Win a Gift Voucher to see a West End Musical

Prepare to be entertained this summer, because we’ve joined forces with the mobile casino bgo.com to give one lucky winner the chance to see a critically-acclaimed theatre show! You could select tickets to Wicked, Aladdin, Chicago or even the sensational West End hit that is The Lion King!

Disney’s longest-running theatre production to date, The Lion King has been captivating the imaginations of audiences at London’s Lyceum Theatre since it was first adapted for stage in 1999. Full-body puppets, kites, shadows and stunning costumes are used to capture all the magic of the original animated film live on stage. And as well as iconic songs like ‘Hakuna Matata’ and ‘The Circle of Life’, you’ll also recognise all your favourite characters from the big screen. Laugh along with Timon and Pumba, be chilled by Scar or feel inspired by Simba and his incredible journey to become King of the Pride Lands.

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Advent Competition: win three month’s subscription to Digital Theatre


As it is Christmas, the generous folks over at Digital Theatre have offered up a great prize of three months subscription for full access to all of Digital Theatre’s shows for one lucky reader.

You will have access to over 65 productions, the majority of which are exclusive to DT, including: Simon Russell Beale in The Tempest, Paapa Essiedu in Hamlet and Antony Sher in King Lear, all from the Royal Shakespeare Company; Zoë Wanamaker and David Suchet in All My Sons; Richard Armitage in The Crucible; David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing; operas and ballets from the Royal Opera House and the English National Ballet; and concerts conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and starring the London Symphony Orchestra.
All you have to do to enter is finish this phrase in the best way you know how – “all I want for Christmas is…” Email your entry to ianfoster32@gmail.com, and if you like my Facebook page and/or follow me on Twitter, you will get an extra entry into the competition for each. 
The competition closes at midday on 24th December and the winner will be notified by email. 

Competition – Win a pair of tickets to EUGENIUS! starring Warwick Davies

The wait is over…Eugenius, the eunique new musical is here! Playing for one night only at the London Palladium featuring an all-star cast led by Warwick Davis.
 
Come and be part of the world premiere concert performance at the London Palladium on 29th June 2016. With an incredible cast, led by Warwick Davis (Star Wars, Harry Potter) and a host of award-winning musical theatre names including the Olivier award winning David Bedella (In The Heights, Jerry Springer The Opera), Amy Lennox (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde), Samuel Holmes (Mrs Henderson Presents, Spamalot), Summer Strallen (Top Hat, The Sound of Music) and narrated by comedian Marcus Brigstocke.
 
Eugenius is a classic love story between two kids – Eugene and Janey. She is mad on him, but he always has his head inside a comic book – so much so that he actually writes his own comic about a superhero. Against the odds, Eugene’s creations take him to Hollywood and he becomes the unlikely hero of his own intergalactic battle! With hit song after hit song and a brilliantly funny script, “Eugenius!” is the musical you’ve been waiting for, even if you don’t like traditional musicals!
 

To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to Eugenius!, answer the following question correctly:

 
Eugenius! will be performed for the first time on the 29th June 2016 at which iconic London venue?
 
A) London Palladium
B) Royal Festival Hall
C) London Coliseum
 
Email with your answer, full name, email address, contact number to ianfoster32@gmail.com
 
To find out more about the show, visit www.EugeniusTheMusical.com 
 
Terms and Conditions
Winners will be selected at random from all correct entries. Competition closes Friday 24th June 17.00. Winner receives a pair of tickets to see Eugenius at the London Palladium on 29th June 2016 at 19:30. For more information please visit www.EugeniusTheMusical.com. Tickets to be collected at the box office with no cash alternative. Tickets are subject to availability and are non-transferrable and exchangeable. Competition is run by boom ents.

CD Review and Competition: Beautiful – The Carole King Musical soundtrack

“I know I can’t express

This feeling of tenderness”

 

With beautifully fortuitous timing, the soundtrack to Beautiful: The Carole King Musical won the Grammy for Best Musical Theatre on Sunday night, just as the West End production of this Broadway hit opens for previews at the Aldwych Theatre. And it just so happens that I have a copy of said soundtrack on CD to give away as a competition prize to a lucky winner.

I’ve already written a little about my love for Carole King’s music in this preview piece and I promised to review this soundtrack soon after – it’s only taken me three months to get around to it. It is a slightly odd musical theatre record to listen to in that coming from a biopic, it plays like a cross between a Carole King Greatest Hits and a compilation of hits from the 60s. There’s no sense of narrative propelling the score and the tracklisting isn’t strictly chronological either – in some ways, it’s just a bunch of songs stuck together on one album.

But what songs! From girl-group classics co-written with then-husband Gerry Goffin like ‘One Fine Day’ and ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow?’, to hits from her friends and contemporaries Cynthia Weill and Barry Mann like ‘He’s Sure The Boy I Love’, ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling’ and ‘We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’ and the extraordinarily successful and mainly solo-written album Tapestry which casually features such classics as ‘You’ve Got A Friend’, ‘It’s Too Late’, ‘So Far Away’ and ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ – it’s an undeniably stellar collection.

And in Steve Sidwell’s often gorgeously brass-heavy orchestrations, with additional arrangements from Jason Howland (also the MD), the music soars beautifully both in a manner you’ll recognise and also in unexpected ways, the earthiness of the demo-style tracks are particularly strong, revealing the musical integrity that is sometimes hidden beneath the sheen of the production of the time. Jessie Mueller’s vocal as Carole King is a thing of characterful beauty and supported by Jake Epstein, Anika Larsen and Jarrod Spector along with the rest of the company, there’s a lovely sense of understatement about the whole affair – no big Broadway belting but rather a real appreciation for the quality of the music.

So the UK production has a job to live up to but I have every faith in director Marc Bruni and his decision to employ an all-British cast led by the some kind of wonderful Katie Brayben. Previews start from 10th February, opening night is 25th February, tickets can be gotten hereand more show information can be found here. And if you want to win the soundtrack on CD, please answer the below question by 9pm on Sunday 15th February.

What is Carole King’s most famous album called?
A) Carpet
B) Wall hanging
C) Tapestry
Send your answer to ianfoster32@gmail.com (UK entries only please) and the winner will be notified on Monday 16th February. Terms and conditions are for losers, just be cool.

Competition: win Billy Elliot The Musical Live on DVD

Recorded a couple of months ago, Billy Elliot The Musical Live has now been released on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download and I have 3 copies of the DVDto give away to you lucky readers. You can read my review of it here and find out more about it here but in order to win, you just need to answer this simple question.

Which former Prime Minister has a song about them in Billy Elliot which begins ‘Merry Christmas…’

a) Tony Blair
b) Margaret Thatcher
c) Clement Attlee

To enter, send your answer by email to ianfoster32 at gmail.com, including your name and postal address by 3rd December. Successful entries will be notified by email by 5th December.

Terms and conditions 
I ain’t grand enough to have terms and conditions – just do as the good lady RuPaul says and don’t f*ck it up.

Competition: win Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance – Dangerous Games on DVD

Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance – Dangerous Games took the London Palladium by storm earlier this year and will be returning to the West End in March next year at the Dominion Theatre as part of its world tour. If you’re a fan of the fleet-footed Flatley then this new staging of the show will be right up your alley and is available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download. I do however have 3 copies on DVD to give away to you if you can answer the following question correctly.

Which former Girls Aloud singer is a part of Dangerous Games
a) Nadine Coyle
b) Cheryl Tweedy-Cole-Fernandez-Versini
c) Sarah Harding

To enter, send your answer by email to ianfoster32 at gmail.com, including your name and postal address by 3rd December. Successful entries will be notified by email by 5th December.

Terms and conditions 
I ain’t grand enough to have terms and conditions – just do as the good lady RuPaul says and don’t f*ck it up.

Competition: win 2 tickets to The Events

Because I am just that kind of guy, I have 2 tickets to give away for The Events on Saturday 5th April at Queen Elizabeth Hall in the Southbank Centre. The official blurb is as follows: 
“Awarded five stars from The Daily Telegraph, The Events tells a story of tragedy, community, reconciliation and our destructive desire to fathom the unfathomable. Originally developed by Actors Touring Company with Southbank Centre’s Voicelab, The Events has moved audiences and featured local choirs throughout the UK since its premiere in August 2013. As part of our Chorus Festival, we’re bringing together 250 singers from all over the country to form an epic choir in a unique one-off performance.”
The Clowns take on it can be read here – I saw the new production last week in North London and I have to say I thought it was even better second time round. And with the additional choral possibilities of a 250-strong choir here, this particular performance is bound to be something special.

To be in with a chance of getting these tickets, just tell me the name of your favourite Norwegian pop song. And the one I like the most will win. Send your choices to ianfoster32[at]gmail[dot]com by midnight on Wednesday 2nd April, the winner will be notified by email soon after.

Competition – win tickets to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

As a big thank you to their customers, Irish chocolatiers Lily O’Brien’s are giving away the chance to win a fantastic trip to London to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. 

All you need to do to enter is shop online  at Lily O’Brien’s (www.lilyobriens.ie) before 31st December 2013. The winner will be informed by 31st January 2014.

We look forward to receiving your entries!