Posts

Full cast announced For The UK Tour of the new musical The Band as the advance box office tops a record-breaking £10million

LtoR Jayne McKenna, Emily Joyce, Rachel Lumberg, Alison Fitzjohn credit Matt Crockett (Amanda Malpass's conflicted copy 2017-06-09)
LtoR Jayne McKenna, Emily Joyce, Rachel Lumberg, Alison Fitzjohn credit Matt Crockett (Amanda Malpass's conflicted copy 2017-06-09)

LtoR Jayne McKenna, Emily Joyce, Rachel Lumberg, Alison Fitzjohn credit Matt Crockett

The full cast are now announced for David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and Take That’s UK Tour of Tim Firth’s new musical, THE BAND, with the music of Take That.  The tour will begin at Manchester Opera House on8 September, with a national press night on Tuesday 26 September 2017.  The advance box office for the tour has now topped a record-breaking £10million.

Joining the previously announced AJ Bentley, Nick Carsberg, Curtis T Johns, Yazdan Qafouri and Sario Solomon, collectively known as 5 to 5, winners of BBC’s Let It Shine, who will play The Band, Rachel Lumberg as Rachel and Faye Christall as Young Rachel, will be Emily Joyce as Heather, Alison Fitzjohn as Claire, Jayne McKenna as Zoe, Katy Clayton as Young Heather, Sarah Kate Howarth as Young Claire, Lauren Jacobs as Young Zoe, Rachelle Diedericks as Debbie, Martin Miller as Jeff and Andy Williams as Dave.

AJ Bentley studied dance before taking part in Let It Shine.  Nick Carsberg was a classic car restorer before taking part in Let It Shine.  Curtis T Johns has been a songwriter for the last eight years, writing for artists such as Matt Cardle and Ray Quinn.  He also owns and runs a rugby club in his home city of Leeds.  Yazdan Qafouri is originally from Iran, but was raised in the North East of England.  Sario Solomon made his professional debut at the age of 11 in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Rachel Lumberg’s most recent tours include This Is My FamilyThe Full MontyDandy Dick and Calendar Girls.  Faye Christall’s theatre credits include Broken Biscuits (Paines Plough), Gone Viral (St James Theatre) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), and she is part of the Cirque Du Soleil Company.

Emily Joyce’s television credits include series regulars Jill in My Almost Famous Family, Sarah Fletcher inMutual Friends and Janet Dawkins in My Hero.  Her most recent theatre includes Judy in the West End production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.  Alison Fitzjohn has just finished as assistant director and performer in David Walliams’s tour of Gangsta Granny.  She also played The Queen of Hearts/Duchess in the Olivier-nominated immersive production of Alice’s Adventures Underground by Les Enfants Terribles.  Over the past 12 years, Alison has performed all over the world in Horrible HistoriesBarmy Britain and Horrible Science.  Jayne McKenna’s recent theatre credits include Rose Naracott in War Horse in the West End, Sylvia in This Happy Breed for the Peter Hall Company, Lily Gibb in Men Should Weep at the National and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth at the Northcott Theatre.  She also appeared in the film version of the National Theatre’s production of London Road as Imelda.

Katy Clayton made her first TV appearance at the age of six on Coronation Street.  She appeared in various TV shows such as CasualtyShameless and Waterloo Road and played series regular Samantha Booth in Where the Heart Is for four years.  Sarah Kate Howarth’s theatre credits include Copycat(Southwark Playhouse), Whistle Down The Wind (Union Theatre), Tess of the D’Urbervilles (New Wimbledon Theatre) and Spring Awakening (Edinburgh Fringe).  Lauren Jacobs and Rachelle Diederickswill be making their professional debuts in THE BAND.

Martin Miller’s recent theatre includes Antonio in The Revenger’s Tragedy and Keith Haines in Darkness, both for Nottingham Playhouse, two UK tours of The Full Monty as Dave, and Alfred Hitchcock in The Lovesong of Alfred J Hitchcock (Leicester Curve, UK Tour and Brits Off Broadway).  Andy Williams’s recent theatre credits include Arnold in Hir (Bush Theatre), Giles/Captain in Emma Rice’s production of Rebecca(Plymouth Theatre Royal/Tour), The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre), Ted Narracot in War Horse (New London Theatre) and Albert/Fred/Stephen in Kneehigh Theatre’s Brief Encounter.

THE BAND is a new musical about what it’s like to grow up with a boyband.  For five 16 year-old friends in 1992, ‘the band’ is everything.  25 years on, we are reunited with the group of friends, now 40-something women, as they try once more to fulfil their dream of meeting their heroes.

THE BAND will be directed by Kim Gavin and Jack Ryder, designed by Jon Bausor and choreographed by Kim Gavin, with lighting design by Patrick Woodroffe, video design by Luke Halls and sound design by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster.

THE BAND will be produced by David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen, Robbie Williams

Website – www.thebandmusical.com

Twitter – @TheBandMusical

Instagram – BandMusical

Facebook – /TheBandMusical

 

The Band

Bristol Hippodrome

17 April 2018 – 28 April 2018

Mon – Thu eves 7.30pm

Fri 5pm & 8.30pm

Wed & Sat 2.30pm

Tickets from £23.40

Concessions available at certain prices and performances

,

Advance Box Office Tops £10M as Full Cast announced for UK Tour of The Band

THE GIRLS to Tour in 2018, as London Season ends 15 July

The Girls
The Girls

The Girls

David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers, the producers of Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new musical comedy, THE GIRLS, based on the true story, the film and the award-winning play by Tim Firth, Calendar Girls, have announced that the production will return home to Yorkshire and open at the Leeds Grand Theatre on 15 August 2018 and visit 42 theatres across the United Kingdom.

The critically acclaimed and award-winning production will complete its six-month London season at the Phoenix Theatre on Saturday 15 July 2017, and, before that, this musical comedy played sold-out seasons in Leeds and Manchester.

David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers said, “We are so proud and thrilled with this production, and we want to take it to everyone who wants to see it in the country, and at prices they can afford.”  Gary Barlow and Tim Firth added, “We are delighted with the reception our musical has received in Leeds, Manchester and now London, and are thrilled that the show will be visiting towns and cities up and down the country, so that more people can get a chance to see it and, we hope, will also fall in love with THE GIRLS.”

THE GIRLS is inspired by the true story of a group of ladies, who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar in order to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital, in memory of one of their husbands, and have to date raised almost £5million for Bloodwise.  This musical comedy shows life in their Yorkshire village, how it happened, the effect on husbands, sons and daughters, and how a group of ordinary ladies achieved something extraordinary.

Gary Barlow and Tim Firth grew up in the same village in the north of England and have been friends for 25 years.  With Take That, Gary has written and co-written 14 number one singles, has sold over 50 million records worldwide and is a six times Ivor Novello Award winner.  Tim has won the Olivier Award and UK Theatre Award for Best New Musical, and the British Comedy Awards Best Comedy Film for Calendar Girls.

THE GIRLS is produced by David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and The Shubert Organization.

Bloodwise, the UK’s specialist blood cancer charity, will receive monies from this production.

Website               www.thegirlsmusical.com

Twitter                 @thegirlsmusical

#TheGirls

Facebook            www.facebook.com/TheGirlsMusical

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Phoenix Theatre

110 Charing Cross Road

London WC2H 0JP

Box Office: 0844 871 7629

Ticket Prices: From £19.50

Performances: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday matinee at 2.30pm

Booking Period:  Until 15 July 2017

Running Time: 2½ hours including interval

 

 

Take That and David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers present the new musical The Band, written by Tim Firth, with the music of Take That

AJ Bentley, Yasdan Qafouri, Sario Watanabe-Soloman, Nick Carsberg & Curtis T Johns,
AJ Bentley, Yasdan Qafouri, Sario Watanabe-Soloman, Nick Carsberg & Curtis T Johns,

AJ Bentley, Yasdan Qafouri, Sario Watanabe-Soloman, Nick Carsberg & Curtis T Johns, © Jay Brooks

David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and Take That have announced that the UK Tour of Tim Firth’s new musical, THE BAND, with the music of Take That,  will have a major UK Tour, beginning at Manchester Opera House on 8 September, with a national press night on Tuesday 26 September 2017.

The producers made the announcement yesterday, Sunday 2 April, on stage at the Manchester Apollo (where Take That first performed in 1992), following a rapturous reception to a rehearsed reading of the new musical in front of an audience of invited guests, from fans to friends.

Take That said, “We are incredibly proud and excited that our first production as theatre producers is THE BAND – a musical that we think will touch the hearts of not just our fans, but everyone.”

THE BAND is a new musical about what it’s like to grow up with a boyband.  For five 16 year-old friends in 1992, ‘the band’ is everything.  25 years on, we are reunited with the group of friends, now 40-something women, as they try once more to fulfil their dream of meeting their heroes.

The Band will be played by AJ Bentley, Nick Carsberg, Yazdan Qafouri Isfahani, Curtis T Johns and Sario Watanabe-Soloman, who, as Five to Five, won BBC’s Let It Shine.  Playing the parts of Rachel and Young Rachel will be Rachel Lumberg and Faye Christall respectively.  Further casting is to be announced.

THE BAND will be directed by Kim Gavin and Jack Ryder, designed by Jon Bausor and choreographed by Kim Gavin, with lighting design by Patrick Woodroffe, video design by Luke Halls and sound design by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster.

THE BAND will be produced by David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen, Robbie Williams.

Website – www.thebandmusical.com

Twitter – @TheBandMusical

Instagram – BandMusical

Facebook – /TheBandMusical

 

TOUR SCHEDULE

Manchester Opera House

8 September 2017 – 30 September 2017

 

Sheffield Lyceum Theatre

4 October 2017 – 14 October 2017

 

Bradford Alhambra Theatre

17 October 2017 – 28 October 2017

 

Southampton Mayflower Theatre

31 October 2017 – 11 November 2017

 

Llandudno Venue Cymru

14 November 2017 – 25 November 2017

 

Stoke Regent Theatre

28 November 2017 – 9 December 2017

 

Cardiff Wales Millennium Centre

9 January 2018 – 20 January 2018

 

Liverpool Empire Theatre

23 January 2018 – 3 February 2018

 

Norwich Theatre Royal

6 February 2018 – 17 February 2018

 

Canterbury Marlowe Theatre

20 February 2018 – 3 March 2018

 

Hull New Theatre

6 March 2018 – 17 March 2018

 

Leeds Grand Theatre

20 March 2018 – 31 March 2018

 

Newcastle Theatre Royal

3 April 2018 – 14 April 2018

 

The Bristol Hippodrome

17 April 2018 – 28 April 2018

 

Birmingham Hippodrome

1 May 2018 – 12 May 2018

 

Plymouth Theatre Royal

15 May 2018 – 26 May 2018

 

Northampton Royal & Derngate

29 May 2018 – 9 June 2018

 

Nottingham Theatre Royal

12 June 2018 – 23 June 2018

 

Glasgow King’s Theatre

26 June 2018 – 7 July 2018

 

Edinburgh Playhouse

10 July 2018 – 14 July 2018

 

Facebook @bristolhippodrome

Twitter @bristolhipp

Instagram @bristolhipp

,

First Look – THE GIRLS Opening Night, Tuesday 21 February

,

‘The Girls’ boasts a solid female cast, inventive design and score and makes for a successful screen-to-stage transfer

The Girls

Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s The Girls 

Phoenix Theatre, London.  

[wp-review id=”6447″]

The Girls

The Girls © Carl Woodward

Following a ‘tryout’ last year at The Leeds Grand Theatre and The Lowry in Manchester, ‘The Girls’ boldly finds itself lighting up the West End. Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new musical – based on the 2003 film Calendar Girls, is a delight to behold.
The solid female cast, inventive design and score, make for a successful screen-to-stage transfer. Joanna Riding as Annie is a safe pair of hands,providing a poignant portrayal of marital loss; how will she cope alone in Tesco and Scarborough?
Firth’s production, Lizzi Gee’s musical staging and Tim Lutkin’s lighting, between them, overcome the problem of putting topography on stage; transporting us to Yorkshire Dales. Robert Jones’s set comprises moving kitchen cabinets, inventively framed, creating a dynamic landscape.
Debbie Chazen as Ruth with her “Russian Friend”, gives us a brutal, but hilarious glimpse at the place we feel most afraid to look when everything ahead seems too much to bear. There are some wonderful ensemble performances from the cast. Firth’s staging boasts half a dozen spot-on performances.
In a show with patchwork lyrics, plenty of Northern humour and more than a few cliches, the score is somewhere between mid-tempo and up-tempo, and breezes along for a good stretch with age-defying liberation.
The book is good enough as entertainment, with meaningful overtones of love and loss, rendered with authentic emotional effectiveness.
There is not a weak link in the casting, but the standout performance comes from the bereft Annie, so beautifully full of life. Things really get going in Act Two with the cheeky ladies doing traditional WI things like jam-making and floristry in the nude for their fundraising calendar.
At times Firth and Barlow’s production underuses its design and is a little laboured, but beneath its veneer ‘The Girls’ reminds us that true friendship can overcome even the most challenging of times.

Some photos from THE GIRLS Opening Night, Tuesday 21 February 2017

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Footage and photos from last night’s Gala for the Gary Barlow & Tim Firth musical The Girls

FOOTAGE OF ARRIVALS AT THE PHOENIX THEATRE ON 20TH FEBRUARY 2017

Celebrity guests, who were in the presence of HRH The Duke of Kent and HRH The Countess of Wessex, included Graham Norton, Phillip Schofield, Mel Giedroyc, Mark Owen, Ore Oduba, Marc Almond, Michael Ball, Angus Deayton and John Sergeant. At the curtain all, the cast were joined on stage by writers Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, producers David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and Bob Wankel of The Shubert Organization, and the original Calendar Girls.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The ‘Girls’ are played by Debbie Chazen, Sophie-Louise Dann, Michele Dotrice, Claire Machin, Claire Moore and Joanna Riding. THE GIRLS is directed by Tim Firth.

Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new British musical is based on the inspiring true story about a group of ladies who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar in order to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital, in memory of one of their husbands – they have to date raised over £4million for Bloodwise.

,

Gary Barlow & Tim Firth’s The Girls wins at WhatsOnStage Awards ahead of opening on Tuesday 21 February 2017 at the Phoenix Theatre

The Girls
The Girls

The Girls © Matt Crockett

Gary Barlow and Tim Firth triumphed tonightSunday 19 February 2017, ahead of the opening of their musical THE GIRLS in London’s West End on Tuesday 21 February.  At an awards ceremony at the Prince of Wales Theatre, they won the prestigious WhatsOnStage Award for Best Regional Production.  Gary and Tim and the original Calendar Girls were given a rapturous reception from an audience made up of stars from all the West End shows after Gary, Tim and Joanna Riding performed Scarborough, a song from their musical.

Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new British musical, THE GIRLS, is based on the true story, the film and the award-winning play by Tim Firth, Calendar Girls.  The West End premiere at the Phoenix Theatre, which began previews on 28 January 2017, follows sold-out runs at the Grand Theatre Leeds and the Lowry Salford late 2015/early 2016.  In the West End, the producers have made a commitment to there being no ‘premium-rated’ seats, no booking fees and reduced price previews.

The ‘Girls’ are played by Debbie Chazen as Ruth, Sophie-Louise Dann as Celia, Michele Dotrice as Jessie, Claire Machin as Cora, Claire Moore as Chris and Joanna Riding as Annie.  Also in the cast will be Joe Caffrey as Rod, Jeremy Clyde as Denis, John Davitt as Doctor, Soo Drouet as Brenda, James Gaddas as John, Jenny Gayner as Miss Wilson (coffee), Steve Giles as Lawrence, Maxwell Hutcheon as Colin, Shirley Jameson as Miss Wilson (tea), Marian McLoughlin as Marie, Judith Street as Lady Cravenshire and Jane Lambert, Rebecca Louis, Victoria Blackburn and Frazer Hadfield, and introducing Josh Benson as Tommo, Ben Hunter as Danny and Chloe May Jackson as Jenny.

THE GIRLS is inspired by the true story of a group of ladies, who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar in order to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital, in memory of one of their husbands, and have to date raised almost £5million for Bloodwise.  This musical comedy shows life in their Yorkshire village, how it happened, the effect on husbands, sons and daughters, and how a group of ordinary ladies achieved something extraordinary.

Gary Barlow and Tim Firth grew up in the same village in the north of England and have been friends for 25 years.  With Take That, Gary has written and co-written 14 number one singles, has sold over 50 million records worldwide and is a six times Ivor Novello Award winner.  Tim has won the Olivier Award and UK Theatre Award for Best New Musical, and the British Comedy Awards Best Comedy Film for Calendar Girls.

THE GIRLS is directed by Tim Firth, with musical staging by Lizzi Gee, comedy staging by Jos Houben, design by Robert Jones, lighting design by Tim Lutkin, sound design by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster, musical direction and orchestrations by Richard Beadle, with casting by Sarah Bird, and associate producer is U-Live.

THE GIRLS is produced by David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and The Shubert Organization.

Bloodwise, the UK’s specialist blood cancer charity, will receive monies from this production.

Website            www.thegirlsmusical.com

Twitter               @thegirlsmusical

#TheGirls

Facebook          www.facebook.com/TheGirlsMusical

 

67 Year-old Understudy Judith Street makes West End Debut in Leading Role in Gary Barlow & Tim Firth’s THE GIRLS

Judith Street

In spite of intensive medical treatment, Michele Dotrice, who has never missed a performance in her entire career, has been diagnosed with acute bronchitis and therefore unable to perform for the time being.

Judith Street

Judith Street, at 67 to debut as Jessie in The Girls

The part of Jessie in Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new British musical, THE GIRLS, will now be played by Judith Street, who at 67 is making her West End debut in a leading role.  For her, this is a dream come true.Gary Barlow and Tim Firth said, “Having seen Judith in rehearsals, how lucky we are that an actress such as she will be playing the part of Jessie.”

THE GIRLS is based on the true story, the film and the award-winning play by Tim Firth, Calendar Girls.  Performances began at the Phoenix Theatre on 28 January 2017 and THE GIRLS officially opens on Tuesday 21 February.  The West End premiere follows sold-out runs at the Grand Theatre Leeds and the Lowry Salford late 2015/early 2016.  In the West End, the producers have made a commitment to there being no ‘premium-rated’ seats, no booking fees and reduced price previews.

Performing alongside Judith Street as the ‘Girls’ will be Debbie Chazen as Ruth, Sophie-Louise Dann as Celia, Claire Machin as Cora, Claire Moore as Chris and Joanna Riding as Annie.

THE GIRLS is inspired by the true story of a group of ladies, who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar in order to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital, in memory of one of their husbands, and have to date raised almost £5million for Bloodwise.  This musical comedy shows life in their Yorkshire village, how it happened, the effect on husbands, sons and daughters, and how a group of ordinary ladies achieved something extraordinary.

The Girls

The Girls

Gary Barlow and Tim Firth grew up in the same village in the north of England and have been friends for 25 years.  With Take That, Gary has written and co-written 14 number one singles, has sold over 50 million records worldwide and is a six times Ivor Novello Award winner.  Tim has won the Olivier Award and UK Theatre Award for Best New Musical, and the British Comedy Awards Best Comedy Film for Calendar Girls.

THE GIRLS will be directed by Tim Firth, with musical staging by Lizzi Gee, comedy staging by Jos Houben, design by Robert Jones, lighting design by Tim Lutkin, sound design by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster, musical direction and orchestrations by Richard Beadle, with casting by Sarah Bird, and associate producer is U-Live.

THE GIRLS will be produced by David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and The Shubert Organization.

Bloodwise, the UK’s specialist blood cancer charity, will receive monies from this production.

Website               www.thegirlsmusical.com

Twitter                 @thegirlsmusical

#TheGirls

Facebook            www.facebook.com/TheGirlsMusical

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Phoenix Theatre

110 Charing Cross Road

London WC2H 0JP

Box Office:  0844 871 7629

Ticket Prices:

Previews: £25 / £35 / £45 / £55

After 24 February: £29.50 / £49.50 / £59.50 / £69.50

Group Rates: 6+ from £29.50

Performances:  Monday to Saturday at 7.30pmThursday and Saturday matinee at 2:30pm

Running Time: 2½ hours including interval

,

FIRST LOOK – Rehearsal Photos for Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new British musical, THE GIRLS

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photo Credit -Matt Crockett

Starring Debbie Chazen (Topsy-Turvy, Smoking Room, Psychoville), Sophie-Louise Dann (Bend It Like Beckham, Made in Dagenham, Lend me a Tenor in the West End), Michele Dotrice (Nell Gwynn, The Importance of Being Earnest and When We Are Married in the West End and BBC1’s Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em), Claire Machin (My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, Betty Blue Eyes and Memphis), Claire Moore (Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and London Road) and Olivier Award-winner Joanna Riding (Carousel, My Fair Lady).

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR THE GIRLS

THE GIRLS is based on the inspiring true story about a group of ladies who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar in order to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital, in memory of one of their husbands – they have to date raised almost £5million for Bloodwise. Directed by Tim Firth, with musical staging by Lizzi Gee, comedy staging by Jos Houben, design by Robert Jones, lighting design by Tim Lutkin, sound design by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster and musical direction and orchestrations by Richard Beadle, the musical comedy shows life in their Yorkshire village, how it happened, the effect on husbands, sons and daughters, and how a group of ordinary ladies achieved something extraordinary.

THE GIRLS is produced by David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and The Shubert Organization.