Rick steps in to save operatic show

Cleckheaton and Spenborough Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society do Sunset Boulevard
Cleckheaton and Spenborough Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society do Sunset Boulevard
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A local operatic group will be among the first amateurs in the country to perform a classic Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical.

Cleckheaton and Spenborough Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society are staging Sunset Boulevard at Cleckheaton town hall from November 17-21, despite a number of setbacks which put the show’s success in jeopardy.

Star actress Angela Buffham-Wheeler was nearly forced to pull out with severe back pain and the leading man withdrew just three weeks before the opening night. As only three amateur productions have taken place so far, the cast faced a challenge to find someone with experience of the role before eventually settling on Halifax-based Rick Whyte.

The production is based on the popular 1950 film and has run in the West End since 1993. The plot revolves around Norma Desmond, a faded star of the silent movie era who lives in a decaying mansion on the famous Hollywood street. When she meets young screen-writer Joe Gillis, she spots an opportunity to make a comeback, and romance and tragedy follow.

“Rick came along to rehearsals just one week ago when he was handed the script and score and within four rehearsals, he is now working without looking at either. The society are indebted to him and hope the public will come along and support him,” said Judith Morris from the society.

The show begins at 7.15pm each day with a 2.15pm matinee on the Saturday.