A Look at 2018 from our Lead Reviewer Claire

Choosing the best show of 2018 is a no-brainer for me – a brilliant production of Born in A Barn performed by the children in my Reception class. Tinselled angels, barn animals striking random yoga poses, sheep nodding off and Mary shoving baby Jesus under her arm like a newspaper to take her final bow – all done with huge excitement and innocent confidence. It’s where the magic begins. Next year we’ll do Sondheim.

Speaking of which, Company HAS to be on my best of list. I mean, LUPONE!

Wise Children was another joy, both shows leaving me with tears running down my face and grinning all the way home. (It’s one way to get a seat to yourself on the night bus.)

The Rink and Fiddler on the Roof were beautifully realised, and on a smaller scale, Divergent Theatre Collective’s It Tastes Like Home was a charming and uplifting musical about cultural identity.

At Greenwich, Lazarus Theatre were on fire with Edward II, Lord of the Flies and A Midsummer Night’s Dream – give those guys a table and some chairs, and they’ll create theatrical magic.

And then we get to The Jack Studio Theatre. Good grief, most of my favourite shows of the year have been performed in that little black room. Kate Bannister and Karl Swinyard have the Midas touch when it comes to programming. Kes and Lifeboat, directed by Kate, were masterclasses in storytelling, both with an expert cast of two playing multiple roles and creating an emotional rollercoaster for the audience to thrill to.

Arrows and Traps have been consistently brilliant at The Jack with Three Sisters and Dracula, but it’s Ross McGregor’s own play The White Rose that blew my mind – and the minds of everyone I told to go see it. The story of Sophie Scholl and her fellow students’ resistance in Nazi Germany could be unwieldy and static, but McGregor pared down the details and characters and created a heart-breaking and inspirational story of family, friendship, integrity and courage filled with evocative movement and music and astonishing performances. Just sublime

Shrek The Musical Review

Leeds Grand Theatre – until 6 January 2019


The green carpet was out for the press night of Shrek the Musical as it starts it Christmas residency in Leeds.

Shrek is a triumphant explosion of love and acceptance and reminds us that we should all let our freak flag fly very high.

Telling the story of Shrek the Ogre and his love for the beautiful Princess Fiona, who isn’t quite what she seems, has a likeable mixture of wit and humanity.  At the beginning, we’re given a glimpse into Shrek’s past in a scene where his parents push him out of the house and into the big wide world – and all at the tender age of just 7. And the same goes for Fiona who is duly banished to live isolated in a tower by her parents. The story moves swiftly on to a time when Shrek is living alone in his swamp and a host of characters from nursery rhymes and fairy tales fetch up at the swamp having been banished from their home town by Lord Farquaad. So, Shrek along with Donkey heads off to sort things out with Farquaad and ends up  rescuing Fiona from her tower and from Dragon.

David Lindsay-Abaire’s book and lyrics have a welcome sense of mischief about them and Jeanine Tesori’s score has a bubblegum quality about it.  With experience in the show Nigel Harman directs expertly and Tim Hatley’s set and costume designs are spectacular.

Steffan Harri is covered in padding and prosthetics to star as Shrek.  Although very funny himself he was upstaged a few times by the delightful laugh of a small child in the audience.  Laura Main looks much younger as Princess Fiona than when she is in Call The Midwife, and has a wonderful singing voice and legs that go on forever whilst tap dancing.  Marcus Ayton is a fabulous Donkey, his facial expressions in some scene’s conveying far more than words.  And Samuel Holmes is outstanding as Lord Farquaad – a little man who thinks he is big. I can only hope his knees have survived the tour and hope he gets a lot of pain relief, physio and massages to get him through.  Special mention too to Christina Modestou who gives some stunning vocals to the Dragon.

Although brash, noisy and full of fart jokes, Shrek will undoubtedly appeal to adults as well as children and is the perfect family entertainment over the Christmas Season

Help us find Dick Whittington’s Cat!

Help us find Dick Whittington’s Cat!

2500 children are at risk of missing out on their Christmas panto tomorrow, after a theatre set was stolen over the weekend.

On the night of Friday 14th December a set for Dick Whittington and his Cat was snatched from a car near High Street Kensington. Amongst the props and scenery was the beloved puppet, Tommy the Cat. It was a bespoke creation for West End in Schools, a theatre company that travels the UK bringing high quality theatre to primary schools.

For many children the pantomime is their first experience of live theatre, and many schools book it year after year as a festive treat. But while Dick Whittington may have journeyed to London in search of streets paved with gold, on Friday night there were some Grinches lying in wait.

West End in Schools are now hoping desperately for a Christmas miracle, and have put a call-out for Tommy to be returned during the busiest week of the school panto season.

With 14 performances of Dick Whittington scheduled for tomorrow in schools across the country, the team are doing everything they can to make sure the children get the panto experience they deserve.Markmark Productions, resident company at The Civic Theatre, Barnsley, have generously provided an understudy cat puppet, Kat, created by the same puppeteer as the original. It will take some serious theatrical magic for the show to go on. In the meantime the search for Tommy continues.

The lost Tommy puppet and the rest of the set is contained in two large Eastpak bags, one black and one grey, and can be returned to any police station or to the stage door of the Novello Theatre, Aldwych, London WC2B 4LD, in London.









Bill Kenwright presents the long-awaited return of Rough Crossing written by Academy, Tony and Olivier award-winning writer Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Real Thing, Arcadia) and directed by acclaimed director Rachel Kavanaugh (The Wind in the Willows, Half a Sixpence).

The star cast is led by John Partridge, winner of this year’s Celebrity Masterchef. John is best known to TV audiences as the suave and charismatic Christian Clarke in EastEnders. He is one of musical theatre’s most prolific leading men, having played in major West End musical hits such as Chorus LineChicago, and in Bill Kenwright’s recent La Cage Aux Folles

Joining John fresh from Snow White at the London Palladium is one of musical theatre’s brightest upcoming stars, Olivier-award nominee Charlie Stemp, who has  triumphed on Broadway starring opposite Bette Midler in Hello, Dolly! and in London in Half a Sixpence. He will play Bert in the 2019 revival of Mary Poppins. They will be joined by West-End star Issy van Randwyck (Fascinating Aïda), comedy TV favourite Matthew Cottle (Game OnThe Windsors), Holby City’sRob Ostlere and Simon Dutton who portrayed Simon Templar in The Saint.

Rough Crossing opens at the Theatre Royal Windsor on 29 January 2019 followed by a nationwide tour visiting: ChichesterManchesterBathMalvernGuildfordPlymouthNorwichLeeds and Cambridge

Two famous but desperate playwrights are stuck in an ocean liner headed for New York, feverishly trying to rehearse their latest show before reaching land, and opening night. But they are constantly distracted by their delicate composer’s attempts to end it all, having overheard his lover confess her feelings to the leading man.

Add an absurdly unorthodox waiter, a mistimed lifeboat drill and a vanishing glass of brandy and soon the sharp Atlantic winds turn to world-class gales of laughter as these colourful characters become tangled up in a typically Stoppardian string of absurd events.

The creative team is completed by: Colin Richmond (Set and Costume), Ben Cracknell (Lighting) and Dan Samson (Sound). 

Freely adapted from  Fernec Monlár’s Játék A Kastélyban. 



28 JANUARY – 13 APRIL 2019 



Windsor Theatre Royal 30 January – 9 February Theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk01753 853 888
 Chichester Festival Theatre 12 – 16 February  Cft.org.uk01243 781312
 Lowry Theatre, Salford19 – 23 February  Thelowry.com0843 208 6000
 Bath Theatre Royal 26 – 2 March  Theatreroyal.org.uk01225 448844
 Malvern Theatre 5 – 9 March  Malvern-theatre.co.uk01684 892277
 Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford12 – 16 March  Yvonne-arnaud.co.uk01483 44 00 00
 Theatre Royal Plymouth 18 – 23 March  theatreroyal.com 01752 267222
 Norwich Theatre Royal 26 – 30 March  Theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk01603 63 00 00
 Leeds Grand Theatre 2 – 6 April  Leedsgrandtheatre.co.uk 0844 848 2700 
 Cambridge Arts Theatre 8 – 13 April  Cambridgeartstheatre.com 01223 503333

Rocky Horror Show Review

Theatre Royal Brighton until 5 January 2019

Reviewed by Lisa Harlow


Richard O’Brien’s 1973 absolute cult classic kicked off its national tour in Brighton this month, running through to November 2019. This completely insane musical had me grinning ear to ear with its bonkers premise, audience camaraderie and fantastic music.

Brad (Ben Adams) and Janet (Joanne Clifton) are newly engaged and find themselves led completely astray in all manners of means, but mostly in the carnal sense by the alluring and all commanding castle-dweller transvestite Frank N Furter (Stephen Webb). Need I say more?
Dom Joly as the Narrator allows the infamous audience interjections to weave in with the dialogue, some old favourites and some new ad libs (including Dom Joly’s own bang up to date Brexit retort to ‘Sieg Heil’!). There are loyal fans in full Rocky costume in attendance leading the interactions with the cast, all of whom, leave space for the variety of responses to hold court with the scripted lines.The vocal casting was perfect. Ben Jones provides a smooth and poppy voice for the nerdy, naive Brad. Stephen Webb delivers a tear-invoking performance of I’m Going Home and Laura Harrison’s vocal as the Usherette (and Magenta) is clear cut beauty in vocal form.

My eyebrows were certainly quizzically raised at the set design at the beginning of the show with a rather basic, flat car to introduce our two main stars, but thankfully arrival at the castle soothed all wrinkles as greater sophistication, colour and light was introduced against which the cast could sizzle and sidle…and sometimes backflip. There was some later, presumably unintended, hilarity when the dry ice completely consumed the ground floor audience – who refused to take it quietly.
This show is such a great tonic for anyone needing to liberate their inner feather boa and just revel in the silly, raunchy fun and innuendo. The musical score makes your soul sing and no one can resist the Time Warp surely? A great cast performance from all involved.


Mayflower Theatre, Southampton – until 6 January 19

Reviewed by Leanne Caplis


Qdos Entertainment brings this year’s pantomime, Dick Whittington, The London Palladium Production, to the Mayflower Southampton.

The show sees Dick Whittington (Joe McElderry) on his adventure to become Mayor of London whilst trying to get Alice (Suzanne Shaw) to fall for his charm. Can The Spirit of the Bells (Sheila Ferguson) guide him on his way and help him defeat King Rat (Steve McFadden) to achieve his goals?

Throughout the show it is impossible not to be amazed at the staging, set design and visual special effects provided by Ian Westbrook and The Twins FX. A real sensory treat for all ages, whether you had a huge 3D rat staring directly in your face or a bus flying overhead that you felt you could touch – everything was top draw!.

Joe’s voice in particular was outstanding, and the clever use of well-known songs had the audience singing along. Both Joe and Suzanne deserve a mention for their parts in this show. There were several moments of unease when Sheila seemed to forget her lines or place on stage, but these were quickly forgotten about with the clever improvisation of all adding some pure entertainment.

Lots of cabaret moments made the story hard to follow and the lengthy set of Idle Jack greeting the audience at the end and singing his kangaroo song seemed misplaced and too lengthy. It seemed a lot of wasted time for nothing in return other than the reappearance of the cast to take a bow. Perhaps a full cast sing-a-long would have been a more fitting end.

For me the stand out star of the show was Bobby Davro. Bravo to him for his energy, quick one liners and facial expressions. The comedy within the pantomime is superb and by the end my cheeks and tummy hurt from laughing. Although this was the story of Dick Whittington at times you could be excused for thinking it was the Bobby Davro show. Some may find the adult humour a bit daring at times and perhaps too obvious to the younger audience.

An all-star line-up with good comedy moments means this show is worth a watch and I recommend it to young and old alike

Cinderella Review

York Grand Opera House – until 5 January 2019

Reviewed by Marcus Richardson


Cinderella is known as ‘the greatest panto of them all’ is a story we all know, and the York Grand Opera house has chosen it for this years pantomime. This is my third year reviewing the YGOH panto and it also happens to be done by Three Bears Productions, each year we are given a family friendly panto with an all singing all dancing cast alongside humour to make the adults laugh.

This year has topped the other panto York Grand Opera House held in the previous years; With a solid cast and dame that seems to get cheekier and cheekier, Steve Wickenden has me in stitches from laughing at the adult humour put in the play. Wickenden played one of the ugly step-sisters called Calpol, normally there would be Ken Morley as the other sister however due to illness there was only one sister in the show, I was disappointed as Ken has been a staple for the panto for the time I’ve reviewed and I wish him a recovery so he can continue to make the audience laugh. The cast has a few celebrities in its ranks, with Michelle Heaton from Liberty X as the Fairy Godmother and Channel 5’s Milkshake Amy Thomson. The character of Buttons played by Martin Daniels gave a lot of energy to the play and made sure the kids were all entertained, he did a great job of making sure the kids were awake and taking part in the panto. The whole cast worked together really well to compensate for not having one ugly sister and the show felt like nothing was missing.

The set was just what you would expect from a pantomime; camp, crazy and glittery, with the magic of Martin Daniels throughout the show we were surprised and with a hilarious rendition of the 12 days of Christmas, which included a bra that was made for 3. Just as Cinderella is going to the ball we see her ride off in a lifelike horse that can actually trot along a beautiful light up pumpkin wagon, a moment to truly remind us of the magic of theatre and Christmas. Now no panto this year would be complete without a rendition of Baby Shark, and the audience got to sing along at the end of the show.

The York Grand Opera House panto get better year after year, as does its Dame.  I was laughing and so was the audience, if you have kids bring them to this panto as I’m sure they will love every second, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the tongue-in-cheek comedy that is hidden from the kids. 






A Sheffield Theatres Production


By Githa Sowerby

8 – 23 February 2019

Director: Caroline Steinbeis; Designer: Lucy Osborne; Lighting Designer: Johanna Town

Composer: Oliver Vibrans; Sound Designer: Nick Greenhill; Casting Director: Vicky Richardson

Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres, Robert Hastie, today announces the full casting for Caroline Steinbeis’ major revival of Githa Sowerby’s Rutherford and Son. Steinbeis directs Esh Alladi (Richard), Laura Elphinstone(Janet), Brian Lonsdale (Martin), Marian McLoughlin (Ann), Ciarán Owens (John), Lizzie Roper (Mrs Henderson), Danusia Samal (Mary) and Owen Teale (Rutherford).

“No one’s any right to be what father is – never questioned, never answered back”

1912, the Industrial North

Rutherford is overbearing, dogmatic and disappointed. With three grown children and not one qualified to take over his family-owned glassworks, he rules his household with tyranny and disdain. Janet, John and Richard have dreams of their own but none can break free.

Mary is different. Married into the family and with ambitions for her son, she’ll untangle the ties that bind. Caroline Steinbeis directs Githa Sowerby’s celebrated classic about the struggle for supremacy, legacy and deciding one’s own destiny.

Githa Sowerby (1876 – 1970) was a British playwright whose first play Rutherford and Son was originally performed in 1912. Published under her initials GK Sowerby, it was assumed the writer was a man, until the press discovered her identity and Sowerby became an overnight celebrity and feminist icon as Rutherford and Son transferred into the West End. Her other plays included Before Breakfast, A Man and Some Women, Sheila, The Stepmother and The Policeman’s Whistle

Esh Alladi plays Richard. For theatre, his work includes Absolute Hell, The Beaux Stratagem, Dara (National Theatre), Twelfth Night (RSC), Lions and Tigers (Shakespeare’s Globe), Nell Gwynn (Shakespeare’s Globe & ETT), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Wolsey Theatre), The Home in Between (Theatre Royal Stratford East) and Wit (Royal Exchange Manchester). For television, his work includes A Confession, Apple Tree House and Houdini and Doyle; and for film Normal People and Christmas at the Palace.

Laura Elphinstone plays Janet. Her theatre credits include Young Marx (Bridge Theatre), My Country (National Theatre and tour), Jane Eyre (Bristol Old Vic and National Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Rose Theatre Kingston), The White Devil (RSC), Love and Information (Royal Court) and Top Girls (Chichester Festival Theatre and Trafalgar Studios). For television, her work includes Game of Thrones, Chernobyl, My Country, Vera, The Trail: A Murder in the Family, Call the Midwife, Wendy and Peter, and Esio Trot; and for film, Military Wives Choir, Peterloo, Leave to Remain and History Boys.

Brian Londsdale plays Martin. His theatre credits include Othello (ETT), My Romantic History, The Boy on the Swing (Live Theatre), Pound Look (Gala Theatre), Noises Off (Nottingham Playhouse/Nuffield Southampton Theatres), Martyr (Unicorn Theatre), War Horse (National Theatre), Diary of a Football Nobody (Nottingham Playhouse) and The Pitmen Painters (Duchess Theatre/ UK tour/ Manhattan Theatre Club, Broadway). For television, his work includes Hustle; and for film, The Other Possibility and Goal!.

Marian McLoughlin returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Ann – she previously appeared in Love and Information. Her other theatre credits include Edmond (Royal Court), After the Fall (National Theatre), Winter Solstice (ATC Theatre), The Girls (Phoenix Theatre), Henry V, Bartholomew Fair (National Theatre), The Playboy of the Western World (Riverside Studios) and Milkwood Blues (Lyric Studio, Hammersmith). Her television credits include Defending the Guilty, Le Cop, Spy, Doctors, Boomers, Truckers, Born to Run, Thin Ice, William and Mary, Home Time, Grafters, Kinsey and Castles.

Ciarán Owens returns to Sheffield Theatres to play John – he previously appeared in Love and Information. His other theatre credits include Tumulus (Vault Festival), Abigail’s Party (Theatre Royal Bath), The Brink (Orange Tree Theatre), Disco Pigs (JMK Winner – UK & Ireland tour), So Here We Are(Royal Exchange/HighTide), The Crocodile (Invisible Dot/Manchester International Festival), King John (Shakespeare’s Globe),  A Handful of Stars (Theatre503/Trafalgar Studios), Oh What a Lovely War (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Candide, Titus AndronicusA Mad World My Masters (RSC), Our Country’s Good (Out of Joint) and Mercury Fur (Old Red Lion/Trafalgar Studios). Television credits include The Last KingdomStrike BackCrazyheadArthur & GeorgeSpotless, Wallander and The Inbetweeners; and for film his credits include Red Joan and Where Hands Touch.

Lizzie Roper plays Mrs Henderson. Her theatre work includes The Libertine (Theatre Royal Bath), Julie Burchill: Absolute Cult (Gilded Balloon), Queen of the Nile (Hull Truck), Stepping Out (Salisbury Playhouse) and The Hairy Ape (Southwark Playhouse). Her television work includes Til Death Us Do Part, Boy Meets Girl, Hollyoaks (as series regular Sam Lomax), Call the Midwife, Dead Boss and Homeboys; and for film, Soul Reaper, The Arborand Angus, Things and Full Frontal Snogging.

Danusia Samal plays Mary. She is an actress, writer, and singer/songwriter. Her acting credits for theatre include How to Hold Your Breath, B (Royal Court Theatre), Two Noble Kinsmen, The Rover (RSC), The Odyssey(Shakespeare’s Globe), Billy the Girl (Soho Theatre) and The House That Will Not Stand (Tricycle Theatre). Her television credits include Tyrant; and for film her credits include Ghost in the Shell and My Friend the Polish Girl. She is a resident playwright with Tamasha and alumna of Soho Theatre’s Writer’s Lab. Other writing credits include Busking It (HighTide and Shoreditch Town Hall), Conditionally (Soho Theatre/Oxford School of Drama), Langthorne Stories (Soho Theatre/ Waltham Forest) and Las Americas Above (Chaskis Theatre).

Owen Teale plays Rutherford. His theatre work includes No Man’s Land (UK Tour andWyndham’s Theatre), The Broken Heart (Shakespeare’s Globe), Under Milk Wood, Mary Stuart, Macbeth (Theatr Clwyd), Creditors(Donmar Warehouse/Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York), The Dance of Death (Lyric Theatre), Ivanov(National Theatre), The Country (Royal Court) and A Doll’s House (Playhouse Theatre, West End and Broadway). For television, his work includes Deep State, Jerusalem, Pulse, Game of Thrones, River, Stella, Line of Duty, The Hollow Crown, Silk, Torchwood; and for film, Tolkein, Nocturne, The Fold, Hunky Dory, Love Me Forever, Conspiracy, King Arthur and Robin Hood.

Sheffield Theatres Associate Director Caroline Steinbeis directs, following her regional première production of Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information in the last season. She was the recipient of the 2009 JMK Award and was previously on attachment at the National Theatre and in 2008 completed the Director’s Course at the NT Studio. She was International Associate at the Royal Court under Dominic Cooke, developing and directing workshops and new plays from all over the world. Her previous credits include Edward II (Arts Theatre, Cambridge), The Tempest (Royal & Derngate), The Crucible and Brilliant Adventures (Royal Exchange Manchester), We Want You to Watch (National Theatre), The Broken Heart (Shakespeare’s Globe), Show 6 of Secret Theatre (Lyric Hammersmith), Talk Show, Mint and A Time to Reap (Royal Court), Earthquakes in London(National Theatre as Associate, and the UK tour director), Fatherland (Gate Theatre and Radical Jung Festival, Munich) and Mad Forest (BAC for which she won the 2009 JMK Award).


Twitter: @crucibletheatre @SheffieldLyceum

Strictly 2018 winner Kevin Burns The Floor in York

Kevin Clifton




Graziano Di Prima

The winner of 2018 Strictly Come Dancing and Strictly favourite, Kevin Clifton, is set to BURN THE FLOOR in 2019…. BBC Strictly Come Dancing winner, Kevin Clifton, is set to headline the World’s leading Ballroom dance show, BURN THE FLOOR, when it tours the UK in 2019.  The ever popular professional dancer, who has performed in BURN THE FLOOR on Broadway, the West End, and all over the World, credits the show for igniting a spark in him and changing him as a performer.

“Burn The Floor is the show that ignited a spark in me and changed me forever as a performer.”  Kevin Clifton

Kevin will be joined by Strictly’s newest pro, Italian heart-throb, Graziano Di Prima, in the show that has revolutionised Ballroom style over the last two decades.  Combining jaw-dropping choreography and ground-breaking moves, BURN THE FLOOR will bring their famous, infectious and rebellious energy to the stage in their first ever UK tour.  From seriously romantic Waltz, to a futuristic Foxtrot, the passion of the Tango and Paso Doble cut right through. You will revel in the emotional power of the Cha Cha, the Samba and Jive, and be left breathless by the smoking, irresistible Rumba.

“Through Broadway, West End and touring all over the world this show has ripped apart the rule book, revolutionised our genre and inspired and shaped me as the dancer I am today. In 2019 I am delighted to say I am coming ‘home’ to BURN THE FLOOR.” Kevin Clifton

With Kevin headlining this electrifying production, along with lights, costumes and eclectic live music, it will have you leaping out of the seat to join in. Not just a “feel-good” performance, but a seriously “feel-fantastic” show!

Don’t miss your chance to experience the pure dance joy of BURN THE FLOOR.

Clifton himself says he is ‘coming home’ to BURN THE FLOORThe 35 date 2019 UK tour runs from the 18th April through to 8th June, opening at The Atkinson,Southport and closing in Kevin’s home town of Grimsby at the Grimsby Auditorium.

Tickets can be booked directly through the theatres or atwww.burnthefloor.com

Tickets from £20.90

ATG box office: 0844 871 3024

Online: www.atgtickets.com/york

Broadway and West End stars Jose Llana and Annalene Beechey to star in UK Tour of ‘The King And I’





Direct from Broadway

as The King


From the West End

as Anna

The Lincoln Center Theater

production of


Winner of Four Tony Awards

including Best Musical Revival



Directed by Tony Award Winner BARTLETT SHER

“I doubt I will ever see a better production in my lifetime”


Following the critically acclaimed Broadway smash hit run of the THE KING AND I and its box office sold out record breaking season at the world famous London Palladium,comes the announcement that the multi Tony Award winning production will now embark on a major UK tour from Spring 2019.

Reprising his critically acclaimed Broadway performance as The King will be Jose Llana* and performing as Anna, fresh from her West End success, will be Annalene Beechey*. 

This unmissable, majestic production will open in Manchester in April 2019, and then visit Dublin, Sunderland, Edinburgh, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Hull, Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Bristol, Woking and Southampton.

The news of the tour comes hot off the heels of the cinema release of the live production of THE KING AND I: FROM THE LONDON PALLADIUM, which has become the biggest live event in cinemas of 2018 following last week’s first global screenings. The production in cinemas has taken in excess of  $2.5m at the box office already. In the UK the film reached the number one spot, with more than double the box office of the next film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. More than 135,000 movie goers packed cinemas across the globe for the initial performance to watch THE KING AND I: FROM THE LONDON PALLADIUM – filmed on stage at the iconic London Palladium.  Such has been the demand for tickets, Trafalgar Releasing has scheduled encore screenings both in the UK and globally throughout December and into 2019. The film has already broken all equivalent records.

The West End critics heaped praise on THE KING AND I, the Daily Mail “left the London Palladium on a bright cloud of music”, while the The Times awarded the show “Five stars for a sumptuous King and I” declaring it “a hit”. Daily Express hailed it “London’s theatrical event of 2018” whilst The Daily Telegraph concurred proclaiming the show “looks and sounds ravishing”. Another five stars were awarded from the Sunday Express and the Financial Times called it “simply spellbinding”.

Acclaimed Tony Award-winning Bartlett Sher will once again direct the production and be reunited with the celebrated creative team that brought this majestic production of THE KING AND I  to life at the Palladium earlier this year.

Also joining the cast will be Kok-Hwa Lie in the role of Kralahome and Aaron Teoh as Prince Chulalongkorn. Edward Baker-Duly will take on the dual roles of Orton and Ramsay and William M Lee will play Phra Alack. The female ensemble will include Yuki Abe, Miiya Alexandra, Aiko Kato, Misa Koide, Ela Lisondra and Ena Yamaguchi. The male ensemble will include Irvine Ray Abesamis, Cletus Chan, Steven Hardcastle, Eu Jin Hwang, Jesse Milligan, Prem Rai and Joaquin Pedro Valdes. The Swings will be Rachel Jayne Picar, Nick Len and Jasmine Leung.

Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children. With one of the finest scores ever written including: Whistle a Happy Tune, Getting to Know You and Shall We Dance, featuring a company of over 50 world-class performers, and full scale orchestra, THE KING AND I is a testament to the lavish heritage of gloriously romantic musical theatre – it is the greatest musical from the golden age of musicals.

Producer Howard Panter says: “The response from London audiences to this multi award-winning production ofTHE KING AND I was unprecedented.  Critical plaudits, Box Office records and standing ovations at every show – we were overwhelmed with the rapturous response.  Coupled with the reaction to the Global cinema screenings of the film version – which is the biggest theatre event in cinemas of the year and number one at the Box Office. This really is musical theatre at its very best, so we are thrilled that we can now share this wonderous production with theatre lovers up and down the country next year.”


Manchester Opera House26 April – 11 May 2019
Dublin Bord Gais Energy Theatre21 May – 1 June 2019
Sunderland Empire5 June – 15 June 2019
Edinburgh Playhouse16 October – 26 October 2019
Leeds Grand Theatre29 October – 9 October 2019
Birmingham New Alexandra Theatre10 December 2019 – 4 January 2020
Cardiff Millenium Centre8 January – 18 January 2020
Glasgow King’s Theatre28 January – 8 February 2020
Hull New Theatre11 February – 22 February 2020
Milton Keynes Theatre25 February – 7 March 2020
Liverpool Empire Theatre10 March – 21 March 2020
Bristol Hippodrome24 March – 4 April 2020
Woking New Victoria Theatre7 April – 18 April 2020
Southampton Mayflower Theatre21 April – 2 May 2020

*Jose Llana and Annalene Beechey are currently scheduled to perform at Manchester, Dublin and Sunderland, with further dates to be announced


To book tickets please visit: KingandIMusical.co.uk

Twitter: @KingandIMusicalUK

Facebook: @KingandIMusicalUK

Instagram: @KingandIMusicalUK


★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“Five stars for a sumptuous King and I.  Book Now.  It’s a hit”

The Times

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“Songs, sentiment and spectacle. Sher’s production delivers these in spades”

Sunday Express


“We left the London Palladium on a bright cloud of music – joyous!”

Daily Mail


“Looks and sounds ravishing. Complete rapture”

 Daily Telegraph


“Simply spellbounding!”

Financial Times

“Without doubt the big, glitzy musical of the summer!”


“Fit for a King!”

 Daily Express