Circus of Horrors phenomenon returns to Warrington with new show

The phenomenon that is Circus of Horrors is returning to Parr Hall next year with its latest incarnation.

After taking to the road over 22 years ago and touring all over the world, the alternative circus troupe, which mixes horror and burlesque with the bizarre, is back with new show Voodoo.

Awoken by a Ouija board, a Voodoo curse causes devastation; while the city sleeps the night creatures rule the underworld.

This new show features bizarre and amazing circus acts from all over the world, some never seen before in the UK, all performed to devil-driven rock n roll and interwoven with the darkest of magic.

Voodoo promises to be the biggest revolution of the Circus of Horrors for many years; a spectacular event which takes the show to a whole new level, driven by a largely original soundscape and performed with a forked tongue firmly in each cheek.

Audiences will certainly die laughing.

Wednesday 21 March 2018, 7.30pm, £26/£23/£22/£19/£18, Parr Hall.

Buy tickets here

Top touring theatre company’s latest show to entertain town’s kids next month

Warrington families are in for a festive treat next month with the new show Father Christmas Comes up Trumps!

Hugely popular touring company TaleGate Theatre is returning to Parr Hall following the success of family favourites Father Christmas Needs a Wee and The Giant’s Loo Roll which both entertained the Warrington audience last year.

Now Father Christmas is back and this time he’s had three helpings of sprouts!

As he tries to deliver the presents, his tummy rumbles, gurgles and groans but Father Christmas knows he must keep it in – he doesn’t want to wake anyone up!

TaleGate Theatre productions hit the perfect combination of witty humour, fantastic music and that little extra sparkle for which they have become known and loved.

Father Christmas Comes Up Trumps! is a fabulously funny and brilliantly bouncy musical adaptation of Nicholas Allan’s sequel to Father Christmas Needs a Wee.

Artistic director James Worthington said: “We are very excited to tour our new festive musical across the UK.

“It promises to beat our own high standard and really pack a tuneful punch.

“We are really lucky to be working with Nicholas Allan again on another of his books as they are perfect for cheeky children everywhere.

“When even the title makes you laugh you know you are in for a good time!”

Sunday 3 December, 11am and 2.30pm, £12/£10/£40 family ticket, Parr Hall

Buy tickets here

Frank, funny and filthy comedian Sarah Millican announces extra Warrington date

The frank, funny and unapologetically filthy comedian Sarah Millican has announced an extra date at Warrington’s Parr Hall next year.

Already signed up for Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 December 2018, the much-loved funny girl will now also be gracing us with her presence for a performance on Tuesday 4 December 2018.

Tickets for the extra date go on sale at 10am this Wednesday, 8 November, and are sure to sell fast.

Sarah Millican is not a control freak, she’s a control enthusiast; she even controls her own insults.

On this new tour, Control Enthusiast, she asks “do you arrange the nights out?” and “are you in charge of passports on holiday?” If so, then you’re a control enthusiast too!

The Warrington audience will learn about Rescue Men, farting in hospital pants, what can happen at a bra fitting and the benefits of casserole, plus tips on how to talk to shop assistants and the correct way to eat a biscuit, as Sarah shares fresh stories of her “super normal life”.

Sarah rose to fame by telling painfully honest but immediately identifiable stories about her divorce and has since become a much-loved comedian who is never afraid to draw on her real life experiences for inspiration, no matter how embarrassing or cringeworthy they may be!

Tuesday 4, Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 December 2018, doors 7.15pm, starts 8pm, £27.50, Parr Hall

Buy tickets here

Celebration of Whitney Houston’s life and music on route to Warrington

A celebration of the life and music of Whitney Houston is on route to Warrington.

Whitney – Queen of the Night is a stunning celebration of one of the greatest singers of our time.

This award-winning production features breathtaking performances from a sensational line-up of musicians and artistes, and delivers a show that exceeds expectation on every level.

The Parr Hall audience will be taken on a magical rollercoaster ride through three decades of classic hits, including I Wanna Dance with Somebody, One Moment in Time, I’m Every Woman, My Love is Your Love, So Emotional, Run to You, Saving All My Love, I Will Always Love You, and many more.

Whitney – Queen of the Night beautifully remembers the most highly-awarded female artiste in the world; her one true legacy was her music, which touched millions of people around the world.

Get ready for the “greatest love of all” with Queen of the Night.

Saturday 14 April 2018, doors 6.45pm, starts 7.30pm, £23, Parr Hall

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‘Fastlove’ tribute to George Michael booked for unforgettable night in Warrington

George Michael fans are being advised to prepare for an unforgettable evening celebrating the global superstar.

Fastlove – A Tribute to George Michael promises to “put the boom boom” into your heart in an all-new production packed full of the musical icon’s biggest hits.

From the Wham classics of the new pop revival to the chart-topping success of the eighties album Faith, plus the awesome tunes of the nineties and noughties, this is a spellbinding experience fans will not want to miss.

Expect to hear Careless Whisper, Freedom, Faith, Father Figure, Outside, Jesus to a Child, and many more.

Relive the passion, the flare and the unique sensitivity of George Michael in this incredible concert sensation.

NB Disclaimer: this show is not affiliated with or endorsed by George Michael or his estate.

Saturday 17 February 2018, doors 6.45pm, starts 7.30pm, £24,Parr Hall

Buy tickets here

 

Warrington musician kicks off festive season with home town gig

Internationally renowned Warrington-born musician Peter Price will be starting the festive season with a home town performance this December.

The singer and guitarist will be returning to Pyramid with another top quality show on Friday 1 December and tickets are on sale now.

Peter has a brilliant international reputation, having played festivals and concerts across the UK, Europe and North America.

His audiences are taken on strange and exotic journeys, from the folk and country blues style of Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell and Lead Belly, to jazz, Latin and world music.

A gifted artist, Peter’s performances demonstrate a mind-boggling mastery of the acoustic guitar, a rich singing voice and a relaxed yet compelling stage presence.

For this show he will also be joined on stage by some very special guests, guaranteeing an evening not to be missed.

The Guardian described him as “an acoustic blues virtuoso” and leading acoustic blues singer-songwriter Eric Bibb said Peter was “one of those wonderful British guitarists… a great musician.”

Friday 1 December 2017, 7.30pm, £15, Pyramid

Buy tickets here

Public asked to help make Warrington Festival bigger and better

Residents are being asked to help make Warrington Festival bigger and better by answering a short questionnaire.

The first Warrington Festival took place in 2015, organised by a board of partners from major organisations in the town including LiveWire, Warrington Borough Council and Culture Warrington.

25 events attracted more than 20,000 people – Pixie Lott headlined an open air gig at Bank Park, with other attractions including the English Half Marathon, a cycle festival, a medieval market and country fair.

2017’s highlights included the RivFest outdoor music festival, Warrington MELA, Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival, youth volunteering events and a family mile.

Organisers now hope to make Warrington Festival even bigger and better by asking the public to provide feedback to help enhance the offer for 2018, ensuring it meets the needs and expectations of visitors.

To complete the short questionnaire visit http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/WARRFEST/

The closing date for responses is Friday 8 December 2017.

Parr Hall panto cast to spread festive cheer at Christmas lights switch-on

Cast members of this year’s Parr Hall panto will once again be spreading some festive cheer at the Golden Square Christmas lights switch-on.

The talented team, who will be bringing us Jack and the Beanstalk in January, are to entertain the crowds in Market Square on Friday 10 November from 6pm as part of a special free event to mark the official start of the Christmas period in Warrington.

They will be joining popular CBBC characters Dick and Dom, children’s favourite Justin Fletcher, Warrington Wolves players and the man of the moment, Father Christmas.

Jack and the Beanstalk, which will be entertaining audiences at Parr Hall between 5-14 January, promises to be a giant of a pantomime, full of beans and packed with “fee, fi, fo, fun”!

After getting into big trouble with his mother for selling their cow for a handful of beans, Jack’s dreams come true when they start to grow.

Tony Peers, of Tony Peers Productions which produces the panto, said: “Join Jack on the adventure of a lifetime as he outwits the giant and makes his fortune.

“This is a timeless tale which continues to capture the imagination of children of all ages.

“The cast are very excited to meet all the boys and girls of Warrington during the run in January and can’t wait for an early visit in November to share in the magic of the Christmas lights switch-on.”

Friday 5 – Sunday 14 January 2018, various times, £12.50/£10.50/£40 family ticket/offers available, Parr Hall

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Parr Hall celebrates timeless sound of The Magic of Motown

The timeless soundtrack that is The Magic of Motown is returning to Warrington next month for a spectacular show.

Music fans are invited to the biggest party of the year as this unstoppable genre steams into town with a performance at Parr Hall on Saturday 18 November, 8pm.

Now seen by more than 1 million people all over the world, the Warrington audience should prepare itself for 40 back-to-back classic Motown hits, glittering costume changes, dazzling dance moves and outstanding musicianship in this explosive concert experience.

The enduring music of Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Supremes, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves, Jackson 5, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson and many more is sensationally recreated by an exceptionally talented cast and band.

This breathtaking spectacular takes audiences on a musical journey through the best Motown songs including Ain’t No Mountain, Signed Sealed Delivered, Grapevine, Get Ready, Dancing in the Streets, My Girl, Blame it on the Boogie and many, many more.

Saturday 18 November 2017, 8pm, £27/£25/10th ticket free, Parr Hall.

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Original bagpipe band Red Hot Chilli Pipers celebrate 15 years with Warrington gig

There has never been anything quite like Red Hot Chilli Pipers: the original bagpipe band are celebrating 15 years with a gig at Parr Hall.

From their formation in 2002 and a cameo appearance at with The Darkness at T in the Park in 2004, to opening the festival’s main stage in their own right in 2014, the past fifteen years have seen the Red Hot Chilli Pipers become the most famous bagpipe band on the planet… ever!

Bagpipes with attitude, drums with a Scottish accent and a show that carries its own health warning are heading to Warrington on Friday 17 November.

The band’s achievements have reached incredible heights thanks to their ground-breaking fusion of traditional Scottish music and rock/pop anthems which they proudly call “bagrock”.

Red Hot Chilli Pipers are a genuinely unique experience and they have never been more in demand for their infectious style of feel-good music which appeals right across the age range to people all over the world.

They have collected together an impressive group of musicians from Scotland and further afield, many holding World Championship titles and all seriously good players with impressive credentials and qualifications.

In 2014 the Chilli Pipers released a live DVD and CD entitled Live at the Lake, which captured an explosive evening of entertainment at Milwaukee Irish Fest, the band’s US spiritual home, on the shores of Lake Michigan.

During the winter of 2015/2016 the Pipers recorded new tracks and released a new studio album, Octane, which represents a high energy, powerful, intense and inspiring album; it’s a continued fusion of traditional tunes and rock classics which takes bagrock to a whole new level.

Friday 17 November 2017, 8pm, £22.50, Parr Hall

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Scottish comedian Daniel Sloss to visit Warrington next month

NOW is the stunning new show from Scotland’s internationally acclaimed and award-winning stand-up Daniel Sloss, and it’s coming to Warrington next month.

The comedian has made no less than a record seven appearances on late-night talk show Conan, and to date has performed nine sell-out Edinburgh Fringe shows and two solo off-Broadway seasons.

He has also released a DVD, given a Tedx Talk at 19 years old and toured extensively to rave reviews throughout Australasia, the USA, UK and Europe.

Australia’s Herald Sun said: “Sloss is simply world class, endearingly unabashed, hilarious… intelligently and ironically calling out the hypocrisy of human nature.”

The New York Times described him as “dirty, sweet and clever”, Mail on Sunday said he performed “deliciously dark stand-up” and Sunday Times said he was “brilliantly dark” and “razor-sharp”.

Daniel Sloss will be performing at Pyramid on Friday 17 November, 7.30pm; tickets are on sale now.

Friday 17 November 2017, doors 7pm, starts 7.30pm, £14.50/£12, Pyramid

Buy tickets here

WArrington Music website to celebrate fifth anniversary with live music night at Parr Hall

Popular website WArrington Music is celebrating its fifth anniversary next year with a special night of live music at Parr Hall, headlined by Slydigs.

WArringtonMusic.co.uk was set up by [WAM] five years ago to champion live music in the town and has worked with hundreds of artists during that time.

The event on Friday 16 March 2018 will showcase the best of local talent including a headline set by rock and roll four-piece Slydigs.

Special guests will be funk-rock/soul collective The Winachi Tribe, psychedelic rockers Psyblings and fuzz-pop four-piece The K’s.

2016 saw Slydigs embark on a 19-date North American and European arena tour supporting The Who, which earned them rave reviews.

In 2017 the band released their latest EP, How Animal Are You, backed by a headline tour around the UK and Europe which proved that Slydigs have a thriving fan base.

Frontman Dean Fairhurst said: “This gig is a milestone for us and signifies just how far we have come from starting out in Warrington many years ago.

“It will be our biggest headline show to date and for it to be in our home town is incredible; it’s our true homecoming.

“There’s a great supporting line-up of local acts also on the bill, making this an event not to be missed; we are planning something very special so buy your ticket now and we’ll see you down the front.”

Friday 16 March 2018, doors 7pm, starts 7.30pm, £10, Parr Hall

Buy tickets here

In-demand Irish country star Nathan Carter plays extra Warrington date next month

Irish country star Nathan Carter’s extra Warrington date, announced after huge demand, is fast approaching.

The tour comes on the back of his huge 2016 album Stayin’ up all Night which reached No 1 in the charts.

Following on from a year that saw him beat both Beyoncé and Drake to the top spot in his native Ireland, country-pop crossover star Nathan announced a huge run of UK tour dates for 2017.

The charismatic performer then confirmed 16 extra dates due to phenomenal demand, including a show at Parr Hall.

Now one of Ireland’s biggest live music acts, Nathan grew up in a house where country and western music filled the air and was exposed to classic songs by Johnny Cash, Don Williams and Dolly Parton.

From the tender age of four years old, he learned to play guitar, piano and accordion, which play a vital part in his live show now, and quickly became head chorister in the Liverpool Boys Choir with which he toured the world and even performed in front of the Pope in Rome.

Nathan Carter is now developing into a household name, with tracks from Stayin’ up all Night such as Wagon Wheel and Wanna Dance becoming huge hits, and audiences up and down the country demanding tickets to his shows.

He has become a firm favourite for audiences of all ages.

Wednesday 15 November 2017, 7.30pm, Parr Hall, £26

Buy tickets here

Duo of emerging artists lead Warrington contemporary arts extended programme

Holly Rowan Hesson – Echo

Two emerging artists whose work is currently being displayed as part of Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival (WCAF) are leading an exciting new programme of events and exhibitions.

Ellen Sampson and Holly Rowan Hesson are heading up a new year-long programme of events and exhibitions designed to continue the promotion of contemporary arts after the festival’s Open exhibitions come to a close this weekend.

Ellen has used film, photography and installation to explore the relationships between bodily experience, memory and footwear in her exhibition, Worn: footwear, attachment and affective experience, which is on display now at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery.

Fascinated as a child by the magical shoes in fairytales, Ellen trained as a shoemaker before becoming an artist.

Ellen Sampson – Worn

Worn examines our relationship with and attachment to shoes, and suggests that through use shoes become records of their wearer’s experience and extended parts of the self.

She said: “By focusing on the shoe as an everyday object, and on the experience of wearing, I explore how through touch and use we become entangled with the things we wear.

“I look at how, through wear, our shoes become records of our journeys and lives, and how the marks upon the shoe, as traces of these experiences, can be read.”

Holly Rowan Hesson’s Echo, a projection and sculptural installation, creates dialogues with materials, memory and the physical space at Pyramid Arts Centre.

Holly Rowan Hesson – Echo

She said: “Through intuitive and process-led image-making, I create dialogues with material, sites and residual memories.

“This regularly starts with interrogations in specific man-made structures, buildings and physical spaces.

“Exploring uncertainty and transience, my work is concerned with the actual fragility and transitory nature of what seems solid, weighty and permanent, both physically and also in the way things are perceived.

“Using the visual language and formal concerns of abstraction, my resulting sculptural and installation work is multi-layered, often with uncertain depth of focus.”

Both exhibitions are on display until Saturday 27 January 2018.

Thanks to support from Arts Council England, Culture Warrington, the charity which runs WCAF, the museum, art gallery and arts centre, is now developing a year-round contemporary arts engagement and development programme, starting with Ellen and Holly’s exhibitions.

By working with partners from across the North West, the charity plans to commission local, regional and national artists to connect with Warrington’s neighbourhoods throughout the year, culminating in WCAF 2018.

Maureen Banner, Culture Warrington board chair, said: “While we look forward to Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival as an annual highlight it’s exciting to consider that this year we’ll have a new ongoing programme of events to keep the momentum going.

“With help from Arts Council England we’ll be able to continue bringing contemporary art to a wider audience by creating ambitious and inclusive projects.”

NB Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival is part of a wider calendar of events held across Cheshire in association with Slant, the county’s cultural destination programme.

Listings information

Exhibition title: Ellen Sampson – Worn: footwear, attachment and affective experience

Dates: Until Saturday 27 January 2018

Times: All day

Admission: Free

Location: Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, Museum Street, Warrington, WA1 1JB

www.warringtonmuseum.co.uk

Listings information

Exhibition title: Holly Rowan Hesson – Echo

Dates: Until Saturday 27 January 2018

Times: All day

Admission: Free

Location: Pyramid Arts Centre, Palmyra Square South, Warrington, WA1 1BL

http://www.pyramidparrhall.com/

Not Going Out funny man Tim Vine confirmed to bring stand-up silliness to Warrington

Not Going Out funny man Tim Vine will be bringing his unique brand of silly stand-up to Parr Hall next year.

The Sunset Milk Idiot tour, which visits Warrington on Thursday 1 March 2018, promises lots of silly jokes, new homemade props and the singing of daft new ditties, all with “the appearance of confidence”.

Tim said: “The following subjects will be touched upon briefly: pixie football, ice cream and nibble feeders; so come along, sit down, and laugh.

“The quantity won’t let up; this is comedy without a message.

The show will leave audiences thinking “what an odd person”, “what a lot of nonsense” and “what else is he going to do?”

“Sunsets are in the sky, milk’s nice and I’m an idiot,” he added.

Tim appeared in five series of the award-winning sitcom Not Going Out alongside Lee Mack, played Beach the Butler in series two of Blandings with Timothy Spall and Jennifer Saunders, and has appeared on Live at the Apollo and QI.

A man of many talents, he has also won Celebrity Mastermind, hosted ITV game show Don’t Blow the Inheritance, been a regular on Countdown’s Dictionary Corner and appeared on Comic Relief takeovers of Fame Academy, Let’s Dance and Let’s Play Darts, as well as popping up on a Downton Abbey spoof.

On Celebrity Total Wipeout he fell off everything.

In 2010 and 2014 Tim won the Dave TV channel award for ‘Best Joke at the Edinburgh Fringe’, the only person to have won it twice; he has successfully toured all of his stand-up shows, with five accompanying DVDs under his belt and has released two books.

Thursday 1 March, 8pm, £23.50, Parr Hall

Buy tickets here

Last few tickets remaining for Irish superstar Imelda May at Parr Hall

There are now only a few tickets remaining for diverse singer-songwriter Imelda May’s Parr Hall performance in November.

The Warrington date was added to the tour, which includes London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall, following phenomenal demand.

Imelda has been enjoying a positive response to her top five album Life. Love. Flesh. Blood. which features singles Girl I Used to Be, Call Me, Black Tears and Should’ve Been You.

Hauntingly beautiful acoustic ballad, Girl I Used to Be, is a memoir of Imelda’s life growing up in the Liberties area of Dublin and the lessons learned which she will pass on to her daughter.

She said: “I love those old story songs where you’re taken on a journey from beginning to end; songs you’re riveted with, like when you’re in the car and you sit in the driveway because you can’t turn the radio off, you have to listen to the end of the story.

“The lyrics are about my family and my daughter, and myself and my life growing up in Dublin.

“We didn’t have much money but my parents are fabulous, creative and open-minded people; they gave me art and literature and encouraged me to do whatever was in my heart, and I want to do that with my daughter.”

One of the most critically-acclaimed releases of 2017, the album spent over a month in the Top 20 and recently returned to the Top 10.

Produced by the legendary T Bone Burnett, Life. Love. Flesh. Blood. was recorded over seven days in Los Angeles and features musical contributions from Jeff Beck, Jools Holland (who “discovered” Imelda) and an accomplished group of backing musicians who between them have performed with the likes of Tom Waits, Robert Plant and The Last Shadow Puppets.

Imelda has become one of Ireland’s most celebrated female artists, has performed alongside legendary artists including Lou Reed and Smokey Robinson, and can count high profile artists like Bob Dylan and Bono as fans.

Monday 13 November 2017, 7pm, £99 VIP package/£35/£25, Parr Hall

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Hilarious musical about the menopause brings TV stars to Warrington

Menopause the Musical promises to have its Warrington audience giggling like schoolgirls when the hilarious show visits town next year.

This hysterical production stars Cheryl Fergison from EastEnders, The Nolans’ Maureen Nolan, Rebecca Wheatley from Casualty, and comedienne and impressionist Hilary O’Neil, ensuring a top quality performance every night.

Packed full of one-liners about night sweats, hot flushes and memory loss, the action is backed by an instantly recognisable soundtrack of innuendo-laden versions of 60s, 70s and 80s pop classics.

Menopause the Musical is an all-singing, all-dancing comedy set in a department store, where four women with seemingly nothing in common meet by chance and make fun of their woeful lives experiencing “the change”.

They soon bond as they realise the menopause is no longer “the silent passage” but an unavoidable stage in every woman’s life.

This ultimate girls night out, which has enjoyed sold out tours around the world, will have the Parr Hall audience laughing and singing all the way home.

NB Age guidance 16+

Friday 23 February 2018, doors 6.45pm, £27.50, Parr Hall

Buy tickets here

 

Comedian Paul Foot with surreal sense of humour makes first trip to Warrington next month

Surreal comedian Paul Foot is making his first trip to Warrington next month and he is bringing his alter ego and sidekick pig with him.

In Paul’s first new show in two years, Professor Ketchup and his camembert piglet join forces to tackle the big issues like terrorism, Ant and Dec, immigration, The X-Factor and breakfast, in a show intriguingly called Tis a Pity She’s a Piglet.

The multi-award winner has appeared on numerous TV and radio programmes including Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Would I Lie to You, 8 Out of 10 Cats, If Katie Hopkins Ruled the World, Russell Howard’s Good News and BBC Radio 4’s The Infinite Monkey Cage.

Time Out magazine described him as “utterly outlandish” and said that “beneath layers of absurdity is Foot’s sharp eye for satire”.

And Edinburgh Festival magazine Three Weeks said: “He’s a comedy whirlwind from the school of Spike Milligan.  It’s risky to call someone unique but Foot is certainly pretty close.”

Saturday 11 November 2017, 8pm, £14, Pyramid

Buy tickets here

New Parr Hall children’s booking Don’t Dribble on the Dragon features magic by Paul Daniels

A new children’s show just confirmed to visit Warrington features magic designed by legendary entertainer Paul Daniels.

Don’t Dribble on the Dragon, presented by The People’s Theatre Company, is based on the fabulous new book by Steven Lee and follows Tom the toddler, his cool older brother and a secret dragon.

Tom has a dribbling problem that just won’t stop and when his endless drooling threatens to tear the brothers’ friendship apart the dragon’s amazing magic skills are called upon to put it back together.

Or will it only end up making things worse?

This entertaining musical adventure about growing up and the importance of family is the perfect feel-good show for big-hearted adults and loving little ones alike.

As an extra treat, author Steven will be available to sign copies of Don’t Dribble on the Dragon which audiences are invited to bring along or buy at the show.

Sunday 18 February 2018, 11.30am & 2.30pm, £11/£9/£35 family ticket, Pyramid Arts Centre

Buy tickets now

Less than a month until much-loved band The Undertones visit Parr Hall

Much-loved band The Undertones are building on the success of their comeback tour last year with a raft of UK dates, including a trip to Warrington.

Their biggest hit Teenage Kicks became the anthem of a generation and legendary Radio 1 DJ John Peel, who the band listened to religiously as aspiring musicians, was famously so smitten with the track he played it twice back to back and declared it his favourite song of all time.

The Undertones will enjoy support from Warrington folk punk band The Roughneck Riot when they visit Parr Hall on Saturday 11 November, 7.30pm.

2016 marked the band’s 40th anniversary and the Derry boys celebrated with a variety of scorching live performances at festivals and venues throughout the UK and Europe.

The reviews were glowing and many critics and fans said the band are playing as well as, if not better, than ever before.

The shows were an exhilarating live experience for the band and the fans evidently felt the same way.

This success spurred the band on to announce a string of further dates in the UK, including Parr Hall on 11 November, as well as a European tour and their first ever forays into Australia and New Zealand.

Bassist Mickey Bradley said: “To be honest, we had such a great time on the last tour that we thought we’d try our luck again. And I promise to use new bass strings to celebrate.”

2016 also saw vinyl remasters of the band’s first two LPs, The Undertones and Hypnotised, and a 7-inch vinyl remix of the 1979 single Get Over You.

Michael Bradley also published his book Teenage Kicks: My Life as an Undertone.

Saturday 11 November 2017, 7.30pm, £20 advance, Parr Hall

Buy tickets here

Classic tale of The Sleeping Beauty told at Parr Hall in beautiful ballet

The classic tale of The Sleeping Beauty will be told at Parr Hall in a beautiful production by Vienna Festival Ballet.

The much-loved fairytale of the beautiful princess and the handsome prince will amaze the Warrington audience on Sunday 13 May 2018, complete with Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score, stunning choreography and beautiful costumes.

The story explores the age-old struggle between good and evil as the wicked Carbosse casts a spell on Princess Aurora, proclaiming that she will one day prick her finger and die.

The Lilac Fairy changes the spell and instead, on that fateful day, the princess and the entire palace fall into a deep sleep.

A century later Prince Désiré revives the princess with a kiss, the palace awakes and a parade of fairytale characters attend the wedding.

Following the traditional tale of Sleeping Beauty, this ballet is sure to enchant audiences of all ages.

Sunday 13 May 2018, 2.30pm, £19.50/£17.50/£12.50, Parr Hall

Buy tickets here

Rock royalty Black Star Riders to visit Parr Hall next month with team of special guests

Rock royalty Black Star Riders will be calling in to Parr Hall next month as part of a tour to celebrate the release of their third studio album Heavy Fire.

Ricky Warwick, from Black Star Riders (BSR), said: “There’s nothing more exciting than playing live. BSR are absolutely thrilled to get back out in the UK, it’s a wonderful way to round out a great year.”

Formed in 2012 and taking inspiration for their name from a gang of outlaws in the 1993 western film Tombstone, Black Star Riders are a band of impressive pedigree.

Featuring lead guitarists Scott Gorham (formerly of Thin Lizzy) and Damon Johnson (Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper), lead vocalist/guitarist Ricky Warwick (Thin Lizzy, The Almighty), bassist Robert Crane (Vince Neil, Ratt) and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Megadeth, Alice Cooper, David Lee Roth), BSR are now in their fifth year with three albums under their belt.

February 2017 saw Black Star Riders release their third studio album Heavy Fire to widespread critical acclaim.

The record went on to gain worldwide chart success, reaching No 1 in the UK rock and indie charts, No 3 in the UK vinyl chart and No 6 in the UK national chart, as well as enjoying success in Germany and USA.

The band are due to share their colossal talent with the Warrington audience on Friday 10 November as part of the Coming Under Heavy Fire tour with support from special guests Blues Pills, Tax the Heat and Dirty Thrills.

Formed in 2011, the multinational quartet Blues Pills released their exciting self-titled debut in 2014 before following up with their sophomore release Lady in Gold in 2016.

They’ve toured non-stop for the past few years playing with the likes of Deep Purple, Rival Sons and Kadavar as well as headline shows; their organic blend of blues, classic rock and soul wins over audiences around the world.

Zack Anderson, from Blues Pills, said: “We are really excited to warm up the stage for these legends. We hope to see a lot of familiar faces in front of the stage and are really looking forward to meeting a lot of new people.”

Tax the Heat have just come out of the studio where they have been recording their follow up to the critically acclaimed debut album Fed to the Lions.

The highly-anticipated, as yet unnamed, second album is scheduled for release by Nuclear Blast Entertainment in early 2018.

London-based Dirty Thrills will open the bill with a set containing songs from their debut album Heavy Living.

Friday 10 November, 6.45pm, £28 advance, Parr Hall

Buy tickets here

80s soul/RnB music legend Alexander O’Neal to grace Parr Hall stage next month

The music legend that is Alexander O’Neal is to grace the stage of Warrington’s Parr Hall next month.

Alexander is reputedly the best pure singer to come from the 1980s soul/RnB era, when he released a string of memorable hits which are still broadcast as radio requests and played at thousands of events around the world.

His most popular tracks include Fake, Criticize, If You Were Here Tonight, Saturday Love, Never Knew Love Like This, Sunshine, Secret Lovers and many more, and his album Hearsay sold nearly a million copies in the UK alone.

To this day he still holds the record as the only performer to sell out for six consecutive nights at London’s Wembley Arena.

This soul man still has an undying passion to perform and his live shows reflect that, so come and join the party for an evening not to be forgotten.

Tuesday 7 November, 7.30pm, £30, Parr Hall

Buy tickets here

Prepare for A Country Night in Nashville from comfort of Parr Hall

Country music fans are in for a treat next month when Parr Hall hosts A Country Night in Nashville.

The show, which comes to town on Friday 3 November, will take the Warrington audience on a musical journey through the popular genre by recreating a buzzing honky tonk in downtown Nashville.

A Country Night in Nashville perfectly captures the energy and atmosphere of an evening out in the home town of country music; prepare to be transported through the colourful history of country, featuring stars both past and present.

Expect to hear hits from Johnny Cash to Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton to the Dixie Chicks, Willie Nelson to Little Big Town, showcased by the amazing Dominic Halpin and the Hurricanes featuring Shelly Quarmby.

Fans of songs like Ring of Fire, Crazy, Follow Your Arrow, It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere, Need You Now, 9 to 5, and The Gambler, do not want to miss this incredible celebration of the very best of country music.

Friday 3 November, 7.30pm, £23.50, Parr Hall

Buy tickets here

Extra Warrington dates announced for hugely popular comedian, musician and actor Bill Bailey

Hugely popular comedian Bill Bailey has announced two extra Warrington dates to share his unique meld of music, political satire and flights of surreal fancy.

The comedy veteran, famed for his signature stand-up style and appearances on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, QI, Have I Got News for You and Black Books, will now delight the Warrington audience with his energetic charm on Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 June 2018, as well as the previously announced Friday 9 March 2018 show.

His new tour, Larks in Transit, is a compendium of travellers’ tales and general shenanigans from Bill’s 20 years as a comedian.

With musical virtuosity, surreal tangents and trademark intelligence, Bill Bailey tackles politics, philosophy and the pursuit of happiness.

Plus, he fashions a symphony from a ringtone, tells the real story of Old McDonald and re-imagines the Stars and Stripes.

This show will feature two decades of touring larks from a comedian described by The Daily Telegraph as “the brainiest comic of his generation”, and give a glimpse into the colourful life of a much-loved man and the adventures he has experienced along the way.

There’s no wonder The Guardian Guide said Bill was “approaching the status of national treasure”.

Tickets for the second and third performances on Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 June 2018 go on sale this Friday, 13 October at 10am.

But tickets here

Outstanding musical production celebrates The Elvis Years in Warrington

The Elvis Years is an outstanding musical production which brings to Warrington’s Parr Hall the incredible and compelling story of the “king of rock and roll”.

With a top line-up of actor-musicians, multiple costume changes and nostalgic film footage, this glittering two-hour show charts the musical and emotional highs and lows of Elvis Presley’s’ amazing journey, from poor truck-driving teenager from Tupelo, Mississippi through the army, Hollywood and finally the legendary Las Vegas concerts.

The Elvis Years also remembers milestones like his first legendary The Sun Sessions compilation, the Grand Ole Opry and Louisiana Hayride performances, the death of his beloved mother and the 1968 Comeback Special.

Six decades after Elvis first walked into Sun Studios in Memphis as a teenage truck driver, the story of “The King” is being brought to life on stages across the UK in this authentic concert, featuring Mario Kombou from the highly acclaimed West End musical Jailhouse Rock and led by legendary producer, musical director and Ivor Novello Awards-winner David Mackay.

This energetic show is a complete theatrical experience which transports the audience on a musical and emotional journey they will never forget.

Friday 27 October, 7.30pm, £22/£19.50/10th ticket free, Parr Hall

Buy tickets here

Cult performance poet Dr John Cooper Clarke to share musings with Warrington this month

Poet, movie star, rock star, TV and radio presenter, comedian, and social and cultural comedian; not many people can claim to be all of the above but Dr John Cooper Clarke can.

He shot to prominence in the 1970s as the original people’s poet and since then his career has spanned cultures, audiences, art forms and continents.

Today, JCC is as relevant and vibrant as ever, and his influence just as visible in today’s pop culture.

Aside from his trademark look which continues to resonate with fashionistas young and old, and his poetry being included on the national curriculum syllabus, his effect on modern music is huge; his influence can be heard within the keen social observations of the Arctic Monkeys and Plan B to name a couple.

His latest show, which comes to Warrington’s Parr Hall on Saturday 28 October at 7pm, is a mix of classic verse, extraordinary new material, hilarious ponderings on modern life, good honest gags, riffs and chat; it’s a chance to witness a living legend at the top of this game.

Saturday 28 October, 7pm, £24.50/£19.50/£15, Parr Hall

Buy tickets here

American rock band Dr Hook’s extra date at Parr Hall now just a month away

The Warrington date added to Dr Hook’s Timeless tour due to overwhelming demand is now just a month away.

Starring original singer Dennis Locorriere, the band enjoyed a series of sell-out performances in 2016 and to celebrate added a string of new shows, including one at Parr Hall on Saturday 21 October, at 7.30pm.

From the very beginnings of Dr Hook to the height of their success, Dennis Locorriere was the unmistakable voice of the American rock band’s biggest hits and best-loved songs.

Receiving more than 70 Platinum and Gold Discs, Dr Hook have reached legendary status in many countries.

The current tour promises the revival of special memories, with classics such as Sylvia’s Mother, Sexy Eyes, A Little Bit More, When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman, Sharing the Night Together, The Cover of Rolling Stone and Queen of the Silver Dollar.

Don’t miss this opportunity of seeing Dr Hook live!

Saturday 21 October, 7.30pm, £35/£32/£29, Parr Hall

Buy tickets here

‘Remarkable’ jazz pianist and composer Zoe Rahman to visit Pyramid next month for top quality show

Jazz pianist and composer Zoe Rahman is to perform with the Inner City Ensemble at Warrington’s Pyramid arts centre next month.

Described by the Observer as “a remarkable pianist by any standard”, Zoe Rahman has firmly established herself as one of the brightest stars on the contemporary jazz scene.

A vibrant and highly individual artist, her style is deeply rooted in jazz yet reflects her classical background, British/Bengali heritage and her very broad musical taste.

Known for her powerful technique, wide-ranging imagination and exuberant performances, Zoe has become a highly sought-after musician, recently working with the likes of George Mraz, Courtney Pine and Jerry Dammers’ Spatial AKA Orchestra.

She is a winner of the prestigious UK Parliamentary Jazz Award and has previously been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.

For this third edition of the Jazz Directors Series, presented by Band on the Wall, Rahman is performing with the Inner City Ensemble, an evolving nine-piece group of the UK’s most promising emerging professional musicians, selected through an open call application process.

The current lineup is: Aleksandra Topczewska – alto saxophone; Arnaud Guichard – tenor saxophone; Daniel Mitchell – trombone; Faye MacCalman – clarinet; Hanna Mbuya – tuba; James Brady – trumpet; Maria Rehakova – flute; Roz McDonald – bass; and Yusuf Ahmed – drums.

The ensemble will play Rahman’s arrangements of pieces from previous trio and quartet albums including her latest solo album Dreamland, plus additional repertoire by jazz greats Duke Ellington and Abdullah Ibrahim, and new material never previously performed live.

Saturday 21 October, 8pm, £14 advance/£16 on the door, Pyramid

Buy tickets here

Charity presents unique musical performance to raise awareness of dementia

Charitable organisation Music in Mind is presenting a unique performance at Pyramid arts centre to raise awareness of dementia.

Hidden Voice, which takes place on Friday 13 October, features composer John McHugh and the Mishima Quartet in a unique multimedia composition based on the melodies and rhythms in the speech of people living with dementia to create a powerful and emotional musical experience.

Live musicians, audio and film will take the audience into the innermost thoughts of the people on the screen.

Described by NHS clinical director for dementia Professor Alistair Burns as a “unique relationship between music and dementia”, Hidden Voice uses the melodies from speech to capture the individual stories in a unique and beautiful way.

John McHugh is a widely experienced composer, performer and music educator who has composed music in many forms ranging from advertising campaigns for Lucozade and Delta Airways to ballets, music theatre, classical and multimedia works for the concert hall.

The Mishima Quartet have played together for many years as part of The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

They have worked with John McHugh on many projects including large scale concert pieces, educational works for schoolchildren and music for the string quartet and Balinese gamelan style of music.

Tickets for the performance, which starts at 7.30pm, are on sale now.

Friday 13 October 2017, 7.30pm, £13.50/£9/£11 groups of 10 or more, Pyramid

Buy tickets here

Chris & Pui bring friends back to Warrington for family show

Everyone’s favourite CBeebies double act Chris & Pui are bringing their popular family show back to Parr Hall next month, just in time for the school holidays.

The two shows, on Sunday 22 October, promise songs, comedy sketches, a dash of magic and heaps of joining in for all the family.

Familiar Chris & Pui TV characters including Incy Wincy, Twinkle, Old MacDonald, Humpty and Granny Humpty will be dropping by, along with the toys – Tom, Momo, Teddington, Stuffy and Miss Mouse.

Catch the Gingerbread Man, marvel at the Ugly Duckling becoming a beautiful swan and “oooh” and “aaah” as Miss Mouse attempts to zoom zoom zoom to the cheesy moon in her rocket.

Chris & Pui have been a double act for over a decade working every day on CBeebies, the BBC’s pre-school brand.

They currently star in their own programme Show Me Show Me, which airs twice a day and fulfils the old Play School remit with its promise of discovery through songs, rhymes and imaginative play. Last summer they filmed series six.

Most recently Chris starred in CBeebies’ Stargazing, featuring astronaut Tim Peake in the International Space Station along with Miss Mouse who has been floating around in zero gravity much to the amusement of her fans and followers.

The show promises to entertain any age, from 2 to 102, and tickets are on sale now.

Sunday 22 October 2017, 11am & 2pm, £12/£10/£40 family ticket, Parr Hall

Buy tickets here

Vintage band Stiff Little Fingers bring sounds of the punk generation to Warrington

Vintage band Stiff Little Fingers are bringing the sounds of the punk generation to Warrington’s Parr Hall next month.

After many studio albums and countless tours, the band are finding themselves more in demand than ever; they are currently working on a new album with many of the songs being debuted at live gigs, to a tremendous response from the fans.

Stiff Little Fingers (SLF) were formed in 1977 in Belfast and, along with the likes of The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Jam, Buzzcocks, The Undertones, Sham 69 and The Stranglers, they were at the forefront of the punk movement.

SLF’s signature style comprises lyrics that meld the personal and political, music that combines the energy of punk with infectious hooks, and delivery that rings of honesty and commitment.

Their live shows continue to be special events of energy and power and, though now focused on their new material, the band continues to play the old favourites at gigs.

Saturday 7 October, 8pm, £20, Parr Hall

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New music night joins old favourite in bringing classic sounds to Parr Hall

Warrington will boogie the night away this September with a brand new music event to run alongside an old favourite at Parr Hall.

Music lovers are being invited to don their dance shoes for a weekend of 70s disco, Motown and club soul’s most memorable melodies.

Returning to Parr Hall on Friday 29 September, 70s Disco has proven itself to be an unforgettable night which fans flock to as they step back in time to the disco era, complete with all that glitters, and all that hair!

National DJs will be playing original vinyl and bringing back the sounds of Billy Ocean, Barry White, Edwin Starr, Chairmen of the Board, Bay City Rollers, Detroit Spinners, Donna Summer, Three Degrees, Chic, Kool and The Gang, T. Rex, Sister Sledge, and many more.

For those who prefer something a bit more soulful, we have a new night starting the following evening, Saturday 30 September – Motown and Club Soul.

Be there for the first event of its kind at Parr Hall and enjoy the sounds of the 60s and 70s: expect to hear music by Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Diana Ross and The Supremes, The Contours, Edwin Starr to name a few.

These two fantastic nights out are not to be missed! Tickets are on sale now.

70s Disco, Friday 29 September, 8pm, £7, Parr Hall. Buy tickets here.

Motown & Club Soul, Saturday 30 September, 8pm, £7, Parr Hall. Buy tickets here.

 

INTERVIEW: Jimmy Carr shares inspiration for upcoming ‘Best Of’ shows at Parr Hall

This ‘Best Of’ tour is your 12th tour show. How have you continued being so prolific?

This one’s slightly different as obviously most of the jokes were already written – all I had to do was choose my favourites and then try and remember them! There’s no secret to being prolific in general though, really. Mostly it’s down to how I work. A lot of comedians build a show off one flash of inspiration. My process isn’t like that at all. For tours when I’m doing predominantly new material, I will have come up with about 1,000 jokes or so but only use about 250. The trick is to be writing constantly. Chuck Close once said “Inspiration is for amateurs, I just get to work” – could not agree more with that statement.

Why are you doing a Best Of show?

Well partly it’s because I wanted to see if it was possible, to see if you could do a stand-up show where you just played the hits like a gig from a classic band. I also remember seeing John Maloney at the Comedy Store 15 or 16 years ago, right when I started, and he came on stage and said “I’ll start with some jokes”. He did ten one-liners off the bat – boom, boom, boom, boom – and then told a longer story. I remember thinking I would like to do a show where it is just that, where you have that first opening salvo of bang, bang, bang and it never lets up. And that’s part of the reason to do this tour, the idea of just dropping bombs for two hours. One liner after one liner – all killer, no filler. Also I really love these jokes and, unlike a musician, I don’t get to perform them once the show’s finished touring. You just sort of put them away forever. That always struck me as kind of a shame.

Will the show be the same every night?

Hopefully not. Obviously there will be a lot of written stuff but I like to find a balance between the guaranteed laughs of jokes I’ve come up with in advance and the off-the-cuff stuff. I think on a good night it is 80/90% of jokes that I have written and am performing to the best of my abilities. But the best bits always involve the audience, the bits where I don’t know what’s going to happen or where it will lead. Why go and see a show live? Why not just watch it on Netflix? It’s because the funniest bits are always the things that happened in the room that night. You’ve got to have a show ready though, just in case the crowd is reluctant to get involved.

You often joke about supposedly taboo topics onstage. Why is that?

Comedy is all about building up tension and then releasing it. Talking about taboo topics is a fast way to build tension, and the more tension, the more laughs when you finally release it. I’d also say that one of my favourite sounds in the world is laughter turning into shock. I’m obsessed by cognitive dissonance – the idea that you can make people laugh and be disappointed in themselves for laughing at the same time. And as long as the laugh comes first, even if it’s half a second before, it’s fine. I like the idea that you don’t choose what you laugh at, it chooses you.

Is there anything you won’t joke about?
No.

That’s quite a frank answer. Why?

Well I feel like it’s all about the intention, the meaning behind it. My jokes are just that, jokes. There is no grand vision, no political or social message. If the joke is funny enough then the ends justify the means. Look, I say some horrific things in my act and, yes, if you take those things at face value then clearly they are unacceptable. But I think it’s pretty obvious that, in context, those subjects or ideas are merely vehicles for comedy, that they are designed to elicit laughter and nothing more. If I was using my shows to put forward a manifesto on how we should live our lives then maybe it would be a different story, but I’m not. I’m just trying to make you laugh.

Do you ever worry about offending people?

Not really. If you believe in free speech, you have to be prepared to hear things you don’t like – that’s kind of the deal. If you say someone is “offended”, what you’re really saying is that their feelings got hurt. That doesn’t put you in the right. If you’re not laughing, you’re well within your rights to just not listen. That’s absolutely fine.

You came to stand-up comparatively late at the age of 26. Why was that?

Well I just wanted to do something different, really. I had a very cushy job in marketing having worked very hard at university to get there. But I wasn’t satisfied. If I’d known that it was possible to work in television earlier, I would have probably wanted to be a producer or something. I didn’t know anyone in that world though, it wasn’t an option. So instead I decided to join the circus in my mid-twenties and do stand-up comedy instead.

You obviously combine doing stand-up with a lot of TV work these days. Which do you prefer?

It’s an odd one for me, they feel very distinct. Making television is collaborative – being the host is great because there’s a whole group of people working to make you look good. Live stand-up is very different. You’re on your own and that can be stressful. You’ve got more freedom though. With TV, even if it’s late night, you’re ultimately being beamed into people’s homes, sometimes uninvited. With a live gig, people have paid to see you. That allows you to push it that little bit more.

How do you feel about being famous?

I like it. I think comedy brings a nice shade of fame though, because you’re well-known but no one puts you on too much of a pedestal. It’s not like being another kind of performer, an actor or singer say, where people are perhaps more reverential of your talent. Everyone – or nearly everyone – has a sense of humour, so people just tend to try and make me laugh. What’s not to like?

Saturday 23 September 2017, 7pm & 10pm, £27.50, Parr Hall

Buy tickets here

Two Warrington shows from top comic Jimmy Carr now just a month away

Top comedian Jimmy Carr’s two performances at Parr Hall are now just a month away and tickets are running out fast.

There are only a handful of tickets left for the 7pm performance at the Warrington venue on Saturday 23 September and the 10pm slot is filling up fast. 

The stand-up comic, TV star and all-round entertainer is returning with a selection of his very best jokes and brand new material in this ‘Best of, Ultimate, Gold, Greatest Hits Tour’.

A man who has devoted his life to crafting perfect jokes and has left a trail of laughter in his wake, Jimmy Carr’s new show promises to distil everything we love to laugh at and be shocked by into one incredible, unparalleled night of entertainment.

In short, it promises to be the ultimate comedy show.

Jimmy Carr has been on the stand-up scene for a decade and a half, and in that time he’s performed nine sell-out tours, playing nearly 2,000 shows to over 2 million people across four continents.

He’s won the British Comedy Award for Best Live Stand-Up Tour and been nominated for the Perrier Award.

Now, all that experience is being put to good use with the greatest material from his extraordinary career brought together in one show.

This is the very best of Jimmy Carr.

Saturday 23 September 2017, 7pm & 10pm, £27.50, Parr Hall

Buy tickets here

Sir Ken Dodd returns to Parr Hall with his famous Happiness Show

The nation’s favourite comedian Ken Dodd, recently made Sir Ken Dodd, is bringing his Happiness Show to Warrington again next year.

The 89-year-old’s incredible and hugely-successful career as a professional entertainer now spans more than 60 fun-filled years and he’s decided it’s high time he revisited Parr Hall.

Ken is a comedian of unrivalled legendary status, an icon and national treasure, who has been entertaining audiences for a lifetime of happiness and laughter.

And that dedication was rewarded with a knighthood earlier this year in the Queen’s New Year Honours.

Anyone who comes along to enjoy his famous Happiness Show will be absolutely discumknockerated (Knotty Ash for over the moon) by a truly tattifelarius (fun-filled) evening of laughter and songs.

With a supporting company, non-stop gags and a selection of songs presented in his uniquely versatile style, there’ll be everything from ballads to grand opera.

The comedian is a multi-award winning entertainer who loves nothing more than performing for theatre audiences, so don’t miss his fun-filled Happiness Show; it promises to be a great night out for all the family.

Saturday 27 January 2018, 7pm, £22.50, Parr Hall

But tickets here

Enjoy the time of your life with ultimate tribute to Dirty Dancing at Parr Hall

No film has captured the hearts of a generation like Dirty Dancing and now there’s a chance to relive the excitement as a top quality tribute show travels to Warrington.

A Night of Dirty Dancing is the ultimate tribute to the original film which saw an entire generation fall in love with Patrick Swayze and long to be Jennifer Grey.

The Parr Hall performance on Sunday 17 September is a chance to relive the passion, indulge in the romance and celebrate the greatest movie soundtrack of all time.

Recast and re-scripted for 2017, it’s all down to Kellerman’s end of season show: revel in the cherished moments, the memories made and the music that resonated throughout the years in this timeless theatrical treat.

Expect to hear She’s Like the Wind, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Hey Baby, Wipeout, Do You Love Me, Be My Baby, Hungry Eyes and of course, the Academy Award-winning (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life in the ultimate coming of age romance.

Sunday 17 September 2017, 7.30pm, £24/£22, Parr Hall

Buy tickets here

No. 1 tribute band The Doors Alive bring sounds of the 60s to town

The Doors Alive, the No. 1 tribute band to legendary rockers The Doors, are bringing the psychedelic sounds of the 60s to town with a performance at Pyramid next month.

The band perfectly and effortlessly re-create the sound, look, presence and feel of a real 1960s Doors concert, transporting the crowd back in time.

In their homage to the Californian rockers they will play classic hits such as Light My Fire, When the Music’s Over, Riders on the Storm, The End and more when they visit Warrington on Saturday 16 September.

The singer, Willie, captures the attitude, look and voice of the late, great Jim Morrison, and the rest of the band have honed the other members’ playing styles immaculately.

To achieve that authentic 60s sound, the band use the very same instruments that members of The Doors used, including a vintage Fender Rhodes Bass keyboard, a vintage Vox Continental keyboard and a vintage Gibson SG guitar.

For true The Doors fans this really is a show not to be missed.

Saturday 16 September 2017, 7.30pm, £14 advance/£17 on the door, Pyramid

Buy tickets here

The Houghton Weavers keep folk smiling with Pyramid show

The Houghton Weavers have been entertaining for more than 40 years with their unique blend of popular folk music, humour and audience participation.

During their time together as a group – comprising Tony Berry, David Littler and Steve Millington – they have performed thousands of concerts, recorded more than 30 albums, starred in several of their own highly successful BBC radio and TV series, and made countless appearances on other programmes.

Their next outing is a tour which aims to “keep folk smiling”, taking in a date at Warrington’s Pyramid arts centre on Friday 15 December.

The Houghton Weavers guarantee a top quality show suitable for all the family honed to perfection over four decades in the business which, combined with their individual style and professionalism, adds up to a wonderful night of entertainment.

Friday 15 December 2017, 7.30pm, £14, Pyramid

Buy tickets here

Warrington musician with international reputation announces home town gig

Internationally renowned Warrington-born musician Peter Price has announced a home town performance this December.

The singer and guitarist will be returning to Pyramid with another top quality show on Friday 1 December and tickets are on sale now.

Peter has a brilliant international reputation, having played festivals and concerts across the UK, Europe and North America.

His audiences are taken on strange and exotic journeys, from the folk and country blues style of Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell and Lead Belly, to jazz, Latin and world music.

A gifted artist, Peter’s performances demonstrate a mind-boggling mastery of the acoustic guitar, a rich singing voice and a relaxed yet compelling stage presence.

For this show he will also be joined on stage by some very special guests, guaranteeing an evening not to be missed.

The Guardian described him as “an acoustic blues virtuoso” and leading acoustic blues singer-songwriter Eric Bibb said Peter was “one of those wonderful British guitarists… a great musician.”

Friday 1 December 2017, 7.30pm, £15, Pyramid

Buy tickets here

Rock royalty Black Star Riders to visit Parr Hall with team of special guests

Rock royalty Black Star Riders will be calling in to Parr Hall in November as part of a tour to celebrate the release of their third studio album Heavy Fire.

Formed in 2012 and taking inspiration for their name from a gang of outlaws in the 1993 western film Tombstone, Black Star Riders (BSR) are a band of impressive pedigree.

Featuring lead guitarists Scott Gorham (formerly of Thin Lizzy) and Damon Johnson (Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper), lead vocalist/guitarist Ricky Warwick (Thin Lizzy, The Almighty), bassist Robert Crane (Vince Neil, Ratt) and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Megadeth, Alice Cooper, David Lee Roth), BSR are now in their fifth year with three albums under their belt.

February 2017 saw Black Star Riders release their third studio album Heavy Fire to widespread critical acclaim.

The record went on to gain worldwide chart success, reaching No 1 in the UK rock and indie charts, No 3 in the UK vinyl chart and No 6 in the UK national chart, as well as enjoying success in Germany and USA.

The band are due to share their colossal talent with the Warrington audience on Friday 10 November as part of the Coming Under Heavy Fire tour with support from special guests Blues Pills, Tax the Heat and Dirty Thrills.

Ricky Warwick, from Black Star Riders, said: “There’s nothing more exciting than playing live. BSR are absolutely thrilled to get back out in the UK, it’s a wonderful way to round out a great year.”

Formed in 2011 the multinational quartet Blues Pills released their exciting self-titled debut in 2014 before following up with their sophomore release Lady in Gold in 2016.

They’ve toured non-stop for the past few years playing with the likes of Deep Purple, Rival Sons and Kadavar as well as headline shows; their organic blend of blues, classic rock and soul wins audiences the world over.

Zack Anderson, from Blues Pills, said: “We are really excited to warm up the stage for these legends. We hope to see a lot of familiar faces in front of the stage and are really looking forward to meeting a lot of new people.”

Tax the Heat have just come out of the studio where they’ve been recording their follow up to the critically acclaimed debut album Fed to the Lions; the highly-anticipated, as yet unnamed, second album is scheduled for release by Nuclear Blast Entertainment in early 2018.

London-based Dirty Thrills will open the bill with a set containing songs from their debut album Heavy Living, due to come out in September.

Friday 10 November 2017, 6.45pm, £28 advance, Parr Hall

Buy tickets now

TV presenter and ex-elite forces soldier Ant Middleton to share daring exploits with Warrington audience

Adventurer, survival expert, TV presenter and ex-elite forces soldier Ant Middleton will be sharing his amazing experiences on a new tour, which visits Warrington next year.

As seen on Channel 4 programmes SAS: Who Dares Wins, Mutiny and Escape, Ant’s appetite for adventure and extremes has no limit, and it’s led him to take on some amazing challenges both in the military and in his TV roles.

He will be sharing his experiences and exploits as a modern day explorer and expedition leader on a new UK tour, An Evening with Ant Middleton, which visits Parr Hall on Thursday 15 March next year.

In this adventure-filled one-man show, Ant recounts his extraordinary life in the military, having achieved the elite forces “holy trinity” by serving in the Parachute Regiment, Royal Marines and SBS, the UK’s naval special forces unit.

Expect tales which defy belief for their sheer bravery and danger, behind the scenes moments, revelations and gossip from his TV shows, and an exclusive insight into his life and exciting future TV projects.

Ant Middleton’s third series of SAS: Who Dares Wins and new programme Escape will air in the autumn this year and spring 2018.

Thursday 15 March 2018, 7.30pm, £22.50/£17.50, Parr Hall

Buy tickets now

80s soul/RnB music legend Alexander O’Neal to grace Parr Hall stage

The music legend that is Alexander O’Neal is to grace the stage of Warrington’s Parr Hall this November.

Alexander is reputedly the best pure singer to come from the 1980s soul/RnB era, when he released a string of memorable hits which are still broadcast as radio requests and played at thousands of events around the world.

His most popular tracks include Fake, Criticize, If You Were Here Tonight, Saturday Love, Never Knew Love like This, Sunshine, Secret Lovers and many more, and his album Hearsay sold nearly a million copies in the UK alone.

To this day he still holds the record as the only performer to sell out for six consecutive nights at London’s Wembley Arena.

This soul man still has an undying passion to perform and his live shows reflect that, so come and join the party for an evening not to be forgotten.

Tuesday 7 November 2017, 7:30pm, Parr Hall, £30

Buy tickets now

Turn back the clock with 80s band Johnny Hates Jazz at Parr Hall

Iconic 80s band Johnny Hates Jazz will be visiting Parr Hall in December as part of a new tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of hit album Turn Back the Clock.

The duo will be performing their acclaimed debut album in its entirety to celebrate 30 years since its release on a full UK tour this December, with a visit to Warrington on 5 December.

In 1987, as the era of electronic pop and New Romanticism was reaching its culmination, Anglo-American group Johnny Hates Jazz, featuring Clark Datchler and Mike Nocito, were catapulted to success with the release of their single Shattered Dreams.

It became a Top 5 hit worldwide, reaching No.2 in the USA and Japan, and has since been played over 3.5 million times on American radio alone.

It was followed by other hits including the anti-war anthem I Don’t Want to be a Hero, Turn Back the Clock featuring Kim Wilde and Heart of Gold.

Their debut album entered the UK charts at No.1, going double-platinum and selling 4 million copies in the process; it is arguably one of the definitive albums of the 1980s and is one of only two debut albums released by Virgin Records that immediately went to the top of the charts upon its release – the other being Never Mind the Bollocks by The Sex Pistols.

The band went their separate ways shortly afterwards, deciding to focus on other musical projects instead – over the next 20 years they completely lost contact with one and other.

But in 2010, original members Clark Datchler and Mike Nocito decided to come back together to write, record and produce a brand new Johnny Hates Jazz (JHJ) album.

Entitled Magnetized, the album was released in 2013 and the single of the same name became a huge radio hit in the UK and Germany.

Unfortunately, Clark collapsed in London shortly afterwards, and was diagnosed with a serious illness.  All promotion came to an abrupt halt and he spent much of the following year recovering.

Johnny Hates Jazz began performing again at festivals in Europe and Asia and toured the UK in 2016, appearing at theatres across the country.

During this time Clark also joined forces with Genesis legend Mike Rutherford to co-write the new Mike and The Mechanics album Let Me Fly, released in April this year.

2017 began with JHJ being launched in China with a remix of the track Magnetized and a new video to accompany it; Clark and Mike are now back in the studio recording new material.

Tuesday 5 December 2017, 7pm, £89 VIP/£35/£25, Parr Hall

Tickets go on sale here this Friday, 14 July at 9am.

Scottish singer-songwriter Amy Macdonald chooses Parr Hall for intimate acoustic tour

Scottish singer-songwriter Amy Macdonald has announced a special intimate acoustic tour for the autumn, with a night in Warrington.

The new dates follow a sold-out UK tour earlier this year and have been announced to coincide with the release of her new single Down by the Water.

Amy, who is currently in the midst of festival season playing to huge crowds across Europe, said: “It has been such a crazy year.

“The music industry has changed so drastically that I didn’t quite know what to expect, but I have to say I’m blown away by the strength of the live music scene.

“I feel like this year has been my busiest year ever for live shows; I have been all over the place playing so many amazing places in front of so many wonderful fans.

“Something that has struck me this year is the really positive feedback I’ve received from the stripped down part of the shows.

“I always worried that people would get bored without my band thrashing away in the background but it’s been quite the opposite.

“The same goes for the feedback on my new album, Under Stars.  People seemed to be most excited by the stripped down acoustic songs.

“With all of this in mind, and my love for getting out there and performing live, I’ve decided to go on a very special acoustic tour.

“There will only be a handful of dates in smaller, intimate venues.  It’ll be back to basics but I think it will make for a really special tour.

“I can’t wait to see you there!”

Described as “uplifting power-pop indie” by Metro and “extraordinary… Macdonald’s strongest album since her 2007 debut”, Under Stars reached No.2 in the UK album charts, and is Amy’s fourth top 5 album in the UK.

This success has been equalled internationally, with the album also debuting at No.2 and No.1 in the German and Swiss album charts respectively.

The beautiful and powerful new single – accompanied by a picturesque video shot on the idyllic Isle of Sheppey – features backing vocals from Juliet Roberts, who also joined Amy at her recent sold out Royal Albert Hall show.

The video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh6mrl8fpjA

Thursday 2 November 2017, 7pm, £25/£35/£45, Parr Hall

Tickets go on sale here at 10am this Friday, 14 July.

‘Remarkable’ jazz pianist and composer Zoe Rahman to visit Pyramid for top quality show

Jazz pianist and composer Zoe Rahman is to perform with the Inner City Ensemble at Warrington’s Pyramid arts centre this October.

Described by the Observer as “a remarkable pianist by any standard”, Zoe Rahman has firmly established herself as one of the brightest stars on the contemporary jazz scene.

A vibrant and highly individual artist, her style is deeply rooted in jazz yet reflects her classical background, British/Bengali heritage and her very broad musical taste.

Known for her powerful technique, wide-ranging imagination and exuberant performances, Zoe has become a highly sought-after musician, recently working with the likes of George Mraz, Courtney Pine and Jerry Dammers’ Spatial AKA Orchestra.

She is a winner of the prestigious UK Parliamentary Jazz Award and has previously been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.

For this third edition of the Jazz Directors Series, presented by Band on the Wall, Rahman is performing with the Inner City Ensemble, an evolving ten-piece group of the UK’s most promising emerging professional musicians, selected through an open call application process.

The ensemble – which includes piano, double bass, drums, flute, clarinet, trumpet, alto and tenor saxophone, trombone, and tuba – will play material written by Rahman for a Guildhall School of Music and Drama project, plus new material never previously performed live.

Saturday 21 October 2017, 8pm, Pyramid, £14 advance/£16 on the door

Tickets go on sale here tomorrow, Wednesday, 5 July at 9am.

Irish superstar Imelda May adds Warrington date to upcoming tour after phenomenal demand

Diverse singer-songwriter Imelda May has added extra dates to her upcoming tour due to phenomenal demand, and Warrington’s one of them.

The Irish superstar will be hitting the road in November and the tour includes a headline show at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall, where Imelda supported The Who in April in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Imelda’s new single Girl I Used to Be, out now, is taken from her top five new album Life. Love. Flesh. Blood and follows the BBC Radio 2-playlisted singles Call Me, Black Tears and Should’ve Been You.

A hauntingly beautiful acoustic ballad, Girl I Used To Be, is a memoir of Imelda’s life growing up in the Liberties area of Dublin and the lessons learned which she will pass on to her daughter.

She said: “I love those old story songs where you’re taken on a journey from beginning to end.

“Songs you’re riveted with, like when you’re in the car and you sit in the driveway because you can’t turn the radio off, you have to listen to the end of the story.

“The lyrics are about my family and my daughter, and myself and my life growing up in Dublin.

“We didn’t have much money but my parents are fabulous, creative and open-minded people; they gave me art and literature and encouraged me to do whatever was in my heart, and I want to do that with my daughter.”

One of the most critically acclaimed releases of 2017, the album spent over a month in the Top 20 and recently returned to the Top 10.

Imelda has promoted the new album with performances on BBC1’s The One Show and The Graham Norton Show, and ITV’s Tonight at the London Palladium.

She also appeared on Chris Evans’ BBC Radio 2 show to perform a brilliant cover of U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, and recently joined The Guardian for a webchat.

Produced by the legendary T Bone Burnett, Life. Love. Flesh. Blood was recorded over seven days in Los Angeles and features musical contributions from Jeff Beck, Jools Holland (who discovered Imelda) and an accomplished group of backing musicians who between them have performed with the likes of Tom Waits, Robert Plant and The Last Shadow Puppets.

Imelda ended her recent UK and Ireland tour with three sold-out shows at Dublin’s Bord Gais Energy Theatre, following a triumphant sold-out gig at London Palladium.

She then headed to the US where she performed a series of prestigious headline shows, including New York’s Webster Hall, after several support dates with Elvis Costello.

Imelda has become one of Ireland’s most celebrated female artists, has performed alongside legendary artists including Lou Reed and Smokey Robinson, and can count high profile artists like Bob Dylan and Bono as fans.

Monday 13 November 2017, 7pm, Parr Hall, £99 VIP package/£35/£25

Tickets go on sale here this Friday, 7 July at 10am.

Vintage band Stiff Little Fingers bring sounds of punk generation to Warrington

Vintage band Stiff Little Fingers are to bring the sounds of the punk generation to Warrington’s Parr Hall this autumn.

After many studio albums and countless tours, the band are finding themselves more in demand than ever; they are currently working on a new album with many of the songs being debuted at live gigs, to a tremendous response from the fans.

Stiff Little Fingers (SLF) were formed in 1977 in Belfast, Ireland and along with the likes of The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Jam, Buzzcocks, The Undertones, Sham 69 and The Stranglers they were at the forefront of the punk movement.

SLF’s signature style comprises lyrics that meld the personal and political, music that combines the energy of punk with infectious hooks, and delivery that rings of honesty and commitment.

Their live shows continue to be special events of energy and power and, though now focused on their new material, the band continues to play the old favourites at gigs.

Saturday 7 October 2017, 8pm, Parr Hall, £20 advance

Buy tickets now

Top touring theatre company brings latest kids’ show to town

Warrington families are in for a festive treat this December with the new show Father Christmas Comes up Trumps!

The hugely popular touring company TaleGate Theatre is returning to Parr Hall following the success of family favourites Father Christmas Needs a Wee and The Giant’s Loo Roll which both entertained the Warrington audience last year.

Everyone’s favourite Christmas character is back and this time he’s had three helpings of sprouts.

As he tries to deliver the presents, his tummy rumbles, gurgles and groans but Father Christmas knows he must keep it in – he doesn’t want to wake anyone up!

TaleGate Theatre productions hit the perfect combination of witty humour, fantastic music and that little extra sparkle for which they have become known and loved.

Father Christmas Comes Up Trumps! is a fabulously funny and brilliantly bouncy musical adaptation of Nicholas Allan’s sequel to Father Christmas Needs a Wee.

Artistic director James Worthington said: “We are very excited to tour our new festive musical across the UK.

“It promises to beat our own high standard and really pack a tuneful punch.

“We are really lucky to be working with Nicholas Allan again on another of his books as they are perfect for cheeky children everywhere.

“When even the title makes you laugh you know you are in for a good time!”

Sunday 3 December 2017, 11am & 2:30pm, Parr Hall, £12/£10/£40 family ticket

Buy tickets now

Amazing story of the Bee Gees returns to Parr Hall after success of new tour

Following the early success of the new tour, the spectacular You Win Again – Celebrating the Music of the Bee Gees is returning to Parr Hall.

Fans of the ultimate disco trio will be delighted by the announcement which comes hot on the heels of Barry Gibb’s eagerly-awaited performance at Glastonbury this weekend.

The new show embarked on its first ever nationwide tour earlier this year, including a stop in Warrington, after a successful West End debut at the Leicester Square Theatre.

The Parr Hall audience will now have another chance to immerse itself in the Gibb brothers’ hits through the 1960s, 70s and 80s, not to mention the glittering array of classics they wrote for other stars.

This dazzling production tells the incredible story of the Bee Gees in an unrivalled musical experience.

Follow the band and their lives through the early charting triumphs, their fall from grace and their meteoric climb back to the top to become the multi-million selling supergroup known and loved by millions across the globe.

This breathtaking concert spectacular will take the Warrington audience on a musical journey through all the best songs including Night Fever, Stayin’ Alive, More Than a Woman, You Should Be Dancing, Tragedy, How Deep is Your Love? and Words.

Sunday 8 April 2018, 7.30pm, £25/£23/10th ticket free, Parr Hall

Buy tickets now

Frank, funny and filthy comedian Sarah Millican announces two Warrington dates

The frank, funny and unapologetically filthy comedian Sarah Millican has announced two dates at Warrington’s Parr Hall next year.

Tickets for the shows, on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 December 2018, go on sale at 10am this Friday, 30 June, and are sure to sell out fast.

Sarah Millican is not a control freak, she’s a control enthusiast; she even controls her own insults.

On this new tour, Control Enthusiast, she asks “do you arrange the nights out?” and “are you in charge of passports on holiday?” If so, then you’re a control enthusiast too!

The Warrington audience will learn about Rescue Men, farting in hospital pants, what can happen at a bra fitting, the benefits of casserole, plus tips on how to talk to shop assistants and the correct way to eat a biscuit, as Sarah shares fresh stories of her “super normal life”.

Sarah rose to fame sharing painfully honest but immediately identifiable stories about her divorce and has since become a much-loved comedian who is never afraid to draw on her real life experiences for inspiration, no matter how embarrassing or cringeworthy they may be.

And that’s why people love her so much!

Wednesday 5 & Thursday 6 December 2018, 7.15pm, Parr Hall, £27.50

Tickets go on sale at 10am this Friday, 30 June.

Rock icon Steve Harley heading to Warrington next month

Classic rock icon and original Cockney Rebel Steve Harley will be playing at Parr Hall next month as part of a busy UK tour.

Steve Harley, who has written and recorded 11 albums in a prolific career spanning four decades, recently returned to the public eye for re-releasing former No. 1, Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me), following the tragic murder of MP Jo Cox.

Originally formed in 1973, Cockney Rebel enjoyed top 20 hits with Judy Teen, Mr Soft, Mr Raffles, Here Comes the Sun and, of course, the huge hit Make Me Smile.

The latter is regularly voted among the top singles in the history of the charts – which covers six decades of releases – and The Performing Rights Society has confirmed Make Me Smile as one of the most played records in British broadcasting.

The song has been covered more than 100 times in seven languages, has been featured in several movies including The Full Monty, and been used on more than twenty TV and radio advertising campaigns around the world.

Steve has written lyrics for artists including Rod Stewart, who called him “one of the finest lyricists the UK has ever produced”, and continues to play live concerts most years.

He said: “I love it, more now than ever. I cannot imagine stopping, it’s what I do – play and sing.”

Saturday 22 July 2017, 7:30pm, £27.50 advance, Parr Hall

Buy tickets now

 

Prepare for A Country Night in Nashville from comfort of Parr Hall

Country music fans are in for a treat this November when Parr Hall hosts A Country Night in Nashville.

The show, which comes to town on Friday 3 November, will take the Warrington audience on a musical journey through the popular genre by recreating a buzzing honky tonk in downtown Nashville.

A Country Night in Nashville perfectly captures the energy and atmosphere of an evening out in the home town of country music; prepare to be transported through the colourful history of country, featuring stars both past and present.

Expect to hear hits from Johnny Cash to Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton to the Dixie Chicks, Willie Nelson to Little Big Town, showcased by the amazing Dominic Halpin and the Hurricanes, featuring Shelly Quarmby.

If you can’t get enough of Ring of Fire, Crazy, Follow Your Arrow, It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere, Need You Now, 9 to 5, and The Gambler, then don’t miss this incredible celebration of the very best of country music.

Friday 3 November 2017, 7.30pm, £23.50, Parr Hall

Buy tickets now

Best of blues rock returns to Warrington with Joanne Shaw Taylor next month

The best of blues rock is returning to Warrington next month in the form of Summertime Festival, headlined by Joanne Shaw Taylor.

Joanne is a blues rock sensation who is taking the world by storm and will be top of the bill at the event, presented by The Gig Cartel, on Saturday 15 July.

With tracks performed on BBC2’s Later with Jools Holland, her latest album Wild entered the UK album charts at number 20 and was welcomed with rave reviews by the press and her peers; American blues rock legend Joe Bonamassa recently described Joanne as a “superstar in waiting”.

Also on the bill will be Stevie Nimmo, Bad Touch, and Xander and the Peace Pirates.

Stevie Nimmo has been successfully recording and touring for the last two decades.  Born and raised in Glasgow, there was always music around as Stevie grew up.

Maverick Magazine said: “Stevie’s voice is at times gritty, other times emotional, but all times perfection.”

Bad Touch are a new young rock band from Norfolk, fresh from a Planet Rock radio station Roadstars tour which earned them recognition as ones to watch for 2017.

And Xander and the Peace Pirates are Liverpool boys who will open the show with a combination of soul, blues and rock; their pervasive blend of inspired song-writing and memorable performances has already seen them enrapture audiences from around the world.

Tickets for this great value event are on sale now.

Saturday 15 July 2017, 5pm, Parr Hall, £20 stalls/£25 circle

Buy tickets now

No.1 tribute band The Doors Alive bring sounds of the 60s to town

The Doors Alive, the No. 1 tribute band to legendary rockers The Doors, are bringing the psychedelic sounds of the 60s to town with a performance at Pyramid.

They perfectly and effortlessly re-create the sound, look, presence and feel of a real 1960s Doors concert, transporting the crowd back in time.

In their homage to the Californian rock gurus they will play classic hits such as Light My Fire, When the Music’s Over, Riders on the Storm, The End and more when they visit Warrington on Saturday 16 September.

The singer, Willie, captures the attitude, look and voice of the late, great Jim Morrison and the rest of the band have honed the other members’ playing styles immaculately.

To achieve that authentic 60s sound, the band use the very same instruments that members of the original band used, including a vintage Fender Rhodes Bass keyboard, a vintage Vox Continental keyboard and a vintage Gibson SG guitar.

For true The Doors fans this really is a show not to be missed.

Saturday 16 September 2017, 7:30pm, £14 advance/£17 on the door

Pyramid, Palmyra Square South, Warrington, WA1 1BL

Buy tickets online

Nation’s sweetheart Martine McCutcheon announces new tour featuring Warrington date

Singer and actress Martine McCutcheon has been back in the studio and now has plans to go on tour, with a show at Parr Hall.

With the imminent release of her first album of original music in over 15 years, Lost and Found, and a new single, Say I’m Not Alone, the nation’s sweetheart has announced five UK dates including a visit to Warrington on Sunday 12 November 2017.

Now 41, happily married and mother of a 2-year-old, the time felt right for Martine to return to the studio.

Martine has co-written most of the songs on the new album with her husband, the multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Jack McManus, and she has never sounded better!

The new single Say I’m Not Alone is a song like nothing Martine has ever recorded before; it’s big, bold and brash, and merges clanging guitars, thumping drums and a hard-hitting lyric.

Other album highlights include the rocky Any Sign of Life, the beautiful Stay with Me, which is a duet with Jack, and album closer Rebellion.

The album is a deeply personal record that deals with everything from relationships to Martine’s debilitating illness which saw her unable to work.

“Life brought this album about very gradually,” explains Martine. “It was a really unconscious thing; I started writing the songs at a time in my life when I’d lost everything.”

One of the nation’s original sweethearts, Martine McCutcheon first found fame as Tiffany Mitchell in EastEnders before releasing her platinum-selling debut solo album You, Me & Us in 1999 which contained the Number 1 single Perfect Moment.

In 2003, Martine memorably played Natalie in Love Actually before reprising the role for a one-off Comic Relief special earlier this year.

Sunday 12 November 2017, 7pm, £37.50/£27.50

Parr Hall, Palmyra Square South, Warrington, WA1 1BL

Buy tickets online

 

Fascinating free talk to give insight on Victorian Warrington

Bridge Street in 1897

Culture Warrington is teaming up with Warrington Civic Society for its second public talk of the year, and this time the topic is A Virtual Tour of Victorian Warrington.

This fascinating talk, to be held at Friars Green Independent Methodist Church on Cairo Street on Tuesday 20 June at 7pm, is free and open to all.

Janice Hayes, heritage manager for Culture Warrington, will be taking visitors on a virtual tour around Victorian Warrington as part of celebrations to mark the 170th anniversary of Queen Victoria granting Warrington’s Borough Charter.

The rarely seen original document is now on display at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery as part of a wider programme of events organised by Culture Warrington to celebrate a historic year in the charity’s calendar, which also includes the 140th anniversary of the opening of the art gallery and the 160th anniversary of the opening of the museum and central library building.

Janice Hayes, heritage manager for Culture Warrington, with the town’s rarely seen Borough Charter

Janice said: “I’ll be drawing links between the vision of our Victorian founders for the borough and the museum with the 21st Century vision of Warrington as a city where culture and heritage will play a major role.

“The rare opportunity to see Warrington’s Borough Charter on display at the museum is the starting point of my talk, which will take people on a tour of Victorian Warrington through a wealth of images from our collections, with a focus on the town’s surviving Victorian heritage.”

A Virtual Tour of Victorian Warrington will also touch on the history of a number of important buildings around the town which feature in Janice’s recently published book Warrington in 50 Buildings.

For more information visit Warrington Civic Society’s Facebook page or email warrington.civsoc@gmail.com

‘Ridiculous’ comedian Jimeoin to bring hilarious stand up back to Warrington

Notorious for being ridiculous, Jimeoin is internationally acclaimed as one of live comedy’s masters – and he’s returning to Warrington next year.

The Irishman’s brilliantly observed, ever-evolving and hilarious stand-up has made him the undisputed award-winning star of TV shows including Live at the Apollo, Sunday Night at the Palladium, The John Bishop Show, Channel 4’s O2 Comedy Gala and Royal Variety Performance.

The new show, Ridiculous, will be coming to Parr Hall on Saturday 10 February 2018 and tickets are on sale now.

Don’t miss what promises to be a knock-out performance; grab a ring-side seat for an unforgettably hilarious evening of world-class stand-up with Ireland’s champion ‘unbelievably funny comedian’.

The Age, in Australia, where Jimeoin rose to prominence, described him as “a superb physical comic” with “a quirky, whimsical and sometimes mischievous view of the world” and Edinburgh Evening News described the comedian as “hilarious” and “ridiculous”, and said “don’t you miss it”.

Saturday 10 February 2018, 7.30pm, tickets £18

Pyramid, Palmyra Square South, Warrington, WA1 1BL

Buy tickets online

Hilarious new Crissy Rock play will have Parr Hall audience dying with laughter

A hilarious new play called Seriously Dead is bringing comedian Crissy Rock back to Parr Hall next month, and it promises to have the audience dying with laughter.

After the success of Dirty Dusting, a hit comedy show starring Crissy which entertained the Warrington audience last June, the Benidorm actress and star of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me out of Here is returning to the town.

Coming with her will be producer and actress Leah Bell, who also starred in Dirty Dusting, Frazer Hines of Emmerdale and Doctor Who, Billy Pearce and Paul Dunn.

One ordinary day in the quiet little town of Olwinskirk a chain of extraordinary events begins to take place, bringing the lives of Betty, Albert, Billy and the local undertaker Tristan de Winter to an uncomfortable crossroads.

Albert Blunderstone has been hiding abroad for ten years after having committed a bank robbery with a small time crook called Nodger Wilson.

On the day he flies home to attend a funeral he runs into Betty, who used to be married to Nodger, and in an attempt to find out what happened to his share of the dosh, he befriends Betty and her current husband Billy Blenkinsopp.

The lives of Betty, Albert, Billy and the undertaker become inextricably linked on a path that is leading to The Pearly Gates and a disgruntled Guardian Angel named Thelma.

This is a brand new comedy play which promises to have audiences chuckling the night away.

Thursday 22 June 2017, 7.30pm, tickets £21

Parr Hall, Palmyra Square South, Warrington, WA1 1BL

Buy tickets online

Perfect Christmas ballet The Nutcracker coming to Warrington this December

The classic Christmas ballet of The Nutcracker will be enchanting the Warrington audience this December.

The Vienna Festival Ballet production promises to sweep us away on a magical adventure in one of the most famous classical ballets of all time.

With its combination of stunning choreography and unforgettable music, this fabulous ballet is a Christmas treat like no other.

Set to Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous score, the traditional tale of The Nutcracker tells the story of Clara and her enchanted nutcracker doll.

Their adventures see Clara and the Nutcracker combat the Mouse King and join the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier on a wonderful journey through the glistening Land of Snow to a kingdom made entirely of sweets.

Returning by popular demand, Vienna Festival Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker promises to delight audiences of all ages with its festive setting and captivating story.

Tickets for the performance, on Sunday 10 December at 2.30pm, are on sale now.

Sunday 10 December 2017, 2.30pm, tickets £19.50/£17.50/£12.50, Parr Hall

Buy tickets online

Classic Hollywood movie genre ‘film noir’ begins touring Warrington’s libraries

 

The classic Hollywood movie genre ‘film noir’ has begun touring Warrington’s libraries with a stunning photographic exhibition, special film screenings and a display on the history of cinema in the town.

Paint it Black, a joint project between Warrington photographer Paul Jackson and partners Culture Warrington, LiveWire and Warrington Borough Council, explores the dark and mysterious world of film noir, a genre of American crime thrillers such as The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity and The Killers.

An exhibition of photographs inspired by these highly stylised black and white films, which are so evocative of mystery and intrigue with their dimly-lit nightscapes and smoky silhouettes, recently enjoyed a hugely successful launch night to coincide with an official celebration of Warrington’s City of Culture bid.

Speaking after the event, Paul said: “It went excellently.  The feedback was all brilliant, from the volunteers who took part and the dignitaries who came along.

“The volunteer models hadn’t seen their own photos yet so it was lovely to see the looks on their faces when they saw them for the first time.”

The Paint it Black collection, all captured by talented photographer Paul Jackson, is now on tour, spending a week at five of the town’s libraries – Warrington Central, Penketh, Culcheth, Stockton Heath and Padgate.

The retro images are accompanied by special screenings of classic film noir movies and promotion of the “hardboiled” American crime fiction novels which inspired them.

Warrington Noir, an exhibition exploring the history of cinema in Warrington during the 1940s and 1950s, is also now running at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery to coincide with the film noir celebration, featuring images and memorabilia from the period.

Paul, of Unit 8 Photography, said he was excited about the opportunity to promote the town’s library offer.

“I love our libraries and want to help promote what a great range of services and activities they have on offer,” he explained.  “The whole point of this project is to show people how special our libraries are and to encourage them to come and have a look.

“This is a really exciting project and a fantastic advert for the town and its people.”

The models, make-up artists, hair stylists, set and costume designers, and production assistants who took part in the project were all volunteers from the Warrington area who were keen to help recreate the mood of this truly unique period in filmmaking.

Paul added: “There’s a wealth of talent in our town which deserves to be recognised.

“Community cohesion was key and I can’t thank those who took part enough for their time and support.”

Some of Warrington’s best known and most iconic buildings, including Central Library, Pyramid arts centre, Parr Hall, and Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, provided stunning backdrops to some of the images, with portrait shots being taken in Paul’s studio at Pyramid.

Derek Dick, outreach and engagement manager at Culture Warrington, hoped the project would help raise the profile of the town’s libraries.

He said: “Paint it Black is a brilliant project in its own right, but the fact that it’s designed to encourage people into Warrington’s libraries, to showcase their unique offer and highlight their importance as community hubs, makes it all the more worthwhile.

“This is a really unique multi-media project which explores an important and influential period in film history; it was all made possible thanks to the people of Warrington kindly donating their time and enthusiasm, making this a truly original community project.

“We hope as many Warrington residents as possible come along to see the touring exhibition and enjoy the film screenings, while reminding themselves how important our libraries are.”

The project was also made possible thanks to generous donations from Warrington businesses such as Watsons Solicitors, and St Rocco’s Hospice which loaned Paul some of the stunning costumes featured in the images.

Tickets for the film screenings can be bought at any of Warrington’s libraries or at www.pyramidparrhall.com

Listings information

Exhibition title: Paint it Black touring photographic exhibition

Dates & locations:

29 April-4 May – Central Library

5-11 May – Penketh Library

12-18 May – Culcheth Library

19-25 May – Stockton Heath Library

26 May-2 June – Padgate Library

Times: see library’s opening times

Admission: Free

 

Exhibition title: Paint it Black film screenings

Dates & locations:

4 May – Central Library – The Maltese Falcon (1941)

11 May – Penketh Library – Double Indemnity (1944)

18 May – Culcheth Library – The Killers (1946)

25 May – Stockton Heath Library – The Big Heat (1953)

1 June – Padgate Library – Touch of Evil (1958)

Times: films start at 7.30pm

Admission: £3

 

Exhibition title: Warrington Noir

Dates: 29 April – 1 July

Times: All day

Admission: Free

Location: Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, Museum Street, Warrington, WA1 1JB

www.warringtonmuseum.co.uk