316 or e-mail office@beckminster.org.uk It promises to be an evening of pure nostalgia.

There is the promise of family fun over at the Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham from September 14 to 17 as Great Barr Musical Theatre Company presents Honk! The Musical.

Ugly is a cygnet that is mistaken as an ugly duckling upon falling out of his nest. 

Rejected by everyone except for his doting mother, he is befriended by a sly Tom Cat as well as several unusual barnyard characters, but is all as it seems? The score of the show is simply charming and heart-warming, just what you would expect from composers Stiles and Drewe, who also wrote Mary Poppins. For tickets priced at £15 for adults, £14 for concessions and £10 for children, visit www.oldreptheatre.co.uk or call 0121 359 9444.

One hilarious musical whose rights have recently been released for amateur performance is Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. 

Remember the 1988 comedy movie of the same name which saw Michael Caine and Steve Martin competing to swindle an American heiress out of $50,000?

Lawrence Jamieson is a suave, charming British conman who believes in conning corrupt, rich people out of their money so he can spend it on culture and a lavish lifestyle, while Freddy Benson is his arrogant American rival, who believes in conning just about anyone in order to get a free meal.

However, the pair soon realise that heiress, Christina, is not as daft as they first thought!

The Tab Operatic Society is presenting Dirty Rotten Scoundrels the Musical from March 27 to April 1, 2017, but in the first instance is holding a launch night for anyone who wants to take part, on September 9 at Dudley Wood Methodist Church, starting at 7.30pm. Are you a would-be sneaky swindler or a potential heiress of high intelligence? If so, visit www.taboperatic.com or call 07722 417 962 for more information.

On September 13 local choir, Viva Musica, will be holding an open evening for any budding song birds to fly by, find out about the choir and join current members for an evening of singing.

The group meet and rehearse at Ham Dingle Primary School, in Pedmore at 7.30pm each Tuesday, so go along or email lorraineraynewman@gmail.com

Finally this week, members of the Birmingham Institute of Theatre Arts are presenting a new musical called 13 at the Palace Theatre, Redditch.

Alison Norton
@AlisonNorton

That’s all for this week. Keep those e-mails and good quality photos coming to a.norton@expressandstar.co.uk, call me on 01902 319 662 or follow me on Twitter @AlisonNorton.

Break a leg!

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