What’s happening at The Mill this month

Vienna Festival Ballet presents Swan Lake at the Benn Hall
Vienna Festival Ballet presents Swan Lake at the Benn Hall

Classic ballet, sharp comedy and vibrant folk music are among the entertainment coming to the Mill in Banbury this month.

Ballet takes centre stage this Saturday when the acclaimed Vienna Festival Ballet Company returns with Swan Lake. The company aims to present great classical ballets in theatres nationwide, for audiences of all ages.

The story centres around Prince Siegfried. While out hunting, the Prince meets a flock of swans led by a Queen Swan, who is under the evil spell of a magician, Baron Rothbart. He falls in love with the Queen of the Swans and tries to free them all. But the magician has a few tricks up his sleeve...

The production promises all the essential ingredients to appeal to a wide audience, from youngsters wishing to see the art of ballet live on stage to those wishing to enjoy an evening offering a good story combined with music and dance.

Matt Forde brings his popular brand of political comedy to the venue on Thursday April 12. Called ‘A Show Hastily Rewritten In Light Of Recent Events – Again!’, the show is billed as being completely changed by events which haven’t yet happened.

The ultra-topical comedian has been seen on The Royal Variety Performance, Mock the Week, The One Show and Question Time. The Guardian has hailed him as a “first-class comic,” while the Mail on Sunday has praised him for “single-handedly fulfilling comedy’s brief of taking our political masters to task, combining spot-on impressions with up-to-the-minute observations”.

Dylan Thomas: Clown in The Moon is staged on Thursday, April 19. This is a dramatic portrait of the poet’s chaotic, frequently comical, and all- too-brief life. Located in a BBC studio, it sets some of Dylan’s famous broadcasts and iconic works alongside vivid reminiscences of his clownish antics in pubs, bars and parties, and his encounters with a host of eccentric and volatile women. Rhodri Miles returns as Dylan Thomas after his previous sell-out performances of the critically-acclaimed Burton, winner of the Best International Show Award at the Hollywood Fringe Theatre Festival in 2010.

Folk duo Smith & McLellan perform at The Mill on Friday, April 20. Multi-award winning Scottish singer Emily Smith and New Zealand-born songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Jamie McClennan, have been making music together for 15 years. Having spent much of 2016 off the road, with Emily on maternity leave, the couple took time to focus on writing new material.

The tour showcases a new sound for the duo, drawing on influences from the folk tradition, Americana and beyond.

Meeting in 2002 when McClennan moved to Scotland, fiddle player Jamie soon became an integral part of Emily’s sound, taking on the role of lead guitar and backing vocalss.

They have performed throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Russia and North America.

Alongside their solo careers they have performed with many musical greats, including Richard Thompson, Barbara Dickson and Mary Chapin Carpenter. TV and radio appearances include Transatlantic Sessions, BBC Songs of Praise, BBC Radio 2’s Good Morning Sunday, and the Bob Harris Show.

Banbury Cross Players return to The Mill from April 25 to 28 with the moving and amusing Alan Bennett satire, People.

Ticket prices vary. Visit themillartscentre.co.uk or call the box office on 279002 to book, or for more information about these and other future shows.