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Hi, I’m a new musical play. I’m called The Choir……..


“Hi, I’m a new musical play. I’m called The Choir, because, simply, that’s what I’m about. Cathy, my heroine, forms one, partly inspired by Gareth Malone and the military wives, but also to help her cope with her role as carer for her elderly mum. This gives her a challenge and an outlet for her love of singing, as well as making new friends. It’s very topical.
My creator, that’s Chelmsford based composer and writer, Tim Eaton, is hoping that a local theatre group or director will be interested in me and want to develop me through a workshop, possibly with a view to a future performance or two. Tim’s written several shows now and details of these are on his website, together with more info about him.  He also occasionally performs himself or has songs sung at the Cramphorn Theatre Lunchtime Concerts in Chelmsford.
He has had one show performed, that’s Accolade, by the Blackmore Players ( but would find others to work with too. Maybe that’s you?”
Contact him on



Casa Valentina by Harvey Fierstein

25th – 29th July 2017,The Old Court, Chelmsford 7.45pm

Inspired by actual events, Casa Valentina takes place in a Catskill Mountain country resort in 1962. Back then men took a two-hour drive to escape the summer heat. But the gentlemen in this play are looking to escape something else entirely: being men. For them Casa Valentina is a paradise – somewhere they can temporarily leave their families behind and inhabit their chosen female alter egos in a safe and discreet way. But given the opportunity to share their secret lives with the world, the members of this sorority have to decide whether the freedom gained by openness is worth the risk of personal ruin.
Infused with Fierstein’s trademark wit and with a soundtrack to rival Dirty Dancing, this moving, insightful and delightfully entertaining play offers a glimpse into the lives of “self-made women” as they search for acceptance and happiness in their very own Garden of Eden.



 Labelled as a ‘commitment to cultural, social and economic growth in Ipswich’ Arts consortium We Are Ipswich will launch their manifesto document on Tuesday 18 July 6.30pm at DanceEast, Jerwood DanceHouse.
We Are Ipswich, a self-organising, collaborative group of nationally significant, locally cherished arts organisations, has developed a Cultural Manifesto, with Ipswich Borough Council, to highlight the wealth and distinctiveness of the arts in Ipswich and which outlines their commitment to cultural, social and economic growth in Ipswich.
We Are Ipswich is currently made up of seven cultural organisations: DanceEast, Eastern Angles, Gecko, New Wolsey Theatre, Pacitti Company and SPILL Festival, Red Rose Chain, and Tilted Productions.
The manifesto has been developed to:
  • Highlight the wealth and distinctiveness of the arts in Ipswich
  • Demonstrate how they collectively contribute to personal, social and economic health and well-being
  • Identify the benefits, values and ambitions that Ipswich can expect of its arts sector.
Culture in Ipswich is thriving, and this document details how the consortium works together, alongside other Ipswich arts and heritage organisations, to grow the social and economic health of Ipswich. The document explores: how culture makes Ipswich a great place to live, work and invest; how creative talent is developed and retained in Ipswich; how culture is empowering and enriching the diverse communities of Ipswich; how it raises educational aspiration and achievement; how the work drives economic buoyancy and regeneration, and how the ambition of the arts and culture continues to grow.
The launch will start at 6.30pm, contain speeches from the leadership teams involved in We Are Ipswich, and be followed by a sold-out performance of Tarantiseismic by National Youth Dance Company at 7.30pm.
Copies of the Manifesto will be available on the evening.
To find out more about the consortium members and the vision, visit



Performance details and Box Office information

DanceEast, Jerwood DanceHouse, Foundry Lane, Ipswich, IP4 1DW
Box Office: 01473 295230 | DANCEEAST.CO.UK
Dates: Tuesday 18 July | 7.30pm
Ticket prices: From £12, £9 concessions

 dance east info

Following a sell-out performance last year, National Youth Dance Company (NYDC) returns to DanceEast with its newest creation, Tarantiseismic. The talented cohort of young performers will be hitting the Jerwood DanceHouse on Tuesday 18 July, as part of NYDC’s national tour. This year’s line-up of the country’s flagship organisation for young dancers is led by Guest Artistic Director Damien Jalet.
Tarantiseismic received its world premiere in April as a new commission; Jalet presents a unique piece of theatre which addresses themes of melancholia, ritual, control and abandon. His revered choreographic style – combined with the young dancers’ energy and talent – is set to produce a mesmerising experience that shifts the consciousness of the audience.
With Tarantiseismic including Ipswich in its national tour, its focus moves beyond London. Audiences will be spoilt by this company of exceptional young dancers, bringing together the brightest talent from across England and giving the dancers a unique insight into the profession. This year’s company of 40 dancers includes local dancer Isis Clunie (pictured with Christian Griffin), a Centre for Advanced Training student at DanceEast since 2010. 2017 marks her second year with NYDC, returning to her regional dancing roots.
In his appointment as NYDC Guest Artistic Director, Jalet follows in the footsteps of Sadler’s Wells Associate Artists Michael Keegan-Dolan, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Akram Khan and Jasmin Vardimon, who have each held the position over the past four years. They are some of the greatest names in contemporary dance, and through their work they illustrate their commitment to developing young dancers. Now in its fifth year, NYDC has established a reputation for innovative and challenging work, training and developing the artists of tomorrow and investing in young talent to help build the future artistic landscape.
Damien Jalet is a French and Belgian choreographer and dancer. He has worked as a dancer for several companies such as Les Ballets C de la B and Wim Vandekeybus, and has been involved in many collaborations such as with Eastman, Akram Khan, and Sasha

Waltz. Recent projects include Babel (Words), which won the Olivier Award for Best Dance Production in 2011.

Suitable for all ages.
For further information, interviews, images, and press tickets contact:

Jessica Wilson, Marketing & Communications Officer
01473 295241 |

‘Handbagged’ by Moira Buffini 20th to 24th June 19.45p.m.

Chelmsford Theatre Workshop at the award winning theatre The Old Court Chelmsford are proud to announce their June production of ‘Handbagged’ by Moira Buffini.
Margaret Thatcher didn’t believe in society, The Queen had pledged to serve it.  As her Prime Minister, The Queen and Margaret Thatcher met weekly, how did they get on, did they clash? This play, first performed at the Tricycle and later in the West End is a marvellously entertaining depiction of their relationship and their place in world events.   They look back on their time together and relive events.  6 actors – intriguingly 2 Queens and 2 Margaret’s and 2 male actors play the other 16 roles.  Funny, touching, entertaining and thought provoking.
Directors Note
“I saw this at the Tricycle when it was first produced in 2013 and immediately wanted to direct it.  I found it laugh out loud, funny and absolutely loved it, but also realised that it would be a great challenge for CTW.  I would need 2 actors who could portray Margaret Thatcher and 2 who could act as the Queen at different times of their lives.  Not necessarily looking like them, but able to do the accents, and the subtle differences between the younger and older version of both.  I also needed 2 actors who could handle 16 other (male) roles, they have to be able to make them all different and distinct, and all the actors need to have a gift for comedy, for moving well and delivering the dialogue crisply and wringing all of the humour and the pathos, the wit and the underlying tension between the 2 women.
I really enjoy directing comedy, and this is a lovely, subtle, affecting piece.  It’s not earth shattering or deep, just a jolly good yarn, looking back on events from the viewpoint of the protagonists.  I know that we have the actors at CTW that can handle this, although they will have to work hard at it I think it’s going to be a good night out, informative – and Fun!”
Lynne Foster Director
Tickets £10/£9 cons except Fri/Sat Box office 01245606505 or through our website
Address 233 Springfield Road Chelmsford Essex CM26JT


Springers Cut Loose – ‘Footloose’ with their latest production..

Based on the hit 80s movie, Footloose has become a stage musical phenomenon. From Broadway to the West End and now to the City of Chelmsford, there is just no stopping the music!
Footloose explodes onto the stage of the Civic Theatre this June with classic 80s anthems including ‘Holding Out For A Hero’, ‘Almost Paradise’, ‘Let’s Hear It For The Boy’ and of course the title track, ‘Footloose!’ and is anything but short of energetic performances bound to get you in the mood for dancing
Life in small-town Bomont is peaceful until Chicago city boy Ren arrives breaking every taboo. Ren finds himself at odds with most of the town, including the infamous Reverend Moore. Ren finds it unbelievable that the Reverend convinced the town to outlaw dancing.
With the help of the Ariel, the Reverend’s daughter and his new friend Willard, will Ren persuade the Reverend to let the teenagers dance and in the process helps the town to heal from a tragedy that affected them all?
 ‘Footloose’ swings open its doors Wednesday 14 June to Saturday 17 June 2017 at the Civic Theatre Chelmsford. Packed full of electrifying dance routines, guaranteed to get you to your feet. Dancing is not a crime; to miss Footloose would be!
Tickets £16.00, Concessions £13.00 (Wed & Sat Mat only).
Book today online or call 01245 606505.
Stage Adaptation by DEAN PITCHFORD and WALTER BOBBIE.  Based on the Original Screenplay by Dean Pitchford.     Music by TOM SNOW.     Lyrics by DEAN PITCHFORD.
An amateur production by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe


 Witham Prepare for some Dolly Parton this Autumn…

Following the success of their recent production ‘Return to the Forbidden Planet’, Witham are now embracing Dolly’s Partons fun musical “9 to 5” made famous by the film of the same name.
So, If you like singing and dancing, why not come along to the pre-audition rehearsals and join this award winning group.
Pre-audition rehearsals are Wednesday 17th, 24th and 31st May at Witham Public Hall with Auditions on the 4th June

Declaration UK Tour: May – July 2017

Declaration examines the faces we wear to fit in and what happens when we are forced to declare our differences. Developed in consultation with medical professionals, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) and mental health support groups, Declaration challenges stereotypes with a curious, comic and candid look at ADHD, mental health and diagnosis in the 21st century.
Instinctive, curious, bold and bouncy, Sarah is a mighty proud square peg which wouldn’t be such a problem if the hole wasn’t so damn round. Her childhood Doctor thought it was sugar. Her current Doctor thinks its ADHD. Sarah still feels different, so what will a label do? Will it change the way you see her and the way she sees herself?
With autobiographical storytelling, comedy, and conversations with audiences, Declaration takes you on vibrant and daring adventure that asks you to roll around in your weirdness, make a hat out of it and dance.
Writer and performer Sarah Emmott comments, I’ve always felt different, but never wrong. The older I got, the harder it became to juggle everything and I wasn’t coping as well as I was pretending to. I’ve known a lot of people who have battled with their mental health; you never know what happens behind closed doors, so I want to open mine, invite you in with a warm welcome and declare that I’m not ok, with hope that we might be able to talk about it together.
Diagnosis of adult ADHD isn’t straight forward and Sarah discovered that you often need to be living in the extremities of the condition to receive any sort of support. This production seeks to show that adult diagnosis can be complex, frustrating and isolating, exploring how it changes the way people are viewed by society and the relief and grief that comes with it.
Declaration also seeks to challenge the mainstream media image of ADHD – ADHD isn’t just a ‘naughty child’ tearing round a supermarket, it can be a 31 year old woman trying desperately to get it together and get to work on time. Declaration follows Sarah’s journey from childhood to present day, offering a rare insight into how ADHD impacts at different stages of a person’s life.
Sarah was shortlisted for ‘Best Actress in a Studio Production’ at the Manchester Theatre Awards for her performance in Declaration.
The production is presented in partnership with the ADHD Foundation – who work to improve emotional well-being, educational attainment, behaviour and life chances through better understanding and self-management of ADHD, ASD and related learning difficulties.
Declaration has been developed with The Lowry. Touring In Association with Oldham Library and the ADHD Foundation. Funded by Arts Council England. Supported by The Granada Foundation, Action Oldham, NHS City Health Care Partnership Foundation, Fowler Smith & Jones Trust.
Notes to editors

Sarah Emmott is a queer theatre-maker, writer, performer, facilitator and producer who often explores humanity through love, justice and the line between tolerance and acceptance. Her solo production The Speed of Dating toured with sell out runs and award winning Secret Diaries toured nationally co-presented by The Lowry and Contact.

Her interactive micro-works including Kiss my Heart; 1-1 storytelling project about love in a small pink tent, From me to you; an interactive spoken word piece on trams, and 100 Deeds exhibited at People’s History Museum and Museum of London.
Acting credits include Theatre: Belgrade Theatre Coventry and Manchester International Festival. TV: Small World (Film 4/BSL Zone), Fresh Meat (Channel 4) and Lost In Austen (ITV).
Art with Heart
Art with Heart are inquisitive arts adventurous making Performance, Participation and Education projects from their home in Salford. Associate Artists at The Lowry, they create meaningful artistic experiences that support personal and collective growth to instigate social change.
They focus on encouraging and engaging women, young people and isolated communities in the arts, are passionate about diversity and committed to providing accessible artistic experiences using grassroots research and development. They provide platforms for voices and stories that are often untold. A Queer led company, they work extensively within the LGBTQ+ community. Compelling, compassionate and candid, their work is created with humour, hope and a lot of heart.
All enquiries, high resimages and further information:
Alex Shaw, Chloé Nelkin Consulting
E:, M: 07887 395 545 W:

Witham Operatic Blast off into Space this Spring with the Olivier Award Winning musical “Return to the Forbidden Planet”

Witham Amateur Operatic Society is an NODA award-winning society based in Witham, Essex who produce 2 musicals a year at Witham Public Hall.

Their next production is the spoof Sci-Fi musical “Return to the Forbidden Planet” which runs from 24th – 29th April.  The show is full of familiar 50’s and 60’s classics including ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘Great Balls of Fire’, ‘Born to be Wild’, ‘Teenager in Love’ and ‘The Monster Mash’ to name a few and all of which, audiences will love.  This show promises to be a foot tapping, hand clapping, rock and roll energetic extravaganza through space.

Loosely based on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” the story tells us how on a stormy night way back when, mad scientist Doctor Prospero worked late in his laboratory, aided only by his wife, Gloria, as he developed the elusive formula with which he would change the world. The apparently faithful Gloria, however, duped him and sent him off into hyper-space in an old spacecraft. Unknown to Gloria, her infant daughter, Miranda, slumbered peacefully in the craft and was now catapulted light years into the future in her father’s company. Fifteen years later, a routine survey flight under the command of the chisel-jawed Captain Tempest leaves earth’s orbit with a new Science Officer aboard – a hard and bitter woman. As a shower of meteorites hits the ship, the Science Officer flees, and the craft is pulled inexorably towards the plant D’Illyria – the Forbidden Plant and the adventure begins.

So, fasten your seat belts, set your ray guns to stun and join Captain Tempest and his fearless crew on a journey into hyperspace and beyond.
Tickets for Return to the Forbidden Planet are on sale now and can be obtained from:

Online at Positickets
By Phone
Call our Box Office on 0300 201 0080.
In Person
From Witham Information Centre, 61 Newland Street, Witham. Open 9:00am to 4:00pm (except lunch hour) Monday to Friday. 01376 502674

All tickets are only £7.50 for the opening performance, Monday 24th April.
£9.00 Concessions tickets are available for Tuesday Evening, 25th April, and Saturday Matinee, 29th April, in the Stalls and Balcony for Senior Citizens, registered disabled and those in full-time education.

All other tickets are priced between £11.50 and £14.00.   Please note that a 10% discount is offered on any order of 10 full priced Stalls or Balcony tickets.



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9 to 5 The Musical is coming to Southend in May!

Group Discounts available on request

The hilarious new musical comedy with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton! Based on the hit movie of the same name, the show centres around three office workers who turn the tables on their sexist boss. The outrageous, thought-provoking and even a little romantic ‘9 to 5’ is about teaming up and taking care of business. It features original numbers from Dolly Parton’s Oscar, Tony® and Grammy Award nominated score including ‘Backwoods Barbie’, ‘Shine Like the Sun’ and the original hit song ‘9 TO 5’. This high-energy show even features Dolly herself, via video from her desk in Dollywood!
Evening Performances £17.00
Matinee Performances £14.00

UPDATE: “Sugar Daddies” – Witham Dramatic Club

“Due to the indisposition of a company member, Witham Drama Club have had to cancel the production of “Sugar Daddies” scheduled for March 22nd to 25th. Sincere apologies for the inconvenience and if tickets have been purchased please call 0345 017 8717 to arrange a refund. Witham Dramatic Club hope to reschedule the production for this November”

 CHELMSFORD YOUNG GENERATION is excited to be presenting….


This April, the award-winning and talented Young Generation is bringing Broadway to the Cramphorn Theatre, in the must see “13 The Musical”. With an unforgettable rock score from Tony award-winning composer, Jason Robert Brown, this fun and lively musical explores the life of 13 year old Evan Goldman and his transition from youth to adulthood.
Following his parents’ divorce Evan is plucked from fast-paced New York City and moved into a sleepy Indiana town. Here he faces the challenges of fitting in, a new school, a new town, dating, working out friendships and engineering the perfect Bar Mitzvah! A hilarious, coming of age musical about discovering that “cool” is sometimes where we least expect it.
After their recent nominations for the NODA East Best Youth Production, Best Technical Award and Best Youth Performer, the talented members of Chelmsford Young Generation are ready and raring to go with a cast entirely composed of teenagers and younger.
“13 The Musical” is Directed by Jimmy Hooper with Musical Direction by Bryan Cass.
So, for a fabulous evening that promises laughter and priceless memories, book your tickets today!


Performance Dates & Times
Monday 24th April: Special Preview Night – All Tickets £10 ONLY!
Tuesday 25th, Wednesday 26th, Thursday 27th & Saturday 29th Matinee:
All Tickets £16 (no concessions)
Friday 28th & Saturday 29th Evening: All Tickets £17 (no concessions)
Premium Seats available for an additional £2 supplement.

To Book Tickets
Visit the Civic Theatre Box Office, Fairfield Road, Chelmsford, CM1 1JG
Call 01245 606505
Online at
A £1.50 booking fee is applicable per transaction, except for cash and debit payments made in person and by telephone.
Follow Young Gen on twitter @cygams, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Plus visit

Coleshill Operatic Society is dedicating their production of Acorn Antiques  to the late Victoria Wood and raising money for TARGET Ovarian Cancer


This month is Ovarian Cancer awareness month. Coleshill Operatic Society is very proud to be supporting the worthy charity Target Ovarian Cancer UK.

During our production of Acorn Antiques the Musical, we will be helping raise money by collecting for this charity during our show week, which is taking place very soon at the Core Theatre, Solihull from Tuesday 21st to Saturday 25th March 2017.
Director, Joyce Eyre said “When Target approached us regarding the collection we all thought it a fitting tribute in honour of the dear departed comedienne Victoria Wood, who wrote the show “
If you fancy a really good laugh why not come along and see our very own Mrs Overall, Miss Babs and Miss Berta in the roles made famous by Julie Walters, Celia Imrie and Victoria herself in the weekly episodes many of you will no doubt remember well.
Tickets priced from £12 to £16 including a Saturday Matinee are available from the Core box office 0121 704 6962 or our Ticket secretary 07935351539

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TOPS on Stage present The Pajama Game, this

THE PAJAMA GAME is one of those musicals that is not performed frequently like say a Rogers and Hammerstein but many of the songs are well known classics that have certainly stood the test of Time. The book is by George Abbott and Richard Bissell; the music and lyrics are by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross.

Thurrock’s TOPS ON STAGE have been staging shows at the local theatre in Grays for over 50 years and love to face up to the challenges of an old classic. All the stops have been pulled out to get the show on the road, least of all the construction of 6 sewing machines, the selection and gathering of 1950’s dresses and attire and props which suit the period.

TOPS work with local singers and actors on two shows a year and under the supervision of the Group’s Musical Director, they have spent much time learning the memorable songs as well as then putting them to dance action under the direction of show director Ann Sullivan.

THE PAJAMA GAME romance is blossoming at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Handsome new Superintendent Sid Sorokin falls hard for feisty Union rep “Babe” Williams, and, despite her dismissal of all things love-related, it seems she’s falling right back. That is, until Sleep-Tite employees are refused a seven-and-a-half cent raise, and the pair find themselves on either side of the union protest that results. Based on Richard Bissel’s novel, 7 ½ cents, Adler and Ross’ Pajama Game portrays the ups and downs of romance, with the added heat of politics making the temperature extra hot. Babe and Sid must figure out how to love when the principles they value most are tearing them apart. First staged in 1954, The Pajama Game won three Tony awards, including best musical, and won another Tony for Best Revival in 2006, a testament to the fact that love, music, and politics are as hot as they ever were. The Pajama Game features hit songs including “Hey There,” “Hernando’s Hideaway” and “Steam Heat” which have also become pop standards that climbed as high as number one in the charts.

With only two weeks to go, it’s full steam ahead.  The Show opens on 16th March at the Thameside Theatre, Orsett, Grays and tickets can be obtained from the TOPS website or by telephoning (01375) 675591


Professional dancer Andrei Iliescu rejoins The Chelmsford Ballet Company for Alice’s Adventures.

The Chelmsford Ballet Company’s upcoming production of Alice’s Adventures at the Civic Theatre, Chelmsford, will see professional dancer Andrei Iliescu join the much-loved company for a second year running, this time as the White Rabbit. Having already danced the role of Prince Florimund in last year’s The Sleeping Beauty, the company is excited for Iliescu to join the dancers onstage once again, to the delight of its audiences.


The Chelmsford Ballet Company, calling the city its home for almost seventy years, will be performing its 2017 production, Alice’s Adventures, from 22–25 March at the Civic Theatre, Chelmsford.

As one of its most highly anticipated productions, The Chelmsford Ballet Company’s Alice’s Adventures is based on the stories of Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. This spectacular production will delight both young and old, with a few twists along the way. As a fantastic introduction to ballet, the Company’s next production is ideal for those new to the art form, however familiar with the classic Alice tales.

Iliescu from Romania, began dancing at the National College of Arts. He competed in the prestigious Prix de Lausanne competition in Switzerland and was consequently awarded a full scholarship to attend Central School of Ballet in London. During his training Iliescu worked with renowned choreographers such as Christopher Marney of Sir Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and patron of The Chelmsford Ballet Company, Sharon Watson of Phoenix Dance Theatre and Christopher Hampson of Scottish Ballet; Chelmsford audiences will have seen Iliescu perform in Ballet Central’s 2015 graduation tour, ahead of his work last year with The Chelmsford Ballet Company.

From Alice to Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the amateur company prides itself on its professional standards, and requires dancers to audition before joining. Dancers are then eligible to audition for the annual production, which is the pride of the company, and the residents of Chelmsford.

Tickets for Alice’s Adventures are on sale, for which contact the box office on 01245 606505 or visit


Are you a talented SINGER, ACTOR or DANCER? Do you dream of being on stage? Little Theatre Company NEW MEMBER AUDITIONS will take place on SUNDAY 2nd APRIL and anyone, male or female, over the age of sixteen is welcome to apply. Successful auditionees will be eligible to take part in production auditions for our November 2017 show, ‘Gypsy’.

Find out more by contacting Kim;


The Rivals, Kelvedon still looking to cast some roles

Following auditions, there are still roles available in the Kelvedon Players’ production of Sheridan’s The Rivals, scheduled for performance on May 12, 13, 19 & 20 at Kelvedon Institute.
In particular, actors are required to play:
  • Sir Lucius O’Trigger, Irish baronet
  • Bob Acres, cowardly country squire
  • Fag, smart and sly manservant
  • Thomas, coachman & David, West Country servant
If you’re interested, please contact Andy Millward on 01621 816739


Set sail with CAODS this Spring for this splendid and saucy musical comedy.


Anything Goes, considered to be one of the greatest musicals of all time! When the S.S. American heads out to sea, etiquette and convention get tossed out the portholes as three unlikely pairs set off on the course to true love. Topping off the fun is Cole Porter’s delightful and delicious “De-Lovely” first-class score that includes some of musical theatre’s most memorable hits including “I Get A Kick Out Of You”, “You’re The Top”, “Blow Gabriel Blow” and of course, “Anything Goes”. So ALL ABOARD for the hottest show in town – don’t let this hilarious musical leave dock without you!


Dates and Times:

Tuesday, 28 February 2017 – 7:30pm

Wednesday, 1 March 2017 – 7:30pm

Thursday, 2 March 2017 – 7:30pm

Friday, 3 March 2017 – 7:30pm

Saturday, 4 March 2017 – 3:00pm

Saturday, 4 March 2017 – 7:30pm

Tickets – £15.50 – £17.50 (depending on performance)


Box office : 01245606505

Cast announced as John Cleese collaborates with the Mercury Theatre Colchester in brand new adaptation of hysterical farce

One of Britain’s most revered comedy icons, John Cleese, will collaborate with the Mercury Theatre Colchester to bring his brand new adaption of Georges Feydeau’s hysterical farce, Bang Bang, to the stage this Spring.

Leontine (Caroline Langrishe), a respectable lady of high society is in danger of being hoodwinked by her husband Duchotel (Oliver Cotton). When Duchotel goes hunting, his prey is not four-legged animals!

While he is away (“bang bang!”), back home his lifelong friend Dr Moricet (Richard Earl) comes calling – and he’s on the hunt too. Will Leontine get caught in his sights, or instead set a trap of her own?

Saucy secrets unravel as the devilish Duchotel finds himself snared in a door-slamming, trouser-dropping, lover-hiding, balcony-climbing night of chaos set in the stylish apartments of Paris.

Adaptation author John Cleese said:

“I couldn’t be more delighted with the cast we’ve put together for ‘Bang Bang’. We’ve had two read-throughs, both of them riots.

My old pal Nicky Henson is directing, to mark our 51st year of friendship. A great farceur, he played the lead in the West End cast of Noises Off, the most successful farce of the past 30 years and also played the young man, Mr Johnson, in the Fawlty Towers episode about the two psychiatrists.

This is farce as it should be played (just like FT!)”

Mercury Theatre Artistic Director Daniel Buckroyd said:

“This adaptation really means a lot to John – he has wanted to bring it to the stage for a  long time. So it’s a real honour for the Mercury Theatre to work with John Cleese and Nicky Henson to bring Bang Bang to life. This story leaps off the page, and in the hands of the supremely talented cast and creative team we’ve assembled, I’m confident that audiences will love it.”

Bang Bang opens at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester on 24th February. Get your tickets here


Offspringers present Midsummer Night’s Dream this March.

“Are you sure
That we are awake?
It seems to me
That yet we sleep, we dream”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream deals with the universal theme of love and its complications. It focuses on three parallel stories: the trials and experiences of two sets of lovers camping in a magical forest, the world of the Fairy King and Queen and their elves, and a group of rough craftsmen attempting to stage a production of “Pyramus and Thisby” for the wedding of the Duke of Athens.
Love is crazy, love is mad. Will love win out in the end? Magic, action, love and humour are the ingredients for this unforgettable spell.

The Cramphorn Theatre, Chelmsford.    Tickets: £14.00 | PREMIUM seats: £2.00 extra
For more information about the group and upcoming productions

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Open Auditions Announced for UK Tour of Hairspray

Open auditions have been announced for the character of Tracy Turnblad in the UK tour of Hairspray.

The casting notice says that candidates must be heavyset, shorter than 5 foot 3 inches, and aged in their mid-twenties with a playing age of 16. You should be a ‘strong pop belt singer’ and a ‘great mover’.

The open auditions will take place at Pineapple Dance Studios in London on 6 February 2017. Registration is open from 9:30am until 12pm, auditions run from 10am to 6pm. Auditionees should prepare a verse and a chorus of “Good Morning Baltimore” and take their CV and a headshot.

The tour starts in Cardiff on 16 August 2017 and you must be available to begin rehearsals on 17 July.

Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan’s musical had its original West End premiere in 2007 at the Shaftesbury Theatre, before winning four Olivier Awards including for Best New Musical. This production is directed by Paul Kerryson and has choreography by Drew McOnie. It tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, who is on a mission to dance her way onto national TV.

Hairspray opens at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff from 16 to 26 August.

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Lloyd Webber makes School of Rock free to schools


Andrew Lloyd Webber is to allow schools to stage their own version of his new musical School of Rock immediately and for free, in a bid to tackle what he sees as a decline in arts education.

His plans were revealed as he claimed that Broadway is leading the way when it comes to new musicals, with the composer questioning whether the lack of original work in the UK is a result of the arts being squeezed out of the curriculum. Campaigners are fighting to make the arts compulsory as part of the English Baccalaureate.

Lloyd Webber, speaking about the state of the musical landscape, claimed Broadway was doing more to embrace new musicals, compared with a period in the 1980s when the UK was leading the way.

“I think the pendulum regarding musical theatre has moved firmly back to New York. There is no question that it’s much more active,” he told the Times.

He claimed to have counted 14 new musicals that will have opened on Broadway in the year to next May, compared with just three in London.

“What have we really got coming? A lot of revivals,” he added.

Lloyd Webber, who has frequently spoken out about the lack of arts education in schools, questioned whether this was partly to blame.

“I am suddenly thinking: is this because we are neglecting the arts to such an extent in schools? Are things really going backwards? I know of schools that used to do musicals where that’s gone now,” he said.

In response, he is to allow schools to perform his musical School of Rock with immediate effect and for free. Traditionally, schools have had to wait to stage a musical if the show is still enjoying a commercial run.

“I think that’s rubbish. That never added up to me. It’s a no-brainer. School of Rock is about kids making music. Let’s get on with it. You have to get music back into everybody’s DNA again,” he said.

Lloyd Webber said he would also give schools scripts, scores and other materials that will enable them to stage the show, which opened in London last month.

Last week, Lloyd Webber published a report into diversity in the performing arts, which urged drama schools to do more to address the issue.

Courtesy of The Stage Newspaper

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If you’ve not already found this gem then you are missing a treat. Encore Radio is a 24 hour radio station that is dedicated to musical theatre. Yes.. you heard it – JUST Musical Theatre.

The station is available through its free app or online, and on DAB digital radio across London and the South East. which is available online and on digital. Listeners can also access the station via an app.

Encore will feature music from shows such as Matilda, Wicked and Hamilton, and its schedule will feature broadcasts from opening nights, backstage news and interviews, alongside reviews of shows.

The station is being backed by radio group UKRD, which owns and operates 14 local commercial stations. Encore Radio will have studios in London and Guildford. Presenters include Duncan James, Jamie Crick and Kerry Ellis – who presented her first show last week.

Crick said: “Britain has the most successful theatre industry in the world. Now finally there is a radio station catering for the huge number of people who visit the theatre or love the music from shows and films.”

James, who will host a Sunday show on the station, said he would be playing his favourite songs from musicals. He has appeared in productions including Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Chicago.


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42nd Street comes back to Drury Lane


42nd Street is coming back to Drury Lane next April and will be featuring Sheena Easton as Dorothy Brock, a Broadway star who suffers an ankle injury on opening night.

Clare Halse will play Peggy Sawyer who is picked to replace the injured Brock in the fictional show Pretty Lady, and Tom Lister will play director Julian Marsh.

The musical, which will be directed by Mark Bramble, includes the songs “We’re in the Money”, “Lullaby of Broadway” and “Dames”.

The cast also includes Jasna Ivir, Stuart Neal, Norman Bowman, Graeme Henderson, Christopher Howell, Mark McKerracher, Emma Caffrey and Bruce Montague and will also feature local Essex girl Zoe Rogers in her West End Debut.


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