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Thursday, 4 March 2021

Outside the Spotlight: A trip down memory lane with Christopher Parkinson | Captured by Liz

Outside the Spotlight is brought to you by Captured by Liz in partnership with Pocket Size Theatre, this series of articles is sponsored by Pointe & Flex, a stylish and motivational stationery brand created for dancers, dance teachers and everything in between! From diaries to notebooks, pens to pencils, planners to action lists, Pointe & Flex are here to make sure you stay on top of everything so you can thrive in your industry. Click here to find out more.

Coffee at the ready, a gloomy day in London sets us up for today's instalment of Outside the Spotlight. We literally embark on a walk down memory lane, as Chris leads me around Central London and theatreland, reminiscing about the incredible stages in the city he has gotten to be on and the roles he has gotten to play so far in his career. Having worked on television, film and theatre, we go back to where it all began - the stages of London.

Currently part of the original cast of smash hit &Juliet, Chris started his performing journey at a young age. Seventeen years ago (I know right?), he was cast as Billy Elliot for the first workshop of the show. The workshop process took place at the American Church on Tottenham Court Road, and was later performed at the Old Vic. “I remember one day, my company manager came up to me and told me to go downstairs for a rehearsals. So 10 year old me heads downstairs, I open the door, and sitting there is Sir Elton John at the piano, waiting for me. He taught me Electricity!” Fast forward a decade and a bit, Chris is back at the American Church for another workshop: &Juliet. Talk about full circle! “Being with a show from the beginning is so special! And so rare to get an opportunity like that! It’s a new musical, a new British musical! It’s such a dream to be a part of an original creation and be a small part in forming it. Especially with a show like this, which features so many iconic songs from our generation. Performing a Katy Perry song in front of Katy Perry surely was a once in a lifetime experience.”

Monday, 1 June 2020

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for Sale

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, one of the most famous cars in the world, is coming up for auction.

The celebrated car, together with more than 100 props used in the 2015-2017 UK/Ireland touring musical stage production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, are set to go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers on Father’s Day, June 21. 

John Stalker, Music & Lyrics Executive producer of the stage show said: “There are very few Chitty models anywhere in the world, so this is a unique opportunity to buy a bit of theatre and film history”.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “We’re thrilled to be selling Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I grew up watching the film and was spellbound by the magic of the flying car. It was part of my childhood, as it was for millions of people across the world. The Chitty we’re selling is a wonderful piece of theatre history, unique to the show it was used in and incredibly rare.”

Saturday, 28 March 2020

10 of the Best Theatre related Guinness World Records!

Longest theatre performance - individual

The longest marathon theatre performance by an individual lasted 110 hr 46 min and was achieved by Adrian Hilton (UK) when he recited the complete works of Shakespeare in a 'Bardathon' at the Shakespeare Festival, South Bank, London, UK between 16-21 July 1987. Adrian's chosen spot on the South Bank was the location of the original Globe Theatre.

Most expensive theatre production

“Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”, the musical based on the legendary comic superhero, is the most expensive production in the history of the theatre. As of 14 June 2011, the show’s record cost climbed to $75 million, the largest investment ever for not only a Broadway production but for the West End or anywhere in the world where there has ever been a stage.

Highest-grossing Broadway show

As of the week ending 1 March 2020, Disney’s The Lion King had grossed $1,680,389,582 (£1,310,480,000) since opening on Broadway in October 1997. A total of 15,696,974 seats have been sold for the musical across 9,292 performances (including 33 previews). It is now the third-longest running show on the Great White Way, behind the 1996 revival of Chicago and 1988's The Phantom of the Opera.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Pocket Size Theatre 5th Anniversary: The top 10 best shows we've ever seen!

One of the more recent productions on the list, Mark Swale seemed to be very impressed by this production. The show, which started at the Southwark Playhouse, went on to play to sold out audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe before transferring to London's West End. 

"This is a fun show and one that is needed in London at the moment. Its an alternative to The Book of Mormon and a quarter of the price. This is on our must see list so make sure you head down down to the Arts Theatre and see this whilst its around!"

The only fringe musical on the list, Salad Days played at the Union Theatre in 2017 and its success was incredible. James-Lee Campbell, one of our favourite reviewers, loved this show and we can totally see why! 

"For a couple of hours it will transport the audience away from all the doom and gloom we face day to day... Go and see Salad Days for a touch of ol’ fashioned musical theatre glamour and joy." 

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Full Cast Announced for CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG At West Yorkshire Playhouse

Casting has been announced for the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Music & Lyrics Limited production of the much-loved Sherman Brothers musical CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, opening at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds on 2 December, with a national press night on Thursday 10 December, for a nine-week season finishing on 30 January 2016. 

Jon Robyns (Memphis, Spamalot, Avenue Q) will play Caractacus Potts, with Amy Griffiths (Everyman, Stephen Ward, The Pajama Game) as Truly Scrumptious.

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG will also feature Don Gallagher as Lord Scrumptious/Baron Bomburst, Tamsin Carroll as Baroness Bomburst, Stephen Matthews as The Childcatcher and Andy Hockley as Grandpa Potts.
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