La Cage Aux Folles Review

Opera House York – 31st May 2017.  Reviewed by Michelle Richardson

La Cage Aux Folles began life as a French stage farce. It tells the story of Albin and Georges, a gay couple who make a living running a Saint Tropez drag club. Their son falls in love and plans to marry, but unfortunately her parents are against homosexuality. Chaos then ensues.

The show started with Georges, Adrain Zmed, the suave debonair owner of the club, introducing the audience to a wonderful drag queen rendition of We Are What We Are by the Les Cagelles, seven male dancers and singers. Their costumes, dancing and high kicks had me memorized right from the start, I could not take my eyes of them, and as for those kicks and those legs, I can only wish for in my dreams. Unfortunately, we then encountered a bit of a technical glitch and had to wait a short while whilst that was sorted. Once that was over and done with we got to meet Albin, played wonderfully by John Partridge, whose other persona is Zsa Zsa a drag queen, the star of the club. It was Albin played with a great Lancashire accent!

Partridge was so captivating and charismatic in his role, what a star. With his chiselled cheek bones, great wigs and dresses, he dazzled with his singing and acting, and also the interaction with a few in the front row of the audience, and also members of the band, especially Tim/Timothy, or should we say Sandra? He showed great comic timing that won us all over. He was certainly the star of this show, I loved him.

Albin does have a butler, who prefers the title maid. Jacob, played by Samson Ajewole, is so over the top, camp and again has legs to die for. He certainly struts his stuff with attitude, it was great, and he was great.

Zmed did have a few issues with his microphone on the night but played a convincing Georges, trying to please both his son, Jean-Michele, Dougie Carter, and his partner Albin.

Gary McCann did a great job on all the costumes, from Albin to the dancers, in all their sequin and glitzy glory. What beautiful creations.

The male dancers were all superb, working extremely hard for the whole production. All the cast delivered a great show.

It was at times touching, funny and so over the top, what more could you ask for? Even with a couple of technical issues, it did not matter and made no difference. The whole audience were captivated and it is certainly the biggest standing ovation that I have ever seen at the Grand Opera House in York. Absolutely brilliant and thank you!

Showing in York until Saturday 3rd June, and then continuing its UK tour.

Our Man in Havana Review

York Theatre Royal – until 3 June 2017.  Reviewed by Marcus Roderick

Our Man In Havana is a classic novel about spies, secrets and vacuums.  The Graham Greene novel follows Wormold, a vacuum cleaner seller who gets caught up in MI6 and finds that there is a lot of money to be made from twisting and making up information about the enemy.  The comedy with its farcical plot creates for a hilarious and often confusing story.   Set in Cuba a melting pot of cultures and corruption the adaption plays on the underlying themes that are in the book.

With its small cast of 4 we are given multi-rolling between three of the actors with Charles Davis playing Wormold, although he often came out of character to narrate along with his fellow actors. The rest of the cast took on the role of the narrator more than Davis and all did a fantastic job of working with each other to make sure the narration was snappy between the actors.  Isla Carter took on the role of Milly, Wormold’s daughter and Beatrice Wormold’s love interest – with the added joke ‘you look a lot like my daughter’, Carter took on both roles with such passion capturing the difference’s rather well.  James Dinsmore became the secret spy Hawthorne and the German Doctor Hasselbacher who is the main target from Hawthorne, sounds confusing, don’t worry it’s easy to tell the two characters apart, but for a brief moment in the play he takes on the role of a female stripper name Teresa and by God there were some laughs. The fourth and final actor Michael Onslow, who took on the more comical roles in the play from Wormold’s assistant Lopez to the corrupt Segura the leader of the police. All of the actors did an amazing job in both creating an amazing story even more entertaining and enthralling and making the audience laugh with pleasant and light humour.

The set has some palm tree to both sides of the stage with some lights in them that came on during different scenes, but the main feature is a table, this table, well desk, is used in nearly all of the scenes and moved every scene, however this was so quick and were some of the quickest scene changes I’ve seen, I have to give the director Amanda Knott credit in the ingenuity and creative of how props are used in a simple but effective way.

The play will appeal to older people more rather than the younger generation, as the novel was released in their childhood and became a stand out from the crowd, however since there aren’t that many references to issues at the time it can be easily understood by even a younger person, that is to note however as there are a few cuss words in the play. I loved the play and I would describe it as light-hearted and pleasant to watch, it is going on tour across the UK and is midway and is in York until 3rd June with its next stop in Windsor.




It’s full steam ahead for a brand new adaptation of E. Nesbitt’s classic tale, The Railway Children, calling at Newcastle Theatre Royal this Summer, 26 June – 1 July 2017.  All aboard!


A faithful interpretation of the much loved children’s tale, this new stage version of The Railway Children tells the story ofRoberta, Peter and Phyllis, and how their lives are turned upside down when their father mysteriously disappears with two strangers one evening.  Forced to leave the comforts of their privileged London life in exchange for a simple existence in the depths of the Yorkshire countryside, the fractured family soon discover new friendships and an unexpected secret that will change their lives forever.


First published as a serial in The London Magazine in 1905 and then as a book in 1906, the novel – a thrilling coming of age story and a fascinating insight into Edwardian rural life – has become a great classic and been adapted for TV and film multiple times. Most notable adaptations include the 1968 TV series which starred Jenny Agutter as Roberta and was placed 96th in the BFI’s 100 greatest British Television Programmes, and the iconic 1970 movie starring Jenny Agutter again and Bernard Cribbins.


Complete with beautiful period costumes and ingenious designs, this new production promises an uplifting theatrical experience for all ages, packed with intrigue, adventure, joy and jubilation.


  1. Nesbit wrote and collaborated on more than 60 books of children’s literature and as well as The Railway Children is possibly best known for Five Children and It, The Treasure Seekers and The Phoenix and The Carpet.  Nesbit is credited for being one of the earliest ‘modern writers’ for children, for her ability to write of real life rather than imaginary worlds and for her extraordinary talent for evoking the English countryside.

Adapted by Dave Simpson and designed by Tim Bird, the production is by Exeter Northcott Theatre and Nick Brooke Ltd and is directed by Exeter’s Paul Jepson.  The cast includes Stewart Wright (Love and Marriage, Dr Who, The Vicar of Dibley) as Perks, Joy Brook (Peak Practice) as Mother, Millie Turner as Roberta, Andrea Davy as Mrs Perks, Katherine Carlton as Phyllis, Neil Salvage as the Old Gentleman, Vinay Lad as Peter, Callum Goulden as John, Andrew Joshi as Father/Doctor, Will Richards as Szczepansky and Sally Geake as Ensemble.


Paul Jepson said “I’m delighted to be bringing The Railway Children to Exeter and other wonderful venues across the UK with this fantastic cast. The show will be a faithful retelling of the story and will delight audiences up and down the country.”


The Railway Children is at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Mon 26 June until Sat 1 July 2017, playing evenings at 7pm, matinees on Wed 2pm and Sat 3.30pm. Tickets from £14.50.  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

Interactive artificial intelligence debate play comes to Theatre N16

Heart to Heart Theatre presents:

June 14th – 24th, Theatre N16

Heart to Heart Theatre present an exciting theatrical experiment: a “choose your own story” exploration of the developing boundaries between humans and artificial intelligence which lets you decide – could the will of a robot ever override the will of a man?

“This is remarkable theatre: intense, shocking, and thoroughly absorbing. At its heart is a profound, universally applicable comment on our need to connect with others” A Younger Theatre

Meet Adam and April: a regular twenty something couple who enjoy socialising, going to the gym and bingeing on Netflix. Adam doesn’t always do his share of the dishes, and April sings country songs that annoy Adam in the shower. They’re not perfect, but they were blissfully generic until April’s body started shutting down. They have gone from building dreams of a future to arguing about how long April should live hopelessly before meeting her maker – a corporation who bring their story to your attention.

Now, as April’s demise hangs heavy in the air between them, you are invited to explore with them what it was that made them so perfectly average; and given a powerful vote to decide whether she should be allowed to die before Adam is ready to say goodbye.

“Everything about the show was just right (…) I was totally engrossed by the story” London Theatre 1

AI Love You is an interactive show by Heart to Heart Theatre which discusses the relationship between humans and artificial intelligence. Casting the audience as an ‘Ethical Steering Committee’ for a corporation who are striving ahead in the AI field, they decide the fate of the characters, and make heart-breaking decisions about their lives that linger long after the lights have gone up.

Treating Odette – Upstairs At The Gatehouse

Ovation is delighted to present the premiere of  a new play by Jennifer Selway
and directed by John Plews

In 1949 two of the most famous women in Britain met in a fashionable Mayfair beauty salon.   One was the film star Anna Neagle and the other was the wartime heroine Odette.  Under the gentle hands of their young beautician they were to reveal the explosive secrets that neither the press nor the Gestapo ever discovered.
Based on a true account of their meetings in Mayfair during the filming of Odette, a very special and lasting friendship was formed between Anna Neagle and Odette.
A one-act play running 75 minutes
21st – 30th July
Friday          21st July – 7.30pm
Saturday     22
nd July – 7.30pm
Sunday        23rd July – 4.00pm
Tuesday       25
th July – 7.30pm
Wednesday  26
th July – 7.30pm
Thursday     27
th July – 7.30pm
Friday          28
th July – 7.30pm
Saturday      29
th July – 7.30pm
Sunday         30th July – 4.00pm
1st – 6th August (part of the Camden Fringe)

Tuesday       1
st August –  7.30pm
Wednesday 2
nd  August  – 9.15pm
Thursday    3rd August  –  4.00pm
Thursday    3
rd  August  – 7.30pm
Friday         4
th  August  – 9.15pm
Saturday     5
th  August  – 7.30pm
Sunday       6th   August  – 5.00pm
Wednesday 26th July – post show discussion 

Sand in the Sandwiches Review

Theatre Royal Haymarket, London – until 3 June 2017.  Reviewed by Andrew Kennedy

There is something about Betjeman’s writing that speaks to our senses; transporting us through 20th century Britain, reminding us of links to the past.  It is captured excellently by Hugh Whitemore’s melding together of this great writer’s poetry which is delivered delightfully as ‘Sand in the Sandwiches’ by Edward Fox at the Haymarket.

Fox opens describing lime and gin; pine woods; unadopted roads; the golf club band and sensuous summer touch of Joan Hunter Dunn in 1940s rural Surrey.  Air raids brought Betjeman and Joan together although not, it is explained, permanently.

We’re told of Betjeman’s home guard officer and Great War veteran whose prior experience and advice to Betjeman is don’t shoot at enemy aircraft because they might shoot back at you.

We’re then carried back to the shiny green lino floor reflecting the hearth fire of Betjeman’s childhood. Dark cupboards are described nearby, where it is hinted, a naughty Betjeman may have been detained.

We learn of Betjeman’s father who was not afraid to retain the double ‘n’ ending of the family surname which, having survived at least four generations in England, is deemed too Germanic by Betjemann’s Highgate playmates during the first World War; leading Betjeman to drop one ‘n’ for the rest of his life. A father too who had no qualms explaining buggery when he discovers his young son has been corresponding, innocently, with Lord Alfred Douglas.

Then off to Oxbridge with his teddy ‘Archibald’ where despite his Anglican love of churches he fails divinity, falls out with CS Lewis, his tutor, and is sent down.

He and Fox are rhyming raconteurs who draw us in and captivate to the extent one feels almost sorry for the defecting Burgess and Maclean who miss a dinner party attended by Betjeman.

But it is the changing landscape of Britain that is so vividly depicted: from Devon’s sandstone cliffs, Kent’s hop fields, the faith and flint of East Anglican churches in a watery landscape and wispy salty Cornish mist that Fox reminds us Betjeman loved. As Britain moved post war to a planned country in the nuclear age Betjeman’s cry to preserve the old rings out.

In the end he succumbs to a slow decline from Parkinsons asking: what now?

Bequeathing a positive joie de vivre, with more dawdling over the sand in the sandwiches than is apparent in Betjeman’s work, this play charms as much as the old master poet.

At the Haymarket until 3 June – see for more details


Immersive THE GREAT GATSBY returns to London tonight in a secret location

The Guild of Misrule Presents






Following a sell-out run at VAULT Festival, The Great Gatsby returns to London tonight, transforming a secret location into an unseen world through the back of Jay Gatsby’s drugstore. Due to popular demand the run is also extended, with tickets now on sale for all performances until Sunday 10 September.

The honour would be entirely mine if you could attend my little party.’

Yours Sincerely,
J Gatsby


It’s the roaring twenties – an era of bootleg liquor, red hot jazz and hedonistic pleasures. Jay Gatsby has invited you to one of his infamous parties and that’s not an invite you want to turn down. Step through Gatsby’s drugstore and into a secret world where the cocktails flow, the music plays, and once the party is in full swing there’s more than a chance of a little scandal.

In this heart-racing immersive adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s seminal jazz-age novel, you are in the heart of the action. Guests are encouraged to pick out your best dress, dust off your tux, and watch as one of the greatest stories of the 20th Century unfolds around you in this unique theatrical performance.

Presented by The Guild Of Misrule and The Immersive Ensemble, this smash hit production draws together creatives from Secret Cinema, Les Enfant Terribles, The Flanagan Collective and Belt Up Theatre.


The Guild of Misrule also launched today; Gatsby Lates – themed late-night parties – fortnightly on Fridays and Saturdays from Friday 23 June. Featuring live music, DJs, unexpected performers, and a bar open until 2.00am, Gatsby Lates are where the unruly come together and the party doesn’t have to stop.


We’re delighted we have found an exciting new location for The Great Gatsby after its sellout run at VAULT Festival, where audiences will once again immerse themselves in Gatsby’s glittering world”, says Brian Hook for The Guild of Misrule. “There has been an overwhelming response to the show, and rather fittingly the public now has to ‘know a guy who knows a guy’ to get a ticket in June.”  Hook continued; “we’re thrilled to be opening the doors at our new secret location until September, and also adding Gatsby Lates performances”.

The Great Gatsby is directed by Alex Wright with choreography by Holly Beasley-Garrigan, and design by Casey Andrews. Based on the novel by F Scott Fitzgerald, it is written by Alex Wright and The Original Company. It is presented by The Guild of Misrule with general management by Hartshorn-Hook Productions.

The cast features Ollie Tilney (Jay Gatsby), Louise Williams (Daisy Buchanan), Thomas Maller (Tom Buchanan), Dan Dingsdale (Nick Carraway), Holly Beasley-Garrigan (Jordan Baker), Veronica Hare (Myrtle Wilson), Phil Grainger (George Wilson), Imogen Little (Kitty), alongside an ensemble including Jessica Guise, Toby Gordon and Ollo Clark.


Twitter:                @ImmersiveGatsby

Instagram:          @officialgreatgatsby

Facebook:           / ImmersiveGatsby




Now playing until Sunday 10 September 2017


Location:              The Secret Central London Location is located in Zone 1.

Additional information, including address, will be sent to ticket buyers via email.

Performances:  Tuesday – Sunday 7.30pm (Regular performances)

Fridays and Saturdays 9.45pm (Gatsby Lates)

Tickets:                 From £29.50 (Regular performances); From £35.00 (Gatsby Lates)

Box Office:


Dress Code:        1920’s glamour is encouraged; dancing shoes, sharp suits, pearls and spats.

Running time:    The performance lasts 2 hours with the bar open until late.

Recommended for ages 16+

Full casting announced for London transfer of YANK!



YANK! Monday 3 July – Saturday 19 August 2017


Full casting is announced for YANK! which transfers to the Charing Cross Theatre in the summer for a seven week season from Monday 3 July – Saturday 19 August 2017. The UK spring première of the musical production at Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester received extensive critical acclaim. The cast of the original production are joined by three new performers during the London run, with a Press Night on Monday 10 July.

A poignant love story based on the true, hidden history of gay soldiers during World War Two, YANK! focuses on the life of Stu, who is called up to serve in the forces in 1943 and becomes a reporter for Yank Magazine, the journal ‘for and by the servicemen’. Telling the stories of the men in Charlie Company, the musical explores what it means to be a man, and what it is to fall in love and struggle to survive in a time and place where the odds are stacked against you.

Scott Hunter will reprise his role as Stu. Stage credits include Cinderella (Trinity Theatre), Grease (European tour) and Howard Goodall’s The Kissing Dance. Joining the company as Mitch is Andy Coxon, whose credits include Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (Aldwych Theatre), 20th Century Boy – The Marc Bolan Musical (UK tour), Les Misérables (Queen’s Theatre) and European tours of The Rocky Horror Show and Evita. Sarge/Scarlet will be played by Waylon Jacobs, whose credits include Chicago, Memphis and We Will Rock You (West End) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park). Bradley Judge will play Rotelli. His credits include Aladdin (The Brindley Theatre, Runcorn), Don’t Run (Waterloo East Theatre) and Sister Act (Aberystwyth Arts Centre).

The rest of the company is completed by members of the original Manchester production: Benjamin Cupit who made his professional debut as Professor in the Hope Mill production; Lee Dillon-Stuart (Les Misérables at Queen’s Theatre and Carousel for Pitlochry Festival Theatre) as Tennessee; Chris Kiely (The Ladykillers and Pygmalion for Theatre Royal Windsor, Sunset Boulevard at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and a national tour of Chess) as Artie; Kris Marc-Joseph (Anno Domini at The Actors Church, Children of Eden and See Rock City and Other Destinations at Union Theatre) as Czechowski; Mark Paterson (tours of Horrible Histories and Peter Pan at Manchester Opera House/New Victoria Woking) as Lieutenant/NCO; Tom Pepper (The Mystery of Edwin Drood at the Arts Theatre, and on television, Drifters, Grandpa in My Pocket and Red Dwarf) as Cohen/Speedy; and Sarah-Louise Young (a member of award-winning improvised musical The Showstoppers at Apollo Theatre and extensive cabaret credits including Fascinating Aida) as Louise.

YANK! is based on the Off-Broadway hit production from 2010, with book and lyrics by American writer David Zellnik, with his brother Joseph Zellnik’s musical score paying homage to the timeless music of the 1940s. The musical is directed by James Baker, and is produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment, Hope Mill Theatre, Ben Millerman with Jim Kierstead and Guy James.

Completing the creative team are James Cleeve as musical director; choreographer Chris Cuming; designer Victoria Hinton; lighting designer Aaron J. Dootson; sound designer Chris Bogg; and casting director Benjamin Newsome.

YANK! is the latest collaboration between leading London-based theatre production company Aria Entertainment and one of Manchester’s newest and leading arts venues, the award-winning Hope Mill Theatre. They first joined forces in January 2016 to spearhead the arts venue as a platform to showcase, revive and bring new musical theatre to the north of England. The transfer to Charing Cross Theatre is helmed by the three producers of the original production at Hope Mill, who are now joined by Jim Kierstead and Guy James.






The Arches

Villiers Street




Monday 3 July – Saturday 19 August

Press Night: Monday 10 July at 7.30pm


Mon – Sat 7.30pm, matinées – Wed 2.30pm and Sat 3.00pm


£39.50 Premiums, £32.50 Stalls, £22.50 Balcony, £17.50 Slips, Previews £25

Box Office

020 7930 5868

Social Media

Facebook:           @YankMusical

Twitter: @YankMusical




Theatre Royal Bath today announces a season of international UK premieres which open at the Ustinov Studio this Autumn. Daniel Kehlmann’s latest work, Christmas Eve will run from 12 October to 11 November followed by Will Eno’s award-winning play The Open House, in a co-production with Print Room at the Coronet, from 23 November to 23 December.
Thursday 12 October – Saturday 11 November

Riveting new thriller Christmas Eve launches the season of international UK Premieres, reuniting the team behind the Ustinov Studio’s The Mentor. The latest play from multi-award winning writer Daniel Kehlmann will be directed by Laurence Boswell, in a translation byChristopher Hampton.

On Christmas Eve 2017, a philosophy professor is on her way to celebrate Christmas when she is bundled into police headquarters and an interrogation room. Opposite her the senior officer is cynical, smart and relentless. Played out in real time, two powerful antagonists are pitted head to head against each other. Both think they are saving their country but only one of them will win.

Daniel Kehlmann is a German-language author whose novel Measuring the World, sold three million copies in Germany alone and has been translated into more than 40 languages.

Christopher Hampton previously translated Florian Zeller’s play The Father for the Ustinov Studio, launching its international success. He won an Academy Award for the adaptation of his own play, Dangerous Liaisons.

Laurence Boswell is an Olivier Award winner, Artistic Director of the Ustinov Studio and an Associate Artist of the RSC. His recent productions include The Mentor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Theatre Royal’s Main House, and Trouble in Mind, The Mother, Intimate Appareland The Spanish Golden Age Season in the Ustinov Studio.
Thursday 23 November – Saturday 23 December

Former Artistic Director of the RSC, Michael Boyd directs Will Eno’s The Open House, which receives it UK Premiere at the Ustinov Studio having won the Obie Award for Playwriting in 2014. In Eno’s signature, inimitable style, the production offers a wildly subversive and darkly hilarious take on the archetypal family drama.

Son and Daughter have come home to celebrate their Mother and Father’s wedding anniversary, but the atmosphere is strained and the dog is nowhere to be seen. Just as they hit stalemate things start to take a very unexpected turn…

Will Eno’s Broadway debut play, The Realistic Joneses, was the winner of a Drama Desk Special Award. Other writing credits include The Open House (Off-Broadway), which won the Obie Award for Playwriting and most recently Wakey, Wakey (Off-Broadway).

Michael Boyd’s directing credits for Ustinov Studio include Right Now, The Harvest and The Big Meal. Other recent directing credits include The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures (Hampstead Theatre) and Tamburlaine (Broadway). He was formerly Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.


Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath, BA1 1ET
Box Office: 01225 448844
Facebook: TheatreRoyalBath
Twitter: @TheatreRBath

Christmas Eve
By Daniel Kehlmann
In a translation by Christopher Hampton
Directed by Laurence Boswell
Dates: Thursday 12 October – Saturday 11 November
Press Night: Wednesday 18 October, 7pm
Performance schedule: Mon – Sat 7.45pm, Matinees Thu & Sat 2.30pm
(No matinee Thursday 12 October)
Tickets: £22.50 / £17.50 discounts (Preview Perfs and Mondays, all seats £15)

The Open House
By Will Eno
Directed by Michael Boyd
Dates: Thursday 23 November – Saturday 23 December
Press Night: Wednesday 29 November, 7pm
Performance schedule: Mon – Sat 7.45pm, Matinees Thu & Sat 2.30pm
(No matinee Thursday 23 November)
Tickets: £22.50 / £17.50 discounts (Preview Perfs and Mondays, all seats £15)

First Look Rehearsal Images – Terror at the Lyric Hammersmith

Previews from Wednesday 14 June

Lyric Hammersmith

A UK premiere of a thrilling courtroom drama by Ferdinand von Schirach, directed by Artistic Director Sean Holmes and designed by Olivier Award-winner Anna Fleischle.

Guilty. Not Guilty. You Decide.

Enter the courtroom. Hear the evidence. Make your judgement. A hijacked plane is heading towards a packed football stadium. Ignoring orders to the contrary a fighter pilot shoots the plane down killing 164 people to save 70,000. Put on trial and charged with murder, the fate of the pilot is in the audience’s hands.

A worldwide phenomenon that has been stirring debate across the globe and providing opposing results in different countries and cultures.

Emma Fielding plays Prosecuting Counsel Nelson, John Lightbody plays Christian Lauterbach, Forbes Masson plays Defence Counsel Biegler, Tanya Moodie plays the Presiding Judge, Shanaya Rafaat plays Franziska Meiser and Ashley Zhangazha plays the pilot on trial, Lars Koch. | 020 8741 6850