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Ben Richards and Louise Dearman join Lorna Luft for UK tour of JUDY - THE JUDY GARLAND STORY

Written By Steve Stubbs on Monday, 2 March 2015 | 13:32

THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF A HOLLYWOOD LEGEND

JUDY
The Judy Garland Story

INTERNATIONAL THEATRE PRODUCER DAVID KING PRESENTS THE UK PREMIERE 
OF THE NEW JUDY GARLAND SHOW

STARRING LORNA LUFT AND LEADING WEST END MUSICAL THEATRE STARS WITH ARLENE PHILLIPS AS CREATIVE DIRECTOR

This show is made in arrangement with the Judy Garland Estate, and is the only authorised Judy Garland show in the world today.

OPENING ON 8 MAY 2015 IN EDINBURGH



International theatre producer David King is delighted to announce the UK premiere of a breathtaking new musical show, JUDY - THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF A HOLLYWOOD LEGEND, which will tour some of the UK’s finest theatres, opening at the Edinburgh Playhouse on May 8 2015. Highly-acclaimed choreographer and theatre director, Arlene Phillips, will be the Creative Director on the production. This will be the only Judy Garland Show in the world authorised by the Judy Garland Estate.

Judy - The Judy Garland Story, stars Lorna Luft, Judy Garland’s daughter, together with leading West End musical theatre stars, including Louise Dearman, Rachel Stanley, Ben Richards, and more. Also appearing are Judy’s dancers - The Boyfriends, named after Judy’s original dancers of the same name.

The show will include never seen before film clips and interviews together with irresistible classic hit songs from some of Judy’s hugely popular films such as A Star is Born, Meet Me in St. Louis, Easter Parade and The Wizard of Oz. The set of songs will include I Got Rhythm, The Trolley Song, The Man That Got Away, Get Happy, Zing! Went the strings of my Heart, and the song that is synonymous with Judy Garland, Over the Rainbow.

Arlene Phillips is Creative Director and it is directed by Christopher Manoe.

Lorna Luft is considered to be part of Showbiz Royalty, as the daughter of Judy Garland and the half sister of Liza Minnelli and a highly successful stage, film and TV actress and singer. She has appeared in numerous film, TV and stage shows, including White Christmas, They’re Playing My Son and Babes in Arms. Lorna appeared on stage regularly with her mother as a young girl and continues to maintain a high profile concert career.

Louise Dearman is the darling of the West End, and has performed in leading roles in many West End musicals including Wicked where Louise was the first actress to play both the good witch and the bad witch, Glinda and Elphaba. Louise also starred in Evita, Cats and Guys and Dolls to name just a few.

Ben Richards has played lead roles in West End and touring musicals including Rock of Ages, Oliver!, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Guys and Dolls and Saturday Night Fever. TV includes roles in The Bill and Footballers Wive

Arlene Phillips (CBE) is one of the UK’s best known choreographers, and also works regularly as a theatre director and is a well know television personality. Arlene has worked on numerous stage productions, (The Wizard of OZ, Starlight Express, Grease) TV (So You think you can Dance) and films (Annie and Private Dancer).

LISTINGS

May 8th – 9th
Edinburgh Playhouse
Box Office: 0844 871 3014
www.atgtickets.com

May 11th – 13th
The Pavilion Theatre, Rhyl
Box Office: 01745 33 00 00
www.rhylpavilion.co.uk

May 14th – 16th
Grand Opera House, York
Box Office: 0844 871 3024
www.atgtickets.com

May 18th – 19th
The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
Box Office: 01274 432000
www.bradford-theatres.co.uk

May 21st – 23rd
New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
Box Office: 0844 871 3011
www.atgtickets.com

May 26th – 27th
The Corn Exchange, Kings Lynn
Box Office: 01553 764864
www.kingslynncornexchange.co.uk

May 28th – 30th
Palace Theatre, Manchester
Box Office: 0844 871 3019
www.atgtickets.com

June 2nd – 6th
Theatre Royal, Glasgow
Box Office: 0844 871 7647
www.atgtickets.com

June 8th – 10th
Liverpool Empire
Box Office: 0844 871 3017
www.atgtickets.com

June 12th –13th
Princess Theatre Torquay
Box Office: 0844 871 3023
www.atgtickets.com

June 16th- 20th
New Wimbledon Theatre
Box Office: 0844 871 7646
www.atgtickets.com

June 23rd – 24th
Hall for Cornwall
Box Office: 01872 262466
www.hallforcornwall.co.uk

June 25th – 27th
Cardiff New Theatre
Box Office: 029 2087 8889
www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk

June 29th – July 4th
Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
Box Office: 0114 249 6000
www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

July 7th – 11th
Theatre Royal, Brighton
Box Office: 0844 871 7627
www.atgtickets.com

July 13th – 14th
Watford Collosseum
Box Office: 0845 075 3993
watfordcolosseum.co.uk

July 16th – 18th
The Churchill Theatre, Bromley
Box Office: 0844 871 7620
www.atgtickets.com

July 20th – 22nd
Darlington Civic Theatre
Box Office: 01325 486555
www.darlingtoncivic.co.uk


July 23rd – 25th
New Theatre, Oxford
Box Office: 0844 8713020
www.atgtickets.com

July 28th – August 1st
New Victoria Theatre, Woking
Box Office: 0844 871 7645
www.atgtickets.com

MEL BROOKS to appear at Prince of Wales Theatre in his first ever solo show in London on 22 March

MEL BROOKS LIVE IN LONDON
ONE NIGHT ONLY  SUNDAY 22 MARCH - THE PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE -
HIS FIRST EVER SOLO SHOW IN LONDON


MEL BROOKS LIVE IN LONDON, a Brooksfilms Limited and Corniche Pictures event, will be a special one-night only event on Sunday March 22nd, 2015 at 7:30pm at The Prince of Wales Theatre in London. American comedy legend Mel Brooks takes the stage for his first-ever solo show in the UK, sure to be chock-full of childhood memories, Hollywood history, unforgettable live music and uproarious laughter. “I am thrilled to bring this introspective retrospective of my life and career to the West End stage,” said Mel Brooks. “It will be an evening the audience will never forget—whether they want to or not!”   Tickets available from Tuesday March 3 via www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk or 0844 482 5115.

Mel Brooks is in an elite group as one of the few entertainers to earn all four major American entertainment prizes – the Tony, Emmy, Grammy, and Oscar. His career began in television writing for Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows and together with Buck Henry creating the long running TV series Get Smart. He then teamed up with Carl Reiner to write and perform the Grammy-winning 2000 Year Old Man comedy albums & books. Brooks won his first Oscar in 1964 for writing and narrating the animated short The Critic and his second for the screenplay of his first feature film, The Producers in 1968. Many hit comedy films followed including The Twelve ChairsBlazing SaddlesYoung FrankensteinSilent MovieHigh AnxietyHistory of the World Part ITo Be or Not to BeSpaceballsLife StinksRobin Hood: Men in Tights and Dracula: Dead and Loving It.  His film production company, Brooksfilms Limited also produced critically acclaimed films such as The Elephant Man, The Fly, Frances, My Favorite Year and 84 Charring Cross Road. For three successive seasons, 1997-1999 Mel Brooks won Emmy Awards for his role as “Uncle Phil” on the hit sitcom Mad About You. Brooks received three 2001 Tony Awards and two Grammy Awards forThe Producers: the New Mel Brooks Musical, which ran on Broadway from 2001 to 2006. Overall the show received 12 Tony awards and The Producers still holds the record for the most Tony awards ever won by a Broadway musical. He followed that success with The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein, which ran on Broadway from 2007 to 2009 and both musicals continue to be performed and enjoyed by audiences all over the world. In 2009 President Barack Obama presented Mel Brooks with The Kennedy Center Honors, recognizing a lifetime of extraordinary contributions to American culture. 

Hani Farsi and Corniche Pictures have produced critically acclaimed feature length films and documentaries over the last 8 years as well as developing projects for TV and theatre. Projects such as ‘20,000 Days on Earth’ - the documentary about Nick Cave, and  ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ were Executive Produced by Hani Farsi. “I have been a Mel Brooks fan all of my life and his incredible career is something that I have personally celebrated for many years. Being able to co-produce his London show gives me the opportunity to celebrate with him and the people of London.  It will be an amazing night and one not to be missed, “ said Hani Farsi.
         
MEL BROOKS LIVE IN LONDON is a Brooksfilms Limited and Corniche Pictures Production; executive producers, Mel Brooks & Hani Farsi; producers, Kevin Salter & Alex Dunnett; written by Mel Brooks.

Listings Information

Mel Brooks Live in London
Date – 22 March 2015
Time – 7.30pm
Theatre - Prince of Wales Theatre, Coventry Street, London, W1D 6AS
Box Office - 0844 482 5115

MADONNA announces 'Rebel Heart' US and European Tour dates - Opens in Miami Aug 29 - UK starts 1st Dec

MADONNA ANNOUNCES ‘REBEL HEART’ TOUR
TOUR KICKS OFF IN MIAMI AUGUST 29th
UK DATES START DECEMBER 1st 



New York, NY - March 2nd, 2015 – The list of Madonna concert dates for her highly anticipated 35-city ‘Rebel Heart’ Tour were officially announced today by Live Nation with the opening night scheduled for August 29th in Miami, Florida.  Additional performances to follow include New York, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Vancouver, Montreal and several other cities including San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Following the North American leg of the Rebel Heart Tour, Madonna will begin the UK/European series of dates on November 4th in Koln, Germany with stops in major cities including Barcelona, London, Paris and Glasgow amongst others. A complete list of tour dates follow this release. Tickets for The Rebel Heart Tour go on sale starting Monday, March 9th.  Additional tour dates for Asia and Australia are expected to be announced soon.  The Rebel Heart Tour is produced by Live Nation Global Touring.

“Madonna continues to be one of the most successful  touring artists in history – her shows are legendary and we are thrilled to have her going back on tour,” Arthur Fogel, President - Global Touring and Chairman - Global Music.
The “Rebel Heart” Tour follows the March 9th release of Madonna’s Rebel Heart album on Interscope Records (Germany and Japan March 6;  Europe/UK March 9; North America March 10).   Rave reviews for Madonna’s 13th studio album include: The Sun (UK) “The Queen of Pop will reign again – Madonna is about to release her best album in l7 years and one of the greatest of her career.”  NY Times:  “They won’t experience the celebrity of Madonna the fashion statement but the Madonna who has kept us listening for decades:  Madonna the musician”. 
  
Following Madonna’s stunning performance on the Grammys®, three songs from Rebel Heart topped the Global iTunes Chart.   The multi-Grammy® winner’s s current single “Living For Love” is at No. 1 on the Billboard Dance Charts – her 44th time at the top spot.  Madonna also recently performed on The Brits in London and is scheduled to appear and perform on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in the US for the entire week of March 16th.  Other global TV performances include France’s Le Grand Journal on March 2nd, Italy’s ITV on Sunday March 8th, an interview on The Today Show on March 9th and 10thand a performance and interview on the Jonathan Ross ITV UK Special airing March 14th.  

Along with extraordinary critical acclaim as an artist, songwriter and producer, Madonna’s reputation as one of the most successful live performers of all time speaks for itself. The 2008/2009 Sticky & Sweet tour is the highest grossing tour of all time for a solo artist and the 2012 MDNA tour was the most successful tour of that year.

General Sales for Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour will go on sale starting Monday, March 9, 2015. Icon is Madonna's official fan club. Lifetime Legacy members of Icon will receive first access to tickets and VIP Packages starting March 3, 2015. Fans may purchase an “Icon Live Pass” today, which gives them access not only to ticket & VIP Package pre-sales, but also a free membership to Icon, the official Madonna fan club, access to a tour devoted forum and an exclusive tour gift. Fans who are already registered simply need to upgrade their account with the Icon Live Pass on Madonna.com.
Citi® is the official card of Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour.  For concerts in the United States and Paris, France, Citi® cardmembers will have access to a presale beginning Wednesday, March 4 (10am) through Friday, March 6 (4pm) for applicable concerts going on sale to the general public on Monday, March 9; and a presale beginning Wednesday, March 11 (10am) through Friday, March 13th (5pm) for applicable concerts in the United States going on sale to the general public on Monday, March 16. For concerts in the United Kingdom, Citi cardmembers will have access to a presale beginning Wednesday, March 11 (10am) through Friday, March 13 (4pm) for applicable concerts going on sale to the general public on Monday, March 16.  For complete presale details visit:  www.citiprivatepass.com
 

For complete tour and ticket information, please visit 
www.madonna.com and www.livenation.co.uk
 
 
 MADONNA
REBEL HEART WORLD TOUR 2015
 
NORTH AMERICA / PUERTO RICO:
 
Date                 City                              Venue                                      
Aug. 29            Miami, FL                    American Airlines Arena         On Sale Mar. 9
 
Sept. 2             Atlanta, GA                  Philips Arena                          On Sale Mar. 16
Sept. 5             San Juan, PR              Coliseo de Puerto Rico           On sale Mar. 21
Sept. 9             Montreal, QC               Bell Centre                              On Sale Mar. 14
Sept. 12           Washington, DC           Verizon Center                       On Sale Mar. 16
Sept. 16           New York, NY               Madison Square Garden        On Sale Mar. 9
Sept. 19           Brooklyn, NY                Barclays Center                      On Sale Mar. 9
Sept. 24           Philadelphia, PA          Wells Fargo Center                  On Sale Mar. 16
Sept. 26           Boston, MA                  TD Garden                               On Sale Mar. 16
Sept. 28           Chicago, IL                  United Center                           On Sale Mar. 9
 
Oct. 1               Detroit, MI                    Joe Louis Arena                       On Sale Mar. 23
Oct. 3               Atlantic City, NJ           Boardwalk Hall                         On Sale Mar. 16
Oct. 5               Toronto, ON                 Air Canada Centre                   On Sale Mar. 9
Oct. 8               St. Paul, MN                Xcel Energy Center                  On Sale Mar. 16
Oct. 11             Edmonton, AB             Rexall Place                              On Sale Mar. 9
Oct. 14             Vancouver, BC             Rogers Arena                           On Sale Mar. 9
Oct. 17             Portland, OR                MODA Center                           On Sale Mar. 23
Oct. 19             San Jose, CA               SAP Center at San Jose          On Sale Mar. 9
Oct. 22             Glendale, AZ                Gila River Arena                      On Sale Mar. 23
Oct. 24             Las Vegas, NV             MGM Grand Garden Arena      On Sale Mar. 16
Oct. 27             Los Angeles, CA          Forum                                       On Sale Mar. 16
 
 
EUROPE / UK:
 
Nov. 4              Koln, Germany               Lanxess Arena                         On Sale Mar. 16
Nov. 7              Prague, CZ                     O2 Arena                                 On Sale Mar. 16
Nov. 10            Berlin,Germany              O2 World                                  On Sale Mar. 16
Nov. 14            Stockholm, Sweden       Tele 2 Arena                             On Sale Mar. 16
Nov.17             Herning, Denmark          Jyske Bank Boxen                    On Sale Mar. 9
Nov. 21            Turin, Italy                       Pala Alpitour                             On Sale Mar. 16
Nov. 24            Barcelona, Spain            Palau Sant Jordi                       On Sale Mar. 16
Nov. 28            Antwerp, Belgium           Sportpaleis                                On Sale Mar. 9
 
Dec. 1              London, UK                    O2 Arena                                  On Sale Mar. 16
Dec. 5              Amsterdam, Holland       Ziggo Dome                             On Sale Mar. 9
Dec. 9              Paris, France                  Bercy                                       On Sale Mar. 9
Dec. 14            Manchester, UK              Manchester Arena                   On Sale Mar. 16
Dec. 16            Birmingham, UK             Barclaycard Arena                   On Sale Mar. 16
Dec. 20            Glasgow, Scotland         The SSE Hydro                        On Sale Mar. 16                      

For complete tour and ticket information, visit: 

Rum and Vodka at the Citz

Written By Lisa Davidson on Sunday, 1 March 2015 | 08:00

A new production of Rum and Vodka by seminal Irish playwright Conor McPherson is presented at the Citizens Theatre.

Rum and Vodka by the multi-award winning McPherson, most famous for his 1999 play The Weir, will be directed by Birkbeck Trainee Director Stephen Darcy and star Citizens Theatre Actor Intern Martin Donaghy. This new production is presented in the intimate surroundings of Citizens Theatre’s Circle Studio from 5-7 March.

Rum and Vodka tells the story of one young man and his three-day alcohol-fuelled rampage around Dublin. Exasperated with his mundane nine-to-five existence he embarks on a path of self-destruction in an unorthodox quest for redemption. Written when McPherson was only 21, Rum and Vodka sparkles with an energy, wit and brutal honesty that prefigures the playwright’s later successes including an Oliver Award for Best New Play for the Weir and New York Drama Critics Circle Award for The Night Alive.

Tickets are available from 0141 429 0022 / citz.co.uk

Political drama The Absence of War at the Citz

Written By Lisa Davidson on Saturday, 28 February 2015 | 08:00

Headlong, Sheffield Theatres and Rose Theatre Kingston bring their new production of David Hare’s The Absence of War, directed by Headlong Artistic Director Jeremy Herrin, to the Citizens Theatre from 31 March – 4 April. This new staging of Hare’s funny, stinging political drama focusing on the fortunes of the Labour Party arrives at the Citizens Theatre in the build up to the 2015 general election.

It’s now or never for George Jones. The heavy-smoking, Shakespeare-loving Labour leader needs to get out of opposition and into Number Ten. Plagued by a hostile media, beset by divisions in his party and haunted by his own demons, George has three weeks to convince the Great British Public that he’s their man. But how much compromise is he prepared to make? How can you truly appeal to the man in the street from the Palace of Westminster? And which tie should he wear for Prime Minister’s Questions?

The cast is led by Reece Dinsdale as George Jones, whose film appearances include Guildenstern in Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet. His TV appearances include Joe McIntyre in Coronation Street and guest roles in Spooks, Life on Mars, Silent Witness and Waterloo Road amongst others.

Also in the cast is Gorbals-born young actor James Harkness. James is returning to the Citizens Theatre having been a member of the Citizens Young Co. from 2007 – 2009. James performed with Citizens Young Co. as part of the Theatre of Debate season at National Theatre’s New Connections Festival in 2008.  It was during this performance that James was spotted by Anthony Banks, Associate Director NT Learning who offered to mentor James in his preparation for his auditions for drama school. Through this connection with the National Theatre, an anonymous donor came forward and offered to support James financially throughout the duration of his training.   

David Hare is one of the UK’s foremost playwrights and screenwriters. His plays include Plenty, Skylight, The Permanent Way and Stuff Happens. He has received two Academy Award nominations for his screenplays for The Hours and The Reader.  The production marks the third collaboration between Hare and Headlong’s Artistic Director Jeremy Herrin, winner of the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Director for Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies, and director of the company’s most recent transfer to London’s West End, The Nether.  

Headlong is a regular visitor to the Gorbals theatre, most recently bringing its West End smash-hit version of George Orwell’s 1984 to Glasgow audiences. Previous productions at the Citizens Theatre include Chekov’s The Seagull, Medea, Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Absence of War opened in Sheffield on Friday 6 February and tours to Norwich, Watford, Bristol, Cheltenham, Liverpool, before arriving at the Citizens Theatre. The Absence of War also tours to Oxford, Kingston, Cambridge and ends at Theatre Royal Bath on 9 May.

Tickets are available from citz.co.uk or by calling the Citizens Theatre Box Office on 0141 429 0022.

Theatre Review: Dirty Dancing - Edinburgh Playhouse ✭✭✭✭✭

Written By Lisa Davidson on Friday, 27 February 2015 | 19:51


 Review by Ellen Cree

It was a mother and daughter night out to the passionate Dirty Dancing at the Edinburgh Playhouse this week, and after going into the theatre knowing virtually nothing apart from the fact that nobody puts Baby in a corner, we were very pleasantly surprised. Confession: I must be the only nineteen year old, perhaps in the world, who hadn’t seen Dirty Dancing before, and after witnessing last nights performance, I was quite glad that I hadn’t, as I got to experience Dirty Dancing for the first time in a such a tremendous way.

Before the show began there was a definite buzz about the auditorium which, unsurprisingly, included a large number of exceedingly excited females. For those of you like me who don’t know, Dirty Dancing is set in 1963, and the Houseman family are holidaying at a summer where Baby, the youngest of the family, falls in love with one of the camps’ dancing instructors, Johnny Castle. The pair are from opposing backgrounds however the young individuals come together after Baby steps in to dance with Johnny when his dance partner Penny finds herself unexpectedly pregnant.  The show includes fun, energised music, embracing familiar hits from the 1960s as well as heart-pounding original songs and enchanting, inspiring dancing.

The standard of dancing was overwhelming. The audience wain awe of how incredible all the cast looked, and for me in particular, Claire Rogers in her role as Penny Johnson was outstanding when it came to pirouetting across the stage.

Gareth Bailey, who plays the role of Johnny Castle and Roseanna Frascona, in the iconic part of Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman (made famous by the late Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey  in the 1987 film version), were both also amazingly talented. Bailey positively embodied Johnny’s strong, attractive, authoritative persona while receiving a few wolf whistles in the process, especially during his topless bedroom scene with Baby.  Frascona interpreted Baby exactly in the way I imagined she would be, successfully showing her naivety, sensitivity, beauty and heart of gold as well as providing some funny and endearing moments, particularly during her dance training scenes.

Another favourite  was Lisa Houseman played by Jessie-Lou Yates who especially shone in the second act, notably during ‘Lisa’s Hula’ which had the audience laughing and the woman a few seats away from me in stitches. Another source of comic relief was provided by Mark Faith as Mr. Schumacher who’s ‘Dad dancing’ and overall presence provided smiles and laughter all around. The charming, empowering voice of Colin Charles, who plays Tito Suarez, was a highlight and he had the audience in the palm of his hand. James Coombes and Julia. J. Nagle as Dr. Jake and Marjorie Houseman were extremely sweet and endearing and really stood out amongst the cast.

The show ended with cheers and screams as Johnny and Baby performed the iconic routine to the song made famous by the film. ‘(I’ve had) The Time of my Life’ had the whole audience grinning from ear to ear and feeling euphoric. The finale was captivating and uplifting, making it the perfect end to the perfect, feel good show. It has that it made me deeply regret giving up dance classes as a child. I had the time of my life.

Dirty Dancing is at the Edinburgh Playhouse until Saturday 14th March

Dance Review: Romeo & Juliet - Festival Theatre, Edinburgh ✭✭✭✭✭


Review by Graeme Shield

Jean-Christophe Maillot’s production of Romeo & Juliet receives a reinvigoration courtesy of Northern Ballet, but is it a match made in heaven, or will it result in a plague a’ both their houses?

This classic love story, for those of you have been living under a rock, follows the romance of two young lovers from feuding families who are forced to keep their love secret. As is the case with Shakespearean tragedies, it doesn’t end well.

Maillot’s exuberant choreography has a dash of the contemporary about it, with simple human gestures relating raw human emotions perfectly.  Evoking stunning imagery from the incredibly powerful score by Sergei Prokofiev, his cast of dancers thrills and excites with each move.

Costume Designer Jérôme Kaplan finds fine fabrics and textured textiles that effortlessly glide and swoop in the air as elegantly as the dancers wearing them, while presenting an intriguing mix of modern/period chic costumes. In addition to the beautifully minimalist set design by Ernest Pignon-Ernest, Maillot and his team have crafted a production that you can really lose yourself in.

I’m also pleased by just how much humour there is - from the ‘laddish’ behaviour of Mercutio and Benvolio to the quirky and fantastic exchange between Juliet and her Nurse (a delightfully funny Antionette Brooks-Daw).

It is Guiliano Contadini and Martha Leebolt, however, who steal the show as the star-crossed lovers. Romeo is perfectly pitched, while Juliet is both fragile and headstrong. Satisfyingly, later on we see a power & dynamic change after Tybalt’s death in which we really see Contadini & Leebolt  effectively showing their characters deepened love and understanding of one another.

I should say that my one and only previous experience with a ballet production (it wasn’t Northern Ballet) moved me to inexplicable levels of boredom, so it was with a great deal of arm-twisting that I trooped over to the Edinburgh Festival Theatre to see Romeo & Juliet.

I needn’t have worried. Northern Ballet’s exquisite take on Shakespeare’s classic is anything but a tragedy. It provides the punch and panache of the source material, with oodles of style to spare, to make a truly accessible theatrical experience created by a brilliant team clearly working at the top of their game. Get your tickets and fall in love with the Northern Ballet, before it’s too late.


Northern Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet is at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh until 28th February. For tickets, head to www.edtheatres.com or phone the Festival Theatre Box Office on 0131 529 6000. 

Album Review: The Overtones - Sweet Soul Music ✭✭✭✭✭

The Overtones 


Sweet Soul Music 

Release Date: Monday 2 March 2015


With the release of their new album only days away we get transported to the sound of the 1960s with ‘Sweet Soul Music’ and oh isn’t it just so sweet.
The five piece vocal harmony (Timmy Mately, Lachie Chapman, Mike Crawshaw, Mark Franks and Dareen Everest), join forces once again to bring a their fourth collection of soul classics and three brand new originals.

With classics from The Drifters, Al Green, Marvin Gaye and The Temptations, this album will have you moving from the first song. The Overtones bring their harmonies, their vocal abilities and a fresh approach to these classics.

Opening with the swinging title track ‘Sweet Soul Music’ originally recorded by Arthur Conley, gets you ready to start dancing. Other classics on the album include ‘Get Ready’ (Martha & The Vandellas’), ‘How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You’ (Marvin Gaye) and ‘Let’s Stay Together’ (Al Green).

What’s nice about this album is even though the majority of the album is classics, their originals manage to fit so well in to the album, they don’t seem out of place and that’s a great accomplishment – ‘Something Good’, ‘Moving On’, ‘Giving Me Soul’. The beautiful ‘Giving Me Soul’ is a great addition to the album and Lachie Chapman does such a beautiful job. ‘Something Good’ could possibly be one of their biggest hits on the album, with a catchy beat, great lyrics and even better vocals, this could be a massive hit for The Overtones. And another hit ‘Moving On’ (personal favourite), is one of those great songs that you play when you want to feel better after breaking up with someone.

‘River Deep, Mountain High’ features X Factor winner Sam Bailey, who fits to the song really well and blends in really well with the harmonies of The Overtones. Great addition to the album, would be a great live performance to see.

Lachie Chapman recently said “Apart from making you dance, soul music really does hit you in the heart,” and he couldn’t be more right, this album makes you dance and warms your heart.
The Overtones will head out on tour in June 2015 and from the sound of this album, it’s going to be a party full of soul.

The ‘Sweet Soul Music’ tracklisting is as follows:

  1. Sweet Soul Music
  2. Get Ready 
  3. Give Me Just a Little More Time 
  4. Something Good 
  5. Heatwave 
  6. Let’s Stay Together 
  7. Moving On
  8. How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You
  9. River Deep, Mountain High (featuring Sam Bailey) 
  10. Under The Boardwalk
  11. Giving Me Soul 
  12. Heart It Through The Grapevine 
  13. Rainy Night in Georgia

For information about the album and their upcoming tour please visit www.theovertones.tv

We have 3 signed copies of the new album to give away.
Watch out on our Twitter and Facebook pages for details of how to win.
UK Entrants only - closing date 6 March

TOM FIGGINS to release new single 'Rain On Me' on 16th March

Written By Steve Stubbs on Wednesday, 25 February 2015 | 14:49

 TOM FIGGINS

 ‘Rain On Me’ released 16th March 2015 
through Man In The Moon Records

“ this is a cracking track... the first time I heard it, I just thought  - yeah, that’s magnificent, I’ve got to put that in the show - and the more I hear it, the more and more I fall in love with it.” - Janice Long- BBC Radio 2

Tom Figgins is a prodigious but humble talent. At 19, working alongside producer Bob Cranham (whose previous artists included Newton Faulkner) he penned his debut EP Your Place from his bedroom. His second release Wake Up went on to achieve critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. This culminated in a chance meeting, and eventual management signing, with an industry stalwart in the shape of Nick Stewart: the man who signed U2 to Island Records. 
Since then Tom can boast years of relentless gigging and song-writing as well as signing to Nick Stewart’s own record label of Man In The Moon Records. And he is still only 23 years old. Not for him, though, the ‘hipster hang out’ side of the industry - he is too musically mercurial and industrious to be bogged down with simply ‘being seen’ in the right places. Instead Tom has been developing and honing his sound in front of audiences the length and breadth of Britain, including a collaboration at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe whereby he co-wrote and performed in The Duck Pond which also featured his track ‘Mother’. More recently he has been working in the studio with Matt "Urby Whale" Owens, bass player from Noah And The Whale. 
His previous single ‘Let Your Roots Grow’ and his residency at London’s Troubadour in 2014 earned Tom a whole new set of fans.  

His latest single ‘Rain On Me’ has a relentless heartbeat driving an emotional verse to a crescendo. The song is about feeling the helpless force of true love and wishing it to embrace your entire being. As Tom explains:

Rain On Me is about pure infatuation and the vulnerability that you open your doors to go with it. Desperation; as you fall for someone, praying that they'll fall with you. Asking the clouds to break so that you can feel that moment and know it's real. An offering, giving up the very bones of you to this person. To find love...

‘Rain On Me’ is released 16th March 2015


Upcoming UK dates:

March:
9th The Evening Show, London Live TV  6.30pm
10th The Troubadour, Old Brompton Road, London
May:
30th Reigate Music Festival
July:
10th-12th Cornbury Festival
Aug:
16th Capel Music Festival
29th-31st Towersey Festival

Tom remains a featured artist with Caffe Nero.



COMPETITION: Win a signed copy of THE OVERTONES new album Sweet Soul Music

THE OVERTONES

NEW ALBUM ‘SWEET SOUL MUSIC’ AVAILABLE NOW ON WARNER MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

Major UK and Ireland tour to commence in June

After three consecutive Top 5 albums, 750,000 sales and three sold-out headline tours, The Overtones continue to reboot classic sounds for contemporary audiences. February 9th sees the release of their fourth collection ‘Sweet Soul Music’ on Warner Music Entertainment.

Recorded at Sarm Studios with producer Julian Hinton (SealRumerTrevor Horn), ‘Sweet Soul Music’  is a tribute to doo-wop and soul pioneers such as The Drifters, Al Green, Marvin Gaye and The Temptations, artists that The Overtones grew up listening to and who have influenced them throughout their career. The Overtones transport their audience back to the heady 1960s, when ground-breaking television shows on both sides of theAtlantic like ‘Ready Steady Go’ and ‘The Tami Show’ launched such era-defining artists as James BrownThe TemptationsJerry Lee Lewis andThe Supremes.

“They’re all classic songs which ruled the airwaves,” says Timmy Matley“It’s been a real pleasure to take on these big songs, we’ve stretched our voices - our vocal abilities, our harmonies, our whole approach and moved  into a different gear.”

“Apart from making you dance, soul music really does hit you in the heart,” adds Lachie Chapman“There’s also often such a beautiful sentiment behind these songs which is why we’re still listening to them fifty years later. They’re really universal and I think they have something that everyone can relate to.”

Opening with the swinging title track ‘Sweet Soul Music” which was originally recorded by Arthur Conley and co-written by the legendary OtisRedding, other album highlights include The Temptations’ sensational ‘Get Ready’Martha & The Vandellas’ scorching ‘Heat Wave’ , Marvin Gaye’s classic ‘How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You’ and The Drifters ‘Under The Boardwalk’

The album also features three brand new songs in the shape of ‘Something Good’, ‘Giving Me Soul’ and Moving On’, the latter of which was produced by Duck (The Wanted, Lawson). Capturing the spirit of the classics which sit seamlessly alongside them, these new songs also continue the well-established tradition of self-written Overtones’ originals such as ‘Gambling Man’, ‘Loving The Sound’ and ‘Superstar’.

The Overtones’ three albums to date – ‘Good Ol’ Fashioned Love’ (2010), ‘Higher’ (2012) and ‘Saturday Night At The Movies’ (2013) – established their reputation as a group with the unique ability to deliver consistently uplifting music infused with exquisitely crafted vocal harmonies.

Aside from working on ‘Sweet Soul Music’, recent months have seen the boys join forces with the legendary Michael Ball on ‘Let It Be Me’, which was the first single to be taken from his new album ‘If Everyone Was Listening’. Timmy Matley also triumphed as the winner of BBC Children in Need’s Great British Sewing Bee.

The ‘Sweet Soul Music’ tracklisting is as follows:

1. Sweet Soul Music
2. Get Ready
3. Give Me Just a Little More Time
4. Something Good
5. Heatwave
6. Let’s Stay Together
7. Moving On
8. How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You
9. River Deep, Mountain High (featuring Sam Bailey)
10. Under The Boardwalk
11. Giving Me Soul
12. Heard It Through The Grapevine
13. Rainy Night in Georgia

A consistently popular attraction at major events including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert, the Festival of RemembranceBT London Liveand British Summer TimeThe Overtones’ previous three headline tours have all sold-out, the most recent of which sold the entire total of over35,000 tickets in advance. Their next UK and Ireland tour will commence in June and features a major London show at the Palladium:

June

1st – Cork, Opera House
2nd – Dublin, Olympia Theatre
6th – Southend, Cliffs Pavilion
8th – Leicester, De Montfort Hall
9th – Brighton, Dome
10th – Folkestone, Leas Cliff Hall
12th – Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall
13th – Birmingham, Symphony Hall
14th – Bournemouth, Pavilion Theatre
17th – Newcastle, City Hall
18th – Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall
19th – Liverpool. Philharmonic Hall
21st – Llandudno, Venue Cymru Theatre
22nd – Bristol, Colston Hall
23rd – Reading, Hexagon
25th – Ipswich, Regent
27th – Oxford, New Theatre
29th – Manchester, Bridgewater Hall
30th – Harrogate, Royal Hall

July

1st – Sheffield, City Hall
3rd – London, Palladium
7th – Cardiff, St. David’s Hall
8th – Northampton, Derngate
9th – Guildford, G Live


Official site                   Facebook                     Twitter              YouTube


COMPETITION

We have 3 signed copies of the new album to give away.
Watch out on our Twitter and Facebook pages for details of how to win.
UK Entrants only - closing date 6th March

 
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