Olivier award-winner Iwan Rheon stars in Dawn King’s dystopian thriller Foxfinder at the Ambassadors Theatre

Bill Kenwright presents
Iwan Rheon in 
by Dawn King


Dawn King’s Foxfinder will have its West End premiere at the Ambassadors Theatre from 6 September 2018 for a strictly limited season until 5 January 2019. Olivier Award-winner Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones’ Ramsay Bolton, Misfits) will star in the unsettling and darkly comic drama directed by Rachel O’Riordan whose production of Killology at the Royal Court won the 2018 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre. Further casting will be announced at a later date.

First performed at London’s Finborough Theatre in 2011, Foxfinder opened to rave reviews and won Dawn King the 2013 Royal National Theatre Foundation Playwright award, a Pearson Award Bursary as Playwright-in-Residence at the Finborough, the Papatango Theatre Company new writing competition and the Off West End award for Most Promising Playwright.

On the play’s Finborough premiere the Guardian’s Michael Billington said “King’s play shines out like a beacon […] it remains an arresting and individual work that haunts the mind long after you’ve seen it.”

England is in crisis. Fields are flooded, food is scarce and fear of the red beast grips the land. 

William Bloor, a foxfinder, arrives at Judith and Samuel Covey’s farm to investigate a suspected fox infestation. The Covey’s harvest has failed to meet their target and the government wants to know why. Trained from childhood, William is fixated on his mission to unearth the animals that must be to blame for the Covey’s woes. But as the hunt progresses, William finds more questions than answers…

Iwan Rheon trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and made his professional stage debut in Eight Miles High at Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre, before his breakthrough role as the haunted, suicidal Moritz in the musical Spring Awakening, for which he won the 2010 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical.

In 2009, Iwan joined the cast of E4’s BAFTA award-winning superhero drama Misfits which to date has been broadcast in 100 territories. Iwan returned to the stage in 2010 in the National Theatre Wales’ production of John Osborne’s The Devil Inside Him and in 2011, Aleksey Scherbak’sRemembrance Day at the Royal Court Theatre. He made his cinematic debut in Resistance, a 2011 Welsh film based on the novel by Owen Sheers starring Andrea Riseborough and Michael Sheen. Other film work includes Wild BillWasteland, Daisy Winters and The Liberator.

Between 2013 and 2016 Iwan played the villainous Ramsay Bolton in HBO’s multi-award winningGame of Thrones. Other television credits include ITV’s Vicious, opposite Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi and Frances de la Tour, BBC One’s Our Girl, Netflix sci-fi thriller Residue, and for Sky One Rivierawith Adrian Lester and Julia Stiles, and Adolf The Artist alongside Rupert Grint. Most recently Iwan played the lead role in Marvel’s ABC drama series Inhumans and it has just been announced he will be playing Mötley Crüe’s guitarist, Mick Mars, in biopic The Dirt alongside Douglas Booth. Iwan will also be seen in the forthcoming films Berlin, I Love You and as the lead in WWII thriller Hurricane.

Dawn King is an award-winning writer working in theatre, film, TV and radio. Dawn’s 2013 playCiphers, a co-production between Out Of Joint, the Bush Theatre and Exeter Northcott, toured the UK and has been produced internationally. Ciphers was longlisted for the James Tait Black drama prize 2014 and is currently being adapted into a screenplay for Cowboy Films. Her most recent stage play, a major new adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, was a co-production between the Royal and Derngate Theatre and the Touring Consortium, and toured the UK in 2015.

Dawn’s short film The Karman Line, starring Olivia Colman and Shaun Dooley, played festivals around the world and won eighteen awards including Best Short Film at the British Independent Film Awards, and was nominated for a BAFTA. Currently, Dawn is working on two plays; The Light andSalt, which is a commission from the National Theatre and will be performed by youth theatre groups around the country as part of Connections 2019. She also writes regularly for radio and has had radio plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 4 Extra and BBC Radio 3.

Director Rachel O’Riordan is the artistic director of the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff (The Stage Awards’ 2018 Regional Theatre of the Year) and was previously artistic director of Perth Theatre and founding artistic director of Ransom Productions, Belfast. In 2016 her production of Iphigenia in Splott transferred from the Sherman Theatre to the National Theatre and toured the UK. The critically acclaimed production also won Best New Play at the UK Theatre Awards and the James Tait Black award. Other theatre credits include Killology (Sherman Theatre/Royal Court Theatre – Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre), Unfaithful (Traverse Theatre), The Seafarer (Perth Theatre/Lyric, Belfast), Carol Ann Duffy’s Grimm Tales (Library Theatre Manchester, M.E.N. Best Family Show award winner), and Hurricane (Soho Theatre). At the Sherman Theatre Rachel has directed Bird (also at Manchester Royal Exchange), The Cherry Orchard adapted by Gary Owen, The Weir (also at Tobacco Factory Theatre) and Arabian Nights(Wales Drama Award winner for Best Show for Children and Young People).

Foxfinder is designed by Gary McCann with lighting design by Paul AndersonSimon Slater is composer and sound designer for the production.

The Ambassadors Theatre
West Street
London WC2H 9ND

Thursday 6 September – Saturday 5 January
Press Night: Thursday 13 September 7pm

Monday – Saturday 7:45pm
Wednesday & Saturday 3pm

Christmas Schedule: Extra matinee: Wednesday 19 December, Friday 28 December & Wednesday 2 January 3pm
Matinee only: Monday 24 December & Monday 31 January 3pm
No performances Tuesday 25 – Wednesday 26 December, Tuesday 1 January

Ticket Prices: From £25 (previews up to £20 off)

Box Office: 020 7395 5405

Twitter: @foxfinderplay
Instagram: @foxfinderplay
Facebook: @Foxfinderplay

Opportunity for young theatre lovers!



The York Dungeon is offering a 4 week masterclass in theatre, costume and make-up.

A new series of workshops is launching this September in York, and it’s aimed at young people with a love of theatre, who want to either gain or enhance skills, an experience they won’t find at any other out of school club.

“The Dungeon Academy”, a new initiative from The York Dungeon is exclusively for those aged 12 – 16 years of age who want to learn the art of ‘Scary fun’.

As most York residents know, The York Dungeon features a team of live actors who have to perform a variety of different shows every single day. Now they want to pass their ability on to the next generation, and they hope this academy will be the perfect stepping stone.

“Our actors are some of the most talented around,” says Performance Manager, John Andrews, “for those who do The Dungeon Academy, they’ll be learning everything our actors have to, including how to do the iconic Dungeon make-up, dress as our characters and, of course, perform a selection of our famous shows”.

Over the 4 weeks, participants will train with professional Dungeon actors, learning everything there is to know about performing in the Dungeon.

Once the course is over, participants will be able to perform a final performance in front of their friends and family, inside The Dungeon itself. There are only 12 spaces available for this year’s academy, with a special early-bird offer for those who book and pay up to 4 weeks before the start of September.

Spaces are £100 (£75 early-bird) per person for 4 Workshops every Saturday from 8th – 29th September 2018. Each workshop lasts 3 hours starting at 9am.

For those who wish to book a slot, visit: https://www.thedungeons.com/york/en/what-is-the-dungeon/the-dungeon-academy/

La Fille mal gardée Review

Bristol Hippodrome – until 6th July

Review by Nicky Wyatt


Oh my word. My first visit to the ballet and I was absolutely mesmerised! Such beautiful dance with amazing story telling.

A story of young love played out with , fun, naughtiness and grace.

The opening music to this story sets the mood, sat just a few rows from the orchestra I initially thought it may be a bit overpowering but I need not have worried, under the watchful eye and superb conducting of Barry Wandsworth , it was a delight to listen too.

The story divided into three acts is about a young couple that catch each other’s eye and begin to fall in love. The path of true love often meets with a disapproving parent and this is true for this young couple also.

Lise ( Céline Ditton) sets about her morning chores in the hope that she will see her hearts want Colas (Tyrone Singleton). As they have missed each other she leaves him a ribbon tied in a lovers knot which he finds and attaches to his staff. Later that morning they manage to meet up in secret and perform the most amazing dance with the ribbon. It’s cheeky a little bit naughty but it is the dance of lovers, it ends with them having a made a cats cradle! So clever is the choreography of this show. Caught by her mother Simone (Rory Mackay) who gives Lise the job of churning butter, she of course gets some help from Colas. It’s not long before the village girls want Lise to come and play , chores abandoned she does just that. Again caught by her mother she is saved from being chastised any further when guests arrive.

Thomas (Valentin Olovyannikov) the vineyard owner wants Lise to marry his son Alain (James Barton). He tries to get her attention with his Hop,Skip,Jump way and although she thinks he is funny albeit clumsy she’s not interested her heart has already been captured.

It’s harvest time, all the workers stop for break and a dance ensues led by Colas it’s a fun dance. Alain and Lise dance together with respective parents watching on. She only has eyes for Colas and seeks his attention. Not to be beaten Alain decides to play the flute sadly he’s not very good and the others tease him. As he is swept away to avoid any more embarrassment the stage is left clear for Colas and Lise to dance. The dancing continues with all joining in, two spectacular routines are the Maypole and the Clog dance so fast and clever, again superb choreography! Dancing comes to an abrupt halt as a storm blows in the special effects here are amazing.

The final act sees Lise back indoors with mother who is awaiting the arrival of Alain with his father and the notaries to formalize the wedding. Simone leaves Lise alone but not trusting her, she locks her in alone or is she? The dancing and giving of scarves in this scene is just stunning. When everyone arrives at the house and Simone gives Alain the key to Lise bedroom door they all get a bit of a shock as she isn’t there alone.

Love wins through on the day and celebrations begin.

The facial expressions and movements between these dancers was truly wonderful too see. As I said at the beginning I was absolutely mesmerised from start to finish and left with the biggest smile.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Review

Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre York  – until Sunday 2nd September 2018.

Reviewed by Michelle Richardson


The theatre is Europe’s first ever pop up Shakespearean theatre, though there have been a few worldwide. Set within a Shakespearean village, offering good old Yorkshire food and drink, it is only open until 2nd September and has taken over part of the historic Clifford’s Tower car park.

The theatre itself is amazing, from the outside with it’s angular construction, to inside with scaffolding all around, which doesn’t look out of place. Seats are staggered around a pit, where you can buy “groundling” tickets for only £12.50, and then an impressive wooden stage with large double doors in the centre, a balcony above, two staircases each side with entrances beneath, allowing the actors to come and go. Musicians, sat even higher, in the gods.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Juliet Forster, Associate Director of York Theatre Royal, is the second of the four Shakespearean shows that I will be seeing, and the one I was most looking forward to seeing, after previously catching a couple of adaptations of this bizarre comedy. The cast were the same as Macbeth, the four Shakespearean plays have two lots of casts, each performing in two plays. This must be a challenge having to switch between the two shows, in this case I had seen Macbeth the previous evening and saw this show the following afternoon, not a lot of respite.

On a midsummer’s night Hermia and her lover Lysander flee from Athens and Demetrius – the man Hermia’s father favours as a son-in-law. Demetrius follows, pursued by Helena who loves him in spite of being spurned in favour of Hermia. On the same night Bottom and his friends leave Athens to find somewhere quiet to rehearse their play which is to be performed at the wedding feast of Duke Theseus. Drawn into the woods they enter a world of magic, mystery and wonder.

For this production the roles of the King and Queen of the fairies were gender reversed, Anthony Bunsee playing Titania, the Queen, and Amanda Ryan Oberon, the King. It made no difference at all to the characters and in fact provided a comic turn in Titania’s interaction with Bottom later on in the show. With Puck, an energetic Clare Corbett, and the fairies whizzing around the stage, we are treated to an athletic and sometimes acrobatic display, with ropes and ribbons, as well as utilising the scaffolding in the seated area. The costumes of the fairies were quite devilish, looking like impish goats is the best I can describe. The fairies were superb, the mannerisms, postures and movements were wonderful to watch, especially Gareth Aled, who was compelling to watch, just like little devil.

As the story spun it was a joy to watch Hermia, Amy Lennox, becoming more deranged and dishevelled, running away Lysander, whilst being chased by Demetruis, Mark Holgate, who in turn is being pursued by the desperate Helena, Olivia Onyehara. The four actors interact well together and, in the end, you can’t help having a lovestruck struck smile on your face when all comes right.

The biggest draw of the show though must really go to Paul Hawkyard as Bottom. He is a mountain of a man who preens his way through the role, imitating valiant poses, wanting to dominate the play that him and his friends are rehearsing. Donning a donkey head when he is enchanted by Puck, we are treated to several donkey noises during his dialogue, creating much merriment within the audience. His interaction with Titania was hilarious, maybe enhanced by us knowing that Titania was being played by a man. The play ends with Bottom and friends performing their play for the wedding, and of course Bottom tries to takeover. This provided the biggest laugh of all, mostly because of the wall, played by Robin Simpson. Rina Mahoney as Quince, the playwright of their play, was also very engaging and funny to watch.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is really quite bizarre, but it works and at times is truly funny. This is certainly the more user friendly of the Shakespearean plays I have seen and maybe a good opener for anyone wanting to see if they like his plays. With a strong cast this is surely worth your time.

Macbeth Review

Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre York – until Friday 31st August 2018.

Reviewed by Michelle Richardson


The theatre is Europe’s first ever pop up Shakespearean theatre, though there have been a few worldwide. Set within a Shakespearean village, offering good old Yorkshire food and drink, it is only open until 2nd September. I was looking forward to visiting the theatre after seeing it being built over the last few weeks, taking over part of Clifford’s Tower car park.

I am going to make an admission now, I don’t believe I have ever read or seen any adaptation of Macbeth, on screen, and definitely not a live show before. Shock horror I know. Obviously, I was aware of certain aspects of the tale, the witches for one, and the decent into madness off Macbeth, so in some respects saw the show “blind”. Macbeth, directed by Damien Crueden, the Artistic Director of York Theatre Royal, is the first of the four Shakespearean plays I will be seeing.

The theatre itself is amazing, from the outside with it’s angular construction, to inside with scaffolding all around, which doesn’t look out of place. Seats are staggered around a pit, where you can buy “groundling” tickets for only £12.50, and then an impressive wooden stage with large double doors in the centre, a balcony above, two staircases each side with entrances beneath, allowing the actors to come and go. Musicians, three I believe, sat even higher, in the gods.

With the beating of the drums and the opening bloody battle scene, along with smoke coming up through the stage floor, I could feel my heart pumping seeing the action unfold before my eyes, what a buzz that was. With the battle won Macbeth has his head turned by the witches with a prophecy that he will soon be Thane of Cawdor and later King. Consumed by ambition and spurred into action by his wife, Lady Macbeth, he murders King Duncan, taking the crown for himself. Wracked with guilt and paranoia, what unfolds is a tale of betrayal and madness full of death.

Working without microphones, occasionally the vocals were somewhat muffled, but this didn’t detract from the performance, and overall their projection was magnificent. All the acting was superb and one of the most memorable moments for me was when Banquo is set upon, the slashing of his legs before his ultimate death, made me cringe in my seat. Another was when Macbeth could see Banquo’s ghost all around him, much to the bemusement of all around him. The desent into madness of Macbeth, his seeing ghosts, his betrayal of those around him, was quite riveting. Richard Standing was excellent, but so we’re all the cast.

During the interval a few of the cast mingled with the groundings and all I could hear was, is your sword real, and can I touch it? During the whole performance the pit was used for comings and goings and must have been a great for those stood in that area. The music and bounding of the drums were so very effective, especially during the gory battle scenes and murders, very powerful and atmospheric.

Matt Cardle to join cast of Strictly Ballroom The Musical




Best-selling recording artist, X-Factor winner and West End star Matt Cardle is to join the cast of Strictly Ballroom The Musical. Based on Baz Luhrmann’s acclaimed film and now transformed into a spectacular and joyous West End musical, Matt will play the role of band leader Wally Strand, from Tuesday 31st July at the Piccadilly Theatre. He takes over the role from Will Young.


Matt Cardle first came to the public’s attention when he won The X Factor in 2010, the year the TV phenomenon series enjoyed its highest-ever ratings. His debut single When We Collide was Christmas number one in 2010, sold over one million copies and was nominated for a BRIT Award for Best Single. Since then, Matt has now sold over 2 million albums, had 3 Top 10 albums and played 5 sold-out UK tours. Matt’s most recent album ’Time To Be Alive’ was released by Sony earlier this year and features his latest single ‘I’m Not Letting Go Yet’ and the huge club hit ‘Desire’.


In 2015 he triumphed in a whole new arena when he made his West End debut, playing the lead role of Huey Calhoun in Memphis at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Starring alongside the legendary Beverley Knight, Matt won the Best West End Debut.

Matt Cardle said “I’m so excited to be returning to the West End and to be joining the cast of Strictly Ballroom to play the part of Wally Strand. It’s so rare that a role comes around that you can put so much of your own stamp on. I have seen the show and it’s absolutely incredible. Baz Luhrmann is an utter genius, as is Drew McOnie. To have the opportunity to sing all these huge songs every night is a real honour.

Matt’s most recent album Time To Be Alive was released by Sony earlier this year, and features his latest single I’m Not Letting Go Yet and the huge club hit Desire.

Strictly Ballroom tells the story of Scott Hastings – an arrogant young ballroom champion who gets in trouble for daring to dance his own steps. When he ends up dancing with a beginner, Fran, together they find the courage to defy tradition with moves that aren’t “strictly ballroom”…

The show features over 30 classic hits including Time After Time, Let’s Dance, I’m So Excited, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Sway (Quien Sera), Mambo No. 5, Dancing With Myself, Sugar Sugar, It’s the End of the World as We Know It, Teardrops, and Love is in the Air.

Director/choreographer Drew McOnie (Jesus Christ Superstar, In The Heights) has brought the story to life with a heart-stopping fusion of dance styles – together with a sensational cast led by Jonny Labey (EastEnders), Zizi Strallen (Mary Poppins, Follies).

The cast includes Michelle Bishop (The Great American Trailer, Sunset Boulevard) as Pam Short, Ivan De Freitas(Jesus Christ Superstar, Aladdin) as Merv, Anna Francolini (Peter Panwonder.land) as Shirley Hastings, Gabriela Garcia (In The Heights, Ghost) as Vanessa Cronin, Charlotte Gooch (Top Hat, Dirty Dancing) as Tina Sparkle, Richard Grieve (Neighbours, Emmerdale and Priscilla Queen of the Desert) as Les Kendall, Gerard Horan (The Ferryman, The Vote) as Barry Fife, Liam Marcellino (CabaretMiss Saigon) as Wayne Burns, Stephen Matthews(The Lion King, The Producers) as Doug Hastings, Fernando Mira (ENO, Victorian State Opera) as Rico, Eve Polycarpou (Palace of the End, In The Heights) as Abuela, Lauren Stroud (Scrooge, Top Hat) as Liz Holt & Gary Watson (Jersey Boys, Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be, A Chorus Line,) as Ken Railings.

The cast also includes Chris Bennett, Chrissy Brooke, Hannah Fairclough, Lavinia FitzpatrickSelina Hamilton, Tim Hodges, Christopher D Hunt, Luke Jackson, Justin-Lee Jones, Robin Kent, Jacob Maynard, Freya Rowley, Leanne Pinder, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda & Dale White.

Strictly Ballroom The Musical is produced by Global Creatures the team behind Walking With Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular, Muriel’s Wedding The Musical and the Broadway-bound King Kong and Moulin Rouge! The Musical.












FROM 6 JULY – 18 AUGUST 2018



Joining the legendary performer Tommy Steele on stage at the London Coliseum in The Glenn Miller Story this summer is Marti Webb, which will be running for a limited season from 6 July – 18 August. 


60 years after making his stage debut at the London Coliseum in 1958 starring in Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, the celebrated singer and actor Tommy Steele – Britain’s first Rock and Roll star – returns to this prestigious London stage to celebrate his idol Glenn Miller in a new musical production. 


Glenn Miller was the best selling recording artist in the world from 1939 to 1943, leading one of the best known big bands. In those four years, he scored 23 number-one hits – more than Elvis Presley and The Beatles.


The cast will be completed by: Autumn DraperCharlie TigheDevon McKenzie-SmithHoward Samuels, Holly RostronJessica EllenJordan OliverLinal HaftMyles Brown, Oliver Ramsdale, Siobhan Diffin, Tim Maxwell-Clarke and Tom Sowinski who form the ensemble, performing alongside the 16 piece big band.


The Glenn Miller Story features the journey the legendary big band leader took to find his unique sound, and his subsequent fame and untimely death. With the authentic sounds of In the Mood, Moonlight Serenade, Little Brown Jug, Pennsylvania 6-5000, Tuxedo Junction, Chattanooga Choo Choo, and many more era-defining favourites. It is produced by Bill Kenwright with choreography by Olivier Award Winner Bill Deamer and direction by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright





Performances: Tuesday to Saturday evenings at 7.30pm

Thursday, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3pm

 Tickets start from £18 (plus booking fee)


Address: London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4ES


Box Office: 020 7845 9300 | [email protected]


Website: londoncoliseum.org


Facebook/Twitter/Instagram:  @BKLProductions

Aspects of Love Press Launch

Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester, M4 7JA

Thursday July 5th 2018 until Thursday August 9th 2018.

Attended by Julie Noller

Today I had the priviledge to see regional theatre in its rawest and most exciting form when I was invited to attend Hope Studios for the press release of Hope Mill Theatres latest venture; Aspects of Love. Based on the novel by David Garnett, with music composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics written by Don Black and Charles Hart. It retells the story of love and indeed loss across three generations of the same family beginning in 1940’s France, for love has many aspects.

It’s an exciting time for Hope Mill co-founder Joeseph Houston, who stated that it is an honour to bring Aspects away from the bright lights of the West End stage to be profesionally produced within regional theatre for the very first time. The pride for this small theatre is immense, with Producer Katy Lipson beaming as she sings the praises of the Manchester venue. Aspects of love is Directed by Jonathan O’Boyle, who wasn’t wrong when he said, our ears were in for a treat. That’s the joy of regional theatre and indeed this production; you somewhat get a sense that it really doesn’t know just how good it’s potential is. We were introduced to each member of the ten strong cast who appear extremely relaxed in each others company, cheering and clapping each other along with a confidence and ease I can only dream of. To watch and be a part of the same intimate audience who watched the cast go through their paces and perform three musical numbers, well it only makes me wish for July 5th and opening night. Accompanied by Musical Director Gareth Bretherton on the piano as he explained the joy of their production is that it will follow a two piaano and percussion format, so expect those big numbers!

Love Changes Everything – performed by Alex (Felix Mosse) we are introduced to Felix as himself and wow he stands right up and delivers the song that made an instant household name of Micheal Ball with building power, total belief in his ability makes him captivating to watch.

Seeing is believing – Alex and Rose a steady duet that has you watching the forming partnership, leading to a relationship with utter and total understanding and acknowledgement of each other. To be as close as I was meant I could see every eye movement, the facial expressions. I was watching performers in the zone.

Anything but lonely – Rose (Kelly Price) Such a powerful lady and a smile that holds you, I wondered if the mirrored wall may shatter, the theatre will only amplify an amazing voice that deserves all the applause at the end of the night.

It was incredible to see how given this summers heatwave the cast remained cool and calm. It is apparent just how well this small cast has gelled and bonded. My goosebumps actually had goosebumps and I was hooked in with the pure simplicityand raw energy. This was only a rehearsal and limited to just three songs.

I can only imagine the full performance with every song belted out raising the rafters. It’s definitely a musical to be enjoyed over summer, it is more than worthy of its potential, claiming top spot in many hearts. I believe we may have have found summers love story, don’t forget those musical numbers too that still have me singing away to myself. All we have left to say is break a leg! To this young and highly talented cast.

The Band A New Musical Review

The King’s Theatre Glasgow – until 7 July

Reviewed by Linda McLaughlan


The atmosphere in the theatre was electric as the audience waited for the show to begin. Like giddy teenagers the audience consisted of a wide range of people from teenagers to older men and women who had come to listen to songs from their teenage years or just music that had touched their souls and left a lasting impression.

The story behind the show follows a group of teenage school girls who are in love with the music of their favourite boy band and dream of meeting them as they dance in their bedrooms, practising all their dance moves in the mirror and in the school corridors. Teenage Rachel (played by Faye Christall) is like many teenagers who has dreams of marrying the man of her dreams settling down and having a family. Her best friend since childhood Debbie (Rachelle Diedericks) reminds Rachel that she has to be her bridesmaid as they made a balloon promised at the age of six at a party. The girls laugh and dance and meet with their other friends at school where they find out that Debbie has won tickets in a competition to take them all to the concert that night for their favourite boy band. The friends are a mixture of different characters from Zoe (Lauren Jacobs) the sensible one who dreams of going to university and succeeding in life, Heather (Katy Clayton) who enjoys spending time with boys (lots of boys) and wants to become a clothes designer and have her own fashion range and Claire (Sarah Kate Howarth) who is the sporty one and dreams of getting to the Olympics as a swimming diver.

The show follows them through there adventures of the concert to missing the train, getting thrown of the bus and walking home. The group end up on a hill high behind their town and they make a pact after Debbie gives them all ‘A band’ from the show as a memento of they’re evening. Then everything changes after a tragic accident which sees Debbie killed in a car accident as she dances in the road into the path of a car.

This changes everything for the friends as they struggle to come to terms with the loss of their friend and go their separate ways after their friends funeral, saying some hurtful things to each other. Roll on 25 years and we are introduced to the grown up friends.Rachel (Rachel Lumberg) has moved away from her home town as a teenager after her parents split up. Rachel still loves listening to her favourite teenage boyband and dreaming of what may have been. Rachel is with a long term partner who would love to marry her but Rachel has always said no. The story continues with Rachel winning a radio competition to go and see her dream boy band in Prague and despite Jeff (Martin Miller) getting excited because they can go with friends and never mind the concert but enjoy the city sights, Rachel decided to ask her old friends who she hasn’t seen for years in the hope that they will all rekindle their lost friendship.

The entire show as the audience singing along all the way through as the boys from ‘Take Five’ keep the music flowing with the range of Take That songs which everyone sings along and dances too. A fantastic show which is mixed with highs and lows, joys and sadness and the important message about friends and their struggles to come to terms with the loss of a friend and the impact this has into adulthood. A definite must see for everyone. You won’t be disappointed.

The Tiger who came to tea Review

The Piccadilly Theatre – until Sunday 9 September 2018

Reviewed by Sharon and Georgia Kennedy




STARRING: Abbey Norman as Sophie

Stephanie Summers as Mummy

Thomas O’Connell as Daddy/Milkman/Postman/Tiger

This much loved children’s classic story was brought to life in this charmingly sweet adaption. The set design by Susie Caulcutt, was a perfect facsimile of the illustrations in the book. Even the costumes worn by the cast were in keeping with book right down to Sophie’s multi-patterned tights!

Sophie’s character played by Abbey Norman, was very enthusiastic in her role as a small excited girl. She looked quite small compared to her colleagues who played mummy and daddy. Casting a short actor in this role made the character of Sophie very believable.

Although it regards itself as a musical play at times it took on the genre of a pantomime. The Tick Tock chorus song by Sophie and her Mummy became annoyingly repetitive. A small child behind us groaned as it started again and again.

Once again the costumes were brilliantly designed. Of particular note was the Milkman’s outfit! This was comically put together to great effect. The Tiger was, once again, authentic to the original book.

On the whole this was a fun adaptation of a much loved children’s book.

The children in the audience loved, it as did my little girl. Its wonderful that this play will be touring the UK introducing more generations of children to this special little story.