Maidenhead’s family pantomime, ALADDIN, will host a ‘relaxed performance’ on Thursday 14th December at 10.30am. The show, which runs at the Pearce Suite Theatre, Magnet Leisure Centre, Maidenhead, from 9th – 31st December 2017, stars television favourites Nisha Anil (CBeebies) and Sandra Martin (C4 Gogglebox).


Relaxed performances are open to everyone, but the environment has been specifically adapted for families with children with an Autistic Spectrum Condition, individuals with sensory and communication disorders, those with learning disabilities and anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed environment.

This performance of ALADDIN will be adapted in a variety of ways in order to reduce anxiety, to ensure a safe and enjoyable live theatre experience and to make it as accessible as possible to all. There is a relaxed attitude to noise, the lights in the auditorium remain on low throughout the show, sudden loud noises are softened and audience members are free to leave and re-enter the auditorium at any point. There will be staff on hand to assist with seating and access around the theatre.

Berkshire actress and presenter Nisha Anil (CBeebies), who plays Princess Jasmine, said: “I’m a great supporter of relaxed performances and I can’t wait for our own special performance of ALADDIN. Whilst we’ll be adapting the show to be more ‘relaxed’, there will definitely still be bucket-loads of comedy, fun, songs, glitz, glamour and excitement!”

The Pearce Suite Theatre at the Magnet Leisure Centre will be converted into a 400-seat theatre space for the whole of December, offering wonderful family entertainment that all ages can enjoy together.

ALADDIN runs from Saturday 9th – Sunday 31st December 2017 (times vary, check website). Tickets, priced at £15.50 (children/senior citizens), £16.50 (adults), £59.50 (family ticket – 2 children, 2 adults) are on sale from  Tickets for Schools and Clubs (min. 10 people), are £9 per head for the relaxed performance (£10.50 for other performances). Every 11th ticket is free, and there is a free interval ice cream for every child in the group booking.  Call the groups hotline: 01494 917519 by 10th November for these special groups rates.

Follow all the latest news about ALADDIN, visit and follow [@MaidenheadPanto]@Maidenheadpanto on Twitter and @TheMaidenheadpanto on Facebook.

Casting announced for The Jungle

Casting announced for 
The Jungle  

by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson

Main House 

Thursday 7 December 2017 – Saturday 6 January 2018
Press Night Friday 15 December
A co-production between Young Vic and the National Theatre with Good Chance Theatre, commissioned by the Na-tional Theatre.

Direction Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin 

Design by Miriam Buether

Full cast: Raphael Acloque, Mohammad Amiri, Trevor Fox, Michael Gould, Ammar Haj Ahmad, Ansu Kabia, Alex Lawther, Jo McInnes, John Pfumojena, Rachel Redford, Rachid Sabitri, Mohamed Sarrar, Ben Turner and Nahel Tzegai.

This is a truly global cast which includes actors from Afghanistan, Algeria, Eritrea, Iran, Sudan, Syria, the UK and Zimbabwe, including many from refugee backgrounds, some of whom came through the Calais ‘Jungle’.

Europe’s largest unofficial refugee camp, at its peak the Calais ‘Jungle’ was a temporary home to more than 10,000 people, many desperate to find a way to enter the UK.

The Jungle tells stories of loss, fear, community and hope, of the camp’s creation and of its destruction – and of the many intense, moving and sometimes hilarious encounters between the refugees from many different countries and the volunteers who arrived from the UK.

Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy are the joint-artistic directors of the Evening Standard Special Award-winning Good Chance Theatre which was originally based in the ‘Jungle’ in Calais and then in the north of Paris next to the refugee welcome centre for the first half of 2017.

10% of tickets for The Jungle will be offered to refugees.

Nicole Charles is the Jerwood Assistant Director on The Jungle. The role is supported through the Jerwood Assistant Directors Program at the Young Vic.

Design by Miriam Buether with costumes by Catherine Kodicek, light by Jon Clark, sound by Paul Arditti and video by Tristan Shepherd.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the Young Vic Box Office on: 020 7922 2922


The Jungle 
7 December 2017 – 6 January 2018
Main House, Young Vic, 66 The Cut, Waterloo, London, SE1 8LZ
Press Night: Friday 15 December 2017, 7:00pm
Performances: Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm (except 25 & 26 December, 1 January) | Matinees on Wednesday and Saturdays at 2.30pm (except 9, 16 December and 3 January)
Access Performances
Safe Space performance: Wednesday 3 January at 2.30pm
Captioned Performance: Thursday 4 January at 7.30pm
Audio Described Performance: Friday 5 January at 7.30pm
Tickets: Previews 7 – 14 December 2017 £20, £10 | 18 December 2017 – 6 January 2018 £38, £29, £20, £10.
Concessions available.
Box Office: | 020 7922 2922

Salford’s Matthew Ganley stars in Around The World in 80 Days at The Lowry

Returning home for Christmas: Salford’s Matthew Ganley stars in ‘Around The World in 80 Days’ at The Lowry

Around The World In 80 Days
Tue 5 Dec – Sunday 7 Jan

Manchester born Matthew Ganley will spend Christmas at home in Salfordafter spending the year touring the UK in the stage adaption Around The World In 80 Days Tue 5 Dec – Sunday 7 Jan.

The New Vic Theatre’s celebrated production of Jules Verne’s Around The World In 80 Days adapted by Laura Eason and directed by Theresa Heskins comes to The Lowry for a six week Christmas season.

Matthew Ganley plays alongside an ensemble cast of 8 who between them play over 125 characters in an imaginative and physically inventive high-spirited escapade including six trains, five boats, four fights, three dances, two circus acts and an elephant!

Around The World In 80 Days reunites original cast members Andrew Pollard (Phileas Fogg), Michael Hugo (Passepartout), Pushpinder Chani (Mr Naidu), Kirsten Foster (Mrs Aouda) and Dennis Herdman (Inspector Fix). They are joined by Matthew Ganley (Colonel Proctor), Nyron Levy (Captain Speedy) and Joey Parsad (Miss Singh).

Matthew Ganley said, “I grew up in Manchester and studied Performing Arts at the University of Salford. I’ve performed in all three spaces at The Lowry and in the underground backstage areas in a promenade show. I grew up learning my craft on the Manchester Fringe scene where I started my own theatre company Happystorm Theatre with my fiancee.”

The mysterious and fabulously wealthy Phileas Fogg wagers his life’s fortune that he can circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days. Join Fogg and his loyal valet, Passepartout, as they voyage from the misty alleys of Victorian London to the exotic subcontinent and the Wild West in a race against the clock.

Theresa Heskins’ production of Around The World In 80 Days first premiered at the New Vic Theatre in 2013 followed by a successful season at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester in 2014. Nominated for both the UK Theatre Awards ‘Best Show for Children and Young People’ and the Manchester Theatre Awards ‘Best Production’, this is the production’s first national tour.

Around The World In 80 Days is directed by Theresa Heskins and designed by Lis Evans, with movement direction by Beverley Edmunds, music composed by James Atherton, lighting designed by Alexandra Stafford and sound designed by James Earls-Davis. Kenny Wax Family Entertainment and Simon Friend present The New Vic Theatre Production in association with the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester.

Listings Information 
Around The World in 80 Days
Date: Tue 5 Dec 2017 – Sun 7 Jan 2018
Time: Tue – Sat 7pm. Tue & Sat 2.30pm (exc 5th/26th Dec). Sun 5.30pm (except 24th 2.30pm).
Tickets: £22 – £31. Concessions £2 off (Selected performances)

Access Listings
Audio Described: Tue 12 Dec, 2.30pm
Relaxed Performance: Tue 19 Dec, 2.30pm
Captioned Performance: Fri 22 Dec, 7pm
British Sign Language: Tue 4 Jan, 7pm


Sonia Friedman Productions in association with
Rupert Gavin, Tulchin Bartner Productions, 1001 Nights Productions, Scott M. Delman present


By Harold Pinter
Directed by Ian Rickson


Peter Wight and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor will join Toby Jones, Stephen Mangan, Zoë Wanamaker and Pearl Mackie in a major revival of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party.

Sonia Friedman Productions is thrilled to announce full casting for Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party. Peter Wight and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor will join previously announced Toby Jones, Stephen Mangan, Zoë Wanamaker and Pearl Mackie for this major revival directed by Ian Rickson. The production will run at the Harold Pinter Theatre, 60 years since the play’s debut, from 9th January to 14th April 2018 with an Opening Night on Thursday 18th January 2018. Tickets are now on sale.

Stanley Webber (Toby Jones) is the only lodger at Meg (Zoë Wanamaker) and Petey Boles’ (Peter Wight) sleepy seaside boarding house. The unsettling arrival of enigmatic strangers Goldberg (Stephen Mangan) and McCann (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) disrupts the humdrum lives of the inhabitants and their friend Lulu (Pearl Mackie), and mundanity soon becomes menace when a seemingly innocent birthday party turns into a disturbing nightmare. Truth and alliances hastily shift in Pinter’s brilliantly mysterious dark-comic masterpiece about the absurd terrors of the everyday.

PETER WIGHT’S theatre credits includeHamlet (Almeida/West End); The Red LionIvanovSleep With MeMurmuring JudgesThe Resistible Rise of Arturo UiBlack SnowWaiting for Godot (National Theatre); The Seagull (Royal Court/Broadway); Trelawny of The Wells (Donmar Warehouse); Otherwise EngagedChekhov’s Women (West End); The Spanish TragedyMuch Ado About NothingBarbariansA Clockwork OrangeHamlet (RSC); In The Republic of HappinessIn BasildonFace to the WallNot A Game for Boys (Royal Court); The Caretaker (Globe Theatre Warsaw); Edward IIMouth to Mouth (Royal Exchange, Manchester); Dearly BelovedGrace (Hampstead Theatre); A State of AffairsOthelloCommediaProgress (Lyric Hammersmith); Julius Caesar (Riverside Studios); A Passion in Six DaysA Midsummer Night’s DreamThe Nest (Sheffield Crucible); King LearThe Three Sisters (Birmingham Rep); Hard To Get (Traverse Edinburgh).

His television work includes: Vanity Fair, Brief Encounters, I Want My Wife BackOur ZooThe MimicThe ParadiseHit and MissPublic EnemiesTitanicMoneyMonday MondayBoy Meets Girl10 Days to WarParty AnimalsEastendersPersuasionFantabulosa!Early DoorsRoom at the TopThe Security Men, and Uncle Adolf.  Film includes: The Program, Mr Turner, King of Soho, Brakes, Only You, Kon-Tiki, Hard Boiled Sweets, Clone, Atonement, Hot Fuzz, Lassie, Babel, Pride and Prejudice, The Statement, Lucky Break, Shiner and with Mike Leigh, Another Year, Mr Turner, Vera Drake, Naked, Secrets & Lies and Meantime.

TOM VAUGHAN-LAWLOR trained at RADA. His theatre credits include:  The Plough and the StarsJuno and the Paycock, Translation (National Theatre); Howie the Rookie (Barbican London/BAM NY); Our Few and Evil DaysThe Rivals, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Three SistersSaved, The School for ScandalThe Playboy of the Western World (Abbey Theatre); 55 Days (Hampstead Theatre); All My Sons (West End); Molly Sweeney (Curve Leicester); Philadelphia, Here I Come! (Gaiety Theatre, Dublin); The Lady from the Sea (Birmingham Rep); Henry V (Royal Exchange Manchester); The Field (Tricycle Theatre) and The Lime Tree Bower (Young Vic).

His television work has included:  The Secret Agent, Trial of the Century, Charlie, Love / Hate, and Peaky Blinders. Film includes: Avengers: Infinity War, The Cured, MazeDaphneThe InfiltratorThe Secret ScriptureBecoming Jane, and A Tiger’s Tale.

He has won multiple awards, including: Irish Times Best Actor Award for Howie the Rookie; Irish Times Best Actor Award for The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui; Ian Charleson commendation forHenry V and the Irish Film and Television Best Actor Award for Love / Hate.

The production will be designed by the Quay Brothers, with lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker, music by Stephen Warbeck and casting by Amy Ball.


Sonia Friedman Productions in association with Rupert Gavin, Tulchin Bartner Productions, 1001 Nights Productions, Scott M. Delman present
Directed by Ian Rickson
Design – Quay Brothers
Lighting – Hugh Vanstone
Sound – Simon Baker
Music – Stephen Warbeck
Casting – Amy Ball

Harold Pinter Theatre
Panton Street, SW1Y4DN

First performance: Tuesday 9th January 2018
Final performance: Saturday 14th April 2018
Opening Night: Thursday 18th January 2018

Performance schedule: Monday – Saturday 7.30pm, Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm.

Captioned Performance – Tuesday 27 February, 7.30pm

Audio Described – Tuesday 6th March, 7.30pm

Twitter: @BdayPartyLDN
Facebook: @BdayPartyLDN
Instagram: @BdayPartyLDN

BOX OFFICE: 0844 871 7622 Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge
Groups Bookings: 020 7206 1174 Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge
Access Bookings: 0800 912 6971 Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge
Customer Service: 0844 871 7627

Reduced price tickets for Preview performances
Over 20,000 tickets at 30 or under
Tickets from just £15/ £10 in Previews
Premium tickets are available

Croydon’s professional pantomime JACK AND THE BEANSTALK announces ‘relaxed performance’ on Thursday 14th December 2017





Croydon’s family pantomime, JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, will host a ‘relaxed performance’ on Thursday 14th December at 2.00pm. The show, which runs at the Waddon Theatre at Waddon Leisure Centre from 7th – 31st December 2017, stars television favourites Jonny Awsum and Paisley Billings.


Relaxed performances are open to everyone, but the environment has been specifically adapted for families with children with an Autistic Spectrum Condition, individuals with sensory and communication disorders, those with learning disabilities and anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed environment.

This performance of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK will be adapted in a variety of ways in order to reduce anxiety, to ensure a safe and enjoyable live theatre experience and to make it as accessible as possible to all. There is a relaxed attitude to noise, the lights in the auditorium remain on low throughout the show, sudden loud noises are softened and audience members are free to leave and re-enter the auditorium at any point. There will be staff on hand to assist with seating and access around the theatre.

Croydon’s very own comedian Jonny Awsum (Britain’s Got Talent live semi-finalist), who plays Jack’s hapless and unlucky-in-love brother, Billy Trott, said: “I am very much looking forward to welcoming our audience to the relaxed performance. Whilst we’ll be adapting the show to be more ‘relaxed’, there will definitely still be bucket-loads of comedy, fun, songs, glitz and glamour…and no doubt a fair bit of gunge and mess where my character Billy is involved!”

The Waddon Theatre at Waddon Leisure Centre will be converted into a 400-seat theatre space throughout December, offering wonderful family entertainment that all ages can enjoy together.  The theatre has a brand new seating plan which ensures every seat in the house has the best view possible.

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK runs from Thursday 7th – Sunday 31st December 2017 (times vary, check website). Tickets, priced at £16.50 (children/senior citizens), £18.50 (adults), £66.50 (family ticket – 2 children, 2 adults) are on sale from

Tickets for Schools and Clubs (min. 10 people), are £12 per head, and every 11th ticket is free. There is a free interval ice cream for every child in the group booking.  Call the groups hotline: 01494 917519 by 10th November for this special groups rate.

For all the latest news about JACK AND THE BEANSTALK visit  and follow @TheCroydonPanto on Twitter and @CroydonPanto on Facebook

Romantics Anonymous Review

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse 20 October – 6 January.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick


Emma Rice’s final season at the Globe opens in glorious style with Romantics Anonymous. I must admit, I was thinking 4 stars before I even saw the show – 3 of my favourite things: a musical, chocolate, the box of delights that is the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse – what’s not to love?

Based on the 2010 film Les Émotifs Anonymes, the musical tells the story of Angélique, a chronically shy but gifted chocolatier, and Jean-René, the timid owner of a chocolate factory, whose father has ingrained in him the danger of taking even the slightest risk. The only obstacles between their love are their own insecurities and phobias, a fact recognised by most of the characters on stage who act as eternally frustrated narrators to the stop-start courtship.

As you enter the playhouse, cast members dressed in caricature French outfits hand out chocolate ready for a moment of magic, but the magic isn’t fleeting, the spell this show casts over the audience is long-lasting. The groans from the audience as the pair of lovebirds muck it up each time show just how easy it is to be swept away by this enchanting story.

The playhouse isn’t lit by candles for this production, instead, Neon signs light up with a knowing look from the cast to show instant location changes. Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond’s music is evocative of French cafés, with whimsical lyrics that perfectly match Emma Rice’s laugh out loud book. Etta Murfitt’s choreography is inspired, feeling at one with the lyrics, especially in the leadup to the bedroom scene.

Angélique talks about the bitterness of chocolate making it so wonderful, and it is the archness of the script and the bittersweet helpless self-knowledge of the lovelorn couple that give this musical that extra special something, steering well away from being too sweet and sickly. Jean-René listening to his motivational self-help tape (voiced by the fantastic Lauren Samuels) and Angélique’s encounters at the Les Émotifs Anonymes support group sessions are hysterical, with the latter peopled by a motley crew of misfits guaranteed to make you laugh without even opening their mouths.

Carly Bawden and Dominic Marsh are delightful as Angélique and Jean-René, with Bawden lighting up the stage as her demeanour visibly changes whenever she is creating chocolate. Marsh has the bumbling English/Frenchman act honed to perfection, with some fantastic physical comedy thrown in. Joanna Riding plays the mother figures in the story with her usual sublime style, and Gareth Snook brilliantly chews what little scenery there is in his multiple roles. Marc Antolin, Philip Cox, Joe Evans and Natasha Jayetileke complete the superb cast, at the top of their musical comedy game.

The final song is called Dancing on Air, and that is exactly how you will leave after seeing this enchanting new musical – you’ll want to come back for a second helping of this deliciously romantic confection.

November at the Majestic – Darlington

With November upon us we look forward to Christmas at the Majestic but we have a few shows to go before we launch our spectacular pantomime

To start with, we have the last show in our Macabre Majestic – Theatre of Horror season

Wednesday 1 November

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

A thrilling adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s dark psychological fantasy, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde immerses you in the myth and mystery of 19th century London’s fog-bound streets where love, betrayal and murder lurk at every chilling twist and turn. Gripping, stylish and thought-provoking, this is unmissable theatre. Go on…treat your dark side!

For age 11+

Show starts at 19.30

Tickets priced from £14.30

We then have two performances of a wonderful show for children

Thursday 16 November

The Hunting of the Snark

A riotous ragtag gang of bold adventurers including the Banker, the Boy, the Butcher, the Baker, the Bellman and the knitting Beaver set off on a quest to catch the mythical Snark… on the journey they encounter the Jub Jub bird, the sly Bandersnatch and the dastardly Boojum… Can a Snark be caught with soap?  Will the Beaver escape the hungry Butcher’s clutches? Will the Baker remember his name?  Does anyone know what a Snark actually looks like?

Side-splittingly funny, joyful, fast-paced and bursting with an award-winning soundtrack of witty and memorable songs, The Hunting of the Snark will delight, excite and entertain

Shows at 14.00 and 17.00

Tickets priced from £13.20

And don’t forget every Monday we have

Stage One

Darlington’s Monday Pre Drinks Party

Open from 18.00

– £1 shots

– £2 doubles

– £2.50 cocktails

– 2 for £5 on lagers

– 2 for £7 on ciders

Come along and enjoy the party

Contact the Majestic at

Majestic Theatre




Tel: 01325 633255

On The Piste Review

Jack Studio Theatre 24 October – 11 November.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick


Two British couples are forced into unlikely friendship on their skiing holiday in Chamonix. Bev and Dave have only been together for a few months, and this is their first holiday together, while Alison and Chris have been living together for over a decade. At first, Alison and Chris think the other pair are dodgy, while Bev and Dave think the older couple are snobs. John Godber’s cracking comedy charts the unravelling of the two relationships as physical injury, alcohol and the presence of sexy ski instructor Tony take their toll.

Amongst the funny lines there is room for a lot of physical comedy, which director Andrew Agnew fits into the tiny space brilliantly. The first ski lesson is a hoot from start to finish, with most of the novice skiers struggling even to snap their boots into the skis, and Tony telling the group to be very sexy in ze body as they snowplough along. The cast’s wincing walk on the second morning of their holiday is instantly recognisable to any unfit skiers. The simple set and props are moved around between scenes to create new locations, with the cable car scene being a standout – very little dialogue, but lots of hysterical characterisation from the cast.

The most immediately striking characters are Tony (Robbie Smith) who tries his Gallic smarm on the audience before the skiers arrive, and Bev (Ceris Hine) who wouldn’t be out of place in Victoria Wood’s Dinnerladies. The other characters reveal themselves more slowly, but are worth the wait.

Smith just about keeps the egotistical Tony likeable until his confrontation with Chris, and doesn’t overdo the stereotype. Hine is hysterical as Bev, with a voice that could shear ice and a little girl act that she wheels out whenever she wants her own way. But you can’t help but warm to Bev, as her open and honest reactions to what happens around her keep you giggling as things turn dark. Her physical comedy is fantastic, and not many people could carry off that sunburn and bandages so effortlessly. James Murfitt as Dave is bubbling with frustration at Bev, and again has fantastic physical reactions to what goes on – and that sauna scene! Ellie Jackson’s Alison is the least likeable character at first, but as the play continues, the reasons behind her attitude to Chris become clearer, and she wins the audience’s sympathy in a finely judged performance. Andrew Agnew keeps Chris enigmatic beneath the cheery everyman persona, and when he finally lets rip it comes as quite a shock.

This is bittersweet situational comedy rather than cutting edge, so might not please everybody – but if you’re looking for an evening of belly laughs, you need to go On The Piste.

Festival of Little Greats Review

Hull New Theatre – 26 October 2017 and on tour around the UK.  Reviewed by Michelle Richardson


Following its £16m refurbishment, in fact almost completely rebuilt, Hull New Theatre is hosting Opera North’s festival of short operas. After more than a decade, Opera North returns to Hull New Theatre with a festival of The Little Greats. The Leeds company are presenting five brand new productions in innovative double bills and a family-friendly matinee. We were there on the first night to see Pagliacci and Cavalleria Rusticana.



We start with Pagliacci and are introduced to the production by Richard Buckhard (Tonio), singing in English with a picture of the ensemble as a backdrop, before the curtain goes up. It is then set in a modern rehearsal room, where we see the first day of rehearsals, culminating in the final run-through. Fascinating idea of having a production within a production, with all the main protagonists involved. Using the production as a backdrop, we get to see the complicated relationship between husband, Canio (Peter Auty), wife, Nedda (Elin Pritchard), lover, Silvio (Phillip Rhodes) and would be suitor, Tonio. This worked really well and added to the tense build up to the shockingly brutal conclusion, as is befitting of a tragedy that opera is famed for.

Auty gave a powerful and emotional performance with his wonderful portrayal of the controlling but ultimately betrayed husband. We see his character’s psychological deterioration leading to increasing anger and eventual psychotic rage. A seedy Buckhard was convincing with his spurned advances leading to malevolence. His sinister appearance towards the end of the production, completed simply with face paint, reflected Tonio’s simmering bitterness at rejection. Pritchard played her part wonderfully, provocative, sultry and seductive, with a stunning vocal performance to match. Rhodes is understated as the lover and had a lusciously seductive base line. Stuart Laing stood in as the understudy for Pepper and unfortunately his voice just wasn’t powerful enough, at times being drowned out by the orchestra and other cast members.

Cavalleria Rusticana


With a 1970’s drab, stark set, this is a story of love, portrayal, recompense and finally, accepted retribution.

The initial introduction of the characters and plot line a was a little unclear and confusing, almost like a basic prologue presuming audience’s prior knowledge. I certainly felt it took some time to be drawn into the production. However, as the piece developed I finally found myself being drawn in and becoming mesmerized by the subdued staging, which included a tiny Fiat car, powerful religious symbolism and repressed tone of the ensembles singing.

The story unfolds with increasingly powerful performances by the lead cast members. Santuzza (Giselle Allen) is seduced by Turiddu (Jonathan Stoughton), who is having an affair with Lola (Katie Bray), who is married to Alfio (Phillip Rhodes). Moments of pathos are interspersed with periods of revulsion and betrayal, but with occasional unexpected periods of humour.

The brutal finality of the finishing scene made my heart pound especially because of Turridu acceptance of his fate as recompense for his past behaviour.

After a simmering start Allen gives such a powerful portrayal of a devoutly religious girl, used and betrayed, that it is heart wrenching. Certainly the stand out performer, what a voice! Bray’s character was at times strong and seductive, but at others vulnerable and delicate, lost in her marriage. She gave a lovely vocal performance but a little weak at times. Rhodes took us on an emotional rollercoaster and I was amused that he would continue to clean his car after hearing of his wife’s infidelity. Stroughton gave a strong vocal performance but at times I wasn’t sure if he was brooding, supposed to demonstrate sexual energy or was just plain moody.

The choreography and vocals, often to be heard from behind the scenes, maintained the mood and tension of this piece.

Both operas were greatly supported by the ensemble cast. Tobias Ringborg and the orchestra were absolutely fantastic, capturing the intricate plot line of both operas

The operas are sung in Italian with translation given on two screens to the side. This was done inconsistently at times and the position was too far peripherally making it a dizzying experience, and also distracting away from the performances on the stage.

This was my very first outing to an opera, or in this case operas, and hopefully not my last. These short operas are ideal to give novices like me a taste of what opera is all about. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised about how affordable the tickets are. Go on give it a go, you can’t afford not to!


Warwick Davis announces EUGENIUS at THE OTHER PALACE






After a successful debut concert performance at the London Palladium last year, Warwick Davis and Kevin Wood are delighted to announce the full-scale production of the British cult musical “EUGENIUS!” at The Other Palace from 22 January until the 3 March 2018.

Written by Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins, “EUGENIUS!”  tells  the story of Eugene, a teenage boy whose nightly dreams of a distant world of heroes and villains may just be the ticket to him creating his very own comic book movie in Hollywood.  Joined by his best friends ‘Janey’ and ‘Feris’, our comic writing genius must discover the true meaning of growing up, finding the superhero within, saving the world from both earthbound villains and possibly those from distant galaxies, and along the way, falling in love.

The production is produced by legendary “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” actor Warwick Davis and features the voice of Prince Vultan himself, Brian Blessed. Warwick said,  “We are thrilled to be bringing an original British musical  to The Other Palace. After a tremendous concert performance at the London Palladium last summer we can’t wait to see the fully staged production. Ben and Chris have written this incredible 80’s inspired score and includes the songs ‘Go Eugenius’ and ‘Comic Book Kind of Love’, which recieved popular acclaim last year’.


The book, music and lyrics for ‘EUGENIUS!’ are written by Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins. Award winning Ian Talbot will direct. Ian was previously the Artistic Director at the Regents Park Open Air Theatre for 20 years, for which he received an OBE. He has directed ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ and ‘Lend Me A Tenor’. The creative team is completed by Aaron Renfree who will choreograph, sound design by Gareth Owen, lighting by Andrew Ellis, musical supervision by Stuart Morley and musical direction by Darren Lord. Set and costume design will be by Hannah Wolfe and the show’s design features specially commissioned comic book artwork by Marvel artist, Simon Williams (Transformers, Spider Man, Marvel Heroes, The lncredible Hulk).


Music from ‘EUGENIUS!’ will be released from today and is available on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play, YouTube and all other music services.


The Other Palace opened in February 2017 as a home for musical theatre. Discovering, developing and reimagining musicals is at the heart of what The Other Palace is about. The spaces are used to nurture the next generation of musicals, and the creatives behind them; celebrating the very best of the art form, from the established to the brand new.


EUGENIUS! THE MUSICAL – Monday 22 January – Saturday 3 March 2018

Box Office 020 7087 7900

Twitter @eugeniusuk

Facebook and Instagram @eugeniusthemusical




12 Palace Street, Westminster, London, SW1E 5JA


Monday 22 January                7.30pm

Tuesday 23 January                 7.30pm

Wednesday 24 January           7.30pm

Thursday 25 January                7.30pm

Friday 26 January                    7.30pm

Saturday 27 January               2.30pm & 7.30pm

Monday 29 January                7.30pm

Gala night

Tuesday 30 January                7pm


From 31 January – 3 March

Performance times      Monday – Saturday 7.30pm

                                    Saturday 2.30pm & 7.30pm