Annual Open Exhibition Of Art and Craft

 The Brewhouse Open

Annual Open Exhibition Of Art and Craft

In The Gallery: 24th April – 5th June 2015

presented in partnership with

Burton and District Arts Council


Entries are welcome in all media and styles; 2D, 3D, Craft

from all those who live, work or are educated in East Staffordshire or within a 15 mile radius from the centre of Burton upon Trent.

Entry fee is £5 per piece of work, £3 Concessionary rate.

Pick up your entry form and extra information from The Brewhouse,


Download a copy in .pdf format by CLICKING HERE.

Submit your work by dropping off at The Brewhouse

on Friday17th or Saturday18th April between 10am and 3pm

Needwood Singers Concert

Needwood Singers

Magical Magnificats

including works by Vivaldi, Buxtehude and John Rutter.

The concert will be at St. John’s Church, Shenstone WS14 0JB on April 11th at 7.30 pm.

Tickets £10 & £8 and are available by telephone 01283 716790 or from members of the choir.

Thanks to Mark & Sue Griffiths for the info.

The Ladykillers – Review

The Ladykillers, Little Theatre Company, Brewhouse Arts Centre, Union Street, Burton

10-14 March 2015

I don’t know why I find myself surprised by Little Theatre Company productions – but I do.

We all know that John Bowness’ attention to detail is legendary and that the company’s set design will always make the best available use of the Brewhouse stage. Superb sound and lighting are also a given. But for me The Ladykillers  is on a par with the very best productions that LTC has put on.

There is of course the sharpness of Graham Linehan’s script, which for me has taken quite a flabby film and tightened it up superbly. The asides and one liners come thick and fast and the pace is at times almost farcical.

The plot is simple. A black comedy which pits a little old lady, fond of bothering the police with tales of Nazi newsagents, against a gang of ruthless criminals.

Pretending to be amateur musicians, the gang rent rooms in her home while they plan and execute a security van robbery. The police are left clueless after the raid but Mrs Wilberforce has her suspicions and the gang decide that she must be silenced.

What really makes this show stand out is the casting. Bear in mind that the original film had the likes of Alec Guinness, Herbert Lom, Cecil Parker and Peter Sellers in the major roles. These are superbly upstaged by LTC members.

With Phil Robinson leading the gang comprising Matt Bancroft, Daniel Tunks, Peter Banton and Rob Tunley who are pitted against Bethan Waite’s seemingly indestructible old lady there is nary a wrong note.

Helping out as Mrs Wilberforce’s friends are Vanessa Birch, Dawn White, Kay St Clair, Jodie Whitehead and an almost unrecogniseable Michael Mear – I say almost, but there were several audience members who spotted the familiar raised eyebrow.

Mark Pearson supplied the long arm of the law who had to deal with Mrs Wilberforce’s delusions at the beginning and her bewilderment at the end.

Each and every actor fitted superbly into their roles and not only managed to reflect the film stars’ performances but added something of themselves to the part which for me lifted this into the realms of a Little Theatre Company classic.

This is one of those shows where everything has come together perfectly to give you a night out to remember. Please don’t miss it.

The Ladykillers, performed by the Little Theatre Company, continues at the Brewhouse Arts Centre, Union Street, Burton, until Saturday night with performances at 7.30pm each evening and a matinee show at 2.30pm on Saturday. Tickets are available from the Brewhouse box office on 01283 508100.

Bill Pritchard

LTC – The Ladykillers

The Ladykillers

by Graham Linehan



Little Theatre Company presents Graham Linehan’s award-winning adaptation of the classic Ealing comedy, The Ladykillers.

This hilarious comedy tells the tale of a sweet little old lady pitted against a gang of criminal misfits who rent rooms in her house, posing as amateur musicians who will stop at nothing. But, when Mrs Wilberforce becomes wise to their ruse, who will be forced to face the music?



Tuesday 10th – Saturday 14th March 2015

7:30 each evening plus Saturday matinee at 2:30pm

Tickets: £9 adults / £8 concessions

(Concessions Tuesday to Thursday only – Matinee tickets all £8)

at The Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton upon Trent

Box Office Tel : 01283 508100


Brewhouse Performances March 2015

Literature Talk & Film: Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

£6.00 + Discount Lunch. 12:00 noon

Join Dr Jane Mackay for the first of two special events this season offering fascinating but accessible insights into great works of literature. Jane will give a presentation from 12 – 1pm, then we suggest you stay for lunch in our café between 1pm & 2pm and then we’ll be offering a free screening of a film version of the book in our cinema from 2pm. Jane has a wealth of knowledge and is passionate about literature but presents in a highly accessible and fascinating way. Prior knowledge of the books are not required!

The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of the definitive studies of human duality and caused outrage when it was first published in 1890. Dorian’s wish that he might stay young while his portrait aged stimulates the start of his moral downfall.

An Evening with Gervase Phinn

Thursday, March 5, 2015. £16.50 all tickets. 19:30

Gervase Phinn has been touring theatres across the country for over 10 years now as a hilarious raconteur. The best selling and award winning author, Radio and TV personality, really is at his best and most exciting in front of a live audience.

An Evening with Gervase Phinn will have you on the edges of your seats, as he shares his hilarious and sometimes poignant tales of life as a schools inspector in the Yorkshire Dales. Dubbed “the James Herriot of schools”.

With his keen ear for the absurd and sharp eye for the ludicrous, Gervase Phinn has delighted audiences all over the UK with stories of his experiences as a school inspector. His shows have received rave reviews all across the country

GA GA present their 20th Anniversary Tour

Friday, March 6, 2015. £12.00. 19:30

GA GA are embarking on their 20th Anniversary Tour with a show packed with massive Queen hits spanning right across the legendary band’s back catalogue.

From numerous Queen Conventions to TV appearances, GA GA have consistently proved why they are so highly rated by critics and audiences alike. There are no wigs, no make-up and definitely no false moustaches but instead a host of massive Queen songs played like they were meant to be.

Three Keepers

Saturday, March 7, 2015. £6.00. 19.30

Welcome to Flounder Rock Lighthousem where three men live and work, battling the elements and the long lonely night watches, with only each other and the seagulls for company. Wise Old Tom and uptight middleman Dick are trying to teach Young ‘Arry the ropes on his first tour of service. When the storm of the century threatens, will disaster strike? Will the lamp shine true? Will the biscuits run out? Watch on, dear audience… WinterWalker presents ‘Three Keepers’; a play without words for everyone aged 8 and over. A tale of life on a rock lighthouse, told through an inventive blend of physical theatre, dance and comedy, inspired by the silent film clowning of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin.

The Little Theatre Company Presents: The Ladykillers

Tuesday, March 10-Saturday 14th March, 2015

Price: £9/£8 concessions

19:30, Saturday matinee 14:30

This hilarious comedy tells the tale of a sweet little old lady pitted against a gang of criminal misfits who rent rooms in her house, posing as amateur musicians who will stop at nothing. But, when Mrs Wilberforce becomes wise to their ruse, who will be forced to face the music?

The Little Theatre Company Presents: The Ladykillers by Graham Lineham, From the Motion Picture Screenplay by William Rose. By Special Arrangement with StudioCanal and By Special Arrangement with Fiery Angel Ltd, London

The Ladykillers is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Limited.

Youth Dance Platform

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 – 19:00

£7/£5 concessions. 19:00

ESDC runs a programme of youth dance throughout the Borough, the platform gives our dancers a chance to show you what they have been working on! Enjoy high energy dance pieces and celebrate East Staffordshire’s talented young dancers.

Vocal Intuition Presents IT’S SHOWTIME! A students’ Concert

Saturday, March 21, 2015. £8.00. 19:30

Students of Anne, Rachel and Heather will entertain you with songs from the shows and more. Come along and join us as we celebrate the year’s achievements.

Burton and South Derbyshire College Presents: Unite Performing Arts Festival

Monday, March 23, 2015. £7/£5 concessions. 19:00

A celebration of the Arts within the local area organised by Burton and South Derbyshire College’s Performing Arts Department in which they invite community groups and schools to perform alongside the college students. The event showcases a range of dance, drama and music as a celebration.

Burton and South Derbyshire College Presents: Unite Music

Thursday, March 26, 2015. £5/£3 concessions.19:30

The Unite Music night will be organised and managed by year 1 and year 2 Music Performance students as part of their Final Major Project. The event will include an eclectic mix of genres performed by both the students themselves and external acts arranged by the music group.

Stomp and Holler

Friday, March 27, 2015. £10.00. 19:30

A big, bold festival New Orleans blues band led by Oliver Carpenter and featuring three British Blues Award nominees, Stomp & Holler explode on stage with brass, blues, and a vast array of voices. From the first growl to the last chord they’ll have you stomping and hollering for more as they take you on a musical journey around the swamps, bayou’s and dance floors of the blues.

The Madhouse presents: Ben Hughes

Saturday, March 28, 2015. £10/£9 in advance. 20:00

Ben Hughes is a master of the acoustic guitar and possibly the best you will ever see! Showcasing a blend of his own material and well-known numbers, Ben will deliver a jaw-dropping performance. Just when you think he can’t play any faster….

Guitarists! Don’t miss this show!


Empirical Evidence 12th March to 18th April 2015.

Over the past six months, Burton and South Derbyshire College students have been developing a body of work in response to the theme of Evidence, as a part of the Format International Photography Festival 2015. Their work will be exhibited at The Brewhouse Arts Centre and Cafe Bar as well as at venues in Derby.

This work has been produced by individuals from different creative pathways, resulting in an eclectic mix: fact and fiction, documentary and narrative, photography, fine art and film.

FORMAT International Photography Festival presents a selection of the best of international photography in a diverse programme of exhibitions and events. FORMAT is curated by Louise Clements, Artistic Director of QUAD & FORMAT, hosted & organised by QUAD and the University of Derby. 13th March – 12th April 2015

Exhibition Launch (Sight, Sound and Social) 17th March 19.00


Brewhouse Box Office 01283 508100

 Brewhouse online booking portal CLICK HERE

Thanks to Nathan Gallagher for the info.


BOS – Sunset Boulevard – Review.

Sunset Boulevard, the classic 1950 film noir, is probably best-known for the iconic character of ageing silent movie star Norma Desmond played by Gloria Swanson.

Facing the job of filling those massive shoes in the stage musical version – receiving its mainland UK amateur premiere here in Burton this week – is Sharon Plummer of Burton & District Operatic Society. What a triumph! She captures the majesty and grandeur of a Goddess of Hollywood’s Golden Age and the needy loneliness of a woman whose fame and glory  is behind her. It is a tour de force performance vocally and in characterisation.

The society was thrilled to secure the premiere – which has rightly attracted attention from far and wide. They received opening night messages of support from composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Don Black – and a visit in person from representatives of The Really Useful Group Ltd. It’s enough to make you break out in a nervous rash – but there was no sign of first night nerves as an assuredly confident cast took to the stage at de Ferrers Academy last night.

The show runs until Saturday February 21 at 7.30pm each night and there is also a matinee at 2.30pm on Saturday.

Sunset Boulevard the musical, by Lloyd Webber, Black and Christopher Hampton, is pretty faithful to the plot and the spirit of the Oscar-winning Billy Wilder film. Opening with the discovery of a body floating in the swimming pool of a mansion on Sunset Boulevard it flashes back to show the events leading up to the tragedy. Lovers of the film will be delighted that some of that opening scene is played on a screen that descends on the de Ferrers stage.

Joe Gillis is a penniless screen writer who has failed to hit the big time. Norma Desmond was once the most famous woman in the world – but now lives a reclusive existence with only her faithful man servant Max for company.

She still has wildly unrealistic dreams of making a comeback (or a return as she prefers to call it) and enlists Joe to help, swiftly falling in love with him in the process.

As Norma Desmond, Sharon Plummer oozed glamour and eccentricity in equal parts. Her interpretation of hit numbers With One Look, The Perfect Year and As If We Never Said Goodbye was haunting and mesmeric.

Providing musical accompaniment was a 12-piece orchestra, led by David Blackwell. They got no chance to rest as the music of Lloyd Webber underscored every second of the show without breaking for dialogue.

This is not a show for faint-hearted performers. These are not easy songs to sing – but the society rises to the challenge and emerges victorious. The backstage crew is also fully-employed managing set change after set change with choreographed ease.

Lee Smith was deceptively casual as Joe Gillis, wise-cracking and hustling for work – and then sliding almost dispassionately into an uneasy relationship with Norma that always carried the threat of the tragedy that would follow.

Andrew Last played Max with powerful precision – rarely hinting at his real history with Norma, which surfaced in Act Two.

Laura Hodder was delightful as Betty Schaefer, the girl who fell for Joe after coaxing him to write a screenplay with her. Her impressive vocal range was showcased in Too Much In Love To Care, a duet with Joe which displayed their genuine chemistry in contrast to the artifice of Joe’s affair with Norma.

Steven Foster directed with the sure touch of a man in his 13th year of directing for this society and blessed with a talented and hard-working team more than capable of realising his vision.

They’ll be making history for a second time this year as they  manage a change of name to become The Burton Musical Theatre Company. Losing the word ‘operatic’ will, they hope, reinforce their reputation for performing a range of contemporary and traditional musical theatre shows.

To check on ticket availability for the rest of the shows this week, ring 01283 541552 or visit

You can also follow the group on Facebook by searching for ‘burtonoperaticsociety’ (for now) and on Twitter, where they are @BurtonOpSoc

Elaine Pritchard.

B.A.S.E. Panto Review

Sinbad and his 8th Voyage, Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton
Burton Amateur Stage Entertainers (BASE) 17-21 February 2015.

This production is the 44th staged by Base and once again it will be raising money for good causes – this year it is The Brain Tumour Charity who stand to benefit from the money you spend buying a programme and on the raffle during show week.

As ever the company put on a show that will delight pantomime lovers of all ages. There are lots of opportunities for audience participation and the opening night crowd certainly responded well.

All the elements needed for a successful panto are there with stolen treasure and a wronged hero, a princess betrothed to the wrong man and a battle between good and evil.

Throw in a comedy slave auction, a stormy sea voyage, plenty of well known songs, lots of ‘oh yes he did’ and a Dame with a deckchair – what more do you need?

With Martin Goodall as the Dame – Norma Snickers, think about it . . . yes, you’ve got it now – leading the mayhem the show bounces along and Joanne McGurk as his/her daughter Silly Sally showing great comic timing and an ‘I’m having a good time and so are you’ presence every time she is on stage it is difficult not to be drawn into the call and response.

Good and evil are represented respectively by Jodie Swann as Fortuna and Kerry-Ann Roe as Evilena, who was really quite scarey – although in the sing-along at the end, under Fortuna’s spell, the audience warmed to her.
Strong support from all the principals, chorus and dancers kept the show moving along at a good pace and the first night audience left the Brewhouse in a buzz of excitement.

Sinbad and his 8th Voyage, continues at the Brewhouse Arts Centre, until Saturday 21st Feb . Wednesday night’s performance starts at 6.30pm and there are matinees on Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm. Performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night commence at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from the Brewhouse box office on 01283 508100.

Bill Pritchard.

Anne Lee School of Drama

Anne Lee School of Drama

 A few places remaining for teenagers 13+ to join our well established Drama School on a Wednesday evening 5 – 6.30pm.

This will help support GCSE and A Level students in developing confidence and drama techniques. It promises to be exciting and fun.

 Also, places are available on the Adult Acting and Presentation Skills course, highly successful in helping confidence and personal aspirations.

For more information please contact us by e-mail or Facebook page

Thanks to Anne Lee School for the info.

BOS – Sunset Boulevard

 Burton and District Operatic Society are to premiere Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard next month.

 The licence for the show is being allocated on a limited basis and only for 12 months. This will be the first performance of the musical by an amateur group on the United Kingdom mainland.


Based on the classic Billy Wilder film-noir from 1950, and with a book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, Sunset Boulevard tells the tale of silent movie star Norma Desmond who longs for a return to the big screen having been left behind with the introduction of sound. She meets struggling film screen-writer Joe Gillis in dramatic circumstances and this leads to a tragic conclusion.

The show runs at de Ferrers Academy’s Harehedge Lane site from Tuesday, February 17th, until Saturday, February 21, and commences each evening at 7.30pm with a matinee performance at 2.30pm on Saturday.

Tickets, costing from £9, are available by telephoning 01283 541552 or by emailing:

For more information go to:

Thanks to Angela Wynn for the info.