Mother and son Gus and Clare Wade performing in Billy Elliot. Picture: Robert Yardley

Lichfield’s award-winning operatic society is pulling out all the stops to make its next production a real blockbuster.

Mother and son Gus and Clare Wade performing in Billy Elliot. Picture: Robert Yardley

West End Now! is the show and Lichfield Operatic Society members are having a ball rehearsing some fabulous numbers from shows currently running in London’s premier theatre district.

When the company decided to do a compilation show, long-standing society member Brian Smith volunteered to devise the show and set about finding the right numbers from the scores of musicals playing in the capital.

With Director Martin Rainsford, Musical Director David Easto and Choreographer Jemma Tiso, Brian trawled through 37 shows, deciding 20 were suitable and the four eventually settled on 12 shows and 45 musical numbers.

The shows include Blood Brothers, The Lion King, Jersey Boys, Love Never Dies, We Will Rock You and, in its 25th Year, a tribute to Les Miserables, so there’s something to suit all musical tastes.

Brian said: “My idea was to pay tribute to the West End by showcasing current musicals and giving our audiences a taste so that they might be encouraged to go and see them. Compilation shows also give singers the opportunity to perform solo pieces and some will be performing on their own for the first time. There are more than 20 soloists out of a cast of 50.”

Popular Lichfield singer and compere Craig Allen will act as link-man to keep the audiences informed about each of the shows.

Lichfield Operatic was the winner of a National Operatic and Dramatic Association Award and The Friends of the Lichfield Garrick Award for Best Musical 2010 for Jekyll and Hyde.

West End Now! runs at the Lichfield Garrick from November 1 to 5 at 7.30pm plus a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. For tickets call 01543 412121 or book online at