David Haig   Rory Keenan   Adam Rayner


by Frank McGuinness
Director Michael Attenborough

10 September – 10 October
Minerva Theatre, Chichester

Rory Keenan and Adam Rayner will join the previously confirmed David Haig in Chichester’s production of Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me,  Frank McGuinness’s award-winning drama about three men captured in a cell in Beirut, directed by Michael Attenborough.

Adam, an American doctor, Edward, an Irish journalist and Michael, an English academic, have little to unite them. Yet these three men forge bonds through shared adversity in McGuinness’s testimony to the resilience of the human spirit. The play is inspired by the experiences of those taken hostage in Lebanon in the 1980s, yet in the current political climate, its subject matter remains acutely relevant.

David Haig plays Michael. His Chichester credits include Festival 2014’s Pressure, which he wrote and starred in, as well as Yes, Prime Minister (also West End). Other acting credits include The Madness of George III (UK tour and West End), Yes, Prime Minister (Chichester and West End) and King Lear (Theatre Royal Bath). Screen credits include The Thick of It and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Rory Keenan plays Edward. His credits include The Kitchen and Liolà (both for the National Theatre), Dublin Carol andPhiladelphia Here I Come! (both for Donmar Warehouse) and Out of Joint’s production of The Big Fellah (Lyric Hammersmith and UK tour). Screen credits include The Guard and Peaky Blinders.

Adam Rayner plays Adam. His credits include West End productions of This is Our Youth and The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Play Room (Finborough), and RSC productions of Romeo & Juliet, King John and Much Ado About Nothing (also West End). Screen credits include Miranda and Mistresses.

Frank McGuinness is a distinguished novelist, short story writer, poet and opera librettist, as well as playwright. His credits include The Factory Girls, Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards The Somme, There Came A Gypsy Riding and The Hanging Gardens.

Director Michael Attenborough makes his Chichester debut with this production. Recent credits include Luna Gale, currently running at the Hampstead Theatre. Whilst Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre between 2002 – 2013, his award-winning productions included Measure for Measure and The Knot of the Heart. From 1996 – 2002 he was Principal Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Design is by Robert Jones, whose Chichester credits include Festival 2015’s Mack & Mabel, as well as Taken At Midnight (also West End), Kiss Me, Kate (also Old Vic) and Calendar Girls (also UK tour, Australia and Canada). Other credits include the current production of The Motherf**ker with the Hat (National Theatre), City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse) and West End productions of A Chorus of Disapproval and Much Ado About Nothing.

Lighting Design is by Paule Constable, whose Chichester credits include Barnum (also UK tour). Other credits includeThis House, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, War Horse and His Dark Materials (all for the National Theatre),The Chalk Garden and Don Carlos.

Sound Design is by Fergus O’Hare whose Chichester credits include An Ideal Husband, Uncle Vanya and The Syndicate. Other theatre credits include Daytona (Park Theatre and tour), the West End production of Passion Play andThe Winslow Boy (Old Vic/Roundabout).

Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me is sponsored by Bishops Printers.

At Crisis Talks, a panel of experts discuss the issues raised by Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me. This event takes place on Friday 9 October, 5.30pm, Minerva Theatre. Free, but booking essential.

Director Michael Attenborough joins novelist and CFT biographer Kate Mosse for a pre-show talk on Tuesday 15 September at 6pm.  Free, but booking essential.

Meet some of the Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me company at a post-show talk hosted by writer Simon Brett on Monday 5 October.

Booking information
Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me is at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester from 10 September – 10 October. Evenings 7.45pm (except for Press Night, Wednesday 16 September at 7pm), matinees 2.45pm. Tickets: Previews/Press Nights £20, £25, all other performances £25, £34. To book, go to or contact the Box Office on 01243 781312.

Special Prices for 16 – 25s
An allocation of tickets for 16 – 25 year olds priced at just £8.50 for all performances of Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me will go on sale on 10 August. These may be booked on 01243 781312, online at or in person.


Elf Gala Night in Aid of Alzheimer’s Society







Ben Forster as Buddy and Kimberley Walsh as Jovie in Elf credit Matt CrockettMichael Rose and U-Live, the producers of ELF the musical, will be donating all ticket sales at the Gala Opening Night at the Dominion Theatre on Thursday 5 November to Alzheimer’s Society.  The London premiere of ELF will star Ben Forster, Kimberley Walsh, Joe McGann and Jessica Martin and will play a strictly limited 10-week season at the Dominion Theatre from 24 October 2015 to 2 January 2016.

Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia support and research charity, here for anyone affected by any form of dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Alzheimer’s Society provides information and practical and emotional support to help people live well with dementia, and the charity invests in world-class research with the ultimate goal of defeating it.  Dementia can happen to anyone and there is currently no cure.  There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and the number is set to rise to 1 million by 2021.

Kimberley Walsh as Jovie in Elf credit Matt Crockett (1)Jon Bodenham, Director of Fundraising at Alzheimer’s Society, said:  “We are delighted that ELF the musical has chosen to partner with Alzheimer’s Society for a special fundraising evening.  We hope that those who attend enjoy a wonderful evening of entertainment, whilst in the knowledge that the money they have spent on tickets will be used to help support the 850,000 people living with dementia and continue vital research.

“For people living with dementia, singing is a very powerful tool. When memories are hard to retrieve, music can be easier to recall.  Alzheimer’s Society Singing for the Brain service, which is delivered nationwide, helps to boost confidence, self-esteem and quality of life by involving people with dementia and their carers.”

Producer Michael Rose said:  “We are all so proud and delighted to be able to support such a worthy organisation, whose work is paramount to those affected by this devastating condition, and myself, our co-producers at U-Live and the entire ELF company hope the gala opening on November 5th at London’s Dominion Theatre will be an even more memorable and special event because of the money and awareness raised.”

Based on the beloved 2003 New Line Cinema hit starring Will Ferrell, ELF is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.


ELF features a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone), with songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer). The production will feature direction and choreography by Morgan Young (Irving Berlin’s White ChristmasChitty Chitty Bang Bang), set design and costumes by Olivier Award winner Tim Goodchild, lighting design by Olivier Award winner Tim Lutkin, vocal arrangements by Phil Reno, dance arrangements by David Chase, orchestrations by Doug Besterman, video design by Ian William Galloway and sound design by Clement Rawling.  Musical direction and supervision will be by Stuart Morley.

Michael Rose and U-Live in association with the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin present the Theatre Royal Plymouth production of ELF at the Dominion Theatre, London.


24 October 2015 to 2 January 2016


Dominion Theatre

268-269 Tottenham Court Road

London W1T 7AQ


Performances:  Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm*, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2.30pm**

*7.00pm on Thursday 5 November, no evening performance Thursday 24, Friday 25, Saturday 26, Thursday 31 December & Friday 1 January

**extra 2.30pm matinees on Thursday 29 October, and, in December, on Monday 21st, Tuesday 22nd, Thursday 24th, Monday 28th, Tuesday 29th & Thursday 31st


See website for ticket prices: /


Box Office:  0845 200 7982


Running Time:  2 hours 25 minutes (including interval)




by Anton Chekhov

in new versions by David Hare
Director Jonathan Kent

28 September – 14 November
Festival Theatre, Chichester

Lucy Briers, Pip Carter, Peter Egan, Brian Pettifer, Nina Sosanya and Olivia Vinall are now confirmed among the 23-strong ensemble in a major season of Anton Chekhov’s early plays at Chichester Festival Theatre, joining the previously announced Anna Chancellor, James McArdle and Samuel West.

The remaining members of the 23-strong ensemble are Emma Amos, Nebli Basani, Jonathan Coy, Mark Donald, Col Farrell, Joshua James, Beverley Klein, Des McAleer, Mark Penfold, Sarah Twomey, David Verrey and Jade Williams (with other casting to be confirmed). These actors will work together for three months before the Young Chekhovseason opens at the Festival Theatre in September. Between them, the ensemble will play around 50 parts in total.

Each of the three plays can be seen as a single performance or they can be enjoyed as one event, either over different days or as one intense theatrical experience on Trilogy Days. With over 5,000 tickets at £10 available across the Young Chekhov season, audiences can see all three plays for as little as £30.

This season within a season is anchored by a trio of talent – Chekhov himself, playwright David Hare, and director Jonathan Kent, returning to Chichester following his triumphant production of Gypsy in Festival 2014. Young Chekhovreunites Kent and Hare who have previously collaborated on productions for the Almeida Theatre.

These three plays, written when Anton Chekhov was young, offer a new perspective on the dramatist, revealing a youthful anger and romanticism that is very different to his mature, more familiar work.

The central character in Platonov is a debt-ridden schoolteacher who is about to lose his home, yet remains irresistible to women. This freewheeling comedy set in the middle of nowhere explores the traps of conventionality and moral hypocrisy.

Nikolai Ivanov is a councillor and landowner who has tried to live in a bold new way, taking  risks in everything from business to romance. Now his estate is failing and his wife is dangerously ill. Ivanov is an angry and outspoken satire, full of a passion that Chekhov would forego in his later plays.

In The Seagull, a bold new play by a young writer is about to be staged. What happens during the performance, and in the days that follow it, will change the lives of everyone involved. The best known of the Young Chekhov trilogy is a meditation on love and art that’s both comic and tragic.

Anna Chancellor plays Irina Arkadina in The Seagull. She was last at Chichester in Private Lives and South Downs/The Browning Version (both of which transferred to the West End). Other credits include The Wolf from the Door (Royal Court Theatre) and The Last of the Duchess (Hampstead Theatre).

James McArdle plays the title role in Platonov and Yevgeni Lvov in Ivanov. He previously appeared at Chichester in A Month in the Country. Other credits include The James Plays at the Edinburgh Festival and National Theatre, and the West End production of Chariots of Fire.

Samuel West plays the title role in Ivanov and Boris Trigorin in The Seagull. He was last seen at Chichester in Enron andDoctor Faustus. Other acting credits include the West End production of Uncle Vanya, as well as Betrayal and Family Reunion (both for the Donmar Warehouse).

Lucy Briers plays Zinaida Savishna in Ivanov and Polina in The Seagull. She last appeared at Chichester in Top Girls(also West End). Other credits include the RSC productions of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies (also West End and Broadway), Behud (Soho Theatre) and The Voysey Inheritance (National Theatre).

Pip Carter plays Sergei Yoynitzev in Platonov and Medvedenko in The Seagull. His credits include the West End production of Posh, The Cherry Orchard, The White Guard, Gethsemane and Present Laughter (all for the National Theatre) and Tiger Country (Hampstead Theatre).

Peter Egan plays Count Shabyelski in Ivanov and Sorin in The Seagull. His Chichester credits include The Cherry Orchard, The Rivals and Caesar and Cleopatra. Other credits include Other Desert Cities (The Old Vic), People, Noises Off and Engaged (all for the National Theatre) and the West End production of Art.

Brian Pettifer plays Timofei Bugrov in Platonov and Kosych in Ivanov. His credits include screen roles in Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrell, The Musketeers and Bleak House, as well as stage roles in Yer Granny (National Theatre of Scotland) and The Fairy Queen at Glyndebourne.

Nina Sosanya plays Anna Petrovna in Platonov and Ivanov. Her theatre credits include the The Vote, Privacy and The Vortex (all for the Donmar Warehouse), the West End production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Love’s Labour’s Lost for the RSC. Television credits include W1A and Last Tango in Halifax.

Olivia Vinall plays Soyfa Yegorovna in Platonov, Sasha in Ivanov and Nina Zarechnaya in The Seagull. Her credits include The Hard Problem, King Lear and Othello (all for the National Theatre).

The cast also includes Emma Amos as Marfusha Babakina in Ivanov, Nebli Basani as Yakov in Platonov, Piotr and a Guest in Ivanov and Yakov in The Seagull, Jonathan Coy as Porfiri Glagolyev in Platonov and Pavel Lebedev in Ivanov,Mark Donald as Kiril Glagolyev in Platonov, Col Farrell as Marko in Platonov and First Guest in Ivanov, Joshua Jamesas Nikolai Triletsky in Platonov and Konstantin in The Seagull, Beverley Klein as Katya in Platonov and Avdotya Nazarovna in Ivanov, Des McAleer as Osip in Platonov, Mikhail Brokin in Ivanov and Shamraev in The Seagull, Mark Penfold as Vasili in Platonov and Gavrila in Ivanov, Sarah Twomey as Maria Grekova in Platonov and a Guest inIvanov, David Verrey as Pavel Shcherbuk in Platonov and Third Guest in Ivanov, and Jade Williams as Sasha Ivanovna in Platonov and Masha in The Seagull.

David Hare’s numerous credits include the world premiere of South Downs at Chichester (also West End), the National Theatre’s trilogy of plays about British institutions, Racing Demon, Murmuring Judges and The Absence of War, adaptations such as The Blue Room (Donmar Warehouse and Broadway), and most recently Behind The Beautiful Forevers, also for the National Theatre. He is also an acclaimed screenwriter and has received Academy Award nominations for The Hours and The Reader.

Director Jonathan Kent returns to Chichester following his acclaimed productions of Gypsy, Private Lives and Sweeney Todd, all of which transferred to the West End. Other credits include Good People (Hampstead Theatre and West End),Oedipus (National Theatre), Don Giovanni and The Fairy Queen (both for Glyndebourne).

Design is by Tom Pye whose credits include Mother CourageMajor Barbara, and Measure for Measure (all for the National Theatre), Happy Days (National Theatre, BAM and World Tour), The Wolf from the Door, The Low Road, and NSFW (all for the Royal Court Theatre) and the West End production of Sinatra (West End).

Costume Design is by Emma Ryott whose credits include The Great Gatsby (Dresden), Anna Karenina (Oslo and Moscow), The Heart of Robin Hood (RSC and international tour), and Rock ‘n Roll (Royal Court Theatre, West End and Broadway).

Lighting Design is by Mark Henderson whose Chichester credits include Gypsy, Sweeney Todd and Private Lives (all of which transferred to the West End) and ENRON (also Royal Court Theatre, West End, Broadway and tour), West End productions of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as well as The History Boys and The Habit of Art (National Theatre).

Sound Design is by Paul Groothuis, Chichester’s Associate Sound Designer. Chichester credits include Festival 2015’sA Damsel in Distress, as well as Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, The Pajama Game, Private Lives, Kiss Me, Kate, andRosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, all of which transferred to the West End.

Composition is by Jonathan Dove whose credits include Trelawny of the ‘Wells’, Wild Oats, Mother Courage and Peter Pan (National Theatre)  Zenobia and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC) and ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (Young Vic).

Young Chekhov: The Birth of A Genius is sponsored by Wiley. The Seagull is sponsored by De’Longhi.


Writer David Hare and director Jonathan Kent will be in conversation with novelist and CFT biographer Kate Mosse at a pre-show talk on Thursday 15 October at 5.45pm. Tickets are free but booking is essential.

Meet some of the Young Chekhov company at a post-show talk hosted by writer Simon Brett on Wednesday 21 October.

There will be a rehearsed reading of Anton Chekhov’s Swan Song on Saturday 31 October at 11am. This vaudeville piece about an old actor and his prompter was adapted from one of Chekhov’s own stories, and established his reputation in the theatre in 1888.

Join the technical crew and creative team for 90 minutes of insight, demonstration and discussion on the making of theYoung Chekhov trilogy at a Schools Theatre Day on Wednesday 4 November at 11am. Tickets £13.50, which includes the matinee performance.

Booking information
The Young Chekhov season is at the Festival Theatre, Chichester from 28 September – 14 November. Performance times vary. Tickets from £10. To book, go to or contact the Box Office on 01243 781312.

Special Prices for 16 – 25s

An allocation of tickets for 16 – 25 year olds priced at just £8.50 for all performances of the Young Chekhov season will go on sale on 28 August. These may be booked on 01243 781312, online at or in person.


887cebc164f767ba_800x800arIMPOSSIBLE, the biggest magic show to thrill the west end in decades, is searching for two 8 – 12 year old children with a keen interest in magic to join the magicians and illusionists in a new spectacular starring role.  The chosen performers will play a key role in the production, opening the show and joining the magicians in an astounding closing sequence.

Jamie Hendry, the producer of IMPOSSIBLE, said: “This is a rare opportunity for a budding magician to join a team of world-class illusionists on stage as they perform a range a death-defying stunts, and amazing tricks live in front of a West End theatre audience. They will get to see first-hand just how powerful and impressive magic can be, and hopefully this will be the start of their careers as stars of the future – it will certainly make for an interesting “what I did this summer report” when they get back to school!”

The character is a young child, who dreams of one day becoming a world class magician. Opening the show, he or she watches in awe as the greatest magicians and illusionists take to the stage.

This is an exciting opportunity for budding young actors or magicians to work alongside the multi-award winning producer and director, Anthony Owen, and to join a host of world-class magicians in the biggest and most exciting new magic show to thrill London this summer.

The chosen performers will need to be aged between 8-12 years with a playing age of 7-8. Applicants must send a video of no more than 30 seconds in length to [email protected] by 12pm on Monday 6th July about why they love magic and why they want to be part of IMPOSSIBLE,along with a short email from their legal guardians providing the name, age, address and photograph. A shortlist of up to 50 applicants will then be selected, where they will meet the Creative Director and producers in central London during the week of 6th July. The chosen performers will need to be comfortable being on stage in front of more than 900 people a night and be available to rehearse and perform from 13th July until 29th August.

Celebrating its global premiere this July in London, where Harry Houdini and the superstars of illusion stunned Victorian audiences on stage, IMPOSSIBLE will re-establish the UK capital as the epicenter of innovation and spectacle, hosting the greatest magic show on Earth. Featuring a stunning range of magical artistry, from astonishing acts of epic proportions to dumbfounding up-close sleight of hand, be ready to be mesmerized and baffled by these incredible illusionists.

The confirmed line-up includes: modern-day Houdini, daredevil and TV escapologist Jonathan Goodwin; mind-blowing mind-reader Chris Cox; sophisticated sorceress Katherine Mills; boundary breaking magician Ben Hart; spell-binding digital marvel Jamie Allan; sleight of hand master Ali Cookand world-renowned grand illusionist Luis de Matos.

IMPOSSIBLE is produced in the West End by Jamie Hendry Productions, with scenic design by Andrew D. Edwards, lighting design by Tim Lutkin, sound design by Gareth Owen, video design by Duncan McLean and music by Michael Bradley.

Jonathan Goodwin

Daredevil and TV Escapologist Jonathan Goodwin will have audiences on the edge of their seats as he dances with death on stage. After first appearing on Channel 4’s Dirty Tricks, Goodwin has brought his unique stunts to various TV specials including The Seven Stupidest Things to Escape From and How Not to Become Shark Bait! In his television series The Incredible Mr Goodwin, he pushes the limits of possibility with stunts that range from extreme planking to climbing skyscrapers.

Jamie Allan

You’ll never look at your iPhone the same way again. Modern day Houdini, Jamie Allen fuses magic and technology together to create spell binding stunts that captivate the contemporary audience. Transporting classic magic tricks into the digital age, his phenomenal modern illusions include sawing people in half with lasers and iPad ‘Digital Art’.

Chris Cox

Clear your mind before award-winning mind reading specialist Chris Cox gets his hands on it! Chris stars in BBC 3’s Killer Magic, bewildering audiences with his unique mind reading talent. Illusion consultant for The Bodyguard, he has flummoxed audiences on stages across the country and continues to control minds in his sell-out tour Fatal Distraction.

Ben Hart

Ben Hart invents unique magic which pushes the boundaries of film, theatre and television and tests the limits of illusion, including decapitation, vanishing and levitation  At the age of 16 he won the Magic Circle’s Young Magician of the Year’ Award and his most recent show The Vanishing Boy sold-out to astonished audiences.  He recently starred in BBC 3’s Killer Magic, where his unique and unorthodox approaches amazed audiences across the country.

Katherine Mills

A member of the Magic Circle Katherine Mills is a sophisticated sorceress who enchants and entrances her audiences. Her numerous TV credits include starring in the BAFTA award winning CBBC series Help ! My Supply Teacher is Magic. The first female magician ever with her own primetime TV series – Mind Games, Katherine is a phenomenon taking the world by storm.

Ali Cook

Master of multiple magical trades, Ali Cook is a daredevil escapologist, sleight of hand expert, street magician, stage illusionist and performer of thought control. A pioneer of the alternative magic scene, he has written and starred in various television series including: ITV’s Penn And Teller: Fool Us; BBC 1’sNow You See It; Channel 4’s Dirty Trick’s; and Channel 5’s Psychic Secrets Revealed with Derren Brown.

Luis de Matos

Audiences won’t believe their eyes when Portuguese grand illusionist Luis de Matos takes to the stage. A master magician known for his trail-blazing stunts and ability to make cars disappear, he has won various prizes for his astounding magic. The youngest ever recipient of the distinguished ‘David Devant Award’, given to him by the Magic Circle for a significant contribution to advancing the art of magic, he’s considered by many as the most renowned and distinguished Portuguese magician of all time.

Noël Coward Theatre, St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4AU

Friday 24th July – Saturday 29th August 2015
Monday – Saturday evenings at 7.30pm
Matinee performances: Tuesday and Saturday at 3.00pm
Booking details:  0844 482 5141
Access bookings: 0844 482 5137
Press Night: Thursday 30 July, 7:30pm
Twitter: @ImpossibleShow

Ticket prices: £10, £20, £40, £60. Premium tickets are also available


Last Train to Elvet stops in York

York Theatre Royal is proud to be hosting a new creative collaboration as part of its residency at the National Railway Museum. Days after the world premiere of Last Train to Elvet at Durham BRASS Festival, the production will come to the Signal Box Theatre for two performances on Sunday 9 August. A creative collaboration between the Tredegar Town Band ensemble, Olympic composer Luke Carver Goss, renowned broadcaster and poet Ian McMillan and legendary Private Eyecartoonist Tony Husband, the production is inspired by the story of Durham’s Elvet Station.

  Ian McMillan & Luke Carver Goss credit Adrian Mealing

Shortly before closing in 1953, Durham’s Elvet Station handled a circus train full of performers and animals,Last Train to Elvet combines brass music with circus themes, a web of words and live cartooning.

Music, words and live cartooning tell the amazing (partly) true story of the circus train that was the last train to Durham Elvet station in 1953, packed with animals and clowns and acrobats. Capriciously, the train breaks down… Now what will the Circus do? Come along and find out!


said poet and Last Train to Elvet co-creator Ian McMillan.

Bard of Barnsley Ian McMillan hosts weekly hit radio show The Verb. He’s Poet-in-Residence for Barnsley FC, The Academy of Urbanism and, until recently, English National Opera. He’s a regular on BBC BreakfastPick of the WeekCoastCountryfile and Last Word. He was featured on The South Bank Show and cast away on Desert Island Discs. His rip-roaring poetry shows are legendary.



Joining him will be Olympic Composer Luke Carver Goss has written for Black Dyke Brass Band, The Sage Gateshead, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Pure Gold: a 4X4 relay for the Cultural Olympiad. He records and performs with his own group, the acclaimed Carver Trio, the Balkan singer Tea Hodzic, jazz singer Tina May and storyteller Daniel Morden in the group The Devil’s Violin.

Accompanying the show will be The Tredegar Town Band –the double British Open champions – has been running since 1876, when a local brass band from the Welsh Valley town reportedly led a procession to celebrate the opening of a new mill for the Tredegar Iron and Coal Company. Following the appointment of Ian Porthouse as Musical Director in 2008, Tredegar Town Band has subsequently achieved increasingly impressive domestic and national contesting results including the unique double feat of winning the Grand Shield and the British Open Championship in 2010. Tredegar has helped to broaden the audience for brass music through a series of adventurous collaborations including recently performing with Ballet Rambert and starring in the hit feature film Pride.

Tony Husband is Cartoonist in Residence at The Lowry and ‘legendary Private Eye cartoonist’ PR Weekly. He has been awarded Strip, Gag & Sports Cartoonist of the Year no fewer than ten times by the Cartoon Arts Trust. For his depiction of British life, he won the 2005 Pont Award given in memory of the great thirties’ cartoonist. His cartoons appear regularly in The Times, Sunday Express, Golf International, The Oldie, Private Eye, The Spectator, Nursing Standard, TES, The Prescriber, Playboy and Punch. He will be drawing cartoons to explain the story as part of the show, which will then be projected onto a large screen. This will certainly be a challenge with Ian and Luke often improvising on stage and interacting with the audience.


With an award from BRASS: Pitch and in collaboration with the National Railway Museum and York Theatre Royal, Last Train to Elvet is run by Durham County Council and produced by UK Touring.

Taking place in the new Signal Box Theatre, situated in the National Railway Museum. The show will form part of York Theatre Royal’s residency at the National Railway Museum, which will also be the home to hit summer show The Railway Children.


Chief Executive of York Theatre Royal Liz Wilson said:

The Last Train to Elvet is a great addition to our summer programme at the National Railway Museum and we’re very pleased to be working with Ian, Luke and Tony.

Last Train To Elvet will take place on Sunday 9th August, with performances at 4 and 7pm. Tickets are £14 and on sale now from the York Theatre Royal Box Office, located on St Leonards Place in the De Grey Rooms, by calling 01904 623568 or online at


Frankie Valli meets the West End and UK and Ireland Tour casts of JERSEY BOYS

Legendary singer Frankie Valli took time out from his sold-out concert tour this week to meet the casts of both UK productions of the smash-hit musical Jersey Boys, which tells the true-life story of Frankie’s rise to fame along with his band The Four Seasons.  Frankie joined the UK and Ireland Tour cast in Manchester as they performed an excerpt from the show on BBC Breakfast, and visited the London show at the Piccadilly Theatre before going onstage to meet the cast and crew.xtn-500_frankievalli,28centre,29withtheukandirelandtourcastofjerseyboys.jpg.pagespeed.ic.AXJ4twudAetn-500_frankievalli(centre)withthewestendcastofjerseyboys

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Review

Grand Theatre, Leeds – 2 July 2015

Based on the 1988 movie of the same name, which starred Michael Caine and Steve Martin, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels actually transfers quite well to the stage.

The audience at The Grand, on a UK tour after a successful run at the Savoy Theatre in the West End, were transported to the luxurious French Riviera resort of Beaumont-sur-Mer. There, sophisticated conman Lawrence Jameson, played superbly at the performance I attended by Kevin Stephen-Jones, revels in swindling cash, jewellery and just about anything from rich, upper-class women. He has the local police chief Andre (Mark Benton) in his pocket and all is going well. But his monopoly comes under threat from wide-boy Freddy Benson (Noel Sullivan), who wants a slice of the action. Beaumont-sur-Mer can’t accommodate them both, so they concoct a bet to be the first to scam millionaire soap heiress Christine Colgate (Carley Stenson) out of $50,000. But the target of their affections and tricks is not all she is cracked up to be.

Stenson’s Christine is a delight from the moment she steps on stage; goofy but charming, clumsy yet loveable, as she reels in her two oblivious suitors.

Matching her in class is Geraldine Fitzgerald as wealthy divorcée Muriel Eubanks, who embarks on an hilariously exhausting tryst with Andre

Sullivan is not just vocally talented but surprisingly twinkle toed and his comedic timing lends itself nicely to the play’s witty asides, with some corpsing and what seems genuine enjoyment in the part

“Give Them What They Want”, we’re told is the golden rule of a con artist and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels certainly does – but far from feeling scammed, I walked out of the The Grand more tickled than Freddy’s poor feet, thanks to a slick, well-executed production that hits all the right notes.

In Leeds until Saturday 4th July and on tour around the UK



York Students at Royal Shakespeare Theatre


York 1 credit Rob FreemanPupils from seven schools in York will tread the boards at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre next month as part of a national celebration of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Learning and Performance Network (LPN).

The Head That Wears A Crown takes place in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST) on 8 July 2015 and will involve 100 pupils from 45 primary, secondary and special schools across Cornwall, Southampton, Birmingham, York, Hull and Middlesbrough. All of the schools involved in the celebration form part of the RSC’s LPN – a three year national partnership programme with 400 schools and 10 regional theatre partners throughout England that aims to transform experiences of Shakespeare’s work for young people in schools.

The afternoon will include six performances in total – one from each of the six regions. Over the past few months, each region has selected its cast from a number of local or ‘cluster’ schools and have been working with practitioners from the RSC and York Theatre Royal, to explore Shakespeare’s Henry’s plays. Each group has then chosen a scene to rehearse from Henry IV parts 1 and 2 or Henry V which tells the story of Prince Hal’s journey from errant prince to the victorious King Henry V. The final performances will see each ‘cluster’ performing their finished piece in front of a live audience in the RST.

In York, the cluster is made up of fourteen pupils from seven schools led by York High School and Julian Ollive from York Theatre Royal.

Julian Ollive, Education & Young Actors’ Associate at York Theatre Royal said:

The festival in Stratford is a wonderful way to close the three-year journey of our participation in the RSC’s Learning and Performance Network programme. By bringing together children and young people from all our seven partnership schools into a single performance augments the central theme of ensemble that is embedded in the project. The programme has been about bringing people together to learn and experience new ways of understanding and performing Shakespeare and there’s no better way to celebrate this than with our fellow regional partners on the RST stage on July 8th.

An estimated 500 people are expected to watch the performances including parents, RSC staff and invited VIPs.



The Father transfers to West End

The most acclaimed new play of the decade transfers to the West End for 8 weeks only


Wyndham’s Theatre, London 30th September – 21st November 2015

★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★

Guardian Observer Times Financial Times

★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★

Mail on Sunday Evening Standard Sunday Times Daily Mail

By Florian Zeller in a new translation by Christopher Hampton

Directed by James Macdonald

Following successful runs at the Ustinov Studio in Bath and the Tricycle Theatre in London, Theatre Royal Bath Productions and the Tricycle Theatre will transfer Florian Zeller’s Moliere award-winning play, THE FATHER, starring Kenneth Cranham and Claire Skinner, to London’s Wyndham’s Theatre for a limited season, Wednesday 30th September – Saturday 21st November. In the two weeks prior to the transfer, the production will play a very limited run at Cambridge Arts Theatre, 15th – 26th September.

As playful as it is painful… unforgettable acting” Dominic Maxwell, The Times

Now 80 years old, Andre was once a tap dancer. He lives with his daughter Anne and her husband Antoine. Or was he an engineer whose daughter Anne lives in London with her new lover, Pierre? The thing is, he is still wearing his pyjamas, and he can’t find his watch. He is starting to wonder if he’s losing control.

My play of the year…. Devastating drama” Georgina Brown, Mail on Sunday

Nominated for a Tony Award for Stephen Daldry’s An Inspector Calls on Broadway, Kenneth Cranham’s numerous stage credits also include The Cherry Orchard at the National Theatre, The Homecoming at the Almeida and West End productions of Entertaining Mr Sloane, Loot, The Birthday Party and Gaslight. Screen credits range from the title role in Shine On Harvey Moon to Layer Cake, Maleficent, Hot Fuzz, Oliver! and Hellbound: Hellraiser II.

Kenneth Cranham is quite simply shattering” Sarah Hemming, Financial Times

For her role in The Glass Menagerie at the Donmar Warehouse, Claire Skinner won the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Best Actress and the Time Out Award for Best Performance Off West End, as well as earning an Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Performance. Her theatre credits also include performances at the National Theatre, RSC, Almeida, Liverpool Everyman and the West End. Television credits include a BAFTA nominated performance in five series of ‘Outnumbered’, as well as ‘Silk’, ‘Homefront’, ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Lark Rise To Candleford’, while in film she has appeared in ‘When Did You Last See Your Father’, ‘Strings’ and ‘Sleepy Hollow’.

Stunning… quietly devastating” Henry Hitchings, The Evening Standard

The cast also includes Rebecca Charles with additional casting to be announced.

Director James Macdonald has worked extensively off Broadway where he was recently the winner of the 2014 Obie Award for Best Director for Love and Information. He was Associate Director of the Royal Court from 1992 to 2007 and his credits include Cock, Drunk Enough to Say I Love You, the European and US tours of Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis, Exiles at the National Theatre, and Glengarry Glen Ross in the West End.

Florian Zeller is fast becoming one of France’s most well-known contemporary playwrights. His 2010 play The Mother was the winner of the Moliere Award, France’s highest theatrical honour. The Mother received critical acclaim at its UK premiere at the Ustinov Studio in June 2015, starring Gina McKee.

Translator Christopher Hampton’s own work includes The Philanthropist, Savages, Tales From Hollywood and Les Liaisons Dangereuse. He has translated plays by Ibsen, Molière, Chekhov and Yasmina Reza (including Art and Life x 3).

Designed by Miriam Buether; lighting designed by Guy Hoare; sound designed by Christopher Shutt.


Venue: Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DA

Dates: Wednesday 30th September – Saturday 21st November 2015

Times: Monday – Saturday, 7.30pm; Thursday and Saturday matinees, 2.30pm

Press night: Monday 5th October, 7pm

Tickets: £20 – £49.50 Box Office: 0844 482 5120/

Venue: Cambridge Arts Theatre, 6 St Edward’s Passage, Cambridge, CB2 3PJ

Dates: 15th- 26th September 2015

Times: Monday – Saturday, 7.45pm; Thursday and Saturday matinees, 2.30pm

Prices: £15-£35 Box Office: 0 1223 503333 /


The incredible Irish step dance show Rhythm of the Dance to perform at Darlington Civic Theatre on Friday 24 July

Amazing! Breath-taking! Inspiring! Wonderful!

These are reactions from audiences and critics alike upon experiencing the exciting performances of the rousing Rhythm of the Dance.

This incredible live show celebrates the rich history of Ireland and the art of Irish dance. Rhythm of the Dance creates a new ere in Irish entertainment, presenting thirty dancers, a traditional Irish band and the handsome Young Irish Tenors. Internationally rated as one of the most popular and successful Irish step dance shows on tour, critics, audiences and millions of fans around the world hail this live stage show as a must see.

Rhythm of the Dance is at Darlington Civic Theatre on Friday 24 July. Tickets* are £23 and £25.

*Includes £1 restoration levy

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit