This year Kidderminster Operatic and Dramatic Society (KODS) is celebrating its Centenary. It is doubtful if it’s founder Mrs Ellis Talbot and friends foresaw such a long life and such an array of successes for their new creation. It is likely that they contemplated no more than a few performances to liven up the tedium of the dull and anxious days of World War I.
In 1916 Ms Ellis Talbot and the ladies of New Meeting Church decided to give a concert in aid of War Charities. Their first venture was Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience, which was a very ambitious as it was in the middle of the war and naturally there was a shortage of men. Consequently it was not possible to cast the parts of the ‘Duke’ and ‘Bunthorne’ so two young men were brought in from Birmingham. They were Mr Frank Titterton and Mr Wesley Lowe, both later became very famous. Since then, they have entertained the Wyre Forest public performing musicals, plays and concerts.
To mark this huge achievement they will be putting on numerous events throughout the year. As well as their annual musical and play at the Rose Theatre, KODS will be hosting a Summer Centenary Ball at Kidderminster Town Hall on Saturday 25 June 2016. Pulling out all the stops the night will include a champagne reception, 4 course meal and live music from the Crown Phoenix Big Band.
Pat Scully, the Patron of the society, says:
“2016 will be such an exciting year for KODS members having reached our Centenary mile stone. We are all looking forward to the many exciting celebrations taking place during the coming year.”
Throughout the past 100 years many different members have performed with KODS, with some using it as a starting block to go on to bigger things in London and the West End. It is hoped with the advent of such a special occasion that they will be able to track down as many past members as possible to join in the celebrations. Were you ever a dancer on the back row or took the lead in one of the many shows over the years? We want to hear from you and would be particularly great if you could attend our Centenary Ball.
Not only are KODS trying to track down past members, they are also looking for new faces to get involved. In March 2016 they successfully performed the energetic and colourful musical comedy 42nd Street. Next is their KODYS, Youth Show – Little Shop of Horrors (14 - 16 June), then their comedy play Play On by Rick Abbot (21 - 24 September), all at The Rose Theatre, Kidderminster.
For more information or to book a place at the ball please email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01562 67215.
You can also follow all the news and events online. To get in touch go to www.kods.co.uk or on social media, www.facebook.com/KiddODS and on Twitter @KiddODS.
Summer is fast approaching and a company from Staffordshire are inviting you to the Cornish coast for their production of The Pirates of Penzance. From the pens of the legendary Gilbert and Sullivan, Artz Productions will be presenting this revitalised musical from the 21 - 25 June at the Stoke Rep.
Pirates (The Australian Version) has become a cult version of the well loved-operetta and can be seen regularly on Sky Arts featuring the late Jon English as the Pirate King. It follows the tale of young Frederic, an apprentice pirate who finds himself a ‘slave to his duty’ under the control of his Pirate King. As he looks to find a new life of love and happiness, his plans are thwarted by an unusual paradox, allowing for a plot of twists, turns, prancing pirates, bumbling policemen, dewy-eyed daughters and an eccentric Major General. This hilarious farce will have audiences laughing all night and dancing in the aisles as the show reaches its mega mix finale.
Artz Productions are a company based in Stoke-on-Trent who performed Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily we Roll Along in 2014. Pirates of Penzance will see 'Carl Rosa Opera' soprano Shelley Ann Rivers take on the lead role of Mabel. Shelley is no stranger to Pirates, having starred in the National UK Tour in 2010 as one of the daughters.
Pirates features some of the most famous songs ever written by Gilbert and Sullivan, and this production proves that as masters of their craft their music has stood the test of time in what is hoped to be a fantastic and innovative production.
The show runs Tuesday 21 to Saturday 25 June each evening at the Stoke Rep. For further details about the show and to place ticket orders visit www.artzproductions.com or call 01782 323050.
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