Young members of Sheffield People’s Theatre take part in a national celebration of theatre when they join local schools and youth theatre groups performing new plays from emerging playwrights as part of the National Theatre Connections Festival 2017 at the Crucible Studio Theatre Monday 27 March – Saturday 1 April.

Sheffield Theatres’ Assistant Director George Richmond-Scott leads a team of twelve young Sheffield People’s Theatre members in universal coming of age story Musical Differences on Monday 27 March. Written by co-creator of BBC’s Cuckoo Robin French, the play explores impossible love affairs and brutal school politics, and uncovers the price we are willing to pay for success.

Other organisations involved in the festival are West Yorkshire Drama Academy, The King’s School, Hinde House School, Rotherham College, Unlimited Theatre, Something Wicked This Way Comes (Talbot Specialist School), Flame Theatre Company, Yew Tree Youth Theatre, CAPA College, Castleford Academy and First Floor.

Connections is the National Theatre’s annual festival of new plays for youth theatres and schools. It gives young people experience of professional theatre-making which mirrors that of a company producing a new play. Sheffield Theatres will be showing nine plays from emerging playwrights, including Sheffield based Tim Etchells, which will be performed by twelve local schools and groups.

Emily Hutchinson, Creative Projects Manager at Sheffield Theatres commented: ‘We’re thrilled to be working with such talented and enthusiastic young people as part of the National Theatre Connections Festival once again. The Connections Festival is a brilliant way to get the younger generation involved in the arts, and that’s something we are really passionate about at Sheffield Theatres. Some of our young members have grown up performing with Sheffield People’s Theatre and it’s a real privilege to be part of their journey.’ 

Tickets for the National Theatre Connections Festival are on sale now from Sheffield Theatres’ Box Office, priced at £6.00 a night. Call 0114 249 6000 or visit to book.

Discover the “real” Egypt in Egyptian Extravaganza in May

Egyptian Extravaganza

May 10th – 13th 2017, COLAB Factory

Discover the “real” Egypt in Egyptian Extravaganza, a comical and thought-provoking immersive cabaret-inspired theatre performance, where roaming characters invite you to explore the impact the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb had on everything from fashion and film to music and dance in the West. Come to a night of new old fashioned intrigue and entertainment, as you are or dressed up to the nines in your best Egyptian finery, but do hold onto your jewellery – you never know what might lurk in the shadows…

What happens when you disturb the tomb of a notorious pharaoh? The world goes totally Tut mad! Travel back in time to 1920s Egypt, where King Tut engages archaeologists in a battle of wit and witticisms over what is the ‘real’ Egypt. In this immersive cabaret-esque show, the audience are invited to participate in a comical argument set between King Tut and the archaeologists who discovered his tomb while they encounter and explore real accounts (and not so real) from 1920s-50s Egypt.

Egyptian Extravaganza explores the concepts of cultural appropriation and its supposed antithesis – authenticity. The show is designed to use iconic imagery and specific histories to create a narrative that explores these famous characters, whilst also challenging how the West portrays and romanticises Egypt – looking at “Tut-mania” from the perspective of authentic Egyptian culture and the appropriated inspiration it gave to everything from Hollywood films to fashion for multiple decades.

Producer Soha Khan worked in Saudi Arabia with the King Abuldaziz Centre for World Culture, where she programmed performances and produced art projects. She worked as a production assistant with the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain on the Commonwealth Games, and is working with Les Enfants Terribles, Seabright Productions and Complicite. She is also Associate Producer for The Quentin Dentin Show, coming to the Tristan Bates Theatre. Director Rosalind Othen trained at Rose Bruford College and her credits include NEWtopia with No Brand Collective and Reluctant Authority at Brink Festival 2016. Designer Katie Melton is currently pursuing her MFA at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. In addition to design, she also directs and performs. Recently, she assistant directed Love’s Labours Lost and The Tempest with Trinity Shakespeare Festival in Fort Worth, Texas.

Full casting announced for FOOTLOOSE UK Tour and limited West End season









Full casting is announced today for Footloose: The Musical, which returns next month following a smash-hit 2016 tour. Opening at New Wimbledon Theatre on Friday 21 April, the tour will include a strictly limited West End season at The Peacock, playing for three weeks from Tuesday 12 September 2017.  Full tour schedule attached.


Joshua Dowen will play Ren McCormack, the role immortalised on screen by Kevin Bacon. Joshua’s stage credits include Dogfight at Southwark Playhouse, Cool Rider at the Duchess Theatre and All or Nothing at the Vaults Festival.

The cast also features Hannah Price (reprising her performance from the 2016 tour) as Ariel Moore, Reuven Gershon (Let It Be, West End and Broadway) as Reverend Shaw, Lindsay Goodhand (Crazy For You,Watermill Theatre) as Ethel McCormack, Laura Sillett (Grease, International Tour) as Rusty, Connor Going(The Pirates of Penzance, Sh*tfaced Shakesepare) as Chuck, Emma Fraser (The Vaudevillians, Les Enfants Terribles) as Wendy Jo, Gracie Lai (Avenue Q, UK Tour) as Urleen, Tomas Wolstenhome (Once, West End) as Bickle, Dominic Gee Burch as Jeter and Alex Marshall (Buddy, UK Tour) as Wes. The cast also includesLuke Dowling, Grace Lancaster, Laurence Libor, Jamie Ross and Lauren Storer.

They join the previously announced Gareth Gates as Willard and Maureen Nolan as Vi Moore.


Based on the 1984 screen sensation starring Kevin Bacon, Footloose: The Musical tells the story of city boy Ren, who has to move to a rural backwater in America where dancing is banned. All hell breaks out as Ren breaks loose and soon has the whole town up on its feet. Featuring classic 80s hits including Holding Out for a Hero, Almost Paradise, Let’s Hear it for the Boy and the unforgettable title track, Footloose: The Musical is set to take the world by storm once again, bursting with youthful spirit, dazzling dance and electrifying music.


When the film was released in 1984, it became the highest-grossing February release in US film history.  The soundtrack album ended the year-long reign of Michael Jackson’s Thriller at number one and went on to top album charts all over the world, eventually selling in excess of 17 million copies.  Footloose was nominated for a Golden Globe, and both the title song and Let’s Hear It for the Boy received Academy Award nominations.Footloose: The Musical first opened on Broadway in 1998 where it ran for 709 performances, with a London production following in 2006.


Gareth Gates rose to fame through the inaugural series of Pop Idol in 2001, going on to sell over 5 million records worldwide and have hits across the globe. His version of Unchained Melody sold over a million copies in the UK and is the 3rd best-selling single of the Noughties. Gareth is also the youngest ever-male solo artist to debut at number 1.  More recently Gareth has enjoyed a successful career on stage, with credits including Les Misérables, Legally Blonde and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. In 2014 Gareth appeared in the final series of Dancing on Ice, and joined boyband 5th Story as part of ITV’s second series of The Big Reunion, touring arenas with bands including Blue and Five.

Gareth will not appear in Wimbledon and Chester.

Maureen Nolan has been singing with her sisters since she was nine years old, when they became one of Europe’s first girl bands, The Nolans. Best known for their smash hit single I’m in the Mood for Dancing, The Nolans enjoyed phenomenal record sales worldwide, and worked with some of the world’s most respected artists including Frank Sinatra. On stage, Maureen has played Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers in the West End and on tour to critical acclaim. She was the fourth Nolan sister to play the role, earning them entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. Other credits include Sadie in Girl’s Behind, Jill in Mum’s the Word and Sarah in The Naked Truth.


Footloose: The Musical has music by Tom Snow and lyrics by Dean Pitchford, and is adapted for the stage by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie. It is based on the original screenplay by Dean Pitchford. It is directed by Racky Plews (American Idiot, West End) with choreography by Matthew Cole, design by Sara Perks and musical supervision by Mark Crossland. It is produced by David Hutchinson and Phillip Rowntree for Selladoor Productions, Tristan Baker and Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment, Jason Haigh-Ellery and Stephen McGill Productions. It is presented by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe.



2017 UK TOUR

Friday 21 – Saturday 22 April 2017


Box Office | 020 8545 7900

Gareth Gates will not appear in Wimbledon

Tuesday 2 – Saturday 6 May 2017


Box Office | 0844 871 3024

Monday 8 – Saturday 13 May 2017


Box Office | 01494 512 000

Monday 15 – Saturday 20 May 2017


Box Office | 0844 871 7651

Monday 22 – Saturday 27 May 2017


Box Office | 01708 443333

Tuesday 30 May – Saturday 3 June 2017


Box Office | 01298 72190

Monday 5 – Saturday 10 June 2017


Box Office | 01492 872000

Tuesday 13 – Saturday 17 June 2017


Box Office | 024 7655 3055

Monday 19 – Saturday 25 June 2017


Box Office | 01792 475715


Monday 10 – Saturday 15 July 2017


Box Office | 0844 7701 797

Wednesday 19 – Saturday 22 July 2017


Box Office | 020 3285 6000

Wednesday 26 July – Sunday 6 August 2017



Monday 7 – Saturday 12 August 2017


Box Office | 01772 80 44 44


Tuesday 15 – Saturday 19 August 2017


Box Office | 01323 412 000

Monday 21 – Saturday 26 August 2017


Box Office | 01268 465 465


Tuesday 5 – Saturday 9 September 2017


Box Office | 0845 241 7868 

Gareth Gates will not appear in Chester

Tuesday 12 – Saturday 30 September 2017


Press Night: Wednesday 13 September

Performances Tue-Sat 7.30pm, Sat 2.30pm, Sun 4.00pm

Box Office | 020 7863 8222

Tom Molineaux

The Jack Studio Theatre presents

Tom Molineaux a new play by Tom Green

Wednesday 24 May to Saturday 3 June 2017 Press Night | Thursday 25 May | 7.45pm

As part of a national tour, the Jack Studio Theatre presents the UK premiere of Tom Molineaux.

Born a slave, Tom Molineaux boxes his way to freedom. In 1810 he arrives in London where his flamboyant style wins him fame, and the friendship of prizefight writer Pierce Egan.

Molineaux battles against poverty and prejudice to win the right to face the great English champion Tom Cribb. Huge crowds gather to watch. Can the American overcome the odds to win? And what will it mean if a freed slave becomes the champion in a sport that has come to define the national character? Based on an extraordinary true story, Tom Molineaux charts the rise and fall of one of the greatest heroes of bare knuckle boxing

Written by Offie nominated playwright Tom Green (Being Tommy Cooper), directed by Kate Bannister, and produced by the same team behind ★★★★★Hound of the Baskervilles, Mystery of Irma Vep and Shipwrecked.

Listings Information

Venue: Brockley Jack Studio Theatre

410 Brockley Road, London, SE4 2DH

Box office:

or 0333 666 3366 (£1.50 fee for phone bookings only)

Dates: Wednesday 24 May to Saturday 3 June 2017

Performances Weds – Sat only at 7.45pm

Tickets: £15, £12 concessions Theatre website:

Tour Dates and info:


Sunday for Sammy: Sammy’s Moving House




Sunday for Sammy, unofficially known as the Geordie Command Performance, will return to Tyneside on Sunday 18th February 2018 but this time at a new venue. The show, first held as a tribute to Geordie actor Sammy Johnson in 2000, has been presented at Newcastle City Hall for nearly every performance. However, in recent years the demand for tickets has far out-stripped the supply. In 2016 the two spectacular shows sold-out in a day and thousands of disappointed fans couldn’t get tickets.

In 2018, Sunday for Sammy will re-locate to Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena for two theatre style performances. 5,000 tickets will be available for each show, more than doubling the available tickets compared to previous years.

Sunday for Sammy is a celebration of North Eastern culture and many of the region’s most popular and successful performers have taken part in the extravaganza of comedy and music, staged to raise funds to support the next generation of North Eastern performers with training, expenses and equipment.

Tim Healy, Denise Welch, Mark Knopfler, Kevin Whately, Charlie Hardwick, Jimmy Nail, Jill Halfpenny, Timothy Spall, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, Christopher Fairbank, Stephen Tomkinson, John Miles, Angie Lonsdale, Jason Cook, Lindisfarne, Joe McElderry, Brendan Healy, Donna Aire, Ant and Dec, Chelsea Halfpenny, Billy Mitchell, Brendan Foster, Pam Royle, Bob Moncur, Julia Tobin, Glenn McCrory, Kathryn Tickell, Chris Ramsey, Peter Peverley and many, many more have given up their time to take part in the show. The cast list is never revealed beforehand, every show is packed with surprises.

Chairman of the Sunday for Sammy Trust Tim Healy said,

I spend a lot of time in the North East and people constantly ask me how to get tickets for Sunday for Sammy. The show has become so hugely popular that all available tickets are snapped up as soon as they go on sale. By moving the show to a larger venue we can give loads more people the opportunity to see the show while ensuring our continued support for the talented young performers from our area that need a helping hand.

Since the first Sunday for Sammy in 2000, young local performers have benefited from over £400,000 in grants to help with their professional development.

Catherine Dryden, from Chester le Street is a 3rd Year Student at RADA and was part-funded by the Sunday for Sammy Trust

Sunday for Sammy is helping me to get through my final year at RADA. My course covers six days of the week which doesn’t give me the opportunity to work to help pay the bills and the cost of being in London. Without their support, I couldn’t have carried on. They have given me the helping hand I need to further my professional career in drama.”

Ailsa Oliver, General Manager of the Metro Radio Arena said,

Sunday for Sammy is such a wonderful event and we are very excited to be part of its continued growth. The event generates such excellent support for the local community and we are sure the two performances will once again be a success in its new home at the Metro Radio Arena

The show’s producer, Ray Laidlaw urged everyone to book tickets as soon as possible.

Sunday for Sammy is unique; no other part of the country has an event that celebrates its regional popular culture on such a scale while supporting the next generation of performers.

It’s an amazingly popular show and in recent years every performance has sold out within hours of the tickets going on sale. We get a huge number of messages from people telling us that they’ve tried to buy tickets but have been unsuccessful. That’s why we’ve doubled the capacity by moving the show to the Metro Radio Arena. However, we anticipate ticket demand to be greater than ever and we’d hate to see anyone missing out. The message is simple – lots more tickets available but if you want to be sure of being part of Sunday for Sammy 2018 then don’t delay, buy your tickets early.”

Tickets costing £35.00 plus 55p facility fee and bookings fees, go on general sale from 10.00am on Wednesday 22nd March and are available online at from the booking hotline number 0844 493 6666 or in person from the Metro Radio Arena Box Office.

Tickets are available from:-

  • Credit Card Booking and Information Line 0844 493 6666
  • The Metro Radio Arena Newcastle Box Office (Mon – Fri: 10.00am 4.00pm, Sat: 11.00am – 2.30pm)
  • Internet Site:-
  • Group Bookers should call (0191) 260 6006
  • Accessible Bookings should call 0844 493 6666 and select option 3 for further details

World Premiere of Becoming Mohammed | Pleasance Theatre | 2 – 21 May 2017

Pleasance Theatre, Carpenters Mews, North Road, London N7 9EF

Tuesday 2nd – Sunday 21st May 2017

Press Night: Wednesday 3rd May 2017, 7.45pm

Inspired by director Annemiek Van Elst’s experiences of her brother converting to Islam, the world premiere of Becoming Mohammed comes to Pleasance Theatre. The play explores what it takes for a Western man to become a Muslim, and for his family to come to terms with his choice

When Sara knocks on her brother’s door after two years, she hardly recognises the man in front of her. Thomas has grown a beard, gets up at the crack of dawn, and dates a girl in a Hijab. They attempt to rekindle their childhood friendship, but Thomas hasn’t told his sister everything yet…

Annemiek van Elst comments, When my little brother converted to Islam, it came as a shock; he started to reject our family traditions and follow the Sharia law. What could have been a breaking point became a difficult but beautiful journey of acceptance, which inspired the making of Becoming Mohammed. We believe that, now more than ever, there is a need to represent narratives around Islam in a positive light, and that conversion should be seen not as a threat but as an opportunity to build connections. Through our show, we aim to offer support to converts and their families, and to contribute to creating a more tolerant society

Becoming Mohammed has been created in direct consultation with Islamic communities in both London and Rotterdam, and is being supported by a cultural facilitator, Nabihah Islam. In an effort to open up a dialogue and understanding between Western and Islamic communities, half of all performances will begin with a short forum theatre workshop. The company will also host post-show Q&As on Friday evenings and will share their research interviews with reverts and Islamic leaders online

Interview with Craig Revel Horwood

With a CV boasting creative credits of some sort in just about every popular show going and a high-profile place on one of UK TV’s biggest shows, you would think Craig Revel Horwood had ticked off everything on his career wish-list.

But there is one show that had evaded his creative input until now and that is Sister Act. As the show prepares to visit Edinburgh, he tells John Bultitude why working on the show is his dream come true, unlocking Alexandra Burke’s comedy potential and who his dream Strictly contestants would be.

All good things come to those who wait. That is very much the motto of Craig Revel Horwood when it comes to his ambition to be part of the Sister Act phenomenon.

The feel-good story of Deloris Van Cartier’s journey has delighted millions. First portrayed on the big screen by Whoopi Goldberg, Deloris is the sassy soul singer who witnesses a shooting and ends up in protective custody in a convent where she (and her ‘Sisters’ in every sense of the word) learn some life lessons.

Sister Act was one of the most financially successful films of the Nineties worldwide before becoming a smash-hit stage show which has enchanted audiences across the globe. The love for the show is shared by Craig and it is why it appealed to him so much.

He was initially asked to do some work on the West End production but that did not work out for him. When plans for the current tour came up, he jumped at it. Craig recalled: “I was absolutely delighted because it gives me the chance to fulfil a nine-year ambition. The story is really, really good. That is the number one thing for me. The songs are great, the music is great, the lyrics are great and the plot has this wonderful, wonderful heart which is what I love about it.”

Heading the cast is Alexandra Burke, the incredibly successful singer who shot to fame on The X Factor becoming a top recording star. This is paralleled by incredible stage success following a recently critically acclaimed tour in The Bodyguard.

Her vocal prowess speaks for itself but Craig, as director and choreographer of this production, has succeeded in releasing another of her talents. He explained: “Alexandra is a natural comedian and people have never seen that side of her. It is really wonderful for her to get stuck into some comedy and it really suits her down to the ground”.

Of course, this show has fantastic vocals as you can imagine. It is so lovely that Alexandra was available and wanted to do this show. She is also a brilliant mover and dancer and fits into the company brilliantly well. We are doing it as an ensemble piece. Everyone plays different characters. They are actors/musicians so they sing, they act, they dance but they also provide the music because they play instruments. I do have to say though that it is quite an alarming sight watching a nun with a saxophone,” chuckled Craig.

Also in the show is the much-loved and hugely experienced stage star Rosemary Ashe whose West End credits include hits like The Phantom Of The Opera, Les Misérables, Oliver!, The Witches of Eastwick and Mary Poppins.

A high-energy show like this also requires some pin-sharp choreography which is also Craig’s forte although it is not without his challenges. As he says: “The problem is that a lot of the cast are in habits. As well as choreography, you need to do lots of arm-ography too and there is a lot that nuns cannot do so you have to be quite inventive with it all which I am really enjoying.”

This mix of emotions within Sister Act also makes it a real joy for Craig with the great music and the show’s rich seam of storytelling running through it. He said: “We are getting into the world of gospel music which is uplifting and will give you a big smile on your face. The show does have a dark side too and it is quite intense in places with gun warfare, murder, and of course love. It is a really good story and it covers every human emotion.”

So top of Craig’s priority list is getting every single aspect of this show exactly right and ensuring audiences also leave each performance with a big grin.

But with this and no doubt other stage projects on the go as well as his TV commitments, how on earth does he fit everything in? Craig laughed: “I have a good PA and my diary is very well organised. I am genuinely booked up three years in advance so I generally fit in everything around all of that. I love it. I love directing and choreography. It is my passion and joy. That is what I will do until the day I die. It is something I can still do while I still have a brain and the assistance of my body.”

And he seems to have his working year sorted out with stage commitments from the spring, Strictly Come Dancing starting in the autumn and then the show’s live tour early in the New Year before a very important 6-week holiday to recharge the batteries and catch up with family and friends in Australia before the whole showbiz cycle begins again.

Craig also really enjoys working with the general public teaching the rudiments of dance on a special P & O Cruise before they compete with each other for a title which lets him share his talent and expertise as well as enjoying some time at sea.

And so to Strictly, the Saturday small-screen juggernaut that gets the nation talking and lets us judge whether the celebrity contestants are dynamic divas and dashing devils of the dancefloor, or more of a dad-dancer. While many have competed for the highly-sought-after Glitterball, there are still a few big names that Craig would like to see in action. He said: “I would love to see Simon Cowell on there as it would make great television. Sharon Osbourne would be great too as she is so mouthy. The Royals would be good. Prince Harry? Yes please.”

But what about if they answer back? Everyone knows Simon does not stand on ceremony and gives as good as he gets, and Prince Harry could have Craig sent to the Tower. With a belly-laugh, he retorts: “I like feisty. Why not?

And there lies the bond between the hit show Sister Act and the creative force of Craig Revel Horwood. They are both outwardly a mix of emotions blending humour and drama but boasting an inner kind and strong heart which everyone envies and appreciates.



April at the Lowry

Spring has sprung at The Lowry with a brand new production of Jane Eyre by National Theatre, Michael Morpurgo’s Running Wild featuring puppets designed by War Horse puppeteers and Bill Kenwright’s production of the timeless story of love, despair and hope, Ghost – The Musical.

In the galleries, The Lowry launches a new residency scheme with EDIT 01: Paddy Hartley alongside permanent exhibition LS Lowry: The Art & The Artist.


National Theatre
Jane Eyre
Sat 8 – Sat 15 Apri

Sally Cookson’s energetic and imaginative new adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece, Jane Eyre comes to The Lowry Sat 8 – Sat 15 April with Nadia Clifford taking the central role of Jane Eyre and Tim Delap as Rochester.

Manchester born and bred Nadia Clifford’s previously appeared at the National Theatre in Alistair McDowell’s sell-out production of Pomona and Tim Delap will make his NT debut as Rochester.

2017 marks the 170th anniversary of the first publication of Jane Eyre – a significant time to be touring Charlotte Brontë’s classic and much loved story.

Director Sally Cookson, said about her production of Jane Eyre:  ‘Adapting a novel for the stage is a challenging prospect – especially when that novel is cited as many people’s favourite of all time. It is always daunting when you’re working on a story which everyone knows so well, because you want to surprise and maybe challenge people’s expectations, without losing any of the things which make them like the story in the first place.’

Cookson continued: ‘I chose this particular title because it’s a story that I love and have enjoyed a close relationship with ever since I was intrigued, as a child, by Orson Welles’ black and white melodrama with fabulous music by Bernard Herrmann.’

‘I didn’t actually read the novel until I was in my early twenties and I remember thinking while I read it: ‘this is a clarion cry for equal opportunities for women, not a story about a passive female who will do anything for her hunky boss’. I was struck by how modern Jane seemed – her spirit and strong will, her peculiar and brilliant mind striving for personal freedom to be who she is, lashing out against any constraint that prevents her from being herself. She was exactly the sort of person I wanted to be.’

Charlotte Brontë’s story of the trailblazing Jane is as inspiring as ever. This bold and dynamic production tells the story of one woman’s fight for freedom and fulfilment.

From her beginnings as a destitute orphan, Jane Eyre’s spirited heroine faces life’s obstacles head-on, surviving poverty, injustice and the discovery of bitter betrayal before taking the ultimate decision to follow her heart.

Bill Kenwright
Ghost – The Musical
Mon 24 – Sat 29 April

Bill Kenwright’s production of the timeless story of love, despair and hope,Ghost – The Musical, will extend its current UK tour with a visit to The Lowry, Salford from Monday 24 – Saturday 29 April 2017. Taking its inspiration from the classic movie, this innovative reimagining features an expanded book, new music and original staging.

Carolyn Maitland will continue in the role of Molly alongside Andy Moss as Sam.  Carolyn’s musical theatre credits include ‘Ellen’ in Miss Saigon (Prince Edward Theatre), ‘Joelle’ in Groundhog Day (Old Vic), ‘Rose’ in From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre) and ‘Kate’ in Kiss Me Kate (Old Vic, West End & Chichester).

Musician and actor Andy Moss, best known for the role of Rhys Ashworth in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, one he played for 8 years, will continue to wow audiences around the UK as ‘Sam’. His credits also include Cutting It, Coronation Street and most recently he appeared as Paul Cuthbert in the long running BBC soap opera Doctors.

West End musical theatre star Jacqui Dubois (original London cast of Rent and Children of Eden, other credits include The Lion King, Fela and most recently People, Places and Things ) plays ‘Oda Mae Brown’, the part made famous in the film by Whoopi Goldberg. Sam Ferriday (Jersey Boys, Blue Man Group, The Prodigals) plays ‘Carl’, alongside Leo Sene as ‘Willie’, James Earl Adair haunting proceedings as the ‘Hospital Ghost’, and Gary Lee Netley as the ‘Subway Ghost’. Tarisha Rommick plays ‘Louise’ and Simbi Akande ‘Clara’. Completing the cast is Lori Baker, Ethan Bradshaw, Lauren Drew, Matthew Vinetot, Mike Ward and Kelly Hampson.

Children’s Touring Partnership
Running Wild
Tue 18 – Sat 22 April

Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo in an adaptation by Samuel Adamson, comes to The Lowry Tue 18 – Sat 22 April.  Michael Morpurgo’s novel, based on a true story, is brought to life in this award-winning production, which has been described by critics as ‘inspiring’, ‘evocative, ‘imaginative’ and ‘life-affirming’.  Originally produced by Regent’s Park Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre, this epic production, complete with spectacular life-size puppets, tells an emotional and moving story of love, loss and loyalty and of living for the moment.

Featuring puppetry design and direction by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié for Gyre & Gimble, both previous Associate Puppetry Directors on War Horse.Running Wild is the story is of a girl named Lilly, who, whilst on holiday with her mother in Indonesia, takes an elephant ride.  During the ride, Oona, the elephant, suddenly becomes anxious and runs from the beach deep into the jungle.  With Lilly on her back, they escape moments before the tsunami hits the island.  Miles from civilisation, at first there’s wonder, discovery and tree-top adventures with the orangutans, but, as thoughts turn to her mother left behind on the beach, and wild tigers prowl, and hunger hits, Lilly must now learn to survive the rainforest.  And then the hunters come…

Michael Morpurgo, the former children’s laureate and author of War Horse, was inspired by the real-life story of Amber Owen, who was on holiday in Phuket with her mother and stepfather in 2004, when she went on an elephant ride.  While riding Ning Nong along the beach, the eight-year-old noticed the elephant was attempting to pull away from the receding sea water.  “He ran away and, as the water came in, I was safely on his back.  He saved my life.”  When he read Amber’s story in the newspaper, Michael Morpurgo said it was the one bit of hope amid the destruction of the Boxing Day tsunami which hit South East Asia.  The production will work to support the Born Free Foundation’s global elephant conservation projects..

Visual Art

Paddy Hartley
Sat 1 April – Sun 14 May

An artist known for creating wearable sculpture for Lady Gaga and remembrance poppies from lambs heart tissue wants North West residents to share their WW1 stories and artefacts with him.

Internationally acclaimed London based artist Paddy Hartley will begin a residency at The Lowry from April 2017. Born in Dewsbury, Paddy Hartley is a trained ceramicist and will make WW1 archaeology artefacts based on some of the stories people share with him.

The unfired artefacts will be made from a trench of slurried clay placed in the middle of the gallery. The items Hartley creates will then be will returned into the trench to disintegrate during the residency  – a metaphor for the passing of memory.

Paddy Hartley said;
“Much of my work is inspired by the stories that families of WW1 servicemen tell me. What would be great is if the people of Greater Manchester share their stories of WW1 ancestors and specifically, the personal objects, keepsakes and reminders of home that they kept with them.

“I’m interested in creating objects which reflect the nature of the environment the soldiers fought and lived in, and specifically, objects which the men used to make conditions more ‘homely’ for want of a better phrase.”

Paddy Hartley’s artistic practice investigates themes of memorialisation and remembrance. Once the artefacts have been made in clay, they will be dried and photographed before being re-introduced to the trench of slurried clay to allow their disintegration.

To share stories, contact Paddy Hartley on [email protected].

Visit the website for more information on EDIT 01: Paddy Hartley at The Lowry.

Clay provided for EDIT 01: Paddy Hartley has been kindly donated by Michelmersh Brick Holdings PLC.


Far Side Of The Moon | 01 Apr 2017 – 02 Apr 2017
Jane Eyre | 08 Apr 2017 – 15 Apr 2017
Shakin’ Stevens | 16 Apr 2017 20:00
Billy Ocean | 17 Apr 2017 19:00
Running Wild | 18 Apr 2017 – 22 Apr 2017
Danny Baker: Cradle To The Stage | 19 Apr 2017 19:30
Ghost – The Musical | 24 Apr 2017 – 29 Apr 2017
Daniel O’Donnell | 30 Apr 2017 19:30

The Lowry NT Connections Festival | 01 Apr 2017 – 02 Apr 2017
Silver Lining | 04 Apr 2017 – 08 Apr 2017
Lee Nelson | 09 Apr 2017 19:30
Babe, The Sheep-Pig | 11 Apr 2017 – 15 Apr 2017
Cyrano de Bergerac | 18 Apr 2017 – 22 Apr 2017
Eddi Reader | 23 Apr 2017 20:00
Fascinating Aida’s Dillie Keane | 24 Apr 2017 19:30
Rose and Rosie: Exposed | 25 Apr 2017 20:00
Bucket List | 26 Apr 2017 – 27 Apr 2017
Kandace Springs | 28 Apr 2017 20:00
Red Hot Chilli Pipers | 29 Apr 2017 20:00
The Noise Next Door’s Really, Really Good Afternoon Show | 30 Apr 2017 14:00

The Lowry NT Connections Festival | 01 Apr 2017 – 02 Apr 2017
The Party | 15 Apr 2017 – 15 Apr 2017
Rob Rouse | 16 Apr 2017 20:00
Not Today’s Yesterdays | 19 Apr 2017 20:00
Bubble Schemeisis | 20 Apr 2017 20:00
Scanner: How To Make Art From Life | 22 Apr 2017 20:00
A Strange New Space | 23 Apr 2017 – 23 Apr 2017
Stephen Bailey | 23 Apr 2017 20:00
Jocasta – A Musical Tragedy | 29 Apr 2017 20:00
HOAX | 30 Apr 2017 – 01 May 2017
The Noise Next Door | 30 Apr 2017 – 01 May 2017





The award-winning theatre company Cardboard Citizens has today announced casting for its season of new work at The Bunker in London this April. Celebrating 25 years of making work with and for homeless people, the company will continue its exploration of the state of housing in nine new plays commissioned by Cardboard Citizens from some of the UK’s most exciting playwrights. In addition to the plays, the company have today announced plans for a series of free events to run alongside the productions. The season runs 17 April to 13 May with press performances on 20, 21 and 22 April.

The full cast for the season includes: Richard Galloway; Jake Goode; David Hartley; Marian Haque; Caroline Loncq; Endy McKay; Andre Skeete; Mitesh Soni; Cathy Owen and Faye Wilson.

Home Truths will look back at the history of UK housing, from the Victorian housing crisis through to squatting in the 1970s, the ravages of Rachmanism in the 1950s and white flight in the 21st century. The nine plays will be split into three Cycles. Each Cycle can be seen as a stand-alone production, or alternatively audiences can take part in a theatrical sit in and watch all nine plays over the course of a day in one of two special Tri-Cycle performances.

Cardboard Citizens has been awarded a grant of £45,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to create the Home Truths Festival of Heritage Events. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the Festival will offer people a programme of free linked events designed to engage both the general public and people affected by homelessness.

Through a series of exhibitions, a walking tour, film nights, talks and workshops held in venues around London, the Home Truths Festival of Heritage Events will run from mid-April to late May, exploring how the state of housing today can be understood in the context of history; not just asking the question ‘How did we get here?’ but also ‘What do we do next?’.  The full line-up will be announced in April.

Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London, said: “It’s great that funding from National Lottery players can support Cardboard Citizens to explore the history of housing, a part of the UK’s heritage that is too often overlooked. This innovative series of events will provide an important heritage context to homelessness and social housing over the last 150 years, and engage the whole community in a thoughtful discussion about how the past can inform our future.”

Playwrights who have written new work for the season include: Sonali BhattacharyyaLin CoghlanEV CroweAnders LustgartenStef SmithNessah MuthyChris O’Connell, David Watson and Heathcote Williams with Sarah Woods. The productions will be individually directed by Cardboard Citizens’ Founder and Artistic Director Adrian Jackson and rising star Caitlin McLeod as the season’s Associate Director

Design is by James Turner, lighting is by Elliot Griggs, sound and composition by Lewis Gibson and Tom Parkinson, and costume is by Holly Henshaw.

Adrian Jackson is the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Cardboard Citizens. Adrian founded Cardboard Citizens in 1991 and since then he has directed over 30 productions for the company, devising or adapting many of them, including Pericles and Timon (with RSC) The Beggar’s Opera (with ENO),The Lower Depths (with London Bubble) and Mincemeat (winner of Evening Standard award).  He directed his own play, A Few Man Fridays at Riverside Studios in 2012, and Kate Tempest’s Glasshouse in 2013. In 2013 he wrote and directed an intervention in Elmgreen/Dragset’s installation Tomorrow at the V & A. He recently directed Cardboard Citizens’ touring production Cathy. Adrian also teaches the Theatre of the Oppressed methodology all over the world.

Caitlin McLeod worked as Trainee Director at the Royal Court from 2011-12 assisting Jeremy Herrin (Headlong), Dominic Cooke (former Artistic Director, Royal Court) and James MacDonald. During that period she directed three sell-out shows at the Finborough Theatre, and went on to be Staff Director at the Globe (Hamlet) and the National Theatre (Strange Interlude). She has subsequently directed shows at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Hampstead Theatre and two critically acclaimed shows in New York (And I And Silence and One Flea Spare). Last year she was selected from over 1300 applicants to be one of the inaugural Old Vic 12; a talent group supported by The Old Vic comprised of the most exciting emerging theatre-makers in the UK. This year Caitlin won a Sky Academy Scholarship to found her new company The Coterie.
Richard Galloway trained in acting at Breton Hall and most recently appeared in one man show The Life And Soul by Chris O’Connor (Red Ladder Theatre Company), other theatre credits include: The House Behind The Lines (BugLight Theatre), One Act Plays (The Plays The Thing Theatre Company) and Stones In His Pockets (Contexture Theatre). Richard has also had roles in film in The Communist (2014), The Rise (2013) and Black Dog (2013). @rgalloway86

Jake Goode’s productions with Cardboard Citizens  have included: Flat 4D (hostels); Woman of No Importance (schools); Crisis 25th Anniversary (Globe); The Art of Legislation (City Hall); Short Circuit (hostels); Beggars’ Opera (Bridewell); Mincemeat (Jam Factory, Curtain Road, BBC Radio 3); Pericles (Collaboration with RSC); Visible (Collaboration with RSC); Timon Of Athens (UK tour); Woyzeck (Southwark Playhouse); Viewing The Property (V&A). He presents street theatre with Other Half Productions and engages young people through theatre as part of Just Play. Jake’s television and music video credits include: Warehouse (Carlton) and In This Garden (The Levellers).

David Hartley’s theatre credits include: The Odyssey: Missing Presumed Dead (Liverpool Everyman/ETT/Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), Henry VI Pts 1,2&3 (Shakespeare’s Globe), Measure For Measure (Globe & US Tour), As You Like It (Grovesnor Park), Billy Liar (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Lovely And Misfit (Trafalgar Studios) and Cling To Me Like Ivy (Birmingham Rep). Television includes: The Amazing Mrs PritchardHolby City and Dr Who, all for the BBC, and Talk To Me, Kingdom and DCI Banks (ITV). Radio includes: Flare Path and Noble Cause Corruption (BBC).

Marian Haque studied at Bristol University and trained at the Drama Studio London. Her theatre credits include: Diana Of Dobsons (New Vic), Dara (National Theatre), Behind The Beautiful Forevers (National Theatre) and Roundabout/Bush Bazaar (Bush Theatre/Theatre Delicatessen). Her television credits include Black Mirror: Shut Up and Dance (Netflix/Channel 4), DoctorsHolby City and EastEnders, all for BBC. Marian has also done voice over work and had roles in film in The Long Weekend (2013) and Diary Of A Jihadi (2009).

Caroline Loncq trained at BOVTS and her theatre work includes: Broken Glass (Tricycle/Vaudeville), Scorched (Old Vic Tunnels), Kings Of Hearts (Hampstead), Duchess Of Malfi & Comedy Of Errors (RSC) and Lysistrata (Wyndham/Epidaurus). Television work includes: Lucky Man (Carnival for Sky 1); No Offence (Channel 4), The Night Manager (Ink Factory for BBC/AMC); Vera (ITV), Hooten & The Lady (Red Planet Pictures for Sky 1), Affinity (Box TV for ITV), Trial & Retribution (LaPlante for ITV), Wire In The Blood (Coastal for ITV) and The Queen’s Sister (Touchpaper for Channel 4). Film work includes: I Could Never Be Your Woman (directed by Amy Heckerling for The Weinstein Company); The Affair Of The Necklace (directed by Charles Shyer for Warner Brothers) and the Prix Europa-winning Bolse Vita (directed by Ibolya Fekete for MIT Studios).

Endy McKay’s theatre credits include: What Would Quentin Do? (The Bush/ADF), Ten Women (Jackdaw/Ovalhouse/Avignon Festival) and People (National Theatre). Television credits include From The Cradle To The Grave (ITV), Holby City (BBC) and Peep Show (Channel 4).

Andre Skeete has been acting for 12 years and has worked with Cardboard Citizens many times.His theatre credits include: Glasshouse (Carboard Citizens by Kate Tempest), Burst (Paper Tiger), Hospital Chapel 6am (Bread and Roses Theatre), The H Word (Shakespeare in Shoreditch Festival 2016 by David Watson), The Interview (Cardboard Citizens) and Dust (Cardboard Citzens), alongside the company’s touring productions Twice and Three Blind Mice. Andre also had a role in BBC’s short film Seven Dials.

Mitesh Soni was the winner of the Manchester Theatre Award for Best Ensemble for Arabian Nights (Library Theatre), Soni has been in numerous productions on stage including: Rudolf (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Coming Up (Watford Palace Theatre), Romeo & Juliet (National Theatre) and The Rise And Fall of Little Voice (Lancaster Dukes Theatre). Film and television credits include: Syriana (2005) Rise of the Foot Soldier 2 (2014) The Agency (Happy Tramp), Run (Acmey) and Threesome (Big Talk Productions). @MiteshSoni_1

Cathy Owen’s theatre credits include: Cathy (Cardboard Citizens), Mother Courage And Her Children (National Theatre of Wales), This Wide Night (Clean Break, Soho Theatre UK Tour), The Last Valentine; Chaste Maid In Cheapside (Almeida), Silent Engine (Pentabus, Fringe First Winner), Macbeth (Ludlow Festival), Edwina: A Cautionary Tale For Grown Ups (The Stadsteatern, Stockholm, BAC), Shrew’d: Taming Of The Shrew and The Tamer Tamed (Arcola). Television credits include The Bill (TalkBack Thames); Casualty; Crown Prosecutor (BBC) and The Life And Death Of Philip Night (YTV/Waller Films).

Faye Wilson trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, her theatre credits include: Medea (Rada), Stasiland (RADA) and Macbeth (KMA Productions). She has previously worked with Cardboard Citizens on workshops for Put In The Schwarzes And De-Stat It and The Cost.
As with all Cardboard Citizens productions, a proportion of tickets for Home Truths will be made available to homeless audiences at £1.50.



by Sonali Bhattacharyya

1887. Polly, 16, clashes with her mother, Ada, against the backdrop of the Victorian housing crisis. Polly is desperate to escape the slums at any cost, but Ada believes the compromises they’d have to make are too high. A story about the ‘deserving poor’ and the obstacles they face, whatever choices they make.
Sonali Bhattacharyya’s credits include 2066 (Almeida), Twelve (Kali Theatre), These Four Streets (Birmingham Rep), A Thin Red Line (Kali Theatre, Birmingham Rep & Black Country Touring) and the South Bank Show Award nominated White Open Spaces (Pentabus Theatre). She was a member of the inaugural Old Vic 12. She is developing Deepa The Saint (with Theatre 503), musical Kali’s Toenail (with Theatre Royal Stratford East) and The Invisible Boy for Tricycle Theatre’s Mapping Brent project.


The Ruff Tuff Cream Puff Estate Agency
by Heathcote Williams with Sarah Woods

Squat Now While Stocks Last. In the early 1970s, Heathcote Williams and friends set up an ‘estate agency’ to provide free accommodation for homeless people:

‘A tiny oasis in the capitalist consumerist shit-hole run by bloviating wank-puddles, and the forces of awe and boredom’.

This is their story.

Heathcote Williams is a poet, playwright, author and actor. His first book, The Speakers, was published in 1964 to critical acclaim and he went on to write a selection of award-winning epic poems. Heathcote’s play The Local Stigmatic, first played at the Royal Court in 1966, was made into a film by Al Pacino and his The Immortalist was produced by the National Theatre and in New York. Heathcote has written and advised on a number of feature films including Looking For Richard, Hotel, and Malatesta. He has also written extensively for radio and television, including Hancock’s Last Half Hour and What the Dickens?.

Sarah Woods is Narrative Artist at Cardboard Citizens, where she works both as playwright and dramaturg. She is currently writing commissions for London Bubble, BBC Radio 4 and Birmingham Opera. Recent campaign work includes the Centre for Alternative Technology’s Zero Carbon: Making It Happen project, the Fabian Society’s Commission on Food and Poverty, and the Ashden Trust’s Visioning London project.


Back To Back To Back
by Stef Smith

Nine months. Two couples. One building. Four people are trying to figure out their futures but with their backs against the breadline everyone is struggling to stay afloat. White flight, fertility and inhospitality are explored in this poetic domestic drama that examines the difference between a house and a home.

Stef Smith is an award-winning playwright whose credits include: Girl In The Machine (Traverse Theatre), Human Animals (Royal Court), Swallow (Traverse Theatre), Remote (NT Connections), Tea And Symmetry (BBC Radio Scotland), Falling/Flying (Tron Theatre) and Roadkill (Edinburgh Festival). Awards include a Fringe First for both Swallow and Roadkill, with Roadkill also winning an Olivier in 2010. Stef is an Associate Artist at the Traverse Theatre.



The Table
by Lin Coghlan

In the backroom of a house in South London, residents from 2017 and 1919 find themselves struggling with similar challenges  what is home and in order to find one what might one be prepared to sacrifice? Wine is consumed, secrets confronted and the longing for a place to call one’s own unites the people who shared this space a hundred years apart.

Lin Coghlan is from Dublin. She wrote her first play for Theatre Centre and has since written widely for film, television, radio and theatre, working for companies including Clean Break, where her play Apache Tears won the Peggy Ramsey Award. Her work for the stage includes The Night Garden (National Studio/ Northcott Theatre Exeter), Waking and Mercy (both Soho Theatre), Kingfisher Blue (Bush Theatre) and The Miracle (National Theatre). Her films include First Communion Day (BBC Films), which won the Dennis Potter Play of the Year Award, and Some Dogs Bite (BBC/Kindle Entertainment) which won the Audience Prize at the Nantes British Film Festival.


Put In The Schwarzes And De-Stat It
by Nessah Muthy

London. 1958. Two women, one black, one white, battle against the ravages of Rachmanism and the ‘other’. Amidst fear, hate, violence and racism war is unleashed on streets of Notting Hill. Will either woman make it home?

Nessah Muthy is currently writing plays for HighTide, the National Youth Theatre, Kali Theatre and Theatre Centre. For screen, Nessah is currently under commission to BBC Drama, as part of the BBC Writers’ Programme 2016/17.


Yellow Front Door
by Anders Lustgarten

Michael is one of the lucky ones. He’s got the Right to Buy. The right to choose the colour of his own front door. The right to leave this dreary, dull little life behind and seek adventure. To spread his wings and become the man he always knew he could be. And he can’t wait…

Anders Lustgarten is a political playwright. His play Lampedusa, about the migrant crisis and austerity, has been staged in a dozen European countries over the past year. His play The Seven Acts Of Mercy, which combines Caravaggio and 17th century Naples with 21st century Bootle, is currently running in the RSC’s Swan Theatre. And his play The Secret Theatre, about Sir Francis Walsingham and the invention of the surveillance state, will play at Shakespeare’s Globe this autumn. He’s also a political activist who’s been arrested in four continents.



by David Watson

June 1936. In a purgatorial reunion with her late husband Samuel, the philanthropist and social reformer Henrietta Barnett is asked what she would consider her greatest achievement. Her answer lies in NW11 between Golders Green and Finchley. But a trip to the 21st century might just trigger a rude awakening…

David Watson’s plays include Pieces Of Vincent (Arcola/Paines Plough), Flight Path (Bush/Out of Joint) and Just A Bloke (Royal Court Young Writers Festival.) He has written extensively for community and prison companies, with work including Knife Edge (Big House), Housed (Old Vic Community Company) and Any Which Way (Only Connect.) His short plays include The Politician’s Handbook (Royal Court) and You Cannot Go Forward From Where You Are Now (Oran Mor/Paines Plough.) His adaptations include Ibsen’s Ghosts (Home, Manchester) and Phillip Pullman’s I Was A Rat (Birmingham Rep.) For television, he wrote for three series of L8R (Actorshop/BBC), for which he won three Children’s BAFTAs. He wrote the screenplay for The Hope Rooms (Rather Good Film/Bill Kenwright Productions).


by E V Crowe

It’s 1946, Anna’s sick and she knows what she’s got. She tries to tell her husband Martin, who is back from the war, and their friend Abel and then the doctor. She had it before the little place, it got a bit better in the communist squat, then worse again in the pigsty. But no one believes her illness is real, or what it means or that you can die from it.

E V Crowe’s credits for the Royal Court Theatre: The Sewing GroupHeroKin. Other theatre includes: Brenda (Hightide/Yard); I Can Hear You (RSC); Liar Liar (Unicorn Theatre); Doris Day (Clean Break/Soho); Young Pretender (nabokov) and ROTOR (Siobhan Davies Dance). Television includes: GlueBig Girl. Radio includes: How To Say Goodbye Properly. Awards include: Imison Award for Radio, and Hero was part of Olivier Award-winning season in the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs.


by Chris O’Connell

A series of unforeseen events change 51 year old Lorna’s life irrevocably. When she is diagnosed with terminal cancer, only days afterwards, in a freak timing of events, her landlord announces that he is evicting her and she is plunged into a world she knows nothing of. Benefits, homelessness testing, bidding for social housing.

Chris O’Connell is an award-winning writer for theatre, TV and radio. Credits include Fringe First Award winners Raw and Car (Time Out Live Award), and plays for the RSC, Frantic Assembly and the Belgrade Theatre. He is Artistic Director and writer for Theatre Absolute, which founded the UKʼs first professional shop front theatre in an empty fish and chip shop in Coventry city centre.




Performance dates & times

17th April (Preview), 19:30
20th April (Press), 19:00
24th and 27th April, 3rd, 6th, and 10th May, 19:30

18th April (Preview), 19:30
21st April (Press), 19:00
25th and 28th April, 4th, 8th, and 11th May, 19:30

19th April (Preview), 19:30
22nd April (Press), 19:00
26th April, 2nd, 5th, 9th, and 12th May, 19:30

Saturday 29th April, 12:00
Saturday 13th May, 12:00

All running times TBC


ONE Cycle
Standard: £15
Concession: £12
Previews: £10

TWO Cycles
Standard: £25
Concession: £20

THREE Cycles / Tri-Cycle Performances
Standard: £35
Concession: £28

Twitter & Instagram: @CardboardCitz #HomeTruths

Rehearsals are underway for The Red Lion at Live Theatre, Newcastle, a play written by Patrick Marber set in the locker room of a Northern lower league football club

Thursday 6 April to Saturday 6 May 2017

A Live Theatre Production
The Red Lion

Written by Patrick Marber
Directed by Max Roberts

Designed by Patrick Connellan
Starring Stephen Tompkinson, John Bowler and Dean Bone



Actors Stephen Tompkinson (DCI Banks) John Bowler (Auf Wiedersehen Pet) and Dean Bone (The Savage) have started rehearsals for Live Theatre’s new production of The Red Lion written by Oscar Nominated writer Patrick Marber, which runs at the Newcastle quayside based theatre from Thursday 6 April to Saturday 6 May 2017.


Following its critically acclaimed first run at the National Theatre in 2015, The Red Lion has been specially adapted by writer Patrick Marber for Live Theatre and the North East, where it will be directed by Live Theatre’s Artistic Director Max Roberts.  The play is set in the locker room of a North Eastern lower league football club in the ultra-competitive twilight world of semi-professional football. The Red Lion is a powerful, funny and touching drama that reaches beyond the beautiful game, exploring contrasting ideas about loyalty, ambition and what it takes to win, from three different generations.  If you thought that badge-kissing mercenaries, wide-boy agents and dodgy deals were confined to the Premier League, think again.


Stephen Tompkinson, well known for his TV appearances as DCI Banks, and who previously appeared at Live Theatre as the lead in Faith & Cold Reading, is re-united with Harrigan co-star John Bowler. John started his TV career in the film Ha’way the Lads playing Sunderland footballer Jimmy Seed. He then went on to feature in Auf Wiedersehen Pet and has since starred in The Bill, EastEnders and Coronation Street. John, who grew up in Newcastle, will be making his first appearance at Live Theatre. They will be joined by up and coming actor Dean Bone cast as the young football player, Jordan. Dean, originally from Gateshead, has had lead roles in Live Theatre’s recent productions The Savage and The Terminal Velocity of Snowflakes having started in Live’s Youth Theatre.


Stephen Tompkinson, actor, said:


“Performing at Live Theatre in Shaun Prendergast’s Faith & Cold Reading, was one of the best experiences in my career. I am delighted to be back at Live Theatre, in Patrick Marber’s brilliant play The Red Lion.”

John Bowler, actor, said:

“I was attracted to the part of Yates by Max Roberts, Steven Tompkinson, Patrick Marber and football – not necessarily in that order!  I have always been a fan of Live Theatre and the work Max has created over the years so to be invited to work with him opposite the wonderful Stephen Tompkinson in this brilliant play by Patrick Marber proved irresistible!”

Dean Bone added:

“It’s always an absolute privilege to work at Live Theatre. I cannot wait to get started on a project about football, something I feel passionately about. And working with two excellent, experienced professional actors such as Stephen Tompkinson and John Bowler is something any young actor would jump at the chance at!”

Max Roberts, Artistic Director, Live Theatre said:


“I am delighted to be working with Patrick Marber, directing his play The Red Lion. I am also pleased to welcome back Stephen Tompkinson to Live Theatre’s stage, and to have cast alongside him well-established actor John Bowler who will be making his first appearance here, and rising talent Dean Bone who has starred in two recent Live Theatre productions having started here in Live’s Youth Theatre.”


Patrick Marber, writer of The Red Lion said:


“I am thrilled to be making my Live Theatre debut. It’s been a great and exciting opportunity to revise the play with Max Roberts at the helm. I’m greatly looking forward to seeing this version of the play in Newcastle.”


‘Marber’s dressing room drama is a remarkable three-hander about a sport he clearly knows intimately’ ★★★★ The Guardian

‘a triumph’ The Telegraph


A series of FREE post show talks accompany the play. 

Writer Patrick Marber and Director Max Roberts take part in a free Meet the Writer talk after the 2pm performance on Saturday 8 April; actors Stephen Tompkinson, John Bowler and Dean Bone discuss their roles in a free Meet the Cast talk after the 7.30pm performance on Wednesday 19 April, and in a Football Panel Discussion sports writers Harry Pearson (The Far Corner) and George Caulkin (The Times) join director Max Roberts and industry professionals in a discussion about the importance of amateur football in the North East and issues raised in the play after the 7.30pm performance on Wednesday 26 April. All post show talks include a question and answer session, are free but must be pre-booked.


Live Theatre is fully accessible and offers a range of additional assisted interpretation at specific performances of The Red Lionaimed at improving the theatre experience for all audience members. These include British Sign Language Interpretation at the performance on Wednesday 26 April, 7.30pm, Captioning on Thursday 27 April, 7.30pm and Audio Description on Saturday 6 May, 2pm.  A Free Touch Tour on Saturday 6 May, 1pm is a ‘hands on’ tour of the set describing props, costumes, characters and the visual style of the show ahead of the performance with additional audio description especially for visitors with visual impairments.


The 2pm matinee on Thursday 27 April is designated as a Relaxed Performance which allows a more laid back approach to noise or movement from the audience, with audience members being able to leave and come back in again and don’t have to be quiet. This is suitable for young people with special educational needs, or anyone who many benefit from a more relaxed environment.  These services are offered at no extra cost for service users. Performances with extra interpretation should not affect the performance for other audience members, although Relaxed performances may have more noise and movement from other audience members.

The Red Lion is suitable for ages 16+ and is at Live Theatre, Newcastle from Thursday 6 April to Saturday 6 May 2017. Tickets for The Red Lion cost between £10 and £26 with concessions from £6 and group discounts available. For more information or to book tickets visit or contact Live Theatre’s box office on (0191) 232 1232.