• Kully Thiarai announces her first full season as the company’s Artistic Director
  • It includes collaborations with female artists from across the south Asian diaspora, Migrations, Quarantine, Junoon, Oily Cart, Gruff Rhys and Elis James
  • Multi-artform work including new writing, contemporary dance, music, comedy, sensory theatre and visual art
  • Performances in hospitals, schools and theatres, on a boat, underwater and at locations across Wales
  • The company also welcomes its first ever Associate Artists; theatre makers Mike Pearson & Mike Brookes, digital installation artist Shanaz Gulzar and television drama executive producer Bethan Jones


National Theatre Wales is today (Thursday 23 November 2017) announcing its 2018 season of productions, including a month-long festival to celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS, two productions reflecting on the migrant experience in and beyond Wales, the first two productions in a three-year cycle of experimental works, and a work-in-progress.
Making the season announcement, Kully Thiarai, National Theatre Wales’ Artistic Director, said: “Our 2018 season is all about People and Places. We’re inviting audiences to join us in locations across Wales and take a moment to walk in others’ shoes, be they south Asian women or migrants from all over the world, NHS staff or patients past and present.
“These productions will be experimental, political, diverse and provocative. All of them will explore the human condition, what effect places have on our identities, and our impressions of others’ identities. Join us next year for this exciting new season of work, and see Wales, the world and its people through fresh eyes.”
National Theatre Wales present
Created by Mike Pearson & Mike Brookes
Locations across Wales
Theatre-makers Mike Pearson & Mike Brookes, who have created some of National Theatre Wales’ most critically-acclaimed work to date, will join the company as Associate Artists and begin an extraordinary, three-year collaboration with NTW in 2018.
The Storm Cycle will be a series of six productions conceived, designed and directed by Pearson & Brookes. These multimedia works will be performed at different locations across Wales, at a variety of scales and sizes, and will explore two key themes; truth and testimony. They will culminate in 2020 with the creation of a major, new, large-scale production for NTW’s 10th anniversary programme.
There is a storm coming…
We live in tempestuous times: an era of climatic and environmental uncertainty and of 
social and political upheaval. Perhaps it was always so.
But what new forms can theatre develop and adopt: to engage with and to reflect the temper of our times?
An urgent theatre: fit for purpose, addressing and expressing our present realities
Of living in the eye of the storm
The Storm Cycle will build on the approaches and techniques that Pearson & Brookes have brought to their trilogy of groundbreaking NTW productions, The Persians (2010), Coriolan/us (2012) and Iliad(2015), while also drawing on their own histories and experiences as theatre-makers in Wales over the past 40 years.
The works will draw on dramatic, literary, mythological, cinematic and artistic sources; historical and contemporary, local and international, fictional and documentary. They will include original texts, specially-created soundtracks, innovative scenic designs and novel physical activities.
Tickets for the first two productions in the cycle are on sale from today.
STORM.1: NOTHING REMAINS THE SAME will be a poetic yet cinematic reimagining of the first two books of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
STORM.2: THINGS COME APART will be a vivid evocation of the Cardiff riots of June 1919 – as reported in the local press (‘Wild Scenes at Cardiff’, South Wales Echo, Thursday 12 June 1919).
Mike Pearson was a member of Transitions (1971-72) and R.A.T. Theatre (1972–73), and an artistic director of Cardiff Laboratory Theatre (1973–80) and Brith Gof (1981–97). He currently makes performance as a solo artist, with artist Mike Brookes as Pearson/Brookes (1997–present), and with senior performers’ group Good News From The Future. For NTW, he co-directed The Persians (2010),Coriolan/us (2012) and Iliad (2015). He is author of Theatre/Archaeology (2001); In Comes I: Performance, Memory and Landscape (2006); Site-specific Performance (2010); MIckery Theater: an imperfect archaeology (2011); and Marking Time: performance, archaeology and the city (2013). He is Emeritus Professor of Performance Studies, Aberystwyth University.
Mike Brookes is an award-winning artist, director and designer, whose work has always bridged media. He co-founded the performance collective Pearson/Brookes in 1997, focusing on intermedial and located performance work, most recently co-creating a series of acclaimed large-scale works in collaboration with NTW. Over the past decade, his work has centred on the production of context-specific and interventional public art works within his long-term collaboration with artist Rosa Casado; their work together having been widely commissioned and presented across Europe, Asia, Australasia, South America, and the USA. 
Listings Information
Dates: 15-17 February 2018
Time: 8pm

Location: Pafiliwn Bont, Pontrhydfendigaid, Ceredigion
Tickets: £10, £7.50 conc and £5 for preview (15 February)
Dates: 21-24 March 2018
Time: 8pm (plus 3pm matinee on 24 March)
Location: The Tabernacl Church, Cardiff city centre
Tickets: £10, £7.50 conc and £5 for preview (21 March)
Box Office
By phone: 029 2037 1689
National Theatre Wales with Junoon present
Created by Kully Thiarai, Sameera Iyengar and other female artists from the South Asian diaspora
Date: 20 April 2018
Time: 8pm
Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
Sisters is a conversation across continents about the richness, complexity and diversity of being a south Asian woman today. Stories recalled and half-remembered, embedded in objects, left behind on trains and in airport lounges. Journeys and conversations between women in India and Wales.
Sisters is us at our best, our worst, our strongest, our weakest. Unadorned and visible, we just are.
This all-female work-in-progress by leading British-Asian and Indian artists aims to hold a mirror up to life as a south Asian woman today, wherever she lives; the echoes and the contradictions, the (in)visibility and the comradeship, all told with playfulness, honesty and humour.
Sisters is part of India Wales, a major season of artistic collaboration between the two countries to mark the UK-India Year of Culture, and is supported by British Council Wales, the Arts Council of Wales and Wales Arts International.
Director Kully Thiarai has worked in the performing arts for many years as a theatre maker, Artistic Director and arts consultant. Her early career was largely in new writing with national touring companies like Red Ladder Theatre Company and Major Road, both based in Yorkshire. She has since led a number of organisations and companies including as Artistic Director of Contact Theatre, Manchester, Leicester Haymarket Theatre, Theatre Writing Partnership and Red Ladder Theatre Company; commissioning, producing and directing work nationally and internationally. Kully has been Artistic Director and CEO of National Theatre Wales since May 2016.
Sameera Iyengar is co-founder of Junoon, an organisation that focuses on creating access to theatre and the arts. She is also currently Course Director of SMART (Strategic Management in the Art of Theatre), a capacity-building course designed specifically for theatre-makers in India, offered under the aegis of the India Theatre Forum (ITF). As a core member of the ITF till 2014, Sameera was involved in diverse efforts to strengthen the theatre environment in India. Previous to Junoon, as Director of Projects at Prithvi Theatre, Sameera was involved with running the Prithvi Theatre Festivals and Summertime programme of shows and workshops for children. She has co-edited Our Stage: The Pleasures and Perils of Theatre Practice in India Today (Tulika 2009). Her PhD thesis was Performing Presence: feminism and theatre in India.
Junoon seek to weave arts experiences into the fabric of society. Working closely with artists from theatre and allied arts fields, they strive to build a world imbued with the spirit of the arts, a world where curiosity, imagination, empathy, resolve, courage and possibility are celebrated, nurtured and valued. Junoon is about creating access to theatre and the arts. Bringing the arts into the spaces of our daily lives. Bridging the gap between arts, artists and audiences. They do this through a variety of arts experiences and engagements carefully designed and curated. Engagements include free public programmes as well as programmes designed for specific audiences. Junoon work with one eye on the present and another on the future, with a strong focus on sharing the arts with children and young people as well.
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. They create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. They work in more than 100 countries and their 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes. The British Council is a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant-in-aid provides less than 20% of their turnover which last year was £864m. The rest of its revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All of its work is in pursuit of its charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.
Wales Arts International is the international team of Arts Council of Wales. It aims to increase the value of international cultural exchange to Wales by facilitating and supporting opportunities for international artistic collaboration and market development. Wales Arts International work closely with Welsh Government, British Council and other UK and international partners.
National Theatre Wales & Quarantine present
with Wales Millennium Centre
Part of Festival of Voice 2018
June 2018
Dance House, Cardiff
English is spoken by 1.75 billion people worldwide – that’s one in every four. Non-native speakers far outnumber first-language English speakers.
What happens to your sense of self when you move someplace where you don’t really know how to say who you are?
It’s said that by the end of this century, we’ll have lost more than half the world’s languages. In June,National Theatre Wales – which itself operates in a bilingual country – will collaborate with Quarantine to create a brand new production exploring language, migration and identity, how we learn to speak, and how we learn to listen.
Quarantine was formed in 1998 by artists Simon Banham, Richard Gregory and Renny O’Shea. Over the past 19 years, the Manchester-based company have developed an international reputation for their pioneering work in re-shaping who gets seen and heard in performance, and are widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading contemporary theatre companies. Working with a shifting constellation of collaborators, the company makes theatre and other public events that are characterised by their intimacy, fragility and a playful instinct to place everyday life side-by-side with moments of rare, crafted beauty. Quarantine work with virtuosic performers and with people who have never done anything like this before – electricians, philosophers, families, soldiers, chefs, children, florists, opera singers and countless others.
Wales Millennium Centre is the nation’s home for the performing arts, situated at the heart of Cardiff Bay. One of the UK’s top cultural attractions, the Centre showcases Welsh creativity and talents, provides an extensive programme of world class entertainment, partners with international artistic companies, and offers creative learning opportunities that aim to increase accessibility to art and culture.
Created by Wales Millennium Centre, Festival of Voice Cardiff is an international arts festival that celebrates the voice in all its forms. Festival of Voice is about discovery through participation and immersion – about finding voices; bringing artists and audiences together to hear and be heard. The festival commissions new work and brings together unique collaborations in contemporary and classical music, opera, theatre, talks and visual art. 
July 2018
Locations across Wales
On 5 July 1948, one of the biggest ideas ever to come out of Wales was born. The brainchild of Ebbw Vale MP and the UK’s Health Minister Aneurin “Nye” Bevan, the National Health Service was a revolutionary idea, formed along with the Welfare State during Britain’s austere post-war period, and under the principle of collective responsibility.
National Theatre Wales will celebrate the NHS’s 70th birthday in July 2018 with a month-long festival, inspired by some of the founders, staff and patients of this unique institution. This countrywide tribute to the NHS will feature seven multi-platform productions and events, made and performed live across the country and online:
  1. Theatre company Oily Cart will create Splish Splash; a multi-sensory, underwater, touring production for young people aged 3-19, performed in schools and hospitals. There will be three versions: one for those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, another for those on the autism spectrum, and a third for the deafblind. Their aim is to present a watery wonderland, a magical space where every sense is delighted. Hydro-therapy pools will be transformed by underwater lighting, clouds of bubbles drifting from below, curtains of perfumed spray, and live music played on floating pipes, with a sound that can be felt as much as heard.
Writer Tim Webb is Artistic Director of Oily Cart, and over the past 36 years has written and directed over eighty shows for the company. Webb co-founded the company with Musical Director Max Reinhardt, who has written and arranged the music in every production and performed in many shows. Reinhardt has co-composed the music for Splish Splash with percussionist George Panda, who will perform live on a specially constructed, marimba-like set of tuned pipes that float on the water. Designer Jens Cole will join the Oily Cart team again, having most recently worked with the company on their acclaimed show Kubla Khan.
Since 1981 Oily Cart has been taking its unique blend of theatre to children and young people in schools and venues across the UK. Challenging accepted definitions of theatre and audience, they create innovative, multi-sensory and highly interactive productions for the very young and for young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. By transforming everyday environments into colourful, tactile ‘wonderlands’, Oily Cart invite audiences to join them in a world of the imagination. Using hydro-therapy pools and trampolines, aromatherapy, video projection, and puppetry together with a vast array of multi-sensory techniques, they create original and highly specialised theatre for young audiences.
  1. Love Letters to the NHS will be a series of five, new, solo shows written by five writers and performed in community spaces the length and breadth of Wales. These extended monologues will be intimate, heartfelt love letters to an institution with which all of us have had – or will have – a relationship, at some stage of our lives.
  2. National Theatre Wales will team up with arts organisation Migrations, French choreographer and dancer Julie Nioche and choreographers Filiz Sizanli and Mustafa Kaplan from Turkey, to createTouch, a site-specific, interactive and tactile dance piece about the therapeutic aspects of dance and the social place of the body. Made and performed in a medical facility in north Wales, the piece will be made with local, professional and non-professional dancers.
Founded in 2004, Migrations brings international contemporary arts to Wales while developing innovative collaborations, commissions and partnerships in Wales and further afield. To create unique experiences rooted in Wales, they collaborate with challenging and inventive artists, local communities and groups, national and international partners.
Migrations’ projects come in all sort of sizes and shapes, from large-scale site-specific commissions to dance film production with 100 amateur participants and interactive installations, variously using empty shops, rural landscapes and urban architecture as a stage.
Julie Nioche created A.I.M.E. in 2007 with a team of teacher-researchers, community leaders and active practitioners. The association’s mission statement speaks of its goal, the creation of choreographic works and the development of a citizen art, consisting of sharing and touring dance and the knowledge linked to this practice, notably somatic practices in the socio-medical sector. Seeing another way of considering a space for senses in our daily lives, she anchors her projects in different environments, so that they may take diverse forms and be seen by as many kinds of audiences as possible. She steps away from theatres in order to adapt to different spaces, producing many in situ projects.
Choreographers and co-founders of TALdans, Mustafa Kaplan and Filiz Sizanly explore what two, interacting, brave bodies could produce as mixed mechanisms within an unstructured logic, while making cautious physical discoveries. They have produced numerous works which have toured extensively internationally and share a special history with Migrations as they launched its very first season, and performed again in a site-specific performance for the landscape with Simon Whitehead in 2007.
  1. Gruff Rhys will write, record and release a new song paying tribute to the NHS on its 70th birthday. Keep an eye on NTW’s website for more information about where and when to hear it first.
Gruff Rhys is known around the world for his work as a solo artist as well as a singer and songwriter with Super Furry Animals and Neon Neon, and for his collaborations with Gorillaz, Mogwai, Dangermouse and Sparklehorse amongst others. The latest album by Neon Neon, Praxis Makes Perfect,based on the life of radical Italian publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, was performed as an immersive gig, produced by National Theatre Wales and toured in 2013. In 2014, Gruff released his groundbreaking multimedia project American Interior – book, app, film and album. American Interior is published by Penguin and was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2014 and shortlisted for The Gordon Burn Prize 2014. That same year, he wrote the soundtrack of Andy Goddard’s film Set Fire to the Stars. More recently. Gruff wrote music and lyrics for, and performed in, NTW’s The Insatiable, Inflatable Candylion, performed in Cardiff, Christmas 2015.
  1. Laughter is the Best Medicine will be a night of comedy, compèred by actor and comedian Elis James, at the Lyric Theatre in his hometown of Carmarthen.
Carmarthen-born Elis James has been performing professionally on the UK comedy circuit for over a decade. As well as a seasoned stand up, Elis currently can be seen alongside Josh Widdicombe in hit BBC sitcom Josh. He’s also recently starred in his own series on BBC2 with Miles Jupp (Jupp and James) plus numerous appearances on Mock the Week8 Out of 10 Cats and Dave’s One Night Stand. Elis is also the co-host of the Elis James and John Robins Show on Saturday afternoons on Radio X, and presented Elis in Euroland for BBC Radio Wales in 2016.
  1. Following National Theatre Wales’ 2017 listening project, in which they gathered stories about people’s experiences with the NHS in Wales, one of the seven events will be a participative, live event reflecting the breadth of experiences and stories told from across Wales. This event will incorporate digital storytelling, sound and music, and celebrate the human stories that put the heart into our National Health Service. It’s not too late to send in your stories about your experiences (as a patient, relative or staff member) of the NHS in Wales. Get in touch…
  2. And finally, NTW will commission a visual artist to make a brand new work inspired by the volume of data generated by NHS Wales. This work could sit in a museum, online, a found space, a hospital site or somewhere we have yet to imagine. More information about this opportunity can be found at
National Theatre Wales present
Written by Louise Wallwein
Directed by Kully Thiarai
Designed by Camilla Clark
September 2018
Tenby, Pembrokeshire
An immersive experience written by poet and playwright Louise Wallwein, The Tide Whisperer will tackle the global phenomenon of displacement and mass movement. Record numbers are on the move all over the world. What is it like to leave your home, and to live with the uncertainty of ever finding another?
The Tide Whisperer is full of stories, forever a nomad, having travelled the oceans and been carried by the tide to fresh new shores.
On the shores of Tenby, the audience gathers. The tide is turning fast and a storm is coming. The future feels uncertain – humanity is on the move and seeking refuge. Will we be met by kindness or rejection; offered sanctuary or forced to survive the perilous, treacherous sea?
The Tide Whisperer, in which audiences will take to the sea to explore the coast of Pembrokeshire by boatwill be made with a leading Welsh creative team including award-winning composer John Hardy, sound designer Mike Beer and theatre designer Camilla Clark, who grew up in the area.
A renowned and award-winning poet, playwright and performer from Manchester, Louise Wallwein has made a name for herself as an explosive artist that detonates her audiences’ imaginations. Louise was brought up in 13 different children’s homes and wrote her first play at the age of 17. Her career took off in 1998 when she performed an award-winning one-woman show on the wing of a World War II Shackleton reconnaissance aircraft, and her various experiences as a cleaner, club promoter and dancer at the Hacienda and activist for organisations such as Anti-Clause 28 and Viraj Mendis’ defence campaign have undoubtedly shaped her. Three radio plays have been broadcast by the BBC. Theatre includes Sydney Opera House, Royal Exchange, Contact Manchester and HOME mcr. She has written several outdoor spectacular shows for Walk The Plank. Glue, her acclaimed one-woman show is currently on tour was broadcast this year, when Louise was a BBC Contains Strong Language resident poet in Hull 17. Glue The Extended Remix published by Smith Doorstop is Louise’s first volume of poetry and is now on sale.
As well as Mike Pearson & Mike Brookes, television drama executive producer Bethan Jones and digital installation artist, stage designer and producer Shanaz Gulzar will become Associate Artists for National Theatre Wales. Bethan will be helping to develop new writing projects and broadcast opportunities, while Shanaz will focus on digital projects.
After training at RWCM&D, Bethan Jones worked as an actor in theatre and television, eventually turning to theatre directing. As Artistic Director first of Dalier Sylw, which evolved into Script Cymru, she developed and directed numerous productions and collaborated with Theatr Clwyd, Paines Plough, the Traverse Theatre and Soho Theatre. Theatre directing led to directing television drama for BBC Wales and S4C, and Bethan joined BBC Wales in 2002 as Producer in charge of local drama output. From 2005, as Executive Producer at BBC Wales Drama Department, Bethan worked on a number of award-winning television dramas including Merlin, Sherlock, A Poet in New York, The Long Walk to Finchley, Room at The Top, Hamlet, War and Peace and most recently Aberfan: The Green Hollow. Bethan left BBC Wales in May 2017 and joined CUBA Pictures, where she is developing new network drama.
Shanaz Gulzar is best known for creating work across disciplines to make innovative and challenging interventions. She works as a digital installation artist and stage designer also working as producer for specialist projects. Her work explores interactions between new technologies, film, theatre, place and identity. She has a clear and distinct artistic voice with a vision for producing ambitious, contemporary art that is accessible to both arts and non-arts audiences. Recent work includes Made in India (Tamasha Theatre), Mother Tongues from Farther Lands (at Alchemy Festival, The Southbank), Calderland (509 Arts Outdoor site specific Community Opera at The Piece Hall, Halifax) and HOME1947 with double Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen ObaId Chinoy for Manchester International Festival.

A West End Christmas – for TheatreMAD the Make A Difference Trust

The Make A Difference Trust is delighted to announce its 14th annual A West End Christmas which will take place at St Paul’s Church Covent Garden on Sunday 3rdDecember at 7.30pm.

The evening will be hosted by Christopher Biggins, who will be joined by the lovely Lesley Joseph.

A sparkling spectacle of stars and song, will feature  some of the top West End shows including Kinky Boots , Five Guys Named Moe, Young Frankenstein, Phantom of the Opera, Lion King and 42nd Street who will be raising the roof with their unique interpretation of Christmas songs both contemporary and classic. Also joining the line-up are the West End Christmas Singers.

The show will feature Jane Milligan, Cedric Neal, Julie Legrand, Maria Kesselman, David Shannon Lucy O’Byrne, Robert Bannon Carolyn Maitland, Alasdair Harvey, Gemma Sutton The Mellor Sisters, Jo Napthine, Shona White, Julie Atherton, Janique Charles, Christopher Howell & Jasna Ivir  . They will be joined by The Royal Academy of Music Post Grads, the Big Noise Gospel choir and our very own MAD Ensemble and West End Christmas Choir.

Produced by TheatreMAD the event raises funds for the Make A Difference Trust, a UK based charity with a vision of a world free from HIV and AIDS. Building on the legacy of 25 years of fundraising by the Theatre industry, they continue to make the vision a reality having distributed over £1.6million in grants to support individuals experiencing hardship across the UK as well as over £1million to support projects with their UK and international partners. For further information about the Make A Difference Trust please visit

For tickets visit:











AP Enterprises and Collective Productions are delighted to announce a national tour of the award-winning smash-hit musical “ROCK OF AGES” opening at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley on 20 September 2018. Tour schedule below with further touring dates and casting to be announced soon.

“ROCK OF AGES” is an LA love story lavished with over 25 classic rock anthems. Lose yourself in a city and a time where the dreams are as big as the hair, and yes, they can come true!

This hilarious musical comedy features the songs, including We Built This City, The Final Countdown, Here I Go Again, Can’t Fight this Feeling and I Want To Know What Love Is, played loud and proud by an awesome live band.


Now a global smash with extensive runs in London’s West End, on Broadway and in Las Vegas, the show has also been made in to a star studded Hollywood movie.

“ROCK OF AGES” has a book by Chris D’Arienzo and Arrangements and Orchestrations by Ethan Popp.

ROCK OF AGES – UK Tour 2018


The Churchill Theatre, Bromley



Manchester Opera House



Wycombe Swan Theatre



Darlington Hippodrome



Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin



Liverpool Empire Theatre



New Theatre, Cardiff



New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham



The Orchard Theatre, Dartford



Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield



Relive One Of Dickens’ Best Loved Tales As Lovehistory Present The Ghosts Of Christmas Past


After its success in 2016, Lovehistory return this Christmas with their festive production The Ghosts of Christmas Past, coming to Liverpool’s St George’s Hall from Monday 4 – Wednesday 13 December.
The creative minds behind 2015’s Dickensian Christmastime and the ever-popular Murder at St George’s Hall and Catacombs of Liverpool’s Darkest History series present their latest immersive promenade production.
The Ghosts of Christmas Past will once again delve into the depths of a Dickensian world, bringing to life some of the most beloved characters from much loved novelist Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – with a specific focus on the darker elements of one of the authors’ best loved classics.
It is Christmas Eve, and as the old skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge is about to retire to his bed contemplating his fortune, he is disturbed by the haunting presence of the ghosts of his past.
Go back to Victorian times as the performance journeys through Ebenezer’s chilling encounter, as he is urged to heed the spirits messages and change his ways.
The passages and cells below St George’s Hall provide the backdrop from which Lovehistory recreate the dark underworld that Dickens so often explored in his works – the perfect setting for these ghostly tales, presented by professional actors.
LoveHistory have been setting a trend for live promenade theatre experiences for over five years and this Christmas special will provide a truly authentic Dickensian experience.
Visitors will encounter the old miser himself Ebenezer Scrooge, the humble and poor Cratchit family, and of course the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, as well as some other key characters from other Dickens’ novels.
This immersive, theatrical experience will provide festive fun with a difference, with a few surprises in store too.
Judy McLean, Creative Director of Lovehistory said: “These tours were hugely popular last year, and we are so lucky to be able to present the production in this iconic building which has such a strong connection with Charles Dickens himself – who often held readings here.
“It is very fitting that we can once again bring one of his most loved tales and some of his most infamous characters to life, transporting audiences to a bygone era.”
St George’s Hall Manager, Alan Smith added: “We are delighted to once again welcome back Lovehistory to St Georges Hall – their promenade productions always prove incredibly popular with our audiences.
“A Christmas Carol is such a timeless classic tale – known by children and adults alike and it represents the essence of Christmas; The Ghosts of Christmas Past will offer a wonderful Dickensian adventure for the whole family this Christmas.”
Can Ebenezer redeem himself before it’s too late? Be sure to book your tickets and come along to St George’s Hall this Christmas to find out!
Age Restriction: 10+
The Ghosts of Christmas Past
Monday 4 – Wednesday 13 December 2017
Times: 6:00pm / 7:00pm / 8:00pm
Tickets: £16.50 (inc. booking fee) plus £2.25 fulfilment fee per booking
St George’s Hall, Heritage Centre Entrance, St John’s Lane, Liverpool.
Purchase in person at TicketQuarter, Echo Arena Liverpool, Kings Dock, online or on 0844 800 0410.

Little Women Extends Its Run at Hope Mill Theatre Due To Popular Demand!



Five Star Rave Reviews and Standing Ovations for

European Premiere at Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre


The European premiere of Little Women The Musical has opened to five star rave reviews and standing ovations at Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre.


And today (Thursday, 23 November) it’s been announced that an extra week has been added to the show’s original four-week run to meet high demand.

The show will now continue to wow audiences at the award-winning Ancoats venue until Saturday 16 December.


Little Women The Musical is brought to the Manchester stage by the successful collaboration team of Katy Lipson of Aria Entertainment and Joseph Houston and William Whelton of Hope Mill Theatre.

Together, they have already enjoyed critical acclaim by bringing the classic musicals of Parade, Hair, Yank! and Pippin to the city in their quest to revive classic musicals – some of which have never before been seen in the UK.

The production has been heralded a huge success. Five star rave reviews by critics and standing ovations from theatregoers have all played a vital role in high demand from the public for the run to be extended.

Joseph Houston from Hope Mill Theatre commented: “What an incredible opening for the show – five star rave reviews, standing ovations, sold out shows and now, due to popular demand, we’ve added an extra week to an already strong four-week run. Little Women The Musical is receiving such a warm welcome for its European premiere in Manchester. If theatregoers are looking for a show that’s different this festive season, they will certainly enjoy this story of family, love and hope. Join us at Hope Mill Theatre this Christmastime for this wonderful production.”



The Times ★★★★

‘Impressive…boundless energy…a triumph’


The Stage ★★★★

‘Compelling and empowering’


The Reviews Hub ★★★★★

‘Real gem of a musical’


Sincerely, Amy ★★★★★

‘An absolute triumph in storytelling’


British Theatre Guide

‘Very worthy European premiere’


North West End ★★★★

‘The cast overall performed impressively…it rivalled that of West End productions’

Little Women The Musical is based on Louisa May Alcott’s captivating 150-year-old book, which follows the adventures of Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy – the four March sisters.

Jo is the second eldest daughter and an aspiring writer. She receives yet another rejection from a publisher. But when her friend, Professor Bhaer, tells Jo she can do better by making her stories more personal, she weaves the story of how she and her sisters grew up in Civil War America – resulting in a tale of self-discovery, heartache, hope and everlasting love.

The Manchester production is co-produced by Matthew Hopton from Knockhardy Productions;directed by Bronagh Lagan; choreographed by Iona Holland; cast by Jane Deitch; design from Nik Corrall; lighting design by Ben M Rogers and sound by Calum Robinson.

The stunning score for Little Women The Musical is by Grammy Award winner Jason Howland. The lyrics are by Mindi Dickstein, and book by Allan Knee. Performed by arrangement with Musical Theatre International (Europe) Limited.


Facebook:       Hope Mill Theatre

Twitter:           @hopemilltheatr1 @LittleWomenMCR @AriaEnts @Knockhardy




Now running until Saturday 16 December 2017

Hope Mill Theatre

Hope Mill, Ancoats, 113 Pollard Street

Manchester, M4 7JA



Tickets from £16

Tickets are on sale via




English Touring Theatre and Mercury Theatre Colchester present

The Weir

By Conor McPherson

On tour:
23 January – 10 March 2018

Cast: Louis DempseySean MurrayJohn O’Dowd, Sam O’Mahony and Natalie Radmall-Quirke

Director: Adele Thomas; Designer: Madeleine Girling; Lighting Designer: Lee Curran

Composition and Sound Designer: Richard Hammarton; Casting: Ginny Schiller


English Touring Theatre today announces additional tour dates of their production of Conor McPherson’s Olivier Award-winning play The Weirco-produced with Mercury Theatre Colchester. Following the success of the play’s current run, English Touring Theatre have extended the tour into 2018, beginning on 23 January at the Lowry Theatre in Salford before touring to the Minerva Theatre, Chichester; Theatr Clwyd, Mold; Kings TheatreEdinburgh and Richmond Theatre, London before completing its run at Cambridge Arts Theatre in March. The full cast – Louis Dempsey (Finbar), Sean Murray (Jack), John O’Dowd (Jim), Sam O’Mahony (Brendan) and Natalie Radmall-Quirke (Valerie) – are returning for the tour which forms part of the ETT’s 25thanniversary season. Full details of the season will be announced shortly.

In a small Irish town, the locals exchange stories round the crackling fire of Brendan’s pub to while away the hours one stormy night. As the beer and whisky flows, the arrival of a young stranger, haunted by a secret from her past, turns the tales of folklore into something more unsettling. One story, however, is more chilling and more real than any of them could have ever imagined.

A shadowy tale delving into the dark corners of human lives, The Weir is a co-production between English Touring Theatre and Mercury Theatre Colchester.



Conor McPherson is a playwright and screenwriter. He has won several awards including the George Devine Award, Stewart Parker Award and an Olivier Award. His credits for theatre include The Veil (National Theatre), The Dance of Death (Trafalgar Studios), The Night Alive (Donmar Warehouse, Atlantic Theater, New York) and The Girl from the North Country (Old Vic). For film, his credits include The Eclipse and Strangers and his television work includes Paula. He is currently working on the screenplay Double Cross.


Louis Dempsey plays Finbar. His theatre credits include Stones in His Pockets (Vienna’s English Theatre), The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare’s Globe), Juno and the Paycock (Liverpool Everyman/Bristol Old Vic Co-Production), The Seafarer (Perth Theatre and Lyric Belfast), Some Voices (Young Vic), Wing And A Prayer (BAC), Last Apache Reunion (The Tobacco Factory) and Brothers Of The Brush (Liverpool Everyman). Television credits include Dream TeamSea Of SoulsOmagh and The Bench. For film, his credits include Us and ThemLegendCloud AtlasGrabbersSix BulletsRevolverThe Last DropSpivsTroy and Shooters.


Sean Murray plays Jack. Credits for theatre include, A Tale of Two Cities (Royal & Derngate, Northampton and UK tour), The Hook (Royal & Derngate, Northampton), The Armour (Defibrillator at the Langham Hotel), Holy Warriors (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Double and The Tempest (Theatre Royal, Bath), Romeo and Juliet and The Importance of Being Earnest (Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh), Othello, The Comedy of Errors, Tartuffe, School for Scandal, The Rivals and The Life of Galileo(Bristol Old Vic), A Woman Killed with KindnessThe Phoenician WomenRomeo and Juliet and Two Gentlemen of VeronaThe Cherry Orchard (RSC), Jane Eyre (The Ambassadors Theatre, Trafalgar Studios 1), The Terrible Voice of Satan (Royal Court), The Crucible (UK tour) and Buried Child (National Theatre). Television credits include Robin Hood, Dunkirk, Without Motive andBerkeley Square. Film credits include HamletA Rather English Marriage and Finding Mallory. Regular appearances on BBC Radio 4.


John O’Dowd plays Jim. His theatre credits include Common (National Theatre), Stonebreaker (Lyric Theatre Hammersmith), The Head of Red O Brien (Truewest), For The Birds (New York Fringe). Television credits include Moone Boy 1,2 & 3Don’t You Know Who I Am, Capturing Santa, The Rahilly, Single Handed, Maru and Mobs Mheiricea. Film credits include Jimmys Hall and Don’t You Know Who I Am.


Sam O’Mahony plays Brendan. His theatre credits include Pride and Prejudice and The Mariner(Gate Theatre, Dublin), The Silver Tassie (National Theatre), Oh What A Lovely War (Northern Stage), The Good Soul Of Szechuan (Young Vic), Monged (Belgrade Coventry), King John, Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet (RSC). Television credits include Guilt and X Company.


Natalie Radmall-Quirke plays Valerie. Her theatre credits include The Winter’s Tale (Cheek by Jowl), Martyr (Actors Touring Company), The Playboy of the Western World (Southwark Playhouse), Romeo and Juliet, Celebration and Jane Eyre (Gate Theatre, Dublin), Twelfth Night, No Romance, The Plough and the Stars, The Comedy of Errors, An Ideal Husband (Abbey Theatre, Dublin), Steel Magnolias (Gaiety Theatre, Dublin), Mud (Gate Theatre, London), I Witness (Finborough Theatre), Footfalls (Players Theatre) and Crave (Samuel Beckett Centre and Studiobühne, Cologne). Film credits include Davin and The Canal.


Adele Thomas directs. Her previous directing credits include Thomas TallisThe Oresteia and The Knight of the Burning Pestle (Shakespeare’s Globe), Unusual Unions (Royal Court), The Bloody Ballad of Mary Maid (Soho Theatre, UK tour), Apparitions of Spirits – With The Forsyte Sisters (Gagglebabble, Theatr Iolo), Write Here (Traverse Theatre), My People (National Theatre of Wales), The Blue Lenses and Under Milk Wood (Royal & Derngate, Northampton), Cityscape: Deluge/No VacanciesThe Push and the Pull and An Enemy For The People (Sherman Cymru). Her opera work includes Cosi Fan Tutte (Northern Ireland Opera) and Senendd (Welsh National Opera).



English Touring Theatre is one of the UK’s most successful and influential touring companies, winning the UK Theatre Awards Best Touring Production in 2014, 2015 & 2016. The company works with leading artists to stage an eclectic mix of new and classic work for audiences throughout the UK and overseas; theatre that is thrilling, popular and engaged in the contemporary world. At the heart of everything ETT does is the passionately held belief that everyone, wherever they are in the country, deserves to have access to the very best theatre. In 2017 ETT toured to 40 venues throughout the UK. The company’s co-production of Othello, with Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, ran at Wilton’s Music Hall in May and Sam Holcroft’s Rules for Living and Conor McPherson’s The Weir toured nationwide in the Autumn.



The Mercury Theatre Colchester is the most active producing theatre in East Anglia, and is a vital centre of excellence in the East’s growing creative economy. The Mercury exists to put theatre at the heart of the community it serves and to make work in Colchester that reaches audiences and generates critical attention regionally and nationally.


The Weir                                                                                                                                                             Listings



The Lowry, Salford Quays

23 – 27 January 2018

Box Office: 0843 208 6000

Minerva Theatre, Chichester

30 January – 3 February 2018

Box Office: 01243 781312


Theatr Clwyd

13 – 17 February 2018

Box Office: 01352 701521

Kings Theatre, Edinburgh

20 – 24 February 2018

Box Office: 0131 529 6000

Richmond Theatre, London

27 February – 3 March 2018

Box Office: 0844 871 7651


Cambridge Arts Theatre

6 – 10 March 2018

Box Office: 01223 503333

Crazy For You Review

Mayflower, Southampton – until 25 November 2017.  Reviewed by Karen Millington Burnet
A real shock! It was high energy from the outset…great music and the choreography was outstanding; at one point I counted seventeen people on stage at once. Of the two lead actors, Tom Chambers who plays Bobby Childs in this musical was a class act, with superb dancing; “obviously his days on Strictly Come dancing were well spent”.  He also sang well; a man of many talents. He was a very good match with Charlotte Wakefield playing the part of Polly Baker. She played a strong character and was loud and brash…and sang and danced wonderfully with her co star Tom Chambers.
Constant, quick-fire one-liners…the humour was well timed and kept coming.
The first half seemed to be over in minutes…as the pace of the show just did not ease. The musicians intertwined their roles on stage with ease …the music was toe tapping and high energy. Not-only did they play their instruments well, they danced, sang and acted with incredible talent in this musical by the acclaimed George & Ira Gershwin.   The play is a typical love story…and it was easy enough to follow and predict the story-line.  We came away but feeling energised and chirpy.
This gets a 5 out of 5 for me as I came away humming the music in the car on the way home.
The whole performance was so wonderful…I didn’t even notice the beautiful Mayflower theatre as my gaze was fixated from one scene to the next.
Amazing! We were left exhausted for all the fun.

Wait Until Dark Review

York Theatre Royal – until Saturday 25th November.  Reviewed by Michelle Richardson


The Original Theatre Company in association with Eastbourne Theatres present Frederick Knott’s play Wait Until Dark, which is probably best known for the 1967 film staring Audrey Hepburn, a role for which she was nominated for an Oscar .

The story is set in Notting Hill in the 1960’s, all staged in a downstairs flat. It follows Susy, who is blind and in fact is played for the first time by a blind actress (Katrina Jones), who has been left alone in her flat and becomes the target of 3 conmen, who are searching for a doll which is packed with heroin.

Mike (Jack Ellis) and Croker (Graeme Brookes) have been summoned to flat by Roat (Tim Treloar) and are somewhat reluctantly persuaded to help him retrieve the aforementioned doll. Mike manages to worm his way into her home convincing Susy that he is an old friend of her husband Sam. Croker is introduced as a policeman and the menacing Roat is first his father and then the father’s son, excusing his father’s behaviour. Confusing? I certainly thought so, especially with him running up and down the stairs, slamming doors and I did get a bit lost of who he was pretending to be, it all got a bit too much during the first half of the play.

Jones delivers an ok performance, but it was a bit over the top during the hostage scene with Roat and I did find that quite off putting. Ellis was affable as Mick and not threatening at all, not sure if he was meant to be. I did slowly warm to his character and did believe his attack of conscious towards the end. Treloar was certainly deranged as Roat, but at times his accent was all over the place and I wasn’t sure if he was even meant to have one, he was menacing though.

With a staircase in a basement flat, and period fixtures and fittings the staging is spot on. The lighting is crucial to this show and we were warned beforehand that there would be sections where there would be complete darkness. Obviously, the lighting, or should I say lack of, as well as the flickering strip light, is intended to emphasis the drama right up until the very end, and it does help the suspense.

After struggling with the first half with not being quite sure what was happening and why, I’m glad to say that after the interval the plot was less confusing and I did enjoy it more. There were some decent performances but the story was just a bit of nonsense and implausible, lacking in the suspense it was craving for, average at best.


Beautiful the Carole King Musical Review

Hull New Theatre – until 25 November 2017.  Reviewed by Catherine McWilliams


“Girls don’t write music, they teach it” says Carole King’s mother at the beginning of this musical, thankfully of course she ignored this piece of advice and we follow her progress from the young 16 year old selling her first piece of music to a performance at the Carnegie Hall as a multi Grammy award winner. And what music it is, from the early hits such as “It might as well rain until September” to “You’ve got a friend” and the stunning “Beautiful”.

Bronté Barbé is superb as Carole King, her voice is powerful and indeed beautiful, yet it is also full of pathos and poignancy. She is totally believable as the gauche young school girl growing into the married successful songwriter, who still somehow does not quite believe in herself. She never faltered in showing Carole King’s emotions and made us feel with her.

Grant McConvey as Gerry Goffin was convincing in his relationship with Carole, appearing almost contemptuous towards her as the relationship broke down. The audience last night was clearly fully immersed in the story, as when Carole finally told Gerry Goffin enough was enough there was a huge round of applause!

The story also includes the songs of Carole’s friends and song writing rivals Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann (played with just the right touch by Amy Ellen Richardson and Matthew Gonsalves), who add humour to the story.

The music is always at the centre of this production and the ensemble do a fabulous job of bringing it alive and evoking the period in which it was produced. There is slick dancing from “The Drifters” and “Shirelles” whilst “Little Eva” leads the Locomotion across the stage. Scenes and songs change rapidly and smoothly, the lighting and scenery taking us from office to homes to “on the roof”. A special mention should go to the costumes which accurately depicted the passing years.

Full of timeless music and superb talent, this show is definitely one to go and see.

Cilla The Musical Review

Palace Theatre, Manchester – until 25 November 2017.  Reviewed by Marcus Richardson


Cilla Black was an iconic woman who most of us know either from TV or her music career, died suddenly from a fall two years ago.  The musical Cilla is a homage to her life and the start of her career. We see young Cilla just an average scouse girl in the 1960s, and we follow her rise to stardom. The musical included songs by her and the Beatles who she had close connections with for a long time.

I cannot put into words how good Cilla was, we are given the best vocals you will ever hear from all the cast, but Kara Lily Hayworth (Cilla) played the role with so much perfection and finesse, I’m sure Cilla would be pleased, with how she sang and just captured her iconic character that the nation loved. We see how she grew up in Liverpool listening to the ‘Big Three’ and then started performing with them, then we are introduced to her friend Richard who is better known as Ringo. We see her relationship with her partner Bobby, played superbly by Carl Au.  They share the song ‘You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling’ together in the second act which took the whole audience breaths away. How can anyone talk about Cilla with mentioning Brian Epstein, one of the most famous managers in the world, played by Andrew Lancel – who knows the character pretty well as he played the man himself in the production of ‘Epstein- The Man Who Made The Beatles’.  Needless to say he gave the role a stellar performance capturing his complex character and relationship with Cilla Black

The staging and costumes captured the 1960s so well, with everything having a seamless finish, the scene changes took no more that 5 seconds and with the detail that some scenes had I was impressed, as at some points there was a whole array of furniture. The costumes mirror the decade and looked stunning on stage.

I could force anyone to see a show at this moment in time it would be to see this show, it is an instant classic with the lovable characters and iconic songs that you will be singing along to, the songs like ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart’ and ‘You’re My World’. The musical is done to a standard that makes it seems like you aren’t even watching a show with the amount of precision from both the cast and crew.