Roustabout’s Autumn 2021 tour of “This Island’s Mine” exploring themes of colonialism, identity and place

Roustabout announces the Autumn 2021 tour of its new family show 

 This Island’s Mine 

 exploring themes of colonialism, identity and place 

In early 2020, the Bristol-based theatre company Roustabout (creators of Luna and One Small Step) worked with 195 primary and secondary students to develop its new show, This Island’s Mine, exploring themes of colonialism, identity and place. The making of the play is informed directly by the thoughts and opinions of those students. It is written and directed by Toby Hulse, who has twice won the Distinguished Play Award from the American Alliance of Theatre and Education. Set in the magical and comic world of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, this vital new play encourages young people to explore complex and sensitive issues of colonisation, immigration and national identity: Where do I belong? Where is my home? Is it truly mine? 

The premiere production will tour in Autumn 2021 to 25 primary and secondary schools in the South West as well as to the following arts venues: Watermans, London (19 Sept), The Poly, Falmouth (25 Sept), Burton Taylor Studio, Oxford Playhouse (2-3 Oct), the egg, Bath (9 Oct), Theatr Clwyd, Mold (16 Oct), Bridport Arts Centre (23 Oct), Exeter Phoenix (24 Oct), The Pound, Corsham (27 Oct), Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol (28-31 Oct), Blackwood Miners Institute (6 Nov) and Valley Arts, Chew Valley (7 Nov). 

Blending Brechtian and Forum Theatre techniques that encourage the audience to think, question and challenge, This Island’s Mine focuses on a debate between three inhabitants of an island – one of the first peoples (Ariel), a second generation religious refugee (Caliban) and a Western coloniser (Stephano) – who all believe the island is theirs. 

Ariel was always here. Caliban was born here. And Stephano has just arrived. They all claim ‘this island’s mine’. But do any of them have that right? And what happens if they can’t agree?  

Filled with magic, music and mayhem, Roustabout presents a playful and daring exploration of the place we choose to call home, for children and their families. At a time when young people are questioning closely their own experiences, identities and education, the play’s themes are more pressing than ever.  

The production will be supported by an online educational resource, created with experts, academics, creatives and young people, designed to challenge, provoke and stimulate debate around these difficult but essential questions. 

The cast of This Island’s Mine is Robin Hemmings (Oi Frog & Friends! (Pins and Needles); One Small Step (Oxford Playhouse); War Game (Bristol Old Vic)) as Caliban, Kesty Morrison (The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (RSC); Hamlet (The Globe); The Price (The Young Vic)) as Ariel and Eleanor Pead (Why Would You (The Barbican); Too Late (Market Theatre Hitchin)) as Stephano. 

The Creative Team is Writer and Director Toby Hulse, Associate Director Oliver de Rohan, Designer Maria Terry, Composer Tarek Merchant, Lighting Designer Jeremy Costello, Sound Designer Oliver Wareham, Set Builder Jonathan Attwood and Prop Maker Tish Mantripp. 

This Island’s Mine was developed with support from Arts Council of England and Tobacco Factory Theatres, in partnership with the Cathedral Schools Trust, One Bristol Curriculum and University of Bristol. 

Roustabout is a Bristol-based family theatre company who have produced six highly acclaimed productions since forming in 2018, including the OFFIE nominated digital production of Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish. Writer/director Toby Hulse has worked with Bristol Old Vic, The Old Rep, Pickled Image, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Travelling Light, the egg and the Unicorn Theatre. Toby is an expert when it comes to making work for young audiences, as seen in his productions of The Lost World and War Game (Bristol Old Vic), his adaptation of Around the World in Eighty Days (Bristol Old Vic), and his international touring production of One Small Step (Oxford Playhouse), which starred Roustabout’s Robin Hemmings. Robin Hemmings has also appeared in both The Lost Worldand War Game (both at Bristol Old Vic), as well as the wonderful Medusa, all by Olivier award-winning Adam Peck and the Olivier nominated Oi Frog & Friends! by Pins and Needles Productions.  

For more information about This Island’s Mine, which is suitable for everyone aged 7+, visit https://www.roustabouttheatre.co.uk.  

LISTINGS 

Title:                This Island’s Mine 

Company:        Roustabout Theatre       

Running time:  1 hour 

Age suitability:  Targeted at KS2 – KS4 year groups, the play is suitable for everyone aged 7+.  

2021 Tour Dates: 

19 September  Watermans, London https://www.watermans.org.uk020 8232 1010 

25 September  The Poly, Falmouth https://thepoly.org  01326 319461  

2-3 October      Burton Taylor Studio, Oxford Playhouse 01865 305305 

https://www.oxfordplayhouse.com/about-us/burton-taylor-studio/

9 October         the egg, Bath https://www.theatreroyal.org.uk/your-visit/the-egg/ 01225 448844 

16 October       Theatr Clwyd, Mold https://www.theatrclwyd.com 01352 344101 

23 October       Bridport Arts Centre https://www.bridport-arts.com 01308 427183 

24 October       Exeter Phoenix https://exeterphoenix.org.uk 01392 667080 

27 October       The Pound, Corsham https://poundarts.org.uk  01249 701628  

28-31 Oct         Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol https://tobaccofactorytheatres.com/  0117 902 0344 

6 November     Blackwood Miners Institute https://blackwoodminersinstitute.com 01495 227206 

7 November     Valley Arts, Chew Valley https://www.valleyartscentre.co.uk info@valleyartscentre.co.uk 

CURVE TO STAGE FIRST NEW UK PRODUCTION OF BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL IN 2022

FIRST NEW UK PRODUCTION OF

BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL

PRODUCED BY CURVE – RUNNING FOR SIX WEEKS ONLY

7 JULY – 14 AUGUST 2022

DIRECTED BY NIKOLAI FOSTER

Leicester’s Curve theatre will stage the first new UK production of iconic musical Billy Elliot.

The Made at Curve production will be directed by the theatre’s Artistic Director Nikolai Foster and is set to run exclusively at Curve for six weeks only, 7 July to 14 August 2022. The musical will be choreographed by Lucy Hind (Girl From the North CountyThe Last Ship) with full casting to be announced in due course.

Based on Stephen Daldry’s BAFTA-winning 2000 film starring Jamie Bell and Julie WaltersBilly Elliot the Musical features music from Elton John and book and lyrics by Lee Hall. The musical first premiered at London’s Victoria Palace Theatre in 2005 and went on to win a host of international awards, including four Laurence Olivier Awards and ten Tony Awards.

Children’s casting will be managed by Jo Hawes CDG, the leading children’s casting director in the UK. Auditions for the title role and young people will begin soon and those interested in finding out more are encouraged to contact Jo Hawes by emailing joanne.hawes2013@gmail.com. All information will also be available on johawes.com.

Adult casting is led by Curve Associate Kay Magson CDG.

The musical’s set and costumes will be designed by Colin Richmond, with lighting from Curve Associate Ben Cracknell.

Speaking about this new Made at Curve production, Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said:

“We are beyond excited to share Lee Hall and Elton John’s astonishing musical Billy Elliot with Curve audiences, ensuring summer 2022 in Leicester is truly memorable.

Billy Elliot is a musical filled with incredible characters, epic ideas and at its heart, the story of a young boy who has the passion and courage to dance down a different path from the one prescribed for him. We are indebted to the incredible creatives who made Billy such a hit and hugely grateful they have trusted us to create the first brand new UK production for our audiences in Leicester. Collaborating with a terrific production team and an incredible cast of the most exciting young performers, we are proud to present this mighty musical which recognises the value of culture in our society, the importance of expressing your truest self and gives a voice to the courageous working class communities who are depicted in Lee Hall’s astonishing play. All beautifully framed by Elton John’s electrifying score.”

It’s the mid 80s. Thatcher is at her most powerful. Men mine and boys box. Until, in a small town in County Durham, a young boy falls in love with ballet.

Set amidst the increasingly bitter 1984/85 miners’ strike, Billy Elliot the Musical is a tale of determination, acceptance and daring to be different. In a close-knit community where family and tradition means everything, can Billy forge a new destiny and follow his passion?

Based on Stephen Daldry’s acclaimed 2000 film, with music by Elton John and book and lyrics by Lee Hall, this electrifying musical features incredible songs such as Solidarity, The Letter, He Could Be a Star and the show-stopping Electricity.

Tickets for Billy Elliot the Musical at Curve will go on sale to Curve Friends from Thursday 30 September, Supporters from Friday 1 October, Members, Groups and Access Register Customers from Monday 4 October and on general sale from Monday 11 October, all at 12 noon. Tickets can be purchased online at www.curveonline.co.uk or by calling Curve’s Box Office on 0116 242 3595

Cast announced for the Spectacular Spectacular! MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL

CAST ANNOUNCED FOR THE SPECTACULAR SPECTACULAR!

Image

LIISI LaFONTAINE and JAMIE BOGYO to star as the iconic lovers, Satine and Christian

Olivier Award nominated actors CLIVE CARTER and JASON PENNYCOOKE also announced as principal cast

Alex Timbers’ acclaimed production begins performances from 12 November at Piccadilly Theatre, London

Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Baz Luhrmann’s revolutionary film comes to life

Clockwise from left: Timmika Ramsay, Clive Carter, Liisi LaFontaine, Jamie Bogyo, Elia Lo Tauro, Sophie Carmen Jones, Simon Bailey, Jason Pennycooke, Jonathan Bishop, Zoe Birkett. Photo by Jay Brooks

Global Creatures, the producer of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, is thrilled to announce today the cast for the UK premiere of the acclaimed show, which begins performances at the Piccadilly Theatre in London on Friday 12 November 2021).

Liisi LaFontaine (Good Trouble, Dreamgirls) will star as Satine, the sparkling diamond at the heart of the Moulin Rouge, and Jamie Bogyo (making his West End debut) will star as aspiring writer Christian.

Clive Carter (Olivier Award nominee for his performance as the Prince/Wolf in Into the Woods, and as Claude in Come From Away) will play the legendary Moulin Rouge impresario, Harold Zidler.

The principal casting also features Simon Bailey (HeathersJersey Boys) as The Duke, Jason Pennycooke (Olivier Award nominee for his performance as Lafayette/Jefferson in the original cast of Hamilton, Bobby Dupree in Memphis and Jacob La Cage Aux Folles) and Elia Lo Tauro (On Your FeetCarousel) as the Bohemians Toulouse-Lautrec and Santiago.

The club’s famed entertainers known as the ‘Lady Ms’ will be played by Sophie Carmen Jones (ChicagoJersey Boys) who will be Nini, Zoe Birkett (Priscilla Queen of the DesertHair) as Arabia, Jonathan Bishop (Hamilton, In the Heights) who will play Baby Doll and Timmika Ramsay (CinderellaMadagascar) as La Chocolat.

The full company is completed by Femi Akinfolarin, Robson Broad, Ian Carlyle, Jonathan Cordin, Anthony Cragg, Katie Ella Dunsden, Adam Gillian, Luke Jackson, Alicia Mencía, Ciro Lourencio Meulens, Georgia Morgan, Melissa Nettleford, Ian Oswald, Craig Ryder, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda, Katie Singh, Ope Sowande, Tanisha Spring, Toyan Thomas-Browne, Amy Thornton, Misty May Tindall, Jon Tsouras, Tommy Wade-Smith and Lily Wang.

“Creating Moulin Rouge! The Musical has been a singularly thrilling and unique experience. I am delighted today to announce the incredible group of actors who will bring this production to life in London. We have brought together a thrilling, hugely talented group of artists, and in Liisi and Jamie, we have two outstanding actors to lead our company. We are all so excited to now start creating the show for UK audiences!” said Alex Timbers, director of Moulin Rouge! The Musical.

Enter a world of splendour and romance, of eye-popping excess, of glitz, grandeur and glory! A world where Bohemians and aristocrats rub elbows and revel in electrifying enchantment. Pop the champagne and prepare for the spectacular spectacular…Welcome to Moulin Rouge! The Musical.

Directed by Alex Timbers (Here Lies Love at the National Theatre, Tony Award®-nominated for Bloody Bloody Andrew JacksonPeter and the StarcatcherMoulin Rouge! The Musical has a book by John Logan (Tony Award® for Red, three-time Academy Award nominee, including for Gladiator and The Aviator), choreography by Sonya Tayeh (Lucille Lortel Award and Obie Award for Kung Fu, and Emmy winner), and music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Justin Levine (Here Lies Love).

The design team for Moulin Rouge! The Musical includes Tony Award® winner Derek McLane (sets; his credits include Beautiful – The Carole King Musical), Tony Award® winner Catherine Zuber (costumes; credits include The King & I, for which she won the Olivier Award for Best Costume Design), two-time Tony Award® nominee Justin Townsend (lighting), Peter Hylenski (sound), Drama Desk Award winner David Brian Brown (hair and wig design; credits include Come From Away) and Sarah Cimino (make-up design). Casting is by Pippa Ailion CDG and Natalie Gallacher CDG.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical is produced by Carmen Pavlovic and Gerry Ryan OAM for Global Creatures and Bill Damaschke. The Executive Producer in the West End is Patrick Murphy and General Management is by Playful Productions.

Set in Paris, 1899, a world of indulgent beauty and unparalleled extravagance, of bohemians and aristocrats, of boulevardiers and reprobates, Moulin Rouge! The Musical is the story of a lovesick American writer, Christian, and Satine, the dazzling star of the Moulin Rouge nightclub.

When their lives collide at the Moulin Rouge, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be thwarted by the nightclub’s host and impresario, Harold Zidler, and The Duke of Monroth, the wealthy and entitled patron of the club who thinks he can buy anything he wants, including Satine. Together with his Bohemian friends – the brilliant and starving artist Toulouse-Lautrec, and the greatest tango dancer in all of Paris, Santiago – Christian stages a musical spectacular in an attempt to save the Moulin Rouge and win the heart of Satine.

Baz Luhrmann’s iconic film comes to life onstage, remixed for today in a new musical mash-up extravaganza. Moulin Rouge! The Musical invites you to enter a world of passionate romance and eye-popping splendour… a place where Bohemians and aristocrats revel together in electrifying enchantment… a place where all your wildest dreams come true! 

Bringing Moulin Rouge! The Musical to the stage was a decade-long journey, spanning 3 continents, encompassing 75 songs credited to 165 songwriters, administered by 31 publishers, representing over 160 years of music, including recent hits released since the movie premiered 20 years ago.

The Moulin Rouge! The Musical original Broadway Cast Album, which debuted at No.1 on Billboard’s Cast Albums Chart, is available at all digital and streaming providers by Baz Luhrmann’s label, House of Iona, and RCA Records. Click here to listen to the album.

Prior to the pandemic, Moulin Rouge! The Musical had been performing on Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre where it opened to widespread critical acclaim on 25 July 2019. Productions have also been announced for Australia, Japan and a North American Tour.

A theatrical celebration of Truth, Beauty, Freedom and — above all — Love, thisis more than a musical… it is a state of mind. Welcome to the Moulin Rouge! 

TELL ME STRAIGHT RETURNS TO LONDON!

Website | Twitter | Facebook

TELL ME STRAIGHT RETURNS TO LONDON!

Gartland Productions are pleased to announce the return of Offies Commendation production, Tell Me Straight by Paul Bradshaw.

Following a hugely successful run in this year’s Queer Season at the King’s Head Theatre, the revival of Tell Me Straight will open at the Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester on 26th October 2021 before opening at the Turbine Theatre, London on 2nd November 2021.

Paul Bradshaw, writer and co-star of Tell Me Straight said “Tell Me Straight draws on my previous experiences but frames them in a new narrative. This fresh and dynamic production highlights the sexual encounters that made me who I am, both the good and those I’d rather forget… not only to make you laugh but to also remind you, you are not alone” 

Paul Bradshaw co-stars in his hilarious and fast-paced one-act production with George Greenland and Stephanie Levi-John.

Tell Me Straight tells the honest and heartwarming tale about a young Londoner who is approaching the big 3 0, who is trying to find his way. His life, like everyone else’s, needs to change! For the next thirty days, he will be getting his sh*t together; no booze, no fast food and no shagging…but it’s never that easy, eh?

His long-suffering bestie Dani has heard it all before – she’s done with his never-ending line of sexual conquests, all with the one thing in common, they’re straight!

Babe, you need to find a gay man, who actually likes gay men.

But it seems straight men are like buses … In seventy-five minutes, our young Londoner meets Matt, the city boy, Ryan, an actor currently selling perfume, Lee, a fresh-faced grad, and Alex. Are any of them gonna be the one?

Paul Bradshaw, writer and co-star of Tell Me Straight said: “I think there’s something for everyone! This play captures those moments we’ve all felt when swept up in the nervous and fizzy energy when you first start seeing someone. It’s playful and exciting but how long can that spark last? Is it healthy? Is it always a good thing? Tell Me Straight explores that and ultimately poses the question of – do we attract a certain type of person or are we seeking that kind of person?”

Tell Me Straight is directed by Imogen Hudson-Clayton with assistant director Hiba Elchikhe.

Writer Paul Bradshaw and producer Liam Gartland are thrilled that the returning company of Tell Me Straight are composed of queer and/or working-class artists.

Paul Bradshaw writer of Tell Me Straight said: “It’s time to have rooms where the whole company is made up of the people reflected in the work. Representation matters, and we’re excited to get started with this team.”

Liam Gartland, Executive producer at Gartland Productions said: “’After a short run at The King’s Head Theatre, Tell Me Straight received fantastic five-star reviews and an OFFIES Commendation which gave me no other option than to carry on sharing this story with audiences. As a queer theatre producer raised in Manchester, I knew this was a story that needed to reach further afield. Opening the show at The Hope Mill, a place that has inspired me from the beginning, marks a special moment in my career.’

Tickets for Tell Me Straight at both the Hope Mill Theatre and Turbine Theatre are on sale from Monday 20th September 2021.

Glee and Me Review

Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester – until 18 September 2021

Reviewed by Dawn Smallwood

4****

Credit and copyright: Helen Murray

This award-winning comedy, Glee and Me, comes to the Royal Exchange Theatre which coincides with this beautiful theatre’s 45th Birthday. Written by Stuart Slade and starring Liv Hill, an acclaimed performer, this one-woman production is about a 16-year-old girl, Lola, whose sharp wit secures her future until a diagnosis changes her life forever.

Being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour which quickly and negatively impacts her mind, she reprioritises her shortened life with two things she promises herself while she is alive; Firstly, she’s going to get All The Sex and secondly, she is convinced that she will discover the Meaning of Life.

This play gives insight of how resilient one is in the face of adversity and how the human spirit shines through evaluating life and fulfilling opportunities that still remain. Hill’s excellent portrayal of Lola’s and her sharp wit, humour, spirit, bravery and determination wins the audience’s hearts as evident from the reception being received after the performance.

With strong language and explicit packed content, Glee and Me has plenty to think about with references being made about the fragility of life and how easily it can be snatched away. It also looks at how fate dictates but allows one to make the best of it despite the adversaries and obstacles encountered. It also encourages subconsciously to re-examine what life really means after all.

Set centrally and intimately and directed by Nimmo Ismail, Glee and Me is explosive, explicit and evocatively moving! Laughter and happiness are shared along with sadness and poignancy

Cast announced for DREAMGIRLS UK Tour

FULL CAST IS REVEALED FOR THE FIRST EVER UK TOUR OF THE DAZZLING, MULTI-AWARD WINNING WEST END PRODUCTION OF
Image


[L-R Natalie Kassanga, Nicole Raquel Dennis, Paige Peddie. Dreamgirls UK © Matt Crockett].

Sonia Friedman Productions is delighted to reveal the full cast of the dazzling, multi award-winning musical Dreamgirls, as it embarks on its first ever tour of the UK, opening at the Liverpool Empire Theatre this December before visiting cities right across the country throughout 2022 and into 2023.

Dreamgirls will star Nicole Raquel Dennis as Effie White with Sharlene Hector performing the iconic role at certain performances, Natalie Kassanga as Deena Jones, Paige Peddie as Lorrell Robinson, Dom Hartley-Harris as Curtis Taylor Jr., Brandon Lee Sears as Jimmy Early, Shem Omari James as C.C. White, Jo Servi as Marty and Brianna Ogunbawo as Michelle Morris.

The full company will include Shonah Buwu, Harvey Ebbage, Olivia Foster-Browne, Kellianna Jay, Ryan Kayode, Holly Liburd, Ross Meagrow, Samuel Nicholas, Nicole Nyarambi, Ilana Richardson and Josh Singleton.

Featuring the classic songs ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’, ‘Listen’ and ‘One Night Only’, this sensational production ofDreamgirlshad its critically acclaimed West End première in December 2016 at London’s Savoy Theatre, 35 years on from opening on Broadway.

Meet the Dreams – Effie, Lorrell and Deena – three talented young singers in the turbulent 1960s, a revolutionary time in American music history. Join the three friends as they embark upon a musical rollercoaster ride through a world of fame, fortune and the ruthless realities of show business, testing their friendships to the very limit.

A finalist on ITV’s The Voice in 2019Nicole Raquel Dennis wowed viewers and judges at her blind audition, performing Dreamgirls mega-hit ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’ alongside team mentor Jennifer Hudson. Her London stage credits include Alana Beck in the original West End cast of Dear Evan Hansen (BBTA winner – Best Supporting Actress in a Musical), the original West End cast of Waitress (Adelphi Theatre), The Book Of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre) and Dreamgirls (Savoy Theatre).

Soul, Gospel and Blues artist Sharlene Hector has been the singer withGrammy® Award-winning electronic music duo Basement Jaxx as well as providing backing vocals for Sam Sparro, Natasha Bedingfield, Boy George and Mary J. Blige.

Natalie Kassanga’sWest End theatre credits include playing Diana Ross in Motown: The Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre), Young Nala in Disney’s The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre), Dear Evan Hansen (Noel Coward Theatre) and Oliver! (Theatre Royal Drury Lane).

A graduate from the Royal Academy of Music, Paige Peddie was the ‘Unexpected Star’ on BBC1’s Michael McIntyre’s Big Show on Christmas Day, 2018.  Theatre credits include Disney’s The Lion King (UK Tour), Equus and Enron (Nottingham Playhouse).

Dom Hartley-Harris was in the original West End cast of Bat Out of Hell the Musical (Dominion Theatre) with further credits including Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Aldwych Theatre), Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre) and Tiger Bay (Wales Millennium Centre).

American actor, dancer and singer Brandon Lee Sears’ recent London theatre credits include Come From Away (Phoenix Theatre), Motown: The Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre), Heathers (Theatre Royal Haymarket) and On The Town (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre).

A recent graduate of Arts Educational School, London, Shem Omari James’s theatre credits include The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (Leicester Curve) and Songs For A New World (Vaudeville Theatre).

Jo Servi’s theatre credits include The Life (Southwark Playhouse), Dirty Dancing (UK Tour), Sunny Afternoon (Harold Pinter Theatre), City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse), Ragtime (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Jersey Boys (Prince Edward Theatre), The Enchanted Pig (Royal Opera House, UK Tour and in New York), Stephen Fry’s Cinderella (The Old Vic Theatre), Guys And Dolls (Piccadilly Theatre), Oh! What A Night (UK & European Tour), Ragtime (Piccadilly Theatre), Whistle Down The Wind (UK National Tour), My One & Only (Piccadilly Theatre) Disney’s The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre) and Once On This Island, The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe, A Life of Galileo and A Christmas Carol (Birmingham Repertory Theatre).

Brianna Ogunbawo’stheatre credits include The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre),Motown: The Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre), Disney’s The Lion King (UK tour) and Hairspray (UK tour).

This award-winning production of Dreamgirls is Directed and Choreographed by Olivier® and Tony® Award winning Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Mean Girls, Disney’s Aladdin and Something Rotten!), with Set and Costume Design by Tim Hatley, Lighting Design by Hugh Vanstone, Sound Design by Richard Brooker, Hair Design by Josh Marquette, Music Supervision by Nick Finlow and Casting by Natalie Gallacher CDG for Pippa Ailion Casting CDG. The Associate Director is Alison Pollard, the Associate Choreographer is Sean Parkins and the Resident Director is Ricardo Coke-Thomas.

With Book and Lyrics by Tom Eyen and Music by Henry Krieger, with Additional Material by Willie Reale, the original Broadway production of Dreamgirlswas Directed by Michael Bennett who Co-Choreographed the show with Michael Peters. The production opened in 1981 and subsequently won six Tony® Awards with the original cast recording winning two Grammy® Awards for Best Musical Album and Best Vocal Performance for Jennifer Holliday’s ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.’

The 2006 motion picture adaptation of Dreamgirlsstarred Jennifer Hudson (winning her an Oscar® for Best Supporting Actress), Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx.

The Original London Cast Recording of hit West End musical Dreamgirls is available via Sony Masterworks Broadway.

The UK and Ireland tour of Dreamgirls is produced by Sonia Friedman ProductionsGreenleaf Productions, Fakston Productions, Rupert Gavin/Mallory Factor, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Griffin Dohr in association with 1001 Nights Productions, Steven Rivellino.

Samantha Womack to play The White Witch in The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe

FROM THE QUEEN VIC TO THE QUEEN OF NARNIA

SAMANTHA WOMACK

TO PLAY THE WHITE WITCH

IN C.S. LEWIS’

THE LION, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE

TOURING THE UK & IRELAND

FROM 2 NOVEMBER 2021 – 9 APRIL 2022

Final casting was announced today for the smash-hit Leeds Playhouse production of C.S. Lewis’ classic The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe which begins a major tour of the UK and Ireland on November 2, 2021.   TV and theatre star Samantha Womack completes the cast to play Narnia’s evil White Witch.

Samantha Womack said of her new role:

‘Having been a huge fan of C S Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for as long as I can remember,  I am thrilled to be playing the The White Witch. The book has always been a magical read and having watched incredible actors interpret this role in the past, I am excited to see what she holds for me. This production is so beautifully conceived with thrilling sets and costumes and an amazingly talented cast and creative team. I can’t wait to seduce, plot and terrify Narnia into a permanent winter’

Samantha Womack returns to the theatre after her recent success playing the lead role in the sold-out production of The Girl on the Train in the West End and on tour.  Sam’s past theatre roles include the Tony award-winning production of South Pacific in which she starred alongside Patrick Swayze, Guys and Dolls at London’s Piccadilly Theare (directed by Michael Grandage) and playing Emma in an award-winning production of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal (directed by Sir Peter Hall). Her varied work on television has seen Samantha moving from comedy to drama with the cult success of BBC’s Game On and Babes in the Wood  to ITV’s gritty crime drama Liverpool 1Imogen’s Face and Ronnie Mitchell in EastEnders.  Films include playing the unhinged mother of Eggsy in the The Kingsman franchise sharing the screen with Colin Firth and Samuel L Jackson and playing Hazel in Jon Godbers  Up ‘n Under. 

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe begins its tour at Curve, Leicester on Tuesday 2 November 2021, travelling on to AylesburySouthamptonSunderlandSalfordCardiffAberdeenNottinghamEdinburghCanterburyPlymouthGlasgowBirminghamDublinWoking and finally completing the tour in Norwich on 9 April 2022.

The show broke box office records at Leeds Playhouse in 2017 and played to packed houses and critical acclaim at the Bridge Theatre in London in 2019. 

Joining Samantha in the cast are:  Ammar Duffus (Peter Pevensie), Shaka Kalokoh (Edmund Pevensie), Robyn Sinclair (Susan Pevensie) and Karise Yansen (Lucy Pevensie).   Aslan is played by Chris Jared, Mr Tumnus by Jez Unwin, Mr Beaver by Sam Buttery and Maugrim by Michael Ahomka-Lindsay.  They are joined by Oliver Bingham (Mr Brinkworth, March Hare and Aslan Puppeteer), Scott Brooks (Mr Pope, Fox Trot, Associate Music Captain), Rachel Dawson (Miss Chutney, Blue Badger and Spirit of the Moon), Oliver Grant (Mr Wilson, Schrodinger, Red Squirrel and Aslan Puppeteer), Matthew James Hinchliffe (Mr Marsden, Mauve Mole), Tash Holway (on stage Swing, Dance Captain), Shaun McCourt (Mr Granville, Jack Rabbit, Aslan Puppeteer), Sophie Naglik (on stage Swing) Kate Parr (Miss Gumley-Warmley and Phoenix), Anthony Starr (on stage Swing), Christina Tedders (Mrs Beaver), Brad Veitch (on stage Swing). Johnson Willis (Professor Kirk, Father Christmas, Wise Owl and White Mouse) aand Grace Wylde (Mrs Pevensie, Robin and Falcon)

Step through the wardrobe into the enchanted kingdom of Narnia. Join Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter as they wave goodbye to wartime Britain and embark on the most magical of adventures in a frozen, faraway land where they meet a faun, talking beavers, Aslan (the noble king of Narnia) and the coldest, most evil White Witch.


This critically acclaimed production is “A theatrical miracle” (The Times).

The tour will be directed by Michael Fentiman, based on the original production by Sally Cookson with original Set and Costume design by Rae Smith.  Michael’s previous productions include the Olivier Award-nominated Amélie (Watermill Theatre/The Other Palace/UK Tour and currently running in the West End), The Windsors: Endgame (also running in the West End), The Importance of Being Earnest (Vaudeville Theatre), the 50th anniversary production of Joe Orton’s Loot (Park Theatre/Watermill Theatre), Titus Andronicus and Ahasverus (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Taming of the Shrew (Sherman Theatre/Tron Theatre) and, as director and writer, CinderELLA (Nuffield Southampton) and The Last Days of Anne Boleyn (Tower of London). 

Joining Michael Fentiman on the creative team are Tour Set and Costume Designer Tom Paris, Dramaturg Adam Peck, Composer Benji Bower with additional composition by Music Supervisor Barnaby Race, Choreographer Shannelle ‘Tali’ Fergus, Lighting Designer Jack Knowles, Sound Designers Ian Dickinson and Gareth Tucker for Autograph, Puppetry Director Toby Olié, Puppetry Designer Max Humphries, Aerial Director Gwen Hales, Illusionist Chris Fisher, Music Director Toby Higgins, Movement Consultant Dan Canham, Casting Director Will Burton, Fight Director Jonathan Holby, Costume Supervisor Joanna Coe, Wigs and Make Up Supervisor Susanna Peretz, Props Supervisor Lizzie Frankl, and Associate Director James Callàs Ball

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is produced on tour by Elliott & Harper Productions and Catherine Schreiber and based on the original Leeds Playhouse production.

Producer Chris Harper said:

‘We are so proud of the cast and creative team that we have assembled for our forthcoming tour of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and are delighted to welcome incredibly talented Samantha Womack as the White Witch.’ 

Reviews for The Lion, The Witch and thee Wardrobe include:

★★★★★
Sunday Times
“This vision of Narnia will restore your faith in theatre”

★★★★★
DAILY MAIL 
“Spectacular new life for Narnia” 

★★★★
THE TELEGRAPH
‘An absolutely spellbinding return to Narnia’

Website:   www.lionwitchonstage.com

Social:          Twitter @LionWitchOnTour   Instagram @lionwitchonstage 

Waitress Review

The Grand Theatre and Opera House, Leeds – until Saturday 18 September 2021.

Reviewed by Aimee Liddington.

4****

Sugar, butter and flour. Those are the key ingredients for a good pie pastry, but what are the key ingredients for life? Sara Bareilles’ bittersweet musical based on the book written by Jessie Nelson and the motion picture written by Adrienne Shelly make us question just that. Jenna, played by Lucie Jones, is a kind hearted young woman trapped in a violent and abusive relationship. With a little help from her friends and her passion for making pies she dreams and eventually manages to conjure up a better life for herself.

The American diner is iconic for anyone who has grown up watching American movies and TV shows and Scott Pask (set designer), Suttirat Anne Larlarb (costume designer) and Richard Mawbey (wig and make up designer) deliver exactly what we expect. The big neon sign and the endless waitresses in their pinafores and aprons shift us to a world that is hundreds of miles away but yet seems so familiar. The staging and costumes are intricate and detailed but not cluttered and provide the perfect backdrop for the talented performers.

The first voice we hear is that of Lucie Jones who plays the character of Jenna. Jones has the perfect voice for this role as she cleverly portrays the kindness of the character through the softness of her voice whilst also being able to pack a punch in her solo songs. Most notable was her performance of the song ‘She Used to Be Mine’ – Jones’ stunning voice coupled with her ability to convey emotion is breathtaking. The music written by Sara Bareilles is the ultimate combination of cheesy musical and love song ballad and Jones seems to be able to deliver both genres with ease.

The actors all did a fantastic job with their characterisation but special mention should go to Tamlyn Henderson who does such a great job of portraying Earl (the low life, abusive husband) that even with a mere mention of his character’s name you can hear a collective sigh and eyeroll from the audience. A personal favourite character of mine is Ogie who is played by George Crawford. Crawford conveys the loveable and enthusiastic character with such gumption and his chemistry with Evelyn Hoskins and her character, Dawn, is a sight to behold.

Waitress is a production which will take you from laughter to tears in a matter of minutes. It’s a real emotional roller coaster and you can’t help but become invested in the characters’ fate. Sugar, butter and flour are the key ingredients for a good pie pastry and this ensemble certainly have the key ingredients for a remarkable performance.

Joanne Clifton to play Morticia in The Addams Family UK & Ireland Tour

JOANNE CLIFTON

TO STAR AS MORTICIA ADDAMS IN

THE ADDAMS FAMILY, A MUSICAL COMEDY

WITH NEW DATES ADDED TO THE UK & IRELAND TOUR

BEGINNING 5 NOVEMBER 2021

Aria Entertainment and Music & Lyrics are delighted to announce that Joanne Clifton will play the role of Morticia Addams in the UK and Ireland tour of THE ADDAMS FAMILY, A Musical Comedy. The tour will open at Theatre Royal, Nottingham on 5 November 2021.

Joanne will be joining the previously announced, Cameron Blakely (Gomez Addams), Scott Paige (Uncle Fester), Kingsley Morton (Wednesday Addams), Grant McIntyre (Pugsley Addams), Valda Aviks (Grandma), Sean Kingsley (Mal Beineke), Kara Lane (Alice Beineke), Ahmed Hamad (Lucas Beineke), Dickon Gough and Ryan Bennett (sharing the role of Lurch), Abigail Brodie, Sophie Hutchinson, Matthew Ives and Sean Lopeman. Also new to the cast and joining the ensemble is Castell Parker. Further casting to be announced.

Joanne Clifton has starred as Janet in the UK tour of The Rocky Horror Show, Alex Owens in the UK tour of Flashdance, and Dale Tremont in Top Hat, where she received her second Offie nomination. Her first was for her acting debut as the Streetwalker in Irving Berlin’s Face the Music. Joanne is perhaps best known for her time on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. After winning the World Professional Showdance Championship and the European Professional Ballroom Championship, she joined the show as a professional dancer. During her time on the show, she performed in the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour, was an expert presenter on the programme’s backstage show, It Takes Two, won the Christmas Special with McFly’s Harry Judd, and went on to win the glitterball trophy as the 2016 champion with her partner Ore Oduba. 

Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and has a shocking secret that only Gomez knows; she’s fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family! Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia.  Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.  All the usual clan are present – Uncle Fester, Lurch, Pugsley et al.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY, A Musical Comedy, will be directed by Matthew White, with choreography by Alistair David, production design by Diego Pitarch, orchestrations by Richard Beadle, lighting design by Ben Cracknell, sound design by Richard Brooker and casting by Jane Deitch. Book is by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, based on the characters created by Charles Addams.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2021 UK Tour is produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment and Music & Lyrics Limited, and is presented through special arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

For further information, please visit www.theaddamsfamily.co.uk

Twitter: @AddamsFamilyUK

Facebook: @TheAddamsFamilyUK

LISTINGS INFORMATION

5 – 13 November                              Nottingham Theatre Royal                                       0115 989 5555                                                                                                                                        www.trch.co.uk                                                        

16-20 November                               New Theatre, Cardiff                                                029 2087 8889

                                                         www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk                                   

23-27 November                               Sheffield Lyceum Theatre                                        0114 249 6000

                                                         www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

2022 Dates

11- 15 January 2022                        Milton Keynes Theatre                                             0844 871 7615*

                                                         www.atgtickets.com/milton-keynes-theatre

18-22 January 2022                         The Alexandra, Birmingham                                       0844 871 7615*

                                                         www.atgtickets.com/birmingham

25-29 January 2022                         Festival Theatre, Edinburgh                                    0131 529 6000

                                                         www.capitaltheatres.com

1-5 February 2022                           Alhambra Theatre, Bradford                                    01274 432000

                                                         www.bradford-theatres.co.uk

8-12 February 2022                         Newcastle Theatre Royal                                         0191 232 7010

                                                         www.theatreroyal.co.uk

15 – 19 February 2022                    New Wimbledon Theatre                                          0844 871 7615*

                                                         www.atgtickets.com/wimbledon                                

22 – 26 February 2022                    The Orchard Theatre, Dartford                                 0343 310 0033

                                                         www.orchardtheatre.co.uk

1 March – 5 March 2022                  Churchill Theatre, Bromley                                      0343 310 0020                                                                            

                                                         www.churchilltheatre.co.uk                                      

15 – 19 March 2022                         Hull New Theatre                                                      01482 300 306

                                                         www.hulltheatres.co.uk

*Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge

Further tour dates to be announced.

Everybody’s Talking about Jamie Review

Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham – until Saturday 18 September.

Reviewed by Nadia Dodd

5*****

I have always loved a good musical and this production was really something else – just what we all need in the world right now! Hilariously funny with a strong message running throughout the show.

Based in Sheffield Jamie is a 16-year-old gay lad who dreams of becoming a drag queen. When his careers teacher is asking the rest of the class what their ambitions are he is too worried and fearful to admit to this.

Jamie’s mom (played by Amy Ellen Richardson) and her best friend Ray (played by Shobna Gulati) are his number one fans, their strong and powerful relationship that you see later on in the show is actually quite touching. Jamie’s mom and Ray know of Jamies dreams so they support and encourage him in every way that they can. His best friend at school Pritti Pasha is also wonderfully supportive of Jamie, knowing that she herself is different in many eyes, being Asian, not wearing make up and wanting to be a Doctor.

His father (played by Cameron Johnson) is a completely different kettle of fish – he is embarrassed by his gay son and tells his ex-partner that he no longer wants anything to do with Jamie. He wants out of his life.

Jamie is set to be a drag queen, he also wants to attend the school prom in a dress and along the way comes across Hugo – also a drag queen years ago ‘Loco Chanelle’ who is played by the fabulous Shane Richie. Hugo also encourages Jamie to achieve his dream and also over come the bully at school Dean (played by George Sampson). Jamie stands up to the awful, hurtful remarks that Dean verbally throws at him, all Jamie wants to be is himself, its simple really.

Such a powerful message throughout the production is to be yourself, believe in your dream and you will achieve what ever you want to achieve.

So many upbeat feel-good songs in the show, the first one being ‘And you don’t even know it’ gets the audience toe tapping and clapping right from the top. The finale had the audience on their feet, clapping away and not wanting it to end – a joyous and explosive performance with a lot of sequins and glitter thrown in for good measure.

It’s a Work of Art !