We are Studio 61, an amateur theatre group based in west Wolverhampton, performing a wide range of drama and we welcome new members and new audiences.
Following our move to The Victory Hall in Lower Penn we are presented with some new challenges and opportunities in our stage sets. We perform a wide variety of drama, favouring ‘black box’ and ‘in the round’ presentation so if you are experienced in, or have a particular interest in, innovative set design and construction we should be excited to hear from you.
Rehearsals have now begun for our June production Neighbourhood Watch by Alan Ayckbourn.
Tickets are now on sale for our entry in the ENACT Festival 2016, Rules of Assortment and Frisky & the Panda Man by Ross Howard. Tickets for the Saturday night cost £8 and are available from Newhampton Arts Centre’s ticketsource. Or join us for the entire weekend for £15, also available from Newhampton Arts Centre’s ticketsource.
25th – 28th February
Five monologues exposing five women balancing their inner and outer lives with humour and often desperate cunning.
Meryl: That’s hubbie Barry off to work, so now there’s Amy and Ben to get to school. Plus a myriad of other responsibilities. And don’t forget baby! Just where are those socks?
Tiggy: Giving a society lecture can be a nerve-wracking experience. Tiggy will tell you all you ever wanted to know about cacti. But is it succulents that are foremost in her mind?
Mary: Nobody can sing and dance like Mary. She has the voice, she has the moves and she’s primed, ready to crush Angela McTerry in the Talent Show. What could possibly go wrong?
Theresa: Finally the big day has arrived! Theresa is marrying Ted, the man of her dreams. As she climbs into the beautiful dress, she relishes the years of unadulterated bliss that lie ahead…
Winsome: Widowhood has put no breaks on Winsome’s social life. She joins in all the group activities. And she does volunteer work for the Blind Society. Has life got one last surprise for her?
Tickets now on sale for members and patrons.
Watch this space for when tickets are on general sale…
9th – 12th June
In this play we follow brother and sister Martin and Hilda, as they join with a motley crew of new neighbours to set up a Neighbourhood Watch group around their new home. What starts as merely a security-conscious exercise soon escalates into a quasi-military movement, fuelled by misunderstandings, paranoia, eccentric characters and developing relationships. The essentially comic nature of the play is, as always with Ayckbourn, tempered with moments of poignancy and insights into our current society, which results in a very rich evening of entertainment.
Oh, and then there’s the gnome…
Saturday 18th June
In Rules of Assortment, Mike’s job at the Royal Providential Co-operative Bank looks to be on precarious ground until he advises his boss to rethink the allocation of jelly beans to each department.
In Frisky & the Panda Man, animal conservationist Dr Ogden has spent most of his life pandering to pandas. But lately they’ve been dropping like flies and now there’s just one panda left. Her name is Frisky and really she’s been nothing of the sort…
Ticket are now on sale! Buy Tickets.
For more information about ENACT Festival 2016 as a whole, visit the Newhampton Arts Centre website.
The antics at the Wicksteed home are a satirical merry-go-round. Family, friends and the sexual satisfaction of the “corpus” (body) are the ruling passions in this farcical comedy of ill-manners. Through a dance of mistaken identities and carnal encounters, one motto holds fast: “He whose lust lasts, lasts longest.”
In February we opened our year with The Weir by Connor McPherson. This intimate night of ghostly story telling in a pub on the west coast of Ireland was directed by Kevin Porter in his directorial debut. We also took the production next door to the Greyhound Pub for a single, very successful, performance.
Celebrating the centenary of the playwright’s birth, our June production was All My Sons by Arthur Miller directed by Sarah Carter. Our audience was transported to a suburban back-yard in middle America in the 1940’s where Peter Carrington-Porter as Keller is forced to face his past.
Over the summer, where Studio 61 normally relaxes and takes in a few play reading, Jane Fosbrook directed the one-act play But Yesterday by Jimmie Chinn which was performed at Newhampton Arts Centre as part of the launch of ENACT. The evening also featured performances by Pattingham Drama Group.
And finally, in November Suzanne Smith took on the mammoth task of bringing the great Jacobean tragedy of The White Devil by John Webster to the Victory Hall. With passionate embraces in magnificent period costume and violent encounters involving clashing sword and smoking guns, this was truly the Quentin Tarantino of the stage.
We started 2014 with a radio play of Jekyll and Hyde by Leonard H. Caddy. This adaption of the Robert Louis Stevenson short story “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” was directed by Maggie Smith and transported our audience back to a 1935 radio broadcast studio featuring an array of radio actors, sound stagehands and, during one performance, a scene-stealing butterfly.
Embracing the summer, our June production featured seven of our actresses in four one-act seaside plays in Jean McConnell’s Deckchairs II directed by Martin Smith. The comedy plays introduced our audience to two factory-workers on a company trip to a nudist beach and two actresses verbally spar on the beach by the pier. The two dramas followed two sister’s bickering and playing cards on the beach by their manor house and a retired head teacher and a social worker discussing her prospects of her admittance to the retirement home. It was a very well received production, with particular praise extended to Patricia Boyd, who mastered challenging roles in two of the four plays.
We rounded off the year with our November production paying tribute to the centenary of the start of the First World War. Moving slightly towards the operatic, Ian Howarth directed Oh What a Lovely War by Jean Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop featuring all manner of singing and dancing. As a very ambitious project, this production included TV screens featuring pictures, videos and information about “The Great War”, a very large cast of pierrots and live music from Martin Fox and guest singers Ron Beardsmore and Leuan Parry Jones.
We began 2013 with a February double bill of one act plays, A Man of Letters by Tim Firth and A Respectable Funeral by Jimmie Chinn. A duo of new directors for Studio 61 were found in Ray Manning and Sarah Carter and two small but strong casts told the stories of both sign-mounting, amateur crime writer Frank and three sisters, Joyce, Greta and Evadne, mourning the passing of their mother.
In June we performed the last of Alan Ayckbourn’s “The Norman Conquests” trilogy, Round and Round the Garden. Andy Alsop directed this cast of six in the story of Norman’s misguided attempt at a saucy weekend away with his sister-in-law, as seen from the garden.
And finally, in later November Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The School for Scandal was dragged out of the 1700s and launched into the 21st Century, helmed by Jane Fosbrook. Gossip spread via BlackBerrys and the potential threat of Lady Teazle’s rumoured philandering airing on Twitter helped bring this classic restoration comedy right up to date.