Stage: Tracey Beaker, Blue On Blue and The Nutcracker
October 19, 2006
Tracey Beaker Gets Real
BRITAIN’S most popular “loose cannon”, teenager Tracy Beaker brings her antics to Guilford Yvonne Arnaud Theatre next week.
After two-best selling novels and an award-winning series Jacqueline Wilson’s, feisty young heroine makes her stage bow in a play by Mary Morris, who worked on the series.
In Tracy Beaker Gets Real, as the play is called, she is back at the care home and resuming her feud with her old adversary Elaine The Pain.
The coveted main role is taken by Sarah Churm, best known for her role as Sarah in ITV’s At Home With The Braithwaites.
Playing Tracy’s glamorous mum is Jessica Martin, who starred in Me And My Girl in the West End for two years, and has had leading roles in a number of other musicals.
She also plays Tracy’s friend Louise.
Alice Redmond, who is one half of the comedy, double act The Redmond Sisters, plays a visiting writer who tries to befriend Tracy.
Also in the cast are Suzie McGrath, Ryan O’Donnell, Gemma Pagem and Kirris Riviere.
David Newman directs the production which has songs by Grant Olding.
It’s the third of the books which have made Wilson the nation’s favourite children’s author to get a new lease of life in the theatre.
Performances at Guildford are from Tuesday to Saturday for tickets call 01483 440 000.
Blue On Blue
BLUE ON BLUE, a new play being premiered at the Haymarket Basingstoke, has it’s last performances there this weekend.
The first stage piece by Derek Lister, who has had plays produced on TV and radio, it’s set in a “media camp” in present-day Iraq, where a group of journalists are having a frustrating time covering the war.
The drama focuses on their uneasy relationship with their Army “minders” whose agenda is not necessarily the same as theirs, and it also lays bare their own attitudes to the conflict.
Directed by the Haymarket‘s artistic director John Adams the production showcases vivid performances by Michael Praed, Kathryn Pogson, Alexandra Staden and Michael Colgan as the journos and Andrew Frame and Nicholas Bailey as the military men.
Designer Elroy Ashmore does them proud with one of his most striking sets.
Quite apart from its intrinsic interest as topically grounded drama, showing that media people are just as different themselves, as those they report on, there is sadly another reason to support this production.
As a member of the cast told the audience at the end of the performance attended last week this may be the last new play to be staged by the Haymarket.
The local council and the Arts Council have seen fit to withdraw funding leaving the theatre’s independent future as a producing house under threat.
It faces the prospect of going dark next year and then amalgamation with The Anvil, the Basingstoke concert hall which serves a very different purpose from the Haymarket.
A decision on this drastic re-organisation is expected at the end of the month, but if approved it would mean the Haymarket would become simply a touring venue and there would be no room for an enterprising man like Adams, who has always encouraged new work.
Tickets for Blue On Blue and the Haymarket’s next production of John Godber’s comedy Teachers, which opens on October 27, can be obtained by calling the box office on 01256 465566.
A CHILDREN’S favourite will be brought to the stage at The Anvil in Basingstoke by the Moscow Ballet La Classique next month.
The Nutcracker provides an ideal introduction to ballet for children with its delightful spectacle and soaring melodies.
Tchaikovsky’s popular ballet had mixed reviews when it was premiered in 1892, but the public has always loved it and it has gone on to become a regular feature of many people’s Christmas celebrations.
Tickets for the show which runs from Thursday, November 9 to Saturday, November 11 range from £19.50 to £23.50.
They can be booked by calling 01256 844244.
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