Showing posts with label Storyhouse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Storyhouse. Show all posts

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Horrible Histories Live on Stage - The Terrible Tudors at Storyhouse, Chester - A Review

My two eldest children are now both in high school, where they have quickly found that subjects are far more focused than they were in primary. They find History absolutely fascinating, but with so much to remember it can be hard to retain some of the factual information at times, especially when delivered in a traditional classroom setting. One thing that has always helped them in relation to their History topics, is the Horrible Histories series of books, which deliver history in not just an educational way, but also in a manner that is fun and enjoyable too. We were therefore delighted to attend Storyhouse in Chester last night to see Horrible Histories Live on Stage - The Terrible Tudors!

There was grisly gags and bloodthirsty battles galore, throughout this action packed show that was cleverly delivered by a talented trio of actors from the Birmingham Stage Company. There was never a dull moment as we were taken on a journey through the Terrible Tudor times and learnt about the murderous monarchs, manky medicines and perilous punishments that were typical of this historical era.

Image credit: Mark Douet

The show began with Richard III and a brief comical portrayal of the Battle of Bosworth, where we were then introduced to Henry VII also known as Henry Tudor. As the show progressed we learnt more about his successors and of course the fiercesome Henry VIII and his six wives. My children particularly enjoyed this part of the show, especially the very easy song which had all of the audience singing along and joining in with some simple choreographed moves.

We were initially surprised at the minimal use of props, as I had envisaged there being quite an elaborate stage setting due to the stories that would be told. However, this quite simplistic appearance actually worked fantastically well and ensured that the focus was on the actors and the exciting way that they were delivering the show. This compacted telling of British history was extremely enjoyable and we remained fascinated through the show, right up until the demise of Queen Elizabeth I.

In between learning about the Tudor monarchs and their families, we were also provided with some very disgusting facts about how life would have been. My son chuckled at the idea of Edward VI's whipping boy, whilst my daughter and I laughed through the comical rendition of Greensleeves.

The crime and punishment scene left us all shocked at just how horrific the sentences were, whilst the manky medicines left us equally disgusted at their choice of treatments and potions. We were amazed from start to finish and remained engaged and excited as our historical knowledge increased by the minute.

A particular highlight for us all though, was the Elizabeth I and Will.I.Am Shakespeare scene which made us want to get on stage and dance along with them. It was fantastic and certainly very memorable. We also enjoyed the added novelty of Bogglevision 3D effects during the second act, which provided yet another exciting element to the show.

Overall we had a wonderful time at Horrible Histories Live on Stage - The Terrible Tudors and we were very impressed by the cast and their performances throughout the show. It was educational, entertaining and most of all fun, with plenty of audience participation too. Packed full of facts, jokes and a colourful script, we all came away from the show having learnt something new, as well as a song that will be stuck in our head for weeks to come!

Horrible Histories Live on Stage is currently performing BOTH the Terrible Tudors and the Awful Egyptians at Storyhouse this week at varying times, so make sure you don't miss out and check out the listing details below for the remaining dates.

Listing Details

Horrible Histories 
Performances until Friday 8th November
Venue: Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR
Tickets: £13.50 children under 14 / £18.50 Adults
Each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee

Horrible Histories Terrible Tudors
Thursday 7th November 2019 at 6pm
Friday 8th November 2019 at 10:30am

Horrible Histories Awful Egyptians
Thursday 7th November 2019 at 10:30am
Friday 8th November 2019 at 6pm

Tickets can be booked online at www.storyhouse.com, or by calling 01244 409113. Alternatively you can visit the Ticket Kiosks at Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR.

*Disclaimer - We were provided with press tickets for the purpose of reviewing the show. All opinions are my own unless stated otherwise.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Dates for your Diary - Horrible Histories Double Bill Heads to Storyhouse, Chester

As a child I used to love reading the Horrible Histories series of books. They helped me to become interested in history and they made learning fun, enjoyable and entertaining.  I introduced my own children to the books over the past few years and along with regularly watching the TV show, they have become huge fans. We were therefore all really excited to learn that the smash-hit show Horrible Histories Live On Stage will be heading to Storyhouse in Chester in less than one weeks time with a double bill set to wow young and old alike.

The first Horrible Histories books were published in 1993, and to celebrate the 25th anniversary the team behind the successful books have brought two titles to life with brand new engaging, entertaining and educational stage shows.

The Horrible Histories double bill of Terrible Tudors and Awful Egyptians will entertain Storyhouse audiences with two hilarious shows featuring eye-popping 3D special effects.

Horrible Histories Live on Stage comes to Storyhouse in Chester from Tuesday 5th November to Friday 8th November 2019. Tickets are on sale now and group rates are also available.

Horrible Histories Live on Stage is written by Terry Deary from his bestselling Horrible Histories books. Terry Deary is the world's bestselling non-fiction author for children and one of the most popular children's authors in the country. He has written 200 books which have been translated into 40 different languages. Over the past 25 years, his 50 Horrible Histories titles have sold over 25 million copies worldwide from China to Brazil.

Photo Credit: Mark Douet

Terrible Tudors gives visitors the chance to take a trip through the Horrible Henrys to the end of evil Elizabeth and hear the legend (and the lies!) about the torturing Tudors. Find out the fate of Henry's headless wives and his punch-up with the Pope. Meet Bloody Mary and see Ed fall dead in his bed. Survive the Spanish Armada as it sails into the audience! Terrible Tudors runs from Tuesday 5th November to Friday 8th November 2019.

Awful Egyptians invites you to meet the fascinating Pharoahs, gasp at the power of the pyramids, and discover the foul facts of death and decay with the meanest mummies in Egypt. Are you ready to rumble with Ramesses the Great? Dare you enter through the Gates of the Afterlife? It's the history of Egypt with the nasty bits left in! Awful Egyptians runs from Wednesday 6th November to Friday 8th November 2019.

A special feature of the productions are the amazing Bogglevision 3D effects. Among an array of 3D-illusions the audience will see the Spanish Armada firing cannonballs into the auditorium or the Mummy reaching out to grab them!

Horrible Histories Live on Stage is directed by Neal Foster, design is by Jackie Trousdale, lighting by Jason Taylor, sound by Nick Sagar, and music by Matthew Scott.

Birmingham Stage Company are also currently celebrating their 25th anniversary and are one of the world's top theatre companies for families. Their acclaimed productions include David Walliams' Gangsta Granny and Awful Auntie, and Roald Dahl's George's Marvellous Medicine. They have been producing Horrible Histories Live on Stage since 2005, including their record-breaking West End series of Barmy Britain.

These two hilarious historical journeys through the squelchiest and yuckiest moments in British and Egyptian history are perfect entertainment for anyone aged from 5 to 105!

Tickets are on sale now and range in price from £13.50 for children under 14, to £18.50 for adults. Each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee.

For more information you can visit the website www.HHliveonstage.com

What do the critics say about Horrible Histories?

'A brilliantly fun piece of educational theatre that taught this history graduate a few new things'
Daily Telegraph

'Is this any way for children to learn about history? Too right it is! If lessons were always like this, kids would be queuing at the school gates!'
The Times

'Mortgage the school if you have to. Ransom the governers, even. No child or adult should be denied the chance to see this: live theatre and history at its rip-roaring best'
Times Educational Supplement

'These actors should be in every school history class across the land. Or given how little most of us know, maybe every living room!'
The Scotsman

'Wholly accesible, educating, entertaining and enjoyable, Horrible Histories live on stage is a tour de force. Five stars out of five!'
BBC.co.uk

Listing Details

Horrible Histories 
Tuesday 5th November to Friday 8th November
Venue: Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR
Tickets: £13.50 children under 14 / £18.50 Adults
Each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee

Horrible Histories Terrible Tudors
Tuesday 5th November - Friday 8th November
Tuesday 5th November 2019 at 5:30pm
Wednesday 6th November 2019 at 1:30pm
Thursday 7th November 2019 at 6pm
Friday 8th November 2019 at 10:30am

Horrible Histories Awful Egyptians
Wednesday 6th November - Friday 8th November
Wednesday 6th November 2019 at 10:30am
Thursday 7th November 2019 at 10:30am
Friday 8th November 2019 at 6pm

Tickets can be booked online at www.storyhouse.com, or by calling 01244 409113. Alternatively you can visit the Ticket Kiosks at Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR.

Photo Credit: Mark Douet

*Disclaimer - This post is based on a press release kindly provided by BEA. Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing, but can be subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the venues own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Star-Studded Autumn Season of Headline Shows Ahead at Storyhouse, Chester

As regular readers to the blog will know, I often mention my love for Storyhouse in Chester. It is one of my favourite theatres and my family and I have enjoyed numerous shows since its opening back in May 2017. Since then the theatre has welcomed many touring productions and events, as well as creating their own spectacular in-house productions and the upcoming Autumn season shall be no exception.

Whether you are an individual, a couple, a family or a group of friends looking to enjoy a night out together, then Storyhouse is sure to have a show to suit your requirements. Theatregoers will be spoilt for choice with the high calibre shows heading to the city, in what will complete a fantastic year of live entertainment at the Chester venue.

Cult classic The Rocky Horror Show return with one of theatre's naughtiest musicals from Monday 16th September to Saturday 21st September. The story will follow Brad and his fiancee Janet as they embark on an adventure that they will never forget, with fun, frolics, frocks, and frivolity - bursting with timeless songs and outrageous outfits. Audiences can expect a guaranteed party combining science fiction, horror, comedy and music.

Strictly's Joanne Clifton plays Janet in The Rocky Horror Show, and is joined by James Darch as Brad; Stephen Webb as Frank 'n' Furter; and Kristian Lavercombe as Riff Raff. Television actor Philip Franks, known for his roles in The Darling Buds of May, Heartbeat, Absolutely Fabulous, Foyle's War and Midsomer Murders, plays the Narrator.

Hot on the heels of this film classic is another favourite, as Bill Kenwright returns with Cabaret from Tuesday 24th September to Saturday 28th September. This multi award-winning production of Kander and Ebb's landmark musical features show-stopping choreography, dazzling costumes, and iconic songs including Money Makes the World Go Round and Maybe This Time and Cabaret.

The cast features former Eastenders actor and West End star John Partridge as Emcee; fresh from Cilla The Musical, actress and singer Kara Lily Hayworth as Sally Bowles; and singer and screen icon Anita Harris as Fraulein Schneider.

The musical fun and frolics will continue into October with Calendar Girls The Musical by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth from Tuesday 29th October to Saturday 2nd November. Calendar Girls The Musical is inspired by the true story of a group of ladies, who create a Women's Institute (WI) calendar to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital in memory of one of their husbands. The twist is that they appear nude in the pictures. This musical comedy highlights life in their Yorkshire Village, the effect on husbands, sons and daughters, but most of all how a group of ordinary women achieved something extraordinary.

The cast features Ruth Madoc, Rebecca Storm, Sarah Jane Buckley, Sue Devaney, Julia Hills, Judy Holt, and Lisa Maxwell. They are joined by Phil Corbitt, Ian Mercer, Sebastian Aberneri, Alan Stocks, Pauline Daniels, Ellie Leah, Danny Howker, Isabel Caswell, and Tyler Dobbs.

Continuing with music, Wireless Wise - A Celebration of Radio 4 is on Sunday 22nd September and will bring together a group of seasoned radio personalities. Alistair McGowan, the Reverend Richard Coles, Garry Richardson, Charlotte Green, and special guest Richie Webb, will celebrate BBC Radio in an unforgettable evening of comedy, anecdotes, sketches, music and nostalgia.

There will be something gruesome yet thrilling for youngsters with a double bill of Horrible Histories from Tuesday 5th November to Friday 8th November with brand new shows, Terrible Tudors and Awful Egyptians.

Terrible Tudors will take a trip through the Horrible Henrys to the end of evil Elizabeth and hear the legend (and the lies!) about the torturing Tudors. Find out the fate of Henry's headless wives and his punch-up with the Pope. Survive the Spanish Armada as it sails into the audience! Terrible Tudors will run from Tuesday 5th November to Friday 8th November 2019.

Photo credit - Mark Douet

Awful Egyptians invites visitors to meet the fascinating Pharoahs, gasp at the power of the pyramids, and discover the foul facts of death and decay with the meanest mummies in Egypt. It's the history of Egypt with the nasty bits left in! Awful Egyptians runs from Wednesday 6th November to Friday 8th November 2019.

Comedy continues to feature strong on the Storyhouse programme, and this season dates include Ed Byrne, Ben Elton, Tom Rosenthal, Vikki Stone and Laurence Clark.

Ed Byrne presents his new show If I'm Honest on Monday 18th November. Ed's new masterclass in observational comedy comes hot on the heels of his 2017/2018 tour, Spoiler Alert. Ed takes a long hard look at himself, and tries to decide if he has any traits that are worth passing on to his children. Ed has recently appeared on Live At The Apollo, Mock the Week, The Pilgrimage, Top Gear, and QI.

Catch Ben Elton Live on Tuesday 10th December. The comic burst onto television screens more than 30 years ago hosting Channel 4's ground-breaking Saturday Live. Now, after a 15-year absence, Ben is back on the road with an all-new stand-up show - and promises to try and make sense of a world which appears to have gone stark raving mad.

Tom Rosenthal brings his Manhood show to Storyhouse on Friday 20th September. Known for his roles in Friday Night Dinner and Plebs, Tom was named Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year and was also nominated for Best Breakthrough Artist at the British Comedy Awards.

Multi award-winning comedian and musician Vikki Stone presents her show, Songbird, on Thursday 24th October. The show promises an evening full of Vikki's trademark comedy songs and stand up. Vikki has appeared on BBC Radio 4's The Now Show, BBC One's John Bishop Show, and the BBC Proms Podcast.

An exciting Autumn season concludes with the Storyhouse show for Christmas 2019 - Peter Pan, which runs from Friday 6th December through to Sunday 12th January 2020.

Following last year's stunning production of The Wizard of Oz, Storyhouse presents classic Peter Pan to entertain audiences of all ages this festive season. Journey to Neverland for a high-flying adventure. The forever young Peter Pan sails through the skies to bring Wendy and the Darling children to the Lost Children's enchanted island, where the fearsome Captain Hook rules over the high seas. Based on the timeless book by JM Barrie.

Storyhouse Artistic Director Alex Clifton commented: "No sooner does one season finish, than we start counting down to starting all over again and welcoming a brand new programme of entertainment. The spotlight is most definitely on music and dance for the autumn, and as the evenings draw in and the days get shorter, what's better than a trip to the theatre to experience a live show - giving you the real feel-good factor."

Storyhouse has a dynamic pricing policy on the majority of shows, ensuring the earlier you book your tickets, guarantees the best seats at the lowest price. For more information on Storyhouse and the upcoming schedule of shows, you can visit their website or social media pages on the following channels:

Website - www.storyhouse.com
Facebook - www.facebook.com/storyhouselive
Twitter - @StoryhouseLive

Listing Details

Rocky Horror Show
Dates: Monday 16th September to Saturday 21st September 2019
Times: Monday - Thursday 8pm / Friday - Saturday 5.30pm & 8.30pm

Tom Rosenthal: Manhood
Garret Theatre
Date: Friday 20th September 2019
Time: 8pm

Wireless Wise - A Celebration of Radio 4
Date: Sunday 22nd September 2019
Time: 7:30pm

Cabaret
Dates: Tuesday 24th September - Saturday 28th September 2019
Times: Monday - Saturday 7.30pm / Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday matinees at 2:30pm

Vikki Stone: Songbird
Garret Theatre
Date: Thursday 24th October 2019
Time: 8pm

Calendar Girls The Musical 
Dates: Tuesday 29th October -  Saturday 2nd November 2019
Times: Tuesday - Saturday 7:30pm / Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2:30pm

Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors
Dates: Tuesday 5th November - Friday 8th November 2019
Times: Tuesday 5:30pm / Wednesday 1:30pm / Thursday 6pm / Friday 10:30am

Horrible Histories: Awful Egyptians
Dates: Wednesday 6th November - Friday 8th November 2019
Times: Wednesday 10:30am / Thursday 10:30am / Friday 6pm

Ed Byrne: If I'm Honest
Date: Monday 18th November 2019
Time: 8pm

Peter Pan
Dates: Friday 6th December 2019 to Sunday 12th January 2020
Times: Performance times vary, please check website for up to date details.

Ben Elton Live
Date: Tuesday 10th December 2019
Time: 8pm

Tickets can be booked online at the Storyhouse website by visiting www.storyhouse.com, by calling 01244 409 113, or in person at the ticket kiosks located at Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR.



*Disclaimer: This is based on a press release kindly provided by BEA. Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing but are subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the venues own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.




Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Saturday Night Fever at Storyhouse, Chester - Preview

The summer holidays are well and truly over and after enjoying 6 weeks with both my husband and children, I would be lying if I said I wasn't missing them today. However, every cloud has a silver lining and whilst I am a little sad about waving goodbye to the summer sunshine, I am incredibly excited about Autumn and some of the events that are lined up for the North West over the coming months.

You may have seen on previous blog posts that Storyhouse in Chester is one of my favourite theatres and I feel so fortunate to have this fantastic arts facility just minutes away from our home. The upcoming Autumn schedule is absolutely jam-packed full of some incredible shows and what better way to start the season than with Bill Kenwright's reimagined and revitalised stage version of cult film Saturday Night Fever.

Disco fever will be descending on the Storyhouse from Tuesday 10th September to Saturday 14th September when this smash hit show arrives in the city and tickets are on sale now.

Image credit: Pamela Raith Photography

Saturday Night Fever tells the story of Tony Manero and his reckless yet thrilling road to dancing success. It is directed and produced by Bill Kenwright, with choreography by Olivier Award winning Bill Deamer, designs by Gary McCann, lighting by Nick Richings, and sound by Dan Samson. The stage adaptation is by Robert Stigwood in collaboration with Bill Oakes.

West End star Richard Winsor reprises his role as Tony Manero, stepping into the iconic white suit for the Autumn 2019 tour. He has performed around the world, starring as the principle dancer with Matthew Bourne for 10 years. He then landed the lead role in the cult dance film StreetDance 3D and later went on to play Caleb Knight in the BBC flagship medical drama Casualty.

Richard Winsor will be joined by Olivia Fines (Stephanie), Brandon Gale (Double J), Owen Broughton (Gus), Ross Clifton (Joey), and Will Luckett (Bobbie C).

In this newly updated and reimagined musical revival, which launched in August 2018, the cast will also be joined on stage by Danny Knott, Jake Byrom and James Kenneth Haughan in the roles of the Bee Gees, singing the hit soundtrack of all the disco classics.

Completing the cast are Faizal Jay (DJ Monty), Grant Neal (Frank Senior), Melody Jones (Flo Manero), Natasha Firth (Annette), and Phil Mennell (Frank Junior).

The ensemble features Benjamin Harrold, Brett Shiels, Fletcher Dobinson, Grace Swaby, Helen Gulston, Jade Heusen, Robert Anthony, Sophie Sass, and Zoe Heighton.

Image credit: Pamela Raith Photography

The musical features the Bee Gees' greatest hits including Stayin' Alive, How Deep Is Your Love, Night Fever, Tragedy and More Than a Woman, as well as 1970's favourites Boogie Shoes, Disco Inferno and, for the first time, will feature a group playing the Bee Gees live.

Tickets for Saturday Night Fever are on sale now and range in price from £20.50 to £46.50. Each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee. Group rates are also available Tuesday to Thursday. Please note that the show is not suitable for children and has an age guide of 14+.

To find out more about the show, you can visit the following website and social media pages:

Website - www.kenwright.com
Twitter - @BKL_Productions
Instagram - @BKLProductions

Listing Details

Show - Saturday Night Fever
Venue - Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR
Dates - Tuesday 10th September 2019 to Saturday 14th September 2019

Tuesday 10th September 2019 at 7:30pm
Wednesday 11th September 2019 at 2:30pm
Wednesday 11th September 2019 at 7:30pm
Thursday 12th September 2019 at 2:30pm
Thursday 12th September 2019 at 7:30pm
Friday 13th September 2019 at 7:30pm
Saturday 14th September 2019 at 2:30pm
Saturday 14th September 2019 at 7:30pm

Please note that the show is suitable for ages 14+.

Ticket prices - Tickets are available from £20.50 to £46.50 and each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee. Group rates are available Tuesday to Thursday.

Storyhouse has a dynamic pricing policy on the majority of shows, ensuring the earlier you book your tickets, guarantees the best seats at the lowest price.

How to Book

Online: www.storyhouse.com
By Phone: Call 01244 409113
In Person: Visit the Ticket Kiosks at Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR.

Further information on Storyhouse can be found on their website and social media pages on the following channels:

Website - www.storyhouse.com
Facebook - www.facebook.com/storyhouselive
Twitter - @StoryhouseLive

Image credit: Pamela Raith Photography

*Disclaimer - Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing, however are subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the venue's own website in order to obtain the most up to date information. Post written using press release from BEA.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at Storyhouse, Chester - A Review

Having studied music from an early age, I have been very fortunate to have seen some of the most fantastic musicals from all around the world. Whilst in school I had an outstanding music teacher who would often arrange trips to some of the touring productions, as well as ensuring that our choir also performed regularly in shows. I remember learning several of the songs that feature in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, yet despite regular visits to both the West End and Broadway, I have bizarrely NEVER actually seen the show in full before.......that is until now.


Last night the touring production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat wowed the audience at the Storyhouse theatre in Chester, with an exciting, enjoyable and skillful performance of the well known musical. As the lights dimmed we were treated to an overture that had guests clapping along before the show had even began. When the curtain rose I knew we were in for a great evening, as we sat back to enjoy this interpretation of the story of Joseph, his brothers and of course his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat!

The lead role of Joseph is played by Jaymi Hensley, a member of the boy band Union J. He provides an outstanding performance that was truly a delight to watch. I had been slightly sceptical beforehand, as to whether a young pop voice would be powerful enough for a leading part, but he absolutely shines like a star right from the very beginning and throughout the entire show. His vocals were strong and powerful, yet he was also able to apply plenty of emotion when required, which was particularly evident in scene six during 'Close Every Door'.

Image credit: Pamela Raith Photography

Trina Hill stars as the narrator, who does a stellar job of bringing Joseph's story to life through song.  Her vocals were impressive and a delight to listen to and her musical experience was clearly evident as she uses her skills with great effect.

The actors playing Joseph's brothers brought a great sense of fun and vibrancy to the stage, with each of them delivering impeccable choreography and drama. The comical element of their performances were amusing and they all exhibited a keen passion for their roles. Two particular standouts for me were Alex Hetherington playing the part of Benjamin and Lewis Asquith who starred as both Simeon and the Butler.

Image credit: Pamela Raith Photography

The handmaidens played by Amber Kennedy, Eve Norris and Gemma Pipe work extremely hard, undertaking a variety of roles and costume changes. In the second half of the show one of the handmaidens performs an excellent tango routine which was fascinating to watch, although admittedly I was slightly confused by the Eiffel Tower background whilst this took place, given that the story is based in Canaan and Egypt.

One of my favourite parts of the show, was when we were introduced to the Pharoah, played by Andrew Geater. My family and I have seen him in several other productions before, so I was already aware of his vocal capabilities and acting skills. However, he impressed me on a whole new level last night and certainly brought plenty of smiles and laughter to the audience with his humorous and powerful portrayal.

Image credit: Pamela Raith Photography

A special mention also has to be made to the Joseph Choir, which was provided by students of the local Chester Stagecoach School. My daughter used to attend this theatre group, so I know how much effort the students, staff and principals all put into their work. Several of her friends were in the production last night and so it was great to see the choir delivering some stunning supporting vocals, in what I am sure is a wonderful opportunity for all involved. During the show they were seated on raised steps, which added an element of simplicity and also ensured that the stage setting was never too crowded or over complicated.

Both my husband and I loved the sound quality and lighting design which complemented each of the scenes superbly and highlighted the performers well. The final moments of the show during the Joseph Megamix brought the skills of both the technical teams and performers together to an exceptional level and it was great to see the audience appreciate these efforts with not only a standing ovation, but a good old song and dance too. In turn this created a truly wonderful atmosphere and the most perfect way to end our evening.

Image credit: Pamela Raith Photography

Overall we had a fabulous time watching Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and it far exceeded my expectations. It is fun, fast paced and most importantly entertaining, so it is sure to delight audiences both young and old. I would absolutely recommend this show as being ideal for an enjoyable family trip to the theatre and I cannot wait to see it again in the future.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat is currently embarking on a UK tour and will be in Chester until Saturday 20th April 2019. For further details on how to book tickets, please see the listing details below.

Listing Details

Show: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
Venue: Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2AR
Dates: Wednesday 17th April to Saturday 20th April 2019
Times: Wednesday and Thursday 2:30pm & 7:30pm / Friday 5pm & 8pm / Saturday 2pm, 5pm & 8pm
Booking: This can be done online at www.storyhouse.com, by calling 01244 409113 or by visiting the ticket kiosks at Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2AR

For further details you can visit the Storyhouse website, or their social media pages on the following channels:

Website - www.storyhouse.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/storyhouselive
Twitter - @storyhouselive
Instagram - @storyhouselive

Image credit: Pamela Raith Photography

*Disclaimer - We were provided with complimentary tickets to the press night performance, for the purpose of writing an honest review of the show. Thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Zog Live on Stage at Storyhouse Chester - A Review

My youngest child Riley absolutely loves a trip to the theatre and since introducing him gradually to various kinds of shows over the past couple of years, it has become one of his favourite activities to do as a family.

We are very fortunate to have the beautiful Storyhouse venue only ten minutes away from our home and it has been great to see Chester welcome some wonderful productions since it's opening. Their calendar this year has everything from musicals to comedy performances, but this weekend we were very excited to attend a family friendly theatre production of Zog, based on the bestselling book by Julia Donaldson, with illustrations by Axel Scheffler. The show has been produced by Freckle Productions and Rose Theatre Kingston and features puppets that have been designed and created by Little Angel Theatre co-founder Lyndie Wright.



On our arrival to Storyhouse in Chester, we found it bustling with families, all ready to enjoy the show. There were children everywhere excitedly waiting for the performance to begin, some of whom had brought their own copies of the book or cuddly toys with them. It was a lovely relaxed atmosphere and I was aware of the fact that for some of the children, it could be their very first time at the theatre.

As we entered the auditorium, my children were provided with a Zog sticker each, which Riley was particularly happy with. So much so, that he also asked his brother and sister for theirs too! We found our seats in the middle of Row P which offered a fantastic view, so we had no issues at all with Riley not being able to see and we also did not require a booster seat.


The stage adaptation of the book is suitable for children and families of all ages. It tells the story of Zog, who is large in size and very keen in nature. He is eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon's school, where dragons learn all the things that dragons need to know. Zog tries so very hard, perhaps too hard, and he bumps, burns and roars his way through years one, two and three. Luckily the plucky Princess Pearl patches him up, ready to face his biggest challenge yet.......a duel with a knight, Sir Gadabout the Great.

Zog has been produced by Freckle Productions and Rose Theatre Kingston, featuring puppets that have been designed and created by Little Angel Theatre co-founder Lyndie Wright. It has been adapted and directed by Mike Shepherd and features an original folk score by Johnny Flynn and designs by Katie Sykes.

Riley found the stage show to be a magical adaptation and from the moment the show began, he was mesmerised as both actors and creative puppets came to life with a lovely musical accompaniment. The puppetry was imaginative and the musicians both comical and skilled, as we were gradually introduced to Zog's world and his quest for the golden star. My son Riley hadn't expected to hear singing throughout the show and when Princess Pearl (Emily Benjamin) began to sing, he quietly whispered in my ear "Well that was a lovely surprise!"

Photo credit: Helen Maybanks

The cast featured Elliot Mackenzie in his professional debut as Zog; Emily Benjamin (Bat Out of Hell) as Princess Pearl; Robert Ginty (Salome and Coriolanus, Royal Shakespeare Company) as Sir Gadabout the Great; Euan Wilson (Stick Man, UK Tour) as Madame Dragon; and Dixie McDevitt (National Youth Theatre alumni) as Ensemble.

All of them were funny and engaging, as well as being highly talented, as they provided an entertaining performance consisting of drama, music, dance and puppetry. Children amongst the audience were giggling right from the opening scene, which soon turned into loud laughter later in the show, once we were introduced to Sir Gadabout the Great. He delivered an hilarious act along with a memorable song, that my son Riley has been singing at home ever since.

There was an equal combination of the use of puppets and actors and I felt that this worked well. The actors ensured that there was a connection with the audience, as well as interaction in parts, whilst the puppets added a magical element that delighted the children, especially when the dragons began to fly. The puppets themselves were absolutely stunning and have clearly been created with care and attention to detail, with striking colours and friendly faces.

One thing that I particularly enjoyed about the show, was the way that it had been paced. It was fast moving and entertaining, which ensured that even the youngest of children could remain focused and interested in what was happening on stage. I have found in the past that Riley can become disengaged if there is too much dialogue, but this show provided the perfect mix of words and song, which meant that any potential for boredom, was kept firmly away.

Photo credit: Helen Maybanks

Overall, we found this show to be a wonderful adaptation of a book that we know and love. It is the perfect introduction to theatre for children and we saw plenty of babies and toddlers in attendance too. The running time is just short of an hour, which means that it is the perfect length of time to keep children interested and amused. The cast are an excellent example of skilled performers who ensure that the story is told in an entertaining and comical manner, as well as presenting themselves as very likeable characters. My six year old loved it and is looking forward to telling his friends all about it!

I would also like to add that from a venue persepective, I was very impressed by how attentive the Storyhouse staff were to the children in attendance. From welcoming smiles, friendly chats and the handing out of stickers, we found everyone to be extremely courteous and professional in providing a family-friendly theatre environment.

For more information on Zog Live and the upcoming tour locations, you can visit the Freckle Productions website or their social media pages on the following channels:

Website - https://www.freckleproductions.co.uk/
Facebook - facebook.com/FreckleProductions/
Twitter - @Freckle_Prods
Instagram - @freckle_productions

To find out more about Storyhouse then you can visit their website or social media on the following channels:

Website - www.storyhouse.com
Facebook - facebook.com/storyhouselive
Twitter - @storyhouselive
Instagram - @storyhouselive

Photo credit: Helen Maybanks

Disclaimer: We were provided with complimentary tickets for the purpose of writing an honest review of the show. All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. 

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Zog Flies Into Storyhouse, Chester from the 5th-7th April 2019 - Preview

My family and I are huge fans of books written by Julia Donaldson and all three of my children have grown up enjoying her wonderful stories of fun and adventure. We were therefore really excited to learn more about the hotly anticipated family stage show of Zog, which will be flying into Storyhouse in Chester, next week!

Tickets are on sale now for this wonderful production of Zog, which is based on the book by Julia Donaldson with illustrations by Axel Scheffler. The show is currently embarking on a UK tour, which started earlier this month in Leeds and it will be at Storyhouse from Friday 5th of April to Sunday 7th April for a total of six performances.


The stage adaptation of the book is suitable for children and families of all ages. It will tell the story of Zog who is large in size and very keen in nature. He is eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon's school, where dragons learn all the things that dragons need to know. Zog tries so very hard, perhaps too hard, and he bumps, burns and roars his way through years one, two and three. Luckily, the plucky Princess Pearl patches him up ready to face his biggest challenge yet.....a duel with a knight, Sir Gadabout the Great!

The world of Zog will be brought to life on stage by a skilled team of actor-puppeteers, using handcrafted puppets that have been designed and created by Little Angel Theatre co-founder Lyndie Wright. It is adapted and directed by Mike Shepherd (founder and artistic director of Kneehigh), with an original folk score by Johnny Flynn (currently starring in True West in the West End), and designs by Katie Sykes (Jane Eyre at the National Theatre).

Photo credit: Helen Maybanks

The cast features Elliot Mackenzie (professional debut) as Zog; Emily Benjamin (Bat Out Of Hell) as Princess Pearl; Robert Ginty (Salome and Coriolanus, Royal Shakespeare Company) as Sir Gadabout the Great; Euan Wilson (Stick Man, UK Tour) as Madame Dragon; and Dixie McDevitt  (National Youth Theatre alumni) as Ensemble.

Zog is produced by Freckle Productions and Rose Theatre Kingston. Freckle Productions' most recent show is Tabby McTat, an adaptation of the book by Julia Donaldson, following their acclaimed productions of Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales and Stick Man.

Completing the creative team are movement director Tom Jackson Greaves (Billionaire Boy, UK Tour), lighting designer Ric Mountjoy (The Play that Goes Wrong), sound designer Julian Starr (Violet, Charing Cross Theatre), puppet designer Lyndie Wright (Little Angel Theatre), puppet director Sarah Wright (Kneehigh's Brief Encounter), and movement and circus consultant Tina Koch.

Tickets for this wonderful production are on sale now, priced at £16 for adults and £14 for children. Each ticket is also subject to a booking fee of £1.50. Group rates are also available.

Photo credit: Helen Maybanks

Listing Details

Show: Zog
Venue: Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2AR
Dates: Friday 5th April to Sunday 7th April 2019
Times: Friday 5th April - 4:30pm / Saturday 6th April - 11am, 2pm, 4pm / Sunday 7th April 11am, 2pm.
Tickets: Adults £16 / Children £14 - each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee / Group 10+ £12.50 each.
Duration - Approximately 1 hour.
Booking: This can be done online at www.storyhouse.com, by calling 01244 409113 or by visiting the ticket kiosks at Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2AR

For further details you can visit the Storyhouse website, or their social media pages on the following channels:

Website - www.storyhouse.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/storyhouselive
Twitter - @storyhouselive
Instagram - @storyhouselive

Photo credit: Helen Maybanks

*Disclaimer - This post has been written based on a press release provided by BEA.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Annie the Musical at Storyhouse, Chester - A Review

Annie was such an iconic film from my childhood and I have so many memories of watching the video repeatedly with my cousins, whilst making up our own dance routines to 'Hard Knock Life'.  It is a movie that I have never tired of and still watch regularly with my own children. Although the film was based on the Broadway Musical (and the comic book Little Orphan Annie before it), it is certainly the screen adaptation that I am most familiar with. As a result, I had mixed feelings of intrigue and excitement, as to whether the stage version could live up to my expectations -  well you can bet your bottom dollar that Annie the Musical absolutely did!

Annie the Musical tells the tale of a young red haired girl, who dreams of finding her parents and enjoying a life outside of the orphanage. Her determined attitude and loveable charm, lead to her finding a home with billionaire Mr Warbucks, though her quest to find her real parents takes a sad turn when she finds out they have sadly passed away. However, Annie certainly finds happiness in the end with her unexpected father figure Daddy Warbucks, along with his assistant Grace Farrell firmly by her side.

As soon as the show commenced, there was energy in abundance and we were quickly introduced to the fiesty and strong-willed attitude of the orphans. They presented an enjoyable rendition of 'Hard Knock Life' that immediately drew you into the performance and it was clear from the start that we were in for an enjoyable evening of entertainment. The younger stars of the show most certainly shine throughout, in what is an undeniable demonstration of exceptional young talent.

Annie was played by Ava Smith (one of three Annie's on the tour), who was magnificent in the starring role. She is clearly a child with extraordinary talent and this was undoubtedly obvious every single moment that she was on the stage. I particularly enjoyed the performance of  'I Don't Need Anything But You', where clever and well thought out choreography brought together a wonderful routine, with both Annie and the senior cast members.


I felt that the show was well paced and there was never a dull moment as we were taken from one showstopper to the next, with an impressive 30's flair. The set and costumes were all in keeping with the era and there has clearly been a great attention to detail in the wardrobe department, to ensure that the outfits matched both the story and time period that they were representing.

There was a static jigsaw themed surrounding which never changed throughout the show, but instead the sets and props would be moved and introduced on to the stage, which worked really well. I also felt that this was complimented skillfully, by the lighting effects that illuminated the sets and highlighted the characters superbly.

Prior to the show, I was initially unsure as to how I would perceive Anita Dobson as Miss Hannigan. Despite the fact that she has taken on numerous characters over the years, she has always stood out to me as being Angie Watts from Eastenders and I therefore had a slight concern that I wouldn't be able to see past that. However, Anita Dobson soon cast aside any earlier doubts that I had and convincingly demonstrated a child-hating, alcohol loving, orphanage owner. She was a delight to watch and made the role her own, whilst delivering powerful vocals and impressive choreographed moves with ease. My particular favourite of the night was 'Easy Street', when combined with the talents of Rooster (Richard Meek) and Lily (Jenny Gayner), provided a perfectly executed delivery of a thoroughly entertaining act. Her quirkiness and facial expressions added a comical element to her portrayal and she ultimately suited the role perfectly.


Carolyn Maitland excels as Warbuck's assistant Grace Farrell, with a stunning voice that immediately commands your attention. Her vocal skills are evident during the song 'N.Y.C' and her acting ability ensures that the warmth and kindness of the character are exhibited throughout the show. I loved her on stage chemistry with Mr Warbucks (Alex Bourne) who had the perfect blend of formidable businessman combined with charismatic charm. His soft side was soon displayed upon meeting the inquisitive and delightful Annie and he exhibited a believable father and daughter relationship.

A special mention also has to be given to the beautiful dog Amber, who was absolutely pawsome in the role of Sandy and if anything I would have liked to have seen more of her. I was surprised to find that the song 'Dumb Dog' had been omitted from the show, which I personally think is a shame as it would have been lovely to have seen more of the companionship between them.

Overall Annie the Musical completely lived up to my expectations and whilst the stage version differs somewhat from the well known movie, it did not disappoint. My inner-child was desperate to sing along and it was great to be able to enjoy some of the new musical numbers, with Hooverville and N.Y.C being particularly enjoyable. Featuring a wonderful cast and strong ensemble, Annie is packed full of enough upbeat performances to keep the audience captivated. It is a wonderful, feel-good, family friendly production, that is guaranteed to leave a smile on your face.

Listing Details

Show: Annie the Musical
Venue: Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2AR
Dates: Monday 25th March to Saturday 30th March 2019
Booking: This can be done online at www.storyhouse.com, by calling 01244 409113 or by visiting the ticket kiosks at Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2AR

For further details you can visit the Storyhouse website, or their social media pages on the following channels:

Website - www.storyhouse.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/storyhouselive
Twitter - @storyhouselive
Instagram - @storyhouselive


Disclaimer: We were provided with complimentary tickets to review the show. Opinions and thoughts are my own. Images are from a previous show not the performance that we attended.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

The Wizard of Oz at Storyhouse, Chester - Review

On Thursday evening we were invited along to the press night of The Wizard of Oz at Storyhouse in Chester. This is one of our favourite venues in the area and we are very lucky to live less than ten minutes away from such a fantastic arts centre. We have been to a few performances here and have always been very impressed by the quality of the shows on offer. The Wizard of Oz was no exception and we followed Dorothy and her friends along the yellow brick road, in a wonderful and well thought out production.

Image kindly provided by Storyhouse
The show was very similar to the film with only a few variations arising from some modern interpretations. We really enjoyed the staging from the beginning and it was great for my daughter to see how the story began and relate it to the characters that Dorothy would meet once in Oz. I did however feel that the introduction was perhaps slightly too lengthy, though that being said I can understand why they have chosen not to rush this part, so that the audience can fully appreciate the relationships between Dorothy, her friends and family.

Consuela Rolle has been cast in the lead role of Dorothy and her portrayal was magnificent throughout. Her energy and enthusiasm ensured that guests remained entertained as the story was performed on stage. I felt that she connected with the audience well and there was a believable vulnerability from the character. When her journey began along the yellow brick road, she was able to exhibit her fear of the unknown, whilst also ensuring that she had a vibrant and positive personality to help lead her new found friends to the merry old land of Oz.

Our favourite scene from the show was actually very early in the production, when Dorothy first met the Munchkins (performed by children from House of Dance). The talented skills of the children involved are highly commendable and their performance of Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead was absolutely superb. We loved that the choreography had a modern twist, featuring dance moves that the children in the audience could relate to.

Image kindly provided by Storyhouse
The first friend that Dorothy makes on her journey, is that of the scarecrow, played by Natalie Woods. We all agreed that her acting was wonderful and it was great to see her interaction with Dorothy, which created a convincing friendship.

Ben Oliver's interpretation of the Tin Man brought happiness and laughter to the audience, especially during his explanation as to how he came to be created of Tin. Watching the friendships develop was exciting to see and although we were familiar with the story, there was still an element of intrigue as to what might happen next.

The cowardly lion (Richard Colvin) introduced an element of comedy, which I did feel was needed at times and this could have potentially been pushed further, with the inclusion of a few more witticisms. He played the role really well and soon established himself as a very loveable character. He was in fact our favourite performer of the show and we enjoyed the humour that he delivered.

Kenny Thompson appears as both Uncle Henry and The Emerald City Guard and admittedly we much preferred him in the latter role. We loved the powerful performance he presented in Oz, that made me want to sing and dance along. This was complemented by Natasha Bain who starred as Aunt Em and Glinda the Good Witch, who created a loving but authoritive figure in both roles.

Fergus Rattigan delighted as the intriguing and powerful Wizard of Oz as well as Professor Marvel and I really enjoyed both of his characters. The clever use of technology featured throughout the show, but I particularly liked how this was used to deliver his booming voice over video projection.

Of course the Wizard of Oz wouldn't be complete without The Wicked Witch of the West. This was played by Zara Ramm who had a very commanding stage presence. Her performance was strong, but at no point did I feel that it would be too scary for younger audience members, which helps to make it more family friendly.

I felt that all of the musical performances throughout the show were really entertaining and consisted of perfectly timed choreography, beautiful vocals and plenty of enthusiasm and gusto. Particular highlights included Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Follow the Yellow Brick Road and also the inclusion of Jitterbug.

Overall we thoroughly enjoyed the Wizard of Oz, but with a running time of 2 hours and 30 minutes it is perhaps a little too lengthy for younger audience guests. I think if we had brought my five year old along then he would have definitely got restless at some point. For older children and adults though, then this is a commendable production with magnificent staging, lighting and sound. It was great to see a show of this quality in the local area and it also offers something a little different for a Christmas production. Ultimately it is a well written musical, with a credible cast that offer a talented interpretation of an iconic story.

The Wizard of Oz is appearing at Storyhouse, Chester on various dates until Sunday 6th January 2019, with ticket prices starting from £15. For the most up to date information or to book tickets, you can visit the Storyhouse website here: Storyhouse Chester

Image kindly provided by Storyhouse
Disclaimer: We were invited as guests to the press night performance of The Wizard of Oz for the purpose of writing an honest review of our experience. All opinions and thoughts are my own unless stated otherwise. Images kindly provided by Storyhouse.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Dates for your Diary - The Gruffalo's Child Comes to Storyhouse this Autumn on the 30th-31st October

Smash-hit West End show The Gruffalo's Child Live comes to Storyhouse in Chester later this month as part of a nationwide tour.

No Gruffalo should ever set foot in the deep dark wood...so join The Gruffalo's Child on her adventurous mission in Tall Stories' magical, musical adaptation of the much-loved picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

The Gruffalo's Child Live comes to Storyhouse in Chester for three performances only. The show can be seen at 2pm on Tuesday 30th October, and on Wednesday 31st October at 11am and 2pm. Tickets are on sale now.

One wild and windy night, The Gruffalo's Child ignores her father's warnings about the Big Bad Mouse and tiptoes out into the deep dark wood. She follows snowy tracks and encounters hungry woodland creatures - but the Big Bad Mouse doesn't really exist...does he?

This musical adaptation of the popular children's book guarantees entertainment for all ages. Songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged 3 upwards and their grown-ups, in the hugely popular show that's toured Britain and the world.

The cast features Althea Burey as The Gruffalo's Child; Georgia Wall as Mouse; Jack Kelly as The Gruffalo and Predators; and Christopher Smart (understudy / assistant stage manager).

Image Credit: ©Lesley Cook Headshots
Internationally acclaimed theatre company Tall Stories brings The Gruffalo's Child Live to Storyhouse  as part of a major UK and international tour, which forms part of Tall Stories' 21st anniversary season and will showcase the production's new set and costumes.

Tall Stories' hit musical adaptation of the award-winning sequel to The Gruffalo (published by Macmillan Children's Books) is "everything good children's theatre should be" (The List). Tall Stories brings great stories to life for audiences of all ages.

The Gruffalo's Child Live is produced by award-winning theatre company Tall Stories  - a creative force whose productions include The Gruffalo, the Olivier Award Nominated Room on the Broom, The Snail and the Whale and The Snow Dragon. The creative team includes Director Olivia Jacobs, Creative Producer Toby Mitchell, Designer Isla Shaw, Composers John Fiber and Andy Shaw of JollyGoodTunes, and Lighting Designer James Whiteside.

The company is a registered charity which tours the UK and the world with its exciting blend of storytelling theatre. Tall Stories was founded in 1997 by co-directors Olivia Jacobs and Toby Mitchell. Tall Stories shows have played in the West End, on Broadway, in the Sydney Opera House as well as all sorts of venues and countries in between.

Tickets are on sale priced at £14 (each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee).

Further information can be obtained from the following website or social media channels:

Websites - www.tallstories.org.uk or www.gruffaloschildlive.com
Facebook - @tallstoriestheatre or gruffchildlive
Twitter - @tallstoriesnews or @gruffchildlive

Listing Details

Show - The Gruffalo's Child Live
Venue - Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR.
Dates - Tuesday 30th October and Wednesday 31st October
Times - Tues 2pm / Wed 11am and 2pm
Tickets - £14 (each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee)

Suitable for youngsters aged 3 upwards.
Duration approximately 55 minutes with no interval

Tickets can be booked by visiting the Storyhouse website at www.storyhouse.com, by calling 01244 409133 or in person at the Ticket Kiosks at Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR.

Website - www.storyhouselive.com
Facebook - www.facebook.com/storyhouselive
Twitter - @storyhouselive

Image Credit: ©Lesley Cook Headshots
Disclosure: This is a press release from Storyhouse. All details are believed to be correct at time of publishing, however I would always recommend visiting the venue's own website in order to obtain the most up to date information. 

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Anita Dobson To Star As Miss Hannigan In UK Tour of Annie Coming to Storyhouse Chester in March

Michael Harrison and David Ian are delighted to announce that Anita Dobson will star as 'Miss Hannigan' in their smash hit production of the musical "ANNIE" playing at Storyhouse, Chester from 25th March to the 30th March 2019. Further casting is to be announced.

This production recently ran for an extended season in the West End following a sell-out tour of the UK and Ireland in 2015/2016 as well as a recent sell-out season in Toronto.

As Angie Watts in Eastenders, Anita 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 Millie", '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'.

"ANNIE" has Music by Charles Strouse, Lyrics by Martin Charnin and a Book by Thomas Meehan. "ANNIE" is directed by Nikolai Foster with set and costume design by Colin Richmond, choreography by Nick Winston, lighting by Ben Cracknell and sound design by Richard Brooker. "ANNIE" is produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian.

Listing Details

Show: Annie the Musical
Venue: Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2AR
Dates: Monday 25th March to Saturday 30th March 2019
Booking: This can be done online at www.storyhouse.com, by calling 01244 409113 or by visiting the ticket kiosks at Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2AR

*Disclaimer - Details provided are correct at time of writing, but are of course subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the venues own website, in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Dates for your Diary - World Premiere Stage Adaptation of Zog Comes to Storyhouse, Chester in April

Freckle Productions and Rose Theatre Kingston are delighted to announce the world premiere stage adaptation of Zog, based on the book by Julia Donaldson with illustrations by Axel Scheffler, which will fly into Storyhouse, Chester from Friday 5th April to Sunday 7th April on its first ever UK Tour.

Large in size and keen in nature, Zog is so eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon's school, where dragons learn all the things that dragons need to know. Zog tries so very hard, perhaps too hard, and he bumps, burns and roars his way through years one, two and three. Luckily, the plucky Princess Pearl patches him up ready to face his biggest challenge yet....a duel with a knight, Sir Gadabout the Great! Zog promises to be roaring fun for all ages.


Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's much-loved Zog is adapted and directed by Mike Shepherd (founder and Artistic Director of Kneehigh) with an original folk score by Johnny Flynn (award-winning actor and singer-songwriter with The Sussex Wit) played live on stage. It is designed by Katie Sykes (Jane Eyre at the National Theatre, A Monster Calls at The Old Vic).

Zog is produced by Freckle Productions, whose most recent production is Tabby McTat, an adaptation of the book by Julia Donaldson, following their acclaimed productions of Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales and Stick Man.

Julia Donaldson said today: "I'm tremendously excited that Zog will be taking flight around the UK in this first ever stage production. Going to the theatre can be a truly magical experience, I know it will be such a thrill to see the world of Zog being brought to life on stage."

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are the UK's number one picture book pair and are creators of many modern classics, including The Gruffalo which is in 75 languages.

Zog was first published in 2010 and won the Galaxy National Children's Book of the Year Award. It has gone on to become a perennial bestseller. For Christmas 2018, Magic Light Pictures will premiere an animated film of Zog on BBC One featuring an all-star cast, following their award-winning films such as The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and Stick Man.

Suitable for children and families of all ages.

For further information you can visit the Zog Live website or alternatively their social media pages which can be found on the following channels:

Website: www.ZogLive.com
Twitter: @Freckle_Prods
Facebook: www.facebook.com/FreckleProductions
Instagram: @Freckle_Productions

Listing Details

Show - Zog
Venue - Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR
Date - Friday 5th April 2019 to Sunday 7th April 2019
Times - Various performance times, please visit the website for more information.
Ticket Prices - Prices vary, please visit the website for more information.
Box Office - 01244 409113
Website - www.storyhouse.com

Friday, 24 August 2018

Dates for your Diary - Bing Live! to Visit Chester & St Helens in September

Calling all "Bingsters"! Bing and his friends are going on tour in the first ever Bing stage show! Bing Live! kicked off in St Albans at the Alban Arena in June and will play at Storyhouse in Chester and St Helens Theatre Royal in September.

Join Bing, Sula, Coco and Pando as they learn how to tell stories by pretending, dressing-up and singing songs. Flop and Amma are there to help, but in this magical world of make-believe things don't always go according to plan...

The CBeebies favourites are brought to life in a brand new stage production full of fun, laughter, music and magical puppetry. Bing Live! is the perfect first theatre trip for pre-schoolers and their families. Going to the theatre... it's a Bing thing!

Photo credit: Johan Persson
The cast of Bing Live! are Mia Jerome, Michael Magennis, Hayley Murray, Will Palmer, Alice de Warrenne and Nia Walsh.

Bing Live! is produced by Minor Entertainment (In the Night Garden Live) and directed by Will Tuckett, guest principal character artist of the Royal Ballet, whose production of Wind in the Willows won an Olivier Award for Best Entertainment in 2014.

The show also brings together a first-class creative team. Bing Live is adapted for the stage by Helen Eastman with costumes and puppet design by Tahra Zafar. As Head of Costume, Hair and Make-up for the Olympic and Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies staged in London, 2012, Tahra managed the production of 23,000 costumes for all four Ceremonies. Her film projects include: Star Wars VII The Force Awakens, X-Men First Class, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and The Fifth Element and for television : In the Night Garden, Zingzillas and The Aventures of Abney and Teal.

The show has music by Alex Silverman, sound by Rich Walsh and set design by Samuel Wyer.

Since its launch on Cbeebies, Bing has been a huge ratings hit and is the number one pre-school show on BBC iPlayer. Celebrating the joyful, messy, reality of preschool life, Bing finds the big stories in the smallest moments that little ones and the grown-ups in their lives will recognise...whether it's dropping your ice cream or losing your favourite toy.

The series has won an International Emmy Award in the Kids' Pre-School category in 2016, a Writer's Guild Award and a BAFTA nomination for Best Pre-School Series. The animated series, which saw Mark Rylance make his children's television debut voicing Flop, is produced by Acamar Films.

For more information please visit www.bingliveshow.com

Listing Details

Chester

Venue - Storyhouse Chester, Hunter Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2AR
Show - Bing Live!
Dates - Wednesday 5th September to Thursday 6th September
Times - Performance times vary, so please visit the website for the most up to date information.
Tickets - Prices vary.
Box Office - 01244 409113
Storyhouse website - www.storyhouse.com
Twitter - @StoryhouseLive
Facebook - StoryhouseLive

St Helens

Venue - St Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1LQ
Show - Bing Live!
Dates - Tuesday 18th September to Wednesday 19th September
Times - Performance times vary, so please visit the website for the most up to date information.
Tickets - Prices vary

Box Office - 01744 756000
Website - www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com
Twitter - @TheatreRoyalStH
Facebook - www.facebook.com/St-Helens-Theatre-Royal

Photo Credit: Johan Persson
*Disclaimer - Information correct at time of writing, however I would always recommend visiting the venues own website, in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Dates for your Diary - The Musical "Annie" is coming to Storyhouse, Chester next March 2019!

Michael Harrison and David Ian are delighted to announce that their smash hit production of the musical "Annie" will embark on a UK tour opening at the Manchester Opera House on Saturday 9th February 2019.

Photo credit: Paul Coltas
This production recently ran for an extended season in the West End following a sell-out tour of the UK and Ireland in 2015/2016 and will open later this month in Toronto.

The tour will visit Storyhouse, Chester from the 25th to the 30th March 2019, and tickets go on sale on Tuesday 1st May.

The full tour schedule is below with further dates and casting to be announced soon at www.anniethemusicaltour.uk.

Set in 1930's 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 a 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'.

"Annie" has music by Charles Strouse, Lyrics by Martin Charnin and a Book by Thomas Meehan.

"Annie" is directed by Nikolai Foster with set and costume design by Colin Richmond, choreography by Nick Winston, lighting by Ben Cracknell and sound design by Richard Brooker.

"Annie" is produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian.

Listing Details

Show: Annie the Musical
Venue: Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2AR
Dates: Monday 25th March to Saturday 30th March 2019
Booking: This can be done online at www.storyhouse.com, by calling 01244 409113 or by visiting the ticket kiosks at Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2AR
(Tickets go on sale on the 1st May 2018).

Photo credit: Paul Coltas
Full Tour Dates

Saturday 9th February to Saturday 16th February 2019
Manchester Opera Housewww.atgtickets.com/venues/opera-house-manchester
On sale 1st May 2018

Tuesday 19th February to Saturday 23rd February 2019
Wolverhampton Grand Theatre - www.grandtheatre.co.uk
On sale 1st May 2018

Monday 4th March to Saturday 9th March 2019
New Theatre Oxford - www.atgtickets.com/venues/new-theatre-oxford
On sale 1st May 2018

Monday 18th March to Saturday 23rd March 2019
Bristol Hippodrome - www.atgtickets.com/venues/bristol-hippodrome
On sale 1st May 2018

Monday 25th March to Saturday 30th March 2019
Storyhouse Theatre, Chester - www.storyhouse.com
On sale 1st May 2018

Monday 1st April to Saturday 6th April 2019
Hull New Theatre - www.hulltheatres.co.uk
On sale 1st May 2018

Monday 15th April to Saturday 20th April 2019
King's Theatre, Glasgow - www.atgtickets.com/venue/kings-theatre
On sale 1st May 2018

Monday 22nd April to Saturday 27th April 2019
Bradford Alhambra - www.bradford-theatres.co.uk
On Sale 14th May 2018

Tuesday 30th April to Saturday 4th May 2019
Mayflower Theatre, Southampton - www.mayflower.org.uk
On sale 1st May 2018

Monday 13th May to Saturday 18th May 2019
Venue Cymru, Llandudno - www.venuecymru.co.uk
On sale 4th May 2018

Monday 20th May to Saturday 25th May 2019
Nottingham Theatre Royal - www.trch.co.uk
On sale 1st May 2018

Monday 27th May to Saturday 1st June 2019
Cliff's Pavilion Theatre, Southend - www.southendtheatres.org.uk
On sale 1st May 2018

Monday 10th June to Saturday 15th June 2019
New Victoria Theatre, Woking - www.atgtickets.com/venues/new-victoria-theatre
On sale 1st May 2018

Monday 17th June to Saturday 22nd June 2019
The Orchard Theatre, Dartford - www.orchardtheatre.co.uk
On sale 31st May 2018

Monday 24th June - Saturday 29th June 2019
Livepool Empire Theatre - www.atgtickets.com/venues/liverpool-empire
On sale 1st May 2018

Monday 1st July - Saturday 6th July 2019
Milton Keynes Theatre - www.atgtickets.com/venues/milton-keynes-theatre
On sale 8th May 2018

Further dates to be announced.

Photo credit: Paul Coltas
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Information written is believed to be correct at time of writing, but would always recommend visiting the companies own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.