All posts tagged The Deco

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 front of the iconic building that has been a fixture in Northampton town centre since 1936 is being rebranded.

What many people in the town still remember fondly as The Savoy is being relaunched as The Old Savoy, and visitors to shows at The Deco Theatre will be able to enter through the main doors from later this year.

As well as a facelift outside, visitors to the building will be able to celebrate the history and character inside the entertainment venue that opened as a ‘super-cinema’ 83 years ago, and famously hosted The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, among others, in the early 1960s.

The rebranding project is being driven by Northampton based Stage Right Productions, who have been running The Deco as an independent family-run enterprise since 2009, and host shows throughout the year, including sell-out Pantos each December. Stage Right will now be overseeing the running of the auditorium, and associated hires.

“We are absolutely thrilled by this opportunity to open up the front of this beautiful building to our audiences,” said Jill Roach, House Manager at The Deco. “That we are now in a position to do this is just so exciting.”

The Deco Theatre will retain its identity, but going forward will become ‘The Deco at the Old Savoy’, while plans for The Old Savoy will involve further development of the site as a creative arts and community hub for Northamptonshire.

“We feel that this is going to be a really popular development for Northampton Town Centre,” said Jill. “When we celebrated 80 years of the building in 2016 so many people spoke fondly about it, and shared lovely memories of days gone by, and this sentiment was echoed by visitors to our recent Heritage days.

“When we dropped hints about our plans, the response from visitors was not only very positive, but extremely enthusiastic, and we want this wonderful entertainment venue to stand proud and tall in the town as it did for many years.”

The building, owned by Northampton Borough Council, opened to the public as The Savoy, a cinema and theatre, on May 2nd, 1936, before becoming the ABC Cinema in 1961,  then taken over by Cannon in the 1980s, who ran it as a multiplex cinema until 1996, when it was allowed to become derelict.

The charity that acquired the lease in 2004 funded and restored the building under the guidance of English Heritage, with considerable donations from a local church. From then until recently it has operated as a hiring space for many agencies. Stage Right Productions will not only continue to operate the Deco theatre, but be further involved to help develop ‘The Old Savoy’ as a creative hub.

“When we open the famous front doors for the first time for a show, it will be the beginning of a new era for this fantastic building,” said Jill. “This is a wonderful opportunity, and it will take us to a new level in terms of what we can deliver, and offer to, our audiences – we are aiming to have everything in place in time for Panto in December.”

Former Northampton Girls School student Ellie-Rose Green will be making her professional performing debut in this Christmas’s Deco Theatre Panto, Jack and the Beanstalk.

Ellie Rose, 19, graduated from the acclaimed Italia Conti Academy, in Guilford, this summer, where she studied music and theatre. Since returning home to Northampton she has been working as a dance teacher, and is now counting the days to the Panto’s opening night, on December 6th.

“I’m just so excited to get this opportunity, and so soon after coming home, it’s really exciting,” said Ellie-Rose, who has been passionate about dancing since she took her first steps as a toddler. Indeed, it was as a dancer that she auditioned for a part in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, but Panto director Sam Munday-Webb spotted her potential to have a senior role in the production.

“I actually went along to audition as a senior dancer in the Panto, but Sam looked at my CV, asked me if I could sing, gave me a script to read, and then the opportunity to prove myself,” said Ellie-Rose. “Later that day he rang and offered me the part, which was fantastic.”

Among those who were quick to congratulate her was Charlee Marsh, the owner of the Starlight Musical Theatre and Dance School in Northampton, where Ellie-Rose now teaches on a Saturday, and where she was a student for 11 years, before going off to college in 2016.

“I am so proud of Ellie-Rose I could burst,” said Charlee. “She is such a talented young lady, who we know had a great future ahead of her from the moment she first joined us, when she was five years old; she’s a natural.”

Ellie-Rose, who lives in Abington, comes from more of a sporty family than a theatrical one: her father, Peter, is a well-known former local footballer, and her younger brother, Lewis, 16, is a talented player with Rushden and Diamonds. Her mum, Julie, is a local hairdresser.

She will play the Fairy in the Panto, and line-up alongside Chris Wills, Colin Ridgewell, Vikki Stone, Clive Fletcher, Fern Roach, and Sam Munday-Webb, who is combining the role of ‘Simple Simon’ with directing the show, as he did last year.

“It’s a fantastic cast, and it’s going to be another brilliant Deco Panto,” said Ellie-Rose. “I’m not only looking forward to working with the cast, but learning from them all, too, as I know I will.”

‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, at The Deco, runs from December 6th to 28th, and to see Ellie-Rose and the rest of the cast in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ at the Deco Theatre in December, you can book tickets online at www.thedeco.co.uk, by telephone on 01604 491005, or by stopping by at The Deco, in Abington Square, Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm.

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.

 

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.

 
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