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Redditch Operatic Society (ROS)

Redditch Operatic Society (ROS): the area's biggest amateur operatic society and musical theatre group performing at the Palace Theatre in Redditch, Worcestershire

Redditch Operatic Society: musical theatre group performing at the Palace Theatre, Redditch

News Blog

AGM Summary 2015

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

This year’s AGM took place on Tuesday 19 May 2015, at Community House, Easemore Road, Redditch.

The meeting was chaired by our President, Bob Taylor, with Tony Jay (Chairman/Treasurer) and Jean Chalk (Secretary).


David Steele and Jean Leadbeater

This was the second year that this award was presented. It is in honour of our dear friend and President, Alan, who passed away in 2013.

It is the only award whose winner is chosen by our members attending the AGM. It is for their favourite performance of the year, from a previously announced list of nominees chosen by the committee. It is not necessarily for the the biggest role, or most prominent performer of the year – a debut, or a cameo performance could equally be the performance our members enjoyed the most.

We are delighted to announce that, for the second year running, the winner of this award is DAVID STEELE, who was chosen for his role as ‘Jesus’ in our November 2014 production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’.

The photo shows David Steele receiving the award from Jean Leadbeater, who was in attendance at the AGM to make the presentation.


Jean Chalk, Bob Taylor, Ryan AllenThis annual award, dedicated to the memory of our late President Norman Wheeler, is presented at our AGM to a Society member who has, in one way or another, made an outstanding contribution to the Society in the past year.

We are delighted to announce that the fifteenth deserving recipient of this award is JEAN CHALK for all the considerable effort she put into managing, adapting, mending, transporting and storing the huge array of costumes for our November production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’.

Many congratulations to Jean, who is also the first person to have won the Norman Wheeler Award twice.

The photograph shows Jean receiving the trophy from last year’s winner Ryan Allen (right) and Society President Bob Taylor (centre) after the result was announced at the AGM.


The committee for this year as appointed at the AGM, and thereafter, are as follows:

Name Position
Bob Taylor President
Tony Jay Chairman (and Treasurer)
Jean Chalk Secretary
Kelly-Louise Johnson Committee Member
Jean Leadbeater Committee Member
Paul Mitchell Committee Member
Louisa Pickles Committee Member
Joy Sidaway Committee Member
Sam Smith Committee Member
Ryan Allen Co-opted
Roz Chalk Co-opted
Ann Duffin Co-opted

Nominees for 2014/15 Alan Leadbeater Award

Saturday, 18 April 2015

We are delighted to announce the nominees for 2014/15s ‘Alan’ Award – our very own version of an Oscar! The four nominees for this year are (in alphabetical order):

  • TONY JAY – for his role as Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar.
  • LISA LILWALL – for her debut performance as Mary in Jesus Christ Superstar.
  • DAVID STEELE – for his role as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar.
  • LAURENCE SUTTON – for his role as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar.

Many congratulations to each of our nominees.

The process to find the list of nominees is the same each year: a secret vote by all members of the committee. The name of every principal in the show goes onto the ballot paper, and each committee member privately marks their favourite four. All the committee votes are then tallied in secret (by the President and Chairman), and the top four automatically become the nominees. Not even the committee know how many votes each person received.

Who will win? Only YOU (our members) will decide. Every member attending our AGM on Tuesday 19 May will cast their vote in a private ballot before the proceedings begin. The winner will be announced, and the award presented, on the night itself.

Just a reminder that the Alan Leadbeater Memorial Award is for YOUR favourite performance of the year, from the list of nominees above. Not necessarily for the the biggest role, or most prominent performer of the year – a debut, or a cameo performance could equally be the performance you enjoyed the most.

See you all at the AGM!

Jesus Christ Superstar: Review 2

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Another fantastic review of our production of Jesus Christ Superstar. This time it’s an independent review from Andrew Powell (ex-editor of The Standard):

Jesus Christ Superstar – Redditch Operatic Society

Moving, colourful, dramatic, disturbing, uncomfortable even, reverent, irreverent, emotional, funny – are all words that could be used to describe Redditch Operatic Society’s excellent production of this Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webber masterpiece.

The show is a 1970s rock opera, and is basically an account of the last week in the life of Jesus Christ, beginning with the arrival of Jesus and his disciples in Jerusalem and ending with the crucifixion, all set to modern music, and as such must have been out of the comfort zone for many in the society.

But ROS to a man (and woman) rose to the challenge magnificently.

The opera offers a fascinating insight into the political and interpersonal struggles between the extraordinary Jesus and those in the highest authority, and this aspect came across brilliantly.

Director and producer Tony Jay is quoted as saying that Jesus Christ Superstar is one of the greatest pieces of musical theatre ever created, and he certainly did it immense justice – it was slick, yet uncompromisingly daring and different, from the complex staging itself to his own hilarious portrayal of Herod’s Song. It certainly added a lighter moment to the otherwise rather depressing scenario (watch out for that bread roll!).

The experience of David Steele shone through as Jesus, giving him plenty of opportunity to show off his mighty falsetto voice and emotional range, while his close companion Mary, played by newcomer Lisa Lilwall, was most endearing and suitably respectful. Those, as I was, awaiting the tear-jerking I Don’t Know How To Love Him, a highlight of the show, will not have been disappointed.

Let’s not forget Laurence Sutton as the confused and unfortunate Judas. He is also a new member of ROS and it’s good to see risks being taken in casting – and paying off handsomely – with the younger members. He had a voice that filled the auditorium loud and clear.

One more mention. Tim Eagleton threw himself into the role of the unfortunate, in my mind, Pontius Pilate, who found himself dragged along with the will of the baying crowd, and he portrayed this with precision.

We all know how the story ends, but mine can’t have been the only heart in the mouth as Jesus was lifted onto a rather highly mounted, but substantial, cross of wood and the opera came to its inevitable end – of course the resurrection isn’t included and Jesus was left hanging.

It would not be possible in a review like this to mention everybody involved, especially with such a large cast, but there wasn’t a weak link in the chain for what was a production very much worthy of a larger stage.

Jesus Christ Superstar: Review 1

Thursday, 20 November 2014

A great review of Jesus Christ Superstar from Harriet Ernstsons of the Redditch Standard:

Jesus Christ cast were all superstars

Given this version of Jesus Christ Superstar was brought to the Palace Theatre stage by an operatic society, audiences would expect first-rate singing.

But the performances given by ROS, both individually and as an ensemble, were truly spectacular and made for a particularly enjoyable night.

Everyone knows how the story is going to end and most will be aware of the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice production so the challenge is to make a mark by providing stand-out performances. In this way, ROS certainly did not disappoint.

Leading man David Steele sent shivers up the spine with his powerful and emotive performance at more than one point during the night, with his voice more than proving why he was chosen to take the role of Jesus.

However, this was not just a one-man show and his counterpart Laurence Sutton as Judas was captivating every time he set foot on the stage. It is not often you root for the ‘bad guy’ in the show but Laurence brought a softness to the role which enabled the crowd to understand his reasonings for betraying Jesus.

Together the 12 disciples were a complete pleasure to listen to and both Paul Mitchell as Peter and Mark Williams as Simon shone in the roles as Jesus’ right-hand man. They played their roles well, providing the chance for the story to be told by creating a dialogue with Jesus and Judas – with Lisa Lilwall’s Mary added into the mix it was absolutely superb.

However, it was not all weeping over the demise of Christ, there were plenty of light moments in the show too – mainly when the stage was occupied by Tim Eagleton (Pontius Pilate), Matt Turner (Caiaphas) and John Reeves (Annas) backed by Sam Smith, Ryan Allen and Tony Lacey as the priests.

The biggest laugh of the night definitely went to Tony Jay whose portrayal of Herod was just excellent and the perfect antedote to the heavy subject of the script.

Credit must also go to the superb singers and dancers who were ever-present in the backdrop. There is little worse than an amazing principal cast being let down by an out of time or out of tune cast. To have such strong voices in the chorus line is a real credit to ROS and proves it must have been a difficult choice picking lead characters from the wealth of talent on offer.

Lastly, a mention for the most important prop in the show – the cross. If it had been designed badly it could have really let down the production but as it was, it was perfectly put together for the job at hand and provided a powerful way to end the show. The set itself was very simple but it needed to be so the cast could get on with what they do best – singing their hearts out.

New Trailer for ‘Superstar’

Monday, 6 October 2014

Just look at this fabulous new trailer video for our production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Huge thanks to Alastair for putting this together. And thanks, too, to the cast for attending the photo shoot

JCS: Company Photo/Final Schedule

Friday, 3 October 2014

Note to all company: if you haven’t already spotted this in the new schedule, our full company photograph is being taken at the start of rehearsal on Tuesday 7 October. Please do not be late, or you may miss out.

If you haven’t already picked up a new schedule, you can download/print it below:

Please read it carefully, and note that the full company is called every Tuesday from now on, and on Thursdays from 30 October.

Costume Pick-Up Dates/Times

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

These are the costume pick-up dates and times offered by Jean C for all company members in Jesus Christ Superstar. It is your responsibility to attend one of these sessions so that you can select, try on and then take your costume(s) home with you:


  • Sun 28 September, 12.00 noon to 3.00pm
  • Wed 1 October, 5.00 to 8.00pm
  • Fri 3 October, 6.00 to 8.00pm


  • Sun 5 October, 12.00 noon to 3.00pm
  • Wed 15 October, 5.00 to 8.00pm
  • Fri 17 October, 6.00 to 8.00pm

Jean’s address is 123 Bromsgrove Road, Redditch, B97 4RL. Tel: 01527 63319


Tour of B’ham Hippodrome

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Another social event for all Members (including Friends of ROS) and friends/families is a TOUR of the BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME on Saturday 25 October 2014 at 10.30am.

This has been arranged especially for our Society (thanks to Ryan), and will include backstage and stage access.

Ticket prices are £7.00 for members and £8.50 for non-members.

As always, if you would like to join us for this event, put your name(s) down on the list on our Notice Board at weekly rehearsals, or let Tony J know by phone or email.

Final date for names/numbers is Tuesday 7 October 2014.

Theatre Trips for 2015

Sunday, 10 August 2014

We are already planning group bookings for 2015 to see two shows at the Birmingham Hippodrome.

Our first group booking is for SHREK: THE MUSICAL on Tuesday 7 April 2015, at 7.30pm. We have a maximum of 35 seats set aside for us, so it is strictly first-come, first-served. Ticket prices are £36 for members (including Friends of ROS) and £37.50 for non-members. (Normal price for these tickets are £42.50 plus booking fee).

Our second group booking is for BARNUM, starring Brian Conley, on Wednesday 15 July 2015, at 7.30pm. Ticket prices are £33 for members (including Friends of ROS) and £35 for non-members. (Normal price for these tickets are £42 plus booking fee).

If you would like to book tickets for either of the two shows above, please put your names down on the list on the Notice Board at rehearsals, or phone/email Tony Jay. Either way, you need to book by Tuesday 7 October 2014 at the latest.

JCS: New Rehearsal Schedule

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

At the company rehearsal on Tuesday 5 August, a new rehearsal schedule was handed out. Anybody who wasn’t at this rehearsal may download/print the new schedule below:

All cast should be sure to read this new schedule carefully, please, as there have been changes to various Tuesday and Thursday rehearsal dates. Thank you.

NODA - The National Operatic and Dramatic Association
Redditch Operatic Society is affiliated to the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA)












































Redditch Operatic Society

ROS - the area's biggest amateur operatic society and musical theatre group performing at the Palace Theatre in Redditch, Worcestershire

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