A musical start to spring

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THE spring season at Milton Keynes Theatre will burst into life with dance, music, drama and comedy from next month.

Following the end of this year’s panto Dick Whittington on January 16, the new season will get underway with three sparkling musicals.

West End stars directed by Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig Revel Horwood can be seen in the musical Chess from January 25 to 29. The story of political intrigue and romance is set to a score by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA fame.

Audiences can kick off their Sunday shoes for Footloose, on from February 7 to February 12. Telling the story of a city boy bringing dance back to the small town of Bomont, the stage show is based on the popular ‘80s movie.

The last of the musical trio sees the characters of Avenue Q visit Milton Keynes Theatre as part of their first UK tour. After nearly five years of political incorrectness, the London show will bring laughs to the rest of the country.

Two of Shakespeare’s greatest works are also part of the new season. Direct from The National Theatre, and directed by Nicholas Hytner, is a production of Hamlet (March 1 to 5) starring the Olivier Award winner Rory Kinnear.

Derek Jacobi can also be seen as King Lear (March 15 to 19) in a new venture with director Michael Grandage.

Comedy can be found in a star-studded production of Noel Coward’s Blithe Sprit (February 14 to 19) with Alison Steadman, Robert Bathurst, Ruthie Henshall and Hermione Norris.

Robert Powell plays the title role in Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell (April 25 to 30), winner of the Evening Standard’s Best Comedy Award 1990. Calendar Girls will return (March 28 to April 9) with the story of a group of ordinary women who persuade one another to pose for a charity calendar with a difference.

Top-flight dance can be seen with the Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (March 22 and 23), Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella (February 22 to 26), and Swan Lake on Ice (March 8 to 12).

Families can enjoy Moscow State Circus’ spectacular new show Legenda from February 2 to 6, and children can join Thomas and Friends when A Circus Comes To Town on March 26 and 27, with audience sing-a-longs, dancing and fun. Contact Milton Keynes Theatre on 08448 717652 or visit www.ambassadortickets.com/miltonkeynes for bookings.