Entertaining drama at festival in Matlock Bath’s Grand Pavilion

Just Like That - The Toimmy Cooper Show at Matlock Bath Grand Pavilion on Sunday, June 18. Photo by Steve Ullathorne
Just Like That - The Toimmy Cooper Show at Matlock Bath Grand Pavilion on Sunday, June 18. Photo by Steve Ullathorne

Popular renovation project The Grand Pavilion theatre in Matlock Bath is presenting fun and entertaining productions over the next few weeks as part of its fundraising ‘Little Bit Scruffy’ Drama Festival.

‘Pie and Peas with D H Lawrence’ on Friday, June 9, sees drama group Wirksworth Community Theatre performing a series of sketches, music, poems and readings from the world of DH Lawrence with a special emphasis on his life and work during his Eastwood and Middleton-by-Wirksworth years. This performance has already been warmly received by a sell-out audience in Wirksworth. The seating arrangement will be cabaret style and a ‘Pie and Peas’ supper will be served during the interval.

‘The Singular Exploits of Sherlock Holmes’ on Saturday, June 10, by Victorian melodrama group Don’t Go Into The Cellar presents the greatest fictional sleuth of all time springing back to life in these stirring adaptations of the Conan Doyle classics. A high-energy one-man show features a plethora of dashing heroes, villainous rogues and vintage thrills as the great detective recounting highlights of his crime-busting career. The show also includes autobiographical snippets detailing his life and times, the adversaries he has faced and mysteries he has solved. The performance is an affectionate homage to the world’s greatest detective which includes quick costume changes and wry humour.

‘Oliver!’ from Matlock Musical Theatre is presented in the society’s 110th anniversary year. Full of great characters, mixed emotions and fabulous songs, this performance will re-tell the very well-known story of Oliver! based upon the original story of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. There are four performances between Thursday, June 15 to Saturday, June 17.

‘Just Like that!’ by Hambledon Productions on Sunday, June 18, reflects Tommy Cooper’s true comic genius. His impeccable timing, misfiring magic, trademark fez and quick-fire gags made him an international star. Complete with live musical accompaniment, this critically acclaimed tribute show is full of magic and mirth and is the perfect celebration of Britain’s favourite comedian. The show, fully supported by The Tommy Cooper Estate and Tommy’s daughter, Vicky, has been wowing audiences for four years, including a 16-week residency at London’s Museum of Comedy. Don’t miss this gag-packed, magical tour de force! This all-encapsulating show features John Hewer giving “a remarkably faithful performance” (Time Out) as he “captures the Cooper style, from mumbled speech and loud laughter to the awkward giant body language” (The Stage) and delivering “nuances both obvious and subtle” (Everything Theatre) as the man in the fez.

Young and older aspiring actors should also enter the festival’s drama or poetry cash prize competitions. With range of age categories and a huge range of performance pieces to choose from, the competition on June 24 allows plenty of time to learn and perfect the lines!

The Grand Pavilion is owned by a charity formed from local people, dedicated to restoring the theatre to its full Edwardian glory and to creating a significant regional venue. Tickets can be booked online at www.thegrandpavilion.co.uk or in person at our box office Restoration Café at The Grand Pavilion in Matlock Bath, open seven days.