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Welcome to the party for theatre summer entertainment!
Bradford-born actor Timothy West, master illusionist Derren Brown, folk queen Kate Rusby and comedy king Stewart Lee will all be treading the boards in the district as part of a new season of entertainment.
A highlight of the Alhambra’s new season is Mike Leigh’s razor sharp comedy Abigail’s Party, on tour following a triumphant West End run.
Cheesy pineapple nibbles are arranged on the coffee table, lemon slices are lined up on the drinks cabinet and Donna Summer is playing on the smoked glass-topped music centre. Welcome to the drinks party from hell.
Mike Leigh’s savage social satire offers a ruthless observation of middle-class pretensions and a hilarious snapshot of 1970s suburbia. The monstrous Beverly is played by Hannah Waterman.
For musical fans there’s Priscilla Queen Of The Desert – the heartwarming adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus for a road trip that brings love, friendship and more than they ever dreamed of – New Jersey Nights, direct from America, and Soul Sister, following the highs, lows, passion and heartbreak of Ike and Tina Turner as their marriage crumbled. With high energy choreography and rousing numbers, the show stars West End sensation Emi Wokoma as Tina Turner, catapulted to stardom and heralded as one of the great female solo artists.
And it’s time to dig out those suspenders and basques for the Rocky Horror Show, which returns to the Alhambra via the Time Warp.
Master of psychological illusion Derren Brown returns to Bradford with his new one-man show, Infamous, and the Alhambra stage will be transformed into an ice rink for Sleeping Beauty on Ice. Starring Dancing on Ice professional Olga Sharutenko, who partnered Keith Chegwin in this year’s series of the ITV show, it tells the fairytale love story through sublime world-class skating, high speed lifts and throws, aerial gymnastics, stilt skating and fire effects. Set to the music of Tchaikovsky, the show features a 26-strong cast of Olympic and World Championship skaters.
The Agatha Christie Theatre Company presents Go Back For Murder, the crime queen’s classic time piece starring Liza Goddard, Sophie Ward and Lysette Anthony, while Rigsby and the gang take to the stage in a stage adaptation of classic sitcom Rising Damp.
Rock ‘n’ roll musical Dreamboats and Petticoats is back by popular demand. Inspired by the smash hit albums of the same name, the show is penned by sitcom writers Lawrence Marks and Maurice Gran.
For younger theatre-goers there’s Grandpa In My Pocket, based on the popular children’s TV series, performed by a young ensemble cast, and Nickelodeon’s Dora The Explorer Live! which sees the plucky explorer embarking on a musical adventure.
Adam Renton, General Manager Bradford Theatres said: “The summer months bring an exciting array of shows and other events to all our venues. “We also celebrate the 160th anniversary of St George’s Hall in August. We have something for everyone; dramas to a new musical, comedy, variety entertainment shows, classical, pop and folk music, family-friendly shows.”
Over at St George’s Hall, there’s music from folk queen Kate Rusby and soul king Billy Ocean, performing hits such as Love Really Hurts, Caribbean Queen and When the Going Gets Tough.
Hats Off to Led Zeppelin celebrates the legendary rockers, Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells ‘For Two’ pays tribute to the musical masterpiece, while the Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular re-creates the smooth swing era.
There’s more music from the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, and The Dublin Legends, while the sounds of Ray Charles and Sammy Davis Jr will be brought to life in Movin’ Melvin Brown, filled with singing, tap dancing, comedy, mime - and robotics.
A magnificent evening of brass and voices is promised at the Lord Mayor’s Appeal Concert, featuring the City of Bradford Brass Band, and the Airedale Male Voice Choir, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra performs with Milos Karadaglic.
There are laughs a-plenty with comics Stewart Lee, Julian Clary and Ed Byrne, who explores middle age in his show Roaring Forties.
And there’s action from the Shaolin Warriors and Aquaria, a showcase of spectacular aerial acrobatics, fire juggling, strength, balance and water ballet.
For youngsters there’s Aliens Love Underpants, a zany show based on the children’s book featuring special effects, madcap action and lots of aliens.
Bradford-born actor Timothy West will be at Ilkley’s King’s Hall, joined by the Pavao String Quartet for a performance of Intimate Letters, a dramatic re-telling of an illicit love affair resulting in one of the most passionate string quartets of the 20th century. He reads the love letters chronologically placed between the movements of the composer’s Second string quartet.
Shows at the Alhambra Studio include Verve 13, a performance by the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, and gigs from comics Sean Hughes, Patrick Monahan and Shazia Mirza.