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100th appearance at Highbury for Reg; Amateur Stage With John Slim.

Byline: John Slim

WHEN Reg Tolley steps onstage in Highbury Little Theatre's Dead Ringer next month, it will be his 100th appearance in a play at the Sutton Coldfield venue.

The Charles Ross thriller, opening on November 7, is a far remove from his Highbury dAbut, when he was in Village Wooing, a two-hander by George Bernard Shaw, in the early 1970s.

But he did not realise that he was approaching a milestone until Highbury archivist John Todd told him - before he got his latest part, as an MI5 man guarding the Prime Minister - that it would be his 100th.

Reg's wife, Hazel, often directs plays at Highbury and he reckons he must have been involved in about half a dozen in which she was calling the shots. Many of Reg's memories are in his book, Memoirs of a Highbury Ham, which came out last year.

So what's the appeal of it all?

He says: "I suppose it's being somebody else for a little while but on first nights I sometimes think, what on earth am I doing this for?"

THE Nonentities, of Kidderminster, will stage Worcestershire Wise, three short plays written by members of Swan Playwrights, at Artrix, Bromsgrove, on Friday, October 20, and at Worcester Arts Workshop the following evening.

These will be curtain-raisers for a week-long run at the Rose Theatre, Kidderminster, starting on Monday, October 23.

The plays, selected by competition in the group, are described as highlighting "the wisdom and wise ways" found among the people and places of Worcestershire. They are Look, No Hands, by Sue Downing, Lost Content (Martin Drury) and Worcester Past Ties (Sandra Booth).

THERE is some stern stuff coming up at Highbury Little Theatre shortly.

The Sutton Coldfield venue will present Playing Sinatra, described as "a play of obsession, menace and tragi-comedy with a lingering air of violence", about a brother and sister who are fixated on the music of Frank Sinatra, as well as having a disturbing relationship.

Audiences are warned that there is also some disturbing violence and that the studio production is not suitable for children.

Directed by Highbury newcomer Robert Laird, the cast of three finds Richard Ham as the brother, Donna Smith as the sister, and Nigel Higgs, recently moved to the Midlands from London, as the stranger who has a dramatic effect on their lives.

The production will run from October 17-21.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Oct 6, 2006
Words:398
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