Chair Andy Hunt
Secretary Ros Hopkins
SMASH stages musical shows and plays and is an integral part of Solihull Methodist Church, where it rehearses and stages productions. For some years we also staged some major productions at the Dovehouse Theatre in Solihull, but we have now moved back to theatrespace, in the church. The group comes together when a production is planned.
SMASH was originally formed in 1988 to produce a one-off show (Follow the Star) to raise money towards the £1000 a year for three years which Solihull Methodist Church had promised to support a drop-in centre for homeless young people in Birmingham. One of the first things needed was a name, and so it was that Peter Stoakley suggested “SMASH” – Solihull Methodists Acting and Singing in Harmony.
The acclaim with which that first production was greeted assured SMASH of a life beyond the three year “High Spot” project and SMASH developed its own momentum.
Although fund raising is not our prime objective, we aim to cover our costs, and still donate our profits to charities and projects.
From the beginning, SMASH has been open to all and has encouraged the involvement of people in fellowship from both within and outside Solihull Methodist Church, through involvement in all aspects of the various productions – whether it be on or off stage, or even coming to watch! We encourage the involvement of all age groups from 7 to 70 (although nobody has yet owned up to being over 70!).
By bringing together the young and the not so young, friendships are made through common bonds; being a Bolshie or a Slimey, feeling unco-ordinated, sheer panic or simply appearing in public dressed as a tree.
SMASH occasionally offers items within worship, particularly in Carol Services. The very first year of SMASH saw music from Follow the Star sung as candles were lit around the church. Another year From a Distance was sung in candlelight. Born For Us All, the title song from our own musical was used to great effect in the 1992 Carol Service. The youngest ever SMASHer, Kathy, appeared as a newborn Jesus in Born for Us All, and was our own Special Baby that Christmas Day, when she was baptised.