Today Wolverhampton Grand Theatre announced the full line up for A GRAND MUSIC HALL on Wednesday 14 June.
Topping the bill is actor and comedian Don Maclean. Don has appeared in pantomime at the Grand Theatre in the 1970s and most recently in Brummegem Pals in October 2016.
Don has spent over 40 years in show business and is one of Britain’s best loved entertainers. He is remembered for ‘Crackerjack’ and ‘The Black & White Minstrel Show’ which he hosted on stage as well as TV. He also had his own TV shows, ‘Maclean Up Britain’ and ‘Keep It Maclean.’ He has enjoyed countless summer seasons as well as appearances at the London Palladium. Don originally trained as an actor, and in the early years appeared in Midlands soap opera, ‘Crossroads.’ In recent years he has returned to his acting roots in stage productions of ‘Go And Play Up Your Own End,’ ‘Wait ‘til Your Father Gets Home’ and ‘Back To Back’. He has an MBE from the Queen, a Silver Heart from the Variety Club, a Paul Harris Fellowship from the Rotary Club, an Honorary Degree from Birmingham University and a Papal Knighthood from the Vatican.
Joining Don is Grand Theatre pantomime favourite Ian Adams, who received critical acclaim as Widow Twankey in Aladdin. Ian will be the musical host of both performances at 2:30pm and 7:30pm.
Ian was born in Sheffield and began his professional career as lead vocalist with the vocal/dance act Zeebra, touring Europe, North Africa and the Persian Gulf, during a successful summer Season in Jersey Ian appeared in several episodes of the BBC series Bergerac. Further a field he has appeared in cabaret in Dubai, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv. In July of 2014 Ian appeared alongside Julie Paton and the late Alvin Stardust in a new revue called “A Touch of Vegas” which they performed with the City Orchestra at the Garrick under the Musical Supervision of Adrian Jackson. Most recently Julie and Ian have formed “StarDam” Productions and so far have successfully produced new versions of the popular Children’s stories “Mother Goose”,“Pinocchio” and “Puss in Boots” which they will be performing at the Grand Theatre later this year.
Completing the line up is Gill Jordan, Andy Eastwood, Julie Paton, Guy Rowland and Keith Minshull.
Gill Jordan most recently appeared in the Grand Theatre’s 2016/17 pantomime Aladdin. Gill played Lazy Empress Doreen in the pantomime and this time, for the Music Hall, she herself will be treating audiences with her Broadway-style voice. Gill Jordan is a Midlands-based professional actress. Trained at the Birmingham School of Speech and Dramatic Art, she went on to tour nationally in plays for a number of companies including Sheila Birling in An Inspector Calls, and Florence in Spring and Port Wine for the Middle Ground Theatre Company. She worked at the interactive Brewing Museum in Leeds, playing historical immersed roles, and also as Charlotte Bronte at the Parsonage at Haworth for the Bronte festival. Her passion for historical first person interpretation led her to establish her own company, becoming nationally renown for this form of theatre. In 1999 the company began work for the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust which led to them being resident professional on-site interpreters for the next 18 years. Performing Shakespeare, Dickens and all things Victorian, the company's best loved genre was the Victorian Music Hall which was performed almost every day at Blists Hill Victorian Town and other venues. Gill is perhaps best known to national audiences for her character Doreen, co-created with playwright and producer David Tristram. Doreen was blessed this year by being invited to perform in the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre's record-breaking Aladdin as the Lazy Empress and she is honoured and excited to be performing at the Grand's Music Hall in June 2017.
Andy Eastwood’s act is an upbeat blend of dazzling instrumental artistry, foot-tapping songs and bright and breezy humour. Born in Lancashire to a musical family, Andy began performing at an early age, studying classical violin and piano. But he also developed a passion for jazz and popular music, and having taught himself ukulele he made history at Oxford University as the only musician ever to give his degree recital on the instrument! He is now considered one of the world’s foremost ukulele players and is proud to have contributed to its continuing popularity. The legendary Ken Dodd gave Andy his break into theatre, and he has made over 300 performances with the great comedian, as well as working with stars such as Max Bygraves, Joe Pasquale, Frank Skinner, Des O’Connor and Roy Hudd. Andy’s one-man show is a popular attraction for cruise liners and corporate functions, and his tour schedule of major theatres and cabaret venues worldwide prompted The Stage to call him ‘the busiest man in showbusiness’. Audiences too have taken him to their hearts: two award-winning summer seasons in Blackpool have earned him the title of the resort’s ‘Top Solo Artist’.
Julie Paton was born in South Wales, a path through stage and dance school found Julie leaving home at 16, securing her first role in the West End at The Vaudeville Theatre in the Strand and she hasn’t looked back since. Her theatre roles include Bet in Oliver! with Victor Spinetti; Charity in Sweet Charity; Marta in Kiss of the Spider Woman Shaftesbury Theatre London, directed by Hal Prince and choreographed by Rob Marshal. Julie has played Jellylorum and Grizabella in Cats directed by Trevor Nunn and appeared in Bakers Wife, Phoenix Theatre London, again, directed by Trevor Nunn. Julie met her late husband Alvin Stardust playing alongside him in Stephen Schwartz’s Godspell, and has toured and performed all over the world. Julie has her own production company, is a voice coach and choreographer, but loves nothing more than to be singing and entertaining audiences up and down the country.
Guy Rowland is known as the ‘one-man musical cabaret’. He was born in Lichfield in 1964. He showed an interest in music from an early age and started piano lessons at the age of seven with Reginald Bates, through whom he is a great-great grand-pupil of Liszt. He trained at Birmingham Theatre School. Upon finishing his training, he toured working men's clubs with a 1940's variety show to get the then much sought after Equity Card. After this he did a summer season in Paignton, then worked in theatre in education in Bristol and London. He devised his first one man show in 2003, a mixture of comic songs, monologues, and piano solos both classical and popular, he has since done many different versions of this show, and dreads to think of the number of pieces that have gone in and out of his head over the years. He has worked for Sundial Theatre, run by the immensely talented Gill Jordan, for twenty years, and under it's amiable umbrella has performed in plays for children, Old Time Music Hall, 1940's variety shows, and 1920's shows all over the country. In addition, they have been, since 1999 the resident theatre company at Blists Hill Victorian Town, near Ironbridge. This involves, amongst many other things, doing first person interpretation every day, as well as Music Hall singalongs in the town pub twice a day. Having loved Music Hall since he was a child, Guy is very much looking forward to bringing his enthusiasm for this wonderful genre to the Grand Theatre's Music Hall.
Keith Munshull has been involved in theatre for the past 40 years as an actor performing in over 150 plays from Shakespeare, comedy, drama, farce to pantomime. He has performed all over the country including taking the lead in a play in London. For the past 20 years he has worked mainly with Gill Jordan and Guy Roland as Sundial Theatre, performing musical shows of Victorian, 20's and 40's eras all over the country. Keith is one of the onsite actors at Blists Hill Victorian Town, Ironbridge Gorge Museum , Telford.
Tickets for A GRAND MUSIC HALL on Wednesday 14 June are now on sale and available in person at the Box Office, by calling 01902 42 92 12 or online at grandtheatre.co.uk.