Little Women the Musical Review

Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester – until 16 December 2017.  Reviewed by Marcus Richardson


The European premiere of Little Woman took its place at the Hope Mill Theatre in Ancoats, Manchester.   The musical set in Concord and New York during 1869 follows the life of the March sisters, mostly Jo March who is aspiring to be a world renowned writer. The venue is something I must note, that feels like a beacon in the dark, gave me this quaint homely feel that fitted the production very well.

The show had a small but strong cast that features a good collection of performers who both can sing and act. The main character Jo played by Amie Giselle-Ward captured the adventurous and rebellious character so well with that sense of energy. We are given this whole imagery throughout the show which would make a beautiful painting and that’s how I can describe the production, very picturesque and calming to look at and experience.

The musical fits into an old timey feel with the setting of the 1860s mirrored in the songs and dances. You can see those classic musicals like Carousel and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers influenced in the performance. The songs did have something original about them though and didn’t seem replicated to other musicals.

Whilst I’m not overly a fan of musicals, I did enjoy going to watch this, however if you are a fan of classic musicals you will love it.






London Classic Theatre presents


Private Lives

By Noël Coward


Directed by Michael Cabot; Designed by Frankie Bradshaw; Lighting by Andy Grange

UK & Ireland tour: 16 January – 21 April 2018

Press performance: Wednesday 17 January 2018 at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

London Classic Theatre today announce additional dates for their production of Noël Coward’s comedy masterpiece, Private LivesOlivia Beardsley and Helen Keeley return to the production as Sibyl Chase and Amanda Prynne, and are joined by two new cast members, Gareth Bennett-Ryan (Elyot Chase) and Paul Sandys (Victor Prynne). The production tours to 16 venues in the new year, opening at Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford on 16 January, and concluding the run at the Coventry Belgrade Theatre on 21 April.

1930. Deauville, France. Two newly-married couples occupy adjoining honeymoon suites in the same hotel. As a distant orchestra plays, Sibyl gazes adoringly at charismatic husband Elyot, while Victor admires his new wife, the vivacious and sophisticated Amanda.

Champagne flows and the sea shimmers in the moonlight as the newlyweds prepare for the evening ahead. But when Amanda overhears a familiar voice singing a forgotten song, an old spark reignites, with spectacular consequences.

Full of razor-sharp wit and quick-fire dialogue, Private Lives is Noël Coward’s most popular and enduring stage comedy. Extraordinarily written in only three days, Private Lives opened at London’s Phoenix Theatre in August 1930 to packed houses. Since then, this charming comedy of manners has retained its remarkable appeal, captivating audiences all over the world.

Noël Coward was one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th Century. His most notable plays include Hay Fever, Design for Living, Present Laughter and Blithe Spirit.


Helen Keeley plays Amanda Prynne. She returns to London Classic Theatre having previously appeared in The Importance of Being Earnest. Other theatre credits include The Picture of Dorian Gray (Trafalgar Studios & UK tour), YapYapYap (Battersea Arts Centre), Half, To The End (Southwark Playhouse), and A Summer Day’s Dream(Finborough Theatre). For film, she has starred in Where To Now.

Gareth Bennett-Ryan plays Elyot Chase. He returns to London Classic Theatre after appearing in The Birthday Party. Other recent theatre credits include The History Boys, Macbeth (Mercury Theatre, Colchester), As You Like It, Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe), Much Ado About Nothing, Antony and Cleopatra (Cambridge Shakespeare Festival), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar (Principal Theatre Co), Dick Whittington, Mother Goose (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds) and Sons of Bond (Theatre Royal Haymarket). Television credits include Shakespeare Uncovered and Word on the Street, and for film; WoodfallsMercenariesArthur & Merlin, Wounded and Dead Unicorns.

Olivia Beardsley plays Sibyl Chase. She returns to London Classic Theatre having previously appeared in its UK tour of The Collector. Other theatre credits include Brimstone and Treacle (Hope Theatre), Secret Santa (Arts Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Centennial Park Open Air Theatre, Sydney), and Charcoal Creek(Merrigong Theatre Company). For film credits include The Babadook.

Paul Sandys 
plays Victor Prynne. He returns to London Classic Theatre after appearing in Entertaining Mr Sloane and The Importance of Being Earnest. Other theatre credits include Dr Longitude’s Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie (Les Enfants Terribles), Peter Pan (New Vic Theatre), Out of the Sun (The New Actors Company). For television, Apple Tree House and for film; The Sprint King.

Rachael Holmes-Brown plays Louise. She returns to London Classic Theatre after appearing in Hysteria. Other theatre includes Dick Whittington Meets Top Cat, A Christmas to Remember (UK tours), My Fair Lady, Still Life, The Sound of Music (Riverside Australia) and A Streetcar Named Desire (Courtyard Theatre). For television her credits include Close Your Eyes; and for film, BirthdayWrecks and Iki Nefes Arasinda.

Michael Cabot is the founder and Artistic Director of London Classic Theatre. He has directed all thirty-six LCT productions since their debut in 1993 including Hysteria, The Birthday Party, Waiting for Godot, Absent Friends, Entertaining Mr Sloane, Betrayal, The Importance of Being Earnest, Equus and After Miss Julie. He has overseen the company’s transition from one of the success stories of the London Fringe in the late nineties to its current position as one of the UK’s leading touring companies. His freelance work as director includes three recent collaborations with playwright Henry Naylor, The Collector (national tour 2016) Angel (Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016, Adelaide Fringe, Brits off Broadway 2017) and Borders (Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017). All three productions won Scotsman Fringe First Awards.  Angel was chosen by The Times as one of the UK’s Top Ten productions in 2016 and also recently completed a 4-week run at the Arcola Theatre, where Michael was nominated for Best Director in the 2017 Off West End Awards.


London Classic Theatre was launched in 2000 as a touring theatre company with David Mamet’s Oleanna. This inaugural tour lost a small fortune but doors had opened and, crucially, the work was being seen.  Seventeen years and thirty-seven tours later, London Classic Theatre is now a successful, established part of the commercial UK touring theatre scene.  The company has never received any funding or sponsorship for its work.  As Artistic Director, Michael Cabot has programmed a repertoire of classic and modern classic plays, a mixture of the challenging and the commercial, big titles and less well-known, including two UK premières – Hugh Leonard’s Love in the Title and Joanna Murray-Smith’s Nightfall.

London Classic Theatre – in numbers… 

  • 37 tours since 2000
  • 30 productions
  • 255 venues visited
  • 465 weeks of touring
  • 350,000 miles covered
  • Over 2,500 performances
  • Over 500,000 tickets sold
  • 158 actors
  • 19 designers
  • 2 UK premières
  • 4 Harold Pinter plays
  • 2 Patrick Marber plays
  • 2 Marivaux plays in new translation
  • Longest tour Equus – 35 weeks and 198 performances
  • Shortest tour The Game of Love and Chance – 5 weeks and 22 performances
  • £0 public subsidy

Facebook: @LondonClassicTheatre

Twitter: @londonclassic1


Listings Private Lives




Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford
16-20 January
Box Office: 01483 440000

Cheltenham Everyman Theatre
23-27 January
Box Office: 01242 572573

Derby Theatre
30 Jan – 3 Feb
Box Office: 01332 593939

Dukes, Lancaster
6, 7 February
Box Office: 01524 598500

Cast, Doncaster
8-10 February
Box Office: 01302 303959

The Brunton, Musselburgh
13-14 February
Box Office: 0131 665 2240

Gaiety Theatre, Ayr
15-17 February
Box Office: 01292 288235

Mumford Theatre, Cambridge
27-28 February
Box Office: 01223 352932

South Hill Park, Bracknell
1-3 March
Box Office: 01344 484123

Connaught Theatre, Worthing
6-7 March
Box Office: 01903 206206

Lighthouse, Poole
8-10 March
Box Office: 01202 280000

Theatr Clwyd
20-24 March
Box Office: 01352 701521

Everyman Theatre, Cork
3-7 April
Box Office: 00 353 21 450 1673

Hull Truck Theatre
10-14 April
Box Office: 01482 323638

Lyceum Theatre, Crewe
17-18 April
Box Office: 01270 368242

Coventry Belgrade Theatre
19-21 April
Box Office: 024 7655 3055






Touring Consortium Theatre Company and Rose Theatre Kingston present


By Robert Louis Stevenson

Adapted by David Edgar


Touring Consortium Theatre Company and Rose Theatre Kingston today announce that Phil Daniels will lead the company in the titular role of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde on a tour of the UK.


The production, adapted by David Edgar and directed by Kate Saxon, opens on 14 February at Rose Theatre Kingston with previews from 9 February and will then tour to His Majesty’s Theatre Aberdeen, Malvern Festival Theatre, Dartford Orchard, Nottingham Theatre Royal, Blackpool Grand Theatre, Wycombe Swan, King’s Theatre Edinburgh, Bradford Alhambra, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Cambridge Arts Theatre, before completing its run at the Darlington Hippodrome from the 14 until 19 May.


A twisted tale of nerve-jangling horror, this adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic gothic thriller stars Phil Daniels as both Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.


In a secret experiment, the upright and respectable Dr Henry Jekyll splits his personality into two, releasing the fiendish and murderous Edward Hyde.


As Hyde brings about mayhem, terror and death in foggy London, can Jekyll find a way to suppress his monstrous alter-ego, before it takes him over for good?

David Edgar is a Tony Award-winning playwright for stage, radio, television and film. His original plays for the Royal Shakespeare Company include DestinyPentecost (Evening Standard best play award), The Prisoner’s Dilemma and Written on the Heart. His RSC adaptations include The Jail Diary of Albie SachsNicholas Nickleby (Society of West End Theatres and New York Tony awards), and, most recently, A Christmas Carol. For the National Theatre he wrote Entertaining Strangers (starring Tim Pigott-Smith and Judi Dench), The Shape of the TableAlbert Speer and Playing with Fire. Other adaptations include Julian Barnes’s Arthur & George at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. His other recent work includes Testing the Echo for Out of Joint and If Only for the Chichester Festival Theatre, as well as translations of Bertolt Brecht’s Galileo (with Timothy West, Birmingham Rep), Brecht’s Mother Courage (Stratford Festival, Ontario) and Ibsen’s Master Builder (Chichester Festival Theatre). He has adapted many of his plays for television and radio, and wrote the screenplay for Helena Bonham Carter’s first film Lady Jane. He founded Britain’s first postgraduate playwriting course, and has served as President of the Writers’ Guild.


Phil Daniels plays the title roles. For theatre his credits include King Lear (Chichester Festival Theatre), Anthony and CleopatraKnight of The Burning Pestle (Shakespeare’s Globe), Les Miserables (Queens Theatre) and This House (National Theatre and Garrick Theatre). On television, he is perhaps best known for his role as Kevin Wicks in EastEnders. His other television work includes Zapped, Mooonfleet, Doctor Who, Rocks and Chips, New Tricks, Misfits, Outlaws, Waking the Dead, The Long Firm, Time Gentlemen Please, Holding On and Sex, Chips and Rock n Roll. For film, Access All Areas, The Hatton Garden Job, This House, Vinyl, Goodbye Charlie Bright, Chicken Run, Scum and Quadrophenia.

Kate Saxon directs. She has directed over 35 theatre productions, including the world première of John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman, which opened in the US and then transferred to the UK, the first revival of Susan Glaspell’s Chains of Dew (Orange Tree), The Real Thing (ETT/West Yorkshire Playhouse), and the US première of Nine Parts of Desire (The Public, New York). Having been Associate Director of Shared Experience Theatre from 2000 – 2012, Kate is now one of a group of artistic associates running the company and has recently directed their tour of As You Like It. Kate is Chair of Stage Directors UK. She was Voice Director on Paramount’s animated feature film, Capture The Flag, which won the Goya Award for Best Animated Film 2016. Kate is currently developing a new film by Samuel Evans, working title Hold Me, and is one of 15 female TV and film directors chosen as one of the inaugural BAFTA Elevate group. For television, Kate’s work includes EastEnders. For video games, Kate directs Cinematics and titles include Mafia III, Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture and Alien: Isolation, which between them have won 4 BAFTAs.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Listings

Rose Theatre Kingston

Friday 9 – Saturday 17 February

Press Night: Thursday 14 February

Box office: 020 8174 0090


His Majesty’s Theatre Aberdeen

Tuesday 20 – Saturday 24 February

Box Office: 01224 641122

Malvern Festival Theatre

Tuesday 27 February – Saturday 3 March

Box Office: 01684 892277

Dartford Orchard Theatre

Tuesday 13 – Saturday 17 March

Box Office: 01322 220000

Nottingham Theatre Royal

Tuesday 20 – Saturday 24 March

Box Office: 0115 989 5555

Grand Theatre Blackpool

Tuesday 27 – Saturday 31 March
Box Office: 01253 290190

Wycombe Swan

Tuesday 3 April – 7 April

Box Office:  01494 512000

King’s Theatre Edinburgh

Tuesday 10 – 14 April

Box Office: 0131 529 6000

Bradford Alhambra

Tuesday 17 – Saturday 21 April

Box Office: 01274 432000


Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Tuesday 1 – Saturday 5 May

Box Office: 01902 429 212

Cambridge Arts Theatre
Tuesday 8 – Saturday 12 May

Box office: 01223 503 333


Darlington Hippodrome

Tuesday 15 – Saturday 19 May

Box Office: 01325 405405

Twitter: #JekyllPlay

Comedy World War II musical comes to Waterloo East in 2018

Jonathan Kydd presents:

January 11th – 28th, 7.30pm, Waterloo East Theatre

Doodle – The Musical! is a new all-singing all-dancing comedy musical written by American Idol’s Andy Street and actor Jonathan Kydd, and directed by Olivier award nominee Jonathan Moore. The show is a loving pastiche of World War II action movies, with cameo impersonations including Charles Bronson, David Niven, and Sam Kydd, Jonathan’s father, who was in 240 films between 1945 and 1982 (more than any other English actor) in dozens of which he played members of the armed forces.

It is the year 1940. Britain is at war with Nazi Germany. Barnes Wallis, the eventual inventor of the world famous Bouncing Bomb (as featured in the film The Dam Busters – you know, the black and white one where the bomb bounces into the dams?) is kidnapped by the Nazis to build them a Bouncing Submarine. Consequently, a Z team of not-very-good misfits, (like in The Dirty Dozen) including a Mexican cigar salesman, a Sherlock Holmes impersonator, and a ventriloquist is recruited to go on a secret mission to discover whether the threat is real – or just a ridiculous joke. Once they’re on their way, it’s discovered that the threat is so serious, it has the potential to lose Britain the war. (CUE HUGE DOOM LADEN CHORD)

Andy Street, the writer of the music, has composed for TV programmes in over 100 countries. He won an Emmy for the song Madeleine in 2003, was a mentor & associate Musical Director on American Idol, and was recently the MD on Last Laugh in Vegas, the new variety show to be seen on ITV1 on Saturday nights from March.

Director Jonathan Moore has just been working on Invention of Morel (which he co-wrote). He also directed and co-wrote the opera Greek (Munich Biennale and ENO) for which he was nominated for an Olivier. He directed the film version for which he won the Royal Philarmonic Society Award.

Jonathan Kydd who wrote the book and lyrics, worked with Brian Conley (recently in Strictly Come Dancing) in the 90s, writing 25 comedy songs for the 3 series which is where he met Andy. He was Tom in the classic Kids series Pipkins.  He’s also done much voice-over work, including Toy Story that Time Forgot, Mr Bean, Paddington Bear, Noddy, Assassin’s Creed, Harry Potter and major advertising campaigns like the original Ferrero Rocher Ambassador’s Reception commercial.

Casting Announced for The Brothers Size

Casting announced for 

The Brothers Size  

by Tarell Alvin McCraney
direction by Bijan Sheibani

Main House 

Friday 19 January 2018 – Wednesday 14 February 2018
Press Night Friday 26 January 2018
A co-production between Young Vic and Actors Touring Company
Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney was an unknown writer when The Brothers Size was first seen at the Young Vic in 2007. Today casting for the highly-anticipated revival from the Evening Standard Award-Winning writer is announced:

After playing Coriolanus at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Sope Dirisu plays eldest brother Ogun. Jonathan Ajayi plays younger brother Oshoosi, reunited with Ogun after a spell in prison. Both make their Young Vic debuts.

Finally, Anthony Welsh returns to the role of Elegba, Oshoosi’s ex-cell mate who tempts him back to his life of crime. Anthony originally performed this role during the 2008 revival of The Brothers Size at the Young Vic and UK tour in the same year.

Bijan Sheibani returns to direct this deeply moving fable following his hit production of The Barbershop Chronicles at the National Theatre.

The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney is directed by Bijan Sheibani, designed by Patrick Burnier with live music and sound design by Manuel Pinheiro. A co-production with Actors Touring Company.

It runs from 19 January 2018 – 14 February 2018 in the Young Vic’s Main House.

There will be a Jerwood Assistant Director working with Bijan Sheibani The Brothers Size. The role is supported through the Jerwood Assistant Directors Program at the Young Vic. | @youngvictheatre | #TheBrothersSize


The Brothers Size

19 January 2018 – 14 February 2018
Main House, Young Vic, 66 The Cut, Waterloo, London SE1 8LZ
Press Night: Friday 26 January 2018, 7.00pm
Performances: Monday – Saturday at 7:30pm | Matinees on Wednesday & Saturday (except 20, 24, 27 January)
Access Performances
Captioned Performance: Thursday 8 February at 7.30pm
Audio Described Performance: Thursday 6 February at 7.30pm
Tickets: Previews 19 – 25 January £20, £10 | 27 January – 14 February £38, £29, £20, £10
Concessions available.
Box Office: | 020 7922 2922


Producers have revealed that Benidorm Live, the new stage show based on the hit ITV comedy premiering at Newcastle Theatre Royal next year, will star six of the original TV cast .


Set to bring a heady dose of Spanish sunshine and smiles to Newcastle audiences, the first ever stage version of Derren Litten’s hit ITV comedy Benidorm Live opens on Friday 7 September prior to a major national tour.


It is now confirmed that six members of the TV cast, all much loved stars from the infamous Solana Hotel, will perform in the hotly anticipated new show.  Swapping sangria for the stage after a quick spruce at the Blow ‘n’ Go! will be everyone’s favourites Jake  Canuso (Lothario barman Mateo), Janine Duvitski (middle aged swinger

Jacqueline), Adam Gillen (holidaying teenager Liam), Sherrie Hewson (Solana manageress Joyce Temple-Savage), Shelley Longworth (loud mouthed lassie Sam), and Tony Maudsley (flamboyantly camp hairdresser Kenneth).


Litten has written a new set of Alicante escapades for the debut stage production of the hugely popular show.  On making its transfer, writer Derren Litten said: “I’ve loved ten years of writing my TV show Benidorm but despite a successful writing career I’m first and foremost a performer so have always been secretly frustrated I couldn’t hear the audience’s laughter. This national tour of Benidorm Live will not only make a long lasting dream come true but will also mean I no longer have to stand in strangers gardens listening at their windows at 9 o’clock on cold winter evenings.”


ITV’s smash-hit comedy celebrates a decade of all-inclusive hilarity, having followed the ensemble cast of holiday makers and staff for nine series since it first broadcast in 2007. Season 10 is due to broadcast early 2018.


Critically acclaimed, Benidorm has received two National Television Awards a TV Quick Award and nominations at the British Comedy Awards and BAFTAs.


After leaving school in Hull in the late 1980’s Derren Litten spent a year working as a professional magician whilst auditioning for drama schools.  He won a place on the 3 year acting course at the prestigious Central School of Speech and Drama where he met fellow student Catherine Tate.  After 10 years of working as an actor, Derren was asked by Catherine to write for her newly commissioned TV sketch show, The Catherine Tate Show; in which he also appeared in many of the sketches.  After co-writing and appearing in two series and a Christmas Special, Derren was given a script commission by legendary comedy producer Geoffrey Perkins, “just write anything you want as long as it’s funny” he said; that show turned out to be ITV’s BAFTA nominated hit comedy Benidorm. Derren’s hobbies include drinking and karaoke, usually in that order. He splits his time equally between homes in London and Spain.


The show will be produced for the stage by Newcastle’s own Michael Harrison and David Ian.  Other UK Tour dates to be announced.


Benidorm Live premieres at Newcastle Theatre Royal on Fri 7 Sep 2018 and runs until Sat 15 Sep, playing evenings at 7.30pm, matinees on Thu 2pm and Sat 2.30pm. Tickets are from £16.50 and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge) or book online at


The Bunker’s bold Spring 2018 Season

The Bunker’s Spring Season 2018
The Bunker, 53A Southwark Street London SE1 1RU
Wednesday 17th January – Saturday 26th May 2018

The Bunker’s Spring 2018 season sees the venue truly celebrate its place as a playground for ambitious artists and adventurous audiences, just over a year after it first opened its doors. The bold season, including works by Terry Johnson and Izzy Tennyson, highlights the venue’s commitment to work with exciting playwrights, both established and emerging

The Bunker’s ethos encourages audiences to stay in the auditorium long after performances have ended, offering the opportunity for audiences to mingle with artists. In this vein, the venue is committed to keeping its work accessible to its core audience, expanding its Under 25s £10 ticket offer to now include all under 30. For the Spring Season, The Bunker will also unveil its new entrance area, which will be freshly decked and refurbished, with a brand new bar area serving craft lager and ales on draught for the first time.

The season opens with Ken, written by Olivier and Tony award-winning writer Terry Johnson, which transfers from Hampstead Theatre following a riotously successful run in their Downstairs studio last year. Ken pays tribute to the truly original and unclassifiable Ken Campbell – maverick writer, theatre director, and legendary practical joker. Following this, DumbWise Theatre reinvent Electra,
reimagining this murderous Greek myth of power and prophecy as a lyrical modern epic with a live punk-rock score.

Artistic Director Joshua McTaggart will direct the world premiere of Devil With The Blue Dress by Kevin Armento, a play that interrogates the infamous Monica Lewinsky Scandal. This five-strong female cast play also marks The Bunker’s first American production. The season concludes with Izzy Tennyson’s Grotty, which offers a dark and savage journey that digs beneath the surface of lesbian subculture in London.

Joshua McTaggart, The Bunker’s Artistic Director, comments, It is incredibly exciting to announce The Bunker’s spring 2018 season – our first season of fully curated work since we opened our doors back in October 2016. In the past year we have discovered so much about our space, our audience, and our artists, and these four shows reflect the height of what we want to be doing at The Bunker in
bringing ambitious artists and adventurous audiences together into our shared space. From Terry Johnson’s celebration of the life of the experimental theatre-maker Ken Campbell and an actor-musician led punk-rock version of Sophocles’ Electra, to two world premieres: Kevin Armento’s exploration of Hillary Clinton and the Monica Lewinsky scandal and Grotty, Izzy Tennyson’s dark drama exploring this city’s lesbian subculture from Damsel Productions, we have lined up a Spring season that demonstrates the full breadth of artists and their work that has found a home at The Bunker since we opened.

The Bunker’s Spring Season 2018 is as follows:
Ken (The Bunker in association with Hampstead Theatre)
Wednesday 24th January – Saturday 24th February
Press Night: Monday 29th January, 7:30pm
1978, London. A 23 year old aspiring playwright in a rundown flat-share off the North End Road is wrestling with his masterpiece for the Royal Court. The house phone rings, the young man answers… a call for the person who used to occupy his room, recently moved to Amsterdam. But even once this information is imparted, the man at the other end refuses to hang up. His name is Ken. And
he’s about to change the young man’s life forever… Directed by Lisa Spirling, Artistic Director of Theatre 503, Ken is the retelling of an extraordinary friendship from beginning to end, replete with wickedly funny anecdotes, magnificent hoaxes, and general chaotic lunacy – all infused with the spirit of the great man… Terry Johnson and Jeremy Stockwell reprise their roles following a sell-out run at Hampstead Theatre to bring to life Ken Campbell’s wild and idiosyncratic perspective on life.

Electra (Dumbwise Theatre)
Tuesday 27th February – Saturday 24th March
Press Night: Thursday 1st March, 7:30pm
A Queen masterminds the murder of her Husband and takes the throne with her new lover. Her Daughter, Electra, grows up in the grip of a cruel regime, swearing revenge. Her Son Orestes, exiled as a boy and raised in the arms of the rebels, waits to embark on a holy mission to reclaim his country. Two decades later a twist of fate brings Brother and Sister together; united by hate but divided by faith. With the country on the brink of civil war, the most powerful family in the Kingdom are torn apart from the inside as their dark past once again becomes the present. The revolution will be televised, but are The Gods watching?

Devil With The Blue Dress (The Bunker Theatre and Desara Bosnja)
Thursday 29th March – Saturday 28th April
Press Night: Wednesday 4th April, 7:30pm
What do a First Lady, a secretary, a daughter, a confidant, and an intern all have in common? This barbed spin on a political drama conjures the five women who collided in what became known as The Lewinsky Scandal. Hillary Clinton and Monica Lewinsky find themselves centre stage in a theatrical feat that takes us through the corridors of power and behind the closed doors where the abuse of that power took place. Slyly exhuming the little blue dress that launched the biggest media circus of a generation, Devil With The Blue Dress, written by Kevin Armento and directed by Joshua McTaggart, grapples with one of the most challenging questions in American political history: How do we respond to women seeking power?

Grotty (Damsel Productions)
Tuesday 1st May – Saturday 26th May
Press Night: Thursday 3rd May, 7:30pm
Welcome to the desert. The London lesbian scene. A couple of little sad old basements that drip with sweat and piss. We sit there, listening to second-hand pulsating noise coming from some gay boy night upstairs. And it’s a Wednesday. And it’s a night called the ‘Clam Jam’. Can you imagine being straight and going to a night called the ‘Cock and Hole’? The women in black. The best tables are marked theirs by a crowd of empty prosecco bottles. They sit there in their uniformed black, a deep rich black only lots of money can buy… and they are looking at you. They are not nice girls. But this is not a nice story. Grotty is a dark, savage, and unflinching exploration of lesbian subculture in London. Written by award-winning writer Izzy Tennyson (Brute, Runts, Career Boy) and directed by Hannah Hauer-King (Dry Land, Brute, Fury), Damsel Productions presents this fierce new lesbian drama that takes no prisoners.

Slightly Fat Features – Christmas Variety for the 21st Century

Mick Perrin Worldwide presents:

Slightly Fat Features: The Slightly Fat Show

Comedy. Cabaret. Chaos. Christmas. Variety for the 21st Century


Our critics pick the best tickets around the county over the festive period:

The internationally experienced seven-man variety troupe return for an all-new blast of

comedy, magic, music and stunts. The Times 2017


20 – 23rd December – Main House – Leicester Square Theatre

Forget seeking what’s cool or the next big thing – when it comes to pure and simple entertainment,

this effervescent septet are the real deal’ Chortle ««««

‘Slightly Fat’s brand of inspired silliness is a perfect pick me up’ The Times ««««

Multi award winning troupe Slightly Fat Features are the cabaret variety show you never knew you wanted but it turns out you needed. Direct from Sunday Night at the Palladium this is the silliest variety Christmas show you will ever see!

Hard to describe until you witness it live. // Not a kids show but do bring your kids. // A Pythonesque Cirque du Soliel

So fasten your seatbelts, because the multi award winning comedy troupe are back in London for six shows only with their own special brand of riotous comedy cabaret. Variety is back and it’s Slightly Fat.

Witness ….astonishing physical skills … Delight … in orchestrated mayhem … Be astounded … by a show unashamedly stuffed with wondrous antics including:

Knife Throwing


Pint Balancing

Spoon Flinging

Incredible live music,

Circus tricksters and top turns


Flaming toothbrushes // superb sword fighting // multiple crying rabbits!!

Slightly Fat Features are the pinnacle of old school variety – updated for the 21st century and single-handedly rescuing the genre and crash landing into theatres across the globe. Shows performed by a stupefying septuplet of world-class entertainers who will leave your belly aching and demanding seconds:

“Sublime and Ridiculous” «««« This Is Cabaret


Slightly Fat Features were awarded the Prix Coup De Coeur’ at the Just For Laughs Festival (Montreal),‘ Best Show’ at the Great Yorkshire Fringe (York) and have countless standing ovations under their (buckling) belts from venues across the UK including at The Roundhouse (London), Tobacco Factory (Bristol) and at The Pleasance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival



20th December, 7:00pm

21st December, 7:00pm

22nd December ,  4:00pm & 7:00pm

23rd December, 4:00pm & 7:00pm

Tickets  £15.00


020 7734 2222

Final UK Tour of BIRDSONG







Marking the centenary of the end of the First World War, Rachel Wagstaff’s highly acclaimed adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’s best-selling novel BIRDSONG embarks on its final UK tour, opening at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds on 31 January 2018 and continuing until 17 July 2018.

The cast will be headed by Tom Kay and Madeleine Knight as Stephen Wraysford and Isabelle Azaire. Tom Kay, appeared to great acclaim in a recent production of Journey’s End, performed on a First World War battlefield at Ypres.  Madeleine Knight’s television and film credits include Poldark and Florence Foster Jenkins.  Also in the cast are Olivia Bernstone, Alice Brittain, Alfie Browne-Sykes (recently seen as Jason Roscoe in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks), Martin Carroll, Riley Carter-Millington (Kyle Slater in EastEnders) James Findlay (winner of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2010), Liz Garland, Jeffrey Harmer and Simon Lloyd.  Further casting to be announced.

BIRDSONG tells a mesmerising story of love and courage, before and during the war. In pre-war France, a young Englishman, Stephen Wraysford, embarks on a passionate and dangerous affair with the beautiful Isabelle Azaire that turns their worlds upside down.  As the war breaks out, Stephen must lead his men through the carnage of the Battle of the Somme and through the sprawling tunnels that lie deep underground.  Faced with the unprecedented horror of the war, Stephen clings to the memory of Isabelle and the idyll of his former life as his world explodes around him.

The critically acclaimed production, seen by over 200,000 people, has received 4- and 5-star reviews, with audiences calling the show ‘simply stunning’.

Sebastian Faulks said, “This is the fourth and final tour of Rachel Wagstaff’s adaptation of my novel and, as it coincides with the centenary of the Armistice in 1918, it comes with an additional air of celebration. The play has had a long life since its first incarnation in the West End in 2010 and audiences have always been warm and appreciative. I very much hope that this finale will be a glorious one.’’ 

Rachel Wagstaff is currently co-writing two screenplays with Sebastian Faulks, one for Eleventh Hour Productions, and one for Trademark Films with Bob & Co.  Flowers For Mrs Harris, a new musical written by Rachel and Richard Taylor, staged at the Crucible, Sheffield, received five-star reviews and won the UK Theatre Award for Best Musical Production 2016.  In the same year, Only The Brave, for which she wrote the book, opened at the Wales Millennium Centre.  Rachel adapted Sebastian Faulks’s novel, The Girl at the Lion d’Or, for Radio Four (Woman’s Hour), and When I Lost You, an Afternoon Play for Radio Four, co-written with Duncan Abel.  In development are stage plays with The Original Theatre Company and Wales Millennium Centre, and an original Sherlock Holmes stage play, co-written with Duncan Abel, for Tony Marion Productions.

Sebastian Faulks’s latest novel, Where My Heart Used To Beat, is published by Hutchinson.

BIRDSONG is directed by Alastair Whatley with Charlotte Peters, with set design by Victoria Spearing, lighting by Alex Wardle for Charcoalblue and sound by Dom Bilkey.

BIRDSONG is produced on tour by Anne-Marie Woodley and Jon Woodley for Birdsong Productions Ltd in association with The Original Theatre Company.

BIRDSONG is suitable for ages 12+.



31 January – 3 February          Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds                              01284 769505



6 – 10 February                       Crewe Lyceum Theatre                                              01270 368242                                                                                                        


13 – 17 February                     West Yorkshire Playhouse                                        0113 213 7700



19 – 24 February                     Cheltenham Everyman                                              01242 572573



6 – 10 March                           New Brighton Floral Pavilion                                    0151 666 0000



12 – 17 March                         New Victoria Theatre Woking                                   0844 871 7645



20 – 24 March                         Wyvern Theatre Swindon                                          01793 524481



26 – 31 Mar                             Theatre Royal Windsor                                             01753 853888



3 – 7 April                                The Lowry Salford                                                     0843 208 6000



17 – 21 April                            Nuffield Southampton Theatres                              023 8067 1771



23 – 28 April                            The Capitol Horsham                                                01403 750220



1 – 5 May                                Churchill Theatre Bromley                                        020 3285 6000



8 – 12 May                              King’s Theatre Edinburgh                                         0131 529 6000

                                                                                On sale soon


14 – 19 May                             Cambridge Arts Theatre                                            01223 503333



21 – 26 May                             Gala Theatre Durham                                                03000 266 600



29 May – 2 June                      Theatre Royal Glasgow                                             0844 871 7647

                                            On sale soon


5 – 9 June                               York Theatre Royal                                                     01904 623568

                                                                               On sale soon


11 – 16 June                           Derby Theatre                                                             01332 593959

                                                                                    On sale soon


18 – 23 June                           New Alexandra Theatre Birmingham                       0844 871 3011



25 June                                   Malvern Theatres                                                       01684 892277

                                                                              On sale soon


2 – 7 July                                 Assembly Hall Theatre Tunbridge Wells                 01892 530613



10 – 17 July                             Bristol Old Vic                                                            0117 987 7877

                                                                                    On sale soon

Flashdance The Musical Review

Grand Opera House York – until Saturday 2nd December.  Reviewed by Michelle Richardson


Based on the 1983 film Flashdance, The Grand Opera House in York presents Flashdance The Musical in all its leg warmer and neon glory, as part of its UK tour.

Set in Pittsburgh, Alex Owens (Strictly Come Dancing’s Joanne Clifton) is an apprentice welder, the best they have ever had, but she dreams of a better life and dreams of dancing. A new recruit starts at the factory who takes a shine to Alex, but he turns out to be the owner’s son Nick Hurley (Ben Adams, formerly of the 1990’s group A1), who is there to make layoffs.

To make ends meet Alex has another job, dancing in Harry’s club, but this is so far removed from where she wants to be. Harry is struggling to keep going with the seedy club down the street stealing all the punters and trying to entice all his dancers, who are all adamant that they are staying put. Alex’s friend Gloria, at a low point, is seduced away by the creepy club owner CC, with promises of fame and fortune, which unfortunately doesn’t materialise and descends into drugs and stripping, unbeknownst to her. Oblivious to what is happening to her friend Alex plucks up the courage to apply for a place in the Shipley Dance Academy, where Nick is determined to give her a boost, but she is not interested, she wants to do it all on her own.

Clifton is certainly the all-round performer, singing, dancing and acting, with some impressive abs, maybe lacking the grit of Jennifer Beals portrayal in the movie, but she still delivers. I do have a small gripe I was distracted by her black eye makeup, just too much, silly I know but I could not get it out of my head. Adams certainly entertains us with his singing, as he should, as well as his acting, with a great American accent, and he even had a few dance moves thrown in, especially at the end with the cartwheel. They had great chemistry together which showed in their duets of Here and Now and Hang On. They were both the stars of the show and worthy of their billing. The support cast was very strong, both in their acting, singing and dancing, a credit to the whole show.

The staging was quite simple, but very effective, with the use of LED screens and staircases. The cast were utilised in moving the set to create the steelworks, bar, club and dance studio to great effect. The costumes were full on 80’s, spandex, neons and leg warmers galore.

There were a few sound issues with the music at times drowning out the vocals, this improved during the second half. The plot is a bit wishy washy, and rushed but that doesn’t really matter, no-one is really there for the plot. It’s all about the dancing, the music and the story of hopes and dreams, a step out of reality.

Overall this was a great fun production with fantastic song and dance routines. All the dancers were in incredible shape and showed such athletic skill, with the high kicks and so much energy, it made me tired just watching. A crowd pleasing show that had everyone up on their feet for an extended finale. It was also great to see so many bums on seats in the theatre, proving that the 80’s still rock.