Theatre in Milton Keynes: Our guide to the week ahead.

Shane Richie and Laura Whitmore in Not Dead Enough
Shane Richie and Laura Whitmore in Not Dead Enough

We have a quick chat with Shane Richie ahead of Not Dead Enough coming to Milton Keynes plus a round up of what else can be seen at the region's theatres.

Not Dead Enough

Milton Keynes Theatre January 30 to February 4

After the huge sell-out success of The Perfect Murder and Dead Simple, the thrilling work of multi-million selling author Peter James returns to the stage with the world premiere production of Not Dead Enough.

Shane Richie is back on the MK stage, starring as DS Roy Grace.

Laura Whitmore, one of the stars of 2016’s Strictly Come Dancing on BBC1, will also star.

On the night Brian Bishop murdered his wife, he was 60 miles away, asleep in bed. Or so he claims. But as Detective Superintendent Roy Grace continues to deal with the mysterious disappearance of his own wife, he starts to dig a little deeper into the chilling murder case and it soon becomes clear that love can be a dangerous thing...

“To me Roy is flawed, and I love characters who are flawed,” Shane said.

“He’s an outsider and a bit of a genius when it comes to crime solving.

And this show is a challenge even for the seasoned stage player. “I’m practically on stage for the whole thing,” he says. “There’s no point where I can go back to the dressing room or ring home. It’s got a pace to it which is really interesting and the audience will have to keep up. It’s an old cliche to say it’s a rollercoaster ride, but this really is.”

www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

Invincible

Northampton Royal, until

January 28

From the pen of one of the most entertaining observational comedy playwrights to come to the fore since Alan Ayckbourn, Invincible centres on Emily and Oliver who downsize when the recession bites. Culture and class collide on a night at home with the neighbours...

www.royalandderngate.co.uk

St Petersburg Ballet

Northampton Derngate, January 30 to February 4

St Petersburg Ballet Theatre returns to Northampton as part of its 2017 European tour.

Presenting eternal favourites Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, the company has received ecstatic reviews for their sets, costumes, and the artistic performance of the dancers, including nice words from The Guardian who said the movers are “justly praised for the traditional virtues and stylishness of their staging”.

St Petersburg Ballet Theatre’s performance combines artistry, technique, narrative and live music.

The company is packed with world class dancers, all showing virtuosity and bravura and giving thrilling performances – small wonder that they are attracting a whole new generation of ballet lovers to the artform.

Details: www.royalandderngate.co.uk

The Carpenters Story

Milton Keynes Theatre, January 29

This award winning production boasts lavish arrangements of some of the classic material gifted from tragic singer Karen and her brother Richard.

Theirs is a sad story, wrapped up in the most magnificent music.

“A very accurate and faithful portrayal,” says Richard Carpenter of this delivery.

www.atgtickets.com

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Northampton Derngate

February 1-3

The book has delighted generations of readers since it was first published in 1969 – and has sold more than 41 million copies worldwide.

Now the cute-caterpillar with the big appetite has munched its way off the page and onto the stage in this acclaimed production.

www.royalandderngate.co.uk

John Shuttleworth

The Stables, January 29

Can sole agent Ken Worthington pull out the stops and make John a star before his retirement?

As part of his farewell tour, John considers life’s major issues; the rise in popularity of hi-vis protective wear and the suitability of the plastic lid on takeaway coffee cups...and discovering polo mints.

www.stables.org