Stars of stage on screen

From vibrant live musical theatre to hard-hitting plays broadcast from Britain’s greatest stage actors

Thursday, 17th July 2014, 1:55 pm
Guys and dolls in New Jersey Nights
Guys and dolls in New Jersey Nights

The hit musical stage adaptation of award-winning picture book The Gruffalo is at Preston Charter Theatre next Thursday to Saturday.

It’s the perfect family treat with plenty of songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged 3+ and their grown-ups, all at family-friendly times.

Voted the nation’s number one bedtime story by BBC Radio 2 listeners, The Gruffalo has been performed to more than a million people worldwide.

Meet a wheeler-dealer Fox, an eccentric old Owl and a maraca-shaking, party mad Snake!


Teenagers commandeer The Dukes in Lancaster for two days from tomorrow.

The End of Term Takeover will see young people programme and run the venue’s activities. It has been organised by the newly-formed Dukes Youth Forum and will help celebrate the start of the school summer holidays.

The Takeover starts tomorrow afternoon with monologues in The Dukes gallery from 4-6pm followed by an open mic music session until 8pm. The evening ends with a Funny Friday Night with comedy on the menu until 10pm.

On Saturday there are elements of hip hop, dj mixing, graffiti art and spoken word workshops from 11am-3pm.

Spot a future playwright with dramatic goings-on from 4-6pm followed by the highlight of the Takeover at 6pm: Roar-A-Long The Lion King, a Disney classic with sing-a-long subtitles.

The event ends with a live music jam from 8-10pm at The Dukes Centre for Creative Learning (formerly DT3).

All events are free apart from the Lion King screening.

Box Office: 01524 598500 or

Another of Blackpool Grand Theatre’s summer season of entertainments comes to the resort from Sunday through to August 16.

New Jersey Nights is a celebration of the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, which takes the audience on a journey through the career of one of the biggest selling groups of all time.

From the back street studio in New Jersey where it all began, the production includes all of The Four Seasons’ greatest hits, including Sherry, Rag Dolls, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like A Man and more!

Featuring an award-winning cast of singers, dancers, unique stage sets and an on- stage band it’s a show from the stable of executive producer David King who has worked with the likes of Elton John, Liza Minnelli and Lionel Richie.

King’s musical Spirit of The Dance became one of the biggest dance shows in the world, with 14 troupes performing in 14 different countries on the same night to 30 million people worldwide!

Box Office: 01253 743339 or

Another sell-out West End stage show comes to The Dukes in Lancaster, courtesy of National Theatre Live.

Skylight, above, starring Billy Nighy and Carey Mulligan is packing them in at Wyndham’s Theatre in London and will be broadcast live live to The Dukes tonight with further opportunities to see it on August 2 and 17.

Written by David Hare, and performed in the Dukes own studio a few years ago, it tells the story of a schoolteacher (Mulligan) and her former lover (Nighy) as they attempt to rekindle a once passionate relationship.

As well as these big screen offerings from NT Live, everything from Monty Python to Billy Elliot will be beamed into the Lancaster cinema over the next few weeks.

Royal Exchange audiences in Manchester get a second chance to see Gareth Farr’s Bruntwood Prize winning play Britannia Waves The Rules when it returns for a short run in The Studio from next Tuesday to Saturday.

The play was first seen there last month. It will play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival following its latest run at the Exchange.

It tells the story of Carl who signs up for the army, seeing a chance to escape the grim reality of life in his hometown Blackpool. But he comes home, not as a war hero, but a changed man.

Box Office: 0161 833 9833 or