“This is not to be missed!”– The Sun

Fresh from conquering America with a sold-out debut in New York, The Barricade Boys are back in the UK and ready for the ultimate home-coming tour. The West End Party Concerts will take place at The Adelphi Theatre London (17 October), St David’s Hall Cardiff (16 November) and Rainton Arena, Tyne & Wear on 17 November.

The Barricade Boys will be joined on stage by some various special guests. At the Adelphi Theare in London a little extra showbiz sparkle comes courtesy of Fra Fee, Courtney Bowman and Matt Henry MBE, as well as the Choirs of Stage Coach Finchley Central and Mill Hill East. The St David’s Hall in Cardiff concert will co-star Caroline Sheen with the choir of Stage Coach Cardiff.

Fra Fee is probably best known for his role as Kazi in the hit Disney+ series Hawkeye, set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Courfeyrac in Tom Hooper’s movie adaptation of Les Misérables. He next appears in Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon, released on Netflix this December and Lost Boys & Fairies for BBC. His numerous stage roles include The Emcee in Cabaret (The Kit Kat Club), the world premiere of Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman directed by Sam Mendes (Royal Court Theatre, West End & Broadway) for which he won a Whatsonstage Award for Best Supporting Actor In a Play; Translations; As You Like It (National Theatre) & Les Misérables (Queens Theatre).

Matt Henry won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Lola in Kinky Boots, was voted Best Actor in a Musical at the What’s On Stage Awards and also nominated for a Grammy Award for his solo performance on the London Kinky Boots cast recording. Matt can be seen playing the doctor in the 2022 film of Matilda and has also appeared in the smash hit series Bridgerton. Henry is billed as one of the co-creators and finished performing in the Olivier nominated show The Drifters Girl Musical at the Garrick Theatre originating the role of ‘Clyde McPhatter’ in October 2022.

Courtney Bowman won the 2022 WhatsOnStage Award for Best Performer in a Musical and was nominated for Best Female Actor in a Musical Award at the Black British Theatre Awards for her role as Elle in Legally Blonde at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Other theatre credits include Kit De Luca in Pretty Woman (Savoy Theatre); Lauren in Kinky Boots In Concert (Theatre Royal Drury Lane); Anne Boleyn in Six (Arts Theatre/The Lyric Theatre) and Fatimah in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Apollo Theatre and Sheffield Crucible). On TV, Courtney is Little Cook in CBBC’s Big Cook Little Cook.

Caroline Sheen made her West End debut as Marty in Grease at the Cambridge Theatre. She went on to play Florinda in Into the Woods at the Donmar Warehouse and then joined the original cast of Mamma Mia! at the Prince Edward Theatre. She originated the role of Jennifer Gabriel in the world premiere of The Witches of Eastwick (Theatre Royal Drury Lane). Other West End credits include Eponine in Les Misérables at the Palace Theatre, Sandy in Grease at the Victoria Palace, and Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium. Caroline played Mary Poppins in the UK Tour of the Cameron Mackintosh/Disney production, a role she later played on tour in the US. She returned to the UK to play Fantine in Les Misérables, followed by the role of Woman 2 in the London Premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s Putting it Together. In 2019, Sheen created the leading role of Violet Newstead in the West End Premiere of 9 to 5 at the Savoy Theatre.

Packed with the greatest musical theatre songs of all time, West End Party audiences can expect a jaw-dropping mashup from the internationally acclaimed super group.

As well as performing the world’s greatest show tunes, The Barricade Boys also celebrate music from some of the most iconic names in the music industry, from power ballads to some of the best pop, rock and swing numbers of all time, and all delivered with a unique Barricade Boys’ twist.

Featuring past cast members of the global theatrical sensation that is Les Misérables, The Barricade Boys – who are Craig Mather, Kieran Brown, Scott Garnham and Simon Schofield – have entertained fans around the world since they formed in 2015.

But it’s not just about the music – these four superstar performers will also share hilarious and inspiring stories from their time on stage touring the world and in some of the biggest shows in the West End, including Wicked, Billy Elliot, The Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat and many, many more.

Simon and Scott set up The Barricade Boys to create a night at the musicals like no other and they have established themselves as THE musical theatre supergroup. They have toured New Zealand, the Middle East and the UK, twice, and enjoyed two Christmas Residencies at The Other Palace in London. They have performed for Bill Gates in Washington and at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Birthday Party.

In 2020, they released their own version of ‘Bring Him Home’ from Les Misérables in aid of NHS Together charities, featuring Alfie Boe and a host of former Les Misérables stars, recorded in their own homes during the Covid-19 pandemic. It has now had over 3 million views.

Follow The Barricade Boys on Facebook and Twitter @Barricadeboys and Instagram @BarricadeboysUK

Greatest Days Review

Mayflower Theatre, Southampton – until Saturday 30 September 2023

Reviewed by Joanna Huggett


My 14-year-old daughter and I went to see Greatest Days in Southampton, and we really enjoyed the show. We thought the acting, singing, and dancing were great, from all members of the cast. We particularly enjoyed the performances by Jennifer Ellison as Rachel, and Olivia Hallet as young Rachel. In the ‘Boyband’ we particularly enjoyed the dancing of Archie Durrant, and the singing of Jamie Corner.

The set was effective, and cleverly thought out. We liked the fact that the Boyband were on stage singing, whilst acting was going on around them. We liked the way the costumes were similar colours for both the younger and older versions of the main characters. The music and band were great, and we enjoyed all the songs that we know so well.

The story line was clever, and the main characters acted well. The show was quite touching in parts, and the cast cleverly portrayed losing their friend. We enjoyed following the main characters through their lives and meeting up after 25 years. We enjoyed listening to them share stories and reminisce about their childhoods, and the Boyband that brought them together.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed the show, and couldn’t fault it. All the cast members put in maximum effort and had the whole audience on their feet for the finale! A real ‘feel good’ show! Go and see it!





Wessex Grove, Gavin Kalin Productions and Kater Gordon today announce that Victoria Blunt will perform a public understudy performance of Chekhov’s VANYA adapted by Simon Stephens at the Duke of York’s Theatre on 6 October at 3pm. As with the first West End performance by Andrew Scott, all tickets will be £10.

Comedic and tragic, Chekhov’s examination of our shared humanity – our hopes, dreams, regrets – is thrust into sharp focus in VANYA.

Directed by Sam Yates, assisted by Francesca Hsieh, this critically acclaimed production explores the kaleidoscope of human emotions, harnessing the power of the intimate bond between actor and audience to delve deeper into the human psyche.

Wessex Grove, Gavin Kalin Productions and Kater Gordon present

After Anton Chekhov

Adapted by Simon Stephens

Performed by Andrew Scott

Directed by Sam Yates

Designed by Rosanna Vize

Lighting designer: James Farncombe

Sound designer: Dan Balfour

Video designer: Jack Phelan

Movement:  Michela Meazza

Costume designer: Natalie Pryce

Associate designer: Blythe Brett

Assistant director: Francesca Hsieh

Victoria Blunt’s theatre work includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth (The Watermill Theatre), Newsrevue (Canal Café Theatre), Passion (Oxford School of Drama), Ratchet (Soho Theatre, Oxford School of Drama), Once Upon a Christmas (Unicorn Theatre), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Oxford Shakespeare Company), Dead Funny (Vaudeville Theatre), Lady Windemere’s Fan (Classic Spring Theatre Company), Twelfth Night (The Watermill Theatre, Wilton’s Music Hall), A Christmas Carol (RSC) and Prism (Hampstead Theatre). For television, her work includes Borderline and Flowers in the Attic – The Origins; and for film, Ammonite.

Simon Stephens’ plays include Cornelia StreetMorning SunFortuneLight FallsMariaFatherlandRageHeisenbergNuclear WarSong from Far AwayBirdlandCarmen DisruptionBlindsidedMorningThree KingdomsWastwaterPunk RockThe Trial of Ubu, Marine Parade,  Sea WallHarper ReganPornographyMotortown, On the Shore of the Wide WorldOne MinuteCountry MusicChristmasPortHerons, and Bluebird. He has adapted Jose Saramago’s Blindness for the stage and also Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. He has written English language versions of Jon Fosse’s I Am the Wind; Odon Von Horvath’s Kasimir and Karoline (titled The Funfair); Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House; Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard and The Seagull and Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s Threepenny Opera. He has presented four series of the Royal Court Playwright’s Podcast. His book “A Working Diary” is published by Methuen. Stephens has been an Associate at the Royal Court, London and Steep, Chicago and a board member of Paines Plough. He has been an Associate Artist at the Lyric, Hammersmith, a Professor of Scriptwriting at Manchester Metropolitan University and an Associate Professor at the Danish National School of the Performing Arts, Copenhagen.

Sam Yates directs. His theatre credits include The Two Character Play (Hampstead Theatre), A Separate Peace (Curtain Call & Platform Presents), Incantata (Irish Rep, Gate Theatre, Dublin, Galway International Festival & Jen Coppinger), The Starry Messenger (Wyndham’s Theatre), Company, Merrily We Roll Along, Assassins (Royal Academy of Music), The Phlebotomist (Hampstead Theatre, nominated for Olivier Award for Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre),  Glengarry Glen Ross (Playhouse Theatre and UK tour), Desire Under The Elms (Sheffield Crucible), Murder Ballad (Arts Theatre), Cymbeline (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), East is East (Trafalgar Studios and UK tour), The El. Train (Hoxton Hall), Outside Mullingar (Ustinov), Billy Liar (Royal Exchange Theatre), Cornelius (Finborough Theatre, 59E59 New York), Mixed Marriage (Finborough Theatre), and Purgatory by W.B. Yeats, and Macbeth: The Hour (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). His screen work includes the forthcoming Magpie (2023, feature film debut, written by Tom Bateman, produced by Werewolf Films and Kate Solomon for 55 Films, with Daisy Ridley, Shazad Latif, Matilda Lutz), Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar, The Hope Rooms, (Winner Grand Prize Future Filmmaker Award, RIIFF 2016), Cymbeline, All’s Well That Ends Well, and Love’s Labour’s Lost (The Complete Walk, Shakespeare’s Globe); and music videos Emeralds and Auld.

Rosanna Vize’s theatre credits include Julius Caesar (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Glass Menagerie, The Almighty Sometimes (Royal Exchange Manchester), King Priam (ENO), Britannicus (Lyric Hammersmith), Brown Girls Do It Too (Soho Theatre), Mavra and Pierrot Lunaire (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden),Gulliver’s Travels (Unicorn Theatre), Camp Siegfried, Midsummer Party (The Old Vic), Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (Leicester Curve Theatre), The Two Character Play (Hampstead Theatre, Upstairs), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Curve Theatre and UK tour), Shedding A Skin (Soho Theatre), The Enemy (National Theatre of Scotland), Harm (Bush Theatre), The Comeback (Noël Coward Theatre), Incantata (Irish Rep Theatre, NYC), Hedda Gabler (Sherman Theatre), The Phlebotomist, Yous Two (Hampstead Theatre), The Audience (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton), Don Carlos (Exeter Northcott), Incantata (Galway Festival), An Adventure, Leave Taking (Bush Theatre), King Lear (Shakespeare’s Globe), Earthworks and Myth (RSC), Low Level Panic (Orange Tree Theatre), After October (Finborough Theatre), Henry I (Reading Between the Lines), and Girls (Soho Theatre, Hightide & Talawa Theatre). For film, Harm Film. Her up-coming productions include The Turn of the Screw (Royal Danish Opera, Copenhagen), and Macbeth (Donmar Warehouse).

Listings Information


Duke of York’s Theatre

St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4BG




Over 500,000 new tickets and 7 extra shows now on sale

Now the 11th longest-running production in West End history

WICKED, the West End and Broadway musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, today celebrates 17 years since its London premiere on 27 September 2006 at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre. The productiontoday releases over 500,000 new tickets, extending public booking to Sunday 15 December 2024.

Performances begin Tuesday – Saturday at 7.30pm, and Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2.30pm. The performances on Sunday 24 December 2023 and Sunday 31 December 2023 will begin at the earlier time of 1.00pm. The following seven added shows are also now on sale: Thursday 26 October, Thursday 28 December 2023Thursday 15 February, Thursday 4 April,Thursday 1 AugustThursday 15 August and Thursday 31 October 2024 all at 2:30pm. Doors open 90 minutes prior to the start of all performances.

One of the most successful musicals of all time” (BBC News), and already seen by almost 12 million people in London alone, Wicked surpassed the 6512-performance West End run of Stomp on Friday 22 September 2023, becoming the 11th longest running production in West End history.

Michael McCabe, Executive Producer of Wicked in the UK said: “As we celebrate this remarkable milestone, we would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge our debt of gratitude to our extraordinary audiences and the exceptional group of over 100 individuals onstage and backstage at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, who, together with all the management, marketing, PR, Box Office and venue staff, have worked so passionately and tirelessly to maintain Wicked over the past seventeen years.”

Wicked currently stars Alexia Khadime (Elphaba), Lucy St. Louis (Glinda), Ryan Reid (Fiyero), Sophie-Louise Dann (Madame Morrible), Mark Curry (The Wizard), Caitlin Anderson (Nessarose), Joe Thompson-Oubari (Boq), Simeon Truby (Doctor Dillamond until Sunday 22 October 2023, Steven Pinder from Tuesday 24 October 2023), Amy Webb (Standby for Elphaba), Lisa-Anne Wood (Standby for Glinda), Yuki AbeKofi Aidoo-AppiahConor AshmanJessica AubreyJoshua ClemetsonFergus DaleEffie Rae DysonNicola EspallardoDanny FogartyRoss HarmonKate LeiperNick Len*, Jemima LoddyJoshua LovellRory MaguirePaddyJoe MartinMillie MayhewHarry MillsDaniel ParrottAiesha Naomi PeaseJeanie RyanNatalie SpriggsJames TitchenerMicaela ToddChristine TuckerJaydon Vijn, and Taela Yeomans-Brown.

*Nick Len until 15 October 2023. Cast subject to change from 12 March 2024

Whilst continuing its West End run, Wicked will embark on a third tour of cities in England, Scotland, Wales, and the Republic of Ireland, opening at the Edinburgh Playhouse on 7 December 2023 and continuing to Bristol Hippodrome, Birmingham Hippodrome, Bradford Alhambra Theatre, Southampton Mayflower Theatre, Liverpool Empire, Dublin Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Sunderland Empire, Cardiff Wales Millennium Centre, and Manchester Palace Theatre.

Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman’s celebrated musical is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire and imagines a beguiling backstory and future possibilities to the lives of L. Frank Baum’s beloved characters from ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, revealing the decisions and events that shape the destinies of two unlikely university friends on their journey to becoming ‘Glinda The Good’ and the ‘Wicked Witch of the West’.

Winner of more than 100 global awardsWicked has music and lyrics by multi-Oscar and Grammy Award winner Stephen Schwartz (‘Godspell’, ‘Pippin’, ‘The Prince of Egypt’, Disney’s ‘Pocahontas’, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ and ‘Enchanted’)It is based on the multimillion-copy best-selling novel ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ by Gregory Maguire and written by Emmy and Tony Award nominee Winnie Holzman (creator of the landmark American television series ‘My So-Called Life’). Musical staging is by Tony Award-winner Wayne Cilento with direction by two-time Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello.

Wicked is produced by Marc PlattUniversal Stage ProductionsThe Araca GroupJon B. Platt, and David Stone. Executive Producer (UK) Michael McCabe.

The Apollo Victoria Theatre, Wilton Road, London, SW1V 1LG

Official UK website:

Twitter: @WickedUK  |  Facebook: /WickedUK  |  Instagram: @WickedUK

Two weeks added to run of Frank and Percy starring Ian McKellen and Roger Allam




With phenomenal demand for tickets and most performances already sold out, producer Bill Kenwright has added two final weeks to the limited season of Ben Weatherill’s new comedy, Frank and Percy, at The Other Palace in London.  The production, starring Ian McKellen (Percy) and Roger Allam (Frank) and directed by Sean Mathias, will now run until Sunday 17 December.  Tickets for the extra two final weeks are now on sale.

Frank and Percy received its critically acclaimed world premiere at the start of a record-breaking run at Theatre Royal Windsor, followed by two sold-out weeks at Theatre Royal Bath.  Performances at The Other Palace began on 8 September.

Frank and Percy is a poignant and witty take on the unexpected relationship that blossoms between two men. Devoted to their canine companions, they believe that human connection is far more temperamental, but, as their dogs play in the park, can Frank, a widowed schoolteacher, and Percy, a somewhat radical elder statesman, find the time for new love, or should they just let sleeping dogs lie?

The Other Palace owner and producer, Bill Kenwrightsaid:

“I am delighted that we are able to offer more theatre lovers the opportunity to enjoy Ben Weatherill’s new play by extending our record-breaking run at The Other Palace by two weeks only. The play reunites two of the greatest actors of a generation in an intimate setting, beautifully directed by Sean Mathias.”

Frank and Percy’s limited run at The Other Palace must end on Sunday 17th September and will be followed by the next musical production in the main house, to be announced shortly.

Frank and Percy has also seen the launch of a new writing development fund at The Other Palace. 50p from each ticket sold on all productions in the main house, will be allocated to a ring-fenced fund specifically to support the development of new writing and emerging playwrights. The fund will provide grants for new writing from an open call to support, commission and workshop new and emerging writers to develop new plays and musicals, which will then receive a sharing or staged production in the studio at The Other Palace. Full details of the first open call and details on how to apply will be announced later this year.

Previously to Frank and PercyIan McKellen played Hamlet, followed by Firs in The Cherry Orchard in Sean Mathias’s inaugural summer season at Theatre Royal Windsor in 2021.  Ian’s performance as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings films made him one of the world’s biggest film stars, but in spite of that and his further iconic screen performances in such box office hits as The X-Men Trilogy, he has never forsaken his first love – theatre.  McKellen won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his performance in Amadeus in 1981 and won six Olivier Awards for his performances in Pillars of the Community (1977), The Alchemist (1978), Bent (1979), Wild Honey (1984), Richard III (1991) and Ian McKellen on Stage: With Tolkien, Shakespeare, Others and YOU (2020).

Roger Allam’s many starring appearances on stage, television, film and radio over the past three decades include, on stage, Javert in the original cast of Les Misérables, Michael Frayn’s Democracy and the hugely successful revival of Boeing Boeing opposite Mark Rylance, as well as extensive work at the Royal Shakespeare Company (of which he is an associate artist), the National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe and the West End; on television, the first series of Game of Thrones, the last series of The Thick Of It and ten years as DI Thursday in Endeavour; on film, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lady in the Van and two Stephen Frears hits, The Queen and Tamara Drew; his many radio roles include his hit series with Joanna Lumley, Conversations from a Long Marriage.  He has won three Olivier Awards.

Sean Mathias is a leading British theatre director, film director and writer with numerous awards to his name, including the WhatsOnStage Award, Evening Standard Theatre Award, the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award, a Fringe First at Edinburgh and the Prix de la Jeunesse at Cannes. His career includes productions at the Royal National Theatre, the Kennedy Centre, the Mark Taper Forum and many productions on Broadway.  In 2009/10, Sean was the Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Haymarket, where his production of Waiting for Godot, starring Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart and Simon Callow, played two seasons, as well as touring the UK and internationally.  His production of No Man’s Land, also starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, was the highest grossing play in the history of Wyndham’s Theatre.  In 2013, Sean directed and co-produced in rep off-Broadway Waiting for Godot and No Man’s Land.  

Ben Weatherill is an emerging British playwright.  His debut play Chicken Dust premiered at the Finborough Theatre, before transferring to Curve Theatre Leicester, where Ben was playwright in residence.  Chronic, his second piece, opened shortly after at Southwark Playhouse.  The follow up to Chicken DustJellyfish, premiered at the Bush Theatre, before transferring to the National Theatre.  As Waters Rise ran at the Almeida with the Almeida Young Company in 2020.  Ben has been nominated for multiple awards including an Offie (Most Promising New Playwright) and a Writers’ Guild Award for Best Play.

Frank and Percy is designed by Morgan Large, with lighting design by Nick Richings and sound design by Andy Graham.

Frank and Percy is produced at The Other Palace by Bill Kenwright.


8 September – 17 December 2023

The Other Palace

12 Palace Street

London SW1E 5JA

Box Office:                        020 7592 0302


Performances:                  Tuesdays – Saturdays at 7.30pm

       Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday matinees at 2.30pm

Signed Performances:      4 October at 2.30pm, 17 November at 7.30pm

Relaxed Performance:      19 October at 7.30pm

Tickets:                              from £25.50*

*The ticket price includes a 50p contribution from every ticket sold to a development fund to enable The Other Palace to develop and support new writing.

Twitter:                               @TheOtherPalace


Instagram:                         @TheOtherPalace



James Graham’s thrilling and provocative drama, Quiz comes to Newcastle Theatre Royal Wed 4 – Sat 7 Oct 2023.

In 2001, in a shockingly shameless scam, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire was duped out of £1,000,000 – or was it?

Rory Bremner, Britain’s top satirical impressionist and renowned comedian, stars as Chris Tarrant in the thrilling and entertaining ride through the infamous Coughing Major scandal.

We caught up with Rory to talk about the scandal that engulfed the world’s most popular TV quiz show.

You’ve only starred in one other play before, Noël Coward’s Relative Values, what made you say yes to this? And what are you looking forward to most about touring this production?

Loved Relative Values – for someone used to stand-up, it’s great to be part of a team. With Quiz I’m really looking forward to the challenge of playing a character over a whole play, not just a short sketch. Also, Chris says he hates my impression of him, which makes it even more fun!

You’re an impressionist, what is it that helps you most get into a character when there is often so much information out there about a person in the public eye?

Always the voice. Once you get that the rest often follows. It’s an instinctive thing with impressionists. But playing a character is going to involve some acting. Luckily both the writer and the director are as good as they come. That’s really exciting and makes me want to raise my game.

How familiar were you with the scandal of ‘The Coughing Major’? Had you seen the play when it was on in the West End back in 2018, or seen the ITV adaptation which aired in 2020?

I knew about it and enjoyed the TV version with Michael Sheen (who’s cornered the market in playing well-known figures on film- I must meet his agent) and Matthew McFadyen, who’s terrific in everything he does- especially Succession. His character Tom Wambsgans reminds me of Peter Mandelson. I’d love to see him play that part. I’ve deliberately avoided watching Quiz again though as Daniel Evans (the director) told me not to. It’s the first note he gave me and I’m doing what I’m told! I’m also not starting too soon as it’s enough for my wife to live with Chris Tarrant for four months. Six would be too much!

If you could star in a play centred around the life of another of your well-known impressions, who would you like bring to the stage most? Or which do you think audiences would have the largest appetite for?

Maybe Boris or Trump. I enjoy doing them but I can’t stand either of them so it might drive me mad. I helped Kenneth Branagh and Dominic West with Boris and Prince Charles respectively. We spent most of the time laughing.

Who would be at the top of your list of impressions you wish you’d done (or have yet to do!)?

Playing myself. That’s the hardest one of all and I still haven’t nailed it yet.

Quiz plays Newcastle Theatre Royal Wed 4 – Sat 7 Oct 2023. Tickets can be purchased at or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 0191 232 7010

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie Review

Nottingham Theatre Royal – until Sat 30th September 2023

Reviewed by Amy V Gathercole


“Fabulous, funny and freeing – a show about finding your identity and looking
fabulous whilst doing it.”

Running since 2017 to standing ovations and celebrated by a vast fandom everywhere it
goes. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is based on a true story. It was initially a BBC
documentary documenting one boy’s journey and struggle to attend his year 11 school
prom in a dress.

It’s always a popular show to see. Following a record-breaking three-year West End
residency, winning countless awards and now it’s on tour again. It’s full of laughs, modern
choreography and a heartfelt tale to tell, with some memorable and outrageous characters
and a soundtrack you want to dance too.

Set not too far away in the old steel city of Sheffield, Jamie New (Ivano Turco) is a lad
who feels that he has always been misunderstood. He’s always had a star quality and a
dream but has yet to learn how to obtain it. He doesn’t just dream of being a YouTuber,
TikTok sensation, or even simply being famous, but specifically of being a drag queen! A
fabulous, stylish and iconic drag queen.

With the resurgence and popularity of drag in the last few years, thanks to Ru Paul and
their many Drag Race TV shows, this is the perfect show to celebrate being unique and
learning to love yourself and others.

I’m a lucky soul who got to see Layton Williams as Jamie and the iconic Bianca del Rio as
Loco as a pairing in one of the final shows in the West End a few years back, and tonight
was very different in many ways.

Ivano Turco is the latest to don those terrifying red spiked heels and entertain us all as the
one and only Jamie New. His performance tonight was full of beautiful innocence and
wonder, which I’ve not seen from Jamie before; it’s the closest to an actual insecure and
curious teenager I’ve seen in this role. After all, he’s a 16-year-old facing his exams and
alongside his peers, having to answer that scary question of ‘what do you want to do with
your life?’ Add this to navigating bullies, personal insecurities, a troubled relationship with
a distant disapproving Dad and you’ve got a plethora of problems to tackle for our lead.
Seasoned pro-John Partridge (Hugo & Loco Channel) has been appearing in musicals for
years (Miss Saigon, Chicago and La Cage aux Follies, to name a few), but tonight, seeing
him take on a vulnerable dual character was so impressive.

Combining a perfect accent from the north with the high fantasy of his alter ego, Loco
Chanelle. Hugo’s a once-upon-a-time drag queen who now spends his days selling drag
clothing in ‘Victor’s Secret’ in Sheffield. Think of him as Jamie’s unconventional fairy

Both Rebecca Mckinnis as Jamie’s Mum, Margret New and Shobna Gulati as her best mate
and massive support of Jamie, Ray, are compelling, funny and have some very powerful
performances (emotionally and vocally), as they help guide Jamie along his way to fulfil his
dreams and stay true to himself.

They’ve never been bothered about Jamie being gay and have always encouraged his
individualism, but there are some secrets that they’re hiding that could be the solution to
some of Jamie’s biggest fears.

Talia Palamathanan as Jamie’s best friend and confidant, Pritti is brilliant. She plays a
critical role in the show and in Jamie’s life, as one of the people who believes in his
ambitious dreams and also knows how to stop going too far, most of the time and tonight
her vocals were perfect.

The set is primarily set in a school with classmates or a kitchen on a council estate, with a
couple of other locations thrown in. It’s functional, clever and full of vibrancy and colour as
it shifts from scene to scene.

It’s a beautiful script that explores who we are and how we share that uniqueness. The
show is packed full of memorable and emotional songs throughout, on this journey to

Overall, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a show that’s fabulous, funny and freeing -its a
show about finding your identity and looking fabulous whilst doing it.

Arlene Phillips directs West End gala for the NHS | 5 Nov, Adelphi Theatre

Adam Blanshay Productions in partnership with NHS Charities Together
Dame Arlene Phillips directing West End Gala
celebrating the 75th anniversary of the NHS
The Newfound Hope Show
Sunday 5th November, 2023, 7pm
Adelphi Theatre, Strand, London, WC2R 0NS

The crème de la crème of the entertainment industry is coming together this November to celebrate 75 years of the NHS and their wonderful life changing and life saving work. A onenight-only celebration, the gala – The Newfound Hope Show – is at the Adelphi Theatre on Sunday 5th November, 2023. 100% of proceeds will be donated directly to NHS Charities Together, the national charity caring for the NHS.

Co-conceived by Adam Blanshay and Matthew Brind, and choreographed and directed by Dame Arlene Phillips, DBE, this incredible evening will feature new songs written specially to mark the occasion, as well as audience favourite West End hits. Arlene Phillips is an award-winning choreographer and director, known for her time as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing and So You Think You Can Dance, as well as her extensive work choreographing on films like Annie, music videos including for Duran Duran, and West End musicals including We Will Rock You, Starlight Express and Saturday Night Fever.

The Newfound Hope Show promises to be a beautiful evening of music, dance and hope for our NHS and the future. Adam Blanshay Productions and NHS Charities Together are committed to making the gala affordable for all with tickets starting at £15. All ticket sales and other donations will help NHS Charities Together continue their vital work supporting NHS staff, patients, volunteers and communities around the UK.

An all-star cast, who will sing their favourite West End musical numbers as well as the new,
specially written songs, will be announced with an incomparable host for the evening.

Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive at NHS Charities Together comments, We are so looking forward to this event, which will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the incredible people of the NHS in its 75th anniversary year. The extra support provided by NHS Charities continues to be more important than ever with the scale of the challenges facing healthcare, and all funds raised will help us continue our vital work supporting NHS staff, patients and communities across the UK, helping to provide the best possible healthcare for us all.

Northern Ballet announce UK tour of Tortoise & the Hare

Northern Ballet announce UK tour of

Tortoise & the Hare

Touring UK wide 27 January – 29 May 2024

Northern Ballet’s heart-warming children’s ballet Tortoise & the Hare will tour to venues across the UK in spring 2024. 

The production will open in London at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre from 27 – 29 January 2024. Between 12 February and 26 May, the children’s ballet will then embark on an extensive UK tour, travelling to Leeds, Buxton, Aylesbury, Stoke, Goole, Barrow, Huddersfield, Crewe, Corby, Oxford, York, Durham, Harrogate, Newcastle, Doncaster, Hartlepool, Hull, Barnsley, Mansfield, Middlesbrough, Bridlington, Bradford, Berwick and finally Edinburgh. 

Tortoise & the Hare is a re-imagining of Aesop’s much-loved fable of a Tortoise who, tired of being teased for his slowness, challenges a speedy Hare to a race. 

Running for approximately 40 minutes, the colourful production has been created especially for children aged three and above and their families. It is designed as a way for them to experience live dance, music and theatre together at an affordable price.  

Many venues include a relaxed performance which, whilst open to anyone, aims to reduce anxiety around theatre visits to help everyone have an enjoyable time. They may benefit people with sensory or communication difficulties, or a learning disability. For the first time there will also be two audio described performances and accompanying touch tour during the run at Northern Ballet’s home theatre, the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre in Leeds. 

Tortoise & the Hare is just one in Northern Ballet’s award-winning series of children’s ballets which have toured to theatres, schools and community centres across the UK. 

Choreographed by former Northern Ballet dancers Dreda Blow and Sebastian Loe, Tortoise & the Hare premiered in 2015 and was the second children’s ballet by the pair. Their 2012 Ugly Duckling was later adapted into a BAFTA winning programme for CBeebies. The production includes an original score composed by Bruno Merz, set designs by Ali Allen and live music performed by members of the Northern Ballet Sinfonia

Some venues are now on sale. For more information, on-sale dates and details on how to book, please visit 

New Trailer Released for the National Theatre’s Production of ‘Dear England’, by James Graham, at the Prince Edward Theatre from 9 October


A new trailer has been released for the National Theatre’s highly acclaimed West End transfer of Dear England. This new smash hit play by James Graham, directed by Rupert Goold, tells the story of the England men’s football team under Gareth Southgate. It will play at the Prince Edward Theatre from 9 October 2023 for a strictly limited 14-week run.

Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu; The Mother, Netflix) reprises his role as Gareth Southgate with Dervla Kirwan (Smother, Apple TV; Material Girl,BBC) joining him in the role of Pippa Grange, sports psychologist and Head of People and Team Development at The Football Association from 2017 until 2019. 

The cast also includes Denzel Baidoo as Bukayo Saka, Josh Barrow as Jordan Pickford Gunnar Cauthery as Gary Lineker, Will Close as Harry Kane, Crystal Condie as Alex Scott, Will Fletcher as Jordan Henderson,  Darragh Hand as Marcus Rashford, John Hodgkinson as Greg Clarke,  Lloyd Hutchinson as Sam Allardyce, Albert Magashi as Jadon Sancho, Kel Matsena as Raheem Sterling, Lewis Shepherd as Dele Alli, Griffin Stevens as Harry Maguire, Paul Thornley as Mike Webster, Tony Turner as Greg Dyke, Ryan Whittle as Eric Dier.  Nick Barclay, Tashinga Bepete, Kate Kelly Flood, Will Harrison-Wallace, Miranda Heath, Tom Mahy and Tristan Waterson complete the company. The cast will also be playing additional roles as part of the ensemble.

Following their acclaimed productions of Tammy Faye and Ink at the Almeida Theatre, writer James Graham (Best of Enemies, Young Vic; Sherwood, BBC) has reunited with director Rupert Goold (Spring Awakening, Almeida Theatre; Judy, 20th Century Fox) for this gripping examination of both nation and game.

It’s time to change the game. The country that gave the world football has since delivered a painful pattern of loss. Why can’t England’s men win at their own game?

The team has the worst track record in the world, and manager Gareth Southgate knows he needs to open his mind and face up to the years of hurt to take team and country back to the promised land.

Rupert Goold is joined by set designer, Es Devlin; costume designer, Evie Gurney; lighting designer, Jon Clark;movement directors, Ellen Kane and Hannes Langolf; sound designers, Dan Balfour and Tom Gibbons; video designer, Ash J Woodward; and additional music by Max Perryment.  Casting director is Bryony Jarvis Taylor;voice coach is Cathleen McCarron and dialect coach is Richard Ryder. Associate director is Elin Schofield; associate set designers are Benjamin Lucraft and Will Brown; associate lighting designer is Ben Jacobs; associate sound designer is Alex Twiselton and resident director is Rasheka Christie-Carter.

Commissioned by the National Theatre, Dear England was developed with the theatre’s New Work department and had its world premiere in the Olivier theatre on 20 June 2023.

Tickets for Dear England are available from £20 at Additionally, as the National Theatre prepares to mark 60 years of entertaining and inspiring audiences around the world on 22 October, a limited number of free tickets for 16-25-year-olds throughout October will be made available to book via the National Theatre websiteon Monday 2 October from 12 – 6pm or whilst tickets last.

Dear England in the West End is supported by American Express, the National Theatre’s Preferred Card Partner.