Dec 12 2010 by Michael Green, Chester Chronicle
THE CHALK GARDEN (Little Theatre, Gloucester Street, Newtown, Chester, January 17-22)
CHESTER Theatre Club presents Enid Bagnold’s whimsical comedy with elements of mystery. In a Sussex mansion, the elderly, eccentric Mrs St Maugham struggles with the chalky soil of her garden and the waywardness of her fire-raising granddaughter Laurel. Can the new governess - the enigmatic Miss Madrigal - bring a bloom to both the garden and the granddaughter? Ring 01244 322674 or visit www.chestertheatreclub.co.uk.
A DOLL’S HOUSE (Library Theatre at The Lowry, Salford Quays, February 24-March 12)
THE Library Theatre continues its temporary stay at the Salford Quays venue while a new home is built for the company in Manchester with Henrik Ibsen’s classic 1879 play. Nora loves her husband above everything. But when she risks her reputation in order to save him, the consequences force her to examine her devotion and she finds herself struggling for her own life. Visit www.librarytheatre.com or ring 0843 208 6010.
EVITA (Opera House, Quay Street, Manchester, May 23-28)
TIM Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s extraordinary musical features some of the biggest hit songs ever written, including Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, On This Night Of A Thousand Stars, Another Suitcase In Another Hall, Oh What A Circus, You Must Love Me and many more. Ring 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.
GHOST (Opera House, Quay Street, Manchester, March 28-May 14)
GHOST is a timeless fantasy about the power of love and this new musical version is based on the classic 1990 Oscar-winning film which starred Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. Ring 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.
THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF SANTA CLAUS (The Lowry, Salford Quays, December 27-January 3)
WHO is Santa Claus? Where did he come from? And why on earth does he climb down the chimney? Follow the early life of Santa Claus, from his being abandoned in the forest and adopted by the wood-nymphs, making the very first toys to his final quest for immortality. Find out why we hang stockings, why he climbs down the chimney and meet the original reindeer Glossie and Flossie as well as the chilly rogue Jack Frost. With original music and lots of audience participation this is a wonderful seasonal show from Artsdepot and Big Wooden Horse, creators of venue favourites The Night Before Christmas and Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. Visit www.thelowry.com or ring 0843 208 6000.
LORD ARTHUR SAVILE’S CRIME (Little Theatre, Gloucester Street, Newtown, Chester, July 4-9)
CHESTER Theatre Club presents Constance Cox’s play based on Oscar Wilde’s short story. Lord Arthur Savile is deliriously happy and on the verge of marrying the lovely Sybil when an encounter with a clairvoyant reveals Arthur will commit a murder. Ring 01244 322674 or visit www.chestertheatreclub.co.uk.
MAMMA MIA! (Palace Theatre, Oxford Street, Manchester, April 26-June 11)
THE hit stage musical inspired by the songs of Abba - which has already been turned into one of the most successful movies of recent years - returns to the North West stage. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the Greek island they last visited 21 years ago.ŠRing 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.
MATTHEW BOURNE’S CINDERELLA (Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, December 9-January 9)
SET in London during the Second World War, Matthew Bourne’s interpretation of Prokofiev’s haunting score has, at its heart, a true wartime romance. A chance meeting results in a magical night for Cinderella and her dashing young RAF pilot, together just long enough to fall in love before being parted by the horrors of the Blitz. First seen in the West End in 1997, but now completely revised in this new production created to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the London Blitz. Visit www.ambassadortickets.com or ring 0844 871 7649.
THE PRIVATE EAR & THE PUBLIC EYE (Little Theatre, Gloucester Street, Newtown, Chester, March 14-19)
CHESTER Theatre Club presents a double bill of Peter Shaffer’s 1960s classic comedies. In The Private Ear, Bob is a shy young man nervously awaiting the arrival of Doreen, his first dinner date. Can Ted, his chic and more experienced workmate, mushroom soup and Benjamin Britten do the trick. In The Public Eye, Julian Christoforou is an eccentric private detective hired by Charles, a stuffy olf accountant, to spy on his young wife Belinda, who he believes is having an affair. Ring 01244 322674 or visit www.chestertheatreclub.co.uk.
THE RUSSIAN STATE BALLET & ORCHESTRA OF SIBERIA (Empire Theatre, Lime Street, Liverpool, January 13-15)
FORMED in 1981, the Russian State Ballet of Siberia has quickly established itself as one of Russia’s leading ballet companies and has built an international reputation for delivering performances of outstanding quality and unusual depth. The soloists and corps de ballet are superb, and never fail to delight audiences with their breathtaking physical ability and dazzling costumes. Swan Lake (January 13-14) is an immortal love story filled with magic, emotion and beauty. From the opulence and splendour of the magnificent court room to the exhilarating lake scenes where swans play in perfect formation, Tchaikovsky’s hauntingly beautiful music creates a truly unforgettable experience. The company will also be staging The Nutcracker on January 15. Visit www.liverpoolempire.org.uk or ring 0844 847 2525.
THE RUSSIAN STATE BALLET & ORCHESTRA OF SIBERIA (Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, March 17-19)
THE celebrated company present three productions: Shakespearee’s timeless tragedy Romeo & Juliet (March 17) is brought to life with lavish sets and costumes; Sleeping Beauty (March 18) is a classic story of love and innocence set to a Tchaikovsky score; and Swan Lake (March 19) is filled with emotion with the help of Tchaikovsky’s magical music. Visit www.ambassadortickets.com or ring 0844 871 7649.
SEPARATE TABLES (Little Theatre, Gloucester Street, Newtown, Chester, May 9-14)
CHESTER Theatre Club presents Terence Rattigan’s classic play, first performed in 1954. The Beauregard Hotel in eastbourne shelters the lonely, the old and the genteel poor. Always discreet but also lonely, the manageress Miss Cooper involves herself in the lives of the “flotsam and jetsam” who find themselves washed up there. Ring 01244 322674 or visit www.chestertheatreclub.co.uk.
SHERLOCK HOLMES - THE LAST ACT & THE DEATH & THE LIFE (The Lowry, Salford Quays, January 8-9)
ROGER Llewellyn returns with two spine-tingling, wryly humorous tales of murder, mystery and the occult as the world's greatest detective refuses to leave the stage! Conan Doyle, tiring of his intolerably arrogant Sherlock Holmes, invents the malevolent Moriarty to dispose of him. This dangerous scheme, combined with Doyle's passion for raising the spirits of the dead, has bizarre, dramatic and very unexpected outcomes. Visit www.thelowry.com or ring 0843 208 6000.
A SMALL FAMILY BUSINESS (LIPA, Paul McCartney Auditorium, Mount Street, Liverpool, February 24-26)
ALAN Ayckbourn’s comedy is performed by final year acting students. Ayres and Graces is under new management. This family-run furniture firm needa a strong leader to steer it into a new era. Which brings in Jack McCracken, determined to stamp out any dodgy dealing but faced with a spineless scheming family. Ring 0844 873 2888 or visit www.lipa.ac.uk.