Shrewsbury Amateur Operatic Society - an award winning society

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Goodbye Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Well even the most optimistic of SAOS members had doubts we could pull it off. The level of technical difficulties would have worried NASA engineers. Even experienced triathletes would have struggled to find the energy to make it past the Friday night. [The Diva’s nearly didn’t following the “Winchgate scandal”]. But somehow, between the 3rd and the 6th of October, we didn’t just perform ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ we brought the audience along with us in a fiesta come festival atmosphere that whipped them into a frenzy of singing and dancing. How often do shows in the best theatres in the country end with the audience singing and dancing in the isles and rewarding the actors and crew with standing ovations every night - even on the matinee!

Granted we did have the unflappable Andy Poulton as director, the verbose virtuoso Matt Hall as Musical Director and the ever patient and professional Debbie Ashford as choreographer - in addition to most of the usual backstage wizards. So perhaps we should haven’t worried but … it was cutting things close.

So we hope that if you managed to see the show, or were involved, that you enjoyed it as much as the audiences seemed to. Certainly some of you did as here are some quotes:

  • What a brilliant show!” Having only decided to come at the last minute.. I was so glad I didn't miss that last performance”
  • “I would go so far as to say it was one of the best shows I've seen at the theatre”
  • “The whole cast and accompanying musicians and back stage helpers deserve a huge congratulations”
  • ”brilliant choreography”
  • “Just brilliant, all of it. What a great night!”

So now we look ahead to something rather different. A show so popular that copyright restrictions make local productions uncommon. A show of metaphorically, and literally, biblical proportions. None other of course than Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. We can’t wait to beard up and get on with rehearsals in January 2019. Show time in June. See you then!

Lots of smiles and hugs when Nancy met Nancy

Jodie Prenger, who played Nancy in the Cameron Mackintosh West End revival of Oliver! was ‘thrilled’ to meet Deborah  Owen who had been cast as Nancy with SAOS. Only days after auditioning and hearing she had got the part, Deborah  was ‘over the moon’ to have the opportunity of a chat with Jodie whom she has ‘admired enormously’ for her role in the West End having won I’d Do Anything in 2009.

Just prior to taking to the Theatre Severn stage where she starred as Shirley Valentine, Jodie took time out to discuss the role of Nancy with Deborah. She was given a tip or two from Jodie who told her:  “Enjoy the role and have fun.  I had so much fun with the kids with whom I laughed and played games.  “I was always petrified before going on, but once on stage, I felt completely at home.  Nancy, deep down, is insecure, but one thing I learnt was if you can sing from the heart Nancy shines.”

The SAOS Oscars

“Wow! Is this real? I’d like to thank you all for this unexpected honour. I have been dreaming about this ever since I joined the Society …….. Well, thank you again and congratulations to the other nominees, even though you lost!



A fantastic evening was had by all at our annual Quiz Night. There was laughter, thoughtful silence, a lot of head scratching and a bit of inter-team banter, and that was only on the second round. We look forward to our 2018 quiz when our President will once again be the Quizmaster.

SAOS Quiz  

Bowling Night

Cast members of A Tale of Two Cities at our After Show Party at AMF Bowling, Shrewsbury. A brilliant night of Ten Pin Bowling was had with lots of competition between members, but mostly loads of fun and laughter.