Dracula: The Bloody Truth Review

York Theatre Royal – 24 September 2021

Reviewed by Michelle Richardson


Le Navet Bete Theatre Company, based in Exeter, are back in York again and are playing a few shows at the York Theatre Royal, this time with Dracula: The Bloody Truth. I was lucky enough to catch them in York last year with another production, a month before our very first lockdown, and I was looking forward to their return.

Directed by John Nicholson, with only four actors, Dan Bianchi, Nick Bunt, Al Dunn and Matt Freeman, playing forty characters, Dracula: The Bloody Truth is the story how Dracula is real and not fiction, as Bram Stoker would have you believe.

Professor Van Helsing employs three idiotic amateur actors to recreate his story and for once and for all, the truth will prevail and “The Bloody Truth” will come out. We are taken on a journey across Europe, from Transylvania to the gothic seaside town of Whitby, which is just up the road from us.

The set was dated, with a faded curtain, dodgy brickwork and battered doors, creating the perfect backdrop, and was used to great comedic effect. It was full of chaotic costumes changes, delayed sound effects and collapsing scenery. The latter was executed with terrific humour and ingenuity and “fixed” with the same amount of hilarity. Unexpected uses of props, some which were faulty, just cemented the madness of the show. The play is full of slapstick, cheesy jokes and there are mishaps and mistakes aplenty, but are they really mistakes or part of the show?

This physical comedy theatre company has been performing together since 2008 and you can tell. They have great chemistry and bounce off each other, playing on their separate strengths. All four brought energy to their characters, with some dynamic portrayals and great use of the audience, especially one unfortunate/fortunate member, depending on how you look at it.

Le Nevet Bete translates to The Dumb Turnip, but this troupe are anything but and have delivered another rip roaring, madcap and hilarious show, a perfect antidote as the nights draw in. Thoroughly entertaining and highly recommended to watch, if given the chance!

BACK TO THE FUTURE The Musical Extends Booking Period in West End






Due to overwhelming demand, lead producer Colin Ingram together with Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, the creators of the Back To The Future film trilogy, are delighted to announce that BACK TO THE FUTURE The Musical’s performances at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End will extend to 3 July 2022. Tickets on sale now. The musical, which had its opening night on Monday 13 September, has had an incredible reaction from the public and been rewarded with 5 star and 4 star reviews. 

BACK TO THE FUTURE The Musical stars Roger Bart and Olly Dobson as ‘Dr Emmett Brown’ and ‘Marty McFly’ respectively with Hugh Coles as ‘George McFly’, Rosanna Hyland as ‘Lorraine Baines’, Cedric Neal as ‘Goldie Wilson’, Aidan Cutler as ‘Biff Tannen’, Courtney-Mae Briggs as ‘Jennifer Parker’, Will Haswell as ‘Dave McFly’, Emma Lloyd as ‘Linda McFly’ and Mark Oxtoby as ‘Strickland’.  Also in the cast are Rhianne Alleyne, Amy Barker, Matt Barrow, Joshua Clemetson, Jamal Crawford, Bessy Ewa, Morgan Gregory, Ryan Heenan, Cameron McAllister, Alessia McDermott, Laura Mullowney, Nic Myers, Shane O’Riordan, Katharine Pearson, Justin Thomas, Melissa Rose and Tavio Wright.

Based on the Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment film, BACK TO THE FUTURE The Musical has a book by Bob Gale and new music and lyrics by Emmy and Grammy Award-winning Alan Silvestri and six-time Grammy Award-winning Glen Ballard, with additional songs from the film including The Power of Love and Johnny B. Goode.

Marty McFly is a rock ‘n’ roll teenager who is accidentally transported back to 1955 in a time-travelling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr Emmett Brown.  But before he can return to 1985, Marty must make sure his high school-aged parents fall in love in order to save his own existence.

BACK TO THE FUTURE The Musical is directed by Tony Award-winning director John Rando (UrinetownOn The Town), alongside the multi Tony and Olivier Award-winning design team of Tim Hatley (set and costume design), lighting design by Tim Lutkin, lighting consultant Hugh Vanstone, Gareth Owen (sound) and Finn Ross (video), with choreography by Chris Bailey, musical supervision and arrangements by Nick Finlow and Illusions by Chris Fisher. Orchestrations are by Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook, with dance arrangements by David Chase. Casting is by David Grindrod Associates.

Sony Music Masterworks will release this autumn the Original Cast Recording of BACK TO THE FUTURE The Musical. 

Back to the Future the movie was released in 1985, starring Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as Dr Emmett Brown. The film grossed $360.6 million (£279 million) at the box office worldwide and the total box office for all three films in the Back to the Future franchise was $936.6 million (over $1.8 billion in today’s money).

BACK TO THE FUTURE The Musical is produced by Colin Ingram, Donovan Mannato, Frankel/Viertel/Baruch/Routh Group, Hunter Arnold, Gavin Kalin Productions, Playing Field, Crush Music, CJ ENM, Teresa Tsai, Ivy Herman/Hallee Adelman, Robert L. Hutt, Universal Theatrical Group, Ricardo Marques, Augury, Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, in association with Kimberly Magarro, Stage Entertainment, Glass Half Full Productions/ Neil Gooding Productions.

Website: BackToTheFutureMusical.com   

Twitter: @BTTFmusical

Instagram: @BTTFmusical    



Adelphi Theatre


Covent Garden

London WC2R 0NS

Current booking period to 3 July 2022

Group Bookings available to 23 October 2022

Performances: Mondays, Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7.30pm, Wednesday & Saturday matinees at 2.30pm, Sundays at 3pm

Christmas Schedule:

SATURDAY18/12/20212:30PM & 7.30PM
SUNDAY19/12/20211.00pm & 6.00PM
TUESDAY21/12/20212:30PM & 7.30PM
WEDNESDAY22/12/20212:30PM & 7.30PM
THURSDAY23/12/20212:30PM & 7.30PM
MONDAY27/12/20212:30PM & 7.30PM
TUESDAY28/12/20212:30PM & 7.30PM
WEDNESDAY29/12/20212:30PM & 7.30PM

Tickets: from £19.55

Please book via the website: BackToTheFutureMusical.com – no booking fees  

Book with confidence. For maximised flexibility customers can exchange their ticket free of charge up to at least 24 hours prior to the event.

Anything Goes – new casting and extra performances








Music and Lyrics by COLE PORTER

Original Book by P.G. WODEHOUSE & GUY BOLTON



Directed and Choreographed by


Broadway star Rachel York and Tony and Olivier nominee Haydn Gwynne will join the cast of critically acclaimed ANYTHING GOES for the final weeks before the show must end on Saturday 6 November. However, due to phenomenal public demand for tickets, the “SHOW OF THE YEAR“ (Daily Telegraph) has added two extra matinee performances on Wednesday 27 October and Wednesday 3 November.

ANYTHING GOES opened this summer at London’s Barbican Theatre, audiences have been on their feet, giving this multi Tony Award winning show multiple standing ovations night after night. Described as the “musical equivalent of sipping one glass of champagne after another“ (The Times) and is “delightful, delicious, and as buoyant as helium“ (Evening Standard). Featuring a 50 strong cast and ensemble of the finest we have to offer on the London stage including tap dancing sailors and a full-sized live orchestra, this five star hit new production of Anything Goes “immediately joins the pantheon of great classic musical revivals“ (The Telegraph). ANYTHING GOES continues to play to sell out houses, as audiences flood through the Barbican Theatre doors to witness this truly spectacular musical comedy.

Broadway star Rachel York (Head Over Heels, Victor/Victoria) will reprise her acclaimed portrayal of Reno Sweeney (first performance 12 October) and Tony & Olivier nominee Haydn Gwynne (Billy Elliot – West End and Broadway, Camilla in Channel 4’s The Windsors) will play Evangeline Harcourt (first performance 19 October). They will join Tony, Olivier & BAFTA Award Winner Robert Lindsay (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) as Moonface Martin and musical actor Gary Wilmot (Chicago) as Elisha Whitney who have been wowing audience since the show opened in July.

Producer Sir Howard Panter said: “I am delighted that Rachel York and Haydn Gwynne will be joining this glorious production of Cole Porter’s classic musical. London audiences already cannot get enough of this joyous and uplifting great musical – so much so we have had to add extra shows to cope with the demand. Both Rachel and Haydn are wonderful actors and our audiences are in for a treat indeed when they join Robert Lindsay, Gary Wilmot and the rest of our hugely talented Anything Goes company, orchestra and crew”.

ANYTHING GOES has music and lyrics by Cole Porter, an original book by P.G. Wodehouse & Guy Bolton with Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse and a new book by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman. This production is directed and choreographed by three time Tony Award Winner Kathleen Marshall.

The musical also stars Samuel Edwards (Les Misérables / Wicked) as Billy Crocker, Nicole-Lily Baisden (The Book of Mormon / Let’s Face The Music) as Hope Harcourt, Haydn Oakley (A Christmas Carol / An American in Paris) as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh and Carly Mercedes Dyer (West Side Story/Chicago) as Erma.

When the S.S. American heads out to sea, etiquette and convention head out the portholes as two unlikely pairs set off on the course to true love… proving that sometimes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, a comical disguise and some good old-fashioned blackmail. This hilarious musical romp across the Atlantic featuring a collection of some of theatre’s most memorable songs – including ‘I Get A Kick Out of You’, ‘Anything Goes’, ‘You’re the Top’, ‘Blow, Gabriel, Blow’, ‘It’s De-Lovely’, ‘Friendship’ and ‘Buddie Beware’ – will take you back to the Golden Age of high society on the seas. ANYTHING GOES is set to sail away with audiences all over again.


‘Makes you gasp in wonder and laugh till it hurts. Pure class.’

Daily Telegraph


‘The show of the year. I would give it six stars if I could’

Daily Telegraph


’The musical equivalent of sipping one glass of champagne after another’

The Times


‘When a musical packs this much energy and spectacle, nothing else goes!’

Daily Mail


’Bubbly wit and stylish fun. It shimmers and sparkles.’

The Times


‘Anything Goes offers the delirious delight of a musical in full sail’

Financial Times


(Photo by Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

Rachel is a dynamic and versatile actress most recently seen on Broadway in the musical Head Over Heels. Other Broadway theatre includes: City of Angels, Les Misérables, Victor/Victoria (Drama Desk Award) with Dame Julie Andrews, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Sly Fox with Richard Dreyfuss, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Jonathan Pryce, and Disaster! The Musical created by Seth Rudetsky. Rachel played Reno Sweeney in Kathleen Marshall’s Tony-award winning production of Anything Goes (Helen Hayes Award) on Broadway and the US National tour.

Other US national tours include Camelot (Carbonell Award) opposite Michael York as well as Kiss Me, Kate opposite Rex Smith. Rachel returned to the role of Kate for the West End production. Rachel played the dual roles of Edith Bouvier Beale and ‘Little’ Edie Beale in the Los Angeles production of Grey Gardens opposite Betty Buckley. Other highlights include, Putting It Together (Manhattan Theatre Club) also with Julie Andrews, Dessa Rose at Lincoln Center opposite LaChanze, Turn of the Century opposite Jeff Daniels directed by Tommy Tune at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and The Odd Couple with Jason Alexander and Martin Short.

Rachel has been a soloist worldwide including appearances with the New York Pops; the National Symphony under the direction of conductor Marvin Hamlisch; the Los Angeles Philharmonic; The Philly Pops; the San Francisco Symphony; the Jerusalem Philharmonic, and multiple appearances at Carnegie Hall.

Recent television appearances include recurring roles on Fox’s Filthy Rich and CBS’s FBI: Most Wanted. Rachel has also appeared on Prodigal Song, The Mick, Power, Elementary, Hannah Montana, Frasier, Reba, Numb3rs, Close to Home, Spin City, among many other film and television credits. She also turned heads on television with her courageous portrayal of Lucille Ball in the CBS movie, Lucy.

Rachel’s album, Let’s Fall in Love, was named one of the Top Ten Vocal CDs of the year by Talkin’ Broadway.


Haydn Gwynne is a multi-award winning actor whose work spans the stage, television and film. She first came to prominence in the BBC adaptation of David Lodge’s Nice Work in 1989, and Channel 4’s Drop The Dead Donkey. Since then she has starred in series such as Peak Practice, Mersey Beat (for which she won Royal Television Society awards) and HBO’s Rome, as well as guest-starring in shows including Sherlock, Ripper Street, Poirot, and the C Word. She was last seen as Matron in the BBC adaptation of David Walliams The Midnight Gang, and in her role as Camilla in Channel 4 comedy The Windsors. She has recently finished shooting The Canterville Ghost for BBC studios. On stage, Haydn is a four-time Olivier Award nominee for her performances in Billy Elliot the Musical (which she also performed on

Broadway), City of Angels, The Threepenny Opera and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. She played Margaret Thatcher in The Audience with Helen Mirren, and Elizabeth In Richard III for the Old Vic and BAM New York, and has worked often for the RSC, most recently as Volumnia in Coriolanus in Stratford and the Barbican. She played Lady Wishfort in The Way of the World for the Donmar Warehouse, and before the pandemic, appeared at The Minerva Theatre, Chichester starring in Hedda Tesman, a new play updating and re-imagining Hedda Gabler 30 years into her marriage, followed by a new play for the National Theatre: The Welkin by Lucy Kirkwood which opened a few weeks before the theatres were closed. Last year saw much recording of radio from her bedroom including reading Richard Osman’s best seller ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ for Radio 4, but she was lucky to appear in a new play, Renaissance by Charles Ward, performed in the open air, followed by rehearsing Copenhagen for Bath Theatre Royal which was due to open the day of the November lockdown, but which finally got its run in Bath and on tour this summer.


Kathleen Marshall – Director & Choreographer

Derek McLane – Set Designer

Jon Morrell – Costume Designer

Hugh Vanstone – Lighting Designer

Jonathan Deans – Sound Designer

Stephen Ridley – Music Supervisor


Barbican Theatre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS

Final performance: 6 November 2021

Performances: Tuesday – Saturday at 7.30pm, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 2.30pm

Running time: approximately 2 hours 30 minutes, including interval

Tickets: £25 – £150, plus booking fee

Barbican Box Office: barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2021/event/anything-goes

Website: AnythingGoesMusical.co.uk

Twitter: @AnythingGUK

Facebook: @AnythingGoesUK

Instagram: @AnythingGoesUK

Presented in association with the Barbican

Taron Egerton, Jonathan Bailey, Jade Anouka & Phil Daniels star in Mike Bartlett play in West End






Golden Globe Winner TARON EGERTON

to make West End debut

Bridgerton star JONATHAN BAILEY returns to the London stage for the first time since Olivier Award winning performance in the acclaimed production of Company

Rising star JADE ANOUKA (His Dark Materials BBC, Shakespeare Trilogy at the Donmar Warehouse) returns to the West End

Veteran of stage and screen, PHIL DANIELS (Quadrophenia, This House at the National Theatre) completes the stellar cast.

To be directed by Olivier and Tony Award winner


Performances begin 5 March 2022 | Ambassadors Theatre

Taron Egerton, Jonathan BaileyJade Anouka and Phil Daniels star in C O C K, the first West End production of Mike Bartlett’s Olivier award winning play about love and identity.

Directed by Tony and Olivier award winning Marianne Elliott, it will have a limited run at the Ambassadors Theatre in London from Saturday 5 March 2022 to Saturday 4 June 2022

Tickets go on sale today (from 10am on Friday 24 September 2021).

‘The fact is that some of us like women and some like men and that’s fine that’s good in fact that’s good, a good thing, but it seems to me that you’ve become confused.’

John (Jonathan Bailey) is happy in himself and with his boyfriend (Taron Egerton), until one day he meets the woman of his dreams (Jade Anouka).

In a world full of endless possibilities why must we still limit ourselves with labels?Mike Bartlett’srazor sharp play redefines the battle of the sexes as we know it. 

Marianne Elliott said  ‘I feel so excited to be working on this beautifully crafted and hilarious play by Mike Bartlett. It keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. A truly theatrical piece in that it asks the audience to enter the imagination of the storytelling – as only live theatre can do. It’s also all about the acting so to have such a talented, highly experienced, stellar cast is an absolute dream!’

Mike Bartlett added:  ‘I love Marianne Elliott’s work and have done for a long time, so I’m thrilled to be able to collaborate with her on this revival. Especially with this incredible cast, which I know will bring both a fresh take and vast experience to a play about love, identity and the passionate human being.” 

Taron Egerton won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Sir Elton John in Rocketman and also recorded the original song for the film I’m Gonna Love Again with Sir Elton which went on to win Best Original Song at the Academy Awards. He will next be seen starring in Blackbird, a limited series drama for Apple TV alongside Paul Walter Hauser, Tetris directed by Jon S. Baird and produced by Matthew Vaughn for Apple + and is also set to star in Claire Denis’ romantic drama thriller Stars at Noon, opposite Margaret Qualley. Egerton shot to fame when he played Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin in Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service and reprised the role in Kingsman: The Golden Circle.  Other credits include Eddie the EagleTestament of Youth, Legend, Sing, Robin Hood, and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. On stage he has appeared in The Last of the Haussmans at the National Theatre and Tommy in No Quarter at the Royal Court Theatre. 

Jonathan Bailey won an Olivier Award for his ground-breaking role of Jamie in Marianne Elliott’s West End revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical Company.  Jonathan plays Viscount Anthony Bridgerton in the Netflix’ period drama, Bridgerton, a role he is reprising in the second series scheduled for release in 2022.  His other TV credits include the ITV series Broadchurch, Leonardo da Vinci in Leonardo, Me and Mrs Jones, Doctor Who and WIA (all for the BBC) and Crashing and Chewing Gum for Channel 4.  His theatre credits include David Hare’s South DownsAmerican Psycho at the Almeida Theatre, The York Realist at The Donmar Warehouse, and King Lear (alongside Sir Ian McKellen) for Chichester Festival Theatre.

Jade Anouka’s recent TV credits include Ruta Skadi in BBC/HBO’s His Dark Materials, Channel 5’s The Drowning and ITV’s Cleaning Up. Her film credits include Ear For EyeFisherman’s Friends and Last Christmas. In theatre Jade has played the title roles in Hampstead’s Olivier nominated The Phlebotomist and Queen Margaret at The Royal Exchange. Other theatre credits include Moon On A Rainbow Shawl at The National Theatre, Doctor Faustus in the West End and the Donmar Warehouse Shakespeare Trilogy where she played Mark Antony in Julius Caesar, Hotspur in Henry IV and Ariel in The Tempest.  She wrote, directed and co-starred in a short film –  Her & Her for BBC’s Culture In Quarantine series which has since got in to 23 film festivals

Phil Daniels’ early films include Anoop and the ElephantBugsy MaloneBreaking GlassScum and the central role of Jimmy in Quadrophenia. He starred in a 1985 British snooker musical, Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire. More recent films include playing the voice of Fletcher in Chicken RunFree JimmyFreebirdVinyl and The Hatton Garden Job.  He narrated tracks Parklife and Me, White Noise on the Parklife and Think Tank albums for Blur.  On TV,  he played Kevin Wicks in EastEnders and appeared in Sunnyside Farm, Time Gentlemen Please, and Rock and Chips.  His theatre credits include: The Merchant of Venice, The Jew of Malta and A Clockwork Orange for the RSC, This House for the National Theatre, King Lear at Chichester Festival Theatre and Thenardier in Les Miserables in the West End.

Mike Bartlett is a multi-award-winning writer for both stage and screen. His five part drama series Doctor Foster won the National Television Award for Best New Drama and was seen by almost 10 million viewers. Other television work includes  Life, Doctor Foster series 2King Charles III Sticks and StonesTrauma, PressDoctor Who and The Town. Bartlett’s stage plays include: VassaAlbion and Game for the Almeida Theatre,  Snowflake for Arts at the Old Fire Station; Wild at Hampstead Theatre; the Olivier Award winning King Charles III at the Almeida Theatre, Wyndham’s Theatre and Music Box Theatre in New York (also winner of the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play 2014);  An Intervention for Paines Plough and Watford; Bull at Sheffield Theatres, Off Broadway and the Young Vic (Winner of Best New Play at the National Theatre Awards 2013); Medea for Headlong, Glasgow Citizens, Watford Theatre and Warwick; Chariots of Fire at the Hampstead Theatre the Gielgud Theatre in the West End; 13 at National Theatre; Cock for the Royal Court; Decade for Headlong; Earthquakes in London for Headlong and the National Theatre; Love, Love, Love for Paines Plough, Plymouth Theatre Royal, the Royal Court, Roundabout Theatre Company, New York and the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre; Contractions for the Royal Court and Crucible Theatre, Sheffield; My Child for the Royal Court; Artefacts for the Bush Theatre and Honest for the Theatre Royal Northampton.

Marianne Elliott recently directed Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Company at the Gielgud Theatre.  It won four Olivier Awards including ‘Best Revival of a Musical’.  Its Broadway transfer will re-open (following the Covid shutdown) in New York this autumn. Her other shows for Elliott & Harper include the Olivier Award winning Death of a Salesman (co-directed with Miranda Cromwell) in the West End and at the Young Vic.  For the National Theatre she directed the Olivier and Tony award-winning Angels in America (in London and on Broadway), the Olivier and Tony-award-winning The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (at the NT, West End, on Broadway and on tour).  She co-directed the world-wide hit War Horse alongside Tom Morris (at the NT, West End on Broadway and on tour).  She received a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play for War Horse. On winning the Tony Award for Curious Incident in New York, Marianne became the first woman in Broadway history to have won two Tony Awards for Best Direction of a Play.  Other productions at the NT include The Light Princess, Women Beware Women, Port, Saint Joan (Olivier Award for Best Revival, South Bank Show Award) and Pillars of the Community (Evening Standard Best Director Award). Elliott recently directed two of the episodes of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads for the BBC.

Joining Marianne Elliott on the creative team are:  Designer Merle Hensel, Lighting Designer Paule Constable, Sound Designer Ian Dickinson, Composer Femi Temowo, Movement Director Annie-Lunette Deakin-Foster, Casting Director Charlotte Sutton, Vocal Coach Hazel Holder and Associate Director Chloe Christian.

C O C K is produced by Elliott & Harper Productions.




Wiltshire Creative today announces the winners of two arts prizes awarded in their Summer Open exhibition. The Memory Fine Arts Prize allocated to the winner of the public vote went to Lara Hoad and The Noble Arts Prize awarded by Sharon Noble to the winner of under 25’s category is Isla Kearley

Following on from their exuberant showcase of South West talent in their Summer Open exhibition, Wiltshire Creative is also proud to present Makers’ Tale exhibition a result of the collaboration between Wiltshire Creative and The University for the Creative Arts Farnham in association with Salisbury Cathedral. The exhibition artists are Hermione Thomson (textiles), Peta Jacobs (textiles), Manuela Kagerbauer (metal), Michelle Shields (ceramics) and Cara Wassenberg (glass and metal) and composer Dr Harry Whalley together with composer Akira Sileas and Cellist Anna Menzies. Makers’ Tale exhibition runs at Salisbury Arts Centre from 14 September to 30 October 2021. 

Initially intended for the Salisbury International Arts Festival 2020, Makers’ Tale exhibition was produced in the first lockdown virtually in the form of an online panel discussion and exhibition catalogue. Now finally installed at Salisbury Arts Centre, this exhibition explores the themes of the movement of ideas between disciplines, the relationships which arise from disciplinary crossovers, and the passing and advancement of skills. Through creative media such as sculpture, light work, textiles, music, ceramic, metal, and sound, Makers’ Tale highlights the persistence of craft knowledge within the context of modern creative industries. 

Makers’ Tale exhibition further includes the work by recent UCA graduates Charlotte BullWendy IrvingLizzie LovellKatie SimsEleanor Cocking and Jamie Dunlop Valentine created in response to a behind the scenes visit to Salisbury Cathedral in January 2020.  

Makers’ Tale exhibition curators Loucia Manopoulou (PhD UCA candidate), and Mirka Golden-Hann, Head of Visual Arts at Wiltshire Creative have been invited to present an exhibition paper at an online international symposium organized by Applied Arts Scotland; Identity, Collaboration And Sustainability: Festival of Craft on 27, 28 and 29 September. 

Diana Harrison, UCA Senior Lecturer Textiles said today, ‘This is a particularly important experience for our international students, for whom witnessing hidden sites of the Cathedral is a unique insight into our culture.’ 

Loucia Manopoulou, Makers’ Tale Exhibition’s curator said today, Makers’ Tale and its storytellers communicate a continuum of life and craft making. Space, place, collaboration and the making process become visible and audible within the exhibition. It is a credit to the makers’ abilities as storytellers that we can picture the movement of ideas, of making and the transfer of knowledge.’  

The exhibition also includes an associated educational programme consisting of an Audio Research Cluster: Sound in Spaces seminar With Dr James Armstrong and Dr Harry Whalley on 20 October and Eco-Resin Mixed Media Making Workshop with exhibition artist Hermione Thomson on 16 October. 

London Tour: All immigrant variety show – WE LIKE TO MOVE IT MOVE IT!

ice&fire –and Matthew Schmolle Productions Present




There’s something for everyone! (But should there be?)

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Created by Olivier-award winning director Donnacadh O’Briain and playwright Amy Ng

Made in collaboration with Dr Sarah Fine and the Philosophy Department at King’s College London.

28 September – 16 October 2021

 Various venues across London Bethnal Green, Hornchurch, Wembley, Willesden Green, 

Catford, South Kilburn, Harlsden, Neasden, Norwood, Shoreditch

ice&fire –and Matthew Schmolle Productions are delighted to announce the London tour of a brand-newall-immigrant variety show. WE LIKE TO MOVE IT MOVE IT is performed by a clown collective of immigrant performers, who take the audience on a journey of variety and satire. grappling with our decade’s stickiest subject; immigration.  It’s a show where karaoke meets moral philosophy, incorporating a stand-up pigeon double act, smorgasbord of characters, plenty of juice, plenty of biscuits and plenty of food for thought.

ice&fire have established themselves as a theatre company renowned for their use of performance to explore human rights issues, in WE LIKE TO MOVE IT MOVE IT, the cast do just that. Because while Brexit is now ‘done’ it seems we are still far from done with the age-old immigration ‘question.’ This all-immigrant variety show, has been created by Olivier award winner Donnacadh O’Briain (Ireland) and playwright Amy Ng (Hong Kong), with a company of actors; Jahmila Heath (Jamaica), Tomoko Komura (Japan), Gaël Le Cornec (Brazil-via-France) and Sergio Maggiolo (Peru). Collectively they are over 29,000 miles from home.

Touring to every corner of London, visiting venues in Bethnal Green, Hornchurch, Wembley, Willesden Green, 

Catford, South Kilburn, Harlsden, Neasden, Norwood, and Shoreditch – and serving up jokes, songs and satire, the performers ask; ‘What is behind our societal acceptance of immigration control? What does it say about us and what do those who have come to the UK from somewhere else want to say about it?’ 

Christine Bacon from ice&fire says: ‘As a company, ice&fire have for some time been concerned with the here and now of human rights stories and what can be done to make current systems more fair. With this project, we are trying to take a big step back and interrogate how and why immigration controls are seen as such a common sense and ‘natural’ feature of our world. But with clowns, so it will make you smile.’

Matthew Schmolle says: ‘We are passionate about getting this show out beyond the traditional theatre-world-echo-chamber, getting it in front of the broadest audience possible and seeing what all those people have to say about these over-looked issues which under pin so much of modern discourse around immigration’.


Tuesday 28th September – Saturday 16th October: 

Evenings (Timings vary, see www.iceandfire.co.uk/project/wltmimi for full information)

Tickets: Range from £Free – £15

Performance length: Approximately 60 minutes with no interval. 


Tuesday 28th September & Thursday 30th September                         St Margarets House, Bethnal Green 

Tuesday 5th October                                      Queens Theatre Hornchurch, 

Thursday 7th October & Friday 8th October                                                           The Yellow, Wembley

Saturday 9th October                                     The Library at Willesden Green, Willesden 

Monday 11th October                                                         Lewisham Irish Community Centre, Catford 

Tuesday 12th October                                                                                  The Granville Community Centre, South Kilburn

Wednesday 13th October                               The Roundwood Community Centre, Harlsden

Thursday 14th October                                   St Catherine’s Church, Neasden

 Friday 15th October                                       Stanley Arts, Norwood 

Saturday 16th October                                                                RichMix, Shoreditch

She’s back! La Voix comes to York!



Saturday 13 November 2021 at 7.30pm

Award winning star and Royal Family favourite La Voix is on tour with her brand new performance extravaganza, titled, ‘The UK’s Funniest Red Head.’ La Voix’s shows have become a phenomenon in many towns and cities around the world and 2021 sees La Voix’s most glamorous show yet taking the UK by storm! Most famously known for making it down to the finals of Britain’s Got Talent, La Voix has since gone on to be a regular on stage and screen! The show promises an impressive new repertoire of songs and gags and no less than 8 stunning new gowns! A Celebrity favourite, La Voix’s accolades are endless, even receiving validation from comedy icon – Jennifer Saunders who advises show goers ‘to wear thick pants because you’ll wet yourself laughing’ The diva’s effortless vocal performances are interspersed with a razor-sharp wit which brings audiences to their feet time and time again, whistling for more at every show. Broadway Baby wrote: “La Voix’s patter is lightning fast and stomach-punchingly funny.” La Voix’s unique act has not only caught the imagination of theatre goers and fellow performers across the globe, but when the feisty, flame-haired phenomenon is not giving it out on her hilarious talk show on BBC Radio Three Counties, she’s busy performing for the royal, rich and the famous. She has twice entertained Princes William and Harry at their New Year’s Eve party, and also topped the bill at Sir Ian McKellan’s 80th birthday bash when she was lavishly commended by the knight of the realm who said: “La Voix’s impersonations are surpassed only by her own cheekily entertaining personality. A genuine one-off!” This will be the hottest ticket in town and spoken about for months to come, so grab your ticket now to see The UK’s Funniest Red Head in action.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks Review

New Victoria Theatre, Woking – until 25 September 2021

Reviewed by Liberty Noke


Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a classic movie I remember watching as a child and I was very excited to see it revived as a stage musical so that a new generation of children could enjoy it.

It is the story of 3 children who lost their parents to bombing during the war so are evacuated to the countryside. They meet the extravagant Miss Price who they soon learn is a witch who plans to use her magic to prevent further loss of life in the war. Using an enchanted bedknob the children and Miss Price travel in search of a spell and along the way they encounter many adventures.

In the beginning the stage appears small with just a bed set up in the centre but as the bombs fall the set is taken away to show the damage and reveal the whole stage. The set then changes to a large door to represent the museum where there was also a suit of armour.

Miss Price played by Dianne Pilkington had excellent stage presence from the moment she entered with her purple outfit and goggles. She had an extravagant manner about her but was likeable from the beginning. Pilkington played the part incredibly. Conor O’Hara gave a memorable performance as Charlie perfectly capturing the energy and cheekiness of a 13 year old boy and giving a show stopping performance of Negotiality.

I thoroughly enjoyed this show as did the rest of the audience. It was wonderful to see so many children there, for many their first time in a theatre. And to see them fall in love with theatre as I have. They were peering into the orchestra and whispering to their parents to ask how the bed was flying – I as an adult am still unsure of this but I think that is part of what makes this show so magical. Every audience member was watching in amazement.

A tremendous show that will have children and parents alike believing in magic!

Blood Brothers Review

Newcastle Theatre Royal – until 25 September 2021


“So, did you’hear the story of the Johnstone twins?”

Well, if you haven’t you must! The phenomenon that is Blood Brothers has been captivating audiences for over 30 years now. Willy Russell’s moving tale of two twin boys who are separated at birth and grow up on opposite sides of the social-class spectrum, only to meet up again with devastating consequences, has established itself as a contemporary classic around the globe. 

Having seen the show numerous times before, the characters and plot are familiar to me but, despite that, Blood Brothers grips me each and every time with its poignancy, humour, tenderness and tragedy.

The role of Mrs Johnstone must be one of the most coveted in musical theatre and the struggling single mother “with seven hungry mouths to feed and one more nearly due” has been played by a whole host of well-known actresses. Lyn Paul is the actress who is currently re-wearing the care-worn smile and crossover pinny for the last time.

Paul presents the audience with quite a different ‘Mrs J’ – although she is maternal, understanding, compassionate, earthy and warm-hearted, she also displays a nervous vulnerability. In addition to a phenomenal acting performance, she delivers her musical numbers with meaning and conviction and her voice is clear, rich and full of emotion.

Alex Patmore, as Mickey, and Joel Benedict as Eddie are outstanding. It can’’t be easy to convincingly play a seven year old child but both of them achieve it admirably, capturing every childhood nuance accurately. The transition to teenager, then man, is equally convincing. Both actors display great skill with the many poignant scenes that they share and the contrast between ‘posh’ Edward and ‘scruffy’ Mickey manifests itself perfectly in their performances. Patmore makes the most of Mickey’s comedic qualities without ever over-playing them and Benedict gives Eddie an endearing charm and vulnerability.

Danielle Corlass plays Linda, the girl both boys fall in love with. She, too, gives a fine performance throughout, especially in the scene where she tries to persuade Mickey to stop taking the anti-depressants that have transformed him into an empty shell of a man.

Robbie Scotcher plays the significant role of the Narrator, a spectral figure who personifies the moral consciences of Mrs Johnstone and Mrs Lyons, and his performance is as strong and sinister as it should be. His ominous presence hovers around like a dark storm cloud on a sunny day and his strong and powerful voice is hauntingly beautiful.

The strong supporting cast includes Paula Tappenden and Grace Galloway who play Mrs Lyons and Donna-Marie respectively. Daniel Taylor is bad-boy Sammy and Tim Churchill is Mr Lyons.

Blood Brothers is a production that goes from strength to strength, its appeal growing over the years rather than diminishing. It is so powerful a play that it can be watched time and time again without ever losing any of its emotional impact or social relevance.

Wherever it is performed, Blood Brothers receives a standing ovation from an approving audience with no exception. This production is heart-warming, tear-jerking, uplifting, devastating and, above all else, brilliant!

The cast and audiences are currently collecting money in memory of Graham Martin, a much loved member of the Blood Brothers family, who sadly died last year.  The Graham Martin Bursary has been set up in conjunction with Arts Ed.  The bursary will provide a helping hand to young performers of exceptional talent during their years of study at ArtsEd.  In addition to being awarded financial support, the bursary recipients will also be mentored by well-established theatre professionals, reflecting the generosity with which Graham shared his own expertise and experience for so many years.  Donations can be made here Graham Martin Bursary Appeal

Luminosa Review

Jacksons Lane, London – until 29 September, then touring

Reviewed by Debra Stottor


Jacksons Lane in north London has been closed for some time, not just because of the pandemic, but for extensive refurbishments, so it was good to see this community arts centre open its doors again, in advance of the full reopening at the end of October.

This is the world premiere of Luminosa, a brand-new, thrill-a-minute circus cabaret from Jacksons Lane and Lost in Translation. The venue is the UK’s leading supporter of contemporary circus, so it’s appropriate that the reopening show is a display of some of the most skilled acrobatics you’ll see, all performed with style, panache and a healthy dose of humour.

The skills on show are both breathtaking and spellbinding – we were treated to a feast of Chinese pole, silks, straps, aerial hoop, hand balancing, acrobatics, hooping, flying pole and much more. I was particularly in awe of the juggler lying on her back juggling five football-sized balls with her hands and feet, but equally astounded by the skill, strength and extreme flexibility of all the participants as they twisted, twirled and threw each other around for 70 minutes.

Special mentions go out to Zaki Musa, who managed to work his way up, down and around a spinning pole while rocking sky-high heels (and leaving very little to the imagination, clothing-wise), and to Roisin Morris and Massimiliano Rossetti for their Korean cradle work – he stands high in a frame, swinging her back and forth and releasing her to unleash spectacular somersaults and twists, then catching her as she returns. The teamwork here truly makes the dream work.

The original music, written and performed by Peter Reynolds, gave an air of pre-war Berlin cabaret, and made the perfect match for the drama of the action on stage.

Having seen an earlier Lost in Translation production, The Hogwallops, I knew I was in for a treat, and certainly wasn’t disappointed. This is one of the UK’s leading circus ensembles, touring internationally throughout the year, and Luminosa will be showing nationwide from October.

Jacksons Lane is the flagship arts and cultural venue in Haringey, and the transformative redevelopment of this historic building aims to improve accessibility, create a better audience experience, modernise the studio spaces and provide a flexible working environment. Work is still under way, but if Studio One, where we enjoyed post-show drinks, is anything to go by, this is set to be a space well worth visiting in the future.