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This show is about a young boy growing up in a mining community in the North East of England during the early 1980s when the Conservative Government under the frighteningly determined Prime Minister - Margaret Thatcher - decided to take on the powerful miners' union, and won. What happened in that period not only changed the UK political climate forever, but also changed the world.
Thatcher's ideas - harsh medicine to cure deep-rooted ills, unbending political strategies, taking on powerful groups, controlling inflation with high unemployment, selling off state-owned assets, all combined with the concept that there is 'no such thing as society' - were more revolutionary than even Marx and Engels could possibly have dreamed of. And what's more, those ideas were eagerly taken up and honed by other Governments right around the globe.
That's the background, now back to the plot Billy's father and brother are miners who are called-out on strike. The harsh reality of a family already living on the edge is thus intensified. The family - at least Billy and his father - still grieve for Billy's mother, and his grandmother needs constant attention because of apparent dementia.
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Sound of Music. Vs. Wicked. The competition for the leading london musicals production is hotting up with Sound of Music rival, Wicked, setting a new all-time theatre tickets record for a single week's musicals gross in the West End - for the week 26th-30th December 2006, the show sold a record-breaking £873,020 worths of london theatre tickets for the Apollo Victoria London Theatre. Over a quarter of a million people have now seen Wicked since the theatre production opened on September 7.
West End Tickets
Andrew Lloyd Webber has reclaimed the top spot in The London theatre Stage 100 - our annual list of the 100 most influential people in theatre. However, he has been forced to share first place with last year's winner David Ian, who co-produced Wicked west end rival, The Sound of Music with Lloyd Webber and appeared alongside him on reality TV series How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? Next year, the pair will go their separate ways and star in rival London theatre TV shows on BBC and ITV. Lloyd Webber will be involved with the BBC's Any Dream Will Do - to find a star forJoseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat - while Ian will feature on ITV show You're the One That I Want! to find the leads for a theatre production of Grease.
If the sound of music is anything to go by, we could be looking at record breaking london theatre tickets sales this time next year as both musicals hit the west end. The West End theatres saw a number of musicals of which the finest was probably Michael Grandage's revival of Rice and Lloyd Webber's very best workWest End Listings Evita, starring Argentinian sensation Elena Roger. Subjectively very close behind is The Sound of Music in which lead Connie Fisher got all of the public attention thanks to her unusual selection - by a TV audience rather than Just Lloyd-Webber - but this should take nothing away from Charming Lesley Garrett and all those sweet little von-trapp children.
Monty Python fans have been wetting themselves over the prospect of the London theatre version of Spamalot, and they will not be disappointed, assuming that they can get theatre tickets. It could be even better with the arrival of Simon Russell Beale to take over the crown of King Arthur in the New Year. The other big success is Wicked, the Wizard of Oz prequel starring the delightful Idina Menzel and Helen Dallimore. This garnered some rather sniffy reviews but has silenced it's critics in terms of tickets sales.
Sir Trevor Nunn's Porgy and Bess pleased most audiences, although it might be a mistake to see the DVD of his opera production from twenty years before watching the London musicals. The most sought theatre tickets in town are forDirty Dancing, a very accurate reproduction of the famous film on stage.
Grease Tickets, Sound Of Music Tickets, Dirty Dancing Tickets, Wicked Tickets - all now available