Summer's here and the time is right… great shows coming to MK Theatre

Ok, it’s not quite the weather for dancing in the street – yet. But there’s so much to enjoy over the next few months at Milton Keynes Theatre that it does feel like a time for partying.

Kicking off the latest season of shows – or rather leaping, gloriously, into it, history was never quite so riveting as Northern Ballet’s dazzling new production, Victoria. The royal family are a constant source of curiosity to us Brits and this choreographed biopic, co-produced with The National Ballet of Canada, reveals the passions, tragedies and fierce devotion logged in the pages of Queen Victoria’s very own diaries – that is until her daughter, Beatrice, decides to rewrite history.

The wait is nearly over. Les Misérables, undoubtedly one of the world’s most popular musicals, storms the barricades of MKT next month! Tickets have been selling like hot croissants since the show was announced last year but there are still a few left at some performances. We may be saying adieu to our closest neighbours across the channel some time soon but it’s Vive la France! and bienvenue to all at Milton Keynes Theatre in May.

There’s plenty of smash-hit musical entertainment on offer this summer at Milton Keynes Theatre including Thriller Live, Fame The Musical and the story that changed the popular music scene forever, Motown The Musical.

There was no way that Strictly judge, Craig Revel Horwood, was going to be spending the summer sitting quietly on a beach somewhere with his feet up. He’s going to be terrorising the kids in New York’s grimmest orphanage when he marches into MKT this July playing the tyrannical Miss Hannigan in the musical for all the family, Annie.  

If you remember the sixties, the saying goes, you weren’t really there. Whether you were or not, whether you were even born or not now, 52 years later, you can experience the Summer of Love all over again. Hair, the legendary rock musical set amongst the young, beautiful and free - in all senses of the word – hippy community in East Village, New York, shocked and delighted audiences back in 1967. Let’s see what it does to Milton Keynes theatregoers is 2019...

There’s no way we were ever going to overlook our youngest audience members this season. Tom Gates Live on Stage sees a brand new story from the back catalogue of Liz Pichon’s best-selling books as Tom and his band, Dog Zombies, burst onto the stage in explosive full colour for the very first time.

Tom Gates is brought to you by the award-winning team behind Horrible Histories who are back in July with two amazing shows, Terrible Tudors and Awful Egyptians. Learning was never so much fun – or so horribly gruesome!! And finally, saving the last for the very littlest people, from the team behind Tiddler and Tabby McTat comes Zog. Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved little monster, Zog the dragon, faces a series of roaringly good adventures at MKT to help grown-ups everywhere happily survive the last gasp of the summer holidays!

If there’s one play that can rightfully be called a theatrical phenomenon, it’s The Mousetrap. Agatha Christie’s whodunit is still playing to packed houses in London, 67 years after it first kept audiences on the edge of their seats back in 1952. Now it returns to MKT with all the mystery and suspense that you’d hope for as the pile of bodies grows in a remote country house...

Coming hot on the heels of the Queen of Crime’s finest is more drama as MKT favourite, Shane Richie, takes on the role he was born to play in John Osborne’s The Entertainer. With a classic autumn season at Milton Keynes Theatre including Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Exorcist, Saturday Night Fever and winner of every best musical award, Kinky Boots, to follow – topped off by superlative performances by Glyndebourne Tour and English National Ballet, 2019 is shaping up to be one of MKT’s finest years of programming yet. And considering that we are marking our 20th anniversary this year – things are just as they should be! Look out for more information about the anniversary celebrations that you are invited to be a part of.

There’s just space to remind you of the huge assortment of one night shows that we’ve got lined up. Whatever your taste in music and whatever makes you laugh you’ll find something to get excited about at Milton Keynes Theatre this summer.

From the Solid Silver sounds of the 60’s, to the acts that pay tribute to Billy Fury, The Carpenters, ELO and The Illegal Eagles; from the hugely versatile songbook of Katherine Jenkins to the Broadway legend that is Bernadette Peters – as Victor (Les Misérables) Hugo so nicely put it: ‘Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent’.

Lastly, because we all need something to cheer us up at the moment, Brummie comedian Jasper Carrott is on call to provide some light relief while Michael Palin and Harry Redknapp will be sharing memories from their amazing life stories with us in June.

For tickets, visit www.atgtickets.co.uk/miltonkeynes or call the box office on 0844 871 7652.

The Northern Ballet brings Victoria to the Milton Keynes Theatre stage

Having the time of her life... The Northern Ballet's Dancing Queen!

Thursday 11 April 2019

Think of Queen Victoria. What’s the picture that you see in your head? An aging, dumpy little widow dressed all in black? Pretty, sparkling Jenna Coleman, in ITV’s recent series about the monarch? Or Dame Judi Dench, slurping her soup, snoring between courses at dinner but still girlish when faced with the tender advances of a tall, handsome Indian attendant in the movie Victoria & Abdul?

Think again. This is Northern Ballet’s brand new dance biopic, Victoria, as seen through the eyes of the internationally renowned choreographer and director Cathy Marston, creator of NB’s acclaimed Jane Eyre.

Victoria has already received rave reviews for its beautifully cinematic score by Philip Feeney, its powerful story-telling, brilliant choreography and superb performances and it comes to Milton Keynes Theatre from Tuesday, 30 April to Saturday 4 May with an audio described performance on Saturday 4 May at 2.30pm.

Victoria wrote diaries throughout her long life, from the age of 13 until her death aged 81. And boy, some of them were pretty hot stuff. Her passionate relationship with her beloved husband, Albert, her ambiguous friendship with John Brown, her take on key events in history and the eye-wateringly graphic details of the births of her 11 children were all recorded for posterity.

Except that posterity never got to see a lot of the entries because Beatrice, her youngest child and lifelong companion, spent three decades journals to make them more acceptable for history. 

Beatrice’s act of daughterly devotion became one of history’s most notorious revisions and the basis of Victoria, a co-production between Northern Ballet and The National Ballet of Canada. Travelling back in time from Victoria’s death bed Beatrice relives her memories of her mother as a secluded widow before discovering her anew as she transcribes the Queen’s intimate diaries.