Gareth Valentine Brings TALES OF A MUSICAL DIRECTOR to Crazy Coqs

Performances are 10-12 April.

Guest Blog: Nia Morais on Her First Play IMRIE, Welsh Fantasy and The Dark Fantastic

Gareth Valentine has announced a three night residency at Crazy Coqs Live at Zedel with special guests two time Olivier Award winners Joanna Riding, Janie Dee and BAFTA nominated, Tony Award and US Drama Desk winner Haydn Gwynne.

Renowned musical director, arranger and raconteur Gareth Valentine announces a three night residency and a return to Crazy Coqs, after his two sold out performances at the venue in 2022 for his one man show 'Tales of a Musical Director' with special guests two time Olivier award winner Janie Dee (Follies, The Motive and the Cue NT, Sondheim's Old Friends), BAFTA nominee, Tony Award and US Drama Desk winner Haydn Gwynne (The Great British Bake Off Musical, Billy Elliot, The Audience, The Crown Netflix, The Windsors Channel 4) and two time Olivier Award winner Joanna Riding (Follies NT, Sondheim's Old Friends, Gypsy)

In a fully penned, anecdotal evening of hilarious stories and music, Gareth Valentine weaves through some of his personal and often hysterical reflections at the piano from his humble Welsh beginnings to his 40 year career in theatre and showbusiness. Described as 'Mr Music' by Victoria Wood, hear hilarious stories from Kander and Ebb to Stephen Sondheim, Roger Moore to Ian McKellen, Chita Rivera to Judi Dench, Trevor Nunn, Hal Prince, Gillian Lynne, Stephen Schwartz to the incomparable Miriam Margolyes, all accompanied by some specially composed music for the evening.

Gareth will be joined by

Janie Dee Monday 10th April

Haydn Gwynne Tuesday 11th April

Joanna Riding Wednesday 12th April

Along with a special contribution from Broadway legend Chita Rivera.

The evening is devised and directed by Conor Sheridan


Interview: Brodie Donougher A REAL LIFE BILLY ELLIOT STORY!

What do you get when you have a ballet dancer who dreams of making it professionally and showing the world that guys can dance too?  You have a real-life Billy Elliot story, which is happening to someone who played the titular role of Billy on the West End back home in the UK, and is now here in the US studying and training in professional ballet making his dancing dreams a reality! Not only does he dance, but he has done a few acting roles as well and even participated in a professional opera as a dancer. He is taking the role, and making it his real-life story!   At the end of the musical, we see Billy leaving his home and family to head off for training at the Royal Ballet School, so this is like getting to see the story continue beyond the stage!  Broadway World Detroit got a chance to catch up with Brodie Donougher, the last person to play the role of Billy, and see what he’s up to since his days on the West End stage 7 years ago!

Review: BLACK PANTHER IN CONCERT, Royal Albert Hall

Conducted by Anthony Parnther (isn’t that the perfect name to lead this specific venture?), this European premiere features Massamba Diop on the talking drum, an instrument essential to the score. Diop, who performed the original tracks for director Ryan Coogler, is a force of nature. After a beautiful introduction by Parnther (who surprisingly does a cracking impression of James Earl Jones as Mufasa!), Diop gave a taster for what was to come: a vibrant tattoo that goes hand in hand with masterful storytelling, filling the Hall effortlessly.


Few words grab the attention like murder. And few genres outside immersive theatre can pull you physically into a specific time and place. So why aren’t there more immersive murder productions like this one?


All in all, the evening is like a group session with no guarantees of being called out or receiving answers. Believers will believe, sceptics won’t. Without going into Michael’s “gift”, the two hours are, unfortunately, rather dull. He jumps straight in between tongue-in-cheek jokes and an entertainer’s spirit. A tense silence falls onto the audience and he starts pacing around, trying to “pick up” some “energy”. He is respectful, and kind, almost apologetic for his intrusions into people’s personal lives as he glances into nothingness, pulling information out of thin air.



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