Adam Ant, Suggs and Toyah head to North Devon
DAM Ant, Suggs and Toyah Wilcox are just some of the names waiting in the wings to entertain you this autumn. North Devon Theatres announces a new season of shows to brighten up winter nights.
FOR those nostalgic for Seventies and Eighties pop, two names immediately jump out: Adam Ant and Suggs. Prince Charming, aka Adam Ant, has re-ignited his music career with sell-out shows across the UK. He brings his new band to the West Country for the first time in late April. Tickets go on sale on December 1.
Madness front man Suggs, meanwhile, brings his musical "audience with" style show, My Life Story. And to finish the Eighties theme, Toyah Willcox is to star in comedy Hormonal Housewives.
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There's a strong finish to the classical Russian Romance season with soloists Martin Roscoe (piano), Emma Johnson (clarinet) and cellist Natalie Clein.
The folk line-up, meanwhile, includes the Northumbrian voice of Kathyn Tickell, multi instrumentalist Jim Moray and Scottish singer-songwriter Karine Polwart.
"We've been trying to book Karine Polwart for a long time and I'm delighted that we can now offer our audience the chance to hear live her beautiful and moving music," said Alan Dodd, programme director.
The jazz headliners include some exciting voices on the contemporary scene: Jay Phelps, Sons of Kemet and Compassionate Dictatorship.
"We are so fortunate to be able to bring such world-class jazz artists to North Devon; artists that won't be playing anywhere else in the West Country," said Alan.
There's visits by jazzers Marius Neset and Michael Woolny plus the truly amazingly talented Australian finger-style guitarist Tommy Emmanuel. There's also a chance to see Don Pasquale performed by Swansea City Opera.
There's a sprinkling of tributes to the likes of the Eagles, Bryan Adams, Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Wonder.
TWO new works will be premièred this season. The House Jack Built from North Devon's multi story theatre company is a timely fable about legacy. While, The Incomers, written entirely in verse by BBC Radio 6's poet-in-residence, Murray Lachlan Young, is a deliciously dark farce situated around the AGA of a West Country kitchen.
"We've been working hard with our colleagues at Beaford Arts to help regional artists develop and stage new work and we're delighted to have this work, made in North Devon, launch with us before it heads off around the country," said Alan.
Other drama offerings range from Oscar Wilde's masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest, to a stellar cast lined up as suspects in Agatha Christie's Go Back For Murder. There are two very different takes on Shakespeare – a musical adaptation of The Tempest and a celebrated, Japanese-inspired version of his "lost" play, Cardenio.
THE two-week Easter break brings with it some full-on family entertainment with those Kung Fu masters the Shaolin Warriors. Plus there's the beautiful love story Coppelia danced by Moscow Ballet, some record attempts live on stage with Guinness World Records and puppetry in The Sagas Of Noggin The Nog.
The spring half-term compares equally well. There's a visit from folk and hip-hop dance extravaganza, The Lock In, plus the North Devon Gang Show's variety special, finished off with The Moscow State Circus.
"Following on from the success of the Chinese State Circus last year, we're bringing in the Russians to dazzle and delight us," said Alan.
Dublin's award-winning music and dance show The Irish House Party! will help to celebrate St Patrick's Day while American actor John Lithgow appears in NTLive's broadcast of the Victorian farce, The Magistrate.
NORTH Devon Theatres' educational department is particularly active in the New Year with large scale projects in music and drama, leading to public performances, with the aim of encouraging new people into the arts.
One project, Up Against The Wall, made with The Paper Birds Theatre Company, invites North Devon teenagers to devise a piece of work tackling issues around teenage pregnancy.
Operetta, The Merry Widow will be the entertainment from Barnstaple Amateur Operatic Society while Petroc students perform Miss Saigon. Young dancers from Hartley Williamson School Of Dance present Tchaikovsky's classical ballet piece, Nutcracker. Studio Theatre, meanwhile, go for the laughs with Wife After Death.
MUSICAL satire comes in the form of Gilbert And Sullivan Abridged.There's also stand-up from Mark Steel and Chris Addison.
"We always leave gaps in our comedy programming to take advantage of big-name comics announcing tours or warm-up gigs last minute," added Alan.
Box office: 01271 324242 or www.northdevontheatres.org. uk