Final performance announced for Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre

Savoy Theatre, London

  • The final performance of Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre will be on January 12th 2019, prior to a UK tour with full dates to be announced in due course.

Sonia Friedman Productions announced that Dreamgirls, which opened in December 2016 at the Savoy Theatre to widespread critical acclaim, will give its final performance on Saturday 12th January 2019, completing a run of more than two years. Details for a forthcoming UK tour will be announced in due course.

Dreamgirls is Directed and Choreographed by Olivier and Tony Award®-winning Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Disney’s Aladdin and Something Rotten!), with Set Design byTim Hatley, Costume Design by Gregg Barnes, Lighting Design by Hugh Vanstone, Sound Design by Richard Brooker and Hair Design by Josh Marquette. The Musical Supervisor isNick Finlow, the Orchestrator is Harold Wheeler, with Additional Material by Willie Reale.

Meet The Dreams – Effie, Lorrell and Deena – three talented young singers in the turbulent 1960s, a revolutionary time in American music history. Join the three friends as they embark upon a musical rollercoaster ride through a world of fame, fortune and the ruthless realities of show business, testing their friendships to the very limit.

With Book and Lyrics by Tom Eyen and Music by Henry Krieger, the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls, Directed and Choreographed by Michael Bennett opened in 1981 and subsequently won six Tony Awards®. The original cast recording won two Grammy awards for Best Musical Album and Best Vocal Performance for Jennifer Holliday’s ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.’ In 2006 it was adapted into an Oscar winning motion picture starring Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx.

Moya Angela, Asmeret Ghebremichael, Brennyn Lark and Marisha Wallace are appearing with the support of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange program between American Equity and UK Equity.

Swarovski is delighted to be the Set and Costume Design partner for Dreamgirls, bringing to life the incredible visions of Tim Hatley and Gregg Barnes. Over one million Swarovski crystals have been incorporated into the production, adorning 275 costumes and 3 crystal curtains.

Full information on performance schedules can be found on the official website.

The Original London Cast Recording of hit West End musical Dreamgirls is available via Sony Masterworks Broadway.



Savoy Theatre, Strand, London WC2R 0ET


Monday to Saturday evening performances at 7.30pm

Wednesday and Saturday matinee performances at 2.30pm

Box Office

Telephone:     0844 871 7687
Prices:             From £15
At every performance there will be 125 accessibly priced seats for £25 or under available in advance, including 15 £20 Front Row Lottery tickets available on the day exclusively through the TodayTix app.
In addition, under 25 year olds can purchase £25 tickets every Tuesday performance.

Website –
Twitter handle – @DreamgirlsLDN
Facebook page – DreamgirlsLDN
Instagram account – DreamgirlsLDN
Hashtag – #DreamgirlsLDN

World Premiere of ‘Alkaline’ Comes To Park Theatre

pluck. productions in association with Park Theatre present the World Premiere of


By Stephanie Martin

Directed by Sarah Meadows

A Story About Faith, Friendship and Fear

10 July – 04 August 2018 | Park Theatre


‘People love being in control, don’t you think? But you can’t control something you don’t understand.’


pluck. productions in association with Park Theatre are proud to present the world premiere of Alkaline by Stephanie Martin, which is set to be performed at Park Theatre from 10th July – 4th August 2018. Alkaline is a play about faith, friendship and fear, but at its heart a story about female friendship, shining a light on painful endings and new beginnings. The play also explores ideas surrounding British identity and who chooses to define it, questioning whether we dare to be different in today’s society. Alkaline follows pluck. productions’ most recent production, Birthday Suit, which played to critical acclaim and was nominated for three Off West-End Awards. 

Alkaline is directed by Sarah Meadows, and stars Claire Cartwright, Nitin Kundra, Reena LalbihariAlan Mahon and EJ Martin.

Sophie and Sarah have been best friends forever. Sophie is newly engaged to her fiancé Nick and wants to celebrate. Sarah also has a new fiancé, Ali, and some more big news – she has recently converted to Islam.

One hot summer evening the two couples have a get together. Sophie is desperate to meet Ali and even more desperate to rescue her drifting friendship with Sarah. Sophie also wants to ask Sarah if she’ll take off her hijab for Sophie’s wedding – a headscarf ‘just won’t quite go’ with the other bridesmaids, and Sophie likes things to match. It’s all going well (ish) until an uninvited guest arrives with some news that turns the evening – and the couples’ lives – upside down.

The role of Sarah will be played by returning Park Theatre actress, Claire Cartwright, whose theatre credits include What Would Quentin Do? (Black Lives, Black Words, Bush Theatre), The Mousetrap (West End), A Christmas Carol (Pleasance Theatre), Macbeth (UK Tour/Pleasance Theatre), Thark (Park Theatre), The Pitmen Painters (National Tour and West End), and Henna Night (Pleasance Theatre).


Nitin Kundra plays Sarah’s fiancé, Ali. Nitin’s extensive theatre credits include Too Clever By Half (Royal Exchange Manchester/Told By an Idiot), 66 Books (Bush Theatre), The Swan (National Theatre), There Is A War(National Theatre), Make Me A Martyr (Finborough), Facts on the Ground (Live Theatre) and The Black Album(National Theatre), with television credits including Count Arthur Strong (BBC), Boy Meets Girl (Tiger Aspect), EastEnders (BBC), Edge of Heaven (ITV), Silent Witness (BBC) Celebrity Juice (Talkback Thames), Coronation Street (ITV), Emmerdale (ITV), Doctors (BBC) and Casualty (BBC).

Reena Lalbihari plays Aleesha. Her theatre credits include Faustus (Headlong), Madame de Sade (Donmar Warehouse), One Night Fran (Hen and Chickens), Dubailand (Finborough) and Pole Factor (Vaults Festival), television includes Day of the Triffids (BBC); EastEnders (BBC) and The Bill (Talkback Thames).

Alan Mahon and EJ Martin play dinner party hosts, Nick and Sophie. Alan’s theatre credits include If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You (Old Red Lion), Hamlet (Tobacco Factory), King Lear (Helix, Dublin), The Waste Ground Party (The Abbey Theatre, Dublin), Into the Woods (The Lir) and Twelfth Knight (The Lir Academy). EJ’s credits include Joy (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Boxed (The Vaults), Birthday Suit (Old Red Lion), A Room with a View (Theatre Royal Bath and UK Tour), The Last Tycoon (The Arts Theatre) and In Lipstick (The Arcola).



Scamp Theatre’s The Scarecrows’ Wedding | Leicester Square Theatre | July – September 2018

Scamp Theatre present
The Scarecrows’ Wedding
Based on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, London WC2H 7BX
Saturday 21st July – Sunday 2nd September 2018

The truly heart-warming adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s bestselling book, The Scarecrows’ Wedding, returns to Leicester Square Theatre. Bursting at the seams with Scamp Theatre’s inimitable style (Stick Man), this award-winning production promises wit, drama, and wedding bells as you’re invited to Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay’s glorious wedding day

Betty and Harry are excellent scarecrows (they scare a lot of crows). Harry loves Betty, and Betty loves Harry, so they decide to get married and Harry sets off to search for their wedding day essentials including a dress of feathers, a bunch of flowers and a necklace made from shells

However, when the farmer notices he is missing a scarecrow, he replaces Harry with the devilishly smooth but dangerous Reginald Rake. Dashing, daring and ever so cool, can Reginald persuade Betty that he is the scarecrow for her? Will Harry make it back in the nick of time before Reginald ruins their special day?

Director Eva Sampson comments, I’m delighted that The Scarecrows’ Wedding will be returning to Leicester Square Theatre this summer, especially as Scamp have such a wonderful and longstanding relationship with the venue. It’s a great opportunity for us to bring this lovingly made folk musical to new audiences and share Harry and Betty’s epic love story!

★★★★ Enchanting and hilarious. Bags of sheer family fun (The Stage).

EARLY BIRDS (by Gran and Marks, and starring Charlie Quirke) & Jonathan Guy’s updated OUR BOYS to play at PQA Venues @Riddle’s Court following £6million building restoration

Following a £6million restoration project, Edinburgh’s beautiful Grade A listed building Riddle’s Court will be transformed into an Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre venue for the first time since 2014, which will be managed and programmed by PQA VENUES. 
The building has a long history of use as a Fringe venue, with past performers including Stephen Fry in 1979 and 1980 and Maggie Smith in 1953. 
PQA VENUES @Riddle’s Court (venue 277) will house adiverse and vibrant programme of theatre, stand-up and live music including its own in-house productions – Early Birds, Our Boys, Closer Than Ever, The Last Five Yearsand Poppets Adventure.
Early Birds is from the writers of Birds of a Feather, Maurice Gran and Laurence Marks, and tells the incredible yet true story of the birth of one of the nation’s favourite situation comedies. It starts with a chance encounter in a West End hotel, and ends with a show considered so saucy it was nearly cancelled two weeks into its run, yet is about to enter its thirtieth year as a TV comedy classic. The cast will include Charlie Quirke, who plays Travis Stubbs in Birds of a Feather. Charlie’s mother Pauline Quirke stars as Sharon in the television series. 
Jonathan Guy directs his critically acclaimed play Our Boys, giving the first chance for audiences to see an updated version which Jonathan has rewritten for a new generation. 
Musical theatre lovers can enjoy revivals of the musical revue Closer Than Everby Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire, and Jason Robert Brown’s emotionally powerful and intimate musical, The Last Five Years
Young children will be able to join best friends Cory, Daisy, Poppy and Lewis as they go on an exciting adventure in Poppets Adventure, writtenby Lucy Beirne.
Located in a prime position along the Royal Mile, PQA VENUES @Riddle’s Court will house three performance studios with comfortable seating and high-tech facilities, a gin and prosecco bar with free WIFI and phone charging stations, and free live music in the venue’s secluded court yard. The venue is fully accessible. 
Eddie Dredge, Producer for PQA Venues, said “Riddle’s Court is a unique gem of a building, and we are delighted that following its multi million pound restoration, we can bring it back to life as one of the Fringe’s much-loved venues. Fringe-goers can enjoy an exciting programme of more than 30 shows this summer, delivered by professional companies, PQA Academies, and our own in-house production team.”
For more information including the full line-up of productions at PQA VENUES @Riddle’s Court (venue 277) visit:
PQA VENUES is the provider of high-quality performance and rehearsal spaces in London and Edinburgh. 

New season of work from Proforca Theatre Company at the King’s Head Theatre and Theatre N16

Feel / Feel/More / Reading Gaol

Feel : June 17th/18th, King’s Head Theatre

Feel/More : June 10th/11th, King’s Head Theatre

Reading Gaol : July 23rd – August 2nd, Theatre N16

London Fringe theatre company Proforca present three of their shows this Summer: their debut piece of new writing, Feel, and the five response pieces to it, Feel/More, play the King’s Head Theatre in June, followed by Reading Gaol, an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s final work, at Theatre N16 in July/August.

***** “extraordinary (…) hops between being ingeniously witty and soul-wrenchingly moving” The Spy in the Stalls on Feel

In Feel, two couples struggle with saying what they feel in a world where love can be swiped on a whim and the path of your whole life is determined by the delay of just one train. Feel is a search for fulfilment, second-hand love and the hope of one day becoming something better than you are – because sometimes, to follow your heart you have to give it away to someone else. Feel/More is a response piece to Feel, with five new monologues touching on the themes within, five new characters tackling the same stories.

**** “brilliant – the deep message will make you ask yourself questions” London Theatre Reviews on Feel

These revivals will be followed by a restaging of Proforca’s new piece Reading Gaol: an exploration of the deprivation of liberty experienced by prisoners at the turn of the Century. Combining Wilde’s orginal Ballad of Reading Gaol with brand new pieces of writing and physical theatre, Reading Gaol explores oppresion, censorship and conformity in our increasingly conservative society, from the grime of Victorian England to the forests of Africa and back.

Proforca Theatre Company’s mission is to create great theatre performances which challenge, confront and engage audiences. Artistic Director David Brady says: “After receiving critical and audience acclaim for both Feel and Feel / More during our March runs, we are delighted that our adventure for both of these shows continues. These two shows showcase the amazing acting talent from early stage actors as well as really fierce new writers with a point of view we are pleased to champion. We’re also thrilled to be able to present a brand new re-working of our production of Reading Gaol in a fantastic new space at Theatre N16 which serves as a busy but brilliant climax to a fantastic six months for the company.”


Title Feel / Feel/More / Reading Gaol

Playwright Feel: James Lewis

Feel/More: Fergus Church, Harriet Lambert, James Lewis, Simon Marshall

and Stephanie Silver

Reading Gaol: Catrin Keeler, James Lewis, Simon Marshall, and Erin Read

Director David Brady

Producer Proforca Theatre Company

Performance Dates Feel: June 17th – June 18th 2018, 7.30pm

Feel/More: June 10th – June 11th 2018, 7.30pm

Reading Gaol: July 23rd – August 2nd 2018, Monday – Wednesday, 8.30pm

Running Time Feel: 110 mins (incl. interval)

Feel/More: 75 mins (no interval)

Reading Gaol: 110 mins (incl. Interval)

Venue Feel / Feel/More : King’s Head Theatre, 15 Upper St, London N1 1QN

Reading Gaol: Theatre N16, 5 Ashley Road, London N17 9LJ

Ticket Price Feel: £18/£15 (concessions)

Feel/More: £15/£12 (concessions)

Reading Gaol: £14/£11 (concessions)

Box Office King’s Head Theatre ( Theatre N16 (

Links Proforca Theatre Company website (

The Producers Review

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford – until 9 June 2018.

Reviewed by Antonia Hebbert


A Broadway producer has sex with rich old widows to raise money, then puts on a merry musical about Hitler which he hopes will fail … With its swastikas and tapdancing Stormtroopers, The Producers might come as a shock to audiences that don’t already know it. It will be familiar to many though, as a 1968 cult film by Mel Brooks, which he turned into a hit Broadway musical in 2001, and then a film of the musical in 2005.

Deliberately outrageous, part slapstick, part satire, peppered with surreal moments and cultural references – all this is a huge challenge for the multi-talented young artists of Guildford’s Performance Preparation Academy.

Directors Lewis Butler and Nick Charters ensure that the ensemble’s energy and enthusiasm are at full throttle throughout, but the first half felt strained at times, as the cast sometimes seemed to be battling with their soundtrack. The show’s age may be a problem too: things that were provocative and anarchic in the 1960s can seem clichéd now. It’s in the second half that the evening really hits its stride, with the ‘Springtime for Hitler’ show-within-the-show, and the unravelling of the producers’ plan.

Jordan Harrison is strong as producer Max Bialystock; Jordan Newman is convincingly naïve as his accountant Leo Bloom. Keeley-May Clarkson seemed uncertain at first as the Swedish assistant Ulla, but in the second half especially had all the necessary presence and glamour. Charles Camrose also blossomed in his role as the super-camp Hitler. Jack Oliver made an elegantly nervy Carmen Ghia, and Carys Gaylor was appealingly quirky in her various appearances. The ensemble dancing is impressive throughout, and costume designer Louise Pieri gives us a splendid array of barmy outfits.

This was a show of two halves: three stars for the first, but four for taking flight after the interval.

Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike Live London sells £1m of tickets in first hour of on-sale






One hour after the box office opened last night, Sunday 3 June, Magic Mike Live had already sold £1 million pounds’ worth of tickets for the brand new production at the Hippodrome Casino in London’s Leicester Square.  Conceived and co-directed by Channing Tatum, Magic Mike Live is a large-scale, live production show based on the hit films Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL, which will open in The Theatre at the Hippodrome Casino on Wednesday 28 November 2018, following previews from 10 November. 

Executive Producer, Vincent Marini said, “We are delighted that London and the rest of the UK have welcomed Magic Mike Live with open arms. Our fans almost broke the internet last night and while weekend performances are selling out fast, the weekday shows currently have the best availability.”

The Theatre at the Hippodrome Casino is being transformed into a magical, intimate, 325-seat performance space for Magic Mike Live.  From the bespoke entrance off Cranbourn Street, to the specially curated lounge and bar experience, to the cast of world-class performers, Magic Mike Live is a complete evening of unparalleled entertainment for guests aged 18 and up.  They will enter Magic Mike’s mythical Club Domina and marvel as a group of extraordinary artists perform a 360-degree dance and acrobatic spectacular in front of, behind, and above them.  Sexy dance routines intertwined with one-of-a-kind acts, will be presented by a diverse cast of performers from around the world for this hot new production.

The show has been hailed as “the modern strip show we deserve” by USA Today and celebrated as “the show that has everything you could ever want” by Glamour UK  

Magic Mike Live in London is co-directed by Channing Tatum and Alison Faulk, with Teresa Espinosa as associate director, and choreographed by Alison Faulk, Teresa Espinosa and Luke Broadlick.  The Executive Producer is Vincent Marini with General Management by David Ian Productions. The production designer is Rachel O’Toole, with scenic design by Rob Bissinger and Anita LaScala (Arda Studio), costume design by Marina Toybina, lighting design by Philip Gladwell and video design by Luke Halls.  Musical supervisor is Jack Rayner, with sound design by Nick Kourtides.  Dreya Weber is aerial choreographer & aerial apparatus designer.  Production management is by Simon Gooding and Matt Jones and casting is by Jason Styres CSA.

Magic Mike Live is produced in London by Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin, Greg Jacobs, Peter Kiernan, Steven Soderbergh, Nick Wechsler and United Talent Agency in association with Warner Bros., Vincent Marini, The Hippodrome Casino, Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman, TSG Entertainment & Ashley DeSimone, Richard Winkler, and The Creative House.




Magic Mike Live

The Theatre at the Hippodrome Casino

Cranbourn Street

Leicester Square

London WC2H 7JH


Twitter:  @MagicMikeLDN

Facebook:  @MagicMikeLDN

Instagram:  @MagicMikeLiveLDN

Box Office:  0844 453 9091

Performances:  Tuesday to Sunday 7.30pm and Thursday to Sunday 10.00pm

Ticket Prices:  from £29.00 including booking fees

Current Booking Period:  to Sunday 28 April 2019

Running Time:  approximately 90 minutes

Magic Mike Live guests must be at least 18 years to attend – appropriate photo ID will be requested on arrival at the venue –



Polka Theatre for Children has today announced the appointment of Lynette Shanbury as Executive Director and joint CEO. Shanbury is currently Executive Director of Spare Tyre and will be joining Polka in August, following the retirement of Stephen Midlane, who steps down after 41 years with the company.


Shanbury brings with her a wealth of experience built up over more than 15 years in theatre. She is currently Executive Director of Spare Tyre, a leading participatory arts charity which produces theatre with ‘voiceless communities’ including adults with learning disabilities, dementia, carers and women who have experience of violence.  Prior to this, Shanbury was Executive Director at Little Angel Theatre in Islington where she worked for eight years.  As Executive Director, she will be joint CEO with Polka’s Artistic Director, Peter Glanville.

Commenting on the appointment, Sarah King, Chair of Trustees at Polka Theatre, said “Stephen Midlane leaves big shoes to fill so we could not be more delighted Lynette will be joining us.  She has clearly achieved an enormous amount at Spare Tyre, which like Polka, is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation. With an ambitious capital project underway, attracting someone of Lynette’s calibre was key. She brings that rare combination: strategic flare and organisational ability combined with a genuine commitment to children’s theatre and the values that are so central to Polka.


Lynette Shanbury added I am thrilled to be joining Polka at this pivotal moment in its history. Polka Theatre has a very special place in the ecology of the UK theatre sector.  It manages to balance being a theatre company of national and international significance, producing innovative and ambitious new work, whilst still being absolutely grounded in its local community. It is a much-loved venue that genuinely has children at its heart. I cannot think of a better place to continue my career, being inspired every day by the children who flock through the theatre’s doors.”


Peter Glanville, Polka’s Artistic Director said today “I am extremely pleased that Lynette will be joining us as Executive Director and Joint CEO. The next few years are going to be the most challenging and exciting since Polka first opened – in addition to the FUTURE POLKA redevelopment, we also have a highly ambitious closure programme, working with strategic partners both locally and nationally, as well as a major project commissioned to celebrate our 40th anniversary. Lynette brings a drive, knowledge and passion for children’s theatre and the impact of the arts, which is going to be crucial as we move forward with a bold artistic vision for the future. 



Operating for almost 40 years from its venue in Wimbledon, Polka is Britain’s leading theatre venue for children ages 0 – 12. Over 90,000 children, along with their families and teachers, from across London and the South East visit each year to see inspiring, new theatre including plays, opera, dance, digital theatre and puppetry as well as interactive storytelling and creative learning workshops. Although firmly rooted in the local community, Polka is a theatre company of national and international significance with productions travelling across the UK and overseas to cities as far apart as Toronto, Istanbul, Shanghai, Sydney and Hong Kong.

ABOUT the FUTURE POLKA theatre redevelopment

FUTURE POLKA is the theatre’s initiative for reimagining and developing Polka Theatre for future generations and as a vibrant hub for the local community. The project includes establishing a national centre for Early Years theatre, the opening of Polka’s first onsite rehearsal studio, supporting its PolkaLAB professional development programme and improving access throughout the venue to enable greater participation by actors and audience with mobility impairments.

FUTURE POLKA represents an exciting opportunity to ensure the survival of a pioneering, world-class theatre for children and much-loved centre for its local community. As of this week, Polka Theatre has raised nearly 70% of the project’s £6.5 million target.

For more information, visit:


Twitter: @polkatheatre

Facebook: @polkatheatre

National Theatre’s War Horse gallops back on stage

National Theatre’s War Horse gallops back on stage.

Next week the hit show makes its third visit to The Lowry

The National Theatre’s acclaimed production of War Horse is returning to The Lowry next week (Wed 13 – Sat 30 June 2018). The show made it’s regional premiere at the Salford venue in 2013 and when combined with its subsequent runs in 2014 and 2018 will have been seen by over 220,000 people in The Lowry’s Lyric Theatre.

During the shows three week run The Lowry will also host the first ever ‘relaxed’ performance of the hit show in the North West, taking place on Thu 28 June at 2pm. The relaxed performance is for anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed environment in the theatre, including people with an Autistic Spectrum Condition, people with sensory and communication disorders, and those with learning disabilities.

War Horse is the heart-warming tale of Albert Narracott, his beloved horse Joey and their extraordinary journey through the First World War.

Thomas Dennis will play the central role of Albert Narracott with Jo Castleton taking on the role of his mother Rose Narracott.

Amongst the 34 strong cast is Bolton born and current Manchester resident Adam Barlow (Greig/Schweyk/Sergeant Fine) and Manchester University graduate Samuel Parker (Joey/Topthorn Hind).

They are joined by: celebrated folk musician Bob Fox (returning as Song Man), Marcus Adolphy (Carter), Peter Becker (Friedrich), Joelle Brabban (Emilie), Lucas Button (Joey Hind), Jasper William Cartwright (Billy/Heine/Klebb), Chris Charles (Joey/Topthorn Heart),Jonathan Charles (Bone/Vet Martin), Sebastian Charles (Topthorn Heart), Anna Chessher (Joey/Topthorn Head), Nicky Cross(Joey/Topthorn Hind), Max Gallagher (Geordie), Chris Garner(Allan/Manfred), Andrew Hodges (Sergeant Thunder), Lewis Howard(Joey Heart), William Ilkley (Arthur Narracott), Ben Ingles (Lt Nicholls), Billy Irving (Goose/Schnabel), Elan James (Topthorn Hind),Kiran Landa (Annie), Gwilym Lloyd (Ted Narracott), Jack Lord(Klausen), Stephen Love (Topthorn Head), Toyin Omari-Kinch (David),Tom Quinn (Joey/Topthorn Head), Domonic Ramsden (Joey/Topthorn Heart), Arinder Sadhra (Paulette), Tom Stacy (Joey Head), Elizabeth Stretton (Matron), Simon Victor (Stewart/Heine/Ludwig).

War Horse, which has been seen by over seven million people worldwide, completed its record-breaking eight year London run at the New London Theatre on 12 March 2016.  It has won 25 awards including the Tony Award for Best Play on Broadway.  Directed by Marianne Elliottand Tom MorrisNick Stafford’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s remarkable story is the most successful play in the National Theatre’s history.  It features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing, galloping horses to live on stage.
War Horse received its world premiere on 9 October 2007 at the National Theatre, where it played for two seasons before opening at the New London Theatre in March 2009.  Since then, War Horse has been seen in 97 cities in 10 countries, including productions on Broadway, in Toronto and Berlin, with touring productions in the UK and Ireland, North America, the Netherlands, Belgium and China.

War Horse is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, designed by Rae Smith, with puppet direction, design and fabrication by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for Handspring Puppet Company, lighting byPaule Constable, and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick, with video design by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer for 59 Productions, songmaker John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt.

Katie Henry is the revival director and Craig Leo is the associate puppetry director.  They are joined by assistant puppetry director,Matthew Forbes and resident director, Charlotte Peters.
The tour of War Horse coincides with the Centenary commemorations of the end of the First World War and follows the production’s sold-out tour of the UK and Ireland in 2013-2014.
War Horse is produced on tour by the National Theatre.
Listings Information 
War Horse
Lyric Theatre
Dates: Wed 13 – Sat 30 June
Times: 7.30pm, 2pm on selected dates
Tickets: £28.50 – £55.50
Relaxed Performance: Thu 28 June, 2pm

This Is Elvis Review

The Grand Theatre, Leeds – until Saturday 9 June

Reviewed By Dawn Smallwood


Elvis Presley, The King of Rock and Roll, has returned – courtesy of Steve Michaels, an award winning tribute artist who has gained worldwide attention for his rendition of Elvis. Michaels has even performed alongside Elvis’ musicians and his support singers. Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield (original story writer) have the pleasure bringing This Is Elvis starring Michaels on the current UK Tour and Leeds is the sixth stop.

This Is Elvis is set in 1968 when Elvis appears in his first live TV special, which subsequently will become to be known as “The ’68 Comeback Special”, and the high ratings re-establish him the major music star of the 1960s. He eventually performs at the International Hotel in Las Vegas and reconfirms his reputation as “The King”. This tour coincides with the 50th anniversary of this TV special and his songs are played as if they were performed live yesterday.

The first act opens up with the build up to the TV special at the NBC Studios where a number of well known musical numbers are played including the infamous and then at the time controversial Hound Dog, the memorable All Shook Up and slow emotive Love Me Tender. There is a brief interlude when Elvis and his management are back in Graceland, Memphis, and eventually they travel to the International Hotel Suite in Las Vegas to prepare for Elvis’ opening night. The second act focuses solely on the opening with a number of show stopping and well known songs including Blue Suede Shoes, You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling, Suspicious Minds, Can’t Help Falling In Love With You and Jailhouse Rock.

There are some poignant moments where Elvis’s vulnerability as a human being surfaces and his thoughts are drawn to his family especially his late mother and his relationship with his wife, Priscilla. Such thoughts are expressed in the moving Bridge Over Troubled Water, the gospel sounding Peace In The Valley and the reflective, tinged with regret, Always On My Mind. What is significant is the statement which Elvis makes is about music being universal – it is “black” and “white”, it is “north” and “south” and it is “rich” and “poor”. This reaffirms his awareness of the racial segregation, the political discrimination, and social inequality that was happening then in the United States and beyond and all summed up in An American Trilogy.

This Is Elvis certainly has got the audience up on their feet and they participate in the many songs that are played and sung especially in the Second Act which supposedly replicates Elvis’ Opening Night concert in Las Vegas. It is a well thought and planned musical which pinpoints Elvis’ rock and roll career and moments where his vulnerability is picked up and this could be considered a defining factor. Michaels portrays Elvis perfectly in movement and song and is supported by a very talented cast with some doubling up as the bands musicians. With a live band, under the direction of Steve Geere, and stunning staging, courtesy of Andy Walmsley and support from Nick Richings and Dan Samson; this is a show stopping energetic musical worth a night out for. Whether you’re an Elvis fan or not you’re moved, physically and figuratively, from beginning to end. An unforgettable entertaining evening!

On tour until August 2018