Tuesday, February 7

Tag: Wolverhampton Grand

Waitress – Wolverhampton Grand
West Midlands

Waitress – Wolverhampton Grand

As far as I can see, Waitress has been a huge success internationally with various runs on Broadway, West End and around the world and it was undoubtedly loved by the audience last night who greeted it like an old friend, laughing and cheering in equal measure at appropriate moments. Everyone seemed very familiar with the piece - apart from me. Nope. Never seen it, never heard of it. Didn’t recognise a single tune. This is no bad thing when accessing a new piece, but I did have an unsettling feeling of missing out. All the pieces fitted together - great performances, great music, great production, but beyond the clear professionalism of all concerned it didn’t quite touch me. I was, however, in a minority. Based on Adrienne Shelly’s 2007 movie of the same name it has now evolved, seemi...
We Will Rock You – Wolverhampton Grand
West Midlands

We Will Rock You – Wolverhampton Grand

Calling all rock theatricals, We Will Rock You has stomped its way down to the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. In light of its 20th anniversary, Ben Elton is back at the helm directing. Whilst this musical has always seemed a little farcical due to the science fiction setting on the now renamed iPlanet it's still a firm favourite for many who were a fan of the iconic band, Queen. The show's story follows two rebels, Galileo and Scaramouche who fight against the oppressive ways of the regime to bring back the much-loved and forgotten rock and roll era. There was audible laughter from the audience throughout the show as the musical was effortlessly funny and there were plenty of comedic moments peppered throughout. The cast spouted lyrics that ranged from Gangnam Style to reciting the ly...
Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Wolverhampton Grand
West Midlands

Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Wolverhampton Grand

The iconic Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks has been adapted into a ‘magical musical’ with additional songs from Neil Bartram, and a new book by Brian Hill. Adapting a beloved film for the stage can be risky, but Candice Edmunds and Jamie Harrison navigate the challenges with some flair and ingenuity. Harrison’s clever design references the original film’s animations, which also influence Gabriella Slade’s costume designs and Sam Cox’s hair and wig work. The opening sequence cleverly situates the piece in London during the Blitz as the Rawlins’ children’s world explodes. Following a bomb blast their bedroom shatters, its fractured parts framing the stage providing a constant reminder of the reality of war. There is some clever theatrical magic as we see the Rawlins’ children evacua...
The Da Vinci Code – Wolverhampton Grand
West Midlands

The Da Vinci Code – Wolverhampton Grand

I got half way through the book of Da Vinci Code and gave up, I got half way through the film of the Da Vinci Code and gave up. I got half way through the play of the Da Vinci Code and stayed. Whether that is a comment on this production or my poor concentration skills, I don’t know, but this was well worth staying for. Now then, if you haven’t been sitting in a cave for the latter part of the twentieth century you’ll be more than aware of the phenomenally successful best-seller, “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown, it sold by the barrow load and, even if this reviewer stumbled at chapter ten, many others plundered through it merrily prompting a Hollywood movie starring Tom Hanks. It would seem inevitable, then someone should have a stab at staging it and Simon Friend Entertainment have d...
Groan-Ups – Wolverhampton Grand
West Midlands

Groan-Ups – Wolverhampton Grand

It’s probably an apocryphal tale and often attributed to, among others, Edmund Kean, that on his deathbed he is asked how he feels to which he replies, “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.” And it is a wise aphorism borne out by tonight’s performance of “Groan-Ups” presented to us by Mischief Theatre who you will immediately recognise from “The Play that Goes Wrong” and TV’s hugely successful “Goes Wrong Show” - very familiar faces. Since giving us the first of those shows which was a smash hit in the West End they have travelled to Broadway and, having seen its original production, I can say it was undoubtedly one of the funniest evenings I have ever spent in a theatre in my life. Ever. So you’re probably wondering why this one has only earned two stars. Here goes… It explores familiar gro...
Chicago – Wolverhampton Grand
West Midlands

Chicago – Wolverhampton Grand

“Chicago” can hardly be described as bursting with colour with a limited design palette of black, white, grey and occasional splatters of bloody red light during the murders it aims to emulate, perhaps, the movies of the period. More accurately it emulates the still photographs of the newspapers of the period and chooses to present it all in a stilted and, oddly, uninvolving fashion. As the production adopts a distancing alienating technique (I’m guessing more a directorial decision than an authorial one) it deliberately stops us from engaging and empathising with the characters or plot - so all that is left to beguile us is technique and design. The band dominate the stage sitting like a jazz orchestra trapped in a roll-top desk leaving just a sliver of fore stage for the remainder of...
Chelsea Halfpenny to star as Jenna in Waitress Musical at Wolverhampton Grand!
NEWS

Chelsea Halfpenny to star as Jenna in Waitress Musical at Wolverhampton Grand!

Producers Barry & Fran Weissler and David Ian are delighted to announce that Chelsea Halfpenny with join the cast as Jenna in the smash hit romantic musical comedy Waitress. Chelsea will take over the role from Lucie Jones who leaves the production to move on to a soon to be announced new project. Waitress will play at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from Tuesday 28th June – Saturday 2nd July 2022. Chelsea Halfpenny began her career in the popular children’s television series Byker Grove. She appeared as Amy Wyatt in Emmerdale for three years and Alice Munroe in Casualty, a part she played for four years. Chelsea recently made her West End debut as Judy Bernly in 9 to 5 The Musical at the Savoy Theatre. Waitress is based on the 2007 movie written by Adrienne Shelly. Music and lyr...
Five Star Panto Cast Join AJ & Curtis Pritchard in Cinderella!
NEWS

Five Star Panto Cast Join AJ & Curtis Pritchard in Cinderella!

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre announced more magical casting for this year’s pantomime, CINDERELLA! Playing the title role of Cinderella is Kingswinford-born CBeebies presenter Evie Pickerill and Five Star’s lead vocalist Denise Pearson joins the cast as the Fairy Godmother.    Denise and Evie star alongside the previously announced AJ and Curtis Pritchard as Prince Charming and Dandini from Saturday 4th December 2021 – Sunday 9th January 2022.  Having grown up in Dudley, Evie has fond memories of Wolverhampton Grand. She performed at the theatre in her school days with West Bromwich Operatic Society before training professionally. On her return to the Grand and her first pantomime role, she said; “I’m so happy to be in my hometown for Christmas! Panto is always such fu...
Wolverhampton Grand Pantomime Postponed
NEWS

Wolverhampton Grand Pantomime Postponed

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre has today announced that regrettably, and with great sadness, their 2020 pantomime CINDERELLA, has been postponed until December 2021. Cinderella is the first pantomime to be produced by the theatre in over three decades and due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the creative teams have been unable to collaborate together to deliver the first-class pantomime audiences have come to expect. The safety and welfare of the audience, artists and employees was also a key factor in the decision to postpone. Over 60,000 people attend The Grand’s annual pantomime, with a large proportion of those tickets purchased by schools and families, including young children. Adrian Jackson, CEO and Artistic Director said, “It has been an enormously difficult decision to post...