Pioneering Theatre, Music and Community Arts

 In Wolverhampton from 1980 to 2013

Wolverhampton

1982 - 2013

Zip Theatre gratefully

received support

from

Awarded the

Matrix Standard for

Independent

Advice & Guidance

“Excellent - from the first phone call to the curtain call!”

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Wolves - The Musical! Express & Star 30.09.91

Boundless enthusiasm is the key to success for Wolves the Musical. The Zip Theatre kicked off its three-night run at the Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton last night with a truly thrilling performance. The play charts the fortunes of the football club and the town during the past century.

And it proved to be a real winner as it took the audience from the boom Black Country, through two world wars up to the present day. Golden memories came flooding back as the great days of the club’s FA Cup triumphs and the Cullis era were recalled. The play also recounted some of the less memorable moments, such as the infamous Chorley match and the club’s hooligan problems.

There was music from all the different generations, from the Charleston to the big band sound, from rock ‘n’ roll to Beatlemania. The cast, mainly youngster from the Wolverhampton area, made up for any lack of experience with a zest that carried the show through to a triumphant result. They were backed by Zip Theatre’s own band, who turned in a solid performance, leaving the kids to steal the show.

Special praise has to go to Lesley Beaumont and Joe Fitzgerald, as Brian and Pauline, the central characters of the story. But the man-of-the-match award went to a woman, Dyll Ferreday, who played the villainous hooligan. The only disappointment was the size of the crowd, with the theatre just over half full.

But with the play running for a further two nights anyone wanting to back a real winner should get themselves a ticket. They will not be disappointed.

The Tipton Slasher

Mansfield Chronicle Advertiser 8.11.90 Sorry Tale of a Fallen Champion

Getting caught in a Mansfield Arts Centre time warp is a scary enough thought – but while having a drink in the foyer? Looking as if they were fresh from the pages of a Dickens novel, Zip Theatre Company’s cast of The Tipton Slasher brought theatre straight to the people last Thursday.

They filled the foyer with a lively warm-up of carnival side shows, games, songs and downright cheek to their aghast audience. Set in a Black Country world of dog fights, cock fights, bull fights and bare knuckle logic, The Tipton Slasher told the story of William Perry who made his fortune with his fists.

Getting his name from "the way his big arm came slashing round," Perry was the unchallenged Champion of All England – until this proud, deluded man came out of retirement. Zip Theatre skilfully build a picture of the champion and challenger’s rival camps, laced with humour but also a sense of sad foreboding which shrouds the ageing Perry.

The Slasher’s rash staking of all his worldly possessions on this final showdown – and losing – is tragic. Theatrical blood flows freely as he hits the floor for the last time, losing, what was to him, everything.

Watching the show was 77-year-old Mr Charles Perry, of Lansbury Gardens, Mansfield, a descendant of the Slasher himself. "He was a proper ruffian, but a legend around the Black Country," said Mr Perry. "He is not something I’m very proud of," he added.

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