STARTING THIS WEEK
BOUNCERS (Forum Studio Theatre, Hamilton Place, Chester, November 14-23)
TIP Top Productions present John Godber’s classic comedy in a new production. Four actors take on around 20 roles in Godber's hilarious commentary on 1980s nightlife. We meet the ‘lads’, the ‘girls’, a DJ, a barber, some punks, Hooray Henrys, Swedish adult movie stars and, of course, the four bouncers (led by Lucky Eric) who all relate this tale. Sometimes poignant and always very funny, this is Tip Top's sixth outing with the play and it will be appearing for a limited run of just eight performances, reuniting three members of the original cast from 12 years ago. Visit www.chestertheatre.co.uk or call 01244 341296.
CALIFORNIA SUITE (Little Theatre, Gloucester Street, Newtown, Chester, November 16-23)
CHESTER Theatre Club presents this classic comedy by American playwright Neil Simon, writing at his wittiest and compassionate best. Set in the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, California Suite consists of four short plays involving visitors to the world famous location from Chicago, New York, London and Philadelphia. Call 0844 870 0887 or visit www.chestertheatreclub.co.uk.
THE ELEPHANT BRIDESMAID (Lyceum Theatre, Heath Street, Crewe, November 16)
A MAGICAL musical about weddings and wombats and the loveliest elephant the world has ever known. So join Nessie the Elephant and her fantastic animal friends and help them as they go in search of an outfit fancy enough (and large enough) to make her the Australian jungle’s first and most beautiful Elephant Bridesmaid. Make your day even more special and come to the theatre wearing your own fancy clothes (or fancy dress) for the chance to take part in a fabulous fashion show live on stage with the actors! For ages 4+. Call 01270 368242 or visit www.crewelyceum.co.uk.
AN EVENING OF BURLESQUE (Lyceum Theatre, Heath Street, Crewe, November 15)
IT’S all tease, no sleaze as corsets, killer heels, stockings aplenty, sultry vocals, breath-taking choreography; mischief, magic, frivolity and fun collide. The true spirit of the time-honoured art form is revived and given a playful, modern-day tweak for good measure! Wickedly witty, stunningly sensuous, join a decadent romp into the bizarre world of burlesque and modern-day variety. Call 01270 368242 or visit www.crewelyceum.co.uk.
KEPOW! – SEVEN AGES (Pyramid, Palmyra Square, Warrington, November 21)
WONDERFUL comedy theatre show that explores the idea that we go through seven stages in life. From infancy – through love and wisdom – to growing old disgracefully. Fresh from a sell-out world tour to 10 different countries – on four different continents – Seven Ages has been seen at more than 400 venues across the UK. Created and starring Kevin Tomlinson and Abi Hood, Kepow are now recognised as one of the UK’s leading international touring theatre companies. Through a series of short scenes, a variety of topics are explored; these often include childhood adventures, falling in love, attempting to find a rewarding purpose in life and enjoying new hobbies in retirement. A truly unique show that makes one re-assess one’s priorities in life. Suitable for 5-105-year-olds. Call 01925 442345 or visit www.pyramidparrhall.com.
MACBETH (Whitby Hall, Whitby Park, Stanney Lane, Ellesmere Port, November 21)
A ONE-ACT performance of Shakespeare’s classic with stage combat and live music. One of the Bard’s most famous tragedies, this follows the story of Scottish general Macbeth, convinced by three witches that he will become king. With a strong focus on the journeys of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, this is a classic story of tragedy, betrayal and murder, given a modern twist by Troop. Call 0151 357 2120 or visit www.statikthetour.co.uk
THE NUTCRACKER (Floral Pavilion, New Brighton, Wirral, November 20)
ALL is quiet in the great house. Clara creeps downstairs, the Christmas tree stands alone and in the darkness, the moonlight beams through the curtains onto the colourful presents offered there. At midnight, the clock strikes heralding in the spirit of Christmas, yet something stirs in the darkness beyond and thus unfolds this magical festive tale of The Nutcracker presented here by Moscow Ballet – La Classique. Call 0151 666 0000 or visit www.floralpavilion.com.
COPENHAGEN (Emlyn Williams Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, October 31-November 23)
A TENSE thriller based on a real event at the height of the Second World War. The German physicist, Werner Heisenberg, is now working for the Nazi Government, so why should Niels Bohr, his close friend and colleague, trust him anymore? In 1941 these two great scientists meet for a brief moment in Copenhagen. Everything they say is fraught with great personal danger, but crucially has the capacity to change the course of the conflict that ravages Europe. They fail to understand guarded language or to trust one another's motives and part disastrously. Michael Frayn’s play reconstructs what went wrong at that meeting and its consequences for world history. Directed by Emma Lucia, following her successful productions of Educating Rita by Willy Russell and God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza at Clwyd Theatr Cymru. Call 0845 330 3565 or visit www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk.
DINNER (Civic Hall, Neston, November 13-16)
NESTON Players’ stalwart Joanne Rymer makes a welcome return to the director’s chair for their next production – the deliciously dark satirical comedy by Moira Buffini. Centring on the dinner party from hell, this bad-taste comedy is Abigail’s Party transported to the realms of the well-heeled middle classes. Author Lars is celebrating the fact that his pop psychology book is now a best seller. His wife Paige decides to throw a dinner party in his honour, and carefully plans a surprise menu that will fittingly mark the occasion. Acerbic and caustic comments fly like poisonous darts across the dinner table leaving a trail of carnage in their wake. Visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/463051.
MANSFIELD PARK (Anthony Hopkins Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, November 12-16)
CATCH this spellbinding adaptation of Jane Austen’s captivating novel as it returns to tour in 2013. Unceremoniously uprooted from her humble family home, intelligent young Fanny Price is dropped into the bustling, aristocratic household of her uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram, where she finds herself buffeted from one crisis to the next in the company of her cousins and their well-to-do friends. Yet throughout this turmoil one thing remains a constant – her love for the generous, worthy and steadfast Edmund Bertram. But will this love be her salvation? Or will she be forced to marry the charismatic Henry Crawford for connections and wealth alone? Can Fanny triumph over her adoptive family’s demands and follow her heart to acquire the husband and life she so desires and deserves? Written by Tim Luscombe, whose other acclaimed Austen adaptations include Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, and directed by Colin Blumenau, Mansfield Park is a must-see for lovers of Jane Austen, and indeed all classic drama, from the country’s last remaining Regency Theatre. Call 0845 330 3565 or visit www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk.
WICKED (Palace Theatre, Oxford Street, Manchester, September 12-November 16)
THE global musical phenomenon that has been casting its spell over audiences across the world for nearly a decade, flies into Manchester for a strictly limited run. Wicked tells the incredible story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two girls who first meet as sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. Former West End cast members Nikki Davis-Jones, Emily Tierney and George Ure will all join the cast as Elphaba, Glinda and Boq respectively. Call 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Anthony Hopkins Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, November 29-January 25)
THE Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto is seasonal entertainment with all the trimmings – jokes, slapstick and lashings of audience participation – spiced with classic hit songs, all played by our multi-talented cast of actor/musicians. Prince Promising is crowned the country’s largest King. But the festivities are interrupted when a Wicked Witch, turns our handsome hero into a horrible Beast. To reverse his fate the Beast must win the heart of Beauty and take her hand in marriage. But can she ever really love him? Will a magic mirror help to break the curse? Or must the handsome Prince remain a Beast forever? Meanwhile, back in Wales, is the hapless Peacock Beauregarde about to succumb to the charms of Dame Bronwen Bigbreaths? Call 0845 330 3565 or visit www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Little Theatre, Gloucester Street, Newtown, Chester, January 18-25)
CHESTER Theatre Club presents Lucy Kirkwood’s version of the classic story, directed by Alison Knott. Not a panto but a fairytale, a very different beast from the Disney version. Set in a seedy, run-down theatre and narrated by the rather peculiar Pink Fairy, this is a sophisticated, somewhat dark play suitable for older children and adults. It was first performed at the National Theatre in 2011 and this is the first time it has been performed elsewhere. Full of music, magic and humour, the play will delight and enchant even the most cynical of theatregoers. Call 0844 870 0887 or visit www.chestertheatreclub.co.uk.
CABARET NOIR (Little Theatre, Gloucester Street, Newtown, Chester, November 30)
CABARET Noir invites you to an evening in the Weimar Republic. A 1930s inspired selection of cabaret songs, comedy sketches, satire and burlesque. Featuring songs from the show Cabaret, plus others from Kurt Weill and Brecht, Marlene Dietrich, and the satirical songs of Tom Leherer among others. Get dressed up and come along for a night of Weimar glamour and quirkiness. Visit www.ticketsource.co.uk or call 07764 318416.
DANCING QUEEN (Lyceum Theatre, Heath Street, Crewe, November 22)
ACTION-PACKED show featuring all the greatest hits from Abba, Grease and hits from the 1970s. With a fantastic cast of singers and musicians, Dancing Queen is the ultimate party show and will have the whole family dancing in the aisles. Featuring songs such as Waterloo, Mamma Mia, Summer Nights, Car Wash and many more. Call 01270 368242 or visit www.crewelyceum.co.uk.
JAKE AND ELWOOD’S CHRISTMAS PARTY (Lyceum Theatre, Heath Street, Crewe, November 23)
JAKE and Elwood invite you to spend an evening in a Chicago winter wonderland to witness masters at work as they explode on stage for their soul, rhythm and blues Christmas musical extravaganza, backed by the totally live powerhouse that is the incredible Black Rhino Band. With great classics including Soul Man, I Feel Good, Sweet Home Chicago and many more and featuring special guest Massa as Noddy Holder with the ultimate Christmas anthem. Call 01270 368242 or visit www.crewelyceum.co.uk.
MAC//BETH (Emlyn Williams Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, December 3-4)
THIS is a production for those who yearn for something a bit different – something which hails from the European tradition of dance/theatre. Shakespeare’s play is cut to the core. Mererid Hopwood’s new Welsh translation weaves in and out of Shakespeare’s text; Polish and Hebrew pepper the mix. Set against a haunting new score for string quartet and performed by a virile ensemble who bring an exhilarating physical power to these familiar characters, Shakespeare’s words inspire dance, and dance illuminates the text : Lord and Lady Macbeth dance with the devil and plummet from grace. Call 0845 330 3565 or visit www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk.
A REGULAR LITTLE HOUDINI (Anthony Hopkins Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, November 26-27)
HOUDINI toured Britain twice. Both times, he had run in’s with the police in Newport. An unusual young boy, obsessed with Houdini, growing up in Newport’s booming docklands, seeks to emulate Houdini’s commitment to his art and takes us through eight years of Britain’s biggest industrial growth, in the pursuit of amazement! World premiere of a new one-man show written and performed by Clwyd Theatr Cymru regular, Daniel Llewelyn-Williams. Directed by Joshua Richards (fringe first winner and winner of best of the festival award for Playing Burton and Rosebud). Call 0845 330 3565 or visit www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk.
THE SNOW QUEEN (St Mary’s Centre, St Mary’s Hill, Chester, December 5-January 11)
FOLLOWING last year’s critical and commercial triumph with A Christmas Carol, Theatre in the Quarter return with another festive spectacular. All the company’s special ingredients – artistic director Matt Baker’s original music, wonderful storytelling, digital media and a fusion of community and professional theatre performers – will combine to make this another memorable Christmas feast. Embark on a journey to the Snow Queen’s palace, meeting wild robbers, penguins, reindeer, princes, princesses, ravens and even a polar bear on the way. Call 01244 500959 or visit www.theatreinthequarter.co.uk.
SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (Forum Studio Theatre, Hamilton Place, Chester, December 7-30)
TIP Top Productions present Peter Swingler’s wonderful new version of the classic fairy tale which follows in the footsteps of last year’s sell-out production of Cinderella. Snow White is the enchanting story of the girl with skin as white as snow and lips that are ruby red, doomed by her beauty. Her evil stepmother, the Wicked Queen, plots her death when a magic mirror declares Snow White to be ‘the fairest of them all’. Freed by the henchman sent to cut out her heart, Snow White flees to the forest where she finds sanctuary with seven dwarfs. Visit www.chestertheatre.co.uk or call 01244 341296.
UNDER MILK WOOD (Anthony Hopkins Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, February 6-March 8)
A WORK of genius from Dylan Thomas, ripe with vitality, rich in humour and populated by sublime eccentric and enchanting characters. Come to Llareggub, a small Welsh town by the sea. Meet blind Captain Cat, Mog Edwards and his sweetheart Miss Price, Sinbad Sailor, Dai Bread, Polly Garter, Nogood Boyo and Lord Cut Glass. Walk along Coronation Street, Cockle Row and Donkey Street, down to the little fishing harbour and back to Milk Wood. Thomas explores their lives, hopes and thoughts in the dreams of a night and the rhythms of a day. Both a play and a poem, written from the heart, it offers an unforgettable journey into the roots of language and the soul of Wales. This new production, directed by Terry Hands, marks the centenary of Dylan Thomas’ birth in 1914 and the 60th anniversary of the play’s British premiere. Call 0845 330 3565 or visit www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk.
USELESS BEAUTY (Forum Studio Theatre, Hamilton Place, Chester, February 13-15)
OLD friends and new partners, short fuses and long memories. What should have been a simple social evening, when married couple Kate and Martin invite Helen and Kate’s old friend from university, Alex, round for some food, takes a series of unexpected turns in Tip Top regular Mark Newman’s new black comedy of bad manners and good wine. Visit www.chestertheatre.co.uk or call 01244 341296.