Raise the cur­tain for 2019

MAR­ION McMULLEN LOOKS AT SOME OF THE TOP PRO­DUC­TIONS HEAD­ING OUT ON TOUR

Carmarthen Journal - - Spotlight -

SIR Ian McKellen turns 80 this year and is cel­e­brat­ing with an 80-date solo tour across the coun­try.

The Lord Of The Rings and X-Men film star will be per­form­ing in his home town of Bolton on his ac­tual birth­day on May 25 and says: “I wanted to cel­e­brate my 80th birth­day in Bolton, where I grew up and dis­cov­ered in its three pro­fes­sional the­atres a pas­sion for ac­tion which has never faded.” More de­tails can be found at mckellen.com

■ Mean­while, 85-year-old Dame Joan Collins will be hit­ting the road next month for the reschd­uled dates of her one-woman Un­scripted show (joan­collins.com). It sees her re­veal­ing some of the sto­ries and se­crets of her long ca­reer.

■ The com­edy front sees Ben El­ton tour­ing the UK fol­low­ing a 15-year ab­sence from the stage. The God­fa­ther of Mod­ern Stand-up says he will be try­ing to “make sense of a world which ap­pears to have gone stark rav­ing mad”. The 53-date tour starts on Septem­ber 27. Go to benel­ton.net for de­tails.

■ Ju­lian Clary is also tour­ing from March with his Born To Mince show. He says he will be bar­ing his soul as never be­fore in the in­ter­ests of light en­ter­tain­ment and might mur­der some well-known songs along the way. De­tails from ju­lianclary.co.uk ■ TV trio Rob Bry­don, Lee Mack and David Mitchell will be tour­ing the UK for the first time from Septem­ber with their show Bry­don, Mack & Mitchell – In Your Town (bry­don­mackand­mitchell.com). Rob jokes: “There are so many oth­ers I would rather tour with but it’s point­less dwelling on that now.” ■ Al Mur­ray will be em­bark­ing on a 43-date tour from May with Land­lord Of Hope And Glory (thep­ub­land­lord.com). He says: “Join me to step back­wards into the fu­ture.”

■ The Fast Show’s Paul White­house will also be star­ring in a mu­si­cal ver­sion of Only Fools And Horses from next month play­ing Grandad. He says: “It’s been a labour of love. There is a lot of re­spon­si­bil­ity.”

■ Mean­while Danny Baker has added ex­tra dates this year to his Good Time Char­lie’s Back (dan­ny­bak­er­live.com) due to huge de­mand for tick­ets. He says: “Com­ing to venues I haven’t pre­vi­ously had the hon­our of mak­ing my per­sonal pow­er­house, I hope you can fall in step with all the fun.”

■ For­mer Strictly Come Danc­ing champ Joe McFadden and ex-EastEn­der ac­tress Rita Si­mons star in the world pre­miere of spine-chill­ing stage play House On Cold Hill. It is adapted from the best­selling book by Peter James and tours from Jan­uary 23. Go to pe­ter­james.com for de­tails.

■ Jodie Prenger is star­ring in Mike Leigh’s ac­claimed com­edy clas­sic Abi­gail’s Party, which tours the UK un­til April. Jodie says: “Abi­gail’s Pary is a true Bri­tish clas­sic and a real bucket list part for me.” ■ Bill Ken­wright’s pro­duc­tion of Ghost – The Mu­si­cal re­turns to the UK fol­low­ing an in­ter­na­tional tour of Dubai,

Is­tan­bul and Tri­este. West End mu­si­cal star Jac­qui Dubois re­turns to play Oda May Brown, the part made fa­mous by Whoopi Goldberg in the 1990 movie. Go to twit­ter.com/ ghos­ton­tour for venues. ■ Coun­try­file pre­sen­ter Anita Rani hosts the arena tour of Blue Planet II in March. The event fea­tures the orig­i­nal TV mu­sic score per­formed live by the City Of Prague Phil­har­monic Or­ches­tra and footage from the ground­break­ing BBC series shown on a gi­ant LED screen. In­for­ma­tion can be found at blue­plan­et2live.co.uk.

■ Si King and Dave My­ers, aka The Hairy Bik­ers, em­bark on a na­tion­wide tour next month. The big-hearted, down-toearth cooks prom­ise an epic night of cook­ing and con­ver­sa­tion in An Evening With The Hairy Bik­ers. Ticket de­tails from gigsand­tours.com and tick­et­mas­ter. com

■ West End and Broad­way star Ramin Karim­loo has per­formed in all the big mu­si­cals from Les Mis­er­ables and Miss Saigon to Evita and Phan­tom Of The Opera. He is tour­ing with his own show From Now On (raminkarim­loo.com) un­til the end of Jan­uary. ■ YOU can also catch Saman­tha Wo­mack in the stage pre­miere of thriller The Girl On The Train (girlon­thetrain­play.com) based on the best­selling novel by Paula Hawkins. The tour be­gins at the end of the month and the for­mer EastEn­ders ac­tress says: “I’ve been fas­ci­nated by thrillers for a long time and this kind of sto­ry­telling, like Hitch­cock’s Rear Win­dow, of­fers us a voyeur’s jour­ney into a world which is dan­ger­ous and full of sus­pense.”

Ju­lian Clary

Ramin Karim­loo

Ghost – The Mu­si­cal

Al Mur­ray

Saman­tha Wo­mack

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