Darlington Civic Theatre – Steve Steinman’s Vampires Rock Ghost Train

Civic-Theatre-Hi-Res-Logo-1-117x300A GHOST TRAIN…WITH ADDED BITE.

Steve Steinman returns to Darlington Civic Theatre in January with the all new Vampires Rock saga, The Ghost Train.

After twelve years and with over a million tickets sold, Steve Steinman returns as Baron Von Rockula in the all-new stage spectacular, Vampires Rock, The Ghost Train.

As Club Live And Let Die burns to the ground, Baron Von Rockula, played by Steve Steinman, flees the ill-fated club with his band of blood sucking vampires in search of a new home. Eventually they come across and old, abandoned fairground ride, The Ghost Train, where they take refuge and make this their new home.

Along with Steinman, a full cast of superb singers, dancers and a formidable band blast their way through some of the greatest ever rock anthems including We Will Rock You, Bat Out Of Hell, Sweet Child Of Mine, Total Eclipse Of The Heart and many more.

Fantastic, sexy, very funny and fabulously over the top show” Nottingham Post

Vampires Rock, The Ghost Train is at Darlington Civic Theatre on Friday 15 January.

Tickets* £22.50 & £24.50, Groups 10+ get 1 free.

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit www.darlingtoncivic.co.uk

*All prices include a £1 restoration levy





Sheffield’s Third Angel explore birth – one of the most familiar yet mysterious aspects of humanity, in their new production with Sheffield Theatres, Partus at the Studio Theatre from Friday 15 to Wednesday 20 January.

Birth.  It’s a massive life or death thing that happens every minute of every day in every country of the world.  The expectations, the exhaustion, the euphoria. The shock, the sadness, the stupidly long shifts. The joy, the pain, the mess. Oh, and that first cup of tea that tasted better than anything, ever.

Third Angel  delve into the myths, the statistics and the politics of birth, engaging with real people and real stories. Based on conversations with mothers, fathers, midwives and obstetricians, this show examines one of the most familiar aspects of all of our lives – birth – in all its bloody glory.


There will be laughter, hand-gripping tension, dancing, tears, shouting, singing and love – you may never think about birth in the same way again.


Partus comes to the Studio Theatre from Friday 15 – Wednesday 20 January.  Tickets can be purchased from Sheffield Theatres’ Box Office in-person, by phone on 0114 249 6000 or online at sheffieldtheatres.co.uk and are priced from £5.00 – £14.00 (a transaction fee of £1.50 (£1.00 online) applies to all bookings made at the Box Office, excluding cash).


image003 (4)Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap will continue its record-breaking, and first ever, UK tour into 2016. The beloved murder mystery will begin the 2016 leg of its tour at Nottingham Theatre Royal, where it originally opened in 1952, on 19 January before visiting more than 25 further venues across the UK, including the Grand Opera House York from Monday 22 until Saturday 27 February 2016.


The cast for the 2016 tour includes Anna Andresen (Mollie Ralston), Nick Barclay (Giles Ralston), Tony Boncza (Major Metcalf), Lewis Collier (Sgt Trotter), Gregory Cox (Mr Paravicini), Amy Downham (Miss Casewell) and Oliver Gully (Christopher Wren) who will join the previously announced Louise Jameson (Doctor Who, EastEnders, Doc Martin) as Mrs Boyle.

Anna Andresen trained at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, her previous theatre credits include The Frozen Scream (Birmingham Hippodrome/Wales Millennium Centre),The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre)  Above & Beyond, You Once Said Yes (LLLR) Into The Sunlit Uplands (Theatre 80.St Marks, NYC)  Texting From Dachau (Red Bean Studio, NYC) Running On Empty, Lisa Is Looking Into The Mirror (Bennett Media Studio, NYC) , Red Admiral (Soho Studio)The Bald Prima Donna (The Etc) and Crossed Wires (Theatre 503). In addition to her work on stage Anna has also appeared in Fortitude, Miss Marple, Silent Witness and Wire in the Blood.

Nick Barclay trained at Mountview Theatre School and has appeared in more than 240 professional stage productions. Nick’s previous theatre credits include Stone Cold Murder, Dial M for Murder, The 39 Steps, The Titfield Thunderbolt, Strangers on a Train, Dead Funny, Romantic Comedy, Dangerous Corner, House Guest and Kind Hearts and Coronets. He is also a veteran of numerous repertory seasons in places such as Wolverhampton, Bournemouth, Crewe and Sidmouth. He has also written and performed for the world famous NewsRevue in London and directed various productions up and down the country. Nick has toured internationally with productions such as Stones in His Pockets, Art, Private Lives and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).

Tony Boncza originally trained as a journalist before joining The National Youth Theatre and then the Central School of Speech and Drama. Tony’s recent stage appearances have included roles in Great Britain (National Theatre), the South East Asian tour of The Mousetrap, Yes Prime Minister (West End & UK Tour), The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound (both Chichester Festival Theatre). Tony also played Sgt Trotter in the West End’s production of The Mousetrap25 years ago. In addition to his work on stage, Tony has appeared on screen in The Royals, The Sarah Jane Adventures and EastEnders.

Lewis Collier’s previous stage credits include Classic Ghost Stories (UK Tour), The Three Lions(St James Theatre & Tour), Macbeth (Erasmus International Theatre Co. Italy) and Two Noble Kinsmen (Round Pebble Theatre Co.). Lewis has also appeared on film in Checkmate.

Gregory Cox trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and has had an illustrious career on stage beginning with Oliver! (West End) and Little Lies which starred John Mills (Wyndham’s Theatre and Toronto). Gregory’s other theatre work includes Muswell Hill (Park Theatre),Arcadia (UK Tour), Don Juan (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), The Picture of Dorian Gray(Windsor and UK tour), Tale of Two Cities (Sheffield Crucible), Hamlet (Rose Theatre), The Devils (Union Theatre) and The Seagull (UK tour). Gregory was also Mr Paravicini in the 2013 cast of The Mousetrap at St. Martin’s Theatre, London.

Amy Downham trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and has appeared on stage in Generation Y (MF Productions), Twelfth Night (Attic Theatre Company), Out of Love(White Bear Theatre), Daisy Pulls it Off (Watermill Theatre) and Every Brilliant Thing(Nabokov). Amy has also appeared on TV in Doctors, EastEnders and Hollyoaks.

Oliver Gully trained at the Guildhall School of Acting; his previous stage credits include Hamlet(The Courtyard Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (UK Tour) and Timebomb (The White Bear).

Louise Jameson is best well-known for her long-running roles as Leela, a companion of Tom Baker’s Doctor in Doctor Who, Susan Young in Bergerac¸ Eleanor Glasson in Doc Martin, and Rosa di Marco in EastEnders. In addition to Louise’s illustrious roles on screen, she has also appeared on stage in Love, Loss and What I Wore (The Mill, Sonning), Noises Off (Mercury Theatre), Gutted (Theatre Royal, Stratford East) and Oedipus (The Liverpool Everyman & Nottingham Playhouse).

The production, which originally opened at Nottingham Theatre Royal in 1952 starring the late Richard Attenborough and his wife Sheila Sim before embarking on its current record-breaking West End run, continues its journey across the breadth of the country, visiting towns and cities including Brighton, Reading, Darlington, York, Portsmouth, Cheltenham, Stoke, Woking, Leicester, Liverpool, Harrogate, Shrewsbury, Dartford, Yeovil, Hereford, Derby, Kings Lynn, Salisbury, Manchester, Aylesbury, Torquay, Llandudno, Jersey and Bristol.

Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has been the world’s longest running stage production at its London home since breaking the record in 1958 and recently celebrated its 26,000thperformance. The 60th Anniversary – and first ever – UK tour of this beloved murder mystery is approaching 1000 performances and has now been seen by nearly 1 million people, having broken box office records in many of its tour venues.

Mousetrap Productions has also licensed 60 productions of The Mousetrap worldwide to mark the 60th year, and many of these have also broken records, from Cape Town to Philadelphia, Singapore to Sydney. During this period, the world’s longest running show will have been seen in every continent with professional productions in Australia, China, Korea, Turkey, South Africa, Russia, Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Scandinavia, Venezuela, and across the United States and Canada.

The Mousetrap continues its open-ended run at St. Martin’s Theatre, London. The UK tour is currently booking until August 2016.

Tickets from £14.50, to book call 0844 871 3024 or book online at www.atgtickets.com/york , alternatively call in to our theatre box office, which is open from 12 noon until 5:30pm Monday to Saturday.

The 2016 New Year Honours list has been announced

Imelda Staunton, Barbara Windsor and Matthew Bourne in New Year Honours list

Acting talent from across stage and screen have been named in the New Year Honours list. EastEnders and Carry On actress Barbara Windsor, 78, has been made a dame, as well as Welsh actress Sian Phillips. The star of recent hit musical revival Gypsy, Imelda Staunton, will also receive a CBE. Luther actor Idris Elba becomes an OBE.

Actor James Nesbitt is made an OBE for services to acting and Northern Ireland. WhileSpooks actor David Oyelowo becomes an OBE.

Elsewhere, Damon Albarn becomes an OBE and playwright and screenwriter Peter Morgan, whose play The Audience starred Helen Mirren, will also received an CBE.

In dance Tamara Rojo, the artistic director of the English National Ballet will receive a CBE while Matthew Bourne has been given a knighthood.

1,196 people have been honoured in the New Year Honours 2016, 15 women become dames and 24 men receive knighthoods.

For the full New Year Honours list click here.

Alison Steadman replaced by Pennie Downie in Hampstead’s Rabbit Hole

Producers have announced that Penny Downie (Downton Abbey, The Fairy Queen,Judgement Day) will replace Alison Steadman in the role of Nat in Hampstead Theatre’s production of Rabbit Hole. Steadman has withdrawn from the production prior to the start of rehearsals due to personal reasons.

Hampstead Theatre artistic director Edward Hall said:

“We are delighted to welcome Penny Downie to Hampstead Theatre for the UK premiere of Rabbit Hole. The company is looking forward to be working with her and we hope to welcome Alison back to the venue in the future.”

Hall directs the UK premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play which also stars Claire Skinner, Tom Goodman-Hill, Georgina Rich and Sean Delaney.

Rabbit Hole will run at Hampstead Theatre from 4 February to 5 March.


School Of Rock, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical that has recently smashed Broadway box office records, has moved its West End première to spring 2017.

The stage adaptation of the hit Jack Black film had previously been expected to open at the London Palladium in autumn 2016.

The show’s production team will use the new year to scour the UK in search of the initial cast of 39 child performers who will sing, dance, act and play their own instruments as the hit musical’s unexpectedly talented school class.

School Of Rock, which stars Alex Brightman and Sierra Boggess on Broadway, tells the story of Dewey Finn, a failed wannabe rock star who finds himself out of his depth, teaching at a very posh school. Discovering an unknown musical talent in his pupils, he enrols his new charges in a Battle of the Bands.

The new musical, which features music by Lloyd Webber and a book by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, recently broke records at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre, taking more than US$1.5 million in Christmas week.

Speaking about his new show, Lloyd Webber said: “I had forgotten what it was to have this kind of hit. It is particularly great as we have no star names and we are witnessing personal triumphs for our brilliant kids and for Alex Brightman as Dewey, the role made famous by Jack Black. Now our team will begin searching across the UK for talented children to star in the West End transfer.”






In this, his second exhibition of dancers to be held at the Hospital Club Gallery, world renowned dance photographer Rick Guest with long time collaborator Olivia Pomp, explore the supreme spirit and ensuing physicality that underpins a dancer’s art.

What Lies Beneath - Nehemiah Yuhui by Rick GuestWith this remarkable series of portraits he seeks to strip away the external layers of costume, role and performance to reveal the character of the dancers themselves. Once exposed, we see a life of dedication, resolve and sacrifice, reflected in their eyes and carved into their bodies.

In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The artist must be sacrificed to their art. Like bees, they must put their lives into the sting they give.”

The dancers appear in what they wear for their daily ballet practice. These clothes perform various functions, from the necessary preservation of heat, to a small piece of self expression in an otherwise uniform ensemble act. Some clothing becomes talismanic and is still worn, despite having all but fallen apart. These are all further insights into the mind of the dancer.

In a performing art that is meant to appear effortless, to communicate only the intention of the choreographer, the effort and sacrifice of the dancer is often hidden. Here they are revealed, allowing us to appreciate the essence of what it takes to be a dancer.

At once beautiful and brutal, these large scale portraits aim to lay bare and celebrate the emotional and physical determination that is required to succeed in an art form that is the very zenith of the human spirit, that in the words of Martha Graham, is truly “the language of the soul”.

What Lies Beneath - Sergei Polunin by Rick GuestRick and Olivia have had the pleasure and honour of working with an astounding array of dancers and companies. The exhibition features such luminary dancers as Edward Watson, Tamara Rojo, Steven McRae, Marianela Nuñez, Alban Lendorf, Zenaida Yanowsky, Melissa Hamilton, as well dancers from the English National Ballet, the Royal Ballet, The Dresden Semperoper, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, the Richard Alston Company and the Royal Danish Ballet.

All art pieces are in a limited edition of six and will be for sale. The exhibition will have an accompanying book featuring many more images from the series, with an essay by Sarah Crompton.

There will be a private view on the 21st of January, 2016, and then the exhibition will be open to the public from the 22nd to the 31st of January.

It will be held at the Hospital Club Gallery, 24 Endell St., London, WC2H 9HQ.



Chris JarvisNewcastle Theatre Royal is delighted to announce that TV presenter and children’s favourite, Chris Jarvis, will host the Relaxed Performance of Dick Whittington on Tuesday 12 January.


Best known for his work as a presenter on CBeebies, Chris will join the cast at Newcastle Theatre Royal, for its first Relaxed Performance since it became the first theatre in the UK to be awarded the Autism Access Award (AAA) from the National Autistic Society.


The well-known TV personality will host the Relaxed Performance, which is specifically designed to welcome people with an Autistic Spectrum Condition, learning disability or sensory and communication disorder into the theatre.


Chris said: “I am thrilled to be returning to the most spectacular and hilarious of pantomimes for this year’s relaxed performance ofDick Whittington. We all enjoy laughing and joining in at Panto, well now absolutely everyone is included thanks to the hard work and dedication of the team at Newcastle Theatre Royal.  The thought and care that goes into this unique performance ensures the audience feels safe and completely comfortable without destroying any of the magic – which this show has in abundance.”


The relaxed performance is designed to provide an opportunity for people who would otherwise find it difficult to go to see a show – for example people who make involuntary noise, or are likely to need to talk a lot, or move around. During a regular performance this can disturb the other audience members, and the show, but at a relaxed performance it’s expected that the auditorium will be noisy and our staff are trained to support this.


The show will have a less formal, reassuring atmosphere in order to reduce anxiety levels. Lighting and special effects will be slightly altered – including removing strobes and flashing lights and reducing very loud noises, however the content of the show will not be specifically changed so all the magic of pantomime is maintained.


Chief Executive, Philip Bernays, said: “We are very proud that as an AAA accredited theatre, we will once again be flying the flag for Relaxed Performances. We are one of only a handful of theatres in the UK to offer these specially tailored performances and we are delighted that by doing so, we bring the best panto in the UK to hundreds of children, families and adults who might otherwise never experience its magic. We are dedicated to making our theatre as accessible as possible and have already started taking bookings for next year’s Relaxed Performance of Cinderella too!”

Dick Whittington Relaxed Performance plays at Newcastle Theatre Royal on Tuesday 12 January at 12 noon. Tickets can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Group Bookings team on 08448 11 21 22 (all calls are charged at 7p a minute plus your phone company’s access charge, calls from mobiles may vary, please contact your operator for details) or select your own seat and book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock smashes Broadway Box Office Records

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School Of Rock smashes Broadway Box Office records as UK search begins for the West End Kids cast.

school-of-rock-the-musical280Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical School of Rock, with book by Julian Fellowes, based on the 2003 Jack Black movie, has broken the house record at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre, grossing more than US$1.5 million dollars, in a standing room only sell out during Christmas week. This surpasses the previous record of US$1.36 million held by Mamma Mia.

This is the first time that a British composer and producer has opened a new musical on Broadway. The show has received rave reviews from the US critics and is set to break a further record when it plays nine performances this week.

The sell out audience over the Christmas period coincides with the beginning of a nationwide search in the UK for highly talented children required for the musical’s West End debut at the London Palladium.

Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “I had forgotten what it was to have this kind of hit. It is particularly great as we have no star names and we are witnessing personal triumphs for our brilliant kids and for Alex Brightman as Dewey, the role made famous by Jack Black.

Now our team will begin searching across the UK for talented children to star in the West End transfer.

The thirteen child roles in School of Rock involve the kids playing their own instruments live on stage, as well as singing and dancing. Because of the UK performance regulations on child actors, School of Rock will need at least three separate casts – providing opportunities for more than 39 talented children in total.

The nationwide search for the UK cast will begin in the new year. The show will open at the London Palladium in the spring of 2017.

The musical is an adaptation of the 2003 hit film comedy which starred Jack Black as the failed rock star, Dewey Finn, who becomes a teacher and forms a band with his pupils. Lloyd Webber has composed an original score for his stage adaptation, with lyrics written by Glenn Slater, and a book written by Julian Fellowes.

School of Rock – The Musical is produced on Broadway by Andrew Lloyd Webber for The Really Useful Group, Warner Music Group & Access Industries, The Shubert Organization, and The Nederlander Organization. Nina Lannan and Madeleine Lloyd Webber serve as Executive Producers.

  • (New York Times Critic’s Pick) “School of Rock is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s friskiest show in decades. I melted” – The New York Times
  • “ROCK ON! Andrew Lloyd Webber unleashed his inner child to write this exubersnt, feel-good musical!” – Variety
  • “For those about to love School of Rock, we salute you…School’s in – forever!” – Time Out New York
  • “School of Rock doesn’t miss a beat!” – NY1
  • “School of Rock is heartwarming and irresistible with a wondrously rebellious spirit” – Associated Press
  • “Fists of all ages shall be pumping!” – Vanity Fair
  • “This show kicks class!” – WABC
  • “An inspiring jolt of energy, joy and mad skillz” – Entertainment Weekly

For further information visit www.schoolofrockthemusical.co.uk

Empire Cinemas and Dr David Lewis reveal how film impacts our lives

image001 (17)The Emotional Power of Film: Empire Cinemas’ Cin-sations Part Two reveals how film impacts our lives

·Almost one fifth (19%) of the UK say cinema provides an emotional release

· Comedy gives our body a great aerobic workout and 32% of Brits say relieves stress

· 16% of men think going to the cinema to watch a romcom is good for their relationship

· One in four say watching an action film is good for them

·  ET going home voted Biggest Tearjerker Cinematic Moment

· Psychologist Dr David Lewis explains your next cinema visit won’t just leave you feeling good – it could be doing you good as well!”

· Watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens could be good for you


London, UK 28th December: A recent study by Empire Cinemas, the UK’s largest independent cinema chain, reveals the extent to which watching a film at the cinema can exert huge power over our emotions.

The research shows that for almost one fifth (19%) of the UK cinema provides an emotional release, with happiness being the most important reason for selecting a film (65%), ahead of laughter (58%), adrenaline (24%) and sadness (18%). The power of film is clear; one in ten (10%) say watching a film at the cinema has helped them tackle a difficult issue in their lives.

The power of a good tearjerker shouldn’t be underestimated, with almost one in five of the UK admitting the last time they had a good cry was watching a tearjerker in the cinema. 5% even admit to crying more during a film that the breakup of their last relationship. ET going home was declared the biggest tearjearker movie moment, while Titanic’s ‘King of the World’ scene was named the most romantic.

On the subject of tearjerkers, psychologist Dr David Lewis offers some insight into the findings. He reveals: “An emotion-provoking movie offers an opportunity to display intense feelings in public without restraint or embarrassment. When it comes to tear jerking scenes, such as the moment ET goes home, the emotional benefits are great. The chance to weep openly and without social discomfort can prove profoundly cathartic. Emotional tears contain an array of beneficial substances such as Leu-enkephalin, a natural painkiller. As a result such tears reduce stress and make it easier to deal with other aspects of our lives.”

Watching romcoms appears to be a bonding exercise for many Brits; one in seven (14%) say they feel closer to their partner after watching a romcom, whilst 7% of men think these films give them a better chance in their love lives. A further 16% of men think that going to the cinema to watch a romcom is good for their relationship, compared to just one in ten (11%) of female correspondents.

Comedy helps relieve stress, say almost a third (32%), whilst one fifth (20%) say comedy films have helped them during difficult times in their lives. A further one in five (20%) even say they feel ‘funnier’ after watching a comedy. The benefits of comedy do not just end with relieving pressure, it also turns out that comedy provides us with a body workout and triggers feel good chemicals in our bodies. In the research, Monty Python’s Life of Brian won for funniest movie moment with the scene that asks, “what have the Romans ever done for us?”

Dr David Lewis explains: “The belly laughs produced by a film like Monty Python’s Life of Brian gives our whole body a great aerobic workout. Unrestrained laughter massages the digestive system, increases blood flow to brain and muscles, exercises the lungs and triggers the release of ‘feel good’ chemicals in the brain. One of these, dopamine, has been described as the ‘gas pedal of pleasure’ creating sensations of intense delight.”

Cinemagoers who have and who will watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens over the Christmas period will be taken on a journey of sensations. The Cin-sations Part 2 study reveals that nearly one in four (23%) of the UK say watching an action film is good for them. After viewing an action film in the cinema, one in ten – the equivalent of 5m adults – say that they work faster and better at work, whilst 13% of Brits claim that the cinema provides their adrenalin fix.


On the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Dr David Lewis tells: “To generate powerful emotions a movie must provide characters with whom audiences can emphasise and a story line so engrossing the audience becomes totally caught up in the story. Such immersion generates a mental state known as ‘flow’. Time passes unnoticed and nerve cells in your brain, known as mirror neurons, respond as if you were taking part of the action. For fans, the new Star Wars movie draws them deep into the fast paced story line by combining familiar faces from previous episodes with new excitements and challenges.”

Below is the list of favourite cinematic moments across all film genres:


Film scene


Most romantic movie moment

Titanicthe “King of the World” scene on the bridge of the boat


Most adrenalin-fueled cinematic moment

The Italian Job – the famous mini car chase


Most feel good cinematic moment

Shawshank Redemption – the escape scene where Andy emerges to freedom


Funniest cinematic moment

Monty Python’s Life of Brian – scene asking “what have the Romans ever done for us?”


Biggest tearjerker cinematic moment

ET – the moment when ET went home


Jon Nutton, Marketing Director for Empire Cinemas said: “From comedy, to feel-good, to action films and everything in between; film and cinema provide a real platform for emotional output for our customers and for filmgoers. People have been at their happiest, saddest and most inspired whilst watching films, which is evidence of the power of film & cinema and why it’s such a celebrated industry. Our ‘Cin-sations’ research has proved that the cinema offers customers not only a visual product, but a place to come and experience true feelings of all kinds.”  


Justin Ribbons, CEO of Empire Cinemas said: “Film plays an important role in people’s lives and it’s clear that it takes us on an emotional journey where we feel a huge range of feelings. 2015 saw some hugely exciting emotional releases, such as Inside Out and The Theory of Everything, which took filmgoers through a range of sensations, and 2016’s line up looks sure to do the same. Cinema is and always will be the best place to see film and to experience the emotions film brings out in us.”

2016 will see a Cin-sational line-up of high-profile releases at Empire Cinemas – for tickets and listings seewww.empirecinemas.co.uk