Theatre

When it comes to the best shows in Tunbridge Wells, it’s wise to plan ahead. Here’s our round-up of the best musicals at the Assembly Hall Theatre that will have you humming all the way home…

SHIRLEY VALENTINE
Willy Russell’s heart-warming comedy Shirley Valentine premiered in 1986 and took the world by storm. His plays, including Educating Rita, Blood Brothers, Our Day Out and Shirley Valentine,
have been performed across the globe and have won countless awards; they continue to be in constant production throughout the world.
In celebration of its 30th Anniversary the first major revival of this national treasure will embark on a UK tour in 2017.
Shirley Valentine is a play which features just one performer and follows a bored middle-aged housewife, who at the ripe old age of 42 is wondering if life has anything else left to offer. Her kids have left home and she makes chips and egg for her husband while talking to the wall. Where has her life disappeared to? Out of the blue, her best friend offers her a trip to Greece and she secretly packs her bags.
The show stars Jodie Prenger, who is perhaps best known for winning the role of Nancy in the West End production of Oliver following one of the BBC’s search for a star shows.

THE WEDDING SINGER
The bright and breezy musical is based on the 1998 film starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. A high on comedy with outrageously catchy songs, shoulder pads, skinny ties and cummerbund and a set that has such a simplified eighties feel that you can’t help but be taken back in time.
It’s 1985. Rock-star wannabe Robbie Hart ( Jon Robyns, Avenue Q, Legally Blonde) is New Jersey’s favourite wedding singer. When his own fiancée dumps him at the altar a seriously bummed out Robbie makes every wedding as disastrous as his own.
Can sweet natured Julia (Cassie Compton, X Factor) and her best friend Holly (Roxanne Pallett, Emmerdale, Waterloo Road) lure Robbie out of the dumpster and back into the limelight? Or is he going to see her head off down the aisle with Wall Street bad boy Glen (Ray Quinn, X Factor, Dancing On Ice). Only Grandma Rosie (Ruth Madoc, Hi-de-Hi! Little Britain) seems to be able to see that Robbie and Julia are the couple that are meant to be.

SON OF A PREACHER
Three broken hearts, one Soho hang-out, and the only man who could ever help them…
Welcome to the Preacher Man, the swinging Soho joint where the kids used to dance the night away and dared to dream of love, while the legendary owner, The Preacher Man himself, dispensed advice to cure the loneliest of hearts… until now. Directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood, Son of a Preacher Man is the sparklingly funny and sweetly touching new musical featuring the greatest hits of Dusty Springfield. So you know just what to do with yourself – book your tickets now!

FLASHDANCE
Prepare to be blown away with an astonishing musical spectacle and phenomenal choreography to this iconic score, including the smash hits Maniac, Manhunt, Gloria, I Love Rock & Roll and the award winning title track Flashdance – What a Feeling. Produced by the award winning team at Selladoor Productions – producers of Footloose, Avenue Q and Little Shop of Horrors – and Runaway Entertainmant – producers of In The Heights, Guys and Dolls and Lazarus, Flashdance the Musical is not to be missed!
It tells the inspiring and unforgettable story of 18 year old Alex, a welder by day and ‘flashdancer’ by night, who dreams of going to the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy and becoming a professional dancer. When a romance threatens to complicate her ambitions, can Alex have it all?

★ SHIRLEY VALENTINE: Mon 3 – Sat 8 July
★ THE WEDDING SINGER: Tue 5 to Sat 9 September
★ SON OF A PREACHER: Wed 21 – Sun 25 June
★ FLASHDANCE: Mon 13 – Sat 18 November

Assembly Hall Theatre Box office 01892 530 613 www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk