Tag Archives: What’s on Glasgow

INTERVIEW: Stage star Kerry Ellis set for new Queen Machine Symphonic tour

She’s one of the UK’s biggest musical theatre stars – and has forged a career in music with the guidance and mentoring of Queen’s Brian May – and now Kerry Ellis is preparing for a brand-new show which will tour the UK in the spring.

The all-new show Queen Machine Symphonic featuring Kerry Ellis will see Queen’s greatest hits performed by leading European tribute band Queen Machine accompanied by the London Symphonic Rock Orchestra and conducted by Matthew Freeman, creating an unforgettable night of rock anthems.

Kerry Ellis is the UK’s leading lady of musical theatre, who originated the role of Meat, in Queen musical We Will Rock You. Since then, she’s forged a long-standing musical relationship and friendship with Queen guitarist Brian May, who describes the stage star as having “Britain’s most beautiful voice”.

Brian produced Kerry’s debut album Anthems, and they jointly released the follow up Golden Days in 2017, as well as extensively touring the UK and Europe together.

Queen Machine Symphonic received rave reviews when it premiered at Scarborough Open Air Theatre in August ahead of the tour in April 2020.

We caught up with Kerry for a chat about her long-standing relationship with Queen’s music and preparations for the Queen Machine Symphonic tour.

Photo Geoff Ford: Queen Machine Symphonic with Kerry Ellis, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, 31 August 2019

HOW DOES A MUSICAL THEATRE LEADING LADY END UP LINKED TO ONE OF THE GREATEST ROCK BANDS OF ALL TIME?

I met Brian May a long time ago. Before I auditioned for We Will Rock You I was in My Fair Lady and he ask me to audition for the show. I met him and Roger Taylor and worked with them closely, developing the musical. I have gone on to work with Brian for almost 15 years now, touring the UK and Europe, writing songs, putting albums together. I feel comfortable, grateful and special to be singing those songs in that environment, and that I have Brian’s blessing to do it.

SO, TELL US ABOUT QUEEN MACHINE SYMPHONIC…

There are orchestral versions of Queen’s music out there, their music has been translated for an orchestra, and people do concerts celebrating Queen – but this set up hasn’t been done before; an orchestra, the rock band and then me singing. I’m so excited about it.

It’s going to be really unusual. It’s going to be something quite special, and I can’t wait to get started. When the offer came along, it sounded interesting and like a unique experience, and I love singing these songs and in different environments, and with passionate groups of people – which I know the band and orchestra are.

HOW ARE PREPARATIONS GOING FOR THE SHOW?

It’s not easy to put all that together, a band and orchestra will naturally pull in different ways, so it’s challenging but really interesting as we get into rehearsals. And then there’s putting a rehearsal schedule together for everyone to come together… It’s a logistical nightmare, but there’s already a huge amount of work going into everyone’s preparations and pre-production and I can’t wait for it to come together.

Photo Geoff Ford: Queen Machine Symphonic with Kerry Ellis, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, 31 August 2019

YOU PLAYED A PREMIERE PERFORMANCE OF THE QUEEN MACHINE SYMPHONIC SHOW AT SCARBOROUGH OPEN AIR THEATRE IN THE SUMMER. HOW WAS THAT?

Open air shows are such a British thing; we like braving the elements and hoping for the best and this was no different.

Scarborough was a brilliant night, the fans loved it and we all had so much fun on stage. I’d been to Denmark for rehearsals with Queen Machine and had the chance to watch them perform there. To then join them, and have the wonderful musicians from the London Symphonic Rock Orchestra with us, and Matthew Freeman bringing it all together made for a very special night.

We were excited about the tour before doing the Scarborough show, and now we can’t wait to get into a full rehearsal programme ready to travel the UK with the show.

If you’re a fan of Queen’s music it’s going to be a real ‘must-see’.

YOU’VE DONE A LOT OF WORK WITH BRIAN MAY, HOW DOES HE FEEL ABOUT BANDS PAYING TRIBUTE TO QUEEN’S MUSIC? HAVE YOU SPOKEN TO HIM ABOUT THIS SHOW – AND WILL HE BE COMING ALONG TO THE TOUR?

When the Queen Machine Symphonic opportunity came up, I let Brian know about it and asked what he thought. The Queen Machine guys have played for one of the Freddie celebrations and are very much welcomed in the Queen family. They’re very well established, and they are huge in Europe.

Brian enjoys that people play their music still today and embraces that tribute bands are able to take it out there around the world. And that’s another reason why the music is so timeless – that so many people are still performing it and honouring Queen.

I hope Brian will be coming. He does come and support a lot of what I do, whatever he can get to, so I’m sure if the schedule permits he’ll be there, but it’s often a nightmare – with touring the world.

YOU’VE BEEN SINGING QUEEN’S SONGS FOR MANY YEARS NOW. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE?

The song that is very close to my heart is No One But You. I sang that in We Will Rock You way back when and have recorded it and performed it with Brian around the world. We did it on our tour and at one point he said to me ‘It’s your song now, love it and enjoy it’. I’ve just got so many connections with it now – and it works brilliantly with an orchestra, so I’m sure we’ll be creating new memories with it in this show and tour.

WERE YOU A FAN OF QUEEN’S MUSIC BEFORE WE WILL ROCK YOU CAME ALONG?

I grew up with it; my dad was a fan and played a lot of rock music, and I listened to bands and acts like Meat Loaf, Status Quo, Bon Jovi, but also artistes like Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion. I was brought up with it but it became such a part of my life.

But really, everybody knows Queen’s music. The interesting thing today, is there’s a new generation of people interested in the music, because of the Bohemian Rhapsody film, with Queen touring with Adam Lambert, and the music is always used in films and adverts – you’re always hearing it.

I’m very proud that have a very deep connection with the music and the band and I’m very grateful for that. I always feel honoured and privileged to be doing their music with their blessing.

It’s been a big thing for me too; I always had a music career alongside musical theatre, but it probably wouldn’t have happened in the same way without that connection with Brian. He has influenced me in so many ways. Performing together on tour, and in the studio, he has educated me on putting an album together, something I had never done before. He’s been a kind of mentor to me and has helped me use the tools to make my own music.

BESIDES PREPARING FOR QUEEN MACHINE SYMPHONIC, WHAT ELSE ARE YOU WORKING ON?

I’m working on some new music. I’ve not done an album of all originals before, so I’m working with writers again now. And I’m in talks with Brian again about touring or new music. A lot of concerts are in the diary throughout the summer, and I’m off to Japan again next year – I went earlier this year and it was magical, as well as the Queen Machine Symphonic tour.

Photo Geoff Ford: Queen Machine Symphonic with Kerry Ellis, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, 31 August 2019

ALONGSIDE WE WILL ROCK YOU, THE OTHER SHOW YOU’RE BEST KNOWN FOR IS WICKED; AND A FILM IS IN THE MAKING…

Wicked was a huge show for my career. It took me to Broadway – that was on my bucket list but I never thought I would actually get to do it. And to be the first British girl to play Elphaba, amazing. It has been a big part of my life, and it’s a show and role which resonates with fans all over the world, who go on supporting you for years after too; it’s a worldwide phenomenon. I’ll always be grateful to Stephen Schwartz and to director Joe Mantello for that opportunity; people still want me to sing that song [Defying Gravity] even though I left the show years ago.

I would love to get involved with the film! I’m sure it will be cast in America, and of course they are young girls at school – and I’ve just had a big birthday so maybe it’s not going to happen, but maybe a little cameo would be wonderful.

Tickets are on sale now from www.cuffeandtaylor.com / www.ticketmaster.co.uk

QUEEN MACHINE SYMPHONIC FEATURING KERRY ELLIS – 2020 TOUR

April

Wed 15th EDINBURGH, Usher Hall

Thu 16th GLASGOW, Royal Concert Hall

Fri 17th DERBY, Derby Arena

Sun 19th CANTERBURY, The Marlowe Theatre

Tue 21st LONDON, Hammersmith Eventim Apollo

Wed 22nd CARDIFF, St David’s Hall

Thu 23rd NEWCASTLE, O2 City Hall

Sat 25th LEEDS, Leeds Arena

WHAT’S ON JUNE 2020 – Trixie Mattel returns!

She’s back….

Drag queen, musician, stand-up comedian, entertainer, entrepreneur.

After a successful UK tour in 2018, All Stars 3 winner Trixie Mattel returns in May 2020 for a full length theatre tour!

Trixie Mattel is not only a major pop culture figure but a stand-up comedian and musician with talents that defy classification. Trixie’s coming to the UK on tour with an exciting electro-folk reinvention. Expect to feel that you’ve landed in a PeeWee Herman video, with some surf rock and a love for 60’s country music. She’s listening to a lot of Fountains Of Wayne and Apples In Stereo, collecting mod Barbie dolls and watching Brady Brunch reruns!

Trixie Mattel has broken major ground as an entertainer, first rocketing to national fame when she competed on RuPaul’s Drag Race’s seventh season, and later coming back to win the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars. She co-created and currently stars in the wildly successful comedy web show UNHhhh in the US with fellow Drag Race alum Katya Zamolodchikova, which was later adapted into the Viceland program The Trixie & Katya Show. Aside from her musical and television accomplishments, Trixie is the subject of the documentary Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, and she is also launching a cosmetics line, Trixie Cosmetics, this year.

For more information please see: http://trixiemattel.com

 

Sun 31-May-2020                    Festival Theatre           Edinburgh

Wed 03-Jun-2020                    SEC Armadillo            Glasgow

NEWS: EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE COMES TO GLASGOW AS PART OF ITS FIRST UK TOUR

KING’S THEATRE

MONDAY 8 JUNE – SATURDAY 13 JUNE 2020

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, the smash-hit and critically acclaimed feel good West End musical is coming to the King’s Theatre, Glasgow next year.

After taking the West End by storm the hit production will run from Monday 8 until Saturday 13 June 2020.

Jamie New is sixteen and lives on a council estate in Sheffield.

Jamie doesn’t quite fit in.

Jamie is terrified about the future.

Jamie is going to be a sensation.

Supported by his brilliant loving mum and surrounded by his friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight. With catchy songs by lead singer-songwriter of The Feeling, Dan Gillespie Sells, and book and lyrics by writer Tom MacRae, this funny, fabulous, feel-good, musical sensation has been wowing audiences and critics alike. Sixteen: the edge of possibility. Time to make your dreams come true.

Director Jonathan Butterell saw the Firecracker documentary film ‘Jamie: Drag Queen at 16’ the true story of Jamie Campbell and his mother, Margaret.  This inspired him to create this musical which is a dramatised portrayal of a period in Jamie’s life but is not a faithful account. Certain events and characters have been fictionalised.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie opened at the Sheffield Crucible in 2017 and is currently playing at the Apollo Theatre in the West End, booking until 25 January 2020. As well as receiving 5-star reviews, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie has won 8 major theatre awards, including the UK Theatre and WhatsOnStage Awards for Best New Musical and the Attitude Culture Award 2017, and was nominated for 5 Olivier Awards. Most recently the show won Best Original Cast Recording at the 2019 WhatsOnStage Awards.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie was screened live from the Apollo Theatre into over 500 cinemas across the UK, Ireland and select European territories on Thursday 5 July 2018, it was screened in cinemas across the US, Canada and Australia in November 2018 and then there was an encore cinema screening across the UK on 29 January 2019. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie won the Event Cinema Campaign of the Year at the Screen Awards 2018. The official West End cast recording was released digitally worldwide and on CD in the UK last year.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is also to be made into a major film by Sheffield based production company Warp Films completing the fairy-tale journey from a 16-year-old approaching a documentary maker to hit West End Show and now the big screen.

LISTINGS

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Mon 8 – Sat 13 Jun 2020

www.atgtickets.com.glasgow

0844 871 7648*calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access rate

NEWS: ONCE, THE MULTI AWARD-WINNING BROADWAY AND WEST END MUSICAL COMES TO GLASGOW

KING’S THEATRE, GLASGOW

MONDAY 13 JULY – SATURDAY 18 JULY 2020

One of the most celebrated musicals of all time, Once is to run at King’s Theatre Glasgow next year as part of a UK tour.

Based on the critically acclaimed and much-loved film, Once will be staged at the city centre venue from Monday 13 July until Saturday 18 July 2020.

Once tells the uplifting yet yearning story of two lost souls – a Dublin street busker and a Czech musician – who unexpectedly fall in love. Following their relationship across five short days, big changes happen to both of them in little ways. Celebrated for its original score including the Academy Award-winning song Falling Slowly, Once is a spell-binding and uplifting story of hopes and dreams.

The cast will be led by Daniel Healy as Guy and Emma Lucia as Girl, who return to the roles after receiving critical and audience acclaim in the production’s premiere last year at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch. Daniel Healy is a singer-songwriter, musician and actor, who has co-written songs for multi-platinum artist Ronan Keating including the single Breathe, which topped the BBC Radio 2 Playlist. Theatre credits include Backbeat and Once, both in the West End. Emma Lucia made her professional debut as Marilyn and understudying Carole King in the UK Tour of Beautiful, before taking on the role of Girl in Once.

LISTINGS

Once

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Mon 13 – Sat 18 Jul 2020

King’s Theatre

Mon-Sat, 7.30pm

Thu & Sat: 2.30pm

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow

0844 871 7648* calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge

WHAT’S ON MAY: Children’s Show Night Light at Platform

As the black bird sings everyone gets ready for bed. Mister Night starts his rounds watching over everyone. All are quiet, except for one little girl. With help from a little moon dust, she joins Mister Night to explore the dark and beautiful light that emerges…until the blackbird sings again to start a new day.

Teater Refleksion and Andy Manley (creator of White) are internationally regarded for their poignant and poetic shows for the very young. Cozy-up in our beautifully designed tent and come on a journey to a magical universe.

Night Light is commissioned by Imaginate, co-produced with Red Bridge Arts and supported through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, as well as The Danish Arts Foundation and the Municipality of Aarhus.

Night Light (10.30am + 1pm)

26 May 2017

3-6 yrs
£8.50 / £5 / £4