Sep 30 2011 by Michael Green, Chester Chronicle
STARTING THIS WEEK
ANIMAL FARM (Anthony Hopkins Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, October 13-November 5)
GEORGE Orwell’s famous story is one of the great 20th century novels. An allegory on the Russian Revolution and the Soviet government which followed, it remains a brilliant satire on political power and its abuse. The impact of the story is such that it is still banned in totalitarian regimes throughout the world, including China and North Korea. This vibrant stage adaptation by Peter Hall is directed by Tim Baker. Call 0845 330 3565 or visit www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk.
BLOOD BROTHERS (Floral Pavilion, New Brighton, Wirral, October 10-15)
WRITTEN by Willy Russell, the legendary show tells the captivating and moving tale of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with tragic consequences. The superb score includes Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True. The cast is headed by Niki Evans as Mrs Johnstone. Call 0151 666 0000 or visit www.floralpavilion.com.
THE ETHERDROME (The Lowry, Salford Quays, October 13-15)
FRANKENSTEIN’S alive – and he’s about to extract your wisdom teeth! Award-winning Penny Dreadful cordially invite you to enter the Etherdome, so take your seats for this darkly funny tale of 1850s America, where carnival sideshows meet live bluegrass - and dentistry. It’s the start of the so-called Scientific Age and major surgery – including amputation, heart surgery and tooth extraction – is still carried out utilising only a stiff whisky or a stick to bite on. In a fairground tent, alongside tea-leaf fortune tellers, an amazing discovery is made by accident – but who actually made it? Mick Barnfather (Peepolykus, Right Size, Complicité) directs this extraordinary disaster comedy, where the quest for pain relief takes a detour via lunacy, addiction and a duck pond. Call 0843 208 6000 or visit www.thelowry.com.
GOOD (Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, October 12-November 5)
1930S GERMANY. Professor Halder is struggling with an elderly mother, a needy wife and the increasing tendency to hear beautiful music in unexpected places. A good man, he finds himself increasingly caught up in the Nazi propaganda machine. CP Taylor’s play is a shifting, moving exploration of how personal morality can be twisted, and drawn to a sinister and diabolical cause. Ring 0161 833 9833 or visit www.royalexchange.co.uk.
ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS (The Lowry, Salford Quays, October 11-15)
JAMES Corden plays Francis Henshall in this new English version of the classic Italian comedy – where sex, food and money are high on the agenda. Fired from his skiffle band, Francis becomes minder to Roscoe Crabbe, a small time East End hood, now in Brighton to collect £6,000 from his fiancee’s dad. But Roscoe is really his sister Rachel posing as her own dead brother, who's been killed by her boyfriend Stanley Stubbers. Holed up at The Cricketers' Arms, the permanently ravenous Francis spots the chance of an extra meal ticket and takes a second job with one Stanley Stubbers, who is hiding from the police and waiting to be re-united with Rachel. To prevent discovery, Francis must keep his two guvnors apart. Corden is reunited with National Theatre director Nicholas Hytner for the first time since The History Boys. Call 0843 208 6000 or visit www.thelowry.com.
SHANGHAI (Venue Cymru, Llandudno, October 7-9)
CIRQUE du Ciel present a two hour extravaganza that combines acrobatics, modern dance, original music, martial arts and many other Chinese elements in a storyline that will captivate and enthral audiences of all ages. Call 01492 872000 or visit www.venuecymru.co.uk.
WELSH NATIONAL OPERA (Empire Theatre in Lime Street, Liverpool, October 12-15)
WELSH National Opera returns to the Liverpool Empire with three productions: Don Giovanni on October 12, The Barber of Seville on October 13 and 15 and Katya Kabanova on October 14. Call 0844 847 2525 or visit www.liverpoolempire.org.uk.
THE WOMAN IN WHITE (Lyceum Theatre, Heath Street, Crewe, October 11-15)
THE classic Wilkie Collins mystery novel is brought to the stage by Nicola Boyce with a cast of familiar faces including Colin Baker, Peter Amory, Neil Stacy and Karen Ford. When art teacher Walter Hartright has a midnight encounter with the Woman in White in Victorian England, it sends in motion a sequence of events that will change and destroy lives. Call 01270 537333 or visit www.lyceumtheatre.net.