ACTORS, actresses and doyens of the theatre world descended on Sandwell for a gala dinner dance celebrating Oldbury Repertory Theatre's 75th anniversary.

Members and supporters attended the event at Sandwell Golf Club including life member, David Ashley, who flew in from Spain for the celebration.

He said: "Oldbury Rep has meant so much to me over the years and it was wonderful to see so many of my old friends and meet the new generation of ORP performers.

Another notable guest was actor Andrew Burt, who appeared in many BBC dramas in the 1970’s and 1980’s and began his career at Oldbury Rep.

Oldbury Rep chairman and founding member, Doreen Bastaple, said: "The evening was a great occasion and I hope that the adventure which began in 1939 would continue forever."

Theatre and film legend Sir Ian McKellan sent his apologies for missing the event.

He said: "I am far away in New York with Beckett and Pinter but sending congratulations on your 75th birthday.

"To all those involved on stage, back stage and front of house at the Barlow Theatre, good wishes for another successful year."

The Rep’s next production is Underneath the Arches, which is a celebration of two of Britain’s most popular wartime entertainers Bud Flanagan and Chesney Allen.

There will be songs and sketches hailing their successful association with The Crazy Gang.

The production runs from Saturday, July 5 until Saturday, July 12 with performances starting at 7.30pmand a matinee performance at 2.30pm on July 12.

For more information phone 0121 552 2761 or visit