Tag: Coronation Street

Craig Charles Funks up Christmas at the Lowry

IMG_1692Legendary  Red Dwarf, Coronation Street star and DJ, Craig Charles, will be “funking up Christmas” this week with fantastic bill of special guest performances this week at the Lowry in Salford.

 The BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music presenter brings two very different nights of live music, DJ sets and entertainment to The Lowry in Salford on 4 & 5 December.

The ultimate funk and soul party, Craig Charles Funks Up Christmas commences the two-night residency on Tue 4 December featuring an exclusive Craig Charles DJ set and a fantastic bill of special guest performances.

Then on Wed 5 December he joins the BBC Philharmonic and acclaimed singer Curtis Stigers for BBC Philharmonic Christmas.The concert & performance is being recorded for BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night show.

Craig Charles 1Craig Charles Funks Up Christmas celebrates the 10-year anniversary of his successful funk and soul club that has seen him perform DJ sets around the globe at some of the world’s biggest festivals and events.

In what promises to be the funkiest party of the year, the evening will include performances from soul legends The Real Thing performing their multi-million selling number one singles: You To Me Are Everything, Can’t Get By Without You and Feel the Force.

Plus, direct from the USA, disco stars Odyssey will play a hit filled set including: Use it Up and Wear It Out, Native New Yorker, Inside Out and the iconic disco anthem Going Back to My Roots.

Also on the bill, original Northern Soul singer Lorraine Silver, who shot to fame performing in the iconic Soul Clubs like Wigan Casino and the Twisted Wheel, will be performing her northern soul classics: Long After Tonight Is All Over and Lost Summer Love.

Following rousing performances in front of thousands of festival goers in London’s Hyde Park, Glastonbury and The Big Chill Festival, The Craig Charles Fantasy Funk Band complete the special guest line up.

The following evening on 5 Dec audiences can enjoy the highly anticipated world premiere of Scary Fairy Saves Christmas – the latest instalment in Craig Charles’ series of fairy tales as part of the line-up for BBC Philharmonic Christmas.

In conjunction with composer Iain Farrington, (Horrible HistoriesWallace and Gromit, 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony) Scary Fairy features a larger than life cinematic score as Craig presents the third instalment of his modern-day series of fables.

This ingenious fable in rhyme takes audiences on a whirlwind adventure full of humour and childhood nostalgia with many twists and turns, reflecting the world in which we live in today and tackling modern day taboos with Craig Charles’ customary razor-sharp wit.

Craig Charles with BBC Phil - CopyThe evening, hosted by Angelica Bell, will also include BBC Philharmonic, conductor Clark Rundell and special guest Curtis Stigers perform a select programme featuring wintry delights including Stigers hits: I Wonder Why and Never Saw A Miracle, combined with the festive groove of seasonal classics such as Let It Snow and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

The concert will be recorded for future broadcast in BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night Is Music Night on Friday 7 December at 8pm.

REVIEW: Kinky Boots @ The Opera House, Manchester

Callum Francis as Lola in Kinky Boots_Photo Helen Maybanks.Get ready be razzle-dazzled and well and truly cheered up – these boots are made for entertaining.

Kinky Boots is in town and with music from the fabulous Cindy Lauper this glitterfest certainly gets us in the festive mood.

After a bit of a slow start as the scene is set, it doesn’t take long before the audience is plunged into one of the the most entertaining shows of the season so far at the Opera House.

The story is basically mirrors that of the film of the same name – the reluctant inheritor of down at heel shoe factory Charlie Price (Joel Harper-Jackson) striking an unlikely partnership with the flamboyant and outrageous drag artist Lola (Callum Francis) coming up with a plan to save the factory by making high heel boots for men.

It has a touch of the Billy Elliot, Pride and Fully Monty about it with the coming together of very different worlds, in this case the working class world of the factory floor and the outrageously camp world of drag artists. The drama is in the clash and the predictable overcoming of prejudice and difference.

The poignancy expressed in the film is not lost in the transition to the stage. Apart from the music the only difference between the storyline in the film and in the play is the boxing match between Lola and factory worker Don which replaces the wrestling match in the film – a wise move.

The songs are not that memorable it I’m honest but they do inject a huge dose of energy into the proceedings.

Francis is sensational in the role of Lola and is ably complemented by Harper Jackson’s Charlie and Lola’s fabulous angels.

Paula Lane (Lauren) and Joel Harper-Jackson (Charlie) in Kinky Boots_Photo Helen Maybanks 2But for me the real surprise in former Corrie star Paula Lane who is a revelation as love-lorn Lauren who falls for the factory boss.

This is a great show and if you’re fed up with hearing about Brexit, Brexit, Brexit it is the perfect antidote

Runs to December 1


Corrie star Beverley Callard to star as Narrator in Rocky Horror Show

Beverly Callard - Narrator, Rocky Horror ShowCoronation Street legend, Beverley Callard has been announced as The Narrator in the The Rocky Horror Show when the hit show returns the Opera House in Manchester from 9-26 January.

Beverley, who plays Liz Macdonald in the ITV soap, said: “Wow! I’m really looking forward to joining the Rocky Horror family. I’ve been Time Warping for years as you all know, and I can’t wait to be back on stage at my favourite theatre, the Manchester Opera House. Get ready all you Rocky Horror fans, let’s make this strange journey together.”

The legendary musical extravaganza will also star West End star Stephen Webb as Frank, Strictly Come Dancing Champion Joanne Clifton as Janet, a1’s Ben Adams as Brad and Kristian Lavercombe will be reprising his role as Riff Raff, following more than 1300 performances around the world.

Directed by Christopher Luscombe, the smash hit show features all of the famous musical numbers which have made The Rocky Horror Show such a huge hit for over four decades, including “Sweet Transvestite”, “Science Fiction/Double Feature”, “Dammit Janet” and, of course, the timeless floor-filler, “The Time-Warp”.

The Rocky Horror Show tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, two squeaky clean college kids who meet Dr Frank’n’Furter by chance when their car breaks down outside his house whilst on their way to visit their favourite college professor. It’s an adventure they’ll never forget, with fun, frolics, frocks and frivolity, bursting with timeless songs and outrageous outfits.  The Rocky Horror Show is a guaranteed party, which famously combines science-fiction, horror, comedy and music while encouraging audience participation meaning, of course, getting dressed in the most outrageous fancy dress.

REVIEW: The Commitments@ The Palace, Manchester

4. The Commitments, photo credit Johan Persson
Pic: Johan Persson

The combination of that beautiful Dublin twang, a gritty but unapologetically feel-good story and those timeless soul classics is what has made the Commitments a great film and now a hugely enjoyable stage show.

And there is little to disappoint fans of the show in this Manchester Palace production which sees Andrew Linnie in the role Jimmy Rabbitte, a young working class music fan, who shapes an unlikely bunch of amateur musicians into Dublin’s “hardest working band.”

Linnie gives a creditable performance as Roddy Doyle’s iconic creation and Brian Gilligan also does well as the uncouth but gifted singer, Deco.

Optimized-3. Jimmy's Da (Kevin Kennedy) in The Commitments photo credit Johan PerssonThe show also sees Corrie legend, Kevin Kennedy in the role Jimmy’s Da who maintains the laughter but whose slips into the Manc when he has to say more than a couple of sentences.

After a fairly sedate first half the show builds to a fabulous crescendo with appreciative audience rocking in the aisles by the end.

Coronation Street legend, Kevin Kennedy, is to star as Jimmy’s Da in the UK tour of the critically acclaimed musical The Commitments written by Roddy Doyle, which comes to the Palace Theatre, Manchester, from Monday 27 March to Saturday 8 April 2017.

The show has been adapted for the stage by Booker Prize-winning author Roddy Doyle, from his original novel. Directed by C Jay Ranger, The Commitments is packed with more than 20 classic soul songs performed live on stage including: Night Train, Try A Little Tenderness, River Deep, Mountain High, In The Midnight Hour, Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Save Me, Mustang Sally, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Thin Line Between Love and Hate, Reach Out, Uptight, Knock On Wood, I Can’t Turn You Loose .

Runs till April 8

Youngsters scoop award for project celebrating Wythenshawe’s history

_D4A1102Wythenshawe youngsters who produced an art project are all smiles after receiving an award from Coronation Street’s Julie Hesmondhalgh in a ceremony  celebrating Manchester’s history.


Wythenshawe WOWZone were presented with a commended award from a long list of applicants in the Manchester Community Histories Award, for their project Wythenshawe, Manchester’s Garden City.  Continue reading “Youngsters scoop award for project celebrating Wythenshawe’s history”