The Black Eye Club

The Bread & Roses Theatre – until 18 November.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick


To mark their third anniversary, The Bread & Roses Theatre present the winner of their playwriting award 2017, The Black Eye Club by Phil Charles. This is Charles’ first stage play, having written for TV and film.

Set in a women’s refuge, the three hander is about Zoe, who comes to the refuge regularly to temporarily escape from her husband, who allows Dave, a gay man who’s left his abusive partner, to stay in her room overnight. Security guard Sharon is suspicious of the noise she hears and constantly interrupts the pair as they gradually open up and share the stories of their troubled relationships.

Dave (Christopher Sherwood) is a stereotypical posh repressed bloke, leaving Sherwood little room for anything other than stiff but endearing awkwardness to play with, while Rebecca Pryle as Zoe does her usual fine job of portraying the damage beneath a lairy and flippant exterior. Cathryn Sherman as Sharon just has to look forbidding and inept, but gets to let rip in great style in the final scene.

Billed as a black comedy, The Black Eye Club has some great lines, but many fall flat. The trouble is, it’s not THAT dark. Phil Charles uses Zoe to voice cliched and ignorant responses about gay relationships that are sadly still widely used. Tackling the issue of domestic abuse in a same sex relationship, there is a touching scene where Dave tells Zoe about the police officer’s facetious response to his complaints about his partner, and the lack of help for men in need of beds is also touched upon. That’s my main issue with the play – Charles could have taken things further, exploring Dave’s situation in more depth rather than following the “Odd Couple” route. Don’t get me wrong – the story satisfies as a feel-good story about domestic abuse with an upbeat ending (the gay couple sitting with me thought it was “lovely”) – but with some further work, could possibly become a truly black comedy with an important message.

Vampires Rock: The Ghost Train Review

Grand Opera House York – 2 November 2017. Reviewed by Michelle Richardson


Steve Steinman, writer, director and main character, has revamped this rock musical which played in York this week and is touring the UK right into next year.

This is the first time that I had been to see Vampires Rock but I had heard great things about it. Earlier this year I did go and see Iconic, another one of his shows, and unfortunately, I was disappointed. I was so hoping I would not feel the same about this show, but didn’t hold out much hope. I am so glad to say that my fears were unfounded, this show was fab.

Vampires Rock tells the tale of Baron von Rockula and his vampires taking refuge in an old fairground’s Ghost Train. He is after a new virginial wife after the death of his Pandora and orders his faithful sidekick Bosley (John Evans) to find him one, enter Roxy Honeybox (Hayley Russell). We see her being seduced by the Baron and his band of sexy vampires, whilst being pursued by Van Halensing (nod to the vampire hunter and the famous rockband rolled into one).

The excellent band, The Lost Boys, take us through tracks from Queen, AC/DC, Meat Loaf, Journey, Guns n Roses, Van Halen of course, plus many more. They are on stage the whole time, at different levels, rocking the whole theatre with such skill. When Steinman sings his first Meat Loaf cheers can be heard from the audience, obviously they’ve been here before. Steinman first foray into the entertainment business was as Meat Loaf in Stars in their Eyes, more than 25 years ago.

Both Hayley Russell and Penny Jones give strong vocal performances, including Holding out for a Hero, and Don’t Stop Believin’.

Evans is a perfect sidekick to Steinman, their banter provides such comedy, and it is sure a sight to behold when he strips off to reveal zebra print leggings with blue pvc pants on top.

The plot is a bit pants to be honest, but that is not what this show is all about. It’s about a rock concert, a vampire pantomime rock concert to be more exact. It is full of really cheesy, corny jokes and great interaction with the audience, a lot of it’s behind you, and oh no it isn’t can be heard. By the end of show the whole audience were up singing and dancing, you couldn’t help not to.

A fun, exciting show with a great atmosphere that you can get involved with. As long as you don’t go expecting to see a play, or musical theatre, and love a cheesy, fun rock concert, that doesn’t take itself too seriously you will not be disappointed. I loved it and can’t wait to go again next year.


Kinky Boots Tour


Kinky Boots, the winner of every major Best Musical award, is pleased to announce that it will embark on a UK tour from autumn 2018. The tour will open at Royal & Derngate in Northampton on 19 September 2018, returning to the home of this heart-warming British story, whilst the West End production continues at the Adelphi Theatre.

Royal & Derngate, Northampton (19 September – 6 October 2018) – Public booking opens 2 November 2017
Wolverhampton Grand Theatre (16 – 27 October 2018) – Public booking opens 6 November 2017
Newcastle Theatre Royal (29 October – 10 November 2018) – Public booking opens 10 November 2017
Manchester Opera House (12 November – 1 December 2018) – Public booking opens 10 November 2017
Edinburgh Playhouse (10 December 2018 – 5 January 2019) – Public booking opens 10 November 2017
Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury (14– 26 January 2019) – Public booking opens 27 November 2017
Regent Theatre, Stoke-on Trent (28 January – 9 February 2019) – Public booking opens 10 November 2017
Bristol Hippodrome (25 February – 9 March 2019) – Public booking opens 10 November 2017

Further cities and dates will be announced at a later date.

Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre has become a favourite with UK theatregoers having won three Olivier Awards for Best New Musical, Best Costume Design and Best Actor in a Musical for Matt Henry who played Lola. Kinky Boots also won the London Evening Standard BBC Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical as well as three WhatsOnStage Awards for Best New Musical, Best Actor in a Musical and Best Choreography.

With a book by Broadway legend and four-time Tony® Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage aux Folles), and songs by Grammy® and Tony® winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this joyous musical celebration is about the friendships we discover, and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind.

Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.

With direction and choreography by two-time Tony® Award-winner Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde, Hairspray), Kinky Boots is the winner of every major Best Musical award including three Olivier Awards, three WhatsOnStage Awards as well as six Broadway Tony® Awards.

Composer and Lyricist, Cyndi Lauper said: “It has been a wonderful adventure and a privilege for me, to play a part in creating Kinky Boots. Everyone can relate to this universal story, and I am overwhelmed that people in the UK
have embraced it with open arms. I am thrilled that this fabulous show will be touring the country!”

Book writer, Harvey Fierstein said: “The inspiring story of Kinky Boots will soon complete its full circle journey from Northampton to the silver screen to Broadway and London and now, at last, back home to Northampton as it embarks on a national UK tour. How often does that happen? It’s been an absolute thrill to witness the giant heart of our show raise audiences up out of their seats in clamorous joy night after night in the West End and I am now so glad to experience its homecoming.”

Director and Choreographer, Jerry Mitchell said: “I am delighted to see this big-spirited musical going on tour. Kinky Boots is very close to my heart, and I am really looking forward to taking this British musical all over the UK .”

Kinky Boots is produced by Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig, James L. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Playful Productions, CJ E&M, Jayne Baron Sherman, Just for Laughs Theatricals/Judith Ann Abrams, Yasuhiro Kawana, Jane Bergère, Allan S. Gordon & Adam S. Gordon, Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Lucy and Phil Suarez, Bryan Bantry, Ron Fierstein & Dorsey Regal, Independent Presenters Network, Jim Kierstead/Gregory Rae, BB Group/Christina Papagjika, Brian Smith/Tom & Connie Walsh, Warren Trepp, and Jujamcyn Theaters, in association with Cameron Mackintosh.

Book: Harvey Fierstein
Composer & Lyricist: Cyndi Lauper
Director & Choreographer: Jerry Mitchell
Musical Supervision,
Arranger & Orchestrator: Stephen Oremus
Scenic Design: David Rockwell
Costume Design: Gregg Barnes
Lighting Design: Kenneth Posner
Sound Design: John Shivers
Hair Design: Josh Marquette
Make-up Design: Randy Houston Mercer
Casting for the tour will be announced in due course.

Official UK Tour Website:
Official Facebook:
Official Twitter:

Royal & Derngate, Northampton
19 September – 6 October 2018
Box Office: 01604 624 811

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre
16 – 27 October 2018
Box Office: 01902 429 212

Newcastle Theatre Royal
29 October – 10 November 2018
Box Office: 08448 11 21 21

Manchester Opera House
12 November – 1 December 2018
Box Office: 0844 871 7627

Edinburgh Playhouse
10 December 2018 – 5 January 2019
Box Office: 0844 871 3014

Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
14 – 26 January 2019
Box Office: 01227 787 787

Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent
28 January – 9 February 2019
Box Office: 0844 871 7649

Bristol Hippodrome
25 February – 9 March 2019
Box Office: 0844 871 3012




Ballet British Columbia 13-14 March ‘18

Sherlock Holmes 8-12 May ‘18

Dusty the Musical 17-21 July ‘18

Kinky Boots 29 Oct–10 Nov ‘18

Newcastle Theatre Royal truly is the cultural epicentre of the region, as highlighted by the launch of its Spring/Summer ’18 season today – a theatrical treasure chest of riches featuring breath-taking dance, thought-provoking drama, feel-good musicals and family shows aplenty.


The Grade 1 listed Theatre will be bursting at the seams next year as it welcomes no less than five big musicals, including  Evita (22-26 May), Hairspray (25-30 June), Dusty the Musical (17-21 July),Calendar Girls (18-29 Sep) and Kinky Boots (29 Oct – 10 Nov).

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s hit show Evita returns to Newcastle in May, starring Madalena Alberto (Les Misérables) and Gian Marco Schiaretti (Tarzan). Telling the story of Eva Peron – wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron – Evita follows Eva’s journey from humble beginnings through to extraordinary iconic status and features some of the most famous songs in musical theatre.

Returning for one week only after a sell-out visit in Spring 2016West End and Broadway hit Hairspray lands 25-30 June. Set in 1962, Hairspray tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, who’s on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way onto national TV. This is a feel-good show with the ultimate dance-in-your-seat and singalong soundtrack.


Dusty the Musical (17-21 July) is a landmark new show based on the authorised biography of Dusty Springfield, featuring many of her blazingly soulful pop hits, including I Only Want

to Be with YouSon of a Preacher Man and You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me. With a fiercely funny and emotionally charged script from BAFTA and Olivier nominated writer

Jonathan Harvey, Dusty celebrates the extraordinary and vivacious woman with the iconic voice.

Calendar Girls the Musical (18-29 Sep), by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, is the award winning musical comedy based on the true story of a group of ordinary ladies who achieved something extraordinary. Straight from the West End, this is a glorious new production with an all-star cast.

But perhaps the most anticipated of the season is Kinky Boots (29 Oct – 10 Nov), winner of every major Best Musical award, including the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Musical.  Featuring songs by Grammy and Tony winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper and a book by Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein this dazzling show is a joyous story of Brit grit, taking audiences from the factory floor of Northampton to the catwalks of Milan!


Dance fans will delight in three big names this season, starting with the breathtaking Ballet British Columbia (13-14 Mar).  Making its Theatre Royal debut, Canada’s leading national dance company present an exhilarating evening of dance by three internationally celebrated female choreographers. Recognised for their fresh creativity, this 18-strong company of dancers will astound UK audiences with their unique blend of cool, classical elegance, contemporary flair and extraordinary skill.

Returning in May due to phenomenal demand is international Irish dance sensation Spirit of the Dance (16-19) on its record-breaking 20 year anniversary tour. One of the world’s most successful dance shows, Spirit of the Dance showcases the heart-pounding rhythms of Irish dance as well as sensual Flamenco and red hot salsa.  Not one dancer steps out of line as their thunderous feet perform in this thrilling and explosive production.

Another big name to return this season is Stomp (13-18 Aug), the unstoppable smash-hit but fresher, faster and funnier than ever! Combining dance, comedy and music into a theatrical experience like no other Stomp takes familiar objects like newspapers, bins, plastics bags and even the kitchen sink and uses them to create a universal language of rhythm and movement that’s playful, thrilling and exploding with energy.

For drama lovers we are proud to present one riveting new show and one old favourite.   Sherlock Holmes – The Final Curtain (8-12 May) is a gripping new stage show with an all-star cast including Robert Powell and Liza Goddard in celebration of the world’s greatest detective. Holmes lives in retirement on the South Coast and is concerned in his advancing years he may be an easy target for his enemies. So when a new case presents itself Holmes is determined to kill two birds with one stone – solve the mystery and confront his own demons.

Following its sell-out success in January, the multi award-winning West End smash hit comedy drama The Play that Goes Wrong returns 2-7 July.  The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are putting on a 1920s murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong…does! As the accident prone thesps battle on against all the odds to reach their final curtain call, hilarious results ensue!  Now playing on Broadway and enjoying its 4th year in the West End, the show has secured rave reviews and won a host of celebrity endorsements along the way.

Another comedy treat, back once again to warm the hearts of their loyal fans are the incorrigibly Grumpy Old Women (20 May).  Fed up with flogging their guts out and always having to be in charge, the GOW have put their knobbly old feet up in glorious retirement.  Free at last to practise their extreme colouring-in, ukulele orchestra and novelty fudge-making!  But, with the world in a bigger mess than ever before, they will need to unleash their superpowers as only three old Grumpies know how!  Stars Jenny Eclair, Dillie Keane and Lizzie Roper.

Also sure to be a sell-out is the official world premiere of ITV’s smash hit comedy Benidorm (7-15 Sep), which opens at Newcastle Theatre Royal prior to a major national tour.  Produced by iconic Newcastle born West End producer Michael Harrison (The Bodyguard; Young Frankenstein) the show features everyone’s favourite stars from the Solana Hotel live on stage for the very first time.

Two great new shows for our smaller customers complete the new season – a brand new live stage show from the Youtube sensation Little Baby Bum (10-11 July) invites pre-schoolers to step into the magical and colourful world of Nursery Rhymes, while August sees the return of everyone’s favourite piggy in Peppa Pig’s Adventure (22-23 Aug) where we welcome back Peppa and friends as they embark on a camping trip full of games, laughter and live music!

Tickets for all new shows in the Spring / Summer ‘18 season go on sale to the general public at 9am on Fri 10 November 2017 and can be purchased online at or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge).

Friends of the Theatre Royal can book new season shows online and through the box office from Mon 6 November 2017 and receive discounted tickets as well as other benefits – for more information.

Things I Know to be True Review

York Theatre Royal – until Saturday 4th November.  Reviewed by Michelle Richardson


Things I Know to be True is a new Australian play by Andrew Bovell. Following a successful 2016 Australian and UK tour, Frantic Assembly and State Theatre Company South Australia have now embarked on a 2017 tour, which luckily includes York Theatre Royal.

Things I Know to be True tells the story of the Price family, mother, father, plus four grown up children, and their lives over a year. Though it is set in Australia and the characters are Australian, we can all relate to them and the actors all speak with English accents, which seriously doesn’t matter and does not take away from the play at all.

Father Bob (John McArdie) is a retrenched car factory worker, who seems to spend all his time tending his garden, especially the roses. He is married to Fran (Cate Hamer) a senior nurse, who is certainly the matriarchal figure for the whole family. A close knit family that unravels and is slowly destroyed by revelations from each of the children and from Fran herself.

Our introduction to the play is to see a man in the darkness, standing there barefoot, slowly leaning forward. Several voices, taking turns, speak out from within the darkness. The sound, lighting and striking imagery, though quite simple, is mesmerizing and sets the tone for the whole story.

We then cut to another monologue, this time by the youngest daughter Rosie (Kirsty Oswald) who talks about finding love during a solo world trip, a whirlwind romance with THE ONE, before the ultimate betrayal. During this the other actors are at times utilized in movement/dance with Oswald, in such an effect that it was visually stunning and made the piece feel almost poetic.

One by one Pip (Seline Hisli), Mark (Matthew Barker) and Ben (Arthur Wilson) have their own stories and we get to see how the family cope and the dynamics change. After each of these highly emotional and sometime life changing scenes the family seems to recover only to be hit again by the next, to the last devastating scene.

The staging, lighting and sound, though quite simple, was a great success. Just the way the basic set was moved around was incredible, the simple sliding of tables and chairs effortlessly across the stage, with all the cast acting seamlessly as stage hands.

It is a wonderfully written, acted and beautifully choreographed play. The cast of six stood out in their own way, I could honestly not fault any of them. They all seemed to immerse themselves in their characters absolutely completely. It used humour, emotion, anxiety, tension, shock and also beautiful movement and dance.

Exhaustingly fantastic to watch, the audience laughed and cried. I think we could all recognise something from our own lives in this play which is why it struck a chord so well with the audience, I know it certainly resonated with me.

I cannot emphasize this enough, you MUST catch this wonderful, gripping and powerful play.


Fun in the Newcastle Sun – World Premiere of Benidorm Live! Opens at the Theatre Royal Prior to UK Tour






The official world premiere of Derren Litten’s smash hit ITV comedy BENIDORM is set to bring sunshine and smiles to Newcastle Theatre Royal on Friday 7th September prior to a major national tour. The show will be produced for the stage by Michael Harrison and David Ian.

Litten has written an all new set of Alicante escapades for much-loved cast members as they swap sangria for stotties and head to Newcastle International next year after a quick spruce at the Blow ‘n’ Go.


Benidorm – Live will be the stage debut production of the hugely popular TV show, and on making its transfer, writer Derren Litten said: “I’ve loved ten years of writing my TV show Benidorm but despite a successful writing career I’m first and foremost a performer so have always been secretly frustrated I couldn’t hear the audience’s laughter. This national tour of Benidorm Live will not only make a long lasting dream come true but will also mean I no longer have to stand in strangers gardens listening at their windows at 9 o’clock on cold winter evenings.”


ITV’s smash-hit comedy celebrates a decade of all-inclusive hilarity, having followed the ensemble cast of holiday makers and staff for nine series since it first broadcast in 2007. Season 10 is due to broadcast early 2018. Critically acclaimed, Benidorm has received two National Television Awardsand TV Quick Award and nominations at the British Comedy Awards and BAFTAs.

After leaving school in Hull in the late 1980’s Derren Litten spent a year working as a professional magician while auditioning for drama schools.  He won a place on the 3 year acting course at the prestigious Central School of Speech and Drama where he met fellow student Catherine Tate.  After 10 years of working as an actor Derren was asked by Catherine to write for her newly commissioned TV sketch show, The Catherine Tate Show; in which he also appeared in many of the sketches.  After co-writing and appearing in 2 series and a Christmas Special Derren was given a script commission by legendary comedy producer Geoffrey Perkins, “just write anything you want as long as it’s funny”he said; that show turned out to be ITV’s BAFTA nominated hit comedy Benidorm. Derren’s hobbies include drinking and karaoke, usually in that order. He splits his time equally between homes in London and Spain.

Full casting and tour dates to be announced.







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Benidorm on Stage



7 – 15 September 2018                                                  08448 11 21 21

Theatre Royal, Newcastle                                     







Jeffrey Seller and Cameron Mackintosh today announce a further release of tickets for the first booking period of HAMILTON which will go on sale tomorrow, 3 November 2017, at 12 noon GMT.

The reseating process necessitated by the rescheduling of preview performances is now complete.  As previously announced by the Producers, once the extensive reconstruction of the Victoria Palace Theatre was nearing completion, a further allocation of tickets for the first booking period of HAMILTON was to become available for sale. This further release includes newly created boxes, the remaining reseat tickets and some production seats.  In addition, as well as the previously announced Daily Lottery tickets, new standing tickets will become available, details of which will be announced at a later date.  Additionally, Patrons are advised to check the officialHAMILTON channels for news of late release of seats which may become available at short notice. Full ticketing information can be found on the official website at

HAMILTON will re-open the brand-new Victoria Palace Theatre with previews beginning on 6 December 2017. The official opening night will take place on 21 December 2017.  HAMILTON is currently booking to 30 June 2018, with a new booking period to be announced by the end of this year.

The producers of HAMILTON are working to combat the unauthorised profiteering of third party resellers and ticket touts.  Delfont Mackintosh Theatres has pioneered for the West End a paperless ticket system for this production – HAMILTON Paperless Ticketing, powered by Ticketmaster.

HAMILTON is the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and helped shape the very foundations of the America we know today. The score blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B and Broadway – the story of America then, as told by America now.


HAMILTON has book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, is directed by Thomas Kail, with choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical supervision and orchestrations byAlex Lacamoire and is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton.

Winner of 11 Tony Awards including Best Musical, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, HAMILTON continues its run at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway.  A second US production is also playing at the PrivateBank Theatre in Chicago and a third US production opened in March at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco before transferring to Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles.


HAMILTON is produced in London by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill FurmanThe Public Theater and Cameron Mackintosh.


Dates                                   From 6 December 2017

Currently booking to              now booking to 30 June 2018

Theatre                                Victoria Palace Theatre, Victoria Street, London SW1E 5EA

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

Running time                        2 hours and 45 mins including interval


Social Media                


Spring 2018 at Northern Stage

Spring 2018 at Northern Stage
Tickets from £10, priority booking opens 2 November

The spring 2018 season at Northern Stage features ambitious new productions made in Newcastle, including the UK premiere of Sting’s The Last Ship, alongside new shows from some of the UK’s most exciting and innovative theatre companies. Plus comedy, dance, shows for children and young people and an eclectic programme in the intimate Stage 3 performance space.

A brand new production of Sting’s The Last Ship will open at Northern Stage (12 March – 7 April) before a national tour. Directed by Northern Stage Artistic Director Lorne Campbell and starring Jimmy Nail, Sting’s personal, political and passionate musical comes home to Newcastle in an epic tale of community, hope and a great act of collective defiance.

A Northern Stage production in association with Karl Sydow and Kathryn Schenker, The Last Ship tells the story of a community amid the demise of the shipbuilding industry in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, with the closure of the town’s shipyard. Director Lorne Campbell says, “It is a great pleasure and a privilege to be bringing this new version of The Last Ship to Newcastle. Sting’s score is steeped deep in the traditions of Northumbrian music and this epic story is fundamental to the identity of the people of the North East. This is a story of community, of resilience and how in even the very darkest of moments, hope and possibility remain.”

Northern Stage has expanded its pioneering NORTH programme beyond actor training to include staging and touring a new production, offering four emerging actors from the North East the opportunity to perform professionally with the theatre in Spring 2018. The maiden production will be a new adaptation of H.G.
Wells’ classic sci-fi story of survival, The War of the Worlds (31 Jan – 10 Feb), written by Laura Lindow (Key Change, Open Clasp) with sound design by Mariam Rezaei (A Song for Ella Grey, Northern Stage), and directed by Elayce Ismail, recipient of the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme’s pilot Associate Directorship to prepare directors for artistic leadership.

This vivid and dynamic new production relocates the story to the North East of England, where a band of survivorsconfront a Martian invasion against the  backdrop of 1898 Newcastle. Director Elayce Ismail explains, “Setting the story in the North East has given us a brilliant opportunity to reveal the secrets of this area and delve into its rich and evocative past. We’re really excited to be bringing this part of the world to life on stage for our audiences.”

Following on from the success of David Almond’s A Song for Ella Grey in which more than 50 young people worked with the creative team to create a virtual Greek chorus, Northern Stage Young Company presents Where Do We Stand (25-28 April). Collectively written by a team of professional writers, and co-produced and co-authored by young people from across North East England, Where Do We Stand will combine spoken word, live music, physical and virtual landscapes to tell stories of what it is to live, work and dream in Newcastle in 2018. Led by Associate Director Louie Ingham, and thanks to funding awarded by the Clothworkers Foundation in 2016, Northern Stage has expanded Young Company to give more 16-21 year olds from disadvantaged communities open access to a diverse and innovative programme offering new opportunities to explore key roles and areas of theatre making through practical workshops in Theatre Design, Composition, Directing, Production and Stage Management.

Offbeat romantic comedy Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune (21 May – 2 June) will be directed by Northern Stage Associate Director Mark Calvert (James & the Giant Peach, Northern Stage). Written by American playwright Terrence McNally who also wrote the screenplay for the hit 1991 film starring Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer, the play started life off-Broadway in 1987 and is an intimate look at the first fragile moments of risking your heart and taking a chance. Casting to be announced early 2018.

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) will bring its acclaimed production of Hamlet to Northern Stage (20- 24 February). Originally seen in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2016, Hamlet will tour the UK before transferring to London’s Hackney Empire in March. Directed by Simon Godwin, the production will see RSC Associate Artist Paapa Essiedu reprise his award-winning performance in the title role as one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragic heroes. Paapa Essiedu won Best Performance in a Play at the UK Theatre Awards in 2016 for his role as
Hamlet. Other RSC credits include Edmund in King Lear, Fenton in The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Mouse and his Child. Additional theatre credits include King Lear (National Theatre) and Romeo and Juliet (Tobacco Factory) and he played Demetrius in Russell T Davies’ adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for BBC1 (2016).

Complicité present a reimagined version of A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer (7-10 February), a collaboration with performance artist Bryony Kimmings. Known for her unique take on taboo topics – from her sexual health (Sex Idiot), to her boyfriend’s depression (Fake It ’Til You Make It), Kimmings’ acclaimed collaboration with Complicité blows everything you think you know about cancer out of the water. Originally a co-production with the National Theatre in association with HOME Manchester, Kirsty Housley, Co-Director
of The Encounter and long-term Complicité collaborator will direct, with writer Bryony Kimmings leading the company in this reworked production touring the UK before heading to Australia.

Black Men Walking (15-17 February) by writer and award-winning beat boxer Testament is the first national tour born from Revolution Mix – a three year movement to create and produce an ambitious body of work telling Black British stories. An Eclipse Theatre Company and Royal Exchange Theatre co-production, Dawn Walton will direct this story of a black men’s walking group in Sheffield.

Third Angel and Northern Stage present The Department of Distractions (2-10 February), a consipiracy theory documentary for the 21st century. Pilot Theatre and York Theatre Royal are co-producing a new adaption of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock (1-5 May) by acclaimed writer Bryony Lavery. LIFT present Lola
Arias’ Minefield (22-24 March) – a collaboratively created work with Falklands/Malvinas war veterans merging theatre and film. Javaad Alipoor brings The Believers Are But Brothers (14-16 June); this Fringe First award winning multi-media show exploring an online world of fantasy, gaming and extremism was a huge hit in the Northern Stage at Summerhall programme at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe. And Phoenix Dance Company celebrate the 70th anniversary of SS Empire Windrush’s arrival bringing the first Caribbean migrants to the UK with Windrush: Movement of the People (9-10 May).

For families and young people, Theatre Alibi’s The Boy Who Climbed into the Moon (6-7 April) features live music and puppetry to tell a fantastical story for 6-11 year olds from the novel by award-winning writer David Almond; Highly Sprung present Fall Out (13-14 March) – a high-energy physical theatre performance set in a nightclub for young people age 14+; Showstopper! (17 February) offer an afternoon family show of their must-see improvised musical; The Owl & the Pussycat (13-17 February) from Kitchen Zoo uses puppets and live music to bring to life an unexpected ted telling of Edward Lear’s classic tale for 3-7 year olds; and on the first Saturday of every month The Storyteller Chris Bostock shares stories from all over the world with children aged 5-8 and their grown-ups.

Comedy, live music and spoken word includes Sophie Willan: Branded (15 March) – fresh from a sell to run at the Edinburgh Fringe Branded; Ruby Wax: Frazzled (20-21 April); Newcastle Poetry Festival (3-5 May); and Sunderland’s Mercury Prize Award-nominated Field Music launch their sixth album Open Here (2-3 February) with three specially staged shows at Northern Stage.

The Stage 3 programme will feature an eclectic mix of theatre, music, comedy, spoken word, poetry and scratch nights which will be announced later in the year.

Tickets for most shows start at £10 and will go on sale to members on 2 November and on general sale on 9 November. For full details or to book tickets see or call the box office on 0191 230 5151

Barry Humphries’ Weimar Cabaret featuring Meow Meow comes to the Barbican in 2018










Barry Humphries’ critically acclaimed Weimar Cabaret returns to London in 2018 for a strictly limited season of 22 performances from 11- 29 July 2018 at the Barbican CentreLondon. Starring alongside Barry is renowned artist Meow Meow accompanied by Aurora Orchestra, led by Satu Vänskä.

Last seen in London in July 2016 for a brief run at Cadogan Hall before performances at the Edinburgh International Festival, Weimar Cabaret is a celebration of Humphries’ lifelong passion and fascination with the music of the Weimar Republic, the German state that existed in the inter-war period between Germany’s defeat in World War I in 1918 and Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. This period of political, economic and social change gave rise to a cultural explosion of ideas across music, art, drama and literature with many Jewish artists central to this new artistic movement.

Since discovering a collection of sheet music of composers banned by the Third Reich, including Erich KorngoldKurt Weill and Ernst Krenek in a Melbourne book shop as a teenager in the 1940’s, Humphries has been fascinated with the period’s cultural experimentalism, defiance and unique mix of classical music and jazz.

On stage Barry Humphries narrates in his own inimitable style his very personal journey and obsession with the music of this artistically fertile and experimental period of history. He is joined by the internationally acclaimed performer Meow Meow who brings to life some of the iconic musical numbers of the period by some of its leading composers including Kurt WeillErnst KrenekErwin SchulhoffErnst Toch and Mischa Spoliansky.

Global star and legendary entertainer, Barry Humphries is perhaps best known for his on stage and television alter-egos Dame Edna Everage, Australian cultural attaché the Honourable Sir Les Patterson and Sandy Stone.  Humphries’ characters have brought him international acclaim, and he has appeared in numerous films, stage productions, and television shows.  He is also a film producer and script writer, a star of London’s West End musical theatre, an award-winning writer, actor, satirist, artist, and author.

Australian artist Meow Meow specialises in the Weimar repertoire. She is also a prolific music and theatre creator. Her award-winning solo works have been curated by David Bowie, Pina Bausch, and Mikhail Baryshnikov and numerous international arts festivals. She recently appeared as Titania in Emma Rice’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream season at Shakespeare’s Globe. She has performed with the Berlin Philharmonic with Pink Martini, and Brighton Festival with Souvenir – a fantastical song cycle written with composers Jherek Bischoff and August Von Trapp. She recently performed at the Edinburgh International Festival with her showMeow Meow’s Little Mermaid. 4 December sees her perform Meow’s Pandemonium with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Royal Festival Hall, and 20 – 31 December Shakespeare’s Globe presentsApocalypse Meow: Crisis is Born at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Aurora Orchestra is a British chamber orchestra, co-founded in 2004 by conductors Nicholas Collon and Robin Ticciati. Comprising of some of the finest British instrumentalists, Aurora has embraced an entrepreneurial and risk-taking approach to concert presentation, overturning expectations as to what an orchestra should and can do on the concert platform. Resident Orchestra at King’s Place since 2009, Aurora was resident orchestra at LSO St Luke’s from 2010-2015 and in 2016 became resident orchestra at Southbank Centre. Aurora performs regularly at Wigmore Hall, the Barbican and at the Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House. It has also performed at the last eight BBC Proms seasons at the Royal Albert Hall.

Barry Humphries’ Weimar Cabaret is produced by Fiery Angel.

SOME MOTHERS DO ‘AVE ‘EM Full Cast & Extra Dates





Due to popular demand, further dates have been added to the UK tour of the first ever stage production of the classic 1970s TV comedy Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em.

The newly announced 2018 dates are Richmond Theatre (5 – 10 March), Royal & Derngate, Northampton (30 April – 5 May), The Hawth, Crawley (21 – 26 May), Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells (28 May – 2 June), Theatre Royal Plymouth (4 – 9 June), Ipswich Regent Theatre (11 – 16 June), Harrogate Theatre (18 – 23 June), Darlington Hippodrome (2 – 7 July), Norwich Theatre Royal (9 – 14 July), Curve, Leicester (16 – 21 July) and Palace Theatre, Southend (23 – 28 July).

The producers are also delighted to announce the casting of Moray Treadwell as Mr Luscombe/Mr Worthington, David Shaw-Parker as Father O’Hara and Chris Keily as Desmond/Constable. They join the previously announced Joe Pasquale as the loveable but accident-prone Frank Spencer, Sarah Earnshaw as his long-suffering wife Betty and Susie Blake as his disapproving mother-in-law, Mrs Fisher.

Moray Treadwell most recently appeared in the national tour of Hysteria for London Classic Theatre Company. His other theatre credits include The Railway Children (King’s Cross Theatre), The Beatles LOVE Show (Cirque Du Soleil, Las Vegas), Waiting For Godot (Italian tour), The Importance of Being Earnest (Vienna’s English Theatre) and The Ruling Class (Frankfurt’s English Theatre).


David Shaw-Parker began his career at the Royal Shakespeare Company, appearing in over 25 productions for them.  His many other theatre credits include Leo Fairchild in Lady in The Van (Bath Theatre Royal), John Hitchcock in McQueen (St. James Theatre), Trevor Nunn’s productions of  My Fair Lady (National Theatre and Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Acorn Antiques (West End), and Lucy Bailey’s production of Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare’s Globe).

Chris Keily’s most recent theatre credits include Artie Goldberg in Yank! (Charing Cross Theatre and Hope Mill Theatre), Louis Harvey in The Lady Killers (Theatre Royal Windsor), Artie in Sunset Boulevard (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre) and Freddy in Pygmalion (Theatre Royal Windsor).

The UK Tour of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em will open at the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon on Wednesday 21 February 2018.  

The stage adaptation has been written by Guy Unsworth, based on the original TV series by Raymond Allen.  Guy Unsworth will also be directing, with design by Simon Higlett.

The UK Tour will be produced by Limelight Productions.



Twitter: @somemothersuk



21 – 24 February                       Wyvern Theatre, Swindon                               01793 524 481



27 February – 3 March               Opera House, Buxton                                       01298 72190



5 – 10 March                             Richmond Theatre                                            0844 871 7651  



12 – 17 March                           Churchill Theatre, Bromley                              020 3285 6000                                                                                                                                 


19 – 24 March                           New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth                       023 9264 9000



2 – 7 April                                 Lyceum Theatre, Crewe                                    01270 368 242



9 – 14 April                               His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen                      01224 641122


16 – 21 April                             Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne 01323 412000   



30 April – 5 May                        Royal & Derngate, Northampton                      01604 624811                                                                                                                                      On sale 30 November


8 – 12 May                               Orchard Theatre, Dartford                                 01322 220000



15 – 19 May                             Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton                        01902 429 212


21 – 26 May                             The Hawth, Crawley                                           01293 553636

 28 May – 2 June                     Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells         01892 530613                        

 4 – 9 June                              Theatre Royal Plymouth                                     01752 267222

11 – 16 June                            Ipswich Regent Theatre                                     01473 433100

18 – 23 June                             Harrogate Theatre                                             01423 502116

 25 – 30 June                            New Theatre, Hull                                             01482 300 306

2 – 7 July                                 Darlington Hippodrome                                    01325 405405                       On sale 20 November

9 – 14 July                                Norwich Theatre Royal                                     01603 630000                           On sale mid-November


16 – 21 July                              Curve, Leicester                                               0116 242 3595

                                                                             On sale 17 November


23 – 28 July                              Palace Theatre, Southend                                01702 351135