Titanic The Musical Review

Sheffield Lyceum – until 26 May 2018


I’ll be honest, I have a soft spot for Titanic the Musical.  It’s one of my favourites and Maury Yeston’s musical score is one of the most beautiful in any show.  Danielle Tarento’s production hi-lights the superb cast of voices and this show is particular is just begging to be made into a soundtrack CD.

This is, however, very much an ensemble piece with no one star.  The whole cast work well together and you find yourself hoping that all will survive as you become so invested in the characters.  There are some stand out moments though – the delight on the face of Alice Beane (Claire Machin) as she manages to dance with the rich and famous of the day after sneaking into the First Class only Tea Dance.  Ida and Isidor Straus dressing up in the finest clothes and dancing tight in each other’s arms knowing death was imminent but refusing to give up each other after a lifetime together. The needless suicide of William Murdoch (Keiran Brown) after he blamed himself for the disaster.  The relentless cheerfulness of the Bell Boy (Lewis Cornay) and Lightoller (the outstandingly vocal Alistair Barron) taking over to try and salvage the ship, crew and passengers in the face of disaster.

Titanic is one of the most iconic stories of the last century: a terrible misadventure which cost some 1517 lives, thanks to the inadequate provision of lifeboats to make room for more first class accommodation, while the third class passengers below decks found themselves prevented from accessing the lifeboats at all.  The outcome of this makes for a particularly powerful scene in Act 2, with ship designer Thomas Andrews (Greg Castiglioni), Captain Edward Smith (Philip Rham) and ship owner J.Bruce Ismay (Simon Green) singing and refusing to take “The Blame”.

Despite knowing the ultimate ending the actual ending, discovering who lived and who died is incredibly powerful and the list of the dead that comes down at the end brings home the fact that is a real tragedy that just maybe could been averted in different circumstances.

Titanic the Musical is an emotional powerhouse of a show.  Take plenty of tissues because you will need them, I was in tears from “Godspeed Titanic” in Act 1 and could barely see the stage for tears by the reprise in Act 2.

In Sheffield until Saturday 26 May and on tour around the UK this is a show that must not be missed





A Nuffield Southampton Theatres workshop production in association with The Other Palace


Book by Richard Marsh

Music by Miranda Cooper and Nick Coler; Lyrics by Miranda Cooper and Richard Marsh

Directed by Samuel Hodges


Based on a Film by Garth Jennings. Presented by Special Arrangement with Nick Goldsmith andParamount Pictures.

24 May – 2 June

At The Other Palace, London

Full casting is today announced for Nuffield Southampton Theatres workshop production of Son of Rambow – The Musical, running at The Other Palace from 24 May – 2 June. Director of NST, Samuel Hodges, directs Gemma Goggin (Miss Smith), Scarlet Billham (Tina), Tom Mccall (Barry), Jon Tarcy (Didier), Richard Dempsey (Brother Joshua), Cat Simmons (Sarah) and Felix Warren as Will and Aaron Gelkoff as Lee. Son of Rambow – The Musical is an adaptation of the hit cult film featuring an original 80s pop soundtrack by two of the UK’s most successful pop writers Miranda Cooper and Nick Coler with the book by Richard Marsh. This marks Cooper and Coler’s debut in writing for the stage.

Son of Rambow is a work in progress production working with feedback from the audience each day.

Winter 1982. Two boys are about to form an unlikely friendship.


Will Proudfoot is a member of the Plymouth Brethren, forbidden from watching TV or films. Lee Carter is the wild child, school trouble-maker. When Lee blows Will’s mind with a pirate copy of Rambo: First Blood, this unlikely pair collaborate on a homemade sequel.

Their movie changes the lives of all around them – Will’s recently-widowed mum, Sarah and family friend Joshua. Lee’s brother Barry fights for the love of his girlfriend Tina, who must choose between him, university or French exchange sexpot, Didier.

Based on the cult hit film, Son of Rambow is a heart-warming and hilarious story about two boys with a big video camera and even bigger ambitions.

Scarlet Billham plays Tina. Her credits for theatre include Morning (Lyric Theatre/Traverse Theatre), Super Skinny Bitches (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Take A Deep BreathBreathe (Ovalhouse Theatre) and Alice By Heart (Lyric Theatre).


Richard Dempsey plays Brother Joshua. Rothschild and Sons (Park Theatre), Strictly Ballroom (WYP/Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto/Global Creatures), Damsel in Distress (Chichester Festival Theatre), Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Just So/ Out of this world (Noel Coward Theatre), Victor/Victoria (Southwark Playhouse), Me And My Girl (Sheffield Crucible), The Merchant of Venice (BAM New York/World Tour), Citizenship (National Theatre), Dirty Dancing (Original West End Cast), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC/Schubert Theatre, New Haven USA), Peepshow (Frantic Assembly), Honk! (National Theatre UK Tour), The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (RSC), The Dance Of Death (Tricycle Theatre), Into The Woods (Original West End Cast) and Fame (Original West End Cast). His television credits include, Downton AbbeyDraculaDoc MartinLadies of LettersEgyptIsland At WarWarlockCleopatraWives And DaughtersAristocratsScarlet PimpernelTilly TrotterThe Prince Of HeartsCrimetravellerWycliffeInspector AlleynAnna LeeDon’t Leave Me This WaySherlock HolmesThe Chronicles of Narnia; and for film, Warlock24 Hours In LondonThe Barber Of Siberia and The Prince Of Jutland.

Gemma Goggin plays Miss Smith. Her theatre credits include Don Quixote, Dr Faustus (RSC), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Neuss Globe, Germany/Upstairs at the Gatehouse), Hobson’s Choice (Basingstoke Theatre Royal), Wasted (Pleasance Theatre) and Piaf (Rose and Crowne, Walthamstow). In addition, she also works as a stand-up comic with works including Get Laid or Die TryingCelebrity Sleepover and Gemma Goggin: Double G (Gilded Balloon/Leicester Square Theatre). Her film credits include Teeth and PillsThe Young Victoria and AngusThongs and Perfect Snogging.


Tom McCall plays Barry. His theatre credits include Queen of Carthage (RSC), Titus, Julius CaesarDoctor Faustus (RSC, The Barbican), Don QuixoteThe Alchemist (RSC, The Barbican), Oppenheimer(Vaudeville Theatre), Shoemakers HolidayOppenheimer (RSC), Hag (Soho Theatre and national tour), This Happy Breed (Peter Hall season, Theatre Royal Bath), Ragnarok (Eastern Angles – Hush House), Baba Yaga (Bristol Old Vic), Pants on Fire’s Ovids Metamorphosis (Flea Theatre New York/UK tour), Freddie Hearts Freddie (Southwark Playhouse), The Gift (Old Vic), Smile (Arcola Theatre), Almost Near (Finborough Theatre), Potholes (Theatre 503) and Inches Apart (Theatre 503). His television credits include Black MirrorWallanderThe MusketeersThe Intern; and for film, Death and Taxes and Bloodshot.

Jon Tarcy plays Didier. His theatre credits include Julius Caesar, Antony & CleopatraTitus Andronicus (RSC/Barbican), Tale Of Two Cities (Northampton UK tour), King John (Rose Theatre Kingston) and West Side Story (NYMT). His television credits include West Side StorySound of Music: Live!Lucky Man and Life in Black.


Cat Simmons plays Sarah. Her theatre credits include Jesus Christ SuperstarWhistle Down The Wind (Aldwych Theatre), Fame! (Cambridge Theatre), Simply HeavenlyBeen So Long (Young Vic), And I And SilenceAmerica Visions Of LoveWe Happy FewAladdin (Old Vic), Lady in the Van(Theatre Royal Bath), One Love (Birmingham Rep), Sweet Charity (Manchester Royal Exchange), Hopelessly Devoted (Paines Plough), Decade (Headlong Theatre), Oliver! (National tour), Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe). Her television credits include series regular Emma in the hit BBC1 drama Ordinary Lies, series regular as DC Kezia Walker in The Bill and as Scarlett Anderson in Family Affairs. Other TV credits include Moving OnMidsomer MurdersTubby and Enid VeraGirl’s WeekendBig CHolby CityNo Angels and Children’s Ward. Simmons also played Sista Twista in the feature film Life And Lyrics.

Nick Coler is a British songwriter. His credits alongside Miranda Cooper include 35 top 10 hits for acts such as Girls Aloud, The Sugababes, Gabriella Cilmi, Alesha Dixon and numerous other artists. In addition, he co-wrote a song with Alastair Lloyd Webber for Starlight Express as well as numerous films and TV shows including Wayne’s World where he wrote Feed my Frankenstein. He has also been nominated three times for an Ivor Novello Award and has won producer of the year.

Miranda Cooper is a British songwriter who has worked in the music industry since 1996 when she signed an artist deal to Warner Records. In 1997, she began to collaborate with Brian Higgins, the founder of Kent-based songwriting and production team Xenomania. They struck instant and lasting commercial success and critical acclaim with their productions for Girls Aloud, Sugababes, Kylie Minogue, Alesha Dixon, Gabriella Cilmi and the Pet Shop Boys. She has penned four UK Number One hits – Round RoundSound of the UndergroundHole in the Head and The Promiseas well as 20 consecutive top 10 singles for Girls Aloud. Beginning a new chapter in her writing career, Cooper is currently writing and developing three musicals, including Son of Rambow(NST/The Other Palace) and the hugely popular Billionaire Boy by David Walliams (NST). As well as the musicals, Cooper continues to innovate with her pop songwriting, currently collaborating with the YouTube sensation and recent Atlantic Records signing Maisie Peters who is set for undoubted success.

Richard Marsh is a writer and performer. His one-man play Skittles was commissioned for Radio 4 as Love & Sweets and won Best Scripted Comedy in the BBC Audio Drama Awards. Dirty Great Love Story won a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Fringe before transferring to Bristol Old Vic, Soho Theatre and 59E59 Theatres, NYC, and most recently to the Arts Theatre. Wingman played to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe before touring the UK and to LA and is in development for TV. He wrote the Radio 4 poetry comedy series Cardboard Heart and his poetry can currently be heard in the national tour of Tango Moderno. He is a former London poetry slam champion and was a member of Theatre503’s 503/5 writers group.

Samuel Hodges is Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST). His productions for NST includes The Shadow FactoryDedication – Shakespeare and Southampton, following The Glass Menagerie in 2015. Previously he founded the HighTide Festival Theatre in 2007 and was the Artistic Director for five years, during which time he produced over 25 new plays, co-producing with the National Theatre, The Old Vic and the Bush Theatre, amongst others. Between 2012 and 2014, he ran the Criterion Theatre in London’s West End, for whom he curated a late-night programme and a one-off summer season of new work to celebrate the London Olympics.

Nuffield Southampton Theatres is one of the UK’s leading professional theatre companies. The company is led by Samuel Hodges, supported by a team of associates: directors Blanche McIntyre, Natalie Abrahami and Michael Longhurst, designer Tom Scutt, playwright Adam Brace, choreographer Drew McOnie and poet Inua Ellams. NST develops and produces work with some of the UK’s most exciting and dynamic regional theatres. In 2016/17 290,000 people saw an NST production across all 9 regions of the UK. NST won Best Director at UK Theatre Awards 2014 (The Seagull), Regional Theatre of the Year at The Stage Awards 2015, Best Design at UK Theatre Awards 2015 (The Hudsucker Proxy) and the 2017 Renee Stepham UK Theatre Award for Best Presentation of Touring Theatre (Fantastic Mr Fox).


NST City is Nuffield Southampton Theatres brand new venue just opened in Southampton’s city centre. The new theatre will run alongside their existing theatre NST Campus situated on the Highfield Campus at the University of Southampton.

Nuffield Southampton Theatres is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation and a registered charity, receiving additional core funding from the University of Southampton and Southampton City Council.



The Other Palace opened in February 2017 as a new home for musical theatre. The venue aims to discover, develop and reimagine musicals. The team want the spaces to be 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.


‘The Other Palace’s Development Programme’ has been created to identify, explore, encourage and support musicals at every stage of their journey. The venue will be offering creatives space, time and resources; enabling them to explore and test their work, both privately and with an audience.

For audience members, The Other Palace’s Development Programme offers the opportunity to see new shows in their infancy and be part of the process, providing the creative team with invaluable feedback.

The Other Palace Work in Progress series offers productions a short residency at the venue which allows companies to create, develop and explore their work. These residencies will include a number of public sharings where audience feedback will be collected to inform the next stage of the project’s development. The ambition is that these productions will have a future life either at The Other Palace or beyond.






Theatrical charity Acting for Others today announces that £9,500 was raised at the fourth annual West End Bake Off last weekend; breaking all previous records for monies raised at this event, which has become a calendar marked day for shows in the West End. The same day His Royal Highness Prince Harry married Meghan Markle, top West End shows brought cake creations to be judged by Christopher BigginsWendi Peters and Ruthie Henshall.

Taking the crown this year was Young Frankenstein beating 17 other shows including The Lion King, Mamma Mia! and last year’s winners 42nd Street. This year saw the companies go all out to celebrate the Royal Wedding, there was a Royal carriage adorning the Les Misérables stand, The Comedy About a Bank Robbery had the blue prints to Buckingham Palace with a plan to steal the crown jewels and a wedding dress cake from Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.


Stars of the show also popped in to show their support including Cuba Gooding Jr and an impromptu auction took place with Cleve September and Michael Jibson selling limited edition Hamilton t-shirts signed by the company.

West End Bake Off is supported by Official London Theatre and Mackintosh Foundation.


www.westendbakeoff.com        Twitter: @westendbakeoff        Facebook: Westendbakeoff   

www.actingforothers.co.uk        Twitter: @ActingForOthers




The Stephen Sondheim Society and Mercury Musical Developments today announce Welsh actress Di Botcher as the special guest performer at the 12th annual West End Gala for The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year and the 11th anniversary of The Stiles + Drewe Prize.

Botcher will reprise her show-stopping performance of the Sondheim classic ‘Broadway Baby’ from the National Theatre’s acclaimed, Olivier Award-winning revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s Follies. She is perhaps best known to TV audiences as Aunty Brenda in Ruth Jones’s hit comedy-drama Stellaand recently made her debut as series regular paramedics boss, Jan Jennings in the popular, long-running medical drama Casualty.

The 2018 competition is being staged at the Savoy Theatre on Sunday 10th June at 3pm, hosted by Olivier Award winner Tracie BennettChris Hocking returns to direct the annual gala, with musical direction by Mark Etherington.

In addition, the London Musical Theatre Orchestra will orchestrate the winning song of the Stiles & Drewe Best New Song Prize and perform it at one of their private play-throughs in Autumn 2018.

Freddie Tapner, Founder and Conductor of London Musical Theatre Orchestra, said today, “LMTO are delighted that we can offer this opportunity to the winner of the Stiles & Drewe Prize. As a composer, there is nothing more thrilling than hearing your work performed by a full orchestra, and we can’t wait to give that experience to someone this year. Good luck to all entrants!”

This annual competition, co-produced by The Stephen Sondheim Society and Mercury Musical Developments, sees twelve of the top student performers from musical theatre and drama schools across the UK each perform a classic song by Stephen Sondheim and a new musical theatre song, written by members of Mercury Musical Developments. The first prize is £1,000. Writer and broadcaster Edward Seckerson returns to Chair the Student Performer judges with Rebecca Caine (the original Cosette in Les Miserables, and Christine in the original London and Canadian companies of The Phantom of the Opera), Rebecca Trehearn(Olivier Award winner for the recent London run of Showboat), Stephen Ridley (Musical Director for American in Paris and The King and I) and David Benedict (Sondheim’s official biographer).

The Stiles + Drewe Prize supports and develops new musical theatre writing via its two distinct arms. Recognising an outstanding song from a new musical and supported by The Entertainment Business, the winner of Best New Song receives £1,000 to put towards developing their work. Judging the Best New Song entries with Stiles and Drewe will be Sharon D Clarke (Caroline, or Change, The Lion King, We Will Rock You) and writer/director Susie McKenna (former Creative Director of Hackney Empire).


In addition, the winner of the Stiles and Drewe Mentorship Award – now in its third year, generously supported by Music Theatre International (Europe) – will also be announced at the Gala. One new musical and its writer(s) will be selected to receive mentorship over a 12-month period, culminating in an industry showcase. Along with Stiles and Drewe, the 2018 judges were composer Grant Olding, the Artistic Director of Royal & Derngate James Dacre and Chichester Festival Theatre’s producer Amelia Ferrand-Rook. A song from each of the three finalist shows will be performed at the event.





  • OLIVIA VINALL and EDWARD HOGG take the roles of Rosalind and Orlando
  • KEZIAH JOSEPH and BERUCE KHAN play Celia and Oliver
  • DANNY KIRRANE plays Touchstone with MAUREEN BEATTIE as Jaques
  • Directed by MAX WEBSTER, original music is by CHARLIE FINK


Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre have today announced casting for As You Like It. Directed by Max Webster, the production plays 06 July – 28 July.

Olivia Vinall and Edward Hogg take the roles of Rosalind and Orlando, with Keziah Joseph and Beruce Khan in the roles of Celia and Oliver. Danny Kirrane plays Touchstone with Maureen Beattie as Jaques.

With original music by former ‘Noah and Whale’ frontman Charlie Fink, also joining the cast are Amy Booth-Steel (Audrey/Singer), Me’sha Bryan (Amiens/Singer), Joanne McGuinness (Phoebe/Singer), Jacade Simpson (Silvius/Singer), Jack Beale (Le Beau/Actor Musician) and Silas Wyatt-Barke(William/Actor Musician).

Completing the cast are: Simon Armstrong (Duke Fredrick/Duke Senior), Gary Lilburn (Adam/Martext), Kristian Phillips (Charles the Wrestler/Jaques De Boys) and John Stahl (Corin).

In the mythical Forest of Arden, a world of transformation where anything is possible and anything permissible, two young people discover what it really means to be in love. This warm, open-hearted production promises adventure, sibling rivalry, mistaken identity and romance – Shakespeare comedy as you like it.



Olivia Vinall (Rosalind) recently played the dual roles of Laura Fairlie and Anne Catherick in BBC1’s new adaptation of The Woman in White. Previous credits include The Chekhov Trilogy (Chichester Festival/National Theatre) in the roles of Nina (The Seagull), Sofya (Platonov) and Sasha (Ivanov); Hilary in The Hard Problem, Cordelia in King Lear, and Desdemona in Othello (National Theatre) and, on television, Maigret and Apple Tree Yard.


Edward Hogg (Orlando) recently appeared as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe, where he has also appeared in The God of SohoMeasure for MeasureThe Tempest and The Storm. Other credits include Our ClassThe Pillowman (National Theatre); Pictures from an ExhibitionOur Country’s Good (Young Vic); Rock ‘n’ Roll (Royal Court/Duke of Yorks) and King Lear (RSC). Films include Once Upon a Time in WarsawAdult Life SkillsMary Queen of ScotsThe Comedian and White Lightnin’. Television credits include HarlotsTabooIndian Summers, and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.


Keziah Joseph (Celia) recently played Mowgli in The Jungle Book (UK Tour). Previous theatre credits include Kanye the First (HighTide Tour) and Silver Lining (Rose Theatre, Kingston).

Beruce Khan (Oliver) previously appeared at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in Henry V. Other recent credits include Feste in Twelfth Night and John Forster/Young Marley in A Christmas Carol (RSC); Hamlet(Shakespeare’s Globe International Tour); Romeo and JulietWhat You Will: Pop Up Shakespeare (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Madness of George IIIThe History Boys (UK Tour) and The Black Album (National Theatre).

Danny Kirrane (Touchstone) previously appeared in A Little Hotel on the Side (Theatre Royal Bath); Three Sisters (Young Vic); BoysRomeo and Juliet (Headlong); The History Boys (National Theatre) and Jerusalem(Royal Court/Apollo/Broadway). Television credits include PoldarkGame of ThronesWastedDoctor Thorneand New Blood, with film credits including Peterloo, directed by Mike Leigh, and Pirates of the Caribbean.


Maureen Beattie (Jaques) has appeared extensively at the RSC, including The HistoriesTitus Andronicus and Macbeth, and recently appeared in The Ferryman (Gielgud), Yerma (Young Vic) and Neaptide (National Theatre). She also appeared in The Cherry Orchard, and Max Webster’s production of The Winter’s Tale (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh).


Simon Armstrong (Duke Fredrick/Duke Senior) has appeared in The Winter’s TalePericles and Hamlet (Tour) for Shakespeare’s Globe, with television credits including Game of Thrones and The Hollow CrownGary Lilburn (Adam/Martext) has appeared in The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night’s Dream(Shakespeare’s Globe); The Cripple of Inishmaan (Michael Grandage Company); Calendar Girls (Chichester Festival/West End); The Weir (Royal Court) and in the film PhilomenaKristian Phillips (Charles the Wrestler/Jaques De Boys) appeared in Richard III (Almeida); as Lennie in Of Mice and Men (Birmingham Rep/UK Tour) and Season’s Greetings (Theatre Clwyd). John Stahl (Corin) has appeared regularly at the RSC, Shakespeare’s Globe and Traverse Theatre, and recently appeared in Max Webster’s production of The Winter’s Tale (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh). Film credits include Mary Queen of Scots directed by Josie Rouke, and Victoria and Abdul.

Amy Booth-Steel (Audrey/Singer) appeared in Anita and Me (Birmingham Rep); Betty Blue Eyes (Mercury Theatre/West Yorkshire Playhouse) and The Light Princess and One Man Two Guvnors (National Theatre). Me’sha Bryan (Amiens/Singer) recently appeared as The Washing Machine in Caroline or Change (Chichester Festival/Hampstead), Joanne McGuinness (Phoebe/Singer) in Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour (National Theatre/Melbourne Festival) and Jacade Simpson (Silvius/Singer) in The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales). Jack Beale (Le Beau/Actor Musician) played the Guy in Once (Phoenix) and appeared in The Lorax (Old Vic); Spend, Spend, Spend (The Watermill) and Brief Encounter (UK Tour/Kneehigh). Silas Wyatt-Barke(William/Actor Musician) appeared in The Lorax (Old Vic); Forty Years On (Chichester Festival) and Sunny Afternoon (Harold Pinter).


As You Like It is directed by Max Webster, with design by Naomi Dawson. Movement direction is by Polly Bennett, original music composed by Charlie Fink, lighting design by Lee Curran, sound design by Gareth Fry, casting by Lotte Hines and musical direction and arrangements by Phil Bateman. The Season Associate Director (Voice & Text) is Barbara Houseman.


Other productions in the 2018 season at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre are Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie (until 15 June), Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw in a co-production with English National Opera (22 – 30 June), Dinosaur World Live for ages 3+ (14 August – 09 September) and the mean green monster musical, Little Shop of Horrors (03 August – 15 September). There’s MOREoutdoor on Sundays with The Guilty Feminist (15 July), Joe Lycett (22 July), Jimmy Carr (12 August), Simon Amstell (19 August), and The Luna Cinema presents screenings of Spice World (26 August), The Greatest Showman (02 September) and Alien (09 September).

The Last Ship announces that Spiller’s Wharf performance on Monday 28 May is cancelled.



A unique one-off outdoor performance of The Last Ship in Newcastle that was due to be held on Bank Holiday Monday has been cancelled, it has been announced.

A performance of The Last Ship – which has music and lyrics by Sting – was to play at Spillers Wharf, Newcastle Quayside on Monday 28 May, with Sting due to perform alongside the cast.

However the performance will no longer be going ahead, it has been announced today.

Karl Sydow, producer of The Last Ship, said: “After weeks of negotiations and the failure to secure a signed agreement which would protect the artistic standards of the production the producers have lost all confidence in the integrity and ability of the local promoter. It is of paramount importance to us that the quality and artistic integrity of the performance at Spiller’s Wharf would be what we and the audience would expect and we do not have the necessary confidence that this would be delivered following the consistent failure of the local promoter to meet any of his undertakings with regard to our production. Therefore we have reached the unfortunate conclusion that we have no alternative but to cancel the performance.

“We thank all of the ticket purchasers and apologise for the disappointment and inconvenience that this cancellation may cause.”

Ticketholders are advised to contact their point of purchase for a refund.

The critically-acclaimed UK and Ireland tour of The Last Ship is running until 7 July, where it will finish at The Lowry, Salford, with dates in Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow and York before then.

The Last Ship is produced by Karl Sydow and Kathryn Schenker with Northern Stage.


Thriller Live Review

The King’s Theatre Glasgow – until 26 May

Reviewed by Linda McLaughlan


The King of Pop lives on through the amazing stage performances of an exceptionally talented cast of Thriller Live.

Following the life and music Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five the audience is taken on a musical tour of the hits and songs that generations of fans have grown up with since 1967. The show took us through hits such as “I want you back” “ABC” “Blame it on the Boogie”

My personal favourite was sang by the amazing vocals of Rory Taylor who gave the song incredible justice with his haunting version of a Jackson Classic. The other vocalist who performed Michael’s hits included Britt Quentin, Shaquille Maurice Hemmans and Adriana Louise surrounding by talented dancers who brought many of the famous Jackson dance moves to an excited audience.

Dance moves such as the moon walk brought cheers and applause from the audience who were on their feet throughout the night singing and dancing to many of the familiar tunes.

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.

Taken from us at the age of 50 Michael will forever live on and his Classics such as “Billie Jean, Thriller and the Earth Song” will forever be remembered by the talents of tonight performers on stage at The King’s Theatre.

This is a show that everyone should take the opportunity to see and enjoy as it will bring joy and music to everyone

The Play That Goes Wrong Review

Hull New Theatre until 26th May 2018

Reviewed by Catherine McWilliams


My throat feels hoarse, my sides are aching, my face muscles are feeling tight and my eyes are sore but I’m not complaining, as the cause is the wonderful night out that I have just had at Hull New Theatre watching Mischief Theatre’s The Play That Goes Wrong, and like the rest of the packed theatre laughing like a drain! I really cannot remember hooting with laughter like I have tonight, I literally had tears of laughter running down my face and was very grateful that I had not put any mascara on.

The play centres around the performance of “Murder at Haversham Manor” by “Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society”, a performance that the Director of the Society is hoping will be their best yet as their track record is slightly lacking. The cast valiantly do their best to carry on regardless of the difficulties they face as things go awry. Imagine the worst thing that could go wrong and it is probably happens, from moving corpses to mispronounced words to malfunctioning scenery, all with hilarious consequences.

The cast are quite frankly stunning playing their parts to perfection, and making it appear as though these mishaps are genuine accidents, just pure genius. Their timing was superb as mishap after mishap occurred and turned into near disaster, quite how there were no real accidents is beyond me! There were points when the entire audience gasped with horror at the scenery problems or the accidents to the actors but in a few seconds were howling with laughter again. The set design by Nigel Hook, was incredible in the way all the bits fitted together or rather fell apart!

The cast had the foibles of amateur actors down to a T and were all appropriately over the top. Bobby Hirston as Max (playing Cecil Haversham) clearly a first time performer just loving the attention and reacting to the audience; Benjamin McMahon as Dennis playing Perkins the butler having all the attributes of the old retainer and Elena Valentine as Sandra making a superbly flirty Florence Colleymore.

If you want to come away from the theatre with a huge grin on your face then The Play that Goes Wrong is for you. Laughter they say is the best medicine and this play will make you feel so much better than when you arrived at the theatre.

The Play That Goes Wrong is simply perfect in its imperfections – a right good night out.

Iris Theatre to bring Arabian Nights to Hoxton Hall this Autumn

Arabian Nights
Hoxton Hall, 130 Hoxton Street, London N1 6SH
Wednesday 12th September – Saturday 13th October 2018

This autumn, Iris Theatre will transform Hoxton Hall into a magical world where stories of Ali Baba, Ala’ad-Din and Sinbad the Sailor unfold in their new adaptation of Arabian Nights. Adapted by Nessah Muthy (Heroine, The Host) and directed by Daniel Winder (Iris Theatre), this celebration of the cultural history of Islam and the wider ancient world promises to be a spectacular evening of storytelling

At the grandest wedding of the year, amongst the music, magic and dance, King Shahryar’s tyranny looms. Every single night he marries a new girl and every single morning he has her killed

This cycle of violence has continued for years but with the executioner’s sword hanging over her neck, Sharazad starts to tell King Shahryar stories. With every beautiful tale she tells, she stretches out the thread of her life a little further

Iris Theatre will take the audience on a journey through the ancient world of the Middle East and into Sharazad’s life. With music inspired by Arabic history, and a set design utilising the aesthetic of souks from the time by Amber Scarlett, a cast of seven actors and a multitude of fantastic puppets created by Jonny Dixon will bring to life Sharazad’s comic, tragic and earthy stories

Director Daniel Winder comments, It’s so exciting to be bringing a show as big as our annual summer productions over to Hoxton Hall in our first major departure from St Paul’s in nearly five years. Arabian Nights is adapted by the incredible Nessah Muthy in a brand new script we’ve commissioned, and we’re so excited to have her on board. We can’t wait to head to Hoxton with the team that has helped make productions like Hansel & Gretel and Macbeth, and to transform the Hall into Shahryar’s palace, welcoming audiences to a bloody wedding feast

An engagement project, Encountering 1001 Nights, will run alongside the show and will focus on engaging with the local communities in Hoxton

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Review

Greenwich Theatre  – until 26 May

Reviewed by Claire Roderick


Lazarus Theatre end their season at Greenwich with a frenetic and freewheeling adaptation of Shakespeare’s best-loved comedy. Ricky Dukes’ adaptation crams the cream of the plot into 2 hours, never allowing the ever-increasing energy to ebb.

The Oberon/Titania and Theseus/Hippolyta (Lanre Danmola and the imperious Ingvid Lakou) interactions are dealt with swiftly, and the production rightly gives most focus to the four young lovers Lysander (Max Kinder) and Hermia (Elham Mayhoub – brilliantly embodying “and though she be but little she is fierce”) and Demetrius (Jonathon George) and Helena (Saskia Vaigncourt-Strallen, giving Helena some real backbone), and the mechanicals rehearsing their play. The mechanicals are the highlight of the show, with John Slade’s Quince a wonderful caricature of a frustrated director, Zoe Campbell and Tessa Carmody making the hapless Snout and Snug very loveable, Eli Caldwell crossdressing with glee as Flute, and David Clayton’s Bottom is a joy.

The Athens scenes take place around a long conference table, creating a stark contrast between the stiff world of court and the wildness of the woods. Once we leave Athens, the fairy world and the real world are demarcated by simple tape lines on the floor, which sounds naff, but is extremely effective, with Puck (Tessa Carmody) creating more and more mayhem with mistaken enchantments and huge amounts of confetti. With saucily voiced fairies becoming lights on the end of sticks and no sign of the usual boy puppet, the fairy scenes are fun and don’t slow down the pace of the play as it builds to a climax with the performance of Pyramus and Thisbe. This is performed as a song set to an irresistible beat with the four lovers acting as the chorus, leaping around frantically and ending in Thisbe’s death, which for once outshines Pyramus’ with campness and audacity. Just bliss.

What a way to end a season – a night of anarchic fun and frivolity that makes Shakespeare’s work feel fresh and exciting.