Amdram group taking a step back in time

Members of the St Annes Parish Operatic Society in rehearsal for their production of Stepping Out
Members of the St Annes Parish Operatic Society in rehearsal for their production of Stepping Out
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It was clearly a bad omen when St Annes Parish Operatic Society chose Fiddler On The Roof as its musical production for this year.

No sooner had they started making preparations than officials at Lowther Pavilion announced the venue would be closed for work on its roof and other refurbishment when they production was due to be staged there.

After weeks of looking in vain for a suitable alternative location, the Society finally decided to cancel the musical performance for 2016 and opted instead for a play instead which could be performed on a smaller stage.

The comedy Stepping Out was the choice and rehearsals started - with the intention of it being performed at St Annes Parish Hall.

But the venue problems were compounded when it was found that even that was a non-starter as the Hall is booked every Friday.

It will be the first time the Society has performed a play rather than a musical in 20 years - and the plan is that Fiddler On the Roof will now take place next year.

Just when it looked as though the Society might have no production at all this year, however, it was announced that Lowther wouldn’t be closing for the entire summer after all - and Stepping Out will be staged there later this month.

Society chairman Alison Thornton said: “When it finally seemed like we would have to cancel altogether, I received a call from Lowther Pavilion to say we could have our usual week and it was such a relief.

“We had to do something to keep the Society going after more than 40 years so we have opted for our first play since 1994 and we are all very much looking forward to Stepping Out.”

The play, based on a group of women and one man from disparate backgrounds who attend the same weekly tap dancing class in a dingy church hall, is being directed by Mandy Hall with choreography supplied by Paula Curtis and Alison Thornton.

It features a voice cameo by comedian Bobby Ball as the stage manager and is at Lowther Pavilion from July 21 to 23. Details from the box office on 01253 794221.