Arts News September & October 2015

Auditions for new choirs

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre is re-launching its in-house choirs; the adult Grand Chorus and The Encore Young Vocalists for children aged 9-15. The Encore will be a fun engaging choir to develop passion for singing and performance across musical genres whilst building confidence. Auditions will take place on Saturday 5 September and rehearsals will be held on Saturday’s from 10.30-11.30am at the theatre.

The Grand Chorus will be a fun but vocally challenging choir for adults aged 16+ to develop their passion for singing in a friendly, professional environment. Rehearsals will be held on Mondays from 7pm-8pm.The choirs will be brand ambassadors for the theatre and through their performances will aim to fundraise on behalf of the theatre.

For more information about the choirs and auditions, please contact

Shrek visits Wolverhampton

Loved the films? Now enjoy the show! Hailed by critics and enjoyed by audiences of all ages, ‘SHREK THE MUSICAL®’ visits the ‘big bright beautiful world’ of Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from Wednesday 30 September to Sunday 11 October. The show has enjoyed a run at Drury Lane where it was described as having ‘a dizzying blend of great characters, a hilarious script and sublime music. Visually stunning, and the story has the magic ingredient of moving at great pace while still being surprisingly intimate.’

Book online or call the box office 01902 429212

‘Stepping out’ in Broseley

Bridgnorth Musical Theatre Company is presenting the play ‘Stepping Out’ at The Birchmeadow Centre, Broseley on 8, 9 and 10 October. The story follows a group of individuals attending the same weekly tap dancing class. Despite the students at first treating the classes as social occasions and showing little co-ordination, they later develop a level of skill and cohesiveness. A humorous story with a cast that entertains and makes you smile as each character unfolds their story. Tickets £10 from Mike & Sarah’s Family Butchers Bridgnorth and E Davis & Son Broseley, email or on the door. The show starts at 7.30 pm

Opera at the Grand

The first winner of Britain’s Got Talent – opera singer Paul Potts will be performing live in concert at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre on Friday 16 October. Paul will be joined by guest soprano Catriona Murray in concert. The Bristol-born tenor, for whom singing has always been a haven and a source of joy, is living his dream. Socially awkward, bullied and taunted at school, singing in his local church choir proved to be a sanctuary from the playground abuse. Listening to La Boheme, aged 16, Paul fell in love with opera, a romance that was to set him on a journey that would eventually lead to him performing on, and winning, the first series of Britain’s Got Talent in 2007.

Book online or box office 01902 429212.

Autumn exhibition

Twenty Twenty Gallery in Much Wenlock will host its Autumn Exhibition from Saturday 12 September to Saturday 17 October with paintings from Gerald Dewsbury and Chris Welsh, glass-scapes from Jenny Ayrton and wood fired ceramics by Deiniol Williams. Gerald Dewsbury studied fine art at Falmouth College of Art and moved to North Wales in the 1970’s to become a full time painter. Based in the wild hills and mountains, he spends much of his time outdoors painting directly from life, interpreting the landscape with his own unique vision. A heightened sense of colour and reality is balanced with symbolism and romanticism.

Study with local artist

Students of artist Vicki Norman have enjoyed several ‘Painting on Location’ days over the summer, with Vicki painting the view from Lyth Hill on one of them in late July. Vicki is currently taking enrolments for the autumn term of classes starting on Monday 7 September for 10 weeks. Artists of all levels working in any media are welcome. A beginners drawing and painting programme will be available for those who are new to art or just want to refresh the basics. More experienced painters may decide to work on a project of their choice with support and guidance to build their skills and techniques.

For more details please visit or call 07761017468

Landmarks in LEGO®

An exhibition with a twist will be opening at the Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery from Monday 14 September to Sunday 11 October. ‘Brick City’ is a celebration of some of the world’s favourite buildings and urban icons, recreated solely using LEGO® bricks. While to many, LEGO® bricks are ‘just a toy’, to Warren Elsmore they provide a challenging and enjoyable modelling medium.

Open daily 10am to 5pm, The Square, Shrewsbury. Telephone 01743 258885 or visit Admission £4/ £2/£3.50 family £10.

Northern choir delight

Felling Male Voice Choir from Gateshead, Tyne and Wear are coming to Much Wenlock for a joint concert with Much Wenlock Male Voice Choir at William Brookes School on Saturday 26 September. Formed in 1920 Felling choir has been an integral part of the musical life of the North East of England, performing around 15 – 20 concerts a year with a varied repertoire. The 50 strong choir has travelled extensively both home and abroad and has produced a number of recordings over the years.

Tickets £8 available from the box office at The Edge, Much Wenlock tel 0844 8700 887

Orchestral treat in Bridgnorth

Music lovers in the Bridgnorth area no longer have to go very far to enjoy orchestral music played to a high standard thanks to Bridgnorth Sinfonia. Their last concert provided a varied programme of music by Debussy, Weber and Tchaikovsky which was well received by the audience who were treated to interesting explanations and anecdotes about each piece by conductor Dr James Ross.

Highlights included a rendition of Weber’s Hungarian Andante and Rondo for bassoon and orchestra, played by the principal bassoonist, Felicity Stubbs.

The leader of the orchestra, Margaret Wright, gave a virtuoso violin performance in Tchaikovsky’s Orchestral suite and Sally Barras thrilled with her clarinet cadenza in the final movement of the same piece.

On Sunday 8 November the sinfonia will be playing musical interludes in an interesting venue – the workshop of major sponsor, David Dexter!

Artists’ workshops move

Artist Amanda Hillier, who has been successfully running lino printing workshops at Fusion Jackfield for the last two years, has recently moved and expanded to utilise larger workshop space in the Woodland Hall at The Green Wood Centre, Coalbrookdale. “This unique setting benefits from access to woodland walks making it the perfect location for hosting the ever popular lino workshops”. If you would like to join a monthly workshop or book a group of your own contact Amanda on 01952 432517 or check the website

Theatre in the library

As part of history week at Bridgnorth Library, Shropshire Arts Alive will be staging ‘My Dearest Girls: Helen’s Story’ by Francesca Millican Slater at Bridgnorth Library on Wednesday 23 September. The play is based on letters sent between six young Shropshire women between 1917-1920 and focuses on one local farmer’s daughter. The play will be followed by a discussion. It starts at 7pm call 01746 763358 to book.

Instructions for American serviceman

It’s 1942 and a horde of Yankee servicemen have arrived in England – where the locals speak a strange dialect, boil all their food, and talk endlessly about the weather – join a crack team of ‘experts’ as they try to explain such mysteries as pounds, shillings and pence. A hilarious romp through the idiosyncrasies of the Brits. The play will be performed at Farlow and Oreton Village Hall on Friday 23 October at 8pm for tickets call 01746 718, and at Cardington Village Hall on Sunday 25 October at 7.30pm call 01694 771404 or visit

Ballet at the edge

A chance to watch a live streaming of The Royal Ballet performing ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at The Edge, Much Wenlock on Wednesday 23 September. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is rich in the swaggering colour of Verona street life and in sword fights and celebrations, but the focus is always on the complex emotions of the young lovers – especially on Juliet as she journeys through the delirious happiness of first love to a shocked, adult perception of her fate. Start time 7.15pm. Tickets £11/£10 available from or call 01952 728911.

Opera streamed to the edge

Often considered a perfect opera, ‘Le nozze di Figaro’ represents Mozart’s genius at its most lively and delightful. Based on a play that was originally banned for its political content, the fast-moving libretto creates realistic characters made even more human by Mozart’s outstanding music. David McVicar’s popular staging of this comedy returns in the hands of the leading British conductor Ivor Bolton. The cast is led by the star bass Erwin Schrott, who has sung the role to great acclaim at Covent Garden before, partnered with star Romanian soprano Anita Hartig in the role of Susanna. Monday 5 October 6.45pm at The Edge, Much Wenlock. Tickets £11/£10 available from or call 01952 728911.

Shifnal trinity art event

Shifnal Trinity Methodist Church will be hosting a two day exhibition and sale of local arts and crafts over the weekend of 30-31 October. With quiet love music played during the exhibition it’s a chance to enjoy local talents. Open from 10-4pm each day.

Artists and crafters interested in taking part please contact

Music legend at Severn Centre

Raymond Froggatt will be appearing with his band at The Severn Centre Highley on Saturday 10 October. Song writer for Sir Cliff Richards for ten years, Froggatt has been a stalwart of the music industry for 50 years and has recorded with Isaac Hayes and Sir Elton John and now lives in Ironbridge. His concerts are sell-outs across the country and abroad, and still today his songs are recorded by major artists. An evening not to be missed. Tickets £12.50 on the night (cash only) or 01746 860000

Tim Kliphuis Trio

The classically trained Dutch ‘gypsy jazz’ violinist Tim Kliphuis and his Trio return to Arts Alive with their not-to-be-missed show celebrating the music of gypsy jazz maestro Stéphane Grappelli. Habberley Village Hall on Thursday 15 Oct at 7.30pm call 01743 790179 for tickets and Saturday 17 October at Little Wenlock Village Hall call 01952 505888 for details and tickets.

If I were a rich man….

Bridgnorth Musical Theatre Company is holding a presentation evening for its next show ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ on Wednesday 9 September at 7.30 pm in the Endowed Old School Hall, Bridgnorth. Anyone interested is invited to come along to enjoy a glass of wine whilst having the opportunity to meet the production team. The company is particularly interested in welcoming new male members as there are many parts for men in principal parts and chorus. For more information visit

The Simon and Garfunkel story

Following it’s West End success in February 2015, ‘The Simon and Garfunkel Story’ is currently the biggest and the most successful touring theatre show, and is coming to Oakengates Theatre on Tuesday 22 September. The show celebrates the lives and career of folk and rock sensation Simon and Garfunkel and features seasoned West End, award-winning leading man Dean Elliott and a full cast of talented actor-musicians.

Blood Brothers returns to grand

Marti Pellow and Maureen Nolan will star together in the dark and dramatic Liverpool musical ‘Blood Brothers’ at Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre from Monday 26 – Sat 31 October.

Marti Pellow is one of music’s respected artists; for over 30 years he enjoyed global success as the lead singer of Wet Wet Wet and is an acclaimed leading man of musical theatre. He returns to the role of the brooding and sinister narrator opposite Maureen Nolan, the fourth Nolan sister to appear in ‘Blood Brothers’, who will reprise her role as the tragic Mrs Johnstone. Written by Willy Russell ‘Blood Brothers’ has won four awards for best musical in London and seven Tony Award nominations on Broadway. It ran in London’s West End for 24 years and exceeded 10,000 performances – one of only three musicals to achieve that milestone.

Book online or call the box office 01902 429212



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