Lyceum packed out to the Sound of Croft House performance

Keeley Kilby as Lady Jacque, Damien Ross as Bill and  Grace Mason as Sally in Ellesmere Operatic Society's production of Me and My Girl at the Montgomery Theatre, March 27-31 2012
Keeley Kilby as Lady Jacque, Damien Ross as Bill and Grace Mason as Sally in Ellesmere Operatic Society's production of Me and My Girl at the Montgomery Theatre, March 27-31 2012

THE local amateur scene has a spring in its step with a number of large-scale musicals lined up between now and summer.

Croft House Theatre Company has a sell-out for its production of The Sound of Music at the Lyceum Theatre next week, the first staging of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in Sheffield for 10 years.

“We have been overwhelmed by the phenomenal demand for tickets for this year’s production,” said Joan Bennett, chairwoman of Croft House.

It leaves you wondering why Sheffield has been starved of among other things, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, Edelweiss and My Favourite Things in the theatre for a decade.

Even the much-hyped 2009 Andrew Lloyd Webber production, which visited every major city, and smaller ones in the UK on its national tour, for some reason bypassed Sheffield.

Croft’s Maria is Louise Walker, who made her stage debut 11 years ago playing the eldest of the von Trapp children Leisl, Craig Lawton plays von Trapp and Mary Newey is the Mother Abbess.

Ellesmere Operatic Society will be doing the Lambeth Walk when they stage another popular musical, Me and My Girl, at the Montgomery Theatre later this month, March 27-31.

Penned in 1937 by Noel Gay, the tale of a London costermonger who discovers he is the Earl of Hareford to the horror of newly found aristocratic relations, the show has been regular fixture on the theatrical circuit since 1984 when Stephen Fry revised the book.

Other songs by Gay (Reginald Moxon Armitage) were added to fill out the score, which further includes the title song, The Sun Has Got His Hat On and Leaning On a Lamppost.

Damien Ross is cast as the costermonger, Bill Snibson, and as his girlfriend Sally Smith, Grace Mason plays her first lead role with Ellesmere having joined the company in 1998 as a Snow child in Carousel at the age of nine. Keeley Kilby is Lady Jacqueline and Mark Harris is Gerald.

Tickets, available by calling (0114) 236 4487, cost £11 with special offers on Tuesday: £8, senior citizens and under 18s; and on Wednesday: four tickets for £32.

Southey Musical Theatre Company is at the Montgomery, April 24-28, with Alan Menken’s Little Shop of Horrors with a cast that includes Martin Scattergood (Seymour), Gina Walters (Audrey), Melvyn White (Mr Mushnik) and Sam Guest (Orin).

Tickets, £9 (Tuesday) and £10 (Wednesday-Saturday): (0114) 243 5587, or online at www.southeymusicaltheatrecompany.co.uk

Manor Operatic Society, meanwhile, is gearing up to go over the rainbow with The Wizard of Oz at the City Hall between May 16 and 19.

Emma Holmes is Dorothy), Simon Hance: Lion, Alex McVeigh: Scarecrow, James Smith: Tin Man, Keeley Kilby: Glinda, Holly Parker Strawson: Wicked Witch, Gary Rossiter: Wizard, is the strong cast.

Tickets, £7.50-£17, from the City Hall box office, or by calling 01709 365108.

Sound of Music footnote: There are four performances of the musical in a Present Company production by Jean Gemmell at Buxton Opera House, March 22-24. Box office 0845 12 72190.

Bernard Lee