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The Deco Theatre is delighted to be hosting the award-winning, multi-sensory musical theatre company, Collar & Cuffs Co, when they perform the all-new ‘The Christmas Clock Returns’ in The Glen Suite on Sunday, December 8th – and we’ve saved the day by doing so!

Their popular Christmas children’s show is normally hosted at Delapre Abbey, but an administrative mishap left them potentially them with no venue. When The Deco heard about the problem, we were only too pleased to make our room available so that the organisers, the parents, and most importantly the children, were not disappointed.

“We’re absolutely delighted that The Deco has been able to step in and save the day, and can’t thank them enough” said Julia Collar, of Collar & Cuffs Co. “It was a genuine oversight, and the Delapre team feel really bad about what happened, but these things happen, it’s lovely that there’s a happy ending, and we can’t wait to be putting on our show at The Deco.”

‘The Christmas Clock Returns’ is a musical multisensory adventure about the excitement in the countdown to Christmas. Join the Spirits of Christmas exploring traditions of the festive season, and also discover lots of great tips for helping children cope with excitement and anticipation – a production suitable for children up to seven years old, and fully inclusive for special needs.

Said Julia: “It’s a very relaxed environment, with small audiences all inter-acting together and having fun, and we would love you to join us for one of the two performances we’ll be putting on at The Deco on December 8th.”

For more information, visit http://www.collarandcuffs.org/the-christmas-clock.html

As a music loving young schoolgirl growing up in Northampton in the 1960s, Angie Marriott spent many a happy evening watching live bands at what was then The ABC – the iconic town centre building previously The Savoy, now hosting The Deco Theatre, and about to be relaunched as The Old Savoy.

When The Deco opened up the building to visitors during the recent Heritage Weekend, Angie decided it was time for a trip down Memory Lane, and was among those who joined the guided tours.

And she was in for a pleasant surprise. As she walked through the bar area, towards the main auditorium, she did a double take at a framed photograph hanging from the wall. To her astonishment, Angie realised she was in that photo, which was taken when ‪The Beatles played at The ABC in November 1963.

“I’d known the picture existed, but it was still a shock to see it framed on the wall, and it immediately brought back so many memories,” Angie told us. Now 69, she was just 13 years old when that photo (she’s on the left) was taken, and it was the second time that year she’d seen the Fab Four at The ABC. “They first played Northampton on March 27th, 1963, the day after their second LP, ‘Please, Please, Me’ was released.

“In March they were actually the supporting act to ‪Chris Montez and ‪Tommy Roe would you believe – but things had changed when they came back ‪on November 6th,” she said. “By this time they had really hit the big time; they were topping the bill by then, and it was at this concert where the picture was taken.

“Yes, I was screaming, as were most of the other female teenagers in the audience that night, but I also loved their music too – I’ve been a Beatles fan since they first burst on the scene, and I’m so proud and lucky to say I was able to see them play live, twice.”

Name some of the other biggest acts in the UK rock and pop world in the early 60s, and there’s a chance that Angie saw them at The ABC. “‪The Rolling Stones came here in 1965 and I was there then,” she remembered. “‪Del Shannon, ‪Billy Fury, ‪The Yardbirds with the very young ‪Jimmy Page and ‪Eric Clapton, ‪Gerry and The Pacemakers, ‪Gene Pitney, Manfred Mann, and many more; and among the comperes in those days were Jimmy Tarbuck, Dave Allen and Helen Shapiro!”

In those days, Angie lived in Kingsthorpe, and was a pupil at Notre Dame School in Northampton town centre. She would rush home from school, change, and then head into town on the bus to meet up with friends, who went to the concert with her.

“There were two older ones – Roy and Sandy – who we got to know: they would queue up all night to make sure we got the best tickets, and we were very lucky, we were always at the front thanks to them, and I have such happy memories of great times with lovely friends,” she said.

Of all the acts she saw at The ABC between 1963 and 1967, ‪The Beatles made the most impact. Now, 56 years on, she loves their music as much she ever has. “Their appeal was that they were four very talented individuals who blended perfectly together, created a beautiful sound, and wrote many of the greatest songs ever,” said Angie. “I was so disappointed when they split up in 1970, but we could all see it coming; I then followed their individual careers.”

Angie is delighted the building that was The ABC in her youth, having opened in 1936 as The Savoy, is now being re-branded as The Old Savoy, and becoming not just an entertainment venue, but a community hub for everyone to use.

“It’s wonderful news, absolutely fantastic, and it’s going to make such a big difference to the town centre,” she said. “For many people in the town it is a venue that gave them so many happy memories, and I’m sure it is going to make memories for many other people in the years ahead.”

The multi award-winning comedian and musician Vikki Stone is completing the line-up for this year’s Deco Theatre Panto, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.

Vikki will the Panto ‘baddie’ between December 6th and 28th, playing Flesh Creep – a role she’s perfectly suited to, having been nominated twice for ‘Best Baddie’ in the annual British Panto Awards, and is very proud of.

“I absolutely love being the baddie, it’s fantastic fun, and the more I get booed and jeered the more I think I must be doing my job well,” she said. “I have loved Panto since I was a child, and it’s a privilege now for me to be among the performers on stage entertaining the audiences.”

Vikki will be lining up in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ with Deco regulars Colin Ridgewell, Chris Wills, Clive Fletcher and Fern Roach. Ellie-Rose Green makes her professional debut, while Sam Munday-Webb both performs in, and directs the Panto, for the second year.

Said Vikki: “This is my first time at The Deco, but everyone made me so welcome at the photo-call, and I’m really looking forward to being involved in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ – and having established a glowing reputation for the quality of its Pantos over the years, I’m looking forward to being part of another great show at a lovely theatre.”

Vikki, whose credits include is The Now Show on BBC Radio 4, The John Bishop Show on BBC One, and the BBC Proms Podcast, is very much a rising star, and Northampton audiences can see her in her own touring show ‘Song Bird’ at The Derngate on October 19th.

“Northampton is very blessed with its choice of great entertainment venues, and between them there is something for everyone, which is fantastic for local people,” said Vikki, whose show has earned her favourable comparisons to the late, great Victoria Wood.

To book tickets for ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ at The Deco, go online: https://www.thedeco.co.uk/event/jack-and-the-beanstalk/ or call the Box Office on 01604 491005.

After the success he had directing last year’s Christmas Panto ‘Cinderella’, Sam Munday Webb will be back at The Deco performing the same role this year, for ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.

This time, Sam will be concentrating solely on his role as director, having doubled up last year as one of the ‘Ugly Sisters’, forming a superb, and hilarious, double act with Colin Ridgewell. But he wants to dedicate his total attention to putting on a fantastic Panto.

Indeed, The Deco is in perfect hands: Sam is a student of Panto, and an acknowledged expert in the field; he is also the executive producer of the Annual British Panto Awards, which he helped launch four years ago, and which is fast establishing itself as one of the big awards ceremonies of the showbiz calendar.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be working with The Deco again this year,” said Sam, who runs the Brackley Youth Theatre in the town where he lives, and has recently launched a consultancy offering specialist coaching in presentation skills. “The Deco’s a lovely theatre, and it has deservedly established itself as a venue for top class, and affordable, Panto for all the family.

“I absolutely loved every minute of last year’s Panto experience at The Deco; I wanted to create something fresh and modern, but embedded in tradition, and I certainly believe we succeeded.

“The cast were a pleasure to work with, the standard of the talented young singers and dancers supporting us was amazing, the audiences were awesome, the feedback was immense, and the team behind the scenes were fantastic and incredibly supportive.

“I didn’t need to think about it when I was offered the opportunity to do it again,” said Sam. “But this year I thought it best to totally dedicate myself to my duties as a director: playing one of the Ugly Sisters was great fun, and doing it with Colin was a laugh a minute, but I’m going to be totally hands-on behind the scenes.

If anyone knows what makes good Panto, it is Sammy – a Panto fanatic, be it as a performer, director, or a member of the audience, and he has a phenomenal knowledge of its history and tradition.

So as an expert in Panto, what makes a good show?

“For me personally, I love the relationship between audience and performer,” he said. “I love the freedom of interaction with the audience during the show; the off-the-cuff laughs that you can have, and adapting the script throughout the run to make it relevant to issues in the news.

“The camaraderie, banter, and respect among the cast last year made it a pleasure to turn up every day, during rehearsals and the run of the Panto, and if the audience see you all having fun together on stage, and enjoying it as much as they are, then you’re on to a winner.”

For tickets for ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ at The Deco: www.thedeco.co.uk, or call the Box Office on 01604 491005. Alternatively, call in at The Deco, on Abington Square, between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Saturday.

For more information about the Panto Awards, visit the website: https://www.pantomimeawards.co.uk/

The Deco Theatre is offering an amazing opportunity to youngsters between six and 17 years old during later this year, with the opportunity to take part in their Summer Holiday Youth Theatre Workshop in August.

The Workshop runs for a week from August 5th, from 10am to 4pm each day, with the finale, on Saturday, August 10th, when the youngsters will be performing the musical ‘Fame! Jr’ to a live audience at 2.30pm and 6.30pm.

For £155 – and £100 for siblings – youngsters taking part in the Workshop will spend a week learning, rehearsing and then performing two shows on the Saturday. The fee includes a DVD of the show, and two free tickets for one of the live performances; extra tickets cost £10.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for children from six to 17 to take part in a youth drama and dance project, in an actual theatre and performing on stage before a live audience at the end of the project,” said Jill Roach, House Manager at The Deco Theatre.

“This project has been incredibly successful since we started doing it a few years ago, with the finished product each time phenomenal, and we’re really excited to be doing it again this year.”

All participants are welcome to audition for main parts of the show. Those auditions will be held on Sunday, May 19th, from 10am to 1pm, and the following day, on Monday, May 20th from 5pm to 8pm. Call backs will be on Saturday 8th June from 2.30pm to 5.30pm.

‘Fame! Jr.’ is set during the last years of the “Fame School,” New York City’s celebrated High School for the Performing Arts on 46th Street (1980-1984). The musical follows the bittersweet but inspiring story of a diverse group of students as they commit to four years of gruelling artistic and academic work in order to achieve their dream of “hitting the heights” and putting their “name in lights.” But it’s not always plain sailing!

Please call The Deco theatre on 01604 491005 for a registration/audition pack or email us at hello@thedeco.co.uk.

 

TV quiz star and acclaimed comedian Paul Sinha is bringing his stand-up comedy show to Northampton’s Deco Theatre in June.

Paul, a qualified medical doctor, and now famous as one of the stars of the popular ITV quiz show The Chase, is coming to The Deco on Wednesday, June 5th. Paul is the headline act on a night of comedy that includes three talented support comedians, Chris Kent, Josh Pugh and Rich Wilson.

It’s Paul’s second visit to The Deco – he was star performer on a comedy night at the theatre in August 2013, when he went down a storm with the audience.

“Paul was hilarious when he was here five and a half years ago, and we’re delighted to be welcoming him back,” said The Deco’s House Manager, Jill Roach. “Paul is obviously a very clever man, and in the top 50 of the world’s best quizzers, a status he proves worthy of regularly on The Chase.

“But he is also an extremely talented stand-up performer who now travels all over the country, and indeed the world, entertaining audiences, and with a fantastic support cast that he brings with him, we’re looking forward to another great night of stand-up comedy at its very best!”

For tickets to see Paul Sinha – known to his fans on The Chase as ‘The Sinnerman’, and reknown for the white suits he wears on the show – perform his stand-up comedy routine, and his support act of talented comedians, call The Deco box office on 01604 491005, or book online: https://www.thedeco.co.uk/event/paul-sinah/.

 

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.

 
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