Am dram with Alison Norton

I love traditional musical theatre, but have to admit that as time goes by I warm more and more to new, exciting projects which push the boundaries and are thought-provoking.

Am dram with Alison Norton

The University of Wolverhampton Musical Theatre will perform Pippin on May 10 and 11 at the Arena

My home company recently performed a new musical called Lift which contained adult content and some pretty hard-hitting topics, but I really enjoyed it.

But this type of musical does not necessarily need to be new. The students of the University of Wolverhampton Musical Theatre Department are performing a great example – the musical Pippin – from May 10-11 at the Arena Theatre.

Based on the Tony award-winning Broadway hit, this is their very own version of Pippin, with original music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and the book by Roger O Hirson.

It is also worth noting that the incomparable Bob Fosse directed and choreographed the show, as well as contributing to the libretto.

Pippin is the tale of a young prince with a burning desire for passion and excitement. In order to prove his loyalty to his unloving father, King Charles, he heads into battle, but when convinced to fight tyranny by a character who is only ever referred to as ‘Leading Player’, Pippin kills his father and takes over the throne.

With a score by the writer of Wicked, which includes Corner of the Sky, Magic to Do, Spread a Little Sunshine and On The Right Track and hot on the heels of the recent West End revival, Pippin promises to be something a little different, a little quirky.

And the action continues at the Arena Theatre when on May 16-17 there is An Evening of New Musical Theatre presented by Level 4 musical theatre students from Wolverhampton University. For tickets for both productions, call 01902 321321 or email arena@wlv.ac.uk

Drama fans will be pleased to hear that The Grange Players, who perform at their own theatre, the Grange Playhouse in Walsall, are presenting Philip Meeks’ mystery thriller, Edith in the Dark, from May 11-21, with spooky evening performances at 7.30pm nightly.

Celebrated children’s author Edith Nesbitt, who was responsible for The Railway Children and Five Children and It, retreats to her study in the attic seeking peace and quiet during one of her husband’s boring parties. However, rather than her usual child-friendly fiction, Edith’s mind is busting to put pen to paper with a new tale, this time a horror story of a deadly secret hidden deep in her room. They say there are two sides to every writer and in Edith’s case that is certainly true.

There are sequins, feathers and headdresses galore on the horizon from May 9-14, as Kinver Light Operatic Society proudly presents Barry Manilow’s delightful musical Copacabana at Edgecliffe High School. For tickets, call Jean Mills on 01384 836963 or 07828 650377 or email peter.twan key@blueyonder.co.uk

I have noticed that the Witches of Eastwick is becoming an increasingly popular musical and the latest group to present it is who will perform Witches at The Prince of Wales Theatre in Cannock from May 11-14.

All is quiet in the tiny New England town of Eastwick, that is until the mysterious Darryl Van Horne rides into town. Conjured up by three modern day witches – Alex, Jane and Sukie – he creates quite a stir and soon has their hearts aflutter! But who exactly is he and what kind of evil spell has he cast?

For tickets, priced at £14 each, visit www.princeofwales.live or call 01543 578762.

Well that’s all for this week. Please keep those emails and good quality photographs coming to a.nor ton@expressandstar.co.uk, call me on 01902 319662 or follow me on Twitter @AlisonNorton

Alison Norton

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