My Life As A Cowboy Review

Come What May Festival at Park Theatre – until 27 May 2022

Reviewed by Claire Roderick


Hugo Timbrell’s comic cowboy romp is a fun exploration of friendship and finding your thing.

Conor (Tom Taplin) has finally found something that makes him feel special – dancing to Country and Western music. When he finally tells his best friend Zainab (Sara Faraj) she is incredulous, and when he reveals his dream to win the talent show at Croydon People’s Day and become a dancer in the USA, Zainab thinks he’s lost the plot. She eventually agrees to dance with him, but a spanner is thrown in the works when Conor discovers that fellow lifeguard Michael (David Angland) is a C&M fan as well, writing his own songs.

The three characters’ social awkwardness is sweet and their issues, although exaggerated for comedic effect, are all recognisable. It’s obvious that friendships are few and far between for the trio, so the envy and animosity between Zainab and Michael as they compete for Conor’s attention is heart wrenching behind the bitter words. Being teenagers, the decisions made and lack of awareness of consequences causes big problems for the group as the quest for an escape from Croydon becomes pivotal for the boys.

Tom Taplin is warm and funny as Conor – the childlike delight on his face as he dances contrasting with his eyerolling exasperation as he mediates between his bickering friends. David Angland is hilarious as Michael, nailing the fake swagger of the lad who is afraid to show his true self and masking with swings between anger and humour. Zainab is Conor’s rock, and Sara Faraj brings a sweet vulnerability alongside fierce energy and fire to the stage as Zainab tries to make Conor understand her feelings.

Conor and Zainab’s moves to Shania Twain, Dolly Parton and Michael’s Johnny Cash-inspired Song of the Lifeguard are joyful, and director Nikhil Vyas ensures the quieter moments hit as hard as the more absurd sequences. As the three friends try to entangle their mess, questioning loyalties and ripping up the dance floor, the laughs come thick and fast. My Life as a Cowboy is a show with exciting potential

Emmy-winner, Grammy-nominee and Broadway star Felicia Boswell joins the cast of THE DRIFTERS GIRL in the West End






and TOSH WANOGHO-MAUD as the iconic group

Hit songs include Stand By MeSaturday Night at the Movies,

Under The Boardwalk, Save The Last Dance For Me

and Kissin in the Back Row of the Movies

Booking through to February 2023 at Garrick Theatre, London

Michael Harrison and David Ian are thrilled to announce today that the acclaimed Broadway star FELICIA BOSWELL will join London’s new smash hit musical, The Drifters Girl.

Felicia will play Faye Treadwell, the legendary manager of The Drifters, who, alongside her husband, fought for three decades to turn Atlantic Records’ hottest vocal group into a global phenomenon.

Felicia is a multi award-winning star, including an Emmy Award winner and Grammy Award nominee for Jesus Christ Superstar Live. Her Broadway credits include Motown The Musical, Shuffle Along and Memphis, the latter of which saw her win her second Helen Hayes Award. Full biography at

The Drifters Girl has been thrilling audiences since beginning in Newcastle in October 2021. The show transferred to London in November 2021, and has continued to play to packed houses and nightly standing ovations. It is booking through until 12 February 2023.

From the highs of hit records and sell out tours to the lows of legal battles and personal tragedy, The Drifters Girl charts the trailblazing efforts of the world’s first African American, female music manager and how she refused to ever give up on the group she loved. Thirty years, and hundreds of hit songs later, there is no doubt that Faye Treadwell was and always will be, The Drifters Girl.

Felicia Boswell plays Faye Treadwell, with Adam J BernardTarinn CallenderMatt Henry and Tosh Wanogho-Maud as the iconic group. Beverley Knight continues in the role of Faye through to Saturday 2 July, with Felicia beginning performances on Tuesday 5 July.

Adam J Bernard exploded into the West End limelight when he originated the role of Jimmy ‘Thunder’ Early in Dreamgirls, for which he was awarded an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical.

Tarinn Callender originated the roles of Hercules Mulligan and James Madison in the West End production of the international musical phenomenon Hamilton. His other credits include the Olivier Award winning production of Come From Away.

Award-winning actor, singer, songwriter and artist Matt Henry won an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Lola in Kinky Boots, for which he also received a Grammy Award nomination for the London cast recording.

As a finalist on the BBC’s The Voice, Matt’s performance of Ray LaMontagne’s ‘Trouble’ racked up over four million hits on YouTube and the original ‘Trouble’ re-entered the UK charts that week, testament to Matt’s performance.

Tosh Wanogho-Maud played Jimmy in the West End musical Dreamgirls. His other West End credits include ShowBoatTheBookof Mormon and playing the role of Simba in The Lion King.

The cast is completed by Marcus Ayton, Ashford Campbell, Ethan Davis, Vanessa Ela Young, Michael James Stewart, Alanna Leslie, Curtis Scott, and the young actors are Aurora Baptiste, Amari Brown, Savanna Musoni, Savannah Skinner-Henry and Shanyia Tsoto.

The Drifters Girl boasts an incredible soundtrack of some of the most famous songs in history, including Save The Last Dance For Me, Under The BoardwalkKissin In The Back Row Of The MoviesStand By MeCome On Over To My PlaceSaturday Night At The Movies and many more.

The Drifters Girl, with abook by Ed Curtis, based on an idea by Tina Treadwell, and which is co-created by Beverley KnightAdam J BernardTarinn CallenderMatt Henry and Tosh Wanogho-Maud is directed by Jonathan Church, with set design by Anthony Ward, choreography by Karen Bruce, costume design by Fay Fullerton, orchestrations and musical supervision by Chris Egan lighting design by Ben Cracknell, sound design by Tom Marshall and video design by Andrzej Goulding. Associate Director is Tyrone Huntley and Associate Choreographer is Myles Brown with casting by Stuart Burt and children’s casting by Jo Hawes.

The Drifters Girl is produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian.

Dear Evan Hansen West End


D E A R   E V A N   H A N S E N


22 OCTOBER 2022


Producer Stacey Mindich today (27 May 2022) announces that the critically acclaimed, Olivier Award-winning Best New Musical Dear Evan Hansen will celebrate its final London performance at the Noël Coward Theatre on 22 October 2022, three years after its West End premiere on 29 October 2019 and a year after its return to the West End after the covid shutdown (26 October 2021). 

The cast, who will continue to the end of the run, comprises Sam Tutty in the lead role of Evan Hansen, which won him the 2020 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical, Lucy Anderson (Zoe Murphy, in her Olivier-nominated performance), Doug Colling (Connor Murphy), Iona Fraser (Alana Beck), Marcus Harman (who plays Evan Hansen at certain performances), Jack Loxton (Jared Kleinman, in his Olivier-nominated performance), Rebecca McKinnis (Heidi Hansen), Lauren Ward (Cynthia Murphy, in her Olivier-nominated performance) and Rupert Young (Larry Murphy, in his Olivier-nominated performance). Completing the Company are Tricia Adele-Turner, Haydn Cox, Kristen Gaetz, Ellis Kirk, Hannah Lindsey, Samantha Mbolekwa, Mark Peachey, Hannah Qureshi, James Winter and Mitchell Zhangazha.

Through its hundreds of performances in the West End, the show leaves a lasting legacy:

The West End production of Dear Evan Hansen was honoured with three Olivier Awards for Best New Musical, Best Original Score or New Orchestrations (Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Orchestration by Alex Lacamoire), and Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Sam Tutty).  In addition to the Olivier, Sam Tutty was the recipient the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Newcomer, the Whastonstage Award for Best Actor in a Musical, and the Stage Debut awards for Best Performer in a Musical and Best West End Debut. Dear Evan Hansen also received four Mousetrap Awards for Best New Musical, Watch This Face (Sam Tutty), Soundtrack of My Soul, and Top Tech Design. Jack Loxton won the Whatsonstage Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical and Nicole Raquel Dennis, who originated the role of Alana in London, won the British Black Theatre Award for Best Supporting Female Actor in a Musical.

Since arriving in London, Dear Evan Hansen has partnered with UK-based mental health not-for-profit organisations The MixYoungMinds and Shout to help raise funds and amplify their lifesaving resources.Throughout the entirety of the West End engagement, Dear Evan Hansen has sold merchandise benefitting these organisations, including exclusive items featuring artwork from UK audience members.  The production has also collaborated with United for Global Mental Health’s Speak Your Mind campaign on numerous initiatives including the launch of “The Museum of Lost and Found Potential,” a 2019 pop-up installation in Covent Garden commemorating World Mental Health Day.  Following the covid shutdown, Dear Evan Hansen celebrated its return to the stage with a gifted performance honouring staff, volunteers, campaigners, and mental health professionals from across the UK.  In February 2020, the show welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to a special performance benefitting The Royal Foundation

The Duke and Duchess joined a long list of distinguished guests who have experienced the award-winning musical at the Noël Coward Theatre and have visited the bespoke backstage “Blue Room” created by the production’s acclaimed scenic designer, David Korins.  

The show’s Original Broadway Cast Recording debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200 – the highest charting debut position for an original cast album since 1961 – and went on to win the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and receive Gold Certification. In 2021 the tracks Waving Through a Window and You Will Be Found were included in the top 50 of the BBC Radio 2 Greatest Songs from a Musical, voted for by the public.  Dear Evan Hansen appeared on BBC News at TenThe One ShowBBC Musicals: The Greatest Show and Big Night of Musicals, ITV’s All Star Musicals and This Morning as well as Magic at the Musicals.

The West End production of Dear Evan Hansenwas the fourth production to open worldwide, following the critically acclaimed and Award-winning productions on Broadway and Toronto, Canada and the record-breaking North American tour.

Dear Evan Hansenfeatures a book by Tony Award-winner Steven Levenson, a score by Grammy®, Tony® and Academy Award® winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and direction by four-time Tony Award nominee Michael Greif.

Dear Evan Hansen features choreography by Danny Mefford, scenic design by David Korins, projection design by Peter Nigrini, costume design by Emily Rebholz, lighting design by Japhy Weideman, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, and hair design by David Brian Brown.  Music supervision, orchestrations and additional arrangements are by Alex Lacamoire.  Ben Cohn is the Associate Music Supervisor.  UK Casting is by Jill Green Casting,Vocal arrangements and additional arrangements are by Justin PaulJudith Schoenfeld is the Production Supervisor. UK General Management is by Ambassador Theatre Group Productions and Global General Management is by 101 Productions, Ltd. with Adam Speers as UK Executive Producer.

Dear Evan Hansen opened on Broadway to rave reviews on 4 December 2016, where it went on to win six 2017 Tony Awards including Best Musical among many other accolades and has broken all box office records at its Broadway home, the Music Box Theatre. The show launched its First North American Tour in Denver, Colorado in October 2018 and prior to the shutdown had performed in more than 40 cities across North America playing for more than 1.5 million audience members. The show’s now-iconic blue polo and arm cast are part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. The Grammy Award-winning Original Broadway Cast Recording produced by Atlantic Records, was released in February 2017, making an extraordinary debut on the Billboard 200 and entering the chart at #8 – the highest charting debut position for an original cast album since 1961 – and went on to win the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.  The Broadway production and the North American Tour resumed performances in December 2021.


Instagram: @dearevanhansen

Twitter: @dearevanhansen

Facebook: /DearEvanHansen







Theatre                              Noël Coward Theatre, St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4AU

Box Office                          0844 482 5151

Dates:                                until 22 October 2022

The White Card Review

Leeds Playhouse- until 4th June 2022

Reviewed by Katie Goldsbrough


The White Card takes place over an hour and a half in only two scenes. It begins with a privileged white couple trying to convince a black artist to let them buy her artwork over dinner. They are joined by their art dealer Eric played by Nick Blakeley and their activist son Alex played by CJ Coleman. Charles (Matthew Pidgeon) and Virginia (Kate Copeland) are art collectors who want to display art which portrays the struggles of the black community.

Charlotte (Estella Daniels) is a black artist who photographs reconstructions of violence against black people. The dinner soon turns in to a heated debate about race, white privilege and discrimination, with Charles believing he is helping to counteract racism by displaying the work of black artists. Virginia soon becomes defensive and wishes everyone would just get along, being unable to understand the struggles black people face on a daily basis. The only person who seemingly understands is their son Alex who is an activist supporting the BLM movement but even he struggles to understand some of what Charlotte is feeling. 

The second scene takes place a year later as Charles visits Charlotte at her studio, we see him trying to defend himself and struggling to understand her point of view. This is an important play, written by Claudia Rankine shortly before the murder of George Floyd. Directed by Natalie Ibu, we’re shown how people are privileged simply by being born white, this is a conversation which needs to be had to build understanding and make people think. The play outlines how people can’t understand what it’s like to have someone avoid you simply due to the colour of your skin. The play is extremely thought provoking and gives you the opportunity to look at yourself and make sure you are not part of the problem.  









REDEMPTION, a play with music by James Meteyard and The Last Skeptik, will return to The Big House in theirIslington venue, as part of their 10th anniversary celebrations – from Thursday 30th June to Saturday 13th August, with press night on Tuesday 5th July.

In a time of accusation and outrage, what does forgiveness look like?

The path to Redemption is hard to see, and even harder to walk.

Redemption follows explosive Maz and her truth-telling bars as she rails at the world and runs from a life in care. Redemption explores themes of grief, trauma, family and forgiveness.

Twenty-four-year-old Renaya Dennis will reprise her Off West End Award-nominated performance in the leading role of Maz. As a young girl that continuously ran away and who was documented in the press as a ‘14 year old missing teenager’, she was drawn to the character of Maz, having shared a similar story and relating to the theme of rejection.  

During lockdown and with nothing to do, Renaya battled with depression and was left feeling desperate to make a change in her life. Luckily, she was introduced to The Big House. She said of joining the company, ‘I really wanted to get involved with The Big House because of its reputation. Since I’ve come here I’ve met a community of people who are the same as me, who have come from similar backgrounds. I’m able to be myself and finally be accepted. I love learning and I’ve already learnt a lot about myself. I’ve now got an outside perspective and can see the negative things that I do. I’m not fully transformed but I’m on the way.’

The Big House opened their venue in Islington in October 2018, offering both a theatre and a space to help young care leavers long term and to build a positive creative community. The company’s work offers counselling, mentoring, training and workshops for young people to unleash their creativity and build confidence whilst participating in theatre and film projects. No-one is auditioned, but selected on the basis of need.

Directed by Maggie Norris (Artistic Director of The Big House), with text and lyrics by James Meteyard and music by The Last Skeptik (internationally acclaimed DJ, producer and composer, behind the score of critically acclaimed play Superhoe at the Royal Court Theatre), this production brings together an incredible team of artists with young performers for a show that will share the company’s ethos of making high-quality artistic work with a social impact.

The full cast for the new production are: Dymond Allen, Elizabeth Rochester, James AtwellJermaine FreemanRenaya DennisShaquille JackTajah WorkmanTaurean Steele and Tezlym Senior Sakutu.

James Meteyard said: It feels amazing to be bringing Redemption back! The response was so strong from the young people, peers, press and punters! People genuinely seemed to connect with the sentiment of the piece and of course the strength of the talent on stage is just overwhelming impressive. It felt like such a shame to end the sell out run whilst there was still such demand. I feel very grateful for the opportunity to get the team back together and to see them all in action again for round two!’

Meteyard said of changes for the revival, “Naturally when you do something again you’ve had the gift of learning from the first time you did it. So whilst the essence of the piece will be the same, the script will be refined, songs will be sharper, the use of space will be slicker, the video, sound, light etc will all have benefited from experience of a prior run! I can’t wait. It’s going to be so much fun.”

Maggie Norris, Artistic Director of The Big House, said: “It is a joy to be able to revive our acclaimed production of REDEMPTION in our 10th anniversary year. This is a wonderful show to celebrate the young people at The Big House and showcase the work that we do with marginalised young people.’

Rula Lenska Joins the Cast of The Real Marigold Hotel – UK Tour Starts September ’22


Lenska will joins previously announced Oscar-winner


and West End and Real Marigold Hotel star


on tour this autumn

Simon Friend Entertainment is today delighted to reveal that another of the UK’s best-loved actors, Rula Lenska, (ITV’s Rock Follies, Coronation Street, Channel 4’s Celebrity Big Brother) is the latest cast member to be confirmed for the upcoming tour of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The Titian-haired star joins recently announced cast members Hayley Mills (Pollyanna, The Parent Trap, Whistle Down the Windand Paul Nicholas (Jesus Christ Superstar, BBC 1’s Just Good Friends, Eastenders) in this feel-good tale of love, adventure, and starting-over which starts a major new UK tour in Richmond this September.

Rula Lenska was born Countess Roza-Marie Leopoldyna Lubienska in St. Neots to Polish parents who had fled their homeland, their family estate having been confiscated by Communist forces. Following her education at an Ursuline College in Kent, she became an actor, gaining her first notable starring role in Rock Follies in 1976, going on to appear in many iconic television series such as Robin of Sherwood, Doctor Who, EastEnders, To The Manor Born and Minder, ITV’s Coronation Street as Claudia Colby, and most recently a BAFTA-nominated Inside No 9 for BBC 2.

A passionate stage actor, she has appeared in The Vagina Monologues, Calendar Girls, Pygmalion, Seven Deadly Sins, Four Deadly Sinners, Eurobeat at the Edinburgh Festival, and 84 Charing Cross Road. She is involved in the development of a one-woman show about Rita Hayworth.

When not working Rula is a devoted grandmother and a practicing Buddhist, who is involved in the support of several conservation charities such as Born Free, Animal Asia, and The Daphne Sheldrick Trust. 

She has lent her instantly recognizable voice to several audiobooks and was in several series of the much-loved radio show, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which first aired on BBC Radio 4 in May 2005. Her autobiography My Colourful Life is available now.

Paula Wilcox was previously announced to join the cast but has had to withdraw from the production due to schedulingFurther casting is to be confirmed.

The play’s book is written by Deborah Moggach who now adapts her bestselling novel 2004’s These Foolish Things for the stage, it having previously inspired the BAFTA and Golden Globe-nominated film. The cherished story will be brought to life on stage when it opens at the Richmond Theatre on Monday 5th September 2022 and is directed by Lucy Bailey (Oleanna, UK Tour & West End); Gaslight, UK Tour; Witness for the Prosecution, London’s County Hall).

Based on the Sunday Times bestseller which inspired one of this century’s most treasured films, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel takes us on a journey to India with an eclectic group of British retirees as they embark on a new life. The luxury residence is far from the opulence they were promised, but as their lives begin to intertwine and they embrace the vibrancy of modern-day India, they are charmed in unexpected and life-changing ways.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a joyous, feel-good comedy about taking risks, finding love, and embracing second chances, even in the most surprising of places.

The film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (directed by John Madden) saw its UK theatrical release in 2012. Within two weeks of its cinematic distribution, the film had topped the UK Box Office and went on to become a hit internationally performing as one of the highest-grossing films of 2012 in Australia and New Zealand in addition to the United Kingdom.

The interwoven stories of the film’s stellar ensemble, which included Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilson, Tom Wilkinson, Celie Imrie, and Ronald Pickup – with Dev Patel as the put-upon owner of a past-its-best hotel for ‘the elderly and beautiful’ – shone a light on issues such as the outsourcing of care and NHS treatments, the complexity of family relationships around the world, love, compassion, and companionship in our twilight years.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is produced by Simon Friend, Jenny King, Trafalgar Entertainment and Gavin Kalin.

Get ready for the journey of a lifetime.

Miloš Homage to Segovia Review

Forum Theatre, Malvern – 25th May 2022

Reviewed by Courie Amado Juneau


Miloš Karadaglić is an exceptionally talented master of the classical guitar who already has multiple album releases, returning to Malvern with a programme in homage of Andrés Segovia; Spanish master who brought the instrument to prominence in the early 20th Century.

Each of tonight’s pieces is synonymous with the former great master, like the opening piece, Sor’s “Introduction on a Theme by Mozart” which Segovia most often opened concerts with. A playful, romantic piece that dances around the fretboard, giving us a variety of styles and textures. A showcase for why the guitar has always been such a popular instrument to rival the piano, especially in Spain which kept the flame alive and where the guitar’s exotic esotericism smoldered in the hidden courtyards. I especially loved Miloš playing of the final variation with its long thumbed bass passages alternating with chords and the almost rasguedo like final chord, perfectly showing off what the guitar does best – chords and single note passages with multiple voicings.

Bach’s “Chaconne” was next. For me Bach is more about logic (with all those weaving contrapuntal lines) than passion. That Miloš managed to achieve clarity of line whilst bringing joy and warmth into this cerebral piece demonstrates his innate musicality and genius command of the fingerboard.

Three pieces by Isaac Albéniz rounded out the first half. “Asturias”, which at its most thrilling needs a certain speed, precision and rhythmic certainty – an unremitting forward thrust exciting us with its drama and dynamic range. “Granada” has a smoldering intensity that is the very evocation of sitting in the gardens of the Alhambra remembering loves lost. Finally in this section, “Sevilla” – like attending a feria, full of dancing rhythms and gaiety, replete with óles! Then the focus shifts to a courting couple before rejoining the fiesta throng…

The second half consisted of Villa-Lobos “Five Preludes” – showcasing the guitar’s sonic palette via some sensuously long, florid runs up and down the neck before harmonics interweave with the more formal chorale like passages, giving our artist ample opportunity to display every guitaristic technique imaginable, which Miloš did in abundance.

Miloš’s personality comes across in his playing and also in his introductions; providing musical context as well as some lovely personal anecdotes like how he discovered his love of music growing up in Montenegro. I particularly enjoyed hearing about his new guitar (being one of the many people who are irresistably drawn to the instrument).

The concert finished with a transcription of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow“ and the premiere of “Amor Fati”, written especially for tonight’s artist. The audience didn’t want to let him go and so the ongoing (and most deserved) applause gave us a final treat – Francisco Tárrega’s “Lagrima”.

A beautiful piece to round out a gorgeous program and a wonderful concert from one of the most talented classical guitarists to emerge in the past decade. An absolute joy from start to finish, I cannot wait to see Miloš again and advise you to catch him while you can before the international stage whisks him away.

Wuthering Heights Review

King’s Theatre, Edinburgh – until Saturday 28th May 2022

Reviewed by Ellen Searle


If a picture is worth a thousand words,  Emma Rice’s outstandingly creative theatrical adaptation of Wuthering Heights is well worth the 108,000 words of Emily Bronte’s classic novel. The characters of Cathy and Heathcliff are burnt into our collective cultural consciousness, a forbidden, brooding love destined for tragedy.  While their story is undoubtedly the thundering gothic-romantic heart of the story, this adaptation also provides nuanced characterisation of all the main characters, as well as their life stories and context, bringing the epic nature of the book to the stage in its full glory.  With the quality cast you would expect from any production associated with the National Theatre, and the use of sophisticated staging techniques, this show, like the novel itself, transcends time and place as it explores the fundamental nature of our psyche, and in so doing, stimulates the senses, the heart and the mind.

Lucy McCormick plays Catherine Earnshaw with an unsettling energetic frenzy in life, and an equally unsettling forlorn moodiness in death. Liam Tamne’s Heathcliff is suitably brooding and violent, but it is his sensitive depiction of Heathcliff ‘s vulnerability and occasional tenderness that reveals his essential human vulnerability.  The gentle being within is brutalised by the cruelty and disdain that is dished upon him, and which he in turn dishes upon others.  The theme of cruelty begetting cruelty is beautifully echoed and expanded throughout the work, through the multiple characters of the Earnshaw and Linton households, played brilliantly by Sam Archer, Katy Owen, Stephanie Hockly and Tama Phethean. 

Of course, we have the bleak, wild Yorkshire moor, its centrality to the story expressed vividly by it consisting in part of the actors themselves.  Nandi Bhebe plays the leader of the Moor with a calm authority as she holds the reins of the story.  Along with the comedy elements, her characterisation provides welcome balance to the intense emotions of the human characters.

A host of theatrical devices are used on Vicki Mortimer’s wonderful set. Brechtian alienation techniques such as full view of the wardrobe and props in the wings, keep us conscious that we are watching a play, further engaging our intellect to reflect on the what we see.  Leitmotifs such as the swarming crows projected onto a video screen at each death help us navigate the narrative. Ian Ross’s music is played on the stage, giving us everything from hard rock to an Irish folk song, and we have a range of puppets, most imaginatively the birds, their flapping wings being in fact the flapping pages of books at the end of poles held by actors, a reminder of and respectful tribute to the source material. Yet this wild array of techniques and devices do not distract, instead they are skilfully crafted together to underpin the key themes and narrative of the piece.

All in all, this highly imaginative adaptation of Wuthering Heights is true to and worthy of Emily Bronte’s classic novel ~ get a ticket, now!

BRENDA EDWARDS announced as ‘Mama Morton’ in the UK tour of CHICAGO











David Ian in association with Barry and Fran Weissler are pleased to announce much-loved performer and TV personality Brenda Edwards will return to the stage as Mama Morton in the UK and Ireland tour of the international smash hit musical CHICAGO, the role in which she made her West End debut. Brenda joins the cast at the Sunderland Empire (2 – 4 June), Cardiff New Theatre (20 – 25 June), Winter Gardens Blackpool (28 June – 2 July), Sheffield Lyceum Theatre (5 – 9 July), Norwich Theatre Royal (11 – 16 July) and New Theatre Oxford (18 – 23 July). Please see the full tour schedule below for Brenda’s exact performance dates.

Brenda stars alongside the previously announced Lee Mead as Billy Flynn, Faye Brookes as Roxie Hart, Djalenga Scott as Velma Kelly, Jamie Baughan as Amos Hart and B.E. Wong as Mary Sunshine.

The cast is completed by Ishmail Aaron, Michelle Andrews, Gabby Antrobus, Delycia Belgrave, Joel Benjamin, Tanisha-Mae Brown, Daniel Clift, Callum Fitzgerald, Emily Goodenough, Billie Hardy, Aaron Jenkins, Liam Marcellino, Theo Reece, Hollie Jane Stephens and Harrison Wilde. 

Brenda Edwards (Mama Morton) gained public acclaim as a semi-finalist on The X Factor before turning her attention to the stage, making her West End debut as Mama Morton in CHICAGO. Her additional theatre credits include Motormouth Maybelle in the UK tour of Hairspray, Nettie Fowler in Carousel at the London Coliseum, Killer Queen in We Will Rock You both the West End and original UK Tour and Pearl Pastor in Carmen Jones at the Royal Festival Hall. Brenda is also a regular panellist on ITV’s Loose Women as well as presenting BBC1’s Songs of Praise.

Lee Mead (Billy Flynn) won the nations hearts when they voted him their Joseph in BBC1’s Any Dream Will Do. Since then, Lee has gone on to star in the West End in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Adelphi Theatre, Legally Blonde at the Savoy Theatre and Wicked at the Victoria Apollo, as well as touring the UK as Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Lee has also appeared on screen establishing himself as a TV favourite on BBC1’s Casualty and Holby City in the role of Lofty.

Faye Brookes (Roxie Hart) reached the final of last year’s series of ITV’s Dancing On Ice. She is best known for her role as Kate Connor in ITV’s Coronation Street, for which she won a National Television Award. Her theatre credits include Princess Fiona in Shrek and Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, both on national tour, Ann/Edna in That Day We Sang directed by Victoria Wood at Manchester’s Royal Exchange, Liesl in The Sound of Music at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Frenchy in Grease at the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre. Faye’s other TV credits include Agnes Franklin in Our Girl and Helena in Atlantis, both for the BBC.

Djalenga Scott’s (Velma Kelly) West End credits include Lily St Regis in Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the New London and Chicago at the Adelphi, Cambridge and Garrick Theatres. Her other credits include Anita in the national tour of West Side Story, Rizzo in Grease at Curve Leicester, Magenta in The Rocky Horror Show and Carmen in Fame, both on European tours, the US tour of Batman Live and Bombalurina in Cats at Kilworth House. Djalenga’s screen credits include Scarlett/Esme in Trapped for the BBC and Alexandra in the film I Give It A Year.

Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, CHICAGO is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today’s tabloids.

Created by the musical theatre talents of John Kander, Fred Ebb and legendary choreographer Bob Fosse, CHICAGO’s sexy, sassy score includes the show-stopping songs “Razzle Dazzle”, “Cell Block Tango”, and “All That Jazz”.  Winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy, CHICAGO is the longest running American musical in Broadway and West End history.

Since it opened in New York in 1996, CHICAGO has played in 36 countries worldwide and has been performed in English, Dutch, German, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, Danish, Japanese and Korean.  Worldwide it has been seen by an estimated 33 million people, grossed over $1.7 billion and played over 32,500 performances.

CHICAGO, which is based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, has a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb.  The 1996 Broadway revival of CHICAGO was choreographed by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse, directed by Walter Bobbie, and produced by Barry and Fran Weissler.



Sunderland Empire

Lee Mead – Billy Flynn, Brenda Edwards – Mama Morton*, Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

*Brenda Edwards will not perform on Friday 3 June 2022


New Theatre, Cardiff

Lee Mead – Billy Flynn, Brenda Edwards – Mama Morton, Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.


Winter Gardens, Blackpool
Lee Mead – Billy Flynn, Brenda Edwards – Mama Morton, Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.


Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield

Lee Mead – Billy Flynn, Brenda Edwards – Mama Morton*, Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

*Brenda Edwards will not perform on Saturday 9 July 2022


Theatre Royal, Norwich

Lee Mead – Billy Flynn, Brenda Edwards – Mama Morton*, Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

*Brenda Edwards will not perform on Monday 11 July 2022


New Theatre Oxford

Lee Mead – Billy Flynn, Brenda Edwards – Mama Morton, Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.







Treason is the explosive new musical about the gunpowder plot featuring stunning music by Ricky Allan, and book and lyrics by Ricky Allan and Kieran Lynn. Since announcing the live stage debut of the musical on 22 August at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, it sold out within 2 weeks of going on sale, a record for an original new musical! This has led to an additional performance date being added, on the evening of 23 August 2022, due to such popular demand.

Treason has already garnered a global audience following its streamed concert from Cadogan Hall in March 2021 and successful release of six tracks on streaming platforms. Songs from Treason The Musical such as ‘Take Things Into Our Own Hands’, ‘The Cold Hard Ground’ and ‘Blind Faith’ have already taken taken Spotify by storm with over 200,000 streams, and the streamed lockdown concert was described as “an exceptional musical in the making” (West End Best Friend).

Confirmed casting includes Carrie Hope Fletcher (Martha Percy), Bradley Jaden (Thomas Percy), Simon-Anthony Rhoden (Robert Catesby), Les Dennis (Robert Cecil), Emilie Louise Israel (Eleanor Brooksby), Rebecca Lachance (Anne Vaux), Daniel Boys (King James), Cedric Neal (Earl of Northumberland), Waylon Jacobs (Jack Wright) and Adam Pearce (Thomas Wintour).

Treason’s creative team are as follows — Director: Hannah Chissick, Choreographer: Taylor Walker, Musical Supervisor: Nick Pinchbeck, Orchestrator: Matthew Malone, Designer: Ruth Sutcliffe, Lighting Designer: Simisola Majekodunmi, Sound Designer: Tom Marshall, Video Designer: Gino Green, Casting: Harry Blumenau and Dramaturgy: Hannah Chissick.

Treason the Musical in Concert is part of three concerts presented in August at Theatre Royal Drury Lane. It follows concert stagings of Chess the Musical in Concert on 1 August, and Kinky Boots the Musical in Concert on 8 August.