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Christmas might seem a lifetime away at the moment, but let’s all stay positive and look forward, and ahead, to when normality returns. What better to look forward to than a good fun, family Christmas Panto. And if you buy your tickets for Sleeping Beauty (December 10th to 31st) before, and including March 31st, you pay just £12.50 for ANY seat in the house.

In the light of the current crisis and uncertainty, we have set up a deposit scheme, for customers who wish to take advantage of the £12.50 offer but are worried about committing to it with what’s going on at the moment.

It means you can secure your seats, and the special offer price, by paying 20 per cent now, and the balance ‪on Tuesday, September 1st – we will contact you to take the balance. So, if you book, for instance, 4 tickets this week you pay just £10 deposit now, then the £40 bargain price balance on September 1st.

Please book online only, and use promotion code ‘Deposit’. Click on the link to make your booking. The offer is available until, and including March 31st – a week today. https://www.thedeco.co.uk/event/sleeping-beauty-christmas-2020/

We are working incredibly hard rescheduling shows that are having to be postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Where shows have been rescheduled, tickets will automatically be valid for these future performances. But we will be in touch with all ticket holders directly, to verify that, and – if required – detail the refund process if you cannot make the rescheduled date. So far only one show, Rapunzel, on April 18th, has been cancelled, and the email you receive will detail the process of your refund.

As of today, March 19th, the following shows have been affected by the current situation, and will no longer go ahead on the planned date;

  • 20th March –  Seven Drunken Nights – postponed, date to be confirmed
  • 21st March – Dancing Schools UK – postponed date, to be confirmed
  • 25th March – Old Time Music Hall, Cockney Knees up – postponed to 8th July
  • 26th March – Old Time Music Hall, Cockney Knees up – postponed to 9th July
  • 28th March – Johnny Ball Wonder of Numbers – postponed to 15th October
  • 1st April – Only Fools and Boycie – postponed to 5th September
  • 3rd April – No 1 Elton – postponed, date to be confirmed
  • 4th April – Sound of Springsteen – postponed to 3rd September
  • 6th April – Wizard of Oz – postponed to 29th March 2021
  • 7th April – Wizard of Oz – postponed to 30th March 2021
  • 10th April – Ben Hart – postponed to 26th October
  • 17th April – Iain Stirling – postponed to 12th March 2021
  • 18th April – Rapunzel – Cancelled
  • 24th April – Carpenters Gold – postponed, date to be confirmed
  • 25th April – Luther Vandross Celebration – postponed, date to be confirmed
  • 8th May – Walk Right Back – postponed, date to be confirmed

Due to the unprecedented level of enquiries we are currently dealing with, we request that you do not call our Box Office regarding any existing bookings.

For new bookings and enquiries, our Box Office can be contacted by telephone Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm, and all shows can be accessed online at www.thedeco.co.uk. During this period all booking fees have been removed. Unfortunately, an in-person service will not be available, therefore please do not try and visit the box office until further notice.  We will notify you as soon as we are able to resume this service.

We wish to thank you for your understanding, patience and continued support during these challenging times, and will aim to keep you all regularly updated, as soon as information becomes available.

Take care and stay safe

Team DECO

Our Easter Panto ‘The Wizard of Oz’, on April 6th and 7th, has been postponed due to the on-going COVID-19 crisis. The show has been rescheduled for March 29th and 30th next year.

As with other postponed performances, we will be in touch with all ticket holders directly, and – if required – detail the refund process if you are unable to make the rescheduled date.

Due to the unprecedented level of enquiries we are currently dealing with, we request that you do not call our Box Office regarding your booking.

Once again, thank you for your patience and understanding.

Team Deco are working incredibly hard rescheduling shows. We will be in contact with all ticket holders directly to explain the position regarding their tickets.

All shows up until 18th April 2020 have been effected by the current situation regarding COVID-19 and will no longer go ahead on the planned dates, we have sent an email to all ticket holders effected by the date changes.

Where possible we have rescheduled all shows for the upcoming months and tickets will automatically be valid for these future performances. We are working to confirm the future status of all shows as soon as possible, and we have started to contact everyone effected during this initial period.

Going forward, with immediate effect our Box Office will be serviced by telephone only Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm, and online at www.thedeco.co.uk – bookings fees apply to online bookings only. If you wish to avoid bookings fees, please call us on 01604 491005 between the above times.

Due to the unprecedented level of enquiries we are currently dealing with, we request that you do not call our Box Office regarding existing bookings.

We wish to thank you for your understanding and patience during these challenging times, and will aim to keep you all regularly updated.

Stay Safe

Team DECO

The Deco prides itself on sparking creativity, being the place to be and building connections between people and businesses within our sector.

In light of the coverage on COVID-19 and the impact it is having globally, The Deco Theatre has been closely considering how we continue to deliver outstanding shows and by bringing people together in a safe environment.

We are mindful of our duty of care and consulting with experts to ensure the wellbeing of every attendee. Following advice from the Government, the Department of Health, Social Care and Public Health England The Deco Theatre will still be opening its doors for its upcoming shows, conferences and training events.

As a ticket holder, we want to let you know that should we be forced to postpone or cancel any show by instruction of the UK government in the first instance we will look to reschedule the show with the promoters. If this is not possible or the rescheduled date is not convenient, we will look to refund all ticket purchases booked through our box office (this will not include P&P or booking fees).

You do not need to do anything; we will contact you within 28 days to make arrangements to refund you. If you have purchased a ticket via another supplier, you will need to contact them directly.

Due to the current situation, we have put in place the following:

 

We ask all visitors to follow these guidelines (as advised by the NHS):

• If you have been in contact with someone with coronavirus or have returned from an affected area identified by the Chief Medical Officer as high risk and you are feeling unwell with a cough, difficulty breathing or fever, stay at home and use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or call NHS 111.

• Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.

• To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.

If you think you may be affected, please stay indoors, avoiding contact with other people and please contact NHS 111 or 999.

• If you are due to attend a show or event within 14 days and have traveled from Cambodia, mainland China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand or Vietnam and are experiencing cough, fever or shortness of breath, you should not attend The Deco Theatre, even if symptoms are mild, contact us on 01604 491005.

 

At The Old Savoy, Home of The Deco Theatre you will also notice:

• Hand sanitizer available at all entrances

  • All staff will be briefed on venue protocols surrounding COVID-19
  • We have just completed a deep clean and our which will be repeated on a quarterly basis in addition to ensuring cleanliness on a daily basis. stepping up our hygiene procedures, ensuring all surfaces, furniture and equipment is regularly cleaned
  • Additional signage will be on display to remind people of how to avoid the spread of germs
  • The Deco cleaning teams also are focusing on hygiene around ‘high touch’ areas, where the spread of viruses is more likely. This includes:
    1. Hard surfaces: reception areas, breakout areas and toilets
    2. Control pads: lifts
    3. Door handles: main entrances, hall floor entrances, meeting rooms, stairways and toilet entrances, as well as exit push buttons
    4. Handrails and banistersAs COVID-19 runs its course, we will remain vigilant, although optimistic and agile when and where necessary. We aim to continue doing what we do, bringing people together to create connections.

    We look forward to seeing you soon.

    The Deco Team

‘The Girl from Tiger Bay’ is the acknowledged as the world number one celebration of Dame Shirley Bassey, is coming to The Deco, for one night only, on Friday, February 7th. Telling the unique story of Dame Shirley Bassey’s incredible rise to stardom, and her magical career spanning 65 years, international tribute artist/vocal impersonator Joanne Copeman, who performs as ‘Surely Bassey’, has been performing globally as Dame Shirley since 2002.

“Surely this Bassey show is the best tribute to the Welsh singer!” – The Sun.

Here, Joanne talks to us about her love of Dame Shirley, and how she came to be an in-demand, world acclaimed tribute artist to her…

First experience of Dame Shirley?

I remember watching her on TV when I was a kid and being fascinated. I was probably only around 16 years old. That was 29 years ago and I’m still fascinated now.

What is it about her that captivates you so?

There are many things but the main things are, the drama & theatre she puts into every performance. She is mesmerising. Then there is the huge, powerful vocal, she has an incredible voice. Finally, I don’t think there is anyone on earth, more glamorous.

Favourite Shirley song?

I love watching her perform ‘What now my love’ I have many favourites. She manages to put tragedy into her performance, it is almost like opera. It’s so hard to choose just one. I also think ‘This is my life’ is amazing. To watch her perform this song is an emotional experience.

Have you met her? 

No, unfortunately not.  I came close, when I was performing at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel, in Monte Carlo, which was within view of her apartment, sadly she was on her way that very day, to the UK, to film the Dame Edna experience.  Her P.A. told me it was a shame as she may have been able to arrange something. Our paths have yet to cross but there is hopefully still time!

How many times have you seen her live?

I have seen her live twice. Once at the NEC Birmingham and the last time was in 2009 at the Roundhouse. The Roundhouse was an intimate performance to promote her album ‘The Performance’. I had the privilege of being right at the front and remember looking at her feet and shoes. I wish I’d seen her live on more occasions. I do have an impressive collection of her concerts on DVD though.

Tell us how you came about performing in her honour? 

It was 2002 when I became aware of the tribute market, and there was no-one else I would have wanted to portray and pay tribute to.

She’s so distinctive, it must have taken a lot of work to perfect your tribute to her!

She certainly is distinctive, which in some ways is a good thing regarding an impersonation, as you have such a lot of distinctive ‘isms’ to put in. By the same token, she is incredibly difficult because she is so unique and utterly brilliant.  It is a never-ending work in progress, to portray Dame Shirley, and I can never get complacent with it. Huge attention has to be given to the stage wardrobe. To make the necessary impact, and to create the wow factor, one has to put the effort in. Dame Shirley’s stage wear is iconic, and it’s expected by her fans.

Where have you performed as Shirley, other than the UK?

All over Europe, the Middle East and America. I have performed on glitzy yachts in the Bay of Naples, at celebrity weddings in Cannes, for the cast and crew of the James Bond film Casino Royale in Prague; there have been so many fabulous events.

Audience feedback?

My most rewarding audience feedback, is always from the avid and devoted Shirley fans, who attend our theatre shows.  When we do meet and greet afterwards and they tell me how much they enjoyed our show, where and when they have seen her live, and what she wore etc, that is so rewarding.

Have you ever had any feedback from her or her associates?

Yes, I was lucky enough to perform at a charity event for Barnardo’s, endorsed by Dame Shirley herself, which included the auction of her gowns at Cafe de Paris, in London’s Piccadilly. I had the honour of performing a live set as Dame Shirley, whilst wearing one of Dame Shirley’s original gowns, which was then auctioned off by Christopher Biggins. Dame Shirley was in Monte Carlo and unable to attend, but she had sent her P.A. Jenny Kern, who came back stage to see me after my performance and said I had done a fantastic job.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Do you / have you done any other tribute shows? 

Performing is in my DNA, and I realised quite early that 9-5 was not for me and I wanted to sing.  My Father was performing on the club circuit and had all the necessary experience to pass on to me. I started to learn my trade for a number of years on the club circuit with him initially, and then by myself.  If you put your heart and soul into portraying Dame Shirley, she is more than enough for anyone!

Did someone say you’re a published author?

Yes, I have indeed written a book. It is such a crazy way to earn a living, that it inspired me to write a very comical memoir, which is called ‘Bling, Boas and Balls’, available on Amazon, in either hard back, or eBook format. As it says on the back of the book, ‘it is a laugh out loud account, of the trials and tribulations of a tribute act’

For tickets for ‘The Girl from Tiger Bay’: https://www.thedeco.co.uk/event/the-girl-from-tiger-bay/, call 01604 491005, or pop to The Deco in Abington Square, Northampton between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Saturday.

One of the most iconic buildings in Northampton town centre has completed its relaunch as The Old Savoy ‘The Home of the Deco Theatre’. And the new look has been given a massive ‘thumbs up’ by local people, with hundreds of enthusiastic comments on social media.

In a grand ceremony prior to the opening night of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ – The Deco’s Christmas Panto – pensioners Ken and Doreen Ridley cut the tape, and declared the start of an exciting new era for the popular entertainment venue. Visitors to The Deco Panto, and future productions, now enter through the front doors, and into the foyer, as they would have done in days gone by. Previously, visitors entered by the side entrance.

Ken and Doreen, from Daventry, celebrate 67 years of marriage on December 20th, and as they have done since 2009, will mark the occasion with a visit to The Deco‘s Christmas Panto. It was where they first met back in 1948, when the building was then The Savoy. It was then a cinema, and as teenagers, they were there with friends to watch a film.

“We love Panto, and we have very fond memories of The Savoy,” said Doreen, now 87. “So when they started putting on Pantos it was a perfect way to celebrate our anniversary, we’ve been coming every year, and we absolutely love it.”

They are now treated as VIPs by Deco staff, and were the obvious choice to perform the opening ceremony of ‘The Old Savoy’ according to house manager Jill Roach. “We absolutely love Mr and Mrs Ridley, and they were the obvious and perfect choice to do the honour for us,” said Mrs Roach.

“They didn’t stop for the opening night – they want to enjoy our Panto as they now traditionally do on their anniversary, and it is our pleasure to host them each year.”

The Old Savoy originally opened its doors as The Savoy on May 2nd, 1936. It became The ABC in the 1960s, hosting concerts by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, among other iconic bands of that era. More recently it has been The Jesus Centre, with The Deco operating within it as an independent, family run theatre.

Now Stage Right Productions, who manage The Deco, are looking after the whole building, running it as an entertainment venue, a community hub for the town, and making it available for hire for privately run conferences, events, business meetings, parties, and more.

“The response since the news about the relaunch was announced earlier in the year has been immense,” said Jill Roach. “But over the weekend, since we threw those doors open for the first time and rebranded the outside of the building, the response we’ve had on our various social media platforms as been truly wonderful and extremely positive.

“This is clearly regarded as a popular development for Northampton Town Centre, and we are thrilled to be giving this building back to the people of Northampton.”

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.

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.

 
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