The game is afoot…


Take Note Theatre presents


By Greg Freeman

at Rudolf Steiner Theatre

17 July – 18 August

Director: David Phipps-Davis

Take Note Theatre todayannouncesthe full cast for the brand-new production of Sherlock Holmes and The Invisible Thing to be staged at Rudolf Steiner Theatre – a stone’s throw from Holmes’ 221b Baker Street. David Phipps-Davis directs Stephen Chance (Sherlock Holmes), Doug Cooper (Inspector Peacock), Philip Mansfield (Dr Watson), Imogen Smith (Betty Rochester) and Vanessa-Faye Stanley (Lucy Grendle). Written by Greg Freeman, the production opens on 25 July, with previews from 17 July and runs until 18 August.

Holmes and Watson are called to investigate a murder seemingly committed by an invisible perpetrator. As they probe into the mysterious lakeside drowning, something startling emerges…

A perplexed Inspector Peacock summons Holmes and Watson to the home of Miss Lucy Grendle, the daughter of the late Alfred Grendle – a man with a shadowy past. Miss Lucy Grendle has a problem with vodka (and Sherlock Holmes). The last time their paths crossed, it did not end well. Tension is in the air, and it’s not just because an Invisible Thing is prowling the house.

The play was originally performed at the Tabard Theatre in 2016 and has been revised and restaged for the current run.

Greg Freeman’s credits include Kathmandu performed at the Menier Chocolate Factory and Pleasance Edinburgh, DogstarMontaguEmpty Vessels and the co – adaptation of Conan Doyle’s first Sherlock Holmes book A Study in Scarlet for the stage. His credits also include the critically acclaimed Doig! The MusicalNo Picnic and Beak Street. Credits for television include the adaptation of the American sitcom Who’s The Boss into ITV’s The Upper Hand.

Stephen Chance plays Sherlock Holmes. He has played Sherlock Holmes twice previously in The Hound of Baskerville and The Final Problem (Gasworth Hall). His previous theatre credits include Boeing Boeing (The English Theatre of Hamburg), Widower’s Houses (Sartorius Theatre) and Simpatico (Tabard Theatre). His television credits include Castles in the Sky. Film credits include Me Before You.

Doug Cooper playsInspector Peacock. His previous theatre credits include An Ideal Husband (Tabard Theatre), Venezia: The Story of Venice (Luigi Theatre) and Women Beware Women (Royal Court Theatre). Film credits include See You In Hell and Love Freely But Pay For Sex.

Philip Mansfield plays Dr Watson. His previous theatre credits include See How They Run (York Theatre Royal), The Merchant of Venice, Pericles (Rose Theatre Kingston), The Scandalous Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde (Tabard Theatre), Twelfth Night (New Wimbledon Theatre), The Comedy of Errors (Gray’s Inn Hall), Saint Joan (Shaw Theatre), The Way of The World (Barons Court Theatre), Pride and Prejudice and A Tale of Two Cities (UK tour).

Imogen Smith plays Betty Rochester. Her previous theatre credits include Reformation (White Bear Theatre), Love and Friendship (Omnibus Theatre), Sunday Readings in the Park (Park Theatre), Broadbent (Bristol Old Vic), To Kill A Mockingbird (York Theatre Royal / UK tour), Palace of the End (Arcola Theatre), The Time of the Tortoise (Theatre503), Coriolanus (Festival Theatre, Edinburgh) and The Winter’s Tale (Royal & Derngate).

Vanessa-Faye Stanley plays Lucy Grendle. Previous theatre credits include Richard III (Wales Millennium Centre – nominated for Best Supporting Actor at National Welsh Theatre Awards), War Horse (National Theatre) and Escapology (Camden People’s Theatre). She is also co-founder of the comedy trio The History Girls. Directing credits include The Terrific Electric (Barbican – Oxford Samuel Beckett Award).

David Phipps-Davis is a writer and director. Previous credits as a director include See Me For Myself,  An Ideal Husband (Tabard Theatre), Le Comte OryMacbeth, L’elisir d’amore (Dorset Opera Festival), Cinderella (Regent Theatre, Ipswich) and Who Will Carry The World? (Brockley Jack Theatre). Credits as a writer include Beauty and The Beast (UK tour), Sleeping Beauty, Dick Whittington (Dorking Halls) and Cinderella (Harlow Playhouse). 

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE INVISIBLE THING                                                                               Listings

Rudolf Steiner Theatre

35 Park Road, Marylebone, London NW1 6XT

17 July – 18 August

Box Office:  0333 666 3366


Facebook: @thesherlockplay

Twitter: @thesherlockplay

Instagram: @thesherlockplay

Amélie The Musical Review

King’s Theatre, Edinburgh – until 29 June 2019

Reviewed by James Knight

Amélie Poulain, a young French waitress with an unconventional upbringing, decides that she will act as a guardian angel of sorts to those around her, whilst at the same time keeping herself at a distance from her own desires and true happiness.

Based on the 2001 film starring Audrey Tautou, this new musical, with a book by Craig Lucas, music by Daniel Messé and lyrics by Nathan Tysen and Daniel Messé, is nothing short of a theatrical miracle. The original Broadway production closed after around two months, but it has now been re-worked for its UK tour. And it seems all the changes have been for the better.

For starters, I cannot praise the ensemble cast enough. Sixteen actor-singer-musicians  impeccably create the quirky Parisian world Amélie inhabits, with all the music coming from them. Their talent is undeniable, to play a two-hour musical, with no sheet music or visible conductor, while acting, singing, dancing… The whole show is filled with the unstoppable force of quadruple threats. Daniel Messé’s music is achingly beautiful (of course, we’re in France) from the opening number, to Nino’s ballad ‘When the Booth Goes Bright’ and Amélie’s ‘Times are Hard for Dreamers’. That’s not to say we don’t get to inside the more quirky aspects of Amélie’s imagination – we also get a singing fish, singing figs and a singing gnome. Not to mention Elton John’s ode to Amélie at the end of Act One, which will leave you wondering why it’s not been included in ‘Rocketman’.

Little moments filled me with joy. Amélie entering her flat reverse-Mary Poppins style via a ceiling light. The use of light for the photo booths that Nino searches. A lost treasure box returned to its owner. Amélie’s parents, neurotic, but still made for each other, singing and playing cellos in unison. And a long-awaited kiss that happens, in a show filled with sounds and music and movement, in simple and blissful silence.

Amélie the Musical’ is a joyous celebration of human connection and small moments and rightfully deserves its own moment in the spotlight. Drop everything that you’re doing, go and see it, and you’ll leave the theatre a little lighter.




Chichester Festival Theatre and Menier Chocolate Factory present


A new play by Laura Wade

Adapted from the unfinished novel by Jane Austen

20 September – 16 November

Director: Samuel West; Designer: Ben Stones; Sound Designer: Gregory Clarke

Casting Director: Charlotte Sutton

Chichester Festival Theatre and Menier Chocolate Factory today announce the London première of Olivier Award-winner Laura Wade’s The Watsons at the Menier – Wade received the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy for Home I’m Darling earlier this year. Directed by Samuel WestThe Watsons played to critical acclaim at Chichester Festival Theatre in 2018. The production opens at the Menier on 30 September, with previews from 20 September, and runs until 16 November. Public booking opens on Wednesday 3 July at 9am, priority booking is open now.

What happens when the writer loses the plot?

Emma Watson is nineteen and new in town. She’s been cut off by her rich aunt and dumped back in the family home. Emma and her sisters must marry, fast. If not, they face poverty, spinsterhood, or worse: an eternity with their boorish brother and his awful wife.

Luckily there are plenty of potential suitors to dance with, from flirtatious Tom Musgrave to castle-owning Lord Osborne, who’s as awkward as he is rich.

So far so familiar. But there’s a problem: Jane Austen didn’t finish the story. Who will write Emma’s happy ending now?

Based on her incomplete novel, this sparklingly witty play looks under the bonnet of Jane Austen and asks: what can characters do when their author abandons them?

Laura Wade is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her credits include Home I’m Darling (Theatr Clwyd, National Theatre, Duke of York’s Theatre and UK tour – Olivier Award for Best New Comedy), Tipping the Velvet (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, adapted from the novel by Sarah Waters), Posh (Royal Court Theatre and West End), Alice (Sheffield Theatres), Kreutzer vs. Kreutzer (Sydney Opera House and Australian Tour, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Royal Festival Hall and UK tour), Other Hands (Soho Theatre), Colder Than Here (Soho Theatre and MCC Theatre New York), Breathing Corpses (Royal Court Theatre), Young Emma (Finborough Theatre), and 16 Winters (Bristol Old Vic Basement).  Film credits include The Riot Club and Britain Isn’t Eating.  

Samuel West directs. His directorial work includes After Electra (Tricycle Theatre), Close The Coalhouse Door (Northern Stage), Waste (Almeida Theatre) and Dealer’s Choice (Menier Chocolate Factory/Trafalgar Studios). As Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres he directed the first revival of The Romans in Britain by Howard Brenton, and As You Like It for the RSC’s Complete Works Festival. He also directed Money by Edward Bulwer-Lytton for BBC Radio. As an actor, work includes the title roles in Hamlet and Richard II for the RSC, Jeffrey Skilling in Lucy Prebble’s Enron (Chichester/Royal Court/Noel Coward theatres), three series of Mr Selfridge, the film Howards End, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Suffragette and On Chesil Beach.

This production is based on the Chichester Festival Theatre production which had its world première at the Minerva Theatre on 3 November 2018.

Listings Information                                                                                                                   The Watsons

Venue:                                Menier Chocolate Factory

Address:                             53 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1RU

Dates:                                 20 September – 16 November

Times:                                 For the performance schedule, please see the website

Box Office:                         020 7378 1713 (£2.50 transaction fee per booking)

Website:             www.menierchocolatefactory.com (£1.50 transaction fee per booking)

Tickets:                               Prices vary, as below from discounted preview tickets to premier seats. With the emphasis on ‘the sooner you book, the better the price’:

A meal deal ticket includes a 2-course meal from the pre-theatre menu in the Menier Restaurant as well as the theatre ticket.


Twitter: @MenChocFactory








Sonia Friedman Productions today (26 June 2019) announce the world premiere of Leopoldstadt, a new play by Tom Stoppard, directed by Patrick Marber.

Previewing at Wyndham’s Theatre from 25 January 2020, Leopoldstadt will run for 16 weeks only until 16 May with opening night on 12 February 2020.  Public booking will open on 28 June 2019 at 10am for this strictly limited run, and tickets will be available from £15. To sign up for priority booking and to register interest please visit leopoldstadtplay.com. Full creative team and casting to be announced at a later date.

Vienna in 1900 was the most vibrant city in Europe, humming with artistic and intellectual excitement and a genius for enjoying life. A tenth of the population were Jews. A generation earlier they had been granted full civil rights by the Emperor, Franz Josef. Consequently, hundreds of thousands fled from the Pale and the pogroms in the East and many found sanctuary in the crowded tenements of the old Jewish quarter, Leopoldstadt.

Tom Stoppard’s new play, directed by Patrick Marber, is an intimate drama with an epic sweep; the story of a family who made good. “My grandfather wore a caftan,” says Hermann, a factory owner, “my father went to the opera in a top hat, and I have the singers to dinner.”  It was not to last. Over the next fifty years this family, like millions of others, was to re-discover what it meant to be Jewish in the first half of the 20th century. Leopoldstadt is a passionate drama of love, endurance and loss. It is Stoppard’s most humane and heart-breaking play.

Leopoldstadt, the sixth collaboration between SFP and Tom Stoppard, reunites Stoppard, Marber and Friedman who last collaborated on Travesties in 2017.

Internationally award-winning writer Tom Stoppard’s plays include Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Real Inspector Hound, After Magritte, Jumpers, New Found Land, Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth, Travesties, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (a play for actors and orchestra written with André Previn), Night and Day, The Real Thing, Hapgood, Arcadia, Indian Ink, The Invention of Love, The Coast of UtopiaRock ‘n’ Roll and, most recently, The Hard Problem.  His radio plays include Albert’s Bridge, Artist Descending a Staircase, The Dog It Was That Died, If You’re Glad I’ll Be Frank, and most recently, his dramatic imagining of Pink Floyd’s Darkside of the Moon, Darkside. As well as for the stage and radio, Stoppard is an award-winning writer for film and television.

Patrick Marber’s directing credits of his own work include Dealer’s Choice at the National Theatre and Vaudeville Theatre, After Miss Julie for BBC TV, Closer at the National Theatre, Lyric and Music Box, New York, Howard Katz and Three Days in the Country also at the National Theatre and Don Juan in Soho at Wyndham’s Theatre. His other directing credits include The Room as part of the Pinter at the Pinter Season, Venus In Fur at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, Travesties at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Apollo Theatre and The American Airlines Theater, New York, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Director, The Caretaker at the Comedy Theatre, Blue Remembered Hills at the National Theatre, ‘1953’ at the Almeida and The Old Neighborhood at the Royal Court Theatre. Marber’s plays, which have received multiple awards both in the West End and on Broadway, include Dealer’s Choice, After Miss Julie, Closer, Howard Katz, Three Days in the Country, The Red Lion and a version of Hedda Gabler.  He is also an award-winning screenwriter and his film credits include Closer and Notes on a Scandal

Sonia Friedman Productions is an international production company responsible for some of the most successful theatre productions of recent years. Since 1990, Sonia Friedman OBE and SFP have developed, initiated and produced 160+ new productions and won a combined 55 Oliviers, 30 Tonys and 2 BAFTAs.  Recent West End and Broadway productions include the UK premiere of The Book of Mormon, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Mean Girls, Fiddler on the Roof, Rosmersholm, All About Eve, Dreamgirls, The Jungle, The Ferryman, Farinelli and the King, Travesties, 1984 and The Book of Mormon UK & International tour.  Upcoming productions include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in San Francisco, Hamburg and Toronto and The Inheritance in New York. soniafriedman.com


Theatre:                           Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DA

Dates:                              25 January – 16 May 2020

Box Office:                         0844 482 5151

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

                                      Tuesday 17 March 2020 at 7.30pm Captioned Performance

Tuesday 24 March 2020 at 7.30pm Audio Described Performance

Website:                           leopoldstadtplay.com

Twitter:                           @LeopoldstadtLDN

Facebook:                         @LeopoldstadtLDN

Instagram:                        @LeopoldstadtLDN  

Beyond The Barricade is back!


The UK’s Favourite Musical Theatre Concert Tour

Box Office: 0844 871 3024

Tickets from £26.75

Recreating original West End/Broadway musical hit songs with amazing authenticity, Beyond the Barricade is made up of a cast of past principal performers from Les Miserables in the West End.

This blockbusting two hour show, has delighted audiences throughout the UK, mainland Europe, Asia and New Zealand for nearly two decades and has established itself as the one of the nation’s favourite musical theatre concerts.

Beyond the Barricade, presents exciting concert portrayals of the greatest songs in musical theatre, all performed entirely live by some of the best musical performers working today, featuring songs from:

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA // JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR // THE JERSEY BOYS // THE LION KING, BLOOD BROTHERS // MISS SAIGON // HAMILTON // and many others. Climaxing with a spectacular finale from, of course, LES MISERABLES!

Andy Reiss and David Fawcett, devised ‘Beyond the Barricade’ after appearing in the Manchester and London casts of Les Misérables. David played the lead role of Jean Valjean in both the Manchester and London productions, and Andy played most of the male characters, including Enjolras and Valjean, and still remains the only person to take on the job of being the show’s Resident Director, and perform at the same time.

Joining Andy and David on stage is Katie Leeming and Poppy Tierney. Katie joined ‘Beyond the Barricade’ after playing the lead role of Eponine in the West End production of Les Miserables. Katie also appeared with the Les Miserables cast on the televised Classical Brits awards and the Royal Variety Show, as well as an ensemble vocalist in the Les Miserables movie. Poppy played Cosette in Les Miserables on the UK Tour and in the West End, and also played leading roles in Evita, The Witches of Eastwick, and Miss Saigon. She recently appeared in the new Abba film, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.

Andy, David, Katie and Poppy also featured in the LES MISERABLES 25th Anniversary Concert, staged at the O2 Arena, London. They are joined on stage with their own ensemble of talented musicians.

Initial casting revealed for The Time Of Our Lies

How It Is Productions in association with Park Theatre present

30 July – 10 August 2019 | Park Theatre

Initial casting has been revealed for The Time Of Our Lies, as celebrated television and film actor Daniel Benzalijoinsthe biopic story of the American historian, author and social activist Howard Zinn. Written by Bianca Bagatourian, directed by Ché Walker, movement by Maureen Fleming and music by Gamal Chasten.

The Time Of Our Lies explores Zinn’s personal history, from being a soldier who dropped bombs on Rouen, France in WWll. This fateful moment shaped the man who would become a moral compass for the United States in ways that are more relevant today than ever before. The press night will be Thursday 1 August, 7pmat Park Theatre.

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival run of The Time Of Our Lies was co-produced by Viggo Mortensen and sponsored by Eddie Vedder, Tom Shadyac, Tim Robbins and Myla Kabat-Zinn and was nominated for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award in 2014. The London production is sponsored by Eddie Vedder (Vitalogy Foundation), Susan Sarandon, Diane Lane and Myla Kabat-Zinn, Howard’s daughter.

Daniel Benzali is an internationally renowned actor best known for playing the role of Ted Hoffman in Murder One (20th Century Fox) for which he received a Golden Globe Award nomination, and W. G. Howe in the James Bond film, A View to a Kill (United International Pictures). Daniel also has a wealth of West End musical theatre credits under his belt. He starred as Juan Peron in Evita (Prince Edward Theatre) and Max von Mayerling in the original production of Sunset Boulevard (Adelphi Theatre), opposite Patti LuPone. Other credits include Holiday(Old Vic); The Grey Zone (Lionsgate); All The Little Animals (BBC); Murder at 1600 (Warner Brothers) and The Agency (CBS Productions).

Additional casting is yet to be confirmed.

Howard Zinn was widely considered one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. The son of poor Jewish immigrants, Zinn joined the US Army Air Force during WWII. Just before the end of the war, he was involved in the first use of napalm.  What he later came to see as an unnecessary and terrible act informed his lifelong anti-war views and lifetime of activism. From the Vietnam war to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Zinn was an outspoken and courageous campaigner for his vision of a just and peaceful America until his death in 2010, at the age of 87. His landmark book, A People’s History of the United States, has sold two million copies and is used as a textbook in schools throughout the US. 

The Time Of Our Lies is a battle cry for democracy, transparency, and inclusion. The play brings to life Zinn’s commitment to social justice and his lifelong struggle against false historical narratives written by those in power that poison the well of true democracy. It features songs using some of Howard’s words, combined with first-person accounts of war from other soldiers, all juxtaposed against an incongruously beautiful backdrop of Butoh inspired movement. Howard himself was involved in the inception of the play before his passing in 2010.

The ensemble includes Alvaro Flores (Day of the Living / #WeAreArrested – RSC, The Other Place. Wig Out – Royal Court Theatre), Wayne Gidden (Legacy – Stratford Circus, The 8th – Manchester Festival, Barbican Centre), Lanna Joffrey (Cause – Vault Festival, Fire & Sonnet Walks – The Globe), Claire Lebowitz King (The Donkey Show and Measure for Measure – Living Theatre) and Sophia Mackay (Lead role in Thriller – Lyric Theatre, The Grinning Man – Trafalgar Studios).

Bianca Bagatourian received her MFA in playwriting from Brooklyn College, mentored by lifetime Obie Award winner, Mac Wellman. Her plays have been produced worldwide. Bianca is also the president and founder of the Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance, a non-profit organization since 2005 where she administers the global $10,000 Saroyan/Paul Human Rights Playwriting Award. Bianca also works in the world of film and TV and has several TV sitcoms in development with independent television companies in the US. She has sold a comedy reality show to the BBC and produced a feature film. She is the author of the Children’s book, Draculiza.  She currently splits her time between Los Angeles and London. Her new play, Operation Ajax is about the overthrow of the first democratically elected prime minister in Iran, Mohammad Mosaddegh.

In theatre, Ché Walker’s writing and directing credits include his musical Been So Long, which played at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Young Vic in 2009 and was bought and produced by Netflix; his play The Frontline which made theatrical history for being the first contemporary-set play to be performed at Shakespeare’s Globe since the 1600’s; Lovesong in collaboration with UK soul legend Omar MBE for English Touring Theatre; Flesh Wound at Royal Court Theatre, winner of The George Devine Award and Arts Council Writer of the Future Award; The 8th in collaboration with Paul Heaton for Barbican, Manchester International Festival and Klook’s Last Stand, which played at Park Theatre London in 2014 and is currently being produced by several theatres in the US after a workshop performance at the NAMT Festival in New York. Ché’s other writing credits include The Lightning Child at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2013. More recently, Ché wrote and directed The Etienne Sisters at Theatre Royal Stratford East. Ché has won the Peter Brook Award (Mark Marvin Rent Subsidy Award) for his plays Crazy Love and Burnt Up Love, and his version of Been So Long was a nominee for The Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2009. Among his most recent directing credits is Intra Muros (Park Theatre).

Maureen Fleming is renowned for her original form of visual theatre. With the discipline of a classicist, and the imagination of an iconoclast, she connects cultures and art forms in an interdisciplinary celebration of the universality of the soul’s journey. A Fulbright Scholar to Ireland, South Korea, Colombia and Latvia, her solo and group works have toured five continents including the Spoleto Festival in Italy, FILO Festival Brazil, Performing America’s Tour Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay, Jacob’s Pillow Festival, Emerson Majestic and Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and NY City Center Fall for Dance Festival.


Box office: 020 7870 6876*

Tackling teen pregnancy taboo, Build a Rocket, the internationally acclaimed and award-winning one-woman show embarks on extensive UK tour | Friday 13 September – Saturday 26 October

Award-winning play Build a Rocket
announces UK Tour
13th September – 26th October 2019

Following international acclaim and an award-winning run at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, this powerful and uplifting one-woman show about a young mother from Scarborough returns to embark on an extensive UK tour.

Winner of the Holden Street Theatres’ Edinburgh Fringe Award 2018, Adelaide Fringe Best Theatre Weekly Award 2019 and named The Sunday Mail’s Best Female Solo Show (Adelaide), Build a Rocket will see critically-acclaimed Serena Manteghi reprise her role as Yasmin. Hard-hitting yet inspiring, this funny and heart-warming production, written by Scarborough-born Christopher York, challenges our perceptions about young motherhood.

Yasmin is a bright 16-year-old from a small seaside town. In an instant, her world is turned upside down when she becomes pregnant with her son, Jack. Suddenly her life isn’t sandcastles, arcades, and donkey rides. Abandoned by both the father of her child and her alcoholic mother, Yasmin faces one of life’s great challenges completely alone – but can the thing which threatens to ruin her life actually be the thing which saves her?

Writer Christopher York comments, Teenage pregnancy is so demonised and we’re quick to blame teenagers. There was a girl I was at school with who had a child at 15. I was astounded at her resilience and that she went on to pass her GCSEs, go to college and university, get married and raise a wonderful human being. She is a phenomenal person. We are still conservative about these topics. If we were more open and Scandinavian about how we tackled sex and sexual health, especially with young people, we may not have the statistics we do.

Director Paul Robinson said, I’m delighted that Build a Rocket will be going on a national tour in coproduction with Tara Finney Productions. It’s a key strategic priority for the SJT to be touring bold, resonant and relevant contemporary work as well as to further champion local emerging artist Christopher York on a national platform. The tour will allow us to reach a broader spectrum of audiences geographically as well as engage directly with local schools which is a wonderful prospect.

In addition to touring to theatres and arts centres across the UK, Build a Rocket will be performed at six schools in North Yorkshire generously supported by the Noel Coward Foundation.

A breathless, swaggering hour of female endurance and defiance (★★★★ The Telegraph).

A powerful one-woman show and a tour de force from Serena Manteghi whose performance blazes off the stage (★★★★ Yorkshire Post).

Performance Dates
13th – 14th September Stephen Joseph Theatre
Westborough, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 1JW

16th – 17th September Oxford Playhouse
Beaumont St, Oxford, OX1 2LW

18th September Square Chapel Arts Centre
Square Rd, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 1QC

19th September Interplay Theatre
Armley Ridge Rd, Leeds, LS12 3LE

21st September York Theatre Royal
St Leonard’s Pl, York, YO1 7HD

24th September EM Forster Theatre
High Street, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 IJP

25th September Oldham Library
Greaves St, Oldham, OL1 1AL

26th September Pocklington Arts Centre
Market Pl, Pocklington, York YO42 2AR

28th September Selby Town Hall
York St, Selby, North Yorkshire, YO8 4AJ

30th September Queen’s Hall Arts Centre
Beaumont St, Hexham, NE46 3LZ

2nd – 5th October Live Theatre
Broad Chare, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3DQ

7th – 9th October Theatr Clwyd
Raikes Ln, Mold, CH7 1YA

10th – 12th October Streatham Space
Sternhold Ave, Streatham, London, SW2 4PA

15th October The Quarry Theatre
St Peter’s St, Bedford, MK40 2NN

16th – 17th October Traverse Theatre
Cambridge St, Edinburgh, EH1 2ED

18th – 19th October Theatre Deli
Eyre St, Sheffield, S1 4QZ

24th October Folkestone Quarterhouse
Tontine St, Folkestone CT20 1JT

26th October Hunmanby Arts Centre
Stonegate, Hunmanby, YO14 0NS

Stones in His Pockets Review

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, until 29 June 2019

Reviewed by Antonia Hebbert


A Hollywood crew is filming in the green and scenic southwest of Ireland. Townspeople have eagerly signed up as extras, and an interloper called Charlie is camping nearby to take advantage of free meals and £40 a day. He is quickly rumbled by born-and-bred local Jake, and the two strike up a sort of friendship. At first the extras are excited and dazzled, especially by the film’s star Caroline Giovanni. But then a drug-addled local teenager drowns himself (with stones in his pockets) after being humiliated by Caroline and the crew, and the townspeople begin to see how cynical and exploitative the Hollywood dream factory is.

The riveting thing about this play is that everybody is played by the same two actors. Owen Sharpe (Jake) and Kevin Trainor (Charlie) transform themselves in the blink of an eye into a dozen other people, from sleek director to harrassed film crew to film star Caroline (oozing touchy-feely sensitivity) to peppery old bloke whose claim to fame is that he is the last surviving extra from the filming of The Quiet Man – and the sad figure of the teenager Sean. It’s all done with voice and gesture rather than costume changes, and it’s very clever and entertaining.

This play premiered in Belfast in 1996, and toured to local community centres before finding West End and Broadway fame. The set (Peter McKintosh) looks like a small piece of Ireland – rough pasture, stone wall and a cloudy sky – with a big props trunk in view. It’s perhaps a little corny that Jake and Charlie end up devising a script about what we have just seen, but playwright Marie Jones is clearly writing from the heart as she shows us the romanticised Hollywood Ireland alongside the reality of broken dreams and stifled ambitions of people living there. You could see the play as a wider commentary on the way powerful organisations diminish people’s lives while promising to fulfill their dreams, in a surprisingly bitter undertow to this energetic and funny show.


PW Productions and Karl Sydow present The Lowry production of Nigel Slater’s Toast



Following its world premiere at The Lowry, Salford in May, a sold-out run at as part of Traverse Festival 2018 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and a London transfer to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Other Palace, where it is currently playing until 3 August, Nigel Slater’s Toast announces further dates for its UK tour.

In addition to the venues previously announced, the tour will also visit Liverpool Playhouse (10-14 Sept), Richmond Theatre (21-26 Oct), Theatre Royal Brighton (28 Oct-2 Nov) and Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre (25-30 Nov).

The tour launches at Huddersfield’s Lawrence Batley Theatre on 19 August, where the play’s writer Henry Filloux-Bennett has recently been appointed Chief Executive, and will conclude at the Crewe Lyceum on 7 December.

Fresh from the West End run, Giles Cooper will continue to star as Nigel Slater, with further casting to be announced. Giles’s theatre credits include This HousePeople and After The Dance at the National Theatre, and Henry V and The Duchess of Malfi at Shakespeare’s Globe. Roles in hit British films include Pride and The Lady in The Van

From making the perfect sherry trifle, waging war over cakes through to the playground politics of sweets and the rigid rules of restaurant dining, this is a moving and evocative tale of love, loss and… toast.

Nigel Slater said: “With the London run approaching its conclusion, it’s an extremely exciting time as the words on the page will soon come to life once again for audiences around the country. I’m thrilled that the play will continue its journey after The Other Palace.”

Henry Filloux-Bennett continued: “Having written ‘Toast’ whilst working at The Lowry, that the production is coming back to the North of England after its run at The Other Palace is exciting enough. Now that I have moved to the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield, I’m completely delighted that we get to open the tour of ‘Toast’ here in Yorkshire, starting as it will our 25th Anniversary season.”

Based on the British Book Awards Biography of the Year, Toast is a new play based on Nigel Slater’s award-winning autobiography. Vividly recreating suburban England in the 1960s, Nigel’s childhood is told through the tastes and smells he grew up with and the audience with be enveloped by the evocative sights and sounds of cookery that defined the definitive moments of his youth.

Writer Henry Filloux-Bennett was the recent recipient of the award for Best Screen to Stage adaptation at the CAMEO Awards (Creativity Across Media: Entertainment and Originality) at White City House. The London Book and Screen Week Awards celebrate outstanding adaptations in the fields of Book to Audio, Film, TV and Stage. This year’s Stage category also included competition from Sally Cookson’s adaptation of A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (Walker Books) and Rona Munro’s adaptation of My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout (Viking).

Originally produced by The Lowry for Week 53 festival, Toast is written by Henry Filloux-Bennett and directed by Jonnie Riordan.

The author of a collection of bestselling books and presenter of nine BBC television series, Nigel Slater has been the food columnist for The Observer for 25 years. His memoir ‘Toast – the Story of a Boy’s Hunger’ won six major awards, has been translated into five languages and became a BBC film starring Helena Bonham Carter and Freddie Highmore. Nigel’s latest book Greenfeast has recently been published by HarperCollins.  

Nigel Slater’s Toast – Autumn Tour 2019

Mon 19 – Sat 24 August                                               Box Office: 01484 430 528

Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield                  www.thelbt.org

Mon 26 – Sat 31 August                                               Box Office: 01865 305 305

Oxford Playhouse                                                            www.oxfordplayhouse.com

Tues 3 – Sat 7 September                                            Box Office: 01702 351 135

Southend Palace Theatre                                             www.palacetheatresouthend.co.uk

Tues 10 – Sat 14 September                                       Box Office: 0151 709 4776

Liverpool Playhouse                                                       www.everymanplayhouse.com/

Tues 17 – Sat 21 September                                       Box Office: 0191 230 5151

Northern Stage, Newcastle                                         www.northernstage.co.uk

Mon 30 Sept – Sat 5 October                                     Box Office: 01684 892 277

Malvern Theatres                                                            www.malvern-theatres.co.uk

Mon 7 – Sat 12 October                                                                Box Office: 01604 624 811

Royal & Derngate, Northampton                              www.royalandderngate.co.uk

Mon 21 – Sat 26 October                                             Box Office: 0844 871 7651

Richmond Theatre                                                          www.atgtickets.com/richmond/

Mon 28 October – Sat 2 November                         Box Office: 0844 871 7650

Theatre Royal Brighton                                                  www.atgtickets.com/brighton/

Mon 4 – Sat 9 November                                             Box Office: 01722 320 333

Salisbury Playhouse                                                        www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk

Mon 11 – Sat 16 November                                        Box Office: 0343 208 6000

The Lowry, Salford                                                          www.thelowry.com

Tues 19 – Sat 23 November                                        Box Office: 01904 623 568

York Theatre Royal                                                          www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

Mon 25 – Sat 30 November                                        Box Office: 01246 345 222

Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield                         www.chesterfieldtheatres.co.uk/

Tues 3 – Sat 7 December                                             Box Office: 01270 368 242

Crewe Lyceum Theatre                                                 www.crewelyceum.co.uk


Facebook @ToastPlay

Twitter @ToastPlay







Conceived and Originally Directed by Sheldon Epps

Performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited

18 July – 7 September 2019

Director: Susie McKenna; Musical Direction: Mark Dickman; Choreographer: Frank Thompson

Designer: Robert Jones; Costume Designer: Lotte Collett; Lighting Designer: Neil Austin

Sound Designer: Avgoustos Psillas

As rehearsals begin for Blues in Night, Artistic Director of Kiln Theatre, Indhu Rubasingham announces the full company. Joining the previously announced Sharon D Clarke (The Lady), Debbie Kurup (The Woman), Clive Rowe (The Man) and Gemma Sutton (The Girl) are Aston New (The Hustler) and Joseph Poulton (The Barman) to complete the company for the first major London revival in 30 years. Susie McKenna’s production opens on 24 July, with previews from 18 July, and runs until 7 September.

‘A man is a two-face, a worrisome thing

Who’ll leave you to sing, the blues in the night.’

Chicago 1939. One man, three women, their lives, memories and the sweet music that gets them through the night.

The Olivier and Tony Award nominated musical is a scorching compilation of 26 hot and torchy blues numbers that frame the lives and loves of four residents of a downtown hotel. Featuring soul-filled songs by blues and jazz icons Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen and many more, this will be a sizzling night to remember. 


5 September 2019, 7pm

To celebrate a year to the day since the Kiln Theatre came into being, the company are hosting a Gala Performance of Blues in the Night on 5 September 2019, 7pm.

Every ticket includes a glass of sparkling wine or a specially conceived Blues in the Night cocktail upon arrival, plus a signed programme. All proceeds from the evening are in aid of Kiln Theatre.


Twitter: @KilnTheatre / @KilnCinema



Until 6 July

Audio Described: 4 July


18 July – 7 September 2019

Captioned performance: 22 August

Audio Described performance: 8 August


26 – 29 September 2019


23 October – 30 November 2019

Captioned performance: 21 November

Audio Described performance: 14 November


10 December 2019 – 18 January 2020

For full schedule over Christmas, please see the website

Captioned performance: 9 January

Audio Described performance: 14 January

Priority Booking onsale: 24 June 10am

Public Booking onsale: 25 June 10am