Chinese State Circus on show

Performance: The Chinese State Circus is in Preston next week
Performance: The Chinese State Circus is in Preston next week

The Chinese State Circus returns to Preston next week, with three performances in the big top of the Guild Hall.

The Charter Theatre visit is part of a 53-date tour of the UK with their new Yin Yang production, a fitting name for a show that relies on a lot of balance Yin Yang also features the Shaolin Warrior known only as The One, and brought to the cast by director Phillip Gandey.

Yin Yang is designed to keep the audience on the edge of their seats but also show the more delicate side of Chinese tradition with plate spinning, parasol juggling, an eye catching Lion Dance and the Bicycle Act in which 10 talented artistes manoeuvre on a single bicycle.

The Oriental Swan is a fusion of ballet, strength, balance and creativity in which a ballerina pirouettes on the shoulder of her partner then dances en pointe on his head and shoulders.

Then there’s foot juggling with drums, the Chinese poles, a sensational contortionist and the hoop divers with their somersaults, leaps and jumps.

It’s all aimed at an audience of all ages.

Catch it all next Friday and Saturday.

Box office: 0844 844 7714 or

The first of Lancashire Sinfonietta’s 2013 children’s concerts comes to Preston Minster a week on Saturday, with two morning performances.

They are the perfect introduction to live music for babies, toddlers and young children and get off to a ‘roaring’ start with We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

Based on the popular children’s story, families can enjoy music and fun in a professional concert, aimed at children aged under five.

The Sinfonietta also guarantees a unique experience, where the audience gets involved– playing instruments, singing, and making a whole lot of musical noise!

Running every month from February until July, the Sound Playground series is a unique offering to families in the region.

From traditional tales such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Gingerbread Man, to the unmistakeable melodies of inspirational composers in Mini-Mozart and The Magical Firebird, story time favourites and classical music masterpieces are brought to life by one of the most distinctive chamber ensembles in the UK.

Fiona Sinclair, general manager at Lancashire Sinfonietta, said: “Our orchestra is made up of talented musicians who started their musical training in Lancashire and now enjoy successful careers on national and international platforms.

“As an organisation, we’re driven by a desire to engage and inspire the next generation of musical talent – and our Sound Playground concerts are the perfect way for babies, young children and their families to start experiencing the joy of professional live music. “Bring your budding detectives and join us – teddy bears welcome too!”

Box office: 01524 594151 or

Box of Tricks brings their critically-acclaimed production of My Arms by James Leach to Preston’s Continental theatre space next Thursday. Invited by Manchester’s Library Theatre to be part of the prestigious re:play Festival 2013 celebrating the best of fringe theatre in Manchester, the production company has been awarded funding from Arts Council England. Told in reverse order, My Arms is a one-hour drama about a couple in crisis after a tragic event that changes their lives. Box Office: 01772 499425.

Lancaster-based Andy Smith presents a double-bill of new solo performance at the university’s Nuffield Theatre next week. Using his trademark conversational style, two works ask a few questions about what we are up to, contemplate the world we live in, and think about how we might change it. They are performed together next Thursday for the first time. Andy has been making theatre under the name a smith since 2003. He is also co-director (with Karl James) of the award-winning plays An Oak Tree – which was staged at the university several years ago, England and The Author by Tim Crouch.

He is currently an AHRC scholar undertaking a practice-as-research PhD at Lancaster University, where he also teaches applied theatre practice and performance composition in the Theatre Studies department.

Box office: 01524 594151 or

A stage adaptation of Sebastian Faulk’s Birdsong comes to Blackpool Grand Theatre next week. This classic story of love and courage is set both before and during the Great War.

In pre war France, a young Englishman Stephen Wraysford embarks on a passionate and dangerous affair with the beautiful Isabelle Azaire that turns their world upside down.

Faced with the unprecedented horror of war he clings to the memory of Isabelle as his world explodes around him.

The BBC 1 adaptation was aired two years ago and following on from the hit West End production.

This brand new adaptation marks the first touring production. It is performed by a dynamic ensemble company including Tim Van Eyken (War Horse).

It runs from Tuesday to Saturday and is aimed at ages 12+.

Box Office: 01253 743339 or