School Of Rock – Script Youth Musical Theatre Company
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.
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,
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.
As they say OMG where do I start. I attended the dress rehearsal for this show Monday night and I can promise that you are in for an absolute treat. I have seen the show a number of times performed by different theatre groups but I can truthfully say this was the best!! The energy, enjoyment and professionalism just came off the stage in waves.
The show is based on the movie of the same name and follows the star of the show Elle Woods who seems to have it all, but then it all starts to go wrong when her rich boyfriend dumps her in favour of going to Havard Law School. So determined to win him back she charms her way in to the same university. Whilst there she struggles with all manor of things but eventually with the help of new friends and her dog Bruiser she starts to realise her potential and sets out to prove herself. The story is a triumph over adversity and empowering female friendships.
Ellie Summerfield who plays Elle Woods is superb, her vocals are strong and clear and her dancing could put many a professional to shame. Ellie totally embraced the role and will blow you away ( in my humble opinion a star in the making ). She has strong support from her fellow cast members Ellie Johnston who plays Paulette the owner of the hair salon and forms a strong bond with Elle. Ellie has a strong stage presence and delivers a strong performance when teamed up with Elle and Kyle the UPS man. Ethan Bowley who plays Emmett a charming and sensitive law student who supports Elle, captures the sensitive nature of the character and delivers a great performance.
Full credit must be given to the supporting cast who worked hard and delivered fantastic performances, all of which can be attributed to the brilliant direction of Georgia Young who’s debut this is in the role. The choreography is outstanding all thanks to the amazing work of Charlotte Jervis. Finally credit must go to the musical direction of Tony Orbell and Emily Beaman who didn’t put a note wrong.
Do not miss this show as the strap line goes ” This musical is so much fun it should be illegal”
I was lucky enough to be invited to the dress rehearsal of Mint Theatres new production which is quite a departure from their usual light hearted comedy.
Through The Cracks is a trio of “Horror Plays”, (think Tales Of the Unexpected) The plays have been written and adapted by Charlotte and Ellie Ball.
I don’t really want to spoil the show for those of you who will be going so a brief line on each will have to suffice. The first play set at a Victorian lead mine that hides a horrible secret, this is a one woman story and delivered in an amazing performance by Ellie Ball. The second is set in a B&B so if you are looking for somewhere to stay she has got room for you!! great performances by Andrew Hughes and Liz Daly…… and the third which I will say was my favourite and the most spooky. Set in a hotel and on a beach will you loose your mind “Oh whistle and Ill come to you my lad” again excellent performances but outstanding in this one was Alex Howell
If you get the opportunity to go and see this show and support these wonderful amateurs I can assure you that you will really love show and appreciate the hard work put in by the seven actors / stage hands and general help.
Well, what can we say, what an amazing night. All the old tunes had everyone singing. plus, the timing couldn’t have been better, playing on the night before the Coronation, it was great to see the national spirit is strong. Excellent show!
Last Days Of Disco featuring So Diva played their second of two nights at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall last night and what a show transporting us back to the halcyon days of Disco.
SO DIVA famously championed by SIR TOM JONES on ITV’S THE VOICE UK brought a show packed with a unique setlist of 80s dancefloor classics from Irene Cara, Lipps Inc, Debarge, The Pointer Sisters, Evelyn Champagne King, Kool and the Gang, Stacey Lattishaw, Shalamar, Stephanie Mills and many more.
The five fantastic vocalists were accompanied by an excellent seven piece band and their energy and sound soon had the majority of the audience on their feet throwing their best disco moves and singing along.
A great night was had by all, and speaking to a few people on my way out confirmed this.
An excellent show and the audience and I would recommend you finding tickets if you want to relive your glory days on the dance floor.
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.
Live At The Town Hall : Reginald D Hunter, Danny Posthill and Robert White
Sutton Coldfield Town Hall
Friday 24th February 2023
By Lee Williams
Photography – Lee Williams Photography
Well, what a night – constant laughs from three different comedians. Starting with Robert White, whilst projecting a nervous appearance, he was on the ball with his quick-witted, and definitely very risque, sense of humour. All this whilst playing the keyboard with his ad-lib really had the crowd engaged. Danny Posthill followed who came accross as a classic and relatable comedian with a cheeky sense of humour and a wide range of voices. Not apologetic for going pollitical, he played it really well and was very funny. Finally was Reginal D Hunter, a different kind of comedian with an alternative view with great comparisons between the British and Americans, of which we could all relate. His relaxed attitutude came accross really well and had the crowd laughing at every turn. All this was pulled together by Wayne Beese who provided a great view on life, drawing from his own working class experiences. A great night had by all who attended!