The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13¾ – The Musical – Rehearsal Images

Following two highly acclaimed runs at Curve and Menier Chocolate Factory, Sue Townsend’s THE SECRET DIARY OF ADRIAN MOLE AGED 13¾ – THE MUSICAL, will open in the West End. Set in 1980s Leicester, this adaptation of the best-selling book is a timeless tale of teenage angst, family struggles and unrequited love, told through the eyes of tortured poet and misunderstood intellectual Adrian Mole. This critically acclaimed production of THE SECRET DIARY OF ADRIAN MOLE AGED 13¾ – THE MUSICAL has book and lyrics by Jake Brunger, music and lyrics by Pippa Clearly, and is directed by Luke Sheppard.

The cast includes Rosemary Ashe as Grandma, Lara Denning as Miss Elf/Doreen Slater, John Hopkins as Mr Lucas/Mr Scruton, Andrew Langtree as George, Amy Ellen Richardson as Pauline, and Ian Talbot OBE as Bert Baxtor. Also in the cast are Holly Ashton and Mathew Craig and a childrens cast of 16. 

h Club London Announce Pride 2019 Event Line-Up











Thursday 27th June – Saturday 6th July 2019

h Club London (formerly The Hospital Club) are pleased to announce their celebratory events for this year’s London Pride 2019. The eclectic line-up includes entertainment, panel discussions and comedy from a host of queer activists and celebrity guests. With sponsorship from Absolut Vodka, guests will enjoy a free drink on arrival at each event. The events run from Thursday 27th June – Saturday 6th July, and promises to be a vibrant celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.

To launch this year’s Pride events, h Club are partnering with Belgian artist Achraf Amiri who will design a Pride themed window for the front of the building. Belgium born with Moroccan heritage, he is a Creative Director and Illustrator, with a unique artistic and artisanal flair. Inspired by the world around him, Achraf Amiri always interprets his works with a self-reflection and a critical eye, and has beencommissioned by renowned luxury brands and collaborated with a series of international organisations, fashion houses and publicists. The design will be revealed on Monday 1st July and be on display for a week.

At h Club, the wide-ranging entertainment on offer provides something for everyone to enjoy. Try your luck at the Drag Bingo Brunch with Timberlina (Saturday 29th June at 12PM), followed by a PRIDE music night (8PM). East London Life Drawing will be hosting a life drawing class (Sunday 30th June at 4pm) with trans sex worker Sue Gives a F**k, and the ‘beating spleen of London’s alternative cabaret’ LipSinkers have created bespoke show I WAS THE BABY just for h Club (Tuesday 2nd July at 8.30PM), followed by Strip Light Productions’ dazzling comedy night (Wednesday 3rd July at 7.30PM), with the line-up including ShappiKhorsandi and Stephen BaileyPride’s Jubilee Variety Show (Friday 5th July at 8PM) is hosted by Michael Twaits, featuring Busty & Ginger, Channel No5 and many more amazing talents from the LGBT+ community, and promises to be a night to remember, and h Club will be hosting the VIP Official Pride After Party (Saturday 6th July), with Pussy Palace and Jack Maynard amongst the guests.

The panels and discussions provide an opportunity to engage with the themes at the heart of Pride Week. The Let’s Talk about Diversity panel (Thursday 27th June 7.30PM), moderated by Linda Riley of DIVA Magazine explores diversity in all guises, with guests including Sinitta, Charlie Condou and Pride Co-Chair Alison Camps. 50 Years of LGBT/PRIDE (Monday 1st July at 7.30PM) is celebrated with a panel and discussion about Stonewall, legalities and HIV, with the panel including Brian Paddick, Heather and Jake Graff, Matthew Todd and Nneka Nwolko, and Dan Le Motte presents A History of Queer Soho (Thursday 3rd July 7.30pm), a discussion about the hidden queer history of Soho nights and the people who inhabited its spaces.

Whilst h Club events are often reserved for member’s only, they will be partnering with DIVA Magazine to give away 175 free tickets to LGBTQ+ charities and communities. A hub for creatives in LA and London, h Club is full of people, idea and culture. The Pride week programming represents an on-going commitment to provide an eclectic mix of programming that caters to its diverse and ever-growing clientele.

Michael Berg, h Club said:

“Here at h Club we are proud to consider ourselves an ally of the LGBTQ community. We are immensely proud to support Pride as it reflects the diversity of our membership and our members programme.  I believe our club contributes in providing an environment to inspire the next generation of LGBTQ creatives.”



Moderated by Linda Riley – founder of DIVA Magazine and the Diversity Awards

Thurs 27th June – 7:30PM

Panel includes:

Alison Camps – Pride-Co Chair

Charlie Condou – Actor

Annie Wallace- Actress/singer TBC

Sinitta – singer


Sat 29th June – 12PM

As part of our week-long PRIDE celebrations, glamorous hirsute hostess Timberlina and ultra-dashing DJ Neil Prince bring the legendary Big Bingo Show to the Club for a salubrious brunch time bingo of finely tuned shambolic hilarity, impromptu dance routines and sing-alongs.

The Big Bingo Show has been a weekly resident at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern bringing fun days to Mondays for over 10 years

The world’s No. 1 eco-friendly drag lady Timberlina creates irreverent and informatively fun events from low-brow cabaret to high-brow museum tours.

Neil Prince is one of London’s premier DJs with an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music.


Sat 29th June – 8PM

The Pride in London &  h Club “Music” show, hosted by Michael Twaits and featuring the latest undiscovered “Music” by individual artists, bands and groups from across the LGBT+ community, including Emmett and Elenic.  All proceeds from ticket sales to Pride in London CIC.


Sun 30th June – 2PM

You’ve watched it once… you’ve watched it twice… it’s the hit film musical that everybody loves and can’t stop singing. This month we invite you to a special sing-a-long screening of The Greatest Showman.

We strongly recommend bringing your inner superstar in this one-off musical screening.

Fancy dress and singing along are strongly encouraged.


Sun 30th June – 4pm

As part of our 10-day program celebrating PRIDE, we are very excited to bring you a very special life drawing class together with East London Life Drawing and model for the afternoon, Sue Gives A F**k.

Sue Gives A F**k is a trans sex-worker who started life in front of RuPaul, as a finalist in RuPaul’s Drag Race and UK Ambassador. It was her first time in drag, it was too much, and she didn’t like it. Since then she’s gone on to host countless sell-out shows, perform with Charlotte Church and Ian Mckellan, win The Glory’s Lipsync 1000, in which 100 of the UK’s best drag artists performed, and get crowned by Michelle Visage in this year’s You Better Werk competition. Now she’s largely abandoned her adoring fans in cabaret to perform on the comedy scene.  She is the co-founder and co-host of Transgressions, a rapidly expanding podcast in which essentially, she has sex with people to work out what her gender is.

ELLD is London’s most laidback and inclusive life drawing session, led by professional artist, Ed Firth. 

The afternoon will be fun and frisky, whisking through some 60 second sketches to get you warmed up and relaxed, progressing through longer poses of 6, 10 and 15 minutes, breaking for refreshments and a gab in the middle and then finishing with a 20-30 minute pose. You’ll have about 15 drawings under your belt in 2 hours and should be millennial pink with pride!

All materials will be provided.


Mon 1st July – 7:30PM

Panel discussing Stonewall, legalities and HIV.

Panel includes:

Hannah and Jake Graff

Brian Paddick

Matthew Todd

Dr Nneka Nwokolo


Tues 2nd July – 8:30PM

The LipSinkers have been the beating spleen of London’s alternative cabaret scene for almost 15years. Putting on a bespoke show just for h Club, I WAS THE BABY is the sort of cartoon cabaret you might find in a horse drawn village hall dragged by bears between Pere La Chaise and Teddington Lock.  The time keeps shifting from 12:15pm to 1895AD. Characters arrive, formats depart; Have you ever been to the train station? And then it’s time to go. Is that Farah Fawcett on the phone or just another science test?

Strip Light Productions Presents


Wed 3rd July – 7:30PM


Shappi Khorsandi

Jen Brister

Stephen Bailey


David Mills (MC)


Thurs 4th July – 7:30PM

Throughout history, Soho has always been a place for ‘others’ to live, work and congregate: artists, European migrants, political exiles, travellers, bohemians, and Queer people. In this hour-long discussion with Dan de la Motte, discover the hidden Queer history of the night-time spaces in this area (including right here on Endell Street); the bars and clubs that operated in the years before decriminalisation in 1967, often right under the police’s nose. Learn about Soho’s leading lesbian power-couple, ‘the cult of the clitoris’, police entrapment and raids, Polari (the secret gay code) and incredible and inspiring stories of queer people standing up to oppression and their oppressors.

Dan de la Motte is a performer, curator, producer and activist specialising in Queer heritage. He is a tour guide and facilitator for Queer Tours of London.


Fri 5th July – 8PM

The Pride in London Jubilee Variety show hosted by Michael Twaits, featuring Busty & Ginger, Channel No5 and many more amazing talents from the LGBT+ community. It will be a memorable night! All proceeds to Pride in London CIC.


Sat 6th July – 8PM

Line-up includes Pussy Palace, Jack Maynard, Red Greg and Corrina Joseph.

Disney’s The Lion King announces casting for UK and Ireland tour

Disney’s The Lion King announces casting for UK and Ireland tour

The Walt Disney Company UK and Ireland has today announced the principal company for the UK and Ireland tour of the landmark musical THE LION KING which will open in Bristol in September 2019 before moving on to Edinburgh in December 2019. Further cities will be announced in due course.

THE LION KING will welcome new cast members from Belgium, Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ireland, France, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Nigeria, Saint Martin, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom and United States of America. The roles of Simba, Nala and Rafiki will be played by Dashaun YoungJosslynn Hlenti andThandazile Soni respectively. The company will also include Steve Beirnaert, Matthew Forbes, Jean-Luc Guizonne, Richard Hurst, Alan McHale, Rebecca Omogbehin, Carl Sanderson,and Simon Trinder.

The tour coincides with THE LION KING celebrating 20 years at London’s Lyceum Theatre. Since the UK premiere in London on Tuesday 19th October 1999, THE LION KING has entertained over 15 million theatregoers and remains the West End’s best-selling stage production and the sixth longest-running West End musical of all time. THE LION KING is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions,under the direction of Thomas Schumacher. 

American actor Dashaun Young will play the role of Simba which he first performed in 2007 on the North American tour, and subsequently performed in THE LION KING on Broadway, West End, Vegas and South Korea. He has also performed in Broadway productions of Motown The Musical andBeautiful The Carole King Musical.

Josslynn Hlenti will play Nala. Born in Durban, South Africa, she has performed in productions of THE LION KING in Hamburg and on the Australian and International tours, and has had roles in South African productions of AnnieFrontLines and King Kong (for which she was nominated for Fleur du Cap theatre award).

Thandazile Soni will play Rafiki. Born in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, she grew up in Umlazi. She has performed the iconic role in the Broadway and West End productions of THE LION KING as well as the North American tour, and is currently performing the role in the Netherlands.

Steve Beirnaert was born in Belgium. He will play the role of Timon which he has previously performed in the Netherlands production of THE LION KING, and for which he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in the Dutch AD Musical Awards 2017. Steve has performed in a number of other musical productions across Europe, with roles that include Emcee in Cabaret, Robertson Ay inMary Poppins, Rooster Hannigan in Annie, Lefou in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland and Akela in Jungle Book. Steve is also a writer for television.

Leicester-born Matthew Forbes will play Zazu. Having trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, his previous stage credits as an actor include War Horse (National Theatre), Kiki’s Delivery Service (Southwark Playhouse), The Wizard of Oz (National tour), Alice’s Adventures Underground (Les Enfants Terribles) and The Witches (Dundee Rep). Screen work includes Robin Hood for the BBC and Hot Fuzz (Working Title Films). Matthew also works internationally as a director, with a strong focus on puppetry, object manipulation and physical theatre, having directed numerous productions including the 2019-20, 2017-18 and 2013-15 international and national tours of War HorseTreasure Island (Leicester Haymarket Theatre), Dinner at the Twits (Les Enfants Terribles, The Vaults) and The Steadfast Tin Soldier (Little Angel Theatre and The Old Vic).

Jean-Luc Guizonne will play Mufasa. Born in Bondy, France, he has previously performed in THE LION KING in Hamburg, Singapore and Paris. Other stage credits include Chicago (Mogador Theatre, Paris), Madiba the Musical (Comedy Theatre, Melbourne and Olympia, Paris) and Gospel Sur La Colline (Folies Bergères Theatre, Paris).

British actor Richard Hurst will play Scar. He has previously performed in productions such as The Duchess of Malfi and The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich (RSC), Sunny Afternoon (National tour), Jane Eyre (National Theatre) and My Night With Reg (Apollo Theatre and Donmar). Screen work includesEastEnders (BBC), Doctors (BBC), Casualty (BBC), Look (ITV) and The Sitcom Trials (BBC).

Alan McHale will play Ed. Born in County Mayo, Ireland, he trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and has performed across the world in productions including The Clockmaker’s Daughter (The Landor Theatre), Lohengrin (Royal Opera House), Best Of Irish Rock (Holland Tour),Macbeth (Shakespeare 4 Kidz), Rebel Song (The Other Palace) and Snow White (Dubai).

British actor Rebecca Omogbehin will play Shenzi. She trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and has performed in theatre production such as Julie and Network (National Theatre), The Scar Test (Soho Theatre), Crowning Glory (Theatre Royal Stratford East) and House and Amongst The Reeds (Clean Break).

Carl Sanderson will play Pumbaa. Born and raised in Yorkshire, he trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. He has worked extensively in theatre including the West End productions Stephen Ward (Aldwych Theatre), Cats (New London Theatre and National tour), Acorn Antiques: The Musical! (Haymarket Theatre and National tour), The Phantom of the Opera (West End and National tour), The Mikado (Savoy Theatre), Starlight Express (Apollo Victoria), Guys and Dolls, The Pajama Game and The Music Man (Chichester Festival Theatre) and A Midsummer Night’s DreamCrazy for You and Hello Dolly! (Regents Park Open Air Theatre). Carl’s screen work includes The Victoria Wood Christmas Special and Acorn Antiques The Musical!, That Day We Sang and The Dresser (all for the BBC).

Simon Trinder will play Banzai. Born in Manchester, he trained at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and has worked extensively for the Royal Shakespeare Company in productions such asThe Tempest, Merry Wives The Musical, Arabian Nights, The Giant, The Dog In The Manger, Pedro The Great Pretender, House Of Desires, The Taming Of The Shrew (Clarence Derwent Award winner 2004 and Helen Hayes Award nominee USA), The Tamer Tamed, Cymbeline, Measure For Measure, Birdsong and Visible. Other stage credits include Macbeth (Regents Park Open Air Theatre), The Tempest (Manchester Royal Exchange), The Importance Of Being Earnest (Bristol Old Vic),Amazonia (Young Vic/Barbican) and Redundant (Royal Court). Simon is also a practitioner and teaches all over the world, and is the founder and artistic director of the drama school ICAT (Independent Centre for Actor Training). Screen work includes Vera (ITV), The Hollow Crown (BBC),Holby City (BBC) and Dalziel and Pascoe (BBC).

Also joining the cast include: Lwandolwethu Dennis Bam, Khanyisani Beato, Nigel Brown, Rushand Chambers, Tau-En Chien, Javier Cid, Jorrell Coiffic-Kamall, Tevin Daniel, Tim Driesen, Matthew Elliot-Campbell, Oraine Frater, Brian Gilligan, Daniel Griffith, Alicia Hayward, Zalika Henry, Caleaf Hensen, Olivia Jones, Melvin La Blanc, Jochebel Ohene MacCarthy, Zanele Mazibuko, Daniel De Jesus Mejia Garcia, Zanele Ndlovu, Buhle Nkomo, Brianna Ogunbawo, Paige Peddie, Tara Price, Charlotte Samaroo, Cristiane Santos De Jesus, Mamido Bomboko Souchu, Sherry Tay, Francesca Thompson, Connor Pele Williams, Maria Yim and Bukiwe Zinganto.

The previous tour of THE LION KING broke attendance records across the nation. With a cast of over 50 actors, singers and dancers, the story of THE LION KING is miraculously brought to life using masks, puppets and striking costumes to tell the story of Simba’s epic adventure as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and becoming king.

The stunning artistry of THE LION KING is the work of a team of designers which drew on diverse cultural influences to recreate the rich colours and vast expanses of the African savanna in this daring and inspiring reinvention of one of the most successful animated films of all time.

Julie Taymor’s internationally-celebrated stage adaptation opened on Broadway in 1997 and 25 global productions have now been seen by more than 100 million people. Performed in nine different languages (English, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway, London’s West End, Hamburg, Tokyo and Sapporo, Madrid, Scheveningen in Holland, Daegu in South Korea and on tour across North America – a total of nine productions running concurrently across the globe. Having played over 100 cities in 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica, THE LION KING’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.   

Julie Taymor, one of the world’s most innovative directors, brought a vast array of disciplines to THE LION KING, including extensive experience staging epic theatre and opera productions, exploring classic myths through ritualised puppetry, mask, and movement. THE LION KING was the first musical she directed in the commercial theatre, and Taymor made Broadway history by becoming the first woman to win the Tony Award® for Best Director of a Musical.  

The show’s full creative team, which won five Tony Awards® for its work on THE LION KING, reunited in 1999 to recreate the show in London. Julie Taymor and Michael Curry created hundreds of masks and puppets. Scenic design is by leading British designer Richard Hudson and lighting is by Donald Holder. Costume design is by Julie Taymor, and choreography by Garth Fagan. The book was adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed the animated feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the screenplay.

The original score from the animated film was expanded for the stage and now features 15 musical numbers.  

As well as writing completely new songs, South African composer Lebo M created an evocative blend of African rhythms and chorales, with additional material by Julie Taymor and Mark Mancina. Elton John and Tim Rice have added three new numbers to the five that they wrote for the award-winning score of the animated film. The resulting sound of THE LION KING is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, including the Academy Award®-winning Can You Feel The Love Tonight and the haunting Shadowland.



Boundless Theatre and Boom Shakalaka Productions present


Words by Brigitte Aphrodite

Music by Quiet Boy

Director: Laura Keefe;Production Designer: Alex Noble

Paines Plough’s ROUNDABOUT @ Summerhall

31 July – 25 August 2019

Boundless Theatre and Boom Shakalaka Productions today announce the full cast for new musical Parakeet welcoming Lula MebrahtuIsabel Oliver and Michelle Tiwo to the production. Parakeet will also star the show’s creators Brigitte Aphrodite and Quiet Boy. Directed by Laura Keefe, it opens at Paines Plough’s ROUNDABOUT @ Summerhall on 4 August, with previews from 31 July, and runs until 25 August.

In Margate, an isolated teenager forms a band and finds her voice with the help of a gang of exotic birds. A musical about finding your flock and ruffling feathers, Parakeet is a feast for the ears, eyes and heart told through irresistible song, poetry and electronic sounds. It’s time to discover the new spirit of punk: punk with empathy.

The production sees Brigitte AphroditeQuiet Boy and Laura Keefe renew their collaboration following My Beautiful Black Dog, which toured the UK following a sold-out run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015.

Brigitte Aphrodite is a punk poet, musician, writer, theatre maker and feminist showgirl. During her formative years Aphrodite toured extensively as a musician, alongside artists such as Kate Nash and Josie Long. She is best known for her critically acclaimed show and album My Beautiful Black Dog; a part gig, part theatre, punk musical exploring depression. It sold out at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and toured nationally. Through the Wellcome Trust a workshop based around the show was developed and carried out in schools across the country.

Gaz Tomlinson also known as Quiet Boy, is an alternative electronic, singer songwriter, theatre composer, performer and workshop facilitator. With over a decade’s experience of playing in bands,  Tomlinson has toured the UK extensively and appeared at many major UK music festivals. His debut piece was composing, musically directing and performing in critically acclaimed gig theatre My Beautiful Black Dog. He is an Associate Artist at Hackney Showrooms.

Lula Mebrahtu is an Eritrean-born actress, DJ and presenter. She performs regularly as at festivals and events worldwide. As a presenter, she regularly fronts shows for the BBC and hosts jazz festivals. Her acting credits include Concrete JungleThe Lucumi Choir and Death of a Pebble Dancing (Edinburgh Festival Fringe).

Isabel Oliver is an actor, singer, songwriter and musician. Her acting credits include Titus Andronicus (Teatro Dei Borgia, Italy). She also performs as a singer musician in a variety of venues and at festivals, including regularly at Spinning Yarns Theatre.

Michelle Tiwo is an actor, poet, poet educator and founder of Sistren podcast. Their acting credits for theatre include And the Rest of Me Floats (Bush Theatre). For television, Ackee & Saltfish; and for film, Faces.

Laura Keefe’sdirecting credits include My Beautiful Black Dog (Edinburgh Fringe Festival/
UK tour), One Million Tiny Plays About Britain (The Watermill Theatre), Turning a Little FurtherThe Lost (Young Vic), Used Blood Junkyard (Arcola Theatre), I Know Where the Dead are Buried (24/7 Theatre Festival), Guilt and Shame (Edinburgh Festival Fringe/Latitude Festival/Bestival/Soho Theatre). As Associate Director her credits includeMad About the Boy and Is Everyone OK? (UK tour). As Assistant Director her credits include Romantics Anonymous, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe), As You Like It (National Theatre), Feast (Young Vic), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), SaltRoot and Roe (Donmar Warehouse/Trafalgar Studios) and Roaring Trade (Paines Plough/Soho Theatre).

PARAKEET                                                                                                                                                           Listings

Paines Plough’s Roundabout @ Summerhall

1 Summerhall, Edinburgh EH9 1PL – Venue 26

31 July – 25 August 2019

Previews: 31 July & 2 August

Box Office:



Grandpa’s Great Escape – David Walliams’ best-selling kids book to be transformed into a multi-million pound live show

Phil McIntyre Live proudly presents




Tickets on sale 8am Tuesday 4 June

The first ever stage adaptation of Grandpas Great Escape, the exhilarating number one bestselling children’s book by actor and comedian David Walliams, is to tour UK arenas this Christmas. The live version of the kids’ favourite, which has sold over two million copies around the world begins in Birmingham on 23 December. It will then visit London, Sheffield, Nottingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow before culminating in Liverpool on 4 January. Tickets go on sale at 8am on Tuesday 4 June.

Grandpa’s Great Escape Live follows the acclaimed television film which aired on BBC One in December 2018, and will be directed by Tony® Award nominee Sean Foley (The Catherine Tate Show Live & The Painkiller). Grandpas Great Escape is the eighth book by Walliams and was published in September 2015 by HarperCollins Children’s Books.

David Walliams said: “Grandpa’s Great Escape Live is an incredible new development for the book. We’re not just turning it into a live show, but into a spectacular live arena show for all the family this Christmas.  Being in arenas means we can have a life-size Spitfire, a tank, the London landscape and a dramatic escape from the Imperial War Museum. It’s great because we can really go to town with all of those elements and this story demands that scale. I’m delighted to be involved with this arena tour of Grandpa’s Great Escape Live, working with fantastic people like the director Sean Foley and Kevin Cecil, who’s written the script. I couldn’t be more excited about it!”

The wonderous stage design for Grandpa’s Great Escape Live will see arenas around the UK transformed into London and its landmarks, including Buckingham Palace and the River Thames, from thousands of feet in the sky, as Grandpa’s life size Spitfire soars through the air.The set for this multi-million pound production has been created by entertainment architects Stufish Productions (Cirque du Soleil, Beyonce & Jay Z, Madonna, The Rolling Stones). The script adaptation of the book has been written by Kevin Cecil (Little Britain & Gangsta Granny television film).  Casting for the show will be announced soon.

Grandpas Great Escape, which has been translated into 39 languages received a wealth of glowing reviews with the Evening Standard declaring Walliams as “the new Roald Dahl”, while The Times describe the story as “a beguilingly funny, original and thought-provoking tale… hilarious”.

Many years ago, Grandpa was a World War II flying ace. But when he is sent to old folk’s home Twilight Towers – run by sinister Matron Swine – it’s up to Grandpa and his grandson, Jack, to plot a daring escape. Little do they know, the wicked matron is on to them.

Grandpa’s Great Escape Live 2019 UK Tour

tline number 0844 493 6666 or from 11.00am in person from the Utilita Arena Box Office. Please note venue facility and booking fees will apply.

Monday 23 DecemberBirmingham: Arena Birmingham4.00pm & 7.00pm
Tuesday 24 DecemberBirmingham: Arena Birmingham1.00pm & 4.00pm
Thursday 26 DecemberBirmingham: Arena Birmingham4.00pm & 7.00pm
Friday 27 DecemberLondon: The SSE Arena, Wembley4.00pm & 7.00pm
Saturday 28 DecemberLondon: The SSE Arena, Wembley4.00pm & 7.00pm
Sunday 29 DecemberSheffield: FlyDSA Arena4.00pm & 7.00pm
Monday 30 DecemberNottingham: Motorpoint Arena4.00pm & 7.00pm
Wednesday 1 JanuaryManchester: Arena4.00pm & 7.00pm
Thursday 2 JanuaryNewcastle: Utilita Arena4.00pm & 7.00pm
Friday 3 JanuaryGlasgow: The SSE Hydro4.00pm & 7.00pm
Saturday 4 JanuaryLiverpool: M&S Bank Arena4.00pm & 7.00pm

Listings Information 
Tickets from: £25 plus venue levy and booking fees

Facebook: @GrandpaEscape

Twitter: @GrandpaEscape

Instagram: @GrandpaEscape


Sally Cookson’s magical retelling of PETER PAN by J M Barrie will open at a new venue, Troubadour White City Theatre, in July

Get set for an awfully big adventure as the National Theatre’s magical retelling of J M Barrie’s PETER PAN, a thrilling story for audiences of all ages devised by the companies and directed by Olivier Award-winner Sally Cookson (Jane EyreA Monster Calls), will open at Troubadour White City, a new theatre in West London, this summer.

Peter Pan, first seen at Bristol Old Vic and reconceived at the National Theatre in 2016, features innovative aerial acrobatics and live music from an on stage band. Bursting with magic, mischief, music and make-believe, Sally Cookson’s wondrously inventive Peter Pan is a funny and moving version of a much-loved story.

Performances begin 20 July and run through to 27 October, with a press performance on Saturday 27 July at 2pm.Tickets are now on sale to NT and KX Tickets members, with public on sale from Friday 7 June.

All children grow up. Except one.

When leader of the Lost Boys, Peter Pan, loses his shadow during a visit to London, headstrong Wendy helps him re-attach it. In return she is invited to Neverland – where Tinker Bell the fairy, Tiger Lily and the vengeful Captain Hook await.

Troubadour White City Theatre will open at White City Place, the former BBC Media Village in West London. The venue will consist of two fully flexible spaces including a 1,200 fully flexible theatre and an 800-seat multi-purpose state-of-the-art theatre. White City Place is a joint venture development between Stanhope, Mitsui Fudosan and AIMCo.

Peter Pan is a National Theatre co-production with Bristol Old Vic.

Peter Pan is designed by Michael Vale with costume design by Katie Sykes, dramaturgy by Mike Akers, lighting design by Aideen Malone, and sound design by Dominic BilkeyPeter Pan features original music byBenji Bower, with movement direction by Dan Canham, puppetry co-design and direction by Toby Olié and aerial direction by Gwen Hales. Casting is by Sam Stevenson. Casting to be announced. Casting to be announced.
Sally Cookson trained at LAMDA and worked as an actor for ten years before embarking on a freelance directing career. Her theatre credits include The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Jane Eyre and Peter Pan (Bristol Old Vic/National Theatre). She is an associate artist at Bristol Old Vic, where other productions include Sleeping BeautyTreasure IslandThe Boy Who Cried WolfPapa Please Get the Moon for MeClownStrange CasePericlesPains of Youthand The Visit. Her numerous collaborations with Travelling Light theatre include Strictly BaltiThe Ugly DucklingBoing!How Cold My ToesShadowplayCloudlandLenny and Bob the Man on the Moon. Other theatre includes One Hundred and One DalmatiansAli Baba and the Forty Thieves,Cinderella – A Fairytale (Tobacco Factory Theatre, Olivier Award nomination); La StradaHetty Feather (Olivier Award nomination); We’re Going On A Bear Hunt (Kenny Wax Productions); Romeo and Juliet (The Rose Theatre); Stick Man and Tiddler (Scamp Theatre).

Peter Pan is presented by special arrangement with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Samuel French Ltd.

Peter Pan at Troubadour White City Theatre is supported by American Express, the National Theatre’s preferred Card Partner.

Booking information
Peter Pan

Troubadour White City Theatre

20 July – 27 October

Tickets from £18

Evening performances at 7.30pm Tuesday – Saturday (with an additional performance on Monday 22 July). Matinees at 2pm on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Check websites for full performance schedule. Book via / 020 7452 3000 or at the Troubadour Theatre Box Office: 0844 815 4866* 

* cost 7p per minute, plus your standard network rate.










Troubadour White City Theatre

Ogg ‘n’ Ugg ‘n’ Dogg Review

Brighton Fringe – 2 June 2019

Reviewed by Alex Sykes


Ogg n Ugg n Dogg tells the story of two hunter-gatherers and how they come to have the first pet dog.

The show, set in Yorkshire, starts with Ugg and Ogg, played by Jack Faires and Natasha Granger, introducing themselves and explaining that they are not cavemen but hunter-gatherers. Through the means of song the pair go on the hunt for food and find some grapes, a mushroom and a snake, which escapes by shedding its skin. The pair start a fire (cleverly made by using orange fairy lights) and realise that the wolves howl louder when they are cooking and eating meat. They decide to feed the left over meat and bones to the wolves and the wolves, Tooth and Nails, end up following them as they go on their adventures. On their journey the wolves have puppies meaning more mouths to feed. Disaster strikes when a wild fire appears and the group have to swim across the river to safety. Once they are living on the other side of the river Ogg and Ugg realise that one of the wolf puppies has rounder ears than the others and is a lot friendlier as well. Fast forward to modern times and a modern Ugg and Ogg have a small fluffy dog as a pet who likes to chase sticks.

Faires and Granger work well together and the story flows well. There are times when they could have included the audience more but overall it is very good and if you ever want to see a wolf beat box then this is the show for you. The sets are simple but effective and the costumes help set the scene as well. A must see for all the family.

Precious Little Review

Jack Studio Theatre – until 15 June 2019

Reviewed by Claire Roderick


Madeleine George’s intriguing play examining language and communication centres around Brodie (Jenny Delisle), a linguist whose world is shaken when her amniocentesis test produces ambiguous results. The possibility of having a child that may not be able to speak terrifies her, and her girlfriend/postgrad assistant Dre (Jessica Kinsey) is no comfort as she does not understand the connection Brodie feels with her daughter after seeing her image onscreen. Meanwhile, Brodie continues her work involving documenting the almost extinct Kari language, recording sessions with Cleva (Deborah Maclaren), one of the last native speakers, with growing agitation from Cleva’s daughter Evelyn. The other major character in the play is an ape, played with wonderful dignity by Deborah Maclaren. After being used as part of a linguistic study, and being taught to respond to coloured symbols, the ape has been sent to live out the rest of its life in a zoo.

Madeleine George’s plot seems to wander at first, but everything comes together as the notion of connection through language is explored in every scene. From the condescending jargon of the enthusiastic but tactless counsellor, the factual but mindbogglingly complicated scientific terms used to describe genetics to the slack overuse of the word “like” in Dre’s everyday language, Brodie adapts her language to converse, with lots of wry humour, but never quite connects. The only character who constantly says what it actually means is the ape, describing its surroundings and actions in a clear and starkly poetic way that portrays its connection with and acceptance of itself in a way that many people search a long time to achieve. The contrast between the ape and the humans watching it at the zoo is very funny, with Jessica Kinsey switching seamlessly between a host of characters having ever increasingly vacuous conversations – my favourite being the mum trying to keep smiling as she negotiates through gritted teeth with her misbehaving child.

The beauty of language is talked about in a romanticised way by Brodie, but the magic is shown by Cleva in a monologue that will set your lips trembling as the old lady experiences a rush of memories as she says words aloud that she has not spoken for decades. The joy, hardship and terror of her childhood come flooding back as the familiar sounds form – the overwhelming feeling of hiraeth (sorry – no accurate English translation for that) felt for the land, language and community of your home. The sadness of Brodie’s desperate need to communicate and connect with the ape, and the beautifully quiet way this is achieved is palpable, and their silent moments of gestures as the zoogoers witter on around them say more about the ability of language to both connect and isolate than any words ever could.

The cast are phenomenal, with Deborah Maclaren exceptional in her movement work as the ape and wonderfully nuanced as Cleva in what initially appears to be a role of comedy light relief. Jessica Kinsey gives each of her characters huge energy and warmth, and Jenny Delisle slowly revealing Brodie’s pain and loss of control in a hugely sympathetic and believable performance.

Karl Swinyard’s minimal set and Ben Jacobs lighting combine beautifully to create a clear idea of the different places in the play. The lush light on the ape’s enclosure is wonderful, imbuing the scenes with an almost hypnotic relaxation as the ape sits in the sun. Julian Starr’s gorgeous sound design and music add even more atmospheric layers, and Kate Bannister’s inspired direction never rushes the action, allowing the cast and the story to gently evolve before the audience.

Precious Little is a play that will haunt you – a thoughtful and sensitive production with a stellar cast challenging the audience to think about how language is used and abused in our world today, and our own connections and communication with those we love.





The audience’s first introduction to Jamie (Cary Crankson), the play’s focal character, is rather an erratic experience.

It is 1983 in Gravesend. Jamie is both a giggling, boastful teenager, shy and clumsy next to his heart’s desire, Lynsey (Rebecca Stone), talking of wistful dreams of a house with a garden and dog. He is a simple and illiterate 18-year-old boy, still very immature. Yet also so damaged by trauma, he is apparently psychopathic. Having stolen a car to go joyriding and ‘rescue’ Lynsey from a home, how he glibly reveals his earlier criminal actions is a shock given their violence.

We are flashed forward to Jamie’s future, before being taken back to the ‘prologue’ to finish. Details of Jamie’s own difficult home life and time in a home are peppered throughout, including how this had left him vulnerable to his own trauma. In his eyes, his actions were the simple way to seek justice.

Jamie spends the next 20 years trying to atone, to resurrect a life worth living, to reform bonds that he holds dear. Every superficial conversation with significant others in his life: his half brother Matty (Dario Coates) and his daughter (Frances Knight), held deep undercurrents. The stage direction and excellent performances given, particularly by Stone and Crankson, allow the audience to experience the profound emotional processing at work in any given moment.

This play is not afraid of silence. It revels in it and harnesses its power. It is not time wasted but utilised for its ability to convey intense emotions felt by all the characters.

From time to time, Jamie attempts to verbalise his true need (‘I wanna hold your soul in my hands’), but it seems redemption is not in his reach.

Although the play comes full circle, as we join Lynsey and Jamie in some sweet moments before the tragic actions are taken, there is no conclusion to this story. No particular answer, if you will. I walked away having enjoyed it for its masterful performances, but also being left with a large question mark.

An Audience with Cannon and Ball Review

Hull City Hall – 31st May 2019

Reviewed by Dawn Bennett


If laughter is the best medicine Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball should be prescribed on the NHS! From the moment they came on stage they had the very appreciative audience in fits of laughter.

They were a well-oiled machine and their jokes flowed thick and fast, and along with the audience participation (who loved it!), it made for a brilliant night out.

The first half took us back to their early television days, with sketches and catchphrases galore… “rock on Tommy”, “you’ve got me skin” to name a couple! Bobby’s infamous red braces and Hush Puppies were back and along with the adlibs I don’t know who was laughing more, the audience or them! And the signing was brilliant, both had fabulous voices!

In the second half we learnt about their early years. Having watched them on TV in the 80’s finding out how much hard work they put in to be the successes they have become was really interesting. Bobby working with his sister from the age of 8, them both starting off as part of a singing trio then a duet and then, realising comedians earned £3 more, switching to comedy and we’re so glad they did! Both were welders and they told how they met when Bobby welded Tommy’s steel toe capped boots to the rig they were working on! They talked about “dying” in clubs and working 42 weeks away from home in one year!

They had a question and answer sessions at the end, both totally unphased by the large number of hands that shot up and the questions that followed. They finished with a song and a very well-deserved standing ovation.

Cannon and Ball are totally at home with a live audience, hilarious without being crude or nasty. Would definitely be one I’d recommend you could to take the whole family to. Would love to see them again and long may they continue working!!