MEMBERS of Pershore Operatic & Dramatic Society (PODS) will take to the stage and celebrate their 25th anniverary with a ‘rip-snorter’ of a musical.
From Monday (June 2) until next Saturday (June 7), members of the popular group will take to the stage at Pershore No 8 Community Arts Centre for their version of ‘Pickwick’.
And the fact PODS have ppted to mark their 25th anniversary with a production of Pickwick is telling.
Choc-a-block with memorable characters and some persistent earworms, it’s principal strength is that it allows PODS to
show off the ensemble of talent in their ranks to generous effect.
Dickens’ novels are episodic, but Pickwick reads more like a series of memorable and hilarious
vignettes, populated by the expected eccentrics.
Thankfully, it’s held together by the characters of Samuel Willoughby Pickwick and that bootblack of genius that brought Dickens his first burst of fame, young Sam Weller.
The relationship between Pickwick and Sam is akin to Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, and gives the audience some heroes to root for while providing for some encounters with a cast of Dickensian almost-larger-than-lifes.
There are some corking one-liners – not least the Wellerisms – but the characters themselves generate a riot of laughs too.
Pickwick was written primarily as a vehicle for Harry Seacombe and many will recognise “If I Ruled the World”.
But the music is richer than just that one song – there are patter tunes, some G&S overtones,
rousing Cockney singalongs, toe-tapping dance routines, and just the right amount of satire.
There’s a little bit of romance, a little bit of peril, a little bit of Victorian high-society, a little bit of ribald end-of-pier slapstick, a dramatic courtroom scene, and even a duel.
A PODS spokesperson said: “There is something for everyone. If it bodes well when a cast thoroughly enjoys themselves while rehearsing a show, the signs are splendid for this one, we’ve had a ball.
“So we look forward to welcoming you to the dazzling brilliancy and public career of the immortal Pickwick.”
The show will commence at 7.30pm every day and tickets are £12 on Monday, £13 from Tuesday to Thursday and £14 on Friday and Saturday evening.
Visit the box office on Pershore High Street, call 01386 555488 or log on to www.number8.org for more information.