From 15-19 March, the Olivier Award-winning production of Goodnight Mister Tom plays at New Alexandra Theatre.
David Troughton will play the central role of Mister Oakley joined by an ensemble cast featuring Clark Devlin, Elisa de Grey, Guy Lewis, Simon Markey, Abigail Matthews, Jane Milligan, Martha Seignior, James Staddon, Melle Stewart, Georgina Sutton and Hollie Taylor.
Six talented young performers will be playing the key roles of William and Zach. Joe Reynolds, Freddy Hawkins and Alex Taylor-McDowall will alternate the role of William and Sonny Kirby, Harrison Noble and Oliver Loades will alternate as Zach.
David Wood’s stage adaptation enjoyed great critical acclaim in 2012/13, winning the Olivier Award for Best Entertainment and Family.
Angus Jackson leads a stellar creative team that includes designer Robert Innes Hopkins (Oppenheimer; RSC/ West End), lighting designer Tim Mitchell (King and Country: Henry IV Part I And Part II; RSC/ Barbican) and sound designer Gregory Clarke (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas; Chichester Festival Theatre & Children's Touring Partnership). They are joined by composer Matthew Scott (Taken at Midnight; Chichester Festival Theatre/ West End), puppet maker and director Toby Olié (associate puppetry director of War Horse; West End) and choreographer Lizzi Gee (Future Conditional; Old Vic).
The novel Goodnight Mister Tom is now a modern classic and is celebrating its 35th anniversary. Michelle Magorian’s wonderfully uplifting tale is brought gloriously to life in this magical stage adaptation by David Wood. Set during the dangerous build up to the Second World War, Goodnight Mister Tom follows young William Beech, who is evacuated to the idyllic English countryside and forges a remarkable and heart-warming friendship with the elderly recluse, Tom Oakley.
Winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and commended for the Carnegie Medal, Goodnight Mister Tom is now a world-wide literary favourite and BAFTA award-winning TV film (starring John Thaw), and continues to inspire audiences and bring generations together.
For more information and to book tickets click here.
The West End’s long-running show – the Olivier Award-Winning comedy, The 39 Steps – plays at Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 29 February to 5 March, on a special 10th anniversary tour.
Based on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 movie and John Buchan’s 1914 spy thriller The Thirty Nine Steps, the hilarious show follows dashing hero Richard Hannay - complete with stiff upper lip, British gung-ho and pencil moustache - in a dangerous tale of cat-and-mouse from London to the Scottish Highlands, in which four actors play over 130 characters in 100 minutes.
The cast for this touring production are Richard Ede (A Little History of the World – Watermill, Newbury and The Reduced Shakespeare Company's The Bible - Abridged) and Olivia Greene (42nd Street – Bird College and Kindertransport – Little Theatre, Leicester). They will be joined by Andrew Hodges (Antic Disposition’s Henry V – France and The Temple Church, London; More4's Iraq: The Bloody Circus and BBC’s Hands on History film) and Rob Witcomb (The Wind In The Willowsand The Taming of the Shrew – Guildford Shakespeare Company, and As You Like It – Oxford Shakespeare Company).
Patrick Barlow’s adaptation of The 39 Steps opened at the Tricycle in 2006 and the same year transferred to the Criterion Theatre in Piccadilly Circus, where it played for nine years and won the Olivier Award for best new comedy. In 2008 The 39 Steps was produced on Broadway, where it was nominated for the Tony Award for best play. Enjoying worldwide success, it went on to win a Molière Award for Best Comedy in France and a Helpmann Award for Best Comedy in Australia.
The Thirty Nine Steps was also famously adapted for the screen by Alfred Hitchcock in what is widely regarded as one of the best films from his early period. The stage production references a number of the legendary scenes from this 1935 classic movie thriller of the same name, including the chase on the Flying Scotsman train, the escape on the Forth Road Bridge and the controversial ‘stocking and suspenders’ scene.
For more information visit birmingham-rep.co.uk.
Wolverhampton Musical Comedy Company - MUSCOM returns to Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from Tuesday 15 – Saturday 19 March with an exciting new production of the musical favourite FAME.
The company are currently rehearsing the stage adaptation of the 1980 hit musical film of the same name. The movie is set at the New York school for Performing Arts, and follows four students from the time they audition to get into the school, through until graduation. Since 1995, the musical has had seven separate West End runs and has been nominated for three Laurence Olivier Awards.
For MUSCOM’s production, Luke Bennett from Merry Hill - Wolverhampton will be playing Nick Piazza, Jess Olford from Penn is Serena. Compton’s Liam Sargeant plays Joe Vegas and Tyrone Jackson will be played by Jason Andrew Guest from Willenhall. Wombourne’s Georgia Hudsonas Carmen Diaz, Kimmy Robinson from Lower Penn is Iris Kelly, Mabel Washington is played byLaura Canadine from Bilston and from Telford in Shropshire, Will Hales is Schlomo Metzenbaum.Amy Evans from Stourbridge will be playing Grace Lamb (Lambchops), Goodman ‘Goody’ King is Tatenda Ryan Ngove from Pendeford in Wolverhampton and Bilston’s Colette Forsyth is portraying Miss Esther Sherman. Pascale Rollings from Finchfield is Ms Greta Bell, Mr Myers is Chris Frost from Compton and Wombourne’s Adam Starr is Mr Sheinkopf.
MUSCOM are a local musical theatre company who have been performing in and around Wolverhampton since 1938. Since then, they have built a reputation for producing fantastic shows, encouraging young talent onto the stage and have seen past members excel in professional productions in the theatrical industry.
Tickets start at just £8.50. For more information and to book click here.
ON SALE DATES FOR NEW SEASON
Friends of the Grand – 11am Monday 29 February
General Public – 11am Monday 7 March
A brand new season of West End musicals, gripping dramas, dynamic dance and one night concerts with Richard Fleeshman, Maxwell Caulfield, Joe McElderry, Lisa Riley, Doreen Tipton, Joe Lycett, Aisling Bea, Nish Kumar, George McCrae, Raymond Froggatt, Justin Hayward, The Stylistics, Jimmy Osmond, Chris Packham and Tony Christie.
Highlights include the world’s favourite rock n’ roll musical The Rocky Horror Show (Mon 13 – Sat 18 June). Dudley-born Norman Pace (Hale and Pace) is the Narrator and West End star Liam Tamne (Les Miserables, Hairspray, Phantom of the Opera) plays Frank N Furter. Further casting to be announced.
ITV’s popular Sunday evening 60s police drama comes to life with Heartbeat On Stage. Starring members of the TV cast including: David Stockwell and Gina Ward, with use of video footage and a clever set, the production recreates the atmosphere of the 1960s rural Yorkshire settings between Tue 5 – Sat 9 July.
Already on sale is the hugely anticipated West End production of Guys And Dolls from Tue 19 – Sat 23 July. The show will be the final performance at the Grand Theatre before the renovation of the front of house areas throughout the summer. In the role of Sky Masterson will be star of stage and screen Richard Fleeshman – known for his role as Craig in Coronation Street, Call the Midwife and Sam Wheat in the West End and Broadway productions of Ghost The Musical. Joining Richard is Maxwell Caulfield (Dynasty, The Colbys and Grease 2) as Nathan Detroit.
Following the summer renovation work, to celebrate the reopening, the Grand Theatre presents A Spectacular Gala Night At The Grand, an original version of a night at the proms on Sat 10 Sep. Adrian Jackson, Chief Executive of the Grand Theatre, will lead the internationally acclaimed City Concert Orchestra. An evening of music for the best loves movies and musicals, hosted by Angela Rippon with soprano Elizabeth MacDonald and tenor John Hudson.
The Shawshank Redemption is widely considered to be the number one all-time movie. Stephen King’s classic story examines desperation, injustice, friendship and hope. The stage adaptation, courtesy of Bill Kenwright Ltd plays at the Grand Theatre between Tue 27 Sep - Sat 1 Oct.
Also from Bill Kenwright Ltd is the spectacular new production of one of the greatest musicals of all time, The Sound Of Music. From Tue 4 – Sat 8 October this stunning new production stars Lucy O’Byrne (BBC’s The Voice) as Maria Von Trapp.
The autumn season also brings a thrilling, fast-paced adaption of the classic novel, considered by Charles Dickens as “the best story I have ever written” A Tale Of Two Cities. From Tue 18 – Sat 22 Oct, the epic story of love, sacrifice and redemption, interweaving one family’s intensely personal drama with the terror and chaos of the French Revolution.
The glamorous Ladyboys Of Bangkok are back with ‘Forever Yours…X’ an energetic, exotic, eclectic and completely unpredictable night on Tue 22 Nov. It will be a night of pure escapism releasing audiences from the humdrum of everyday life in a euphoric bubble of laughter, glamour, glitz and music.
This year’s magical pantomime adventure Aladdin is already proving popular at the box office. The first casting announcement includes The X Factor winner Joe McElderry as Aladdin, Lisa Riley as the Slave Of The Ring, Queen of the Black Country – Doreen Tipton as the Lazy Empress Of China and Ian Adams as the ultimate dame - Widow Twankey. From Sat 10 Dec 2016 until Sun 22 Jan 2017.
For more information visit grandtheatre.co.uk.
Award-winning society Peterbrook Players return to the Solihull Arts Complex this April, with Barry Manilow's glittering musical, Copacabana.
Discover what happened to the showgirl named Lola in this fabulous all-singing, toe-tapping stage musical penned by the man behind the title song.
Stephen, a present day aspiring songwriter, is in the midst of writing a tune telling the story of Lola: fresh off the plane from Tulsa, she arrives in New York with showbiz aspirations. Tony is a bartender/composer who falls in love with her and helps her become a Copa girl. Lola, of course, attracts the amorous attentions of Rico. When Rico goes a bit too far by abducting Lola and taking her to his rival nightclub in Havana, Tony and the whole Copacabana crew set off to rescue Lola.
Audiences will delight in Copacabana's sparkling music and the selection of brand new Barry Manilow songs.
Copacabana plays at Solihull Arts Complex from 12 - 16 April. For more information and to book tickets click here.
Solihull-based drama group, Union Theatre, are holding auditions for their latest production, The Railway Children – A Musical.
The award-winning group are on the lookout for new members to join them for this quintessentially English classic. E. Nesbit’s tale is a family favourite and this new adaptation is filled with beautiful songs.
An idyllic family Christmas is interrupted by a knock at the door and a family’s life is changed forever. Father is wrongfully arrested and Mother, Roberta (Bobbie), Peter and Phyllis are forced to move to the country. Discovering a railway near their new house is just the beginning of a series of adventures set over one long summer.
Auditions will be taking place at Solihull URC, Warwick Road, Solihull on Thursday 25 February at 7.30pm, with performances taking place at Solihull URC from 30 June – 2 July 2016.
All ages are welcome. Whether you have previous experience or are new to the stage come along and join this friendly group.
If you would like further details regarding the audition, or would like any more information, contact the show’s director Mark Firmstone on 0121 705 1033.
A hit in the West End and on Broadway, End of the Rainbow makes its awaited return to the stage, playing at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry from Tue 23 to Sat 27 Feb as part of a major new UK tour, starring Lisa Maxwell as Judy Garland.
It's 1968 and Judy Garland, a once-glittering star, is in London to make her explosive comeback. But off stage, holed up in her hotel room, Judy is battling with her young new fiancé, her devoted accompanist, and her destructive addictions. Will she be able to conquer her demons and reclaim her crown as one of history’s great musical icons? Featuring Garland’s most memorable songs The Man That Got Away, Come Rain Or Come Shine, The Trolley Song and of course Somewhere Over The Rainbow, End of the Rainbow is a fiercely funny and emotionally charged musical play filled with Garland’s legendary tenacity, razor-sharp wit and once-in-a-generation voice.
Lisa Maxwell will play Judy Garland. Lisa is an actress and television presenter, best known for her role asSamantha Nixon in ITV’s The Bill from 2002 and 2009, and as a panelist on ITV’s Loose Women from 2009 – 2014. Other television credits include EastEnders, The Russ Abbot Show and The Lisa Maxwell Show.
Gary Wilmot will play Anthony. Gary’s musical theatre stardom began when he played Bill Snibson in the hit production of Me and My Girl at the Adelphi Theatre. His many theatre credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (West End and Tour), Oklahoma! (UK Tour), The Pajama Game (Shaftesbury Theatre), The Invisible Man (Menier Chocolate Factory), Chicago (UK Tour), Half a Sixpence (UK Tour), HMS Pinaforeand A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium), Carmen Jones (Old Vic) and Copacabana (World Premiere, Prince of Wales Theatre).
Sam Attwater will play Mickey. Sam made his TV acting debut in 2009, playing Ricky in Hollyoaks. The following year he joined EastEnders and its online spinoff EastEnders: E20, as Leon Small. Stage credits include Brad in the 40th Anniversary tour of The Rocky Horror Show, Dreamboats and Petticoats in the West End, and the 2014 UK Tour of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Sam won the sixth series of ITV’s Dancing on Ice in 2011, and returned for the 'All Stars' series in 2014.
On Thu 25 Feb the role of Judy Garland will be played by Ellen Verenieks.
End of the Rainbow first premiered at the Sydney Opera House in 2005, before playing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2006. It returned to the UK in 2010 in a new production at Northampton Royal & Derngate, transferring to the West End the same year where it ran for 6 months and received four Olivier Award nominations. A Broadway run followed in 2012, where it received three Tony Award nominations. It is written by Peter Quilter, whose plays have been presented in over 40 countries around the world and translated into 30 languages. For End of the Rainbow, Peter received an Olivier Award nomination for Best New Play.Other plays include Glorious!, which opened at the West End’s Duchess Theatre in 2005 starring Maureen Lipman, where it was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.
End of the Rainbow will be directed by Daniel Buckroyd. Daniel has been Artistic Director of the Mercury Theatre, Colchester since July 2012, where credits include Aladdin, Noises Off, Cinderella, Macbeth, Betty Blue Eyes, The Opinion Makers, The Butterfly Lion, The History Boys, The Hired Man and Michael Morpurgo’s Friend Or Foe. It is designed by David Shields.
For more information about the show, visit www.endoftherainbowtour.co.uk.
Over the last four years, Brett Elesmore, Sophie Grogan and Daniel Summers have produced the hugely successful series of I DREAMED A DREAM productions. This year, Brett has decided to take a break so Sophie and Daniel are producing this new show along the same fantastic lines, ONE NIGHT ONLY – A Night At The Musicals! on Saturday 19 March at the Redditch Palace Theatre.
Since 2012, Redditch born and bred Sophie has fundraised for the lesser-known children’s charity MACS - The Micro and Anopthalmic Children’s Society by running the Virgin London Marathon and producing a one-off musical revue show at the Palace Theatre.
“For the last four years I have had the honour of performing in and producing I DREAMED A DREAM – for one night only… This year we have had a change of production team, so we changed the name of the show to simply, ONE NIGHT ONLY!
This will be my fifth London Marathon in a row, to date I have raised over £7,000 for MACS and I keep coming back for more; I’ve never known a more supportive and appreciative charity and the atmosphere on marathon day is just electric!”
MACS is the UK’s national charity for children born without eyes or with underdeveloped eyes. It gives members access to a network of other families who have a first hand experience of what they are going through.
Sophie met Daniel Summers in 2006 when they attended Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London studying MA Musical Theatre. Since then they have come a long way together producing, performing and perfecting their duo Two’s Company.
“My love of the theatre began studying dance at Redditch based Starlight School of Dance, the encouragement I received from my teachers Sue and Jeanette gave me the confidence I needed to pursue my dreams.”
Patron for MACS, Jodie Prenger has already passed on her best wishes to the company:
“Just want to wish you all a great show. I bet it’s going to be totally fabulous. Such an amazing night can help transform not only the kids life's but their families. Sending all my fondest love, hugs and good luck wishes. Have a great show!”
ONE NIGHT ONLY features a cast and crew of over 30 singers, dancers and musicians from around the West Midlands performing songs from Evita, Sweet Charity, Mack & Mabel, Copacabana and many more.
“The talent we have sourced for this show is astonishing with many of the performers known to the Redditch Palace Theatre stage.”
“All profits made from this production will benefit MACS children and their families. The atmosphere on the evening of the show is second to none, I have never known such a supportive audience as the ones who attend these shows – and the standing ovation at the end is always pretty cool.”
If you love songs from the shows, ONE NIGHT ONLY is the only ticket you need to book this year.
Tickets are £14 (£12 concessions) and can be purchased from the Palace Theatre box office on 01527 65203 or for more information on MACS, please visit www.macs.org.uk.
Wolverhampton Grand Theatre today announce that X Factor winner Joe McElderry will star in the title role of this year’s magical pantomime adventure – Aladdin.
Joe, who is known as the sweet-singing hero and heartthrob of hundreds, also plays the role of Joseph in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at The Grand from 17 – 21 May. Joe has recently appeared as Tommy in The Who’s musical of the same name and has been busy touring his own concerts throughout the year.
In the role of the Slave Of The Ring is TV favourite, Lisa Riley. Lisa is best known for playing Mandy Dingle in the ITV1 soap Emmerdale from 1995 to 2001 and more recently wowed viewers on the BBC1 series Strictly Come Dancing. Lisa last appeared in a Grand Theatre pantomime in the 2000 production of Dick Whittington as Fairy Bowbells.
Also joining the pantomime line up is Black Country favourite, Doreen, as the laziest Empress that China has ever seen. Doreen returns to the Grand Theatre following phenomenal demand for her own show, Doreen’s Grand Night Out that plays a two-night residency in July.
Pantomime favourite Ian Adams will play Widow Twankey. Ian wrote and performed in a production of Dick Whittington that was the very first pantomime to be presented inside London Zoo. Recently, Ian formed StarDam productions – a company who specialise in creating stage versions of popular children’s stories.
From the company behind last year’s pantomime, Peter Pan, Aladdin will be produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer. Michael Harrison, managing director of Qdos Entertainment and the producer of Aladdin said;
“We’re absolutely delighted to already have such a great headline cast in Wolverhampton, led by the talented Joe McElderry and Lisa Riley. Watch this space as there is still more star casting to announce, which will make this Wolverhampton’s biggest pantomime yet!”
Adrian Jackson, Chief Executive of the Grand Theatre said;
"It has been very exciting working with the team in order to ensure we bring the very best of Christmas entertainment to the Grand Theatre in our production of Aladdin. Our star studded cast brings both local and national flair to our production which will guarantee to delight the whole family during the festive season.”
Aladdin opens at the Grand Theatre on Saturday 10 Dec 2016 and runs until Sunday 22 January 2017. Tickets are already on sale and can be booked in person, by phone on 01902 42 92 12 or online at grandtheatre.co.uk.
45 years on from Jesus Christ Superstar opening on Broadway, Lichfield Operatic Society will now be bringing Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's global phenomenon to the Lichfield Garrick this April.
The rock opera is a timeless work set against the backdrop of an extraordinary and universally-known series of events but seen unusually through the eyes of Judas Iscariot. Set in Jerusalem we follow the highs and lows of Jesus and his disciples throughout the last seven days of his life.
The ground-breaking score features many of musical theatres most legendary songs from I Don't Know How to Love Him, Heaven on Their Minds and Gethsemane through to, of course, Superstar.
Taking on the role of Jesus in this legendary piece is long time member Eoin Edwards who joined the society back in 2002 for the company's production of Guy and Dolls.
"Having been fortunate enough to have also had the opportunity to take on the role of Judas in a previous production of Jesus Christ Superstar last year, I am really looking forward to playing Jesus so I can view the show from the other side... As long as I can remember to sing the correct part!
I'm looking forward to be treading the boards with such a fantastic cast, and working with such a brilliant production team.”
Alongside Eoin will be Vickie Beck in the role of Mary and Phil Bourne as Judas, who is returning to us after a successful run on The Full Monty in which he took the lead role, Jerry. This will be Phil's second time appearing at the Lichfield Garrick as Judas after playing the part 13 years ago.
Performances of the show will run at the Lichfield Garrick from Tuesday 12 April to Saturday 16 April. Tickets start from £15. To book go to www.lichfieldgarrick.com or call the Lichfield Garrick box office on 01543 412121.
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