Open auditions will be held at London’s Pineapple Studios for the 2017/18 cast of Disney’s hit new West End musical Aladdin, which opened to critical acclaim at the Prince Edward Theatre in June 2016. Auditions for both male and female singers and dancers to play ensemble and featured roles will be held on Monday 16 January 2017.

Disney’s casting team is looking for athletic, technically-trained dancers with very strong technique in all styles, including tap, as well as excellent singing voices. Male dancers with acro, gymnastic and/or tumbling skills is a plus but not essential. Singers should be excellent and be able to dance well in order to make up the ensemble.

Attendees must be aged 18 years or older, eligible to work in the UK and have a playing age of 20s-30s. Actors of all ethnicities and cultural backgrounds are strongly encouraged to attend.

Full information, including what to wear and bring to the audition, can be found at www.aladdinauditions.co.uk

Open auditions were held in 2015 for the original London company, and seven members of the 38-strong company were cast from those calls in London, Manchester and Birmingham.

Aladdin features the timeless songs from the 1992 animated film as well as new music written by Tony®, Olivier© and eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Little Shop Of Horrors). With lyrics from Olivier Award and two-time Oscar® winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony and Olivier Award, three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida), and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), and a book by Beguelin, Aladdin is directed and choreographed by Tony and Olivier Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).

Now in its third record-breaking year on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre, where it has been seen by more than 1.5 million people, Aladdin’s global presence has grown to five productions on three continents. The show is also playing at Tokyo’s Dentsu Shiki Theatre Umi, Stage Theatre Neue Flora in Hamburg and Capitol Theatre in Sydney, before moving to Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne in April 2017.

Previous Disney stage productions in London have included Shakespeare in Love and the Olivier-winning productions of Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins and The Lion King, which is now playing its 18th year in the West End.

Aladdin is designed by Olivier and seven-time Tony-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, five-time Tony-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, Olivier and two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes and sound designer Ken Travis. Casting is by Jill Green CDG.

The production team also includes illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer, hair designer JoshMarquette and makeup designer Milagros Medina-Cerdeira. The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who also created the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen Kelly.






Carolyn Maitland will join Bill Kenwright’s production of the timeless story of love, despair and hope, GHOST – THE MUSICAL, in the part of Molly alongside Andy Moss as Sam. Taking its inspiration from the classic movie, this innovative reimagining features an expanded book, new music and original staging, and will continue to tour the UK in 2017, starting at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford on 17 January.

Carolyn’s musical theatre credits include ‘Ellen’ in Miss Saigon (Prince Edward Theatre), ‘Joelle’ in Groundhog Day (Old Vic), ‘Rose’ in From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre) and ‘Kate’ in Kiss Me Kate (Old Vic, West End & Chichester).

Musician and actor Andy Moss, best known for the role of Rhys Ashworth in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, one he played for 8 years, will continue to wow audiences around the UK as ‘Sam’. His credits also include Cutting It, Coronation Street and most recently he appeared as Paul Cuthbert in the long running BBC soap opera Doctors.

West End musical theatre star Jacqui Dubois (original London cast of Rent and Children of Eden, other credits include The Lion King, Fela and most recently People, Places and Things ) plays ‘Oda Mae Brown’, the part made famous in the film by Whoopi Goldberg. Sam Ferriday (Jersey Boys, Blue Man Group, The Prodigals) plays ‘Carl’, alongside Leo Sene as ‘Willie’, James Earl Adair haunting proceedings as the ‘Hospital Ghost’, and Gary Lee Netley as the ‘Subway Ghost’. Tarisha Rommick plays ‘Louise’ and Simbi Akande ‘Clara’. Completing the cast is Lori Baker, Ethan Bradshaw, Lauren Drew, Matthew Vinetot, Mike Ward and Kelly Hampson.

The Double Academy Award winning movie is a huge success story, both critically and at the box office, where it was the highest grossing film in the year of its release. It starred the late Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Tony Goldwyn and Whoopi Goldberg and was directed by Jerry Zucker. Bruce Joel Rubin’s script won the Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay and Whoopi Goldberg won the Oscar® for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The film’s most iconic and moving scene was famously performed to The Righteous Brother’s Unchained Melody, which also features in the musical version.

Walking back to their apartment late one night a tragic encounter sees Sam murdered and his beloved girlfriend Molly alone, in despair and utterly lost. But with the help of a phony storefront psychic, Sam, trapped between this world and the next, tries to communicate with Molly in the hope of saving her from grave danger…


Bill Kenwright said; “Ghost is a story full of hope, and is one of those films which never leaves you. The book by Bruce Joel Rubin and score by Dave Stewart and Glenn Ballad come together wonderfully in one of my favourite new musicals in years.”


Bruce Joel Rubin said; “This is a show with such a strong emotional and musical life that it can mould to many visions and interpretations.  It can be performed on any scale, and its vibrant heart will still captivate an audience and allows the imagination to flourish. It is purely theatrical in the greatest sense.  We are very excited by the potential that the new version holds”.

The Grand Opera House gets amazing support for The Lord Mayor’s charities

The Grand Opera House York bucket collections during 4 of the Aladdin performances raised an amazing £1,804.11 for The Lord Mayor’s Charities 2016-17.  The theatre was delighted to champion such worthy causes as those listed below:

The York Racial Equality Network

York Racial Equality Network (YREN) is a voluntary organisation and registered charity based in York. It aims to promote awareness of the needs of black and minority ethnic (BME) and other people in the York area by developing links with appropriate voluntary and statutory agencies and by encouraging a multi-agency approach to race justice issues. YREN also provides information and resources for individuals, organisations and the community as a whole on race equality issues; and runs various projects.

The York LGBT Forum

The York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Forum was established in 2006, to act as a strong and unified voice for the local LGBT community,  achieving charity status in 2015.  The Forum also represent other minority groups who fall under the LGBT umbrella.

Whilst the Forum works within the York area, it isn’t exclusive to York. The forum has  recently started to work internationally.

St Nicks

St Nicks is the green heart of York: a centre for nature and green living.  The charity started, and registered, as ‘Friends of St Nicholas Fields’ in the 1990s by transforming a former landfill site into a thriving Local Nature Reserve.  We continue to manage and enhance it, with the help of many great volunteers, for the benefit of both wildlife and our visitors.  The name of the site and the secular charity comes from the middle ages when the area was owned and managed by St Nicholas hospital and church.

Our vision of St Nicks is for York to be a city where people value wildlife, the environment and each other equally to sustain a rich and healthy life for all. We aim to create lasting positive change in actions and attitudes of York residents enabling us all to move towards a sustainable future.

York Civic Trust


York Civic Trust is a membership organisation, open to all who wish to protect and enhance York’s architectural and cultural heritage, to champion good design and to advance the high place which York holds amongst the cities of the world. The Trust values its independence, but seeks to work collaboratively with the City of York Council and other organisations.

The Trust was founded at the Mansion House in 1946 by four men who saw the potential dangers, that could beset an historic city immediately after the war, when there was a prevailing ‘spirit of renewal’. These founder members had experience in various fields including the Church and commerce, but above all they had a passion for York. They intended that the Trust should have a wider remit than preservation alone, and hoped it would assist in schemes to improve the amenities in the city.

Three Bears Productions presents


Friday 9 December 2016 – Sunday 1 January 2017


A Wish Come True!


Grand Opera House York is getting ready for the arrival of the biggest pantomime ever to be staged at the theatre.  Three Bears Productions will be flying into York this Christmas with Aladdin, starring Suzanne Shaw as the beautiful Princess Jasmine, Paul Sinha in the role of Abanazar, Debbie McGee, Carl Tracey, Frazer Hines as The Emperor and Stuart Wade as Wishee Washee.

Aladdin, with wondrous 3D special effects, a magical Genie, dazzling sets, glamorous costumes, fabulous music and hysterical comedy.  Add to this a generous sprinkling of magic, a load of mischief and mayhem and a good chunk of audience participation and you get the best panto in town…

So fasten your seat belts for the most exciting carpet ride to Old Peking you’ll ever have.  Make sure one of your three wishes this Christmas is for tickets to see this fantastic pantomime!

Box Office: 0844 871 3024

Online Booking: www.atgtickets.com/york

Opera North present a trio of deliciously dark fairy tales at The Lowry

Opera North bring a trio of deliciously dark fairy tales to Salford

Hansel and Gretel, Wed 8 & Sat 11 March
Cinderella (La Cenerentola), Thu 9 & Sat 11 March (Matinee)
The Snow Maiden, Fri 10 March

Opera North celebrates the timeless appeal of classic fairy tales with three brand new productions on stage at The Lowry: Rimsky-Korsakov’s rarely-performed The Snow Maiden, Humperdinck’s much-loved Hansel and Gretel and Rossini’s captivating Cinderella.

The charming Russian folk story The Snow Maiden tells the tale of the daughter of Grandfather Frost and Spring Beauty, the young Snow Maiden, sung by Irish soprano Aoife Miskelly. She wants nothing more than to live amongst humans, after meeting a shepherd boy, Lel (Heather Lowe) but she hides a tragic secret: her heart is made of ice and, if she falls in love, it will melt.

Director John Fulljames has reworked The Snow Maiden’s classic storyline in a contemporary setting, blending the boundaries between reality and fantasy. The opera, a Russian favourite, which is being professionally staged for the first time in over 60 years in the UK, features some of Rimsky-Korsakov’s most lyrical music, including the ‘Chorus of the Birds’, and the ‘Dance of the Clowns’.

Hansel and Gretel, the second piece in Opera North’s trio, is perhaps the best-loved of all the operatic fairy tales but there’s a dark twist to this story of two children lost in the woods. The music magically evokes the contrasting worlds of the story, from the daily struggle for survival of an impoverished family, to the world of the forest, both idyllic and full of danger; home to the terrifying Witch and her tempting gingerbread house.

In director Edward Dick’s new production, the action on stage includes hand-held cameras and live video; set against this modern technology is Humperdinck’s charming and melodic music, including the dizzying excitement of the ‘Witch’s Ride’ and the serene beauty of the children’s ‘Evening Prayer’. This production features one of Britain’s leading dramatic sopranos, Susan Bullock CBE, in the dual role of the Witch and the children’s mother, alongside Katie Bray as Hansel and Fflur Wyn as Gretel.

The third opera in the fairy tale season strikes a romantic note with Rossini’s sparkling comedy Cinderella (La Cenerentola). Dance is woven into the very fabric of the music, and this contemporary new production opens with Cinderella scrubbing the floor of a ballroom dance school. In Rossini’s work, it is music rather than magic that transforms Cinderella into a princess and enables her to deftly outwit her step-father Don Magnifico (Henry Waddington) and two cruel step-sisters.

This fresh, witty take on the Cinderella story is directed by multi-talented director and choreographer Aletta Collins, with two young international stars taking the lead roles. Canadian mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta is Cinderella, and fast-rising South African tenor Sunnyboy Dladla is her prince, Don Ramiro.

The three fairy-tale productions will share basic elements of a highly adaptable set, designed by Giles Cadle, with the inventive use of video bringing the themes of transformation and magic to the forefront. From live video captured on-stage in real time in Hansel and Gretel, folk-influenced dreamscapes in The Snow Maiden, or a riot of colour and invention in Cinderella, the use of video will enable each of the fairytales to further blur the lines between reality and fantasy.

Listings Info
Opera North
Hansel and Gretel, Wed 8 & Sat 11 March
Cinderella (La Cenerentola), Thu 9 & Sat 11 March (Matinee)
The Snow Maiden, Fri 10 March
7pm, Sat 2pm
Tickets: £20 – £60.50 (Including booking fees)
Box office: 0843 208 6000

Darlington Civic Theatre panto ticket sales launch press release

PANTO AS POPULAR AS EVER, OH YES IT IS! Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs proves a huge draw on the first day of ticket sales at Darlington Civic Theatre.

Following a festive countdown of days, tickets finally went on sale for Darlington Civic Theatre’s 2017/18 pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on 10 January and it is already proving a huge success.

With the annual pantomime due to be the first major production at the newly opened Darlington Hippodrome there was great excitement and huge demand for tickets when the phone lines opened at 10am, with over 2600 tickets sold or reserved on the opening day of sales.

Darlington Civic Theatre Director Lynda Winstanley said she was looking forward to welcoming another spectacular pantomime from Qdos Entertainment.

She said: “Pantomime during the festive season is always a special time of year for families at the theatre. I can’t wait to see what is in store with this enchanting story.

“Darlington audiences love pantomime, with many telling us year after year that it wouldn’t be Christmas without our festive fayre so we will make sure we deliver another spectacular show. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs looks like being another very popular choice. Key dates around Christmas are already selling fast, so make sure to secure your seats if you want to experience this festive treat.”

Managing Director of Qdos Entertainment, Michael Harrison said “Qdos Entertainment is honoured to be the first production to be staged at the newly refurbished Theatre. All of our creative team are very much looking forward to producing a show especially for the Darlington Hippodrome.”

Cast for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be announced later in 2017.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs runs at Darlington Hippodrome from Saturday 9 December 2017 to Sunday 14 January 2018.

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit www.darlingtoncivic.co.uk.

Intense and dark 5 star Edinburgh monologue comes to the VAULT Festival – performed by a nude man

Theatre N16 and Out of Spite Theatre present:

February 15th – February 19th 2017, VAULT Festival

Following a 5 star sell out run at the Edinburgh Fringe, intense and darkly comic one-man show This Is Not Culturally Significant is transferring to the VAULT Festival 2017.

★★★★★ “A surreal yet incredible journey (…) absurdist, creative, comical and outstanding (…) a truly original piece of theatre that should be at the top of your list to see” Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

This Is Not Culturally Significant unveils the bizarre, compulsive and eccentric nature of humanity. Over ten characters are portrayed; from a pathologically lying classics professor to a despondent American porn star on the brink of her retirement. This is a thunderous, high energy piece of theatre combining dark clown and deeply grotesque bouffon which holds up a mirror to the often unnoticed absurdities of human life – and contains full frontal male nudity throughout.

★★★★★ “Raw, crude, harrowing (…) with a truly Beckettian feel to it, this piece unites the comic and the tragic, the real and the absurd, with a remarkable intensity” ThreeWeeks Edinburgh

Out of Spite Theatre was founded by Adam Scott-Rowley in 2014 and strives to create confrontational, unsettling and high-intensity theatre. This Is Not Culturally Significant is the company’s first show, which aims to unmask the superficiality of our society’s expectations, desires and collective ego.

Theatre N16 is a trailblazing theatre company, dedicated to creating a creative hub where new and existing works can be explored and pushed into new realms. Theatre N16 is proud of their commitment to the welfare of creatives, operating under an Equity Fringe Agreement. This promoting and nurturing of talent means that Theatre N16 is a bastion for development within the context of a society in which the arts are increasingly struggling to stay afloat.

A Judgement In Stone at Richmond Theatre 23 January

Building on the phenomenal decade-long success of The Agatha Christie Theatre Company, which sold over two million tickets and continually played to packed houses around the UK, Bill Kenwright presents a new production adapted from one of the most celebrated works of the writer often hailed as the successor to Agatha Christie, Ruth Rendell’s A Judgement In Stone opens at Richmond Theatre on Monday 23 January.
Rendell was first published in 1964 and was awarded a CBE in 1996. Her prolific output included film and TV as well as 80 novels and one of the genre’s most famous characters, Chief Inspector Wexford. Widely considered to be one of Rendell’s greatest works, A Judgement in Stone is loved for its brilliant rendering of character, plot and motive, and is undoubtedly Rendell at her thrilling best.
Eunice struggles to fit in. When she joins a wealthy family as their housekeeper the very reason for her awkwardness, long hidden and deeply buried, leads inexorably to a terrible tale of murder in cold blood – on Valentine’s Day. Ruth Rendell’s brilliant plot unravels a lifetime of deceit, despair and cover-ups which, when revealed, brings a shocking revelation almost as grizzly as murder itself.
The star cast includes award winning TV and stage favourite ANDREW LANCEL best known to TV audiences for his portrayal of villainous business man Frank Foster in Coronation Street, winning Villain of the Year in the British Soap Awards, and as DI Neil Manson in over 300 episodes of The Bill. On stage in 2016 Andrew starred as Captain Von Trapp in the UK Tour of The Sound of Music, and as Brian Clough in the world stage premiere of The Damned United at West Yorkshire Playhouse and Derby Playhouse. In 2014 and 2015 he starred in two Bill Kenwright Productions; 12 Angry Men opposite Tom Conti and as Adam Snow  in the World Premiere of Susan Hill’s The Small Hand directed by Roy Marsden – both of which toured nationally. Prior to these he starred as Brian Epstein in Epstein- The Man Who Made The Beatles in Liverpool and its London transfer.
Andrew is joined by SOPHIE WARD who played the beautiful, ill-fated love interest of Young Sherlock Holmes and Dr Helen Trent in long-running ITV drama Heartbeat. She also starred in the acclaimed mini-series, A Dark Adapted Eye, alongside Helena Bonham Carter and as Isabella alongside Juliette Binoche in the 1992 film version of Wuthering Heights.
Pop-idol MARK WYNTER made his professional debut as a recording artist and went on to have nine Top 20 singles, including Venus in Blue Jeans and Go Away Little Girl. He has also enjoyed an acting career that has spanned nearly 50 years, appearing on radio, television, film and stage where he has featured in seven Agatha Christie Company productions.
DEBORAH GRANT has starred in the BBC’s Not Going Out, Bergerac and Roger, Roger. As well as her many TV and film appearances Deborah is a stage veteran; from her first performance on stage at the age of 4, she has performed in many West End and national touring productions and starred opposite Michael Crawford in the West End debut of Barnum at the London Palladium.
Movie icon SHIRLEY ANNE FIELD has had a long and successful career. Her breakthrough role came when she got the part of Tina the Beauty Queen opposite Sir Laurence Oliver in The Entertainer. Her role as Doreen in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning soon followed, with her next role as the female lead in the Hollywood title The War Lover opposite Steve McQueen and Robert Wagner. More recently Shirley Anne was in the award winning Beautiful Relics, a short film directed by Adrian Hedgecock, and the touring theatre productions The Cemetery Club and Five Blue-Haired Ladies Sitting on a Green Park Bench.
ANTONY COSTA shot to fame in chart topping boy band Blue in early 2000 becoming a huge commercial success in the United Kingdom and many other countries, selling 15 million records worldwide to date, including 3.3 million albums and 1 million singles in the UK alone. On Stage Antony has starred in the lead role of Mickey Johnstone in the West End production of the long-running musical Blood Brothers, directed and produced by Bill Kenwright as well as starring in the 10th anniversary tour of Boogie Nights, the 40thanniversary of The Who’s iconic musical Tommy (Blackpool Opera House), Jack and the Beanstalk (Ipswich Regent Theatre), Popstar: The Musical (UK tour) and recently in TV’s Casualty.
BEN NEALON is an Agatha Christie Company stalwart. On television Ben is best known as Lt Forsythe in the popular ITV award winning drama series Soldier Soldier, he also featured in the Oscar-nominated Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India. The cast is completed by ROSIE THOMSON, JENNIFER SIMS and JOSHUA PRICE.
The production will be directed by ROY MARSDEN who is best known as an actor, particularly in his role as Commander Adam Dalgliesh in Anglia TV’s P.D. James series, which he played for 15 years. But he has also been directing plays since he was 15 years old and had two successful West End runs with Noel Coward’sVolcano and Agatha Christie’s (under the pen name Mary Westmacott) A Daughter’s A Daughter. His recent work for Bill Kenwright includes directing a UK tour of Susan Hill’s The Small Hand and the debut production for The Classic Thriller Theatre Company, Rehearsal For Murder, written by the creators ofMurder, She Wrote and Columbo, Levinson and Link.
Ruth Rendell who died in May 2015, was an exceptional crime writer and is credited with having revitalised the mystery genre. She won numerous awards in her lifetime, including the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger for best crime novel with A Demon In My View, a Gold Dagger Award for Live Flesh and the Sunday Times Literary Award. She was awarded the Crime Writers’ Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for sustained excellence in crime writing. In addition to the CBE she became a Life Peer in 1997. Her debut novel From Doon With Death introduced Inspector Wexford who went on to feature in twenty-four of her subsequent novels many of which were adapted for television. A Judgement In Stone was also filmed twice, as The Housekeeper (1986) starring Rita Tushingham and as La Cérémonie (1995), directed by Claude Chabrol, starring Sandrine Bonnaire.

One Last Thing (For Now) | Old Red Lion Theatre | 7th – 25th March 2017

Althea Theatre (There’s No Place Like) present the world premiere of One Last Thing (For Now), inspired by love letters from times of conflict in different cultures and languages. The production, written and developed over the last two years by Lilac Yosiphon with the ensemble, is a universal look at the language of love, the wounds of war and everything in between.

An officer in Russia cannot bear to tell a woman, far away in Wales, that her husband died. Instead, he writes her love letters pretending to be him. A woman in London awaits a letter that will never come while another skypes love messages to her boyfriend in Afghanistan. A soldier addresses his last letter to a former teacher who refused to join the army. And, at the heart of the play, is a story of a woman giving up her own limbs to make contact with her husband, a recent amputee, in the trenches a hundred years ago.

The play interweaves narratives from WWI in Northern England, WW2 in France and Germany, the civil war in Colombia and stories from contemporary Britain and Israel. The internationally diverse cast play British and non-British characters (regardless of their own nationality) and perform in their native tongue as well as other languages. This international collaboration aims to empower a compassionate and honest cultural exchange.

Lilac Yosiphon comments, Imagine you had to create one piece of theatre so brilliant, so overwhelmingly exceptional that you would be allowed to stay in the country thanks to it? That was the advice I was given and that led to the creation of this show. It was just the beginning of the centenary and I remember reading a postcard from 1914 saying ‘All My Love x’ and a last text from a soldier that was killed a week before but in 2014. Both said the exact same thing, only in a different time, a different place and a different language. By bringing out various cultures’ shared experiences, I want to create a sense of unity that can transcend cultural gaps and language barriers and engage in a truthful open dialogue.

As a part of the show, and the idea that we can better relate to foreign situations through familiar ones, there will be call out for love letters from the Borough of Islington and one scene in the show will be inspired and devised using one of these local letters.

The play connects different aspects of war (the difficulty to describe the violence involved, the need to maintain an illusion, conscientious objection), reflecting on the different injuries which occur on the front line together with the emotional impact these have to the community at home.

…. War wounds never quite heal, war letters are never quite forgotten; both just get hidden away by old memories and dusty pieces of cloth, waiting to be found…

Theatres Trust announces winning theatres In Spend a Penny campaign

Theatres Trust today announces the eight theatres selected to receive £15,000 each from the Spend a Penny campaign, financed by the philanthropic Chairman of Albourne Partners, Simon Ruddick. Deeply empathetic of his wife’s complaints about the ladies’ loos in many theatres, this theatre-going entrepreneur decided last summer to do something, and offered the funding to Theatres Trust to make a start on the improvement of facilities for women primarily, but also gender neutral and unisex toilets.

Submissions for these grants were received at the end of October, and after thorough scrutiny the following theatres have been selected:

Shelley Theatre, Bournemouth
Darlington Hippodrome
Liverpool’s Royal Court
Little Angel Theatre, Islington, London
Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis
Tyne Theatre and Opera House, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
Theatre Royal Wakefield

An incredible variety of theatres throughout England have been successful – ranging from a small community theatre in Dorset to the Grade I listed Tyne Theatre and Opera House in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The projects too are varied – some involve major re-workings, whilst others involve a more creative use of existing space. Further details of the theatres and their individual schemes can be found in Notes to Editors.

The scheme attracted a lot of media attention when it was originally announced last summer, but now the hard work begins and in at least eight venues and communities, ladies (and in the case of Little Angel girls) will have a more agreeable theatre going experience in future.

Simon Ruddick today says, “Although my original impulse was simply to ‘lift the lid’ on this specific issue, we hope that other donors will bear in mind the contribution that theatres make to the community  and the contribution that the Theatres Trust makes to the community of theatres.”


Newcastle Theatre Royal’s 2017/18 pantomime Peter Pan has set a new box office record as it hurtles through the million pound barrier whilst the current pantomime, Cinderella, still has a week left to run.

Produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, Peter Pan will once again feature Newcastle panto legends Danny Adams in the title role, Clive Webb as Mr Smee and Chris Hayward as Mrs Smee in what promises to be a non-stop adventure that will have all the family hooked with its infectious comedy and spellbinding production.

Peter Pan went on sale in November 2016 and with more than 49,000 tickets sold almost 11 months ahead of its opening night it has surpassed the previous record set this time last year by the current pantomime Cinderella. 

Theatre Royal pantomimes are widely thought to be among the fastest-selling in the UK, due to the winning combination of father and son team Clive and Danny – for whom Peter Pan will mark their thirteenth consecutive Theatre Royal panto appearance – and their hilarious slapstick routines, the special effects provided by The Twins FX alongside spectacular sets, chroeography and the sensational musical scores.  This combination is brought together by Newcastle’s own Michael Harrison, who co-writes, produces and directs the show.

Theatre Royal Chief Executive Philip Bernays said: “Sales have been rocketing since tickets for Peter Pan went on sale in November and this is the first time in our history that we have hit the million pound sales barrier for next year’s panto whilst still having so many performances of the current show yet to go.

“After every performance we have seen people race from the auditorium to the box office as audiences look to immediately snap up their seats for the following year which is testimony to the fantastic experience and enjoyment for all the family that the Theatre Royal pantomime offers.”

He added:  “This year’s production of Cinderella has been another huge success in a long line of what have been extremely popular pantomimes at the theatre which keep audiences coming back for more year on year.  It’s thanks to a superb cast, incredible staging, expert behind-the-scenes team and the talent of top West End producer Michael Harrison that we can keep delivering what is considered not only the biggest panto in the region but one of the best festive spectaculars anywhere in the country. We can’t wait to see the reaction to Peter Pan – every year the panto just gets better and better and this will be one trip to Neverland that nobody will want to miss.”

Director and Producer Michael Harrison said “The early success of Peter Pan is a testament to the fondness the Theatre Royal pantomime is held in by local people, and the popularity of Danny, Clive and Chris who have become true Newcastle panto institutions. We’re already working to make the first production of Peter Pan at the Theatre Royal for over a decade a truly spectacular show for all the family.”

Cinderella runs until Sunday 15 Jan 17 with a handful of seats available for the remaining performances.  Tickets are now on sale for the 2017/18 pantomime Peter Pan which plays Tue 28 Nov 17 – Sun 21 Jan 18 and early booking is advisable as they are selling fast; prices from £13.00 and tickets can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge) or book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk.