SCMTC – Shrek ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Shrek – Sutton Coldfield Musical Theatre Company

Lichfield Garrick Theatre

Tuesday 12th September 2023 – Opening Night

By Nigel Gambles

Photography – Nigel Gambles Photography

I have seen Shrek performed a number of times by amateur groups and also saw the premiere in the West End with Amanda Holden (Fiona) and Nigel Harman (Farquaad) , and for sheer commitment enthusiasm and inspired casting this is certainly one of the best productions I have seen.

Lets talk about the inspired casting,  Peter Beck as Shrek absolutely nails the character channeling his inner Mike Myers (Shrek in the movie) he plays his character with an easy going and friendly style. Anil Patel as Donkey is superb, full of charisma and his witty comebacks sharp and timely. Charlotte Jervis as Princess Fiona plays the character with unbounded enthusiasm and with a good sense of the feisty princess’ character. She also copes well with a prosthetic nose, inflatable deer and a chorus line of dancing rats not forgetting the wonderful belch and fart competition with Shrek which is hilarious. Finally Simon Smith as Lord Faruuaad is wonderful as the villainous dwarf as he squirms around the stage with a pair of little false legs, his movements and facial expressions adding to the hilarity of the character exuding a wonderful unabashed sense of camp.

Full credit must be given to the supporting cast/ensemble who totally deliver amid numerous costume changes and energetic dance numbers. Too many to mention individually but a few mentions for Finley Waldron as Pinocchio and his extending nose, and Imogen Bloxham as Gingy brilliantly voiced. Ellie Summerfield as teen Fiona and Scarlett Brennan as young Fiona both excellent, Georgia Young as Humpty Dumpty Georgia Waldron as the Wicked Witch and Mark Skett as Big Bad Wolf. All the fairytale characters were wonderfully portrayed and it is nice to see a number of the youth group making their way to to this group.

I should also not forget to mention the Dragon wonderfully moving around the stage with flapping wings and gaping maw expertly controlled by the puppeteers and voiced by Chloe Child

Directed with imagination and flair what is a complex and fast moving show Paul Lumsden absolutely delivers this well known film and show aided by Sheila Pearson – Musical Director and Maggie Jackson – Choreographer who’s routines are energetic and slick.

I won’t go into the full story which Im sure everybody knows if you don’t which swamp have you been living in…

I will finally say all the characters were spot on, the comedy well timed, singing powerful and clear and the dancing super slick.

Successful Fundraiser for Children with Arthritis

Kaleidoscope Choir, led by Rupert Feld, and in collaboration with Stagecoach Lichfield Performance Troupe recently held a fund-raising concert in Lichfield for the charity ‘Kids Like Us’.

The musical evening raised a fantastic £771.96 for the charity, which supports young people and families living with juvenile arthritis in the West Midlands.​

Juvenile arthritis affects around 1200 children and young people in the area. ‘Kids Like Us’ supports them and their families and contributes to research into the condition of which there is no cure and no known cause. It also raises awareness as it is not widely known that children can be affected by this painful and debilitating condition.

Kaleidoscope is currently recruiting new members to all voice sections. They are also happy to discuss a performance with local organisations for fund-raising or entertainment. Contact details for the choir can be found via their website

Script Youth Theatre – School Of Rock 5 ⭐️

School Of Rock – Script Youth Musical Theatre Company

Highbury Theatre

Monday 3rd July 2023 – Dress Rehearsal

By Nigel Gambles

Photography – Nigel Gambles Photography

I was lucky enough to be invited to Script Youths dress rehearsal of School of Rock and I have to say the kids are more than all right and definitely “Sticking It To the Man”

The show is based on the hit movie starring Jack Black and focuses on Dewey Finn, a slacker wannabe rocker who has been dumped by his band and winds up masquerading as a supply teacher at a snooty prep school. He proceeds to introduce his pre teens class the joys of rock and gets them ready to compete in “The Battle Of the Bands” Along the way Dewey finds romance, self-worth, a proper job, and, most importantly he teaches the children and their parents the beauty of rock!

Harry Robbins is a joy to watch as Dewey delivering an explosive performance full of energy. He comes across as the scruffy free loader possessed with rock, and performs knockout versions of “You’re in the Band” and “Stick it to the man” He is  complemented by the wonderful Evie Rice who plays Rosalie the uptight headmistress, she sings a fantastic rendition of “Where did the rock go?”

I had thought that all the singing might be a little high pitched and the instrument playing not that good- boy was I wrong! The singing was varied and interesting, the kids played their instruments live, but you could also hear the house band playing holding it all together.

The performances  were universally knock-out – from Ruby Edmonds as the face-melting guitar genius Zack to Gracie Reynolds as Tomika who emerges from her shell with a shockingly good “Amazing Grace”; from Kadeena Glendon as Lawrence, the gluten-intolerant loner who becomes a cool dude on the keyboards, to Zachery Duke as the flamboyant, design-mad Billy. Full credit to Alex Brown who plays Freddie the drummer who learnt to play drums for the show. Top marks and gold stars to the remainder of the cast who were all tremendous.

Royal Sutton Fun Run Gallery

We have been asked by a number of you to put together a gallery of pictures from this years Fun Run.

At the bottom of this page is a link that will take you to the gallery.

We are also offering you the chance to buy any pictures that you want to keep. There will be a charge of £5.00 per picture with £3.00 going to the Fun Run (the balance is to cover printing costs)

To order your prints please make a note of the number it will begin with IMG followed by four numbers email this to us at [email protected] and we will send you an invoice once this is paid we will send your pictures .

St Giles Hospice Safari Solstice Walk

Saturday evening saw the much loved St Giles Hospice Solstice Walk take place this years theme was “Safari Solstice” and there were no shortages of walkers dressing up as various animals and characters. There were lots of activities to keep entrants occupied ranging from face painting photo opportunities with real animals and entertainment from the Got2Sing Choir. Before the walk started there was thank you from St Giles Hospice followed by a moment of reflection and a bubble release.
The 10k route took them from Lichfield Rugby Club into Lichfield, and a quick excursion in Beacon park before circumnavigating Stowe Pool and into Market Square before heading back to the rugby club for a finishers celebration with a Live DJ Saturday Night Party.

Royal Sutton Fun Run

Thousands of runners descended on Sutton Coldfield on June 4th for the 40th anniversary of the Royal Sutton Fun Run

It looked as if it would perfect running conditions cloudy and slightly cooler, but that all changed as the run started with the sun making an appearance and also making it tough for those involved especially those who donned fancy dress and the 60 plus four legged friends, many of whom i’m sure thought it was just their normal Sunday walk, and lets not forget the posties who decided to pull a Royal Mail van around the 8.5 miles

The run was started by Katie Smith, who was due to start the 2020 event before coronavirus intervened and who would later be running with a giant pink top hat, and Brian Latham whose idea it was to have a fun run through Sutton Coldfield. Brian thanked organiser Tracey Spare and his late father, Roy, for making his idea a reality

In 40 years the event has raised £4.92 million for good causes, with 2023’s 40th edition expected to break the £5 million barrier


Trinity Players – The Hunchback of Notre Dame. 5 ⭐️

The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Trinity Players (A Birmingham Premiere)

Sutton Coldfield Town Hall

Monday 5th June 2023 – Dress Rehearsal

By Lee Williams

Photography – Lee Williams Photography

What an amazing show, full of exquisite colour and sound brought together in a play many of us would have heard of but don’t know much about. A classic Directed by Dan Barnes with music by Peter Bushby. Labled ‘A Journey from Paris to Sutton Coldfield’ this is the story of Quosimodo and Esmeralda which has endured many retellings since its original conception nearly 200 years ago. The version on display here is a culmination of centuries of adaptations. The main players are Quasimodo, played by Steven Blower – what a powerful and captivating performance. At times he just has you transfixed by the powerful story line and the emotional feeling and effort he puts in to the role, it’s something to behold. Esmeralda (Janine Henderson) plays an amazing part. As a gypsy, she is an outcast and un-welcomed. Seen as different and something to be shunned, much like Quosimodo, this brings them together. All this with Jeanne Claude Frollo (Paul Wescott) playing a leading part of the religious leader who whilst attempting to be defiant, shows that even he can display weakness too. Then there is Phoebus, the dashing Soldier who falls for Esmeralda, which leads to both of their downfalls!! With so much colour, music and passion,
this will definitely be a hit show to remember.

The Dubliners Experience

Last night saw the very popular “Dubliners Experience Show” roll in to the Town Hall.

Celebrating the music of the famous Dubliners the show kicked off with the classic “Whiskey in the Jar” and proceeded with more classic and sing-along tunes.

They are fantastic musicians and have a great stage presence and good report with the audience

Made In Tennessee

Made In Tennessee

Sutton Coldfield Town Hall

Friday 2nd June 2023

By Nigel Gambles

Photography – Nigel Gambles Photography

Last night Nashville came to Sutton Coldfield by means of the “Made In Tennessee” show.

The show took us through the decades of the nations fastest growing music  genre, from Country’s origin in the Southern States of America to modern day Country  heard around the world.

The two lead singers performed excellently and treated us to some superb versions of classics like Rose Garden, Jolene, Ring Of Fire, The Weight, and a very rarely heard number by George Jones that I cant remember the title to (If anyone knows it please let me know thanks)

In the second half we were treated to some more classics and some new ones such as The Devil went down to Georgia ,with some excellent fiddle work , Garth Brooks Friends In Low places and a particular highlight for me Chris Stapleton’s Tennessee Whiskey which was superb

If you like Country music then I recommend you catch this show. Superb musicians great vocals and fantastic fun.

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