What originally started as a CD compilation series which subsequently sold over two million copies after hitting the UK Compilation Album charts, gave the producers the idea of creating a stage musical adaptation.  Universal Music TV managing director Brian Berg saw a niche market for older audience members, who preferred the music from their teenage years.  The decision to create a musical based on the CD complications of the same name (“Dreamboats and Petticoats”) was finalised as it would “enhance the brand” of the popular CD complications. 

The Who’s Tommy is the second production from Ramps on the Moon, a collaborative consortium of six regional theatres and Graeae Theatre Company.  The project seeks to achieve a step change in the employment and artistic opportunities for disabled performers and creative teams, and a cultural change in the participating organisations to enable accessibility to become a central part of their thinking and aesthetics.

 

Ray Cooney's 1990 comedy - an Olivier Award winner (1991 for Best Comedy) starring Eastenders actor Shaun Williamson is currently touring the UK, and although I knew in advance it referenced a topic I usually avoid - politics - I went along to the opening night at Sheffield's Lyceum theatre feeling intrigued.

“Battling” Barbara Buttrick, all 7st, 4ft 11ins of her, threw a 100lb punch and challenged “any lass up to 9st in weight” to take her on in the boxing ring (that’s me out of contention then).

The Hull lass (well, Cottingham more accurately) was the first women’s world champion boxer - no ordinary feat in the less enlightened 1950s.

Dirty Dancing is arguably on of the most iconic movies of the 1980s.  Set in the summer of 1963, it tells the story of seventeen year old Frances “Baby” Houseman, the youngest daughter of affluent couple Jake (a Doctor) and Marjorie Houseman, whom whilst enjoying a final summer of freedom before heading off to College, at Kellerman’s – a resort in the Catskill Mountains meets and develops a crush on the resort’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle. 

Theatre Royal in Wakefield is currently holding its 17th annual drama festival, which comprises of seven different shows performed over seven days. The festival closes with a performance from St Austin’s Players of Ghost Train, written by Arnold Ridley. St Austin’s Players formed in 1991 as a way to raise funds for the restoration of St Austin’s church. However after their first performance, they quickly developed a love of performing and have gone on to perform many other shows and have become an integral part of the community.

Theatre Royal in Wakefield is currently holding its 17th annual drama festival, which comprises of seven different shows performed over seven days. Today marks day 6 of the festival and brings us Alan Aykbourn’s ‘A Chorus of Disapproval’ performed by the Wakefield Little Theatre. WLT was formed in 1948 and is based in Middlestown and they placed second in the Drama Festival of 2016 with their performance of Blood Brothers.

In an age when a man who seemingly has no respect for the rules of the game, or the feelings of others, can become the most powerful man in the world then this powerful production of Shakespeare’s bloody tale of royal intrigue is timely.

Arguably the most iconic ballet movie of all time “The Red Shoes”, a 1948 post-war film by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, is based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale and tells the story of an aspiring young ballerina, Victoria (“Vicky”) Page, torn between her dedication to dance and her desire to love.  It is somewhat a complex story that ricochets between London and France, and between art and real life.

For every theatre goer a good old farce is a guilty pleasure so it’s no surprise that The Play That Goes Wrong has been a smash hit in this country and has just opened on Broadway.

In these troubled and paranoid times people do want work that challenges the status quo, but just as desperately they want a few belly laughs, which this smart reinventing of the traditional farce certainly delivers.