Sep 30 2011 by Michael Green, Chester Chronicle
ALL THE WAY HOME (The Lowry, Salford Quays, September 29-October 15)
MANCHESTER’S Library Theatre Company, in association with The Lowry, Salford Quays, presents the world premiere of Salford-born Ayub Khan-Din’s new work. The East is East writer has produced a gritty, modern-day tale about a disparate group of warring siblings who gather at their former family home, under the shadow of impending loss. Visit www.librarytheatre.com or call 0843 208 6005.
EDWARD II (Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, September 7-October 8)
ON ASCENSION to the English throne, Edward II calls back his beloved ally Piers Gaveston. But when their close relationship throws the court and Edward’s marriage into disarray, it threatens to destabilise an entire country. The inventive creative team behind last year’s production of Doctor Faustus, led by director Toby Frow, reunite for this fast-paced thriller by Christopher Marlowe, which will have your allegiances shifting in a night of gripping theatre. Ring 0161 833 9833 or visit www.royalexchange.co.uk.
GODSPELL (Palace Theatre, Oxford Street, Manchester, September 29-October 8)
CELEBRATING 40 years since its Broadway debut, West End and Broadway singing sensation Kerry Ellis stars in this iconic concert of the smash-hit musical. Ring 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.
THE GOLDEN DRAGON (Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, October 4-8)
AWARD-WINNING theatre company ATC returns to present this British premiere of Germany’s most lauded new play. The Golden Dragon is a typical local Asian restaurant creating a world where everyone is connected to everyone else. Roland Schimmelpfenning’s theatrical and funny fable reveals what really goes into that bowl of spicy soup. Ring 0161 833 9833 or visit www.royalexchange.co.uk.
GREASE (Palace Theatre, Oxford Street, Manchester, September 29-October 8)
DUST off your jackets, pull on your bobby socks and get ready for the most fun-filled, high-octane rock ’n’ roll party of the year, packed with famous songs such as Summer Nights, Greased Lightning and You’re The One That I Want. Ring 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.
HER BENNY (Pavilion Theatre, Rhyl, October 4-8)
DENBIGHSHIRE brother and sister Dewi and Erin Wykes have been cast as the production’s juvenile leads – coincidentally another brother and sister but this time Victorian street urchins Benny and Nell Bates. This is a rags-to-riches, feel-good family musical, following the fortunes of urchin Benny and his little sister Nell as they rely on courage and love to survive on the hard streets of Liverpool in the late 1800s. Call 01745 330000 or visit www.rhylpavilion.co.uk.
HUMBLE BOY (Forum Studio Theatre, Hamilton Place, Chester, October 5-7)
LIMELIGHT Productions present this moving play by Charlotte Jones. Felix Humble, bumbling Cambridge astrophysicist and cricket enthusiast, returns to the family home following the sudden death of his father. This touching comedy looks at broken vows, failed hopes and the joys of beekeeping. Call 01244 341296 or visit www.chestertheatre.co.uk.
NARCISSUS AND ECHO (The Lowry, Salford Quays, October 5-7)
THE classical Greek myth is transformed into an enchanting new chamber opera. The lonely and lovely Echo falls for Narcissus who has eyes only for his own reflection and their tragic love story is overseen by a chorus of wicked and witty nymphs. The production features music that draws on the baroque sounds of Purcell and Monteverdi. Call 0843 208 6000 or visit www.thelowry.com.
THE RESISTIBLE RISE OF ARTURO UI (Playhouse Theatre, Williamson Square, Liverpool, September 30-October 22)
IT’S 1930s Chicago and as the Great Depression hits the city’s fortunes, small time boss Arturo strikes a deal and makes a killing. Soon his shadow looms from the markets to the docks. But whether you’re with him or against him, you can’t ignore the resistible rise of Arturo Ui. Liverpool playwright Stephen Sharkey has produced a potent new translation of Bertolt Brecht’s shocking 1941 satire. Visit www.everymanplayhouse.com or call 0151 709 4776.
SISTER ACT (Opera House, Quay Street, Manchester, September 29-October 15)
FROM producers Whoopi Goldberg and Stage Entertainment (Hairspray, High School Musical) the smash hit musical comedy based on the classic film comes to the Opera House direct from its record-breaking run at the London Palladium. Ring 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.
TAKING STEPS (Emlyn Williams Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, September 22-October 15)
HARD-drinking bucket tycoon Roland Crabbe is about to buy a house - a reputedly haunted former brothel - from devious builder Leslie Bainbridge. But with his wife Elizabeth planning to walk out on him, his brother’s fiancee hiding in the attic and befuddled solicitor Tristram getting into all the wrong beds, mayhem reigns. Set on three floors of a draughty manor house over the course of a frantic 24 hours, this is a riotous comedy from one of the UK’s finest writers, Alan Ayckbourn. Call 0845 330 3565 or visit www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk.
TOP HAT (The Lowry, Salford Quays, September 27-October 8)
TOM Chambers and Summer Strallen star in Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’ legendary 1930s Hollywood hit, which comes to the stage for the first time. Chambers (Strictly Come Dancing, Holby City) plays Jerry Travers, the famous American tap dancer who arrives in London to appear in his first West End show. Travers meets the irresistible Dale Tremont, played by Summer Strallen (Love Never Dies, The Sound of Music, Hollyoaks), and follows her across Europe in an attempt to win her heart with his wonderful song and dance routines. With beautiful sets, lavish costumes, sensational dancing and such classics as Cheek to Cheek, Let’s Face The Music And Dance and Top Hat, this stunning new musical comedy is sure to sweep you off your feet. Call 0843 208 6000 or visit www.thelowry.com.