County offering Verdi’s classic, humour and a Gruffalo’s Child

The city’s own Preston Opera takes over the Charter Theatre from Wednesday to Saturday with their production of Verdi’s La Traviata, wrapped around decadence, romance and devotion in the Paris of the Belle Epoque era.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 15th March 2013, 8:00 am
Preston Opera in La Traviata Robert Driver as Alfredo, Louise Greatch as Violetta and Lauar Wood as Annina
Preston Opera in La Traviata Robert Driver as Alfredo, Louise Greatch as Violetta and Lauar Wood as Annina

Based on the Dumas’ play, The Lady of the Camellias, this is the tale of love between Alfredo, a young gentleman of high society, and Violetta, the Fallen Woman of the title. However, Alfredo is torn between his love for Violetta and his duty to his family, especially his domineering father, Giorgio Germant. Emotions extend from the gaiety of Parisian social life to (plot spoiler!) the tragedy of the final outcome.

Verdi’s opera combines compelling characters with hugely powerful, moving and instantly recognisable melodies, making it one of the most popular operas of all time.

Box office: 0844 844 7714 or

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A white knuckle ride of betrayal, debt, and lost innocence is promised, when Conor McKee’s 2011 sell-out smash Thrasher heads to the Continental in Preston next Thursday. Fans of McKee’s darkly comedic humour should book early as both the Manchester and London runs sold out prior to opening.

Over one night in the city, six people spiral towards destruction. Once lost, can faith, friendship and love ever be recovered?

Written by acclaimed new playwright McKee and directed by award winning Wyllie Longmore, Thrasher is described as a gripping story laced with warmth and comedy. Box Office: 01772 499425 or

On Wednesday April 17 it’s also at the Rose Theatre in Ormskirk. Box Office: 01695 584480 or


Two of the most respected children’s performances are coming to Lancaster Grand within days of each other.

First off the mark are the Chuckle Brothers with their latest show The Chuckle Brothers Meet the Phantom. In this new adventure a theatre manager is in trouble because a ghostly presence is scaring all the people away! It all promises songs, slapstick, and magic for all the family tomorrow afternoon. Then the highly-acclaimed Tall Stories return with their latest offering The Gruffalo’s Child, on Monday and Tuesday, with songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged four and up, and their adults. It adapts all the charm of one of Britain’s best-selling books to the stage.

Box Office: 01524 64695 or

Lancaster has a lot to laugh about over the next few weeks. Nine of the biggest names will have played the city’s Grand Theatre in the space of just 21 days – besides a couple more at the Dukes. In February alone the Grand secured and sold out Russell Kane, John Bishop, Sean Lock and Chris Addison.

Their latest run starts with Andy Parsons next Friday, touring his brand new show – I’ve Got a Shed. Next in the spotlight is Lee Hurst on March 25; fresh from his East End Club, he believes everyone has the right to choose their own fate. Returning to the stage, on April 4, is Josh Widdicombe, in the past a support act for Alan Carr, Kevin Bridges and Michael McIntyre. Now his own eagerly-awaited show deals with his inability to embrace adventure in his life! Two days later Terry Alderton is back with a brand new show. A spell-binding combination of noises, voices, shoes, incredible physicality and a mind blowing insight in to the inner workings of the comedy mind. And finally, with his first visit to the Grand, Marcus Brigstocke on April 13. His new show – The Brig Society, is no less than a total restructuring of every aspect of life in Britain organised through the medium of jokes.

Box Office: 01524 64695 or

Moscow Ballet La Classique returns to Preston Charter Theatre tomorrow night with Coppelia.

Their revival of this classic choreographing of ballet’s Livin’ Doll sees her captivating the flirtatious Franz – to the despair of his feisty fiancé Swanilda.

But, of course, it’s all a bit of a wind-up and true love eventually wins the day in the enchanting tale of eccentric Doctor Coppélius and his clockwork creation with music by Delibes.

Moscow Ballet Le Classique was set up in 1990 with the aim of reviving great performances of ballet classics and draws dancers from the Bolshoi, The Kirov, and the great ballet theatres of the CIS countries, formerly the Soviet Union.

Coppelia remains a dance spectacular, perfect for ballet lovers of all ages.

Box office: 0844 844 7714 or