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Double bill prevents a dramatic disaster for amateur dramatics group
WHEN a shortage of male actors threatened to wreck the Lime Walk Players annual winter show, director Mary Ross came up with a novel way to stop her musical turning into a tragedy.
To make up for the lack of male performers, the Oxford amateur dramatic group is offering two smaller shows for the price of one.
Mrs Ross, 68, said: “It’s no secret that we have a shortage of men – in recent productions such as Oliver! we have had to use girls in the male parts.
“But this year we are even further down due illness and work commitments and we were facing producing our annual musical with just three men.
“We have lots of really keen children – 14 to be precise. But only two of those are boys. I knew I would have to think of something fast and was wracking my brains and then I thought: ‘Why not split the show into two halves?’”
So a double bill of Giant Slayer and A Walk Down the West End is set to hit the stage at the Lime Walk Methodist Hall, Headington, from Thursday to Saturday March 21-23.
Giant Slayer, sees all 14 children, aged seven to 12, act out the story of David and Goliath, along with a female adult playing Goliath. After the interval, the company’s 13 women and three men step in to sing songs from the musicals, including Les Miserables, Carousel and The Phantom of the Opera.
Mrs Ross said: “It was a risk, but it has worked. The children have taken to their roles brilliantly. We have chosen musicals we would love to perform, but can’t because of numbers.
“Instead we are singing a few great songs from each of them, which will be performed along with a narration.”
The Lime Walk Players was set up in 1987 by a group of parishioners from Lime Walk Methodist Church.
The group started by organising a concert, and enjoyed it so much that the Lime Walk Players were born.
Concerts followed, then a pantomine and musicals, such as Annie and The Wizard of Oz, and most productions are now sell-outs.
But around five years ago, male numbers started to wane, and Mrs Ross is aiming to attract new members fast.
She said: “I would urge people to come along, see what fun our actors have and then give it a go. You might be surprised.”
- For tickets call 01865 761711.If you’re interested in joining the Lime Walk Players, call 01865 241148 or email firstname.lastname@example.org