STARTING THIS WEEK
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.
FARNDALE AVENUE HOUSING ESTATE TOWNSWOMEN’S GUILD DRAMATIC SOCIETY (Guilden Sutton Village Hall, November 20-23)
IT PROMISES to be a farce when a village amateur dramatic society mounts another assault on classic works as they prepare to stage their ramshackle version of A Christmas Carol. Spurred on by the wild enthusiasm of stage-manager Gordon, the ladies portray a dizzy array of characters from the Dickensian favourite and a few which aren’t. A Guilden Sutton Players production. Visit www.guildensuttonplayers.org or call 0844 8700 887.
IN DOGGERLAND (Emlyn Williams Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, November 28-30)
BOX of Tricks present this première of a new play by Tom Morton-Smith. A coastline erodes, a house falls into the sea. A mysterious brother and sister arrive looking for answers. Marnie clings to her camera, taking photographs of strangers and places. She has come to say goodbye to a life she never knew whilst her brother Linus is keen to make a fresh start. But when they find Simon and daughter Kelly, reeling in the wake of tragedy, all four lives are to become inextricably linked under the weight of the past. A funny and heartfelt new play about lives lived on shifting sands, In Doggerland is a searching examination of love, family and identity. Tom Morton-Smith is an award-winning playwright and former writer-in-residence at acclaimed new writing company, Paines Plough. He is currently under commission with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Call 0845 330 3565 or visit www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.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.
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.
THE LOST PRESENT (The Brindley, High Street, Runcorn, November 22)
IT’S Christmas Eve, and having tumbled to earth through the night sky, Elva sets out on a journey to find her best friend – a little girl she hasn’t even met yet. Has the lost present got what it takes to find her way through the cold winter night? Will she arrive in time for Christmas morning? Will Elva be everything the little girl wished for? Using handmade puppets, original music and delightful storytelling, this is an enchanting tale about true friendship presented by Topsy Turvy. Suitable for 3-7 years. Call 0151 907 8360 or visit www.thebrindley.org.uk.
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 (The Brindley, High Street, Runcorn, November 27)
A PERFECT treat for the Christmas season. Tchaikovsky’s most loved and unforgettable musical score combines with magical choreography, exquisite costumes and breathtaking scenery that together creates an atmosphere of fantasy and illusion. Features such favourites as The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, The Waltz of the Flowers, The Russian Trepak, The Dance of the Reed pipes and the world famous Waltz of the Snowflakes. Presented by Ballet Theatre UK. Call 0151 907 8360 or visit www.thebrindley.org.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.
SHOCK HEADED PETER (The Hammond School, Hoole Bank, Chester, November 28-30)
HAMMOND drama students are entering a strange land for their new production. The show is an adaptation of Der Struwwelpeter, a children’s book by Heinrich Hoffmann and includes stories which will amaze, entrance and amuse. Visit www.thehammondschool.co.uk or call 01244 305262
SO MR OSWALD, WHAT WERE YOU DOING? (The Brindley, High Street, Runcorn, November 23)
EVERYONE remembers what they were doing when they heard that President Kennedy had been assassinated. Yet that fateful day still the ultimate mystery. Whatever conspiracy theory you believe – answers are still needed. A multi-media piece of political agit prop from Minimum Wage to finally get close to a multitude of questions including the most vital of all “So, Mr Oswald, What were you doing when President Kennedy was shot?” Call 0151 907 8360 or visit www.thebrindley.org.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 sedries 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.