Entertainment

MARK Styler, a writer of glossy true crime paperbacks, has no idea what he’s walking into when he tries to get an interview with Easterman, a notorious serial killer.

Mindgame

This is the basis of Anthony Horowitz’s psychological thriller Mindgame, which comes to the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, from Thursday 30 May to Saturday 1 June.

First he has to get past Dr. Farquhar, the quixotic head of Fairfields – the asylum where Easterman is kept. But soon he discovers that nothing is what it seems. Who is the mysterious Borson? Where did he get the meat in the fridge? And why isn’t the skeleton in the closet?

Mindgame author Horowitz also created Foyle’s War, New Blood, Alex Rider, the Sherlock Holmes novels House of Silk and Moriarty and the James Bond novels Forever and a Dayand Trigger Mortis.

Grease is the word…and you can join in when Sing-a-long-a Grease comes to the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, on Tuesday (28 May).

Basically a screening of the classic film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John, the show aims to get the audience up and singing along to all the hits that made it one of the most successful movie musicals of all time.

The evening will begin with the host leading a vocal warm-up before the movie – and fancy dress is very much encouraged…

RUSSELL Kane has added an extra run of dates to his new tour The Fast and the Curious, which is good news for comedy fans in Woking as he’s now heading to the New Victoria Theatre on Thursday 30 May.

The award-winning comic, presenter, actor, social media star, author and scriptwriter’s most recent appearances include his hit TV show BBC Three’s Stupid Man, Smart Phone, BBC podcast Evil Genius, JOE podcast Boys Don’t Cry (which returned for a second series in February), BBC Two’s Live At The Apollo and BBC One’s Michael McIntyre’s Big Show.

ACTION MAN – Russell Kane will be in Woking for an evening of high-energy comedy

Russell also recently took part in the return of Celebrity Apprentice for Comic Relief, which was broadcast on BBC One in March in the run up to Red Nose Day.

He is also well known for his viral Facebook Kaneing videos, which have garnered hundreds of thousands of views.

THREE sisters arrive at their remote childhood home on the eve of their mother’s funeral.This is the setting for Shelagh Stephenson’s The Memory of Water, which comes to the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, from Tuesday 21 May to Saturday 25 May.

Having grown apart, the siblings argue and joke as they sort through their mother’s belongings and gradually confide about the realities of their own adult lives. But it’s when they move on to childhood recollections that they discover they remember things differently, leading to a series of dramatic and devastating revelations.

Theatregoers should expect tears and laughter from a cast which includes Juliet Cowan (Cuckoo, EastEnders, Shameless), Nicholas Bailey (EastEnders) and Stewart Wright(People Like Us, Love and Marriage).

STRICTLY Come Dancing favourite Kevin Clifton has teamed up with Italian heartthrob Graziano Di Prima for his latest show, Burn The Floor, which comes to G Live, Guildford, on Thursday 23 May.

From the waltz and foxtrot to the tango and paso doble, the 36-year-old dance star says he’s aiming for a “feel-fantastic show”, rather than a mere feelgood one. Oh, and don’t forget the cha cha, the samba and jive, as they’ll feature too.

Kevin said: “Burn The Floor is the show that ignited a spark in me and changed me forever as a performer. Through Broadway, West End and touring all over the world, this show has ripped apart the rule book, revolutionised our genre and inspired and shaped me as the dancer I am today.”

A POP star and a soap star will join forces for Rock of Ages, which visits the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, from Tuesday 21 May until Saturday 25 May.

Antony Costa, who rose to fame in the noughties as a member of the boyband Blue, will play Stacee Jaxx, while Kevin Kennedy, best known for his portrayal of Curly Watts in Coronation Street, will play Dennis.



LETTING RIP – Rock of Ages brings a lively slice of LA life to the New Victoria Theatre

Rock of Ages, which has also been made into a Hollywood movie, is a hilarious LA love story featuring rock ‘n’ roll debauchery – as well as 25 classic rock anthems including We Built This City, The Final Countdown and I Want To Know What Love Is.

The show will also feature Zoe Birkett, the highest-placed female contestant in ITV’s Pop Idol in 2002.

GARY Crowley has spent the past 40 years interviewing music legends such as David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Keith Richard and Oasis – and the TV presenter and DJ’s star-studded career all started with a phone call to Woking.

As a London schoolboy with the idea of starting a fanzine, he called Paul Weller’s house and asked to speak to the then frontman of The Jam.

“I got the number from an ad in the back of Melody Maker and I just went to this phone box and rang it,” he recalled. “Paul’s mum answered and I started gabbling 20 to the dozen about how I’d started a fanzine (The Modern World) and named it after a Jam song and could I speak to Paul. I was so nervous.

“She was saying ‘Calm down, calm down’. Eventually I made her understand what I wanted and she just called Paul from the other room.

“He came on the phone and I got excited again and he had to calm me down too. Then he just said ‘What are you doing tomorrow? Do you want to come down to the record company offices?’ It went from there. 

“I still remember the phone number – Maybury 64717 – as I reminded Paul when I bumped into him the other day.”

Gary went on to write for the NME before getting his big break as a DJ on Capital Radio, then moving to TV to present Poparound, Fun Factory and The Beat. He later compered the first national tour by Wham!, became a DJ for XFM and introduced Oasis at their legendary Knebworth gig, eventually ending up in his current Saturday slot at BBC Radio London.

The 57-year-old is now heading out around the country to appear at Q&A sessions to talk about his career, the stars he’s met and his latest compilation album, Gary Crowley’s Lost 80s, a collection that includes the likes of Grandmaster Flash, Wham!, Depeche Mode, The Redskins and Bow Wow Wow.

“The overriding factor is that I’ve been on the radio since 1982,” he explained. “All these 80s nostalgia albums have the same tracks and same bands. Much as I like The Human League singing Don’t You Want Me, or Soft Cell’s Tainted Love, there’s a whole raft of other stuff that I love.

“I have an affection for the first half of the 1980s. It was an exciting time, we’d had punk and we’d had new wave and we’d had post-punk . Then the emphasis was beginning to be on the dancefloor as well, so you had a lot of these bands like Haircut 100 or Blue Rondo a la Turk making records you could dance to, as well as the guitar pop bands of the time, like Aztec Camera or Prefab Sprout.”

All of these acts are included on Gary Crowley’s Lost 80s, but there were one or two who got away.

“Yeah, there were a few I couldn’t get,” Gary said. “Like Orange Juice – apparently Edwyn Collins just won’t do it. But, overall, we’re really happy, the reaction has been great.”

Lost 80s follows a previous mammoth collection he put together of punk and new wave acts such as  Alternative TV, The Nips, Eater and Girls at Our Best! – again concentrating on great songs usually overlooked by mainstream compilations.

“It’s been relatively easy,” he said. “All I had to do was think about the stuff I was playing on my radio shows at the time.”

It’s been a long time since that phone call to the Weller household in Woking and he’s come a long way since, but he still remembers it with affection.

“Me and my friends had a lot of youthful exuberance at the time,” he laughed.

And the fanzine interviews continued to come easily.

“One day I came out of school [Rutherford School, Marylebone] and Joe Strummer of The Clash was walking in the other direction,” Gary recalled. “I didn’t need any encouragement to go up and say ‘Can I interview you?’ I was 15 and in my school uniform but we had a lot to chat about.” Gary Crowley will also have plenty to chat about when he comes to the Fiery Bird, Woking, on Thursday 30 May for a Q&A and album signing session. Full details on the Fiery Bird website

TOM Lucy is one of the youngest professional comedians on the circuit. He is also, apparently, a millennial. This is not something he is happy about – and he’s going to explain why in his latest show, Reluctant Millennial, at Guildford’s G Live on Friday 17 May.

Comedian Tom Lucy

Expect an hour of new material from the snowflake of his generation, who is also the star of Stand Up Central, Roast Battle and Live at the Comedy Store. He was also voted The Sun’s Best New Comedian 2017 and has supported Jack Whitehall on tour.

CORONATION Street star Georgia May Foote is heading to Surrey direct from Broadway, and prior to a London run, to star in the coming-of-age drama Napoli, Brooklyn.

Set in 1960 Brooklyn, New York, it tells the story of Nic and Luda Muscolino, who have raised three proud and passionate daughters, each of them bonded by a fierce love for one another and harbouring a secret longing that could tear the family apart.


SISTER ACT – The Muscolino girls are tested by a New York tragedy in Napoli, Brooklyn

When an earth-shattering event rocks their neighbourhood, life comes to a screeching halt and the Muscolino sisters are forced to confront their conflicting visions for the future.

Foote is best known for playing Katy Armstrong in Corrie, but fans will also remember her as Alison Simmons in Grange Hill and later as runner-up in Strictly Come Dancing.

Napoli, Brooklyn, comes to the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, from Monday 13 May until Saturday 18 May.

Playwright Meghan Kennedy said: Napoli, Brooklyn is loosely based on my mother’s adolescence. She grew up in a big, Italian Catholic immigrant family. It’s a story of immigrants finding their identities and coming to a new understanding of what home truly means.

“It’s women taking risks that will come to define a generation. But the issues each member of that family faced still exist now.”

IT WON’T come as any surprise to fans of Julian Clary that he still likes to cause a bit of outrage – more than 30 years after he first started baiting audiences in the 1980s. But he says he’s a bit more choosy about his targets nowadays.

“It’s one of life’s pleasures, in my opinion,” he laughed. “It’s one of the reasons people come to see me – they want to see if I’ll go too far. It livens up their otherwise dreary lives I expect. It gets the heart rate going, much like fairground rides or watching a horror movie.”

However, Julian, who turns 60 this month, recalls that this was even more true when he started out in comedy as The Joan Collins Fan Club.

“Yes, because prejudice, ignorance and fear were rife back then,” he explained. “I felt if you talked about the mechanics of gay sex, for example, it would be shocking to them but it would demystify it. They would leave better people than when they arrived.


PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES – Julian Clary is always ready to shock his audience

“That’s changed now. Well, it’s not just me, it’s just, you know, we’ve all grown up. The world’s a better place these days.”

Instead, the Surrey-born comic says that while people may be less easily shocked in 2019, they seem to be far more easily offended.

“It’s funny… the other night I wanted to put something on Twitter. It was about the Duchess of wherever she is, the Duchess of Sussex, being pregnant. My husband said, ‘Yes, but who is the father?’ and I thought, probably years ago I could’ve put that on Twitter and we’d have all chortled. Now, I thought, ‘Well, I just can’t because it’s going to cause outrage.’

“There’s this new word ‘snowflake’, isn’t there? I would blame social media I think, where there’s people who spend all day arguing. Be very careful what you say.

“It’s different, a different sort of controversy. If it was really controversial that I was an ‘out’ gay man on television, then that’s something that I would feel more self-righteous about. Implying that the Duchess of Sussex is putting it about is probably not true at this stage of their marriage! So I can’t really feel self-righteous about that.”

Julian says there’s precious little chance of people actually being offended at his shows. He explained: “I’ve been around the block a few times and if people buy a ticket to see me, chances are they quite like me or they’ve been before. So there is a warmth and affection, but there is a sort of expectation of the boundaries being pushed a bit. So I’m happy to oblige!”

However, no one will necessarily be able to avoid his roving eye and sardonic wit.

“I wander around now, so you’re not safe anywhere,” he said. “I’ve always found people’s lives are more interesting than mine, and so I’m interested in talking to people and improvising, really.

“I did a straight play quite recently, Le Grand Mort, and it was really enjoyable, but I really had to stop myself from talking to the audience. It was in a very small theatre at Trafalgar Studios.

“I wanted to talk about someone’s hair and their handbag and the shoes they were wearing, and you just can’t apparently. I’m told that, when acting in a play, you are expected to say the same words in the same order every night. Who knew?”

So what kind of audience participation can be expected in his latest show, Born To Mince?

“Well, I’ve been reading a lot about gay aversion therapy recently, so I had this idea that we could try heterosexual aversion therapy and get some men out in the audience, wire up their genitals, and show them pictures of Coleen Nolan.

“If there’s any twinge of arousal they’ll get 40 volts through the testicles…it’s what passes for entertainment these days.”

You have been warned.

JULIAN Clary’s Born To Mince tour reaches G Live, Guildford, on Tuesday 28 May.