•April 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The UMT Annual General Meeting takes places on Tuesday the 26th April 2011 at the Urmston Cricket Club. Hopefully we will get a decent turn out to deal with the business at hand. Otherwise April is an extremely quiet month for news and information as you can only write about Alice the Musical so many times before I turn you all off. By the way, have I mentioned that tickets are on sale now and are selling? If you don’t order yours soon, you may not get in or you may end up sitting at the back of the theatre. Maybe I have mentioned it, I can’t remember. 0161 408 1288 is the telephone number.

Anyway, back to the AGM. 2011 is our centenary year. We were formed in 1911 although our first show was not until 2012 so I will probably be posting pretty much the same information this time next year when I talk about our 100th year show. To celebrate this occasion we are going to have a birthday bash in December at Flixton Golf Course. Numbers are limited so, if you want to go, you need to get in touch with us pretty quickly. At the moment we are looking to have a sit down meal type function which will change, if we get close to over subscription, into a buffet type dancy function. No doubt there will be a bit of singing and drama, after all that’s what we do best.


Roll Up, Roll Up…

•April 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

A Royal Invitation to you...

The Alice the Musical Online Tickets site is now open for business and what exciting new developments await? Well, for one, we now have a new payment facility which we believe will be far more efficient and cost effective than  previous. In the past we used Paypal to provide us with the online payment and also the ability to take payments over the telephone. This has been very effective and appears to have gone without a hitch in the main. As a result of some research by yours truly, we have now signed up with Card Save Community who can offer the exact save service as Paypal (better, in fact) at a more cost effective price.

Normally I would have had the online site set up waiting for the system to “go live” but, as with all new technology, there has been a few technical issues. Such as, I needed to update the shopping cart software which I did but then had to rebuild the ticket site. No mean feat. Then I had to update the php software through the SQL server. A sharp learning curve if ever there was one.

Card Save Community

However, what it has now produced is a more efficient and lean service which allows online payments either through the website or over the telephone. The payment facility is completely secure  and can be relied upon to protect your details. Card Save Community are specifically designed for charities and not-for-profit organisations. In my research I recall that they used to have associations with the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Allied Irish Bank, but don’t quote me.

Anyone want the honour of being first to use the service? Simply order your Alice the Musical tickets online or ring me on 0161 408 1288 and leave a message outlining your ticket order and a contact number. I will call you back to complete the transaction. Couldn’t be simpler, could it?

Call 0161 408 1288 or visit

We’ll Call You

•April 5, 2011 • 2 Comments

This could be a typical UMT audition queue if we had this number of people wanting to audition

As it happens one of the two audition dates has passed for the Oliver show. Last Sunday saw all the auditions for Fagin‘s Gang and the workhouse kids together with those for Oliver, Dodger and a few other roles. It also saw a few adults who are unable to make this Sunday (10th April 2011) perform their own auditions. I have to say that the audition waiting room was rockin’ with all the junior members waiting and sometimes practising together before they went to face the panel. I know that there were some proud parents of prospective new members who heard their charges sing for the first time with any gusto and were clearly moved by the experience. Got to admit that I tried to recruit a few for the adult chorus. Let’s wait and see.

This Sunday sees the turn of the adult auditions so the Unitarian Church on Queens Road will be a hive of activity whilst decisions are made as to who gets what in our centenary year main show. Although we formed in 1911 our first show was actually in 1912. Have I told you that we are 100 years old this year? Of course I have because it is a fantastic achievement for us and one which we should be rightly proud of. We even have a picture of the cast for that very first performance of HMS Pinafore:

The Urmston Amateur Operatic Society circa 1911

What is very noticeable about the cast is the fact that it is awash with men. A rare commodity in the field of amateur theatre. We are almost always short of blokes who are prepared to stand on stage and perform. We joke that the requirements of an audition for a male chorus member are that he can breathe unaided to be allowed in is sometimes quite close to the mark. If you fancy having a go then come along and just do one show with us. Mondays are normally the rehearsal night with a few Wednesdays as the show gets closer and then a number of Sundays during September/October. Rehearsals are normally at Urmston Cricket Club or the Unitarian Church and we would never ask you to do something you weren’t comfortable with. It can be great fun and we often perform to nightly crowds of between 300 and 400 people. Either ring Jane on 07815 703613 or email Good Luck to all of you who have chosen to put yourself through this process. I know how you are feeling.

Alice The Musical

A quick final point about Alice the Musical. Went to a rehearsal for the show last night and the kids were great. The show is funny and has new music. It would be a shame for our stars of the future to not have a massive and appreciative audience to perform to. I hope to have the ticket website up and running at very soon but if you want to pre-order tickets I can take those orders and put them on a list to deal with when I get the tickets delivered, which should be very soon. Ring 0161 408 1288 to place you order or email to I can take online payments and also payments over the telephone by credit or debit card.

Support Your Local Theatre!


Forward Planning

•March 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Ozzy Osbourne as he might look if he auditioned for Fagin in UMT's production of Oliver, October 2011.

The Get Together has now been concluded and the throngs, nay hordes, of budding Nancy’s, Fagin’s et al have been sent on their merry way, song sheet and lib in hand. If you haven’t received your audition piece yet then you need to send a message to Jane using the email address otherwise you might miss out. For the record I fancy having a go at Fagin but I am in my Indo-Welsh accent phase at the moment with the occasional slip into some stereotypical Black Country Brummie. A bit like you might expect Ozzy Osbourne to sound. Nightmare! Plenty of work to be getting on with. I am sure the show will be a great success and I have had a number of people come up to me expressing their wish to come and see us perform even at this early stage.

The Set Build

The Beginning of the Bacon and Sausage Miracle

Once the auditions are out of the way we will then be embarking upon a set build for the show which will mirror a previous set design used professionally and also by UMT (when we were UAOS) when performing Oliver at the Curzon. This is a revolving stage already design on a couple of scrap A4 sheets and, no doubt, to be tested to oblivion during the construction phase. If you are a bit of a builder /joiner type then you may be interested in coming to Pennybridge to lend a hand. It is good fun and you will be supplied with copious amounts of bacon, sausage and egg barm cakes or even pasties and several hot cups of tea or coffee to taste. The revolving stage will be a mandraulic powered stage and will make use of many of the bits of the Beauty and the Beast set so there will be an amount of painting required to be done if there are any ladies who fancy taking on that task. Either way lets hope it is as fun as the last set build and just as successful.

Let’s All Get Together for Oliver

•March 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment
l-r: Mark Lester as Oliver, Ron Moody as Fagin...

Fagin, Oliver and Dodger. Could it be you?

On Sunday 20th March 2011 there will be a Get Together for our next main show namely Oliver which will be performed at the Poolside Theatre, Bowfell Road, Urmston, Manchester in October of this year. This show is our centenary show and will be Directed by Alan Titley, Musical Direction by Deborah Holmes and Choreography by Sally Wilde. This promises to be a fantastic show following on from our Beauty and the Beast spectacular of last year.

The Get Together will be held at the Unitarian Church on Queens Road in Urmston at 1.30pm and will be an opportunity for persons wishing to be involved in the show to come and meet the production team. We will require some young persons to be the workhouse gang and then later to be Fagin’s gang. Any youngsters wishing to audition must be available to do so on the 3rd April 2011 from 3.30pm onwards. They must be confident and be able to sing and act as they will be required to do so in front of an audition panel. In addition we need young males to play the roles of Oliver and Dodger and, of course, they need to be particularly confident as they will be the stars of the show.

If you want to be involved or you have children who may wish to audition then you need to either attend the meeting or contact the Secretary on 07815 703613 to arrange a suitable audition time. Adult auditions will be held on 10th April 2011 and any person unable to attend must be able to audition on the 3rd April after the children’s auditions.

Judging by previous years when we have performed this show there will be a lot of interest in the junior roles so learn your lines and be very confident.

TGI Monday!

•March 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

A Royal Invitation to you...

Who was in the vicinity of the Urmston Cricket, Hockey, Bowls, Tennis and Social Functions  Club last Monday? Those that were there had the delight of hearing their rendition of A Royal Invitation from Alice The Musical. It was brilliant, loud enough to be heard in the bar with the shutter down and subject of several of the cricket, hockey, bowls and tennis patrons who were all very complementary. In addition, I believe they also learnt a dance at the same time. Just shows how good our junior section are and how good the show will be.

The cast is now sworn in and busy learning their lines and their songs. The Back Stage Team are about to have their first technical meeting to discuss the various aspects of the show in respect of the lighting, sound and scenery. Everything is booked and ready to go. Bring it on.

UMT Annual General Meeting

On a more mundane front, the UMT AGM will be on Tuesday the 26th April 2011 at 7.30pm. All adult members are welcome and it is important for the future of UMT that you attend and hear about, basically, a state of the Urmston Musical Theatre. There are tough challenges ahead for amateur theatre groups, even more so for the world famous UMT as we have to build and demolish our theatre during show week. It does not help when the holidays of Flixton Girls’ School (who have first refusal of the sports hall at the Urmston Leisure Centre) are out of sync with the rest of Trafford.

Also there are issues of constitution which need addressing and also the election of committee members for any vacant positions. All posts are challengable if you feel so inclined and require an element of hard work and commitment. There are also sub-committees such as Social and Show Selection if these take your fancy. Meetings are held mainly on the first Tuesday of each month. If you feel like having a go on the committee then let Jane, the secretary know. All nominations must be seconded and received no later than 10 days before the AGM. Any positions still to be filled on the date of the AGM will be by proposal and sender from the floor of the AGM.

In the next week or so I will publish a list of positions and indicate which are vacant to assist any person wishing to get elected to the committee.

Alice the Musical.

•March 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment
Lewis Carroll, the well-known author of Alice'...

Lewis Carroll as he might have looked posing for an advertising shot for a UMT performance

The Urmston Musical Theatre Junior Section proudly present Alice the Musical to be performed during the week commencing the 9th May 2011. Or I should say that rehearsals have started for this fantastic show. Alice the Musical is based on Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland and has never been attempted by UMT before.

Some interesting facts about Lewis Carroll include the fact that he was born down the road in Daresbury, Cheshire. Lewis Carroll is a pseudonym with his real name being Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. He was six feet tall, deaf in one ear and, somewhat current given a certain Oscar winning film, he suffered a significant stammer. It is said that he caricatured himself on the character Dodo in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland upon which this musical is based. Of course, in this show we actually see the character of the Reverend Dodgson.

So you see that not only is this blog a way of letting you know what is going on behind the scenes of the Urmston Musical Theatre but it is educational and informative. Can you say that of other blogs?

Back to the show

Anyone in the bar area of the Urmston Cricket Club on Monday would have been treated to a fantastic rendition of A Royal Invitation which was sung with gusto and, somewhat uniquely, the whole song was set as a dance number on the first rehearsal whilst learning the song. Brilliant.

The show will be excellent, directed by Emma Darsley, Musical Direction by Deborah Holmes and Choreography by Leanne Hobbs. The scenery will be courtesy of UMT and the backstage and front of house facilities will be provided by members of UMT. As I always say, don’t delay for your tickets as they can be ordered at any time. All pre-orders go on a list and are contacted as soon as the tickets are available. I have already had enquiries for Oliver which is our main show in October.

Don’t be shy, leave a comment!