Historic murder trial focus of play in Brentwood

Brentwood Weekly News: Cast members from the Billericay Operatic Society Cast members from the Billericay Operatic Society

A HISTORIC murder trial well the main plotline of a musical production being brought to the Brentwood Theatre.

Members of the Billericay Operatic Society will perform Parade at the Shenfield Road venue for a series of shows between March 4 and 8.

Based on the true story of Leo Frank, the production looks at the trial in Atlanta, USA, of the factory boss accused of killing one of his staff, Mary Phagan.

The hearing was a hotly talked about news story of the era with Frank eventually sentenced to death despite protesting he did not carry out the murder.

Director Wayne Carpenter who also plays the lead role said the production is amazing.

Mr Carpenter said: “the story is heart wrenching at times and coupled with the highly emotive musical score, it has quickly become one of my favourite musicals.

“We knew it would be challenge, but after Fiddler we wanted to put on a less well known piece and tell the story of Leo Frank, almost 100 years after the actual events.”

When the musical was performed on Broadway in 1998, the show won two Tony Awards before being nominated for seven Laurence Olivier Awards ten years later after a West End run.

Society chairman Mark Clements said Parade is not your normal feel good musical but will prove to be thought provoaking.

“It is one of those shows that will have you thinking for days,” he said.

“It leaves you wanting to know more about the real events that form the basis of the musical.”

Tickets cost between £13.50 and £15.50 with shows starting each day at 7.30pm plus a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.

To book a seat, visit www.brentwood-theatre.org or call 01277 650672.

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