Civic-Theatre-Hi-Res-Logo-1-117x300Darlington Civic Theatre’s ArtsSpark member Jess Hull accepted into the Phoenix Academy North East.

Darlington Civic Theatre is proud to announce that one of their ArtsSpark members has recently been accepted into the Phoenix Academy North East based in the Trinity Centre, Gateshead.

Seventeen year old Jess Hull has been dancing with ArtsSpark since she was eleven and attended an audition to gain entry into the Academy in June.

Photo's by Scott Akoz PhotographyPhoenix Academy North East is based on the hugely successful Phoenix Youth Dance Academy based in Leeds. The Academy offers a high-quality training programme for talented young dancers aged 14-18 years interested in pursuing dance as a career. Students meet twice a week, developing their contemporary dance technique through working with recognised choreographers and Phoenix Dance Theatre’s company dancers. Academy members also participate in intensive courses during the school holidays, with regular performance opportunities at platforms across the UK.

Youth Academy graduates have gone on to successfully audition for numerous conservatoires, including: London Contemporary Dance School, Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, Northern School of Contemporary Dance and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Darlington Civic Theatre’s ArtsSpark youth dance and theatre sessions provide a safe, welcoming environment for young people to create, explore and participate in quality theatre activities leading to regular performance opportunities. For full details visit

RENT Tour Dates Added, Rehearsals Begin Today






Robert Mackintosh and Idili Theatricals Limited, in association with Theatr Clwyd, are delighted to announce the addition of further dates to the tour schedule for the new 20th Anniversary production of Jonathan Larson’s ground-breaking Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning musical RENT. Rehearsals start today, Monday 12 September, under the direction of Bruce Guthrie.

The tour opens at Theatr Clwyd for a limited season from 21 October 2016, followed by a three-week tour, prior to a Christmas Season at St. James Theatre, London from 8 December 2016 to 28 January 2017. The tour will then continue after London, from 31 January to 27 May 2017.

Completing the cast are Javar La’trial Parker (Showboat at the New London Theatre) as Benjamin Coffin III and Joshua Dever, who will be joining the previously announced Ross Hunter as Roger Davis, Billy Cullum as Mark Cohen, Ryan O’Gorman as Tom Collins, Shanay Holmes as Joanne Jefferson, Layton Williams as Angel Schunard, Philippa Stefani as Mimi Marquez and Lucie Jones as Maureen Johnson, with Kevin Yates, Jordan Laviniere, Christina Modestou, Bobbie Little, Jenny O’Leary and Katie Bradley.

Jonathan Larson’s musical, inspired by Puccini’s opera La Bohème, won four Tony Awards, six Drama Desk Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1996. Ben Brantley’s New York Times review was a love letter to the show, calling RENT an “exhilarating, landmark rock opera”. RENT ran on Broadway for 12 years, from 1996 to 2008. The show premiered in London’s West End in 1998 at the Shaftesbury Theatre, where it ran for 18 months. It was adapted into a film in 2005.

Larson’s world is inhabited by a group of bohemian artists who struggle to maintain their friendships and their non-conformist ideals in New York’s East Village. Facing their problems head on, they make personal self-discoveries and find what really matters most in life. The poignancy of the story was heightened when Jonathan Larson died of an aortic dissection on 25 January 1996, the night before the show’s first off-Broadway performance at New York Theatre Workshop.

The much-loved score features songs such as Seasons of Love, Take Me or Leave Me, What You Own, One Song Glory, La Vie Bohème, Without You, I’ll Cover You, Out Tonight and I Should Tell You.

The new production of RENT will have Choreography by Lee Proud, Musical Direction by Phil Cornwell, Set Design by Olivier Award-winner Anna Fleischle, Costume Design by Loren Elstein, Lighting Design by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Rick Fisher, Sound Design by Olivier Award-winner Mike Walker, Video Design by Andrzej Goulding and Casting by Will Burton Casting.

RENT has Book, Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson, Musical Arrangements by Steve Skinner, Original Concept and Additional Lyrics by Billy Aronson, Music Supervision and Additional Arrangements by Tim Weil, and Dramaturg is Lynn Thomson. RENT was originally produced in New York by New York Theatre Workshop and on Broadway by Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum, Alan S. Gordon and New York Theatre Workshop. 

RENT is presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Ltd.

For more information, visit

Twitter:  @RENTonstage





On sale unless otherwise stated.


21 October to 12 November 2016

Theatr Clwyd




Box Office:  01352 701521



15-19 November 2016

His Majesty’s Theatre

Rosemount Viaduct

Aberdeen AB25 1GL

Box Office:  01224 641122



22-26 November 2016

Malvern Festival Theatre

Grange Road

Malvern WR14 3HB

Box Office:   01684 892277



29 November to 3 December 2016

Wycombe Swan

St. Mary Street

High Wycombe HP11 2XE

Box Office:  01494 512 000



8 December 2016 to 28 January 2017

St. James Theatre

12 Palace Street

London SW1E 5JA

Box Office:  0844 264 2140


31 January to 4 February 2017

Devonshire Park Theatre
Compton St
Eastbourne BN21 4BW
6-11 February 2017
Churchill Theatre
High Street
Kent BR1 1HA
Box Office: 020 3285 6000
14-18 February 2017
Festival Theatre
13 / 29 Nicolson Street
Edinburgh, EH8 9FT
Box Office: 0131 529 6000
28 March to 1 April 2017
Rutland Street
Leicester LE1 1SB
Box Office: 0116 242 3595
On sale 7 November
3-8 April 2017
Wales Millennium Centre
Bute Pl
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff CF10 5AL
Box Office: 029 2063 6464
11-15 April 2017
Cheltenham Everyman Theatre
Regent Street
Cheltenham GL50 1HQ
Box Office: 01242 572573
On sale in November18-22 April 2017

York Theatre Royal
St. Leonard’s Place
York YO1 7HD

Box Office: 01483 440000
On sale soon1-6 May 2017

Poole’s Centre For The Arts
21 Kingland Road
Dorset BH15 1UG

Box Office: 01202 280000
On sale soon
9-13 May 2017
Belgrade Theatre
Belgrade Square,
Coventry CV1 1GS
Box Office: 024 7655 3055
On sale soon
16-20 May 2017
Nottingham Playhouse
Wellington Circus
Nottingham, NG1 5AF

Box Office: 0115 941 9419
On sale 14 October

23-27 May 2017
Assembly Hall Theatre
Crescent Road
Tunbridge Wells
Kent TN1 2LU
Box Office: 01892 530613

9 to 5 The Musical Review

Grand Opera House York.  Reviewed by Michelle Richardson

York Stage Musicals present 9 to 5 The Musical at the Grand Opera House, York, running until 17th September.

Based on the 1980 film, this musical comedy, with the music and lyrics written by Dolly Parton, is set in the late1970s and revolves around three office workers, Violet (Julie Anne Smith), Doralee (Alicia Roberts) and Judy (Jo Theaker) exacting revenge on their sexist boss, Hart (Darren Roberts).

The show opens with the iconic 9 to 5 with Dolly Parton streamed live from Dollywood”. The scene is set, a busy secretarial pool with Violet being passed over for promotion by a younger far less experienced man, Doralee, the busty beauty and Judy the ditched, for a younger model, housewife. Hart, the company’s boss is introduced with Here For You, brilliantly performed by Darren Roberts with all its crudeness and and sexist attitudes towards women.

The women form an uneasy alliance, dreaming about killing Hart and accidently appearing to live out their fantasies. Covering up and coping with their mistakes they manage to transform the company into thoroughly modern and forward thinking company.

The 4 leads throw themselves into their roles and are hard to fault, well supported by the ensemble cast. Both Alicia Roberts and Jo Theaker give outstanding vocal performances with Backwoods Barbie and Get Out and Stay Out. I must also mention Maya Tether who gave a terrific performance of Roz, the office busybody who is in love with the boss.

York Stage Musicals, under the direction of Nik Briggs, have put on a great show, it’s a good night of humorous entertainment, going out on a high with the final rendition of 9 to 5. I encourage all to go and see it whilst you can.

Much Ado About Nothing Review

The ReFashioned Theatre, Selfridges 23 August – 24 September.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

Commissioned by Selfridges to celebrate Shakespeare400, The Faction’s production of Much Ado About Nothing is as slick and stylish as its surroundings. The ReFashioned Theatre, with its traverse stage, mirrors and lighting, has the feel of a fashion show, and the modern costumes fit right in. The simple military uniforms are a particular triumph.

Much Ado About Nothing does what it says on the tin – Claudio falls in love with Hero, he is tricked into believing her unfaithful, seeks revenge, is tricked again into thinking her dead, but everything ends happily once he realises his mistake. Meanwhile, everyone is plotting to unite Beatrice and Benedick, who love to hate each other.

Streamlining the play to 90 minutes without interval, director Mark Leipacher has cut extraneous characters and scenes, creating a production that is full of energy and impetus.

Hero’s father, Leonato, becomes her mother, Leonata, played imperiously by Caroline Langrishe, giving an intriguingly different feel to Leonata’s reactions on hearing the accusations against Hero. Shakespeare’s best written couple, Benedick and Beatrice, are portrayed with great charm by Daniel Boyd and Alison O’Donnell. Boyd is reminiscent of Lord Percy in Blackadder in his comedy style (but that isn’t a criticism): his sweetly snarky awkwardness works wonderfully here as O’Donnell’s Beatrice is full of fire and definitely wears the trousers in this relationship, and the chemistry and timing between the pair is exquisite. O’Donnell’s Scottish accent seems a little out of place at first, but insults and sarcasm always sound funnier and sharper in Celtic tones.

The scene where Benedick “overhears” that Beatrice loves him is hilarious, with Langrishe showing her playful side, and Boyd displaying masterful physical comedy skills. The corresponding scene, when O’Donnell’s Beatrice hears of Benedick’s feelings, takes the physical comedy even further, and O’Donnell is hysterical.

Harry Lister Smith and Lowri Izzard make a sweet Claudio and Hero, Jude Owusu is a strong but funny Don Pedro, Tala Gouveia is a very millennial Margaret, Jamie Maclachlan is a slimy Borachio and a serene Friar (although he does seem to be officiating the marriage in his dressing gown) and Christopher Hughes is full of malice as Don John, and brilliantly gaping-mouthed stupid as the watchman. Meera Syal appears onscreen as a News reporter, delivering important messages, while Simon Callow and Rufus Hound Are Dogberry and Verges, overseeing the watch on CCTV. This may seem like a gimmick to get big names into the show, but it actually matches the style of the production and slots into the play seamlessly. And let’s face it, any chance to watch Callow, even in this tiny part, is a bonus.

Lighting director Chris Withers’ design is bold, stark and in your face, with the sides of the stage and pillars in green, blue, red or yellow depending on the setting. One fantastic moment involved Don John bemoaning his being “enfranchised with a clog” – here an ankle tag – and sticking his leg over the edge of the stage, triggering alarms and red flashing lights.

The Faction’s production is fast paced and funny, with a fantastic cast. This intelligent and exciting adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing is well worth seeing.

[Title Of Show] Review

Waterloo East Theatre 6 – 25 September.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

[Title Of Show] by Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell tells the story of Bowen and Bell writing the musical [Title Of Show] for the New York Theatre Festival. Never having heard of the show before, I must admit that my heart sunk when I read the press release. A meta-musical – great. But [Title Of Show] is completely lacking in pretention and is full of charm, laughs and memorable songs.

Jeff and Hunter write their musical with the help of their friends Heidi and Susan, accompanied by Larry on keyboards. SR Productions have put together a fine cast that appear to be having a ball on stage. Louie Westwood is hysterically over the top as Hunter – embodying every gay MT stereotype imaginable. Daniel Mack Shand as Jeff is the calmer voice in the partnership, although his passion for the project comes shining through in the second act. Shand’s performance is a little more subtle than Westwood’s, but his comic timing is wonderful, and the pair play off each other brilliantly. The secondary characters (don’t feel sorry for them, they get their own song about that) make wonderful foils for the men. As Susan, Malindi Freeman gets to go completely loony tunes every so often with her frustrated office worker/jobbing actress character, but the bond between her and her ga-nerd friends always seems real. She gets most of the best lines and manages to create sympathy for her thinly written character without losing her kookiness. Chloe Hawkins as Heidi begins sweetly and quietly, but also gets to let rip and show her impressive comedy chops.

The Broadway references come thick and fast, ranging from the historical, through Chess, Rent and Wicked, right up to referencing Sarah Harding’s recent stage venture. The characters stop scenes to pick holes in the writing, correct each other’s pitch and grammar, or just to share knowing glances with the audience. At one point, when asked why she’s being so quiet, Susan replies “I didn’t have a line until now”. Musical Theatre clichés are embraced, with a ridiculous dream sequence, spirit guides providing inspiration (monkeys on speedboats – now THAT would be a musical), and montage numbers all milked for laughs. The writing is camp, bitchy, sweet and passionate. But mostly just funny.

The second act isn’t quite as energetic as the first, focussing on the struggle to get the show to Broadway, and with a very cheesy hint of jeopardy as Hunter begins to fall under the spell of the backers and wants to change the show to make it appeal to a wider audience. Jeff’s response that he’d rather be 9 people’s favourite thing than 100 people’s 9th favourite thing leads to a song (Nine people’s Favourite Thing) about sticking to your guns and not compromising that is corny and inspiring in equal measure. I loved all of the musical numbers, but Die Vampire Die – wonderfully insightful lyrics about criticism and self-doubt – was another that was moving and hysterical at the same time, helped by the insane choreography and Freeman’s biting delivery. Even the obligatory tear-jerking ballad A Way Back To Then, although sung hauntingly by Hawkins, is punctuated with Hunter describing the bizarre shows he put on with his brother when he was 10.

And those voices! With only a keyboard accompaniment there is nowhere to hide in this show, and the cast do a phenomenal job. The harmonies are spot on, and none of the performers lost power or energy as the show progressed.

[Title Of Show] is a fantastic night out – full of laughs and great music. I am definitely one of the 9 people after seeing this production.

New production of a gripping play from the writer of Matilda The Musica

Sedos is proud to present acclaimed playwright Dennis Kelly’s dark and gripping tale, The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas
“An epic story which looks deep into the darker parts of human nature.”
Sedos presents a new production of the acclaimed drama The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromasat the Bridewell Theatre, off Fleet Street, from 27 September-1 October 2016.
The play, written by award-winning playwright Dennis Kelly, best known for writing the book toMatilda The Musical for the RSC and creating the series Utopia for Channel Four, returns to the capital following its acclaimed run at the Royal Court Theatre in 2013. This dark tale examines the existence of goodness in our brutal world and whether it can survive against the casual cruelness of modern society. What does it take to succeed?
A pantheon of seven unnamed gods, lost in time, recall to the audience the life of Gorge Mastromas. A dark epic tale chronicling the life of Gorge, a Citizen Kane-like figure who rises to become one of the richest, most influential and ruthless people in the world.
Born with an innate sense of goodness, even when it is detrimental to him, Gorge is repeatedly let down by life, until a pivotal moment in adulthood, when a chance encounter with a ruthless executive breaks down his good nature.
He then becomes one of the most amoral people in the world, lying, cheating and corrupting his way to the top, constructing a web of lies that affect and destroy all those close to him, and finally Gorge himself.
Director Lorenzo Peter Mason commented: “What is utterly compelling to me is how much the play keeps raising the stakes the more it progresses, going from schoolyard politics to the fate of the world, as more and more is put on the line.”
The ultimate question of the show asks whether we, as humans, choose to do things from an innate sense of goodness, or from cowardice?
Sedos has been the resident theatre company at the Bridewell Theatre since 2012.
Contacts, listings details, notes to editors and review extracts from previous Sedos shows are below.



The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas
By Dennis Kelly
Tuesday 27 September to Saturday 1 October 2016
Evenings at 7.30pm, Saturday matinee at 2.30pm
Bridewell Theatre
Bride Lane, off Fleet Street
London EC4Y 8EQ
Tickets: £11-£15.50
Box office:
No booking fee.
Gala Night: Friday 30 September
Tickets £13.50-£18. Ticket includes a free glass of fizz, a show programme and a late bar.
The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas contains adult themes and language. It is suitable for an audience aged 15 and over.

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS announces full West End casting

Full West End casting announced for


Jane Asher, Haydn Oakley, Zoë Rainey, David Seadon-Young and Ashley Day join

Broadway stars Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope in the Tony® Award-winning new musical

Dominion Theatre from 4 March 2017 |


Full casting is announced for Christopher Wheeldon’s stunning reinvention of the Oscar® winning film (that starred Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron). An American in Paris features the sublime music and lyrics of George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin and a new book by Craig Lucas. Directly following celebrated engagements in Paris and New York, this critically acclaimed and multi award-winning new musical bursts into life in the West End from Saturday 4 March 2017 with the official opening night on Tuesday 21 March 2017 at the Dominion Theatre.

Joining the previously announced award-winning Broadway stars Robert Fairchild (as Jerry Mulligan) and Leanne Cope (as Lise Dassin) will be Haydn Oakley as Henri Baurel, Zoë Rainey as Milo Davenport, David Seadon-Young as Adam Hochberg and Jane Asher as Madame Baurel. Ashley Day will be the alternate Jerry Mulligan (and will assume the role from Monday 19 June 2017).

The company also features Julian Forsyth and Ashley Andrews, Sophie Apollonia, Zoe Arshamian, Sarah Bakker, James Barton, Alicia Beck, Chrissy Brooke, James Butcher, Jonathan Caguioa, Jennifer Davison, Katie Deacon, Rebecca Fennelly, Sebastian Goffin, Alyn Hawke, Nicky Henshall, Genevieve Heron, Amy Hollins, Frankie Jenna, Justin-Lee Jones, Robin Kent, Kristen McGarrity, Julia J. Nagle, Daniela Norman, Aaron Smyth, Todd Talbot, Max Westwell, Jack Wilcox, Carrie Willis, Stuart Winter and Liam Wrate.

In an extraordinary career spanning more than six decades, Jane Asher (Madame Baurel) has been a successful and popular actor, writer, businesswoman and charity ambassador. As a child actor, she appeared in many films and television series including her debut in 1952 in Mandywith Phyllis Calvert. She went on to star in Alfie with Michael Caine; Deep End (BAFTA nomination, ‘Best Supporting Actress’); Henry VIII and His Six Wives; Brideshead Revisited; A Voyage Round My Father with Laurence Olivier (BAFTA nomination, ‘Best Actress’); The Mistress; Wish Me Luck; the re-make of Crossroads; Death at a Funeral; ‘Lady Byrne’ in Holby City and Dancing on the Edge. She made her West End stage debut in 1960 (in Will You Walk a Little Faster) and has subsequently played leading roles at the Royal Court, National Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Edinburgh Festival and on Broadway. Her many notable London stage performances include Festen (with Tom Hardy and Jonny Lee Miller); Blithe Spirit (with Joanna Lumley and Marcia Warren); the stage premiere of Whose Life Is It Anyway? (with Tom Conti) and several Alan Ayckbourn plays, including Henceforward opposite Ian McKellen.

Haydn Oakley (Henri Baurel) recently played ‘Artie Green’ in Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close at the London Coliseum. His other credits include the original casts of The Book of Mormon and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown in the West End and Passion at the Donmar Warehouse.

Zoë Rainey (Milo Davenport) has most recently been part of the acclaimed Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company season at the Garrick Theatre, appearing in Romeo and Juliet, The Winter’s Tale and Harlequinade. She also previously starred as ‘Nessarose’ in Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre).

David Seadon-Young (Adam Hochberg) recently played ‘Carl Bruner’ in Ghost The Musical (UK Tour and Australian Tour). His other recent credits include A Damsel in Distress (Chichester Festival Theatre), Assassins (Menier Chocolate Factory) and ‘Sky’ in Mamma Mia! (International Tour).

Ashley Day (Alternate Jerry Mulligan) was in the original London cast of The Book of Mormon (playing ‘Elder Price’ on numerous occasions). His other credits include ‘Curly’ in Oklahoma!(UK Tour),‘Dream Gabey’ in Leonard Bernstein’s On The Town (ENO),‘Troy Bolton’ in High School Musical (UK Tour) and the original London casts of Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz and the Michael Grandage production of Evita.

The new musical An American in Paris premiered in 2014 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris to ecstatic reviews before transferring to the Palace Theatre on Broadway, where it became the most awarded musical of the 2015/16 season, including four Tony® Awards. A major North American tour begins in October 2016.

An American in Paris features many of George and Ira Gershwin’s most iconic songs including I Got Rhythm, ‘S Wonderful, and They Can’t Take That Away from Me, together with George Gershwin’s sweeping compositions including ‘Concerto in F’ and ‘An American in Paris’.

Jerry Mulligan is an American GI striving to make it as a painter in a city suddenly bursting with hope and possibility. Following a chance encounter with a beautiful young dancer named Lise, the streets of Paris become the backdrop to a sensuous, modern romance of art, friendship and love in the aftermath of war…

  “A perfect integration of dance, romance and classic Gershwin”
 The New York Times

An American in Paris is directed and choreographed by the internationally renowned, British-born Christopher Wheeldon. An Artistic Associate of the Royal Ballet, Wheeldon received an OBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours ‘for services to promoting the interests and reputation of British classical and theatrical dance worldwide’. He is the recipient of a Tony® Award and two Olivier Awards. The set and costumes are designed by the multi Tony® Award-winning West End and Broadway designer Bob Crowley (The Audience; Mary Poppins and Christopher Wheeldon’s productions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Winter’s Tale) with projections by the celebrated British designers 59 Productions (War Horse; London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony).

“Not since ‘West Side Story’ has dance been used to such overwhelming effect on stage”
The Wall Street Journal

With music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin and a new book by Craig Lucas, the new musical An American in Paris is directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, with set and costumes designs by Bob Crowley; lighting by Natasha Katz; sound byJon Weston and projection designs by 59 Productions. The musical score is adapted, arranged and supervised by Rob Fisher with orchestrations by Christopher Austin; dance arrangements by Sam Davis; musical supervision by Todd Ellison; and additional orchestrations by Don Sebesky and Bill Elliott.

An American in Paris is produced in London by Stuart Oken, Van Kaplan, Roy Furman, Michael McCabe and Joshua Andrews.

Robert Fairchild is appearing with the support of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange program between American Equity and UK Equity.


Armed Forces champion and award-winning actor Ray Winstone is urging Newcastle’s armed forces community to take part in a new theatre project which starts this September. The project will culminate in performances at Newcastle Theatre Royal in December 2016.


The Project is being run by Bravo 22 Company, The Royal British Legion’s programme to aid recovery through the arts, in partnership with Newcastle Theatre Royal and The Drive Project. The project is open now to all wounded, injured and sick service personnel, veterans and their family members.  Participants will work alongside professionals at the theatre on a production that will go on stage this December.


The Royal British Legion’s pioneering programme Bravo 22 Company has been successfully organising regional projects for the Armed Forces community since 2011.This will be the fourth production from Bravo 22 Company, whose play The Two Worlds of Charlie F by Owen Sheers received five star reviews, won the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award, has undertaken two tours and been seen by nearly 40,000 people both in the UK and Canada.


Steve Shaw, veteran and actor in The Two Worlds of Charlie F said: “When I signed up to Bravo22 I saw it as an opportunity to do something I’d never done before. After my injury I was made to feel like I was superfluous to life, but getting involved in this project proved that I have a voice.

“I would wholeheartedly urge other people to get involved in projects like this. When we fall down we pick ourselves up – and this project has proved that it works and it helps people.”


There are various ways to participate, whether it’s telling your story, script writing, acting, stage managing, a front of house or technical role, no experience is necessary, just an enthusiasm to try something new.


Alice Driver, Project Director and creator of Bravo 22 Company said: “We’re really excited to be bringing this project to Newcastle and hope that as many people get involved as possible. These projects have proved to be a great way to improve self confidence and self-esteem and anyone taking part will join the 200 strong support group of the Bravo22 Company Alumni.”


Script writing and rehearsals will take place on various dates from September to November 2016, leading up to final performances at the Newcastle Theatre Royal 5 – 10 December 2016.



  • You will need to be based in Newcastle or its surrounding areas
  • You need to be able to commit to taking on a role
  • Enthusiasm and ability to work as a team


To apply email


What’s involved

12th September – 8th October

Story gathering and Script Development


If you would like to be an actor then you need to be available in September to come and meet with the writer and director to tell your story and be part of creating the script. Your role within the Company will be determined by the amount of time you have to commit. We have full time opportunities to one session per week available. Everyone is welcome.


9th October – 5th November

Script Writing and Skills Development


There will be a weekly meet up where you come together as a Company and learn acting skills. The writer will finish the script ready for rehearsals.


6th November –  4th December



Rehearsals take place. There will be morning, afternoon and evening rehearsals sessions where all actors will work with the director to bring the script to life. All Front of House, Backstage and Technical participants get training and shadow professionals.


5th – 10th December 2016.  



Performances to our audiences at The Studio, Newcastle Theatre Royal and at other locations.



Bravo 22 Company is The Royal British Legion’s recovery through the arts programme, successfully organising regional projects for the Armed Forces community.

The Royal British Legion’s work is encapsulated in its motto: Live On – to the memory of the fallen and the future of the living. The Legion is the nation’s biggest Armed Forces charity providing care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present and their families. It is the national custodian of Remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces. It is well known for the annual Poppy Appeal, and its emblem the red

The Drive Project designs and delivers award winning creative and immersive projects for the clients that inspire, motivate and empower individuals.

School of Rock The Musical West End Cast Announced


S C H O O L   O F   R O C K  –  T H E   M U S I C A L












Andrew Lloyd Webber announces David Fynn is to lead the London cast of School of Rock – The Musical as wannabe rock star Dewey Finn.  Lloyd Webber’s West End production will begin previews at the New London Theatre on 24 October 2016 with opening night on 14 November 2016, School of Rock – The Musical is initially booking to 12 February 2017.


Based on the iconic hit movie and with a rocking new score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, School of Rock – The Musical follows slacker and wannabe rock star Dewey Finn turn a class of straight-A students into an ear popping, riff scorching, all conquering rock band!  Dewey poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school to make ends meet, and when he discovers his fifth graders’ musical talents, he enlists his class to form a rock group and conquer the Battle of the Bands. As Dewey falls for the beautiful headmistress, can he and his students keep this special assignment secret as they learn to fully embrace the power of rock?


Comedy star David Fynn will star as Dewey Finn, the role made famous by Jack Black in the film.  His television credits include The Inbetweeners, Sherlock, Game of Thrones, a series regular in Pete vs Life for Channel 4 and Undateable for NBC/Comedy Central.  On stage he has appeared at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and at the Donmar Warehouse in The25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.  He is joined by Florence Andrews as Rosalie Mullins,Oliver Jackson as Ned Schneebly and Preeya Kalidas as Patty Di Marco.

The ‘grown up’ cast is completed by Gary Trainor as the alternate Dewey with ensemble members Jonathan Bourne, Nadeem Crowe, Michelle Francis, Rosanna Hyland, Cassandra McCowan, Joel Montague, Andy Rees, Cameron Sharp, Tasha Sheridan,Andrew Spillett and Lucy Vandi and swings, Charlotte Bradford, Jason Denton, Cellen Chugg Jones and Alfie Parker.


Andrew Lloyd Webber said:   “I’m delighted to be bringing School of Rock – The Musical to the West End this October, following what has been a hugely exhilarating experience creating and opening the show on Broadway, where we’ll soon celebrate our first birthday.  As many people know I’m passionate about children engaging with music from an early age, and to that end I cannot wait for UK audiences to see the remarkably talented group of young actor musicians we have found for our production.  They’re currently blowing the roof off our rehearsal rooms working with our wonderful cast of grown ups led by the hilarious David Fynn.”

Based on the smash hit 2003 film of the same title, School of Rock features music from the movie, as well as new music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Glenn Slater and a book by Julian FellowesSchool of Rock – The Musical is directed by Laurence Connorwith choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter, set and costume designs by Anna Louizos, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Mick Potter, music supervision by John Rigby withMatt Smith as musical director.

Best seats for £10.00 will be available every Wednesday evening an hour before curtain to purchase as part of the School of Rock – The Musical Student Rush scheme.  These tickets will only be available in person from the New London Theatre Box Office.


The nationwide search to find the three teams of thirteen young performers took place earlier this year.  The role of Zack will be alternated by Tom Abisgold, twelve years old from Chester, Toby Lee, eleven years old from Warwickshire and Jake Slack, twelve years old from Buckinghamshire.  The role of Freddy will be alternated by Bailey Cassell, eleven years old from London, Jude Harper-Wrobel, ten years old from Hertfordshire and Noah Key, twelve years old from Shropshire.  Giles Carden, twelve years old from Surrey, Oscar Francisco, twelve years old from Coventry and James Lawson, twelve years old from London will alternate the role of Lawrence.  Selma Hansen, eleven years old, Lois Jenkins eleven years and Sophia Pettitthirteen years old, all from London, will alternate the role of Katie.  Isabelle Methven, twelve years old from Hertfordshire, Lucy Simmonds, eleven years old from Hampshire and Eva Trodd, eleven years old from Kent, will alternate the role of Summer.  Madeleine Haynes,twelve years old, Leah Levman, ten years old and Natasha Raphael, ten years old, all from London, will alternate the role of Marcy.  Alternating the role of Shonelle are Jaydah Bell-Ricketts, eleven years old from London, Shoshana Ezequiel, twelve years old from London andAmelia Poggenpoel, eleven years old from Liverpool.  Alternating the role of Sophie are Lola Moxom, eleven years old from Kent, Mia Roberts, eleven years old from London and Grace Schneider, eleven years old from London.  Alternating the role of Tomika are Nicole Dube,twelve years old from Essex, Amma Ris, eleven years old from London and Adithi Sujith, nine years old from London.  Jobe Hart, ten years old from London, Joshua Vaughan, ten years old from Birmingham and Logan Walmsley, eleven years old from London will alternate the role of Billy.  Presley Charman, nine years old from London, Lucas Chow, twelve years old fromLondon and Ben Dawson, twelve years old from Hampshire will alternate the role of Mason. The role of James will be alternated by Bradley Bissett, twelve years old from Kent, Denzel Eboji, twelve years old from London and Sonny Kirby, twelve years old from London. The role of Matthew will be alternated by Zac Dowlatshahi, ten years old from London, Harry Egerton, eleven years old from the Birmingham and Jacob Swann, eleven years old from London.


School of RockThe Musical received its world premiere at the Winter Garden Theatre in November last year where it continues its smash hit run.  Having broken house records, the production subsequently garnered 20 Broadway theatre awards nominations including four at the 2016 Tony Awards – Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical.   The Broadway production has now been seen by over ½ million people and is currently booking to 28 May 2017.  A national Company will launch a US Tour in the Autumn of 2017, playing coast-to-coast engagements across America.


Alongside the Broadway production Andrew Lloyd Webber launched a nationwide release of the rights for schools and youth groups to create their own productions of School of Rock – The Musical using the exact same score as the Broadway show.  Here in the UK, plans are well advanced to replicate that success ensuring that schools, colleges and youth groups can look forward to being able to license School of Rock – The Musical.

Produced by Paramount Pictures, the 2003 hit film School of Rock was directed by Richard Linklater and starred Jack Black in a career-defining performance.

School of Rock — The Musical is produced in the West End by Andrew Lloyd Webber forThe Really Useful Group and Warner Music Group & Access Industries with Madeleine Lloyd Webber as Executive Producer.



Theatre:                  New London Theatre, 166 Drury Lane, London WC2B 5PW

Dates:                    24 October 2016 – 12 February 2017

Press Night:             14 November 2016 at 7pm

Performances:          Until 5 November 2016 – Monday – Saturday 7.30pm, Saturdays at 2.30pm

From 7 November 2016 – Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm, Sundays at 3pm

Christmas schedule:  Monday 19 December 2016 at 7.30pm, Tuesday 20 December 2016 at 7.30pm,

Wednesday 21 December 2016 at 7.30pm,

Thursday 22 December 2016 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm,

Friday 23 December 2016 at 7.30pm, Saturday 24 December 2016 at 2.30pm

Sunday 25 December 2016 – No performance,

Monday 26 December 2016 at 7.30pm, Tuesday 27 December 2016 at 7.30pm,

Wednesday 28 December 2016 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm,

Thursday 29 December 2016 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm,

Friday 30 December 2016 at 7.30pm, Saturday 31 December 2016 at 1.30pm and 6.30pm, Sunday 1 January 2017 – no performance, Monday 2 January 2017 at 2.30pm

Running time:           approximately 2 hours 30 minutes including interval

Prices:                    £25.00 – £75.00 with £10 off all ticket prices for previews

Student rush tickets for £10 on Wednesday evenings.

All ticket prices include a £1.50 restoration levy.  No booking fee via official box office channels

Box Office:              0844 811 0052


Twitter & Instagram: @SchoolofRockuk


25 September, Ferris & Milnes: Last Night of the Proms, St. James Studio



Ferris & Milnes: Last Night of the Proms will burst into the St. James Studio with an explosion of colour, comedy, music and flag waving on Sunday 25 September 2016 at 7.00pm.

The musical comedy double act will have everyone singing along with traditional Proms favourites such as Rule Britannia, Land of Hope and Glory, and Jerusalem.

Dominic Ferris and Martin Milnes, who are renowned for their musical mash-ups such as “33 Sondheim Numbers In 5 Minutes” and “31 West End Musicals in Under 10 Minutes”, will premiere a brand new medley at the show – “The Complete Works of Andrew Lloyd Webber”. This will cover all the renowned composer’s musicals from his earliest shows to his most recent West End musicals.  The bill will also feature contemporary British music, saluting pop icons such as The Beatles, as well as classics from the Golden Age of the Musical.

As always with Ferris & Milnes – expect the unexpected, and celebratory Proms costume is welcome!
Book tickets, priced £15-25, online, by telephone (0844 264 2140) or in person at the Box Office. Booking fees may apply.

The St. James Studio residency is produced by Richard Douglas Productions, and created and devised by Dominic Ferris and Martin Milnes.

Currently playing to sold-out houses during their residency at the St. James Studio, Ferris & Milnes have recently been thrilling crowds at West End LIVE in Trafalgar Square, The Tower of London, Lytham Festival’s West End Proms, and in Stephen Sondheim’s 85th Birthday Gala at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. They have been described as “Hilarious” (The Telegraph) and “The most exciting musical theatre double act to be discovered in years” (West End Frame).

Dominic Ferris and Martin Milnes are a unique combination. Dominic is a pianist extraordinaire, regularly showcasing his skills touring the world as one half of The Piano Brothers – his Steinway & Sons accredited piano duo. Martin has ‘two voices’ – excelling as both a tenor and in his acclaimed falsetto register, having diversely crossed the musical worlds between West End and opera. Together, Dominic and Martin combine comedy, music and vocals in a dynamic cocktail of explosive Broadway glamour and fun.

For more information about Ferris & Milnes visit: Follow Ferris & Milnes on Twitter @ferrisandmilnes and on Facebook

Ferris & Milnes: Last Night of the Proms
St. James Studio (at St. James Theatre), 12 Palace Street, London SW1E 5JA
Nearest tube station: Victoria
Sunday 25 September: 7.00pm (doors open 6.15pm)
Running time: 2 hours approx.
Tickets: £15 – £25. (A fee of £1.50 applies to all online and phone transactions. This does not apply when purchasing tickets in person at the box office, or to the theatre’s Friends and Members)
Online bookings:
Telephone bookings: 0844 264 2140