Herding Cats – Preview

HerdingCatsPoster

On Weds 24th May, critically acclaimed Play With Fire Productions return to Hope Mill Theatre with their latest production, Herding Cats.

The black comedy focuses on central characters, Justine (Kaleigh Hawkins), Michael (Daniel Bradford) and Saddo (John Gully), for them life is a challenge, about as easy as Herding Cats; as they battle to navigate life with all the love, loss, trials and tribulations it brings.

The acclaimed play finds dark humour in the loneliness of life while, writer, Lucinda Coxon’s characters will burrow into your brain as you recognise familiar life challenges played out before you.

The creative team behind the production is led by director Lawrence Evans (nominated for an Olivier Award for his work at the National Theatre with Tony Harrison, A Midsummer Nights Dream with the Irish Chamber Orchestra & Storytellers Theatre Company) and designer Elizabeth Wright (Theatre by The Lake).

This will be Play With Fire Productions third visit to Hope Mill after two hugely successful shows Orphans (January 2016) and Sans Merci (September, 2016) which received rave reviews from both audiences and critics alike.

Herding Cats Weds 24th May until Saturday 3rd June at Hope Mill Theatre

Tickets are available now via http://hopemilltheatre.co.uk/events/herding-cats/

Extra matinee of The Play That Goes Wrong!

PTGW2

Due to enormous demand an additional matinee performance of the West End and Broadway hit The Play That Goes Wrong has been added to the Lowry run on Friday 9th June at 2pm!

The multiple international award winning production will entertain north west audiences for a week long run from Monday 5th-Saturday 10th June, this highly physical comedy delivers the finest of slapstick humour and has audiences literally rolling in the aisles as the bonkersly brilliant cast act up a storm on stage.

PTGW

The play introduces The ‘Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’ who are attempting albeit disastrously to put on a 1920s’ murder mystery, but as you would guess (and secretly hope), everything that can go wrong ultimately does, as the accident prone thespians battle on against all the odds to get to their final curtain call.

The Play That Goes Wrong is an absolute riot of expertly choreographed mayhem and side-splitting silliness, a huge audience pleaser an absolute barrel of laughs.

Tickets available via the following link https://www.thelowry.com/events/the-play-that-goes-wrong

Running Time: 2 hours & 5 minutes including 1 interval Suitable for ages 8+.

PTGW1

Boris – The Musical

Main_BoristheMusical_HeatherIsobel

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.

2_BoristheMusical_HeatherIsobel

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.

3_BoristheMusical_HeatherIsobel

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

Boris – The Musical Preview

Main_BoristheMusical_HeatherIsobel

Established in June 2016 as a response to the Brexit referendum, Blowfish Theatre bring their 5* debut show ‘Boris – The Musical’ to Manchester’s Dance House theatre on Saturday 15th April. Made up of students, alumni, and staff from the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, the University of Huddersfield, the University of Kent, and East15 Acting School, Blowfish make politically engaged theatre on a shoestring budget, working with nothing but talent, determination, a dodgy wig, and a little help from their friends.

2_BoristheMusical_HeatherIsobel

Described by director Kyle Williams as “…a huge amount of fun to make, but mainly exhausting.” Boris – The Musical covers the rise, fall and (unfortunate) rise again of our current Foreign Secretary. Part biography, part farce, part songtastic satire, “Boris” is the 5* musical for people who don’t like musicals. There will be punk, pop, gospel and even a sexy tango called Me and My Johnson along with additional (soon to be smash hits) I’m talking about Brexit! and Posh Lads plus many more. In these troubling times, we all need something to laugh about and who better to laugh at than Britain’s finest politiclown.

Boris will be played by David Burchhardt, of the role David says “There’s a real skill in trying to capture BoJo’s “off the cuff” approach to public speaking. Every night I have to use all my training to get that spontaneous feel. Any rumours that I haven’t learnt my lines are completely untrue, no matter what the writer tells you.”

3_BoristheMusical_HeatherIsobel

The show 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.

In the words of Blowfish Theatre, “Come along and laugh your socks off for an hour at the state of the world…before returning to your grim, unavoidable reality”.

Tickets available now via the following link: http://www.thedancehouse.co.uk/events/2017/115-boris-the-musical

 

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

Sleepless

sleepless

Fresh from last weekend’s Strictly Come Dancing final, it’s been announced that Danny Mac and his real-life leading lady Carley Stenson, will be playing the roles of Sam and Annie in the world premiere of Sleepless, the new romantic musical based on the Tristar Pictures Inc. film Sleepless in Seattle.

With a book by Michael Burdett, music by Robert Scott and lyrics by Brendan Cull, the production will run at The Lowry, Salford from 25th to 29th April prior to a West End run.

Like the much loved movie, Sleepless tells the heart-warming tale of Sam, who moves to Seattle with his eight year-old son, Jonah, following the tragic death of his wife. When Jonah phones a radio show, Sam is forced to talk about his broken heart and sleepless nights live on air, and he suddenly finds himself one of the most sought after single men in America and a great news story for feisty journalist Annie on the opposite side of the country.  A fresh and lively book alongside a brand-new musical score bring this most timeless of romantic comedies to life on stage.

Danny Mac is best known for playing the role of Mark ‘Dodger’ Savage in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks. He was given his first professional role as Gavroche in Cameron Mackintosh’s touring production of Les Misérables, a role he reprised in London’s West End at the Palace Theatre in 1999.  After graduating from drama school, he went straight into Wicked at the Apollo Victoria.  Most recently, he played Warner in Legally Blonde at the Leicester Curve.

Carley Stenson played the role of Steph Cunningham in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks for 10 years. West End credits include starring as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical and Lady of the Lake in Spamalot.  Carley also starred as Christine Colgate in the national tour of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Danny Mac and Carley Stenson will be joined by Jennie Dale as Becky and Cory English as Rob. Jennie’s most recent theatre credits include Maggie Jones in 42nd Street (Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris) Deb in Elf (Dominion Theatre), Dora in Singin’ in the Rain (Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris) and Mae in The Pajama Game (Shaftesbury Theatre).  On television, Jennie has appeared in The Tracey Ullman Show and Victoria Wood’s Mid-life Christmas and What LarksCory English can currently be seen in She Loves Me at the Menier Chocolate Factory.  His many previous musical theatre credits include Max Bialystock in the UK Tour of The Producers, Igor in Young Frankenstein and Max Bialystock in The Producers, both for Susan Stroman on Broadway, and Benny Southstreet in Michael Grandage’s West End production of Guys & Dolls.

Sleepless

The Lowry, Salford

Tue 25– Sat 29 April 2017

7.30pm (Wed & Sat 2pm)

Tickets: £24 – £53.50 (Including booking fees)

Box office: 0843 208 6000

http://www.thelowry.com/event/sleepless

 

Oldham Coliseum Announces its Spring-Summer 2017 Season

spring-and-port-wine

Oldham Coliseum Theatre has announced its Spring-Summer 2017 season and it looks like there’s lots to look forward to! From new takes on old classics to side-splitting comedies, and a glittering Bollywood musical to top it all off.

The season kicks off in March with a brand new look into Oldham’s past from writers Cathy Crabb and Lindsay Williams and composer Carol Donaldson. Meat Pie, Sausage Roll is a heart-warming new musical about family and loyalty set against the backdrop of Oldham Athletics’ memorable 1990/1991 season. For Mick, nothing matters more than Latics’ promotion to the top flight, but when his daughter’s wedding falls on the last day of the season, it all starts to go wrong.

 From Thursday 13 – Saturday 29 April the Coliseum presents Bill Naughton’s Lancastrian comedy Spring and Port Wine. Rafe Crompton is a strict father who struggles to control his rebellious children as they swing into the sixties. His wife, Daisy, uses all her wiles to keep the family together but secrets are coming out of the woodwork fast and furious.

hard-times

It’s Charles Dickens as you’ve never seen him before from Friday 19 May – Saturday 3 June, with Stephen Jeffreys’ fast-moving adaptation of Hard Times.  Set in a northern mill town, Hard Times follows fact-obsessed schoolmaster Thomas Gradgrind, greedy mill owner Josiah Bounderby and their families, friends and employees.

the-father

Actor, director and two-time former Coliseum Artistic Director, Kenneth Alan Taylor, returns to the Coliseum stage from Friday 16 June – Saturday 1 July to star in The Father. Written by Florian Zeller and translated by Christopher Hampton, the play portrays the devastating impact of dementia on one man and the people in his life. Andre once had a wonderful career as a tap dancer and now lives in Paris with his daughter and her husband. Or was he an engineer whose daughter now lives in London? The trouble is, he can’t quite remember.

Elsewhere in the season London Classic Theatre return with their tour of Hysteria, a farce in which Sigmund Freud meets Salvador Dali, from Tuesday 2 – Saturday 6 May, and the Coliseum welcomes contemporary company, Phyzzical, with their romantic comedy Bring on The Bollywood from Tuesday 18 – Saturday 22 July.  From Wednesday 10 – Saturday 13 May the Coliseum will also once again be joining forces with London’s Southbank Centre, Black Country Touring and Cast in Doncaster to present the second tour of Alchemy, a festival which celebrates South Asian arts, music and performance from international artists alongside local and regional British Asian talents.

The Coliseum will also host a fantastic array of special one night events including: local folk heroes The Houghton Weavers (Friday 24 February); comedians Justin Moorhouse (25 February) and Dave Spikey (7 April); contemporary dance from Phoenix Dance Theatre (4 April) and the return of award-winning singer and BBC Radio 2 presenter Clare Teal with a jazz infused evening celebrating the First Ladies of Swing: Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Doris Day and many more (8 April).

For more information got to www.coliseum.org.uk