In the first week of the month, there are three performances at the Storyhouse Chester. One of the funniest shows ever written, with belly laughs guaranteed, The Suicide is audio described on Wednesday, 4 March at 19:30. Simon is a man on the edge. With his life falling apart, he starts to contemplate his own end. What should be a simple tragedy, becomes a total farce as this quick-paced, high-stakes comedy is dragged kicking and screaming into 21st century Chester.
Based on the true story of the women who fought to gain the same qualifications as men, Blue Stockings is audio described on Thursday, 5 March at 14:30. It is 1896. Tess Moffat and her fellow first-years are allowed to attend University, just like the young men, but aren’t allowed to graduate. Four defiant young women battle the cruelty of class divides, the distractions of love and the men ready to do anything to stop them, as they fight to change the future of education. The Suicide and Blue Stockings will be described by Anne Hornsby.
British-Hong Kong playwright Amy Ng has adapted the thrilling psychological classic, Miss Julie, into a new politically-charged production that is audio described on Sunday, 8 March at 14:30. It’s Chinese New Year in 1940s Hong Kong and celebrations are in full swing. Julie, the daughter of the island’s British Governor, crashes the servant’s party downstairs. What starts as a game descends into a fight for survival as sex, power, money and race collide on a hot night in the Pearl River Delta.
Deeply provocative and a topical drama that was nominated for an Olivier Award on its West End debut in 2015, Four Minutes, Twelve Seconds is audio described at the Oldham Coliseum on Thursday, 5 March at 19:30. Nothing dies online…except reputation. Seventeen-year-old Jack has a bright future ahead of him. His parents, Di and David, have devoted their lives to giving him every opportunity they never had. As a result, Jack is smart, outgoing, and well on his way to leaving Oldham to study law at university. But a startling incident threatens to ruin everything they've striven for: an intimate video of Jack and his girlfriend Cara has appeared online. As events begin to accelerate, Di and David start to doubt their son, his closest friends, and ultimately themselves – who can they trust? This story deals with how we see ourselves and others, the dangers of modern technology and how far parents will go to protect their children.
Miss Julie and Four Minutes, Twelve Seconds will be described by Chris Berry.
Beautiful, The Carole King Musical, returns to the Alhambra Bradford and is audio described by Anne on Saturday, 7 March at 14:30. Long before she was Carole King, the chart-topping music legend, she was an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent. This tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit song-writing team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation, with countless classics such as (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, Take Good Care of My Baby, You’ve Got a Friend, So Far Away, It Might as Well Rain Until September, Up on the Roof, and The Locomotion.
On the same day and time, one of the greatest musicals of all time returns to the stage in a magnificent production to enchant and enthral the young and the young at heart, as The Sound of Music is audio described at the Wolverhampton Grand. Based on Baroness Maria Von Trapp’s 1949 autobiography, this wonderfully lavish new staging of this production tells the true story of the world-famous singing family, from their romantic beginnings and search for happiness, to their thrilling escape to freedom as their beloved Austria becomes part of the Third Reich at the start of WWII. The unforgettable score features some of the most memorable songs ever performed on stage, including Edelweiss, My Favorite Things, Do-Re-Mi, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, and of course, the title song, The Sound of Music. The Sound of Music will be described by Theo Hornsby.
The worldwide smash hit musical by Queen and Ben Elton, We Will Rock You, is coming to Venue Cymru and is audio described by Anne on Wednesday, 11 March at 19:30 and on Thursday, 2 April at 19:30 at the Liverpool Empire. The multi-million-pound show dazzles all the senses in breath-taking style. Guaranteed to blow your mind, this musical phenomenon is not to be missed!
Making its world premiere at HOME Manchester, Insane Animals is audio described on Friday, 13 March at 19:30. It is an epic joyride from the dawn of civilisation to the sequinned near future. With the planet in chaos and humanity hurtling towards extinction, two hyper-glam aliens arrive on earth with a simple mission: to help the human species survive. But first they just have to figure out what makes humans human… how hard can it be? Insane Animals will be described by Theo.
Radio City is under threat, the accountants have been in and the whole station is set to be replaced by a feed direct from London and the famous tower will be shut down and turned into the world’s tallest Home and Bargain, as Pete Price is Dead is audio described by Anne at the Royal Court Liverpool on Wednesday, 25 March at 20:00. They’ve got one chance of survival, a rich American has arrived and is about to buy the station to keep it in Liverpool. The deal goes through today but only if all of the presenters sign up to the new schedule. There’s only one problem… Pete Price is dead. Written by Radio City’s Leanne Campbell and directed and developed by Stephen Fletcher, this is an uproarious new comedy about what happens when the biggest mouth in Liverpool gets permanently shut. Can Leanne and Producer Archie (Ray Quinn) stash the body and keep the investors happy? Who will get Pete’s parking space? What will happen to his huge collection of celebrity selfies?
Tune in to find out what happens when Pete tunes out.
Direct from London and featuring many of the original West End cast, On Your Feet is audio described at the Leeds Grand on Thursday, 26 March at 19:30. This ‘exhilarating extravaganza’ (WHATSONSTAGE) is the inspiring true love story of Emilio and Gloria and charts their journey from its origins in Cuba, onto the streets of Miami and finally to international superstardom. Featuring all of their smash hits including Rhythm Is Gonna Get You, Conga, Get On Your Feet, Don’t Want To Lose You Now, Dr. Bea t and 1-2-3 . Starring Philippa Stefani (RENT, In the Heights, Grease), as Gloria Estefan, George Ioannides (Annie, MAMMA MIA!, An Officer and a Gentleman) as Emilio Estefan, Madalena Alberto (Evita, Cats, Les Misérables) as Gloria Fajardo and Karen Mann (Sister Act, Fiddler on the Roof, Sweeney Todd) as Consuelo. On Your Feet will be described by Pat Hayes.
Our Lady of Blundellsands is a hilariously twisted comic drama written for the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse by Jonathan Harvey, award-winning creator of Gimme Gimme Gimme and Beautiful Thing and you can catch it audio described by Anne on Thursday, 26 March at 19:30. It’s about families and fantasies, honesty and lies – and about how heartbreaking great comedy can be. It’s no secret that Sylvie is unravelling. Frozen in time in her Blundellsands house, she inhabits a fantasy world that never was. Garnet, her sister, is older and wiser – and wearier, with her shopping lists and tired love. She’s always fanned the flames of Sylvie’s fantasies. Because if she didn’t… who knows where they’d both end up? But now the whole family’s up in Liverpool for a birthday, and Garnet’s got a secret of her own to pass on. There’ll be a party… but it’s not going to be pretty. Welcome to a family more messed up than your own.
To end the month on Saturday, 28 March, there are two fantastic audio described performances both at 14:30. Written by Willy Russell, the legendary Blood Brothers is on at the Wolverhampton Grand, whilst the fabulous musical Mamma Mia! Is on at the Royal Concert Hall Nottingham. Theo will describe Blood Brothers, whilst Anne is with Mamma Mia!
Going into April, on Saturday 4th, you can catch two great audio described performances both at 14:30. It's murder putting on a new musical (literally) as Curtains is on at the Wolverhampton Grand. Jessica Cranshaw, star of the new Broadway-bound musical Robbin Hood, has been murdered on stage on opening night! The entire cast and crew are suspects. Time to call in the local detective, Frank Cioffi, who just happens to be a huge musical theatre fan. With a nose for crime and an ear for music, Frank has his work cut out trying to find the killer whilst giving the show a lifeline. Starring Jason Manford (The Producers, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Guys and Dolls), Strictly Come Dancing winner Ore Oduba and Carly Stenson (Les Miserables, Legally Blonde, Shrek, Spamalot and Hollyoaks), this hilarious whodunnit is packed full of catchy songs, unforgettable characters and plot twists galore! From creators of Cabaret and Chicago, this Tony award-winning backstage murder mystery musical will have audiences laughing and guessing right to the final curtain.
Winner of the 2018 Alfred Fagon Award, Winsome Pinnock’s astonishing new play, Rockets and Blue Lights is on at the Royal Exchange Manchester. 'I am the slave ship. Wrecked. Empty. I am a shark, livid with the desire for blood. I am the sea, boiling with fury.' Amid the gloom of Victorian England, Thomas, a black sailor prepares to take one last voyage, while an ageing Turner seeks artistic inspiration in a half-remembered story. In 21st Century London, an actress finds herself handcuffed by history – two centuries after abolitionists won her ancestors their freedom. This story retells British history through the prism of the slave trade. Fusing fact with fiction, past with present, the powerfully personal with the fiercely political, this epic production asks who owns our past - and who has the right to tell its stories?
Also in March you can catch David Thacker’s production of Happy Days at the Library Theatre, Bolton and there are audio described tours at The Portico on March 16, for The Portico Library.
Talking Sense: The changing vocabulary of mind and brain and at Tate Liverpool on March 21st for the THEASTER GATES exhibition.
We look forward to welcoming you soon and also wanted to let you know that the new season for the Octagon Theatre is now onsale!