There’s a ‘rock opera’ musical stage show about the life and times of former Prime Minister Tony Blair coming to Manchester later this year.
And that is a 100% genuine statement.
It’s not something we expected to be writing today, and nor is it something you expected to be reading, but we’re being completely serious when we say that a “reckless reappraisal” of the life of “Britain’s first pop Prime Minister” Tony Blair is actually a thing – and it’s a thing that’s arriving in Greater Manchester later this year.
TONY! [The Tony Blair Rock Opera] is currently playing a limited season at the Leicester Square Theatre in London until 21 May, and then it’s heading out on a tour of the UK.
It’ll be playing a limited four-week run at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, before it takes to the stage at The Lowry in Salford this October – which conveniently coincides with the 2023 Conservative Party Conference being held in Manchester.
Co-written by comedian Harry Hill and Steve Brown, the musical apparently tells the story of how one man went from “a peace-loving, long-haired hippy, and would-be pop star” to a “warmongering multimillionaire” in just a couple of decades, with a stellar cast of larger-than-life characters setting the scene.
Tony Blair’s wife Cherie, Princess Diana, John Prescott, Peter Mandelson, Alastair Campbell, Osama bin Laden, George W Bush, Saddam Hussein, and Gordon Brown are just some of the musical’s characters.
Oh, and Liam Gallagher.
Described as being like Yes, Minister meets The Rocky Horror Show, it’s a hilarious musical of political intrigue, religion, power, and romance.
“It’s a show for Tony lovers, haters, and everyone in between,” explained co-creators Harry Hill and Steve Brown.
“Don’t expect a history lesson. In our world, Tony’s born singing and dancing, Saddam Hussein is played as Groucho Marx, and Gordon Brown occasionally turns into the Incredible Hulk – let’s just say all the facts are there… but not necessarily as they occurred.
“Tony hasn’t yet replied to our invite to see the show, but we do hope he’ll pop along to his old stomping ground of Sedgefield to give his verdict when we open there at the Parish Hall.
“Tony? If you’re reading this we’ve put a couple of tickets in your name on the door.”
Greg James, Jimmy Anderson, and Felix White to bring popular cricket podcast live to Manchester
Greg James, Jimmy Anderson, and Felix White have announced they’re taking their smash-hit Tailenders podcast on a tour around the UK.
And cricket fans in Manchester will get to see the lads live in action later this year.
Launched back in 2017, and undoubtedly going on to become one of the most successful podcasts in the UK, with hundred of episodes and a whopping 2.5 million listeners on average tuning into each series, Tailenders is a “loosely cricket based, certified funny” podcast – and sometimes BBC radio show – centred around the world of cricket.
It’s presented by BBC Radio 1 DJ Greg James, with and England international cricketer James Anderson, and ex-Maccabees guitarist Felix White.
The critically-acclaimed podcast became a hit right off the bat (pun absolutely intended), regularly finding itself at the top of the podcast charts in the UK when it hits the airwaves, and even scooping a few coveted awards along the way.
Now, the trio are gearing up to take their “alternative (and sometimes musical) look at cricket” on a live tour across the UK – with a stop off here in Manchester this October.
Fans of the podcast will know the show is also made with help from producer Mark ‘Sharky’ Sharman, and with regular input from Matt ‘Mattchin’ Horan – with the latter of the two set to join the core presenting trio on tour.
With fans told to expect “a night of cricket, a night of laughs, and night of surprises”, Tailenders: The Inaugural (Annual) Farewell Tour will be kicking-off in Nottingham on 19 October, before heading out to other major UK cites like London, Birmingham, Sheffield, and more, and arriving at the O2 Apollo in Manchester on Wednesday 25 October.
Tailenders: The Inaugural (Annual) Farewell Tour 2023
Thursday 19 October – Royal Concert Hall (Nottingham)
Saturday 21 October – New Theatre (Oxford)
Sunday 22 October – Cliffs Pavillion (Southend)
Tuesday 24 October – City Hall (Sheffield)
Wednesday 25 October – O2 Apollo Manchester
Thursday 26 October – Symphony Hall (Birmingham)
Friday 27 October – Eventim Apollo (London)
Saturday 28 October – Forum (Bath)
The highly-anticipated tour follows the podcast’s biggest-ever live show at London’s Palladium earlier this year, which sold out within just three minutes – and tickets are predicted to be snapped up just as quickly this time round.