Today Wolverhampton Grand Theatre announced a brand new season, including the touring production of sell-out West End musical FUNNY GIRL. Also to look forward to is Olivier Award and Whatsonstage Award-winning comedy THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG returning to Wolverhampton, Strictly Come Dancing’s Pasha Kovalev brings a brand new show, the British premiere of Alice In Wonderland musical WONDERLAND, John Partridge and Adrian Zmed star in the first ever UK tour of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, Ray Quinn, Roxanne Pallett and Ruth Madoc star in THE WEDDING SINGER and an announcement… West End and international smash hit musical MAMMA MIA! will be on sale in 2017 for performances in early 2018.
The newly announced season will begin with a return appearance from children’s TV favourite Ben Faulks. Following his appearance in Aladdin this Christmas, Ben Faulks returns with MR BLOOM – LIVE! on Mon 20 & Tue 21 March. The much-loved TV show Mr Bloom’s Nursery will be transformed into a live stage show retaining all of the core fun, inspiring and educational values but with a brand new storyline, a member of the Royal family is paying them a visit! Mr Bloom will be joined by all his gardening friends, The Veggies: Margaret; Joan; Colin; Raymond and Sebastian, the lovable radishes ‘The Wee MacGregors’, and not forgetting Mr Bloom’s trusty machine ‘The Compostarium’. ‘Little Tiddlers’ will also be able to sing along to all their favourite songs: the title song, ‘Meet The Veggie’s, ‘The Compo Song’ and’ Night Night Veggies’.
THE GRAND THEATRE GATSBY NIGHT will transport you from the Charleston and Black Bottom of the 1920s through the beautiful classic songs of the 1930s, to swing and jazz mayhem on Saturday 1 April. Michael Law's Piccadilly Dance Orchestra and the Gatsby Girls, join the team at the Grand Theatre for a party night of razzle dazzle, featuring some of the greatest dance music of the golden jazz era. You will be taken back to a world of sophistication, glitz and glamour, delighting your senses with the flapper fun and frolics of the 1920s. With a glass of fizz from 6.30pm, sit back and enjoy the show! Gatsby dress is encouraged.
The charismatic Phillip Dyson invites you to a sensational show RAGTIME ... AND ALL THAT JAZZ on Sunday 2 April. Celebrating the Centenary of Scott Joplin and featuring such wonderful toe-tapping classics, as: Maple Leaf Rag, The Entertainer, Bethena, Swipesy Cake Walk, and Elite Syncopations, Fats Waller’s Honeysuckle Rose, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and I Got Rhythm, Duke Ellington’s Don't Get Around Much Anymore; along with sophisticated arrangements from the 'Great American Songbook', including: Cole Porter’s Anything Goes, Irving Berlin’s Cheek to Cheek ......and much more!
Previously having played at the Grand Theatre before it’s West End success, THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG returns to Wolverhampton from Mon 3 – Sat 8 April. The production won the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, 2015 BroadwayWorld UK Award for Best New Play and the 2014 WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Comedy. The play centres around the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society who are putting on a 1920s murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong… does! The accident-prone thespians battle against all odds to make it through to their final curtain call, with hilarious consequences!
Pasha Kovalev from Strictly Come Dancing and his fantastic dancers are back on Sun 9 April with their brand new show LET’S DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY. Expect all your favourite dances, stunning costumes, great music, chat and fun for all the family. Pasha won Strictly Come Dancing with Caroline Flack in 2014 and has scored more 10's than any other professional dancer since the series began. This is your chance to watch him live!
English Touring Opera present Gilbert & Sullivan’s PATIENCE on Monday 10 April. It pokes fun at the eccentric affectations of barely-disguised Victorian celebrities, including Oscar Wilde and his followers. Willowy poets, sighing maidens, hearty milkmaids and burly officers – all become targets of Gilbert and Sullivan’s razor-sharp wit. Expect plenty of tunes and humour as fresh today as it was at the first performance.
English Touring Opera also present TOSCA on Tues 11 April is Puccini’s visceral depiction of love in the midst of a war-torn Rome, Tosca is one of the world’s best-loved operas, brimming with lust, corruption and political intrigue. When the painter Cavaradossi helps a fugitive escape, he attracts the attention of Scarpia, the malevolent chief of police. What will Tosca be prepared to sacrifice to save her lover from his fate?
BIRMINGHAM BACH CHOIR MESSIAH sees Birmingham Bach Choir - one of the UK’s leading large chamber choirs - together with their orchestra and soloists, Paul Spicer conducts a full Good Friday performance of Handel’s beautiful masterpiece on Friday 14 April.
Over 30 years, the SOLID SILVER 60s SHOW has entertained the nation and celebrated history’s most successful decade of music. Commonly referred to as an institution on the 60s circuit, the show returns to Wolverhampton on Sun 30 April bringing you classic hits performed by the original hit makers. In 2017 we are delighted to welcome back Solid Silver 60s favourites The Merseybeats. Performing alongside them after his successful appearance on last year’s tour, we are delighted to welcome back Dave Berry. Completing this stellar line up, we also are thrilled to see the return of Wayne Fontana and Vanity Fare to the bill and are delighted to welcome back our very special guest Chris Montez from the USA.
Following its smash hit run at London’s Dominion Theatre, Bill Kenwright’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s EVITA is set to thrill audiences in Wolverhampton from Tue 9 – Sat 13 May. Telling the story of Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron, EVITA follows Eva’s journey from humble beginnings through to extraordinary wealth, power and iconic status which ultimately lead her to be heralded as the ‘spiritual leader of the nation’ by the Argentine people. Featuring some of the best loved songs in musical theatre, including Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, On This Night of a Thousand Stars, You Must Love Me, and Another Suitcase in Another Hall, this spectacular production promises once again to be the theatrical event of the year.
Direct from its success in London’s West End, a sold out UK tour and standing ovations at every performance, THE SIMON & GARFUNKEL STORY is back! Using huge projection photos and original film footage, this 50th Anniversary Celebration also features a full live band performing all the hits including Mrs Robinson, Cecilia, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Homeward Bound and many more on Sunday 14 May.
A star studded line up will be announced over the coming months for the premiere of A GRAND MUSIC HALL. Come and join in the nostalgia as the Grand Theatre transports you back to the good old days of the Music Hall on Wednesday 17 May.
HILARITY CHARITY GALA in aid of Central Youth Theatre see’s Wolverhampton’s biggest line up of comedians returns for a fourth year in a hilarious night of laugh out loud comedy at the Grand on Thurs 18 May. Previous years’ line ups have included some of the biggest names in British comedy, including Jon Richardson, Josh Widdicombe, Russell Howard, Greg Davies and Rob Beckett so make sure you book your tickets early. Look out for social media updates regarding this year’s line-up.
AN EVENING WITH BOYCOTT & AGGERS on Sat 20 May Following their first run of hugely popular events, the extraordinary odd couple return again in 2017 by popular demand to enthrall, dazzle and entertain. The show will be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of ‘Sir’ Geoffrey’s hundredth 100 with their brand new show. Aggers challenges GB to justify his forthright views on cricket and life in general and our Geoffrey will say exactly what he thinks (what else?) about the ECB, England’s management and coaching staff, team selection, the captaincy and many other subjects he has hit out on in his latest autobiography, on air and in print. The show is peppered with hilarious anecdotes, the audience can tweet Aggers live with their own questions and the evening will, as ever, be fun, fiery and full of surprises! The events are being run in support of the Professional Cricketers Association and we are raising money which will go to the organisation’s Benevolent Fund.
Northern Ballet return for a third year, with a brand new ballet, THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS on Tue 30 and Wed 31 May. As an unlikely friendship between Bruno and Schmuel blossoms against the backdrop of the unthinkable events of World War II, Bruno’s childlike curiosity leads this poignant story to a devastating conclusion. Northern Ballet present this heart-breaking story through dance for the very first time with Choreography, Direction and Scenario by Daniel de Andrade. Northern Ballet will also present a children’s ballet, GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS on Wednesday 31 May.
Stewart Lee returns to the Grand Theatre on Wednesday 21 June. After four years writing and performing his TV show Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, CONTENT PROVIDER is Stewart’s first brand new full-length show since the award-winning Carpet Remnant World.
ALL OR NOTHING - The 'Mod' Musical from Thurs 22 – Sat 24 June is a trans-generational musical experience celebrating the unique sound of the iconic Mod band, The Small Faces. Including an arsenal of brilliant hits like 'Whatcha Gonna Do About It', 'All Or Nothing', 'Tin Soldier', 'Lazy Sunday', 'Here Comes The Nice' and 'Itchycoo Park'.
Bill Kenwright presents a new spectacular version of the much loved musical LA CAGE AUX FOLLES from Tue 27 June – Sat 1 July with West End star, EastEnders’ and Over The Rainbow’s John Partridge and Broadway leading man, T.J. Hooker, and Grease 2’s Adrian Zmed. Georges and the dazzling drag artiste Albin, star of la Cage aux Folles, live an idyllic existence in the heart of St Tropez. But behind the curtains of this sparkling extravaganza, all may be about to change. Georges’ son Jean-Michel announces his engagement to the daughter of a notorious right-wing politician determined to close down the local colourful night-life. Drama and hilarity ensue when a meeting of the parents forces them to cover up their vibrant lifestyle. Will Albin be able to play the role of his life to ensure that Jean-Michel can marry his love?
Building on the phenomenal decade-long success of The Agatha Christie Theatre Company, which sold over two million tickets and continually played to packed houses around the UK, Bill Kenwright presents a new production A JUDGEMENT IN STONE from Mon 3 – Sat 8 July. Adapted from one of the most celebrated works of the writer often hailed as the successor to Agatha Christie. Ruth Rendell’s brilliant plot unravels a lifetime of deceit, which, when revealed, brings a shocking revelation almost as grizzly as murder itself. Widely considered to be one of Rendell’s greatest works, A Judgement in Stone is loved for its brilliant rendering of character, plot and motive, and is undoubtedly the Queen of Psychological Crime at her thrilling best. With an all-star cast to be announced soon.
THE ELVIS YEARS is a complete theatrical experience, transporting the audience on a musical and emotional journey they will never forget for one night only in Wolverhampton on Thursday 20 July. The show starring Mario Kombou features the highs and lows of Elvis’s life – including his first legendary Sun session, the ‘Grand Ole Opry’ & ‘Louisiana Hayride’, the death of his beloved mother, his time in the army, the ‘Hollywood’ movie years, the ‘68 Comeback Special, and the incomparable ‘Las Vegas’ concerts.
Hot on the heels of a record breaking, critically acclaimed West End run the ‘utterly irresistible’ (The Sunday Times) 5-star new production of FUNNY GIRL opens at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre on Mon 24 July running until Sat 29. Funny Girl brought global fame to Barbra Streisand 50 years ago and boasts some of the most iconic songs in film and theatre history, including People and Don’t Rain On My Parade. This ‘iconic, legendary musical tells the story of Fanny Brice, whose vocal talents and comedic ability see her rise from Brooklyn music hall singer to Broadway star.
Starring Wendi Peters and Dave Willets, following sold out seasons in Tampa, Texas and Tokyo, the multi Grammy, Tony and Drama Desk Award nominated Frank Wildhorn's WONDERLAND receives its UK and European première in this brand new British production from Mon 31 July - Sat 5 August. WONDERLAND is an enchanting musical adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, with a huge heart, a medley of magic and a whole lot of wonder. The show boasts a catchy score full of songs by Frank Wildhorn, writer of pop hits including Whitney Houston's 'Where Do Broken Hearts Go?' and theatre classics including 'This is the Moment' from his internationally acclaimed show, Jekyll & Hyde.
In August 2017, the Grand Theatre Play Season returns.
TRESSPASS: A GHOST STORY from Tues 15 – Sat 19 August. Is it really possible to bring a loved-one back from the dead? Christine certainly believes so and has already engaged various mediums in unsuccessful attempts to restore her recently dead, much loved husband, to life. But undeterred by failure, she has now invited Saviello, an Italian medium with a reassuring record of success. Yet is he what he appears to be? And what about his down-to-earth 'manager' Mrs. Amos? As Shakespeare's Hamlet said to his friend Horatio: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy'. In Trespass, Emlyn Williams explores some unusual aspects of the supernatural however be warned, this production may well have you looking carefully around your bedroom before you reach out for the light switch.
BRASSED OFF from Wed 23 August – Sun 3 September is a co-production between talkingScarlet and Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. The funny and life affirming tale of community spirit and triumph in the face of adversity. Adapted from the 1996 film starring Ewan McGregor, BRASSED OFF will feature a full brass band from the local area playing music including: William Tell Overture, Death and Glory, Danny Boy, Land Of Hope And Glory and Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez.
Ray Cooney’s IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY from Tue 5 – Sat 9 September. Dr. David Mortimore, renowned neurologist, is about to deliver the most important lecture of his life. A knighthood is certainly within reach! When into his hospital sanctuary comes Jane Tate - ex-nurse and ex-girlfriend - with shocking news as to why she departed so hastily 16 years and nine months ago. Trying to hold both his career and marriage together, IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY is farce at its finest, spinning deliriously out of control and tickling the funny bones in traditional Ray Cooney fashion. You mustn’t miss it!
Next autumn, step back in time and get ready for the biggest party in town! A sparkling new production of THE WEDDING SINGER stars Jon Robyns, Ray Quinn, Cassie Compton, Roxanne Pallett and Ruth Madoc in the hilarious musical based on the hit film from Tue 3 – Sat 7 October. It’s 1985 and hair is huge, greed is good and rock-star wannabe Robbie Hart is New Jersey's favourite wedding singer. When his own fiancée dumps him at the altar a seriously bummed out Robbie makes every wedding as disastrous as his own.
Tickets for these shows are on sale exclusively to Friends Of The Grand from 11am on Monday 31 October and are on public sale from 11am on Thursday 3 November.
Already on sale in this new season is SUNNY AFTERNOON, the musical based on the story of The Kinks from Tue 18 – Sat 22 April and the stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s RUNNING WILD featuring life-size elephants from previous puppetry directors of War Horse from Tue 6 – Sat 10 June.
Finally, an announcement, the West End and worldwide smash hit musical MAMMA MIA! will be headlining the Grand Theatre’s 2018 season. The show, featuring the music of ABBA has been seen by over 60 million people all around the world and will be on sale in 2017 – on sale dates to be confirmed soon.