Christopher Biggins West End Heroes 2015 photocall…

Christopher-Biggins4Christopher Biggins, today launched the 2015 West End Heroes gala concert at the Dominion Theatre with a little help from some military friends….

Dressed as an RAF service woman – just one of the “characters” he’ll play on the night in several big song and dance numbers – he promised a night of surprises, fun and jollity and some rather special flying sequences!

The hugely popular star of musical theatre, screen comedies, panto dame extraordinaire and one of Britain’s best-loved TV personalities, is the host of the 2015 West End Heroes gala concert on Sunday 4 October.

Last year the casts of many of the biggest West End musicals united with the finest UK military bands and musicians in a stunning performance that raised £78,243.01 for the Help For Heroes charity.

He said: “I’m delighted to be able to give my support to West End Heroes by hosting what I know will be a marvellous evening, with some wonderful surprises. It’s a wonderful way for the West End to show their appreciation for all that our lovely service folk do for us and to support such a worthy charity.

West End Heroes will again unite the country’s top military musicians with even more West End performers and productions in a dazzling showcase of show-stopping numbers, unlikely song mash-ups and stunning choreography and precision drilling.

Confirmed to appear are the West End casts of Elf The Musical, Phantom of the Opera and Memphis. With appearances from Ben Forster, Bradley Jaden, Celinde Schoenmaker, Charlotte Jaconelli, El Ocho, Jamie Raven, Jessica Martin, Joe McGann, John Owen Jones, Jon Robyns, Kimberley Walsh, Maurillia Simpson, Mazz Murray, Rachel John.

Returning to form the centrepiece of the gala and under the baton of Squadron Leader Piers Morrell will be The Central Band of the Royal Air Force, which is widely regarded as one of the finest military bands in the UK and incorporates the celebrated RAF Squadronaires Big Band. There will also be support from The Band of HM Royal Marines, The Band of The Queen’s Division and Ceremonial Fanfares. There will be also a performance by Colchester Garrison Military Wives Choir.

West End Heroes will once again be generously supported by many TV and theatre stars and will feature line-ups from current and past West End Shows. There will again be a performance from the West End Heroes Choir – made up of people working behind the scenes in the West End – led by Stuart Morley and the West End Heroes Dancers, led by Matt Flint.

Help for Heroes offers comprehensive support to those who have suffered life-changing injuries and illnesses after serving our country. This support is provided through grants direct to our Heroes and their families, grants to other charities and through four Help for Heroes Recovery Centres across the UK. A study in September 2014 by Help for Heroes and the Royal College of Psychiatrists found that 75,000 men and women may need long term support following the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Creative Team  for For West End Heroes 2015
Director Tim Marshall
(Festival of Remembrance, Royal Albert Hall)

Musical Director
Squadron Leader Piers Morrell, Director of Music, RAF Central Band

Musical Supervisor Stuart Morley
(We Will Rock You; Night of a 1000 Stars)

Choreographer Matt Flint
(So You Think You Can Dance; Strictly Come Dancing)

Assistant Director Carole Todd
(Carnaby Street, Dreamboats and Petticoats)

Design Tim Soden
(The Lion King; Calendar Girls)

Produced by Dominion Events

Tottenham Court Road
London , W1T 7AQ
Sunday 4 October at 7.30pm

Tickets from £32.50
VIP Packages available which include
pre-show reception, premium seat and
access to the concert after-party

West End Heroes
Sunday 4th October 2015 – 7.30pm


The Bread and Roses Theatre announces Autumn Season 2015

the-bread-and-roses-theatreHaving just become a 2015 Winner of the ICWP 50/50 Applause Award and launched their own Fringe Festival, the Clapham Fringe, The Bread & Roses Theatre is now thrilled to announce their upcoming Autumn Season 2015, which includes the theatre’s First Year Anniversary!

Prodigious all-female troupe Get Over It Productions kick off the season, returning to The Bread & Roses Theatre, following their last sold out success; this time conjuring up some rough magic with their gothic version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest (29th Sep – 3rd Oct), which also had a previous sell-out run at the Camden Fringe. Next South London Productions present their debut production with Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig (6th – 10th Oct) and at the end of October NoHatStand launch themselves onto the fringe theatre scene with new play The Accidental Artist by Darrel Draper (27th – 31st Oct). Meanwhile Universally Speaking (13th – 17th Oct) and Scraping God from the Roof of My Mouth (18th – 20th Oct) will showcase some thought-provoking new short plays.

On November 1st & 2nd The Bread & Roses Theatre will celebrate its First Year Anniversary with a new instalment of their new writing night, The Platform – which has attracted over 500 submissions from writers this time – followed by a reception. November will continue with the premiere of White Feathers by Suzy Gill (Tue-Sun, 3rd – 14th Nov), a provocative new piece, running over Remembrance Sunday, which forces us to re-examine our ideas about the nature of patriotism, the price of love and the borders of friendship. Later in November Claudia Jefferies presents her latest one woman show Syd (15th – 17th Nov) and at the end of the month The Peasant’s Club presents You and Me and the Devil Makes Three by Chesper Harland & Charlie Wolf (24th – 28th Nov), a re-developed play tackling the housing crisis, mental health, and domestic violence in contemporary London.

December features a two week run of The Sun Shining On Her Hands by Cassiah Joski-Jethi (Tue-Sat, 1st – 12th Dec), presented by Trip The Light Theatre. Inspired by Georg Büchner ‘s ‘Woyzeck’ and using real-life accounts of gender discrimination, this explosive, visual and intimate production explores the struggle to be recognised as an individual in our modern world.

Goblin Baby Theatre Co., run by the theatre’s Artistic Director Tessa Hart, also return this season with The Princess Monologues (19th – 22nd Nov), exploring what it even means to be a ‘Princess’ in the 21st Century, as well as new family theatre show (S)Elfish Christmas (18th – 22nd Dec) also written by Hart. Furthermore, the theatre continues to host a variety of improvisational theatre shows, short play nights and rehearsed readings.

Complete Confirmed Line-up for Autumn Season 2015 at The Bread & Roses Theatre:
• 29th Sep to 3rd Oct – The Tempest
• 4th Oct, 9th Nov, 6th Dec – Outsiders – Part I, II & III
• 6th to 10th Oct – Fat Pig
• 11th & 12th Oct – Parting Shots
• 13th to 17th Oct – Universally Speaking
• 18th to 20th Oct – Scraping God from the Roof of my Mouth
• 22nd & 23rd Oct – The Murderettes
• 25th & 26th Oct – A Trilogy of Horrors
• 27th to 31st Oct – The Accidental Artist
• 1st & 2nd Nov – The Platform & First Year Anniversary of the Theatre!
• 3rd to 14th Nov (Tue-Sun) – White Feathers
• 15th to 17th Nov – Syd
• 19th to 22nd Nov – The Princess Monologues
• 24th to 28th Nov – You & Me & the Devil Makes Three
• 1st to 12th Dec (Tue-Sat) – The Sun Shining On Her Hands
• 7th Dec – Being John Barrowman (Reading)
• 18th to 22nd Dec – (S)Elfish Christmas (Family Show)
For details on all listings and more head to


Glenn Close stars as Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard

glenn-closeGlenn Close will star as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, the second production in the partnership between English National Opera (ENO) and the GradeLinnit Company. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, Sunset Boulevard is produced by arrangement with The Really Useful Group Ltd and is based on the original Paramount film by Billy Wilder.

In March 2015 ENO and the GradeLinnit Company presented the critically acclaimed sell-out run of Sweeney Todd with Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel in the inaugural production of their partnership.

Lonny Price will direct the strictly limited run of 43 performances at ENO’s London Coliseum which begins on 1 April 2016 with press night on 4 April 2016 at 7.30pm and final performance on 7 May 2016. The full ENO orchestra will appear on stage alongside the cast in this semi-staged production. Further casting will be announced shortly.

Glenn Close, making her West End debut as well as her first reprisal of the role for UK audiences, plays faded silent movie star Norma Desmond, for which she has previously won a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and a Dramalogue Award for the Broadway production directed by Trevor Nunn.

Sunset Boulevard will be presented by ENO with Michael Linnit and Michael Grade for Gate Ventures with Johnny Hon as Executive Producer.

Cressida Pollock, ENO, Chief Executive Officer said: “We at English National Opera believe that the combination of multiple award-winning Glenn Close, making her West End stage debut, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical Sunset Boulevard, will once again pack the London Coliseum with ENO regulars and new audiences for us. We are all looking forward to working on this next thrilling production with the GradeLinnit Company, the team that delivered this year’s hugely successful run of Sweeney Todd.

Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “I am thrilled that London audiences will at last get a chance to see Glenn’s performance in the role of Norma Desmond which was so hugely acclaimed in the USA.

Tickets for Sunset Boulevard are £12 – £105, with 400 seats at £25 or less including 100 at £12 for every performance. Priority booking opens for ENO friends ( at 10am on 25 September 2015 with public booking opening at 10am on 29 September 2015.

In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard, faded, silent-screen goddess, Norma Desmond, lives in a fantasy world. Impoverished screen writer, Joe Gillis, on the run from debt collectors, stumbles into her reclusive world. Persuaded to work on Norma’s ‘masterpiece’, a film script that she believes will put her back in front of the cameras, he is seduced by her and her luxurious life-style. Joe becomes entrapped in a claustrophobic world until his love for another woman leads him to try and break free with dramatic consequences.

Based on Billy Wilder’s classic film, Sunset Boulevard originally premiered in London at the Adelphi Theatre in 1993, where it ran for almost four years and played to nearly two million people. It went on to open on Broadway in 1994 to what was then, the biggest advance in Broadway history, $37.5million.

Glenn Close made her professional theatre debut in Harold Prince’s revival of Love for Love on Broadway and will make her West End stage debut with this production. Her other early stage credits include The Crucifer of Blood and The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs, for which she won an Obie Award. She was also the winner of Tony Awards for her performances in The Real Thing and Death and the Maiden, both directed by Mike Nichols. In 2002 she was reunited with Trevor Nunn for his National Theatre revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. Glenn Close returned to Broadway in November of 2014 for the first time in 20 years to lead the cast of Edward Albee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning A Delicate Balance. Close is a six-time Academy Award nominated actress and has appeared in more than 35 films including The World According to Garp, The Big Chill, The Natural, Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons, and Albert Nobbs which she co-produced and for which she co-wrote the screenplay. Close has also produced and starred in nine movies for TV including the Sarah, Plain and Tall series for the Hallmark Hall of Fame. Close won Emmy Awards for her performances in Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story and the TV series Damages, which earned her a Golden Globe Award as well. Close also received a SAG Award for her performance as Eleanor in The Lion in Winter. Her upcoming films include What Happened to Monday, Wilde Wedding and She Who Brings Gifts.

Andrew Lloyd Webber is the composer of some of the world’s best known musicals including Cats, Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Phantom of the Opera and Sunset Boulevard. He is currently working on a stage version of the movie School of Rock which will begin previews at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre in November this year. As theatre producer he has presented not only his own shows but others including the Olivier award-winning La Bete, and Daisy Pulls It Off. As composer he has received many awards including seven Tonys, seven Oliviers, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, two International Emmys, the Praemium Imperiale, the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre, a BASCA Fellowship, the Kennedy Center Honor and a Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for Requiem, his setting of the Latin Requiem mass which contains one of his best known compositions, Pie Jesu. He owns six London theatres including the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and the London Palladium. He was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 1992 and created an honorary member of the House of Lords in 1997. The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has become one of Britain’s leading charities supporting the arts and music.

Earlier this year Lonny Price directed Sweeney Todd, the first production in the ENO/GradeLinnit partnership. His other directing credits include the stage and film versions of the New York Philharmonic’s production of Sondheim’s Company as well as the Philharmonic’s Sondheim: The Birthday Concert! for which he received a 2011 Emmy Award and the Live from Lincoln Center broadcasts of Camelot, Candide and Sweeney Todd. He also directed the Emmy Award–winning production of Sondheim’s Passion starring Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald and Michael Cerveris which was broadcast on Live From Lincoln Center an-d he won an Emmy for his 2001 production of Sweeney Todd with the San Francisco Symphony. His Broadway credits include110 in the Shade, “Master Harold” … and the Boys, Sally Marr and Her Escorts (which he co-wrote with Joan Rivers and Erin Sanders), Urban Cowboy and A Class Act. His feature film, “Master Harold” … and the Boys, received the Best Director of a Feature Film award from the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. In addition he has directed episodes of ABC’s Desperate Housewives and CBS’s 2 Broke Girls.


Theatre: English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4ES
Dates: 1 April – 7 May 2016
Press night: 4 April 2016 at 7.30pm
Performances: Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm, Tuesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm
Prices: £12 – £105.00, plus booking fee (no booking fee in person at Box Office)
Box Office: 020 7845 9300


Theatre N16 Venue Change and Autumn Season Announcement

theatren16Following a successful and ambitious opening season in May 2015, Theatre N16 is returning – but it’s moved south, now residing at The Bedford Pub in Balham. This autumn season’s diverse and trailblazing programme is designed to bring its audience cutting-edge fringe performances of new writing, opera–play reductions, and lesser-known gems, spanning the genres of opera, theatre, and dance, and providing creative opportunities to those specialising in a wide variety of creative disciplines.

Theatre N16 has very quickly established itself as a force to be reckoned with” London Theatre 1

This adventurous autumnal foray, programmed to expand the classical genres of theatre and opera, explores the work of some of the all-time great writers, the current cultural vanguard, and the young talent that Theatre N16 is committed to supporting. Season highlights include a three-week world-premiere production of upcoming novelist and poet Kiran Milwood Hargave’s Boat, directed by Jermyn Street Theatre’s associate director, Max Barton, who is renowned for his work with Stephen Berkoff and Trevor Nunn. Theatre N16 will also present a two-week run of Stephen Thompson’s Spincycle. Thompson is celebrated for his writing credits on Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Upstairs Downstairs.

There’s a clear passion radiating from the venue’s artistic directors. You can sense they’re not just looking to programme the obvious commercial hits, there’s going to be an element of experimentation to follow – basically, taking a chance on new things.” Views From The Gods

Committed to the development of young artists, the theatre will also host a series of shorts nights, workshops, film screenings, and talks from leading industry professionals about the business of theatre. An initiative devised by Theatre N16’s co-artistic director Ella Marchment will be at the very heart of the autumn season’s cultural programme: combining her passion for both theatre and opera, she will be adapting Wagner’s Die Meistersinger and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin into plays, which will feature the music from the operas when dramatically appropriate, in order to create a more realistic genre of opera–theatre. Marchment is also the artistic director of Helios Collective and her productions have received five-star reviews from leading opera publications, including Opera Magazine.

“… it takes major league cojones to open a new theatre in the capital..” London Theatre 1

Theatre N16 is a trailblazing company founded by young people, for young people. It is London’s newest fringe venue, and its artistic directors and co-founders Jamie Eastlake and Ella Marchment are dedicated to creating a creative hub where new and existing works can be explored and pushed into new realms. They are proud of Theatre N16’s commitment to the welfare of creatives, operating without a hire fee for external companies. This promoting and nurturing of talent means that Theatre N16 is a bastion for development within the context of a society in which the arts are increasingly struggling to stay afloat.

• 14 September – 29 September
Theatre N16 present Simon Reade’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful and Luke Barnes’ Bottleneck
• 4 October – 8 October
Red Cape Black Cape presents A Fistful of Honey, Hell and Other People
• 11 October – 15 October
Theatre N16 presents an adaptation of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
• 19 October – 6 November
Strickland Productions presents Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s Boat
• 8 November – 19 November
The Canting Crew presents Stephen Thompson’s Spincycle
• 15 November
Goblin Baby presents The Princess Monologues
• 22 November – 26 November
Bigmouth Theatre Company and Fox Theatre present Superfans
• 29 November – 30 November
Dickinson, Woolf and Parker present Conversations Down the Line and No Offence Theatre presents Torn Apart
• 1 December – 3 December
Secret Opera presents Dorothy
• 6 December – 17 December
Theatre N16 presents an adaptation of Pushkin and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin

Theatre N16, The Bedford Pub, 77 Bedford Hill, London SW12 9HD
Travel: Balham station (2 min walk), Streatham Hill station (20 min walk) / +44 7969138899


The Rat Pack Live returns To The Arts Theatre

rat-pack-liveFor the second year running, Hartshorn – Hook Productions brings its signature Edinburgh Festival sell-out show The Rat Pack – Live to the Arts Theatre for a stunning night of 1950s glitz and glamour.

Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back, 100 years after his birth, so come and revel in the world of Frank, Dean and Sammy live at the Arts as their legendary recordings are brought to life on stage in the most sophisticated evening of razor-sharp wit and silky-smooth swing you’ll see all year.

The evening will feature a full throwback to 60s Las Vegas, with a black tie dress code, red carpet entrance and happy hour cocktails at the world-famous Covent Garden Cocktail Club. At 8.30pm, a 60-minute celebration of the Rat Pack’s music will perform in London’s most intimate West End theatre followed by a live jazz band that will blast the night away in the bar after the show. This isn’t just a quick hour at the theatre, it’s a full night’s experience as we celebrate the golden years of popular swing and jazz.

Having bid farewell to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2014, Hartshorn – Hook’s The Rat Pack – Live has been an annual highlight in the festival calendar, and last year had its biggest and best production yet. For the finale, producers Louis Hartshorn and Brian Hook gathered the creme-de-la-creme of performers from years gone by, as well as some new faces, with the greatest band the show has ever seen.

Since the creation of The Rat Pack – Live in 2007, Hartshorn – Hook have cemented themselves as producers of internationally successful theatre and events, producing over 50 shows at the Edinburgh Festival. As well as The Rat Pack and its sister show, A Tribute to the Blues Brothers – Live, H+H are known for American Idiot (West End Premiere, associate producer), Urinetown (associate producer) Away From Home (national and international tour), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (starring Julie Atherton and Simon Lipkin, 2015), Woody Sez, Some Small Love Story, Beulah and over 50 more productions around the UK.


Director: Lily Howkins
Musical Director: James Robert Ball
Lighting Design: Richard Williamson
Producers: Louis Hartshorn and Brain Hook
Assistant Producers: Crystal Noll and Paul Vrides
Gala Night: Monday 19th October 2015, doors 7pm, performance 8.30pm
The Arts Theatre


Hangmen Review

Royal Court 10th September – 10th October.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick


It’s been ten years since Martin McDonagh’s last UK play – but it was well worth the wait.

Hangmen is full of the black humour and deft dialogue that makes McDonagh’s work so memorable, and is performed with relish by the wonderful cast.

The play begins with a hanging. It is 1963 and a young man dies protesting his innocence. This opening scene is brutally funny and shocking, but ends with something near a meditation on the hangman’s noose.

The action then jumps to the second anniversary of this hanging  – the day that hanging is abolished. Harry Wade (David Morrissey) runs a pub in Oldham and is a big fish in a very small pond – more of a puddle really. He is surrounded by sycophantic drinkers angling for a free half and is goaded into giving an interview about his career as a hangman. A mysterious stranger (Johnny Flynn) comes to the pub and stirs up trouble, followed by a visit from Harry’s old assistant Sid (Reece Shearsmith), who was dismissed in disgrace. When Harry’s daughter Shirley (Bronwyn James) disappears, the men fear the worst.

David Morrissey is full of swagger and ridiculous self importance as Harry. His petty jealousy and competition with Pierrepoint – the number one hangman – descends into playground insults. Morrissey masterfully portrays the insecurity of the man and strips away the bravado to show moments of a father’s helpless despair.

When Shearsmith is on stage, you cannot keep your eyes off him. This is a finely nuanced performance – every gesture and glance is relevant and usually very, very funny.

Flynn is enigmatic and menacing as the stranger Mooney. He has many long, almost stream of consciousness speeches, and changes tone and mood in an instant mid sentence. Very unsettling. His scenes with the female cast members are deliciously uncomfortable, and he delivers McDonagh’s fantastic insults about the North with a biting malice.

The whole cast give superb performances, with impeccable timing and rapport. Ralph Ineson is at his laconic best as Inspector Fry, who would much rather be nursing a pint than solving a crime, and Simon Rouse is hysterical as Arthur, the old man in the pub who needs everything repeated before he gives his own scathing opinions.

The sets are brilliantly atmospheric – I expected Fletch and Godber to walk into the prison cell, and you can almost smell the stale beer in the pub.

You may feel a little smug at the interval, thinking that you have worked out exactly what is going on, but that certainty is demolished within the first two minutes of the second act. McDonagh cleverly leaves Harry and Sid to sum up what has actually happened, or not happened, in their own bluff way at the end of the play as they consider guilt, innocence and justice.

Hangmen is a darkly funny, twisting and twisted tale by a master of the genre. Go and see it!

Strictly Come Dancing Live returns to Sheffield Arena for a fab-u-lous ninth year








BBC One’s popular entertainment show Strictly Come Dancing returns to TV screens this month for an exciting new series, featuring another amazing line up of famous faces from the worlds of show business, music, sport and television.

Tickets for the 2016 Strictly Come Dancing Live UK Tour, which stops off at Sheffield Arena Tuesday 26th & Wednesday 27th January 2016 will go on general sale from 9am on Monday 28th  September 2015.

Tickets purchased by telephone on 0114 256 5656 or online at are priced £38.50 – £71.50 (including booking fee).

Tickets purchased in person at the Arena Box Office are priced £36.75 – £68.25 (including booking fee).

Judges from the TV series Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli, will be back together again as they are reunited for the 2016 dates! Craig Revel Horwood will also direct the tour for the sixth year in a row. With all of the showbiz sparkle, breathtaking choreography and incredible live music that Strictly is famous for, audiences can experience everything that they love about the TV show live on stage.

Head Judge Len Goodman said: “It’s going to be great to be back on the tour watching some of the best dancers from the TV series out on the road. I can’t wait to find out who will be joining Craig, Bruno and myself – it’s going to be a lot of fun! We’ll be pulling out all the stops, with a terrific line up of celebs and their dance partners.”

Bruno Tonioli said: “It’s going to be fantastico! Who would believe that we’re on to our thirteenth series of Strictly and our ninth live UK tour? I can’t wait to see all those beautiful people in the arenas and all the passion on the dance floor.”

Craig Revel Horwood added: “I am very pleased to have my fellow amigos Len and Bruno back on tour with me! I’m extremely excited to be directing the show again and have lots of new surprises up my sleeve. It’s going to be another fab-u-lous extravaganza for the whole family to enjoy.”

This super-sized spectacular arena tour features many of the celebrities and professional dancers from the hugely anticipated thirteenth series, as they take to the dance floor and recreate their most popular TV dance routines. Details of celebrities and professional dancers appearing on tour will be announced over the next few months.

As with the television show, the judges will provide their invaluable wisdom, advice and scores at each performance. But not only are the celebrities and their dance partners competing for the judges’ scores, they will also be battling to win votes from the arena audiences, who can text vote via their mobile phones and ultimately have the power to decide who wins the prized Glitterball Trophy at the end of each performance.

The 30 show spectacular will visit the biggest entertainment venues across the UK including Sheffield Arena.

The tour has received rave reviews since it began in 2008 and the 2015 shows were no exception. The Daily Telegraph heaped praise on the production and gave it a 4 star review, saying: “the infectious atmosphere is hard to resist, proving that a dash of Strictly magic does a lot of good”.  The Daily Express and Sunday Express agreed, both awarding glowing 4 star reviews. The Daily Mirror said: “A show full of spectacle, with a great live band and singers”, while Metro said: “The perfect tonic for those winter blues, the live show features all the best elements from the TV series”.

Last December an audience of over 11 million viewers tuned in to watch the nail-biting Strictly Come Dancing Grand Final on BBC One, when TV presenter Caroline Flack was crowned the winner with her professional dance partner Pasha Kovalev.  The television format,  internationally known as Dancing with the Stars, is one of the most successful TV formats ever created and has been sold into over 50 countries around the world.

What the critics said about Strictly Come Dancing The Live Tour:

“Strictly magic”


January 2015

“A great night out”


January 2015

“The contestants rock their frocks to the max”


January 2015



January 2015

“A show full of spectacle”


January 2015



January 2014

“If you’re beset by the mid-winter blues, you just need to lose yourself

in Strictly’s stylishly choreographed wonderland”


January 2014

“Pure Strictly magic, and as good as it gets”


January 2013

STRICTLY COME DANCING THE LIVE TOUR is produced by Stage Entertainment and Phil McIntyre Entertainments, in association with BBC Worldwide.

Tickets for the Sheffield Arena dates go on general sale at 9am on Monday 28th September, in person at the Arena Box Office, by telephone on 0114 256 5656 or online at







 Laetitia Lawrence STOMP London credit Steve McNicholas (2)

As part of STOMP’s continuing 13th Birthday celebrations in London’s West End, the show’s producers have invited Mousetrap Theatre Projects to organise a special free schools’ matinee for 13 year-olds on Monday 12 October at the Ambassadors Theatre.  The performance will begin at 2.00pm, followed by a Q&A with the cast.


Steve McNicholas, co-creator of STOMP, said, “we wanted to find a different way to celebrate 13 years in the West End, and what could be better than opening our doors to other 13 year old Londoners?”


Mousetrap has invited groups of 13 year-olds from state-maintained mainstream schools with 40% or more of their pupils receiving free school meals to attend the free matinee.  They have also invited 13 year-olds from schools who have previously not participated in a Mousetrap theatre trip.


STOMP won the ‘Most Dazzling Choreography’ Award at this year’s Mousetrap Awards, which are the only theatre awards voted for by young people, who also create the categories.


Since 1997, Mousetrap Theatre Projects has been committed to providing opportunities for disadvantaged young people and young people with special needs to attend outstanding theatre productions across London.  Last year, Mousetrap took more than 16,000 young people to the theatre. The charity identifies young people through London state secondary schools (mainstream and special), families and youth clubs.  It now runs 18 access, creative learning and youth engagement programmes to further an interest in theatre and make it more accessible for young people who would otherwise not have the opportunity to attend theatre.


“Mousetrap Theatre Projects is thrilled to offer free tickets to the fantastic production of STOMP to 13 year olds in schools across London to celebrate the show’s 13th birthday.  We have used this opportunity to reach out to schools in some of London’s most disadvantaged communities as well as schools that have never accessed our programmes.  We feel this is the ideal show for this age group and will be a wonderful and memorable first theatre experience for these students,” said Susan Whiddington, Director of Mousetrap Theatre Projects.


A teacher at Mayfield School, Dagenham, Essex said, “Once I was forwarded the email from the head of faculty, there was no choice but to apply.  It was far too good of an opportunity to pass up.  I think it is so important for our students to get the opportunity to see live stage performances as many have never experienced this.  Especially a show as unique as STOMP.  For the show to be free for the students is amazing.  On behalf of the students and staff of Mayfield School I would like to say a big THANK YOU!”


STOMP, created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas was first performed in 1991 in Edinburgh.  The show played Sadler’s Wells Theatre in 1994 and won the Olivier Award for Best Choreography, before opening in New York, where it is now celebrating its 21st birthday.  The European company was created in 1997 and began its London run at the Vaudeville Theatre in 2002, transferring to the Ambassadors Theatre in 2007.


One of Britain’s greatest exports, STOMP has toured the globe for 22 years, playing over 20 thousand performances to more than 12 million people in 53 countries on 6 continents.  There are currently four STOMP companies performing worldwide: one on tour in North America, another throughout Europe and the rest of the world, one in New York, and one in London.


The cast of STOMP in London currently includes Omari Carter, Nigel Clarke, Simone Clarke, Hugo Cortes, Paul Gunter, Melanie Joseph, James Lane, Laetitia Lawrence, Serena Morgan, Paul Bend, Rob Shaw, Adam Buckley, Meloné M’Kenzy, Andrew Patrick, Paul Russell, Jasper Valentine and Simeon Weedall.  


STOMP is presented in London by Yes/No Productions and Glynis Henderson Productions Limited.



Ambassadors Theatre

West Street

London WC2H 9ND


Box Office: 08448 112 334


Tickets: £26 to £52.50 + a £2.50 transaction fee


Performances: Monday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 6pm, with matinees Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 3pm*

*Extra Performances:  Wednesday 17 February 2016 3pm & 8pm, Wednesday 30 March 2016 3pm & 8pm, Wednesday 6 April 2016 3pm & 8pm, Wednesday 1 June 2016 3pm & 8pm


Christmas 2015/16 Performance Schedule


Monday 21 December                             8.00pm

Tuesday 22 December                            NO PERFORMANCE

Wednesday 23 December                       3.00pm and 8.00pm

Thursday 24 December                           3.00pm

Friday 25 December                                NO PERFORMANCE

Saturday 26 December                            3.00pm and 8.00pm

Sunday 27 December                              3.00pm and 6.00pm

Monday 28 December                             8.00pm

Tuesday 29 December                            8.00pm

Wednesday 30 December                       3.00pm and 8.00pm

Thursday 31 December                           3.00pm and 6.0pm

Friday 1 January                                     NO PERFORMANCE

Saturday 2 January                                 3.00pm and 8.00pm

Sunday 3 January                                   3.00pm and 6.00pm


Running Time: 100 minutes with no interval


Current Booking Period: 5 June 2016



Harlem Globetrotters, Sheffield Arena, Thursday 28th April 2016



Celebrating 90 years of providing smiles, sportsmanship and service to millions of people worldwide, the world famous Harlem Globetrotters, featuring some of the greatest athletes and entertainers on the planet, will bring their unrivalled family show to the United Kingdom for an 11-game tour in the spring of 2016 during their 90th anniversary world tour.

The Globetrotters will stop off in Sheffield for one night only on Thursday 28th April. Tickets go on general sale at 9am on Friday 25th September.

Tickets booked by phone on 0114 256 5656 or online at are priced £49.50, £31.35, £23.65 & £16.50 (including booking fee). Tickets booked in person at the Arena Box Office are priced £47.25, £29.94, £22.58 & £15.75 (including booking fee).

With a star-studded roster featuring Big Easy Lofton, Ant Atkinson, Hi-Lite Bruton, Thunder Law, Bull Bullard and Cheese Chisholm – plus female stars TNT Maddox and Sweet J Ekworomadu* – the Globetrotters’ one-of-a-kind show is unrivalled in the world of family entertainment. With incredible ball handling wizardry, rim-rattling dunks, trick shots, hilarious comedy and unequalled fan interaction, this must-see event is guaranteed to entertain the whole family.

Tickets for the Harlem Globetrotters Sheffield engagement go on sale at 9am on Friday 25th September, in person at the Arena Box Office, by phone on 0114 256 5656 or online at

Darlington Civic Theatre – La Traviata


Irina Bozhenko, Bolshoi Theatre soloist, is coming to Darlington Civic Theatre to perform in Verdi’s opera masterpiece La Traviata on Tuesday 6 October.

Irina Bozhenko, who has starred in operas across the globe, will be making a guest appearance in Darlington, in the leading role of Violetta.

Following the enthusiastic reception which greeted the performance of Rigoletto opera earlier this year, the renowned Russian State Ballet and Opera House is back with one of the greatest of Verdi’s operas La Traviata – a love story shrouded in sacrifice and misunderstanding.

This haunting tragedy, with its beautiful arias, will transport you into the entrancing world of French High Society in the 1850s. One of the most powerful and moving of all tragic operas, Giuseppe Verdi brings the beguiling splendour and gaiety of mid-19th century Parisian life to the stage. But there is also heartbreak and pathos in this tragic and resonant morality tale in which Violetta, a high-society courtesan with a heart of gold, sacrifices everything for the man she loves.

It is deservedly one of Verdi’s most popular operas and probably the one with which he felt the closest emotional connection.

La Traviata, an ultimately tragic tale, combines compelling characters with hugely powerful, moving and instantly recognisable melodies, making it still, 162 years after its 1853 debut, one of the most emotionally engaging and popular operas of all time. It is a deeply moving opera filled with emotion and strokes of genius.

Q&A with Irina Bozhenko, who has starred in operas across the globe, and will be making a guest appearances in the leading role of Violetta in Darlington.

  • bozhenko1How old were you when you realised that you wanted to be an Opera singer?

I used to sing in kinder garden and then in school where I was part of the school choir. I went through a stage of trying to be like Whitney Huston. Especially, I used to love singing when I did chores at home.

  • What do you do after a performance?

We have a tradition with the cast – After any premiere we get together to celebrate and discuss the performance. We are all together in it, rehearsals, stress, and performances, so it’s important to share the feelings with each other and get it out of your chest.

  • How do you separate work from home?

I never bring my work home. Although sometimes if I can’t get things right I moan to my husband. He is a good musician so he understands what I am talking about.

  • What do you like doing in your free time?

I like to cook and being outside. Nothing extraordinary. Being surrounded by nature calms me down. It’s important for me to switch off at the right moment. We give so much emotion on stage it’s vital to recharge.

  • If you could, what message will you give to the audience?

Don’t be shy to show your emotions, it is really important for us. At the end of the day we are singing for you!

La Traviata is at Darlington Civic Theatre on Tuesday 6 October. Tickets* are £29 to £36.

*All ticket prices include a £1 restoration levy.

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit


RELEASE DATE: For immediate release

PUBLIC INFORMATION: (01325) 486 555 or [email protected]


Julian Cound, Marketing Officer, 01325 405511 [email protected]