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Deafinitely Theatre today announce they will be showcasing the work of deaf and hard of hearing theatre freelancers that were awarded a bursary in February 2021, via their website – beginning today in celebration of UK Deaf Awareness Week 2021, Coming Through It Together. Earlier this year the recipients were awarded £1000 and provided with networking and keeping-in-touch sessions, and have been working on a wide-ranging collection of projects and career development initiatives in the past months. In addition, Deafinitely Theatre today opens applications for a further six bursaries, open to any deaf or hard of hearing theatre practitioners and performers aged 18 and over at any stage of their career.  

Artistic Director Paula Garfield said, “As our industry begins to emerge from lockdown, I am so pleased that, thanks to a second Arts Council Cultural Recovery Fund grant, Deafinitely Theatre can offer a further six bursaries to support deaf freelance theatre practitioners to develop their practice as we build back to live performance. We are very excited to share the brilliant work of the first round of Bursary recipients on our website throughout May and can’t wait to see the work that our future recipients are able to develop with this funding.” 

The recipients of the first round of bursaries were Stephanie Back, Rinkoo Barpaga, Duffy, Katie Erich, Richard France, Fifi Garfield, Ben Glover, Alim Jayda, Sahera Kahan, Ace Mahbaz, Harri Marshall, Zoë McWhinney, Colly Metcalfe, Chisato Minamimura, Julian Peedle-Calloo, Jamie Rea, Mary-Jayne Russell de Clifford, Rebecca Saffir, Deepa Shastri and Otis Waby.

The first four recipients to be profiled on are:

  • Stephanie Back – Stephanie has used her bursary for the research and development of a her show Fow, a tri-lingual theatre show in Welsh, BSL and English, and to further her skills in translation, presenting work online and reaching deaf audiences.
  • Alim Jayda – this bursary is enabling Alim to create a new digital platform, Released Voices, which will present a series of stories and experiences from underrepresented deaf voices and minorities.
  • Richard France – the bursary has enabled Richard to explore how dance can develop through sensory feeling and sonic sounds, working with a dancer and SUBPAC technology to explore an area that he hasn’t worked on before, and open up opportunities to work with contemporary dancers on a new project. 
  • Deepa Shastri – Deepa’s bursary has given her the opportunity to develop her knowledge of casting and producing (roles with very little deaf representation) through research, meetings and training and to build a plan for her professional development, including the advocacy of opportunities for deaf theatre artists and makers. 

Supported by the Arts Council Culture Recovery Fund, the bursaries are open to deaf and hard of hearing theatre practitioners and performers aged 18 and over at any stage of their career. Applicants must be self-employed, not in full-time education, live in the United Kingdom and have a UK bank account.

You can apply for the second round of bursaries now. To apply please visit for further information. The deadline is Monday 31 May 2021.

The bursary is supported by the Arts Council Recovery Fund.

Andrew Lancel In One Man Show By Jonathan Harvey To On Northern Tour In July


“A piece that is painstakingly crafted and superbly delivered”

North West End

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Following its critically acclaimed sell-out premiere at Liverpool Theatre Festival in September, Swan Song, a revised comedy by acclaimed playwright Jonathan Harvey, is heading out on a northern tour in July following its rescheduled February dates due to lockdown.

Swan Song, a one-man play starring Andrew Lancel, is directed by BAFTA award-winning director Noreen Kershaw and produced by Bill Elms.

The play will open at Liverpool’s Unity Theatre for six performances over three nights, this will be the first live performances at the theatre since closing in March 2020. The show then moves on to reopen the Little Theatre in Southport, Dukes Theatre in Lancaster, and City Varieties in Leeds. All venues will adhere to the current restrictions set out by the Government and will have all necessary procedures in play to create a safe environment to watch the show.

Swan Song was first staged at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1997, before transferring to Hampstead Theatre with award-winning comedy actress Rebecca Front in the lead role. Jonathan Harvey adapted the 70-minute play specially for Andrew Lancel at Liverpool Theatre Festival to play the solo role of Dave Titswell.  Due to critical acclaim, the play will now perform at venues across the UK.

Producer and the artistic director of Liverpool Theatre Festival, Bill Elms said: “Swan Song is a funny, clever and inspiring production which opened the inaugural Liverpool Theatre Festival.  Andrew Lancel, Jonathan Harvey, and Noreen Kershaw are an incredible blend of creative talent, and the play went down a storm in Liverpool. It is such a lovely piece that I approached Andrew and the team with the idea of touring. People are excited for the return of live theatre – and we’re excited to give them that experience back after such a long time with a really special production.”

Swan Song is a bittersweet comedy written by Jonathan Harvey. Set in Liverpool, it is Christmas 1997, the world is changing and in the staff room, Gay, forty-something, English teacher Dave Titswell finds that not all change is welcome. He has a crush, but life, love, and work are never straight forward for Dave. Will a school trip to The Lakes change things for the better, or make things decidedly worse? Swan Song will make audiences laugh, but equally pull at the heartstrings.

Andrew Lancel is no stranger to audiences. Well established on the national theatre scene, Andrew is also widely known for his television roles as DI Neil Manson in The Bill and super-villain Frank Foster in Coronation Street. He was three times nominated for a national tv award and won a British Soap Award in 2012 for Coronation Street. He has twice played Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein on stage to great critical acclaim, first in Epstein – The Man Who Made The Beatles (also produced by Bill Elms) which premiered in Liverpool and went on to play London’s West End, as well as playing Epstein in the national tour of Cilla The Musical, Bill Kenwright’s stage adaptation of the TV series written by Jeff Pope. He recently appeared in the Royal Variety Show and Casualty for BBC and has just commenced filming The Thief, His Wife And The Canoe for ITV.

Andrew Lancel commented: “I’m thrilled to be finally taking this wonderful play and role on the role and to returning to my beloved Unity where I am a proud patron. The other venues also have special memories and it’s humbling that Jonathan adopted this moving and funny piece for me. I think people really relate to Dave Titswell – it’s very relevant to today. To be reunited with Noreen and Bill too is a joy. It’s a gift of a role and job.”

Award-winning Jonathan Harvey’s credits include Gimme Gimme Gimme; Murder Most Horrid; Coronation Street; Call The Midwife; and Tracey Ullman’s Show. Hisplays include Beautiful Thing, Corrie, Canary, Hushabye Mountain, Babies, Boom Bang A Bang’ and Rupert Street Lonely Hearts Club. He also wrote the 2001 stage musical Closer to Heaven with the Pet Shop Boys and its sequel Muzik. He has won the John Whiting Award, the George Devine Award, two Manchester Evening News Awards, an Evening Standard Award, two British Soap Awards and a Writers Guild of Great Britain Award.

Jonathan added: “Swan Song is a comedy about a teacher who’s trying to hold onto his dignity while the education system crumbles around him – and I’m thrilled Andrew is playing Dave. I’m delighted to also be working with Noreen again, she directed many of my Corrie scripts and my last episode of Call The Midwife. As the original Shirley Valentine, Noreen definitely knows a thing or two about one person shows.”

Noreen Kershaw’s directing credits include Our Girl, Moving On, Scott & Bailey, Emmerdale, Shameless, Heartbeat and Coronation Street. She is also known for acting in Life On Mars, Brookside, and Watching. Noreen also originated the title role of Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine at Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre.

Facebook:       /SwanSongOnStage

Twitter:           @SwanSongPlay

Hashtags:        #DaveTitswell #SwanSong


Andrew Lancel in


by Jonathan Harvey


Hope Place, Liverpool, L1 9BG

Thursday 1 – Saturday 3 July 2021

Performance times: 5pm / 7.45pm

Show duration: 70 minutes (no interval)

How to book: ON SALE NOW


Hoghton Street, Southport, PR9 0PA

Monday 5 July 2021

Performance times: 7.30pm

Show duration: 70 minutes (no interval)

How to book: ON SALE NOW


Moor Lane, Lancaster, LA1 1QE

Wednesday 7 July 2021

Performance times: 2.30pm / 7.30pm

Show duration: 70 minutes (no interval)

How to book: ON SALE NOW


Swan Street, Leeds, LS1 6LW

Thursday 8 July 2021

Performance times: 7.30pm

Show duration: 70 minutes (no interval)

How to book: ON SALE NOW

ATALANTA FOREVER – Amanda Whittington’s new play looks at the remarkable rise and fall of women’s football in the 1920s – Touring from June-Sept

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In their 49th year of touring Mikron Theatre Company present


The Fight for Women’s Football

A new play by Amanda Whittington

Writer & Co-Lyricist: Amanda Whittington

Director: Marianne McNamara

Composer & Co-Lyricist: Kieran Buckeridge

Musical Director: Rebekah Hughes

Designer: Celia Perkins

Cast: Rachel Benson, Thomas Cotran, James McLean, and Elizabeth Robin


Mikron Theatre double bill of A Dog’s Tale and Atalanta Forever

Wednesday 14 July at 3pm – Lawrence Batley Theatre

A Dog’s Tale at 3pm and Atalanta Forever at 7pm

Touring: 9 June – 19 September 2021

Mikron Theatre are aiming to score with their next theatrical offering for their 49th year of touring. They will be premiering Amanda Whittington’s new play Atalanta Forever which looks at the story of the pioneering women in football in 1920.

Atalanta Forever will kick off at The Piece Hall in Halifax on Wednesday 9th June and then tour nationally by road and river until 19 September.

It is 1920, and in post-war Britain, women’s football is big news. Across the country, all-girl teams are pulling huge crowds in fund-raising games for wounded soldiers. Huddersfield amateurs Ethel and Annie take a shot at the big time. Teammates at Atalanta AFC, they are soon tackling new football skills, mastering the offside rule, and kicking back at the doubters.

Come and cheer for Atalanta as our plucky underdogs learn how to play the game, take on the legendary teams of the era – and find the toughest opponent of all is the FA.

The play is based on the true story of one of three women’s football teams in Huddersfield in post war Britain. Told through the lives of two young women Atalanta Ladies Football Club was formed in 1920 ‘to provide games for the women of Huddersfield, to foster a sporting spirit, and a love of honour among its members.’ During the Great War, several women’s football teams had sprung up around the country, usually based in factories or munitions works, and proved a great success in raising money for hospitals, war widows and so on.

A measure of the popularity of the women’s game may be measured by the estimated 25,000 crowd that packed Hillsborough, Sheffield, for their next game with the Dick, Kerr Ladies of Preston on May 4 which they lost 4-0 to their much more experienced opponents.

In the wider football world, the growing popularity of women’s football was now causing concern. The FA even saw it as taking support away from the men’s game and on December 5, 1921, they banned women’s teams from using FA affiliated grounds.

The pioneering Huddersfield Atalanta Ladies FC raised more than £2,000 for various charities before they folded in 1924.

2021 is the 100th anniversary of the Football Association banning women from playing on Football League grounds which was lifted 50 years later. It will also be the 50th anniversary of the first Women’s first FA Cup final.

Atalanta Forever is directed by Mikron Theatre’s Artistic Director Marianne McNamara, designed by Celia Perkins, music composed and lyrics by Kieran Buckeridge with the music directed by Rebekah Hughes. The cast will feature Rachel Benson (Redcoats, Mikron Theatre), Thomas Cotran (Loserville, Union Theatre), James McLean (Much Ado About Nothing, Northern Broadsides) and Elizabeth Robin (The Little Mermaid, Everyman Theatre, Liverpool).

Amanda Whittington is one Britain’s most consistently popular dramatists. Her plays include Be My Baby (originally produced by Soho Theatre and subsequently staged throughout the UK), Ladies Day and its sequel Ladies Down Under (Hull Truck/UK Tours), Kiss Me Quickstep (New Vic Theatre), Mighty Atoms (Hull Truck Theatre). Other stage productions include The Thrill of Love (New Vic Theatre/St James Theatre), My Judy Garland Life (adapted from the Book by Susie Boyt, Nottingham Playhouse, Bollywood Jane, (Leicester Haymarket/West Yorkshire Playhouse). Amanda is currently an Associate Artist at Nottingham Playhouse.

Playwright Amanda Whittington said about her new play:

“I was an 11-year-old footballer in the 1980s, the only girl who played in the boy’s village tournament and I vividly remember being ‘advised’ to stop because it wasn’t appropriate.  I still feel the injustice, and the sense of shame for wanting to do something I was not meant to.  It brings joy to my heart to see football is now the biggest team sport for girls in Britain.  I wanted to write about the battle the women’s game has fought to survive and prosper – and perhaps to tell the 11-year-old me she was right?”

Marianne McNamara, Mikron’s Artistic Director and Director of this show, explains why they chose to tackle this subject:

Women’s football is making a comeback and not before time. We are thrilled to pay homage to the trailblazing Huddersfield women that paved the way against all odds.”

Just like the great game itself this will be an action-packed play of two halves full of live music fun and laughter with no plans for extra time!

In 2021, Mikron Theatre Company will embark on their 49th year of touring.  Based in the village of Marsden, at the foot of the Yorkshire Pennines, Mikron Theatre Company The company are like no other. For starters, they tour for most of the year on board a vintage narrowboat, secondly, they put on their shows in places that other theatre companies would not dream of; a play about growing-your-own shown in allotments, a play about bees performed next to hives, a play about chips to audiences in a fish and chips restaurant, as well as plays about hostelling in YHA Youth hostels and the RNLI at several Lifeboat stations around the UK.

Atalanta Forever will be touring nationally in the Summer alongside Poppy Hollman’s new play A Dog’s Tale which celebrate canines past and present and explores the enduring love between people and their dogs.

For tour dates and information on Atalanta Forever visit

Proteus Theatre’s new circus adaptation of Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber comes to Worthing | 11 – 12 June 2021

Proteus Theatre presents
The Bloody Chamber
Pavilion Theatre, Marine Parade, Worthing, BN11 3PX
Friday 11th – Saturday 12th June 2021

Proteus Theatre will bring their adaptation of Angela Carter’s collection The Bloody Chamber (and Other Stories) to Pavilion Theatre, Worthing this June. At a moment when women and men across the country confront the double standards of safety, sex, and the fears of what goes bump in the night, Carter’s incendiary caustic take on fairy tales as cautionary tales could not be a more formidable challenge to the status quo

Using circus as a physical vocabulary, the award-winning Proteus will translate the fever dream style of Angela Carter’s macabre fairy tales to the stage. The Bloody Chamber is a heady, erotic, and surprisingly funny re-phrasing of some of the most famous folk and fairy tales in Western culture. These are the stories our mothers told us. And all the ones they didn’t dare.

Director Mary Swan comments, Women are always being told what we can and can’t do in order to avoid being assaulted, while on the other hand also promoting sexual fulfilment by catering to the male gaze. We give this advice to young women all the time; why the hell should we have to? Circus inverts the world: defying gravity, contorting the bounds of physical movement and embracing the human connection to do the impossible. It’s perfect for making familiar situations entirely surreal and surreal situations quite familiar; it’s perfect for challenging what’s socially accepted for no good reason. Carter’s fantastical, theatrical, lyrical stories are beautifully transfigured by circus.

Proteus Theatre are working with leading figures in the circus industry to choreograph the piece including Mimbre’s Silvia Fratelli, Charlotte Mooney from Ockham’s Razor and Tamzen Moulding the Artistic Director of Inverted Theatre. The Bloody Chamber also features an original soundtrack with musical direction, arrangements and sound design by Max Reinhardt (BBC Radio 3 Late Junction) and original composition by Paul Wild who worked with Proteus on Macbeth.

Full casting announced for Les Misérables -The Staged Concert


L E S   M I S É R A B L E S  –  T H E   S T A G E D   C O N C E R T


Performances are set to return for the spectacular production of Les Misérables –The Staged Concert at the Sondheim Theatre on 20 May 2021, booking until 5 September 2021.   

The principal cast are Jon Robyns as Jean Valjean, Bradley Jaden as Javert, Lucie Jones as Fantine, Gerard Carey as Thénardier, Josefina Gabrielle as Madame Thénardier, Shan Ako as Éponine, Harry Apps as Marius, Jamie Muscato as Enjolras, Charlie Burn as Cosette and at certain performances Dean Chisnall will play the role of Jean Valjean.

The company also includes Kelly AgbowuJoseph AnthonyWill BarrattCameron Blakely, Earl CarpenterRichard Carson, Danny Colligan, Rodney Earl Clarke, Matthew DaleMatt DempseyHarry Dunnett, Nic GreenshieldsJessie Hart, Holly-Anne Hull, Jenna Innes, Ebony Jonelle, Connor JonesJessica JoslinLuke McCallLeo MilesCorinne PriestAaron Pryce-Lewis, Grainne RenihanHelen WalshEmma Warren and Samuel Wyn-Morris.

Cameron Mackintosh said: “Les Misérables has been the star attraction of London’s Shaftesbury Avenue for over 35 years, so we are delighted to once again be the first big musical to reopen in the West End after over 14 months of closure. The spectacular Staged Concert was presciently put together, unknowingly socially distanced, over two years ago at the Gielgud Theatre. Every performance has been a sell out and this time, our wonderful Company drawn from the current stars of both the new acclaimed West End and National touring companies of Les Mis, which will both reopen in the autumn, will ensure that the world’s most loved musical will raise the roof of the theatre once more and help the restaurants, bars, hotels and shops bring our great city back to life. Let the People Sing with joy again!”

Public excitement for Les Misérables –The Staged Concert,which originally had a sell-out season at the Gielgud in August 2019, has been exceptional.  Due to extraordinary public demand the last run of the show in December 2020 sold out within twenty-four hours and was extended twice as a result.  Sadly, after the Government’s updated Covid-19 restrictions the show had to be suspended after only 10 performances. 

This spectacular production has a Company of over 50 actors and musicians drawn from the acclaimed West End and National Tour Companies of Les Misérables and will initially play to a 50% seating capacity withstrict Covid safety measures in place.  Social distancing will be followed front of house, on stage, backstage and throughout the building.   The Theatre will move to full capacity as soon as the Government allows for it.

Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Les Misérables is written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and is based on the novel by Victor Hugo. It has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel with additional material by James Fenton and adaptation by Trevor Nunn and John Caird.

The Staged Concert is directed by James Powell and Jean-Pierre Van Der Spuy, designed by Matt Kinley with costumes by Andreane Neofitou and Christine Rowland, lighting by Paule Constable and Warren Letton, projections by Finn Ross, sound by Mick Potter, musical supervision by Stephen Brooker and is conducted by Alfonso Casado Trigo.

The critically acclaimed new full production of Les Misérables which opened in January 2020 is planned to re-open at the Sondheim Theatre on 25September 2021. Obtaining Government backed contingency insurance to protect against further unscheduled closures remains a priority.  All plans for the re-openings are in accordance with the Government’s latest directives and therefore subject to change. 


Theatre:                   Sondheim Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6BA

Dates:                      20 May – 5 September 2021