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PREVIEW: Chichester, Crazy Coqs and the Canary Islands

Brian Butler April 2, 2022

The latest theatrical offerings near and far celebrate the diversity of what’s now available – everything from a Queer romp through the Yumbo Centre, to the glory of Gershwin and a serious analysis of conversion therapy.

The Crazy Coqs cabaret room, below Brasserie Zedel off Piccadilly Circus, has a fine array of musical offerings in April and May in its new Americans In London season.

Broadway star and Tony winner Lillias White will feature at the venue for the first time. And Judy Garland’s other daughter – Lorna Luft- will celebrate the Great American Songbook. Melissa Errico presents the songs of Michel Legrand and Steven Birnberg returns as Barbra Streisand in a new show celebrating the 51st birthday of the film On A Clear Day….

Shows also include the marvellous Lorna Dallas, Richard Shelton, Damien Sneed, pianist/singer Billy Stritch and Jason Kravits. Brighton and Edinburgh Fringe winner, singer/composer Ty Jeffries will don his persona as the deluded and not quite starry Miss Hope Springs for a run of shows to celebrate the chanteuse’s 10th anniversary at the venue. Ticket details for all shows  at crazycoqs.com

Chichester Festival Theatre has unveiled its 60th anniversary season, including 6 world premieres, and three musicals : Gershwin’s Crazy For You with West End star Charlie Stemp, Local Hero, inspired by the hit film and featuring songs by Mark Knopfler, and a new family musical adventure The Famous Five.

Plays include: The Taxidermist’s Daughter by Kate Mosse, Dr Who writer Steven Moffat’s The Unfriend, Christopher Shinn’s The Narcissist and Chichester favourite Henry Goodman as Poirot in Murder On The Orient Express. West End star Alex Jennings leads the cast of The Southbury Child, and there are outings for Roy Williams’s Sing Yer Hearts Out For The Lads, and Ayckbourn’s Woman in Mind. Last year’s amazing production of South Pacific takes in a 10-venue tour as well as a short season at Sadler’s Wells. Full details at cft.org

After a short period of darkness the innovative LGBTQ+ theatre Above The Stag in London’s Vauxhall returns with 3 contrasting shows. As already previewed, Sidney Fox’s Crime opens the season. Penned by Taggart creator Glenn Chandler, it tells the story of the trial for the murder of his mother of rent boy and fraudtser Sidney.

Alright Bitches! By Martin Blackburn is a Gay holiday comedy set in the dodgy Manchu Picchu bar in Playa Del Ingles’ Yumbo Centre. Gay bingo, rides on the inflatable banana and cheap cocktails – what could possibly go wrong? And finally The Convert tells the story of Alex and Marcus, who have been brought to The Facility to be “corrected”. If “cured”, they can return to society; if not they will be sent to The Other Place, away from friends and family forever. Their biggest threat to success is their own love. A chilling dark satire about conversion therapy. Tickets at abovethestag.org

Islington’s King’s Head theatre presents a wide range of shows in its new Springboard season. Babydoll concerns Zeena who is thrown when her boss brings escorts home and one of them asks for her number. A Grey Widow is a monologue by Lady Aria Grey, telling the haunting tale of her husband’s life, death and restless ghost.

Paper Mug Theatre present A Partnership, a drama featuring 2 men, no angels ,no AIDS and no other characters, looking at the changing face of homophobia. Why Am I an Avocado ? Is an interactive comedy, with fragments of Queer narrative, characters and confessions. Drag Queens vs Zombies gives us Dawn Of The Dead meeting RuPaul’s Drag Race in a horror comedy of a pair of feuding drag artists.

Drag Baby gives us Dan, a misanthropic Drag Queen in his mid-30’s who has only one ambition:to get on the telly and be famous. That is until his only ever girlfriend asks for his sperm so she and her girlfriend can have a baby.  Tickets at kingsheadtheatre.com

What if Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet had a different storyline? The adversaries Mercutio and Tybalt are sworn enemies but in this telling also ill-fated Gay lovers. Catch Rachel Garnet’s Starcrossed at Wilton’s Musi Hall 1-25 June. Tickets wiltons.org.uk

And finally head to the Drayton Arms pub theatre in West London for Soho Boy, a new musical by Paul Emelion Daly. Young and trendy Spencer leaves home for Soho on a whirlwind journey of love, laughter, happiness and heartbreak. The show is billed as “ full of glamour, sex and songs”, under the Musical direction of the brilliant Aaron Clingham. Tickets thedraytonarmstheatre.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

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