National Tour announced for the award winning musical TEDDY


















Sarah Loader for Snapdragon Productions in association with The Watermill Theatre present the award-winning musical “TEDDY” at The Watermill Theatre from Thursday 11 January – Saturday 10 February 2018 (Press Night Monday 15 January at 7.30pm), ahead of a national tour and a London season at The Vaults, Waterloofrom Thursday 29 March – Saturday 5 May 2018. Full tour schedule and on sale information below.


Following the recent success of their smash hit production “Boudica” at The Globe, Tristan Bernays reunites with director Eleanor Rhode and choreographer Tom Jackson Greaves for the 1950s Rock ‘n’ Roll musicalTEDDY. First seen at the Southwark Playhouse in 2015 and winner of Best New Musical at the Off West End Awards, TEDDY has music by Dougal IrvineMusical direction by Harrison White, Set design by Max Dorey, Lighting design by Christopher Nairne, Sound design by Max Pappenheim, Costume design by Holly Rose Henshaw and Casting by Natalie Gallacher for Pippa Ailion Casting.

Tristan Bernays said today, “More than any other play I’ve written, people keep asking me “What’s happening with Teddy? Is it ever coming back?” Well, now I can say to them “Damn right it is”, and I couldn’t be happier”.


Set in the aftermath of the Blitz against a backdrop of austerity, it follows the lively story of Teddy and Josie, all dressed up and ready to hit the streets of London for an unforgettable night out, no matter how dangerous the consequences. TEDDY is the ultimate story of teenage rebellion and the birth of a new musical era. Music includes electrifying original songs plus well-known hits from the 1950s performed by the on-stage live band Johnny Valentine and the Broken Hearts.



Twitter: @teddyuktour |Facebook page Teddy UK Tour | Instagram: @teddyuktour

The Watermill Theatre

Thursday 11 January – Saturday 10 February 2018

Press night – Monday 15 January 7.30pm

Performances – Monday – Saturday 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm

Saturday 10 February at 1.30pm and 6.30pm

Tickets: £15 – £26.50

Box Office: 01635 46044 |


Salford Lowry Quays Studio – Tuesday 13 February – Saturday 17 February 2018



Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds – Monday 19 February – Saturday 24 February 2018



Nuffield Southampton – Monday 26 February – Saturday 3 March 2018



Chesterfield Pomegranate – Monday 5 March – Saturday 10 March 2018



New Wolsey Ipswich – Monday 19 March – Saturday 24 March 2018


The Vaults

Thursday 29 March – Saturday 5 May 2018


The Simon & Garfunkel Story extends West End run

Gwen Taylor and Susan Penhaligon in THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST







Gwen Taylor will star as Lady Bracknell in the 2018 UK tour of Oscar Wilde’s THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, alongside Susan Penhaligon as Miss Prism. The tour will begin on 24 January at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford, ending on 28 April in Eastbourne. Further casting is to be announced.


Gwen Taylor is best known for playing the title role in the ITV sitcom Barbara, as well as Anne Foster in Coronation Street, Peggy Armstrong in Heartbeat, Rita Simcock in A Bit of A Do, for which she was nominated for a BAFTA TV Best Actress Award, and Amy in Duty Free.  Her film appearances include The Lady in the Van and Monty Python’s Life of Brian.  Gwen most recently played Mrs Bramson in Luke Sheppard’s critically acclaimed touring production of Emlyn Williams’s Night Must Fall and Daisy Worthen in Driving Miss Daisy at Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre.  Other theatre credits include Calendar Girls (UK Tour), the title role in the national tour of Shirley ValentineTop Girls (Royal Court and New York), and Gertrude in Sir Peter Hall’s production of Hamlet (London’s Gielgud Theatre and national tour).


Susan Penhaligon is currently appearing in Rufus Norris’s production of Cabaret alongside Will Young and Louise Redknapp. She has a wide range of TV credits to her name, including Upstairs DownstairsTales of the UnexpectedBergerac and A Bouquet of Barbed Wire. She played Judi Dench’s sister Helen in four series of the award-winning BBC sitcom A Fine Romance, and the regular role of Jean Hope in ITV’s Emmerdale. Susan also played Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew for the BBC’s Shakespeare season. Susan has toured the UK extensively, having previously worked with The Original Theatre Company, playing Queen Charlotte in their 2010 production of Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George III. She has also appeared in productions of George Bernard Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Agatha Christie’s Verdict and Oscar Wilde’s Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime.


Oscar Wilde’s greatly admired and much loved comedy THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST follows Jack Worthing’s endeavours to marry Algernon’s cousin, the beautiful Gwendolen. But first he must convince the fearsome Lady Bracknell of his respectability. Wilde’s classic play looks at the clash of town and country in a story of romance, identity, perambulators and capacious handbags.


THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST will be directed by The Original Theatre Company’s Artistic Director, Alastair Whatley, with set and costume designs by Gabriella Slade, sound and music by Giles Thomas and lighting by Alan Valentine. The UK tour is produced by Tom Hackney for The Original Theatre Company.



Facebook: TheOriginalTheatre 

Twitter: @OriginalTheatre



24 January – 3 February          Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford                           01483 440000


5 – 10 February                       Courtyard Theatre, Hereford                        01432 340555

                                                                            On sale 2 October


13 – 17 February                     Theatre Royal Plymouth                                01752 267222

                                                                            On sale soon


20 – 24 February                     Belfast Grand Opera House                         028 9024 1919                                                                                                                                                                 


27 February – 3 March            Bath Theatre Royal                                        01225 448844

                                                                        On sale 2 November


5 – 10 March                           Theatre Royal Winchester                            01962 840440



13 – 17 March                         Manchester Opera House                             0844 871 3018

                                                            On sale 13 October 


20 – 24 March                         Salisbury Playhouse                                      01722 320333                                                                                                                                   On sale soon


27 – 31 March                          Lichfield Garrick Theatre                             01543 412121

                                                                        On sale soon


3 – 7 April                                Churchill Theatre, Bromley                           020 3285 6000                                                                                                                                        On sale soon

17 – 21 April                            York Theatre Royal                                        01904 623568                                                                                                                                       On sale soon

24 – 28 April                           Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne         01323 412000                        On sale soon






Pull up your bobby socks and slick back your hair because the original high school musical (and ‘Greatest of all time’*) Greasereturns to Newcastle Theatre Royal this Autumn and it’s slicker, fresher and more star-studded than ever before! Play truant and make a date with the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies 16-21 October 2017.


This new hit production of the timeless 70s musical stars Tom Parker (The Wanted) in his musical theatre debut as Danny Zuko, Danielle Hope (Over the Rainbow, winner) as Sandy and Louisa Lytton (Strictly Come DancingEastEnders) as Rizzo.


Since opening on Broadway in 1972 and going global in the smash hit movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in ‘78,Grease’s place has been firmly established in the musical Hall of Fame.  It has seduced millions with its iconic tunes and rebellious teenage characters – Sandy, Danny, the groovy T Birds, the sassy Pink Ladies and the gang at Rydell High. The new production is once again bursting with all the songs from the hit movie including You’re The One That I WantGrease Is The WordSummer NightsHopelessly Devoted to YouSandyGreased Lightnin’ and many more.


The show that spawned a thousand spin-offs, Grease has proved that a musical love story, bursting with denim, cheerleaders, ponytails, rock’n’roll, 1950’s pop culture and an irresistible mix of teenage angst and young romance is timeless and universal.  Forty five years on it remains the ultimate feel-good, pick-me-up musical – an electrifying extravaganza, packed with fun, energy and vibrant physicality. The show is guaranteed to thrill and leave everyone hand-jiving the night away with “A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop, a wop-bam-boom!”


This award-winning production originally opened in the West End in 1993 where it enjoyed a hugely successful run of six years at the Dominion and Cambridge Theatres.  The show has since toured throughout the world playing to sell-out audiences and breaking box office records everywhere.  It has been seen by over 12 million people in the UK alone.


Completing the cast are Washington-born ensemble member Anna Murray, Tom Senior as Kenickie, Michael Cortez as Sonny, Oliver Jacobson as Roger, Ryan Heenan as Doody, Callum Evans as Eugene, Lauren Atkins as Marty, Rosanna Harris as Jan, Rhiannon Chesterman as Frenchy, Gabriella Williams as Patty and Ailsa Davidson as Lynch. The ensemble also includes Charlotte Coggin, Anthony Hughes, Alessia McDermott, Natasha Mould, George Olney, Rory Phelan and Grant Thresh.


Tom Parker has amassed worldwide success with his band The Wanted, achieving two UK number 1s and 9 top 10 singles as well as 4 Billboard 100 singles, with Glad You Came placing in the top 5 and selling over 900,000 records. The band have had three platinum albums, two sold out arena tours, and 3 million singles sold in America. Tom is also a winner of BBC Radio 1’s Teen Choice Award and US People’s Choice Award with The Wanted.


Danielle Hope made her professional debut as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium, after competing against over 9,000 girls to win the BBC’s smash hit Over The Rainbow. She went on to star as Eponine in the West End production of Les Miserables (Queen’s Theatre) – a role to which she most recently returned, Cathy in The Last Five Years(Greenwich Theatre & Warren Theatre, Brighton), Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (National Tour) and Maria Rainer in The Sound of Music which visited the Theatre Royal in 2015.


Louisa Lytton trained at the Sylvia Young Theatre School and secured her first professional role as the innocent schoolgirl Ruby Allen in EastEnders. Following this Louisa joined The Bill, playing the inexperienced and shy police officer Beth Green. She has since enjoyed a host of varied roles, from parts in the internationally successful American Pie franchise, to the British Shakespeare Company’s productions of both A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Much Ado About Nothing. Most recently she has appeared in the new prime-time ITV comedy drama The Edge of Heaven, filmed a thriller due to be released this month called Fractured, appeared in the Canadian period drama Murdoch Mysteries and starred in the touring production of Swap!. Aside from acting, Louisa reached the quarter-finals in the fourth series of Strictly Come Dancing, and subsequently toured the country as part of the sold-out Strictly Come Dancing arena tour. She also represented the UK in the 2008 Eurovision Dance Contest. Louisa recently took park in Channel 4’s The Jump.


The production is written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, directed by David Gilmore (Daisy Pulls It OffHappy DaysSong & DanceFootloose) and choreographed by Arlene Phillips (Starlight ExpressSaturday Night Fever, Flashdance The Musical & BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing).  It is designed by Terry Parsons, with costumes by Andreane Neofitou. Grease is presented by Paul Nicholas and David Ian.


Grease is at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Mon 16 until Sat 21 October 2017, playing evenings Mon – Thu at 7.30pm, Fri & Sat 8.30pm, matinees on Friday at 5.30pm and Sat 5pm.  Tickets from £16.50.  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


For more information, visit @greasemusical


* (100 Greatest Musicals, Channel 4)


The Tempest Review

Greenwich Theatre 27 – 30 September, Touring until 27 October.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick


Bilimankhwe’s production of The Tempest begins in bold and beautiful style, with Robert Magasa and Joshua Bhima dancing to Ben Mankhamba’s atmospheric music. The music and physical movement was the highlight of the production for me, as this pared down version of Shakespeare’s text lost its impact.

Isolated on his island for years with only his daughter Miranda, spirit Ariel and the monstrous Caliban for company, Prospero dreams of revenge on his enemies. When he finds out that they are sailing close to the island, Prospero conjures up a fierce storm to trap them and, with Ariel’s help, sets his plot in motion. The production keeps the themes of patriarchy, with Prospero engineering his daughter’s marriage, and colonialism, with Prospero enslaving the island’s original inhabitants and acting as their god/king, but the revenge is lost. Prospero’s long speech about his brother’s backstabbing ways is kept in, but we never meet him or his devious courtiers. This makes Prospero’s anger too abstract and a little irrelevant. The only castaways we see are Ferdinand, and then Trinculo and Stephano (slightly too long spent on those “comedy” characters for my taste here) – with Ferdinand and Miranda’s romance and Caliban’s drunken antics with Trinculo and Stephano giving this production the feel, at times, of a rather vindictive episode of Love Island.

The use of Chichewa by Caliban and Ariel adds a magical quality to the characters, as does the splitting of Ariel into two actors. Magasa and Bhima watch with catlike grace as their mischievous actions cause chaos. Cassandra Hercules and Reece Weathers are a whirlwind of hormones as Miranda and Ferdinand – her giggles and gleeful jumps are a joy to watch. Christopher Brand is a strong Prospero, although his journey to redemption is somewhat stifled by the lack of protagonists. In this production, the impression is that finding a husband for his daughter was his main quest.

Bilimankhwe’s The Tempest is more of a gentle summer breeze in its dramatic impact, but is still an enjoyable and energetic production, with wonderful music and choreography.

Book Story Review

Little Angel Studios Touring until 4 November.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick


Monstro Theatre’s puppet musical is a charming and moving celebration of the magic of books and libraries.

Brian’s father read books to him from the time he was a tiny baby. They both loved books so much that the house became filled with them, so they opened their home as a library. Now Brian is grown up and his father is an old man in a nursing home, but their beloved library is still going strong. The books are also very happy, dancing around the library when the humans aren’t about. Everything changes when Brian’s father dies, and Brian’s favourite childhood book comes to the library – setting one of the books on a dangerous adventure across the town.

Each book has its own quirky character and striking retro cover, with writer Ben Glasstone throwing in lots of recognisable stereotypes for the adults. There’s even a Shakespeare tome spouting melancholy quotes! Performers Phil Yarrow, Karina Garnett and Andrea Sadler shine as the librarians and handle the puppets with skill and love, encouraging the young audience to accept the puppets as real characters. When Garnett took her puppet into the audience, the children were desperate to speak to it, although us adults were slightly more bashful. The weird and wacky ideas that the children suggested – at this performance a young boy suggested that she needed to take an aeroplane that would crash into the sea to travel across town – were celebrated and used throughout the performance, with a particularly touching reference at the end of the play. The songs and puppet choreography are harmonised beautifully, and are just the right length to keep the young audience’s interest and maintain the story’s momentum.

The theme of bereavement and loss is handled deftly and sensitively, and the message that reading is a source of inspiration for creating your own stories is delivered with hopeful excitement. Book Story is simply wonderful family entertainment –a spellbinding love letter to literature that will entrance both children and adults.

Gin for Breakfast Review

Tristan Bates Theatre 26 September – 21 October.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick


Whatever Guise’s inaugural production tackles mental health with an honesty that is both brutal and compassionate.

Corporate lawyer Jen wants to save the world, with dreams of working for the UN, but she has realised that she needs to save herself first, trying to cope with her dark feelings and pain, and settling for a miserable job and even more miserable relationships, much to her childhood friend – socialist, hard-drinking musician Robbie’s disgust. He still dreams of hitting the big time with his music. Jen and Robbie’s annual encounters at Jen’s birthday party frame the narrative, with Jen opening up to Robbie about her depression. Writer Jess Moore’s dialogue is naturalistic and authentic. In the first scene, set in the garden, it feels as if you are listening over the garden fence to two people who think they know each other inside out, but don’t understand each other at all. The circular, meandering conversation veers between teasing childhood memories, lamenting their lost dreams, socialist rants, Jen trying to describe how she feels, and Robbie doing his best comedy to cheer her up without tackling the issue – as best friends do.

Jessica Guise and Tristan Beint are completely believable as the two friends. Watching Guise as Jen pulls herself together and jokes around after sharing her despair will bring a lump to your throat, and her performance in the hospital scene is devastating. Beint is wonderful as Robbie, with some superb drunk acting, spitting out his world-weary rants with relish, and throwing in some hilarious impressions and funny voices. The actors’ onstage chemistry is fantastic, with perfect timing.

Director Ryan Gage keeps things simple, keeping the focus on the actors and allowing them to shine. The set, covered with old photos of the pair behind multiple frames, reinforces the long relationship of the pair, but also highlights our skewed perceptions of friends that we see smiling in all our photos, and perhaps never think about their true feelings. Moore jumps on this issue, with Jen so focussed (and rightly so) on her own search for ways to cope and find happiness, that she doesn’t notice Robbie’s vulnerability. Moore’s writing of Robbie is instantly recognisable to anyone who has reacted with guilty shock as they realise that their funny, sarky, confident and strong friend has been screaming internally or trying to numb their own pain, without anyone noticing until they reach crisis point.

With after show talks from CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), Gin for Breakfast’s examination of friendship and mental health is an emotionally devastating, bittersweet evening that will change (for the better) the way you look at your mates. Grab a ticket while you can

Frankenstein Review

Jack Studio Theatre 26 September – 21 October.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick


Arrows & Traps new adaptation of Frankenstein breathes new life into the classic story with style and sensitivity. Writer/director Ross McGregor and dramaturg Kate Bannister have steered clear of all clichés and created a fresh, often funny, and insightful vision by interweaving the story of Mary Shelley’s life with her novel.

Beginning with an older Mary returning from a disappointing theatrical production of Frankenstein, Shelley’s life is seen in flashbacks. The circumstances of her own birth and her fractious relationship with her sisters and disapproving father, her love for Shelley and her devastating losses as a mother are all there. This cleverly shows the parallels between Shelley’s life and the characters’ without overstressing the point, and adds a deeper sense of melancholy to the story. The creature’s storyline and Victor Frankenstein’s storyline run alongside Shelley’s. Only Victor’s story runs chronologically, with his youthful scientific zeal galvanising after the death of his mother into the quest for creating life. The creature’s story begins with his meeting with blind Agatha, giving the audience a chance to form an attachment to the innocent and sweet creature that makes the stunning creation scene at the end of act one much more brutal and unnerving.

With most of the cast playing multiple roles, and the switches between storylines and times, this could have been an unmitigated disaster, but the transitions are seamless. The cast, lighting, sound and subtle costume changes make it instantly clear what is going on, and keep the play’s pace from flagging between scenes. Odin Corie gives the characters from the novel a cool steampunk vibe, contrasting with a more romanticised Victorian feel to Mary’s family.

Cornelia Baumann is a safe pair of hands for the pivotal role of Mary Shelley. Her commanding stage presence is needed as she is hardly ever off stage. Her expressions as she watches her creations interact are wonderful. Even when the spotlight isn’t on her, she never gives less than her best. Christopher Tester’s Victor is intense and otherworldly, and Will Pinchin is phenomenal as the creature. As resident movement director with Arrows & Traps, you’d expect an impressive physical performance, but he will blow your mind. Beginning as a mewling, childlike figure, his scenes with Zoe Dales as Agatha are delightful as his speech and personality evolve, and he is terrifying as he becomes a true monster in his revenge. Just glorious.

Whether you have read Frankenstein many times, or a green flat headed monster is all that springs to mind – go and see this production. It will make you fall in love with this phenomenal story all over again.

Cast announced for THE RETREAT at Park Theatre, a new play by BAFTA winner Sam Bain

Casting announced for

The World Premiere of


By Sam Bain

Directed by Kathy Burke


At Park Theatre

From Thursday 2 November to Saturday 2 December 2017



Casting is announced today for the World Premiere of new comedy drama The Retreat, the first play by BAFTA award-winning writer Sam Bain, directed by Kathy Burke, which will play at Park Theatre from Thursday 2 November to Saturday 2 December 2017.


Adam Deacon will play Tony, Samuel Anderson will play Luke and Yasmine Akram will play Tara.


Adam Deacon (Tony) is best known for playing the lead role of Jay in films Kidulthood and Adulthood, and for his directorial debut Anuvahood, in which he also starred, for which he won the BAFTA Rising Star Award. Adam has since appeared in feature films including Bonded by BloodJack FallsShankEverywhere and Nowhere and Payback Season, with television work including Babylon (Channel 4), Inside No. 9 (BBC Two) and Being Human (BBC Three). Adam has also worked with mental health charity MIND and recently filmed a documentary with Stephen Fry for the BBC.


Samuel Anderson (Luke) is perhaps best known for playing Danny Pink in the eighth series of BBC’s Doctor Who,and Daniel in the Sky1 sitcom Trollied. Other television work includes Ross Kirk in Emmerdale (ITV), Totally Frank(Channel 4), Moving On (BBC One) and Loaded (Channel 4). On stage, Samuel originated the role of Crowther in the National Theatre production of The History Boys, subsequently playing the role on Broadway and all over the world.


Yasmine Akram (Tara) has starred as Janine in the hit BBC show Sherlock, Jonesy in Netflix’s Lovesick, and has been a series regular in shows including Stella (Sky1), Undercover (Dave), Asylum (BBC) and Unforgotten (ITV). As a writer, Yasmine co-wrote and starred in two series of Irish Micks and Legends for BBC Radio 4, her film A Date for Mad Mary won the Irish Film and Television Award for Best Film in 2017, and she recently completed filming her first short film War Paint, funded by Creative England, in which she also stars.


The Retreat follows Luke, a former high-flyer from the City, as he sits in a remote stone hut halfway up a mountain in the Scottish Highlands.  He is on a meditation retreat, searching for the inner peace that so far has eluded him. The trouble is, not only will his mind not settle, but an uninvited guest arrives – his obnoxious older brother Tony. Is Tony everything that’s wrong with Luke’s old life, or is he the only one who can really see into his soul? And is Luke’s quest for spirituality a way of transforming himself, or is it just another form of addiction? The Retreat is a sharp new comedy drama about a world where we can never escape ourselves, or find ourselves either.

The Retreat is written by Sam Bain, who with Jesse Armstrong has co-created and co-written nine series of the Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show, winning BAFTA, British Comedy, Royal Television Society and Writers Guild of Great Britain Awards. Sam is also co-creator of Channel 4 comedy drama Fresh Meat which ran for four series and won a British Comedy Award. Film writing includes Four Lions, co-written with Chris Morris, which premiered at Sundance and won the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut. Sam’s first solo series Ill Behaviour premiered on BBC iPlayer this Summer before being broadcast on BBC Two.


The Retreat is directed by Kathy Burke, who as an actor is well known for television work including Ab Fab, Harry Enfield and Chums and Gimme Gimme Gimme, for which she won a British Comedy Award. Film work includes Absolutely Fabulous the Movie, Pan, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Nil By Mouth, for which she won Best Actress at Cannes. Work as a theatre director includes Betty (Vaudeville Theatre), Kosher Harry (Royal Court), Out in the Openand Born Bad (Hampstead Theatre), Blue/Orange (Sheffield Crucible), The God of Hell (Donmar Warehouse), Smaller (Lyric Theatre) and The Quare Fellow and Once a Catholic (Tricycle Theatre).

The Retreat is written by Sam Bain and directed by Kathy Burke. Set and Costume Design is by Paul Wills with Lighting Design by Paul Keogan and Sound Design by John Leonard. It is produced by Debbie Hicks and Jesse Romain in association with Park Theatre.


Twitter: @TheRetreatPlay

Facebook: /TheRetreatPlay