Commissions welcomed! We are available for Radio and TV work, Event Compering, PR and Media Consultancy, Ghostwriting
- also foreign language translation and interpreting in French, German, Italian, Spanish and a bit of Dutch and Czech....

Thursday, 31 March 2011

"Britain Does Variety" at Blackpool Winter Gardens - Bellydance Interview

Blackpool's own Belly Dance Troupe the Belly Dance Dolls will be taking part in a variety contest at the Winter Gardens on Saturday 30th April hoping to qualify for the national finals and possibly win the chance to perform at the O2 Arena.

Sahara and the girls will be appearing on our "Best Kept Secrets In Conversation" show on Preston FM on Friday 8th April at 7pm talking all about belly dancing, the variety competition and their recent appearance on television.

You can hear a short preview clip now by clicking on the icon below:


To find our more about bellydancing and the Belly Dance Dolls, visit their website at: http://www.belly-dance-dolls.co.uk/

For more information about the Britain Does Variety competition, click here: http://www.britain-does-variety.co.uk/  

Easter Jazz Weekend At North Euston Hotel, Fleetwood


Theres top jazz music on offer at the North Euston Hotel in Fleetwood over  the Easter weekend with
concerts on both the Good friday and Saturday evening and a special all inclsuive offer for eople wishing to stay for the whole weekend.

Special guest musician on both nights will be highly rated guitar and banjo player Spats Langham.
For bookings, go to the hotel website at http://www.northeustonhotel.com/

The weekend is being organised by Mike Lovell, who will talking about it in our radio show on Preston FM on Friday 8th April at 7pm. In the meantime, you can hear a short interview clip with Mike now by clicking on the sound icon below:  

CD Release: "Passionate Nature" by Kath Reade - available to mail order


Track Listing: 
1.Jenny / 2.A Warmer Place / 3.Katrina / 4.Song of Irish Exile / 5.Coyote / 6.Privileged Man  / 7.You Know Me  / 8.On a Viking Sailing Ship / 9.Goldfinches  / 10.Far Off Distant Mountain / 11.Inventory / 12.Miner of the Coal

To purchase your copy of the CD or to find out more about Kath Reade and her music, visit her website: http://www.kathreade.co.uk/ 

We had a great chat with Kath and heard all about her songwriting. We will be featuring the interview in our "Best Kept Secrets...In Conversation" show on Preston FM on Friday 8th April at 7pm but if you can't wait until then, you can hear a short clip now by clicking on the icon below:
 

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Review: David Whitaker Exhibition at Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool - on until 14th May

If you haven't been to the Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool recently - or, indeed, ever - then why not...? Admittedly, it doesn't help that the Central Library next door is shut for refurbishment but the Grundy is still open and it is FREE to get in.

In fact, with the current climate of cuts across the nation, I would urge everybody to go and visit the Grundy Art Gallery NOW - even if you are not really interested in what may be on show - because there may, otherwise, come a time when some beancounter somewhere decides that it's not worth keeping open and then there wouldn't be an exhibition venue available for the more "popular" things - such as the mary Wells / Motown exhibition that was there a while back.

Now, we are not art experts so what you are getting here is really the thoughts of the average man/woman who walks in off the street out of curiosity. Robin Ross, however, DOES know a thing or two about art and, with him having been my boss for a while, I thought we'd better follow his recommendation and go and have a look...

David Whitaker was, in fact, born in Blackpool and studied art at the Blackpool & Fylde Art School before moving to London in the 1950s to be a graphic designer.

Wikipedia can explain his style much better than I can, so here's what they have to say : "David Whitaker (8 June 1938- 15 March 2007) was a British abstract artist and an art teacher. His works in oils and watercolour are characterised by their use of straight lines of seven colours: two shades of yellow, cadmium red, magenta, viridian, and two shades of blue. His paintings were created in layers, using tape to create straight-sided stencils. The final effect, only revealed when the tape was removed, produced a shimmering graduation of colour from stripe to stripe over the canvass".

At first glance, many of the works displayed here make you think of those "Magic Eye" pictures that they had in the 1980s where you stare at an elaborate abstract pattern until some hidden image appears. Luckily you don't have to stare too hard at these pictures looking for some hidden gem as the gem is - for the most part - already clearly on display and, as many of these works are "wall size", you don't have to squint to see them.

Bright colours, interesting patterns, contrasts of tones and textures are what you get with this David Whitaker exhibition. Despite not normally being too keen on "modern art" Lucy especially liked the "Moby Dick" series of three sea-pattern pictures while I went for the two works entitled "Untitled" which had more clearly defined shapes and patterns in a rather Piccaso-eque work.

If you have the time, go and have a look upstairs as well. It's worth it just to enjoy the splendour of the Grundy building itself and there are some Whitaker's Panza series of 12 paintings reflecting the zodiac. Other highlights of the exhibition would have to include "Grassroots In The Key of Red and Green", "Icarus" - a sort of vortex on a greeny background and "Graveyards of France" which, if you look closely, does reveal rows and rows of crosses behind the swirling pattern.

So, if you are interested in art, this exhibition is definitely worth a visit. If you don't think you are interested in art - why not give it a go - it may surprise you. There is also an exhibition of hand crafted jewellery made by local artists and the Grundy building itself is well worth a look as well.

The David Whitaker exhibition is on at the Grundy Art Gallery on Queen Street, Blackpool FY1 1PX until 14th May 2011

Admission is FREE and Opening times are Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm. Open Bank Holidays during April and May 11am to 4pm. Closed Sundays and during exhibition installations.

Too find out more about the Grundy Art Gallery, check out their website at: http://www.http//www.grundyartgallery.com/

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Vote For Kerry - Miss Professional Competition - ends 2nd April

Reigning Miss Fylde Coast Kerry Capoverde is appearing in the final of the "Miss Professional" beauty competition this Saturday. Miss Professional acts as a qualifier for the Miss England competition, the winner of which qualifies to take part in Miss World 2011!

The public vote runs until  7pm on Saturday 2nd April and Kerry is asking for all her friends and supporters to back her in this important quest.

To find out how you can vote for Kerrry - or, indeed, any of the other finalists - and to see the rules of the comppetition, follow this link:  
http://www.missengland.info/regionals/professional

Monday, 28 March 2011

Roddy Radiation & SkaFace At Layton Institute - 9th April

There's a great opportunity to see original member of The Specials RODDY RADIATION live on stage in Blackpool as he make a guest appearance with local ska covers band SKAFACE at the Layton Institute on Saturday 9th April.

Tickets £5 from Layton Institute, The Galleon, or by sending cash or cheque (PAYABLE TO ZEST) to: Ska Face Command, The Old Bank, Green Meadow Lane, Hambleton, FY6 9AL. You can also call in to collect from Hambleton during office hours.

Tickets are selling FAST and numbers are limited.
http://www.skaface.net/   or look up ska faces on Facebook





FlashMob Dance In Nelson - 9th April!

Pendle Leisure Trust is working in partnership with Ludus Dance to find out the demand for dance in Pendle. Working with different community groups, workshops teaching a whole range of dance styles will be held next week and will culminate in a Flashmob dance involving as many people as possible on April 9th.

Phil Storey, Chief Executive for Pendle Leisure Trust, said: “We have some fantastic private dance schools in the area that teach to a high skill level, but we feel there isn’t enough provision for people who want to dance without having to take exams. We want to look at how we can provide dance for everyone.”

To test this theory, Ludus is running this series of workshops and taster sessions. This will culminate in a Flashmob dance on Saturday, April 9th and afterwards there will be a chance for everyone involved in the workshops to come together and share what they have learned over the week.

Mr Storey added: “We are really excited about this and we hope as many people as possible will join us for this pretty unique event.

“We are working with lots of different partners and Ludus Dance to ultimately come up with a dance strategy for Pendle and open up more opportunities for all our different communities.

“Pendle Leisure Trust has sports centres that are open to all and now we want to fill the gap for dance.”

Ludus Dance is based in Lancaster and offers community dance classes, develops community projects and creates original contemporary dance performances for young people and families.

Join in the Ludus Dance Flashmob in Nelson on April 9th. The exact location and time are being kept under wraps for the time being. But in preparation, click on the video link below to watch and learn the routine and then come along on the day and join in the fun! It should be quite a spectacle – make sure you are part of it!

Full details will be announced soon - keep checking the Ludus Dance website!http://www.ludusdance.org/dance-development/pendle-flash-mob-dance

Review: On The Ball with Tommy Docherty, Municipal Hall, 25th March

We were fortunate enough to spend a couple of hours in the company of one of the great living legends of football on Friday evening as Tommy Docherty came to Colne as part of his "On The Ball" speaking tour.

Having been involved in football for over 70 years as a junior, professional, manager, pundit and after dinner speaker, Docherty has fascinating stories  and he kept the audience enthralled with his humourous reminiscences.

From when he got the push from his first job as a window cleaner because he "couldn't stand heights", through his playing career at Celtic:  " take that Rangers forward out of the game - what for ever or just for today...?" 

and Preston North North End to the turbulent times as a manager with, among others,  Chelsea, Manchester United and Queens Park Rangers, Tommy told of how he turned down Panathenaikos because he didn't like the Greek military junta and why he was sacked by Manchester United within days of winning the FA Cup for running off with the physio's wife..!

The second half of the show was given over to questions from the audience and Tommy was invited to give his views on such varied topics as his all time best Manchester United 11, what makes somebody a good manager (it's difficult to say...) , who's his top player in the world ("Lionel Messi...") and would Burnley win promotion this season  ("no...").

Tommy has a great reputation as an after dinner speaker at sportsmens events but this occasion gave an opportunity for what Tommy refers to as "Mr and Mrs Public" to hear his stories and ask him questions.

While all of his stories were interesting, one the more fascinating things he said as far as we were concerned was why gave up his dream job of managing the Scottish National Team to go and manage Manchester United. Tommy said that he missed the ‘day-to-day’ aspect of  running a football club and that having different players come together for just a few days at a time didn't really work.  He added that the players also find this difficult and that they are always happy when the international is over and they can go back to their clubs as well.  .

There are always discussions about why such and such player is good for his club but not for his country.. from what Tommy said, the whole international set up obviously needs a rethink!
 
Tommy Docherty is a fantastic speaker with a wealth of football knowledge and lots of funny stories. If you have the chance to go and hear him, do go along - we are sure you won't be disappointed! 

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Belly Dance Dolls At Britain Does Variety - 30th April.

The Belly Dance Dolls and the cream of Lancashire's talent will be appearing in the regional heat of "Britain Does Variety" at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool on Saturday 30th April.

Tickets are £10 each. For more information, go to:  http://www.britaindoesvariety.co.uk/.

The Belly Dance Dolls are a professional dance group based in Blackpool, Lancashire who specialise in authentic belly dance shows.

Formed by Sahara Bellydance, performer and teacher of bellydance cabaret fusion. The group includes Sahara, Maishka, Ariel and Zofia, all beautiful and glamorous dancers, that will leave your audience spell bound.

For more information, visit their website at: http://www.belly-dance-dolls.co.uk/

NOTE: WE WILL BE FEATURING AN INTERVIEW WITH SAHARA AND THE BELLY DANCE DOLLS IN OUR SHOW ON PRESTON FM ON FRIDAY 8th APRIL - YOU CAN HEAR A PREVIEW CLIP NOW BY CLICKING BELOW: 

Friday, 25 March 2011

Support Nicola's Charity Firewalk!


 
Nicola Rolfe-Haughton is taking part in a charity firewalking event at Mossley Football Club on Friday 1st April in aid of the Willow Wood Hospice in Ashton Under Lyme.  Here she explains why: 

"I lost my mum Rosalyn Rolfe (in photo) in October last year, following a courageous 9 month fight with Thyroid Cancer. Now summoning up an ounce of the courage she used I am going to complete a fire walk on behalf of Willow Wood Hospice, where she spent the final few weeks of her fight. Willow Wood is a purpose built Hospice that provides specialist Palliative Care to those suffering with life-threatening illnesses.

On three separate occasions they looked after my mum, the third time looking after the whole family too. The Hospice was designed with the needs of the patients and their families in mind and provides a warm and cheery atmosphere at such a terrible time in everyone’s life.

Everyone who visits Willow Wood is touched by the positive ambience. Please donate to this fantastic charity, which not only cared for and looked after my mum, but also took care of the whole family and allowed us to be there right to the end and at any time of the day or night. It currently costs around £2 million per year to run the Hospice, but no charge is made for any of their services – any donation, no matter how small, will be gratefully received by them and will help them support another family in the same way they supported ours."

You can help support Nicola's Firewalk by following this link: http://www.justgiving.com/Nicola-Haughton

To hear a short interview with Nicola, just click on the sound icon below:


Thursday, 24 March 2011

Des O'Connor At Blackpool Grand Theatre - 24th April

Spend a glamorous evening with world-class entertainer DES O’CONNOR at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre on Sunday 24th April.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see a true star of showbusiness live on stage as ultimate entertainer and charismatic chat show king Des O’Connor CBE brings an exceptional evening of comedy, laughter and music to Blackpool’s Grand Theatre on Sunday 24th April for one memorable night only.

Seats already selling fast! Book yours now!

Tickets £20.

Book your seats now by calling the Grand Theatre Box Office on 01253 290190, online at

http://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/ or at the Grand Theatre information sales point in the Houndshill Shopping Centre.

Win Tickets For Spamalot at Blackpool Grand Theatre!

Eric Idle’s ridiculously funny musical SPAMALOT rides into Blackpool’s Grand Theatre from Monday 18th  to Saturday 23rd April starring Phill Jupitus, Jodie Prenger & Todd Carty and there’s free tickets up for grabs for the Fylde Coast’s finest shrubbery!

Simply send in a picture of yourself/selves with a sophisticated piece of shrubbery - preferably a “nice one, that’s not too expensive” - and you could win SIX tickets for the opening night of Spamalot on Monday 18th April. And five lucky runners up will win a tin of spam – let’s not beat about the bush here, these are some great prizes.

Email your entries to competition@blackpoolgrand.co.uk before 10am on Monday 11th April and they will be displayed in glorious technicolour on the Grand Theatre’s website. The winner will drawn later that day (letting the Knights Who Say Ni have the final say of course).

For show information  or to book tickets, call the box office on 01253 290190 or visit the website:  http://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/

Meet The Cast of Thriller Live At HMV Blackpool, 29th March


The smash-hit show THRILLER Live rocks into Blackpool’s Grand Theatre from March 28th celebrating the unforgettable music of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5. Moonwalk down to HMV, Blackpool, on Tuesday 29th March and meet the cast and you could win tickets for the show! 
Cast members from the hit show THRILLER Live (including Michael Jackson!) will also be dancing down to the HMV store on Bank Hey Street in Blackpool on Tuesday 29th March from 12noon until 1pm so lucky fans can have their photo taken with the cast as well as have posters and leaflets signed.

There will also be competitions to win two family tickets to Thriller Live, plus two copies of the amazing new album Michael and 2 copies of the bestselling album Michael Jackson Number Ones which have been generously donated by HMV.

THRILLER Live at Blackpool’s Grand features a West End cast of sensational singers, fantastic dancers and a live band to bring the magic of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 to life and includes eye-popping multi-media effects and choreography by the show’s award-winning director Gary Lloyd (who has previously worked with artists including Leona Lewis, Will Young, Robbie Williams, and Girls Aloud).

THRILLER Live is also packed with over two hours of hit songs in a stunning show that pays homage to the world-class spectacle of Jackson’s legendary live performances. Expect your favourite Jackson songs delivered by an exceptionally talented cast and live band, including I’ll Be There, I Want You Back, Can You Feel It, She’s Out Of My Life, Smooth Criminal, Billie Jean, Earth Song and many, many more!
 
THRILLER Live will Rock With You at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre from Monday 28th March to Saturday 2nd April.Monday at 8pm, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday at 7.30pm, Friday & Saturday at 5pm and 8.30pm.
Tickets from £16.50. Concessions available.
Book your seats now by calling the Grand Theatre Box Office on 01253 290190, online at http://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/" www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk or at the Grand Theatre information sales point in the Houndshill Shopping Centre.


 

Review: Russian State Ballet of Siberia's Romeo & Juliet at Blackpool Grand Theatre

Rather spookily, we were transported back a week to "DrumChasters" - same place, same time - during the opening moments of the Russian State Ballet Of Siberia's production of Romeo and Juliet on Wednesday, 23rd March 2011 at the Blackpool Grand Theatre - there was the dramatic percussion, two differently dressed groups of people at war and a central figure akin to the caretaker and of course the love story.

This performance of Romeo and Juliet was held during the week of special celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of the saving of the Grand from bulldozers and featured once again, the company's full orchestra, which always makes for a very special evening's entertainment.

This time we were treated to Prokoviev's music, which we think is far more dramatic than the Tchaikovsky suite, which we heard for the company's previous production of Romeo and Juliet at the Grand with those amazing and stunning costumes.

This year's production seemed to concentrate more on the carnival party where Romeo and Juliet first meet. The costumes were simpler than last time - rather reminiscent of 1930s futurism.. (a bit "Flash Gordon"...) - but very effective. The stage lighting had a certain harshness to it which immediately dispelled any thoughts that this was going to be a light fluffy ballet and the fight scenes were very energetic and believable.  There was much use of masks and some very eerie Angels of Death. The nurse cut a suitably comic figure as did the court entertainers and quite possibly without meaning it, the image of the Prince at the begining separating the feuding clans had a hint of the Rick Wakemans about it.  

Several clever scene changes using curtains helped to give the idea of different venues and the wedding scene was particularly dramatic. Terrific performances from all those involved but especially from Romeo, Juliet, the Nurse and Tibault.

The dancers and musicians have a punishing tour this year - how on earth do they find time for classes and rehearsals, let alone looking after themselves...? -yet they always treat us to a truly dazzling ballet experience and we were not disappointed last night.

Still time to catch up with them - check out your local theatre.



Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Undertones CD Release - Damien O'Neill Interview Clip

I first came across The Undertones when the lyrics to “Jimmy Jimmy“ appeared in Smash Hits (don’t ask me how I missed “Teenage Kicks” on Top of the Pops but I obviously did...) and over a period of time I managed to save up enough 50ps to be able to buy the eponymous Undertones first album.

I was really a singles buyer in those days (most cash strapped teenagers were...) but for various reasons some lost in time, other still memorable (example: no picture sleeves left on the day I went to buy My Perfect Cousin...) I do not actually possess a single Undertones 7”...!

A friend of mine who I used to swap records with  subsequently bought the “Hypnotised” album so between us we were happy enough.

That being the case, this new collection of all the Undertones singles releases A sides and B sides is a pleasant revelation to me as there are quite a few songs on here that I have never heard before.

Listening now as a (fairly...) mature adult and with the benefit of almost 30 years of hindsight, I can fully appreciate the musical the development through “It’s Going To Happen” and “Wednesday Week” to “Julie Ocean” and beyond much better now than I could have done as a petulant teen.

I quite liked "It's Going To Happen" even back then - although not as a typical Undertones' song but absolutley hated “Julie Ocean” at the time as it was nothing like “Jimmy Jimmy” or “Get Over You” and didn’t seem to resemble punk,/new wave or teen culture in any way. Obviously a lot of the music buying public agreed as Undertones record sales slumped from that point on and the later single releases failed to reach the charts.

Having said that, Damien O’Neill said: “the music scene had changed and even if we’d released a new album full of “My Perfect Cousin” there’s no guarantee it would have been a success anyway” so maybe now - almost 30 years on - I can now see their point of view.

I am pleased to say that I no longer hate “Julie Ocean” and have discovered that I also like most of the material that I didn’t get to hear first time round. Lucy didn’t realise that she liked The Undertones but has now discovered that she knew all the big hits and liked all of them.

This compilation is interesting as CD1 follows the rise of the chart success– from “Teenage Kicks” to “My Perfect Cousin” while CD2 charts the fall, if you choose to look at it that way. The booklet has some interesting sleeve notes penned by bass player Mickey Bradley - who also wrote some of the songs – and his comments help to understand the feelings and frictions within the band at certain points in time.

Definitely worth a listen – check it out!

You can hear what Damien O'Neill says about the CD release by clicking on the sound icon here:  

The Undertones 2011 Tour - Exclusive Interview With Damien O'Neill

Click on the icon below to hear a brief interview clip with Damien O'Neill talking about The Undertones 2011 Tour. The full interview will be broadcast on Preston FM on Friday 8th April at 7pm.
The Undertones line up is: John O’Neill – Guitar, Damian O’Neill – Guitar, Paul McLoone – Vocals, Michael Bradley – Bass and Billy Doherty - Drums

UK Tour Dates:
31/03/2011 Glasgow King Tuts
01/04/2011 Birmingham O2 Academy 2
02/04/2011 York Fibbers
03/04/2011 Edinburgh Haddow Fest
07/04/2011 Nottingham Rescue Rooms
08/04/2011 Southampton The Brook
09/04/2011 Plymouth White Rabbit
10/04/2011 Bristol Thekla
14/04/2011 Liverpool O2 Academy 2
15/04/2011 Manchester Academy 3
16/04/2011 London The Garage

Were You A "Rocking Humdinger"...?
The band is also keen to reacquaint themselves with members of their former fan club, the Rocking Humdingers Club, and have put out a put a Missing Persons Search! Mickey Bradley of the band said: ‘‘We recently came across the original membership book containing the names of the Rocking Humdingers and thought it would be good to make contact again.”

The band hope to hear from these long-time fans and has promised the first 50 who get in touch free entry into a show of their choice, a copy of the record and a tour t-shirt. For more information see the band’s website http://www.theundertones.com/ or contact http://www.blogger.com/goog_1790486377








Review: PlayHouse Creatures at Blackpool Grand Theatre Studio, 17th March 2011

They say if you want something you only have to ask and it will come to you.

Walking down the High Street in Colne a few weeks ago, I noticed a poster for a play called “Playhouse Creatures” and it looked extremely interesting. I wanted to go but we weren’t going to be in East Lancashire when the production was scheduled to be on.

A few days later an invitation appeared on our Facebook page – the final year acting students from Blackpool and the Fylde College were putting on “Playhouse Creatures” in the Studio at the Grand Theatre on Thursday, 17th March. Lauren Carr – Miss Radio Wave 2010 and Miss Blackpool finalist – was appearing – would we like to attend? What an amazing coincidence. Would we!

With a little re-organising we were able to attend and also able to have tea at the newly-opened Blackpool branch of Nando’s opposite the Grand - but that’s another story!

I was swept away by the extremely high standard of acting of all those who appeared in “Playhouse Creatures”. It was obvious that a great deal of hard work and background research had gone into the preparation of the production. I had not seen the play before but came away refreshed, inspired and knowing just a little more than I did before. The story, for those who don’t know is of the trials and tribulations of the first women to act on the stage in this country. Prior to the reign of Charles II, only men could act – think “Shakespeare in Love”. It calls for a wide range of age groups and backgrounds and all those who took part made us believe we were in a 1660s London theatre.

In this modern day and age it is quite difficult for us to imagine how people actually were back in those days - apart from paintings, books and diaries etc so this 1997 work by April de Angelis really does give a fascinating insight.

Well acted throughout - wonderful scenery and delivery, humorous at times and sad at others,  we really enjoyed this production and feel that you would be hard pushed to find a superior version performed by any professional company.

Thank you to all who took part and especially to Lauren – once again – for telling us about the event. We felt we were watching the stars of the future.

Cast:

Mrs Marshall- Alison Burns
Mrs Farley- Linda Dixon
Nell Gwyn- Keleigh Denise Beasley
Doll Common-Tierny Booth.
Mrs Betterton- Lauren Carr
Mrs Barry-Helen Wright.
Otway-Thomas Briggs.
Earl of Rochester/ Wit -Stuart King.


Lucy London

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Review: Rodgers & Hammerstein American Song Book at Blackpool Grand Theatre, 20th March

Wonderful singing and a lovely setting in The Studio – a feeling of intimacy that you don’t get in a large theatre. Also the canapés and wine (with thoughtful addition of apple juice for those of us who can’t digest alcohol) added to a truly wonderful experience. Big thank you too to the staff of the Grand.

What amazing lyricists were Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II and wonderful musical scores penned by such greats as Jerome Kern, Sidney Romberg and, of course, Richard Rodgers really complement and enhance the lyrics and we came away in such a good mood after hearing such lovely songs as: "Ol Man River", Blue Moon" and "Edelweiss".

The first half of the show was rather innovative and informative as it examined works written by Rodgers and Hammerstein separately, before they teamed up as a duo. So we had such songs as "Indian Love Call" from the 1924 show Rose Marie where the words were co-written by Oscar Hammerstein with different composers and "Mountain Greenery" taken from the 1926 "Garrick Gaieties" show that Richard Rodgers wrote with Lorenz Hart.

Then we were treated to a sizeable slice of "Showboat", which Hammerstein wrote to go with Jerome Kern's music and also some excerpts from a less known operetta called "The New Moon" which Hammerstein wrote with Sidney Romberg.

Many songs of these early songs have, in fact, outlived the passing popularity of the shows that they were written for and remain huge numbers today. Many people will know Frank Sinatra's versions of "The Lady Is A Tramp" (added to the 1957 film version of "Pal Joey") and "Have You Met Miss Jones" without realising that they originally came from Rodgers' and Hart's 1937 shows "Babes in Arms" and "I'd Rather Be Right" respectively.

Similarly "My Funny Valentine" - again from "Babes In Arms"  and again resurrected on the silverscreen by Kim Novak in Pal Joey - has a timeless quality about it that ensured Lucy Fellows' haunting 2011 rendition was probably just as dramatic as the original stage performance would have been some 74 years previously.

The second half featured favourite songs from the works that Rodgers & Hammerstein produced together: "The Flower Drum Song", "The King & I", "South Pacific", "The Sound Of Music", "Carousel", "Oklahoma" - all well known and much loved tunes - and also a less well known piece, taken from the 1957 "Cinderella" musical written especially for CBS television and orinally starring Julie Andrews.

Director Andy Vitolo has obviously tried to make this more than just another "Songs From The Musicals" show. A black and white theme and minimal scenery and lighting gave the production a feeling crispness and modernity which contrasted nicely with the songs - some of which were almost 90 years old.

We got a really modern take on "When I'm Calling You..." presented with great humour by Michelle Reynolds and Jeremy Clark, some tongue in cheek ugly sisters, played by Lorraine May and Cheryl Finnigan and a very striking Howard Keel in Oklahoma  from Michael Cosgrove. Gemma Palmer's solos - "Manhattan" and "My Favourite Things " - were fresh and enchanting to listen to and Jackie May played a wonderful Cinderella while all contributed signifcantly to the various chorus numbers

These were well choreographed with particpants moving smoothly across the set to sing their parts and withdrawing when not required. The musical accompaniment was provided by George King who really managed to bring these wonderful old tunes to life in a most pleasing musical production.

AV Productions' "Rodgers And Hammerstein American Songbook" can next be seen at the Lancaster Grand Theatre on Sunday 22nd May - why not check it out...?

For tickets and information, go to: http://www.lancastergrand.co.uk/

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Catwalk The Coast Raises Funds For Papyrus Charity


5 gorgeous girls and their supporters braved the elements on a wet and windly Sunday morning to "Catwalk the Coast" in aid of young suicide charity Papyrus and The Variety Club of Great Britain .  The project was the idea of reigning Miss Fylde Coast Kerry Capoverde who wanted to do something in memory of a work colleague who died in tragic circumstances over the new year period while maintaining a Beauty Queen theme as the girls need to raise money as part of their participation in forthcoming Miss England qualifiers across the north west. 

Joining Kerry on the trek were reigning Miss Preston Leigh Osgerby, Emma Ward  - a finalist in the 2011 Miss Morecambe competition , Jasmine Bradshaw a finalist in Miss Fylde Coast 2011 and Amber Fox -Hammond  

The girls walked 10 miles from the windmill on Lytham Green to the Gynn at Blackpool's north shore in just under 5 hours but the catch was - they had to do it in heels..! Admittedly since the event was first mooted, the heels had reduced in height somewhat but walking 10 miles at all would flummox quite a few people.

Greg Littler - Fylde Rugby Club Physio - was in attendance to deal with any aches and pains along the route and the girls were cheered on by friends and supporters as they made their way through Lytham, Fairhaven, St Annes and then along Blackpool's South, Central and North Promenades.

Your intrepid reporters Paul & Lucy supported this 10 mile event by seeing the girls off at Lytham and then heroically sneaking off for an excellent breakfast at the nearby Blue Pig Coffee House before boldly driving up to the next watering stop in St Annes to hand out a further dose of morale boosting ..!

In the photos:
Left Pic - Setting off from Lytham Windmill:
Jasmine Bradsaw, Amber Fox-Hammond, Emma Ward, Leigh Osgerby, Kerry Capoverde, Greg Littler

Right Pic - on the way from St Annes into Blackpool:
Leigh Osgerby, Kerry Capoverde, Emma Ward, Lucy, Amber Fox-Hammond, Jasmine Bradshaw  

RIP Jet Harris MBE (1939-2011)- He Will Be Greatly Missed

We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of Jet Harris on Friday 18th March from throat cancer at the age of 71.

Jet had been one of the earliest propents of the bass guitar in Britain and was also the one who came up with the name for "The Shadows" when Cliff Richard's backing band had to change their name from the Drifters.

We were lucky enough to meet Jet - only very briefly - backstage at the Blackpool Grand Theatre back in October when he was playing on the "Born to Rock n Roll Tour" with Marty Wilde. We passed on the stairs and only had time for a quick "hello" because he was on his way down to do his soundcheck and we were on our way up to interview Marty.

Jet really was a revelation on stage. Although he had been beset by health problems in recent years, he took everything with good humour - like telling about having spent 20 minutes brushing his hair and then leaving it back at the hotel... saying he'd recently received an MBE but how he couldn't wear it as it knocked him off balance... having a little dig at his former Shadows colleagues: "now here's another tune no-one likes..." before launching  into a storming rendition of "Apache" and paying homage to other guitar greats of the era : "I'm gonna do a Duane Eddy tribute now. Dunno why though - the b*gg*r never plays any of mine...".

What also was very heartening was, after the show, the huges queues of people lining up to meet Jet, shake his hand, get his autograph, take a photo. Many will not have seen him play live before.  With the world of music having changed so much over the past half century, we are unlikely to see his like again. We feel privileged to have been there.  

Jet Harris official website: http://www.jetharris.biz/

Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_Bw3R9peyk&feature=related





Friday, 18 March 2011

Angelo Starr Sands Blackpool Preview - Book Now For 23rd April

ANGELO STARR & THE TEAM will be providing the entertainment  for the re-opening night of the Sands Venue on Blackpool Promenade on Saturday 23rd April.

Angelo is the brother of the late great Edwin Starr and  this 7 piece band brings back all the great Edwin Starr hits: "War", "My Girl", "Higher & Higher", "Celebration", "Stop her on Sight", “Happy Radio" and many more old and new soul hits!

Tickets for the evening cost £34.99 per person including 3 course meal and have to be booked in advance. Call the Box Office on  01253 62 52 62 or book online at: http://www.the-sands.co.uk/

We will be featuring a fascinating interview with Angelo Starr in our "In Conversation" show on Preston FM on Friday 8th April at 7pm. In the meantime, you can hear a short preview of the Sands evening by clicking on the sound icon below:


Thursday, 17 March 2011

Des O'Connor Tour - North West Dates!


BOOKING NOW!

Friday 22nd April: Floral Pavilion, New Brighton - tel: 0151 666 0000  http://www.floralpavilion.com/

Saturday 23rd April: Southport Thetare - Tel 0844 847 2380   Online: http://www.southporttheatre.org.uk/

Sunday 24th April: Blackpool Grand Theatre - Tel: 01253 290190  http://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/

More dates across the country:  http://www.desoconnornow.com/

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see a true showbusiness legend live on stage for a wonderful evening of comedy, laughter and music.


Des O’Connor is one of only a handful of British entertainers to be acclaimed internationally on stage and television when he was given an American series of his show which was syndicated to over 40 countries and was seen by 200 million people world-wide.

Des O’Connor is today established as one of the world’s most popular and best-loved entertainers. Since landing his first television series in the UK in 1963 he starred in his own mainstream television show for over 45 years - longer than anyone anywhere in the world!

For more information about Des O'Connor and his brand new CD, visit his official website at: www.desoconnornow.com

For other interesting performers and theatre tours look here: http://www.brianshaw.org.uk/

New Interviews Running On Wireless Radio!

For anybody who missed our programme on Preston FM last week, there’s another chance to hear some of our interviews playing out at various times on Wireless Radio, including:
• Preston singer/songwriter Sara Creeney
• Ceramic artist Marie Kershaw
• Liz O’Connell from the Pendle Hippodrome Theatre
• Blackpool singer/songwriter Steph Ashcroft
• Andrew Dunn talking about the new Dinnerladies 2nd Helpings tour & his role as Alistair Campbell with Rory Bremner
• Jazz Saxophonist Dan Forshaw talking about his music and his new CD “Metanarrative”

Just click here: http://www.wirelessradio.biz/

The Drifters 2011 Tour - Previews with Michael Williams

The Drifters 2011 Tour hits Blackpool Grand Theatre on Thursday 24th March. To book tickets call the box office on 01253 290190 or visit the website at http://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/

For a full list of tour dates and venues, visit the official website at:
http://www.theofficialdrifters.com/

or The Drifters Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Drifters/9711646761



Fay Treadwell’s original The Drifters are one of the biggest-selling and longestserving bands of all-time, The Drifters have sold to date over 214 million singles and 114 million albums across the world. The Drifters return to The Grand after more than a decade.

The line-up of The Drifters has undergone many changes with more than 60 different singers, including icons such as Clyde McPhatter, Ben E. King, Rudy Lewis and Johnny Moore.

Some of the group’s biggest hits include such classics as Saturday Night at the Movies, There Goes My First Love, Under The Boardwalk, Can I Take You Home Little Girl, You’re More Than A Number in My Little Red Book, Love Games, Hello Happiness, On Broadway, Kissing In The Back Row and many more.

This dynamic non-stop show combines classic songs, top flight choreography and world-class musicians with some of the group’s newer material from recent releases.
 

 

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Review: DrumChasers - World Premiere at Blackpool Grand Theatre

It is not very often that one gets to see a world premiere, especially a world premiere in Blackpool, so we were delighted to be able to go and see the first ever performance of the new percussion based musical DrumChasers at the Blackpool Grand Theatre.

Having not seen the previous “Noise Ensemble” we really did not know what to expect and went along with completely open minds.

Think Ultravox (John Foxx version) do Coppelia, Doctor Who does West Side story and the Terminator meets Les Mis and you’re part way there.

Odd ly enough, the caretaker - Mr Bennett - who starts off looking like a bedraggled Blakey out of “On The Buses” -ends up the hero in this tale of factions of warring musicians from another world, which is delightfully narrated by an absently bodied Stephen Fry.

Apart from Fry’s outlining of the story, there are no words at all – no dialogue, no singing, more akin to a ballet in fact, relying purely on expressive dance routines and plenty of percussion as the story is told through a succession of musical numbers of varying dramatic gravitas.

But this is not just two hours of mindless heavy drumming by any means. In a well balanced score that could easily grace a Hollywood sci fi blockbuster, we have a drummers duel, a piece played solely on the triangle and a romantic glockenspiel moment . There are several enchanting xylophone melodies – bringing to mind dreamy images of tropical rain forests or trickling streams or wherever your own thoughts might take you, carried off by the music.

Awesome! Spellbinding! Magical! DrumChasers puts you in touch with the primitive being inside you, and in two of the numbers the audience were invited to join in.

We loved every minute – from start to finish a fantastic fairytale. Marvellous choreography – the grim set and the war scenes were reminiscent of Les Miserables. Superb performances from talented and versatile musicians/dancers.

If only we could somehow learn to harness the energy generated by the dynamic performers on the set of DrumChasers we could indeed save the world from nuclear meltdown.

This is not mainstream theatre by any means but all the same absolutely unmissable. Please go and see it.

***
Drumchasers in on a national tour during March and April. For dates and venues, visit the official website at: http://www.drumchasers.com/

To hear an interview with cast member Stephanie Clark, follow this link: http://www.bestkeptsecrets.biz/2011/03/drumchasers-national-tour-exclusive.html

Local Company Helps To Clear Landmines

Poulton based Michael Barr Wealth Managers hosted a charity dinner at Ribby Hall, which raised £4700 for their adopted charity ‘MAG International’ The Land Mines Advisory charity based in Manchester.

Michael Barr has supported MAG International for the last 12 months. Profits from the first edition of Michael’s book ‘How to Invest Better than the Average Primate’ launched last year went to the charity. The highly successful first edition of the book is now sold out and an updated second edition will be launched at the London Stock Exchange in May.

During the dinner, which was attended by 90 clients and friends of Michael Barr Wealth Managers, Michael announced that all profits from the second edition of the book will also go to MAG International.

Michael said “I was absolutely delighted that so many people joined us to support this worthy cause. MAG are an inspiring humanitarian organisation who work throughout the world to clear land mines and allow war struck communities to return to living more normal lives; removing the threat of death and injuries that many of them live with constantly. I am honoured that I have been able to help their extraordinarily brave work through my book sales and this charity dinner. Thank you to everyone who supported us on the night.”

The second edition of Michael Barr’s book ‘How to Invest Better than the Average Primate’ will be available in May, and can be pre-ordered on the Michael Barr website http://www.michaelbarr.org.uk/

The Undertones - New CD Compilation and Tour Dates!

It's been 33 years since The Undertones ripped a Derry-shaped hole in the public consciousness with 'Teenage Kicks', a perfectly crafted pop/punk-straddling tour de force and John Peel's favourite ever song. Though their debut set the bar impossibly high, the hits didn't stop with it. . .

The double CD ‘True Confessions: A's + B's’ released 4th April (Union Square Music) catalogues all of the band's singles from ‘Teenage Kicks’ to ‘Jimmy Jimmy’; ‘My Perfect Cousin’ to ‘Here Comes The Summer’ and much much more, together with all their fantastic B-sides.

• 32 tracks including Teenage Kicks, Here Comes The Summer, Jimmy Jimmy, My Perfect Cousin, The Love Parade and many more…

• Remastered by Fine Splice for superb sound quality

• Deluxe digipack includes 16-page full colour booklet with liner notes and track-by-track comments from band member Michael Bradley.

The release coincides with 11 UK shows – the ‘True Confessions Tour’ – kicking off at Glasgow Kings Tuts 31st March. It’s been a long road from their first show in February 1976 at St Mary’s Scout Hall in Derry! Further shows in the UK, Europe and the USA will be announced soon. .

The Undertones line up is: John O’Neill – Guitar, Damian O’Neill – Guitar, Paul McLoone – Vocals, Michael Bradley – Bass and Billy Doherty - Drums

UK Tour Dates:
31/03/2011 Glasgow King Tuts
01/04/2011 Birmingham O2 Academy 2
02/04/2011 York Fibbers
03/04/2011 Edinburgh Haddow Fest
07/04/2011 Nottingham Rescue Rooms
08/04/2011 Southampton The Brook
09/04/2011 Plymouth White Rabbit
10/04/2011 Bristol Thekla
14/04/2011 Liverpool O2 Academy 2
15/04/2011 Manchester Academy 3
16/04/2011 London The Garage

Were You A "Rocking Humdinger"...?
The band is also keen to reacquaint themselves with members of their former fan club, the Rocking Humdingers Club, and have put out a put a Missing Persons Search! Mickey Bradley of the band said: ‘‘We recently came across the original membership book containing the names of the Rocking Humdingers and thought it would be good to make contact again.”

The band hope to hear from these long-time fans and has promised the first 50 who get in touch free entry into a show of their choice, a copy of the record and a tour t-shirt. For more information see the band’s website http://www.theundertones.com/ or contact andy@theundertones.com



Monday, 14 March 2011

The Producers at Pendle Hippodrome Theatre - Cast Interviews

Pendle Hippodrome Theatre Company present their production of the popular  musical comedy The Producers at the Pendle Hippodrome Theatre in Colne from 29th March to 2nd April.

We have been along to one of the rehearsals and it looks really fantastic. For more information, or to book tickets, visit the theatre website at: http://www.phtheatre.co.uk/

To hear an interview with some of the cast members, click on the sound icon below:

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Joe Brown In Concert 2011 Tour - Review, Blackpool Grand Theatre


Evergreen rock n roller Joe Brown took tonight’s packed house in Blackpool on a trip through the ages with a great show packed with hits old and new, backed by a superb set of musicians who really know their stuff!

It was show of two distinct halves – the first relaxed, informal starting off with a bit of skiffle, then country, blues, ballads and even a 1930s Hawaiian tune. The second half more rocky with many of Joe’s own hits as well as songs penned by other song writers that Joe admires.

Over the course of the evening, we had some George Harrison, some Bob Dylan, a bit of Chas n Dave, McGuinness Flint , a new arrangement of Ram Jam’s “Black Betty”, some Elvis and a brand new song that Joe recently co-wrote for the mandolin called “Tickle My Heart”

Joe Brown is such a versatile musician that, over the course of the night, he switched regularly from one guitar to another. acoustic, electric – a replica of Eddie Cochran’s famous Gretsch – a mandolin, ukulele, he even plucked and bowed on a fiddle in a new rockabilly arrangement of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I am looking For” .

Joe’s son Pete has definitely followed in his father’s footsteps and mastered the art of the guitar, also switching seamlessly from one to another, with slide guitar and mandolin thrown in for good measure. He also sang a few songs, including “Hopeless” by Crosby Stills Nash and Young and “My Wildest Dream” by Nick Lowe”.

While appreciating the varied fare on offer it was obvious that Joe’s own hits were what the public had come to hear He rocked his way through “Darktown Strutters Ball” which had been his first hit single back in 1960, “Sea Of Heartbreak”, “Picture of You” (his sole number one – from 1962 ) “That’s What Love Will Do” and “Henry the Eighth” and new composition, co written with son Pete, called “You Ain’t Too Old To Rock n Roll”, about the perils of ageing!

This really was a super show – enjoyable from start to finish with something for everybody – whether you like the songs of the 50s and 60s, the blues, the country or the more modern heavier guitar number s, Joe Brown had the audience transfixed throughout with his one liners and funny stories between songs as well as his outstanding vocal and musical skills.

The Joe Brown tour continues around the country until the end of May, check out dates and venues here: http://www.flyingmusic.com/our-shows/joe-brown/tour-dates/






Flip and Frank Flynn - Charity Music Night For Ormerod Trust, 13th April

A charity musical evening will be held at The Edge in Poulton le Fylde on Wednesday 13th April in aid of the Ormerod Trust, a St Annes based charity who aim to assist and support people with learning disabilities in leading an ordinary life.

The evening will feature music and fun with top northwest entertainers FLIP as well as highly respected keyboard player Frank Flynn. 

Admission is £5 per person and there will also be a raflle, bucket collection and other fun ways to donate on the night.   

To secure your tickets for what should be a fun packed evening in aid of a very worthy cause, call Emma on 07515 681983.

To find our more about the Ormerod Group, visit their website at http://www.ormerodtrust.org.uk/

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Lucy's Makeover: Make Up By smashbox / Hair by Daran


smashbox at Debenhams, Houndshill Shopping Centre, Blackpool

I first met Agnes from smashbox at The Blackpool Fashion Show held in the Winter Gardens on 26th February. What struck me was the freshness of her make-up applied that morning at around 7.00 a.m. Agnes had worked all day before manning the smashbox stand at the Fashion Show. Make-up that can be applied at 7.00 a.m. and still look good at 9.00 p.m. – that’s for me!

I made an appointment to have a make-over demonstration with Agnes at the smashbox stand at Debenhams in Blackpool’s Houndshill Shopping Centre.

The stand - near the main entrance - is light and airy. Agnes enquired if I had any skin care products on my face. I replied ‘only moisturiser’ so she got to work. First the special primer – several shades according to your skin type. I have red cheeks, so green for me.

Then the foundation and Agnes tried two shades, explaining everything as she worked and encouraging me to check in the hand mirror. Then eyes, including brows, blusher and highlighter powder and finally lips. In all about 15 minutes which left me feeling relaxed and pampered. I can’t wait to go again!

Smashbox, according to their website develop “studio inspired cosmetics to meet the demands of a professional photo shoot” and I was very impressed with my new look.

The products are not cheap but definitely worth saving up for!




Hair Boutique Salon, 7 Clifton Street, Blackpool FY1 1JD  Tel; 01253 441000

I have ME but, with a lot of help, I manage quite well. When work on the Promenade in Blackpool made it difficult for me to undertake the drive to North Shore, I asked Mark at CoCo Couture in St. Annes if he could recommend a hairdresser that I could get to easily. He suggested Daran who had just relocated to "Hair" boutique salon in Clifton Street, Blackpool.

I went to see Daran at the beginning of February and asked him to come up with a style I could manage easily and still look good - because I can’t manage to style my hair myself. I think you will agree this is it!

Drumchasers National Tour - Exclusive Interview

New musical spectacular Drumchasers has it world premier at the Blackpool Grand Theatre on 16th March and then heads off for an 18 date national tour during March and April.

To book tickets for the premier, call the Blackpool Grand Theatre box office on 01253 290190 or visit the website at http://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/

For more tour date and other information, visit the offcial show website at http://www.drumchasers.com/

You can hear an exclusive preview with cast member Stephanie Clarke by clicking on the sound icon below:



NOTE: TO READ OUR REVIEW OF THE PREMIERE, CLICK HERE: http://www.bestkeptsecrets.biz/2011/03/review-drumchasers-world-premiere-at.html

Dinnerladies Second Helpings - Exclusive Interview wth Andrew Dunn

Victoria Wood's much loved TV comedy Dinnerladies returns to the Blackpool Grand Theatre from 4th to 9th April with a BRAND NEW SHOW called SECOND HELPINGS.

This new stage production features Sue Devaney and Andrew Dunn who were both in the original TV series.

To book tickets, call the Grand Theatre box office on 01253 290190 or visit the website at http://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/

To hear a brief interview with Andrew Dunn talking about this new stage show, just click on the sound icon below:



Dinnerladies - Second Helpings continues to tour the country until the end of July. To see the rest of the tour dates and find out more about the show in general, visit the official website at http://www.dinnerladiesontour.com/ 

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Student Stampede Offer For Blackpool's "Drumchasers" Premier

The Grand Theatre, Blackpool is offering £8.00 tickets for all full time students to see the world premier of percussion spectacular DrumChasers on Wednesday 16th March!

From 10.00 am on Wednesday 16th March, Blackpool’s Grand Theatre, will be offering full-time students an amazing discount on the spectacular show DrumChasers!

Featuring the voice of Stephen Fry as the narrator, DrumChasers, is the new show from the creator of international success Noise Ensemble. Ten incredible percussionists and dancers take to the stage in an explosion of sound and light with a story of rivalry, romance and rhythm in the dazzling world premiere of DrumChasers at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre on Wednesday 16th March.

DrumChasers has no dialogue - the percussion does all the talking. And with an exciting, strong, clear narrative, it is accessible to all and promises an evening quite unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

STUDENT STAMPEDE
£8.00 seats are available from 10am on the day of the performance. Just show your student card at the Grand Theatre Box Office to book on a first come, first served basis for best available seats – mature students welcome! Subject to availability.

The Grand Theatre, Box Office, 01253 290190, online at http://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/ or call in at the Grand Theatre information sales point in the Houndshill Shopping Centre.

Celebrate 30th Anniversary Of Blackpool Grand Theatre

Blackpool’s Grand Theatre celebrates its pearl anniversary with a string of spectacular shows!


Joining the Grand’s 30th anniversary celebrations are fabulous folk queen Kate Rusby; inspired operetta company Opera della Luna with a wonderfully witty production of HMS PINAFORE; musical medley masters Beyond the Barricade with a brilliant new show; The Russian State Ballet of Siberia with the heartbreaking love story Romeo and Juliet; the dynamic Drifters with a non-stop concert; the incredible balletLORENT with the daringly different new dance piece Blood, Sweat & Tears; legendary comedian Ken Dodd and Pop Goes the 80’s with a fun-filled dance party back in time.

Book your seats now for the eight exceptional productions:

The defining voice of contemporary English folk music, Kate Rusby’s exquisite interpretations of traditional songs and self-penned tunes have won her an audience far beyond the genre. Kate will be performing songs from her much anticipated new album Make The Light, together with much loved favourites chosen from across her entire back catalogue. Kate’s wondrous singing, her hugely engaging Yorkshire wit and her new ensemble’s marvellously intuitive support ensure that audiences will be treated to a truly uplifting concert experience.
Sunday 20th March at 7.30pm. Tickets £19.

The original and exciting Opera della Luna company makes a welcome return with its celebrated production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS PINAFORE. In true Opera della Luna style, eight multi-talented singer/actors become crew, chorus and principals in a brilliantly fast and hilarious production of this famous comic opera. Packed to the brim with toe-tapping tunes, the wit and verve of this performance will prove beyond doubt that Opera della Luna has now established itself as one of the country’s leading exponents of operetta and comic music-theatre.
Monday 21st March at 7.30pm. Tickets from £16.

Beyond the Barricade brings you all the greatest songs and moments of the West End musicals and features music from all the top shows, including all the popular family favourites, sung by past principal performers from Les Misérables backed by a live band. This truly talented cast will perform a brand new 2011 production which includes songs from Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Mamma Mia, Miss Saigon , Love Never Dies, The Jersey Boys and many more, climaxing with a spectacular finale from, of course, Les Misérables.
Tuesday 22nd March at 7.30pm. Tickets £21.

Don’t miss The Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia’s stunning production of the everlasting tale of love and loss Romeo and Juliet. The greatest love story ever danced, Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy is brought beautifully to life in dazzling style with lavish sets and costumes. The gloriously gifted performers of one of Russia’s foremost ballet companies flawlessly recreate Renaissance Verona with all its bitter feuds, passionate encounters and tragic twists of fate.
A 30 Year Grand Celebration - Wednesday 23rd March at 7.30pm. Tickets from £19.50.

Dance the night away with a dynamic concert from The Drifters. One of the biggest selling and longest serving bands of all time, the line up has undergone many changes and included icons Clyde McPhatter, Ben E King, Rudy Lewis and Johnny Moore. Who can forget classics such as Saturday Night at the Movies, There Goes My First Love, Under The Boardwalk, You're More Than A Number in My Little Red Book, Kissing In The Back Row and many more? This non-stop show combines classic songs, top flight choreography and world class musicians plus some of the group's newer material from recent releases.
Thursday 24th March at 7.30pm. Tickets £25.

Amazing award-winning dance company balletLORENT presents a new full length production Blood, Sweat & Tears - an exploration of the darkness and light of extreme love. As a couple experience a gentle and all-consuming love for their newborn baby, they begin to fight for affection and attention from each other. Tender and powerful, with magnificent movement vocabulary sourced from both ballet and wrestling, Blood Sweat & Tears is inspired by the ups and downs of unconditional love. Unmissable.
Friday 25th March at 7.30pm. Tickets - Adults £15, Children £7.50. Schools £5.

Get ready for five hours of rib-tickling fun at the Grand! The King Of Mirth Ken Dodd OBE is once again leaving the Diddy Men in the Jam Butty Mines of Knotty Ash to bring his famous Happiness Show. Another evening full of plumptiousness is promised from Professor Chucklebutty, who has been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the prestigious British Comedy Awards and also features in the Guinness Book of Records for telling 1,500 jokes in three and a half hours. That’s more than seven jokes a minute!
Saturday 26th March at 7pm. Tickets from £16. (Please note this show runs for approx 5 hours)

Slip in your shoulder pads and celebrate the 1980s with Pop Goes The 80’s boasting a phenomenal cast of singers, dancers and musicians performing Gold, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Stand And Deliver, 99 Red Balloons, Rio, Livin' On A Prayer, Hey Mickey and Thriller to name but a few. Breathtaking lights, dazzling laser shows, a giant video wall and enough lavish costumes for any Material Girl plus a show-stopping performance of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal will complete this 80s experience from the birth of Electro-Pop, through the age of soft rock, right to the flamboyance of the New Romantics.
Sunday 27th March at 7.30pm. Tickets £18.50.

For full 2011 show information and bookings call the Grand Theatre Box Office on 01253 290190, click on the website http://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/ or visit the Grand Theatre information sales point in the Houndshill Shopping Centre.

Exclusive Interview With Dan Forshaw on Preston FM - Friday 7pm

We'll be featuring an exclusive interview with top jazz saxophonist Dan Forshaw in our "Best Kept Secrets...In Conversation" show on Preston FM on Friday evening from 7pm.

Dan will be talking about how he got into music as well as introducing some tracks from his new CD MetaNarrative which was released on 1st March.

Also in the show:
  • We review the "Solid Silver 60s Show", featuring Vanity Fare, Wayne Fontana, Chris Farlowe, Dave Berry, Terry Sylvester and The Merseybeats.
  • Ansdell ceramic artists Marie Kershaw tells about her forthcoming exhibitions and public lecture
  • Soccer legend Tommy Docherty looks ahead to his live speaking appearance at the Municipal Hall in Colne.
  • Andy Vitolo talks about the "Rodgers & Hammerstein American Songbook" show
  • We go behind the scenes at a rehearsal of "The Producers" at Pendle Hippodrome Theatre
and there's another chance to hear our fascinating interview with singer/songwriter Sara Creeney.

You can tune in to Preston FM on 103.2M in the Preston area or listen in worldwide via the intenet at http://www.preston.fm/