Tag Archives: UK Tour

NEWS: DREAMGIRLS UK Tour announced

Sonia Friedman Productions has announced that hit musical Dreamgirls, will embark on its first ever UK tour, opening in Bristol in September 2020 before dates in Milton Keynes, Blackpool, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Birmingham, with further venues throughout 2021 still to be announced. Tickets will go on sale this week with specific box office information available at Dreamgirlsthemusical.co.uk.

Featuring the classic songs ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’, ‘Listen’ and ‘One Night Only’, this sensational, multi-award winning new production of Dreamgirls had its critically acclaimed West End Premiere in December 2016 at London’s Savoy Theatre, 35 years on from opening on Broadway.

Meet The Dreams – Effie, Lorrell and Deena – three talented young singers in the turbulent 1960s, a revolutionary time in American music history. Join the three friends as they embark upon a musical rollercoaster ride through a world of fame, fortune and the ruthless realities of show business, testing their friendships to the very limit.

In 2006, Dreamgirls was adapted into an Oscar® winning motion picture starring Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx.

Casting for the Dreamgirls UK tour will be announced soon. This award winning production is Directed and Choreographed by Olivier® and Tony® Award winning Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Mean Girls, Disney’s Aladdin and Something Rotten!), with Set and Costume Design by Tim Hatley, Lighting Design by Hugh Vanstone, Hair Design by Josh Marquette and Music Supervision by Nick Finlow.

With Book and Lyrics by Tom Eyen and Music by Henry Krieger, with Additional Material by Willie Reale, the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls, Directed and Choreographed by Michael Bennett, opened in 1981 and subsequently won six Tony® Awards. The original cast recording won two Grammy® Awards for Best Musical Album and Best Vocal Performance for Jennifer Holliday’s ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.’

Tuesday 10 – Saturday 21 November 2020
His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen AB25 1GL
01224 641122 | www.aberdeenperformingarts.com
Public on sale: 9.30am Friday 6 December 2019

Tuesday 24 November – Saturday 5 December 2020
Edinburgh Playhouse
18-22 Greenside Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3AA
0844 871 3014 | www.atgtickets.com/venues/edinburgh-playhouse/
Public on sale: 3pm Thursday 28 November 2019

INTERVIEW: Kaaren Ragland of The Supremes coming to Falkirk in November

As soul songstress Kaaren Ragland kicks back in her Los Angeles home, she reflects on a career that has seen her star as one of The Supremes with Mary Wilson and tour every corner of the world with her own successful productions.

The former theatre actress as well as vocalist would appear to have it all. However, Kaaren admits there is a certain something missing from her life.

The singer says that, as well as looking forward to performing before thousands of adoring Supremes fans when her Sounds of the Supremes show comes to the UK in November, she will also be very happy to re-acquaint herself with a Great British tradition. . .

“When the Supremes came to tour the UK in the late Seventies,” she says, “we were taken to the pub for lunch before a show. It was a concert in South Wales and the place filled up with miners and the atmosphere was like nothing I’d ever experienced.

There’s nothing that compares to it in The States and a relaxing pub lunch is something I’ll definitely be looking forward to when The Sounds of the Supremes visits the UK.”

Kaaren’s introduction to singing was playing the clubs in her home city.

“I was lucky enough to perform at weekends for over a year at The Improvisation – an LA comedy club,” she says.

Kaaren’s vocal arranger was famous jazz pianist and band leader Phil Moore – whose own stellar career took off when famed American singer, dancer and actress Lena Horne brought a very young Phil with her to MGM Studios. “Phil also arranged for The Supremes and when the opportunity to tour with the group arose he put me forward.”

Performing with The Supremes throughout the Eighties, Kaaren regularly toured the UK. And when the band hung up their microphones, she went on to travel the world with her own Sounds of the Supremes production.

Over the years the hit show has visited 70 different countries, bringing the authentic sounds of the Supremes to the stage.

“It’s fully choreographed – we can all move about a bit,“ laughs Kaaren. “And the show’s not a tribute, we like to think of it is an authentic experience for all Supremes fans.”

More than 20 top-ten Supremes hits feature.

“Theatregoers certainly get more for their money in the UK,” continues Kaaren. “You see, though The Supremes were huge in the Sixties on both sides of the Atlantic, they were far more successful in Britain than they were at home during the Seventies.

“So, as well as number ones like Baby Love, Stop in the Name of Love, Where Did Our Love Go and You Can’t Hurry Love, we also include hits like Up the Ladder to the Roof, Stoned Love and Nathan Jones on our UK dates.

“We get to fully enjoy ourselves performing all The Supremes hits.”

The trio – Kathy Merrick, Althea Burkhalter and Kaaren – are fully aware of the original group’s incredible trailblazing reputation.

“When I was growing up, The Supremes were icons to little black girls like me. They were the first group to fully cross over and become famous. They paved the way for so many other talented bands and singers.”

Several bands in particular – The Jacksons, Sister Sledge, Kool and the Gang and the Pointer Sisters – recently had The Sounds of the Supremes join them on their international tour dates.

With a select number of solo shows scheduled for the UK on the group’s next overseas excursion, Kaaren is looking forward to reviving her love affair with the Great British boozer.

Oh, and if you come across the star at your local pub, hers is a nicely-chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

THE SOUNDS OF THE SUPREMES

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2019

FTH THEATRE

Falkirk FK1 5RS   7.30pm

01324 506850  falkirkcommunitytrust.org/whats-on/the-sounds-of-the-supremes

REVIEW: Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical – Edinburgh Playhouse

With its origins as the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2010 festive show, nine years down the line, Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin’s musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda has been seen by over eight million people around the globe. Winning awards and smashing box office records wherever it goes (and deservedly so) the transformation of a much-adored but thematically and emotionally challenging children’s book was never going to be easy, taking its creators seven years to develop from page to stage – but boy was it worth it.

There are few other musicals, let alone one largely written for a child audience, that is a genuine emotional rollercoaster, laugh-out-loud funny and entirely entertaining from curtain up to curtain down for an audience of all ages. Never shying away from the darker corners of human nature, it re-iterates throughout that despite this one having one, not all stories have a happy ending. An unexpected and unwelcome addition to the grotesque Wormwood family, five-and-a-half-year-old prodigy with telekinetic powers Matilda (Scarlett Cecil), takes solace in books – from Austen and Brontë to Dickens and Dostoyevsky and finds a kindred spirit in her gentle and downtrodden new teacher Miss Honey. While she relishes starting school, the cruelty she seeks to escape at home is heaped upon her and her classmates ten-fold by their larger than life, ex-Olympic hammer throwing head mistress Miss Trunchbull (played to utter perfection and with great relish by Elliot Harper).

With a two-hour 40-minute running time, jam packed with dialogue, tricky lyrics and hugely inventive choreography and scene changes, Matilda’s success relies in no small part to a well-drilled cast, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better quality one than this. Scarlett Cecil, one of four Matildas is an absolute star, it must be remembered that this is a child taking on this role, a child who rarely leaves the stage during the entire production, a child who is delivering complex dialogue and lyrics that those treble her age would find challenging. The entire child cast are exceptional (the adults are pretty spectacular too) not a foot or word is out of place and the energy and gusto with which they attack every scene adds a youthful realism.

Both Kelly’s words (perfectly adapted from Roald Dahl’s original book) and Tim Minchin’s music and lyrics are clever, clever, clever and prove that there’s no need to dumb down to provide entertainment with mass appeal. As perfect as it’s possible to be, Matilda remains an outstanding musical in the British theatrical canon.

Runs until 27 April 2019 | Image: Contributed

This review was originally written for THE REVIEWS HUB

NEWS: Tim Minchin Comes To Glasgow and Edinburgh in 2019 As Part Of New UK Tour

TIM MINCHIN, award-winning comedian, actor and composer, will return to the stage for his first UK tour dates since 2011.

The UK premiere of BACK will commence in October 2019 and includes performances in Oxford, Sheffield, Nottingham, Manchester, Plymouth, Cardiff, Portsmouth, London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Brighton and Southend.

BACK is billed as Old Songs, New Songs, F*** You Songs, hinting at a set list of material from all corners of Minchin’s eclectic – and often iconoclastic – repertoire.

It will be the long-awaited follow up to his sold-out national arena tour of Tim Minchin and his Orchestra in 2010-2011.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public through Ticketmaster and venue box offices on Thursday 6 September at 10am GMT.

Fans will be given priority access to tickets via Ticketmaster Verified FanTM registration. Registration to become a Ticketmaster Verified FanTM will be open until 11:59pm, Sunday 2nd September. Successful fans will receive a unique code for Ticketmaster Verified FanTM pre-sale which will open at 10am Wednesday 5 September for 24 hours.

The music virtuoso also announced that profit from a number of top price seats will be donated to a UK charity – details of which will be announced through his website soon.

Minchin has been celebrated globally for writing the music and lyrics for Matilda the Musical, which has gone on to become one of the most acclaimed musicals of the last 20 years, winning a record seven Olivier Awards, 13 Helpmann Awards and five Tony Awards. It continues to run in the West End and has already played in over 50 cities worldwide. He also wrote music and lyrics for the musical adaption of Groundhog Day, which after an acclaimed limited run at The Old Vic in London in 2016, debuted on Broadway in April 2017 and won the Olivier Award for Best Musical in 2017.

Meanwhile, Minchin has ruffled feathers in Australia with his ARIA-nominated charity single, Come Home Cardinal Pell and the Marriage Equality parody, I Still Call Australia Homophobic. His UWA Graduation speech has been watched by tens of millions of people worldwide.

BACK will mark Minchin’s return to the stage, following several film and TV appearances which earned him a handful of acting accolades, including the Qantas Orry-Kelly Award at the 2017 Australians in Film Awards and a 2016 Logie Award for Most Outstanding Supporting Actor for The Secret River.

He most recently starred in the ABC 2018 comedy series Squinters and will appear as Friar Tuck in the upcoming Hollywood release Robin Hood in cinemas November 2018. In 2019 he will also star in UPRIGHT, a new eight-part drama series, which he will co-write with The Chaser’s Chris Taylor, actor-writers Leon Ford and Kate Mulvaney, and coproduce with Lingo Pictures for Foxtel and Sky UK.

INTERVIEW: Gus Boyd of the Police/Sting Show talks about their latest tour

The ex-members of Hotel California, KT Tunstall and Fish’s bands, return to the touring circuit with this new exciting project, The Police Sting Show. Touring Scotland throughout October and November and finishing this year’s tour at Eastwood Park Theatre on Saturday 25 November, the show features re-worked, fresh versions of all the iconic Police and Sting solo album songs in a 100-minute show featuring an acoustic Sting section. 

Gus Boyd, who performs as Sting, talks about what we can expect and what’s coming up next year. 

Why do you think the Police’s music still has such an enduring appeal?

Basically, because they are great timeless songs that have lasted that initial audience generation and being listened and liked by our children’s generation.

How long has it taken for you to perfect your portrayal of Sting/The Police?

I started working stripping back the songs on acoustic guitar just under two years ago.

Added in a drummer and bass player 18 months ago and we created our own interpretations and style for the 24 songs that we currently play.

Tell us what we can expect from the show?

Not copies of the songs but our own style and fresh take, but still retaining the integrity and the song message.

Do you find audiences differ as you travel around the country?

They are all fans of The Police and Sting Music but do differ in age demographic especially in the regional areas.

It’s great to see the young generation enjoying the songs alongside people of their parents ages!

The Police/Sting Show will be at Eastwood Park Theatre on 25 November at 7.30pm as part of the UK tour.

More info at: https://www.eastwoodparktheatre.co.uk/article/9002/The-Police-Sting-Show

FEATURE: Ten Fascinating Fun Facts about the Jersey Boys UK and Ireland Tour

With the first UK and Ireland tour of the musical blockbuster Jersey Boys touring the UK, here are ten fascinating fun facts about the show.

  • It takes ten stage staff, four lighting and four sound staff from the venue three days to get the show in and ready for curtain up.
  • A total of eight trailers will transport the set, props and costumes to the theatre
  • There will be 18 backstage staff working away at every performance of Jersey Boys.
  • Three wig staff will make sure 80 hair pieces look their very best at each performance.
  • Three wardrobe staff, 13 wardrobe trundle full of costumes, three washing machines, four tumble dryers, two high power steam irons, two steamers and a hot box ensure the cast sparkle every night.
  • Over eight hours of laundry will be done every day. That’s 100 shirts per show and 500 coat hangers.
  • One female cast member has 17 pairs of shoes per show.
  • One male cast member has nine different ties in Act One alone.
  • There are 45.5 square metres of high-resolution video wall in the show.
  • There are 22 touring technical staff, 10 musicians, 58 moving lights, 890 lighting and video cues, 57 flying cues and 50 automation cues mean audiences get the most technically and visually spectacular production.

REVIEW: Jersey Boys – Playhouse, Edinburgh

This review was originally written for and published by www.thepublicreviews.com

Oh what a night it is as Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice’s West End and Broadway smash Jersey Boysarrives in Scotland’s capital. The rags to riches tale of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons has always been a sure-fire winner with audiences and this first UK tour doesn’t disappoint.

Those coming to the tale expecting the run of the mill jukebox musical will be pleasantly surprised, while most may have heard the astonishing back catalogue of hits, many may be less familiar with the real-life antics of the quartet and the gritty reality provides a welcome foil to the showbiz glamour. This is so much more than a thinly drawn narrative stringing the band’s greatest hits together: the whole show has heart and guts and something to get your teeth into.

Though ever so slightly streamlined from the West End version, Klara Zieglerova’s simplistic but effective set is still very much in evidence, as is Sergio Trujillo’s iconic choreography, but what elevates this production is its cast. As Valli, Belgian actor/musician Tim Driesen is an absolute knock-out, he has the rare distinction of being able to sing at full power in every part of his range and oh boy what a range he has, going from baritone to eye-watering falsetto with ease, his New Jersey accent is also pitch-perfect. He is more than ably supported by Sam Ferriday (Bob Gaudio), Lewis Griffiths (Nick Massi) and Stephen Webb (Tommy DeVito), each in possession of impressive vocal chops and the combination of all four provides many a hairs on the back of the neck moment. They rival and at times, vocally surpass the original West End cast. Matt Gillett’s Bob Crewe also provides some welcome light relief throughout the piece.

This is a crowd pleaser in every way: great songs, great story, great singers and actors and the perfect antidote to the chilly autumn blues. It’s one of the world’s best-loved musicals and it isn’t hard to see why. Do yourself a favour and get along to see it if it comes to a city near you.

Runs until 25 October then touring