Am dram guide for the Midlands and Shropshire

It’s that exciting time of year again when my home company, South Staffs MTC, moves into the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre for a week with their annual production.

Am dram guide for the Midlands and Shropshire

Members of Stourbridge Amateur Operatic Society rehearse Legally Blonde

This year we have chosen Dolly Parton’s hilarious comedy musical, 9 to 5.

It tells the tale of three female co-workers who plan to over throw Franklin Hart Jnr, their male chauvinist pig of a boss, and create a much better working environment.

As the girls dream of how they will succeed in giving him the boot, Mr Hart’s devoted assistant Roz, has other ideas to keep her beloved boss in situ, but the clever girls completely take control of the company which has kept them down for so long.

Despite what you might think, Dolly Parton’s score for the show is not completely Country but contains the perfect mix of ballads, comedy songs and rousing ensemble numbers to delight audiences, including Shine Like the Sun, Change It, Heart to Hart, Backwoods Barbie and of course the title number 9 to 5.

Look out for Lexie Bennett, who stars as Doralee, the character in the show which Dolly based on herself. Lexie does a great job of depicting Miss Parton.

It’s sassy, funny and a thoroughly uplifting experience. For tickets call 01902 429212 or visit www.grandtheatre.co.uk

St Gregory’s Drama Group, who meet and perform at St Patrick’s Church Hall in Wednesfield, is presenting Anyone for Breakfast, a comedy by Derek Benfield, from October 13-15 at 7.30pm nightly.

Although not published until 1994, this tale of marital mishaps, mischief and misunderstandings is reminiscent of a 1970’s Brian Rix farce with crazy characters, women in their underwear and men losing their trousers.

For tickets priced at £6 or £5 for concessions, call Carolyn on 07412 545673 or John on 01543 371103.

Stourbridge Amateur Operatic Society will present another modern musical, Legally Blonde, at Stourbridge Town Hall from October 17-22.

Based on the 2001 American comedy movie of the same name, which starred Reese Witherspoon as the incomparable Elle Woods, a not so dumb blonde who in order to win back the man she thought she was going to marry, works her way into Harvard Law School.

Although at first no one has faith in Elle and her efforts to save fitness guru Brooke Wyndham from a murder trial, she soon proves them wrong and win the hearts of everyone she meets.

The stage adaptation of this feel good musical hit the ground running on Broadway in 2007 and has since enjoyed a highly successful West End run and UK tour as well as winning three out of the five Olivier Awards it was nominated for, including Best New Musical.

The score includes Ohmigod You Guys, Chip on my Shoulder, So Much Better and of course the title song.

The perfect example of girl power and a really fun show, Legally Blonde is a must for all the ladies out there.

Come along and see why for yourselves.

For tickets priced at £15.50 to £18.50, visit www.stourbridge-operatic.co.uk or call 07504 301767.

What better on an atmospheric autumn evening than a murder mystery?

The Whittington Players will present Murder is Served by Jo West on October 16-17 at Whittington Village Hall.

Described as Agatha Christie meets Fawlty Towers, audience members will find themselves as guests at the surprise birthday party of cantankerous Clarissa, but with murder afoot it promises to be anything but a happy celebration. For tickets priced at £10 each, which includes supper, call Kay on 01543 490355.

Over in Shropshire, Market Drayton Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society is presenting David Essex and Jon Conway’s musical, All the Fun of the Fair from October 13-15 at the Festival Drayton Centre. This musical oozes carnival atmosphere, romance and rock and roll amid fairground life and the score includes Hold Me Close, A Winter’s Tale, Rock On and Gonna Make You a Star. A must for all David Essex fans.

For tickets call 01630 654444 or visit www.mndaods.org

Finally this week, Lichfield Operatic Society is presenting the wonderful musical Guys and Dolls at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre from October 11-15.

Based on the short stories by Damon Runyon, this musical has recently enjoyed a West End revival and successful UK tour, but is still the perfect vehicle for amateur performers to show off their talents. 

I never tire of seeing this show because the score is so memorable.

Guys and Dolls is classic Hollywood glamour and comedy with a host of wonderful songs thrown in for good measure. Musical theatre at its absolute best.

For tickets, visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com

Well that’s all for this week. Keep those emails and good quality photographs coming to a.norton@expressandstar.co.uk, call me on 01902 319662 or follow me on Twitter @AlisonNorton

Break a leg!

By Alison Norton

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