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Show pantos some respect; Amateur Stage.

Byline: John Slim

IT is good to see that Star Workshops has chosen the theme of pantomime for its autumn term.

Time after time, I have writhed in despair, watching a principal boy accompany her every utterance by stretching her arms forwards and turning the palms of her hands to heaven while a totally uninterested chorus stands in a half-circle, gazing at the audience.

This is because too many groups put out their second 11 at pantomime time. As far as they are concerned, it's "only the panto", even though pantomime is probably their biggest money-spinner of the year.

Pantomime deserves to be done properly. It doesn't matter that its jokes are often grey-bearded: children in the audience are probably having their first experience of theatre and have not heard them before. Above all, it is important that they should be given an introduction that does not descend to the abysmal.

The Star Workshops term runs for ten weeks on Tuesdays at the John Palmer Road, Warwick Road, Solihull, starting on September 12, and on Saturdays at Dorridge Village Hall, where it begins on September 16.

The classes, which are age-grouped, are for youngsters from five to 15 and cost pounds 35 per term, with a discount for families. Further details are available from course director Pauline Brand on 0121 705 6367.

THREE local theatre groups have special anniversaries.

The Nonentities, of Kidderminster, will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening of their home, the Rose Theatre, with a gala black-tie performance of Twelfth Night - their first production of the new season - on Saturday, October 7. It will be preceded by a champagne reception and is by invitation only.

Birmingham's Circle Light Opera Company, meanwhile, is looking well ahead to its 70th birthday - to be marked by a charity performance of South Pacific at the Old Rep on Thursday, October 18, next year.

And before either of these, Dudley Little Theatre launches its 60th season with Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park at Netherton Arts Centre on September 13.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Sep 1, 2006
Words:339
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