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Ian Cheeseman: Break-a-Leg

This is the time of year when you are spoilt for choice if you want to have an evening in the theatre. March is the month when the big musicals take to the stage at our wonderful Am/Dram societies.


In Hyde, it’s Jekyll & Hyde at the Festival Theatre from 20th to 23rd by Hyde Musical Society while Dukinfield Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society bring down the curtain, for the final time, before their amalgamation with Ashton Operatic Society. DAODS’s final production is Open All Hours at Hurst Community Centre from 14th to 16th March. Ashton OS’s final show isn’t until May when they perform West Side Story at the George Lawton Hall.

Hyde Musical Society have Into the Woods at Hyde Festival Theatre from 15th to 19th March, Mossley Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society are rehearsing for Ghost the Musical, which will be at the George Lawton Hall in late April, but slightly further afield Romiley Operatic Society have Priscilla Queen of the Desert at Stockport Plaza from 12th to 16th March.

In the professional World, Pretty Woman, with a soundtrack written by Canadian rocker Bryan Adams, is at the Palace Theatre in Manchester for the next couple of weeks while the much celebrated actor Ian McKellen plays Falstaff in Player Kings, Shakespeare’s Henry 4th pts 1 & 2, at the Opera House.

Over in Salford, the Lowry has Twelve Angry Men in one of their theatres while Unfortunate, the untold story of Ursula the Sea Witch, is in the other. In April they have Cluedo 2, the Next Chapter, the Mousetrap and the debut of the new Jack Godfrey musical 42 Balloons. Slightly further afield an adaption of the Jane Austin classic Northanger Abbey is at the Octagon in Bolton from 1st to 23rd March. I told you that you’d be spoilt for choice.

Personally, my highlight of February was seeing The Time Travellers Wife for a final time last week, when I took my wife down to the West End for the Wednesday matinee. I’ve talked about the show before and it’s certainly become one of my favourites. I’m a bit of a softy, so the sentimental story about the romance between Henry, who travels uncontrollably in time, and Clare really got into my soul. I do hope it tours and you get the chance to see it too.

This week I got a second chance to see Pretty Woman, the musical version of the film starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. I’d seen it at the Savoy Theatre in London and could resist the £27 tickets for the Wednesday afternoon show at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. Yes, it is possible to see top class professional theatre for a very reasonable price.

I’ve been along to a rehearsal of Jekyll & Hyde this week to speak to a couple of the cast members and as it’s a show I’ve never seen, I can’t wait to see it on stage from 20th to 23rd March at Hyde Festival Theatre.

As always, you can join me from 7pm this Sunday evening and then again the following Wednesday at 9pm to share my passion for live theatre. My guests this week are John Wood, the director of Six :Teen Edition, which is at Playhouse 2 in Shaw from 25th to 31st March. John is on the committee at Congress Players. He tells me how they raise money for worthy causes as well as entertaining their audience. You’ll also hear from Matthew Eames, head of programming at the Lowry Theatre and AK Golding, who’s in Northanger Abbey at Bolton’s Octagon. That’s Break-a-Leg on Tameside Radio 103.6FM, I hope you can join me!


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