Another Busy Weekend Pt 3

The Bon Jovi Experience

Sutton Coldfield Town Hall

Saturday 25th February 2023

By Nigel Gambles

Photography – Nigel Gambles Photography

The weekend at the Town Hall culminated in The Bon Jovi Experience the official tribute band endorsed by and played with the man himself, so when I say they were good you will know what I mean.

Jon looks and sounds like the man himself and even has is movements down to a tee, playing to the audience and encouraging participation through the night got the crowd up and singing and dancing along.

The band were tight and professional and were enjoying every minute on stage.

If you are a Bon Jovi fan you dont want to miss the act and you will know why they are endorsed by Bon Bon Jovi when you see them.

Another Busy Weekend At The Town Hall

Last night kicked off another busy weekend at the Town Hall with the Shania – 25 Live Come On Over Tribute.

The show celebrates Shania’s ground breaking album “Come On Over” and some very well performed country classics.

“Shania” had a great stage presence and soon had the audience singing and clapping away . She is supported by a very tight and proficient band with some excellent guitar and fiddle work.

If you are fan of Shania and country music you don’t want to miss this show it is excellent and full of life.



Sutton Coldfield Town Hall – Awesome Weekend Part 2

The awesome weekend continued with none other than “The King” Elvis. Ben Thompson bought his high energy and entertains tribute to Elvis Presley to the Town Hall Saturday night.

It was a packed audience that welcomed him on stage where he performed a number of the Kings earlier songs : `Jailhouse Rock`, `Heartbreak Hotel`, `Love Me Tender` along with a couple of costume changes.

After a short intermission Ben returned resplendent in rhinestone jumpsuit and continued the show with songs for Elvis Vegas years. By this time the whole audience were on their feet dancing and singing along. All in all a fantastic show if you get the chance and like Elvis then don’t miss it.

Sutton Coldfield Town Hall – Awesome Weekend Part 1

Wow – What a weekend at the Town Hall

Friday saw us start with The History Of Rock which returned with its celebration of rock music through the decades. We were treated to the music from artists like Led Zeppelin, Cream, Guns and RosesQueen and loads more. According to my colleague who was there this is one of if not the best show he has seen at the Town Hall and believe us we have seen a few.He added that the drum and guitar solos were the highlight of the show simply amazing.

Gigspanner Live 10th February The Hub Lichfield

The Gigspanner Big Band are a unique force in British folk music.

Their high-energy, virtuosic performances appeal equally to traditionalists and to those looking for something more experimental, and they have garnered praise from publications as varied as fRoots, The Telegraph and The Wire, where they were described as ‘melodically folk-rooted yet open and innovative beyond the constraints of genre’

Beginning life as a trio – with former Steeleye Span fiddle player Knight being joined by percussionist Sacha Trochet and guitarist Roger Flack – the line-up has been expanded to form the Gigspanner Big Band, with acclaimed multi-instrumental duo Edgelarks (Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin – BBC Folk Awards ‘Best Duo’) and Bellowhead co-founder and melodeon player extraordinaire, John Spiers, joining the fray.

They are playing: Friday 10th February, The Hub at St. Mary’s, Market St. Lichfield, WS13 6LG.  Doors: 19:30. Tickets: £25.00. Box Office: 01543 256611.

“What a fabulous team they make, together producing a startlingly new musical form with few, if any, antecedents. The flights of musical fancy are staggering in their natural invention”
Fatea Magazine

“With the Gigspanner Big Band, Peter Knight has assembled a group of musicians intent on making some of the most important and exhilarating art ever to sit under the banner of folk music” FRUK

“Musical brilliance is abundant” Mojo Magazine

“Totally blown away by the spellbinding Gigspanner Big Band. Lost for words…” Folking. Com

“Utterly thrilling” Northern Soul

Lionel Barts Oliver! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Oliver – Manor Musical Theatre Company

Sutton Coldfield Town Hall

Monday 24th October 2022 – Dress Rehearsal

By Nigel Gambles

Photography – Nigel Gambles Photography

We were back at the Town Hall the second time in a week and Manor Musical Theatre Company were “Considering Us Part Of The Family”

Yes Oliver has returned to the Town Hall and you will absolutely be asking for more.

Directed by Pam & James Garrington, the staging of the production is very traditional, helping the audience be transported to the era, the set costumes lighting and props were all sympathetic to this. The set was fantastic and a special mention to “Going Dark Theatrical Services” for the atmospheric lighting. Coreography is by Jennie Mason who has created some great routines considering the size of the ensemble and stage keeping them in style of the set. Musical Director is Tim Harding and the nine piece band did a lovely job although I do think the volume was too loud in some cases with the soloists struggling to compete at times.

For this production there are two sets of youngsters team jelly and team custard! We were treated to team custard who are Evan Taylor playing Oliver Twist who very much looked the part and told the story well coming across more confidently as the show progressed. Jack Goode played the Dodger. For me he was one of the stand out performances, his command of the stage was excellent and the the confidence of his performance superb. His rapport with Nancy and Fagan  was also very good.

Fagan is played by Barry Styles a regular with the group, his character portrayal is superb and convincing taking command of the stage on every appearance

Nancy is played by Paula O’Hare who you might remember as an excellent Maria in the company production of Sound of Music earlier this year. She brings great energy and enthusiasm to this iconic role her vocals strong and clear.

Bill Sikes is played by Peter Bushby, suitably scary and menacing.

There are far too many roles to really mention in this review but I will say that all the cast and ensemble were excellent and seemed to throughly enjoy themselves and I felt that the overall acting and storytelling was very strong. The vocals and choreography were excellent. Well done to all on stage and behind the scenes.

We Will Rock You ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

We Will Rock You ([email protected]) – Sutton Coldfield Musical Youth Theatre

Sutton Coldfield Town Hall

Monday 17th October 2022 – Dress Rehearsal

By Nigel Gambles

Photography – Nigel Gambles Photography


Sutton Coldfield Musical Youth Theatre rocked back into the Town Hall for their second show of the year with Queen & Ben Elton’s best selling jukebox musical “We Will Rock You ([email protected])”

Directed by Paul Lumsen, choreography by Maggie Jackson and musical director Chris Cocoran.

Set in the future on iPlanet where all musical instruments are banned, computers generate the music and everybody downloads it. This is a world where it is cool to conform, be compliant and live your life on the internet (sound familiar), where rock music has been long forgotten. Ruled by Killer Queen played by Sienna Renshaw who gives a fine  performance. Enter Galileo our leading man played by Nate Wallace who is plagued by dreams and memories of songs long gone, he joins forces with Scaramouche played brilliantly by Amelia Waldron who has a fantastic presence and wonderful vocals delivering a great  version of Somebody To Love. Amelia and Nate also deliver some stunning duets, Under Pressure and Who Wants To Live For Ever bouncing off each other well.

Together they set off on a mission to discover the last surviving instrument aided in their quest by a motley crew of Bohemians including Oz and Brit played by Ellie Summerfield and Finley Hunt, both have a wonderful stage presence and deliver lovely vocals in “I Want It All”. For me the highlight of the show was when Ellie sang “No-One But You”…. stunning is all I can say and I bet there won’t be a dry eye in the house.

The second half of the show is where the magic happens, the plot becomes secondary and the hits come thick and fast with classics like We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions and of course Bohemian Rhapsody.

Special mention to Oscar Ralley playing Buddy wonderfully.

This show is pure entertainment and will have you on your feet clapping and singing along.


Maet Live – Meat Loaf Tribute

So the Never Neverland Express and Maet Live stormed into the Town Hall Friday and Saturday night playing to sell out audiences.

From the set and lighting to the singers and band I have to say this is one of the most professional tribute bands I have seen, and that from a life long Meatloaf fan ( I must have seen him at least a dozen times).

The vocals were powerful and clear courtesy of Craig Halford and the backing singers Jodey Lea and Melissa Gardner. The rest of the band were played brilliantly special mention to Adam Willis great guitar work.

The set was littered with all the hits you would expect and a few surprises you wouldn’t necessarily expect. I would definitely recommended this show it was a classic rock and roll night out with the audience up and dancing


SCMYT Preview “We Will Rock You” In The Gracechurch Centre

Saturday saw Sutton Coldfield Musical Youth Theatre appear in The Gracechurch Centre to give passing shoppers and stores a preview of their forthcoming production “We Will Rock You” which showcases the music of Queen. I have to say Im really looking forward to seeing the show after some stunning performances fro Mille and Elle pure magic. Watch out for a video coming tomorrow showcasing some of the songs.

This electrifying production, is at Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Hall from 18-22 October

For tickets book here or call 0121 296 9543. 🎸

Priscilla Queen Of the Desert ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Priscilla Queen Of The Desert – Lichfield Operatic Society

Lichfield Garrick Theatre

Tuesday 20th September 2022 – Opening Night

By Nigel Gambles

Photography – Robert Yardley Photography

Priscilla Queen of the Desert storms in boldly and brashly, taking the audience on a whirlwind, drag-laced tour through not just the Australian outback, but also attitudes towards drag, transsexuality, and acceptance – while featuring a phenomenal back catalogue of karaoke classics to a glittery shoe

I have to admit I have neither seen the show or the film before so I knew I was in for a surprise. This fabulous production directed by James Pugh races through at a scary pace with songs and routines coming thick and fast which leaves the audience cheering for more. From the opening “Its Raining Men” to First Act closer “I will Survive” It was non stop..

In Pete Beck, Adam Gregory and Patrick Jervis’s performance of Bernadette, Felicia/Adam and Tick/Mitzi we are given life, love and a bit of lip- syncing. They are equal parts sassy and soft, while brilliantly bring their characters stories to life. All while managing to maintain a wonderful tongue in cheek playfulness and thankfully never taking themselves too seriously.

I have to add that the understated stars of the show who take the vocals and dancing to the next level have to be the ensemble who were truly magnificent and must be totally worn out at the end of the show with all the costume changes.

The show is witty and clever eliciting plenty of oohs and aahs. I cant finish this review with out mentioning the choreography. Charlotte Jervis has worked miracles putting together all the dance and chorus routines from her own very creative mind and taught with mazing skill and dedication.

It might not have the best storyline or the most complex or intense performance, but thats not what you are there for, you are there to be taken on an amazing colourful eye popping, sing a long with spectacular dance and an iconic musical score under the guiding hand of David Easto. I guarantee you will be up on your feet and dancing in the aisles by the end of the show.

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