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Tchaikovsky Gala at the Bridgewater Concert Hall, Manchester
TCHAIKOVSKY GALA - Mon 26th Dec 2005 - 7.30pm - The Bridgewater Hall

The best-loved music of Tchaikovsky, the greatest Russian romantic composer, with the fiery 1812 Overture as an explosive finale.

   
The Magic of Gilbert and Sullivan at the Bridgewater Concert Hall, Manchester
MAGIC OF GILBERT AND SULLIVAN - Tue 27th Dec 2005 - 3pm - Bridgewater

No further details as yet....

   
Last Night of the Christmas Proms at the Bridgewater Concert Hall, Manchester
LAST NIGHT OF THE CHRISTMAS PROMS - Tue 27th Dec 2005 - 7.30pm

At The Bridgewater Hall: SUPPÉ Light Cavalry Overture, SAINT-SAËNS Danse Macabre, HUMPERDINCK Hansel and Gretel Overture, VERDI La donna è mobile, TCHAIKOVSKY Polonaise from Eugene Onegin, BIZET The Pearlfishers Duet, STRAUSS Champagne Polka, PONCHIELLI Dance of the Hours, ROSSINI Largo al Factotum
from The Barber of Seville, WALDTEUFEL The Skaters' Waltz, DELIBES Pizzicati from Sylvia.

   
Opera Gala Night at the Bridgewater Concert Hall, Manchester
OPERA GALA NIGHT - Wed 28th Dec 2005 - At the Bridgewater Hall

Three distinguished soloists, GWYN HUGHES JONES tenor, JANIS KELLY
soprano and DAVID KEMPSTER baritone, perform favourite arias from the world's best-loved operas. Rigoletto, A Masked Ball, La Traviata, Nabucco, Aida, Il Trovatore, Faust, La Boheme, Manon Lescaut, Tosco, Turandot, Madam Butterfly, The Pearl Fishers and Carmen.

   
New Year's Eve at the Italian Opera at the Bridgewater Concert Hall, Manchester
NEW YEAR'S EVE AT THE ITALIAN OPERA - Sat 31st Dec 2005 - Bridgewater

Music inlcudes arias and music by Verdi, Mascagni, Rossini and Puccini from La forza del destino, Il trovatore, Rigoletto, La traviata, Aida, Tosca, Madame Butterfly, La bohème and Turandot. The evening performers are Manchester Camerata, Douglas Boyd (conductor), Stephanie Hughes (presenter), Claire Rutter (soprano), John Hudson (tenor) and St George's Singers.

   
New Year's Day Viennese Gala at the Italian Opera at the Bridgewater Concert Hall, Manchester
NEW YEAR'S DAY VIENNESE GALA - Sun 1st Jan 2006 - 3pm - Bridgewater Hall

Waltzes and polkas by J Strauss II, Suppé and Lehár
Manchester Camerata
Nicholas Kraemer conductor
Sarah Tynan soprano

   
New Year's Day Viennese Gala at the Italian Opera at the Bridgewater Concert Hall, Manchester
NEW YEAR'S DAY PROM - Sun 1st Jan 2006 - 7.30pm - Bridgewater Hall

Welcome the New Year with this irresistible mix of fun and rousing classics.TCHAIKOVSKY Swan Lake Finale, OFFENBACH Barcarolle, ROSSINI Largo al factotum, BIZET The Pearlfishers Duet, ROSSINI William Tell Overture,
GRIEG Morning and In the Hall of the Mountain King, RAVEL Bolero, STRAUSS Die Fledermaus Overture, SOUSA The Stars and Stripes Forever, VERDI Prelude to Act I from La Traviata, SULLIVAN We're called Gondolieri....and in true proms tradition: The Dam Busters March, Land of Hope and Glory, Jerusalem, Hornpipe Rule, Britannia! Nessun dorma.

   
Glenn Miller Orchestra at the Bridgewater Concert Hall, Manchester

GLENN MILLER ORCHESTRA - Sun 8th Jan 2006 - 3pm & 7.30pm - Bridgewater

Swinging back to Manchester with two foot stomping shows this incomparable band plays classic Glenn Miller hits from the forties and wartime chart toppers including: Moonlight Serenade, Running Wild, Tuxedo Junction, Adios, Jukebox Saturday Night, In The Mood. Directed by Ray McVay with a special tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. and Judy Garland. Special guests: Jan Messeder, Colin Anthony, The Uptown Hall Gang, and The Moonlight Serenaders.

   
What Every Woman Knows at the Royal Exchange, Manchester
WHAT EVERY WOMAN KNOWS - Tue 10th Jan to Sat 25th Feb 2006
At The Royal Exchange: From the wilds of Scotland to the centre of the civilised world, Maggie's wit and intelligence are a match for the politicians. In fact, her men folk don't realise just how clever she is. A hundred years ago, somewhere in Scotland, the Wylie family discover a burglar, who wants more than riches and keeps coming back without taking anything. Attempts to protect their plain sister, Maggie, lead to an adventure in politics, love and the discovery that Maggie can more than look after.
   
Ga Ga at The Lowry

GAGA - Thu 12th Jan 2006 - The Lowry Theatre

From playing at the International Queen Convention to appearing in a recent BBC documentary, GA GA continue to prove why they are so highly rated by critics and audiences alike. There are no wigs, no make-up and definitely no false moustaches but instead a host of massive Queen songs played like they were meant to be. Described by Brian May as "Superb".
   
The Sleeping Beauty at The Lowry

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY - Wed 18th January to Sat 21st January 2006

At The Lowry Theatre: Birmingham Royal Ballet presents The Sleeping Beauty. Shunned on christening day, wicked fairy Carabosse casts a deadly curse on baby Princess Aurora. But the Lilac Fairy tempers that curse, so that, years later, when it begins to take hold, the Princess doesn’t die but instead falls into a deep sleep. Year after year the palace rests, until the handsome prince, hunting in the forest 100 years later, shows how a curse can become a charm. With Tchaikovsky’s wonderful score, classical choreography by Marius Petipa, production by Sir Peter Wright and a romantic finale packed with fairytale cameos, BRB’s brilliantly spectacular The Sleeping Beauty is as engaging now as when she first fell asleep, over a hundred years ago. There are 2 shows on Thu & Sat.
   
George's Marvellous Medicine at the Palace Theatre, Manchester
GEORGE'S MARVELLOUS MEDICINE - Tue 24th Jan to Sun 29th Jan 2006

The Palace Theatre: George lives on a farm with only his parents and his grumpy old Grandma for company. One day, Grandma’s moaning becomes too much for poor George, and he decides to teach her a lesson she’ll never forget. George mixes up a magic and mysterious potion and gives it to his Grandma in place of her usual medicine. That’s where the fun really starts! A huge favourite with children and ‘big kids’ across the world, George’s Marvellous Medicine is a wonderful example of Roald Dahl, one of the master storytellers of all time, at his entrancing best. A magical and mischievous story, George’s Marvellous Medicine was a must-see treat in the festive season.

   
Snow Queen at the Opera House Manchester
SNOW QUEEN - Tue 24th Jan to Sun 29th Jan 2006 - The Opera House

Listen! Once there was a wicked demon who made a great mirror of magic that shattered into a thousand splinters. Once there were two best friends, little Gerda and Kay who got a sliver in his eye that turned his heart to ice. The Snow Queen flies him far away into her Snow Kingdom. Will Gerda rescue Kay? Join their spellbinding adventures in this enchanting entertainment for all the family. Visually sumptuous with a star cast, this is a fantastic treat. This sparkling, interactive production will host a highly professional cast of actors, singers and dancers together with spectacular special effects, dazzling costumes, top quality lighting and sets. Unmissable!

   
Katie Melua at the M.E.N

KATIE MELUA - Fri 27th January 2006 - The M.E.N. Arena

Young jazz and blues singer/songwriter Katie Melua has such an advanced state of lyrical maturity and worldliness that it is hard to believe that she isn't middle-aged. She says that she feels like a 22 year-old, but she acts like a teenager....
   
Anything Goes at The Lowry

ANYTHING GOES - Fri 27th January to Sat 4th February 2006 - The Lowry

Music and lyrics by Cole Porter Direct from the golden age of American musical comedy, Anything Goes is a dazzling, high-energy production packed with classic songs including: You’re the Top, It’s De-Lovely, Anything Goes, I Get a Kick Out of You and Blow, Gabriel, Blow. A transatlantic luxury liner is heading for England with lovesick stowaway Billy Crocker, who is pursuing Hope Harcourt, the debutante fiancée of English aristocrat Lord Oakleigh. A collection of other unlikely characters - including Moonface Martin, the raunchy Reno Sweeny and a smattering of slow-witted FBI agents - add high farce to the romance. Based on an original story by P G Wodehouse, the script was skillfully re-worked for its recent National Theatre and Drury Lane hit seasons and is brought to you from the team that produced the West End hit High Society. But above all, it’s Cole Porter’s brilliant, tune-filled, dance-peppered score that makes this such wonderfully memorable entertainment.
   
The Waterboys at the Bridgewater Concert Hall, Manchester
THE WATERBOYS - Karma to Burn Tour - Sun 29th Jan 2006 - Bridgewater

The brilliant Mike Scott and the Waterboys are in Manchester for one night only so book your tickets early to save disappointment.

   
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein at the Palace Theatre, Manchester
MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN - Tue 31st Jan to Sat 4th Feb 2006

The Palace Theatre: Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, Percy Byshe Shelley - A Tangled Triangle of Love in the mountains above Lake Geneva gives birth to a tragic monster of the mind. Mary and her lover Percy Byshe Shelley fled the scandal surrounding their scandalous love affair to Geneva and set up home in the company of Lord Byron. This was a period of freak storms and as the weather worsened Byron proposed a ghost-story contest to while away the hours. From this the story of Frankenstein evolves. The creature's hopes, fears and torments mirrors own love and rejection "the ghostly image of my fantasy".

   
Lord of the Danceat the Opera House Manchester
LORD OF THE DANCE - Tue 31st Jan to Sun 5th Feb 2006 - The Opera House

Michael Flatley's theatrical extravaganza that helped catapult Irish dancing into the global spotlight. Featuring over 40 dancers, the sure-fire sell-out mixes contemporary and traditional Irish music and dance.

   
Holiday on Ice - Diamonds at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester
HOLIDAY ON ICE - DIAMONDS - Thu 2nd Feb to Sun 5th Feb 2006 - M.E.N.
Diamonds is a show brimming with action and adventure. The audience is taken on a spectacular story of pursuit, in which fantasy-like scenes flow one after the other and melt together into one storyline and theme. The music will stir the imagination with a traditional Charleston to Pink Floyd and from Coolio to Michael Jackson and Shakira. Diamonds allows the audience to dream away reality and identify with one of the many artistic characters who strut over the cool ice in fantastic costumes. Truly an effervescent show, for young and old!
   
Mighty Boosh at The Lowry
THE MIGHTY BOOSH - Sun 5th February 2006 - The Lowry Theatre
Following on from their triumphant second BBC Three series, Mighty Boosh’s Noel (Fielding) and Julian (Barratt) have chosen to meet their audience face to face and challenge them to a ferret duel. It’s an off-the-wall adventure based on their Perrier Award-winning comedy show, with zoo workers Vince and Howard again called upon to put their jobs before their pride!
   
Tonight's The Night at the Opera House, Manchester

TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT - THE ROD STEWART MUSICAL - Mon 6th Feb to Sat 11th Feb - The Opera House

Written by award-winning dramatist Ben Elton and featuring over twenty of the greatest hits of Rod Stewart, Tonight's The Night is musical comedy at its all-singing, all-dancing rip-roaring best. Packed with hilarious gags, spectacularly staged numbers and the unforgettable songs that five generations fell in love to and made love to.

   
Ben Elton at the Palace Theatre, Manchester
BEN ELTON - Sat 11th Feb 2006 - The Palace Theatre

Benjamin Charles Elton was already a successful stand-up comedian when he began writing sit-coms. The alternative comedy movement of the 1980s provided the perfect home for his anti-Thatcher material, (Oooh! Little bit of politics there) and he made regular sparkly-suited appearances on the legendary Saturday and Friday Night Live. His rapid-fire delivery meant he got through twice the material of others, and stopped hecklers in their tracks. His first sit-com credit was as co-writer of the classic The Young Ones. He then went on to co-write Blackadder II, Blackadder the Third and Blackadder Goes Forth with Richard Curtis. Many say that Elton and Curtis took a rough diamond and fashioned a gem.

   
Over The Rainbow - The Eva Cassidy Story at the Opera House Manchester
OVER THE RAINBOW - THE EVA CASSIDY STORY - Sun 12th Feb 2006

The Show which has received standing ovations all over the UK. A dramatic, moving Musical Play telling the life story of Eva Cassidy, incorporating over 25 of her arrangements including: Fields of Gold, Songbird and Over the Rainbow… performed by West End artists. This Musical pays a genuine and heartfelt homage to a true Artist who was not interested in fame and fortune, but wanted nothing more than to create beautiful music. More than a life story, this show is for anyone who’s lost someone they love.

   
The Nutcracker at the Opera House Manchester
THE NUTCRACKER (Ellen Kent Ballet) - Mon 13th Feb to Sat 18th Feb 2006

At The Opera House: It is Christmas Day in a small town in Germany. At the Stahlbaum's house, guests are gathering for a party. Drosselmeyer, who is godfather to the children Fritz and Marie, is bringing a magnificent present: Nutcracker, a doll who can crack nuts. This classic ballet is performed to the highest of standards and is very popular so book early to avoid disappointment.

   
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein at the Palace Theatre, Manchester
FOOTLOOSE - THE MUSICAL - Mon 13th Feb to Sat 18th Feb 2006 - The Palace

Footloose The Musical tells the story of the city boy, Ren, who has to move to a small town where dancing is banned. All hell breaks out as Ren breaks loose and soon has the whole town on its feet. Featuring the hottest talent around, this fast paced show is packed full of amazing dance and classc 80's hits, including 'Out For A Hero', 'Almost Paradise', 'Let's Hear It For The Boy', and of course, the unforgettable title track, 'Footloose'..

   
2000 years at The Lowry

2000 YEARS - Tue 14th February to Sat 18th February 2006 - The Lowry

The latest hit play from Salford-born Mike Leigh. Two Thousand Years touches upon the lives and relationships of three generations in a contemporary Jewish middle-class family. In his first stage play for over a decade, Mike Leigh explores, in a gentle tragi-comic way, a wide range of issues including politics, religion, identity and the vexed question of Israel and the Middle East. Leigh’s many stage plays include, most famously, the big seventies hit, Abigail’s Party. His films include Naked, Secrets & Lies, Topsy-Turvy, All or Nothing and Vera Drake. Two Thousand Years sold out its entire London run months before the premiere and the reviews have been raves, so early booking here is essential.
   
Moscow State Circus at The Lowry

MOSCOW STATE CIRCUS - Thu 16th February to Sun 19th February 2006

The Lowry Theatre: A brand new show, featuring 35 of Russia's greatest circus performers pushing the boundaries of human physical ingenuity to their very limits. Among the most breathtaking of acts are The Slavos, a springboard group brimming with talent and raw energy, and The Andrey Mikheev troupe, with their dizzy display of aerial gymnastics. Bakhrom Akhnazarov, Russia’s strongest man, pushes and pulls with Herculean strength and panache, while The Bugrova Sisters balance on numerous cylinders, with the juggling Veronica perched perilously on top. With the amazing flying ballet of Natalia Egorova and award-winning clowning of Igor Vorob'ev and Andrey Mashonkin, this truly is one of the greatest shows on earth!
   
Edward Scissorhands at The Lowry

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS - Tue 21st February to Sat 25th February 2006

At The Lowry Theatre: Matthew Bourne and his hugely popular New Adventures company are back with a magical new adaptation of the classic Tim Burton film, Edward Scissorhands. A fairytale for all the family, it tells the story of a boy created by an eccentric inventor - a boy with only scissors for hands. After his creator dies however, Edward is forced to live among the local community. Will the suspicious townsfolk drive him from their beloved Hope Springs or will his gentleness, awkward charm and incredible topiary skills win their hearts. Edward Scissorhands features music by Danny Elfman, who has worked with Tim Burton on numerous films including Batman, Big Fish and 2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. There are 2 shows on Wednesday and Saturday. Please note that this is a ballet/dance/musical piece rather than a play!
   
Jason and the Argonauts at The Lowry

JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS - Tue 21st February to Sat 25th February 2006

At The Lowry Theatre: It’s the trip of a lifetime - and you’re invited! In this epic tale of gods, men and monsters, a reluctant hero is sent on a seemingly impossible quest. Under the watchful eyes and playful hands of the gods, Jason and his intrepid crew face countless perils in their search for the Golden Fleece. Prepare to enter uncharted waters, with no guarantee of return. Get ready to face clashing rocks, low-flying harpies, fire-breathing bulls and the deadly sweet music of the sirens. This thrilling family show features a cast of twelve, inventive storytelling, exciting audience participation and a wonderfully amusing script. Most suitable for ages 7+.
   
X-Factor Tour at the M.E.N

THE X-FACTOR TOUR - Sat 25th February 2006 - The M.E.N. Arena

Enjoy watching the finalist of the ITV series the X-Factor on stage.
   
East Is East at The Lowry

EAST IS EAST - Tue 28th Feb to Sat 4th Mar 2006 - At The Lowry Theatre

Set in Salford in 1970, this masterful, award-winning comedy tracks the divergent lives of the Khan family as they struggle to establish their own identities in the rough and tumble world of mixed cultural backgrounds. Daily chaos erupts in the Khan’s cramped Salford terrace as George Khan (known as Ghengis to his family) tries to assert his traditional values over his increasingly independent kids. In the process, he succeeds in pushing the temperature in the living room as high as the deep fat fryer in the family fish and chip shop! Meanwhile, beleaguered Mum, Ella - George’s British wife – battles to keep the family from coming apart at the seams. Contains some strong language.

   
I Keano at The Lowry

I KEANO - Tue 28th Feb to Sat 11th Mar 2006 - At The Lowry Theatre

An ancient federation sends a legion, led by the stubbon General Macartacus, to an island to prepare for a momentous war. Their greatest warrior, Keano, has a passion for perfection exceeded only by his fierce and unpredictable temper (sound familiar yet?) The problems start when Keano arrives to prepare for battle…the ground is too hard, the troops are partying and the Federation has forgotten to bring any daggers and tunics. What should Keano do? He is torn between the conflicting advice of the Scottish dolphin god Fergie and the tap-dancing wood nymph Dunpia. There's a tragedy unfolding... and in togas too!

   
The Osmonds at the Apollo

THE OSMONDS - Fri 3rd March 2006 - The Apollo

A sibling pop group who blasted their way to success in the early 1970s and went on to sell over 77 million records. Now the band is back, featuring Wayne, Merrill, Jay and Jimmy.
   
La Boheme at the Opera House Manchester
LA BOHEME (Ellen Kent Opera) - Tue 7th Mar to Sat 11th Mar 2006

At The Opera House: The painter, Marcello, and the writer, Rodolfo, share a Parisian garret studio. It is Christmas Eve and both young men are poor and cold. Soon they are joined by two more Bohemian acquaintances - the philosopher, Colline, and the musician, Schaunard. The latter has recently earned a little money and so the friends decide to go off and celebrate in the Latin Quarter, first, skillfully avoiding paying rent to the landlord, Benoit.

   
Little Britain at the Apollo

LITTLE BRITAIN - Mon 13th Mar and Sat 18th Mar 2006 - The Apollo

The hilarious comedy duo behind the BAFTA Award-winning BBC comedy show, Little Britain. Matt Lucas made his name as George Doors, the hyperactive man-baby on the Reeves and Mortimer game-show, drumming insane rhythms and hollering out the end of round scores. He then went on to create and star in the spoof interview show Rock Profiles with David Walliams. The pair enjoyed a cult following before they found a big time ratings-grabber with Little Britain, a series of character sketches lampooning the eccentricity of the inhabitants of the UK. The first series was a digital TV smash-hit, and repeated the success when it transferred to terrestrial television. In late 2004, the first programme from the second series pulled in nearly 2m viewers, a record for BBC3. Building on the show's enduring appeal, they have now decided to take to the idea on to the stage. The show marks their first live work together since 1997.
   
The Grand Inquisitor at The Lowry
THE GRAND INQUISITOR - Thu 16th March to Sat 18th March 2006 - The Lowry
One of the world's greatest theatre directors, Peter Brook, returns to The Lowry with a production premiered at his company’s Paris theatre last autumn. The action takes place in Seville during the Inquisition. In his infinite mercy, Christ returns to the world and enters the burning streets of the city, where, the previous day, a hundred heretics were sent into the flames. The cardinal Grand Inquisitor sees Him and his face darkens as he orders the guards to seize Christ and shut Him in a narrow vaulted cell. In the darkness, suddenly, the iron door opens and the Grand Inquisitor quietly enters. For a long moment, he stays in the doorway, studying the Holy face. Then he draws nearer, saying : “Is it You? You?" This is sure to be a highlight of 2006 so early booking is advised.
   
The Hollies at The Lowry
THE HOLLIES - Fri 17th March 2006 - The Lowry Theatre
Just two headlines from the many rave reviews from the Hollies recent British tour. It proves The Hollies are as popular today as they were four decades ago in the 60s when they were only just behind The Beatles in single sales.
   
Hi-5 at The Lowry
HI-5 - Sat 18th March & Sun 19th March 2006 - The Lowry Theatre
Hi-5 – Australia’s record-breaking children’s TV phenomenon – are back with an all new show. Their last UK smash hit tour proved a sell-out wherever they went, so book early for this one! The sunshine phenomenon from Down Under features all new songs and dances for you to learn. See TV stars Kathleen, Nathan, Charli, Tim and Kellie live on stage in a high-energy fun-packed show that all the family will enjoy. Saturday shows at 11am, 1.30pm and 4pm. Sunday shows at 11am and 1.30pm.
   
The Rivals at The Lowry
THE RIVALS - Mon 20th March to Sat 25th Mar 2006 - The Lowry Theatre
Starring Stephanie Cole and George Baker. With a starry cast and an acclaimed director at the helm, this promises to be a really special revival of this brilliant classic English comedy. Set in 18th century Bath, this delightful romp introduces Mrs Malaprop, one of the funniest misusers of words in the English language. She is determined to match her headstrong niece Lydia with a husband of her own choosing. But Lydia has fallen in love with lowly soldier, Beverley. Mrs Malaprop is played by Stephanie Cole, one of Britain’s favourite actresses. Sir Anthony, Beverley’s father, is played by George Baker, best known for his enormously popular Inspector Wexford in The Ruth Rendell Mysteries!
   
Jerry Springer The Opera at the Opera House Manchester
JERRY SPRINGER THE OPERA - Mon 20th March to Sat 1st April 2006

At The Opera House: The smash-hit multi-award winning musical, which opened to unprecedented rave reviews and standing ovations at the National Theatre, is about to embark on a National Tour, direct from its sell out run in the West End. This is your only chance to see the funniest, most groundbreaking and talked about musical ever, including members of the original West End cast. The show created history by winning all four Best Musical awards (Olivier, Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and What’s On Stage) and three further Olivier Awards. Heard about it? Read about it? Buy a ticket for the must-see show of the year.

   
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the Palace Theatre, Manchester
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG - Mon 20th Mar to Sat 10th June 2006 - The Palace

Direct from the West End, the London Palladium Production of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG kicks off in Manchester on Monday 20th March 2006 and runs for four months at the Palace Theatre. Follow the enthralling adventures of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the magical car, as it sails the seas and flies through the air bringing back a host of memories. Join Chitty's eccentric inventor, Caractacus Potts and his enchanting children Jemima and Jeremy, together with Truly Scrumptious and batty Grandpa Potts as they try to outwit the dastardly Baron and the evil Child Catcher in this non-stop adventure for all ages. Please note that on Wednesdays and Saturdays, there are two performances (2.30pm and 7.30pm). There are no Sunday performances throughout the production. PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE NO CONCESSIONS FOR CHILDREN FOR THIS SHOW.

   
Sugababes at the Apollo

SUGABABES - Sat 25th March 2006 - The Apollo

Three-piece all-girl pop sensations who were all under 17 when they first hit the charts with their No1 chart smash reworking of the Gary Numan classic Freak Like Me, which also earned the sassy trio a Q Award for Best Single. Since then, Mutya, Keisha and Heidi have taken the pop world by storm with a top 5 platinum album Angels With Dirty Faces.
   
Trainspotting at The Lowry
TRAINSPOTTING - Mon 27th March to Sat 1st April 2006 - The Lowry Theatre
10th Anniversary production. It’s back, the play that shocked the nineties! The shockingly funny cult play that inspired the sensational movie returns to the stage. Friends Renton, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie, embark on a horrific journey to the heart of a hell-hole world peopled by psychos, junkies, wide-boys and no-hopers. Hilarious but harrowing, Trainspotting charts the disintegration of their friendship as they hurtle towards self-destruction on a drug fuelled roller coaster ride through the streets, pubs and darkest recesses of Edinburgh low-life. Contains strong language and nudity. Most suitable for ages 16+.
   
Chris Rea at the Apollo

CHRIS REA - Thu 30th March 2006 - The Apollo

Unshaven soft rock singer/songwriter, whose 'Road To Hell' relaunched a career which has gone from strength to strength. After fighting off a major illness during much of 2002, expect Chris' career to go down a far brighter road in the future.
   
BB King and Gary Moore at the M.E.N. Arena, Manchester

BB KING & GARY MOORE - Fri 31st March 2006 - M.E.N Arena

Universally hailed as the reigning king of the blues, B.B King, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday, has announced his last ever UK tour, with five ultra-rare dates in March and April 2006. BB King: Legends don't come any bigger than 'The King of the Blues'. In 2001 he celebrated 50 years of recording and over 50 album releases. He has 7 Grammys including a Lifetime Achievement award. His innovative blend of gospel, jazz and deep delta blues influenced two generations of rock and blues guitarists. Gary Moore: Masterful blues and rock guitarist formerly of Skid Row, Thin Lizzy, Colosseum II and G Force, Gary has been heading his own band since the early 1990s.
   
Bolshoi Ballet - Spartacus at The Lowry
BOLSHOI BALLET - SPARTACUS - Tue 4th April & Wed 5th April 2006
At The Lowry Theatre: Universally regarded as the supreme Russian ballet company, the Bolshoi make their first visit to The Lowry to perform Spartacus and Swan Lake. The spectacular Spartacus is a Bolshoi blockbuster, using the considerable size and power of the full company, with epic staging and showbiz dramatics that give the men in particular opportunity for maximum impact. It tells the true story of a slave rebellion against the corrupt Roman Empire. Spartacus and his saintly suffering wife Phrygia, are brought to Rome by the depraved Roman general Crassus. Spartacus then incites his fellow slaves to revolt against their oppressors, but is eventually killed by his enemies. This very special visit is undoubtedly one of the highlights of 2006 and early booking is strongly advised.
   
The Cut at The Lowry
THE CUT - Tue 4th April to Sat 8th April 2006 - The Lowry Theatre
A thrilling new play by Mark Ravenhill, whose previous work includes Mother Clap's Molly House, Some Explicit Polaroids and Shopping and F***ing. Paul is an ordinary man with a shocking secret. At home, he is a loving husband and father. At work, he administers the cut. In a society sickened by his profession, Paul struggles with his conscience and longs to tell the truth. Starring Bolton-born Sir Ian McKellen, in his first North West stage appearance for many years (following a career that has embraced everything from Lord Of The Rings to Coronation Street), this is clearly an unmissable event.
   
Bolshoi Ballet - Swan Lake at The Lowry
BOLSHOI BALLET - SWAN LAKE - Thu 6th April to Sat 8th April 2006
At The Lowry Theatre: Universally regarded as the supreme Russian ballet company, the Bolshoi make their first visit to The Lowry to perform Swan Lake and Spartacus. Their outstanding adaptation of Swan Lake – with its classic tale of a spellbound princess transformed into a white swan by an evil magician - expresses all the lyricism, drama and magic beloved of ballet audiences the world over and has the backing of Tchaikovsky’s wonderful score, played here by the Bolshoi’s very own award-winning orchestra. This very special visit is undoubtedly one of the highlights of 2006 and early booking is strongly advised.
   
Il Divo at the M.E.N. Arena, Manchester

IL DIVO - Sun 9th April 2006 - M.E.N Arena

In 2001, an idea was conceived for a mould breaking quartet: 4 exceptional young men with formally trained voices who could take popular songs, old and new, to another level where the historic rift between pop and classical music is finally healed. The band were born in December 2003 after a worldwide search and christened Il Divo- an Italian word meaning 'Divine Performer - or a male Diva'. Their multi-national identity reflects the universal appeal of the music.
   
Christy Moore at the Bridgewater Concert Hall, Manchester
CHRISTY MOORE - Thu 13th April & Fri 14th April 2006 - Bridgewater Hall

Legendary Irish folk singer songwriter and bodram player. Founder of classic folk band Planxty, occasional member of folk 'supergroup' Moving Hearts, and one of the best songwriters Ireland has ever produced. 'Truly the Bob Dylan of Irish music.'

   
Curtis Stigers at The Lowry
CURTIS STIGERS - Tue 18th April 2006 - The Lowry Theatre
Curtis Stigers shot to international fame with hits I Wonder Why and You're All That Matters To Me. In recent years Curtis has established himself at the forefront of a new generation of jazz singers. With one of the most distinctive voices in music, the singer/saxophonist/songwriter pushes the boundaries of conventional jazz performers and expands the jazz repertory creating modern jazz standards. Stigers’s latest release, I Think It’s Going to Rain Today, is a new collection of songs by some of the greatest and most influential songwriters of our time. Putting his unique mark on tunes by Sting, Randy Newman, Mose Allison, Willie Nelson and Tom Waits, as well as two new Stigers originals, Curtis continues to blaze a path as one of his generation’s finest and most original interpreters of modern songs. Curtis’s 2003 release for Concord Record’s You Inspire Me was voted Sunday Times Jazz CD of the Year.
   
Sing-a-long-a-Elvis at The Lowry
SING-A-LONG-A-ELVIS - Fri 21st April 2006 - The Lowry Theatre
Join The King in the ultimate Sing-a-long-a experience! This latest Sing-a-long-a celebrates the songs of the one and only king of rock ‘n’ roll. Includes all the best-loved sing-a-long-a traditions: the dancing competition, the choral warm-up, crazy magic moments with the help of your complimentary fun-filled goody bag and, of course, on-screen lyrics so you can join in every song.
   
Sing-a-long-a-Annie at The Lowry
SING-A-LONG-A-ANNIE - Sat 22nd April 2006 - 1.30pm - The Lowry Theatre
From the producers of the smash hits Sing-a-long-a Sound of Music and Sing-a-long-a Joseph, comes Sing-a-long-a Annie, continuing the tradition of irresistible interactive fun, with a screening - subtitled so everyone can join in - of the 1982 hit film starring Albert Finney, Tim Curry, Carol Burnett, a whole orphanage full of sweet little girls and a cute doggy.
   
Sing-a-long-a-Abba at The Lowry
SING-A-LONG-A-ABBA - Sat 22nd April 2006 - 7.30pm - The Lowry Theatre
The Swedish super-group’s greatest hits performed live, with on-screen lyrics so everyone can join in! Dancing Queen competition, free Magic Moment goody bags for all and our fantastic Sing-a-long-a singers performing hit after hit. It’s the perfect night out for hen parties, family groups, office outings and anyone who has strutted their stuff to Abba on the dance floor!
   
Dara O'Briain at The Lowry
DARA O'BRIAIN - Sun 23rd April 2006 - The Lowry Theatre
After Have I Got News For You, Last Laugh and Mock The Week, he’s back live on stage and partly inspired by his appearance on the BBC’s Room 101, which got him thinking about why it’s so much fun to talk about the things we hate rather than those we love! Also expect the usual stew of ideas, flung at the audience at breakneck pace.
   
Buddy at The Lowry
BUDDY - Mon 24th April to Sat 29th April 2006 - The Lowry Theatre
One of the most successful musicals of all time returns for a new generation to enjoy. On 3 February 1959, the genius that was Buddy Holly was tragically killed in a plane crash. Aged just 22, he nevertheless left behind a legacy of over 30 timeless hits. Buddy tells his story, presents his music and features some of his greatest hits, including That’ll be the Day, Peggy Sue, True Love Ways, Oh Boy and many, many more. With Big Bopper’s Chantilly Lace and Richie Valens’ La Bamba taking you towards total music overload, this show has the whole audience rocking and bopping in the aisles.
   
Howard Jones at The Lowry
HOWARD JONES - Wed 26th April 2006 - The Lowry Theatre
Eighties icon Howard Jones is one of the very few British artists to have comprehensively broken America in the past 25 years. His single ‘No One Is To Blame’ went to No 1 in the US in 1986. In the UK, Europe, Japan and Australia he had a string of hits including ‘New Song’, What is Love’, ‘Pearl in the Shell’, ‘Hide and Seek’, ‘Like to Get To Know You Well’ and many more. His album sales worldwide are now in excess of eight million. Apart from being an outstanding singer/songwriter, he is also a great piano player. He will be appearing in acoustic mode on piano and vocals accompanied by highly respected guitarist Robin Boult. These Howard Jones acoustic performances which include most of the hits have received brilliant reviews.
   
Santana at the M.E.N. Arena, Manchester

SANTANA - Thu 11th May 2006 - M.E.N Arena

One of rock's true survivors. From wide-eyed novice at Woodstock through charting guitar hero in the classic rock seventies to Grammy-winning Millennium Latino-beat legend, Carlos Santana remains one of the most influential guitarists of the modern era.
   
Dylan Moran at The Lowry
DYLAN MORAN - Sun 14th May 2006 - The Lowry Theatre
When it comes to personal details, Dylan Moran is a bit of a man of mystery. He’s Irish. He has dark hair. He’s very, very funny. In 1993 he won Channel 4’s So You Think You’re Funny award. Three years later he won the Perrier Award for Comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He proved his worth as a dramatic actor in How Do you Want Me? He played Rufus The Thief in the 1999 blockbuster romantic comedy Notting Hill, but he is probably most famous for his sit-com Black Books. Moran’s unique brand of dry humour and surreal situations bring the setting of an old bookstore to life in most unexpected ways.
   
Girls Aloud at the M.E.N. Arena, Manchester

GIRLS ALOUD - Sat 27th May 2006 - M.E.N Arena

Cheryl, Kimberley, Nadine, Nicola and Sarah first came to the nation's attention in 2002, as the winners of Popstars: The Rivals. They were the first all-female group to debut at Number One in the UK and the first band ever to get the Christmas Number One with their first single, 'Sound Of The Underground'. A hard act to follow, but subsequent releases have proved these girls are anything but one hit wonders.
   
Elton John at the M.E.N. Arena, Manchester

ELTON JOHN - Mon 29th May 2006 - M.E.N Arena

The ultimate showman, Elton first hit the charts in the 70s with a plethora of hit singles. One of the top selling artists worldwide ever since, Elton has branched out to writing for musicals (including his award-winning soundtrack for The Lion King) and does a phenomenal amount of charity work.
   
Boni Jovi at the City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester

BON JOVI - Sun 4th June 2006 - City of Manchester Stadium

One of the most successful bands of the last two decades, Jon Bon Jovi and his fellow big-hair rockers have sold over 100 million albums worldwide. Combining a slew of classic hits, including 'Living on a Prayer', 'Bad Medicine' and 'It's My Life', with epic live performances, Bon Jovi have proved that they truly are the reigning kings of stadium rock.
   
The Jungle Book at the Palace Theatre, Manchester
THE JUNGLE BOOK - Tues 27th June to Sat 1st July 2006 - Palace Theatre

The Birmingham Stage Company is proud to present Rudyard Kipling’s classic story about Mowgli, a young boy who is raised in the jungle by a family of wolves. When Shere Khan the tiger swears to kill the child, Baloo and Bagheera agree to take the boy to the man village for his safety. But the jungle holds danger and surprises for them all and Mowgli’s amazing adventure has just begun! This remarkable new production is touring throughout the country before arriving in the West End. It follows The Birmingham Stage Company's acclaimed productions of James and the Giant Peach, George's Marvellous Medicine and last year's record-breaker Tom's Midnight Garden. If you're looking for a magnificent adventure for all the family then don't miss this premiere production of Kipling's timeless story!

   
Fireman Sam at the Palace Theatre, Manchester
FIREMAN SAM - Fri 28th July to Sun 30th July 2006 - Palace Theatre

Meet Fireman Sam - the brave and friendly 'hero next door' - together with his fellow fire-fighters Elvis Criddlington and Penny Morris, in this all new action-packed show full of adventure and drama. Naughty Norman Price is constantly playing pranks, Mandy Flood is full of fun whilst Wooly is Norman's pet lamb. Also starring Jupiter the bright red fire engine - the pride of the Pontypandy Fire Service!

   
Robbie Williams at the City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester

ROBBIE WILLIAMS - Sat 9th September 2006 - Roundhay Park, Leeds

Originally Robbie was performing in Manchester at the start of July, however this isn't planned anymore. The closest place to Manchester where you can see Robbie, is at Roundhay Park in Leeds. Since embarking on a solo career, Robbie has notched up a steady stream of hit singles and albums, and has collected numerous awards for his performances. Sing when he's winning? He's hardly stopped! Winner of the Best British Male Solo Artist at the Brit Awards 2002.
   
McFly at the M.E.N. Arena, Manchester

MCFLY - Fri 6th October 2006 - M.E.N Arena

Teenage punk popsters McFly - who take their name from the 'Back To The Future' films - are Tom Fletcher, Danny Jones, Dougie Poynter and Harry Jude. Tom lost out to best buddy Charlie in the Busted audition - but they are obviously still friends; McFly supported Busted on their 2004 tour and have been unstoppable ever since. Their debut single 5 Colours In Her Hair stayed at No. 1 for two weeks and their three subsequent releases all made the Top 5. The T4 Smash Hits Poll Winners Party 2004 might have well been called the McFly party with the boys picking up an incredible 5 awards.
   
Cliff Richard at the M.E.N. Arena, Manchester

SIR CLIFF RICHARD - Sat 25 November & Sun 26 November 2006 - M.E.N Arena

With over 250 million records sold and Number 1 hit singles in 5 different decades, the eternal young one truly is the ultimate singing star. Despite his massive success, Sir Cliff remains one of the most fan-friendly, modest and lovable of all pop's children, whether he's going for another Christmas top spot, playing Heathcliff on the stage, or entertaining the crowds on a rainy day at Wimbledon.
 
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