Wilton’s Music Hall announce stunning summer season

Wilton’s Music Hall announce stunning summer season

Wilton’s Music Hall today announces its glorious summer season, packed full of inventive theatre and embracing its vaudeville heritage steeped in live music and performance.

The oldest grand music hall in the world goes back to its roots to host the inaugural Music 4all Festival (11 – 16 May), inviting the best emerging artists from across five music genres to showcase their talents on one of the most iconic stages in London. Mentored by industry professionals, emerging stars from the worlds of Opera; Contemporary & Jazz; Rock, Pop & Indie; Cabaret & Alternative; and Urban, Electronic & DJ will perform over five nights in a musical extravaganza, the first of its kind in the history of Wilton’s. A Charity Gala Night on 13 May will see one of the best live bands in the country, an extra-special musical band and a Wilton’s favourite come together for one amazing night of music – watch this space for more details….

With music now firmly back in the heart of Wilton’s, City of London Sinfonia present I’m A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (20 – 23 May), paying homage to the original rock ‘n’ roll stars Mozart and Vivaldi, who headlined concerts in the biggest party venues across Europe and led lives as chaotic and incident-filled as any modern day rock star. Bringing the sounds of these classical music legends into the exhilarating and intimate atmosphere they would have known in their own day, the orchestra and guest pianist Robert Levin and Norwegian violinist Terje Tonnesen truly recapture the party spirit.

Theatre returns to Wilton’s as the London premiere of acclaimed show FRIEND (The One With Gunther) (1 – 6 June) arrives following its smash hit Edinburgh run. Comic actor Brendan Murphy reimagines the TV classic Friends through the eyes of everyone’s favourite blonde barista, before James Holmes returns with his sell-out Camden Festival hit EastEndless(26 – 27 June), taking a darkly comic look at the classic soap opera from the perspective of superfan Tony Coventry.

Following two previous sell-out shows, Dead Poets Live returns to Wilton’s led by theatre legend Rory Kinnear from 24 – 25 June for two nights of great poetry, performance and surprises, whilst music and storytelling combine for the wonderful OneTrackMinds (8 – 9 July) as another vibrant selection of writers, thinkers and musicians each present the one song that changed their life, and the thought-provoking story behind it.

It’s anarchic and surreal satire at its finest with Horse Country(30 June – 4 July), presented by Flying Bridge Theatre and Rive Productions and directed by Mark Bell (The Play That Goes WrongThe Comedy About A Bank Robbery). The show follows Sam and Bob, two clowns hunting the elusive nine of diamonds, talking capitalism to sea-lions and everything in between.

Divas assemble as The Cabaret House presents The Marilyn Monroe Story (15 July), a fascinating look at the icon’s life from beginning to tragic death through the performance of Jojo Desmond, professional singer, actress and dancer. Audiences will then be transported back to 1957 Cuba with Marlene in Havana (13 July), a Latin-infused night of cabaret inspired by Marlene Dietrich’s famous performances and led by opera singer Ann Liebeck and award-winning jazz tango violin virtuoso Omar Puente.

Everyone’s favourite music hall singer-turned rap star Ida Barr is back with her show Granarchist (7 July), bringing her brand of Artificial Hip Hop to the Hall, whilst Martin, Izzy and Friends (30 July) present their riotous evening of music wine and song and cabaret superstar Tricity Vogue and her joyous All Girl Swing Band will take to the Wilton’s stage (22 – 23 July) with their incredible mix of cheeky dance numbers, swing versions of retro pop classics and some original numbers thrown in. Carrying on the cabaret theme, the very best of the genre’s UK scene come together for Cabaret vs Cancer’s Ashes to Ashes (20 – 21 July), celebrating the one and only David Bowie with a show exploding with song, dance, comedy and burlesque in one glittering night, all for a good cause.

Wilton’s is going galactic with children’s theatre show First Piano on the Moon (3 – 5, 24 – 26 August), which tells the story of William, the little piano player with the big dreams who is chosen to represent the school at Mozart’s birthday celebrations in Salzburg. Acclaimed pianist Will Pickvance takes audiences on an engaging, playful and joyous journey about one boy’s flight of fantasy to the moon and back.

The ever-popular Lucky Dog Picturehouse are back with Kings of Silent Film (10 – 13 August)showcasing the very best of silent cinema accompanied with live music across four nights, presenting Steamboat Bill Jr.Battleship PotemkinSafety Last! and Nosferatu in the atmospheric surroundings of the Hall.

Renowned opera company Opera della Luna present a brilliant ‘new’ comic opera The Burglar’s Opera (2 – 5 September), a reimagining of a production that premiered in 2008 to rave reviews and has now been specially staged for Wilton’s. Based on a short story by WS Gilbert, The Burglar’s Operaby Jeff Clarke and Stephen Wyatt is set to a sparkling score of music from Sullivan’s rarely heard orchestral works.

As well as the jam-packed programme of theatre and music at Wilton’s, visitors can also delve even deeper into its history with guided tours available throughout the season: the Guided Tour gives an unprecedented look into the heritage of the magnificent building; whilst the Film Tour shows off Wiltons’ cinematic past. Other events include the Pop-up Vintage Fair (16 July), bringing together vintage traders from across the UK for an evening of shopping, cocktails and live entertainment.

Wilton’s are also on the hunt for a small-medium theatre company to develop a production that is going to the 2020 Edinburgh Fringe. Applications are open until 1 May and the successful company will receive two weeks of free rehearsal time at Wilton’s, mentoring, and the opportunity to produce their work in one of Wilton’s spaces to an invited audience. Read more about the opportunity here: http://wiltons.org.uk/learning/1

Finally, in June Wilton’s will spend two weeks enhancing acoustics and seating of the Hall as part of the Beautiful Word campaign, which was launched by David Suchet CBE in 2019.

Malory Towers Returns with a Summer Run at Southbank Centre







David Pugh, the Olivier and Tony Award-winning producer, is delighted to present Emma Rice’s critically acclaimed musical adaptation of Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers, originally created with Wise Children. This new production will be co-produced with Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, where the production will open on 27 March 2020, before going on a national tour, concluding at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, where it will play from 27 July to 31 August.

David Pugh, a massive advocate of theatre for all, said, “This wonderful show should be available for as many people as possible. Tickets at the Southbank Centre range from just £15 to £49.50, but for everyone who books before 1 March, all children can go for half price.”

This production will star Rosie Abraham as Sally Hope, Alison Arnopp as Gwendoline Lacey, Georgia Bruce as Bill Robinson, Mirabelle Gremaud as Irene Dupont, Bobbie Little as Alicia Johns, Naomi Morris as Mary Lou Atkinson and Alice Vilanculo as Darrell Rivers, with Katy Ellis and Stephanie Hockley.

Nostalgic, naughty and perfect for now, Malory Towers is the original ‘Girl Power’ story, filled with high jinks, high drama and high spirits, all set to sensational live music and breath-taking animation.

Darrell Rivers is starting school with an eager mind and fierce heart. Unfortunately she also has a quick temper! Can she learn to tolerate the infuriating Gwendoline Lacey, or value the kind-hearted Sally Hope? Can she save the school play and rescue terrified Mary Lou from the grip of a raging storm? If she can do these things anywhere, she will do them at Malory Towers!

Adapted and directed by Emma Rice, this is a show for girls, boys, and all us grown up children who still dream of midnight feasts, Cornish clifftops and headmistresses like Miss Grayling. Set and costume design are by Lez Brotherston, lighting by Malcolm Rippeth, sound and video by Simon Baker and original music by Ian Ross.

The show is officially licensed by Enid Blyton Entertainment, a division of Hachette Children’s Group (HCG). Karen Lawler, Head of Licensed Content at HCG, said, “Enid Blyton created incredible female characters at Malory Towers: strong, capable and always, always kind. ‘Women the world can lean on,’ in Enid’s own words. We share Emma’s passion for these characters and we love the way Emma has brought her vision of Malory Towers to life.”

Emma Rice on Malory Towers

I’ve always been drawn to the years that followed the Second World War. It’s a time that feels close enough to touch, as I vividly remember my grandparents and how the war affected their lives. My Mum’s parents – poor and largely uneducated – decided that their children would have access to all the things that they hadn’t. I don’t know how they managed it on a railway worker’s pay, but my mother was sent to a remote grammar school in Dorset: Lord Digby’s School for Girls.

Whilst not a boarding school, Lord Digby’s was an extraordinary place of learning that changed my mother’s, and by extension my own, life. The tendrils of passion and education that Lord Digby’s stood for reach out across 60 years and more. They reached out over my inner city comprehensive education and have shaped my own beliefs and choices to this day.

My adaptation of Malory Towers is dedicated to the generation of women who taught in schools in that period. With lives shaped by the savagery of two wars, these teachers devoted themselves to the education and nurture of other women. It is also for the two generations of men that died in those same wars, leaving us with the freedom to lead meaningful, safe and empowered lives. And it is for Clement Attlee and his Labour government of 1945 who looked into the face of evil and chose to do what was right. These people changed the political landscape in their focus on care, compassion and the common good.

Malory Towers was written at the heart of this political revolution, and embodies a kindness, hope and love of life that knocks my socks off. ‘Long live our appetites and may our shadows never grow less!’ the girls cry.

My mother wrote to her teachers at Lord Digby’s until they died and is still friends with many of the girls she met there. And when I see my Mum, born into the poorest of rural backgrounds, enjoying Dickens and Almodovar and speaking French to her childhood pen-friend, I am stopped in my tracks. She went on to dedicate her life to the NHS and the helping of others whilst never losing her appetite for life, culture and hope. I salute her, and I cheer the education that threw this mind and soul into the air and said, “be a woman that the world can lean on”.

So that’s why I have made Malory Towers, with gratitude, hope and sheer pleasure! I call it my ‘Happy Lord of the Flies’ and it is joyfully radical to its bones. Imagine a world where (left to their own devices), people choose kindness. Imagine a world where difference is respected and arguments resolved with thought and care. Imagine a world that chooses community, friendship and fun. Now that’s a world I want to live in and, at Malory Towers, you can!

Tour Schedule

27 March – 18 April             Theatre by the Lake, Keswick                              017687 74411


                                             *‘Kids go half price’ offer not applicable; other substantial child discounts apply.

21 – 25 April                         The Lowry, Salford                                               0343 2098 6000


28 April – 2 May                   Nottingham Theatre Royal                                   0115 989 5555


5 – 9 May                             Theatre Royal Bath                                              01225 448844


12 – 16 May                         Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham                          01242 572573


19 – 23 May                         Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne                 0132 341 2000


26 – 30 May                         Festival Theatre, Malvern                                     01684 892277


23 – 27 June                        Norwich Theatre Royal                                        01603 63000          


30 June – 4 July                  Chester Storyhouse                                              01244 409113         


7 – 11 July                           Birmingham Repertory Theatre                           0121 236 4455.


14 – 18 July                         Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury                              01227 787787


21 – 25 July                         Sheffield Lyceum Theatre                                    0114 249 6000

                                             www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk                                on sale soon

27 July – 31 August             Queen Elizabeth Hall, London                              020 3879 9555

                                             www.southbankcentre.co.uk                                on sale 4 February

Further dates to be added.

Full casting announced for the timeless musical classic THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Full casting announced for the
timeless musical classic
at the Alhambra Theatre
Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
Tuesday 25 – Saturday 29 February 2020
*Tickets £43.50 – £18
Call the Box Office on 01274 432000 or visit bradford-theatres.co.uk

*All prices shown include booking fees but are subject to postage charge if applicable.
Bradford Theatres usual terms and conditions apply.

Bill Kenwright’s production of one of the greatest family musicals of all time The Sound of Music returns to the UK and Ireland in 2020 coming to the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford on 25 to 29 February. This musical masterpiece tells the true story of the world-famous Trapp family, from their romantic beginnings and search for happiness, to their thrilling escape to freedom as their beloved Austria becomes part of the Third Reich at the start of the Second World War.

Playing the role of Maria in this spectacular production will be Emilie Fleming. Emilie became a household name when she was a finalist in BBC One’s Over the Rainbow with Andrew Lloyd Webber. Her musical theatre credits include the West End’s 20th Anniversary production of Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre.

Andrew Lancel will reprise his role as Captain von Trapp. Andrew is best known as super-villain Frank Foster in Coronation Street, a role that earned him a ‘Villain of the Year’ award at the British Soap Awards. He also played DI Neil Manson in the long-running ITV television series The Bill. His numerous stage credits include Bill Kenwright’s touring productions of The Small Hand and Twelve Angry Men. Andrew starred in The Man Who Made The Beatles in Liverpool and London, and most recently appeared on stage in the UK tour of The Lady Vanishes.

Welsh soprano Megan Llewellyn will play the role of Mother Abbess and will be joined by Howard Samuels (Max), Michael Anderson (Rolf), Nicole Farrar (Liesl), Alexander Evans (Herr Zeller) Zoe Ann Bown (Sister Margaretta), Georgina Hagen (Sister Berthe), Katie Shearman (Sister Sophia), Sophie Christine (Ursula), Olivia Alexander (Baroness Elberfeld), Jon de Ville (Franz), Wendy-Lee Purdy (Frau Schmidt), Paul Lavers (Admiral von Schreiber), Sam Tithecott (Baron Elberfeld) and Jack Churms (Swing).

Producer Bill Kenwright said “The music and narrative of The Sound of Music are timeless. It’s a beautiful story about family and hope. The score transcends generations and the songs are known and loved by everyone.”

It all began with the story of the Trapp Family Singers and Baroness Maria von Trapp’s 1949 autobiography, which inspired Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse to create a Broadway musical in 1959. The unforgettable score features some of the most memorable songs ever performed on stage, including Edelweiss, My Favourite Things, Do-Re-Mi, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, So Long, Farewell and of course, the iconic title song, The Sound of Music.

This wonderfully lavish staging of the classic musical has delighted audiences and critics alike. Produced by Bill Kenwright, it is directed by Martin Connor and choreographed by Olivier Award winner Bill Deamer, with musical direction by Jeremy Wootton.


Suggested by ‘The Trapp Family Singers’ by Maria Augusta Trapp.
Choreographed by BILL DEAMER
Designed by GARY MCCANN
Musical direction by JEREMY WOOTTON
Presented by special arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe www.rnh.com

Full casting announced for new immersive production of Zorro The Musical



Full casting is announced today for the new spectacular production of Zorro The Musical which will run at the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester from 14 March – 18 April 2020, with opening night for press on 18 March, directed by Christian Durham. The show will be brought to life by a cast including Antony Costa as Garcia, Alex Gibson-Giorgio as Ramon, Emma Kingston as Luisa, Genevieve Nicole as Inez, Kit Orton as Don Alejandro and Benjamin Purkiss as the masked hero, Zorro. The cast is completed by Ajjaz AwadAmy BastaniIsobel BatesBen Boskovic, Maxwell GriffinMatthew HeywoodJessica PardoeThomas PingSeren Sandham-Davies and Stylianos Thomadakis.

The audience will be enveloped by the action of the legendary adventure of the masked hero as they are taken on a thrilling journey into an iconic story of good vs. evil, love vs. hate, brother vs. brother. The action begins in the foyer with live entertainment and a Flamenco party led by the actor-musician company before the thrills continue to grow in the theatre itself.

With music by the Gipsy Kings and John Cameron, lyrics by Stephen Clark and a book by Stephen Clark and Helen EdmundsonZorro the Musical reinvigorates the story of the iconic hero, who appears when times are hardest and the struggle for freedom feels lost. The production is presented by Katy Lipson and John Gertz and features original music by the Gipsy Kings, alongside their international hits including Bamboleo, Baila Me and Djobi, Djoba. The production will be filled with pounding flamenco, breathtaking sword fights, tricks and magic, comedy and, at its heart, the desperate battle within a family of power versus freedom.

Antony Costa (Garcia) is best known as a member of the chart-topping boyband Blue. Most recently on stage he starred in the 2019 Rock of Ages UK tour. Previous stage credits also include A Judgement In Stone, Save The Last Dance For Me (Bill Kenwright Productions), Blood Brothers (Phoenix Theatre) and Boogie Nights (UK tour). For TV he has appeared in Holby City and Casualty.

Alex Gibson-Giorgio’s (Ramon) stage credits include Aria Entertainment’s recent production of RAGS The Musical (Park Theatre), Everything’s Coming Up Sondheim (Chapel off Chapel), Yank (Understudy Productions), Mamma Mia! (Australian Tour) and Anything Goes (Opera Australia).

Emma Kingston (Luisa) starred as Eva Peron in Evita (2017-18 international tour), Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Vanessa in In the Heights (King’s Cross Theatre). Further stage credit includes Les Misérables (Queen’s Theatre), Priscilla Queen of the Desert (UK Tour) and Grease (UK Tour).

Genevieve Nicole’s (Inez) musical credits include Guys & Dolls, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Spamalot in the West End, UK tours of Hairspray, Chicago, The Producers, Miracle on 34th Street and White Christmas, and previously at the Hope Mill in Pippin.

Kit Orton’s (Don Alejandro / Gypsy Leader / Guitar / Violin) theatre credits include Tom (UK Tour 2014/2016), Spamalot (UK Tour & West End), Oliver!, Spend Spend Spend, Martin Guerre (Watermill Theatre) and Dickens Abridged (Arts Theatre).

Benjamin Purkiss (Zorro/Diego) recently performed as the alternate Strat in the original West End cast of the Evening Standard Award and BBC Radio 2 Audience Award winning Bat Out Of Hell The Musical (Dominion Theatre/ Manchester Opera House). His other stage credits include Broken Wings (The Other Palace), Macheath in The Beggar’s Opera (William Christie and Les Arts Florissants) and Allegro (Southwark Playhouse).

Ajjaz Awad (Ensemble / Castanets) was the winner of a Fringe First Award 2019 for How Not To Drown (ThickSkin/Traverse Theatre). Further credits include Peter and the Wolf (National Theatre River Stage and Tour), Stories on a String (Polygon Arts) and The Hound of the Baskervilles (The Mill at Sonning). Her television credits include Holby City.

Amy Bastani (Ensemble / Violin) recently graduated from the Italia Conti Academy. Zorro the Musical will mark her professional stage debut.

Isobel Bates’ (Ensemble / Trumpet) stage credits include Sleeping Beauty (Kings Lynn Corn Exchange), A Foreign Field, Poppies (Selladoor), Summer Holiday (Bolton Octagon), Red Riding Hood (New Wolsey) and Oh What a Lovely War (Oldham Coliseum).

Ben Boskovic (Ensemble / Percussion) has previously appeared at the Hope Mill in The Exonerated with further stage credits including The Secret Garden (Barn Theatre), Holding the Man (Above the Stag), Paper Hearts: A High Street Musical (Edinburgh Fringe).

Maxwell Griffin (Ensemble) is a recent ArtsEd graduate. Zorro the Musical will mark his professional debut.

Matthew Heywood (Ensemble / Guitar) graduated from Manchester School of Theatre and most recently performed in Beryl and Seagulls (Bolton Octagon).

Jessica Pardoe (Ensemble) recently appeared on stage in Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch stole Christmas (UK Tour), The Happy Prince (Palace Theatre), Thursford Christmas Spectacular 2018 and Kiss Me Kate (Kilworth House).

Thomas Ping (Ensemble / Violin)  is a winner of the Laine Theatre Arts Triple Threat Award and the Mario Lanza Opera Prize. He appeared in Thursford Christmas Spectacular last year, and previously in Sweet Charity (Watermill Theatre) and Judy! (Through The Mill).

Seren Sandham-Davies’ (Ensemble / Trumpet) stage credits include Crazy for You (UK Tour), Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast (The Production Exchange) and Brassed Off (Derby Theatre). She has also appeared on television in The Great.

Stylianos Thomadakis (Ensemble / Guitar) is a recent graduate from Bird College. He has appeared on stage in Thorn of Acacia (Ensarkosi Productions). His film credits include Mary Queen of Scots and Artemis Fowl.

Zorro the Musical brings together Director Christian Durham (Breaking The Code, Quaint Honour, Café Society Swing), Choreographer Cressida Carre (Avenue Q, Titanic, Pippi Longstocking), Designer Rosa Maggiora (Hobson’s Choice, Approaching Empty, ‘Nina’ A Story About Me & Nina Simone) and Orchestrator and Musical Director Nick Barstow (RAGS The Musical, Just So, RE:arrangement). The creative team also includes Sound Designer Andrew Johnson, Lighting Designer Matt Haskins, Flamenco Specialist Maria Vega, Fight Director Renny Krupinski, and Casting Director Jane Deitch.

Tickets are now on sale at www.hopemilltheatre.co.uk/events/zorro/

Cinderella at York Theatre Royal

We’re having a ball and everyone’s invited

York Theatre Royal and Evolution present

York’s new spectacular family pantomime


York Theatre Royal, December 4 to January 10

Written by Paul Hendy with additional material by David Reed

Directed by Juliet Forster

York Theatre Royal presents Cinderella, the most magical pantomime of all, from 4 December to January 10.

This timeless rags-to-riches story will be relocated to the city of York, with the stage coming to sparkling life with magical transformations, glittering sets, stunning songs and side-splitting laughs.

Co-producing with Evolution, one of the country’s most successful and award-winning pantomime producers, the Theatre Royal is creating a brand new pantomime for everyone – with the promise of a truly epic spectacle and heaps of hilarity.

Cinderella will be directed by York Theatre Royal’s Associate Director Juliet Forster and written by Paul Hendy with additional material by David Reed.

York Theatre Royal Executive Director Tom Bird says:

“We are over the moon to be creating a spectacular new pantomime for the people of York – one that’s tailor-made for the whole family, while honouring the pantomime traditions that our audiences love so much.

“Our recipe includes two of the most exciting voices in our city, David Reed and Juliet Forster, together with Emily Wood and Paul Hendy, the finest makers of pantomime in the country – a fairytale combination.

“This phenomenal team will give the York Theatre Royal pantomime a new lease of life with a fresh, family-friendly, fun-filled approach to the story of Cinderella. It’s a pantomime for the new decade, set with pride in our amazing city.”

Evolution Productions was started by Emily Wood and Paul Hendy in 2005 and has built a reputation for superior, bespoke pantomimes with the emphasis on high quality production values, strong casting and genuinely funny scripts. They have twice won Pantomime of the Year at the Great British Pantomime Awards. They are the team behind Sheffield Theatres’ extraordinarily successful pantomime in the Lyceum Theatre.

Producer and writer Paul Hendy says:

“Emily and I are absolutely thrilled to be working with York Theatre Royal on this year’s pantomime. We are huge fans of the theatre and we’re looking forward to collaborating with Tom and his brilliant team to produce a wonderful, family friendly pantomime with spectacular production values, a superbly talented cast, and a genuinely funny script.”

Further creatives and cast for Cinderella will be announced in coming months.

Ticket prices remain the same as for 2019-2020. Family tickets and Sunday shows are being introduced as well as schools and groups discounts so that everyone can go to the ball.

There is priority booking for York Theatre Royal Members. For details about membership contact the box office.

Members 10 day priority booking opens on 3 February.

Members 5 day priority booking opens on 8 February. 9am in person at box office, 10am online and phone booking.

General booking opens on 13 February. 9am in person at box office, 10am online and phone booking.

Box office 01904 623568