Actors to strip to save Sunderland operatic society

A dress rehearsal with a difference...Sunderland Amateur operatic Society members practise for their forthcoming production of The Full Monty. They are seen here, from left; Melanie King, Julie Carlin, Mark Armstrong, Olivia McCourt and Claire Jordan.

A dress rehearsal with a difference...Sunderland Amateur operatic Society members practise for their forthcoming production of The Full Monty. They are seen here, from left; Melanie King, Julie Carlin, Mark Armstrong, Olivia McCourt and Claire Jordan.

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STRIP off to save a Sunderland theatrical society which spans three centuries.

That’s the plea from members of Sunderland Amateur Operatic Society who are looking for budding actors as they gear up to reveal all for their next production.

It’s hoped that staging The Full Monty, based on the hit 1997 film in which unemployed men form a striptease act, will help to ease the society’s financial problems.

Committee member Peter Oliver said: “The society has been going for well over 100 years and it would be such a shame if it were to fold.

“We made a loss of £14,000 from our last couple of shows and it would be great to be able to raise that through this show and pay our creditors off.”

The society, which was founded in 1893, today has about 90 members who meet at the Deptford and Millfield Community Centre.

They have staged a range of musicals over the years and annually hold a show at the Sunderland Empire.

Peter added: “We were going to do The Likes of Us this year but after speaking to the Empire we chose the Full Monty because it’s a popular show.

“Calendar Girls is similar and that does really well. To be able to survive and to continue to stage shows at a venue like the Empire we need a show that attracts a bigger audience.”

To help the show be a success, the society is looking for actors to play a number of lead roles as well as chorus members.

Peter said: “We are especially looking for someone to play the role of Horse so we are looking for a black actor for this, as in the film.

“We also need a boy, who could play a character aged 12 to 14 years old, to play the role of Nathan.”

Auditions will take place on September 22 at St George’s Church, Stockton Road, Sunderland. Anyone interested in auditioning can email Melanie King on melanie1king@tiscali.co.uk

l The Full Monty will be staged at the Sunderland Empire from January 24-28. Tickets are £16. Tel. 0844 871 3022.

Twitter: @Sunechokaty