A View From The Bridge review

Civic Theatre, Darlington – 17 March 2015

A View from the Bridge is having a revival at the moment.  The multi nominated, award winning version is playing at the National Theatre. And this version from the Touring Consortium Theatre Company is (thanks to the Arts Council) showing at the Civic and six other regional theatres,  If this show from TCTC hasn’t won an award yet it must surely do so soon.

The bridge is Brooklyn, a symbolic entry point into America for the Sicilian immigrants in the play, yet one they are never to cross

Jonathan Guy Lewis plays Eddie Carbone, who starts the show a hard working family man but falls into despair from his over familiar feelings for his niece Catherine (Daisy Boulton)  and her desire to marry the “unsuitable” Rodolpho (James Rastall).  His obsession and pride are at  the root of his entire being unravelling, leading him to risk everything and face losing those who once loved him.

The story begins with Alfieri, played by Michael Brandon, breaking the 4th wall and explaining to the audience that he is a Lawyer and an Italian and that he is ‘inclined to notice the ruin in things’ and ‘watch them run its bloody course’. He sits at his desk on the edge of the stage watching the show, allowing the events to unfold before his eyes, powerless to interfere.

Cabones wife Beatrice, wise, long-suffering and sexually frustrated, is portrayed perfectly by Teresa Banham; and niece Catherine, Daisy Boulton is exactly right – very young and innocent, oblivious to her Uncles feelings.

Miller’s narration is delivered with clarity and precision and some humour, dealing with uncomfortable topics and addressing the boundaries of love in a very intimate and intense way.  The play is full of suggestion, all of which is played out in the audiences’ minds rather than addressed directly.  But Philip Cairns is chillingly silent and still in a very well-measured performance as Marco and Rastall is enthusiastic without overplaying his differences as Rodolpho

The whole performance is dark, Eddies descent to madness helped not only by  the phenomenal acting of all on stage, but the simple and effective set designed by Liz Ascroft and the lighting, designed by Paul Pyant.

Written in 1955, A View from the Bridge is inspired by Miller’s knowledge of Italian-American families, gathered during his time as shipyard worker in Brooklyn as a young writer. This empathy and in-depth research is crucial to the success of the play’s plot, on the face of it a simple tale of a patriarch unable to come to terms with a young woman reaching adulthood. But it could be set in any place and time and the story would still be the same




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Sunderland Empire is delighted to announce that SHREK THE MUSICAL® will stomp into Wearside from Wednesday 11 – Sunday 22 November 2015. Coming direct from London, where it was seen live on stage by nearly a million people, the UK and Ireland tour of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane production of SHREK THE MUSICAL® is directed by Nigel Harman who starred as Lord Farquaad in the west end production, winning him the 2012 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical.


Hailed by critics and enjoyed by audiences of all ages, SHREK THE MUSICAL® opened at the Grand Theatre in Leeds on Wednesday 23rd July 2014. Additional tour dates include Birmingham, Glasgow, Sheffield, Norwich, Southampton, Plymouth, Milton Keynes, Bradford, Wolverhampton, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Cardiff, Wimbledon and Salford.


Producers Caro Newling, Neal Street Productions, and Nick Salmon, Playful Productions say:

We are very excited to be bringing SHREK THE MUSICAL® to the best venues across the UK and Ireland. Many years of fun with some of the best talents working in theatre today have gone in to its making and as a result it has thrilled audiences all over the world with its boundless enthusiasm and fun, we are delighted that the people of the UK and Ireland are taking SHREK to their hearts, just as we did at Drury Lane!


Director of SHREK THE MUSICAL® UK and Ireland Tour, Nigel Harman says: I am delighted to be returning to Shrek as its director. This show is very special to me with its dizzying blend of great characters, a hilarious script and sublime music. This production is visually stunning, and the story has the magic ingredient of moving at great pace while still being surprisingly intimate. In short, there was no way I was going to say no to the challenge of realising the production for the UK and Ireland.


Ben Phillips, General Manager, Sunderland Empire said: “We are delighted to announce that Shrek the Musical will play Sunderland Empire for a limited 2 week run this November. Audiences across the region will have the opportunity to enjoy this enchanting and magical smash-hit direct from London’s West End.’

SHREK THE MUSICAL®, originally directed (in the west end) by Jason Moore and Rob Ashford, is based on the story and characters from William Steig’s book Shrek! and the Academy Award®-winning DreamWorks Animations feature film.


SHREK THE MUSICAL® opened on Broadway in 2008 before touring to nearly150 cities in the USA and Canada. Productions ofSHREK THE MUSICAL® have played in Spain, Poland, France, Malaysia, China, Brazil, Italy, Denmark, The Netherlands, Estonia, Israel and Turkey. The UK and Ireland tour will be presented by Dreamworks Theatricals, Neal Street Productions, Playful Productions, Lee Menzies, Ron Kastner, Tulchin/Bartner Productions,Saracen Films,Mark Cartwright, Gavin Kalin, Glass Half Full Productions/Just For Laughs Theatricals.


Casting information for Sunderland to be confirmed.


Tickets go on sale on Friday 20 March to Theatre Card (10am) and to Groups (12 noon).

General on sale: 10am, Monday 23 March 2015.





The Metro Radio Arena, now in its 20th year, has turned on the lights of its new sign.

The naming sponsor of the venue, Metro Radio, has had its branding light up the front of the building for over 11 years, and has launched its new image at the start of the year; subsequently the Arena has now undergone a face list of its own.

At the same time Metro Radio has renewed its naming sponsorship deal for a further two years, making this the longest Naming Rights partnership deal in the region.

Dominic Munnelly, Marketing Director at Metro Radio said “The Metro Radio Arena and SMG team have built a great reputation across the last twenty years for providing first class entertainment. Metro Radio has worked with the venue as Naming Rights Sponsor for over 10 years now and in that time we have benefitted from aligning our brand to some of the biggest and best performers in the world.

“The broad mix of quality shows they bring to the region is a perfect match for our music variety position within the North East radio market. We have our new brand identity signage sitting proud above the door and an extended contract agreed, and with the venue going from strength to strength we are looking forward to an exciting new chapter in our partnership.”

Visible by rail and road on one of the main routes into Newcastle City Centre the venues new sign will be viewed by several million people as they travel through the City.

Nichola McKenna, Marketing and Commercial Manager for the Metro Radio Arena saidThe partnership between Metro Radio and the Arena remains the perfect combination as we continue to bring world class artists to the North East. As we move into our 20th year of bringing live entertainment to the region and beyond, 2015 is set to be a very exciting year for the Venue and its customers


94% of funds raised for theatre



York Theatre Royal closed its doors on Tuesday 17 March as work began to transform the front of house and auditorium areas. The re-development will cost £4.1 million and in October 2014 the theatre launched a Public Fundraising Appeal to raise the last £500,000 still needed. Since then a wide range of groups and members of the public have donated their time and money and York Theatre Royal is pleased to announce that 94% of the £4.1 million has now been raised.

This leaves £217,000 left to find and the theatre is once again asking York residents to help raise the last amount.

The response from the public in York to the Theatre Royal appeal has been extraordinary. Individuals, community groups, schools and colleges have devised the most imaginative ways to raise money for the theatre. We are so close to the final target so everything that people give now makes such a difference. So if anyone has ever been to a show here, had a meeting in our cafe, enjoyed a bite to eat with friends, or taken part in a workshop and is yet to donate, we would really appreciate their support. A little goes a long way.

Said Liz Wilson, Chief Executive of York Theatre Royal.

Schools have put on fundraising concerts in the theatres historic De Grey Rooms Ballroom, people have donned fancy dress for the day, community groups have made and sold crafts, students have been selling doughnuts, and thousands of pounds was raised during panto season as Berwick Kaler urged audiences to donate to bucket collections after each show.

Two days before the closure, the theatre hosted an Open Day which was attended by over 1,500 people, and raised over £4,000, with a number of people Naming a Seat that will feature in the new auditorium for 10 years.

Barry Male, a member of the public who attended, commented

Fascinating Open Day – I think it will massively increase the sense of community ‘ownership’ and goodwill.

The key parts of the redevelopment project will include:-

The glazing-in of the colonnade and opening up the space around what is now Exhibition Corridor to create new and more spacious welcome areas as well as improving the audience flow around the building.

The reconfiguration of the Stalls area of the auditorium and the stage to create much better views for audiences.

The addition of a foyer lift to improve access around the space and also to provide new seating areas for wheelchair users in the Dress Circle.

To be a greener and more sustainable organisation.

Allow the Theatre to make the best possible use of the space to maximise income and help secure its financial future.

People can donate £5 or £10 by texting YTRC15 £5 or YTRC15 £10 to 70070 or donate online at justgiving.com/yorktheatreroyal/donate/. To name a seat call the Box Office on 01904 623568. For more information, please visit www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/donate.


Vienna Festival Ballet’s 35th Anniversary Gala

Vienna Festival Ballet


Friday 24 April



Saturday 25 April

The entire show was captivating from start to finish

Welwyn Hatfield Times

Vienna Festival Ballet celebrates 35 years with an outstanding Anniversary Gala. We are proud to present highlights from the world’s most beloved Tchaikovsky ballets which have featured in our repertoire over the years.

Highlights will include the legendary Rose Adagio and the Bluebird pas de deux from Sleeping Beauty, as well as Clara’s journey to the glittering land of snow in The Nutcracker. Gershwin’s ground breaking Rhapsody in Blue is also featured, as is the famous lakeside scene from Swan Lake, including the Dance of the Cygnets, which opens the second act. The highly successful Hip Hop scene from Vienna Festival Ballet’s Snow White also appears here, as does the Dance of the Mirlitons and the Trepak Dance from the Nutcracker. The gala closes with the beautiful Corn pas de deux from Coppélia and a spectacular grand finale.

The Vienna Festival Ballet tours extensively throughout the UK, bringing well known classics to both big cities and small towns. As Artistic Director Peter Mallek explains, “A lot of the bigger companies cannot perform in smaller venues.  We have tailored our productions so that we are able to adjust the ballet to fit all different sizes of stage. This means we can bring ballet as close to home for our audiences as possible, so they don’t have extra travel costs and long journeys. They can see a very high standard of ballet at an affordable price, right on their doorstep.”

Vienna Festival Ballet’s reflection on 35 years of performing all over the world will take you on an unforgettable journey through the best of ballet in one magical evening.

Sleeping Beauty

Saturday 25 April

This breathtaking ballet is set in the magical world of a fairy kingdom where the King and Queen are celebrating the birth of their daughter, Princess Aurora.  The lilac fairy and her attendants have been invited to the Christening but the wicked fairy, Carabosse has been forgotten.  Angered by this, Carabosse casts a spell on Aurora that on her sixteenth birthday she will prick her finger and die.  The Lilac Fairy changes the spell so that Aurora and the kingdom will fall asleep for 100 years until a handsome Prince awakens her with a kiss.

This magical ballet is set to be a wonderful evening for the whole family.  Following the traditional tale of Sleeping Beauty and with a sumptuous musical score by Tchaikovsky, this ballet is sure to entrance audiences of all ages.

Vienna Festival Ballet was founded in 1980 by the celebrated Austrian dancer Peter Mallek.  Peter, as Artistic Director, works tirelessly to ensure this dynamic company of talented, international and professional dancers, continues to delight audiences all over Europe with their dazzling and vibrant interpretations of the best loved classical ballets.

An excellent company of talented young dancers. Their energy and enthusiasm is breathtaking. – ENTS24.COM

A truly spellbinding performance!Burnley Express

talented array of young artistes – Oxford Times

Four starsWhatsOnStage


Grand Opera House York

35th Anniversary Gala performance at 7:30pm

Sleeping Beauty performance at 5pm

Tickets: £14 – £24

Box Office : 0844 871 3024

Online Booking: www.atgtickets.com/york



Facebook: viennafestivalballetcompany

Twitter: @viennafestivalb

Instagram: @viennafestivalballet

Love Me Tender – The New Musical with the songs of Elvis Presley






Adam Spiegel Productions, Robert G. Bartner and the Ambassador Theatre Group are delighted to announce the UK tour of “LOVE ME TENDER – the new musical inspired by and featuring the music of Elvis Presley.The tour will open on Friday 5 June 2015 at the Manchester Opera House ahead of a UK and Ireland tour, which will include a week run at Grand Opera House York from Monday 17 until Saturday 22 August.

Full tour schedule below. Casting will be announced shortly. www.LoveMeTenderMusical.com

From the producers of Hairspray, Jersey Boys and West Side Story “LOVE ME TENDER” is a hilarious feel-good musical featuring Elvis Presley’s greatest hits. In a small town in 1950s America, a guitar-playing, hip-swivelling stranger rides his motorbike into town. Is he The Devil in Disguise or a Hound Dog in hisBlue Suede Shoes? The townsfolk are about to be All Shook Up and could be headed for Heartbreak Hotel, but for Natalie, the love-struck, tomboy mechanic, it really is Now or Never.

Packed with 25 of the best loved songs by The King himself, “LOVE ME TENDER”, by the writer of the award-wining West End and Broadway smash hit Memphis, is a funny and moving tale of hope, second chances and the healing qualities of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Producer Adam Spiegel said: “I’m delighted to be working with such a talented, award winning, Creative team to bring the UK this fantastic feel-good musical featuring some of the best music ever written – the greatest hits of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley.”


LOVE ME TENDER” is Written by Tony Award Winner Joe DiPietro (Memphis) and Directed and Choreographed by Olivier Award Winner Karen Bruce (Saturday Night Fever, Dance ’Til Dawn, Pacific Overtures) with Set Design by award nominated Morgan Large (Flashdance, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof), Lighting Design by James Whiteside (Never Forget, Footloose) Costume Design by Vicky Gill (Dance ‘Til Dawn, Strictly Come Dancing) and Casting by James Orange (The Producers, Sweeney Todd.)











Stage Entertainment, in association with Sheffield Theatres, are delighted to announce full casting for the Sheffield Theatres production of Cole Porter’s classic musical comedy ANYTHING GOES at GRAND OPERA HOUSE YORK from 2nd to 6th JUNE.

Leading the cast of 26 will be Debbie Kurup as Reno Sweeney and Matt Rawle as Billy Crocker. They are joined by Shaun Williamson as Moonface Martin and Kate Anthony as Evangeline Harcourt with Simon Rouse as Elisha Whitney and Zoë Rainey as Hope Harcourt.

The company also includes Michelle Andrews, Adam Dutton, Anouska Eaton, Jack Evans, Bob Harms, Victoria Hinde, Lauren Jade, Rebecca Jayne-Davies, Joanna Lee Martin, Nick Len, Michael Lin, Dylan Mason, Stephen Matthews, Ryan Pidgen, Adam Rhys-Charles, Rohan Richards, Andy Yau and Alex Young.

Debbie Kurup was most recently seen as Nicki in the West End hit musical “The Bodyguard”, a role for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award. Her other West End credits include Mimi in “Rent”, Velma in “Chicago” and “Sister Act”.

Matt Rawle’s many West End credits include “Les Misérables”, “Miss Saigon”, “Martin Guerre”, “Evita”, “Cabaret” and “Zorro”, for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award. His other credits include “Pippin” and the European Premiere of “The Light in the Piazza”.

Shaun Williamson is best known to millions of TV viewers as Barry Evans in BBC1’s “EastEnders”. His other TV credits include “Extras” and “Life’s Too Short”. His theatre credits include “Never Forget” and “Guys and Dolls”.

Kate Anthony’s TV credits include Auntie Pam in “Coronation Street. Her theatre credits include “The Mousetrap” and “The Cherry Orchard”, both in the West End. She recently took the leading role in her latest film “Wavelengths”, which has already secured several industry awards.

Simon Rouse is best known to TV audiences for playing Superintendent Jack Meadows in “The Bill” for 18 years. His most recent theatre credits include “The Full Monty” and “When We Are Married”, both in the West End.

Zoë Rainey’s West End theatre credits include “Wicked”, “Hairspray” and “Parade” at the Donmar Warehouse. Her other credits include the World Premiere of the musical “Finding Neverland”.

When Billy Crocker discovers that his heart’s desire, debutante heiress Hope Harcourt is engaged to an English aristocrat, he stows away aboard the S.S. American to win her back. Aided by a string of eccentric passengers on board the luxurious transatlantic liner, can this web of love be untangled before they reach Southampton?

Cole Porter’s uplifting masterpiece of music and dance includes the magnificent songs I Get A Kick Out of You, You’re the Top, It’s De-Lovely and Anything Goes. Hop aboard for sassy heroines, mischievous mob bosses, comedy capers and tap dancing sailors in this hilarious tale of romance and hi-jinks on the high seas.

ANYTHING GOES has Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter, Original Book by P.G. Wodehouse & Guy Bolton and Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. New Book by Timothy Crouse & John Weidman.

Originally produced by Lincoln Center Theatre, New York City. ANYTHING GOES is Directed byDaniel Evans, Designed by Richard Kent, Choreographed by Alistair David with Musical Supervision byNigel Lilley. Lighting Design is by Tim Mitchell, Sound Design by Simon Baker with Musical Direction by Tom Brady.

Director Daniel Evans is Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres. As director, he previously directed This Is My Family (UK Theatre Award for Best Musical Production), The Sheffield Mysteries, Oliver!, The Full Monty (UK Theatre Award for Best Touring Production – also national tour and West End), My Fair Lady, Macbeth, Othello, Racing Demon as part of The David Hare Season and An Enemy of the People – the opening production of his inaugural season. As an actor, his previous work for the company includes Company, The Pride, Cloud Nine and The Tempest. An award-winning actor and director, Evans’ work includes Sunday in the Park with George (Menier Chocolate Factory, Wyndham’s Theatre and Broadway) – a role for which he won the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical (his second Olivier Award, the first being for Merrily We Roll Along in 2001) and a Tony Award nomination. His extensive credits include work with the Donmar Warehouse, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Court Theatre and National Theatre. Evans is a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.





 Duncan James.  Photo by Phil Griffin







David Ian Productions and the Ambassador Theatre Group are delighted to announce that the international smash hit musical PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT, starring Duncan James as ‘Tick’, will tour the UK opening at theManchester Opera House on Friday 14 August 2015 where it will play until Saturday 29 August 2015.


David Ian said today “I am absolutely thrilled that audiences have demanded more of Priscilla! The reaction the show gets at theatres everywhere is like something I’ve never witnessed before – it is truly a party not to be missed. Having Duncan James play Tick is just the icing on the cupcake!”


As one quarter of the pop band Blue, Duncan James has sold over 13 million records, had three number one albums and forty number one singles worldwide. His stage credits include playing Warner Huntington III in the West End production of Legally Blonde and Billy Flynn in Chicago. He was also a finalist on ITV1’s Dancing on Ice.


Get ready for the ride of your life! Based on the movie, PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL is the heart-warming, uplifting adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship and end up finding more than they could have ever dreamed of. With a dazzling array of outrageous costumes and a hit parade of dancefloor favorites including ‘It’s Raining Men’, ‘Say a Little Prayer’, ‘Go West’, ‘Hot Stuff’ and ‘Always on My Mind’, this wildly fresh and funny new musical is a journey to the heart of FABULOUS!


PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL originally opened in Australia and after a sell-out two year run, opened in London’s West End followed by Broadway in the United States. It has won numerous awards all over the world, including prestigious Olivier and Tony awards.


The Company - Priscilla Queen of the Desert - Photo credit Paul Coltas (2)

York Stage Musicals present Hairspray

York Stage Musicals present Hairspray

Grand Opera House York

Friday 27 March – Saturday 4 April

York Stage Musicals are looking to build on their recent success of Sister Act when they present West End and Broadway smash hit, HAIRSPRAY the musical. This production will mark the show’s very first time on a professional stage in York and will play at the Grand Opera House during Easter half term from 27 March to 4 April 2015.

As one of the city’s leading theatre companies YSM have a reputation for producing some of the best theatre in the region using predominantly local talent. This was reflected in their critically acclaimed production of Sister Act which attracted the talents of ‘I’d Do Anything’ finalist and West End star Cleopatra Rey who played ‘Deloris Van Cartier’.


Showcasing the very best local talent, newcomers Maya Tether will play Tracy Turnblad, Conor Mellor as Link Larkin and Maya Bartley O’Dea as Penny Pingleton. York stage regulars Joe Wawrzyniak and Toni Feetenby will make a change from their usual roles playing larger than life Edna, Tracy’s mother and villainous Velma Von Tussle, TV producer of The Corny Collins Show respectively. York singer/songwriter Jess Gardham will play DJ Motormouth Maybelle. Supporting them are professional actors Veronica Hart and Jemma Genaus who will play The Supremes-inspired Dynamites and Jemal Felix as Seaweed J. Stubbs who understudied the role in a recent professional touring production.

The acting company are complimented by a team of professional design and technical personnel, who have worked with Northern Ballet, Chichester Festival Theatre and York Theatre Royal among others.

Jessica Hardcastle, director and choreographer for HAIRSPRAY says; “We have attracted a team of talented individuals both on and off stage. Lighting is designed by Nick Duncan with Jo Keogh as wardrobe mistress, both of whom worked on the York Theatre Royal pantomime”. 

Hairspray follows the plight of loveable teen-dreamer Tracy Turnblad who is a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart who becomes the unexpected star of local TV dance program, The Corny Collins Show, much to the frustration of the TV station’s villainous producer, Velma Von Tussle.

The back drop for Hairspray is 1960’s Baltimore, US where black is black and white is white and ‘pleasantly plump’ girls certainly don’t dance on TV. Never shy of standing up for what she believes in, Tracy launches a riotous campaign to integrate The Corny Collins Show. As she dances her way into the nation’s hearts and helps her mother turn from frumpy 50’s house wife to swinging 60’s chick, Tracy falls for fellow TV star and teen-idol Link Larkin while her gawky, ever-loyal best-friend Penny Pingleton catches the eye of a guy from the ‘wrong side’ of town.

With an original soundtrack of swinging-sixties-style tunes, such as Good Morning Baltimore, Welcome to the 60’s and You Can’t Stop The Beat Hairspray will be sure to have audiences mash-potato-ing all the way home.

Winner of eight Tony Awards, HAIRSPRAY has played to sold out houses in London, Broadway and theatres across the globe.

“Ticket sales indicate this show is a very popular choice with the York audience, so buy yours now to avoid disappointment”, says YSM Artistic Director, Nik Briggs, to anyone wanting to come and see the show.

Critically acclaimed East Is East starring award-winning Pauline McLynn












Pauline McLynn (Father Ted, Shameless, EastEnders) will play Ella Khan in Ayub Khan Din’s critically-acclaimed play East is East, which was part of Jamie Lloyd’s second Trafalgar Transformed season, directed by Sam Yates, on a 16 week National Tour from 11 June 2015, commencing at Theatre Royal, Brighton. East is East is designed by Tom Scutt, with lighting by Richard Howell and sound and music by Alex Baranowski.

Pauline will be joined by some of the original cast from the West End production of East is East: Ashley Kumar (Tariq Khan), Darren Kuppan (Maneer Khan) and Sally Bankes (Auntie Annie). The full cast will be announced in due course.

Other confirmed venues for the East is East National Tour include the Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury (22-27 June), New Victoria Theatre, Woking (29 June – 4 July), Churchill Theatre, Bromley (6-11 July), Princess Theatre, Torquay (13-18 July), Regent Theatre, Stoke (20-25 July), Theatre Royal, Nottingham (27 July – 1 August), Grand Opera House, York (3-8 August), Theatre Royal, Glasgow (10-15 August), The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford (31 August – 5 September), Sheffield Lyceum (7 September – 12 September) and Bath Theatre Royal (14 September – 19 September) with further dates announced shortly.

Pauline McLynn said “I am very excited to be part of this production. The play by Ayub Khan Din is sparkling, funny and tender and I’m delighted to be working with the brilliant Sam Yates. I cannot wait to get out there with it!”

Jamie Lloyd, Artistic Director of Trafalgar Transformed, said “As a part of our drive to make our work accessible to all, I am very excited to present the first major tour of a Trafalgar Transformed production. I am thrilled that so many more people, all over the country, will get to see Sam Yates’ vivid production of this modern classic, and I’m delighted to welcome Pauline McLynn to the company.”

Pakistani chip-shop owner George Khan – “Genghis” to his kids – is determined to give his children a strict Muslim upbringing against the unforgiving backdrop of 1970s Salford. Household tension reaches breaking point as their long-suffering English mother, Ella, gets caught in the cross fire – her loyalties divided between her marriage and the free will of her children. 


East is East, Ayub Khan Din’s semi-autobiographical account of British Asian life in the 1970s and the clash of cultures between a multi-cultural family growing up in Salford, is a play that continues to resonate and provoke discussion. Starring award-winning screen icon Pauline McLynn (Father TedShameless and EastEnders) as Ella and a host of the finest British acting talent as the remainder of the Khan family and friends, this long awaited revival of a modern comedy classic promises to be unmissable.

Pauline McLynn (Ella Khan) is best known for screen roles including Mrs Doyle in Father Ted (for which she won a British Comedy Award), Libby Croker in Shameless and her current role playing Yvonne Cotton inEastEnders. Pauline’s stage credits include most recently The Knight of the Burning Pestle, at The Globe,Happy Days at Sheffield Crucible, Playboy of the Western World at the Donmar Warehouse, The Trojan Women, Comedy of Errors, Yerma and Antigone all at the Abbey Theatre/National Theatre of Ireland, The Double Dealer, Tartuffe, Absurd Person Singular and School for Scandal all at the Gate Theatre, Dublin andOur Country’s Good, The Tempest, Top Girls and The Caucasian Chalk Circle for Rough Magic. Her other television credits include Father Figure (BBC), Threesome (Comedy Central), The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff(BBC) Pramface (BBC), three seasons of Jam and Jerusalem (BBC), Bremner, Bird and Fortune (Channel 4, six series), High Hopes (BBC), French and Saunders (BBC), TV To Go (BBC), The Dark Ages (ITV), It Happened Last Year, Dalziel and Pascoe, Family, Aristocrats and Ballykissangel (all for BBC).  Pauline’s film credits include Stephen Bradley’s Noble, Helen in Gypo, Sister Hilda opposite Brendan Blethyn in The Calling,Iris directed by Richard Eyre, Heidi directed by Paul Marcus, Angela’s Ashes directed by Alan Parker, The Most Fertile Man in Ireland directed by Dudi Appleton, An Everlasting Piece directed by Barry Levinson and When Brendan met Trudy directed by Kieron J. Walsh.  Other film work includes; QuillsNoraHer Own RulesGuilttrip. Pauline most recently completed shooting on Jim Sheridan’s feature Secret Scripture. She has also published eight best-selling novels, Something for the Weekend (1999), Better Than A Rest (2001), Right on Time (2002), The Woman on the Bus (2004), Summer in the City (2005), Bright Lights and Promises(2007), Missing You Already (2009) and The Time Is Now (2010). In 2012 she published her first novel for young people, Jenny Q, Stitched Up! with Puffin Books, and the sequel JENNY Q, Unravelled.


Ashley Kumar’s (Tariq Khan) stage credits include East is East at Trafalgar Studios/UK Tour, Tartuffe at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Commercial Road at the Hackney Empire and The Snow Queen at the Unicorn Theatre. Ashley’s screen credits include A Nice Arrangement, Omid Djalili’s Little Cracker, Summer In Transylvania, EastEnders, Spooks, Benidorm, The Bill, Doctors and MI High.


Darren Kuppan’s (Maneer Khan) stage credits include East is East at Trafalgar Studios/UK Tour, Rafta Raftaat the Bolton Octagon and the New Vic Theatre, Stoke, the latter of which he also performed in Arabian Nights, East is East at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, An August Bank Holiday Lark at the Northern Broadsides, Melody Loses Her Mojo at the Liverpool Playhouse, England Street at the Oxford Playhouse, The Bridge at Freedom Studios, Jamaica House at Duke’s Playhouse, Lancaster, Much Ado About Nothing at the RSC, Bollywood Jane at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Pretend You Have Big Buildings at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. Darren’s screen credits include Spooks, Britannia High, Emmerdale,Coronation Street, The Sweet Stall, Piggy, The Code, Winners And Losers and The Chaos Theory.

Sally Bankes’ (Auntie Annie) stage credits include East is East at Trafalgar Studios/UK Tour, That Day We Sang at The Royal Exchange Manchester (for which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at The Manchester Theatre Awards), The Winter’s Tale at the RSC, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at the Octagon Theatre, Waiting for Gateaux on a UK tour, Everybody Loves a Winner at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, and Acorn Antiques on a UK tour. Her screen credits include Our Zoo, Pompidou!, Mount Pleasant, Prisoners’ Wives, Doctors, World Without End, In With The Flynns, Titanic, Housewife 49, Hollyoaks, White Van Man, Semi-Detached, Hoof and Safety with Nuzzle and Scratch, MI High, Nuzzle and Scratch, Scallywagga, Guantanamo Phil, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Heartbeat, 2 Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Tittybangbang!, Where the Heart Is, Little Britain, Absolute Power, Twisted Tales, Coronation Street, Fat Friends, Stabat Mater, Line of Fire, Trained, Chicken Tikka Masala (for which she won Best Actress at the OutTakes Dallas Film Festival), Redemption Road and When It All Comes Down.


East is East, was Ayub Khan Din’s first play, following an initial career as an actor. It was staged at the Royal Court in 1997 and, subsequently, Ayub adapted the play into a hugely successful feature film, starring Om Puri and Linda Bassett.  For his screenplay, Ayub won a British Independent Film Award and a London Critics’ Circle Film Award, and was nominated for two BAFTAs for Best Adapted Screenplay and the Carl Foreman Award for Most Promising Newcomer, and a European Film Award for Best Screenwriter. Ayub was last seen on stage in the West End/National tour run of East is East at Trafalgar Studios as part of the Trafalgar Transformed season, playing for the first time, the role of George. Other stage credits include the title role of Bunty Berman Presents, under the wing of The New Group at the Acorn Theatre, Off-Broadway. The musical was co-authored by Ayub and Grammy and Emmy Award winner Paul Bogaev. He made his film debut in My Beautiful Laundrette, but is perhaps best known for the role of Sammy in Hanif Kureishi‘sSammy and Rosie Get Laid – both directed by Stephen Frears. His TV credits include Coronation Street, London Bridge, The Chief, Dangerfield, Boon, The Bill and Poirot. Additional writing credits include Last Dance at Dum DumNotes on Falling LeavesAll the Way Home, Rafta Rafta, which won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and ran at the National Theatre, West is West, All in Good Time, an adaptation of To Sir With Love, which recently completed a national tour, and Bunty Berman Presents.


Sam Yates most recently directed Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and directed Ruth Wilson in The El Train at Hoxton Hall.  His other directing credits includeCornelius by J.B. Priestley at the Finborough Theatre and 59E59 Theatre, New York, and Mixed Marriage at the Finborough Theatre. He was Artistic Associate at Royal and Derngate Theatres from 2011-2013. He trained with directors Jamie Lloyd, Michael Grandage, Trevor Nunn, Josie Rourke and Phyllida Lloyd.

The National Tour of East is East follows the completion of the second season of work for Trafalgar Transformed, produced by Jamie Lloyd Productions, a partnership between acclaimed director Jamie Lloyd and Ambassador Theatre Group. Season Two included Richard III, starring Martin Freeman, East is Eaststarring Jane Horrocks and The Ruling Class, starring James McAvoy, which is running until 11 April 2015.

*Further tour venues/dates will be announced shortly


11 – 20 JUNE

0844 871 7650


22 – 27 JUNE

0844 871 7607


29 JUNE – 4 JULY

0844 871 7645


6 – 11 JULY

0844 871 7620


13 – 18 JULY

0844 871 3023


20 – 25 JULY

0844 871 7649



0115 989 5555


3 – 8 AUGUST

0844 871 3024



10 – 15 AUGUST

0844 871 7647



01274 432000



0114 249 6000



01225 448844

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