Lion King, Dogfather, Bradford Magic Circle and more in our entertainment overview

THE Lion King has roared through town – the highlight of Bradford Theatres’ new season.

The spectacular Disney Theatrical Group show is at the Alhambra until May 28 – the UK tour’s only Yorkshire venue. Tony and Olivier’s winning musical last took place at the Alhambra in 2014, watched by more than 81,000 people in a record-breaking season.

The Lion King opened in the UK in October 1999 at the Lyceum Theatre, which remains its London home. It is the West End’s biggest show and has been seen by over 100 million people worldwide.

The story of young lion Simba’s epic journey to the responsibilities of becoming king is brought to life using puppets, masks and striking costumes, drawing on various cultural influences to recreate the African savannah. The animated film’s score has been expanded for the stage to include an evocative mix of African chorales as well as Sir Elton John and Sir Tim Rice’s Oscar-winning Can You Feel The Love Tonight. Puppets designed by acclaimed director Julie Taymor, influenced by ancient theatrical techniques, bring to life 25 species of wild animals, including giraffes and hyenas, and the waving grasses of the savannah.

* BRADFORD Magic Circle returns to the stage this month with his show Hey Presto. Taking place at the Bingley Arts Center on Saturday, April 30, the show includes a variety of magical acts, headlined by Taylor Morgan and her Wonderful Illusions; a show described as “a fascinating journey through stories, laughter and amazing moments for every person in the room”. With her act often involving fire and levitation stunts, audiences are in for a thrilling ride.

Taylor Morgan

The accomplice is Craig Petty, who has been practicing magic all over the world for 25 years. A member of the Inner Magic Circle, Craig will perform his famous children’s entertainment number. The lineup also includes three members of the Bradford Magic Circle: Rod Williams, “wows you with his fun physiological illusion act”; John Hotowka who entertains with the magic of comedy with audience participation; and Ray Roberts, making his 12th appearance on Hey Presto, whose sophisticated stage number will leave audiences with a question: “How did he do that?”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: magician Taylor Morgan on stage

Taylor Morgan on stage

The show also includes dancing by Deanna Gore. Tickets are at the Bingley Little Theater or at ticketsource.co.uk/bingleyartscentre

* THE cast of Little Bingley Theater The production of Jumpers for Goalposts recently received a visit from Philip Duguid-McQuillan, who played Luke in the original professional production of the comedy. Phil – who was one of director Paul Chewins’ students when he was head of performing arts at Beckfoot School – recalled the process of conceiving and rehearsing the original collaboration between Hull Truck, Paines Plow and Watford Palace in 2013. Says Phil: “The writing is so good. This cast is doing great things with the part and I know the production will be brilliant.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: jumpers for goal posts.  Little Bingley Theater

The cast of Jumpers for Goalposts with Philip Duguid-McQuillan, center

Presenting at the Bingley Little Theater from April 4-9, Jumpers for Goalposts is a big-hearted romantic comedy set in a world of five-a-side gay and lesbian soccer. The action takes place in the locker room of Barely Athletic, a team of incompetent players, ss they heal body injuries and pride.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bingley Little Theater presents jumpers for goalposts

The cast of Jumpers for Goalposts

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: American singer Rebecca Loebe.  Photo: Rahfard

* REBECCA Loebe (above) will be at Black Dyke Mills in Queensbury on May 21 with True Songs and a Lie – “an interactive storytelling concert adventure”. The singer/songwriter, from Austin, Texas, canceled more than 150 gigs overnight during the lockdown – so she got creative. Drawing on her degree in audio engineering and the camera experience she gained as a fan-favorite contestant on The Voice in America, she turned her home office into a broadcast studio and began to happen online. To keep things interesting, she started lying; at each concert she performed original songs and told stories about her life and adventures on the road, and at the end the audience guessed which story was a lie for a chance to win a prize on her merchandise table Virtual. The show was a hit with fans online and now she is performing it on stage.

* THE father-dog himself – Graeme Hall, star of Channel 5’s Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly – brings his wisdom, charm and puppy prowess to his first UK tour, calling Leeds City Varieties on April 13. Dog and puppy owners will have the opportunity to seek advice on canine concerns from ‘Britain’s best dog trainer’, whose show features tips, memories, heartwarming surprises and a Q&A .

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Graeme Hall.  father-dog

Graeme Hall. Photo: Neil Reading PR

Graeme is a Master Dog Trainer in the Dog Trainers Guild. With over 10 years of experience, a celebrity client list and regular television appearances on BBC Breakfast and ITV’s This Morning, he is renowned for providing quick but lasting solutions to dog behavior problems. He has a motto: “Any dog, any age, any problem”.

Graeme says: “For years I trained dogs in people’s party rooms and living rooms, and more recently on TV. I had the chance to write books and record podcasts, now I can finally do something I always wanted to do. I’ll be sharing the lessons I’ve learned training thousands of dogs and telling some funny stories along the way, on my first UK tour. Come, learn something and laugh with me!

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