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Three-minute heroes take the limelight once again.

LIVERPOOL had the Beatles, Manchester have Oasis and Coventry hit the music big time with 2-Tone, writes MARION McMULLEN.

Stars from The Specials and The Selecter were out in force last night for the world premiere of city musical Three Minute Heroes.

The Belgrade Theatre production pays tribute to the 2-Tone era, when buying the latest single at Woolies was the highlight of the week for many teenagers.

The pork pie hats and black and white outfits were back as Rude Boys and Rude Girls took to the stage.

The show looks back on the era through the eyes of five friends. They are inspired by the ska sounds to form their own band and dream of joining the 2-Tone label.

All the hits are there, from Too Much Too Young and On My Radio to Ghost Town and Free Nelson Mandela, while the video backdrop flashes up news stories and film footage of the time.

Bob Eaton's production is packed with references to local people like Pete Waterman, Ken Brown and Terry Hall. The clothes reflect the 1980s and even the milk bottles don't look out of place.

Three Minute Heroes gets off to a lively start but tends to lose it's way towards the end as it tries to cover everything from teenage pregnancy to racism.

Coventry actress Lyndi Ritter-Smith makes her professional acting debut as aspiring singer Sharon while Pauline Black lookalike Tupele Dorgu gets to belt out a passionate performance of On My Radio. Adam Shaw gets all the best lines as punk Sean.

If you lived through the 2-Tone days, othis show will bring a smile to your face.

Three Minute Heroes runs until September 30.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Mcmullen, Marion
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 15, 2000
Words:281
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