The stage is set…

Given that their shows are all about speech and music – with the occasional bit of drama thrown in – how appropriate that the Girls Around Town are starting the new year this Sunday discussing a festival dedicated to those very things!

And even more appropriate that Rachel, who’ll be joining June as co-presenter, is one of the trustees of the organisation behind the event.

As is this weekend’s guest Lucy Kitchen, who’ll be in the studio to talk about the 22nd Wolfit Festival of Drama, Music and Verse Speaking, which takes place here in Newark next month…

Named after Sir Donald Wolfit, who was born in Balderton and made his first appearance at The Robin Hood Theatre in Averham, the Wolfit Endowment Fund was established to support drama students who live in Newark or Balderton or attend schools there.

Its annual festival, which this year takes place between Thursday 26 and Sunday 29 March, is an opportunity for entrants of all ages to showcase their music, drama and speaking skills in a total of 36 different classes which range from school and church choirs to barbershop groups, duets to dramatic dialogue and Shakespeare solos to choral verse speaking.

Tune in to 107.8FM or listen online between 10am and 12 noon on Sunday to learn more from Lucy, who will also be sharing details of the Festival Showcase which takes place Tuesday 31 March.

And, with the closing date for entries approaching fast, how to get in touch if you want to take part this year…

A different kind of drama queen

When you call someone a ‘drama queen’, it’s pretty safe to say you’re not usually paying her a compliment.

But use the same two words to describe next week’s Girls Around Town guest and they take on a completely different meaning.

After teaching thousands of youngsters and with several plays and musicals to her name, there’s no doubt that Carolyn Drury is a leading contender for the title of the Drama Queen of Newark, where she’s lived and worked for most of her life.

She’ll be joining June and Rachel in the studio on Sunday morning to talk about a career that has spanned several decades. A career that, even at the age of 74, is far from over…

Tune or listen online between 10am and 12 noon to find out how Carolyn went from training as an actress herself to mentoring aspiring young performers through the NITS programme and what’s in the pipeline now she’s retired from teaching to concentrate on writing for the stage.

“Although I’ve always enjoyed writing, between working and bringing up my family I struggled to find the time,” she says. “But now I feel that this is my time at last.

“And I’ve no concerns about coming up with new ideas for material – my imagination is the only muscle that still works!”