Daniel Mays and George MacKay among cast of The Caretaker

Daniel Mays and George MacKay are among the cast joining the previously announced Timothy Spall in The Caretaker at the Old Vic.

Mays, who will play Aston, was recently seen in The Red Lion at the National and the Made in Dagenham film whilst MacKay’s credits include Ah Wilderness (Young Vic) and the film Pride. MacKay will take the role of Mick.

Directed by Matthew Warchus, Pinter’s groundbreaking 1960 play follows two brothers and a tramp wrestling for power in a psychological study of corruption and shifting allegiances.

The last West End production of The Caretaker was directed by Patrick Marber in the early noughties and starred Michael Gambon.

The Caretaker runs at the Old Vic from 6 April to 14 May.

THE KISSING DANCE Cast Announcement

4e9c0c84-6c70-4965-972c-026518a28339We are delighted to announce full casting and creatives for:


Music by Howard Goodall
Book and Lyrics by Charles Hart

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Venue: Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre, 53 Hoe Street, London, E17 4SA
Closest Tube/National Rail: Walthamstow Central, Victoria Line. (5 mins walk)
Dates: 10th – 28th February 
Times: Tuesday – Saturday at 7.30pm; Sunday at 3.00pm; No performances on Mondays
Price: Previews £12.50 or £18.00/ £16.00 Concessions
Box Office: 020 8520 8674/ www.ticketsource.co.uk/allstarproductions

Director: Brendan Matthew

Musical Director: Aaron Clingham
Choreographer: Charlotte Tooth
Production Manager: Kat Gagan
Design: Joana Dias
Lighting Design: Sky Bembury

Casting: Benjamin Newsome
Production Assistant: Angie Lawrence

Producer: Andrew Yon
Website: www.allstarproductions.co.uk
Twitter: @thekissingdance

Other: Originally commissioned by National Youth Music Theatre.

Darlington Civic Theatre – That’ll Be The Day

Civic-Theatre-Hi-Res-Logo-1-117x300THAT’LL BE THE DAY 30th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL

The legendary That’ll Be The Day stage show returns to Darlington Civic Theatre with its brand new 30th Anniversary Special on Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 3 February.

That’ll Be The Day is all about recreating nostalgia with live entertainment, reflecting the music and tone of an era that changed the course of music history and youth culture forever. Incredibly the show is now in its 30th year of touring, and the birthday party is coming to Darlington Civic Theatre.

Having delighted audiences throughout the UK for over three decades, That’ll Be The Day is back on the road entertaining audiences with classic gold hits from the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s and with more side-splitting comedy!

Originally established on the cabaret circuit in the late 1980’s, the show began playing regional theatres in the early 1990’s. Now it performs over 200 shows a year to capacity audiences across the UK. Trevor Payne (who first created the show) still directs, produces and stars in the production today. Trevor rewrites all the material for the show for each year, and over six months is taken in planning and preparation.

That’ll Be The Day is at Darlington Civic Theatre on Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 3 February at 7.30pm. Tickets* are priced £23 & £25

*All prices include a £1 restoration levy

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit www.darlingtoncivic.co.uk

Major UK tour of King Lear stops off at York

image002 (13)

Ambassador Theatre Group and Royal & Derngate, Northampton


Announce major UK tour


King Lear

by William Shakespeare

Starring Michael Pennington



“It will come: humanity must prey on itself, like monsters of the deep.”

Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) has announced that a major new Royal & Derngate, Northampton production of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, King Lear, will embark on a UK tour to nine regional venues from April to July.

After a three week run at Royal & Derngate from 1 – 23 April, with a press night on Tuesday 5 April, the venues for this tour include Oxford Playhouse (25–30 April),Theatre Royal Brighton (3-7 May), Richmond Theatre (9-14 May), Grand Opera House, York (23–28 May), Manchester Opera House (31 May–4 June), Theatre Royal Bath (6-11 June), The Hall for Cornwall Truro (13–18 June), Cambridge Arts Theatre (20–Sat 25 June) and Malvern Theatre (27 June–2 July).

The renowned Shakespearian actor and two time Olivier award nominee Michael Pennington will reprise the role of King Lear after his highly acclaimed performance at the Shakespeare Center New York in 2014.

The Brooklyn Eagle said of his performance: “Michael Pennington will break your heart.  One of England’s foremost classical actors, this is a King Lear to grieve for in Shakespeare’s darkest play”.

Michael Pennington is joined by a distinguished cast of thirteen actors.

The production is directed by Philip Franks, whose extensive directing credits include a 5 year period as an Associate Director at Chichester Festival Theatre. Productions at Chichester include The Master Builder, The Deep Blue Sea, and Rattigan’s Nijinsky.  Other productions incude A Talent to Amuse (Royal Academy of Music), The Duchess of Malfi (West Yorkshire Playhouse) The Tempest (Liverpool Playhouse) and Private Lives (National Theatre).

In Shakespeare’s epic tragedy, an ageing tyrant’s decision to divide his kingdom tears his family apart, sparks catastrophic civil war and destroys all that he has.

Driven from his home, King Lear endures madness, blindness and great suffering as he battles a great storm. Yet with madness he finds reason, from blindness he gains new sight, after betrayal he discovers loyalty and through his suffering a better world emerges.

ATG Joint Chief Executive Sir Howard Panter commented: “The eyes of the world will be on Britain this year, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.  To mark this significant year, we are delighted to be bringing this major new production of King Lear to so many regional British playhouses and I am particularly proud that Michael Pennington, one of the finest Shakespearian actors of our time, will be playing Lear.”

Michael Pennington’s (Lear) stage career spans over 50 years.  He was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1964 to 1966, and again from 1974 – 1981.  In 1984 his role in Tolstoy’s Strider at the National Theatre won him an Olivier award nomination.

In 1986, Pennington and director Michael Bogdanov founded the English Shakespeare Company. As joint artistic director, he starred in the company’s inaugural productions of The Henrys and, in 1987, the seven-play history cycle of The Wars of the Roses, which toured worldwide and was televised. Pennington played such parts as Richard II, Prince Hal/Henry V and Jack Cade, for which he received an Olivier Award Nomination.

His West End work includes Peter Shaffer’s Gift of the Gorgon, Filumena (Eduardo di Filippo), in which he played opposite Judi Dench for the third time, Joe Orton’s What the Butler Saw (National tour), Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George III and Dr Dorn in Chekhov’s The Seagull, directed by Peter Stein for the Edinburgh Festival.  In 2003 he directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and The Hamlet Project for the National Theatre in Bucharest.

In 2006 he premiered his second one man show on Shakespeare, Sweet William, and in 2009 he worked with Peter Brook for the first time in Love is My Sin for a European Tour and in New York.

In 2012 he played his fifth consecutive Chichester season as Antony in Antony and Cleopatra opposite Kim Cattrall.

Recent notable performances have been as Edgar in Strindberg’s The Dance of Death, adapted by Howard Brenton at the Gate Theatre, John of Gaunt in Richard II (RSC), and as Anthony Blunt in Alan Bennett’s Single Spies at the Rose Theatre Kingston.

He played Michael Foot in The Iron Lady with Meryl Streep; and among his notable TV appearances have been in the title role of Oedipus the King and in the television movie The Return of Sherlock Holmes.


Cast also includes Beth Cooke (Cordelia). Beth trained at the Drama Centre in London. Her extensive stage experience includes the role of Cordelia in King Lear at The Abbey Theatre, Dublin.  She played Hero in The Old Vic Production of Much Ado About Nothing directed by Mark Rylance, and played Lois Fisher in The Children’s Hour directed by Sarah Frankcom for Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester and Irina in Three Sisters also directed by Sarah Frankcom for Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester.

Pip Donaghy (Gloucester) trained at the London Drama CentreHis theatrical career includes extensive work at Sheffield, Nottingham, Watford and Cambridge and two years at the Liverpool Everyman as well as seasons with 7:84 and Joint Stock.

Other cast members include Joshua Elliott (Fool), Gavin Fowler (Edgar), Scott Karim (Edmund) and Daniel O’Keefe (Oswald).


NB: The production is suitable for ages 14+

Tickets go on sale on Wednesday 20 January at 10am


Tickets from £15.25, available from box office on 0844 871 3024 or book online at www.atgtickets.com/york  



Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Fri 1 – Sat 23 April

01604 624811


National Press Night: Tuesday 5 April 7pm

Oxford Playhouse

Mon 25 – Sat 30 April

01865 305305


Theatre Royal Brighton

Tue 3 – Sat 7 May

0844 871 7650


Richmond Theatre

Mon 9 – Sat 14 May

0844 871 7651


Grand Opera House York

Mon 23 – Sat 28 May

0844 871 3024


Manchester Opera House

Tue 31 May – Sat 4 June

0844 871 3018


Theatre Royal Bath

01225 448844

Mon 6 – Sat 11 June


The Hall for Cornwall Truro

Mon 13 – Sat 18 June

01872 262466


Cambridge Arts Theatre

Mon 20 – Sat 25 June

01223 503333


Malvern Theatre

Mon 27 Jun – Sat 2 July

01684 892277


An explosion of love and treachery

image006 (6)Opera & Ballet International proudly presents an Ellen Kent production with international soloists, highly praised chorus and full orchestra






Starring Vladimir Dragos as Scarpia with International Sopranos Maria Tonina and Alyona Kistenyova as Tosca*


Grand Opera House York

Friday 4 March at 7:30pm


A magnificent, traditional, fully-staged opera, Tosca is set against the dramatic landscape of Rome and the Napoleonic Wars and the corrupt Italian regime of that time. With a spectacular new set built in the UK by Set Up Scenery, who builds sets for the Royal Opera Covent Garden.


Directed as a Gothic, Victorian horror story, Puccini’s Tosca is an epic tale of true love and treachery featuring torture, murder and suicide alongside some of opera’s best-known music, and is based on a play by Victorien Sardou, it was once described as a “shabby little shocker.” It tells of Floria Tosca’s true love for artist Mario Cavaradossi. Tosca is forced to enter into a deal with the Chief of Police Baron Scarpia, in order to save Cavaradossi, her lover, from execution. Scarpia’s price is Tosca’s seduction, but she cannot go through with it, and in desperation she stabs Scarpia to death.  Cavaradossi is executed and, realising all is lost, Tosca throws herself from the battlements to her death


Puccini was inspired by seeing Sarah Bernhardt in the Victorian melodrama Tosca in Manchester.


In preparation for the current tour and her new staging of Tosca, Ellen took a trip to Puccini’s house in Italy. She said: “It was quite magical. I didn’t think it would be quite so inspiring. It was almost eerie – exactly as you would imagine Puccini to have created, with beautiful memorabilia everywhere. There were his shoes and clothes and pipes and all the models of his operas and his actual scores with all his notes on them.


“My productions are always rather beautiful and I suddenly realised that in my view, I have been doing what Puccini would have liked and wanted. It felt like meeting somebody I knew.”


The shows also feature local children from *local stage schools and include a boys’ choir and a shepherd boy’s solo.


This most popular of operas, with its tender and moving arias Recondita Armonia, Vissi d’Arte and E Lucevan le Stelle, is a heady mixture of true love, torture and treachery, with two of the best roles for tenor and soprano, plus a pure evil villain as the baritone. 

VLADIMIR DRAGOS returns to sing his most famous role of Scarpia after his acclaimed portrayal of Rigoletto on Ellen Kent’s last tour.



“Brilliantly sung by Vladimir Dragos” THE TIMES Royal Albert Hall


“Tonina is very, very good” Newcastle Journal

“Alyona Kistenyova was all one could wish for” Darlington Times


‘…the solos are simply stunning’



‘Tosca lived up to all my hopes and expectations’




*Sung in Italian with English subtitles.

Darlington Civic Theatre – Islands In The Stream

Civic-Theatre-Hi-Res-Logo-1-117x300A NIGHT WITH DOLLY AND KENNY

Celebrating the queen and king of country music, Islands In The Stream comes to Darlington Civic Theatre on Thursday 4 February.

Stacked with country music’s greatest hits: Jolene, Ruby, 9 to 5, Lucille, Here You Come Again, The Gambler, I Will Always Love You, Coward of the County, Love is Like a Butterfly and Lady – Islands In The Stream is a celebration of two country music legends – Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.

With awesome vocals and the gentle humour of Dolly and Kenny’s legendary live shows, bring-the-house-down performances, a superb score and supreme musicianship, the show tells the story of the simple Smoky Mountains farm girl’s rise to country music’s biggest superstar.

So, leave your 9 to 5 worries at the door and sail away to another world with this all-new, spectacular stage show.

Islands In The Stream is at Darlington Civic Theatre on Thursday 4 February at 7.30pm. Tickets* are priced £21.50 & £23.50

*All prices include a £1 restoration levy

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit www.darlingtoncivic.co.uk

Young Voices

 Young Voices

20th Anniversary Arena Tour

Sheffield Arena

Monday 18th-Friday 22nd January 2016

The largest Children’s choir in the world, Young Voices is celebrating their 20th anniversary in style by completing a marathon of 20 arena dates up and down the country with over 120,000 excited singing school children aged from 6-13.

Over 25,000 local children will be performing at Sheffield Arena this week with Young Voices over 5 nights from Monday 18th-Friday 22nd January.

Tickets purchased online at www.sheffieldarena.co.uk or by phone on 0114 256 5656 are priced £23.65 including booking fee.  Tickets purchased in person at the Arena box office are priced £22.58 including booking fee.

Young Voices provides an unrivalled musical opportunity for primary school children to perform all styles of music including folk, pop, rock and classical. Young Voices is designed to unify children from across the region, boost their confidence and provide lifelong memories for them and their families. Teachers & Pupils practice the dance routines and learn the songs in their music lessons for many months before they excitedly come together for the penultimate show at their local arena. This is an unmissable opportunity for local school choirs to sing in huge arenas alongside some of the most talented & well known artists from the world of music.

Their choirs range from 4,500 to 8,500 children, all performing at the same time to capacity audiences of friends and family. Nothing can prepare you for the sound of thousands of children singing in harmony. Young Voices combines the power of singing together as one, with accompaniment from a wide range of musicians and artists, to create an amazing performance.

Every year, schools across the country practise their music in class with their teachers to prepare themselves to take part in these massive concerts. Over the years the children in the choir have performed with artists such as Alexandra Burke, Joss Stone, and Gary Barlow as well as raising over 1 million pounds for Children’s charities such as CLIC Sargent.

“The most amazing time of my life” – X-factor winner Alexandra Burke on her time at Young Voices

Ben Lewis, Managing Director of Young Voices is adamant that “every pupil should be exposed to music at an early age, whether the joy is singing, playing an instrument or loving the sound of music, the potential benefits are huge. My father David, started Young Voices 20 years ago, I can’t believe how much we’ve grown. 20 arena dates to mark our 20th anniversary is such an achievement and shows the we are making a real difference to the children and schools”

“It was a most fabulous experience! All the children sung brilliantly and enjoyed shining their torches to create incredible effects. We all enjoyed the dancing and listening to all the singers and groups. Music Teachers at Foresters Primary School 

An evening with Laura Carmichael and Samantha Bond from Downton Abbey

Nuffield have announced a special evening with the stars of the internationally-acclaimed TV series Downton Abbey on Sunday 7th February at the Nuffield Theatre, in Southampton.

Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith Crawley) and Samantha Bond (Lady Rosamund Painswick) will talk about their lives in TV, theatre and film at this special one-off event to raise funds for Nuffield’s charitable activities. The evening will be hosted by BBC South Today presenter Sally Taylor MBE.

Laura Carmichael, who made her West End debut in 2012, is from Southampton and starred in Nuffield’s 2008 production of The President’s Holiday. Other theatre credits include Uncle Vanya (Vaudeville Theatre), Plenty (Sheffield Crucible), The Fitzrovia (The Swan at the Globe) and films; Madame Bovary (Left Field Ventures) and Tinker Tailor Solider Spy (Studio Canal/Working Title).

Samantha Bond originally found fame on Nuffield’s main stage in the world premiere of Daisy Pulls It Off before it transferred to the West End. Other credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Savoy Theatre), Passion Play (Duke of Yorks Theatre); What the Butler Saw (Vaudeville); King James Readings (National Theatre); alongside BBC TV’s Outnumbered and as Miss Moneypenny in James Bond.

“It is therefore my pleasure to invite two actresses who started out on the Nuffield stage back to Southampton to reflect on their own experiences.” Both actresses are Nuffield Associate Actors, alongside actor Tom Hiddleston and actress Celia Imrie, who are ambassadors supporting the vision for Nuffield as the leading producing theatre company in Southampton.Sam Hodges, Nuffield Director said, “In today’s climate, it’s essential to keep reminding everyone, from our audiences to our stakeholders, of what an important role regional theatre can play in developing and nurturing talent who then go onto make a global case for this country’s arts ecology.

Tickets for Downton Abbey – An Evening with Laura Carmichael and Samantha Bond are available online at nuffieldtheatre.co.uk or from the Box Office 023 8067 1771.

The Book of Mormon London cast from 1st February 2016

From 1st February 2016, the cast of The Book of Mormon at The Prince of Wales Theatre London, will be led by KJ Hippensteel as Elder Price and Brian Sears who continues in the role of Elder Cunningham. They will be joined by Asmeret Ghebremichael as Nabulungi, Stephen Ashfield as Elder McKinley, continuing in the role he originated for the West End production, with Delroy Atkinson, Richard Lloyd-King and Dean Maynard.

The full cast will include Kelly Agbowu, Philip Catchpole, Christopher Copeland, Brendan Cull, Joseph Davenport, Jonathan Dudley, Harry Francis, Lydia Fraser, Tyrone Huntley, Reece Kerridge, Alex Lodge, Joshua Lovell, Tania Mathurin, David McMullan, Brianna Ogunbawo, Oliver Ormson, Sean Parkins, David O’Reilly, Stephen Rolley, Jacade Simpson, Rhys Taylor, Kayi Ushe, Ellena Vincent, Rodney Vubya and T’Shan Williams.

The Book of Mormon
Prince of Wales Theatre
31 Coventry Street, London, W1D 6AS
Running Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Age Restrictions: Not suitable for young children. Ages 17 and up.

Show Opened: 26th Feb 2013
Booking Until: 2nd Apr 2016
Important Information: Contains swearing, sexual content, offensive content.
Evenings: Monday to Saturday 7.30pm
Matinees: Wednesday and Saturday 2.30pm

Zoe Wanamaker among cast of Elegy at the Donmar

Full casting for the Donmar’s production of Elegy has been announced with Harlequinade and Harry Potter star Zoe Wanamaker starring in the three-hander.

Wanamaker, who takes the role of Lorna, will also be joined by Barbara Flynn (Copenhagen and Hamlet, The Revenger’s Tragedy) as Carrie and Nina Sosanya (The Young Chekov Season, The Vote) as Miriam.

The world premiere of Nick Payne’s play will be directed by Josie Rourke and appears to continue the scientific themes of Payne’s smash-hit Constellations being set in a very-near future in which advances in medical science mean that it’s now possible to augment and extend life.

Elegy will run at the Donmar Warehouse from 27 April to 18 June.