UK tour dates announced for the premiere of Night of The Living Dead – Remix

UK tour announced for the premiere of Night of The Living Dead™ – Remix

They’re coming to get you Barbara

To celebrate Halloween, imitating the dog and Leeds Playhouse are delighted to announce the full UK tour for the premiere of their unique shot-for-shot stage recreation of George A. Romero’s classic 1968 zombie movie – Night of The Living Dead™ .

Night of the Living Dead ™- Remixwillrun at Leeds Playhouse from the 24 January-15 February. It will then tour to Liverpool Playhouse (18-22 Feb), Exeter Northcott (25-26 Feb), Theatr Clwyd (28-29 Feb), Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal (2-3 Mar), Nottingham Playhouse (10-11 Mar), Dundee Repertory Theatre (13-14 Mar) and HOME, Manchester (18-21 Mar).

In 1968, Night of the Living Dead started out as a low-budget independent horror movie telling the story of seven strangers taking refuge from flesh eating ghouls in an isolated farmhouse.

Fifty years on, seven performers enter the stage armed with cameras, a box of props and a rail of costumes. Can they recreate the ground-breaking film, shot-for-shot before our eyes, using whatever they can lay their hands on?

With 1,076 edits in 95 minutes, it’s a heroic struggle. Success will require wit, skill and ingenuity and is by no means guaranteed.

Romero’s original was an apocalyptic vision of paranoia, the breakdown of community and the end of the American dream. In their new stage production, masters of digital theatre, imitating the dog, create a love-song to the original 1960s film, a remaking and remixing which attempts to understand the past in order not to have to repeat it.  Their version is in turns humorous, terrifying, thrilling, thought-provoking and joyous. Above all, in the retelling it becomes a searing parable for our own complex times.

imitating the dog have been making ground-breaking work for theatres and other spaces for 20 years. Their work, which fuses live performance with digital technology, has been seen by hundreds of thousands of people in venues, outdoor festivals and events across the world. Past productions have included Hotel MethuselahA Farewell to Arms and most recently Heart of Darkness.

Leeds Playhouse is one of the UK’s leading producing theatres; a cultural hub, a place where people gather to tell and share stories and to engage in world class theatre. It makes work which is pioneering and relevant, seeking out the best companies and artists to create inspirational theatre in the heart of Yorkshire.

Presented by courtesy of Image Ten, Inc,  Night of The Living Dead ™ – Remix is directed by imitating the dog’s co-artistic directors Andrew Quick and Pete Brooks. Casting will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information visit (Twitter: @imitatingthedog)

Rosie Kay Dance Company returns to Leeds to discover what makes dance beautiful

Rosie Kay Dance Company returns to Leeds

to discover what makes dance beautiful

Three dancers in tutus in front of colourful backgrounds

Rosie Kay Dance Company


Thursday 21 November

Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre, Leeds

Returning to Leeds after a sold-out visit in 2017, Rosie Kay Dance Company is back at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre next month with their latest production, Fantasia. Bringing ballet and tutus into the 21st century, Fantasia will be performed on 21 November 2019 for one night only.

Rosie Kay’s newest work fuses dance and science to create an exquisite performance of pleasure, beauty and finesse. Following work with neuroscientists in the UK and Denmark’s Center for Music in the Brain, Rosie Kay explores how dance can trigger sensations of pleasure and fulfilment in the brain, and what makes dance so beautiful to watch and experience.

Fantasia is a work of pure joy inspired by music and the body’s response to it, featuring three bold female dancers as they discover love, loss, emotion and joy. With sumptuous costumes that defy expectation, this production explores the currently unfashionable aesthetic concept of beauty.

With a soundtrack of Vivaldi, Purcell, Beethoven and Bach, arranged by Annie Mahtani, Fantasia features designs by Louis Price and lighting by Mike Gunning.

Rosie Kay, Artistic Director and choreographer says: ‘The audience will come in and be transported over an hour with delightful dance that is designed to draw you in and entertain you. This will be a deceptively simple yet complex work that will stir your heart and your mind.’

Tickets for Fantasia by Rosie Kay Dance Company at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre, Leeds are on sale now and can be booked online at or by calling the Box Office on 0113 220 8008. Tickets are priced at £18.50.

Footloose Review

Theatre Royal, Windsor – until 2 November 2019

Reviewed by Liberty Noke


I have to be honest that before tonight I had never seen Footloose not even the film version. Although I was familiar with the songs as I’m sure most people are, so was looking forward to this show.

The opening number Footloose was the classic we all know and love but with a slight modern twist. The dancers performed with infectious energy that made me want to dance along with them. Anders Callaway gave a very convincing performance of Ren, a teenage boy from Chicago who moves to the small town of Bomont with his mother after his father abandoned them. He is shocked to find out that dancing has been outlawed by the Reverend but with the help of some new friends Ren convinces the Reverend to allow dancing once more.

Samira Muusa brought plenty of sass to the role of Ariel and I found Rana Abid-Ali’s portrayal of Vi rather moving as you could hear the character pain in her voice as she sang.

It was fantastic to see so many talented young people in this cast and although this was an amateur youth performance the cast were professional. At one point the table on the stage broke and fell to the ground. Despite laughter from the audience the cast continued as if nothing had happened. The entire cast also maintained convincing American accents throughout most notably Thomas Witheridge playing Willard.

Overall a very enjoyable show with lots of fantastic musical numbers. I would definitely watch Rare Productions perform again.



“A Joyful Celebration of Life” Sunday Express

Raymond Briggs’ festive favourite The Snowman has whisked generations of children off to a wintery wonderland for a festive adventure year on year. Now Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s magical live stage show journeys to the Opera House Manchester from 7-10 November.

Based on the much-loved film and book, the enchanting stage adaptation features exquisite dancing, magic and live music, including the unforgettable classic Walking in the Air.

The family favourite follows the story of a young boy’s adventures when his snowman comes to life on Christmas Eve. Featuring a dazzling array of colourful characters including dancing penguins, a beautiful snow princess, her wicked beau Jack Frost and of course, Father Christmas himself, The Snowman is the perfect Christmas treat for the family and a wonderful introduction to dance for the very young.

Inspired by the film directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by John CoatesThe Snowman has become a must-do Christmas activity, “guaranteed to melt the heart of even the most cynical Scrooge” (The Guardian). Featuring choreography by Robert North, direction by Bill Alexander, design by Ruari Murchison, lighting by Tim Mitchell and timeless music and lyrics by Howard Blake, the performance has been seen by millions.

The Snowman is visiting the Opera House as part of a UK and international Tour.

Suitable for all ages


Thursday 7 November – Sunday 10 November
Manchester Opera House

Six coming to The Bristol Hippodrome July 2020



The West End smash hit musical SIX written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, today announces it will be coming to The Bristol Hippodrome 7 – 11 July.

The touring Queens will be played by Lauren Drew (Catherine of Aragon), Maddison Bulleyment (Anne Boleyn), Lauren Byrne (Jane Seymour), Shekinah McFarlane (Anna of Cleves), Jodie Steele (Katherine Howard) and Athena Collins (Catherine Parr), with Alternates Jennifer Caldwell, Cassandra Lee and Harriet Watson. The cast are backed by the show’s all-female band, The Ladies in Waiting.

SIX opens its nine-month UK tour at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford on 24 October 2019, visiting 33 venues until 25 July 2020, including a Christmas season at The Lowry Quays Theatre from 3 December 2019 to 5 January 2020.

The SIX phenomenon shows no sign of abating. Two years to the day since the show premiered as a student production at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, SIX announced its Broadway transfer to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York following sold out runs in Chicago and Boston.

Back in London where SIX continues to sell every seat for every performance at the Arts Theatre, the show was nominated for five 2019 OIivier Awards, including Best New Musical, Best Choreography and Best Costume Design. The show will open at the Sydney Opera House in January and is due to reopen in Chicago next summer. Productions are being planned for China, Japan, South Korea and Canada.

From Tudor queens to pop princesses, SIX sees the six wives of Henry VIII take to the mic to tell their own personal tales, remixing five hundred years of historical heartbreak into an 80-minute celebration of 21st century girl power. The songs from the show have proved to be a chart storming sensation racking up 50 million streams and adding 300,000 daily. Ann Boleyn’s song ‘Don’t Lose Ur Head’ has been shared over half a billion times on the TIK TOK app.

These Queens may have green sleeves, but their lipstick is rebellious red. Think you know the rhyme, think again… Divorced. Beheaded. LIVE!

SIX is co-directed by Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage, featuring choreography by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille. The design team includes Emma Bailey (Set Design), Gabriella Slade (Costume Design), Paul Gatehouse (Sound Design) and Tim Deiling (Lighting Design). The score features orchestrations by Tom Curran with music supervision and vocal arrangements by Joe Beighton.

Associate Choreographer Freya Sands, Musical Director Katy Richardson, Associate Musical Director Arlene McNaught. SIX is produced by Kenny Wax, Wendy & Andy Barnes and George Stiles.


The BroadwayWorld Awards 2018


The BroadwayWorld Awards 2018


The Curtain Up Show Album of The Year Awards 2018


The Spy in the Stalls Awards 2018


WhatsOnStage Awards 2019


Best New Musical

Best Off-West End Production

Best Original Cast Recording

Best Choreography

Best Lighting Design

Best Costume Design


Best New Musical

Outstanding Achievement in Music

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical (The Queens)

Best Theatre Choreographer

Best Costume Design


Tickets go on sale at 10am on the following dates:

ATG TheatreCard: Friday 1st November

Presale: Tuesday 5th November

General: Wednesday 6th November

Sign up for 48 hours’ priority ticket access here:

Want access to tickets before the crowds? ATG TheatreCard Members get 6 days from 1st November to book before the general public, plus priority booking all year round at The Bristol Hippodrome! Find out more:

Calendar Girls – The Musical Review

StoryHouse, Chester – until Saturday 2 November 2019

Reviewed by Julie Noller


Calendar Girls is approaching the end of it’s UK tour, StoryHouse is your very last chance to catch it in the North, you have been warned. It’s seen a plethora of famous faces over the years; all have taken to the stage to do justice to the well known true story of life within a small Yorkshire town and more so to blow the stereotypical views of the Women’s Institute out of the water.

Gary Barlow and Tim Firth work well together to bond music and lyrics, this helps to differentiate the musical from the play and more importantly the 2003 film of the same title.

My day started not by watching the musical but being invited to meet the cast for a photo call, whilst there I was lucky enough to sit and enjoy coffee with members of some of the local W.I’s, what can I say? They were bright and welcoming from sunflower socks to shiny sunflower broaches. They were engaging, witty; the laughter flowed and I was hopeful the cast would be as enthusiastic on stage as the sunflowers of Chester are in real life.

I have seen Calendar Girls previously and I know that this musical is always very well supported wherever it’s being performed. As the ladies themselves informed me, it’s not all jam and Jerusalem these days, they are modern, fun loving women. Not all following in their mothers footsteps.

I believe the Calendar Girls are more role models than just a mere story. But what a story it is from teenage angst to middle age anxiety. It covers more than the sad loss of a life partner to cancer. There’s members of the W.I. swearing, there’s friendship that’s survived the years, men who understand more than the women around them. But more so there’s the transition from daughter into mother and the telling tale of what goes around comes around. Plus I really never thought I’d say the words I saw Ruth Madoc naked… ok there was knitting covering her modesty.

Sarah Jane Buckley is Annie who is dealing with the illness and then death of her John (Phil Corbitt) she is supported by her friend and producer of many mad-capped schemes Chris (Rebecca Storm). Julia Hills as Ruth is one of the quieter, down to earth characters ‘My Russian Friend and I’ is one of the more funnier moments, I’m sure most of us can relate to having been aided by dutch courage at some point. Lisa Maxwell is Celia ex air hostess who has had a little work much to the eye popping teenage son of Cora, it’s fair to say that Sue Devaney (Cora) loves the stage, her energy bounds across the stage into the audience. They are all brought to attention by Ruth Madocs as ex headmistress Jessie who glows as the elder stateswoman proving there is no such thing as being too old. Age should never be a barrier and that is surely one of the reasons to belong to the W.I. not because you are old but for the camaraderie and I suspect chinwags and naughty antics of growing old disgracefully. The youngsters Tommo, Jenny and Danny (Tyler Dobbs, Isabel Caswell and Danny Howker) remain as upbeat, funny and energetic as they were a couple of years ago.

Despite the laughs, behind is a harrowing tale, the sofa for a hospital waiting room even the naming of a hospital wing after our brave sunflowers bared all for a charity calendar – posing in those stereotypical cake making, tea drinking, piano playing that the W.I is famous for.

It is time for a rest for Calendar Girls, it’s had a long successful tour. Been extremely well supported and still last night managed to bring me to tears and a few others I suspect. The songs are Take That worthy, applause to Mr Barlow for those toe tapping catchy numbers. But more memorable are the words, those blunt hard hitting Yorkshire-isms that quite possibly should be acknowledged for helping to modernise The Women’s Institute.

Here’s to Victoria Sponge cake and scones but there is only so much cake anyone can eat, bake or watch surely. Soon enough enough we’ll be ready for another slice with a great big dollop of plum jam too.

Curtains Review

Sheffield Lyceum – until 2 November 2019

Reviewed by Ian K Johnson


Curtains is one of the more obscure musicals by the great writing team of Kander and Ebb. Not in the same vein as other shows by this duo in the respect the leading character is a man (Lieutenant Frank Cioffi played by Jason Manford), unlike “Cabaret”, “Chicago“, “The Rink” and “Kiss of the Spiderwoman” which all have females in lead roles.

With this show think Robin Hood meets Oklahoma meets Columbo.

A combination of all three makes for a glimpse into the onstage and backstage antics of theatre folk, well until the untalented and unpopular leading lady of this production of Robin Hood gets murdered during the bows.

Enter Lieutenant Cioffi (who just happens to be a musical theatre buff) to find the culprit, solve the murder and improve the stageshow into the bargain.

Jason Manford is a suitable person to play the role, who knew how good a singer/dancer he was? He carries the role off in such a way he blends in with the talented cast like a musical theatre star should.

This production directed by Paul Foster has a very impressive cast including Samuel Holmes as the ever so English director, who delivers some of the sharpest theatrical in jokes with such a sharp tongue I’m just surprised he doesn’t cut himself. Rebecca Lock is a force to be dealt with, she plays Carmen the producer of Robin Hood with such ease and boy what a voice this lady has. Her rendition of ‘It’s a Business‘ is an amazing show of her talent.

The songwriting duo of Robin Hood (Georgia and Aaron) played by Carley Stenson and Ore Oduba play ex lovers who clearly should be together as writing apart is so painful. Aaron sings of his pain/heartache in ‘I Miss the Music‘ he tells us of his difficulties without having Georgia in his life.

It is to be noted that at various venues Andy Coxen will be playing the role of Aaron Fox.

There are many in the ensemble worthy of a mention including Emma Caffrey (Bambi), Lèah West (Niki), Minal Patel (Johnny) and Adam Rhys-Charles (Daryl).

The choreography is bright and bubbly and credit for this is due to Alistair David. With musical arrangement under the supervision of Sarah Travis and the watchful eye of musical director Alex Beetschen. The company all play their part in some fabulous ensemble numbers including ‘Show People‘, ‘The Man is Dead‘ and my favourite ‘He Did It‘.

The sets by David Woodhead are simple but effective and used to good advantage on stage.

There are many songs, dances and changes to Robin Hood until the culprit is found.

9 to 5 the Musical Review

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff – until 2 November 2019

Reviewed by Rhys Payne


Many people are familiar with the 9 to 5 story because of the film and its association with Dolly Parton, but I personally only know the titular song from the musical and that is why I was very excited to be invited to watch 9 to 5 the Musical at the Wales Millennium Centre. I have discovered that this is a musical that transcends the time it was written in and deals with very important issues that many people still deal with today.

The fantastic thing about this show is that it is both a spectacular, vibrant and fun-filled musical but also a serious, important piece of theatre that is about issues such as female empowerment, the treatment of women in the workplace and the importance of sisterhood/friendship in the modern world which this show managed to blend both these concepts beautifully. The show is crafted to empower women and raise awareness of the dreadful way some women are treated specially in the male-run workplace, this alongside the influence of Dolly Parton’s larger-the-life personality makes this a show that is fun to watch but also leaves an important message in the audience’s mind. This is a musical, based on the film, that focuses on the lives of three women who band together in a protest against their sexist and perverted boss and how they come together and rise to make the office a more welcoming and equal place to live. Individually each of these women faces problems caused by their male boss which causes them to come together and kidnap their boss. The staging for this show was at time bright and colourful with hundreds of computer screen framing the screen to add to the office setting of the show but these are used, at different points in the show, to display colourful panels that light the stage which is a very clever inclusion as it helps to merge the mundane office setting with the vibrant nature of the story. This shows that the design team on this project work very hard to encapsulate the show as a concept which worked beautifully and so the team deserve the highest of praise.

The show opened with the titular song which was an incredible ensemble dance number which helped to establish the nature of the show. What was very interesting about this opening was Dolly Parton appeared in the big clock situated on stage where she sang parts of the song and helped to introduce each character. This concept was used again at the end of the musical to help close the show which helped establish this show as a sort of fable. As this show is about female empowerment and as the main ‘male’ in the show is incredible crude and offensive, this show could be taken as anti-men but as this framing by Dolly Parton helps to establish this as almost a created story she is telling (while it is obviously based on truth) it keeps the focus on the women while showing the boss as almost a caricature of certain men. This inclusion was not only clever but also cool to see due to Dolly Parton’s iconic association with the show and helped to add even more energy to the show. Talking about Dolly Parton, the character called Doralee Rhodes (played by Georgina Castle) was a hilarious tribute to Dolly herself. Apart from the obvious tribute to the iconic country singer, this character also dealt with issues such as gossip and judging people based on appearance. This character sang the song ‘Backwards Barbie’ which was an emotional song about her dreams and how people judge her based on her appearance. This song was very heartfelt, and Georgina performed it so authentically and realistically that it created extreme amounts of sympathy for the character from the audience which shows her acting and singing talent which was used perfectly in this show.

One of the other three main women in this production was Violet Newstead (played by Caroline Sheen) who was higher-up in the office who constantly misses out on promotions in the office purely based on the fact she is a woman. This character had an iconic scene where her, along with the other protesters, smokes weed and is high on top of the office building. This scene was very well acted and was also very hilarious. This character sang the song ‘One of the Boys’ which talks about how she is raising the organisation to become the CEO and how this role was male-run but now times have changed. This song was gloriously over-the-top in a glamorous, jazz style number with an on-stage costume change which was great to see.

Amber Davies, played by Judy Bernly, who was also one of the lead women in this show. This character was left by her husband which leads to her growing in strength and becoming a strong independent woman by the end. She starts this musical being forced to get her first job in an office where she is completely over-her-head with having to adapt to working life but after a while, she grows which causes her to do things, she would never have thought of before. Nothing encapsulates this more than ‘Get Out and Stay Out’ which is the moment she realises she can be strong without having a man. This was an extremely powerful song that was performed flawlessly by Amber and showcased how much of a talented performer she is.

The antagonist of this story was Franklin Hart JNR, who is the boss of the office. This must have been a very difficult role in performing in as this character is not only the antagonist but also is extremely sexist and crude to the female workers in the office. Sean Needham who played this role managed to create a character that was so hateful that it worked perfectly in terms of the show. This was a character who the audience wanted to get what he deserved, and he does just before the interval where he is tied up and suspended from the ceiling of his own house. This led to an incredibly hilarious moment when the interval started by Sean was still suspended just hanging there before the safety curtain fell. Sean managed to play the role so well especially the song ‘Here for you’ which was totally hilarious but also incredibly uncomfortable to watch (on purpose) which had sexualised dancing and jokes which made for a very unusual musical number that was unique but also helped to establish the character as a hate-able ‘sexist pig.’ Sean performed this role excellently and allowed it to do exactly what it needed to for the story to be believable.

My favourite character in this production was Roz who was played by Lucinda Lawrence. This character was the ‘company spy’ who worked with Franklin Hart Jnr to inform him of employee secrets and gossip. She had one of the greatest songs in the entire show called ‘Heart to Hart’ which was a hilarious number where she confessed her love for the boss. This song showcased Lucinda’s flexibility but also had an incredible costume reveal into lingerie which was artfully performed.

Overall, this was an incredible show that was vibrant and fun but also managed to deal with very important issues that are still relevant to today’s society. The show was hilarious and contained a lot of sexualised actions and dialogue which did mean it wasn’t appropriate for a young audience, but also as the show is about office working relationship young audience members probably wouldn’t appreciate the show in general, but for the more mature audience will find this show hilarious but also incredibly moving. I would rate this show 4 out of 5 stars and would encourage everyone to catch this show before it leaves on the 2nd November.

The Escape Act: A Holocaust Memoir Review

The Lowry, Salford – 29 October 2019

Reviewed by Joseph Everton


The Escape Act: A Holocaust Memoir, created and performed by Israeli artist Stav Meishar, is a retelling of the story of Jewish Acrobat, Irene Danner-Storm. Bringing a Schindler’s List style story to a small stage is an incredible challenge but Meishar, acting alone, uses trapeze, puppetry and song to give an emotional tale a unique, innovative and watchable twist.

Irene Danner-Storm grew up with the circus in her blood. Her mother’s side, the Lorch family, ran a world-renowned circus in Germany for generations. However, the rise of the Nazi party, and antisemitism in Germany and Europe, forced the family out of business. Irene turned to the Althoff circus and owner, Adolf Althoff, for a job. At a time when hiring Jews was illegal, Althoff provided a haven for the young acrobat, hiding her from persecution and, ultimately, death.

Setting puppets and costume aside, Stav Meishar, a third generation Holocaust survivor herself, dons her glasses, addresses the audience and brings a personal feel to the tale by breaking from the narrative to tell the story of her own family during the 1940s. A reminder of the unimaginable human cost of the Holocaust and repercussions felt decades later, Meisher documents her despair at her own flesh and blood having their story snatched away from them.

Although the story of the Holocaust is harrowing and Danner-Storm’s experiences difficult to watch, Meishar manages to add colour, humour and personality to the tale, doing justice to Danner-Storm, her family and the circus folk who shielded her from the Nazis. Last night was the final outing in The Escape Act’s tour of the UK but, when such a brilliant and incredibly important show inevitably returns, it is a must watch.



The smash hit Queen and Ben Elton musical We Will Rock You returns to Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 11 to Saturday 23 November 2019.

Following the triumphant 2010 and 2011 UK theatre tours, and 2013’s 10th anniversary world arena tour, We Will Rock You has been reimagined for 2019. With 24 of Queen’s biggest hits – including We Are The Champions, Radio Ga Ga, I Want To Break Free, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Don’t Stop Me Now, Under Pressure, Bohemian Rhapsody, Another One Bites The Dust and, of course, We Will Rock You – and Ben Elton’s hilarious futuristic comedy writing, We Will Rock You is a show that boasts the scale and spectacle that marked the band’s legendary live performances.

The musical tells the story of a group of Bohemians who struggle to restore the free exchange of thought, fashion and live music in a distant future where everyone dresses, thinks and acts the same. Musical instruments and composers are forbidden, and rock music is all but unknown.

Taking on the role of Galileo is Olivier Award nominee Ian McIntosh (Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, The Commitments), he will be joined by Elena Skye (Les Misérables, Kinky Boots) in the role of Scaramouche. Playing Killer Queen is Jenny O’Leary (Heathers The Musical, Rent), with Michael McKell (Macbeth, Blood Brothers)as Buddy, Adam Strong (Jesus Christ Superstar, Rock of Ages) as Khashoggi, David-Michael Johnson (We Will Rock You, Germany, Jesus Christ Superstar) as Brit and Amy Di Bartolomeo (Bat Out of Hell, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) as Oz.

Since 2002 over 15 million theatregoers in 17 countries have been thrilled by We Will Rock You’s awe-inspiring production. Before closing its 12 year run at London’s Dominion Theatre in 2014, the show was performed 4600 times.

We Will Rock You is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 11 to Saturday 23 November

Book online at or call Box Office on 0844 848 2700