Lyn Paul returns to the role of Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers UK Tour

Following a sell-out autumn 2015 tour, the international smash hit musical Blood Brothers is set to tour theatres across the UK into 2016. The tour opens in Peterborough on Tuesday 12th January 2016.

No stranger to Blood Brothers, ‘The definitive Mrs Johnstone’ (Manchester Evening News) Lyn Paul makes a welcome return to the iconic role, one she first played in 1997. Lyn last played Mrs Johnstone in the final West End performances at the Phoenix Theatre in 2012. She has starred in the UK tour of Cabaret in 2013 as Fraulein Schneider, in Boy George’s musical Taboo and in Footloose – the Musical.

Lyn rose to fame in the early 1970s as a member of the New Seekers. She was the featured vocalist on their 1972 Eurovision Song Contest entry, ‘Beg, Steal or Borrow’, in which they came second and lead vocalist on the 1974 number-one hit ‘You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me’. Among the group’s other works, they recorded the song ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’, adapted from an advertising jingle for Coca-Cola, which sold over 20 million copies and still remains one of the 100 best-selling singles in the UK.

Hailed as one of the best musicals of all time, Blood Brothers, written by award-winning playwright Willy Russell has triumphed across the globe. Scooping up no less than four awards for best musical in London and seven Tony Award nominations on Broadway, Blood Brothers is simply unmissable and unbeatable. This epic tale of Liverpool life ran in London’s West End for 24 years and exceeded 10,000 performances. It is one of only three musicals ever to achieve that milestone.

Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving story of twin boys separated at birth, only to be reunited by a twist of fate and a mother’s haunting secret. The memorable score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True.

When Mrs Johnstone, a young mother, is deserted by her husband and left to her own devices to provide for seven hungry children she takes a job as a housekeeper in order to make ends meet.

It is not long before her brittle world crashes around her when she discovers herself to be pregnant yet again – this time with twins! In a moment of weakness and desperation, she enters a secret pact with her employer which leads inexorably to the show’s shattering climax. A sensational cast, incredible show stopping music, remarkable staging and five star performances make Blood Brothers an enthralling night of entertainment.

Willy Russell is undeniably one of this country’s leading contemporary dramatists. His countless credits include Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine. Educating Rita, originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, enjoyed a two year run in the West End and was made into a movie starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters. Shirley Valentine also made the move from stage to screen in an enormously popular film starring Pauline Collins and Tom Conti.

Further casting for Blood Brothers is to be announced.

Tuesday 12th – Saturday 17th January 2016
Box Office: 01733 822225
Peterborough, Broadway Theatre

Tuesday 19th – Saturday 23rd January 2016
Box Office: 01323 412000
Eastbourne Theatres

Monday 25th – Saturday 30th January 2016
Box Office: 0844 871 7651
Richmond Theatre

Monday 1st – Saturday 6th February 2016
Box Office: 0300 300 0035
Grimsby Auditorium

Monday 8th – Saturday 13th February 2016
Box Office: 0844 871 3014
Edinburgh Playhouse

Monday 15th – Saturday 20th February
Box Office: 0115 989 5555
Nottingham, Theatre Royal

Monday 22nd – Saturday 27th February 2016
Box Office: 0844 871 7620
Bromley, Churchill Theatre

Tuesday 1st – Saturday 5th March 2016
Box Office: 0844 871 3020
Oxford, New Theatre

Monday 7th – Saturday 12th March 2016
Box Office: 0845 127 2190
Buxton, Opera House

Tuesday 22nd – Saturday 27th March 2016
Box Office: 0844 871 3023
Torquay, Princess Theatre

Monday 28th March – Saturday 2nd April 2016
Box Office: 0844 848 2700
Leeds Grand Theatre

Tuesday 5th – Saturday 9th April 2016
Box Office: 0844 856 1111
Blackpool, Opera House

Monday 11th – Saturday 16th April 2016
Box Office: 01494 512000
High Wycombe, Swan Theatre

Further dates and casting to be announced

Alan Ayckbourn’s Confusions and Hero’s Welcome to tour UK and US in 2016

Two of playwright Alan Ayckbourn’s works, one a revival and the other a brand new play, are set to tour next year from January 2016.

A major revival of Ayckbourn’s acclaimed 1974 play Confusions will embark on a national and international tour alongside his latest play, Hero’s Welcome. The tour opens at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford, where the productions will run from 13th to 23rd January 2016 before continuing on to also visit Cambridge, Bath, Windsor, Eastbourne and Malvern. They will then head to New York in May to play for US audiences as part of the Brits off Broadway Festival.

Confusions is a series of five interconnected one-act plays, each performed by an ensemble cast of five people and individually titled Mother Figure, Drinking Companion, Between Mouthfuls, Gosforth’s Fete and A Talk in the Park.

Hero’s Welcome is Ayckbourn’s 79th play, and follows the story of a soldier returning to his home town with his new bride after seventeen years. They do not receive an altogether welcoming reception however. It premiered earlier this year, September 2015, at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough.

Both productions are directed by Alan Ayckbourn and feature the same cast members: Stephen Billington, Emma Manton, Russell Dixon, Richard Stacey and Elizabeth Boag. They will be joined in Hero’s Welcome however by Evelyn Hoskins, who was most recently seen in ITV’s The Sound of Music LIVE as Liesl.

All confirmed UK dates for the 2016 Tour of Confusions and Hero’s Welcome are listed below:

13th – 23rd Jan (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford)
1st – 6th Feb (Cambridge Arts Theatre)
8th – 13th Feb (Theatre Royal Windsor)
15th – 20th Feb (Theatre Royal Bath)
22nd – 27th Feb (Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne)
29th Feb – 5th March (Malvern Theatres)

The Stage Awards 2016 Shortlist Announced

Hamlet and Harry Potter producer Sonia Friedman defends crown in The Stage Awards 2016

The world’s oldest and best theatre publication, The Stage, has announced the shortlist for its annual industry awards, celebrating success within the performing arts industry.

Sonia Friedman is shortlisted for Producer of the Year, the category she won in the 2015 awards, where she is up against Tooting Arts Club’s Rachel Edwards and the Edinburgh International Festival.

Shakespeare’s Globe is also back in the running for the second year in a row, shortlisted for London Theatre of the Year; it won in the International category in 2015.

The regional theatre shortlist includes Chichester Festival Theatre, the Royal and Derngate in Northampton and Manchester’s Royal Exchange, while Cardiff’s the Other Room, founded in 2014, has made its way into the running for Fringe Theatre of Year alongside London venues Camden People’s Theatre and the Orange Tree, which in 2014 was stripped of all its arts council funding.

London theatres vying for silverware include an on-form Almeida, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Barbican Theatre. Internationally, the Good Chance theatre space, based in the Calais refugee camp, is in the company of London’s Greenwich Docklands and International Festival, and the national theatres of China and Great Britain for the exchange of skills on their joint production of War Horse.

The Stage Awards, in association with Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach, are decided by The Stage’s senior editorial team, following extensive consultation with leading figures in the theatre industry.

Alistair Smith, print editor of The Stage and chair of the judging panel, said:

“As with The Stage newspaper and website, The Stage Awards represent the full breadth of the industry, from the schools training our future theatremakers to international collaborations that are trading skills across the globe.

“This year’s shortlist is particularly exciting in its scope. Where else could you see West End producer Sonia Friedman going up against the producer behind a tiny south London community arts company, or a new pub theatre in Wales vying with an experimental fringe space in Camden?

“The Stage Awards recognise innovation and success in theatre, and we’re thrilled so many of our readers took the opportunity to tell us who they thought should be nominated. We also had dozens of top-level industry practitioners put forward their own nominations and the judging panel faced some very tough choices putting together this shortlist. It’s a testament to the current quality of UK and international theatre that so many talented, driven and successful organisations did not make the cut this year.”

The Stage Awards, in association with Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach, will be announced on January 29 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London.

Shortlist in full

London Theatre of the Year
Sponsored by Häagen-Dazs

Almeida Theatre
Shakespeare’s Globe

Fringe Theatre of the Year
Sponsored by

Camden People’s Theatre, London
Orange Tree Theatre, London
The Other Room, Cardiff

Regional Theatre of the Year
Sponsored by Theatre 2016

Chichester Festival Theatre
Royal and Derngate, Northampton
Royal Exchange, Manchester

Producer Theatre of the Year
Sponsored by John Good Ltd

Edinburgh International Festival
Rachel Edwards
Sonia Friedman

International Award
Sponsored by ATG 

Good Chance, Calais
Greenwich and Docklands International Festival
War Horse China

School of the Year
Sponsored by Digital Theatre

Arts Educational Schools, London
Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
University of Warwick, School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies

Theatre Building of the Year
Sponsored by ABTT and Richard Pilbrow

King’s Cross Theatre, London
NT Future, London
Wilton’s Music Hall, London


About The Stage Awards
The Stage Awards highlights the achievements by London, regional and fringe theatres as well as international achievements. Additionally there are categories for producer, theatre building and school of the year. The Stage also presents an award to an unsung hero for which there is no shortlist.

This year’s shortlist was compiled from hundreds of nominations received through the open public nomination process. In addition, for the first year ever, an industry focus group of 50 people steered the shortlist. The final cut was selected by a panel of senior editorial figures at The Stage and aims to celebrate the finest theatre achievements of the past year.

The judging panel included The Stage print editor Alistair Smith, online editor Paddy Smith, news editor Matthew Hemley, associate editor Mark Shenton and lead critic Natasha Tripney.

Derby Theatre and Octagon Theatre Bolton to stage 60th anniversary revival production of John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger – Derby Theatre 4-26 March 2016

image (1)A Derby Theatre & Octagon Theatre, Bolton production 

by John Osborne
Directed by Sarah Brigham


Derby Theatre:  Friday 4 – Saturday 26 March


60th anniversary production of the play which changed the face of British theatre

Derby Theatre and Octagon Theatre Bolton celebrate the 60th anniversary of Osborne’s seminal play, the ground-breaking classic Look Back in Anger with a new revival directed by Derby Theatre’s Artistic Director, Sarah Brigham. The production will run at Derby Theatre from Fri 4 until Sat 26 March, and then transfer to the Octagon Theatre Bolton from Tue 7 – Sat 30 April.

Look Back in Anger smashed onto the scene and changed the face of British theatre in the mid-1950s, by placing on stage the voice of the ‘Angry Young Man’.  The play has a huge local resonance in Derby, as it is a strongly autobiographical piece which suggests it is based on Osborne’s unhappy marriage to actress Pamela Lane, and their life living in a cramped flat in Derby during the 50s.    

Osborne worked as as an actor and stage manager at Derby Playhouse (now Derby Theatre) during the 1950s. He pitched the play to the Playhouse before he offered it to the Royal Court, but the Theatre’s Board turned it down as they thought it may not show his ex-wife (Pamela Lane), who was a leading actress in the rep company at that time, in a good light. 


In 2016, Derby Theatre looks forward to presenting this iconic play to the audiences of today in the city from where the play was born.


It’s 1956 and in a cramped flat in Derby, Jimmy Porter is angry. His upper-class wife Alison is the perfect target for his anger whilst his flatmate Cliff is the perfect sounding board. An unwanted pregnancy and the arrival of a glamorous actress take the couple into a love triangle which questions the very foundations of how they live. 


Playing the central role of Jimmy Porter will be Patrick Knowles. Patrick’s recent credits include: Saturday Night Sunday Morning and The Grapes of Wrath, Mercury Theatre Colchester; and, most recently, as Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Curve in Leicester. 


Joining Patrick, in the role of Alison, is Augustina Seymour. Augustina’s recent credits include a UK tour of It’s a Wonderful Life; Playing for Time at Sheffield Crucible and Happiness for Theatre 503.  Daisy Badger will play Helena. Daisy currently plays Pip Archer in the long-running BBC Radio 4 favourite The Archers and she also plays series regular, Claire Hillman in the ITV series Home Fires. Jimmy Fairhurst will play the role of Cliff.Jimmy recently played Phil in Derby Theatre’s highly acclaimed production of Brassed Off as well as Jud in the Theatre’s production of Kes in 2013. His other credits include ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore for Cheek by Jowl and Theatre 503.

The creative team for Look Back in Anger includes design by Neil Irish, lighting design by Arnim Friess and music composed by Ivan Stott, who will also feature in the play.

As the perfect companion piece to Look Back in Anger, Derby Theatre will also present a new play, Jinny written by Jane Wainwright, an exciting new voice in theatre who hails from Derbyshire. Jinny will look at the play afresh and offer a contemporary response to Look Back through the Theatre’s RETOLD series, which aims to crack open classics from the perspective of females characters. Built on research and development with the women living in Derby in 2015/16, this is a story of a young woman trying to cope with the world she finds herself told with humour and warmth.  Jinny plays at Derby Theatre from Mon 7 until Wed 23 March (on selected days).

Sarah Brigham (Director of Look Back in Anger and Artistic Director & Chief Executive, Derby Theatre) said:

“I am incredibly excited to be directing Look Back in Anger for our spring 2016 season and for it to then continue its run at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton.  The play changed the face of British Theatre back in the 50s by putting working class voices centre stage and I am keen to get my teeth into this iconic and influential work to discover what impact our version may offer our audiences today.

We have assembled a truly magnificent cast, all exciting, young actors in their own right and I am confident that their combined performances will result in a compelling night out of searing drama in our theatres.

Look Back in Anger placed the working man’s voice centre stage, coining the term ‘angry young men” and I believe very strongly that some of the status quo  the character Jimmy Porter was railing against then is still very relevant today – it will be exciting to bring this seminal text back to its home of Derby.

To complement the piece we have commissioned up-and-coming playwright Jane Wainwright to spend some time in Derby and discover what the female ‘Jimmy Porters’ of 2016 are angry about today and her short curtain raiser will offer a fresh look at the passion of politics for women in 2016.”

Following the run at Derby Theatre, Look Back in Anger will run at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton from Tue 7 until Sat 30 April.




Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap will continue its record-breaking, and first ever, UK tour into 2016. The beloved murder mystery will begin the 2016 leg of its tour at Nottingham Theatre Royal, where it originally opened in 1952, on 19 January before visiting more than 25 further venues across the UK.

The cast for the 2016 tour includes Anna Andresen (Mollie Ralston), Nick Barclay (Giles Ralston), Tony Boncza (Major Metcalf), Lewis Collier (Sgt Trotter), Gregory Cox (Mr Paravicini), Amy Downham (Miss Casewell) and Oliver Gully (Christopher Wren) who will join the previously announced Louise Jameson (Doctor Who, EastEnders, Doc Martin) as Mrs Boyle.

Anna Andresen trained at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, her previous theatre credits include The Frozen Scream (Birmingham Hippodrome/Wales Millennium Centre),The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre)  Above & Beyond, You Once Said Yes (LLLR) Into The Sunlit Uplands (Theatre 80.St Marks, NYC)  Texting From Dachau (Red Bean Studio, NYC) Running On Empty, Lisa Is Looking Into The Mirror (Bennett Media Studio, NYC) , Red Admiral (Soho Studio)The Bald Prima Donna (The Etc) and Crossed Wires (Theatre 503). In addition to her work on stage Anna has also appeared in Fortitude, Miss Marple, Silent Witness and Wire in the Blood.

Nick Barclay trained at Mountview Theatre School and has appeared in more than 240 professional stage productions. Nick’s previous theatre credits include Stone Cold Murder, Dial M for Murder, The 39 Steps, The Titfield Thunderbolt, Strangers on a Train, Dead Funny, Romantic Comedy, Dangerous Corner, House Guest and Kind Hearts and Coronets. He is also a veteran of numerous repertory seasons in places such as Wolverhampton, Bournemouth, Crewe and Sidmouth. He has also written and performed for the world famous NewsRevue in London and directed various productions up and down the country. Nick has toured internationally with productions such as Stones in His Pockets, Art, Private Lives and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).

Tony Boncza originally trained as a journalist before joining The National Youth Theatre and then the Central School of Speech and Drama. Tony’s recent stage appearances have included roles in Great Britain (National Theatre), the South East Asian tour of The Mousetrap, Yes Prime Minister (West End & UK Tour), The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound (both Chichester Festival Theatre). Tony also played Sgt Trotter in the West End’s production of The Mousetrap25 years ago. In addition to his work on stage, Tony has appeared on screen in The Royals, The Sarah Jane Adventures and EastEnders.

Lewis Collier’s previous stage credits include Classic Ghost Stories (UK Tour), The Three Lions(St James Theatre & Tour), Macbeth (Erasmus International Theatre Co. Italy) and Two Noble Kinsmen (Round Pebble Theatre Co.). Lewis has also appeared on film in Checkmate.

Gregory Cox trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and has had an illustrious career on stage beginning with Oliver! (West End) and Little Lies which starred John Mills (Wyndham’s Theatre and Toronto). Gregory’s other theatre work includes Muswell Hill (Park Theatre),Arcadia (UK Tour), Don Juan (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), The Picture of Dorian Gray(Windsor and UK tour), Tale of Two Cities (Sheffield Crucible), Hamlet (Rose Theatre), The Devils (Union Theatre) and The Seagull (UK tour). Gregory was also Mr Paravicini in the 2013 cast of The Mousetrap at St. Martin’s Theatre, London.

Amy Downham trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and has appeared on stage in Generation Y (MF Productions), Twelfth Night (Attic Theatre Company), Out of Love(White Bear Theatre), Daisy Pulls it Off (Watermill Theatre) and Every Brilliant Thing(Nabokov). Amy has also appeared on TV in Doctors, EastEnders and Hollyoaks.

Oliver Gully trained at the Guildhall School of Acting; his previous stage credits include Hamlet(The Courtyard Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (UK Tour) and Timebomb (The White Bear).

Louise Jameson is best well-known for her long-running roles as Leela, a companion of Tom Baker’s Doctor in Doctor Who, Susan Young in Bergerac¸ Eleanor Glasson in Doc Martin, and Rosa di Marco in EastEnders. In addition to Louise’s illustrious roles on screen, she has also appeared on stage in Love, Loss and What I Wore (The Mill, Sonning), Noises Off (Mercury Theatre), Gutted (Theatre Royal, Stratford East) and Oedipus (The Liverpool Everyman & Nottingham Playhouse).

The production, which originally opened at Nottingham Theatre Royal in 1952 starring the late Richard Attenborough and his wife Sheila Sim before embarking on its current record-breaking West End run, continues its journey across the breadth of the country, visiting towns and cities including Brighton, Reading, Darlington, York, Portsmouth, Cheltenham, Stoke, Woking, Leicester, Liverpool, Harrogate, Shrewsbury, Dartford, Yeovil, Hereford, Derby, Kings Lynn, Salisbury, Manchester, Aylesbury, Torquay, Llandudno, Jersey and Bristol.

Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has been the world’s longest running stage production at its London home since breaking the record in 1958 and recently celebrated its 26,000th performance. The 60th Anniversary – and first ever – UK tour of this beloved murder mystery is approaching 1000 performances and has now been seen by nearly 1 million people, having broken box office records in many of its tour venues.

Mousetrap Productions has also licensed 60 productions of The Mousetrap worldwide to mark the 60th year, and many of these have also broken records, from Cape Town to Philadelphia, Singapore to Sydney. During this period, the world’s longest running show will have been seen in every continent with professional productions in Australia, China, Korea, Turkey, South Africa, Russia, Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Scandinavia, Venezuela, and across the United States and Canada.

The Mousetrap continues its open-ended run at St. Martin’s Theatre, London. The UK tour is currently booking until August 2016.

Louise Jameson’s final appearance in The Mousetrap will be 13 August 2016 at Bristol Hippodrome


19 – 23 January
Theatre Royal Nottingham
Box Office: 0115 989 5555

25 – 30 January
Theatre Royal Brighton
Box Office: 0844 871 7627

1 – 6 February
The Hexagon, Reading
Box Office: 0118 960 6060

8 – 13 February
Darlington Civic Theatre
Box Office: 01325 486555

22 – 27 February
York Grand Opera House
Box Office: 0844 871 3024

29 February – 5 March
Lighthouse Poole
Box Office: 0844 406 8666

7 – 12 March
Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield
Box Office: 01246 345 222

14 – 19 March
New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth
Box Office: 02392 843 979

21 – 26 March
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
Box Office: 01242 572573

4 – 9 April
The Lichfield Garrick Theatre
Box Office: 01543 412121

11 – 13 April
The Regent Theatre, Stoke
Box Office: 0844 871 7649

14 – 16 April
New Victoria Theatre, Woking
Box Office: 0844 871 7649

18 – 20 April
De Montfort Hall, Leicester
Box Office: 0116 233 3111

21 – 23 April
Liverpool Empire
Box Office: 0151 702 7320

25 – 30 April
Embassy Theatre, Skegnes
Box Office: 0845 674 0505

2 – 7 May
Harrogate Theatre
Box Office: 01423 502 116

9 – 14 May
Severn Theatre, Shrewsbury
Box Office: 01743 281281

16 – 21 May
The Orchard Theatre, Dartford
Box Office:  01322 220 000

23 – 28 May
Octagon Theatre, Yeovil
Box Office: 01935 422 884

30 May – 4 June
The Courtyard, Hereford
Box Office: 01432 340 555

6 – 11 June
Derby Theatre
Box Office: 01332 59 39 39

13 – 18 June
Kings Lynn Corn Exchange
Box Office: 01553 764864

20 – 25 June
Salisbury Playhouse
Box Office: 01722 320 333

27 June – 2 July
Opera House Manchester
Box Office: 0844 871 3018

4 – 9 July
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
Box Office: 0844 871 7607

18 – 23 July
Princess Theatre Torquay
Box Office: 0844 871 3023

25 – 30 July
Venue Cymru Llandudno
Box Office: 01492 872000

1 – 6 August
Jersey Opera House
Box Office: 01534 511 115

8 – 13 August
Bristol Hippodrome
Box Office: 0844 871 3012



Cast announced for PINK MIST
PINK MIST by Owen Sheers
Directed by John Retallack and George Mann
Bush Theatre
Presented by Bristol Old Vic
21 January – 13 February 2016, Press night 26 January 2016

Casting has been announced for award-winning writer Owen Sheers’ acclaimed play Pink Mist, about the mental and physical scars of war, which opens at the Bush Theatre in January 2016 before a run at the Bristol Old Vic.

Pink Mist at Bristol Old Vic by Owen Sheers Cast includes Phil Dunster  Erin Doherty Peter Edwards Rebecca Hamilton  Zara Ramm  Alex Stedman Creative Team Writer Owen Sheers  Director John Retallack Associate Director George Mann  Supported by the Quercus Trust and in partnership with the National Theatre Designer Emma Cains  Lighting Designer Peter Harrison Composer / Sound Designer Jon Nicholls

Five of the six original cast members from the play’s 2015 run will return – Phil Dunster, Peter Edwards, Rebecca Hamilton, Zara Ramm and Alex Stedman – with Rebecca Killick joining the company.

Pink Mist tells the story of three young Bristol men deployed to Afghanistan. Returning to the women in their lives who must now share the physical and psychological aftershocks of their service, Arthur, Hads and Taff find their journey home is their greatest battle.

Owen Sheers’ Pink Mist was inspired by thirty interviews with returned servicemen and first staged at Bristol Old Vic in July 2015. This moving production, directed by John Retallack and George Mann (Theatre Ad Infinitum) matches Sheers’ haunting verse with dynamic movement.

Cast: Phil Dunster, Peter Edwards, Rebecca Hamilton, Rebecca Killick, Zara Ramm and Alex Stedman.

Phil Dunster trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, graduating in 2014. Theatre includes:Pink Mist (Bristol Old Vic); Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing (Reading Between the Lines); The Man in The River (Tobacco Factory Theatres). Film includes: Leavey, The Rise and Fall of the Krays. TV includes: Catastrophe (Channel 4), Lucky Man (Sky 1).

Peter Edwards graduated from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2015 and was highly commended for the 2015 Peter O’Toole Prize. Theatre includes: The Crucible, Pink Mist (Bristol Old Vic). Credits whilst training include: The Boy on the Swing, The Grand Gesture, The Merchant of Venice, Alice in Wonderland, Sauce for the Goose (West Country Tour), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Speaking in Tongues.

Rebecca Hamilton graduated from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2015 and is the winner of the BBC Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award 2015 and highly commended for the 2015 Peter O’Toole Prize. Theatre includes: Pink Mist (Bristol Old Vic); City Of Strangers (Tron Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (Lemontree Theatre).  Credits whilst training include: The Merchant of Venice, Alice in Wonderland (Redgrave Theatre); The Grand Gesture (Tobacco Factory). Rebecca has also been a member of the BBC Radio Drama Company appearing in numerous productions for BBC Radio 4.

Rebecca Killick trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. She has also represented Wales in gymnastics. Theatre includes: Performer/Puppeteer in One Snowy Night (Norden Farm Productions); Catherine Denham in One Minute (Delirium); Emilie/Baby Joey/Annie Gilbert inWar Horse (National Theatre); Moth in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Meyer Theatre); Patty Symcox in Grease, Elvira in Blithe Spirit (Turner Auditorium); Brink in When Do We Start Fighting? (Courtyard Theatre); Psychiatrist in 4.48 Psychosis (Royal Academy of Music); Madge Syers in Swifter, Higher, Stronger (The Roundhouse); Dunyasha in The Cherry Orchard, Clara inA Vampire Story (Richard Burton Theatre Co.). Film includes: Jemima in Fugue State (FireParty Films), Fiona in short film Vertical Drop (Sci-Fi 48 Hour Film Festival). Radio includes: Buddug inThe Minister (BBC Radio 4).

Zara Ramm trained at LAMDA. Theatre includes: Alice in Wonderland (The Watermill); Life Raft, Pink Mist, Swallows and Amazons, World Cup Final 1966, Treasure Island, Beasts and Beauties, Pheadra’s Love (all Bristol Old Vic); My Mother Said I Never Should (The Theatre, Chipping Norton); The Last Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor (Tobacco Factory Theatres); The Nutcracker (Bath Theatre Royal/The Egg); Into the West  (Travelling Light Theatre Co); Skellig (Birmingham Stage Co); Macbeth (Northcott); Othello (Ludlow); The Tempest (Arts Threshold); A Chorus of Disapproval (Colchester Mercury); Saigon Rose: The Case of Rebellious Susan (The Orange Tree Theatre);  Cinderella, Dick Whittington, Sleeping Beauty (Cheltenham Everyman); State of Grace (Reckless Kettle Theatre); Dalston Songs (Helen Chadwick Song Theatre). Film includes: The Merchant of Venice, Crazy Hands. TV includes: Grandpa in My Pocket (five series); Teachers, Being Human, Afterlife 2, Passer By, Doctors, The Bill, Dead Gorgeous. Zara has also recorded numerous audio books and is a regular reader of audio books for the BBC, Audio Go and Chatter Box Audio.

Alex Stedman graduated from ALRA in 2012. Theatre includes: Pink Mist (Bristol Old Vic);Honest (Theatre West, Alma Tavern); Boom (Bush Theatre); Do You Speak British (Camden People’s Theatre); Little Pieces of Gold (Southwark Playhouse). TV includes: Skins, Casualty. He is also a writer and has had his work performed at Theatre503 and at the Theatre Royal Plymouth as part of the Plymouth Fringe Festival.

Owen Sheers has been described as “the war poet of his generation”. He is an author, poet and playwright whose first novel, Resistance was translated into eleven languages and adapted into a film. His latest novel, I Saw a Man, was published in June 2015. Owen’s writing for theatre includes National Theatre of Wales’ site-specific production in Port Talbot, The Passion; TheTwo Worlds of Charlie F, which won the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award, and NTW’s Mametz.  His verse drama Pink Mist was commissioned by BBC Radio 4 and won the Hay Festival Poetry Medal and the Wales Book of the Year 2014. He has been Artist in Residence for the Welsh Rugby Union and is currently Professor in Creativity at Swansea University.

John Retallack was the founding director of Company of Angels, producing new work for young audiences. He was formerly Artistic Director of Oxford Stage Company and was the founding director of Actors Touring Company (ATC). John’s own plays for theatre are translated into several languages and published by Oberon and Methuen. John is currently Tutor in writing for performance at Ruskin College Oxford.

George Mann is Associate Director at Bristol Old Vic, and Co-Artistic Director of Theatre Ad Infinitum. Highlights include Translunar Paradise (director, writer, co-deviser, and performer) a sell-out at Barbican as part of the London International Mime Festival (LIMF) 2012, which picked up nine awards and toured the globe for three years; Light (director, writer, co-deviser, performer of live vocals) met with critical acclaim, its London premier sold out at Barbican as part of LIMF 2015. In December 2014, George won the Quercus Trust Award becoming Associate Director at Bristol Old Vic in partnership with National Theatre; he continues his role at Ad Infinitum part time.

FORGET ME NOT by Tom Holloway, a co-production between the Bush Theatre and HighTide Festival Theatre, is currently playing at the Bush until 16 January 2016.

Empire Cinemas’ 2016 film recommendations

image001 (12)Empire Cinemas’ 2016 film recommendations

With 2015 being such a huge year for film, Empire Cinemas – the UK’s largest independent cinema chain – takes a retrospective look at this year’s major big screen successes, as well as a look forward at what film lovers can expect from cinema in 2016.

In the past year Empire Cinemas has screened an enormous 495 films, with the top films being the much anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens (December), SPECTRE (October), and Avengers: Age of Ultron(October), as well as summer hits; Jurassic World (May), Minions (June) and Inside Out (June).

2016 looks set to be another huge year for film, with a number of high-profile releases coming to the big screen. January kicks off with Joy (January 1st), which sees Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper team up for the fourth time in four years; whilst February sees the much anticipated return of Ben Stiller and Co inZoolander 2 (February 12th), which will undoubtedly be as hilarious as the original. In March, two of cinema’s biggest superheroes will come face to face in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (March 25th), a scenario that comic fans across the globe have dreamed of, which will see Ben Affleck taking over the bat ears for the first time.

The Jungle Book (April 15th) looks set to star at the worldwide Box Offices in April; this live action take on the 1967 original will appeal to audiences both young and old. Meanwhile May will play host to a number of great titles, from the film of the hit game Angry Birds (May 20th) to X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27th). June sees the hugely anticipated release of Finding Dory (June 17th), which is set to conquer children’s hearts.

Independence Day 2 (July 1st) is likely to be one of the biggest Sci-Fi thrillers of the year, and on that topic, July also sees the return of Star Trek Beyond (July 8th). Both are set to fight for the title of ‘Sci-Fi of the Year’. Month of the blockbusters, July will include Tarzan (July 1st), the all-female casted Ghostbusters (July 15th) and The BFG (July 22nd). One of the most hyped and star-studded films of 2016, Suicide Squad(August 5th), will hit the big screen in August and witness Jared Leto as the Joker. September will see Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington starring in The Magnificent Seven remake (September 23rd), directed by the award winning Antoine Fuqua.

In October, Inferno (October 14th) will see Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones star in the film based on Dan Brown’s novel, which follows the success of 2009’s Angels & Demons. The blockbuster book adaptations don’t stop in October, for in November Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them (November 18th) will hit the big screen, starring the ever-excellent Eddie Redmayne. This Harry Potter spin-off has every potential to be a huge hit in 2016, and Potter fans will be delighted to see more of J.K. Rowling’s amazing stories turned into film format. 2016 ends in a similar style to 2015, with the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (December 16th), the first film of the spin-off Star Wars Anthology series, directed by Godzilla 2014’s Gareth Edwards.

Jon Nutton Marketing Director of Empire Cinemas said: “After a magnificent line-up of films in 2015, 2016 looks set to be just as entertaining for our customers. Every month sees a stellar line-up of exciting titles and incredible acting talent and we look forward to hosting cinemagoers at the home of where all films should be experienced.”

Other releases to keep an eye out for in 2016:


The Danish Girl

Released January 1st

Trailer link:

The Revenant

Released January 15th

Trailer link:




Released February 5th

Trailer link:

A Bigger Splash

Released February 12th

Trailer link:



The Divergent Series: Allegiant

Released March 11th

Trailer link:

Kung Fu Panda 3

Released March 18th

Trailer link:



Eddie the Eagle

Released April 1st

Trailer link:

Captain America: Civil War

Released April 29th

Trailer link:



Bad Neighbours 2

Released May 6th

Alice through the Looking Glass

Released May 27th

Trailer link:



Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2

Released June 3rd

Trailer link:

The Secret Life of Pets

Released June 24th

Trailer link:



The Purge 3

Released July 15th

Knights of the Round Table: King Arthur (3D)

Released July 22nd



Sausage Party

Released August 12th

Project XX

Released August 26th



Patient Zero

Released September 2nd

Bridget Jones’ Baby

Released September 16th



The Girl on the Train

Released October 7th

Jack Reacher 2

Released October 21st



The Accountant

Released November 4th

Why Him?

Released November 11th



Let It Snow

Released December 9th

Assassin’s Creed

Released December 26th


For further ticketing information visit or call 08714 714 714.

Whistleblower the story of Edward Snowden

Waterloo East Theatre


Rewritten in the light of current events

Whistleblower the story of Edward Snowden returns. Hero or Traitor? Edward Snowden is holed up in a Hong Kong hotel. He has left Hawaii, abandoned paradise, for a life on the run. Tortured by thoughts of his girlfriend, his mother and father and the fate of other whistleblowers in prison, he waits. But will the CIA or the National Security Agency find him first?

`Whistleblower is always watchable. Events unfold with a thriller-like momentum…’ Lyn Gardner The Guardian 11 July 2014

`What’s impressive is the theatrical ballsiness of this London fringe production’ The Times 11 July 2014

‘Glad to see Whistleblower is coming back. It sticks closely to the events as they unfolded in Hong Kong and does justice to Edward Snowden’s revelations about the scale of state surveillance.’ Ewen MacAskill the journalist who broke the story for the Guardian.

Snowden `should be hanged by his neck until he is dead’. Former CIA Director James Woolsey.

ATT00002`The surveillance carried out by the U.S. Intelligence services is mass, indiscriminate surveillance.’ European Court of Justice September 2015




Email richard@edwardsnowden


Press 0207 684 7463

Facebook Whistleblower – the story of Edward Snowden.

Twitter Whistleblower @roquesrichard


image007 (1)Winner of 19 major international awards, the National Theatre’s legendary production of J.B Priestley’s classic thriller An Inspector Calls returns to the Lyceum Theatre from Tuesday 12 – Saturday 16 January as part of a nationwide tour.

Set before the First World War, J.B Priestley’s play is a compelling and haunting thriller. The story begins when the mysterious Inspector Goole calls unexpectedly on the prosperous Birling family home. Their peaceful dinner party is shattered by his investigations into the death of a young woman. His startling revelations not only shatter the very foundations of their lives but challenge us all to examine our consciences.

This landmark production, directed by triple Oscar nominated Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, TheReader, The Hours) has thrilled audiences in the West End, on Broadway and throughout the world with its epic and wildly imaginative staging, raw emotion, evocative score, lashing rain and chilling suspense.

An Inspector Calls is at the Lyceum Theatre from Tuesday 12 – Saturday 16 January.  Tickets can be purchased from Sheffield Theatres’ Box Office in-person, by phone on 0114 249 6000 or online at and are priced from £12.00 – £26.00 (a transaction fee of £1.50 (£1.00 online) applies to all bookings made at the Box Office, excluding cash), and discounts are available.


In January 2016, alongside our work onstage at the Barbican, a special festival of RSC Shakespeare on Screen has been created to complement the King and Country plays.

RSC Shakespeare on Screen
9-31 January 2016
Barbican Cinemas 1 & 2

Curated by John Wyver, RSC Director of Screen Productions, in association with the Barbican, RSC Shakespeare on Screen will uncover highlights from 50 years of Shakespeare in performance. Nine titles have been selected from the huge archive of RSC work captured on stage or reconceived for film and television.

John Wyver says: “The RSC Shakespeare on Screen season showcases some of the great performances of the British theatre from the past fifty years and more, and it highlights numerous imaginative contributions of the RSC’s creative teams to the art of adapting Shakespeare to the screen. We are showing some productions from the BBC archives that have been newly restored, and indeed many of these screen versions have hardly been seen since they were first shown. It’s thrilling to present these at the start of the year that marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and to think that RSC productions from as long ago as fifty years can once again excite and involve and delight audiences today.”

Macbeth (1979)
Saturday 9 Jan – 3pm
Cinema 1

Graced by fiercely thoughtful performances from Judi Dench and Ian McKellen, Trevor Nunn’s intense and intimate production, originally staged at The Other Place, was recorded in an almost bare television studio.

Production directed by Trevor Nunn

RSC Panel Discussion
Sunday 10 January – 2pm
Cinema 2

Academic Judith Buchanan leads this illuminating discussion, with current RSC Artistic DirectorGregory Doran and other guests to be announced on the RSC’s involvement with film and television and the challenges of translating stage productions to the screen.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1959)
Sunday 10 January – 4pm
Cinema 2

A rarely-seen partial recording of Peter Hall’s acclaimed staging. Charles Laughton plays Bottom in a sparkling production, which was conceived as if for a wedding in an Elizabethan country house.

Production directed by Peter Hall

The Wars of the Roses: Henry VI (1965)
Monday 11 January – 12 noon
Cinema 2

This is the premiere of a newly restored, BBC recording of the first great RSC History plays cycle. Unseen for decades, this is one of the most significant and compelling productions of theatre on television. Here, David Warner’s touching English monarch is contrasted with Janet Suzman’s fiery Joan of Arc.

Production directed by Peter Hall, John Barton

The Wars of the Roses: Edward IV (1965)
Monday 11 January – 3pm
Cinema 2

The second in this great RSC History plays cycle; Peggy Ashcroft blazes across the screen as Queen Margaret, alongside the exceptional cast of Donald Sinden as the Duke of York and Roy Dotrice as Edward IV.

Production directed by Peter Hall, John Barton

The Wars of the Roses: Richard III (1965)
Tuesday 12 January – 6pm
Cinema 1

Ian Holm’s compelling, chameleon-like King Richard is at the centre of this innovative BBC recording, and there are wonderful performances also from Janet Suzman (Lady Anne) and Eric Porter (Richmond).

Production directed by Peter Hall, John Barton

Othello (1990)
Sunday 17 January – 3pm
Cinema 2

A powerful version of Trevor Nunn’s intimate production for The Other Place, which unusually plays the text in full. Featuring the talents of Ian McKellen, Willard White, Imogen Stubbs and Zoe Wanamaker, the chemistry between the leads is palpable and exquisite.

Production directed by Trevor Nunn

As You Like It (1963)
Tuesday 19 January – 6pm
Cinema 1

One of the earliest hits for the newly established RSC, Michael Elliott’s sparkling version, set around a huge oak tree, is most memorable for Vanessa Redgrave’s luminous Rosalind.

Production directed by Michael Elliott

King Lear (1971)
Saturday 23 January – 3pm
Cinema 1

Peter Brook’s vision of the tragedy was filmed in black-and white against the snow-covered landscapes of Denmark’s North Jutland; there is a spare grandeur to the setting. Paul Scofield’s central performance is simply magnificent.

Production directed by Peter Brook

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1996)
Sunday 24 January – 3pm
Cinema 2

A richly visual imagining of the play that appears to be dreamt by a young boy. Based on Adrian Noble’s 1994 staging, this is a triumph of lush design and immaculate performances by Lindsay Duncan, Alex Jennings and Desmond Barrit.

Production directed by Adrian Noble

Hamlet (2008)
Sunday 31 January – 2pm
Cinema 1

This striking television film captures the essence of Gregory Doran’s modern-dress staging, in which David Tennant’s quicksilver Prince lives in an Elsinore surrounded by surveillance and spying.

Production directed by Gregory Doran

Further information here:

King and Country: Shakespeare’s Great Cycle of Kings

The Royal Shakespeare Company will mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with a major theatrical event at the Barbican in January 2016: King and Country: Shakespeare’s Great Cycle of Kings – with performances of all four productions of Gregory Doran’s history plays in repertoire, thanks to generous support from our Global Premier Tour Partner, J.P. Morgan.

The season brings together the previous production of Richard II (premiered in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in October 2013), with the recent Henry IV Parts I & IIand the new production of Henry V following its acclaimed run in Stratford.