I think it’s fair to say that audiences in Belper for theatre, including musicals, are adventurous. They have not been fed an endless diet of Ayckbourn and Bennett and have responded positively to the varied and exciting programme that has been produced over the past few years. During the next six months or so that situation will not change.
Belper Players are again at the forefront of theatre production as they celebrate their 80th anniversary. It’s a remarkable achievement and they show no sign of running out of steam.
They manage, at one and the same time, to keep their membership and attract outstanding new talent. The Anniversary celebrations will begin in March with a production of the very funny “Murdered To Death” by Peter Gordon. With characters based upon whodunnit sterotypes, it’s hard to say whether the characters will be doomed before the audience dies laughing.
The Players are planning a number of celebratory productions throughout the year and they’ll all be worth looking out for.
Everyone loves a good pantomime and the Christ Church production for 2016 is Aladdin which is staged in February, as is Red Earth Theatre’s “Oliver Twist”. In partnership with Live and Local, professional touring theatre is set to become a regular feature in the town.
Belper Musical Theatre perform the exciting “Legally Blonde” in something of a double header with performances at Belper School in February and Derby Guildhall in March. The show ran for three years in London with Sheridan Smith as the original Elle Woods. It won three Laurence Olivier Awards and has toured extensively.
New writing is a feature of Belper theatre. “Fish and Chips”, “Boleyn” and “The Somme” are productions that will be performed in the first six months. Stephen Lee Rees follows up the excellent “Late” with “Fish and Chips” which is set for performances in February.
“Boleyn” imagines the last few days in the life of Henry V111’s second wife. It will close the Arts Festival on 30 May and will feature a Tudor Buffet. “The Somme” is a community piece scheduled for performance on 1st July, one hundred years since the battle began.
There is, truly, something for everybody and with the theatrical talent in the area coming to the fore you can expect to be royally entertained.
ALADDIN – PANTOMIME Christ Church, The Triangle, Belper
4 / 5 / 6 February at 7:30pm. Matinee Saturday 6 at 2.30pm
Ticket Adult £5 Children £3 Contact 01773 824974
OLIVER TWIST (Red Earth Theatre Company) Community Theatre, Belper School
10 February at 7:30pm Box Office 0774 395 7017 www.redearththeatre.wordpress.com
FISH AND CHIPS (Marde Hen Theatre Company) Strutt Community Centre
18 / 19 / 20 February at 7:30pm Saturday Matinee 2:30pm
Tickets £10 (Online : Ticket Source) For further details phone 07875 648562 or
0788 6017913 Email email@example.com
Contains strong language.
LEGALLY BLONDE (Belper Musical Theatre) Community Theatre, Belper School
17 / 18 / 19 / 20 February
Ticket Adult £13 Concessions (School Children, Students, Over 60’s) £10
Contact www.belpermusicaltheatre.co.uk or phone 077901 46395
LEGALLY BLONDE (Belper Musical Theatre) The Guildhall, Derby
2 / 3 / 4 / 5 March See www.belpermusicaltheatre.co.uk
MURDERED TO DEATH (Belper Players) Strutt Community Centre
16 / 17 / 18 / 19 March Further details from Belper Players www.belperplayers.com
THE BELPER PASSION (Churches Together In Belper & Belper Arts Festival)
26 March at 2pm at the Methodist Chapel, the streets of Belper and St. Peter’s Church
Free Admission Details from www.belperartsfestival.org
BELPER ARTS FESTIVAL 1 – 30 May Details available www.belperartsfestival.org
THE THANKFUL VILLAGE (Badapple Theatre Company) Community Theatre, Belper School
11 May Further details to follow
BOLEYN – THE LAST DAYS (Belper Arts Festival Production) St Peter’s Church, Belper
30 May at 7:30pm
Tickets Adults £9 Children £1 includes a Tudor Buffet
Full details to be announced February.
THE SOMME (Belper Arts Festival Production) St. Peter’s Church, Belper
Full details to follow www.belperartsfestival.org
By George Gunby