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Am-dram group to perform first show written by legends

By Western Gazette - North Dorset  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

  • RISING STARS: Young members of The Company – West Coker who will be taking part in next week's production of The Likes of Us. Pictures by Len Copland

  • CENTRE STAGE: The story of Dr Barnardo will be brought to life by the West Coker group.

  • HOMEGROWN TALENT: The West Coker amateur dramatics group will next week perform the first ever show written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice when they were just 16.

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THE first collaboration between two musical West End legends will be brought to life by an amateur dramatics group near Yeovil.

Members of The Company – West Coker will stage their version of The Likes Of Us which was the first show written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice in 1965 when they were only 16.

It tells the story of Dr Thomas Barnado who provided shelter to homeless children in Victorian London. Shelved for 40 years, it was released to amateur dramatics groups a couple of years ago.

Lesley Boucher, show director, said: "The music is great and it is a perfect show for a small community theatre to perform. One of the reasons it was shelved was because it was set in the East End of London and as Lionel Bart's Oliver! was playing in the West End it was thought it really had little hope of being a commercial success. They went on to write a musical for a school, which ultimately became their first huge hit, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

The show's opening night is on Wednesday. Held in West Coker Commemoration Hall, the production will run until Saturday, November 24. Proceeds of Friday's performance will be donated to Dr Barnardos.

Tickets for the charity evening will cost £8 for adults and £4 for children. Admission for the other performances is £6 for adults and £3 for children.

Tickets can be purchased from West Coker Post Office and West Coker Garage.

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