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Wicked comes to the Mayflower Theatre

Emily Tierney will play Glinda in Wicked when it comes to the Mayflower Credit: Mayflower Threatre
Ashleigh Gray will play Elphaba in Wicked when it comes to the Mayflower Credit: Mayflower Theatre

Wicked, the global musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, is pleased to announce that Ashleigh Gray (Elphaba), Emily Tierney (Glinda), Samuel Edwards (Fiyero), Marilyn Cutts (Madame Morrible), Steven Pinder (The Wizard and Doctor Dillamond), Carina Gillespie (Nessarose) Richard Vincent (Boq) and Jacqueline Hughes (Standby Elphaba) will star in the record-breaking production when it comes to the Mayflower Theatre on Tuesday 21 October until Saturday 15 November 2014.

The spectacular production of “this thrillingly entertaining show” has broken countless Box Office records and already received multiple five star reviews across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

The award-winning London production continues its open-ended run at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, where it is now the 10th longest running show in the West End. Around the world, Wicked has already been seen by 42 million people in 13 countries, and won 100 international awards.

In a brilliantly witty re-imagining of the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Wicked has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, a book by Winnie Holzman, musical staging by Wayne Cilento and is directed by two-time Tony Award® winner Joe Mantello. Wicked is based on the novel, ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’, by Gregory Maguire.

Official UK website:


New film charts the highs and lows of Spandau Ballet

More than 3 decades ago Spandau Ballet were breaking onto the music scene but, after conquering the charts they took a 20 year break.

Now, they're back and tomorrow at cinemas across the Meridian region they're premiering a new film which includes the band's archive, charting their highs and lows. David Wood caught up with them.

Find out which of your local cinemas are showing the film here

MOBO nominations sing loudly and proudly for music of black origin

Singers from the South who have made it to the top of the R&B and hip hop music charts, are this week being recognised for their vocal achievements. Nadine Samuels from Buckinghamshire has been nominated for best newcomer in the MOBOs - the awards celebrating the UK's best music of black origin. Asana Greenstreet caught up with the stars to find out why these awards can help singers make it to number one.

Marilyn Monroe negative goes under the hammer

This negative will be sold at auction in Wiltshire later today Credit: Henry Aldridge and Sons

A negative from Marilyn Monroe's first professional photoshoot goes under the hammer in Wiltshire today.

At the time the image was captured, the future film star was the unknown Norma Jeane Baker, a 20-year-old factory girl dreaming of becoming a model.

The negative - and most crucially, the copyright to the image - will be sold at auction and is estimated to fetch between £5,000 and £8,000.

Back in 1946, Norma Jeane was married and working at a munitions factory when a passing military government photographer told her she could be a model, so she approached a Hollywood modelling agency, Blue Book.

Young aspiring photographer Joseph Jasgur was assigned to get her first portfolio and took her to Zuma beach in Malibu for a few pictures, which were later presented to Ben Lyon, casting director at 20th Century Fox.

They were the pictures that would not only make Jasgur famous but create a star in Norma Jeane, who later dazzled Hollywood and sparked international headlines.

"With aspirations of becoming a model, she joined Hollywood's Blue Book Model Agency. On March 6 1946 Joseph Jasgur received a call from Emmeline Snively, head of Blue Book. Snively asked Jasgur to take a few test shots of an aspiring young model. He first photographed her on a small street in West Hollywood behind Beverly Boulevard and over the next few weeks he photographed her on top of Don Lee Towers, above the Hollywood sign and at Zuma Beach, where this image was taken. This photo offers a unique glimpse of the young girl who was later to become the global phenomenon that was Marilyn Monroe. It is exceptionally rare for photos of this type to come to auction, however the true value in this image lies in the fact that it is sold with its own copyright to reproduce and distribute the image as the winning bidder wishes."

– ndrew Aldridge, Henry Aldridge and Sons


Record numbers at Maidstone Mela

Maidstone Mela has been hailed a success by organsiers who say a record number of people attended the festival this year.

The event was held in Mote Park and is in its 12th year. It celebrates the different cultures that live in the town through music, food and dance and is one of the biggest of its kind in the South East.

Gurvinder Sandher from Kent Equality Cohesion and Richard Thick, Mayor of Maidstone, explain what the event is all about.

We meet the cast of the new series of Downton Abbey

Back in time. It's 1924, there's a Labour Government in charge in Britain for the first time and the Charleston still reigns on the dance floor. The stage is set - Hampshire's Highclere Castle the location - and Earl and Countess of Grantham are ready to hold court. It's almost time for the new series of Downton Abbey. With Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire providing the backdrops, we'll be reunited with those upstairs and downstairs preparing to face a new, more modern world. Amanda Piper has been to meet the cast.

Region to celebrate 'Days of Fear and Wonder...'

It's the biggest celebration the British Film Institute has ever held with talks and classic science-fiction movies from War of the Worlds to 2001: A Space Odyssey being performed everywhere from in pubs to planetariums.

The BFI's Days of Fear and Wonder season begins across the region this weekend and, as Andy Dickenson found out, two of the world's greatest sci-fi authors were inspired by a small village in the heart of Sussex.

He speaks to Michael Sherborne, H.G. Wells' biographer; Dr Benjamin Noys, from the University of Chichester; and Ellen Cheshire, of Film Hub South East.

Clips from War of the Worlds, courtesy of Paramount Pictures, Village of the Damned, courtesy of Warner Bros, and The Invisible Man, courtesy of Universal Studios.

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