The grand re-opening of the The Royal Court Theatre Bacup was a festivity of family fun and clearly brought the locals out to join in the celebrations to breathe new life into the historic building.

This building first opened on the 18th of September1893 as the Royal Court Theatrewith a Grand Opening Night production of 'Fast Mail'. The Theatre was known as the Empire in the 1900s then the New Court Theatre in 1909and although the auditorium originally had two balconies the upper circle was removed in 1948, reducing the seating capacity to 500.

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Theatres across the Greater Manchester area go head to head in the annual Manchester Theatre Awards shortlist which is announced today.  Winners will be revealed on March 4 at a celebrity event, to be held this year at the city’s new HOME venue. Tickets for the occasion go on sale next week.

Today sees the announcement of the nominations across 20 categories, chosen by a panel of 10 of the region’s leading theatre critics. For the second year there is also a Youth Panel award, chosen by a team of young city theatre enthusiasts.

Yet again Manchester’s Royal Exchange and Bolton’s Octagon Theatre dominate the leading categories, for Best Actor and Best Actress, as well as Best Supporting Actor and Actress. But it is Salford’s Lowry that is already out in front with 16 nominations across a range of categories.

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To cap off an amazing 2015 for North West End we were thrilled to see a quote from our senior editor taking pride of place on the posters outside the Manchester Opera House.  Paul reviewed Cinderella in early December and to see recognition of the review in print on the frontage of the theatre is great to see.

 

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The Bev Jones Music Company brings together Yorkshire's most talented actors, singers and dancers to present the premier of Bev Jones' musical “Penny Millionaire”, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, 18th-23rd January 2016. Tickets available at the York Theatre Royal.

Written and composed by Yorks' very own Musical Doyen, Bev Jones, this new musical is a lasting legacy to his inspirational musical genius. Penny Millionaire's story is based on the tragic tale of Paul Gauguin, the French Impressionist painter, who started out as a rich successful stockbroker, who wanted nothing more than to paint despite his wife's objections. Set in France and the South Sea the musical is unashamedly traditional, featuring glorious melodies and harmonies, drama, passion, tragedy, frivolity and love.

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It is around this time of year I begin thinking about my favourite shows of the year. 2015 has seen me visit the theatre more times than ever before with the total going to be 135 by the end of the month. This gives me a huge dilemma when I sit down to think about my top 3 shows of the year.

So after a great deal of consideration and mind changing, I think I have settled on the top three shows for me in 2015, here goes!

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A warm welcome with a festive touch was received at the West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Season Launch for Spring/Summer 2016.

 

James Brining, Artistic Director, and Robin Hawkes, Executive Director, gave an overview of what is in store for the next season at the ‘theatre from the heart of the city’.   Firstly they proudly announced the two awards they recently won; Alzheimer’s Society Award for Best Dementia Friendly Project.  Nicky Taylor, Community Development Manager, summarised the work they do with people living with dementia including Heydeys, a weekly creative programme for Over 65s.  The second one is the UK Theatre Award for Manager of the Year won by Gaby Paradis, First Floor Manager.  Paradis passionately explained what the First Floor team do in encouraging young people to engage and develop through the arts.

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Salford based Quaytickets is celebrating its 10th birthday in style by signing a ticketing agreement with two high profile West End theatres.

The agency will process some 60,000 tickets a year for the famous Aldwych and Dominion theatres – which are currently home to Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Lord of The Dance: Dangerous Games respectively. Both theatres are owned and operated by entertainment industry giant, The Nederlander Organisation.

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Meighan Youth Theatre (MYT) have today announced the follow up to their critically acclaimed version of Ghost the Musical which played at the Waterside Centre in Sale back in August.

In 2016 the multi-talented group will be performing THE ADDAMS FAMILY bringing a whole new type of Ghost to the Waterside! Retaining the same production team from this year there is little doubt the show will be another runaway success with tickets sure to fly out of the door when they go on sale soon. And this year they will be adding a Saturday matinee to the show schedule so there is no reason not to take the kids.

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Duckinfield Methodist Church Social and Entertainment Group present The Late Mrs Early from the 19th - 21st November at the Church Hall, Duckinfield.  Tickets are selling fast for this comedy by Norman Robbins first produced in 1976.

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Blackpool and Fylde Light Opera Company present...

Legally Blonde The Musical

LIVE at the Grand Theatre Blackpool

Wednesday 28 to Saturday 31 October 2015

Following their successes with Hairspray and Sister Act, Blackpool and Fylde Light Opera Company return to The Grand’s stage this October with the Olivier Award-winning Legally Blonde The Musical, set to be yet another must-see performance.

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St. Paul's Players Adlington are busy preparing for their next show, 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee' which promises to be something completely different. Spelling Bee is set in the fictitious Putnam County and is an insight into the competitive nature of an America tradition, the spelling bee.

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