Following critical acclaim and announcing an extension in the West End, the Chichester Festival Theatre revival of Guys and Dolls will tour throughout the UK, including a visit to Wolverhampton Grand.
Casting for the tour includes Richard Fleeshman (Coronation Street, Ghost the Musical, Call the Midwife) as Sky Masterson, Maxwell Caulfield (Grease 2, Emmerdale, The Colbys) as Nathan Detroit, Louise Dearman* (Wicked, Evita) as Adelaide and Anna O’Byrne (Love Never Dies) as Sarah. Completing the cast are Jack Edwards as Nicely Nicely Johnson, Peter Harding as Arvide Abernathy, Anthony McGill as Lt Brannigan, Mark Sangster as Benny Southstreet, Melanie Marshall as General Cartwright, Craig Pinder as Harry the Horse/Joey Biltmore, Cameron Johnson as Big Julie, Christopher Howell as Rusty Charlie. The ensemble includes Eamonn Cox, Jamal Crawford, Jonny Godbold, Ross Lee Fowkes, Aron Wild, Kiel Payton, Matthew Whennell-Clark, Ruthie Stephens, Bethany Linsdell, Hannah Cauchi, Chloe Chambers, Danielle Stephen, Abigayle Honeywill and Lucy Ashenden.
Nathan Detroit is desperate: he needs money for an illegal dice game, and he needs it fast. Not to mention a 14-year engagement with nightclub singer Miss Adelaide, whose patience is finally running out. Enter notorious gambler Sky Masterson, a guy who can never turn down a bet, and straight-laced missionary Sarah Brown, a doll with a heart of ice. Nathan’s wager is that Sky has to romance Sarah by taking her to Havana for dinner and in return he’ll provide a dozen ‘sinners’ for Sarah’s mission.
Surely this is one bet Nathan absolutely can't lose?
A joyous and vibrant celebration of Prohibition-era New York, Guys and Dolls first premiered on Broadway in 1950 and captured the optimism and energy of post-World War Two America. This hugely popular and multi award-winning musical, based on the colourful stories by American journalist Damon Runyon renowned for his vivid fictional depictions of the gamblers, hustlers and nightclub singers of New York, features some of Broadway’s greatest musical numbers including ‘My Time of Day’, ‘Luck be a Lady’ and the show-stopping ‘Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat’.
Guys and Dolls is directed by Gordon Greenberg with choreography by Cuban dancer and former Royal Ballet star Carlos Acosta and Andrew Wright whose credits include Chichester Festival Theatre’s Singin’ in the Rain.
*Please note, Louise Dearman will not be performing in the Wolverhampton dates.
Running from 19 – 23 July at Wolverhampton Grand, find out more information and book tickets by clicking here or calling box office on 01902 429 212.
Rugeley Musical Theatre Company bring the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic South Pacific to the stage from 12 - 14 May.
Following the story of Nellie, a nurse on a Pacific Island during the Second World War, she falls in love with local planter, de Becque. Meanwhile, young marine officer Cable falls in love with Liat, but when Cable and de Bacque embark on a spy mission the two women wait in hope for their return.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony for Best Musical, South Pacific flourished as the golden musical of Broadway's post-WWII golden era. Featuring a well-known soundtrack of songs, including There Is Nothing Like A Dame, Some Enchanted Evening and Happy Talk, the musical is a perfect treat for a mid-May evening.
Running from 12 - 14 May at the Rugeley Rose Theatre, tickets are £10 (adults), £8 (children) and £30 (family). For more information, click here.
A new production of Alan Bennett’s hit comedy plays at Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 17 - 27 February. Following the success of The King's Speech, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre collaborate once again on this award-winning comedy masterpiece, Single Spies.
Olivier Award-nominated Rachel Kavanaugh will direct Nicholas Farrell (as Guy Burgess), Belinda Lang (Coral Browne and Her Majesty the Queen) and David Robb (Anthony Blunt).
Bennett’s award-winning espionage double bill is a pointedly satirical snapshot of two members of the infamous ‘Cambridge Five’, Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt, both recruited as spies by the Soviet Union during World War II.
In 1950s Moscow, Coral Browne receives an invitation to lunch with shunned Soviet spy, Guy Burgess, with the sole instruction to ‘bring a tape measure’. An Englishman Abroad is a wry and touching play which chronicles the pair’s fleeting friendship and Burgess’ attempts to cling to his way of life as a Soviet citizen.
A Question of Attribution gives us a glimpse into Anthony Blunt’s life of espionage within the very walls of Buckingham Palace. Following his double-life as an art historian to royalty and a Soviet spy, this witty tale of forgery and deceit culminates in a sharp and candid interrogation from Her Majesty the Queen herself.
Single Spies premiered at the National Theatre in 1988, opening to critical acclaim and receiving an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 1990.
Nicholas Farrell’s previous credits with Chichester Festival Theatre include The Browning Version/South Downs (and West End) and Damsels in Distress he also starred as Alan Bennett in The Lady in the Van (Queen’s Theatre). Farrell’s extensive film career includes The Iron Lady, Legend and Chariots of Fire.
Belinda Lang is best known for playing Bill Porter in hit TV show 2 Point 4 Children (BBC) further screen credits include Second Thoughts (LWT), Doctors (BBC) and Midsomer Murders (ITV). She has recently appeared on stage in Oklahoma! (Northampton/Tour), Ladies in Lavendar (National Tour), Hay Fever (Royal Exchange and Haymarket Theatre) and East is East (Birmingham Repertory Theatre).
David Robb is currently on screen as Dr. Clarkson in the multi-award winning drama Downton Abbey (ITV) his extensive television credits also include Wolf Hall, Roman Mysteries and Garrow’s Law (all BBC). On stage he has recently appeared in The Audience (Apollo Theatre) and Hamlet (Tour & West End).
Rachel Kavanaugh was previously Artistic Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre and has directed multiple celebrated productions at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre including The Sound of Music(nominated for Best Musical Revival, Oliver Awards; winner of Best Musical Revival, WhatsOnStage Awards), Much Ado About Nothing and As You Like It. For Chichester Festival Theatre, Kavanaugh’s Love Story was Olivier Award-nominated for Best New Musical and received a West End transfer. She recently directed the UK tour of Oklahoma!
For more information and to book tickets click here.
On Wednesday 27 January, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre played host to twelve local schools and colleges in a dance showcase collaboration with internationally acclaimed Hip Hop company ZooNation. 28 students have been handpicked by professional dancers from the ZooNation Company to perform a curtain raiser before the opening performance of the UK tour of INTO THE HOODS: REMIXED which receives its touring premiere at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre on Thursday 25 February. The students will also perform before the show on Saturday 27 February.
Over the past 4 months, the Grand Theatre and ZooNation offered a professional arts experience to local schools ahead of opening the national tour. With significant support from Arts Connect, the Grand Theatre and ZooNation have created an outreach scheme that provided opportunities for Key Stage 4 dance students in local schools and colleges to work with professional choreographers. In the showcase, each school presented a hip hop dance routine based around a traditional fairytale and twisted the narrative.
The dancers chosen are from Coppice Performing Arts School, St. Matthias School, Highfields School, City Of Wolverhampton College, South Wolverhampton & Bilston Academy, The King’s CE School, Birmingham Ormiston Academy, Ormiston Shelfield Community Academy, Halesowen College, Moreton School, George Salter Academy and Our Lady & St Chad Catholic Academy.
The original production, INTO THE HOODS, first premiered at the Peacock Theatre in 2006, later opening at the Novello Theatre in 2008. It became both the first ever hip hop dance show to open in the West End and the longest running dance show in the West End’s history. The show won the Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best Ensemble Performance, and founder of ZooNation, Kate Prince was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer. She also choreographed So You Think You Can Dance for the BBC and the movie Streetdance3D.
Activity Supported by Arts Connect West Midlands as part of their Partnership Investment Programme.
INTO THE HOODS runs from 25 - 27 February. For more information and to book, click here.
University of Birmingham's musical theatre society, GMTG, proudly present the multi award winning City of Angels, playing from 23 - 27 February in the Debating Hall at the Guild of Students.
While City of Angels won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1990, it remains the rarest of musical comedies; one that is not only loaded with music and written in the contemporary jazz idiom, but also filled with sidesplitting comedy. Set in the glamorous, seductive Hollywood of the 40’s, the world of film studios and flimsy negligees, the show chronicles two parallel story lines interwoven at every turn.
When Hollywood comes calling for a New York novelist, the offer is too good to refuse: writer Stine must adapt the private detective protagonist of his books into a big-screen hero.
The siren song of Los Angeles is a dangerous temptation and while his movie plays out in black and white, his new life in the City of Angels is all-too colourful. As the eccentric array of people he encounters in his day-to-day life begin to inspire the characters in his screenplay, the line between fiction and reality begins to blur.
This story-within-a-story leads to many unique production values, the most notable being the fact that City of Angels is perhaps the only “color coded” show any theatre audience is likely to see. The movie scenes appear in shades of black and white, and the real life scenes are in technicolour. The show boasts two musical scores. One provides the cast with numbers to help reveal certain emotions or to celebrate particular moments in the way that only music can. The “other” score was written to emulate pure movie soundtrack music, 1940’s vintage. It is entirely appropriate, then, that the final curtain comes down on two happy endings!
GMTG are the University of Birmingham’s only Musical Theatre society, and are absolutely dedicated to putting on three full-scale musical productions each year, all of which are directed, produced and performed by students at the university. With a long and successful history as a group, some alumni move onto drama school and professional theatre careers after graduating.
With a sensational jazz score by Cy Coleman, sizzling lyrics laced in sophisticated innuendo from David Zippel and book by acclaimed comic screenwriter Larry Gelbart, City of Angels is a witty and glorious celebration of the classic film noir.
Make sure to book your tickets now for what promises to be a show like you have never seen before. City of Angels plays from 23 - 27 February. Tickets are just £12, with student tickets available at £7 and GMTG Society Members £5 and can be purchased by clicking here. For more information on GMTG, click here.
Please note this production is not suitable for those under the age of 12.
With a final flourish of a silk pocket handkerchief, Richard Poynton (Director), Charlotte Mills (Choreographer), Ian Room (Musical Director) and Walsall Operatic Society are almost ready to bring you Oliver!. And with some performances at Lichfield's Garrick Theatre already sold out, you had better 'pick a pocket or two' if you haven't bought your tickets yet; you can't afford to miss this timeless treat of a show!
Two teams of Fagin's boys (aptly named "Charles" and "Dickens") are honing their light-fingered skills; the company are culturing their cockney accents and now Walsall Operatic Society are excited to introduce their Olivers and Dodgers; Laurence and Tom and Lewis and Madeley.
Fagin, played by Craig Smith, is a teacher by day, but since getting the role he's now involved in turning out crooks instead of upstanding pillars of the community! Craig has played many roles with the Society, but this is one he's really looking forward to playing.
Bill Sykes is played by Adam Lacey - who by day (and night) is an events manager at the Old Joint Stock Theatre, he directs as well as enjoying performing and has most recently returned to the stage to play Corney Collins in an amateur production of Hairspray.
Nancy is played by Bill's real-life girlfriend, Lucy Follows. Oliver! is Lucy's first show with WOS, but she is no stranger to the stage; she has played Wendy in Peter Pan and Kim in Miss Saigon to name but a couple!
WOS are renowned for their musical ability and Oliver! is yet another example of their Production Team's careful attention to detail - rehearsals are looking and sounding amazing! - their reputation for astounding quality of sound will be further strengthened by this production, with exciting rumours of next year's production rumbling in the not-so-distant future.
Oliver! runs from 8 - 12 March at Lichfield Garrick Theatre. To book your tickets and for more information, email email@example.com.
Judy Cornwell and Diane Fletcher are set to star in A Murder Is Announced at the Lichfield Garrick
The Middle Ground Theatre Company’s lavish production of the classic Miss Marple mystery will run at the theatre from Tuesday 23 to Saturday 27 February 2016.
The residents of Chipping Cleghorn are astonished to read an advert in the local newspaper that a murder will take place this coming Friday at Little Paddocks, the home of Letitia Blacklock, played by House of Cards Actor, Diane Fletcher.
Unable to resist, the group gather at the house at the appointed time, when the lights go out and a gun is fired. Enter Miss Marple, who must unravel a complex series of relationships and events to solve the mystery of the killer.
Both Judy Cornwell and Diane Fletcher have distinguished careers spanning over 50 years on stage and screen. Judy Cornwell is probably best known for her much loved portrayal of Daisy in the hugely successful TV sit-com Keeping Up Appearances, while Diane Fletcher is forever immortalised as Elizabeth Urquhart in House Of Cards. They are joined by Sarah Thomas, who played Glenda Wilkinson in Last Of The Summer Wine for 24 years, and Rachel Bright (Eastenders' Poppy Meadow).
The murder mystery classic has been adapted for the stage by Leslie Darbon and directed and designed by Michael Lunney.
A Murder is Announced runs at the Lichfield Garrick from Tuesday 23 to Saturday 27 February 2016.
Tickets cost from £21, and can be booked online at www.lichfieldgarrick.com or by calling Lichfield Garrick’s Box Office on 01543 412121.
Agatha Christie fans will also love the 60th anniversary production of The Mousetrap running at the Lichfield Garrick from Monday 4 to Saturday 9 April 2016.
The Swan Theatre Company are gearing up for their production of Little Women, which runs from Tuesday 16 to Saturday 20 February.
One of the cast members, stalwart actress Janet Bright, plays the lead role of Marmee but she was also in the cast the last time the company did Little Women in July 1996, twenty years ago. Janet played the role of Jo March, who is the headstrong daughter and carries the plot of the show from start to finish.
Janet Bright, said: “Little Women is one of those classic tales of a strong family facing all sorts of trials and tribulations and how to overcome and face the hardships and also revel in the triumphs. It is interesting playing both the mother and daughter from the same family. Marmee is the lynchpin that keeps the family together. My take on her is that she was much like Jo in her youth, headstrong and wilful, but didn’t have quite the same opportunity to express herself. She wants all the March daughters to be strong and independent with a good moral code.
The whole play has a wealth of appealing characters, who doesn’t love to hate the interfering Aunt March. It is a similar story to Pride and Prejudice and I think it captures the romantic imagination in a similar way”.
The story of Little Women is a classic novel by Louisa May Alcott. This adaptation for the stage is set during the turmoil of the American Civil War and follows the March Family (Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy) as they struggle with the absence of their father as well as their declining social status into poverty.
Tickets for the show are £10 or £8 concessions. To book tickets for the show contact the Worcester Live Box Office on 01905 611427.
IMPOSSIBLE, the most dangerous show the West End has ever seen, arrives at New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham this week. The show features the world's greatest illusionists live on stage in a magic spectacular that will thrill and amaze audiences of all ages.
Fusing death-defying stunts, technological trickery, grand stage illusions and close-up magic in a fast-paced breath-taking performance, IMPOSSIBLE reinvents the biggest illusions in history in the greatest magic show on earth.
Fresh from its ground-breaking run in London’s West End, audience should prepare to be mesmerized and baffled as IMPOSSIBLE brings together world-class performers showing off a stunning range of magical artistry.
Lloyd Wood (Director): “The Impossible team are embarking on an extraordinarily exciting journey bringing together masters of their craft from the UK and abroad to demonstrate their exceptional skill, dexterity and fearlessness presenting original and inventive stage magic.
Exploring the feats of the impossible with grand illusion, sleight of hand, daredevil escapology and mind-blowing mentalism we aim to inspire and thrill our audiences from all around the UK whilst taking them on a journey through the light and dark of magic, mysticism and mystery across the ages.”
Jamie Hendry (Producer): “I am thrilled that after the phenomenal reception audiences of all ages gave Impossible in London’s West End, we will be touring the show around the UK featuring bigger illusions and spectacles than ever seen in the show before. I’m delighted to see so many magic shows open since Impossible launched last year proving the magic really is back!”
Impossible is produced by Jamie Hendry Productions and was directed in the West End by Anthony Owen and Lloyd Wood. The tour is directed by Lloyd Wood with scenic design by Andrew D. Edwards, lighting design by Tim Lutkin and sound design by Gareth Owen.
IMPOSSIBLE plays at New Alex, Birmingham from 16 - 20 February. For more information and to book tickets click here.
Coventry-based theatre company, Wing It Theatre are holding auditions for Disney's Little Mermaid Jr on Sunday 14 February.
The group's most recent musical was the summer project, West Side Story and the team are now on the hunt for talented children aged between 9 - 16 years old.
Open auditions will be taking place at Christ the King Parish Centre, Coventry and the timetable for the day is as follows:
9:30am Registration (please bring your completed application form and passport photo attached)
10:00am - 1.30pm 1st round of Auditions
1.30pm - 6.00pm Recalls (we might possibly finish earlier)
If successful in your audition there will be a £160 fee to take part in this 2 week easter project payable by the 5 March 2016.
Rehearsals will take place from 26 March - 6 April 2016 at the Albany Theatre, Coventry, with the production taking place from Thursday 7 - Saturday 9 April 2016.
If your child wishes to audition - please email firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be provided with an application form. Alternatively, if you wish to book tickets for this musical, please click here.
Based on the classic Hans Christian Andersen story and the Disney film, The Little Mermaid dreams of the world above the sea and gives up her voice in order to find love.
Evening performances start at 7:00pm
Matinee performance (Saturday 9th April 2016) start at 2:30pm.
All tickets just £13
Family ticket (1 adult plus 2 children) £34
Family ticket (2 adults plus 2 children) £45
Group discounts: 10 tickets for £115 (£11.50 per ticket) - use ticket type 'Mermaid 10' when selecting your seat.
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