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 We’re feeling quite privileged here at the Grand to be the closing venue of the 40th anniversary tour of  THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW! So much so, we have put together a week’s worth activities to keep all you spook-tacular Rocky fans occupied this Halloween….

ENCHANTED CITY TIMEWARP!
Enchanted City Main Stage, Queens Square, Wolverhampton
Sun 27 October 8.50pm

Residents of Wolverhampton and the surrounding region can look forward to a Rocky Horror-fying night of Halloween celebration on Sunday 27th October as the Grand Theatre, in association with Wolverhampton City Council prepares to stage the city’s first ever mass Community Timewarp. This mass community ‘Timewarp’ will form the penultimate act in this year’s Enchanted City live from Queen Square!

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BEST DRESSED COMPETITION
TUE 29 OCT 6.45pm

Join SIGNAL 107.7 Breakfast Presenter Tom Campbell as the host of our Rocky Horror Best Dressed Competition! Do you have more feathers to your boa than any other? Are your stilettos higher and more sparkly than ever before? Join us in the theatre before the show and strut your stuff!

TIMEWARP HALLOWEEN WORKSHOP
Studio 1 Newhampton Arts Centre All ages £5
WED 30 OCT 2-4PM

Join our Glee Choir choreographer and vocal coach at this Rocky Horror masterclass! You will learn how to Timewarp, just in time for all those Halloween parties! Bring your Halloween outfit for a final performance to your family and friends.

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ROCKY’S MEGA PACKAGE
WED 30 OCT 5pm & 5.30pm

The ultimate package for any Rocky Horror fan – top price ticket to the show plus see behind the scenes on a backstage tour, get a souvenir brochure, sup on a Rocky Horror cocktail at the interval and join the cast for a drink after the show!

THE OFFICIAL ROCKY HORROR HALLOWEEN AFTER PARTY
SAT 2 NOV Blast OFF Civic Hall

The ultimate Halloween party playlist inspired by Richard O’Brien’s rock ‘n’ roll musical! Get ready to do the Time Warp again as we pull out the party-moves for a full 3.5 exhilarating minutes of pelvic-thrusting in THE ultimate Halloween dance-floor filler!

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THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW runs at the Grand from Monday 28 Oct – Sat 2nd Nov. For booking please call Box Office on 01902 42 92 12 or click here.

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TUESDAY 29 OCTOBER 6.45pm WOLVERHAMPTON GRAND THEATRE

Signal 107 - 107.7 Wolverhampton ONLY Logo

As part of our week of Halloween fun and frolics join SIGNAL 107.7 Tom Campbell on Tuesday 29th October at 6.45pm as the host of our Rocky Horror Best Dressed Competition!

For all you Rocky fans coming along to the evening performance grab your glitziest feather boa and be ready to join Tom on stage with your best stiletto foot forward  and be judged on your ghoulish garments by your fellow Rocky audience to win a frightfully fantastic Halloween prize!

Have you chosen your Rocky outfit? Are you the creepy character Columbia or maybe you’re more suited to the mad Magenta!? If you’re stuck for dressing up ideas or perhaps this is your first visit to The Rocky Horror Show, why not take some style inspiration from our mood board below:

Now we must dash, we need to find Tom Campbell some garish gold hot-pants!

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Proud pet owners from across the Midlands are being given a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to appear alongside their prize pooch live on stage this November as the stars of a major new international touring opera.

World renowned opera company Ellen Kent are searching for the perfect pooch to play the role of Muzetta’s dog in Puccini’s romantic masterpiece; La Boheme during the show’s scheduled stop at Wolverhampton Grand theatre this Autumn.

The famous opera will play at Wolverhampton’s Grand theatre on Mon 11th November for one night only as part of an internationally acclaimed double-bill also featuring Verdi’s Egyptian epic; Aida on Tues 12 November.

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Award-winning opera director and producer Ellen Kent said; ‘People say never work with children or animals but I love to do both! Many years ago, when we last did La Boheme, we asked local audiences to volunteer their pets – and it was a huge success’

Dogs need to be well-behaved and small in size. Owners must be prepared to accompany their pet on stage in costume and look after him/her backstage during and in advance of the performance.

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Pet owners wishing to apply should send a photograph of their dog to Sadie Williams at sadie@ellenkent.co.uk. Applicants are asked to include their full name and address details as well as details of the breed, height, weight, age and name of their dog to the above email address.

The winning dog will be contacted a week prior to the performance with further details.

Sung in Italian with English surtitles, La Boheme takes its inspiration from Henri Murger’s novel Scenes De La Vie De Boheme and focuses on the passionate love between seamstress Mimi and poet Rodolfo.

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There are distinctly two Craig Revel Horwoods. The public version is probably best known for his acid-tongued dissections of the shortcomings of the celebrity hoofers on Strictly Come Dancing. The private CRH is a dedicated choreographer/director with an increasing presence in the musical theatre industry and whose new production of Fiddler on the Roof is coming to the Grand this Tuesday 15th October!

“I love the story, I also love the music and it has great lyrics – so what more do you want?” enthuses Craig. “And we’ve also pulled off a bit of a coup in signing Paul Michael Glaser to play Tevye. He appeared as Perchik in the film version of Fiddler in 1971. For me, it’s a story about persecution, it’s a story about family values, it’s a story about broken hearts and dreams. It’s really moving and yet it’s extremely funny. And every number in the score is a winner. Sunrise Sunset is a beautiful song and If I Were A Rich Man is about having your hopes and dreams but also about knowing your position, knowing who you are”

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 The practice of casting doubly talented performers who can play instruments as well as act has become increasingly common. Craig explains that it’s an approach that is especially well-suited to Fiddler on the Roof.

“I like doing big shows in a small, intimate way,” he says. “Here you have an on-stage band written into the show and whereas most touring productions of Fiddler would have about seven musicians in the band, here we can have twenty and these twenty players will make it sound magnificent. And for once you can have a real fiddler playing The Fiddler on the Roof rather than an actor miming it.”

Craig argues that the show has an important and a very timely message to communicate.

“Different religions often cause barriers to be built between people but Fiddler gives you an insight into the Jewish religion. It’s about acceptance and understanding of a different culture, a different religion and it teaches people about faith. Fiddler also shows people getting angry and standing up for themselves. When the Russian soldiers appear, it creates an atmosphere of aggression and mistrust and there are still such tensions in the world today. Fiddler on the Roof is a timeless classic which people can relate to now.”

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 Tevye, the dairyman father of five daughters, is the protagonist at the heart of Fiddler on the Roof and although there is an array of vividly-realised supporting characters in the show, Tevye is a monster of a role and has to be given to an actor who can satisfy its demands. Why had Craig turned to Paul Michael Glaser to be his Tevye – apart from the coincidence of his appearing in the screen version of the story?

“We were looking to change the idea of Topol because everybody remembers Topol in the part,” replies Craig. “Paul is the right age, he’s very intellectual in his approach and he uses a little bit of the Method. We’ve talked a lot about the part of Tevye and how Paul should think about it. He asks some very intelligent questions and he’s already done some bits of acting down the phone. Tevye is the one character in the show who breaks through the fourth wall and talks directly to the audience. As people, we say one thing and think another but with Tevye, we get to see what’s really going on in his mind. He reveals his innermost thoughts to us.”

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Working as director/choreographer on Fiddler on the Roof is, Craig says “the complete antithesis” to the world of Strictly Come Dancing which he characterises as “all gloss and spangle” Directing is “completely different. I go into a new show with a wholly blank canvas, it’s a voyage of discovery in which I listen and I learn.”

Do his actor/musicians tremble like the hapless Strictly Come Dancing contestants for fear of the lash of his tongue?”

“I tell them the truth,” he says simply. “You have to be honest with actors if you have to get them to upgrade their performances. But then I’ve chosen to work with them and so I like them, which is a hugely different scenario from Strictly.”

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 Assuming the responsibilities of a director, especially on something as complex as a musical, is not a task to be taken lightly, however. So how did Craig, without any formal training, add directing to his skills as a choreographer and how did he learn the craft?

“There is no school I know of where they’ll teach you to direct,” he points out. “I’d learned a few basic rules such as bringing someone on from Stage Left is more dramatic than from Stage Right and that moving an actor downstage brings more focus than sending him upstage. In a way, I’ve taken bits from everybody I’ve worked with. You could say that I was trained under Declan Donnellan when he was directing Martin Guerre. I loved the way he taught me to feed my mind and to think of using targets as a means of projecting character. Then there was Susan Stroman who taught me to think outside the box and that as a director, you have to see things which nobody else sees.”

Craig particularly enjoys working on new musicals because “you almost have to be a theatre doctor” What sells a show to him is “the music and the story. I think of a musical in terms of the order of the credits – Book, Music and Lyrics.” He points out that the stage directions in a musical will frequently have only the bland instruction ‘They Dance’, “which can often be inspiring because it’s hard to do.”

What does Craig hope that audiences will take away from the experience of seeing this production of Fiddler on the Roof?

“I’d like them to engage emotionally with the story and in that way learn something about themselves through understanding how other people live and think. When you watch a play, sitting with the rest of the audience in a darkened room, you become involved in someone else’s life and that can leave something in your heart. I hope that happens with Fiddler on the Roof.”

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If you have been having a gander over our social media the last few days you will not have missed an array of pink and black as we officially launched Dirty Dancing at Coppice Performing Arts School! A full day of watermelons, cha cha cha’s and interviews with the fabulous cast!

Click here to watch Dirty Dancing producer Karl Sydow treating us to a glimpse of what we can expect from Dirty Dancing 2014 coming to Wolverhampton!

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