Pershore Operatic and Dramatic Society

PODS is a member of NODA - National Operatic and Dramatic Association



8th - 13th June 2020

We are deeply disappointed to announce that we will not be performing Chicago this year. Our plan B was to request a licence change for December, however it has not been granted due to a professional tour. Even if the licence had been granted, given the current climate, it it seems increasingly unlikely that we will get back into the rehearsal room for September, nevertheless we are all very hopefully.

The cast and crew have worked with great enthusiasm and energy since early January, and had act one very much in the bag. So it is all the more sad that the fruits of their labour won’t be seen.

Number 8 are currently working through their ticket processes, and are themselves currently in lockdown, news on tickets will be announced in due course.

In relation to our future plans, if we can get back to the rehearsal room and onto the stage in time for Christmas we hope to be able to stage a celebration compilation performance (details to be determined). In June 2021 we are very excited to be bringing the vibrant and colourful “Pricilla Queen of the Desert” to the Number 8 stage. Later in the year, in December 2021, we will be putting on a pantomime; Snow White.

We hope our loyal audience members and social media followers will be understanding in these very odd and sad times, and that we can rely on your continued support until we return to the lime light in the not too distant future!

Keep safe and keep socially distanced!


June 2021





December 2nd to 7th 2019

NODA review by Bruce Wyatt 5th December 2019

Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, are two of the most famous nineteenth-century children's fantasy novels. Director Sue Price created an inspired musical version, involving all the well-known original characters, plus a variety of modern musical numbers, which blended in without feeling contrived.

For some, the story lines are perhaps a bit like Marmite and maybe illogical at times, bizarre or sometimes dark and the script retained these themes closely aligned to the original stories. However no better opening than ‘A Million Dreams’ from the Greatest showman, with the beautiful voice of Sue Poultney.

We are introduced to Alice, played on the night I was present by Mia Brotherton.  A completely accomplished performance, well projected and sung, displaying Alice’s imagination and curiosity. Mia even looked as you would hope Alice to look. Alternating with Mia during the run was Kiaragh Brown, who provided an equally convincing performance and I understand looked like Alice too!

The scenes followed many of the chapters from the novel, when we meet some excellent characterisations including the White Rabbit (Steve Miller), the Cheshire Cat (Rob Watts) and the Cook (Marianne Jones).

Amongst the Act 1 highlights were the scenes including; The Caterpillar when Sam Godber sang ‘Purple Rain’, The Mad Hatters Tea Party with Tim Shackley as the Mad Hatter and Sean Phillips (March Hare) and Lyndsey Kirby (Dormouse) who sang ‘Welcome to the House of Fun’, The Queen’s Rose Garden scene, with Suzie Tapley providing a strong performance as the Red Queen, was followed by The Mock Turtle and the Gryphon, amusingly played by Paul Tapley and Sue Poultney.  Throughout the ensemble gave great support with some powerful singing and some great harmonies.

In Act 2, (Through the Looking Glass) Alice is older and this was well portrayed by Laura Morris. I enjoyed the scene The Garden of Flowers when Alice meets some strong minded flowers and observes a very effectively choreographed chess game. Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee were played with enormous energy by Loren Howland and Issy Jones and Paul Tapley brought great expression and clarity to Humpty Dumpty on The Palace Wall. The Five Bar Gate scene included some proficient tap dancing peasants, to ‘Always Look on the Bright side of Life’ and the final scene is rounded off with ‘Celebration’ from ‘Kool and the Gang’.

The fixed set provided a great structure on which to play scenes on different levels and this was effectively lit throughout. The costumes were just fabulous in every detail and the band were excellent, never imposing, all supported with excellent sound. There were some interesting projections to compliment the action; in fact it was clear that a great deal of thought and hard work had been invested by the off stage production team.

The programme referred to this as Director Sue Price’s final show after 50 years involved in amateur theatre, of which she should be mighty proud.

Director: Sue Price

Musical Director: Andrew Hemming

Procucer: John Payne


10th - 15th June 2019

NODA review by Bruce Wyatt 13th June 2019

Adapted by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan from Brooks's 1967 film of the same name, we arrive in New York, 1959. Max Bialystock was once the king of Broadway, but now all his shows close on opening night. After putting together another Broadway flop, down-on-his-luck Producer Max Bialystock teams up with timid accountant Leo Bloom in a get-rich-quick scheme to put on the world's worst show and pocket money from the ‘old lady’ backers when it closes prematurely… or should do.

Paul Tapley (Max) and Steven Miller (Leo) set the bar high with their performances, both fully capturing their respective characters and in fine voice. They both hold the stage with ease from Paul’s opening and well- paced ‘The King of Old Broadway’ number through to the difficult ‘Betrayed’ which was very well handled and Steven’s sparkling company number ‘I wanna be a Producer’. ‘Mr Marks’, Leo’s inconsiderate boss was a well-played cameo by Dominic Hayne.

Having found the world’s worst show they need to sign up the writer ‘Franz’, played with great comedy by Matt Owens. ‘Der Guten Tag Hop-Clop’, at the physical expense of Leo was very funny. Having signed up the writer, they go in haste to find the world’s worst director and find ‘Roger  De Bris’ (Matthew Tebbatt)with his common law assistant ‘Carmen’ (Sean Phillips) both excelling  in their respective scenes particularly ‘Keep it Gay’ and later in Roger’s ‘Springtime for Hitler’.

Meanwhile ‘Ula’ arrives whose natural glamour overwhelms the guys into employing her as their secretary/ receptionist and a guaranteed part in the show! Loren Howland is every bit the required ‘blonde bombshell’, Loren acted, sang and moved well and even repainted the whole office during the ‘Intermission’! (Good to see a white set).

There were in fact several challenging set changes which were well handled by a hard working stage crew and some good use was made of the auditorium to accommodate some of these. Some scenes were enhanced with back cloth projections which worked. The costumes were on the whole authentic and the orchestra and sound well balanced. The company numbers were well rehearsed with some polished choreography by the dancers.

PODS were once again up for the challenge and succeeded and I look forward to ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass’ in December.

Director: Paul Turvey

Musical Director: Andrew Hemming

Producers: Becky Wicks and James Megarry




3rd to 8th December 2018 including a Saturday Matinee


NODA Review by Bruce Wyatt 6th December 2018


The Broadway version of this well know operetta provides an opportunity for a new comic dimension to be added to the standard format and PODS took many opportunities to explore this, with great success.

The story remains centred on a roguish Pirate King and his band of pirates and an adventurous Apprentice called Frederick, who goes in search of treasure and romance. Amongst others, he meets a bevy of beautiful girls and their befuddled Father, the Major General, falls in love with one of them and overcomes an unfortunate technicality which almost prevents their happiness.

The ‘Pirate King’ (Paul Tapley) was played with great strength in voice and presence throughout with a splash of comedic naïve devilment, most suited to his character. ‘Frederick’ his apprentice, played by Tom Wilson-Dowdeswell was equal to the task with some accomplished singing which the score frequently demands. Suzie Tapley provided an endearing characterisation of Frederick’s nursemaid ‘Ruth’ who Frederick tactfully explained may not be as beautiful as she would have him believe.

The arrival of Major General Stanley’s daughters increased the momentum and their innocent antics added to the fun, led by Loren Howland as ‘Edith’. Frederick soon meets ‘Mabel’ (Briony Stevens) and is not surprisingly swept off his feet with her good looks, matched by her beautiful singing. Their Father arrives and Tim Shackley completely rises to the occasion with his superb rendition of ‘I am the very model of a modern Major General’, complimented with relevant back projections.

Throughout, the swashbuckling pirates and chaperones sang with great energy and the unaccompanied piece ‘Hail Poetry’ was a magnificent ‘goose bump’ moment in Act 1. In Act 2, the tempo rarely dropped and further comedy was added by the Policemen led with great physicality by the ‘Sergeant of Police’ Sean Phillips. Other good support was provided by Peter Spence (‘Samuel’), Lindsey Kirby (‘Kate’), Issy Jones (‘Isabel’) and Rob Watts and his aerial silks. The choreography was stylish and well executed on an impressive well -lit set and the costumes were stunning.

The orchestra and sound can ‘make or break’ a show, and in this instance it was clearly the former. Andrew Hemming with the baton led his own tight ship, reducing the volume as required, in support of the performers. The Director Judy Megarry and the production team should be very pleased with the overall result.



Director:  Judy Megarry

Musical Director: Andrew Hemming

Producer: Stuart Megarry






11th to 16th  June 2018 at Number 8 Community Arts Centre


NODA Review by Andy Brown for  Bruce Wyatt December 15th June 2018


The show was billed as ‘The Best of West End and Broadway’. This was indeed what we saw and more, bringing the songs from these iconic theatrical locations to the historic town of Pershore in Worcestershire.

The show itself consisted of music and dance from 33 musicals! Some titles more well-known than others however, it was likely the audience would at least have known the music selected if not the title of the show. The cast of 45 members and superb orchestra took us on an amazing evening of entertainment with no less than 650 costumes and stunning lighting.

With all these ingredients it was little wonder Pershore Operatic and Dramatic Society played to a sell out audience and a highly appreciative one at that.

With so many cast members, many of whom took part in numerous numbers, it is impossible to name everyone. Even if looking for the outstanding musical numbers it would still be a tall order as they simply came one after another and the quality of this show came out time and time again.

The show opened with an ‘overture’ involving the whole company and a medley from three musicals. It was slick and promised the quality of performance about to come.  This was followed by ‘One Night Only’ from Dreamgirls sung by Tessa Sheehy and ‘Tell Me It’s Not True’ from Blood Brothers lead by Lindsey Kirby. Both very well done. Shortly afterwards we heard, ‘Somebody to Love’ from We Will Rock You sung by Loren Howland and, ‘How Flying Adored’ from Evita sung by David Hemming again both very well done. 

The absolute highlights were the ‘Phantom Medley’ especially from Suzie Tapley and Briony Stevens supported well by Paul Tapley and Peter Spence.  Les Misérables involving the whole company was well staged and of a particularly high quality vocally, visually and from the musicians.

Mention must also be made of ‘Pure Imagination’ from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Steve Miller, ‘The Impossible Dream’ from Man of La Mancha by Paul Tapley. Finally, ‘Bui Doi’ from Miss Saigon and ‘Tonight’ from Westside Story. All these were outstanding.  The staging of ‘When I Grow Up’ from Matilda made the most of the fun this provides for adults dressed as school children.

The director was fortunate to have a team of choreographers at her disposal. They provided some good use of the stage and ensured within the company numbers they made the most of the stronger dancers such as ‘42nd Street’. We saw two ‘dance only’ routines – ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ from The Wizard of Oz and, ‘Wait for It’ from Hamilton.

The set for the show was simple. Either a bare stage or use of some rostra. The lighting was extremely effective. The use of LED lighting including moving heads was well throughout creating the right atmosphere for each of the different numbers. The costumes were good and stunning in visual effect for their characterisation and representation of the pieces such as many already named plus others including Children of Eden, Wicked, Godspell, Sweet Charity and The Jersey Boys. 

The ten musicians were under the leadership of musical director Andrew Hemming. The music was wonderfully played especially during both Phantom and the opening to Les Misérables. The orchestra arrangements were incredible. 

Congratulations to Judy Megarry and her entire production team. It was evident this show was well rehearsed and well put together with numbers following each other in a constructed way. The energy throughout was amazing. Thank you also to Jim Hutcheon in his role of President of the society and all the front of house team for making us so welcome.

I most certainly look forward to seeing forthcoming production performed by this creative and talented society including ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ in December 2018.


Director: Judy Megarry

Musical Director: Andrew Hemming

Producers: Stuart Megarry and Ellen Honeybunn



4th to 9th  December 2017 at Number 8 Community Arts Centre


NODA Review By Bruce Wyatt December 5th 2017


This version opened and closed in the local setting of Pershore Town Square and in between incorporated several local references which added effectively to the storyline. As Giant Blunderbore seeks to increase taxes, rents have to rise and Dame Trott and her family are the first to be affected. The King’s daughter Jill is captured and offers Jack a rent-free life for her rescue from Cloudland, the home of the Giant.

PODS’ ‘Jack’ was well played by Oliver Roberts, bringing a smile that would charm any King’s daughter and his musical numbers including ‘Wrapped up’ with ‘Jill’, ‘Corner of the Sky’ and particularly ‘Right here waiting’ were sang with power and feeling. ‘Princess Jill’ played by Louise Bent sang and moved well whilst adding that all-important splash of sweetness and colour.

Jack’s brother, ‘Simple Simon’ played by Matt Owen was a delightful foil adding his own simple humor with fun, whilst ‘Dame Trott’ played by Rob Brown performed with great style and energy, delivering his dialogue at pace, which kept the action moving. David Hemming as the ‘King of Pershore’ added his own brand of bumbling humour to great effect.

No panto would be complete without a ‘Fairy Cupcake’ who was played with great sweetness by Susan Perry, in opposition of course to the devilish ‘Desdemona’ played by Rachel Kent, who sang ‘I’m only human’ well. Forced to sell ‘Daisy the Cow’ (Amberley Connor and Julie Smout) in exchange for ‘Fairy Cupcake’s’ magic beans, from which a beanstalk to Cloudland grows where the Princess is being held, Jack finally outwits ‘Desdemona and the ‘Giant’ (resonant tones provided by James Megarry).

Throughout, the chorus and dancers worked well, backed by a well-controlled orchestra under the tight direction of Andrew Hemming with ‘The Climb’ which closed Act 1 being a particular highlight. The set was well used, the sound was well balanced and the lighting was very effective in supporting the director (Paul Turvey) and producer (Lindsey Kirby), all enjoyed by an enthusiastic audience.


Director: Paul Turvey

Musical Director: Andrew Hemming

Producer: Lindsey Kirby

Shows prior to 2003


  • Jack & The Beanstalk Panto
  • Oliver!



  • Christmas Wassail
  • Gala Concert
  • Me and My  Girl



  • Night and Day
  • The Gondoliers



  • Christmas Wassail
  • 10 Years On



  • The Mikado
  • Fiddler On The Roof





  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Annie Get Your Gun



  • Pirates Of Penzance
  • Outside Edge
  • My Fair Lady



  • Aladdin
  • How The Other Half Loves
  • Anything Goes



  • PartyPieces
  • Panic Stations
  • Hello Dolly



  • Snow White
  • No Sex Please We're Brittish
  • Oklahoma!




  • Christmas Cracker
  • Rape Of The Belt
  • Showboat
  • Cinderella



  • Music Hall
  • Carousel



  • Rags To Riches
  • Babes In The Woods



  • Songs From The Shows



Pershore Operatic & Dramatic Society

c/o 8 The High Street


WR10 1BG


Number 8 Box Office: 01386 555488

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