The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is calling on budding young artists in Scotland to come up with a unique and eye-catching design for the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe poster.

The 2015 Schools Poster Competition attracted over 5,300 entries from 171 schools across Scotland. Seven-year-old John Imray from St Mary’s School in Melrose was crowned the overall winner in May, and his design became the official poster of the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Launching the 2016 Schools Poster Competition, which is supported by Virgin Money, Kath M Mainland, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said:

“I’m delighted to officially open the 2016 Fringe Schools Poster Competition, and invite all schools from across Scotland to take part.


“The competition is a fantastic way for students aged five to 16 to get creative in the classroom and inspires engagement with the arts.


“It’s really exciting to launch this competition as it marks the start of the run up to the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe season. Thanks to the support of Virgin Money, the successful poster design is used across Edinburgh and beyond to promote the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. And the winning entry, along with the runners-up and regional winners’ designs, will form an exhibition on display in the centre of Edinburgh throughout the summer for the public to enjoy. It really is a unique opportunity for schoolchildren to get their artwork seen by thousands of people.


“This year we’re hoping for another huge response from schools across Scotland.”

Each year, the winning design is transformed into the official poster for the Fringe, and there are prizes of up to £750 for the top three prize-winners and their schools. fourteen regional winners are also announced, and all winning entries, as well as runners-up and shortlisted entries form an exhibition on display in Edinburgh.

Head of Sponsorship Marketing at Virgin Money, Andrew Nicholson said:

“Virgin Money is thrilled to support the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Schools Poster Competition. It is a brilliant initiative which inspires the imagination and creativity of Scotland’s young artists and it has become an important tradition over the 35 years it has been running.”

Art Teacher Deborah Wood who taught 2015 competition winner John Imray said:

“Every year our art department and pupils look forward to entering the Fringe Schools Poster Competition – it radiates a buzz of creativity all around the school.


“The day of the prize-giving ceremony has provided John with memories that will last a lifetime. It was a wonderful day for all present, with lots of smiles from the three young artists and their delighted family, friends and teachers.


“All of us at St Mary’s were thrilled to see John and his artwork in the press and of course to see his artwork on all of 2015’s varied merchandise. The prize money was a fabulous boost to our art department and has enriched the learning of our school community.


“Many thanks must go to Virgin Money for their generous sponsorship and to all the staff at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society who made one little boy’s day quite so special!”


Entries for the Fringe Schools Poster Competition should be sent to:
Schools Poster Competition, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, 180 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1QS no later than 17:00 Friday 04 March 2016.


The competition is open to all five to 16 year old pupils at schools in Scotland and the entry pack and learning resources can be downloaded at The cash prizes for the top three artists and their schools are:



School – £750

Pupil – £300


Runners-up (x 2)

School – £400

Pupil – £150


The winner and runners-up will also receive six tickets each for the 2016 Virgin Money Fireworks Concert in Edinburgh.

Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2015: Full Winners List

Best Actor
James McAvoy, The Ruling Class, Trafalgar Studios

Best Actress
Nicole Kidman, Photograph 51, Noel Coward Theatre

Best Play
The Motherf**ker with the Hat (Stephen Adly Guirgis), National Theatre’s Lyttelton

Best Director
Robert Icke, Oresteia, Almeida Theatre & Trafalgar Studios

Best Design
Anna Fleischle, Hangmen, Royal Court

Most Promising Playwright
Molly Davies, God Bless the Child, Royal Court Upstairs

Emerging Talent Award
David Moorst, Violence and Son, Royal Court Upstairs

Best Musical Performance
Imelda Staunton, Gypsy, Savoy Theatre

Newcomer in a Musical
Gemma Arterton, Made in Dagenham, Adelphi Theatre

Audience Award for Best Musical (voted for by the public)
Kinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre

Beyond Theatre Award
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Editor’s Award for lifetime achievement
Vanessa Redgrave

Lebedev Award for theatrical achievement
Stephen Sondheim




Disney Theatrical Productions announced today that Dean John-Wilson will play the role of Aladdin alongside Jade Ewen as Jasmine in the West End premiere of the new musical based on the classic Academy Award®-winning animated film. Aladdin will now open at the Prince Edward Theatre on Wednesday 15 June 2016, with previews from Friday 27 May. Tickets are on general sale for performances up to and including 1 October 2016. For further details please visit

Dean and Jade will be joined by Don Gallagher as Jafar, Peter Howe as Iago, Irvine Iqbal as the Sultan, Nathan Amzi as Babkak, Stephen Rahman-Hughes as Kassim and Rachid Sabitri as Omar. As previously announced, Broadway cast member Trevor Dion Nicholas will make his London stage debut as Genie.

“As we cast this exceptional company, I was impressed again – as I have been many times in the last two decades – by the vast, deep pool of musical theatre talent in London and throughout Britain,” said Thomas Schumacher, President and Producer, Disney Theatrical Productions. “And how gratifying that talent is a microcosm of the country in all its diversity and distinction.  I’m so proud this beautiful cast reflects that.”

Dean John-Wilson (Aladdin) has previously appeared in Fatboy Slim and David Byrne’s critically acclaimed musical Here Lies Love (National Theatre), Songs For a New World (St James Theatre), Tim Rice’s original musical From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre), Bare (Union Theatre) and the UK tour of Sister Act. Dean first became known to television audiences for appearing in the semi-finals of the 2008 series of Britain’s Got Talent (ITV).

Trevor Dion Nicholas (Genie) joins the UK cast of Aladdin from the Broadway production and will be making his West End debut. Trevor has previously appeared on stage in Big River (North American tour) and The Wiz (Maltz Jupiter Theatre) and on screen in The Americans. In addition to his work on stage and screen, Trevor is an accomplished musician and is the primary singer and songwriter for the alternative indie soul band Neighborhood Goliath.

Jade Ewen (Jasmine) made her professional stage debut in Disney’s The Lion King as Young Nala at the Lyeum Theatre in London and has since gone on to star in In The Heights (King’s Cross Theatre), Porgy and Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Whistle Down The Wind (Aldywch Theatre) and Tonight’s The Night (UK Tour). In addition to Jade’s work on stage, she was a member of the Sugababes since 2009 with seven albums reaching the UK’s Top Ten Album Chart. She also represented the UK in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, performing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s It’s My Time, achieving fifth place and making her the UK’s most successful act in the last 12 years.

Don Gallagher (Jafar) is an illustrious theatre actor whose previous stage credits includePriscilla Queen of the Desert (Palace Theatre), The Producers (Theatre Royal Drury Lane),Sweeney Todd (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Henry IV Part 1 & 2, Painter of Dishonour, Richard III, The Winter’s Tale (all Royal Shakespeare Company) and Les Miserables (Queen’s Theatre). Don has previously appeared on screen in the film adapation of Rufus Norris’ London Road and in various television dramas including Doctors, Casualty, Miss Marple and Agatha Raisin.

Peter Howe (Iago) has previously originated the roles of Michael Wormwood in the Olivier Award winning Matilda The Musical (Cambridge Theatre) and Sam Gamgee in the world premiere ofThe Lord Of The Rings (Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto and Theatre Royal Drury Lane). Peter’s further theatre credits include The Captain Of Kopenick (National Theatre), Holes (New Wimbledon Theatre) and Hansel And Gretel (Theatre Royal Stratford East).

Irvine Iqbal (Sultan) has most recently appeared in the West End in Bend It Like Beckham(Phoenix Theatre). Other stage roles have included Bombay Dreams (Apollo Victoria Theatre), Wuthering Heights (Lyric Hammersmith), The Mahabharata (The Old Vic) and The Far Pavilions(Shaftesbury Theatre). Screen credits include Eastenders, Casualty, Doctors, and the films The Cook, The Pinocchio Effect and Infinite Justice.

Nathan Amzi’s (Babkak) previous musical theatre credits include In The Heights (Kings Cross Theatre and Southwark Playhouse), Urinetown (Apollo Theatre), Rock of Ages (Shaftesbury Theatre and Garrick Theatre), The Rocky Horror Show (Playhouse Theatre, Comedy Theatre and UK Tour) and Miss Saigon (UK Tour). Nathan has also appeared in Dinner With Saddam (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare’s Globe, Broadstage Los Angeles  and Pace New York) and Alan Ayckbourn’s A Small Family Business (Palace Theatre).

Stephen Rahman-Hughes (Kassim) is best known to television audiences for playing DCI Vikesh Dasari in ITV’s Emmerdale, as well as other roles in Dream Team, Bad Girls and Doctors. On stage, he has starred in Rock of Ages (UK Tour), Bombay Dreams (Apollo Victoria Theatre) andPuteri Gunung Ledang (Istana Budaya, Malaysia and Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, Singapore).

Rachid Sabitri’s (Omar) previous theatre credits include I Call My Brothers (Arcola Theatre),Romeo and Juliet (Piccadilly Theatre), Rafta Rafta (National Theatre tour) Twelfth Night(Northampton Royal and Derngate), Beyond Midnight (Edinburgh Festival), Beautiful Thing and Bloodtide (York Theatre Royal) and Tangier Tattoo (Glyndebourne Opera House). In addition to his work on stage, Rachid has also appeared on screen in Homeland, Criminal Minds, Madam Secretary, Doctor Who and Casualty.

The full cast includes: Arran Anzani-Jones, Miles Barrow, Albey Brookes, Lauren Chia, Bianca Cordice, Leon Craig, Daniel de Bourg, Seng Henk Goh, Melanie Elizabeth, Kade Ferraiolo, Michelle Chantelle Hopewell, Fred Johanson, Mitch Leow, Oliver Lidert, Thierry Picaut, Alex Pinder, Briony Scarlett, Kyle Seeley, Sadie-Jean Shirley, Ricardo Spriggs, Katie Singh, Dawnita Smith, Marsha Songcome, Kayleigh Thadani and Jermaine Woods.

From Disney Theatrical Productions, the producer of The Lion King, Aladdin features the much-loved songs from the 1992 animated film as well as new music written by Tony, Olivier and eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Little Shop Of Horrors). With lyrics from Olivier Award and two-time Oscar® winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony and Olivier Award, three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida), and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), and a book by Beguelin, Aladdin is directed and choreographed by Tony and Olivier Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).

Now in its second record-breaking year on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre, where it has been seen by more than one million people, Aladdin opened at Tokyo’s Dentsu Shiki Theatre Umi in May 2015, will have its European premiere in December 2015 at the Stage Theatre Neue Flora, Hamburg, and open in Sydney, Australia in 2016.

Previous Disney stage productions in London have included Shakespeare in Love and the Olivier-winning productions of Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins and The Lion King, which is now playing its 17th triumphant year in the West End.

Aladdin is designed by seven-time Tony-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, five-time Tony-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnesand sound designer Ken Travis. Casting is by Jill Green CDG.

The production team also includes illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer, hair designer Josh Marquette and makeup designer Milagros Medina-Cerdeira. The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who also created the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen Kelly.

Prince Edward Theatre
28 Old Compton St
London W1D 4HS

Box Office number: 0844 482 5151

Facebook: Aladdin London
Twitter: @AladdinLondon


What The Day Owes To The Night Review

Sutton Theatres 21 November. Reviewed by Claire Roderick

The opening night of Sutton Theatres Marhaba Maghreb Festival, celebrating contemporary North African theatre and dance was a roaring success.

Hervé Koubi’s What The Day Owes To The Night is a very personal piece. Koubi found out about his Algerian roots late in life and, after visiting the country and finding little evidence of dance (apart from street dance) used the internet to find young Algerian dancers. Koubi has worked with the company of 12 dancers to create this piece about his personal history and the history of the Mediterranean and the contrasting and often conflicting cultures on its shores.

Koubi says that he didn’t want to simply teach the dancers the skills he learned in school, and has allowed them to showcase their innate talent in a meeting of styles. He believes that even though there are many great dancers in France, only Algerian dancers could do justice to this project. He may well be right, the men dance with such intensity and conviction in a simply outstanding show.

I am not an expert on dance, but even I know when something special is being presented. From the moment the lights began to slowly glow, revealing a mass of bodies that undulated across the stag, I was lost. This might well have had  something to do with the fact that there were 12 fit young men with naked torsos on stage, but the design made this beautiful rather than sexual.  The dim lighting was perfectly designed to highlight the muscle tone and movement of their arms and upper bodies, and the fact that there was only one tattoo to be seen among them (I did check very closely, being a consummate professional), along with the dancers’ costume of white trousers with various designs of panels and skirts – “for chastity” according to Koubi – brought a purity to the dance.

What these men can do with their bodies is phenomenal. From gravity-defying leaps and spins, to slow motion synchronicity, it was wonderful. Koubi says that he didn’t want a completely clean movement to the piece, and this makes for the most testosterone filled dance I’ve ever seen. Apparently the piece combines martial arts, capoeira (NOT a South American rodent – you live and learn), urban and contemporary dance. All I know is that it was brilliant. Moving, hypnotic, and breathtakingly brilliant. Koubi’s use of sacred music from European and North African cultures is evocative and matches the piece perfectly. There were moments when the audience were left gasping as men ran up their fellow dancers’ backs and launched themselves into space, while the shapes the men made together and held for a few beats before slowly moving on, gave moments of calm and contemplation.

A wonderful dance spectacle – here’s hoping that it will be shown to a wider audience in the UK to inspire our own young dancers.

Living Between Lies Review

King’s Head Theatre  16 – 22 November.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

As part of Festival 45, celebrating its 45th anniversary, the King’s Head is showcasing new writing from around the country. In Living Between Lies, they’ve found a gem.

Written and devised by Underfoot Theatre Company – an all-female group based in London – the play is about four London women and their varying degrees of self-deception.

The stories are told episodically, jumping from one woman’s tale to the next, Alice and Lindsey reveal their stories through monologues, whilst Kim and Laura share the same scenes. This enables the writers and actors to leave the audience with cliff-hangers and shock lines, cleverly increasing the anticipation for the next revealing truth.  

Alice (Magdalena McNab) is an aspiring TV presenter who has sacrificed her dream job to start a family with Harry – who is absent on the night of their anniversary. McNab is wonderful as the self-deluding Alice, allowing the audience to see the fear and anger underneath the pleading phone messages to Harry. Her “interactive art piece” drunkenly performed at Harry’s favourite pub is a fantastically funny and bitter moment, while her scene teaching a class of 6 year olds is a wonderful 21st century update of Joyce Grenfell’s monologues. The innocently brutal questions about her private life and her reactions to them are a highlight of the play.

Lindsey (Orla Sanders) is a driven woman. She sees herself as a “Super” and despise and mocks us “Norms” and our inanity. This is a woman who sees waking up before the alarm as a victory. Sanders is bitingly funny and scary and delivers scathing criticism of humanity and then slips into poetic descriptions of her train journey without missing a beat or losing credibility. Her realisation that she is no different from the Norms is full of revelations about her relationship with her mother and the boss who has betrayed her.

The emotional journey of the two women is shown physically, with Alice becoming less bedraggled as she recognises the truth about her life, and Lindsey becoming less poised and messier as she has to face her reality.

Kim (Aleks Grela) meets Laura (Joanne Fitzgerald) in the hospital waiting room and is coaxed into talking about her life in order to get prescription drugs to feed her addiction. The two actresses interplay is brilliant. Grela  gradually reveals the truth about her dodgy relationship with her shiftless boyfriend – playing the vulnerable, bitter and lost character with great authenticity. Fitzgerald has a ball with Laura – slipping convincing lies into every conversation, then revealing the lie before launching blithely into another.  When Laura is challenged and reveals the truth about her life, it is more ridiculous than any of her lies, and her choice to blur the lines between fantasy and reality seems almost justifiable as she reminds us that everybody lies to themselves, just to get through the day.

This is a great piece of writing, showing how we cope, or not, with life’s disasters. The way we delude ourselves that everything is fine, and how to find our way back when life unravels is ridiculed and celebrated. The message is positive – these women are survivors – even though there is almost a tragic ending; another killer line from Laura.

This is a theatre company to look out for – fantastic energy and ideas.


Full casting announced for The Master Builder at the Old Vic Theatre

The Old Vic have announced the full cast for their upcoming production of Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder in 2016.

Joining the previously announced Ralph Fiennes in the production, which opens at the Old Vic Theatre in January 2016, will be Linda Emond as Aline Solness, James Laurenson as Knut Brovnik, Charlie Cameron as Kaja Fosli, James Dreyfuss as Dr Herdal and Sarah Snook as Hilde Wangel. Fiennes plays the leading role of Halvard Solness.

Halvard Solness, a master architect, has spent his lifetime building the tallest spires in the land. Now at the height of his career and with a powerful position in the community he seems to have it all, but when Hilde, a radiant country girl, descends unexpectedly into his world cracks begin to show as age is confronted by youth and a series of revelations build to a tragic climax.

Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder is set to run at the Old Vic Theatre in a new adaption by David Hare. Directed by Matthew Warchus, the production also has designs by Rob Howell, sound design by Simon Baker and lighting design by Hugh Vanstone.

Ralph Fiennes is a stage and screen actor whose recent theatre credits include Shaw’s Man and Superman at the National Theatre and Trevor Nunn’s production of The Tempest at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. His film credits include the new Bond film Spectre, The Grand Budapest Hotel and the Harry Potter films. He made his feature film directorial debut in 2011 with Coriolanus and in 2013 he directed and starred in The Invisible Woman.

Linda Emond is an American actress who was most recently seen on Broadway in the revival of Cabaret at Studio 54, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. She was also nominated for Tony Awards for her performances in Death of a Salesman and Life x3.

Sarah Snook is one of Australia’s most exciting young actresses. Her theatre credits include King Lear (South Australian Theatre Company), Lovely/Ugly: Transformer, Crestfall and S27 (Griffin Theatre Company). Her television credits includeThe Secret River, The Moody’s, Redfern Now, Spirited Series 2, Blood Brothers, Packed To The Rafters, My Place, All Saints and Australian series, The Beautiful Lie, in which she played the lead role.

David Hare is a multi-award-winning writer and author of 32 plays for the stage including Skylight, The Absence Of War,Amy’s View, Pravda and Stuff Happens

The Master Builder runs at the Old Vic Theatre from Saturday 23rd January to Saturday 19th March 2016. Press night is Friday 29th January 2016.


The Master Builder
Old Vic Theatre
103 The Cut, London, SE1 8NB
Evenings: Monday to Saturday 7.30pm
Matinees: Wednesday amd Saturday 2.30pm

Final cast announced for the European première of Grey Gardens

Final casting and the full creative team are announced today for the eagerly awaited European première of the Broadway musical Grey Gardens, based on an iconic 1975 documentary, telling the spectacular real life rise and fall of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s aunt and cousin, Edith and Edie Bouvier Beale.

Joining the previously announced Olivier Award-winning West End stars, Sheila Hancock and Jenna Russell are: Billy Boyle, who has just finished two years playing Grandpa George in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, is a veteran of the West End stage having played leading roles in over 15 hit shows from his big break in Maggie May in 1964 to Barnaby in Hello, Dolly! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Maurice in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Dirty Dancing.

Aaron Sidwell joins the cast direct from starring as Johnny in Green Day’s American Idiot at the Arts Theatre. His other starring roles include the original West End cast of Loserville (Garrick Theatre) the lead in Cool Rider (Duchess Theatre) and Carl Bruner in Ghost The Musical. He played Steven Beale in over 100 episodes of EastEnders.

Jeremy Legat most recently played Camille in Thérèse Raquin at Finborough Theatre and Park Theatre.

Ako Mitchell’s West End roles include Mufasa in The Lion King, Sweaty Eddie in Sister Act, Gabriel in Fences and Mitch in Jamie Lloyd’s première of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Donmar Warehouse

Rachel Anne Rayham has just played Louisa in The Sound of Music. This is her London professional debut.

The rest of the cast are child actors Alana Hinge, Grace Jenkins, Rebecca Nardin and Eleanor Waldron.

The full creative team are: Director Thom Southerland, Musical Supervisor Simon Lee, Musical Director Michael Bradley, Choreographer Lee Proud, Set Designer Tom Rogers, Lighting Designer Howard Hudson, Sound Designer Andrew Johnson, Costume Designer Jonathan Lipman, Producer/Casting Director Danielle Tarento.

Grey Gardens, with Book by Doug Wright, Music by Scott Frankel, Lyrics by Michael Korie, is produced by Danielle Tarento and directed by Thom Southerland, the award-winning team behind Grand Hotel, Titanic, Parade and Mack & Mabel.

It will open for a 6-week season in The Large at Southwark Playhouse from Saturday 2 January, 2016. Press night is Thursday 7 January at 7.30pm.

Starting in 1941 at an engagement party at Grey Gardens, the Bouvier’s mansion in East Hampton, Long Island, the musical tracks the progression of the two women’s lives from American aristocrats to reclusive social outcasts living in such squalid conditions, in a home overrun by cats, that the Health Department deemed the mansion ‘unfit for human habitation’.

Danielle Tarento presents the European Premiére of GREY GARDENS
Book by Doug Wright Music by Scott Frankel
Lyrics by Michael Korie
Based on the film Grey Gardens by
David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Ellen Hovde, Muffie Mayer and Susan Froemke
Presented by arrangement with

Southwark Playhouse
The Large
77-85 Newington Causeway
London, SE1 6BD
Box Office: 020 7407 0234
Saturday 2 January – Saturday 6 February 2016

Maureen Nolan joins the cast of FOOTLOOSE, on tour in 2016






Full casting is announced today for worldwide smash hit musical Footloose: The Musical, which will burst back onto the stage in 2016, touring the UK from January. Full tour schedule attached.


Joining the previously announced Gareth Gates as Willard will be Maureen Nolan as Vi Moore.


Maureen NolanMaureen Nolan has been singing with her sisters since she was nine years old, when they became one of Europe’s first girl bands, The Nolans. Best known for their smash hit single I’m in the Mood for Dancing, The Nolans enjoyed phenomenal record sales worldwide, and worked with some of the world’s most respected artists including Frank Sinatra. On stage, Maureen has played Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers in the West End and on tour to critical acclaim. She was the fourth Nolan sister to play the role, earning them entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. Other credits include Sadie in Girl’s Behind, Jill in Mum’s the Word and Sarah in The Naked Truth.


Footloose - Gareth Gates as Willard. Image Credit David Ellis (1)Gareth Gates will play Willard from 29 January until 16 April, returning to the show from 20 June 2016. Gareth rose to fame through the inaugural series of Pop Idol in 2001, going on to sell over 5 million records worldwide and have hits across the globe. His version of Unchained Melody sold over a million copies in the UK and is the 3rd best-selling single of the Noughties. Gareth is also the youngest ever-male solo artist to debut at number 1.  More recently Gareth has enjoyed a successful career on stage, with credits including Les Misérables, Legally Blonde and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. In 2014 Gareth appeared in the final series ofDancing on Ice, and joined boyband 5th Story as part of ITV’s second series of The Big Reunion, touring arenas with bands including Blue and Five.


Luke Baker will play Ren McCormack, the role immortalised on screen by Kevin Bacon. Luke is about to finish playing Theo in Green Day’s American Idiot in the West End, with other West End credits including the Olivier Award-winning Sunny Afternoon, Beautiful Thing and I Can’t Sing.

The cast also features Hannah Price as Ariel Moore, Nigel Lister as Reverend Shaw Moore, Nicky Swift as Ethel McCormack, Joanna Sawyer as Rusty, Matthew Tomlinson as Chuck, Natasha Brown as Wendy-Jo,Miracle Chance as Urleen and Scott Haining as Bickie. The cast also includes Lauren Storer, Natalie Morton-Graham, Luke Thornton and Alex Marshall.


Based on the 1984 screen sensation starring Kevin Bacon, Footloose: The Musical tells the story of city boy Ren, who has to move to a rural backwater in America where dancing is banned. All hell breaks out as Ren breaks loose and soon has the whole town up on its feet. Featuring classic 80s hits including Holding Out for a Hero, Almost Paradise, Let’s Hear it for the Boy and the unforgettable title track, Footloose: The Musical is set to take the world by storm once again in this brand new production, bursting with youthful spirit, dazzling dance and electrifying music.


When the film was released in 1984, it became the highest-grossing February release in US film history.  The soundtrack album ended the year-long reign of Michael Jackson’s Thriller at number one and went on to top album charts all over the world, eventually selling in excess of 17 million copies.  Footloose was nominated for a Golden Globe, and both the title song and Let’s Hear It for the Boy received Academy Award nominations.Footloose: The Musical first opened on Broadway in 1998 where it ran for 709 performances, with a London production following in 2006, opening at the Novello Theatre following a UK Tour.


Footloose: The Musical has music by Tom Snow and lyrics by Dean Pitchford, and is adapted for the stage by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie. It is based on the original screenplay by Dean Pitchford. It is directed by Racky Plews (American Idiot, West End) with choreography by Matthew Cole, design by Sara Perks and musical supervision by Mark Crossland. It is produced by David Hutchinson and Phillip Rowntree for Sell A Door Theatre Company and Tristan Baker and Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment. It is presented by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe.



2016 UK TOUR


Friday 29 January – Saturday 6 February 2016


Box Office | 01262 678258

Monday 8 – Saturday 13 February 2016

DARTFORD Orchard Theatre

Box Office | 01322 220000


Tuesday 16 – Saturday 20 February 2016

EDINBURGH Festival Theatre

Box Office | 0131 529 6000


Monday 22 – Saturday 27 February 2016

LOWESTOFT Marina Theatre

Box Office | 01502 533200

Monday 29 February – Saturday 5 March 2016

CARDIFF New Theatre

Box Office | 029 2087 8889

Monday 14 – Saturday 19 March 2016

MANCHESTER Palace Theatre

Box Office | 0161 245 6600


Monday 21 – Saturday 26 March 2016

CARLISLE Sands Theatre

Box Office | 01228 633766


Monday 28 March – Saturday 2 April 2016

PORTSMOUTH King’s Theatre

Box Office | 023 9282 8282

Tuesday 12 – Saturday 16 April 2016

BOURNEMOUTH Pavilion Theatre

Box Office | 0844 576 3000


Tuesday 19- Saturday 23 April 2016

OXFORD New Theatre

Box Office | 0844 871 3020


Monday 25 – Saturday 30 April 2016


Box Office | 01934 645544


Monday 2 – Saturday 7 May 2016


Box Office | 020 8545 7900


Monday 9 – Saturday 14 May 2016


Box Office | 0151 702 7320

Tuesday 17 – Saturday 23 May 2016


Box Office | 01923 571102


Tuesday 31 May – Saturday 4 June 2016

DERRY Millennium Forum

Box Office | 028 7126 4455

Monday 6 – Saturday 11 June 2016

TORQUAY Princess Theatre

Box Office | 0844 871 3023

Monday 13 – Saturday 18 June 2016

GLASGOW King’s Theatre

Box Office | 0844 871 7648


Monday 20 – Saturday 25 June 2016

ABERDEEN His Majesty’s Theatre

Box Office | 01224 641122

Monday 4 – Saturday 9 July 2016

BIRMINGHAM Alexandra Theatre

Box Office | 0844 871 3011


Tuesday 12 – Saturday 16 July 2016


Box Office | 0191 243 1171


Monday 18 – Saturday 23 July 2016

WOKING New Victoria Theatre

Box Office | 0844 871 7645


Monday 25 – Saturday 30 July 2016

BRIGHTON Theatre Royal

Box Office | 0844 871 7627


Monday 1 August – Saturday 6 August 2016

BRISTOL Hippodrome

Box Office | 0844 871 3012

M6 Theatre Company to tour “Super” new show TADPOLES featuring the voice of Sue Johnston as a disgruntled Mission Control – Touring 31st Jan-20 March

M6 logoTAPOLES FINALIs it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s M6’s ‘super’ new show Tadpoles 


The award winning M6 Theatre Company’s exciting new production Tadpoles, for children aged 5+ and families, is set to zoom into theatres this winter from the 31st January to the 20thMarch.


This highly visual and energetic play about rivalry, strengths, and weaknesses centres around two super heroes with a big problem – a very disgruntled Mission Control (voiced by Sue Johnston OBEDownton Abbey, The Royle Family


Captain Clever (Luke Walker) is good at code breaking and problem solving, whilst Captain Conker (Emily Spowage) is super-fast and not scared of anything – except, perhaps spelling…  


A tadpole catching competition challenges our dynamic duo to harness their strengths and overcome their differences. Working as team, can they save the world…together?


Directed by M6’s Artistic Director Gilly Baskeyfield, the play is underscored with original music written by Tayo Akinbode and features a superb set by M6’s resident Designer and Production Manager, Joss Matzen. 


M6’s Artistic Director, Gilly Baskeyfield who created the story, said:


Tadpoles is an original M6 piece that will awaken the inner superhero in all of us, and explore the ways in which working together can make a big difference.”


Founded in 1977 and based in Rochdale, M6 Theatre Company is acknowledged as one of Britain’s leading touring theatre companies specialising in creating and delivering high quality theatre for young audiences. The company’s previous production Whatever the Weather has been nominated for the Best Production for Young People award (0-7 years) at the Off West End Theatre Awards 2015 (The Offies).


Tadpoles will open at The Lowry Salford on the 31st January and then tour venues until the 20thMarch including The Lyric Hammersmith (6th Feb).


  • 2016 Tour dates

The Lowry, Salford Quays                                       SUN 31 JAN

Lyric Hammersmith                                                  SAT 6 FEB

M6 Studio Theatre                                                    SUN 7 FEB

Hartlepool Town Hall                                               THURS 11 FEB

The Witham, Co. Durham                                       FRI 12 FEB

Washington Arts Centre                                         SAT 13 FEB

Theatre By The Lake                                                MON 15 & TUES 16 FEB

Oldham Library                                                        WED 17 FEB

Norden Farm Centre for the Arts                                      THURS 18 FEB

Square Chapel, Halifax                                           SUN 21 & MON 22 FEB

North Wall, Oxford                                                   SAT 27 FEB

Derby Playhouse Studio                                         SUN 28 FEB

The Brindley                                                               FRI 4 MAR

Stratford Circus, London                                        SAT 5 MAR

Guilbenkian, University of Kent                             SUN 6 MAR

Tarvin Community Centre, Cheshire                                FRI 11 MAR

Birmingham Rep                                                      SAT 12 MAR

Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham                                   SUN 13 MAR

Salisbury Playhouse                                                 THURS 17 MAR

The egg, Bath                                                            SAT 19 & SUN 20 MAR


Strictly Come Dancing Further Celebrity Announcements










Actress Georgia May Foote, Celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott and TV presenter Anita Rani are the next celebrity contestants confirmed to compete in the 2016 Strictly Come Dancing UK tour, which returns to the Metro Radio Arena Wednesday 3rd & Thursday 4th February 2016.

Georgia, Ainsley and Anita will join Frankie Bridge from The Saturdays, the 2016 host of the tour, Mel Giedroyc, and judges Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood (who also directs the tour) and Bruno Tonioli for the 30 date live extravaganza. They will be reunited with more celebrities and professional dancers from this year’s ratings winning BBC One TV series, who will take to the dance floor to recreate their dazzling moves and compete for votes from the judges. More names will be announced soon.

Georgia May Foote shot to national fame when she played the role of Katy Armstrong in ITV1’s Coronation Street for five years from 2010 to 2015, although she had previously appeared in popular TV series, including Brookside, Grange Hill, Life On Mars, Emmerdale, Heartbeat, Doctors, Casualty and This Is England ’86.

Georgia says: “I am SO excited to be part of the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour.  I’ve made some great friends on the TV show so I’m delighted to have the chance to perform with them again as we travel across the UK. I can’t wait for January!”

Ainsley Harriott is best known for appearing on many hit TV cookery shows such as Ready, Steady, Cook, Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook, Ainsley’s Meals In Minutes and, in 2015, his latest series, Ainsley Harriott’s Street Food and Len & Ainsley’s Big Food Adventure (with Strictly judge, Len Goodman). He has also presented More Nosh, Less Dosh on BBC Radio 5 and has sold over two million books worldwide as a bestselling cookery book author.

Ainsley says: “I loved my time on the TV series and am now really looking forward to getting out on the road; it’s going to be so exciting to feel the reaction when we step out on to those arena dance floors with all the other celebrity dancers and their professional partners. I’ve been known to do a bit of dancing around the kitchen and I’m now thrilled to have the chance to dance in front of enourmous audiences across the country.”

Anita Rani has worked as a presenter on TV shows including BBC One’s The One Show, Watchdog and Countryfile, appearing alongside former Strictly star Matt Baker. She has also presented BBC One’s Rogue Restaurants, BBC Two’s Escape To The Continent, Channel 4’s Four Rooms and was a part of the BBC presenting team that covered the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011. As well as presenting on television, Anita has presented on BBC Radio 2 – deputising for fellow Strictly contestant, Jeremy Vine – as well as various shows on BBC Radio Five Live, BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Asian Network and the BBC World Service.

Anita says: “I’ve thrown myself into Strictly and can’t believe how much I’m enjoying learning to dance. I’m over the moon to be able to carry on the glittery experience and join the tour. For a Yorkshire lass what better place to visit than my old uni town of Leeds. I hope everyone comes down for a northern knees up!”

Tickets costing £35.00, £45.00 & £65.00 are available online, from the booking hotline number 0844 493 6666 or in person from the Metro Radio Arena Box Office.

Tickets are available from:-

  • Credit Card Booking and Information Line 0844 493 6666
  • The Metro Radio Arena Newcastle Box Office (Mon – Fri: 10.00am 4.00pm, Sat: 11.00am – 2.30pm)
  • Internet Site:-
  • Group Bookers should call (0191) 260 6006
  • Accessible Bookings should call (0191) 260 6066 for further details