Mouth-watering Partnership News

Pictured (left to right): Emily Crampton, Ate O’Clock and Social8 Lounge Restaurant Manager, Milosh Djordjevic, Ate O’Clock Restaurant & Social 8 Lounge Mixologist and Laura McMillan, Grand Opera House York Theatre Director.

Restaurant partnership to continue giving York’s theatregoers another 12 months of mouth-watering savings and experiences.

Following a successful six-month partnership, the Grand Opera House York and Ate O’Clock and Social8 Lounge have extended their collaboration and will continue to offer York’s Theatregoers more memorable experiences over the next 12 months.

For the last six months Ate O’Clock has been the Grand Opera House York’s official restaurant partner. The collaboration has enabled ticketholders to take advantage of some mouth-watering savings on their final bill at the Ate O’Clock restaurant. West End hit Pretty Woman came to town last February and when the curtain closed the entertainment continued through the night at the Social8 Lounge afterparty – where ticket holders were treated to some live music, given a complimentary drink and further money saving offers on drinks throughout the night.

The Grand Opera House York and Ate O’Clock have big plans for the year ahead to help more of York’s theatregoers make the most of their big night out. This includes more themed afterparty events, theatrical themed drinks and experiences, and more delicious money saving food offers.

Currently ticket holders of upcoming shows can enjoy some pre-show dining saving 10% on their final bill when booking a table at the Ate O’Clock Restaurant between the hours of 1.30pm and 5.30pm. Customers are advised to lookout for their pre-show email that contains more information on the code you need to quote at the time of booking.

Laura McMillan, Grand Opera House York Theatre Director says, “Over the last 6 months by working with Ate O’Clock we’ve been able to offer more memorable experiences for our guests. We look forward to another year combining first-class food with the best live entertainment in York.”

Emily Crampton, Ate O’Clock and Social8 Lounge Restaurant Manager says, “Ate O’Clock are so excited to be continuing our partnership with the Grand Opera House York. It has been such a joy to welcome theatregoers through our doors, hear about their plans & to create events and menus based around the shows on stage. The Grand Opera House York team and I have already got some great ideas in mind for the next 12 months, and we cannot wait to share them with everyone.”

With a packed programme of shows, from the feel-good musical Sister Act, the haunting 2:22 A Ghost Story and the enchanting panto Beauty and the Beast – whether you’re out with friends or family, there is something for everyone. Start your big night out with a delicious meal served up at Ate O’Clock then finish up with the best live entertainment in York at the Grand Opera House York.

Now is the time to start planning your big night out. Sign up online to receive the latest Grand Opera House York updates by visiting . You can also sign up to receive the latest updates from Ate O’Clock by visiting

The National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT) announces a trio of shows coming to Southwark Playhouse Elephant this Summer

The National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT)
announces a trio of shows coming to Southwark
Playhouse Elephant this Summer
Southwark Playhouse Elephant, 1 Dante Place, London, SE11 4RX
Into The Woods | Catastrophe Bay | Our House
August 2024

Leading youth arts organisation The National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT) has announced its 2024 summer season will debut at Southwark Playhouse Elephant, performed by the
remarkable Young Company Members of NYMT 2024, who are 10 – 23 years old. The season will feature Our House, showcasing iconic music from UK band Madness, Stephen Sondheim’s timeless classic Into the Woods, and an ambitious new folk musical Catastrophe Bay, written by Kit Buchan and James Barne. For nearly 50 years, NYMT has been at the forefront of offering exceptional opportunities in pre-professional musical theatre training for talented young people and this marks an exciting chapter in bringing these shows to the heart of London.

Chris Cuming, Artistic Director of NYMT, comments, NYMT 2024 will see the next generation of talented new voices taking to the stage in three fully mounted productions in London. Having seen our Young company members rehearse over Easter, we are certain that the journeys from the Woods to the Bay to the House will bring nothing but joy. The vibrancy and energy of the performances this year are extremely impressive. We’re also pleased to be introducing a season ticket so audiences can see all three productions in the summer. News on our other work across the year including our PLATFORM series will be released soon.

The season will kick off with NYMT presenting Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods. The Tony Award-winning book and score are enchanting in their poignancy, touching on the universal themes of family and friendship; love and loyalty; belonging and betrayal. It is an innovative and intricate retelling of well-known storybook characters thought-provoking allegory is relevant for audiences of all ages through the ages and is widely regarded as a modern classic.

This will be followed by a brand-new folk musical by successful British writing duo Jim Barne and Kit Buchan (Two Strangers Carry a Cake across New York, Kiln Theatre/West End), Catastrophe Bay will take audiences to another time and place populated by exotic characters from around the world. With a backdrop of smugglers and wreckers, deep in the wilds of Cornwall lies the tiny fishing village of Newfrock, the inhabitants are a curious and mischievous gaggle of misfits – who abide by a strange patchwork of rituals and beliefs to protect the village’s secrets

To conclude the season, Our House with music and lyrics by the iconic British band Madness (with one song, It Must Be Love, written by Labi Siffre), and the book by playwright Tim Firth is based in 1980s Camden Town. Featuring a collection of top hits by Madness including House of Fun, Baggy Trousers, Driving in my Car, It Must Be Love and of course Our House, this show is a modern British classic and one that the team is proud to present, particularly as we, like Madness, the NYMT are due to celebrate the 50th anniversary year since its inception.

Just under a thousand performers auditioned to join the NYMT 2024 company, who will all be following in the footsteps of the newly appointed patrons and further NYMT alumni including multi-award-winning household name Idris Elba, Phantom of the Opera’s Joe Griffiths-Brown, beloved screen and stage icon Sheridan Smith, and Les MisérablesRosy Church. The newly appointed patrons include previous alumni – critically acclaimed Matt Lucas, the award-winning Amara Okereke and It’s a Sin’s Callum Scott Howells. Industry professionals delivered audition workshops at 19 venues across the UK at the start of the year. Alongside these, NYMT has seen an increase in applications to join the company as Musicians and the Creative Team Mentorship Scheme.

NYMT are committed to delivering top-quality professional development and this year are
releasing new courses for not only stage performers but also for people who are interested in being Creative, Writers or want to work in Technical Theatre. These are non-residential courses in London that include watching a Technical and dress rehearsal at Southwark Playhouse as well as working with Industry Professionals. It offers skills workshops, masterclasses, and residential courses.

Everyone is welcome to get involved and NYMT is committed to making musical theatre and the professional industry more accessible to young people across the country, regardless of location or economic circumstances. National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT) has a long-standing commitment to an inclusive and accessible ethos. This year NYMT is offering £31,000 of bursaries from their bursary system to support under-resourced families.



  • MANTELPEACE, a free immersive exhibition drawing on the thoughts and experiences of young men in Lambeth and Southwark and celebrating the transition from boyhood to manhood. It will be curated by a group of local Young Curators and Young Consultants with Lead Artist Adam Karim, Sound Designer and Composer Duramaney Kamara and Set Designer Finlay Jenner and runs in the Maria and Clare Theatre from 9 – 20 July.
  • Girl in the Machine, Stef Smith’s electrifying story exploring human and technological interaction, will be directed by 2024 Genesis Future Director Award recipient Annie Kershaw with design by Khadija Raza in the Clare Theatre from 16 – 26 October.
  • Neighbourhood Theatre launches The Collective, bringing together 50 multi-disciplinary artists from Lambeth and Southwark who will create an epic new show from scratch, led by Director Michelle Payne, to be staged at the Young Vic in 2025.

The Young Vic Theatre today announces brand new work from Taking Part and the Creators Program.

MANTELPEACE is a free immersive exhibition from Taking Partproviding an eye-opening glimpse into the worlds of young men growing up in London today (9 – 20 July); Annie Kershaw will direct an electrifying new production of Stef Smith’s The Girl in the Machine as part of the Creators Program and Genesis Future Directors Award program (16 – 26 October), and Taking Part’s Neighbourhood Theatre launches The Collective, bringing together 50 artists to create an epic new show staged at the Young Vic in 2025.

Shereen Jasmin Phillips, Director of Taking Part, said: “Our new Taking Part projects promise to bring light and fun to the Young Vic. MANTELPEACE focusses on the joy of journeying through teenage years to manhood, creating a space where young men from our community can be brave, support each other, and build and share connections through illustration, music, sound and movement. The Collective will explore and redefine the co-creation of a show, utilising varied artistry from people’s everyday lives in an epic new production showcasing that everyone has the potential to explore their creativity. Working with Lead Artist Adam Karim on MANTELPEACE and Director Michelle Payne on The Collective, I can’t wait to see what all our participants will discover, create and curate for our audiences.”

Sue Emmas, Associate Artistic Director of the Young Vic said: We are excited to be working with Annie Kershaw on Girl in the Machine, an exceptional play by Stef Smith.  We’ve been lucky enough to work with Annie as an assistant director and we’re looking forward to collaborating with her as an artist as she continues her Young Vic journey.  With the valued and continuing support of the Genesis Foundation, Annie will realise her vision for this new production opening in the autumn.”

Taking Part, the Young Vic’s Creative Engagement Department, works with young people, adults, schools, and the local community in Lambeth and Southwark, engaging with over 15,000 people a year and providing free tickets to all shows and free creative and artistic opportunities to participants. Taking Part’s three strands, Learning, Participation, and Neighbourhood Theatre, create work that is the beating heart of the organisation.

The Young Vic’s Creators Program for multi- and anti-disciplinary artists is the only scheme of its kind. Launched in 2001, and formerly known as the Directors Program, it offers artists and producers a unique opportunity to develop their craft through opportunities that range from trainee and assistant director roles to a two-year residency through the Genesis Fellow/Associate Director position. The Genesis Network provides an online community to over 2,500 artists and producers. Each year, the recipient of the Genesis Future Directors Award directs a show in the Clare Theatre with full support from the Young Vic team.


A Taking Part Exhibition from Young Vic

Maria and Clare Theatre

Tuesday 9 – Saturday 20 July

This summer get an eye-opening glimpse into the worlds of young men growing up in London today. MANTELPEACEis a free immersive exhibition that celebrates the transition from boyhood to manhood and breaks open the stereotypes of masculinity to embrace boundless possibilities.

The exhibition will draw on the thoughts and experiences of young men in Lambeth and Southwark and is curated by a group of local Young Curators and Young Consultants, working with Lead Artist Adam Karim, Sound Designer and Composer Duramaney Kamara, Set Designer Finlay Jenner. With contributions from Untold Creative Training, Southwark Inclusive Learning Service, Arco Academy and Lansdowne School. Young Curators, Young Consultants and Guest Artists to be announced.

Adam Karim is a freelance theatre director and facilitator. As Donmar Warehouse’s Resident Assistant Director ’23, his credits include Clyde’s, When Winston Went To War With The Wireless, Trouble In Butetown. Directing Credits include Platform (East15), Pressure Drop (Immediate Theatre), The Yard, Schools Tour. Second Person Narrative (RBSW / Clapham Omnibus). Other Assistant Directing includes: The P-Word (Bush Theatre), Sorry You’re Not A Winner (Paines Plough).

Finlay Jenner is a performance designer and theatre maker from South London. He trained at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and was a 2023 recipient of The Linbury Prize.  He works across various fields of performance, including dance, opera, and diverse forms of theatre 

Duramaney Kamara was born into a family of afro-jazz musicians, becoming infatuated with instruments, live music and production from a young age. Reggae, jazz and afro-beat continue to influence his composition, sound design and music production, in addition to hip hop and electronic influences. Duramaney is also a recording artist and producer who releases music under his indie label ‘BE FREE 888 REPERTOIRE’. Credits include; Shifters, August in England (Bush Theatre), Cinderella (Brixton House), Clyde’s (Donmar Warehouse),Suckerpunch (Queens Theatre Hornchurch), Bootycandy (Gate Theatre), Anansi The Spider (Unicorn Theatre).  

Tickets for MANTELPEACE will be available later in the year.

Girl in the Machine

By Stef Smith

Directed by Annie Kershaw

Clare Theatre

Wednesday 16 – Saturday 26 October

Genesis Future Directors Award 2024 recipient Annie Kershaw brings an electrifying production of award-winning Stef Smith’s Girl in the Machine to the Young Vic this autumn.

The gap is getting smaller between the human and the hardware.

Polly loves Rowen but lately that hasn’t felt like enough. Then Rowen brings home the Black Box, with its promises to cure depression, and a flick of a switch changes everything. As Polly becomes more distant from the person she planned to share her life with, will her love for Rowen be enough to resist the draw of eternal bliss that the Black Box offers?

Annie Kershaw is currently the Carne Deputy Director at Jermyn Street Theatre. She was Associate Director on Best of Enemies in the West End after being the Jerwood Assistant Director of the Young Vic and Headlong co-production, as part of the Young Vic’s Jerwood Assistant Director Programme, supported by Jerwood Arts. Her credits as Director include Hedda GablerSafe (Reading Rep); Light (Five Shorts at the Young Vic); It’s A Flawed World After All (Flawstate); THIS IS NOT A PROTEST (Reading Thames Festival); Ulysses (Jermyn Street Theatre).

The Genesis Future Directors Award program is made possible by the Genesis Foundation and provides early-career directors with the opportunity to explore and develop their craft by creating their first fully resourced production at the Young Vic, with mentoring and support from the theatre’s core artistic team.

Girl in the Machine is designed by Khadija Raza, casting is by Jacob Sparrow.

Tickets for Girl in the Machine are on sale today at

Captioned Performances: Wed 23 October, 7.45pm 

BSL Performance: Thu 24 October, 7.45pm

Audio Described Performances: Fri 25 October, 7.45pm

Neighbourhood Theatre Presents: The Collective

A Taking Part Project from Young Vic

Neighbourhood Theatre is launching The Collective: 50 artists from Lambeth and Southwark who will create an epic new show from scratch which will be staged at the Young Vic in January 2025.  

Led by Director Michelle Payne and supported by creative consultants, members of the group will collaborate in learning key skills in devising, curation, design, and the building blocks to creating a show. 

The Collective is open to anyone who has been part of a Neighbourhood Theatre project or production in the past 5 years. It will be a multi-disciplinary group of 50 that reflect key moments in the creative process and aims to bring together people covering a range of artistic skills and interests, for example, anything from acting, writing, sound and lighting design to DJing, hairdressing, make-up artistry, baking, floristry and more.

With commitment, community and collaboration as the central focus, the group will embark on this chapter with openness and creativity. At the start of the process, Taking Part will pose the question to The Collective: “What does co-creation look like when we interrogate the traditional conventions of making multi-disciplinary art that centers creative exploration and joy?”

Members of The Collective will be recruited through a series of workshops and will meet weekly for 8 months from June 2024.

Michelle Payne was recipient of the Regional Theatre Young Directors’ Scheme, based at Mercury Theatre Colchester, and worked on Future Forms with the Donmar Warehouse. Directing credits include The Good Enough Mums Club (UK Tour); To Have & To Hold (The Bush/Mercury Theatre); Jess by Stephanie Silver (Digital Theatre); Find Me (VAULT Festival). Writer & director credits include Squad Goals (Dagenham & Redbridge FC); Full Circle (Brewery Fringe Festival, Best in Fringe 2019). Associate/Resident Director Credits include UK tours of The House With Chicken Legs, Bugsy Malone, Pigs Might Fly.





Following its successful run at HOME Manchester last November, ETT (English Touring Theatre) today announces further dates for theUK tour of Museum of Austerity. The mixed reality installation – a co-production with National Theatre Immersive Storytelling Studio,and Trial & Error Studio – will open the spring 2024 tour at Live Theatre, Newcastle on 17 April and run there until 21 April before touring to No 1 Smithery Studio, The Historic Dockyard from 16-18 May and culminating with a run at Bristol Old Vic from 12 – 15 June.

Winner of Best Immersive Production at International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Museum of Austerity combines the skills of director Sacha Wares with the in-depth knowledge of Disability News Service editor John Pring to tell the human stories of Austerity Britain. The creative team is completed with Composer Adrian Lee, Costume and Installation Design by 2024 Olivier Award Winner Miriam Buether, Sound Design by Gareth Fry, Original Lighting Design by Prema Mehta, Movement Direction by Leon Baugh, Assistant Direction by  Hana Pascal Keegan and Casting Direction by Amy Ball.

Running alongside the production on tour, there will be a programme of exhibitions and workshops led by Healing Justice LDN and local partnering organisations. The first workshop Rage, grief and justice: Disabled people’s resistance to austerity will run at Live Theatre, Newcastle on 19 April.

Director and founder of Trial & Error Studio, Sacha Wares said today, “Inspired by war photographers of the past who used early cameras to capture distant battlefields, Museum of Austerity employs mixed reality technologies to record the invisible, devastating violence of austerity. Museum of Austerity is an artwork I wish we hadn’t had to make, but which needs to be seen.”

Founder of Disability News Service and Co-Editor of Museum, John Pring said, “Museum of Austerity has found an innovative and powerful way to tell these terrible stories in a way that exposes the horror of what happened to so many disabled people during the austerity period. This is a ground-breaking piece of work, and I’m relieved that this tour will allow more people to view the exhibition and understand how the actions of the Department for Work and Pensions led to widespread poverty, acute distress and even the deaths of countless benefit claimants. I hope the audience will think about the harm done, and how no-one associated with these actions has ever been held accountable for what happened and is still happening today.”

Richard Twyman, Artistic Director and CEO, and Sophie Scull, Executive Producer of ETTsaid, “We’re happy that ETT’s dedication to innovative storytelling and ground-breaking XR technology continues to travel the country, meaning this extraordinary and vital work will be seen across the UK’s regions. We’re honoured to have co-produced this important work alongside Trial & Error and The National Theatre Immersive Storytelling Studio and are in awe of the dedication and hard work of the artists at the centre of Museum of Austerity, particularly co-creators Sacha Wares and John Pring, and the families whose stories are told through the piece for their commitment to the project.”

An ETT, National Theatre Immersive Storytelling Studio, and Trial and Error Studio co-production


Age guidance – 18+

17 April – 15 June

Creative team:

Director and Co-Editor: Sacha Wares; Specialist Advisor & Co-Editor: John Pring; Composer: Adrian Lee; Costume and Installation Designer: Miriam Buether; Sound Designer: Gareth Fry; Original Lighting Designer: Prema Mehta; Movement Director: Leon Baugh; Assistant Director: Hana Pascal Keegan; Casting Director: Amy Ball

Witness the human stories of Austerity Britain in this arresting mixed reality installation. 

In 2016, the UN found that “grave or systemic violations” of the rights of disabled people were taking place throughout the UK. Wearing a mixed reality headset, you will enter a striking, holographic gallery that lays bare the consequences when state safety nets fail. 

 Museum of Austerity is more than an exhibition; it’s a blend of theatre, history and humanity.

 “It is impossible to look away from the shimmering figures that emerge in what appears at first to be an empty room. And that is the point.” THE GUARDIAN

This powerful installation combines the skills of theatre/XR director Sacha Wares with the in-depth knowledge of John Pring, editor of Disability News Service.

Museum of Austerity was nominated for Best Digital Innovation at the UK Theatre Awards, previewed at the London Film Festival in 2021 and won International Documentary Festival Amsterdam’s (IDFA) Best Immersive Production in 2021. 

An ETT, National Theatre Immersive Storytelling Studio & Trial & Error co-production. Supported by CreativeXR, a programme developed by Digital Catapult and Arts Council England. A Genesis Kickstart Fund project, supported by the Genesis Foundation Co-Commissioned by BFI London Film Festival – LFF Expanded

Sacha Wares is a critically acclaimed theatre director and founder of Trial and Error Studio. Her theatre credits include Sucker Punch, My ChildRandom (Royal Court Theatre), Guantanamo – Honour Bound to Defend Freedom (Tricycle Theatre), GameBoy (Almeida Theatre), GenerationsWild Swans (Young Vic), and Trade (RSC). She is founder of Trial and Error Studio, Innovation Associate at English Touring Theatre, and Associate Director at the National Theatre’s Immersive Storytelling Studio.  Wares’ work as director for extended reality performance includes Adult Children (Donmar/ETT/Trial and Error/ScanLAB Projects) and Museum of Austerity (ETT/NT/Trial and Error). Sacha is an Innovate UK Award recipient for her pioneering research into multisensory accessibility for extended reality narrative. She is currently in production for a VR documentary about the artist Judith Scott.

John Pring is founder of Disability News Service. He is a disabled journalist, and co-creator of the Deaths by Welfare timeline, and was associate producer on an award-winning Dispatches documentary, The Truth About Disability BenefitsThe Department, his book about the Department for Work and Pensions, and how its actions led to countless deaths of disabled benefit claimants, will be published by Pluto Press this summer.



Website | Email [email protected]

Live Theatre, Newcastle

17-21 April

Box office: 01912 321 232 /

No 1 Smithery Studio, The Historic Dockyard, Chatham

16-18 May

Box office: 01634 823 800 /

Bristol Old Vic

12-15 June

Box office: 0117 987 7877 /

Rage, grief and justice: Disabled people’s resistance to austerity

Live Theatre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Friday 19 April at 1pm

Guys & Dolls at the Bridge Announces Final Extension until 04 January 2025



The Bridge Theatre | SE1 2SG

Booking until 04 January 2025

Nicholas Hytner’s critically acclaimed immersive production of Guys & Dolls announcesits final extension, with tickets on sale until 04 January 2024.

The Bridge’s production of Guys & Dolls, which opened in March 2023, immerses audiences in one of the greatest musicals of all time. This unlikeliest of love stories is packed with hit songs, including the showstopping ‘Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat’, ‘Luck Be a Lady’ and ‘Take Back Your Mink’. In this production the seating is wrapped around the action, while the immersive tickets transport audiences to the streets of Manhattan and the bars of Havana.

With this final extension, audiences have one last chance to enjoy the award-winning Guys & Dolls before the theatre is transformed again, for new, soon to be announced, productions in 2025.

Guys & Dolls stars Owain Arthur (The History BoysOne Man, Two Guvnors, The Lord of the Rings) in the role of Nathan Detroit, George Ioannides (An Officer and a Gentleman, Annie, MAMMA MIA!) in the role of Sky MastersonTimmika Ramsay (Moulin Rouge!Cinderella) in the role of Miss Adelaide, Celinde Schoenmaker (Howard Goodall’s Love Story, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera) in the role of Sarah Brown and Jonathan Andrew Hume (Come From Away; nominated for Best British Actor in a Musical at the Black British Theatre Awards) in the role ofNicely-Nicely Johnson.

Niall Buggy plays Arvide Abernathy, Cornelius Clarke plays Lieutenant Brannigan, Cameron Johnson plays Big Jule, TJ Lloyd plays Rusty Charlie, Ryan Pidgen plays Benny Southstreet, Tori Scott playsGeneral Cartwright, and Dashaun Vegas plays Harry the Horse.

The rest of the cast includes Iroy AbesamisKatie BradleyTanisha-Mae BrownFilippo CoffanoEamonn CoxKamilla FernandesAlex GivenLucie HorsfallDominic LambSiân Nathaniel-JamesSaffi Needham, Sophie PourretJames RevellNathan RiggPierce Rogan and Samuel Routley, Charlotte Scott (Co-Dance Captain), Hollie Jane Stephens and Dale White (Dance Captain, Fight Captain).

Guys & Dolls – A Musical Fable of Broadway, based on the story and characters of Damon Runyon – has music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, with choreography by Arlene Phillips with James Cousins, musical supervision and arrangements by Tom Brady, set by Bunny Christie, costumes by Bunny Christie and Deborah Andrews, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Paul Arditti, orchestrations by Charlie Rosen, associate direction by James Cousins and Lily Dyble, casting by Charlotte Sutton, fight direction by Kate Waters and wigs, hair and make-up by Campbell Young Associates.

Since opening, Guys & Dolls has won a number of awards; in November 2023, it won Best Musical at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, in February 2024 it won three awards at the WhatsOnStage Awards including Best Musical Revival, in March 2024 it won the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards for Best Musical (The Peter Hepple Award) and in April 2024

Arlene Phillips with James Cousins won The Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer.


Address: Bridge Theatre, 3 Potters Fields Park, London, SE1 2SG

Box Office: 0333 320 0051 or [email protected]

Access: 0333 320 0051 or [email protected]


Twitter: @_bridgetheatre

Instagram: @_bridgetheatre


Full Cast and Creative Team Announced For UK Tour of Here You Come Again

A Simon Friend Entertainment and Leeds Playhouse co-production 



Simon Friend Entertainment and Leeds Playhouse are delighted to announce the full cast and creative team for the UK premiere of Here You Come Again. The show receives its UK premiere in Leeds this spring, where it runs from Saturday 11 May to Saturday 8 June ahead of a major UK tour.

Aidan Cutler (Backing Vocalist and Cover ‘Kevin’) and Charlotte Elisabeth Yorke (Backing Vocalist and Cover ‘Dolly’) join the cast alongside previously announced star and co-writer Tricia Paoluccio, who reprises her celebrated role as ‘Dolly’ following US acclaim and West End star Steven Webb (Oliver!, Book of Mormon) as ‘Kevin’, a 40-year-old, ‘has-been-who-never-was’ comedian in the new musical. Richard John is Musical Supervisor, Jordan Li-Smith is Musical Director, Kevin Oliver Jones joins the band on Bass, Alex Crawford on Guitar and Ben Scott on Drums.

Having enjoyed several successful runs across the United States, Here You Come Again was originally written by multi-Emmy award-winning comedy and songwriter Bruce Vilanch with Gabriel Barre (who also directs) and writer and actor Tricia Paoluccio (who co-writes and stars as Dolly). Acclaimed British TV and theatre writer Jonathan Harvey (Gimme, Gimme, Gimme and Coronation Street) provides additional material for the production’s UK run.

The wider creative team comprises Gabriel Barre as Director; Set and Costume Designer, Paul Wills; Choreographer, Lizzie Gee; Lighting Designer, Tim Deiling; Sound Designer, Tom Marshall; Associate Director/Assistant Choreographer, Teenie MacLeod; Illusion Designer, Richard Pinner; Orchestrator, Eugene Gwozdz; Orchestra Manager, Maurice Cambridge; Production Manager, Ben Arkell and Casting Director, Stuart Burt.

For the first time ever, all of Dolly Parton’s biggest hits are brought together in a rollicking and joyful new musical, fully authorised by Dolly herself. Packed with iconic songs like Jolene, 9 to 5, Islands in the Stream, I Will Always Love You, Here You Come Again and more, this lively and touching new musical tells the story of a diehard fan whose imagined version of international icon Dolly Parton gets him through trying times.

Kevin has just separated from his long-time boyfriend, Jeremy, an investment banker, and is in quarantine in the attic bedroom of his childhood home in Yorkshire. Surrounded by precious belongings from his youth, he is reunited with a much-loved old record player and his cherished Dolly albums. He remembers the hard times those songs helped him through in the past and counts on them to help him once again. With her wit, humour and charm, Dolly teaches him a whole lot about life, love and how to pull yourself up by your bootstraps… even if your bootstraps don’t have rhinestones!

After its UK premiere in Leeds, the tour then continues to: Curve Theatre, LeicesterTheatre RoyalNewcastleArts Theatre,CambridgeMarlowe Theatre, CanterburyTheatre RoyalNottinghamMalvern TheatresMalvernPlayhouse TheatreEdinburghHis Majesty’s TheatreAberdeenCliffs PavilionSouthendWales Millennium CentreCardiffTheatre RoyalBrightonAlexandra TheatreBirminghamLyceum TheatreSheffieldRichmond TheatreRichmondKing’s TheatreGlasgowTheatre RoyalNorwichEveryman TheatreCheltenham; New Victoria TheatreWokingThe LowrySalfordTheatre RoyalBathMilton Keynes Theatre, Milton KeynesGrand TheatreBlackpool Grand before concluding at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool.

Carmen Review

Festival Theatre, Malvern – 14h April 2024

Reviewed by Courie Amado Juneau


Ellen Kent Opera Productions once again return to Malvern, this time with Bizet’s masterpiece Carmen performed by the Ukrainian Opera & Ballet Theatre Kyiv.

The story concerns Don José falling for the obvious (though morally dubious) charms of Carmen, abandoning his former life (soldiering, a sweetheart and his elderly mother) and becoming jealous of the attention she garners wherever she goes which (being an opera) does not end well.

The orchestra, masterfully conducted by Vasyl Vasylenko, gave us a rousing Overture – a greatest hits of opera all on its own! The music was crisp, lush, suitably exotic and (like a flamenco dancer) perfectly balanced. Everything needed to transport you to the sensuous delights of Seville; the effect completed by an impressive plaza set and a chorus resplendent in their enchanting costumes – a feast for all the senses!

Davit Sumbadze gave us heroic romanticism in the lead male role of Don José. I particularly enjoyed his duets with our female leads, both of whom he had a genuine connection with. The complete performance.

Carmen (played by Natalia Matvieieva), enters with one of the most famous and popular arias ever, the “Habanera”. Her sultry, sensuous rendition set the tone for a flawless depiction of this seductive temptress. She absolutely nailed the character’s Iberian heat and joie de vivre and (like many on stage and off) I totally fell in love with her Carmen.

We were graced once more with the presence on stage of the incomparable Elena Dee (as Micaela). I saw her recently as Madamma Butterfly and she was perfect – she was again tonight. Opera is, of course, complete musical theatre and Dee has it all with a mellifluous tone to caress your ears, coupled with the ability to convey every ounce of raw emotion directly into ones heart.

The acting throughout was of the highest order – especially from Sumbadze, Matvieieva and Dee in their respective final scenes together. But the chorus were also doing some fine acting in the background which added to the atmosphere and enjoyment – indeed, much of the time I found myself watching them as much as the principals. A highlight for me was the wonderful gypsy revelry during the festive scene in act 2. I’ve said it before; there’s something about the twirling of hair, skirt and hands whilst castanets (or tambourines) are playing that makes the senses reel. Ah, España! Escamillo (played by Iurie Gisca) gave us a believable love interest/rival and his “Toreador Song” was suitably arrogant. His singing was rich and sonorous but when that chorus joined in, it was stunning!

The companions of Carmen (Anastasiia Blokha and Marharyta Bochachova) deserve special mention too for their exceptional performances i.e. when giving the pivotal “cards scene” a commendable, joyful vibrancy.

I hope our applause and cheers at the end continue to convey to all how much we still support Ukraine at this dreadful time. What a tragedy that their suffering continues. May we soon be waving their flag in a clear blue peaceful sky.

Another triumphant night to thrill the senses, transport you to a better place (Spain) and make you feel alive once more. I cannot see how tonight could have been improved upon – it was sheer perfection and an unalloyed pleasure from start to finish. Bravissimo.

Full cast announcement for Coram Boy at Chichester Festival Theatre

Full cast announced for the enthralling 18th century adventure CORAM BOY

24 May – 15 June, Chichester Festival Theatre
21 – 29 June, The Lowry, Salford

The full cast has been announced for Anna Ledwich’s new production of Coram Boy, running at Chichester Festival Theatre from 24 May – 15 June (press night: Thursday 30 May) and at The Lowry, Salford from 21 – 29 June.

Helen Edmundson‘s adaptation of Jamila Gavin‘s Whitbread Award-winning novel premiered at the National Theatre in 2005 before transferring to Broadway. Nominated for several Olivier and Tony Awards, it won the Time Out Live Award for Best Play.

The cast is: Will Antenbring (Alexander Ashbrook), Louisa Binder (Young Alexander/Aaron Dangerfield), Pandora Clifford (Lady Ashbrook/Mrs Hendry), Rhianna Dorris (Melissa Milcote/Angel), Holly Freeman (Isobel Ashbrook), Aled Gomer (Meshak Gardiner), Harry Gostelow (Sir William Ashbrook), Tallulah Greive (Alice Ashbrook), Rebecca Hayes (Young Thomas Ledbury), Tom Hier (Thomas Ledbury), Jewelle Hutchinson (Miss Price/Toby Gaddarn), Debbie Korley (Mrs Milcote), Milo McCarthy (Edward Ashbrook), Jo McInnes (Mrs Lynch), Samuel Oatley (Otis Gardiner/Philip Gaddarn)and James Staddon (Theodore Claymore/George Frederic Handel). They will be joined by an ensemble of 12 children.

Angels and abandoned children, glorious music and murder most foul whirl through this enthralling, moving and richly colourful tale of 18th century England.

At Gloucester Cathedral, Alexander Ashbrook, heir to an aristocratic estate, has his heart set on becoming a composer; but his stern father refuses to listen and despite his love for the beautiful Melissa, flight seems his only option. Far darker conflicts are at play for Meshak, son of the brutal Otis Gardiner who preys on young unmarried mothers – promising to deliver their babies to Coram’s new Foundling Hospital but instead meting out a terrible fate.

Their stories entwine eight years later in London, where two Coram orphans, Toby and Aaron, find themselves on parallel adventures, and the great Handel is at work on a new score, Messiah, embodying the hope of love and salvation over evil.

Anna Ledwich was formerly writer in residence at CFT (Pinocchio) and Artistic Director of Theatre on the Fly (2012); her recent directorial work includes Anthropology (Hampstead).

The designer is Simon Higlett, lighting designer Emma Chapman, composer and sound designer Max Pappenheim, musical director Stephen Higgins, movement director Chi-San Howard, fight and intimacy director Bethan Clark, casting director Annelie Powell CDG, and voice and dialect coach Joel Trill.

For ages 12+.

Coram Boy will run at The Lowry, Salfordfrom 21 – 29 June, immediately following its Chichester run.

The Chichester production is sponsored by The Portsmouth Grammar School.

Tickets from £10       Box Office 01243 781312      

Prologue: £5 tickets for 16 – 30s

9,000 £5 tickets are available for 16 to 30 year-olds across all Festival 2024 productions; sign up for free at

New cast join MRS. DOUBTFIRE as the hit show enters its second year in the West End



Rehearsals begin today for new cast members who will be joining Mrs. Doubtfire on stage, as the hit family musical enters its second year in the West End.

The cast of Mrs. Doubtfire will continue to include Gabriel Vick (Avenue Q) as Daniel Hillard, Laura Tebbutt (School of Rock) as Miranda Hillard, Cameron Blakely (Newsies) as Frank Hillard, Marcus Collins (Kinky Boots) as Andre, and Micha Richardson (Come From Away) who will now play Wanda Sellner.

From Tuesday 14 May 2024, they will be joined by Charlotte Fleming making her West End debut as Lydia Hillard, Matthew Goodgame (Chicago) as Stuart Dunmire, and Ross Dawes (The Phantom of the Opera) as Mr. Jolly.

The full cast, some of whom are joining on 14 May, include Michael Afemaré, Alex Bowen, Nicole Carlisle, Joshua Dever, Joseph Dockree, Autumn Draper, Maria Garrett, Cristina Hoey, Peter Houston, Jodie Knight, Ryan Lay, Adam Lyons, Lisa Mathieson, Ellie Mitchell, Perry O’Dea, Rhys Owen, Bleu Woodward, and Tom Woollaston.

Mrs. Doubtfire also introduces Thommy Bailey Vine, Herbie Byers, and Parker Newman who alternate the role of Christopher Hillard and Rachelle Bonfield-BellEllemie Shivers, and Felicity Walton who alternate the role of Natalie Hillard.

A hilarious and heartfelt story about holding onto your loved ones against all odds, Mrs. Doubtfire is the musical comedy we need right now.

Out-of-work actor Daniel will do anything for his kids. After losing custody in a messy divorce, he creates the ​alter ego of Scottish nanny Euphegenia Doubtfire in a desperate attempt to stay in their lives. As his new character takes on a life of its own, Mrs. Doubtfire teaches Daniel more than he bargained for about how to be a father.

Mrs. Doubtfire has been created by a transatlantic team of award-winning artists, with Original Music and Lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, and a Book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell (team behind the hit Tony Award-nominated musical Something Rotten!). Direction is by 4-time Tony winner Jerry Zaks (Hello, Dolly!), Choreography by Lorin Latarro (Waitress), and Music Supervision, Arrangements & Orchestrations by Ethan Popp (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical). Scenic design is by David Korins (Hamilton), Costume Design by Catherine Zuber (Moulin Rouge! The Musical), Lighting Design by Philip S. Rosenberg (Pretty Woman The Musical), Sound Design by Brian Ronan (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Hair Design by David Brian Brown (Frozen), Casting by Stuart Burt (Cabaret) and Children’s Casting Director is Verity Naughton.

Mrs. Doubtfire is produced by Kevin McCollum and Jamie Wilson and is presented by special arrangement with Buena Vista Theatrical.