Full Casting Announced for HAMILTON UK and Ireland Tour








Producers Jeffrey Seller and Cameron Mackintosh are delighted to announce casting for the first ever UK and Ireland Tour of the multi award-winning HAMILTON, with Shaq Taylor as Alexander Hamilton, Sam Oladeinde as Aaron Burr, Gabriela Benedetti as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds,  KM Drew Boateng as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison, Daniel Boys as King George, Maya Britto as Eliza Hamilton, Aisha Jawando as Angelica Schuyler, DeAngelo Jones as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton, Billy Nevers as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson and Charles Simmons as George Washington.

They are joined by Simeon Beckett, Taylor Bradshaw, Cletus Chan, Kyerron Dixon-Bassey, Kyeirah D’marni, Yesy Garcia, Jonathan Hermosa-Lopez, Levi Tyrell Johnson, Honey Joseph, Akmed Junior Khemalai, Richard Logun, Buna McCreery-Njie, Mia Mullarkey, Antoine Murray-Straughan, Kiran Patel, Izzy Read, Alice Readie, Harry Robinson, Phoebe Samuel-Gray, Jasmine Jia Yung Shen, Samantha Shuma, Michael James Stewart, Rhys West, Jack Whitehead and Sian Yeo.

Cameron Mackintosh said today: “Jeffrey Seller and I are thrilled to introduce this hugely talented cast for the first ever UK and Ireland Tour of Hamilton.

I was fortunate to be in ‘the room where it happens’ earlier this week for the start of rehearsals and feel very proud that we will soon have two brilliant companies of Hamilton in the UK; in London at the Victoria Palace Theatre, where the show continues to break box-office records and on tour, starting at the Palace Theatre Manchester in November.

Jeffrey and I cannot wait for audiences around the country to discover, or enjoy again, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s revolutionary musical phenomenon.”

Shaq Taylor’s West End credits include playing Beast in Beauty and the Beast at the London Palladium, as well as on the production’s National Tour, Joe Scott in Girl from The North Country at the Gielgud Theatre, and Javert in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre. His other credits include Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Sweet Charity at the Donmar Warehouse, Hadestown at the National Theatre, and A House Music Opera at The Young Vic. On screen he can be seen in Netflix’s Bodkin, and The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society.

Sam Oladeinde has most recently appeared in Assassins at Chichester Festival Theatre. His West End credits Come From Away at the Phoenix Theatre, A Christmas Carol at the Dominion Theatre, The Prince of Egypt at the Dominion Theatre, The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre and the original West End Cast of Hamilton at the Victoria Palace Theatre. On television he has appeared in the BBC’s Casualty and Doctors and in the short film, Diary Room.

Gabriela Benedetti most recently appeared in Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club and Legally Blonde at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, having graduated from Urdang Academy in 2021.

KM Drew Boateng has appeared in Scroogelicious at Theatre Peckham, Five Guys Named Moe at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, The Color Purple at Curve, Leicester and via streaming platforms, Motown The Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre, Hotel at the National Theatre, Blues in the Night at Hackney Empire, The Warriors at Barbican and Breakin’ Convention at Sadler’s Wells. On film he can be seen in Walking On Sunshine.

Daniel Boys’s West End credits include Falsettos at The Other Palace, The Boys in the Band at the Vaudeville Theatre, Spamalot at the Playhouse Theatre, Avenue Q at the Noel Coward Theatre and RENT at the Prince of Wales Theatre. He has appeared in the national and European tours of The War of the Worlds, Nativity! The Musical, Grease and West Side Story. In concert he has appeared in Treason at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, The Pirate Queen at the London Coliseum, Tommy at the Prince Edward Theatre and Disney’s Enchanted Evening at Hyde Park. On television he has appeared in Netflix’s Obsession, ITV’s Unforgotten and Endeavor and the BBC’s Life After Life, EastEnders, Holby City and Any Dream Will Do.

Maya Britto most recently appeared in Hamilton at the Victoria Palace Theatre, making her West End Debut. Her previous credits include The Magician’s Elephant with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the UK Tour of Tokyo Rose and workshops of Beyond The Circle and Becoming Angela at the National Theatre.

Aisha Jawando’s West End credits include starring as Tina in Tina – The Musical at the Aldwych Theatre, Martha Reece in Motown The Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre, Beautiful a the Aldwych Theatre, The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre and The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre. Her other theatre credits include Jack and the Beanstalk at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford, Cinderella at Hackney Empire, The Life at Southwark Playhouse and the Original London cast of Fela at the National Theatre. On screen she will be seen in Universal Pictures’ Wicked and Netflix’s Sex Education.

DeAngelo Jones has most recently appeared in the ensemble of Hamilton at the Victoria Palace Theatre, as well as appearing in the Vienna production of The Bodyguard and Kiss Me, Kate at the London Coliseum with Opera North.

Billy Nevers’ London credits include Fred in Groundhog Day at the Old Vic, Francois in &Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre, Legally Blonde at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Jesus Christ Superstar at the Barbican and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. He has appeared in the concerts I Could Use A Drink in Concert at the Garrick Theatre, Roles We’ll Never Play at the Vaudeville Theatre and Apollo Theatre, and An Intimate Evening with Kristin Chenoweth at the London Palladium. On television he has appeared in NBC’s The Grinch Live,

Charles Simmons’ theatre credits include playing George Washington in the German production of Hamilton, and Ike Turner in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical in Hamburg. On television he has appeared on The Voice Germany, as a juror on Germany’s All Together Now and a vocal coach on X-Factor Germany.

The Olivier, Tony and Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical opened at the newly re-built and restored Victoria Palace Theatre in London in December 2017 where it continues to play to sell-out houses and is currently booking until 2 March 2024. The production continues to break records on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, throughout North America, and commences its International tour in Manila this week.

HAMILTON is the story of America then, told by America now.  Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, HAMILTON has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre—a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education. 

With book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, HAMILTON is based on Ron Chernow’s acclaimed biography.  The HAMILTON creative team previously collaborated on the Tony Award®-Winning Best Musical In the Heights.

HAMILTON features scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound design by Nevin Steinberg and hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe.

HAMILTON is produced in the UK by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill FurmanThe Public Theater and Cameron Mackintosh.



“irrepressible wartime musical is a West End triumph”
Emma John, The Guardian

“Hilarious tale makes Mincemeat out of its rivals…Before curtain I talked to a fan seeing this for the seventh time. I wondered why anyone would see the same show seven times. Now I know”

Neil Armstrong, The Mail On Sunday

“LAUGHING so hard I could barely breathe is not what I expected for a musical about a World War II top-secret plan.…the perfect invasion of the West End. Long may they occupy it.”
Thea Jacobs, The Sun

“a Hamilton and Book of Mormon love child”
TamsinAmy, Lifestyle and Culture influencer

“the feel-good West End musical of the summer…The reviews for the show have been ecstatic… the overwhelming impression is of hopefulness, expansiveness, possibility and joy.”

Alexis Soloski, The New York Times

65 ★★★★★ reviews and counting

Operation Mincemeat: A New Musical  – 65 five-star reviews and counting – “a hilarious new musical that rivals The Book of Mormon for laughs”  (Vogue), has extended its West End run for the fifth time through 21st April 2024. Operation Mincemeat follows thirty-three hugely successful years of The Woman In Black at the Fortune Theatre.

Extension tickets will be available on general sale on Friday 29th September at 10am from the Official Box Office here

The fortnightly £25 ticket lottery continues here (next draw on Monday 2nd October). Access to exclusive perks is available via the Official Operation Mincemeat mailing list here.

New Ballot

Monday night ticket prices are frozen at £39.50 for the new booking period from 26th February through 21st April 2024. To ensure fair access for fans tickets will be available through the Ballot hereThe first draw will take place on Thursday 28th September.

Now starting to gain international acclaim including titles from the USA -“My far-and-away favorite production” (The New Yorker), Israel – “A story about the impossible that was possible…The guys who put on a show with zero budget conquered the most coveted goal of all. The mouse that roared… Fly to London now, right now” (Shlomut by Globes) and Germany –“stands out from the plethora of West End productions…The current must-see show” (Musicalzentrale), the extraordinary debut musical is written and composed by 2023 Stage Debut Award ‘Best creative West End debut’ nominated SpitLip – David Cumming, Felix Hagan, Natasha Hodgson and Zoë Roberts.

After five sold-out development runs at the New Diorama Theatre in 2019 and Southwark Playhouse in 2020, 2021 & 2022, plus an extended Riverside Studios run last summer, Operation Mincemeat: A New Musical is back.

The year is 1943 and we’re losing the war. Luckily, we’re about to gamble all our futures on a stolen corpse. 

Singin’ in the Rain meets Strangers on a Train, Noel Coward meets Noel Fielding, Operation Mincemeat is the fast-paced, hilarious and unbelievable true story of the twisted secret mission that won us World War II. The question is, how did a well-dressed corpse wrong-foot Hitler? 

The production is directed by 2023 Olivier Award nominated  Robert Hastie (Standing at the Sky’s Edge, National Theatre – 2023 Best New Musical Olivier Award winner), following providing directorial support for the Riverside Studios run, while Olivier Award nominated Jenny Arnold (Jerry Springer: The Opera, National Theatre) continues as Choreographer. Also from Standing at the Sky’s Edge at theNational Theatre on the creative team are: 2023 Olivier Award nominated  Ben Stones (Sylvia, The Old Vic) as Set and Costume Designer, Tony Award, six-time Olivier Award and Bafta Award winning Mark Henderson (Girl From the North Country, Broadway & Noël Coward Theatre) as Lighting Designer and Olivier Award winning Mike Walker (Jerry Springer: The Opera, National Theatre) as Sound Designer. Grammy Award winning and Tony, Emmy, Olivier award nominated Steve Sidwell (Beautiful: The Musical, Broadway & Aldwych Theatre) is Orchestrator and Vocal Arranger, while 2023 Stage Debut Award ‘Best creative West End debut’ nominated Joe Bunker is Musical Director. Georgie Staight joins as Associate Director and Paul Isaiah Isles as Associate Choreographer. Casting is by Pearson Casting.

Operation Mincemeat won The Stage Debut award for Best Composer/Lyricist and the Off-West End award for Best Musical Production and Best Company Ensemble. Following the first New Diorama Theatre run, Operation Mincemeat was listed in The Observer’s Top 10 shows of the year and most recently was listed in The Independent’s Top 15 shows of the year.  The show is currently featured in the V&A’s Re:Imagining Musicals display, exploring how musicals have continuously reimagined, reinvented and reinterpreted themselves over time.  

The 2023 Off-West End Best Musical Production Award winning returning cast (Southwark Playhouse/ Riverside Studios), David CummingClaire-Marie HallNatasha HodgsonJak Malone and Zoë Roberts, are joined by: Seán Carey (returning from Riverside Studios), Geri AllanChristian Andrews and Holly Sumpton.

Operation Mincemeat is presented in the West End by Avalon (in association with SpitLip), who have supported since the Southwark Playhouse runs. The show was commissioned by New Diorama Theatre, co-commissioned by The Lowry, and also supported by the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat.

The Real and Imagined History of The Elephant Man Review

Nottingham Playhouse – until Saturday 7th October 2023

Reviewed by Jill Heslop


Written by Tom Wright in beautiful poetic prose, this play The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man at Nottingham Playhouse, movingly portrays the fascinating life of Joseph Merrick played sensitively by Zak Ford-Williams, who became known in history as the Elephant Man. His life began in the East Midlands, in Leicester where his parents, played by Daneka Etchells and Tim Prichett, wanted him to fit in and survive the tough challenges of working in a cigar factory. However, due to his deteriorating condition, he is unable to maintain himself and his descent into living as a sideshow “monster” begins after his mother dies leaving him to fend for himself. He eventually goes to industrial London where he ends up in hospital.

Director Stephen Bailey in this production, shows how the harsh industrial environment reflects the harsh treatment meted out to anybody who does not fit in and play their part. The inhumanity of the doctors in the ‘safe’ environment of the hospital is shown when Merrick is examined as if he is just a specimen for scientific enquiry, with no understanding on their part that he is a real person, called Joseph not John, with feelings. The chances for humour here relieve the tension with a nice relationship built between Merrick and his nurse, played by Nadia Nadarajah, who finds out that he understands everything she has been saying. BSL is here shown to be a powerful and expressive language through Nadarajah’s skilful acting throughout in her various roles. There’s more irony later as well as pointing out the danger of making assumptions about people, when Merrick is introduced to another patient, Miss Fordham, played beautifully by Annabelle Davis as one of her several roles. Zak Ford Williams in the title role as Merrick, uses his body well to illustrate the pain and inner turmoil of the character, allowing us to “Imagine” his feelings as a man. At the end of the play Merrick is given agency as he is the one who screams out to the audience “You are all monsters!” forcing us to acknowledge the uncomfortable realities of the society we live in.

The Set and Costume Designer Simon Kenny chose well, with large oppressive boxes illustrating the confinement of the character and heavy iron girders showing the danger in the big city. The decision not to use prosthetics was a clever one as our focus is always on Merrick the man while Tom Wright’s script reveals to us the physical aspects of the “Elephant Man’s” condition. The cast is composed of all disabled, Deaf and /or neurodivergent actors with over 50% of the creative and supportive team also being Deaf, disabled and /or neurodivergent which strengthens the powerful message of this play about inclusivity and acceptance. This is a searingly moving play, brilliantly acted with real feeling and integrity.

It’s Headed Straight Towards Us Review

Park Theatre, London – until 20th October 2023

Reviewed by Celia Armand Smith


Two actors, a tired runner, and a trailer sliding into a volcano. It sounds like a set up for a joke. And the jokes are plentiful in this new production of It’s Headed Straight Towards Us at the Park Theatre. Written by Adrian Edmondson and Nigel Planer, It’s Headed Straight Towards Us takes place in a trailer (the kind you find on movie and TV sets) in Iceland where the seventh instalment of the ‘Vulcan’ sci-fi franchise is being filmed. A franchise I would gladly watch. Iceland is a place of myth, folklore and famous air travel stopping volcanoes, where the land and it’s inhabitants, elves included, are respected. I’m no scientist, but put a movie set for a most probably straight to streaming sci-fi full of has-beens and wannabes on the side of a volcano, and most likely it is going to take it’s revenge.

Huge Delavoix MBE (Samuel West) has the biggest trailer on set and is once again playing a butler on screen. Gary Savage (Rufus Hound) has one line in the film, a drinking problem that leads to blackouts, and has to sit in hair and make up for 4 hours. Gary has had a huge Hollywood career but is homeless so takes any role so he can stay in a hotel, Hugh is a character actor who always plays the same character, but can buy himself baroque sofas and cats. They are fierce rivals and fierce friends, the kind who know a bit too much about each other so there is always a barbed joke or a witty riposte. Trying to keep the peace is Leela (Nenda Neururer), a runner studying volcanoes with a passion for Icelandic folklore and tradition. Rounding out the cast is the stage itself. The trailer designed by Michael Talyor is constantly moving and creaking, providing the backdrop for the action. As an avalanche hits, and an already fragile bridge crashes into a crevasse, they are left stranded with a make up trailer’s supply of cheap white wine, and only themselves for company.

Samuel West is delightful and understated yet comedically perfect as Hugh, divorced from a wife, sober (went to AA for the networking), and sort of happy in his out gay life. He has taken up tai chi and cobbling to pass the time and be more like Daniel Day-Lewis. Rufus Hound is fiery yet poignant as the drunk star who can remember all the lines from every part he has ever played, and has a fondness for saying whatever he likes. The character of Gary at times strays a bit too close to the current news cycle, however Hound plays him with gusto, and towards the end a tenderness that is a welcome change from the shouty beginnings. Together Hound and West are a comedic treat. Nenda Neururer as Leela is a sweet breezy break from the thespy egos, and under direction from Rachel Kavanaugh, the cast keeps the pace nimble and the jokes flowing.

It’s always fun to peak behind the curtain of the film industry, and that is where the strength in this show lies. The believability of the relationships, the on set hierarchies, and the time spent between takes. It is a welcome and at times hilarious glimpse through the looking glass.

The Mikado review

Arcola Theatre – until 23 September 2023

Reviewed by Claire Roderick


The final show in the Arcola’s Grimeborn Opera Festival 2023 is a polished and playful production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado. Charles Court Opera’s small scale but high-quality version is set in post-World War 2 Japan. The mockery and satire of British politics and society no longer needs to be camouflaged, so the characters are all thoroughly British, with the Mikado being the governor-general and the action set inside the British consulate in Totori. Character names are anglicised – Yum-Yum is now Victoria Plum, Nanki-Poo is Charles Chauncey Drew – and director John Savournin alters a few lines, but this does not diminish the charm and joy of this production. A cast of eight and musical director David Eaton on the piano create a magical show that is simply irresistible.

Gilbert & Sullivan’s witty lyrics and uplifting music are as infectious and entertaining as ever, and the machinations of the Lord High Executioner as he tries to avoid his own death and find someone to behead while contending with the arrival of his bride-to-be’s true love are a treat to watch, however familiar you are with the plot.

In The Arcola’s compact space, Rachel Szmukler’s design is wonderfully evocative of mid-century government offices and gentlemen’s clubs. The besuited diplomats and the three little maids are a delight as the ridiculous affairs of state are manipulated to maintain the Mikado’s nonsensical laws. The entire cast are on top form, with glorious voices and wonderfully arch but also charmingly silly performances. Amongst the marvellous comedy, the slower songs are haunting and the cast’s voices soar beautifully.

John Savournin’s Peter Rush and Matthew Siviter’s Hugh Barr are the epitome of English establishment’s entitlement – smug and pompous, and slightly camp with wonderful comic interplay. Savournin also plays the Mikado with a quiet sense of power and idiotic adherence to his rules reminiscent of the command officers in Blackadder. Robin Bailey and Alys Roberts are an enchanting and very funny couple as Chauncey Drew and Victoria Plum, while Milly King and Jennifer Clark are full of mischief and glee as the other wards of the Lord High Executioner, Colin Cole (Matthew Kellett). Kellett plays the lowly tailor thrust into a position of power is as a wide boy, with wonderful physical comedy highlighting Cole’s constant plotting to keep himself afloat amongst the more polished diplomats. His little list is brilliantly modern, with the inclusion of a few individuals drawing gasps as well as laughs. Katisha and the Mikado arrive in military dress, and Payne’s performance is in the sweet spot between Miss Trunchbull and Rosa Klebb. Kellett’s scenes with Amy J Payne as Katisha are gloriously daft as he woos her and they make a fantastic double act.

Glorious voices and stellar comic performances – You can’t help but smile as this whimsical and lively production.

Heathers The Musical Review

Belgrade Theatre Coventry – until 23rd September 2023

Reviewed by Amarjeet Singh


I’m going to get straight to the point, Heathers the Musical is brilliant! Deviously dark and deliciously dynamic, it comes at you like a knockout punch with its opening number ‘Beautiful’. Setting the scene perfectly, no messing around. You know the lay of the land instantly, in a catchy, entertaining ensemble piece which succinctly introduces the students of Westerburg High, and Veronica Sawyer, a brainy teenage misfit who hustles her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique – the Heathers. There are the jocks, the nerds, the outcasts, but the place to be is sitting atop the social food chain with the ‘Heathers’, a group of entitled, wealthy and beautiful girls with the same first name: Heather Duke, Heather McNamara, and the ruthless queen bee, Heather Chandler. Veronica morphs into a ‘Heather’ to help survive school, but things take a dark turn after a disastrous party and a meeting with a fellow student named JD, who opens her eyes to the tyranny of the jocks and the cruel clique. Falling in love, they plan to exact their revenge, but JD takes things a little too far.

In Heathers the Musical, writers, Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy have created a multi-layered masterpiece, turning the film into a very witty and relentlessly entertaining piece of musical theatre, whilst also building tension, including twists and turns, to eventually reveal a truly cataclysmic conclusion. With only necessary changes from ‘Heathers’ the film, the musical stays remarkably faithful to, and focusses on, key narrative moments, whilst absolutely smashing it as a performance. Heathers the Musical does not shy away from the films disturbing and troubling themes, such as suicide, sexual coercion, homophobia, bullying and murder, but it handles it well, rounding with the message that ‘we’ll endure it, we’ll survive it … if no one loves me now, someday someone will’.

Incorporating slick direction and choreography from Andy Fickman and Gary Lloyd, O’Keefe and Murphy have created the complete package, with a sublime soundtrack packed with plenty of powerful ballads which stay with you long after the performance has ended, and these effortlessly propel the story forward. Standouts are ‘Seventeen’ and ‘Kindergarten Boyfriend’ as well as the slightly disturbing ‘Our Love is God’. A must see is the rather raunchy but extremely funny ‘Dead Girl Walking’.

Jenna Innes is a powerhouse of a Veronica who cycled gloriously through a whole gambit of teenage emotions. Funny, feisty and with a voice that gives you nothing less than chills, the good kind off course, she narrated Veronica’s journey through a dear diary format and embodied the character with such a preppy likableness. Tom Dickerson took the role of tonight’s JD and was impressive and imposing as the object of Veronica’s affections. His soulful vocals matched Innes’ perfectly.

Alex Woodward and Morgan Jackson were terrific as the two meathead jocks, Ram and Kurt. Truly grotesque in their actions, yet you still laughed at their antics due to the writers balancing a fine line between comedy and some sinister subject matter. Kingsley Morton played Veronica’s best friend Martha beautifully and her rendition of ‘Kindergarten Boyfriend’ may cause you to shed a tear, or two. An amazing ensemble and swing team do an astounding job keeping the energy levels up throughout and the show powering through, so you continuously feel entertained.

But what is Heathers the Musical without the Heathers? Elise Zavou was superb as Heather Duke, belting out ‘I will Never Shut Up Again’ with pure disco vibes. Billie Bowman was divine as Heather McNamara, her haunting version of ‘Lifeboat’ gave me goosebumps, and then there is the queen bee herself, Verity Thompson as Heather Chandler. She was incredible. Fantastic vocals, and razor-sharp, she commanded the stage with ease and was a joy to watch, even though she is a mythic bitch!

Heathers the Musical is the complete package! It’s a no brainer if you are looking for a show to watch which has brilliant songs, a decent storyline, and is astoundingly funny. So why not kick back tonight and go be seventeen.

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet Review

Edinburgh Festival Theatre – until 23rd September 2023

 Reviewed by Rachel Farrier 


The sense of anticipation in the sell out audience before the curtain rose for this production of Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet was an excellent sign of the evening that lay ahead of us, to the extent that when there was a technical glitch and the curtain was stuck half open for a tense 5 minutes, it seemed initially that this was part of the show.   

However, this was truly the only minor wobble in an otherwise perfect evening of sublime ballet.  

Set to Prokofiev’s 1935 score, Matthew Bourne has brilliantly re-imagined Romeo and Juliet into a startling and disturbing tale, set in what Bourne himself says is an intentionally vague institution in which young people are incarcerated. It does not shy away from themes of sexual violence and the abuse of power, but there is a tenderness and beauty in the eponymous relationship between the central characters which is breathtaking, and perhaps all the more so for the claustraphobic setting of distress and violence.  

The set is comprised of the curved, high white tiled walls and white fences of the ‘Verona Institute’, with a raised platform at the back which creates an unsettlingly clinical scene where there is constant observation of the ‘inmates’. In addition, the cast are dressed in all white ‘uniforms’ throughout, apart from one scene where there is a dance (organized by the well meaning chaplain) and this is a welcome relief to the eye as dancers appear in colourful dresses and outfits. 

 It is this scene that we are introduced to Ben Brown’s exceptional Mercutio – he drew all eyes to him with both his athletic swagger and the gentle tenderness towards his lover Benvolio (Euan Garrett). The sequences in which Benvolio expresses his heartbreak and overwhelming distress at Mercuito’s death moved me to tears; it was an exquisite performance from Garrett. The production showcased diverse bodies and sexualities in a way that was full of ease and beauty, further enriching the dynamics of choreography and wonderfully expressed emotion.  

Rory MacLeod as Romeo is simply outstanding and demonstrates a dazzling range of emotion, moving the audience from elation to despair with his exceptional grace and economy of movement. Cordelia Brathwaite as Juliet is the bright heart of the production with a strong presence – the connection between her and Macleod’s Romeo was magnetic. Their duets together were almost impossibly skillful in the way they portrayed love and fear, hope and anguish. The sequence in which they somehow do not part lips with one another as they beautifully manouvere around the stage is as mesmerizing as it is breathtaking.    

The tragic finale with its unexpected twist on the traditional tale left the audience stunned, and the rapturous audience as the curtain fell was no less than this extraordinary troupe deserves.  

Casting announcement for the premiere of Jonathan Maitland’s The Interview at Park Theatre from 27 October – 25 November

Original Theatre in association with Park Theatre  

presents the world premiere of
The Interview

at Park Theatre from 27 October – 25 November 2023  

Written by Jonathan Maitland 

Directed by Michael Fentiman 

Starring Tibu Fortes as Martin Bashir and Yolanda Kettle as Diana, Princess of Wales  

This is the story of the interview. 

The interview which told her story. A story that shocked the world. 

Why should I stay silent? They’ve been trying to shut me up from day one.  

This way I’ll finally be heard.” 

Original Theatre in association with Park Theatre presents the world premiere of The Interviewat Park Theatre from 27 October until 25 November 2023 (press night: 1 November, 19:00). The production will star Tibu Fortes as Martin Bashir and Yolanda Kettle as Diana, Princess of Wales. 

On 20 November 1995 the BBC broadcast an interview between Diana, Princess of Wales and Martin Bashir. It was watched by hundreds of millions worldwide. But now, it is said, the interview has no legitimacy. Is it right that the way it came about has overshadowed what it was meant to be? 

This powerful new play by writer and broadcaster Jonathan Maitland (author of Park Theatre hits Dead Sheep, An Audience with Jimmy Savile, The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson) and directed by Olivier Award nominated Michael Fentiman (Amelie, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Loot), gives an insight into the story behind the interview: the woman who gave it, the man who made it happen and the institution that broadcast it.  

The Interview poses tough questions: What can we justify in the pursuit of truth? Can we trust our great institutions? And are we ever, really, in control of our own narrative… our legacy? 

The cast of The Interview is Tibu Fortes as Martin, Naomi Frederick as Luciana, Yolanda Kettle as Diana, Princess of Wales and Ciarán Owens as Matt, with a further cast member to be announced. 

The Creative Team is completed by Set and Costume Designer Sami Fendall, Lighting Designer Emily Irish, Sound Designer and Composer Barnaby Race, Costume Supervisor Logan Kelly, Production Manager Andreas Ayling, Wig Designer Susanna Peretz, Wigs Supervisor Pedro Paiva. The Stage Manager on Book is Kanoko Shimizu and Assistant Stage Manager is Paulina Krauss. The Interview is produced by Steven Atkinson for Original Theatre.  

Writer Jonathan Maitland said: “The things that led to the famous interview and the events that came after it revealed much about our country and its institutions. It’s definitely the stuff of drama and I can’t wait to see our superb cast and brilliant director Michael Fentiman bring it all to life.” 

Director Michael Fentiman said: “It’s a great pleasure to be directing Jonathan Maitland’s play The Interview at Park Theatre this Autumn. It’s an opportunity to return to a theatre I have very fond memories of after my production of Joe Orton’s Loot there in 2017. It’s an added bonus that I get to work with a theatre company in Original Theatre, who I have long admired as a tireless and vital part of the UK’s new work ecology. Jonathan Maitland is a writer of great integrity and bravery and it’s been an honour to be trusted with his play.” 

The Interview is produced by the award-winning theatre company Original Theatre (The Mirror Crackd, The Habit of Art) who delivered Park Theatre productions The End of The Night, Napoli, Brooklyn and Monogamy and the forthcoming The Time Machine – A Comedy, this December.  

Artistic Director of Original Theatre, Alastair Whatley, said: “I am delighted to be returning to Park Theatre once again with the first of two plays back-to-back, first up with a world première of Jonathan Maitlands superb new play. Its wonderful for us to be collaborating with director Michael Fentiman and a brilliant cast and creative team for what we anticipate will be a play that gets London talking.” 

To book tickets for The Interview, visit: https://parktheatre.co.uk/whats-on/the-interview or call the Box Office: 020 7870 6876.*  

* Telephone booking fee applies. 


Show: The Interview 

Venue: Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP 

Dates: Friday 27 October – Saturday 25 November 2023; Mon – Sat 19.30, Thu & Sat 15.00 

Running Time: approx. 1hr 50 mins (including interval) 

Box Office: https://parktheatre.co.uk/whats-on/the-interview / 020 7870 6876*  

* Telephone booking fee applies. 

Tickets: Previews: £15 – £25. Standard: £22.50 – £44.50. 65+: £20 – £22.50 (Mon eve and Thu mat). Access: £17.50Booking fees apply. Book early to secure the best prices. Prices may change, subject to demand. 

Age Guidance: 12+ 

Captioned: Tue 14 November, 19.30

Audio Described: Fri 17 November, 19.30 with Touch Tour, 18.30

Access information: https://parktheatre.co.uk/your-visit/access-information 

Category: theatre / drama  

Murder in the Dark Review

York Theatre Royal – until 23rd September 2023

Reviewed by Janina Cairns


The age guidance for this play is 14+.

If you are not familiar with the York Theatre Royal, then you are missing a treat. It is over 250 years old and still a firm favourite of theatre goers.

Something that doesn’t happen often is this, they offered a special, post show discussion after the 7.30pm performance on Wednesday 20th September

Murder In The Dark is a psychological ghost story style thriller with humour. It is hard to describe this wonderful show without giving too much away (and spoilers here isn’t appropriate) but it is safe to say, the show takes you on a rabbit warren of plot twists. This play needs to keep the plot secret so as not to spoil it for those coming after – akin to The Mousetrap.

The play starts with Danny Sierra (played by TV and Stage’s Tom Chambers) -a singer – and his dysfunctional family, his brother William (played by Owen Oakshott), his ex-wife Rebecca (played by Rebecca Charles), his son Jake (played by Jonny Green) and Danny’s girlfriend Sarah (played by Laura White).

Having to seek refuge from the weather in a run-down holiday cottage on a farm after being rescued after the crash on the way back towards London after a funeral. Their rescuer is the owner of the farm, Mrs Bateman (played by TV and Stage legend Susie Blake). The stage set for this play is very simple but effective. It is all set within the holiday cottage with an occasional set change for the outside toilet area.

The family are told that the weather has worsened, and it is clear they are stuck for the night as no taxis would be able to get to them and even if they did, no trains were running.

None of them are happy of course. It is New Year’s Eve, and they have places to be. The first half of the play really sets the scene for what is to come, giving us an insight into the dynamic of the group and feeling the tension build between the characters.

The second half of the show really ramps up the tension, with twists, revelation of secrets, some more twists. A real rollercoaster of what is going to happen next. If I am truly honest, I didn’t guess the ending here and that is all down to the brilliant writing of Torben Betts and his creation of this wonderful play.

There was humour all the way through the play and Mrs Bateman’s character is absolutely brilliant. She has us laughing out loud as she takes the cast and the audience with her on her own little mad ramblings. For me, she stole the show but the writing and deliverance of the lines she was given was absolute genius. Well done again to Torben Betts for his writing.

Finally, if you enjoy a good spooky story, you will not be disappointed, but it is also for those who aren’t a ghost story style fan because you will have just as much fun as the humour is more than worth it.

Legend the Music of Bob Marley Review

Adelphi Theatre – 19th September 2023

Reviewed by Heather Chalkley


The promoter, Entertainers, secured the venue for an Adelphi Theatre debut that rocks the house with the reggae beat. Three years after Bob Marley’s death the greatest hits album Legend was released in 1984 and became the bestselling reggae album of all time. Fittingly named, this show brings to life the music of Bob Marley that is as relevant today as it was in the 60’s and 70’s.

Although Marley can never be replaced, he can be remembered. Michael Anton Phillips does the great man justice, bringing to life his well known hits that has the audience on their feet and singing along. A roar goes up when Phillips releases his dreadlocks, synonymous with Marley. The clarity of the lyrics resonates throughout the auditorium, telling real stories of love, life and freedom.

The talented band members of lead guitarist, bass player, keyboards and drummer know their craft and are well honed to the reggae beat. The backing singers are choreographed beautifully for each song and encourage the audience to join in with the lyrics and the moves.

Legend is on a UK wide tour and this is their first time in the West End. After this resounding success, let’s hope we get that rock steady beat back in the city for more dates in the future.