Feb 18 2012 Chester Chronicle
STARTING THIS WEEK
I, BERTOLT BRECHT (Venue Cymru, Llandudno, February 23-25)
BRINGING together the electricity, political edge and pure entertainment of his plays, songs and poems, this production - devised and directed by Sue Pomeroy - is thought provoking, moving and laugh out loud funny. The evocative music of Kurt Weill draws on the Berlin cabaret and jazz scene of the 30s and the show contains rare insights gained from working with Brecht’s own company, the Berliner Ensemble. Call 01492 872000 or visit www.venuecymru.co.uk.
THE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW (The Lowry, Salford Quays, February 23-March 10)
MINER Luther Gascoigne and socially ambitious Minnie are newly wed. Luther’s mother disapproves - in her view, Minnie’s pretensions make her an unsuitable match. A shocking revelation from Luther’s past provokes a rich drama of sexual tension and class conflict set during the bitter 1912 miners’ strike, written by DH Lawrence and presented by the Library Theatre Company. Visit www.librarytheatre.com or call 0843 208 6005.
A DOLL’S HOUSE (Emlyn Williams Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, March 1-31)
NORA is blissfully in love with her lawyer husband Torvald. Charming, unworldly and cosseted, she is his plaything. On the surface, their marriage is idyllic. Written in the 1870s, Henrik Ibsen’s landmark drama shocked audiences with its radical portrayal of a modern woman’s journey to self-awareness and independence. This new version by Frank McGuinness is directed by Emma Lucia who produced Shakespeare’s Will at Mold. Call 0845 330 3565 or visit www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk.
FAWLTY TOWERS (Forum Studio Theatre, Hamilton Place, Chester, February 23-March 3)
TIP Top Productions presents the stage version of one of Britain's best loved TV comedies which comprises three classic episodes from the iconic series - Communication Problems, The Hotel Inspector and The Germans. Join Basil, Sybil, Polly, Manuel and the Major plus a host of other memorable characters at Torquay's best known hotel. Visit www.chestertheatre.co.uk or call 01244 341296.
GIULIO CESARE (The Lowry, Salford Quays, March 1)
COME and experience an opera with all the colour, drama and passion of a Hollywood blockbuster in this story of Cleopatra’s seduction of Julius Caesar. Egypt, ancient times. Cleopatra uses all her considerable wiles to persuade Caesar to join her in an alliance against her brutish brother Ptolemy, with whom she rules the country. Murder, battles, plots and counter-plots ensue before Caesar and Cleopatra emerge finally triumphant in both love and war. Written at the height of his success, Handel’s sumptuous music is most admired for its brilliant characterisation and power. A highly talented cast is directed by Tim Albery, who has directed some of Opera North’s most successful productions over the past few years. Call 0843 208 6000 or visit www.thelowry.com.
JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT (Venue Cymru, Llandudno, February 28-March 4)
HAVING enjoyed sensational reviews, Bill Kenwright’s production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sparkling family musical continues to enjoy huge success across the country with standing ovations at every performance. Retelling the Biblical story of Joseph, played here by Keith Jack, his 11 brothers and the coat of many colours, this magical musical is full of unforgettable songs including Any Dream Will Do, Close Ev’ry Door and One More Angel. Call 01492 872000 or visit www.venuecymru.co.uk.
MADAMA BUTTERFLY (The Lowry, Salford Quays, February 28-March 2)
ONE of the world’s best-loved operas, Madama Butterfly is the deeply touching story of a young woman whose innocent love is rewarded only with betrayal. Puccini’s masterpiece contains universally popular music, including One Fine Day. This exquisite production by Opera North sets one of opera’s most heartbreaking love stories in the context of the culture clash between East and West, and combines beauty with unflinching emotional honesty. Call 0843 208 6000 or visit www.thelowry.com.
MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT (Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, February 27-March 3)
JODIE Prenger and Todd Carty star in this touring production of the hysterically funny comedy based on the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail which tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and features a variety of songs including the classic Always Look On The Bright Side of Life. Visit www.ambassadortickets.com or ring 0844 871 7649.
MY FAVOURITE SUMMER (The Lowry, Salford Quays, March 1)
JOIN Dave as he spends a month working alongside a nutcase called Melvin in the summer job from hell while trying to save money to take the girl he loves away on holiday with him before she disappears out of his life forever. Nick Lane’s play is presented by the Reform Theatre Company. Call 0843 208 6000 or visit www.thelowry.com.
NORMA (The Lowry, Salford Quays, February 29-March 3)
BELLINI’S work of genius tells the tragic love story of priestess Norma and Pollione, the father of her two children. Having kept their relationship a secret, Norma’s love turns into bitter hate when she learns that Pollione is betraying her. Determined to take revenge, she finds herself entrapped in a web of intrigues, obsessions, lies and religious obligation, with the ultimate sacrifice being the only escape. This new production by Opera North stars the amazing Dutch soprano Annemarie Kremer in the title role and is directed by Christopher Alden. Call 0843 208 6000 or visit www.thelowry.com.
PHOENIX RISING (The Lowry, Salford Quays, February 26)
FRANCE 1928. DH Lawrence is a very ill man. In a series of snapshots, he presents the events that shaped his life. A complex character, Lawrence is revealed as a man with a gift for song as well as the ability to challenge the sexual mores of his generation in works such as Lady Chatterley’s Lover. This is a powerful portrait of an extraordinary artist at full throttle. Call 0843 208 6000 or visit www.thelowry.com.
SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING (Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, March 1-April 12)
ALAN Sillitoe's iconic novel is transformed into a spectacular new stage version by Matthew Dunster, whose previous successes at the Exchange include his own adaptation of George Orwell's 1984 and the award-winning Mogadishu. Rebellious young factory worker Arthur Seaton has reasons to drink, reasons to fight and several girls on the go. But when the fun and risk of Saturday night turns to the hangover and bruises of Sunday morning, Arthur starts to understand the real meaning of love. By turns heart-warming, ferocious and comic, the play won huge acclaim for its brutally honest portrayal of life in Nottingham in the 50s. Ring 0161 833 9833 or visit www.royalexchange.co.uk.
SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME (Opera House, Quay Street, Manchester, February 27-March 3)
SAVE The Last Dance For Me will take you back through the music and magic of the early 60s, a time when each passing week brought another classic rock ’n’ roll track. Featuring songs from the writing duo Pomus & Shuman. Ring 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.
WAY OUT WEST (The Lowry, Salford Quays, February 24)
TWO strangers stand, alone, in a busy pub. They chat as they wait - they seem to know more about each other than strangers could, or should. A few pints in they’ve touched on the big things in life - creation, happiness, grief, and the small things - mobile phone reception, watered down lager, crisps. And they think that they might be Laurel and Hardy reincarnated… but that’s ridiculous and beyond comprehension isn’t it? Way Out West by Paul Hodson (Meeting Joe Strummer, Don’t Shoot The Clowns, Brighton ‘Til I Die!) is a surreal, sad comedy starring Mike Goodenough and Damien Lyne. Call 0843 208 6000 or visit www.thelowry.com.