Coming to a live screen near you

Echo:

3:00pm Wednesday 13th August 2014

THE BP Big Screen series has been proving massively popular, so be sure to put the last one – a live screening of Verdi’s Rigoletto from the iconic Covent Garden stage direct to Southend – in your diary.

Amazing show will appeal to all ages

Echo:

10:00am Wednesday 13th August 2014

A GROUP of talented performers are bringing their hit production to Halstead.

Adore theatre fashion? Sign up for special day with Royal Opera House

Echo:

9:20am Wednesday 13th August 2014

IF the magic of theatre fashion and costume design makes you want to immediately whip out your sewing kit, the Royal Opera House has a great opportunity for you.

Send work and ideas in for my Grand exhibition

Echo:

12:00am Friday 18th July 2014

THE GRAND Hotel pub in Leigh has been the subject of much conversation over the years, and now, of course, it’s finally being redeveloped.

Kung-fu master in quest for harmony

Echo:

5:00am Wednesday 16th July 2014

A KUNG-FU spectac-ular is making its way to the Cliffs Pavilion direct from China.

Jevan goes green for new exhibition

Echo:

7:00am Wednesday 2nd July 2014

ARTIST Jevan Watkins Jones has been taking a different look at plants for his latest exhibition.

Barry in Orbison tribute with a difference

Echo:

7:00am Wednesday 2nd July 2014

MUSIC legend Roy Orbison, who died in 1988, still has a worldwide following.

Saturday night live: A little bit of politics and a load of laughs

Echo:

8:58am Tuesday 1st July 2014

A TASTE of the Edinburgh festival comes to Holland-on-Sea at the weekend when the 101st Stand Up For Labour comedy show is staged.

Cliffs’s got talent for two shows next year

Echo:

8:51am Tuesday 1st July 2014

This year’s Britain’s Got Talent winners and runner-up have announced they are playing two live dates at the Cliffs Pavilion, Westcliff next year.

Robin Hood rides in

Echo: Players – Adam Duarte-Dias, Donna Francis, Joseph Sales and Scott Sophos who are in the open-air summer production of Robin Hood: Spirit of Sherwood

9:19am Thursday 26th June 2014

A NEW adaptation of the Robin Hood legend will be Chameleon’s Web’s open-air summer production this year.

REVIEW: THE MISER Miser is comedy gold

Echo: Chris Linatt-Scott, front, with the rest of the cast, is wonderful in the title role of the Miser

9:08am Thursday 26th June 2014

LINDISFARNE Players’ production of the classic comedy, the Miser is faced with a bit of competition this week from Wimbledon and the World Cup.

Don’t call me inspirational, says cerebral palsy comic

Echo: Laurence Clark  – the comedian is bringing his latest his show to Colchester Comedy Festival

8:00am Friday 13th June 2014

COMEDIAN Laurence Clark is often called inspirational by others.

Our Lee’s coming home with return to his musical roots

Echo: Homeward bound – Rayleigh’s Lee Mead

10:00am Tuesday 10th June 2014

T’S all about the show tunes for Lee Mead.

Leigh Folk Festival is back

Echo: Trembling Bells – one of the many acts playing the festival

7:00am Saturday 31st May 2014

WELL it’s nearly June, which means a particular favourite event in Leigh is coming up – the biggest of its kind held for free in the UK.

Dad-rock duo Philip and Rory’s night at arts centre

Echo: Back from the Dark Side of the Moob – Rory McGrath and Philip Pope

7:00am Friday 30th May 2014

A DOUBLE act features one third of Three Men in a Boat and the man who brought us Spitting Image’s Chicken Song.

Stevie is ready to take centre stage

Echo: Brave undertaking – Stevie Rae

6:00am Wednesday 21st May 2014

YOU may have seen or heard of Stevie Rae on the local comedy/acting/improv circuit, but next week will see his debut as a stand-up comedian at the Palace Theatre.

Classical treat at Frinton Festival

Echo: Barbican Piano Trio – Sophie Lockett, Robert Max and James Kirby

10:00am Tuesday 20th May 2014

A NEW classical music festival featuring world-class musicians is set for Frinton later this month.

See Monty Python’s concerts in Colchester

Echo: The Pythons – John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones

11:00am Wednesday 14th May 2014

THEY are the most eagerly anticipated shows of the year, and you can watch Monty Python’s comeback live at two Colchester venues.

Mariner’s tale with thrills of the circus

Echo: Tomos James in Rime            Picture: LISE MARKER

11:00am Tuesday 13th May 2014

A UNIQUE show combing storytelling, theatre and circus is coming to the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich.

Incidentally, catch Josh Widdicombe at the Cliffs

Echo: Date – Josh Widdicombe

10:00am Tuesday 13th May 2014

YOU’VE probably seen him on hit TV shows such as Mock the Week and Eight Out of Ten Cats, and now you have a chance to do so live. Josh Widdicombe – Guardian sports reporter turned comedian – appears at the Cliffs Pavilion, Westcliff, on Wednesday, May 14, with his show called Incidentally.

Old Trunk lifting lid to spin more mini yarns

Echo: Telling tales – Sarah Mayhew and Sadie Hasler  Picture: SIMON FOWLER

7:00am Friday 9th May 2014

STORIES based on life’s “lushes, losers and harlots” will be told at the Old Trunk Theatre Company’s Tales and Ales event on Sunday.

Tommy will be a real spectacular at the Palace

Echo: Title role – Glenn Sanderson

10:00am Tuesday 6th May 2014

TOMMY, rock band the Who’s rock opera, has not been seen on a Southend stage for almost two decades.

Get set for gag fest at the arts centre

Echo: New show – Bentley Strangetrousers and others characters from I

9:10am Tuesday 6th May 2014

COLCHESTER’S very own radio theatre company, I Hear Voices, returns to the Colchester Arts Centre..

It’s the Odd Couple with a twist, but as hilarious as ever

Echo: Laughs galore – foreground, Stephanie Wilson, left, and Sally Lightfoot, with other cast members

10:00am Tuesday 29th April 2014

BARELY pausing for breath after their hugely well-received production of the musical Avenue Q, Little Theatre Company players embark next week on another production.

Girls Allowed: Strictly star talks Kimberley, Chelsee...Pasha Kovalev on upcoming Clacton show

Echo: Dance partners – Katya Virshilas and Pasha Kovalev

7:00am Friday 25th April 2014

FROM Siberia to Clacton but countless glamorous destinations inbetween, Strictly Come Dacing’s Pasha Kovalev has inspired audiences all over the world with his red-hot Russian dancing talent.

Master of mind control Derren Brown prepares to bring his show to the Cliffs Pavilion

Echo: Master of illusion – Derren Brown

7:00am Thursday 24th April 2014

The master of psychological illusion returns to the stage with his latest show, Derren Brown: Infamous, which comes to the Cliffs Pavilion next month. He answers our questions about Twitter, telly and what he loves about touring.

What goes on tour with England fans ...comes on stage

Echo: It’s a goal – the cast of England Away in rehearsals

8:00am Wednesday 23rd April 2014

A CROSS between a stand-up comedy gig and an insightful view of what it means to be an England fan.

I hope my performance of Lear will be seen as a fitting tribute to Roy

Echo: Real-life tragedy – Keith Chanter took over the title role in Southend Shakespeare Company’s production of King Lear after the death of Roy Foster from cancer

10:00am Tuesday 22nd April 2014

Tragic drama was played out in the rehearsal room, and in real life, when Southend Shakespeare Company embarked on their production of King Lear, which opens on Tuesday at the Palace Theatre.

Find out all about worst serial killers in the world

Echo: Trevor Marriott – the author has written a book about murderers

9:20am Tuesday 22nd April 2014

Acclaimed author Trevor Marriott is coming to the Towngate Theatre in Basildon with his show, the World’s Worst Serial Killers.

Don’t call me a goth...

Echo: Man in black – Andrew O’Neill says he has been a show-off since birth

9:00am Saturday 19th April 2014

HE might dress in black, listen to heavy metal and is interested in the occult. But don’t call Andrew O’Neill a goth.

Pirate Gran leaps from page to stage for fun

Echo: Where is she? The stage version of the adventures of Pirate Gran, charted in the books written by Geraldine

7:00am Friday 18th April 2014

HAVE an Easter holiday treat with gran – Pirate Gran! For all those who haven’t read Geraldine Durrant’s popular books, Pirate Gran does all the things a normal grandmother does, except she’s also a pirate with a crocodile under her bed and a raft of seagoing adventures to talk about.

Have a Jolly time at the Comedy Club

Echo: Double act – brothers Ed and Tommy Croft are set for the Comedy Club

9:00am Thursday 17th April 2014

ENJOY the Jolly Boat show at the latest Comedy Club at Colchester’s Charter Hall.

Curious way of watching live shows

Echo: Luke Treadway – plays Christopher Boone in the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

7:00am Wednesday 16th April 2014

ESSEX audiences will have no need to pack hard hats at a special live cinema screening of the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time A production of the hit play made headlines around the world in February when the ornate ceiling of London’s Apollo theatre collapsed on to playgoers. But the incident has not quenched the appetite for the play from audiences, who have flocked back since the theatre was reopened.

Jane Austen inspires improv comedy show

Echo: 'Austentatious' – in the style of Jane Austen

9:04am Tuesday 15th April 2014

IT is a universally acknowledged truth that making fun of Jane Austen can be very humorous indeed.

Leigh am-dram society show picks up top award

Echo: New showcase – Leigh Operatic and Dramatic Society’s, left to right, Sarah Kelleway, Lesley Broadway, Helen Sharpe (front), Natalie Macmillan, Zoe Berry, Michael Felgate, Ashley Laker, Matt Ford (front) and Peter Brown

8:00am Friday 11th April 2014

A CHRISTMAS Carol, the hi-tech 2013 production of the Dickens classic by Leigh Operatic and Dramatic Society, has received a top local honour.

All set for a weekend of classical music

Echo: All set for a weekend of classical music

1:15pm Friday 28th March 2014

SOUTHEND Choral Society will perform Handel’s oratorio “Judas Maccabeus” tomorrow night at 7.30pm at Crowstone United Reformed Church, Westcliff. Although not as well-known as “Messiah”, during Handel's lifetime Judas Maccabaeus was one of the most popular of all his oratorios. Following its hugely successful first performance at London's Covent Garden theatre in 1747, the work was subsequently revived during Handel's oratorio seasons every year until his death in 1759. The 100-strong choir will be joined by four professional London-based soloists, accompanied by Stephen King on the organ and conducted by Roger Humphrey. The Southend Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs will also be performing in this work, singing the well-known chorus of the youths “See the conquering heros come”. In the same church on Sunday afternoon, the Southend Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs will present “Listen with Mother”: a concert for Mothers’ Day, when they will join with young players from South Essex Youth Symphony Orchestra. In a programme of music by Strauss, Faure, Tchaikovsky, Delibes, Schubert and much more, the 120+ young musicians will join together to serenade all mothers (and grandmothers) in the audience. The groups will join together to perform the Evening Prayer from the 19th century composer Engelbert Humperdink’s opera “Hansel and Gretel” and Haydn’s playful Toy Symphony” will also be performed. This concert starts at 3.30pm and tea and cakes are served to all mothers and their families after the concert. On Saturday evening, 7.30 at Trinity Methodist Church, Clayhill Road, Vange, The Dove Singers will be performing a programme of varied music ranging from Handel to Rodgers & Hammerstein, conducted by their new musical director Kara Florish. Looking ahead to the next weekend, don’t miss the chance to hear The Southend Bach Choir will be performing Rossini’s Petite Messe Solonnelle at St Augustine’s Church, Thorpe Bay on Saturday 5th April. Finally on Saturday night, at Westcliff High School for Boys at 7.30pm, the Southend Youth Orchestra, which was formed just 18 months ago, will be performing Mozart's Magic Flute Overture, Schubert's Symphony no. 8, a Vivaldi concerto and works by Vaughan Williams and Mathias.

Martyrs’ tale with puppetry and song

Echo: Drama – Neil Gore and Elizabeth Eves in We Will Be Free

7:00am Friday 28th March 2014

A NEW play about the Tolpuddle Martyrs is set to premiere at Colchester Arts Centre.

Pratchett magic at Towngate

Echo: Pratchett magic at Towngate

12:00am Friday 28th March 2014

GOING Postal is the latest story by the much-loved Sir Terry Pratchett to be staged by Thalians – the Basildon drama group. Mike Betteridge, chairman and founder-member of Thalians, says: “Our regular Pratchett  productions are always a big  attraction for local audiences, who really warm to Sir Terry’s humour, storytelling skills, amazing characters and wonderful imagination.” Going Postal has proved one of  Pratchett’s most successful tales, both as a book and as a well-received 2010 TV production. The story revolves around the central character of Moist von Lipwig;  a con artist,  natural-born criminal, fraudster and habitual liar. So, who better to be appointed Postmaster of Ankh Morpork’s ailing Post Office? With the help of a clay “golem” monster,  who has spent the last 200 years at the bottom of a deep pit, and also aided by the fascinating, if unattainable Adora Belle Dearheart, head of the Golem Trust, Lipwig has to ensure the mail gets through. Other members of the team supporting him are the 100-year-old Junior Postman Groat and his pin-obsessed assistant Stanley. Unfortunately, success means taking on the gargantuan, money hungry Grand Trunk Clacks Communication Company and its bloodthirsty piratical head, Reacher Gilt. “Still,” says Mike, “If the bold and impossible are the order of the day,  then Moist von Lipwig will do it – in order to move the mail, get the girl and, hopefully, continue breathing.” Mike adds: “Every Pratchett play creates a technical challenge. This time it has been the need to create the character of the Golem, who is made of pottery. “Our resident whiz on inventive solutions, Ian Stewart, is constructing a whole head mask from latex and a body designed to look like pottery.”

Seize the chance to audition for the Wall

Echo: Resounding success – the performance of Quadrophenia at the Mercury last year

6:00am Wednesday 26th March 2014

AUDITIONS are being held across north Essex for this year’s Mercury Theatre Young Company.

Bard group in another venture on wilde side

Echo: Classic – Jeremy Battersby, Louise Calton (left)  and Amanda Whiteford in Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband

12:00am Wednesday 26th March 2014

SOUTHEND Shakespeare Company is giving the Bard a brief holiday. Their next production returns instead to another giant of the theatre, Oscar Wilde.

REVIEW: Black Coffee - Powell as Poirot was just spot on

Echo: Talented - Robert Powell, centre, as Hercule Poirot

10:00am Thursday 20th March 2014

ROBERT Powell’s a brave actor. On accepting the role in Black Coffee, he had to play Agatha’s Christie’s much-loved Belgian sleuth, portrayed on TV so memorably by David Suchet.

"I was called a heartthrob, but you can't take that stuff too seriously" Robert Powell speaks ahead of appearing at Westcliff's Palace Theatre

Echo: Robert Powell in Black Coffee

6:01pm Friday 14th March 2014

ROBERT Powell may possess the most stunning blue eyes in the world.

Quentin’s the name, partying’s the game at the arts centre

Echo: Nothing Up Our Sleeves – Dean Allen Jones and Alice DLumiere with juggler Matt Ball at the Tea and Sympathy Night Circus evening

8:00am Friday 14th March 2014

BURLESQUE, magic and live music will all feature in a special night at Colchester Arts Centre.

Brenda brings splash of colour to Octagon

Echo: Abstract landscapes – Brenda Jones with one of her paintings

10:00am Wednesday 12th March 2014

ARTIST Brenda Jones is used to having her work displayed in offices.

Essex-loving Strictly star is going to have a ball in Basildon

Echo: Dance duo - Pasha Kovalev with fellow Strictly dancer Katya Virshilas

8:00am Saturday 8th March 2014

FROM Siberia to Basildon, and countless glamorous destinations inbetween, Strictly Come Dancing’s Pasha Kovalev has inspired audiences all over the world with his red-hot Russian dancing talent.

REVIEW: CLASSIC GHOSTS Technical hitch spooked Palace Theatre fright night

Echo: Jack Shepherd – handled stage problems admirably

10:00am Thursday 6th March 2014

LET me start by saying I wish I was writing this three nights into the run – but I’m not.

Literary bloggers’ date for a wordy adventure

Echo: It’s only words – Kate Neilan and Rob Chilver

9:00am Sunday 2nd March 2014

THERE’S an adventure in words taking place next week, thanks to Colchester literary bloggers Kate Neilan and Rob Chilver.

I wore knickers for a joke...they revealed more than I expected!

Echo: A great set of pipes – ‘the Singing Plumber’ James Edwards

7:00am Friday 28th February 2014

Opera star James Edwards, 40, plays the male lead role of Ridolfo in La Boheme at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Born in Rochford and raised in Southend, the tenor now lives with his wife and family in Corsham, Wiltshire.

The joker from the jungle - Rob Beckett on treating Ant and Dec like dustmen and his show in Colchester

Echo: Rob Beckett

12:00am Thursday 27th February 2014

THE cheeky-faced, toothy comedian Rob Beckett – best known for presenting the spin-off show to I’m a Celebrity – seems partly surprised, partly humbled by his success.

Roles for all on the Road

Echo: A cast of dozens – three actors play out a scene from Jim Cartwright’s Road

10:00am Tuesday 25th February 2014

ONE of the top plays of the 20th century will be the latest production by Essex University’s Theatre Arts Society this week,






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