Mellows – Oliver! – Review

Oliver!, Mellow Dramatics, Brewhouse arts centre, Burton.

Let’s take it as read that, one, you know what the musical Oliver! is about, and two, you know most of the songs.

The show, directed by Sharon Plummer, is using two boys to play Oliver, on opening night we had Joe Wardle as our Oliver and he made a fine job of it.

A packed Brewhouse auditorium showed their appreciation for the show with prolonged applause at the curtain and the cast certainly deserved it.

Many of the cast will be familiar to Mellow’s audiences but there were some new faces – one of whom looked as if he’d been on stage for years – stole the show for me . . . but I will let you make up your own minds when you go. I think they have unearthed a real talent.

Husband and wife team, Melvyn and Jean Edwards were great as Mr Bumble and the Widow Corney bringing the right amounts of humour and nastiness to the roles. Steve Wood as Bill Sykes was suitably menacing channeling a grubby EastEnders’ hardman.

Tom Brassington played the seedy, down-at-heel Fagin with just the right amount of vulnerability and bounce in his rendition of Reviewing the Situation.

Callum Davis’ Artful Dodger did very well in welcoming Oliver to Fagin’s Gang in Consider Yourself and the crowd scenes and set pieces were well choreographed by Sian Plummer.

Hannah Smith worked very well as Bet alongside what was a standout performance by Becky Stewart as Nancy – Bill Sykes’ long-suffering girlfriend. I hope Becky won’t mind me saying that there was more than a passing reminder of Jody Prenger in her performance.

Well done to all the cast who put on a show worthy of the Mellows. It was also a lovely surprise to see Jack Broughton back on stage with them in the role of Mr Sowerberry, always good to see him.

I am informed that ticket sales have been very strong for the week and that some performances are already sold out. So be quick if you want tickets for the show.

The Mellow Dramatics’ Oliver! is on at the Brewhouse, Union Street, Burton, until Saturday, September 18th, with performances from 7.30pm every night and a matinee performance at 2.30pm on Saturday.

For ticket information contact the Brewhouse box office on 1283 508100.

Bill Pritchard

Best of British: A Celebration of English Song

GEM Recitals

The Best of British: A Celebration of English Song

In the first of a new series of classical concerts in Burton upon Trent, Mezzo-soprano, Georgia Gardiner and baritone, Edward Robinson will perform works including; Butterworth’s A Shropshire Lad and Quilter’s Three Shakespeare Songs, accompanied by local pianist, Hayley Parkes. This recital promises to be accessible to all and of the highest standard, with all three performers students of The Royal Northern College of Music.

Approximately 45 Minutes

Brewhouse Cafe Bar

Saturday 29 October 12 noon £5


Thanks to Ed Robinson, a former BADAC Bursary Winner, for the info.

Brewhouse Community Events Sept / Oct

The Mellow Dramatics


Come and join the Mellows as they ‘Oom Pah Pah’ through the streets of London as they bring ‘Oliver’ to the stage. This was the first musical adaptation of a famous Charles Dickens’ work to become a stage hit. The show is a classic, to be enjoyed by the whole family, featuring much loved songs including ‘Food Glorious Food’, ‘Consider Yourself’ and ‘As Long As He Needs Me’.

There is no doubt, that you’ll be left wanting MOOOORE!

Tuesday 13 September – Saturday 17 September

7.30pm plus Saturday Matinee 2.30pm

£12 Wednesday to Saturday Evening, £10 Tuesday Evening & Saturday Matinee

Buy 4 tickets and get 5th free (Tuesday to Thursday & Saturday Matinee)

Brewhouse Auditorium



The Burton Upon Trent Vocal Festival

2016 Festival Concert

Featuring participants from the March 2016 Festival and from previous years, performing a diverse selection of songs from Opera to Pop and everything in between.

For more information visit

Friday 23 September 7.30pm £10 Brewhouse Cafe Bar


Midland Youth Ballet perform “The Wizard’s Wish”

A ballet choreographed by Stephanie, featuring a young girl’s adventure to meet a true Wizard! What she finds along the way will be magical but heart-warming as she ventures into an unknown world; the adventure will come to an end or is it just the beginning!

Saturday 8 October 7pm £10


Charlie’s Angels Dance Academy

Everybody Dance Now

After an amazing previous 2 shows, Charlie’s Angels Dance Academy are coming back stronger than ever with more dance styles on show. The first half will be all about ‘Dance From The Movies’ & the second half ‘Female Artists & Girl Groups’. With dancers aged 4 years up to adult, it really is a show for everyone. Not to be missed!

Friday 14 October & Saturday 15 October 7.30pm

Plus Saturday Matinee 2.00pm

£8 (£6 Concessions) Brewhouse Auditorium



Pat Miller

Dance Spectacular 2016

Another spectacular showcase of dance starring pupils from the Pat Miller School of Dance. Children and young adults will be dancing their hearts out to some great songs old and new – there is something for everyone to enjoy – it’s guaranteed to get you tapping your feet, waving your arms and singing along!

Wednesday 26 October – Friday 28 October

7pm £10 Brewhouse Auditorium

Anne Lee School of Drama – Enrolment

Anne Lee School of Drama

Open Day and Enrolment

Little Stars, Youth Drama, Drama for all Ages

Communication Studies, Interview Techniques and Confidence Building


Saturday 3rd September 2016 10.00am to 12.30 pm

At the school:

3 Friars Walk, Adjacent to Market Place, Burton on Trent. DE14 1HS

Tel: 01283 517094


UCS- Summer Concert at Oldfields School

The muggy evening of 16th July was brightened with the singing of Uttoxeter Choral Society of their Favourite Anthems at Oldfields School. A remarkable number of anthems was interspersed with a variety of readings.


The evening began with a rendering of William Boyce’s Alleluia which the choir settled down to sing. The more lyrical 23rd psalm by Howard Goodall almost had the audience expecting the Vicar of Dibley to appear. The first half closed with a spirited rendering of John Rutter’s “When the Saints” where the audience was invited to join the conductor in singing against the choir’s descant.

The interval allowed the audience to step outside with their cold drinks and raffle tickets before the Choir’s joyful rendering of Parry’s ” I was glad” began the second half. Bob Chilcott’s version of “Be Thou my vision” was very moving, as the men sang and the ladies answered then joined together at the end. David Gage then read to us about the Crowning of Solomon and evening concluded with a series of Rutter pieces including a delightful rendering of “For the beauty of the earth” where the accompaniment by Katie Riddle was most obviously complementary. The choir are very lucky to have the services of this talented pianist as their weekly accompanist where she hammers out their parts for them. However, her delicate touch was noticeable in this piece and the choir thanked her too at the end of the evening.

This was the last concert with Mitch as conductor as family reasons require him to move away. The choir took this opportunity of expressing their delight in his teaching. The next concert will be on 26th November at St Mary’s parish Church, Uttoxeter.

Mary Pollard

UCS – Your Favourite Anthems.

The well-known anthem which introduced the Vicar of Dibley (23rd Psalm by Howard Goodall) will be among the anthems sung by Uttoxeter Choral Society on Saturday 16th July at Oldfield’s School, Stone Road, Uttoxeter at 7.30pm

The programme of Your Favourite Anthems includes “When the Saints Go Marching In” as arranged by John Rutter, and anthems by Samuel Wesley, Bob Chilcott and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

The interval of this cheerful evening will allow audience to buy raffle tickets and drink wine at the last concert conducted by Mitch Holland.

Tickets at £10 are available from 01332 732 858 or at the door.

The picture shows the choir in action at the last concert.

Thanks to Mary Pollard for the info.



St James’s Church, Barton-under-Needwood, DE13 8HU

Saturday August 20th, 7.30 p.m.



From Shakespeare to Shearing

To mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare the Needwood Singers will present a programme of light classical music by English composers and arrangers. The concert will include folk songs, madrigals and settings of Shakespeare’s words. Composers will range from the times of Elizabeth I to Elizabeth II including jazz arrangements of Shakespeare songs and sonnets by London born Sir George Shearing (1919-2011).

Tickets will cost £10 (free to under 16s) and will include interval refreshments.

We hope you can join us.

For tickets and further information:

Tel: Sheila 01283716790



LTC -Much Ado – Review

Much Ado About Nothing, Little Theatre Company, Brewhouse arts centre. Burton.

With a cast of 19, a masked ball and more than a little skullduggery Burton’s Little Theatre Company (LTC) celebrates the 400th anniversary of the death of the Bard of Avon with some panache in their production of Much Ado About Nothing.

Much Ado, is generally considered one of William Shakespeare’s best comedies, because it combines down-to-earth hilarity with more serious thoughts on besmirched honour and the politics of the day.

By means of gossip and rumour spread much for fun, but also in the case of Don John out of malice, Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into confessing their love for each other, and Claudio is tricked into humiliating Hero at the altar in the poisoned belief that she has been unfaithful.

At the end, Benedick and Beatrice join forces to set things right as the local watch bring the villains paid for by Don John to justice.

While the story concerns two couples the tale of Benedick and Beatrice provides the humour while Claudio and Hero give us the tragic counterpoint.

Dan Tunks, who has graced many LTC productions with his sublime comedy, both in terms of timing and expression is outstanding as Benedick. His manner and gesture display an arrogance towards Beatrice tempered with an almost puppyish playfulness.

He is matched wonderfully by Vicky Fryer who is equally disdainful of him – and men in general.

The other couple, who provide the tragedy, Claudio, played by Tim Robinson, and Hero, Olivia Farthing, showed graphically how love’s young dream can be destroyed by sly whispers and false witnesses.

It is a wordy piece and many of the actors have long speeches and it is a credit to them all that there was nary a stumble. Phil Robinson as Leonato, Hero’s father, and Peter Clemson as Dogberry were ones who caught the ear.

Rob Tunley as Borachio is a slimy, slippery villain, ably abetted by Peter Banton as Conrade and Matt Bancroft sneers well as the malevolent Don John.

Director John Bowness has transported the action from Messina, in Italy, to an English country estate at the end of the First World War and the switch works remarkably well with both the setting and Shakespeare’s language.

As is usual with LTC there are fine performances from all the actors and the scene changes are smooth and subtle.

Much Ado About Nothing is on at the Brewhouse arts centre, Union Street, Burton until Saturday, June 25th. Performances commence every night at 7.30pm with a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.

For tickets contact the box office on 01283 508100.

Bill Pritchard.

LTC – Much Ado About Nothing

Little Theatre Company

Much Ado About Nothing

by William Shakespeare


Claudio loves Hero and Hero loves Claudio, and it seems that nothing will keep them apart. Benedick loves Beatrice and Beatrice loves Benedick, and it seems that nothing will bring them together. Until, that is, plots and scheming turn things upside down, with reputations and lives at stake…


Tuesday 21st – Saturday 25th June 2016

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

Tickets: £10 adults / £9 concessions

(Concessions Tuesday to Thursday only – Matinee tickets all £9)

The Brewhouse Arts Centre

Box Office 01283 508100

BADAC AGM and Bursary presentations.

The Brewhouse arts centre and cafe/bar has once again played host to the annual Burton and District Arts Council (BADAC) general meeting during which the BADAC Bursary awards 2016 were presented.

Several award recipients gave a concert for sponsors, BADAC members and family and friends in the Brewhouse auditorium.

Being the opening act at an event such as this must be a daunting task but dancer Jessica Woolley, who opened the show with Shut Up and Dance, carried it off well with a routine that was both fluid and spikey and contained some gymnastic elements.

Paige Kendrick-Thorpe treated the audience to an emotional I Don’t Know How to Love Him, from Jesus Christ Superstar, which she grew into as the song progressed. Both Holly Russell, who performed A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, and Libby Bromfield, who sang I Could Have Danced All Night, had very pure voices that were a delight to listen to.

Next up was Olivia Harrison who performed an untitled dance piece. Olivia overcame technical difficulties and performed her piece without music and did really well with some wonderful movement that used the width of the stage.

Shania Gaunt gave us her version of I Can Hear the Bells, from Hairspray, which she also danced to. A very good performance during which she held her American accent very well.

As this was a celebration concert for the bursary recipients it feels wrong to single one person out but I have to say that for me Ewan Bourne stole the show with his cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s Only Living Boy in New York which was simple yet mesmerising.

Rebecca Fisher sang and tap danced through The Lady is a Tramp, from Babes in Arms, she was light on her feet and was another performer who kept their accent throughout. Ollie Last was up next in a duet of Me and My Shadow with Wil Pearson and they recreated the Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davies Jnr laid back version really well. Ollie will be leaving Burton in the summer to take up a place studying Musical Theatre at Central Lancaster University.

Another two bursary winners joined together for the next number as well as Abbie Jean-Baptiste and Shannon Smith performed Wings, by Birdy, with Abbie singing and Shannon dancing. The duo really complemented each other.

Wil Pearson, who is using his bursary award to travel to New York with a jazz band to perform on New Year’s Eve, returned to the piano for a stylish version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

Ballet was the next art to be featured with a smooth, flowing performance of Etude Lyrique from Ella Price, which is a set piece for Royal Academy of Dance’s Grade 8 examination. Ella is set to use her bursary award to attend a Royal Ballet Summer School and I’m sure she will do very well there.

The evening was brought to a smooth and smokey conclusion by James Vickers, who has gained a place at the Liverpool School of Performing Arts, playing Gershwin’s Someone to Watch Over Me as a saxophone solo that had a sultry nightclub vibe.

Following the performances the Mayor of East Staffordshire and President of BADAC, Councillor Beryl Toon, presented the bursaries to the performers commenting on what wonderful talent we had in the area.

During his speech to the AGM, which preceded the concert  chairman Geoff Thompson paid tribute to BADAC member groups from which many of the performers came by saying: “BADAC affiliated member societies provide their own rich variety of  events and performances. We continue to celebrate the opportunities they create for local people to both enjoy and participate in the arts.

“We thank them for their pro-active contribution to the well being and quality of life in our community. BADAC is proud to serve them.”

Mr Thompson also thanked East Staffordshire Borough Council and the many businesses and groups in the town who donate the funds which enable the BADAC bursaries to continue to help the youngsters to follow their performance arts dreams.

Bill Pritchard.