Musicals galore as Opera House announces 2018 shows

Titanic The Musical will come to Blackpool Opera House in 2018
Titanic The Musical will come to Blackpool Opera House in 2018
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A triple bill of new musicals goes on sale at Blackpool Opera House today – and Blackpool’s own stage star Jodie Prenger is urging people to come out and support them.

The Winter Gardens’ theatre has announced three major new UK premiere tours will stop off in the resort – with more to be added to the line-up in coming weeks.

Blackpool's own Jodie Prenger will star in Fat Friends The Musical which comes to Blackpool Opera House in 2018

Blackpool's own Jodie Prenger will star in Fat Friends The Musical which comes to Blackpool Opera House in 2018

As revealed earlier this week, a brand new show Purple Rain The Musical is to celebrate the work of pop legend Prince, and will come to the Opera House in April.

I’d Do Anything star Jodie will head the cast in new comedy Fat Friends, based on the hit TV series, in May – making her first appearance at the Opera House since becoming a household name.

And Titanic The Musical will dock in town in July on its maiden voyage across the UK.

All three shows go on sale today at noon.

Kay Mellor's Fat Friends The Musical will come to Blackpool Opera House in 2018

Kay Mellor's Fat Friends The Musical will come to Blackpool Opera House in 2018

They join the previously announced Shrek on the line-up for next year.

Winter Gardens’ managing director Michael Williams said: “2018 is already shaping up to be a fantastic year at the Winter Gardens and three brand new musicals on their first ever tours are welcome additions offering something for everyone.

“Blackpool is fast becoming a key destination for the major shows and events now touring the UK.”

Jodie Prenger came to attention in 2008 when she won the BBC’s talent search for an unknown actress to play Nancy in a new staging of musical Oliver!.

Since then she’s gone on to star in musicals including Spamalot, Annie, Calamity Jane and one-woman show Tell Me On A Sunday, and play One Man, Two Guv’nors. She’s currently starring in a national tour of Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine, which will come to Blackpool’s Grand Theatre in September.

Jodie hailed the rise in popularity of Blackpool’s biggest theatre – having only found out about Fat Friends coming to her home town through The Gazette – and called on residents to back the productions.

She said. “I am thrilled, delighted, that I’ll be coming to the Opera House with this show.

“There has been a surge in great musicals coming to the town in the past couple of years and I’m thrilled to see that happening.

“It’s expensive to go to London, even to Manchester, but when something is right on your doorstep there is no excuse.

“I know people like to put their slippers on and watch the TV, but book tickets and get out for a couple of hours; it’s therapy, stress relief in these days.”

Puple Rain The Musical will bring together a cast of 26 musicians, singers and dancers in a production showcasing the song-writing genius of Prince and bring his music to life – directed by the man behind Thriller Live, which celebrates the music of Michael Jackson.

The stage adaptation of Kay Mellor’s comedy drama Fat Friends, also starring X Factor winner Sam Bailey, features original music by Nick Lloyd Webber, son of Andrew Lloyd Webber, with the loveable TV characters reunited to be put through their paces at Zumba during their Super Slimmers’ meetings.

And the harrowing story of the legendary ‘unsinkable ship’ will be recreated in Titanic The Musical.

More than 20 years since it opened on Broadway and swept the boards at the Tony Awards, Maury Yeston and Peter Stone’s musical focuses on the hopes and dreams of the passengers bound for America, based on real life characters.

* Purple Rain The Musical, April 16 to 21; Fat Friends The Musical, May 29 to June 2; Titanic The Musical, July 9 to 14. Book online at www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk