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Club News - 2010


This is the Fanfare news of 2010, newer to older.
Note: Offsite links may no longer be valid.
Please click here to go to the current Club News

 

Images by David Ian Productions and the Really Useful Theatre Group © 2009 DIP/RUG
Images are from the official 'SOM' tour website.

Last chance to see Michael in SOM

December 7, 2010 -  The best Christmas present in Oxford this year are tickets to the family musical 'The Sound of Music'.  The show stars Michael Praed as Captain Von Trapp and Connie Fisher as Maria.  Opening night is Tuesday 7 December at the New Theatre. The show rings in the New Year, closing on Sunday 2 January.  Afterwards, the tour will continue, but Michael will be moving on to other things.  Oxford will be his last venue as Captain von Trapp.

Maria, a vivacious novice in Salzburg's Nonnberg Abbey, isn't fitting into somber convent life.  To give her an opportunity to get away from the abbey to reconsider her future, the Mother Abbess sends her to the aristocratic household of Captain Georg Von Trapp, a widower with seven children.  Maria is to be the governess to his emotionally neglected children.  As Maria reconciles her growing love for the children's father with her desire to become a nun, the looming Nazi menace in nearby Germany threatens to overwhelm them all.

The production features some of the most famous songs in musical history, 'The Sound of Music' tour is produced by David Ian Productions and Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group.

Chances are rapidly fading to see Michael in this famous role.  If you want to catch him, please contact the theatre directly here for tickets. 

 

 Michael leaving SOM

November 26, 2010 -  Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Ian and The Really Useful Group recently announced that Jason Donovan will star as Captain Von Trapp when it resumes in Hull on 29 January 2011. 

This means, of course, that Michael Praed's tenure as the captain is winding down.  If you would like to see Michael perform as the love-struck captain one last time, you will need to see the famous musical before his run ends on Sunday, 2 January 2011 in Oxford.

Michael joined the touring cast of 'The Sound of Music' when it left London's West End in late July of 2009.  The smash musical has broken several box office records in numerous cities where it has appeared, garnering glowing reviews in the process.  Michael's poignant rendition of the ballad 'Edelweiss', accompanied by himself on the guitar, has been cited amongst the show's highlights for the last year.

There is no word yet on Michael's next project, but we will let you know when we hear something definite.  Stay tuned!

 

Michael's Christmas present

November 21, 2010 -  We are currently collecting money from fans for Michael's present and we are inviting you to donate what you feel comfortable contributing for his gift.  Since Michael may read this, we don't want to give this away, but, if you are in Fanfare chat today you will hear what we plan to get Michael for his Christmas present!  If you miss chat, just email Celeste at one of the email addresses below and ask. (No Michael, not you!)

We'd like to get the money collected in time to give it to Michael for Christmas, so we are setting a deadline of Sunday, 5 December.  This should give us time to order the present and get it to him.

Records will be kept so we have the names of contributors to give to Michael.  Please join us.

Michael's Christmas present

No longer accepting donations

 

Images by David Ian Productions and the Really Useful Theatre Group © 2010 DIP/RUG

SOM barnstorms into Bristol

November 2, 2010 -  'The Sound of Music' barnstorms into Bristol for a month-long stay. Opening Tuesday 2 November at the Hippodrome, the show runs until Saturday 4 December. Produced by David Ian Productions and Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group, the musical stars Michael Praed and Connie Fisher in the lead roles.

Maria, a vivacious novice in Salzburg's Nonnberg Abbey, isn't fitting into somber convent life.  To give her an opportunity to get away from the abbey to reconsider her future, the Mother Abbess sends her to the aristocratic household of Captain Georg Von Trapp, a widower with seven children.  Maria is to be the governess to his emotionally neglected children.  As Maria reconciles her growing love for the children's father with her desire to become a nun, the looming Nazi menace in nearby Germany threatens to overwhelm them all.

Please contact the Hippodrome directly here for remaining tickets.  If you would like additional information on the tour venues, please check our 'Sound of Music' reference page.  There is no word if Michael will continue with the tour after 2 January.

 

'Robin of Sherwood' on Blu-ray in the UK

October 25, 2010 -  Network DVD recently released the Michael Praed episodes of the cult classic Robin of Sherwood on Blu-ray in the UK.  The series brought Michael to worldwide attention for what many consider the definitive interpretation of the Robin Hood legend.  According to Network DVD, the series has been digitally restored in High Definition from the best available film elements and is presented at a quality level never before seen. Although the price for the 4-disc set was originally around £50, it is presently being sold for £33.99.  To order, visit Network DVD directly.  A link to the Blu-ray will be available shortly on our Merchandise page.  This is a limited edition, so get this version while you can!

The Jason Connery episodes will be coming at a later date.

 

Artwork by Celeste Moore ©2010.  Original image provided by SMCFP

Simon MacCorkindale passes

October 14, 2010 -  Michael Praed's colleague in 'Sleuth', Simon MacCorkindale, passed away in the arms of his wife Susan George at a London clinic after battling cancer for four years.  He was 58 years old.  MacCorkindale spent six years on the BBC medical drama 'Casualty' as Dr Harry Harper. He was also known for the 1980s series 'Manimal' and 'Falcon Crest' and appearing in the 1978 Agatha Christie film 'Death on the Nile'.

Simon teamed up with Michael during their 2008 UK tour of 'Sleuth'.  Simon and Michael worked well together and, typically for both, went out of their way to make fans of either actor welcome wherever they found them. Simon's last role was that of Captain von Trapp in the West End version of 'The Sound of Music', a role Michael took when it left the West End to tour.

"Team Simon" and "Team Michael" became close over the years. Shelli, the head of Simon's official fan club, took part in Michael's last chat and Michael passed a message along to Simon through her. Simon passed a message back to Michael through the two of us. Our hearts go out to Team Simon and to Simon's family and friends.

A private funeral was held for friends and family members.  A memorial is planned for a later date.  Those wishing to leave comments and condolences can do so at Shelli's Simon MacCorkindale Fan Page (SMCFP).

 

Images by David Ian Productions and the Really Useful Theatre Group © 2010 DIP/RUG

SOM enlivens Liverpool

October 12, 2010 -  Happily hailing Connie Fisher back from her honeymoon, Liverpool warmly welcomes 'The Sound of Music' at the Liverpool Empire this week. Opening Tuesday 12 October, the show runs until Saturday 30 October.  Michael Praed portrays Captain von Trapp to Fisher's Maria. Producers of this sparkling show are David Ian Productions and Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group.

Maria, a vivacious novice in Salzburg's Nonnberg Abbey, isn't fitting into somber convent life.  To give her an opportunity to get away from the abbey to reconsider her future, the Mother Abbess sends her to the aristocratic household of Captain Georg Von Trapp, a widower with seven children.  Maria is to be the governess to his emotionally neglected children.  As Maria reconciles her growing love for the children's father with her desire to become a nun, the looming Nazi menace in nearby Germany threatens to overwhelm them all.

Please contact the Empire directly here for remaining tickets.  If you would like additional information on the tour venues, please check our 'Sound of Music' reference page.

 

Michael's 'Timewatch' episodes listed here

October 12, 2010 -  Have you spotted a 'Timewatch' rerun on BBC2 and found yourself wondering if Michael narrated it? Use this new list on Fanfare to see whether he's accredited as the narrator.  You can also find out more about the program on IMDb by clicking the title. Either access it directly here, or use the Roles page to access the information under 'Timewatch'. 

 

'The Sound of Music' tour poster © 2010 DIP/RUG

Music in Bournemouth

September 22, 2010 -  On Wednesday 22 September 'The Sound of Music' opens at the Pavilion in Bournemouth and runs until Saturday 9 October. Produced by David Ian Productions and Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group, the musical stars Michael Praed and Kirsty Malpass in the lead roles. (Connie Fisher is off on her honeymoon.)

Maria, a lively tomboy novice in an Austrian abbey, isn't fitting into somber convent life.  To give her an opportunity to get away from the abbey to reconsider her future, the Mother Abbess sends her to the lavish household of Captain Georg Von Trapp, a widower with seven children.  Maria is to be the governess to his emotionally neglected children.  As Maria reconciles her growing love for the children's father with her desire to become a nun, the looming Nazi menace in nearby Germany threatens to overwhelm them all.

Please contact the Pavilion directly here if you are interested in attending.  If you would like additional information on the tour venues, please check our 'Sound of Music' reference page

 

'The Sound of Music' tour poster © 2010 DIP/RUG

SOM plays Plymouth

August 24, 2010 -  'The Sound of Music' opens Tuesday 24 August at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth.  The musical runs until Saturday 18 September. Produced by David Ian Productions and Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group, the musical stars Michael Praed and Kirsty Malpass in the lead roles. (Connie Fisher is taking time out of the production for her wedding and honeymoon.)

Maria, a lively tomboy novice in an Austrian abbey, isn't fitting into somber convent life.  To give her an opportunity to get away from the abbey to reconsider her future, the Mother Abbess sends her to the lavish household of Captain Georg Von Trapp, a widower with seven children.  Maria is to be the governess to his emotionally neglected children.  As Maria reconciles her growing love for the children's father with her desire to become a nun, the looming Nazi menace in nearby Germany threatens to overwhelm them all.

Like other venues along the way, tickets are selling extremely quickly.  Please contact the Theatre Royal directly here for remaining tickets.  If you would like additional information on the tour venues, please check our 'Sound of Music' reference page

 

Images courtesy of thesoundofmusictour.com ©2010 DIP/RUG
Images courtesy of thesoundofmusictour.com ©2010 DIP/RUG

Michael interviews on SOM website

August 22, 2010 -  Fascinating observations and insights are revealed by Michael Praed in a four-part interview on the official 'The Sound of Music' tour website.  The interviews are also available on the Really Useful website and on YouTube.

Part One: Michael talks about his 'The Sound of Music' experiences - from an early crush on Liesl in the  film to his assessment of the current production's director Jeremy Sams.

Part Two: In the second part of the interview with Michael, he discusses acting tips and theories, lying in interviews, and how he's enjoying being on tour.

Part Three: Michael gives his thoughts on the transient life of touring, the allure of the theatre, and the venues he's visited on the current UK tour.

Part Four: Does Michael have a dream role?  What are his thoughts on television talent shows?  This final view of Michael gives us a glimpse of his compassion toward others.

 

Susan M. Garrett passes

August 14, 2010 -  SAJV den mother Susan M. Garrett passed away quietly on August 14th after battling five months with cancer.  Her brother Shawn and roommate Vicci Varner were at her side.

Active in the nascent fan community since the 1970s, Susan's early interest in filling in the gaps of her favorite television shows lead her to write fan fiction for such series as Dr Who, Shadow Chasers, Forever Knight, Beauty & The Beast, Quantum Leap, Dark Shadows, The Man From Atlantis, and The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, quickly gaining a reputation for her writing skills. A publisher of several fanzines through the years and the author of the 'Forever Knight' tie-in tale 'Intimations of Mortality' (1997, Berkeley, ISBN: 978-1572973138) she had a significant impact on fan communities in general.

Perusing the offerings at a convention aimed at selling syndications to television stations, she came across the team representing Talisman Crest's The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne (SAJV).  Among those attending was Michael Praed, who portrayed the angst-ridden ex-special ops agent Phileas Fogg.  Immediately sensing something special, Susan began promoting the new series before it even aired.  Once the show ended 22 episodes later, Susan led the coordinated effort among fans to keep SAJV going by coordinating fansites, petitioning advertisers and DVD makers. The attempt eventually failed, but the industry noticed.  Since then, other fans have used the rallying techniques to promote their endangered shows.  The most notable among them were the champions of Firefly, whose fans brought back a show canceled after 11 episodes to a highly anticipated return in the Universal film release, 'Serenity'.

The world will miss Susan's enthusiasm, her listening ear, her gentle mentoring, and sharp wit. The world still has her wonderful tales.

 

 The hooded man is coming to Blu-ray

July 23, 2010 -  Network DVD recently announced plans to release cult classic Robin of Sherwood on Blu-ray in the UK this fall.  Robin of Sherwood is the series which brought Michael Praed to worldwide attention for his striking portrayal of Robin Hood.  According to Network DVD, the series has been digitally restored in High Definition from the best available film elements and is presented at a quality level never before seen.

A blurb on the Network DVD website reads:

A benchmark of quality television drama in the 1980s and arguably the definitive interpretation of the Robin Hood legend, Michael Praed stars as Robin of Loxley in Richard Carpenter's influential and highly acclaimed re-working of the classic myth. Combining equal parts high drama, social realism, historical accuracy and atmospheric mysticism, Carpenter's reboot was - and remains - a worldwide hit.

The Michael Praed episodes will be available from October 25, 2010 with the Jason Connery episodes coming at a later date. Price for the 4-disc set is expected to be around £50.  Watch Club News for forthcoming announcements, regional compatibility, and ordering information.

Thanks go to Michael Praed fan Karen Osment for bringing our attention to this matter.

 

Images by David Ian Productions and the Really Useful Theatre Group © 2010 DIP/RUG

Birmingham welcomes SOM

July 13, 2010 -  Birmingham welcomes 'The Sound of Music' this week. Opening Tuesday 13 July at the Birmingham Hippodrome, the show runs until Saturday 21 August, one of the longest stops of the tour.   Produced by David Ian Productions and Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group, the musical stars Michael Praed and Connie Fisher in the lead roles. Please note that Michael will not be appearing the final week.

Maria, a vivacious novice in Salzburg's Nonnberg Abbey, isn't fitting into somber convent life.  To give her an opportunity to get away from the abbey to reconsider her future, the Mother Abbess sends her to the aristocratic household of Captain Georg Von Trapp, a widower with seven children.  Maria is to be the governess to his emotionally neglected children.  As Maria reconciles her growing love for the children's father with her desire to become a nun, the looming Nazi menace in nearby Germany threatens to overwhelm them all.

Like the other venues in this popular tour, tickets are in high demand.  Please contact the Birmingham Hippodrome directly here for remaining tickets.  If you would like additional information on the tour venues, please check our 'Sound of Music' reference page.

 

'Dynasty' ©2010 Paramount Home Entertainment

First of Michael's 'Dynasty' episodes available

June 21, 2010 - In 1985, Michael Praed's character Prince Michael of Moldavia was introduced to the viewers of world's most popular television series, ABC's 'Dynasty'. Capitalizing on interest in the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Michael portrayed a royal who falls in love with a commoner. A second cousin of the Prince of Wales, Catherine Oxenberg, starred as Prince Michael's love interest Amanda Carrington.  True to the nature of soap operas everywhere, squabbling, jealousy, and infidelity quickly ensued. Michael took part in seasons 5 (1985) and 6 (1986).

Seen by 60 million people worldwide and nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best TV Drama Series every year from 1981 to 1986 (it won in 1984), glamorous and decadent 'Dynasty' was the center of the world's fascinated attention. Even former President Gerald Ford took part in one episode.  The deliberately campy acting style and absurd plots ultimately cost viewers.  The disappointing dénouement of the bloody Royal Wedding in 1985 (the "Moldavian Massacre") saw the series' ratings drop from first to seventh. In the writers' scramble to find their way again, Michael's character was abruptly cut from the storyline a year after he was introduced.  The drastic measure did not help.  A year later 'Dynasty' had dropped even further, to 24th position. After nine seasons, 'Dynasty' was canceled in 1989.

The release of 'Dynasty Season 5' from Paramount Home Entertainment follows the action from Prince Michael's first entrance and ends in the dramatic 'Royal Wedding', giving viewers the chance to see one of the most (in)famous cliffhangers in television history.

Note: This DVD is currently available in Region 2 only , and therefore may not be viewable outside Europe without a multi-region DVD player. Check out the Fanfare Merchandise section for ordering information.

 

Images by David Ian Productions and the Really Useful Theatre Group © 2010 DIP/RUG

SOM wings into Woking

June 20, 2010 -  'The Sound of Music' wings into Woking this week. Opening Tuesday 22 June at the New Victoria Theatre, the show runs until Saturday 10 July. Produced by David Ian Productions and Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group, the musical stars Michael Praed and Connie Fisher in the lead roles.

Maria, a lively tomboy novice in an Austrian abbey, isn't fitting into somber convent life.  To give her an opportunity to get away from the abbey to reconsider her future, the Mother Abbess sends her to the lavish household of Captain Georg Von Trapp, a widower with seven children.  Maria is to be the governess to his emotionally neglected children.  As Maria reconciles her growing love for the children's father with her desire to become a nun, the looming Nazi menace in nearby Germany threatens to overwhelm them all.

One of the most popular touring productions in recent years, tickets are a hot item.  Please contact the New Victoria Theatre directly here for remaining tickets.  If you would like additional information on the tour venues, please check our 'Sound of Music' reference page.

 

Images by David Ian Productions and the Really Useful Theatre Group © 2010 DIP/RUG

'Music' for Eastbourne

June 1, 2010 -  'The Sound of Music' returns Michael Praed to Eastbourne where his singing and acting talent was discovered. The lavish production runs from Tuesday 1 June until Saturday 19 June at the Congress Theatre. Michael portrays the male lead Captain Von Trapp. The musical also stars Connie Fisher in the female lead of Maria.  Producers are David Ian Productions and Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group,

Maria, a lively tomboy novice in an Austrian abbey, isn't fitting into somber convent life.  To give her an opportunity to get away from the abbey to reconsider her future, the Mother Abbess sends her to the lavish household of Captain Georg Von Trapp, a widower with seven children.  Maria is to be the governess to his emotionally neglected children.  As Maria reconciles her growing love for the children's father with her desire to become a nun, the looming Nazi menace in nearby Germany threatens to overwhelm them all.

As usual, tickets are selling fast.  Please contact the Congress Theatre directly here for remaining tickets.  If you would like additional information on the tour venues, please check our 'Sound of Music' reference page

 

'The Sound of Music' resumes in Llandudno

SOM resumes in Llandudno

May 10, 2010 -  'The Sound of Music' returns to the stage after a three week hiatus. Commencing Tuesday 11 May at Venue Cymru Llandudno, the production runs until Saturday 29 May. Produced by David Ian Productions and Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group, the musical stars Michael Praed and Connie Fisher in the lead roles.

Maria, a lively tomboy novice in an Austrian abbey, isn't fitting into somber convent life.  To give her an opportunity to get away from the abbey to reconsider her future, the Mother Abbess sends her to the lavish household of Captain Georg Von Trapp, a widower with seven children.  Maria is to be the governess to his emotionally neglected children.  As Maria reconciles her growing love for the children's father with her desire to become a nun, the looming Nazi menace in nearby Germany threatens to overwhelm them all.

Reports from the theatre indicate that tickets are selling fast.  Please contact the Venue Cymru directly here for remaining tickets.  If you would like additional information on the tour venues, please check our 'Sound of Music' reference page

 

Michael Praed in Hayes 2008. Photo by Richard Anderson for Fanfare ©2010
Michael Praed in Hayes 2008. Photo by Richard Anderson for Fanfare ©2010

Michael attends Fanfare chat

May 1, 2010 -  Michael Praed paid another visit to Fanfare chat on Saturday evening, 1 May. It was a moderated chat (mostly!) so that Michael wasn't hit by a blizzard of questions and comments all at once. In all, Michael took two hours of his precious free time during the hiatus of 'The Sound of Music' to speak with us.  He thanked Fanfare members for his birthday presents, discussed many subjects and was his usual amusing self. If you would like to discover what he said, the chat transcript is here.

Moderated chat room space is extremely limited, so only those contributing to his birthday gifts and Fanfare members were notified. If you would like to receive notification of future visits, create a login on the Fanfare forum.  If Michael gives us advance warning, so will we!

 

London Marathon and the BRDC Marathon Legends

 London Marathon results

April 26, 2010 -  On 25 April, the "BRDC Marathon Legends", members of the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), completed the London Marathon of 2010 in support of the children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent.

What does this have to do with Michael Praed, you ask?  One member of the BRDC Marathon Legends team is driver Rob Barff, who will be coaching Michael in race car driving at Silverstone when he gets a break between professional commitments. As a thank you for offering his time, Fanfare donated £75 (£96.15 with Gift Aid added) in Michael's name to Rob's marathon effort. The BRDC Marathon Legends were aiming for £50,000 and raised an astonishing £85,257.99 for the charity. 

It is our way of fighting the effects of this deadly disease which has endangered and robbed Michael of cherished colleagues.

Originally patterned after the famed New York City Marathon, the London Marathon is currently the largest single annual fundraising event in the world. There were 36,549 runners this year who completed the marathon by 7:00 pm on Sunday evening. The champion in the men's division was Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, who covered the 26.2 miles in 2.05.19.  Russian Liliya Shobukhova was the women's champion with a time of 2.22.00.

Congratulations to all who took part.

Team Members and finishing times
Oliver Gavin - 2:54.19
Stuart Hall - 2:59.14
Jonny Kane - 2:59.29 (marathon debut!)
Stuart Pringle - 3:17.18
Richard Westbrook - 3:37.18
Marino Franchitti - 3:46.04
Charlie Hollings - 3:49.00
Andy Priaulx - 3:49.31
Guy Smith - 3:54.54
Peter Dumbreck - 3:56.20
Rob Barff - 4:04.18
Johnny Mowlem - 4:05.42
Darren Turner - 4:14.39
Marc Hynes - 4:24.48
Sean Edwards (out of the country with racing commitments - running his own marathon on return).

 

Time off!

Three-week hiatus for 'SOM'

April 17, 2010 -  With the ending of tonight's performance, 'The Sound of Music' will go on a 23-day hiatus.  This time off will give the cast and crew time to catch their breath, spend time with family, complete neglected chores, sleep, holiday, tend to mundane matters, and fix an over climbed mountain.  The run will continue in three-weeks time at the Venue Cymru in Llandudno.  The first performance will be on 11th May.

 

'The Sound of Music' tour poster © 2010 DIP/RUG

'SOM' contract extension

April 16, 2010 -  As we promised in February, we have an update on Michael's future with 'The Sound of Music'.  We are pleased to confirm that he recently signed a contract for another six months.  This means that Michael will be playing Captain Von Trapp until 2 January 2011, giving more fans a chance to see him in this famous role.  Additional venues are Woking, Birmingham, Plymouth, Bournemouth, Liverpool, Bristol, and Oxford,  To view theatre contacts and scheduling information, please go to our 'The Sound of Music' reference page.

Thanks go to Connie Fisher fan Gaby Gearon for bringing our attention to this matter.

 

Montage of Silverstone Racetrack, Rob Barff, Renault Clio Cup, Whittlebury Hall Hotel, room extras

Report on Michael's birthday present

April 1, 2010 -  As you know, the first of April was Michael's 50th birthday.  We asked for your help in giving Michael a special birthday to remember. And you did!  Thanks to your generosity Michael got a track day at Silverstone Racetrack ("the Home of British racing"), a one-to-one coaching session with professional driver Rob Barff, a tour of the Silverstone facilities, overnight accommodations at a nearby spa, dinner at a the adjoining four-star restaurant, a gift card for the Mac computer store, and a donation in his name to Rob Barff's team BRDC Marathon Legends running the London Marathon for CLIC Sargent, the cancer charity for children.

Fans collected £410 for Michael's present. Of that, £260 went to the hotel gift certificates, £75 went to a Mac Store gift card, and £75 to a donation to Rob Barff's cancer charity marathon effort. Thanks to the kindness of one of the Fanfare members' husband (you know who you are, Ian!), Gift Aid was applied to the last mentioned, which raised the total donation to £96.15.  The name of each and every donor was included on the accompanying card.

Due to contract restraints, Michael won't be able to experience his track day until his commitment to 'The Sound of Music' is completed.

We've heard that Michael was excited by his birthday presents and wants to thank you all.  You are welcome, Michael!

Note from Celeste: This was a group effort. Many fans came together to give Michael spectacular gifts that we could not have done by ourselves. I want to thank you each and every one of those who took part for your donations of money, time and effort. I'm very grateful.

 

Images by David Ian Productions and the Really Useful Theatre Group © 2009 DIP/RUG

SOM heads to Aberdeen

March 24, 2010 -  'The Sound of Music' returns to Scotland. Opening Wednesday 24 March at Aberdeen's His Majesty's Theatre, the lavish production runs until Saturday 17 April. Produced by David Ian Productions and Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group, the musical stars Michael Praed and Connie Fisher in the lead roles.

Maria, a lively tomboy novice in an Austrian abbey, isn't fitting into somber convent life.  To give her an opportunity to get away from the abbey to reconsider her future, the Mother Abbess sends her to the lavish household of Captain Georg Von Trapp, a widower with seven children.  Maria is to be the governess to his emotionally neglected children.  As Maria reconciles her growing love for the children's father with her desire to become a nun, the looming Nazi menace in nearby Germany threatens to overwhelm them all.

Following the record-setting Belfast run on tickets, Aberdeen followed suit.  'The Sound of Music' broke box office records, becoming the first production to break £1 million in ticket sales in Aberdeen's history.  Please contact the His Majesty's Theatre directly here for remaining tickets.  If you would like additional information on the tour venues, please check our 'Sound of Music' reference page

 

Images by David Ian Productions and the Really Useful Theatre Group © 2009 DIP/RUG
Cast images are from the official 'SOM' tour website.

Belfast abuzz with 'Music'

February 22, 2010 -  'The Sound of Music' crosses the Irish Sea to the Belfast Opera House. Opening  Wednesday 24 February, the show runs until Saturday 20 March. Produced by David Ian Productions and Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group, the musical stars Michael Praed and Connie Fisher in the lead roles.

Maria, a lively tomboy novice in an Austrian abbey, isn't fitting into somber convent life.  To give her an opportunity to get away from the abbey to reconsider her future, the Mother Abbess sends her to the lavish household of Captain Georg Von Trapp, a widower with seven children.  Maria is to be the governess to his emotionally neglected children.  As Maria reconciles her growing love for the children's father with her desire to become a nun, the looming Nazi menace in nearby Germany threatens to overwhelm them all.

When tickets were made available last August, it caused such a rush that the theatre’s telephone lines jammed and ticket system crashed. The resulting sales set the record for the most tickets sold in a show's first hour of availability in the theatre's 114 year history, even with the system failures.  Please contact the Opera House directly here for remaining tickets.  If you would like additional information on the tour venues, please check our 'Sound of Music' reference page

 

Montage of Silverstone Racetrack, Rob Barff, Renault Clio Cup, Whittlebury Hall Hotel, room extras

Silverstone Racetrack for Michael's birthday

February 16, 2010 -  As most of you are aware, Michael's 50th birthday is rapidly approaching.  It will arrive on Thursday, 1 April.  Michael will be busy performing 'The Sound of Music' in Aberdeen then, but we have plans that will enable him to celebrate when it is convenient for him, courtesy of Fanfare.

Many of you know that Michael loves sports cars, so our gift to Michael will be a holiday at Silverstone Racetrack, the home of British Racing.  Professional racecar driver/instructor Rob Barff will be coaching Michael one-to-one on techniques to handle a racecar, then they'll spend an hour on the track with Michael driving.  A tour of the track's facilities and Race Control is also on the schedule. 

Fanfare was prepared to cover the cost of the coaching session, however, when the good folks at Silverstone heard who was taking part in the event, they offered to absorb the cost themselves for the publicity photos, if Michael was willing.  This was fine with Michael, so plans are proceeding.

So why do we still have a donation button here? Because Fanfare will be covering the accommodations and dining for Michael's adventure.  We are arranging to pay for a gift card to Whittlebury Hall Hotel, a four-star hotel renown for it's excellent food and relaxing spa just 3 miles from Silverstone.  We are trying to raise £260 to cover the cost of a 'Club Room', a lavish dinner and whatever extras Michael may want to experience.

We'd like to get the money collected in time to present it on his birthday, so we are setting a deadline of Thursday, 4 March.  This should give us time to purchase the card and get it to Michael.

Records will be kept so we have the names of contributors to give to Michael.  Please join us.

Michael's 50th birthday present

No longer accepting donations

 

'The Sound of Music' poster

More contract hints

February 7, 2010 -  Recent comments from Michael confirm that his involvement with 'The Sound of Music' will probably end 21 June. Although he isn't ruling out all possibility of carrying on, Michael is making strong hints that he may have other professional commitments waiting at the conclusion of his appearance in Eastbourne this summer.  At this point, it is safer to assume Michael won't be a part of the cast later in the year.  If we hear differently, we'll let you know.

Note: Be aware that Michael's status in the cast at Woking and Birmingham is doubtful at this point.  If you buy tickets after June 21st in 'The Sound of Music', you probably won't see him.

Thanks go to Michael Praed fans Jayne and Jacci for bringing our attention to this matter.

 

Images by David Ian Productions and the Really Useful Theatre Group © 2009 DIP/RUG
Cast images are from the official 'SOM' tour website.

 Edinburgh's hills are alive

January 19, 2010 -  'The Sound of Music' moves to the hills of Edinburgh this week. The famous musical is produced by David Ian Productions and Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group and stars Michael Praed and Connie Fisher in the starring roles. The show runs from Tuesday 19 January until Saturday 20 February at the Edinburgh Playhouse.

Maria, a lively tomboy novice in an Austrian abbey, isn't fitting into somber convent life.  To give her an opportunity to get away from the abbey to reconsider her future, the Mother Abbess sends her to the lavish household of Captain Georg Von Trapp, a widower with seven children.  Maria is to be the governess to his emotionally neglected children.  As Maria reconciles her growing love for the children's father with her desire to become a nun, the looming Nazi menace in nearby Germany threatens to overwhelm them all.

As usual for this tour, tickets have been popular and not many are left.  Please contact the theatre directly here for tickets.  If you would like additional information on the tour venues, please check our 'Sound of Music' reference page

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