There's a real buzz about St Albans Musical Theatre Company's Spelling Bee production

Rehearsals for SAMTC's upcoming show The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Rehearsals for St Albans Musical Theatre Company's upcoming show The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Abbey Theatre - Credit: SAMTC

There's a real buzz about St Albans Musical Theatre Company's next production.

Following the success of You Can’t Stop the Beat and Return to the Stage earlier this year as part of The Roman Theatre Open Air Festival, the award-winning SAMTC is delighted to be bringing The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee to the Abbey Theatre. 

Six awkward teenagers learn that winning (and losing) isn’t everything as they vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime.

This funny musical comedy offers a rollicking ride, as some very smart misfits – and audience members too – try to spell their way to the championship.

Rehearsals for SAMTC's upcoming show The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Rehearsals for St Albans Musical Theatre Company's upcoming show The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Abbey Theatre - Credit: SAMTC

The first time the show has been performed in this region, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was winner of the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, with fast-paced wit and humour guaranteed to leave audiences buzzing.

Rona Perretti (Nicola Martinus-Smith), a former Putnam County spelling champion herself, guides the spellers and audience volunteers through the Bee.

Nicola says: "Spelling Bee is one of my favourite shows and it's a real pleasure to be sharing the stage with such a tremendous company, to help bring this witty, hilarious and musically appetising show to life!"

Rehearsals for SAMTC's upcoming show The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Rehearsals for St Albans Musical Theatre Company's upcoming show The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Abbey Theatre - Credit: SAMTC

Most Read

Helping Rona to run the Bee is Vice Principal Douglas Panch (Matt Clothier), who returns after a five-year hiatus eager to redeem himself for past mistakes, along with 'comfort counsellor' Mitch Mahoney (Charlotte Gregory). 

Competing in this year’s Bee are last year’s winner Chip Tolentino (Ruaridh MacPhee), William Barfee (Alex Handley) whose magic foot helps him to spell, Olive Ostrovsky (Joanne Goddard), a shy girl with a love of words, Marcy Parks (Cate Brooks), the ultimate over-achiever, Logainne SchwartzandGrubenierre (Kerry Lee), the youngest competitor with strong political views, and Leaf Coneybear (Gareth Edwards), who makes all his own clothes.

Rehearsals for SAMTC's upcoming show The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Rehearsals for St Albans Musical Theatre Company's upcoming show The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Abbey Theatre - Credit: SAMTC

While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the eclectic group spell their way through a series of words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing ‘ding’ of the bell that signals a spelling mistake!

Also joining the cast are Logainne’s Dad, Carl (Martin Scott), an intensely competitive father, and Olive’s Mom (Sarah Dunning), an often-absent mother currently at an Ashram in India. 

Rehearsals for SAMTC's upcoming show The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Rehearsals for St Albans Musical Theatre Company's upcoming show The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Abbey Theatre - Credit: SAMTC

Director Elise Betts said: "I'm so excited to be working with SAMTC on such a special show.

"It’s amazing to have live theatre back and work with such a talented cast."

Elise is joined on the creative team by Clive Ogden as musical director and Andrea Campusano as choreographer. 

Rehearsals for SAMTC's upcoming show The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Rehearsals for St Albans Musical Theatre Company's upcoming show The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Abbey Theatre - Credit: SAMTC

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee runs at the Abbey Theatre from Tuesday, November 16 to Saturday, November 20, with evening performances at 7.45pm and a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. Wednesday evening and Saturday matinee will have socially-distanced audience seating. 

Tickets can be booked online at abbeytheatre.org.uk or via the box office 01727 857861. 

SAMTC advises that there are some themes in the show which may not be suitable for younger audiences.

For more information on St Albans Musical Theatre Company, visit www.SAMTC.org.uk

Rehearsals for SAMTC's upcoming show The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Rehearsals for St Albans Musical Theatre Company's upcoming show The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Abbey Theatre - Credit: SAMTC

Rehearsals for SAMTC's upcoming show The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Rehearsals for St Albans Musical Theatre Company's upcoming show The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Abbey Theatre - Credit: SAMTC


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter