By Tristan Harris Thursday 24 October 2013 Updated: 25/10 00:44
THERE were plenty of firsts from Rubery Drama Group as it took to the stage to put on its latest production Dick Barton Special Agent.
It was the first time the group had incorporated songs sang by the cast, the first time actors had performed dance routines and the first time there had been live music - played on the night by Helen Eyre.
The play centred around Dick Barton whose 1940s wireless radio show used to literally clear Britain's streets of children as they would all dash home to listen to the show. They would tune in to hear him solve crimes, escape dangerous situations and save the free world on numerous occasions.
You could tell by the performance this was a fun show for the group to do, even if the singing and dancing provided new challenges.
The comedy songs were one of many highlights of the evening, with funny lyrics set to well-known tunes, including Rule Britannia and Nessun Dorma. The pick of them was Everything Stops For Tea which was very well done and brought a lot of laughs.
Ian Kimberley-Ryan put on a tremendous and energetic portrayal as hero Dick Barton and Paula Hogarth was great as evil temptress Marta Heartburn.
Other strong showings came from George Cochrane in several different roles and Paul Harris as Baron Scarheart.
Bob Sawyer, whose idea it was to put on Dick Barton, managed to direct it, keep things ticking over as the BBC announcer who narrated the 'cliffhangers' and even found time to play Colonel Gardner from British intelligence.
The simple set also complemented the action on stage by giving it a 'dated 1940s feel'.
Add to that plenty of classic British naughtiness provided by plenty of double entendre and innuendo and this play really did have something for everyone.
It brought back memories for those who used to listen to Dick Barton's radio show and it gave those not old enough to remember it an interesting insight of what this iconic show was like.
The remaining performances at Beacon Church Centre, Whetty Lane, take place at 7.30pm on Friday (October 25) and Saturday (October 26).
Tickets, which are £6 (£5.50 concessions) are available by calling 0121 453 8733 and 0121 445 2323.
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