Farce by John Cleese is a Banging success in Peterborough!

John Cleese (no, not appearing) makes his stage writing debut with a hilarious new adaptation of this classic comedy – a delicious blend of French Farce and Fawlty Towers.

When Leontine, (Tessa Peake-Jones) a respectable society lady, discovers that she’s been hoodwinked by her husband, Duchotel, (Tony Gardner) who’s always pretending to go hunting but really chasing after other ‘prey’, she vows to take revenge on the philanderer! But while Duchotel’s away, his lifelong friend Dr Moricet (Richard Earl) comes calling – and he’s on the hunt too. 

Will Leontine get caught in his sights, or instead set a trap of her own?

Secrets unravel as the devilish Duchotel finds himself snared in a door-slamming, trouser-dropping, balcony-climbing night of chaos set amidst the stylish apartments of Paris. The apartments are run by Madam Latour (Wendi Peters)

Bang Bang! is at The New Theatre, Peterborough until 29th February

Box Office: 01733 852992 or online: www.newtheatre-peterborough.com or bangbangtour.co.uk

Press Night thoughts…..

If you’re a fan of farce this is this is for you! John Cleese has adapted a story by Georges Feydeau and proved yet again that he is a master of outrageous comedy. He wisely decided to leave the play set in Paris which seems to make the plot all the more believable. Due to the combined skills of the author, the director and the very strong cast, we are taken in completely believing every ridiculous antic our “devoted” couples get up to!

Every now and then the “third wall” is broken for a character to make a comment as to how things are going. You might be forgiven for thinking this would break the mood, but it in fact adds to the general chaos happening in the lives of most of the cast!

The play, as you might expect, has many a nod towards Fawlty Towers, but then we might be disappointed if it didn’t! The hilarious script is performed absolutely straight by our talented cast, lead by Tessa Peake-Jones, Tony Gardner and Wendi Peters. Originally a three act this has been changed to a two act play by giving Madam Latour a song to sing (she’s fallen from grace due to an unfortunate incident with a lion tamer) during the set change. As you might (or might not) expect, the stage hands in their brown coats complete the set change in time and step with Madam Latour’s singing.

Get to see this if you can, its a hoot! You might see a man without his trousers…..but you’ve seen a lot worse!

Cast, script, set, direction, lighting etc all 10 out of 10! Don’t miss it!

Ernie Almond

Bang Bang! is at The New Theatre, Peterborough until 29th February

Box Office: 01733 852992 or online: www.newtheatre-peterborough.com or bangbangtour.co.uk

“Once” tears the place apart in Milton Keynes!

When a Dublin street busker is encouraged by a young Czech musician to give up the day job in his dad’s Hoover repair shop it turns out that it’s more than just her broken vacuum cleaner that is likely to get fixed. 

 

Based on the critically acclaimed 2007 Irish small budget movie, Once tells the story of two lost souls whose lives are changed over the course of five short days.  

 ‘Girl’ meets ‘Guy’ just as he is on the verge of giving up his dream of becoming a successful singer-songwriter. Worn down by the misery of a broken heart and an infuriating excess of self-pity, the arrival of ‘Girl’, with her boundless optimism, common sense and motivation, is exactly the kick up the backside ‘Guy’ needs to recharge his batteries and restore his faith in, not only the power of music but also the power of love. 

 Once premiered at the New York Theatre Workshop in 2011 before transferring to Broadway in 2012. There it won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album. Productions have since opened all over the world, including the West End production in 2013 which received the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music. 

Once has a Book by award-winning Irish playwright and screenwriter Enda Walsh, and Music & Lyrics by Academy Award winning Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová who, for Falling Slowly, won the Oscar for Best Original Song. 

 Daniel Healy and Emma Lucia return to the roles of ‘Guy’ and ‘Girl’ after receiving critical and audience acclaim in the production’s premiere last year at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch.  

Daniel is a singer-songwriter, musician and actor, who has co-written songs for multi-platinum artist Ronan Keating including the single Breathe, which topped the BBC Radio 2 Playlist. Theatre credits include Backbeat and Once, both in the West End.  

Emma Lucia made her professional debut as Marilyn and understudying Carole King in the UK Tour of Beautiful, before taking on the role of ‘Girl’ in Once. 

 

Once is directed by Peter Rowe with set and costume design by Libby Watson and musical supervision by Ben Goddard

Once is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 22nd February

Box Office: 0800 912 6971 or Online:   ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes 

Ernie Almond was lucky enough to be invited to the Press night, here are his thoughts:

From the moment you walk into the auditorium at MK Theatre this week you WILL be in an Irish pub somewhere in Dublin. People are singing, dancing and playing all manner of instruments including (& especially) percussion on a wooden box. Before you know it and almost imperceptibly we are into the play proper with “Guy” (Daniel Healy) playing his guitar and singing. Its a love song and as he replaces his guitar into its case we learn that he’s giving up music. The reason for this is linked to affairs of the heart which turn out to be the backbone of this story. Along comes Czechoslovakian “Girl” (Emma Lucia) who sets out to save this poor soul – as much for the sake of his musical talent as the fact that there could be a romantic liason in the offing!

Beautifully performed by the entire cast – each one a character in their own right. I wish I had space here to describe every one of them. The music is not particularly “Irish” (apart from the pub scenes), just very effective romantic light rock. At one point the entire cast sing a cappella in such a beautiful rendition that it takes the audience a couple of seconds after it finishes to burst into applause.

If you want a frivolous, feelgood musical, wait until Mary Poppins comes round, but don’t miss Once which will intrigue you, amuse you, make you both happy and sad and most certainly make you think long after you leave the theatre.

Verdict: Not To Be Missed!

Once is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 22nd February

Box Office: 0800 912 6971 or Online:   ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes 

Nothing Wishy-Washy about Aladdin at MK Theatre! has it all

Joe Pasquale, the star of stage, screen, reality TV and blissfully funny comedy, will lead the cast in the role of Aladdin’s hapless brother, Wishee Washee.
Joe is well-known and best-loved for being one of the hardest-working and top-selling live comedians in British comedy today. He’s been delighting audiences for more than 20 years with his live stand-up tours and infectious sense of fun.
Along the way he’s voiced characters for Hollywood movies, toured in several major theatrical productions including Mel Brooks’ The Producers, starred in the West End production of Spamalot (and brought the show to Milton Keynes) and has been crowned King of the Jungle in ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me out Of Here.
Joe has appeared at five Royal Variety Performances and toured the UK in a live stage incarnation of the classic sitcom Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em in the iconic role of Frank Spencer. MKT panto audiences won’t know what’s hit them!

Best-known for winning the BBC talent show Any Dream Will Do, Lee Mead plays our hero, Aladdin. Lee won the title role in the West End revival of Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to rave reviews. Since then he has had lead roles in Wicked and Legally Blonde in the West End, released several solo albums and toured
e x t e n s i v e l y.
No stranger to pantomime, Lee has starred in six Qdos Entertainment pantomimes, including his star turn as Prince Charming in their critically acclaimed production of Cinderella at the London Palladium. Lee starred as Ben “Lofty” Chiltern in Casualty, being nominated for various national Best Newcomer television awards, a role he now reprises in the popular BBC spin-off series, Holby City.

There is nothing like a dame, as David Robbins, the fragrant Widow Twankey, well knows. David originally trained as a stage manager specialising in wardrobe and prop making and is also a trained puppeteer and director of the Dab Hand Puppet Company.
He has worked as an actor in the West End, at Chichester Festival Theatre and on tour.

Staged by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, and the company behind Milton Keynes Theatre’s annual pantomime since 2017, Aladdin will feature the MK hallmark of outstanding entertainment for theatregoers of all ages with laundry-loads of laughter, audience participation and festive magic.
Emma Sullivan, Theatre Director at Milton Keynes Theatre said: “We’re thrilled to welcome the return of Qdos Entertainment to Milton Keynes Theatre following the roaring success of Robin Hood last year. We’re looking forward to seeing you all at this year’s magical pantomime adventure, Aladdin!”

Aladdin will be at the Milton Keynes Theatre until 12th January, 2020.

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

Aladdin has it all!

It was a great move bringing back leading Pantomime producers Qdos back to Milton Keynes. People were still talking about last year’s Robin Hood when this stunning production arrives! Aladdin is everything a pantomime should be  – and more!

From the moment the band strikes up and our excellent villain -who actually tells the audience off if they DON’T boo him – comes on, we are putty in the hands of this skilful cast.

Joe Pasquale and Lee Mead work so well together, Lee managing to keep a straight face through all the mayhem and ad-libs from funny (very funny) man Joe.

David Robbins, I’m told, spends most of the year designing and making his own costumes which I have to say are wonderfully wacky, very colourful and great fun. David is fast becoming one of the country’s top pantomime dames. Here we have an expert who knows exactly how to pitch the humour and most certainly knows that a pantomime dame is very different to a drag act!

Plenty of visual gags from Mr Pasquale that you won’t have seen in other pantomimes and some spectacular effects! Speaking of spectacular, the sets and costumes are exactly that from the 3D carved serpent proscenium arch onwards. For pantomime nuts like me, watch out for one of the best versions of the “If I Were Not…..” routines you’ll ever see!

Verdict: The best for ages. Book a coach, gather the whole street and then beg for some tickets.   I’m told that Best availability before Christmas: Friday 20th December at 7p Get there before it sells out! Congratulations to the whole team.

Ernie Almond.

Aladdin will be at the Milton Keynes Theatre until 12th January, 2020.

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

The wait is over! Kinky Boots kick into MK Theatre!

HIGH HEELS, HIGH FASHION AND TOWERINGLY HIGH CAMP:

THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR MKT

Kinky Boots, the winner of every major Best Musical award, comes to Milton Keynes Theatre to cheer us all up just as the clocks go back and the nights draw in.

With a book by Broadway legend and four-time Tony® Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage aux Folles), and songs by Grammy® and Tony® winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this joyous musical celebration is about the friendships we discover, and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind.

Charlie Price has just inherited the family business, an olde worlde gentlemen’s shoe factory, as it teeters on the brink of bankruptcy. Quality shoes just don’t cut it in this age of cheap as chips knock-offs and fall apart as soon as you look at it materials.

Charlie’s dad put his workers’ welfare above the profit margin and the business is about to go down the pan as a result. But help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos, and Charlie suddenly realises that giving it large can sometimes produce mini miracles – and get you onto the catwalks of Milan.

Inspired by true events that happened just up the road in Northampton and following on from the 2005 British movie, Kinky Boots stars Kayi Ushe as Lola, Joel Harper-Jackson as Charlie and Paula Lane as Lauren.

Book writer, Harvey Fierstein said: “The inspiring story of Kinky Boots will soon complete its full circle journey from Northampton to the silver screen to Broadway and London and now, at last, back home to Northampton as it embarks on a national UK tour. How often does that happen? It’s been an absolute thrill to witness the giant heart of our show raise audiences up out of their seats in clamorous joy night after night in the West End and I am now so glad to experience its homecoming.”

The show is directed and choreographed by two-time Tony® Award-winner Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde, Hairspray).

Kinky Boots is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 9th November

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

if you’re a lover of good stories, or musicals in general, or a real theatre luvvie this production will give you the best night out in ages! Playing to a fine nine-piece band (led by Richard Anderson) this talented cast take us through laughs and the sad moments and quite a few surprises and carry the entire audience along from the first line to the glorious finale! It seems unfair to mention particular cast  members because this was a highly talented and tightly knit company, each playing their part wonderfully, but the stunning duet between Lola ( Kayi Ushe) and Charlie (Joel Harper-Jackson) “Not My Father’s Son” will bring a lump to the throat of even the toughest audience members. Talking of tough, Dimitri Lampra who plays worker Don in the factory, a man with no understanding that people can be different to him but still to be valued, was superb as this bully. Will he come round to a sensible way of thinking ever? You’ll need to get along to the MK Theatre to find out.

The sets and costumes were not just fantastic, but exactly right for every scene and every character.

I don’t often gush like this after a performance, but I promise if you can manage to get a ticket after reading this, you will have the most enjoyable theatrical evening ever!

Ernie Almond

Kinky Boots is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 9th November

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

Pricilla packs ’em in – but…………

Pricilla Queen of the Desert at The Milton Keynes Theatre

Pricilla Queen of the Desert is still packing them in after 25 years! The Milton Keynes Theatre was crammed to the rafters for opening night on Monday! I guess many had not seen the show before because for us old diehards that had seen it several times this production left us wanting. The cast were great and every one of them gave us 110% – I particularly liked Miles Western as Bernadette, the older one of the leading trio. Joe McFadden playing the lead I thought was more likeable and gained our sympathy more than in other recent touring versions. So what was it that jarred? The orchestra under the direction of Sean Green was great so that just leaves the direction or the sets or the costumes. Well, the sets were disappointing, where was the sharp intake of breath when we first saw the pink bus? The penultimate scene looked as though our fabulous trio were peeping over the wall of some sort of drab stockade. The costumes were unglamorous, not sexy and looked uncomfortable. The MacArthur Park costumes looked about as easy to manage as a Pudsey Bear or even Mr Blobby costume and the boys finale costumes were about as unsexy as you could get.

Such a shame for the talented cast with a score of thirty or so top, top tunes.
Bear in mind that I must be wrong because at the end the audience stood and cheered and danced and called for more – how could that many people all disagree with me??

Ernie Almond

Royal & Derngate nominated in two categories in UK Theatre Awards 2019

Royal & Derngate, Northampton  has been nominated for the Excellence in Inclusivity Award in the UK Theatre Awards 2019, while designer Ti Green is nominated in the Best Design category for her work on Royal & Derngate’s co-production Touching the Void,. Winners will be announced at ceremony on Sunday 27 October.

 The UK Theatre Awards celebrate creative excellence and the outstanding work seen on stages nationwide, demonstrating the breadth and depth of outstanding talent in theatre and the performing arts, both on stage and off.

 The Excellence in Inclusivity award, for which Royal & Dernagate has been nominated, recognises the promotion of inclusivity within an organisation’s programming and workforce, along with its audience and community engagement.

 Ti Green has been nominated for the Best Design award for her work on Touching the Void, a co-production between Royal & Derngate, Bristol Old Vic, Royal Lyceum Edinburgh and Fuel. Based on the memoire of mountaineer Joe Simpson, the play has toured nationally and internationally and transfers to London’s West End this autumn.

Congratulations to the Royal & Derngate team on being nominated – we’ll keep our fingers crossed for you!

Dolly’s 9-5 The Musical a huge hit all over again!

The hilarious show 9 To 5: The Musical visits Milton Keynes Theatre from 24th – 28th September.  It stars Amber Davies as Judy Bernly, Louise Redknapp as Violet Newstead, Lucinda Lawrence as Roz Keith, Georgina Castle as Doralee Rhodes and Brian Conley as Franklin Hart.

9 To 5: The Musical is based on the hit movie and centres on three office workers who turn the tables on their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot of a boss. They conspire to take control of the company and learn there’s nothing they can’t do. Outrageous, thought-provoking and even a little romantic, 9 To 5: The Musical is about teaming up and taking care of business. Feisty, fun and oh so fabulous! The show features Dolly Parton’s original Oscar nominated hit title song, 9 to 5, along with her new Tony and Grammy nominated score. With 18 original Dolly Parton numbers, including numbers from her last two albums Backwoods Barbie, Shine Like the Sun, Get Out and Stay Out and Let Love Grow.

Dolly Parton said recently:  “I am so excited that 9 to 5 the Musical is coming to Milton Keynes.  I’m hoping you have as much fun watching it as I had writing the music for it. 9 to 5 the Musical is perfect for anyone that’s ever wanted to string up their boss, which is almost all of us. So come join the fun! “

The 2008 Backwoods Barbie tour (which features in 9 To 5: The Musical) completely sold out in the UK as well as her own successful  UK tours, which was Dolly Parton’s most successful to date.

9 To 5: The Musical  was written by Patricia Resnick, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton. It is directed by Jeff Calhoun.

9 To 5: The Musical at The Milton Keynes Theatre this week!

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

Jess Bermudez was lucky enough to be at the opening night,

The tyrannical and sexist boss of a busy office Franklyn J Hart, played with just the right amount of venom and lecherousness by Brian Conley gets his come-uppance by three of the workers! Violet (Louise Redknapp), Doralee (the Dolly part played by Georgina Castle) and newcomer Judi (Amber Davies) use some, shall we say unusual, methods to bring Franklyn down a peg or two!

OK the story is weak (I can’t think of many other musicals with strong stories) but the show just bubbles along and, as you might expect from Dolly Parton, there’s plenty of Dolly-type songs, lots of “Yee-Har!”, a whole scene in pink – and plenty of wigs! The three girls are a formidable team in the script and in fact a formidable team period. Special mention I think should go to Louise Redknapp whose powerhouse performance – she sings and dances in eight of the fourteen numbers – has you hooked from the very start. The show also stars Brian Conley as Franklyn Hart Jnr Brian is almost a regular at the MK Theatre – Barnum and pantomime etc. – he is always popular of course and as Franklyn hart Jnr doesn’t disappoint his many fans. Don’t miss this evening of pure fun in the theatre!

9 To 5: The Musical at The Milton Keynes Theatre this week!

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

Fab-U-lous! or tired? Annie arrives in Milton Keynes

FORGET THE HARD KNOCK LIFE FOR A FEW HOURS

IN THE COMPANY OF ANNIE!

Just three words: ‘fab-u-lous’! Strictly’s meanest judge, Craig Revel Horwood, sashays into Milton Keynes Theatre on a wave of terrific reviews for his performance as the gin-sozzled, tyrannical Miss Hannigan in the smash-hit revival of ANNIE.

Set in 1930s’ New York during The Great Depression, plucky little Annie is living a life of misery at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. But guess what? Her luck is about to change as she’s chosen to spend a fairy-tale Christmas with famous billionaire capitalist, Oliver Warbucks (Alex Bourne).

Meanwhile, the only Christmas spirit that Miss Hannigan tolerates comes in a bottle as she hatches a plan to scupper Annie’s happiness by foiling the search for the little red-headed moppet’s true family…

But, with her irrepressible cheeriness and her honest-to-goodness positivity, Annie still manages to inspire the U.S President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, to restore America’s economy and introduce a federal emergency relief programme. Not bad going for an 11 year old. Sounds like exactly who we need here in the UK right now.

With its Tony® award-winning book and score, including the unforgettable songs It’s The Hard-Knock Life, Easy Street, I Don’t Need Anything But You and Tomorrow, you can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll love it.

And yes, you will go home singing Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I love ya, Tomorrow, it’s only a day a-waaaay!!

Annie is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 6th July

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

Fans of Annie the Musical will love this lively production of the show. With its great sets, its stylised choreography and its glorious music. I just think that had we been able to actually understand any of the lyrics it would have made a bit more sense. This might have been 50% down to The Milton Keynes Theatre’s inherent sound problem that many reviewers have mentioned over the years, but also to a group of actors coached in a sort of Brooklyn accent didn’t help. However accurate it might have been didn’t reach the front row of the circle!

How I wish that Drama Schools would teach their young pupils not to gabble! Same as in Matilda, our lovely young Annie seemed to rush through all lib & lyric until she came to an extended high note which she held onto in perfect pitch for as long as the musical director needed.

Have been watching productions of this show since Stratford Johns as Daddy Warbucks and before, I was hoping for more comedy from Rooster and his Blonde Bimbo girlfriend and more to hate about Miss Hannigan, in fact we rather liked her!

Whatever “it” is, I didn’t feel this production had it.

Disappointing.

Ernie Almond

Annie is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 6th July

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

Les Miserables arrives at MK Theatre!

Cameron Mackintosh’s Acclaimed production of

“Les Miserables”

Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 8th June.

With Killian Donnelly as ‘Jean Valjean’ will be Nic Greenshields as ‘Javert’, Katie Hall as ‘Fantine’, Martin Ball as ‘Thénardier’, Sophie-Louise Dann as ‘Madame Thénardier’, Harry Apps as ‘Marius’, Tegan Bannister as ‘Eponine’, Will Richardson as ‘Enjolras’ and Bronwen Hanson as ‘Cosette’.

Killian Donnelly recently played the role of ‘Jean Valjean’ in the West End production of “Les Misérables”. Prior to his run in “Les Misérables”, he played the role of ‘Charlie Price’ in “Kinky Boots” on Broadway, a role he originated at the Adelphi Theatre in the West End in 2015, for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award. His other theatre credits include ‘Huey’ in “Memphis” at the Shaftesbury Theatre, he created the role of ‘Deco’ in “The Commitments” at the Palace Theatre and has also played ‘Tony’ in “Billy Elliot” at the Victoria Palace Theatre as well as ‘Raoul’ in “The Phantom of the Opera” at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

Nic Greenshields (Javert) most recently appeared in “Young Frankenstein” at the Garrick Theatre. His many other West End credits include “Les Misérables” at both the Queen’s and Palace Theatres, “The Phantom of the Opera” at Her Majesty’s, “Billy Elliot” at the Victoria Palace and “Miss Saigon” at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Katie Hall (Fantine) numerous credits include playing ‘Cosette’ in this production of “Les Misérables” in 2009, she also played the role at the Queen’s Theatre and in the 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2. Her other credits include ‘Christine’ in “The Phantom of the Opera” at Her Majesty’s and on tour, ‘Johanna’ in “Sweeney Todd” at the London Coliseum and ‘Maria’ in the national tour of “West Side Story”.

Martin Ball previously appeared as ‘Thénardier’ in “Les Misérables” at the Queen’s Theatre. His other West End credits include ‘Monsieur André’ in “The Phantom of the Opera”, ‘Harry’ in “Mamma Mia!”, ‘Mr Banks’ in the first national tour of “Mary Poppins”, He was in the original London cast of “Wicked” and in the cast of “Top Hat” in both the West End and on tour.

Sophie-Louise Dann’s many West End credits include ’Celia’ in “The Girls” (Olivier Award nomination), ‘Barbara Castle’ in “Made in Dagenham” and ‘Diana Divane’ in “Lend Me a Tenor” at the Gielgud Theatre, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award.

Harry Apps makes his professional debut as ‘Marius’ having successfully auditioned at the recent open auditions for the show.

Tegan Bannister (Eponine)  West End credits include ‘Young Nala’ in “The Lion King” and “Les Misérables” at the Queen’s Theatre.

Will Richardson (Enjolras) has appeared as ‘Rum Tum Tugger’ in “Cats” and ‘Rolf’ in “The Sound of Music”, both on international tour.

Bronwen Hanson (Cosette) has appeared in “Broken Wings” at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Whilst training her credits include ‘Sally Bowles’ in “Cabaret”.

Since Cameron Mackintosh first conceived this new production of “Les Misérables” in 2009 to celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary it has taken the world by storm. Originally touring the UK throughout 2009/10, and concluding with 22 performances at the Barbican, this production was hailed by audiences and critics alike and inspired the hugely successful movie version starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne. The brilliant new staging has scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo.

Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, Boublil and Schönberg’s magnificent score of “LES MISÉRABLES” includes the songs, “I Dreamed a Dream”, “On My Own”, “Stars”, “Bring Him Home”, “Do You Hear the People Sing?”, “One Day More”, “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”, “Master Of The House” and many more.

 Les Miserables is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 8th June.

Box Office: Best Availability Monday to Thursday performances. Call the theatre’s dedicated Les Misérables booking line on 01908 547669 (open Mon-Sat, 12–6pm) or visit: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/les-miserables/milton-keynes-theatre/.

Check daily for returns and last minute ticket releases.

 Theatre Box Office: 0844 871 7615 online atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

Jess Bermudez writes:

 Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Miserables has long been one of my favourite musicals. Having seen five previous productions I admit to being a little blasé as I took my seat. But from the opening notes of the overture from the fine orchestra under the direction of Ben Atkinson and then a brilliantly performed opening soliloquy by Jean Valjean (Killian Donnelly) I knew this was about to be one of those really special performances! So it turned out to be, in fact one of my favourite nights in the theatre so far.

The sets designed by Matt Kinley were stunning. I felt that the whole show had been tightened up a notch, the evening as emotional as it was seemed to fly past. So much energy and passion from every member of the cast helped to tell the story. Because the entire company were so brilliant I am loathed to pick out highlights, but I feel Tegan Bannister deserves a mention for the way she sold the idea that she was so in love with a man who just considered her a friend in her song “On My Own” – a beautiful rendition! Jean Valjean’s “Bring Him Home” reduced me to tears, I think the best I have heard it sung in all six times I’ve seen the show. Special mention too to Shane O’Riordan who was standing in as Marius, he did an excellent job and the entire audience really took to him.

All in all a wonderful production, many congratulations to the whole team both cast and the Creative and Technical teams. If you take my advice you’ll be ringing for tickets right now!

Jess Bermudez

Les Miserables is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 8th June.

Box Office: 0844 871 7615 or online atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

 Best Availability Monday to Thursday performances. Call the theatre’s dedicated Les Misérables booking line on 01908 547669 (open Mon-Sat, 12–6pm) or visit: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/les-miserables/milton-keynes-theatre/.