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Willmott’s Adelphi musical back in Merseyside

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Playwright Phil Willmott’s musical Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi is being brought to the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton next month.

Following its premiere at the Liverpool Playhouse in 2008, for the European Capital of Culture celebrations, the musical has been played to packed houses at London’s Union Theatre. Now, two years on from its first staging, a new production by West Kirby Light Operatic Society will appear in the region for four nights.

West Kirby Light Operatic Society’s cast of 60 and a 12-piece orchestra have been working on Willmott’s successful play.

Willmott said: “I am so delighted that Once Upon a Time at the Adelphi will be seen again on Merseyside, following its 2008 run at the Playhouse. It’s sure to be a magnificent production in the very capable hands of the West Kirkby Light Operatic Society.”

Against the backdrop of Liverpool’s once glamorous and fashionable hotel, Once Upon A Time at the Adelphi plays out a love story between hotel employees. Ambitious young manager Jo is torn between her career and a new love. However, she is distracted by the presence of a stray guest on the Adelphi roof.

Silhouetted against the Liverpool skyline, she finds the mysterious Alice. As she listens to the strange woman’s stories, Jo is transported back to 1930’s Liverpool. As the glitz and glamour of Hollywood are pouring off the luxury liners for their first taste of England, Alice has fallen for the dashing Thompson from accounts, but fate, Hollywood, two wars and a dizzying array of staff and guests intervene in an epic love story spanning 60 years. Now, Alice has returned to dance with Thompson on the hotel roof one last time.

Sharon Henderson will be directing, while Rob Bowness has been brought in as musical director and choreography is being overseen by Deborah Clark.

West Kirby Light Operatic Society was formed in 1950 and was affiliated to National Operatic and Dramatic Association from its founding. It has become one of the UK’s leading amateur dramatic societies and been committed to offering the best in non-professional theatre, having presented a total of 59 productions.

Tony Clare, chairman of the West Kirby Light Operatic Society, said: “This is a great piece which we have the pleasure of premiering nationally for the amateur stage for our Diamond Jubilee. The music and style of ‘Adelphi’ is well suited to the cast and production team of WKLOS and is another first for the Society.”

Once Upon A Time at the Adelphi appears at the Floral Pavilion from Tuesday 4 May until Saturday 8 May.


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