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Your Midlands and Shropshire am dram guide

By Alison Norton | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

The cost of studying performing arts in order to become a professional entertainer these days is very expensive. Although the opportunities are better than they have ever been, the cost is prohibitive for so many students.

Phoebe Brueton

But, one young lady who is very determined to give it her best shot, is Phoebe Bruerton from Wolverhampton who is currently raising funds to help her on her way.

Phoebe is holding a concert, entitled A Night of Musical Theatre, at St. Michael’s and All Angels Church in Tettenhall on August 31 at 7.30pm.

This will be Phoebe’s final concert before she leaves Wolverhampton to attend the prestigious Bird College in Sidcup, Kent. It is her lifelong ambition to work in the West End and so Phoebe is beginning her journey by completing a three-year musical theatre course to help her to achieve that dream.

Gaining experience as she goes, Phoebe has appeared with a number of local theatre companies. She played Maria in West Side Story with Lollipop Theatre Arts, Annie for Bilston Operatic Company and most recently Elle Woods in Legally Blonde with Bilston Youth Company, as well as ensemble roles for Willenhall Musical Theatre.

For tickets, which are just £10 and that price includes a Ploughman’s Supper too, call Rachel Bruerton on 07885 409 478.

So many of the good old-fashioned musicals are based on tales of the wild west, but surely the best loved one must be Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic tale of the evolution of a new USA state, Oklahoma!

This show has all the perfect ingredients for amateur performers; plenty of rip-roaring ensemble numbers, a large cast with a variety of roles for all abilities, a love story at the heart of it and a score to die for from the pens of the masters of musical theatre.

Set in the Oklahoma territory in the early 1900s, Oklahoma! tells the tale of two pairs of lovers. Curly is a cowboy who has trouble admitting his feelings to farm girl, Laurey, as she does to him and as a result, Judd, the hired hand at Laurey's farm, tries to come between them.

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Meanwhile, Ado Annie is torn between Will, her cowboy sweetheart and Ali Hakim, a travelling peddler who although adores Annie, has no intention of marrying her.

All this is played out against a wonderful score which includes The Farmer and Cowman, People Will Say We’re in Love, Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ and of course the title song, Oklahoma!

Willenhall Musical Theatre Company, who perform at the Mill Theatre in Sedgley, will present Oklahoma! next April and are currently looking for new members to join them.

Do you love to sing, act and dance? Whether experienced or a beginner, everyone is welcome to join in a workshop and then audition at 11am on September 15.

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For more information, email wmtcmarketing@outlook.com or visit the group’s Facebook page.

From September 11 to 14, Dudley Little Theatre will perform Amanda Whittington’s amusing play, Ladies Day, at Netherton Arts Centre.

This comedy drama treats us to the adventures of four unlikely lasses from Hull who decide to take a day trip to the races. Focusing on the friendship between the four distinctly different women, it is guaranteed to provoke laughter and tears in equal measure.

Work, love and life are just one long, hard slog for the fish-filleting foursome Pearl, Jan, Shelley and Linda. But their fortunes are set to change when Linda bags them tickets to Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot in the year it relocated to York.

Dressed up to the nines, the fabulous four head off to the races for fun, flirting and a flutter, and who knows, if their luck holds, they could hit the jackpot.

For tickets priced from £7.50 to £10, and for more information on the group, visit www.dudleylittletheatre.org or call 01902 566077.

Charlemont Amateur Dramatic Society will present John Godber’s comedy romance, September in the Rain from September 6 to 7 at Gayton Road Community Centre in West Bromwich, with performances at 7.30pm nightly.

Yorkshire couple, Liz and Jack have spent many a holiday in the seaside resort of Blackpool during their marriage, usually in the rain. Will this year be any different?

For an evening of pure nostalgia, laughter and thought-provoking poignancy, visit the group’s Facebook page or call 0121 357 4169 or email hilld28@sky.com for tickets.

On September 13 at the Aquarius Ballroom in Hednesford, you can enjoy an evening of musical theatre favourites, courtesy of Chase Harmony, entitled A Night at the Captain’s Table.

For tickets priced at £12 each, visit the Chase Harmony Facebook page or call 07850039829.

Halloween has a come a little early this year for The Nonentities, the resident group at the Rose Theatre in Kidderminster, as they present The Haunting from September 9 to 14.

Based on several original ghost stories by Charles Dickens, himself a dabbler in the occult, this is a spine-tingler by Hugh Janes to kick off their autumn season.

Picture an ancient, crumbling mansion, sheltering from the howling winds that tear across the surrounding desolate moorland. Two men stumble across a dark and terrifying secret that will change both of their lives.

Strange unexplained events and mysterious phenomena lead one of these men on a journey to the edge of terror.

For tickets visit www.rosetheatre.co.uk or call 01562 743745.

Are you a budding young director, who is keen to work with a prolific youth group within the Black Country?

If so, The Young Ones, who perform at Netherton Arts Centre, are performing Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, from February 12 to 15, 2020.

They are seeking a young, enthusiastic and energetic director to take on the show.

Working alongside Bethany Perkins, choreographer and Nick Jeavons, the group’s musical director, rehearsals are Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at Birch Coppice Methodist Church in Brierley Hill, but are flexible.

Which a storyline based on The Bard’s Romeo and Juliet and an unforgettable score which includes Tonight, I Feel Pretty, America, Maria and Somewhere, this is a really exciting opportunity for the right person.

If you fit the bill, then The Young Ones would love to hear from you. Call 07706656404 or 01384 78290 for more information.

That’s all for this week. Please keep sending me all your news and remember to include some good quality colour photos 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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