Sister Act with Alexandra Burke

 ALEXANDRA BURKE RETURNS TO MK IN THE ALL NEW PRODUCTION

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An all new production of the Broadway and West End smash hit musical comedy Sister Act is currently at Milton Keynes Theatre, starring Alexandra Burke who recently wowed local audiences with her performance at the theatre in The Bodyguard.

Based on the film starring Whoopi Goldberg and Maggie Smith, Sister Act tells the hilarious story of Deloris Van Cartier, a disco diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a murder. Under protective custody she is hidden in the one place she won’t be found – a convent! Disguised as a nun and under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own.

A scene from Sister Act @ Leicester Curve. Directed and Choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood. (Opening 30-07-16) ©Tristram Kenton 07/16 (3 Raveley Street, LONDON NW5 2HX TEL 0207 267 5550 Mob 07973 617 355)email: tristram@tristramkenton.com  (Photographs by Tristan Kenton)

Joining the Alexandra Burke as ‘Deloris Van Cartier’ will be Joanna Francis as ‘Michelle’, Jon Robyns as ‘Eddie’, Karen Mann as ‘Mother Superior’ and Rosemary Ashe as ‘Sister Mary Lazarus’. The role of ‘Deloris Van Cartier’ is played by Joanna Francis at the matinee performances

Aaron Lee Lambert plays ‘Curtis’ 

A scene from Sister Act @ Leicester Curve. Directed and Choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood. (Opening 30-07-16) ©Tristram Kenton 07/16 (3 Raveley Street, LONDON NW5 2HX TEL 0207 267 5550 Mob 07973 617 355)email: tristram@tristramkenton.com

The company also includes Sarah Goggin, Susannah Van Den Berg, Allison Harding, Ricky Rojas, Samuel Morgan-Grahame, Sandy Grigelis, Nicola Bryan, Jennifer Douglas, Aiesha Pease, Sally Peerless and Justin Wilman.

A scene from Sister Act @ Leicester Curve. Directed and Choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood. (Opening 30-07-16) ©Tristram Kenton 07/16 (3 Raveley Street, LONDON NW5 2HX TEL 0207 267 5550 Mob 07973 617 355)email: tristram@tristramkenton.com

This all new production of Sister Act is directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood with musical supervision and arrangements by Tony Award-Winner Sarah Travis. Set and costume design is by Matthew Wright, with lighting design by Richard G Jones and sound design by Richard Brooker.

Sister Act features original music by the 8 time Oscar and Tony Award winner Alan Menken.

Sister Act is at MK Theatre from 26th September until 1st October

Box Office: 0844 871 7652 or online: www.atgtickets.com/Miltonkeynes 

A scene from Sister Act @ Leicester Curve. Directed and Choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood. (Opening 30-07-16) ©Tristram Kenton 07/16 (3 Raveley Street, LONDON NW5 2HX TEL 0207 267 5550 Mob 07973 617 355)email: tristram@tristramkenton.com

Photographs by Tristram Kenton

Alexandra Burke sparkled throughout the performance which is exactly what we’ve come to expect from her. Just as well really, because I felt she was having to carry the show rather too much. Having the cast as actor/musicians works for some things but I didn’t think it quite came off for this – e.g. whilst the murdering gang were having a secret meeting, two of the policemen were needed on the set to play backing music! The musical nuns though, now that worked a treat and was very funny.

I’ve seen Aaron Lee Lambert in several things and I’ve always been most impressed, but in my opinion he made Curtis far too nice for the murderer he was. It didn’t help of course when Deloris dreams of being a star, Curtis is one of the dancers. Deloris might well have dreamed that Curtis would be dancing at her feet, but the audience just sat and wondered why the villain was now one of the dancers!

The set was the dowdy, almost penniless church. This had to double as a bar, nightclub, prison and even Eddie’s bedroom, all done quite effectively with lighting changes and minimal props. One more lighting change would have been nice though – to brighten up the church itself when they came into money.

For all my griping, it was an enjoyable night with a fabulous finale that brought the packed house to its feet! I just think that perhaps the ladies in this cast beat the men hands down!

Sister Act is at MK Theatre from 26th September until 1st October

Box Office: 0844 871 7652 or online: www.atgtickets.com/Miltonkeynes 

 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s at MK Theatre

GEORGIA MAY FOOTE IS HOLLY GOLIGHTLY IN  BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S AT MILTON KEYNES THEATRE

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the classic tale of Holly Golightly written by Truman Capote and so memorably portrayed by Audrey Hepburn in the iconic film, has been given a new lease of life as a stage play with music starring Georgia May Foote and is at Milton Keynes Theatre 19th – 24th September.

Georgia was runner-up in last year’s Strictly Come Dancing.  Her television credits include Katy Armstrong in Coronation Street, Gemma in This Is England ’86 and Alison Simmons in Grange HillBreakfast at Tiffany’s is her professional stage debut.

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Georgia said “I am so excited that for my first theatre role I will be playing such an iconic character. I cannot wait to join the cast of Breakfast at Tiffany’s as Holly Golightly. It’s a wonderful adaptation of an incredible story and I’m really thrilled to be part of it!”

With Georgia in the cast of Breakfast at Tiffany’s are Matt Barber (Atticus Aldridge in Downton Abbey) as Fred, Victor McGuire (the sit-coms Trollied and Bread) as Joe Bell. Also in the cast are Robert Calvert, Naomi Cranston, Charlie De Melo, Tim Frances, Andrew Joshi, Melanie La Barrie and Sevan Stephan.

Based on Truman Capote’s beloved masterwork, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is set in New York in 1943. Fred, a young writer from Louisiana, meets Holly Golightly, a charming, vivacious and utterly elusive good-time girl.  Everyone falls in love with Holly – including Fred.  But Fred is poor, and Holly’s other suitors include a playboy millionaire and the future president of Brazil.  As war rages on in Europe, Holly begins to fall in love with Fred – just as her past catches up with her.

With memorable songs from the era, along with some original music by Grant Olding (One Man, Two Guvnors), this stylish production is set to capture the hearts of the audience and sparkle like a diamond in a Tiffany’s window.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is at the Milton Keynes Theatre from 19th-24th September.

Box Office:  0844 871 7652 or online: www.atgtickets.com/Miiltonkeynes

Orchestral Season at Royal & Derngate

With free pre-concert talks and 15% off ticket prices if you buy a ticket package this year’s Royal & Derngate’s Ochestral Season featuring top soloists along with the Royal Philharmonic and the BBC Concert Orchestras is too good to miss for music lovers.

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Sunday 16th October  The Annual Malcolm Arnold Festival. John Gibbons conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra featuring Craig Ogden (Guitar)

Sunday 27th November  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jean-Luc Tingaud featuring Soprano Elin Pritchard and the Northampton Bach Choir. The concert, celebrating the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s 70th Anniversary will open with Zadok the Priest (Handel), Danse Macabre (Saint-Saens), Gloria (Poulenc) and finally Symphony No 3, ‘Organ’.

Sunday 19th February 2017  Grzegorz Nowak conducts the Philharmonic Orchestra in a programme entitled Russian Masters. Featuring Ivana Gavric (piano), you will be treated to a programme that includes Borodin’s Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances, Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto No 2, A Night on the Bare Mountain (Mussorgsky), Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol, Khachaturian@s Spartacus Suite No2: Adagio and to finish Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

Sunday 12th March 2017  The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Raphael Wallfisch (Cello), conducted by Jac van Steen. Wagner’s Lohengrin: Prelude to Act 1, the Elgar Cello Concerto and Beethoven’s Symphony No7.

Box Office: 01604 624811 or online: www.royalandderngate.co.uk

Sunny Afternoon at Milton Keynes

The multi Olivier award-winning hit musical Sunny Afternoon continues to excite audiences in the West End and arrives at Milton Keynes Theatre from 30 August – 03 September.

SUNNY AFTERNOON TOUR - 2 Photo Kevin Cummins

Sunny Afternoon tells the captivating tale of one of Britain’s greatest bands, The Kinks, through their iconic hits including You Really Got Me, Waterloo Sunset, Dedicated follower of Fashion, All Day and All Of The Night, Lola and of course Sunny Afternoon.

The Kinks exploded onto the 60s music scene with a raw energetic new sound that rocked a nation. But how did that happen, where exactly did they come from and what happened next?

SUNNY AFTERNOON TOUR - 1. Photo Kevin Cummins

Set against the back-drop of a Britain caught mid-swing between the conservative 50s and riotous 60s, this production explores the euphoric highs and agonising lows of one of Britain’s most iconic bands and the irresistible music that influenced generations.

The show stars Ryan O’Donnell as Ray Davies, with Mark Newnham as Dave Davies.

SUNNY AFTERNOON TOUR - Ryan O'Donnell (Ray Davies). Photo Kevin Cummins (2) Ryan O’Donnell was a member of the band Jethro Tull for four years and most recently appeared in “Sunny Afternoon” at the Harold Pinter Theatre. His other theatre credits include: “Quadrophenia” at Theatre Royal Plymouth; “Frankenstein” at Royal and Derngate; “Romeo & Juliet” for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

SUNNY AFTERNOON TOUR - Mark Newnham (Dave Davies). Photo Kevin CumminsMark Newnham most recently appeared in “All or Nothing” at The Vaults Theatre London. His other theatre credits include: “Return to the Forbidden Planet” on UK tour; “Lennon” at the Royal Court, Liverpool; “Bouncers” and “A Passionate Woman” at the Queens Theatre, Hornchurch” and “Hot Stuff” at the Oldham Collesium.

Following a sell-out run at Hampstead Theatre, SUNNY AFTERNOON opened to critical acclaim at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End in October 2014 and runs there until the end of October 2016.

SUNNY AFTERNOON has music and lyrics by Ray Davies with a book by Joe Penhall and original story by Ray Davies. It is directed by Edward Hall, designed by Miriam Buether with choreography by Adam Cooper. 

Note: All photos by Kevin Cummins

Sunny Afternoon is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 3rd September.

Box office: 0844 871 7652 or online: www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

I’m of an age that I don’t mind admitting that I enjoyed The Kinks’ hits the first time round! But I was not too sure what to expect as I went to the Milton Keynes Theatre to see Sunny Afternoon. I needn’t have worried as it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable evenings in the theatre this year! The whole show, set in front of a mountain of speakers (at times it sounded as if they were all working!) was technically excellent. The actors were also fine musicians and singers and the Ray Davies songs were reproduced more accurately than we as the audience had a right to expect!

There were moments in between the well known Kinks hits and a stunning drum solo by Andrew Gallo as drummer Mick Avory where the songs with Ray and his young wife played by Lisa Wright and Ray and Dave Davies that were so poignant that there were several seconds of emotional silence before the packed house applauded. We also saw how tough times were for groups in those days with the managers, publishers and promoters taking huge cuts of the money.

If you like a good story, or just want to experience being at a live Kinks performance then get a ticket to see this show!

Ernie Almond

Palmerston on Black Cat Radio live!

Palmerston, who have successfully evaded being stuck in a genre, (They say they always take a shovel) will be performing live on Black Cat Radio on Thursday 11th August between 7-9pm.

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“An effin orchestra” claimed one innocent bystander. “I only nipped out for a quick one, next thing I know, I’ve bought all their albums!”

Keyboard & ConcertinaFiddle & Squeezebox, Harmonica & Guitar, Bass & Banjo, Mandolin & Percussion. Five-Part Harmonies.

The band are widely travelled (Milton Keynes, Slapton etc.) and were recently supporting Albert Lee who said afterwards:

“The gentlemen of Palmerston guarantee you an exciting evening of music which involves styles past and good times galore. But the music is fresh, invigorating, all theirs and a must see-and-hear.”

Palmerston’s line-up is as follows:

Original songs written by Alan Rondeau mainly because he has his own pen. Alan also plays mandolin, guitar and sings.

Martin Hartup who apparently wears check shirts so he can find them, Plays Guitar (with a slice of bread in the sound hole) & Sings

Dave Norman who has a heart of gold and wishes he could remember where he put it, plays Bass & Sings

Andy Powell plays Banjo (when no-one is listening!), Harmonica, random Concertina & Sings

Peter Ball plays Keyboard, Fiddle,  Accordion & Sings (as far as we can tell!)

If you’d like to hear Palmerston on Black Cat Radio this Thursday between 7 – 9pm, probably the easiest way is to download the TuneIn Radio App and search for Black Cat Radio:

Black Cat Radio  Note: Black Cat Radio is the community radio station for St Neots and the surrounding area. Very soon they will be on 107fm., until then catch them online.

Rocky Horror still bringing the house down after 40 years!

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW returns to the Milton Keynes Theatre from 25th – 30th July.

 Since its first appearance at the Royal Court Theatre in June 1973, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show has become the world’s favourite Rock N’ Roll musical. It has been performed worldwide for nearly 40 years in over 30 countries in every continent and has been translated into more than 20 languages. Celebrating his 10th anniversary as director of The Rocky Horror Show is Christopher Luscombe and it is his production which is at Milton Keynes Theatre this week,25 – 30 Jul.

Rocky Horror 

Liam Tamne, who has appeared in The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Wicked and Hairspray in the West End in addition to series 3 of The Voice on BBC television, will follow in the footsteps of Tim Curry when he stars as the lead character of Frank ‘n’ Furter  Stage and TV Award winning actor Richard Meek, who has appeared in Hot Mikado (for which he won Time Out Critics’ Choice), and appeared in The Rocky Horror Show in Singapore and New Zealand and most recently in the West End Production of the shoe that was screened live in cinemas across Europe. Playing opposite Richard as Janet is Diana Vickers who scored such a hit as Little Voice in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice. Norman Pace of the comedy due Hale & Pace will have a free hand to verbally handle the usual rowdy Rocky Horror audiences as he plays the Narrator.

This musical extravaganza will feature all of its famous musical classics including Science Fiction/Double Feature, Dammit Janet and of course, the timeless floor-filler, The Time-Warp.

The Rocky Horror Show tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, two squeaky clean college kids who meet Dr Frank ’n’ Furter by chance when their car breaks down outside his house, whilst on their way to visit their former college professor. It is an adventure they’ll never forget, with fun, frolics, frocks, and frivolity, bursting with timeless songs and outrageous outfits.

Directed by Christopher Luscombe, The Rocky Horror Show is a guaranteed party, which famously combines science-fiction, horror, comedy and music and encourages audience participation meaning, of course, getting dressed in your most outrageous fancy dress.

The Rocky Horror Show was first performed on 19 June 1973 at the Royal Court Theatre. It was an immediate success, transferring to three London theatres. It was transformed into a film in 1974 called The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This film adaptation took over $135 million at the Box Office and is still shown in cinemas around the world 42 years after its premiere, making it the longest running theatrical release in film history.

Many stars, including Russell Crowe, Tim Curry, Jerry Springer, Rhydian and Meatloaf have appeared in The Rocky Horror Show over the past 40 years.

Ready to thrill you with fun and naughty moments, O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show is the boldest bash of them all. Be warned, this show has rude parts! So pull on those stockings and book today!

Box Office: 0844 871 7652 or online: www.atgtickets.com /miltonkeynes 

 

Coward Classic at Milton Keynes

Theatre Royal Bath Productions presents a brand new version of Noel Coward’s Present Laughter with Samuel West and Phyllis Logan at Milton Keynes Theatre from 11th–16th July as part of a UK tour, prior to a West End transfer.

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Actor, charmer and diva, Garry Essendine is determined to disregard his advancing years and receding hairline by revelling in endless tantrums and casual affairs. But just as he is about to depart for Africa, he finds himself besieged by a bevvy of would-be seductresses, not to mention his long-suffering secretary, his estranged wife, and an obsessed and rather strange young playwright. As he attempts to disentangle himself from their clutches and demands, the humour escalates, accompanied by delicious dialogue and sparkling repartee.

Often thought of as semi-autobiographical, Noël Coward’s Present Laughter is undoubtedly one of his funniest plays as he looks at life behind the theatrical curtain and reveals a world of glittering wits, dashing dressing gowns and ostentatious personalities.

Theatre Royal Bath June  2016 Dress Rehearsal Present Laughter by Noel Coward Directed by Stephen Unwin Designer Simon Higlett   Lighting Designer Paul Pyant Samuel West/Garry Essendine   Phyllis Logan/Monica Reed Daisy Boulton/Daphne Stillington   Martin Hancock/Fred Rebecca Johnson/Liz Essedine  Sally Tatum/Miss Erikson Toby Longworth/Henry Lyppiatt   Zoe Boyle/Joanne Lyppiatt Jason Morell/Morris Dixon  Elizabeth Holland/Lady Saltbury Patrick Walshe McBride/Ronald Maule ©NOBBY CLARK +44(0)7941-515770 +44(0)20-7274-2105 nobby@nobbyclark.co.uk

Theatre Royal Bath June 2016 Dress Rehearsal. Photograph by Nobby Clark

Samuel West, whose acclaimed credits include Mr Selfridge and many leading classical roles for the RSC, plays Garry Essendine.  He has portrayed both Richard II and Hamlet on stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Multi award-winning Phyllis Logan plays Monica, his acerbic secretary. Best known as the housekeeper Mrs Hughes in Downton Abbey and Lady Jane Felsham in Lovejoy, her film credits include Another Time, Another Place (for which she won both Evening Standard and BAFTA awards), Mike Leigh’s Secrets and Lies and 1984.

Noel Coward’s Present Laughter  is at Milton Keynes Theatre from 11th–16th July

Box Office: 0844 871 7652 or online: www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes (booking fees apply. Calls 7p per min, [plus your phone company’s access charge)

 Noel Coward’s Present Laughter is set in the 1930’s when the stars of the theatre were worshipped by their adoring public quite as much as Boy bands are by their fans today. Gary Essendine’s life is more of a Love tangle than a love triangle and leads to all sorts of complications!

The gentle humour and razor sharp wit that was the trademark of Coward is evident throughout the first half, slowly building up to scenes that might not look out of place in one of the better Whitehall farces in the second half. A wonderful performance by Samuel West as Gary Essendine, coping with the cutting sarcasm from his secretary Monica (beautifully played by Phyllis Logan) who has been with him for 17 years and has seen it all before! This production boasts a very strong cast playing eleven very different characters. Essendine’s luxurious apartment is the very detailed set designed by Simon Higlett all very lifelike from the skylight window to the parquet flooring. Hannah Bell is to be congratulated for choosing stunning costumes of the period that somehow didn’t look dated.

That could be said of the whole production, the humour and the predicaments that Gary Essendine finds himself in were all happening in the 1930’s and you very quickly notice that they are just as prevalent today!

A great night at the theatre and a far cry from the amplified Cacophony of sound that we are so used to with modern musicals that seem to be the staple diet of current touring theatre. Present Laughter is thoroughly recommended, get to see it at Milton Keynes Theatre if you can, it’s on its way into London but that might cost you very much more!

Ernie Almond

Noel Coward’s Present Laughter  is at Milton Keynes Theatre from 11th–16th July

Box Office: 0844 871 7652 or online: www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes (booking fees apply. Calls 7p per min, [plus your phone company’s access charge)

The show of the year so far at Milton Keynes?

Thriller Live

Direct from London’s West End, Thriller Live is a spectacular concert created to celebrate the career of the world’s greatest entertainer. It is a visual, audio and electrifying journey through the magic of Michael Jackson’s 45 year musical history. Over two hours of non-stop hits from pop to rock, soul to disco as the cast play homage to Jackson’s legendary live performances and innovative dance moves executed with flair, precision and passion, this is a show that you will never forget.

The special visual effects perfectly set the scene for the various phases of Jackson’s career. The cast and dancers deliver with amazing accuracy the songs moves and the mood of those decades. I must mention the terrific live band under the direction of Mike Lindup – they were also so accurate in their interpretations of well over thirty songs going right back to the early Motown era that you might have been convinced you were listening to the original backing tracks. Cleverly though, the director/choreographer Gary Lloyd decided to make sure we knew they were all playing and singing live by bringing the band into the action.

There were one or two cast changes on the night we saw the show, but being called Understudy or Alternate in the programme notes gave quite the wrong impression! They were all without any doubt lead performers.

Ione Townsend has the perfect voice – and what a voice! – for the many songs required of the female lead in Thriller Live. If she was a little nervous in the first few minutes, she quickly stepped it up and gave a fine performance. Sean Christopher we were told was the lead dancer. Little did we know that towards the end of the show he IS Michael Jackson! All of the dancing was of a very high standard with some exceptionally innovative moves from Gary Lloyd with his choregrapher hat on.

The three male leads were Shaquille Hemmans, now there’s a stage personality if ever I saw one! Adam J Bernard, who knew that Dan Strongman in Holby City had such a voice! Stepping up the ranks and coping well was Tyrone Lee, having worked with many of our top current male vocalists is rappidly making a name for himself.

The audience were standing, dancing, clapping and cheering long before the spectacular finale. In fact, a friend of mine that goes to the theatre as often as I do remarked “That was the show of the year for me!”

So, if you’d like to see a show that’s spectacularly well staged, where the five leads are brilliant and where the singers, dancers and band all give 110%, then don’t miss Thriller Live at the Milton Keynes Theatre this week!

Thriller Live is at the Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 9th July

Box Office: 0844 870 0887 or online: www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

Joe McElderry the best Joseph yet?

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X Factor winner Joe McElderry and Britain’s Got Talent’s Lucy Kay star in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at The Milton Keynes Theatre until 2nd July.

Having garnered sensational reviews and standing ovations at every performance since its inception almost 35 years ago, Bill Kenwright’s  production of this sparkling family musical has now sold an estimated 20 million tickets.

This vibrant 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.

Lucy Jay  Lucy Kay scored her first number one album in 2014, after her stunning debut album ‘Fantasia’ shot straight to the top of the Classical Album Chart. The singer, originally from Leicestershire, shot to fame and captured the country’s hearts as runner up on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ in 2014.

Following her success on the show, Lucy also recorded the song ‘Flower of Scotland’ with the band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Royal Navy. Lucy was also a special guest on Andrea Bocelli’s 2014 tour.

1)Henry Metcalfe and Joe McElderry in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (c)Mark Yeoman Henry Metcalf as Jacob with Joe McElderry

 Joe McElderry was just 18 when won the sixth series of ‘The X Factor’  beating off fierce competition from Olly Murs and Stacey Solomon. Joe then soared to number one on the UK Singles Charts with his rendition of Miley Cyrus’s The Climb and his debut album Wide Awake went straight in at number 3 on the UK Albums Chart. He has since gone on to have two more top ten albums, and he became the first X Factor star to release four albums. Apart from his very successful tours, Joe has won “Pop Star to Opera Star” on BBC2 and “Jump” for Channel 4

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 2nd July.

Box Office: 0844 871 7677 or online: www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

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Those of us who have seen various editions of the Bill Kenwright production of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat are by now quite used to inflatable sheep that don’t (inflate that is), jokey bits that don’t quite hit the mark and the cardboard Sphinx with a sliding mouth. But this latest tour is a real sparkler! Joe McElderrry is without doubt the best Joseph I have seen including the West End Production a few years ago. His onstage presence and energy are only matched by his fine vocal performance. He is the worthy star of this show.

Lucy Kay’s singing talent is also first rate. She commands the stage well as the narrator and re-acts with the children in the cast well.

This is as good a production as you’re likely to see, perfect for the younger members of the family with a story they probably already know and can follow. The show closed with the usual standing ovation, not just from the young ones or McElderry fans, but all ages were on their feet clapping along and singing the finale routine with Joe and company.

Highly recommended, very few tickets left.

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 2nd July.

Box Office: 0844 871 7677 or online: www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

Rehearsal for Murder has more than one twist!

MK THEATRE tries to find out whodunnit as REHEARSAL FOR MURDER heads to town.

From the pen of the legendary award-winning writing team Richard Levinson & William Link, the creators of the mystery series Murder She Wrote and the award-winning TV detective series Columbo comes this classic ‘whodunnit’ murder mystery. Rehearsal for Murder is at Milton Keynes Theatre from 20 – 25 June.

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Following the phenomenal decade-long success of The Agatha Christie Theatre Company, which sold over two million tickets and continually played to packed houses across the UK, Bill Kenwright Ltd began an exciting new chapter in January 2016 with the launch of The Classic Thriller Theatre Company and its first production Rehearsal For Murder adapted for the stage by David Rogers arrive at MK on the next leg of the hit UK tour.

TV favourites Alex Ferns (Eastenders, Legend) and Susie Amy (Footballers’ Wives, Echo Beach) join a cast of much-loved Agatha Christie Theatre Company regulars including Gary Mavers (Peak Practice, Emmerdale), 60’s pop legend Mark Wynter (Cats, Dreamboats and Petticoats, The Phantom of the Opera) and Ben Nealon (Solider Solider). Entertainment icon Anita Harris, Holby City’s Lauren Drummond, Gwynfor Jones and Georgia Neville complete this strong cast.

Playwright Alex Dennison is left heartbroken when his fiancée and leading lady Monica Welles is found dead from an apparent suicide after the opening night of her stage debut. On the anniversary of that ill-fated night, Alex assembles the same cast and crew in the same theatre, for a reading of his new play. But as the reading progresses, the play’s similarity to actual events becomes increasingly uncomfortable for the participants, and it soon becomes clear that Alex believes Monica was murdered and his new play is a devious cat-and-mouse chase to uncover her killer…

The production is directed by Roy Marsden who is best known as an actor, particularly in his role as Commander Adam Dalgliesh in ITV’s P.D. James series, which he played for 15 years. But he has also been directing plays since he was 15 years old and had two successful West End runs with Noel Coward’s Volcano and Agatha Christie’s (under the pen name Mary Westmacott) A Daughter’s a Daughter. His most recent work for Bill Kenwright was directing a UK tour of Susan Hill’s The Small Hand, the theatrical follow up to The Woman in Black.

Rehearsal for Murder is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 25th June.

Box office: 0844 8717652 or online: www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

An excellent choice to kick off Bill Kenwright’s new Classic Thriller Theatre Company, “Rehearsal for Murder” has all the favourite Agatha Christie tricks of the trade without the dated feel that one or two of them have nowadays.

Actors performing a play within a play must find it difficult enough being the same character both acting and for real, but in this story by Richard Levinson & William Link (adapted for the stage by David Rogers) they have to cope with a play within a play within a play! I can tell you no more for fear of spoiling it for you. I do though, thoroughly recommend this murder mystery to you – and I’d bet next week’s drink allowance that you wont guess the answer before it happens!

This very strong cast are a real team and although it would be wrong to single any one out, I must say how nice it was to see Anita Harris again (as glamourous as ever) and Mark Wynter now a much in demand actor – a long cry from his “Venus in Blue Jeans” days. Congratulations too to Alex Ferns as the playwright Alex Dennison. Onstage virtually for the entire play, Alex carried this mystery well.

My only criticism might be that due to the nature of the story there needs to be a lengthy explanation from the whole cast as to what actually happened! Having said that, I’ve no idea what details you might cut!

If you’re quick, you might get a seat, if you do I know you’ll enjoy the twists and turns of this fine story!

Ernie Almond