Bill Kenwright Ltd Announces Spring 2024 Touring Productions





The girls are back – with even more laughter, more joy, more songs – and bigger iced buns! After opening to rave reviews this autumn, the freshly reimagined UK tour of the smash-hit production Calendar Girls the Musicalwrittenby Gary Barlow and Tim Firth continues in 2024.

Calendar Girls the Musical brings together a stunning cast of music, stage, and television stars. Baring it all in 2024 are Laurie Brett (EastEnders), Helen Pearson (Hollyoaks), Samantha Seager (Coronation Street), Maureen Nolan (The Nolans, Blood Brothers), Lyn Paul (The New Seekers, Blood Brothers), Honeysuckle Weeks (Foyle’s War).  They are joined by Liz Carney, Colin R Campbell, Andrew TutonJayne Ashley, and Victoria Hay.

The real-life story of the Calendar Girls launched a global phenomenon: a million copycat calendars, a record-breaking movie, stage play and now a musical written by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth which coined the term “craughing” – the act of crying and laughing at the same time! 

With unforgettable songs, every performance continues to add to the millions already raised for Blood Cancer UK and prove that there is no such thing as an ordinary woman. 

Following the death of a much-loved husband, a group of ordinary women in a small Yorkshire Women’s Institute are prompted to do an extraordinary thing and set about creating a nude calendar to raise money for charity. But upturning preconceptions is a dangerous business and none of the women are prepared for the emotional and personal ramifications they will face as the fabulous and funny calendar brings each woman unexpectedly into flower.

TWELVE ANGRY MEN |From 16 January 2024

Following previous recording-breaking West End seasons, and a critically acclaimed tour in 2023, this powerful production of Twelve Angry Menis back in session and continues across the UK and Ireland in 2024!  

Reginald Rose’s gripping knife-edge courtroom thriller stars Jason Merrells (Casualty, Emmerdale), Tristan Gemmill (Coronation Street, Casualty), Michael Greco (EastEnders, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes), Ben Nealon (Soldier Soldier, Doctors)Gary Webster (Minder, Family Affairs), and Gray O’Brien (Coronation Street, Peak Practice). 

Completing the cast are Paul Beech, Samarge Hamilton, Jeffrey Harmer, Mark Heenehan, Kenneth Jay, Paul Lavers, and Owen Oldroyd.

Twelve Angry Men has been hailed ‘the classiest, most intelligent drama playing on the West End’ with two west end seasons at London’s Garrick Theatre starring Martin Shaw followed by Tom Conti. It brings the 1957 three-time Academy Award nominated film, considered one of the great ‘must-sees’ of all time, to the stage.  

A jury has murder on their minds and a life in their hands as they decide the fate of a young delinquent accused of killing his father. But what appears to be an open and shut case soon becomes a huge dilemma, as prejudices and preconceived ideas about the accused, the trial, and each other turn the tables every which way, until the nail-biting climax…  

BLOOD BROTHERS From 16 January 2024

The legendary, award-winning production of the international smash hit musical, Blood Brothers continues to tour across the UK. The much-loved musical, known for sell out houses across the country, returns in the new year starting at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking from 16 January 2024.

Niki Colwell Evans and Sean Jones will continue to play the iconic roles of Mrs Johnstone and Mickey Johnstone respectively, with Gemma Broderick reprising her role of Linda, and Joe Sleight as Eddie.

Also returning to the cast for 2024 is Timothy Lucas (Sammy), Josh Capper (Neighbour), Sarah Jane Buckley (Mrs Lyons), Tim Churchill (Mr Lyons),Jess Smith (Brenda), Graeme Kinniburgh (Postman/Bus Conductor), Chloe Pole (Donna Marie) and Alex Harland (Policeman / Teacher) with further casting to be announced.

Award-winning playwright Willy Russell’s epic tale of Liverpool life started as a play, performed at a Liverpool comprehensive school in 1981, before opening at the Liverpool Playhouse in 1983. The musical has since triumphed across the globe, completing sell out seasons in the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Japan. Few musicals have been received with such acclaim as the multi-award-winning Blood Brothers, scooping up four awards for Best Musical in London and seven Tony Award nominations on Broadway, it is considered ‘one of the best musicals ever written’ (Sunday Times). Bill Kenwright Ltd.’s production surpassed 10,000 performances in London’s West End, one of only three musicals ever to achieve that milestone. 

Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving tale of twins separated at birth, who grow up on the opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with tragic consequences.  

When Mrs Johnstone, a young mother, is deserted by her husband and left to her own devices to provide for seven hungry children she takes a job as a housekeeper to make ends meet. It is not long before her brittle world crashes around her when she discovers herself to be pregnant yet again – this time with twins! In a moment of weakness and desperation, she enters a secret pact with her employer which leads inexorably to the show’s shattering climax.

SLEUTH From 31 January 2024

Anthony Shaffer’s masterpiece, directed by the award-winning Rachel Kavanaugh (The RSC/Chichester Festival Theatre), Sleuth will be taking to the stage in 2024 with Todd Boyce (Coronation Street’s notorious baddie, Stephen Reid) and Neil McDermott (EastEnders, The Royal) set to star.

This dark psychological ‘thriller about thrillers’ makes for an intriguing study of human conflict, jealousy, and manipulation. Proving to be far more than a ‘whodunnit’, it promises to baffle even the most proficient sleuth! 

Sleuth is one of the greatest ever stage thrillers and played for a total of 12 years in both London and New York, winning the Tony Award for Best Play. It also became the inspiration for the hugely successful film starring Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. From next year audiences up and down the UK will get the chance to see this award-winning play, starting at Theatre Royal Windsor from 31 January 2024, touring into the spring.

A young man arrives at the impressive home of a famous mystery writer, only to be unwittingly drawn into a tangled web of intrigue and gamesmanship, where nothing is quite as it seems…


Bill Kenwright LTD presents:

2024 UK Tour 
Written by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth

Directed by Jonathan O’Boyle   

Design by Gary McCann

Lighting by Nick Richings

Musical Direction by Jordan Alexander


Churchill Theatre, Bromley                                          

Wed 10 Jan – Sat 13 Jan 2024                                                0343 310 0020

The Lowry, Salford                                                       

Tue 16 Jan – Sat 20 Jan 2024                                                  0161 876 2000

Winter Gardens, Blackpool                                          

Tue 23 Jan – Sat 27 Jan 2024                                                  0844 770 0593

Alhambra Theatre, Bradford                                       

Tue 30 Jan – Sat 03 Feb 2024                                                 01274 432000

Grand Opera House, York                                            

Tue 06 Feb – Sat 10 Feb 2024                                                

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen                                

Tue 13 Feb – Sat 17 Feb 2024                                                 01224 641122

Kings Theatre, Glasgow                                               

Tue 20 Feb – Sat 24 Feb 2024                                                

Theatre Royal Bath                                                      

Tue 05 March – Sat 09 March 2024                                       01225 448844

Theatre Royal Windsor                                                

Tue 12 March – Sat 16 March 2024                                       01753 853 888

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre                                      

Tue 19 March – Sat 23 March 2024                                      

New Victoria Theatre, Woking                                    

Tue 26 March – Sat 30 March 2024                                      

Theatre Royal, Norwich                                               

Tue 02 April – Sat 06 April 2024                                             01603 630 000

The Hawth, Crawley                                                     

Tue 09 April – Sat 13 April 2024                                             01293 553636          

Bill Kenwright LTD presents:

2024 UK Tour 
Written by Reginald Rose

Directed by Christopher Haydon 

Associate Director Tim Welton

Design by Michael Pavelka

Lighting Design by Chris Davey

Sound Design by Andy Graham


The Marlowe, Canterbury                 
Tue 16 Jan – Sat 20 Jan 2024                                       01227 787787

The Lighthouse, Poole                                      
Mon 22 Jan – Sat 27 Jan 2024                                     01202 280000

Derby Theatre                                                  
Mon 29 Jan – Sat 3 Feb 2024                                      01332 59 39 39

Richmond Theatre                                            

Mon 5 Feb – Sat 10 Feb 2024                                     

Milton Keynes Theatre                                    

Mon 12 Feb – Sat 17 Feb 2024                                  

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen                    

Tue 20 Feb – Sat 24 Feb 2024                                     01224 641122

The Lowry, Salford                                           
Tue 27 Feb – Say 2 March 2024                                  0161 876 2000

Festival Theatre, Malvern                                

Mon 4 March – Sat 9 March 2024                              01684 892277

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford                 
Tue 12 March – Sat 16 March 2024                           01483 44 00 00

Theatre Royal, Windsor                                   
Mon 25 March – Sat 30 March 2024                          01753 853888

Lichfield Garrick                                               

Mon 8 April – Sat 13 April 2024                                  01543 412121

Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin                   
Tue 16 April – Sat 20 April                                          353 (0) 1 677 7999

The Grand Theatre, Blackpool                         

Mon 29 April – Sat 4 May 2024                                  01253 290190

The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton              
Mon 6 May – Sat 11 May 2024                                   01902 42 92 12

Bill Kenwright LTD presents:


2024 UK Tour 

Written by Willy Russell 

Directed by Bob Tomson & Bill Kenwright 

Resident Director Tim Churchill

Design by Andy Walmsley

Lighting Design by Nick Richings

Sound Design by Dan Samson

Musical Direction by Matt Malone


New Victoria Theatre, Woking                        
Tue 16 Jan – Sat 20 Jan 2024                                      

Festival Theatre, Malvern                                   
Tue 23 Jan – Sat 27 Jan 2024                                       01684 892277

Floral Pavilion Theatre, New Brighton            
Tue 06 Feb – Sat 10 Feb 2024                                      0151 666 0000

Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury                            
Tue 13 Feb – Sat 17 Feb 2024                                      01743 281281

Mayflower Theatre, Southampton                  
Tue 27 Feb – Sat 2 Mar 2024                                          02380 711811

Alive Corn Exchange, Kings Lynn                      
Tue 12 March – Sat 16 March 2024                            01553 764864

Princess Theatre, Torquay                               
Tue 19 March – Sat 23 March 2024                           

Forum Theatre, Billingham                               
Tue 26 March – Sat 30 March 2024                            01642 552663

Theatre Royal, Bath                                         

Tue 9 April – Sat 13 April                                            01225 448844

Curve, Leicester                                                
Tue 23 April – Sat 27 April 2024                                  0116 242 3595

Birmingham Hippodrome                                 
Tue 30 April – Sat 4 May 2024                                    0844 338 5000

Bill Kenwright LTD presents:

2024 UK Tour 
Written by Anthony Shaffer  

Directed by Rachel Kavanaugh

Design by Julie Godfrey

Lighting Design by Tim Oliver

Sound Design by Andy Graham


Theatre Royal, Windsor                                   
Wed 31 Jan – Sat 10 Feb 2024                                    01753 853888

Theatre Royal, Bath                                          
Mon 12 Feb – Sat 17 Feb 2024                                    01225 448844

Princess Theatre, Torquay                              
Tue 19 Feb – Sat 24 Feb 2024                                        

Grand Opera House, York                                 
Mon 26 Feb – Sat 2 March 2024                                

Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne            
Mon 4 March – Sat 9 March 2024                               01323 412000

Alhambra Theatre, Bradford                            
Wed 13 March – Sat 16 March 2024                           01274 432000

Palace Theatre, Southend                    

Mon 25 March – Sat 30 March 2024                           0343 310 0030

Festival Theatre, Malvern                                

Mon 8 April – Sat 13 April 2024                                  01684 892277

Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham                      

Mon 15 April – Sat 20 April 2024                                01242 572 573

Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford                               
Mon 22 April – Sat 27 April 2024                                01483 44 00 00


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Richmond Theatre confirms Winter Season (Jan-March 2024)




With the New Year around the corner, Richmond Theatre are delighted to confirm our winter season. Running from January – March 2024, audiences will be treated to an array of theatrical delights from gripping dramas and hilarious comedies to special events and shows suitable for the whole family. If your New Year’s resolution is to see more theatre, then now is your chance!

For those wanting to continue their festivities into 2024, why not join us for one of our January performances of our pantomime paved with gold, DICK WHITTINGTON? With Paul Merton as our Dame, you know you’re in for a fun time! Later that month, witness the beautiful ballets SWAN LAKE & THE NUTCRACKER, and be swept away by the magic of these stories and wonder of Tchaikovsky’s classic scores. For opera afficionados and newcomers alike, don’t miss three Ellen Kent-produced operas which will be gracing our stage: LA TRAVIATA, CARMEN and MADAMA BUTTERFLY.

If you would like to ring in the new year with plenty of laughs, then we have plenty of opportunities for you to do so. The original cast of iconic TV series DROP THE DEAD DONKEY come together in a brand-new live stage show featuring their famous characters. Full of razor-sharp wit and classic British humour, the hot off the press production is written by the same award-winning team Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin. In February, sparky comedy of manners THE CIRCLE transfers from our neighbour the Orange Tree Theatre in a production which stars Jane Asher, Clive Francis and Nicholas Le Prevost, whilst March sees new hilarious whodunnit CLUEDO 2 – THE NEXT CHAPTER take to our stage starring Helen Flanagan and Jason Durr. For lovers of stand-up, don’t miss FRANKIE BOYLE in his LAP OF SHAME in February.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Richmond Theatre season without some exhilarating dramas! Following a record-breaking West End season, the powerful TWELVE ANGRY MEN will be back in session. In March, the West End and Broadway hit THE KITE RUNNER will return to the venue following its success in early 2020. Finally, thrills and chills are not just for Halloween – join us in March for psychological thriller MURDER IN THE DARK starring Tom Chambers and Susie Blake, and the WhatsOnStage Award-winning 2:22 A GHOST STORY starring Jay McGuiness and Fiona Wade.

For West London and Surrey families we have two shows that are perfect for a first introduction to live entertainment. We once again welcome MINISTRY OF SCIENCE LIVE for a 100% educational show which is not only heaps of fun but features a few loud bangs along the way! The SING-A-LONG-A team are also back with SING-A-LONG-A MATILDA, perfect for all revolting children (and their parents) to sing along to the recent film adaptation of the musical.

We are also pleased to welcome a host of famous faces to the theatre, showcasing their special talents. In January, join us for a week of PROFESSOR BRIAN COX: HORIZONS – A 21ST CENTURY SPACE ODYSSEY as he takes audiences on a dazzling journey of how we came to be and what we can become. The following month, JASON FOX will be sharing remarkable stories about his daring exploits in a distinguished career as an elite operator in the UK Special Forces. In March, TV’s Gail Porter will present PARANORMAL ACTIVITY LIVE, a live podcast sure to spend shivers down your spine, and multi-award-winning chef RICK STEIN will delve into his lifelong love affair with cooking, revealing how he went from being a self-taught chef to the owner of a thriving restaurant business.

Richmond Theatre is dedicated to making sure people of all ages and abilities can take part in theatre and the arts, and our Creative Learning Department has various classes that are inclusive and fun for all! This currently includes Story-time and Twirling Toddlers sessions for under 5s, Guided Theatre Tours for all and Step Into Richmond, a monthly dance class for over 50s. In January, the department will begin a new drop-in acting class for over 50s called Class Act. For further information regarding workshops and Creative Learning bookings, please contact [email protected]

Audiences are reminded that Local Heroes discounts are offered to teachers, care workers, prison officers, armed forces, ‘blue light’ professionals and Max Card holders. Local Heroes are offered 25%* off ticket prices to a wide variety of shows including family favourites, dramas and musicals. If we can make a night at the theatre more affordable for our heroes and their families, it’ll be our pleasure. To find out more, see here.

The UK Pantomime Association’s team of secret judges prepare for a packed season ahead with 767 visits across the country

The UK Pantomime Association’s team of judges prepares for 

a packed season ahead shortlisting shows around the country for  

The Pantomime Awards 2024 

With pantomime season now in full swing, delighting audiences young and old (with many experiencing it for a magical first time), The UK Pantomime Association (UKPA)’s team of anonymous judges is busy secretly sat amongst them, ready to shortlist the very best performers, creatives and producers that the art form has to offer, for The Pantomime Awards 2024.

The UKPA’s 78 volunteer judges will have their biggest year ever, as they are collectively scheduled to make 767 visits across 257 venues (up from 240 in 2022). One judge is in for a particularly busy time as they will assess over 60 pantomimes across the country!   

The judges will scour the UK for pantomime gold at venues as far and wide as Truro, Deal, Inverness, Colwyn Bay and Belfast to name but a few. They will see 41 Cinderellas, 39 Beauty and Beasts, 33 Jack and the Beanstalks, 28 Snow Whites, 23 Aladdins, 20 Sleeping Beauties, 17 Dick Whittingtons and 11 other titles (for further information, visit:

Judges are selected by the UKPA’s Trustees based on an interview exploring their interest and experience of pantomime. They are then trained on the charity’s judging criteria, which has been developed with pantomime industry experts. Judges use the criteria to score shows across 24 awards, the scores of which then inform the shortlists and a panel decides the winners in line with UKPA values. In addition to the on and offstage awards, such as Best Dame and Best Choreography, the UKPA awards special recognition in the fields of Outstanding Achievement, Innovation, Excellence in Practice and Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity.

The shortlist for The Pantomime Awards 2024 will be revealed in February, with the Ceremony taking place in April (date and location to be announced).

The Pantomime Awards 2023 in association with Butlin’s for the pantomime season 2022/23 took place at a star-studded ceremony at the Trafalgar Theatre in London’s West End on 11 April. Amongst the winners were Ian McKellen, Su Pollard, Joyce Branagh, Cast, Doncaster, Theatre Royal Stratford East, and Vernon Kay. In 2022, winners included Duncan Burt and Nic Gibney, Vikki Stone, Morgan Brind, Rolan Bell, Alexandra Burke, Nigel Ellacott and Joe Tracini. 

Simon Sladen, Chair of the UK Pantomime Association said: “Our judges can’t wait to get on the road to see the diverse landscape of pantomime practice taking place across the UK. Many venues’ box offices are reporting their best season to date, and it’s wonderful to see so many vibrant and new interpretations of age-old tales taking to the stage. Pantomime has the potential to offer something for everyone, and the UKPA is proud to recognise the outstanding skill, talent and practice of the many teams who bring pantomime joy to audiences each Christmas.”

For more information, visit:

Cinderella Review

Nottingham Playhouse – until Saturday 13th January 2024

Reviewed by Jill Heslop


Oh yes it is…it’s that time of year again when Nottingham Playhouse hosts the pantomime. This year it’s the magic of Cinderella, with John Elkington appearing in his 25th panto, as Rose one of Cinderella’s two step-sisters, bringing lots of laughs once more.

The festival of delights begins with a lively and energetic Danny Hendrix playing Buttons, welcoming the audience and getting them to practise their shout outs. Soon, we are introduced to all the cast at the circus, appropriately singing It’s A Kind of Magic. We watch in awe at the amazing costumes as we see unfurling on stage a colourful carnival of chaos and comedy with dancers and acrobats.

There are lovely duos playing opposite each other and enjoying the banter: the Prince, Liam Marcellino and Dandini, Georgia-Mae Price; Cinderella, Jewelle Hutchinson and Buttons, Danny Hendrix; the two step-sisters, Rose, John Elkington and Violet, Tom Hopcroft. Out on her own but doubling up as the Fairy Godmother and Her Ladyship is Alice Redmond, relishing the boos and hisses the audience provide on her every entrance as Her Ladyship. Powerful individual singing by Alice Redmond is impressive throughout the show.

The two step-sisters Rose (John Elkington) and Violet (Tom Hopcroft) have some fun scenes and many different fabulous, bright costumes guaranteed to bring on the “oooohs” and “aaaahs” from the audience. A bit of literal slap-stick in the dining room of Hard-Up Hall has us all rolling with laughter as the sisters try their hand at a spot of ‘decorating’ with the ‘help’ of Buttons (Danny Hendrix). Comic timings are perfect as buckets have holes in, feet end up in buckets and doorknobs come off!

Cinderella (Jewelle Hutchinson) has a terrible life in the kitchen of Hard-Up Hall, but she has the chance to enjoy a pleasant walk in the woods to collect firewood and sing to all her furry friends of the forest. Somewhere Over the Rainbow goes down well, beautifully sung by Jewelle Hutchinson, and sparks the entrance of the Fairy Godmother, Alice Redmond, who waves her magic wand and produces the most spectacular and magical part of the whole show to end the first Act.

The Palace Ballroom provides some more well- choreographed comic moves by the cast in this delightful production. An abundance of audience participation and singing along round off the show with a bang, with John Elkington and Danny Hendrix managing the live participation wonderfully well.

So get yourself down to the Playhouse to join in with the excitement of pantomime pandemonium to kick off your festive fun for all the family!

Hook – The Further Adventures of Peter Pan Review

Kings Theatre, Southsea – until 31st January 2024

Reviewed by Sally Lumley


The Kings Theatre has done it again, delivering another fun-filled family pantomime for Christmas 2023 with Hook – The Further Adventures of Peter Pan.

This is the story of Peter Pan (James ‘Arg’ Argent) now living in Foreverland with his best friend Tinkerbell (Elizabeth Rose) as leader of the gang of Argy Bargies. He is still fighting with his old nemesis, and former bestie, Captain Hook (Shaun Williamson) who is seeking revenge for his lost hand. When Wendy (Georgia Deloise) comes to visit, the old rivalry comes to a head, and pandemonium ensues.

Shaun Williamson showcased his incredible vocal talents as Hook, belting out classics like ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ with ease. However, the surprise talent was James Argent, who absolutely held his own in a number of songs, including the iconic Defying Gravity. The real star of the Pompey Panto though could only be the local Portsmouth legend, and self-proclaimed “fat bloke in a dress”, Jack Edwards, who returns to the stage this year for his ninth pantomime at the Kings. He is absolutely in his element as the dame Mrs Smee, creating a level of chaos so convincing that we did not know whether any of it was intentional. Ultimately, it didn’t matter; the result was hilarious, and the audience were more than happy to go along for the ride.

This panto has it all (oh yes it does!) – a hysterical dame, jokes for the grown-ups, sing-along songs, terrible jokes, the obligatory “he’s behind you” moment, and of course the Pompey Panto classic ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ routine with toilet rolls flying and water pistols firing. All this, and some Barrioke thrown in for good measure. Kids and grown-ups alike were joining in with the singing, dancing, cheering and booing, completely swept along by the feel-good atmosphere.

What Hook occasionally lacks in finesse, it more than makes up for with humour and heart, and really that is what great panto is all about. It is a swashbuckling good time, which left a big smile on our faces. A great start to the festive season.








In 2024, State Ballet of Georgia makes its first visit to England with Swan Lake.

Based at the stunning Opera and Ballet State Theatre in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, this company of “versatile and accomplished” dancers (The New York Times) has soared under the bold artistic direction of world-renowned, Georgian-born Nina Ananiashvili, former prima ballerina with Bolshoi Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Ananiashvili, considered one of the all-time greats, returned home to her native country in 2004 to lead the company. State Ballet of Georgia’s last visit to the UK was in 2008 when they performed at the Edinburgh International Festival. Having performed on the London Coliseum stage in 1999 (as Kitri in Don Quixote with the Bolshoi), Ananiashvil now brings her company to London for the first time. 

Considered among the world’s 10 best classical companies, with a tradition of 175 years, experience the sleek grace and physicality of classical ballet at its best with State Ballet of Georgia. Swan Lake’s enthralling story, timeless score, and unforgettable choreography have made it the most in-demand ballet in the world. This breathtakingly beautiful production with gorgeous white tutus and sumptuous lakeside and ballroom settings will undoubtedly draw audiences into the fantasy of the world’s most loved ballet.

Director of State Ballet of Georgia, Nina Ananiashvili said of the production: Swan Lake is one of our best repertoires. It combines elaborate costumes, stunning choreography, exquisite ornaments and the young generation of dancers with Georgian characteristics. Swan Lake has always had an important place in my career. It was the first ballet that I performed in the Bolshoi Theatre and was my first and final significant performance at  American Ballet Theater. I can’t wait to share it with audiences in London for the first time.’

A highlight of the London calendar for summer 2024, UK and international visitor audiences are sure to flock to State Ballet of Georgia’s Swan Lake when it lands on stage at the London Coliseum. With a company of 60, and accompanied by the award-winning English National Opera Orchestra, this lavish production opens on 28 August for a limited run with tickets going on general sale on 7 December.




Fan-favourite and winner of Best New Musical (What’sOnStage Awards 2023),
BONNIE & CLYDE THE MUSICAL has announced full casting for the production’s first ever UK & Ireland tour in 2024 with tickets on sale now at 

As previously announced, Catherine Tyldesley (Coronation StreetStrictly Come Dancing) will make her musical theatre debut as Blanche Barrow, sharing the role with Daisy Wood-Davis (HollyoaksHolby City) at certain venues. Danny Hatchard (Eastenders, Our Girl, Ridley Road) will also make his musical theatre debut, sharing the role of Clyde Barrow across the tour with Alex James-Hatton (HeathersNewsies).

Katie Tonkinson (Bat Out of Hell) will play Bonnie Parker alongside Sam Ferriday (Heathers, The Cher Show) as Marvin “Buck” Barrow. R&B and Soul singer-songwriter Jaz Ellington (The Voice UKEurovision: You Decide) will star as The Preacher at select venues. Nate Landskroner (Waitress and Heathers) will alternate the role of Clyde Barrow at midweek matinee performances.

Announced today, AJ Lewis (MandelaMrs Doubtfire) will join the cast to share the role of The Preacher at certain venues and Hana Ichijo (The Sound of MusicAllegiance) will be Alternate Bonnie and Trish/Ensemble. Daniel Reid-Walters will play the role of Ted Hinton (Girl from the North CountryThe Railway Children).

They are joined by Taryn Sudding as Cumie Barrow/Governor Miriam Ferguson, Alexander Evans as Henry Barrow/Deputy Johnson/Ensemble, Andrew Berlin as Captain Frank Hamer/Ensemble, James Mateo-Salt as Sheriff Schmid/Ensemble, Callum Henderson as Bud/Archie/ Ensemble, Jasmine Beel as Stella/Emma Parker/Ensemble, Oonagh Cox as Eleanore/On-Stage Swing, Michael Cortez as Off-Stage Swing/ Resident Director and Olivia Lallo as Off-Stage Swing/Dance Captain. 

The production team is made up of Company Manager – Jay Green, Stage Manager – Robert Fletcher, Deputy Stage Manager – Katie Balmforth, Assistant Stage Manager/Book Cover – Charlotte Cross, Assistant Stage Manager – Harriet Saffin LX 1 – James Stokes, Head of Video/LX 2 – Abigayle Holt, LX 3/Technical Swing – Emily Collier, LX 4 – Ella Welch, Sound 2 – Harvey Saunders Woolley, Technical Swing – Amber Waller, Head of Wardrobe – Roberta Mckeown, Wardrobe Assistant – Rebecca Tipton, Head of Wigs, Hair & Make-Up – Helen Robinson-Tsingos and Assistant Wigs, Hair & Make-Up – Louisa Nugent.

Opening at Leicester Curve on Thursday 22nd February 2024, the UK & Ireland tour will visit Guildford, Wolverhampton, Norwich, Sunderland, Cardiff, Southampton, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Woking, Bath, Manchester, Nottingham, Southend, Belfast, Bradford, Milton Keynes, Blackpool, Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Dublin, Brighton, Birmingham, Portsmouth, High Wycombe, Newcastle, Sheffield, Bromley and Northampton.

The UK & Ireland tour follows hot on the heels of two hell-raising hit seasons in London’s West End at the Arts Theatre and the Garrick Theatre. The eagerly-awaited West End cast album was released in July and is available on all streaming platforms.

Bonnie & Clyde The Musical is the story of two small-town kids from the middle of nowhere who became the biggest folk heroes in all America. They craved adventure – and each other. Fearless, shameless, and alluring, this is the electrifying story of love, adventure and crime that captured the attention of an entire nation. 

The production features music by multi-Grammy®, Tony® and Emmy® Award nominee Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll & HydeThe Scarlett Pimpernell, Death Note), lyrics by Tony® and Oscar® winner Don Black (Sunset BoulevardAspects of Love), a book by Emmy® Award nominee Ivan Menchell (Blended [movie]The Cemetery ClubDeath Note The Musical). 

Bonnie & Clyde The Musical is directed and choreographed by Nick Winston (BurlesqueDeath NoteTomorrow Morning) with Set and Costume Design by Philip Witcomb (AtlantisStones In His PocketsMAME), Musical Supervision from Katy Richardson (SIXRentJersey Boys), Associate Musical Supervision from Nick Barstow (Next to Normal, Bonnie & Clyde), Original Arrangements and Orchestrations by John McDaniel (Patti Lupone: LiveAnnie Get Your Gun), Additional Arrangements & Orchestrations by Jen Green (Fantastically Great WomenVanara), Lighting Design by Zoe Spurr (Fantastically Great WomenHamlet at Theatre Royal Windsor), Sound Design by Tom Marshall (The Drifter’s GirlNativity The MusicalCurtains), Video Design by Nina Dunn (The Shark Is BrokenLazuli Sky), Associate Direction and Choreography by Libby Watts (BurlesqueWicked), Wig Design by Darren Ware(Bonnie & Clyde) and Casting Director Jim Arnold CDG (WickedThe Prince of Egypt). 

Bonnie & Clyde The Musical is presented by Adam Paulden and Jason Haigh-Ellery for ADAMA Entertainment, an Olivier Award-winning production company with West End and UK Touring credits including Burlesque The MusicalBonnie and Clyde in ConcertRock of AgesCompanyFameCurtainsThe Wedding SingerThe Last Five Years and The Last King of Scotland

For more information and tickets visit 

Darlington Hippodrome spring 2024 season brochure launched


The new spring season of shows at Darlington Hippodrome includes great comedy, drama, dance and a host of music.

The curtain has gone up on Darlington Hippodrome’s new spring season of shows which is packed with an array of showstopping performances guaranteed to fire up audiences through the opening months of 2024.

With the annual festive family panto just days away from opening, the venue is celebrating a hugely successful year of theatre. Starring pop sensation and musical theatre star Gareth gates and Jenny Ryan from ITVs The Chase, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is breaking all box office records and is expected to be seen by over 800,000 people by the time it closes on Sunday 31 December.

With a new line up of shows into 2024, Darlington Hippodrome has once again affirmed its commitment to present an exciting and wide-ranging programme of shows. The new spring programme includes traditional family favourites, breath-taking dance productions, hard-hitting drama and some toe-tapping musicals as part of its extensive list.

In January we see the return of the Varna International Ballet who will present Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 January.

If stand-up comedy is your thing then look no further than a night with Ed Byrne on Sunday 4 February, Frankie Boyle on Friday 1 March and Stewart Lee on Saturday 16 March.

Also in March the Icarus Theatre Collective presents a brand new stage production of Julius Caesar using state-of-the-art digital technology and classic theatrical magic.

Opera lovers will be treated to two of the very best as the Ukrainian Opera and Ballet presents Verdi’s La Traviata on Thursday 21 March and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly on Friday 22 March.

Musical theatre fans will be delighted with the wildly satirical Oh What A Lovely War from Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 March and the international hit musical Kinky Boots at the start of May presented by DarlingtonOS.

Looking a little further ahead for drama buffs, we present a different take on the Oscar Wilde classic The Importance of Being Earnest, a brand new production of School for Scandal, traditional farce with What The Butler Saw, the thrilling Haunting of Blaine Manor and the all-time favourite The Mousetrap.

The new season will see a host of familiar names on the bill including Giovanni Pernice, Anton Du Beke, The Halle, Dr Michael Mosley, Smokey, Dear Zoo, Ben Fogle, Justin Hayward, and Sooty to name but a few.

Tickets are still available for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – grab your tickets now or you won’t be able to look yourself in the mirror!

For more information on the new season and beyond at Darlington Hippodrome or to book, visit or call the Box Office on 01325 405405

Disney’s ALADDIN casts Desmonda Cathabel (ITV’s Mamma Mia: I Have a Dream) in hit musical’s UK and Ireland tour


Photo credit Deen Van Meer


Fresh from appearing in ITV’s talent search Mamma Mia! I Have a Dream, contestant Desmonda Cathabel (whose other credits include Miss Saigon, From Here to Eternity) is confirmed to play the iconic role of Princess Jasmine in the first ever UK and Ireland tour of Disney’s Aladdin.

Presented by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher,the critically acclaimed Broadway and West End musical which launched in Edinburgh last month, will open at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff with performances from Thursday 7 December before dates in Plymouth, Sunderland, Dublin, Milton Keynes, Manchester, Bristol, Bradford, Southampton, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Liverpool.

Alongside Desmonda Cathabel as Jasmine, the UK and Ireland tour of Disney’s Aladdin stars Yeukayi Ushe (Disney’s The Lion King, A Strange Loop, Kinky Boots and Motown The Musical) as Genie and introduce Gavin Adams as Aladdin.

Photo credit Deen Van Meer

They are joined by Adam Strong (Rock of Ages, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) as Jafar, Jo Servi (Dreamgirls, The Color Purple)as Sultan, Angelo Paragoso (The Reporter, Miss Saigon) as Iago, Nay-Nay (Once On This Island) as Kassim, Adam Taylor (Cabaret, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie) as Omar, and Nelson Bettencourt (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Les Misérables) as Babkak.

The full cast also includes Hannah Amin, Dammi Aregbeshola, Rico Bakker, Daisy Barnett, Sarah Benbelaid, Erin Gisele Chapman, Tau-En Chien, Zac Frieze, Jared Irving, Juan Jackson, James Lim, Harriet Millier, Luchia Moss, Aaron Elijah Patel, Abbie Platts, Joseph Poulton, Chris Ribz, Olivier Scheers, Katie Singh, Kerry Spark, Ricardo Spriggs, Damien Winchester, Niko Wirachman.

Experience the timeless story of Disney’s Aladdin, a thrilling production filled with unforgettable magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle! Don’t miss this extraordinary theatrical event already seen by over 14 million people worldwide, where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite.

Adapted from Disney’s 1992 animated film and centuries-old folktales including “One Thousand and One Nights”, this smash-hit musical is brought to theatrical life in a unique and dazzling way. The show continues its record-breaking run on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre, and since opening there in March 2014, nine subsequent productions have launched around the world, including over 1200 performances at the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End. 

Aladdin features the timeless songs from the animated film, as well as new music by Tony®, Olivier®, Grammy® and eight-time Acadamy Award® winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Sister Act), lyrics by two-time Academy Award® winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the BeastThe Little Mermaid), three-time Tony® and three-time Academy Award® winner Tim Rice (The Lion KingEvitaAida) and six-time Tony® nominee Chad Beguelin (The PromThe Wedding Singer), with a book by Beguelin, and is directed and choreographed by Tony® and Olivier® Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).   

Aladdin is designed by seven-time Tony®-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, seven-time Tony®-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, two-time Tony®-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes and sound designer Ken Travis.

The production team also includes illusion designers Jim Steinmeyer and Rob Lake, hair designer Josh Marquette and makeup designer Milagros Medina-Cerdeira.  The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who also created the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen KellyBen Clare is the associate director, Kyle Seeley is the dance supervisor, Jason Trubitt is the production supervisor and Myriah Bash is the US general manager. Casting is by Jill Green CDG.

The Opera Show Review

Festival Theatre, Malvern – 3rd December 2023

Reviewed by Courie Amado Juneau


Before we began, all I knew of tonight’s show was that it was a new opera made up of arias from existing works. As I entered the auditorium I noticed that there was no pit for the orchestra; just five music stands on stage. Intriguing. As a lover of smaller musical forces, what turned out to be a string quintet really piqued my interest, promising a fresh approach. Given the story was of a group of friends gathering for a party, this chamber ensemble worked a treat. In fact, whoever conceived the idea was a genius!

The musicians were all superb. With perfect balance and tone they really brought the works alive. Clean and precise, every detail of the composers intentions was revealed anew; like having an intimate snapshot of their original sketches fleshed out. I wish more opera was presented this way. The cast arrived at the party (on stage) from different areas – our host from backstage and the guests from the stalls. A fun way to start the piece as it gave the stars their individualistic entrances. The singers (Soprano Galina Averina, Mezzo Martha Jones, Tenor Richard Dowling and Baritone Tim Nelson) all had wonderful voices, being equally accomplished at their craft, giving us performances full of passion and drama throughout – including some fine dramatic and comic acting. They had a lovely rapport together and made a believable cast of friends and lovers. The opening overture perfectly set the scene of a joyous party. The arias had a logical flow, cleverly chosen to present an enjoyable narrative of unrequited love, ex’s mourning lost love and people wishing to avoid romantic entanglement. Everything one could hope for in a traditional opera, but here you had all that plus many “greatest hits” from the opera oeuvre. Indeed, one of the most impressive things is that music from such diverse periods (Handel Baroque to 20th century) hung together so seamlessly with no sense of jarring. This has to be a testament to the small ensemble soundscape, the performers themselves and the arrangements (from Artistic Director & Cellist Orlando Jopling). There was a rich, welcome, seam of humour running through the work; like Claudio’s running on “late” and many of the duets. The only thing I would have changed is I wish there’d been surtitles for those of us who aren’t multilingual. But that was a minor niggle since the arias were gifted to us so flawlessly.

The second half started with a suitably tipsy performance of Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 4. – and what a performance from violinist Sijie Chen. Spectacular doesn’t even begin to do it justice! Wow. The aria zenith moment was arguably the gorgeous “O mio babbino caro” (Puccini) – one of the most perfect ever written, in a show of non-stop opera highlights.

An unalloyed delight to hear such musical perfection in one short show. And the string quintet presentation was so brilliant I now want to hear all my favourite operas performed that way. Anyone not having attended really missed something special. Do yourself a favour and buy a ticket next time the Wild Arts group are in Malvern. I know I will. Party on Wild Arts!