The West End Transfer of A Streetcar Named Desire Sells Out in Two Hours Following Today’s On Sale Becoming The Fastest Selling Play To Date in Any Ambassador Theatre Group Venue











Following unprecedented demand, tickets for all existing performances of Streetcar have now sold out for the run at the Phoenix Theatre from 20 March to 29 April 2023. But audiences are encouraged to sign up at to be the first to find out when more tickets become available.

The tickets for Streetcar sold out in a record-breaking two hours, following today’s general on sale from 10am, making it the fastest selling production to date in any Ambassador Theatre Group venue, and additionally for ATG Productions as a theatrical production company.

Paul Mescal, just nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA for his leading role in the film Aftersun, and best known for his BAFTA winning role in Normal People, Olivier Award winner Patsy Ferran (Summer & Smoke), Anjana Vasan (We Are Lady Parts) and Dwane Walcott (One Night in Miami, Our Girl)play Stanley, Blanche, Stella and Harold ‘Mitch’ Mitchell respectively, in the now sold-out transfer of the Almeida Theatre’s critically acclaimed, hot ticket production of A Streetcar Named Desire.


The Times, The Sunday Times, The Observer, The i

“How pretty the sky is! I ought to go there on a rocket that never comes down.”

On a street in New Orleans, in the blistering summer heat, a sister spirals.

When Blanche unexpectedly visits her estranged sister Stella, she brings with her a past that will threaten their future. As Stella’s husband Stanley stalks closer to the truth, Blanche’s fragile world begins to fracture. Reality and illusion collide and a violent conflict changes their lives forever.

Almeida Associate Director Rebecca Frecknall’s “heart-stopping” (The Telegraph)revival of Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece runs in the West End from 20 March 2023.

Patsy Ferran (“astonishingly good” Time Out) returns as Blanche DuBois, with Paul Mescal (“tremendous” The Times)as Stanley and Anjana Vasan (“outstanding” New York Times) as Stella in this “mesmerising” (The i) production.

A Streetcar Named Desire’s creative team is as follows: Director: Rebecca Frecknall; Set Designer: Madeleine Girling; Costume Designer: Merle Hensel; Lighting Designer: Lee Curran; Sound Designer: Peter Rice: Composer: Angus MacRae and Casting Director: Julia Horan CDG.

A Streetcar Named Desire is produced by Ambassador Theatre Group Productions the Almeida TheatreWessex Grove and Gavin Kalin productions.

The Cher Show Review

New Wimbledon Theatre – until Saturday 4 February 2023

Reviewed by Charlotte Baker


If there was ever a cure for the January blues The Cher Show would be it! I left feeling on cloud 9 after an evening spent watching this sequined spectacular which tells the story of how shy girl Cherilyn Sarkisian becomes the ultimate diva and a true female icon.

My usual theatre buddy couldn’t come with me as she was ill, so I bought along my 14 year old daughter. I was slightly apprehensive that she would find it dull as the only Cher she had heard of was the one from teenage cult classic Clueless! But there was no need to worry as I looked across at her beaming face lit up by the disco ball that Wimbledom theatre had become.

The show is a chronicle of Chers career. There are three Chers, Debbie Kurup who plays “Star” Danielle Steers “Lady” and Millie O’Connor who is “Babe. Each actor represents Cher at different points of her life, and what I really liked was how the three would talk and interact with each other, offering advise to her younger self or being self critical. In some ways it made you think about how your opinions and priorities change over the years and gave depth to what could have been just a lighthearted show about fabulous costumes and catchy tunes.

Speaking of costumes … wow! The costume designer Gabriella Slade must of had so much fun with these creations. They were breath taking and would almost steal the show if it wasn’t for the incredible lead actors. Our 3 Chers really did blow everyone away with there incredible performances, it’s hard to pick a favourite as they all brought a different element to the show.

The production was very slick, however there was a technical issue at the end of act 1 which meant the final scene of act 1 had to start again and there was a longer interval. This was handle really well by the production team amd cast and the audience all helped cheering along as the divas took to the stage..

The second act did have a bit of a dip half way through and fell abit flat, but in a way that kind of went with the story of Chers life. This was then followed by what was a truly incredible fabulous finale which had us all up in a seats dancing and singing along. This was Chers come back! 

This show is truly a must see and will unleash your inner Diva. In fact if I could turn back time … I could see it again and again.

Rambert Dance in Peaky Blinders The Redemption of Thomas Shelby Review

Hull New Theatre – until 4th February 2023

Reviewed by Dawn Bennett


Atmospheric, menacing, hypnotic and beautifully danced, Rambert Dance stormed into Hull New Theatre in Peaky Blinders The Redemption of Thomas Shelby.

A Rambert production in association with Birmingham Hippodrome written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight CBE and choreographed and directed by Benoit Swan Pouffer was a stunning piece of theatre.

The show tells the story of Thomas Shelby (Guillaume Queau) and starts with the trenches in World War 1 and all the horror that goes with it, with the narrator Benjamin Zephaniah saying “you young men of the tunnelling brigade, you are all dead. Not counted among the dead because your bodies were not buried with dead, but dead inside…” This really sets the tone of the dance and explains a bit as to why the Peaky Blinders behaved like they did, violent and angry that they were not given what they thought they deserved after defending their country. And how that they would take what they wanted. The story then follows the lives and deaths in the Shelby family and how violence was a part of their lives.

The band made up of Yaron Engler, James Douglas and The Last Morrrell were magnificent, from the recognisable tones of the theme from the Peaky Blinders television show to thumping rock/metal tracks composed by Roman Gianarthur which really set the atmosphere.

The set (designed by Moi Tran) took us from the trenches, industrial factory, night club and the streets were on different levels setting the tone for each scene.

The lighting (designed by Natasha Chivers) made the scenes come alive and made them very atmospheric.

And the costumes … wow! Designed by Richard Gellar, the 3-piece suits with the razor blades glinting in the peaks of the caps, the gorgeous dresses and all the other costume really made the performance.

The fight scene, towards the end was so beautifully choregraphed by Adrian Derrick-Palmer it was difficult to know who to watch.

The whole show was amazing from beginning to end, you really do not have to have watched the Televison show to understand or enjoy this dance. I highly recommend watching and this was one of the best dance productions that I have seen. The cast very much deserved the standing ovation, miss it at your peril!

Fisherman’s Friends the musical

Nottingham Theatre Royal- until Saturday 4 February 2023

Reviewed by Louise Ford


No hopers, jokers and rogues

The journey to fame and fortune started back in 2010 when their imaginatively named album Port Issac’s Fisherman’s Friends became a hit in the UK charts. The story of a group of singing fishermen was too good not to be turned into a film (or two) and now a musical (based on Amanda Whittington’s book), directed by James Grieve. The songs and the story lend themselves to a joyful musical.

The story starts down at the harbour, where the cast do what they do best fishing and singing. The set (designed by Lucy Osborne) is a delight easily capturing the quaint harbour and then magically transforming into an energetic scene out at sea. I loved the rock and roll feel of the boat. All the time the fishermen are singing.

At times the shanties are performed a-cappella, a lone voice starting a refrain then being joined by the rest of the crew, at other times the shanty starts with the music and the crew join in. The musicians are not static they weave around the stage with their instruments . A whole host of instruments and props are used to produce the lively sound.

There are two interwoven stories the “discovery” of the singing Cornish men and a love story between Alwyn (Parisa Shahmir) and Danny (Dominic Brewer). Alwyn is the daughter of Jim (James Gaddas), the “boss” of the fishermen.  Alwyn is a gifted musician and song writer (she made a cassette, when she was 12!). The songs performed by Parisa are beautiful, her voice is ethereal and haunting.

In addition to the main themes there is a bit of social comment on emmets (tourists), the rivalry between Devon and Cornwall and the sadness of loss and the loneliness of being a new mother. There are a fair few jokes and a bit of bawdy humour.

So back to basics the colour palette for the costumes was all Cornish coastal hews (muted blues, greys and browns), a couple of fisherman’s smocks and of course knitwear. In my opinion you cannot have enough knitwear on stage!

The shanties are at the heart of the story and the production is jam packed with them. The range of topics is vast from Australia to America and back again. All of the songs are performed with energy and joy. The cast really seem to be enjoying themselves , especially  when they are foot-stomping the beat!

So grab your gansey and head on down to the sea shore for an evening of song and joy.








Welcome to the best pub in the world… Come ready to drink in the excitement!

Opening hours extended! The Olivier-nominated international stage sensation THE CHOIR OF MAN is continues its sell-out West End run, with new tickets released for dates until 30 July 2023.

An uplifting celebration of community and friendship with something for everyone… including free beer! Enjoy 90 minutes of feel-good, foot-stomping entertainment unlike anything else in the West End.

Brimming with hits from artists such as QueenLuther Vandross, SiaPaul SimonAdeleGuns & RosesAvicii and Katy Perry to name but a few. A wildly talented group of incredible instrumentalists, world-class wordsmiths, and sensational singers; this cast of nine (extra)ordinary guys serve it all…live!

Conor Hanley – who has previously performed in The Choir of Man on the 2022 US tour, the Edinburgh Fringe, and Coventry City of Culture, joins the company at the Arts Theatre as ‘The Poet’ from Weds 1 February, marking his West End debut. Daniel Harnett will also return to the show, having been part of the original West End cast, and the company of the US tour.

They will join Michael Baxter (Les Misérables – 25th Anniversary tour, Gypsy – Wales Millennium Centre) as ‘The Maestro’, Levi Tyrell-Johnson (making his professional debut in The Choir of Man), as ‘The Hard Man’, Mark Irwin (The Choir of Man West End, Korea, Australia, The Commitments – Palace Theatre) as ‘The Barman’Owen Bolton (also making his professional debut in The Choir of Man) as ‘The Beast’, Jordan Oliver (The Choir of Man West End, Netherlands, Australia and Korea, The Sound of Music – UK Tour) as ‘The Handyman’Matt Beveridge (The Choir of Man West End, Australia, Netherland, Titanic – Princess of Wales Toronto) as ‘The Romantic’, Matt Nalton (Jersey Boys – Piccadilly Theatre, Beautiful – Aldwych Theatre) as ‘The Pub Bore’ and Matt Thorpe (Jersey Boys – Piccadilly Theatre & UK tour, We Will Rock You – Dominion) as ‘The Joker’. Completing the company are Sam Ebenezer (The Mousetrap – St Martin’s Theatre, Cinderella – Sunderland Empire), Gavin Ryan (West Side Story – Bord Gais Dublin, making his West End debut in The Choir of Man) and Lucas Koch (Million Dollar Quartet – Barn Theatre, also making his West End debut in The Choir of Man).

THE CHOIR OF MAN has previously played three sell-out seasons at the Sydney Opera House and multiple sold-out US and European tours. Following its last run at the Arts Theatre from October 2021 to April 2022, it received an Olivier nomination for Best Entertainment or Comedy Play, and then went on to play in Coventry as part of the City of Culture Assembly Festival season and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

THE CHOIR OF MAN is created by Nic Doodson and Andrew Kay, directed by Nic Doodson, with musical supervision, vocal arrangements and orchestrations by Jack Blume, movement direction and choreography by Freddie Huddleston, monologues written by Ben Norris, scenic design by Oli Townsend, lighting design by Richard Dinnen, costume design and associate scenic design by Verity Sadler, sound design by Sten Severson, casting by Debbie O’Brien. Hollie Cassar serves as musical director and associate musical supervisor, and Rachel Chapman serves as associate choreographer.

The show is produced by Immersive Everywhere, Nic Doodson, Andrew Kay, Wendy & Andy Barnes, Gavin Kalin and Hunter Arnold.

Nic Doodson said, “The Choir of Man is a show all about being together and the power of community. Over the years, we’ve been lucky enough to work with some incredibly talented and hard-working actors and musicians and we’re delighted to welcome Conor and Danny back into our little pub. The Jungle is a place through which many actors have passed, and each had contributed their talents and stories to the fabric of our show so when actors return it feels in a way like they’re coming home.”


Facebook: @thechoirofman

Twitter & Instagram: @choirofman

New open-air theatre to open on a lavender farm in Surrey

New open-air theatre, The Lavender Theatre, to open on a lavender farm in Surrey

an artist’s impression of The Lavender Theatre

Just a stone’s throw from London and set amidst rolling lavender fields, the Lavender Theatre will open for its inaugural summer season this July in Epsom.

The 250-seat open air theatre will be home for an annual season of plays and musicals with a truly elegant backdrop. Based at Mayfield Lavender in Surrey, the theatre has been co-founded by director Joe McNeice (producer/director of ‘DIVA: Live From Hell!)’ and Mayfield owner Brendan Maye.

The inaugural season will open with Irving Berlin’s classic musical ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ from July 17, with new direction and choreography by Simon Hardwick (‘My Fair Lady’).  

The launch of the theatre will see the completion of a £2m+ investment into the Epsom site, which already boasts a coffee bar, shop, and a full service glasshouse restaurant due to open alongside the theatre this summer.

“This will be more than just a visit to a theatre,” Joe McNeice said today, “Audiences will be able dine in our glass house restaurant underneath Mediterranean citrus trees, or grab a picnic to enjoy among the blossoming rows of lavender as the sun begins to set, before taking their seats in our covered auditorium to watch a show under the stars. We think it’s going to be a truly special experience.”

Since opening in 2006, the Mayfield Lavender Farm in Banstead has grown into a major summer
destination for tourists and locals in South London, and this year the team are opening the gates to a theatre at their sister location in Epsom.

Lavender Theatre Artistic Director Joe McNeice worked behind the scenes at London’s ‘Immersive Great Gatsby’, and was Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s Visitor Services Manager until 2022, after graduating from the University of York in 2018.

“The whole place looks incredible, just walking about the site is a real treat for all the senses,” McNeice added, “so our shows have to compliment their surroundings and match the sophistication that the natural landscape has set for us.”

Speaking of his plans for ‘Annie Get Your Gun’, Simon Hardwick said: “The show will be a rip-roaring staging of the well known Broadway musical in a very raw and kinetic production that evokes the energy of Buffalo Bill’s original touring celebrations of the Wild West. The Lavender Theatre will be a dream destination; an environment in which to enjoy a West End-standard production under a hazy summer sky.”

The theatre, privately funded and managed by Lavender Productions Ltd., will produce its own shows with plans to see the summer season expand year on year with diverse and engaging programming.

McNeice said: “With no public funding or grants to help us achieve this mammoth project, we are relying solely on our Box Office income to build the Lavender Theatre into a profitable business, but we believe that creating a new producing theatre, a proper landmark location for the arts in Surrey, is something worth the investment, for both the local community and the wider industry.

“I’m really passionate about developing new shows, particularly musicals. The location is perfect because it’s actually very close to London, but far enough away to have its own identity, which will give us the opportunity to develop work without the vast expense and pressure that comes with opening new shows in the capital. It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity. There’s a lot to be said for Zone 6!”

Tickets for the inaugural season are on sale today at

Casting for ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ and news of other events in the inagural Lavender Theatre season will be announced soon.

How to get there:

With trains running to the nearby Epsom Downs station every 30 minutes from London Victoria, the theatre is easily reachable via public transport.

Social media:

Twitter: @lavtheatre

Instagram: @thelavendertheatre


The Mousetrap Review

Festival Theatre, Malvern – until 4th February 2023

Reviewed by Courie Amado Juneau


Agatha Christie is like visiting an old friend. I thoroughly enjoyed The Mousetrap years ago in London, so a rare chance to see it’s 70th Anniversary Tour (I know!) in Malvern, was too good to pass up.

The play is set in a newly opened guest house welcoming its first visitors. A sumptuous set greets us, setting the period and mood perfectly. It looked good enough to be on film, let alone the stage! Our leading lady Joelle Dyson (playing Mollie Ralston, half owner of said establishment) enters and takes off her dark coat, light scarf and soft felt hat just as a radio announces that the police are looking for someone seen fleeing from a local murder scene wearing a dark overcoat, light scarf and soft felt hat. Timed to perfection by Ms Dyson we are drawn to these items at each mention, immediately putting her under suspicion. This device is used wittily several times, as every person visiting is wearing almost identical garments.

We are given an interesting range of suspicious characters: the sinister foreigner, the respectable general, a disagreeable old lady, an excitable young man, a mysterious and evasive young lady, a recently married couple in whose residence the murderous fun unfolds and also, of course, the investigating police officer (where would Poirot have been without Japp?).

Much of the audience attention would have rightly been on the two Marquee names: Todd Carty (Major Metcalf) and Gwyneth Strong (Mrs Boyle) and they did shine as expected. But don’t take your eyes of the rest of this exceptionally talented cast, all stars in their own right who did an outstanding job. I will make special mention of Elliot Clay (playing Christopher Wren with childlike abandon) and Kieran Brown (playing Mr Paravicini, at once both hissable and charmingly seductive). I hope both roles were as much fun to play as they were to watch.

Having everyone snowed in is a device Agatha used on a number of occasions – most notably in Murder On The Orient Express – and I can see why. It creates a palpable tension. Couple this with fantastic acting and you have a surefire winner. Slowly but surely the house becomes ever more cut off, just like the phone … and once the second murder occurs the suspicion and finger pointing ramps up several notches

It’s easy to forget that Christie pieces are period dramas. As such, they often fall into several traps; they can be quaint, they can have staid acting (everyone awfully plummy with some “cor-blimey” thrown in for “the help”) or they can be melodramatic. Tonight’s production was none of these. It was perfectly paced and beautifully acted with a natural ease and suspenseful drama that does all concerned in the production a great deal of credit. In fact I would say it was honed to perfection!

I could go on about how good tonight’s performance was but would run out of superlatives. I will confine myself to advising you not to miss this opportunity to catch this most famous show locally. If you see nothing else this Wintry season, see this.

Casting Announced For The UK Tour Of Cake






DATES 18 MARCH – 29 APRIL 2023

The brand-new musical, come gig, come ballet is from some of the most exciting figures in modern British Theatre, with an Olivier Award winning creative team including Olivier Winner’s Drew McOnie(In the HeightsJesus Chris Superstar) and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (Emilia – The Globe

Cake will be venturing on a UK tour from 18 March 2023, starting at the MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton.  

Casting will include, fresh from her magical run as Mary Poppins on the West End, Zizi Strallen (she/her) stars as Marie Antoinette, with Renée Lamb (she/her), Catherine of Aragon from the original cast of SIX, starring as Jeanne.

The cast is completed by B Terry (they/them) as Nicole, Travis Ross (he/him) as Cardinal with Ope Sowande (he/him) and Megan Bryony Gibbs (she/her) as the ensemble and Lukas Hunt (he/him) and Amie Hibbert (she/her) as swings. 

Cake combines music with 18th century France to retell a story that sparked a revolution. When Marie Antoinette married King Louis, her reputation was already tarnished by gossip. But when she is implicated in a crime to defraud the crown jewellers of a diamond necklace, it is not just her reputation at stake, but the monarchy and France itself.

Originally commissioned by Paul Taylor-Mills (Heathers & In the Heights), Cake promises to re-define our expectations of what a musical can be.

Paul has said, “We are delighted to be partnering with 5 of the leading regional theatres to present a development production of this brilliant new show. I first commissioned this at The Other Palace five years ago and am delighted to be working with some of the best theatre makers in Drew McOnie, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Tasha Taylor Johnson and Jack McManus. The show started life at our first MTFestUK and it’s great to see it come to production.”

Cake is written by Morgan Lloyd Malcom directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie with songs by Tasha Taylor Johnson and Jack McManus, casting by Will Burton CDG and based on an idea by Paul Taylor-Mills.

Welcome Home Review

Soho Theatre – until 11 February 2023

Reviewed by Claire Roderick


Willy Hudson’s autobiographical story is a beautiful, bloody queer mess that will make you laugh, cry and squirm in equal measure. Following a bad breakup, Willie returns to his childhood home – but not until we have a brilliantly bombastic sci-fi rock opera opening number depicting the relationship.

Willy’s interpretation of his parents’ responses to his breakup are coloured by shame and anger, the source of which doesn’t become clear until a box of childhood belongings sends us back in time to 2000 and Willy buying Robbie Williams’s album. Growing up in a charismatic church and hearing that homosexuals will burn in hell doesn’t sit too well with his growing fascination for the censored video for Rock DJ and the photos of Robbie’s bum.

Recognising the damage to himself and his relationships that stemmed from teenage years of being judged (and so judging himself) as sinful and wrong, Willy is back for revenge – and a church Easter egg hunt provides the perfect opportunity.

Willy Hudson’s writing is as funny, imaginative and clever as ever, full of emotion, honesty and a devilish twinkle, and his performance is out of this world. The scenes where he relates petty family feuds over the best seats for watching Doctor Who are a heart-warming joy, with Weeping Angels appearing on stage to represent the monsters in his own story – not killing him, but feeding on his energy with devastating effect. Director and dramaturg Zach James allows Willy’s story to unfold in a seemingly organic, chaotic musical spectacular that sweeps the audience along through time and space to the bloody carnage of Willy’s longed for confrontation and the exhausted aftermath.

Susanne Dietz’s video design, Jai Morjaria’s lighting and Tom Foskett-Barnes’s sound and music work together to create funny, thrilling and uncomfortable moments of magic. Anna Orton’s kitsch tin foiled set and the stagehands popping on and off with props has a hilariously ramshackle feel, but also makes explicit the fact that Willy can’t come to terms with his past or create a show on his own, needing friends and allies to help him through. A fabulous, frenetic extravaganza that shouldn’t be missed.

The Mousetrap Review

Malvern Festival Theatre – until Saturday 4th February 2023

Reviewed by Julie Bellerby


This much loved Agatha Christie’s play is touring to celebrate the 70th Anniversary, which first premiered on 25th November 1952.

It shows that this well written play transcends the passing of time and continues to be a classic favourite for theatre goers.

Monkswell Manor, a remote countryside guesthouse is the setting for this play. Upon the arrival of a police sergeant the guests are horrified to discover that a killer may be in their midst and one by one their secrets start to tumble out into the open.

The stage set was excellent, appearing quite believable that you were in the entrance Hall of Monkswell Manor. Directed by Ian Talbot and Denise Silvey along with Producer Adam Spiegel, this is a first class production.

It is impossible to highlight any one actor who excelled more, with such a strong team of actors with excellent experience on stage. It was a pleasure to submerse myself in the play, having little to bring to your attention of any negative views.

Mollie Ralston played by Joelle Dyson, was very energetic on stage, the character showed many different emotions, as you had an insight into her past which Joelle performed amazingly and left you feeling very sad for her, with the guilt of her past.

Laurence Pears playing Giles Ralston, Mollie’s husband, gave an admirable performance , with Gwyneth Strong as Mrs Boyle. Todd Carty as Major Metcalf, I enjoyed his interpretation of the Major. Mr Paravicini played by Kieran Brown, executed his one liners perfectly, very amusing. Helped by Elliot Clay as Christopher Wren, Joseph Reed as Detective Sargent Trotter, and Essie Barrow as Miss Casewell, completed the line up.

As always the audience is asked by a member of the cast at the curtain call not to give away the end of the play, a tradition that has turned a staggering number of theatre goers into willing accomplices to this murder.