What a circus, what a show

In the ring: The Circus of Horrors cast line up for their new show
In the ring: The Circus of Horrors cast line up for their new show
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The Circus of Horrors is back Preston on Tuesday with its latest incarnation.

The Circus of Horrors is back Preston on Tuesday with its latest incarnation.

From its beginnings at the 1995 Glastonbury festival, the outrageous troupe made the finals of TV’s Britain’s Got Talent.

The new production, at the Charter Theatre, features a ventriloquist and a demonic dummy with a life of its own, and showcases daring and bizarre circus acts from around the world.

The Curse of the Devil Doll is rooted in 1927 Berlin at the birth of cabaret. Box Office: 0844 844 7714 or www.prestonguildhall.com

Lancashire Sinfonietta is next week set to inspire audiences of every age with Wunderkind – an evening of music celebrating the talents of young composers and musicians.

Directed by Stephanie Gonley, leader of the English Chamber Orchestra and a frequent director/soloist with many of the UK’s top orchestras, every piece in the programme was written by a composer in their teens or early 20s.

An undoubted highlight will be Veiled Dawn, the much-anticipated world premiere by Young Composer in Residence, Tom Harrold – whose work is performed alongside greats from Britten, Mozart and Mendelssohn.

Tom took up his Sinfonietta residency as winner of its Christopher Brooks Memorial Prize, an annual award for young composers in the North West of England and says: “It is very exciting for someone of my age to be offered the opportunity to work with such a fantastic group of musicians.”

The ensemble is joined by guest soloist and BBC Young Musician finalist Callum Smart, performing two contrasting works by Rodrigo and Mozart.

This talented young violinist won the 2010 string final of the prestigious competition at the tender age of 13, and is now enjoying popularity at home and abroad as he develops his “mature” voice – at just 15.

Lancashire Sinfonietta is one of the most distinctive chamber orchestras in the UK. Its members are home-grown Lancashire musicians handpicked from the finest British orchestras.

They come together with world class soloists and directors to inspire the next generation through a diverse programme across Lancashire and the north west of England.

Before each performance, audiences are invited to join the Sinfonietta for a free pre-concert talk from 6.45pm, where they can learn more about the evening’s programme and the personalities behind one of the UK’s most distinctive chamber orchestras.

Performances are next Thursday at The Great Hall, Lancaster University, and the following night at The Grand, in Clitheroe.

Box office: www.lancs-sinf.com/events.

Teen sensation Cody Simpson is heading for Manchester on Sunday night – one of several one-night shows at the venue in March.

Australian born, and now LA based, the talented teen is performing at the Opera House as part of his European tour.

TV’s Hairy Bikers, Si King and Dave Myers bring their new live show Hairy Bikers: Larger than Live, to the venue the following Sunday.

Now in its 28th year, the Solid Silver 60s Show 2013, celebrates 50 years since The Searchers, The Merseybeats, Dave Berry and Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders released their debut singles – on March 12.

The following night Kristin Chenoweth, the Emmy and Tony Award winning Broadway star of Wicked and TV’s The West Wing, Pushing Daisies and GLEE, is to perform.

Lee Memphis King presents his tribute to The King, progressing through the movie years to Elvis’s return to performing in his ‘68 comeback special – on March 15.

Hit West End play The 39 Steps – currently celebrating its sixth year in the capital’s Criterion Theatre – returns to the Opera House in Manchester next week.

Based on John Buchan’s 1914 spy thriller – and Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 movie – this is a comedy thriller with four fearless actors playing 139 roles in 100 minutes of fast-paced fun.

The 39 Steps runs from Monday to Saturday.

Box office: 0844 871 3018 or www.atgtickets/manchester.