HOLLYWOOD’S David Gest will blast the Theatre Royal’s year off to a star-studded start this week with his Legends of Soul Concert.

The line-up over two nights (Thursday, February 6 and Friday, February 7) includes Candi Staton, Percy Sledge, Sheila Ferguson and Gwen Dickie.

Theatre bosses hope it will blast off a programme of entertainment that promises to make 2014 a year to remember.

March is music month with three top shows featuring the very best of live music alongside an evening devoted to top-notch stand-up comedy.

First is a live tribute to Michael Jackson by Navi who brings his production King of Pop – The Legend Continues to the Theatre Royal on March 14.

April shows include Escorts: The Musical running from April 3 -5 with a cast including Liverpool legend Crissy Rock, comedian Duggie Brown and Theatre Royal veteran Lynne Fitzgerald.

The Easter panto is Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, running from April 11 to 21.

Irish country singer, television presenter and accordion player Brendan Shine will appear on May 8 and on May 15 and 16 the exciting musical Heart and Soul features Motown, rock, ballads, dance and jazz performed by an incredibly talented local cast.

The Vienna Festival Ballet present a production of much loved classic, Swan Lake on May 17.

International comedy hypnotist The Tranceformer makes his debut at the Theatre Royal on June 7 when even the most reserved members of the audience are transformed into the stars of the show.

A real treat is in store from July 21 to 23 when Sell A Door Theatre Company’s musical Avenue Q is the attraction.

Comedy continues in August with the Royal T Drama Academy on August 7 to 9 with their adaptation of the Broadway smash hit Guys and Dolls and on August 16 the British Natural Bodybuilding Federation is running its northern qualifying event featuring competitors aged between 16 and 60.

Theatre manager Chantelle Nolan said: “I am thrilled at the number of fantastic shows and artists coming to the Theatre Royal in 2014. This year could be one of our most successful to date and a great one for theatre in St Helens.”