Barrow Amateur Dramatic and Operative Society has put on some incredible shows over the years and The Mail has been there to record them.

In May 1992, the society performed Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s Little Shop of Horrors at Forum 28.

Set in a Skid Row florist’s shop, the show, said The Mail, was a delightful send up of the late 1950s and early 60s culture.

The Mail:

It featured rock music played by a six-piece band instead of the usual orchestra and backing vocals by four three-piece female groups in Ronettes mode and a line-up of ‘do-wop-shawaddy-waddy’ men.

The set construction team, led by Martin Craig, had created a superb Skid Row with a revolving stage as Mr Mushnik’s florists, which housed the vicious man-eating plant Audrey II.

The Mail:

A year earlier in 1991, Forum 28 was transformed into a glamorous ocean liner for Barrow Amateur’s exuberant production of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes.

The Mail’s reviewer said that Julie Lloyd gave ‘a bubbling Mae West of a performance as nightclub singer and ex-evangelist Reno Sweeney, belting out her numbers and timing her comedy faultlessly’. She was supported by the Angels, who sang beautifully.

The Mail:

Steve Carrick was described a ‘loveable as ever as Billy Crocker’, while Tony Flanagan played Moonface Martin ‘with assurance and wit’.

There was also praise for Jane France and Roy Sharpe in their roles.

American accents were ‘spot on’.

Costume designers Julie Lloyd, Barbara Calvert and Sheila Thorne were singled out for special mention for the beautifully co-ordinated tableaux they had created.

The Mail:

In 1988, Barrow Amateurs brought Sweeney Todd to the Civic Hall stage. The reviewer noted that Julie Lloyd was magnificent as the greedy pie maker Mrs Lovett – she was spot on every time with her musical numbers and characterisation.

Steve Carrick played the menacing Sweeney, Martin Craig was Tobias, Judith Barrow was the poor beggar woman and Steve Shaw played Beadle.