All I Want Is One Night Review

Wilton’s Music Hall, 27 June – 1 July.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

Sitting in her antiques shop, keeping an eye on the museum which houses her portraits, the ageing Suzy Solidor reminisces about her life as the gramophone plays and her portrait is painted. Once the most painted woman in the world, Solidor was a cabaret sensation, and the first woman to own a nightclub in Paris, where she performed surrounded by her portraits. If Suzy was alive today, she’d probably make the Kardashians seem publicity-shy.

Jessica Walker’s play tells the story of Solidor’s life in an evocative and intimate way. The wonderful space of Wilton’s Music Hall is perfect, with its atmosphere of faded glamour and past glories matching the aging Solidor, and the cast prowl around the space interacting with the audience to great effect. Rather than a straightforward biographical romp, Waters has constructed a cabaret show within the play that portrays Solidor’s unravelling mind and memory, with fractured timelines and characters commenting on her confused remembrances. The bittersweet melancholy this creates is wonderful. Walker’s beautiful renditions of Solidor’s numbers (accompanied by Joseph Atkins) are thrillingly affecting, whether it’s her trademark songs about sea, sex and sailors, or more personal songs sung to important people in her life. Walker captures the fluid sexuality of Solidor perfectly, oozing arrogance and self-regard in younger and older incarnations. Rachel Austin and Alexandra Mathie play people from Solidor’s past and present, with Austin especially moving as Daisy, Solidor’s long-suffering partner, and Mathie hysterical as crossdressing singer Bambi, resplendent in bouffant blond wig and boa.

All I Want Is One Night is a little gem of a play that deserves a much wider audience. Catch it while you can.

Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales, Leicester Square Theatre

Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, London WC2H 7BX
Saturday 8th July – Sunday 3rd September 2017

Adapted from the bestselling books by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (creators of The Gruffalo), it’s now time for Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales to swim up the Thames and into Leicester Square Theatre for a summer full of fun!

Under the sea, out on the farm and into the jungle, these terrific tales are woven together with live music, puppetry and a whole host of colourful characters from the best-loved titles: Tiddler, Monkey Puzzle, The Smartest Giant in Town and A Squash and a Squeeze. Funky moves, toe tapping tunes and giggles are guaranteed.

Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales is produced by the newly founded Freckle Productions whose shows aim to be vigorous and challenging; engaging both hearts and minds to fire the imaginations of young audiences who may be experiencing theatre for the very first time but also changing the awareness of what performance can be for regular followers.

Founder Jennifer Sutherland comments, I am delighted to be welcoming Tiddler back to The West End as the original book celebrates the 10th anniversary of its publication and The Smartest Giant in Town celebrates its 15th anniversary. Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales has delighted audiences in London, across the UK and also internationally since 2011 and this production brings the best of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s work together on the stage.

To call this show lively would be a whopping understatement. Packed with gleeful songs and jolly good fun (The Guardian).




Sheffield Theatres has today announced that it will continue to be funded by Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO).

The Theatres is currently part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio. Today’s news confirms that the Arts Council will continue to support Sheffield Theatres at a standstill level, contributing £1,279,865 each year for four years commencing in 2018.

Dan Bates, Chief Executive of Sheffield Theatres commented:

‘I am delighted that we have confirmed funding from Arts Council England as an NPO. During this last funding period we have been recognised as Regional Theatre of the Year for the third time, won 9 UK Theatre Awards, transferred two shows to the West End and toured 8 productions across the UK. We’ve also welcomed over a million people through our doors for more than 200 productions on our stages, and expanded our community engagement programme to include Dementia Friendly events, a greater number of accessible performances and more family friendly activities attracting thousands of people to create and participate with us every year. 

We are grateful to ACE for recognising our contribution to creating great art for everyone by making this award. This funding gives us a solid foundation on which to grow and diversify work over the next four years.’

Artistic Director, Robert Hastie, added:

‘We welcome the news that Sheffield Theatres’ funding has been confirmed, and thank the Arts Council for its continued investment in the work we do. This money plays a vital role in ensuring our doors are open to everyone, and that our plans for the future continue to have the ambition and the reach that put us at the heart of the city and the cultural life of the UK.’

This funding news comes as Robert Hastie has embarked on his inaugural season as Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres. His first production, Julius Caesar, was met with widespread critical and audience acclaim in May this year. The theatres are currently staging a fully accessible production of The Who’s Tommy in the Crucible; preparing to open a regional première, Tribes, in the Studio and bringing a new play, What We Wished For, to the stage with a large community cast of over 80 people drawn from Sheffield People’s Theatre. Last week Sheffield Theatres also confirmed that new musical, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, made in Sheffield in February this year, will transfer to the West End in November this year.

Lord Robert Kerslake, Chair of Sheffield Theatres Trust commented:

‘We are grateful for the Arts Council’s continued commitment to us.

Sheffield Theatres’ is a vibrant organisation with huge ambitions for the future. Over the next four years we will build on our success: continuing to create, tour and transfer the bold and enriching work for which we are so well known; reaching all 75,000 children and young people in the city alongside the hundreds of thousands of audiences who visit every year; and diversifying our workforce, the work and our audiences to reflect the community of which we’re such a integral part.

It’s thanks to the ongoing support of the Arts Council and Sheffield City Council that we’re able to pursue our ambitions and create such remarkable work.’

The Theatres receive public funding from both the Arts Council and Sheffield City Council. This funding equates to 13% of its annual turnover – a vital contribution to the Theatres’ operations. Sheffield Theatres generates its remaining income through fundraising, commercial hire, bars and catering operations and, most significantly, through ticket sales.  Sheffield City Council has supported Sheffield Theatres’ Arts Council application with a 4 year funding commitment of £291,600 per annum.

Mary Lea, Sheffield City Council cabinet member for Culture, Parks and Leisure said ‘Sheffield Theatres’ impact on the city and its people is huge and we are very proud of the significant contribution the theatres make to Sheffield’s cultural ecology. We are delighted that the Arts Council has rewarded its strong performance with this continued national funding.’

York Theatre Royal – Successful Arts Council Bid

York Theatre Royal awarded National Portfolio Organisation status 2018-22

York Theatre Royal is thrilled to announce it has been successful in its application to Arts Council England (ACE) to become a National Portfolio Organisation 2018-22.

The funding awarded covers a four year period and gives the organisation just over £587,000 a year – a total grant of £2,349,016. The theatre is already a National Portfolio Organisation for 2015-18 and this new grant allows it to continue to fulfil its mission and inspire its community through the creative arts.

Ann Green CBE, chair of the Trustee Board said ‘We are delighted that we have been successful in our bid for four year funding. This award from Arts Council England ensures that we can continue to run a successful and thriving theatre for the people of York. Over the next four years we will be focussing on developing a number of exciting new partnerships as well as continuing our relationship with our community.’

Chief Executive Liz Wilson said: ‘It is just over a year since we reopened our doors following our major multi-million pound transformation, and we have just celebrated one of the most memorable years to date. This award allows us to make sure the next four years will be just as inspiring. We will be producing and presenting an eclectic range of performing arts, from pantomime and children’s theatre to classic adaptations, new work and contemporary dance. Much of our produced work will be developed in partnership with theatre producing companies from across the country and we will continue to welcome the UK’s best touring companies as well as supporting new and emerging artists.

‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank our audiences, sponsors, volunteers and patrons who have given us their endless enthusiasm, loyalty and generosity as well as the Arts Council for their continued support.’;

The Theatre is one of 844 successful organisations sharing a total of £409 million every year between 2018-22 to support arts and cultural activity across England. This includes £341 million of grant-in-aid and £68 million of National Lottery funding.

Room on the Broom flies into Salford this summer to end UK tour.

Room on the Broom flies into Salford
this summer to end UK tour

Tue 1 –  Sun 27 August (excluding Mondays)

Tall Stories’ magical musical adaption of Room on the Broom ends its UK tour at The Lowry Tue 1 – Sun 27 August.

Adapted by 
Tall Stories Theatre Company from the spellbinding picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, Room on the Broom will make the ideal treat for the whole family to enjoy at The Lowry this summer. 

This Olivier Award nominated production tells the story of a friendly witch, her cat and three loveable animals who take to the skies on a broom and face a fearsome dragon. With enchanting puppetry, original sing-a-long songs and scary fun, 
Room on the Broom is ideal for families with children aged three and up.

Room on the Broom is created by the critically acclaimed theatre company Tall Stories – a creative force whose credits include The Gruffalo,’ ‘The Gruffalo’s Child,‘ ‘Emily Brown and The Thing,’ ‘The Snail and The Whale,’ ‘The Snow Dragon’ and ‘My Brother the Robot.‘ For Room on the Broom the team includes director Olivia Jacobs, creative producer Toby Mitchell, designer Morgan Large, puppet designer Yvonne Stone, composers Jon Fiber & Andy Shaw(Shock Productions) and lighting designer James Whiteside.  

The cast are 
Amy Harris as Witch, Connor Bloom as Bird / Dragon, David Garrud as Dog / Frog, Emma Crowley-Bennett as Cat and Dale Wylde as Understudy/ASM.


Listings info
Room on the Broom 
Dates: Tue 1 – Sun 27 August (excluding Mondays).

Times: 11am & 2pm

Tickets: £16. Family ticket £55.

Running time
 60 minutes (no interval)



NFA International Arts & Culture

In association with The Place, the Institut français du Royaume Uni, and SACD France



By Jean René Lemoine

Featuring Francois Testory

Translated and directed by Neil Bartlett 

Medea returns from history. This time, she’s telling her side of the story…



 ‘A hallucinatory initiation rite’ (LE MONDE)

This autumn UK audiences will have the first opportunity to witness the English language premiere of Jean René Lemoine’s reimagining of the classic story of passion and revengeMedea. Previewing at the Marlborough Pub & Theatre in Brighton on the 28th September, the performance will premiere at The Place London presented as part of And What? Queer. Arts. Festival before going on tour to Cambridge Junction, Norwich Arts Centre, Pavilion Dance Bournemouth, Hull Truck Theatre, Unity Theatre Liverpool as part of Homotopia Festival, Lancaster Arts Centre at University of Lancaster, and Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

This startling reimagining sees Medea cast as the ultimate outsider, a stranger in a foreign land, a being filled with rage. Her monologue is half witness-statement, half incantation, taking us from ancient Greece to modern Europe and back again in a provocative, blood-soaked collage of performance, opera, and sexual confession. Lemoine’s version ofMedea, already performed in France to great acclaim, reimagines this archetypal figure from classical drama as a genderless, stateless, and violently transgressive contemporary figure. The playwright, an artist of Afro-French origin born in Haiti, makes Medea a stranger in her own country, who seeks to flee from the asphyxiation of family bonds through carnal union with her brother and then in the physical bedazzlement of her encounter with Jason, the ravisher and the violator. The work speaks about marginalisation, isolation, and exile.

The performer, dancer and vocalist, François Testory fuses his extraordinary physicality, and androgynous and unique stage presence with a radical mixing of classical and contemporary vocal technique to bring the murderous figure of Medea to life in this evocative lament featuring live music by Phil Von. Testory has performed with some of Europe’s most innovative companies, including Lindsay Kemp, DV8, Rambert Dance Company, Punch Drunk, and Gecko.

Following a hugely successful run at The Arcola with The Plague, Medea is the new work from one of the UK’s most celebrated directors and authors, Neil Bartlett. The piece is directed and translated by Bartlett who has drawn on his experience of both heightened classical drama at the largest scale and of the most intimate contemporary queer solo performance genre to create a powerful theatrical experience. Neil Bartlett was formerly Artistic Director the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith; his other recent work includes Stella (LIFT, Brighton Festival, Holland Festival 2016) and the Britten Canticles (Aldeburgh, Brighton, Royal Opera House, 2015).

The production will tour in smaller-scale venues across the UK in order to ensure the work is experienced by young diverse audiences in a bid to present highly charged theatre on an accessible platform. Through the performance itself and an accompanying programme of audience engagement and participation, audiences will be encouraged to explore the issues with which the work deals.



NFA International Arts & Culture

In association with The Place, the Institut français du Royaume Uni, and SACD France



Performance by François Testory

Translation and direction by Neil Bartlett

Corsetier, Mr Pearl

Sound design and performance by Phillipe Fontez

Lighting design by Chahine Yavroyan

Stage, company and technical management by Jules Millard

Production photography by Manuel Vason

Produced by Nelson Fernandez and Lia Prentaki for NFA International Arts & Culture


2017 Tour Dates

  • Marlborough Pub & Theatre Brighton – 28-29 September
  • The Place London presented as part of And What? Queer. Arts. Festival – 5-6-7 October
  • Cambridge Junction – 11 October
  • Norwich Arts Centre – 18 October
  • Pavilion Dance Bournemouth – 20 October
  • Hull Truck Theatre Hull – 24-25 October
  • Unity Theatre, Homotopia Festival, Liverpool – 1 November
  • Lancaster Arts, University of Lancaster – 2 November
  • Birmingham Repertory Theatre – 17-18 November



Eighties singer/song-writer and Brit Award nominee, Elkie Brooks, is set to appear at Leeds Grand Theatre on Sunday 29th April for one night only.

Originally with the bands Dada and Vinegar Joe, the husky voiced Brooks made her name as a solo artist in the late seventies and eighties, releasing hit singles including ‘Pearl’s a Singer’, ‘Lilac Wine’, ‘Don’t Cry Out Loud’, ‘Fool (If You Think It’s Over)’, and ‘No More the Fool’, and the top-selling album ‘Pearls’. By April 2012, Brooks had released more albums to reach the top 75 of the UK album chart than any other British female artist (later equalled by Kate Bush).

Elkie Brooks embarks on a UK-wide tour from July 2017 to coincide with the release her compilation album ‘Pearls – The Very Best Of’. The one-off event at Leeds Grand Theatre will see Brooks sing all her hits plus newly recorded material.

Tickets for the event will go on sale on Wednesday 5th July – priority tickets can be purchased from Wednesday 28th June.

“Still One of The Great British Voices” The Guardian

Elkie Brooks is at Leeds Grand Theatre on Sunday 29th April

Tickets are priced from £24 (restricted viewing) to £39

(prices include a £3 booking fee. Postage charge £1 where applicable)

Book online at or call Box Office on 0844 848 2700

TV & West End star Ali Cook announces UK Magic Tour




UK TOUR: 16 September – 11 November 2017


The star of West End magic marvels and big screen spectacles, Ali Cook, has announced a new UK tour for his critically acclaimed comedy magic show Principles of Deception. Treating audiences to a festival of fascination, Principles of Deception acts as the essential storytelling of magic, with Ali Cook’s own brand of awe-inspiring magic and off-beat comedy. The tour will visit theatres nationwide between 16th September – 11th November 2017.


“A hugely impressive show that’s never short on spectacle… Genuinely astounding”

★★★★ Mail on Sunday


Taking its name from Arthur Buckley’s seminal magic compendium Principles and Deceptions – the first book to categorize every magic trick – Principles of Deception demonstrates Ali Cook’s skill as a historian of deception. In a masterclass of technique across a range of magic disciplines, Ali Cook defies the illusionist norm by showcasing a plethora of astonishments for audiences. Featuring close up magic, mind reading sleight of hand, suggestion, hypnosis, black art, misdirection and many more styles, Principles of Deceptionis an evening of magical invention and re-invention.


“Forget what you think you know about comedy magicians – Ali Cook is edgy, intelligent, self-referential, caustically hilarious and one of the most sought-after illusionists on the planet”

GQ Magazine


Ali’s renown in the alternative comedy and magic worlds has led him to star in the West End illusion spectacular Impossible, as well as television magic specials including Penn & Teller: Fool Us (ITV), Dirty Tricks (Channel 4), Secret World of Magic (Sky One) and Now You See It (BBC One).


In addition to his comedy and illusion work, Ali has also undertaken television acting roles in Emmerdale (ITV) and Mr Selfridge (ITV), as well as film roles in the BAFTA nominated film Kajaki (2015), Get Lucky(2013, Universal Pictures), The Anomaly (2014, Universal Pictures) and The Messenger (2015, directed by BAFTA and Emmy Award winner David Blair). He will also co-star in the upcoming political comedy How To Sell A War with Katherine Parkinson.


Principles of Deception became Ali Cook’s third sold-out show at the world famous Edinburgh Festival in 2011. The performance won him critical acclaim, and firmly established Ali as a leading proponent of the alternative magic scene. His other Edinburgh shows A Touch of Vegas (2008) and Pieces of Strange (2010) were also met with superlative reviews and sold out performances.


Suitable for ages 8+ (Recommended Guidance)


Ali Cook’s Principles Of Deception UK Tour Dates


Saturday 16th September                                                              Box Office: 01224 641122

Aberdeen, The Lemon Tree                                                        Website:

Saturday 30th September                                                              Box Office: 01603 612580

Norwich, Norwich Playhouse                                                      Website:

Friday 6th October                                                                            Box Office: 01308 424204

Bridport, Bridport Arts Centre                                                    Website:

Saturday 7th October                                                                      Box Office: 01483 369350

Guildford, G Live Studio                                                                Website:

Friday 13th October                                                                          Box Office: 01608 642350

Chipping Norton, The Theatre                                                    Website:

Saturday 14th October                                                                    Box Office: 01248 382828

Bangor, Pontio Studio                                                                    Website:

Saturday 21st October                                                                    Box Office: 01442 228091

Hemel Hempstead, Old Town Hall                                            Website:

Saturday 28th October                                                                    Box Office: 0121 446 3232

Birmingham, mac Birmingham                                                    Website:

Friday 3rd November                                                                      Box Office: 01235 515144

Didcot, Cornerstone                                                                       Website:

Saturday 11th November                                                               Box Office: 01664 851 111

Melton Mowbray, Melton Theatre                                          Website:

Stephen Schwartz Meets the Company of WORKING at Southwark Playhouse






Completing the cast of the European Premiere of WORKING at Southwark Playhouse are six young performers all making their professional debuts. Patrick Coulter (Bird College of Dance), Nicola Espallardo (Guildford School of Acting), Izuka Hoyle, Luke Latchman, Huon Mackley (all Arts Educational Schools, London) and Kerri Norville (Bird College of Dance) will join the previously announced Gillian Bevan, Dean Chisnall, Krysten Cummings, Siubhan Harrison, Peter Polycarpou and Liam Tamne.

WORKING opens on 7 June 2017, with previews from 2 June, for a strictly limited season ending 8 July 2017, and is directed by Luke Sheppard.

The musical’s creative team has auditioned over 130 drama school students and aspiring young performers, discovering some of the most exciting upcoming musical theatre talent. With the support of Arts Council England and Unity Theatre Trust, the production will also host workshops for young people in Southwark and Lambeth interested in entering the theatre profession.

Luke Sheppard said of the new company members, “I’m thrilled we are able to welcome these graduates to our company. They are integral to the vision of our production. I hope that this opportunity reflects a fundamental theme of the piece: a new generation asking questions of those who have trod the career path that lies ahead, holding a mirror up to the changing landscape of employment.”

Producer Ramin Sabi said, “We are so grateful to Arts Council England for supporting our endeavour to provide professional opportunities to young people who face so many challenges when entering the world of work. Their grant has helped us to include these actors on the same equal footing as the whole cast and creative team, in accordance with our company’s commitment to Equity’s Professionally Made Professionally Paid campaign.”

WORKING is the extraordinary genre-defining musical from Grammy and Academy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell) based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with the American workforce: Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do. The show has been adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, the creators of Godspell and Rags, with additional contributions by Gordon Greenberg.

This highly original and universal portrait of the American workday is told from the perspective of those that the world so often overlooks – the schoolteacher, the housewife, the fireman and the waitress, amongst many – whose daily grind and aspirations reflect the truths of the people that make up a nation. WORKING employs a range of musical styles and genres from contributing composers, including five-time Grammy Award-winner James Taylor and Pulitzer Prize-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In The Heights), as well as Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Mary Rodgers & Susan Birkenhead.

WORKING first opened on Broadway in 1978, under the direction of Stephen Schwartz, with a cast including Patti LuPone, Bob Gunton, Joe Mantegna, David Patrick Kelly and Rex Everhart. The show has since undergone several revisions, with additional songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda being introduced in 2009. WORKING was last performed off-Broadway in December 2012, under the direction of Gordon Greenberg (Holiday Inn, Guys and Dolls, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris).

WORKING will have Choreography by Fabian Aloise, Set Design by Jean Chan, Costume Design by Gabriella Slade, Lighting Design by Nic Farman and Sound Design by Tom Marshall, with Musical Supervision by Alex Parker, Musical Direction by Isaac McCullough and Casting by Will Burton CDG.

The new production at Southwark Playhouse is performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited.

WORKING is produced by Jack Maple, Ramin Sabi, Christopher Ketner, & D.E.M. Productions.


2 June – 8 July

Southwark Playhouse

77-85 Newington Causeway

London SE1 6BD

Performance Times:

Monday – Friday 7.30pm

Saturday 3.00pm & 7.30pm

N.B Tuesday 4 July – Additional matinee at 3pm

Tickets: £25 and £20 concessions (from £14 during previews)

Box Office: 020 7407 0234

Website: /


Twitter: @WorkingMusical

BAFTA-winning Cbeebies duo SARAH & DUCK head to Edinburgh Fringe

MEI Theatrical in association with Polka Theatre



The BAFTA-winning CBeebies duo live on stage at Edinburgh Fringe 2017

At the Underbelly Med Quad from Wednesday 2 to Sunday 20 August

The enchanting world of CBeebies’ hit animated series Sarah & Duck will be brought to life on stage at the Edinburgh Fringe this Summer.

Featuring a host of wonderful characters from the BAFTA Award-winning show, embarking on a brand new adventure, Sarah & Duck’s Big Top Birthday will play at the Underbelly Med Quad from Wednesday 2 to Sunday 20 August. The production first premiered at London’s Polka Theatre in April.

Join Sarah and Duck, along with all their favourite friends including The Ribbon Sisters, The Shallots, John and Flamingo and Umbrella, as they plan a circus-themed birthday party for Scarf Lady in their garden. But when the weather turns windy and the big top is blown away, will Sarah and Duck be able to save the day? Told through a fantastic blend of inventive puppetry, charming storytelling and toe-tapping music, Sarah & Duck’s Big Top Birthday will take families and children on a magical theatrical adventure.

Sarah & Duck’s Big Top Birthday features all the familiar voices from the CBeebies series, includingRoger Allam as the Narrator and Lesley Nicol as Scarf Lady.

Following the gentle adventures of a wide-eyed, 7-year-old girl and her feathered best friend, Sarah & Duck has been a huge hit since its debut in 2013, winning a BAFTA for ‘Best Pre-School Animation’ in 2014 and regularly appearing in CBeebies’ Top Ten programmes for viewers aged 4-15. Now in its third series, it is shown in over 100 counties around the world.

Sarah & Duck’s Big Top Birthday is written by Polka Theatre’s artistic director Peter Glanville andSarah & Duck co-creator Sarah Gomes Harris. It is directed by Roman Stefanski with set and puppet design by Laura McEwen. It is presented by MEI Theatrical in association with Polka Theatre. Sarah & Duck is a Karrot Entertainment production for CBeebies UK and BBC Worldwide.

Recommended for children aged 2-6.

Durration: 55 minutes


“Youngsters will delight in the visual spectacle”

OK! Magazine

“Kids’ll go quackers”

Daily Mirror



Twitter: @Sarah_and_Duck





Dates: Wednesday 2 – Sunday 20 August 2017


Address: Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG

Performances: Daily at 11.10am (except 14 Aug)

Tickets: Previews (2-4 Aug) £8, Regular £11/£12, Conc £9.50/£10.50

Box Office: / 03333 444 167