Recent news from our facebook page

To see more please go directly to our Facebook page.
(you don’t need a facebook account to see our posts, just click ‘not now’ when asked to register).

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

Facebook Posts

2 days ago

Choice Radio Worcester

Another day at the show - this time with much improved weather (though this time it was the wind not the clouds and rain which prevented the Red Devils from doing their parachute drop)

More animals to see - Sunday is Rare Breeds judging day which gave an opportunity to have a chat with their current President Jimmy Doherty about the best way to preserve them (oddly enough, that is by eating them!) plus plenty of other activities going on...

All interviews are here:
1drv.ms/u/s!ApvQQHoOrsTJgQMcynckTHYoLY0Y?e=ma688s
... See MoreSee Less

3 days ago

Choice Radio Worcester

Well, it may occasionally be a battle against the elements but one thing's for sure - the animals don't mind at all. And as this is the main agricultural show of the year, here are some of the ones on display.

It's not all animals though - there is plenty more to see and much of it is under cover too.

We chatted to:
Diana Walton (Head of Shows) about the three-day event
Hannah Knowles from the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (who will, on Sunday, be welcoming farmer and tv personality Jimmy Doherty)
one of the stewards, Mark Bricknell, looking after some of the enormous beefy beasts
And, if you thought you knew all about bees, think again! Andy Tatchell from the Hereford Beekeepers Association reveals all... including how long the Queen Bee lives for and what happens when she dies. Nature is an incredible thing!

You can hear all the interviews here:
1drv.ms/u/s!ApvQQHoOrsTJgQMcynckTHYoLY0Y?e=CzPKdr
... See MoreSee Less

Although they have been going now since 1886, this is the first time BMOS Musical Theatre Company have staged Half A Sixpence (a coin unknown to the younger members of the cast!). This is the show, based on the book Kipps by H G Wells, for which Tommy Steele is perhaps best known in both its stage and film versions.

And a colourful show it is too, taking place in Folkestone in 1905. The Kipps in question is the orphaned Arthur Kipps, brilliantly played by Welshman Daniel Parker, who, following a surprise allowance of £1200 a year from a deceased relative, finds himself something of a fish out of water as he moves into the moneyed class. Unfortunately this means putting aside the love of his life Ann (Annabel Pitcher) with whom he had split a sixpenny piece when they were kids as a token of love, and takes up instead with Helen (Carys Wilson) from the Walsingham family who are very distantly related to someone with a title. And with it, out goes any acceptance of his tendency to drop his "aitches" as this simply will not do!

Being the musical version of Kipps, there are plenty of songs to get to grips with, solos and ensemble pieces. Other than the title song, the most famous is, of course, Flash! Bang! Wallop! which brought together the entire cast in a glorious and colourful singing and dance routine which counterbalanced nicely the rather more sombre duet between Kipps and Anne called Long Ago which had featured a few moments before and which highlighted perfectly the couple's singing abilities. In fact, all the singing was top notch to be fair.

With nearly 50 performers on stage (and with great musical accompaniment from the 12 piece Midland Concert Orchestra hidden underneath it) this a feelgood musical which, in spite of Kipps's difficulties, you know is going to end well.

A million miles from H G Wells's other classic book-turned-musical War Of The Worlds, this is another successful crowd-pleaser from BMOS and one which both the cast and audience obviously enjoyed.

And if you can't get enough of BMOS and want a seasonal treat, then they will be presenting A Christmas Carol at the Alex from November 26th to 30th. An early Christmas present for lovers of musicals!
... See MoreSee Less

7 days ago

Choice Radio Worcester

From the pen of the author of Bad Jews comes another play which features a minority at its core. In fact, make that two as Joshua Harmon's Admissions deftly handles the minority of black students in a college and also the minority of privileged white people who end up in positions of power and, whilst based on the US education system, still has parallels with our own class-ridden society.

Alex Kingston plays Sherri, a college admissions officer who over the past few years has striven to raise the number of black students in their yearly intake as well as in the publication which shows off the college in which they are virtually invisible. And quite successful has she been, in respect of the former at least. She still has a battle on her hands to convince colleague Roberta (Margot Leicester) to up their numbers in the magazine. It is, however, her best friend Ginnie, played by Sarah Hadland, who ultimately poses the bigger issue when her half-cast son gets into Yale when Sherri's equally-talented son Charlie does not...

Cue plenty of family arguments - not really discussions - as 17 year old Charlie decides to forge his own path, questioning his parents motives and the obvious unfairness of the system. And that forces him to square up against his father Bill (Andrew Woodhall) who determinedly dictates how his college fun will be spent. After all, he pays the bills and is unmoved by his son's protests.

Whilst the adults in the show convincingly speak in American accents (Alex Kingston spent a considerable amount of time there after all in NBC's ER), there is one very definite bit of real US acting on show with Charlie being portrayed by the young American Ben Edelman who certainly adds a degree of authenticity, showing Charlie as an emotional and frustrated young man with his own ideals which counter to his parents' and their perceived manipulation of his life and future. And a good part of the script is given over to this angst allowing Edelman a full range of emotions whilst his mother tries to placate him with milk and cookies…

The show raises many issues - ethnicity, class, wealth, education, parental responsibility, offspring independence - which equally apply on this side of the pond. Replace Yale with Oxbridge which, with 1% of all students, nonetheless provides 47% of the Cabinet...

Unusually, the show runs its entire course of 1 hour 40 minutes with no interval and is played out on a single set which represents both the home and office environments. It has some laugh out loud moments too but by the end you get the impression that, in spite of Charlie's undoubted good intentions and desires, nothing much will change and parental influence still counts.
... See MoreSee Less

Having rescued both Huntingdon Hall and the SwanTheatre from financial ruin in the past couple of decades and in doing so giving Worcester two superb venues - and a repertory company and a panto and a plethora of plays and other events - to be proud of, Chris Jaeger (MBE!) has now left WorcesterLive to pursue his interests in other elements of the arts in the county

These include the forthcoming Worcester Festival in August and a number of plays which will be performed at the Coach House Theatre in Malvern in October (24th - Second Best Bed, 25th - Jesus My Boy, 26th - Agatha and 27th - Vesta)

Chris popped into the studio to have a chat with Pete Phillips about the work he has done in the past and where he will be going in the future... And it is clear that whilst his involvment in the two venues will be sorely missed, he has plenty to keep him clear of retirement just yet! That includes a play about Enid Blyton, another about Clem Churchill and possibly a one-man version of Midsummer Night's Dream!

You can hear the chat, which includes a couple of songs from his favourite artists, here:
1drv.ms/u/s!ApvQQHoOrsTJgQKnginFHesrvdUB?e=mNWLXq
... See MoreSee Less

Having rescued both Huntingdon Hall and the SwanTheatre from financial ruin in the past couple of decades and in doing so giving Worcester two superb venues - and a repertory company and a panto and a plethora of plays and other events - to be proud of, Chris Jaeger (MBE!) has now left WorcesterLive to pursue his interests in other elements of the arts in the county

These include the forthcoming Worcester Festival in August and a number of plays which will be performed at the Coach House Theatre in Malvern in October (24th - Second Best Bed, 25th - Jesus My Boy, 26th - Agatha and 27th - Vesta)

Chris popped into the studio to have a chat with Pete Phillips about the work he has done in the past and where he will be going in the future... And it is clear that whilst his involvment in the two venues will be sorely missed, he has plenty to keep him clear of retirement just yet! That includes a play about Enid Blyton, another about Clem Churchill and possibly a one-man version of Midsummer Nights Dream!

You can hear the chat, which includes a couple of songs from his favourite artists, here:
https://1drv.ms/u/s!ApvQQHoOrsTJgQKnginFHesrvdUB?e=mNWLXq

1 week ago

Choice Radio Worcester

So what do you do when you have a 49-seater coach available to you?

Well, if you're Joe Broughton you get together a group of your students, drive them down the M5 to Worcester, fill the stage of Huntingdon Hall with them and give the audience an evening they won't forget...

Joe is formerly of The Albion Band, currently of the Urban Folk Quartet and also the Birmingham Conservatoire where, each Tuesday evening, his students from across different genres come together to jam for two hours of free form music based roughly around the folk genre, bringing their own ideas and influences from as far afield as Australia. And this becomes the Conservatoire Folk Ensemble which has now been going for more than two decades and produce their own type of folk - Power Folk, as they call it.

With the stage jammed with these talented young musicians, this is an ensemble in its truest sense, all elements working, playing and moving in perfect harmony. And yet this does in no way preclude some breakout groups of two, three or four taking centre stage to the obvious delight end encouragement of their fellow musicians. These included students Seth Bye, Sam Baldwyn, Alex Henshaw and Dan Cippico who have formed Gathering Tides and are carving out a successful niche for themselves.

So that'll be a horn section, cellists, percussionists and electric guitarists, plus fiddles, flutes, clarinets, euphonium, accordions, even a bassoon. And a musician who will forever be known as the Triangle Lady!

With pieces ranging from old tunes to new pieces written by Joe or his students, there is always one unmistakable element - the smile on the faces of the musicians and the energy with which they perform, which is definitely infectious. And whilst most of the tunes are lively and up tempo, there is one which is achingly slow and thoughtful - that is We March Under One Sun, beautifully reflective and effectively portraying in music the futility of war.

If you know the Hall but cannot believe the stage can hold so many musicians then you definitely need to look out for their next visit - and prepare for more than 2 hours of musicianship from this ever-changing collection of very, very talented young people. And Joe, of course!
... See MoreSee Less

So what do you do when you have a 49-seater coach available to you?

Well, if youre Joe Broughton you get together a group of your students, drive them down the M5 to Worcester, fill the stage of Huntingdon Hall with them and give the audience an evening they wont forget...

Joe is formerly of The Albion Band, currently of the Urban Folk Quartet and also the Birmingham Conservatoire where, each Tuesday evening, his students from across different genres come together to jam for two hours of free form music based roughly around the folk genre, bringing their own ideas and influences from as far afield as Australia. And this becomes the Conservatoire Folk Ensemble which has now been going for more than two decades and produce their own type of folk - Power Folk, as they call it.

With the stage jammed with these talented young musicians, this is an ensemble in its truest sense, all elements working, playing and moving in perfect harmony. And yet this does in no way preclude some breakout groups of two, three or four taking centre stage to the obvious delight end encouragement of their fellow musicians. These included students Seth Bye, Sam Baldwyn, Alex Henshaw  and Dan Cippico who have formed Gathering Tides and are carving out a successful niche for themselves.

So thatll be a horn section, cellists, percussionists and electric guitarists, plus fiddles, flutes, clarinets, euphonium, accordions, even a bassoon. And a musician who will forever be known as the Triangle Lady!

With pieces ranging from old tunes to new pieces written by Joe or his students, there is always one unmistakable element - the smile on the faces of the musicians and the energy with which they perform, which is definitely infectious. And whilst most of the tunes  are lively and up tempo, there is one which is achingly slow and thoughtful - that is We March Under One Sun, beautifully reflective and effectively portraying in music the futility of war.

If you know the Hall but cannot believe the stage can hold so many musicians then you definitely need to look out for their next visit - and prepare for more than 2 hours of musicianship from this ever-changing collection of very, very talented young people. And Joe, of course!

2 weeks ago

Choice Radio Worcester

After their first visit to the Swan a couple of months back with their very Adult Panto, Hitchin's Market Theatre is back on tour, this time ditching the panto theme for an all-female comedy, Roman Romp!

A rather well-endowed statue greets the audience as they take their seats and a quick glance at the characters' names gives you a good clue as to what to expect... after all, you'll be in the fine company of Virginia Creeper Penicus, Frigella the Fulfiller, Bimbus the Dimmest and Glorious Clitoris (or, in real life, Kate Easton, Lauren Osborn, Jemma Carlisle and Pippa Johnson). Not much left to the imagination in Kirk Foster's tale of life in the temple of the Vestal Virgins which Frigella (not surprisingly!) wants to leave and join the temple of Venus next door where things seem rather more, ahem, enjoyable and fulfilling.

Cue confusion, false identities, manic costume changes, double-entendres galore and, as in the best panto tradition, audience participation - this time it was John and Sheena who innocently bore the brunt of that! This combination of Up Pompeii, Carry On traditions and Panto elements could hardly fail to raise a titter or two - far more than that actually as the girls had the audience in stitches throughout and rightly so.

After the success of Adult Panto (Hansel and Gretel go down in the woods), the team will be back here next February with Adult Panto (Peter Panties). Clearly - and thankfully - nothing is beyond parody!

We chatted to Production and Stage Manager Glyn Doggett a while ago about the show and the busy team who create and perform their many shows (indeed, as this show was staged at the Swan, another one was being premiered at their home theatre). You can hear the interview here:
1drv.ms/u/s!ApvQQHoOrsTJgQCJ0q8tx3WVC2G1

and there is more information about the company here:
www.markettheatre.co.uk
... See MoreSee Less

After their first visit to the Swan a couple of months back with their very Adult Panto, Hitchins Market Theatre is back on tour, this time ditching the panto theme for an all-female comedy, Roman Romp! 

A rather well-endowed statue greets the audience as they take their seats and a quick glance at the characters names gives you a good clue as to what to expect... after all, youll be in the fine company of Virginia Creeper Penicus, Frigella the Fulfiller, Bimbus the Dimmest and Glorious Clitoris (or, in real life, Kate Easton, Lauren Osborn, Jemma Carlisle and Pippa Johnson). Not much left to the imagination in Kirk Fosters tale of life in the temple of the Vestal Virgins which Frigella (not surprisingly!) wants to leave and join the temple of Venus next door where things seem rather more, ahem, enjoyable and fulfilling.

Cue confusion, false identities, manic costume changes, double-entendres galore and, as in the best panto tradition, audience participation - this time it was John and Sheena who innocently bore the brunt of that! This combination of Up Pompeii, Carry On traditions and Panto elements could hardly fail to raise a titter or two - far more than that actually as the girls had the audience in stitches throughout and rightly so.

After the success of Adult Panto (Hansel and Gretel go down in the woods), the team will be back here next February with Adult Panto (Peter Panties). Clearly - and thankfully - nothing is beyond parody!

We chatted to Production and Stage Manager Glyn Doggett a while ago about the show and the busy team who create and perform their many shows (indeed, as this show was staged at the Swan, another one was being premiered at their home theatre). You can hear the interview here:
https://1drv.ms/u/s!ApvQQHoOrsTJgQCJ0q8tx3WVC2G1

and there is more information about the company here:
www.markettheatre.co.ukImage attachment

2 weeks ago

Choice Radio Worcester

Anthony Horowitz is perhaps best known as the author of Foyle’s War and Sherlock Holmes and James Bond novels, but this week, audiences have a second chance to see a somewhat different side to the writer with his play Mindgame, using the concept of a serial killer’s incarceration away from the public’s gaze. And the play’s title simply and accurately describes its contents as the action on stage not only plays with the minds of the cast but also the audience as well.

However, it is difficult to review without giving too much away but simply put, things may not be as they seem in this tale set in an asylum in the Suffolk countryside. Author Mark Styles (Andrew Ryan) wants to get started on his third book about those who kill and couold have the coup of his career as he has arranged a meeting with the Director of the institution, Dr Farquhar (Michael Sherwin) with the aim of meeting one particular inmate, Easterman, who killed his mother. With Nurse Paisley (Angie Smith) being the only other character, the story revolves around the interaction between the three, touching on subjects such as the need for such establishments, who is capable of killing and the nature of evil itself. And is mad the same as evil?

Clues that everything is not what it seems are offered in act two when there are some subtle changes to the set and these will keep you guessing as to what exactly is going on, why is there raw meat in the fridge and is that a “real” skeleton in the room. And pay attention to the window…

A cleverly-written play with some genuinely chilling moments (and a couple which had the audience laughing) and all will be revealed by the end. Just be glad you are not a guest there...
... See MoreSee Less

Anthony Horowitz is perhaps best known as the author of Foyle’s War and Sherlock Holmes and James Bond novels, but this week, audiences have a second chance to see a somewhat different side to the writer with his play Mindgame, using the concept of a serial killer’s incarceration away from the public’s gaze. And the play’s title simply and accurately describes its contents as the action on stage not only plays with the minds of the cast but also the audience as well.

However, it is difficult to review without giving too much away but simply put, things may not be as they seem in this tale set in an asylum in the Suffolk countryside. Author Mark Styles (Andrew Ryan) wants to get started on his third book about those who kill and couold have the coup of his career as he has arranged a meeting with the Director of the institution, Dr Farquhar (Michael Sherwin) with the aim of meeting one particular inmate, Easterman, who killed his mother. With Nurse Paisley (Angie Smith) being the only other character, the story revolves around the interaction between the three, touching on subjects such as the need for such establishments, who is capable of killing and the nature of evil itself. And is mad the same as evil?

Clues that everything is not what it seems are offered in act two when there are some subtle changes to the set and these will keep you guessing as to what exactly is going on, why is there raw meat in the fridge and is that a “real” skeleton in the room. And pay attention to the window…

A cleverly-written play with some genuinely chilling moments (and a couple which had the audience laughing) and all will be revealed by the end. Just be glad you are not a guest there...Image attachmentImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

Sounds intriguing!!

2 weeks ago

Choice Radio Worcester

There can be few musicals with such a wealth of songs behind it which means that you are pretty much guaranteed to have all of your Michael Jackson favourites played at some point during Thriller Live, a truly energetic show, with some quieter moments, which reflects the talents of Jackson from the early days with his brothers onwards.

The show itself has been running, and repeatedly extended, in London since 2009 (and one of the cast in this production, Kieran Alleyne, was in that show at the age of just 13) - this touring version is an equally extravagant and expensive-looking show.

There are numerous elements which have to work together - not just the interpretation of the songs, but also the visuals, dancing and the music from the live band - and here it all blends together perfectly. The dancing, under the leadership of Dance Captain Daniel Bradford, is quite stunning - lively, often complicated but seemingly performed with ease in spite of how much the dancers need to cram in to each son. This was particularly the case during Blame it on the Boogie, Smooth Criminal and Thriller which, in conjunction with the beautiful graphics (which showed brilliantly how much LED technology has come of age) provided the audience with a really, er, thrilling experience!

One thing which makes the show different from other similar tributes is that there is no one singer "being" Michael Jackson. Indeed, no-one is credited as being him at all. Instead, a total of seven "vocalists" - male and female - take on that role and share the catalogue of hits between them and this works extremely well, no one person getting all the limelight in a truly ensemble show. The largely-hidden presence of the talented 6-piece band ups the ante too, especially when allowed to stroll onto the stage to strut their stuff. Which is really what this show is all about after all and what Jackson was a master of.

Regardless of what you may think of the man, his way of life or the recent accusations, there is no denying that he left a magnificent legacy in terms of disco hits and audience-pleasing songs and this superb musical will bring back many great memories to everyone who goes along to see it. And they will certainly leave with a spring in their step!
... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago

Choice Radio Worcester

Hitchin's Market Theatre seem to have cornered the market in "adult" versions of pantos and stories, having brought their hilarious Adult Panto to Worcester's Swan Theatre earlier this year.

Now they are back with another of their shows on June 6th - this time, taking the mickey out of Vestal Virgins in Roman Romp

If you saw Adult Panto, you'll know what to expect
If not, have a listen to Pete Phillips chatting to Glyn Doggett, the company's Production Manager about this and their other shows (of which there are quite a few - see their website for more information):
1drv.ms/u/s!ApvQQHoOrsTJgQCJ0q8tx3WVC2G1

www.markettheatre.co.uk
... See MoreSee Less

Hitchins Market Theatre seem to have cornered the market in adult versions of pantos and stories, having brought their hilarious Adult Panto to Worcesters Swan Theatre earlier this year. 

Now they are back with another of their shows on June 6th - this time, taking the mickey out of Vestal Virgins in Roman Romp

If you saw Adult Panto, youll know what to expect
If not, have a listen to Pete Phillips chatting to Glyn Doggett, the companys Production Manager about this and their other shows (of which there are quite a few - see their website for more information):
https://1drv.ms/u/s!ApvQQHoOrsTJgQCJ0q8tx3WVC2G1

www.markettheatre.co.ukImage attachment
Load more