Here’s something that cries out for people to make a special pilgrimage.

Coleshill Drama Group is launching its new season with Glorious!, the Peter Quilter comedy that aims to hit all the right notes with its audiences by hitting all the wrong ones.

It is based on the life of a New York heiress and socialite, Florence Foster Jenkins, who dreamed of becoming an operatic diva despite having one of the worst singing voices ever.

Florence used her wealth, influence and determination to make her dream turn into ear-bashing reality. I caught up with an internet extract of her in action – a remarkable chalk-scrapes-on-blackboard recording.

She died aged 76 soon after her final recital at Carnegie Hall in 1944. This was the year after a taxi accident that caused her to find she could sing what she called a higher F than ever before. Instead of launching a lawsuit, she sent the driver a box of expensive cigars.

The task of giving Florence new life at Coleshill falls to Anne Bravey – who really can sing.

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Two notes from Stratford: Stratford-upon-Avon Gilbert & Sullivan Society is looking for a Pooh-Bah for its production of The Mikado at the town’s Civic Hall from March 11-14. Sheila Price has more information on 01789 293693.

And Stratford Operatic Society plans an open Guys and Dolls workshop at Stratford Racecourse at 7.30 pm next Monday, to be followed by auditions there at 10 am on November 30. The show will be at the Civic Hall from April 1-4.

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Highbury Theatre Centre, Sutton Coldfield, produced £275 for the Birmingham Dyslexia Association during a special evening that found Christine Howlett celebrating her 70th birthday, , 20 years of work behind the Highbury scenes and more than 30 years of work with dyslexic children.


They Don’t Grow on Trees, All Saints’ Players, All Saints’ Church, West Bromwich (to Friday).

My Boy Jack, Grange Players, Grange Playhouse, Walsall (to Saturday).

Journey’s End, Crescent Theatre, Birmingham (to Saturday).

A Touch of Danger, Highbury Theatre Centre, Sutton Coldfield (to Nov 22).

Me and My Girl, Bilston Operatic Company, Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton (to Saturday).

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Redditch Operatic Society, Palace Theatre, Redditch (to Saturday).

Oliver!, Nuneaton Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society, Abbey Theatre, Nuneaton (to Saturday).

Talking Heads, Hall Green Little Theatre (Nov 13-16).

The Grand Duke, Tinkers Farm Opera, Crescent Theatre, Birmingham (Nov 18-22).

A Bride in the Hand, Swan Theatre Amateur Company, Swan Theatre, Worcester (Nov 18-22).

Glorious!, Coleshill Drama Group, Coleshill Town Hall (Nov 19-22).