CHART THE RISE OF A VOCAL LEGEND IN TOM. A STORY OF TOM JONES. THE MUSICAL AT THE LYCEUM

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CHART THE RISE OF A VOCAL LEGEND IN TOM. A STORY OF TOM JONES. THE MUSICAL

AT THE LYCEUM

Hear the story of the Voice of the Valleys in TOM. A Story of Tom Jones. The Musical at the Lyceum Theatre from Tuesday 12 – Saturday 16 April.

 

TOM.  A Story of Tom Jones. The Musical.  Kit Orton %27Tom%27. Photo by Simon Gough (4)Step back in time to the dance halls, working men’s clubs and recording studios of the ‘60s where the legend of Tom Jones was born: a Valleys boy with a heart-stopping voice who dreamed of making the big time, no matter what it took.

This inspirational story of self-belief and determination is performed live on stage by a phenomenal cast of actors and musicians, celebrating an ordinary man with an extraordinary talent who became a superstar on a world stage.

Featuring hits of the era including ‘Ghost Riders in the Sky’, ‘Spanish Harlem’ and ‘Lucille’, we track Tom’s climb to stardom. Ending with some the hits that made him one of the most charismatic stars of the day: ‘It’s Not Unusual’, ‘Delilah’, ‘Green, Green Grass of Home’, ‘What’s New Pussycat’ and more.

TOM. A Story of Tom Jones. The Musical is at the Lyceum Theatre from Tuesday 12 – Saturday 16 April.  Tickets can be purchased from Sheffield Theatres’ Box Office in-person, by phone on 0114 249 6000 or online at sheffieldtheatres.co.uk and are priced from £19.00 – £35.00 (a transaction fee of £1.50 (£1.00 online) applies to all bookings made at the Box Office, excluding cash).  Family tickets and discounts are available.

PAINES PLOUGH ANNOUNCE FULL PROGRAMME 2016

  • PAINES PLOUGH ANNOUNCE FULL PROGRAMME 2016

  • ROUNDABOUT 2016 FEATURES THREE WORLD PREMIERES OPENING AT THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE AND TOURING NATIONWIDE
  • BROKEN BISCUITS, A NEW PLAY BY TOM WELLS, IN A CO-PRODUCTION WITH LIVE THEATRE, PREMIERES IN NEWCASTLE BEFORE EMBARKING ON A NATIONAL TOUR
  • WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK TOURS TO 29 VENUES NATIONWIDE PRIOR TO A RUN AT LONDON’S ROUNDHOUSE
  • FOLLOWING AN INTERNATIONAL TOUR EVERY BRILLIANT THING RETURNS TO EDINBURGH PRIOR TO AN AUTUMN TOUR
  • COME TO WHERE I’M FROM: LONDON WILL PLAY ACROSS THE CAPITAL FROM 6 – 12 JUNE FEATURING 30 PLAYWRIGHTS

Artistic Directors of Paines Plough James Grieve and George Perrin today announced the company’s full Programme 2016.

James Grieve and George Perrin said today: “We’re raring to hit the road to the four corners of the UK with this cracking programme of new plays from some of the most exciting writers around. Roundabout will pop-up across the country with comedies from Luke Norris and Alan Harris, a superhero tale for children from Katie Douglas and a host of events from international visiting companies and local community groups, bringing a festival feel to every place it visits. We’re honoured to be working with talents as innovative as Sabrina Mahfouz – whose UK Garage musical is theatre you can rave to – and Tom Wells whose heart-warming new play will delight fans of his previous Paines Plough hit Jumpers For Goalposts. With Every Brilliant Thing returning to the UK after an international tour, London stories in Come To Where I’m From and new plays from Elinor Cook, Nathan Bryon, Lucy Gillespie, there’s a play for everyone, everywhere in Programme 2016.”

Paines Plough presents
ROUNDABOUT

2016 sees the return of Roundabout, Paines Plough’s award-winning portable in-the-round auditorium. The Roundabout season will preview from 19 – 24 July at Hackney Showroom in London before taking up residency once again at Summerhall during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 4 – 29 August.

In rep will be three World Premieres:

A Paines Plough, Sherman Cymru and Theatr Clwyd production
Love, Lies and Taxidermy
By Alan Harris

This is a boy meets girl story. Son of a Polish taxidermist meets daughter of a failing ice cream salesman. At a medical research facility in Merthyr Tydfil. First date in Tesco and things are going well.

But it’s difficult to fall in love when your parents need saving from themselves, their weird hobbies and the threat of a prison sentence.

An offbeat love story about Mr. Tutti Frutti, a stuffed owl and the struggle to fit in from writer Alan Harris (BBC Radio 4, National Theatre Wales, Sherman Cymru).

A Paines Plough production
Growth
By Luke Norris

“That? That’s. I mean.

Yeah.

It’s a lump in a bag of lumps.

I mean.

It’s normal.”

Tobes is young, free and having a ball. Off.

He’s successfully ignored his lump for two years but it’s starting to get in the way. Cramping his style and worse than that – affecting his sex life. So now there are pants to be dropped, and decisions to be made…  It’s a real ball ache.

Growth is a comedy about growing up and manning up from rising star Luke Norris (So Here We Are, Royal Exchange; Goodbye To All That, Royal Court).

A Paines Plough and Half Moon production
I Got Superpowers For My Birthday
By Katie Douglas

Ethan, William and Fiona are about as different as three almost-teens can be. The only thing they have in common is that tomorrow is their birthday. And they’ve just discovered they have superpowers.

Which is lucky because someone needs to protect the world from The Darkness. An evil overlord with plans to turn everything to ice.

Join our three heroes on an epic quest to save the planet in this brand new play for ages 7+ from award winning writer Katie Douglas.

Roundabout will again host a programme of visiting companies at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and on tour, and see the return of EARLIER / LATER, Paines Plough’s early morning and late night series of one-off shows, events, workshops and more.

Following the run in Hackney and Edinburgh, Roundabout will tour to Salford, Cornwall, Margate, Lincoln, Kendal, Barnsley, Stoke and Luton.

***

A Paines Plough and Live Theatre production
Broken Biscuits
By Tom Wells

In October 2016, Paines Plough and Live Theatre Newcastle will premiere Broken Biscuits a new production written by Tom Wells. The production is a very funny and heart-warming coming-of-age story about three teenagers who decide to form a band. The production will premiere at Live Theatre in Autumn 2016 before embarking on a UK tour. Full tour dates and casting forBroken Biscuits will be announced in due course.

***

A Paines Plough and Latitude Festival production
With A Little Bit of Luck
By Sabrina Mahufou 

Following the current UK tour Sabrina Mahufouz’s play-come-gig With A Little Bit of Luck will come to The Roundhouse from 14-18 June as part of The Last Word Festival. Originally commissioned for a festival audience, With A Little Bit Of Luck premiered to standing ovations at Latitude Festival in 2015. The production features Seroca Davis as Nadia alongside the vocal talents of Martyna Baker and musician Gabriel Benn, directed by Stef O’Driscoll.

Produced by Paines Plough and Latitude Festival, With A Little Bit of Luck is rhythmically underscored by a live mix of old school UK Garage as award-winning writer Sabrina Mahfouz explores the legacy of a cultural movement that defined the hopes of a generation.

***

A Paines Plough and Pentabus Theatre Company production
Every Brilliant Thing
By Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe

Following an international tour, the hugely acclaimed Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe will embark on its third nationwide tour in autumn 2016. A play about depression and the lengths we go to for those we love which has won plaudits around the world, Every Brilliant Thing will return to the UK in September visiting Maidstone, Alton, Worthing, Corsham, Aldershot, Preston, Berwick, Selby, Taunton, Isle of Wight, Dorchester, Chichester, Lincoln and Otley.

***

A Paines Plough and Tamasha production
Come To Where I’m From: London

Since 2010, Paines Plough’s nationwide project Come To Where I’m From has seen more than 100 playwrights across the UK perform pieces in and about the places which have shaped them. From 6 – 12 June Paines Plough will partner with new writing theatre company Tamasha to present Come To Where I’m From: London in which writers from across London will perform plays about their area in a series of live events across the city. The full programme of playwrights and participating venues will be announced in due course.

Homophobia in rugby is addressed in Odd Shaped Balls at the Old Red Lion

Plane Paper Theatre presents:

ODD SHAPED BALLS
May 31st – June 25th 2016, Old Red Lion Theatre

“His name is Jimmy Hall. He plays with odd shaped balls. So put your bums against the wall, here comes Jimmy Hall…”

Rugby player James Hall has the world at his feet. But when his biggest secret is revealed, his whole life begins to crumble around him, and James must decide if he has the courage not only to be true to himself, but also to be a role model for others. Odd Shaped Balls is a funny and poignant one man show that raises awareness of issues surrounding homosexuality in sport and ultimately asks the question: how would you feel if your sexuality prevented you from playing the sport you loved?’

***** “a stunning play” (Broadway Baby)

Deciding the right time to come out can be a tough decision for anyone, but for those in the limelight in can be even more daunting. The decision can be entangled with fears of homophobic abuse and negative reactions from their teammates. In a recent study of over 9500 participants, only 1% of lesbian, gay and bi-sexual respondents felt they were fully accepted within sporting culture. Director Andrew Twyman says: “Odd Shaped Balls doesn’t just confront homophobia in sport, it stands up and shouts, lays bare every nuance of locker-room culture.” With the overwhelming support rugby star’s Sam Stanley and Keegan Hirst received when they came out last year, as well as the release of the Scottish LGBT Sports Charter last May, now has never been a better time for Odd Shaped Balls.

“a clever, thought provoking play superbly executed by this young, vibrant company” (Beverley Guardian)

Plane Paper Theatre is proud to transfer Odd Shaped Balls to the Old Red Lion after a successful run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015. Plane Paper Theatre is a young, vibrant company dedicated to creating a platform for emerging theatre makers to develop and produce original work that explores interesting questions and themes. They recently produced Don’t Smoke in Bed at the Finborough Theatre, and are Live Theatre’s Associate Artists for 2016.

“(Plane Paper) certainly deserve praise and it is easy to see why the play was chosen for programming now” (A Younger Theatre on Don’t Smoke in Bed)

National Theatre Wales announce new play Before I Leave

b6cb345d532ffe4d_orgCHOIRS TO TAKE CENTRE STAGE IN NATIONAL THEATRE WALES’

BEFORE I LEAVE

THE COMPANY’S NEXT PRODUCTION IS WRITTEN BY PATRICK JONES AND DIRECTED BY OLIVIER-NOMINATED MATTHEW DUNSTER, AND WILL CELEBRATE THE GROWING NUMBER OF DEMENTIA CHOIRS IN WALES

National Theatre Wales’ next production, Before I Leave, will be a moving and uplifting production written by Patrick Jones and directed by Matthew Dunster (who directed the multi-award-winning Mametz for NTW in June 2014). It will feature covers of well-known songs by artists ranging from Tom Jones to the Sex Pistols, plus a new song by Nicky Wire and James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers, and will be performed at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff.

Before I Leave is inspired by Patrick’s work with the Cwm Taf choir in Merthyr, which is supported by the Alzheimer’s Society. Its members have shared much of their time and experiences with Patrick, helping him to write a play that is both a celebration of the restorative, co-operative joys of choir singing and a call to arms for a renewed sense of collective responsibility. Touching on the current, urgent calls for better mental health care as well as battles as far back as the miners’ strike, this angry but ultimately heartwarming production wears its politics on its sleeves, but marches to the beat of some of our best-loved songs.

In Merthyr, people who are losing themselves find each other in a choir for individuals living with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Joe is too young, this shouldn’t be happening to him; Dyanne battles to hold on to the man she married.
Evan and Rocky fight a 30-year-old fight – the miners’ strike may be long gone, but the scars remain as the memories jumble and fade.
Ex-librarian and mezzo-soprano Marge has lost her voice. Perhaps only the choir can help her get it back.
And Isabelle won’t let her spirit be locked away and forgotten in a care home that she thinks doesn’t care at all.

The company are recruiting a community choir of singers aged 65+ who will sing a repertoire of well-known songs ranging from Johnny Cash to Queen, in the production. The professional cast of 12 actors is to be announced.

Before I Leave is part of Festival of Voice – a new international arts festival in Cardiff this June. Created by Wales Millennium Centre and supported by Colwinston Charitable Trust, the Arts Council of Wales and Cardiff Council. For more information, go to: https://festivalofvoice.wales

I’ll Sing This Song

Alongside the production, National Theatre Wales TEAM* with the kind support of the Baring Foundation and four lead artists, are working with three choirs of singers with dementia across Wales, in a project called I’ll Sing This Song.
Before I Leave’s writer Patrick Jones has teamed up with filmmaker Kym Epton, photographer and designer Paul Thomas and musician Ben Tinniswood to teach existing dementia choirs in Wrexham, Barry and Brecon to sing I’ll Sing This Song (the new song written by Nicky Wire and James Dean Bradfield for the production).
The team will make a short film about the choirs’ experience, which it is hoped will become a useful digital resource for other choirs with dementia.
Patrick will continue to work with all three choirs after the production has closed, on songs of their choosing.

Patrick Jones said: “This play is a testament to the healing power of song. All of us can remember a song that meant so much to us at a certain point in life. First love, lost love, the best summer or the loneliest winter. We mark out our lives with music. In the fog and confusion of dementia, hearing a particular song can ignite a forgotten flame that, for a moment, lights the way towards a peaceful safe place where smiles are reborn.

“I have worked with and visited many choirs during the period of writing Before I Leave and never failed to shed a tear, see my own life reflected, burst into laughter or share a common humanity with its members. The other day, I asked members of the Wrexham choir what singing meant to them. One lady who had been silent throughout said, ‘Singing brings us to life’.”

Writer Patrick Jones’ plays include Everything Must Go, Unprotected Sex, Revelation andDeliver Us From Evil. His books include The Guerilla Tapestry, Fuse and Darkness is Where the Stars Are. His CDs include Commemoration and Amnesia and Tongues for a Stammering Time.Patrick toured with Billy Bragg in 2009 for his 25th anniversary tour of The Miner’s Strike, andwrote an updated version of Idris Davies’ The Bells of Rhymney for Radio 4/Radio Wales’ The Sad Bells of Rhymney. He has been poet in residence at Velindre Hospital in Cardiff and was recently involved in poetry projects at Greenhill Manor Nursing Home (Specialist Care for Dementia patients) and Talygarn Mental Health Unit as well as working in Swansea, Usk and Parc Prisons.Patrick has also worked alongside Hafan Cymru, The Alzheimer’s Society and St David’s Foundation Hospice Care.

Director Matthew Dunster has directed, written and acted for many theatres in the UK and internationally; for National Theatre Wales he directed Mametz in 2014. Recent work includes directing: Hangmen (Royal Court and West End) which has been nominated for three Olivier Awards, Liberian Girl (Royal Court), The Seagull, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Open Air Regent’s Park), Love’s Sacrifice (RSC), The Lightning Child and Doctor Faustus (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Love Girl & the Innocent, You Can Still Make a Killing (Southwark Playhouse), Before the Party (Almeida), A Sacred Flame (English Touring), Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Royal Exchange Manchester), Mogadishu (Royal Exchange, Manchester and Lyric Hammersmith), The Most Incredible Thing (Sadler’s Wells) and The Two Gentleman of Verona(Royal & Derngate, Northampton). As a writer, his credits include Children’s Children (Almeida)and You Can See the Hills (Royal Exchange Manchester).

#NTWbefore
@ntwtweets

Full listings information:

BEFORE I LEAVE
National Theatre Wales with Wales Millennium Centre
Writer: Patrick Jones
Director: Matthew Dunster
Designer: Anna Fleischle
Video Designer: Dick Straker
Musical Director: Dyfan Jones
Lighting Designer: Joe Fletcher
Sound Designer: Ian Dickinson for Autograph
Costume Designer: Angharad Matthews
Associate Musical Director: Greg Palmer
Cast: to be confirmed

Dates: 27th May-11th June, see performance schedule below
Venue: Sherman Theatre, Senghennydd Road, Cardiff CF24 4YE

Friday 27th May 7.30pm
Saturday 28th May 7.30pm
Monday 30th May 7.30pm
Tuesday 31st May 7pm
Wednesday 1st June 7.30pm
Thursday 2nd June^ 7.30pm
Friday 3rd June 7.30pm
Saturday 4th June 7.30pm
Monday 6th June 7.30pm
Tuesday 7th June 7.30pm
Wednesday 8th June^ 7.30pm
Thursday 9th June† 2.30pm
Thursday 9th June 7.30pm
Friday 10th June 7.30pm
Saturday 11th June 2.30pm
Saturday 11th June* 7.30pm

* Audio Described and captioned
^ Post-show Q&A
† Relaxed performance

Box Office: www.shermancymru.co.uk
By phone: 029 2064 6900

Tickets: £15-£25
Previews (27th-30th May): £12-£20
Concessions: £2 off
Under 25s: Half price

Contains strong language

THE BUSKERS OPERA – FINAL CASTING AND CROWDFUNDING LAUNCHED

Buskers LogoTHE BUSKERS OPERA

A BRAND NEW BRITISH MUSICAL BY DOUGAL IRVINE

 

CROWDFUNDING SCHEME LAUNCHED TO SUPPORT

PARK THEATRE’S FIRST EVER RELAXED PERFORMANCE

AND TO GIVE TICKETS AWAY TO LOCAL AND REGIONAL CHARITIES

 

PRESS NIGHT TO COINCIDE WITH LONDON’S MAYORAL ELECTION ON 5 MAY

 

DAVID BURT AND COMEDIAN SIMON DYLAN-KANE COMPLETE CAST

AS ‘JEREMIAH PEACHUM’ AND ‘MAYOR LOCKITT’

 

London 2012. The world is watching. Can the city deliver the greatest Olympics ever? Pulling the strings is media mogul, broadcaster and puppet master, Jeremiah Peachum. Together with his star of the show, Lockitt, the Mayor of London, they are perfectly placed to capitalise on Team GB’s gold and drive their political agenda across the finish line. Enter satirical street busker Macheath and his gang of dissenters ‘The Ninety Nine Percenters’…

The producers of The Buskers Opera, a brand new musical by Dougal Irvine (Departure Lounge, Laila, Britain’s Got Bhangra) and Park Theatre are today announcing the first ever ‘relaxed’ performance at Park Theatre, to take place on Thursday 2 June 2016. The Producers of the show have launched a unique crowdfunding scheme in order help deliver this relaxed performance alongside their Arts Matter – Pass It On ticketing scheme, which will see at least a hundred tickets a week distributed to charities, youth groups and outreach programmes in the local area and around London. The Buskers Opera opens at Park Theatre on 28 April and plays until 4 June, with a press night on 5 May – the date of London’s mayoral election.

Producer Michael Peavoy said, “Very early on in the early development stages of The Buskers Opera it was clear that a piece of theatre about society, that asked questions of us all and how we operate, had to involve everybody. I knew we had to make sure that all felt welcome to take part in that conversation and question with us regardless of their personal or financial circumstance.

 

Four years on, we hope we’re now making small steps toward achieving that goal. If we manage to get even a handful of people in to the theatre that otherwise wouldn’t have come, and we can give them a top class show that makes them think about the world, or even forget about the world for a few moments – then we’ll have done our job. Theatre is an incredibly powerful thing, that’s why we believe wholeheartedly that art matters and the best thing we can do is to pass it on. Hopefully there are enough people out there that will agree with us, get involved with our crowdfunding efforts and help us pass on some tickets, and come along to enjoy the show.”

 

Simon Dylan-Kane bw David Burt bw

Musical theatre legend David Burt –the original revolutionary ‘Enjolras’ in Les Miserables in 1985 – joins the cast as ‘Jeremiah Peachum’, alongside comedian Simon Dylan-Kane (best known for regular appearances on Radio 4’sJohn Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme), who’ll play ‘Mayor Lockitt’.

 

Only The Brave Review

Wales Millennium Centre 28 March – 2 April.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

What a show!

Think Dambusters or Cockleshell Heroes with songs, and you get the tone of this wonderful, very British musical. There’s even a number called “Cuppa Tea”! In the middle of a battle. Makes you proud to be British – not in an “I’m joining UKIP and leaving the EU” way, but reminding us of the extraordinary courage and resilience of ordinary men and women, and what they were fighting for.

Based on true events leading up to the D Day landings, Only The Brave tells the story of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry’s mission to secure Benouville Bridge, and the French Resistance operatives risking their lives for vital intelligence. Captain John Howard (David Thaxton – channelling every tyrannical sergeant major known to man, but triumphing in the character’s gentler, emotional moments) and his lieutenant, Denham Brotheridge (the fantastic Neil McDermott) train their company relentlessly while their wives Joy and Maggie (Caroline Sheen and Emilie Fleming) work for the ATS. Meanwhile in France 15 year old Isabelle (Nikki Mae) begs to be allowed to collect information for the Resistance from the Germans who frequent the local café.

Matthew Brind’s music and director Steve Marmion’s lyrics take you on a roller coaster of emotions and soaring strings, with no weak songs in the show, although for me, “You Can Say No (But I Know You Won’t)” did try to cram in a little too much – introducing the main characters very quickly, but I can understand the need for this with such a detailed story to tell. Rachel Wagstaff’s book is full of humour and respect for the characters. Lots of war film clichés are present. There’s the harsh training and eventual camaraderie of the troops, the pregnant wives and the underage virgin soldier to name just a few – but they fit perfectly into the story. Even the running joke involving the comedy Welshman is beautifully written – paying off brilliantly during the tense scenes on the bridge.

What this musical does so well is to not glorify war, instead celebrating the bravery (and sometimes idiocy) of those involved on both sides. In “What The Hell Am I Doing?” Wally (Thomas Aldridge) is desperately trying to turn the German tank driver he is aiming his weapon at into a monster in his head, but can only think of their similarities in a moving and humanising moment before the violence. Yes there is a nasty German officer, but he is traumatised by his family’s experience in WW1, and his commanding officer is written to be as professional and honourable as the British. The role of women in the war is highlighted too, with Caroline Sheen’s number “Just Because” is a stirring feminist rallying cry, and “Regret and Sympathy” portrays the endless telegrams sent to bereaved families simply but oh so effectively.

Set designer Michael Vale cleverly uses projection and interconnecting steps and trestles to create bomb shelters, offices, training grounds, Benouville Bridge and, most spectacularly, a glider. And, just like the war, the women are doing most of the donkeywork pushing these around! Throughout the show, as a song is being sung in one location, silent action continues dramatically alongside. This is a powerful story telling device, and means that the songs are fully part of the story, unlike in some musicals. This is most effective during the second act when the mission is underway, but also provided the most spine-tingling moments of the night when the soldiers are singing “Band Of Brothers” (magnificent – if Churchill had access to that song, the war would have a lot shorter) while a violent interrogation is silently taking place in France. And the ending! The cast relate the fates of the real people portrayed in the show, and salute them all, including the real WWII veteran that will be playing John Howard as an old man each night.

Only The Brave is one of the best musicals I have seen in a long time. It is beautifully staged and performed. Not showy or cheesy, just telling this amazing story with wit, charm, respect… and a nice cup of tea.

Dial M for Murder Review

Civic Theatre, Darlington – 30 March 2016

Talking Scarlet bring their latest production to Darlington.  The elegant coils of murder drama that Frederick Knott contrived in his play, “Dial M for Murder,” were made famous in the pliant hands of Alfred Hitchcock, past master at the job of squeezing thrills, the coils twine with sleek and silken evil on the celluloid screen.

The dark machinations of a London husband to get his wife bumped off and then, failing that, to twist the evidence so that it looks as though she willfully murdered the man who tried to murder her are matters of wicked rationalisation rather than physical activity. The thrills come in following a succession of dawnings in people’s minds.

The set resembles an upper class, old-fashioned house. The clever use of atmospheric lighting and jazzy music to signal a time-lapse between scenes is effective. The music as a whole is very well chosen,  capturing your attention with the tense story that is unfolding.

This isn’t so much a whodunnit, as the audience is in on the plan from the very beginning but watching Tony Wendice (Oliver Mellor) try to cover his tracks as his plan unravels is tense and exciting.

Terri Dwyer turns in an enjoyable performance as Sheila Wendice, the potential victim; Mellor and Marcus Hutton are sharp and convincing as her husband and lover Max respectively, with John Hester in outstanding form as the not-so-plodding Inspector Hubbard and Jolyon Young as the unfortunate Captain Lesgate.

Talking Scarlet’s production contains its fair share of electric moments.  The slow-burning opening scenes may prove a little frustrating, but the drama picks up in the second act – and the final minutes, played out in half-darkness, are a study in ratcheting tension.

The actors did exactly what they should in this kind of production: they played it absolutely straight. It would have been very easy to go over the top but subtlety was what was required and so, instead of a parody, we watched a classic thriller from a slightly shifted perspective: we were able to look at Knott’s play and appreciate its strengths while finding amusement in the theatrical conventions of a much more innocent age.

This timeless thriller is a masterpiece in atmospheric staging and should not to be missed. Just make sure you don’t go alone…

In Darlington until Saturday April 2nd and on tour around the UK

Tickets for DREAMGIRLS go on sale

TICKETS GO ON SALE FOR
DREAMGIRLS

Now on sale to priority bookers with tickets going on general sale at 12 noon on Friday 1 April – Dreamgirlswestend.com

At every performance there will be 100 accessibly priced seats, including £20 seats available in advance and £15 day seats available on the day of the performance.

Savoy Theatre, London with reduced ticket price preview performances from 19 November 2016 and Opening Night on 14 December 2016.

The UK stage premiere will star Amber Riley as ‘Effie White’ and will be Directed and Choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, as previously confirmed. Further casting for the production is still to be announced.

Website – Dreamgirlswestend.com
Twitter handle – @DreamgirlsLDN
Facebook page – DreamgirlsLDN
Instagram account – DreamgirlsLDN
Hashtag – #DreamgirlsLDN

Sonia Friedman Productions announces today that tickets for the long awaited UK premiere of Tony Award-winning musical Dreamgirls go on sale this week. The brand new production begins preview performances at the Savoy Theatre from 19 November with Opening Night on Wednesday 14 December 2016.

As previously confirmed, American actress and singer Amber Riley will make her West End debut playing soulful singer ‘Effie White’ in the production, which will be Directed and Choreographed by Olivier and Tony Award-winning Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Disney’s Aladdin and Something Rotten!). Dreamgirls will have Set Design by Tim Hatley, Costume Design by Gregg Barnes, Lighting Design by Hugh Vanstone, Sound Design by Richard Brooker and Hair Design by Josh Marquette. The Musical Supervisor will be Nick Finlow, the Orchestrator will be Harold Wheeler, with Additional Material by Willie Reale.

Inspired by R&B music acts in 1960s America, Dreamgirls transports you to a revolutionary time in American music history. Dreamgirls charts the tumultuous journey of a young female singing trio, from Chicago, Illinois called ‘The Dreams’, as they learn the hard lesson that show business is as tough as it is fabulous, and features the classic songs ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’, ‘I Am Changing’, ‘Listen’ and ‘One Night Only’ .

With Book and Lyrics by Tom Eyen and Music by Henry Krieger, the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls, Directed and Choreographed by Michael Bennett opened in 1981 and subsequently won six Tony Awards®. The original cast recording won two Grammy awards for Best Musical Album and Best Vocal Performance for Jennifer Holliday’s ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.’ In 2006 it was adapted into an Oscar winning motion picture starring Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx.

LISTINGS:

Savoy Theatre, Strand, London WC2R 0ET

Performances

First Performance: 19 November 2016, 7.30pm
Press Performance: 14 December 2016, 7pm

Monday to Saturday evening performances at 7.30pm
Wednesday and Saturday matinee performances at 2.30pm
(No Wednesday matinee performance on 23 November)

Christmas Performance Schedule

Monday 19th December, 7.30pm
Tuesday 20th December, 7.30pm
Wednesday 21st December, 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Thursday 22nd December, 7.30pm
Friday 23rd December, 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Saturday 24th December, 2.30pm only
Sunday 25th December, no performances
Monday 26th December, 7.30pm
Tuesday 27th December, 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Wednesday 28th December, 7.30pm only
Thursday 29th December, 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Friday 30th December, 7.30pm
Saturday 31st December, 2.30pm only
Sunday 1st January, no performances

Box Office

Website:       Dreamgirlswestend.com
Telephone:    0844 871 7687
Prices:          From £20 (from £15 during previews)
At every performance there will be 100 accessibly priced seats, including £20 seats available in advance and £15 day seats available on the day of the performance.

Social Media

Website – Dreamgirlswestend.com
Twitter handle – @DreamgirlsLDN
Facebook page – DreamgirlsLDN
Instagram account – DreamgirlsLDN
Hashtag – #DreamgirlsLDN

Sensation – a tour celebrating the music of The Who

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A CONCERT CELEBRATING THE MUSIC OF THE WHO
IS TOURING THIS SUMMER

After 50 years of The Who, Sensation celebrates the greatest hits of the timeless British Band – including songs from both Tommy and Quadrophenia – in one great concert.

If you want to be taken on an amazing musical journey by fantastic singers and a rocking, live band with the maximum rhythm and blues factor, then this is definitely the night out for you!

These kids are definitely alright. From “My Generation” to “Be Lucky” via the rock opera hits including “Pinball Wizard” and “The Real Me”, this show promises a night of non-stop hits from one of the most influential bands of all time.

From the producers of the 5 star London production of Tommy, and featuring the Musical Director of that same production, this is going to be one hell of a concert. The seven strong cast of singers and musicians have performed with Ray Davies, Edwin Starr, Iron Maiden, PJ Proby, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Shaun Ryder & the Seahorses as well as in a plethora of West End shows includingBuddy, Thriller LIVE!, Return to the Forbidden Planet, Wicked, Rent, War of the Worlds and We Will Rock You. This sensational show will give you a night of Who classics that’ll have you on your feet.

Visit www.thewhosensation.com for full tour details. Follow the show on Facebook and Twitter (@thewhosensation) for ticket offers.

Accept no Substitute!
Reviews of Tommy
“Under Kevin Oliver Jones’ direction the band create a sound that offers a beautifully weighted tribute to the original, with a rock pulse that could have come straight from a time machine.”  
JONATHAN BAZ
“From Pinball Wizard right down to the reprise of See Me, Feel Me, this show is, simply put, a sensation.”
PAGE TO STAGE REVIEWS
“Two hours of fantastic music and truly awesome performances”
LONDONTHEATRE1
LISTINGS

Thursday 5th May @ BELGRADE THEATRE – COVENTRY (belgrade.co.uk)

Friday 6th May @ TOWNGATE THEATRE – BASILDON (towngatetheatre.co.uk)

Saturday 7th May @ ROPETACKLE CENTRE – SHOREHAM BY SEA (ropetacklecentre.co.uk)

Thursday 12th May @ FAIRFIELD HALLS – CROYDON (fairfield.co.uk)

Friday 13th May @ MOWLEM THEATRE – SWANAGE (mowlemtheatre.com)

Saturday 14th May @ OPERA HOUSE – JERSEY (jerseyoperahouse.co.uk)

Thursday 19th May @ THE BRUNTON – MUSSELBURGH (thebrunton.co.uk)

Friday 20th May @ TOWN HALL – AYR (thegaeity.co.uk)

Saturday 21st May @ ROTHES HALLS – GLENROTHES (onfife.com)

Sunday 22nd May @ PRINCESS THEATRE – HUNSTANTON (princesshunstanton.co.uk)

Thursday 2nd June @ GUILDHALL THEATRE – DERBY (derbylive.co.uk)

Friday 3rd June @ EXMOUTH PAVILION – EXMOUTH (ledleisure.co.uk)

Sunday 12th June @ ROSES THEATRE – TEWKESBURY (rosestheatre.org)

Wednesday 15th June @ AYLESBURY WATERSIDE THEATRE – AYLESBURY (atgtickets.com/aylesbury)

Thursday 16th June @ THWAITES EMPIRE THEATRE – BLACKBURN (thwaitesempiretheatre.co.uk)

Friday 17th June @ THEATRE ON THE STEPS – BRIDGNORTH (theatreonthesteps.co.uk)

Sunday 19th June @ THE CUSTOMS HOUSE – SOUTH SHIELDS (customshouse.co.uk)

Thursday 23rd June @ THE STABLES – MILTON KEYNES (stables.org)

Friday 24th June @ NEW WIMBLEDON THEATRE – WIMBLEDON (atgtickets.com/Wimbledon)

Thursday 30th June @ MERCURY THEATRE – COLCHESTER (mercurytheatre.co.uk)

Sunday 3rd July @ THEATRE ROYAL BRIGHTON – BRIGHTON (atgtickets.com/brighton)

Blood Brothers Review

Grand Theatre, Leeds – 28 March 2016

I’ve seen Blood Brothers many times, but the show in Leeds this week is possibly the best version I’ve ever seen.

I’m loathed to say its been reworked but what was stale, staid and limping around the country is now alive and vibrant.  Outstanding performances, lighting and sound have breathed new life into this amazing show

Telling the story of the Johnstone twins, the boys, Micky and Edward, grow up on opposite sides of the track and disaster is predicted should they ever meet … but destiny draws them together and without knowing they are siblings, they become blood brothers.

Lyn Paul  is phenomenal as matriarch Mrs Johnstone.  Her Scouse accent is not as pronounced as it could be which gives the image of nice convent girl gone bad after meeting a man. And having her dreams of glamour and Marilyn Monroe destroyed after never ending pregnancies.  To see her visably age with the last few scenes is amazing.  The mixture of weariness and warm affection with which she regards her children is palpable throughout. And at the end, with her twin sons lying dead before her, her face is a clenched mask of grief as she sings the climactic anthem with a power and bitterness that sends shivers racing down the spine.  The standing ovation as the theatre rose as one after Tell Me Its Not True and the 6 curtain calls were all totally justified.
The show, overseen by Kristofer Harding as the narrator, is overwhelmingly emotional and extremely unique.  Harding deserves a mention for looming over the proceedings, a Devil in a sharp suit with menace and a wonderful singing voice.

Sean Jones is wonderful as the cheeky, irrepressible Mickey and was hilarious in the first half as the short-trousered kid. Joel Benedict plays his “twinnie” Edward. His measured tones, courtesy of a privileged upbringing, are in direct contrast to the Scouse lilt of Mickey.

Jones is a stand out performer. From his first appearance as a childish seven-year-old, “almost eight”, he had the audience laughing out loud. His portrayal of riding an imaginary horse while playing cowboys and indians with his older brother Sammy (Peter Washington), resonated with the older members of the audience.

But the silliness is gradually shed as the second half gets under way as the boys grow older and become interested in girls – and in particular Linda, (Danielle Corlass) and their care-free naivety gives way to stark reality as Mickey gets sucked into unemployment, crime and drug addiction.

Jones’ amazing portrayal of the spiral into depression is matched only by Mrs Lyons decent into madness.  Sarah Hay as the desperate Mrs Lyons is outstanding.  Her desire to have a baby leading her to make the pact with Mrs Johnson for one of the twins, and the guilt for what she has done  shapes her life and causes the inevitable mental breakdown.  But Mrs Lyons plays the final fatal part in telling Mickey about Linda and Eddie’s friendship and planting the seeds of doubt in Mickeys fragile brain.  She might as well have shot the gun herself for the part she plays in this terrible tragedy.

This show is am emotional roller coaster, funny, joyous and emotional – do not attempt to see it with out a stack of tissues.  In Leeds until Saturday 2nd April and on tour around the UK