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Funny romance that will bring a smile

By Alison Norton | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

Of all the new musicals around, I think The Wedding Singer is perfect for youth groups to perform.

The Wedding Singer – Lollipop Theatre School

Based on the 1998 film of the same name, which starred Adam Sandler in the title role and Drew Barrymore as the waitress with whom he is in love, Julia, the musical first hit the stage on Broadway in 2006 and following a successful initial run, a host of international tours followed.

Lollipop Theatre School in Brewood, will be performing the show at Theatre on the Steps in Bridgnorth on April 29-30.

Jake Watkins takes the role of the wedding singer Robbie, while Abbey Laycock appears as Julia and our am dram Star of the Week a couple of issues ago, Alex Jeffreys will play Julia’s boyfriend Glen.

The songs in the show are warm and uplifting and include It’s Your Wedding Day, Saturday Night in the City, All About the Green, If I Told You and Grow Old With You.

It’s a shmaltzy, funny romance and guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

For tickets priced at £15, visit thelollipoptheatreschool.co.uk or call 01902 850788.

Phoenix Musical Theatre Company has taken a break for the last couple of years, but are now all set to return in early 2020 with a production of Fiddler on the Roof.

Keen to get ahead and no doubt mindful of the need to attract some gentlemen to take part in this largely male dominated show, the group will be holding auditions on May 12 at St. Jude’s Hall in Wolverhampton between 2pm and 5pm.

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Phoenix will be seeking local talent to complement their already successful company, which in recent years has performed classic musicals including Oliver, South Pacific and The King and I.

Their choice of Fiddler on the Roof is two-fold. In the first instance, it is an excellent vehicle for amateur performers with a wide variety of small roles and secondly, it is sentimental. This is because it was the favourite show of their beloved President, the late Olwyn Rowley who sadly passed away in 2016. It is fitting therefore that Phoenix perform Fiddler for their return to the stage.

If you would like to audition contact Richard Bourne on bourne-ri@sky.com or call 07534 295285 or Gillian Fenner at gillian.fenner@btinternet.com or call 07710 122953.

There is an open day at the Livingston Academy of Dance and Drama in Wednesbury for Big Arena Performing Arts on May 5, between 10am and 12 noon.

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Do you have a child aged between three years old and 18 who loves to sing, dance and act? Is it their dream to perform on stage?

If so, why not pop along and meet the team of qualified teachers and see if it is for your child? Classes start from just £5, taking place on Sunday mornings.

To find out more visit www.bigarenaperformingarts.co.uk or the group’s Facebook page.

Meanwhile, over in Walsall, after a very successful season back at their home, The Grange Playhouse, the Grange Players are now ready to present John Godber’s play, September in the Rain from May 9-15.

The play is a semi-autobiographical comic two-hander, loosely based on the lives of Godber’s own parents and their experience during a getaway to the not so fabulous or romantic seaside destination of Blackpool.

Think fish and chips, Kiss Me Quick hats, donkeys and a couple who relive the same holiday year and year, returning out of habit. Sounds funny, but the play is also thought-provoking, happy and sad in equal measure and very moving.

It takes a couple of very experienced, capable actors to handle this one and get the sentiment and comedy out of the script. The Grange Players are just the group to tackle it.

For tickets, visit www.grangeplayers.co.uk or call 07909036835.

There’s more drama over at the Oldbury Rep Theatre, where the resident group there will perform Travels with my Aunt, the Graham Greene classic, from May 4-11.

At his mother’s funeral, the uptight banker, Henry Pulling meets his eccentric Aunt Augusta, in her seventies but still extremely robust and unafraid of anyone or anything.

Despite having very little in common, the pair form a bond and she pulls him away from his quiet, suburban existence into a world of adventure and crime! She is certainly not the little old lady he expected!

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

One of my favourite shows I have performed in with my home company, South Staffs MTC, has to have been Spamalot.

This crazy, hilarious musical will remain with me forever and so I was delighted when I heard that Studley Operatic Society were all set to perform it at the Redditch Palace Theatre from April 30-May 4. They have no idea what a fun time they are in for!

Loosely based on the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spam, as it is affectionately known is bursting with comedy, wonderful production numbers and just about everything else you can throw at a musical.

Even if you don’t think you are an MP fan, I would say go and see it because it is so funny!

The score includes Find Your Grail, Come With Me, Finland, Knights of the Round Table, The Song That Goes Like This and of course, Monty Python’s best-loved anthem, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life!

It’s a must see. For tickets, visit www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk or call 01527 65203.

Finally this week, Lichfield Musical Youth Theatre will be performing Lionel Bart’s wonderful musical, Oliver! at Lichfield Cathedral from April 30-May 4. What an amazing venue!

This show has a host of well-known tunes, including You’ve Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two, Consider Yourself, Who Will Buy and As Long As He Needs Me. And with a gang of kids and a dog, what could possibly go wrong?

For tickets, visit lmyt.eventbrite.co.uk or call 01543 224808.

That’s all for this week. Send me all your news and 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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