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Churchill Theatre Bromley Autumn Season Launch

Cilla The MusicalIt must be really difficult if you run a provincial theatre and have to put bums on seats seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year in order to remain profitable. And it must be even more difficult if you’re a 785-seater theatre like the Churchill in Bromley and you’re only a twenty-minute train ride from London and everything that’s on offer in the West End. So, putting on a season at a theatre like the Churchill must mean being all things to all men (and women and children of course) and that’s certainly the case for the forthcoming Autumn season which was launched last night to the media and the Friends of the theatre.

In a well-organised evening, after a welcoming drink in the theatre’s lounge, we got to talk to various producers and directors of the forthcoming shows each of whom had a stall with props, leaflets etc. giving us a chance to ask questions about forthcoming productions.

We then had various presentations starting with a short magic show from the excellent Jamie Raven of “Britain’s Got Talent” fame who’s at the Churchill in October. Then followed a presentation from one of the country’s leading contemporary dance choreographers, Richard Alston whose company appears there also in October to celebrate 50 years of his work. Then Head of Marketing Chris Evans from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra told us about “Colourful Classics” that the orchestra will perform in September. He was followed by a short Q&A with Kirk Jameson who’s directing “Madagascar – The Musical” which is touring the country and arrives in September for a week-long run. Then producer Mathew Gale told us about the world premiere of “Dracula”, a “live multi-sensory trip of terror” which is also on for a week in October. Then producer John Stalker told us all about a brand-new production of Leslie Bricusse’s 1998 musical “Doctor Dolittle” starring Mark Williams with animal puppetry from the “War Horse” team.

The interesting thing about this production is that all the rehearsals are taking place in and around the theatre (including the library next door) and it will be launched there in November before touring the country as well as Canada and Australia – and hopefully into the West End. The presentations ended with a live performance of two songs from “Rock of Ages” which starts its ten-month UK tour in Bromley in September. We were then taken into the auditorium to watch part of the dress rehearsal of “Flashdance” which is on this week.

And apart from the shows already mentioned, there is also “Blood Brothers”, “Cilla – The Musical”, “The Full Monty” and a number of one-off shows too.

So well done the management of the Churchill. This autumn they have a really strong line-up that I’m sure will put those bums on seats. There’s something for everyone from 8 to 80 which might stop some of those train journeys to London’s West End.

Churchill Theatre, High Street, Bromley, BR1 1HA


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