Tag Archives: Tour

INTERVIEW: Elesha Paul Moses starring as Tina Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It? at Glasgow’s King’s Theatre

Elesha Paul Moses has paid her dues in the entertainment world; she’s been striving for success in the music business for 20 years, through sheer hard graft and some TV talent shows. Now she’s taken her singing career to a new level starring in the mammoth tribute show tour What’s Love Got To Do With It?, celebrating the music and life of rock, soul legend Tina Turner.

Elesha, 39, who lives in Hampshire and grew up in Surrey, appeared on The X Factor in 2010, alongside One Direction, winner Matt Cardle and in the same category as the big-haired, bongo playing wild card contestant Wagner. She then reached the battle rounds – twice – on The Voice, with will.i.am in a duo in 2013 and Tom Jones as a solo act a year later. She had previously been mentored by Mathew Knowles – Beyoncé’s dad – on a Channel 4 talent show.

She is also touring the UK, and has performed in Europe and Brazil, as the late, great Whitney Houston in Whitney: Queen Of The Night – including five sell-out shows at the Savoy Theatre in London’s West End.

Brought to you by the award-winning producers behind Whitney: Queen Of The Night, What’s Love Got To Do With It? is the ultimate tribute concert paying homage to one of the most iconic musical artists of the 20th Century.

We spoke to Elesha about her love of performing, and how she loves to party with Tina fans all over the UK.

What’s Love Got To Do With It? launched in 2019, you’ve been on the road for a year now – how has it been, paying homage to a rock and soul legend like Tina Turner?

It has been incredible. Heading into the start of the show, I’d been pretty full on with Whitney: Queen Of The Night so didn’t have too much time to think about it… Then it was full on into touring mode for What’s Love Got To Do With It? and we’ve been up and down the country ever since.

There has been so much love for the show from audiences and on social media – it’s been amazing. I’ve been working hard on the vocals, and the band, backing singers and costumes are fantastic. We love being on the road, meeting all the fantastic fans and that’s made preparing for the 2020 tour even more exciting, as we know what the reactions will be.

Fans have loved the show. What does it feel like to see such brilliant responses from the audience, and to receive the amazing reviews online?

It’s surreal, especially for someone like me as I’m really self critical; I’m always thinking ‘What could I do better?’, even when people are saying the show is fantastic. The comments we get are actually a little overwhelming, and we’re so very grateful for each and every one.

Seeing people in the audience having a brilliant night out, dancing and singing along is what it’s all about.

You perform as both Whitney Houston and Tina Turner – they’re very different artists. What’s it like recreating these iconic female performers live on stage?

It’s been a big learning curve, in the sense of keeping pushing on with everything I do for the two shows.

Doing Whitney as well as Tina, you need a huge amount of stamina – vocally, physically and mentally, but in such different ways for each performance. Tina is much more the physical challenge, Whitney is the vocal challenge. But working hard to be at my best in both areas pays off on both shows.

And it’s funny really. They are such different sounding performers! Each role strengthens my voice in such different ways, but that only helps make me better in each show.

Tina’s not got a growl as such. People think it’s shouting but it’s not, it’s a very particular tone that she has, and she’s so free with her performance.

Then when I’m on stage as Whitney it’s almost the opposite. You’re so exposed and there’s nowhere to hide as it’s a much slower, more mellow pace of show.

Compare that to Tina and What’s Love Got To Do With It?… Once you’re on stage, there’s no letting up from the moment you start. I love that very strong contrast between the two.

You have such a busy schedule with both shows running alongside each other. With two young children, how do you manage that with family life?

Mark, my husband is amazing; I have the best man in the world. I definitely couldn’t do it without him.

My eldest daughter Kookie is turning eight soon, and she’s only ever known me to be a singer. So, in some ways, she’s used to it but occasionally she’ll say something. My little one Teddy doesn’t know any different to the schedule we now have, I’m lucky she’s so young.

For me, I’m able to shut it off to an extent, as I know this is all about building for their future – whatever job you have, you have to balance family life. I also think we’re so lucky to have things like Facetime now so you can catch up easily and see them if you are away for a few days at a time.

What’s your favourite song to perform as Tina Turner?

There are so many I love. Proud Mary is obviously so much fun, but I also love Typical Male and I Can’t Stand The Rain. But for my absolute favourite… I’ll go Proud Mary. It always used to be Simply The Best which people really loved and went mad for – but these days it’s definitely Proud Mary.

Tina Turner is still such a huge name in music, why do you think she’s still so popular?

She is just such a great all-rounder, and she appeals to men as well as women. She’s a great rock and roll artist. Her songs have never gone away. Even youngsters now, they know tracks like Proud Mary. You do those songs and they’re all over it.

Tina’s had difficult times too over the years, but she came through it. I think people like that side of her story too, as well as the brilliant music.

How did you get into singing and performing as a tribute artist?

When I first realised I could properly sing I was about 13 – I was always mimicking others and that’s how I taught myself. But that real big belting voice wouldn’t necessarily come out. Then, listening to people like Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, those kind of artists, was when it really came to me. Funnily, I didn’t really listen to Tina Turner when I was younger, my parents played her music in the car, but it wasn’t what I took to at the time.

I was singing in a club and a friend said ‘We should do something different’, I said ‘Shall we try Whitney or something?’. I went home, put down a couple of lines of Whitney and thought ‘Oh, I can sound like her’. It went from there, and a similar thing happened when I started with Tina.

You’ve been working in the music industry for a long time – you started writing with a record company aged just 17 and have been on TV reality talent shows. Can you tell us about the switch to the world of tributes?

I never used to do tributes, I was striving to do my own stuff and put out my own music. Things happened in my life, and I was in between things not really knowing what to do. I didn’t know how to get into the tribute business, but at the same time I felt that by doing that I would miss doing my own thing too.

But I’d done my album and did lots of trying to make it before doing the TV shows. I’d tried the traditional, old fashioned methods to get signed. It was just never meant to be. So, I decided it was time to take it away from being me and into being someone else.

How was your time on The X Factor and The Voice – and what did you learn from the experience?

When I did X Factor – in 2010, 10 years ago, wow – I was in the year of One Direction and Cher Lloyd, and Wagner, he was in Louis Walsh’s Overs category with me, but I went home after judges’ houses.

I was asked to audition for The Voice, and I first went when I was pregnant with Kookie – but I realised the live shows would be on when I was due with her so had to back out. But I auditioned again in 2013 as part of a duo [getting to the battle rounds in Team will.i.am], and again in 2014 [again, getting to the battle rounds with Team Tom].

Doing both of these did give me a boost at the time, even though I got so close but ultimately wasn’t successful. I don’t know what people think of me as an artist having done those shows, but I’m so grateful and glad to have moved on to what I’m doing now.

I’m 99.9per cent – no, make that 100per cent sure I wouldn’t be tempted to do it again.

Forget being mentored by Louis Walsh – tell us about working with Mathew Knowles, Beyoncé’s dad!

So, yes, I did a TV show a long time ago, where I was mentored by Mathew Knowles – Beyoncé’s dad – that was pretty mad. It was Chancers on Channel 4’s T4, and I won the chance from UK auditions to spend a month in Houston, America, where the group of us chosen had various challenges. Mine was to sing at the same studio where Whitney Houston had recorded.

That experience gave me a really tough skin, to know that whatever you do don’t worry about what’s happened in the past; it’s all brought me to where I am now.

Tickets are on sale now from www.cuffeandtaylor.com

 

WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? TOUR DATES 2020

March

Wed 4th PORTSMOUTH, GUILDHALL

Thu 5th POOLE, LIGHTHOUSE

Fri 6th TUNBRIDGE WELLS, ASSEMBLY HALL

Sat 7th KINGS LYNN, CORN EXCHANGE

Thu 12th LYTHAM, LOWTHER PAVILION

Fri 13th WARRINGTON, PYRAMID & PARR HALL

Sat 14th HALIFAX, VICTORIA THEATRE

Thu 19th BIRMINGHAM, ARENA BIRMINGHAM

Fri 20th LEEDS, FIRST DIRECT ARENA

Sat 21st NEWCASTLE, O2 CITY HALL

Thu 26th ABERDEEN, MUSIC HALL

Fri 27th DUNDEE, CAIRD HALL

Sat 28th EDINBURGH, USHER HALL

Sun 29th GLASGOW, KING’S THEATRE

April

Sat 4th HULL, CITY HALL

Sat 11th LOUGHBOROUGH, TOWN HALL

Sat 18th SHEFFIELD, CITY HALL

Thu 23rd PETERBOROUGH, NEW THEATRE

Sat 25th IPSWICH, REGENT THEATRE

May

Mon 4th MILTON KEYNES, MILTON KEYNES THEATRE

Thu 7th SOUTHEND, CLIFFS PAVILION

Thu 14th HAYES, BECK THEATRE

Sun 31st CROYDON, ASHCROFT PLAYHOUSE

June

Sat 6th CARLISLE, SANDS CENTRE

Wed 17th SUNDERLAND, SUNDERLAND EMPIRE

Thu 18th BRADFORD, ST GEORGE’S HALL

Fri 19th STOCKPORT, PLAZA

Sat 20th MALVERN, MALVERN THEATRE

Fri 26th LONDON, INDIGO AT THE O2

July

Wed 1st EXETER, NORTHCOTT THEATRE

Thu 2nd BARNSTAPLE, QUEENS THEATRE

Fri 3rd CHATHAM, CENTRAL THEATRE

Thu 9th OXFORD, NEW THEATRE

Fri 10th BRIGHTON, THEATRE ROYAL

Sat 11th BASINGSTOKE, ANVIL ARTS

Sun 12th HORNCHURCH, QUEEN’S THEATRE

Thu 16th NEW BRIGHTON, FLORAL PAVILION

Fri 17th ISLE OF MAN, VILLA MARINA

Wed 22th BROMLEY, CHURCHILL THEATRE

Fri 24th DARLINGTON, DARLINGTON HIPPODROME

August  

Sun 9th BRISTOL, HIPPODROME

Fri 28th WEYMOUTH, PAVILION

September  

Thu 17th MANCHESTER, BRIDGEWATER HALL

Sat 19th CARDIFF, ST DAVID’S HALL

Wed 23rd ST HELENS, THEATRE ROYAL

Wed 30th DARTFORD, ORCHARD THEATRE

October  

Fri 2nd DUNSTABLE, GROVE THEATRE

Sat 10th NOTTINGHAM, ROYAL CONCERT HALL

Wed 14th LLANDUDNO, VENUE CYMRU

Fri 16th ST ALBANS, ALBAN ARENA

Fri 30th BATH, FORUM

Sat 31st CHELMSFORD, CIVIC THEATRE

November  

Wed 4th LEICESTER, DE MONTFORT HALL

Sat 7th GRIMSBY, AUDITORIUM

Thu 26th BLACKPOOL, OPERA HOUSE

Fri 27th WYCOMBE, SWAN THEATRE

December

Fri 4th CAMBRIDGE, CORN EXCHANGE

Thu 10th DUDLEY, TOWN HALL

 

WHAT’S ON MARCH: Trevor Noah’s tour is heading to Glasgow

Award-winning comedian Trevor Noah is bringing his Loud & Clear tour to the UK in 2020. The show will visit Glasgow on Friday, 20 March at the SSE Hydro.

The most successful comedian in Africa, and host of the Emmy® award-winning The Daily Show, Trevor Noah has sold out shows over five continents and has written, produced and starred in eight comedy specials.

Don’t miss Trevor live in the UK.

In 2018, The Daily Show won a GLAAD award for Outstanding Talk Episode, and received nominations for a Writers Guild Award (Comedy/Variety Series) as well as two NAACP Image Awards, for Outstanding Talk Series and Outstanding Host in a Talk or News/Information Show. Noah also won Best Host at the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards, as well as a 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series for his hosting role on The Daily Show – Between The Scenes.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah received three 2018 Primetime Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Variety Talk Series, Outstanding Interactive Program and Outstanding Short Form Variety Series. Trevor recently received the 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series, as well as nominations for Outstanding Talk Series, Outstanding Variety Show, and Outstanding Host in a Talk or News/Information Show.

Born in South Africa to a black South African mother and a white European father, Noah has hosted numerous television shows including South Africa’s music, television and film awards. In April 2018, Noah launched The Trevor Noah Foundation, a youth development initiative that enhances youth preparedness for higher education or entry into the workforce. Noah’s vision is a South Africa that advances because each generation builds and must grow beyond its predecessor. Through a partnership with Microsoft, the foundation is able to provide under-resourced schools with the opportunity to use technology as a tool to enhance the learning experience, as well as increase digital literacy beyond the classroom.

TICKETS

Glasgow – www.thessehydro.com

www.trevornoah.com

TWITTER: @Trevornoah

NEWS: OPERA HIGHLIGHTS SPRING TOUR TRAVELS TO 17 VENUES ACROSS SCOTLAND

Opera Highlights is back on the road on February 4, with four singers and a pianist journeying to 17 venues the length and breadth of Scotland, from Lerwick in the north to Castle Douglas in the south.

Following 17 performances in Autumn, the same Opera Highlights but with a new cast is travelling the highways and byways by land, sea and air. The Spring tour begins in Bathgate, then visits Birnam, Markinch, Campbeltown, Bowmore, Arrochar, Bunessan, Arisaig, Beauly, Cumnock, Castle Douglas, Callander, Lerwick, Peebles, Fochabers, Alford and Rutherglen.

Set in a beautiful garden, director Roxana Haines’ production features a playlist of operatic classics and must-hear rarities, curated by Scottish Opera’s Head of Music Derek Clark. Highlights include Delibes’ ‘Flower Duet’, Vaughan Williams’ ‘Blue larkspur in a garden’ and many more from the likes of Mozart, Lehár and Scottish Opera Composer in Residence, Samuel Bordoli.

Scottish Opera 2019/20 Emerging Artist repetiteur Michael Papadopoulos is the Pianist/Music Director, and is joined by soprano Zoe Drummond; mezzo-soprano Jade Moffat; tenor Andrew Irwin and baritone Arthur Bruce, The Robertson Trust Scottish Opera Emerging Artist this Season.

Roxana Haines, who directed Scottish Opera’s hit Edinburgh Festival Fringe show Fox-tot! this summer, said: ‘After a successful Autumn tour I am pleased to revive this Opera Highlights show, where the cast cordially invite you to a party on your doorstep. This Spring we have a brand new cast to guide you through our story which takes place in luscious gardens and magical flora and fauna of Opera. The stage has been set, decorations unpacked and the guests have all arrived but, the problem is we’re still not sure whose party this is…

‘As the evening progresses, the connections between our characters unravel through music from the likes of Handel, Donizetti and Mozart, and lighter pieces from Gilbert & Sullivan and Vaughan Williams as well as a new work by Samuel Bordoli. Prepare for an evening of charm, magic and love in all its operatic forms in a show that highlights the joy and absurdity of opera.’

This Opera Highlights tour is supported by The Friends of Scottish Opera, JTH Charitable Trust and The Scottish Opera Endowment Trust. Tickets are on sale from 11 December.

Image: Julie Broadfoot

NEWS: BRENDAN COLE ANNOUNCES FINAL BIG BAND TOUR – SHOW MAN

Brendan Cole announces today that he will revive his hugely popular 2019 tour for 2020 Show Man, announcing this will be his last big band tour after 10 years of touring 5 exceptional critically acclaimed productions.  Show Man opens at Grimsby Auditorium 19 Feb 2020 before touring the UK and Ireland.

Taking its inspiration from the magic of theatre and the movies Show Man brings something for everyone.  With his amazingly talented hand-picked championship dancers and scorching eight piece live big band and singers, Brendan will bring audiences many of their favourite Strictly dance styles with choreography full of excitement, intimacy, emotion & skill. With laughter and chat throughout you are guaranteed to have a ball.  This is no ‘sit back and watch’ production;  Each show is full on high energy dance dynamite, up close and personal, with superb choreography, stunning lighting and amazing special effects. Expect a cheeky Charleston to Pencil Full of Lead, a sexy Salsa to Despacito, music from Beggin’ to Bublé, plus numbers from The Greatest Showman and La La Land.

Brendan Cole is best known from TV favourite Strictly Come Dancing where he danced the first show of the first series and lifted the very first glitterball trophy.

Show Man is Brendan’s fifth theatrical production and will see him tour the UK for the twelfth time . He has presented ten hugely successful concert tours to date: Live & Unjudged (2010/2011 x 2/2012), Licence to Thrill (2013 & 2014), A Night To Remember (2015/2016) and All Night Long (2017/2018)

Brendan tells us ‘I’m really excited to be bringing back Show Man having toured this production early in 2019 .  This is my most exciting tour to date it’s so dynamic and theatrical – much more so than any previous tour.  We have five male dancers, three female dancers, choirs, a violinist and brand new staging which allows the choreography to be exciting and different; bigger and better lifts, some very strong theatrical numbers as well as a new look set, it really is something special!  My aim is to wow the audience and give them everything they’d expect and much, much more.

Brendan continues ‘ This will be my last big band tour after touring for so many years. I’ve loved every second of being own the stage with my friends who have now become family. It’s time for something different and I’m honoured to be taking Show Man out for one last run. I’m so proud of this production and I’m going out on a high’

If you love live music from one of the best touring bands and exciting and emotive dance this is the show for you.  Don’t miss your chance to experience the ultimate Show Man at his best.

For more information and tour dates visit www.brendancolelive.com or www.pmbpresentations.com

Find us on Twitter and Facebook @BrendanColeTour

Wed 26-Feb    Aberdeen Music Hall              www.aberdeenperformingarts.com            01224 641122

Thu 27-Feb      Glasgow Royal Concert Hall   www.glasgowconcerthalls.com            0141 353 8000

Sat 29-Feb       Dunfermline Alhambra          www.alhambradunfermline.com            01383 740384 

Tue 03-Mar     Perth Concert Hall                  www.horsecross.co.uk                       01738 621031

Wed 04-Mar   Inverness Eden Court              www.eden-court.co.uk                      01463 234234

Images: Fiona Whyte

REVIEW: Lisa Stansfield Affection 30th Anniversary Tour – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Ivor Novello and BRIT Award-winner Lisa Stansfield is currently riding the second wave of her career, after bursting on the scene in 1989, and re-emerging after a sabbatical of over a decade with 2014’s album Seven and 2018’s Deeper.

Hot on the heels of last year’s Deeper tour, this time we are going back, waaaay back, thirty years, to celebrate her debut album Affection. And it’s a full-on nostalgia fest for her fans as she transports them back to those heady days where it all began. As the hall is filled with the rich, full sound of her smooth eight piece band (and two outstanding backing vocalists) you’d be forgiven for thinking this was Stansfield’s 90s heyday – the illusion only shattered by the grey haired, middle-aged audience bopping along with the hits.

Stansfield is still as strong a vocalist as she ever was, the power unbelievably coming from such a teeny, tiny, frame. She storms through Sincerity, Poison, Mighty Love, This is the Right Time, the title track Affection and of course, All Around the World among others.

For someone who is known as a gregarious and verbose interviewee she is surprisingly mute throughout most of the set, rarely engaging with her audience beyond a word or two. There are no frills – the set is a cloth with Lisa on it and the lighting is simplistic. Stansfield relies on the music, and her lauded vocals to do the talking for her.

It is all very low-key and very mellow, and while the mega-fans are lapping it up, to those less invested, the similar sounding songs and the lack of light and shade mean that many of the songs are indistinguishable from one other.

It might not win her any new fans but it’s definitely an evening of quality and nostalgia for Stansfield fans.

The Affection tour continues to:

Tue 29 Oct 2019 – UK, Birmingham Symphony Hall
Thu 31 Oct 2019 – UK, London Royal Albert Hall
Fri 01 Nov 2019 – UK, Cardiff St David’s Hall

 

NEWS: Casting announced for new Oor Wullie musical

Dundee Rep Theatre and Selladoor Productions today announce casting for their brand new musical, Oor Wullie.  The world premiere opens at Dundee Rep Theatre from 23 Nov – 05 Jan before touring Scotland until 14 March.

Martin Quinn will star as Scotland’s favourite comic strip scamp Wullie.  Paisley born Martin is currently starring in Peter Gynt at The National Theatre of Great Britain having made his stage debut at Dundee Rep in Let The Right One In and appearing in Passing Places with Dundee rep last year and says of taking on the iconic role:

Martin Quinn

‘initially it was quite daunting, seeing as everyone’s used to Oor Wullie as a one page adventure, whereas we’re trying to breathe life into it as a full scale musical. But we’ve got such a great script and team on the show, that side of it is all taken care of. I’m just looking forward to channelling my inner “cheeky chappy”, reminiscent of when I was a wee guy and my gran kept the Sunday Post for me. What I’m more scared of now is getting my hair dyed blonde which my girlfriend tells me if it isn’t done properly can turn green!’

Ann Louis Ross and Irene Macdougall, both founding Members of Dundee Rep Ensemble, celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year, will join new Dundee Rep graduate actors Bailey Newsome (Soapy Soutar) and Leah Byrne (Primrose) and former graduate Leanne Traynor who, in a slight twist will play a reimagined Basher Mackenzie.

Dan Buckley and Grant McIntyre will join Martin on stage as lifelong pals Fat Boab and Wee Eck respectively with George Brennan completing the superb cast.

 The iconic laddie from Auchenshoogle is much loved for his big heart, constant war against boredom and his mischievous energetic pranks which often land him in a scrape or two! Now you can see the spiky-haired scallywag live on stage as he embarks on an adventure with pals Fat Boab, Soapy Soutar, Wee Eck, and the rest of the Sunday Post gang – the only question is; where’s his bucket?!

Dundee Rep Theatre

Saturday 23rd Nov, 2019 – Sunday 5th Jan, 2020

01382 223 530 – www.dundeerep.co.uk

 

Glasgow Theatre Royal

Monday 20th Jan, 2020 – Saturday 25th Jan, 2020

0844 871 7647 – https://www.atgtickets.com/venues/theatre-royal-glasgow/

 

Edinburgh King’s Theatre

Tuesday 28th Jan, 2020 – Saturday 1st Feb, 2020

0131 529 6000 www.capitaltheatres.com 

 

Ayr Gaiety Theatre

Monday 3rd Feb, 2020 – Saturday 8th Feb, 2020

01292 288235 https://thegaiety.co.uk/

 

Inverness Eden Court

Monday 10th Feb, 2020 – Saturday 15th Feb, 2020

01463 234 234   https://eden-court.co.uk/

 

Stirling Macrobert Arts Centre

Wednesday 26th Feb, 2020 – Saturday 29th Feb, 2020

01786 466 666 http://www.macrobertartscentre.org

 

Aberdeen His Majesty’s Theatre

Tuesday 3rd Mar, 2020 – Saturday 7th Mar, 2020

01224 641122 – www.aberdeenperformingarts.com/his-majestys-theatre/

 

Kirkcaldy Adam Smith Theatre

Monday 9th Mar, 2020 – Wednesday 11th Mar, 2020

01592 583302 www.onfife.com/venues/adam-smith-theatre

 

Greenock Beacon Arts Centre

Thursday 12th Mar, 2020 – Saturday 14th Mar, 2020

01475 723 723. http://beaconartscentre.co.uk/

WHAT’S ON FEBRUARY: MUSICAL COMEDY DUO FLO & JOAN COME TO THE STAND

It was announced today, that amidst the release of their first comedy special on Amazon Prime Video and performing a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe including two extra shows at 3pm on Monday 19th and 7.30pm on Sunday 25th at Assembly Piccolo Tent, musical comedy duo Flo & Joan are set to embark on a UK tour of their brand new show Before the Screaming Starts from 28th October. They will visit The Stand in Glasgow on 10 February 2020. Tickets are now on sale at floandjoan.com

This follows Flo & Joan appearing at this year’s Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal at The Hasan Minhaj Gala and as part of the prestigious Brit(ish) lineup, as well as a hugely successful run at the 2019 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

In January, the suspiciously unsimilar sisters Flo & Joan – whose songs have racked up over 50 million views online – watched the Bros documentary. Through the tension and arguments of estranged siblings Matt and Luke Goss, Flo & Joan glimpsed a possible future waiting for them; a lot of dog portraits, male pattern baldness and the occasional argument over the use of pyrotechnics. Despite this ominous foreshadowing, they are doing their best to ignore the warning signs with more waggish songs to parade about the place in their brand new show Before the Screaming Starts.

The success of their latest show follows a complete sell-out run at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe which saw them add five extra shows and embark on their debut UK tour. Nicola and Rosie’s television and radio credits include Rob Delaney’s Stand Up Central (Comedy Central), The Now Show (BBC Radio 4) and Fresh from the Fringe (BBC Radio 4), writing and performing two songs for Horrible Histories (CBBC) and they have also had an enormous viral hit online with their 2016 Song which was subsequently featured on websites including Comedy Central (where it was video of the day worldwide), A.V. Club, Glamour and Stylist.

Elsewhere the pair also wrote and starred in a series of adverts for Nationwide Building Society, with their video Sisters being rated YouTube’s most popular advert in January 2018, and have established a sell-out monthly residency hosted at London’s Brasserie Zedel. In 2016, 2017 and 2019 they were part of the Best of the Fest selections at Toronto and Montreal Sketchfests, also winning the Now Audience Choice Award in Toronto and their Canadian TV credits include CBC’s flagship comedy show This Hour Has 22 Minutes and a series of videos for CBC Online.

WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019 – Rapture Theatre presents Clybourne Park

“How many white men does it take to change a light bulb?” 

Rapture Theatre Presents: CLYBOURNE PARK by Bruce Norris 

Rapture Theatre, after its critically acclaimed productions of The Red Lion and A Streetcar Named Desire, makes a welcome return.

It’s 1959 and President Eisenhower is in the White House. Bev and Russ are moving after the tragic death of their son, and they have inadvertently sold their house to the neighbourhood’s first black family.

Fifty years later, in 2009, with the first Black President just having taken office, a young white couple buy the same house in what is now a predominantly black neighbourhood.

In both instances, racial tensions escalate, the stakes are raised and the play asks the question: have our attitudes to race really changed?

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize,Tony and Olivier Award for Best Play and hailed as “shockingly entertaining” and “appallingly funny”, Clybourne Park is a razor-sharp satire about the politics of race.

The cast features Robin Kingsland (Rapture’s The Browning Version and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), popular Scottish performer Jackie Morrison, leading Royal Shakespeare Company actress Frances McNamee, Adelaide Obeng (Not Bound Within  for The Albany ), Benjamin Stratton (The 39 Steps), Jack Lord (War Horse for National Theatre), Steven Scott Fitzgerald (The Browning Version) and Vinta Morgan (The Merchant of Venice for Almedia Theatre).

THE VILLAGE THEATRE East Kilbride 07 Sep
THEATRE ROYAL DUMFRIES  Dumfries 10 Sep
BEACON ARTS CENTRE  Greenock 12 Sep
LANARK MEMORIAL HALL  Lanark 13 Sep
 FTH
 Falkirk 17 Sep
 MOTHERWELL THEATRE
 Motherwell  18 Sep
 THE BRUNTON
Musselburgh 20 Sep
 HOWDEN ARTS CENTRE
 Livingston 24 Sep
EASTWOOD PARK THEATRE Giffnock 25 Sep
 ADAM SMITH THEATRE Kirkcaldy 27 Sep
MACROBERT ARTS CENTRE Stirling 28 Sep
EDEN COURT Inverness 01 Oct
TRAVERSE  Edinburgh 03 – 05 Oct
CORRAN HALLS Oban 07 Oct
BYRE THEATRE  St Andrews 10 – 11 Oct
PALACE THEATRE Kilmarnock 12 Oct

REVIEW: Leah MacRae – My Big Fat Fabulous Diary – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

It takes a brave actress indeed to decide to create your own solo show and take it on the road, especially an already successful one. Leah MacRae is well-known and loved as Julie in Gary: Tank Commander, Ellie in the Scottish soap River City and the lead in the spoof 50 Shades of Maggie, so you think she’d rest on her laurels. To lay bare your embarrassing teenage diary musings with the world and open up about your daily struggles with fat-shaming, and rejection in your industry, takes courage, even if it is couched in a musical comedy show.

The first impression of MacRae is that she is a fearless, bold, bigger than life personality, un-moved by the criticism of others, and to a certain extent that’s true (she bounds on stage looking like a bubblegum pink pantomime fairy), she even says: “if I were a size 10, I’d be a complete w****r”. However, as we scratch beneath the surface to get to the real message behind these stories and songs, there’s a world of hurt that’s had to be overcome. MacRae is here to spread the word about us all being a bit kinder to each other, that however positive a face we present to the world, these constant barbs and the constant career rejection because of your size, does hurt. That we should embrace and have confidence in who we are, whatever we look like. To never give up on our dreams. She hysterically cites Victoria Beckham as her unlikely inspiration, but maybe not for the reasons you’d think!

Split into two acts, there are few theatrical conventions the Glaswegian powerhouse doesn’t cover: there’s drama, lots and lots of comedy, funny songs, heart-breaking songs, big ballads, a mix-tape section!, dancing and a ton of banter with her hometown audience. While the first act is a mixture of all these, the second becomes a bit more reflective and the mood does take a bit of a dive, until we end with the ubiquitous This Is Me from The Greatest Showman.

There’s some good material here, but there’s a feeling it’s not all it could be. MacRae, talks about constant comparisons to fellow Glaswegian Michelle McManus. McManus has had her own one-woman show, also autobiographical, also funny and also featuring some knock out hits. While MacRae is a talented comedy actress, McManus is a natural born storyteller with an innate comic timing that can’t be learned, and an ability to gauge exactly what makes a perfectly pitched show. MacRae possibly needs some outside eyes to take this raw material with great potential and make it a knock-out from start to finish. There’s also the issue of nerves. MacRae is home, not only in front of her local fans, but her family and friends, and the pressure shows. She looks nervous and as a result the dialogue comes out so fast that it’s impossible to hear a lot of it from anywhere above the stalls.

It’s easy to warm to MacRae, this is an entertaining evening and it’s great to hear her unleash her big voice at full force, but there’s a lot of potential that’s not being fulfilled. Hopefully, there’s more to come. If this is the first version of her stage show, I can’t wait to see the next.

Leah MacRae continues to tour until June. See her website for details.

NEWS: Joe McFadden to star in Mark Goucher and Jason Donovan’s UK tour of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Mark Goucher and first-time producer Jason Donovan have today announced that actor and Strictly Come Dancing winner Joe McFadden will star in their brand-new production of the much-loved glittering hit musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The producers have also announced today that the tour will continue through 2020. The show, which was announced last year, will tour the UK and Ireland from September 2019. It marks Donovan’s first time as a producer, having performed in the cast of the original West End production and two subsequent UK tours. The producing team is completed by Gavin Kalin and Matthew GalePriscilla, Queen of the Desert will preview in Dartford from 5 September 2019.

Joe McFadden’s theatre credits include: House on Cold Hill (UK tour); The Missing (National Theatre of Scotland); Rainbow Kiss (Royal Court); Torch Song Trilogy (Menier Chocolate Factory); Rent (West End); Haunting Julia (Colchester Mercury/ UK Tour); She Loves Me (Chichester Festival Theatre); Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (The Edinburgh Playhouse); A Life In The Theatre (Royal Lyceum Edinburgh); How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying; (Chichester Festival Theatre); 15 Seconds (Traverse Theatre ); Aladdin (The Old Vic); Entertaining Mr Sloane (Theatre Clwyd). Television credits include:  Holby City (BBC); Casualty (BBC); Heartbeat (ITV/YTV); Cranford (BBC); Sparkhouse (BBC/Red Productions); A Mortal God (BBC); Reverse Psychology (BBC); Judge John Deed (BBC/One Eyed Dog); The Glass (ITV1/Granada); The Law (ITV1/Pearson); Sex, Chips & Rock n’ Roll (BBC); The Crow Road (BBC/Union Pictures). Film includes:  Small Faces; Dad Savage; Zig Zag Love; The Trouble with Men and Women; Bumping The Odds.

Newly announced cities that the tour will visit include: Southampton; Plymouth; Nottingham; Dublin; Cambridge; Newcastle; Southend; Sheffield; Carlisle; Ipswich; Leeds; Oxford; Birmingham; Glasgow; Cardiff; Bristol.  Full listings are still to be announced.

Joe McFadden said: “I’m over the moon to be taking on this new and exciting challenge in a musical that I have been a massive fan of for such a long time. I’m looking forward to working with this wonderful production team, including Jason whose guidance I feel especially lucky to have given his previous experience with the production.  I can’t wait to take the Priscilla bus on the road and have a bonzer time making the role my own!”

Mark Goucher said: “Joe is great casting for Priscilla. He is a very strong musical theatre performer and will bring great charm and integrity to this new production of a great musical.”

Jason Donovan said: “So pleased to announce Joe be starring in our production. He’s a down to earth, talented guy who will bring enormous warmth to the role of Mitzi. I can’t wait to see him in heels doing those dance routines…. Awesome.”

The iconic hit musical has more glitter than ever before, featuring a dazzling array of stunning costumes, fabulous feathers and a non-stop parade of dance-floor classics including It’s Raining Men, I Will Survive, I Love The NightlifeFinally and many more.

Based on the Oscar-winning film, PRISCILLA is the hilarious adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus bound for Alice Springs to put on the show of a lifetime. Their epic journey is a heart-warming story of self-discovery, sassiness and acceptance.

This brand new production comes from the team behind the critically acclaimed UK tours of Hairspray; with direction by Paul Kerryson, choreography by Tom Jackson-Greaves with designs by Phil R Daniels and Charles Cusick Smith, lighting design by Ben Cracknell and sound design by Ben Harrison.

PriscillaUKTour.com & PriscillaUKTour.co.uk

Monday 4 November – Saturday 9 November 2019
EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE
Tel: 0844 8713014
Tickets on sale 14th September

Monday 18 November – Saturday 23 November 2019
INVERNESS EDEN COURT
Tel: 01463 234234
Tickets now on sale

Image: Darren Bell

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