Welcomed to the venue, in from the cold and snowy roads of outside, with a collection of mostly show tunes and film soundtracks playing overhead, I had the pleasure to attend The Grange Arts Centre for Oldham Music Service’s first Musical Theatre Showcase there and witness the developing talents of their established Advanced group, as well as their recently launched Junior and Senior groups that started up in September - a collective of 38 in total!
With a cast ranging from 6-18 years, I was truly blown away by the standard of quality and discipline on display. In the presence of ‘teachers’ Kay Huckfield and Hannah Davis - who acted as comperes for the evening, with scripts of their own - they should be extremely proud of each performer, I felt a sense of pride and anticipation as soon as I entered the foyer, filled with family members and friends of the talented young artists that were to entertain us.
This is Alan Ayckbourn's 61st play - so I can be forgiven for not knowing it. It was written in 2002, and has not had very many airings since sadly. I don't know why - it's a great play. All the hallmark Ayckbourn is there; neurotic gossipy spinsters (which he does so well), everything seeming normal turning out to be exactly the opposite, simple and familiar situations exaggerated, and sparkling acerbic wit. Yet there is something else in this play that is not often seen in his other works; this play is a lot darker, less moments of true comedy, and there's a ghost - or is there??
‘What would you do if someone you loved committed a violent crime’? That’s a question I kept asking myself watching Orphans at the Stockport Garrick.
Set in working class 21st century Britain; Orphans tells the story of a pair of orphaned siblings and lengths they’ll go to protect their relationship.
I am really rather fond of the works of Arthur Miller, but, like most people, only really know his more performed works in any real depth; plays like The Crucible, All My Sons, A View From The Bridge and Death Of A Salesman. But why do those plays seem to get preference over his other works, some of which, like last night's offering at Altrincham Garrick are rarely performed and indeed mostly unknown. I don't know the answer to that question, and after watching the play last night, it really ought to be done more. It's a very good play.
Basics Junior Theatre School in Burnley, East Lancashire is a unique, award-winning and dedicated junior musical theatre and performing arts school established over 29 years ago. They pride themselves on providing a professional yet family-like environment where young performers are educated and inspired to deliver performances to the standard that the professionals would be proud of.
They provide theatre arts and vocal training in Burnley, East Lancashire for youngsters aged 4-19 – developing confidence, skill, professionalism and passion for the performing arts. They are ideally located to serve those living in surrounding towns such as Nelson, Colne, Accrington, Blackburn and the Ribble Valley.
Highly entertaining with a modern twist
First published in 1886, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a novella by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson about a London lawyer, Gabriel John Utterson, who investigates the strange events apparently playing out between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde.
Stevenson had long been fascinated about the concept of split personalities, particularly from the renowned case in Edinburgh of Deacon Brodie - by day a cabinet maker and city councillor, by night a burglar, partly for thrills and partly to fund a gambling addiction.
One of the joys of this job is travelling all over the north of England to schools, youth groups and amateur companies and witnessing raw talent that one day, who knows, could be shining on the West End stage.
Tonight I was at Wellacre in Flixton for their production of Grease. Being a schools production this took the form of the original stage version of the show, one some people may not be as familiar with. Some of the songs are different to that of the modern version of the show based on the film, also some songs have been curtailed and edited to suit the age group of the performers. The story is still there though, and as one of the most recognisable musical films around I don’t think I need to remind you of the storyline.
It’s merry and bright in Wolverhampton this week!
The forecast for December sees festive productions storming into theatres across the UK. One such is Irving Berlin's classic musical White Christmas that is showing in an amateur production by South Staffs Musical Theatre Company at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre this week.
It is the 30th anniversary of Junior Stage 80 this year and they have decided to celebrate in style by choosing Little Shop of Horrors as this years’ production at the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale. This is the perfect example of how to celebrate a milestone birthday. From start to finish the show oozes class and quality.
Focus... Intensity... Entertaining...
The Crucible is a 1953, 4-act play by the American playwright Arthur Miller which dramatises the true story of the horrific witch-hunts in Salem, Massachusetts at the end of the 17th century.
In addition the play serves as an allegory of the anti-Communist persecutions in the post-World War 2 McCarthy era U.S.A.
Les Misérables is probably one of the world’s most popular musicals and it not surprising when you consider the beautiful and powerful music, rousing songs, emotional pull and stunning set pieces of action including a battle on a barricade. Futurist Theatre Productions took on all these factors with flair and class in a slick, powerful and captivating performance within this incredible Youth production.
Page 34 of 38