Ron Ellis Theatre Column

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Preston Drama Club presents Frank Vickery’s comedy, Family Planning at Preston Playhouse Theatre from Wednesday, May 21 to Saturday, May 24 at 7.30pm.

When young Tracy discovers she is pregnant she doesn’t know how to tell either her parents (solid, dependable Elsie and hypochondriac Idris) or Bobby, her boyfriend. Bobby. Gran, permanently ensconced in bed (on stage), knows all and sees all, helps to pave the way for her announcement.

Unfortunately, Idris, overhearing Tracy and Elsie, jumps to the wrong conclusion and believes he has but a short time to live!

Next door neighbour, Maisey, butts in when Bobby is speaking to Idris and after liberal measures of gin all round, proceeds to show her true affections for Idris

Misunderstandings and mishaps abound in the second Act, not least with Gran, and events are brought to a riotous conclusion when Maisey tries to apologise and Elsie catches her at it! Tickets £8 and £7 from the Box Office: 01772 744771/252288.

The acclaimed West End and Broadway musical, The Lion King, comes to the Liverpool Empire for a short season.

Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney’s The Lion King is a worldwide theatrical phenomenon.

It has been seen by more than 70 million people worldwide and is still drawing sell-out crowds at London’s Lyceum Theatre in its 15th year.

In May 2014 this award-winning production will begin its long anticipated season at the Liverpool Empire.

A spectacular visual feast, this adaptation of Disney’s classic film transports audiences to a dazzling world that explodes with glorious colours, stunning effects and enchanting music.

At its heart is the powerful and moving story of Simba – the epic adventure of his journey from wide-eyed cub to his destined role as King of the Pridelands.

The Lion King runs from Friday, May 16 until Saturday, July 5 at 7.30pm with matinees at 2.30pm every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday and two extra matinees on Thursday, May 29 and July 3. Tickets from 0844 871 3017

The newly named Bos Musical Theatre Company (formerly Birkdale Orpheus Society) have chosen the old favourite, The King And I, for their 2014 spring musical, to be performed at Southport Little Theatre from next Saturday (May 24) for a week.

This heart-warming story of the British governess brought to the court of Siam to tutor the King’s many children is told using one of the most beautiful scores ever written with sweeping melodies such as The March of the Siamese Children, Shall We Dance, I Whistle A Happy Tune, Hello Young Lovers and the unforgettable Getting To Know You. Not to mention the legendary ballet scene.

Jamie Lester plays the King of Siam and Lucy Clark is Anna. Hilary Thomson directs.

Tickets are from the Box Office: 01704 530521/530460.