The Wind in the Willows Review

London Palladium 29 June – 9 September.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

If you’re looking for an evening of gleeful giddiness and family fun, grab your tickets to The Wind in the Willows while you can. Jamie Hendry has a sure-fire hit on his hands with this superb adaptation of the classic children’s book.

Rat and his new friend Mole enjoy an idyllic life on the riverbank until Mr Toad’s thrill-seeking quest for speed leads to disaster and the rise of the animals from The Wild Wood. While Mr Toad is imprisoned for traffic offences, the Wild Wooders kidnap Portia the otter pup and fatten her up for a feast in their new home, Toad Hall. Can Badger save the day?

With a book by Julian Fellowes and music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, you expect a class act, and this show doesn’t disappoint. The themes of friendship, loyalty and finding joy in simple pleasures are presented by Fellowes with charm and humour. The set and costume design by Peter McKintosh are magical in their simplicity, and create a picture book feel to the whole show, that never be comes garishly cartoonlike. Whether it’s the rolling riverbank with curtains of willow branches or the lurid green façade of Toad Hall, every set is evocative and true to Kenneth Grahame’s book. The various vehicles that Mr Toad uses are spectacularly staged – cars, caravan, barge, and the steam train chase is a glorious nod to the Keystone cops. The costumes are gorgeous – with each family of animals wearing identical, very British, clothes and having just simple ears and tails attached to hats, wigs and trousers. The rabbits are all in tweed, the field mice in duffel coats, the foxes are dressed as huntsmen, and the hedgehogs! The hedgehogs are simply brilliant – they must be seen to be believed. And then there’s the pony… It is all homespun yet expertly slick at the same time, and fits the spirit of the story wonderfully.

The musical numbers are all top-notch, with the passing seasons being marked by songs sung by different animals, and the high-octane numbers matching clever and witty lyrics with clever and witty choreography. The Wild Wooders’ choreography is particularly impressive, full of sinister humour and menace. The big production numbers sweep you away on a rush of euphoria – The Greatest Great Escape is spectacular – but the gentler, simple songs are the ones that I’ve been humming. A Place To Come Back To, where Mole sings of the simple pleasures of his humble home, and The Hedgehog’s Nightmare, where a road crossing is attempted are brilliantly written and performed.

The entire cast give amazing performances – both vocal and comic. Rufus Hound was born to play Mr Toad – prancing around like an exuberant and exasperating puppy in a fantastic green wig and glasses, he has the audience in the palm of his hand from the moment he appears on stage – a phenomenal performance. Simon Lipkin as Rat and Craig Mather as Mole are equally impressive in their less showy roles – Lipkin making the most of Rat’s sarcastic lines and Mather delivering Mole’s socially naïve un-PC pronouncements with a wonderful wide-eyed innocence – and their voices! Neil McDermott is almost unrecognisable as the zoot suited Chief Weasel – channelling Russel Brand and a young Arthur Daley to deliver a hysterically villainous performance.

The Wind in the Willows is fantastic fun for all ages, a visual and musical treat that is full of warmth, wit and dizzying daftness. Get down to the Palladium at top speed. Poop Poop!

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Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman extends West End run until 6 January 2018 due to overwhelming demand

The Ferryman
By Jez Butterworth
Directed by Sam Mendes

 

  • Following unanimous critical acclaim and overwhelming demand for tickets Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman, directed by Sam Mendes, will today extend its run at the Gielgud Theatre until 6 January 2018.  Tickets for the extension go on sale today at 10am.
  • £12 Day seats including the entire front row are available for each performance from 10.30am in person at the Gielgud Theatre Box office

The producers, Sonia Friedman Productions, Neal Street Productions and Royal Court Theatre Productions, are delighted to announce that Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman, directed by Sam Mendes, will extend its run at the Gielgud Theatre until 6 January 2018.  The production won widespread critical acclaim when it opened at the Royal Court and was the fastest selling show in the theatre’s history.  This phenomenal success has continued at the Gielgud Theatre where it has been playing to sold-out houses, with early morning queues on Shaftesbury Avenue for the £12 day seats each day.

The Ferryman is directed by Sam Mendes, designed by Rob Howell, with lighting by Peter Mumford, and sound and original music by Nick Powell. Full casting for the extension will be confirmed soon.

 

Listings:

Sonia Friedman Productions, Neal Street Productions 
& Royal Court Theatre Productions 
with Rupert Gavin, Gavin Kalin Productions, Ron Kastner and Tulchin Bartner Productions
present
The Ferryman

By Jez Butterworth
Directed by Sam Mendes

Designer Rob Howell
Lighting Designer Peter Mumford
Composer & Sound Designer Nick Powell

Casting Director Amy Ball CDG

Gielgud Theatre
Shaftesbury Ave, Soho, London W1D 6AR
Until 6 January 2018
Box Office: 0844 482 5130*
*calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your standard network charge
Online: 
www.TheFerrymanPlay.com
Monday to Saturday 7.00pm, Wednesday and Saturday matinees 1.30pm. 
There will be no performances on Christmas Day or Boxing Day and extra performances added – check online for full details.

Day seats will be available to purchase at £12 for every performance from 10.30am at the Box Office in person
Premium tickets are available

Age Guidance 14+ Contains strong language

Twitter: @TheFerrymanPlay
Facebook: /TheFerrymanPlay
#TheFerryman

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Casting announced for THE STEPMOTHER at Chichester’s Minerva Theatre

THE STEPMOTHER by Githa Sowerby

Directed by Richard Eyre

11 August – 9 September, Minerva Theatre

Casting has been announced for Richard Eyre’s production of THE STEPMOTHER by Githa Sowerby. The distinguished company is David Bark-Jones, Kaye Brown, Simon Chandler, Joanna David, Will Keen (as Eustace Gaydon), Ophelia Lovibond (as Lois Relph), Macy Nyman,Eve PonsonbySamuel Valentine and Sharon Wattis. The production runs at Chichester’s Minerva Theatre from 11 August – 9 September, with a press night on 17 August.

1924. A comfortable house in Surrey. When the orphaned Lois Relph accepts a marriage proposal from an older man, Eustace Gaydon, she believes she’s been rescued from an uncertain future. Establishing a successful business as a dress designer, Lois leaves her fortune in her husband’s hands.

But when one of her devoted step-daughters needs her help, Lois is forced to address what drew Eustace to her in the first place – and, at last, to face the dark truth at the heart of her marriage.

This gripping drama is a searing look at manipulation, money and matrimony. What price a woman’s autonomy within a man’s world?

Playwright Githa Sowerby’s most famous play, Rutherford and Son, is acknowledged as one of the most influential plays of the 20th century.

 

Richard Eyre returns to Chichester to direct this rediscovered gem; formerly Director of the National Theatre, his work at Chichester includes The Pajama Game and The Last Cigarette, while recent productions also include his award-winning revival of Ghosts (Almeida, West End & New York).

Ophelia Lovibond plays Lois Relph; best known for the television series W1A, Elementary andHooten and The Lady, her theatre work includes The Libertine in the West End and The Effect at Sheffield Crucible, while films include Guardians of the Galaxy and Tommy’s Honour.

Will Keen makes his Chichester debut as Eustace Gaydon. His recent television work includes The Crown, Wolf Hall, Sherlock and The Three Musketeers, while his extensive theatre work includes Pastor Manders in Richard Eyre’s award-winning production of Ghosts (Almeida, West End and New York).

The production will be designed by Tim Hatley, with lighting by Peter Mumford and sound by John Leonard.

 

The Stepmother is sponsored by Hentys Corporate.

EVENTS

Pre-Show Talk with Richard Eyre Wednesday 16 August, 6pm

Free but booking essential.

 

Post-Show Talk                                Tuesday 29 August

Stay after the performance to ask questions, meet company members and discover more. Free.

BOOKING INFORMATION

Box Office 01243 781312

Online cft.org.uk

 

Tickets from £20. Prologue tickets for 16 – 25 year olds for £5.

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Gypsy Review

Gypsy Grand Opera House York – Until 1 July.  Reviewed by Michelle Richardson

Pick Me Up Theatre brings the Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim musical Gypsy to the Grand Opera House for the first time in 25 years.

Gypsy is based on the true story of the legendary burlesque entertainer Gypsy Rose Lee. It tells the tale of Momma Rose, the pushy stage mother trying to live vicariously through her 2 daughters, Baby June and Louise, travelling from town to town with their vaudeville act, with the help of Herbie, Nick Lewis. Unfortunately for Momma Rose times are changing and the 2 girls have very different ambitions in life.

Susannah Baines plays the lead with her powerful vocals, shown to full effect with numbers like Everything’s Coming Up Roses and Rose’s Turn. We meet the 2 girls as youngsters with Baby June, Allyssia Hanley, appearing to have all the talent and being the blue-eyed girl, whilst poor Louise, Flossie Attwood, is the awkward, “ugly duckling”. Everything revolves around Baby Jane and her signature tune Let Me Entertain You, which is fine when a small girl, but becomes more and more implausible as she gets older and is still doing the same routine. We see a transition from the young Baby June and Louise, to their older selves, Maya Tether and Maren Fageras Naevdal, this was very clever how they achieved this on stage, with a dance routine.

The first act revolved around Baby Jane’s career, and Tether portrayed it well, becoming disenchanted with pretending to be so much younger than she really is, before rebelling and eloping with a member of their troupe. For the second act, we see Momma Rose heap all the pressure on a very reluctant Louise, that is until their booking at a burlesque club, then it really all changes. From being the talentless performer Louise, she truly turns into a gorgeous swan and becomes Gypsy Rose Lee. We see Naevdal transforming before our eyes and are thoroughly convinced of her seduction in the apparent seedy world of burlesque.

At times the scene changes were a bit cumbersome and too long, but on a more positive note we all loved the cow. There seemed to be a slight problem with the microphones most of the show, but it wasn’t really that noticeable and hopefully that will be sorted for future shows.

It was great to see the use of a live orchestra and they did a fantastic job. I always enjoy going to see local productions and whilst this isn’t the best I’ve seen there are some solid performances, decent singing and some good chemistry from the hard working cast.

Showing in York until Saturday 1st July.

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Hamlet Review

Harold Pinter, London – until 2 September.  Reviewed by Keiley Archer

Robert Icke’s Hamlet offers a fresh version of the Shakespeare classic, moving to the Harold Pinter Theatre for a chilling, intimate performance. The modernised adaptation is led by Andrew Scott as Prince Hamlet, supported by Angus Wright as Claudius, Juliet Stevenson as Gertrude, and Jessica Brown Findlay as Ophelia.

Beginning with the appearance of the ghost of King Hamlet ominously revealing the truth of his murder to his son, the play explores Hamlet’s deep melancholy following his father’s death and his mother’s prompt marriage to Hamlet’s uncle Claudius, and his apparent madness as he becomes obsessed with avenging his father.

Knowing of the numerous long monologues and soliloquies, I was sceptical of it getting monotonous, particularly due to its long running time of three and a half hours, but Scott succeeded all expectations. His skill during the desperately vulnerable speeches captivated the audience, each viewer on the edge of their seat as he seamlessly transformed from tears to rage, and sadness to madness, realistically portraying Hamlet’s complicated psychology.

Though one of Shakespeare’s tragedies, comedy is effectively woven into the play which provides relief from the dark undertones without distracting from the main plot. The incorporation of the video screens was unique, and were well intertwined into the play. I felt that these specific additions are particularly well suited to people who have perhaps not seen much Shakespeare before, as they make it easy to follow the play, as well as adding to the enjoyment for Shakespeare fans.

Ultimately, Hamlet proved to be a highly engaging, unique adaptation of the Shakespeare tragedy which is a must see, 4.5/5. It runs at the Harold Pinter until 2nd September and is a must-see for theatre lovers.

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UKs FIRST EVER FULLY THEMED MUSICAL THEATRE CRUISE ANNOUNCED

STAGES
Musical Theatre Cruise Announced for 2018
Starring
MICHAEL BALL,
Collabro,
Beverley Knight,
Lee Mead,
Showstopper! The Improvised Musical
PLUS MANY MORE!
 
Some of the world’s most celebrated West End and Broadway stars will entertain passengers on-board the UK’s first specialist fully fledged Musical Theatre Festival at Sea.
Musical theatre lovers will be spoiled for choice when they join Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas on the four-night Floating Festival Stages.
Escape from reality and join the roundtrip voyage Southampton/Southampton including an opportunity to enjoy a full day ashore in Amsterdam departing in October 2018.
Packages for Stages go on sale today priced from £499. For more details go towww.FloatingFestivals.co.uk
Stages will feature an incredible array of West End and Broadway stars including the nation’s favourite, two time Olivier Award winning, musical theatre star Michael Ball, the world’s most successful musical theatre group Collabro, and the divine Beverley Knight, star of The Bodyguard and Cats. 
Thrill to the voices of Lee Mead (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour DreamcoatWicked), Sophie Evans (The Wizard of Oz, Wicked) and John Owen-Jones (Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera). Be amazed by the vocal dexterity of two-time Drama Desk Award Nominated actress and ‘diva’ impressionist Christina Bianco – direct from Broadway. 
Delight in a truly unique performance from the Olivier Award-winning West-End productionShowstopper! The Improvised Musical and experience a show that has never been performed before and will never be performed again!
Accept an invitation to the Masquerade Ball, take part in dance classes, join the Musical Theatre choir and much more.
This luxurious Stages cruise is produced by Floating Festivalswith assistance from Royal Caribbean. Live music promoters Cuffe and Taylor are sourcing the major star artists and attractions.
Unlike other chartered cruises, Floating Festivals will not just replace the usual cruise ship entertainment programme, it will transform the ship into a full Musical Theatre floating resort.
Be transported to the stages of the West End and Broadway for a Musical Theatre Festival at Sea including full live shows and performances, workshops with stars from the world of musical theatre and live Q&A events and activities.
Jonathan Blackburn, the brainchild behind Floating Festivals, said: “If you truly love musical theatre this exhilarating cruise adventure offers you an unforgettable four-night Voyage with The Stars. 
“We have lined up some of the most beloved personalities from the West End and Broadway for what promises to be a true musical theatre extravaganza at sea.
Not only will there be show-stopping performances and shows, but passengers will also get the opportunity to meet and hear from the people behind some of the most celebrated musical theatre shows in the world.
This is not just a cruise with a theme, this is a musical festival.
The moment the passenger enters the cruise terminal at Southampton and walks down the Red Carpet, they will begin to rejoice in an experience of which they will be an important part of for the duration of their cruise.
We want our passengers to experience Stages in the most magnificent way. We have a fantastic array of stars and performers as well as many special features which will really make Stages a truly unforgettable experience.
The Navigator of the Seas is a beautiful ship and while we will look forward to seeing passengers having an absolute ball with all the entertainment and shows, they will also be able to sit back, relax and enjoy all the fantastic attractions included on this wonderful ship.
As well as being part of the UK’s first ever Floating Festivals passengers will be able to enjoy all the amazing features of the Navigator of the Seas including a 9-hole miniature golf course and separate Golf Simulator, the unique FlowRider surf simulator, the signature Royal Caribbean Rock Wall, ground-breaking virtual balcony cabins, the Vegas style Casino Royale, luxurious Vitality Spa & Fitness Centre, three pools, six whirlpools, Video Arcade and a selection of luxury Boutique Shopping experiences.
 
All Floating Festivals packages also include complimentary à la carte restaurant and buffet dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Speciality Restaurants are also available for an additional charge.
The Floating Festivals Stages cruise will depart Southampton for four nights from 15 October 2018 and includes a full day in Amsterdam.
Prices start from £499.00 (plus £110.00pp gratuities, taxes, fees and port expenses). 
For more details go to www.FloatingFestivals.co.uk
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STEP BACK IN TIME AND GET READY FOR THE BIGGEST PARTY IN TOWN WITH THE WEDDING SINGER

STEP BACK IN TIME AND GET READY FOR THE BIGGEST PARTY IN TOWN WITH THE WEDDING SINGER

 

A sparkling new production of The Wedding Singer will play at Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield for one week only from Tue 18 – Sat 22 July. Jon RobynsRay QuinnCassie ComptonLucie Jonesand Ruth Madoc will star in the hilarious musical based on the hit film.

It’s 1985. Hair is huge, greed is good and rock-star wannabe Robbie Hart is New Jersey’s favourite wedding singer. When his own fiancée dumps him at the altar a seriously bummed out Robbie makes every wedding as disastrous as his own. Can sweet natured Julia and her best friend Holly lure Robbie out of the dumpster and back into the limelight?  Or is he going to see her head off down the aisle with Wall Street bad boy Glen. Only Grandma Rosie seems to be able to see that Robbie and Julia are the couple that are meant to be.

West End and Musical Theatre star Jon Robyns plays Robbie Hart. Most recently he starred inLegally Blonde as Emmett Forrest, other theatre credits include Enjolras in Les Misérables,SpamalotMemphis and Avenue Q.

He is joined on stage by British singer-songwriter Ray Quinn as Glen who shot to fame as the runner-up in ITV1’s The X Factor in 2006 and as champion of Dancing on Ice in 2009. In 2014 he won Dancing on Ice: Champion of Champions. His theatre credits include Danny Zuko in Grease(West End), Dirty Dancing (West End) and Legally Blonde (UK Tour).

West End leading lady and X Factor finalist Cassie Compton plays Julia; her roles include Sabrina in American Psycho (Almeida, London) and Eponine in Les Misérables. Playing best friend Holly isLucie Jones (Legally BlondeGhost The Musical), who most recently represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest.

No stranger to stage and screen, comedy veteran Ruth Madoc joins the company as Grandma Rosie. Ruth became a household name in the Eighties when she played Gladys Pugh in BBC comedy series Hi-De-Hi! More recently we’ve seen her on screen in ITV’s BenidormMount Pleasant (Sky) and Stella (Sky).

Don’t miss this chance to join the party of the year – with a musical that promises to get you up dancing faster than your Dad at a wedding, The Wedding Singer is packed with songs which capture all the fun and energy of the Adam Sandler smash hit film.

The Wedding Singer plays Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield from Tue 18 – Sat 22 July to book call the Box Office on 0114 249 6000 or visit sheffieldtheatres.co.uk.

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NEWCASTLE THEATRE ROYAL ANNOUNCES AUTUMN ’17 / SPRING ’18 SEASON

NEWCASTLE THEATRE ROYAL ANNOUNCES

AUTUMN ’17 / SPRING ’18 SEASON

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

Rambert – Ghost Dances & other works 6 – 8 Feb ‘18

Art 5 – 10 Mar ‘18

The Kite Runner 30 Apr – 5 May ‘18

Jersey Boys 31 Jul – 11 Aug ‘18

 

Breath-taking dance, thought-provoking drama, feel-good musicals and family shows aplenty – the new Autumn 17 / Spring 18 season from Newcastle Theatre Royal, announced today, has it all.

 

The four big musicals this season are Kay Mellor’s Fat Friends – The MusicalCilla – The Musical, Tim Firth’s Take That musical The Band and the Broadway and West End hit Jersey Boys.

 

Based on the hit TV show, Fat Friends – The Musical (23 – 27 Jan ‘18) will be bursting onto our stage with an all-star cast next spring.  This eagerly anticipated new musical, with original music by Nick Lloyd Webber and starring West End favourite Jodie Prenger and X Factor winner Sam Bailey, is packed full of warmth, hope, humour and heart (and weight-loss!) as it reunites our favourite foodie friends.

 

Cilla – The Musical (27 Feb – 3 Mar ‘18) is the spectacular and heart-warming musical adaptation of the critically acclaimed hit ITV television series. It tells the extraordinary story of the ordinary girl from Liverpool whose teenage dreams of stardom lead her to becoming one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers of all time. The musical score is the ultimate soundtrack to the 60’s including Cilla’s greatest hitsAnyone Who Had a HeartAlfie and Something Tells MeTwist and Shout by the Beatles, California Dreamin by The Mamas and The Papas and many more.

 

Now the fastest selling musical theatre tour of all time, The Band (3 – 14 April ’18), already on sale) is a beautiful story about anyone that grew up with a boyband and how the songs became the soundtrack to their lives. Written by Olivier Award-winning writer Tim Firth, featuring the music of co-producers Take That and starring the winners from the BBC’s Let it Shine Five to Five, The Band is set to become a classic.

 

On the subject of classic musicals – West End and Broadway hit and internationally acclaimed stage sensation Jersey Boys (31 Jul – 11 Aug ’18) hits the stage in Summer 2018.  Winner of 57 major awards worldwide including the Oliver Award for Best New Musical, Jersey Boys tells the true story of four boys from the wrong side of the tracks who wrote their own songs, invented their own sound, and sold 100 million records worldwide.

 

Dance fans will delight in four big names this season, starting with the legendary Rambert (6 – 8 Feb ’18) who return with probably their most popular work – Ghost Dances & other works. Visually referencing the Day of the Dead, and driven by bewitching Latin American folk music, we witness as ‘death’ (in the form of the iconic “ghost dancers”) interrupts the daily lives of a series of ordinary people and their stories of love and compassion.  The triple bill also includes a brand new dance theatre creation inspired by the music of Nina Simone and an all-action work by internationally acclaimed choreographer Andonis Foniadakis. All three pieces feature Rambert’s trademark quality of combining virtuoso dancing with live music to thrilling effect.

 

Another big name to return, Scottish Ballet is back with a new production of The Nutcracker (31 Jan – 3 Feb ‘18)Classical ballet at its most plush and sumptuous, the show was originally devised in 1973 by the Company’s founding artistic director, and revived to widespread acclaim in 2014. Tchaikovsky’s delectable score played by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, a land of dreams and fairy tale, costumes plucked from the most gorgeous chocolate box and a fantastical adventure with a little girl called Clara combine for one of the most magical ballets of all time.

 

An extravagant mix of Latin fever and ballroom magic is in store with Brendan Cole’s spectacular new show All Night Long (18 Mar ’18).  Accompanied by his own sensational guest dancers, and featuring live music and stunning special effects, Brendan’s dazzling choreography will delight and enthral all ages.

 

Following the sold-out success of The Red Shoes earlier this year, Matthew Bourne’s multi award-winning New Adventures company return to the Theatre Royal in Spring 2018 with one of their most beloved productions, Cinderella (17 – 28 Apr ’18).  A thrilling love story set in London during the Second World War, it transports the audience into the heart of Prokofiev’s magnificent score and the sights and sounds of war-torn London.  It was a sell-out when it last visited in 2012 and early booking is highly recommended to avoid disappointment.

Theatre

 

Also sure to be a sell-out is the first ever theatre show of the iconic, world famous Teletubbies in Teletubbies Live (10-11 Feb ‘18).  A treat for all pre-schoolers, this a show full of love and laughter as Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po explore the magical world of Teletubbyland. Children are encouraged to join in and enjoy familiar features from the TV series along with brand new songs.

 

For slightly older children we have an exciting new adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s family classic The Jungle Book coming to vivid life from 27 to 31 Mar ’18.  Mowgli the man cub battles for survival in this heart-warming coming-of-age story about a boy raised by wolves in the jungle. From the hugely talented team behind Theatre Royal favourites Goodnight Mister Tom and Michael Morpurgo’s Running Wild, the show is packed with memorable characters, new songs and brilliant storytelling.

 

Destined to become a future classic, kids will also delight in the award-winning West End production of David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny(30 May – 2 June ’18). It’s Friday night and Ben knows that means only one thing – staying with Granny, and it’s going to be sooooooooo boring! But what Ben doesn’t know is that Granny has a secret – and Friday nights are about to get more exciting than he could ever imagine….! Walliams is currently the UK’s best-selling children’s author and this show will be a sure hit with little folk everywhere.

 

For drama lovers we are proud to present David Haig in the critically acclaimed Pressure (20 – 24 Feb ’18).  Written by and starring Haig, Pressure tells the extraordinary true story of one man – meteorologist Group Captain James Stagg – who changed the course of the second world war (and history) in June 1944 while advising Eisenhower on the D-Day landings.

 

One of the most successful comedies ever, and winner of Olivier, Tony, Moliere and every other major world theatre award, stage masterpiece and global phenomenon ART (5 – 10 Mar ’18) returns in the Spring with an all-star cast featuring Nigel Havers, Denis Lawson and Stephen Tompkinson. Now celebrating its twentieth anniversary, Art tells the story of three old friends in Paris – Serge, Yvan and Marc, who discover they have very differing opinions about what constitutes ‘art’ when one buys a very expensive, rather peculiar painting.

 

 

Heart rending and unmissable The Kite Runner (30 April – 5 May ‘18) is our third drama sensation. Direct from the West End, this haunting tale of friendship follows one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption. Based on Khaled Hosseini’s bestselling novel, the story begins on a beautiful afternoon in Kabul where and the skies are full of the excitement of a kite flying tournament, and two childhood friends cannot foresee the terrible incident which will shatter their lives forever. A must for fans of the novel and drama lovers everywhere.

 

Our fourth offering is a thriller from the mistress of mystery herself, and the UK’s greatest crime writer, Agatha Christie.  Love from a Stranger (12 – 16 June ’18) tells the tale of Cecily Harrington who is swept off her feet by a whirlwind romance with a handsome and charming stranger. Little does she know the ghastly truth about her new beau.  Audiences can expect Christie’s trademark electric suspense and a biting twist in the tail with this brand new production – an edge-of-your-seat, rarely seen thriller.

 

Two comedy greats complete our new season – the unstoppable David Baddiel (11 Mar ’18) brings his Olivier-nominated one-man showMy Family: Not the Sitcom to the Theatre Royal stage following a sold out run at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory and two critically acclaimed West End runs.  Furthermore, following his hit run with us back in 2013, the North East’s Pete Peverley returns with his touching, heartfelt and very funny celebration of the life of comic legend Bobby Thompson in The Bobby Thompson Story (16 & 17 Mar ’18).  Marking the 30th anniversary year of folk hero Bobby’s death, this is an unmissable gig for fans of ‘The Little Waster’ and indeed all lovers of traditional and North East comedy.

 

Tickets for all new shows in the Autumn ’17 / Spring ‘18 season go on sale to the general public at 9am on Fri 7 July 2017 and can be purchased online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge).

 

Friends of the Theatre Royal can book new season shows online and through the box office from Mon 3 July 2017 and receive discounted tickets as well as other benefits – visit www.theatreroyal.co.uk/support/become-a-friend for more information.

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LEEDS GRAND THEATRE TO HOST 10th ANNIVERSARY TOUR OF DREAMBOATS AND PETTICOATS

LEEDS GRAND THEATRE TO HOST 10th ANNIVERSARY TOUR OF DREAMBOATS AND PETTICOATS

 

Inspired by the multi-million selling albums, the Olivier Award nominated musical, Dreamboats and Petticoats, returns to Leeds Grand Theatre from 10th July 2017 for one week only.

Celebrating 10 years on tour, the highly emotive musical set in 1961, tells the story of young musicians Norman and Bobby who are competing to win a national song writing competition and, more importantly, the attention of the gorgeous Sue! But when Bobby discovers that shy Laura is no slouch on the piano, love and rock‘n’roll fame beckons.

 

From the writers behind TV Classics ‘Goodnight Sweetheart’, ‘Birds of a Feather’, ‘The New Statesmen’ and‘Shine on Harvey Moon’, the West End sell-out show features classic tracks from Roy Orbison, The Shadows, Eddie Cochran, Billy Fury, and many more from music’s golden era. Hits include ‘Let’s Dance’, ‘To Know Him Is to Love Him’, ‘Bobby’s Girl’, ‘Little Town Flirt’, ‘Runaround Sue’, ‘Happy Birthday Sweet 16’, ‘Great Pretender’, ‘C’mon Everybody’ and ‘Let’s Twist Again’.

Dreamboats and Petticoats is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 10th July to Saturday 15th July 2017

 

Tickets are priced from £23 (restricted viewing) to £35

(prices include a £3 booking fee. Postage charge £1 where applicable)

 

Book online at leedsgrandtheatre.com or call Box Office on 0844 848 2700

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York Theatre Royal wins prestigious York Design Award

York Theatre Royal wins prestigious York Design Award

The £6m redevelopment of York Theatre Royal to create a building fit for the 21st century audience has won two highly-coveted awards in the York Design Awards 2017.

York Theatre Royal took the Commercial/Community/Public/Educational – Large category award, competing with seven other entrants. The theatre also took The Press People’s Award where local residents vote for the scheme which ‘delights’ them most.

Chief Executive Liz Wilson said: ‘We’re delighted to be honoured with the York Design Award recognising the design integrity of the project along with all the hard work that went into creating a building that meets the needs of modern audiences.’

York Theatre Royal was among 33 buildings competing in six different categories in the Design Awards whose aim it is to encourage and promote excellence in design and conservation.

The theatre site in St Leonard’s Place has been occupied since the mid-18th century with a number of alterations being made over the years. The most significant was made by Patrick Gwynne in 1967, with its iconic mushroom columns, free flowing space and futuristic skylights – a legacy to the modern movement at the beginning of the 20th century.

Every stage of the latest redevelopment undertaken by York Citizens Theatres Trust and York Conservation Trust, was carefully designed to harmonise with the Grade II* listed building and its beautiful patchwork of architectural styles.

The refurbishment has created additional space urgently needed in order to appeal to and engage a wider community, bring more people into the building and create the opportunity to increase revenue, enabling the theatre to be more financially resilient in the future. Staff, Youth Theatre members, audience and general public were among those who determined the changes needed to improve the visitor experience.

The project was funded by Arts Council England, City of York Council and York Conservation Trust with generous grants and donations from local and national trusts and foundations, corporate and individual supporters. A further £215,000 was raised through a public fundraising campaign.

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