THEATRE fans can’t wait for the next big show from Abbey Musical Society and the stage at the Forum will be getting ready to shake for Shrek the Musical.

To mark the event we are taking a look back to a pair of equally popular shows by the society thanks to pictures from The Mail archive.

The latest show can be seen from Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 20, at7.30pm with Saturday, March 21, having performances at 10am, 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

In March 2000 actor Andrew Bond was in training for the a return to the demanding role of circus showman Phineas Taylor Barnum after a six-year break.

The Mail, on Thursday, March 9 in 2000, noted: “It requires him to perform a number of circus acts which include juggling, tight-rope walking, web rope work and some spectacular leaps.

“Andrew and Heather Collinge, who plays Barnum’s wife Charity, are the only two members of the cast with the same parts as last time Abbey did the show.

“They have been joined by a few of the town’s gymnasts and sportspeople who enjoy a piece of the action.”

Mr Bond said: “The skills the society members learn for this show are always valuable. They could be used again in lots of other shows.”

The 2002 show was Wuthering Heights and the Forum show formed the British amateur musical theatre premiere of this Emily Bronte story which was already famous from the book and adaptions for film and TV.

It had been given a musical twist by Bernard Taylor but retained the windswept setting of the Yorkshire Moors to depict the love of Cathy Earnshaw for Heathcliff, the starving city boy raised by her father.

The Mail, on Monday, March 18 in 2002, noted: “The cast will include Tony Smith, who starred in the society’s production of Scrooge, as Mr Earnshaw.

“The young Cathy will be played by Sasha Bell, from the cast of Furness Youth Theatre’s Peter Pan, and Jack Hawitt, from Walney Junior Operatic Society’s production of Bugsy Malone, will play the young Heathcliff.”