Tag Archives: lichfield

Lichfield’s Garrick Theatre & the gospel choir

Lichfield Gospel Choir

Jimmy Cricket is back at the Garrick Theatre in Lichfield on Sunday when he will be on stage along with 80 other performers.

The well-known comedian, 70, will feature in a concert alongside the Lichfield Gospel Choir (pictured above), to raise funds for local charities Lichfield Foodbank and St Giles Hospice.

The choir, led by musical director Themba Mvula, will sing a diverse repertoire of traditional, modern, American and African gospel music.

It is a welcome return to the Garrick Theatre for Jimmy, who headlined three Christmas seasons there after it opened back in 2003, as well as appearing with his stand-up comedy show.

The show is a collaboration between principal organiser Malcolm Flanagan, the Wade Street Church and the Garrick Theatre. All tickets are £10 and include a free programme.

The majority of seats have been sold for the show, but you can still grab your ticket for what will be an excellent evening of song and comedy, all in aid of great local Lichfield charities. For more information, visit http://www.lichfieldgarrick.com/

Johnny Vegas to also feature in film

Johnny Vegas is appearing in the Womble film

Famous actor and comedian Johnny Vegas is to appear in the Womble movie, which is being filmed on location in North Wales and also features entertainer Jimmy Cricket. 

St Helens-born Johnny is well known for his appearances in the hit ITV comedy drama Benidorm and also for popping up in adverts for tea brand PG Tips with a stuffed puppet monkey!

His addition to the cast is another major coup for the people behind Womble the movie, as it also includes top comedian Jimmy, 69, who will play himself as a talent contest judge.

The film is about a man called Aloysius Rupert Womble (played by actor and comedian Tom Spencer), who is in his 30s and living with Asperger’s Syndrome in a typical seaside resort town.

Children and adults affected by Asperger’s Syndrome have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviours.

Aloysius’s dream is to become a stand-up comedian. The film is a week-long snapshot of his life as he goes through the trials of living with a cognitive disorder, while dealing with the injustices forced upon him by society and parts of his community.

Over the seven-day period he prepares for the biggest night of his life – a talent show in his local pub.

The film will feature songs from the Beautiful South’s former lead singer Briana Corrigan and American Pie star Thomas Nicholas, as well as a string of original songs written by songwriters especially for the movie.

My movie debut – as a dream maker

Jimmy Cricket's column in the Lancashire Evening Post

Jimmy Cricket says he is looking forward to his role as a talent show judge on his  forthcoming silver screen debut.

But the famous veteran entertainer insists he will not be like Simon Cowell in The X Factor, telling readers of the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post in his monthly column he will be a “dream maker, not a dream breaker”.

Womble, one of the biggest independent movies to be made in North Wales, is being shot over the summer and will be set for release in 2016.

It is about a man called Aloysius Rupert Womble (played by actor and comedian Tom Spencer) who is in his 30s and living with Asperger’s Syndrome in a typical seaside resort town.

Children and adults affected by Asperger’s Syndrome have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviours.

Aloysius’s dream is to become a stand-up comedian. The film is a week-long snapshot of his life as he goes through the trials of living with a cognitive disorder, while dealing with the injustices forced upon him by society and parts of his community.

Over the seven-day period he prepares for the biggest night of his life – a talent show in his local pub.

Jimmy says in the Lancashire Evening Post: “Hopefully, the film will be shown in 2016 at the Cannes Film Festival.”

The time I nearly met a footballing legend

Jimmy Cricket talks about how he nearly met the late Sir Tom Finney in his latest Lancashire Evening Post newspaper column

Jimmy Cricket recalls in his latest newspaper column the time he nearly met a footballing legend.

The well-known comedian says in the Lancashire Evening Post that he was asked to do the corporate entertainment a few years ago at Deepdale, home of Preston North End for whom Sir Tom Finney made 473 competitive appearances, scoring 210 goals.

Tony Jo, a friend and fellow comedian, said during the evening that he would go and get Sir Tom so Jimmy could meet him.

However, Sir Tom was not feeling too well and had to go home early.

Jimmy recalls: “My big moment to meet a remarkable man and footballer, who had done so much for his home town of Preston, had gone.”

Sir Tom, who scored 30 goals in 76 appearances for England, died 12 months ago aged 91.

 

The show must go on… despite a bomb next door

Jimmy Cricket's latest column in the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post

Jimmy Cricket has recalled the time that a pantomime in which he was starring went ahead despite the fact that a bomb had been planted next to the theatre.

The famous entertainer was appearing in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Grand Opera Theatre in Belfast at the time.

Looking back at the incident in 1992, Jimmy told the Lancashire Evening Post in his latest column for the Preston-based newspaper: “With the help of great architects and engineers, we got the theatre ready just in time for the pantomime, even though we had to get ready and change in portakabins!

“The fact the people from Northern Ireland didn’t want the terrorists to succeed meant we did sellout business all the way through.”

Thanks to Ted Robbins for theatre sofa!

Jimmy Cricket's Christmas column in the Lancashire Evening Post

Jimmy Cricket talked in his latest newspaper column about how a gift to a theatre from an old friend helped him to relax in between panto performances during the festive season.

The famous Irish comedian said that when he first arrived at the Charter Theatre in Preston for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, he noticed a reclining sofa in his dressing room.

And he told readers in his most recent Lancashire Evening Post monthly column that he discovered it had been bequeathed by fellow entertainer and old chum Ted Robbins.

Jimmy also describes how BAE Systems employees and their families took over the first Saturday matinee performance of the pantomime.

He included a Christmas letter from his Mammy in his column, in which she talked about who gets what on the festive turkey and a nephew being arrested for picking blackberries in a computer shop.

Panto gets perfect lift-off

Jimmy Cricket gets front page coverage ahead of his latest pantomime at the Charter Theatre in PrestonJimmy Cricket’s latest pantomime received great coverage at its recent media launch.

The famous Northern Irish entertainer will be appearing in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Charter Theatre in Preston – where he made his panto debut in 1981 – over the Christmas and New Year period.

Back then, the Rochdale-based funnyman figured in a version of a contemporary pantomime called Robinson Crusoe in Outer Space when he was described as “Britain’s fastest rising TV comedian”.

Ahead of his 27th pantomime season, Jimmy had top billing (above right) on the front page of the 2 September edition of the Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post.

Jimmy Cricket and fellow cast members ahead of his latest pantomime at the Charter Theatre in Preston, featured in the Lancashire Evening Post

Inside the newspaper was a two-page spread (left) featuring photographs of all the cast who had assembled for the media launch.

On his arrival in Preston, he will be reunited with the creative team who produced last Christmas’s record -breaking version of Snow White at the Forum Theatre in Billingham, with some of the cast having also been retained.

Jimmy said: “With the nights drawing in and the leaves starting to turn golden, it won’t be long before it is panto time again.

“So it was great to see the local Preston media receive so well the announcement of Snow White at the Charter Theatre. This has got the show off to a great start and I’m looking forward to my return trip to Preston later in the year when the pantomime season starts fully!”

* Jimmy is writing a monthly column for the Lancashire Evening Post in the lead-up to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Charter Theatre in Preston.

Jimmy to have monthly newspaper column

Jimmy Cricket gets front page coverage ahead of his latest pantomime at the Charter Theatre in PrestonJimmy Cricket is to write a monthly newspaper column in the lead-up to his latest pantomime season.

The Lancashire Evening Post has commissioned the articles to coincide with the well-known comedian headlining Snow White and the Seven Dwarves at the Charter Theatre in Preston – where he made his panto debut in 1981 – over the Christmas and New Year period.

When the Lancashire Evening Post contacted Jimmy through his website editor Martin Hamer – former digital editor at the LEP – about the idea, he thought it was a “very flattering request”.

Jimmy said: “As a result, I did not hesitate to respond positively and am thrilled that my first monthly article is due to be published in the paper’s edition on Monday (22 September).”

He intends to use the article to describe some of the many stories he has collected from more than 30 years of performing in pantomimes.

This includes appearing in many of the major cities and towns across the UK and has also included working with a variety of celebrities from stage and screen.

Added Jimmy: “Hopefully the monthly articles will set the scene for my forthcoming appearance in Snow White at the Charter Theatre at the end of the year.”

Return to panto debut venue – 33 years later

Jimmy Cricket first appeared in panto at the Charter Theatre in preston in Robinson Crusoe in Outer SpaceJimmy Cricket will be appearing in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Preston's Charter Theatre

Jimmy Cricket will be performing in pantomime later this year at the Charter Theatre in Preston – where he made his panto debut in 1981.

The famous entertainer will be appearing in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (poster below) at the Lancashire venue.

It will be 33 years after the Northern Irish funnyman figured in a version of a contemporary pantomime called Robinson Crusoe in Outer Space (left) when he was described as “Britain’s fastest rising TV comedian”.

Since his first foray into the land of fairytales, Jimmy has featured in 26

 

different pantomime productions over the years, taking in theatres across the UK located in:

Belfast, Glasgow, Nottingham, Bradford, Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Darlington, Billingham, Wolverhampton, Truro, Doncaster, Lichfield, Swindon, Torquay, Southport, Ashton-under-Lyme and Weston-Super-Mare.

On his arrival in Preston, he will be reunited with the creative team who produced last Christmas’s record -breaking version of Snow White at the Forum Theatre in Billingham.

Some of the cast have been retained for the Preston version, which has delighted Jimmy who is looking forward to a happy return to the Charter Theatre.

Motorbike made out of balloons

Jimmy with Fred and Connie alongside an amazing motorbike made especially for this celebration out of modelling balloons!
Jimmy Cricket with Fred and Connie Van Buren – and that amazing motorbike made of modelling balloons

A motorbike made out of modelling balloons was one of the highlights when comedian Jimmy Cricket helped to celebrate the 80th birthday of one of his friends.

Jimmy Cricket with Connie, Fred's wife
Jimmy Cricket with Connie, Fred’s wife

Magician Fred Van Buren’s party was held in the village of Silverdale in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire.

Fred is now retired but his son, Andy, who has inherited the family penchant for magic, is following in his dad’s footsteps and is one of a few performers still skilled in the art of plate spinning.

Andy has been described as “one of the biggest names in British illusionists for many a decade”.

A multi-talented & skilled performer, he is one of the most experienced performers within the speciality act, shows & entertainment showbusiness today. He a gold star performing member of the Inner Magic Circle and a member of the prestigious showbusiness organisation, the Grand Order of Water Rats.

Fred and Connie get ready to cut the birthday cake
Fred cuts the cake

Jimmy has worked with Andy on many occasions – including in a pantomime at the Garrick Theatre in Lichfield – and the friendship has even involved Fred and Andy storing some of Jimmy’s props in their crammed warehouse which is full of tricks and props – including Jimmy’s gigantic Mexican hats!

This is because Jimmy tried to recreate for a stage show one of the sketches from his TV series called And There’s More on YouTube. This sketch involved large Mexican hats, but Jimmy did not have room for them, so  the Van Burens stepped in to help out and house them for him.

Jimmy says a big thank-you to magician Geoff Rushworth and Andrew Sherratt for supplying these superb photographs of a truly tremendous occasion!

Bike made out of balloons