Dancing Ledge

When the going gets tough the tough start blogging

Monthly Archives: October 2012

One Direction, Rod, Kylie and Robbie among acts at this year’s Royal Variety

It’s been quite a year for the Queen. She’s celebrated 60 years on the throne, had her very own pageant on the Thames, thrown a Diamond Jubilee party outside the Palace and jumped out of a helicopter with James Bond to open the Olympic Games.

Photograph: John Swannell Royal Household Camera Press

Now she’s going to have to listen to boy band One Direction at  the 2012 Royal Variety Performance.

The band – Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne  – will be one of the main attractions at this year’s  show which is marking its 100th anniversary.

Also on the bill will be veteran favourites Rod Stewart and Neil Diamond plus Alicia Keys, Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue and Girls Aloud.

The show , which raises money for the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund, will be hosted this year by David Walliams who, like the Queen, has spent some considerable time recently navigating the River Thames. only in Walliams case it was under his own steam.


Will Self, Richard E. Grant and others read the great Roald Dahl

Will Self

Listen to a sample of Will Self reading the Roald Dahl short story “The Great Automatic Grammatizator” here, from a new audio collection of Dahl’s stories, Someone Like You, published by Penguin, which also includes readings by Stephen Mangan, Richard … Continue reading →

Source: Will Self

Widdy and Anton back on dancefloor for Children in Need special

Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the dance floor we get news that Ann Widdecombe is set to make a one-off return to Strictly Come Dancing. The tough-talking politician, possibly the only former Shadow Home Secretary to reinvent themselves as a laugh-a-minute light entertainer, will be back in action as part of the BBC’s Children in Need telethon coverage

Ann Widdecombe: back to the dance floor

The footage which will be shot this weekend will be screened on November 16. Widdy – who only last night appeared for Clive Conway Productions in an Audience With Ann Widdecombe – is doubtless practising her latest routine even as I pen this blog. Whether it will do much good is debatable.

As a politician she may have veered to the right but when it comes to dancing she definitely possesses two left feet. She even described herself as a “dancing elephant.” There’s a fair chance that they’ll be checking the Richter scale when she takes to the floor with he old Strictly dance partner Anton Du Beke.

A poignant duet for one

Went to see Calibre Productions excellent stage revival of Duet for One last night. More than 30 years after it first made waves on the London stage this powerful two hander still packs a dramatic punch.

Haydn Gwynne and William Gaunt in Duet for One

The play explores the relationship between a leading psychotherapist and his patient, a once brilliant concert violinist coming to terms with the ravages of multiple sclerosis.

Haydn Gwynne is the wheelchair-bound Stephanie Abrahams battling with the knowledge that not only is her musical career over but that her body is in the grip of degenerative disease that will all too soon destroy her.

William Gaunt is Dr Alfred Feldman  – quiet, diffident, but deeply caring – who must try to demonstrate that there is still purpose to her life. Both are magnificent. The drama directed by Robin Herford and designed by Michael Holt plays Poole this week and will tour to Guildford, Scarborough, Watford and Eastbourne.between now and December. Try and catch it.


It’s Halloween and stage shows explore our darkest fears

As Halloween brings its annual offering of theatrical shows that promise to chill the blood,§ writers and performers explain the art of stage horror.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/entertainment-arts-20095581 >

Wild man of rock Ronnie has sights on classy theatrical wife. Son says he can’t keep up with the bimbos anymore

All the world’s a stage and the announcement that Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood is set to marry theatre producer Sally Humphreys was achieved with a notable theatrical flourish. The media wanted to know about their 31-year age difference – he’s 65, she’s 34.They wanted to present the image of a devoted couple and a once wild old rocker ready to settle down.

Ronnie Wood has just announced marriage number three

Ronnie has been married twice before, has had high-profile battles with drink and drugs and made a public fool of himself flirting disastrously with a 21-year-old cocktail waitress. That fling left his second marriage in tatters and last month he clashed again with his ex wife Jo when she auctioned off an estimated $400,000 worth of items left over from their relationship.

But he’s been going out with Sally for six months now and friends and family reckon she’s the perfect steadying influence. The Sun newspaper quoted Ronnie’s stepson,Jamie, as saying: “Sally’s not one of the bimbos he usually goes for. She’s exactly what he needs. I don’t think he can keep up with bimbos any more.”

Keith Richards meanwhile was said to have moaned that he was fed up with forever having to buy wedding presents for his fellow Stones’ guitarist.

A cynic might say that with a landmark Rolling Stones 50th anniversary gig at London’s O2 Arena in just a few weeks time, Ronnie and Sally’s announcement looks stage managed to optimize the Stones brand.

Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know. But if it is, a showbusiness insider like Sally Humphreys will at least understand what the deal is.

Politics or panto Widdy won’t dance around the subject

There’s a rare chance to catch An Audience With Ann Widdecombe at The Brindley Centre in Runcorn, Cheshire tonight (Tuesday 30th Oct). Loved and loathed in equal measure, Ann Widdecombe is that most unusual of characters – a hardline right-wing politician turned telly-tastic bundle of light entertainment fun. You’re not wrong, there aren’t too many of those around. This is hardly surprising as the journey from tough-talking former Shadow Home Secretary – the woman they dubbed Doris Karloff – to self-deprecating panto star and celebrity dancer with two left feet is not an obvious one. Basically Widdy  created the niche.

So whether it’s politics, pantomime or Strictly Come Dancing that floats your boat this Clive Conway production should be a must. Find out what it’s like to be a high level British politician with a reputation for being relentlessly outspoken. Discover what Craig Revel Horwood is really like and find out whether she would ever consider setting foot on a dance floor again. The pair will of course be starring in panto again this year in Snow White in High Wycombe.

An Audience With Ann Widdecombe is at The Brindley Centre, High Street, Runcorn, Chesire, United Kingdom, WA7 1BG  tonight  (Tuesday October 29).


The lights go out on Broadway as Hurricane Sandy heads for New York

As hurricane Sandy approaches Manhattan the lights have gone out on Broadway as the city that never sleeps prepares for what looks like the worst storm in its history. 

 Evita, The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Phantom of the Opera, Chicago and Spider-Man are among  big shows that have closed as New Yorker’s batten down the hatches and prepare to ride out  the hurricane.

The city’s subway, buses and trains have already been closed and all Broadway performances have been suspended. It is not known how long the storm will last.

A statement on the website of The Broadway League’s said shows were cancelled, “as a result of the suspension of public transportation by government authorities in preparation for the incoming storm…the safety and security of theatregoers and employees is everyone’s primary concern.”


How do you decide what to see at the theatre? Word of mouth or review?

How do you decide what to see at the theatre? Word of mouth vs traditional reviews, which is most effective? –http://ow.ly/eOuc5
Lyn Gardner: A day spent at West Yorkshire Playhouse suggests the traditional review is not dead yet, but that word of mouth is crucial too. What do you think?

The Skyfall spy who is secretly Hamlet!

Rory Kinnear’s roles have ranged from Denis Thatcher on TV to the gloomy Dane on stage. Now he talks to The Guardian about playing M’s desk-bound sidekick in the new James Bond film Skyfall.
Read the full Guardian story here:  http://gu.com/p/3bcdd/em
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