The right moves

Kevin Gilroy (standing), Marie Swann (seated left) and Amanda Linney (seated right).
Kevin Gilroy (standing), Marie Swann (seated left) and Amanda Linney (seated right).

IN just four weeks, Blyth Music and Theatre Company will be staging its most ambitious musical production to date – Chess – at the town’s Phoenix Theatre.

This follows months of dedication and hard work, by producer Jackie Grey, musical director Bob Crabtree, rehearsal accompanist Peter Robertson, a talented cast of principals and experienced chorus members.

Chess is set against the backdrop of the Cold War.

Intrigue and politics interweave with a story of love lost and won during a chess tournament between American and Russian champions.

Lyrics and music are by the legendary Tim Rice, and Benny Andersson and Bjorn Alvaeus (of Abba fame).

Three of the principals are making their debut with the company, although each has a vast store of experience in the musical and acting world.

In the role of Florence Vassey is Marie Swann.

Marie has a degree in acting, is a member of Inspiration, a choir at the Sage, Gateshead, and is also a jazz soloist.

She has appeared with Whitley Bay Operatic Society and more recently Day Eight, for whom she played the role of Mary in Jesus Christ Superstar.

Marie works as a reception class teacher at Moorside Primary School.

Kevin Gilroy plays Freddie Trumper, a role he has always coveted.

He has appeared for Whitley Bay Operatic Society, West End Operatic Society in Newcastle, and is a member of the choir Sing Live at the City Hall, Newcastle.

With this choir he has appeared at the Royal Albert Hall and the Sheffield Arena.

In the role of Svetlana is Amanda Linney.

Amanda, a teacher at Whytrig Middle School, Seaton Delaval, plays classical guitar and flute, and has been a member of the Phoenix Theatre since the age of ten.

She has appeared mainly in panto and Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, and Svetlana is her first major singing and acting role.

Chess opens on Monday, March 7 and runs until Saturday, March 12.

Tickets are available from the Phoenix Theatre Box Office, open Monday to Saturday 10am to 12.30pm, call (01670) 367228, or online from