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Preview: Let's Hang On at Darlington Civic Theatre

Don’t Let Go!

Let's Hang On 
Darlington Civic Theatre
Thursday 24 July at 7.30pm

The award-winning production Let’s Hang On takes you on a musical journey through the prolific career of one of the most successful bands of all time - Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.

Discover how four New Jersey boys from the wrong side of the tracks invented their own sound wrote their own songs and became one of the biggest pop sensations of all time.

From the beginnings in the early 50s, the show takes you through hits such as Beggin’, Grease, Bye Bye Baby, Sherry, Take My Eyes Off You, December 1963 (Oh What a Night!), Working My Way Back To You, Walk Like A Man, Big Girls Don’t Cry, and many more, climaxing with a spectacular finale with, of course, Let’s Hang On!

The story…the music…the sound…. Let’s Hang On gives you it all in this remarkable live production, so book your tickets now and found out why audiences are leaving saying…Oh what a night!

Tickets* £18.50 & £20.50

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit

*plus £1 per ticket restoration levy

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Preview: Too Much Too Young at Washington Arts Centre

Why do we have education?

Too Much Too Young
Washington Arts Centre
Thursday 3 July 2014

Jack Bennett wrestles with two identities, long lost extra-curricular activities, endless life paths and one qualm with the education system in his first solo show at Arts Centre Washington on Thursday 3 July.

In Too Much Too Young, Jack seeks to explore the flaws in an education system which demands big decisions from teenagers at a young age by asking some pretty big questions; what is learning for? Why all the rush? And if all of the politicians and education experts are so smart, how come they never agree on the best way to do things?

In this charming but occasionally acerbic examination Jack holds up the practices of the UKeducation system against what other countries do, what experts think and what politicians think, while talking about how the choices of teenagers are restricted, and how we shouldn’t let that happen. 

Jack Bennett is an actor who’s worked for the National Theatre, Sheffield Theatres, the New Vic, and the Reduced Shakespeare Company. He wrote, produced and featured in the silent film The Busker & The Coin, and has recently completed touring with Curious Directive and in Daniel Bye’s How to Occupy an Oil Rig.

Jack Bennett will fill your belly with fire, your mind with rage and your mouth with giggles with moments of passion, raised voices and audience interaction as he un-muddles an intricate identity crisis.

Awarded a Suitcase Prize Special Commendation at Pulse Festival 2014
Too Much Too Young comes to Arts Centre Washington on Thursday 3 July, 7.30pm.  Tickets are £8.50 / £6 (conc) and are available from or by calling the box office on 0191 219 3455.


Preview Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Darlington Civic Theatre

Any dream will do!....


Darlington Civic Theatre
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Tuesday 18th– Saturday 22nd November 2014
Darlington Civic Theatre has announced the casting for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which arrives from Tuesday 18th– Saturday 22nd November

X FACTOR finalist LLOYD DANIELS as Joseph



With a crash-of-drums-and-a-flash-of-light X Factor finalist Lloyd Daniels will make his musical theatre debut in the title role of the UKs longest running musical JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT. The youngest contestant in 2009’s competition, Daniels got to the final 5 out of 250,000 entrants and performed in front of 10 million TV Viewers.

Danielle Hope captured the hearts of the country when she won BBC Television’s Over the Rainbow and made her professional debut as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium. Now, following a hugely successful year as Eponine in Les Misérables in London’s West End she will join the cast of Joseph as Narrator.

Matt Lapinskas will play Pharaoh in his first musical theatre role. Famed for playing Anthony Moon in Eastenders, Matt was also runner up in the penultimate series of Dancing on Ice.

Having enjoyed sensational reviews and standing ovations at every performance since its inception almost 35 years ago, Bill Kenwright’s Amazing, Superb, Wonderful and Brilliant production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sparkling family musical has now sold an estimated 15 million tickets and continues to enjoy huge successes across the country with standing ovations at every performance.

Retelling the Biblical story of Joseph, his eleven brothers and the coat of many colours, this magical musical is full of unforgettable songs including Those Canaan days, Any Dream Will Do, and Close Every Door To Me. 

Tues    7:30pm
Weds  1:30 & 7:30pm
Thu     1:30 & 7:30pm
Fri        5pm & 8pm
Sat      11am, 2:30pm & 7:30pm

Tickets * £19 - £30 Discounts available including schools £10 plus 1 free with every 10 booked (Wed & Thu Matinees only)

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit

*plus per ticket £1 restoration levy

The 2014 UK Tour

21 Jul - 2 Aug Theatre Royal Windsor 01753 853 888 Book online
4 - 9 Aug Cliffs Pavillion Southend 01702 351135 Book online
12 - 23 Aug Bord Gais Theatre Dublin +353 (1) 677 7999 Book online
25 - 30 Aug Hall for Cornwall Truro 01872 262466 Book online
2 - 6 Sep New Victoria Theatre Woking 0844 871 7645 Book online
8 - 13 Sep Hexagon Reading 0118 960 6060 Book online
15 - 20 Sep Regent Theatre Stoke 017822 13800 Book online
22 - 27 Sep Churchill Theatre Bromley 08448 717 620 Book online
30 Sep - 4 Oct Opera House Cork +353 (0) 21 427 0022 Book online
7 - 11 Oct Sands Theatre Carlisle 01228 633766 Book online
14 - 18 Oct Empire Theatre Liverpool 08706 063 536 Book online
21 - 25 Oct Palace Theatre Manchester 0161 245 6600 Book online
28 Oct - 1 Nov Theatre Royal Norwich 01603 630000 Book online
4 - 8 Nov Assembly Hall Theatre Tunbridge Wells 01892 530613 Book online
11 - 15 Nov Clwyd Theatr Cymru Mold 0845 330 35 65 Book online
25 - 29 Nov Swan High Wycombe 01494 512 000 Book online
17 - 22 Nov Civic Theatre Darlington 01325 486555 Book online


 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat


Preview: Giggle Beats Quiz with Ray Peacock & Lee Kyle at The Stand Newcastle

Ray Peacock
One of the stars of Russell Howard's hit BBC Three series, Russell Howard’s Good News, is on his way to Tyneside this summer.
Prolific stand-up comedian Ray Peacock will headline the next Giggle Beats Comedy Quiz night at The Stand Comedy Club in Newcastle on Sunday 6 July.
Here is a link to Ray in action YouTube clip
The show, which runs every first Sunday at the popular High Bridge venue, combines stand-up with a traditional pub quiz, as question master and comedian Lee Kyle puts your comedy knowledge to the test.
Lee Kyle | Giggle Beats
Lee Kyle
And Peacock, who has made an unprecedented TWO appearances on Russell Howard’s popular TV show, will round off the night with a short preview of his latest stand-up show, Here Comes Trouble.
Giggle Beats editor Andrew Dipper said: "I've been an avid follower of Ray's work for as long as I've watched live comedy, so I'm absolutely delighted that he's agreed to join us in July.
"With a chance to win some incredible prizes and watch stand-up from amazing acts like Ray you'll struggle to find a better value night out in town."
A prolific writer and comic performer, Ray came to prominence in the Big and Daftcomedy trio, which culminated in three consecutive years of sell-out Edinburgh Fringe shows and their own series for the BBC's PlayUK, Terrorville.
In 2007 Ray presented The Ray Peacock Podcast on iTunes, alongside Raji James and Ed Gamble, and it was pretty brilliant.
The show ran for four series and a number of live shows before he rejoined Gamble in 2009 for the critically-acclaimed Peacock & Gamble Podcast. The Guardian newspaper said the show was "35 minutes of pure gold."
Ray is also an in-demand actor, with credits on hit TV shows including Doctor Who, Skins, Doctors and Harry Hill's TV Burp amongst others, and a popular warm-up act on the likes of Miranda, The Graham Norton Show and Not Going Out.
Tickets for the show, priced £3, can be reserved by calling The Stand Comedy Club box office on 0844 693 3336.
Doors open at 6.30pm and the quiz starts at 7pm.
Prizes for July include a three-course meal for two at The Stand's delicious bistro, tickets to some of the best comedy shows in Newcastle, top comedy merchandise courtesy of Ideal makers Baby Cow Productions and more.
Giggle Beats Comedy Quiz, feat. Ray Peacock and Lee Kyle, 
Sunday 6 July, 
7pm, £3, www.


Preview: A Murder Is Announced at Darlington Civic Theatre

 Read between the lines….

A Murder Is Announced

Darlington Civic Theatre

Tuesday 15 to Saturday 19 July

 The Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie, brings super-sleuthing Miss Marple to the Civic  Theatre to solve the unusual mystery of a predicted death.

The ‘announcement’ is in the local paper, stating time and place of a murder in Miss Blacklock’s house. However the victim is not one of the several occupants, temporary and permanent, but an unexpected and unknown visitor.

What follows is a classic Christie puzzle of mixed motives, concealed identities, a second death, a determined Inspector grimly following the twists and turns, with Miss Marple on hand to provide the final solution - at some risk to herself - in a dramatic confrontation scene just before the final curtain.

Starring Louise Jameson (EastEnders, Dr Who, Tenko) as Miss Marple, and joined by Sophie Powles (Emmerdale) as Phillipa Haymes.

Evenings 7.30pm, Matinees Thu 2pm & Sat 2.30pm
Tickets*: Opening Night and Sat 2.30pm £13.20, £14, £15.20, £16.80
Wed – Sat Evenings £16.50, £17.50, £19, £21
Thu 2pm all seats £13
Free post show talk Wednesday

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit

*plus £1 per ticket restoration levy

Tour details:

Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne - 17th -21st June
Capitol Theatre, Horsham - 30th June - 2nd July
Pavilion Theatre, Westcliff - 7th - 9th July
Civic Theatre, Darlington - 15th - 19th July
Grand Theatre, Swansea - 5th - 9th August
Cast includes Louise Jameson as Miss Marple, Ben Roddy, Jo Castleton, John Hester, Lara Lemon, Sophie Powles, Jane Shakespeare, Philip Stewart, Susan Thorpe, Claire Vousden, Dominic Vulliamy, Jolyon Young.
Directed by Philip Stewart

Review: Stepping Out at Newcastle Peoples Theatre

Escaping reality…through dance

Stepping Out
By Richard Harris
Newcastle Peoples Theatre
Until Saturday 21st June 2014.

Everyone has issues. Everyone has a need to escape those issues. Everyone wants to be acknowledged. Peoples Theatre’s latest play features an eclectic bunch who decide to do this through dance.

Mavis is the ex professional dancer who has decided to run the dance class for adults. Kath Frazer does a wonderful job in this role as the undervalued leader. Anne Havis appears as the pianist Mrs Frazer who knows it all. Throughout the story there is some attempt to suggest some of the characters back stories and their reasons for attending. The loan male participant is Geoffrey (Roger Liddle) though he is readily accepted by the others. We never find out where Maxine (Joanne Kelly) is sourcing the stuff she sells to the others; or why Andy(Emma Wass) seems to be so withdrawn. There are suggestions to the reasons why but plenty is left to the audience’s imagination – and it is probably better that way.

The story does look at how relationships strain when a group of strangers come together for a single purpose. As with real life, there are numerous light hearted moments as comedy can be found in many situations.

Director Sally-Anne Cooper and choreographer Julie Bowman have arranged numerous dance routines give the cast a chance to show-off their tap dancing skills. The confidence and ability improves as the show proceeds but that doesn’t stop the opportunity for some comedic moments.

The 8 dancers and their teacher do a superb job of dancing through the show, from the first steps as learners to the full “Top Hat” treatment of the grand finale.  The show features the professional hallmarks that one expects from Newcastle’s premier amateur theatre group.

This review was written by Stephen Oliver for Jowheretogo PR. Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Jowheretogo on Facebook  

STEPPING OUT by Richard Harris

DATE:             Tuesday 17 – Saturday 21 June 2014
TIME:              7.30pm
VENUE:          The People’s Theatre, Stephenson Road, Newcastle upon Tyne,
TICKETS:        £12.50 (Concessions £10)
TELE:               0191 265 5020


Review: The Play That Goes Wrong at Darlington Civic Theatre

Possibly The Funniest Play…Ever!

The Play That Goes Wrong 
Darlington Civic Theatre 
from Tuesday 17 to Saturday 21 June 2014

Mischief Theatre have, with The Play That Goes Wrong, put together a production that keeps them in the top league of comedy producing theatre companies. In a play within a play ,the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society attempt to put on a 1920s murder mystery called The Murder At Haversham Manor, but everything that can go wrong does so.

The production is reminiscent of the film Airplane as funny moments keep coming in rapid succession. The large Darlington crowd was rolling around with laughter from the moment that they arrived until the final curtain. Even before the show even “starts” Nancy Wallinger and Rob Falconer had started the shenanigans whilst trying to put the finishing touches to the set. As the play officially starts, Henry Shields took to the stage as the leader of the Polytechnic Group and as someone who would play Inspector Carter in the murder mystery.

He did a great job playing the straight man who desperately wants the production to succeed after previous disasters such as James and the Peach when they couldn’t afford a giant peach…which became James, Where Is Your Peach? when the peach became mouldy.

Great comedy looks easy but it is easy to get wrong. The timing has to be spot on for the jokes to work and the cast not to get hurt. This production shows this level of discipline. Jonathan Sayer as Dennis/Perkins was convincing as he bungled his lines and pronunciations. Dave Hearn as Max/Cecil had to resort to almost circus style training as the problems with the set continued. Charlie Russell as Sandra/Florence keeps on the right side of hamming up her role and her fight scenes with Nancy Wallinger as she steps in to fill her shoes were extremely well timed.

Nigel Hook has done a superb job designing a set which is as much a part of the story as the hardworking actors. It also performed brilliantly with precise comic timing too.

The whole cast worked superbly well together as a team to keep the laughs coming. Quite simply, this is the funniest show on tour at the moment.

This review was written by Stephen Oliver for Jowheretogo PR. Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Jowheretogo on Facebook  

Tickets* Opening Night and Sat 2.30pm £16, £16.80, £18, £19.60
Wed – Sat Evenings £20, £21, £22.50, £24.50
2pm all seats £17
Discounts available
Free post-show talk Wednesday - Stay behind after the show to take part in a Q&A with some of the cast. Booking not necessary.
School workshop available - An in school workshop is available for years 10+ to compliment your theatre visit, to explore physical comedy and the theatrical processes the company used when putting together this production. For more information, please contact Lyndsey Middleton at the Civic Theatre for more information on (01325) 387765 or by email on

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit

*plus £1 restoration levy