·         Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory and English Touring Theatre present a contemporary reimagining of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy
·         A modern retelling that focuses on anti-Muslim prejudice and ‘alternative facts’
·         Following a critically-acclaimed run at Bristol’s Tobacco Factory Theatres
·         16 May – 3 June, Wilton’s Music Hall
Wilton’s Music Hall is set to play host to one of Shakespeare’s most startlingly contemporary plays, Othello. A masterful depiction of a life torn apart by racism and the destructive nature of prejudice, this modern retelling takes the timeless tale of love, jealousy and injustice and reimagines it in the present day. Following on from a critically acclaimed run at the renowned Tobacco Factory Theatres in Bristol, Richard Twyman’s urgently relevant production comes to London for a limited run.
“Marvellous production of Othello – one of the best I have seen. It does not impose: it unlocks”
★★★★ The Observer Susannah Clapp

“Riveting…Abraham Popoola and Norah Lopez Holden are outstanding as the doomed lovers”
★★★★ The Guardian Lyn Gardner

“Articulate, dynamic and thrilling”
★★★★ The Stage Jeremy Brien
The tale of a Muslim general employed by a western colonial power to lead their army against Turkish invasion, the tragic play sees Othello face the difficulties of assimilating into a society riven by discrimination, fear and mistrust. Manipulated by Iago and his whispered mistruths, this begins to take its toll and his life quickly unravels as he turns on all he holds dear as paranoia and delusion take over.
This stellar cast includes two outstanding RADA graduates, Abraham Popoola and Norah Lopez Holden as the ‘electrifying’ fated lovers (★★★★, Female Arts) and Mark Lockyer who ‘plays the dance of nuance that haunts Iago with dazzling deftness’ (★★★★ The Arts Desk) with the ‘wonderful’ Katy Stephens as Emilia (★★★★, What’s On Stage).
Director Richard Twyman says “Othello is one of Shakespeare’s plays that speaks most directly to our world today. This production interrogates one of the burning tensions of our age, the fear of the ‘other’ and the perception that their identity may threaten our own.”

Dates: 16 May – 3 June
Times: 7:30pm and 2:30pm
Prices: £12.50 – £25
Box Office: 020 7702 2789

‘The Gap in the Light’ – Engineer Theatre put psychological horror on stage in brand new show

Engineer Theatre Collective presents…
·        2-27 May 2017, New Diorama Theatre
·        Brand new show for the producers of Missing & Run
·      Devising company Engineer Theatre Collective turn to psychological horror for latest production
Engineer Theatre Collective, who have turned heads and earned critical praise for bringing real-life issues to the stage in verbatim, Lecoq-influenced human dramas, will turn their attention to a brand new genre, psychological horror, with their latest production The Gap in the Light, which premieres at New Diorama in May.

The Gap in the Light tells the story of two climbers making a deep descent into somewhere they don’t belong. What they encounter in the dark feels real, but what they bring back with them, into the light, will change everything.

As we grapple with a changing world – divisive politics, unstoppable climate change, never ending wars – Engineer Theatre Collective explore what it is to be truly afraid. The Gap in the Light traces the nightmares that disturb the sleep of our modern world and asks, how far do we have to fall, and who will catch us when the rope snaps?

The show is the third production by Engineer Theatre Collective, whose burgeoning reputation is forged on the ability to bring rich imagination and human drama to seemingly heavy, esoteric real world topics, with 2013’s Missing looking into missing persons investigations and 2015’s Run exploring the world of financial sector internships.
The Gap in the Light is a different offering entirely, inspired by classic horror, the show will use a series of inventive production techniques to create a dense, claustrophobic atmosphere which will allow both performers and audience to really get to grips with the nature of fear.
Praise for Engineer Theatre Collective:
                         “a small but sparkling play” – The New Yorker on Run
“A potent piece by a promising company” – Time Out on Run
“Intelligent production with fine performances and its finger on the pulse” ✮✮✮✮
The Stage on Run
“Engineer’s Missing is an incredibly important piece of theatre at this year’s fringe… There’s something about knowing that the words and emotions on stage are real that heightens everything.” ✮✮✮✮✮ –The Skinny on Missing
New Diorama Theatre
15-16 Triton Street
Regent’s Place
London NW1 3BF
For the best tickets, book online at
To book by telephone, ring 020 7338 9034
THE GAP IN THE LIGHT – Engineer Theatre Collective                                    Tue 2 – Sat 27 May @ 19:30
£15.00; £12.50 Concessions







Following a sold-out UK tour in 2016, and a fast-selling limited season in the West End – currently playing until 13 May at the Arts Theatre –the producers of The Wipers Times are pleased to announce that the production will once again tour the UK this autumn.  It will open at the New Theatre Cardiff on 12 September 2017, and visit Oxford, Richmond, Southend, Guildford, Salisbury, Manchester, Cheltenham and Glasgow. Full tour dates at with casting to be announced.


Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s The Wipers Times – a stage adaptation of their award-winning BBC film – tells the true and extraordinary story of the satirical newspaper created in the mud and mayhem of the Somme, interspersed with comic sketches and spoofs from the vivid imagination of those on the front line.


Ian Hislop and Nick Newman said:

Following an amazing audience and critical reaction in the West End which was almost over the top, Wipers Times is on manoeuvres again around Britain. We look forward to sharing the remarkable trench humour of the Wipers Times with new theatre-goers around the country. We are delighted it is not Journey’s End but the tour will all be over by Christmas.


In a bombed out building during the First World War in the Belgian town of Ypres (mispronounced Wipers by British soldiers), two officers discover a printing press and create a newspaper for the troops.


Far from being a sombre journal about life in the trenches they produced a resolutely cheerful, subversive and very funny newspaper designed to lift the spirits of the men on the frontline.


Defying enemy bombardment, gas attacks and the disapproval of many of the top Brass, The Wipers Times rolled off the press for two years and was an extraordinary tribute to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming adversity.


The production originally launched one hundred years after the Battle of the Somme and publication of The Wipers Times.


The Wipers Times is directed by Caroline Leslie, designed by Dora Schweitzer, with lighting design by James Smith, sound design by Steve Mayo. The composer is Nick Green, and Musical Director Paul Herbert.




Tuesday 12 – Saturday 16 September                                                                    Cardiff New Theatre

Monday 18 – Saturday 23 September                                                                    Oxford Playhouse

Monday 25 – Saturday 30 September                                                                    Richmond Theatre

Monday 9 – Saturday 14 October                                                                          Palace Theatre, Southend-on-Sea

Monday 16 – Saturday 21 October                                                                        Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

Monday 23 – Saturday 28 October                                                                        Salisbury Playhouse

(Tickets on sale Saturday 13 May)

Tuesday 31 October – Saturday 4 November                                                        Manchester Opera House

Tuesday 7 – Saturday 11 November                                                                       Glasgow Theatre Royal

Monday 13 – Saturday 18 November                                                                    Cheltenham Everyman Theatre


Take That and David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers announce UK Tour of new musical THE BAND








David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and Take That have announced that the UK Tour of Tim Firth’s new musical, THE BAND, with the music of Take That,  will have a major UK Tour, beginning at Manchester Opera House on 8 September, with a national press night on Tuesday 26 September 2017.

The producers made the announcement yesterday, Sunday 2 April, on stage at the Manchester Apollo (where Take That first performed in 1992), following a rapturous reception to a rehearsed reading of the new musical in front of an audience of invited guests, from fans to friends.

Take That said, “We are incredibly proud and excited that our first production as theatre producers is THE BAND – a musical that we think will touch the hearts of not just our fans, but everyone.”

THE BAND is a new musical about what it’s like to grow up with a boyband.  For five 16 year-old friends in 1992, ‘the band’ is everything.  25 years on, we are reunited with the group of friends, now 40-something women, as they try once more to fulfil their dream of meeting their heroes.

The Band will be played by AJ Bentley, Nick Carsberg, Yazdan Qafouri Isfahani, Curtis T Johns and Sario Watanabe-Soloman, who, as Five to Five, won BBC’s Let It Shine.  Playing the parts of Rachel and Young Rachel will be Rachel Lumberg and Faye Christall respectively.  Further casting is to be announced.

THE BAND will be directed by Kim Gavin and Jack Ryder, designed by Jon Bausor and choreographed by Kim Gavin, with lighting design by Patrick Woodroffe, video design by Luke Halls and sound design by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster.

THE BAND will be produced by David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen, Robbie Williams.


Website –

Twitter – @TheBandMusical

Instagram – BandMusical

Facebook – /TheBandMusical



Manchester Opera House

8 September 2017 – 30 September 2017

Sheffield Lyceum Theatre

4 October 2017 – 14 October 2017

Bradford Alhambra Theatre

17 October 2017 – 28 October 2017

Southampton Mayflower Theatre

31 October 2017 – 11 November 2017

Llandudno Venue Cymru

14 November 2017 – 25 November 2017

Stoke Regent Theatre

28 November 2017 – 9 December 2017

Cardiff Wales Millennium Centre

9 January 2018 – 20 January 2018

Liverpool Empire Theatre

23 January 2018 – 3 February 2018

Norwich Theatre Royal

6 February 2018 – 17 February 2018

Canterbury Marlowe Theatre

20 February 2018 – 3 March 2018

Hull New Theatre

6 March 2018 – 17 March 2018

Leeds Grand Theatre

20 March 2018 – 31 March 2018

Newcastle Theatre Royal

3 April 2018 – 14 April 2018

Bristol Hippodrome

17 April 2018 – 28 April 2018

Birmingham Hippodrome

1 May 2018 – 12 May 2018

Plymouth Theatre Royal

15 May 2018 – 26 May 2018

Northampton Royal & Derngate

29 May 2018 – 9 June 2018

Nottingham Theatre Royal

12 June 2018 – 23 June 2018

Glasgow King’s Theatre

26 June 2018 – 7 July 2018

Edinburgh Playhouse

10 July 2018 – 14 July 2018

Oyster Boy Review

York Theatre Royal – 1 April 2017.  Reviewed by Marcus Richardson

Based on The Melancholy Death Of Oyster Boy, a novel written by Tim Burton, Haste Theatre decided to adapt the wacky story line to the stage. Through the use of devising they came out with an oddly sad but hilarious play

Now excuse me if my review is less than detailed, as there was no programme and I had to spend some time researching. The play was set in 1950s America, where dreams can come true for anyone.  It’s the bittersweet tale of ice cream sellers Jim and Alice who fall in love, on the beach. However, their lives are turned upside down by the arrival of their son Sam, born with an oyster shell shaped head!  The play explores the issues Sam faces growing up, we see before his birth and throughout his life. This was an amazing way to explore issues that are controversial as it takes away race and swaps it with something else.

The all female cast of 6 took an abstract approach to an abstract story.  4 of the women worked creating characters with a mainly comical setting; from two doctors who are on the incompetent side, to a pair of twins who becomes Sam’s friends they see through his condition and represent childhood purity.  The other actors played the parents of Sam, One who went to the USA from Italy to make a living and Sam’s mother a plain American gal.  At points the acting was very funny and made me laugh, but at other points it did feel rather flat, and I couldn’t hear some of them speak on stage especially when there was music playing.

I left the theatre very bewildered as its not something you see every day and it was hard to process. The style was very interesting to watch as it relied a lot on the actors with skills that you don’t always use in normal commercial theatre, I loved the story as it was a great way to explore the issues. If you can I would say go and see the show, as it’s important to expose yourself to the wacky and bizarre, and it was good to watch the set of actresses bring this story to life

Rehearsal images for Sasha Regan’s The Mikado

Regan De Wynter Williams Productions present

Sasha Regan’s all-male

The Mikado or The Town of Titipu

UK Tour: April – July 2017

Following the highly successful all-male tours of H.M.S. Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance, Sasha Regan returns with the world premiere of the irresistible The Mikado – one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most famous operettas.

In true topsy –turvy fashion, Gilbert and Sullivan’s inherent humour and timeless tunefulness are married with Regan’s wicked sense of fun. This vibrant production successfully pokes playful fun at British politics and institutions. The crazy storyline takes us to 1950s England where a school camping trip is visiting the far away land of Titipu – a place where flirting is banned on pain of death and where tailors can become Lord High Executioners but cannot cut off another’s head, until they have cut off their own!

Regan’s idea to transform these much-loved classics into all-male productions stems from her own experiences performing Gilbert and Sullivan at a single-sex school. Her shows are now renowned for playing on the humour that can emerge from these gender changes.

Regan comments, Nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing our work playing in some of the most beautiful theatres our country has to offer. 2017 is going to be a great year for us as we bring a brand new staging to our audiences – it’s beyond exciting.

Rollickingly silly, beautifully sung and imaginatively reframed (Libby Purves – H.M.S. Pinafore 2016

Sasha was recently awarded the Special Achievement Award at the Off West End Awards 2017 for her contribution to musical theatre.

Performance Dates

18th – 22nd April Theatre Royal, Bath Sawclose, Bath BA1 1ET

24th – 29th April Theatre Royal, Winchester Jewry Street, Winchester SO23

9th – 13th May Edinburgh Kings Theatre 2 Leven Street, Edinburgh EH3 9LQ

23rd – 27th May Richmond Theatre Little Green, Richmond TW9 1QJ

30th – 31st May East Riding Theatre 10 Lord Roberts Road, Beverley HU17 9BE

1st – 3rd June The Spa Bridlington South Marine Drive, Bridlington, YO15 3JH

6th- 10th June Exeter Northcott Theatre Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QB

13th – 17th June Theatre Royal, Brighton New Road, Brighton BN1 1SD

27th June – 1st July Cambridge Arts Theatre 6 St Edward’s Passage, Cambridge CB2 3PJ

4th – 8th July Malvern Festival Theatre Grange Rd, Malvern WR14 3HB

13th – 15th July Hall For Cornwall Back Quay, Truro TR1 2LL

17th – 19th July Dorking Halls Reigate Rd, Dorking RH4 1SG

20th – 22nd July Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8FT

25th – 29th July Quays Theatre , Lowry Salford The Lowry, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ

Chinglish Review

Park Theatre 22 March – 22 April.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

The European premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish at the Park theatre is a fast and funny comedy of misunderstandings and misinterpretation.

Guiyang city is building a new cultural centre, and American businessman Daniel (Gyuri Sarossy) is bidding for the contract to provide the signs. Unfortunately, doing business in China is slightly more complicated than in the states; as explained by British consultant Peter (Duncan Harte) it’s all about the guanxi – relationships. The cultural and linguistic differences are explored with sharp wit and the foibles and hypocrisy on both sides are exploited beautifully. The legendary labyrinthine dealings of Chinese business and politics leave Daniel, and the audience, giggling in exasperation and amusement.

Beginning with a presentation of some of the best examples of Chinglish signs from the internet, and explanations of the misinterpretations (it’s all Chairman Mao’s fault apparently), the bilingual production shows Daniel’s various meetings with Ministers and magistrates. These are a full-on laugh-fest of botched translations by wonderfully over the top translators (Siu-see Hung, Windson Liong and Minhee Yeo) providing lines that range between the deadpan overly literal to sexual innuendo as the actual translations are displayed on stage. Minister Cai, a put-upon old-school official (Lobo Chan – in a hysterical performance) and Vice-Minister Xi Yan (Candy Ma) both have their own agendas, and Daniel is caught in the middle. When Daniel and Xi begin an affair, things become more complicated, and more personal.

Candy Ma is fantastic as Xi, making her a strong, modern woman who is trapped by the expectations and obligations of tradition. Her attempts to explain what the bonds of marriage mean in China, and her quiet moments pondering whether she is any different from her grandmother with her bound feet and arranged marriage are very moving. Duncan Harte is impressive in both languages as the lost and slightly manic Englishman seeking a role in a more accessible China now that he “isn’t even that tall anymore”, and Gyuri Sarossy’s Daniel is a sweetly befuddled not-so-innocent abroad.

Director Andrew Keates keeps things tight and fast-paced, thanks in a large part to Tim McQuillen-Wright’s brilliantly multi-functional set. A wall of wooden blocks is transformed into bars, board rooms and hotel rooms by the cast with slick movement and creative lighting – inspired.

Chinglish is a triumph – written, directed and performed with exquisite skill, and most importantly, very, very funny.

Echoes End Review

Salisbury Playhouse – 31 March 2017.  Reviewed by Joanne Gordon 

Echoes End, written by Barney Norris, is the story of love, war and change.  Set on a farm in rural Salisbury Plain between 1914-1918, the sleepy, quiet villages are infiltrated with the arrival of thousands of servicemen when camps are set up to accommodate those waiting to deploy to the trenches of the First World War. Two families work the land, Arnold (David Beames) and his daughter Anna (Katie Moore) along with his old friend Jasper (Robin Soans) and Margaret (Sadie Shimmin) with her son John (Tom Byrne). That’s the way its always been for generations, the Plain is vast with swathes of green hills, rivers and sunsets that take your breath away.

It has always been presumed that John and Anna would wed and bring up their family on the Plain just how they were.  As the war continues the landscape changes, with the rolling hills now covered in thousands of tents, field hospitals and a new railway cutting through the land.  After declaring his love and intentions to Anna, who declined his advances – feeling she did not know how to love him back, and that there is a bigger world out there for her than just the farm, John volunteered to join the Army to fight for his country.

As Farm life continued, an injured ANZAC soldier named Jack Howard (Oliver Hembrough) from the camp arrives to sell black-market goods to Arnold.  He helps Anna start up a fire and the spark of friendship begins. Within days, John gets notice of deployment and comes to say his goodbyes to his distraught mother and Anna.  When John heads back down to camp there’s a beautiful moment where they “cuckoo” to each other till they can no longer hear it like they used to when they were children, to make sure the other was safe walking down the lanes back home. Time carries forward and Anna’s relationship with Jack blooms, much to the disdain of her Father.  Jack, now healed has to head to France to continue his war and once again Anna, despite loving him deeply treats him in a cold manner and lets him leave without telling him her true feelings.  She confides in old Jasper, as her father is seriously ill,  that she is carrying Jacks child and feels he probably had a right to know but it’s now too late.

John returns home a changed man after suffering a serious injury and struggles to adjust back into farm life, angry with his mother for not telling him of Anna’s pregnancy and her relationship with Jack.  He withdraws from their friendship, and they no longer speak.  Anna’s father dies and the farm goes back to the Lord of the Manor.  As she leaves the farm she sees John in the field, explaining how she is moving 30 miles away to live with a woman who will support her with the baby and gain employment, they stand and watch one last sunset together regretting how long they have left it to speak and that they will always have a love for each other.

The set was stunning, with tall trees, rolling grasses and a rippling river side.  Lighting gave the sense of red sunsets and long summer days.  Living local, I enjoyed references of nearby places meaning I could place myself in the middle of its setting. One to see if you enjoy local, social history with a humanistic element.

Gabriel Review

Richmond Theatre 28 March – 1 April, National tour until May.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

1943, and for two and a half years the German occupation of Guernsey has seen the women doing what they can to protect their families and homes. For Jeanne Becquet (Belinda Lang) that has meant sleeping with the commanding officer while he turns a blind eye to her black-market activities and allowing her family to live in peace. All this changes when a new officer takes command. The Becquets are moved out of their comfortable home into a farmhouse and Von Pfunz (Paul McGann) sets his sights on Jeanne as her daughter Estelle (Venice Van Someren) wages a supernatural campaign against the invaders in her home. The discovery of a young man on the beach creates conflict and danger for the Becquets as they secretly nurse him back to health. He has no memories and switches between English and German in conversation. Convinced he is an angel, Estelle names him Gabriel, but the adults’ attitudes are more suspicious – is he a downed RAF pilot, an SS officer, an escaped slave worker or a Guernsey local?

Carla Goodman’s inspired set adds to the biblical metaphors, with Gabriel hidden above the kitchen in an elevated attic room, and constant references to the men tunnelling under the house – the slave workers in a living hell, accompanied constantly by the sound of waves hitting the cliffs beneath the farmhouse.

After a mystical opening scene, with Estelle conjuring an enchantment, the play’s light-hearted tone is abruptly squashed as Von Pfunz, after allowing Jeanne to insult him and spill many personal secrets all evening by playing dumb, reveals his perfect English. The childish enthusiasm he displays for Jeanne’s honesty and his passion for poetry do nothing to hide the clinical brutality of his beliefs, and McGann nails his almost scientific zeal for purity in Europe. McGann gives a masterclass in evil hiding behind civility – charming and erudite, but snapping into Nazi rhetoric in the blink of an eye. Belinda Lang is fantastic as Jeanne – she has most of the best lines, and can play arrogant sarcasm in her sleep. But here she must gradually strip away the veneer of strength to show the frightened and desperate woman willing to do anything to protect her family. The pain and shame she feels as she makes her choices in the play’s climatic scenes are palpable.

Robin Morrissey as Gabriel is haunting and strangely charismatic as the blank Gabriel, and his scenes with Lily (a passionate Sarah Schoenbeck) and Estelle are very moving, as the three cling to each other in their search for a family and stability. Venice van Someren makes Estelle a convincing adolescent, funny and frustrating, with just the right amount of Bonnie Langford style histrionics to be sweet rather than annoying. Jules Melvin’s performance as housekeeper Mrs Lake is subtle and fun. Her sighs and comments as she watches the Becquets and their antics are a joy, as is the strength of all the female characters.

Director Kate McGregor has created a wonderfully tight and evocative production. The questions about how educated people could embrace Nazi ideals are still puzzling and relevant in today’s political climate, and Moira Buffini’s wise and witty writing is thought provoking without preaching. Gabriel’s illness is described as “something growing in your head” and the word cancer isn’t mentioned, until Von Pfunz, in the middle of a seemingly charming and rational speech, describes Lily a Jew, as the cancer in Jeanne’s house, drawing gasps from the audience.

Gabriel is still entertaining and full of tension and shocks after 20 years. This UK touring production is a gem, if it’s coming to a theatre near you, get a ticket now. And if it’s not, buy a ticket anyway – it’s worth the journey.

UK Tour Schedule

28 March – 1 April Richmond Theatre

4 – 8 April Liverpool Playhouse

18 – 22 April Theatre Clwyd

24 – 29 April Theatre Royal Windsor

15 – 20 May Yvonne Arnaud Guildford

The Poetry Of Exile Review

White Bear Theatre, 28 March – 22 April.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

Peter Hamilton’s new play is a tale of two halves. The first act is knockabout hilarity as the story of Rob, a Romford driving instructor who’s never had a student pass their test, and his wife Lynn’s desperate quest for a baby unfolds. Rob’s unwillingness to have a sperm test leads Lynn’s sister, whose aspirations to become a vintner see her drinking more wine than one vineyard could ever produce, to suggest an unusual and quite Gallic solution – Lynn should have sex with Josie’s husband and Rob need never know. Meanwhile Rob ‘s poetic pretensions, previously limited to Facebook and Twitter, are finally given voice when he meets Mary-Jane, a student of Chinese poetry, and his desire to be a Chinese wilderness poet of the Tang dynasty becomes more urgent as real life begins to fall apart.

Rob’s quirks mean he is constantly looking for peace and solitude, “To break away from the thousand ties of life” like his hero Bai Juyi, and provide some fantastic moments as he makes deadpan pronouncements to bemused onlookers and tries to explain his thinking to his wife. Rob’s reaction to Lynn’s pregnancy – “I’m devastated with joy” is hysterical and heart-breaking – Hamilton at his best. After the pregnancy bombshell, the second act shows Rob withdrawing selfishly into his life as a poet, and the play’s narrative basically stops, becoming more navel gazing and fragments of mental breakdown – still funny, but should have been heavily edited. The final scenes bring satisfying closure for the main characters, and an uplifting ending for Rob.

Hamilton’s script is packed full of sharp one-liners, and the whole cast give wonderful performances, full of energy and humour. Jemma Burgess (Lynn) and Richard Fish (Greg)’s sex scene is gloriously absurd, and Josie Ayers flips between the insane voices of Rob’s Facebook friends with consummate ease and skill. Carla Freeman gives Josie a wonderfully haunted air of sadness and disappointment under the bravado. Rob is a brilliant creation – with Charles Sandford’s inspired performance making you want to hug him and slap him in equal measure. Watching a grown man watching bubbles float about should not be this entertaining, but Sandford’s pure childlike fascination and wonder is a joy to behold. As is his hysterical sperm test appointment; awkwardness and bizarre physical contortions make this an unforgettable scene. The interaction between Sandford and Evelyn Craven as his student are beautifully judged. Craven’s lovelorn looks completely lost on Rob, until a gesture from Rob that brought gasps from some members of the audience – that’s how real these characters feel, even in such a knowingly absurd plot.

Although it gets a little lost in the second act, The Poetry Of Exile is a funny, bittersweet night of bubbles, poetry, wine and Twitter abuse that is well worth a look.