Downton star and Michael Jackson magic: our guide to theatre in and around MK

Phyllis Logan stars as Monica Reed in Present Laughter. Picture: Nobby Clark
Phyllis Logan stars as Monica Reed in Present Laughter. Picture: Nobby Clark

There’s loads going on in theatres in and around MK over the next few days - here’s our guide...

Present Laughter

Milton Keynes Theatre,

July 11-16

Actor, charmer and diva, Garry Essendine is determined to disregard his advancing years and receding hairline by revelling in endless tantrums and causal affairs. But just as he is about to depart for Africa, he finds himself besieged by a bevvy of would-be seductresses, not to mention his long-suffering secretary, his estranged wife, and an obsessed young playwright. As he attempts to disentangle himself from their clutches and demands, the humour escalates, accompanied by delicious dialogue and sparkling repartee. Often thought of as semi-autobiographical, Noel Coward’s Present laughter is undoubtedly one of his funniest plays as he looks at life behind the theatrical curtain and reveals a world of glittering wits, dashing dressing gowns and ostentatious personalities. A brilliant casting has been secured for this new version of Present Laughter, a Theatre Royal Bath Production that comes to Milton Keynes Theatre prior to a West End transfer. Samuel West stars, alongside Phyllis Logan. West learned from his craft from the best –his parents are Timothy West and Prunella Scales. Does it get any better than that? We doubt it. Prior to this performance, Phyllis Logan earned a wage as housekeeper Mrs Hughes in a small time show called Downton Abbey, which you might remember!

Box office 0844 871 7652

Gangsta Granny

Royal & Derngate, Northampton, July 12-17

The much loved children’s book by David Walliams gets a stage adaptation.

It’s Friday night and Ben knows staying with Granny will mean cabbage overload. But his boredom is changed when he discovers Granny’s secret and Friday nights are about to get more exciting.

01604 624811

www.royalandderngate.co.uk

Thriller

Milton Keynes Theatre, July 7-9

There’s still three more days worth of thrilling action at Milton Keynes Theatre.

Visitors to see Thriller Live will take a journey through Michael Jackson’s entire career, a musical history that spanned 45 years.

A spokesman for the theatre said: “You will experience over two hours of non-stop hits from pop to rock, soul to disco as the cast play homage to Jackson’s legendary live performances and innovative dance moves executed with flair, precision and passion. “This is a show that you will never forget.”

Smash hits like I Want You Back, Off the Wall, Smooth Criminal, Beat It and They Don’t Care About Us will be sung by a cast including former Cleopatra singer Cleo Higgins.

0844 871 7652.

www.atgtickets.co.uk/miltonkeynes

Bill Bailey

Milton Keynes Theatre, July 10

There are still a few tickets left for the latest touring performance by Bil Bailey.

His latest show Limboland looks at the gap between how we imagine our lives to be and how they really. It will also be complete with stories from his life and plenty of songs. Tickets are selling fast.

0844 871 7652

www.atgtickets.co.uk/miltonkeynes

Peter Pan

Stantonbury Theatre, July 7-9

The classic story can be seen in Milton Keynes.

As London silence descends, Tinkerbell, a mischievous fairy, and Peter Pan, a boy who never grew up, fly into the Darling nursery. They invite Wendy and her siblings to Never Land where they go on an epic journey.

01908 324466

www.stantonburytheatre.co.uk

Alice in Wonderland

Cowper & Newton Museum,

July 10 10.30am-4.30pm

Not a production of Lewis Caroll’s classic, but students from Arts1 School of Performance will be dressed as characters and enjoying their very own tea party at the Cowper &Newton Museum in Olney. Expect singing, writing and readings, and a tea party.

cowperandnewtonmuseum.org.uk