Size Matters - The UK's largest indoor arena will open its doors for the first time with a headline act performed by Peter Kay. The Bolton comedian will perform at the opening night of the new 23,500-seater Co-op Live venue in Manchester on 23 April. Liam Gallagher, Take That, Pearl Jam and Olivia Rodrigo are also set to separately perform at the £350m arena.
Co-op general manager Gary Roden said Kay was the "perfect" opening act who "embodies what this city is about". The new venue, set to open opposite Manchester City's Etihad stadium, features a "unique bowl design" that would bring fans "closer to the artist than at other arenas of equivalent size", a spokesman for the Co-op said. The arena is set to surpass the Manchester Arena and O2 Arena in size to become the UK's largest indoor arena.
Get Back - Sir Paul McCartney has been reunited with the bass guitar he used on Beatles hits including Love Me Do and She Loves You, 51 years after it was stolen from the back of a van in London. The Höfner bass was found in a family's attic in Sussex thanks to a search by a project called the Lost Bass.
A spokesperson for the former Beatle said he was "incredibly grateful" for its return. Following an appeal for information by the Lost Bass search project, a family living in a terraced house in Sussex contacted the team remembering they had an old bass guitar in their attic.
On the Road - Chicago will embark on a UK tour in the autumn this year, visiting locations including the Theatre Royal Newcastle and Manchester’s Palace Theatre. Opening at Milton Keynes Theatre on 12 October, the production has announced an initial run lasting until 30 November - with further venues to be announced shortly. Cast is yet to be revealed for the musical, which will play the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford, Theatre Royal Newcastle and the Palace Theatre in Manchester.
Devil’s Music - Vanessa Williams has been cast as Miranda Priestly in West End musical The Devil Wears Prada. The actor will play the fashion magazine editor-in-chief in a production featuring music by Elton John at the Dominion Theatre from October 2024. The upcoming production will be directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell and opens with an exclusive preview in summer 2024 at Theatre Royal Plymouth.
John’s original score will be accompanied by the lyrics of Shaina Taub and a book by Kate Wetherhead, in a musical based on the novel by Lauren Weisberger. The Devil Wears Prada was also turned into a 2006 film, starring Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep.
(Jim Evans)
20 February 2024

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