The Play That Goes Wrong – MK Theatre

The Play That Goes Wrong, the West End’s Olivier Award winning box office hit, sets off on its third major UK tour, visiting Milton Keynes Theatre, Monday 23 – Saturday 28 April.

Winning eleven international awards, including the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and a 2017 Tony Award for its Broadway transfer, The Play That Goes Wrong continues to play to sold out houses in the West End, whilst enjoying its new status as Broadway’s longest running play. It is a remarkable rags-to-riches story for a play, which started its life at a London fringe venue with only four paying members of the public at the first performance, and has since played to an audience of almost one and a half million worldwide. In 2017, The Play That Goes Wrong played simultaneously in twelve countries.

Co-written by Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, The Play That Goes Wrong is a highly physical comedy packed with finely-tuned farce and Buster Keaton inspired slapstick delivered with split-second timing and ambitious daring. The play introduces The ‘Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’ who are attempting to put on a 1920s’ murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong… does, as the accident prone thespians battle on against all the odds to get to their final curtain call.

Why would all these regional theatres want a return visit of our little murder mystery show when last year’s tour went so badly wrong. I am at a loss to understand it.” Producer, Kenny Wax

Mischief Theatre was founded in 2008 by a group of graduates of The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and began as an improvised comedy group. Their other production The Comedy About A Bank Robbery is now booking into its third year in the West End at the Criterion Theatre and their new improv show Mischief Movie Night opens in the West End on 13 December at the Arts Theatre.  The company is led by Artistic Director Henry Lewis and Company Director Jonathan Sayer.

The touring cast presents: Jake Curran (Chris), Catherine Dryden (Annie), Bobby Hirston (Max), Benjamin McMahon (Dennis), Gabriel Paul (Trevor), Steven Rostance (Jonathan), Kazeem Tosin Amore (Robert), Elena Valentine (Sandra) with David Kristopher-Brown (Understudy), Laura White (Understudy), Liam Horrigan (Understudy) and Louisa Sexton (Understudy).

The Play That Goes Wrong is directed by Mark Bell, with set designs by Nigel Hook, lighting by Ric Mountjoy and costumes by Roberto Surace. The Play That Goes Wrong is produced in the West End and on tour by Kenny Wax Ltd and Stage Presence Ltd.

The Play that Goes Wrong is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 28th April

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

I went along early in the week and I would be less than truthful if I said all ran smoothly. The few minor technical hitches were cleverly covered up by this stellar cast led by actor/director Trevor (played by Gabriel Paul). I’m sure that with the help of a few nails, a hammer and a roll of gaffer tape all will be well by the time you see this – and see it you must if only to witness the best corpse in the business played by Steven Rostance.

New Musical by Sting comes to Royal & Derngate

The UK premiere of The Last Ship, with a Tony-nominated original score and lyrics by Sting, comes to Northampton’s Royal & Derngate from Tuesday 24 to Saturday 28 April, as part of a major UK and Ireland tour.

The Last Ship, which was initially inspired by Sting’s 1991 album The Soul Cages and his own childhood experiences, tells the story of a community amid the demise of the shipbuilding industry in Tyne and Wear, with the closure of the Swan Hunter shipyard.

This personal, political and passionate new musical is an epic account of a family, a community and a great act of defiance. It features an original score with music and lyrics by Sting as well as a few of his best-loved songs, Island of Souls, All This Time and When We Dance

When a sailor named Gideon Fletcher returns home from sea, he discovers the ship-building life he left behind in chaos. The local shipyard is closing and no-one knows what will come next. With the engine fired and pistons in motion, picket lines are drawn as foreman Jackie White and his wife Peggy fight to hold their community together in the face of the gathering storm.

Playing the part of Jackie White, Joe McGann is perhaps best known as Charlie Burrows in the comedy series The Upper Hand, with stage roles including Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls. Emmerdale star Charlie Hardwick takes the role Peggy White. Playing Gideon Fletcher, Richard Fleeshman’s stage roles include Sam Wheat in Ghost the Musical (West End and Broadway).

The Last Ship is at the Royal & Derngate from 24th to 27 April.

Box Office on 01604 624811 or online at www.royalandderngate.co.uk.

 

New cast for Hairspray

The Cast has been announced for the major UK tour of Smash-hit musical  HAIRSPRAY  at Milton Keynes until 14th April

Norman Pace (ITV1’s The Hale and Pace Show) will play Wilbur Turnblad, he will be joined by Matt Rixon (The Ladykillers, Around the World in 80 Days) reprising his role as Edna Turnblad,

 

musical theatre star Brenda Edwards (Chicago, We Will Rock You, The X Factor) returning as Motormouth Maybelle and Layton Williams (Bad Education, Rent) now starring as Seaweed. Gina Murray (Chicago and Full Monty) joins the cast as Velma Von Tussle with Jon Tsouras (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Crazy for You) once again playing Corny Collins; Edward Chitticks (On the Town, Mamma Mia) as Link Larkin; Aimee Moore as Amber Von Tussle and Annalise Liard-Bailey as Penny Pingleton.

Rebecca Mendoza will make her professional debut as Tracy Turnblad.

Featuring the iconic music and lyrics by Academy Award, Tony and Emmy winning duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, this big, bold and beautiful production is choreographed by Olivier Award-winning Drew McOnie with direction from Paul Kerryson.

It’s Baltimore 1962, where Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, is on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way onto national TV. Tracy’s audition makes her a local star and soon she is using her new-found fame to fight for equality, bagging local heartthrob Link Larkin along the way.

Hairspray is a musical based on the 1988 film of the same name which starred Divine and Ricki Lake by cult filmmaker John Waters. With music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, Hairspray originally opened to rave reviews on Broadway in 2002 and subsequently won eight Tony Awards. The production opened in London at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 2007 and won four Laurence Olivier Awards including Best New Musical. Proving to be an international success, Hairspray has also opened in South Africa, Japan, South Korea, China and Dubai. Following the musical’s phenomenal success on stage, a film of the musical was released in 2007 which starred John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and James Marsden.

Hairspray is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 14th April

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

Unlike the last time I saw Hairspray, this production was fun, energetic, really tight and overflowing with good performances! Firstly, congratulations to Rebecca Mendoza – if her debut professional performance is this good, she’s heading for stardom! Then we had the fabulous Layton Williams as Seaweed – fabulously acrobatic dancing and owned the stage for every second he was on it. Brenda Edwards, for once working on home territory proved once again that she has one of the richest, most powerful voices in British Musical Theatre, she’s always a complete joy to interview and to experience when she lights up the entire theatre with every entrance she makes. Norman Pace was not on the night I went, but Wilbur was in the very capable hands of ??????? (He should have been given much more credit!)  To my mind, one of the best Edna Turnblads, Matt Rixon gave his usual impeccable performance or perhaps I should say Outstanding rather than usual!

With a truly fine band onstage throughout, I can only advise those of you that have seen Hairspray before to get a ticket and bask in this production’s polished difference – and those who have never seen it DO NOT MISS THIS! 

Hairspray is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 14th April

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