JERSEY BOYS Works Its Way Back to London







Jersey Boys

The beloved Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning smash hit musical JERSEY BOYS returns to London’s West End, opening at the new multi-million pound reinstated Trafalgar Theatre, with a new, larger auditorium and stage (formerly known as Trafalgar Studios), on Wednesday 21 April 2021, following previews from 14 April.  Tickets are now on sale.

JERSEY BOYS is written byMarshall Brickman & Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe.

Casting is to be announced.

Go behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Tony and Olivier Award-winning, true-life phenomenon, JERSEY BOYS. They were just four guys from New Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard… and the radio just couldn’t get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect onstage, off stage it was a very different story—a story that has made them an international sensation all over again. From the streets of New Jersey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this is the musical that’s too good to be true.  The show is packed with their hits, including Beggin’SherryWalk Like A ManDecember, 1963 (Oh What a Night)Big Girls Don’t CryMy Eyes Adored YouLet’s Hang On (To What We’ve Got)Bye Bye BabyCan’t Take My Eyes Off YouWorking My Way Back to YouFallen AngelRag Doll and Who Loves You.   

Recipient of Broadway’s Tony, London’s Olivier and Australia’s Helpmann Awards for Best New Musical, JERSEY BOYS is the winner of 65 major awards and has been seen by over 27 million people worldwide. 

JERSEY BOYS originally opened in New York on 6 November 2005 and, by the time it closed over 11 years later on 15 January 2017, it was the 12th longest running show in Broadway history.  It first ran in London’s West End from 18 March 2008 to 26 March 2017 – nine amazing years – and, at the time, was the sixth longest musical running in the West End. JERSEY BOYS played two record-breaking UK and Ireland Tours from 2014 to 2016 and from 2017 to 2019.

JERSEY BOYS returned to New York with a new production in November 2017. The JERSEY BOYS US National Tour is still breaking house records in cities across North America.

JERSEY BOYS at the Trafalgar Theatre will be staged by the entire original Broadway creative team, led by the Tony Award-winning team of director Des McAnuff and choreographer Sergio Trujillo, with scenic design by Klara Zieglerova, costume design by Jess Goldstein, lighting by Howell Binkley, sound by Steve Canyon Kennedy and projections design by Michael Clark.  The orchestrations are by Steve Orich and the music supervision and vocal arrangements by Ron Melrose.

JERSEY BOYS is produced in London by the Dodgers and Trafalgar Theatre Productions Ltd.


Trafalgar Theatre

14 Whitehall

London SW1A 2DY


Between 14 April and 31 May:

Monday – Saturday 7.30pm

Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm with no matinee on Thursday 15 and 22 April

2 June onwards:

Monday – Saturday 7.30pm with no performance on Tuesday evening

Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm

Sunday 4pm

Tickets: from £19.50

Box Office: 0844 871 7632 


Facebook: @JerseyBoysLondon

Twitter & Instagram: @JerseyBoysUK

Trafalgar Theatre, when it opens, will comply with COVID-19 Secure guidelines, with robust risk mitigation in place.  In addition to hand sanitation, face coverings and track and trace, other measures will include contactless tickets, temperature testing and the deep clean and sanitation of the theatre.






The Cockpit Theatre in Marylebone – the only custom-built theatre in the round in Central London, which has been open to socially distanced audiences since July – is pleased to announce its Christmas season for 2020, with festive cabaret show A PERFECT CHRISTMAS, playing alongside a show for children, CHRISTMAS IS RUINED! With a capacity of 30 per performance in the main auditorium, the venue is fully Covid-secure, adhering to all current government guidelines.

A PERFECT CHRISTMAS, directed and devised by Tim McArthur, featuring Sarah Dearlove, Nathan Kiley, (aka Topsie Redfern), Tim McArthur and Jo Wickham, with musical direction by Ben Papworth, will play from 24 November – 24 December, with a press night on Wednesday 25 November at 7pm.

How we all long for a perfect Christmas! A festive celebration with those most dear to us and just the right amount of overindulgence! This Christmas revue promises to bring you the magic of a traditional Christmas, with carols, songs, poems and all sorts of holly jolly fun! ‘A Perfect Christmas’ will bring you and your families seasonal cheer, a sense of tradition and, in these strange times some normality, as we celebrate the magic of the festive season.

CHRISTMAS IS RUINED! a children’s show written and directed by Kathryn Gardner and starring Harriett O’Grady, Eric Mitchell and Paul Collin Thomas, will also play from 25 November to 24 December, with a press performance on Wednesday 25 November at 4pm. A recorded version of the show will also be available online.

Bo is cross. He’s really cross… He’s just been told the horrible news that there won’t be many presents this year, so obviously this means that Christmas is RUINED!

A fun, family show with well-known songs, larger than life characters, and a generous dose of theatre magic. All performed in the round.

Is Christmas ruined? There’s only one way to find out!

Owned and run by United Colleges, The Cockpit began online broadcasts in March, with their first being an online version of their monthly music night JAZZ IN THE ROUND, streamed live from the artist’s garage. This led to online versions of other regular events, including their scratch night THEATRE IN THE POUND, and rehearsed reading night NEW STUFF. The theatre adapted to the new normal with an increased focus on Broadcast, and a programme of online events including a comedy series, classes, dance, film, talks, children’s theatre, and workshops – all available for the audience to enjoy from home.

The Cockpit Theatre first opened its doors to a live post-lockdown audience in July,  staging socially distanced opera in collaboration with Tete a Tete Opera and The Dept for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

As well as performances, the theatre hosts classes and professional development courses. Both the auditorium and studios are available to hire, for shows, rehearsals, photo or film shoots, auditions, workshops, and seminars.

Ahead of the Christmas season, the Cockpit will also host the Voila! Europe from 9 – 21 November, bringing together British & European Theatre Makers in a mix of multi-cultural, multilingual, multidisciplinary performance, this year with a mixture of Live On Stage, Live On Zoom, and Online performances.

@Cockpittheatre across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The Cockpit, Gateforth Street, Marylebone, London NW8 8EH

Book online at or on 020 7258 2925 (10.30am-6pm Mon to Fri, 12noon-6pm Sat)



Following the announcement this week that Iris Theatre, the resident theatre company of the Actors’ Church in Covent Garden, is one of the twelve new beneficiaries of Sir Ian McKellen’s 80th Birthday tour, Paul-Ryan Carberry, Artistic Director, today announces its winter season 2020.

Known for its annual summer season of outdoor theatre, the company’s inaugural indoor winter season opens in December with live performances from the Ivor Novello Award-winning classical choir, Mediaeval Baebes, performingtracksfromtheir new album, Christmas carols and traditional folk songs. In February, Willow Walk Productions’ hit musical St Anne Comes Home,supported by Iris Theatre, returns to The Actors’ Church following its successful première in August.

The company also present The Snow Queen, an interactive digital adventure for families. Directed by Natasha Rickman and using innovative new technology, families are able to take part in the story, helping the characters on their adventure.

Iris theatre will also continue its PLATFORM initiative, hosting monthly showcases throughout 2021, championing and supporting artists from a variety of disciplines as they take the next steps in their careers. Previous PLATFORM artists include Reuben Johnson, Dylan Wynford & Nick Hart. The next two PLATFORM events will take place on 29 January and 26 February 2021, with artists and further details to be announced.

In addition, Iris Theatre are pleased to host Potential Difference’s Signal Fires event in November, one of a series of productions being presented nationwide this Autumn by the UK’s leading touring theatre companies.

As part of an ongoing commitment to supporting early career artists, Iris Theatre’s Start:DIRECTING programme offers training, mentoring and placement opportunities for artists of all ages who have a passion for making theatre. The initial cohort of 5 incredible early career directors will receive creative placements across the winter season due to the support of Iris’ funders and the winter season companies. Start DIRECTORS are Grace Bussey, Monica CoxMoe FarahJenny Horsthuis, and Larissa Nugroho

Artistic Director of Iris TheatrePaul-Ryan Carberry today said, “We are really excited to share with our audience such an eclectic group of artists and events this winter. Despite the difficulties of 2020 we remain determined to not stand still and drive forward with our ambitions for making more opportunities for artists than ever before. We are so grateful for the incredible support we have received this year and we’d also like to say a big thank you to Sir Ian McKellen and to ATG for their generosity towards Iris Theatre; we are honoured to be one of the charities being supported by Sir Ian’s recent tour.

Executive DirectorCharlotte Lund added,“Iris Theatre strives to provide transformational opportunities for artists and audiences alike whether it is an original, innovative digital performance or Ivor Novello winning musicians, this season certainly offers something for everyone. We hope that whether we are welcoming our audiences back through our doors in person or online that they’ll be able to experience the joy and magic of live theatre together.”

Social distancing measures will be in operation at The Actors’ Church, with tickets available in singles and pairs. All patrons, unless they have a known medical condition, will be required to wear a face covering at the venue. For full details on the measures implemented to ensure audience safety and wellbeing, please visit:

Potential Difference presents


The Actors’ Church

4 November

Reuniting the creative team of their postponed production FragmentsPotential Difference invite audiences to gather near, while staying afar, in the grounds of The Actors’ Church. Light your lantern and search for a trail of clues to invoke and honour performers of the past, present and future. If you see your fellow seekers, signal to them – but don’t get too close – or the invocation may dissipate!


The Actors’ Church

3 December – 5 December

With lush, ethereal harmonies, the classical chart-topping choir weaves its story-telling magic, performing songs from their new album, the extraordinary ‘​Prayers of the Rosary’​, Christmas carols from their hit album ​‘Of Kings and Angels​‘ and the uplifting hit title theme for TV’s ​‘Victoria‘, alongside traditional folk songs, and innovative settings of ancient and romantic poetry.

The unique and classical chart-topping choir ​Mediaeval Baebes​ was conceptualised and formed in 1996 by musical director, composer and producer Katharine Blake. The group have released 10 studio albums, won an Ivor Novello Award for their performance on the BBC series ‘The Virgin Queen’ and received 2 Emmy nominations and a Royal Television Society award as the featured artist alongside composer Martin Phipps for the theme tune of ITV’s hit TV show ‘Victoria’.

December 2020 will see the release of the group’s tenth studio album, ‘Prayers of the Rosary’. Steeped in the ceremony and melodrama of the Catholic tradition, these original settings of iconic Latin prayers reflect the full spectrum of the divine experience, from the terrifying to the celestial.

Iris Theatre presents


Director: Natasha Rickman


19 – 26 December

“When we get to the end of the story, you will know more than you do now”

Stories get delivered to Holly’s door and then…she tells them. Easy! Right?

Except today a new story has been delivered but it’s freezing cold, so cold in fact that Holly can’t even open the pages. She’s going to need a bit of help with this one…and that’s where you come in!

From the comfort of your home, join Holly this Christmas for a magical, snow-filled adventure, inspired by the classic fairy tale ‘The Snow Queen’. Clap your hands, make some magic and join in with the whole family, wherever they are in the world.

Iris Theatre is excited to present this interactive, online, storytelling adventure for audiences aged 4+ and their big people. Using innovative new technology, families will participate in the story, helping Holly in her adventure. Alongside the show, families can download a free activity pack filled with fun games and craft ideas based on the show.

(Performances will take place live on Zoom. More information on this and on our pre-show activity pack can be found via Iris Theatre’s website).

Guidance aged 4+

Natasha Rickman directs. Her previous live digital work includes Time Machine: A Virtual Reality and Merry Wives of Whatsapp (Creation Theatre). Her theatre credits include Rhino (King’s Head Theatre), Twelfth Night (Rose Playhouse/RSC) and Time Machine (London Library). As associate/assistant credits include Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe), Comedy of Errors (RSC), A Little Night Music (Storyhouse) and Shirley Valentine (Bury St Edmunds).

Willow Walk Productions and Iris Theatre presents


Written and composed by Jack Miles

Director: Martha Geelan; Musical Supervision: Joe Beighton; Sound Design: Charlie Smith

The Actors’ Church

8 February – 14 February

Following a five star, sell-out run St. Anne Comes Home returns to the Actors’ Church. The new musical is written and composed by Jack Miles and told through original folk music. 

London can be lonely. But on the steps of St. Anne’s Church two people strike up an unlikely friendship. James has spent years running away from his problems, while Bridget is trapped by hers. Told through original folk music, St. Anne Comes home is a story about community, fear and forgiveness, that explores how reaching out might help us find our way.

Jack Miles is a writer and composer. His credits include The Problem with Fletcher Mott (Drayton Arms Theatre) and Adeline (Edinburgh Festival Fringe).

Martha Geelan’s credits as a director include MacbethThe TempestRomeo and JulietTwelfth Night (UK & international tours), The Psychosocial GatheringThe Librarians (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Wolf (The Bunker Theatre), Spring Awakening: The MusicalLove and Money (Norwich Theatre Royal), Our New Girl (Park Theatre), Between the SheetsPotato SaladWhen I Wake (Waterloo East Theatre) and As You Might Like It (Rosemary Branch Theatre). As Associate Director her credits include Fiddler on the Roof (Menier Chocolate Factory/ Playhouse Theatre), Love in Idleness (Menier Chocolate Factory/Apollo Theatre), The Bridges of Madison County (Menier Chocolate Factory), Agnes Colander (Theatre Royal Bath). Other credits as Associate/Assistant Director include, IndecentThe Lie, She Loves Me (Menier Chocolate Factory), God of Carnage (Theatre Royal Bath), Top HatThoroughly Modern MillieWest Side Story (Kilworth House Theatre) and The Patriotic Traitor (Park Theatre).

Twitter/Instagram: @stannemusical



St Paul’s Church Bedford Street, London, WC2E 9ED


The Actors’ Church

4 November at 6.15pm, 7.30pm, 8.45pm

Ticket Prices: £5 individual, £10 pair


The Actors’ Church

3 – 5 December at selected times

Ticket prices: £25 individual (limited availability), £50 bubble (seats two)



19 – 26 December (excluding Christmas Day) at selected times

Ticket prices: £20 per device


The Actors’ Church

8, 9, 11, 14 February at 7.30pm

10, 12, 13 February at 5pm and 8pm

Age Guidance: 12+ (includes themes of alcoholism)

Ticket prices: £20 individual (limited availability), £40 bubble (seats two)


The Actors’ Church

29 January & 26 February at 7.30pm

Ticket prices: £15 individual (limited availability), £30 bubble (seats two)

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker at The REP


Birmingham Royal Ballet and Birmingham Repertory Theatre announce   

‘Christmas is not cancelled’  

as adapted version of The Nutcracker goes on sale  

Following last week’s sold-out performances of Lazuli Sky, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Birmingham Repertory Theatre are excited to announce a specially adapted production of the classic Christmas fairytale The Nutcracker, which will run at The REP from 14 – 22 December 2020. Tickets, from £20, are on general sale from tomorrow 30 October at

This new adaptation of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s much-loved production of The Nutcracker will bring the family favourite to The REP for the very first time.  In a COVID-safe environment including socially distanced seating allocated to household or bubble groups only, we are able to tell The Nutcracker story in a way that is equally safe for the performers and production crew, on and off stage. 

This Christmas, the full-length production of The Nutcracker will be shortened to an 80-minute magical experience that will retain all of the most enchanting moments and characters from the classic full-length show. The Nutcracker at The REP will whisk audiences from the heartwarming Christmas Eve party where Fritz and Clara meet the magician Drosselmeyer, to the rousing battle between King Rat and the toy soldiers, through a flurry of Snowflakes and onto a journey to the Kingdom of Sweets where Clara meets the Sugar Plum Fairy and her prince – all accompanied by the cherished Tchaikovsky score performed live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. This special series of shows will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s original Birmingham Hippodrome production being created as a gift for the City in 1990. 

The production will feature Peter Wright’s award-winning choreography which was adapted by David Bintley for the acclaimed production at the Royal Albert Hall. This new iteration will receive new creative direction from Birmingham Royal Ballet Director, Carlos Acosta and The REP’s Artistic Director, Sean Foley. 

The Nutcracker will follow the sold out run and World Premiere of Lazuli Sky that took place at The REP last week marking the start of a new on-going creative partnership between Birmingham Royal Ballet and The REP. Lazuli Sky was filmed at The REP will be available to stream globally via the BRB website from 1 – 8 November and is on sale now. By working together, Birmingham Royal Ballet and The REP are striving to find creative solutions to bringing live performance back to eager audiences and were amongst the first in the UK to achieve this. Will Tuckett’s new commission, Lazuli Sky, will also have a sold out run at Sadler’s Wells to re-open the London venue (29-31 October). Birmingham Royal Ballet’s full production of The Nutcracker will also be performed the Royal Albert Hall this Christmas (30 Dec 2020 – 2 Jan 2021). 

Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta said; ‘Following the fantastic experience of staging our first shows since lockdown at The REP, we are so happy to continue our collaboration with this very special version of The Nutcracker so that audiences in Birmingham and the West Midlands can have something to look forward to this Christmas. The Nutcracker is an essential part of our annual season and we can’t wait to welcome audiences back to The REP in December for this celebration.’ 

The REP’s Artistic Director, Sean Foley added; ‘It was wonderful to collaborate with Carlos Acosta and Birmingham Royal Ballet for the World Premiere performances of Will Tuckett’s Lazuli Sky – and a particular thrill to welcome audiences safely back to The REP for the first time in seven months. We are just as excited to reveal the next stage in our ongoing creative partnership as we bring a special version of The Nutcracker to The REP for the very first time. A visit to theatre is an on-going Christmas tradition, and we can’t wait to share this magical experience with our audiences this festive season.’  

This enchanting version of a Christmas favourite will be a fitting tribute to the company’s 30-year history, and one that looks to the future with hope and celebration. It is the quintessential Christmas treat for all the family. 

This year’s Birmingham show will be especially created to enable appropriate social-distancing and to ensure the safety of all performers, technical crew and audience members. Birmingham Royal Ballet’s specially produced The Nutcracker at The REP is a magical spectacular live presentation for all the family to enjoy this Christmas.  To ensure the performance is “COVID-safe” BRB will engage a second corps de ballet of extra dancers to perform the iconic snow scene, offering much needed performance opportunities to students and recent graduates from Elmhurst Ballet School and the Royal Ballet School whose career beginnings have been impacted by the pandemic. 

In line with current Government regulations, The REP has taken a number of carefully managed steps and precautions to help audiences feel safe and enjoy their chosen performance. The theatre has introduced a series of new safety measures such as socially distanced seating within household bubbles only, hand sanitising stations, temperature checks and additional cleaning. More information can be found at 

The REP will be monitoring the situation closely regarding government advice around performances in outdoor and indoor venues, with a number of contingencies in place. The priority, as always, will be the safety of audiences, performers and staff. 

To coincide with this announcement, Birmingham Royal Ballet reveals a new look and feel for the company. The rebrand aligns with a fresh new direction the company is taking under Carlos Acosta’s leadership. Thanks to a grant from the Michael Bishop Foundation for this work, Carlos and Birmingham Royal Ballet’s team worked with the award-winning NB Studios to better represent Carlos’s new artistic vision.  A new website has also been launched – take a look here.  

The Lady In The Van review

Theatre Royal, Windsor – until 31st October 2020

Reviewed by Liberty Noke


The Lady In The Van is the mostly true story of playwright Alan Bennett allowing Mary Shepherd to park the van that she lived in on his driveway, and the unlikely friendship that ensues. After being moved on from several other houses on the street Bennett allows Shepherd to park there for 3 months but she remains there for 15 years.

This adaptation of one of Alan Bennett’s most famous plays was performed as a radio show with 7 actors seated in chairs on the stage each holding a script and stepping up to the microphone to speak their lines. Martin Carroll played the Foley Artist who provided sounds to the show including opening and closing the large yellow van that set the scene on the stage.

Jenny Seagrove’s performance as the eccentric Mary Shepherd was fantastic. She made a character who had been described as ‘smelling of urine’ who quite easily could have been unpleasant seem very charming and likeable.

As the play went along the audience became more endeared to her as did Alan Bennett played by David Horovitch and Matthew Cottle. It was lovely to watch their relationship develop on stage. Having 2 actors play Bennett, one who acted as the narrator and a second who played Alan Bennett in each scene, allowed for the audience to hear his inner thoughts and see him argue with himself at times.

This production was very entertaining and had the whole audience chuckling with its witty lines and quirky characters.

Creative industries crowdfunder aims to help 1,000 creatives who’ve been hit hard to get back on their feet

Creative industries crowdfunder aims to help 1,000 creatives who’ve been hit hard to get back on their feet

The Creative Industries Federation and Creative England have announced that their crowdfund will be dedicated to helping those facing real hardship – for every £ raised, they’re aiming to give the creatives who need it most the tools they need to get back on their feet.

They have set a target to raise over £30,000 to enable them to distribute 1,000 free memberships to the Creative Industries Federation and tickets to their 3 day flagship festival, Creative Coalition, through their partner networks including the Creative Mentor Network and the Film + TV Charity.

This will provide those struggling in the sector with:

  • Extensive networking opportunities to ensure they get their work in front of the right people
  • Free business and personal growth resources
  • Access to weekly events and workshops
  • The chance to shape government opinion through advocacy consultations
  • The opportunity to join the largest online creative community via our Federation Workplace
  • Attendance to our three-day festival, Creative Coalition which is designed to be packed with help and information, as well as enable them to

Both Creative England and the Creative Industries Federation are independent, not-for-profit organisations that connect, support and champion all of the UK’s world-leading creative industries. Together they form the UK’s biggest creative network, spanning across all of the creative industries – across film, fashion, art, architecture, design, music and all that’s in between.

Caroline Norbury MBE, CEO, Creative England and Creative Industries Federation, said:

The creative industries employ over 2 million people in the UK and every one of those people has been impacted by the pandemic in some way. Theatres are still empty, music venues are closed, galleries are operating at a loss, film & TV productions are navigating COVID rules to try to keep going, the fashion industry is still recovering from being ground to a halt, to name but a few of the issues facing our sector. We’ve talked to our members and know first-hand that thousands of creatives are still in crisis, particularly those freelancers who have fallen through the gaps of government support and young people trying to start their careers during the most impossible of circumstances.

What people in the creative industries need now is connection – to each other, to opportunities, to inspiration for a brighter future. As a not-for-profit organisation, we connect, support and champion all of the UK’s creative industries, and we believe that connection changes everything. That’s why we have launched our crowdfund to enable our community to come together to reach out and help those in our industry facing the worst of times and give them the chance to connect, and access the support, education and job opportunities and advice – with a little bit of inspiration – to help them get back on their feet.

“No-one who works in creative industries should be left feeling alone and isolated from the support they need to get through. We know everyone is feeling stretched but we’re asking those who can to pledge whatever they can. Every £1 raised will go to helping freelancers and young people who have been knocked by this crisis.”

The crowdfunder includes “Buy One, Give One” rewards, where for every festival pass selected as a reward, they will give the equivalent to someone on creative industries who needs it. For every £30 raised the Creative Industries Federation will also give membership and a pass to a creative practitioner impacted by the crisis.

Follow the story at #CreativeCoalition20 @Creative_Fed








Hampstead Theatre is delighted to announce the cast for Harold Pinter’s iconic play The Dumb Waiter.  Due to popular demand the production has been extended and will now run from 18 November 2020 until 2 January 2021. 

Acclaimed stage and screen actors Alec Newman and Shane Zaza will play the roles of Ben and Gus, respectively, in this 60th anniversary production directed by Alice Hamilton, originally programmed for spring.  She is joined by designer James Perkins, with lighting design by James Whiteside and Composition and Sound Design by Giles Thomas

The Dumb Waiter first premiered as part of Hampstead Theatre’s inaugural season in 1960 directed by Hampstead’s founder James Roose-Evans.

Alec Newman has appeared in many critically acclaimed television shows, films and stage productions over the years.  Recent TV credits include the award-winning BBC period drama Call the Midwife (2020) and psychological thriller TV series Eullenia (2020).  His credits at Hampstead Theatre include Tom Stoppard’s Hapgood (2015/16), Andrew Keatley’s Alligators (2016, 2017) and Terry Johnson’s production of Uncle Vanya (2019).

Shane Zaza is known to television audiences for his roles in BBC dramas Happy Valley (2014) and Press (2018); American drama Will (2017) and Netflix’s Black Mirror (2016).  Recent theatre credits include Europe at Donmar Warehouse (2019), Dear Elizabeth at Gate Theatre (2019) and Frankenstein at Royal Exchange Theatre (2018).  The Dumb Waiter marks Zaza’s debut at Hampstead Theatre.

Harold Pinterwrote twenty-nine plays including The Birthday Party, The CaretakerThe Homecoming and Betrayal. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005. 

Alice is co-Artistic Director of Up in Arms and and credits with Hampstead Theatre include the Olivier-nominated Every Day I Make Greatness Happen (2018) and Paradise(2019). 

Tickets for the additional performances are now on sale.

Hampstead Theatre is also delighted to relaunch its open script submissions, Inspire and youth theatre following the theatre’s COVID-19 closure.  These activities have been adapted for online.

Hampstead Theatre’s year-round open script submissions is now back open.  The theatre commits to read and respond to any writer who submits a play in the English language.  For more information please visit here.

Inspire, the theatre’s year-long writers’ group, led by the award-winning playwright, Roy Williams continues online.  This year’s writers are Georgina Burns, Isla van Tricht, Kit Sinclair, Kris Phillips, Lucy Foster, Maatin Patel, Maud Dromgoole, Ollie George Clark, Subika Anwar-Khan and Tariq Jordan.  For more information please visit here.

Hampstead Theatre and its Associate Company, Creative Multilingualism have relaunched a free multilingual youth theatre course for 13-17-year olds who speak more than one language.  Led by Creative Multilingualism artist, Daniel Tyler-McTighe and Hampstead Theatre’s Resident Assistant Director, Lizzie Manwaring, the participants will meet online and use English and elements of other languages to create work and celebrate the multilingualism of London and the UK.  For more information please visit here.

Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive of Hampstead Theatre said:

“We have been very moved by the extraordinary demand for tickets for The Dumb Waiter.  It is a much-needed reminder of how important theatre is as entertainment, as a place that helps us make sense of the world and of ourselves, for our personal and social well-being, and our need for community and communal experience.

As our rehearsal room, workshops and offices start to buzz again in the united endeavour to put on a show, we are acutely aware that our industry is entirely dependent on our freelance creative workforce.  They are the life blood of the theatre.  By opening our doors, we are not only serving audiences but doing what we can to offer much needed employment.  It is, however, a drop in the ocean.  We urge the Government to offer a package to freelancers to support them through this pandemic.  We can then return even stronger and retain the UK’s position as an international cultural leader.  We will need culture more than ever as we leave the European Union, re-evaluate our national identity, and look to attract new investment.

Who knows what the future will bring.  What I do know is that there is an abundance of brilliant new theatre talent bursting to be seen and heard, so we are delighted to be re-launching activities to inspire and support the next generation of theatre makers who are so vital to our futures.”

Alice Hamilton, Director of The Dumb Waiter said: 

It is wonderful to be in the rehearsal room again getting back to the business of making live theatre.The past few months have brought a strange new resonance to this classic Pinter play and I’m excited to be exploring it now with these two brilliant actors.”

Roy Williams, Mentor of Inspire said

“When it comes to Inspire, the clue is in the title.No one can teach anyone how to write, but we can help to inspire them to find their creative voices.This year’s group of ten, the largest ever are the most diverse, group we have ever had, in terms of age, sex and ethnicity.They are really hard working with their excellent plays, all reflecting somehow with great subtlety, the challenging times we are all facing right now.A lovely group. Super talented. The future of British theatre is in safe hands.”


Curve Theatre – Leicester – Backstage


Leicester’s Curve theatre has revealed the full line-up for its Community Day taking place on Sat 14 Nov, as well as details of a Christmas show for families which will run as part of the theatre’s reopening season.

Running 10am – 4:30pm on Sat 14 Nov, the Curve Community Day will include a variety of socially distanced free events and activities to welcome members of the community back to the building.

Legendary choreographer Arlene Phillips will lead a dance workshop at 10am, taking inspiration from David Bowie’s ‘Life On Mars’ and ‘This Is Me’ from The Greatest Showman to get people of all ages and abilities moving and feeling together after months of lockdown. Later in the day, Curve Associates Mel Knott and Tasha Taylor Johnson will teach families to sing and dance the ‘Rhinos’ Rock and Roll’ number from the recent Made at Curve production of Giraffes Can’t Dance.

Local artists Rebecca Harvey-Hobbs and Kate Unwin will host design workshops for participants to create and craft their own pieces. The sessions will focus on mental health and environmental sustainability in the wake of lockdown, designing worry boxes to help manage stress and creating an installation from unused 2020 show posters.

The Showstoppers Kids Show will return to Curve, putting children in charge of the marvellous, musical, interactive adventures on stage. Taking place in Curve’s specially adapted socially distanced auditorium, the hour-long performances will run at 11:30am and 2:30pm.

Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said:

We couldn’t be more overjoyed at the prospect of welcoming our communities back to Curve for this very special, socially distanced day of activities and performances.

“Lockdown has taken its toll on everyone and the extension of Leicester’s restrictions has been sharply felt in our brilliant city and across our communities. We’re proud to be able to welcome people back to our building for a safe, fun and creative day out for all of the family, focusing on positivity and mental well-being.

“We’re immensely grateful to the incredible practitioners leading these workshops and all those who will be part of creating what is sure to be an extraordinary and memorable day for all of us.”

All workshops will be free to attend, with tickets for The Showstoppers Kids Show priced at £10 each. Tickets for all activities and performances must be booked in advance. For visitors looking to enjoy a full day of fun and creativity at Curve, the theatre is also offering combined passes.

From 3 to 6 Dec, families can enjoy live, socially distanced performances of Dear Santa, adapted from author Rod Campbell’s beloved book. The showfollows Santa as he tries to find the perfect Christmas present and to help spread cheer, every child in the audience will receive a free gift as part of the show.

Perfect for families and children aged 2+, tickets for Dear Santawill be on sale to Curve Friends and Supporters Wed 28 Oct, Members and Access Register customers Thu 28 Oct and on general sale Fri 30 Oct, all from 12pm.

Curve’s Community Day will officially welcome audiences back to the theatre, ahead of a trio of Made at Curve favourites performed in Curve’s transformed 533-seat auditorium. The theatre’s reopening plans are only possible thanks to grant funding received from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund and the ongoing support of Arts Council England and Leicester City Council. Tickets for performances of The Color Purple in concert (23 Nov – 5 Dec), Sunset Boulevard in concert (14 Dec – 3 Jan) and Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual (25 Jan – 6 Feb) are on sale now.

For more information visit or call Curve’s Box Office team on 0116 242 3595.

NT announces original film of Romeo & Juliet with Josh O’Connor & Jessie Buckley

National Theatre announces Romeo & Juliet, starring Josh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley, to become an original film for television

– The NT’s Lyttelton theatre temporarily transformed into a studio to film this special made-for-screen production

– Directed by NT Associate Simon Godwin (Antony and Cleopatra, Twelfth Night)

– Cast includes Fisayo Akinade, Deborah Findlay, Tamsin Greig, Lucian Msamati and Shubham Saraf

– Presented by Sky Arts, PBS and No Guarantees, produced by the National Theatre in association with Sabel Productions and Cuba Pictures

– The original film will premiere on Sky Arts and PBS in 2021

The National Theatre has today announced it is creating a new filmed version of Romeo & Julietfor television, temporarily transforming the vast stage spaces of its Lyttelton theatre into a film studio to capture Shakespeare’s timeless play for a new generation of audiences.

The National Theatre has broadcast stage productions to cinemas for over a decade through its National Theatre Live programme, but this will be the first time an original production for screen has been created in its South Bank home.

Romeo & Julietwill be directed by NT Associate Simon Godwin (Antony and Cleopatra, Twelfth Night), adapted for screen by Emily Burns and with Jessie Buckley (Chernobyl, Judy) and Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country, The Crown) as the star-crossed lovers.

Romeo & Juliet was originally to have played to theatre audiences in the NT’s Olivier auditorium from Summer 2020. Reconceived for the screen, this new 90-minute version will be shot over three weeks with a collaborative team of theatre and film experts, embracing the architecture of the theatre space in telling the story.  

It will premiere in 2021 on Sky Arts and PBS, in the UK and US respectively. Sky Arts went free-to-air this September and is now available for everyone on Freeview channel 11 in the UK. Sky Arts is the headline sponsor of National Theatre Live in the UK and has just renewed its partnership for a further three years. In the US, the Emmy Award-winning performing arts series Great Performances will present Romeo & Juliet on PBS.

Rufus Norris, Director and Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre, said: “Realising the Lyttelton theatre would need to remain shut to audiences during this time has been really difficult and meant we found ourselves in a unique set of circumstances. I wanted to find a way to use that space to create something exciting and special for audiences, that utilised the exceptional skill and craft of the National Theatre’s teams, freelancers and creative associates, and that could reach as many people as we can. That’s all going to be possible with this brilliant film of Romeo & Juliet and, in collaboration with Sky Arts, PBS and No Guarantees, it will be seen across the UK and US. I’m delighted that Simon, Jessie, Josh and the team have joined us for a National Theatre first and are going to create a truly fresh film of Shakespeare’s enduring love story.” 

Simon Godwin, director of Romeo & Juliet, NT Associate and Artistic Director at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, said: “This has been a uniquely challenging time for the industry and so I have huge respect for Rufus and the team for meeting this challenge with creativity and deciding to use the Lyttelton theatre in this way for filmed work; I think it’s a genius idea and I’m honoured to be able to create the first film. I think I speak for myself, the creative team and the cast when I say how delighted we are to be focusing all our creativity into this version of Romeo & Juliet once more. Some ideas are staying, lots of new ones are coming in – I’m very excited about this new genre, combining film and theatre, and bringing together the remarkable talents of those industries. And the world will get to see Josh as Romeo and Jessie as Juliet, it had to happen!” 

As previously announced for the Olivier production, Fisayo Akinade (The Antipodes, Barber Shop Chronicles) will play Mercutio. Also announced today as joining the cast of Romeo & Juliet is Deborah Findlay (Coriolanus, The Split) in the role of the Nurse, Tamsin Greig (Twelfth Night, Talking Heads) as Lady Capulet, Lucian Msamati (Master Harold…and the boys, His Dark Materials) as the Friar, Shubham Saraf (A Suitable Boy) as Benvolio, David Judge (My Brilliant Friend) as Tybalt, Alex Mugnaioni (The Visit) as Paris and Ellis Howard (Catherine the Great) as Sampson.

Set in modern Italy in a world where Catholic and secular values clash, two young lovers strive to transcend a world of violence and corruption. Uniting key talent from both theatre and film, the Director of Photography is Tim Sidell (I Hate Suzie), with production design by Soutra Gilmour, movement direction by Jonathan Goddard and Shelley Maxwell, fight direction by Kate Waters and composition by Michael Bruce.

It will be produced by David Sabel, who created the National Theatre Live programme at the NT, at Sabel Productions. Executive Producers are Rufus Norris, Director and Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre; Dixie Linder, Cuba Pictures (London Road, McMafia); David Horn, Great Performances; Christine Schwarzman & Darren Johnston, No Guarantees; and Philip Edgar Jones, Sky Arts.

Rehearsals for Romeo & Juliet start in November at the National Theatre, with filming from December and the premiere expected to air in spring 2021. 

Presented by Sky Arts, PBS and No Guarantees, Romeo & Juliet will be produced by the National Theatre, in association with Sabel Productions and Cuba Pictures.  

Romeo & Juliet is supported by Leila Maw Straus.

A Brief History of Struggle Review

The Place I Call Home Digital Festival – Monday 19th October to Saturday 25th October 

Reviewed By Sally Richmond 


It was extremely thrilling to receive a series of WhatsApp messages every evening for six days; each containing a cryptic and intriguing voice mail – followed by a short and profound film.  Each vignette, spanning from the years 1928 – 2020, brought social and emotional issues to the surface, via the talented cast and crew of the Paines Plough team.  

The fundamental concepts of an individual’s rights, duties and responsibilities in life were all explored through the exchanges and monologues of various ‘everyday’ characters.  All set in parks, sat on benches in England and Germany, these everyday people, facing everyday challenges (brought about by national and international issues) are given a voice and we hear their inner thoughts, dreams, hopes and fears.  

Beautifully crafted by writers Dipo Baruwa-Etti and Calle Fuhr and smartly directed by Charlotte Bennett, Katie Posner and the joint artistic directors of Paines Plough, A Brief History of Struggle was collaborated during the lockdown period and something that is entirely different, intimate and makes you question life has been created.  How have world events shaped so many of our ancestors and our own lives?  This couldn’t be more thought provoking and current now in today’s pandemic; as we are all reflecting, evaluating and simply enduring whatever is thrown at us.  

Acted out by a strong and talented cast: Bella Maclean, Cosima Shaw, Daniel Adeosun, Jan Pohl, Kristin Atherton, Markus Von Lingen, Martyn Hodge, Nenda Neururer, Peter Stark, Phia Saban and Sophie Doyle, with both passion and sensitivity, various themes ranging from unemployment, women’s rights to the fear of terrorism are raised and questioned.   Some of  the situations are dark with shocking revelations and expose fragmented and frail relationships; with frustrations that may potentially lead to breakdowns and highly charged emotions.  

In the final story, we are uplifted and reminded that we all need to ‘find peace, find a place and keep going’.  This couldn’t be more apt for the struggles we all face today in 2020 and that we need to ‘keep moving forward’.  Since receiving my last WhatsApp media clips, I’ve really missed the anticipation of opening the messages and watching what unfolds from it.  All six mini chapters of time made me think and that’s what art does – to quote George Bernard Shaw, ‘without art the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable’.  

Thank you Paines Plough for giving me ‘food for thought’.