We attended a practice session tonight for the musical of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels... being played by the Peterborough Operatic and Dramatic Society this March at The Key Theatre.
The group has been going since the early 1900s believe it or not and there’s a complete mix of people within their group working full time in the day as they then also give up their spare time to their passion or love of acting, dancing and singing whether they are ex-professional from London’s West End or amateur.
We some with some of the cast?to get a feel of what it’s all about…
Amanda plays ‘Muriel’ – a bit of a lush divorcee which she’s having fun playing. Amanda has been in the group 3 years and came up from Theatre life and n London and loved it. She lives living in Peterborough and says… “It’s a great group of people practically family.”
Phil plays ‘Andre’ – Lawrence’s assistant giving him all his tips and tricks on how to wangle money from his acquaintances. Phil joined in 1997 at the young age of 13 years and the rest is history. “It’s so much fun being part of the group and this role.”
Danny Shackell plays ‘Freddy’ one of the May n parts that you’re probably going to hate… but he could end up being someone you like! “The character gives me a lot of freedom… which is brilliant”. Danny comes from an entertainment background and you might even get to hear him sing locally in many of the music night in local pubs/restaurants around the city.
Tracy now the backstage Mgr. has everything under control as well as helping in costumes. It’s her first time not being on stage for a while as she’s been with the group nearly 8 years and in amateur dramatics for 15yr. Tracy is Peterborough born and bred and says “ I’m definitely a part of the PODS family. It’s a great group and a great feeling”.
Nicky, asst choreographer and vice chair plays woman#2. She’s not Peterborough born but has been here for 10 years. She auditioned and joined and now is helping Director Rob with the dance routine. “I like it as it’s helped make amazing friends… doing social events too. So it’s definitely family group and totally different to my day job as a solicitor. “
Director, Rob, has been directing the group for 8 years now with a mass of experience behind him. He’s had a Musicals passion since being young. Going to stage theatre, stage school at Guild School of Acting as well as having a background in jazz and contemporary dance as a youngster and singing in shows when he was at school… he has a wealth of knowledge and encouragement that’s definitely an asset,
The members I have spoken to have said that Rob is an inspiration to the group, he keeps a tight ship and he’s been choreographing this show brilliantly.
Steve Hessian, musical director – a sought-after person who is well known in the industry. Want here tonight however, when he’s not here the show practice still goes on – perfecting their parts and routines.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a hilarious modern musical comedy based on the film with Steve Martin & Michael Caine… their show is enhanced as a musical with injections of dance, the comedy and routines. An unmissable concoction of it all.
All in all they’ve got a great family feel to the group, oozing confidence and skills in acting, dancing and singing. They meet just twice a week for practice and there’s only 6 weeks to go…
I’ve got my tickets booked. Have you? https://vivacity.org/whatson/theatre-and-arts/dirty-rotten-scoundrels/