Brockley Jack Studio Theatre – until 3 August 2019
Reviewed by Catherine Françoise
Katheryn Howard was Queen of England from 1540 until 1541 and is well known as the fifth wife of Henry VIII.
She was beheaded at the Tower of London on the 15th February 1542 aged just 17 and this play chillingly suggests her body was covered in lime to leave ‘no trace’. Certainly no trace of her body has ever been found.
A gruesome and upsetting tale indeed and the subject of an interesting, unsettling new play by Catherine Hiscock.
The spelling of the title name Katheryn, comes from one surviving signature on the only surviving letter written by herself where she called herself ‘Katheryn’. But other spellings also still exist including ‘Catherine’ and ‘Kathryn’ and so it is very hard to say which spelling is the original one.
The recent interest and popularity of Henry’s 6 wives because of SIX the Musical perhaps now give other theatrical endeavours an added gravitas though this play is rather less ‘entertaining’ and rather more intense, thought provoking and disturbing. It is quite something to realise just how young this girl was when ~ around 11 or 12 years old ~ she was first molested by her 36 year old music teacher Henry Mannox. She was then pursued and she alleged, repeatedly raped aged14/15 by courtier Francis Dereham who said he was in love with Katheryn and wanted to marry her.
Who knows the truth? Only one letter written by Katheryn survives to (unfortunately) Henry’s favourite male courtier, Thomas Culpeper, Katheryn had considered marrying Culpeper during her time as a maid-of-honour to Anne of Cleves, and she was clearly extremely fond of him though she was adamant to the end that she had not betrayed Henry for him. But the accusations made were essential to manipulate her ultimate downfall and free the King from her.
It is to Hiscock’s credit that she not only has written this play but also plays her (differently spelt) namesake. There is an intensity, desperation and depth to her portrayal of young Katheryn. Hiscock’s play is set in the tower where the 17 year old Katheryn dreads and awaits her fate. I found this genuinely upsetting. It is recorded that Archbishop Cranmer when sent to question her, described the teenager as frantic and incoherent saying, “I found her in such lamentation and heaviness as I never saw no creature, so that it would have pitied any man’s heart to have looked upon her.” He ordered the guards to remove any objects that she might use to commit suicide.
Little wonder! She must have been utterly terrified. As her female companions tell what has been said and the accusations against her she retells from her own perspective. It is clear she was groomed and was led into sexual activity by older men (and women) at court. She is genuinely confused but also excited by the feelings and sensations discovered in these encounters. No one would have much cared about any of it until the King sets eyes on her at Court aged around 15. He makes her his 5th wife but then uses her past behaviour against her only a few years later.
Katheryn Howard is indeed a very “poignant examination of power, truth and blame set against the closeted, opposing confines of the Tudor court”.
Hiscock’s four other female supporting cast work well together. All five cast remain on stage the entire 75 minutes and it is clear which character(s) each person is playing with some compelling acting from Natalie Harper, Srabani Sen, Emmanuela Lia and Francesca Anderson.
I was a bit confused as to why the costumes are contemporary, as it is clearly presented as an historical piece of its time despite the language being less formal. Although the women occasionally play their male trial accusers, they mostly portray female characters and skirts would have made more sense (to me). If wearing trousers was supposed to make us relate the gossiping / accusations / tittle tattle to current day, I’m not sure it worked. It looked rather that they had run out of money for costumes so made do. But this is a small niggle and does not in any way diminish the substance of the play nor the acting.
This is an interesting and powerful play that deserves a longer run (and hopefully better costumes). There is much interesting historical information without feeling force fed. It is certainly disturbing but powerful and thought-provoking.
“There are men talking about me now…
Talking about you but mainly about me”
Definitely one for history buffs and those intrigued looking at things from a strong female perspective.
The Elo Experience have been recreating and celebrating the music of Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra for the past 13 years. With a sensational string section, a laser light show and a large screen projection, The ELO Experience accurately reproduce the songs and sound of ELO, taking you back to where it all began in the 1970’s.
It was great to see so many bums on seats at the theatre, I was expecting the majority to be over a certain age, but I was pleasantly surprised to see quite a wide range of ages, from early teen, to just a wee bit older. You could feel the anticipation in the air before the 8 piece group appeared on stage. What followed was a packed set full of ELO songs.
ELO were just a little bit before my time, but I do remember a few songs, and a few others were just niggling in the back of my mind, others I had completely no idea. This honestly did not matter at all as they were all just really good musicians and they put on a great show.
Some of the songs are accompanied by short films on the big screen that made up the backdrop. One to note here is a Lego animation, which accompanied The Diary of Horace Wimp. Whilst I really enjoyed this short piece, the lady who I sat next to commented about how she disliked the film, just goes to prove how we all have different tastes. After the interval the blue glow sticks came out and the light show began, adding to the whole atmosphere.
The band are made up of Andy Louis, the lookalike and soundalike Jeff Lynne, Steve Hemsley on keyboards and special effects vocals, Pete Smith on bass guitar and vocals, Jan Christiansen on lead guitar and vocals and Tony Lawson on drums. They do truly deliver a fabulous homeage to the ELO legacy, and are marvellous musicians. The icing on the cake though, are the string section. All three were absolutely fantastic and certainly make the show what it is. Francesca McDonald and Rachel Hoffman, on their cellos, certainly rocked it. Liz Stacey on her blue violin was just memorizing, a true joy to listen to and watch, wow just wow! All 8 musicians looked like they were having a complete blast, and appeared to be a tight knit group.
With the finale song of Mr Blue Sky, a song I do remember and could sing along to with no problem, probably to the detriment of the poor bods sitting next to me, it was a fitting end to an enjoyable show. A nostalgic evening of great entertainment, that truly captures the era and gets the whole audience rocking in their seats. the most important and influential bands ever.
Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester – until 10 August 2019
Reviewed by Julie Noller
Neither I, or the audience members sitting close to me at the matinee performance of There is a Light That Never Goes Out, truly knew very much about Luddites as a movement – never mind the rebellion this plays tag line refers to. In my mind they were a group of people hell bent on wanton destruction. Would history actually prove me wrong?
What becomes apparent is that there’s no excuses, no this is why, no this actually happened. But what it does very clearly is what all theatre does well and that’s tell a story. Where it goes in between or at the end is yours to decide upon. The feeling you have in the set up of the Royal Exchange theatre is one of belonging to a crowd perhaps in the throes of a riot, perhaps as an innocent bystander.
Created by James Yeatman and Lauren Mooney who bring together some painstaking research into those few years that saw the industrial revolution, wars in Europe and the American colonies not to mention a mad King and a Prince Regent that’s all a side line to the tales of an experienced weaver scared at the coming advancement of the power loom. Much as we protest today at self service checkouts and computers replacing workers this is a fear and struggle that will always be there in some manifestation forcing insecurities to the forefront. What does a man do when faced with poverty, unable to feed himself and his family? Irrational acts are born out frustration and fear, anger. Survival of the fittest often does not mean accepting technology and improvements. New money was bred with the mills of industry booming, old money had managed the peasants, keeping them in their places with pompous propriety. New money enjoyed the new privileges and change whilst calling for new changes, it was a tornado of public unrest that would see them struggle to hold sway in the power struggle.
We must applaud the cast of six multi talented actors who take on multiple roles, quick costume changes; ok so it might only have been a coat and hat but it was enough to not confuse us. Amelda Brown, Nisa Cole, David Crellin, Reuben Johnson, Daniel Millar and Katie West bring to the stage a poignant tale of our very own history, the audience will have contained a distant relative of one of the characters or at least someone who was caught up with the Luddites.
What is incredible is that the riot act was read all those years ago after a public meeting within the very same building in which we were sat; yes The Royal Exchange. This part of our history of which we know so little occurred under the very same roof we now looked upon. It is as we are told from the very first spoken words a tale based upon some facts extremely well researched and equally a small dose of speculation to fill in the blanks. Luddites led by the so called General Ludd, King Ludd or Captain Ludd, why so many names? Perhaps because he didn’t exist as we believed. But rather a faceless name to bring the impoverished workers together, what better than to gather many together in mass protests.
Like a religion, this was a form of early trades union, secretive in recruiting members. The set is somewhat simplistic a deep red (like the blood that runs deep) platform that rises like the Pennine hills that separate many of the old mill towns. Its transformation from peaceful existence of cottage industry, birds chirping, breeze rustling to the booming ear splitting heavy machinery of the mills is impressive. How we see Clem a young daughter defy her father and begin back breaking work in the local mill in order to put food on the table. The desperation to feed families keeps the workers going, life is no longer simplistic but monotonous. Her father in turn worries about his livelihood, fearing the changes that are coming he joins the Luddites and life moves on as those fears are mirrored in each class, mill owners fear for their new found wealth, old ruling classes fear change will lead to them losing position.
The sounds throughout are a bold move, instead of using sight as a main sense we are treated with many sounds to follow and yet I saw everything glass smashing as in those bubbles, heavy loom machinery deafening to all, birds chirping quietly. It isn’t so much horrible histories as complicated histories. Don’t expect to understand this era, prepare to walk away confused. There is no definitive answer as to just who the Luddites were. Their hold was only a few short years, but 20 years before workers rights led to some men being given the right to vote, nearly a century before women would see that privilege. It didn’t really stretch the full length of the country and you could be forgiven for not knowing any reasons why they happened but it’s just a small stepping stone in our past that brings about change. They were executed, or sent to the colonies but they were beaten out of the country that ultimately feared revolution above change. That’s the lesson we learn from the rather flat ending, although we were told it’s an ending we all know. Not so much from the history books but by witnessing life around us.
Change isn’t always welcomed but rather thrust upon us by those around us. There is a Light That Never Goes Out, could refer to the mill lights, the workers cottages or it could refer to constant change never ending – no one can stop progress.
KING’S THEATRE, GLASGOW – UNTIL SUNDAY 4TH AUGUST.
REVIEWED BY SIOBHAN WILSON
“Who likes to party?” Well if you do, I suggest you “Move It, Move It” down to ticket office and get yourself along to see this fabulous feel good show.
Very true to the movie, the Penguins are trying to escape the Zoo in New York to get back to Antarctica. Marty the Zebra gets swept up in the idea of visiting the wild. Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo and Melman the Giraffe try to stop Marty, they all end up sedated waking up in crates on a ship in the South Indian Ocean. The Penguins then take over the ship and the crates are thrown into the sea. The friends are then washed up on the shore of Madagascar where they encounter a whole new adventure with King Julian the Thirteenth and his subjects.
The first half was a little slower and towards the interval, the smaller children in the audience where starting to get a little restless so the interval was perfectly timed. Then the second half explodes into life getting the party started from the kick off and not stopping until the lights comes up. Including the encore with the whole audience on their feet having a boogie because “We like to move it move it”.
Posi Morakinyo (Marty) dancing skills brings Marty to life. Matt Terry (Alex) and Hannah Victoria (Gloria) have incredible voices which harmonise amazingly together. With Connor Dyer (Melman) managing to make Melman feel the same height as the others with his skillful handling of the giraffe extension. Kieran Mortell (King Julian the 13th) is a whole other level, he has all the mannerisms and humour that are in the movie, you can’t help but laugh and feel like you are right there in the Madagascan Island with him and his subjects. William Beckerleg (Skipper/Maurice) has the voices down to a fine art sounding exactly like they do in the movie. The score is just a great feel good soundtrack that will have to tapping, singing and dancing along.
This was just such a great show and I would highly recommend this. I’m booking tickets already to take my nephew. Whether you be a 6 year old child or a 60 year old child, there is no doubt you will love this show.
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough – until 28 September 2019
Reviewed by Sara Garner
Season’s Greetings is a comedy play written by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn in 1980 which premiered at Stephen Joseph Theatre in 1980.
Set in the home of hosts Neville and Belinda spanning 4 days over the festive period from Christmas Eve onwards. Anxiety, boredom and frustration mixed with copious amounts of alcohol can only lead to mayhem.
We are introduced to Uncle Harvey (Bill Champion) and Uncle Bernard (Leigh Symonds), who argue over a violent film that is watched every year at Christmas. Neville (Matt Addis) and his ex work colleague Eddie (Michael Lyle) are preoccupied over his latest invention – a remote control that turns on the lights and music on the Christmas Tree which Neville’s’ wife Belinda (Frances Marshall) is decorating. Heavily pregnant Pattie (Mercy Ojelade) (Eddie’s wife) is trying to get the unseen children to sleep. We sense that both marriages are desperately unhappy, wives feel unloved and disregarded and we can sense the frustration in their relationships from this 1st scene and throughout the play.
Other guests include Phyllis (Eileen Battye) Neville’s alcoholic sister who is trying to cook Christmas Eve dinner. We get the sense that she is accident prone and a serious of incidents occur which has her bumbling husband Bernard who is a hopeless GP running back and forwards to intervene. Belinda’s unmarried virginal sister Rachel (Rachel Caffrey) who is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her new boyfriend Clive (Andy Cryer).
Black comedic scenes occur with Uncle Harvey an ex security guard with psychopathic tendencies. Clive and Belinda develop a mutual attraction which develops more over Christmas day and culminates in a thwarted attempt to have sex in which a drumming toy bear is set off and rouses everyone in the house. Bernard attempts to go through his dreaded protracted boxing day puppet play. This ensues with a frustrated grabbing the puppets angering Bernard.
As in most of Aycbourn’s plays I felt that Season’s Greetings took time for the comedy to come to fruition. The characters need establishing and dramatic situations are set up. All families are dysfunctional even more so at Christmas time. Trapped in a home with relatives and friend and their children from Christmas Eve Season’s Greetings can resonate with audience. Hilarious at times, frustrating at others.
Tickets still available to a variety of West End shows
Go behind the curtain with exclusive activities and workshops
Tips on how to make a day of it in London with the family
From today, thousands of children and families will be experiencing the magic of live theatre for free, as the 22nd annual Kids Week kicks off in London’s West End and beyond.
With 45 top London shows participating in Kids Week this year, over 153,000 tickets have been purchased through the scheme since going on sale in June. There are still tickets available for many West End favourites and family-friendly shows like The Worst Witch, Zog, Monstersaurus!, Brainiac Live, Dinosaur World Live, Aliens Love Underpants and Horrible Histories: Brainy Britain – Part Four.
Booking is also still open for some of the exclusive, free Kids Week activities taking audiences behind the scenes, whether it’s a choreography workshop at Come From Away or Thriller Live, a backstage tour at Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, an Equus cast Q&A, a chance to learn the Waitress finale song, an improv class at Barber Shop Chronicles or insights from the Wicked technical team.
Kids Week offers a free ticket to every child aged 16 or under accompanied by a full paying adult. Half-price tickets can also be purchased for two additional children in the same group. There are no booking, postage or transaction fees.
Theatre Tokens, the only nationwide theatre gift card and voucher scheme for the UK theatre industry, can now be redeemed online to purchase Kids Week tickets.
Kids Week is one of the biggest, longest-running audience development initiatives in the world, engaging around 1.6 million children and families since it began in 1998.
How to make a day of it in the West End with Kids Week
The TKTS Theatre Mural
Visit the Theatre Mural at the TKTS ticket booth in Leicester Square, spot your favourite theatre characters and win a prize.
This large-scale artwork, on display until 30 August, contains many of the West End’s historic theatres and other famous sights, with characters from current and forthcoming West End shows hidden amongst the crowds. An online interactive version of the mural allows theatre fans to click on the hidden characters and enter into a prize draw for £500 of Theatre Tokens until 31 August.
Theatreland Tour with Ian McKellen
Explore London’s historic theatre district with renowned actor Ian McKellen, in a free audio walking tour available on VoiceMap.
The free audio walking tour, created by Official London Theatre, sees Sir Ian guide listeners around London’s famous West End, telling fascinating stories about theatres and performers past and present, and anecdotes from his own career.
The tour can be accessed for free by downloading VoiceMap on a phone, signing up via email or Facebook, then searching ‘Official London Theatre’. It starts and ends at the TKTS ticket booth in Leicester Square.
Kids Week restaurant offers
Families can take advantage of ‘Kids Go Free’ deals at many of our partner restaurants in central London, with deals at Boulevard Brasserie, Caffe Concerto, Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar, Maxwell’s, Old Compton Brasserie, Palm Court Brasserie and Sticky Fingers.
York Theatre Royal until Saturday 24th August 2019
Reviewed by Michelle and Marcus Richardson
A taste of adventure, childhood innocence and endless days spent outside created memories of summer that stick with us way into our adulthood. Swallows and Amazons is a tale of such a summer, written by Arthur Ransome in 1930.
We follow a group of children, the Walkers, who are on holiday. They have been given permission from their absent father, via telegram, to take their boat, the Swallow, out onto the lake. With the wind behind their sail, their adventures begin as they create stories of pirates and Spanish conquistadors. York Theatre Royal brings this all to life to remind us what summer should really be about.
The cast of nine, played instruments, sang and of course acted. The Walker siblings made up of John, Susan, Titty and Roger, were the Swallows. John (Alex Wingfield), is the eldest and is the Captain of the ship. Susan (Laura Soper), is the First Mate and likes sticking to the rules. Titty, whose name elicited a giggle from the young audience, (Hanna Khogali), is the Able Seaman and dreams of adventure and pirates the most. Roger (William Pennington), is the youngest and the Shipsboy. The actors playing these children have great stage chemistry and really sell the desire of adventure each one of them has.
The Amazon Pirates, who are the Swallows arch enemy, at least at the start, are two sisters, Nancy (Anne-Marie Piazza) and Peggy (Rachel Hammond). Both do a great job of creating their persona as ruthless ‘pirates’. These two provided the audience with a lot of the comic element within their roles.
The adults of the show are played by Ellen Chivers (mother), Kieran Buckeridge (Uncle Jim/Captain Flint and also the Musical Director) and Ed Thorpe (Mr Jackson/Policeman), as well as their main roles they take on other characters at times. According to all the children all the adults are barbarians. Buckeridge playing along as Captain Flint was thoroughly enjoyable.
The whole cast were strong and each actor made sure the performance went smoothly as possible. The interaction between all the cast is wonderful, and the six who played the children were 100% believable. I certainly enjoyed Pennington’s young Roger, even though he was by far the tallest of the six, his mannerisms and innocence totally encapsulated the part. Khogali’s Titty was full of bravo, fearless and enthralling to watch. Honestly, I could not find fault in any of the actors, they all delivered splendidly, with such talent.
While we didn’t get to see an actual boat, we used our imagination, something that we often use in our childhood, but somehow gets forgotten as we get older. As with various shows directed by Damian Cruden, the stage is smart and simple but with tricks and hidden secrets. I loved how the cast played instruments, sung and acted too, it kept things lively and made sure the children in the audience didn’t get too bored. The show also used a few bird puppets, with the cast stepping in to control the birds at different times.
Swallows and Amazons is Damien Cruden’s last show, after 22 years, at the York Theatre Royal as the Artist Director at York Theatre Royal. This is fabulous show to end his tenure, ending on such a high.
This is a family friendly show, which is suitable for children, however I would say it is aimed at 6+. It’s important to remind ourselves of what summer should be about, yearning for the forgotten freedom of going out and creating your own adventures during the long summer holidays. It was lovely and so refreshing to see an era where children are not glued to televisions, tablets, or mobile phones. This sweet, innocent bygone tale is a real must for all, take your children, parents, grandparents, you will not be disappointed.
Lambert Jackson Productions today announce full casting for Dr Zhivago – The UK Concert Première. Joining the previously announced Ramin Karimloo (Yurii Andreyevich Zhivago) and Celinde Schoenmaker (Lara Guishar) are Rhys Bailey (Young Yurii, Sasha), Maisey Bawden (Olya), Isabella Djuve-Wood (Young Lara), Emma De-Anne Edwards (Anna Gromeko), Darcy Jacobs (Young Tonia), Kelly Mathieson (Tonia Gromeko), Charlie McCullagh (Pasha Antipov, Strelnikov), Matthew Woodyatt (Viktor Komarovksy), Graham Hoadly (Alexander Gromeko) , and Trinity Laban Musical Theatre as the ensemble. The production takes place at Cadogan Hall, on Sunday 1 September, 2pm and 6.30pm.
LAMBERT JACKSON PRODUCTIONS ANNOUNCE FULL CASTING FOR DR ZHIVAGO – THE UK CONCERT PREMIÈRE
Based on the Nobel Prize-winning novel by Boris Pasternak, prepare to be taken on an epic journey of heart-breaking romance, following the search for love during the final days of Czarist Russia. Raised as an aristocrat, Yurii Andreyevich Zhivago is a political idealist, physician, and poet whose life is tossed by the tides of history as he is torn between a life with his close childhood friend and wife, and the passionate and mysterious Lara Guishar. Zhivago, however, is not alone in his yearnings for Lara, and must compete with both revolutionaries and aristocracy alike to win the heart of the woman he cannot live without.
Written by Academy Award nominee Michael Weller (Ragtime), the show features music by two-time Grammy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Lucy Simon, with lyrics by Tony Award nominee Michael Korie and Emmy Award nominee Amy Powers. This classic story opened on Broadway in 2015, and can now be experienced for the first time as a UK concert at Cadogan Hall.
Rhys Bailey plays Young Yurii, Sasha. He recently performed as a competition winner in Lambert Jackson Productions’ Main Men of Musicals, and is currently attending Michael Xavier’s MX Masterclass. This marks his professional debut.
Maisey Bawden plays Olya. Her theatre credits include An Officer and A Gentleman (UK tour), 35mm (The Other Palace), Honeymoon In Vegas (London Palladium), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying(Wilton’s Music Hall), The Tempest (Stafford Gatehouse Theatre), 27 (The Cockpit), The Tempest (Shakespeare’s Globe), King Charles III Royal Gala (Almeida Theatre) and Little Shop of Horrors (Theatre Clwyd). For television, her credits include You, Me and The Apocalypse, and The Sound of Music Live.
Isabella Djuve-Wood plays Young Lara. Her theatre credit includes The Secret Garden (Ambassador’s Theatre), and Godspell (The Actor’s Church).
EmmaDe-Anne Edwards plays Anna Gromeko. Her theatre credits include The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre, UK tour), Sunset Boulevard (UK tour), Gambler (Munchengladbach, Germany), Sweeny Todd (Bridewell Theatre, Royal Festival Hall), and Hair (Pavilion Theatre, Brighton).
Darcy Jacobs plays Young Tonia. Her theatre credits include The Ferryman (Gielgud Theatre), and Les Miserables (Queen’s Theatre).
Ramin Karimloo plays Yurii Andreyevich Zhivago. His theatre credits include Chess (The Kennedy Centre), Anastasia (Broadhurst Theatre, Broadway), Murder Ballad (Arts Theatre), Les Miserables (Imperial Theatre, Broadway – for which he was nominated for the 2014 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical; Princess of Wales Theatre, Queens Theatre, Palace Theatre), The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary (Royal Albert Hall), Love Never Dies (Adelphi Theatre – for which he was nominated for the 2011 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical), Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert (O2 Arena), The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre), and Miss Saigon (UK tour).
Kelly Mathieson plays Tonia Gromeko. Her theatre credits include The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre), and Sweeney Todd (Huddersfield Music Festival).
Charlie McCullagh plays Pasha. His theatre credits include Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens (Union Theatre), The Divide (Edinburgh Festival Theatre), and The Family Hoffman’s Christmas Mystery Palace (The MAC Belfast).
Celinde Schoenmaker plays Lara Guishar. Her theatre credits include The Light in the Piazza (Royal Festival Hall, and forthcoming LA Opera), Barnum (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre), Les Miserables (Queens Theatre). For film, her credits include Rocketman.
Matthew Woodyatt plays Victor Komarovsky. His theatre credits include The Light in the Piazza(Southbank Centre), The Assassination of Katie Hopkins (Theatr Clwyd), The Invisible Man (Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch), Fiddler on the Roof (Chichester Festival Theatre), Moving Stories, Much Ado About Nothing, War Horse (National Theatre), One Man, Two Guvnors (West End, UK and international tour), Allegro, A Christmas Carol (Southwark Playhouse), The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (Sherman Cymru), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Arts Theatre), and Mack & Mabel (West End, UK tour and Watermill Theatre). For television, his credits include Grandpa in My Pocket, The Passion – It Has Begun, and Arrows of Desire; and for film, A Serial Killer’s Guide to Life, and The Gospel of Us.
Jordan Murphy is currently Assistant Director on Matilda The Musical (Cambridge Theatre) and takes up the position of Resident Director & Children’s Director on Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre) in September. Credits as Director include The Railway Children, South Pacific (Cadogan Hall), After You (Queen Mary 2 Theatre), Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (Upstairs At the Gate House), Living A Little(The Vaults), Honk! (National Youth Musical Theatre/ Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds/ Rose Theatre Kingston), Double Bubble (Theatre N16), Living A Little (The Wee Theatre), The Dreaming (Chain Theatre), Zombie Prom, Radium Girls (Stagedoor Manor) and Blind Bet (The Hen & Chickens Theatre). Credits as Assistant/ Associate Director include Side Show (Southwark Playhouse), Wonderland (UK tour), The Busker’s Opera (Park Theatre), Sweet Charity, Spring Awakening (Curve Theatre), Eugenius (The London Palladium) and The Hired Man (St James Theatre).
Dr Zhivago – UK Concert Première Listings
5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ
Box Office: 020 7730 4500
Sunday 1 September, 2pm & 6.30pm
Lambert Jackson is a production company dedicated to producing musical theatre shows and stunning one-night performances. Founded by Jamie Lambert (CEO) and Eliza Jackson (Creative Director), the company made its debut at Cadogan Hall in August 2018 with There’s Nothin’ Like a Dame– 100 Years of Women in Musical Theatre, and has since produced West End Women – A Celebration of Women in Musicals, Main Men of Musicals and a very successful first season ofSunday Favourites at The Other Palace. Due to popular demand, they have just announced their second season of Sunday Favourites.
Trio join Mark Moraghan, Eric Potts, Lynn Francis, Danny O’Brien,
Chloe McDonald and Roy Carruthers for 2020 UK Tour
The final three cast members for the Spring 2020 UK Tour of Helen Forrester’s By The Waters Of Liverpool have been revealed.
After a hugely successful premiere run at the Liverpool Empire Theatre last Autumn, the play will now make its way round the country bringing Helen’s fascinating story to life on stage.
Star of stage and screen Sian Reeves is joining the tour. Sian is best known for her television roles inEmmerdale, Mount Pleasant, Still Open All Hours, Lunch Monkeys, Hope Springs, City Lights, Where The Heart Is, and Cutting It.
Hollyoaks’ Parry Glasspool and Lucy Dixon, from Waterloo Road and Hollyoaks, join Sian to complete the cast.
The cast also includes the recently announced Mark Moraghan and Eric Potts.
Mark Moraghan will play Helen’s Father. Mark previously played ‘Father’ in the 2007 and 2009 adaptations of Twopence To Cross The Mersey. He returned to play the role in By The Waters Of Liverpool in 2018. Mark is best known for his roles in Holby City, Coronation Street and Brookside.
Coronation Street and Doctor Who’s Eric Potts will play ‘Mr Ellis’, Helen’s fiery-tempered boss. Eric has also appeared in Peak Practice, Heartbeat, The Royal, Last Of The Summer Wine, and Steel River Blues.
Other confirmed cast members are Lynn Francis as the ‘Deaconess’; Danny O’Brien as ‘Harry O’Dwyer’; Chloe McDonald as ‘Fiona’ (Helen’s sister); and Roy Carruthers as ‘The Detective’.
By The Waters Of Liverpool is the stunning production from the team that brought you Helen Forrester’s timeless story, Twopence To Cross The Mersey.
To celebrate what would have been Helen Forrester’s 100th Birthday, the 11-week tour opens at New Brighton Floral Pavilion, in Wirral, from Tuesday 3 March to Sunday 8 March 2020 –just a few miles from where the writer was born.
The production will then travel to Stockport, Warrington, St Helens, Lancaster, Crewe, Southport, Rhyl, Swansea, Darlington and Malvern. The second leg of the tour will be announced shortly.
Sian Reeves will play Helen’s Mother, Parry Glasspool will play Helen’s brother Alan, while Helen Forrester will be portrayed by Lucy Dixon.
West Bromwich born Sian Reeves is an original cast member of the 1985 stage production of Les Misérables. She also later appeared in the 25th anniversary performance at London’s O2.
Sian has already shared a stage with fellow cast member Mark Moraghan. They competed against each other on celebrity TV singing contest, Just The Two Of Us. Paired up with opera singer Russell Watson, Sian took the winning honours, while Mark was runner-up with Atomic Kitten’s Natasha Hamilton. The pair will be reunited on stage as Helen Forrester’s parents.
Sian Reeves commented:“I’m thrilled to be part of the telling of this wonderful book. I’ve been a fan of Helen Forrester for years, I’ve read nearly all her books – and I can’t wait to help tell her story. It’s also just fabulous to be teaming up with Mark Moraghan again.”
Sian’s television credits also include Casualty; Mountain Goats; Doctors; Holby City; Linda Green; Making Waves; Swallow; In A Land Of Plenty; Making Astronaughts; The Bill; Gypsy Girls; and Sum Of The Parts. Films include Time Of Their Lives; No Deposit No Return; Five Seconds To Spare; Love Bites; This Little Life; Sweet Night Good Heart; and Intimacy.
Theatre credits include Love Me Tender; It’s A Family Affair; God Of Carnage; Misconception; Vernon God Little; Talk Of The City; The Merchant of Venice; The House Of Bernada Alba; The Case Of Rebellious Susan; Red Balloon; West Side Story; Kiss Me Kate; And Then There Were None; Pere Goriot; The Good Natured Man; and The Little Match Girl.
Parry Glasspool is best known for playing Harry Thompson in Hollyoaks. He was born and raised in the Midlands, before moving to London to study for his BA Hons in Acting for Stage and Media at the University of West London. After five years in Hollyoaks, Parry recently made a dramatic exit in a high-profile storyline when he was murdered.
Parry was nominated for Best Newcomer at the prestigious National Television Awards 2016 for his role in the Channel 4 soap. His character was first introduced to the show in Hollyoaks Later in 2013. Other television credits include Hollyoaks Later; Our Zoo; and film The Cutting Room. Theatre credits include Proud.
Parry commented: “After five amazing years on television, I’m excited to finally step onto a stage again. It’ll be a shock to the system, playing five different characters, but I love a challenge – bring it on. I can’t wait!”
Lucy Dixon, who hails from Greater Manchester, is widely known for her television roles as Danielle Harker inWaterloo Road and Tilly Evans inHollyoaks. Lucy received a nomination for Best Actress at the TV Choice Awards 2012 for her portrayal of Tilly. The following year, she also featured on the longlist for Best Serial Drama Performance at the National Television Awards 2013.
Last year, Lucy took to the stage to play Catherine in Proof at Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre. Her starring role as “shepherd number one” at an early age sparked her love for acting! She went on to train at The David Johnson and Vernon Acting Method.
Lucy added:“I am thrilled to be joining the cast of By The Waters Of Liverpool – and to be playing such a strong female role. I am particularly excited for my family to watch me following in Helen’s footsteps, a story they have read and know well themselves. Liverpool has always felt like home to me, even more so now I live there, and I am so excited to welcome people of all ages to this heart-felt story.”
Lucy’s other TV credits include Birds Of A Feather; Casualty; Scott And Bailey; Endeavour; Hollyoaks Later; Waterloo Road Reunited; The Power of Poetry; Doctors; and short film Comedienne. Theatre credits include The Stretch; Proof; Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons; Merchant Of Venice; Rehearsal For Murder; The Girl From The Ward; Keeper; Aladdin; Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs; Lord Of The Flies; Lysistrata; Snoopy The Musical; The Rivals; Love On The Dole; Maria Marten; Sweet Charity; Sleeping Beauty The Musical; The Wiz; and Peter Pan.
The new touring production of By The Waters Of Liverpool is again produced by Pulse Records Limited in association with Bill Elms and is directed byGareth Tudor Price.
Writer and friend of Helen Forrester, Rob Fennah has written both the stage play versions ofTwopence To Cross The Mersey and By The Waters Of Liverpool.
During the Great Depression, Helen’s father lost his fortune when the stock market and the family were suddenly thrown into poverty. Leaving behind the nannies, servants and comfortable middle-class life in the South West of England, the Forrester’s chose Liverpool as the place to start over. They were in for a terrible shock. Taken out of school to care for her younger brothers and sisters while her parents struggled to re-build their shattered lives, Helen is treated as an unpaid slave and desperate to escape.
By The Waters Of Liverpool is a period drama set in the 1930s. The story opens in 1935. Helen Forrester is 16-years-old, and fighting a bitter battle with her parents for the right to educate herself and go out to work. By 1939, Helen is now aged 20 and with Britain on the brink of war, she has never been kissed by a man. But things start looking up for Helen when she meets a tall strong seaman and falls in love.
By The Waters Of Liverpool by Helen Forrester has sold more than a million books. Now this is your chance to see it come to life in this exciting new stage play adaptation.
By The Waters Of Liverpool’s Spring 2020 UK Tour opens at New Brighton Floral Pavilion from 3 March to 8 March 2020, before heading to the Stockport Plaza (10 March to 12 March); Warrington Parr Hall (14 March and 15 March); St Helens Theatre Royal (17 March to 21 March); Lancaster Grand (23 March and 24 March); Crewe Lyceum (25 March and 26 March); Southport Theatre (27 March and 28 March); Rhyl Pavilion Theatre (31 March to 4 April); Swansea Grand Theatre (6 April and 7 April); Darlington Hippodrome (9 April to 11 April); followed by Malvern Theatres (14 April and 15 April).
Helen’s best-selling volumes of autobiography include Twopence To Cross The Mersey, Liverpool Miss and By The Waters Of Liverpool.
Adapted by Rob Fennah · Directed by Gareth Tudor Price
Produced by Pulse Records Limited in association with Bill Elms