Dirty Dancing Review

Churchill Theatre- until Saturday 2 March 2019

Reviewed by Elizabeth J Smith


When an iconic film from the 80’s is turned into a musical can it really be as effective on stage? Well the answer to that is yes it can.

The Churchill stage was transformed into the holiday resort of Kellerman’s where families take their vacations. A hive of activities from simple games like “Simon Says” to the end of season talent show and not lets forget about the dance lessons. These lessons are popular with the bored wealthy woman who spend their weeks alone at the resort while their husband are working. The dance instructor is a very attractive, athletic young man called Jonny Castle who finds the attention of these rich woman somewhat unnerving as he has come from nothing and is not encouraged by the management to have liaisons with the clients.

The bus boys are all college students on their way to better things in life and look down on the entertainment hosts as lesser people.
When the lead female dancing instructor, Penny, finds herself knocked up by one of these college boys a back street abortion is arranged to an almost disastrous end. Step up “Baby”. Baby is the young daughter of a doctor who saves the day by getting her Father to help Penny after the abortion and steps in as Johnny’s dance partner so they don’t lose their
much needed jobs.

Baby is played by Kira Malau with, at first a great naivety to what is going on around here, but soon catches on and discovers she’s not a child any more. Her initial dance moves were awkward and she really portrayed the giggly girl Baby was as first.

Michael O’Reilly gave a great performance of the mis understood, brooding Johnny. His dance moves were energetic and you could sense the irritation he felt being landed with this young girl to train. That soon changes with the scene in the lake cementing their feelings for each other. This scene was very funny and very imaginatively brought to life with no actual water! The audience were somewhat distracted by the removal of his shirt and even his trousers. This bought a whoop from the ladies.

Simone Covele had legs that were not only incredible long but very bendy and she danced her way into some amazing positions.

The action is fast paced and some scenes were a little out of whack if you don’t know the film. The singers had great voices but I thought it unusual for the leads not to be the singing.

Like all good musicals you should come out of the theatre wanting to dance off down the street and this production certainly did that. With the finale bringing the house down with the iconic dance moves to The Time of my Life raising the audience out of their seats.

This production is funny and energetic, as well as covering some seedier sides of life, ending with the famous lift, congratulation cast members you nailed it.



A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production

The UK regional première of


by Peter Morgan

Directed by Samuel Hodges; Designer: Rosanna Vize; Sound Designer: Alexandra Faye Braithwaite

Casting by Annelie Powell CDG

Nuffield Southampton Theatres – NST City

24 May – 22 June 2019

Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Samuel Hodges, todayannounces Faye Castelow as Queen Elizabeth II in the UK regional première of Peter Morgan’s The Audience. The production, directed by Samuel Hodges, opens on 30 May, with previews from 24 May, and runs until 22 June. Further casting to be announced.

65 Years. 13 Prime Ministers. One Queen.

For 65 years, the Queen has met her Prime Minister every week in an Audience at Buckingham Palace. Both parties agree never to repeat what is said. Not even to their spouses.

What is discussed? What secrets are shared? Does her Majesty have her favourites?

Sometimes intimate, often confessional, occasionally explosive, The Audience imagines the private moments that define a changing Britain. One head of state. Endless heads of government. This play asks where the real power lies. 

Nuffield Southampton Theatres Director Samuel Hodges directs a brand new production of the smash hit play from Peter Morgan, the writer of the critically acclaimed TV series The Crown and the Oscar award winning film The Queen.

Samuel Hodges said today, “At a moment of national uncertainty, the Queen is a uniquely reassuring figure. A constant who has transcended ages of change. Finding an actress who can embody her, from her first audience with Winston Churchill at the age of 25 to the Queen that we know today, is to find a rare quality. Faye Castelow has that quality.”

Peter Morgan’sother work for theatre includes Frost/Nixon. His television work includes The Crown, The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, The Jury, The Special Relationship, Longford, Colditz, Henry VIII and The Deal; and for film, Rush, 360, Hereafter, State of Play, The Damned United, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Last King of Scotland and The Queen.

Faye Castelow plays Queen Elizabeth II. Her theatre credits include The Rover, The Witch of EdmontonThe White DevilThe Roaring Girl (RSC), Man and SupermanAfter the DanceTime and the Conways (National Theatre), NijinskyThe Deep Blue Sea (Chichester Festival Theatre), How to be Another Woman (Gate Theatre), Mountain Hotel and The American Clock (Orange Tree Theatre). Her television credits include Pure and Rellik.

Samuel Hodges is Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST). His productions for NST include The Shadow FactoryDedication – Shakespeare and Southampton, and The Glass Menagerie. 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, 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. NST’s awards include Best Director at UK Theatre Awards 2013 for The Seagull, Regional Theatre of the Year at The Stage Awards 2015, Best Design at UK Theatre Awards 2015 for The Hudsucker Proxy and the 2017 Renee Stepham UK Theatre Award for Best Presentation of Touring Theatre for Fantastic Mr Fox. In 2018 NST was nominated for three awards in the UK Theatre Awards 2018 – Best Design for The Shadow Factory; The Renee Stepham Award for Best Presentation of Touring Theatre for A Streetcar Named Desire, and Achievement in Marketing and Audience Development for the NST City opening campaign. 

NST City is Nuffield Southampton Theatres new venue which opened in Southampton’s city centre in 2018. The theatre’s programme runs alongside 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.



Underbelly Festival 2019: Flip Fabrique, Gina Yashere, Sons of Pitches & Guilty Feminist amongst latest acts announced


·       Cariad Lloyd’s GriefCast300th episode of An Irishman Abroad and Angelos & Barry set for first ever Podcast Live

·       Yashere joined by Late Night Gimp Fight, Phil Wang, Sindhu Vee & Lost Voice Guy on comedy programme

·       Le Gateau Chocolat, Hans and Mariah & Friendz amongst star-studded cabaret offering

·       CBeebies’ Twirlywoos joins family programme which kicks off with Family Fest during the Easter Holidays and continues throughout the festival

Underbelly Festival Southbank’s 2019 programme is shaping up to be its most exciting and diverse to date, with over forty more shows added to the line-up today bringing some of the very best circus, comedy, cabaret, variety, live podcasting and family entertainment to the banks of the Thames.

Flip Fabrique, the Quebecois company whose style is a totally unique mix of joyous free-play, high-concept theatrics and an array of first-class circus skills, return to the Southbank with Transit – a viruallly arresting, thrillingly high-octane circus show with an enigmatic and engrossing subtext throughout which the performers’ ruminations on their own careers raise questions about the transient nature of life itself. (27 May – 7 July)

Also set for the Southbank are Sons of Pitches – the acapella and beatbox group who shot to fame as winners of BBC 2’s The Naked Choir and will be showcasing their astonishing singing talent and innovative vocal arrangements at Underbelly Festival for the first time.(6-8 May)

Some of the biggest names in comedy will also be joining the bill, with The Daily Show’s UK correspondent and international stand-up sensation Gina Yashere dropping in from 21-23 June.

Before then there’s a chance to catch Sindhu Vee (14 Apr) – the Indian comic who has also lived in the Philippines, the USA, Canada and the UK and is one of the finest truly international voices in stand-up, Underbelly Festival legend Jason Byrne (10-11 May), infamous sketch troupe Late Night Gimp Fight whose shamelessly dark, anarchic and experimental style has won them a huge cult following (24 May), Masters of Gaulier-inflected clown comedy Zach & Viggo with Thunderflop (29 May), and Phil Wang (30-31 May) – one of the most distinctive and hilarious young performers on the stand-up circuit and a superstar in the making.

Comedy performance will be running throughout the festival with acts announced for later in the summer including Britain’s Got Talent 2018 winner Lost Voice Guy, making his Underbelly Festival Southbank debut. (10-11 Sep)

Underbelly Festival has also built a reputation in recent years as one of the London’s finest cabaret venues, and 2019 is shaping up to be an all-star line-up, including one-of-a-kind performer Le Gateau Chocolat performing Icons– a journey through the galaxy of divas and superstars who shaped Gateau’s one of a kind style and fabulously metamorphosising singing voice (10-13 April), the Rat Pack of Drag Mariah & Friendz (11 July)and the provocative, explosively energetic and uproariously funny Hans (4 Sep).

In June Underbelly Festival will present a brand-new programming strand Podcast Live – two weeks dedicated to taking some of the most entertaining chatterers in the world from your earphones to the stage.

Podcast fans who can’t wait until June for a fix will have their appetites whetted with a live recording Deborah Francis-White’s iconic Guilty Feminist in the Belly Theatre on 11 April, with acts announced for Podcast Live! today including Cariad Lloyd’s paradigm-shifting series on loss and how we rebuild GriefCast (6 June), legendary comedy double act Angelos & Barry (7 June) and the 300th episode of An Irishman Abroad (15 June)

Underbelly Festival will present its most extensive ever family line-up this year, kicking off with Family Fest throughout the Easter Holidays and continuing for the length of the festival with acts announced today including maritime sketch comedy madness from The Noise Next Door: At Sea!, a post Brexit How Does This Politics Things Work Then? (which could benefit a few of the ‘grown-ups across the river if recent events are anything to go by), and the first ever stage adaptation of a CBeebies smash hit: Twirlywoos Live! – in which the producers of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show bring your favourite characters to life with beautifully innovative puppetry, mischief, music and plenty of surprises. (3-31 August)

Now in its 11th year on the Southbank in the heart of the world’s cultural capital, Underbelly Festival has become a staple of London’s live entertainment scene – the original, biggest and best pop-up festival providing world class performance at affordable prices across two distinctive and atmospheric venues, a sumptuous array of street food and drinks, and some of London’s finest outdoor bars.

‘Keep Watching’ – new play by Engineer Theatre takes on Surveillance in modern society | 2 April – 4 May | New Diorama Theatre


·       2 April – 4 May 2019  | New Diorama Theatre NW1

In 2019 we spend our whole lives being watched: whether by the government, private corporations or institutions we don’t yet know, our every move is being scrutinised through phones, computers, satellites, credit cards and devices.

But what if, instead of this multi-faceted, protean collection of algorithms, cameras, microphones and geo-tracking devices, we were being watched by a single, unrelentingly devoted person? How would we feel?

As Kat struggles to navigate the everyday financial, professional, social, romantic and familial issues which define the modern millennial, she gradually realises that her every move is being watched. After the initial shock of this discovery she begins to associate the sensation with comfort and security, getting dangerously close to falling in love with the idea.

Engineer Theatre Collective – the devising company who tackle urgent contemporary issues with a combination of incisive research, fast-paced storytelling and genre-shifting collaborative creativity- return with an unnerving and thrilling tale about modern society’s relationship with surveillance, and the impact of technology and consumerism on our personal privacy.

The show has been written with inspiration from first-hand interviews with public sector workers and surveillance professionals, and valuable guidance from the UK’s premiere surveillance charity Privacy International.

Keep Watching will be written by Engineer’s co-artistic director Jesse Fox, directed by fellow co-artistic director Simon Lyshon and performed by company members George Evans and Beatrice Scirocchi and actress Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo, whose recent performance in The Convert at The Yong Vic was described by britishtheatre.com as “nothing short of extraordinary”.

Recreating an instantly recognisable modern British cityscape, Engineer will continue their track record of innovative directorial techniques by using sung voice to create an overarching and unsettling atmosphere of putative utopia, adding another layer of dramatic tension to the play’s ambivalent relationship to its subject matter.

Engineer’s previous productions include Missing which used first-hand interviews with those who had experienced disappearances to tell the real story behind missing persons investigations, Run – an intensely stylised insight into young people starting out in the financial sector, and The Gap in the Light – a cinematic horror


KEEP WATCHING by Engineer                                                          2 April – 4 May 2019


£15.00; £3.00 JSA


New Diorama Theatre

15-16 Triton Street

Regent’s Place

London NW1 3BF


For the best tickets, book online at www.newdiorama.com

To book by telephone, ring 020 7338 9034

Cast announced for the revival of the hit British musical Maggie May | Finborough Theatre | 27 March – 20 April 2019

SDWC Productions in association with the Finborough Theatre
Cast announced for the first London revival
Maggie May
Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Wednesday 27th March – Saturday 20th April 2019

SDWC Productions announce the full cast for the revival of the hit British musical Maggie May. With music and lyrics by Lionel Bart and book by renowned dramatist Alun Owen, Maggie May has not been seen on the professional stage in London since its 1964 premiere at the Adelphi Theatre.

In this hard-hitting celebration of working class life in Liverpool’s docks in the 1960s, Maggie May will be played by Kara Lily Hayworth (Cilla the Musical, National Tour; Annie, National Tour; The Mystery of Edwin Drood), with James Darch (Wicked, Apollo Victoria; Mamma Mia!, Novello Theatre; Cats, National Tour) as Patrick Casey, and Natalie Williams (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Theatre Royal Drury Lane; Oliver!, Leicester Curve; Scrooge, London Palladium) playing Maureen O’Neill.

The cast also includes Mark Pearce (Twelfth Night, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre; The Wedding Singer, Leicester Curve), Leon Kay (High Society, The Old Vic; Billy Elliot, National Tour), Michael Nelson (Mamma Mia!, National and International Tour; The Rink, Southwark Playhouse; Our House, National Tour), Barnaby Taylor (The Tempest, The Faith Machine, Guildhall School of Music and Drama), Aaron Kavanagh (Some Lovers, The Other Palace; This is The Greatest Show, National Tour; The Rocky Horror Show, European Tour), Chloe Carrington (Jersey Boys, International Tour; The Wizard of Oz, Blackpool Opera House), Euan Bennet (Sunshine On Leith, West Yorkshire Playhouse and National Tour; Jack and The Beanstalk, Paisley Arts Centre); Cathy McManamon (Me and My Girl, London Palladium; Jack The Ripper, Jermyn Street), Joshua Barton (The Commitments, National Tour and Ireland Tour; What The Ladybird Heard, International Tour) and David Keller (Hamlet, Theatr Clwyd; The Elephant Man, Theatre Royal Plymouth).

This production marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Lionel Bart, described by Andrew Lloyd Webber as ‘the father of the modern British Musical’. Winner of the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Score of the Year and the Critics’ Poll Award for Best New British Musical, Maggie May includes one the most musically diverse scores of the 1960s, ranging from bitter sweet ballads, Mersey Beat rock ‘n’ roll and classic chorus numbers.

Full of vigour, northern wit and brassy tunes, this is the story of ‘street walker’ Maggie May Duffy and her childhood sweetheart, Patrick Casey. Their love story is set against the economic decline of Liverpool’s docks at the height of the City’s cultural revival through the Mersey Beat sound.

Director, Matthew Iliffe, said, In the year which marks the twentieth anniversary of legendary British songwriter Lionel Bart’s death, it seemed appropriate to honour his legacy with a revival of Maggie May, Bart’s hit musical which ran at the West End’s Adelphi Theatre in 1964. Bart was a workingclass maverick from the East End who, despite not being able to read or write music, penned the soundtrack to 1960s Britain, with hits such as Living Doll for Cliff Richard, Bond Theme From Russia With Love for Matt Monroe and of course the score for Oliver! As a librettist and lyricist he also captured the contemporary zeitgeist like no other with shows like Fings’ Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be and indeed Maggie May. In doing so, he is arguably the only British writer of musicals to ever
successfully put working-class experiences centre stage. This anniversary gives us the chance to appraise his extraordinarily wide-ranging body of work and to celebrate a true British Icon.

This is the first professional London production since its premiere 55 years ago at the Adelphi Theatre, starring Rachel Roberts, Kenneth Haigh and Barry Humphries, where it was described by critics as Explosively vigorous (The Times), A punchy, pungent, spectacle of a show…big, bold and energetic (The Observer), and The most vigorous musical since West Side Story (The Daily Express).

Commenting on this London revival, the Lionel Bart Estate said, We are delighted to see Maggie May return to London after 55 years. This show was very important to Lionel and we only wish he were here to see it.

Additionally, Alun Owen’s son, Gareth, commented, Alun was very proud to be a native Liverpudlian and many of his plays were based on settings in Liverpool. Maggie May is a well- known Liverpool story and Alun gave his own unique insight into the events that are described in the production. I am delighted Maggie May is making a comeback.

Maggie May is performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited on behalf of Josef Weinberger Limited









Full casting announced for the award-winning Barn Theatre’s (Best Fringe Theatre  – The Stage Awards 2019) upcoming production of The Butterfly Lion by the acclaimed writer and former Children’s Laureate, Michael Morpurgo (War HorsePrivate Peaceful,Running Wild).

The cast comprises of: Jasper William Cartwright (Michael/Bertie), Jonathan Charles (Lion), Jeremy Cobb (Merlot), Henry Douthwaite (Father), Hilary Harwood (Millie), and Abigail Matthews (Mother).

One of Morpurgo’s finest works, this heart-warming yet bittersweet story of faithfulness, destiny and love has been adapted for the stage by Daniel Buckroyd. The production runs at The Barn from 2 April – 4 May, with press night on Thursday 4 April 2019, and is directed by Jessica Daniels, with designs by Lizzy Leech, puppetry designs and direction by Maia Kirkman-Richards, and lighting bySam Rowcliffe-Tanner.

The Butterfly Lion tells the extraordinary story of young Albert Andrews and the unlikely friendship that he strikes up with the orphaned white lion cub he rescues one day from the African Veldt. It’s an epic tale that spans more than seventy years and takes us from rural Wiltshire to the plains of South Africa, and from the bleeding heart of war-torn France finally back to England and the safety of home. It’s a journey that begins with a solemn promise made by a boy never to forget his friend, a journey that will keep you on the edge of your seat until its startling conclusion.

Following on from The Butterfly Lion, The Barn’s 2019 season continues with a William Shakespeareclassic history, Henry V (22 May – 22 June 2019), a brand new production of the comic thriller, The 39 Steps (10 July – 10 August 2019), the award-winning musical Daddy Long Legs (2 October – 2 November 2019), and a reimagining of Charles Dickens’ festive masterpiece, A Christmas Carol (27 November 2019 – 4 January 2020). 


The Butterfly Lion

Tuesday 2 April – Saturday 4 May 2019

Written by Michael Morpurgo

Adapted by Daniel Buckroyd

Directed by Jessica Daniels

Press Night: Thursday 4 April at 18:30

Performance Times: 14:30 / 19:30

Address: The Barn Theatre, 5 Beeches Road, Cirencester, GL7 1BN

Theatre For All: In conjunction with the launch of the 2019 season, The Barn will also be launching a new ticketing initiative as part of their Theatre For All strategy. This initiative provides an all-inclusive strategy that enables everyone in the community to experience high-quality productions at an affordable price.  #TheatreForAll

General Ticket Prices: From £8-£32

Concessions: Available to children under 16, over 65, and members of the Uniformed Public Services.

Season Tickets: From £32-£128

20% off the general ticket pricing, offering audiences five shows for the price of four

Family Tickets: From £24-£96 (4 tickets – 2 adults x 2 children)

Group Tickets: From £10-£12

Save up to 33% on the standard ticket price – tickets only available for Rows Q-S

School Groups: School bookings for performances are available by contacting the Box Office.

Cashback: Available predominantly for charities, or any groups and organisations looking to raise much needed funds. Individuals buy tickets at face value and the Barn Theatre agrees to make a 20% donation of the total purchase back to the charity or group that have visited the theatre under the scheme.

Box Office (Phone): 01285 648 255 (10am-5.30pm, Mon to Sat)

Box Office (Online): [email protected]

Téatro Bar & Restaurant: Téatro is open from 5.30pm to late, Wed – Sat

Book A Table: 01285 648 238 or [email protected]

The Barn Theatre Logo: Available to download HERE

The Barn Theatre Images: Available to download HERE 

2019 Season Artwork: Available to download HERE

The Butterfly Lion Cast Headshots: Available to download HERE

Website: barntheatre.org.uk

Twitter: @thebarntheatre

Facebook: @thebarntheatrecirencester

Instagram: @thebarntheatrecirencester






Over 25,000 tickets at £20 or less across the run

‘This Fiddler raises the roof. A note-perfect production.’
The Guardian

Chocolate Factory Productions, Sonia Friedman Productions and Michael Harrison present

The Menier Chocolate Factory production of


Book by Joseph Stein               Music by Jerry Bock          Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick         

Director Trevor Nunn; Choreographers Jerome Robbins & Matt Cole; Set Designer Robert Jones   

Costume Designer Jonathan Lipman; Hair and Make Up Designer Richard Mawbey

Lighting Designer Tim Lutkin; Sound Designer Gregory Clarke

Musical Supervisor & Director Paul Bogaev; Orchestrations Jason Carr

Joining Andy Nyman (Tevye) and Judy Kuhn (Golde) to complete the West End company of Trevor Nunn’s critically acclaimed production of Fiddler on the Roof are Nicola Brown (Chava), Harriet Bunton (Hodel), Dermot Canavan (Lazar Wolf), Stewart Clarke (Perchik), Joshua Gannon (Motel), Matthew Hawksley (Fyedka),Louise Gold (Yente), and Molly Osborne (Tzeitel), as well as Miles BarrowSofia BennettPhilip Bertioli , Lottie CasserleyElena Cervesi, Lia CohenTalia EtheringtonShoshana EzequielIsabella Foat, Fenton GrayJames Hameed,  Adam LinsteadAdam MargilewskiRobert MaskellBenny MaslovRobyn McIntyreGaynor Miles,Ellie MullaneTania NewtonCraig PinderValentina Theodoulou and Ed Wade. The production transfers to the reconfigured Playhouse Theatre from 21 March for a limited run – with over 25,000 tickets at £20 or less across the run. The production, which opens on 27 March, with previews from 21 March, and is booking until 15 June, is currently running at the Menier, where it completes its sell-out run on 9 March.

‘This production bursts from the stage.’
Financial Times

Direct from its sold-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Tony and Olivier award-winning director Trevor Nunn’s ‘exuberant revival’ (Daily Telegraph) of the classic Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof transfers to the West End for a strictly limited run. The Playhouse Theatre will be specially transformed into an immersive space for this ‘shiveringly intimate chamber musical about family’ (The Times).

Old traditions and young love collide in this joyous and timely celebration of life. Tevye’s daughters’ unexpected choice of husbands opens his heart to new possibilities, as his close-knit community also feel winds of change blowing through their tiny village.

Featuring the iconic score including ‘Tradition’, ‘Matchmaker, Matchmaker’, ‘Sunrise, Sunset’ and ‘If I Were a Rich Man’, and featuring original choreography from Tony Award-winning Jerome Robbins alongside new choreography by Matt Cole, Fiddler on the Roof ‘bursts from the stage’ (Financial Times), bringing new life to one of the most beloved musicals of all time.

Andy Nyman is an award-winning actor, director and writer who has earned acclaim from both critics and audiences for his work in theatre, film and television. As well as Fiddler on the Roof, his work for the Menier includes Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins and Abigail’s Party (also Wyndham’s Theatre). Other theatre work includes Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen (Wyndham’s Theatre), and the original production of Ghost Stories (Duke of York’s Theatre/Arts Theatre) which he starred in, co-wrote and co-directed with Jeremy Dyson. His extensive television credits include Wanderlust, The Eichmann ShowCampus, Crooked HouseDead Set as well as his highly acclaimed performance as Winston Churchill in Peaky Blinders. This year he will be seen in the up and coming series Hanna. Nyman’s extensive film credits include The CommuterDeath at a FuneralKick-Ass 2Black Death,The Brother’s BloomSeverance and Shut Up & Shoot Me, for which he won the ‘Best Actor’ award at the Cherbourg Film Festival in 2006. Upcoming films include Jungle Cruise and playing opposite Renee Zellweger in Judy. This year saw the release of the film version of Ghost Stories. Based on their own play, the film was written and directed by Nyman and Jeremy Dyson. Nyman also stars alongside Martin Freeman and Paul Whitehouse. In addition, he has collaborated with Derren Brown for almost 20 years, co-writing and co-creating much of Brown’s early TV work, he has also co-written and directed six of Brown’s stage shows winning the ‘Best Entertainment’ Olivier Award forDerren Brown – Something Wicked This Way Comes and recently a New York Drama Desk Award for ‘Best Unique Theatrical Event 2017’ for Derren Brown – Secret.

Judy Kuhn plays Golde. A four-time Tony Award nominee, she has released four studio albums, and sang the title role in the 1995 film Pocahontas, including her rendition of the song “Colors of the Wind”, which won its composers the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Her theatre credits include Fun Home (Public Theater/Circle In The Square Theatre), She Loves Me (Brooks Atkinson Theater), ChessThe Mystery of Edwin Drood (The Imperial Theatre), Les Miserables (Broadhurst Theatre), Rags (Mark Hellinger Theatre),Two Shakespearean Actors (Lincoln Center Theatre), King David (New Amsterdam Theater) and Metropolis(Piccadilly Theatre – Olivier Award Nomination), The Visit (The Williamstown Theater Festival), PassionThe Cradle Will Rock (City Center), Three Sisters (Intiman Theatre), Passion (Kennedy Center), Sunset BoulevardEli’s Comin’ , Dream True (Vineyard Theatre), The Ballad of Little Jo (Steppenwolf Theater), The Glass Menagerie(McCarter Theatre), Martin Guerre (Hartford Stage) and Endangered Species (BAM). Her film credits include EnchantedDay on FirePocahontas and Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World.

From 1968 to 1986, Trevor Nunn was the youngest ever Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, directing over thirty productions, including most of the Shakespeare canon, as well as Nicholas Nickleby and Les Misérables.  From 1997 to 2003, he was Artistic Director of the National Theatre, where his productions included Troilus and Cressida, Oklahoma!The Merchant of VeniceSummerfolkMy Fair LadyA Streetcar Named DesireAnything Goes and Love’s Labour’s Lost. He has directed the world premières of Tom Stoppard’s plays ArcadiaThe Coast of Utopia and Rock n Roll; and of CatsSunset Boulevard, Starlight Express and Aspects of Love by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Other theatre includes Timon of AthensSkellig (Young Vic); The Lady From The Sea (Almeida Theatre); HamletRichard IIInherit the Wind (The Old Vic), A Little Night Music (Menier Chocolate Factory, West End and Broadway), Cyrano de BergeracKiss Me Kate (Chichester Festival Theatre); Heartbreak HouseFlare PathRosencrantz and Guildenstern Are DeadThe Tempest (Theatre Royal, Haymarket); Scenes from a Marriage (Coventry & St James), All That Fall (Jermyn Street & New York); A Chorus of Disapproval and Relative Values (West End).  Work for television includes Antony and CleopatraThe Comedy of ErrorsMacbethThree SistersOthelloThe Merchant of Venice and King Lear, and on film, HeddaLady Janeand Twelfth Night

Listings                                                                                                                         Fiddler on the Roof

Playhouse Theatre

Northumberland Ave, London WC2N 5DE

Box Office: 0844 871 7631

Tickets from £20


Twitter: @FiddlerWestEnd

Instagram: @FiddlerWestEnd

Facebook: /FiddlerWestEnd


Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm until 30 March (matinees on Saturdays)

Tuesday to Saturday from w/c 2 April (matinees on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays)

Groups Bookings: 020 7206 1174

Access Bookings: 0800 912 6971

Captioned performance: Wednesday 8 May

Audio Described: Wednesday 15 May

Avenue Q Review

StoryHouse – until Saturday 2nd March 2019

Reviewed by Julie Noller


Avenue Q the musical full of misfits, looking like Sesame Streets cute and lovable puppets; suddenly grew up and had a party that included lots of shots and a good dose of reality. This tour comes a whole sixteen years since Avenue Q first opened in New York where it’s set on funnily enough Avenue Q, I admit to googling Avenue Q… no it doesn’t exist but if it did well I’m sure just from looking at the jaw dropping set it would be so far removed from anywhere remotely trendy. It made me wonder if in fact Avenue Q wasn’t a pun in itself making me think of a true mixing pot of every whim society may throw into it.

It’s obvious that there’s a mini cult following of Avenue Q, audience members waiting for certain characters, certain songs. I had a conversation with someone who had listened to the entire show but not seen it, seeing her head bounce in time to the opening theme tune, I don’t doubt that.

All the music and lyrics are brought to us by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx who have an impressive back catalogue and list of awards between them, Frozen’s Let It Go and the Emmy nominated musical episode of Scrubs. Which raises the odd eyebrows when you note some of the musical numbers such as Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist, I’m Not Wearing Underwear Today, If You Were Gay… you get the idea. There may be puppets, there may be monster puppets but this is no where near a fluffy nod to life. It’s a warts and all look at life cleverly told through the mismatched lives of all those living on Avenue Q, perhaps by using puppets you can be a little bit more naughty. Shocked audiences don’t truly exist but laugh out loud audiences do. If you were to write a list of every cliche from homelessness to racism to homosexuality it’s right here tucked into a song somewhere, you’ll remember them but you’ll be laughing.

You’ll also be torn, will you keep your eyes fixed on those amazing puppets or the incredibly talented puppeteers? Multi tasking but at no time do you lose track of the story unfolding, I loved the singing and must mention Lawrence Smith (Princeon/Rod) Cecily Redman (Kate Monster/Lucy The Slut) Tom Steedon (Nicky/Trekkie Monster/Bad Idea Bear) and Megan Armstrong (MrsT/Bad Idea Bear/2nd Arm) for great singing and managing to sing in the different voices of each puppet.

The story itself resolves around Priceton, a recent graduate with a BA in English, having no idea what to do with that degree or indeed what his purpose in life is. His life mirrors an ordinary life perhaps doing extraordinary things and intermingling with the lives of those he meets living on Avenue Q. Rod an investment banker and a republican who lives so firmly in the closet that everyone bar him knows he is indeed gay. Kate Monster seeking a fulfilling relationship yet being so desperate it alludes her. Lucy the Slut (yes you read her name right) imagine any cowboy film of old where there’s always a femme-fatale yup that’ll be Lucy. Trekkie Monster well sounds and looks like the cookie monster crossed with Chewbacca gone wrong, he is sex mad to put it mildly – an adolescent teen who in his own words loves porn and made millions from investing in porn. The Bad Idea Bears who as you imagine are the devils on everyone’s shoulder, have a drink, have another, play drinking games, take her home. They have annoying loud pitched cutesy voices but you can’t help but laugh and love them, we have all played the role of Bad Idea Bear at some time. Nicholas Mclean is great as Superintendant Gary Coleman including delivering his well used catchphrase ‘What you talking about Willis’

It’s a polished performance that’s been practiced, rehearsed and performed countless times, well thought out and developed concept and deserves to be an award winner and well followed with it’s own fan base. Quite a few will proudly be wearing their the internet is full of porn tshirts today. Avenue Q may be cute and fluffy puppets but please don’t take the children unless you awkwardly want to explain what the Princeton and Kate and doing on the bed with no clothes on – yes you will be witnessing puppet intercourse and wow are those puppets supple. It’s a laugh a minute night out with friends who have a sense of humour and aren’t easily offended.

A Song at Twilight Review

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford – until 2nd March 2019

Reviewed by Antonia Hebbert


Sir Hugo Latymer is a rich, respected author. He lives in a luxurious Swiss hotel with a nice view. He is also a grumpy old thing, but he has married his saintly secretary, so he has someone to answer the phone and gracefully manage his rudeness.

When the play starts, he is fretting. An old flame is about to visit. Is she angry about the way she appears in his autobiography, or is she after money? But when she arrives, old flame Carlotta turns out to be rich and self-possessed. She wants something, but it isn’t clear what. Meanwhile, wife Hilde goes out for the evening, and in the background the waiter smoothly comes and goes.

By this time you are well into the first half of the play, and are wondering where it’s going. It’s all little jibes and sparring, but with no clear direction. Then Carlotta drops her bombshell and we begin to understand Sir Hugo better.

Simon Callow (Sir Hugo) does a fine job of being a fundamentally unhappy man who hasn’t been true to himself and takes out his misery on those around him. Jessica Turner is the lovely Hilde, who keeps her dignity despite the constant barrage of surly comments from Sir Hugo. They are utterly persuasive as one of those couples that are very close while not seeming to get on well together. Jane Asher doesn’t quite sparkle as Carlotta. She has the right mix of coolness and fieriness, but just seems a little awkward. Trite as I am, I felt she had a footwear problem. Things got better once she kicked off those shoes and could move with full natural grace.

This is a late play by Noel Coward. If the name suggests an evening of dazzling wit and repartee, you won’t find it here. But it does become intriguing, as Carlotta remorselessly digs out the truth, and Hilde turns out to be more complicated than a sweet doormat. It is one of a trio that Coward wrote when he had gone out of fashion and become a tax exile (Bermuda then Switzerland). The play draws on real experiences of outwardly brilliant, successful people who felt they had to live a lie.

Simon Higlett’s handsome hotel room design, with lake view, is so realistic that I found myself being slightly distracted by the moon not rising as it should have done in the sky. Drinks are poured and a meal is served very convincingly – special mention here for Ash Rizi, who is a delight to watch as Felix the waiter, discreetly going about his work. He is important too, as the character that links together the three plays in Coward’s trio. The director is Stephen Unwin.

Three stars for the rather laboured first half, but four for the second.

Rob Brydon to probe Barry Humphries live on stage at London Palladium



  • Comedy giant Barry Humphries returns to London for an onstage ‘probing’ by Rob Brydon
  • Titans of comedy will come together under one roof at the London Palladium on April 28
  • Show will see Byrdon ‘probe’ the Dame Edna superstar about his top comedy moments and life in the limelight

Comedy legend Barry Humphries is returning to London to be probed by Rob Brydon live on stage.

The Dame Edna Everage superstar promises to reveal all during the once-in-a-lifetime event Rob Brydon Probes Barry Humphries Live On Stageat the London Palladium on April 28.

The evening will consist of antipodean antihero Humphries being interviewed by Rob Brydon, star of The Trip, Would I Lie To You? and Gavin and Stacey.

In a vein similar to that of BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Barry will be revealing his top 10 comedy moments of all time, which will be shown a huge HD screen.

The legendary comic, now 85-years-old, will also give a no holds barred telling of his 64 years on stage.

From his early days after as a fresh-faced graduate starting out at the Melbourne Theatre Company as Dame Edna, to selling out the Palladium in the 80s, Rob Brydon Probes Barry Humphries Live on Stagewill explore the man behind the makeup.

Rob Brydon said: 

“I’ve admired and been influenced by Barry Humphries for as long as I can remember.

“I will probe his every nook and cranny, relentlessly.”

Barry Humphries added: 

“I’m nervous about being probed by Mr Brydon, I consulted his wife.

“She reassured me by saying that it could be rather entertaining on the odd occasion.”

Chris Daniels, Director of Rob Brydon Probes Barry Humphries Live on Stage, commented: 

“The London Palladium could not be a more fitting venue for these two titans of the comedy world to come together and appreciate every inch of one another.

“Though they have their own, unique styles of comedy, Barry has served as a huge source of inspiration for Rob.

“To see them both under one roof will be unforgettable.”

Tickets for Rob Brydon Probes Barry Humphries Live on Stageon Sunday April 28 at 7.30pm are on sale now at www.lwtheatres.co.uk.