Sir Kenneth Branagh: The new President of RADA

kenneth-branagh290RADA have today announced that Sir Kenneth Branagh is their new President, succeeding Lord Attenborough who was President from 2002 until his death in 2014.

Branagh graduated from RADA in 1981 and since then has achieved notable success as an actor, director, producer and screen writer.

Branagh becomes RADA’s sixteenth president, and commented “It’s such a privilege to be asked to take up this role. I am delighted to see – and now help – RADA continue to nurture and support generations of acting and technical talent. To be able to give back to the school which provided me with so much is a wonderful honour.

Director of RADA, Edward Kemp, added “We’re thrilled to have Ken on board for the next step of the RADA journey, which includes plans to make our training even more accessible and public-facing and to renovate our Studios building to maintain our position as a world-leading drama school. The diversity of Ken’s career, not only as an actor, but as director, producer and beyond are an inspiration to us all, staff and students alike.

Branagh, was born and raised in Belfast, the son of working-class Protestant. At the age of nine, he relocated with his family to Reading, Berkshire. He appeared in school theatrical productions which included Toad of Toad Hall and Oh, What a Lovely War!

One of Branagh’s early professional successes was in Northern Ireland for his role as Billy, the title character in the BBC’s Play for Today trilogy – known as the Billy Plays (1982–84), written by Graham Reid and set in Belfast. Immediately after leaving RADA he won the 1982 SWET Award for Best Newcomer, for his role as Judd in Julian Mitchell’s Another Country.

Branagh became a major presence on the British stage in a 1988 touring season of three Shakespeare plays under the title of Renaissance Shakespeare on the Road, which also played a repertory season at the Phoenix Theatre in London. It featured directorial debuts for Judi Dench with Much Ado About Nothing (starring Branagh and Samantha Bond as Benedick and Beatrice), Geraldine McEwan with As You Like It, and Derek Jacobi directing Branagh in the title role inHamlet, with Sophie Thompson as Ophelia.

Nobody’s Business Review

King’s Head Theatre Pub – 30th September – 24th October.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

A comedy about the ludicrous loopholes of EU funding could have been a satirical bullseye. Unfortunately Nobody’s Business misses the target completely and buries itself in bad 70s sitcom land.

Hugo is a rather dodgy businessman setting up an office in a building managed by Howard. He meets Sybil the concierge, who ends up posing as his secretary when clients turn up earlier than expected. Hugo’s scam is finding inept inventors and convincing them to apply for EU development grants, with him acting as consultant and pocketing most of the money. Throw in Hugo’s artist girlfriend and hilarity ensues… apparently.

Sylvia Freedman’s plot is predictable and full of clichés and missed opportunities for cutting humour. The characters are written one dimensionally and some jokes are hammered home so much that you expect a Basil Brush style “Boom Boom” afterwards. When the biggest point of interest in the first act is the fate of a discarded chicken tikka, and loudest laugh of the night comes from an Albanian spouting incomprehensible nonsense punctuated with “F***wits”, you know there’s something wrong. At times I was willing the actors to improvise rather than follow the clunky script.

On the King’s Head’s tiny stage there are obvious staging issues, but the decision to mark scene changes by using coloured lighting, playing “Nobody’s Business” and having the actors on stage miming and dancing like middle aged librarians at their first swingers’ party is slightly jarring. The only time this works is when Hugo joins in involuntarily – I thought someone had summoned Beetlejuice to save the day. The effects used at the end of act one are also bizarre and unsatisfactory, as if it’s been patched on from a different production.  

The cast is game and committed. Katy Manning, as Sybil is delightfully ditzy at first, but as the play progresses, her character becomes simply annoying. Perhaps Freedman thought that the cod philosophical lines and revelations about Sylvia’s past would make her multidimensional, but it just doesn’t work. Manning’s constant movement around the stage doesn’t help either – seasickness begins to set in if you follow her too closely. However, Manning does a fantastic job with the material she is given – I can’t help but wonder what she and Tristan Beint (Hugo) could have achieved with a better script. Their interactions were fantastic and Beint plays slimy Hugo with just the right amount of greed, frustration and fear that makes you root for the character, even though you know you shouldn’t.

Claire Jeater as Imogen has a thankless task. Her character just has nothing to do, which is a shame, as Jeater is a fine actress. As Howard, Stephen Oswald milks every drop of comedy possible from his manchild character, and Michael Nowak as Ervin is like a young David Walliams – getting lots of laughs for his silent physical comedy. And then there’s poor Jeremy Drakes, who has to play two “hysterical” inventors – I’ve seen funnier creations in my hanky – before playing Neville the inventor of the Shopalong. There is a half decent running joke with Hugo forgetting Neville’s name, and Drakes doesn’t go over the top with his gentle portrayal of nerdy Neville.

At one point Hugo talks about EU grants fostering the need to fail, and arts grants fostering the right to fail. Well this production has flaunted its right. It is such a shame as the talented cast could be amazing. It’s just the script that needs a development grant.





The highly-anticipated major new musical theatre adaptation of THE WIND IN THE WILLOWScreated by Julian Fellowes, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe is confirmed to open at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth from 8th October 2016, followed by The Lowry in Salford from 26th October 2016 prior to opening in London’s West End.

Anthony Drewe, George Stiles and Julian Fellowes.jpgBased on Kenneth Grahame’s treasured novel which has captivated generations of readers for over a century, THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS has been adapted for the stage with a book by Oscar-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and Olivier Award-winning composer and lyricist team George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS marks the first time the three have worked together since their hugely successful collaboration on the international hit musical Mary Poppins which ran for three years in the West End and six years on Broadway.

Developed and produced by Jamie Hendry Productions and presented in association with Theatre Royal Plymouth, THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh with design by Peter McKintosh and lighting design by Howard Harrison.

Kenneth Grahame’s wild tale about the thrill-seeking, lovable menace Mr Toad comes to life in a brand new stage musical. Ratty, Badger and Mole join the exuberant Toad and embark on a series of adventures and misadventures caused by his insatiable need for speed! Imprisoned for theft and with his existence under threat from the inhabitants of the Wild Wood, Toad must attempt a daring escape to defend Toad Hall. Featuring spectacular stagecraft and a company of over fifty, this sparkling new musical with a glorious original score brings this treasured British classic to life in what is set to be 2016’s wildest theatrical adventure.

Jamie Hendry (Producer): “I am delighted that we will be opening The Wind in the Willows in two of the country’s most prestigious venues prior to the West End. It has been a joy working with such a distinguished team of writers and creatives to develop that rare thing – a new British musical. I can’t wait to get the show on the road and invite audiences to share in our journey next year!”

Hendry also announced that he is sending copies of Kenneth Grahame’s novel to every school and library in Plymouth and Salford launching an incentive to provide readers of all ages the opportunity to enjoy The Wind in the Willows before the musical opens. He added “I am a firm believer that our most classic novels should be freely available for everyone to enjoy. I hope that readers will fall in love with Grahame’s story as much as I did, which ultimately led to the commissioning of this musical.

Julian Fellowes (Writer): “I could not be more pleased to have been working on this new production of The Wind in the Willows, which has been a favourite of mine literally all my life. It has been a real privilege to be part of the team re-imagining it for the musical stage. As an added bonus, I’ve really enjoyed being back in the Stiles/Drewe/Fellowes team with our last production of Mary Poppins being a high point for all of us. Naturally, I have similar hopes for The Wind in the Willows and I shall be on the edge of my seat when we open at Plymouth, a marvellous theatre and the perfect launch pad for us to begin. Of course I would say all this, wouldn’t I? But I do believe audiences everywhere will love the adventures of Toad, Ratty, Mole, Badger and their friends, on stage, as much as they have always loved the book. I certainly hope so, anyway.”

Adrian Vinken OBE (Chief Executive, Theatre Royal Plymouth): “We feel privileged that the Theatre Royal Plymouth will stage the world premiere of The Wind in the Willows next year. It will be great to be working again with George, Anthony and Julian – the show simply couldn’t have a better pedigree than that!”

Julian Fellowes has achieved extraordinary success recently having created the hugely popular period drama Downton Abbey for which he won two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe in 2011.  Fellowes won an Oscar in 2002 for his Gosford Park screenplay. Other screenplays include The Young Victoria, Separate Lies, Vanity Fair and The Tourist.

George Stiles and Anthony Drewe have been writing together for over thirty years. They are best known for writing new songs for Mary Poppins, their Olivier Award-winning Honk!, Just Soand more recently Betty Blue Eyes. Their current projects include a new version Half a Sixpenceand a musical based on Travels with My Aunt.

The production is being developed and produced by Jamie Hendry Productions, whose recent productions include the global phenomenon Let It Be, hit magic show Impossible, Tim Firth’sNeville’s Island, the multi Olivier Award-winning Legally Blonde the Musical and the multiOlivier Award-winning La Cage Aux Folles.

Full details on casting as well as West End dates and venue will be announced in due course.

The website for the production is



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8th October 2016 – 22nd October 2016
01752 267 222

26th October 2016 – 6th November 2016
0843 208 6000


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

Design by Anna Fleischle, lighting by Joshua Carr and sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph.


David Morrissey (Harry) in Hangmen by Martin McDonagh directed by Matthew Dunster Credit Simon Annand 3.jpgFollowing a sell out run at the Royal Court Theatre, producers Robert Fox, Matthew Byam Shaw for Playful Productions and Royal Court Theatre Productions are delighted to announce that Matthew Dunster’s production of Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen will transfer to the West End for a strictly limited season. Previewing from 1 December, the production will have a press night on 7 December at Wyndham’s Theatre. Tickets for the run go on sale at 12 noon today.

Bronwyn James (Shirley) and Johnny Flynn (Mooney) in Hangmen by Martin McDonagh directed by Matthew Dunster Credit Simon Annand.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, with tickets selling out for the production’s entire run. Original cast members David Morrissey and Johnny Flynn will reprise their roles for the transfer, performances which were heralded at the Royal Court Theatre.

James Dryden (Clegg) in Hangmen by Martin McDonagh directed by Matthew Dunster Credit Simon Annand.jpgIn 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.

Sally Rogers (Alice) in Hangmen by Martin McDonagh directed by Matthew Dunster Credit Simon Annand.jpg“I am thrilled to be working with Martin McDonagh again on this stunning production of his new play Hangmen, wonderfully directed by Matthew Dunster.”
Robert Fox

We are delighted that Hangmen will have a future life in the West End. It’s been thrilling to be able to continue the legacy of Martin McDonagh’s work at the Royal Court.  Hangmen will become a modern classic. This stunning production has been a huge success here and a commercial life will mean it can be seen by many more people – which is, after all why we make theatre.”
Vicky Featherstone

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

Matthew Dunster’s credits for the Royal Court Theatre include Hangmen and Liberian Girl. His other credits include The Seagull, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Open Air Regent’s Park), Love’s Sacrifice (RSC), The Lightning Child 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), The Most Incredible Thing (Sadler’s Wells), The Two Gentleman of Verona(Royal & Derngate, Northampton). As a writer, his credits include Children’s Children (Almeida) and You Can See the Hills (Royal Exchange Manchester).

David Morrisseys credits for the Royal Court Theatre include Hangmen. Other theatre includesIn a Dark House (Almeida) Macbeth (Liverpool Everyman) and Peer Gynt (National). His television credits include The Driver, Red Riding, Field of Blood, South Riding, The Walking Dead, Extant, The 7.39, True Love, Our Mutual Friend, Clocking Off, Holding On, State of Play,The Deal, Viva Blackpool and Blackpool. Film credits include Richard II, Sleepyhead, Scaredy Cat, Welcome to the Punch, Hilary & Jackie, Some Voices, Born Romantic, Captain Correlli’s Mandolin, Derailed, Stoned, The Reaping, The Waterhorse: Legend of the Deep, The Other Boleyn Girl, Centurion, Nowhere Boy and Earthbound. Awards include Arena Awards for Best Television Actor (Viva Blackpool).

Johnny Flynn’s credits for the Royal Court Theatre include Hangmen, Jerusalem, The Low Roadand The Heretic. Other theatre includes Richard III, Twelfth Night (Globe/Apollo), Jerusalem(Apollo) and Twelfth Night/ Taming of The Shrew (Old Vic/Tour). His television credits includeA Devotee of Art, Brotherhood, Detectorists, Scrotal Recall, Kingdom, Holby City and Murder in Suburbia. His film credits include Small Holding, Love is Thicker than Water, Clouds of Sils Maria, Song One, Apres Mai, Lotus Eaters and Crusade in Jeans.

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
Press night: Monday 7 December, 7pm
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 5 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 10.30am for that day’s performances.



Darlington Civic Theatre – The Full Monty

Civic Theatre Hi Res Logo (1)EVERY INCH A WHOPPING HIT

Author Simon Beaufoy and cast members talk about their current UK tour of The Full Monty which comes to Darlington Civic Theatre from Monday 16 to Saturday 21 November.

Former Hollyoaks and Eastenders star Gary Lucy is no stranger to taking his clothes off but he’s doing it for the first time on stage as he leads the cast of The Full Monty which is coming to Darlington Civic Theatre from Monday 16 to Saturday 21 November.

“Every job I’ve had has seemed to involve some sort of nudity!” Gary joked.

Surprisingly, in an almost 20 year career, Gary has never appeared on stage until The Full Monty.

The Full Monty cast pic“I had never consciously decided not to do theatre but I’ve been incredibly lucky in my career to have played so many memorable characters in some great TV series. When the producers of The Full Monty approached me about starring in the tour, I just thought that it was a great opportunity for my first stage experience. It’s a really strong script. All the characters have stories to tell, and the audience really follows that through. It’s a really great cast too, we all get on well. It’s all guys together and we’re just having a laugh.”

At the beginning, it was in at the deep end for Gary.

“It was a real challenge when I first started working on the show. Theatre is a completely different discipline to TV. I’m on stage for pretty much the entire show. The rest of the cast were brilliant and really helped me through. I’m not one to do things by half and I’ve never shied away from hard work or a challenge.”

Gary’s well into the swing of life on the road and is enjoying the nightly standing ovations but he does admit that “it’s tough being away from home as I have two young kids but I am really well supported and I am getting home as much as possible.”

Oscar winter writer of the film, Simon Beaufoy, was also a stage novice. Even with a mantelpiece groaning with awards he admits that it was terrifying to begin with, but he was determined not just to do a carbon copy of the film on stage.

“I felt really strongly that audiences would want to come and see a really good play so that’s how I approached it” Simon recalls. “It was a steep learning curve for me and enormously invigorating to learn a whole new craft after 16 years writing for the cinema. I had to discover what works and what doesn’t. Ironically, it’s turned out that the story feels perfect on stage. It’s an ensemble piece about a group of men who are stuck and wondering what to do next.”

Having won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire and written screenplays for 127 Hours, Salmon Fishing in Yemen and Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Simon says that The Full Monty is “the film that I’m most proud off. I love it because of the characters, because of the city and because it’s about the people I met in the late eighties, who were some of the warmest and kindest people I’ve ever come across.”

Rupert Hill, best known as Jamie Baldwin in Coronation Street, agrees with Simon. As well as being lots of fun, the show also tackles lots of important issues.

“The great thing about Simon’s script is that it looks at all the issues people faced in cities like Sheffield in the eighties but it’s also a great night out for the audience. There’s the pay off at the end, but you can really feel the audience rooting for you because they care about what the characters have been through to get to that point.

On getting naked on stage, Rupert says:

“Once you agree to the job, you’ve kind of got to get over the whole naked thing. There’s no skirting around it, you know you are going to be naked in front of hundreds – no, make that thousands – of people. If we were supposed to be the Chippendales then it would be horrendous, but the whole point is these are six ordinary blokes who are doing this to earn a few bob. That’s what’s nice about it being all different ages and sizes, they’re all normal chaps out there and that’s what we are.”

And of course, the big question is whether the cast actually do go all the way. Simon Beaufoy was amazed by the audience reaction to the finale of the show.

“You’d think we’d all be a little blasé about seeing a few chaps in the buff. But apparently not! To answer the question – yes they really do go The Full Monty! The audience reaction is amazing – they whoop and roar but it’s not because they’re being titillated by some naked flesh. It’s because they’re just so happy that the guys are actually going for it. It’s a really lovely response – it’s sheer joy that these characters they’ve come to know and love actually have the guts to do it.”

The Full Monty is at Darlington Civic Theatre from Monday 16 to Saturday 21 November.

Tickets* are £12.50 to £29.50 To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit

*All ticket prices include a £1 restoration levy


abd3e0d6328cd91b_orgFor the first time ever, the award-winning West End production of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Sam Mendes, will be holding open auditions.   Next month, performers are invited to attend a day of auditions for the iconic roles of the Oompa-Loompas for the 2016-17 West End Company. 

Auditions will be held on Monday 26th October 2015 at The Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road.  Auditions for female performers start at 10am and for male performers at 2pm.

Jonathan Slinger in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Images by Matt Crockett 2.jpgThe creative team behind the production is looking for technically strong dancers, highly skilled in a range of styles including ballet, street, hip-hop, disco and tap. Alongside dance technique, the team will be looking out for performers with bags of personality and excellent facial and character skills.  Whilst this will be a dance only call, strong singing voices will be required for any recalls. Attendees must be aged 18 years or older, eligible to work in the UK and having a playing age of 18 – early 30s.  Female performers to be 5’1’’-5’8’’ and male performers 5’6’’ – 6’0’’.  Performers of all backgrounds and ethnic groups are encouraged to attend.

Auditionees should bring tight fitting dance clothes, ballet shoes, trainers and kneepads as well as a C.V. and headshot stapled together.

The Cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Photography by Matt Crockett..jpgResident Choreographer, Chris Piper said Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remains one of the most popular and successful musicals in the West End. This is a brilliant opportunity for performers to appear onstage as an Oompa-Loompa, one of Dahl’s most recognisable characters.  We’re searching for dancers with exceptional technical and performance skills who can embody their cheeky personality and entertain our audiences night after night’.  

Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has quickly become one of the West End’s most popular and successful stage musicals. It won two Olivier awards in April 2014, and has broken records at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, where it has been seen by over 1,500,000 people since it opened in June 2013. It is currently taking bookings until 4 June 2016.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is directed by Sam Mendes. Featuring ingenious stagecraft, the wonder of the original story that has captivated the world for almost 50 years is brought to life with music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, a book by award-winning playwright and adaptor David Greig, set and costume designs by Mark Thompson and choreography by Peter Darling.

The Official Cast Recording album is available on Sony Records, on CD and download.

This world premiere musical is produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Neal Street Productions and Langley Park Productions.
Box Office: 0844 858 8877
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, WC2B 5JF
Booking until 4 June 2016

Audition venue

  • The Dominion Theatre
    268-269 Tottenham Court Road
    W1T 7AQ


  • Roald Dahl’s
    Directed by Sam Mendes
    Book by David Greig
    Music by Marc Shaiman
    Lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman
    Set and costume design by Mark Thompson
    Choreography by Peter Darling


Casting announced for Tomcat at Southwark Playhouse

Full casting has been announced for Tomcat, which opens at Southwark Playhouse next month.

James Rushbrooke’s Tomcat was the winner of the 2015 Papatango New Writing Prize which sees his play performed for a four week run at Southwark.

Directed by Kate Hewitt, the cast will be led by 14-year-old Eleanor Worthington-Cox who won an Olivier Award for Matilda along with the other actresses who played Matilda. The role of Jessie in Tomcat will be her first stage role not shared with other children.

She will be joined by Brian Doherty (From Here to Eternity), Edward Harrison (Wolf Hall), Diana Kent (The Heresy of Love) and Susan Stanley (F*ck The Polar Bears).

As debate over genetic screening rages, Tomcat questions the lengths to which people will go to keep humanity healthy.

The production features set design by So Here We Are designer Lily Arnold, with lighting by Johanna Town and sound by Richard Hammarton.

Tomcat runs at Southwark Playhouse from 30 October to 21 November 2015.

40 years of the Olivier Awards to be celebrated with BBC gala

BBC Radio 3 announced today that Maria Friedman, Daniel Evans, Adrian Lester and David Thaxton will be amongst the past Olivier Award-winners joining the BBC Concert Orchestra to perform in The Oliviers in Concert.

The BBC Concert Orchestra will be teaming up with the Society of London Theatre to celebrate 40 years of the Olivier Awards, with a special gala concert at the Royal Festival Hall on 23 January 2016.

The stars will perform a selection of songs from award-winning musicals with the orchestra, conducted by principal conductor Keith Lockhart.

Further names are still to be announced.

To book tickets or for further information on the concert, click here.

Music Of The Knights – An Evening Hosted by Phillip Schofield

music-of-the-knights‘Music of the Knights’ which will be hosted by Phillip Schofield is a celebration of the legendary Knights of the entertainment industry who have transformed the face of music, film and theatre throughout the ages – Sir Elton John, Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Sir Cliff Richard, Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Paul McCartney and The Beatles, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Sir Tim Rice, Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Bob Geldof, Bono, and many more including the newly knighted Sir Van Morrison.

Phillip Schofield is no stranger to the stage having started his theatre career in ‘Joseph and the amazing technicolored dreamcoat’ at the London Palladium followed by a successful UK tour of ‘Dr Dolittle’, ‘Music of the Knights’ is your chance to see him hosting this unique evening with a limited number of LIVE dates scheduled for April 2016.

I’m so thrilled to be hosting ‘Music of the Knights’. It promises to be a great night of music and surprises. It’s been quite a while since I’ve appeared on stage so I’m really looking forward to a great evening” Phillip Schofield.

Featuring the best of British talent accompanied by a dazzling live band direct f om London’s West End ‘Music of the Knights’ will feature memorable and sensational songs such as I’m still standing, Rocket Man (Elton John) Twist and Shout, Hey Jude (The Beatles) I Dreamed a Dream (Les Miserables) Do you want to dance (Cliff Richard) It’s not unusual (Tom Jones) Close Every Door (Joseph) Satisfaction (Mick Jagger) just to name a few.

All of this incredible music is brought to you by a host of acclaimed West End singers and musicians who will bring you ‘the best of British’ for your Knights entertainment.

‘Music of the Knights’ celebrates ground breaking work from our Knighted treasures and celebrates true British talent throughout the ages. Never before has there been a show so diverse. From Lloyd- Webber to McCartney, from Bassey to Jagger ending with a patriotic visit to a night at the proms, this is truly the theatrical event not to be missed….

Casting to be announced soon.

Social Media

Thursday 21st April 2016
St Davids Hall
029 2087 8444

Friday 22nd April 2016
Regent Theatre
01473 433100

Saturday 23rd April 2016
01604 624811

Sunday 24th April 2016
02380 711811


Full casting announced for Patrick Barlow’s adaptation of BEN HUR

ben-hurTricycle Theatre In Association with Fiery Angel, Fiery Dragons and The Watermill Theatre Present BEN HUR – Written by Patrick Barlow – Based on the novel by General ‘Lew’ Wallace.

Director: Tim Carroll; Designer: Michael Taylor; Sound Designers: Ben & Max Ringham; Lighting Designer: Mark Doubleday; Movement Director: Siân Williams.

Full casting is announced today for Ben Hur – Tim Carroll directs Alix Dunmore, Richard Durden, John Hopkins and Ben Jones. The production opens on 24th November, 2015 with previews from 19th November, and runs until 9th January 2016.

They said it was unachievable!
They said it couldn’t be done!

But now the team behind the Olivier and Tony Award-winning comedy The 39 Steps are back with a sensational, awe-inspiring and unforgettable staging of General ‘Lew’ Wallace’s timeless classic Ben Hur.

The greatest book ever penned is brought to the stage by a towering team of just four actors, turning the Tricycle stage into one of the most authentic versions of ancient Rome ever seen. Complete with stunning combat (featuring the latest 3D technology), a 103% bona fide chariot race (with REAL CHARIOTS), an authentic sea battle (with REAL WATER) and a decadent and UNEXPURGATED Roman orgy (suitable for all ages), Ben Hur is the perfect winter tonic guaranteed to stir your very soul.

Patrick Barlow returns to the Tricycle where his adaptation of The 39 Steps opened in 2006 and in the same year transferred to the Criterion Theatre where it played for nine years. In 2007, it transferred to Broadway and has since played in over thirty-nine countries world-wide. He won an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, while in the United States, he co-won the Drama Desk Award and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play.

Alix Dunmore’s theatre credits include: The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre), What The Women Did (Southwark Playhouse), Gaslight (New Vic, Newcastle-Under-Lyme), London Wall (St James Theatre), Top Girls (Out of Joint), Nature Adores a Vacuum (Soho Theatre), Separate Tables (Mill at Sonning) The Two Noble Kinsmen (Bristol Old Vic). For television, her work includes Call the Midwife; and for film, London Wall. Dunmore is a founder member of the Fitzrovia Radio Hour.

Richard Durden returns to the Tricycle where he previously appeared in Ugly Rumours. His other theatre work includes Titus Andronicus, A Mad World My Masters (RSC), Hindle Wakes (Finborough Theatre), The Emperor And Gallilean (National Theatre), Once Bitten, The Madras House (Orange Tree Theatre), Shadowlands (tour and West End), Richard III and High Society (Sheffield Crucible), Orpheus Descending (Donmar Warehouse), Birdy (Comedy Theatre), Casablanca (Whitehall Theatre), Hamlet (Old Vic) and All My Sons (Wyndham’s Theatre). For television, his work includes Dickensian, Wolf Hall, Episodes, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Silk, World Without End, The Borgias, The Last Days of the Lehman Brothers, Spooks, Confessions of a Diary Secretary; Nuremburg, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, Fingersmith, Trial and Retribution (Series 1-7) and Not Only But Also; and for film, The Awakening, Anonymous, Agora, From Paris with Love, National Treasure 2, Oliver Twist, The Jacket, Le Vicaire, Morality Play, The Innocent and Batman.

John Hopkins’ theatre credits include Holy Warriors (Shakespeare’s Globe), Private Lives (Edinburgh Lyceum), A Mad World My Masters, Titus Andronicus, Candide, Antony and Cleopatra, The Tempest, Venus and Adonis, King John, Julius Caesar, Love In A Wood (all RSC), Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (Sheffield Crucible), The Deep Blue Sea (Chichester Festival Theatre) and The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre). For television, his work includes Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, Catastrophe, Dancing On The Edge, Hacks, Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, Merlin, Identity, Wire In The Blood, Robin Hood, The Path to 9/11, Nicholas Nickleby, Love In A Cold Climate, and two series as Detective Sergeant Scott in Midsomer Murders; and for film, The Face Of An Angel, Alice In Wonderland, The Experiment and The Pool.

Ben Jones’ theatre work includes The Bone Room (Young Vic), The Three Musketeers (UK tour), Time Of My Life (Royal and Derngate Theatre), The Pretender Agenda (Charing Cross Theatre), First Person Shooter (Birmingham Rep), Communicating Doors (UK tour) and And Then The Dark (New Wolsey Theatre). For television, his work includes The Borgias, Spooks, My Family, Echo Beach, Moving Wallpaper and Doctors (as series regular Dr Greg Robinson).

Tim Carroll began his career with the English Shakespeare Company before becoming Associate Director at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter. Since 1995 he has directed plays for theatres all over Britain, including Engaged (Orange Tree, Richmond), Gasping (Gateway Theatre, Chester) and Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Salisbury Playhouse). As Associate Director of Shakespeare’s Globe in London, his work includes Peter Oswald’s Augustine’s Oak, The Two Noble Kinsmen, Macbeth, Richard II (winner of the Jujamcyn Award), Dido, Queen of Carthage, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest and The Storm. In 2002 he directed The Golden Ass and Twelfth Night – the latter won Evening Standard, Time Out, Critics’ Circle and Olivier Awards, and in 2003 was revived for a record-breaking run at the Globe, followed by a tour of the United States. In 2012, he returned to Shakespeare’s Globe to direct Richard III and Twelfth Night. The two shows then transferred to the West End for a record-breaking run at the Apollo, and went on in 2013/14 to play at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway, where they also broke box-office records, as well as winning Outer Critics’ Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards. His other work spans the world, The Tempest (Teatro Sao Luiz), Peer Gynt (Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lincoln Center, Royal Festival Hall, Middle Temple Hall, and also broadcast on BBC TV and radio), The Merchant of Venice (RSC), The Mystae (Hampstead Theatre), King John (Stratford Festival, Ontario), as well as work for his own company The Factory.

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