AN actor and director has praised the collaborative spirit of Warrington’s am dram scene as he prepares to step on stage for Spamalot.

Seb Farrell, a former St Gregory’s RC High School student, is a member of numerous theatre groups in the area and has recently teamed up with the award-winning Zodiac, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in May.

The 35-year-old will play Galahad in the company’s production of Spamalot at The Brindley in Runcorn from March 26 to 30.

He said: “I’m fairly new to Zodiac but they’re a close-knit group who are really passionate about performing, the area and putting on really good shows.”

Seb, who recently directed The Wedding Singer for Centenary Theatre Company, reckons perceived boundaries between groups are starting to disappear.

He added: “What’s happened recently is we have these NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association) Awards and Warrington and Frodsham and the north west generally – with the exception of Manchester and Liverpool – fall into ‘district 8’.

“Having worked in a lot of am dram productions in district 8, what’s been nice is that a lot of the societies are integrating with other groups more and more.

“So although you’ll get your hardcore members of one group – Anita is a good example, she has been at Centenary for 58 years and is proud of that – quite a lot of younger ones now will flit from group to group depending on what show they’re doing and what sort of experience they have in different groups.

“There used to be big boundaries between the societies, now it seems a bit more fluid and what’s good is that means the audiences are growing for all of them.

“So I’m doing this with Zodiac, I’m currently directing Animal Farm for a company called First Act Drama Tuition in Warrington, I’m playing Mr Toad in Encore’s production of Wind in the Willows and I’m also directing Footloose for a Manchester Musical Youth.

“There’s quite a lot of groups out there and you don’t have to stick with one. You can get different experiences with different groups.”

So how does Seb, who works as a fundraising manager for Child Bereavement UK, fit it all in?

He said: “I’m out pretty much every night. My job is fundraising and communications where people are asking me things all the time and when I was directing I was going from the day job to everyone asking me about the stage clothes, the props, the set, the music.

“That gets exhausting but when you’re performing your job is to learn the lines, do a good performance and just enjoy yourself.”

Spamalot is Eric Idle’s musical, ‘lovingly ripped off from Monty Python and the Holy Grail’. So expect more of King Arthur’s quest for the Grail via dancing girls, flatulent Frenchmen, and killer rabbits.

Seb, who grew up in Old Hall and later Penketh, added: “I went to watch it when it first came out with Tim Curry and I just remember falling off my seat laughing. It’s ridiculous. Every scene has got two or three belly laughs in.

“It’s classic Monty Python, there are some scenes where it’s like a 30s MGM musical and there’s scenes where there’s rhumba and all different kinds of dance in it. There’s a loose plot threading it all together but it’s basically all the best bits of all the Monty Python sketches put into one big musical. It’s just a hoot. It’s a great night out.”

The Zodiac will present Spamalot at The Brindley in Runcorn from March 26 to 30. Visit