STARTING THIS WEEK
THE ACE OF CLUBS (Harlequin Theatre, Queen Street, Northwich, November 7-9)
VALE Royal Musical Theatre presents this classic work by Noel Coward. A light-hearted show set in a 1949 London nightclub with romance, gangsters, a lost diamond necklace and mixed up packages. Call 01606 553339.
ALBERT HERRING (Floral Pavilion, New Brighton, Wirral, November 10)
FOLLOWING last year’s stunning production of Mozart’s masterpiece Don Giovanni, Mid Wales Opera returns in 2013 to celebrate the centenary of the birth of one of the country’s greatest composers - Benjamin Britten. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to enjoy Britten’s classic comic depiction of village life. It is time for the sleepy village of Loxford to choose a May Queen but none of the local girls quite fit the bill. So now all eyes focus on Albert, from the greengrocer’s, pure and innocent as they come. Surely the perfect candidate to be the village’s first May King? But the hapless Albert is slipped a little something into his victory glass of lemonade and suddenly things take a turn for the worse. One of the composer’s most perfect gems - witty and irreverent. Call 0151 666 0000 or visit www.floralpavilion.com.
ANNIE (The Brindley, High Street, Runcorn, November 12-16)
THE Centenary Theatre Company are excited to be able to bring you this huge audience favourite of stage and screen. A show which needs no introduction, with hits like Tomorrow, Maybe and Little Girls. Directed by Mark Murphy. Musical director Malcolm Fallows. Choreographer Sarah Royle. Call 0151 907 8360 or visit www.thebrindley.org.uk.
BEYOND THE BARRICADE (Lyceum Theatre, Heath Street, Crewe, November 9)
THE most successful and popular touring show of its kind returns to The Lyceum with a new 2013 production. Recreating original West End/Broadway musical hit songs with amazing authenticity, it features a cast of past principal performers from the West End production of Les Miserables, and the 25th Anniversary Concert at the 02 Arena. This production will include songs from Miss Saigon, The Lion King, Phantom Of The Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Chess, Blood Brothers, The Jersey Boys and many more hit musical productions, climaxing with a spectacular finale from, of course, Les Miserables! Call 01270 368242 or visit www.crewelyceum.co.uk.
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.
THE CIRCUS OF HORRORS (Lyceum Theatre, Heath Street, Crewe, November 12)
FUSION of daredevil and bizarre circus acts performed by a cast of 26, with live rock music played by Dr Haze, all joined together in a new show. The Circus of Horrors biggest asset is its humour. This show has picked up critical acclaim all over the world. The show contains some nudity and bad language, all tongue in cheek and not of a sexual nature. Strobe lighting and pyrotechnics are used in the show. Recommended 16+. Call 01270 368242 or visit www.crewelyceum.co.uk.
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) (The Brindley, High Street, Runcorn, November 7)
AN IRREVERENT, fast-paced romp through the Bard’s plays, the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s original show was London’s longest-running comedy having clocked a very palpable nine years in London’s West End at the Criterion Theatre! Now revised for 2013, join these madcap men in tights as they weave their wicked way through all of Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories and Tragedies in one wild ride that will leave you breathless and helpless with laughter. Written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield. Directed by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor. Call 0151 907 8360 or visit www.thebrindley.org.uk.
THE CRUCIBLE (University of Chester Church of England Academy, Whitby Road, Ellesmere Port, November 8-9)
ELLESMERE Port community based drama group Stage Fright is staging this production of the classic Arthur Miller play, based on the true events that took place in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, in America. Many innocent people were hung as a result of false accusations of witchcraft, and this production will depict the untruth, fear, and growing panic caused by the girls of Salem. From the staunch beliefs of Judge Danforth, who is called upon to bring truth and order, to the end of the play which surrounds John and Elizabeth Proctor as they struggle to forgive each other for their human weaknesses. Call www.seetickets.com.
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.
THE FABULOUS JOHNNY CASH ROADSHOW (The Brindley, High Street, Runcorn, November 8)
PREPARE for a musical adventure unrivalled by any other that truly celebrates the career of a music legend. The UK’s No1 tribute, fronted by respected singer/songwriter Clive John, re-creates with astounding accuracy and truly captures the essence of what it was like to be at a real Cash show. Also featuring Jill Schoonjans as June Carter, Amanda Stone and Sheena Beckett as the Carter Sisters. The show takes the audience from the 1950s right up to 2002 and all the stops in between. All the greatest hits are included, Ring of Fire, Walk the Line as well as the Johnny and June duets Jackson, Long Legged Guitar Pickin’ Man and so many more, all the while accompanied by an amazing video back drop with evocative images and shots from Johnny Cash’s life. Call 0151 907 8360 or visit www.thebrindley.org.uk.
LET’S HANG ON (Lyceum Theatre, Heath Street, Crewe, November 8)
A FABULOUS show which captures the sound of the legendary Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Through an evening of music we discover the story of these blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks who invented their own sound and took the world by storm. The red retro jackets will come out for the finale and you’ll hear that legendary falsetto vocal blow the roof off with Rag Doll, Sherry, Walk Like A Man and Big Girls Don’t Cry. Call 01270 368242 or visit www.crewelyceum.co.uk.
MAKE (Axis Dance, Axis Arts Centre, MMU Cheshire, Crewe Green Road, Crewe, November 7)
WITH an extensive training in dance and a background in painting, Florence Peake’s performance practice uses drawing, painting and sculpture materials combined with found, appropriated and fabricated objects placed in relationship to the moving body. Site and audience, live and recorded text, wit and humour are key to her work. Make takes an irreverent look at how sculpture is created, displayed and maintained. playing with the traditional reverence towards and god-like status of the artist/sculptor as author. A task force of female performers build and then dismantle a monolithic structure through a series of choreographed actions that ritualise, parody and unveil the often hidden labour of art-making. Call 0161 247 5302 or visit www.axisartscentre.org.uk.
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.
THE NOVICE DETECTIVE (Pyramid, Palmyra Square, Warrington, November 8)
MYSTERY is afoot! Sophie’s father is missing. With the audiences help, and that of her slightly psychic Gran, Sophie is determined to get to the bottom of it. Sophie has a crumpled photo of a faceless man wearing a red beret, a pop album dedicated to her and a very determined, slightly psychic Gran. Inspired by their love of afternoon detective shows and classic film noir, Sophie and Gran are on the case! Mixing theatre, storytelling, stand-up and clowning, writer and performer Sophie Willan tells an autobiographical tale that is heart-warming, heart breaking, ridiculous and sort of true. Call 01925 442345 or visit www.pyramidparrhall.com.
PARTICLE VELOCITY (Anthony Hopkins Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, November 9)
FOLLOWING the success of 2012’s Crossing Points, Phoenix Dance Theatre return to Clwyd Theatr Cymru with a bill that is alive with music and sound. Set to a specially commissioned score, Phoenix artistic director Sharon Watson’s Repetition of Change uses movement to unravel our genetic code, taking the audience on a volatile journey through the fascinating world of DNA. Specialising in explosive, powerful dance, Douglas Thorpe’s Tender Crazy Love is a blistering duet that features his trademark raw, visceral choreography. Ki by Jose Agudo is a ferocious solo inspired by the fearsome Mongol warlord Genghis Khan that fills the stage with physical dance. Completing the bill is All Alight, celebrated choreographer Richard Alston’s first work for Phoenix. Featuring the full company, this elegant piece is danced to Ravel’s moving Sonata for Violin and Cello. The score for Repetition of Change, Forms Entangled, Shapes Collided by Kenneth Hesketh, was commissioned with funding from the RPS Drummond Fund for Phoenix and Psappha. Call 0845 330 3565 or visit www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk.
12 DEGREES NORTH DANCE COMPANY AND GUESTS (Pyramid, Palmyra Square, Warrington, November 7)
12 DEGREES North, the fresh and dynamic North West graduate dance company, premieres a new work by talented and award winning choreographer James Wilton. His dance is daring, spectacularly physical. Emma Lansley presents her trio Talking to Mia and Butch, a quirky dance theatre piece with a light twist, focussing on the the complex lives of three socially awkward individuals. With music by Kate Bush and a hint of lemons, this is humorous and heart-warming dance. A dazzling display of super-physical dance theatre from North West artists. Company Boom (Warrington Collegiate) present Potion (Stage 1) a work in progress that explores separate and individual compositional methods that merge together generating birth to new opportunities. Call 01925 442345 or visit www.pyramidparrhall.com.
TWELVE MILES FROM NOWHERE (Whitby Hall, Whitby Park, Stanney Lane, Ellesmere Port, November 11-12)
SET on a remote northern farm, this moving and compelling new play explores the impact of an engaging young stranger on the lives of a vulnerable, isolated family. The piece was created following research with young people growing up in rural Cheshire, and is produced in association with Action Transport Theatre and Cheshire Rural Touring Arts. Since Michael and Emily’s mother left, it’s like time has stood still for them. James is struggling to come to terms with it and see a way forward. The farm is dilapidated and going under. Then Craig turns up with enough charisma and ambition to charm the birds from the trees. But is he really the answer to their dreams? Call 0151 357 2120.
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.
ERIC AND LITTLE ERN (Anthony Hopkins Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, November 5-8)
THIS affectionate, moving and fantastically funny homage to the greatest comedy double act that Britain has ever seen vividly brings back warm memories of a bygone era. Recreating some of the finest moments of Eric and Ernie’s television and stage performances, cherished moments from the archives sit alongside new material created by the performers. Together they make a brilliant comedy that recreates the all-ages appeal of Morecambe and Wise in their heyday. Creators and performers Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens are seasoned stage and TV actors with a wide range of credits from Shakespeare’s Globe to Lead Balloon, while director Owen Lewis most recently staged solo shows for Suggs, Mrs Moneypenny and Hardeep Singh Kohli; previous stage credits include the West End and international hit Pete and Dud: Come Again. 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.