From a classic thriller to family musical fun, there's lots to enjoy...
Dial M for Murder, Rugby Theatre, March 3 to 10
The classic 1954 Hitchcock film Dial M for Murder, featured an unforgettable performance by Grace Kelly, supported by a hangdog Ray Milland. But before the big screen version was released it was a massive stage hit both in the West End and on Broadway. Now the talented performers at Rugby Theatre are giving the play a welcome airing when it opens for a seven show run on Saturday.
“It might be set in 1952, but Dial M for Murder feels very modern with its themes of love triangles and domestic, physical and psychological violence,” said director Simon Burne. “It has lost none of its edge over the years. Set in one claustrophobic room, Dial M has really stood the test of time. It’s a very tense psychological thriller with twists and turns throughout, right up to the end of the last scene.” Simon has assembled a first-class cast for the Rugby stage version, including Lee Bunting as Tony, Tracey Seymour as his wife Sheila, and Tom Browning as Captain Lesgate.
“The cast have worked hard to build up the tension, while the fantastic backstage people have delivered an amazing set, brilliant costumes, excellent props of the right period, and a fabulous lighting plot,” said Simon. “I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Beauty and the Beast, Bilton Pantomummers, Rugby High School for Girls, March 2 to 4
The Bilton Pantomummers perform at their biggest venue yet, Rugby High School. The show follows the story of a girl who finds herself in the captivity of a beast but soon realises that he isn’t as scary as he seems. Loosely based on the classic Disney movie, this original script is set locally in Bilton with many local references and jokes. There are typical panto gags and slapstick comedy that should leave audiences laughing, booing, and maybe even singing. The show has been written and directed by Avon Valley School teacher Jonathan Patton, who has been a member of the Bilton Pantomummers for 13 years, and ends an eight year wait since his last script. Jonathan said: “I’m extremely proud of every part of this production from the script to the choreography to the set management. Every now and then you get one of those shows that comes along that you simply love and you can tell is going to be really popular. It would be a shame for people to miss it.”
Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, March 6 to 10
Celebrate the unforgettable music of one of the world’s greatest entertainers in this tribute show. Expect a full two hours of non-stop hits from throughout Jackson’s 45-year career.
Jonathan Pie, Warwick Arts Centre, March 7
The frustrated news reporter character whose viral videos have been seen across the world returns with his new show.
Hamlet, Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton, until March 3
Paapa Essiedu stars in this acclaimed RSC production.