Two blockbusting productions from different ends of the musical spectrum are both to be staged at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen, announced Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA) today. Click here to view the brochure online.
The West End rock sensation The Commitments is heading for the city in the spring of 2017 as part of a nation-wide UK tour, and there will be a week-long run of the hugely successful Jackie the Musical with its 70s numbers next summer.
At the start of this month, The Commitments ended its two-year run in London’s Palace Theatre after playing more than 1000 performances and confirmed that it would go on a national tour.
Featured songs include You Keep Me Hangin’ On and River Deep, Mountain High, with actors in the show playing their own musical instruments.
Producer Phil McIntyre said: “We’ve had a great run at the Palace Theatre and we now look forward to bringing the people’s musical to people across the UK and Ireland with our 2017 tour.”
Based on the very popular girls magazine of the 70s, from the DC Thompson publishing stable, Jackie the Musical (July 19 to 23) revisits the heady days of 40 years ago, when a lovelorn lady could seek advice from the pages of her old Jackie annuals on how to get a boyfriend.
The production stars Janet Dibley as Jackie – she became a household name in the 1980s co-starring with Nicholas Lyndhurst in ITV’s primetime The Two of Us and has appeared in Eastenders, Doctors, Kay Mellor’s Fat Friends, in The Chase and most recently in Broadchurch. The cast also includes Nicholas Bailey, best known for his role as Anthony Trueman in EastEnders and Graham Bickley who became a household name playing Joey Boswell in the BBC TV series Bread and has starred in a host of hit West End musicals, including Les Misérables, Miss Saigon, Sunset Boulevard and Ragtime, for which received an Olivier Award nomination.
The quizzes, the fashion tips, the ‘do’s and don’ts on a first date’ and above all the Cathy and Claire problem pages of the weekly magazine are all eagerly devoured and to recapture the spirit of the age, there’s a pulsating sound track of hits from the 70s - the unmistakable sounds of Donny Osmond, David Cassidy, Marc Bolan and others.
Supported by Jackie publishers DC Thomson, former magazine Editor Nina Myskow joins the production as Editor-in-Chief, and will head up a brand new digital/online TV channel JACKIE TV.
Both productions are part of a package of new shows announced in APA’s new brochure, published this week, which includes three other musicals at HMT - Richard O’Brien’s outrageous Rocky Horror Show (September 5 to 10), the phenomenal Chicago (September 26 to October 1) and for the first time, Aberdeen’s Lyric Musical Society stage the newest musical on the theatre circuit Made in Dagenham (August 24 to 27).
On the comedy front, Aberdeen’s own Flying Pigs’ head into His Majesty’s for the wonderfully entitled Dreich Encounter (June 2 to 11) while Aberdeen Student Show demonstrate their own dab hand at the Doric with their production, nattily named Michty Mia! (HMT April 20 to 23).
On a more sombre note, the Terence Rattigan play Flare Path (March 15 to 19) is a highly charged drama set in 1942’s wartime Britain which captures fear, camaraderie and passion of the time with an emotional conflict as unpredictable as the war in the skies.
Across at the Music Hall, APA continues its exciting Culture Café programme with lunchtime sessions with two of Scotland’s most exciting talents, horn player Alec Frank Gemmill and pianist Alasdair Beatson (January 27); in association with sound, the string quartet which has been an original voice in new contemporary, experimental and classic music since 1999, Bozzini Quartet (February 3) and one of Scotland’s best loved writers Alan Spence (March 8) who for many years taught Creative Writing at Aberdeen University.
And even before the curtain rises on this year’s HMT panto, plans are being drawn up with Qdos Entertainment to stage Dick McWhittington next Christmas!
"APA is delighted to be presenting another season of fantastic and diverse work to the North-east,” said APA director of programming and creative projects Ben Torrie.
“We continue to bring first-class touring productions to the region, as well as the cream of Scottish talent, giving our audiences the chance to see world-class work right here on their doorstep."
Tickets for the new shows at His Majesty’s Theatre and the Music Hall go on sale to APA Friends on Thursday, November 19, and to the general public on Tuesday, November 24, online at www.aberdeenperformingarts.com, by phone at 01224 641122 and at Aberdeen Box Office at the Music Hall and His Majesty’s Theatre.
APA will be announcing a new season of shows at The Lemon Tree in an winter new season brochure to be published next month.