Euan Rose, co-writer of Wallop Mrs Cox, which Northfield Musical Theatre Company took back to its birthplace at Birmingham's Crescent Theatre last week, does not let the grass grow under his feet.

Next Wednesday sees the launch of his new venture - a play this time, not a musical - and it has the intriguing title of 3-1-6.

What it means is that it is all about three people, one crisis and six days, Toby works in advertising and has a weakness for gambling and women - and all his chickens come home to roost over a six-day period.

His life starts to fall apart with the inevitability of a Greek tragedy - but there's plenty of humour, albeit of the dark variety.

Intriguingly, the three characters - Toby, his wife and his mistress - do not meet each other in the play, although they have telephone conversations. The action proceeds on the basis of a series of interlinked monologues, delivered in an office, a kitchen and one bedroom.

The production is by Aardvark, a co-operative that Euan Rose has established to produce new cutting-edge theatre, primarily by writers in the Birmingham area.

The cast consists of Stephen Downing, who is frequently seen in productions at the Crescent Theatre and with Oldbury Rep, Natasha Gifford - Muscles in the London fringe and Tales from Ovid at Birmingham's Old Rep - and Gail Hutchison, who was in Riding the Number Eight, the musical that Euan wrote with Laurie Hornsby after their success with Wallop Mrs Cox.

3-1-6 will be at Birmingham's Custard Factory from Wednesday to Saturday next week.

Meanwhile, Wallop Mrs Cox has been with us again. The Northfield Musical Theatre Company production last week and too many blackouts and too much darkness between-times, but a talented team put its heart into what is an irrepressible show - on what may prove to have been its last amateur airing for a while.

Writers Euan Rose and Laurie Hornsby, who have already seen Wallop enjoy two triumphant and virtually sell-out runs at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, are hoping to stage what would be its third professional production - this time, at either the Hippodrome or the Alexandra Theatre.

While such a prestigious possibility remains, amateur companies must bide their time. But that time will certainly come again, and when it does I hope that there will be no shortage of takers.

I have said before, and I repeat, that this warm and funny evocation of the life of a family of Bull Ring traders over a period of about 90 years is immensely relevant to a understanding of what has been happening in the heart of the city.

It is a show that at least one of Birmingham's musical theatre groups should be presenting every year as long as it is available, because it is too good to be allowed to disappear - and it is only in the city or its immediate environs that it is ever likely to be performed.

The Birmingham accent, with which it is appropriately endowed, is an object of amusement and disdain outside the Midlands and it is hard to imagine a West End audience settling down to two hours in its company.

Good luck, therefore, to Messrs Rose and Hornsby with their immediate ambitions for the show - but I hope that amateur companies will keep their eyes peeled for when the story of the redoubtable Mrs Emily Cox is again within their reach.

The musical of the moment is clearly the recently-released Summer Holiday, based on the film that made Cliff Richard's name all those years ago.

West Bromwich Operatic Society gave it a run at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, in April, Crossed Keys Musical Theatre Company presented it at the Old Rep last week and Sutton Coldfield Musical Theatre Company will launch it at the Lichfield Garrick on June 14.

Playwright Neil Simon is also the current flavour in these parts. Next week sees The Nonentities at Kidderminster's Rose Theatre from Monday to Saturday with his The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, which he wrote in 1969.

And on Thursday, Walsall's Fellowship Players launch Barefoot in the Park, which preceded it by six years. It will run until June 18, at the Grange Playhouse, Walsall.