SOME of the region’s biggest names and up-and-coming performers will be taking  part in a talent show with a difference in Chorley on December 21.

Chorley Little Theatre will be hosting the show, which is part of the Guardian’s 140th birthday celebrations.

Liberty X singer Kevin Simm and Chorley’s singing soldier Jonjo Kerr, who found fame on X Factor, have both confirmed they’ll be taking part.

Other acts  due tp take part include Francesca Leigh, who also appeared on this year’s X Factor with her group The Lovettes; singer Kingsley Judd; and former Chorley and Leyland Guardian Fame Factor winner Amy Sumner.

There is a serious purpose behind the show as the proceeds will go to the Twincess Campaign, which was set up after Chorley twin girls Abigail and Isobel Parry were born with Down’s Syndrome. The money from the Twincess Campaign will be spilt  between paying for the ongoing development needs of the youngsters and the Down’s Syndrome Association.

Tickets cost £5 each although a family ticket for two adults and two children is a bargain £15.

Like all the acts, Jonjo is giving his time for free and he said it was his way of thanking the people of Chorley for backing him on X Factor. “I’ve never sung at Chorley Little Theatre before so I’m really forward to it,” said the father-of-two. “It’s all for a really good cause so I’m delighted to be part of it.”

Ian Robinson, chairman of CADOS, predicted the show would be a sellout and urged people to book their tickets now to avoid disappointment. “It’s a good line-up so I’m expecting there will be a lot of interest,” he said. “It will be staged straight after the Christmas panto so all the decorations will be up and there should be a real feelgood factor in the town.” Chorley Little Theatre has a capacity of 236 and tickets can be bought from Malcolm’s Musicland, in Chapel Street.

Owner Malcolm Allen said: “People can pop into the shop or phone me on 01257 264362 to get their ticket. Alternatively they can look at the Chorley Little Theatre website. “I think £15 for a family of four is fantastic value and I’d be amazed if it’s not a sellout.”

Guardian editor Chris Maguire said: “It’s going to be an amazing night and for a great cause. “We’re just finalising our programme but most of the high schools in Chorley will also be involved.”

Tickets for the fabulous CADOS Pantomime are now on sale via Malcolm's Musicland and limited availability online.

In the great tradition of CADOS Panto's, "Robin Hood" is fun for all the family - featuring plenty of hilarity, favourite songs, audience interaction, and brilliant dances. Fast-paced and funny, it's a treat for all ages.

Based on the English legend, the show sees noble Robin battling the evil Sheriff of Nottingham and his bungling henchmen Floggem & Whippem. With the fate of the Sheriff's Irish nephews Jedward at stake, and the beautiful Maid Marion's affections to be won, Robin must use all his wits to win the day!

Rachel Brennan starred in Jack & The Beanstalk and Aladdin for CADOS in 2004 and 2006 and returns as heroic Robin Hood for this production. CADOS newcomers Natalie Howarth and Charlotte Hilton play the guards, while Alan Levesley (seen in last year's Pantomime, Sleeping Beauty, as Muddles) will have kids hissing and booing as the Sheriff.

The Dame is played by Andy Burke, making a return to the part after several years and attacking it with gusto. Hannah Wallis is Maid Marion, while Jedward are played by Jacob McAllister and Robert Jones. Robert was last seen as Oliver Twist in our June production. The Merry Men are played by members of Chorley Youth Theatre along with David Hartley, a Panto regular last seen as the exasperated taxi driver in Funny Money.

The cast is rounded out with John Holland in his final CADOS show, and Carla Martland as Greenwillow, the Spirit of the Forest. There are also sixteen fabulous dancers.

Tickets are selling fast, but there is still plenty of room left for group and family bookings. Tickets are £10, Groups £9, and Families (4 people, minimum 2 children) £35.

See the Event page for full details and direct links to online booking - or call Malcolm's Musicland 01257 264362 to book now.

Keep up with rehearsals by seeing our Flickr page here.


 

Want to advertise in our Programme? Can you supply us with a Christmas Tree for the foyer? Get in touch! (e-mail info AT chorleylittletheatre.com)

A quick interview with Paul Zerdin, who's here on Wednesday 5th October.

 

How are you feeling about doing your first visit to Chorley Little Theatre?

I’m very much looking forward to it. It’s my first time and I want it to be brilliant. So I really hope the audience make an effort!

Why “Spongefest”?

It’s the show I took to the Edinburgh Festival and my puppet characters are made of sponge so - Sponge Fest.

Who makes you laugh or entertains you at the moment?

Big fan of Canadian comic Stewart Francis. Jonathan Ross has still got it and it’s great to see him back on TV doing what he does best.

As you once won a talent show what do you think of current shows such as Britain’s got Talent and the X Factor?

The Big Big Talent Show, the show I won, was originally meant to be a talent showcase featuring up and coming professional acts. The brief changed as it went on air and ITV made it more competitive and in the end it became a talent show but featured working pros. Britain’s got Talent is everybody and anybody. I think that’s great and everybody gets a shot at it. It can work against the act if they are a working pro and established in their field and known in the business but not known to the general public, especially if they get a 'NO!'

What was the last show/gig you went to see?

Being on tour leaves little time for anything. The last show I saw was One Man, Two Guvnors at the National Theatre for my birthday in August. It was like watching a modern day pantomime. The audience loved it.

If you were a theatrical character who would you be?

Kermit the Frog

Do you have a burning ambition for the future?

To be on Dancing on Ice. I used to be married to a figure skater and so I think I can still skate a bit.

You're working on a kind of sitcom, how is that going?

It’s in development with an independent production company at the moment and its getting there, I think! It’s the Muppets meets Seinfeld.

Anything else in the near future?

Have a DVD with Universal to be released next year and a brand new tour.

Are you looking forward to your appearance at Chorley Little Theatre?

It’s a very well thought of venue and I hope the audience enjoy my one man muppety stand up sitcom of a show.

 

A rising star of the comedy scene, Joe Wilkinson is known for his offbeat musing and lo-fi delivery. He's recently been seen on Have I Got News For You and 8 Out of 10 Cats, and as one-half of the duo Two Episodes of MASH his new sketch series starts on BBC Radio 2 this Saturday. He's also due to reprise his role as Dan in BBC Three's hit sitcom Him & Her.

He's here on Thursday 10th November and here's a quick interview...

Why did you call you show My Mum’s called Stella and my Dad’s called Brian

Hello. I called the show My Mum’s called Stella and my Dad’s called Brian because the show is sort of inspired by them and that is their names. The show is about the mundane, stupid and hopefully funny things that have happened to me in my life and wonderfully for me my parents have accidentally been very funny. I love them to bits but they can say and do some ridiculous things

Who makes you laugh or entertains you at the moment?

I am lucky enough to have seen some wonderfully funny people perform comedy. David O Doherty is a particular favourite of mine so if you get a chance to see him I suggest you jump at the chance

The sitcom Him and Her, are there any plans to make more episodes?

We have filmed the second series already and it comes out in November I believe. I loved filming the show so I hope you like it

What was the last show/gig you went to see?

I went to see Neil Hamburger last week and he is hilarious. It’s sort of anti comedy. It’s very hard to explain but at a push I would describe it as unusually brilliant            

If you were a theatrical character who would you like to be?

Romeo because he was a handsome bugger and I’m no looker myself

Do you have a burning ambition for the future?

I’d love to buy a soda stream but my girlfriend won’t let me have one.

Any future plans already in progress besides the current tour?

I am working on a few things one of which is a new show so hopefully you will allow me back to perform it next year. (i hope that doesn’t make me sound too needy)

Are you looking forward to your appearance at Chorley Little Theatre?

I really am looking forward to it. A few of my friends have performed here and they have said very nice things. I look forward to see you. Take care Joe

 

Click here for tickets or call Malcolm's Musicland 01257 264362

Interview by Denise Kasperkiewicz

Lots of people have been telling us how much they enjoyed Funny Money this week. Here are just a few comments:

"Not been to Chorley Little Theatre for a long time. What a great performance. Really enjoyed the night. Looking forward to the next event." - Susan Cogley

"Miss it at your peril, even the Mayor nearly fell off her chair" - Graham Hargreaves

"Great night. I ache from laughing. It's well worth a watch. Brilliant." - Anne Williamson