Gilbert O’Sullivan tickets on sale now!

GILBERT O’SULLIVAN

 

GRAND OPERA HOUSE YORK

Tuesday 16 June 2015

 

Tickets on sale Friday 20 March at 10am

 

Gilbert O’Sullivan is an Irish singer-songwriter, best known for his early 1970s hits “Alone Again (Naturally)”, “Clair” and “Get Down”. The music magazine Record Mirror voted him the No. 1 UK male singer of 1972.

Worldwide he has charted 16 top 40 records including six number one songs, the first of which was 1970’s “Nothing Rhymed”. Such was his popularity in the early 1970s that “Matrimony”, an airplay and live favourite from his debut album Himself, remains one of his most famous compositions despite never having been a hit single (except in The Netherlands where it hit No. 4 in the charts).

In 1980, after a five-year hiatus, he returned to his old record label, CBS. The first single, “What’s in a Kiss?”, reached No. 19 in the UK in 1980 and No. 21 in Japan. It was his first UK Top 20 hit in five years. Apart from the single “So What ?” in 1990 and a compilation album in 1991 Nothing But The Best, O’Sullivan was absent from the charts until another compilation album, The Berry Vest of Gilbert O’Sullivan, returned him to the UK Top 20 in 2004.

O’Sullivan has continued to record and perform into the 21st century. He enjoys particular acclaim in Japan. His album A Scruff at Heart was released in 2007, featuring “Just So You Know”. On 14 July 2008, O’Sullivan released “Never Say Di”. He appeared at the 2008 Glastonbury Festival, and played London’s Royal Albert Hall on 26 October 2009. On 26 August 2010, O’Sullivan announced that he had joined Hypertension, a record company that also holds Leo Sayer, Chris DeBurgh, Fleetwood Mac and Gerry Rafferty.

His album Gilbertville was released on 31 January 2011; it featured “All They Wanted To Say”, which dealt with the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre, and his most recent single “Where Would We Be (Without Tea)?”. On 19 July 2011, O’Sullivan played live on the BBC Radio 2 Ken Bruce Show.  On 26 August that year, the documentary Out on His Own was broadcast by BBC 4 (before by Irish RTÉ). In March 2012, the compilation album Gilbert O’Sullivan : The Very Best Of – A Singer & His Songs entered the UK Albums Chart at No.12.

Grand Opera House York

Doors: 7.00pm

Tickets: £41

Box Office: 0844 871 3024

Online Booking: www.atgtickets.com/york

Cast Announced for Flanagan Collective’s Romeo & Juliet

The cast are: Back Row (left to right) - Amie Burns Walker, Holly Beasley Garrigan, Lucy Grattan Front Row (left to right) - Hannah Davies, Yoshika Colwell, Sarah Davies
The cast are:
Back Row (left to right) – Amie Burns Walker, Holly Beasley Garrigan, Lucy Grattan
Front Row (left to right) – Hannah Davies, Yoshika Colwell, Sarah Davies

CAST ASSEMBLE FOR FLANAGAN COLLECTIVE’S ALL-FEMALE ROMEO & JULIET

The Flanagan Collective’s take on one of Shakespeare’s most enduring tragedies, Romeo and Juliet, includes two of the company’s trademark twists: not only is the cast comprised of six women, but the play will also be performed in the historical setting of St Olave’s Church on Marygate, York. The production, in association with York Theatre Royal is part of the first annual York International Shakespeare Festival and will run from 7 – 23 May.

The cast assembled for the first read-through of the script at The Fleeting Arms on Gillygate in York on Wednesday 18 March, an ambitious new venue run by the Flanagan Collective as a temporary café bar and pop-up space for performances, rehearsals, workshops and auditions.

Directed by Alexander Wright, produced by Brian Hook and performed by Holly Beasley-Garrigan, Amie Burns Walker, Yoshika Colwell, Hannah Davies, Sarah Davies and Lucy Grattan, this contemporary production of Romeo and Juliet will be infused with live music, soaring harmonies and good, honest storytelling.

Director Alexander Wright said:

We want to make this a show for people – for communities and for social and sacred spaces. For a few hours we want this stunning building to be about young romance, about recklessness and about the sheer relevance of falling in love. We want to doff our caps to all those who have loved, lost or got stranded along the way. This is not a story of fate, for us it is a story of passion and energy and wearing our hearts on our sleeves.

Producer Brian Hook added:

The all-female company started as a political choice. Our industry doesn’t give a fair representation to women on stage – we’re as guilty of that as anyone else – so we wanted to do something about it. But each time we chat and talk, it gets more and more exciting. Meeting the cast, all together, yesterday was a sheer joy. There’s a lot of imagination, energy and adventure on the way. 

Romeo and Juliet will be performed within the stunning 15th century surroundings of St Olave’s Church, following in the Flanagan Collective tradition of staging work in unusual and quirky venues. Their interpretation of A Christmas Carol has successfully filled public houses around the UK for the past three years and they brought Sherlock Holmes: A Working Hypothesis to the wonderfully ornate Council Chamber at the Guildhall, York.

York International Shakespeare Festival is brought about through an adventurous new partnership between York Theatre Royal, Parrabbola, and the University of York and takes place from 8 – 17 May at venues across York. With traditional retellings and original responses from both local and international production companies, the festival will explore the impact of Shakespeare over four hundred years after his final play.

Romeo and Juliet will run from Thursday 7 to Saturday 23 May and tickets are on sale now through the York Theatre Royal Box Office priced £18 to £14 (£1 transaction fee per booking) either securely online at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk or by calling Box Office on 01904 623568.

Gary Barlow Announces New Show For Leeds

GARY BARLOW AND TIM FIRTH’S NEW MUSICAL

THE GIRLS

TO PREMIERE AT LEEDS GRAND THEATRE

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Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, the creators of the new British musical, THE GIRLS, based on the true story, the film and award-winning play by Tim Firth, Calendar Girls, have announced that the world premiere will be at the Grand Theatre Leeds from Saturday 14 November to Saturday 12 December.

Gary Barlow and Tim Firth made the announcement yesterday, Sunday 22 March, in the Village Hall in Burnsall, North Yorkshire (where the whole story originally began), following a rapturous reception to a rehearsed reading of the new musical in front of the original ‘Calendar Girls’, local people and industry professionals.

Gary and Tim said, “We are over the moon with the reception our new musical THE GIRLS has had here in Burnsall, and to have received the ecstatic blessing of the original Calendar Girls is something that is so special to us.  We look forward to its world premiere on November 14 at the Leeds Grand Theatre.”

THE GIRLS is inspired by the true story of a group of ladies, who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar in order to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital, in memory of one of their husbands.  This musical comedy shows life in their Yorkshire village, how it happened, the effect on husbands, sons and daughters, and how a group of ordinary ladies achieved something extraordinary.

 

The Girls is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Saturday November 14th to Saturday December 12th.

 

Tickets are on sale now priced from £10 to £45.

 

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

 

Gary Barlow and Tim Firth grew up in the same village in the north of England and have been friends for 25 years.  With Take That, Gary has written and co-written 14 number one singles, has sold over 50 million records worldwide and is a six times Ivor Novello Award winner.  Tim has won the Olivier Award and UK Theatre Award for Best New Musical, and the British Comedy Awards Best Comedy Film for Calendar Girls.

THE GIRLS will be directed by Roger Haines and Tim Firth, designed by Rob Jones, with comedy staging by Jos Houben, lighting design by Tim Lutkin and sound design by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster.

Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research will receive monies from this musical.

ALADDIN – MAGICAL CAST ANNOUNCEMENT – SUNDERLAND EMPIRE

ALADDIN – MAGICAL CAST ANNOUNCEMENT

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Alison Hammond to play Slave of the Ring

Sunderland Empire and UK Productions are delighted to announce that Alison Hammond will play Slave of the Ringwhen Aladdin flies into Sunderland from 11 December 2015 – 3 January 2016.

Known for her quick wit, outrageous presenting style, and big heart, nobody gets a better interview than Alison Hammond. Her unforgettable charm and sense of fun rate her number one with celebrities too: she’s tap-danced with Renée Zellweger, rapped with Will Smith, jammed with Russell Crowe, and been serenaded by Hugh Jackman…to name just a few.

Audiences will take a magical carpet ride to the Far East when this gem of a pantomime flies into Sunderland from the producers behind Peter Pan, Cinderella and last year’s enchanting show Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Ben Phillips, Sunderland Empire General Manager, said:

“The response to pantomime has been wonderful and we look forward to hosting another high-flying pantomime from UK Productions this year. Audiences will be spellbound with Alison’s quick wit, charm and irresistible sense of fun when she waltzes into Sunderland”.

Alison’s larger than life personality has taken ITV’s ‘This Morning’ by storm and she is now a favourite of millions of viewers across the nation. Her infectious personality made her one of the most loved contestants on Strictly Come Dancing 2014 as she brought fun and laughter to the show with her partner Aljaz. This led to Alison being named as a mentor on the first ever ‘People’s Strictly’.

Other TV credits include her rise to fame in Channel 4’s ‘Big Brother’ where she first won the hearts of the British public. She then went on to appear on ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here’ where she was a contestant in 2010. She has also appeared as a panellist on ‘Loose Women’ and has presented a number of shows including ‘Inside Out’, ‘BBC Exchange’, ‘Turn on Terry’, ‘Who’s doing the Dishes’ and ‘Big Star’s Little Star’.

Alison is also an accomplished actress having appeared in various TV dramas, notably ‘Boon’, ‘Chalkface’, ‘Doctors’, ‘Locksmith’, ‘Yes’, and 3 series of the BAFTA award-winning ‘Palace Hill’.

So get ready to rub the magic lamp, enter the cave of wonders and be transported to this fun fairytale world filled with adventure, mystique, stunning sets and costumes, comedy, song and dance and lots of audience participation – not to mention a flying carpet – Aladdin guarantees another Christmas extravaganza at Sunderland Empire!

Further star cast to be announced!

Tickets priced from £10* are on sale now from the Box Office on High Street West, Sunderland,
the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022* and online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland*

*Booking/transaction fees apply to telephone and online sales.

 

20 Questions with ….. Mark Shenton

Theatre critic  extraordinaire this week answers 20 questions

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  1. What was your first reviewed show?

My first published review was of WHO KILLED “AGATHA” CHRISTIE? — a play I saw in Johannesburg, South Africa, where I grew up, when I was 14 — and won the main daily paper’s competition for best reader review for writing (over other adult competitors!)


  1. What is your favourite show you’ve seen (reviewed or for pleasure)?

Impossible to choose just one from everything I’ve seen! My favourite recent musical, however, on Broadway was NEXT TO NORMAL, which I saw ten times…. The play that changed my life, though, and is the one that turned me into who I am now, was seeing Terrence Rattigan’s THE DEEP BLUE SEA (again in Johannesburg as a teenager) — it affected me so deeply that I overnight became a theatre devotee. It remains one of my all-time favourite plays.


  1. And, what show would you loved to have written?

NEXT TO NORMAL.

  1. Do you ever think I really don’t want to review this in case I don’t like it?

I try to approach everything with an open mind — but you inevitably dread a few of them! Sometimes you have a lovely surprise — I was full of trepidation, for instance, for MAMMA MIA! when it first opened — but I loved it! And still do!


  1. How did you end up being a theatre critic?

It’s something I realised early on was something I wanted to do professionally. But its a very small world — or at least it was in the pre-internet age — and breaking in was difficult. So I read law at University (to have something to fall back on!), but in fact did more reviewing and producing theatre there than law…. Then I worked for a West End advertising agency Dewynters, which handles West End and Broadway shows, looking after their publishing of souvenir brochures and theatre programmes; then became Editor of a listings company who supplied arts and TV listings material to national newspapers. I was writing freelance reviews and features wherever I could — my first professionally published feature was in PLAYS INTERNATIONAL magazine, for whom I wrote interviews for many years — and finally decided to go for it as a full-time arts journalist.


  1. Do you think there should be more regional productions?

The regional theatre is pretty buoyant — though it has suffered a lot of cuts in the last few years. But there’s plenty of good stuff being produced there. I just wish I could get to more of it!

  1. Do you prefer the West End or Broadway?

I love them both! Broadway wins in terms of ‘atmosphere’ — the sense that theatre is an ‘event’, and the buzz that permeates the theatre district around curtain up time, as everyone seems to be rushing to do the same thing, namely see a show. We don’t have that in London, as our theatres are much more spread out. But Broadway is also disastrously over-priced — and London is heading the same way — which is edging out regular theatregoers. So theatre lovers are forced to migrate beyond the West End and Broadway to other alternatives. No wonder places like the Almeida and Tricycle do so well now. (It helps that they also put on great shows).


  1. If you weren’t writing what would you be?

Possibly teaching — I do a bit of it at ArtsEd in west London now, and I love it!


  1. What advice would you give 16 year old Mark?

Relax — you’ll get where you want to be! And I have!


  1. What was the last stage show you saw and really enjoyed?

On my last trip to New York, I caught up again with three shows I’ve seen before — I love re-visiting shows! THE LION Is the best musical I saw all of last year in London or New York — an autobiographical one-man show written and performed by Benjamin Scheuer — which I saw first at the St James Studio three times last year, and have seen again now off-Broadway. I also loved revisiting Cush Jumbo’s marvellous one-woman show about her long-time admiration for Josephine Baker called JOSEPHINE AND I — again, I saw it first at the Bush in London in 2013, and now its at New York’s Public Theater. Finally, I also love EVERY BRILLIANT THING — a UK originated show but which I missed here and have now seen twice in New York; don’t miss it when it comes back home! (All three of these shows are coincidentally one-person shows — and I normally avoid them like the plague! Yet all three are magnificent!)

  1. Do you think you will have a go at writing fiction rather than articles?

Nope — I don’t think fiction is my bag. But I am starting to work on a non-fiction book.


Lets ask about a few favourites

  1. Favourite drink?

Coke Zero with lots of ice. (I don’t drink alcohol — and never have. I’ve never been drunk!)

  1. Favourite book?

I’ll have to have nine — the entire TALES OF THE CITY series of Armistead Maupin books.

  1. Favourite theatre?

I’m going to have to have five:

*West End: Wyndham’s — a perfect jewel box

* Subsidised: National Theatre

* Fringe: Union Theatre in Southwark

* Cabaret room: St James Studio

* Regional; Crucible, Sheffield

  1. Favourite song?

Corner of the Sky from Pippin

  1. Favourite music?

ClassicFM is my constant work companion — I don’t like music with lyrics to work to, as I tune into them otherwise — but my favourite music comes  of course from musicals.

  1. Favourite food?

Thai


  1. Favourite line from any show?

“The slotted spoon can catch the potato” — INTO THE WOODS


  1. If you could be anyone else for the day, who would it be?

My friend Ramin Karimloo — because then I’d see myself naked!

  1. Can you tell us what you will be up to next?

I’ve recently launched my personal website

www.ShentonStage.com

and am co-founder of the new www.MyTheatreMates.com as well. I am working to develop both brands.

 

Thank you so much to Mark for answering 20 questions

LOVE ME TENDER – SUNDERLAND EMPIRE

ADAM SPIEGEL PRODUCTIONS, ROBERT G. BARTNER

AND THE AMBASSADOR THEATRE GROUP PRESENT

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OPENING ON FRIDAY 5 JUNE 2015 AT THE MANCHESTER OPERA HOUSE AHEAD OF A UK TOUR

 

TO PLAY SUNDERLAND EMPIRE MONDAY 13 JULY – SATURDAY 18 JULY 2015

 

Adam Spiegel Productions, Robert G. Bartner and the Ambassador Theatre Group are delighted to announce the UK tour of “LOVE ME TENDER” – the new musical inspired by and featuring the music of Elvis Presley. The tour will open on Friday 5 June 2015 at the Manchester Opera House. Casting will be announced shortly. www.LoveMeTenderMusical.com

 

From the producers of Hairspray, Jersey Boys and West Side Story “LOVE ME TENDER” is a hilarious feel-good musical featuring Elvis Presley’s greatest hits. In a small town in 1950s America, a guitar-playing, hip-swivelling stranger rides his motorbike into town. Is he The Devil in Disguise or a Hound Dog in his Blue Suede Shoes? The townsfolk are about to be All Shook Up and could be headed for Heartbreak Hotel, but for Natalie, the love-struck, tomboy mechanic, it really isNow or Never.

 

Packed with 25 of the best loved songs by The King himself, “LOVE ME TENDER”, by the writer of the award-wining West End and Broadway smash hit Memphis, is a funny and moving tale of hope, second chances and the healing qualities of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

 

Producer Adam Spiegel said: “I’m delighted to be working with such a talented, award winning, Creative team to bring the UK this fantastic feel-good musical featuring some of the best music ever written – the greatest hits of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley.”

 

LOVE ME TENDER” is Written by Tony Award Winner Joe DiPietro (Memphis) and Directed and Choreographed by Olivier Award Winner Karen Bruce (Saturday Night Fever, Dance ’Til Dawn, Pacific Overtures) with Set Design by award nominated Morgan Large (Flashdance, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof), Lighting Design by James Whiteside (Never Forget, Footloose) Costume Design by Vicky Gill (Dance ‘Til Dawn, Strictly Come Dancing) and Casting by James Orange (The Producers, Sweeney Todd.)

Tickets on sale now and are available in person at the Box Office from £10-£40 or from £12.90-£43.90 from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022* or online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland* Premium seats also available. Prices are subject to change and discounts can be withdrawn.
*Transaction fee applies to telephone and online bookings.

 

Premiering on Broadway in 2005 under the title “All Shook Up”, this romantic musical comedy has been retitled ‘LOVE ME TENDER’ for its UK premiere.

LOVE ME TENDER UK TOUR 2015

www.LoveMeTenderMusical.com

 

FRIDAY 5 JUNE – SATURDAY 13 JUNE

OPERA HOUSE, MANCHESTERhttp://www.atgtickets.com/venues/opera-house-manchester/

ON SALE FRIDAY 20 MARCH

 

MONDAY 15 JUNE – SATURDAY 20 JUNE

BRISTOL HIPPODROMEwww.atgtickets.com/venues/bristol-hippodrome

ON SALE FRIDAY 20 MARCH

 

MONDAY 22 JUNE – SATURDAY 27 JUNE

NEW WIMBLEDON THEATRE, WIMBLEDONwww.atgtickets.com/shows/calamity-jane/new-wimbledon-theatre

ON SALE FRIDAY 20 MARCH

 

MONDAY 29 JUNE – SATURDAY 4 JULY

REGENT THEATRE, STOKE ON TRENTwww.atgtickets.com/shows/calamity-jane/regent-theatre

ON SALE FRIDAY 20 MARCH

 

MONDAY 6 JULY – SATURDAY 11 JULY

NEW THEATRE, OXFORDwww.atgtickets.com/shows/calamity-jane/new-theatre-oxford

ON SALE FRIDAY 20 MARCH

 

MONDAY 13 JULY – SATURDAY 18 JULY

SUNDERLAND EMPIRE, SUNDERLANDwww.atgtickets.com/shows/calamity-jane/sunderland-empire

ON SALE FRIDAY 20 MARCH

 

MONDAY 20 JULY – SATURDAY 25 JULY

PLAYHOUSE, EDINBURGHwww.atgtickets.com/shows/calamity-jane/edinburgh-playhouse

ON SALE FRIDAY 20 MARCH

 

MONDAY 27 JULY – SATURDAY 1 AUGUST

MILTON KEYNES THEATRE, MILTON KEYNESwww.atgtickets.com/shows/calamity-jane/milton-keynes-theatre

ON SALE FRIDAY 20 MARCH

 

MONDAY 3 AUGUST – SATURDAY 8 AUGUST

KING’S THEATRE, GLASGOWwww.atgtickets.com/shows/calamity-jane-2/kings-theatre

ON SALE FRIDAY 20 MARCH

 

MONDAY 1- AUGUST – SATURDAY 15 AUGUST

EMPIRE THEATRE, LIVERPOOL – www.atgtickets.com/shows/calamity-jane/liverpool-empire

ON SALE FRIDAY 20 MARCH

 

MONDAY 17 AUGUST – SATURDAY 22 AUGUST

GRAND OPERA HOUSE, YORKwww.atgtickets.com/venues/grand-opera-house-york

ON SALE FRIDAY 20 MARCH

 

MONDAY 24 AUGUST – SATURDAY 29 AUGUST

NEW ALEXANDRA THEATRE, BIRMINGHAMwww.atgtickets.com/shows/calamity-jane/new-alexandra-theatre-birmingham

ON SALE FRIDAY 20 MARCH

 

MONDAY 31 AUGUST – SATURDAY 5 SEPTEMBER

THE CHURCHILL THEATRE, BROMLEYwww.atgtickets.com/venues/the-churchill-theatre-bromley

ON SALE FRIDAY 20 MARCH

 

MONAY 7 SEPTEMBER – SATURDAY 12 SEPTEMBER

NEW VICTORIA THEATRE, WOKINGwww.atgtickets.com/venues/new-victoria-theatre

ON SALE FRIDAY 20 MARCH

 

MONDAY 14 SEPTEMBER – SATURDAY 19 SEPTEMBER

NEW THEATRE, CARDIFF www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk

ON SALE TUESDAY 14 APRIL

 

 

Booking Information:

Box Office: 0844 871 3022*

Groups 10+: 0844 871 3042

Online: www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland

*Booking fee applies

 

 

A View From The Bridge review

Civic Theatre, Darlington – 17 March 2015

A View from the Bridge is having a revival at the moment.  The multi nominated, award winning version is playing at the National Theatre. And this version from the Touring Consortium Theatre Company is (thanks to the Arts Council) showing at the Civic and six other regional theatres,  If this show from TCTC hasn’t won an award yet it must surely do so soon.

The bridge is Brooklyn, a symbolic entry point into America for the Sicilian immigrants in the play, yet one they are never to cross

Jonathan Guy Lewis plays Eddie Carbone, who starts the show a hard working family man but falls into despair from his over familiar feelings for his niece Catherine (Daisy Boulton)  and her desire to marry the “unsuitable” Rodolpho (James Rastall).  His obsession and pride are at  the root of his entire being unravelling, leading him to risk everything and face losing those who once loved him.

The story begins with Alfieri, played by Michael Brandon, breaking the 4th wall and explaining to the audience that he is a Lawyer and an Italian and that he is ‘inclined to notice the ruin in things’ and ‘watch them run its bloody course’. He sits at his desk on the edge of the stage watching the show, allowing the events to unfold before his eyes, powerless to interfere.

Cabones wife Beatrice, wise, long-suffering and sexually frustrated, is portrayed perfectly by Teresa Banham; and niece Catherine, Daisy Boulton is exactly right – very young and innocent, oblivious to her Uncles feelings.

Miller’s narration is delivered with clarity and precision and some humour, dealing with uncomfortable topics and addressing the boundaries of love in a very intimate and intense way.  The play is full of suggestion, all of which is played out in the audiences’ minds rather than addressed directly.  But Philip Cairns is chillingly silent and still in a very well-measured performance as Marco and Rastall is enthusiastic without overplaying his differences as Rodolpho

The whole performance is dark, Eddies descent to madness helped not only by  the phenomenal acting of all on stage, but the simple and effective set designed by Liz Ascroft and the lighting, designed by Paul Pyant.


Written in 1955, A View from the Bridge is inspired by Miller’s knowledge of Italian-American families, gathered during his time as shipyard worker in Brooklyn as a young writer. This empathy and in-depth research is crucial to the success of the play’s plot, on the face of it a simple tale of a patriarch unable to come to terms with a young woman reaching adulthood. But it could be set in any place and time and the story would still be the same

 

SHREK THE MUSICAL TO STOMP INTO SUNDERLAND – NOVEMBER 2015

FIRST EVER UK & IRELAND TOUR OF HIT WEST END AND BROADWAY PRODUCTION OF

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‘TAKING OGRE’ SUNDERLAND
DIRECTED BY NIGEL HARMAN

 

Sunderland Empire is delighted to announce that SHREK THE MUSICAL® will stomp into Wearside from Wednesday 11 – Sunday 22 November 2015. Coming direct from London, where it was seen live on stage by nearly a million people, the UK and Ireland tour of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane production of SHREK THE MUSICAL® is directed by Nigel Harman who starred as Lord Farquaad in the west end production, winning him the 2012 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical.

 

Hailed by critics and enjoyed by audiences of all ages, SHREK THE MUSICAL® opened at the Grand Theatre in Leeds on Wednesday 23rd July 2014. Additional tour dates include Birmingham, Glasgow, Sheffield, Norwich, Southampton, Plymouth, Milton Keynes, Bradford, Wolverhampton, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Cardiff, Wimbledon and Salford.

 

Producers Caro Newling, Neal Street Productions, and Nick Salmon, Playful Productions say:

We are very excited to be bringing SHREK THE MUSICAL® to the best venues across the UK and Ireland. Many years of fun with some of the best talents working in theatre today have gone in to its making and as a result it has thrilled audiences all over the world with its boundless enthusiasm and fun, we are delighted that the people of the UK and Ireland are taking SHREK to their hearts, just as we did at Drury Lane!

 

Director of SHREK THE MUSICAL® UK and Ireland Tour, Nigel Harman says: I am delighted to be returning to Shrek as its director. This show is very special to me with its dizzying blend of great characters, a hilarious script and sublime music. This production is visually stunning, and the story has the magic ingredient of moving at great pace while still being surprisingly intimate. In short, there was no way I was going to say no to the challenge of realising the production for the UK and Ireland.

 

Ben Phillips, General Manager, Sunderland Empire said: “We are delighted to announce that Shrek the Musical will play Sunderland Empire for a limited 2 week run this November. Audiences across the region will have the opportunity to enjoy this enchanting and magical smash-hit direct from London’s West End.’

SHREK THE MUSICAL®, originally directed (in the west end) by Jason Moore and Rob Ashford, is based on the story and characters from William Steig’s book Shrek! and the Academy Award®-winning DreamWorks Animations feature film.

 

SHREK THE MUSICAL® opened on Broadway in 2008 before touring to nearly150 cities in the USA and Canada. Productions ofSHREK THE MUSICAL® have played in Spain, Poland, France, Malaysia, China, Brazil, Italy, Denmark, The Netherlands, Estonia, Israel and Turkey. The UK and Ireland tour will be presented by Dreamworks Theatricals, Neal Street Productions, Playful Productions, Lee Menzies, Ron Kastner, Tulchin/Bartner Productions,Saracen Films,Mark Cartwright, Gavin Kalin, Glass Half Full Productions/Just For Laughs Theatricals.

 

Casting information for Sunderland to be confirmed.

 

Tickets go on sale on Friday 20 March to Theatre Card (10am) and to Groups (12 noon).

General on sale: 10am, Monday 23 March 2015.

 

 

NAME UP IN LIGHTS AS METRO RADIO CONFIRM SPONSORSHIP DEAL FOR A FURTHER TWO YEARS

NAME UP IN LIGHTS AS METRO RADIO CONFIRM SPONSORSHIP DEAL FOR A FURTHER TWO YEARS

The Metro Radio Arena, now in its 20th year, has turned on the lights of its new sign.

The naming sponsor of the venue, Metro Radio, has had its branding light up the front of the building for over 11 years, and has launched its new image at the start of the year; subsequently the Arena has now undergone a face list of its own.

At the same time Metro Radio has renewed its naming sponsorship deal for a further two years, making this the longest Naming Rights partnership deal in the region.

Dominic Munnelly, Marketing Director at Metro Radio said “The Metro Radio Arena and SMG team have built a great reputation across the last twenty years for providing first class entertainment. Metro Radio has worked with the venue as Naming Rights Sponsor for over 10 years now and in that time we have benefitted from aligning our brand to some of the biggest and best performers in the world.

“The broad mix of quality shows they bring to the region is a perfect match for our music variety position within the North East radio market. We have our new brand identity signage sitting proud above the door and an extended contract agreed, and with the venue going from strength to strength we are looking forward to an exciting new chapter in our partnership.”

Visible by rail and road on one of the main routes into Newcastle City Centre the venues new sign will be viewed by several million people as they travel through the City.

Nichola McKenna, Marketing and Commercial Manager for the Metro Radio Arena saidThe partnership between Metro Radio and the Arena remains the perfect combination as we continue to bring world class artists to the North East. As we move into our 20th year of bringing live entertainment to the region and beyond, 2015 is set to be a very exciting year for the Venue and its customers

 

94% of funds raised for theatre

94% OF FUNDS RAISED FOR

RE-DEVELOPMENT AT THEATRE

York Theatre Royal closed its doors on Tuesday 17 March as work began to transform the front of house and auditorium areas. The re-development will cost £4.1 million and in October 2014 the theatre launched a Public Fundraising Appeal to raise the last £500,000 still needed. Since then a wide range of groups and members of the public have donated their time and money and York Theatre Royal is pleased to announce that 94% of the £4.1 million has now been raised.

This leaves £217,000 left to find and the theatre is once again asking York residents to help raise the last amount.

The response from the public in York to the Theatre Royal appeal has been extraordinary. Individuals, community groups, schools and colleges have devised the most imaginative ways to raise money for the theatre. We are so close to the final target so everything that people give now makes such a difference. So if anyone has ever been to a show here, had a meeting in our cafe, enjoyed a bite to eat with friends, or taken part in a workshop and is yet to donate, we would really appreciate their support. A little goes a long way.

Said Liz Wilson, Chief Executive of York Theatre Royal.

Schools have put on fundraising concerts in the theatres historic De Grey Rooms Ballroom, people have donned fancy dress for the day, community groups have made and sold crafts, students have been selling doughnuts, and thousands of pounds was raised during panto season as Berwick Kaler urged audiences to donate to bucket collections after each show.

Two days before the closure, the theatre hosted an Open Day which was attended by over 1,500 people, and raised over £4,000, with a number of people Naming a Seat that will feature in the new auditorium for 10 years.

Barry Male, a member of the public who attended, commented

Fascinating Open Day – I think it will massively increase the sense of community ‘ownership’ and goodwill.

The key parts of the redevelopment project will include:-

The glazing-in of the colonnade and opening up the space around what is now Exhibition Corridor to create new and more spacious welcome areas as well as improving the audience flow around the building.

The reconfiguration of the Stalls area of the auditorium and the stage to create much better views for audiences.

The addition of a foyer lift to improve access around the space and also to provide new seating areas for wheelchair users in the Dress Circle.

To be a greener and more sustainable organisation.

Allow the Theatre to make the best possible use of the space to maximise income and help secure its financial future.

People can donate £5 or £10 by texting YTRC15 £5 or YTRC15 £10 to 70070 or donate online at justgiving.com/yorktheatreroyal/donate/. To name a seat call the Box Office on 01904 623568. For more information, please visit www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/donate.