“We are whispers from the past fading into the future” is projected onto one of two large screens filling the stage in the Jerwood as the audience takes their seats on a sunny Monday evening.

No one quite knows what to expect, least of all the lone actor, who tonight is comedy legend Meera Syal. Over 16 performances, 16 different actors have bravely agreed to enact the latest work of award winning Iranian playwright, Nissam Soleimanpour, who is also beamed in live (or so we think) from his study in Berlin.

We are speedily put at ease as an AI voice comically delivers instructions for Meera to don white socks and black slippers, which we later discover match those worn by Nissam. (The whole piece is awash with precise symbols – a plant, a Persian rug, a bracelet – weaving in and out of the narrative.)

Then Nissam’s jolly bespectacled face fills the screen, every bit endearing and unassuming. It all feels quite playful and haphazard as the illusion of Nissam’s daily life with wife Shiran and dog Echo plays out as we’re made to feel like this a preamble, not really part of the show. Nothing could be further from the truth though as every inch of this play, artfully directed by Omar Elerian, reads like it has been intricately engineered so as to disorient, unsettle and challenge the audience.

Meera and Nissam are old friends which adds a beautiful intimacy to the puppet and puppet master relationship but one suspects that the quirky, self-deprecating playwright achieves a similar warm dynamic with all of his actors.

Although mainly tasked with vocalising Nissam’s thoughts on immigration, identity and
home, either by way of an earpiece or by reading script projected on screen, Meera is just as sharp and insightful as she confides how she has come to regard not belonging as a gift
since it offers the ability to see the bigger picture.

Echo wishes to explore the nature of storytelling itself as Nissam bravely questions where, when, who and what home is by sharing his own experiences of fleeing his beloved Iran. The result is a dazzling, profound and self-reflective piece which invites its audience to sit up close to its construction and marvel at its form.





As part of the new strategic vision for London Transport Museum, Director and CEO Elizabeth McKay and the whole team are pleased to announce that The Truth About Harry Beck, a brand-new play about the designer of the iconic version of the London Tube map, will launch at the Museum’s on-site Cubic Theatre, right in the heart of Covent Garden.

Presented by the Natural Theatre Company, The Truth About Harry Beck, written and directed by Andy Burden, will play from 14 September to 10 November, with a national press night on 18 September at 7.30pm (the fiftieth anniversary of Harry Beck’s death). Tickets are on sale now here.

Inspired by the culture and creativity of the West End, the introduction of theatre is one example of how London Transport Museum is expanding its programming for new audiences. Music, performance and even more art and design will allow people to explore London’s rich transport history and the influential characters that have shaped London.

Harry Beck: creator of the London Tube Map.

For many of us, the London Underground is purely functional. But to Harry Beck, this web of geography became an obsession – a fascination with the creation of the perfect Tube map.

How did Beck create the iconic diagrammatic map of today, and at what cost? To understand you need to meet Harry, and his wife Nora.

Take a glimpse inside a journey of passion, a wife’s dedication and the living breathing network of the tunnels and train tracks in our capital. Embrace your inner transport enthusiast through a mash up of real-life accounts, uncovered anecdotes and seemingly unconnected facts (…with a peppering of fictitious characters).

Join The Natural Theatre Company as they take you on a whimsical whirlwind of fact through the worlds of design, transport, modern history…and an addiction to getting it right.

Elizabeth McKay, Director and CEO for London Transport Museum, said: “The opportunity to introduce this new play about the man behind the famous Tube map was a no-brainer for us. London Transport Museum is a cultural cornerstone in Covent Garden in the heart of theatreland and this play lets you experience one of London’s little-known stories in a brand-new live format. We are bringing the capital’s rich history and characters alive for you.”

Writer and director Andy Burden said, “About 16 years ago, I had the idea to put the story of the iconic Tube diagram on stage.  I met with Ken Garland, a designer whose book “Mr Beck’s Underground Map” helped bring Harry Beck’s story to public attention.  He leant me copies of Beck’s letters and gave me a small insight into the man. He was a man dedicated to finding the perfect schematic representation of the Underground network. And over a period of nearly 30 years, he worked tirelessly to improve the map, reflecting new stations, new lines and new suggestions from his bosses.   

“Looking through Ken’s book, I got obsessed with the map and how he drew it, at one point being fixated on each minute change to its layout.  Over 14 years I kept rewriting the play trying to make it work at its best – life it seems was imitating art!

“The first short run of the play appeared in September 2021 at the Theatre Royal Bath Ustinov Studio.  Sadly, Ken Garland had passed away just months before, so never got to see the play.

“I am so pleased that my play about Harry Beck’s story is enhancing the experience at this fabulous Museum. It also keeps his name alive and connected to his wonderfully simple creation”.

Full casting and creative team will be announced shortly.

The Other Palace presents sold-out Edinburgh Fringe Festival hit, TINK



Did you know fairies are born big? They were never intended to be such tiny little creatures.

That’s not supposed to be their destiny.

Following a sold-out run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023, TINK transfers to The Other Palace Studio for a strictly limited 2-week run from 8th to 20th October 2024.

TINK was a big, brilliant young fairy until one day, in a tragic cliché, TINK began to shrink.

Performed & composed by Kat Kleve (Once, Brief Encounter) and directed & written by Lizzy Connolly (PygmalionThe Windsors, director of A Very, Very Bad Cinderella), TINK is a nostalgic, uplifting musical monologue that tackles the modern experience of being female and the societal pressures that come with navigating from child to tween to teen to adult.

TINK isn’t a retelling of Peter Pan, or “an origin story of Tinker Bell”. This is an imperfect, messy ‘female gaze fairy tale’ in all its ugly glory. The musical leads audiences through the story of one shrinking fairy on the path to one crucial question: Why do so many girls who start powerful, unfiltered, big, bold, loud, and without prejudice or shame, begin to shrink just as they should be growing?

Praise for TINK from Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Underbelly Bristo Square, Clover) 2023:

★★★★★ Reviews Hub

“Tink is a must-see show. No arguments or debates, it just is.”

★★★★★ Adventures in Theatreland

Tink is a beautiful show in every aspect – beautiful staging, beautiful costumes, beautiful music – but most importantly a beautiful message.”

★★★★★ Ed Fringe Review

“Despite being fiercely witty, the story has real heart and purpose. It will make you laugh right before it makes you cry… serious themes are beautifully weaved into the narrative.” 

Kat Kleve, Performer, Composer and Co-creator of TINK: “TINK has already touched the hearts of hundreds of people up and down the UK and we’re so excited to be bringing this funny, magical and heart-wrenching story to The Other Palace Studio, a venue who are doing amazing things to support and celebrate new musical theatre writing.”

Paul Taylor-Mills, Artistic Director at The Other Palace: “TINK is a beautiful and raw solo musical performed by the captivating Kat Kleve. It is an empowering piece of theatre and is a perfect fit to The Other Palace Studio and the stories we want to tell in that space.”

The all-female creative team of TINK includes Rosanna Bates as Movement Director, Kate Marlais as Musical Director, and Rachael Duthie as Lighting Designer.


8 – 20 October 2024
Music by Kat Kleve and Book by Lizzy Connolly

On Sale: 
 23 July 2024 12.00pm

Run Time: 1 Hour

Tickets: £22.50

Venue: The Other Palace

Address: 12 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5JA

Box Office: 020 7592 0302




The National Theatre, in association with A Zeldin Company, today announces further casting for the world premiere of The Other Place, a new play directed and written by Alexander Zeldin (The Confessions, Faith, Hope and Charity) with music by Yannis Philippakis (Foals), inspired by Sophocles’ classic story Antigone.

Alison Oliver (Saltburn) will play Issy and joins the previously announced cast that includes Lee Braithwaite (Cowbois) as Leni, Emma D’Arcy (House of the Dragon) as Annie, Jeremy Killick (The Confessions) as Terry, Tobias Menzies (The Crown) as Chris and Nina Sosanya (Screw) as Erica.

Two sisters reunite on the anniversary of the death of their father. Their uncle has remodelled their family home, in an attempt at a fresh start. But one sister’s sudden reappearance threatens to shatter this fragile idyll as she demands justice for the pain she carries.

Amid the debris and the new extension, guilt, grief and greed battle it out in the family’s competing dreams of their future. When we are faced with the suffering of others, even those closest to us, can we look away?

Directed by Alexander Zeldin with set and costume design by Rosanna Vize, lighting design by James Farncombe, composed by Yannis Philippakis, sound design by Josh Anio Grigg, movement direction by Marcin Rudy, casting by Alastair Coomer CDG, voice coaching by Cathleen McCarron, associate lighting design by Bethany Gupwell and staff direction by Sammy Glover.

The Other Place is playing in the Lyttelton theatre from 27 September until 9 November.

Tickets are available from £20 and are on sale now via the National Theatre website. For further information, including details about assisted performances, please visit

World premiere of new musical A KNIGHT’S TALE to open in Manchester in 2025





FROM 11 APRIL 2025


Producer Runaway Entertainment (Disney’s Newsies, Girl From The North Country, 2:22 – A Ghost Story and 101 Dalmatians the Musical) is delighted to announce the world premiere production of A KNIGHT’S TALE THE MUSICAL, based on the Columbia Pictures film written and directed by Brian Helgeland which starred Heath Ledger and Paul Bettany. The musical will open at Manchester Opera House on 11 April 2025 for a strictly limited run until 10 May 2025. It is adapted for the stage by Irish comedy writer and actor Brona C Titley, directed by the award-winning Rachel Kavanaugh and choreographed by Olivier Award-winning Matt Cole.

Tickets go on general sale on 1 August, sign up now:

A Knight’s Tale has it all. Expect a truly rockin’ soundtrack, packed with chart-topping hits! Join Will Thatcher and his band of merry misfits for a Knight like no other.

Casting to be announced.

The film A Knight’s Tale was released by Columbia Pictures in 2001 written, co-produced and directed by Oscar winner Brian Helgeland (L.A Confidential, Mystic River).The film is a stylish, music driven, action packed adventure starring Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight, The Patriot), with heroic performances from Paul Bettany (Iron Man, Wimbledon), Mark Addy (The Full Monty, Down to Earth) Rufus Sewell (Dangerous Beauty, Dark City). Ledger plays William Thatcher, a 14th century peasant squire who breaks all the rules when he passes himself off as a nobleman and takes the jousting world by storm. The only thing that stands between William and his dream of becoming the World Champion of the most extreme of sports is the bad boy of the sport Count Adhemar. And when the two rivals go lance to lance at the world finals, you’d better arm yourself and hang on tight for the ride of your life!

The hit film which mixed modern music with its medieval setting garnered a lot of positive attention and has been cited by some as paving the way for hits like Netflix’s “Bridgerton.”

Brian Helgeland said: “Over twenty years ago I had the time of my life surrounded by a supreme cast and crew making a film we all fell in love with while we were joyfully making it. Sitting at a recent read through of the stage version, fashioned by Rachel Kavanaugh and Brona C Titley, I could feel that same joy and love emerging. I am grateful for the new life they are creating and very eager to see it in all its fully staged glory.

Brona C Titley said: “When I saw A Knight’s Tale the Movie in 2001, I knew it was an instant classic. Upon innumerable rewatches, I can confirm… it still is! Adapting it for the stage has been more fun than I ever thought possible to have at work. This show is a sexy, silly, jousty, dancey, romance-y, musical extravaganza! It’s been one of the most fulfilling jobs of my career so far, and that was even before I met the incredible director, and team of legends that are working together to make it an unforgettable night out. I hope audiences love it as much as I do – do not miss this joyous, dizzy ride people!”

Rachel Kavanaugh said: “I am beyond excited to be directing Brona’s brilliant and hilarious stage adaptation of Brian’s ground breaking film. With a score of well loved rock and pop bangers, jousting, dancing, adventure and romance I hope we can give the audience a knight to remember as we follow the journey of a thatcher’s son and find out if he really can ‘change his stars’”.

A KNIGHT’S TALE THE MUSICAL is adapted by Brona C Titley, directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, and choreographed by Matt Cole with casting by Lucy Casson and children’s casting by Keston and Keston.

A KNIGHT’S TALE THE MUSICAL is produced by Tristan Baker and Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment and Isobel David, by arrangement with Sony Pictures and Brian Helgeland.




Facebook: @aknightstalemusical

X: @ukknightstale



11 April – 10 May 2025

Manchester Opera House

3 Quay St,


M3 3HP

Performances: Tuesdays – Saturdays at 7:30pm, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2.30pm

N.B there will be no performances on 20, 21 April or 5 May

Tickets from £15








With Stephen Schwartz’s The Baker’s Wife currently running at the theatre, the Menier Chocolate Factory today announces programming for its forthcoming season, including the cast for Arthur Wing Pinero’s The Cabinet Minister, adapted by Nancy Carroll, also starringas Lady Katherine Twombley and directed by Paul Foster, in his Menier debut. They are joined by, George Blagden as Valentine White, Joe Edgar as Brook Twombley, Pheobe Fildes as Fanny Lacklustre, Rosalind Forbes as Imogen Twombley, Dom Hodson as Keith (Lord Drumdurris), Dillie Keane as Lady Macphail, Nicholas Rowe as the Right Honourable Sir Julian Twombley, Laurence Ubong Williams as Mr Bernard Lacklustre and Mr Melting, Romaya Weaver as Lady Effie Vibart and Matthew Woodyatt as Sir Colin Macphail of Ballocheevin.

Also announced today, is a major new revival of Mel Brooks’ musical adaptation of The Producers – with music & lyrics by Brooks, and book by Brooks and Thomas Meehan, which will be staged at the Menier this Christmas by Tony Award-winning director Patrick Marber who returns to the venue. Based on the classic cult film of the same name, the original Broadway production won twelve Tony Awards, which to this day makes it still the all-time record holder for the most Tony Award’s ever given to a musical. It skewers Broadway traditions, taking no prisoners as it proudly proclaims itself an “equal opportunity offender!”

The laugh-out-loud production opens on 9 December, with previews from 26 November, and runs until 1 March 2025. To receive priority booking for the production, please join the Menier Chocolate Factory’s supporter’s scheme. Further information about on sale dates and casting will be announced shortly.


By Arthur Wing Pinero

Adapted by Nancy Carroll 

Director: Paul Foster; Set & Costume Designer: Janet Bird; Sound Designer: George Dennis; Composer & Musical Supervisor: Sarah Travis;Movement: Joanna Goodwin

Sir Julian Twombley is in trouble: his wife and son have run up massive debts and his political reputation is in the balance. The House of Commons is far from a safe space for him and the newspapers are sniffing blood. Can he save face and hang on to his sanity?

Arthur Wing Pinero’s breathless farce is given a new life in Nancy Carroll’s adaptation. A crack cast tackles this sparkling story of marriage, blackmail and class where all bets are off!

Arthur Wing Pinero (1855 – 1934) was an English playwright and actor. His many plays include Trelawny of the “Wells”, The Magistrate, Dandy Dick, Sweet Lavendar, The Second Mrs Tanqueray, The Magistrate and The Notorious Mrs Ebbsmith.

Nancy Carroll adapts and plays Lady Katherine Twombley. This sees her returns to the Menier following her performance in Marjorie Prime. For theatre, her other credits include Rock ‘n’ Roll (Hampstead Theatre),  Manor, The Magistrate, After the Dance – Oliver Award and Evening Standard Award for Best Actress, Man of Mode (National Theatre), Betrayal (Theatre Royal Bath), The Deep Blue Sea (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Moderate Soprano (Hampstead Theatre, Duke of York’s Theatre), Young Marx (Bridge Theatre), Woyzeck (The Old Vic), Closer, The Recruiting Officer (Donmar Warehouse), House of Games, King Lear (Almeida Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Sheffield Theatres), Arcadia (Duke of York’s Theatre), Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2 (RSC), and Mammals (Bush Theatre). For television, her work includes Father Brown, Murder in Provence, Stephen, The Crown, Agatha Raisin, Queens of Mystery, Will, Prime Suspect 1973, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher and Call the Midwife; and for film, The Gathering Storm, IrisAn Ideal Husband and Magic Mike’s Last Dance.

George Blagden plays Valentine White. His theatre credits include Company (Gielgud Theatre), Tartuffe (Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Pitchfork Disney (Shoreditch Town Hall) and Platinum (Hampstead Theatre). His television credits include Versailles and Black Mirror: Hang The DJ; and for film, Les Misérables.

Joe Edgar plays Brook Twombley. His theatre credits include Just For One Day (Old Vic Theatre) and Hitchhiker (Teastain Theatre). His television credits include Midsomer Murders – “Claws Out” and The Crown.

Phoebe Fildes plays Miss Fanny Lacklustre. Her theatre credits include Assassins (Nottingham Playhouse and Watermill Theatre), The Mousetrap (St Martin’s Theatre), A Woman of No Importance (Vaudeville Theatre), A Little Night Music (Watermill Theatre), Peter Pan (National Theatre) and Once l (Phoenix Theatre).

Rosalind Ford plays Imogen Twombley. Her theatre credits In Clay (Upstairs at the Gatehoue), Once (UK tour), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Southwark Playhouse), Just So (Barn Theatre), These Trees Are Made of Blood (Arcola Theatre), The Drowsy Chaperone (Edinburgh Festival Fringe) and Mother Courage (Southwark Playhouse).

Dom Hodson plays Keith, Lord Drumdurris. His theatre credits include Bleak Expectations (Criterion Theatre and Watermill Theatre), Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Aldwych Theatre), War Horse (Gillian Lynne Theatre), West Side Story (UK Tour) and Words and Music (Sadler’s Wells). Television credits include Life After Life; and for film, Matilda.

Dillie Keane plays Lady Macphail. Her theatre credits include A Little Night Music (Watermill Theatre), Dillie Keane Solo Tour (UK Tour), Cowardy Custard (Richmond Theatre), My Brilliant Divorce (UK tour) and The Importance of Being Earnest (Ireland tour). Television credits include Pie in the Sky and Grumpy Old Women; and for film, To Die For and Deadly Advice. She is also the co-writer, performer, composer and lyricist for comedy musical troupe Fascinating Aïda which is currently touring to celebrate its 40th year anniversary.

Known for playing Young Sherlock Holmes, Nicholas Rowe plays Right Hon Sir Julian Twombley. His theatre credits include Minority Report (Lyric Hammersmith Theatre), The Inquiry (Chichester Festival Theatre), Tammy Faye, Albion (Almeida Theatre) and Motown the Musical (US Tour). Television credits include The Outlaws, The CrownWashington, The Killing KindThe Importance of Being OscarThe FugitivesA Spy Among FriendsDa Vinci’s DemonsRiviera; and for film, Young Sherlock Holmes; LockStock and Two Smoking Barrels and Nicholas Nickleby.

Laurence Ubong Williams plays Mr Bernard Lacklustre and Mr Melting.  He returns to the Menier following his appearance in The Watsons.  His other theatre credits include The Motive and the Cue(National Theatre and Noel Coward Theatre), Word Play (Royal Court), The Welkin (National Theatre), The Deep Blue Sea (Chichester Festival Theatre), Jumpy (Theatre Clwyd) and A Winter’s Tale (Orange Tree Theatre). His television credits include The Chelsea Detective, Humans and Doctors.

Romaya Weaver is a recent graduate from Guildhall School of Music and Drama and makes her professional stage debut as Lady Effie Vibart.

Matthew Woodyatt plays Sir Colin Macphail of Ballocheevin. His theatre credits include A Song of Songs (Park Theatre), The Fair Maid of the West (RSC), Moving Stories (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe), Berlusconi (Southwark Playhouse), Piaf (Nottingham Playhouse and Leeds Playhouse), Moving Stories (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Fiddler on the Roof (Chichester Festival Theatre), One Man, Two Guvnors (UK tour). His television credits include Grandpa In My PocketThe Passion – It Has Begun and Arrows of Desire; and for film, A Serial Killer’s Guide to Life and The Gospel of Us.

Paul Foster directs. For theatre, his work includes White Christmas, Talent, Annie Get Your Gun (Sheffield Theatres), Fascinating Aida (UK tour), Gypsy (Alexandra Palace), Curtains (Wyndham’s Theatre and UK tour), The Deep Blue Sea (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Light Princess, Sweet Charity (Cadogan Hall), A Little Night Music, Laurel and Hardy (Watermill Theatre), Tell Me on a Sunday (Watermill Theatre and UK tour), Bette Midler and Me, Flora the Red Menace (Edinburgh Festival), The Confession Room (St James’ Theatre); Darling of the Day, Bells are Ringing, Crimes of the Heart (Union Theatre),  Cowardy Custard (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and UK tour), Little One (Royal Court Young Writers Festival), Katherine Jakeways (Soho Theatre) and The Vagina Monologues (UK tour).




Until 14 September


21 September – 16 November


26 November – 1 March 2025

Box Office: 020 7378 1713 (£2.50 transaction fee per booking)

Website: (£1.50 transaction fee per booking)

Tickets: Prices vary, as below from discounted preview tickets to premier seats. With the emphasis on ‘the sooner you book, the better the price’:

Please note at this time the restaurant is unable to open due to circumstances beyond the company’s control.

Twitter: @MenChocFactory

Instagram: @menierchocolatefactory

Peter Pan and Wendy Review

Gala Durham – until 27th July 2024

Review by Stee Leahy


Adapted by Laura Turner

The stage was set, it was somewhat reminiscent of the opening of ‘Everybody’s Talking about Jamie’ – Absolutely not what you would visually expect from a production of ‘Peter Pan’. It was intriguing. 

Opening the show was Lucy Davis’ Wendy, A 13-year-old girl alone in her bedroom. Lucy’s energy was electric from the moment she began to sing. Such a fantastic voice and one I would’ve liked to have heard a little more throughout the show. The first real scene consisted of Wendy having a conversation with her mother Cassandra, played by Rosie Stancliffe. Stancliffe Plays a few characters in this production, however the role of Cassandra was my personal favourite of hers. Her on stage mother/daughter chemistry with Davis was spot on. 

The next significant characters we are Introduced to is that of the three lost boys played by Rosie Stancliffe, Jordan Larkin and Meena Al-Nawrasy, respectively. Each bringing dynamically different characteristics to their roles. Each working together to complement one another. I would like to point out that Larkin’s portrayal of ‘Nibs’ was one of the stand outs in the show for me. Bravo! Delicately hilarious. 

Rounding off the lost boys is that of Peter Pan, brought to life by the incredibly talented Lucas Bradley Benson. His entrance was perfect, he flew! I do however wish this was the first time that the flying mechanism was used. It was put to use earlier in the show, depicting Wendy travelling to Neverland, that was fun too – however, I just think the impact, the magic and the wow factor would have hit so much harder if the first character we saw fly was indeed Peter Pan. Benson captured the essence of the traditional Pan wonderfully. I could see him play Peter in any version or vision of this beloved story. Perfect casting! 

Finally we meet Captain Hook, but like you’ve never seen him before. He’s done away with his pirate boat, sword and to my disappointment even his iconic hook hand – in this version, he’s more along the lines of a dodgy cowboy biker! Kieron Michael was the Hook we never knew we needed. Funny, witty, camp and enjoyable – after all who doesn’t enjoy a good villain! He had us in the palm of his hand – and we loved being there too.

The story had the same skeleton, it hit all the main plot points you’d expect to see in any production of Peter Pan, however, it is absolutely not what you would expect when thinking of “Peter Pan”. 

The simply elaborate set was used to its fullest, creating different parts of Neverland by just changing and moving slightly. It was beautiful, the trees particularly were stunning. 

The cast as an ensemble were excellent… The scenes I enjoyed the most were that which consisted of everyone being on stage at the same time. Again, the character dynamics were exceptional.

The character of Tinkerbell, honestly was nothing less than you’d expect in London’s West End. The projection and the way the characters held an imaginary little fairy in their hands had the children, and the grown-ups smiling with pure joy. I loved that. 

If you’re looking for something with a great message, something that’s a little bit different, then I definitely think this reimagined version of the much loved family classic is the show for you. Peter Pan and Wendy at the Gala Durham – it’s an awfully big adventure!

British Youth Music Theatre’s ‘Unbound’ set to bewitch audiences

Witchcraft and mystery meet 80s rock with British Youth Music Theatre’s ‘Unbound’

British Youth Musical Theatre present a brand-new musical exploring community and what it is to belong. The debut stage musical by Matthew Harvey, Unbound is set to an 80’s fueled pop-rock score and features big choruses, big hair and big magic.

BYMT present a brand-new musical exploring community and what it is to belong. The debut stage musical by Matthew HarveyUNBOUND is set to an 80’s fueled pop-rock score and features big choruses, big hair and big magic. Through BYMT’s partnerships with local schools, the production includes two young people from  Birmingham, as part of a cast brought together from across the UK.

Home-schooled Iris has finally convinced her mother to let her attend Black Lake High. Ready for an ‘ordinary’ life of friends, parties and school spirit, Iris’ world is turned upside down when she unknowingly frees an ancient witch and finds herself part of the coven. Will Iris’ newfound powers help her win over her new classmates, or spell disaster for the town of Beggars Hollow?

Writer/composer Matthew Harvey was a finalist in the 2021 Stiles and Drew Best New Song Prize for The Road from his musical Now or Never (a song cycle created during the pandemic inspired by theatre’s resilience during lockdown), a recipient of the MGCfutures Bursary, and Associate Artist at The Barn Theatre. He is joined by Director Sarah Schostack (Spin, Edinburgh Fringe/Arcola) and Choreographer Steven Moore (Urinetown the Musical, Lost Nation Theater).

Matthew Harvey, writer/composer: “I couldn’t be more excited to be working with BYMT to bring Unbound to life this summer. As a composer, seeing BYMT lead the charge to develop and nurture new musical theatre fills me with hope for the future. 

Unbound is what happens when you combine Stranger Things, Stephen King, Hocus Pocus and an 80’s rock band. I hope audiences will enjoy watching the show as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. With the help of our nearly 40-strong cast of talented young people and live rock band, I hope we can bring some magic, both literal and figurative, to the stage in Birmingham.”

Written and composed by Matthew Harvey, directed by Sarah Schostack and choreography by Steven Moore, Unbound will be in Birmingham Hippodrome’s Patrick Studio from 16 to 18 August. 

Tickets can be booked at or by calling 0844 338 5000*

 *0844 calls will cost you 4.5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.






Following the success of her hit book A Very Curious Christmas, beloved children’s TV presenter Maddie Moate (CBeebies ‘Maddie’s Do You Know?) will make her West End debut with her brand-new festive show,  MADDIE MOATE’S VERY CURIOUS CHRISTMASplaying at the Apollo Theatre from Friday 6 December to Saturday 4 January, with a press performance on Sunday 8 December at 3.30pm.  Tickets are on sale now here.

This seasonal adventure dives into the science of winter, uncovers the mysteries behind our festive traditions, and answers some of your most curious Christmas questions.  Where does snow come from?  How do crackers go BANG?  And why do Brussels sprouts make you fart?!

Packed with interactive fun and brimming with festive cheer, Maddie’s live science show promises to be an unforgettable and informative holiday treat for the whole family.

Maddie Moate is a BAFTA-winning children’s TV presenter and YouTube filmmaker renowned for her passion for science, wildlife, and travel. She hosted the BAFTA-nominated CBeebies TV series Maddie’s Do You Know?, CBBC’s Show Me the Honey, Springwatch’s Wildlife Academy on BBC iPlayer, and Magnolia Network’s Make Yourself At Home on Discovery Plus.

Maddie is one of the few presenters in the world making fun, educational YouTube videos for kids and families. She has spent the past decade producing curiosity-fuelled science content for her YouTube channel which was awarded “Best Kids Channel” by Kidscreen in 2022 and has amassed more than 80 million views. In addition to her own channel, Maddie has fronted online video series for BBC Earth, English Heritage, Fully Charged, and LEGO.

Beyond digital content and television, Maddie brings science to the stage, writing, producing, and hosting shows for her audiences. In the summer 2021, she debuted her show, The Wonder Games, during a London residency at The London Wonderground, and later took it to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival’s Underbelly stage in 2022. In 2023, Maddie performed at Shakespeare’s Globe in a CBeebies adaptation of Twelfth Night. She has also been a regular in the popular CBeebies Christmas Show since 2017, and is set to perform at the Royal Albert Hall for the CBeebies Prom for the third time in 2024.

Maddie is also an accomplished author. In 2021, she published her first nonfiction children’s book, Stuff: Eco Stories of Everyday Things, with Puffin Books. Her second book with Puffin, A Very Curious Christmas, hit the shelves in hardback in autumn 2023, and will be available in paperback from 3 October 2024.

Additionally, Maddie is a patron of the Youth STEM Awards (YSA) scheme and an ambassador for The Wildlife Trust and Eureka: The National Children’s Museum. Her work continues to inspire curiosity and a love for science in children and families worldwide.

Maddie Moate said, “I can’t wait to bring my live, festive-flavoured science show to the Apollo Theatre this Christmas! I’ll be exploring the history of our favourite traditions, asking some of the more unusual Yuletide questions, and carrying out a bunch of fun and fascinating experiments as we explore the real-life science behind the Christmas period!”

Full casting and creative team will be announced.

Instagram – @maddimoate

TikTok – @Maddie Moate


YouTube – @maddiemoate (

The Gruffalo – Live on Stage Review

The Lyric Theatre, London – until 8th September 2024

Reviewed by Ava Clarkson


A Sunday morning outing at 10am to sit in a theatre full of 3-9 year olds is not my normal weekend day out, but off to the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue I went to review The Gruffalo live on stage. As a mum of grown up boys, neither wanted to accompany me, so me and a friend ventured out. As a mum I have watched and loved The Gruffalo cartoon and read the book to sleepy children many times. The nostalgia of these memories made me want to review this play. The Gruffalo was published in 1999 by one of the best loved children’s authors Julia Donaldson. Julia has written some of the most loved children’s books since then and held the high accolade of children’s poet laureate from 2011-2013.

The Lyric Theatre is perfectly placed in the heart of the West End and is the oldest surviving theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. It was originally built as an Opera house and this shows inside as the acoustics were amazing – even over a packed audience of children shouting at the characters, you could easily hear the performers.

The production of The Gruffalo is by Tall Stories, a registered charity touring the UK and bringing classic stories combined with music and laughter to all. The charity was founded in 1997 by Olivia Jacobs and Toby Mitchell and vows to bring theatre to all with accessible relaxed performances and removing barriers which might normally prevent families coming along. They also offer free community tickets for all children to enjoy the magic of theatre.

The stage is set and looks exactly like I remember in the book – the deep dark wood has been recreated and as the lights go down the children’s anticipation (and mine) ramps up. The Gruffalo is about a clever mouse who tricks his predators using his brains by telling them about his scary (but made-up) friend The Gruffalo. He avoids being eaten by explaining the gruffalos favourite meals are roasted fox, boiled owl and scrambled snake, and in turn he becomes the scariest animal in the woods.

During the whole show we see just three performers. The star of the story, the little brown mouse, was played by Elouise Warboys, a petite and energetic performer who fitted the role perfectly. She bounced around the stage and perfectly portrayed “Mouse” in all his glory – the scared mouse we see at the start of the story through his journey to become brave and overcome his enemies. Kemi Clarke played the three enemies of Mouse – Fox, Owl and Snake. Each character had its own personality and Kemi morphed into each one beautifully. For me he was the star of this show – the songs each of his characters brought to the audience were engaging and funny and catchy in equal measures. As Fox he bought smugness to the stage, with a madness style song, strutting around with confidence. As Kemi became “Owl”, the vibe became 1920’s flapper style with a very catchy song “Flap a dapper ding dong day” which everyone joined in with. The best was yet to come, as Kemi morphed into “Snake” in a gold lame jumpsuit, the disco ball came out and the audience was treated to a 1970’s style show, lights flashed, the audience clapped and Snake encouraged us to “be more snake” whilst breakdancing on the stage. I certainly don’t remember this part of the book…. But everyone loved it!

The 3rd member of the production, David Scotland, had been narrating in the background, but it was clear he was starting to become The Gruffalo in front of our eyes. As the gruffalo finally emerges from the shadows, you can see that David is perfect for this part. He is very tall and has a commanding gruff scottish accent, but also has a soft and playful side which he brings to the character. The audience finally have the gruffalo on stage and sing along to “It’s just what Gruffalo’s do”. The children are encouraged to growl and clap and most of the parents help out enthusiastically too.

As the story comes to a close you can see that the audience is thoroughly engaged, clapping, singing and enjoying the show. The show goes on for just 1 hour which is the perfect time to hold the children’s attention. A standing ovation is given to these amazing performers who brought the book to life on stage. I encourage children to take their adults along, or like me grab a friend and enjoy the nostalgia and warmth of this lovely timeless story.