Cilla the Musical Review

Darlington Hippodrome – until Saturday 24 November 2018

5*****

Based on a TV show, now a theatrical tour de force, Cilla the Musical tells the tale of dear departed, national treasure Cilla Black.

Cilla (or Cyril as John Lennon lovingly calls her) dreams of singing, her parents Big Cilla (Jayne Ashley) and John (Neil McDonald) are proud of the fact she works in an office and try to dissuade her from a showbiz life.  But her friends Pat (Billie Hardy) and Pauline (Gemma Broderick) and her boyfriend Bobby Willis know she has what it takes to be a massive star.

Her big break comes when Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles hears her singing.  Her first audition for him a disaster, her second see’s her signed and on her way to Abbey Road and to the top.

Kara Lily Hayworth, who was chosen from thousands of hopefuls, is magnificent as Cilla.  Her rendition of Anyone Who Had a Heart at the end of the first act was show stoppingly beautiful.  Her growing relationship with Bobby (Alexander Patmore) which became a long and happy marriage, and her fight to be famous with Epstein (Andrew Lancel) whilst feeling second fiddle to the Beatles

There is poignancy when the Beatles sing Hide Your Love Away – in essence about John hiding his wife and son from the fans, but when Epstein sings hauntingly along you realise that he was hiding his sexuality, so not to commit an offence.

There is a strong narrative throughout, telling a true story with some wonderfully rousing music and vocals with a live band on and musicians off stage led by Scott Alder: clothes that accentuate the nostalgia, an incredible and versatile set perfectly evoking the era and a talented ensemble make for a perfect balance of song and story line.  

This is the perfect night out, whether you a fan of Cilla, of the 60’s or just of good music.   Lovingly created by her good friends Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield, with input from her son Robert Willis – this is a production that has been created with a “lorra lorra” love for our Cilla

In Darlington until Saturday and on tour around the UK

Full Cast for Aspects of Love, Southwark Playhouse

FULL CAST ANNOUNCED FOR

ASPECTS OF LOVE

AT SOUTHWARK PLAYHOUSE

FROM 7 JANUARY TO 9 FEBRUARY 2019

 

Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment and Hope Mill Theatre are delighted to announce the full cast for the London transfer of their production of Aspects of Love at Southwark Playhouse.

 

Madalena Alberto will play Giulietta Trapani, and Eleanor Jackson will join the ensemble. This completes the previously announced cast of Kelly Price (That Day We SangA Little Night Music – Olivier Award Nominee, 2010) in the role of Rose, Felix Mosse (The Rocky Horror Show) as Alex, Jerome Pradon (Jesus Christ SuperstarPacific Overtures – Olivier Award Nominee, 2003) as George, Jack Churms, as Jerome/ensemble, Jason Kajdi (Our HouseAssassins) as Hugo, Julia J Nagle (An American in Paris) as Elizabeth/ensemble, Minal Patel (The Secret GardenBend it Like Beckham) as Marcel and Eleanor Walsh as Jenny/ensemble.

 

Madalena Alberto has played some of the most coveted roles in musical theatre, including Fantine in Les Misérables (Barbican and UK tour), Grizabella in Cats (London Palladium) and the title role in Evita (Dominion Theatre, UK and International tours). Madalena is also an established solo artist and songwriter, performing regularly in concerts in London, Lisbon and Barcelona, and is a proud associate artist to Chaskis Theatre Company in London.

 

Eleanor Jackson trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Her theatre credits include Freight (RADA Festival), Medea (Bristol Old Vic), and Great Again (Vaults Festival).

 

Directed by Jonathan O’Boyle (Rain Man, Hair and Pippin) this new, intimately reimagined production will play for a limited season from 7 January to 9 February 2019, with a national press night on Thursday 10 January. This will be the fourth London transfer from Hope Mill Theatre, following Yank!Hair and Pippin, and the award-winning 50th anniversary production of Hair has recently announced a major UK tour in 2019. 

 

2019 marks 30 years since the original production of Aspects of Love first opened, premiering at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1989.  With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Don Black and Charles Hart and based on the novel by David Garnett, the musical is set in France in 1947 and features the iconic songs Love Changes EverythingSeeing Is Believing and First Man You Remember. While English student Alex Dillingham is travelling through France before his call up, he falls in love with the alluring actress Rose Vibert. Rose joins Alex at his uncle’s villa. As the pair embark on a passionate affair, the unexpected arrival of Uncle George changes their lives forever. From the cobbled streets of Paris to the mountains of the Pyrenees, Aspects of Love is a heart-breaking love story spanning twenty years.

 

Aspects of Love will have musical direction by Richard Bates, choreography by Sam Spencer-Lane, design by Jason Denvir, lighting design by Aaron J Dootson, sound design by James Nicholson and casting by Jane Deitch.

 

Aspects of Love at Southwark Playhouse is produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment and Hope Mill Theatre with Jim Kierstead.

 

 

LISTINGS INFORMATION

 

7 January to 9 February 2019

 

Southwark Playhouse

77-85 Newington Causeway

London SE1 6BD

 

Performance Times:

Monday – Saturday 7.30pm

Tuesdays & Saturdays 3.00pm

 

Tickets: £27.50 and £22 concessions (from £16 during previews) 

Box Office:  020 7407 0234

Website:  southwarkplayhouse.co.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthwarkPlayhouse
Twitter:   @swkplay

Poet Simon Mole and musician Gecko announce Spring 2019 tour of their new interactive family rap musical Mole & Gecko: THE SHOW

Poet Simon Mole and musician Gecko

announce Spring 2019 tour of their new interactive family rap musical

Mole & Gecko: THE SHOW

Poet Simon Mole and musician Gecko have joined forces to collaboratively write and perform a new show for children and families, Mole & Gecko: THE SHOW, which will tour theatres in, and around, London in Spring 2019.

Mole & Gecko: THE SHOW is an interactive rap musical – rather aptly about a mole and a gecko – that the audience help create. There are live songs, rap stories, instant poems and a weasel with a serious biscuit problem. Join our heroes as they discover that what they thought they were searching for might be less important than what they find along the way.

The Spring 2019 tour will play the Half Moon Theatre (16 February), Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Maidenhead (20 February), Canada Water Theatre (2 March), The Albany Theatre (3 March), artsdepot (17 March) and Watermans Arts Centre, Brentford (7 April). Contact individual venues for booking information.

Simon Mole is a Poet, Emcee, and Theatre-maker. He built his skills on the Brighton hip-hop scene and has shared the bill with Simon Armitage, John Cooper Clarke and Kate Tempest. He has also been featured on BBC Radio 3’s The Verb. Simon co-founded Chill Pill Collective, curating and hosting popular poetry nights at Soho Theatre and the Albany, and was the first ever Poet Laureate for the London borough of Brent. Simon is an experienced facilitator with over 10 years’ experience working with rap and poetry in community and education settings, including projects with Great Ormond Street Hospital and Arsenal FC.

 

In 2012 he established Simon Mole Presents with immersive performance director Peader Kirk and producer Maeve O’Neill, since creating three full length shows for theatre spaces. Their partnership takes spoken word performance in a bold direction, with Simon’s intricately crafted poetic stories at the core of immersive entertainment and integrated participation. Indiana Jones and the Extra Chair toured nationally with sell out shows at Southbank Centre and Brighton Dome. No More Worries had a two week run at the Albany and sold-out shows at the Bush Theatre. Friends For All, commissioned by the V&A and toured with Half Moon Presents. Since becoming a Dad, Simon writes increasingly for young people. His first book for children is a collaboration with illustrator Oamul Lu, and will be published by Quarto/Lincoln Childrens Books in 2019.

Gecko is a Singer, Storyteller and Musician. A North London based artist, his playful lyrics cover the big things in life; think iPhones, libraries & Guanabana fruit juice to name but a few. Gecko has previously appeared at Glastonbury, Bestival, BBC Radio 1, 6 Music, BBC Scotland, BBC London and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In November 2017 he launched his debut album Volcano with a sold out London show, a session with John Kennedy on Radio X and a tour of Sofar Sounds shows across the UK and the Netherlands. Volcano was made ‘Album of the year’ in the Morning Star. Gecko has shared stages with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Robin Ince, Josie Long, John Hegley and Billy Bragg.

Mole & Gecko: THE SHOW is written and performed by Simon Mole and Gecko, with direction & design by Peader Kirk and project management by Rua Arts. The production is funded by Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grants and supported by Apples and Snakes, the Albany, artsdepot, Half Moon Theatre, Norden Farm, Roundhouse and Rua Arts.

LISTINGS – SPRING 2019 TOUR

Title: Mole & Gecko: THE SHOW

Age Guidance: 5yrs+. Running Time: 45mins

Half Moon Theatre, 43 White Horse Road, London E1 0ND
16 February: 11am & 2pm
Box Office: https://www.halfmoon.org.uk/ 020 7709 8900


Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, Maidenhead SL6 4PF
20 February: 11.30am & 2pm
Box Office: https://norden.farm/ 01628 788997

Canada Water Theatre, 21 Surrey Quays Rd (Library/Theatre), London SE16 7AR
2 March: 1pm & 3pm
Box Office: https://www.canadawatertheatre.org.uk/ 020 7525 2931

The Albany Theatre, Douglas Way, London SE8 4AG
3 March: 1pm & 3pm
Box Office: https://www.thealbany.org.uk/020 8692 4446

artsdepot, 5 Nether Street Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley, London N12 0GA
17 March: 11am & 2pm
Box Office: https://www.artsdepot.co.uk/ 020 8369 5454

Watermans Arts Centre, 40 High Street, Brentford TW8 0DS
7 April: 3pm
Box Office: https://www.watermans.org.uk/ 020 8232 1010

Punchdrunk to release The Punchdrunk Encyclopaedia to mark 18 years of the company’s existence

THE PUNCHDRUNK ENCYCLOPAEDIA

  • PUNCHDRUNK TO RELEASE THE PUNCHDRUNK ENCYCLOPAEDIA TO MARK 18 YEARS OF THE COMPANY’S EXISTENCE
  • WRITTEN BY JOSEPHINE MACHON WITH PUNCHDRUNK, THE BOOK, PUBLISHED BY ROUTLEDGE WILL BE THE COMPANY’S DEFINITIVE HISTORY TO DATE
  • A SELECTION OF IMAGES FROM THE BOOK, SOME NEVER RELEASED BEFORE, CAN NOW BE DOWNLOADED AHEAD OF THE BOOK GOING ON SALE ON FRIDAY 14TH DECEMBER 2018

Punchdrunk is delighted to announce The Punchdrunk Encyclopaediathe definitive book on the company’s work to date, which will be released to mark eighteen years of Punchdrunk’s existence. Written by Jo Machon along with the Punchdrunk team and published by Routledge, it will provide the first full-scale, historical account of one of the world’s foremost theatre companies, drawn from the collective memory and archives of the core creative team past and present.

Compiled in playful encyclopaedic format, just like the company’s mask shows readers are invited to make their own journey through the book, and explore the concepts and context that form the foundation of Punchdrunk’s work.

The book features writing from past collaborators and friends such as Adam Curtis, Lyn Gardner and Nicholas Hytner alongside core creatives including Felix Barrett, Stephen Dobbie, Maxine Doyle, Peter Higgin, Beatrice Minns, Colin Nightingale and Livi Vaughan. A series of exercises also offer guidance on how to delve deeper into the company’s creative approaches.

From first ever production The Tempest to Masque of the Red Death and Sleep No MoreThe Punchdrunk Encyclopaedia charts the company’s rise and evolution over the past eighteen years.  It is suitable for anyone with an interest in the company’s work.

The book will be released on Friday 14th December but is available to pre-order now here.

SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE GOES NATIONAL – WITH A SECOND SITE AT BLENHEIM PALACE FOR 2019

SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE GOES NATIONAL WITH ANNOUNCEMENT OF

NEW SITE AT BLENHEIM PALACE

TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR 2019 SUMMER OF SHAKESPEARE

York: 25 June – 1 September

Blenheim Palace: 8 July – 7 September

 

[21 November] Europe’s first ever pop-up Shakespearean Theatre – SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE – today announced its expansion for 2019 with a summer residency of 9 weeks at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. This follows last week’s announcement of a return to York, following its inaugural and highly successful season in 2018.  Both theatres will run simultaneously over summer next year, performing a total of eight Shakespeare plays.

SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE – a 13-sided Elizabethan-style playhouse, complete with an Elizabethan village – will be constructed over a three week period in the glorious grounds of ‘Britain’s Greatest Palace’ where it will run from 8 July until 7 September, whilst in York the theatre will return to the foot of 13th century Clifford’s Tower, where it will open on 25 June and run until 1 September.

Originator of the project and CEO of international theatre company, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, James Cundall, said “We had such a wonderful response from our 80,000 visitors in York over the summer and an overwhelming number of requests to return – so not only are we thrilled to be coming back to York in 2019, but our expansion to the magnificent grounds of Blenheim Palace will enable us to bring this unique immersive experience of Shakespeare to an even wider audience.

 

Preparations are now in full swing for eight Shakespeare plays, four companies of actors, two theatres and two Elizabethan villages.”

The new site at Blenheim Palace will enjoy one of the finest views in England, situated within the glorious grounds, adjacent to the 18th century palace.  Coincidentally, it will be just yards from the historic Shakespeare’s Way, which bisects the Blenheim Palace Estate.

At both the York and Blenheim Palace sites, the Shakespearean theatres will be constructed using state-of-the-art scaffolding technology, corrugated iron and timber.  Inspired by the famous London Rose Playhouse built in 1587, 12 years prior to The Globe, SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE will house an audience of 900, with 560 seated on three tiered balconies around an open-roofed courtyard with standing room for 340 ‘groundlings’.

Both theatres will be located within a Shakespearean village, bringing an authentic Elizabethan ambience and theatricality to the event, including:

·        ‘wagon’ performances of Elizabethan-style entertainment, including comic mini-plays, speeches and mediaeval musicians

·        the best Yorkshire and Oxfordshire food and drinks, housed in oak-framed and reed-thatched buildings

·        and an Elizabethan garden, created by a leading Yorkshire garden designer, with ornate box-edged beds of vegetables, cottage flowers and herbs.

The plays have been selected from across the genres, offering something for everyone, and will be performed in repertory by two companies of actors based at each location.  The Blenheim Palace companies will be performing the repertoire of plays from the first season in York: Romeo & Juliet, Richard III, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth, while in York another four of William Shakespeare’s most popular plays will be performed: Hamlet, Henry V, The Tempest and Twelfth Night.

 

Dominic Hare, Chief Executive of Blenheim Palace, said “When I visited SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE in York over the summer I was absolutely blown away, not only by the quality of the whole event, even down to the vintage carts and wagons, but by the extraordinary experience of seeing Shakespeare performed in such an intimate setting.  It created the most astonishing connection between audience and actors, and produced some truly spine-tingling moments. 

 

“I immediately thought it would be the ideal summer event for Blenheim Palace, and am immensely excited at the prospect of bringing these outstanding Shakespeare productions, as well as the Elizabethan experience, to such a stunning settingWe believe that Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre will bring many more visitors to the area for everyone’s benefit as well as being a marvellous cultural experience for local people.

The Blenheim Palace season will be co-presented by Raymond Gubbay Ltd, who have a wealth of experience promoting events and concerts worldwide, including the popular ‘Christmas at Blenheim Palace’ illuminated trail and Cinderella experience.

Anthony Findlay, Chief Executive of Raymond Gubbay Ltd, said “We have had the pleasure of working closely with Blenheim Palace for the past three years and have also enjoyed successful partnerships with Lunchbox Theatrical Productions on their touring shows. It’s hugely exciting that all three companies have now joined forces to bring this fabulous Shakespearean experience to the beautiful grounds of Blenheim Palace and the audiences of Oxfordshire and beyond.”

Full details of the creative team and cast for both SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE companies will be announced in due course.

SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE and Shakespeare’s Village are produced by Yorkshire-based Lunchbox Theatrical Productions.   The Blenheim Palace season is presented in association with Raymond Gubbay Ltd and Blenheim Palace.

@ShakespearesRT

Benidorm Live Review

Bristol Hippodrome until 24th November 2018

3.5****

Reviewed by Lucy Hitchcock

One of ITV’s most successful and easily recognisable shows has been brought to the stage for their UK tour, and what a holiday you will be treated to!

Following Sophie and Ben, a married couple who are shipped off to the Solana after their stay in Altea goes awry, we see their disgust and anger at the Solana Staff, headed up by Joyce Temple-Savage. Jaqueline, Mateo, Liam, Sam, Kenneth and cabaret singer Asa are still in the Solana but have been alerted of holiday inspectors posing as a disgusted couple who are out to close down the hotel for good. The staff believe Sophie and Ben to be the inspectors, so go out of their way to ensure their holiday is perfect. Ben, befriends Jacquline, an old swinger who is only out for one thing! Whilst he tries to enjoy his holiday, his wife is wooed by Mateo ( Jake Canuso) who tries to use his charm to ensure the hotel stays afloat.

Having seen many episodes of Benidorm, it was a treat to be able to see the original cast excel on stage, where the characters truly belong. Kenneth and Liam (Tony Maudsley and Adam Gillen) were stand out, bringing their already larger than life characters to a stage where they could enhance their performances and play off the audiences fantastic reactions! The skimpy hot pants and camp jokes were exactly what the audience wanted! Together with Janine Duvitski as Jaqueline, they made an astonishing amount of double entendres that would put a pantomime to shame! Sherrie Houston and Jake Canuso as Joyce Temple-Savage and Mateo made us laugh and tantalised our minds with Mateo‘s shirtless scenes, fancy flamenco dancing and suggestive costume!

Derren Litten has brought a super show to the stage, with an easy to follow storyline, dance, song, frivolity and fun! Asa Elliott as the Cabaret singer of Neptunes Bar treated us to his fabulous voice at varying points of the show and Shelley Longworth as holiday rep Sam Wood soared through the auditorium with her exceptional voice for a finale that will put the heat back into this freezing winter, take you to Benidorm and make you sing dance and smile along! Not to be missed!

Dirty Dancing Review

New Wimbledon Theatre, London – until Saturday 24 November 2018

Reviewed by Alexandra Sykes

4****

On a cold wet night in the middle of November what could be better than being transported back to the summer of 1963? Answer, absolutely nothing, it is actually the best way to spend your evening.

Subtitled as “the classic love story on stage” the musical tells the story of Frances ‘ Baby’ Houseman (Kira Malou) as she spends a family holiday at the Kellermans resort where she meets Johnny Castle (Michael O’Reilly) and has the time of her life.

With a soundtrack of 60’s songs interwoven into the story the only song that is actually sung in the show is (I’ve had) The Time Of My Life which was sung by Katie Eccles and Alex Wheeler, the other songs appear as instrumentals or are played on records or the radio.

The scenery is impressive, setting the scene in the dining room, the dance room or the iconic lake scene where Baby and Johnny practise their lift.

Although Malou’s American accent can be annoying at times this is easily forgotten thanks in part to O’Reilly’s impressive abs and in one scene, his very pert bottom which generated a lot of cheers from the female members of the audience.

A special mention should be given to Simone Covele who plays Penny, her dancing and flexibility are jaw dropping and she really manages to get the audience to be sympathetic to what happens to her.

In all it is a wonderful night out featuring the iconic line “I carried a watermelon” and the line everyone knows and said with Johnny “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” which lead to cheers and applause from the audience. With the iconic lift at the end of the show the audience held its breath as O’Reilly picked up Malou and cheered when they were in the position everyone knows from Dirty Dancing.

Penelope Skinner’s Fringe-First award-winning Angry Alan transfers to Soho Theatre | March 2019

Francesca Moody Productions and Popcorn Group in association with Aspen
Fringe Festival and SEARED present:
Angry Alan
by Penelope Skinner
Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, London W1D 3NE
Tuesday 5th – Saturday 30th March 2019, 7pm

Following a smash-hit sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival, Penelope Skinner’s Fringe-First award winning play Angry Alan now transfers to Soho Theatre. This darkly comic play about masculinity in crisis is written and directed by multi-award-winning playwright Penelope Skinner (The Village Bike, Royal Court Theatre; Linda, Royal Court and Manhattan Theatre Club) and cocreated and performed by Donald Sage Mackay (True West, Vaudeville Theatre; Deep State, Fox TV; Linda, Manhattan Theatre Club).

Looking out over the country, this country, where I was born and raised, I wonder what’s going to become of us. Because this can’t be the future, can it? Everyone just… changing the rules?

Roger thinks the world’s gone mad. He hates his job, his ex-wife torments him and to top it all, his girlfriend just discovered feminism. Roger’s about to lose his shit. Until he discovers Angry Alan: online activist and ‘voice of reason’…

In 2016, in the wake of Trump’s election, Penelope Skinner was inspired to write a play about the anger which is dominating today’s political landscape. In doing so she stumbled across the Men’s Right’s Movement and, along with American actor Donald Sage Mackay, began creating Angry Alan, a story about Roger, an ordinary American man being radicalised online by an extremist movement. Angry Alan explores how any extreme political viewpoint can take root in
someone’s consciousness if they are vulnerable to it and how those who propagate such views may not be all that they seem.

Mackay is superb, and Skinner (who also directs) keeps it both simple and observant. She doesn’t seem to judge Roger at all – just to make us see more clearly the dangers of the kind of warped self-realisation he is encouraged by online forums to feel. It is a fierce, clear warning of what is going on, and it is utterly terrifying (What’s On Stage).

Angry Alan is a ruthlessly funny, timely and powerful play by one of the UK’s most significant feminist playwrights

Penelope Skinner and Donald Sage Mackay comment, We were delighted with the response to Angry Alan in Edinburgh and are so pleased to be coming to the Soho Theatre. Soho feels like the perfect home for this piece. And in this fraught and polarised political climate, we are grateful for the opportunity to keep telling this story.

 

Full casting announced for the premiere of Sabrina Mahfouz’s new stage adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses

Full casting announced for the premiere of Sabrina Mahfouz’s new stage adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses

 

Pilot Theatre, in co-production with Derby Theatre, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Mercury Theatre, Colchester and York Theatre Royal are delighted to announce full casting for the premiere of Sabrina Mahfouz’snew adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s critically acclaimed young adult novel of first love in a dangerous fictional dystopia – Noughts & Crosses.

 

As previously announced Noughts & Crosses’ exciting cast will be led by Heather Agyepong and Billy Harris playing the roles of Sephy and Callum. Heather Agyepong’s theatre credits include Girls (Talawa Theatre, High Tide & Martha Rose Wilson Productions); So Many Reasons (Fuel Theatre & Ovalhouse Theatre) and Sankara (Next Up Talent; National Theatre Studio). Heather is an acclaimed visual artist, actor and maker. Earlier this year she was nominated for the 2018 South Bank Sky Arts Breakthrough Award. Billy Harris’ theatre credits include Boots On The Ground (Tangled Feet) and 13 (Tobacco Factory Theatre).

Joining Heather and Billy will be Doreene Blackstock (Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare’s Globe; Cymbeline and Hamlet, RSC ) as Jasmine; Jack Condon (East, King’s Head Theatre and Last Man Standing, Theatre N16) as Jude, Daniel Copeland ( Invincible, Orange Tree Theatre and The Jungle Book, Leeds Playhouse) as Ryan; Lisa Howard (They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay, Northern Broadsides and Flood, Slung Low and Hull City of Culture 2017) as Meggie; Chris Jack (Brighton Rock, Pilot Theatre and York Theatre Royal and Our Town, Royal Exchange Manchester) as Kamal and Kimisha Lewis (Last Dream (on earth), National Theatre of Scotland and Send: A game of textual tennis, Lyric Hammersmith) as Minerva. All actors will also play ensemble roles.

Told from the perspectives of the two teenagers, Noughts & Crosses is a captivating love story set in a volatile, racially segregated society and explores the powerful themes of love, revolution and what it means to grow up in a divided world.

Sabrina Mahfouz’s new adaptation is based on Malorie Blackman’s first book in the Noughts & Crosses series for young adults, which has won the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Fantastic Fiction Award among other accolades. A BBC adaptation of Noughts & Crosses is due to be screened in 2019 and the fifth novel in the Noughts & Crosses sequence, Crossfire, will be published by Penguin Random House Children’s in summer 2019.

Directed by Pilot Theatre’s Artistic Director Esther Richardson (Brighton Rock) and designed by Simon Kenny (Sweeney Todd, Barrow Street Theatre and off-Broadway; Holes, Nottingham Playhouse and Black Man Walking, eclipse/Royal Exchange Manchester), Noughts & Crosses will be the first co-production between Pilot Theatre, Derby Theatre, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Mercury Theatre, Colchester and York Theatre Royal who have recently formed a new partnership to develop theatre for younger audiences. The companies will commission and co-produce an original mid-scale production each year from 2019-2022, which will play in all the consortium venues as well as touring nationally.

Noughts & Crosses will open at Derby Theatre from the 1-16 February 2019 and will then embark on a tour to Theatr Clwyd, Mold; The Lowry, Salford; Mercury Theatre Colchester; Bristol Old Vic; Brighton Theatre Royal; Belgrade Theatre Coventry; York Theatre Royal; Theatre Royal Stratford East and Northern Stage.

TOUR DATES

1-16 February 2019 –Derby Theatre

Box Office: 01332 593939 / www.derbytheatre.co.uk

19-23 February – Theatr Clwyd

Box Office: 01325 701521 / www.theatrclwyd.com

26 February-2 March –The Lowry, Salford

Box Office: 0843 208 6000 [http://%20www.thelowry.com/events]/ www.thelowry.com              

5- 9 March -Mercury Theatre Colchester

Box Office: 01206 573948 /www.mercurytheatre.co.uk  

12 – 16 March – Bristol Old Vic

Box Office: 0117 9877877 / www.bristololdvic.org.uk  

19-23 March – Brighton Theatre Royal

Box Office: 08448717650 https://www.atgtickets.com/venues/theatre-royal-brighton/

26-30 March – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Box Office: 02476553055 / www.belgrade.co.uk   

2-6 April – York Theatre Royal

Box Office: 01904 623568 / www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

24 April – 4 May -Theatre Royal Stratford East

Box Office: 020 8534 0310 / www.stratfordeast.com

7-11 May -Northern Stage

Box Office: 0191 2305151 / www.northernstage.co.uk

A West End Christmas – 15th year

A West End Christmas 2018 – A magical night at The Actors Church, Covent Garden.

The Make A Difference Trust has been restoring the spirit of Christmas Since 2003, with casts and stars of West End shows coming together to be a part of A West End Christmas. With carols, Christmas songs and readings, Christmas is celebrated in true West End style. Once again this year we will be returning to the beautiful surroundings of St Paul’s (The Actors) Church in Covent Garden on Sunday 2nd December 2018 at 7.30pm

Hosted by Richard Sheldon, the MAD 12 piece band, choirs and tap dancers will be joined by members of the West End companies of Disney’s The Lion King, Disney’s Aladdin, Mythic the Musical, Heathers, The Phantom of the Opera, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and Six. Liz Connelly, Adrien Hansel, Maria Kesselman, Kerry Ellis, Eve Polycarpou, Michael Hobbs, Jane Milligan and Hannah Grace Lawson along with other special guests will be bringing their own unique styles to make sure that, as always, it is an evening of pure joy!

 

Melanie Tranter the Chair of The Make A Difference Trust, said: “Christmas is a time for tapping our toes, raising a glass and making merry. But it is also a time for charity and for reflection.  We are delighted that so many people from the West End Community are coming together on this special evening to raise funds for HIV/AIDS.”

The Make A Difference Trust is a UK based charity with a vision of a world free from HIV and AIDS. Building on the legacy of 30 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 £1.5million to support projects with their UK and international partners. For further information about the Make A Difference Trust please visit  www.madtrust.org.uk

Tickets for this amazing show are priced from £35.00 and are available from

https://www.madtrust.org.uk/events/a-west-end-christmas/

Press contact and further information: David Pearson, d.pearson@madtrust.org.uk

LISTINGS INFO

A WEST END CHRISTMAS 2018

Sunday 2nd DECEMBER 2018

Time: 7.30pm

Venue: St Paul’s (The Actors) Church, Bedford St, London, WC2E 9ED

Tickets: £45.00 £40.00, £35.00 (Booking fees apply) Ticket includes complimentary wine and & mince pies.

http://actorschurch.org/event/?show=10&id=873595117