Tag Archives: King’s Theatre

NEWS: FIRST NEW PRODUCTION IN 25 YEARS OF GREASE AT KING’S THEATRE

Following a highly acclaimed sold out 8-week run at Curve, the first new production in 25 years of Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey’s iconic musical GREASE will tour the UK and Ireland in 2019, with a stop in Glasgow.

Directed by Nikolai Foster and choreographed by Arlene Phillips, the electrifyn’ show will run at the King’s Theatre from Tuesday 27 – Saturday 31 August 2019.

Casting is to be announced.

Nikolai Foster is Artistic Director at Curve, which has just celebrated its 10th birthday. For Curve, Nikolai has most recently directed An Officer and a Gentleman – The Musical, Scrooge, Sunset Boulevard, which won Best Musical at the Manchester Theatre Awards and Best Regional Production at the WhatsOnStage Awards, Legally Blonde (also Opera Garnier, Monaco & Daegu Opera Festival, South Korea), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (also Theatre Royal Haymarket, London & UK tour) and A Streetcar Named Desire. Nikolai’s production of Annie completed a successful run at the Piccadilly Theatre, London earlier this year and is about to transfer to the Mirvish Theatre, Toronto.

Nikolai Foster said: “We are looking forward to working alongside Jim Jacobs, Colin Ingram and Arlene Philips on the return of our critically acclaimed, Made at Curve production of GREASE. Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey’s musical is an electrifying celebration of the birth of cool and teenage culture. It provides a gripping snapshot of a country on the cusp of social change, all set to one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll scores ever written. Curve audiences love GREASE and we are immensely proud to be sharing our production with audiences across the UK.”

Grease

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Tue 19 – Sat 31 Aug 2019

ww.atgtickets.com/Glasgow

 

NEWS: GLASGOW GIRLS TO MAKE KING’S THEATRE DEBUT

Cora Bissett and David Greig’s life affirming Scottish drama, Glasgow Girls is to run at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow next year.

The production, which is based on real life events, will make its debut on the big stage from Tuesday 15 – Saturday 19 January 2019.

Filled with song-and-dance-filled this true story tells of seven feisty Glaswegian teenagers, whose lives change forever when their school friend and her asylum-seeking family are forcibly taken from their home to be deported. They are galvanised to fight for her rights, inspiring a whole community to unite behind its residents.

Glasgow Girls was an Edinburgh Festival Fringe sell out in 2016 and winner of the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award.

James Haworth, Theatre Director of the King’s, said: “I am especially excited to welcome this local production to the King’s Theatre in January.

“Glasgow Girls has become a cultural staple in the city and it has proved itself more than worthy of its praise and accolades to date.

“I just know our audience will love this show and I invite anyone who considers themselves a Glasgow Girl or Glasgow Boy to come along and see this spectacular production.”

Glasgow Girls is presented by Raw Material in association with Regular Music.

LISTINGS

Glasgow Girls

King’s Theatre

Tue 15 – Sat 15 Jan 2019

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow

REVIEW: An Officer and a Gentleman The Musical – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Another day, yet another iconic 80s movie is adapted as a stage musical. This adaptation of An Officer and a Gentleman by Douglas Day Stewart (with Sharleen Cooper Cohen) of his own original 1982 screenplay, is a cheesy, overblown but ultimately likeable production with a plethora of hits of the decade.

For those unaware of the original source material, An Officer and a Gentleman follows the story of a group of new recruits at the United States Naval Aviation Training Facility in Pensacola, Florida, and the band of local factory women who strive to hook one of these would-be officers in an attempt to escape the drudgery of their dead-end jobs. Principal among them is the relationship between troubled Navy brat Zack (Jonny Fines) and “townie” Paula (Emma Williams). Oh, joy, another story where a man has to ‘rescue’ a woman in order to give her a better life, I hear you cry, and while hackles may rise in 2018, it just about gets away with it due to its early 80s setting and the corniness with which it’s delivered.

The action takes place on a dull but functional set by Michael Taylor. The colours, drab blues, brown and greys are evocative of the workers situation and the Naval Base but, are a trifle uninspiring to the eye. It does however change smoothly, quickly and effectively between the many locations in the story.

The whole score could be a Now That’s What I Call The 80s album and there are some stomping anthems: Livin’ on a Prayer (given the volume it deserves), Alone and I Want to Know What Love Is and a corking version of We Don’t Cry Out Loud from Williams and Rachel Stanley as her mother Esther, but, there are some baffling arrangements that are less easy on the ear: Heart of Glass and a caterwauling Kids in America to name two.

The greatest asset of the production is its actors, there are some knock-out performances from a refreshingly representative cast in age, gender and race. There are no weak links, veteran Ray Shell is highly effective as Drill Sgt Foley, and the central quartet of Williams and Fines as Paula and Zack and Ian McIntosh (who delivers an emotive performance and has a beautiful voice) as Sid and Jessica Daley as the hard-hearted Lynette are all excellent.

This is not going to challenge your intellect but, was never intended to. It is a piece of easy escapism that will entertain both fans of the film and those new to the story.

Runs until 15 September 2018 | Image: Manuel Harlan

This review was originally written for The Reviews Hub

NEWS: Still Game’s Jane McCarry appears in Nativity! The Musical at the King’s

The producers of the smash-hit NATIVITY! THE MUSICAL, are thrilled to announce that Jane McCarry will join the cast for the production’s run at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow.

Best known for her role as Isa Drennan in the hit BBC sitcom, Still Game Jane will play the Hollywood Producer from Wednesday 7 November until Sunday 11 November.

Joining Jane is Simon Lipkin who will be reprising his role as the hilarious Mr Poppy after delighting critics and audiences in the show last year.

Scott Garnham will play Mr Maddens and Ashleigh Gray will play ‘Jennifer Lore’. Joining them will be Andy Barke, Andy Brady, Jamie Chapman, Jemma Churchill, Oscar Conlon-Morrey, Gary Davis, Kade Ferraiolo, Ashleigh Graham and Helena Pipe.

The company are joined by the following children aged 9 – 12 from across the Glasgow area as the pupils of Oakmoor School after being selected from auditions in Glasgow on Saturday 1 September: Aaliyah Adamson, Ava Lilly Bacon, Eva Belton, Lilian Davies, Eva Drummond, Zac Gordon, Kaiden McGrath, Emma McConnachie, Elsa Murphy-Heeley, Poppy Ojo, Isla Reece, Kara Reid, Gregor Selkirk, Freya Scobie and Toby Walker.

Simon Lipkin played ‘Nicky’ and ‘Trekkie Monster’ in the original London cast of “Avenue Q” at the Noël Coward Theatre. His other West End credits include “Guys and Dolls” at the Phoenix Theatre, ‘Lonny’ in the original London cast of “Rock of Ages” and ‘Barlow’ in “I Can’t Sing” at the London Palladium. Simon will also star in Nativity Rocks’ the fourth film in the Nativity series which is released in November.

Jane McCarry is best known for her roles as ‘Isa Drennan’ in the sitcom ‘Still Game’ for which she won a Best Actress in the Scottish BAFTAs, other roles ‘Granny Murray’ in the children’s show ‘Me Too!’, various characters in Rab C Nesbitt and Burnistoun .

Scott Garnham’s previous theatre credits include the UK Tour of ‘Billy Elliot The Musical’ and the West End productions of ‘Les Misérables’ at the Queen’s Theatre and ‘I Can’t Sing’ at the London Palladium.

Ashleigh Gray is most known for playing the leading role, ‘Elphaba’ in “Wicked” in the West End and on UK Tour. Her other theatre credits include “Vanities” and “Cool Rider”.

Every child in every school has one Christmas wish, to star in a Nativity, and at St Bernadette’s School they’ve decided to mount a musical version! Join teacher Mr Maddens and his crazy assistant Mr Poppy as they struggle with hilarious children, and a whole lot of sparkle and shine to make everyone’s Christmas wish come true. Featuring all of your favourite sing-a-long songs from the smash-hit films including Sparkle and Shine, Nazareth and One Night One MomentNATIVITY! THE MUSICAL promises to be the perfect feel-good comedy for all the family.

Written and Directed by Debbie Isitt with music and lyrics by Nicky Ager and Debbie Isitt, NATIVITY! THE MUSICAL is choreographed by Andrew Wright, designed by David Woodhead, with lighting design by Tim Mitchell, sound design by Tom Marshall and musical supervision and orchestrations by George Dyer.

 

NEWS: Anita Dobson to star as Miss Hannigan in Annie at Glasgow King’s

Anita Dobson will star as Miss Hannigan in the musical ANNIE playing at The King’s Theatre from Monday 15 – Saturday 20 April 2019 as part of a UK tour.  Further casting is to be announced.

This production recently ran for an extended season in the West End following a sell-out tour of the UK and Ireland in 2015/16, as well as a recent sell-out season in Toronto.

As Angie Watts in EastEnders, Anita Dobson created one of the most popular characters in television winning numerous awards. Her West End theatre credits include Madame Morrible in Wicked, Mama Morton in Chicago, Mrs Meers in Thoroughly Modern Mille, Chris in Calendar Girls, Joan Crawford in Bette and Joan and Nancy in Frozen at the National Theatre for which she was nominated for an Olivier, Evening Standard and London Critics Award. Her film credits include London Road.

Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery and torment at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Determined to find her real parents, her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search…

With its award-winning book and score, this stunning new production includes the unforgettable songs It’s the Hard Knock Life, Easy Street, I Don’t Need Anything But You and Tomorrow.

“ANNIE” has Music by Charles Strouse, Lyrics by Martin Charnin and a Book by Thomas Meehan. ANNIE is directed by Nikolai Foster with set and costume design by Colin Richmond, choreography by Nick Winston, lighting by Ben Cracknell and sound design by Richard Brooker. ANNIE is produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian.

ANNIE

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Mon 15 – Sat 20 Apr 2019

Mon-Sat: 7.30pm

Wed, Sat: 2.30pm

www.atgtickets.com

0844 871 7648

NEWS: Strictly’s Kevin Clifton announced as Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages at Glasgow Kings

Kevin Clifton of Strictly Come Dancing fame has been cast in the award-winning smash-hit musical “ROCK OF AGES” in the role of ‘Stacee Jaxx’.

He will both join Kevin Kennedy who will play ‘Dennis’, Zoe Birkett ‘Justice’, Luke Walsh ‘Drew’, Lucas Rush ‘Lonny’, Jodie Steele ‘Sherrie’, Andrew Carthy ‘Franz’, Vas Constanti ‘Hertz’ and Rhiannon Chesterman ‘Regina’.

Also joining the cast are Erin Bell, Alexander Day, Joshua Dever, Paris Green, Sinead Kenny, Ryan Lee-Seager, Adam Strong, Saran Webb and Bobby Windebank.

 “ROCK OF AGES” is an LA love story lavished with over 25 classic rock anthems. Lose yourself in a city and a time where the dreams are as big as the hair, and yes, they can come true!

 This hilarious musical comedy features the songs, including We Built This City, The Final Countdown, Here I Go Again, Can’t Fight this Feeling and I Want To Know What Love Is, played loud and proud by an awesome live band.

22 – 26 January 2019 KING’S THEATRE, GLASGOW

REVIEW: The Band – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Firstly, a fact needs to be stated that this is not the Take That story. The words Take That are never uttered in the entire two and a half hours of the show. You would also be mistaken for thinking that the boyband recruited from the BBC reality show Let It Shine were the crux of the production, and while they feature large, they are far from the centre of the story.

Instead, it’s a story of five friends that spans 25 years. A story of growing up, love and loss, opportunity unfulfilled, of hope, peppered throughout with the hits of the biggest British boy band of the past quarter of a century. It is also more story with music rather than jukebox musical.

Writer Tim Firth clearly has the target demographic in his sights. The mature version of these 90s teens are the heart of the show. Take That the soundtrack to their lives. The pop culture references abound: Smash Hits posters on bedroom walls, Top of the Pops, Ceefax, cassette taping Top of the Pops, it unashamedly taps into the unquenchable thirst for nostalgia.

This is clearly a show of two halves: the central quartet of Heather (Emily Joyce), Rachel (Rachel Lumberg), Claire (Alison Fitzjohn) and Zoe (Jayne McKenna) are fine actresses with a wealth of talent, and it is only when the story fully centres on this quartet that it achieves any real depth. Tim Firth’s dialogue for the mature characters is utterly believable, it is less so for their teenage versions, where it is largely contrived and one-dimensional.

The quartet’s younger selves are played by Katy Clayton (Heather), Faye Cristall (Rachel), Sarah Kate Howarth (Claire) and Lauren Jacobs (Zoe) with Rachelle Diedricks as teenage pal Debbie. Their schoolgirl antics, while familiar, are a tad contrived and their diction is poor, rendering most of the lines a garbled mush. The first half also suffers from a strange selection of Take That songs that don’t exactly fit the narrative. With a back catalogue as fine as this, the choices seem plain odd.

‘The Band’ as played by Five to Five: A.J. Bentley, Nick Carsberg, Curtis T. Johns, Yazdan Qafouri, Sario Solomon prove just how good Take That were, and still are. These songs, while seeming easy to sing, just aren’t, and the quintet while having a solid go at it, never fully do the songs justice.

For anyone who has ever seen Take That live, the set design will look familiar. The production values of the band who are the producers of the show are replicated here. It’s big and bold and the stage is jam-packed with effects.

This show has had it’s fair amount of flak, its detractors have been many, but there’s a fundamental question to be asked: are they the target audience? I am pretty sure that the producers made no claims to enlighten or educate. Indeed, the programme notes say it’s a “love letter to the fans”. It’s intended for the Take That fandom, if you’re here and you’re not a fan of Take That, I’d question your choices. Sometimes theatre is made just to be entertaining. But, this reviewer is very much the target demographic, like most of the audience, knowing the words to every one of these tunes and willing this to be a joy, and while the second half was superior to the first, it ultimately doesn’t do enough to overcome its faults. I am sure The Band will be a satisfying night’s entertainment, a piece of pure escapism and nostalgia for many and it may fulfil its brief as ‘a love letter to the fans’, but for this audience member, there are more feelings of disappointment than delight.

Runs until 7 July 2018 | Image: Matt Crockett review originally written for and published by The Reviews Hub.

 

REVIEW: Sunshine on Leith – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Stephen Greenhorn’s original musical, Sunshine on Leith, predates the movie version by seven years. Originally commissioned by Dundee Rep’s artistic director James Brining. Brining, now artistic director at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, returns to the work, breathing new life into the piece for this 2018 tour and you can almost hear the fanfare of trumpets that herald the musical’s return to its homeland.

Greenhorn’s tale is Scottish to its very core, but the themes of love, loss and opportunities taken or missed, are universal. Soldiers Davy (Steven Miller) and Ally (Paul James Corrigan) return from Afghanistan home to Leith. Ally pursues his former love Liz (Neshla Caplan), Davy, her best pal Yvonne (Jocasta Almgill), but in the joy of their return home there are problems too, not least with Davy’s parents Rab (Phil McKee) and Jean (Hilary MacLean).

The political and social climate has changed much in the 11 years since its creation, but the story still has the power to move, and it’s in no small way down to the music and lyrics of Craig and Charlie Reid. At first glance the songs of The Proclaimers may not seem like a match made in heaven for a musical, but they are. Playing a crucial part in driving the plot along. The familiarity of the lyrics to the Scottish audience, heightens the emotion in the parts of the narrative they serve to enhance. That said, the emotional moments aren’t exactly subtle, but the narrative is treated with such a deft hand and sufficient originality elsewhere, that it’s easy to forgive any tiny quibble. Greenhorn’s dialogue is pitch-perfect for this story of ‘normal’, ‘ordinary’ people, a hard thing to pull off in musical theatre and every joke lands slap-bang on its mark. Greenhorn also manages to address the eternal issue of the emotionally stunted, stereotypical Scottish man with thoughtfulness as well as humour.

Worthy of note is Emily-Jane Boyle’s outstanding choreography. It is intricate and original, but still looks like real people dancing – a feat that’s hard to achieve convincingly.

The cast are joined on the transforming pub set (comparisons will inevitably be made with the musical Once) by the seven-piece band who (as they are not hidden in the pit) bring a raw immediacy to the music. The arrangements of these familiar songs are worthy of note too: the ears pricking up at some of the original treatments of them.

Paul James Corrigan (Ally) returns to a stage he is more than familiar with and feeds off of the energy of his home crowd. There’s an extra spring in his step which transmits to the auditorium, well-known and loved for his comedy performances, he impresses as a singer and dancer too. The crowd with him every step of the way. Steven Miller (Davy) is a fine dramatic actor and has an even finer voice to match, he gets the chance to show off his comedy chops here, Jocasta Almgill is excellent as Davy’s love interest Yvonne, and Phil McKee and Hilary MacLean as Davy’s parents are perfectly played.

This story (to its credit) resists the urge to tie everything up in a neat bow and resolve every plotline, ultimately, this is a life-affirming story about ‘real lives’ that will resonate with most, if not all, of its target audience. If the eardrum bursting reaction of this audience at the end is anything to go by – it more than hit all the right notes. To borrow from The Proclaimers themselves, this is guaranteed to make your heart fly.

Runs until 23 June 2018 | Image: Contributed

THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR AND PUBLISHED BY THE REVIEWS HUB

INTERVIEW: Scottish star Jayne McKenna talks The Band and coming home to Glasgow

Jayne McKenna trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has an enviable CV in theatre, TV, radio and film. She returns home to Glasgow to star in the much-anticipated The Band, when it come to The King’s in Glasgow from 26 June to 7 July 2018. I had a chance to catch up with Jayne before she arrives in town.

How does it feel coming home to Glasgow with such a hugely anticipated show?

Thrilling. I trained there so for me it’s full circle. And I’ve never played The Kings so that’s another treat.

Tell us a bit about your role in The Band.

It’s about a group of girls you meet when they’re young and then again as women, and about the changes and surprises life springs, so, while the younger me thinks her life is going to be all books and study, I turn out quite differently, but no spoilers.

What can the audience expect from the show?

Bring tissues, it gets emotional – laughing one minute and crying the next. And our musicians are stunning, not to mention the ‘boyband’ Five to Five – brilliant all-rounders a joy to work with.

Do you have any favourite moments, scenes or songs from the show that we should look out for?

The song ‘Get Ready For It’. I hadn’t heard it before and it’s become favourite. Incredibly uplifting.

The show has had an enviable amount of publicity, the main male roles being cast on the show Let It Shine, how have audiences received the production as it’s toured the country.

Tremendously. Every night on their feet. Apparently 62% of our audience have never been to the theatre before, and some have now seen it 14 times. People identify with the characters – they tell us at stage door all the time: “Thanks for being me up there”.

What’s life like on the road with a show like The Band?

Tough, especially as a mum. I’m very lucky I have my husband. FaceTiming home is a vital part of my day.

You have an impressive (and if I may say heavy weight) theatrical CV, what have been your favourite roles so far?

The show where I met my husband, of course. Playing Goneril in King Lear with Nicol Williamson is up there. We had an incredible connection as fellow Scots. I stayed in touch with him and even had the honour of singing jazz with his band.

Is there any Play/Musical you’d love to be in?

More Shakespeare would be nice: I’ve tuned into him more as I’ve got older. Not just the language, the thoughts, and being able to express things that in life only occur to us (if they do) in hindsight when the moment has passed! But more singing too: this is my first musical and I’m loving rocking it out!

Tell us a bit more about your career path from Glasgow to touring the country singing the songs of Take That to thousands of adoring fans.

I moved to London after a stint at The Lyceum with the late greats Kenny Ireland and Gerard Murphy and continued mainly in theatre. For example, Macbeth in the West End, the Peter Hall Company, National Theatre, but, TV and radio as well and even a Bollywood film in India. Now I live in Brighton with my family.

Finally, why should we come along to see the show?

Because it might change your life. The characters are real. Their journeys are your journeys and what they survive you can survive. It’s about friendship and looking forward. Plus it’s fabulously well written and produced and the music will ‘Take you back’… and the acting’s not bad either!

Catch Jayne in The Band at the King’s Theatre from 26 June to 7 July 2018

Images: Matt Crockett

REVIEW: Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Following on from the critically-acclaimed new work, The Red Shoes, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures delve deep into the back catalogue to 1997 to revive their much-loved production of Cinderella.

Re-set to World War 2, Cinderella and her shell-shocked, RAF pilot beau, meet and part during the horrors of The Blitz. The familiar elements of the story remain: the ‘wicked’ step-mother and (not so wicked) step-sisters (with a few step-brothers thrown into the mix), and while there’s no Fairy Godmother, there’s the (somewhat malevolent) platinum-haired Angel, whose sinister presence punctuates the action. Instead of facilitating the fairy-tale ending, it feels more like manipulation. The setting, and Bourne’s handling of it, perfectly encapsulates the fragility of love during wartime.

As ever, Lez Brotherston’s design is stunning, from bombed out buildings, the London Underground, the (ball substitute) evening at The Café de Paris, The Embankment to Platform 12 at Paddington Station, each element is breath-taking. The limited colour palette of greys, and blacks is darkly atmospheric and draw the eye to key features of the narrative: Cinders pure white dress, the red cape of a Red Cross nurse, it is a masterpiece of theatre design. It perfectly reflects Britain in its ‘darkest hour’. Paul Groothuis’ sound and Neil Austin’s lighting design only add to the magic.

Sergei Prokofiev’s haunting score has been edited down in Acts 1 and 2, but remains intact for Act 3. The music written contemporary to Bourne’s re-setting of the story adds a dimension of authenticity to the production. The two together a match made in heaven. It just feels right, and draws on Bourne’s own love for classic black and white movies and their music.

As with much of Bourne’s work there’s always humour to light the darkness. Including the foot-fetishist step brother, and a myriad of tiny details in both setting and action, that will raise a smile.

It’s hard to find fault in any aspect of this production, the dancers led by Ashley Shaw and New Adventures favourite Dominic North as Cinders and her Prince, are exquisite and unlike many Ballet companies, their acting ability and deftness at conveying the emotions of the story, not only match their dancing abilities but are head and shoulders above their contemporaries. Liam Mower as always leaves his mark as the Angel, as does Anjali Mehra as Sybil the exquisitely clad and coiffed, Step Mother.

With the now legendary Swan Lake to tour again next year, one can only wait with bated breath to see what new adventures are next for Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures. As ever, there are never enough superlatives for this incomparable company – simply unmissable.

This review was originally written for The Reviews Hub

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