All posts tagged Deco

He’s Bright. He’s Buttons. And he’s back in Northampton this Christmas.

He’s Lee Bright. Bright by name, and bright by nature; you can guarantee he will be a bundle of energy and fun during The Deco Theatre’s run of its Christmas Panto, ‘Cinderella’, this December.

This will be Lee’s 15th successive year of doing Panto, and ‘Buttons’ is among his favourite roles. He is back at The Deco after four years, and cannot wait to get started.

“I was in Wizard of Oz in 2014; I loved being at The Deco, and returning for the official photo-shoot was just like coming home,” said Lee, who played Aladdin in Bognor Regis last year. “The team behind the scenes are all so lovely.

“But not only that, they are very professional and extremely well organised, they work so hard to put on a fantastic Panto every Christmas, and judging by all the wonderful reviews over the years, they do that very well.”

As a performer, Lee has worked all over the UK, including London’s West End, but says Panto is ‘without doubt’ his favourite time of the year.

“Christmas is magical, and going to a Panto is a wonderful experience for families,” he said. “As I kid I loved it, and as a performer I love making the experience as special now as it was for me way back when.”

And Lee will be hoping The Deco audience love Buttons this Christmas. He said: “Buttons is actually quite a challenging role – you want the audience to love him, but you don’t want to over-shadow the Prince, so it’s a fine line, but all part of the fun.”

Chris Wills is playing the Prince this Christmas, starring alongside Lee, Lydia Lucy, Colin Ridgewell, Sammy Webb, Fern Roach and Clive Fletcher, supported, as usual, by an awesome cast of young dancers.

Said Lee: “It’s a fantastic cast of talented people, who are all very easy to get along with, and I’m looking forward to working with them in December. For me, great Panto is a perfect blend of all the elements: a dame, good voices, choreography,  and bringing everyone together to work as a team.

“We have all that and more, including not just one, but two fantastic dames in Colin and Sammy, we all know that Lydia has an awesome singing voice, and once again The Deco has put together another talented cast.”

“The audiences are terrific at The Deco, and we really appreciate that people choose our Panto to come and see, which is another reason why it is so important to make sure they go away having had a magical time.”

Away from performing, Lee teaches others to follow in his footsteps through his business Bright-Starz, which he runs from his home town, Chesham. “I teach singing and acting on a one-to-one basis, and I also teach audition techniques, which is something that too often gets overlooked.

“I’ve done plenty of auditions myself in the past, and I’ve also sat on panels watching and judging auditions, so I’ve seen it all,” said Lee.

And though he loves teaching, he still loves being on stage himself just as much. Especially doing Panto’s at Christmas, which is great news for The Deco. We have no doubt the audiences will love Lee in ‘Cinderella’ as they did in ‘Wizard of Oz’ four years ago.

And one thing is for sure: there’ll never be a dull moment with Lee about!

Comedy, Panto, tributes, nostalgia, a traditional Irish knees-up, and some more Forbidden Nights – The Deco Theatre already has a packed programme of top class entertainment lined up for 2019, with lots more to follow.

The comedy comes from the fantastic Lost Voice Guy, otherwise known as Lee Ridley, who wowed the nation earlier this year when he was an extremely popular winner of the ITV talent show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.

Lee brings his touring show – described by critics as “laugh-out loud funny” – to The Deco on Saturday, February 9, one of two great shows that month. A week before, on February 2, The Deco goes all nostalgic for the music of the 1980s, with the hit-show ‘80’s Mania’, that is stopping off in Northampton during a UK tour earning much acclaim.

Another acclaimed kicks off the New Year programme at The Deco, with a celebration of legendary singer Whitney Houston, in the acclaimed show ‘Whitney, Queen of the Night’ on Saturday, January 19; a stunning production that has earned standing ovations wherever it has played, and does total justice to the late, great singer.

In March another singing legend is celebrated at The Deco – The Girl From Tiger Bay, on Friday, March 22nd, is an awesome, and fitting tribute to the great Dame Shirley Bassey. Joanne Copeland has been performing as Dame Shirley since 2002, and has so far taken her show to 25 countries, and her show takes you on a journey through 65 years of Shirley Bassey’s amazing career.

There are two more fantastic tribute nights in April, honouring the music of Madonna on Friday, April 19 in the show ‘Material Girl’, then celebrating the rhythm and blues legend Luther Vandross a week later, on April 26 in the touring show ‘Luther’.

Returning to The Deco by popular demand on March 1 is Forbidden Nights, a show that always attracts 5-star ratings, and which has twice played out to packed houses during previous visits to the Northampton theatre.

Also in March, a great Irish party on Friday the 29th – yet another highly acclaimed production comes to The Deco, with ‘Seven Drunken Nights – the story of The Dubliners’. This is another show that has thrilled audiences nationwide, including London’s West End, and is guaranteed to be an awesome knees-up for all.

And completing a fantastic first four months of 2019 is The Deco’s Easter Panto Spectacular, Beauty and the Beast, over two days on April 10th and 11th. This is the fourth year The Deco team have put on a Spring Panto, which has proved highly popular with local families looking for Easter entertainment.

For details about all Deco shows, visit the website at www.thedeco.co.uk, or call 01604 491005.

For the girls of the Welland Valley Under 13s football team, it was a pre-season friendly with a difference!

Indeed, they had quite a shock when they turned up for a run-out, in preparation for their new league season, which begins next month (September). Because facing them across the other side of the pitch was the cast of The Deco Theatre’s Christmas Panto, ‘Cinderella’.

There was Cinderella herself, who fancied herself as a useful striker, though Lydia Lucy admitted later she much preferred singing to playing football. Buttons and Prince Charming took it all very seriously, while the two Panto Dames – Sam and Chris – almost gave the impression they might have played the game before!

And by the time the girls – who play in the Northamptonshire Womens’ and Girls’ Macron Football League – had come to terms with who they were up against, they had conceded two goals!

But the result was academic. And for the record, it finished in a 2-2 draw. This was all in the name of fun. The Welland Valley girls won a Deco competition to feature in the promotion video for this year’s Panto, and the 7-a-side football match will be the main feature of the film.

“It was fantastic fun, and the girls loved every minute of it,” said Welland Valley coach Rob Golding. “We were absolutely thrilled to be chosen to appear in the video, the cast were all a pleasure to be with, and we’re all really looking forward to meeting up again with them in December when we go to see the Panto.”

After Buttons and Dame Sam gave the Panto cast a first half lead, Welland Valley fought back in the second. Molly Jones scored a penalty, but the girls were still heading for defeat until Dame Sam scored a dramatic own goal in the last minute of the game.

“As a footballer I actually think Sammy Webb makes a great Panto Dame,” said Buttons, played by Lee Bright, and his team’s second goal scorer. “Fancy kicking the ball into the wrong goal – it was outrageous; we were playing to win!

“Actually, a draw was definitely a fair result, but most importantly we all had great fun, we were made extremely welcome by everyone at Welland Valley, and we wish them all the very best for their new season.”

‘Cinderella’ at The Deco, runs from December 7th to 29th. For tickets, which start from just £10, go to www.thedeco.co.uk, or call the Box Office on 01604 491005

 
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