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It was a cult novel, one of the iconic films of the 1960s, and more recently it has become an acclaimed stage play.

And ‘The Graduate’ – made famous by the film starring Ann Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman in 1967, and featuring the Simon and Garfunkel hit song ‘Mrs Robinson’ – is being performed on stage at Northampton’s Deco Theatre this May.

The theatre is teaming up with the award-winning White Cobra Productions, with three performances between Thursday, May 16th, to Saturday, May 18th.

“White Cobra did some outstanding productions at The Deco last year, and we are delighted to welcome them back,” said Jill Roach, House Manager of the Deco Theatre. “Having loved the film, I’m really excited about seeing The Graduate performed on stage, and I have no doubt that White Cobra will deliver another top class production for our audiences.”

Set in California in the 1960s, Benjamin Braddock is a confused young man. Having just graduated, he finds himself uncertain about his future, disconnected from his purpose, and increasingly alienated from the upper-class, suburban, “plastic” world of his parents.

Fighting panic and boredom, he is deeply conflicted but ultimately willing when Mrs. Robinson, the unhappily married, alcoholic, and charismatic wife of his father’s business partner, lures him into an affair. But Benjamin’s life becomes complicated when he falls in love with Elaine, Mrs Robinson’s upbeat daughter.

The stage adaptation of The Graduate is a dark comedy, full of rapid-fire dialogue between fascinating and horrifying characters, while exploring family dysfunction, parental expectations, crumbling marriages, and the naive, yet disillusioned, dichotomy of youth.

“As well as being a great film, The Graduate lends itself brilliantly to the stage,” said Richard Jordan, of White Cobra Productions. “It’s up there with other movies which have worked so well as theatre pieces, such as The Full Monty and Billy Elliott, and we can’t wait to bring it to the Deco stage in Northampton.”

To book tickets: https://www.thedeco.co.uk/event/the-graduate/ or call 01604 491005.

Britain’s Got Talent winner Lee Ridley – the Lost Voice Guy – kicks off a season of stand-up comedy at Northampton’s Deco Theatre when he brings his one-man show to the town on February 9th.

Lee, 38, won the £250,000 first prize last June, and with it an appearance at the Royal Variety Performance, which he did to much acclaim. He has also established himself as one of the country’s favourite stand-up comedians, and his touring show is playing to packed houses.

Following Lee to The Deco later in the month is Jack Barry, another acclaimed performer who takes to the Deco stage on February 23rd, with more great comedy in March and April.

Ahir Shah is stopping off at The Deco on March 15th, during his nationwide tour where he performs his stand-up show ‘Duffer’ which won him much praise, and played to full houses, at the Edinburgh Fringe last summer – a show that saw him earn a second successive nomination for Best Show at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards.

Completing a quartet of top class comedians at The Deco is Sean McLoughlin on April 5th. Fresh from being the warm-up act for Ricky Gervais during his UK tour last year, Sean will be performing his show ‘Hail Mary’, a show that led ‘Time Out’ to describe him as “…the best comedian you have never heard of.” He hopes this tour will rectify that low profile, though he is very well known to regular audiences on the comedy circuit.

“We’ve four fantastic stand-ups coming to The Deco and we’re really looking forward to providing our audiences with some great, fun, nights out,” said House Manager Jill Roach.

“Obviously Lee has been very much – and very deservedly – in the public eye following his Britain’s Got Talent success, but trust me, Jack, Ahir and Sean are all top class, and will each deliver a brilliant show.”

For more information about all four comedians, and all shows at The Deco, go to www.thedeco.co.uk, or call the Box Office on 01604 491005.

 

Northampton’s award-winning Elvis Presley tribute performer Simon Patrick is coming home to put on a show in his home town.

He’s performing at The Deco Theatre in Abington Square on Saturday, January 26th, and to add the rock and roll theme of the evening, he is being supported by tribute artists to Billy Fury and Shakin’ Stevens, along with The Viva Las Vegas showband, and backing singers.

“It’s always great to come home, and The Deco’s an amazing venue, I’m really excited to be performing there” said Simon. “It’s going to be an amazing evening performing as ‘the King’ live in concert, with awesome support in Johnny Red as Billy Fury and Dean Ryan as Shakin’ Stevens, and there’ll be a fantastic atmosphere, so come join the party!”

Simon, and Elvis fan since he was four years old, has been performing tribute shows to his hero for over 20 years. Back in 2007 he was the winner of Great Britain’s Best Elvis Tribute Artists, won the ‘Elvis European Championship’ three years later, and has been a finalist in the ‘Ultimate Elvis Competition’, staged in Memphis, USA.

Said Jill Roach, house manager at The Deco: “We’re absolutely delighted to be hosting Simon at The Deco, his show’s are amazing, and he very much justifies his reputation as one of the best Elvis tribute shows in Europe, let alone the UK.

“It’s a fantastic night out, and if you love Elvis, and a rock n roll night out, you’ll go a long way to beating this.”

For tickets, go to www.thedeco.co.uk, call the Box Office on 01604 491005, or pop by at The Deco, in Abington Square, Northampton, between 10am and 4pm Monday to Saturday.

Singer Lydia Lucy is back at The Deco this Christmas, which is great news for everyone who’ve told us how much they enjoyed her Panto performances in Peter Pan last year, and Beauty and the Beast in 2015. And despite a busy schedule, Lydia had no hesitation, she tells us, in accepting the invitation to play Cinderella this Christmas.

Actually, to describe Lydia’s schedule as ‘busy’ is to grossly under-estimate it. Perhaps ‘manic’ is more appropriate, or even ‘non-stop’. The bottom line is this: Lydia works incredibly hard; and such is her flourishing career as a singer and performer, her workload as taken her to many parts of the world this year, as well as all over the UK.

So, by her own admission, appearing in Panto in Northampton throughout December is rare stability. And anyway, she loves being at The Deco. “I really do,” she says. “It’s a wonderful family atmosphere: I love the team behind the scenes who work so hard, and are always so helpful and obliging, I love working with the cast – some familiar faces, but those I hadn’t met before are fab – and the audiences at Deco Pantos are always so much fun, and fantastic to perform to.”

It was after her first Deco Panto appearance in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ that Lydia went off to compete in the TV talent show ‘The Voice’, where she made it through to the Grand Final, and finished third. She made such a big impression to so many, that she has barely had a day off since!

And though she can’t give too much away at the moment, she is already excited about what 2019 holds, with exciting opportunities about to come her way.

“I’d love to say more, but it’s all under wraps at the moment,” said Lydia. “Suffice to say I’m excited, but then I’m very lucky, because I’m doing what I love: singing and performing; it’s so busy, it’s crazy at times, but always great fun.

“But doing Panto is great fun too, and crazy in a different way, because we all have so much fun on and off stage.

“And what’s more, we’ve got another fantastic show lined up, with a great cast, and yet again, an amazingly talented team of young local performers and dancers supporting us, so it’s all very exciting.”

‘Cinderella’ is at The Deco Theatre, Abington Square, from December 7 to 29. For tickets, www.thedeco.co.uk, call the Box Office on 01604 491005, or call by in person between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Saturday.

It may well be Halloween this week, but The Deco Theatre is set to continue the spooky celebrations into next month, with the forthcoming production of the popular musical ‘Little Shop of Horrors’.

The popular show mixes together horror, sci-fi, comedy and rock music, and has become a cult classic the world over since it was first performed on Broadway, in New York, 30 years ago.

This brand-new production will be playing at the Deco in Northampton for six performances between November 13th and 17th.

‘Little Shop of Horrors’, was devised and written by the combination of composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman, who are most famous for their work on some of Disney’s most popular films, including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast.

‘Little Shop’ showcases some of their finest work, with an electrifying 1960s pop/rock score, and became one of Broadway’s longest running shows.

The story revolves around the meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn, who stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II” after his co-worker, who he has a crush on.

But the plant develops a craving for human flesh and blood, and before long, Seymour feeds Audrey’s sadistic dentist boyfriend to the plant in the hope that he might then win her heart. The big question is whether “Audrey II” will take over the world, or if Seymour and Audrey can defeat it!

The show at The Deco features an amazing animatronic plant which starts off as a seedling but by the second half of the show has grown to fill almost the whole stage!!

Director Mindy Robinson says: “It’s a fabulous, fun, show, with great songs and some amazing performances, but people always leave talking about the Audrey II plant, it is a real scene stealer!”

Little Shop of Horrors runs at The Deco Theatre from Tuesday November 13th until Saturday November 17th at 7.30, with a 2.30 matinee on Saturday afternoon. To book, call The Deco Box Office on 01604 491005, or go online: https://www.thedeco.co.uk/event/little-shop-of-horrors/

 

She’s bright, she’s bubbly; she’s young, and she’s funny. Very funny. She’s Lauren Pattison, one of the rising stars of stand-up comedy, and heading to Northampton next month.

Lauren is a stand-up natural. She took to it like the proverbial duck to water from the moment she first gave it a go at 18, and such has been the impact she has made, Lauren has barely had a day off since turning professional just over a year ago.

Her shows – observational comedy, in which she shares her own life experiences – sell out. Indeed, there wasn’t a seat to be had during her run at the Edinburgh Festival in August, and so successful was that show, she is now taking it to venues around the country, including The Deco Theatre, in Northampton town centre, on Monday, November 19.

“I’m going to places I’ve been to before, and that I like, and Northampton fits the bill perfectly,” said Lauren, who has been making people laugh since she was at school in Newcastle. She said: “I was actually quite shy as a youngster, but in my teens I started doing drama and loved it; and what I loved most was making people laugh, so for me it seemed a natural segway to go from drama to comedy.

“I joined a local group for kids which specialised in comedy, which I loved, and from then on I listened to comedy, watched it on TV, and went to see it live; then at 18 I decided to go for it, and started looking for opportunities.

“The first gig I did was when I entered a competition for stand-ups near my home – I thought I’d give it a go, but also use the opportunity to meet people and get some advice,” she said. “I’d never done a gig before, but I got through to the semi-finals, which was really exciting.

“After that, I spoke to a local comedy club, who were good enough to find a slot for me, and from then on it was a chain reaction, with one gig leading to another, and so on.”

Lauren continued to gain experience during four years as a drama student at Northumbria University – she graduated with a first class masters degree – and combined studying with fitting in gigs wherever and whenever she could.

Her reputation flourished, and the next step was to move down to London to try her luck in the comedy clubs around and about the capital, though it was the after the five-star reviews she achieved for her debut Edinburgh Festival Show in 2017 that eventually gave her the confidence to turn professional, though she admits she did so with reservations.

“But it’s been an amazing year,” she said. “I’ve performed in Australia and Canada, I’ve appeared on TV in ‘The Comedy Store’, and I was nominated in the ‘Best Newcomer’ category for the Lastminute.com awards, so it’s gone really well.

“I now gig all over the country, and I love it; I’m earning a living doing something I find so fulfilling, and I’m enjoying every minute.”

Lauren describes herself on stage as ‘a storyteller’. She said: “My comedy is anecdotal and observational, I don’t do politics, nor do I do satire; the material I write is all based on my own experiences and observations.”

And a year on since turning professional, it is fair to observe that Lauren’s star is on the rise. “To think that last year I was excited, but also very scared,” she said. “I didn’t know where my next money was coming from, or if I was ever going to make it.”

But the flood of great reviews from critics and audiences alike speak for themselves. This rising star of stand-up comedy definitely made the right decision!

 You can see Lauren at The Deco, Northampton, on Monday, November 19. To book tickets, call the Box Office on 01604 491005 or book online: www.thedeco.co.uk/event/lauren-pattison-peachy/

 

Just a couple of weeks after under-going a painful hernia operation, Pete Bultitude, front-man of the Kettering based Genesis Connected, is going back on stage – and starting another UK Tour on home territory in Northamptonshire, when he takes his acclaimed tribute show to Northampton’s Deco Theatre.

Pete’s incapacity at the start of this month meant putting back their Deco show from October 5th to the 25th, and he says he cannot wait to be performing again.

“Playing in our home county is very important to us, and however frustrating it was to move the initial date, I had no choice, because if you get called in by the hospital for an operation you’ve been waiting for, you obviously do it,” said Pete.

“But it takes a lot to keep me down, and after a few days’ recuperation, we’re back rehearsing and looking forward to playing The Deco on Friday, October 25th, before heading down to London the following day.”

Genesis Connected is now acclaimed as Europe’s number one tribute act, and after winning rave reviews around the UK for their stunning tribute to the iconic band, are now receiving invitations to play abroad, and have already been over to Germany to perform.

“We have to be careful, because though we absolutely love what we do, we all have full time jobs, so we work our schedule around our work commitments, but the response we’re getting is phenomenal,” said Pete.

“We’re really looking forward to playing The Deco again; we had great feedback from our show there last year, and we’re delighted that such was the enthusiasm for us we have been invited back there.”

Pete became involved with Genesis Connected after coming up with the idea with keyboard player and his best friend Chris Woods.

He said: “We loved Genesis, but also loved the biggest solo acts that came from it. Once, we were both performing in a Phil Collins tribute show and the power cut, I grabbed an acoustic guitar and started playing Over My Shoulder by Mike and the Mechanics, the audience all sang along and me and Chris thought, time to do this!”

Which is why their show now covers all the great Genesis hits, plus the solo careers too of Collins and Peter Gabriel, and the music of Mike and the Mechanics, headed by guitarist Mike Rutherford.

Indeed, so authentic is the show that Pete also includes Collins’ drum solo as part of his repertoire. He is an accomplished drummer himself, inspired in the first place after hearing the drum fill in Collins’ song ‘In The Air Tonight’.

“It captured my imagination and from that moment on I was hooked,” said Pete. “Phil Collins is an icon to me; I even play a Premier 70s drum kit very similar to one he owned as well as using his signature drum sticks!”

Genesis Connected is at Northampton’s Deco Theatre on Friday, October 25th. For tickets: www.thedeco.co.uk/event/genesis-connected/ or call the Box Office on 01604 491005. The Deco is situated in Abington Square, Northampton, across the road from BBC Northampton, and opposite Steffans jewellers. St Michael’s car park is situated at the back of the theatre.

‘Emerald Storm’, a brand new theatre celebration of the glory of Irish dancing and culture, begins its first UK Tour this week. And is heading to The Deco later in the month, on Friday, October 26.

From the producers of the hit West End hit shows ‘Seven Drunken Nights – The Story of The Dubliners’, and ‘Walk Right Back – The Everly Brothers Story’, this exciting new show provides a fresh take on the Irish Dancing tradition, and features some of Ireland’s most talented performers.

Mike Crawshaw, of the vocal harmony group The Overtones, is a director of the show producers, Slamdunk Entertainments who produce the show.

”Irish dancing is very popular, and I absolutely love it,” he said. “What we want to do in ‘Emerald Storm’ is demonstrate the emerging contemporary scene within the world of Irish Dance, honouring it’s awesome tradition as we do it, but at the same time, bringing it into the 21st century, and highlighting what a new generation are now contribution to the art.

“We’ve a cast of amazing dancers, and we’re lucky to have a team of incredible musicians providing a heavenly soundtrack to our adventure,” he said. “From traditional folk songs, original instrumentals and modern acoustic tracks, the stunning vocalists and fantastic live musicians take you to another world.”

The show follows a thrilling story, set in Celtic mythology – a tale of good and evil, which keeps audiences the edge of their seats throughout, with the dynamic choreography and lyrical soundtrack.

Said Mike: “We wanted to break the mould and step in a fresh direction for shows of this genre. We couldn’t do a show of this nature without the explosive, driving numbers quintessential of the Irish Dance tradition, and nor would we want to!

“But the crossover pieces, the variety and contrast provide something unexpected which we hope will leaving audiences reeling, and wanting more; it’s something completely new and that’s never been explored before.

“Let us transport you to the mythological paradise of Celtic heaven – ‘the otherworld’ – in an epic battle between the light and the darkness.

“In a mystical land parallel to ours, a fairy kingdom exists in peace and tranquillity; but when an uprising threatens to destroy utopia, the Queen of the Otherworld is forced to call upon the help of the mortals.”

So, can the Emerald Storm defeat the elements and restore harmony? Will Heaven be saved?  Will the mortals succeed?

Join us at The Deco on Friday, October 26, to find out. It’s a fantastic production, amazing dancing, and a great night out!

 

She’s young, she’s very funny, and she’s heading to Northampton.

Award winning comedian Lauren Pattison is appearing at The Deco on Monday, November 19.

A native of Newcastle, Lauren, 23, turned professional at the end of last year, but has made a massive impact on the comedy circuit since. She has recently completed a successful, and acclaimed, stint at the Edinburgh Festival, where her show sold out, and before that she sold out too at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in Australia, and the prestigious Just For Laughs in Montreal, Canada.

Nominated for the Lastminute.com ‘Best Newcomer’ in 2017, tipped as one of comedy’s biggest names of the future, Lauren has already appeared on TV’s Live At The Comedy Story, and is heading to Northampton as part of a UK tour, with support from fellow comedian, Will Duggan.

“We’re delighted to be hosting Lauren in Northampton, she’s one of the most exciting young comedians to come on the scene for many years,” said Deco Theatre House Manager Jill Roach. “She is winning rave reviews wherever she goes, not just in the UK, but around the world,

“She’s a superb storyteller, very self-deprecating, and not yet even 24, she has a very bright future to look forward to, and the Deco audience will love her.”

For tickets, and more information, go to https://www.thedeco.co.uk/event/lauren-pattison-peachy/ or call The Deco on 01604 491005

 

A ‘pitch perfect’ styled singing competition is to be held at The Deco this summer to celebrate Northampton’s rich talent and diversity.

Organised by the Borough Council and The Deco, the Colours of the World competition aims to bring communities together in song on Wednesday, June 20.

The competition, which is open to all school, community and charity singing groups, quartets, trios and duos, will see singers from all backgrounds battle it out in front of a live audience from 6.30pm that day.

With entries for the competition now open, choirs and singing groups are being encouraged to put themselves forward for the chance to perform.

The winning act will not only be presented with the Colours of the World perennial shield but they will also win tickets to see ‘Cinderella’, The Deco’s 2018 Christmas panto, on December 13, and meet the cast after the show.

Councillor Anna King, Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “We are really excited to be working in partnership with The Deco Theatre to introduce this new event in Northampton.

“We know that Northampton has a lot of talented singing groups, from all different backgrounds, and we look forward to bringing everyone together, to celebrate the town’s diversity with this annual event.”

Groups can find out more information and enter the free competition at www.thedeco.co.uk/cotw

Entries close on Friday, 18 May.

Tickets to watch the competition are also available for £5 each, with under 5’s entering for free. To book please call 01604 491005.

 
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