Swanage group Allsort’d to stage first musical production

Already well known locally for its singing performances, Allsort’d – a group for young adults with learning difficulties – is all set to achieve the dream of putting on a musical at The Mowlem in Swanage.

The show, Eddie and Ellie is an original modern day version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, told through dance, songs and narration, written especially for them by Langton Matravers-based poet Jo Tatchell. The performance will be from 7 pm on Wednesday 5th April 2023 for one night only.

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Allsort'd musical production rehearsals at The Mowlem

Taking the leading roles of Ellie and Eddie

Modern day version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Allsort’d and friends tell the story of Eddie and Ellie living in the scenic coastal town of Swanage.

Family feuds make these two young people unlikely friends, not to mention their chosen paths in life. But despite the odds, Ellie and Eddie reunite their families without a drop of blood being lost.

The musical production will be signed for those with communication difficulties and live music will be provided by the band Phoenix Rock and Roll.

Allsort'd musical production rehearsals at The Mowlem
Allsort'd musical production rehearsals at The Mowlem

Final rehearsals are taking place on the stage at The Mowlem with producer and director Paula Kirk (far left)

“It’s been a lot of hard work”

Producing and directing the stage show is Paula Kirk who explained how it all came about:

“At Allsort’d we do a lot of things but it’s up to the group to say what social activities they’d like to undertake. That’s how the Allsort’d Signing Choir came about – a suggestion that has turned into a successful venture.

“So when it was asked what else they would like to do, the idea of a musical show came about. It’s been a lot of hard work but we’ve got there!”

Allsort'd musical production rehearsals at The Mowlem
Allsort'd musical production rehearsals at The Mowlem

Members of the Swanage women’s sea swimming group make a cameo appearance

“We’re so glad we got involved!”

Making a guest appearance and adding a little bit of extra glamour are members of the Swanage women’s sea swimming group.

Sea swimmer Rena Lang said:

“We were invited to join in and have been delighted to be able to contribute our bit to the scene about the sea. It’s been a lot of fun – we’re so glad we got involved!”

Allsort’d is a not-for-profit community interest company based at the Learning Centre at Durlston Country Park in Swanage.

Young adults with learning disabilities and associated difficulties receive bespoke support, learning more about travel, work, volunteering and leisure activities, which in turn, aims to boost independence and confidence.

Swanage Queen's Platinum Jubilee party
Timothy Crabb

Getting involved in lots of community events, the Allsort’d Signing Choir took part in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June 2022

Allsort'd carnival float
Allsort’d

Allsort’d also joined in the Swanage Carnival parade in 2022

A challenge but a great experience

The cast taking part in this show say that it’s been a challenge but a great experience and they’ve enjoyed the sense of all getting together to perform – oh and there’s been a lot of laughter!

So if anyone is free on the evening of Wednesday 5th April 2023 and they haven’t already got tickets, the cast say this performance is the one and only chance to see a really amazing show and if they don’t come, they will be missing out – big time!

Allsort'd publicising Eddie and Ellie on Purbeck Coast
Purbeck Coast

Invited into Purbeck Coast 101.2 FM to talk about the show. Left to right: Leading actor in the title role of Ellie, producer and director Paula Kirk and scriptwriter Jo Tatchell

Further information

  • All proceeds from the performance will go to the charity that supports young people’s mental health #Willdoes, The Memory Cafe for those living with dementia, and Allsort’d
  • Tickets can be booked via The Mowlem website

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