John Slim reports from the world of amateur stage...
Three women who have been battling breast cancer will be seen in leading roles when Bromsgrove Operatic Society stages Oklahoma! as its 25th anniversary show next month.
Lynda Dunn, Cheryl Stuart and Sue Troth were all diagnosed in the space of three weeks in the spring of 2001.
Sue, who will be seen as Laurie, said, "Happily, five years on, we are all fit and well."
Ian Cox, the group's chairman, said, "The courage of all three is to be admired and applauded, and we're delighted to see them on stage for what is a significant landmark, both for them and the society. The fact that they all belong to BOS has enabled them to encourage and support each other.
"We have had 25 per cent of the society affected by breast cancer and BOS will continue to do whatever we can for Breast Cancer Awareness."
Oklahoma! will be at the Artrix, Bromsgrove, from May 8-14.
* The mild stroke that Danny La Rue suffered in January will keep him out of A Night at the Music Hall at Wolverhampton's Grand Theatre next week and the Playhouse Entertainments production of Entertaining Mr Sloane at the Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, in June.
Playhouse Entertainments director Paul Millross, who is in the current Hall Green Little Theatre production of How the Other Half Loves, said, "Although this is a shattering blow for us, our principal concern is for Dan. He was going to play Ed, the brother of Kath - Kath being the part that Beryl Reid played in the film.
"But the production is still going ahead and Laurence Inman, who was in our production of Elsie and Norm's Macbeth in the autumn, is stepping in.
"The interesting thing was that when I was speaking to various people about replacing Dan they seemed to assume that they would have to do it in drag."
* Young people with disabilities will go on stage tomorrow night to show how they feel about people they see as heroes and how they might become like them.
Aged between 12 and 19, they have worked for the last five months on the theme bring their production Heroes to Wolverhampton's Arena Theatre.
Claire Bradley, learning difficulties and disability team manager for Connexions, helps young people make the transition from school to college and through to being a young adult. It was her idea to use drama as a fun tool with which to explore career options.
With the support of Big Lottery and Connexions funding, Wolverhampton's Central Youth Theatre and Penn Hall School have collaborated to provide a weekly drama group called Acting Up.
Claire said: "It's remarkable what they have managed to achieve in such a short time. They have been working with lots of different types of people such as a video artist, drama workers, a Bollywood dancer and even members of the St John's ambulance."
Tomorrow's production will consist of drama scenes and a short film that they have created.
* A play about the scandal surrounding the marriage of Will Shakespeare's younger daughter, Judith, to Thomas Quiney, is to have its third production in Stratford, the town in which the action is set.
The Quiney Affair, by Reg Mitchell, was first given a script-in-hand production in the RSC Festival 1997, then it was performed in The Other Place, in 2004. Wilson Roberts Productions will now present it in the new Waterside Theatre over the Easter weekend, Friday to Sunday, and the following Birthday Celebrations weekend, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Reg Mitchell said, "Wilson Roberts doesn't have a company as such. He has an extensive address book of actors who have been in his musicals or plays from way back and from around the district - and from as far as Tamworth and Rugby and in one case from Essex. This is the sixth of my plays he has directed over the past eight years."
The play comes with a warning that there is a particularly dramatic courtroom scene and that it is not really suitable for children.
* The Western Divisional Final round of the All-England Theatre Festival will be held on Saturday at the Netherton Arts Centre, Northfield Road, Netherton. It is being hosted by the Birmingham and District Theatre Guild.
Guild chairman Roger Cunnington said, "We hope that people will come and watch the six one-act plays, as we would like a full house to encourage the groups involved."
The groups performing during the afternoon are Barebones Theatre Company (Ross on Wye), Drama 13 (Moseley) and Wordsley ADS (Stourbridge).
On stage in the evening will be the Hereford Players, Phoenix Theatre Group (Worcester) and Baverstock School (Maypole, Birmingham),
Further information is available from the Birmingham and District Theatre Guild on 0121 707 6684.
* The social committee of Highbury Little Theatre is clearly intent on giving members of the Sutton Coldfield group something of a stirring time with its invitation to spice up their club night experience.
There is, says the flyer for its reflexology evening on April 19, a touchy-feely theme.
And, members are told that by investing £2 on April 26 they can have a good old feel. This time, the occasion is a Guess-what'sin-the-boxes evening.
It's all in aid of the theatre's restoration fund.
* The local gremlins have been fairly quiet lately, but they popped up in the programme for the Swan Theatre Amateur Company's production of Being of Sound Mind at Worcester last week.
One of the characters who were up to no good was Mrs March. Her name cropped up frequently in the course of the action, but the programme called her Mrs Marsh.