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JOSEPH has double the X Factor at the Edinburgh Playhouse

Written By Lisa Davidson on Friday, 23 January 2015 | 18:00


Get ready for double the X Factor and double the fun this February as Marcus Collins joins fellow X-contestant Lloyd Daniels in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at the Edinburgh Playhouse from 17 – 21 February 2015.
 
Marcus Collins, who was mentored by Take That star Gary Barlow, finished as runner-up on The X Factor 2011, pipped to the post by winners Little Mix. After a successful 2014 tour wowing the crowds across the UK with his musical theatre debut, Lloyd Daniels reprises his role as Joseph for the 2015 tour. The show also sees the welcome return of Matt Lapinskas who will be donning his Elvis outfit once more to reprise the role of the Pharaoh. Best known for playing Anthony Moon in BBC EastEnders, Matt was also runner up in the penultimate series of Dancing on Ice. He joined the Joseph cast in 2014 for the UK, making his first musical theatre role.
 
This colourful retelling of the biblical story about Joseph, his eleven brothers and the coat of many colours sings out to young and old alike with a score which is crammed wall to wall with hits – including Jacob and Sons, Close Every Door and Any Dream Will Do. Catch it while you can.
 
For tickets and information visit www.atgtickets.com/Edinburgh

Martin Barrass cast as Mr. Perks in Olivier Award winning THE RAILWAY CHILDREN this summer at National Railway Museum in York

Written By Steve Stubbs on Thursday, 22 January 2015 | 12:18

The Railway Children
Martin Barrass as Mr. Perks
Photo by Anthony Robling
31 July – 5 September 2014
National Railway Museum, York

Martin Barrass, currently starring in the York Theatre Royal Pantomime Old Mother Goose, has confirmed he’ll be playing Mr Perks in the York Theatre Royal and National Railway Museum production of The Railway Children this summer when it returns home to York.

It will be the second time Barrass has played the character, originally donning Mr Perks’ cap back in 2009 when the production was brought back by popular demand after selling out and winning a Laurence Olivier Award the previous year.

The production’s popularity keeps soaring and Mike Kenny’s stage adaptation of the famous novel also opened in Kings Cross, London at the end of last year, where it has recently received critical acclaim being described as “oozing charm” by The Stage and receiving countless four and five star reviews... yes, we gave it four stars last week! It will return to its original home in July 2014 in a purpose built 1,000-seat theatre tent, complete with a railway track and platforms for a live 60-tonne steam locomotive, and the Old Gentleman’s Saloon from the original classic film. 

Barrass said of the news
I simply can’t wait to make the return trip as Mr Perks in York Theatre Royal's, The Railway Children.

A Stunningly beautiful and ground-breaking production of the E Nesbitt classic. 

I get to blow whistles, wave flags and clip tickets . . . . what more could a boy want?


Over 24,000 people saw the show in 2008 and demand for tickets was so high that the last three weeks of the show was completely sold out - meaning hundreds of people had to be turned away. This resulted in the local press receiving several letters calling for the production to be re-staged, and their calls were answered the following year when the two iconic York establishments re-staged the show. 

Damian Cruden, Artistic Director of York Theatre Royal said
Many people will already know Martin from the roles he’s played in so many productions, not only at York Theatre Royal but also at the National Theatre, Hull Truck and from his radio show. He always brings so much energy to a project and will be fantastic in the role of Mr Perks.

The Railway Children tells the story of how the comfortable lives of three Edwardian children, Bobby, Peter and Phyllis are shattered when their father is arrested on suspicion of betraying state secrets.  The children and their mother move from London to a modest cottage near a railway in the Yorkshire countryside. New friendships, adventures and terrifying dangers await. But the mystery remains – where is father, and is he ever coming back?

The Railway Children, also features one of the biggest guest stars ever to take to the stage – the Great Western Pannier Tank 5775, the steam locomotive used in the classic film, which rolls to a majestic halt in front of the audience.

The Great Western (GWR) Pannier Tank 5775 was built at Swindon in 1929 and was one of 863 built by GWR between 1929 and 1950. They were originally used as light goods and shunting engines but also for local freight and as passenger trains.
As a result of modernisation the Class 5700 was withdrawn from British Rail service between 1956 and 1966. Nineteen of these withdrawn locomotives were sold to London Transport for use on the underground where they took on the London Transport maroon livery. Ten were later preserved along with six that were rescued from scrap yards.  No 5575 served in the capital until January 1970 when it was sold to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in 1970 and appeared in The Railway Children film in the caramel livery of the fictional Great North & South Railway (GN&SR) alongside Jenny Agutter, Sally Thomsett, Gary Warreb, Dinah Sheridan and Bernard Cribbins.

The Railway Children, returned to London on 16 December, it re-opens at its original home at the National Railway Museum in York from 31 July 2015.  The production, directed once again by York Theatre Royal’s Artistic Director Damian Cruden, will be part of the theatre’s residency at the museum during its £4.1 million re-development. The theatre’s Chief Executive, Liz Wilson commented:

Part of The Railway Children’s popularity is its ability to appeal to a wide audience, as previous sell–out runs in York, Waterloo and Toronto have proved. York Theatre Royal and the National Railway Museum are delighted to be bringing the production back and the cast will be announced shortly.

Tickets are priced between £10 and £32.50 and can be bought by calling the Box Office on 01904 623568, securely online at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk or in person at York Theatre Royal.

Listings Information:
York Theatre Royal and National Railway Museum present
E Nesbit’s The Railway Children
Friday 31 July – Saturday 5 September 2015
Directed by Damian Cruden
Written by Mike Kenney
Tickets: £32.50 - £10
Box Office 01904 623568




PALOMA FAITH adds second date to Hampton Court Palace Festival in June 2015

Paloma Faith

Adds Second Date to
Hampton Court Palace Festival 2015

 

PWR Events and Historic Royal Palaces are thrilled to announce that due to phenomenal public demand Paloma Faith has added an extra date to this year’s Hampton Court Palace Festival. She will now also perform on Tuesday 16th June and tickets will go on sale at 11am on Friday 23rd January. 

The first date sold out within hours, so don’t miss your chance to see Paloma at Henry VIII’s Palace where she will delight the audience with songs from her recent and most successful album to date, A Perfect Contradiction with top ten singles Can’t Rely on You and her first Number 1 Only Love Can Hurt Like This.

Other acts also confirmed for the Festival, include Britain’s favourite tenor Alfie Boewith his band who will perform classic tracks from a selection of his albums; two nights with the King of boogie woogie Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra; John Wilson & The John Wilson Orchestra reviving the sounds of the MGM Studio Orchestra; and The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra who will return for a glorious evening of Fanfare & Fireworks.

Hampton Court Palace Festival is renowned for creating a truly unforgettable experience. Artists perform in the historic main courtyard of the magnificent Tudor Palace, which is this year celebrating its 500th birthday, providing an intimate atmosphere for an audience of 3,000. VIP Packages are available in the State Apartments and Festival-goers can also arrive early (doors open at 5.30pm) to enjoy picnics on the Palace Garden lawn or underneath a luxury waterside gazebo before the show.

To hear further announcements please visit www.hamptoncourtpalacefestival.com.
Like us on https://www.facebook.com/HamptonCourtFestival or follow on twitter @HCPfestival.

Listings Information:
Festival dates:                   See below for confirmed dates so far
Location:                            Hampton Court Palace, Surrey, KT8 9AU
Book tickets:                      www.hamptoncourtpalacefestival.com
Follow us:                          https://www.facebook.com/HamptonCourtFestival and
                                          @HCPFestival
Hospitality:                        Available to order online, the Festival as a variety of
                                          hospitality options:
                                          Luxury Festival Picnics starting from £80
                                          Waterside Gazebos are available to hire from £200 for
                                          accommodating 6 seated and up to 10 standing
                                          VIP Packages are available from £295 p/p, with dining inside
                                          the Palace prior to the concert and covered VIP seating
Date                                 Artist                                                                                               Time        Ticket Prices
11th June                         Jools Holland                                                                                    9.00pm    £45 & £50
12th June                         Jools Holland                                                                                    9.00pm    £45 & £50
13th June                         Fanfare & Fireworks                                                                        8.30pm    £45 & £50
                                         with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra                                             
14th June                         John Wilson & The John Wilson Orchestra                                     8.30pm   £47 & £52.50
                                        That’s Entertainment – A Celebration of the MGM Film Musicals
16th June                         Paloma Faith                                                                                     8.45pm   £65 & £70
18th June                         Paloma Faith                                                                                     8.45pm   £65 & £70
19th June                         Alfie Boe                                                                                            8.30pm  £45 & £50
What the press have said:

“This is a festival that offers everything – a wonderful selection of music, a thrilling all-star
line-up and a beautiful and historic setting” Classic FM Magazine

“One of the capital's most intimate and musically eclectic festivals” Evening Standard

“The whole event was fabulous” John Witherow, Sunday Times

“British Summertime at its Best” Sue Peart, Editor, You Magazine

“Where Horticulture Meets Culture to Make for a Magical Musical Experience” Huffington Post

“Stellar line-up at Henry VIII’s open-air courtyard” Hello Magazine

“Demand has been overwhelming” Sunday Express S Magazine
 

THRILLER LIVE celebrates in the West End as it starts its 7th year on Shaftesbury Avenue

HAPPY BIRTHDAY 
THRILLER LIVE!


Celebrations on Shaftesbury Avenue today as Thriller Live starts its 7th year in the West End - by breaking yet more records!



As Thriller Live celebrates the start of an amazing 7th year in the West End on Thursday January 22, the production is still smashing long-running records.

Tito Jackson, who was guest of honour at the star-studded opening night at the Lyric Theatre in 2009 and has seen it several times since with the rest of the Jackson brothers, has this week been speaking to the world’s press about the global success of Thriller Live.

“It makes me feel very proud to see a show of this magnitude. It captures the personality of my brother, Michael”, he said. 
“We always get new fans and new generations. One of the beautiful things about my brother’s career is its longevity 
and the multiple generations of fans who enjoy it. 
His music has lived a long time, the songs are evergreen 
and will last forever.” 

Thriller Live recently became the 20th longest running musical in the history of the West End. This Sunday, January 25, the cast will perform their 2,530th show at the Lyric Theatre and overtake the record set by Grease to rise to 19th position on the chart. On Sunday April 12, Thriller Live will pass the original 1960 production of Oliver! (at 2,618 performances) to take 18th position.

Producers Paul Walden & Derek Nicol said in a statement today: “January 22, 2015 is yet another amazing milestone in the history of our show. It is only truly exceptional shows that run this long in the West End and we are very grateful to the fans of Michael Jackson and West End theatre audiences who have taken the show to their hearts. It is an honour for us to keep the music of Michael Jackson alive and bring it to the next generation of theatregoers. Michael Jackson was known as a perfectionist and we constantly strive to ensure that Thriller Live, celebrating the genius of his songwriting, ground breaking live performances and trend-setting dance moves, is the very best experience it can be for his fans and music lovers worldwide. Unlike other West End shows Thriller Live is constantly evolving and we have exciting plans for 2015 with the introduction of some new material and additional special effects added”

Thriller Live continues to set and break records and visit new territories around the globe. To date it has now performed to standing ovations in 28 countries from South Korea to Norway, and South America to China. The latest world tour is currently playing in Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia for the first time - the 29th, 30st and 31st countries to present it.

Thriller Live brings to life on stage the distinctive high-energy dancing and pulsating sound of many of pop’s greatest hits, blending eye- popping video footage and effects together with dazzling choreography by the show’s award-winning director Gary Lloyd. 

Thriller Live was originally conceived and created by Adrian Grant, a long time associate of Michael Jackson, and author of Michael Jackson – The Visual Documentary. It is produced by Paul Walden and Derek Nicol for Flying Music in association with Adrian Grant for Key Concerts.

Thriller Live recently extended its booking period at the Lyric Theatre to 6 September 2015.

COMPETITION: Win a copy of DRAFT DAY on DVD + Baseball Shirt - Released 26th Jan

Written By Steve Stubbs on Wednesday, 21 January 2015 | 13:08

Draft Day


In DRAFT DAY, on the day of the NFL Draft (American Football), general manager Sonny Weaver Jr. (Kevin Costner) has the opportunity to rebuild his team when he trades for the number one pick. He must quickly decide what he's willing to sacrifice in pursuit of perfection as the lines between his personal and professional life become blurred on a life‐changing day for a few hundred young men with dreams of playing in the NFL.

DRAFT DAY features an all-star cast with Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Sean Combs, Frank Langella, Sam Elliot, Rosanna Arquette, Terry Crews, Tom Welling and Ellen Burstyn. Directed by the legendary Ivan Reitman.

As well as Terry Crews, former and current NFL players also feature, including: Deion Sanders, Alex Mack and Ray Lewis.

Draft Day is available from 26th January in time for 2015 Super Bowl Sunday 1st February.
Lionsgate UK releases DRAFT DAY on DVD from January 26th, 2015


COMPETITION

Win a copy of DRAFT DAY on DVD along with a Draft Day Baseball Shirt as seen below.


Winners picked on Sunday 25 January

UK entrants only


Theatre Review: The Railway Children - King's Cross Theatre, London ✭✭✭✭

Written By Steve Stubbs on Tuesday, 20 January 2015 | 12:19

The Railway Children
King's Cross Theatre
Review by Emma Curry

Thursday 15th January 2015: From the moment you step into the King’s Cross Theatre for this play, you are fully immersed in the world of the railways. The lobby is decorated with the authentic features of an Edwardian waiting room, from the signage to the old-fashioned till registers to the ushers’ uniforms, and even the directions to the seats are labelled as ‘platforms’. And once inside the theatre space, the immersion continues: the seats are arranged along the edge of a railway line, and the performers and props roll in and out of scene on rostrums that move along the tracks. There’s even a climactic and thrilling moment when a real steam train rolls into view.

It’s a brilliant method of staging that helps to ensure we are thoroughly engaged with the world of the play. Of course, the story is very familiar to many, either from Edith Nesbit’s original book or from the famous film adaptation starring Jenny Agutter and Bernard Cribbins. The play chooses to have the three ‘railway children’ of the title narrate the tale as adults, leading to several amusing moments when they disagree on the order in which it took place. This set-up means we can move deftly through the main events of the story, from the family’s initial move to Yorkshire following their father’s imprisonment; through the children’s friendship with kindly station master Perks, to that final, memorable reunion scene on the smoke-filled platform.

There are some excellent performances along the way from Jeremy Swift (last seen in Downton Abbey) as the gruff Mr Perks, Caroline Harker as the quietly resilient Mother, and Andrew Loudon as both the children’s father and the kindly Scottish doctor who assists the children when their mother is ill. The children themselves are also brilliantly exuberant: particularly Louise Calf as a slightly scatty Phyllis, and Serena Manteghi as the more measured Bobbie.

There’s plenty to keep younger children entertained in this production, with lots of engagement from the performers and several moments of audience participation. The moment when the train itself features is also thrillingly impressive: the sheer size of the engine involved, even within the fairly large auditorium, is breath-taking. At times I wondered whether the scale of the spectacle might slightly detract from the emotional weight of the events of the story: whilst it adds to the tense, thrilling nature of the scene in its first appearance, in the final, emotionally-charged moment between Bobbie and her father it becomes slightly distracting. Nevertheless, for the energy and amiability of the performers, and the truly fantastic stage design, this is a production that’s most definitely worth experiencing. Next departure: tonight at 7:30pm. All aboard!

Four stars ✭✭✭✭


LISTINGS INFORMATION

THE RAILWAY CHILDREN
King’s Cross Theatre
Goods Way
King’s Cross
London N1C 4UR

Currently booking until                 1 March 2015 (New Booking Period until 6 September 2015 opens 19 December                                                          2014)
Running Time                             2 hours 10 minutes (including an interval)
Box Office                                  0844 871 7604
Performances                             Tuesday – Friday 7.30pm
                                                Thursday & Sunday matinees at 2.30pm
                                                Saturdays at 2pm & 5.30pm
                                                See website for Christmas and school holiday performance schedules
Tickets                                      £25.00-£49.50, with 25% off for Under 16s (Premium Seats available at £69.50 +
                                                free programme)

Website                                     www.railwaychildrenlondon.com
Facebook                                   www.facebook.com/railwaychildrenlondon
Twitter                                      @TRCKingsCross
Google+                                     plus.google.com/+RailwayChildrenLondon

Gregor Fisher is Yer Granny in world premiere

Written By Lisa Davidson on Monday, 19 January 2015 | 20:00

 

Well known Scottish TV actor Gregor Fisher will be playing Yer Granny, in the National Theatre of Scotland’s new gallus comedy of the same name which tours Scotland in 2015. Also announced as joining the cast are Brian Pettifer, (recently seen in BBC TV’s The Musketeers), Barbara Rafferty, (Rab C Nesbitt) and Louise McCarthy (London West End’s Mamma Mia!)  They will join Jonathan Watson, Paul Riley and Maureen Beattie, also known to audiences for their popular stage, screen and comedy performances.

A bold and riotous new comedy, adapted by popular Scottish playwright, Douglas Maxwell, set in a Scots-Italian family fish and chip shop, Yer Granny, is a new adaptation of Roberto La Cossa’s La Nona, Argentina’s favourite play. The production is touring to Scotland’s large theatre stages from 19 May to 4 July 2015, visiting Greenock, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Dundee as well as a run in Belfast.  

PERFORMANCES

Yer Granny
King’s Theatre Glasgow
Tue 26 – Sat 30 May
Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm
Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm
Box Office 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee)

Yer Granny Touring to: The Beacon, Greenock (19 to 21 May, 2015); The King’s Theatre, Glasgow (26 to 30 May, 2015); The King’s Theatre, Edinburgh (2 to 6 June, 2015); Eden Court, Inverness (9 to 13 June, 2015); Lyric Theatre, Belfast (23 to 27 June, 2015); Dundee Rep , Dundee (30 June to 4 July, 2015).

 
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