Bucket List

(c) Alex Brenner

Following an award winning Edinburgh Festival Fringe run, the internationally acclaimed Theatre Ad Infinitum bring their latest powerful piece Bucket List to the Lowry.

The all-female cast tells the story of Milagros, a spirited Mexican orphan who tragically sees her mother murdered during an anti-corruption protest. Milagros is left with only a bloodied list of names, names of those responsible for her mother’s death. Milagros soon realises her only option to make them pay and find her vengeance is to destroy them, one by one.

(c) Alex Brenner

Ad Infinitum’s style of story-telling is exceptional, physical, effusive and hugely powerful. The piece at 90 minutes straight through with no interval flows rapidly and packs a punch, raising a fist of defiance to the powers that be. The ensemble cast successfully take on a number of roles; once you get into the flow of how this innovative company share their tales you are soon scooped up and hooked by their charismatic and emotive style.

(c) Alex Brenner

(c) Alex Brenner (info@alexbrenner.co.uk)

Director Nir Paldi perfectly illustrates through her cast the desperation and frustration of living in a place where poison not only flows through the rivers but right to the core of the establishment. The cast made up of Tamsin Clarke, Charli Dubery, Luisa Guerreiro, Orian Michaeli, Deborah Pugh, Shamira Turner portray this tangled web of hurt and pain magnificently, there are many light-hearted moments of joy as we see Milagros childlike, innocent as she has fun with her young friends before the brutality of real life takes over. An interesting and clever narrative of a chess game flows through the piece, offering tactical advice on how best to make the next and most deadly move whilst offering up the suggestion we are all just pawns in a bigger and much more terrifying game.

Bucket List is passionate and incredibly moving, intricate and brilliantly delivered, physically charged theatre at its best. On at the Lowry until Thursday 27th April tickets available here; https://www.thelowry.com/events/bucket-list

Casanova – Preview

Internationally and critically acclaimed company Northern Ballet brings the World Première tour of Casanova to the Lowry’s Lyric theatre next week, inviting audiences to unmask and be seduced by history’s greatest lover, the passionate, scandalous and oh so seductive Giacomo Casanova.

Consumed by his desires, which ultimately lead to him living a life of scandalous and hedonistic excess resulting in his imprisonment and exile, Casanova is a deliciously sensual piece which will thrill and enthral audiences in equal measure. Well known for their bold and dynamic works Northern Ballet have once again put their innovative and unique stamp on a classic story breathing life and spectacular artistry into this new piece. We are delighted to bring images from the rehearsal rooms to you today which truly illustrate the visual delight which awaits Lowry theatre goers next week.

Choreographed by award-winning Kenneth Tindall, most recently nominated for Best Classical Choreography and the Emerging Artist Award at the 2015 National Dance Awards, the production will be set to an original score by modern classical, film and television composer Kerry Muzzey, played live by the superb Northern Ballet Sinfonia, whisking theatre goes to 18th century Venice, where this thrilling piece will awaken our senses and delight in its magnificence.

This sumptuous spectacle which will be performed at the Lowry from 3rd – 6th May, is the first of an unprecedented three full-length World Premières to be held by Northern Ballet in 2017 which also include the much anticipated World Premières of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Little Mermaid, further evidence of Northern Ballet’s dedication to pushing the boundaries when it comes to delivering dance in its most stunning of forms.

Buy your tickets now for what will be undoubtedly one of the most visually spectacular events of the year. Tickets are available via the following link; https://www.thelowry.com/events/casanova




Wonderland Promo Image 2 Kerry Ellis

Not to be confused with the Blur frontman, Damon Alban’s musical that kicked off Manchester International Festival two years ago, Frank Wildhorn and Jack Murphy’s Wonderland is a new musical adaptation of two of Lewis Carroll’s classics – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass.

Having already enjoyed a stint on Broadway the show is on its UK and European premiere tour with an impressive cast that includes West End leading lady Kerry Ellis, musical theatre veteran Dave Willetts and former Coronation Street star Wendi Peters.

On paper Wonderland should be a sure-fire hit – it’s based on one of the most popular children’s stories of our time, the music is by a multi-award winning composer and you have Ellis, the woman who made Wicked’s Elphaba a hit in the UK at the helm.

Unfortunately it does not live up those expectations.


Gregory Boyd and Jack Murphy have created a book for stage that sees Alice no longer a little girl but a 40 year old single Mum disillusioned with the cards life dealt her and wanting to escape the ‘real world’. Cue a visit to their high-rise block of flats from the White Rabbit (Dave Willetts) who takes her, her teenage daughter Ellie (Naomi Morris) and geeky love-struck neighbour Jack (Stephen Webb) down the lift shaft – a modern day rabbit hole –  into the frantic world of Wonderland.

Whilst Grace Smart’s costumes perfectly evoke the essence of Carroll’s creation with a melee of colours and craziness about them, Andrew Riley’s set however is sparse and changes very little throughout the performance with just additional props wheeled on, such as the Looking Glass and Mad Hatters’ Tea party table. I wanted a magical world to unfold beneath my eyes and be dazzled at the grandeur but it all felt a little flat.

There was magic however when it came to the performances. Kerry Ellis is just incredible to watch and her vocals exquisite, so too was Natalie McQueen as the Mad Hatter giving her just the right amount of zaniness and proving a perfect match for Ellis in their powerhouse duet This Is Who I Am. Wendi Peters also went down a treat with audiences for her portrayal of the Queen of Hearts and her number Off With Your Head left you wishing she had more time on stage to fully develop her character.

Wonderland Promo Image - Wendi Peters

Wonderland’s main flaw is that it makes you feel like you are watching a pantomime – there’s lots of fluff and not enough jeopardy to take the show seriously as a musical, which in reality is competing against the likes of other new creations such as Hamilton and Groundhog Day. At times I half expected the characters to address the audience and get them involved in the action. The production would be the perfect vehicle for Christmas time with its sickly sweet message of ‘not being afraid to be who you are inside’ being drummed down your throat at every stage but for now it needs more work on making the songs memorable and the story slick enough to turn it into a real contender.

Runs at the Palace Theatre, Manchester until Sunday 30th April

*Britain’s Got Talent’s Rachael Wooding will guest star as Alice for the Sunday matinée performance in Manchester.




Ghost 1

Bill Kenwright Productions brings Ghost the Musical to the Lowry stage this week as the last stop on its UK and Ireland tour which began at the New Wimbledon Theatre back in September 2016.

Based on Bruce Joel Rubin’s much loved 1990 film, starring the legendary Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, with music by Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, and lyrics from Grammy Award winner Glen Ballard, Ghost the Musical tells the tragic love story of Brooklyn residents Sam (Andy Moss) and Molly (Kelly Hampson) whose lives are torn apart when Sam is tragically murdered in the street in a robbery gone wrong. As Sam watches the scene of his death from a distance he realises he has become stuck between two worlds, torn away from his idyllic life and one true love, Sam soon realises this was no tragic accident and his beloved Molly too is in danger, he must find a way to connect and ultimately protect her. His method of protection takes on the form of the outrageous, hilarious and hugely entertaining psychic and spiritual healer, Oda Mae Brown (Jacqui Dubois).

Ghost 4

Kelly Hampson covering the role of Molly tonight on behalf of the indisposed Carolyn Maitland (get well Carolyn) does a fine job, her voice is sweet and strong and the chemistry between her and Sam (Andy Moss) endearing, she embodies the grief of losing her lover tenderly and with real heart. Moss makes for an enormously likeable Sam, fun, playful, and full of life, making the scenes where he realises he has died all the more poignant. His commitment to protecting his love from danger is hugely moving while his interactions with Oda Mae (Jacqui Dubois) are simply brilliant. Dubois was born to play Oda Mae Brown, bold, brash, outrageous and full of attitude she is a joy to watch with razor sharp comic timing Whoopi Goldberg would be proud of.

Ghost 3

The staging of this production allows for some clever effects and the strong supporting cast directed by Bob Thomson deliver fine performances with special mention to both James Earl Adair and Gerry Lee Netley who play the hospital ghost and subway ghost superbly.

Ghost 2

Ghost is a highly entertaining show, with beautiful music and solid performances, you will most certainly laugh, quite probably cry and as soon as you get home will be digging out that old DVD when you remember just how much you love this beautiful story. An engaging and beautifully delivered production.

On at the Lowry until Saturday 29th April, tickets available here!



Running Wild


War Horse author Michael Morpurgo has created yet another stunning story which has now been adapted for stage, this time aimed at a younger audience.

Running Wild tells the tale of 9-year old Lilly (Jemima Bennett) who is struggling to come to terms with recent death of father, a soldier in Afghanistan. To ease her loss her Grandma suggests she takes a trip with her Mum to Indonesia for Christmas to make new memories and get the chance to ride her favourite animal, the elephant. When a tsunami hits the island though tragedy strikes again and Lilly is whisked off into the jungle on the back of Oona the elephant and about to face some of the biggest challenges of her life.

RW 1

Morpurgo based Running Wild on real life events he read about in a newspaper back in 2004, when a tsunami hit Sri Lanka killing over 300,000 people. Out of all that tragedy came a shining light – an uplifting story of a little boy who got stranded in the jungle after the elephant he was riding on charged off as soon as the quake hit, saving the boys’ life in the process.

RW 3

In the stage adaption by Samuel Adamson the boy in the book becomes a girl, played during this Children’s Touring Partnership production by three alternate young actresses. Jemima Bennett played Lilly on the night we saw Running Wild and gave a polished performance as the feisty tomboy. Bennett takes on the huge role with a professionalism beyond her young years, and demonstrates Lilly’s sheer determination to survive everything the jungle throws in her way.

RW 2

There’s a plethora of spectacular puppets on display created by former War Horse Puppetry designers and directors Fin Caldwell and Toby Olie; from Sumatran tigers, to crocodiles and Orangutans. All of them are beautiful crafted and expertly handled by the talented team of puppeteers that bring them to life onstage and give them a heart and soul.

James Whiteside compliments the thrilling action with his atmospheric lighting design which evokes the mood changes of each scene perfectly. Whiteside effectively uses frantic flashes of strip lighting to signify danger and beautiful firefly-esq lights that highlight moments of serenity.

RW 5

Running Wild isn’t a sugar coated ‘George of the Jungle’ story you might expect it to be, in parts it is quite upsetting and, for the younger children in the audience, a bit scary (I’d advise to ignore the guidance of age 6+ to be safe and take those aged 8 upwards). However, it is also a play that excites with its adventure and manages to leave both children and adults with some important moral messages about our society today and our relationship with animals.

Runs at The Lowry, Salford until 22nd April. Tickets available here; http://www.thelowry.com/events/running-wild




Cyrano 3

Northern Broadsides together with New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme bring their swashbuckling tale of the legendary Cyrano De Bergerac to the Lowry this week in a newly adapted production from award-winning playwright Deborah McAndrew. Delivered in verse and littered with delightful blasts of baroque music director/ composer Conrad Nelson’s Cyrano is a gloriously fun interpretation of Edmond Rostand’s romantic comedy about unrequited love.

Husband and wife team McAndrew and Nelson stage this European classic with wit and regional charm and although we are in Paris amidst the golden age of the musketeers it is warm Northern voices which deliver the verse. A hint of “Robin Hood Men in tights” in its bold and clever comedy this new adaptation is bright and brilliant.

Cyrano 2

Christian Edward makes for a charismatic and commanding Cyrano, entirely confident and cool unless his massive conk gets a mention. Retired to his fate that he’ll never find love with a hooter so large Cyrano becomes third wheel in the fledgling relationship of the blindingly beautiful Roxanne (Sharon Singh) and the ever so handsome Christian (Adam Barlow). Cyrano releases his inner longings for Roxanne onto parchment which she is led to believe comes from the hand of the perfectly formed Christian, who sadly flunked school when it came to prose. It is only many years later Roxanne learns the truth and realises the man she loves has been nose to nose with her for her entire life, quite literally.

Cyrano 4

Edwards is exceptional as Cyrano, instantly likeable with bucket loads of swagger he is proud and combative but really loveable at heart. Throughout the piece we see drunken poet Ligniere (Michael Hugo) act almost as a narrator, vocalising the woes of our characters and commentating on the pains that are the Parisian nobles, Hugo is brilliant fun, entertaining and very witty. Francesca Mills takes on multiple roles and is exceptional in all, quick witted and engaging she makes for an excellent pick-pocket sidekick to our hero Cyrano.

Cyrano 1

Northern Broadsides have succeeded in making their Cyrano both cheeky and passionate, the entire ensemble cast work brilliantly together, with laughs a plenty as well as tender and touching moments Cyrano has got it all, wit, vigour and the most impressive hooter you’ll ever see!

On at the Lowry until Saturday 22nd April tickets available here; https://www.thelowry.com/events/cyrano

Boris – The Musical


Established in June 2016 as a response to the Brexit referendum, Blowfish Theatre brought their satirical comedy-musical about the rise, fall and unfortunate rise again of politiclown Boris Johnson to a packed out Dance House theatre last night.

Directed by Kyle Williams and writer Laurence Peacock, Boris – the Musical is a great fun show which gently illustrates just how bonkers the world of politics truly is whilst offering many, many laughs along the way.


David Burchhardt, is excellent in the role of Boris, his portrayal is weirdly accurate even down to the hideous blond thatch, he greets audience members on their way into the theatre in true bumbling and bombastic Boris style. He is energetic and engaging as he commentates on his life story being acted out on stage. We follow Boris through his days at Eaton and Oxford with a visit to the Bullingdon Club as this political romp illustrates just how ridiculous our political leaders really are. We meet snooty and condescending ‘Dave’ Cameron as well as the painfully ambitious Michael Gove, continually waiting in the wings for political puppet Johnson to stuff up.


Liz Kearney and Polly Bycroft-Brown take on several roles in the production including Dave and Gove, both have great stage presence and strong vocals which really compliment Burchhardt ‘s bungling Boris. With songs such as Born to Rule, Super Mayor and a hilarious Sound of Music reincarnation in the form of How Do You Solve A Problem Like A Boris, Blowfish theatre offer a sharp observation of the calamity that is Boris Johnson and the absolutely absurd political landscape he currently resides in. A great fun and hugely entertaining piece, highly recommended.

Boris – The Musical will be returning to Manchester in July for three dates at the city’s Z-arts venue on 27th, 28th & 29th July before heading up to the Edinburgh Fringe festival tickets available here; www.boristhemusical.com

Jane Eyre


First staged at the Bristol Old Vic, where the story was performed over two evenings, director Sally Cookson brings her acclaimed production on tour, presenting Bronte’s much loved classic as a thrilling and inventive performance beautifully staged in the Lowry’s Lyric theatre.


While many will be familiar with the story of Jane Eyre for some it’s one of those novels that you may have always intended to read but never quite got there, it is the biography of orphan girl Jane Eyre (Nadia Clifford) and bares striking similarity to Brontë’s own life, raised in the North of England Jane is taken in by her Uncle after the heartbreaking death of her parents, much to the disgust of his cruel wife, Jane’s Aunt, Mrs Reed (Lynda Rooke). When Jane’s Uncle becomes unwell, he asks Mrs Reed to promise to raise Jane as her own, sadly although she provides a house for Jane to dwell in she certainly doesn’t offer the love and warmth of the promised home subjecting Jane to a life of misery and abuse from not just her Aunt but her Cousins as well. At 10 years old she shipped off to Lowood, a school for orphaned girls, where she continues to experience a cruel and unforgiving life, despite this Jane manages to form a strong bond with her school friend Helen Burns (Hannah Bristow), tragedy however is never far away and Jane suffers more gut-wrenching loss.


Eventually Jane becomes a teacher at Lowood but yearns for change and adventure, she advertises herself as a Governess and is soon summoned to Thornfield Hall to educate Edward Rochester’s (Tim Delap) French ward Adele. As the developing friendship between Jane and Rochester begins to build strange happenings within the house start to occur risking both the safety and the future of both Jane and Rochester.


The staging of this production is immediately striking upon entering the theatre; set designer Michael Vale uses wooden pallets to create various levels and platforms accompanied by multiple ladders and steps which are used to maximum effect by the cast. Aideen Malone’s lighting design is bold and dynamic, creating and changing the atmosphere dramatically throughout the production.


The small cast take on a multitude of roles throughout the play and are magnificent, their characterisation outstanding and utterly captivating. They strive to ensure we see Brontë’s work is just as relevant today as it was then; they deliver each and every character with commitment and style. The piece feels fresh and inspiring as the spirited and strong Jane fights for her own freedom and fulfilment. Jane is told early on in the play after being punished by her Aunt in the red room, “Perhaps you should learn to keep your passions under control” something we soon realise is a thing Jane in order to be true to herself could never do. Nadia Clifford is superb in the role of Jane, yearning for liberty and adventure her spirit is strong and her need for fulfilment, physically, spiritually and mentally never wavers. Clifford is mesmerising, charismatic and captivating you immediately warm to her and are desperate for her to succeed. Sally Cookson uses several cast members to verbalise Jane’s inner thoughts, this works beautifully, illustrating just how strong and determined Jane truly is as she battles with herself to do what she believes is right as heart-breaking as it may be.


Melanie Marshall as Bertha Mason, the ‘lunatic in the attic,’ is superb, frequently appearing through musical interludes her vocals are hauntingly brilliant and pack a real punch. The effect feels almost like a musical narrative, with hugely inventive and highly original song choices that flow beautifully from one scene to the next offering more depth to an already magnificent production. The entire cast give their all; they make for a tight ensemble and move fluidly from one role to the next, accompanied by on stage musicians who add a further creative layer to this inventive piece.


Jane Eyre is a truly exceptional piece of theatre, groundbreaking and utterly captivating. Brontë’s much loved masterpiece is delivered with freshness and intelligence, you can’t help but think how pleased she would be to see her Jane portrayed with such heart and soul. The National Theatre in partnership with Bristol Old Vic once again succeed in bringing a true masterpiece to life, full of passion, intensity and originality, an absolute must see.

Photo credits Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

On at the Lowry until Saturday 15th April https://www.thelowry.com/events/jane-eyre

Miss Saigon returns to Manchester!

Miss S 5Hot on the heels of yesterday’s exciting Matilda announcement Cameron Mackintosh has today announced that Miss Saigon will land at Manchester’s Palace Theatre on 21th March 2018 and will stay in the city for a total of 7 weeks until 12th May 2018, with tickets going on sale on 18 May. www.miss-saigon.com

Mackintosh also announced the principal casting of his acclaimed new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical, Red Concepcion will play ‘The Engineer’, Sooha Kim ‘Kim’, Ashley Gilmour ‘Chris’, Zoë Doano ‘Ellen’ and Gerald Santos ‘Thuy’. At certain performances ‘Kim’ will be played by Joreen Bautista.

Here at Opening Night we’re thrilled to hear that Barnaby Hughes most recently seen in Hope Mill Theatre’s stunning production Yank! will be amongst the cast, huge congratulations Barnaby!

Miss S 6

Miss Saigon tells the heart-wrenching story of the last days of the Vietnam War, 17-year-old Kim is forced to work in a Saigon bar run by a notorious character known as the Engineer. There she meets and falls in love with an American GI named Chris but they are torn apart by the fall of Saigon. For 3 years Kim goes on an epic journey of survival to find her way back to Chris, who has no idea he’s fathered a son.

Since its London premiere in 1989, Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s legendary musical Miss Saigon has become one of the most successful musicals in history.  The show has since been performed in 28 countries, over 300 cities in 15 different languages, has won over 40 awards including 2 Olivier Awards, 3 Tony Awards, and 4 Drama Desk Awards and been seen by over 35 million people worldwide.

Tickets will be in huge demand for this epic production, we are thrilled to say in Manchester the heat is most definitely on!






www.curveonline.co.uk – 0116 242 3595





www.birminghamhippodrome.com – 0844 338 5000





www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie – +353 (1) 677 7999





www.wmc.org.uk – 029 2063 6464





www.edtheatres.com – 01315296000





www.mayflower.org.uk – 02380 711811





www.atgtickets.com/venues/palace-theatre-manchester/0844 871 3019

ON SALE 18 MAY 2017




www.atgtickets.com/venues/bristol-hippodrome/0844 871 3012

ON SALE 18 MAY 2017




http://www.theatreroyal.com/01752 267222 ON SALE 18 MAY 2017




www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk  01603 63 00 00


Babe, The Sheep-Pig


Based on the best-selling book by legendary children’s author Dick King-Smith, which inspired the Oscar-winning 1995 film, Babe, The Sheep-Pig is brought to life on the Quays stage in the most enchanting and charming of ways in Polka theatre’s delightful new production.

Babe arrives at the Lowry as part of an extensive UK tour which will see our little piglet entertain audiences from Salford to Southend with many stops along the way. Directed by Michael Fentiman whose previous productions include The Taming of the Shrew and Titus Andronicus (RSC), and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (Kensington Gardens). Babe is a story of perseverance, friendship, understanding and bravery. When Babe arrives at Hogget’s Farm as a proposed addition to Christmas dinner he is taken under the wing of loyal sheep-dog Fly and soon discovers a talent for herding, (once he eventually works out his own unique way of encouraging the sheep on the farm to do things his way). But as cute as our little piggy is can he make it in a dog’s world? Will Babe be the hero of the hour when his farmyard friends are in trouble? Will Mrs Hogget find an alternative pork free recipe for their festive feast? That we won’t tell you, you’ll have to head down to the Lowry to find out!


We will tell you however how truly enchanted we were by this beautiful production, the stunning hand-crafted puppets, created by award-winning puppet designer Max Humphries (Chief Puppet Designer, Cirque de Soleil) and Dik Downey, were expertly brought to life by the talented cast who delivered a masterclass in puppeteering and performance, the children in the audience were truly captivated.


Madeleine Girling’s stage design sweeps you away to a countryside farm as cast members reside on the stage dressed as fluffy sheep, baah-ing and chomping on hay. The incredible puppetry direction by Matthew Forbes really makes you feel that the residents of Hogget’s Farm have come to life before you, so good is their fluidity and characterisation you soon begin to believe you really are down on the farm. The joy this production brings to its young audience is utterly heart-warming, the small cast deliver this production with heart and soul and the importance of true kindness and real friendship shines through. Babe will warm your heart, fill you with joy and remind you of just how much good there is in the world.

On at the Lowry until Saturday 15th April https://www.thelowry.com/events/babe




Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games


Since its debut at The Point Theatre in Dublin on 2nd July 1996, Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance has mesmerised audiences the world over, from London to Las Vegas public demand for the show renowned for its spectacular showstopping routines has never waned. Now almost 21 years since its official debut, Flatley brings his rejuvenated show Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games to Manchester’s Palace Theatre with local talent James Keegan taking on the lead role of The Lord handpicked no less by the main man himself.

Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games is built around a classic good versus evil story, after an introductory projection featuring Flatley and his young son, Michael St. James, we are introduced to our talented cast via the dream of Little Spirit, (Jess Judd). Little Spirit sees the Lord of the Dance as everything good in the world, this purity and honesty is however threatened by the Dark Lord (Zoltan Papp) and his evil army of Dark Disciples, add to this the dark temptation that comes in the form of Morrighan the Seductress (Andrea Kren) who is determined to come between The Lord and his true love, the pure and perfect Saoirse (Caroline Gray).


The story is a simple one, sometimes a little unclear but let’s be honest we haven’t come here expecting a deep and thought provoking narrative it is without doubt the dancing the draws the crowds year after year and it soon becomes very clear as to why. We are eased in with some exceptional acrobatics from Little Spirit who I’d happily have watched more of, as she introduces us not only to the story but also the running musical theme which we hear throughout the show, Lord of the Dance of course! As we meet the rest of the cast via various routines it is the full traditional ensemble pieces that really grip the audience, the energy and talent on display is mind-blowing, you can’t help but smile whilst watching, it’s an absolute thrill to hear the thundering drum of these lightening quick feet.


The production is at its most powerful during the battle scenes, Zoltan Papp makes for a deliciously menacing Dark Lord, whipping the audience into a frenzy with his fabulous footwork. The sequence where he along with his Dark Disciples corner Little Spirit (Jess Judd) is performed beautifully, strong and precise with great characterisation, special mention also goes to the battle sequence between The Lord of the Dance (James Keegan), The Dark Lord (Zoltan Papp) and their respective armies, beautifully choreographed and directed by Flatley this scene really packs a punch.


Paul Normandale’s staging of this production is almost as impressive as the talent on stage, huge flat screens the full width of the Palace’s imposing stage deliver colourful and bold projections, interjected with thrilling and sometimes unexpected pyrotechnics, complimented by stunning lightening design also by Normandale. Christopher Woods’ costume design is impressive, there are all manner of styles on show, with some really beautifully designed pieces, juxtaposed to the traditional is a section where the females are in not much more than bras and knickers while the men also whip their tops off, while this got a few whoops from the audience it seemed a little unnecessary and distracted from the beauty of the performances on stage.


Special mention must go to musicians Giada Costenaro Cunningham and Nicole Lonergan, their fiddle playing is exceptional, a real highlight sandwiched between the exhilarating dance routines. As well as musical elements the audience are treated to vocals from Erin the Goddess (Sophie Evans) the choice of songs for me fell a little flat, something more upbeat and memorable would have sat better within the production and left more of an impact.

Manchester lad James Keegan really gives his all in the role of The Lord, following in the footsteps of Flatley is no mean feat but Keegan soon has the audience in the palm of his hand as he dances his way across the stage with precision, style and bags of charaisma.


There is no doubt that Flatley has the magic formula when it comes to entertaining his fans, Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games is an absolute feast of dance and colour, with jawdropping choreography that will no doubt continue to delight and thrill dance fans for years to come. It’s an impressively entertaining show, bringing joy to young and old alike, hugely deserving of praise and the standing ovation Manchester was only too happy to bestow.

On at the Palace Theatre until Saturday 15th April, tickets available here http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/lord-of-the-dance/palace-theatre-manchester/


The Dukes Re-Union

Duke Renunion - Social Header (4)

Mike Sweeney and The Salford Jets will reunite at The Grand Palais, Swinton to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of their debut performance. The Dukes Re-Union will also feature The Trend, Mad Jacks Travelling Circus*, Fast Cars and DJ Mike Prince and will make two nights of musical memories from their days back performing to capacity crowds on the renowned stage at the Duke of Wellington in Swinton.

As the ‘Duke of Welly’ is no longer a live venue, the Grand Palais on Station Road in Swinton (formerly the Wishing Well) has been chosen as the stage for this extraordinary get together where fans can take a trip back in time and enjoy the nostalgia of those magical nights forty years ago.

Salford Jets

After the initial gig sold out a second date has been added with the two shows taking place on Friday 26 & Saturday 27 May 2017. Salford legend Mike Sweeney, currently a presenter on BBC Radio Manchester, said: “This year sees the 40th anniversary of The Salford Jets and the start of our Monday night residency at The Duke of Welly on the ‘Top Road’ in Swinton which rolled out weekly until 1982! To celebrate and together with those ‘Duke’ stalwarts Fast Cars, The Trend, and Mad Jack’s Travelling Circus, we’re having a reunion at Swinton Palais on the 26th and 27th May. Tickets are going like the clappers and this won’t happen again so be there or be very square!”

Mike Sweeney 1

The Dukes Re-Union, produced by Tony Mercer, promises to be a Bank Holiday weekend smasher not to be missed, snap up tickets now while you still can for this special event that will be sure to get you rockin’!

Website:     http://www.thedukes.org.uk

Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/dukesreunion/

The Dukes Re-Union

Friday 26 & Saturday 27 May 2017

Doors Open 7.45pm

The Grand Palais (Formerly the Wishing Well)

90-11 Station Road, Swinton, M27 6AH

Tickets £15

Tickets can be purchased at the Lighthouse shop situated next to The Grand Palace (cash sales only)

Telephone Box Office 07956 702 745

*Mad Jacks Travelling Circus 27th May only