Tommy

Chris is Assistant MD to Robert Wicks on TOMMY at the Winter Gardens Blackpool.

TOMMY opens on 12 September and plays through to Saturday September 26. This multi award winning adaptation of the original chart topping album tells a powerful tale of a deaf, mute and blind pinball player who becomes an international messiah.

Starring Joe McElderry & Antony Costa

This smash hit Broadway and West End show will be directed by stage and screen star PAUL NICHOLAS who starred alongside Elton John, Roger Daltrey and Tina Turner in the 1975 film release of the show. The new show coincides with the 40 year anniversary of the film.
This colourful, exciting, imaginative and thought provoking new production will be enhanced by exhilarating choreography and will feature first class rock musicians. TOMMY was first performed by The Who in 1968 and was conceived by Pete Townsend and Kit Lambert with contributions to its development by John Enstwhistle, Keith Moon and Roger Daltrey.
It is not the first time that Blackpool audiences will be thrilled by The Who classics – the legendary rockers played the world famous Opera House twice in August 1964 and October 1961 to critical acclaim.

Henry V in France

Chris is composer and musical director for Antic Disposition’s production of Henry V.

Marking both the company’s 10th anniversary and the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, award-winning British theatre company Antic Disposition bring Shakespeare’s most stirring history play to Périgord and Quercy in a bold new production.

England’s idealistic army marches to war, certain of a swift and glorious victory. France proudly rallies to defend her borders from invasion. But as nations clash, it is the common soldiers who pay the ultimate price in the bloody mud of the battlefield.

Performed in English “in this best garden of the world, our fertile France”, Henry V is an accessible and fast-paced evening of entertainment, celebrating the complex historical relationship between our two nations – from the Hundred Years War to the Entente Cordiale.

Peter Pan

Chris is delighted to be returning to Watford Palace Theatre this Easter as composer / musical director for Peter Pan.

Join Peter, Wendy, John and Michael on a magical adventure to Neverland, filled with lost boys, fractious fairies, swashbuckling pirates, mermaids and a ticking crocodile. J M Barrie’s classic tale of the boy who never grew up is brought vividly to life by some of the County’s most talented young performers, in this faithful stage adaptation by Olivier award-winning writer Mike Kenny (The Railway Children – National Railway Museum and Waterloo Station).

Watford Palace Theatre presents a Hertfordhsire County Youth Theatre Production 3 – 4 April, 2015

Director: James Williams
Designer: Helen Coyston

A Christmas Carol Review – The Stage

★★★★

The setting for this Christmas tale is so ornate and enchanting that it gives the production an air of excitement and sophistication even before the opening line has been uttered.

And, happily, the Antic Disposition team members live up to their surroundings, presenting an entertaining play that observes the traditions of the tale while adding some welcome twists.

Chris Courtenay is particularly impressive as the tortured Ghost of Jacob Marley, and his reappearance when Scrooge is looking back at his doomed relationship with fiancee Belle (Emma Whittaker) is both ominous and poignant.

Of course, the success of a production of A Christmas Carol is largely dependent on the performance of Scrooge, and David Burt fits the bill perfectly. A thrilling combination of bitterness, misery, regret and loneliness, Burt gives Scrooge’s repellent qualities context, quickly eliciting festive sympathy.

Tiny Tim is played by a young boy, and on the press night Theo Williams was excellent – a great singer, who portrays timid Tim with incredible empathy and warmth.

The other cast members have a lot of doubling up to do but they manage the multiple roles expertly. Aided by creative costumes, the variety of characters evoked makes the cast seem larger than it is. Accompanied by live musicians, and including regular musical scenes, this production triumphs in portraying both the merriment and the frightening elements of the story. It is an interpretation that does justice to one of the festive season’s finest tales.

Verdict: Triumphant interpretation of the Dickens classic in a spectacular venue

By Catherine Usher for The Stage

A Christmas Carol Review – Whats On Stage

Antic Disposition’s atmospheric production is a ‘thoroughly stimulating experience’

WOS Rating: ★★★★

Middle Temple Hall and its environs is the definitive location to stage A Christmas Carol. The Dickensian streets of Temple give the impression that you’ve literally transported back to the time and place where Dickens penned many of his most beloved stories, including said novella.

The psychogeographic decision is a triumph for production company Antic Disposition, founded by director Ben Horslen and designer John Risebero, which prides itself for using site specific locations to stage works from Shakespeare and beyond. It’s a similar modus operandi to production company the Malachite Theatre, which has been using St Leonard’s Church in Shoreditch to stage Shakespeare – made more relevant as the bard’s Lord Chamberlain’s Men once performed in the East London area.

A Christmas Carol is as versatile as they come. We’ve all seen classic TV productions – of the comic, severe, cartoon and Muppet variety – and there’s been some great staged one-man story-telling courtesy of acting giants Patrick Stewart and Simon Callow; now’s the opportunity to see it done with a full cast and music by Christopher Peake.

Some interesting musical variations of well-known Christmas carols from the outset nicely set the tone, but it’s only when Scrooge (David Burt) gets his ghostly visitations that things really kick off.

Just when you begin to doubt the capability of conveying the terror of the visions, Scrooge’s silhouetted and shackled late partner Jacob Marley (Chris Courtenay) comes into view. The Ghost of Christmas Past (Katie Lowell) shows us how Scrooge has become the man he is, with his obsession of money ruining the love and engagement with sweetheart Belle (Emma Whittaker).

Scrooge is then shown the poverty of the family of his clerk Bob Cratchit (Paul Tonkin) by the gregarious Ghost of Christmas Present (David Anthony) before seeing the fate of their crippled son Tiny Tim (Theo Williams) and, of course, his own.

It’s a thoroughly stimulating experience with keyboard and strings adding even more to the atmos, if that were possible. David Burt’s portrayal of the protagonist is masterful. He may look like an ageing heavy metaller but his unparalleled transformation from misanthrope to flamboyant philanthrope completely takes you by surprise. Not least when the audience are treated with a shower of chocolate money. Merry Christmas!

By Will Stone for WhatsOnStage