From a modern classic to a surreal adventure, there's something for most tastes on the stage...
Milton Keynes Theatre,
May 30 to June 17
It’s a show that has been seen by more than 11 million people and has bagged an incredible 80, eight-zero, awards internationally.
Ten of those are Tony’s, and five Oliviers.
As if the picture hasn’t already given the game away, Billy Elliot dances on to the Milton Keynes Theatre stage from Tuesday.
Set in a northern mining town, against the backdrop of the 1984-1985 miners’ strike, Billy’s journey takes him out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class where he discovers a passion for dance that inspires his family and whole community and changes his life forever. There is a typically taut cast bringing this modern classic to life for you, and four boys will alternate in the role of Billy during its Milton Keynes show, so let’s give a name check to each of them; Adam Abbou, Emile Gooding, Haydn May and Lewis Smallman. Anna-Jane Casey returns as Mrs Wilkinson, having previously played the role in the West End. Other names in gthe successful frame include writer Lee Hall, director Stephen Daldry and choreographer Peter Darling. A chap by the name of Elton John composed the show’s score and David Furnish is an executive producer. Small wonder it’s a certified smash hit
A Judgement in Stone
May 30 to June3
Eunice struggles to fit in. When she joins a wealthy family as their housekeeper the reason for her deep buried awkwardness leads inexorably to a terrible tale of murder in cold blood - on Valentine’s Day. Ruth Rendell’s brilliant plot unravels deceit, despair and cover-ups.
Who’s Alice? View The Looking Glass
May 26 and 27
A loose adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass is courtesy of MK-based Black Sheep Collective, who believe in breaking new ground and using the arts as a means to reduce barriers and foster the development of creative communities. It takes place in a kaleidoscope of reality and fiction; Wonderland and the present. BSC take the audience on a strange and enlightening glimpse into the aftermath of Alice’s adventures. Why did Alice go down the Rabbit Hole? What did she see down there? Did she even leave Wonderland?
Meet infamous characters like the stalking White Rabbit and aggressive Tweedle Dee and Dum. A deranged Mad Hatter and March Hare hold dark secrets. stantonburytheatre.co.uk
Sand in the Sandwiches
Northampton Royal, May 25 to 27
John Betjeman was the nation’s favourite poet. Sand in the Sandwiches celebrates a man famous not only for light verse and laughter, but for his passions, his sense of purpose and his unforgettable poetry. Edward Fox stars in this brand new play, bringing Betjeman’s poetry and vovacious personality to life.
MK Theatre, until Saturday
You’ve just three days to go if you want to soak in a delivery of Lloyd-Webber’s Evita.
It has more than 20 major awards to its name and some of the most recognisable songs in musical theatre, topped off by Don’t Cry for me Argentina. The MK visit follows fresh from triumph in the West End.
Count Arthur Strong
Northampton Derngate, May 28
The Count is a snotty fella, as this show, The Sound of Mucus, will prove!
It will uniquely recreate the salient and poignant moments of one of the best musicals ever.
The Guardian says it “just gets funnier and funnier”, and he promises to bring “something else” too.