McQueen Review

Theatre Royal Haymarket 27 August – 7 November. Reviewed by Claire Roderick


McQueen gives us a glimpse into legendary designer Alexander McQueen’s visionary imagination.

Writer James Phillips and director John Caird have created a darkly magical experience which begins with Stephen Wight, as McQueen, wandering around the stage almost unnoticed as the audience enters the theatre. Whilst most of the audience is chatting or checking phones, Wight is compelling as he silently searches for inspiration for his next collection.

The play covers a single night, with a girl, Dahlia, who has watched McQueen’s house from a tree for 11 days, breaking in to steal a dress. She believes that the dress will make her someone special. Instead of calling the police, a tormented McQueen takes her on a journey through his London, revisiting significant places and people from his life. Their visit to the tailors where he apprenticed is myth busting yet also enhances the legend of his cutting skills. Once Dahlia has her dress her true motives are revealed, and the dynamic of the relationship changes – now who is saving whom? And will they make it through the night?

Carly Bawden’s Dahlia is spiky and funny, but heartbreaking as she gradually unveils the darkness within her character.

Isabella Blow is an ever present figure in McQueen’s life, drifting on and off stage silently until their eventual confrontation. Tracy-Ann Oberman is a hoot as Blow – quipping acidly with McQueen but with an undercurrent of anger and despair. When she finally lets her mask slip, Blow’s pain and fear are palpable.

Stephen Wight is magnificent as McQueen – he is on stage constantly and gives a captivating performance. From the nervous gestures, the angry rants, suicidal thoughts and philosophical questioning to instances of complete stillness when he “sees” his next creation, Wight makes every moment of this dark fairytale believable.

The set and lighting design enhance the otherworldly feel of the play, even when McQueen is on a rooftop in Stratford. Music from McQueen’s shows is used sensitively throughout – with a fantastic nod to Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

Seamless set changes are produced by dancers dressed as McQueen models in routines echoing his fashion shows. A standout routine involves a twisted version of a ballerina music box – a 21st century Truly Scrumptious moment.

The idea that we can be transformed into the people we really want to be by the clothes we wear seems shallow, but McQueen’s explanations of what he sees when he looks at a person, and what his clothes could represent to them for an ephemeral moment, are incisive and enthralling. The play asks big questions about the vacuity of art and the meaning of beauty, love and talent. It tackles guilt, depression and suicide unflinchingly, but still manages to be very funny. When McQueen makes it through the night, the final scene is triumphant, but, as we know his eventual fate, bittersweet.

This is a must-see for all lovers of McQueen’s designs – and for lovers of damn fine theatre. Just like “the stuff” Alexander McQueen made, this play is a challenging, uplifting, disturbing and beguiling thing of beauty… whatever that may be.


A Tyneside groom is following in his great grandfather’s footsteps when he treads the boards of Newcastle Theatre Royal on Saturday, but his won’t be any ordinary performance – the only line he needs to deliver is ‘I do’ !


Brett Devenish will marry his fiancée Kerry Drew on Saturday, on the stage of the beautiful Theatre Royal in Newcastle’s Grey Street. And he recently discovered that he won’t be the only family member to have trodden the famous boards.


Brett explained: “We found an old photo of my great grandfather helping someone into a costume and on the back of it was the caption ‘Joseph Armstrong dressing Abanazar, 1920s’ the picture is of him working as a dresser at the Theatre Royal and we did a bit of research on the internet and we think that the photo was taken in 1927 when the Wylie-Tate pantomime Aladdin was playing at the Theatre Royal.”


So Brett will be furthering the family connection with the Theatre on Saturday when he takes to the stage in front of over 100 audience members made up of family and friends and marries his fiancée Kerry. Bride-to-be Kerry said: “We wanted to get married somewhere a bit different, we didn’t want the usual hotel wedding and we were looking online and saw that you could get married at the Theatre Royal. We kept it in mind and then a little later we saw an article in the newspaper about a couple who’d held their ceremony at the theatre last year. We both thought that it looked so unusual so we started making enquiries and as soon as we saw how unique it would be we booked our wedding.”


The Cullercoats couple are one of two couples getting married during Newcastle Theatre Royal’s wedding week this summer, which takes advantage of the traditional ‘dark’ period at the theatre when no performances are scheduled.


But Brett says this will probably be the only time he gets up on stage: “I’m no performer” he said “but we do love going to the Theatre and I think this will be really special for my mum whose grandfather worked here, she thinks it’s really fitting.”


Brett and Kerry will marry in a private ceremony on the stage before sharing their evening reception with family and friends in the beautiful public spaces of Newcastle Theatre Royal including the decadent upper circle bar and stylish Olivier Suite.


The groom-to-be added: “We are so excited about getting married at the Theatre Royal on Saturday and can’t wait for people to share the day with us in this distinctive way. People were surprised when they got their invitations and if I had a pound for every time someone has said to me they didn’t know you could get married at the theatre then I could probably have paid for the wedding! But that’s exactly why we chose it – we wanted our wedding to be unique!”


For more information about hiring Newcastle Theatre Royal please visit or contact  the development team on or 0191 244 2599.


McQUEEN opens tonight at Theatre Royal Haymarket





McQUEEN, which received its world premiere in May at St. James Theatre, where it broke box office records, opens tonight, Thursday 27 August, in London’s West End, at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, for a strictly limited season until 7 November.

Written by James Phillips and directed by John Caird, the production stars award-winning actor Stephen Wight in the title role. Janet McQueen, one of Lee Alexander McQueen’s sisters, said of the play and the production at St. James Theatre, “It was as though the play and Stephen’s performance brought Lee back to me again. I felt as though he was real again for me.” Gary McQueen, Lee’s nephew, added, “It does really hit something in your heart.”

Stephen Wight as Lee McQueen, Laura Rees as Arabella and Carly Bawden as Dahlia in McQueen credit SpecularJoining Stephen in the West End run will be Carly Bawden in the role of Dahlia. The role was originated by Dianna Agron who is not participating in the transfer due to filming commitments. Reprising their roles as Isabella Blow and Arabella will be Tracy-Ann Oberman and Laura Rees respectively. Michael Bertenshaw will be joining the cast as Mr Hitchcock. Also in the cast will be Harry Alexander, Sophie Apollonia, Amber Doyle, George Hill, Eloise Hymas, Amelia Jackson, Rachel Louisa Maybank, Jessica Buckby and Andrei Teodor Iliescu.

Ensemble Dancers in McQueen credit SpecularFor the transfer to the West End, scenes have been rewritten and an interval has been added. James Phillips said, “I’m so delighted to have McQueen in the West End, and to take this opportunity to refine some things from the original production. For me, it’s also thrilling that we’re going into the Theatre Royal Haymarket, as it was in this theatre that I had my first ever professional job, a few months after leaving college. I was a peasant – a silent role! – in Miss Julie starring Christopher Eccleston, Aisling O’Sullivan and Maxine Peake that Thelma Holt produced. It really is one of the most beautiful theatres I’ve ever been in.”

Ensemble Dancer in McQueen credit SpecularMcQUEEN is a journey into the visionary imagination and dream world of Alexander McQueen, fashion’s greatest contemporary artist. Set on a single London night, it is more than a bio-play. It is stepping into the fairy story landscape of McQueen’s mind, the landscape seen in his immortal shows, where with a dress an urchin can become an Amazon, where beauty might just help us survive the night. A girl has watched McQueen’s Mayfair house for eleven consecutive days. Tonight she climbs down from her watching tree and breaks into his house, to steal a dress, to become someone special. He catches her, but, instead of calling the police, they embark together on a journey through London and into his heart.

Lee Alexander McQueen died on 11 February 2010 aged 40. Born in Lewisham and raised in Stratford, East London, at 16 he served an apprenticeship with Savile Row tailors Anderson & Sheppard. Later, he studied at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design and his graduation collection was bought in its entirety by influential fashion stylist Isabella Blow. He was appointed head designer at Givenchy in 1996, where he remained until 2001. He founded his own Alexander McQueen label, and the Gucci Group acquired 51% of his company in 2000, with McQueen serving as Creative Director. McQueen achieved the title British Designer of the Year four times between 1996 and 2003, and was also awarded the CBE and named International Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers in 2003. New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted a posthumous exhibition of McQueen’s work in 2011 titled Savage Beauty. The exhibition is currently being shown at the V&A until 2 August.

Stephen Wight was named Outstanding Newcomer at the Evening Standard Awards for his performances in Michael Grandage’s production of Don Juan in Soho and Samuel West’s production of Dealer’s Choice. Other theatre includes Nicholas Hytner’s production of The Habit of Art at the National and Sean Foley’s production of The Ladykillers in the West End. On television, he has played Simon in Bluestone 42 (BBC 3), Sam in The Paradise (BBC 1), Mitch in Threesome (Comedy Central), Fletcher in Sherlock and Charles in the BBC mini-series Fingersmith. His films include Wilderness, Highlander: The Source, Weekender with Jack O’Connell, Henry Lloyd-Hughes and Zawe Ashton and Ashes with Jim Sturgess and Ray Winstone.

Carly Bawden as Dahlia in McQueen credit SpecularCarly Bawden’s theatre credits include Assassins (Menier Chocolate Factory), Dead Dog in a Suitcase, Tristan & Yseult and The Beggar’s Opera for Kneehigh, My Fair Lady with Dominic West (Sheffield Crucible), Pippin (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Leicester Curve and Gielgud Theatre), and the tours of Whistle Down the Wind and Evita, for which she was nominated for TMA Award for Best Supporting Actress 2009.

Tracy-Ann Oberman played Chrissie in EastEnders, Yvonne Hartman in Doctor Who, Lizzie Clapham in Monroe, Aunty Val in Friday Night Dinner, Mrs Purchase in Toast of London and Diana in the film Filth starring James McAvoy and Jamie Bell. In theatre, she has acted with the Royal Shakespeare Company and at the National, including playing opposite Kenneth Branagh in Edmond.

Laura Rees’s theatre credits include Ophelia in Ninagawa’s Hamlet at the Barbican, Christopher Luscombe’s Comedy of Errors, Lucy Bailey’s Titus Andronicus and Kathryn Hunter’s Pericles at Shakespeare’s Globe, and Rupert Gould’s Macbeth and Philip Franks’s Twelfth Night at Chichester.

Michael Bertenshaw as Mr. Hitchcock in McQueen credit SpecularMichael Bertenshaw’s recent theatre credits include The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, All’s Well That Ends Well and Anne Boleyn, all for Shakespeare’s Globe. His many television credits include playing Ralph Miliband in the documentary drama Miliband of Brothers, two three-part thrillers Murderland and Oktober, and regular appearances in the drama series Seaforth and in the children’s drama series C.A.B..

James Phillips’s first staged play, The Little Fir Tree, was commissioned by and performed, under his direction, at the Sheffield Crucible in 2004. He wrote and directed The Rubinstein Kiss at Hampstead Theatre in 2005. His most recent plays were Hidden in the Sand, which opened at the Trafalgar Studios in 2013, and City Stories, which was staged at the St. James Theatre Studio during the run of McQueen.

John Caird is an Honorary Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, where his work includes over 20 productions of classic and new plays including co-productions with Trevor Nunn of Nicholas Nickleby, Peter Pan and Les Misérables. His National Theatre productions include Hamlet and Humble Boy, both with Simon Russell Beale, Stanley with Antony Sher, and his own new version of Bernstein’s Candide for which he won a Laurence Olivier Award.

McQUEEN has production design by David Farley, choreography by Christopher Marney, video design by Tim Bird, lighting design by David Howe, sound design by John Leonard, wigs designed by Linda McKnight and casting by Kate Plantin CDG & Jayne Collins CDG.

McQUEEN is produced at the Theatre Royal Haymarket by Robert Mackintosh, AMIR Ltd, Hilary A. Williams, Deborah Negri, Dead Posh Productions, with Julian Stoneman as executive producer, for and on behalf of McQ Productions Ltd.


24 August to 7 November 2015

Theatre Royal Haymarket

18 Suffolk Street

London SW1Y 4HT

Box Office: 020 7930 8800

Performances: Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm* (no performance on Monday 31 August), Thursdays and Saturdays at 3.00pm**

*7.00pm on Thursday 27 August

**No 3.00pm performance Thursday 27 August

Ticket Prices: £15 – £65 (including booking fees); Premium Seats £85; Previews: £15 – £45

Running Time: 2 hours 10 minutes, including interval Website:


Twitter: @McQueenThePlay

Cast announced for musical version of The Silver Sword

The Silver Sword, a new musical based on the popular children’s book of the same name, will premiere in Coventry next month before embarking on a UK tour.

cast-of-silver-sword-98799The cast includes Tom Mackley as Jan, Nathan Turner as Joe Wolski/Gypsy Man, Lucy Tregear as Frau Wolff/Mrs Krause, Julian Harries as Joseph, John O’Mahony as Herr Wolff, Oliver Buckner as Edek, Sue Appleby as Margarit, Rachel Flynn as Ruth and Alex Knox as Adam/Major Hargreaves.

Bronia will be played by various child actors from each venue.

Ian Seraillier’s 1956 novel follows three children as they try to find their father in the aftermath of World War II.

According to press material: Full of warmth, music and excitement, this brand new musical adaptation is brought to life by a cast of skilled actor/musicians and features amazing puppetry and stunning visual projections.

Adapted by Susie McKenna, well known for her annual Hackney Empire pantos, and Steven Edis, The Silver Sword is presented by the Belgrade Theatre and Sell a Door Theatre Company (Avenue Q,The History Boys).

Producer David Hutchinson said: “I’ve been hoping to work with Susie McKenna and Steven Edis for some time, as a really exciting creative team who have penned an excellent piece of theatre for family audiences. The Silver Sword brings joy, truth, adventure and heart to the stage with a ensemble of top performers and creative – it really will be a treat for all the family.”

Directed by McKenna, The Silver Sword will open at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre 26 September to 3 October before embarking on a UK Tour to Coventry, Kircaldy, Croydon, Portsmouth, Birmingham, Exeter, Ipswich and Southampton.





PRODUCER PLANS UK & WORLD TOUR BEFORE RETURNING TO LONDON IN 2016                                      

Jamie Hendry, the producer of IMPOSSIBLE, London’s most dangerous magic and illusion show, has revealed that it has recouped its West End costs of £950,000 in just over one month, during its run at the Noël Coward Theatre. It has been several decades since a magic show of this scale has run in the West End, and bumper audiences over the busy summer period have driven the box office to even greater levels than had been anticipated. The London season will come to an end on Saturday 29th August, having played 41 performances.

Producer Jamie Hendry commented: “Impossible was a hugely high-risk show to produce and I’m delighted for everyone involved that it has proved to be a commercial success story so quickly. It’s always deeply satisfying to produce work that captures the public’s attention and I’m thrilled to have created such an exciting and unique show that has put live magic firmly back into the West End. As a young boy I remember being enchanted by magic and it’s been so rewarding to see audiences of all ages leaving full of wonder and amazement. Impossible has managed to very quickly find its place in the crowded market of musicals and plays, and by its nature delivered one of the most spectacular shows you can see on a London stage. I am thrilled that we will be announcing plans for our UK and Worldwide tour very shortly and look forward to bringing Impossible back to the capital next year.”

Hendry, one of a generation of new producers set up his company in 2008 aged 23. In just eight years he has produced a string of West End hits including Let It Be, Legally Blonde the Musical, Neville’s Island and La Cage aux Folles. The company has several projects in development including the new musical version of The Wind in the Willows with book by Julian Fellowes and music & lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Hendry was named last year in The Stage’s list of the 100 most influential individuals working in theatre and the arts.

IMPOSSIBLE fuses escapology, mind-reading, sleight-of-hand and disappearance, as well as bringing some traditional tricks up to date by using contemporary technologies such as iPads and lasers. The show features a stellar line-up of the best magicians and illusionists from around the world including:grand illusionist Luis de Matos; dangerman and escapologist Jonathan Goodwin; mind-blowing mind-reader Chris Cox; spell-binding digital marvel Jamie Allan; daredevil and swordsman Aaron Crow; boundary breaking magician Ben Hart and sleight of hand master Ali Cook.

IMPOSSIBLE is produced by Jamie Hendry Productions, with creative direction by Anthony Owen, direction by Lloyd Wood, scenic design by Andrew D. Edwards, lighting design by Tim Lutkin, sound design by Gareth Owen, video design by Duncan McLean and music by Michael Bradley.

For more information about the future dates for Impossible, people are advised to check the show’s official website and social media channels.

Twitter: @ImpossibleShow


Lee Hall’s latest play, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour is a sell-out and critical success at the Edinburgh Fringe

A Live Theatre and National Theatre of Scotland co-production  

Lee Hall’s latest play, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour is a sell-out and critical success at the Edinburgh Fringe


English Premiere

Live Theatre, Broad Chare, Newcastle, NE1 3DQ

Thursday 1 to Saturday 24 October 2015


Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour
Adapted by Lee Hall from The Sopranos by Alan Warner

Directed by Vicky Featherstone
Music Supervisor Martin Lowe

Designed by Chloe Lamford
Lighting Design by Lizzie Powell

Choreography by Imogen Knight


Live Theatre’s first ever co-production with National Theatre of Scotland, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour written by Billy Elliot and The Pitmen Painters writer Lee Hall has been a sell-out success at its world premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The play was sold out in advance of its two week run at the Traverse Theatre and has garnered critical acclaim from reviewers and audiences alike. It has gained seven five star reviews, a Herald Angel Award and an Acting Excellence Award from The Stage to date. Our Ladies… has its English premiere at Live Theatre, Newcastle from Thursday 1 to Saturday 24 October, the play’s only dates in England.


Based on The Sopranos by cult Scottish novelist Alan Warner, and adapted for the stage by award-winning writer Lee Hall, Our Ladies is about six girls on the cusp of change. It follows the choir’s trip to Edinburgh as it goes badly wrong when love, lust, pregnancy and death all spiral out of control in a single day.


The soundtrack of classical music and 70s pop rock, sung by the six cast members and performed by an all-female band features music by Handel, Bach and ELO.Our Ladies… is an outrageous piece of new music theatre with Tony-winning Martin Lowe (Once) as Music Supervisor.


Max Roberts, Artistic Director, Live Theatre, said:


‘’As audiences will know Live Theatre has enjoyed a long and fruitful creative relationship with Lee Hall so we are delighted to collaborate with the National Theatre of Scotland in this co-production of his latest work the adaptation of The Sopranos by Alan Warner entitled Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour. I was completely knocked out by the production directed by Vicky Featherstone at The Traverse Theatre and It proved to be one of the highlights of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It is hilarious, shocking and tearfully emotional in turn and its exciting, young all female cast deliver Martin Lowe’s brilliant musical arrangements superbly. It is quite simply a dazzling piece of theatre. I’m sure our audiences will be delighted to witness its English premiere here in Newcastle before it begins its inevitable life as a national and international smash hit to follow Billy Elliot and The Pitmen Painters.’’


Lee Hall, writer said:


I am delighted to be working for the first time with the National Theatre of Scotland. This is a project I’ve wanted to bring to the stage since I first read the book 17 years ago. Alan Warner’s view of the world chimed so much with my own experience of growing up in Newcastle so it seemed a perfect project to work on as a co-production with Live Theatre where I have a very long association. I think the Scots and Geordies share a common understanding of the world. A robust sense of humour, an appetite for a good time and a lack of pretension about what Art should be. The Sopranos is filthy, manic, hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure – all the things I think theatre should be. Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour is a show full of music from the most exquisite classical choral pieces to foot stomping disco classics and much else in between. This is a very special show and very much a labour of love for Vicky Featherstone and I who have been working on this for several years now.”


Vicky Featherstone returns to the National Theatre of Scotland for the first time since her appointment as Artistic Director at the Royal Court Theatre, to collaborate  with Lee Hall, (Billy Elliot and The Pitmen Painters), to create a funny, sad and raucously rude production about singing, sex and sambuca.


Warner, whose 1995 debut novel Morvern Callar became a literary phenomenon, continues his themes of being young, lost and out of control in this musical play about losing your virginity and finding yourself.  Alan Warner wrote The Sopranos in 1998, followed by its sequel The Stars in the Bright Sky which was long listed for the 2010 Man Booker Prize. He has written eight novels and is best known for Movern Callar which was made into a film starring Samantha Morton in 2002. His most recent novel is Their Lips Talk of Mischief, published by Faber in 2014.


A cast of young Scottish musical theatre actresses take on the roles of Fionnula, Kylah, Kay, Manda, Chell and Orla. The cast features  Dawn Sievewright (Legally Blond)  and Karen Fishwick  (The Overcoat for Gecko Theatre and Caucasian Chalk Circle for The Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh) , who return to work with the National Theatre of Scotland, having both previously appeared in the award-winning musical, The Glasgow Girls. They are joined by Caroline Deyga who most recently appeared in Lucy Porter’s Fair Intellectual Club, Frances Mayli McCann (National Theatre’s Here Lies Love and Priscilla Queen of the Desert in the West End), Kirsty MacLaren (Piltochry Festival Theatre season)and Melissa Allan who is making her professional debut in the production.  The cast will be joined on stage by a trio of young female musicians, Amy Shackcloth, Becky Brass and Emily Linden.


After a sell-out run at the Traverse as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and a tour of Scotland Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour opens at Live Theatre on Thursday 1 October and runs until Saturday 24 October. For more information on Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour and to buy tickets costing between £26 to £10, over 60s concessions £16 and other concessions between £18 to £6 call Live Theatre’s box office on (0191) 232 1232 or see

 Join the conversation: #OurLadies

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society Announces Outcome of Board Elections


The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has marked the final six days of the 2015 Fringe by announcing the outcome of the elections to the Society’s governing body, the Board of Directors.

The elections were held to coincide with the Annual General Meeting of the Society which took place on Tuesday 25 August at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh.  Anyone is allowed to join the Society and all members of the Society were entitled to vote. This year the turnout in the election was 52%.

Since 2010 the Society has had a constitution in which candidates for the board were able to stand in three categories: show participant, venues and an open category.

In the Show Participant category Harry Gooch was elected over Tamsin Fitzgerald.

In the Venue category Luke Meredith was successfully elected over J D Henshaw and Sam Gough.

Matt Panesh won the election in the Open category ahead of Brian Cleary, Thomas Goodwin, Alister O’Loughlin, Bridget Stevens and Barrie Taylor.

The elections were carried out using the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system of preferential voting and were managed on behalf of the Society by Electoral Reform Services.

Each of the newly elected Board Members will serve a four year term.


Urinetown writer returns to St James with Pig Farm

98790Pig Farm, by Tony Award winning writer Greg Kotis (Urinetown), will receive its UK premiere at the St James Theatre later this year.

Billed as a “dark farce”, the 2006 play centres on Tom and Tina who, with just the help of hired hand Tim, are struggling for survival on their remote pig farm.

According to press material: “Pig Farm is a hilarious tale of regular folk, human sludgery and the American dream dragged through the mud.”

Running from 21 October to 21 November, Pig Farm is directed by Katherine Farmer and produced by Dead Posh Productions and Julian Stoneman Associates.

Greg Kotis said: “Every American playwright dreams of having his or her work brought to life on a London stage, and I feel very lucky indeed that this dream is coming true once again.”

Darlington Civic Theatre – Milkshake!


Fans of Channel 5’s hugely popular children’s TV strand Milkshake! will be thrilled to know that a brand new stage show Milkshake! Live ‘Party Party’, is coming to Darlington Civic Theatre on Saturday 12 September.

This brand new show features lots of Milkshake! friends and two Milkshake! presenters.The show’s stellar line up includes Little Princess, Bananas in Pyjamas, Noddy and Tessie, Pip from Pip Ahoy!, Bello from Jelly Jamm, Chloe from Chloe’s Closet, Tommy and Tallulah from Tickety Toc, Toby and Dolores from Toby’s Travelling Circus and Milkshake’s very own Milkshake Monkey!

This all-new musical extravaganza is bound to have audiences up on their feet, singing along, and jumping with delight! As the preparations for Milkshake Monkey’s surprise birthday party get underway, all the guests are busy with their very special party jobs! But what happens when Milkshake Monkey disappears? The presenters will need the audience’s help to find him in time for the party!

Milkshake! Live ‘Party Party’ features loads of great music – in addition to classic Milkshake! songs there are some brand new ones, some popular children’s favourites and some other well-known hits as well!

Milkshake! Live ‘Party Party’ is the perfect entertainment for families with young children who will get the chance to enjoy a live theatre experience and see their favourite TV personalities up close.

Milkshake! Live ‘Party Party’ comes to Darlington Civic Theatre on Saturday 12 September at 1pm and 3.30pm. Tickets are £12.50 for adults, £10.50 for children and £42 for a family ticket.

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






Kenneth Branagh. Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company. Credit Johan Persson (5)Rehearsals are now underway for the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s Plays at the Garrick season.The Winter’s Tale will play in repertory alongside the Rattigan double-bill of Harlequinade / All On Her Own from 17 October 2015 until 16 January 2016.

The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeareʼs timeless tragicomedy of obsession and redemption, is reimagined in a new production co-directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh following their triumphant staging ofMacbeth in Manchester and Manhattan. Judi Dench will play Paulina opposite Kenneth Branagh as Leontes. Judi Dench will not be appearing in Harlequinade / All On Her Own.Judi Dench. Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company. Credit Johan Persson (8)

The full cast for The Winter’s Tale includes: Pierre Atri (Mamillius), Jaygann Ayeh (Archidamus & The Old Shepherd’s Servant), Tom Bateman (Florizel), Jessie Buckley (Perdita), Vera Chok (Dorcas & First Lady), Jack Colgrave Hirst (Clown), John Dagleish (Autolycus), Hadley Fraser (Polixenes), Adam Garcia (Amadis), Rudi Goodman (Mamillius), Matthew Hawksley (Aegeum), Taylor James (Capnio), Pip Jordan (Shepherdess), Ansu Kabia (Cleomenes), Stuart Neal (Dion), Michael Pennington (Antigonus),Zoë Rainey (Emilia), Miranda Raison (Hermione), Michael Rouse (Gaoler & Mariner), John Shrapnel(Camillo), Kathryn Wilder (Mopsa) and Jimmy Yuill (The Shepherd).

In addition to playing Dame Maud in Harlequinade, Zoë Wanamaker will also perform Terence Rattigan’s dramatic monologue All On Her Own, which has never before played in the West End. In this brief but powerfully atmospheric play, which will be staged every evening prior to Harlequinade, a woman with a secret, alone at midnight in London has a burden to share that is at times both heart-breaking and sinister. Zoё Wanamaker will not appear in The Winter’s Tale.

Rob Ashford. Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company. Credit Johan Persson (2)In the rarely seen comic gem Harlequinade, a classical theatre company attempts to produce The Winter’s Tale and Romeo and Juliet, while the intrigues and dalliances of the company members are accidently revealed with increasingly chaotic and hysterical consequences. Kenneth Branagh will playHarlequinade’s actor-manager Arthur Gosport in addition to co-directing the production with Rob Ashford.

The full cast for Harlequinade includes: Jaygann Ayeh (Second Halberdier), Tom Bateman (Jack Wakefield), Jessie Buckley (Muriel Palmer), Vera Chok (Miss Fishlock), Jack Colgrave Hirst (Tom Palmer), John Dagleish (Policeman), Hadley Fraser (First Halberdier), Ansu Kabia (Johnny), Stuart Neal (Fred Ingram), Zoë Rainey (Wardrobe Mistress), Miranda Raison (Edna Selby), Michael Rouse(Rehearsal Pianist), John Shrapnel (George Chudleigh), Kathryn Wilder (Joyce Langland) and Jimmy Yuill (Mr Burton).

The Winter’s Tale, Harlequinade / All On Her Own, The Painkiller, Romeo and Juliet and The Entertainer make up the inaugural season of work for the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company.


Garrick Theatre
2 Charing Cross Road
London, WC2H 0HH
Box Office: 0844 482 9673
Online Bookings:
Tickets from £15

No booking fees or transaction fees on any ticket booked direct through,, direct telephone bookings at the Garrick Theatre and to personal callers at the Garrick Theatre.



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17 October 2015 – 16 January 2016
Press performance: 7 November 2pm
Captioned Performance: 9 December 7.30pm
Audio Described Performance: 16 December 7.30pm

The Winter’s Tale will play in repertory with Harlequinade. Performances of The Winter’s Tale will be as follows:
17, 19, 20, 21, 29, 30 & 31 October at 7.30pm
31 October at 2.30pm
3, 6, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26 & 30 November at 7.30pm
4, 14, 21 & 25 November at 2.30pm
1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 31 December at 7.30pm,
2, 9, 16, 23, 24 & 31 December at 2.30pm
2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 & 16 January at 7.30pm
2, 9 & 16 January at 2.30pm

24 October 2015 – 13 January 2016
Press performance: 7 November 8pm
Captioned Performance: 10 December 7.30pm
Audio Described Performance: 15 December 7.30pm

Harlequinade will play in repertory with The Winter’s Tale. Performances of Harlequinade will be as follows:
24, 26, 27 & 28 October at 7.30pm
28 October at 2.30pm
2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 27 & 28 November at 7.30pm
11, 18 & 28 November at 2.30pm
3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 19, 21, 24, 28, 29 & 30 December at 7.30pm
5, 12, 19 & 28 December at 2.30pm
4, 5, 6, 11, 12 & 13 January at 7.30pm
6 & 13 January at 2.30pm