4th July – SING-A-LONG-A-SOUND-OF-MUSIC
On the screen – for one day – SING-A-LONG-A-SOUND-OF-MUSIC – features the all-time classic film shown with subtitled musical numbers, encouraging everyone to sing along. Guests are invited to dress as their favourite character, complete with habits, satin sashes and even the odd pair of curtains! Not only this, but visitors can be transformed in to Maria, courtesy of Surf‘s magical mirror positioned in the cinema foyer. Sing-a-long-a Sound of Music achieved staggering success in 2001 with its international tour, including a sell out show at the famous Rose Bowl in the USA, and at 70 UK theatres including the Mayflower. So, if you missed it that first time, or on the five other visits this was another chance to hiss at the Baroness!
5th July – GIRL’S NIGHT OUT
On the stage – for six days – GIRLS NIGHT OUT – MAYFLOWER –
There is little doubt that Dave Simpson’s play Girls’ Night Out was already a success, but while the play was written before The Full Monty, you cannot help comparing the two, as they both centre on the world of male strippers. The story revolves around a hen night, with the bride to be about to give birth at any moment. At the party are her best friend, sister and aunt. As the alcohol flows, secrets start to emerge which are to have a devastating effect on all their lives. Although it would be unfair to reveal any as they are central to the story, as it is, and a lot of humour hangs on them.
Meanwhile, a group of male strippers are preparing for their act and with two new members in the four man team , the nice but dim, Tony (Ian Sharp) and Pete (Harry Capehorn), rehearsals are not going too well. Also, the new members have not told their families what they are doing or that they have signed up to spend the summer stripping in Ibiza, but you know they will find out. When it does come time to perform the guys prepare to strut their stuff in front of the eager audience in the night club. But it is only when they are well through their routine and Tony has revealed almost everything that his girlfriend recognises him and the worlds of the hen night and strippers collide.
The strip routines are well choreographed by Tracy Lane, while Simon Scullion designs are clever and inventive but do slow the action down as the cast convert the set between the dressing room and nightclub scenes on several occasions. The production is aimed at parties of girls and fully delivers on that score.
12th July – STRICTLY TAP DANCE FEVER
On the stage – for six days – STRICTLY TAP DANCE FEVER – took the audience on a whistlestop tour of the greatest tap dance moments in show business history starting in the era when Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were the stars of the day, the show tap dances its way through history, thrilling and exciting audiences with the vibrant tap dance styles that entertained generations. This production features fantastic musical classics mashed with modern day beat. Acapella tap sounds can be heard as the show opens and as the taps build so does the energy and spectacle. There was more than tap in this show. Swing, jive and sensational singers add to the mix. The show includes a visit to 42nd Street, a glimpse of White Tie and Tails and a peek at a Chorus Line.
26th July – MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT
On the stage – for six days – MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT – The show had been due to visit the Mayflower the previous year, as announced when the London production posted closing notices at the West End’s Palace Theatre for 3 January 2009. But a few months later, David Ian Productions, cancelled the tour “due to unforeseen circumstances”. The Python torch was then picked up by Ambassador Theatre Group. “Lovingly ripped off” from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot tells the tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table in their quest to find the religious relic – and features a chorus line of dancing divas (with serfs), flatulent Frenchmen, killer rabbits and a legless knight. The musical has a book and lyrics by original Python Eric Idle, who also co-wrote the music with John Du Prez. The West End production, which ran at the Palace from 16 October 2006 (previews from 30 September) to 3 January 2009, reunited the Broadway creative team including director Mike Nichols and set and costume designer Tim Hatley. In Southampton, King Arthur was played by Marcus Brigstock and also starred Todd Carty with Hayley Tamaddon as the Lady of the Lake.
15th August – JIMMY CARR
Live – one night only – JIMMY CARR – RAPIER – A heady mix of artistic integrity, loyalty and avarice had put Jimmy back on the road yet again.‘A ‘rapier’ is the long sword of a gentleman. ‘Rapier wit’ is defined as clever, quick, intelligent humour. Please note, Jimmy Carr doesn’t have the long sword of a gentleman and even if you like him, clever, quick and intelligent is a bit of a stretch. Launched at the Edinburgh Fringe last week, Rapier Wit features 120 minutes of fresh, uncensored material, different in content but still in the slick manner of Joke Technician, Carr’s last tour to visit Southampton. Be warned, the Carr rapier has been sharpened.
A short sharp barb from Jimmy Carr – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJD3ty1Td14
17th August – OKLAHOMA!
On the stage – for five days – OKLAHOMA! – Set on America’s Western Frontier, against a background of conflict between farmers and cattlemen, Oklahoma! perfectly integrates song, dance and story to tell the tale of farm girl Laurey and the two rivals for her affections, happy go-lucky cowboy Curly and the sinister farm hand Jud. Famously, the show opens with ‘Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ and contains a sumptuous and rousing score full of wonderful songs such as ‘The Surrey with The Fringe on Top’, ‘People Will Say We’re in Love’, ‘Many a New Day’, ‘I Cain’t Say No’, and the final rousing chorus of ‘Oklahoma’ – as the music soars the audience is carried along on the emotional journey of one of the most famous love stories in musical history.
The show stars one of Britain’s most popular leading ladies Marti Webb as Aunt Eller (West End credits include Blood Brothers, Tell me On A Sunday, Song and Dance, Evita, Cats, Thoroughly Modern Millie), and Mark Evans, as Curly, best known as the runner up in the BBC’s Your Country Needs You, the search for a singer to represent Britain in the Eurovision song contest. Mark however has a string of musical theatre credits to his name including Spamalot and Wicked in the West End, he played the global heart-throb Troy Bolton in the London cast of High School Musical and the cult movie heart throb Brad Majors in the Rocky Horror Show.
24th August – LES MISERABLES
On the stage – for three weeks – LES MISERABLES – The new touring production of Les Miserables comes to the Mayflower. This was the second visit of the show. This new production opened in December 2009 and plays Southampton prior to its 25th anniversary celebratory season at the Barbican later in September. This new production has new direction and new designs inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, and stars John Owen-Jones as ‘Jean Valjean’, Earl Carpenter as ‘Javert’ and Gareth Gates as ‘Marius’ and is directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell and designed by Matt Kinley inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo. Original costumes by Andreane Neofitou, additional costumes by Christine Rowland, lighting by Paule Constable and sound by Mick Potter. A live cast recording of this production was released. Earleir in the year Les Miserables, played its 10,000th performance in the West End
Originally opening at the Barbican Theatre on 8 Oct 1985, the Cameron Mackintosh/Royal Shakespeare Company production transferred to the Palace Theatre on 4 December 1985 and moved to its current home at the Queen’s Theatre on 3 April 2004.
Les Miserables, which concerns Love and bravery in 19th century France during the revolutionary struggles, is written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, based on the novel by Victor Hugo. It has lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, with original text by Alain Boublil and additional material by James Fenton. It is adapted by Trevor Nunn and John Caird. Les Miserables had been seen by over 56 million people worldwide in 42 countries and in 21 languages. There have been 34 cast recordings of “Les Miserables”, including the multi-platinum London cast recording and the Grammy Award-winning Broadway cast and complete symphonic albums. The video of the 10th Anniversary Royal Albert Hall Gala Concert has sold well over one million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling musical videos in the UK.