The Armed Man – Review

The Armed Man, A Mass for Peace, Burton Town Hall.

Presented by Rolleston Choral Society with guest singers and featuring The Staffordshire Band.

The first part of this ‘golden celebration’ was given over to the Staffordshire Band under their conductor David Purkiss.

The band showed both their versatility and variety by showcasing music from film, familiar songs from the Great War, a hymn and Nightingale Dances, a variation on A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square.

After the interval Simon Lesley took up the baton to take both band and the choral society through Welsh composer Karl Jenkins’ anti-war piece The Armed Man.

Commissioned by the Royal Armouries Museum for the Millennium it is dedicated to the victims of the Kosovo War. Kosovo has been in the news again recently when a football match between Serbia and Albania had to be abandoned after a drone carrying a flag caused an on-pitch brawl.

Essentially based on the Catholic Mass the piece also includes folk songs, the Islamic call to prayer, poetry by a Hiroshima survivor and a lyric taken from the Mahabharata, a major Sanskrit work.

The Armed Man follows the horrors that the march into warfare brings while its resolution offers that at the end of the day ‘God shall wipe away all tears.’

The society was joined by guest singers – one of whom was the wonderful Linda Kemp who has appeared on stages in Burton with both Burton Operatic Society and New Era – always a delight.

The call to prayer was made by Amran Ellahi and had a moving echo-effect so that it resonated through the town hall.

Although The Armed Man has a running time of more than an hour the piece just flew by as intricate harmonies, vocal dexterity and brass instruments wove a tale of war, needless death and a final hope for world peace around the stage.

A worthy work to mark Rolleston Choral Society’s 50th anniversary. Admirably performed by a group who looked as though they were enjoying being there as much as we were delighting in their wonderful talent.

Bill Pritchard.

BPS Annual Exhibition

 BPS Annual Photographic Exhibition

& Open Competition 2014

Nov 15th & 16th

The Priory Centre, Church Road, Stretton DE13 0HE

View over 300 photographs from the

Members of Burton Photographic Society +

All the entries and winners of the Annual Open Competition.


Presentation to the winners 2pm Sat 15th Nov

by the Mayor of East Staffordshire.

 Doors open 10am to 4pm both days

Free Admission

Refreshments available.

Thanks to Lu Duckett for the info.


Thank-you BADAC- Concert


Thank-you BADAC

Past Bursary Winners perform a Fundraising Concert

At the Brewhouse Auditorium

Monday November 17th at 7.30p.m


The Concert will include Instrumental items, Dance, Singing, Music Theatre, The Spoken Word and someVisual Art.

 Tickets available from The Brewhouse £6.00

Box Office 01283 508100

Thanks to John Gould for the info.

Burton theatre company gets a real lift from Acorn

Hapless cleaning lady ‘Mrs Overall’, a character created by comedienne Victoria Wood for her spoof TV soap opera Acorn Antiques, is heading for Burton’s Brewhouse arts centre as Little Theatre Company stages Acorn Antiques The Musical! next month (Nov).

You can look forward to seeing Mrs Overall – a role made famous by actress Julie Walters – making a memorable entrance at one point on a genuine Acorn Stairlift – loaned free of charge to the Burton amateur theatre group by the Yorkshire-based company.

Katie Haywood, from Woodville, who plays Mrs Overall, is pictured getting in a bit of practice at the Burton home of an Acorn Stairlift customer.

She explained: “Acorn Antiques began life as a regular sketch on Victoria Wood’s television show in the 1990s. It’s a spoof of a television soap opera where the cast members regularly missed their entrances, fluffed their lines and battled with wobbly scenery and daft plots.

“In 2005, Victoria Wood decide to revive the idea and turn it into a full-length stage show that also poked gentle fun at musical theatre.

“It’s been great fun playing Mrs Overall in rehearsals. She shuffles onstage, has terrible varicose veins, makes appalling coffee and gets in everyone’s way – but she’s also harbouring a BIG secret and a passion for tap dancing.”

Victoria Wood has said Mrs Overall’s grand entrance on the Acorn Stairlift is “one of the centrepieces” of the comedy musical show.

Acorn Stairlifts is one of the largest suppliers of stairlifts in the world, with hundreds installed in Staffordshire and Derbyshire alone. Acorn’s company secretary, Dave Belmont, said: “We are delighted to help Little Theatre Company with their version of the show in November.”

Victoria Wood has also added her thanks to Acorn: “I am delighted Acorn Stairlifts are helping local groups to stage Acorn Antiques The Musical! by supplying a free stairlift. The scene with Mrs Overall on a stairlift is one of the centrepieces of the show.”

Acorn Antiques The Musical! will run from Monday, November 10th, to Saturday, November 15th, at 7.30pm each night, plus a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. It features all your TV favourites – sisters Miss Babs and Miss Berta and Mr Clifford – along with a host of hilarious Victoria Wood song and dance numbers. Tickets are £10 with £8 concessions available from Monday to Wednesday only. Tickets can be booked online (no booking fee) at or by visiting the Brewhouse box office in Union Street between 9am and 8pm, Monday to Saturday.

Thanks to Elaine Pritchard for the info.

Brewhouse Events – Nov 2014

Monday 10 – Saturday 15 November

Little Theatre Company presents ACORN ANTIQUES The Musical! by Victoria Wood By arrangement with Phil McIntyre Entertainments

Victoria Wood’s spoof opera, Acorn Antiques staged as a musical in 2005 became an Olivier award-winning show and this week Burton’s own Little Theatre Company present their version.

The show follows Miss Babs in her struggle to keep the antiques business open, as shop after shop in the Manchesterford High Street is forced out by faceless chains…

Can she afford to turn down the offer from The Guilty Bean? Will Mr Clifford ever get his memory back, and remember who he’s engaged to? But most worryingly, will Mrs Overall be able to tap dance while holding her tray?

7.30pm each evening plus Saturday matinee at 2.30pm

£10 £8 Concesssions

(Concessions available Monday to Wednesday only) (Matinee tickets all £8)


Saturday 22 November

Cabaret Theatre Company presents DEAR EDWINA Jr.

Join Edwina and her friends in Paw-Paw Michigan’s premier advice giving show, live from the garage! Filled with poignant songs, warmth, and laughter, Dear Edwina is an inspirational musical about the importance of friendship and fun. Suitable for all the family, guaranteed to raise a smile and touch your heart.

2.30pm and 7.30pm

£10 Adults

£5 Children


Thursday 27 November

Rob Newman’s New Theory of Evolution

The Brewhouse is delighted to welcome the legendary comedian Rob Newman to Burton with his amazing show that re-examines the theory of evolution.

The show is a tour de force that whirls the audience from altruistic vampire bats, laidback rats and baboon foster-dads, to WH Auden’s last poem, a Russian anarchist prince, the polar jet stream and Richard Dawkins’ postman wrestling naked.

Rob explains how a series of personal calamities and jammy flukes lead him to hit upon a whole new theory of evolution, which he calls the Survival of the Misfits.

‘You see that chink of gleaming light in the dark, overcast sky, that’s you that is.’ The Daily Telegraph

8pm. £12. Suitable for 16+


Friday 28 November

Performing Stars Academy

Come and see the students of Performing Stars Academy perform a range of songs, dances and drama pieces – you may even spot some familiar characters along the way!

7pm. £7 Adult £5. Concessions.


Saturday 29 November

Still Score

In February 2013, Songwriter and theatre maker Tom Adams bought a slide projector and 500 slides from eBay. The slides were of people he did not know but he could not help asking, what is their story? Tom performs a live soundtrack of music, comedy and stories to these images in a gentle exploration of mortality. He also searches through images of his own life, placing them side by side with the strangers, wondering if his memories will, one day, be just a slide sold on eBay.

8pm. Free but audience members will be asked to pay what they felt it was worth as they leave.

Dance Classes/Adult Movement Classes



Girls Dance

For Girls that would like to try new fresh routines. Classes contain a fusion of dance styles and the latest music. No experience necessary and you can join at any time.

Every Monday Term time

5-6pm age 11-13

6-7pm age 14+




Junior Dance

Aimed at our younger dancers this session is fun and funky and gives a good introduction to dance activity. No experience necessary and you can join at any time.

Every Wednesday Term time

4.30-5.30pm 7-11 age (school years 4,5,6) £3.70



Street and Breakdance

Combining urban dance styles with full on Breakdance. Learn new techniques and hip- hop moves. Suitable for all abilities, join anytime.

Every Thursday Term time

5 -6pm 7-16 age £3.70


Youth Dance Companies

ESDC run a range of Youth Dance Companies. These provide additional opportunities to work with dance artists and take part in performances throughout the year. For further information please contact Dance Worker. Kayla Howell 01283 508457



Falls Management Dance Group

Movement is an enjoyable way to maintain and build upon your strength, balance and flexibility

These sessions are aimed at people over 65 with mobility issues. Please ring for further information before attending

Tracey Smart (01283 508462)

Wednesday 10.30- 12.00 £3.50



A session especially for pre-schoolers. A fantastic music and movement group for children from 4 months upwards and their grown-ups to enjoy together. Classes are lead by experienced practitioners so come along and be prepared to move, sing and let yourself go!

Thursday 9.30 – 10.30am

£3.50 per parent and child

+£1.50 each additional sibling


Brewhouse Box Office 01283 508100


Thanks to James Shaw for the info.

CAROUSEL – Burton Operatic Society

CAROUSEL – Burton Operatic Society

 ‘Carousel’ is one of Rodgers and Hammersteins most popular musicals and is certainly a favourite of Burton Operatic Society. The whole spectrum of musical theatre is performed in this delightful show.

Energetic chorus numbers include ‘ June is busting out all over’ and ‘Clambake’ alongside the beautiful ‘If I loved you’ and ‘You’ll never walk alone’ and of course the very meaningful ‘Soliloquy’.

Principal roles are taken by Lee Smith, Christina Bailey, Andrew Last, Lindsey Biddle, Oly Wright and Angela Wynne. The company and cast have been rehearsing hard under the direction of Steven Foster and Musical Director David Blackwell.

If you have never seen ‘Carousel’ before you will enjoy a show full of emotion, drama and wonderful music.

Tuesday 28th October – Saturday 1st November.

at De ferrers Academy, Harehedge Lane, Burton on Trent

Evening performances 7.30pm, Saturday Matinee 2.30pm

Tickets from £10

Telephone for Bookings or More Info: 01283 541552 or email

 Thanks to Angela Wynne for the info.

RoDSEC – Taming of the Shrew

Rolleston on Dove

Special Events Committee (RoDSEC)


Two Gents Productions’ performance of William Shakespeare’s

The Taming of the Shrew

Sunday 12th October 2014

7:30pm Rolleston Club (DE13 9DN)

Live & Local

Another Live & Local special event, supported by Staffordshire County Council,

East Staffordshire Borough Council and Arts Council England.

Two Gents Productions

“Whereas some Shakespeare fans believe the bard should not be tampered with, Two Gents Productions… show that a 75 minute version of the tale can pack just as much, if not more of a punch than its longer cousin” – British Theatre Guide.

Two actors and a bare stage are all it takes to create an energetic, entertaining and exciting version of this Shakespeare classic. Treating Shakespeare with both respect and irreverence, two larger than life performers take on all the roles, adding some rough and tumble with seamless moments of audience interaction.

The Taming of the Shrew takes on the classic War of the Sexes. But is Pinturicchio’s ‘taming’ of Kate an act of love, violent submission or, perhaps more controversially, both? Find out in this fast-paced version of one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays.

seriously entertaining” The Observer,

deft, dexterous and wickedly joyful” Stet Journal, “a striking gem” whatsonstage

Complete Shakespeare Project

Two Gents Productions is aiming to be the first company ever to rehearse, perform and tour ALL of Shakespeare’s plays in chronological order!

Tickets £8.50

Tickets available from Starbucks (01283 813122)

& RoDSEC (01283 813833)

uproariously entertaining”

The Guardian

Thanks to John Phillips for the info.

RCS – Staffordshire Band

Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man

Conductors: David Purkiss, Simon Lesley

Sunday 19th October, 7.30pm, Burton Town Hall

 In commemoration of 100 years since WW1, Rolleston Choral Society will be joined by championship brass band, The Staffordshire Band for an exciting performance of this dramatic work.

Fresh from competing in the National Finals, the band will fill the 1st half with an evocative and uplifting programme, before the stage is filled with a massed choir of 120 singers – including members of Lichfield Cathedral Chorus and Lichfield Cathedral School’s Cantorum choir.

Tickets available from James Taylor on 01283 516177 or

Thanks to Simon Lesley for the info.

Reallusion Ltd – a new film production company

 Paul Syrstad and Saul Matlock both grew up and still have bases in the Burton area (Paul in Willington, Saul in Swadlincote).

They have just completed principal photography on their latest short film, Rainbowgale; which was also shot in the Burton/Swadlincote area. They have launched a Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds for festival entries and post-production costs on the film.

You can read a review here:

 Thanks to Saul Matlock for the info.

Brewhouse Events – October


Celebrate and discover Burton’s brewing stories from the 1960’s and 1970’s at the Story Wells of East Staffordshire Festival Weekend.

Friday 3rd October: Exhibition Preview.

Saturday 4th October: Storytelling Performance.

Storytellers Maria Whatton, Peter Chand and Sally Tonge share some real-life Burtonion stories.

Friday 3 & Saturday 4 October Friday 7-9pm Saturday 7pm

Performance £5 for Adults, £3.00 for concessions and Children under 16 go free.



The Lunar Men

Winner of 2013 BASE (British Award for Storytelling Excellence) award for Outstanding Collaboration.

Be transported back to the eighteenth century in this award winning Storytelling and Musical performance by Storyteller Maria Whatton and Musician Sarah Matthews. Meet the genius Eramus Darwin and his Lunar Society friends on a candle lit evening brimming with atmosphere and evocative tales. Extremely humorous, touching and rigorously researched.

Friday 10 October 7.30pm £10 £8 Concessions




With his parents on holiday, Sam’s having a house party. Nothing big, just a few close friends…at least that was the plan until you knocked on the door. Zest Theatre’s groundbreaking , interactive production gives you control of the conversations you listen to through Silent Disco technology. Put on your wireless headphones, step through Sam’s front door and experience the night unfold all around you as you Gatecrash the party!

Wednesday 15 October 6.30pm & 9.00pm £5 (14-17 year olds) £8 (Adults)

Contains strong language Open Auditorium


Stephanie Parrott’s Midland Youth Theatre Company present Sound of Music

Performed by Stephanie Parrott’s Midland Youth Company

Saturday 18 October 7pm £8



Barbed Wire for Kisses

With the passing of the last survivors, the events of the Great War are slipping beyond human memory. In a powerfully moving performance, acclaimed storytellers Hugh Lupton and Nick Hennessey and musicians John Dipper and James Patterson tell the story of ‘the war to end all wars’ through the stories of the families in one small village. Personal accounts of life and death and the memories of families at home open a deeply human window onto the trauma that shaped the 20th Century.

Tuesday 21 October 8pm £10 £8 Concessions



Dance Is Life

After their amazing show in 2012, Charlie’s Angels Dance Academy has decided to take to the stage again. With tracks from loads of different musicals and a Battle of the Boy Bands, you’ll almost want to get up on stage with them!

Friday 24 and Saturday 25 October

7.30pm each evening plus Saturday matinee at 2pm

£7.50 Adults £5 Children



Inspiration School of Dance presents ‘DecaDance’

Travel through time with Inspiration School of Dance. A fantastic evening of entertainment from many local talented performers showcasing routines through the years, full of emotion, excitement and enthusiasm. The routines are sure to set your feet tapping, your head bopping and your hands clapping so don’t miss out!

Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 October

7.15pm £5



Pat Miller proudly presents Dance Spectacular 2014

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 sounds from the 70s to present day – there is something for everyone to enjoy! It’s guaranteed to get you tapping your feet, waving your arms and singing along!

Friday 31 October and Saturday 1 November

Friday & Saturday Evening 7.15pm

Saturday matinee 2.15pm

£9 £8 Concessions



Brewhouse Gallery Events


Storywells’ and ‘What’s Brewing Now’

An exhibition of 2 halves: Downstairs the ‘Storywells’ exhibition explores the history of Burton’s Brewing industry in the 60’s and 70’s through people’s stories. Upstairs; ‘What’s Brewing Now’ people’s photographs explore the impact of the brewing industry on the local landscape now.

29th September to 1st Nov


Sight Sound and Social’ 60’s/70’s Music Night.

Friday 3rd October 8pm til late

Saturday 4th October 5pm – 7pm Exhibition Preview in the gallery



Thanks to James Shaw for the info