The State vs John Hayes Review

Kings Head Theatre  28 October – 22 November.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

Good grief, that was intense.

Lucy Roslyn’s one-act play about Elyese Dukie, a Death Row inmate in 1950s Texas, is powerful and puzzling.

Elyese is initially defiant and mocks the court and her stuttering attorney, but as twitches and pains begin, her underlying regret emerges. But for what? She is perfectly happy describing her killing of husband Dale. Elyese talks about John Hayes, the man she turned into to kill, through memories of her childhood and marriage. John has made Elyese a celebrity, especially in the women’s prison, and she (he) has seduced a guard, who is urging John to plead insanity to avoid the electric chair.

Roslyn’s performance is hypnotic – she uses her voice and subtle body language, along with wonderfully intuitive lighting design, to portray the different characters in Elyese’s life, and leads us on a rollercoaster ride as Elyese/John. One moment she is charming and seductive, the next raging and foul mouthed. As she finally reveals the truth about what happened to her lover, her regret and sense of loss are palpable.

So, is she insane, or in denial? Elyese is always talking about choosing to be John, about how she’s done with Elyese, and then done with John. She says she wants to do the right thing, and is facing her death almost with relief. Does she deserve to die? There are no answers here, and the last line of the play just leaves you with even more questions. The writing is simply superb – Roslyn has interlaced almost poetic accounts of death with dark, dark humour. The history of the character, as told by Elyese, evokes sympathy, but then a sudden change in mood and heightened aggression makes you realise that Elyese might just be seducing the audience as well.

A captivating, thought-provoking, and wonderfully dark drama.


Park-Theatre-Finsbury-Park-credit-Charlie-Ward-used-wk-20-2013-newsWEB-700x455PARK THEATRE ANNOUNCES



















As Park Theatre enters its third year, Artistic Director Jez Bond today announces its new season of work, including seven new writing world premieres alongside a number of exciting revivals, and a brand new British musical.


jezBond says, “At Park Theatre we are committed to presenting world class theatre, and collaborating with the finest existing and emerging talent right in the heart of Finsbury Park. Our last season delivered phenomenal successes with sell out runs for new plays The Gathered Leaves and An Audience With Jimmy Savile, and I’m confident that this new season of work will challenge, entertain and stimulate audiences old and new.


t’s important to all of us here that Park Theatre is accessible to all. We’ve just launched ‘Park Young Patrons’ to encourage more young people to engage with our work, and we’re continually fundraising to keep ticket prices low and to enable us to provide more Creative Learning projects for the community. We’re continually evolving as a building, and this autumn we’ll be improving the ticket buying process with the introduction of a dedicated box office in the foyer.”

Box office: 02078706876 


14 Jan – 13 Feb 2016

Engine House Presents the UK Premiere of

4000 DAYS

Written by Peter Quilter

Directed by Matt Aston

Cast includes Alistair McGowan

Press night: Tuesday 19 January

Times: Mon – Sat 19.30, 15.00 Thurs and Sat matinees

What would you do if you forgot the last decade of your life?

Michael has been in a coma for three weeks.

On waking, he realises that four thousand days of his memory have been completely erased. He remembers nothing of Paul, his partner.

Paul must fight to bring Michael’s memory back, while Paul’s mother, Carol, fights to remove him from their lives completely.

Alistair McGowan returns to Park Theatre to lead the company of 4000 Days, following his acclaimed performance in An Audience with Jimmy Saville. Director, Matt Aston, who directed Bombers Moon at Park Theatre in 2014 and its subsequent transfer to the West End in 2015, returns to present this new play by Olivier and Tony nominated writer Peter Quilter (End of Rainbow).

17 Feb – 19 Mar 2016

Bob Benton and Daniel Brodie for DB Productions present the World Premiere of


Written and directed by Jonathan Lynn

Press night: Tuesday 23 February

Times: Mon – Sat 19.30, 15.00 Thurs and Sat matinees

“You were the sword but I was the shield. I love France. I also love you – as a son.”

The Patriotic Traitor is about two giants of history. Written and directed by multi-award winning Jonathan Lynn (Yes Minister / Yes, Prime Minister / My Cousin Vinny / Nuns on the Run), it tells the extraordinary true story of Charles de Gaulle and Philippe Pétain, who loved each other like father and son but found themselves on tragically opposing sides in World War II.

This relationship, noble, comic and absurd, changed history: Philippe Pétain, a tough, uncompromising soldier who rose through the ranks to save France in 1916 at the Battle of Verdun, and Charles de Gaulle, the aristocratic, academic, awkward and equally uncompromising soldier who led France to freedom when Pétain became a Nazi collaborator.

In 1945 de Gaulle had his oldest friend tried for treason. But was it as simple as it seemed? This extraordinary story is seen as Pétain waits for the verdict.

22 March – 23 April 2016

simple8 in association with Park Theatre presents the World Premiere of


A new play by Sebastian Armesto and Dudley Hinton with simple8

Based on the true story and book by Daniel Everett

Press night: Wednesday 23 March

Times: Mon – Sat 19.30, 15.00 Thurs and Sat matinees

Pirahã [(n) piɾaˈhã] a remote Amazonian tribe with a language no outsider has ever understood.

Daniel Everett, a linguist and missionary, is sent into the jungle with a clear purpose: to learn their language and convert them to Christianity.

But as he struggles to communicate, he uncovers a culture like nothing he’s ever imagined. What he discovers blows apart modern linguistic theory, forcing him to question his faith and his understanding of what it means to be human.

Following the critically acclaimed The Cabinet of Dr Caligari and Moby-Dick, the award winning ensemble, simple8, return with an adventure wrenched from the heart of the jungle, that traces how language, culture and experience shape us all.

28 April – 5 June 2016

Michael Peavoy, Neil Marcus and Paul Tyrer & Jamie Clark for Buskers Opera Ltd in association with Park Theatre present the World Premiere of


A new musical by Dougal Irvine

Inspired by The Beggar’s Opera by John Gay

Press night: Thursday 5 May

Times: Mon – Sat 19.30, 15.00 Thurs and Sat matinees

“The future’s ripe for those who mix their artistry with politics”

London, 2012. The night before the Opening Ceremony. A group of street performers called ‘the 99percenters,’ gather in protest against the over-priced, corporate games. Among them is Macheath, satirist and ladies’ man, whose razor-sharp wit is slashing chunks out of the Mayor’s reputation. Powerful figures are watching. With the ever-influential media operating 24/7, capital punishment has found a new method of delivery.

A hilarious new musical from the pen of one of the hottest writers emerging in UK theatre, Dougal Irvine, whose catalogue of work includes Departure Lounge, The Snow Queen, Teddy, The Other School, In Touch and Britain’s Got Bhangra. Expect a reckless abandonment of political correctness and some top class tunes to redefine a golden age.

Supported by Rooks Nest Entertainment Suitable for 15 years upwards

Echo Presents, Park Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre present the world premiere of

7 June – 8 July 2016

Echo Presents, Park Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre present the world premiere of: THE QUIET HOUSE

An original drama by Gareth Farr

Directed by Tessa Walker

Press night: Wednesday 8 June

Times: Mon – Sat 19.30, 15.00 Thurs and Sat matinees

“It’s passing on your thoughts, your personality, a part of yourself, your DNA. If we don’t do that what are we? We’re just dust.”

Jess and Dylan are in love. They want a family. That’s all they have ever wanted.

When diagnosed with infertility, this ordinary couple find themselves on an extraordinary journey. They enter the world of IVF treatment where intimacy is replaced by injections.

Forced to fight for the family they so desperately want, they put their faith in science and their relationship through the ultimate test.

An exploration of infertility and the taboo that surrounds it, The Quiet House is a funny, moving and unswervingly honest love story, inspired by true events.

Gareth Farr’s highly anticipated new play following his Bruntwood Prize-winning debut, Britannia Waves The Rules.

This production has been created in association with The London Women’s Clinic


23 December 2015 – 23 January 2016

Two Sheds Theatre presents


Written by Reza de Wet

Press night: Tuesday 5 January

Times: Tue – Sat 19.45, 15:15 Thurs and Sat matinees

“Still water, deep ground, and underneath the devil is turning around” Afrikaner children’s rhyme

Frikkie and Sussie were born into a South African Eden, an idyllic farm with loving and responsible parents, a black nanny as their second mother, and a benevolent God in Heaven to keep them all safe and sound.

But that was decades ago.

Now their parents are long gone, the farm a desolate ruin, and God has clearly forgotten them.

Written during the Apartheid era, Reza de Wet’s astonishing play (originally “Diepe Grond” – Deep Ground) held up a mirror to the dark heart of Afrikaner society, forcing it to take a long and uncomfortable look at itself and the myths that sustained it.

From the production team behind Muswell Hill (Park Theatre, February-March 2015) and My Children! My Africa! (Trafalgar Studios, August 2015).

26 January – 20 February 2016

Ensemble and York Theatre Royal present


Written by Steve Trafford with songs by Henry Purcell

Directed by Damian Cruden

Press Night: Wednesday 27 January

Times: Tue – Sat 19.45, 15:15 Thurs and Sat matinees

A gorgeous new comedy, full of bawdy wit.

A fine vignette of Britain, then and now, where the personal is heroically, hilariously political. King Charles II lies ill. Nell, his royal whore, once star of the Restoration stage, rages against the fate that may befall her if Charles dies. Margery, Nell’s maid, is no whore but a survivor whose fate too hangs on the life or death of the Royal patriarch.

We see Nell in breeches, a perfect boy. She sings like an angel. Margery dances, emptying chamber pots with priceless asides on sex, love, class and power… Wonderful roles for distinguished actresses Elizabeth Mansfield, Olivier Award nominee, and Angela Curran, star of ITV’s hit comedy series ‘Job Lot’. An intriguing reinterpretation of our national treasure Nell Gwyn and a timely celebration of female resilience in a world where women seldom thrive.

23 Feb – 19 March 2016

Giant Cherry Productions in association with Park Theatre presents


Written by Dylan Costello

Directed by Matthew Gould

Press Night: Wednesday 24 February

Times: Tue – Sat 19.45, 15:15 Thurs and Sat matinees

It’s Spring 2003 and Essex grandmother Lynnie has escaped from her nursing home and fled 5000 miles across the Atlantic to Hollywood, Los Angeles, where she plans to reveal to the world her deepest secret – that she is Marilyn Monroe, alive and well after faking her death decades before.

As her gay grandson Joe turns up to take her home, he finds himself embroiled in his grandmother’s scheme, questioning his sanity wondering whether he really can be the grandson of Marilyn Monroe.

But is Lynnie really Marilyn? Or just a crazy old lady wanted to avoid ending her days alone inside a nursing home? There’s only one way that the truth will be revealed in this funny drama that is full of surprises…

22 March – 16 April 2016

Attic Theatre Company presents the World Premiere of


Written by Tabitha Mortibo

Press Night: Thursday 24 March

Times: Tue – Sat 19.45, 15:15 Thurs and Sat matinees

“See those three at the edge, those three in a line? That’s me, and you and Julie. We’re a constellation.”

Julie sells ice cream on the cliffs at Beachy Head and searches for love online. Her friend Bernard walks the clifftops and can’t seem to settle.

When sixteen year old Skye arrives for the summer and decides to stay, the lives of all three become unexpectedly entwined. But when memory takes hold, will their buried fears force them apart?

Tabitha Mortiboy’s magical new play tells of love, loss and midnight ice cream sundaes under the starlit skies of the South Downs.

19 April – 14 May 2016

PMJ Productions present the World Premiere of


Written by Maya Sondhi

Directed by Prav MJ

Press Night: Wednesday 20 April

Times: Tue – Sat 19.45, 15:15 Thurs and Sat matinees

“You’re so beautiful… take a picture, take one for me right now and send it.”

At an inner city school the teenagers are obsessed with 21st century technology. Living their lives through social media, where ‘sexting’ and ‘selfies’ are the norm and access to sexual imagery is available 24/7, what are the real costs…?

This insightful play follows the lives of six young adults as they negotiate the minefield of technological advances, ever-changing laws and moral dilemmas.

Mistakes happen but now they can remain forever in the virtual domain.

17 May – 11 June 2016

Guy Masterson presents the London premieres of


Press Night: Wednesday 18 May

Times: Tue – Sat 19:45 & 21:15, Thurs and Sat matinees 15:15 & 16:45

Both shows presented in a double bill, directed by Olivier Award winner Guy Masterson.


Written & performed by Owen O’Neill

Donegal. Present Day. Catholic priests are disappearing. One man knows why and he wants to confess. His confession is brutal. It’s bloody, frank. He tells us it is not murder. It’s retribution. It’s absolution.

A five-star, sell-out hit at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival.


Written by Rachel Mariner

Performed by Bob Paisley

With the world ravaged by war, drowning refugees, mass migration, jobless, homeless, hopeless, with inequality and injustice at its worst for a century, the 42nd President wants to cut loose, shoot from the hip and waken the world in his own fantasy TED talk. His own epic life has led to this moment… but will he be silenced by his spouse’s political ambitions? Will he be Hillary’s foot-soldier or will the comeback kid come back?

12 June – 9 July 2016

Shock Box Theatre in association with Park Theatre presents the World Premiere


Written by Michael Ross

Press Night: Thursday 16 June 2016

Times: Tue – Sat 19.45, 15:15 Thurs and Sat matinees

A darkly funny new play about the supermarket industry and its impact on all of our lives.

In a last-ditch attempt to gain PR traction, the managing director of UK supermarket chain ‘Frisca’ has returned to the shop floor incognito to experience life as a shelf-stacker. Yet beneath a facade of ruthless ambition and wholehearted commitment to the corporation lie tales of tragic pasts.

Discover the immense power of supermarkets, the human ramifications of low-cost food, and how the industry’s monopolising power has changed the face of the British high street.



Robert Fox, Matthew Byam Shaw for Playful Productions and Royal Court Theatre Productions present
The Royal Court Theatre production of
By Martin McDonagh
Directed by Matthew Dunster

Set and costume design by Anna Fleischle, lighting by Joshua Carr and sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph.


Full casting has today been announced for the West End run of the Royal Court Theatre’s production of Hangmen. Producers Robert Fox, Matthew Byam Shaw for Playful Productionsand Royal Court Theatre Productions are delighted to announce that Andy Nyman will play Syd, Craig Parkinson will take on the role of Inspector Fry and Tony Hirst will play Bill, completing the cast of the West End production. Directed by Matthew Dunster, Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen will transfer to the Wyndham’s Theatre for a strictly limited season, previewing from 1 December.

After a decade-long absence from the London stage, McDonagh returned to the Royal Court Theatre with Hangmen in September 2015 to critical and public acclaim. The full West End cast includes: Josef Davies, James Dryden, Johnny Flynn, Tony Hirst, John Hodgkinson, Bronwyn James, David Morrissey, Andy Nyman, Craig Parkinson, Ryan Pope, Sally Rogers and Simon Rouse.

In his small pub in Oldham, Harry is something of a local celebrity. But what’s the second-best hangman in England to do on the day they’ve abolished hanging?  

Amongst the cub reporters and sycophantic pub regulars dying to hear Harry’s reaction to the news, a peculiar stranger lurks, with a very different motive for his visit.

Martin McDonagh’s theatre credits include: Hangmen (Royal Court), The Beauty Queen of Leenane, A Skull in Connemara and The Lonesome West (Druid Theatre/Royal Court & Broadway), The Cripple of Inishmaan (National/West End/Broadway), The Pillowman (National/ Broadway – Olivier Award for Best New Play), The Lieutenant of Inishmore (RSC/Garrick/Broadway – Olivier Award for Best New Comedy) and A Behanding in Spokane (Broadway). As Writer/Director, film includes: Six Shooter (Short – Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film), In Bruges (BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay) and Seven Psychopaths.

Matthew Dunster’s theatre credits include: Hangmen and Liberian Girl (Royal Court), The Seagull and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Open Air Regent’s Park), Love’s Sacrifice (RSC), The Lightning Child, Troilus and Cressida and Doctor Faustus (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Love Girl & the Innocent, You Can Still Make a Killing (Southwark Playhouse), Mametz (National Theatre Wales), Before the Party (Almeida), A Sacred Flame (English Touring), Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Royal Exchange Manchester), Mogadishu (Royal Exchange Manchester and Lyric Hammersmith – Olivier Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre), Love and Money (Royal Exchange Manchester and Young Vic – Olivier Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre), Love the Sinner (National Theatre).  As Writer, theatre includes: Children’s Children (Almeida), The Most Incredible Thing (Sadler’s Wells), and You Can See the Hills (Royal Exchange Manchester).

Josef Davies trained at LAMDA and graduated in July 2015. Theatre credits include:  Hangmen(Royal Court).

James Dryden’s theatre credits include: Hangmen (Royal Court), Beached (Soho Theatre),Teechers (Theatre Royal Wakefield) and The History Boys (Mercury Theatre). Film includes:Tulip Fever and Mr Turner. Television includes: Close To The Enemy, Father Brown, Doctors andSerial – Angel Of Decay.

Johnny Flynn’s theatre credits include: Hangmen, The Low Road and The Heretic (Royal Court),Richard III and Twelfth Night (Globe/Apollo), Jerusalem (West End) and Twelfth Night/The Taming of the Shrew (Old Vic/tour). Film includes: Love is Thicker than Water, Clouds of Sils Maria, Song One, Apres Mai, Lotus Eaters, Crusade in Jeans and A Small Holding. Television includes: A Devotee of Art, Brotherhood, Detectorists, Scrotal Recall, Kingdom, Holby City andMurder in Suburbia. Radio includes: Romeo & Juliet and As You Like It. Johnny is currently recording his 4th album which will be due for release in 2016.

Tony Hirst’s theatre credits include: I Know Where The Dead Are Buried (24:7 Theatre Festival), Crying In The Chapel (Contact Theatre), Oh! What A Lovely War! (Landor Clapham),No Sweet Surrender (Newbury Corn Exchange), Piaf (Albany Empire) and The Uninvited (New Perspectives). Film includes: Hard Hat. Television includes: Glue, Coronation Street, Casualty,Law & Order UK, Hollyoaks, Ghost Squad, Holby City, Shameless, No Angels, Doctors, Watch,99-1, Brookside, The Specials and Sharp End.

Bronwyn James trained at ALRA and graduated in July 2015. Theatre credits include: Hangmen(Royal Court).

David Morrissey’s theatre credits include: Hangmen (Royal Court), Macbeth (Liverpool Everyman), In a Dark Dark House (Almeida), Three Days of Rain (Donmar), Much Ado About Nothing (West End), Peer Gynt (National Theatre), King John, Henry VI, Edward IV and Richard III (RSC), The Cabinet Minister (Royal Exchange, Manchester), El Cid and WC/PC (Liverpool Playhouse). Television includes: Extant, The Driver, The 7.39, The Walking Dead, True Love, Richard II, Field of Blood, South Riding, Scaredycat, Sleepyhead, Murder on the Orient Express, 5 Days, U Be Dead, Doctor Who, Sense & Sensibility, Cape Wrath, Ripley’s Gold, Blackpool, The Deal, State of Play, Out of Control, Clocking Off, Murder, Pure Wickedness, Big Cat, Our Mutual Friend, Holding On, Out of the Blue, The One That Got Away, Available Light, Red Riding Trilogy,  Cause Celebre and One Summer. Film includes: The Ones Below, Welcome to the Punch, Earthbound, Blitz, Nowhere Boy, Centurion, Mrs Mandela, Is Anybody There?, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Waterhorse, The Reaping, Derailed, Stoned, This Little Life, Captain Correlli’s Mandolin, Hilary & Jackie, Born Romantic, Fanny & Elvis, The Commissioner, Some Voices, Being Human, Waterland, Robin Hood, The Widow Maker and Drowning By Numbers. As Director, film includes: Sweet Revenge, Passer By, Don’t Worry About Me and Bring Me Your Love. As Producer, film includes: The Driver and Don’t Worry About Me. David is a producer at On The Corner.

Andy Nyman’s theatre credits include: Assassins and Terrible Advice (Menier Chocolate Factory), Abigail’s Party (Wyndham’s Theatre) (Best Supporting actor nominated Whatsonstage), and Ghost Stories, which Andy starred in, co-wrote & co-directed with Jeremy Dyson (Lyric Hammersmith, Liverpool Everyman Theatre, Duke of York’s Theatre as well as in Moscow, Toronto, Australia, Shanghai and Lima). Film includes: Automata, Abcs Of Death 2, Kick Ass 2, The Glass Man, Black Death, The Brothers Bloom, Death At A Funeral, Severance and Shut Up & Shoot Me (Best Actor, Jury prize for Best Film and the Audience Award). Next year he can be seen starring opposite Tom Wilkinson & Ed Westwick in the new thriller Bone in the Throat.Television includes: Ballot Monkeys, Campus, Dead Set, The Eichmann Show, Peaky Blinders, Crooked House and Psycobitches. Writing includes: The Golden Rules of Acting, and with Derren Brown, Derren Brown – Live, Something Wicked This Way Comes (winner of the ‘Best Entertainment’ Olivier Award), An Evening of Wonders, Enigma and Miracle.

Craig Parkinson’s theatre credits include: Ecstasy (Hampstead/Duchess Theatre), Everything is Illuminated (Hampstead Theatre), Measure for Measure (Complicite/National Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Pirates of Penzance and Much Ado About Nothing (Regents Park) and Martin Guerre (Prince Edward Theatre). Film includes: Jet Trash, Ghost, Brighton Rock, Four Lions, The Unloved, Soul Boy, Desert Flower, Control, Chasing Temptation andTooth. Television includes: The Scandalous Lady W, X Company, Indian Summers, Prey, The Mill, Great Night Out, Crickley Hall, Line of Duty series 2 and 3, In With The Flynns, Excluded, Misfits series 2 and 3, Whitechapel, Mrs Inbetweeny, Lark Rise to Candleford, Green, Smalltime, Innocence, Outlaws, La Triviata, The Worst Week of My Life, Black Books, No Angels, Alistair McGowan’s: The Big Impression, Ed Stone is Dead, Attachments and Dalziel & Pascoe.

Ryan Pope’s theatre credits include: Hangmen and Breathing Corpses (Royal Court), To Kill A Mockingbird (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre/Tour), Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Royal Exchange Manchester), Watching The Detectives (Library Manchester), One Upon A Time in Wigan (Contact Theatre Manchester/National Tour), Parting Shots (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), The Arbour (Sheffield Crucible), Meat (Theatre Royal Plymouth), The Taming of The Shrew, Bad Weather and The Two Gentlemen of Verona (RSC). Film includes: United We Fall, A Field in England, Looking for Eric and Velvet Goldmine. Television includes: Casualty,Coronation Street, Stepping Up, Holby City, Doctors, The Midnight Beast, Ideal, Bodyfarm andSharpes Peril.

Sally Rogers’ theatre credits include: Hangmen, The People are Friendly and Uganda and Killing the Cat (Royal Court), Children’s Children (Almeida), The Duchess of Malfi, Billy Liar,Murmuring Judges, Arturo UI and Black Snow (National Theatre), Rita Sue and Bob Too, A State Affair, Some Explicit Polaroids, Our Country’s Good and Blue Heart (Out of Joint), Blithe Spirit (Bristol Old Vic) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Chester). Film includes: A Demon in My View. Television includes: The Syndicate Series 2, Siblings, Come Fly With Me, Little Britain, Messiah III, Pepys, Murphy’s Law, Attachments, Playing the Field, Out of Hours, The Lakes, Seaforth,The Bill, Paul Calf’s Video Diary and A Touch of Frost.

Simon Rouse’s theatre credits include: Hangmen, The Changing Room, Runaway and The Sea(Royal Court), Anything Goes (Sheffield Crucible / UK tour), The Full Monty (Sheffield, UK tour and Noel Coward), The Bomb and Tactical Questioning (Tricycle), When We Are Married(Garrick), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (London Festival), Ghosts (Alhambra), Black Angel (Kings Head), The Daughter In Law (Nottingham Playhouse), Rat in the Skull (Plymouth), The Way of the World (tour), ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Lorenzaccio, Coriolanus, Anthony and Cleopatra andTitus Andronicus (RSC), Sons of Light (Other Place), The Caretaker (Shaw Theatre), Widower’s Houses (Tyneside), Loonies (Hampstead Theatre), Lenz (Almost Free) and Sweet Bird of Youth(Theatre Royal Haymarket). Film includes: Butley, The White Bird, Parker and The Ragman’s Daughter. Television includes: The Dumping Ground, Casualty, Broadchurch, Soko Leipzig, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, The Bill, Dead Romantic, Minder, Sheppey, St Joan, The Master Builder, Casualty, Blood Royal: William the Conqueror, Coronation St, Boon, Dramarama, Bread, C.A.T.S Eyes, Operation Julie, Albion Market, Robin of Sherwood, Juliet Bravo, Grace Kelly, Radio Phoenix, Play for Today, Smuggler, Doctor Who, The Manions of America, Dick Turpin, Even Solomon, One Bummer Newsday, Wednesday Love, The Professionals, Crime and Punishment, Life of Shakespeare, We Never Do What They Want andSam.

The transfer of Hangmen is produced by Robert Fox, Matthew Byam Shaw for Playful Productions and Royal Court Theatre Productions.


Robert Fox, Matthew Byam Shaw for Playful Productions, and Royal Court Theatre Productions present
The Royal Court Theatre production of
by Martin McDonagh
Directed by Matthew Dunster
Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0DA
Tuesday 1 December 2015 – Saturday 5 March 2016

Previews from: Tuesday 1 December
Final performance: Saturday 5 March

Performance times: Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm, Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. No Wednesday matinee on w/e 6 December 2015
Christmas performance schedule:

Monday 21-Dec-15 7.30pm
Tuesday 22-Dec-15 7.30pm
Wednesday 23-Dec-15 2.30 & 7.30pm
Thursday 24-Dec-15 2.30pm
Friday 25-Dec-15 CLOSED
Saturday 26-Dec-15 7.30pm
Sunday 27-Dec-15 CLOSED
Monday 28-Dec-15 7.30pm
Tuesday 29-Dec-15 2.30 & 7.30pm
Wednesday 30-Dec-15 2.30 & 7.30pm
Thursday 31-Dec-15 2.30pm
Friday 01-Jan-16 7.30pm
Saturday 02-Jan-16 2.30 & 7.30pm
Sunday 03-Jan-16 CLOSED

Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes including interval

Captioned performance: Tuesday 12 January 2016, 7.30pm
Audio described performance: Saturday 16 January 2016, 2.30pm

Tickets from £19.50

Book online:
Phone: 0844 482 51204
Groups: 0844 482 51004
Schools: 0844 482 5165
Access: 0844 482 5137

Book online
Phone: 020 7565 5000
Or in person at the box office (Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS)

No booking fees when booked directly with the theatre,, and via the Royal Court Box Office.
A limited number of £19.50 Day Seats will be released in person at Wyndham’s Theatre Box Office from 10am for that day’s performances.

Elaine Cassidy To Play Madame De Tourvel In Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Elaine Cassidy will be taking on the role of Madame de Tourvel in the Donmar’s production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, replacing Michelle Dockery who regrettably has had to withdraw from the production prior to the beginning of rehearsals.

Donmar Artistic Director Josie Rourke said: “We are delighted to welcome Elaine Cassidy back to the Donmar playing Madame de Tourvel, I can’t wait to work with Elaine and our fantastic company when rehearsals start on Monday, and hope to work with Michelle in the future“.

Donmar Artistic Director Josie Rourke will direct Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Christopher Hampton’s stage adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos’ 1782 novel. Elaine will join a previously announced cast which includes Adjoa Andoh, Theo Barklem-Biggs, Morfydd Clark, Edward Holcroft, Janet McTeer, Jennifer Saayeng, Una Stubbs and Dominic West.

In 1782, Choderlos de Laclos’ novel of sex, intrigue and betrayal in pre-revolutionary France scandalised the world. Two hundred years later, Christopher Hampton’s irresistible adaptation swept the board, winning the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Play. Josie Rourke’s production will now mark the plays’ thirty-year revival.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses, will be broadcast live in cinemas in partnership with National Theatre Live on 28th January 2016. For further information visit

Former lovers, the Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont now compete in games of seduction and revenge. Merteuil incites Valmont to corrupt the innocent Cécile Volanges before her wedding night but Valmont has targeted the peerlessly virtuous and beautiful Madame de Tourvel. While these merciless aristocrats toy with others’ hearts and reputations, their own may prove more fragile than they supposed.

Adjoa Andoh (Madame de Volanges)
Elaine Cassidy (Madame de Tourvel)
Morfydd Clark (Cécile Volanges)
Edward Holcroft (Le Chevalier Danceny)
Janet McTeer (La Marquise de Merteuil)
Jennifer Saayeng (Émilie)
Una Stubbs (Madame de Rosemonde)
Dominic West (Le Vicomte de Valmont)

Christopher Hampton (Writer)
Josie Rourke (Director)

11th December 2015 – 13th February 2016
Director: Josie Rourke
Designer: Tom Scutt
Lighting Designer: Mark Henderson
Sound Designer: Carolyn Downing
Composer: Michael Bruce
Fight Director: Richard Ryan
This production is supported by an anonymous donor

Donmar Warehouse
41 Earlham Street, Seven Dials, London WC2H 9LX

Gina McKee set to reprise role in The Mother at the Tricycle Theatre

Florian Zeller’s The Mother will transfer into London next spring, with Gina McKee and Richard Clothier set to reprise their roles from the Ustinov Studio production.

The critically acclaimed play premiered at the Ustinov Studio in Bath earlier this year, and is now set to run at the off-West End venue Tricycle Theatre from Thursday 21st January to Saturday 6th March 2016.

BAFTA-winning actress Gina McKee (Richard III, The Aristocrats) returns as Anna, The Mother, alongside Richard Clothier (King Lear, Richard III) as Pierre, The Father. Also reprising his role from the original production is William Postlethwaite (Brave New World, Longing) as Nicholas, The Son. They will be joined by new cast member Frances McNamee (Love’s Labour’s Lost, Pride and Prejudice) as Élodie, The Girl.

Anne loved that time in her life when she prepared breakfast each morning for her two young children, Sara and Nicolas. Now her children are grown and have lives and loves of their own. Spending hours alone, Anne has convinced herself that a weekend seminar in Dijon is a front for her husband Pierre’s affair.

Perhaps Nicolas and his girlfriend Élodie will break up and her favoured son will return. He will come down for breakfast, she will put on her new red dress and they will go out. After all, tomorrow is Mother’s Day…

The Mother is written by Florian Zeller. The award-winning French playwright also wrote The Father, which is currently playing at the Wyndham’s Theatre in London’s West End following its 2014 sell-out run at the Ustinov Theatre.

The Theatre Royal Bath production is a new translation by Christopher Hamption, who won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the adaption of his own play, Dangerous Liasons. It is directed by Laurence Boswell, artistic director of the Ustinov Studio.

The Mother comes to the Tricycle Theatre in 2016 as part of the London venue’s Spring at the Tricycle season. It opens on Thursday 21st January 2106 and will run until Saturday 5th March 2016. Performances will run from Monday to Saturday, 7.30pm, with matinees performances on Wednesdays (2pm, from 3rd February) and Saturdays (3pm, from 30th January, 2016).


Alan Bennett’s Hit Comedy at The Grand



Nicholas Farrell, Belinda Lang, David Robb lead the cast

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A new production of Alan Bennett’s hit comedy is in his hometown of Leeds next April as part of a UK Tour.


Olivier Award-nominated Rachel Kavanaugh will direct Nicholas Farrell (as Guy Burgess), Belinda Lang(Coral Browne and Her Majesty the Queen) and David Robb (Anthony Blunt) in award-winning masterpiece, Single Spies.


Bennett’s espionage double bill – An Englishman Abroad and A Question of Attribution – is a pointedly satirical snapshot of two members of the infamous ‘Cambridge Five’, Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt, who were recruited as spies by the Soviet Union during World War II. 


In 1950’s Moscow, Coral Browne receives an invitation to lunch with shunned Soviet spy, Guy Burgess, with the sole instruction to ‘bring a tape measure’.  An Englishman Abroad is a wry and touching play which chronicles the pair’s fleeting friendship and Burgess’ attempts to cling to his way of life as a Soviet citizen.


A Question of Attribution gives a glimpse into Anthony Blunt’s life of espionage within the very walls of Buckingham Palace.  Following his double-life as an art historian to royalty and a Soviet spy, this witty tale of forgery and deceit culminates in a sharp and candid interrogation from Her Majesty the Queen herself.



Alan Bennett’s Single Spies is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Tuesday 12th to Saturday 16th April


Tickets are on sale now priced from £19.50 to £35


Book online at or call box office on 0844 848 2700


Alfred Hitchcock’s classic spy thriller – The 39 Steps



Monday 14 – Saturday 19 March

Alfred Hitchcock’s classic spy thriller, The 39 Steps, brilliantly and hilariously recreated for the stage as the smash hit Olivier Award Winning Comedy.

Follow the incredible adventures of our handsome hero Richard Hannay, complete with stiff-upper-lip, British gung-ho and pencil moustache as he encounters dastardly murders, double-crossing secret agents, and, of course, devastatingly beautiful women.

This wonderfully inventive and gripping comedy thriller features four fearless actors, playing 139 roles in 100 minutes of fast-paced fun and thrilling action.

The 39 Steps is a melodrama adapted from the 1915 novel by John Buchan and the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock. The original concept and production of a four-actor version of the story was by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon. Patrick Barlow rewrote this adaptation in 2005.

The play’s concept calls for the entirety of the 1935 adventure film The 39 Steps to be performed with a cast of only four. One actor plays the hero, Richard Hannay, an actress (or sometimes actor) plays the three women with whom he has romantic entanglements, and two other actors play every other character in the show: heroes, villains, men, women, children and even the occasional inanimate object. This often requires lightning fast quick-changes and occasionally for them to play multiple characters at once. Thus the film’s serious spy story is played mainly for laughs, and the script is full of allusions to (and puns on the titles of) other Alfred Hitchcock films, including Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Psycho, Vertigo and North by Northwest.

Tickets: From £13.50

Box Office: 0844 871 3024

Online Booking:



The 39 Steps was Peggy Ashcroft’s second film


Robert Donat was affectionately known as the Monte Cristo man


One of the film’s major motifs is the confining, sexually-frustrating institution of marriage.


North by Northwest (1959) is widely considered Hitchcock’s “American Thirty-Nine Steps.”


John Buchan’s official title was First Baron Tweedsmuir of Elsfield, Oxfordshire


Hitchcock’s film was remade twice both in the UK: The Thirty-Nine Steps (1959), d. Ralph Thomas andThe Thirty-Nine Steps (1978), d. Don Sharp


The 1978 version starred Robert Powell as Hannay


The 39 Steps is only one of Buchan’s several works that feature the character Richard Hannay


Madeleine Carroll from the Hitchcock film was the first in a notorious line of Hitchcock’s female stars that later included Grace Kelly and Tippi Hedren


At the old Wembley Stadium, 39 steps needed to be climbed to reach the Royal Box and collect a winner’s trophy


The 1959 version of The 39 Steps has by far the most location filming of any of the three versions of the movie. Filming took place over a large portion of central Scotland albeit mostly in the Trossachs area


The 39 Steps was Hitchcock’s first film with a classic theme that he modelled repeatedly for the remainder of his career


Trains are a major theme in Hitchcock’s films: The Lady Vanishes, Strangers on a Train, Sabotage, North By Northwest and The 39 Steps


Hitchock was reported to say, “What interests me in the drama of being handcuffed” as one of the major themes of the film


There is no Mr Memory in the novel, but he is based on a real-life character


Hitchhcock’s birthday was the 13 August


Hitchcock was a mean practical joker. He handcuffed Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll together for their very first scene and then “lost” the key for over an hour


During World War One, Buchan worked for the British War Propaganda Bureau and as a war correspondent for The Times, before joining the Intelligence Corps in France. It was during the first few months of the war that, whilst confined to a bed and recovering from illness, Buchan wrote his most famous novel, “The Thirty-Nine Steps”, which was subsequently published in 1915


In the spring of 1915, Buchan became one of five journalists attached to the British Army, responsible for writing articles for both The Times and the Daily News


Buchan won the Victory Medal and the British War Medal


Patrick Barlow appeared in the Rolo television commercial where a honeymooning couple are travelling on a train with a love heart drawn on the carriage window in the condensation. There is one last Rolo left in the wrapper and they are both smiling at each other all lovey-dovey. They go through a tunnel, he looks at the sweet, not there! He looks at his wife who is chewing the last sweet innocently; he angrily wipes the love heart from the window. He didn’t love her enough to save her his last Rolo


Patrick Barlow was Bridget Jones’s mother’s love interest in the film Bridget Jones’s Diary


Barlow also starred in Notting Hill, and Shakespeare in Love as Will Kemp


Another leading role of Barlow was as Toad in The Wind in The Willows at the National Theatre


There are 686,000 entries with Patrick Barlow in them on Google


There are 1,480,000 for Alfred Hitchcock


The atomic number 39 is a silvery metallic element that is common in rare-earth minerals; used in magnesium and aluminium alloys – yttrium, Y


The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of 1571 given in English and Latin, the assent of which is still required of clergy in the Church of England forms the “authorised standard of doctrine” of the Anglican Church of Australia. They form the basis of the Articles of the Episcopal Church of America and the Twenty-five Articles of the Methodist Church


39 is the sum of the 43rd & 44th digits of pi


The 39th day of the year is February 8th


There are 39 books in the Old Testament


The number thirty-nine, symbolizes understanding, thoughtfulness, meditation and mental superiority


The fastest train from London King’s Cross to Edinburgh is 4 hours and 19 minutes


The huge cantilever sections of the rail bridge spanning The Forth are one of the most familiar landmarks of Scotland. Completed in 1890, the bridge was constructed from 54,000 tonnes of steel, 194,000 tonnes of stone and concrete, and in excess of 21,000 tonnes of cement. This was the largest steel bridge in the world, using approximately 7,500,000 rivets produced by The Clyde Rivet Company. Success was not without its casualties and, throughout the course of construction, 57 men lost their lives


Today the bridge, now a ‘listed structure’, still carries about 150 trains each day across The Forth, and has been regularly maintained over the years. An extensive five-year refurbishment programme was undertaken at the turn of the millennium, costing in excess of £40m, and employing somewhere between 150 and 300 men per day, six days a week. At an average height above the general water level of some 361ft (m). It used to be said that as soon as the painting team had reached the far side of the bridge, it was time to start over at the beginning


The Code 39 is a bar code broadly used in non-retail applications. It is a bar code that allows for alpha and numeric encodes, as well as some symbols


St David’s Cathedral in West Wales had 39 steps


Bryan Ferry recorded a version of Ira Gerswhin’s “The 39 Steps”


There is a restaurant in Styal, near Manchester called “The 39 Steps”


Goodnight Mister Tom returns to York!

Fiery Angel. Ambassador Theatre Group , Fiery Dragons & The Children’s Touring Partnership present The  Chichester Festival Theatre Production of



 A play by David Wood from the novel by Michelle Magorian





Tuesday 29 March until Saturday 2 April 2016

The Olivier award-winning Chichester Festival Theatre production of Goodnight Mister Tom returns to the stage starring David Troughton (The Archers).

Now a modern classic, Michelle Magorian’s wonderfully uplifting tale is brought gloriously to life in this magical stage adaptation by David Wood.. Set during the dangerous build up to the Second World War, Goodnight Mister Tom follows young William Beech, who is evacuated to the idyllic English countryside and forges a remarkable and heart-warming friendship with the elderly recluse, Tom Oakley.  All is perfect until William is suddenly summoned by his mother back to London.

Winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and commended for the Carnegie Medal, Goodnight Mister Tom is now a world-wide literary favourite and BAFTA award-winning TV film (starring John Thaw), and continues to inspire audiences and bring generations together.



‘ **** SPELLBINDING MAGIC. Tender and traumatic, poignant and powerful’

Sunday Express






Tickets: From £19.50

Box Office: 0844 871 3024

Online Booking:


Ignition 2015 Review

Stratford Circus – 28th October. Reviewed by Claire Roderick

Frantic Assembly’s Ignition programme runs workshops and trials around the UK to engage young men in theatre, and every year 12 are selected to come to London to create a performance. These are not drama schools kids, but lads with raw talent that may well have never considered working in the arts.

The company started work on the show on Saturday, and to produce something of such an amazing standard is nothing short of a miracle. The level of trust and camaraderie on stage makes it seem as if they have been working together for years. Directors Scott Graham, Neil Bettles and Jonnie Riordan (a graduate of Ignition) have worked with the company to produce a stunning show full of warmth and challenging society’s perceptions of youth. Through monologues and dance there is a continuing theme of “what I know”, being thought of as “a waster and an idiot” and “what if…” There is a lovely cheeky sense of humour throughout – who would have thought that otters were so funny? – but also some quiet, sombre moments focussing on the hidden struggles and regrets that young people face.

The young men delivering the monologues were all fantastic – each got the tone of their piece just right. The choreography is very clever. There is not much synchronised work, instead the dancers work together to throw, catch and support each other in energetic group sequences, interspersed with paired or individual segments. The whole effect is breathtakingly impressive – there is constant movement and change of focus, and the dancers are fearless. They launch themselves off tables, chairs and ladders into the arms of their fellow dancers with utter confidence, and manage to maintain the emotion in their faces.

The use of torches in the show is wonderful. In one segment “Can you see my face?”, the only lights are small torches held by dancers to illuminate their faces as they are moved around the stage by the company, creating a haunting effect as they stare into the light constantly, regardless of their body movement – as if taking a never-ending selfie. Larger torches are used to stunning effect to light one agitated dancer at a table. The light moves around him then blinds the audience before whipping back to the table to show a different person. This gets more and more complicated and spellbinding. Again, I just can’t believe they managed this in less than a week – superb!

This is such a worthwhile scheme, and I think that the cast have bright futures ahead of them. Even if they don’t, the looks on their faces at curtain call showed that this was a life-changing experience for them, and no one can ever call them wasters again.

Darlington Civic Theatre – Brave New World

Civic-Theatre-Hi-Res-Logo-1-117x300BRAVE NEW ADAPTATION OF A CLASSIC

Darlington Civic Theatre will soon welcome a brand new stage adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s ground-breaking novel BRAVE NEW WORLD, presented by Touring Consortium Theatre Company and Royal & Derngate Northampton which will run from Tuesday 10 to Saturday 14 November.

Brave New World, widely considered to be one of the finest and most prophetic dystopian novels of the twentieth century, bursts into life on stage in an adaptation by award-winning playwright Dawn King, directed by James Dacre, with original new music by the ground breaking British band These New Puritans.

download (29)Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World was first published in 1932, and is widely seen to be one of the most important novels of the 20th century, anticipating developments in reproductive technology, psychological manipulation and behavioural conditioning. Set in AD 2540 human life has been almost entirely industrialised, and humans are created and conditioned in a lab according to a strict caste system, in a World State whose motto is “Community, Identity, Stability”. Monogamy, the family unit and the ‘natural’ process of giving birth, are considered horrific and unnatural, and material comfort and physical pleasure – provided by the drug soma – represent society’s highest good.

Dawn King said, “Huxley’s novel is over eighty years old, but his vision of the future is shockingly familiar. In many ways, we already live in Brave New World: a glittering dystopia built on inequality, where people keep themselves distracted with empty pleasures, chemical stimulants and consumer goods. Adapting this huge work for the stage has been as tough and stimulating as anything I’ve ever done and a huge pleasure.”

Sophie-Ward-cGemma-Betts-225x300Sophie Ward stars as ‘Margaret Mond – the Regional World Controller for Western Europe’, which in Huxley’s novel is a male character. Dawn King said, “I took this decision primarily because as a feminist, I wanted to increase the gender equality of the show. I also felt that having a female world controller of Western Europe is more representative of our world today, and of a world of the future. In the novel the character is called ‘Mustapha Mond’, but in my adaptation I chose the name Margaret, for its obvious allusions. I think Sophie Ward is a great choice to play the role because ‘Mond’ is a person who has had to make hard decisions, has a strong sense of her own personal morality, and has real steely authority.”

Brave New World is at Darlington Civic Theatre from Tuesday 10 to Saturday 14 November. Tickets* are priced from £17.40

*All ticket prices include a £1 restoration levy.

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