Lazarus Theatre Company Announces CJ de Mooi in The Taming of the Shrew



CJ de Mooi returns to Lazarus Theatre Company for The Taming of the Shrew…

The Taming of the Shrew

William Shakespeare

Lazarus Theatre Company are proud to announce that CJ de Mooi of Eggheads fame returns to the company to play the iconic role of Gremio in our epic new production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.

“I am so thrilled to be returning to Lazarus Theatre but I’ll admit to being rather nervous too. Classical theatre, especially Shakespeare, is such a challenge for any actor and Lazarus is very much the gold standard. Ever since seeing Burton and Taylor in the film adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew, I’ve always wanted to be a part of a production and Gremio is such a fun role to play. I only hope I can do old greybeard justice!” CJ de Mooi on the announcement of his casting.

CJ de Mooi’s previous Lazarus credits include Thersites, Troilus and Cressida and Menenius, Coriolanus, at The Tristan Bates Theatre. Previous credits include Simon, Guilty Pleasures, Stephen Leatherland, National Tour. Ms Axel, Geek!, Jamie Chapman Dixon, Tristan Bates Theatre. Arnold, The International Stud, Dan Phillips, Edinburgh C Venue. The Stranger, The Renata Road, Ed Greenberg, Feature Film.

Best known from the long running BBC show Eggheads, CJ is an actor with many stage and screen credits to his name.

Making their Lazarus Debut, Charlotte Dowding (Francine, Clybourne Park, Max Key, The Karamel Club. Landlady, The Good Person of Szechwan, Katie Henry, Bridewell Theatre.) takes the role of Katherina.

Samuel Lane (Bottom, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Haf Gardner, Young Shakespeare Company. Will Bennett/Dr Maudsley, Blue Stockings, Sarah Hayhurst, The Cockpit Theatre.) plays the role of Lucentio.

Sabrina Laurison (Alice, Feast of Fools, Myles Horgan, Theatre N16. Amy, Insane, Danielle Imara, Leicester Square Theatre. Luna, Eclipse, Nick Young, The Station) and Rachel Smart (Squidge, Cold Front, Dilek Latif, The Vaults. Cobweb, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Alexandra Spencer-Jones, River Stage: National Theatre.) take on the roles of Bianca and Biondello/Gremio respectively.

Evangeline Dickson (Mrs Millenium, Urinetown, The Musical, Josh Seymour, Pleasance Theatre. Shen Te/Shui Ta, The Good Person of Szechwan, Katie Henry, Bridewell Theatre. Malcolm, Macbeth, Zoé Ford, Karamel Club.) plays the role of Tranio.

While Shiv Rabheru (Cy, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Jonathan Butterell, Sheffield Crucible. Mr. Mistoffelees, CATS, Trevor Nunn, UK and European Tour. Dawn Bush, (Chorus, Henry V, John-Robert Partridge, Tread the Boards at the Attic Theatre, Stratford-on Avon. Miss Prism/Lane/Merriman, The Importance of Being Earnest, Michelle Shortland, Dot Productions tour.) Gareth Balai (Ensemble, Misa Criolla, Jonathan Griffith, David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center. Dorian Gray, Wilde at Home, David Grant, Mary MacArthur Theatre.) and also returning to the company Mathew Foster (Previous Lazarus credits include; Achates, Dido, Queen of Carthage, France in King Lear, Greenwich Theatre. Other credits include; Richard, Dream Girl, Kris Hallett, Old Red Lion. Ensemble/Understudy, Wolf Hall & Bring Up The Bodies, Jeremy Herrin, RSC West End & Broadway) take on the roles of Hortensio, Baptista, Sly and Petruchio respectively.

Shakespeare’s Shrew…

Kate talks too much; at least, that’s what the men of Padua think. So they persuade Petruchio to marry her and bring his wilful wife to heel. Part farce, and part tragedy, The Taming of the Shrew dramatises society’s attempt to control and one woman’s bid to resist.

Lazarus is an award-winning Theatre Company, re-imagining and revitalising classic text for a contemporary audience. The Taming of the Shrew is directed by Lazarus Theatre Associate Director, Sara Reimers.


Dates 18th July – 5th August, Tuesday – Saturday at 7.45pm

Venue The Jack Studio Theatre

Tickets £15.00, £12.00 (Concessions) £10 (Previews 18th and 19th July) To Book

Twitter @LazarusTheatre, Facebook @LazarusTheatreCompany


Katherina – Charlotte Dowding

Petruchio – Mathew Foster

Bianca – Sabrina Laurison

Lucentio – Samuel Lane

Tranio – Evangeline Dickson

Hortensio – Shiv Rabheru

Biondello/Grumio – Rachel Smart

Gremio/Pedant – CJ de Mooi

Sly – Gareth Balai

Baptista – Dawn Bush


Written by William Shakespeare

Adapted and Directed by Sara Reimers

Costume and Designed by Rachel Dingle

Lighting Design by Stuart Glover

Movement Director – Julia Cave

★★★★ “Lazarus’ double bill of Troilus & Cressida and Coriolanus, is a muscular reimagining of two of Shakespeare’s most contentious tragedies”

Female Arts on Troilus & Cressida and Coriolanus


David Walliams’ Awful Auntie at Hull New Theatre

Awful Auntie at Hull New Theatre

Stage adaptation of bestselling David Walliams book at venue in May 2018

A stage adaptation of David Walliams’ bestselling book, Awful Auntie, will be performed at Hull New Theatre in May next year.

It will be presented by the Birmingham Stage Company and follows their record-breaking tour of David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny.

Awful Auntie was published in September 2014 and went to No.1 in the children’s book chart for seven weeks.

The paperback was published in February 2016 and sold 212,000 copies, making it the best-selling children’s paperback of the year.

Combined sales of the hardback and paperback have reached more than a million copies and its success has helped to make Walliams one of the country’s best-selling children’s authors.

Walliams said: “The Birmingham Stage Company’s Gangsta Granny is truly brilliant, so I’m hugely excited that they’re now bringing Awful Auntie to the stage.

“It promises to be a thrilling show and a total hoot – Wagnar the owl and I can’t wait to see it!”.

Awful Auntie tells the story of Stella who, when she sets off to visit London with her parents, has no idea her life is in danger.

Waking up from a coma three months later, only her Aunt Alberta can tell Stella what has happened.

But not everything Aunt Alberta tells her turns out to be true and Stella quickly discovers she’s in for the fight of her life against her very own awful auntie.

David Williams’ amazing tale of frights, fights and friendship features a very large owl, a very small ghost and a very awful Auntie!

The world premiere of Awful Auntie will open at The Capitol Theatre in Horsham in September prior to an 18-month UK tour which arrives at Hull New Theatre on May 17 until May 20.

Awful Auntie will mark the Birmingham Stage Company’s 25th anniversary.

Starting life at The Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham, the company’s productions now regularly visit Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore and for 12 years they have produced all the Horrible Histories stage shows which now regularly feature in the West End.

Families across East Yorkshire will not want to miss their production of Awful Auntie, which promises to be awfully thrilling fun for everyone over five!

Tickets for Awful Auntie at Hull New Theatre from Thursday, May 17 to Sunday, May 20 2018 are from £15.50 for adults or £13.50 for under 16s. Family tickets are from £50. They go on sale at 10am on Friday, June 16.

Extras members receive a £3 discount on tickets for the Thursday shows only and can access 24-hour priority booking from 10am on Thursday, June 15.

Book at the Hull City Hall box office or call 01482 300 306. Visit our new website to book online.





The iconic, world-famous Teletubbies, who this year celebrate their 20th anniversary, are to star in their first-ever live theatre show, “Big Hugs,” created especially for the youngest audience.  Tickets go on sale from 13th June.


Join Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po in a captivating stage show full of love, laughter, music and “Big Hugs,” as they explore the magical world of Teletubbyland. Look out for the Tubby Phone, Noo-Noo and Sun Baby in a fun, bright and safe world, which captures young children’s imaginations and encourages them to explore the world around them.

Young audiences will have the opportunity to join in and enjoy beloved features from the TV series along with brand new songs by BAFTA award-winning composer, Mani Svavarsson.

Teletubbies Live has been created and adapted for the stage by Richard Lewis, who has also created and directed the hugely successful Peppa Pig Live shows. The show is produced by leading children’s theatre team, Fiery Light, in collaboration with licensor DHX Brands.

Featuring full-sized Teletubbies characters, bright colours, puppetry, movement, songs and actions, Teletubbies Live is the perfect show for introducing young children to the fun and magic of theatre.

@LiveTeletubbies   #Teletubbies20

Teletubbies | 2017 UK TOUR DATES


Friday 17 – Sunday 19 November                                                               Box Office: 0844 871 3019

Manchester Palace                                                                        Website:


Wednesday 22 – Thursday 23 November                                                Box Office: 01642 552663

Forum Theatre, Billingham                                              

Sunday 26 November                                                                    Box Office: 01228 633766

Carlisle Sands Centre                                                                  Website:



Wednesday 24 – Thursday 25 January                                     Box Office: 01492 879771

Venue Cymru                , Llandudno                                                        Website:


Wednesday 31 January – Thursday 1 February               Box Office: 01582 60 20 80

Grove Theatre, Dunstable                                                       Website:


Saturday 3 – Sunday 4 February                                            Box Office: 01933 270 007

The Castle Theatre, Wellingborough                                   Website:


Wednesday 7 –Thursday 8 February                                   Box Office: 0844 871 3011

Birmingham Alexandra                                                                              Website:

Saturday  10–Sunday 11 February                                         Box Office: 0844 811 2121

Newcastle Theatre Royal                                                                          Website:

Saturday 17- Sunday 18 February                                          Box Office: +353 1 679 3323

Dublin Olympia Theatre                                                          Website:

Saturday 24 – Sunday 25 February                                        Box Office: 01744 756 000

St Helen’s Theatre Royal                                                                          Website:

Friday 2 – Saturday 3 March                                                    Box Office: 0115 989 5555

Theatre Royal, Nottingham                                                     Website:



Jersey Boys Tour Announce Further Dates




The producers of award-winning West End and Broadway smash-hit musical JERSEY BOYS are delighted to announce the addition of further dates to the UK & Ireland tour schedule.

The newly announced 2018 dates are Theatre Royal Plymouth (17 – 28 April), Nottingham Royal Concert Hall (9 – 19 May), Bradford Alhambra Theatre (22 May – 2 June), Norwich Theatre Royal (5 – 16 June), Sheffield Lyceum Theatre (19 – 30 June), Aylesbury Waterside Theatre (3 – 14 July), Cliffs Pavilion, Southend (17 – 28 July), Newcastle Theatre Royal (31 July – 11 August),  His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen (14 – 25 August), Wolverhampton Grand Theatre (28 August – 8 September) and Belfast Grand Opera House (11 – 22 September).

JERSEY BOYS first opened in London at the Prince Edward Theatre on 18 March 2008 and moved to the Piccadilly Theatre in March 2014. The Olivier Award-winning West End production closed on Sunday 26 March 2017 following nine amazing years in London. The first UK & Ireland Tour of JERSEY BOYS was a record-breaking success and ran for 18 months, from 4 September 2014 to 5 March 2016.

JERSEY BOYS is the remarkable true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their rise to stardom from the wrong side of the tracks.  These four boys from New Jersey became one of the most successful bands in pop history, were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and sold 175 million records worldwide, all before they turned 30.  The show is packed with their hits, including Beggin’SherryWalk Like A ManDecember, 1963 (Oh What a Night)Big Girls Don’t CryMy Eyes Adored YouLet’s Hang On (To What We’ve Got)Bye Bye BabyCan’t Take My Eyes Off YouWorking My Way Back to YouFallen AngelRag Doll and Who Loves You.

Winner of Broadway’s Tony, London’s Olivier and Australia’s Helpmann Awards for Best New Musical, JERSEY BOYS is the winner of 57 major awards worldwide and has been seen by over 24 million people worldwide.  JERSEY BOYS can currently be seen across the United States on its US National Tour.  The BROADWAY production closed on 15 January 2017 as the 12th longest running show in Broadway history.

JERSEY BOYS is written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe.  The National / UK & Ireland Tour production is staged by the entire original Broadway creative team, led by director Des McAnuff and choreographer Sergio Trujillo, with scenic design by Klara Zieglerova, costume design by Jess Goldstein, lighting by Howell Binkley, sound by Steve Canyon Kennedy and projection design by Michael Clark.  The orchestrations are by Steve Orich and the music supervision and vocal arrangements by Ron Melrose. 

The UK & Ireland Tour of JERSEY BOYS is produced by Dodger Theatricals and Ambassador Theatre Group with Joseph J Grano, Pelican Group, Latitude Link, Rick Steiner and Howard Panter.

For further details, please visit

Twitter: @JerseyBoysUK
Instagram: @JerseyBoysUK


16 Dec 2017 – 6 Jan 2018      Birmingham New Alexandra                                          0844 871 3011                                                                                             

10 – 20 January                      Liverpool Empire                                                            0844 871 3017                                                                                             

23 January – 3 February         Milton Keynes Theatre                                                  0844 871 7652                                                                                             

6 – 17 February                      Stoke Regent Theatre                                                    0844 871 7649                                                                                              February – 3 March           Hull New Theatre                                                           01482 300 306                                                                                            

20 – 31 March                         Sunderland Empire                                                       0844 871 3022                                                                                            

3 – 14 April                             Glasgow King’s Theatre                                                0844 871 7648                                                                                           

17 – 28 April                            Theatre Royal Plymouth                                               01752 267222                                                                                                                                                On sale 22 June

9 – 19 May                             Nottingham Royal Concert Hall                                     0115 989 5555                                                                                                                                                         On sale 19 June

22 May – 2 June                    Alhambra Theatre, Bradford                                          01274 432000                                                                                                                                       On sale 19 June

5 – 16 June                            Norwich Theatre Royal                                                  01603 630000                                    On sale 14 August

19 – 30 June                           Sheffield Lyceum Theatre                                            0114 249 6000                                         On sale 17 June

3 – 14 July                             Aylesbury Waterside Theatre                                        0844 871 7607         On sale 29 June

17 – 28 July                            Cliffs Pavilion, Southend                                              01702 351135                                           On sale 20 June

31 July – 11 August               Newcastle Theatre Royal                                              0844 811 2121                                                On sale 7 July

14 – 25 August                       His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen                                 01224 641122                               On sale 2 August

28 August – 8 September      Wolverhampton Grand Theatre                                    01902 42 92 12                                               On sale 17 July

11 – 22 September                 Belfast Grand Opera House                                         028 9024 1919                                                             On sale 16 June


Further dates to be announced.




The West End sensation Dreamboats and Petticoats returns to Sheffield from Monday 26 June – Saturday 1 July, telling a classic story of teenage love set to some of the most iconic rock ‘n’ roll songs of all time.

It’s 1961 and emotions are running high as a group of love-struck musicians compete to win a national song writing competition – and the hearts of their teenage crush. Norman and Bobby both crave the attention of the gorgeous Sue, but when shy Laura reveals that she is no slouch on the piano, love and rock ‘n’ roll fame beckons!

Dreamboats and Petticoats brings a familiar face back to Sheffield in Elizabeth Carter, who stars as the shy and talented song writer Laura. Elizabeth was last seen soaring across the Lyceum Stage on a magic carpet in 2015’s smash hit pantomime Aladdin, and has previously played Laura in Bill Kenwright’s touring production of Dreamboats and Miniskirts.

Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the multi-million selling albums, the UK Tour of Dreamboats and Petticoats features songs from the golden era of rock ‘n’ roll such as Let’s Dance, To Know Him Is To Love Him, Shaking All Over, C’mon Everybody and Let’s Twist Again.

Dreamboats and Petticoats comes to the Lyceum Theatre from Monday 26 June – Saturday 1 July.  Tickets can be purchased from Sheffield Theatres’ Box Office in-person, by phone on 0114 249 6000 or online at and are priced from £19.00. Concessions and group discounts are available.


Peter Duncan cast in Million Dollar Quartet in York

Peter Duncan stars as the “Father of rock ‘n’ roll

in autumn tour of hit show

Olivier Award nominated actor Peter Duncan, former presenter of iconic BBC children’s television show Blue Peter, is set to play the ‘Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ Sam Phillips in hit musical Million Dollar Quartet at York Theatre Royal this autumn.

Duncan previously appeared at the theatre in Birdsong, the stage adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’ World War One story in 2014.

His stage career began with Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre company at London’s Old Vic. He went on to be Olivier Award nominated for best actor in a musical for his performance in The Card and also took the title role in Barnum. He has created original pantomimes at Hackney Empire and Broadway Theatre as well as writing and directing Oxford Playhouse’s annual Christmas production. On TV, his appearances include Demolition Dad and Doctors and he fronted his own BBC series Duncan Dares.

The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical and West End smash hit Million Dollar Quartet tells of the 1956 recording session at which Phillips brought together four recording stars – Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins – for the first and only time.

The show features more than 20 rock‘n’roll hits including Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog, I Walk the Line and Great Balls of Fire.

Million Dollar Quartet is at York Theatre Royal 19 – 23 September.

Box office 01904 623568.









2017 has marked 30 years since Bill Kenwright’s production of the international smash hit musical Blood Brothers first toured the UK. In celebration, this iconic musical has been visiting theatres across the country, performing to sell-out houses and receiving standing ovations. Due to its continued success the tour is continuing into the Autumn, opening on Tuesday 29 August at G Live in Guildford.

Hailed as one of the best musicals of all time, Blood Brothers, written by award-winning playwright Willy Russell has triumphed across the globe. Scooping up no fewer than four awards for best musical in London and seven Tony Award nominations on Broadway, Blood Brothers is simply unmissable and unbeatable.

This epic tale of Liverpool life started as a play, performed at a Liverpool comprehensive school in 1981 before opening at the Liverpool Playhouse in 1983, completing sell out seasons in the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Japan. Blood Brothers also ran in London’s West End for 24 years, exceeding 10,000 performances, one of only three musicals ever to achieve that milestone.

No stranger to Blood Brothers, ‘The definitive Mrs Johnstone’ (Manchester Evening News) Lyn Paul reprises the iconic role, one she first played in 1997. Lyn played Mrs Johnstone in the final West End performances at the Phoenix Theatre in 2012.

Lyn rose to fame in the early 1970s as a member of the New Seekers. She was the featured vocalist on their 1972 Eurovision Song Contest entry, ‘Beg, Steal or Borrow’, in which they came second and lead vocalist on the 1974 number-one hit ‘You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me’. Among the group’s other works, they recorded the song ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’, adapted from an advertising jingle for Coca-Cola, which sold over 20 million copies and still remains one of the 100 best-selling singles in the UK. She has also starred in the UK tour of Cabaret in 2013 as Fraulein Schneider, in Boy George’s musical Taboo and in Footloose – the Musical.

Musical theatre regular Dean Chisnall returns to the role of the Narrator. He has performed in a number of musicals including Shrek the Musical (West End and UK tour), Love Never Dies, Never Forget, Evita and The Woman in White. Sean Jones reprises his role as Mickey, a role he has performed in the West End, including as part of the final cast at the Phoenix Theatre in 2012 alongside Lyn Paul, and on tour.


Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving story of twin boys separated at birth, only to be reunited by a twist of fate and a mother’s haunting secret. The memorable score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True.

When Mrs Johnstone, a young mother, is deserted by her husband and left to her own devices to provide for seven hungry children she takes a job as a housekeeper in order to make ends meet.

It is not long before her brittle world crashes around her when she discovers herself to be pregnant yet again – this time with twins! In a moment of weakness and desperation, she enters a secret pact with her employer which leads inexorably to the show’s shattering climax. A sensational cast, incredible show stopping music, remarkable staging and five star performances make Blood Brothers an enthralling night of entertainment.

Willy Russell is undeniably one of this country’s leading contemporary dramatists. His countless credits include Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine. Educating Rita, originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, enjoyed a two year run in the West End and was made into a movie starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters. Shirley Valentine also made the move from stage to screen in an enormously popular film starring Pauline Collins and Tom Conti.


Bill Kenwright presents


By Willy Russell

Directed by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright

Designed by Andy Walmsley                                   Sound Designed By Dan Samson

Musical Direction by Kelvin Towse                        Lighting Designed by Nick Richings


Gogol masterpiece adapted for the stage at Theatre N16

Monkhead Theatre presents:

July 4th – 8th, Theatre N16

Featuring live video feedback and sound sculpture, Monkhead Theatre presents a non-traditional adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s 19th century masterpiece. Be prepared to explore the world beyond the stage, as we set our characters loose on 21st century London…

“A complicated and intelligent play. Congrats!” Audience Feedback

Dead Souls is Gogol’s unfinished epic satire of Russian society, the hilarious story of Pavel Chichikov’s twisted quest to acquire as many dead serfs as he can. Dead Souls is a darkly comic novel about the power of the Capitalist system to turn human beings into numbers and the ways in which cynical individuals exploit this, eroding their own humanity in the process. One hundred years on from the revolution, the big and scary question of Russian literature – In what kind of society do we want to live? – has never been more relevant to a Western audience.

“It’s got something very Tom Stoppard (…) with more style” Audience Feedback

Monkhead is a minority ethnic and female-led theatre company specialising in experimental adaptations of classic literature. Chloë Myerson is a working television writer represented by The Agency, and Nico Pimparé is a working actor and director, and a member of the Young Vic Directors Programme and of the National Youth Theatre. Together they formed Monkhead Theatre in 2017, inspired by a mutual love both of the well-structured narratives and ambitious social arcs of classic literature and the wild rock & roll playfulness of experimental multimedia theatre. Monkhead adopts a holistic and ensemble-based approach to theatre-making, where the entire creative team build a world together from the collective imagination. The work in the rehearsal room is based around Lecoq, Bogart and Grotowski principles – including video, physical theatre and sound sculpture.

Dead Souls stars Toby Osmond (Thomas Cromwell in Henry VIII and His Six Wives, Channel 5), Joshua Jacob (Jeremy in Switch, Tricycle Theatre) and Jules Armana (nominated for Best Actor in the Hof Independent Fim Festival for his performance in Meier, Müller, Schmidt, Förderpreis Neues Deutsches Kino).


A.I Love You Review

Theatre N16 14th -24th June.  Reviewed By Jessica Brady 

Heart to Heart Theatre has arrived at Balham’s Theatre N16, in doing so they have produced a very interesting show that will make you think about mortality, love and robots.

Adam and April are a young 20 something couple in love, living together and doing what most average couples their age are. April has been specifically designed for Adam, she is A.I but is more human than most and her core purpose is to make Adam happy and they are planning a long future together but something goes wrong as April starts to shut down. April must now end her time with Adam by ‘killing herself’ and being sent back to the company that created her. Adam is adamant that April can’t leave him, he loves her and she is his possession. The couple are summoned to state their cases and the decision as to whether April is to die or carry on life with Adam is given to the audience.

This highly interactive play (I can say that truthfully as I was given a voting card with an ‘X’ on it meaning that I was in charge of counting the votes and leading a debate on the outcome for the pair with the rest of the audience) has some really beautiful performances from Eve Ponsonby (April) and Peter Dewhurst (Adam). Their chemistry is very real, electric and that draws you in to this story full force as you become invested in what is going to happen. They perform so honestly and with such passion as they argue why April should stay or go and with flash backs of how their life was before, makes the decision easy or harder as an audience member dependant on who’s side your on.

This play has been well written but I felt the decision on who would get their way in the debate was pretty clear. For me their needed to be a bit more of a redeeming quality in Adam for people to empathise with him and want to give him what he wanted, however that didn’t impact the play too much as it was still an unusual and interesting concept that I enjoyed. There wasn’t an elaborate set or costumes, just pure focus on the story which was very refreshing and the use of voice over’s to control the action was a lovely touch! A.I LOVE YOU is chance for you to really get an insight into a hypothetical but not impossible futuristic story and put questions to yourself on how to deal with the consequences of the decisions you make. Catch it at N16!


The Very Hungry Caterpillar Review

Majestic Theatre, Darlington – Reviewed by Andrew Bramfitt

Since 1969 when it was first published, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar has enthralled children of each and every generation – the illustrations and style have become almost synonymous for educational and entertaining children’s books and set out a blueprint for others to follow. Now his creations have been brought to life on stage by Jonathan Rockefeller and, given the reaction from one particularly young theatre goer, this is a smash hit.

The show actually covers 4 of Carle’s stories, each engagingly told through the use of some amazing puppets, very vivid lighting and lots and lots of movement – my grand daughter who only recently turned 1 sat riveted for most of the show, loving the non-stop action – in fact she only got restless when one of her favourite characters left the stage, standing on mum’s lap to shout for the sea horse to come back.

There is some very clever ideas around painting pictures which then come to life, emerging on stage as full size puppets which just added to the magic of the show and ensured it kept tiny and slightly bigger minds watching and guessing what might happen next.

Of course, the star of the show is the caterpillar and the eponymous final story is a finale to send all the audience, young and old, on their way home feeling very well entertained. There were many comments from parents & guardians afterwards who were surprised by just how engaging it was for the adults as well as the children – I guess we have all read, listened to (or in some cases been) The Very Hungry Caterpillar in our lives.

The Majestic Theatre in Darlington is the perfect venue for this very colourful and visually engaging show; it is intimate, relaxed and ideal to cater for children who might otherwise feel a little intimidated by a more austere theatre. That sense of relaxation spread to the parents too and as such, everyone was able to sit back, kick back and wallow in good old-fashioned story telling brought right up to date.