For theatre... online, non-professional, amateur


SOUTHEND Operatic and Dramatic Society has cause for a double celebration this month.

Firstly, SODS is returning to the stage after two years when the company presents the family musical SCROOGE! at the Palace Theatre, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, from November 24-27.

Secondly, the show will be the 100th SODS has staged at the Edwardian theatre, and comes nearly a century after the society’s first production there.

“To say we’re excited to be treading the boards again is an understatement,” said SODS chairman Chris Iddiols. “It seems such a long time ago that we did Rent, but like so many other societies, COVID-19 put all our activities on ice.

“It was fantastic to be able to start rehearsals again this summer and now we can’t wait to get back on stage with SCROOGE!

“It’s packed with great songs, such as Thank You Very Much!, and lots of fun, but also has its darker moments, too.”

The show is closely based on the 1970 film Scrooge, starring Albert Finney, which was adapted from the classic Charles Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol.

Written by the late Leslie Bricusse OBE, who also wrote the music and lyrics, SCROOGE! tells the story of miserly money lender Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited by four spirits on Christmas Eve in a bid to get the skinflint to change his ways.

Scrooge is taken on a journey to his past, present and future on his path to redemption, accompanied by upbeat ensemble songs and hauntingly beautiful ballads.

SODS veteran Les Cannon plays Scrooge in a production directed by Jonny Buxton and Maddy Lahna, and choreographed by Sarah-Rose Dunn. The musical director is James Green, who will also be conducting the orchestra.

The society’s first show at Palace Theatre was the West End hit The Quaker Girl and opened on December 5, 1921. The musical comedy was such a success with audiences that SODS performed it on three other occasions over the years.

SODS continued staging productions at the Palace until 1970, when the society moved to the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend-on-Sea.

That theatre remained SODS’ home until April 2014, when the 131-year-old company returned to the Palace with La Cage Aux Folles.

SCROOGE! runs from November 24-27 at the Palace Theatre, London Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, with evening performances at 7.30pm. There are 2.30pm matinee performances on November 25 and 27.

Tickets are available from the box office on 0343 310 0030, or at

This amateur production of SCROOGE! is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals Ltd, SCROOGE! Book, Music and Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse.

  • : current/future_show
  • : 40932
  • : Palace Theatre, 430 London Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex.
  • : 24/11/2021
  • : SS09LA
  • : 27/11/2021
  • : east_of_england
  • : Book, Music and Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse
  • :
  • : £15-£26
  • : 03433100030