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Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical arrives in town to work its magic tonight

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Scarlett Cecil strikes the iconic Matilda pose front of Manchester Central Library as the smash hit show lands at Manchester’s Palace Theatre today (Photo Credit – Phil Tragen Photography)

The widely-anticipated Matilda The Musical has finally arrived in Manchester for an 11-week run at thePalace Theatre and to mark the occasion, Scarlett Cecil who is one of the four young actresses sharing the title role, popped down to Manchester Central Library to strike the iconic Matilda pose in front of the landmark city-centre building.

The first show of the Royal Shakespeare Company production based on the much-loved Roald Dahl story in the city will be tonight, Tuesday 18th September.

Sophia Ally, Annalise Bradbury, Scarlett Cecil and Nicola Turner will share the title role of Matilda in Manchester. The adult cast includes Craige Els who, having played Miss Trunchbull in the West End for three years from 2014 to 2017, has returned to the role for the UK and Ireland tour. Carly Thoms plays Miss Honey alongside Sebastien Torkia and Rebecca Thornhill as Mr and Mrs Wormwood.

Matilda The Musical has now been seen by eight million people worldwide, having toured to over 65 cities and played more than 6000 performances in the West End, on Broadway and on tour across North America, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Matilda The Musical now has its first non-English language production at the LG Arts Centre in Seoul, South Korea which opened earlier this month.

The show is written by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, and direction by Matthew Warchus. The production is designed by Rob Howell, with choreography by Peter Darling, orchestrations, additional music and musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker and the special effects and illusions are by Paul Kieve.

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Cirque Éloize celebrates 25th anniversary in Manchester with stunning show

HouP_C-QManchester Opera House will present a blend of circus arts, theatre and dance when Montreal-based Cirque Éloize CIRKOPOLIS, performs on October 6.

Eleven acrobats and multidisciplinary artists rebel against monotony, reinvent themselves and challenge the limits of the factory-city.

Performing within an inventive stage design, and accompanied by an original musical score and video projections, they live in a world where fantasy defies reality — the veil of anonymity and solitude is lifted and replaced by bursts of color. Read More…

Eastenders’ Anita Dobson to star in Annie at the Opera House, Manchester

image008Former Eastenders  star Anita Dobson will star as Miss Hannigan in a production of the musical ANNIE at Opera House, Manchester in February.

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

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

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

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

The show will run from February 2-16

Wythenshawe students capture “Greater Mancunians” on camera for exhibition

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Shaun Ryder by Harry Yeates

Movers and shakers who have influenced Manchester life are to feature in a stunning photography competition by students from The Manchester College which opens tomorrow  (September 4th).

Musicians Clint Boon and The Happy Mondays, boxer Ricky Hatton and poet Lemn Sissay are some of the famous faces from Greater Manchester who will feature in the exhibition at the Nexus Art Cafe in Manchester.

More than 30 people who have made a cultural difference to the city have been photographed for the ‘Greater Mancunians’ exhibition by 30 Level 3 Photography students from the College’s Northenden campus.

The ongoing project has been a year in the making, with students gaining unparalleled access to stars of music, sport, art and business, and directing each individual photo shoot to capture a series of striking yet intimate shots.

 

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Pics: John Cooper Clarke by Harry Yeates, Stacey Copeland by Kristina Salyklyte, Tierney Heap by Katie O’Neill

Now photos of celebrities, sports stars, actors and activists, including performance poet John Cooper Clarke, boy band Take That, comedian Jason Manford, Tate director Maria Balshaw CBE, ballerina Tierney Heap and boxer Stacey Copeland, will grace the walls of Nexus Café in Manchester’s Northern Quarter when the four week exhibition launches .

Photography tutor Harry Potts said: “The project started when former student Harry Yeates photographed his idol John Cooper Clarke for his end of year project. The other students asked to do more and it just snowballed from there.

“I’ll set the meetings up, but then it’s down to the students to direct the photo shoot and create the image. The celebrities are quite happy to help our students and have been very accommodating during the shoots, which have taken place in the studio, down an alley or even up a ladder.

“The project not only gives the students great industry experience and some fantastic images for their portfolio, but the one thing they gain the most is confidence and life skills to be able to direct their subject and create some truly memorable images.”

Student Katie O’Neill, who completed her Level 3 Extended Diploma in photography with a distinction and is set to study BA Photography at Falmouth University, said:

“Over the past two years, I have photographed Bill Roach, Tierney Heap, Take That, Robert Powell and Graham Nash. Each photo shoot has allowed me to gain new knowledge from different experiences, from having only 10 minutes to get the shot to capturing fast movement. This has helped me to build up my skills and confidence, and has given me insight to working in a fast paced environment and working with others to create a project.

“Having my work featured in the exhibition is really exciting. I love people being able to see my work and I love watching their reactions to it. I am proud and thankful to be a part of this project.”

‘Greater Mancunians’ runs from 4 to 29 September at Nexus Art Cafe, Dale Street, Manchester, M1 1JW.

 

Jason Donovan to make producer debut with Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

PRISCILLATOUR18_Collected files_A3P_14-8-18_HR.JPGJason Donovan will make his debut as a producer  when he joins forces with Mark Groucher in a new production of the  much-loved glittering hit musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

The show begins its tour in September next year (2019) and will be at Manchester’s Palace Theatre on November 25th.

The show makes a perfect vehicle for Donovan to begin his life as a producer, having performed in the cast of the original West End production and two subsequent UK tours.

Jason Donovan said: “Having spent years performing and always harbouring the desire to become more involved in the creative process, I am delighted to be joining Mark Goucher as producer on this wonderful show. Priscilla is perfect vehicle to venture into the world of producing and bringing all my experience on the show seems the logical next step. Priscilla is such a wonderful Australian story about diversity. It is a modern musical with a great heart.”

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 MenI Will SurviveI 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.

LISTINGS

Monday 25 November – Saturday 30 November 2019
MANCHESTER PALACE THEATRE
Tel: 0844 8713 019

www.atgtickets.com/manchester
Tickets on sale 14th September

An Officer and a Gentleman @ The Opera House, Manchester

8. AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN. Emma Williams 'Paula Pokrifki' and Jonny Fines 'Zack Mayo'. Photo by Manuel HarlanThe musical based on the 1980s film romance An Officer and Gentleman starring Richard Gere is in town this week.
The show tells the story of Zack Mayo who is in training to become a US Navy Pilot. When Zack rolls into boot camp with a bit too much of a swagger, drill Sergeant Foley doesn’t make life easy for him.
When he falls for local girl Paula Pokrifki and tragedy befalls his friend and fellow candidate, Zack realises the importance of love and friendship and finds the courage to be himself and win the heart of the woman he loves. It’s only then he can truly become both an Officer and a Gentleman.
The musical includes the hit song from the movie Up Where We Belong along, with 80’s classics such as Alone, Don’t Cry Out Loud, You’re the Voice, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Heart of Glass, Toy Soldiers and Material Girl and one of the most iconic romantic scenes ever portrayed on screen.
An Officer and a Gentleman is one of the highest grossing films of all time. The is by writer and director Douglas Day Stewart which was based on his personal experience as a Naval Officer Candidate. The book is co-written by Douglas and Sharleen Cooper Cohen. It is directed by Curve’s Artistic Director Nikolai Foster (Annie, What the Butler Saw, Calamity Jane and Sunset Boulevard), choreographed by Kate Prince (Old Vic Associate Artist, Everyone’s Talking About Jamie, Into the Hoods and ZooNation), has Musical Supervision by Tony Award-winning Sarah Travis (Curve Associate Artist,
Sweeney Todd, Sister Act)
The show runs to Saturday August 18.

Fathers’ Day online premier for Wythenshawe zombie movie

creative-england-bfi-network-leapling-films-a-fathers-day-abiA multi-award winning zombie movie filmed in Wythenshawe has it’s online premier today.

Writer/Director Mat Johns and Producer Chris Lane’s short film ‘A Father’s Day’ was
selected for Short of the Week, a premiere destination for short films online. The film will be available from 3pm.

Produced by Leapling Films and funded by Creative England and BFI Network, the story follows George and Abi, an estranged father and daughter who are unexpectedly reunited with each other in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The twist is, they are no longer the humans they once were but zombified versions of themselves. Read More…

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