With few reasons to celebrate this autumn, Barnstaple Musical Comedy promises to warm things up with a large dose of pre-Christmas cheer with their latest annual production, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, which takes to the stage at Barnstaple's Queen'

With few reasons to celebrate this autumn, Barnstaple Musical Comedy promises to warm things up with a large dose of pre-Christmas cheer with their latest annual production, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, which takes to the stage at Barnstaple's Queen's Theatre later this month.This fast-moving, foot-tapping musical, packed with well known tunes from the 1954 film of the same name, which starred Howard Keel and Jane Powell is set in the 1850 Oregon Mountains. "This is the first time for 17 years the show has been performed in Barnstaple," says company chairman Kev Behan, "so we thought it high time we gave it an airing."One of the biggest challenges was to attract enough men to play the seven Pontipee brothers, and the additional nine others required to stage the show. We are delighted to have achieved this, and the lads are working 'their butts off' to create the individual characteristics and perfect the dance routines which have come to epitomise the film." The leading female role of Milly is to be taken by Jo Wood, a regular on the North Devon stage, who was last seen with this Barnstaple society in 1998 playing Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Adam Pontipee, the eldest of the seven brothers, is being played by Stu McManus, a newcomer to the Barnstaple stage, who still admits to having to pinch himself at the reality of landing this demanding role.The six brides and the three members of the ladies chorus complete the cast, all of whom have been seen on the local stage over the last 12 months.Kev Behan, who also directs for the company, is once again at the helm of the production team alongside Maralyn Williamson and Malcolm Read. Maralyn, who runs her own dance academy in South Molton, is charged with creating exciting and innovative choreography, while tailoring the dances to the abilities of the hardworking cast. Malcolm Read, now in his 10th year as musical director for the company, will conduct a 16-piece orchestra with full string section, and promising to do what is neccessary to do justice to this Oscar-winning score.The show is at the Queen's Theatre, Wednesday to Saturday, November 19 to 22, nightly at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. For tickets call the Queen's Theatre box office on (01271) 324242 or on-line at www.northdevontheatres.org.ukwww.northdevon.gov.uk