Worldwide phenomenon and West End hit, Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage, is set to mambo back to Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 24th July 2017 for one week only.

Produced by Karl Sydow and Paul Elliott, and written by Eleanor Bergstein, original scriptwriter of the 1987 blockbuster film, the new UK production of the show features the much-loved characters and original dialogue from the iconic film as well as exciting new scenes. Hit songs include ‘Hungry Eyes’, ‘Hey! Baby’, ‘Do You Love Me?’ and ‘(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life’.

Set in the summer of 1963, Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage tells the story of 17-year-old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman, who, whilst on holiday in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents, is uninterested in resort activities until she stumbles across an all-night dance party at the staff quarters. Mesmerised by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle, the resort dance instructor. Baby’s life is about to change forever as she becomes Johnny’s leading lady both on-stage and off.

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage originally opened at London’s Aldwych Theatre in 2006 with a record-breaking advance of £15 million; becoming the fastest ever selling show in West End theatre history.The first UK tour launched in 2011 before returning to the West End in 2013 to play at the Piccadilly Theatre; a second UK and Ireland tour soon followed. This record-breaking all new concept stars Lewis Griffiths as ‘Johnny Castle’, Katie Hartland as ‘Baby Houseman’ and Carlie Milner as ‘Penny Johnson’.

Dirty Dancing is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 24th July to Saturday 29th July 2017


Tickets are priced from £22.50 (RV) to £48

(prices include a £3 booking fee. Postage charge £1 where applicable)


Book online at leedsgrandtheatre.com or call Box Office on 0844 848 2700

Hull Truck Theatre – September to December

Themes of journeys and hope continue as Hull Truck Theatre announce Part 2 of their Year of Exceptional Drama for Hull UK City of Culture 2017 Events from September – December 2017, on sale from Monday 26 June at 10am

Mark Babych (Artistic Director) and Janthi Mills-Ward (Executive Director), say:This season we celebrate the many and varied journeys that people make towards a better life. Tales from South Africa, Ukraine and Dickensian Britain all combine to tell a story of hope, transition and change.

Highlights of the Freedom season include the opportunity to see the world class piece The Suitcase from the Market Theatre of Johannesburg, and a world première based on Marina Lewycka’s novel A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian.

As we reach the second half of what has already been an extraordinary year for the city of Hull, we hope the season reflects this spirit of optimism and renewal that we hope will carry us forward into a brighter and more unified future.’

Hull Truck Theatre productions

The season begins with The Suitcase (31 Aug – 9 Sept, press night 5 Sept) presented by Market Theatre Johannesburg, marking the internationally renowned theatre company’s return to the UK after a five-year absence. The production is presented with Hull Truck Theatre, Northern Stage, Derby Theatre, Dukes Lancaster, and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse in partnership with Freedom Festival, bringing world-class international performance to five northern cities, sharing programming and strengthening audience development. It will première at Hull Truck Theatre as part of Hull UK City of Culture’s Freedom season, before touring to Newcastle (14 – 16 Sept), Derby (20 – 23 Sept), Lancaster (27 – 29 Sept) and Liverpool (4 – 8 Oct).

Based on a true story about a young couple who leave their rural village to improve their life in the city, The Suitcase is never more relevant to our time, exploring issues of identity, migration, exile and celebration of the human spirit. It is adapted and directed by Market Theatre’s Artistic Director James Ngcobo from the novel by Es’kia Mphahlele, and features live music composed and written by legendary South African musician Hugh Masekela.

Hull Truck Theatre and Hull UK City of Culture 2017 present A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (22 Sep – 14 Oct, press night 26 Sept), a world première production based on the best-selling novel by Marina Lewycka. Adapted by Tanika Gupta (The Waiting Room at the National Theatre; Anita and Me at Birmingham REP) and directed by Hull Truck Theatre’s Artistic Director Mark Babych, this family comedy tells the story of retired Ukrainian engineer and tractor historian Nikolai and gold-digging bombshell Valentina. Nikolai falls for Valentina after the death of his wife, whilst his daughters unite to save what remains of his pension.

Hull Truck Theatre end their 2017 celebrations with a fresh take on the festive ghost story A Christmas Carol (1 Dec – 6 Jan), adapted by playwright Deborah McAndrew (An August Bank Holiday Lark; Till the Cows Come Home; The Grand Gesture) and directed by West Yorkshire Playhouse Associate Director Amy Leach (The Borrowers at Sherman Cymru; Kes and The Nightmare Before Christmas at West Yorkshire Playhouse; Dracula at Theatre Royal Bath). Set in Victorian Hull, this is a new adaptation of a Christmas classic with all the magical atmosphere and spookiness of Dickens’ original. Presented by Hull Truck Theatre and Hull UK City of Culture 2017, A Christmas Carol will round off the celebrations in Hull Truck Theatre’s Year of Exceptional Drama for 2017.

Performances from local theatre companies and artists

Hull Truck Theatre are proud to be hosting performances from several local theatre companies this season, including a production from one of their Supported Artists (a group of artists and companies who are part of Hull Truck Theatre’s professional development programme for established and early-career artists).

Hull Truck Theatre Supported Artists and Hull-based new-writing company Bellow Theatre present Bare Skin on Briny Waters (6 – 7 Oct), a show about two young women standing on a cliff edge steadily being blown on an unexpected course.

Pub Corner Poets present Sad Little Man (27 – 28 Oct), a stand-up tragedy performed by the mind of a young man in shock, featuring performance poetry, physical theatre, pounding music and projection. They developed the show at Hull Truck Theatre before touring it to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015, and it was part of the Hull UK City of Culture 2017 Emerging Theatre Companies Showcase at the New Diorama Theatre earlier this year.

Script Club present the new one-man musical comedy Drip (9 – 10 Nov), written by award-winning local playwright Tom Wells (Folk, Jumpers for Goalposts, and Broken Biscuits at Hull Truck Theatre). It tells the story of Liam, an optimistic 15-year-old who signs up for Beverley Road Bath’s first ever synchronised swimming team, despite being unable to swim. Hull Playgoers’ present Beautiful Thing by Jonathan Harvey (17 – 21 Oct), a glorious urban love story between two young men coming to grips with their sexuality.

Visiting drama

There is a wealth of visiting drama from across the UK, from contemporary performances and spoken word to raucous gig theatre.

Performance poet Luke Wright presents his politically charged modern epic What I Learned from Johnny Bevan (2 Sept) as part of this year’s Freedom Festival. With humour and humanity, Luke takes British politics through a story of friendship, class ceilings, and the hollow reality of the New Labour dream. What I Learned from Johnny Bevan is the winner of the prestigious Fringe First Award and Stage Awards for Acting Excellence.

Mind the Gap, England’s largest learning-disabled theatre company, present Mia (13 – 14 Sept). Performed by four learning-disabled artists, Mia examines the truths and myths about learning disability and parenthood in today’s society.

Paines Plough’s Growth (3 Oct) is a comedy about growing up and manning up from critically acclaimed writer Luke Norris (So Here We Are at the Royal Exchange; Goodbye to All That at the Royal Court). It tells the story of Tobes, a young man who successfully ignores a testicular lump for two years before it starts to get in the way. The show won a Fringe First Award at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Two performances explore the ideas of war and conscientious objection. Michael Mears tells a compelling, shocking and inspiring story of the men who said no to WWI, in one-man show This Evil Thing (29 – 30 Sept). The questions the show poses are as relevant and urgent as they were one hundred years ago. Not About Heroes (18 – 21 Oct) is about the unique relationship between celebrated WWI poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, who met in a military hospital in 1917 and bonded over a mutual hatred of war, love and poetry. The show is on the first part of a world tour to commemorate the centenary of the poets’ meeting.

Medea (24 – 25 Oct) is a startling, contemporary reimagining of the ancient Greek legend of passion and revenge, casting Medea as the ultimate outsider. Her monologue transports us from ancient Greece to modern Europe and back again in a provocative, blood-soaked collage of performance, opera and sexual confession, performed by acclaimed dancer and vocalist François Testory. François has collaborated with a range of world-class companies including Punchdrunk, Ballet Rambert and DV8 Physical Theatre. The performance features live music by composer and music producer Jonny Pilcher, who has worked with musicians including Lana Del Ray, Super Furry Animals, White Lies and Crystal Castles.

Dom Coyte and The Bloodmoneys’ Songs For the End of The World (2 – 3 Nov) obliterates the line between epic theatre and raucous gig. When the apocalypse arrives, astronaut Jim Walters is left suspended in orbit on his way to Mars, broadcasting his songs for the end of the world back to a silent Earth. Dom Coyte is a regular collaborator with Kneehigh Theatre, whilst his band The Bloodmoneys have toured and recorded with artists including Beth Orton, Scissor Sisters and Gary Newman.

Family performances

Families are at the heart of Hull Truck Theatre’s season, with family-friendly performances ranging from interactive adventures to breath-taking circus in addition to the family Christmas show A Christmas Carol.

Children can dive into the depths of their imaginations in the popular Finlay McGuigan’s Great Adventures in Storyland (30 Sept, 14 Oct, 25 Nov), the perfect interactive performance for little ones aged 3 to 6 and their families. The show sells out quickly so families are urged to book in advance.

Meet a chaotic family of misfits in The Hogwallops (27 – 28 Oct), a colourful, loud comedy that combines heart-stopping circus skills with slapstick and clowning. Perfect for children aged 3 plus and their families.

Following hot on the heels of The Gruffalo comes The Gruffalo’s Child (2 – 4 Nov), presented by Tall Stories Theatre Company. Based on the short story by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, this musical adaptation brings the much-loved modern classic to life.

Circus and dance

Grania Pickard tells the true story of growing up with her autistic brother in He Ain’t Heavy (12 – 14 Oct), presented by Oddly Moving. Using physical theatre, aerial circus and audience interaction, Grania explains how her brother walks, talks and interacts with the world. She was the first artist to take part in Be Our Guest, Hull Truck Theatre’s week-long residency programme which provides artists with the time, space and support to develop a new piece of work.

The Hull Dance Choreographic Prize (11 Nov) returns for its fourth year at Hull Truck Theatre, promising an exciting evening of dance from companies across Yorkshire and the Humber. Prizes are awarded by a secret audience vote.


Hull Truck Theatre welcome the Hull Jazz Festival presented by J-Night (16 – 18 Nov) in its 25th anniversary year, with performances from leading jazz musicians including clarinettist Arun Ghosh, singer Zoe Gilby, and an evening celebrating the iconic pop sounds of Shirley Bassey and Dusty Springfield.

Hillbilly Troupe and Friends (12 Sept) return with a celebration of local folk music, bringing together musicians from across Hull for an almighty jamboree, whilst 1960s folk rock group Electric Strawbs (24 Oct) take to the stage fronted by lead singer Dave Cousins.


Comedy this season begins with Rich Hall’s Hoedown (13 Sept) on the second leg of its critically acclaimed tour. Rich is known for his television appearances on Have I Got News For You and QI, but if you’ve only seen him on TV you’ve short-changed yourself. The Hoedown begins as a withering dissection of Trump’s America and ends in a celebration of Americana, with stand-up, improvised ballads and impressive musicianship in-between.

Comedian Andy Parsons presents his new stand-up show Peak Bullsh*t (25 Oct), encouraging you to put on your lucky pants and party shoes and stop worrying about the world. Andy was a lead writer for the ground-breaking show Spitting Image, and has performed on numerous TV shows including Mock the Week, QI, and Live at the Apollo.

Phill Jupitus is back with Juplicity (21 Nov), an hour of tales, laughs and diversions from the chaos of his own life and the uncertain world that surrounds it. He’s best known for his 19-year-long team captaincy on BBC 2’s Never Mind the Buzzcocks, as well as regular appearances on QI and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.


Hull Truck Screen and Hull Independent Cinema continue to present the best independent films and live event screenings from around the world. Highlights include RSC Live screenings of Titus Andronicus (Aug 9) and Coriolanus (11 Oct), and the NT Live screening of Yerma with Billie Piper in her Evening Standard Best Actress award-winning role (5 Sept). More films will be announced throughout the season.

Discover more – don’t just see a play, discover it

Audiences can get closer to the shows made at Hull Truck Theatre through Discover events, which run alongside many productions.

Discover Days are a fantastic opportunity to learn more about how a play comes to life or to pose questions to the cast and creative teams. Tickets are £17.50, including a workshop, a matinee ticket and a post-show Q&A. This season’s Discover Days are: The Suitcase (9 Sept), A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (7 Oct), and A Christmas Carol (16 Dec).

Hull Truck Theatre also run post-show Q&As for many in-house and visiting productions, where audiences can ask the cast and creative teams informal questions after seeing the show. This season’s post-show Q&As are: The Suitcase (6 Sept), A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (4 Oct), Mia (following every performance), This Evil Thing (29 Sept), He Ain’t Heavy (12 Oct), and Medea (24 Oct).

Pricing initiatives and accessible performances

Hull Truck Theatre are committed to being as accessible as possible for all audiences. This season they are giving bookers more choice with a range of ticket options, multibuy savings, concessions, groups rates and Pay What You Can nights, as well as accessible performances including audio descriptions and captions (full details below).

Offers include the Dinner and a Show package (a ticket, a main course meal, parking and a show programme), the popular main-house Drama Deal and the new Studio Drama Deal which give audiences the chance to see more shows for less.

Hull Truck Theatre are running audio described performances for The Suitcase (7 Sept), A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (5 Oct), and A Christmas Carol (15 Dec), as well as touch tours for visually impaired patrons before each audio described show.

Accessible performances include gentler sound effects, additional lighting, and a relaxed and friendly attitude to noise and moving around the auditorium – accessible performances include A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (30 Sept) and A Christmas Carol (6 Jan).

Captioned performances include The Suitcase (8 Sept), A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (12 Oct), and A Christmas Carol (4 Jan).

Musical Royalty Announced for From Page To Stage 2017

at The Other Palace
From Page To Stage Summer Festival 2017
Burt Bacharach, Steven Sater, Honeyblood, Dick King-Smith, Charles Miller

Aria Entertainment’s From Page To Stage (FPTS) are delighted to announce their exciting musical concerts and the ten new musicals selected to be showcased during their Summer Festival at The Other Palace (Monday 14 August – Sunday 3 September 2017) including: musical royalty with Tony and Grammy Award winning writer Steven Sater (Spring Awakening) and Academy Award, Grammy Award winning pop legend Burt Bacharach’s new musical Some Lovers – a fully produced main house production; and titular royalty on stage in the studio, with the coming of age new family musical The Queen’s Nose by Charles Miller and Tim Sanders, adapted from the right royal author Dick King-Smith’s delightfully funny children’s book.

Fast becoming the world’s leading new musical theatre Summer Festival FPTS moves into The Other Palace, where night and day over the three weeks, the sound of music from new musicals from across the globe will be brought to life; both in the theatre and studio – and even the bar. From a record breaking 302
submissions from 15 countries, the selected new musicals will be showcased and performed by top West End performers, directors, choreographers, musicians and musical directors – showing each step of a new musical, with workshops, readings, showcases (25 minute tasters of musicals) and fully staged productions.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, owner of The Other Palace says: “I am thrilled that Katy Lipson is bringing From Page to Stage to The Other Palace, in August. It buoys my hope that The Other Palace will become a breeding ground for new musicals and a genuine hub for anyone interested in musical theatre.”

The Festival will open with the slick cutting-edge Song Writers Showcase (14 Aug), giving a professional platform for some awesome new musical songs from a plethora of musical genres, very clearly showing the calibre of shows on tap for three weeks at The Other Palace.

Creating a perfect FPTS mini Family Festival in the studio (28 Aug-02 Sept), The Queen’s Nose will be one of three family shows alongside the infectious tale of Chicken Little by Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary; and the first musical where the world of carnivores and herbivores clash in Dinostory by Luke Di Somma, Mark Anderson and Erin Carter.

The Festival includes darker musicals XY (15 – 17 Aug) book, music & lyrics by Oliver Houser, developed with Hunter Bird: “whilst studying on my undergraduate psychology course, I learnt about the psychologically harmful, non-consensual corrective surgeries still performed regularly on intersex infants.
It’s been percolating in me for 5 years….” – Christopher Dickins and Tom Wright’s Rebel Song (21 – 23 Aug), a topical love story adapted from the award-winning novel At Swim, Two Boys…… – and One Way (24 – 26 Aug), in which an astrophysicist is selected to go on the first one-way trip to Mars by Ben Bonnema
and Christopher Staskel.

Other exciting musicals being premiered at FPTS include: The Edinburgh 7 (24 – 26 Aug) by young bloods Christina Tweeddale & Catherine Myers (from the band Honeyblood), the Kielty Brothers and Jordanna O’Neill – their musical of women’s suffrage and their fight to study medicine in 1866…. – The comedy musical by Chris Burgess, The Girls of Downey Hall (24 – 26 Aug) based on Jenny Colgan’s best-selling novel Class ….and – Tasha Taylor Johnson (Feed Your Ego) and musical director Phil Cornwell’s Cult! (24 – 26 Aug) a comedy tale of an unlikely group of Doomsday Seekers.

And the headline show: Some Lovers (24 Aug – 02 Sept) – Bacharach’s first new score for the theatre since 1968s Promises Promises. Steven Sater says: “Love songs, that’s what I write. Burt and I had just written our first song together; and some months and any number of songs later I came to recognise how distinct
our songs were from those ubiquitous pop anthems of young love. Ours seemed invariably to express a sort of disaffection, a disappointment, a dark joy, or the renewed determination of a more mature, midrelationship romance. One day, in the heat of July in Los Angeles, as Burt and I laboured away on a Christmas song, I thought: what if we revisited that Depression-Era classic story, The Gift of the Magi? What became of those young Christmas lovers, twenty years after their happily ever after? And that was the beginning of Some Lovers.”

The first weekend of FPTS sees two special evenings in the Studio, with British composer Charles Miller in You Know How To Love Me (18 – 19 Aug). Joining him will be a host of West End artistes singing from his wonderfully surprising shows including: Brenda Bly: Teen Detective, When Midnight Strikes and The Return Of The Soldier – and Charles will be sharing his favourite behind-the-scenes stories.

And then the Closing Gala (03 Sept) and the icing on the cake of Aria Entertainment’s From Page To Stage Summer Festival is an evening with America’s finest: An Evening Of Songs From Spring Awakening Creators Duncan Sheik And Steven Sater. An extraordinary concert performance of Steven and Duncan’s many musical collaborations including: Spring Awakening, Phantom Moon, Nero, Alice By Heart, Umbrage, The Nightingale and A Home At The End Of The World – and maybe a sneak preview of their latest projects….. a unique ending to the world renowned festival From Page To Stage……

FPTS – From Page to Stage Summer Festival: Monday 14 August – Sunday 3 September 2017 The Other Palace – 12 Palace Street, Westminster, London SW1E 5JA.
Ticket prices from £7.50 – £20.
Box Office: theotherpalace.co.uk / 020 7087 7900

MUSICAL ROYALTY both on and off stage at THE OTHER PALACE
DATES 2017

Monday 14th August Opening Songwriters Showcase (STUDIO) @ 7.30PM – concert

Tuesday 15th August XY (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – staged reading

Wednesday 16th Aug XY (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – staged reading

Thursday 17th August XY (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – staged reading

Friday 18th August You Know How To Love Me – A Charles Miller Celebration (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – concert

Saturday 19th August You Know How To Love Me – A Charles Miller Celebration (STUDIO) @ 2.30pm & 7.30pm – concert

Sunday 20th August DAY OFF

Monday 21st August Rebel Song (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – staged reading

Tuesday 22nd August Rebel Song (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – staged reading

Wednesday 23rd Aug Rebel Song (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – staged reading

Thursday 24th August Some Lovers (MAIN HOUSE) @ 8pm – full production
One Way, The Edinburgh 7, The Girls Of Downey Hall, Cult! (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – showcasing 4 x musicals in one night – 25 minutes each

Friday 25th August Some Lovers (MAIN HOUSE) @ 8pm – full production
One Way, The Edinburgh 7, The Girls Of Downey Hall, Cult! (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – showcasing 4 x musicals in one night – 25 minutes each

Saturday 26th August Some Lovers (MAIN HOUSE) @ 3pm & 8pm – full production One Way, The Edinburgh 7, The Girls Of Downey Hall, Cult! (STUDIO) @ 2.30pm & 7.30pm – showcasing 4 x musicals in one night – 25 minutes each

Sunday 27th August DAY OFF

Monday 28th August Some Lovers (MAIN HOUSE) @ 8pm – full production
Chicken Little and Dinostory (STUDIO) @ 1pm FAMILY FESTIVAL 5+ staged reading

Tuesday 29th August Some Lovers (MAIN HOUSE) @ 8pm – full production
Chicken Little and Dinostory (STUDIO) @ 1pm FAMILY FESTIVAL 5+ staged reading

Wednesday 30th Aug Some Lovers (MAIN HOUSE) @ 8pm – full production
Chicken Little and Dinostory (STUDIO) @ 1pm FAMILY FESTIVAL 5+ staged reading

Thursday 31st August Some Lovers (MAIN HOUSE) @ 3pm & 8pm – full production The Queen’s Nose (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – FAMILY FESTIVAL 5+ – staged reading

Friday 1st September Some Lovers (MAIN HOUSE) @ 8pm – full production
The Queen’s Nose (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – FAMILY FESTIVAL 5+ – staged reading

Saturday 2nd Sept Some Lovers (MAIN HOUSE) @ 3pm & 8pm – full production
The Queen’s Nose (STUDIO) @ 2.30pm and 7.30pm – FAMILY FESTIVAL 5+ – staged reading

Sunday 3rd September Closing Gala: An Evening Of Songs From Spring Awakening Creators Duncan Sheik And Steven Sater (MAIN HOUSE) @ 8pm – staged concert

Hair Extends run to 2018


HAIR‘s new 50th anniversary production is to have a HAIR extension through to New Year 2018! The show was due to run until early December but already due to popular demand the show is now extending for a further 6 weeks to SUNDAY 14 JANUARY 2018 – the perfect night out especially over the Festive Season!

The iconic tribal rock musical HAIR opens at London’s fully immersive Off-West-End theatre, The Vaults, from WEDNESDAY 4 OCTOBER 2017 and is now to run to SUNDAY 14 JANUARY 2018 (press night Wednesday 11 October 2017 at 7.30pm.) .

Still ground-breaking at the age of 50, HAIR opened off-Broadway in 1967, so to open thisgenuinely new production off-West-End in 2017 is the perfect move for Hope Mill Theatre’sacclaimed production, directed by Jonathan O’Boyle – as relevant now as it was in the 60s.

1967 and HAIR‘s hippie-hood youngsters live as The Tribe, in the East Village of New York: yearning to change the world, questioning authority and the American flag. They are wild, colourful, free, sexually liberated beautiful people who join in protest and song – under the shadow of the Vietnam War. Featuring classic hit songs: Aquarius, Let the Sun Shine In and Good Morning Star Shine – and the story of youth and war still resounds throughout the world making this a
topical musical for the millennial generation. 2017 vividly sees the world protesting and marching, fighting for freedom of speech; from Trump to Brexit via Syria – the core spirit of HAIR.

Initial casting for this thrilling, young and moving production of HAIR includes: DANIEL BAILEY (Motown The Musical – Shaftesbury Theatre, The Lion King – Lyceum Theatre), ADAM DAWSON (Jet in West Side Story RSC Live – Stratford), JESSIE MAY (Fiona in Blondel – The New Union Theatre, Rock Of Ages – UK tour). And returning to the production are: NATALIE GREEN (Wicked – UK tour), LAURA JOHNSON (Rizzo in Grease – UK tour), SHEKINA MCFARLANE (Parade – Hope Mill Theatre, The Lion King – UK & International tour), ROBERT METSON (Ryan in Bear – Southwark Playhouse), LIAM ROSS-MILLS (Les Miserables – West End, Ben in Ushers: The Front of House Musical – Charing Cross Theatre), KORYANN STEVENS (West Side Story – Live Nation) and KIRSTEN WRIGHT (Our Seasons End – The AC Group).

Further casting to be announced, as the search continues to cast the roles of Berger, Hud and Margaret Mead!

The genuinely youthful cast will bring the original protest musical to life, in the intimate theatre seating just 200, revealing every emotion up close and personal through HAIR‘s drug fuelled journey.

Like a mini Woodstock, from the moment the audience arrive, The Vaults is transformed into a fully immersive 60s venue, with psychedelic, innovative creatives, iconic artwork and hippie flower power. With 60s themed pop up restaurants and themed drinks; plus stalls including: vintage 60s and tie dye clothes, 60s smiley badges and memorabilia, hippie wigs and flower headdresses,
vinyl’s – everything needed for a legal high. The audience then move through to the theatre space for HAIR – the musical that changed the face of the modern musical.

HAIR – book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, music by Galt MacDermot. Produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment, Ollie Rosenblatt for Senbla, Joseph Houston and William Whelton for Hope Mill Theatre and Associate Producers Guy James and Joe Brown. Directed by Jonathan O’Boyle (An American In Paris – Ass. Director Dominion, Ass. Director The Scottsboro Boys Young Vic & West End, The Judas Kiss Toronto & New York, This House – West End, Bull – Young Vic, Pippin – Hope Mill Theatre); Musical Director – Gareth Bretherton (The Verb, To Love – Old Red Lion, Seasons of Larson – Lyric Theatre); Choreographer – William Whelton (Our House – Union Theatre); Set & Costume Designer – Maeve Black (Adam & Eve…and Steve – Kings Head Theatre); Sound – Max Perryment (Start Swimming – Young Vic) & Chris Bogg (Yank! The Musical
– Charing Cross Theatre); Lighting Designer – Ben M Rogers (Jesus Christ Superstar – Scandinavian Tour) and Casting Director – Ben Newsome.


The 50th Anniversary production of HAIR transfers to London from its critically acclaimed run at the Hope Mill Theatre,

VENUE: THE VAULTS (7AD, Leake St, London SE1 7NN)
Previews: Wednesday 4/10 7.30pm, Thursday 5/10 3pm & 7.30pm, Friday 6/10 7.30pm, Saturday 7/10 7pm & 10pm and Monday 9/10 7.30pm.
Post press night performances: TUESDAY to SUNDAY (no performances on a Monday)
Tuesday – 7.30pm
Wednesday – 7.30pm
Thursday – 3pm & 7.30pm
Friday – 7.30pm
Saturday – 7pm & 10pm New Saturday timings from 05/12/17 = 3pm & 7.30pm
Please note: Saturday show time changes to 3pm & 7.30pm in new booking period from 05/12/17-14/01/18
Sunday – 3pm
TICKET PRICES: £25 – £50
Age recommendation: 14+ (this show contains nudity)
BOX OFFICE: 020 7401 9603
WEBSITE: www.hair50.com
TWITTER: @Hair50London

HAIR Hope Mill Theatre production
***** The Reviews Hub: ‘Stunning’
***** North West End: ‘Astounding’
**** The Guardian: ‘Sweetly enticing’ – Lyn Gardner
**** The Stage: ‘Thrilling! Jonathan O’Boyle’s production left me walking on air’ – Mark Shenton
**** Northern Soul
**** Musical Theatre Review

Robin Hood The Arrow of Destiny, York Theatre Royal

Sometimes it takes a woman to make a legend

Robin Hood: The Arrow of Destiny

York Theatre Royal, 4 August – 2 September 2017

Press night Tues 8 August, 7pm

Written by Richard Hurford

Original score by Rob Castell

Co-directed by Suzann McLean and Damian Cruden

Set and costume design by Jane Linz Roberts

Lighting design by Richard G Jones

Musical direction by Ed Thorpe

Fight direction Jonathan Holtby

This summer’s fun family show at York Theatre Royal puts a twist on the tale of the legendary hero of Sherwood Forest in Robin Hood: The Arrow of Destiny from 4 August to 2 September.

Written by Richard Hurford, the show is a hilarious re-working of the classic story with a magical mix of music, song, comedy, romance, masks and puppets. There’s also a lesson to be learnt – that there’s a lot more to becoming a hero than looking cool in green tights.

Making his stage debut as Robin Hood is Neil Reynolds, who appeared in the award-winning CBBC series The Secret Life of Boys. His other television credits include Find Your Tribe, The Adventures of T-Boy and Toonattik. Radio credits include Emil & The Detectives and The Ramayana, both on BBC Radio 4.

Siobhan Athwal, who plays Marian, comes to York from appearing in Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. She played Luce, one of the girl band members, in the Spice Girls stage musical Viva Forever in the West End.

Making his York Theatre Royal debut as the Sheriff of Nottingham is John Elkington. His credits include Beryl and Twelfth Night (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Father and Brassed Off (Oldham Coliseum). He regularly plays the Dame in pantomime at Nottingham Playhouse.

Trevor A Toussaint plays Friar Tuck. Past credits include The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, The Harder They Come (Stratford East Theatre Royal) and Fences (London’s Duchess Theatre). Joanna Holden (Little John) and Ed Thorpe (Guy of Gisborne), who is also the show’s Musical Director, return from last summer’s Theatre Royal production of Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

This theatrical treat for adults and children alike follows in the tradition of York Theatre Royal’s family summer shows including The Railway Children, The Wind in the Willows, Peter Pan, The Legend of King Arthur and Sherlock Holmes.

Times are hard for the poor people of Nottingham, which means things have never been better for the wicked Sheriff and his tax collectors. But, never fear, everything’s bound to turn out fine as soon as Robin Hood comes to the rescue. After all, he’s renowned for robbing the rich to give to the poor. Except what happens when he doesn’t?

Has Robin got lost in Sherwood Forest or are there darker forces plotting against the greatest folk hero of old England? There’s only one way to find out and only one person brave enough to try – step forward Marian. Follow her quest into the forest to discover why the legend of Robin Hood and his Merry People isn’t quite what she imagined.

Suzann McLean and Damian Cruden direct a cast that includes three teams of ten young people from the York area, who play villagers and merry people.

Suzann says: “Robin Hood has been everyone’s hero throughout history, and even though he is a myth, we aspire to his qualities. This is very much the role of Marian in our version. She uses her belief in Robin to become the brilliant human being that she is; a courageous leader, fighting injustice and standing up for her people.”

Damian says: “It’s the story of Robin Hood told from a different perspective. There are lots of surprises in our version but the familiar story and characters are all there – the Sheriff of Nottingham, the forest, the May Day festival with the archery competition and, of course, there’s tax collecting. The music is great and all original. There will be a lovely energy to it. It’s a show for all the family and promises to be a lot of fun.”

Join the outlaws. There’s a chance for young audiences to join the Outlaw School. Robin Hood is looking to recruit brave, cunning and loyal outlaws for his band of merry men and women with Outlaw School, for ages seven to 12, in the theatre foyer between 11 and 12pm on matinee days. Outlaws will have the chance to go on stage and receive an outlaw certificate from the Sheriff of Nottingham himself. Tickets £5.



Robin Hood: The Arrow of Destiny

York Theatre Royal, 4 Aug – 2 September

Matinees 2.30pm Wed to Sat (except Fri 1 Sept)

Evenings 7pm Tues, and Thurs to Sat

BSL performance Fri 1 Sept, 7.30pm

AD performances Thu 31 Aug, 7.30pm, and Sat 2 Sep, 2.30pm

Captioned performance Sat 2 Sept, 2.30pm

Relaxed performance Thu 31 Aug, 2pm

Tickets £24.50 – £14

Box office 01904 623568. yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

Queen Anne Review

Theatre Royal, Haymarket – until 30 September 2017.  Reviewed by Andrew and Sharon Kennedy
Those with an interest in English history will revel in the light shed on Queen Anne’s reign at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
A neurotic, stunted Queen unhappily prowls the stage. In an era when life was precarious and an English monarch’s tenure on the throne most uncertain, Emma Cunniffe depicts Anne admirably struggling with rivalry at court and beyond.
England’s cantankerously close relationship with Europe looms large. The Queen asks in panic at one point if the Union with Scotland was not settled. Preceeded by a cousin: a Dutch usurper she loathes; and threatened by a catholic half brother in France, she is increasingly resigned to a German protestant successor as her seventeen children and heirs are stillborn or predecease her. The satirists engagingly mock her Danish consort’s valiant attempts to sire her successor.
Where should a beleagured Queen turn for solace? Not it seems to Romola Garai’s glamorous childhood crush that is Sarah Churchill. While stringing her Majesty along, her ambition and glamour wed her to the country’s greatest general. While in favour, the golden couple receive lands and build a palace that dwarfs the Queen’s country retreat in Kensington. Hubris leads them to believe they can wind her Majesty round their little fingers, but ultimately it checks their advance.
The pain the Queen lives with, both physical and emotional, are etched in Emma Cunniffe’s face and body. She conveys well the Queen’s struggles in her stooped, awkward gait with swollen pus ridden legs.
The satire continues, with Swift and Defoe, showing no mercy in amusing but harsh vignettes which periodically lighten and interrupt the historical narrative.
The seemingly endless war with France helps challenge Queen and country’s resources. The Queen in alarm asks how the country will make up the 20,000 killed in battle. The answer it seems is European auxiliaries paid for by English taxpayers with the Duke of Marlborough getting backhanders from his ‘foreign’ allies. After all how is the poor soul to furnish Blenheim on a general’s salary!
Twelve years seem such a short reign but this play shows how much goes on to tax a monarch on many fronts.
Most enlightening!

Casting announcement for Son of a Preacher Man

Casting announced for THE NORMAN CONQUESTS, to be staged in the round at Chichester Festival Theatre

Alan Ayckbourn’s THE NORMAN CONQUESTS  to be staged in-the-round

Casting announced for Blanche McIntyre’s production

18 September – 28 October, Festival Theatre

The cast has been announced for Alan Ayckbourn’s trilogy THE NORMAN CONQUESTS, which – in a first for Chichester Festival Theatre – will be staged in-the-round.

Forming the ensemble company for Blanche McIntyre’s production, which runs from 18 September – 28 October, are Jonathan BroadbentTrystan GravelleSarah HadlandJohn Hollingworth,Hattie Ladbury and Jemima Rooper.

This will be the Festival Theatre’s first ever ‘in-the-round’ production. A bank of seating on what is normally the rear part of stage will allow the play’s action to be seen from all sides.

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS is a trilogy of interconnecting plays – Table Manners, Living Togetherand Round and Round the Garden – which look at the events of one family weekend from hilariously different viewpoints. Each play can be enjoyed as a single performance or seen as one event in any sequence, either over different days or on trilogy days.

With pungent wit and sparkling ingenuity, Alan Ayckbourn fashions the thwarted desires and bittersweet absurdity of family life into a comic masterpiece.

An English country house. A summer weekend. A family gathering. Norman would like to seduce Annie, though he’s married to her sister, Ruth. He’s also got his eye on Sarah, though she’s married to Reg – who is Annie and Ruth’s brother. Tom, from next door, isn’t married to anyone: though he too nurses secret hopes beneath his stoical surface.


Table Manners

Saturday. 6pm. The dining room. Where no-one is looking forward to Annie’s limp salad, or her mother’s lethal home-made dandelion, parsnip or carrot wine.


Living Together

Saturday. 6.30pm. The sitting room. With a wind-up gramophone, a pouffe, magazines, and a very, very inviting fur rug.


Round and Round the Garden

Saturday. 5.30pm. The gardenIt’s not the only thing that’s looking wild and very, very tangled.

Alan Ayckbourn is Britain’s most prolific and popular contemporary playwright with over eighty plays to his name. Recent productions at Chichester include Way Upstream, Absurd Person Singular and Surprises. His new play The Divide will premiere at the Edinburgh Festival before transferring to the Old Vic this autumn.

Jonathan Broadbent (The Tempest/RSC, My Night with Reg/Donmar Warehouse) plays Reg.

Trystan Gravelle (Mr Selfridge/ITV, Aliens/E4, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire/National Theatre) plays Norman.

Sarah Hadland (MirandaThe Moonstone/BBC, Canvas/Minerva Theatre) plays Sarah. John Hollingworth (Poldark/BBC, The Power of Yes/National Theatre) plays Tom.

Hattie Ladbury (Holby City, Call the Midwife/BBC, The Importance of Being Earnest/Festival Theatre) plays Ruth.

Jemima Rooper (One Man Two Guvnors/National Theatre, West End & Broadway, Fearless/ITV) plays Annie.

Blanche McIntyre directs at Chichester for the first time; her recent work includes Titus Andronicusand Two Noble Kinsmen (RSC), As You Like It (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Seagull (Headlong/UK tour), Anouilh’s Welcome Home Captain Fox! (Donmar Warehouse) and Stoppard’s Arcadia (ETT).

The Norman Conquests will be designed by Simon Higlett with lighting by Johanna Town, music by Olly Fox and sound by George Dennis.


The Norman Conquests is sponsored by Conquest Bespoke Furniture and Irwin Mitchell.


Pre-Show Talk with Blanche McIntyre      Monday 2 October, 5.45pm

Free but booking essential.


Post-Show Talk                                            Monday 16 October

Stay after the performance to ask questions, meet company members and discover more. Free.

Theatre Day                                                   Wednesday 18 October, 11am

Join the creative teams and technical crew for 90 minutes of insight, demonstration and discussion on the making of the production. A Theatre Day ticket can be combined with the matinee performance for an immersive day at the Theatre. Tickets £5 (+ optional performance ticket).


Box Office 01243 781312

Online cft.org.uk


Tickets from £10; Norman Conquests Saver for all three plays available.  Prologue tickets for 16 – 25 year olds for £5.

Press performances: Tuesday 3 October at 11am, 3pm & 7pm

Wet Bread Review

King’s Head Theatre 10th, 11th & 13th July. Reviewed By Jessica Brady 

Wet Bread is an exploration of what it means to have a cause, to follow that cause even if you’re not really sure why you believe it, is it to distract you from facing struggles and reality in your own life? Is it to make a difference? Or is it to prove a point that you have the power to change things that others can’t?

Adele [Played by Morag Sims] is an extreme left wing labour campaigner, going door to door in the lead up to the election where it is likely that there will be a Tory Majority. She is quick to criticise anyone who has different opinions to hers or of attitudes that will be the downfall of society in her mind. She is not open to failure or admittance that she alone cannot make a difference to the World and the declining of a people who are struggling whether its refugees, the homeless or being a vegan crusader! We follow Adele and the many that appear to doubt, question or simply don’t really care for her quest to success in her many causes. Her friend challenges her to give up the politics and join her in learning conversational Italian instead as it is much more useful. This rubs Adele up the wrong way and a pledge is set between the two, the friend will learn her Italian and Adele will change the World single handily in one year or give up politics for good.

What transpires is Adele’s struggle to find that one cause which makes her feel accomplished, be it taking in an alcoholic tramp into her one bed flat in an attempt to ‘save’ him, finding a man who matches her ideals completely or organising protests when she isn’t exactly sure what she is protesting for but knows that if she gets enough media attention and arrested then she is to be taken seriously almost like a martyr for good. What Adele fails to realise before it’s nearly too late is that the battles she needs to face are much closer to home when her mum gets the news that her cancer is terminal.

Morag Sims is an exceptional performer who commands the stage with strength and has such talent to play a multitude of characters and interchanges between, having conversations as two characters, sometimes three and as an audience we are invested and completely believe it. Sims is certainly one of the best actors I have witnessed at storytelling in its purest and simplest format, without an elaborate set, masses of props or costume changes even, she manages to take you on a journey of so many people which is an incredible skill. I applaud her and her director Tom Latter for bringing Tom Glover’s marvellous script to life in a wonderfully comic, clever and beautiful way! Catch Wet Bread at the King’s Head Theatre and keep an eye out for Morag Sims, she is a performer to watch out for in the future!

IMAGINE IF presents YOU FORGOT THE MINCE at The Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh Festival Fringe (7-28 August 2017)

 IMAGINE IF presents



FROM 7 – 28 AUGUST 2017

Following a hugely successful 2016 tour to theatres and prisons in the North of England, You Forgot the Mince, presented by Imagine If and written by Francesca Joy, will run at The Pleasance Courtyard during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 7 – 28 August 2017 (excl. 21 August). This will be followed by a London run in September and an Autumn tour of prisons and theatres (details to be announced).

Inspired by real life events and set in Leeds, this gritty piece of new writing tells the story of a modern day abusive relationship: ‘Rosa lives with her grandma Lily. She’s just finished college and she can’t wait to leave Yorkshire and all the people in it … until she meets Niko. They fall head over heels in love, and the future’s looking bright. But their love for each other is tested to the limit; Rosa leaves for London, Niko ends up in prison and Lily won’t stop baking cakes. Everyone’s world is falling apart, but no-one’s talking about it. How are they going to get their lives back on course?’

Francesca Joy conceived, researched and wrote You Forgot The Mince supported by dramaturg Mark Catley (BBC). Francesca, who is also Founding Artistic Director of Imagine If, grew up in care from the age of 15, and she has experienced various forms of abuse throughout her life. As a trained actor, writer and producer, Francesca uses her first-hand experience to inform the art which Imagine If creates and she is passionate about working with those underrepresented in the arts. She says:You Forgot the Mince is a story about what we do to protect those around us and how we fuck them up in the process. It is about real people and the journeys they choose to go on in life. How we love and how we hurt. The characters came to me long before the story did. I was inspired by my own relationships with those close to me, those around me, and the people I passed on the street. I am inspired by people and the ability they have to change their own behaviour. I hope You Forgot the Mince inspires others to change too.”

You Forgot The Mince is performed by Francesca JoyUrsula Mohan and Prince Plockey. It is directed by Stephen Whitson (UK Associate Director on the West End transfer of the Broadway hit show Hamilton and currently Associate Director of 42nd Street at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane). Movement is by award-winning choreographers Errol White and Davina Givan, of White & Givan, and sound by Ed Clarke.

The production features an amalgamation of verbatim text, original text and physical theatre accompanied by an original score. The interactions between the characters poignantly highlight the stark reality of control and coercion, interlaced with humour and normality.

Imagine If is a Leeds-based theatre company and charity, founded in 2014, which tours new writing to theatres and prisons across the UK. Its productions are based on the world around us comprising real stories from real people, placing those without a voice at the forefront of each Imagine If production. As well as theatre productions, Imagine If runs a range of drama-based workshops across the UK with offenders, ex-offenders, those with mental health issues, recovering addicts, young adults in the care system and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. You Forgot the Mince had an extensive research phase including drama workshops in HMP Leeds and with ex-offenders within the community.

You Forgot the Mince runs from 7 – 28 August (exc. 21 August) at the Pleasance Courtyard. Tickets, priced £6.50 – £10 (‘2 for 1’ tickets on 7 and 8 August), are available from the Pleasance Box Office: https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/you-forgot-mince and Telephone Booking: 0131 556 6550.


Website: www.imagineiftheatre.co.uk

Twitter: @imagine_if_co / Facebook: @imagineiftheatrecompany

Show trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hh8yL6xQdI&t=1s


Show: You Forgot the Mince

Theatre company: Imagine If

Dates: 7 – 28 August (no performance 21 August)

Times: 1.00pm

Venue: Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh EH8 9TJ

Duration: 60 minutes (no interval)

Suitability: ages 12+.  Performance contains brief depictions of violence

Prices (standard/concession): £7.50/£6.50: Mon 14, Tues 15, Tues 22, Mon 28;  £9.00/£8.00: Weds 9, Thu 10, Weds 16, Thu 17, Weds 23, Thu 24; £10.00/£9.00: Mon 7, Tues 8, Fri 11, Sat 12, Sun 13, Fri 18, Sat 19, Sun 20, Fri 25, Sat 26, Sun 27

(Concessions available – valid for anyone under 18 years old, registered students, registered unemployed, registered disabled, or over 60 years old. ID required).

7 and 8 August: 2 for 1’ ticket offer available

Imagine If are supporting young adults in care with four free tickets available for every show

Box Office: https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/you-forgot-mince / 0131 556 6550.