From the world of Aesop to Billy Elliot, there's lots happening on stage - plus a look at what's coming up later this year
Northampton Royal, July 14 & 15
A terrifying encounter with an escaped convict forever changes the life of orphaned Pip. Turning his back on his humble beginning as a blacksmith’s apprentice, he strives to better himself and become a gentleman, unaware of the heartache that awaits him.
Discover Dickens’ least sentimental love story.
Milton Keynes Theatre, Until Saturday
GO!s dance writer Georgina Butler gives her opinion on BE: “The enduring appeal of Billy Elliot’s story may well be partly attributable to the seamless intertwining of the personal and the political. After all, Billy’s grief at being motherless is echoed by the sorrow the miners suffer in relation to the impending loss of their industry. Notably, in Billy Elliot the Musical, pirouettes and political protests share the stage to great effect when the picketing miners are pursued by the riot police. The striking juxtaposition of the Ballet Girls twirling around the pit workers reinforces the turmoil and desperation that the entire community is experiencing... The sparks of electricity from the first-class singing, dancing and acting will stay with you long after the show ends”.
Milton Keynes Theatre, October 31-November 4
This will be a big Autumn hit. The production turns Weimar Berlin of 1931 into a sassy, sizzling haven of decadence, and at its dark heart is the legendary and notorious Emcee, who performs nightly at the infamous Kit Kat Klub. The cast is a corker too - with Will Young and Louise Redknapp.
Northampton Royal, June 16 - July 8
Blending ancient mythology with myths of today, a tale of endless battles, gods and goddesses and undying love is spun. This reimagining of Homer’s epic 2,800 year poem is a compassionate account of humanity’s addiction to violence, retribution and chaos.
MK Theatre, December 9 - January 14
Ticket sales have been brisk for this year’s panto, and small wonder - Brian Conley AND Gok Wan bringing the festive fun together? It doesn’t get much better than that. And this isn’t just any panto, it’s THE panto. The one with ugly sisters, carriages and pumpkins.
Forest of Fables
Stantonbury Theatre, June 18
Enter the intriguing world of Aesop where visual high jinks and musicality roll into one mouth-watering puppet extravaganza, in a show that is perfect weekend fun – and suitable for ages four years and up.
Question. Who is the strongest – the North Wind or the Sun?
Every leaf shudders as the north wind puffs, in vain, to blow the traveller’s coat from his back. But when the sun shines, the man removes it effortlessly and surprise puppet inhabitants come out to play in the fabulous forest!
Loudmouthed Lion has a bad gnat in his ear. Ass frisks on her high heels. Fox runs nose to the ground in search of cheese, while Spider knits and swings from the branches of the fabulous forest!
Settle back and enjoy an unravelling of ancient tales from iDOLRiCH TheatreRotto productions, the Sussex based award-winning international touring puppetry and theatre company .
This is Aesop Fables brought to life with puppets, music and most importantly of all, your imagination.
> Join the Forest of Fables workshop on the day and make your own puppet animal and
have fun learning the songs with the puppeteers while creating your own distinctive character’