THERE will be laughter and song and a whole lot more at Stratford ArtsHouse this autumn and winter.
The new season features stand-up comedy, with some of the biggest names in the business dropping by, including Richard Herring performing his new show Happy Now?; Mock the Week regular Sara Pascoe investigating human behaviour in Animal;
Mark Thomas taking a side-step into comedy theatre with his show The Red Shed, commemorating the Labour club in Wakefield where he first started performing.
Radio 4 regular Marcus Brigstocke will be inviting audiences to share his pain in Why the Long Face?; Russell Kane will examine the pitfalls of ageing; and storyteller Rob Rouse asks Are You Sitting Comfortably?
Music-wise, the centre will welcome household names including former Ultravox frontman Midge Ure, playing hits old and new; Tony Christie’s Golden Anniversary Tour rolls into town with classic hits such as Is This the Way to Amarillo? and I Did What I Did for Maria; Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri bring a stripped-back acoustic show, singing covers and Kiki’s own hits; and The Moody Blues’ John Lodge provides a chance for fans to hear some of the band’s biggest hits alongside his solo material.
Classical highlights include the popular operatic soprano Lesley Garrett, who performs as part of the 21st Stratford upon Avon Music Festival; a concert series by resident chamber orchestra Orchestra of the Swan (OOTS); the 2012 Young Musician of the Year Laura van der Heijden performing Haydn’s cello concerto, while Argentine-born pianist and composer Lucia Caruso presents Mozart and Friends.
There will also be two world premieres – the first to celebrate OOTS’ 21st anniversary season – by American composer Douglas Cuomo, followed by Pulitzer prize-winner Paul Moravec.
Stratford Jazz is celebrating 30 years with a line-up of gigs, including Kel Elliot and her Three-Man Orchestra; Nic Meier Group blending flamenco and tango with Turkish and Middle Eastern folk influences; the Remi Harris Project with a melting pot of gypsy swing guitar together with elements of rock’n’roll, jazz, blues, hip-hop and world music; and Andrea Vicari and Mornington Lockett who will be joined by some of the UK’s finest jazz musicians in a cabaret-style setting.
The American sax player Greg Abate returns with his swinging mainstream jazz, and the Stratford Jazz 30 Year Celebration features a drinks reception and the Tom Haines Big Band.
For the green-fingered, an audience with renowned gardening writer, BBC television presenter and horticulturalist Monty Don will offer tips and advice, while A Midsummer Night’s Tease, starring Miss Kiki deVille, brings burlesque and cabaret to the Stratford stage.
ArtsHouse Drama Club present The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, while The Magic of the Musicals stars Karl Loxley from BBC’s The Voice.
The ArtsHouse will also host A Night at the Big Top on October 22 and a Musical Medley on October 27 – with both events supporting the Stratford Cancer and Eye Hospital Appeal.
And the ArtsHouse will also be getting into the panto spirit this Christmas with Aladdin, running from December 14 to 27.
Visit www.stratfordartshouse.co.uk or call the box office on 01789 207100 for tickets and full programme details.