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Here is the latest news from Rhodes Media and our clients.

CELEBRITY CHEF JAMES MARTIN BEAMED INTO HOMES FOR COOKERY MASTERCLASS

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Celebrity chef James Martin is staging his first ever live cookery masterclass – beamed directly into fans homes!

On Saturday October 3rd Dine In With James Martin will see fans create a stunning three-course meal that will wow family and friends.

James will be teaching everyone the tips, tricks and skills needed to whip up a sensational dining experience, all from the comfort of their own home.

Tickets for this interactive experience go on sale from 10am this Friday (September 11) at www.ticketmaster.co.uk

Speaking about Dine In With James Martin, James said: “This will be unlike anything I’ve ever done before as I’ll be beamed directly into people’s homes and while they will see what I’m doing, I’ll also be speaking to some people to see how they are getting on.

“We will be cooking together throughout so I’m really looking forward to taking part in such a fun interactive class.”

“This is an opportunity for anyone who enjoys cooking to work with me to whip up a delicious three-course meal, and they can then wow their family and friends afterwards with the tasty dishes we create.”

Dine In With James Martin is an interactive 90-minute experience where James will guide participants as they cook a three-course meal and he will also invite some people to chat on screen so he can check on their progress.

The menu will consist of:

Starter: Halloumi with chilli jam

Main Course: Chicken Sauté with vinegar and pilaf rice

Dessert: Raspberry Tart

Information about ingredients and the necessary equipment required will be sent to participants in advance.

Dine In With James Martin is presented by Live Nation and Cuffe and Taylor with Limelight Celebrity Management.

Ben Hatton, Director of Theatre Touring for Cuffe and Taylor, said: We are really excited about Dine In With James Martin. It is a completely new event concept for us but we believe it is one that fans and budding chefs will love.”

“Many of us watch TV chefs and then try to recreate the dish but with this show you can work alongside James and then tuck into a delicious meal afterwards.”

Tickets are on sale from 10am this Friday (September 11) at www.ticketmaster.co.uk

Panto is back this year… Oh yes it is!

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The UK’s first ever socially distanced Big Top pantomime is to take place in the grounds of a beautiful country estate.

The outdoor theatre with indoor comfort will see Aladdin – A Genie-us Pantomime – performed at the Luton Hoo Estate on the border of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire from Tuesday December 15 to Sunday January 3.

Starring Union J’s Jaymi Hensley as the Genie, tickets are on sale now from www.ticketsource.co.uk/aladdinlutonhoo

Aladdin – A Genie-us Pantomime is the brainchild of entertainment producer Andy Mills-Brown who is determined pantomime will go ahead in 2020 despite theatres still being unable to open at capacity.

Instead of a traditional theatre setting, Andy’s magical production of Aladdin will see panto’ fans enter the theatre of Agrabah in a Big Top. And rather than rows of seats close together, the Big Top will be filled with socially distanced sofas suitable for up to four people.

Andy, who is Executive Producer of the production, is Founder and CEO of multi award winning theatrical entertainment producers TAG (Talent Artistic Group) working with productions across the UK and internationally.

Speaking about Aladdin, Andy said: “Like everyone else in the entertainment industry our business has been devastated by Covid-19 but we really are determined that the show must go on.

“We would love to be working with theatres this year but as that just cannot happen at the moment we decided we would do our utmost to ensure the great British institution that is the traditional Christmas pantomime, can go ahead.

“Our production of Aladdin will be unlike any pantomime people have experienced before. The show will take place in the most enchanted setting of a Big Top tent and everyone will have their own personal area with a four-seater sofa.

“It will be different, there’s no question about it, but we feel this is the most sensible and exciting way to be able to stage a pantomime that people will feel safe and comfortable at and most importantly, enjoy.”

With an amazing cast, dancing, singing and all the tradition you expect from a Panto, this fun-filled family show promises to be entertaining from start to finish.

The full cast is yet to announced but Jaymi Hensley will be spreading his magic as he takes the role of the Genie.

Jaymi, who has appeared in several pantomimes and toured as Joseph in the UK production of smash hit musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat last Autumn, shot to fame when he and fellow Union J band members came fourth in the 2012 series of The X Factor.

Jaymi said: “I am very excited to be getting back on a stage and in a panto’ too. For British families a visit to the panto’ is synonymous with Christmas so I am delighted Andy and his team are doing this.

“It’s going to be a great show and the fact we are doing this outdoors in a Big Top will just make it even more magical.”

The Big Top theatre, which will be covered and heated, has a capacity of 600 and bookings are for a minimum of four people who will be assigned their very own four-seater sofa in a socially distanced area of Aladdin’s Arabian market.

Tickets are on sale now from www.ticketsource.co.uk/aladdinlutonhoo

BRILLIANT SUPPORT INITIATIVE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

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Performers across the UK are being urged to benefit from FREE online masterclasses and workshops from industry experts.

Launched by casting directors Pearson Casting, the Collective Creative Initiative (CCI) is bringing performers and industry experts together while they are unable to work due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

And since its launch in June more than 50,000 hours of classes have already been viewed while almost 4,000 people have signed up to the initiative’s dedicated YouTube channel.

The simple concept, fully funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, provides up to six hours of classes a day streamed five days a week on YouTube, and features workshops, industry Q&A’s and masterclasses for aspiring performers and those already working in the theatre, arts and entertainment industry.

The whole programme is delivered by West End and industry experts across theatre, TV, film, legal, accountancy and mental health.

Classes range from acting advice and tips, singing workshops, dance and exercise, to legal issues, accountancy and wellbeing. An online library of the classes is available for one month after broadcast and currently includes more than a hundred hours of sessions ranging from Writing a Solo Show, Looking at Performance in Shakespeare, Guided Meditation and Essential Accountancy, to Contemporary Dance Improvisation, Film, Commercial and TV Casting, Vocal Warm-Up sessions and dozens of Q&A’s.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with the response so far,” said James Pearson, of Pearson Casting.

“When we put the plan together for CCI we really didn’t know what sort of response we would get from the industry but we have been blown away by the number of people who are taking part – whether by offering their services in the form of classes or those who are watching the different classes daily.

“It’s a great way of reaching people who are unable to work at the moment and we hope it is really helping those people get through these very uncertain times for the entertainment industry.”

Innovate UK has initially funded CCI for six months until December and James and partner Rosie are now urging performers aged from four to 104 to benefit from the classes as they look at plans to expand the programme into 2021.

Rosie added: “Our ethos is simple. It’s about creating equal opportunity for everyone, regardless of economic circumstances, age and training and it doesn’t matter whether individuals are professionals, aspiring professionals, or performing is their hobby.

“These classes are 100% free for everyone and we feel this is the perfect time to do something that not only benefits people who are already in the industry, but also those who may not normally have access to performing arts experts.”

And with celebrated choreographer and legend of British Theatre and TV, Arlene Phillips CBE, writer and composer Toby Marlow and writer and director Lucy Moss of Marlow and Moss, creators of SIX The Musical, as official Patrons, CCI has received an industry seal of approval.

Arlene said: “CCI is reaching out with support for everyone involved in the arts, to advise, teach and guide those who need it most, whether they are students new to the industry, or professionals who find their lives turned upside down, and the future looking bleak.  Never has a project been so timely and I’m proud to be a patron of the CCI.”

CCI online classes are updated weekly and available via YouTube here (https://www.youtube.com/collectivecreativeinitiative)

To find out more about CCI go to: https://www.collectivecreativeinitiative.co.uk/

RuPaul’s Drag Race ‘Werq The World’ Heads to Cardiff and Brighton

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The biggest drag show in the world, RuPaul’s Drag Race: Werq The World, will visit Brighton and Cardiff with an all-new production next year.

It is announced today RuPaul’s Drag Race: Werq The World sashays* into Brighton Centre on Saturday June 19.

Tickets go on general sale from www.livenation.co.uk at 10am Friday August 7.

 Acclaimed for their amazing production values, this is the fourth iteration of the ground-breaking tour in the UK and Europe. In 2021, an experiment gone wrong has sent Drag Race judge and Strictly star Michelle Visage spiraling through time with no way of returning “home”.

Join newly crowned Season 12 Winner Jaida Essence Hall, Asia O’Hara, Kameron Michaels, Plastique Tiara, Vanessa Vanjie and Yvie Oddly, along with stars from the latest US, UK, & Canadian Seasons, as they journey through iconic periods of history in the hope they will find their way back to present day.

The Brighton date is one of two very special shows in the UK which have been added to the European tour and is presented by Live Nation and Cuffe and Taylor in the UK and US-based Voss Events. The team are also taking the show to Motorpoint Arena Cardiff on Friday June 18.

Ben Hatton, Director of Theatre Touring for Cuffe and Taylor, said: “We are very excited to be working with the Voss Events team on these shows.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race is always a huge hit and we look forward to presenting what will be two outrageously entertaining shows.”

Tickets start at £35 and there is a special customized VIP “Time Turner” option where guests can enjoy a private meet and greet with the queens before the show! RuPaul’s Drag Race World Tour is presented by Voss Events in collaboration with World of Wonder and VH1.

For more information about the RuPaul Drag Race World Tour visit www.WerqTheWorld.com

THE MERSEY BEATLES JOIN ‘UTILITA LIVE FROM THE DRIVE-IN’ SERIES

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The legendary music of The Beatles will be celebrated in the band’s home city with a major open-air concert on the banks of the River Mersey.

It is today confirmed world renowned Liverpool-born tribute band The Mersey Beatles will play a special drive-in show at Liverpool’s Central Docks as part of Live Nation’s Utilita Live From The Drive-In series.

And this unmissable concert – on Sunday July 26 – is set to be this summer’s biggest live music tribute to the Fab Four in the UK.
Tickets go on sale on Monday June 29 at 10am via www.livenation.co.uk

Live Nation, the world’s leading live entertainment company, is reimagining the live music experience during a time of social distancing by allowing fans to enjoy concerts in a one-of-a-kind drive-in setting.

Designed to comply with all official guidelines, Utilita Live From The Drive-In will see some of the biggest names in UK music perform live on stage backed by a full concert production. Audiences at 12 sites across the UK will enjoy shows from the comfort of their own private viewing zones next to their cars – with each zone appropriately distanced from one another.

Tony Hadley, The Streets, Cream Classical Ibiza, Gary Numan, Embrace, KT Tunstall, Tom Grennan, Lightning Seeds, The Zutons and Beverley Knight are among the headliners already confirmed for the Liverpool series.

And music fans are in for a hit-packed treat as The Mersey Beatles bring their famed live show – which takes audiences on a magical trip through the iconic music of the greatest band of all time – to the Mersey’s world-famous docklands on July 26 (21:00 BST).

Formed in Liverpool in 1999, The Mersey Beatles – Mark Bloor (John), Steven Howard (Paul), Craig McGown (George), Brian Ambrose (Ringo) and Tony Cook (keys/percussion) – were the resident Beatles’ band at the legendary Cavern Club between 2002-2012 – clocking up more than 600 gigs.

Since leaving The Cavern, the band has toured the world many times over – winning legions of fans for their faithful recreation of The Beatles’ unmistakable Liverpool-born sound.

Steven said: “We cannot wait for July 26 – it’s going to be an incredibly special night on the banks of the River Mersey here in our home city.

“Like all bands we saw all our touring plans for 2020 – which included shows across Europe, America and Australia – halted by the Covid-19 pandemic. ‘Utilita Live From The Drive In’ is a brilliant concept by Live Nation and we are thrilled to be part of it.

“It’s going to be so great to get out there on a stage again and play for an audience. This show is going to be a hit-packed celebration of the greatest band of all-time – and played where it all began right here in Liverpool. It’s going to be amazing!”

For more information about Utilita Live From The Drive-In, including performance schedules, locations and full terms and conditions, go to  www.LiveNation.co.uk/utilitalivefromthedrivein

HEIR FOLLOW THEIR HEROES TO RECORD AT WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS STUDIOS

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Groove pop band Heir have followed in the footsteps of their music heroes – all the way to Abbey Road!

The Leeds-based five-piece – whose reputation and fanbase is growing across the UK – debut their eagerly-awaited new single Fear of Falling on Thursday June 18th.

The brilliant slice of throwback pop was not only recorded at London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios but was produced by the great Ken Scott who has famously worked with such icons as The Beatles, David Bowie, Pink Floyd and Elton John.

The magical experience at Abbey Road was new territory for Heir whose previous singles were all recorded in the far more humble surroundings of their home studio.


Heir Frontman Tom Hammond said:
“It’s just mad to think our new single was recorded at Abbey Road and produced by Ken Scott who is just a legend.

“It’s certainly a long way from recording at home with up-turned mattresses for vocal booths and keeping your fingers crossed that delivery drivers or door-to-door salesmen do not disturb you!

“For any musician, to walk into this hallowed studio, the place where so many famous artists have recorded – where The Beatles created Sgt Pepper – is a moment you don’t really even dare dream about because it feels so intangible. We struggle to say that we were allowed in there without smirking – it’s crazy really!”

Fear of Falling is the lead single from the band’s new two-song release Heir at Abbey Road which also includes the heartfelt and beautiful track Victoria Falls.

The amazing opportunity to record at Abbey Road came about when multi-Grammy Award nominee Ken was on the lookout for a band to work with as part of his role as visiting professor at Leeds Beckett University.

After being sent a list of Leeds-based bands he chose Heir, five mates – Tom Hammond (vocals/guitar), Sam Perry (keys), Harry Vernon (bass), Samuel Newham (drums) and

Ste Fisher (guitar) – who first met at the city’s College of Music and now have a burgeoning reputation as purveyors of uplifting and infectious pop.

“We worked with Ken for a few days in Leeds and got on very well,” Tom added. “He then kindly asked us to join him for a project at Abbey Road. We, of course, said yes instantly and we recorded there in Studio 3 for two days.

“It was an experience that’s difficult to relay in a way that does it justice. Each of the boys have strong emotional connections to records that were made there and to be trusted by the man who brought them to life to do the same with our songs is something we will be forever grateful for.

“We’ve never been in a proper studio before and then here we are at the studios where some of the most famous and ground-breaking music was created.

“We learned so much from working with Ken. He gave us the confidence to just go for it and I think that comes across in the songs we recorded.”

Ken, who worked on no fewer than eight albums with The Beatles at Abbey Road as well as Bowie’s iconic The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, said: “I have to feel that thing a fan would feel for the bands that I work with. For me that’s Heir at the moment.”

Heir had been due to follow their EP release with sold out live dates in London, Manchester and Newcastle before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

The band, who have opened for the likes of Honne, Olly Murs and Lawson as well as playing Leeds and Reading Festivals, have had previous releases featured on BBC 6 Music and are a name on the tip of the tongue of the team at BBC Introducing. They are currently working on new material which they will be releasing very soon.

Heir at Abbey Road is available to download and stream via all major music platforms from June 18th.

Marisha Wallace releases glorious gospel rendition of ‘Tomorrow’

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West End and Broadway star Marisha Wallace (Dreamgirls, Waitress, Aladdin) has released a glorious and soulful cover of the timeless ‘Tomorrow’ from the musical Annie in aid of the vital work of Broadway Cares and MAD Trust.

100% of the funds raised from the purchase and streaming of the new single will be donated to both organisations to help theatre professionals in the US and UK who have been left out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the first time Broadway Cares and MAD (Make A Difference) Trust has ever partnered together to receive a joint donation.

“Tomorrow is a song I’d listen to when I needed some positivity to get me through the tough times –  and boy, do we need that now more than ever,” says Marisha from her apartment in London where she has been quarantining since March.

The track was self-recorded entirely from her apartment and then shipped over to and produced by music producer, Steve Anderson (Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears).

Marisha added: “I wanted to give this song new life. I recorded it in my living room and cried between takes. It was healing me, and I wanted it to heal others.

“So, I called my friends and all the fans to stand with me. When we sing the lyrics of ‘Tomorrow’ we stand in solidarity that together we will get through this dark time for our community. The world may feel darker than ever but one thing I do know – the sun will come out tomorrow.”

The video features many stars of stage and screen including Katharine McPhee, Lea Salonga, Leslie Odom Jr, Ledisi, Beverley Knight, Ben Forster, Alex Newell, Nina West and Kerry Ellis joining in virtually from their homes.

You can stream/purchase the song here: https://lnk.to/1Y4QrjS0

Donate to Broadway Cares at www.broadwaycares.org/help2020

Donate to MAD Trust by texting 70111 to donate €5 in the UK or www.madtrust.org.uk/covid

EVERYBODY DANCE… NILE RODGERS & CHIC ARE RETURNING TO SCARBOROUGH OAT

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The undisputed Kings of Disco Nile Rodgers & CHIC are returning to the Yorkshire coast for what promises to be this summer’s ultimate party night.

The legendary hit-makers will play a headline show at Scarborough Open Air Theatre on Friday August 21.

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday (March 13) via scarboroughopenairtheatre.com

Nile Rodgers is a multiple Grammy Award-winning composer, producer, arranger and guitarist with more than 200 production credits to his name. He is constantly traversing new musical terrain and successfully expanding the boundaries of popular music.

As the co-founder of CHIC, he pioneered a musical language that generated chart-topping hits such as Le Freak, Good Times and Everybody Dance that sparked the advent of hip-hop.

Nile Rodgers & CHIC are no strangers to Scarborough Open Air Theatre having played a sell-out show at the venue in 2018.

Nile said: “As most people know the UK is my home from home. Myself and CHIC had a brilliant time when we played Scarborough OAT in 2018 and we cannot wait to come back again this summer. It’s going to be another amazing night – so bring your dancing shoes!”

Nile transcends all styles of music across every generation with a body of work that’s gained him inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

His work with CHIC and his productions for artists such as David Bowie, Diana Ross and Madonna have sold more than 500 million albums and 75 million singles worldwide. His innovative, trendsetting collaborations with Daft Punk, Avicii, Sigala, Disclosure and Sam Smith reflect the vanguard of contemporary music.

This unmissable Scarborough OAT show is presented by Cuffe and Taylor. Promoter Peter Taylor said: “Nile Rodgers & CHIC are global superstars and we are delighted to be bringing them back to Scarborough OAT.

“The show in 2018 was brilliant, Nile and CHIC never fail to get an entire arena on their feet dancing. This is going to be one of the highlights of the summer and I would strongly advise people to get their tickets now because you will not want to miss this!”

Tickets for Nile Rodgers and CHIC go on sale via scarboroughopenairtheatre.com or in  person, from Scarborough Open Air Theatre Box Office (01723) 818111 and the Discover Yorkshire Coast Tourism Bureau (01723) 383636.

MACY GRAY AND LIGHTHOUSE FAMILY ADDED TO YORK FESTIVAL LINE-UP

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Grammy Award winner Macy Gray and British pop-soul stars Lighthouse Family will join music legend Lionel Richie for an unforgettable night at York Festival.

The two chart-topping stars are the latest additions to a stellar line-up for the brand-new music festival which will be held at York Sports Club between Friday June 19th and Sunday June 21st.

British music icons Madness headline the opening night before pop superstars Westlife take to the stage on Saturday and then Lionel Richie will close the festival on the Sunday.

And the four-time Grammy Award-winner will now be joined on the night by two artists with hit-packed live sets.

Macy Gray first broke onto the scene in 1999 with her debut album On How Life Is. Inspired by the stylings of Billie Holiday, the American R&B and soul singer-songwriter is revered for her wonderful and unmistakable voice.

Her hit song, I Try achieved global acclaim and delivered her a Grammy while debut album On How Life Is sold an incredible seven million copies around the world.

In the 20 years since, Macy has amassed a global fan base, appeared in many films and TV shows and released 10 studio albums — most recently 2018’s Ruby. As well as sold-out live shows and her own hit albums, she has featured on songs with such artists as Dolly Parton and Ariana Grande.

Lighthouse Family became one of the most successful British bands of the late 1990s and early 2000s, selling more than 10 million albums and producing such timeless hits as Lifted, High and Ocean Drive.

The Newcastle-based duo – singer Tunde Baiyewu and keyboardist Paul Tucker – released their first single Lifted in 1995. The uplifting pop-soul classic went on to become one of the defining songs of the era.

Six-times platinum debut album Ocean Drive was followed by Top 10 albums Postcards From Heaven and Whatever Gets You Through The Day. After an 18-year hiatus, Tunde and Paul reunited last year to record Blue Sky In Your Head, their fourth studio album, which saw them matching the chart success of their previous releases.

York Festival director Peter Taylor said: “We are delighted to add both Macy Gray and Lighthouse Family to our debut line-up. Together with the global icon that is Lionel Richie this is going to be an amazing and unforgettable night.”

York Festival’s opening night headliners Madness will be joined by indie chart-toppers Lightning Seeds, Craig Charles with his famous Funk and Soul Club DJ set together with Leeds indie rockers Apollo Junction and York’s very own Violet Contours.

Joining Westlife on the Saturday night will be superstar pop group All Saints, Brit singer-songwriter Sophie Ellis Bextor, indie rock band Scouting for Girls and Take That’s Howard Donald, who will be spinning the discs for a very special DJ set.

For more information and tickets go to www.york-festival.com

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