all of it Review

Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs – until 17th June 2023

Reviewed by Ben Jolly


The aptly titled, all of it was previously seen at the Royal Court back in February 2020, written by Alistair McDowall and starring Kate O’Flynn in the one woman play where we witness an entire life in 45 minutes; from birth to death, the story of baby to old lady (and everything in between… “Driving to work”) is presented to us in a highly stylised poetic form.

With the same title, the piece has been expanded upon with two more monologues that were written specifically for O’Flynn during 2020. Despite the fact that from first glance the three parts of the play do not feel connected in any way shape or form, there are subtle moments that with a keen eye and ear you can understand the connective narration tying the pieces together as one. As McDowall puts it, “Plays often emerge when you realise two things you’d thought separate are actually one and the same.”

The first poem of the night is Northleigh, 1940 and we open with an eerie, other worldly and yet strikingly beautiful sight, created by designer Merle Hensel and with lighting by Elliot Griggs. The opening feels like the playwright is parodying their own material with the heightened fantastical language that is largely attributed to their previous body of work, McDowall creates a sense of fear and thrill; and within the first two minutes we understand that the rule book has well and truly been thrown out of the window for tonight!

Kate O’Flynn hits the ground running in her solo venture. She performs with such command of the language and has the ability to grab the audience’s attention with just the slightest nuance. Her palatable presence parades the stage and she owns the night with her humour and raw delivery. O’Flynn is mesmerising.

We delve further into this naturally unnatural world with the even more off the wall piece, In Stereo in which, through the impressive use of video design by Lewis den Hertog and sound artist/composer Melanie Wilson create a completely disturbing and haunting universe. With an overindulgence of the senses, we at times don’t know where to look or which voice to tune into and thus are bombarded to the point of sheer frustration – a thrilling time indeed!

For the denouement, we come full circle and back to experience all of it. Vicky Featherstone has taken the helm to direct for the second time, succeeding Sam Pritchard who directed the first two poems of the night. There is an initial sense of discomfort with a complete change in set, lighting, sound and performance by O’Flynn, we’re in yet another world, another part of McDowall’s mind and we are taken on the journey of someone else’s lifetime.

It is here when the pieces of the puzzle come together and we start to see the bigger picture. It’s such a harrowing notion to conceive that a life can be summed up in a mere 45-minute monologue, and yet after this short time it feels as though we have known this woman her whole life. Can we all be summed up this simply and neatly? Are our lives really taken up so much with the mundane tasks…? “Driving to work”… I don’t believe that this is all McDowall is trying to say, but the third and final poem does bring up the question… is that all of it?






Olivier-Award winning stage legend Jenna Russell will star as ‘Ada Harris’ in the London premiere of the musical FLOWERS FOR MRS HARRIS this autumn, directed by Bronagh Lagan (Cruise – West End, Rags – Park Theatre, Little Women – Hope Mill Theatre) playing a limited 9-week at the Riverside Studios from 30 September to 26 November, with a press night on 5 October.

Based on the novel by Paul Gallico and adapted for the stage by Richard Taylor (The Go-Between) and Rachel Wagstaff (The Mirror Crack’d), Flowers for Mrs Harris is a celebration of kindness, friendship and carrying on in the face of grief.  This will be the first London production of the critically acclaimed musical since its premiere in Sheffield in 2016, which was followed by a highly successful run at the Chichester Festival Theatre.

For Ada Harris, day-to-day life is spent cleaning houses. But one day when she is working for a wealthy client in Belgravia, she happens upon a Dior dress that takes her breath away.

In that magical moment, Ada has an epiphany and sets off on a journey that will change her life… From the cobbled streets of post-war London to the magical avenues of Paris and beyond, Ada transforms the lives of everyone she meets along the way, but can she let go of her past and finally let her own life blossom?

Producer Ollie Hancock said, “Never before have I seen something on stage which has moved me with such force and relentless power. Richard and Rachel’s beautiful writing had such a profound effect on me that I left the theatre tear-streaked, striving to be a better person and to produce work which was just as impactful. I’m delighted to be bringing this gorgeous musical about the power of kindness to London for the first time in the creative hub that is Riverside Studios, especially with theatrical royalty Jenna Russell, who has wowed audiences on both sides of the Atlantic, in this extraordinary British musical!”

Jenna Russell said, “Ada Harris is a dream role in an exceptional piece by Rachel Wagstaff and Richard Taylor. I’m thrilled to be part of this amazing team, bringing “Flowers For Mrs Harris” to the Riverside Studios. Reading the play had a profound effect on me, and I can’t wait to see how that translates to a live experience, for the actors and audience alike.

Jenna Russell’s extensive stage credits include, ‘Mill’ in Further Than The Furthest Thing at the Young Vic, ‘Susan’ in Woman In Mind at Chichester Festival Theatre, ‘Marie Lloyd’ in Marie, Marie, Hold On Tight at Wilton’s Music Hall, ‘Carrie’ in Steve at Seven Dials Playhouse, ‘Piaf’ in Piaf at Nottingham Playhouse and Leeds Playhouse, Celebrating Sondheim at Chichester Festival Theatre, ‘Susan’ in Title Of Show (filmed at London Coliseum and streamed), ‘Francesca’ in The Bridges of Madison County at the Menier Chocolate Factory, ‘Helen’ in Fun Home at the Young Vic, ‘Mephistopheles’ in Dr Faustus starring opposite Kit Harington at The Duke of York’s Theatre and ‘Little Edie’ in Grey Gardens at Southwark Theatre with Sheila Hancock. Jenna’s TV credits include: Gentleman JackMidsomer MurdersCall the MidwifeThe ParadiseHolby City and Doctor Who. Jenna also played the leading roles of ‘Michelle Fowler’ in Eastenders, ‘Deborah’ in Born and Bred (4 series), ‘Maggie’ in On The Up (3 series), ‘Bernadette’ in Picking Up The Pieces (1 series) and ‘Petra’ in Minder (1 series). Films include The Death and Life of John F Donovan and Mortdecai. Jenna also sings the theme tune for BBC cult TV series Red Dwarf.

Bronagh Lagan’s Olivier nominated production of Cruise by Jack Holden was the first new play to open the West End after the pandemic. Cruise returned to the West End last year for a sold out run at the Apollo Theatre. She also directed a film version of the show in Shoreditch Town Hall’s Ditch which won an ONCOMM award for Best Recorded Show. Bronagh’s production of Rags, the musical by Charles Strouse and Stephen Schwartz at the Park Theatre received nine Off-West End Award nominations, including Best Director and Best Production. Bronagh worked closely with Stephen Schwartz in reimagining the script for an actor-musician production and curated a cast album of her production of Rags which is available on iTunes and Spotify. Bronagh directed the world premiere of Broken Wings, the musical first performed at Theatre Royal Haymarket and then at Dubai Opera House and now is on a Middle Eastern Tour. She directed new Persian musical RUMI at the ENO starring Ramin Karimloo; the UK Regional touring production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice starring Christina Bianco; and  the European premiere of Little Women – The Musical, which is available on Broadway HD. Bronagh recently directed the world premiere of A-Typical Rainbow which was nominated for a Visionary Arts Award and Animal by Jon Bradfield which recently ended a run at the Park Theatre and has received 5 Off West End nominations.

Flowers for Mrs Harris is based on the novel by Paul Gallico, a musical by Richard Taylor and Rachel Wagstaff, book by Rachel Wagstaff, music and lyrics by Richard Taylor. It will be directed by Bronagh Lagan, with new orchestrations by Jason Carr, and with Jonathan Gill as Musical Director. Casting is by Jane Deitch. Further casting and creative team will be announced.

Flowers for Mrs Harris is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals.



Actor will be London’s ‘Doctor Dillamond’ from 24 October 2023

Simeon Truby to join UK & Ireland Tour

WICKED, the West End and Broadway musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, today announces the return of Steven Pinder as ‘Doctor Dillamond’ from Tuesday 24 October 2023 at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre. The current ‘Doctor Dillamond’, Simeon Truby, will play his final performance on Sunday 22 October 2023 ahead of joining the forthcoming UK & Ireland Tour in the roles of ‘Doctor Dillamond’ and ‘The Wizard’, alongside the previously announced former West End cast members Laura Pick (Elphaba) and Carl Man (Fiyero).

Steven Pinder returns to the London production having previously played ‘Doctor Dillamond’ in 2015.Best known for his award-winning performance as‘Max Farnham’ in Phil Redmond’s Brookside,a role he playedfrom 1990 until the final episode in 2003, and ‘Roy Lambert’ in Crossroads, from 1985 to 1988,Stevenhas also worked extensively on stage, including recent appearances in Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island and Ray Cooney’s comedies Funny Money and Two Into One. He previously played ‘Doctor Dillamond’ and ‘The Wizard’ in Wicked in the UK & Ireland and International Tours.

One of the most successful musicals of all time” (BBC News), Wicked is already the 12th longest running production in West End history and the winner of over 100 awards, including three Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, eleven WhatsOnStage Awards, and a Grammy.

Wicked currently stars Alexia Khadime (Elphaba), Lucy St. Louis (Glinda), Ryan Reid (Fiyero), Sophie-Louise Dann (Madame Morrible), Mark Curry (The Wizard), Caitlin Anderson (Nessarose), Joe Thompson-Oubari (Boq), Simeon Truby* (Doctor Dillamond), Amy Webb (Standby for Elphaba), Lisa-Anne Wood (Standby for Glinda), Yuki AbeKofi Aidoo-AppiahConor AshmanJessica AubreyJoshua ClemetsonFergus DaleEffie Rae DysonNicola EspallardoDanny FogartyRoss HarmonKate LeiperNick LenJemima LoddyJoshua LovellPaddyJoe MartinMillie MayhewHarry MillsDaniel ParrottAiesha Naomi PeaseJeanie RyanNatalie SpriggsJames TitchenerMicaela ToddChristine TuckerJaydon Vijn, and Taela Yeomans-Brown.

*Final performance Sunday 22 October 2023. Steven Pinder plays ‘Doctor Dillamond’ from Tuesday 24 October 2023.

Whilst continuing its West End run, Wicked will open a UK & Ireland Tour at the Edinburgh Playhouse on 7 December 2023, and then travel to Bristol Hippodrome, Birmingham Hippodrome, Bradford Alhambra Theatre, Southampton Mayflower Theatre, Liverpool Empire, Dublin Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Sunderland Empire, Cardiff Wales Millennium Centre, and Manchester Palace Theatre.

Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman’s musical is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire and imagines a beguiling backstory and future possibilities to the lives of L. Frank Baum’s beloved characters from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, revealing the decisions and events that shape the destinies of two unlikely university friends on their journey to becoming Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Wicked has music and lyrics by multi-Oscar and Grammy Award winner Stephen Schwartz (GodspellPippinThe Prince of Egypt, Disney’s PocahontasThe Hunchback of Notre Dame and Enchanted)It is based on the multimillion-copy best-selling novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire and written by Emmy and Tony Award nominee Winnie Holzman (creator of the landmark American television series My So-Called Life). Musical staging is by Tony Award-winner Wayne Cilento with direction by two-time Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello.

Wicked is produced by Marc PlattUniversal Stage ProductionsThe Araca GroupJon B Platt, and David Stone. Executive Producer (UK) Michael McCabe.

The Apollo Victoria Theatre, Wilton Road, London, SW1V 1LG

Official UK website:

Twitter: @WickedUK  |  Facebook: /WickedUK  | 






Today, Friday 9 June, marks the 45th anniversary of Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of The Worlds, one of the best-selling albums of all time. In tandem, Composer and Producer Jeff Wayne announces that the multi-award-winning immersive experience, described as ‘boundary pushing, pulse quickening’ and ‘the future of entertainment’ will be relocating to a bigger location in London and feature the newest cutting-edge technology.

Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of The Worlds – The Immersive Experience opened its doors on 16 May 2019 at London’s former Metal Exchange on Leadenhall Street.

Set in 21 rooms over two floors, the current production features a unique blend of immersive theatre with a diverse cast of 12, plus projection mapping surround sound, multiple virtual reality sequences, and 5D effects, all set to Jeff’s iconic score.

Featuring the recorded voices of Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward, Inglorious’ Nathan James and Kaiser Chief’s Ricky Wilson as well as digital and holographic performances by Carrie Hope Fletcher (Les Miserables, Heathers, and The War of The Words – Alive!)Tom Brittney (Grantchester, Make Me Famous) and Anna Marie-Wayne (The War of The Worlds – Alive! & Audible’s The Musical Drama.)

In the new production, visitors will interactwithfamiliar characters from Jeff’s Musical Version as they visit the Royal Observatory; sneak into what they believe to be a deserted house (but is it…?); escape London on a boat down the Thames while trying to survive the Martian invaders, culminating in a breath-taking balloon journey to Mars.

The current experience has grossed more than 8m to date and willremain at its existing location until December 2023 as work continues on the new production.

Jeff commented: When we first opened our Immersive Experience, it was only booked for a 3-month run, yet great reviewsmultiple awards, word-of-mouth attendances by existing and new fans have been so taken by it, here we are over four years later, and still going strong!

Since we launched in 2019, London has seen so many new diverse and high-quality immersive experiences, whether theatrical gems such as Peaky Blinders, Secret Cinema,Guys and Dolls, or Punchdrunk productions, plus art exhibitions like Frameless, Van Gogh and Hockney at the LightRoom, or social play spaces including Monopoly Lifesized and the holographic success ofAbba Voyage.

AI, VR and AR technologies in the entertainment space, have grown substantially in the last five years (including Apple’s just announced debut headset), and we intend to continue being at the forefront of this new era.

We’re mostexcited to collaborate with the hottest specialist companies, immersive producers and venue owners, to continue to stun our audiences.”

The War of The WorldsThe ImmersiveExperience has also achieved widespread critical acclaim, winning the prestigious TEA THEA Award, considered the “Oscars” of the Entertainment world, the Gold Winners Award for Best Innovation, the Youth Travel Awards 2019, TripAdvisor’s coveted Traveller’s Choice Award two years running in 2021 and 2022, has averaged 5stars out of 5 on TripAdvisor andover 10,000 5-star reviews across review sites.

Jeff also expressed his appreciation to Layered Reality for playing a pivotal role in the original production. “We’d like to thank our partners for the past 5 years, and wish them ongoing success.”

We Will Rock You Review

London Coliseum – until 27 August 2023

Reviewed by Alec Legg


I must admit to being a fan of Queen from years back, and I really looked forward to seeing this version of ‘We Will Rock You‘ in its new incarnation. As I never saw the original I took along my friend Keith who did see the original some twenty or so years ago.

Taking our seats I saw that the audience was of all ages from senior citizens to youngsters. I did wonder what their reactions would be In the end the reaction from all ages was the same!

Firstly the sets were outstanding being a combination of the physical scenery and the lighting engineers work at their best. Each change of scenery was a marvel and a wonder to see. I think that , compared to all the shows I have seen in the past these sets took the biscuit and I would not be surprised to see awards for set design and lighting being handed out in the future!

I was told by my friend that the plot of the story was nothing like the original, being completely like a new show. So all you people out there who saw the original you must not be put off from seeing this version. I think that the Queen’s music is the only part of the show that will be recognisable but of course does this matter as the enduring magic of their music will last forever!

As to the plot the story line goes that Earth has been renamed the I-Planet and is under the control of the Killer Queen, Brenda Edwards, through her corporation, Global Soft. The only music allowed to be broadcast is that approved by them and all the worlds inhabitants have i-phones through which Global soft broadcasts.

There is a small resistance party, rebelling against Global Soft called the Bohemians, led by Ben Elton as the Rebel Leader, who are being hunted down by the agents of Global Soft. The two lead characters are Galileo, Ian McIntosh, and Scaramouche, Elena Skye, who are about to leave Gaga High school and are set apart from their fellow students by their confused and rebellious natures. The storyline is then about them trying to escape from the clutches of Global Soft and join the resistance. Ben Elton’s performance as the rebel leader must be mentioned as a tour de force!

As you would expect the music of Queen is interspersed throughout the performance and the music and songs were marvellously performed. As I said I wondered what the audience reaction would be and I can say that it was rapturous. Each song was applauded wonderfully the audience enjoying every minute. Due credit must be given to all the cast for their dancing and singing performances which were par excellence from the leads to the ensemble.

I would like to describe the ending of the play but not wishing to add a spoiler there is a wonderful surprise at the end which I am sure will be enjoyed by all.

I must relate that Sir Brian May made an appearance at the end of the show to applause which nearly lifted the roof off the theatre and. I have never heard the like before. I have now been telling all my friends, ad-nauseum, that I saw Sir Brian May LIVE!

For all you Queen fans out there and anyone else this is a must to see.

I would like to dedicate this review to the memory of Freddy Mercury, RIP, your music lives on as does our love and respect.

Sun Records The Concert Review

Forum Theatre, Malvern – 7th June 2023

Reviewed by Courie Amado Juneau


The history of popular music would not have been the same, nor anywhere near as good, without the records coming out of Sun Records. Although owner Sam Phillips had been recording artists for years, it was the arrival of Elvis that catapulted his little studio to legendary status! And so it was fitting to start with that first side (“My Happiness”) by the young Elvis; Michael Glaysher bringing The Hillbilly Cat to life. Close your eyes and you could almost believe those rumours he’s still alive.

Elvis temporarily leaves the stage and up steps Remi Banklyn (playing various roles), harmonica in hand, to show us that Sun Records wasn’t all about Rock N Roll. It also introduced tonight’s house band – nominally playing Elvis’s original band; Scotty Moore (Gerry Slattery on guitar) and Bill Black (Jason King on bass).

From hereon the musicians remain on the stage, producing a larger ensemble. A cleverly put together show, giving us the personnel needed for each new artist’s repertoire rather than following a chronological path. And so to our next legends; Pete Storm doing a marvelous Johnny Cash with “Big River” and “I Walk The Line” then Ricky Gould as Carl Perkins; one of those artists whose works are best known via other artists covering his songs (i.e. The Beatles doing “Matchbox” or Elvis doing “Blue Suede Shoes”. It was great to hear these classics done in the original style.

The performers mingled with the audience after the show. A really nice bunch of chaps. I was assured the names of the performers was on the website. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything for who played Jerry Lee Lewis or DJ Fontana! Which is a real shame as I wanted to especially mention the young lad who played Jerry Lee – he was exceptional! Worth seeing the concert for his take on “The Killer” alone. It must be a fun part to play – it sure was fun to watch – and remarkably accurate too! Tonight’s drummer was brilliant throughout and gave one of the best drum solos I’ve ever seen.

The second half was the concert that never was but we wished had happened. Billed as The Sun Records Legacy, it highlighted tons of songs these stars recorded post Sun Records such as “Tiger Man”, “Pretty Woman”, “Ring Of Fire”… You get the idea – a Rock N Roll jukebox, packed with solid gold hits played with exuberance. The last song typified the evening, with a blistering version of Elvis’s “Rip It Up”. Many of the audience were spinning in the aisles, others with hands sore from clapping and everyone loving the show. The performers giving us all the excitement of those early days of Rock.

I cannot recommend this show highly enough. It’s a feel good show that will appeal to lovers of any (and all) of the individual artists, music lovers in general or anyone just looking to have a fun night out. It began with “My Happiness” and ended with all our mutual happiness. Musical joy incarnate!

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick to star in PLAZA SUITE At the Savoy Theatre – marking Sarah Jessica Parker’s West End Debut 

Comedy is easy.

Marriage is hard.










Following a sell-out Broadway run, ATG Productions are delighted to announce that two-time Tony Award® winner Matthew Broderick and two-time Emmy Award® winner Sarah Jessica Parker, will lead the cast in the West End transfer of Neil Simon’s hit comedy PLAZA SUITE. Directed by Tony Award® winner John Benjamin Hickey, PLAZA SUITE will play a strictly limited season at the Savoy Theatre from 15 January to 31 March 2024 with tickets on sale in September 2023. Sign up for access to tickets before anyone else at

Plaza Suite By Neil Simon Directed By John Benjamin Hickey Sarah Jessica Parker Mathew Broderick
Plaza Suite By Neil Simon Directed By John Benjamin Hickey Sarah Jessica Parker Mathew Broderick
Plaza Suite By Neil Simon Directed By John Benjamin Hickey Sarah Jessica Parker Mathew Broderick

Matthew Broderick returns to the West End stage following his acclaimed run in The Starry Messenger in 2019. PLAZA SUITE will mark Sarah Jessica Parker’s West End debut.

Plaza Suite By Neil Simon Directed By John Benjamin Hickey Sarah Jessica Parker Mathew Broderick
Plaza Suite By Neil Simon Directed By John Benjamin Hickey Sarah Jessica Parker Mathew Broderick

In New York, PLAZA SUITE became the must-have ticket for Broadway audiences. The production played to sold-out houses and shattered multiple box-office records at the Hudson Theatre, becoming the third-highest grossing play revival in Broadway history during its limited 19-week engagement.

Plaza Suite By Neil Simon Directed By John Benjamin Hickey Sarah Jessica Parker Mathew Broderick
Plaza Suite By Neil Simon Directed By John Benjamin Hickey Sarah Jessica Parker Mathew Broderick
Plaza Suite By Neil Simon Directed By John Benjamin Hickey Sarah Jessica Parker Mathew Broderick

In PLAZA SUITE, these two world-class actors play three different couples in one famous hotel room. Matthew Broderick plays Sam Nash/Jesse Kiplinger/Roy Hubley and Sarah Jessica Parker plays Karen Nash/Muriel Tate/Norma Hubley.

Plaza Suite By Neil Simon Directed By John Benjamin Hickey Sarah Jessica Parker Mathew Broderick
Plaza Suite By Neil Simon Directed By John Benjamin Hickey Sarah Jessica Parker Mathew Broderick

Karen and Sam are a long-married pair whose relationship may be headed for an early checkout. Muriel and Jesse are former high school sweethearts who seem destined for an extended stay. And Norma and Roy are the mother and father of the bride, ready to celebrate their daughter’s nuptials – if only they can get her out of the bathroom.

Plaza Suite By Neil Simon Directed By John Benjamin Hickey Sarah Jessica Parker Mathew Broderick
Plaza Suite By Neil Simon Directed By John Benjamin Hickey Sarah Jessica Parker Mathew Broderick

The creative team includes two-time Tony Award® winner John Lee Beatty (set design), Tony Award® winner Jane Greenwood (costume design), five-time Tony Award® winner Brian MacDevitt (lighting design), Tony Award® winner Scott Lehrer (sound design), Tony Award® winner Marc Shaiman (incidental music), and Jim Carnahan (casting director).

Plaza Suite By Neil Simon Directed By John Benjamin Hickey Sarah Jessica Parker Mathew Broderick
Plaza Suite By Neil Simon Directed By John Benjamin Hickey Sarah Jessica Parker Mathew Broderick

PLAZA SUITE is produced by Ambassador Theatre Group Productions, Gavin Kalin Productions, Hal Luftig, with James L. Nederlander, Douglas L. Meyer, Elizabeth Armstrong, Hunter Arnold, Caitlin Clements, Eilene Davidson Productions, Jeffrey Finn, Terry Schnuck, Smith and Brant Theatricals, Sherry and Kirk Wright, and Mike Isaacson.

Underbelly and Soho Estates Announce Underbelly’s First Permanent Venue – UNDERBELLY BOULEVARD 








Underbelly and Soho Estates are delighted to announce today that Soho Estates have agreed to lease the Boulevard Theatre to Underbelly, which will become Underbelly’s first ever permanent venue, UNDERBELLY BOULEVARD.In the heart of Soho, formerly known as the Boulevard Theatre and renovated by Soho Estates, the venue will open in September 2023.

Operated by Underbelly, producers of the seven-time Olivier award-winning Cabaret and iconic live entertainment events, UNDERBELLY BOULEVARD will be a brand new home for the hottest cabaret, variety and music, comprising of a 200 capacity performance venue, a rehearsal room for hire, daytime hire for events, readings and workshops, a bar and a 100 cover restaurant.

Full details and on-sale information for the opening programme of shows will be announced in July. Sign up now at to be the first to know more and for priority on-sales.

Underbelly’s Directors, Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood said today, “We couldn’t be more thrilled and honoured to have been chosen by Fawn and Soho Estates to take on the lease for this extraordinary and iconic venue. Not only does this mark a major milestone for Underbelly as our first permanent venue in London, but the venue is also perfectly suited to our style of programming and live entertainment ethos. We look forward to making Underbelly Boulevard a vital and captivating part of Soho’s already wonderful cultural offer and we can’t wait to share further details of what we’ve got in store in July.”

Fawn James from Soho Estates said today “The Boulevard Theatre was a wonderful chance for me to amalgamate my love of the arts and my family’s long history with the area. Having invested heavily into reinstating the theatre in Walkers Court, it is hugely important to me that its legacy is continued with just as much care and dedication. I have a lot of passion and belief in this building and the heritage behind it, and I couldn’t be prouder to be passing this on to Underbelly and for the Boulevard to be their first permanent venue. Underbelly’s ethos fits perfectly with the history of the venue and I am incredibly excited to see them develop the Boulevard into the space it should be.”

The original Boulevard Theatre site began as a sister venue to the Raymond Revuebar in the late 1950s, before becoming a small theatre in its own right, the ‘Elle et Lui’ theatre. In the late 1970’s, it was renamed the Boulevard Theatre, and was home to a wide variety of productions, most famously to ‘The Comic Strip’, but also included ‘The Collector’ by John Fowles, adapted by David Parker, ‘Infidelities’ starring Jill Bennett and Eddie Izzard’s ‘Raging Bull’ comedy club before closing its doors in theearly 1990’s. In 2010, Soho Estates began an extensive regeneration of the Walker’s Court area which included the reopening the Boulevard Theatre in October 2019.

Underbelly are internationally renowned producers, whose work on the Edinburgh Fringe began in the year 2000 and has continued to this day. Their iconic purple cow, Violet, has been seen in Edinburgh, on London’s Southbank, in Hong Kong and more. Their theatrical arm, Underbelly Productions presents, produces and promotes a diverse programme of work including the multi award winning Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, La Clique Live in Leicester Square, Austentatious at The Fortune Theatre, Five Guys Named Moe at the Marble Arch Theatre and more.

Fawn James is a Director of Soho Estates.  Her grandfather was Soho Estates’ founder Paul Raymond, an entertainment impresario and property investor, who staged revue and variety shows at countless Soho venues from the 1950s onwards. Fawn intends to honour her grandfather’s legacy by helping to promote Soho as an arts and entertainment district. Fawn is also a Trustee for ‘Soho Theatre’ and a member of the Executive Committee of the ‘Royal Variety Charity’.





Wessex Grove, Gavin Kalin Productions and Kater Gordon today announce that Andrew Scott will return to the West End with VANYA, in a brand new adaptation of Chekhov’s masterpiece by Simon Stephens, and directed by Sam Yates. Designed by Rosanna Vize, the production opens at the Duke of York’s Theatre on 21 September, with previews at Richmond Theatre from 28 August to 2 September and previews in the West End from 15 September, running until 21 October. Public booking opens at 8.30am on Friday 9 June.

This Autumn, Andrew Scott will play every role in Simon Stephens’ definitive new version of Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece of love, art, sex and attempted murder.

The production reunites Scott and Stephens who previously collaborated on Sea Wall and Birdland; and Scott with Yates following their work together on the short film, The Hope Rooms; and producers Benjamin Lowy and Emily Vaughan-Barratt from Wessex Grove after working with Scott on Sea Wall and Hamlet respectively.

The first performance at the Duke of York’s Theatre on 15 September will be for under 30s. All tickets are priced at £10, and patrons can apply for two tickets in a ballot. Further details of this will be announced shortly.

Andrew Scott: “Heartbreaking, hilarious, sexy, devastating- the genius and extraordinary humanity of Mr Chekhov just knocks me out. It’s a genuine honour and a singular challenge to bring this giant of a play to life in the West End in this new way and I’m so excited to be doing it alongside such brilliant, playful and talented people.”

Simon Stephens: “Anton Chekhov is my favourite writer. Andrew Scott is as good an actor as there is in the world. Sam Yates is an artist of the highest order. To work with these people in the heart of the West End; to be fearlessly creative and exploratory there; to have only the impulse to make art is all utterly thrilling. This is work that reminds me again and again that theatre is our greatest art form. The most alive. The funniest. The sexiest. The most heart breaking. The most human.”

Sam Yates: “It is a joy to collaborate again with Andrew Scott, an actor of singular sensitivity and power, on Simon Stephen’s adaptation of VANYA. Chekhov’s play is life-affirming and heart-breaking, and places human behaviour under the microscope. VANYA will push this examination to a new level, harnessing the power of the unique connection between actor and audience possible only in the theatre. Andrew’s inexhaustible invention and heart will be central to telling this story, a celebration of the multitudes we contain within ourselves, that we may collectively laugh at our imperfections, de­spair at our failures, and celebrate our compassion. I am delighted to be working with dynamic and daring Emily Vaughan-Barratt and Benjamin Lowy of Wessex Grove to bring VANYA to the West End and introduce this play to a new generation of audiences.”

Wessex Grove’s Benjamin Lowy and Emily Vaughan-Barratt: “At its heart, theatre is all about collaboration. When we began to collaborate with Andrew, Sam, and Simon on this project, we knew this illustrious trio would create something incredibly special.  These three are artists at the top of their game, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Simon’s VANYA to the West End. As producers, the creative team pushed us to think outside the box and help create a new generation of theatre-goer. Therefore, we are happy to announce an exclusive performance for under 30s with tickets at £10, enabling greater access to this incredible production.”

Twitter and Instagram: @vanyaonstage

Wessex Grove, Gavin Kalin Productions and Kater Gordon present

After Anton Chekhov

Adapted by Simon Stephens

Performed by Andrew Scott

Directed by Sam Yates

Designed by Rosanna Vize

RICHMOND THEATRE 28 August – 2 September

DUKE OF YORK’S THEATRE 15 September – 21 October

BAFTA and Olivier-award winning actor, Andrew Scott’s recent theatre includes Three Kings (Old Vic: In Camera), Present Laughter, Design for Living (The Old Vic), Hamlet (Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre), The Dazzle (Found111), Birdland (Royal Court), Aristocrats, Emperor and Galilean (National Theatre), Sea Wall (Paines Plough, The Old Vic, Bush Theatre), as well as numerous plays in Dublin, London and New York. For television his work includes School of Roars, The Pursuit of Love, Ripley, His Dark Materials, Modern Love, Black Mirror: Smithereens, as The Priest in FleabagQuacks, as Moriarty in Sherlock, The Town and The Hollow Crown. His recent films include Strangers, Catherine Called Birdy, Oslo, Sam Mendes 1917, A Dark Place, The Delinquent Season, Hamlet, King Lear, Cognition, Handsome Devil, Denial, Swallows and Amazons, This Beautiful Fantastic, Sam Mendes’ Spectre, Alice: Through the Looking Glass, Frankenstein, Ken Loach’s Jimmy’s Hall, Matthew Warchus’ Pride, (BIFA for Best Supporting Actor), Locke and The Stag.

Simon Stephens’ plays include Cornelia StreetMorning SunFortuneLight FallsMariaFatherlandRageHeisenbergNuclear WarSong from Far AwayBirdlandCarmen DisruptionBlindsidedMorningThree KingdomsWastwaterPunk RockThe Trial of Ubu, Marine Parade,  Sea WallHarper ReganPornographyMotortown, On the Shore of the Wide WorldOne MinuteCountry MusicChristmasPortHerons, and Bluebird. He has adapted Jose Saramago’s Blindness for the stage and also Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. He has written English language versions of Jon Fosse’s I Am the Wind; Odon Von Horvath’s Kasimir and Karoline (titled The Funfair); Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House; Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard and The Seagull and Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s Threepenny Opera. He has presented four series of the Royal Court Playwright’s Podcast. His book “A Working Diary” is published by Methuen. Stephens has been an Associate at the Royal Court, London and Steep, Chicago and a board member of Paines Plough. He has been an Associate Artist at the Lyric, Hammersmith, a Professor of Scriptwriting at Manchester Metropolitan University and an Associate Professor at the Danish National School of the Performing Arts, Copenhagen.

Sam Yates directs. His theatre credits include The Two Character Play (Hampstead Theatre), A Separate Peace (Curtain Call & Platform Presents), Incantata (Irish Rep, Gate Theatre, Dublin, Galway International Festival & Jen Coppinger), The Starry Messenger (Wyndham’s Theatre), Company, Merrily We Roll Along, Assassins (Royal Academy of Music), The Phlebotomist (Hampstead Theatre, nominated for Olivier Award for Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre),  Glengarry Glen Ross (Playhouse Theatre and UK tour), Desire Under The Elms (Sheffield Crucible), Murder Ballad (Arts Theatre), Cymbeline (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), East is East (Trafalgar Studios and UK tour), The El. Train (Hoxton Hall), Outside Mullingar (Ustinov), Billy Liar (Royal Exchange Theatre), Cornelius (Finborough Theatre, 59E59 New York), Mixed Marriage (Finborough Theatre), and Purgatory by W.B. Yeats, and Macbeth: The Hour (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). His screen work includes the forthcoming Magpie (2023, feature film debut, written by Tom Bateman, produced by Werewolf Films and Kate Solomon for 55 Films, with Daisy Ridley, Shazad Latif, Matilda Lutz), Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar, The Hope Rooms, (Winner Grand Prize Future Filmmaker Award, RIIFF 2016), Cymbeline, All’s Well That Ends Well, and Love’s Labour’s Lost (The Complete Walk, Shakespeare’s Globe); and music videos Emeralds and Auld.

Rosanna Vize’s theatre credits include Julius Caesar (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Glass Menagerie, The Almighty Sometimes (Royal Exchange Manchester), King Priam (ENO), Britannicus (Lyric Hammersmith), Brown Girls Do It Too (Soho Theatre), Mavra and Pierrot Lunaire (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden),Gulliver’s Travels (Unicorn Theatre), Camp Siegfried, Midsummer Party (The Old Vic), Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (Leicester Curve Theatre), The Two Character Play (Hampstead Theatre, Upstairs), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Curve Theatre and UK tour), Shedding A Skin (Soho Theatre), The Enemy (National Theatre of Scotland), Harm (Bush Theatre), The Comeback (Noël Coward Theatre), Incantata (Irish Rep Theatre, NYC), Hedda Gabler (Sherman Theatre), The Phlebotomist, Yous Two (Hampstead Theatre), The Audience (Nuffield Theatre, Southamption), Don Carlos (Exeter Northcott), Incantata (Galway Festival), An Adventure, Leave Taking (Bush Theatre), King Lear (Shakespeare’s Globe), Earthworks and Myth (RSC), Low Level Panic (Orange Tree Theatre), After October (Finborough Theatre), Henry I (Reading Between the Lines), and Girls (Soho Theatre, Hightide & Talawa Theatre). For film, Harm Film. Her up-coming productions include The Turn of the Screw (Royal Danish Opera, Copenhagen), and Macbeth (Donmar Warehouse).

Listings Information


Duke of York’s Theatre

St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4BG


From £15

RICHMOND THEATRE 28 August – 2 September

Performances at 7.30pm

DUKE OF YORK’S THEATRE 15 September – 21 October

Monday to Saturday at 3pm and 7pm

Access performances:

BSL interpreted performance 3 October 2023 at 7pm

Audio Described performance 5 October 2023 at 7pm

At every London performance, a limited number of £30 tickets will be available via a weekly lottery in partnership with Todaytix. 

Dirty Dancing Review

Grand Theatre, Leeds – until 10 June 2023

Reviewed by Katie Brewerton


Dirty Dancing is back on tour and has come to Leeds! After the release of the film starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in 1987 Dirty Dancing became a huge hit and this production does not disappoint whether you’re a fan of the film or new to the story.

This fantastic production tells the story of Johnny Castle (Michael O’Reilly), a dance teacher at a family friendly holiday resort and Francis ‘Baby’ Houseman (Kira Malou), who is visiting for the summer with her parents. Set in the US in the summer of 1963, just as the world is beginning to change and the civil rights movement was reaching its pinnacle. 17-year-old Baby visits Kellerman’s with her family. Baby is introduced to the secret, raunchy dance scene by Billy (Danny Colligan), where the staff at the resort spend their spare time and she soon finds herself mesmerised. After finding out Penny (Georgia Aspinall), Johnny’s fellow dance teacher and friend is in trouble and is unable to attend a dance performance crucial for her and Johnny to keep their jobs Baby is willing to do what she can to help. This results in her becoming Johnny’s dance partner, from two completely different backgrounds Johnny and Baby quickly form a close relationship as Johnny teaches Baby all she needs to know to complete the routine and the chemistry between them quickly builds as feelings blossom.

There can’t be a show about dancing without a whole load of dance numbers, which don’t disappoint. The talent of both O’Reilly and Aspinall is evident from the moment they step on stage and the rest of the cast and ensemble have no problem keeping up. We also have the pleasure of seeing Kellerman’s band performing on stage, as they provide music for both the characters and the audience to enjoy. 

This feel good musical is bound to leave you wanting more, the cast is fantastic and a special mention must go to Danny Colligan who’s rendition of ‘(I’ve had) the Time of My Life‘ was phenomenal and with hits including ‘Hungry Eyes‘ and ‘Do you Love Me?‘ you’ll be sure to have ‘the time of your life’ at this show.