Box Office to open 3 November for BAT OUT OF HELL

JIM STEINMAN’S 265bd8f9e-07d0-1cad-4c8c760d9aa6bf7e

BAT OUT OF HELL – THE MUSICAL

TO RECEIVE WORLD PREMIERE AT THE LONDON COLISEUM IN 2017

BOX OFFICE OPENS THURSDAY 3 NOVEMBER

To celebrate the Box Office opening to the general public, there will be a special live performance by the cast at 5pm on Thursday 3 November outside the London Coliseum in St Martin’s Lane

 

The world premiere of the long-awaited Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical will take place in London’s West End at the London Coliseum, opening on Tuesday 20 June 2017, following previews from 5 June, for a limited season until 22 July 2017. This follows previews at Manchester Opera House from 17 February to 8 April 2017. The box office for the London Coliseum will open at 5pm on Thursday 3 November.

As with many great works of art, the genesis of the Bat Out Of Hell album occurred across a number of years. One of the songs was written while Steinman was an undergraduate at Amherst College in the late 1960s. In the 1970s, Steinman wrote a theatrical musical that was presented in workshop in Washington D.C. in 1974 and featured many of the songs that would ultimately appear on the Bat Out Of Hell album, which was released in 1977.  

Bat Out Of Hell became one of the best-selling albums in history, selling over 50 million copies worldwide. 16 years later, Steinman scored again with Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell, which contained the massive hit I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)

For the stage musical, the legendary and award-winning Jim Steinman has incorporated iconic songs from the Bat Out Of Hell albums, including You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth, Bat Out Of Hell, I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) and Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad, as well as two previously unreleased songs, What Part of My Body Hurts the Most and Not Allowed to Love.

Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical is a romantic adventure about rebellious youth and passionate love, set against the backdrop of a post-cataclysmic city adrift from the mainland. Strat, the forever young leader of The Lost, has fallen for Raven, daughter of Falco, the tyrannical, ruler of Obsidian.  

Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical is produced by David Sonenberg, Michael Cohl, Randy Lennox, Tony Smith.

Website:  www.BatOutOfHellMusical.com

Twitter & Facebook:  @BatTheMusical

LONDON LISTINGS INFORMATION

5 June – 22 July 2017

London Coliseum

St Martin’s Lane

London

WC2N 4ES

Performances:  Mon-Sat at 7.30pm, Thurs & Sat at 2.30pm (7pm on Tue 20 June; no matinee on Thurs 8 June; extra 2.30pm matinee on Tue 22 August)

Tickets:  from £15.00

Box Office:  020 7845 9300

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SHEFFIELD THEATRES’ ANNIE GET YOUR GUN EXTENDED DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND

SHEFFIELD THEATRES’ ANNIE GET YOUR GUN EXTENDED

DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND 

Sheffield Theatres today announce that their major new revival of the Irving Berlin musical Annie Get Your Gun is to extend its run for one week due to public demand. The production which opens on 8 December will now run until 21 January. Tickets are on sale now.

Sharp shootin’, smart talkin’ Annie Oakley is a force to be reckoned with. But when she’s pitched against the charming, fiercely competitive Frank Butler, has she finally met her match?

Aimed straight at the heart, Irving Berlin’s sensational musical from the Golden Age of Broadway includes such classics as There’s No Business Like Show Business, Anything You Can Do and I Got The Sun In The Morning, as well as whip-cracking choreography from Sheffield favourite, Alistair David.

Paul Foster (Tell Me On A Sunday, Sweet Charity) directs Anna-Jane Casey as Annie Oakley andBen Lewis as Frank Butler, with Nicolas Colicos (Buffalo Bill), Mike Denman (Pawnee Bill),Lauren Hall (Winnie Tate), Matthew Malthouse (Foster Wilson), Timothy Quinlan (Charlie Davenport), Cleve September (Tommy Keeler), Maggie Service (Dolly Tate) and Karl Seth (Chief Sitting Bull).

Completing the ensemble are Josh Andrews, Ronan Burns, Emma Caffrey, Matthew Croke,Omari Douglas, Rosie Fletcher, Melissa James, Jasmine Kerr, Natasha Mould, Jak Skelly,Leah West and Emma Woods (ensemble and Dance Captain).

Tickets for Annie Get Your Gun 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 £20.00 (concessions available).  A transaction fee of £1.50 (£1.00 online) applies to all bookings made at the Box Office (excluding cash).

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CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR ROYAL AND DERNGATES PETER AND THE STARCATCHER

A Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Paul Taylor-Mills co-production

 

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Chief Executive Martin Sutherland
Artistic Director James Dacre
Patron The Rt Hon Earl Spencer

Peter and the Starcatcher
A play by Rick Elice
Based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Music by Wayne Barker
Directed by Luke Sheppard

Tuesday 29 November to Saturday 31 December 2016
Press night: Friday 2 December 7.15pm

Casting announced for Peter and the Starcatcher’s European premiere at Royal & Derngate this Christmas 

Casting has been announced for the much-anticipated European Premiere of Peter and the Starcatcher, being staged by Northampton’s Royal & Derngate this Christmas. Audiences will take an unforgettable journey through the Neverland they never knew, as Northampton’s Royal stage is transformed for this bold new production, directed by Luke Sheppard, who recently helmed the three-time Olivier Award-winning In the Heights.

Winner of five Tony Awards for its hugely successful run on Broadway and one of the most produced plays in America last year, this fascinating and funny prequel to Peter Panbrings one of classic literature’s most beloved characters to life.

Leading the cast is Evelyn Hoskins (Carrie, Southwark Playhouse; This is My Family, Sheffield Crucible and UK tour; Spring Awakening, Lyric Hammersmith) as Molly, Micheal Shea in his professional stage debut as Peter, Greg Haiste (Nell Gwynn, Shakespeare’s Globe and West End; A Christmas Carol, Royal & Derngate) as pirate leader Black Stache and Dan Starkey (Commander Strax in Doctor Who) as Smee.

The cast also features Michael Matus (Phantom of the Opera, West End; The Sound of Music, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Sebastien Torkia (Travels With My Aunt, Chichester Minerva; Sweeney Todd, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Royal Exchange), and the ensemble is completed by Marc Akinfolarin, Lewis Griffin, Ian Harris, Tendayi Jembere, William Pennington, Miles Yekinni and Tom Attwood (also musical director).

The final production in Royal & Derngate’s Made in Northampton 2016 season, Peter and the Starcatcher is directed by Luke Sheppard, whose recent credits, in addition to In the Heights, include The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ at Curve Leicester, andOliver! at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury. Set design is by David Woodhead (Bugsy Malone, Leicester Curve; Titanic, Charing Cross Theatre) and costumes are designed byGabriella Slade (In the Heights, Kings Cross Theatre, Southwark Playhouse; The Last Mermaid, Wales Millennium Centre). The Lighting Designer is Howard Hudson (Romeo and Juliet, Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company at the Garrick Theatre; The Rivals, Bristol Old Vic) and the Sound Designer is Gareth Fry whose recent credits include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, with other notable credits including National Theatre of Scotland’sBlack Watch and the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

In this fantastical and funny adventure, join Starcatcher apprentice Molly as she embarks on a daring mission to stop a precious cargo of stardust from falling into the wrong hands. As well as meeting a very special orphan who helps to solve the mystery of how he became ‘the boy who never grew up’.

Thirteen actors playing more than 100 characters use ingenious stagecraft, inventive storytelling and live music to whisk audiences to a magical world of lost boys, pirates, and mermaids.

This brand new production of Peter and the Starcatcher premieres from Tuesday 29 November to Saturday 31 December at Royal & Derngate in a collaboration with Paul Taylor-Mills, who also co-produced Luke Sheppard’s hit show In the Heights. Tickets, priced from £10 to £26*, can be booked by calling Box Office on 01604 624811 or visitingwww.royalandderngate.co.uk.

The play Peter and the Starcatcher is written by Rick Elice, with music by Wayne Barker. It was originally produced on Broadway by Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Greg Shaffert, Eva Price, Tom Smedes, and Disney Theatrical Productions. It is presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Limited on behalf of Music Theatre International.

* A charge of £3 applies for all transactions over £15. Does not apply to Groups, Friends or Disabled Patrons, and is per-transaction, not per-ticket.

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Imogen Poots and Luke Treadaway complete the cast of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in the West End

Sonia Friedman Productions presents
Imelda Staunton and Conleth Hill in
Edward Albee’s
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Directed by James Macdonald

  • Imogen Poots and Luke Treadaway join Imelda Staunton and Conleth Hill to complete the cast of Edward Albee’s landmark play directed by James Macdonald
  • Reduced price tickets for preview performances
  • Over 100 tickets for every performance priced at £10 during previews (22nd February – 8th March inclusive) and £15 during main run (from 9th March)

Twitter: @WhosAfraidLDN
Facebook: /WhosAfraidOfVirginiaWoolfLDN
# Whosafraidofvirginiawoolf?
Website: www.whosafraidofvirginiawoolf.co.uk

Imogen Poots and Luke Treadaway will join the previously announced Imelda Staunton and Conleth Hill in the new production of multi Tony and Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, directed by James Macdonald.

The production will play at the Harold Pinter Theatre for a limited season of 13 weeks from 22nd February 2017, for which reduced price tickets are available for preview performances. Over 100 tickets for every performance are priced at £15 (£10 during previews).

In the early hours of the morning on the campus of an American college, Martha, much to her husband George’s displeasure, has invited the new professor Nick and his wife Honey to their home for some after-party drinks. As the alcohol flows and dawn approaches, the young couple are drawn into George and Martha’s toxic games until the evening reaches its climax in a moment of devastating truth-telling.

Imogen Poots (Honey) makes her West End debut with Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Poots made her breakthrough performance as Tammy in the film 28 Weeks Later. She won the British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Look of Love in 2013 and was nominated for Best Actress at the 2015 Evening Standard British Film Awards for her role in Peter Bogdanovich’s She’s Funny That Way. Other film credits include Terrence Mallick’s The Knight of Cups, Green Room, Filth, Jimi: All Is By My Side, A Late Quartet and Jane Eyre. Poots will next be seen starring opposite Michael Shannon in Frank and Lola, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival to great acclaim. On television, she recently played the female lead in Cameron Crowe’s debut television series Roadies (Showtime).

Luke Treadaway (Nick) won an Olivier Award for his performance as Christopher in the internationally acclaimed hit The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre/ West End) and also originated the role of Albert in the earliest production of War Horse, again at the National. Further theatre credits include Over There (Royal Court), Piranha Heights (Soho Theatre) and Saint Joan (National Theatre). For film, Treadaway plays the lead in the upcoming Sony Pictures release A Street Cat Named Bob, adapted from the New York Times bestselling novel. Treadaway’s further film credits include Unbroken, Attack the Block, The Whistleblower, Clash of the Titans, Tonight You’re Mine, Heartless, The Rise and Brothers of the Head. For television, in January he returns to his role of scientist Vincent Rattrey in the second series of Sky Atlantic’s critically acclaimed Fortitude. His further credits include the lead character of Alex Higgins in BBC’s The Rack Pack, the Duke of Richmond in the second series of The Hollow Crown (BBC/NBC/Neal Street Productions), as well as Sky Arts mini-seriesThe Nightmare World of H.G. Wells with Michael Gambon.

Imelda Staunton (Martha) returns to the West End after her triumphant and Olivier Award-winning performance as Mama Rose in Gypsy. Amongst her many other theatre credits, notable performances include Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd, for which she won an Olivier Award, Circle, Mirror, Transformation for the Royal Court and the role of Claire in Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance at the Almeida Theatre. In total, Staunton has been nominated for eleven Olivier Awards, winning four. On film Staunton is perhaps best known for playing the title role in Vera Drake, for which she received the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and for the role of Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films.

Conleth Hill (George) is perhaps best known for his role as Lord Varys in the HBO television production Game of Thrones. A multi award-winning theatre actor, amongst his extensive theatre credits, recent productions include Quartermaine’s Terms at the Wyndham’s Theatre and The Cherry Orchard at the National Theatre. Hill won Olivier Awards for his performances inThe Producers, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, and Stones In His Pockets in the West End. He also received Tony Award nominations for his role in Stones In His Pockets on its transfer to Broadway and The Seafarer, which transferred from the National Theatre to Broadway. Hill’s film credits include Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Whatever Works, directed by Woody Allen.

James Macdonald is highly regarded for his work with Caryl Churchill and Sarah Kane, recently directing Churchill’s play Escaped Alone at the Royal Court. Other recent work includes the award-winning production of Florian Zeller’s The Father and Roots at the Donmar Warehouse. Macdonald has previously directed Staunton in the Royal Court’s production of Circle, Mirror, Transformation by Annie Baker and in the critically-acclaimed production of Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance at the Almeida Theatre.

Edward Albee was born on 12th March 1928 and began writing plays 30 years later. His plays include The Zoo Story (1958), The Death of Bessie Smith (1959), The Sandbox (1959), The American Dream (1960), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1961-62, Tony Award), Tiny Alice(1964), A Delicate Balance (1966, Pulitzer Prize; 1996, Tony Award), All Over (1971), Seascape(1974, Pulitzer Prize), Listening (1975), Counting the Ways (1975), The Lady from Dubuque(1977-78), The Man Who Had Three Arms (1981), Finding the Sun (1982), Marriage Play (1986-87), Three Tall Women (1991, Pulitzer Prize), Fragments (1993), The Play about the Baby(1997), The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? (2000, 2002 Tony Award), Occupant (2001), At Home at the Zoo: Act 1, Homelife. Act 2, The Zoo Story. (2004), and Me, Myself & I (2008). Mr. Albee was awarded the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1980.  In 1996 he received the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts. In 2005 he was awarded a special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement

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Harrogate Review

Royal Court Theatre 20-29 October, National Tour 1-16 November.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

Transferring to the Royal Court after an acclaimed run at HighTide Festival 2015, Harrogate is a fascinating, tricksy play that throws curveballs at the audience constantly, never settling for easy and comforting resolutions.

The play begins with a man chatting to his daughter about her friends and her trip to Leeds. At the end of the scene, when things are becoming very uncomfortable, the truth is revealed, which amplifies the squirm factor for the rest of the play. I won’t go into details about the plot, because this tightly written and compelling play is best seen without too much prior knowledge.

The themes Harrogate explores are familiar – the longing for the past, the growing invisibility of women as they age, the evolution of love in long term relationships, the sexualisation of teenage girls – but Al Smith mixes these together to create a wonderfully painful and funny exploration of one man’s struggle to hold everything together. Throwaway lines from earlier scenes suddenly have great meaning, and repeated dialogue with different women highlight the differing perceptions and acceptance of age. The speech patterns of the three women are markedly different, but during pivotal emotional moments, they merge into one eloquent voice, that jarred at first when used by the teenage daughter, but served to emphasise the blurred boundaries of the father’s mind.

Nigel Lindsay gives a masterful performance as Him. Before you realise what is going on, he appears manipulative and controlling, but as the play progresses, the initial hints of vulnerability and his inner struggle to restrain himself become clearer. But Lindsay never overdoes the angst, keeping his character neutral and slightly irritating – ever so British and just carrying on. That is apart from the scene changes – the noisy electronic effects as he spasms probably represent his fracturing resolve, but only tested my patience and I saw no need for these – my only complaint about Richard Twyman’s assured direction.

Sarah Ridgeway plays the three female characters with consummate ease. By simply adjusting her stance and intonation, she defines the characters without having to signpost their (slight) differences. Her portrayal of the daughter, all wannabe Gangsta and teeth sucking, is fantastically funny, contrasting beautifully with the horror of realisation as the mother – subtle and heart-breaking.

Harrogate is a wonderful play – hard to categorise and taking an uncompromising look at what lies beneath the most respectable of facades. Thought provoking, squirm inducing and very witty, Harrogate is a play you NEED to see.

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New Booking Period Opens for MAMMA MIA! in London

“MAMMA MIA!”

NEW BOOKING PERIOD

FROM 6 MARCH TO 14 OCTOBER 2017

AT LONDON’S NOVELLO THEATRE

ON SALE FROM FRIDAY 28 OCTOBER 2016

 

The global smash hit musical MAMMA MIA! at London’s Novello Theatre is now extending its booking period until 14 October 2017, taking the show through to its 19th playing year in London. MAMMA MIA! will celebrate its 18th birthday in London on 6 April 2017. The box office for the new booking period (from 6 March 2017) opens at 9.00am on Friday 28 October 2016.

 

The London cast of MAMMA MIA! stars Linzi Hateley as Donna Sheridan, Mazz Murray as Tanya, Jo Napthine as Rosie, Sanne den Besten as Sophie Sheridan, Richard Carson as Sky, Richard Trinder as Sam, Alasdair Harvey as Harry, Dugald Bruce-Lockhart as Bill, Jemma Revell as Ali, Amy Webb as Lisa, Filippo Coffano as Pepper and Jake Small as Eddie, with Sorelle Marsh playing the role of Donna Sheridan at certain performances. 

 

Also in the cast are Craig Anthony-Kelly, Felipe Bejarano, Jonathon Bentley, Tabitha Camburn, Georgina Castle, Edward Chitticks, Adam Clayton-Smith, Louise Dalton, Ben Darcy, Stephen John Davis, Rebecca Giacopazzi, Katy Hards, Jennifer Hepburn, Robert Knight, Rebecca McKinnis, Samira Mighty, Stacey Leanne Mills, George Miller, Robbie Scotcher and Amy West.

 

From West End to global phenomenon, MAMMA MIA! is Judy Craymer’s ingenious vision of staging the story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs with an enchanting tale of family and friendship unfolding on a Greek island paradise. To date, it has been seen by 60 million people in 50 productions in 16 different languages grossing more than $2 billion at the box office. In 2011, it became the first Western musical ever to be staged in Mandarin in the People’s Republic of China. MAMMA MIA! is currently on its first ever UK Tour, receiving great critical and public acclaim.

MAMMA MIA! originally opened in London at the Prince Edward Theatre on 6 April 1999, beforetransferring to the Prince of Wales Theatre in 2004. The musical re-opened at the Novello Theatre in 2012. 

 

The London production of MAMMA MIA! has been seen by more than 10% of the entire UK population. The show has celebrated over 7,000 performances in London and has broken box office records in all three of its London homes.  

 

Produced by Judy Craymer, MAMMA MIA! The Movie, starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan, is the highest grossing live action musical film of all time.

 

With music & lyrics by Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus, MAMMA MIA! is written by Catherine Johnson, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast. The production is designed by Mark Thompson, with lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Andrew Bruce & Bobby Aitken, and musical supervision, additional material & arrangements by Martin Koch.

MAMMA MIA! is produced by Judy Craymer, Richard East & Björn Ulvaeus for Littlestar in association with Universal.

 

LISTINGS INFORMATION

 

Novello Theatre

Aldwych

London WC2B 4LD

 

Ticket Prices: 

Monday to Friday:  £67.50, £42.50, £39.50, £25.00, £15.00

Saturday:  £72.50, £52.50, £42.50, £39.50, £25.00, £15.00

 

Please note: Saturday pricing applies to all performances 24-29 October 2016, 26-31 December 2016 and 13-18 February 2017, 3-15 April 2017, 29 May – 3 June 2017, 24 July – 2 September 2017.

 

A £2.25 per ticket booking fee applies to tickets booked online, and a £2.75 per ticket booking fee applies to tickets booked by phone. No booking fee on tickets purchased in person at the Novello Theatre Box Office.

 

All prices include £1.25 restoration levy.

 

Early Bird Pricing – anyone booking four months or more in advance of the performance they are attending (Monday to Thursday performances only) will be able to purchase £67.50 tickets for £47.50 (£72.50 tickets for £52.50 during peak weeks), a saving of £20 on the regular top price, but only through Delfont Mackintosh Theatres, either online, in person at the theatre, or by calling the Novello Theatre Box Office.

 

Performance Times:

Monday – Saturday 7.45pm

Matinees – Thursday & Saturday 3.00pm*

*extra Tuesday matinees on 14 February, 8 & 22 August 2017

Christmas 2016/17 Performance Schedule

 

Monday 19 December               3.00pm and 7.45pm

Tuesday 20 December              7.45pm

Wednesday 21 December         7.45pm

Thursday 22 December             3.00pm and 7.45pm

Friday 23 December                 7.45pm

Saturday 24 December             NO PERFORMANCE

Monday 26 December               7.45pm

Tuesday 27 December              3.00pm and 7.45pm

Wednesday 28 December         3.00pm and 7.45pm

Thursday 29 December             7.45pm

Friday 30 December                 3.00pm and 7.45pm

Saturday 31 December             3.00pm and 7.45pm

 

Currently booking to 14 October 2017

The performance lasts 2 hours and 35 minutes (including a 15-minute interval)

Box Office: 0844 482 5115

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Freedom Studio’s North Country Review

The Wild Woods, Bradford – 26th October 2016.  Reviewed by Dawn Smallwood

 

An empty disused building, once occupied by Marks and Spencers, has been transformed into a hi-tech contemporary arts space. Freedom Studios presents Tajinder Singh Hayer’s North Country and this is a new play currently receiving its world premiere.

Set in an intimate central space, the play is about three teenagers who survive the worldwide plague which has decimated the world’s population. Harvinder (Kamal Khan), Nusrat (Natalie Davies) and Alleyne (Philip Duguid-McQuillan) share their stories of survival and challenges they and their community face. They are constantly faced with making crucial decisions particularly when their cultural backgrounds and traditions are at stake.

The prologue begins when Harvinder narrates about an old Polish man being rushed into hospital but he unfortunately dies and the deadly plague begins to spread. Then the audience sees this sudden plunge of apocalyptic like darkness which changes Bradford and its communities. Now the three teenagers begin their quest as survivors from September 2017.

It is fitting that the play is set in Bradford with its familiar references being echoed throughout. Under the direction of Alex Chisholm, North Country represents what Bradford was and is known for. Bradford had a thriving industrial past but the city hasn’t been the same since its industrial decline and more so with its recession since 2008. The industrial heydays brought migrant workers to the city’s factories and mills, particularly those from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and thus creating the city’s diverse population. A spirit of resilience is shown among the characters and their determination to survive.

The play may have a science fiction twist to it but the stories shared certainly address the economical and social issues today and one seek their identity in order to fit into somewhat a complex and diverse society. This is an enjoyable production from the cast themselves and the creative team. North Country is running until 5th November 2016.

 

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Lady Chatterley’s Lover Review

York Theatre Royal – 25 to 29 October 2016.  Reviewed by Michelle Richardson

English Touring Theatre and Sheffield Theatre, adapted and directed by Phillip Breen, brings to the stage the controversial D.H. Lawrence novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Now showing at York Theatre Royal until Saturday 29th October, touring until end of November.

Lady Constance Chatterley, Hedydd Dylan, is trapped in her marriage, neglected both emotionally and physically by her impotent husband, Clifford, Eugene O’Hare, who was paralysed in The Great War and finds solace in the arms of the handsome gamekeeper Mellors, Jonah Russell.

The production starts with the stage being sparsely set out with dust sheets covering several pieces of furniture dotted around. It looked grim, reflecting on the aftermath of the tragic and traumatic Great War. The lighting was very dim, adding to the oppression. I did really struggle to actually see parts of the performance with such dim lighting and it did greatly affect my appreciation of the show.

Brief scenes, with the piano playing in the background, show snapshots of their life, changing when the lights go out, but only for a couple of seconds before another scene appears. In some of these short scenes sometimes I could not wholly grasp what was happening before it had finished, and we were onto another one. We see Constance in all her unhappiness before staring an affair, first with Michaelis and then Mellors, who she ultimately falls in love with.

There is nudity, which when first appeared on the stage caused a little tittle in the audience, and strong language, but a warning is given in the flyers. Connie and Mellors frolic around in the forest, running around naked in the rain, with strategic bowls placed around the stage for the water. The way the rain was portrayed was really effective and was a surprise to see on stage.

I found that the chemistry between Dylan and Russell was slightly lacking and was not convinced by their relationship, though there were some touching emotional scenes.

The first act did drag on a bit, the second act in comparison was very short and just seemed to abruptly finish, and that was it.

The theatre appeared pretty full and I know that Phillip Breen has a following here after the successful run of The Mystery Plays this summer, but I left the theatre not sure exactly how I felt about the piece, and I still don’t.

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LA CAGE AUX FOLLES – FIRST EVER UK TOUR TO STAR JOHN PARTRIDGE AND ADRIAN ZMED

BOYS WILL BE BOYS…BUT NOT ALWAYS!
JOHN PARTRIDGE AND ADRIAN ZMED
STAR IN FIRST EVER UK TOUR OF
LA CAGE AUX FOLLES
   -A SPECTACULAR NEW PRODUCTION –
 
Bill Kenwright presents the much loved musical LA CAGE AUX FOLLES with JOHN PARTRIDGE as ‘Albin’ andADRIAN ZMED as ‘Georges’, opening at New Oxford Theatre on Thursday 5th January before embarking on its first ever nationwide tour. 
 
John Partridge will play the iconic role of ‘Albin’, who moonlights as star drag act Zaza at the infamous La Cage aux Folles nightclub. Partridge’s extensive theatre credits include the West End productions of A Chorus Line at the London Palladium, Cats, Starlight Express and Chicago. He is also well known for playing the loveable Christian Clarke in BBC’s EastEnders and as a judge on TV’s Over The Rainbow.
 
Adrian Zmed will play ‘Georges’, partner of Albin and owner of the nightclub. Zmed co-starred with William Shatner as ‘Officer Vince Romano’ in the 70’s hit TV show T.J. Hooker, which ran for 90 episodes over 5 years, and for playing ‘Johnny Nogerelli’ in the cult classic film Grease 2. This will be his first stage appearance in the UK although he is no stranger to Broadway musicals having previously led the casts ofGrease, no fewer than 3 times, Falsettos and Blood Brothers.
 
Written by Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman, and based on the 1973 French play of the same name by Jean Poiret, La Cage Aux Folles follows the story of Georges, the manager of a Saint Tropez nightclub, and his partner, Albin, a drag artiste and the club’s star attraction. They live an idyllic existence in the south of France but behind the curtains of this sparkling extravaganza, all may be about to change when Georges’ son Jean-Michel announces his engagement to the daughter of a notorious right-wing politician determined to close down the local colourful night-life. Drama and hilarity ensue when a meeting of the parents forces them to cover up their vibrant lifestyle. Will Albin be able to play the role of his life to ensure that Jean-Michel can marry his love?
 
LA CAGE AUX FOLLES is a multi-award winning musical. The original Broadway production became an instant smash hit when it opened in 1983. It received nine nominations for Tony Awards and won six, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. The success of the musical spawned a London Palladium production and several international runs. The 2004 Broadway revival won the Tony Award for Best Revival, and the 2008 London revival garnered the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival.
 
Setting out on its first ever UK tour, this brand new production is produced by Bill Kenwright, directed byMartin Connor, choreographed by Olivier Award Winning Bill Deamer, designed by Gary McCann, Sound by Dan Samson (the team responsible for the sumptuous current hit, The Sound of Music), and musical direction by Mark Crossland. This lavishly funny tale of unconditional love and family values, will leave you feeling the need to celebrate that life’s not worth a damn ‘till you can say I am what I am.’
 
This show-stopping score includes The Best of Times, Song on the Sand and the iconic I Am What I Am,which has been recorded by musical legends Gloria Gaynor, Shirley Bassey and Tony Bennett.
 
The production tours the UK from 5th January 2017, opening at the New Theatre Oxford.
 
Dates currently on sale at www.kenwright.com. Further casting and dates to be announced.
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New musical based on Barbara Pym novel comes to the Cockpit Theatre

RJR Musicals present:

THE MIRROR NEVER LIES
November 14th – November 18th 2016, Cockpit Theatre

Returning to London after a successful one-off concert performance at RADA, The Mirror Never Lies will come to the Cockpit Theatre for a week of performances this November. Based on Barbara Pym’s beloved novel, The Sweet Dove Died, this bittersweet story about the power of beauty will transport you back to 1960’s London.

London in the 1960s, Carnaby Street: the smell of pot in the air along with the raw music of a new generation. A woman of a certain age and another era, addicted to collecting beautiful objects falls in love with a much younger man instead of his more “suitable” older uncle. Finding that the young man is already entangled with a girl, she uses her guile to crush the young woman’s hopes only to discover a second, male suitor has secured the young man for himself using her very own methods. The world around her accepts that with the passing years we all must change, but she will not bend.

Barbara Pym published her first novel, Some Tame Gazelle, with Jonathan Cape in 1950. Thereafter she published eleven novels; two came out posthumously. Pym’s literary career is noteworthy for the long hiatus between 1963 and 1977 when, despite early success and continuing popularity. Her publisher Jonathan Cape rejected her manuscripts after 1961, considering her writing style old fashioned. The turning point came when an influential article in 1977 in the Times Literary Supplement nominated her as “the most underrated writer of the 20th Century”.

Director and playwright Joe Giuffre created the role of the Tin Woodsman for the National Tour of The Wizard of Oz and performed in national tours of Cats, Camelot, and Me and My Girl. His first foray into the field of writing musical revues, Glamorous Nights, is based on the life and music of Ivor Novello, followed by The Grifters and The Mirror Never Lies.

Composer of film and theatre, Juan Iglesias has created the film scores for Cannibals & Carpet Fitters (2014), the award-winning Blackout (2012) and the internet sensation Predator: Dark Ages (2015). Working in both the UK and US, Juan has created original music for a diverse range of movies, theatre and media. In the UK, he is a regular collaborator with film director James Bushe and playwright Eddie Coleman.

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