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Flying high in first class show; SPOTLIGHT.

Byline: MARION McMULLEN'S weekly round-up of local amateur theatre

HIGH-FLYING Coventry performers are heading straight for the top for musical spectacular Scrooge.

Members of the Guildhall Amateur Operatic Society have been learning how to fly specially for the Coventry stage show and hope to astound audiences with their aerial hi-jinks.

Director Steve Duncan says: "It's technically the most difficult show we've ever staged and we want it to look first class. People have this old-fashioned image of amateur shows, but we pride ourselves on putting on a professional production and, if you're putting on Scrooge, you have to have the cast flying across the stage.

Top experts Flying By Fox were specially brought in to train several members of the cast for their high-flying roles. They spent two days teaching them how to fly and will be working with the company during the run of the musical.

Steve says: "They do a lot of TV work and the big pantomimes and we know we are in safe hands. With something like this you don't take risks.

"This is the biggest show we've ever done and it's a real challenge. I think people will be amazed."

The musical features Guildhall regular Paul Madden as the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge with Kevin Price as his downtrodden assistant Bob Cratchit.

The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future are played by Cate Mellor, Paul Barker and Richard Nelhams and the role of Tiny Tim is shared by 11-year-old Nicholas Duncan and Eden Theatre Company member Liam Lewis, aged nine. The company also in-cludes children from Coventry's Stagecraft drama group.

Steve says: "I have nothing but admiration for the cast.

"We began work on Scrooge back in October and they have put in a lot of hours and commitment to make this a very special show."

SCROOGE opens on Tuesday at the College Theatre, The Butts, Coventry. Tickets are available by phoning 024 7646 9351.


COVENTRY writer Freda Yates' new play Relative Emotions is to be the fourth new production by the city's Cofa's Fayre Players. People interested in taking part in the forthcoming production should contact 024 7667 6655.

THE changing role of communities in the modern world is one of the themes of the Belgrade Youth Theatre's latest production Earth Tales.

TRACIE ROWLANDS, of Coventry-based theatre company Pathways, has been working with the 23-strong cast of city youngsters and the production can be seen tonight at Bablake School Drama Studio.

COVENTRY-BASED People To People Community Theatre group are launching a new season of plays, rehearsals and workshops. The group meets every Wednesday night at Central Hall in Coventry and will be staging Step In Time at the Belgrade Studio in May and A Peoples' Christmas Carol later this year. People interested in acting or working behind the scenes should contact 024 7661 1670.

DICK Whittington And His Cat will be bringing pantomime fun to Bedworth next month. Nuneaton Pantomime And Revue Society will be staging the family show at Bedworth Civic Hall from February 13. Tickets cost pounds 7.

YOUNG people from the Belgrade Theatre's Acting Out Project embark on a school tour next week with Brian Patten's comedy play Gargling With Jelly. The production is directed by Georgina Egan and features music and sound from ex-Acting Out Project student Ben Gibbs. Gargling With Jelly will tour to Holy Family School, Stoke Heath Primary and Frederick Bird School in Coventry and Mary Immaculate Primary School in Warwick.

OPEN auditions are being held on Tuesday for a new show about Birmingham's first boy band, Musical Youth. Birmingham Rep are looking for five Afro-Caribbean performers, aged between 16 and 25, who can sing and play a musical instrument. Details available from 0121 245 2000.


HIGH FLYERS: Scrooge (Paul Madden) is haunted by Marley (Richard Nelhams), Christmas Past (Cate Mellor) and Christmas Future (Paul Barker) for the production of Scrooge at the Butts Theatre
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jan 20, 2001
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