FEATURE: I Can Do Anything If I’m Wearing A Tutu! – World Tutu Day, 2nd February 2018

 

Georgina Butler. Journalist. Dance Writer. Dance Teacher. Ballet. Tutu. Splits.

 

Sometimes, you just need to put on your tutu and twirl.

But what do you really know about the Ballet Tutu?

 

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REVIEW: ‘The Snowman’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, January 2018

 

Magical dance theatre production The Snowman is a winsome winter warmer of a show that will banish those troublesome January blues.

The Birmingham Repertory Theatre performance proved to be the perfect mid-week pick-me-up for audience members of all ages on press night at Milton Keynes Theatre. Effortlessly combining a timeless tale with visual spectacle, The Snowman whisks transfixed theatregoers off to a place of nostalgia, innocence and satisfyingly snowy Christmases.

The wide-eyed wonder of a child enjoying the festive season is captured with grace and good-humour in this charming interpretation of Raymond Briggs’ beloved children’s picture book, published in 1978, and the subsequent 1982 animated film.

Waking up on Christmas Eve, a young boy is delighted to discover that it is snowing. He eagerly rushes outside, gets acquainted with the white stuff and sets to work building a snowman. That evening, the anticipation of Christmas Day’s imminent arrival means the boy is more reluctant to go to bed than ever before. Still restless in the middle of the night, he sneaks downstairs and creeps outside to check up on his snowman. To his astonishment, The Snowman comes alive and the pair share a special, starry-skied adventure.

 

The Snowman

 

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NEWS: ‘The Snowman’ is set to melt hearts – Milton Keynes Theatre, January 2018

 

Spectacular stage show The Snowman dances into town this month   

 

Prepare to be whisked off to a winter wonderland when heart-warming stage show The Snowman flies into Milton Keynes Theatre.

Based on the celebrated 1982 animated film, which was inspired by Raymond Briggs’ 1978 children’s book, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre production portrays the adventure a young boy enjoys when he and his snowman share a magical night of friendship, fun and flying.

The Snowman stage show is presented annually in London at The Peacock Theatre and has become a much-loved festive tradition for audiences. The five-week Christmas 2017 run marked the production’s 20th year at the West End venue, making it the longest-running Christmas show in English theatre history.

 

The Snowman stage show directed by Bill Alexander.

 

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REVIEW: ‘Cinderella’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, Christmas 2017

 

Panto can be predictable but there are some unexpected highlights in the gloriously excessive production of Cinderella at Milton Keynes Theatre.

Pitched as “The Fairy Godmother of all Pantomimes” this extravaganza certainly conjures up enough seasonal silliness and sparkly spectacle to entertain theatregoers of all ages.

The rags to riches tale of downtrodden Cinders and her life-changing visit to Prince Charming’s Royal Ball is being brought to the stage with no expense spared this time around. The big budget is unmistakably evident in the amazing assortment of sets, props, costumes, special effects and cameo appearances on display amidst the conventional chaos of panto.

 

Pantomime stars Gok Wan, Lauren Hall and Brian Conley in Cinderella, Milton Keynes Theatre, Christmas 2017

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INTERVIEW with James Leece, The Snowman, December 2017

 

Dancer James Leece plays the title role in the stage show version of classic Christmas cartoon The Snowman.

Between performances and festive family fun, he found time for a chat about choreography, costumes and childhood nostalgia with Georgina Butler.

 

James Leece was born in Aberdeen and trained at The Royal Ballet School and London Studio Centre. He began his professional performing career dancing for Matthew Bourne’s company in the early days when it was called Adventures in Motion Pictures and continued when it became Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures. James has performed roles in Bourne’s Swan Lake, Nutcracker!, Highland Fling, Edward Scissorhands and The Car Man. Further theatre credits include being Robbie and first cover Johnny in the West End production of Dirty Dancing at the Aldwych Theatre, and starring as the leading man, Don Lockwood, in the 2013/2014 UK tour of Singin’ In The Rain.

Currently, James Leece is one of two performers alternating the title role in the Birmingham Repertory Theatre production of The Snowman at The Peacock Theatre, London dance house Sadler’s Wells’ West End venue. This enchanting show is based on the 1982 animated film, which was inspired by Raymond Briggs’ 1978 children’s book. The narrative sees a young boy and his snowman share a magical night of friendship, fun and flying.

Directed by Bill Alexander, the stage show tells the story entirely through music and dance. It features a musical score and lyrics by the film’s composer Howard Blake – including the classic theme song Walking in the Air – and choreography by Robert North.

The Snowman is now an annual seasonal staple in the capital. The five-week Christmas 2017 run marks the production’s 20th year at The Peacock Theatre, making it the longest-running Christmas show in English theatre history. In November 2017 the cast toured the show to Manchester and Glasgow. The tour will resume throughout January 2018, with performances in Southampton, Milton Keynes and Brighton.

Without a doubt, The Snowman has become a much-loved festive tradition for audiences and cast members alike. Indeed, James is presently donning the fluffy white Snowman suit for his sixth year in the title role. A father to two young children, and an experienced performer, he is full of admiration for this timeless show…

 

Dancer James Leece chats about his role in The Snowman stage show with Georgina Butler

 

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