Tartuffe Review

Theatre Royal Haymarket, London – until 28 July 2018

Reviewed by Sharon MacDonald-Armitage


There has clearly been a switch of genre with Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of Moliere’s Tartuffe as it is a struggle to find anything comedic about it. Considering this play is regarded as a shining example of classic French comedy, one that was controversial in its day, this satirical play was lost somewhere in Hampton’s adaptation and Gerald Garutti’s direction.

Set in current day Los Angeles, Oregon (Sebastian Roche), a French billionaire, invites religious evangelist Tartuffe (Paul Anderson) into his household and allows him to infect his home with his manipulation and duplicity. The deceitful betrayal is lost, as Anderson’s Tartuffe is far too louche and laid back in a hippy way to be taken as a real threat.  Despite warnings from his family Oregon refuses to believe in the destructive nature of Tartuffe, whom Oregon has offered his daughter’s hand in marriage, and only his wife Elmire (Audrey Fleurot) manages to manipulate him and show him up for the ‘devil’ he is. Fleuret is statuesque in her stage presence and is a shining light amongst the cast.

The set which appears interesting and surreal on first viewing – a lit Perspex box ‘floating’ inside another box – but turns out to be of little value to the production. It creaks its way up and down stage like an old barn door and is probably of more comedic value than the production itself.

The switching between French and English does not add to the production, in fact it is distracting as there is no logic as to what actor speaks in what language and when. Anderson adopts a distinct Southern American drawl which appears to reflect his Bible Belt American Evangelist stance and perhaps isolates him somewhat amongst the French speakers; if that is the case it also appears to isolate the audience.

However, there is also a clear feeling that the audience seem somewhat bemused and disengaged. Laughter is thin on the ground, other than a few random raucous roars dotted from around the auditorium and the odd embarrassed titter here and there. All the opportunities to laugh at Moliere’s writing have been beaten out of this production. There should be an opportunity for some dark comedy, alas, this is not optimised. Also, how long can these Donald Trump analogies continue to have any effect?   

What a shame that this production comes across as self-indulgent as it makes the whole evening drag.  Not one to recommend.





As rehearsals begin, casting is announced for the world premiere of Nicholas Hytner’s production of Alan Bennett’s Allelujah! at the Bridge Theatre.

The cast comprises Samuel Barnett, Sam Bond, Jacqueline Chan, Jacqueline Clarke, Sacha Dhawan, Rosie Ede, Patricia England, Deborah Findlay, Peter Forbes, Julia Foster, Manish Gandi, Colin Haigh, Richard Hart, Nadine Higgin, Nicola Hughes, Anna Lindup, Louis Mahoney, David Moorst, Jeff Rawle, Cleo Sylvestre, Gwen Taylor, Sue WallaceSimon Williams, Duncan Wisbey and Gary Wood.


Allelujah!, designed by Bob Crowley with choreography Arlene Phillips, lighting by Natasha Chivers and music by George Fenton, runs from 11 July to 28 September 2018, with opening night on 18 July.


The Beth, an old fashioned cradle-to-grave hospital serving a town on the edge of the Pennines, is threatened with closure as part of an NHS efficiency drive. Meanwhile, a documentary crew eager to capture its fight for survival follows the daily struggle to find beds on the Dusty Springfield Geriatric Ward, and the triumphs of the old people’s choir (newest member: the Pudsey Nightingale). 


Allelujah! will be the tenth collaboration between Bennett and Hytner.  They first worked together on Bennett’s adaptation of The Wind in the Willows for the National Theatre in 1990.  Then followed The Madness of King George III, The Lady in the Van and The History Boys, all of which were also seen on film,The Habit of ArtPeople and the double bill Untold Stories.

Alan Bennett is a playwright, screenwriter, actor and author.  Following a hugely successful writing and performing debut in 1960 at the Edinburgh Festival with Beyond The Fringe, his first play Forty Years Onwas produced in 1968.  Bennett is the recipient of numerous awards for his work with Hytner including, forThe History Boys, the Olivier, the Critics’ Circle, the Evening Standard and South Bank Show awards as well as multiple Broadway honours.

Nicholas Hytner is, with Nick Starr, Founding Director of the London Theatre Company.  He was Director of the National Theatre from 2003 to 2015, where the productions he directed included The History Boys,HamletOne Man, Two Guvnors, and Othello. His films include The Madness of George IIIThe Lady in the Van and The History Boys.  His book Balancing Acts was published by Jonathan Cape last year.  Hytner directed Young Marxthe opening production the Bridge, as well as Julius Caesar.




Address:                                        Bridge Theatre, 3 Potters Fields Park, London, SE1 2SG

Box Office:                                   0333 320 0051 or [email protected]

Tickets for Allelujah! are priced from £15 to £65 with reduced prices for previews and midweek matinees. A limited number of premium seats are also available. A special allocation of £15 seats are held for Young Bridge, a free scheme for those under 26.

Access:                                          0333 320 0051 or [email protected]

Website:                                        www.bridgetheatre.co.uk

Twitter:                                         @_bridgetheatre

Instagram:                                     _bridgetheatre

Facebook:                                      facebook.com/bridgetheatrelondon

Miss Saigon: TAM casting opportunity for Alhambra Theatre, Bradford



Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical MISS SAIGON is looking for boys or girls to play the role of ‘Tam’ when the show runs at the Alhambra TheatreBradford from 19 September to 20 October 2018

‘Tam’ is small, cute, confident and South East Asian looking. He is not younger than four and not older than 6. Children must live within a commutable distance of Bradford

For further information and to apply, please email Joanne Hawes on
[email protected] including a small head and shoulders photograph

This new production of MISS SAIGON opened in London in May 2014 to record-breaking advance sales and critical acclaim. Dominic Cavendish in The Daily Telegraph wrote, “This thrilling new production spills out beyond the theatre and speaks directly to the times we live in”. The show swept the board at the 2015 Whatsonstage.com awards winning a record breaking nine awards, the most
awards ever won by a single show in the 15-year history of the awards including: Best West End Show and Best Revival of a Musical.

MISS SAIGON tells the story of young bar girl named Kim, orphaned by war, who falls in love with Chris, an American GI – but their lives are torn apart by the fall of Saigon

MISS SAIGON has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg with lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr. and Alain Boublil, adapted from original French lyrics by Alain Boublil, with additional lyrics by Michael Mahler. The new production is directed by Laurence Connor with musical staging by Bob Avian and additional choreography by Geoffrey Garratt. Production design is by Totie Driver and Matt Kinley based on an original concept by Adrian Vaux; costume design by Andreane Neofitou; lighting design by Bruno Poet; sound design by Mick Potter; and orchestrations by William David Brohn

Since its London premiere in 1989, Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Alain Boublil and ClaudeMichel Schönberg’s epic musical MISS SAIGON has become one of the most successful musicals in history. The original Broadway production of MISS SAIGON opened on April 11, 1991 with what was the largest advance sale in Broadway history and went on to play for nearly ten years and 4,063
performances seen by more than 5.9 million people. MISS SAIGON has been performed in 32 countries, over 360 cities in 15 different languages, has won over 70 awards including 2 Olivier Awards, 3 Tony Awards, and 4 Drama Desk Awards and been seen by over 36 million people worldwide

Miss Saigon – Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
Wednesday 19 September to Saturday 20 October 2018
*Tickets: £64 – £24 (*inclusive of booking fees)
Call the Box Office on 01274 432000 or visit bradford-theatres.co.uk











Alongside the previously announced David Haig, who is reprising his critically acclaimed role as Group Captain James Stagg, Malcolm Sinclair as General Eisenhower and Lauren Rogers as Kay Summersby, Andrew MacBeanBert SeymourDavid KillickMark JaxMark KittoMolly Roberts,Philip CairnsRobert Heard and William Mannering complete the cast of Pressure, ahead of its West End transfer to the Ambassadors Theatre on 6 June.


Based on the remarkable true story of two warring Allied meteorologists tasked with predicting the weather conditions for the D-Day landings, David Haig’s acclaimed play Pressure will transfer to the West End for a limited season from 6 June to 1 September 2018. The transfer follows a celebrated run at Chichester Festival Theatre (5 stars from the Daily Telegraph, Observer & Evening Standard), a national tour (in association with Cambridge Arts Theatre and Touring Consortium Company) and a sold out run at the Park Theatre.


Pressure is directed by John Dove, with design by Colin Richmond, lighting by Tim Mitchell, sound by Philip Pinsky, video by Andrzej Goulding and casting by Lisa Makin.


72 hours prior to the D Day landings, Scottish meteorologist, Group Captain James Stagg, advises General Eisenhower on the weather conditions likely to prevail when 350,000 troops are to be sent across the Channel in Operation Overlord. With Stagg predicting severe storms and Irving P. Krick – Hollywood’s meteorological movie consultant – predicting beautiful weather, the future of Britain, Europe and the United States rests on one single forecast.


Pressure was originally commissioned by the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh as a co-production with Chichester Festival Theatre. The production premiered at the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh in 2014, followed by a run at Chichester Festival Theatre.


Pressure, at the Ambassadors Theatre, is produced by Cambridge Arts Theatre, Jenny King,Jonathan Church Productions and Oliver Mackwood Productions.

Full casting announced for Manchester dates of Matilda The Musical





Having opened to rave reviews at the beginning of this year, the UK and Ireland tour of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda the Musical has announced today that Craige Els will extend his contract and play Miss Trunchbull at Manchester’s Palace Theatre from 18th September to 24th November 2018.

Liverpool born Craige Els played Miss Trunchbull in the West End for three years between 2014 and 2017 before joining the UK and Ireland Tour when it opened in March 2018. He will be joined by the previously announced cast members Carly Thoms (Miss Honey) and Sebastien Torkia (Mr Wormwood), as well as former West End cast-mate Rebecca Thornhill (Mrs Wormwood).

Craige Els said: “I’m really excited to be playing Miss Trunchbull at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, and coming with the show to its first ever run in the North West… the crowds are always great, and my friends and family from Liverpool can come and watch. Plus it’s always a lovely feeling when you’re bringing a show home.”

Winner of over 85 international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, Matilda The Musical will open at Manchester’s Palace Theatre on 18th September for an impressive ten week run before continuing on tour around the country. The West End production continues to play at the Cambridge Theatre, where it is now in its seventh year and is currently booking until October 2019.

Matilda The Musical is written by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, and direction by Matthew Warchus. The production is designed by Rob Howell, with choreography by Peter Darling, orchestrations, additional music and musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker and the special effects and illusions are by Paul Kieve.

The full adult cast for the UK and Ireland tour includes Joe Atkinson, Peter Bindloss, Nina Bell, Oliver Bingham, Emily Bull, Matthew Caputo, Samara Casteallo, Craige Els, Matt Gillett, Michelle Chantelle Hopewell, Sam Lathwood, Steffan Lloyd-Evans, Charlie Martin, Anu Ogunmefun, Carly Thoms, Rebecca Thornhill, Sebastien Torkia, Taylor Walker, Adam Vaughan and Dawn Williams. The children’s cast will be announced in due course.

Craige Els (Miss Trunchbull) has previously appeared on stage in Matilda The Musical (West End and UK & Ireland Tour), and for the National Theatre in Timon of Athens, Antigone and The Cherry Orchar. On screen he has had roles in in Ripper StreetThe Bletchley Circle and Call The Midwife. Further theatre credits include Victoria Wood’s That Day We Sang (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Mamma Mia! (Novello), Oklahoma!(Chichester Festival Theatre), The New Yorkers (Sadler’s Wells), Never Forget (West End and tour) and Spamalot (West End). Craige has also appeared on the big screen in films such as The Imitation Game, Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina and Simon Connelly’s Hamlet.


Carly Thoms (Miss Honey) most recently starred as Natella/Ludvica in The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Greenwich Theatre). Other stage roles include LV in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (The Union Theatre), Miss Dorothy in Thoroughly Modern Millie (Adelphi), the title role in Cinderella (Hackney Empire and De Montfort Hall), Lucy in Ushers (The Charing Cross Theatre) and Liesl in The Sound of Music UK Tour.

Rebecca Thornhill (Mrs Wormwood) is an Olivier Award-nominated actress with an illustrious musical theatre background. Rebecca’s previous stage credits include lead roles in From Here To Eternity (Shaftesbury), Mary Poppins (Prince Edward and USA tour), Chicago (Adelphi), Ragtime (Piccadilly), Witches of Eastwick (Prince of Wales and UK tour), South Pacific (UK tour), Beauty and the Beast (Dominion) and Les Misérables (Palace and Denmark). In addition to her credits in the West End, Rebecca has appeared at the National Theatre in Singin’ in the Rain (for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award) and played Gertie in Trevor Nunn’s production of Oklahoma! opposite Hugh Jackman and Maureen Lipman.


Sebastien Torkia (Mr Wormwood) has a wide range of theatre credits which include the original West End casts of La Cage Aux FollesGuys and DollsSaturday Night Fever, Martin Guerre and Grease. Other roles include Sweeney Todd (West Yorkshire Playhouse and Royal Exchange, Manchester), Ed in The Lion King(Lyceum), A Streetcar Named Desire (Bolton Octogan),Women Beware Women (National Theatre), Eddie Ryan in Funny Girl (Chichester Festival Theatre), Greg Gardner in A Chorus Line (Sheffield Crucible), Maugrim/Giant Rumblebuffin in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Steve in Singin’ in the Rain (national tour), and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella in Japan.

The production will be accompanied by Change My Story, a new nationwide education programme inspired by Matilda The Musical, which is set to engage hundreds of children in the Greater Manchester area. Further details can be found at http://uk.matildathemusical.com/tour/

Inspired by the incomparable Roald Dahl’s beloved book, Matilda The Musical was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and premiered at the RSC’s The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in November 2010, before transferring to London’s West End in October 2011 where it opened to rave reviews. Now in its 7th year, Matilda The Musical is the longest running production at the Cambridge Theatre.

The New York production of Matilda The Musical opened in April 2013 at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre and was celebrated on 10 “Top Ten” lists for 2013, including TIME Magazine’s #1 Show of the Year.

Matilda The Musical has now been seen by more than 8 million people worldwide. Having swept the board at the 2012 Olivier Awards with a record-breaking seven awards, and winning four Tony Awards and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for the four girls sharing the title role on Broadway, Matilda The Musical has now played in over 60 cities and has played more than 5,800 performances worldwide.

After winning a Sydney Theatre Award for Best Musical in 2015, the Australian and New Zealand tour has now played sold-out seasons in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. In July 2016, Matilda The Musical broke further records by winning all 13 Helpmann Awards for which it was nominated. The Australian and New Zealand production concludes its tour on 22 October, where it is playing at the Civic Theatre in Auckland.

Matilda The Musical is produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company with André Ptaszynski and Denise Wood as Executive Producers. The production was developed with the support of Jeanie O’Hare and the RSC Literary Department.




Palace Theatre, Manchester

Tuesday 18 September – Saturday 24 November 2018

Box Office: 0844 871 3019*


* Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.

Mamma Mia set to return to Hull


To coincide with the start of its record breaking sell-out run at Hull New Theatre, the sensational feel-good musical MAMMA MIA! has revealed that it will return to the city from Tuesday 3 – Saturday 21 March, 2020.

MAMMA MIA! is Judy Craymer’s ingenious vision of staging the story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs with an enchanting tale of family and friendship unfolding on a Greek island paradise. To date, it has been seen by more than 60 million people in 50 productions in 16 different languages. When it was released in 2008, MAMMA MIA! The Movie became the highest-grossing live action musical film of all time. A second film, MAMMA MIA! Here We Go Again is currently in production and is due for global release in July 2018.

From West End to global phenomenon, the London production of MAMMA MIA! has now been seen by more than 10% of the entire UK population. It is one of only five musicals to have run for more than 10 years both on Broadway and in the West End, and in 2011, it became the first Western musical ever to be staged in Mandarin in the People’s Republic of China.

With music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, MAMMA MIA! is written by Catherine Johnson, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast. The production is designed by Mark Thompson, with lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Andrew Bruce and Bobby Aitken, and musical supervision, additional material and arrangements by Martin Koch.

MAMMA MIA! is produced by Judy Craymer, Richard East and Björn Ulvaeus for Littlestar in association with Universal and NGM.

Tickets for MAMMA MIA! at Hull New Theatre from 3-21 March, 2020 go on sale to Extra members from 12pm on Wednesday 30 May and from 10am on Thursday 31 May to the general public. Book at the Hull City Hall Box Office, call 01482 300 306 or visit our website www.hulltheatres.co.uk





Sheffield Theatres presents

The Regional Première of


by Caryl Churchill

Director: Caroline Steinbeis; Designer: Max Jones; Lighting Designer: Johanna Town

Sound Designers: Ben and Max Ringham; Casting Director: Anna Cooper CDG; Movement Director: Jenny Ogilvie


Sheffield Theatres Studio

29 June – 14 July 2018

Sheffield Theatres today announces casting for the regional première of Caryl’s Churchill’s, Love and InformationCaroline Steinbeis directs Debbie Chazen, Marian McLoughlin, Mercy Ojelade, Ciaran Owens,Ian Redford and Sule Rimi. The production opens at Sheffield Theatres Studio on Monday 2 July, with previews from the Friday 29 June, and runs until Saturday 14 July.

‘I’ve something to tell you’


‘So you need to look at me’

‘I’m listening’

In this series of encounters, over 100 characters are tasked with making meaning and joining up the dots.

Sheffield Theatres’ Associate Director Caroline Steinbeis directs Caryl Churchill‘s shatteringly inventive snapshot of modern life, love and finding the answer.

Caryl Churchill (b.1938) is one of the UK’s most influential playwrights. Her many plays include Owners, Seven Jewish Children, Drunk Enough to Say I Love You, Top Girls, This is a Chair, Far Away, A Number, The Skriker, Cloud NineSerious Money, Escaped Alone and Pigs and Dogs.

Debbie Chazen returns to Sheffield Theatres, having previously appeared in The Cherry Orchard. Her other theatre work includes The Girls Musical (Phoenix Theatre and tour – Olivier Award nominee for Best Actress in a Musical), A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur (Coronet Print Room), Listen, We’re Family (Wilton’s Music Hall), The Duck House (Vaudeville Theatre), A Little Hotel on the Side (Theatre Royal Bath), Open Court: The President Has Come to See You, Mint, Untitled Matriarch Play and In Basildon (Royal Court Theatre), Calendar Girls (West End & Tour), The Girlfriend Experience (Royal Court/Young Vic/Plymouth), and A Prayer for Owen Meany and Mother Clap’s Molly House (National Theatre). Her television credits include The Last Kingdom, Dead Pixels, Agatha Raisin, Ambassadors, Asylum, Holby City, Sherlock, Trollied, The Spa, Coronation Street, Doctor Who, Tittybangbang, This Is Jinsy, White Van Man, We Are Klang, Psychoville, The Smoking Room, Nicholas Nickleby, Mine All Mine, Murder in Suburbia, Doc Martin, Gimme Gimme Gimme, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, A Christmas Carol and The Lakes; and for film, Mike Leigh’s Topsy Turvy, Suzie Gold, Tooth and Anton Chekhov’s The Duel.

Marian McLoughlin’s theatre credits include Edmond (Royal Court Theatre), After the Fall (National Theatre), Winter Solstice (ATC Theatre), The Girls (Phoenix Theatre), Henry VBartholomew Fair (National Theatre), The Playboy of the Western World (Riverside Studios) and Milkwood Blues (Lyric Studio, Hammersmith). Her television credits include Doctors, Boomers, Truckers, Born to Run, Thin Ice, William and Mary, Home Time, Grafters, Kinsey and Castles.


Mercy Ojelade’s theatre credits include Richard III (Perth Theatre),The White Devil (Shakespeare’s Globe), They Drink It In The Congo (Almeida Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for The Nation (RSC), Last Dream on Earth (National Theatre of Scotland), Tomorrow (Vanishing Point Theatre), Arabian Nights (Tricycle Theatre), Crash of The Elysium (Punchdrunk/BBC/MIF), Roadkill (UK / US & Théâtre de la Ville), How to Think the UnthinkableThe Man with the Disturbingly Smelly Foot (Unicorn Theatre), The Container (Young Vic & Edinburgh Festival Fringe) and The Walworth Farce (Druid Theatre – Ireland, National Theatre & world tour). For television, her work includes Ørnen and Outlander; and for film, Ezra and Incendiary.

Ciaran Owens  theatre credits include Tumulus (Vault Festival), Abigail’s Party (Theatre Royal Bath), The Brink(Orange Tree Theatre), Disco Pigs (JMK Winner – UK & Ireland tour), So Here We Are (Royal Exchange/HighTide), The Crocodile (Invisible Dot/Manchester International Festival), King John (Shakespeare’s Globe),  A Handful of Stars (Theatre503/Trafalgar Studios), Oh What A Lovely War (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Candide, Titus Andronicus and A Mad World My Masters (RSC), Our Country’s Good (Out of Joint) and Mercury Fur (Old Red Lion/Trafalgar Studios). Television credits include The Last KingdomStrike BackCrazyheadArthur & GeorgeSpotless, Wallander and The Inbetweeners; and for film his credits include Red Joan and Where Hands Touch.

Ian Redford’s previous theatre credits include Our Country’s Good, Shopping and F**king, Some Explicit Polaroids, The Permanent Way (Out of Joint), Laughing Matter, She Stoops to Conquer, Love The Sinner, Mother Clap’s Molly House (National Theatre), Candide, A Mad World My Masters, The Roaring Girl, Arden of Faversham, The Witch of Edmonton, The Alchemist (RSC), Linda (Royal Court Theatre), Antigone, Dr Faustus, A View from the Bridge (Royal Exchange Manchester), The Secret Theatre, Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe), ‘M’ Butterfly (Shaftesbury Theatre) and Chapter Two (Gielgud Theatre). For television his credits include Foyle’s War, New Tricks, and as series regular Keith Appleyard in Coronation Street. His film credits include The Remains of The Day, Antonia and Jane, Mary and Martha, Getting it Right, Annie 2, Three Men and a Little Lady and The Man with The Iron Heart.

Sule Rimi returns to Sheffield Theatres, where he previously appeared in Desire Under the Elms. Other theatre work includes Barber Shop Chronicles (National Theatre/West Yorkshire Playhouse /international tour), The Suicide (National Theatre), Hamlet, Who’s There? (Flute Theatre/ ETT), Mary Stuart, They Drink it in the Congo(Almeida Theatre), The Odyssey: Missing, Presumed Dead (English Touring Theatre/Liverpool Everyman), The Rolling Stone (Royal Exchange/West Yorkshire Playhouse/Orange Tree Theatre) and Bordergame (National Theatre Wales). For television his credits include Tourist TrapThe Forgiving Earth, Death in Paradise, Bobble, First DegreeUnforgotten, Stella, Crash, Caerdydd and Scrum IV: Operation; and for film, Pink Wall, Indifferent, The Machine, Elfie Hopkins: Cannibal Hunter, Night of the Living Dead Resurrection, Panic Buttons and Starter for Ten.

Caroline Steinbeis was the recipient of the 2009 JMK Award. She was previously on attachment at the National Theatre and in 2008 completed the Director’s Course at the NT Studio. She was International Associate at the Royal Court under Dominic Cooke, developing and directing workshops and new plays from all over the world. As a director, her credits include Edward II (Arts Theatre, Cambridge), The Tempest (Royal and Derngate), The Crucible, Brilliant Adventures (Royal Exchange), We Want You to Watch (National Theatre), The Broken Heart (Shakespeare’s Globe), Show 6 of Secret Theatre (Lyric Hammersmith), Talk Show, Mint, A Time to Reap (Royal Court), Earthquakes in London (National Theatre as Associate, and the UK tour director), Fatherland (Gate Theatre and Radical Jung Festival, Munich), and Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest (BAC for which she won the 2009 JMK Award).

Sheffield Theatres


Crucible Lyceum Studio 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield, S1 1DA                              


Box Office 0114 249 6000 – Mon – Sat 10.00am to 8.00pm

On non-performance days the Box Office closes at 6.00pm.


Twitter: @crucibletheatre @SheffieldLyceum

Sheffield Theatres:


8 June – 23 June

Press night: 12 June



By Caryl Churchill

29 June – 14 July

Press night: 2 July



18 July – 21 July

Press night: 18 July


West End:


Apollo Theatre

Until April 2019

Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story To Embark on 30th Anniversary Tour







Having just completed a hugely successful 6-month tour of the US & Canada, smash hit rock & roll musical Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story is set to celebrate its 30th anniversary next year by making a triumphant return to its original opening venue and spiritual home, Theatre Royal Plymouth. Buddy will open on Tuesday 3rd September 2019 and play for 1 week before embarking on a UK wide tour.

To celebrate this landmark anniversary, there will be a special gala performance on Monday 2ndSeptember 2019, with a limited number of tickets being offered at the original 1989 prices (from £7 – £10.50). Further details of this exclusive event will be released in due course.

Testament to the show’s enduring popularity, since opening at Theatre Royal Plymouth in August 1989, Buddy has enjoyed phenomenal success, having played a record breaking 4450 performances over 556 weeks on tour in the UK and Ireland, as well as 5822 performances over 728 weeks in London’s West End. 2019 sees Buddy joining a small – but lauded – number of iconic musicals including Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Miss Saigon, Evita and Cats in reaching a phenomenal three decades on stage.

Fittingly, the Plymouth run will also see Buddy being performed on Buddy Holly’s birthday (September 7th), allowing the cast and crew to pay homage to the man who inspired the smash hit success.   

Adrian Vinken OBE, Chief Executive, Theatre Royal Plymouth said:

“We are proud that Buddy will be opening its 30th Anniversary Tour back here at the Theatre Royal Plymouth in 2019. Thirty years is an incredible achievement. The show was developed and started its life at the Theatre Royal Plymouth in 1989 and so this is very much the show’s ‘spiritual home’. Plymouth audiences have always loved to rock along to this show and the anniversary will be a major celebration. We look forward to welcoming Buddy back – and to wishing it well for the next 30 years!”

Loved by critics and audiences alike, Buddy tells the enduring tale of the musical icon’s meteoric rise to fame and his final legendary performance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, before his tragic and untimely death at the age of 22. In 18 short months the Texas-born boy revolutionized the face of contemporary music influencing everyone from The Beatles to Bruce Springsteen. Audiences will be treated to 20 of Buddy Holly’s greatest hits, including timeless classics That’ll Be The Day, Peggy Sue, Oh Boy and Rave On.

Since its inception, Buddy has inspired a generation of multi-million selling juke-box musicals including Mamma Mia and We Will Rock You, but remains the true original and a musical phenomenon. Seen by over 22 million music fans since it opened in London’s West End in 1989,Buddy speaks an international language and continues to have audiences from aged 8 to 80 years old rockin’ in the aisles across the globe!

Tickets for the Plymouth dates will be on general sale on Friday 8th June at 10am and can be purchased at https://www.buddythemusical.com/.

Casting and tour dates to be announced in due course.

Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story – 30 Years in Numbers:

• Since opening at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, in August 1989, BUDDY has played 556 weeks (4,450 performances) on tour in the U.K., and 728 weeks (5822 performances) in London’s West End – for a total of 10,272 U.K. performances!

  • In total our Buddy Hollys have sung 17 songs 264,346 times

  • 186,000 guitar strings have been replaced (92 miles) and over 212,000 plectrums used

  • 3,320 pairs of trousers have had to be replaced – due to Buddy knee sliding across stages throughout the world – and 410 pairs of glasses

  • Over 33 tons of washing powder has been used by our Wardrobe Mistresses/Masters, as well as more than 2,750 gallons of fabric conditioner

  • 150,000 feet (28.41 miles) of guitar cable have been used and 3,038,785 radio mic batteries replaced.

  • The trucks that are used to transport the show from venue to venue have now travelled approximately five-and-three-quarter times around the world!

  • The performers have drunk over 104,000 gallons of bottled water. The beer intake has never been monitored!

  • Throughout the world twelve couples have met and married while working in the company and there have been 26 Buddy babies!

  • Extended runs and tours have included London, UK tours, Broadway, US tours, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Reno, Canada, Toronto, British Columbia, Australia, Sydney, New Zealand, Germany, Hamburg, South Africa, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Ireland, Japan, and Singapore

  • Buddy ran in the West End for over 14 years – playing the Victoria Palace, Strand (now Novello), and Duchess Theatres – making it one of the longest-running shows in London theatre history!

Monogamy Review

Richmond Theatre – until 2nd June

Review by Heather Chalkley


Our appetite for celebrity chefs has continued to grow over the decades, since Fanny Cradock’s TV debut with Kitchen Magic in 1955. The window into these seemingly perfect lives of culinary genius’ has tempted Betts to take a comedic peep behind the curtain, with hilarious effect. The constant fudging of the line between the professional and personal life of TV Chef Caroline Mortimer (Janie Dee), offers a plate full of belly laughs, wrapped up in the tortuously real lives of her family and associates.

The set is the light and airy perfection of a TV kitchen at Caroline’s home, stocked more with bottles of booze than gastronomic ingredients. Throughout Caroline produces a constant flow of glasses and bottles to keep everyone lubricated, particularly herself! The Creative Team have done a great job in delivering an authentic feel to the set, including Janie Dee cooking and preparing dinner in her role as Caroline.

Monogamy has the classic combination of 20 something son (Jack Archer) suffering angst, overbearing Dad (Jack Sandle), Mother (Janie Dee) in denial and the collateral damage that are the people who come into contact with them, fueled by copious amounts of alcohol and broken hearts. Charlie Brooks (Sally) ramped up her character from sad and depressed housewife to a seriously mentally ill, willing to kill woman in a transition master class. Jack Archer (Leo) was the reflection of many young men, seen by society as irrational and over anxious, yet actually determined and clear sighted if people (mainly parents!) cared to listen. Genevieve Gaunt (Amanda) brought light relief and contrast at the darkest moments as Caroline’s Aide, slipping in and out of different drug induced accents with no filter between brain and mouth!

Although the conclusion of the storyline was relatively predictable, it made how you got there even funnier. Bett’s has cleverly taken serious elements of the impact on family life that being a celebrity can have and turned it into a moment to be laughed at for all its pretentious privilege. Monogamy, in the end, is a challenge whatever walk of life.


Thriller Live Review

Darlington Hippodrome – until 2 June 2018


Thriller Live arrives in Darlington as part of what seems to be a permanent tour.  As well as wowing the regional theatres it is still playing at the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, where is as been playing since 2008 – making it one of the longest running shows in the West End.  And if that’s not enough, it’s currently playing in 31 countries around the world.

Essentially this is a greatest hits album on stage; with the songs performed by a number of ‘Jackos’, of different genders, ages and races. Shaquille Hemmans, Adriana Louise, Eddy Lima, Rory Taylor and Resident Director Britt Quintin were all vocally outstanding, giving some amazing versions of Jackson’s songs. The production starts with the early sounds of the Jackson 5, actually starting from ABC, before giving us the best of his solo material, including the Thriller and Bad albums.

Dance moves such as the moonwalk brought cheers and applause from the audience,  who were on their feet throughout the night singing and dancing to many of the familiar tunes. The dancing, it has to be said, shone along side the vocals, accomplished as they were, but let’s face it, Michael was all about the dancing, and it was mesmerizingly good throughout

Looking around the theatre it was evident that there is no age limit that hasn’t been introduced to Motown, Pop , Rock and R&B through the talents of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5.

Whilst all the vocalists were amazing, it was Rory Taylor who stole the show for me – his exquisitely haunting rendition of She’s Out of my Life and the thrilling rock vocals in Dirty Diana made Taylor my star of the show

The brilliant band (Andy Jeffcoat, Rob Minns, Allan Salmon, Jo Phillpotts, Gordon Wilson, Johnny Copland and Tom Arnold) mixed rock, soul and pop and provided emphatic musical support. It was fantastic to see them in vision during some of the show’s epic guitar solos.

Taken from us at the age of 50 Michael will forever live on and his classics such as Billie Jean, Thriller and Earth Song will forever be remembered by the talents of tonight performers.  It is technical perfection, with the lights, the sound, the pyro’s and the staging all outstanding – a lavish celebration of the life and songs of the King of Pop and a wonderful night out.