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Thursday, 31 July 2014

Preview: The Mousetrap at Newcastle Theatre Royal



 THE MOUSETRAP RETURNS!


Due to unprecedented demand, the 60th anniversary tour of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has been extended and will visit Newcastle Theatre Royal for the second time from 1 – 6 September!

Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has been the world’s longest running stage production at its London home for more than 55 years. Richard Attenborough and his fellow film-star wife, Sheila Sim took the leading roles when the production opened at The Ambassadors Theatre in 1952. It played there for 21 years and moved to the adjacent St Martin’s Theatre where it continues to play today.

The 60th Anniversary – and first ever - UK tour of this beloved murder mystery has now been seen by over 600,000 people across more than 600 performances, breaking box office records in many venues. The production visited Newcastle Theatre Royal in February 2013 and the theatre had to add extra performances to cope with exceptional demand.
 
Michael Fenner (Mr Paravicini) Photo: Dave Wise
The production now returns to Theatre Royal with a brand new cast. The cast for the 2014 Autumn leg of the tour includes Helen Clapp as Mollie Ralston, Michael Fenner (Doctors, Footballer’s Wives) as Mr Paravicini, Anne Kavanagh (Chichester Festival Theatre’s Goodnight Mr Tom, August: Osage County at the National Theatre) as Mrs Boyle, Charlotte Latham as Miss Casewell and Stephen Yeo as Christopher Wren - all reprising their roles from the production in London’s West End alongside: Christopher Gilling (ITV’s Law and Order, BBC1’s Silk) as Major Metcalf, Henry Luxemburg (Hollyoaks, Hotel Babylon) as Giles Ralston and Luke Jenkins (Scenes from an Execution, Unicorn Theatre) as Sgt Trotter.

Mousetrap Productions has licensed 60 productions of The Mousetrap world-wide to mark the 60th year, and many of these have also broken their records, from Cape Town to Philadelphia, Singapore to Sydney.  During this period the world’s longest running show will be seen in every continent.

On the web:

Tickets:
The Moustetrapappears at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Mon 1 – Sat 6 Sept 2014 (Evenings: 7.30pm, Matinees: Thursday 2pm and Saturday 2.30pm). 
Tickets are from £12.00 (a booking fee of 95p - £1.95 will apply to most tickets) and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or select your own seat and book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk


Tour:

Leeds Grand Theatre 26 Aug - 30 Aug | 0844 848 2700
Newcastle Theatre Royal 01 Sep - 06 Sep | 08448 11 21 21
Belfast Grand Opera House 08 Sep - 13 Sep | 028 9024 1919
Glasgow Theatre Royal 15 Sep - 20 Sep | 0844 871 7647
Milton Keynes Theatre 22 Sep - 27 Sep | 0844 871 7652
Cardiff New Theatre 30 Sep - 04 Oct | 02920 878 889
Birmingham Alexandra Theatre 06 Oct - 11 Oct | 0844 871 3011
Malvern Festival Theatre 13 Oct - 18 Oct | 01684 892277
Bath Theatre Royal 20 Oct - 25 Oct | 01225 448 844
Edinburgh Kings Theatre  27 Oct - 01 Nov | 0131 529 6000
Carlisle Sands Centre  03 Nov - 05 Nov | 01228 633766
Blackpool Grand Theatre 06 Nov - 08 Nov | 01253 290 190
Dublin Bord Gáis Theatre 10 Nov - 15 Nov | +353 (1) 677 7999
Ipswich Regent Theatre 17 Nov - 22 Nov | 01473 433100
Croydon Ashcroft Theatre 24 Nov - 29 Nov | 020 8688 9291
Southend Palace Theatre 01 Dec - 06 Dec | 01702 351135

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Preview: Joe McElderry at Newcastle Tyne Theatre



Driving Home for Christmas with Joe McElderry
Joe McElderry
Newcastle Tyne Theatre
Friday 21st November 2014

The Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre is delighted to announce that people’s favourite Joe McElderry is coming to the Tyne Theatre on Friday 21st November 2014.

Joe McElderry has soared from X Factorgolden boy to national treasure after crooning his way into the heart of the nation. Now the sweet singing sensation with the boyish charm is taking his 24-carat voice on tour with his 2014 Set Your Soul Alive nationwide tour. Since storming to victory in front of millions of fans on the TV talent show, Joe has matured into one of the country’s most polished and popular singing stars.

His 2013 tour performed to sell-out, spell-bound audiences with fans dancing in the aisles and giving him a thunderous reception. Joe takes his audience on a singing, emotional rollercoaster, moving effortlessly from heart-warming romantic ballads to tragic arias. Laughter, love and tears lie at the very heart of this show.

His smash hit single The Climb rocketed to number one and his album, Classic, went gold within two weeks. He’s also the first X Factor winner to release fouralbums.
But it’s as a live performer where Joe’s charismatic performance lights up the stage and packs theatres. And his four-piece backing band, made up from some of the best musicians in the business, compliment him perfectly.

Joe’s mystical ‘X factor’ ingredient springs from a mix of highly versatile yet accomplished singing styles from opera to rock. His unique vocal talents hit the headlines recently when he starred in the live TV show Popstar To Operastar. Mentored by the tenor Rolando Villazon, he performed classical arias such as Nessun Dorma, and went on to win the show with a landslide victory, amassing 80% of the votes. But it’s his endearing, good natured charm and sunny, warm personality which has raised him to the ranks of one of Britain’s best loved family entertainers. Commanding a loyal fan base aged from five to 95, an entertainer so rounded and with such mass appeal, comes along just a few times in a generation.

A Joe McElderry show has that truly enigmatic sprinkling of something special which makes it a superb and memorable family show – a song for every generation. Joe cemented his place in the nation’s hearts after Cheryl Cole nurtured the shy, good natured lad from South Shields and turned him into an overnight sensation on X Factor.  At just 18 years old, he auditioned for the ITV show and bowled the judges over with his rendition of Luther Vandross’ Dance with My Father.
Joe also impressed Whitney Houston who appeared as a guest mentor. And in one of TV’s most memorable moments of the year, he performed a brilliant duet with George Michael on the live semi-final and went on to be crowned the winner of X Factor 2009 by a clear majority.  After wowing the audience with his dazzling vocals, modesty and charm, he soared straight to number one both the UKand Irish Singles Charts with his beautiful rendition of Miley Cyrus’ The Climb.  Soon after came his first studio album Wide Awake under the Syco/Sony Entertainment record label, an exciting mix of up-tempo songs and the powerful ballads which Joe has become famous for.
His second album, Classic, was under the record label giant Universal Music and went Gold within two weeks of release, hitting number two in the UK Album Charts and selling over 250,000 copies. In 2011, another album, Classic Christmas, went gold in just one week. And that year alone, Joe sold over 550,000 albums, a stunning achievement for any artist to accomplish.
In between all this, Joe managed to fit in a performance for Her Majesty the Queen at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and a live regional tour at 16 major venues, culminating in a rapturous reception at the Royal Festival Hall.  And he is the only X Factor contestant to address the Oxford Union, following in the illustrious footsteps of Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein!
Seeing and listening to Joe is an unforgettable experience.

Ticket details:

Tickets are priced at: £19.50, £18 Concessions
The Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre Box Office (10am-3.30pm and event days)
Credit Card Booking and Information Line 0844 493 9999 (24 hour 7days)
The Metro Radio Arena Newcastle Box Office (Mon - Fri 10.00am-4.00pm & Sat 9.30am – 1.30pm)
Tourist Information Centres: Carlisle, Harrogate, Wakefield, Stockton on Tees & Darlington
Postal applications: Metro Radio Arena Newcastle, PO Box 304, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE99 4YJ
Group Bookers should call (0191) 260 6006
Special Needs bookings should call (0191) 260 6066 for further details


Preview: Top Hat at Newcastle Theatre Royal




Triple Olivier Award Musical Brings
The Golden Age Of Hollywood to Newcastle



Glamorous and glorious Top Hat, winner of three Olivier Awards, for ‘Best New Musical’, ‘Best Choreography’, ‘Best Costume Design’ and the Evening Standard Award for ‘Best Night Out’, will waltz into Newcastle Theatre Royal for the first time 9 – 20 September.  Get ready to put on the glitz!


Based on the 1935 film of the same name, Top Hat is packed full of Irving Berlin’s greatest hits and brings the glamour of old Hollywood and tap-dancing magic of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers live onto the stage.


The production is very fresh – the world premiere opened in the West Endat the Aldwych Theatre in May 2012 where it played over 600 performances during its two-year run. 


Jerry Travers, the famous American tap dancer, arrives in London to appear in his first West Endshow. Travers meets the irresistible Dale Tremont, the girl of his dreams, and follows her across Europe in an attempt to win her heart.  The result is an uplifting and hilarious romantic comedy celebrating 1930s song, style and romance, and dazzling with over 200 beautiful costumes and breathtaking dance routines.

Stepping into the shoes of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the lead roles of Jerry Travers and Dale Tremont, are Alan Burkitt and Charlotte Gooch, who both return to the show having previously performed these roles in the West End. They are joined by Clive Hayward who returns as Horace Hardwick, the role he played in the West End, Rebecca Thornhill as Madge Hardwick, Sebastien Torkia as Alberto Beddini and John Conroy as Horace’s valet Bates.


Performed by a cast of 29 and accompanied by 11 live musicians, this multi award-winning musical comedy includes Irving Berlin classics from the movie such as Cheek to Cheek, Isn’t It a Lovely Day to be Caught in the Rain and Top Hat, White Tie and Tails.  In addition, from Berlin’s 1200 strong back catalogue, a further ten numbers have been interpolated including well-loved favourites Let’s Face the Music and Dance and Puttin’ On the Ritz.

Nominated for four Academy Awards, RKO’s Top Hat was the most successful picture of the nine movies Astaire and Rogers made together. It premiered at the Radio City Music Hall in 1935 where it broke all box office records. Within a few weeks, all five songs from the film occupied the top five places on the American Hit Parade. It is still widely regarded as one of the greatest dance musicals of all time.

The screenplay by Dwight Taylor and Allan Scott has been adapted for the stage by Matthew White and Howard Jacques and is presented by arrangement with RKO Pictures LLC, Warner Bros Theatre Ventures Inc. and the Irving Berlin Music Company. 


Top Hat is directed by Matthew White and choreographed by Bill Deamer (Olivier Award winner for Best Choreography), set designs are by Hildegard Bechtler (Olivier Award nominee for Best Set Design), costume designs by Jon Morrell (Olivier Award winner for Best Costume Design), lighting design by PeterMumford, sound by Gareth Owen (Olivier Award nominee for Best Sound Design), new orchestrations by Chris Walker and musical supervision by Richard Balcombe.

Alan Burkitt started his career winning the All England Tap Dancer of the Year award. A member of the original West End cast of Top Hat at the Aldwych Theatre, Burkitt understudied the lead role of Jerry Travers for both Tom Chambers and Gavin Lee. He received rave reviews when he stood in for Lee on press night, a success story documented by Channel 4 for the TV series ‘The Sound of Musicals’. Other recent stage credits include: Singin’ in the Rain, Andy Lee in 42nd Street(Chichester Festival Theatre), the Prince in Adam Cooper’s Shall We Dance (Sadler’s Wells), Cats (German Tour) and We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre).

Charlotte Gooch took over the lead role of Dale Tremont from Summer Strallen in the West End, performing alongside Tom Chambers as Jerry Travers. Gooch performed the lead role of Penny Johnson in Dirty Dancingin the West End at the Piccadilly Theatre and also in the original national tour. Other recent stage credits include: the lead role of Sandy in Grease(UK Tour), Cats (German Tour) and the workshop of Swing Time, dancing a duet with Anton du Beke.

Top Hat is produced by Kenny Wax, and his partners on the production are Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley, Ted Hartley, Flora Suk-Hwa Yoon and Lee Menzies.

On The Web:

Ticket Information
Top Hat appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal Tue 9 – Sat 20 September 2014
(Evenings: 7.30pm - no performance 15 Sep, Matinees: Wednesday & Thursday 2pm and Saturday 2.30pm).
Tickets are from £18.00 (a booking fee of 95p - £1.95 will apply to most tickets) and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or select your own seat and book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk

UK Tour
Tue 12 - Sat 23 Aug WIMBLEDON New Wimbledon Theatre
Tue 26 Aug - Sat 6 Sep MILTON KEYNES Theatre
Tue 9 - Sat 20 Sep NEWCASTLE Theatre Royal
Tue 23 Sep - Sat 4 Oct ABERDEEN His Majesty’s Theatre
Tue 7 - Sat 18 Oct EDINBURGH Festival Theatre
21 Oct - 1 Nov WOLVERHAMPTON Grand Theatre
4 - 15 Nov NOTTINGHAM Theatre Royal
Tue 18 - Sat 29 Nov BRISTOL Hippodrome
Tue 2 - Sat 13 Dec GLASGOW Theatre Royal
23 Dec 2014 - Sun 4 Jan 2015 LEEDS Grand Theatre
Wed 14 - Sat 24 Jan CARDIFF Welsh Millennium Centre
Wed 28 Jan - Sat 07 Feb OXFORD New Theatre
Tue 10 - Sat 21 Feb MANCHESTER Opera House
Tue 24 Feb - Sat 7 Mar SHEFFIELD Lyceum Theatre
Tue 12 - Sat 23 May SOUTHAMPTON Mayflower
On Sale Soon:
10 - 21 Mar BIRMINGHAM Hippodrome
31 Mar - 11 Apr NORWICH Theatre Royal
14 - 25 Apr CANTERBURY The Marlowe Theatre
28 Apr - 9 May PLYMOUTH Theatre Royal Plymouth
24 Jun - 5 Jul SUNDERLAND Empire Theatre
7 - 18 Jul WOKING New Victoria Theatre
21 - 26 Jul EASTBOURNE Congress Theatre

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Preview: Blood Brothers at Darlington Civic Theatre

Maureen Nolan makes a 
welcome return to Blood Brothers
 
 Blood Brothers
   Darlington Civic Theatre   
   Monday 24 – Saturday 29 November      
    
Voted “MOST POPULAR BRITISH MUSICAL OF ALL TIME” by New York Times readers

“You’ve never seen a musical like Blood Brothers. Every night of the week audiences stand and cheer.See it for yourself and understand why.” New York Times

Following sell out seasons in the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Japan, the international smash hit musical Blood Brothers continues to tour the UK. Hailed as one of the best musicals of all time, Blood Brothers has triumphed across the globe. Scooping up no less than four awards for best musical in London and seven Tony Award nominations on Broadway, Blood Brothers is simply unmissable and unbeatable. This epic tale of Liverpool life ran in London’s West End for 24 years, one of only three musicals ever to achieve that milestone, and has been touring the UK since 1995.

Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving story of twin boys separated at birth, only to be reunited, by a twist of fate and a mother’s haunting secret. The memorable score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True.

When Mrs Johnstone, a young mother, is deserted by her husband and left to her own devices to provide for seven hungry children she takes a job as a housekeeper in order to make ends meet.

It is not long before her brittle world crashes around her when she discovers herself to be pregnant yet again – this time with twins! In a moment of weakness and desperation, she enters a secret pact with her employer which leads inexorably to the show’s shattering climax. A sensational cast, incredible show stopping music, remarkable staging and five star performances make Blood Brothers an enthralling night of entertainment.
Maureen Nolan makes a welcome return to Blood Brothers as Mrs Johnstone. Maureen has been singing with her sisters since she was nine years old. Together they became one of Europe’s first girl bands – The Nolans. The Nolans’ success is legendary, including phenomenal record sales worldwide, particularly in Japan where they sold more records than The Beatles! Maureen has played Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers in the West End and on tour to critical acclaim. She was the fourth Nolan sister to play the role, earning them entry in to the Guinness Book of Records.

Willy Russell is undeniably one of this country’s leading contemporary dramatists. His countless credits include Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine. Educating Rita, originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, enjoyed a two year run in the West End and was made into a movie starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters. Shirley Valentine also made the move from stage to screen in an enormously popular film starring Pauline Collins and Tom Conti.

Blood Brothers is directed by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright with designs by Andy Walmsley.  Dan Samson is the original sound designer. Rod Edwards is the musical supervisor and Kelvin Towse is the production musical director.
Tickets*
Evenings 7.30pm, Matinees Thu 2pm& Sat 2.30pm
Opening Night £19.80, £20.60, £21.80, £23.40
Tue -Thu Evenings & Sat 2:30pm£24.50, £25.50, £27, £29
Fri & Sat Evenings £26.50, £27.50, £29 & £31
Thu 2pm All seats £19
Discounts available

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit www.darlingtoncivic.co.uk

*Includes £1 per ticket restoration levy

Review: One Man, Two Guvnors at Newcastle Theatre Royal



Chaos and comedy


One Man, Two Guvnors

Newcastle Theatre Royal
Until Saturday 2 August 2014.


2014 has been a good year for comedy at the theatre in our region and One Man, Two Guvnors is no exception. It is a tight production which keeps the audience roaring with laughter.

Richard Bean’s story has moved Carlo Goldoni’s The Servant Of Two Masters to 1963 Brightonand in doing so has licence for a lot of humour which will appeal to the British sense of humour.  The National Theatre productions are renowned for fabulous casts and this is no exception.  The first scene opens with the engagement party of Pauline and Alan. Jasmyn Banks and Edward Hancock do a great job of representing the opposite ends of the education spectrum without overplaying it. A similar battle of the brains is played out between Pauline’s Dad, Charlie ‘The Duck’ Clench and Alans’s Dad who is the “No win – same fee” solicitor Harry Dangle. Add into the mix the sassy Dolly and former Parkhurst resident Lloyd, performed by the sharp witted Emma Barton and Derek Elroy. The supporting cast do a brilliant job at setting up many of the funny lines.

Tension, and much fun, starts when the previous fiancé, the murdered Roscoe Crabbe apparently appears with his henchman Francis Henshall. These two leads have been extremely well cast as Alicia Davies and Gavin Spokes are able to manipulate the show and make it appear fresh and spontaneous each evening. This is no mean feet in comedy. Add the arrival of the second Guvnor Stanley Stubbers, with his boarding school jokes executed by Patrick Warner, and the slapstick begins.  Francis tries to keep his two guvnors happy when they both move into the local pub. The pace of the action never slows as plot unfolds.

The jokes are never cruel or out of place in a modern theatre and the audience are given many opportunities to laugh. The
Vaudeville humour is supplemented by the perfect timing of Michael Dylan as the waiter Alfie who helplessly collides with set and the musicians The Craze led by musical director Philip Murray Warson, who pop up at each scene change.

One Man, Two Guvnors is marvellous show full of highly entertaining mischief from a superb cast.

One Man, Two Guvnors appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Monday 28 July – Saturday 2 August. 
Tickets are available from £12 (a booking fee of 95p - £1.95 will apply to most tickets) and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or select your own seat and book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk


This review was written by Stephen Oliver for Jowheretogo PR (www.jowheretogo.com). Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Jowheretogo on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Jowheretogo 



The Tour:
             
Newcastle Theatre Royal            28 July – 2 August 2014     
Dartford Orchard Theatre          4 August – 9 August 2014            
The Waterside, Aylesbury            11 August – 16 August 2014        
Crawley Hawth      18 August – 23 August 2014        
Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent           25 August – 30 August 2014
Liverpool Empire     1 September – 6 September 2014         
Theatre Royal, Bath          8 September – 20 September 2014       
Royal & Derngate, Northampton         22 September – 27 September 2014     
The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury      29 September – 2 October 2014
Leicester Curve      6 October – 11 October 2014
His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen          13 October – 18 October 2014
Hall For Cornwall    20 October – 25 October 2014
Leeds, Grand Theatre      4 November – 8 November 2014
Grand Theatre, Belfast    10 November -17 November 2014      
Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin         17 November – 22 November 2014     
Norwich, Theatre Royal   24 November – 29 November 2014     
Swan Theatre, High Wycombe 1 December – 6 December 2014         
Brighton, Theatre Royal   16 December 20143 January 2015  
Salford, Lowry          12 January – 17 January 2014   
Sunderland Empire, Sunderland           19 January – 24 January 2015
Theatre Royal, Nottingham       26 January – 31 January 2015   
The Churchill Theatre, Bromley 2 February – 7 February 2015     
New Theatre, Cardiff        9 February – 14 February 2015
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh       16 February – 21 February 2015
New Theatre, Oxford        23 February– 28 February 2015
New Wimbledon Theatre            2 March – 7 March 2015
Grand Opera House, York          9 March – 14 March
Wolverhampton Grand Theatre          16 March – 21 March 2015