September 18, 2008
A Skirt and Thai Night Out
By HAYLEY HARP; CIARA HILL
Festive revellers will be treated to a taste of Asia this Christmas.
Productions company Urban Circus is proposing to bring a night of Eastern-themed food and entertainment to Hanley, aimed at being an alternative venue for Christmas parties.
Magic of the Orient will be set up on the former Unity House site, in Broad Street, from December 5 to December 20.
It promises to treat guests to performances from shows such as The Lady Boys of Bangkok and The Chinese State Circus and the delights of a 14-dish Thai buffet.
The activities will take place in a specially constructed, heated pavilion that features a reception area, bar and cloakroom facilities.
Organisers believe it is a hit in the making.
Neville Wilson, manager of Urban Circus, which is based in Congleton, said: "We had a look around Stoke-on-Trent and found that not a lot goes on for Christmas so we thought this would be a nice choice for people.
"The site has perfect for putting up a structure like ours.
"It will be a massive Christmas party for the Potteries.
"People will be able to see a magnificent show featuring artists from The Lady Boys of Bangkok and The Chinese State Circus and enjoy a massive Thai meal afterwards."
He said: "We have already had a lot of interest from companies booking tickets for staff as an alternative Christmas party."
Audiences of up to 400 will be entertained with acrobatics, singing and dancing performances.
Director and creator Phillip Gandey hopes Stoke-on-Trent's revellers will be ready to get into the party spirit. He said: "The venue will be filled with party atmosphere and the lady boys will be the nucleus of the entertainment.
"We are a local company wanting to give everyone a wonderful night of fun. After the show and the food they will be able to dance the night away at a disco. We know it has been a difficult year for a lot of people financially so we have tried to keep the costs down so everyone can afford it."
A licensing application submitted to Stoke-on-Trent City Council for the show, which will be run in conjunction with Signal Radio, seeks permission to host dance, play music and sell alcohol and hot food.
Mother-of-two Paula Greensmith, aged 41, witnessed the Lady Boys launch of the event in Hanley yesterday.
She said: "It's hard to believe they are not women. I guess the show will be worth going to see because it's something different, but it may not be to everyone's taste.
"I think single men will love it but it might not be so good for families."
Alcohol will be on sale between 6pm and 12.45am Monday to Sunday, with dance performances between 7pm and 11pm, and the premises open between 6pm and 1am. Tickets are priced between pounds37 and pounds42 with two special discount evenings for emergency service personnel and NHS staff.
To book call 0870 2202003.
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