This piece is written with honesty and integrity, speaking from the heart of the era and from Janis Joplin herself. Expect to be immersed in the birth of the age of Aquarius – come dressed for the occasion!
Collette Cooper (Janis Joplin) has you in her grasp from the moment she takes the stage. Her conversations with the audience are interspersed with dynamic song that reaches right into your soul. Cooper embodies Joplin’s mannerisms as if they are her own. Cooper is 100% in the zone. Along with the band she has everyone on their feet, with the supporting cast providing context and encouragement. All together you feel transported back to witness the short life of an awesome talent.
If you know nothing about Joplin, come and learn. If you are a fan, come and be part of the experience. I will be going again.
BASED ON AN IDEA BY CHRISTOPHER D. CLEGG DIRECTED BY JESSE JONES
TICKETS ON SALE NOW FROM
Following rave reviews at London’s Garrick Theatre, the fabulous killer comedy and smash hit sold-out sensation Death Drop will be sashaying across the UK on tour this autumn. Kicking off in October in Southend, the tour will also visit Salford, Cardiff, Crewe and Birmingham, with further venues to be announced. Tickets are on sale now.
Described by Attitude as a “killer show” and ”rollicking good fun” by The Guardian, the UK tour will star Ru-Paul USA drag legends Willam and Ra’Jah O’Hara and Drag Race UK star Vinegar Strokes who reprises her originating West End role, together with Holly Stars and a full cast of leading drag performers.
Written by Holly Stars, this “dazzling and delightfully camp comedy” is “jam-packed with hilarious one liners” and guaranteed to provide laugh-out-loud comedy that we all need right now. This show is like nothing you’ve seen on tour in the UK ever before!
Willam said: “I had so much fun in the West End, I’m now excited to be touring the UK in Death Drop, a spectacular drag musical murder mystery. No spoilers please (I DID IT).”
Vinegar Strokes said: “Absolutely thrilled to be back on Tuck Island and touring the UK in this killer production. Whoever wants to buy me a drink, make it a double Redrum.”
Holly Stars said: “I’m so excited that Death Drop is going on tour with this all-star cast! The show was such a hit in London, I can’t wait to show the rest of the UK why Death Drop was such a killer success.”
TuckShop Creative Director and Producer Christopher D. Clegg said: “I am beyond thrilled that we get to take the smash hit murder-mystery comedy Death Drop on tour! Coming to some of my favourite cities with some of the best drag talent the World has to offers will be so fun, and I can’t wait for everyone to see what we have in store. This cast is so funny, so fabulous, and so fierce that to not take it around the country would be a crime!”
It’s 1991 and a gaggle of guests gather on Tuck Island for a soirée like no other. The tension rises as the outrageous guests reveal their suspicious and sordid pasts, and one by one they sashay away, until at the last, nerve-shredding, side-splitting moment the surviving guests find out who-dunnit!
This rampant, raucous, ridiculous romp of a murder mystery serves up all the drama, comedy, twists and turns you’ll ever need!
Riverside Studios today announce the world première of Boys Crywritten and performed by Christian Graham. The production runs at Riverside Studios, opening16 September, with previews from14 September, and running until 26 September, following its run at Omnibus Theatre, 30 August to 9 September 2021.
“How do I begin?
I’ll try my best to be clear.
To make sense of things….”
When Mark is mugged on the way to college, his reality is shattered. This life-changing event forces him to confront some of his deepest issues and to begin to interrogate his connection to masculinity. For Mark, being a boy has always meant closing up and shying away from complex emotions. His typically masculine dad is looking for a quick solution, his mum there to be a shoulder to cry on when he is ready to release. As he begins to reassemble himself, he develops a sharper image of the person he wants to be.
Bringing us back to the first decade of the 21st Century – the early 2000s – Boys Cry explores self-image, maturity, life after trauma and definitions of manhood. It fights to overcome toxic aspects of masculinity and interrogate the norms we have come to accept about gender.
Christian Graham, writer and performer of Boys Cry, said today, “I wrote Boys Cry to talk about how vulnerability is a strength rather than a weakness but I hope that audiences also walk away with an awareness of how to question some of the false narratives about masculinity we have grown up with. It’s especially important for young men to be able to free themselves from these misconceptions.”
Rachel Tackley,Creative Director of Riverside Theatre,also commented:“I am really looking forward to sharing this intensely personal, moving piece with audiences at Riverside. I am sure it will captivate audiences and inspire debate, which we look forward to being part of.”
Marie McCarthy, Omnibus Theatre Artistic Director, said: “Developed in Engine Room, our monthly scratch night, Christian Graham’s Boys Cry is a powerful, inspiring and insightful piece exploring the impact of trauma and sits proudly in our Autumn Season.”
Christian Graham is an actor/writer. His credits as an actor include Hong Kong City (The White Bear), Miniaturists (Arcola Theatre) and Heat and Light Company (Hampstead Theatre). He is an alumnus of The Soho Theatre Writer’s Labs, Hightide Academy and Orange Tree Theatre Writers Collective.
Ebenezer Bamgboye is the deputy director of Jermyn Street Theatre and a resident director at the Almeida. Recent credits include Two Horsemen (Jermyn Street Theatre) and Six Artists in Search of a Play (Almeida). He has also made work for venues including CPT, Battersea Arts Centre, Hampstead Theatre and the Omnibus.
SHEFFIELD THEATRES WELCOMES NEW TRUSTEES TO THEIR BOARD
Sheffield Theatres today announces the new Trustees to its Boards, appointed to work alongside the leadership team and help shape the future of the organisation.
Joining the Sheffield Theatres Trust Board is: esteemed academic Anni Domingo;educational IT Director James Garnett; Executive Director at Theatre Royal Stratford East Eleanor Lang; Chief Executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Kirsten Major; retired solicitor and former Group Chief Executive of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors John Pickering;and Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development at Sheffield Hallam University Umar Zamman.
Also returning to the Board is long-term supporter of Sheffield Theatres: NeilMacDonald OBE. The new members join the current members of the Sheffield Theatres Trust Board, including: LordKerslake (Chair), StephenBetts, RuthBourne, SurriyaFalconer (Vice Chair), CllrAnneMurphy, RosieNeave, CllrSioned–MairRichards and ArnieSingh.
Alongside this board, Sheffield Theatres welcomes to the Sheffield Theatres Crucible Trust Board: independent Theatre Producer and Consultant Kate Pakenham, andExecutive Director at The Old Vic Kate Varah, who both join independent theatre Producers: Matthew ByamShaw (Playful); RobertNoble (Cameron Mackintosh and Mathew Bourne); from AKA, Director of Audiences, Research and Insights RichardHuntrods; and NeilAdleman of Harbottle & Lewis.
All trustees contribute a wealth of knowledge and insight into local, regional and cultural agendas, helping to provide clear strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals and evaluating performance. The new trustees will ensure positive change in the organisation through actions and words that advocate inclusion and equality.
The new trustees form the Board following a successful year in the face of unprecedented circumstances: Sheffield Theatres continues to produce and present a diverse programme of work, including classic and contemporary drama, musicals, comedy, and dance on each of its stages. Gaining national recognition for its high calibre work such as Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Life of Pi and Standing at the Sky’s Edge, under the leadership of Dan Bates as Chief Executive and Robert Hastie as Artistic Director, Sheffield Theatres was awarded the title of the UK’s Regional Theatre of the Year in 2020 – a title it has held on an unprecedented four occasions. On average the theatres attract audiences of 400,000 people each year.
DanBates, Chief Executive of Sheffield Theatres said:
‘It’s a real delight to welcome new experts to our Board. We are looking ahead to the future of Sheffield Theatres and having individuals from different sectors, professions and backgrounds is invaluable to us, especially in offering exciting innovations and making significant decisions about the next steps ahead as we re-open and recover from the pandemic.’
This autumn, Sheffield Theatres has a full programme across all three of its theatres, having recently reopened the Lyceum theatre. The Crucible season opens with Typical Girls, by Morgan Lloyd Malcom. This new play is a co-production with Clean Break. Further information can be found at sheffieldtheatres.co.uk.
Event created during the pandemic is back by popular demand
Line-up features 23 performances of 16 shows over 12 days
Premieres include 2Georgeous4U and Something About George
The much anticipated Liverpool Theatre Festival returns next week with an exciting line-up to celebrate and showcase the region’s performing and creative arts talent.
The outdoor live event is back for its second year and organisers are delighted to present a programme which features 23 performances of 16 shows across 12 days.
Liverpool Theatre Festival was created by Liverpool theatre producer Bill Elms, and was first staged in September 2020 to help support the city’s creative arts industry during the Covid-19 pandemic. The event won praise from audiences and critics alike, and returns bigger for 2021. New for this year, seven-day fringe event Little LTF was staged in July to champion and showcase new works and talent, attracting 1,200 festivalgoers.
Liverpool Theatre Festival runs between Wednesday 1 September and Sunday 12 September 2021, and is once again being staged at St Luke’s Bombed Out Churchin Liverpool city centre.
One-woman comedy show 2Gorgeous4U – From Ladette To Laundrette starring Liverpool actress Lynne Fitzgerald opens the festival on Wednesday 1 September. Something About George – The George Harrison Storyfeaturing Liverpool actor and musician Daniel Taylor closes the festival on Sunday 12 September. Both productions are being premiered at the event.
The full Liverpool Theatre Festival line-up is 2Gorgeous4U, Perfectly Frank, The Last Five Years, When Another Dragon Roars, Everybody’s Talking About Musicals, Boing…Meow! The Musical, Electric Dreams, An Evening Without Kate Bush, Twice Nightly, Swan Song, Opera Beneath The Stars, Broken Biscuits, Twelfth Night By William Shakespeare, Laughterhouse Comedy, Goldilocks And The Fab 4, and Something About George – The George Harrison Story.
Producer and artistic director Bill Elms commented: “Audiences welcomed Liverpool Theatre Festival last year at a time when faith, hope and laughter was much needed. They put their trust in us to provide live entertainment in a safe environment, and their incredible support has played a huge part in bringing the festival back this year, as well as introducing new works showcase and fringe festival Little LTF in July.
“Next week the curtain rises on the second annual Liverpool Theatre Festival and we are truly excited to be back for 12 days – we’re looking forward to seeing returning festivalgoers, and those coming to experience the event for the first time. We’ve created a diverse and fun programme, bursting with massively talented performers and inspiring creatives who will entertain young and old through 16 fantastic shows spanning 23 performances. Music, comedy, drama, and family shows, we’ve ensured there is something for everyone.”
Liverpool Theatre Festival is funded by Liverpool City Council and Culture Liverpool, sponsored by Falconer Chester Hall, and supported by Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres and dBS Solutions.
The festival will adhere to any Covid-19 and Government guidelines required at the time.
LIVERPOOL THEATRE FESTIVAL PROGRAMME IN FULL
2GORGEOUS4U –FROM LADETTE TO LAUNDRETTE is on Wednesday 1 September, with performances at 5pm and 8pm. Running time 70 minutes no interval.
Packed with laughter, throw backs to the Nineties, and a soundtrack guaranteed to bring back memories of the decade featuring Queen Latifa, Blur, Gabrielle, and KKlass. Written by acclaimed Liverpool playwright Mark Davies Markham, the production stars Lynne Fitzgerald (Two, Bunty The Bouncer, The Desperate Scousewives), with James Baker directing (Jerry Springer The Opera, Yank). Clare is a beautician with her own spa and treatment room in Waterloo. Back in the Britpop 1990s, Clare was one half of a pop duo 2Gorgeous4U with her best mate Tina, but they fell out. Find out what happens when they’re asked to reform for a music festival in their hometown of Liverpool.
PERFECTLY FRANK is on Thursday 2 September at 7.30pm. The show runs for two hours 20 minutes including interval.
David Knopov keeps the swing of Sinatra alive through his show, Perfectly Frank. Seen on BBC’s The One And Only, the show is believed to be one of the most successful Frank Sinatra tributes around. Liverpool’s David Knopov has entertained a global audience with his Sinatra act for more than 30 years – including a performance for Queen Elizabeth II during the Golden Jubilee celebrations. Celebrity fans also include actors Bill Nighy and Dawn French.
THE LAST FIVE YEARS is on Friday 3 September 2021, with performances at 5pm and 8pm. Running time 75 minutes no interval.
Jason Robert Brown’s Drama Desk Award-winning musical, The Last Five Years, is an intimate look at the relationship between two New Yorkers – an actress and a writer, who fall in and out of love over the course of five years. The musical’s unconventional structure pulls the audience in opposite directions with Cathy’s story unfolding in reverse from the end of their turbulent relationship, while Jamie tells his story chronologically from the spark of their initial meeting, taking audiences on an emotional rollercoaster through the joyous and the tragic. Presented by Tread Productions, it stars real-life married couple Helen Noble (Hollyoaks) and Graham Tudor (West End leading actor), directed by Iestyn Arwel, with musical supervision by Jordan Alexander.
WHEN ANOTHER DRAGON ROARS is on Saturday 4 September at 11.30am. The show runs for 45 minutes no interval.
The show fuses Altered Scale’s outstanding puppetry with Petite Ullaloom’s unique storytelling style, and is directed by Kevin Dyer. Alfie and his Mum are going camping to get away from everything – and to spend some quality time together. Alfie finds it hard to talk, his Mum does too. They share stories about dragons – scary ones, sulky ones, angry ones, and funny ones. They discover that emotions, like dragons, are tricky beasts. Sometimes they need to be tamed, sometimes they need to be released. Told with charm and humour, this is a thoughtful and heart-warming show for children and adults alike.
EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT MUSICALS is on Saturday 4September 2021, with performances at 6pm and 8.30pm. Running time 75 minutes no interval.
The cast of this vibrant and electrifying show includesMarcus Collins (X Factor, Hairspray, Kinky Boots), Chloe Taylor (Mamma Mia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Wicked), Craig Ryder (Bat Out Of Hell, We Will Rock You, Priscilla Queen Of The Desert), and Gillian Hardie (Blood Brothers, Bad Girls The Musical, Macbeth), joined by an ensemble cast from Liverpool Theatre School. Pearson Theatre Productions and Curtis Productions collaborate for the first time to present this fabulous night of musical theatre with performances from West End shows such as Kinky Boots, SIX The Musical, Mamma Mia, and &Juliet.
BOING…MEOW! THE MUSICAL on Sunday 5 September at 11.30am. Running time 50 minutes no interval.
This musical adaptation of new children’s book Boing…Meow! comes from Asa Murphy, the writer of The Monkey With No Bum book and stage production, which was recently premiered at Little LTF. Sam Conlonwill play Auntie May, with Asa Murphymaking an appearance playing the rap cat, Moggy D. Stanley is a cat, and this is his story searching for the perfect place to sleep. There is nothing in this world that Auntie May loves more than her ginger cat Stanley – but like all cats, Stanley loves to go wondering around the local neighbourhood looking for the best and most comfortable place to have his afternoon nap.
ELECTRIC DREAMS is on Sunday 5 September 2021, with performances at 4pm and 8pm. Running time two hours 10 mins including interval.
A Place for Us Theatre Company present this 1980s outdoor musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The show was originally produced in partnership with Norton Priory Museum & Gardens in June on the ancient ruins to sell-out audiences, as part of its Igniting Imaginations programme. A spectacular musical theatre event. Set against an awesome eighties inspired soundtrack, the cast features West End stars Zoe Curlett and Keiron Crook as the warring Queen and King of the Fairies, joined by a professional cast, live band, and young performers embarking on their journey into the performing arts industry.
AN EVENING WITHOUT KATE BUSH is on Monday 6 September 2021 at 7.30pm. The show runs for two hours including interval.
Acclaimed performer Sarah-Louise Young has teamed up with theatremaker Russell Lucas to explore the music and mythology of one of the most influential voices in British music. The show is produced by John Mackay. The show has already wowed Edinburgh Fringe Festival audiences and critics, and now comes to Liverpool as a guest visiting production during a national tour before it heads to the capital for a London run in early 2022. With a career spanning five decades, Kate Bush’s fascinating story goes from releasing Wuthering Heights aged 19, to selling out the Hammersmith Apollo almost 40 years later. Celebrate her ground-breaking music through this critically acclaimed chaotic cabaret cult show.
TWICE NIGHTLY is on Tuesday 7 September at 7.30pm. Running time 70 minutes no interval.
After a successful premiere at Little LTF in July, Twice Nightly is back. Organisers and critics were so impressed by the quality of writing and story of the show, highlighting Liverpool’s lost theatres of the 1930s. The show is written, stars and is directed by Michael Alan Bailey and Maria Lovelady. Roy Carruthers and the voice of Eithne Brown also feature, with music and original score by Jessica Dives. It’s 1931 and variety is the spice of life. Liverpool’s theatres are sizzling with the hottest music hall acts of the day. Song and dance double act Don and Madge are living the sweet life, until things turn sour. A night they can’t remember finds them in hot water.
SWAN SONG is on Wednesday 8 September at 7.30pm. Running time 70 minutes no interval.
After a hugely successful premiere at last year’s Liverpool Theatre Festival, Swan Song is back due to popular demand. The one-man comedy play is written by multi award winning Jonathan Harvey, stars Liverpool television and stage actor Andrew Lancel, and is directed by BAFTA award winning Noreen Kershaw.It is Liverpool 1997, the world is changing, and in the staff room gay 40-something English teacher Dave Titswell finds that not all change is welcome. He has a crush, but life, love, and work are never straight-forward. Jonathan Harvey adapted the play specially for Liverpool Theatre Festival for Andrew Lancel to play the solo role. After a successful tour of the North West of England, it’s back in Liverpool.
OPERA BENEATH THE STARS is on Thursday 9 September 2021 at 7.30pm. Running time two hours including interval.
Absolute Opera present a stunning evening of sublime operatic and classical hits. The show stars national and international performers, with Tenor Roy Locke (Opera Australia), Soprano Leigh Rhianon Coggins (Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company), and Mezzo Soprano Lilly Papaioannou (Glyndebourne). With live piano accompaniment, this enchanting gala evening will feature the most well-loved and popular songs from Grand Opera, Operetta, Neapolitan Song, modern classical and musical hits, all performed by world-class performers in beautiful evening wear. Suitable for opera lovers and newcomers to opera alike.
BROKEN BISCUITS is on Friday 10September 2021, with performances are at 6pm and 8.30pm. Running time 60 minutes no interval.
Rita and Maggie were lifelong friends until a devastating tragedy shattered both their lives and their friendship, with emotions high things may be taking a turn for the worst. Friendship, love, laughter, sadness, and hope are all at the centre of this touching story. The cast is Catherine Rice plays Maggie, Leanne Martin as Rita, and Louise Garcia as Molly.Broken Biscuits is returning to the stage after sell-out performances around Liverpool theatres and Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
TWELFTH NIGHT BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE is on Saturday 11 September at 1pm. Running time is two hours including interval.
Presented by The Boaty Theatre Company, this is a swashbuckling adventure of love, life, and mistaken identity. When a devastating storm separates and shipwrecks twins Olivia and Sebastian, they must do their best to carve out a new life in a strange land, each believing the other twin has perished. Olivia is the young Governess of Illyria island, but the pirates are thriving – led by Captain Orsina they are over-running the port and controlling the town. Featuring a live pirate band, a fearsome yet lovable Pirate Queen, and a fool or two, the production promises family fun as The Boaty Theatre Company breathes new life into one of Shakespeare’s best-loved comedies.
LAUGHTERHOUSE COMEDY presents two shows back-to-back as a Saturday night double bill on 11 September at 6pm and 8.30pm.
Laughterhouse are Liverpool’s longest running comedy club. They have been bringing the very best in live comedy to audiences across the UK for 15 years. They know exactly what makes a perfect evening of stand-up and have built their business as comedy fans, knowing that live stand-up is the most powerful and exciting evening to experience. The 6pm show features MC Chris Cairns, Gary Delaney, Mick Miller, and The Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue. The line-up for the 8.30pm show is MC Chris Cairns, Gary Delaney, Andy Askins, and The Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue.
GOLDILOCKS AND THE FAB 4 is on Sunday 12 September at 1pm. Running time 60 minutes no interval.
From the team who presented A Fairy Tale Journey Across The Mersey at last year’s Liverpool Theatre Festival, comes a brand new magical, musical, mash-up family panto. Audiences are invited on a journey with Goldilocks as she takes flight on a broomstick. After the fright of her life, Goldilocks runs off into a magical forest to search for her parents. Little does she know that her biggest adventure awaits in a large castle in the middle of the woods, she has stumbled upon a great school of witchcraft and wizardry. She meets the Fab 4, who have something magical to tell her. She must face her greatest fears and save her parents from the Wicked Queen of the Enchanted Forest.
SOMETHING ABOUT GEORGE – THE GEORGE HARRISON STORY is on Sunday 12 September 2021, with performances at 5pm and 8pm. Running time 75 minutes no interval.
Where does life take you after being in the greatest band in the history of the world – this new show answers the question and comes from the creators of Something About Simon – The Paul Simon Story. The production features Daniel Taylor, and tells the truly remarkable tale and pays tribute to one of music’s most understated icons. Featuring beautiful songs My Sweet Lord, Something, and Handle With Care, the show also includes incredible solo material and music from rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest supergroup, The Traveling Wilburys which was made up of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty. And not forgetting Beatles’ classics. From heartbreak to hedonism and songwriting to success, Something About George will showcase a life that was anything but quiet.
READING REP THEATRE LAUNCHES WITH READING REP: REBORN – AN OPENING NIGHT GALA CELEBRATING
READING AND ITS CULTURAL FUTURE
Reading Rep Theatre, led by Founding Artistic Director Paul Stacey and Executive Director Nick Thompson, opens its doors for the first time on 15 September for its Opening Gala. The event will mark the official opening of Reading Rep’s new cultural arts hub, following a two-year build and fundraising campaign which raised over £1 million to build the new theatre. The Gala is an opportunity to celebrate Reading’s new home for classic stories reimagined, a company rejuvenated, and a cultural hub revitalised.
The Reading Rep: Reborn season then begins with DORIAN,a world première adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray written by Bruntwood Prize winner Phoebe Eclair-Powell, and RSC Associate Director Owen Horsley. Paul Stacey then directs local born Beth Flintoff’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol, and Fringe First Award winner Gary McNair’s Jekyll & Hyde; and Helen Eastman directs her children’s show Alby The Penguin Saves The World. Completing the season is A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Paul Stacey and Christie O’Carroll.
The Gala will be supported by Reading Rep’s Associate Companies as part of a specially curated evening including:
Animal written and performed by Camille Ucan, directed by A Girl Call Stephen Artistic Director Annie Kershaw
Inauspicious directed by Exit Pursued by Panda Artistic Director Adrian Tang, performed by Zheng Xi
When This Is Overdevised and performed byMake/Sense Theatre
Artistic Director, Paul Stacey, says “This is a really special moment. We’ve been working tirelessly to complete this project during an incredibly difficult time for the industry and country. It’s such a joy to be able to finally open our doors with such an exciting first season of work. We can’t wait to share both the theatre and RE:BORN season with the community we serve.”
Adrian Tang is a London and Berkshire-based theatre maker. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of Exit Pursued By Panda, a theatre company promoting the interests of East & South East Asian (ESEA) creatives in the UK. His directing credits include Ghost Ferry (New Earth Theatre), Wight Rose, Wight Rose, Wight Rose (Theatre503) Unburied, Who Killed Chameleon Girl? (Bunker Theatre), and One of the Good Ones (Hampstead Theatre). As a writer, his credits include Inauspicious, Setting a High Bar, and Eyes.
Camille Ucan’s previous theatre credits include Outings, Marriage, Birthday Girls in Party Vibes, Birthday Girls in 2053 (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). Her television credits include Cinderella: After Ever After, Lee and Dean, Scarecrows, Limbo, @Elevenish, Brotherhood, Pompidou, Absolutely Fabulous, and Gittins. Ucan is part of the comedy sketch group Birthday Girls.
Annie Kershaw is a queer director and producer from Reading, and the Artistic Director of A Girl Called Stephen. Her work has been performed at Applecart Arts, Pleasance, Lyric Hammersmith, South Street Arts Centre, The Space Edinburgh, Vault Festival and Reading College.
Reading-based Make/Sense Theatre was founded by three highly-experienced SEN/SEMH drama and dance practitioners and performers to make theatre for, by and with the neurodivergent community. Ambitious in all their work, Make/Sense Theatre provides equitable access to drama and dance through in-reach programmes for adults and young people, multi-sensory theatre for complex needs, inclusive community youth theatre and training and employment opportunities for neurodivergent people.
We can finally go to the ball, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella was well worth the wait. Emerald Fennell’s treatment of the fairy tale frames Cinderella as a social outcast in a town obsessed with beauty. The citizens of Belleville rely on the town’s reputation for perfection for tourism, and our goth heroine refusing to conform is judged harshly. The laughs come thick and fast, with lots of sarcasm and panto physical humour.
It takes her stepmother and stepsister to eventually make Cinderella realise that she is just as judgemental and snobbish as the people she mocks and that she is her own worst enemy after her rebellious acts cause the desperate queen to try to fill her coffers after the disappearance of Prince Charming with a ball and a royal wedding.
The preening men and pouting women of Belleville are a joy to watch in Gabriela Tylesova’s sumptuous costumes, and Tylesova’s minimal but beautiful set is a triumph. The use of the revolve and the mobile buildings of Bellevue is used to stunning effect as the townsfolk hunt for Cinderella.
Lloyd Webber includes his usual soaring numbers but the ballads are pleasingly stripped back, allowing the actors’ voices to shine. David Zippel’s lyrics are light and fluffy and very funny. JoAnn M. Hunter’s choreography is wonderful, matching each musical style perfectly, and the opening of Act 2 is a bombastic but beautiful ballroom dance as some lucky audience members get transported to the ball.
Carrie Hope Fletcher is an incredible leading lady, captivating vocally and convincing as the conflicted Cinderella. Ivan Turco impresses on his debut as Prince Sebastian, bringing a sweet vulnerability to the character. Gloria Onitiri gives a barnstorming performance as the Godmother (a plastic surgeon – performing traditional but still nifty stage magic). Georgina Castle and Laura Baldwin are hilarious as the vacuous but beautiful stepsisters. But the show really comes to life when VictoriaHamilton-Barritt and Rebecca Trehearn take the stage as the Stepmother and the Queen. Trehearn’s image conscious queen gets to frolic with leather clad guards in a crowd pleasing number, and Hamilton-Barritt, channelling Cruella deVille, Norma Desmond and Patsy from Ab Fab just has to raise an eyebrow to raise a laugh. Their duelling duet is the highlight of the show.
This isn’t groundbreaking stuff, but Cinderella is a guaranteed crowd pleaser – a sumptuous visual and musical treat, full of fun and fabulous frocks.
Sheffield is set to welcome Jamie home with a very special premiere of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, the film adaptation of the hit musical, on 17th September – the same day it launches on Amazon Prime Video around the world.
In recognition of the central role Sheffield has played in the film, a premiere will be held at the Crucible and Tudor Square (where there will be a red carpet welcome) on the evening of Friday 17th with the stars of the show paying homage to Sheffield Theatres, who originally commissioned and staged the musical that the film is based on. There will also be special fan area with spaces for a lucky 96 members of the public on the day. The film was produced and directed by Sheffield-ers, Warp Films and Jonathan Butterell; with filming taking place in and around the city, and featuring many actors and supporting cast with Sheffield roots.
To celebrate this special event and the history the Jamie story has with the city, Sheffield City Council are teaming up with Warp Films (who produced the film) and Prime Video, to showcase a free display of props and costumes in the Winter Gardens from Friday 17th to Saturday 25th September for anyone to come along and get closer to the fabulous story of Jamie. The Council are also funding Sheffield based Cinema For All to organise free community screenings around the city, taking place in sync with the premiere at the Crucible, to ensure wider access and inclusivity to this great cultural production. The venues with Cinema For All screenings are:
Film Unit at University of Sheffield
Abbeydale Picture house (who will also be hosting an afterparty)
Kelham Island Film Club
The Civic in Barnsley
On top of this, there will be afterparties happening in various places around the city. Participating venues have been given special permission to use logos and artwork from the film by Prime Video, and these are being distributed by the Council once ideas and plans for venue parties/menus etc have been submitted.
More information, including how to try to get one of the lucky fan spaces in Tudor Square, the costume and prop display, how to book a free ticket for a Cinema For All screening, or how to find out which venues are hosting parties can all be found online at www.welcometoSheffield.co.uk/jamie.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie will be launched on Amazon Prime Video on 17th September and will be in selected cinemas across the country, including Sheffield Showroom, from the same day.
Councillor Terry Fox, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said:
“It’s fantastic to see the support in Sheffield for this brilliant film and the really positive impact it’s had on people across the city who have been involved from the start – from sharing local knowledge of the best locations to working on the production as cast and crew
“Our city is known for its warm welcome, grit and vibrancy and you can see those themes running right through Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. Sheffield-ers can be proud of the finished product and it’s only right that we celebrate it here. I hope everyone can get down to the display for an added experience that celebrates the whole story.”
Jonathan Butterell, Director of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, along with writer Tom MacRae and composer Dan Gillespie Sells, said:
“We couldn’t be more proud that Jamie New is coming home. On September 17th our film Everybody’s Talking About Jamie goes out to 240 countries and territories across the world on Amazon Prime Video and to cinemas across the country.
“From the Crucible Theatre and in the streets of our wonderful city and region we will celebrate our glorious rainbow diversity and come together in this place where we all belong to sing and dance and revel in the fabulousness of each and every one of us.
“It’s gunna be chuffin’ marvellous. See you there.”
Mark Herbert, joint CEO of Warp Films, said:
“To have our fabulous film celebrated back where it started at the iconic Crucible in our home city is a dream for us all. Forget the last 18 months for a night, get your best frocks on and party like only us Yorkshire folk can!”
Dan Bates, Chief Executive of Sheffield Theatres, said:
“From seeing Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’s very first steps at the Crucible to it flourishing in London and beyond, we couldn’t be happier to welcome the film home. We’re so very proud to see how the show has grown from Sheffield Theatres’ original commission for the stage. Jamie holds a very special place in the collective heart of Sheffield, and it’s a delight to watch more and more people embrace Jamie with open arms. We’re sure the film adaptation will spread just as much warmth, joy and sparkle as the theatre show continues to.”
About “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” the film:
Inspired by true events, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie follows Jamie New (Max Harwood), a teenager from Sheffield, who dreams of life on stage. While his classmates plan their livelihoods after they leave school, Jamie contemplates revealing his secret career ambition to become a fierce and proud drag queen. His best friend Pritti (Lauren Patel) and his loving mum (Sarah Lancashire) shower him with endless support, while local drag legend Miss Loco Chanelle (Richard E. Grant) mentors him toward his debut stage performance. But Jamie also has to contend with an unsupportive father (Ralph Ineson), an uninspired careers advisor (Sharon Horgan), and some ignorant school kids who attempt to rain on his sensational parade. In rousing and colourful musical numbers, Jamie and his community inspire one another to overcome prejudice, be more accepting, and to step out of the darkness into the spotlight.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie stars newcomer Max Harwood, Sarah Lancashire, Lauren Patel, Shobna Gulati, Ralph Ineson, Adeel Akhtar, Samuel Bottomley, with Sharon Horgan and Richard E. Grant. The movie reunites the stage show’s original creators: director Jonathan Butterell, writer and lyricist Tom MacRae, and composer Dan Gillespie Sells, who are all making their feature film debuts. Score is composed by Sells and Anne Dudley. Mark Herbert, p.g.a., Peter Carlton, p.g.a., and Arnon Milchan are producing, with Yariv Milchan, Michael Schaefer, Natalie Lehmann, Daniel Battsek, Ollie Madden, Peter Balm, Niall Shamma and Jes Wilkins serving as executive producers.
Written by Ronald Harwood Directed by Terry Johnson
Theatre Royal Bath Productions and Everyman Theatre Productions are delighted to announce the full tour dates for Ronald Harwood’s highly acclaimed drama The Dresser starring the much loved UK entertainer Julian Clary as Norman and Olivier Award winner Matthew Kelly as ‘Sir’.
Directed by Olivier Award-winning Terry Johnson, The Dresser will run at Theatre Royal Bath from 9 September 2021, before dates at Cheltenham Everyman Theatre, Theatre Royal Brighton, Norwich Theatre Royal, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Richmond Theatre, Malvern Festival Theatre, Oxford Playhouse, Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury and newly announced– the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford and the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh where the tour finishes in February 2022.
Joining Julian Clary and Matthew Kelly in the cast are: Emma Amos as Her Ladyship, Rebecca Charles as Madge, Natalie Servat as Irene, Pip Donaghy as Geoffrey Thornton, Samuel Holmes as Mr Oxenby, Robert ShawCameron as Kent, Peter Yapp as Gloucester, Stephen Cavanagh as Albany, with Claire Jeater and Michaela Bennison in the ensemble.
Inspired by memories of working as Donald Wolfit’s dresser as a young man, Ronald Harwood’sevocative, affectionate and hilarious portrait of backstage life is regarded as one of the most acclaimed dramas of modern theatre.
It is 1942 and in a war-torn provincial theatre an aging actor-manager, known to his loyal acting company as ‘Sir’, is struggling to cling on to his sanity and complete his 227th performance of King Lear. For 16 years Norman, Sir’s devoted dresser, has been there to fix Sir’s wig, massage his ego, remind him of his opening lines and provide the sound effects in the storm scene. It is down to Norman to ensure that in spite of everything, the show goes on.
Julian Clary has performed across the world and is renowned for his many successes across television, radio, film, writing and stand-up comedy. His roles on stage include Leigh Bowery in Boy George’s Taboo (West End and national tour), the Emcee in Rufus Norris’s Olivier Award winning production of Cabaret (West End), and Le Grand Mort (Trafalgar Studios). Julian also regularly performs in panto and will return to the London Palladium this Christmas. His many TV credits include Trick or Treat, Saturday Night Live, Sticky Moments, Terry and Julian, All Rise, Strictly Come Dancing, Have I Got News For You and QI. He toured the UK earlier this year with his latest one-man comedy show Born To Mince.
Matthew Kelly is an Olivier Award winning actor who is also well known for presenting the television series Stars in their Eyes and You Bet!. Matthew Kelly’sWest End credits include Waiting For Godot with Ian McKellen and Roger Rees, BigThe Musical (Dominion), Funny Peculiar, Sign of the Times, Lend Me A Tenor!, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and as Lennie in Of Mice and Men (Savoy) for which he received the Olivier Award for Best Actor. Other recent theatre credits include Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art, Pride & Prejudice (Regents Park & UK Tour), and Troilus and Cressida (Shakespeare’s Globe). His many television credits include the award-winning Cold Blood, Benidorm, Bleak House and Moving On.
Ronald Harwood was an Academy Award, Palme d’Or and BAFTA-winning screenwriter and playwright. His plays include Taking Sides, Equally Divided and Quartet. His screenplay for the film of The Dresser received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Screenplay. His films include the Academy Award winning The Pianist, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Love in the Time of Cholera.
Terry Johnson is a dramatist and director who has won numerous theatre awards including two Olivier Awards as a playwright for Best Comedy and a Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical for La Cage Aux Folles. Other West End credits include The Libertine, End of the Rainbow, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, The Duck House, Whipping It Up and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He recently directed Uncle Vanya at the Hampstead Theatre and has previously directed Mrs. Henderson Presents, Hysteria and The Libertine at Bath.
ANTON DU BEKE TO MAKE HIS PANTOMIME DEBUT AS BUTTONS IN
WALTZING INTO RICHMOND THEATRE 3 DECEMBER 2021 – 2 JANUARY 2022
Best known for his role on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Richmond Theatre is delighted to welcome the King of Ballroom Anton Du Beke in his pantomime debut as Buttons in this year’s family pantomime Cinderella from Friday 3 December 2021 to Saturday 2 January 2022.
Quick-witted and known for his sartorial style, Anton Du Beke has become a household name through regular television appearances as a host and guest on primetime television and is one of the most instantly recognisable figures in the world of Ballroom dance today. Anton was most recently announced to be a judge for this year’s Strictly and is now ready to put his dancing skills to the test, at Prince Charming’s Royal Ball!
Cinderella is produced by Crossroads Pantomimes, the World’s biggest pantomime producer whose Chief Executive Michael Harrison said:
‘I am so thrilled to have Anton making his panto debut with us in Richmond this year. Not only is Anton a star in the ballroom but his charm and persona will also make him a fantastic addition to this show. I am positive the audiences of Richmond will be delighted to have Anton headlining the pantomime this year and we can’t wait to see him on that stage’.
Rachel Lane, Theatre Director at Richmond Theatre said:
‘We are so excited to welcome Anton to Richmond and his first ever Panto. We know the Richmond audiences, young and old, school groups to family groups, will be thrilled to see him in action on our stage’.
Packed with all of the traditional pantomime ingredients audiences expect, Cinderella is a laugh-out-loud comedy, with stunning scenery, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses. Join Cinderella as she goes from rags to riches, outwits her wicked sisters and meets her dashing Prince Charming.
Anton du Beke said: ‘My first ever panto and I’m absolutely delighted to be Buttons at the wonderful Richmond Theatre, see you there my loves!’
The clock is ticking! With further casting to be announced don’t miss your chance to see Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother of all pantomimes. Book your tickets to the Ball today!