David Suchet as Lady BracknellMuch-loved television star David Suchet is coming to Newcastle Theatre Royal in a brand new guise, as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, Mon 8 – Sat 13 June 2015.


Often described as ‘one of the funniest plays in the English language’, Oscar Wilde’s superb satire on Victorian manners is guaranteed to have Newcastle audiences laughing out loud.


The play concerns the lives of two bachelor friends, upper crust dandy Algernon Moncrieff and the most reliable John Worthing J.P. who lead double lives to court the attentions of the desirable Gwendolyn Fairfax and Cecily Cardew. The gallants must then grapple with the uproarious consequences of their ruse, and with the formidable Lady Bracknell, played by David Suchet.


David is one of Britain’s most respected actors on stage and screen; he is winner of an International Emmy award, has been nominated for numerous Olivier, Tony and BAFTA awards throughout his career, and was awarded the CBE in 2010. David is best known for his role as the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie’s Poirot. He has recently completed all 74Poirot TV films, which is the whole canon of Agatha Christie’s Poirot stories.

But leaving the famous Frenchman behind and stepping into the shoes of a woman was an offer that concerned the actor at first: “I agreed to the idea with slight trepidation but once I’d looked into it and realised that such notable actors as Brian Bedford on Broadway and Geoffrey Rush in Australia had played Lady Bracknell, I could see that I’d be following in a line of leading male performers and I felt more comfortable.”


David will be joined on stage by Michelle Dotrice (playing Miss Prism), who many audience members will know from her TV appearances as long-suffering wife Betty in Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em and more recently on stage as Mrs Wilberforce in the touring production of The Ladykillers.


The Importance of Being Earnest also stars Emily Barber as Gwendolen Fairfax, Michael Benz as John Worthing, Philip Cumbus as Algernon Moncrieff, Imogen Doel as Cecily Cardew and Richard O’Callaghan as Reverend Canon Chasuble.


The show is directed by Adrian Noble, former artistic director at the RSC where his productions included: The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe (Stratford, Barbican), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stratford, Barbican and Broadway) and The Secret Garden(Stratford, London). Noble’s extensive list of other directing credits includes The Captain of Kopenick for the National, The King’s Speech in the West End, Cosi Fan Tutti at the Opera De Lyon,  Brand by Ibsen starring Ralph Fiennes and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at The London Palladium starring Michael Ball.


The Importance of Being Earnest appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Mon 8 – Sat 13 June 2015 (Evenings: 7.30pm, Matinees: Thur 2pm and Sat 2.30pm). Tickets from £14.50 (Save 50p per ticket by booking online). Tickets can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or select your own seat and book online at


BalletBoyz are back on tour with theTalent double bill.

theTalent is a superb double bill from BALLETBOYZ featuring ‘The Murmuring’ choreographed by Alexander Whitley and ‘Mesmerics’ choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. The programme premiered at the Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House last year to capacity audiences and tours for the first time this spring playing at Darlington Civic Theatre on Tuesday 26 May.

Alexander Whitley has chosen the subject/title of The Murmuring for his new piece; as well as a low, distinctive and continuous sound, murmurings is also the extraordinary undulating flight pattern of flocks of birds, particularly starlings. “I’m delighted The Murmuring is going out on the road,” says Alexander, “and that I’ve had another opportunity to work with the BalletBoyz after having enjoyed so much working with them making the piece.” Set to music by the London based electronic duo Raime (Tom Halstead and Joe Andrews) the precise nature of Alexander’s choreography contrasts arresting group dances with twisting, weighted solos; the company’s ten dancers create a seamless ebb and flow of beautiful movement.

Mesmerics is a piece created by Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, co-founders and artistic directors of BalletBoyz , with Christopher Wheeldon in 2004 for three men and two women. Christopher has reworked the piece and re-created it for eight of theTalent’s dancers. “We’ve always loved the piece,” says Michael Nunn. “The music is a gorgeous score by Philip Glass featuring haunting, hypnotic string sections. We knew it wouldn’t work in the old format because there’s a lot of pointe work and traditional partnering, so Chris has re-invented it and we’ve worked with him in tiny moments through his busy schedule.”

BalletBoyz perform at Darlington Civic Theatre on Tuesday 26 May. Tickets* are priced £21, £19 and for under 16s £11

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit

*All ticket prices include a £1 restoration levy


La Soirée






Roll up, roll up – the jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring cabaret sensation is back! On Sunday 12 April, the little show with a big heart La Soirée was awarded the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award for Best Entertainment. Following their Olivier’s success, the theatrical phenomenon could think of nothing better than returning to London for a second consecutive Christmas residency at the Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival.

The strictly limited run will again take place in the deliciously decadent La Soirée Spiegeltent from 27 October until the 17 January. To extend a heartfelt thanks to their London supporters an Early Bird Deal has been concocted to offer a phenomenal discount to fans of the show. Full details can be found below.

Before returning to London in the Autumn, La Soirée will be continuing their world tour with dates in Australia, Denmark, Hong Kong and a stop off at a very special festival. La Soirée’s band of troubadours, dazzling divas, and cabaret royalty will be donning their wellies and pitching their tents on Glastonbury’s hallowed fields to headline Glastonbury’s Circus Big Top on all three nights of the festival. Promising festival-goers an electric start to the nights, this will be La Soirée’s Glastonburypremière.

Creative producer Brett Haylock is currently rounding up La Soirée’s dysfunctional family of new burlesque, circus sideshow and variety acts so the roll-call of contemporary carnies set to titillate London from October will be announced soon. However, be prepared to be reunited with some very dear friends alongside some fresh faces in the ever-growing La Soirée family.

Brett Haylock said: “We thought our tenth anniversary year was a big one, but this one has shattered all possible expectations already; an Olivier win, headlining Glastonbury’s circus fields, our first seasons in Hong Kong and Manilla, and finishing with a return to our beloved London, it’s a heady ride none of us want to step off! We can’t wait.”

La Soirée is presented in London by Brett Haylock, Mark Rubinstein and Mick Perrin.


La Soirée
La Soirée’s Spiegeltent at Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival
27 October 2015 – 17 January 2016
PRESS NIGHT: 6 November 

All standard tickets for November shows will be £25 or less if booked before 21st June 2015, with £10 off Posh Seats.
From 22 June – 31 October bookers can enjoy £10 off all ticket prices (except standing). For more information visit
Twitter: @lasoireelive
Facebook: / LaSoiree
Instagram: lasoireelive
You Tube:


11046609_10153261485235649_2537714348956555545_oIt’s back! To help raise money for three cancer charities and support Moz in his ‘3 in 3’ challenge, The Landor Pub has kindly allowed us to host the greatest competition known to mankind (sort of!). Hosted by Quiz Queen Pam, we have amazing cash prizes, bonus ‘shot’ rounds, an incredible raffle and more fun than you can shake a stick at!

Today at 20:00
The Landor Pub

70 Landor Road, SW9 9PH London, United Kingdom

Michael Ball Review

Sheffield City Hall – 27 April 2015. Reviewed by Melanie Torley

Michael breezed in to the Sheffield City Arena with his “If Everyone Was Listening” Tour on Monday 27th April. The venue was intimate and the anticipation in the audience was escalated as first the band came on stage, followed by the backing singers. The music started to play and then over the speakers came that familiar singing voice. The audience erupted as Michael made his entrance to stage.

The first half of the concert consisted of Michael introducing us to songs from his new album ‘If Everyone Was Listening’ before he went on to sing some more familiar love songs from the musicals that earned him his fame.

During the second act Michael sang a mixture of songs from various genres and even gave Farrell Williams a run for his money with a fabulous version of Happy. There were a few goosebump moments too as he sang The Climb and The Rose. Throughout the entire performance Michael charmed the audience with his witty anecdotes and impersonations.

Michael oozes charisma and his voice resonated around the Hall and filled it beautifully. At the end of the evening you left feeling as if you had made a new friend and that friend is Michael Ball. If ever you were under any doubts about seeing Michael live, I would highly recommend you go buy a ticket because you won’t be disappointed.

Hairspray Review

Civic Theatre, Darlington – 28 April 2015

Hairspray-ShowDarlington Operatic Society prove that You Can’t Stop the Beat this week.  And this phenomenal production proves there is nothing amateur about it at all.

Set in Baltimore and with the swinging 60s as the backdrop, the story follows teenager-on-a-mission Tracy Turnblad in her quest for integration and equality. After auditioning to star on local television, she becomes something of a celebrity and uses her influence to raise awareness of the segregation ethnic minorities receive on television

Rhiannon Walker is the eager Tracy Turnblad, shines during opening number “Good Morning Baltimore”, and sparkles as she belts her way through. Her Tracy is determined and likeable which, by the end of the show, ensures you are rooting for her. Her enthusiasm and energy allows her to command the stage with ease during “I Can Hear The Bells” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat”.

Ellen Johnson is the perfectly clumsy Penny Pingleton, her comedic attitude making for Tracy’s ideal sidekick and Omar Shade takes the part of Seaweed Stubbs, a dancer who executes Joanne Hand’s choreography to a perfect degree.

The show radiates warmth but its real power is to take the critical issue of racial segregation – John Waters’ original film is based on a real incident on a real TV show, when black and white teenagers in Baltimore stormed a live broadcast – and through comedy to demonstrate its utter absurdity. Prejudice and white superiority is embodied in Velma Von Tussle, gleefully played by Sam Morrison and her equally vile daughter Amber (Karen Stone), Latoya Black takes the place by storm as Motormouth Maybelle, with a voice that can do anything and go anywhere and her talented daughter Inez (Cayanne Roberts) who just wants to dance

Every number in Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman’s score is a big one, from ‘Good Morning Baltimore’ to the finale, ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’. Andrew Hamilton is a delight as Edna Turnblad, standing over the ironing board in sensible shoes and dresses that look as though she’s just run them up on her sewing machine. Hamilton has a gravelly voice that can roar and he doesn’t play it like a Dame. He just plays it like a woman.

The number, ‘(You’re) Timeless to Me’, sung in duet with his much shorter ‘husband’ (Neil Harland) is a comic highlight.

The boys did well to thrive amid the girl power. Ben Connor’s Link Larkin, hiding his vulnerability under an Elvis quiff. With Leighton Taylor upping the cheese quotient as gold-suited telly host Corny Collins. But special mention to Hayley Walker as a tap dancing dominatrix prison matron.

Musical director Michael Trotter and his band were never less than superb. The chorus, including those “nicest kids in town”, hit their harmonies beautifully while dancing with perkiness and style.

Supported by a backstage crew responsible for seamlessly staging a complex show – including fabulously vivid costumes and outstanding sound and lighting to match  – this was a true team effort.

In Darlington until Saturday 2nd May this show is worth every penny, so get a ticket as soon as possible for this outstanding performance.

1984 announces return to the West End for 12 week run

90972a297206a36e_orgSonia Friedman Productions and Eleanor Lloyd Productions
present the Headlong, Nottingham Playhouse and Almeida Theatre production of
By George Orwell
A new adaptation created by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan

  • 1984 returns to West End for 12 week run
  • Prior to international tour
  • 12 June – 5 September 2015

The Headlong, Nottingham Playhouse and Almeida Theatre production of 1984 will return to the Playhouse Theatre  in the West End this summer, where it enjoyed a very successful run in 2014. 1984 will preview from 12 June 2015, with the press night on 18 June 2015.

The production, which premiered at Nottingham Playhouse in September 2013, has since played to sell-out houses at the Almeida Theatre, in the West End, and across the UK on a national tour.

101 seats for every performance will be available for £19.84.

Casting to be announced.

April, 1984. Comrade 6079, Winston Smith, thinks a thought and starts a diary. But Big Brother is always watching, and the door to Room 101 can swing open in the blink of an eye.

The definitive book of the 20th century is re-examined in a radical, award-winning adaptation exploring surveillance, identity and why Orwell’s vision of the future is as relevant now as ever.

1984 is written and directed by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan, set and costume designed by Chloe Lamford, with lighting designed by Natasha Chivers, sound designed by Tom Gibbons and video designed by Tim Reid.

George Orwell’s 1984, published in 1949, is one of the most influential novels in recent history, with its chilling depiction of perpetual war, pervasivegovernment surveillance and incessant public mind-control.  Its ideas have become our ideas, and Orwell’s fiction is often said to be our reality.




Sonia Friedman Productions and Eleanor Lloyd Productions present the Headlong, Nottingham Playhouse and Almeida Theatre production of
By George Orwell
A new adaptation created by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan

Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Ave, London, WC2N 5DE
12 June – 5 September 2015

Box Office
Telephone: Playhouse Theatre 0844 871 7631 or Almeida Theatre 020 7359 4404
Online:, or

Performance Times
Monday to Saturday 7.30pm, Wednesday and Saturday matinee 2.30pm (no matinee 13 and 17 June)

Press night:
18 June 2015, 7pm

Ticket prices
101 seats at £19.84 available at every performance.
£10 (day seats), £15, £19.84, £39.50 and £52.50
Premium seats available

Group Bookings:
8+ best available seats for £32.50, valid Mon-Thu performances

School Bookings:
10+ best available seats for £19.84 (1 teacher free per 10 students), valid Mon-Thu performances.

Headlong, Nottingham Playhouse and the Almeida Theatre are supported using public funding by Arts Council England.


New adaptation of The Adventures of Pinocchio to play at Greenwich Theatre this Summer

Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment, Guy James and Ilai Szpiezak for Szpiezak Productions

in association with Greenwich Theatre






The Adventures of Pinocchio - Artwork ImageA new musical adaptation of the classic children’s story The Adventures of Pinocchio will arrive in London this Summer, playing at Greenwich Theatre from Wednesday 5 to Sunday 23 August, with a press performance on Friday 7 August at 3.00pm.

Based on Carlo Collodi’s classic tale, The Adventures of Pinocchio tells the story of a wooden puppet yearning to be a real boy. Carved out of wood by the lonely toymaker Geppetto, Pinocchio tumbles from one disastrous situation to another in search of adventure — only to discover that, in the end, all he really needs is an unselfish heart and the love of his father. 


Written by the Broadway and Disney writing duo Neil Bartram and Brian Hill (The Story of My Life,Bedknobs and Broomsticks), this family musical brings a new vision of the timeless story to the stage, springing to life with inventive and awe-inspiring puppetry, live musicians, singers and performers.

Originally produced at the Chicago Shakespeare Festival, this production will be its UK Premiere. It will be directed by Bronagh Lagan (Portia Coughlan, Girlfriends, Rags In Concert) with Musical Direction by Freddie Tapner (Girlfriends, Mr Swallow The Musical, The Sorrows Of Satan). It is produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment, Guy James and Ilai Szpiezak for Szpiezak Productions in association with Greenwich Theatre, by special arrangement with R&H Theatricals.

Recommended age 5+.

Casting is to be announced.





Press Performance: Friday 7 August, 3.00pm

Performances: Tuesday – Friday 3.00pm, Saturday 12.00pm, Sunday 12.00pm and 3.00pm

Tickets: £15, £12.50 (Concessions), £10 (Children), £40 (Family Ticket), £10 (Previews) 
Box Office 020 8858 7755 |



With their creative mix of music and comedy, Voca People are set to amaze at Darlington Civic Theatre on 18 May.

Photo by Leon SokoletskiWith more than 50 million YouTube hits to their credit and a global audience of over 1 million for their live shows, Voca People are a musical comedy sensation. In a show which features 80-plus all-time favourite hits from Madonna to Michael Jackson via Mozart, their fabulous A Cappella and beat-boxing skills are showcased in hilarious comedy skits to create a show that is hugely entertaining for audiences of all ages.

You won’t believe your ears as these amazing vocalists take you on a journey through musical history! Glorious harmonies and an incredible range of sounds are produced without the help of instruments or sound effects – just eight incredibly talented singer-comedians. Created and directed by award-winning Lior Kalfo in collaboration with co-creator, arranger and musical director Shai Fishman, who is an innovative composer of music for film, television and theatre and is currently working on a musical project for NASA, this fun-packed show has been touring the world since 2009, selling out theatres in Europe, North and South America and the Far East. It was performed off-Broadway for over a year, where it won the Lucille Lortel Award for ‘Outstanding Theatrical Experience’.

Full of energy, comedy and fun, Voca People received rave reviews from audience and critics alike when they made their UK début at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe last year and that success has now led to their first tour of the UK. Don’t miss this out-of-this-world show!

Voca People land at Darlington Civic Theatre on Monday 18 May. Tickets* are £18 & £20

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit

*Includes a £1 restoration levy

Birmingham Opera Company wins at the International Opera Awards for Khovanskygate: A National Enquiry

Birmingham Opera Company’s 2014 production of Modest Musorgsky’s KHOVANSKYGATE: A National Enquiry, directed by Graham Vick, was named Best New Production at this year’s International Opera Awards.

Birmingham Opera Company won out over productions from Zurich Opera, the Aix-en-Provence Festival, the Dutch National Opera, the English National Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York to take home the award.

Staged in a 60m x 40m “Big Top” in Birmingham’s Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham Opera Company’sKhovanskygate followed the huge success of their ground-breaking and award-winning production of Stockhausen’s Mittwoch Aus Licht in 2012.

KHOVANSKYGATE: A National Enquiry was performed with Vick’s own company, a cast of international soloists, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Children’s Chorus and over 200 volunteers from Birmingham.

Birmingham Opera Company’s most recent production was Michael Tippett’s The Ice Break, directed by Graham Vick and staged in a disused warehouse in Birmingham, which opened to great public and critical acclaim in April 2015.

The run of The Ice Break was accompanied by Breaking The Ice, a programme of screenings, exhibitions, concerts, lectures and performances  organised in Birmingham to complement the themes of the opera. One highlight was ‘Breaking the Ice: A National Symposium on opera, art and social responsibility’, curated by Oliver Soden and featuring David Edgar, Andrew Gourlay, Mischa Scorer, Graham Vick and others.

The International Opera Awards were founded in 2013 by Harry Hyman and John Allison, Editor of Opera Magazine. The aims of the awards are to provide bursaries for emerging opera talent and to celebrate excellence in the world of opera.

The full list of nominees for Best New Production was as follows:

  • Alcina, Zurich Opera
  • Ariodante, Aix-en-Provence
  • Gurrelieder, DNO
  • Benvenuto Cellini, English National Opera
  • Khovanskygate, Birmingham Opera Company
  • Prince Igor, Metropolitan Opera

KHOVANSKYGATE: A National Enquiry was performed in a new translation by Max Hoehn. It was designed by Samal Blak and Stuart Stratford conducted. Paul Nilon sang The Scribbler, Eric Greene sang Prince Ivan Khovansky, with Keel Watson as Dosifey, Stephanie Corley as Emma and Claudia Huckle as Marfa.

Graham Vick’s other recent productions for Birmingham Opera Company include The Ice Break, Life is a Dream, Othello, which was broadcast on BBC Television, King Idomeneo, La Traviata and Mozart’s He Had It Coming.

Birmingham Opera Company’s triumphant 2012 staging of Stockhausen’s Mittwoch aus Licht, often previously thought to be unstageable, received public and critical acclaim. Featuring camels, a floating orchestra and a string quartet performing from helicopters, it won the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Opera and Music Theatre and was nominated in the World Premiere category at the inaugural International Opera Awards.