All posts tagged The Deco

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.

 

Dean Friedman has been hailed as one of the greatest songwriters of his generation. And visitors to Northampton’s Deco Theatre will find out why when he performs live on Thursday, July 16th.

The Deco is one of 37 venues the American legend has included on his annual tour of the UK.

Friedman, from New Jersey, was elevated to international stardom in the late 1970s and early 80s, when his hit singles included Lucky Star, Lydia and Ariel, among others. He has written and recorded successful albums over four decades, and continues to perform all over the world.

But it is for the UK that he has a special soft-spot: he has had more success in the singles’ charts in this country than anywhere else in the world. “I put that down to boring business and politics,” he said. “If the songs receive air-play they will have success, it’s just a matter of getting on the playlists, but the thing is, I’ve been an independent for most of the last four decades so it’s difficult to compete.

“But my songs are successful in spite of that – I wrote a song called McDonald’s Girl which was banned (by the BBC) because of the reference to the fast food chain in its chorus,” he said. “That was then, but later on McDonald’s used it in an advertising campaign, and Barenaked Ladies had a hit with it.

Friedman, now 63, is not just an immensely talented musician, singer and songwriter, he is also an accomplished entertainer, who thrives on inter-action with his audience during his shows.

He said: “I do believe that engaging an audience face to face – standing in the same room, breathing the same air – is the most profound and richest mode of communication that we’ve got, or will ever have.”

During his concert at The Deco, Friedman will be performing solo, on guitar and keyboard, featuring songs from throughout his four-decade career, including familiar, radio hits and fan favourites, drawn from his eight studio albums.

“I love coming to England, it’s always a pleasure playing to an appreciative audience, and it’s why I come over every year,” he said.

For more information, and tickets, go to www.thedeco.co.uk/event/dean-friedman/ or call The Deco Box Office on 01604 491005.

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/.

 

There’s great children’s entertainment at The Deco still to come this year: from Pinocchio to Pongo’s Party, and the best in Panto, with ‘Beauty and the Beast’ this Easter Holiday to ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ at Christmas. You won’t beat The Deco for fantastic children’s entertainment, and fun for all the family.

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant gets a spring season of children’s fun underway on March 28th, a fantastic show featuring 21 lovable puppets. Then, from one lovable character to another, as the iconic Basil Brush is among the stars of our Easter Panto, which also features Atomic Kitten’s Kerry Katona, and X-Factor finalist now CBBC presenter Lauren Platt. ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is on at The Deco over two days, on the afternoon of April 10th, and the evening of the following day, April 11th.

Two days later, it’s children’s party time at The Deco. You are all invited to join us for Pongo’s Party, hosted by Marty McDonald. But will Pongo’s friends – including Molly Moo the cow, Sheena the sheep, and Sally the scarecrow – remember to be there. We’re sure they will. But what we DO know that the Easter Bunny has promised to make an appearance!

The Amazing Adventures of Pinocchio comes to the Deco on May 12th – it’s a brand new, musical adaption of a much-loved classic tale, brought to you by Immersion Theatre, and packed with lots of new songs, audience participation, and plenty of laughter, too.

Then, later in the year, Marty McDonald and friends are back in town for Half-Term fun on October 28th, this time celebrating the arrival of a Toy Machine at the farm. What could possibly go wrong! There’s more awesome Half-Term fun that week with The Snow Queen, on October 30th, a wonderful new adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson classic that inspired Frozen, and brought to life by actors-musicians, illusion and puppets.

All that, and another top-class Christmas Panto with ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ between December 6th and 28th, and even more: join us on December 13th for a brand new show coming to The Deco: Santa’s Christmas Countdown – not just great entertainment, but every child leaves with a present from Santa himself!

The Deco. Children’s entertainment of the highest quality in 2019.

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.

Actor Chris Wills returns to The Deco Theatre this Christmas for his second Panto appearance as Prince Charming in Cinderella. He played the role successfully two and a half years ago, when The Deco put on its first Spring Panto, and is not only delighted to be doing it all again, but to be back in Northampton for a second successive year.

“Cinderella is a terrific Panto,” said Chris, who is originally from Wigan, in Lancashire, but now lives and works out of London. “I’m really excited to be back in Northampton, we’ve another great show, a fantastic cast again, and if the audiences are as wonderful as last year, then it’s going to be another wonderful Panto experience.

“The audiences generate a fantastic atmosphere: they make lots of noise, they’re interactive, and they all turn up with the purpose of having fun, and as a performer, that is exactly what we want!”

It has been a busy year for Chris, since he ended last year’s run of ‘Peter Pan’ at The Deco. For much of 2018 he has been on the road, travelling around the UK, Europe, and into Asia, performing in the touring production of Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice’.

“It’s been busy, it’s been fun and I’ve really enjoyed myself,” he said. “But it’s been intense, and doing Panto is obviously quite a contrast, though I’m very lucky as an actor to have a wide variety of opportunities.”

Chris will be starring in the Deco Panto alongside Lydia Lucy, Colin Ridgewell, Lee Bright, Clive Fletcher, Fern Roach, and Sammy Webb, who is also directing the show, his first at The Deco. “It’s another fantastic cast, Sam’s a great character on and off stage, and I’m really looking forward to working with him, his knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, Panto is awesome.

“The other thing which always really excites me is the consistently high standard of young, local performers who appear in Deco Panto’s as part of the Chorus, and once again I’m hearing how hard they’re working in preparation.

“Not only that, The Deco have a fantastic support staff behind the scenes; they really look after us and make us welcome; and for all of us, it becomes one big family for a month – and that includes the audiences!”

Chris is a perfect fit for Panto, as much of his work is with Children’s Theatre productions.

“I love it, and I love Panto,” he says. “Great Panto involves a good team, good songs, naff jokes and lots of fun, and that’s what we’ve got, and will be having, in our Cinderella show, and I can’t wait to get started.”

‘Cinderella’ runs at The Deco from December 8 to 30. For tickets: www.thedeco.co.uk, call the Box Office on 01604 491005, or pop by to The Deco, in Abington Square, between 10am and 4pm Monday to Saturday.

 
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