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Theatres - Starting This Week - October 13 onwards


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.

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.

HAPPY AS LARRY (The Lowry, Salford Quays, October 18-19)

WHAT makes us happy? This playful and poignant show, created by award-winning Australian choreographer Shaun Parker, investigates the elusive nature of human happiness through an intoxicating mix of ballet, break dance, roller-skating and highly physical contemporary dance. Set to a vibrant electro/acoustic score, the cast of performers brings fun and danger to the fore in this innovative and moving dance work. Call 0843 208 6000 or visit www.thelowry.com.

THE HAUNTED BRIDE (The Lowry, Salford Quays, October 19)

A SPINE-chilling new play by John Goodrum based on the delectably eerie tale To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Amid the shadowy rooms and moonstruck gardens of a peeling, overgrown Italian palazzo, the dreams that haunt a young bride’s sleep reach their terrifying climax. Call 0843 208 6000 or visit www.thelowry.com.

THE JUNGLE BOOK (Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, October 18-22)

THE Birmingham Stage Company presents Rudyard Kipling’s classic story about Mowgli, a young boy who is raised in the jungle by a family of wolves. When Shere Khan the tiger swears to kill the child, Baloo and Bagheera agree to take the boy to the man village for his safety. Call 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.

LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL (Opera House, Quay Street, Manchester, October 18-29)

THE award-winning Broadway sensation created by a top-of-the-class creative team. This all-singing, all-dancing, feel-good musical comedy, based on the hit film starring Reese Witherspoon, will be the highlight of your year. This touring productions features West End star Dave Willetts as Callaghan, Neil Ring from Hollyoaks as Warner and newcomer Faye Brooks as Elle. Call 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH (New Vic Theatre, Etruria Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, October 18-November 5)

ALAN Ayckbourn’s cautionary tale of the dangers of taking the law into your own hands is his 75th play. This is the world premiere production which will eventually have a New York run. Things are not right on The Bluebell Hill Development. Theft, petty crime, vandalism, all the ills of modern suburban existence are on the increase. Newcomers Martin and his sister Hilda are the crime wave’s latest victims and resolve to take action. Call 01782 717962 or visit www.newvictheatre.org.uk.

A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT (Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, October 19-November 5)

AFTER the success of Love, Love, Love and Come To Where I’m From, Paines Plough return to the Exchange with three world premieres by the UK’s hottest playwrights:

Dig by Katie Douglas (October 19-22); You Cannot Go Forward From Where You Are Right Now by David Watson (October 26-29); and Young Osama by Leo Butler (November 2-5). Each of these 45-minute plays have a side order of a tasty pie and refreshing pint thrown in. Ring 0161 833 9833 or visit www.royalexchange.co.uk.

RESPECT LA DIVA (Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, October 14-15/Empire Theatre, Lime Street, Liverpool, October 20)

FROM the creators of Thriller Live comes this powerful entertaining and uplifting musical revue paying tribute to some of the greatest female singers of all time such as Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Beyonce and Whitney Houston. The two hour extravaganza features a cast of major UK acts including Denise Pearson from Five Star, Katy Setterfield from TV’s The One & Only and Pop Idol’s Zoe Birkett in a show hosted by X-Factor finalist Andy Abrahams. Call 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk/Call 0844 847 2525 or visit www.liverpoolempire.org.uk.

THE SWALLOWING DARK (Playhouse Theatre, Williamson Square, Liverpool, October 20-29)

CANAAN and his son have come a long way to escape the horrors of Zimbabwe under Mugabe. But when Martha asks him to revisit his darkest memories, he’s forced to fight for their lives a second time. Performed in the intimacy of the reopened Playhouse Studio, this world premiere of Lizzie Nunnery’s psychological thriller combines devastating power with the telling of a good story. Visit www.everymanplayhouse.com or call 0151 709 4776.

TITANIC THE MUSICAL (Paul McCartney Auditorium, Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, Mount Street, Liverpool, October 20-22)

TONY Award-winning musical looking at the dreams and possibilities of technological advancement allied to the personal aspirations of passengers and crew alike as the Titanic sets sail on her maiden voyage. Performed by second and third year acting students. Call 0844 873 2888 or visit www.lipa.co.uk.