GEORGE MICHAEL LIVE SHOW DARLINGTON

The Ultimate George Michael show

‘George Michael Live’ comes to

The Majestic Darlington

Thursday 10th February 2022 !

An unforgettable evening, celebrating the music of George Michael.

This outstanding show comes to The Majestic theatre for one night only on Thursday 10th February 2022.

Steve Mitchell brings you – ‘George Michael Live’. The joyous show celebrates the music of one of the most iconic and best singer songwriters of all time, the incredible George Michael.

This ultimate tribute is a heartfelt and authentic tribute that takes audiences on a musical journey of George’s greatest hits and high energy Wham tracks. The show is based on George’s 25 Live tour and audiences are treated to stunning musical arrangements and exciting versions of songs such as Fastlove, Faith, Careless Whisper, Outside, Freedom and many more……

For more information on George Michael Live, check out the following website / social media links:

Website – https://www.georgemichaellivetribute.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/georgemichaellivetribute

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/georgemichaellivetribute/

You Tube Live Video Promo Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyOz3c6R3fA

Tickets for The Majestic Theatre are available from:

Doors open 7.00pm / Show Start Time – 7.30pm

Box Office No: 07787 558546

Ticket Office: https://buytickets.at/carltonentertainmentsandeventmanagement/496109

Holst: The Music in the Spheres Review

Jack Studio Theatre – until 19 February 2022

5*****

Reviewed by Claire Roderick

Part of Arrows & Traps new rep season, The Dyer’s Hand, Holst: The Music in the Spheres is a soulful wonder. Gustav Holst’s life and struggle to write the Planets Suite would make an interesting enough straightforward story, but writer and director Ross McGregor interweaves this masterfully with Holst’s efforts to open his pupil Cecilia Payne’s mind to the importance of art, creating an intricate and inspiring production.

Designer Odin Corie, Jonathan Simpson (lighting) and Douglas Baker (video) have created a deceptively simple set with sheer screens which double up to provide atmospheric separation of characters and as silent movie style title cards clarifying when and where the scene is taking place.

Holst’s domineering father looms large as Holst’s neuritis prevents him from becoming a pianist. His traditionalist opinions belittle Gustav’s early attempts at composition, but Holst is driven by his need to create music. As his history is revealed in flashbacks, Holst’s gentle but persistent teaching allows Cecilia to open up and their mutual respect and relationship is portrayed beautifully by Toby Wynn-Davies and Laurel Marks. The quiet dignity and understatement of their performances is remarkable, portraying their pain and joy effortlessly. Cornelia Baumann, Lucy Ioannou, Edward Spence, Alex Stevens provide expert support in various roles. Lucy Ioannou’s prim headteacher (straight out of a Victoria Wood sketch – she’s that good) turning into a giggling fangirl when she meets the uber-confident Vaughan Williams (Edward Spence) just one highlight.

It wouldn’t be an Arrows & Traps production without some choreographed sequences from movement director Will Pinchin, and they fit perfectly in this story, with figures from Holst’s past moving around him and sapping his confidence as he conducts Mars and breaks down, to the joyful memories evoked as he conducts triumphantly in the final scene. Thoughtful, clever and beautiful – a scintillating return to live theatre from Arrows & Traps

Operation Mincemeat Review

Southwark Playhouse – until 19 February 2022

5*****

Reviewed by Claire Roderick

SplitLip’s comedy musical about one of the most insane WW2 operations is a triumph. Operation Mincemeat was a deception to convince German command that the Allied invasion would be centred on Sardinia rather than Sicily. The genius/gruesome plan devised by British intelligence involved planting fake papers about a Sardinian invasion force on a corpse that would wash up on a beach in Spain for Spanish officials and German operatives to find. The story has been portrayed in the frankly po-faced film “The Man Who Never Was” and a new film is released this year – although after seeing this production, Colin Firth has a lot to live up to.

With a minimal set – basically a bank of telephones, some multipurpose cabinets and a moveable door, director Donnacadh O’Briain takes us from London offices to nightclubs, to Southern Spain and a submarine as the bonkers plot unfolds – it all has a Comic Strip Presents feel, but with a much warmer heart.

It is impossible to talk about the plan seriously, and SplitLip go straight for the comedy jugular, with most of the intelligence officers acting as if they are still in the common room of a public school and utterly convinced of their superiority. A few topical jokes are thrown in about drinks at number 10, but the depressingly familiar parallels are not over emphasised. One of the intelligence men is Ian Fleming, providing a lovely running joke as his colleagues tell him how terrible his writing is. As the man child behaviour carries on, the women in the office sing a fabulous Beyonce style number about the opportunities the war has given them. The efforts to find a suitable corpse and to provide a credible life story and paper trail are fascinating and very, very funny, especially when Jak Malone’s kinky coroner is onstage. It’s not all plain sailing, with a possible double agent, some bizarre coincidences and shoddy preparation creating jeopardy and comedy gold.

Natasha Hodgson has a ball playing Ewen Montagu as a complete chancer leading the man with the plan, meek outsider Charles Cholmondeley, astray. David Cumming is wonderfully awkward as Charles and Claire-Marie Hall is a joy as secretary Jean Leslie – the plucky gal role if this was a 1950s film, but here a fully rounded young woman relishing being valued for her ideas. Zoe Roberts is deliciously daft as our hapless man in Spain, and is also the calm, mature axis of the show as Johnny Bevan, watching the antics of his men with increasing frustration and disbelief. Jak Malone’s beautifully judged portrayal of Hester Leggett creates one of the most moving moments in the show as Hester sings about what should be included in love letters to the dead airman.

SplitLip’s lyrics are fast and funny, cramming more laughs into one song than some productions manage in an entire show, and covering a wide range of musical styles, with Jenny Arnold’s inspired choreography adding to the hilarity – you’ve never seen Nazi’s move like this. Amongst the hilarity are poignant reminders of the seriousness and human cost of the mission – switching mid-song between debauched scenes in a London nightclub and the quiet tension of the submarine crew as explosions rock the vessel. The mission ends with a glitzy finale, but then the show ends with a quiet but stirring tribute to the man who never was – Glyndwr Michael.

Like its inspiration, this musical straddles the line between genius and madness. Operation Mincemeat is warm, funny and unforgettable – crying out for a West End run.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical Review

Piccadilly Theatre – booking until 23 July 2022

5*****

Reviewed by Claire Roderick

It was never going to be subtle, but the transformation of Piccadilly Theatre into a glitzy and garish Parisian nightclub is worth a couple of stars before the show even starts. With the iconic blue elephant facing the sparkling red windmill across the auditorium, the design of this production is jaw dropping, creating a buzz in the audience that reaches fever pitch when the familiar beat of Lady Marmalade begins.

John Logan’s adaptation is shinier and more perky than Baz Luhrmann’s film, and the addition of songs from the 20 years since the film was made works wonderfully, releasing the stage show from the shackles of comparison. The tragic love story remains, with American country boy Christian and Satine, the star of the Moulin Rouge, falling in love but having to hide their affair from the Duke who agrees to bankroll the Moulin Rouge on condition that he owns Satine. All this while Satine is dying of consumption. The plot is still paper thin, but it doesn’t really matter as the audience is swept away on a dazzling wave of colour, dance and incredible renditions of familiar songs (there’s even a snippet of Rick Astley thrown in!).

Liisi LaFontaine is a spectacular Satine – captivating and full of emotion. She is matched beautifully by Jamie Boygo, capturing the naivety and passion of Christian in his stunning professional debut. Clive Carter is great fun as the manic but caring Zidler, and Simon Bailey’s dastardly Duke is fantastically slappable. Jason Pennycooke steals every scene as Toulouse-Lautrec with his heart-breaking unrequited love for Satine, and Elia Lo Tauro is hilarious as Santiago.

Every dance number is spectacular, but Backstage Romance will blow your mind, with stripped back design keeping the focus on the brilliant ensemble and the inspired choreography to a mashup of Lady Gaga, White Stripes and Britney.

A visual feast, with an uplifting soundtrack and stellar performances, Moulin Rouge is unmissable.

Freud’s Last Session Review

Kings Head Theatre – until 12th February 2022

Reviewed by Emily Cliff

4****

(c) Alex Brenner

Sigmund Freud, one of the most renowned neurologists of his time, changing the way the world thinks with his views and published works on, love, god and sex. C.S Lewis, an atheist recently turned chritistan is writing books that completely undermine the works and career of freud. Putting the two in a room together the very day World War II is declared makes for an extremely interesting and captivating debate, on the meaning of life and everything entangled in our very existence.

The King’s Head theatre was a perfect choice for this play to be put on. The cosy feel of the theatre led to an intense and intimate atmosphere throughout. No line was missed and no beat was skipped. Both Séan Browne and Julian Bird delivered their lines with distinction and clarity being completely in sync with their characters and emotions. Particularly surrounding the false air raid scene, Browne captured the torture and distress associated with an ex World War I soldier suffering PTSD.

The chemistry between these two characters was almost father son like in its debating. With Freud feeling like the superior because of his old age. Bird played Freud as a stubborn man who has simply become more stubborn and insufferable as age tightens her cruel grip on him. However, it is completely contradictory that Browne emits an atmosphere of youthful naivety despite fighting in the previous war, and being almost half the age of Freud. Both of these characters had an air of fascination around them and both Browne and Bird lit the spark and made this debate simply magnetic.

The set design of this production was simple albeit effective. Freud’s desk was true and authentic to the man himself, filled ironically, with pictures and statues of gods and goddesses, something that doesn’t fail to get mentioned and noticed throughout this play. Despite the fact the stage designers had little space to work with, they made it work with clever lighting and furniture; it felt as if the audience really had taken a step into Freud’s office.

The structure of the play is something completely different, while the story doesn’t visibly appear to have an arc, it doesn’t feel as though it is running round in circles either. It is simply an interesting debate neither rising or falling unnaturally with the way it is getting delivered. It is safe to say the aura of this play was alive and beating on with strong electricity from the chemistry of the two onstage and was a fantastic night of theatre to expand one’s mind on how we view life

FURTHER DETAILS ANNOUNCED FOR KHT:50 BARSTOOLS TO BROADWAY

KHT:50 BARSTOOLS TO BROADWAY
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF THE KING’S HEAD THEATRE

DETAILS FOR OPENING EVENT AT THE V&A CONFIRMED – PANEL DISCUSSION ON NEW WOMEN’S THEATRE AND LUNCHTIME THEATRE WITH DAME HARRIET WALTER, TIMBERLAKE WERTENBAKER, SUSAN CROFT AND HANNAH PRICE

FESTIVAL TO CLIMAX WITH READINGS OF
ELEGIES FOR ANGELS, PUNKS AND RAGING QUEENS
MARKING THIRTY YEARS SINCE THE FIRST PERFORMANCE AT THE KINGS HEAD
TO BE CAST IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE GRAD FEST

Further details have been announced for KHT50 Barstools to Broadway from The Kings Head Theatre the celebration taking place from 14 – 19 February, marking the successes of the world-renowned pub theatre’s first 50 years with a series of readings of plays that started their lives there, with cast and creative teams with links to the playwrights and original shows.

The celebrations will kick off on Monday 14 February with an event at the V&A in South Kensington, including a staged reading of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s The Third, directed by Audrey Sheffield with leading stage and screen actor Dame Harriet Walter performing the titular role, followed by a Panel Discussion on New Women’s Theatre and Lunchtime Theatre, where Dame Harriet is joined by playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker, and King’s Head Theatre co-Artistic Director and Joint CEO Hannah Price, hosted by theatre historian Susan Croft. The Panel Discussion will be available to access online, with the play reading only accessible to the in-person audience. Tickets are available now as part of the KHT50: Barstools to Broadway Sovereign experience and will go on sale to the general public on Monday 24 January via the V&A website.

As previously announced, the readings at the Kings Head will be Artist Descending a Staircase by Tom Stoppard, directed by Tim Luscombe (Tuesday 15 February at 7.00pm), Stephen Jeffreys’ Like Dolls or Angels directed by Annabel Arden (Wednesday 16 February at 7.00pm), Bryony Lavery’s Grandmother’s Steps directed by Abigail Anderson, (Thursday 17 February at 7.00pm) and with Victoria Wood’s Good Fun, directed by Annabel Leventon (Friday 18 February at 7.00pm). Full casting to be announced.

The KHT50 Barstools to Broadway celebrations will close on Saturday 19 February with a double bill reading of Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens written by Janet Hood and Bill Russell and directed by Bill Russell. This special day also serves to celebrate 30 years since the original 3 King’s Head Theatre production of Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, and is taking place during LGBTQIA+ month. 

The King’s Head Theatre is working with The Grad Fest to cast the show. The Grad Fest is an organisation set up in 2020 as a response to the lack of professional opportunities 2020 Graduands had access to, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. More information regarding The Grad Fest is available via their website https://www.thegradfest.co.uk/

Mark Ravenhill from The King’s Head said, “King’s Head Theatre are proud to be partnering with The Grad Fest for part of their KHT50: Barstools to Broadway celebration. Putting on a week of readings that reflects on the successes of the last 50 years, we feel it’s important to look forwards to the new talent entering the industry – The Grad Fest perfectly captures the essence of the future of theatre and we’re delighted to be closing the week on that note.”

Bill Russell said, “Directing the London premiere of Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens at the King’s Head Theatre in 1992 with the largest cast ever to appear on that stage was one of the highlights of my career and life. The power of having 33 extraordinary performers in that intimate space was thrilling. I will treasure those memories forever and am excited to revisit the show for the 50th anniversary celebration of this historically important theatre

Liam Gartland from The Grad Fest said, “We are thrilled to be working with The Kings Head Theatre and Bill Russell to present ‘Elegies for Angels, Punks & Raging Queens’. This will mark a special moment for The Grad Fest to be able to champion graduate voices and especially those within the queer community during LGBT history month. After the success of our ‘Beyond Proud Festival’ last year which raised funds for Schools Out UK we are very passionate about creating such a pointiate piece of theatre as part of KHT50: Barstools to Broadway.” 

Founded by original Artistic Director Dan Crawford, The King’s Head Theatre opened its doors behind a pub on Upper Street in 1970. Over the last 50 years, playwrights, plays and creatives that have passed through its doors have gone onto great heights: spring-boarding them from the Fringe into the West-End, Broadway and beyond. KHT50 Barstools to Broadway celebrates the last fifty years, whilst looking forward to the next 50 years in a new purpose built 220 seat Islington theatre due to open in late 2022. 

Ticket prices will range from £10 – £250, with funds going towards supporting and sustaining the theatre’s work in the future.

Co-Artistic Director Mark Ravenhill said, “It’s been fascinating to rummage in the Kings Head archives. This week of readings is a fantastic celebration of some of our best work with audiences who have fond memories of the original productions and to others who were too young to enjoy them first time around.  It’s a great way to begin the process of saying goodbye to our beloved but knackered pub theatre as we prepare for our move next door to a purpose built 220 seat theatre, a space for the next generation of theatre makers who I’m hoping will have the same cultural impact as the playwrights we’re celebrating in Kings Head 50’.

Twitter:  @KingsHeadThtr / #KHT50

Instagram: @kingheadtheatre / #KHT50

Meat Loaf: Statement from Jim Steinman’s Bat Out of Hell the Musical

The company of Jim Steinman’s Bat Out of Hell the Musical here in the UK is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of their great friend and producer, Meat Loaf. He was with us when the show first launched in London at the Coliseum and in Manchester at the Opera House back in 2016 and then came to the show at the Dominion Theatre in London on 25 July 2018.  

dmb_meatloaf_101.jpg


The current UK & Ireland Tour of the musical will perform this evening’s show at the New Wimbledon Theatre in Meat’s memory.  


The beat is yours forever.

Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is coming to the London Palladium this summer

THE MOST ENCHANTED MUSICAL OF ALL TIME

IS COMING TO LONDON THIS SUMMER

Image

London Palladium limited season announced
from 24 June 2022

Courtney Stapleton and Shaq Taylor to play the iconic roles of Belle and her Beast 

Spectacular new designs and state-of-the-art technology fuse with the classic story, bringing the beloved tale to new life

Legendary songs include BelleBe Our Guest
and Beauty and the Beast

BeautyAndTheBeastMusical.co.uk

Disney’s beloved Olivier Award-winning stage musical Beauty and theBeast – re-imagined and re-designed in a completely new production staged by members of the original award-winning creative team – will come to London in Summer 2022, as part of its UK & Ireland Tour.

Performances will begin at the London Palladium from Friday 24 June 2022, for a strictly limited season until Saturday 17 September.

Tickets will go on-sale for London at 10am on Friday 28 January. Customers can sign up to be amongst the first to access tickets and can find all tour dates and information at BeautyAndTheBeastMusical.co.uk

The UK tour opened at Bristol Hippodrome on 25 August 2021 and is currently playing at the Sunderland Empire.  

Spectacular new designs and state-of-the-art technology fuse with the classic story, as the timeless romantic tale is brought to life on stage like never before, with all the charm and elegance audiences expect from Belle and her Beast.

Courtney Stapleton and Shaq Taylor will play the iconic lead roles. Courtney’s credits include Dear Evan HansenSixLes Misérables and Bat Out of Hell, and Shaq is best known for performing in Girl from the North CountryHadestown and Hex.

Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins, SpongeBob SquarePants, the Broadway Musical, Les Misérables) plays Lumiere and Tom Senior (The Pirates of Penzance, Eugenius!) is Gaston.

Sam Bailey (The X-Factor winner 2013, Blood Brothers) plays the legendary role of Mrs Potts, with Nigel Richards (The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables) as Cogsworth.

Martin Ball (Les Misérables, Wicked, Top Hat) takes the role of Maurice, Samantha Bingley (Martha In The Secret Garden) is Wardrobe, Emma Caffrey (Curtains, 42nd Street, Funny Girl) is Babette and Louis Stockil (Miss Saigon, Mamma Mia!) plays Le Fou.

The full company is completed with Richard Astbury, Sarah Benbelaid, Jake Bishop, Pamela Blair, Liam Buckland, Jasmine Davis, Matthew Dawkins, Autumn Draper, Daisy Edwards, Alyn Hawke, George Hinson, Jennifer Louise Jones, Brontë Lavine, Thomas-Lee Kidd, David McIntosh, Aimee Moore, Sam Murphy, Ashley-Jordon Packer, Emily Squibb, Grace Swaby, India Thornton and Rhys West.

Beauty and the Beast is reimagined in startling new designs which use the latest theatrical innovations. Among the many new features is an exuberant tap dance within the legendary production number Be Our Guest, created expressly for Gavin Lee, recognised as one of the great tappers on either side of the Atlantic.

Olivier Award nominee Matt West directs and choreographs this new production, leading a team that includes composer Alan Menken, lyricist Tim Rice, bookwriter Linda Woolverton, scenic designer Stan Meyer, costume designer Ann Hould-Ward and lighting designer Natasha Katz. The team collectively received five Tony® nominations and a win for Hould-Ward’s costume design, when Disney first debuted Beauty and the Beast on Broadway 28 years ago.

The structure and tone of the story and score – as conceived for the 1991 film by its executive producer and lyricist Howard Ashman with a continued evolution for the Broadway adaptation three years later – made Disney history. Only once before – in Menken and Ashman’s previous film musical The Little Mermaid – had a Disney film been structured like a stage musical where the songs are integral to plot and characterisation rather than only ornamental or digressions. This Menken/Ashman innovation is credited with the 1990’s Disney animation renaissance that went on to create such film classics as Aladdin, The Lion King and Hunchback of Notre Dame and helped re-introduce the book musical form to popular culture.

This new Beauty, while retaining the lush period sound of the Oscar-winning and Tony®-nominated score – which brought classics including Be Our Guest and Beauty and the Beast, as well as Change in Me, added to the musical production in 1998 and retained thereafter – has new dance arrangements by David Chase, allowing original choreographer Matt West to re-visit his work. Longtime Menken collaborators Michael Kosarin and Danny Troob are musical supervisor/vocal arranger and orchestrator, respectively.

Completing the design team, Tony®-winner John Shivers is sound designer, Darryl Maloney is the video and projections designer, and David H. Lawrence is hair designer. Jim Steinmeyer is the illusions designer, as he was on the original 1994 production. Casting for the production is by Pippa Ailion Casting.

The original West End production of Beauty and the Beast opened at the Dominion Theatre in April 1997, playing over 1100 performances to more than two million people. It won the 1998 Olivier Award for Best Musical and enjoyed a hugely successful UK & Ireland tour in 2001.

Based on the 1991 film – the first animated feature ever nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture – Beauty and the Beast opened on Broadway in April 1994 and garnered nine Tony nominations and one win. It played for more than 13 years on Broadway, closing in 2007. It remains to this day – 28 years after it opened – among the top 10 longest running shows in Broadway history. The 2017 live-action retelling of the animated classic quickly became the highest grossing live action film musical of all time, a record only beaten by The Lion King live-action release in 2019.

Beauty and the Beast is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the supervision of Thomas Schumacher.

Beauty and the Beast – 2022 Tour Dates & London Season Information

Thursday 20 January – Saturday 19 February 2022
Sunderland Empire
Box Office: 03330 096 690
www.atgtickets.com/venues/sunderland-empire/ 

Thursday 3 – Saturday 26 March 2022
Birmingham Hippodrome
Box Office: 0844 338 5000
www.birminghamhippodrome.com

Thursday 31 March – Saturday 4 June 2022
Manchester Palace Theatre
Box Office: 0333 009 6690
www.atgtickets.com/venues/palace-theatre-manchester

Friday 24 June – Saturday 17 September 2022
London Palladium
https://lwtheatres.co.uk/theatres/the-london-palladium/

Great British Bake Off: the Musical a brand new musical comedy inspired by the smash-hit TV series The Great British Bake Off opens 22 July 2022

BAKE OFF THE MUSICAL TO OPEN AT CHELTENHAM’S EVERYMAN THEATRE 

·       Mark Goucher Productions Ltd presents Great British Bake Off: the Musical a brand new musical comedy inspired by the smash-hit TV series The Great British Bake Off

·       World premiere at Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre on 22 July 2022

·       Original score by powerhouse song writing duo Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary

·       Endorsed and created in association with TV series Executive Producer Richard McKerrow and Love Productions

Today Mark Goucher Productions Ltd are delighted to announce Bake Off the Musical will open at Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham on 21 July 2022. Endorsed and created in association with Executive Producer Richard McKerrow and the producers of the TV phenomenon, Love Productions, this musical comedy has perfectly reimagined the nation’s favourite baking show into an ultimately hilarious and charming showstopper.

Follow eight amateur bakers as they compete to impress two iconic judges and battle their way to be crowned champion Star Baker. Each with their own stories to tell, be taken on a heart-warming journey as they face trials, tribulations and baking fails along the way. Throw in a pair of witty presenters and esteemed judges and it’s a recipe for truly wholesome stage entertainment.

It also features an original score, with numbers written by multi-award-winning duo Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary (The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾; Red Riding Hood), critically acclaimed as “one of musical theatre’s most dynamic writing partnerships,” along with familiar West End faces and industry leading musicians.

Produced by Mark Goucher, CEO of eponymous theatre company Mark Goucher Productions Ltd whose current repertoire of worldwide touring shows include the Tony award-winning Priscilla: Queen of the Desert and Hairspray, alongside executive producer Richard McKerrow, CEO of Love Productions and co-creator along with Anna Beattie of The Great British Bake Off phenomenon (Celebrity Bake Off, Bake Off: The Professionals, Junior Bake Off, The Great British Sewing Bee, and The Great Pottery Throw Down) – with a host of smash-hit programmes for Channel 4, BBC One and Netflix – their impressive credentials create nothing short of a production tour de force.

Notwithstanding the devastating impact the pandemic has had on the theatre industry, the Everyman Theatre has had some prodigious successes in recent years attracting high audience occupation rates. It is now very much a try out theatre hosting some of the biggest shows on the touring circuit as well has big comedy names and the seasonal panto has established itself as the must do event for families at Christmas. Co-producing Bake off the Musical is a further example of how this key regional theatre is developing, framing new commercial partnerships and safekeeping its future.

 Mark Goucher said “The TV phenomenon Great British Bake Off gets to the heart of the nation, and for a long time I felt that it could work wonderfully well on the stage. We started working on the production a couple of years ago and with this talented creative team and in association with the TV show’s creator I hope we have created a musical comedy that will win over our audiences here at the Everyman Theatre.”

Richard McKerrow said: “This brand-new Bake-Off Musical has been a creative labour of love that has taken several years of painstaking development. But thanks to Mark and his fantastic team of musical producers and writers, who remained passionately committed to the cause, we really hope that this musical version embraces the soulful warmth and humorous spirit of the television show. And that it proves to be a real treat for all the family and anybody who comes. We often say, “Love the Bakers, Love the Baking!” Now it’s time to Love the Singers, and Love the Songs!

Cast to be announced

Stan roars into venues across the UK for Spring tour!

Art with Heart’s new show Stan roars into
venues across the UK for Spring tour
10th February – 20th March 2022

Celebrating the power of play, the joy of communication and the positive force of friendship, Stan (named after the T-Rex at Manchester Museum) is a powerful and poignant new production, commissioned by Z-arts and developed by Art with Heart with the help of over 200 deaf and hearing primary school children from Greater Manchester. The production positively demonstrates how we can overcome language barriers, and challenges preconceptions of deafness.

Sam (Ross Thompson) is a happy, dinosaur loving 8-year-old whose world turns upside down after his parents separate. As he takes himself off to the far end of the school field, he meets Alex (Alexandra James), a deaf girl with a vivid imagination – and an impressive collection of dinosaurs. Alex is from a proud deaf family and despite being socially isolated at school, she is strong, smart, sociable and imaginative. The pair form an unlikely friendship and when things at home become too difficult for Sam, Alex whisks him away on an astonishing adventure to meet the almighty Stan, the gigantic T-Rex at Manchester Museum

Stan from Sarah Emmott (Secret Diaries, Declaration) is written and performed in English and British Sign Language and embeds creative captions within the set. The play will be accompanied by post-performance workshops, an education pack including a video of BSL signs to help hearing and deaf children communicate, three Deaf Awareness training events and a dinosaur object handling box with some fascinating objects from Manchester Museum’s collections. The post-performance workshop will be BSL Interpreted and has been designed with both deaf and hearing children in mind.

Sarah Emmott comments Growing up, my parents lived very separate lives (so) my imagination was both my safe escape and my resource to help me understand myself, my feelings and our family situation. I wanted to create a play that reflected how vital imaginative play is as a form of communication, not only with others but with ourselves.

Z-arts commented Art with Heart have put children at the heart of the creation of Stan and tackled tricky issues whilst creating positive representation and a super fun show for families to enjoy. We are so excited to bring this show to Z-arts and for as many of our friends, families and schools to see it as possible.