STARTING THIS WEEK
AGATHA CHRISTIE’S GO BACK FOR MURDER (Floral Pavilion, New Brighton, Wirral, October 28-November 2)
NOW in its eighth year, the Agatha Christie Theatre Company presents a thrilling production of the Queen of crime’s classic. Carla Le Marchant learns a disturbing family secret; her mother, Caroline Crale, died in prison after being convicted for poisoning her father. Caroline leaves an intriguing legacy in the form of a letter professing her innocence and, believing this to be true, Carla is determined to clear her mother’s name. Enlisting the help of Justin Fogg; the son of her mother’s defence lawyer, Carla searches out all the players from her tragic history and brings them back to the scene of the crime to uncover the truth. Suspects, secrets, and red herrings abound in this thrilling new production. A classic ‘whodunit’ packed with intrigue, murder and suspense from the pen of the great Dame Agatha Christie. Call 0151 666 0000 or visit www.floralpavilion.com.
CHARLIE AND LOLA’S EXTREMELY NEW PLAY (Floral Pavilion, New Brighton, Wirral, October 25-26)
CHARLIE and Lola are completely excited to be on stage with their Extremely New Play, and they’re bringing along Sizzles the Dog! Playful, funny and full of surprises, this play about friendship and adventures is a treat for everyone. A magical mix of puppets, live action and music based on the well-loved BBC series and characters created by Lauren Child. 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.
A DIFFERENT DRUM (Northgate Church, Northgate Street, October 25)
ONE of Riding Lights Theatre Company's most inspirational plays has been recreated for 2013. In the blood of a flea, wrapped in a bundle of French silk, the plague arrives in the Derbyshire village of Eyam, and with it comes a devastating decision. As the entire community chooses the bold path of sacrifice, they begin to march to a different drum.Beginning in the 17th century, the play follows a thread through history to the present day, picking up accounts of others who have dared to break the boundaries of self-interest. Full of life and colourful music, the play imagines how different the world could be if we responded unswervingly to the call to ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. Call 01904 613000 for details or visit www.ridinglights.org/drum.
FEEL ABOUT YOUR BODY (Axis Theatre, Axis Arts Centre, Crewe, October 24)
AN UPLIFTING, life-affirming and hilarious spectacle about how we ‘feel’ about our bodies. Expect silliness, see a man talk to his bottom and find out what not to do during a heart attack. The show contains some brief nudity, some brief dancing and some peurile songs! New Art Club return with another beautifully engineered blend of physical and verbal lunacy. Call 0161 247 5302 or visit www.axisartscentre.org.uk.
TEECHERS (Lyceum Theatre, Heath Street, Crewe, October 28-30)
A BITING, witty modern comedy from John Godber, the writer of Bouncers, Perfect Pitch and The Debt Collectors. Join Gail, Hobby and Salty, three fifth form students who, through their end of term play, tell the hilarious story of an idealistic new teacher in his perilous first days inside a local comprehensive school. The three cast members effortlessly transform into a vast array of other characters in this contemporary classic including teachers, dinner ladies, students, an obstructive caretaker and of course, the school bully. Featuring Frances Wood (BBC’s The Voice) as Gail, Teechers puts the education system under a microscope and examines the themes and issues which are still relevant today. Call 01270 368242 or visit www.crewelyceum.co.uk.
ALL MY SONS (Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, September 25-October 26)
TALAWA Theatre Company and the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester will present a major revival of Arthur Miller’s classic play. The production will star two of the country’s most distinguished actors – Don Warrington (Rising Damp, Death in Paradise) as Joe and Doña Croll (Casualty, Doctors) as Kate. Joe and Kate Keller are an all-American couple who have the ghosts of World War Two living in their own backyard. Joe is a successful, self-made businessman, a loving family man and a pillar of the community. He is a partner in a machine shop building fighter plane parts. One thing overshadows Joe and Kate’s happiness - their son is missing in action, presumed dead by all but his mother. Call 0161 833 9833 or visit www.royalexchange.co.uk.
BACK TO THE 80S (Civic Hall, Ellesmere Port, October 23-26)
ELLESMERE Port Musical Theatre Company present a fun musical that will transport the audience back to a time of big hair, hyper colour t shirts and to the music of Rick Astley, The Buggles, Cyndi Lauper and Kim Wilde. The show is jointly directed by a the dynamic young team of Craig Price and Kayleigh Melluish, the youngest production team the company has had in it's 80 plus years. Call 0151 339 4390 or visit www.ellesmereport musicaltheatre.co.uk.
ME AND MY GIRL (Lyceum Theatre, Heath Street, Crewe, October 22-26)
ACTON Amateur Operatic Society present the much-loved Lambeth musical. This must-see musical comedy for all ages is a love story between the classes, set in 1930s Lambeth, Mayfair and Hampshire. Songs including Me And My Girl, The Sun Has Got His Hat On, Leaning On A Lamppost and the unmistakable Lambeth Walk. Written by Douglas Furber with music by Noel Gay. Call 01270 368242 or visit www.crewelyceum.co.uk.
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (Grove Park Theatre, Wrexham, October 17-26)
DALE Wasserman’s stage adaptation of Ken Kesey’s legendary novel premiered on Broadway in 1963, with Kirk Douglas in the lead role that would make Jack Nicholson a superstar - Randle Patrick McMurphy. He is a sharp, funny rebel who pretends to be insane so he can finish his prison sentence in the relative comfort of a mental ward. When McMurphy meets his fellow inmates, he discovers that they are a lot more sane than the reactive, restrictive world of the authorities, which is embodied by the cruel and controlling Nurse Ratched. Both hilarious and deeply moving, this tale of the human spirit and its fight against conformity is a modern classic. Visit groveparktheatre.co.uk or call 01978 351091.
SEASON’S GREETINGS (Anthony Hopkins Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, October 3-November 2)
IT'S Christmas Eve in the Bunker household. Neville and Belinda are hosting the festivities and family and friends are gathering to eat, drink and make merry. Grouchy Uncle Harvey is settled in front of the TV. Bernard is more concerned with his amateur puppet show while his wife Phyllis causes mayhem in the kitchen as she prepares dinner. Season's Greetings is an uncompromising portrait of a traditional family Christmas in which culinary disasters, drunkenness, neglected wives, infidelity under the tree and an amorous Santa create a sparking bittersweet comedy and a riotously funny take on the festive season. Alan Ayckbourn is one of our greatest dramatists. His plays include Taking Steps and A Small Family Business which were recent hit productions at Clwyd Theatr Cymru. Directed by award-winning director Tim Baker whose successful productions at Clwyd Theatr Cymru include Rape of the Fair Country, To Kill A Mockingbird and his own adaptation of the children's novel Sky Hawk. 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.
80S MANIA (Lyceum Theatre, Heath Street, Crewe, November 1)
80S MANIA brings to the stage 25 chart-topping pop icons authentically recreated with a live band and awesome dancers. Hear more than 35 chart-topping smash hits from your favourite 80s bands including Duran Duran, The Human League, Culture Club, Madonna, Wham!, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Bananarama, Dead or Alive, Madness and many more! Call 01270 368242 or visit www.crewelyceum.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.
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.
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 NUTCRACKER (Lyceum Theatre, Heath Street, Crewe, November 2)
AFTER last year’s success the Russian Ballett and Opera House are back with a classic ballet for the whole family. Join us for an unforgettable journey in the run up to Christmas and be part as the magic unfolds. Call 01270 368242 or visit www.crewelyceum.co.uk.
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.
POSTMAN PAT - LIVE (Lyceum Theatre, Heath Street, Crewe, November 3)
IT’S the day of the reendale karaoke talent show and a top talent scout will be on the lookout for a rising star. Postman Pat has a new karaoke machine to deliver for the show – but when the machine breaks down it looks as if the talent show might be in jeopardy. Can Pat save the day? Which of your favourite characters will take part? And who has a ‘golden’ voice. Come and find out! With songs, laughs and audience participation, together with brand-new scenery and costumes, Postman Pat Live is the must see show for 3-6 year olds this year. Call 01270 368242 or visit www.crewelyceum.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.
REMEMBER REMEMBER (The Brindley, High Street, Runcorn, November 2)
A RED hood, a glass slipper, two little elves and a big bad wolf. In a world of forbidden stories and forgotten fairytales. Can you help put the pieces back together and perhaps discover a story of your own? A magical, interactive experience, combining original music, animation and play. Enter the world under the watchful eye of the Grand Master Timekeeper and play your part in this exciting adventure. Suitable for 4-7-year-olds. Call 0151 907 8360 or visit www.thebrindley.org.uk.