Monday, November 28

FEATURES

<strong>Rebecca Ferrin comes back home as Les Mis comes to Leeds Grand</strong>
Interviews

Rebecca Ferrin comes back home as Les Mis comes to Leeds Grand

Les Misérables is a musical juggernaut smashing record after record for more three decades and now the UK tour of this epic tale of betrayal, obsession, revolution, and redemption is heading to Leeds Grand Theatre. Rebecca Ferrin first trod the boards at the Grands as a child and how she’s coming back to her hometown theatre in an epic tale of the battle between Jean Valjean and his nemesis Javert that has played to over 130 million people worldwide. Ferrin who trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts battled her way through one of the toughest auditions for any show and tells our Features Editor Paul Clarke why winning a place onstage is a dream come true. Is this the full West End version that's coming to Leeds? Yes, it's almost identical in every single aspect. We've ha...
You are invited to a dinner like no other at Sale Waterside with Junior Stage 80
Interviews

You are invited to a dinner like no other at Sale Waterside with Junior Stage 80

A family like no other are moving into Sale Waterside next month to host a dinner like no other which changes lives forever, and you are all invited. Junior Stage 80 (JS80) are back after a Covid enforced absence following their critically acclaimed, sold-out production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat way back in 2019. JS80 is a Jewish society with a mixed membership of all ages from those at primary school year 5 onwards with no upper age limit. Our very own editor Paul Downham is once again directing The Addams Family following his 2019 directorial debut with the same show at The Met in Bury which gained multiple NODA and ACT Nominations and awards. We sat down with Paul to discuss all things Addams ahead of next month’s opening night. What has made you return to d...
Rapper Testament is back in the record shop at Leeds
Interviews

Rapper Testament is back in the record shop at Leeds

World record-breaking beatboxer Testament is again joining forces with Opera North as they collaborate on his genre busting piece Orpheus in the Record Shop at Leeds Playhouse. The show was first seen during a short socially distanced run at the height of the pandemic that was  filmed for BBC Four’s Lights Up series. Testament will be front of stage working with members of the Chorus and Orchestra of Opera North, including soloist Helen Evora. Why is it important that audiences get a chance to see this show again in the Playhouse’s biggest theatre space?  Performing this show live is bananas! A classical ensemble live on stage, with beatboxing, spoken word and comedy – it’s a unique thing to be part of. I’ve been telling all my friends and family to come along because i...
Top Panto Star Steve Royle is a Grand Millennial with 1,000 performances!
Interviews

Top Panto Star Steve Royle is a Grand Millennial with 1,000 performances!

Much-loved panto star and stand-up sensation Steve Royle will celebrate an incredible 1,000 pantomime performances in this year’s seasonal spectacular Sleeping Beauty at Blackpool Grand Theatre Ever popular panto star Steve Royle will take his 1,000th bow on the beautiful Blackpool Grand Theatre stage this year as he once again delights thousands of families in the magical pantomime Sleeping Beauty this Christmas. Oh yes he will! Everyone’s favourite finalist from ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent will star as Silly Billy in this year’s fabulous, festive tale and it will be the thousandth time he has filled every member of his lucky panto audience with sheer joy and delight. In his millennial year, Steve Royle will be swapping lines with Dancing on Ice champion and Emmerdale star Hayley...
Chris Jack talks about why Noughts and Crosses matters as it goes back on tour
Interviews

Chris Jack talks about why Noughts and Crosses matters as it goes back on tour

Books for young adults tackling some tough issues are big business now and Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses is a work that has touched millions of teenagers. In Blackman’s dystopian world Sephy is a Cross, and Callum is a Nought, in a world with strict racial and social divides. As violence breaks out Sephy who is the daughter of the Home Secretary, and Callum draw closer, but this is a romance that will lead them into terrible danger. The genius of Blackman’s vision is that racial power dynamics are flipped on their head asking us to think about how hatred destroys lives in a different way. Pilot Theatre commissioned Sabrina Mahfouz to adapt it for the stage before taking it on tour just before the pandemic closed theatres, where it was seen by over 30,000 people on tour with...
Kofi Dennis takes a trip down the Road at Oldham Coliseum
Interviews

Kofi Dennis takes a trip down the Road at Oldham Coliseum

Not many debut works are voted as one the best 50 British plays of all time, but anyone who has seen Lancashire playwright Jim Cartwright’s searing indictment of deprivation on one northern street in Margaret Thatcher’s Britain knows exactly why. It’s still a powerful play that has been revived countless times. and now Oldham Coliseum are staging it starring Coronation Street legend Paula Lane, who was Kylie Platt in the Street, and ironically plays the equally feisty Lane in Road. She is joined by Coliseum regular Richard J Fletcher playing the well-oiled Scullery, who takes the audience on a riotous and ramshackle trip down the eponymous road. It’s a road that could be anywhere in the north where there’s no jobs and little hope, which sadly sounds very familiar in foodbank Britain...
Big Fish swims into Northwich
Interviews

Big Fish swims into Northwich

Big Fish the musical is heading to Northwich Memorial Court later this month from Mid Cheshire Musical Theatre Company and our editor, Paul Downham has been speaking to director Louise Colohan to find out what we can expect from this lessor known musical. Mid Cheshire Musical Theatre Company have once again opted to produce a lesser known musical after the success of Sunshine on Leith 12 months ago and American Idiot earlier this year, which both gained huge critical acclaim. This year they bring us Big Fish, tell us about the storyline? Big Fish tells us the story of Edward Bloom, a seemingly ordinary man who, through the tales he tells his son, appears to have led a life full of magic, wonder, love and adventure. As an ailing Edward seeks to reconcile with his now grown-up son, we...
Sera Maehara talks touring, the challenge of balancing new and restaged work, and tackling the difficulties in South Pacific
Interviews

Sera Maehara talks touring, the challenge of balancing new and restaged work, and tackling the difficulties in South Pacific

Originally programmed for 2020, the Chichester Festival Theatre production of Rogers and Hammerstein’s 1949 musical South Pacific eventually opened in person in July 2021, and was also briefly available to stream online last year. Now, once again directed by Daniel Evans and choreographed by Ann Yee and reworked to make it possible to tour, South Pacific is back on stage! Currently in residence at Sadler’s Wells until the end of August, the production will then tour around the UK and Ireland until November. This production opens with Liat enjoying the tranquillity of her island in the South Pacific, before her peace is disturbed by the raucous arrival of the US troops. At the same time, US Navy nurse Nellie Forbush and French plantation owner Emile de Becque are meeting for the first t...
Dalton Wood talks about being a Jersey Boy as the hit musical comes to Leeds Grand Theatre
Interviews

Dalton Wood talks about being a Jersey Boy as the hit musical comes to Leeds Grand Theatre

If you love pop music then you will have a favourite Four Seasons songs and Jersey Boys is the musical based on their troubled journey from rags to riches. The quartet famed for their close harmonies fought their way out of humble blue collar roots in Newark to record a set of beautifully arranged smash hits like Sherry, Rag Doll, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like A Man and December ’63 (Oh What a Night). For a musical it’s a natural tale of triumphing against the odds with the added bonus of lead singer Frankie Valli’s utterly distinctive falsetto vocal style. So, it’s no wonder Jersey Boys was a big hit on Broadway, and is still running in the West End, as fans new and old appreciate the great songs penned by Valli and musical prodigy Bob Gaudio. It’s also become a regular on the ...
Joseph star Jac Yarrow talks about the enduring power of the biblical epic as the tour comes to Leeds Grand Theatre
Interviews

Joseph star Jac Yarrow talks about the enduring power of the biblical epic as the tour comes to Leeds Grand Theatre

It’s fifty years since Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice basically invented the rock opera with their biblical epic Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Since then, this enduring family friendly show has been almost constantly on the road entertaining generations of fans who love Joseph’s journey back to his family and redemption. It’s a show full of classic Lloyd Webber/Rice tunes like Any Dream Will Do and Close Every Door, and over the years Joseph has been played by Philip Schofield, Donny Osmond, Andy Gibb, Stephen Gately, Darren Day and famously Jason Donovan, who is taking on the role of Pharoah in the latest touring production. The latest UK tour comes straight from the London Palladium where the show was revived and reinvented to critical acclaim. That London ...