2020 October to December

THEATRE CLOSURE CONTINUES

13th October – CANCELLED – QUIZ

On the stage – for five days – CANCELLED – QUIZ – is a play written by British playwright James Graham. It centres around the true story of Charles Ingram (who later came to be known as “the Coughing Major”) and the coughing scandal that surrounded his 2001 win of £1,000,000 on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and the subsequent court trial.

Charles Ingram, a major in the British Army, entered British quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in September 2001. Suspicions arose during filming after coughing was heard loudly adjacent to the correct answers. A sound technician informed Celador CEO Paul Smith of their suspicions, with filming allowed to continue and the tapes reviewed after filming had completed. Ingram eventually won the million pounds, however upon reviewing the tapes and each cough heard, Ingram was accused of cheating by having his wife, Diana, and an accomplice, Tecwen Whittock, cough as Ingram announced the correct answer from the available choices. Ingram “refuted” the claims. Following trial on 7 April 2003, a jury declared the Ingrams and Whittock guilty of procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception. The Ingrams were sentenced to an 18-month suspended sentence and a fine of £15,000 plus £10,000 for costs each. Whittock received a 12-month suspended sentence with a £10,000 fine plus a £7,500 costs order.

Graham was a teenager when Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? first appeared on British television in 1998 and became “fixated” by the subsequent trial and what he describes as the most “British crime in the history of the world.” He later received a copy of the 2015 book Bad Show: The Quiz, the Cough, the Millionaire Major. It raised questions about the case and raised the possibility that Ingram was innocent of all charges and forms the basis of which Quiz was adapted. In February 2017, it was announced the play would premiere at the Minerva Theatre, part of the Chichester Festival Theatre. Following its premiere production the play transferred to the West End’s Noël Coward Theatre where it began previews on 31 March 2018 and would run until 16 June. Prior to the production transferring around 40% of the play was rewritten by Graham and on stage seating added to provide a more studio like environment for audiences. Explaining the extensive rewrite Graham explained that the changes were: not because we weren’t happy with what happened in Chichester, but you learn so much when you do a tryout for a show, so we streamlined the narrative, I reordered some of the structure, we had to think about a West End proscenium Victorian theatre, which is very different to a studio theatre in Chichester.

In addition, people that were involved in the production of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? had seen the show in Chichester and had provided additional information, which in turn had allowed Graham to enhance the play. One who attended, but in disguise, was the erstwhile host of the show, Chris Tarrant. He would later write a piece for the Daily Mail saying the show was entertaining but Ingram was guilty. The audience are given the opportunity to act as the jury via electronic voting after each act, where they will have witnessed the arguments for the prosecution and the defence to decide whether Ingram was guilty. The West End production was nominated for two Olivier Awards in 2019: Best New Comedy and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Keir Charles).

A UK tour was scheduled for the latter part of 2020, however the tour was cancelled as a result of ITV commissioning a version of the play for screening on their channels.

The trailer for the West End run

13th October – CANCELLED – THE MOUSETRAP

On the stage – for five days – CANCELLED – THE MOUSETRAP – With the cancellation of Quiz, the theatre was fortunate that the producers of The Mousetrap were about to commence booking slots for a new tour of their thriller. Last time the play was at the theatre it set a worldwide record for the play, which saw its largest ever one week audience.

However, it would have to wait; as shortly after advance booking opened it became obvious that Covid-19 would not allow the tour to proceed and as with so many other productions the tour was postponed.

A trailer for the previous production at the Mayflower

18th October – CANCELLED – NICK MASON’s SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS

Live – for one day – CANCELLED – NICK MASON’S SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS – MORE GAMES FOR MAY – Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets are an English rock band formed in 2018 to perform the early music of Pink Floyd. The band comprises Pink Floyd drummer and co-founder Nick Mason, Pink Floyd collaborator Guy Pratt, guitarists Gary Kemp and Lee Harris, and keyboardist Dom Beken. As many fans had discovered Pink Floyd with their bestselling 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon, Mason wanted to bring their earlier material to a wider audience. The band made their debut in May 2018 at Dingwalls in London, before embarking on a European tour in September 2018 and a North American tour in 2019. This 2020 European tour was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In September 2020, the band released a live album and film, Live at the Roundhouse.

A number from the Roundhouse concert

21st October – CANCELLED – ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET – RAYMONDA

On the stage – for four days – CANCELLED – ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET – RAYMONDA – The premiere of the English National Ballet and Finnish National Ballet new production of Raymonda. It tells the story of love and courage in a time of war. In 1854 Raymonda runs away from her comfortable life to become a nurse in the Crimean War. There, she becomes engaged to a soldier, John, but soon develops feelings for his friend Abdur, a leader of the Ottoman army. As turmoil grows around and inside her, who will she give her heart to? Taking inspiration from the ground-breaking spirit of Florence Nightingale and the women who supported the war effort in Crimea, Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of English National Ballet, creates a new version of the classic story ballet, Raymonda. This adaptation keeps the best of the 19th-century original – its glorious and sensuous score by Alexander Glazunov and the classical choreography of ballet genius Marius Petipa – and updates it with a dramatic new story, introducing a heroine in command of her own destiny. The original Raymonda is very rarely performed in the UK, where no dance company performs it in its entirety. This new version marks Tamara Rojo’s first foray into directing and choreographing, building on her illustrious career as dancer and artistic director. This production had been scheduled for a January 2021 opening in London at the Coliseum.

A sample of the score of this yet to be performed production

24th October – NEWS – MAYFLOWER RECEIVES £3m GRANT FROM GOVERNMENT

25th October – CANCELLED – DAVID ESSEX

Live – for one day – CANCELLED – DAVID ESSEX – This tour was scheduled to coincide with the release of the album, Davis Essex – Unplayed Hits and a special release of a Silver Dream Racer Box Set . However the covid-19 pandemic caused the tour to be rescheduled to September 2021 and so this along with all other 2020 dates were cancelled.

A promotion for the box set

27th October – CANCELLED – SUNNY AFTERNOON

On the stage – for five days – CANCELLED – SUNNY AFTERNOON – is the story of The Kinks’ rise from life on a dead end street to living the rock star dream of fame, fortune and glory. It’s a musical like no other, offering a real glimpse inside one of Britain’s greatest bands, on a journey through the euphoric highs and agonising lows of pop success. The Kinks enjoyed a string of chart-topping successes, and you can sing and dance along to all your favourites as the electrifying story unfolds. Going where other musicals don’t dare, Sunny Afternoon exposes the loves and losses that the band encountered on their road to fame, and delivers an emotional punch that will warm your heart and leave you buzzing for weeks. Discover how The Kinks found their iconic sound and along the way invented a whole new genre of rock. Experience the thrill of the music and the power of a live Kinks performance. Witness the band’s beginnings, as brothers Dave and Ray Davies join forces and write their first songs. Discover how they got their risqué name. Relive their barnstorming debut on Top Of The Pops, their troubled American tour, and their triumphant comeback.

This tour had to be cancelled in its entirety due to government restrictions on indoor performances.

The initial ad/teaser

1st November – CANCELLED – LEVEL 42

Live – for one day – CANCELLED – LEVEL 42 – FROM HERE TO ETERNITY – Level 42 had planned a From Eternity To Here Tour, comprsing a total of 24 shows across the UK including this Southampton date. The year so far had been disappointing as their schedule had been blown apart by Covid-19 with what would have been a phenomenally busy summer for Level 42, which would have seen them play 20 festivals from Quebec to Russia, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, and the UK.

Asked if he can ever see Level 42 taking their foot off the gas, bassist and frontman Mark King commented: “No way! Touring with the band now, is about as much fun as I can remember having had on the road, and If you had asked me back in 1980 if I thought we would be selling out theatres around the world when I was sixty years old I probably would have laughed!

Since their inception on the Isle of Wight in 1979, Level 42 and Mark have released 14 studio albums, 7 live albums, the Sirens’ EP, and 6 compilation albums, had 18 top 40 singles, including Lessons in Love, Something About You, Leaving Me Now, Running in the Family, and Hot Water, sold out Wembley Arena for a total of 21 nights and sold in excess of 30 million albums worldwide.

Mark King promoting the tour that wouldn‘t be
2nd November – CANCELLED – ADAM KAY

Live – for one day – CANCELLED – ADAM KAY – THIS IS GOING TO HURT – Adam Kay is a 40 year old British comedy writer, author, comedian and former doctor. His television writing credits include Crims, Mrs. Brown’s Boys and Mitchell and Webb. He is best known as author of the number-one bestselling book This Is Going to Hurt. He intended to share entries from his diaries as a junior doctor in this evening of stand-up and music. The show has been seen by over 200,000 people, including absolute sell-out Edinburgh Fringe runs from 2016 to 2019, plus UK tours and multiple West End runs between 2017 and 2020.

The accompanying book, ‘This is Going to Hurt’ is a Sunday Times bestseller, and is being turned into a major BBC series. This show intersperses stories from the NHS frontline with a catalogue of sublimely silly spoof songs, and some blissfully brilliant wordplay.

A snip of a performance

3rd November – CANCELLED – GROAN UPS

On the stage – for five days – CANCELLED – GROAN UPS – a comedy play by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields of Mischief Theatre. It opened on 20 September 2019 and ran until 1 December 2019 at the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End and was the inaugural production of Mischief’s year long residency at the Vaudeville (running simultaneously in the West End alongside Mischief’s long-running productions of The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy About a Bank Robbery).

The play was to begin a UK tour in August 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused the tour to be cancelled.

The trailer for the show

8th November – CANCELLED – ALAN CARR

Live – for one day – CANCELLED – ALAN CARR – NOT AGAIN, ALAN! – It’s been four years since Alan last went on tour, and in that time he’s managed to find himself in all sorts of dramas. Between his star-studded wedding day and becoming an accidental anarchist, from fearing for his life at border control to becoming a reluctant farmer, three words spring to mind…Not again, Alan! This date at the Mayflower would be rescheduled as soon as circumstances allow, so that the audience can join Alan on tour as he muses upon the things that make his life weird and wonderful.

A performance from Alan Carr

9th November – CANCELLED – SANDI TOKSVIG

Live – for one day – CANCELLED – SANDI TOKSVIG LIVE – a 62 year old British-Danish writer, comedian, broadcaster, actor, and producer on British radio, stage, and television. She is also a political activist, having co-founded the Women’s Equality Party in 2015. She has written plays, novels, and books for children.

Sandi Toksvig was scheduled to bring her smash-hit one-woman National Trevor show back on the road. Sandi realises some people harbour an ambition to be a National Treasure but following a misunderstanding with a friend has decided instead to become a National Trevor – half misprint, half Danish comedian, novelist, actor and broadcaster. With tall stories, fascinatingly funny facts, silly jokes, a quick fire Q&A and a quiz. Don’t expect tap-dancing, leotards or a forward roll. The show had to be rescheduled for the following year.

Sandi Toksvig humour

11th November – CANCELLED – SIXTIES GOLD

Live – for one day – CANCELLED – SIXTIES GOLD – The pandemic necessitated the postponement of this year‘s edition of Sixties Gold whose line up was : The Tremeloes, Have sold in excess of 100 Million records worldwide, featuring the legendary Len “Chip” Hawkes and Micky Clarke with their huge No 1 Hits “Silence Is Golden”, “Suddenly You Love Me”, “Even The Band Times Are Good”, “(Call Me) Number One” And many more!! Hermans Hermits. One of the biggest selling bands of the 60’s now celebrating their 55th anniversary. Formed in Manchester in 1964, the band has chalked up 23 Hit Singles, 10 Hit Albums, appeared in 3 major movies and have sold in excess of 75 Million records. Hits include: “There’s a Kind of Hush”, “Silhouettes”, “Can’t You Hear My Heart Beat”, “Wonderful World”, “A Must to Avoid”, and many more.

The Merseybeats. Another success story from the Liverpool. Hit records including; “Sorrow”, “I Think of You”, and “Wishin’ and Hopin’”. The Marmalade were the champions of the Scottish Beat in 1968, adding another dimension to the sound of the classic pop song, with great harmonies. Chart-toppers include: “Lovin’ Things”, “Reflections of My Life”, “Falling Apart at The Seams”, Cousin Norman, and their Lennon & McCartney composed No1 smash hit “Ob-la-Di Ob-la-Da”. 60’s Super Star Icon, PJ Proby first invited to the UK by The Beatles, Smash hits include “Somewhere”, “Maria”, “Together” and of course the biggest hit that started everything for him in the UK “Hold Me”.

Steve Ellis, the original lead vocalist and founder of Love Affair who had five Top 20 singles, “Rainbow Valley”, “Bringing On Back The Good Times”, “A Day Without Love” including their classic No.1 Everlasting Love. The individual style and voice of Dave Berry with his chart-topping hits “The Crying Game”, “Little Things” “Memphis Tennessee” and “Mama” Mamas and Papas UK, featuring Terry Bradford, Sussie Arneson, Laurie Briggs and Chris White performing the wonderful hit songs; “Monday Monday”, “California Dreamin’”, “Dedicated to the One I love” And many more

Joining the line-up are top musicians Gerry’s Pacemakers who will perform some of Gerry Marsden’s massive hits which include, “I Like It”, “How Do You Do It”, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, “Ferry Across the Mersey” and many more!

Herman’s Hermits performing in 2020

12th November – CANCELLED – LONDON CONCERT ORCHESTRA

Live – for one day – CANCELLED – SPECTACULAR CLASSICSLONDON CONCERT ORCHESTRA – was founded in 1972 by Raymond Gubbay to perform in the increasing number of his concerts presented in London concert halls and major venues in Britain. Regular visitors to the Mayflower, this programme promised a sensational show of the very best classical music, dazzling lasers and special effects including Nessun Dorma, Rule, Britannia!, and Land of Hope and Glory as well as Sibelius – Finlandia, Elgar – Nimrod, Rossini – Galop from William Tell Overture, Strauss – Blue Danube Waltz, Tchaikovsky – Swan Lake Finale, Mascagni – I ntermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana. Anthony Inglis would again be conducting The London Concert Orchestra. Unfortunately the show had to be postponed.

How the London Concert Orchestra reache its audience in 2020

13th November – CANCELLED – FASTLOVE, A TRIBUTE TO GEORGE MICHAEL

Live – for one day – CANCELLED – FASTLOVE – A TRIBUTE TO GEORGE MICHAEL – The George Michael tribute show should have returned to the Mayflower but found itself another victim of the pandemic. It proves to be an unforgettable evening celebrating the global superstar that is George Michael. Creating new memories whilst reliving old classics. The show features all his hits including Father Figure, Freedom, Faith and many more. It features favourite songs from Wham and George’s solo career including Careless Whisper, Freedom 90, Outside and Too Funky!

The promo for Fastlove in 2020

14th November – CANCELLED – THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL

Live – for one day – CANCELLED – THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL – Mayflower – This production, featuring the impeccable vocal talents of South Africa’s Belinda Davids, is a beautifully crafted tribute to one of the world’s most revered singers. Accompanied by a full band and dancers, Davids performs over two hours of Whitney Houston’s best loved pop hits live on stage. And there is no person better equipped to do so. In addition to having a voice described as “jaw-droppingly similar” to the pop diva, Davids openly acknowledges that Houston is her personal idol and was the original inspiration for her own career when she began singing at the age of 14.

People all over the world have done exactly that, with South Africa, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada and the USA already hosting sold-out performances in the show’s first two years of touring. The show includes 20 of Houston’s most popular tracks taken from the full span of her career, including ‘I Will Always Love You’, ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’, ‘Didn’t We Almost Have It All’, ‘I’m Every Woman’, ‘Exhale (Shoop Shoop)’, ‘Million Dollar Bill’.

The promo reel

15th November – CANCELLED – JACK DEE

Live – one day only – CANCELLED – JACK DEE – OFF THE TELLY – When everyone’s favourite grumbler, Jack Dee, announced he was returning to the stand-up stage in autumn 2019 with his first solo tour in six years – Off The Telly – tickets flew off the shelves selling out the initial dates at incredible speed. To meet exceptional public demand, the tour was extended through 2020 and this date was one of the additions to the tour.

Unfortunately Southampton was unable to join Jack for an evening of entertainment (food and beverages were not included) due to the pandemic lockdown.

Typical Jack Dee story

16th November – CANCELLED – STEVE HACKETT – GENESIS REVISITED

Live – one day only – CANCELLED – STEVE HACKETT – GENESIS REVISITED – Steve Hackett is a 70 year old English musician, songwriter, singer, and producer who gained prominence as the lead guitarist of the progressive rock band Genesis from 1971 to 1977.Hackett contributed to six Genesis studio albums, three live albums, seven singles and one EP before he left to pursue a solo career. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010.

Hackett released his first solo album, Voyage of the Acolyte, while still a member of Genesis in 1975. After a series of further solo albums beginning in 1978, Hackett co-founded the supergroup GTR with Steve Howe in 1986. The group released the self-titled album GTR, which peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 in the United States and spawned the Top 20 single “When the Heart Rules the Mind”. When Hackett left GTR in 1987, the group disbanded. Hackett then resumed his solo career. He has released albums and toured worldwide on a regular basis since.

Hackett’s body of work encompasses many styles; in addition to his work in progressive rock, he has explored pop, blues, world music and classical music on his solo recordings. According to Guitar World: “Hackett’s early explorations of two-handed tapping and sweep picking were far ahead of their time, and influenced Eddie Van Halen and Brian May.” Other guitarists influenced by Hackett include Alex Lifeson and Steve Rothery.

Off the back of his most successful solo tour yet, Hackett has announced that his 2020 – 21 world tour will feature the whole of the 1977 Genesis live album, Seconds Out, plus more! Seconds Out was the hugely successful double album recorded on Genesis’ 1977 concert tour together with The Cinema Show, from their 1976 tour, and featured Steve on guitar alongside Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks and Phil Collins who had taken on the role of vocalist following the departure of Peter Gabriel. The tour included music from each of the six studio albums from Steve’s time in Genesis and marked his final recordings with the band as he left to pursue his solo career upon its completion.

The tour will visit some of the venues Genesis played on that 1977 tour including here in Southampton. This concert would be rescheduled.

Steve Hackett performing on the previous tour in 2019

17th November – CANCELLED – FASCINATING AIDA

Live – for one day – CANCELLED – FASCINATING AIDA – a British comedy singing group and satirical cabaret act founded in March 1983. The line-up consists of founder member Dillie Keane; Adèle Anderson, who joined in 1984; and Liza Pulman, who first joined in 2004.

The group received a Perrier Award nomination at the 1984 Edinburgh Festival, and went on to be nominated three times for the Olivier Award for Best Entertainment (1995, 2000 and 2004), and twice for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revue (2005 and 2010). Keane and Anderson were also nominated for the 2010 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics. Their name is derived from the expletive exclamation ‘F**king Ada!’, which appears in the text of Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys (2004), and is also the name of a song by Ian Dury.

This brand new show would have featured a selection of old favourites, songs you haven’t heard before and some you wish you’d never heard in the first place. There may not be any Dogging, there may be an updated version of their Brexit song and it’s likely that Cheap Flights will be truncated due to new immigration controls. But the songs are mostly topical and the glamour remains unstoppable.With three Olivier Award nominations and over 25 million YouTube and Facebook hits for Cheap Flights and their incredibly rude Christmas song how can you possibly miss them? They promised to reschedule once the pandemic is over.

A 2020 performance

A 2020 performance – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVy7faNKEtM

19th November – CANCELLED – NORTHERN BALLET – MERLIN

On the stage – for three days – CANCELLED – NORTHERN BALLETMERLIN – Another casualty of the pandemic. A ballet inspired by the world’s most famous sorcerer and how he mastered his magic to unite a warring kingdom. Inspired by the story of the mythical wizard, Northern Ballet’s Merlin will take you on a sweeping epic adventure of heartbreak, humour and more than a little magic. Choreographed by Olivier award-winning Drew McOnie (Broadway’s King Kong and Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom), expect an enchanting spectacle. Don’t miss the legend reawakened through Northern Ballet’s unrivalled blend of classical ballet and dramatic storytelling.

A Northern Ballet promotion early in 2020

22nd November – CANCELLED – JOOLS HOLLAND

Live – one day only – JOOLS HOLLAND – Jools Holland and Harvey Goldsmith announced the postponement of Jools’ 2020 UK dates due to the effects of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. The tour will now take place in 2021 with special guest performances to be confirmed but hopefully will featyre those lined upfor this concert Leo Sayer, Ruby Turner, Louise Marshall, Gilson Lavis and Chris Tifford.

Ruby Turner performing with Jools Holland

24th November – CANCELLED – WELSH NATIONAL OPERA

On the stage – for five days – CANCELLED – WELSH NATIONAL OPERA – In this week of WNO‘s autumn seasom we should have seen you Janáček’s tragic and intense Jenůfa, on Friday; the charming and witty The Barber of Seville on Tueday, Wednesday and Thursday. Saturday was set for Will Todd’s hugely ambitious and current Migrations, with an expanded creative team and a cast of 100 including a gospel choir, a children’s chorus, Bollywood dancers, refugees and soloists from across the world. Commissioned to coincide with the sailing of The Mayflower 400 years ago, Migrations interweaves six stories, by writers from diverse backgrounds, exploring the theme of migration through the eyes of different characters experiencing migration in very different ways.

Welsh National Opera provide a little compensation

29th November – CANCELLED – CRAZY FOR GERSHWIN

Live – for one day – CANCELLED – CRAZY FOR GERSHWIN – LONDON CONCERT ORCHESTRA – It should have been time to strike up the band… …with this celebration of music, song and dance. American composer George Gershwin enjoyed a glamorous and sophisticated celebrity status. His life was filled with enduring and remarkable harmonies that captured 1920s New York style, none more striking and innovative than his timeless and spine-tingling Rhapsody in Blue. The London Concert Orchestra conducted by Richard Balcombe with guest singers Katie Birtill & Rodney Earl Clarke plus a sensational ballroom duo performing Rhapsody in Blue with pianist Viv McLean • ‘S Wonderful • Strike Up the Band • I’ve Got a Crush on You • A Foggy Day in London Town • Fascinatin’ Rhythm • Oh, Lady Be Good! • Summertime and many more.

A promotion for an earlier production

1st December – CANCELLED – WHITE CHRISTMAS
11th December – CANCELLED – CINDERELLA
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