Jul 12 2012 Chester Chronicle
THE ALCHEMIST (Playhouse Theatre , Williamson Square, Liverpool, September 14-October 6)
WHEN Face, scheming servant and self-styled master conman, is left in sole charge of his gentleman’s London town house, he calls in his not-so-trusty fellow tricksters, the slimy Subtle and the irresistible Dol. Dispensing spurious charms and promises of gold, they whip the vain and greedy sucker list of London society into a frenzy of get-rich-quickery. But when they mistakenly target a fellow hustler, the sticky-fingered trio are in danger of coming unstuck. Ben Jonson’s 17th century satirical farce will be spun into pure comedy gold in the hands of rising star director Robert Icke. Call 0151 709 4776 or visit www.everymanplayhouse.com.
ANGELINA BALLERINA (Palace Theatre, Oxford Street, Manchester, August 17-19)
JOIN Angelina and friends at the Camembert Academy, watch them show off their dancing skills in this fantastic family-friendly show that will have the audiences dancing in the aisles. Ring 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.
ANNIE (Palace Theatre, Oxford Street, Manchester, August 2-4)
JOIN Manchester’s most talented young people in this all time classic musical, featuring famous songs It’s a Hard Knock Life and Tomorrow. Ring 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.
ANNIE (Empire Theatre in Lime Street, Liverpool, August 16-18)
LIVERPOOL Empire Stage Experience present this classic feelgood musical. A cast of young people from the local area, working with a professional creative team will star in a vibrant, full-scale production of one of the most beloved family musicals of all time. Call 0844 847 2525 or visit www.liverpoolempire.org.uk.
BLACK ROSES: THE KILLING OF SOPHIE LANCASTER (Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, September 19-29)
ON AUGUST 21, 2007, Sophie Lancaster was beaten unconscious in Stubbeylee Park, Bacup and later died from her injuries in hospital. She was 20-years-old, had just passed her A-Levels and was working out what to do with her life. She was killed because she dressed differently. Black Roses is an elegy for Sophie in which she tells her own story through a series of poems by the award-winning poet Simon Armitage, alongside the words of her mother, Sylvia Lancaster, remembering her daughter’s shortened life. The piece provoked an unprecedented response when it premiered on Radio Four last year, winning the BBC Audio and Music Best Speech Programme of the Year Award. Now it has been re-imagined for the theatre with Coronation Street stars Rachel Austin and Julie Hesmondhalgh. Ring 0161 833 9833 or visit www.royalexchange.co.uk.
BRIEFS (The Lowry, Salford Quays, July 27-28)
BRIEFS slams together a beef-caked and disorderly line-up of Australia's finest performers and mischief-makers in a circus-infused variety show for the not-so-faint-hearted. This ragtag team of skilful buccaneers reinvent vaudeville and circus, dance and clowning, in an evening of wicked humour, absurdity and blatant displays of flesh. Raw and savvy, they mix political conscience and theatrical rule-breaking with heaps of clever parody and good old entertainment. A night out at Briefs is variety in the truest sense. Call 0843 208 6000 or visit www.thelowry.com.
CHICAGO (Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, September 17-22)
“MURDER, greed, corruption, exploitation, adultery and treachery… all those things we hold near and dear to our hearts.” So begins the international award winning musical, starring Ali Bastian as Roxie Hart, Stefan Booth as Billy Flynn, Tupele Dorgu as Velma Kelly, and Bernie Nolan as Matron ‘Mama’ Morton. Based on real-life events in the Roaring Twenties, nightclub singer Roxie Hart shoots her lover and, along with Cell Block rival double-murderess Velma Kelly, fights to keep from death row with the help of smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn. Created by the musical theatre talents of John Kander, Fred Ebb and legendary choreographer Bob Fosse, Chicago’s sexy, sassy score includes All That Jazz and Razzle Dazzle. Visit www.ambassadortickets.com or ring 0844 871 7649.
THE COUNTRY WIFE (Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, September 12-October 20)
IN THE glamorous and gossip-fuelled London of the 17th Century, randy rake Harry Horner feigns impotence to charm his way into the hearts and boudoirs of the apparently respectable wives of London society. Newly arrived in town, with his ‘country wife’ Margery, Jack Pinchwife is jealous to the core and strains to keep his innocent spouse away from Horner’s clutches. She, however, is desperate to savour all the pleasures of the big city. And when Harry finally meets Margery, a collision course is set. William Wycherley’s subversive comedy of sex and seduction was so scandalous it was banned for 200 years. It is now brought to sparkling life by Olivier Award-winning director Polly Findlay. Visit www.royalexchange.co.uk or ring 0161 833 9833.s
DANDY DICK (Opera House, Quay Street, Manchester, August 28-September 1)
THE hilarious story of the Very Reverend Augustin Jedd, a pillar of Victorian respectability. Mayhem ensues, with romantic intrigue, mistaken identity, a runaway horse! Starring Patricia Hodge and Nicholas Le Provost. Call 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.
A DAY OF PLEASURE (Playhouse Theatre, Williamson Square, Liverpool, October 4-6)
NEW York 1978. The cab driver is waiting to take him to the airport. The evening before he travels to Stockholm to collect the Nobel Prize for Literature, storyteller Isaac Bashevis Singer recalls a fascinating childhood full of mystery, torment and adventure. A Day of Pleasure is about more than a young boy growing up in a strange and exotic world, it is about growing up itself. The play is performed by Stuart Richman, a founding member of the Liverpool Everyman, and directed by Neil Sissons. Call 0151 709 4776 or visit www.everymanplayhouse.com.
42ND STREET (Opera House, Quay Street, Manchester, October 23-27)
WEST End stars Dave Willetts and Marti Webb will join forces to headline the legendary Broadway musical – the timeless, inspiring tale of small-town Peggy Sawyer’s rise from chorus line to Broadway star. Winner of the 1980 Tony Award for Best Musical and 2001 Tony Award for Best Revival, the memorable score of hit songs includes Lullaby of Broadway, We’re in the Money and, one of the great show-stoppers, 42nd Street. Call 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.
GREASE (Venue Cymru, Llandudno, August 6-11)
DUST off your leather jackets, pull on your bobby socks and take a trip to a simpler time as bad boy Danny and girl-next-door Sandy fall in love all over again. It’s the original High School Musical, featuring all the unforgettable songs from the hit movie, including You’re the One That I Want, Grease is the Word, Summer Nights, Hopelessly Devoted To You, Sandy, Greased Lightnin’ and many more. Visit www.venuecymru.co.uk or call 01492 872000.
GREASE (Palace Theatre, Oxford Street, Manchester, October 8-13)
DUST off your leather jackets, pull on your bobby socks and take a trip to a simpler time as bad boy Danny and girl-next-door Sandy fall in love all over again. It’s the original High School Musical, featuring all the unforgettable songs from the hit movie, including You’re the One That I Want, Grease is the Word, Summer Nights, Hopelessly Devoted To You, Sandy, Greased Lightnin’ and many more. Call 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.
MADAME BUTTERFLY (Palace Theatre, Oxford Street, Manchester, September 25-29)
NORTHERN Ballet Theatre presents Madame Butterfly. East meets West as the soaring melodies of Puccini ‘s emotive score are interspersed with traditional Japanese music. Call0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.
PAT KIRKWOOD IS ANGRY (Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, October 3-6)
AFTER a sell-out tour of The Girl I Left Behind Me, Jessica Walker presents her latest one-woman show about the legendary Manchester-born singer and actress. Jessica brings to the stage the often turbulent life and beautiful songs of Pat Kirkwood, in a funny and heart-breaking new piece. Named Britain’s first wartime star in 1939 and with many illustrious credits, including a show written for her by the great Noël Coward, Kirkwood is now mostly remembered for the scandal surrounding an alleged affair with the Duke of Edinburgh, the repercussions of which were to haunt her for the rest of her life. Ring 0161 833 9833 or visit www.royalexchange.co.uk.
THE RIPPLE EFFECT (Empire Theatre, Lime Street, Liverpool, July 31)
FORMING part of the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, playwright Ursula Rani Sarma and young people from across the nation deliver a vibrant piece of new writing inspired by the Olympic theme of truce. Call 0844 847 2525 or visit www.liverpoolempire.org.uk.
STARLIGHT EXPRESS (Venue Cymru, Llandudno, September 18-29)
BILL Kenwright presents one of the best loved, longest running and most unique musicals in theatrical history. Andrew Lloyd Webber's Rock-On-Roller skating sensation explodes back onto the stage with a new production for 2012. Light years ahead of the rest, this futuristic tale about love and hope in the face of adversity promises to take you on the ride of a lifetime – with two hours of speed, spectacle, energy and turbo charged excitement, combined with an electrifying sound track, dazzling sets and costumes, some of Andrew Lloyd Webber's most memorable musical hits and extraordinary non stop roller-choreography by TV's favourite dance show judge Arlene Phillips. There are some exciting 3D film sequences for which you will need to pop on some special 3D glasses. Call 01492 872000 or visit www.venuecymru.co.uk.
STORIES FROM AN INVISIBLE TOWN (Playhouse Theatre, Williamson Square, Liverpool, October 16-20)
WHEN Hugh Hughes returned to his childhood home in Llangefni to help his mum pack and move house, a tapestry of memories from his past, his family and the town he once called home began to unfold. His memories have grown and grown - bursting from Hugh’s head and into a website for us to explore and enjoy. Now audiences have the chance to join Hugh, his brother and his sister, as family skeletons leave their closets in this unpredictable and hilarous evening of family stories. Call 0151 709 4776 or visit www.everymanplayhouse.com.
THE TIN VIOLIN (The Lowry, Salford Quays, July 29)
THE Tin Violin follows the extraordinary life of violinist and composer Joseph Emidy. Born in West Africa in 1775, Emidy was kidnapped by the British Navy and served as a fiddler during the French wars. Landing at Flamouth, he was presented with a tin violin, and became a musical genius of the early 19th century. Rich with dialect, dance and decadence, this play will make you jig your heart out. Call 0843 208 6000 or visit www.thelowry.com.
UNCLE ERIC’S HARD DAY’S NIGHT (New Vic Theatre, Etruria Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, August 20-September 1)
UNCLE Eric, Madge and their gang of brilliant singers, actors and musicians are back. Time for a great night out - comedy, nostalgia and non-stop hits of the 1960s. It’s Saturday, July 30, 1966. Eric Smith, the world’s worst DJ, is having a hard day. He desperately needs some dosh - now! Before Madge finds out he has hired the local community centre for a Saturday night disco but sold no tickets. Things get really dodgy when he discovers it is the same night that England take part in the World Cup Final! Call 01782 717962 or visit www.newvictheatre.org.uk.