Doubt: A Parable Review

Chichester Festival Theatre – until 5th February 2022

Reviewed by Emma Barnes and Gill Gardiner


Credit: Johan Persson

The play by John Patrick Stanley, which has won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, is set in 1964 in a small convent school in the Bronx. Sister Aloysius (played by Monica Dolan) is a strong minded headmistress, who is wedded to tradition and unafraid to fight for her beliefs. She wrestles with an intense moral dilemma when she becomes suspicious about Father Flynn’s relationship with a child.  Father Flynn (played by Sam Spruell) is liberal minded and charismatic. Stuck in the middle is a naive and sensitive younger nun, Sister James (played by Jessica Rhodes)

The story is told in 90 riveting minutes in conversations between just four actors who portrayed their characters with impeccable dynamism. 

The production delivers raw simplicity with minimal scenery and props which serves to give the knotty complexity of the themes the prominence that the audience requires to focus on the dialogue. The most provocatively powerful scene is without doubt the difficult conversation between Mrs Muller (played by Rebecca Scroggs) and Sister Aloysius which delivers to an even deeper level of moral uncertainty.

A beautifully balanced debate drama which leaves you doubting your own thoughts and preconceptions at every turn. The complex but nuanced plot was neatly balanced by the sharp wit of Sister Aloysius which gave light relief.    We left the play still enraptured within the story, still desperate for closure on who , if anyone,  had fallen from grace.   Father Flynn asked “ What do you do when you’re not sure? “  to be honest,  we don’t know either! 
A powerful, intense and thought-provoking play of moral uncertainty with a superb cast; very watchable and highly recommended.

Jersey Boys Review

Empire Theatre, Liverpool – until Saturday 5th February 2022

Reviewed by Carla Whittaker


The internationally acclaimed stage sensation is currently playing to sell-out crowds at Liverpool Empire Theatre until Saturday 5th February 2022.  I was exceptionally lucky to be able to get a ticket to see this smash hit musical with my friend as I had been wanting to see it for some time, and it was showing at the ever so popular Liverpool Empire Theatre, a theatre which is renowned for its intimate seating, traditional décor, and as always exceptional staff and hospitality.

Jersey Boys tells the true story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, from their beginnings as four guys from New Jersey to their rise to fame and distinctive style.  Whilst this may appear as a classic musical rag to riches story, the show gives an excellent portrayal of the trials and tribulations behind one of the biggest chart toppers in history from run-ins with the mob, debt, stints in prison, disruption, divorce, and the loss of Valli’s daughter. Entwined within the musical are their classic hits such as Sherry”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Walk Like A Man”, “Bye Bye Baby”, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Working My Way Back To You” accompanied by fantastic strong vocals. I think the whole audience was singing and toe tapping along to these instantly recognisable songs from beginning to end.

For me, a highlight of the show for me was Luke Suri who played the part of Franki Valli. His vocals couldn’t be more perfect for this role and carries it with ease which is compelling and impressive.  Luke thoroughly deserved the standing ovation midway through the act!

The backdrop of the production was a simple, yet effective single scaffold style set with 1960s with background screens seamlessly displaying digital pop art graphics showing to highlight a different scene or line and footage of the actual band at times The dancing was very well choreographed and was executed by the ensemble perfectly.

Jersey Boys is an excellent story full of twists and turns accompanied by fantastic music, I would highly recommend this show to anyone even if you have no idea who Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons you are will know their story by the end of Jersey Boys! This is a show not to miss. Jersey Boys is playing at the Liverpool Empire Theatre until 5th February 2022.

“VERMIN” – Slick dark comedy – Previews in London, full run Brighton Fringe 2022

Triptych Theatre in association with Etcetera Theatre and Laughing Horse presents


Written by Benny Ainsworth, performed by Sally Paffett and Benny Ainsworth, directed by Michael Parker, all co-founders of Triptych Theatre. 

Previews at Etcetera Theatre Camden: 25th March @ 7PM, 26th March @ 9PM

Dates and times at Brighton Fringe, Laughing Horse – Walrus Raised Room: 15th May @ 4:30PM, 16th May @ 8:15PM, 19th May @ 9:30PM, 22nd May @ 8:15PM, 29th May @ 3:15PM, 30th May @ 9:30PM.

Plus, one performance at Caroline of Brunswick, 28th May @ 2:00PM.

This isn’t your usual love story. A dramatic encounter on a train causes Billy and Rachel’s lives to irrevocably intertwine, but their whirlwind romance takes a dark turn when they discover their new home is infested with rats. Devastation rains down on their quiet neighbourhood as the rats bring out the madness hiding inside them.

Billy, a lazy lump with a troubled past and diagnosed OCD, sees in the rats an excuse to unleash unbridled violence on living creatures. Rachel, a spiritual animal lover who has recently lost a child, sees in them the reincarnated soul of her daughter, Alice. Their different approaches to the pesky visitors leaves them at odds, and drives a deep wedge into their already fractious relationship.

This explosive two-hander sees Billy and Rachel explain to their audience their descent into chaos, each seeking redemption for their own transgressions. 

A darkly comic emotional rollercoaster of a play, full of laughs, shocks, secrets and vengeance, influenced by the likes of Philip Ridley and Duncan Macmillan, and with graphic content that wouldn’t be out of place in a Tarantino movie – come and listen to Billy and Rachel’s very different sides of a very, very dark tale.

VERMIN is the third play produced by Triptych Theatre. Sally, Michael and Benny formed the company in 2014 in their last year at East 15 Acting School. Benny acts as writer, actor and co-producer while Sally and Michael act as directors, actors, and co-producers. All aspects of their shows are created and realised by their small but mighty troupe of three. The show was initially inspired by a news article about one woman’s shocking experience of stillbirth, but has since taken on a life of its own, exploring themes such as mental health, relationships, the depravity of humankind and fate. 

Outstanding […] Laugh out loud […] Keeps the audience mesmerised.

London Pub Theatres ****

Richly lurid […] A genuinely exhilarating piece of theatre.

End of the Fringe ****

(For An Audience with Stuart Bagcliffe, 2019 / Scattered, 2014)

“A company that is full of promise, a priority”

Broadway Baby, of Triptych Theatre

Bedknobs and Broomsticks Review

Bristol Hippodrome – until 29th January 2022

Reviewed by Lucy Hitchcock


From the original Sherman and Sherman Disney film comes Bedknobs and Broomsticks on stage! With additional music written by Neil Bartram, this is a truly spellbinding performance!

Dianne Pilkington brings Eglantine Price to life, and she does not disappoint!!! With such grace and poise and a sneaky twinkle in her eye, she will welcome you with a beautiful voice and extravagant magic….some that I am still trying to figure out! The magic is assisted by Illusion Consult, Chris Fisher, who left the audience astounded with jaw dropping illusions! Pilkington is the perfect Price and makes the part truly her own whilst paying homage to the original from Angela Lansbury. This is a work of art and Jill Green, casting director, has excelled with Dianne! Together with Charles Brunton, as the extraordinarily normal Emelius Browne, this pairing is and incredible feat and is the perfect love story between the brilliant sorcery!

The 3 young children, Dexter Barry, Isabella Bucknell and Conor O’Hara as Paul, Carrie and Charlie are a great addition and drive the story onwards with their uplifting songs-and Paul is integral as he possesses the magical Bedknob!

The ensemble is phenomenal in this production, taking on all the scene changes and props as well as puppeteering and adding delicious harmonies! It was a real treat to see the joy and exuberance of the ensemble. For me, the stand out star of the ensemble was Rob Madge. They had a grin on their face that was so infectious and made me so excited for them to come onstage. They were also so expressive whilst commandeering the ‘Fish’ and really brought it to life!! They are a real star!

Overall, this is a spellbinding show that will mystify and excite you, whilst having you bob along as the cast navigates you through song and dance-one not to miss!
















The brand-new production will embark on an extensive UK tour, running at Birmingham Rep from 22 January 2022 then touring to Cambridge, Newcastle, Bath, Norwich, Salford, Plymouth, Nottingham, Coventry, Blackpool, Liverpool, Canterbury, Richmond and Wolverhampton, completing its run on 28 May 2022 at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre.

The cast of Animal Farm includes Matt ChurcherDarcy CollinsEnrico D. WeyAilsa DallingElisa De GreyEdie Edmundson, Jonathan Dryden Taylor, Michael Jean-MarainRayo PatelYana PenroseMarkus SchabbingSharon SzeBen Thompson and Matt Tait.

The production also combine the forces of some of UK theatre’s most talented creatives, including designs by the four-time Olivier Award-winning Bunny Christie (A Midsummer Night’s DreamCompanyInkThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), and puppetry by Toby Olié (War HorseRunning WildThe Grinning ManGoodnight Mister Tom).

The animals of Manor Farm drive out the farmer and run the farm themselves.

A revolution. And then what? Then freedom. Every animal will be free.

Old Major, the prize boar, calls the animals of Manor Farm together.

He has had a strange dream of a better future.

George Orwell’s world-famous, biting political novelwas first published in 1945 and tells the story of a revolution and its aftermath. Re-imagined by an award-winning creative team, Animal Farm is a dynamic, daring and contemporary take on a timeless story.

Icke previously worked on another of Orwell’s classics, 1984, which he co-adapted and directed alongside Duncan Macmillan, garnering him his first Olivier Award nomination for Best New Play in 2014, enjoying smash-hit runs in both the West End and on Broadway. Animal Farm also reunites Icke and Christie following their celebrated 2016 collaboration on The Red Barn at the National Theatre. 

The production is produced by Children’s Theatre Partnership (CTP) in association with Birmingham Rep. CTP creates bold and imaginative theatre for young people, engaging new audiences and aiming to inspire a life-long love of theatre. 







The Other Palace is pleased to announce that it has been able to support several shows that were due to perform in the cancelled Vault Festival, in The Other Palace Studio. Two musicals – Love is only Love written by Sam Harrison returns following its sold out debut at The Other Palace, and Millennials with Music, Book & Lyrics by Elliot Clay will premiere in the theatre’s studio programme. Heathers, the smash hit musical in the main house will extend for 10 weeks.

Over the course of the coming months a series of performances will take place in the intimate 100-seat Studio at The Other Palace. This includes rehomed productions from the Vault Festival, alongside workshops, concerts, and staged readings, all focussed on supporting new work and developing the next generation of theatre-makers.

The season includes: Once upon a (Love) Song performed by Kieran Brown along with a host of West End Stars, Le Wine Club written and performed by Anna Larkin (The Play That Goes Wrong), The Greatest Hits of Lily & Johnwritten and performed by Rosanna Adams (The Mirror and the Light for the RSC) and Calum Sivyer (Windmill Theatre’s Cabaret), The Night Woman written and performed by Julene Robinson (Get Up Stand Up!), Little Sausage, Period Dramas, Is He Musical?, Grey Widow, The Einstein Letter, The PlatformLuke Bayer and Grace Mouat in Concert, Scott Folan in the BasementMillennials, a musical with Music, Book & Lyrics by Elliot Clay and Love is only Love written by Sam Harrison.

Tickets go on general sale on Friday 28th January from 5pm with priority booking available for Friends / Best Friends (Members) of The Other Palace at 12pm. Become a friend of The Other Palace to get priority booking, exclusive offers, and discounts. Join online at

Bill Kenwright said “I’m very pleased that we have been able to support some of the shows that suffered due to the cancellation of the Vault Festival. Just as we have several new projects and ideas for the space. The studio at The Other Palace is such a beautiful, intimate space that really has its own character, a cabaret-esque jazz bar feel combined with a black-box theatre space with a modern twist. It is ideally suited to providing an intimate atmosphere for new material.”

Paul Taylor-Mills said, “We are so excited to be starting this new chapter in The Other Palace’s journey, reopening the Studio with such a great range of new and exciting projects, working with new and emerging artists and producers as well as developing our exciting own new musical projects”.


Le Wine Club

Written and performed by Anna Larkin

Audiences are invited to join the Anna Lou Larkin for a tipple as she sets out to solve the mystery of who killed her lover, whilst indulging in the world of wine and adding splashes of accordion-based musical comedy and magic for good measure.

Grey Widow

In this award-winning monologue play, Lady Aria Grey tells the haunting tale of her husband’s life, her husband’s death, and her husband’s restless ghost.

Winner of the London Horror Festival Playwriting Competition 2019

Is He Musical?

IS HE MUSICAL? is an intimate, joyous musical comedy inspired by the true stories of the queer friends who loved, lived, and partied across 1930s London.

Period Dramas

Heather Milsted’s debut solo show all about the history of menstruation. It’s a comedic, cabaret piece that aims to bust open the menstrual taboo and teach the history you didn’t learn in school.

Little Sausage

Little Sausage is a new musical about everything Piers Morgan hates: men defying toxic masculinity, vegan sausage rolls, and the truth. It is a verbatim musical that explores the relationship between veganism and masculinity.

The Greatest Hits of Lily & John

Written and performed by Rosanna Adams and Calum Sivyer

The Greatest Hits of Lily and John is a semi auto-biographical, modern folk story exploring loneliness, creativity and how friendship and conversation can inspire change.

The Night Woman

Written and performed by Julene Robinson

The Night Woman tells the gripping story of a fearless journey into the dark. With Caribbean folktales, movement and music taking centre stage, this path towards healing is urgent now more than ever during these times of pandemic and BLM.


Once Upon A (Love) Song

Kieran Brown (Heathers, Phantom, Wicked) will be joined on Valentine’s Day by a host of West End Stars, including some Heathers cast mates for an evening of song and stories of love, loss, and everything in between.

The Platform

An evening of new writing and emerging artists, performing a host of monologues, scenes, and stand-up routines. This event is all about creating a safe, supportive, and symbiotic evening for actors, audiences, and performers.

The Einstein Letter

A staged reading. A Havisham-esque Amanda Wingfield languishes in a London bedsit and all she has left is her meal delivery man. Touching, hilarious – brutal.

Luke Bayer and Grace Mouat in Concert

Paper House Productions invite you to a spectacular evening of live music from the West End’s very own Luke Bayer (Everybody’s talking about Jamie, Rent, Soho Cinders) and Grace Mouat (Six, & Juliet), singing your favourite songs and joined by some amazing guests.

Scott Folan in the Basement 

Armed only with a guitar and piano (and a special guest), Scott Folan (Be More Chill, Cyrano film) will share his inner most thoughts and feelings through his intimate songs and intricate melodies. He will play some songs you may have heard and some you definitely won’t have, all to try to convey, through music, how he became the man he is today.

Love is only Love

By Sam Harrison, Directed by Jason Morell

“I’m six years old, about to watch Hello Dolly starring Barbra Streisand for the first time, and I’m terrified.”

After a sold-out debut and run at The Other Palace, Love Is Only Love triumphantly returns.

In 1993 suburban Australia a young boy’s life is changed forever when he discovers the passionate romance of Hollywood musicals. So begins a decades-long, round-the-world quest to find his own kind of romance.

Directed by Jason Morell, with Sam Harrison as the boy and David Seadon-Young as all the loves of his life, this is a joyful, tender, and honest celebration of young love.

“It’s as perfect a way to spend an hour or so in the theatre as I can imagine… Its charm will last your whole life long.” LiveTheatreUK

“A deeply touching paean of praise to the hidden power of all musical theatre. Scrupulous direction by Jason Morell elicits knockout performances from a beguiling Harrison and dazzling David Seadon-Young… As elegantly witty as it is touching (very)”

David Benedict, The Stage

“Love is only Love, by Sam Harrison is an honest, intelligent, engaging, wonderful piece of theatre.” Encore


Music, Book, and Lyrics by Elliot Clay

MILLENNIALS turns up the microphone on the lives, the losses, and the frustrations of young people in the modern world. A generation that is so often defined by tabloid headlines, tweets and of course, avocados, pick up the mic and transport us inside their extraordinarily ordinary lives. Written and composed by Elliot Clay, this powerful and uplifting collection of songs runs the gamut of modern pop-music and sends musical theatre hurtling into the 21st Century.


The UK premiere of Heathers the Musical enjoyed two record-breaking opening seasons, launching at London’s The Other Palace, and transferring to the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2018; going on to win the WhatsOnStage award for Best New Musical 2019. It enjoyed a second season at Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2020, before embarking on a national tour until December 2021.

After its return to The Other Palace, it was initially booking until February 2022 but due to popular demand it will now play until Sunday 1 May 2022.


TuckShop & Trafalgar Theatre Productions

“Kill for a ticket”

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Daily Star Sunday


RuPaul’s Drag Race Superstar and star of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs The World



RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Series Three Finalist



Reprising her West End star turn








Following rave reviews, a smash hit UK tour and two sold out West End runs, the fabulous killer comedy sensation Death Drop is sashaying back into London for a fabulous third time. The show will open at the Criterion Theatre for limited run from Friday 4 March until Sunday 24 April. Tickets are on sale from Monday 31 January at

Described by Attitude as a “killer show” and “rollicking good fun” by The Guardian, this new London residency will also feature some amazing new casting: making her West End debut RuPaul’s Drag Race legend Jujubee and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Kitty Scott-Claus. Together with Holly Stars and a full drag cast in this hilarious murder mystery.

Written by Holly Stars, this “dazzling and delightfully camp comedy” is “jam-packed with hilarious one liners” and guaranteed to provide laugh-out-loud comedy that we all need right now. This show is like nothing you’ve seen ever before!

Jujubee, who is about to star in the BBC’s RuPaul’s UK Drag Race vs The World, said: “I am so excited to be joining the cast of Death Drop in London’s West End. I cannot wait to perform alongside these incredible artists”

Kitty Scott-Claus, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Series Three finalist, said: “I am thrilled to be heading back to the West End with the wonderful team at TuckShop! I’ve got some big heels to fill following Courtney and Willam – but luckily I’m a size 10 so I’m used to big shoes.”

TuckShop Creative Director and Producer Christopher D. Clegg said: “We are beyond excited to be bringing Death Drop back for its third West End season. The audiences of this show are wild for Holly Stars’ hilarious comedy, and having Kitty Scott-Claus, who’s first ever drag gig was for TuckShop in Gals Aloud, headlining after her star turn on Drag Race UK is a great full circle moment. To have one of the worlds most beloved Drag Queens Jujubee playing opposite Kitty will make for one unforgettable, fabulous, and fierce night in the theatre!”

It’s 1991 and a gaggle of guests gather on Tuck Island for a soirée like no other. The tension rises as the outrageous guests reveal their suspicious and sordid pasts, and one by one they sashay away, until at the last, nerve-shredding, side-splitting moment the surviving guests find out who-dunnit!

This rampant, raucous, ridiculous romp of a murder mystery serves up all the drama, comedy, twists and turns you’ll ever need!

Listings Information

Criterion Theatre

First Performance: 4 March 2022

Final performance: 24 April 2022

Performances: Wednesday – Thursday at 8pm, Friday at 5pm & 8.30pm,

Saturday at 4pm & 8pm and Sunday at 4pm Website:

Twitter: @deathdropplay

Instagram: @deathdropplay




Today, New Diorama Theatre and Nouveau Riche announce the transfer of their co-production For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy by Ryan Calais Cameron to play in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre from 31st March – 30th April 2022. This marks one of the very few productions ever to transfer directly from an Off-West End theatre into the prestigious Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs in the Royal Court Theatre’s 66 year history.

Commissioned as part of New Diorama’s Tenth Anniversary Season, the show’s landmark transfer further establishes New Diorama as the UK’s most bold and pioneering supporter of independent theatre companies. The timely announcement comes as New Diorama is also currently shortlisted for The Stage Fringe Theatre of the Year 2022.

For Nouveau Riche it continues the meteoric rise of a company who have been increasingly winning awards and international acclaim for their productions, including Typical and Queens of Sheba.

For Black Boys Who Have considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavywas one of the first shows to be made at New Diorama’s revolutionary Post-Lockdown artist recovery hub NDT Broadgate, where Nouveau Riche are Associates. Launched in 2021 as brand new 20,000 square foot rehearsal and development complex, NDT Broadgate is gifted entirely free as a radical gesture to support independent artists get back on their feet.

After the show’s total sell-out run at New Diorama in October-November 2021, which saw ticket queues every night, For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy will now transform the Royal Court Theatre’s stage into a “Black boy fantasia” blending movement, music, story-telling, and verse in a kaleidoscope of Black male mental health. Rich with honesty and insight, the show was developed with support from co-commissioner Boundless Theatre as part of their Accelerator programme.

Co-directed by Ryan Calais Cameron and Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu, the original cast (Emmanuel Akwafo, Mark Akintimehin, Nnabiko Ejimofor, Darragh Hand, Aruna Jalloh and Kaine Lawrence) will all perform in the transferred production.

Playwright and Nouveau Riche artistic director Ryan Calais Cameron said: “After 10 years of writing and developing ‘For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy’ it was remarkable to experience these stories at New Diorama. This transfer will be a huge cultural event and landmark for Nouveau Riche and our community, to see the words ‘For Black Boys…’ in bright lights in the centre of Sloane Square.”

David Byrne, Artistic Director of New Diorama Theatre, said “Nouveau Riche and Artistic Director Ryan Calais Cameron broke all our box office records with our co-production of For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy, so it feels right they break even more records – being one of the few shows ever to transfer straight from an Off-West End theatre to Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre. I’m delighted NDT is going along for the ride, with a front row seat to watch this exceptional company take over the world.”

Theatre Support Fund+ and Aqua Shard reunite to offer a show-stopping prize draw of unique paintbrushes signed by renowned theatre actors including Dame Judi Dench, Olivia Coleman & Joanna Lumley

Theatre Support Fund+ and Aqua Shard

reunite to offer a show-stopping prize draw

of unique paintbrushes

signed by renowned theatre actors

including Dame Judi Dench,

Olivia Coleman & Joanna Lumley 

Exclusively designed paintbrushes which made up Aqua Shard’s show-stopping 2021 Christmas tree in support of Theatre Support Fund+ are to be offered in a prize draw which will launch on Friday 28 January from 1.00pm to tie in with BBC One’s Big night of musicals.

800 stunning, golden, brushes dipped in glitter made up the tree, which was designed by distinguished British Theatre Designer Soutra Gilmour, and created by Theatre Support Fund+’s own Chris Marcus alongside Jonathan Hall and their team at Marcus Hall props.

50 of the 800 paintbrushes have been signed by a host of renowned actors from the theatre community, including Hugh Bonneville, Emilia Clarke, Olivia Coleman, Stockard Channing, Trevor Dion Nicholas, Tamsin Greig, Dame Judi Dench, Alice Fearn, Sir Derek Jacobi, John Owen Jones, Robert Lindsay, Joanna Lumley, Trevor Dion Nicholas, Sir Ian McKellen, Mazz Murray, Catherine Tate, David Suchet, Zizi Strallen and Layton Williams with many more to be announced. Over 50 prizes will be up for grabs in a prize draw offered by Theatre Support Fund+ to raise monies for freelancers in the theatre industry which is still recovering from the ongoing pandemic.

The team are offering supporters the chance to enter the prize draw by purchasing a £10 ticket via the Theatre Support Fund+ website. All monies raised will go to their charity partners Acting For others and Fleabag Support Fund. 50 prizes are up for grabs with more names being released over the next 24 hours on our social media.  One lucky winner will also win the magical Peter Pan afternoon tea for 2 at Aqua Shard, on the 31st floor of The Shard in London. *Terms and conditions apply

The theatre industry has suffered two years of uncertainty and show closures as a result of the Pandemic which has massively affected the entire community especially its freelancers who have been offered little support from the government and continue to face difficult times. The team continue to raise monies for those who face hardship with the theatre community being one of the hardest hit industries from the coronavirus pandemic.

To be in with a chance of winning one of the 50 prizes and to help continue the work of the Theatre Support Fund+ visit  to purchase a £10 ticket be in with a chance of winning one of these remarkable and exclusive prizes

Supporters have from 1pm on Friday 28th January until midnight on Sunday 6th February to purchase tickets. Winners will be picked at random and announced on Monday 7th February.

The Show Must Go On!

Royal & Derngate Northampton and Improbable present An Improbable Musical – a new musical created every night

Royal & Derngate Northampton and Improbable present An Improbable Musical – a new musical created every night

Royal & Derngate is delighted to present An Improbable Musical as part of its Made in Northampton 2021/22 season. With a brand-new show created at each performance, An Improbable Musical sees world renowned theatre company Improbable take to the Royal stage in Northampton from Friday 25 February to Saturday 5 March, ahead of an autumn tour. 

Their cast of seasoned improvisers includes Josie Lawrence (Whose Line Is It Anyway; Good Omens, Amazon/BBC; The King and I, London Palladium), Janet Etuk (Satyagraha, English National Opera), Niall Ashdown (Tristan and Yseult, Kneehigh), Ruth Bratt (Showstopper! The Improvised Musical) and Adam Courting (Extreme Improv), along with versatile musicians Max Gittings on flute, Joley Cragg on percussion and Juliet Colyer on cello.  The production is directed by co-artistic director of Improbable Lee Simpson (70 Hill LaneLifegame, Theatre of Blood, Comedy Store Players) and the associate director is Angela Clerkin (Moll and the Future Kings, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse).

Some of the best bits of any show are the parts that audiences never get to see – beautiful moments of discovery, fresh minted gags, a story coming alive for the first time – all of this traditionally happens in the rehearsal room. With this new production, maestros of improvised theatre Improbable let audiences in on those moments by improvising from scratch a new show made especially for the room that night. Story, song and puppetry will be conjured from the unlikeliest materials and every moment of creation (or lack of it) witnessed. This is not an attempt to improvise the “classic” musical but an unapologetic experiment in starting with nothing and seeing where the night ends.

For three decades Improbable have created improvised shows that have captivated audiences across the world from off-Broadway to the National Theatre. Their productions have ranged from the hilarious to the heart-breaking, the anarchic to the eerily atmospheric but their first ever improvised musical aims to spin theatrical magic out of thin air. 

Lee Simpson,co-artistic director of Improbable said: “Improv has come of age. There are very successful make-it-up-as-you-go-along shows. Most often they take a genre we know and love and give us their improvised version. The best of these are brilliant. We love them.

An Improbable Musical is a little bit different. Because the “frame” for the show is not a genre, it’s just what is in the theatre: a skeletal tower of stairs, puppets, musicians, actors and the audience. This is theatre made out of listening: performers and musicians listen to each other, to the audience, to the dreams swirling around the auditorium and from that they find the next moment of the show. A bit more listening in the world is worth a try, right?”

The show is designed by E Mallin Parry (Hamlet, Shakespeare’s Globe; Rotterdam. West End). The musical devisor and director is Christopher Ash (Austentatious and Mischief Movie Night, West End) and the puppet designer and director is Aya Nakamura (collaborator with Horse+Bamboo and Theatre-Rites), and both will also be part of the cast. 

Lighting design is by Colin Grenfell (Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) and Black Watch West End), sound design by Oscar Thompson (Rob Brydon Songs and Stories, UK Tour) and Will Thompson (Salome, Southwark Playhouse), and movement direction by Pauline Mayers (What I Told You, UK tour).

The production has been developed as part of a five-year project which has seen Royal & Derngate lead a national consortium of partners to support 150 artists in nurturing the creation of new musical theatre. 

Over the last five years, with the support of Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence fund, Royal & Derngate has been leading a consortium including China Plate, Improbable, Mercury Musical Developments, Musical Theatre Network, Perfect Pitch and Scottish Opera, to develop original new musicals, including the critically acclaimed Gin Craze!, a brand new musical by April De Angelis and Lucy Rivers, which premiered at Royal & Derngate in July 2021. 

An Improbable Musical can be seen at Royal & Derngate, Northampton from Friday 25 February to Saturday 5 March. Tickets priced from £11* can be booked by calling Box Office on 01604 624811 or online at

The Made in Northampton season is sponsored locally by Michael Jones Jewellers.

* A charge of £3.50 applies for all transactions of £20 and over. Does not apply to Groups, Members or Disabled Patrons, and is per-transaction, not per-ticket.