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Jul 12th

The Wedding Singer (the Hilarious Musical based on the Hit Film) at the Wycombe Swan.

By Trevor Gent

 

Wedding Singer

Well I must be one of the few people who never saw this film when it came out! It was mostly because I was not a fan of Adam Sandler from his previous efforts on screen. However, this fact did not detract from my enjoyment of this very entertaining musical. Whilst the audience took their seats there was a screen on stage showing 1980’s film clips including, Rambo, Back to the Future, Weird Science and even Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan.

It’s 1985. Hair is huge, greed is good and rock-star wannabe Robbie Hart (Jon Robyns) is New Jersey's favourite wedding singer fronting the band ’Simply Wed’. When his own fiancée dumps him at the altar a seriously mixed up Robbie makes every wedding as disastrous as his own.

Can sweet natured Julia (Cassie Compton) and her best friend Holly (Lucie Jones) lure Robbie out of the dumpster and back into the limelight?  Or is he going to see her head off down the aisle with Wall Street bad boy Glen (Ray Quinn). Only Grandma Rosie (Ruth Madoc) seems to be able to see that Robbie and Julia are the couple that are meant to be.

Dumpster

I won’t go through the whole storyline as you need to experience this yourself but it’s a feel good story with some rocky moments along the way.

There are many good musical numbers, my favourites ‘It’s your Wedding Day’, ‘Casualty of Love’ with some Thriller Video type dance moves, ‘Right in Front of Your Eyes’ and ‘Single’ There is even a bit of Rap from Rosie which went down well with the audience.

Rosie Rap

The cast were wonderful and there are lots of laughs too. Apart from the main characters my favourite has to be the drunk bridegroom and the bar drunk (I think played by the same person). If you are looking for entertainment this is certainly one to see and I may just go out and rent the film on DVD too!

 

Full cast list on this link http://theweddingsingermusical.co.uk/cast-creative

 

THE WEDDING SINGER

Music by Matthew Sklar

Book by Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy

Lyrics by Chad Beguelin 

Based upon the New Line Cinema film Written by Tim Herlihy 

Directed and Choreographed by Nick Winston 

Performances by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Ltd

 

 

Future tour dates listed below:

 

Tuesday 11 – Saturday 15 July.

Box Office: 01494 512 000

High Wycombe, Swan Theatre                                         

Website: www.wycombeswan.co.uk

 

Monday 17 – Saturday 22 July                                           

Box Office: 0114 249 6000

Sheffield, Lyceum Theatre                                                    

Website: www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

 

Tuesday 25 – Saturday 29 July                                                    

Box Office: 01492 872000

Llandudno, Venue Cymru                                                           

Website: www.venuecymru.co.uk

 

Tuesday 1 – Saturday 5 August                                                  

Box Office: 020 3285 6000

Bromley, Churchill Theatre                                                     

Website: www.churchilltheatre.co.uk 

 

Tuesday 8 – Saturday 12 August                                                

Box Office: 01752 267222

Theatre Royal, Plymouth                                                             

Website: www.theatreroyal.com

 

Tuesday 22 – Saturday 26 August                                             

Box Office: 0844 848 2700

Leeds Grand Theatre                                                          

Website: www.leedsgrandtheatre.com

 

Tuesday 29 August – Saturday 2 September                          

Box Office: 0844 871 7650

Theatre Royal Brighton                                                                

Website: www.atgtickets.com

 

Tuesday 5 – Saturday 9 September                                           

Box Office: 01892 530613

Tunbridge Wells, Assembly Hall Theatre                         

Website: www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk

 

Tuesday 12 – Saturday 16 September                                      

Box Office: 01743 281281

Shrewsbury, Theatre Severn                                                    

Website: www.theatresevern.co.uk

 

Tuesday 19 – Saturday 23 September                                      

Box Office: 01792 475715

Swansea, Grand Theatre                                                         

Website: www.swanseagrand.co.uk

 

Tuesday 26 – Saturday 30 September                                     

Box Office: 023 9282 8282

Portsmouth, King’s Theatre                                                   

Website: www.kingsportsmouth.co.uk

 

Tuesday 3 – Saturday 7 October                                                

Box Office: 01902 429212

Wolverhampton, Grand Theatre                                               

Website: www.grandtheatre.co.uk  

 

Reviewed by Trevor Gent

11th July 2017

 

May 10th

Miss Meena and the Masala Queens at Watford Palace Theatre.

By Trevor Gent

Dazzling saris, grand Bollywood lip-sync dance numbers and adoring fans are now a distant memory for Miss Meena. The once famous drag queen has lost his sparkle and like his nightclub is washed up and out of date. The punters have gone and whilst the other drag queens are strutting high heels elsewhere, property developers are circling like vultures waiting for Miss Meena to give up the lease on the run down club. 

A new arrival brings a glittery rainbow of hope. But just as things are starting to look up for Miss Meena, a visitor from the past questions everything he stands for. The action is set in and around a drag nightclub for young Asian men in Birmingham. Although not a musical there is music and dancing in this colourful production.

The pressure of family loyalties and commitments are laid bare and cause confusion in various characters but primarily in Miss Meena (aka Abdul) and also Shaan, the 19 year old run away he takes in from the street seeing similarities from his own family situation.

 

Miss Meena and Shaan

It is sometimes slow and disjointed but there is humour and you really root for the two aspiring drag queens (rather unkindly nicknamed Pinky and Perky by Munni). This character has a few ideas of his own and takes advantage after the death of Miss Meenas father. This event closes the first act and leaves you feeling a bit flat.

The second act opens with the funeral and Abdul (Miss Meena) guilt ridden.  He tries to make amends and even agrees to an arranged marriage but with support from his friends at the club and eventually even his brother he returns to the club and starts again.

Essentially this is a story about having the courage to be who you are and it even throws in ‘I am what I am’ from La Cage Aux Folles in the glitzy finale. The mainly Asian audience enthusiastically applauded and were obviously familiar with the songs and dances but this may not suit everyone.

 

Miss Meena Dance 

Playing at:

Watford Palace Theatre from 5th to 13th May.

Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry from 16th to 20th May.

Greenwich Theatre, London from 24th to 27th May.

Theatre Royal, Windsor from 30th May to 3rd June

NST Campus Southampton from 6th to 10th June

West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds from 13th to 17th June.

 

Reviewed by Trevor Gent

Photos Credited to David Fisher

Mar 8th

Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

By Kate Braxton

This week, Bill Kenright’s touring production of the classic Lloyd-Webber sing-along colours the stage at Theatre Royal, Windsor with cute Geordie X Factor winner, Joe McElderry, as the eponymous biblical hero. Since everything about this show - including Joe and the score - is pretty short and sweet, so shall I be.

It’s a bold, vibrant and slick production. Immense credit goes to lighting and stage designers Nick Richings and Sean Cavanagh, whose collaboration shapes a versatile creative solution inspired by the pyramids, for a wide range of theatre houses; a handsome, smart, touring work of art.

Joe’s astonishingly pitch-perfect and true recording voice beautifully captures the honesty of the character. There’s no wild choreography to rattle his vocal cage, however he does give us an unexpected accent which may be acceptable in certain parts of Berkshire. But I like that. It injects a bit of human accessibility to the otherwise untouchably masterful voice that won him the coveted X Factor title. Nothing is left ajar by his rendition of Close Every Door to Me.

A fitting compliment to Joe’s central performance is the casting of a female narrator. Lucy Kay has a challenging part to sing, and some required screeching provides a raw, contemporary slant to the otherwise slightly unadventurous interpretation of the musical.  It has the overall feel of a necessarily wholesome matinée affair, very well done.

Lewis Asquith provides a noteable character performance as the Butler, and of the brothers, Darren Charles’ Asher is the most dynamic to watch.

Alex Stewart’s costumes are an inspired blend with the overall creative approach, although I couldn’t take my eyes off Joe’s Ugg boots. Who’d have thought it, in Canaan? And without a doubt, the closing medley enables the musical direction to shine, wrapping the show up with all the clap’n'singalongability a family could ask for. From someone who hates the show with a passion, it’s a thoroughly pleasing night out.  

Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat runs at Theatre Royal Windsor until 11th March 2017. www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

For information of current national tour dates, visit www.josephthemusical.com

 

Feb 16th

Matthew Bourne's Early Adventures at Richmond Theatre & Touring

By Kate Braxton

The popularity of dance for the British public has soared over the past 10 years, thanks to the foresight and insight of a singular BBC television show. Yet long before this, a singular individual was shaping the future of accessible, popular dance hailed in Britain, for audiences across the globe.

Marking the 30th anniversary of his own dance company, the current touring production of Matthew Bourne’s Early Adventures demonstrates with joyful celebration and unique, comfy-in-its-own-skin movement, why he is referred to as ‘Britain’s favourite choreographer’. Bourne is the creator of the world’s longest running ballet production, a five-time Olivier Award winner, and the only British director to have won the Tony Award for both Best Choreographer and Best Director of a Musical. And the affection for his work is alive in every one of the company dancers in this production, who, if they were honest, are close to heaven under Bourne’s masterful direction, such is the show’s overriding authentic sense of joy.

This triple bill of succinctly-crafted works - Watch with Mother, Town and Country and The Infernal Galop feels as relevant today as to an audience when it ws first performed in the 1980’s. Bourne’s wide-reaching and lasting appeal works through a fusion of touching and wit-led story-telling, bringing nostalgic scenic tableaux to life in a captivating, timeless style.

The eras depicted in the pastiche scenes are merely vehicles for commentary on basic human limitations and foibles at the hest of community social mores. And Bourne has the ability to elicit bursts of belly laugh through pithy, perfectly-timed visual gags, ranging from a duo of country bumpkins clog dance which we are led to believe may never end, to the sombre funeral procession of a glove puppet hedgehog. It’s fun-poking joy, with occasional life-based sinister undertones. But laughter at human imperfection is at the core, as Bourne’s sublime command of timing facilitates quite personal connections with the audience through identification.

The visual backdrops and wardrobe are generally hard to get emotional about. The scenes of all three works have echoes of absurdist theatre; surreal, painted backdrops offsetting larger-than-life facial expressions, borderline grotesque characterisation wrapped up in some Brechtian alienation effect.

Joie de vie fills the stage from start to finish. It is timeless, proud and completely at ease with itself. Anybody wishing to experience a living stagecraft master at work should not miss his Early Adventures. And all that for a man who started dancing at 22, when most young wannabees have retired through injury. Class of his own.

Matthew Bourne’s Early Adventures is currently touring the UK until 12th April 2017. For further information, see www.new-adventures.net

 

Nov 9th

The Bob Dylan Story at Theatre Royal, Windsor

By Kate Braxton

My perfect Sunday evening is one of mindless, unchallenging nothingness. So, this Sunday, my friend John decides to break the calm and whisk me to Theatre Royal, Windsor for the opening night of The Bob Dylan Story: a brand new musical tribute to the ‘controversial’ winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature and political, socialist, painter, philosopher, songwriting genius. All fairly unchallenging so far, then.

John can cite Dylan’s last public utterance. I am afraid of Dylan, because I’ve never felt brave enough to ‘go there’. But there I am, I don’t know why, and according to John, the answer is Blowin’ in the Windsor royal stalls.

The Bob Dylan Story opens with this familiar 1962 crowd-pleaser and we are immediately introduced to the raw, solo guitar and harmonica reed-play of Bill Lennon, ‘re-creating Dylan’ for the evening. As a performer, he is exposed and vulnerable on the large proscenium stage. He has unfathomable, road-worn shoes to fill – with that surname, to boot - yet there is something about his nerve that glints promise from the outset.

This ‘story’ has a basic, guided narrative and a crude screen-show of news bytes shaping the social and political landscapes at time of Dylan’s writing; essentially a bit of a helping hand into one hell of a brain. Frankly, the production values are a little shabby for such big messages, but the unwavering intention from this show’s creators, 4th Street Entertainment, is to make it “all about the music”, giving us a platform to experience both the Dylan electric concert sound and repertoire as authentically as possible. They unenviably go on to condense 37 studio albums into 2 hours and 25 fairly-timed tracks. That is already one fine and crucial score in the vinyl.

Most of the song choices are classics that a John might expect, although we hear little past 1975 bar Make You Feel My Love on the piano, so you could argue a large chunk of the story is missing, or perhaps, to be added as this new show evolves. Dylan’s wide range of genre influences are rolled out; Times They Are A-Changin’, All Along The Watchtower, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Song To Woody, Blonde on Blonde, Like A Rolling Stone, Subterranean Homesick Blues and Mighty Quinn are but a few pickings. Particularly delightful to my un-Dylanised ears are their renditions of Hurricane, Tangled Up In Blue, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, and this band relishes Lay, Lady, Lay as if they had conceived it. John agrees, but tells me that some of the stuff which has more complex instrumentation in the original recordings doesn’t work so well. Thank you, John.

Although a bad throat is referenced on the night, it is clear that Bill Lennon plays Dylan with apparent ease and conviction, but the show is a generously shared experience with his band who have been cherry-picked for chemistry and ability to be true to Dylan’s sound. Musical Director, Bass Player and Vocalist, Dan Grant ensures they are exquisitely tight. Jim E Williams adds huge colour on drums, Adam Bridges lovingly massages the celestial vibration of that organ, as Keith Forde’s electric guitar completes the round sound. The collaboration certainly works.

My overall gripe would be that the slack consideration given to lighting and multimedia elements doesn’t match the show’s vision for an ambient, ‘transported back-to-the-day’ concert, although Windsor Theatre, for its set up and acoustics, is great for any one night only gig. Hopefully the finessing of these production values will follow the achieved, authentic sound.

The Bob Dylan Story is a joy-laden introduction for the Dylanewbie and a fire-up of passion for the Dylanatic. Next time I protest at breaking my Sunday routine, I won’t think twice, it’s all right. There probably is no perfect Sunday, anyway.

 

Reviewed by Kate Braxton

 

The Bob Dylan Story is now touring until November 2017. For more information and a full list of dates/locations, see: www.thebobdylanstory.com

 

For more information on Sunday evening events and full theatre listings at Theatre Royal, Windsor, see: www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

 

For further information on The Bob Dylan Story or similar concerts, see: www.marklundquist.com

 

Sep 24th

FOOTLOOSE Cuts Loose on a Brand New National Tour!

By Cameron Lowe

FOOTLOOSE: THE MUSICAL

RETURNS IN A BRAND NEW PRODUCTION

WITH GARETH GATES AS WILLARD

Worldwide smash hit musical Footloose: The Musical will burst back onto the stage in 2016 in a major new UK Tour.

 

Based on the 1984 screen sensation starring Kevin Bacon, Footloose: The Musical tells the story of city boy Ren, who has to move to a rural backwater in America where dancing is banned. All hell breaks out as Ren breaks loose and soon has the whole town up on its feet. Featuring classic 80s hits including Holding Out for a Hero, Almost Paradise, Let's Hear it for the Boy and the unforgettable title track, Footloose: The Musical is set to take the world by storm once again in this brand new production, bursting with youthful spirit, dazzling dance and electrifying music. 

 

When the film was released in 1984, it became the highest-grossing February release in US film history.  The soundtrack album ended the year-long reign of Michael Jackson’s Thriller at number one and went on top album charts all over the world, eventually selling in excess of 17 million copies.  Footloose was nominated for a Golden Globe, and both the title song and Let’s Hear It for the Boy received Academy Award nominations. Footloose: The Musical first opened on Broadway in 1998 where it ran for 709 performances, with a London production following in 2006, opening at the Novello Theatre following a UK Tour. 

 

Gareth Gates will play Willard. Gareth rose to fame through the inaugural series of Pop Idol in 2001, going on to sell over 5 million records worldwide and have hits across the globe. His version of Unchained Melody sold over a million copies in the UK and is the 3rd best-selling single of the Noughties. Gareth is also the youngest ever-male solo artist to debut at number 1. More recently Gareth has enjoyed a successful career on stage, with credits including Les Misérables, Legally Blonde and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. In 2014 Gareth appeared in the final series of Dancing on Ice, and joined boyband 5th Story as part of ITV’s second series of The Big Reunion, touring arenas with bands including Blue and Five.

 

Gareth Gates said: “I have been so lucky to perform in some of the greatest musicals over the years, from Joseph to Les Misérables and Legally Blonde, and I am so excited that Footloose will be my next. It’s such a high energy show full of incredible dance and music, and this brand new tour is going to be a fresh and exciting new take on it.

 

Further casting and tour dates to be announced.

Oct 17th

Alexandra Burke Leads The Bodyguard UK Tour

By Cameron Lowe



Following her sell-out run at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End, producers Michael Harrison and David Ian are delighted to announce that three-time Brit nominee and X-Factor winner, Alexandra Burke, will star in the leading role of ‘Rachel Marron’ in the forthcoming UK and Ireland tour of Thea Sharrock’s hit musical THE BODYGUARD 
www.thebodyguardmusical.comThe tour opens at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton on 12 February 2015 and makes its Scottish premiere at the King’s Theatre Glasgow on 4 March 2015.

Alexandra Burke said "I couldn't be happier to be joining the tour and I'm excited to get started. Being on the theatre stage has brought me great happiness. It is an honour to have been asked to join the team and I look forward to creating new and long lasting memories with the cast.

Alexandra Burke photo by Uli WebberAlexandra Burke rose to fame after winning the fifth series of The X Factor. Her debut number one single Hallelujah sold over one million copies in the UK, a first for a British female soloist. Burke’s first album, Overcome saw the release of her subsequent number one singles Bad Boys and Start Without You. In 2011 she embarked on her first solo tour and was invited by Beyoncé to support her I Am... Tour. Her second album, Heartbreak on Hold, was released in June 2012 and later this year sees the release of her third studio album.

Alexandra Burke will perform the role of ‘Rachel Marron’ at all evening performances. At the matinee performances, the role of ‘Rachel Marron’ will be played by Zoe Birkett.

Zoe Birkett is probably best known as the highest placing female contestant in ITV’s Pop Idol, 2002. Since then she has appeared in the West End productions of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and originated the female lead in Thriller Live. Her other theatre credits include the Acid Queen in Tommy and Maureen in Rent.

Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar nominated Warner Bros. film, THE BODYGUARD, which starred Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, was nominated for four Laurence Olivier Awards including Best New Musical and Best Set Design and won Best New Musical at the Whatsonstage Awards.

Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love. A romantic thriller, THE BODYGUARD features a host of irresistible classics including Queen of the NightSo EmotionalOne Moment in TimeSaving All My LoveI’m Your Baby TonightRun to YouI Have NothingI Wanna Dance with Somebody and one of the biggest selling songs of all time – I Will Always Love You.

Photo by Uli  Webber,  courtesy of Ambassadors Theatre Group 


THE BODYGUARD – UK AND IRELAND TOUR
 2015

 

THURSDAY 12 – SATURDAY 28 FEBRUARY

MAYFLOWER THEATRE, SOUTHAMPTON -http://www.mayflower.org.uk

ON SALE NOW


WEDNESDAY 4 – SATURDAY 14 MARCH

KING’S THEATRE GLASOW -http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/kings-theatre/

ON SALE NOW

 

TUESDAY 17 – SATURDAY 28 MARCH

HIS MAJESTY’S THEATRE ABERDEEN -www.aberdeenperformingarts.com

ON SALE NOW

 

WEDNESDAY 1 APRIL – SATURDAY 18 APRIL

THEATRE ROYAL NEWCASTLE - www.theatreroyal.co.uk

ON SALE NOW

 

TUESDAY 21 APRIL – SATURDAY 2 MAY

WOLVERHAMPTON GRAND THEATRE -www.grandtheatre.co.uk

ON SALE NOW

 

TUESDAY 16 JUNE –SATURDAY 27 JUNE

WALES MILLENNIUM CENTRE, CARDIFF -www.wmc.org.uk

ON SALE NOW

 

TUESDAY 7 – SATURDAY 18 JULY

THEATRE ROYAL PLYMOUTH - www.theatreroyal.com

ON SALE NOW

 

TUESDAY 21 JULY – SATURDAY 1 AUGUST

BORD GÁIS ENERGY THEATRE -www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie   

ON SALE 17 OCTOBER

 

TUESDAY 4 – SATURDAY 29 AUGUST

BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME -www.birminghamhippodrome.com

ON SALE NOW

 

TUESDAY 29 SEPTEMBER – SATURDAY 10 OCTOBER

EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE -www.atgtickets.com/venues/edinburgh-playhouse/

ON SALE NOW

 

TUESDAY 13 OCTOBER – SATURDAY 24 OCTOBER

NOTTINGHAM CONCERT HALL - www.trch.co.uk/

ON SALE NOW

 

TUESDAY 27 OCTOBER – SATURDAY 7 NOVEMBER

LYCEUM THEATRE, SHEFFIELD -www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

ON SALE 8 NOVEMBER

 

TUESDAY 10 – SATURDAY 21 NOVEMBER

NEW THEATRE OXFORD -www.atgtickets.com/venues/new-theatre-oxford/

ON SALE NOW

 

TUESDAY 8 DECEMBER 2015 – SATURDAY 2 JANUARY 2016

MANCHESTER PALACE THEATRE –www.atgtickets.com/venues/palace-theatre-manchester

ON SALE SOON

Aug 18th

God Help The Girl & Belle and Sebastian Live By Satellite (15)

By Kirstie Niland

The Dukes, Lancaster

Saturday, 16 August

“You don’t make a band, a band makes you. It picks you up and sweeps you along,” says James, as he lies in the grass with fellow musicians Eve and Cassie.

God Help The Girl

And this is exactly what Stuart Murdoch’s film Gold Help the Girl does, taking you on a musical journey through Glasgow with Eve as she overcomes anorexia and forms her own band.

Belle and Sebastian frontman Murdoch’s directorial debut won him awards at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and The Dukes was one of 77 UK cinemas to screen the film in tandem with the Edinburgh premiere on Saturday night.

This was followed by a live satellite performance by Belle and Sebastian and the film cast, with audiences treated to a performance by Catherine Ireton as Eve. Sadly the film’s heroine was unable to perform, which was a shame as Australian actress Emily Browning is captivating from the start.

She opens the film by breaking the fourth wall and into song to tell her story through the tracks of Belle and Sebastian’s 2009 album, Gold Help the Girl.

The Glasgow location and flashes of Blondie in the background establish the Indie-Pop feel, as Eve draws you into her troubled world, beginning with a brief escape from rehab when she meets James (Olly Alexander) and his “pupil” Cassie (Hannah Murray).

As Eve works her way up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to reach the goal of “art, morality and music” set by her therapist, James and Cassie take on supporting roles in her songs and coming of age.

James is the stereotypical boy that a beautiful girl depends on but will never fancy. Cassie is the quirky posh girl for whom the idea of forming a band is a welcome escape from convention. And Eve is the one who will eventually leave them behind and go on to stardom.

The ups and downs include a fun 60s pop jam at a social club; Eve’s overdose as she struggles to believe in a happy ending; and the trio’s search for a guitarist and a name for their band. The latter providing an enlightening education into the meaning of Pearl Jam and 10cc.(Google it).

The two characters who propel Eve back and forward include love interest Anton, who dismisses her songs as depressing and self indulgent, and the hairdresser and healer who assures her she will be somebody important one day.

Eve battles to beat her demons and continues to write her feelings down, like her therapist told her to, and as the time lapse photography reflects the change in season, so Eve leaves her friends behind to start a new life at music school

Meanwhile James reflects on the “greatness that happened that summer”, and speaks for many a group of friends who have formed a close alliance before life disbands them, when he ponders: “For a moment we were all in the right place and the possibilities were infinite.”

For me, the outstanding moment was the rendition of the upbeat Musician, Please Take Heed, and the lyrics: “I made a daisy chain from phrase, verse, and punctuation.” This line epitomises the charm of God Help the Girl. Yes it’s disjointed at times, and there are some blips in continuity, however Stuart Murdoch’s compilation of insightful scenes interspersed with song is a characterful daisy chain in itself, which I’m sure many an angst-ridden teen can identify with.

As for self indulgent? Maybe, but I guess that’s the essence of the story – a talented but troubled girl’s recovery through introspection and a musical rite of passage.

God Help the Girl will be released in UK cinemas on August 22.

Aug 18th

Over The Rainbow: The Eva Cassidy Story - 10th Anniversary Tour

By Steve Burbridge

Brochure Image 2014.jpeg

 

World On Stage Limited is proud to announce the sensational tenth anniversary UK tour of Over The Rainbow: The Eva Cassidy Story. Since its first performance in 2004, this compelling musical play has received rapturous receptions, garnered five-star reviews, and inspired cathartic outpourings of emotion.

 

This is the poignant and moving story of Washington-born singer Eva Cassidy. By the time of her death, she was unknown outside Washington but within four years Terry Wogan discovered and promoted her haunting interpretation of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ to the top of the chart.

 

This sad but uplifting musical play journeys through her life, from her idyllic childhood growing up in a musical family, to her studio work with boyfriend and mentor Chris Biondo; to the exuberant live recording of Blues Alley and finally to her tragically premature death at the age of only 33 years.

 

Featuring a truly talented all-star cast of performers and musicians, Over The Rainbow: The Eva Cassidy Story is an award-winning musical that captures the qualities of this wonderfully talented and spiritual song stylist. Not since Blood Brothers has a musical received such an emotional response, with sell-out performances and standing ovations throughout the UK and Ireland.

 

 

Over The Rainbow: The Eva Cassidy Story

has already wowed audiences all over Europe and includes more than 27 of her best-loved songs, recreated by a multi-talented cast of West End performers, including unforgettable classics such as Fields of Gold, Songbird, Autumn Leaves, Kathy’s Song and many more.

 

 

NICOLE FARADAY (Bad Girls; Emmerdale; Casualty) stars as Eva Cassidy, TOM VAUGHAN (Hollyoaks) as Danny Cassidy and ROSE-MARIE (Blood Brothers; Doctors) as Mary Annn Redmond, whilst accomplished West End actor ROBERT GROSE (The Lion King; Starlight Express & Five Guys Named Moe) plays larger-than-life legendary music mogul, Chuck Brown.

 

 

 

More than a musical life-story, Over The Rainbow: The Eva Cassidy Story is a show for anyone who has lost someone they love. A thoroughly entertaining and a truly memorable experience.

 

 

 

What the critics say:

 

 

Over The Rainbow is two hours of fabulous entertainment . . . Really worth going along to see the show!”  - BBC West Midlands

 

 

“An unmissable evening for Eva’s fans” - Peterborough Evening Telegraph

 

 

“Cassidy’s final public performance closed with What a Wonderful World as did this tribute and though infused with lyrics of optimism, tears flowed throughout the auditorium. Thus, demonstrating live theatre is most powerful when it has the ability to reach out and touch the heart of its audience” - Grimsby Telegraph

 

 

“Simply wonderful . . . a beautiful show” – Northern Echo

 

 

“Spontaneous standing ovation for Eva Cassidy musical” – Waterford News

 

 

“Fantastic performances all round” – Hull Daily Mail

 

 

“If you’re a fan of Eva Cassidy’s music, you will love this” – British Theatre Guide

 

 

“A shining example of everything good theatre should be” – The Public Reviews

 

 

“A performance that is worth travelling some distance to see” – What’s On Stage?

 

 

 

Tenth Anniversary Tour Dates

 

September

9th                   Wellingborough Castle Theatre

11th                 Llandudno Venue Cymru

12th                 Barnstaple Queens Theatre

13th                 Bristol Hippodrome Theatre

14th                 Milton Keynes Theatre

16th                 South Shields Customs House

17th, 18th         Lancaster Grand Theatre

19th                 Glenrothes Halls

20th                 Skegness Embassy Theatre

21st                  Ayr Gaiety

23rd                 Whitley Bay Playhouse

24th, 25th          Swansea Grand Theatre

26th                  Crawley Hawth Theatre

27th                 Wimbledon New Theatre

28th                 Reading Hexagon Theatre

 

October

 

1st                   Yeovil Octagon Theatre

3rd, 4th             Darlington Civic Theatre

6th, 7th            Greenock Beacon

8th                  Blackpool Grand Theatre

9 10, 11         Motherwell Theatre

15th,16th         Woking New Victoria Theatre

17th                Newark Palace Theatre

18th                Manchester Palace Theatre

19th                New Brighton Floral Pavilion

21st                 Tewkesbury Roses

22nd                Southsea Kings Theatre

23rd                 Rotherham Civic Theatre

24th                 Scarborough Spa

26th                 Richmond Theatre

28th                 Dartford Orchard Theatre

29th                 Bradford St Georges Halls

30th                 Grimsby Auditorium

31st                 Swindon Wyvern Theatre

 

November

3rd                   Galway Town Hall Theatre

5th                    Armagh Market Place

6th                    Dublin Helix Theatre

7th & 8th         Waterford Theatre Royal

17th                  Epsom Playhouse

19th                  Maidstone Haslitt

20, 21 & 22     Churchill Bromley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 9th

Forbidden Planet Returns!

By Cameron Lowe
25 years after Captain Tempest and his crew first journeyed into hyperspace, and 14 years after the last UK tour, Olivier Award-winning rock spectacular Return to the Forbidden Planet is back and exploding onto stage in a major new 25th Anniversary production.
 
Return to the Forbidden Planet

Inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest and packed with rock n’ roll classics including Great Balls of Fire, Good Vibrations, Heard It Through the Grapevine and Born To Be Wild, Return to the Forbidden Planet is a musical of meteoric proportions that will be remembered for light years to come. With stunning special effects, a brilliant cast of actor-musicians, a mad scientist, a huge green-tentacled monster and a rock ’n’ roller-skating robot, your in-flight entertainment is guaranteed! So fasten your seatbelts, set your ray guns to stun and prepare for blast off!
 
“Deliriously addictive”
DAILY TELEGRAPH

“Irresistible”
THE TIMES
 
Return to the Forbidden Planet opened at the West End’s Cambridge Theatre in September 1989, where it ran for over 1500 performances and won the 1990 Olivier Award for Best Musical (sorry Miss Saigon, spaceships trump helicopters!).
 
Forbidden Planet Returns

The original design team return to recreate their award-winning original production, helmed by writer by Bob Carton, who directed the West End production and as artistic director of Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch now returns to direct this highly anticipated 25th Anniversary tour.
 
Bob Carlton said today: “It was an incredible time when Return to the Forbidden Planet landed in West End, in what was a vintage year alongside shows such as Miss Saigon and Buddy. And it’s thanks to the audiences, who took it to their hearts and rocked out every night, that it became such a cult success. I can’t wait to bring it back 25 years later, to introduce it to a whole new generation and to reunite with original fans of the show. I’m thrilled to be able to return to the Forbidden Planet, along with the original design team, and get reacquainted with Captain Tempest and his crew once more!”
 
Return to the Forbidden Planet is directed by Bob Carlton and choreographed by Frederick ‘Frido’ Ruth, with musical direction by Greg Last. It is designed by Rodney Ford with lighting design by Mark Dymock and sound design by Rick Clark.
 
www.ForbiddenPlanetReturns.com
Twitter @FPReturns
Facebook.com/ForbiddenPlanetReturns
TOUR DETAILS:
 
THURSDAY 6 – SATURDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2014
QUEEN’S THEATRE, HORNCHURCH
01708 443333
BOOK NOW
 
TUESDAY 20 – SATURDAY 24 JANUARY 2015
BRIGHTON THEATRE ROYAL
0844 871 7650
ON SALE MONDAY 7 JULY
 
MONDAY 26 – SATURDAY 31 JANUARY 2015
BIRMINGHAM ALEXANDRA THEATRE
0844 871 3011
ON SALE MONDAY 7 JULY
 
MONDAY 2 – SATURDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2015
DARTFORD ORCHARD THEATRE
01322 220000
BOOK NOW
 
MONDAY 9 – SATURDAY 14 FEBRUARY 2015
GLASGOW KING’S THEATRE
0844 871 7648
ON SALE MONDAY 7 JULY
 
MONDAY 16 – SATURDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2015
WYCOMBE SWAN THEATRE
01494 512000
ON SALE TO BE ANNOUNCED
 
MONDAY 23 – SATURDAY 28 FEBRUARY 2015
GRIMSBY AUDITORIUM
01472 311300
BOOK NOW
 
MONDAY 16 MARCH – SATURDAY 21 MARCH 2015
STOKE REGENT THEATRE
0844 871 7627
BOOK NOW
 
MONDAY 30 MARCH – SATURDAY 4 APRIL 2015
OXFORD NEW THEATRE
0844 871 3020
ON SALE MONDAY 7 JULY
 
FURTHER DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED