ANNABELLE, GLIMMER THEATRE | London, Streatham Space Project

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Glimmer Theatre are renowned for their “Rich Theatre by Little Means”, which takes audiences on unexpected flights of fancy, crammed with good humour, live music and bold images. With their emphasis on recycled props and costumes, like a rusty hat box, a cracked slide projector, newspaper and dustsheets, Glimmer Theatre create astonishing, emotionally charged works.

In this new production, Glimmer Theatre use live music and magical visuals to tell the riotous story of Annabelle Howgego, the extraordinary fen skater who set her village free. Following a private industry performance earlier this year, Glimmer Theatre immediately received maximum funding from Arts Council England, for Glimmer Theatre’s most ambitious project to date.

Starring Sophie Crawford (War Horse, West End) and Rozzi Nicholson-Lailey (The Railway Children, Genesius Pictures), Annabelle tells the true story of Annabelle Howgego, who cast off her life as a scullery maid and became a champion fen skater. But this year, something terrible rises up from the icy river and sends the village into disarray.

Director, designer and actor Andrew Brock is known for being the driving force behind all of Glimmer Theatre’s previous productions, which have toured nationally, as well as his work for Queynte Ladies and other companies. Glimmer Theatre’s Instagram (@glimmertheatre) is also full of their trademark humour, and a window into the exciting things to come.

Annabelle is skating into Streatham Space, London on 6 December 2018, and the Undercroft, Peterborough on 14 December 2018.

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DISNEY ON ICE: DREAM BIG | London, The O2

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Feld Entertainment’s all-new production assembles a collection of inspiring stories about Disney’s greatest heroines, featuring highlights from Moana, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Tangled, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella and — of course — Frozen.

The title comes from Disney’s recent “Dream Big, Princess” campaign, a video series encouraging girls to follow their passions and “be students; be teachers; be politicians; be preachers; be believers; be leaders; be astronauts; be champions”.

Feld Entertainment Regional Vice President, Steven Armstrong, says, “The stories of Moana and Frozen, in particular, inspire a new generation of young girls through self-reliance and a belief in themselves. Our greatest wish for our guests is that they will be inspired by these tales of bravery and see that anything is possible if you follow your dreams.”

But the title of the new ice spectacular shows that it’s just as much for boys as it is for girls. Executive Vice President and Producer, Nicole Feld, says, “Having both a daughter and son at home, I knew it was important to present a variety of Disney stories as well as show the connection between these stories and illustrate how a journey can unfold in many ways.”

2018 also celebrates 90 years since the creation of Walt Disney’s ‘True Original’, Mickey Mouse. Guests should arrive early to join a special 90th birthday celebration! High-flying jumps, breathtaking skating and lovable Disney friends make Disney On Ice presents Dream Big an experience your family will never forget, so book now.

Disney On Ice presents Dream Big will be skating into Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Nottingham and London from the 21st September 2018 to 6th January 2019.

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MAGIC MIKE: LIVE | London, Hippodrome Casino

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Magic Mike: Live, conceived and directed by Channing Tatum, opened in Las Vegas on March 2017 and has been playing to screaming, sold-out crowds every night since. The time has come for the all-new, first-class entertainment experience based on the hit films Magic Mike (2012) and Magic Mike XXL (2015) to come to London.

Enter Magic Mike’s mythical nightclub, Club Domina — “where women are always on top” — and marvel as thirteen of the hottest, most talented men in the country perform in front of, behind, and on top of the excited audience. It’s a kind of “Magic Mike III”: a sizzling, immersive, dance and acrobatic strip tease spectacular, guaranteed to bring on the heat.

Following a mutli-million pound transformation of the Hippodrome Casino theatre space, the smash-hit Vegas show promises: “a place where women can feel what it’s like to exist in a world where their desires are heard and they are treated like goddesses… a place where they feel comfortable and proud to express the full force of their sexual energy together.”

The 80-minute show will run twice nightly, at 19:30 and 22:00. Opening on 10 November 2018, every performance is already nearly sold-out until mid January 2019, due to overwhelming demand, so be sure to book early. Strictly for over 18s only, and photo ID is required.

Check out the gallery on the Magic Mike: Live website and get excited.

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BOYZ NITE OUT | London, Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club

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What a week for queer theatre that’s full of joy with a feminist bent! Acclaimed Drag King troupe BOYZ are heading up a Drag King Club Night at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, featuring the well-known stars Johnny Rubber, Wesley Dykes, Fanta Le Mon, and many others.

Sending up the nineties (and noughties) boy band invasion, BOYZ promise: “sweet, sweet tunes, and moves, from your fave decade”. Nostalgia. What absolutely categorises BOYZ‘ drag is its joy, silliness, and inclusivity. It’s a real party, and everyone’s invited.

There is, of course, a political edge. RuPaul’s Drag Race is now fully mainstream, and the bitchy, diva drag queen is now a little passé. Meanwhile, a drag king revolution has been kicked off in London in the past few years by the likes of BOYZ and Pecs: The Drag King Collective.

The show, starring BOYZ and special guests, runs 9pm-10:30pm (doors at 8pm). BOYZ‘ shows are always extremely popular, and seats are unreserved, so get there early to bag a table and a drink. After the show, keep the party going with DJing into the wee hours.

Book online now and save 30% on tickets!

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KINGDOM | London, Camden People’s Theatre

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Created by Celine Lowenthal (Show Boat West End; Shadwell Opera) and Temi Wilkey (Hamlet RSC; Pecs: The Drag King Collective), Kingdom is a surrealist love song about two queer best friends who share a bedroom.

Step inside the kingdom of a couple of high femme weirdos with a magical world of their own. Taking place somewhere between the dream world of their minds and the real-life space of their very own bedroom, this show is a joyous celebration of queer friendship and feminine intimacy.

Creator Temi Wilkey explains in no uncertain terms: “We want to make theatre drenched in queerness and femininity, exploring and celebrating the magic of genuine intimacy; theatre that can offer something beautiful to the world, as an antidote to the cynicism and cruelty that often seems to pervade it.”

Kingdom is part of AndWhat? Queer Arts Festival; an October long celebration of the newest Queer-led cultural and artistic experiences, all across London.

Kingdom will play for three performances only, so book now.

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DITA VON TEESE | Monaco, Opéra Garnier

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46-year-old Dita Von Teese is the Queen of Burlesque; a household name known for the epitome of glamour and voluptuousness.

The American icon is currently touring internationally, hitting up such iconic venues as the sumptuously decorated Opéra Garnier of the Monte Carlo casino in Monaco, and the London Palladium.

Although known as a pioneer of Neo-Burlesque in the 1990s, Von Teese’s routines are highly influenced by the glamour of the 1930s and 1940s, including her showstopping signature act, featuring Von Teese bathing and splashing in a giant martini glass.

Performing alongside Dita (with her astonishing array of couture) are other bright stars from the world of Burlesque, including some seductive boylesque performers, guaranteeing pleasure for everyone.

Dita Von Teese is performing in Monaco for one night only, on 20 October 2018.

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CAMELOT (LMTO) | London Palladium

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The London Musical Theatre Orchestra, the world’s only professional orchestra dedicated to performing musical theatre repertoire, have enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame since their debut outing in 2016.

The opportunity to hear Lerner and Loewe’s magnificent score for Camelot (1960), with a full orchestra and chorus, back home at the London Palladium, where it ran for 518 performances, cannot be missed.

“It all started with a semi-serious Facebook post in 2015,” grins LMTO’s conductor and artistic director, 26-year-old Freddie Tapner. “I wondered if we could get together enough people for an orchestra, just for fun, to have a play through of a musical. In just a few hours I had more responses than I knew what to do with.”

As usual, an all-star West End cast will join the LMTO including Sam Swann, Clive Carter, Celinde Schoenmaker, Matthew McKenna, Emmanuel Kojo, Oliver Savile and Raphael Higgins-Humes.

Tapner is used to working with singers of the highest quality, but even he seems giddy at the prospect: “I’m extraordinarily excited to be working with this sensational cast.”

Camelot hasn’t been seen in the West End for thirty years, and we can’t wait to share this glorious score with you.”

LMTO’s concert production of Camelot will run for one performance only, Saturday 6 October 2018, so book now.

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BRYONY KIMMINGS: I’M A PHOENIX, BITCH | London, Battersea Arts Centre

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Bryony Kimmings is renowned for her outlandish “social experiments”, with previous works seeing her retrace an STI to its source, spending seven days in a controlled environment in a constant state of intoxication, and becoming a pop star invented by a nine-year-old girl. Her most recent work, A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer, was commissioned by Complicite and presented at the National Theatre.

In 2016 Kimmings nearly drowned: dealing with postnatal breakdowns, an imploding relationship and a very sick child. In 2018, Battersea Arts Centre invited her to create her first solo work in nearly a decade for the previously burnt down Grand Hall.  I’m a Phoenix, Bitch combines personal stories with epic film, soundscapes and ethereal music to create a powerful, dark and joyful work about motherhood, heartbreak and finding inner strength.

“My shows are usually born out of me going: ‘We don’t talk about this enough,'” Kimmings explains. “My hope with this show is to give a voice to the almost unspeakable traumas associated with postnatal depression and an ill child.  I want to create a show that cuts to the heart of these things, but does it in a way that people can relate to.”

Every performance of I’m a Phoenix, Bitch is relaxed, which means guests who can benefit from a more relaxed environment are welcome – there is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement and a designated ‘chill-out space’ is provided. The 19th October performance is captioned and BSL interpreted.

I’m a Phoenix, Bitch runs at the Battersea Arts Centre 3 – 20 October 2018.

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THE WIDER EARTH | London, Natural History Museum

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In an exciting collaboration, the National History Museum will be hosting The Wider Earth, an award-winning drama about 22-year old Charles Darwin’s voyage across the globe. Fronted by six young actors bubbling with enthusiasm, the show will bring originality, energy and fun to the story of Darwin’s five-year expedition on HMS Beagle.

The production will be fast-paced and colorful, combining an original score (Lior and Tony Buchen) with live drawings (Justin Harrison) projected on a concave backdrop. The centrepiece is a revolving set (David Morton, Aaron Barton) that offers a deconstructed version of rich wood-paneled HMS Beagle, offering unexpected vistas and angles.

The production, set in the beautiful Jerwood Gallery, will be framed with stone arches and a vaulted ceiling. Seating 357 people, this sparse and elegant space will provide a uniquely immersive experience for the audience. They’ll also pass by the Darwin Centre on their way to the show, to get them in the mood.

The play’s most charming attraction may well be its thirty puppets of iguanas, armadillos and other creatures, conceived by the Dead Puppets Society. These wooden cutouts move just like real animals; the actors operate them as feral extensions of their own bodies. Seeing it all come to life was magical, and enough to warrant this reviewer buying a ticket for opening night. Don’t miss it.

The Wider Earth runs from 2 October to 30 December 2018.

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