The Voice finalist Lucy O’Byrne to play Maria in the The Sound of Music

99564It has been announced that The Voice finalist Lucy O’Byrne will take on the role of Maria von Trapp in a touring production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic The Sound of Music.

O’Byrne rose to fame in chart-topper’s team after becoming the first classical singer to reach BBC One’s The Voice final.

She will star in the Bill Kenwright-produced revival of The Sound of Music which opens on 2 December 2015 at the Broadway Theatre, Peterborough before embarking on a major UK tour.

The memorable score features songs including, “My Favourite Things”, “Do-Re-Mi”, “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”, “So Long, Farewell” and the title song, “The Sound of Music”.

Directed by Martin Connor with choreography by Bill Deamer and musical direction by David Steadman, the production coincides with the 50th anniversary of the iconic film version starring Julie Andrews.

The Sound of Music will tour to Peterborough (2 to 12 December), Salford Quays (14 December 2015 to 2 January 2016), Edinburgh (5 to 9 January), Aberdeen (12 to 16 January), Stoke-On-Trent (18 to 23 January), Malvern (9 to 13 February), High Wycombe (16 to 20 February), Ipswich (23 to 27 February) and Birmingham (24 to 28 May).

Further tour dates and casting are to be announced.

Casting announced for Hello Again at Hope Theatre

Casting has been announced for the first British revival of Michael John LaChiusa’s musical Hello Again, which opens at the Hope Theatre in Islington next month.

Olivier Award-winner Miles Western (Pageant, The Fix) leads the cast alongside Thea Jo Wolfe (Singin’ in the Rain, Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens), Joshua Leclair (See Rock City and Other Destinations, She Loves Me), Isabella Messarra (professional debut) and Adam Colbeck-Dunn (Billy, Elegies for Angles, Punks and Raging Queens).

Based on the 1897 play La Ronde by Arthur Schnitzler, Hello Again focuses on a series of love affairs among ten characters during the ten different decades of the 20th century.

The musical received its professional European premiere in 2001 at London’s Bridewell Theatre, with a cast that featured Jenna Russell, Matt Rawle, Charles Shirvell and Nigel Richards.

The show is produced by Play Pen Productions with direction from Tania Azevedo, choreography by Chloe Aliyanni and musical direction from Daniel Jarvis.

Hello Again runs at the Hope Theatre from 20 October – 7 November.

Chance to celebrate your 10th birthday

The Unicorn Theatre is offering 10-year old children the chance to celebrate their birthday at a special red carpet event. For the chance to apply, see below.

Are you 10 on the 1 December 2015? Were you born on the 1 December 2005? You and your friends are invited to join us as our guests for a special glitzy red carpet performance of Baddies: the Musical to celebrate your birthday. No grown-ups allowed.

To apply for tickets, send your name, contact details and proof of age to:

10th Birthday Party, Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley Street, London SE1 2HZ or email [email protected]

Casting announced for new show Baddies: The Musical

Casting has been announced for the Unicorn’s production of Baddies: The Musical which opens in November.

Directed by Purni Morell, the cast includes Dean Nolan as Big Bad Wolf, Christian Roe as Peter Pan, David McKay as Rumplestiltskin, Kelly Agbowu as Ugly Sister May, Claire Sundin as Ugly Sister Fay, Lila Clements as Guard and Jack Benjamin as Guard.

Written by award-winning writer Nancy Harris and Stuck on a Sunday writer Mark Teitler, Baddies: The Musical is a new musical about fairy-tales’ much feared anti-heroes.

The production is designed by James Button with lighting by David W Kidd, musical supervision by Joel Fram, sound by Edward Lewis and musical direction by Sam Sommersfield.

Baddies: The Musical runs at the Unicorn Theatre from 10 November to 24 December 2015.


Kim Medcalf, Matilda Sturridge And Ellie Nunn Star In Gatsby

gatsbyThis Autumn, Ruby In The Dust’s acclaimed adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic Jazz Age novel returns to the London stage for a limited, exclusive showcase production at the Arts Theatre. Featuring the renowned Benoit Veillefon Orchestra, the on-stage talent includes Kim Medcalf (Sally Bowles – Rufus Norris’ Cabaret & Sam Mitchell in Eastenders) Matilda Sturridge, who starred in the premiere at the King’s Head in 2012, is reprising her role as Daisy Buchanan; and Ellie Nunn who played the eponymous Lady Windermere in Ruby In The Dust’s feted production of Lady Windermere’s Fan at The King’s Head in the Summer of 2014.

Inhabiting the sizzling heat of a 1920s New York Summer, Jay Gatsby is the man who has almost everything. But one thing will always be out of his reach… Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. Soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel. This is a portrait of a man who lives his life with all the heady, glitz and glamour of his age, a man whose name has become synonymous with an era, a man who beneath the veneer hides the seeds of self- destruction that, like the Big Crash that hung on the horizon, has come to symbolise the end of the American Dream.

Gatsby was first presented in 2012 and again in 2013 and was greeted with wide acclaim and sell out audiences on both occasions.

With over twelve productions under its belt, Ruby in the Dust has built a brand that easily includes both West End sites and shows on the fringe since its creation in 2007. Linnie Reedman, member of the Young Vic Genesis Directors programme, and acclaimed composer/musical director Joe Evans have proven themselves as innovators who present shows that integrate original music and interpolated music into the text. As well as adapting the musical production of The Great Gatsby, they’ve received acclaim for their musical shows, and because the stamp of authenticity that they place on every production is simultaneously true to its roots and boldly original, they’ve been able to use music that already claims a steadfast audience and introduce it to new ones. They received the blessing of the Cole Porter Estate to use several Porter compositions for their production of Hutch in 2013, and from Warners, and Disney, to use the legendary Dr John’s hugely popular jazz hits in their most recent production; A Midsummer Night’s Dream – In New Orleans. They are now delighted to be collaborating with the renowned Benoit Veillefon Orchestra to add ‘Jazz Age’ authenticity to the original compositions for “Gatsby”.

Adapted from F Scott Fitzgerald’s
The Great Gatsby
Book By Linnie Reedman
Music and Lyrics by Joe Evans
Featuring the Benoit Veillefon Orchestra

October 26 –November 16
Tickets £25 – £45

Great Newport Street
London WC2H 7JB
Box Office 0207 836 8463


Tickets on sale for Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close

sunset-boulevard-square275Tickets are on sale from 10.00am Tuesday 29th September, 2015 for the 2016 production of Sunset Boulevard where Glenn Close will star as Norma Desmond, the second production in the partnership between English National Opera (ENO) and the Grade Linnit Company. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, Sunset Boulevard is produced by arrangement with The Really Useful Group Ltd and is based on the original Paramount film by Billy Wilder.

In March 2015 ENO and the GradeLinnit Company presented the critically acclaimed sell-out run of Sweeney Todd with Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel in the inaugural production of their partnership.

Lonny Price will direct the strictly limited run of 43 performances at ENO’s London Coliseum which begins on 1 April 2016 with press night on 4 April 2016 at 7.30pm and final performance on 7 May 2016. The full ENO orchestra will appear on stage alongside the cast in this semi-staged production. Further casting will be announced shortly.

Glenn Close, making her West End debut as well as her first reprisal of the role for UK audiences, plays faded silent movie star Norma Desmond, for which she has previously won a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and a Dramalogue Award for the Broadway production directed by Trevor Nunn.

Sunset Boulevard will be presented by ENO with Michael Linnit and Michael Grade for Gate Ventures with Johnny Hon as Executive Producer.
Based on Billy Wilder’s classic film, Sunset Boulevard originally premiered in London at the Adelphi Theatre in 1993, where it ran for almost four years and played to nearly two million people. It went on to open on Broadway in 1994 to what was then, the biggest advance in Broadway history, $37.5million.  In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard, faded, silent-screen goddess, Norma Desmond, lives in a fantasy world. Impoverished screen writer, Joe Gillis, on the run from debt collectors, stumbles into her reclusive world. Persuaded to work on Norma’s ‘masterpiece’, a film script that she believes will put her back in front of the cameras, he is seduced by her and her luxurious life-style. Joe becomes entrapped in a claustrophobic world until his love for another woman leads him to try and break free with dramatic consequences.

Tickets from £32.00
Telephone Bookings 020 7492 1602


English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4ES
Dates: 1st April – 7th May 2016
Performances: Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm, Tuesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm


Nutcracker! The Musical at The Pleasance Theatre

nutcracker-the-musicalA Christmas cracker of a show – Tchaikovsky’s beautiful melodies from the classic seasonal ballet reworked with Musical Theatre lyrics and orchestrations Peaceful Lion Productions presents the world premiere of Nutcracker! The Musical.

Music Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Book and lyrics by multiple Emmy Award-winning Nancy Holson, Arrangements Bruce Kiesling and Paul Rigano, Director Ollie Fielding, Designer Eleanor Field and Choreographer Alejandro Postigo.

Nutcracker! The Musical takes the classic ETA Hoffmann tale and Tchaikovsky’s soaring classical music – familiar to fans of The Nutcraker ballet – and gives them a thrilling moden twist, with enchanting new Musical Theatre arrangements and a book and lyrics by multiple Emmy Award winner Nancy Holson.

Nutcracker! The Musical, directed by Ollie Fielding, will get its world premiere in a four-week season at the Pleasance Theatre, London N1 from Tuesday 8 December to Sunday 3 January.

Nutcracker! The Musical is a story of magic, far away places, fairy tale kingdoms, of love, friendship, family and most importantly imagination. This fresh new look at the original Nutcracker story will enchant audiences of all ages. Generations of children were raised on The Nutcracker ballet, but though the ballet is a classic, do you know the real story of the Nutcracker?

Teenage Marie is too old to play with dolls but there’s something intriguing about the nutcracker given to her by her old Uncle Drosselmier. He seems lost in time. Long ago in the fairy tale kingdom of Chronenburg, the beautiful Princess Pirlipat has been magically disfigured by the evil Mouseyrinks, Queen of the Mice. King Wilhelm enlists the help of the mystical Royal Clockmaker to break the curse. Will a little magic and a lot of imagination be enough to discover the secret of the nutcracker and rescue the people of Chronenburg from the clutches of Mouseyrinks’ spell?

Cast to be announced.

Nancy Holson is a writer, director and producer whose career spans the worlds of commercial live theatre, corporate theatre, and television.

Peaceful Lion Productions was founded in 2006 by Ollie Fielding to produce stylish productions with a hint of mischief, a dab of spectacle and a sprinkling of the fantastic for audiences of all ages. Rosie’s Magic Horse, based on a book by Russell Hoban and illustrated by Quentin Blake, opened at Southwark Playhouse in December 2014 and then toured the UK. Comedy cabaret Ludwig Live! had a fantastic run at the Leicester Square Theatre as well as playing Brighton Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe.

Nutcracker! The Musical
Pleasance Theatre
Carpenters Mews
North Rd
London, N7 9EF

Tuesday 8 December, 2015 to Sunday 3rd January 2016

New musical Ireland’s Call in 2016 UK Tour

irelands-callExactly one hundred years since the historic 1916 ‘Easter Rising’, one of the pivotal events in modern Irish history; Ireland’s Call, a new and exciting musical adaptation of the critically acclaimed show Essence of Ireland, is coming to stages across the UK next spring.

Ireland’s Call opens in Weymouth on 2nd March, 2016 and continues to over 45 venues nationwide through to the beginning of May.

Inspired by true events and spanning three decades, this uplifting musical tells the story of one man’s love for his Irish homeland. The story follows the extraordinary journey of the strong-headed Sean Dempsey, who at the end of World War II leaves behind his childhood sweetheart Cora and his beloved homeland Ireland, in search of a better life in the Big Apple.

Can their love survive the Atlantic Divide? Will Sean be able to resist ‘Ireland’s call’ as he embarks on an adventure full of danger, tragedy and lost love? Only fate will tell…

Creative Director Ged Graham believes 2016 is the perfect time to launch the show. He says: “We are really looking forward to bringing the show to stages across the world, starting with some of the UK’s most prestigious venues in 2016, a year set to be a huge celebration of Irish culture to commemorate the centenary of The Easter Rising.

Ged Graham was born in the Liberties in Dublin and remembers moving to the UK when he was nine. He says: “Everyone has been separated from loved ones and their homes at some point in their lives, so this is a story that people can really engage with and relate to, myself included. The audience is drawn in to the story and swept on a journey that is both heartbreaking and heartwarming! It is set against a backdrop of key historical events including America’s introduction to rock and roll, the rebuilding of London post World War two and John F Kennedy’s historic presidential visit to Ireland in 1963. It’s a story full of emotional highs and lows.

An exhilarating mix of original scores and well-known songs such as Galway Girl, Isle of Hope Isle Of Tears, I Loved Her First, Tell Me Ma, Irish Rover, Ireland’s Call is a powerful, explosive blend of energy, emotion and music which leaves audiences from around the world on an unforgettable high.

Ireland’s Call is a timeless celebration – a celebration of dreams, enduring love, the resilience of human spirit and of the powerful pull between one man and his homeland.

Tickets and Tour dates








Today Sandi Toksvig announces a whistle-stop, six-date tour of England and Wales in early 2016.

Sandi Toksvig

Sandi Toksvig Live – Politically Incorrect! will be a uniquely witty evening of stand-up, stories and fascinating facts.

The tour will raise funds for the UK’s fastest growing new political party the WOMEN’S EQUALITY PARTY, which Sandi co-founded earlier this year. All profits from the shows will go to fund the Party’s work.

 Sandi Toksvi 2

Sandi will entertain audiences solo for the first half of the evening, and in the second she will introduce them to some special guests and the compelling ideas behind this exciting new venture.

Sandi Toksvig said, “When we launched the Women’s Equality Party earlier this year, I said it was time to stop making jokes about politics and participate… On this tour I can do both!”


“This is such an exciting and crucial time in the party’s development – our membership is growing so quickly and there is a real appetite for our core messages around gender equality. I’m really looking forward to getting back out on the road and connecting with supporters round the country, whilst at the same time persuading others to join the Party.”

2016 dates – tickets on sale now



8 March (International Women’s Day) – BRIGHTON DOME




Scottish dates to be announced soon…



Northern Ballet return to Sheffield with a thrilling adaptation of George Orwell’s cult novel 1984, adapted and choreographed by Bradford-born Jonathan Watkins, from Tuesday 20 – Saturday 24 October at the Lyceum Theatre.


Ministry of Truth worker Winston Smith lives in a world of absolute conformity, his every action scrutinised by Big Brother. Whilst outwardly conforming to Party doctrine, he is secretly disillusioned, illegally documenting his thoughts in a diary. When he unexpectedly receives a love note from Julia, a colleague he suspected on spying on him for the Thought Police, they embark on an illicit affair, leading a dangerous double life and putting physical desire above Party discipline. As their romance develops and they prepare for an act of political rebellion, Winston and Julia discover that Big Brother is always watching and no one can be trusted; least of all themselves.

Choreographed by Jonathan Watkins, (whose acclaimed adaptation of Kes, produced by Sheffield Theatres, had its World Première at the Crucible as part of last years’ Yorkshire Festival,) Northern Ballet’s 1984 is the first full-length ballet adaptation of George Orwell’s renowned novel.

The production is set to an original score by Tony-nominated Composer and Arranger Alex Baranowski, who also created the score for Kes and has recently worked with Mercury Prize winning band The xx.


Audiences will not want to miss this powerful and thought-provoking ballet based on Orwell’s classic story.

Northern Ballet’s 1984 visits the Lyceum Theatre from Tuesday 20 – Saturday 24 October.  Tickets are on sale now, priced from £12.00 – £37.00 and can be purchased in person at Sheffield Theatres’ Box Office, by calling 0114 249 6000 or online at A transaction fee of £1.50 (£1.00 online) applies to all bookings made at the Box Office, excluding cash.