Madagascar The Musical – recasting and International Dates announced


Matt Terry to return to role as Selladoor Family confirm Hong Kong, Malaysia and China alongside additional UK wide cities

Selladoor Worldwide announce that their critically acclaimed production of Madagascar – The Musical will tour China, Hong Kong and Malaysia visiting Beijing, Shanghai, Foshan, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur with X Factor Winner Matt Terry reprising his role of Alex the Lion.  The critically acclaimed UK tour has been extended in the UK adding China to the itinerary marking Selladoor Worldwide’s 17thInternational tour since 2014 as part of their ongoing international strategy to take world class theatre across the globe.

Additional casting for the next leg of the tour which also travels to 12 UK venues includes Posi Morakinyo (Marty), Connor Dyer (Melman) Anna Barnes (Private/Mort) Esme Laudat (Rico/Lynn) Michael Larcombe (Mason/Lars) Monique Ashe- Palmer (Kowaslki) William Beckerleg (Skipper/Maurice) Hannah Victoria (Gloria) , Kieran Mortell (King Julian), Niko Kaim and Gareth Moran (Off Stage Swings)

Based on the smash DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar – The Musical  follows all of your favourite crack-a-lackin’ friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.

Madagascar has been hailed as a triumphant debut theatre performance for Matt Terry. Receiving 5 star reviews across the tour.

Matt tells us: ‘I’m having such an amazing time touring in Madagascar the Musical, the audiences have been fantastic.  The show brings together everything you will know and love from the Dreamworks film with an immense score and amazing sets, costumes and puppets.  It’s an awesome night out for the whole family‘

This wacky adventure for the whole family is brought to life by Selladoor Family, the producers behindJames And The Giant Peach, Seussical and The Owl And The Pussycat and Hartshorn – Hook, producers of the Olivier Award winning RotterdamMurder Ballad, Urinetown and American Idiot.

Madagascar – The Musical isdirected by award winning Kirk Jameson with choreography from Fabian Aloise. Designed by Tom Rogers, with Lighting design by Howard Hudson, Sound Design by Chris Whybrow, Musical Supervision from Mark Crossland Puppet design by Max Humphries and Puppet Direction from Emma Brunton.

For tour and booking details visit  or follow @MadUKTour


24 – 28 July  – Canterbury Marlowe Theatre  – 01227 787787  –

31 July – 04 August  – Glasgow Kings Theatre 0844 871 7648 * –

06 – 11 August  – Cardiff Wales Millennium Centre   – 029 2063 6464  –

24 – 25 August –  Beijing

26 August – Shanghai

02 – 07 September – Foshan

09 September- Hong Kong, Lyric Theatre

19 – 22 September  – Aylesbury Waterside Theatre  – 0844 871 7607* – 

25 – 29 September – Stoke Regent Theatre 0844 871 7649* – 

02 – 06 October  – Peterborough New Theatre  – 01733 852 992  –

Please note Matt Terry will not perform in the following venues

08 -12  October  – Darlington Hippodrome 01325 405405

15  – 19 October  – Torquay Princess Theatre 0844 871 3023

22 – 26 October  – Barnstaple Queen’s Theatre 0844 871 3023

29 October – 02 November – Colchester Mercury Theatre 01206 573948

13 – 17 Nov – Waterfront Theatre Southport –

20 – 24 Nov – Royal Theatre Castlebar 

02 December -Plenary Hall, Kuala Lumpur

Titanic the Musical announces casting and new dates for International tour

The five-time Tony Award winning musical

Announces casting and 
new dates for international tour

Opens in Woking on 11 July 2019

Following the first ever UK & Ireland tour of Titanic The Musical in 2018, casting has been revealed as the productionprepares for its 2019 worldwide tour. After opening at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking on 11 July 2019, the production led by returning director Thom Southerland will tour across the world until 15 December 2019.

In the final hour of 14th April 1912, the RMS Titanic, on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, collided with an iceberg and ‘the unsinkable ship’ slowly sank. It was one of the most tragic and infamous disasters of the 20th Century. 1517 men, women and children lost their lives.

Based on real people aboard the most legendary ship in the world, Maury Yeston and Peter Stone’s stunning musical focuses on their hopes and aspirations. Unaware of the fate that awaits them, the Third Class immigrants dream of a better life in America, the newly-enfranchised Second Class dream of achieving the lifestyles of the rich and famous, and the millionaire Barons of the First Class dream of their mastery lasting forever.

Returning to the Titanic company are  Kieran Brown as Murdoch (The Phantom Of The Opera, Chess), Greg Castiglioni as Andrews (Cabaret, Fiddler On The Roof), Alexander Evans as Boxall(Eugenius, The Sound Of Music)James Gant as Pitman/Etches (Violet, Wind In The Willows), Simon Green as Ismay (Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, The Phantom Of The Opera), Emma Harrold as Lady Caroline Neville (The Sound Of Music, Happy Days)Devon-Elise Johnson as Kate Murphy(Half A Sixpence, Mamma Mia!), Shane McDaid as Jim Farrell (Madagascar, Spamalot), Gemma McMeel as Kate Mullins(Big Fish, Royal Variety Performance), Janet Mooneyas Maid (The Woman In White, The Braille Legacy), Joel Parnis  as Fleet (My Fair Lady, Les Misérables), Timothy Quinlan as Edgar Beane (Jersey Boys, Mack & Mabel), Philip Rham as Captain Smith (Scrooge!, The Smallest Show On Earth), Dudley Rogers as Isidor Straus (Parade, Curtains), Niall Sheehy as Barrett (Ghost The Musical, Miss Saigon) and Judith Street as Ida Straus (The Girls, A Catered Affair).

They are joined by Ronan Burns as Bride (Kiss Me Kate, Annie Get Your Gun), Wendy Ferguson as Alice Beane (Mary Poppins, Les Misérables), Luke Harley as Latimer (Cinderella, The Producers), Ryan Heenan as Bellboy/Hartley (Billionaire Boy, Grease), Benjamin Karran as Bell (Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang),  Luke McCall as Lightoller (Man Of La Mancha, The Phantom Of The Opera), Ashley Stillburn as Charles Clarke (The Woman In White, Death Takes A Holiday), Lucie-Mae Sumner as Kate McGowan (Chicago, Barnum) and Eleanor Walsh as Maid (Aspects Of Love, A Little Princess).

The creative team includes direction from Thom Southerland,set and costume design from David Woodhead,lighting design from Howard Hudson, sound design from Andrew Johnson, musical staging from Cressida Carréand musical direction from Leigh Thompson.

Having received its UK premiere in 2013 at Southwark Playhouse, the production returned to London in 2016 for an 11-week season at the Charing Cross Theatre, where it won overwhelming critical acclaim. It then embarked on its first ever UK & Ireland tour in April 2018 (during the 106th anniversary week), visiting the cities and communities whose forebears built, manned and sailed on the famous ship.

“It’s an evening both shattering and gorgeous…

The day after seeing it, I went back to see it again. It’s that good.”

★★★★★ The Times

Titanic The Musical has music and lyrics by Maury Yeston (Nine, Grand Hotel, Phantom) and a book by Peter Stone (Woman of the Year and 1776). The pair have collectively won, including their previous works, an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, an Olivier Award and three Tony Awards for their works. The original Broadway production of Titanic The Musical won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book.

Titanic The Musical is produced by Danielle Tarento, Steven M Levy and Vaughan Williams, in association with Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.


11 – 13 Jul 2019                                                                                                                 Box Office: 0844 871 7645

Woking, New Victoria Theatre                                                                    Website:

16 – 21 Jul 2019                                                                                                                 Box Office: 089 54 81 81 81

Munich, Deutsches Theater                                                                         Website:  

23 – 28 Jul 2019                                                                                                                 Box Office: 0221 280 280

Cologne, Kölner Philharmonie                                                                    Website:

30 Jul – 4 Aug 2019                                                                                          Box Office: 0621 1680 150

Mannheim, Nationaltheater Mannheim                                                Website:

27 – 31 Aug 2019                                                                                              Box Office: 0495 937 77 37

Moscow, Palace of Youth                                                                              Website:

Following its European dates the production will tour to Saudi Arabia and China with venues and on sale dates to follow shortly.

Waitress announces new pie partnership with Bread Ahead



Waitress today announces a new pie partnership with London bakery Bread Ahead which will be making and selling the show’s famous fresh pies each night in association with the original creators, Cute As Cake of New York. Bread Ahead, well known for its Borough Market, Chelsea and Soho bakeries, will be making the delicious Waitress pie jars in apple crumble, chocolate salted caramel and lemon raspberry flavours which will be available to audience members at the Adelphi Theatre.  The Waitress pie jars were originally created by Cute As Cake (@cuteascakenyc) for the New York production currently in its 3rd year on Broadway.

London’s new smash hit musical comedy Waitress celebrated its official opening night at the AdelphiTheatre on 7 March and the Tony-nominated musical recently announced it is now extending booking to 7 December.

Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams of some happiness in her life. When a hot new doctor arrives in town, life gets complicated. With the support of her workmates Becky and Dawn, Jenna overcomes the challenges she faces and finds that laughter, love and friendship can provide the perfect recipe for happiness.

Brought to life by a ground breaking, female-led creative team, Waitress features an original score by 7-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles (Love Song, Brave), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam) and direction by Tony Award® winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland) and choreography by Lorin Latarro. The production is currently touring the US and has also announced it will have its Australian premiere in 2020 at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.

Waitress stars Lucie Jones as Jenna, Ashley Roberts as Dawn, Marisha Wallace as Becky,Blake Harrison as Ogie, Peter Hannah as Earl, David Hunter as Dr. Pomatter and Shaun Prendergast as Old Joe.

The full company includes Kelly Agbowu, Piers Bate, Nicole Raquel Dennis, Michael Hamway, Peter Hannah, Blake Harrison, David Hunter, Lucie Jones,Stephen Leask,Chris McGuigan, Olivia Moore, Nathaniel Morrison, Sarah O’Connor, Leanne Pinder, Shaun Prendergast, Charlotte Riby, Ashley Roberts, Marisha Wallace and Mark Willshire. Laura Baldwin will return to the role of Dawn in Waitress at the end of the summer.

On its Broadway opening, Waitress was nominated for four Outer Critics’ Circle Awards, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical; two Drama League Award Nominations, including Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical; six Drama Desk Nominations, including Outstanding Musical; and four Tony Award Nominations, including Best Musical.

The Big Free Fringe Weekend returns to Guildford on 29 and 30 June, with an exciting line-up of Free Fringe shows throughout July

The Big Free Fringe Weekend returns to Guildford on 29 and 30 June 

with Opera on the Balcony, morris dancers, jazz choirs, comedy theatre and more,

followed by an exciting line-up of Free Fringe shows throughout July

Guildford Fringe Festival is planning a show-stopping, foot-tapping and fun-filled Free Fringe line-up as part of this year’s jam-packed Festival programme. The excitement begins at the Free Fringe Weekend on 29 and 30 June, when you can’t fail to be entertained if you head into the town centre.

On 29 June, join professional caricaturist David Groves on the High Street in the Guildford Fringe Gazebo, and track down Street to the Point Theatre Company who will be roaming the town centre with Fab News – a heart-warming act that aims to transmit a little happiness into the world!  Later, The Guildhall on Guildford’s High Street becomes the stage for a free evening ofOpera on the Balcony for the second year running after its huge success in 2018. The cast, who will perform on the balcony whilst the audience watches from the High Street (bring a blanket or chair), includes Roberto Abate (Opera North and Grange Park Opera) and Katie Bird (Opera North and English National Opera) accompanied by Kelvin Lim (The Royal Opera House, English National Opera and Glyndebourne). Expect to hear arias from much-loved operas including Puccini’s La Bohème and Verdi’s La Traviata

On 30 June, Morris Dance, in its many forms – from the familiar handkerchiefs and bells of the Cotswold style to the dark and pagan Border style – will be part of celebrations. Listen out forGodalming & Guildford jazz choirs performing, and catch them again when they return on 28 July to round off the Festival. In The Back Room of the The Star Inn, Emmerdale meets Monty Python in the deliciously surreal award-winning play Janet and, also at that venue, Tom Toal in Mediocre Boy sees the brains behind the After All This Time Always podcast ask some tough questions of himself and his place in the comedy industry and the world itself. For both Janet and Tom Toal, book your place via the Box Office (£5 refundable deposit applies). 

From 3 – 18 July, catch Guildford Arts’ free 24th summer exhibition. Yvonne Arnaud Art at the Mill Studio at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre is an exciting display of contemporary paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, ceramics and glasswork from local and nationally renowned artists. 

Musical treats abound throughout July. Guildford’s fabulous Rock Choir, who have been involved with Guildford Fringe Festival since day one, are well known for their wonderful harmonies and amazing versions of the songs everyone knows and loves. Catch them out and about on 6 July. Join popular local singer-songwriter Gavin Thomas on 5 July forAcoustic Request Night and then on 17 July for The GT Live Sessions, a hugely popular showcase night, both at The Britannia Pub. Local favourites The Nefarious Picaroons will deliver stomped up pop-folk on 19 July, weaving unique arrangements of highly selected covers and original material into their set to create a bouncy, joyous, festival experience with a mix of acoustic and electric instruments. Bring friends, family and a picnic to Music in The Meadows at Clandon Wood Natural Burial Ground on 21 July. The afternoon of live music in the beautiful wildflower meadows is free – all funds raised through a raffle and contributions will be donated to The Rainbow Trust and Shooting Star Chase.

Amanda Masters, General Manager for Experience Guildford, said: “Experience Guildford are proud to support Free Fringe once again. The free events give new audiences a taste of the Festival and bring more visitors into the town centre benefitting the wider community, at the time and through future visits.”

Nick Wyschna, Managing Director of Guildford Fringe Festival, said: “The Free Fringe events are so important to me. Although 90% of our income is from ticket sales (so very much needed) the whole idea and ethos of Guildford Fringe Festival is to make the arts accessible. The fact is, not everyone can afford to enjoy the arts, which is heart-breaking for me. The Free Fringe events, which are dotted throughout the Festival, mean that there is something for everyone to enjoy. We have comedy, theatre, street theatre, choirs, crafts and loads more that people can enjoy without spending a penny.”

An exciting programme of over 120 events will be on offer to audiences at this year’s Guildford Fringe Festival, running from 28 June until 28 July across 12 venues from pubs and theatres to a natural burial reserve and the BBC Surrey radio studio. The Festival will offer a month full of top arts picks offering everything from music, visual arts and theatre, through to comedy, cabaret, spoken word, children’s events and more. This will be the third year in which Guildford Fringe Festival opens at G Live with Gag House Comedy Superstars. With a line-up that includes Hal Cruttenden, Chris McCausland, Susan Murray and Paul Sinha it is no surprise that it is selling fast.

Visit the Guildford Fringe Festival website,, for the full line-up including Free Fringe, and to book tickets. During the Festival, the Fringe Team will be at The Star Inn, Quarry Street, 7 days a week, from 11am-4pm, where they will run a Box Office and be happy to chat about the Festival.









After the hugely successful first tour of The Classic Thriller Theatre Company’s stage adaption of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes,the enjoyable adaptation is extending into the autumn, with a brand-new cast.

Building on the phenomenal decade-long success of The Agatha Christie Theatre Company, The Classic Thriller Theatre Company presents a quick-witted, devilishly fun filled thriller – based on the Hitchcock classic, ranked one of the Best British Films of all time.

When Socialite Iris’ travelling companion disappears, she’s bewildered to find fellow passengers deny ever having seen her. But with the help of musician Max, she turns detective, and together they resolve to solve this perplexing mystery.

The cast is led by BAFTA-nominated actress Gwen Taylor,who for decades was one of Britain’s most celebrated TV stars, including her role as Anne Foster in Coronation Street. Gwen’s other on-screen credits include the title role in ITV’s Barbara, Duty Free, A Bit of a Do and Heartbeat. Joining her is her Coronation Street son and ‘Villain of the Year Award’ winner Andrew Lancel, whose theatrical credits include Twelve Angry MenThe Small Hand and Cilla the Musical.

The show will also feature Denis Lill, star of the highly acclaimed TV drama The Royal and Alan Parry in Only Fools and Horses; Call the Midwife actress Scarlett Archer; theatre and British Hit Parade star Mark WynterNicholas Audsley, best known as the Duke of Monmouth in smash hit TV series Victoria and Ben Nealon who’s credits include Soldier Soldier

The production is directed by Roy Marsden whois best known as an actor, particularly in his role as Commander Adam Dalgliesh in ITV’s P.D. James series, which he played for 15 years. Roy has had successful West End runs with Noel Coward’s Volcano and Agatha Christie’s (under the pen name Mary Westmacott) A Daughter’s a Daughter. This is Roy’s third Classic Thriller Theatre Company production, having previously directed Rehearsal For Murder and A Judgement In Stone

The first stop on the tour will be Windsor Theatre Royal on 26 August before calling at: Swindon, Weston-Super-Mare, Bury St Edmonds, Coventry, Derby, Darlington, Horsham, Exeter, Brighton, Yeoville, Torquay and Croydon.

Casting announced for On Bear Ridge at Sherman Theatre and Royal Court Theatre

National Theatre Wales: TwitterFacebook / Instagram / Website  

Royal Court Theatre: TwitterFacebook / Instagram / Website  



Casting is today announced for the National Theatre Wales and Royal Court Theatre co-production of On Bear Ridge by award-winning writer Ed Thomas (House of America and Gas Station AngelRoyal Court; Hinterland/Y Gwyll BBC/S4C/Netflix). Royal Court Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone (The Cane and Cyprus Avenue, Royal Court) and Ed Thomas will co-direct this semi-autobiographical story about the places we leave behind, the indelible marks they make on us, and the unreliable memories we hold onto. 

The cast will include Rakie Ayola as NoniShe is currently performing Strange Fruit at the Bush Theatre. Previous stage credits include Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child(West End), The Half God of Rainfall (Kiln Theatre) and Leave to Remain (Lyric Hammersmith). On television she is best known for her long running role as Kyla Tyson in Holby City (BBC). 

Jason Hughes will play The Captain. He returns to the Royal Court where his work has includedViolence and Son, 4:48 Psychosis and A Real Classy AffairOther recent stage roles include The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia (West End) and Our Country’s Good (National Theatre). On television he played Warren in This Life (BBC) and Detective Sergeant Ben Jones in Midsomer Murders (ITV).  Other recent TV credits include Marcella (ITV), Death in Paradise and Three Girls (both BBC).   

Rhys Ifans will play John Daniel. On stage he recently played the title role in Exit the King and caused a sensation in the one-man show of Protest Song (National Theatre). He also played the iconic role of Scrooge in A Christmas Carol and also The Fool in King Lear (Old Vic). Rhys’s extensive film work includes Elizabeth (dir. Shekhar Kapur), Greenberg (dir. Noah Baumbach), Nanny McPhee,Harry PotterMr NiceAnonymousThe Amazing Spider-ManEnduring Love and of course Richard Curtis’ Notting Hill. He won a BAFTA for his performance as Peter Cook in Not Only But Always and will next appear in the new comedy drama film Misbehaviour directed by Philippa Lowethorpe and  Matthew Vaughn’s latest film Kingsman: The Great Game.

The cast is completed by Sion Daniel Young as Ifan William.  Sion returns to the Sherman Theatre and Royal Court following Killology.  His credits for National Theatre Wales include The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning, Mametz and The Village Social. He played leading roles in War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night (both West Endand last year performed inNightfall (Bridge Theatre).  He will next appear in Jellyfish (National Theatre). His TV roles includeHinterland/Y Gwyll BBC/S4C/Netflix also written by Ed Thomas

“One minute we had customers, the next minute there was no-one.”

In a lost village, blurred by redrawn borders, hidden under a crumb on the map, Bear Ridge Stores still stands.

After a hundred years, the family butchers and grocers – a place for odds and ends, contraband goods, and the last petrol pump for 30 miles – is now silent.

But owners John Daniel and Noni are not leaving.

They are defiantly drinking the remaining whiskey and remembering good times, when everyone was on the same side and the old language shone.

Outside in the dark, a figure is making their way towards them.

The play will run at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff (20 September – 5 October) followed by the Royal Court in London (24 October – 23 November).


National Theatre Wales and Royal Court Theatre
by Ed Thomas
Directors Vicky Featherstone and Ed Thomas
Designer Cai Dyfan
Composer John Hardy
Sound Designer Mike Beer

Running time: TBC
Ages 14+

Sherman Theatre, Senghennydd Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4YE
First Performance: 20 September 2019
Final Performance: 5 October 2019
Opening Night: 24 September at 7pm
Monday – Saturday 7.30pm, matinees on Thursday 3 October and Saturday 5 October at 2pm

029 2064 6900

Standard Tickets £20
Previews: £15 on 20, 21 and 23 September
Concessions: £18
Under 25s Half Price

Audio Described, Touch Tour and BSL: Friday 4 October 7.30pm and Saturday 5 October 2pm
Monday 30 September – Saturday 5 October – All performances Captioned on iPads provided by National Theatre Wales.
Post show talks Thursday 26th September, and matinee of Thursday 3rd October.

Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS
First Performance: 24 October
Final Performance: 23 November
Opening Night: 28 October at 7pm

Monday – Saturday 7.30pm, Thursday & Saturday matinees 2.30pm

020 7565 5000

Captioned Performances: Wednesday 6, 13 & 20 November, Friday 22 November 2019
Audio Described Matinee: Saturday 23 November 2019, 2.30pm. Touch tour at 1pm
Relaxed Environment Performance: Saturday 16 November 2019, 2:30pm
The Big Idea: In Conversation with Ed Thomas and Vicky Featherstone Tuesday 5 November post-show

Standard Tickets £12-£49 (Mondays all seats £12 available from 9am online on the day of performance)
Concessions* £5 off Band A – C seats for previews and matinees
Under 26s
Access £15 (plus a companion at the same rate)
*ID required. All discounts subject to availability. 

Young Court Friends Tickets Young Court Friends is a free membership scheme for Under 26s. We offer a limited number of £15 tickets for all performances to Young Court Friends, as well as advance access to £12 Mondays in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs.

Tom Gates Live on Stage Review

New Victoria Theatre, Woking – until 22 June 2019

Reviewed by Heather Chalkley


Writers Liz Pichon and Neal Foster have produced a genius script, taking everything that is important in the Tom Gates books and making a play that is more than the sum of its parts. Director Neal Foster has clearly collaborated closely with the writers to get a perfect balance between the animation and the actors. You have great music, great characters, straight out of the 70’s art and fashion – what’s not to love!

Each character is quite distinctive and so I have to commend the actors on their ability to make, sometimes very quick, switches between their different parts. Ashley Cousins is a very funny and believable Marcus Meldrew, a goody two shoes that I am sure we have all experienced in our school lives. Then Cousins flips into the mannerisms of Granny with a feminine flair. Amy Hargreaves carries well two roles that are complete opposites – the bright and ‘always does her best’ Amy Porter and the dark, sulky Delia. Justin Davies makes me laugh the most with Norman’s sugar rush frenzies and manic drumming. Matthew Chase is a great Tom Gates that the young audience loves, leading us through the story, pulling together all the loose ends. Gates brings to life the lyrics with a great 70’s rock tone. Liz Pichon has written lyrics for the songs that speak to the young audience and will be repeated in towns where ever the play is performed. I know I will be humming the biscuit song at work tomorrow!

The genius part of the production is what the Creative Team achieves with the set. A blank screen with strategically placed flaps and doors, springs to life with projected images and interactive doodles. The result is vibrant, energetic and brings the familiar pages of Pichon’s books right on to the stage. Primary school children everywhere are going to love this play, whether they know about the books before or not!

Casting announced for OLD STOCK A REFUGEE LOVE STORY at Wilton’s Music Hall

T: @OldStockLove  | I: @oldstocklove  | F: /OldStockLove

2b theatre company presents


Full casting is announced today for OLD STOCK: A REFUGEE LOVE STORYa dizzying 80 minute, genre bending, darkly funny gig-meets-live theatre experience based on a true story of two Jewish Romanian refugees fleeing Romania for Canada in 1908. Covering sex, religion, tragedy and triumph, the show follows Chaim and Chaya as they make a fresh start in the New World. Joining previously announced Ben Caplan and Mary Fay Coady are Eric Da CostaJeff Kingsbury andKelsey McNulty.

This ingenious Klezmer / folk music theatrical hybrid received rave reviews at its premiere in Halifax, Canada and has since been performed to great critical acclaim throughout Canada, in New York (where it garnered six Drama Desk Award Nominations) and Edinburgh, across the UK, in Australia and Holland. 2b theatre company bring Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story to Wilton’s Music Hall from September 18th – 28th, for its London premiere.

Marking the UN’s World Refugee Day, writer Hannah Moscovitch says “The play gained a dark relevance over the time that we’ve worked on it. With the Syrian conflict continuing to decimate a nation, and Trump trying to turn his racism into policy, the plight of refugees is far from a story of the past.”

The urgency to write the play was really crystalized by one of the most famous photographs of the last decade: the image of three year old Alan Kurdi, whose lifeless body washed up on a beach in Turkey after his family tried to escape Syria in a tiny rubber raft. Before I had a kid, children were largely symbolic to me. But as a mother, the reaction I had to that photograph was amplified. Now I can imagine what it would be like to lose a child. You would never recover from that”.

“Anyone who came into Canada by boat would have come through Halifax and Pier 21, as my great grandparents did in 1908. Pier 21 is a little bit like Ellis Island. It had never occurred to me before but this was the moment that they were safe. Before that they were in peril. It was a question of life or death.

“I take my lead from a hero of mine, Primo Levi, who survived the Holocaust. He talks about history as identity, and that you cannot know yourself without knowing your history. And genocide is an attempt to wipe out history. The alternative history of my family was death – as with Alan Kurdi. It was impossible for me, knowing my family came in through Pier 21 fleeing pogroms, not to see a parallel. All of that came together to make Old Stock.”           

Hailed as “Canada’s Hottest Young Playwright” by The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and Now Magazine, Hannah Moscovitch has written Other People’s ChildrenThis Is War, What a Young Wife Ought to Know. She has won many awards, including the prestigious international Windham-Campbell Prize administered by the Beinecke Library at Yale University and the Trillium Book Award (she is the only playwright to win in the award’s thirty-year history).

Christian Barry wears many hats in this production including Director, Co-Set/Lighting/Sound Designer, as well as co-writing the songs. He is an award-winning director, dramaturge, actor, writer, and designer from Halifax, and a founding member and artistic co-director of 2b theatre company.

Ben Caplan is both the production’s co-songwriter and performs the role of narrator, The Wanderer. Though best known as a songwriter, his first experiences as a performer were in the theatre. This production marks his first return to the theatre after a ten-year hiatus. He has released three albums to critical acclaim, including his latest: a companion piece to this production titled Old Stock.       

Mary Fay Coady (Chaya, Violin) received the Robert Merritt Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Lead in 2018 for this performance. Further acting credits include: This Is Nowhere, At This Hour (Zuppa Theatre/ Merritt Award nominee), Miss Caledonia (Neptune/Canada/UK Tour), David For Queen (Halifax Theatre for Young People), Tribe of One (Doppler Effect/ Merritt Award nominee), Jekyll and Hyde (Misery/ Shakespeare By The Sea), Twelfth NightMacBeth, Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare By The Sea), The Perfection of Man (Atlantic Fringe Festival/ winner Best Comedy Award) and In the Backseat (Eastern Front).       

Eric Da Costa (Chaim, Clarinet & various other instruments) has been a musician for as many years as he has been a performer. Previous credits include: Annie, Honk!Snow White: the PantoPeter Pan: the Panto (Drayton Entertainment), Key Change (Globe Theatre Regina), and Hollywood Hits(Stage West Calgary).

Jeff Kingsbury (Drumset) is a freelance drummer/multi-instrumentalist from Kentville, Nova Scotia. Currently based in Ottawa, he tours regularly with his main project Pony Girl, and with artists like Gianna Lauren, Marie-Clo, Mauno, Scattered Clouds, HIGHS, and Kalle Mattson. He has performed with Symphony Nova Scotia in Halifax and also plays regularly with the Ottawa-based Governor General’s Foot Guards Band and the Band of the Ceremonial Guard across Canada and in Bermuda.

Kelsey McNulty (Keyboard, Accordion) is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and teacher living in Toronto. Originally from Ottawa, she quickly became an active member of the Toronto music scene. Kelsey has performed and toured with many bands including The Boxcar Boys, Maylee Todd, Jadea Kelly, Jaron Freeman-Fox and the Opposite of Everything. As well as leading her own bands she has also recorded on many albums, building experience in many different styles of music (Jazz, Soul, Pop, Country, Folk and Classical).

The Bunker Theatre announces Autumn Season with a new festival for Black theatremakers

The Bunker Theatre announces
2019 Autumn Season
The Bunker, 53A Southwark Street London SE1 1RU
August – December 2019

Following the success of his first season at The Bunker, Artistic Director Chris Sonnex’s new season cements his vision for the theatre, representing and sharing the stories of its community. With a new festival with work from Black artists, a new work from Anna Jordan, debut plays from emerging writers and the return of the sold-out My White Best Friend (and Other Letters Left Unsaid), The Bunker is the place for ambitious creatives to share their work with adventurous audiences.

The Autumn Season will open with This is Black, a curated festival from Steven Kavuma, founder of Diversity School Initiative. Creating a supportive fringe space for Black creatives to produce new work, it will explore identity, hate crime and family relationships with alternate double bills of All the Shit I Can’t Say to My Dad by Abraham Adeyemi and Blue Beneath My Skin by Macadie Amoroso with …cake by babirye bukilwa and The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars by Dipo Baruwa-Etti, along with an accompanying exhibition by Sophia Tassew, who created the recent plus-size mannequins for Nike.

In September, Jade City by Alice Malseed will examine masculinity, vulnerability and friendship through the rich language of Belfast. Presented in association with The Royal Court, Anna Jordan’s We Anchor in Hope will be directed by Chris Sonnex in his inaugural production for The Bunker. Transforming the theatre into a pub, it will interrogate the impact on the community when the local closes.

Based on the writer’s own experiences, Germ Free Adolescent by Natalie Mitchell (NT Connections) is an OCD love story for anyone who’s ever worried that they’re not normal. Debut plays, i will still be whole (when you rip me in half) by Ava Wong Davies and Before I was a Bear by Eleanor Tindall will share the space in November. Davies’ lyrical piece explores the relationship between women in a family as Tindall’s considers sexuality, friendship, celebrity and shame.

The critically acclaimed My White Best Friend and Other Letters Left Unsaid… from Rachel De-Lahay and Milli Bhatia returns to The Bunker for the Autumn Season. Empowering even more writers to challenge and redress where we place ourselves in our society, newly commissioned letters will be performed sight unseen each night.

Following the success of Funeral Flowers in Spring, Harts Theatre Company have joined Pint-Sized and Damsel Productions as Resident Companies, while Ann Akin and Anoushka Warden join Debbie Hannan on The Bunker’s team of Artistic Associates. Akin will produce Matilda Ibini’s new play Little Miss Burden, directed by Hannan, bringing together 90s nostalgia and Nigerian culture to tell the truth about growing up with a physical impairment.

On top of this, The Bunker have introduced a programme of B-Sides to ensure emerging artists have a place to thrive. Including new work from Annie Jenkins and Liv Wynter, this curated run of Sunday and Monday nights will fill the stage with cult hits, experimental work and future classics, reinforced by the return of Pint-Sized’s week-long festival.

Artistic Director Chris Sonnex comments, Theatre is a village. When we wait in the foyer, when we watch a performance, when we talk about the show over a drink, we reinforce our togetherness, our shared language. We watch in unison as a congress of actors, writers, directors, designers tell us stories to unite and challenge us. The individual creates the community, the community empowers the individual. In The Bunker’s new season, we are lucky to welcome incredible artists with plays that explore this link: between individual and community. We’re delighted to be continuing our partnership with Black Ticket Project, giving away more than 250 tickets across the season. We are ensuring that the artists in our community have a place to experiment in our B-Side season. The Bunker is proud to work with so many talented artists that represent our society. I believe they will be mainstays in our theatre village for years to come.

The Bunker’s Autumn Season 2019 includes:

This is Black (The Bunker)
Curated by Steven Kavuma
Monday 5th – Sunday 25th August 2019, DJ until late on Friday and Saturday nights

This festival of world premiere theatre shows by four new and exciting Black writers will be accompanied by a visual art exhibition curated by Sophia Tassew. The festival aims to support, encourage and celebrate Black artists, and to create a supportive fringe festival experience that existing platforms do not always successfully provide.

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 7.30pm
Double Bill –
All the Shit I Can’t Say to My Dad and Blue Beneath My Skin

All the Shit I Can’t Say to My Dad by Abraham Adeyemi (Abi Rufai)
AK’s back at his mum’s to write his debut album and decides it’s time to be honest, even if the truth hurts. He finally says twenty-seven years of things left unsaid but is it too late?

Blue Beneath my Skin by Macadie Amoroso (Sculptress Theatre Company)
Centring on the life of a 17-year-old mixed-race girl, Blue Beneath My Skin explores the nuances of identity, culture and ethnicity, and how self-perceptions and the perceptions put upon us by others can push us onto a destructive path.

Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 7.30pm
Double Bill –
…cake and The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars

…cake by babirye bukilwa (Tolu Agbelusi)
…cake delves into a dysfunctional mother daughter relationship where love, duty and violence compete in equal measure. A prequel to her play hour (Talawa Firsts 2017), …cake explores the nature versus nurture debate and asks what makes us ‘us’.

The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars by Dipo Baruwa-Etti (Liz Daramola)
After being visited by her brother’s ghost and guided through the past, a grieving woman sets out to prove that her brother’s death was the result of a hate crime.

Jade City (ViewFromHere and The Bunker)
Written by Alice Malseed, directed by Katherine Nesbit
Tuesday 3rd – Saturday 21st September 2019

Sas and Monty are trapped in this place, and in their heads. From the working men’s to Monty’s empty flat, their only escape comes from playing The Game; where they can be bin men hiding stolen cash under the mattress; seagulls snatching dogs on the high street; or just themselves, free at last, knocking back breakfast cocktails on a sunny beach. But Sas doesn’t want to play anymore. He wants to talk. About girls, his head and that summer they can’t forget. Rich in the language of Belfast, and with an original electronic score, Jade City is a lyrical and powerful exploration of growing up and growing apart, about the choices we make and the only choices we have.

We Anchor in Hope (The Bunker and W14 Productions in association with the Royal Court)
Written by Anna Jordan, directed by Chris Sonnex
Wednesday 25th September – 19th October 2019

All over London public houses become private flats. Tomorrow, The Anchor closes for good. It’s the end of an era, but Kenny and the gang are going out with a bang. There’s a blow-up sheep, karaoke and a lot of Campari. There’s secrets and grudges and forgotten dreams. As the front doors are locked and the bar is drunk dry, there’s a lot more to lose than just a pub.

Germ Free Adolescent (The Bunker)
Written by Natalie Mitchell, directed by Grace Gummer
Tuesday 29th October – Saturday 9th November 2019

Ashley is 16. She’s lived in Medway for 15 years and 6 months. She has 2,354 leaflets on sexual health. She knows exactly how many she has, because she’s counted them 1,582 times… Germ Free Adolescent is an OCD love story that asks: what exactly is ‘normal’ anyway? Written by Natalie Mitchell, the fierce and funny, serious and irreverent play draws on her own mental health experiences, and the painful yet often funny stories she collected from across Medway in Kent.

i will still be whole (when you rip me in half) (Emily Davis and The Bunker)
Written by Ava Wong Davies, directed by Helen Morley
Tuesday 12th – Saturday 23rd November 2019

In 1996 a young mother walks out of a small house in Shepherd’s Bush and doesn’t look back. In 2019 a daughter lies in a bath and stares at a crack in the ceiling. i will still be whole (when you rip me in half) is a poetic interlinking of monologues devoted to blood ties and what we inherit from our parents.

Before I was a Bear (The Bunker)
Written by Eleanor Tindall, directed by Aneesha Srinivasan
Tuesday 12th – Saturday 23rd November 2019

On a rainy Wednesday evening, Cally sits at her local pub waiting for her best friend. She notices someone in the corner. She recognises them. It can’t be them though, can it? It isn’t. This doesn’t happen. She won’t go over. She won’t. Before I Was A Bear is a powerful new play about sexuality, friendship and hot TV detectives.

My White Best Friend and Other Letters Left Unsaid… (The Bunker)
Written and co-curated by Rachel De-Lahay, directed and co-curated by Milli Bhatia
Monday 25th– Saturday 30th November 2019, 8pm and DJ until late

Could you put your white best friend on stage and remind them that they’re part of the problem? Rachel De-Lahay’s monologue My White Best Friend directed by Milli Bhatia returns to The Bunker alongside new letters that say the unsaid to the people that matter most from a new crop of writers selected by curators Bhatia and De-Lahay. Every night new letters will be given to performers to read for the first time onstage.

Little Miss Burden (Harts Theatre Company and The Bunker)
Written by Matilda Ibini, directed by Debbie Hannan
Tuesday 3rd – Saturday 21st December 2019

They are the coolest, fiercest, most super talentedest girl band ever assembled: Big Sis and Little Sis are waiting for the third member of their trio to arrive. Little Miss is on her way. It just takes her a little bit longer. At thirteen, Little Miss is given a gift which cannot be returned. It’s a part of her. And she needs to find a way for the two of them to get along as they can’t both be Player One. Matilda Ibini’s coming-of-age tale smashes together 90s nostalgia, Nigerian family, East London and Sailor Moon to tell the sometimes tricky, often funny truth about growing up with a physical impairment

More info on the B-Side season can be found on The Bunker Theatre website.

Harriet Thorpe & Tim Flavin join Tracie Bennett in MAME at Hope Mill Theatre







Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment, Hope Mill Theatre and Ray Rackham Theatrical are delighted to announce that Harriet Thorpe and Tim Flavin will star as Vera and Beauregard respectively in the first professional UK revival of Jerry Herman’s much loved musical MAME. They join the previously announced Tracie Bennett in the title role.

Following the run at Hope Mill Theatre, MAME will tour for 2 limited weeks at Royal & Derngate, Northampton from 7 to 11 January and Salisbury Playhouse from 21 to 25 January 2020. Tim Flavin will not be performing at these venues.

Harriet Thorpe is best known for her roles as Carole in the BBC’s The Brittas Empire and Fleur in Absolutely Fabulous. Harriet has performed extensively with French and Saunders, in Girls on Top, Mirrorball and The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle. Most recently, Harriet has appeared on television as guest lead Miranda Hill in Doctors (BBC One), Betty in Hollyoaks (Channel 4), CasualtyOur Friend Victoria, The Three Musketeers, Celebrity Antiques Road Trip alongside Gok Wan, The Secrets – The Conversation, Doctors, Material Girl and Midsomer Murders. She also worked with Victoria Wood in Victoria Wood’s Mid Life Christmas. Her West End credits include Her Ladyship in The Dresser (Duke of York’s), Great Britain (Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Vagina Monologues, Madam Morrible in Wicked (Apollo Theatre), Fraulein Kost in Rufus Norris’ production of Cabaret (Lyric Theatre, UK tour and Savoy Theatre), Crazy for You (Regent’s Park and Novello Theatre), Tanya in Mamma Mia! and Madame Thénardier in Les Misérables. Films include: The Writers Group – Cannes 2018, The Lady in the Van, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the head of the WI in Calendar Girls, Suzie Gold, An Arm’s Length, The Calling, Wise Girl, Zeffirelli’s Young Toscanini, the Mother in The Nutcracker, SNUB!, Greystoke: the Legend of TarzanLord of the Apes and Merchant Ivory’s Maurice. Harriet will soon be seen on the new Series Mister Winner for BBC One playing the role of Sharon, Mr Winner’s mother!

Tim Flavin has performed extensively on Broadway and in the West End. He was the first American actor to be presented with the Olivier Award for his performance in Rodgers and Hart’s On Your Toes at the Palace Theatre. Some of his other West End credits include Billy Buck Chandler in My One and Only (Piccadilly Theatre), for which he was again nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical, Bobby Child in Crazy For You (Prince Edward Theatre), Buddy Plummer in Follies (London Palladium), Don Lockwood in Singin’ in the Rain, (UK tour) and Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. His TV credits include Any Human Heart (Channel 4), Clone (BBC) and Nuclear Secrets – The Spy from Moscow (BBC).

Also in the cast are Chase Brown as Older Patrick, Grace Chapman as Gloria Upson, Lauren Chia as Pegeen Ryan, Soo Drouet as Mother Burnside/Madame Branislowski, Jessie May as Agnes Gooch, Hugh Osborne as Dwight Babcock, Lewis Rae as M Lindsay Woolsey, Pippa Winslow as Mrs Upson/Sally Cato, Benjamin Wong as Ito and Liam Wrate as Junior Babcock. Harry Cross, Isaac Lancel-Watkinson and Lachlan White will alternate the role of Young Patrick. Completing the cast are Jabari Braham, Aston Newman Hannington and India Thornton.

MAME, a classic 1960’s musical, with book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, has not been seen in the UK since the original West End production in 1969 starring Ginger Rogers. Set in New York City and spanning the Great Depression and World War II, the musical focuses on eccentric bohemian Mame Dennis.

The madcap life of Mame Dennis and her intellectual, arty clique is disrupted when her deceased brother’s 10 year-old son Patrick is entrusted to her care. Rather than bow to convention, Mame introduces the boy to her free-wheeling lifestyle, instilling in him her favourite credo, “Life is a banquet, and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death.” Mame loses her fortune in the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and tries her hand at a number of jobs with comically disastrous results, but perseveres with good humour and an irrepressible sense of style, before marrying the Southern aristocrat and plantation owner, Beuregard Jackson Pickett Burnside. 

MAME will be directed and choreographed by Nick Winston, with musical direction by Alex Parker, set design by Philip Whitcomb, lighting design by Tim Mitchell, sound design by Ben Harrison, casting by Jane Deitch and children’s casting by Emily and LJ Keston. Ben Stock also joins the team as Assistant director.

MAME is presented by arrangement with Tams Witmark and is produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment, Hope Mill Theatre and Ray Rackham Theatrical with associate producers Evan Sacks and Adam Mackie.

@hopemilltheatr1 / @HopeAria2019


28 September – 9 November 2019

Hope Mill Theatre

Hope Mill
113 Pollard Street
M4 7JA

Box Office:  0333 012 4963

Tickets: £21 – £29 (Previews £16) Premium tickets available

Tue-Sat 7.30pm, Wed & Sat 2.30pm, Sun 3pm

N.B final week, w/c 4 November – Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at 2.30pm

7 – 11 January 2020                   Royal & Derngate, Northampton                         01604 624 811

                                                                       On sale soon

 21 – 25 January 2020                Salisbury Playhouse                                          01722 320 333

                                                                         On sale 28 June