UK Tour of Brand New Peppa Pig Show


Peppa Pig and her friends are back in a brand new live show Peppa Pig’s Adventure, featuring a new story, loads of songs and heaps of fun!

Produced by leading children’s theatre team Fiery Light, in partnership with licensor Entertainment One (eOne), Peppa Pig’s Adventure marks the ninth consecutive year of Peppa Pig live theatre tours since 2009 and the fifth Peppa Pig stage production in total.

Join Peppa as she gets ready to go on an exciting camping trip to the woods with George and her school friends, including Pedro Pony, Suzy Sheep and Gerald Giraffe. With lunch-boxes packed and Daddy Pig driving the bus, Peppa and her friends are excited about their outdoor adventure, full of games,  laughter and live music!

The happy campers soon settle down to sleep and listen to the gentle pitter patter of rain.  Safe and warm inside their tents the excited group can look forward to morning time, when there will be lots of muddy puddles to play in!

Richard Lewis once again takes the helm for this new live stage adaptation of eOne’s popular animated TV series which he directs and has adapted for the theatre. He has also adapted and directed the four previous Peppa Pig live stage shows,  Peppa Pig’s Party, Peppa Pig’s Treasure Hunt, Peppa Pig’s Big Splash and Peppa Pig’s Surprise. The show features music from BAFTA award-winning composer Mani Svavarsson.

Audiences will enjoy interactive fun, songs and games with Peppa Pig and her friends. Peppa Pig’s Adventure promises to be the perfect theatre show for all pre-schoolers. Suitable for ages 3+.


Peppa Pig © Astley Baker Davies Ltd / Entertainment One


Peppa Pig | 2017 UK TOUR DATES

Friday 20 – Sunday 22 October                                                   Box Office: 01322 220000

Dartford Orchard Theatre                                                                           Website:

Wednesday 25 – Thursday 26 October                                     Box Office: 02920 878889

Cardiff New Theatre                                                                            

Saturday 28 – Sunday 29 October                                              Box Office: 01582 602080

Dunstable Grove Theatre                                                                            Website:

Wednesday 1 – Thursday 2 November                                     Box Office: 01483 369350

Guildford G Live                                                                                              Website:

Saturday 4– Sunday 5 November                                               Box Office: 0844 871 3011

Birmingham New Alexandra                                                       Website:

Wednesday 8 – Thursday 9 November                                     Box Office: 01743 281281

Shrewsbury Severn Theatre                                                                        Website:

Saturday 11 – Sunday 12 November                                          Box Office: 01494 512000

High Wycombe, Swan Theatre                                                   Website:

Wednesday 15 – Thursday 16 November                                                Box Office: 01270 368242

Crewe, Lyceum Theatre                                                                               Website:

Saturday 18 – Sunday 19 November                                          Box Office: 0844 871 7607

Aylesbury, Waterside Theatre                                                    Website:


Wednesday 17 – Thursday 18 January                                     Box Office: 023 9282 8282

Kings Theatre, Southsea                                                                    

Saturday 20 – Sunday 21 January                                               Box Office: 0844 871 7650

Theatre Royal Brighton                                                                                Website:

Wednesday 24 – Thursday 25 January                                     Box Office: 0844 871 3020

New Theatre, Oxford                                                                                    Website:

Saturday 27 – Sunday 28 January                                               Box Office: 01252 329155

Princes Hall, Aldershot                                                                                 Website:

Wednesday 31 January -Thursday 1 February                        Box Office: 01502 533200

Marina Theatre, Lowestoft                                                                         Website:

Saturday 3 –Sunday 4 February                                                  Box Office: 01223 357851

Cambridge Corn Exchange                                                                

Wednesday 7  – Thursday 8 February                                       Box Office: 01306 881717

Dorking Halls                                                                                         

Saturday 10 – Sunday 11 February                                             Box Office: 020 8985 2424

Hackney Empire                                                                                    

Tuesday 13 – Wednesday 14 February                                     Box Office: 01227 787787

The Marlowe, Canterbury                                                                 

Friday 16 – Sunday 18 February                                                  Box Office: 01702 351135

Cliffs Pavilion, Southend                                                                     

Wednesday 21 – Thursday 22 February                                   Box Office: 0844 871 7646

New Wimbledon Theatre                                                                             Website:

Saturday 24 – Sunday 25 February                                             Box Office: 01923 571102

Watford Colosseum                                                                             

Saturday 3 – Sunday 4 March                                                      Box Office: 0844 871 3018

Manchester Opera House                                                                           Website:

Wednesday 21 – Thursday 22 March                                        Box Office: 01536 414141

The Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering                                           Website:

Wednesday 12 – Thursday 13 September                                               Box Office: 01623 633133

Palace Theatre, Mansfield                                                                 




Sheffield Theatres have announced a new season of productions including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard, critically acclaimed Titanic the Musical and a return visit from smash hit musical Jersey Boys. The season also includes drama and dance, and a selection of one night shows. Tickets for all productions go on sale to Centre Stage members on Saturday 10 June November and on general sale on Saturday 17 June at 10.00am.

Tony Award-winning Sunset Boulevard comes to the Lyceum Theatre from Monday 23 – Saturday 28 April 2018 with Ria Jones in the role of faded film star Norma Desmond. With a much-loved score, including Sunset BoulevardWith One Look and The Perfect Year, performed with full orchestra, this production promises to be spectacular.

Titanic the Musical, based on the hopes and aspirations of the real people aboard the most legendary ship in the world, wowed London critics last year and now Sheffield audiences will be able to experience this award-winning production, from Monday 21 – Saturday 26 May, on its first ever UK tour.

Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet perform Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker from Tuesday 9 – Saturday 13 January and the creative team behind last year’s smash-hit thriller Gaslight bring gripping psychological drama Strangers On A Train from Monday 15 – Saturday 20 January.  Looking further ahead, Strictly Come Dancing stars Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara along with a cast of fabulous dancers, musicians and singers, pay tribute in song and dance to Fred Astaire, one of Hollywood’s Golden Greats, in Remembering Fred on Tuesday 8 May and theJersey Boys make a triumphant return from Tuesday 19 – Saturday 30 June.

Ruby Wax brings her five-star one-woman show A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled to the Crucible stage on Wednesday 25 October and audiences can also spend An Evening with Monty Don, the nation’s favourite gardener on Friday 10 November.

Mark Lockyer’s hilarious, touching and utterly bonkers Living with the Lights On comes to the Studio from Monday 6 – Tuesday 7 November; Coney challenge theatrical convention with REMOTE, an interactive piece of game-theatre (Thursday 9 November) and Edinburgh Fringe favourites Austentatious The Improvised Jane Austen Novel conjure up a brand new ‘lost’ Austen, based on a title suggested by the audience on Thursday 16 November.

Also in the Studio Theatre, The Claim, (Wednesday 22 – Thursday 23 November) based on true stories of migrants, is a comically absurd and quietly shattering journey to the heart of our tolerant society and on Friday 24 November, Team Viking combines storytelling, comedy and live music in a remarkable and heart-lifting story of the power of friendship.  On a rare visit to the city, celebrated performance poet Lemn Sissay tells the story of his upbringing in Something Dark (Saturday 25 November) and Daniel Bye (Going Viral) returns to Sheffield with his unique storytelling inInstructions for Border Crossing on Thursday 30 November.

The new season of shows go on sale to Sheffield Theatres’ Centre Stage Members on Saturday 10 June, and will be on general sale to the public from Saturday 17 June at 10.00am. Visit or call 0114 249 6000 for more details.

All or Nothing  The Mod Musical Review

York Theatre Royal – until 8 June 2017.  

What a phenomenal show, my hands still hurt from the standing ovation of applause and my cheeks still hurt from smiling at the wonderful finale sing-a-long.

I had no idea of the story or the music of the the Small Faces so it was new territory as I arrived in York for the show.

Directed by Tony McHale and written, directed and starring Carol Harrison All Or Nothing tells the electrifying yet bittersweet tale of Kenney Jones, Ian McLagan, Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott; four charismatic young kids from East London with humour, attitude, passion and above all talent. They were rocketed into the big time, only to discover the path to fantastic success is paved with exploitation, betrayal and ultimately tragedy as they became the Small Faces.

There is clearly market for mod nostalgia in to which this retelling of the Small Faces rise and fall. There is a deep affection for a band unlucky enough to compete with The Beatles for chart-space. Shunning Lennon and McCartney as “Merseybeat girl music”, the Small Faces brought a new kind of hard-edged R’n’B to Sixties London.

All or Nothing certainly delivers the goods. Cheeky and reverential, it’s aimed at the hard-core fans, the loyal Small Faces fans who lost interest after the departure of Marriott and the arrival of Rod Stewart, and name change to the Faces.

Following on from highlights of Marriott’s teenage years – including allegedly setting fire to his school and starring on the West End in what could have been a promising career, the story follows the formation of the Small Faces in 1965.

The members of the band played by Samuel Pope, Stanton Wright, Josh Maddison, Stefan Edwards  and Joseph Peters are all skilled actor musicians who act out the story and bring the songs of the Small Faces to the performance by playing live as a band throughout. Chris Simmons plays the role of older deceased Steve Marriott (younger Steve played by Samuel Pope) and narrates the story with a fag and drink in his hand.

Simmons’ performance as the older Steve and the guide through the story really stood out as he not only guided us through the story but also moved around the stage as a spirit of the future stepping back into the past, a lovely touch and a joy to watch as the cast didn’t even respond to him on the stage.  Bittersweet and entertaining, the audience were drawn into his charisma whenever he spoke and touched in the sadder scenes towards the end.

Honourable mentions have to be singing cameos given to Sophia Benn as Dusty Springfield, and Melissa Brown-Taylor as P P Arnold. And a particular audience favourite in the production was ensemble member Daniel Beales who played Steve’s bumbling father and several iconic roles such as Tony Blackburn and Sonny Bono. He was a crowd favourite that had the audience laughing throughout

Tales of legendary musicians being exploited – their talents milked and abused for the benefit of unscrupulous managers and record label bosses – are as old as the industry itself.  Russell Floyds cigar smoking DonArden shows the cruel side of the music industry with his threat of “I made you and I can break you” hanging over their heads. Yet the fact the Small Faces – one of the most influential bands of the 1960s – received few royalties for their music until 1997 – six years after Marriott died near-penniless in a house fire – remains one of the most unjust and tragic stories of the pop industry.

This show is one of the best I’ve seen, beautiful, poignant and full of heart.  Why this show is not playing to full houses in the West End every night is beyond me.  

On tour around the UK – go and see it now

Trainspotting Live Review

Quays Theatre, The Lowry, Manchester – until 10 June 2017.  Reviewed by Julie Noller

Thank You for allowing me to watch Trainspotting Live.

I was going to start this review before leaving home, why? Well when you get an email from the theatre, a warning email at that, yikes what had I let myself in for? Worse still what was I dragging my husband too?

It came with the following additional information;

Over 16’s only

Warning; This immersive production contains nudity, strong language, sex, violence,drug/needle use and lots of mess. May induce claustrophobia.

I was then confused and went into semi meltdown of what to wear? Old clothes? Paper decorating suit? You know just incase, after all I’ve seen the 1996 film, I’ve read the Irving Welsh book.

Collecting my tickets on arrival at The Lowry, nothing was being given away . Not quite knowing what to expect adds to the hype on the night, tickets came with no seat number on as is usual for The Lowry but was ‘by general admission’, would there be a free for all on seats? . Then the excitement went up a notch, people waiting outside The Quays were given a glow band, we were asked to show our tickets. OMG why were we given that colour? Why do other people have a different colour? Why did I not wear the paper suit? Something else for free? Try earplugs, yes you read right, we were given ear plugs ‘because the start can be quite loud’. My excitement had reached fever pitch levels, I wanted to get in there, I was starting to regret my curiosity over how would they do that toilet scene. It was explained to the waiting crowd soon to be audience that the seating plan inside the theatre was not as we were used to but had been altered for the performance ahead, that the performers would be seating us, all we had to do was show our band. The music drifting out of the theatre was taking me back, I truly felt like I was stepping inside a time machine back to the heady days of raves. How do I describe inside the theatre? Black, loud music – basically looking like a rave. All theatre seating had been removed, large black platforms had become the seats. For the lucky there were some chairs placed at the back on top of the platforms. Gratefully thanking The Lowry gods I took my seat, a proper seat and not a box. It quickly became apparent what immersive performance would mean, performers took swigs out of the audiences drinks (this is why hot drinks weren’t allowed) and showered us with drink spray, I allowed my eyes to span the room, oh dear God just 4 seats down from me was the toilet, yes that’s the worst toilet in Scotland. It was ok for us hiding on the back row but I watched the fearful glances of those not so lucky to be seated next to it, panic fully showing across their faces. There’s a bed without covers at one end and a sofa at the opposite end with people seated around it, lets just say lucky them with the bed sheet scene. The music subsides and we are introduced to the characters we know well; Renton (Gavin Ross) Begbie (Chris Dennis) Tommy (Greg Esplin) Sick Boy (Michael Lockerbie) Mother Superior (Finlay Bain) Alison (Erin Marshall) June (Rachael Anderson – who also did a brilliant job running round trying to seat everyone)

This is a different kind of theatre, yes its full of bad language, drugs and nudity. It shows a time that’s history now, of despair and no hope. It’s funny and equally sad, it’s fast paced, its down right disgusting when the toilet contents are worn by audience members, tip don’t sit by the toilet if you can help it or are perhaps of a weak constitution. Expect to be climbed over, sat on, to be insulted, to be pushed and spat over. Allow yourself to remember it’s a performance by an extremely talented young cast, more importantly allow yourself to become immersed for 75 minutes and love it….. choose life, choose a career, choose family, choose Trainspotting Live. They fully deserved my standing ovation, I believe more would’ve stood if they weren’t totally shell-shocked, I felt as if I had lived through Trainspotting Live not as a bystander but as if I was on a roller-coaster from start to finish. If you’re as lucky as we were the cast may join you in the bar afterwards, of course we were gushing. Be realistic – its gritty, dark and yes messy but don’t let that put you off, you’ll regret it.

Silent Uproar bring ‘A Super Happy Story (about feeling super sad)’ to Edinburgh Fringe – Jon Brittain’s uplifting cabaret-musical about mental health

Silent Uproar in association with Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and LittleMighty presents



·         2-28 August, 14:20, Pleasance Above

·         Written by Olivier Award-winning Jon Brittain (Rotterdam, Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho) with music by Matthew Floyd Jones (Frisky & Mannish)

·         Produced by Silent Uproar with support from likes of Hull City of Culture & New Diorama Theatre


‘A mix of wit and low-key emotion that suddenly grips your heart’ Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

Sally’s a happy person. She doesn’t let little things get her down and almost never cries. But she’s got an illness. It makes her feel like she isn’t the person she wants to be, and she doesn’t want anyone to know about it.

Silent Uproar prepare to make their first trip to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year with their show A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad). Written by Olivier award winner Jon Brittain (Rotterdam & Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho) with music by Matthew Floyd Jones (Frisky and Mannish), prepare for a hilarious cabaret musical about depression that explains why it’s OK to not feel OK. You’ll definitely laugh; you might cry: and you’ll totally get a song or two stuck in your head.

The show’s subject matter was influenced by the company’s personal experiences, charities like Mind and The Samaritans, and interviews with people living with mental health problems and medical professionals, along with the likes of Matt Haig and his book Reasons to Stay Alive, and the academic work Ruby Wax has undertaken on mindfulness.

The comedic and production style of the show draws from sources as diverse as Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Pixar’s Inside Out, Juno, and musicals like Cabaret and Chicago.

Silent Uproar is a Hull-based new writing company, commissioning writers to create playful and provocative work to help make the world a little less shit.

The show has been made with the support of LittleMighty, New Diorama Theatre, Hull UK City of Culture 2017, City Health Care Partnership, Unity Theatre Trust, Hull Truck Theatre, American Chip Spice, and our generous Kickstarter supporters.

Listings Info

A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad)

Produced by Silent Uproar

Written by Jon Brittain

Music by Matthew Floyd Jones

2-28 August (not 9, 16, 23)

Pleasance Above (Venue 33)


Previews: £7

Full price: £12


Ferris & Milnes – “Live at the Pheasantry” – Tuesday 13 June 2017



Ferris & Milnes will appear ‘Live at the Pheasantry’ on Tuesday 13 June 2017 at 8.30pm (doors open 7.00pm) with an explosion of comedy and music, and the premiere of a brand new West End mash-up medley in store.  

Tickets are now on sale, priced £25, at (booking fees may apply). The Pheasantry, located in a historic building on Chelsea’s Kings Road, is one of London’s premier intimate spaces for jazz, cabaret and more.

Dominic Ferris and Martin Milnes, who are renowned for their musical mash-ups such as  ‘33 Sondheim Numbers In 5 Minutes’ and ‘The Entire Score of ‘West Side Story’ in Under 8 Minutes’, will for the first time perform ‘All the West End Musicals in Under 10 Minutes’. This is a new medley, following on from their acclaimed ’31 West End Musicals in Under 10 Minutes’ at West End LIVE 2016, which will this time include all of the musicals performed in London’s West End during the past eighteen months.

The duo will also be paying tribute to time-honoured composer Gershwin in this the year which marks the 80th anniversary of his death, and will feature the work of British musical greats such as Elton John and The Beatles … all delivered in Ferris & Milnes’ eclectic and unique style! There will also be a nod to Stephen Sondheim, whose work Ferris & Milnes will be performing in a special guest appearance at the Noel Coward Theatre on Sunday 11 June at The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer Of The Year competition.

After a busy few months with performances outside of the UK and various private events following on from their successful Christmas Cracker show at the Ambassadors Theatre last December, Dominic and Martin return to London with a sparkling new show. Ferris & Milnes have also recently performed to sold-out houses during their residency at the St. James Studio, as well as thrilling crowds in the Channel Islands, at West End LIVE in Trafalgar Square, The Tower of London, Lytham Festival’s West End Proms, and in Stephen Sondheim’s 85th Birthday Gala at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. They have been described as “Hilarious” (The Telegraph) and “The most exciting musical theatre double act to be discovered in years” (West End Frame).

Dominic Ferris and Martin Milnes are a unique combination. Dominic is a pianist extraordinaire, regularly showcasing his skills touring the world as one half of The Piano Brothers – his Steinway & Sons accredited piano duo. Martin has ‘two voices’ – excelling as both a tenor and in his acclaimed falsetto register, having diversely crossed the musical worlds between West End and opera. Together, Dominic and Martin combine comedy, music and vocals in a dynamic cocktail of explosive Broadway glamour and fun.

For more information about Ferris & Milnes visit: Follow Ferris & Milnes on Twitter @ferrisandmilnes and on Facebook

As always with Ferris & Milnes – expect the unexpected!

Show: “Ferris & Milnes – Live at the Pheasantry”
Date: Tuesday 13 June 2017
Location: The Pheasantry, 152 Kings Road, London, SW3 4UT
Nearest underground: Sloane Square
Running time: 2 hours
Tickets: £25. Booking fees may apply.
Online bookings:
Telephone bookings: 020 7439 4962

Imelda May at Hull City Hall

Imelda May to perform at Hull City Hall

Singer songwriter at venue on Sunday, November 19

Irish superstar singer and songwriter Imelda May has announced a show at Hull City Hall in November, one of three additional UK tour dates released due to phenomenal public demand.

Imelda will appear at the venue on Sunday, November 19 before shows in Leicester and London’s Royal Albert Hall.

One of Ireland’s most celebrated female artists, Imelda was discovered by Jools Holland, who asked her to support him on tour and she has performed alongside legendary artists including Lou Reed, Bono and Smokey Robinson.

Imelda’s new single Girl I Used To Be is released on June 30 on Decca Records. The track is taken from her Top 5 new album Life. Love. Flesh. Blood and follows the BBC Radio 2 playlisted previous singles Call Me, Black Tears and Should’ve Been You.

A hauntingly beautiful acoustic ballad, Girl I Used To Be (listen on Spotify) is a memoir of Imelda’s life growing-up in the Liberties area of Dublin and the lessons learnt that she will pass on to her daughter.

Speaking about the track, Imelda said: “I love those old story songs where you’re taken on a journey from beginning to end.

“Songs you’re riveted with. Like when you’re in the car and you sit in the driveway, because you can’t turn the radio off, you have to listen to the end of the story.

“I thought, ‘I’d like to write one of them’. The lyrics are about my family, and my daughter, and myself and my life growing-up in Dublin.

“We didn’t have much money but my parents are fabulous, creative and open-minded people.

“They gave me art and literature and encouraged me to do whatever was in my heart and I want to do that with my daughter.”

On release, Life. Love. Flesh. Blood topped the UK Americana chart and landed No.5 in the official UK album chart (her second UK top 5), ahead of artists including Texas and Drake with her strongest first sales week ever in the UK.

One of the most critically acclaimed releases of 2017, the album spent more than a month in the Top 20 and recently returned to the Top 10.

Imelda has promoted the new album with performances on BBC1’s The One Show and The Graham Norton Show, and ITV’s Tonight At The London Palladium.

She also appeared on Chris Evans BBC Radio 2 show, where she performed a brilliant cover of U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I Was Looking For, and recently joined The Guardian for a webchat.

Produced by the legendary T Bone Burnett, Life. Love. Flesh. Blood was recorded over seven days in Los Angeles and features musical contributions from Jeff Beck (on Black Tears), Jools Holland (on When It’s My Time) and an accomplished group of backing musicians including the core trio of guitarist Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello), drummer Jay Bellerose (Robert Plant and Alison Krauss) and bassist Zach Dawes (The Last Shadow Puppets, Mini Mansions).

Tickets for Imelda May at Hull City Hall on Sunday, November 19 2017 are from £25. A limited number of VIP tickets, which include a photo opportunity with Imelda, exclusive gift chosen by her and pre-signed photo and collectible VIP laminate and lanyard, are available for £99.

Tickets go on sale at 10am on Friday, June 9. Book at the Hull City Hall box office or call 01482 300 306. Visit our new website to book online.


Social Media Links

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The Play That Goes Wrong Review

Lyric Theatre, The Lowry, Manchester – until June 10th 2017.  Reviewed by Julie Noller

My night started well, 48 miles from home and that was I had left my phone, oh dear would it be a sign of things to come? Possibly but not in the way you may be thinking. I sat in Pier 8 (The Lowry’s Bar & Restaurant) with my coffee and watched the audience arrive, no phone meant a spot of people watching. I was struck by the fact tonight’s audience was made up of groups, normally I notice a lot of couples but tonight it looked like the The Play That Goes Wrong was going to be a very social affair. This was the first time I had been into The Lowry on my own, I have spoken to people who regulary attend alone after all once a performance begins we are all friends.

I collected my ticket and took some time to read through the programme, which is very tongue in cheek and a good place to start. With lots of information about the characters and the characters that they play. We also have the usual introductions to the actors which is always intresting to read how hard they’ve worked over the years learning their art.

As we the audience were taking to our seats, I looked to the stage set, we had very noticeable pieces, it looked amost like the dormitory in Hogwarts, 1920’s manor house as the title ‘Murder at Haversham Manor’ suggests, I can still hear Chris Bean/Inspector Carter saying the title and I’m giggling still, even if he did bring to mind a 1950’s holiday camp worker ala Hi-de-Hi. Then to our surprise the door (that door should be a character in itself with it’s own place in the programme) flew open, at first I thought it may be cleaners, I know silly of me. It became apparent it was part of the performance and very cleverly sets the scene for what is to follow. A dog is missing does anyone in the audience have a dog with them? Cue the cast running to the upper tiers of the theatre to look for Winston the said dog.

Attention to detail throughout is fantastic, from Annies (Katie Bernstein) ‘CAT’ tshirt tieing in with Chris introduction speech telling us all about The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, to Trevor (Greame Rooney) the lighting and sound operator who for most of the performance is sat in front of the stage and from my seat in the Stalls, I had the perfect view of (you quite often needed one eye in two places it was so fast paced), I can imagine the character being writen and would have loved to have been a fly on the wall, there when someone suggested as a scottish character he should have a bottle of Irn-bru sitting on the podium.

I have never heard an audience laugh so much, it’s the perfect antidote to the seriousness of recent months, a bit of sillyness to raise the spirits of sad times. The cast took this opportunity after their well deserved standing ovation to raise awareness of recent events, saying that Mischief Theatre members, Henry Lewis,Jonathon Sayer and Henry Shield as the uber talented writers of The Play The Goes Wrong are currently on Broadway and as such can’t be in Manchester. They wanted to organise a collection for the Manchester Relief Fund. As usual the fantastic Lowry Volunteers were fully organised with buckets.

I know it has been described as a farce but I was reminded of Baldrick in Blackadder, saying words wrong , getting mixed up but oh so funny. We have Perkins (Edward Howells) and his wrong pronunciation of many words, he always had written on his hand. Charles Haversham (Jason Callender) the very much alive corpse, will he ever get his scene right? Well the applause and cheers were all his. Thomas Collymore (Adam Byron) will he ever be able to answer the telephone? Stopped only by the set slowly falling apart. Florence Collymore (Meg Mortell) knocked unconscious despite her hilarious ‘episodes’ and overacting, desperate to regain control of her character despite Annie becoming stage struck and wanting to make the role her own. Then there’s Cecil Haversham (Alastair Kirton) with his hilarious hand gestures and smile that got him the the big audience laughs and he wants more. I wonder if anyone in the audience wondered who the murderer was? The real story is that everything is falling apart, can the drama society make it through to the end of the play and will Chris Bean realise his moustache is hanging off? Will Trevor ever find his Duran Duran CD?

I wonder if the writers have ever written Health and Safety reports as I suspect they’d be perfect at it, I wonder if they wrote a list of things that could and does go wrong before they wrote the play? I watched it whilst thinking of people, wow my teenage daughter would love this, I could see my son giggling away, I left with a huge smile. I loved it, I can’t tell you my favourite part, I can’t tell you my favourite character, I might just have to go back and watch this again….. I wonder if I can persuade my husband to take a trip to New York and Broadway? No I doubt that would work either but I can suggest returning to The Lowry before June 10th. The Play That Goes Wrong is on tour now until August, if you want some good old fashioned lighthearted British humour then this is a must see that crosses the age divide.


Joshua Andrews and Adam Spiegel present
Kay Mellor’s

  • Sam Bailey and Elaine C Smith to star alongside Jodie Prenger in the brand new stage musical Fat Friends -The Musical, sharing the role of Betty
  • Full dates announced for major UK tour in 2018 following opening run at Leeds Grand Theatre in 2017
  • Written and directed by BAFTA and multi award-winning Kay Mellor with original music from Nicholas Lloyd Webber


Number one recording artist Sam Bailey, who rose to fame winning the tenth series of The X Factor, will join the previously announced Jodie Prenger in the original British musical Fat Friends – The Musical. Sam will share the much loved role of Betty, originated on screen by Alison Steadman, with award-winning comedian and actress Elaine C Smith (Two Doors Down, Rab C Nesbitt). Elaine will step into the role during three Scottish dates in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

The award winning TV drama has been adapted for the stage by it’s creator and one of the UK’s most prolific writers, Kay Mellor, whose extensive television credits include hit series of Band of Gold, The Chase, The Syndicate, In the Club and whose stage credits include A Passionate Woman. The award-winning Jodie Prenger will lead the company in the beloved role of Kelly Stevenson with further casting to be announced.

Produced by Joshua Andrews and Adam Spiegel, with original music by Nicholas Lloyd Webber,Fat Friends – The Musical will open at Leeds Grand Theatre in November ahead of an extensive UK tour, visiting Bromley, Newcastle, Hull, Southampton, Sheffield, Southend, Milton Keynes, Norwich, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Dartford, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Glasgow, Bradford, Aberdeen and Blackpool.

Sam Bailey shot into the hearts of the nation in 2013, when the former Prison Officer won ITV’s The X Factor and reached Christmas number one with her first single, ‘Skyscraper’. She has gone on to receive public acclaim for her role as Mama Morton in the recent UK tour of Chicago.

Sam Bailey said “I’m absolutely delighted to have been cast as Betty in Fat Friends – The Musical. I loved the show when it was on ITV and I feel so honoured to be working with such a talented group of people. I know I am going to learn so much from Kay and Nicholas and I can’t wait to start rehearsals.

Elaine C Smith said “I’ve always loved Kay Mellor’s writing and work and have been a fan for years – so the chance to work on this musical version based on a TV series that I loved was just too good to miss. Kay’s writing and portrayal of women along with her great ability to tell a cracking story that moves and touches people as well as making them laugh is so good and evident in great series like The Syndicate, In the Club and the iconic Band of Gold – so her work is what all actors want to be involved in – and with great music too – what’s not to like! I know audiences will love this and I am really looking forward to being involved in such a great production.”

Kay Mellor said “I was absolutely delighted when we announced Jodie Prenger would lead the cast for Fat Friends – The Musical, she’s the perfect fit to bring Kelly to life on stage and I can’t wait to see her in action. It fills me with pride to know that the musical will be seen by audiences across the nation with such a talented cast.

“I watched every episode of The X Factor when Sam was in it, because to me she was an ordinary woman. A mother and a wife who had the voice of an angel and a wonderfully warm personality. It was one of those rare times that I actually picked up the phone and voted. I auditioned Sam for about one minute for Fat Friends the Musical – as soon as she said my words and I looked in her eyes, I knew that she understood the character of Betty. She is an instinctive actress that will bring great depth and warmth to the character.

“I first saw Elaine in Rab C Nesbit and thought she was absolutely hilarious and a genius. I saw her again when she was in the West End with my daughter Gaynor in Calendar Girls and, in fact, she came to my OBE celebration dinner! It was a complete pleasure to finally work with her in my TV series The Syndicate, and now it’s an absolute delight to work with her on stage as she plays our Superslimmer finalist and Mother of the Bride during the Scottish dates of our tour.”

With original music and songs composed by Nicholas Lloyd Webber, designed by Bretta Gerecke, musical supervision, orchestrations and arrangements from Simon Lee, sound design by two time Olivier Award winning Gareth Owen and lighting design from Tony Award nominated Nick Richings, Fat Friends – The Musical, sees the nation’s favourite group of dieters reunited as this new show bursts on to the stage.

The ‘weight’ is over; Packed full of warmth, life and weight loss, this brand new stage show reunites our favourite foodie friends in an original musical bulging with hopes, humour and heart. Join the infamous group of loveable characters as they are put through their Zumba paces at their local branch of Super Slimmer’s by the lovelorn Lauren whilst Kelly fantasises about fitting into the wedding dress of her dreams. Fat Friends offers a generous serving of hilarious fun with a sprinkle of romance on top!

Fat Friends hit television screens in October 2000, following the lives of a group of overweight friends as they struggle with the absurdities of modern dieting. Running for five years on ITV, the show starred Alison Steadman, Gaynor Faye and Lisa Riley and launched the careers of James Corden and Ruth Jones. Written by Kay Mellor, the show was nominated for multiple awards including the BAFTA for Best Drama Series.

Twitter: @FatFriendsShow

Call For Nominations: 50/50 Applause Awards for Theatres

Call for Nominations: 2017 ICWP 50/50 Applause Award for Theatre Gender Parity Around the Globe

(The World) – Theatre industry, media and academic research in the last decade have uncovered and reported on the sometimes shocking levels of bias against female playwrights. Many professional theatres have committed to take action and demonstrate gender equity in their programming.

The International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP) is proud to sponsor the sixth annual 50/50 Applause Award, celebrating theatres which achieved gender parity among their produced playwrights within the past theatre season. The nomination window for the 2016-2017 theatrical season is open!

Co-chair of the 50/50 Applause Awards committee, Patricia L. Morin, said “ We want to applaud theatres that are showing works by women at least half the time. Theatres like the HERE Art Centre New York, the Factory Space in Sydney, Australia and the Prairie Theatre Exchange in Manitoba, Canada have met our 50/50 criteria three years in a row. We want to see more theatres following their example.”

This year’s nomination form will go live June 5th, 2017 on the ICWP website, where you will also find links to videos, press releases, and news. Anyone may nominate eligible theatres.

The eligibility criteria have changed from previous years. Here are highlights of the new qualifying criteria:

– Have at least three productions in their season

– Have plays by both female and male dramatists in their season

– At least 50% of the plays produced between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 are the work of female playwrights

– At least 50% of the total number of performances during that window are the work of female playwrights

– Theatres may not have the development of works by women as their main mission statement

The guidelines are available at Please contact us if you need translation assistance.

Along with artistic directors and theatre employees, the public is encouraged to nominate any theatre which meets the criteria for the award. Please share this information with your theatre friends around the world! Recipients of the 2016/17 award will be announced in September 2017.

For more about the awards history and previous recipients, go to


Established in 1989, The International Centre for Women Playwrights promotes and supports women playwrights. We aim to help achieve a fair representation of the female imagination on the world’s stages. ICWP provides a place for peer support, knowledge-sharing, and play publication. It is our goal to see more gender equity in professional theatres and for women playwrights to sustain careers as dramatists. When female dramatists are no longer discriminated against, we will no longer need to exist. We work for that day!