Cinderella- La Cenerentola

'La Cenerentola' Opera performed by Opera North at the New Theatre, Leeds, UK

As part of their fairy-tale season which also includes Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden, Opera North brings Rossini’s delightful Cinderella to the Lowry stage. Playing around with the traditional, Rossini replaces the wicked step-mother with a hugely comedic yet down right unpleasant step-father (Henry Waddington), in place of a Fairy Godmother we see the Prince’s tutor Alidoro (John Savournin) who instead of waving a magical wand uses his skills of observation and disguise to best get to know the true hearts of our characters, also gone are the glass slippers, replaced by a simple but effective pair of friendship bracelets.

'La Cenerentola' Opera performed by Opera North at the New Theatre, Leeds, UK

Director/Choreographer Aletta Collins’ combined skills perfectly match this production which is based in wicked step-father Don Magnifico’s school of dance, where poor Cinderella (Wallis Giunta) remains kind of heart despite being bullied and bossed about by her ghastly (but oh so funny) step-sisters, Clorinda (Sky Ingram) and Tisbe (Amy J. Payne). The course of true love never did run smooth so why not mix things up a little more with a swapping of roles as Dandini (Quirijn de Lang) the Princes’ Valet dresses up as the Prince in order to discover which of the ladies truly deserve the Princes’ hand.

'La Cenerentola' Opera performed by Opera North at the New Theatre, Leeds, UK

Giles Cadle’s inventive set which is used by all three operas is wonderfully adaptable with the addition of some highly inventive digital technology which allows Cinderella during her lowest moments; see herself in happier times, a hint of what is to come? Of course!

Opera North have succeeded again in creating a bold and enormously fun Opera, their commitment to making Opera more accessible and inclusive is clear and wonderfully reflected by the wide variety of audience members. Cinderella offers something for everyone; it’s incredibly witty with fabulously comedic performances from ugly sisters Sky Ingram and Amy J. Payne, they thrill the audience with their tantrums and vulgar behaviour, over indulged by Father Don Magnifico, performed spectacularly by Henry Waddington. The trio are fabulous fun, uncouth and deliciously unpleasant.

'La Cenerentola' Opera performed by Opera North at the New Theatre, Leeds, UK

South African tenor Sunnyboy Dladla makes a stunning Company debut as the Prince; he delivers each note effortlessness and has a delightfully warm tone plus all the charm you would wish for from a fairy-tale Prince. Also making her debut is Canadian mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta, she is utterly mesmerising, her goose-bump inducing aria’s are worth the ticket price alone. The chemistry between the two is wonderful and their duets sublime. Add to this John Savournin and Quirijn de Lang giving strong performances as both Alidoro and Dandini, plus the wonderful Chorus of Opera North frequently arriving en masse as the Courtiers and you have one seriously stellar line up.

'La Cenerentola' Opera performed by Opera North at the New Theatre, Leeds, UK

Opera North’s revamp of Rossini’s comedy-opera is a joy, full of fun, laughter and superb performances and although Rossini’s version is traditionally enchantment free, the magic of Opera North is here for all to see.

Next and final Lowry performance Saturday 11th March 2pm, tickets available here https://www.thelowry.com/events/cinderella

Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel - Engelbert Humperdinck - Opera North - 2nd February 2017

Hansel - Katie Bray
Gretel - Fflur Wyn
Gertrud/Witch - Susan Bullock
Peter - Stephen Gadd
Sandman - Rachel J. Mosley
Dew Fairy - Amy Freston

Conductor - Christoph Altstaedt
Dire

A STELLA Artois-swigging father, a confectionary house made of Nestlé Caramac and a witch with a Rupaul’s Drag Race-inspired wardrobe… It’s clear that Opera North’s production of Hansel and Gretel has two feet firmly planted in the 21st century rather than The Brothers Grimm’s latter-day Germany.

A scrumptious opera that totally satisfies our appetite for entertainment, Opera North are to be congratulated on a stupendously inventive production of the Engelbert Humperdinck classic. Hansel and Gretel, The Snow Maiden and Cinderella are part of a grand experiment that sees three ‘Deliciously Dark Fairy Tales’ from contrasting European traditions brought together in a single season – all of which are on at The Lowry this week.

Hansel and Gretel - Engelbert Humperdinck - Opera North - 2nd February 2017

Hansel - Katie Bray
Gretel - Fflur Wyn
Gertrud/Witch - Susan Bullock
Peter - Stephen Gadd
Sandman - Rachel J. Mosley
Dew Fairy - Amy Freston

Conductor - Christoph Altstaedt
Dire

The action begins in suitably ‘Grimm’ surroundings, a kitchen-sink high-rise occupied by an empty fridge, two hungry children, the eponymous Hansel (Katie Bray) and Gretel (Fflur Wyn) and their despairing mother, Gertrud. When their chaotic play sends the contents of a milk jug flying, Gertrud sends Hansel and Gretel out into the woods to pick wild berries for the family supper. Their father, Peter (Stephen Gadd, who plays a wonderfully reeling drunken broom seller), is aghast when he returns home – revealing that the forest is home to an evil witch with ‘Satan’s eye and a heart of stone’. The two children awake the following day to find a magical house has appeared in the woods, constructed from Bird’s Custard and BN Biscuits. While they gorge from the fridge, the witch returns and fires up her oven… ready for a very special bake!

Hansel and Gretel - Engelbert Humperdinck - Opera North - 2nd February 2017

Hansel - Katie Bray
Gretel - Fflur Wyn
Gertrud/Witch - Susan Bullock
Peter - Stephen Gadd
Sandman - Rachel J. Mosley
Dew Fairy - Amy Freston

Conductor - Christoph Altstaedt
Dire

Opera North veteran Fflur Wyn, and Katie Bray, of the company’s Albert Herring and The Barber of Seville, are delightful together – playful, charming and utterly believable as children. Their deftness with a video camera adds to the production’s signature special effect: freestyle camera footage – captured by the actors in real-time – which is livestreamed and magnified onto the walls of Giles Cadle’s pared-down set (that also features in The Snow Maiden and Cinderella). A masterful stroke by video designer Ian William Galloway, the hand-held camera acts as a supporting cast member in its own right; it boasts two particular ‘wow’ moments: the children’s journey through the forest and the big reveal of the witch’s house, which solicited audible gasps of delight.

Hansel and Gretel - Engelbert Humperdinck - Opera North - 2nd February 2017

Hansel - Katie Bray
Gretel - Fflur Wyn
Gertrud/Witch - Susan Bullock
Peter - Stephen Gadd
Sandman - Rachel J. Mosley
Dew Fairy - Amy Freston

Conductor - Christoph Altstaedt
Dire

When not doubling up as Gertrud, Susan Bullock plays the witch with a pantomime villain’s relish, brandishing her whisk as a wand and spooning her fattening concoction into Hansel, all with a wicked twinkle in her eye. Costume designer Christina Cunningham’s and wigs and makeup supervisor Kim Freeland’s choices for this role are perfect, complementing Bullock’s characterisation and adding to the overall comedic effect.

Both conductor Christoph Altstaedt and director Edward Dick have made their company debut this season; their energy, inventiveness and commitment to making opera more accessible to a modern audience shows. There is so much to love about this enchanting production, which marries a lively score, sparkling duets and trios, characterful performances and cutting-edge video technology with a well-loved, timeless fairy tale.

Tickets for Opera North’s productions of Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella and The Snow Maiden are available for purchase at http://www.thelowry.com/events/category/Opera

Reviewer: Michelle Ewen

HOME by Frozen Light Theatre Company

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Frozen Light theatre company strives to ensure that the theatre is an accessible place for all, their current production HOME is a bold, interactive and powerful piece which engages all of the five senses and explores feelings of fear, loss, separation, loneliness, friendship, trust, hope and joy, things that a person with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD) experiences frequently just like you and I.

The company stopped at The Lowry as part of an extensive tour of England, Scotland and Wales which will take in 59 dates (many with 2 performances a day) at an impressive 41 venues. Performers Lucy Garland (Artistic Director) Amber Onat Gregory (Artistic Director) and Al Watts (Musical Director) are passionate about delivering their work in a theatre setting, something many of their target audience may not have experienced before. Even before entering the space the performers come out to their waiting audience and engage in the most positive and caring way, they see each individual here as just that, an individual, unique and special and someone whom through their warmth and positivity they encourage to join them on this magical sensory journey.

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Their storytelling is clear as they ensure they connect with each person through a variety of innovative and playful ways. Audience members literally light up as they are gently led through this sensory, mood-altering experience, at times I felt my emotions rise as I observed the sheer joy they brought to their audience. Bubbles are blown, wind machines whirr, the vibrations of a gong ripple as we move from a feeling of loss and isolation to one of joy and celebration. We are encouraged to be free and to explore textures, sounds, feelings, tastes and a frequently changing environment. Frozen Light demonstrate a true understanding of their audiences needs and respond beautifully to them during this fluid and inspiring production, they show perfectly how theatre can and should push the boundaries and be a place of accessible exploration and inclusion for all.

Find further information about Frozen Light theatre company including their forthcoming tour dates can be found here; www.frozenlighttheatre.com

 

Nominees revealed for Olivier Awards 2017

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The nominations have been announced for this years’ Olivier Awards and there’s a wealth of hot competition in the categories.

The prestigious event is being held on Sunday 9th April at London’s Royal Albert Hall and promises to be a star-studded occasion full of show-stopping performances from some of the best theatre productions around.

Leading the way with a phenomenal 11 nominations is brand new play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which was shown to audiences in 2 parts at the Palace Theatre. Groundhog Day – another new kid on the block – has also got a big nod from the theatre world, receiving 8 Olivier nominations.

Great news for one of the more ‘veteran’ musicals as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar picks up 6 nominations, making it officially the most Olivier Award nominated show in history.

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FUNNY GIRL, , MUSIC – JULE STYNE, Lyrics – Bob Merrill, Book – Harvey Fierstein, Director – Michael Mayer, Choreography – Lynne Page, Set Design – Michael Pavelka, Costumes – Matthew Wright, Lighting – Mark Henderson, The Savoy Theatre, London, 2016, Credit: Johan Persson/

Opening Night have their fingers crossed for Sheridan Smith, nominated in the Best Actress in a Musical category for her incredible portrayal of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, most recently seen on tour at Manchester’s Palace Theatre (read our review here https://opening-night.org/2017/02/23/funny-girl/ ).

One person who can definitely bank on taking home a gong on the night is Sir Kenneth Branagh who will receive a special award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to British theatre.

The Olivier Awards 2017 with Mastercard will take place on Sunday 9 April at the Royal Albert Hall. Tickets to theatre’s biggest night are available from priceless.com

Full list of nominees below:

 

Best Actor

Ed Harris for Buried Child at Trafalgar Studios 1

Tom Hollander for Travesties at Apollo theatre

Ian McKellen for No Man’s Land at Wyndham’s theatre

Jamie Parker for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre

 

Best Actress

Glenda Jackson for King Lear at the Old Vic

Cherry Jones for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s theatre

Billie Piper for Yerma at Young Vic

Ruth Wilson for Hedda Gabler at National Theatre – Lyttelton

 

 

Best Director

Simon Stone for Yerma at Young Vic

John Tiffany for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre

John Tiffany for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s theatre

Matthew Warchus for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic

 

Virgin Atlantic Best New Play

Elegy at Donmar Warehouse

The Flick at National Theatre – Dorfman

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre

One Night in Miami … at Donmar Warehouse

 

Mastercard Best New Musical

Dreamgirls at Savoy theatre

The Girls at Phoenix theatre

Groundhog Day at the Old Vic

School of Rock the Musical at New London theatre

 

Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical

Ian Bartholomew for Half a Sixpence at Noël Coward theatre

Adam J Bernard for Dreamgirls at Savoy theatre

Ben Hunter for The Girls at Phoenix theatre

Andrew Langtree for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic

 

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical

Haydn Gwynne for The Threepenny Opera at National Theatre – Olivier

Victoria Hamilton-Barritt for Murder Ballad at Arts theatre

Rebecca Trehearn for Show Boat at New London theatre

Emma Williams for Half a Sixpence at Noël Coward theatre

 

Outstanding Achievement in Music

Dreamgirls – music by Henry Krieger at Savoy theatre

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – composer and arranger: Imogen Heap at Palace theatre

Jesus Christ Superstar – the band and company creating the gig-like rock vibe of the original concept album of Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air theatre

School of Rock the Musical – three children’s bands who play instruments live every night at New London theatre

 

Best New Dance Production

Betroffenheit by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young at Sadler’s Wells

Blak Whyte Gray by Boy Blue Entertainment at Barbican theatre

Giselle by Akram Khan and English National Ballet at Sadler’s Wells * Read our review here – https://opening-night.org/2016/09/28/english-national-ballet-giselle/

My Mother, My Dog and CLOWNS! by Michael Clark at Barbican theatre

 

Outstanding Achievement in Dance

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for their London season at Sadler’s Wells

Luke Ahmet for The Creation by Rambert at Sadler’s Wells

English National Ballet for expanding the variety of their repertoire with Giselle and She Said at Sadler’s Wells

 

Best Entertainment and Family

Cinderella at London Palladium

David Baddiel – My Family: Not the Sitcom at Vaudeville theatre

Peter Pan at National Theatre – Olivier

The Red Shoes at Sadler’s Wells

 

Best Theatre Choreographer

Matthew Bourne for The Red Shoes at Sadler’s Wells

Peter Darling and Ellen Kane for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic

Steven Hoggett for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre

Drew McOnie for Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air theatre

 

Magic Radio Best Musical Revival

Funny Girl at Savoy theatre

Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air theatre

Show Boat at New London theatre

Sunset Boulevard at London Coliseum

 

Best Actor in a Musical

David Fynn for School of Rock the Musical at New London theatre

Tyrone Huntley for Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air theatre

Andy Karl for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic

Charlie Stemp for Half a Sixpence at Noël Coward theatre

 

Best Actress in a Musical

Glenn Close for Sunset Boulevard at London Coliseum

“The Girls” – Debbie Chazen, Sophie-Louise Dann, Michele Dotrice, Claire Machin, Claire Moore and Joanna Riding – for The Girls at Phoenix theatre

Amber Riley for Dreamgirls at Savoy theatre

Sheridan Smith for Funny Girl at Savoy theatre

 

Best Revival

The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s theatre

This House at Garrick theatre

Travesties at Apollo theatre

Yerma at Young Vic

 

Best New Comedy

The Comedy About a Bank Robbery at Criterion theatre

Nice Fish at Harold Pinter theatre

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour at National Theatre – Dorfman

The Truth at Wyndham’s theatre

 

Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre

Cuttin’ It at the Maria, Young Vic

The Government Inspector at Theatre Royal Stratford East

The Invisible Hand at Tricycle theatre

It Is Easy to Be Dead at Trafalgar Studios 2

Rotterdam at Trafalgar Studios 2

 

White Light award for Best Lighting Design

Neil Austin for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre

Lee Curran for Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air theatre

Natasha Katz for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s theatre

Hugh Vanstone for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic

 

Best Sound Design

Paul Arditti for Amadeus at National Theatre – Olivier

Adam Cork for Travesties at Apollo theatre

Gareth Fry for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre

Nick Lidster for Autograph for Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air theatre

 

Best Costume Design

Gregg Barnes for Dreamgirls at Savoy theatre

Hugh Durrant for Cinderella at London Palladium

Rob Howell for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic

Katrina Lindsay for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre

 

Blue-i Theatre Technology Award for Best Set Design

Bob Crowley for Disney’s Aladdin at Prince Edward theatre

Bob Crowley for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s theatre

Rob Howell for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic

Christine Jones for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre

 

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Anthony Boyle for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre

Freddie Fox for Travesties at Apollo theatre

Brian J Smith for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s theatre

Rafe Spall for Hedda Gabler at National Theatre – Lyttelton

 

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Melissa Allan, Caroline Deyga, Kirsty Findlay, Karen Fishwick, Kirsty MacLaren, Frances Mayli McCann, Joanne McGuinness and Dawn Sievewright for Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour at National Theatre – Dorfman

Noma Dumezweni for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre

Clare Foster for Travesties at Apollo theatre

Kate O’Flynn for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s theatre

 

Best New Opera Production

4.48 Psychosis at Lyric Hammersmith

Akhnaten at London Coliseum

Così Fan Tutte at Royal Opera House

Lulu at London Coliseum

 

Outstanding Achievement in Opera

Renée Fleming for her performance in Der Rosenkavalier at Royal Opera House

Stuart Skelton for his performance in Tristan and Isolde at London Coliseum

Mark Wigglesworth for his conducting of Don Giovanni and Lulu at London Coliseum

 

 

Ali MacGraw & Ryan O’Neal back together in LOVE LETTERS

Ali MacGraw, Ryan O'Neal

Photo credit: Austin Hargrave

Hollywood legends Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal are back together once more to star in the upcoming UK tour of LOVE LETTERS, celebrated playwright A.R. Gurney’s enduring romance about first loves and second chances. Following a critically-acclaimed Broadway run and sell-out US Tour, the production comes to the UK for a twelve-week tour, opening on Monday 11 September 2017 at the Theatre Royal Bath.

Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw are best known for their onscreen pairing in the well-known weepy, Love Story back in 1970 – where Ryan was chosen from more than 300 hopefuls to play the role of Oliver Barrett opposite Ali in the film, proving to be his big break.

47 years on they have another story to tell, in LOVE LETTERS…

Andrew Makepeace Ladd III (O’Neal) wrote his first letter to Melissa Gardner (MacGraw) to tell her she looked like a lost princess; they were both seven years old. For the next fifty years, through personal triumphs and despair, through wars and marriages and children and careers, they poured out their heartfelt secrets to each other. They defied a fate that schemed to keep them apart, and lived for the one most meaningful thing, their undying love for each other.

Producer David Ian said: ‘I am absolutely thrilled to be bringing two such huge stars to the UK in this wonderful and moving play. Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal ‎are true Hollywood legends and it will be very special indeed to see them live on stage together’.

LOVE LETTERS comes to Manchester’s Opera House from 20-25 November 2017.

BRB – Cinderella

brb-5Birmingham Royal Ballet triumphantly returns to the Lowry with David Bintley’s magical production of the classic and much loved fairy-tale ballet, Cinderella. Originally performed in 2010 and broadcast by the BBC as their 2010 Christmas ballet, Bintley’s award winning production features the complete original score by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev delivered superbly by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. Staying true to the Cinderella story, we meet the wicked stepmother, Cinderella’s two ugly sisters (who we of course love to hate), as well as the handsome prince and not forgetting her magically gifted fairy Godmother.

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We begin in the dark and dank depths of Cinderella’s kitchen dwelling where a bare foot Cinderella has been cast by her wicked stepmother and ugly sisters, her only purpose in life seemingly to serve them. Despite the bleak and depressing surroundings Jenna Roberts ensures Cinderella shines and her joyous and delicate performance is enchanting. She moves with poise and perfection, light on her feet and full of endearing charisma.

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The story telling in this production, as with all Birmingham Royal Ballet productions is wonderfully clear allowing for a beautifully paced performance where we move effortlessly from one piece to the next, eager for more. Complimenting this exceptional narrative is an impressive set and deliciously extravagant costumes both designed by John F. Macfarlane, familiar to audiences as designer of the BRB’s hugely popular Nutcracker. The excellent narrative also allows for some great comedy acting from Skinny (Samara Dowes) and Dumpy (Laura Purkiss), the ugly sisters. Both excel in their roles and their acting is wonderful, offering the audience laugh out loud moments each time they enter the stage they are a fantastic fun and absolutely adored by the audience.

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Perfectly partnering Jenna Roberts’ Cinderella is handsome Prince, William Bracewell. Strong and athletic Bracewell is perfection in the role and the two of them glide beautifully together, their pas de deux performed at the grand ball is utterly mesmerising, they delivery of Bintley’s choreography is precise and striking. As the clock strikes twelve the dreamlike scene begins to crumble as Cinderella dashes from the scene leaving only her sparkly slipper, cue a highly entertaining hunt for the wearer of the shoe.

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Birmingham Royal Ballet succeeds once more in making a production which is not only enchanting and utterly thrilling but accessible and appealing to all. It is wonderful to see a diverse audience from very young children to those senior in age all totally captivated by this stunning production.

Cinderella is a work of magic, enchanting and sublime, an absolute delight.

On at The Lowry until 4th March

http://www.thelowry.com/event/birmingham-royal-ballet-cinderella

 

 

Dance – Sampled

dance-2In Dance Sampled, we are witness to ten minute extracts of dance from companies in genres including Flamenco, Tango, Contemporary, Ballet and Break. This example of how to see dance and also how we can become audiences of dance is a really interesting and intriguing one.

Delivered by The Movement, a collaborative from Birmingham Hippodrome, Saddlers Wells and The Lowry, all are committed to bringing a new wave of watching, focussing on accessibility and inclusivity. The collection of work is an exceptional evening of dance from 8 dancemakers who enthral the audience. It is wonderful to see that the audience present matches the variety and diversity of the performances in a packed out Lyric theatre.

Before each performance we’re introduced to the work with a projected interview on stage with the performers or choreographer. This is insightful, it lands the work for the audience and magnifies the eloquence of language we have for the variety of performances we are celebrating.

Flamenco trio dotdotdot open the evening with flamenco collaborations in a sublime cacophony, fan opening across live guitar across vocals from Javier Ribera across dancers beating through canons of dance from the determined trio and layered with lyrics from spoken word artist Toni Stuart, magnificent!

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BBC Young Dancer of the Year 2015, Conor Scott holds the centre of the evening with a majestic physicality, presence and creativity. His original piece is a wonderful exploration of loneliness, nostalgia and joy.

The audience welcome the essence of purity in The Faun danced beautifully by Yanelis Godoy and Julio Torres, choreography by Sidi Larbi, Cherkaoui originally danced by James O’Hara & Daisy Philips with Music by Claude Debussy and Nitin Sawhney.

The evening culminates in a daring performance by bgroup The Ruggeds from Holland dancing with skills that I have never experienced before, they’re pushing boundaries, skating across the floor in inversions, twisting in the air with raw energy and landing like tigers. The have a capacity for danger and play, a really exciting performance.

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The dancers and the dances throughout this evening have an extraordinary flare and each have a really unique talent, which makes the evening a real spectacle. The beauty of this project lies not only in the stunning performances but the accessibility of it, the highly engaging bite-sized excerpts give audiences a chance to experience a broad range of dance at affordable prices, with tickets available for just £15. In addition to this audience members were also invited to participate in a wide variety of workshops activities within the theatre foyer across the two day stay, an enormously engaging evening and a great opportunity to experience all dance has to offer. Highly recommended.

Guest reviewer: Kate Jackson

 

Etta James show to visit North West!

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The smash-hit show, At Last – The Etta James Story, is set to tour later this month starring the sensational Vika Bull; marking its UK debut on the 28th March when it opens at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre, the show also stops off in Manchester on 10th April at Royal Northern College of Music.

Following its world premiere in Melbourne in 2013 At Last – The Etta James Story has since packed theatres throughout Australia and New Zealand. In 2016 the show returned to Melbourne for a sell-out season at The Arts Centre and July saw the show triumph for a third season at The Sydney Opera House.

The show tells the story of soul legend Etta James’ turbulent life and features some of her most beloved songs including Tell Mama, Something’s Got A Hold On Me, Sugar On The Floor, the heart rending I’d Rather Go Blind, plus her iconic signature song At Last and much more. Vika puts her heart and soul into this unforgettable show and is joined on stage by some of Australia’s finest and funkiest musicians.

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During a long and tumultuous career that saw her win six Grammy Awards and a star on The Hollywood Walk Of Fame, Etta James has influenced a vast array of artists from Diana Ross, Janis Joplin, Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart and is acknowledged as inspiring the careers of a new generation of singers from Christina Aguilera, Joss Stone, Adele and the late Amy Winehouse. Sadly, Etta’s frantic recording and touring schedule coincided with her ever-growing addiction problems and over time she not only sang the blues…she lived the blues. Mercifully, her passion for life and strength of character saw her conquer her demons and she continued to record and perform into her seventies.

“Phenomenal vocals – outstanding!” Broadway World

Tuesday 28th March, Epstein Theatre, Liverpool www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk

Monday 10th April, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester www.rncm.ac.uk