Familiar faces are swinging into city theatre this Easter

*EDIT: CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS – PLEASE SEE THE THEATRE’S WEBSITE OR SOCIAL MEDIA FOR CONTINUING UPDATES*

The New Theatre Royal Lincoln’s Easter pantomime is returning with The Jungle Book, running from Monday, April 13th to Sunday 19th and the audiences of the venue’s last two Easter pantomimes, The Wizard of Oz (2019) and Alice in Wonderland (2018) will be pleased to see some familiar faces.

The Jungle Book - Press Image

Not only will Chris Johnson star in this year’s production as the Monkey King and Kaa but this year CBBC’s Chris will also be credited for writing the script.

When asked about coming back to Lincoln and writing the show, Chris said, “I’m delighted to re-join the wonderful NTR Presents team once again for what’s guaranteed to be a swinging time in the jungle.  Lincoln holds a very special place in my heart so getting to write and perform another show here is an absolute joy!”

Chris Johnson - The Jungle BookChris will be joined by Michelle Morris who will get her wicked claws out as Shere Khan. Best known for her TV appearances in The Knock, Doctor Who, and Endeavour, Michelle’s theatre credits span more than two decades, including The Wicked Witch in last year’s Easter pantomime The Wizard of Oz, and Fairy Stardust in New Theatre Royal’s latest Christmas pantomime, Robin Hood.

Lincoln’s local lad, Chris Hayes, is back too.  After leaving audiences in stitches as Mama Munch in the The Wizard of Oz and Friar Tuck in Robin Hood, Chris returns as the loveable Baloo Bear.

Last year’s Scarecrow Jonny Weston and The Win Women Georgia Hayes-Cowley return as Bagheera and Raksha, Mowgli’s wolf mum.

Michelle Morris - The Jungle BookThe city theatre is also very excited to introduce local young talent, Kyla Hurdley and Ruby Grayson, who will share the role of Mowgli.

Packed with high energy dance routines, popular songs and a witty script, this family-favourite story will see the theatre’s artistic director, Natalie Hayes-Cowley, produce and direct the show: Who said pantomimes are just for Christmas?” she asks.  “This will be our seventh in-house pantomime since we took over the theatre in 2016 and our Easter pantomimes are becoming increasingly popular amongst our patrons.”

“Panto brings all generations of families together and it’s rewarding to see so many people joining in, laughing and booing (at the baddies, of course), then leaving with huge smiles on their faces.  I can’t wait for everyone to see The Jungle Book, it’s going to be another brilliant show!”

A relaxed performance will be held on Thursday, April 16th, at 2.30pm.  Tickets start from £19.50 (adults) and £11 (child).  Call 01522 519999 or visit New Theatre Royal Lincoln to book.

The shows must go on…

*EDIT: WELL ACTUALLY IT TURNS OUT THERE ARE OCCASSIONS WHEN THE SHOW DOESN’T GO ON AND ONE OF THOSE TIMES IS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC – ALL SHOWS FROM MONDAY, MARCH 16TH ARE CANCELLED OR POSTPONED.  PLEASE SEE EACH THEATRE’S WEBSITE OR SOCIAL MEDIA FOR CONTINUING UPDATES*

 

Panto season may be finally over in Lincoln’s city centre venues (oh yes it is…) but there are still plenty of entertaining reasons coming up to keep families visiting our theatres:

 

Lincoln Drill Hall

NaughtyFoxSaturday, February 1st:
The Naughty Fox
There are craft workshops supporting this production.

Sunday, February 16th:
Wolf

Wednesday, February 19th:
Diddy Disco

Thursday, February 20th:
Henry Moon & The Greasy Spoon

Saturday, March 28th:
LittleRedThe Twisted Tale of Hansel and Gretel

Saturday, April 4th:
Little Red Riding Hood

Tuesday, April 14th:
The Unexpected Adventures of Darwin the Chimp
There is a puppet workshop supporting this production. 

Wednesday, April 15th:
Diddy Disco

 

Lincoln Performing Arts Centre

oddsocks.jpgThursday, February 20th:
Sid’s Time to Play

Thursday, April 9th:
Andy and the Odd Socks

Sunday, May 24th:
Horrible Histories: The Worst of Barmy Britain

Friday, May 29th:
Milkshake Live!  Milkshake Monkey’s Musical

 

 

Zog1New Theatre Royal Lincoln

February 23rd:
Exciting Science

March 23rd and 24th:
Zog

April 13th-19th:
The Jungle Book

May 31st:
Rapunzel

 

Are you looking forward to taking your mini ones to the theatre this season?  Let us know your recommendations in the comments below…

Ready, Steady, Yeti! ignites imaginations

YetiHow many festive theatre goers can say they’ve seen a show featuring a sly, upper class, anthropomorphized furry toy dog who is a master of disguise this Christmas?

Thanks to being guests of the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre for the morning performance of Ready, Steady, Yeti! on Saturday, the minis can count themselves among the elite few who have not only been introduced to the cunning canine Colonel Snitterby but have rapped along with him too.

An ode to the wonders of youthful imagination, Ready, Steady, Yeti! follows a young sister and brother as they go on a Himalayan adventure to search for the Abominable Snowman.  Racing against the Colonel to find the legendary creature first, they sail through frozen seas, traverse treacherous terrain and make it to the top of ice-capped mountains without ever leaving their bedroom and making sure they are most definitely home in time for tea.

img_6637.jpg

The warm-hearted story, supported by original songs and an inventive set, contrasts the ocassional cold heartedness of competitiveness with the fun and success that can be found in teamwork and friendship, revels in wordplay and celebrates creativity.

IMG_6649

All three minis’ imaginations were thoroughly captured by the tale of the hunt for the mysterious not-so-monstrous monster and were even inspired to stage their own performance on the LPAC foyer’s mini platform after the show.  Willow proved that she had been listening during Yeti! when it was stated that all good stories begin with “Once upon a time”.

Taking on board the message that not everything has to be a race is clearly a work in progress however, loudly and proudly proclaiming herself the winner of getting back to the car first on the way home.

If you want to learn how to do the Explorers’ Salute and discover if a Yeti’s favourite food really is spaghetti then you can catch Ready, Steady, Yeti! at the Lincoln theatre until January 5th.  Find out more at www.lpac.co.uk 

Enter a wondrous wintery world but beware of the witch

LionA story that starts with a world trapped in a perpetual winter where the arrival of Father Christmas heralds the return of hope to the land is a perfect choice for a seasonal show.

The minis were guests of the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (LPAC) on Thursday for the press showing of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe following the adventures of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy as they stepped through the wardrobe’s wooden doors into Narnia.

Dark both in storyline and lighting design, the theatre’s production of C S Lewis’s allegorical tale earned the older recommended age suggestion the LPAC’s winter show normally advertises even more so than in previous years (with younger audiences catered for in the centre’s studio theatre production, this year Ready, Steady, Yeti!).

L W W

The production firmly found its footing when the children were treading the snowy  otherworldly realm and the dramatic scenes made use of the company’s trademark strength of its ensemble work.

The War Horse-esque, of the forest with knowledge older than time, depiction of Aslan, the transformative staging and the delightful light relief in Mr and Mrs Beaver contrasting with big murderous scenes featuring discordant music and the towering evil queen all combined to evoke the childhood imagination that was captured by Narnia when first reading the books.

Some, such as my five year old, may need to watch the scarier scenes from behind their mummy’s hand but many, including my seven year old and myself, will welcome the chance to immerse themselves in an alternate world where good eventually prevails, leaving its audiences looking sideways at their bedroom furniture again when they return home.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe runs until December 24th.  Visit www.lpac.co.uk to find out more.

Putting the puns and peril into pantomime

Robin Hood posterGreat vocals, a crowd-pleasing choice of rousing songs, both laugh-out-loud and pleasingly groan-inducing gags that appeal to all family members – the New Theatre Royal’s latest pantomime is sure to win over all members of its seasonal audiences this year.

Opening with a series of bread puns and a Queen medley, Robin Hood isn’t a first glance a traditional choice for a panto but the Lincoln theatre’s production based on the regional legend has all the elements fans of the annual family entertainment will expect and more.

Robin Hood - Press Image 1 (Credit Caroline Keyworth)

My four year old and I were guests of the Clasketgate venue for Wednesday evening’s show and enjoyed characterful performances, energetic dances and numerous opportunities for audience interaction.  Mummy’s favourites were Will Scarlett’s series of tree jokes and the If I Were not in Pantomime comedy song.

Robin Hood - Press Image 2 (Credit Caroline Keyworth)

The actors portrayals of their various predicaments were clearly very engaging to my four year old who was extremely invested in all the performances and almost found the mild peril of the second half’s dungeon scene too much to bear.  Fortunately our titular hero saves the day, of course, and Willow was soon up and joining in with all the celebrations of the finale.

The meet and greet after the show further made my mini star struck one exceedingly happy and I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the cast for how lovely they were with her.  It even given her the chance to meet the nasty Sheriff of Nottingham and discover that, off stage at least, he’s actually really nice.  Although she’s still convinced that “all the bad guys are on the naughty list”.

On Friday night, it was the turn of Daddy and our seven year old to join his Beavers group trip to see the show.  They not only thoroughly enjoyed the heroics and amusements of the medieval tale but the eldest mini also got to join in the fun himself being invited to take to the stage with Nurse Nora and Will Scarlett and lead the audience in a rendition of the song Robin Hood accompanied by his signature dance moves.

Does Robin Hood hit the target as a great way to start your festive season?  Oh yes it does!

Robin Hood continues at the New Theatre Royal in Lincoln until January 5th.  Click here to find out more or call 01522 519999.  

The most magical panto of them all…

A spectacular royal carriage and a unicorn will be flying into the Lincoln Drill Hall this Christmas.

After last year’s sell-out production, Jamie Marcus Productions is delighted to be returning to the Free School Lane arts centre from December 6th, 2019, to January 4th, 2020, with this season’s show, Cinderella.

The production promises a fabulous traditional pantomime, packed full of well-known songs, fantastic comedy and spectacular special effects.

James Campbell returns by popular demand as one of the ugly sisters Lady Domestos and he’s looking forward to it: “I’ve performed in over 25 pantos now all over the country and since 2012 at Lincoln Drill Hall,” says James.

“It is always the highlight of my acting year! I love coming to Lincoln over Christmas and the productions at the Drill Hall are always special.

“Who can forget the Red Arrow in 2017 or Peter Pan flying over the audience heads last year?

“The panto is always packed with fun and frolics for everyone; sweetie throw-outs, singalongs, kids up on stage, the John Lewis skit, and of course the incredible special effects.  Last year we played to nearly 15,000 audience members and each year the productions get more spectacular.  I can’t wait for Cinderella to start!”

Tickets to see all your favourite characters, including the beautiful Cinderella, the Ugliest of Sisters, the magical Fairy Godmother, the lovable Buttons and the handsome Prince Charming, start from £12.

Call the Lincoln Drill Hall box office on 01522 873894 or visit www.lincolndrillhall.com/cinderella for further information.

Sid’s Time to Play

SidThe Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (LPAC) is continuing its family programming this season by welcoming CBeebies star Sid to its stage.

Sid will present Time To Play at the city venue on Saturday, October 19th, at 2.30pm, promising a show jam-packed with live games for little ones and their fun-loving parents.

This enthralling show includes Simon says style song Copy Sid, a Challenge Sid friendly quiz with not so friendly (but fun) forfeits, Wacky Races which pits the audience against each other using a beachball to decide who wins and Dress to Impress, a dress-off between two where speed and balloon popping skills are a huge advantage.

Sid’s own brand of comedic playfulness and spontaneous interaction aims to leave everyone, young or old, with a smile on their face.

Find out more at Sid’s Time to Play.

Other family shows coming up at the LPAC include:
Vienna Festival Ballet’s Snow White, Sunday, October 27th, 5pm
Big Bouncing Boogie, Saturday, November 9th, 10am, 11.30am and 1pm
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, December 11th-24th
Ready, Steady, Yeti!, December 16th – January 5th

The merriest pantomime adventure

The star-studded cast from the New Theatre Royal Lincoln’s Christmas pantomime, Robin Hood, came together for the first time this week ahead of the show, which runs from Tuesday, December 3rd to Sunday, January 5th.

The Mayoral party were in attendance to officially welcome the cast to Lincoln, and they really got into the pantomime spirit when they put the Sheriff of Nottingham into stocks for his bad behaviour.  A team of young reporters from Monks Abbey Primary School also came along to ask the cast some testing questions.

 

CBBC’s Chris Johnson, who will appear as merry man Will Scarlet, has appeared in every pantomime since Cinderella in 2017: “It’s always a joy to be even thought of for one of the shows here, never mind asked back. So, to have the chance to play out with this team again, I’m over the moon.”

Children’s BAFTA award-winner Barney Harwood (Blue Peter, Prank Patrol) will play the role of Robin Hood and starring as Maid Marian is Zoe Hedge who previously appeared on ITV’s The Voice as part of duo Capital B.

Lincoln’s own Chris Hayes will be featuring as Friar Tuck and can’t wait to get back on stage, “The good thing about panto, the thing I enjoy, is just coming out on stage and seeing the kid’s faces light up, seeing all this magic in front of them, that’s Christmas.”

Tickets start at £16.50.
A signed performance will take place on Friday, January 3rd, at 6pm.
A relaxed performance will take place on Saturday, December 7th, at 11am.
Call 01522 519999.
For further information visit www.newtheatreroyallincoln.co.uk

*EDIT: Since this post was originally published Melinda Messenger, who was due to take the role of Fairy Stardust, has unfortunately had to pull out of the show*

Are your children having a drama-filled summer?

Summer 2019 family-friendly theatre shows in Lincoln

Theatres are traditionally quite quiet during the summer period when mini audience members are often expressing their dramatic sides on location during their family holidays but this year the city’s arts centres still have a few options for those craving a cultural fix.

LoudmouthAt the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (LPAC) it’s young people themselves that are ensuring theatre-goers will be entertained.  The centre’s resident youth theatre groups, Shout and Loudmouth, are premiering two new plays written, produced and performed by some of Lincoln’s emerging young artists.  The double bill sees Shout Youth Theatre presenting Phases, “a light-hearted play that explores grief and seeing the world through another’s eyes”.  And Loudmouth Youth Theatre’s performance is On a Roll: The Land of Bogmile, a “role play spoof that celebrates friendship and imagination”.
Saturday, July 27th, 7pm, tickets £5.
Visit www.lpac.co.uk

sammark.jpgIt’s celebrity duo Sam and Mark that will be entertaining a youthful audience at Lincoln Drill Hall.  As seen on CBBC’s Big Friday Wind-Up and Copycats, the pair are taking to the road with a brand new live show this summer including a stop-off at the Free School Lane venue.  The BAFTA award-winning duo are promising “an unmissable hour of entertainment jam packed with sketches, jokes and games in a show full of fun and laughs for all the family.
Saturday, August 10th, 2.30pm, tickets £12.50.
Visit www.lincolndrillhall.com

ElmerTheatre2Over on Clasketgate at the New Theatre Royal its even minier audience members that are being catered for with Elmer The Patchwork Elephant Show stomping the boards.  From the creators of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, the production is based on David McKee’s colourful book series that is celebrating its 30th birthday this year.  “A celebration of individuality and the power of laughter”, the show features 21 puppets, is aimed at age 1+ and has a running time of 45 minutes.
Friday, August 23rd, 1.30pm and 3.30pm, tickets £13 (£11).
Visit www.newtheatreroyallincoln.co.uk
The theatre also has a summer programme of family films including titles such as How to Train Your Dragon 2, Mary Poppins Returns and Wreck It Ralph 2. 

ShauntheSheepThe Terry O’Toole Theatre in North Hykeham is also featuring family-friendly drama on the silver screen over the summer but with a twist.  The unique setting of the venue means it has teamed up with the leisure centre it’s housed in and is offering  visitors Family Film & Swim deals.  After watching movies such as Mary Poppins Returns, Christopher Robin and Shaun the Sheep Movie, film-goers can then enjoy a swim at the One NK centre swimming pool – perfect for cooling down your mini one’s temperatures during this very hot weather too.
August 3rd, 17th, 31st and September 7th, 10am film/12.30pm swim, tickets – film £3.50/swim £2.50 when booked with film ticket.  £2 discount for a family (4) ticket.
Visit www.terryotooletheatre.org.uk 

Celebrity performers will create “warmth and laughter” for panto season.

*EDIT: Since this post was published Melinda Messenger has had to withdraw from this year’s pantomime*

The New Theatre Royal in Lincoln has announced some of the stars of this year’s pantomime this week.

Running from December 3rd, 2019, to January 5th, 2020, the production of Robin Hood will welcome both familiar faces and new celebrities to its Clasketgate stage.

Barney Harwood - Press AnnouncementBarney Harwood returns to the city as the brave hero Robin Hood.  Last year’s Huntsman in Snow White, the winner of a Children’s BAFTA for Best Presenter will be wielding a bow and arrow this time.

Chris Johnson - Press AnnouncementAlso back by popular demand is Chris Johnson who will play Will Scarlet.  CBBC’s “Yonko” has been a regular in both Christmas and Easter pantomimes at the New Theatre Royal since Cinderella in 2017.  Speaking about returning to Lincoln Chris says, “The thought of once again spending my festive season at the New Theatre Royal makes me a very merry man indeed! In fact, I’m all aquiver!”

Melinda Messenger - Press AnnouncementModel and presenter Melinda Messenger is heading the list of new celebrities due to tread the boards.  Performing the role of Fairy Stardust, Messenger says, “Panto is such a great Christmas theatre tradition that the whole family can enjoy, I really love the warmth and laughter it brings to everybody and can’t wait to work with Natalie and the team at the New Theatre Royal in Lincoln”.

Zoe Hedge - Press AnnouncementRounding up the star casting is Zoe Hedge as Maid Marian.  Zoe appeared on The Voice UK (2017) as one half of the duo Capital B, who were chosen to be on Sir Tom Jones’s team.

The theatre’s visitors can expect this Christmas season to be full of laughs, boos and audience participation for all the family to enjoy.  Artistic director Natalie Hayes-Cowley says, “Robin Hood will be filled with high energy dance routines, outstanding vocalists, comedy and, of course, added surprises in the script for those stand out wow moments.  Perfect entertainment for all the family this festive season.”

There will be a signed performance on January 3rd at 6pm and a relaxed performance on December 7th at 11am.

Tickets start from £16.50 and can be booked via the box office on 01522 519999 or online at www.newtheatreroyallincoln.co.uk