Wilton’s Music Hall has announced its exciting new season programme, which sees the world’s oldest surviving grand music hall welcome a diverse range of work, shining a spotlight on live music and bespoke theatre productions. In addition to the previously announced the premiere of Zoe Lewis’ Britten in Brooklyn, starring Sadie Frost in September, the schedule includes a major London revival of the 1996 Off-Broadway musical Floyd Collins. The new production, directed by Jonathan Butterell, will run at Wilton’s Music Hall 21 September to 15 October 2016.
In 1925 in Kentucky, USA, a remarkable true story unfolds that is to become the powerful musical Floyd Collins, which tells the extraordinary tale of the cave explorer of the same name, who dreams of finding fame and fortune deep underground. When disaster strikes and he becomes trapped, it is a race against time for his family and friends as they fight to set him free and keep his morale high through a difficult and dangerous time.
In a touching story of family, friendship and survival, Adam Guettel and Tina Landau’s award-winning musical is brought to life by a hauntingly beautiful score and directed by Jonathan Butterell, all in the atmospheric surroundings of Wilton’s.
The rest of the new Wilton’s season
Kicking off the season is well-loved sea shanty band The Salts, who will be joined by internationally acclaimed shanty singer Chris Ricketts for a joyous evening of swash-buckling singalongs in Songs from The Sea (4 August). Get on board m’hearties, and get ready to join in with the classics such as Bound for South Australia, Blow the Man Down, Drunken Sailor and many more, as well as discovering some of the band’s original nautical numbers. Fronted by two-time BBC Young Folk Finalist, Lee Collinson-James, this five piece folk sensation will put a smile on your face and a spring in your step as audiences young and old sail the seven seas in a night of jolly, raucous sea shanties.
International cabaret star Miss Hope Springs (9-11 August) will be setting the Wilton’s stage alight with her acclaimed repertoire of award-winning, all-original, witty and moving self-panned songs live at the piano. The ex-Vegas showgirl turned nightclub chanteuse will showcase her unique blend of finger snapping pop, romantic rhumbas, sassy bossa novas and smouldering torch songs in her smash hit one-woman show, interspersed with hilarious tales from her glitteringly disastrous love life that will make audiences laugh and cry.
Step Out With Swing Patrol (12 August) are back with their usual taster class at 7pm, followed by fun and friendly social dancing until 10:30pm. Whether you’re a complete beginner with two left feet or a dance pro, everyone is welcome to don their dancing shoes and come join in the swing party!
Wilton’s is proud to welcome back a kindred spirit and true star in the form of the delightful Ida Barr, who will be making a fabulous return with her self-titled show Ida Barr (16 August & 19 October), embracing a whole new musical genre she has created and christened Slipped Disco or Artificial Hip Hop. Riding on the wave of success of her recently launched album Get Old or Die Tryin’ and mashing up everyone from Rhianna and Dan Leno to Eminem with Marie Lloyd, this spectacular singalong is not to be missed.
The lovely Aimi Macdonald has performed on stages from Paris to Las Vegas to the West End, and this summer will be bringing her one woman show I Did It This Way (17 August) to Wilton’s for one night only. A wonderfully entertaining melange of gossip and music from Sondheim to Dolly Parton, this will truly be a night to remember.
Why watch one outrageous opera when you can see two in one night? That’s exactly what audiences will get as Opera della Luna make their first visit to Wilton’s with their rollicking production of Tales of Offenbach (18 – 19 August). Having received four-star rave reviews from their recent production of Offenbach’s Orpheus from The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian, their latest offering sees the company take on two hilarious one-act comedies by the French master of comic opera in an outrageous, unpretentious and truly brilliant performance.
For a good old-fashioned knees-up, join Tom Carradine for Carradine’s Cockney Sing-A-Long (23 August), uproariously leading audiences through the ages with songs from the Music Hall era, WWI and II, the West End stage and traditional popular songs in a big, joyous singalong.
Let yourself be swept away to a bygone age of elegance, big band jazz and toe-tapping swing music with Benoit Viellefon & His Orchestra (25 August). This seven-piece act, hailed as one of the country’s leading bands on the swing scene, will be presenting their new album, Mon Amour, at this special one-off performance at Wilton’s, as well as treating audiences to some old favourites.
Get ready to boogie with Tricity Vogue’s All Girl Swing Band (26 August), whose catchy originals and witty, retro arrangements of pop favourites will have you on your feet in no time! Oozing musical talent and irrepressible charm, this critically acclaimed 9-piece band guarantees audiences a night of fun, feel-good vintage music with a modern twist.
It is 1940 in Brooklyn, New York City, and the bohemian lifestyle of Benjamin Britten, WH Auden, Carson McCullers and Gypsy Rose Lee in the artistic community at 7 Middagh Street starts to unravel as World War II becomes a brutal reality. Britten in Brooklyn (31 August – 17 September) follows the story of exiled national disgrace Britten as he grapples with the community’s sudden uncertain future and his conflicted political ideals, which is particularly difficult when the constant parties, sordid affairs and a mysterious stranger named John Dunne keep getting in the way….Based on true events and starring Sadie Frost, this is the world premiere of Zoe Lewis’ passionate and thought-provoking play, taking place in the beautiful and unique setting of Wilton’s Music Hall for a limited season of 21 performances.
Director-violinist Peter Fisher, the Chamber Ensemble of London and the Thames Estuary Partnership invite you to sail down the Thames in this celebration of London’s river featuring baroque, classical, light music, folk and jazz pieces for string orchestra. Music of the Thames (12 September) will be a true delight for music-lovers and London enthusiasts alike.
Fall in love with London all over again with City Stories (20th & 21st October) – a magical and unique sequence of interwoven love stories and an ode to our great capital. Written by award-winning playwright James Phillips and performed live by singer-songwriter Rosabella Gregory (winner of New York Songwriters Circle Song Contest), City Stories is an atmospheric new type of cabaret drama and one not to be missed.
Inspired by the life of Nina Simone, Black Is The Color of My Voice& Soul Sessions (25th – 29th October) follows the moving and compelling story of a successful jazz singer and civil rights activist seeking redemption after the untimely death of her father. The second part of the evening is Apphia’s ‘Soul Sessions’ cabaret, celebrating Simone’s brilliant music. Direct from sell-out performances around the world in Shanghai, New York, Edinburgh and London’s St James Theatre, Apphia Campbell brings her acclaimed show to Wilton’s for a five night run. Directed by Arran Hawkins and Nate Jacobs.
Prepare to be spooked on All Hallows’ Eve as The Society of Strange (31 October) brings you the creepiest, strangest and most macabre of tales in a hilariously twisted improv show guaranteed to give you goosebumps…..Inspired by the works of the greatest horror storytellers of all time; Edgar Allan Poe, HP Lovecraft and Mary Shelley to name a few, this disturbingly brilliant show explores the thin line between comedy and horror and our world and the next…
Become entwined in the love story of Robert and Clara Schumann with interactive theatrical experience Duet (2 and 3 November). A new play by Katherine Armitage, this production follows the tale of a married couple who, after the most magical wedding, make a pilgrimage every year back to the drinking house where it took place. As the years go by, nothing stays the same, and audiences are invited to share the couples’ journey in an evening of song and celebration, despair and love.
Following on from their series of acclaimed productions of Baroque operas in intimate venues, Royal Opera House will be presenting Oreste by Handel (8-19 November), featuring singers from the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme. This contemporary production revels in the story’s violence and gore, whilst still shot through with a thick vein of dark humour, cogency and intensity.
Using songs to heal, transform and put you under, The Singing Hypnotist (17 November) is a truly unique and hilarious show that will be coming to Wilton’s for one night only. A combination of clinical hypnotherapy, stage hypnosis, original music and good old fashioned showbiz, this weird and wonderful creation of Christopher Green’s will delight, surprise and certainly make you smile! Now, you’re back in the room…..
Bringing the wonderfully silly to Wilton’s this winter is Tales from the Shed ‘On Tour’ presented by Chickenshed (16-19 November), a hugely entertaining show for 0-6 year olds. Perfect for little ones, this interactive and lively theatre show encourages kids to make a lot of noise and to be part of the story. Complete with live songs, puppets and plenty of fun, this is a great time for the whole family.
The mesmerising Camille O’Sullivan (22-26 November) will make her Wilton’s debut with a very special show dedicated to her greatest inspiration, Jacques Brel, arguably the master of emotional storytelling through song. His voice being the very reason Camille quit her job and became a singer, the multi award-winning artist pays homage to her musical hero with series of performances at Wilton’s, after having stunned audiences around the world with sell-out shows at the Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall and an appearance on Later With Jools Holland. Expect joy and pure passion as Camille draws her audience into her dark, sexy, fierce world of music and theatre.
Wrapping up the Wilton’s 2016 season in true style will be the Mother of all Pantos – Mother Goose (2-31 December). The same creative team that brought the house down with Dick Whittington last year are back to give audiences a real festive treat with their take on the classic tale, specially adapted for Wilton’s by none other than Roy Hudd. There’ll be song and dance galore, love and romance, evil villains and good fairies, so brace yourself for booing, cheering, uproarious laughter and 400 year-old stuffing jokes. All together now….HE’S BEHIND YOU!
Throughout the year, Wilton’s runs events to celebrate the beauty, history and community spirit entrenched in the building; including our History Tours which take place most Mondays, our weekly Craft and Prop Making sessions (every Thursday) as well as Keep Active Weekly Walks (every Friday), perfect for those wishing to explore the local area, learn some history and meet new friends.
Monday Night Music is a series of regular free events in the Mahogany Bar that will welcome many talented artists to Wilton’s throughout the season, and for any aspiring dancers out there, Swing Patrol Dance Classes are back for regular Monday night beginner-friendly dance classes, giving everyone the opportunity to have fun and learn a whole new skill at the same time. (NB people should check the website as they are not on every Monday)
As part of Scene in Time, our yearly heritage weekends, Wilton’s is excited to announce Gateway to the World (22 – 23 October) – two days of family fun and education as we explore the impact of trade and immigration on events here at Wilton’s during its long and colourful history, and on the people whose lives have been connected to the building. There will be school and community shows to watch and participate in, arts and crafts stalls, face painting and of course a good old sing-a-long!