A Touch of West End Review

Woburn Abbey – 14 June 2015


The Sculpture Gallery at Woburn provided the excellent backdrop for A Touch of West End.  An evening of fine food and very fine musical entertainment.

Lead by the multi talented Amy Shackcloth, who acted as Musical Director and accompanied the singers on the magnificent piano.  We were presented with the superb sextet of Sabrina Aloueche, Matthew Cammelle, Olivia Brereton, Tim Morgan, Oliver Tompsett and Annette Yeo.

The show began with Wilkommen and Cabaret from Cabaret performed by the company followed by With a Little Help from my Friends performed by acapella with Amy joining in the singing.

We then had our first course of Terrine of Beetroot and Goats Cheese with chive dressing and ciabatta crostini and a summer sorbet.

Our performers then returned for more starting with Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific sung by the honey coated voice of Matthew Cammelle.  A rousing performance of Posh from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang heartily presented by Tim Morgan.  Annette Yeo gave us a superb rendition of Raindrops on Roses from The Sound of Music and Olivia Brereton gave us I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady.  Newcomer to the group Sabrina Aloueche duetted with Yeo on Memory from Cats and a stomping version of Oklahoma from Oklahoma performed by the whole company ended that set.

Our main course of Lock Duart Salmon Supreme with a Prawn and Tomato Dressing with rosti potatoes, corgette fritters and pea puree set us up for our next set piece

Beginning with Seasons of Love from Rent performed by the whole company although Sabrina Aloueche shone like a beacon with her voice reaching musical highs.  Some rock came next with the other new comer, Oliver Tompsett, reprising his Galileo and Aloueche recreating her Scaramouch to duet on Who Wants to Live Forever and I Want to Break Free both from the much missed Queen musical We Will Rock You.  Ending with the stirring company rendition of Anthem from Chess.

Dessert of Summer Pudding with raspberry coulis and clotted cream, coffee and fudge followed before the final show stopping performance

The entire company showed us how awesome they were with a medley of the classic Les MiserablesDo You Hear the People Sing, On My Own, Master of the House, A Heart Full of Love and One Day More.  And a final phenomenal encore of We Are The Champions from We Will Rock You.

The singers are all individually outstanding and harmonise together beautifully.  Its easy to see why these have a such a superior musical pedigree and highly successful West End careers.

In a perfect evening of food and entertainment it was a feast for all our senses.

A Touch of West End presented by Ginger Boy Productions appears twice a year at Woburn, make sure you don’t miss the next one

Scamp Theatre bring Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s children’s books to the stage in 2015


You’ll have the Time of Your Life – An Evening of Dirty Dancing: The Tribute Show comes to Darlington Civic Theatre on Tuesday 23 June.

Stage Acts Entertainment’s smash hit tribute to one of the greatest movie soundtracks of all time, An Evening of Dirty Dancing: The Tribute Show is coming to Darlington Civic Theatre on Tuesday 23 June. Embarking upon it’s 5th Anniversary tour, the show is a fully choreographed, highly interactive celebration of the music from the iconic movie.

An Evening of Dirty Dancing: The Tribute Show is directed by Paul Spicer with choreography by Leanne Harwood and pays homage to the greatest movie soundtrack of all time. A high energy emotional roller-coaster of an evening with breathtaking choreography and buckets of nostalgia. The show includes the classic songs: Big Girls Don’t Cry, Hey Baby, Wipeout, Do You Love Me, Hungry Eyes and the Oscar-winning (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.

Paul Spicer said “The atmosphere is always electric. We totally encourage our audiences to sing and dance and immerse themselves in the summer of ’63. I watch people leave the theatre on a real high. I’ve seen people burst into tears of happiness! This is a multi-award winning soundtrack steeped in nostalgia. I challenge anyone to come along and not have a fantastic time.” Please note this production is not affiliated with Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage on tour in the UK or worldwide.

An Evening of Dirty Dancing: The Tribute Show is at Darlington Civic Theatre on Tuesday 23 June. Tickets* are priced £18.50 and £20.50 To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit www.darlingtoncivic.co.uk

*All ticket prices include a £1 restoration levy


Leeds Grand Theatre has announced that Pixie Lott will star as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s in April  next year.

Pixie Lott credit Dave Benett JPGBased on Truman Capote’s beloved masterwork, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is set in New York in 1943. Fred, a young writer from Louisiana, meets Holly Golightly, a charming, vivacious and utterly elusive good-time girl.  Everyone falls in love with Holly – including Fred.  But Fred is poor, and Holly’s other suitors include a playboy millionaire and the future president of Brazil.  As war rages on in Europe, Holly begins to fall in love with Fred – just as her past catches up with her.

Pixie Lott said, “I am so excited to play Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s in my first West End play. I absolutely love Holly’s style, and free spirit; she has always been an icon to me and I can’t wait to bring my own personality to the role. Alongside music, I’ve always wanted to be in a play, and getting the opportunity to be in one of my all-time favourites and play this fabulous character is a dream come true.”

Pixie Lott credit Dave Benett (1)Truman Capote’s classic tale was brought to life by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 film and now the novella has been adapted for the stage by Pulitzer Prize-winning Finalist and Tony and Olivier Award-winning playwright Richard Greenberg (Take Me Out, Three Days of Rain), and contains memorable songs from the era as well as original music by Grant Olding (One Man, Two Guvnors).

The goal of this version is to return to the original setting of the novella, which is the New York of the Second World War, as well as to resume its tone – still stylish and romantic, yes, but rougher-edged and more candid than people generally remember,” writer Richard Greenberg explained. “Capote was a great writer and a natural maker of plots and Breakfast at Tiffany’s has a drive that makes it very alluring to dramatise.”

Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring Pixie Lott is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 4th to Saturday 9th April 2016


Tickets are on sale now priced from £18.50 to £37


Book online at leedsgrandtheatre.com or call Box Office on 0844 848 2700

Red is the New Blue, Live Theatre, Tuesday 23 & Wednesday 24 June, 7.30p

Is there life on Mars?

Tuesday 23 & Wednesday 24 June, 7.30pm
Red is the New Blue
Created and performed by Live Lab Associate Artists Rowan McCabe, Matt Miller and Matilda Neill
Presented as part of Live Theatre’s Live Lab programme

On Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 June at 7.30pm Live Theatre will be presenting Red is the New Blue an out of this world show that has been created as part of Live Theatre’s Live Lab programme, which aims to develop new talent and give theatre makers a forum to try out new material and gain insightful feedback.

Set in 2029 Red is the New Blue follows the antics of three ordinary people who are sent to Mars, by Stargaze Incorporated, for a reality TV show like no other. The crew are left alone, abandoned on Mars forever, and it doesn’t take long before the cracks begin to show. The production has been created and will be performed by three emerging theatre makers who have all been awarded Live Lab Associate Artist status. These are spoken word artists Rowan McCabe, Matt Miller and Matilda Neill (who is also one of the members of Live Theatre’s all female sketch group Your Aunt Fanny).

In January 2015, Live Theatre re-launched its Live Lab programme creating more opportunities for budding writers, theatre makers and audience members to get involved. As part of this re-launch Live Lab announced their new Live Lab Associate Artists scheme. The inaugural Live Lab Associate Artists include the three spoken word artists involved in Red is the New Blue and theatre director Anna Ryder, who recently co-directed Rendezvous with Clive Judd at Live Theatre.

The Live Lab Associate Artists receive mentorship from Live Theatre’s literary team as well as career support and talent development.

As Gez Casey, Live Theatre’s literary manager, explains:

“Following the successful Live Lab re-launch earlier in the year, we’re delighted that the collaborative project with three of our Live Lab Associate Artists is going to premiere in the Studio Theatre this June.”

This is the first time that Rowan, Matt and Matilda have worked together to create a show.

Matt Miller said:

“Red is the New Blue initially took the upcoming Mars One space mission as an impetus and asks questions like ‘Why would anybody want to go to Mars forever?’ and ‘What would happen to those individuals? What about our society? Will our voyeurism be fulfilled?’ as well as ‘What actually is there to do on a spaceship?’ It has poignancy. It has poetry. It has tongue in cheek humour. Cos when you’re going to Mars forever, really, you’ve got to be able to laugh about it, don’t you?”

The show fuses together theatre, spoken word and film elements and offers a funny, moving and thought-provoking night out whilst asking audiences what they would do if they found themselves stuck on Mars forever?

Tickets for Red is the New Blue costs £8 full price or £6 for concessions. To book tickets and to find out more visit www.live.org.uk or contact Live Theatre’s box office on (0191) 232 1232.


Tuesday 23 & Wednesday 24 June, 7.30pm
Red is the New Blue

It’s 2029. Stargaze Incorporated send a crew of ordinary people to Mars for a reality TV show. And leave them there. For the rest of their lives. Forever. If they had known they would argue this much, they might not have bothered.

Red is the New Blue is devised and performed by Live Lab Associate Artists Rowan McCabe, Matilda Neill and Matt Miller. Fusing theatre and spoken word the show questions what happens when people become more isolated than anyone ever has before? What motivates a person to embark on a mission like this? And what happens to the loved ones who are left behind?

DATES: Tuesday 23 & Wednesday 24 June, 7.30pm
TICKETS: £8 full price, £6 concession
LOCATION: Studio Theatre
DURATION: Approx. 1hr 10mins

About Live Theatre


Live Theatre is recognised as one of the great new writing theatres on the international stage. Based in Newcastle upon Tyne it is also deeply rooted in its local community

Live Theatre produces work as varied and diverse as the audiences it engages with. As well as championing the art of writing for stage by producing and presenting new plays, Live Theatres uses theatre to unlock the potential of young people and finds, nurtures and trains creative talent. Through its creative enterprises it is also developing new models of business sustainability and growth.


Founded in 1973, the theatre was transformed in 2007.  The result is a beautifully restored and refurbished complex of five Grade II listed buildings with state-of-the-art facilities in a unique historical setting, including a cabaret style theatre, a studio theatre, renovated rehearsal rooms, a series of dedicated writer’s rooms as well as a thriving café and bar.


Live Theatre is a national leader in developing new strategies for increasing income and assets for the charity. New developmentLive Works joins The Broad Chare pub, online playwriting course www.beaplaywright.com and The Schoolhouse (an office space for creative and digital businesses), as one of Live Theatre’s capital and digital creative enterprises, increasing its future income through additional new unrestricted funds.


For more information see www.live.org.uk


Live Theatre is grateful for the support of Arts Council England and Newcastle City Council and its many other friends and supporters.


image001 (2)2015

28TH –30TH August 2015

Cumbria’s brightest and best music and arts festival, Solfest is back after a year’s sabbatical in 2014 with a new more compact and bijou approach. It’s the same old Solfest experience refreshed and revitalised. Some of the biggest names in folk and traditional music will take to the stage at the new, revamped Solfest this summer.

The Unthanks, Kathryn Tickell & The Side, The Sam Kelly Trio and Peatbog Faeries  and The Lancashire Hotpots are just a tiny sample of the dazzling array of artists appearing at Solfest 2015.


They will be joined by cult electronica ambient dance band Banco De Gaia. Also lined up are festival favourites and Solfest old hands including some of the best of the UK ‘s punk, roots, ska and singer-songwriter scenes including The Baghdaddies,  Pikey Beatz, The Skints, Bombskare, Young Rebel Set,Holy Moly And The Crackers, Emma And The Professor, Stark, The Talks, Bridie Jackson And The Arbour and of course many many more.

Also Solfest’s famed Love Shack and Electric Village will host the very best in dance, dub-step, trance, reggae, electronic and a whole range of experimental sounds with 8:58, DJ Templehead, RoomFull Of Mirrors,Radioactive Man (live), The Hobo (aka DJ TurtleWax), Age Of Glass, Werkha, Shocon, Silverclub, Gella,Projekt Dataline, Gemma Furbank and many many more.


As ever Solfest offers a dazzling array of entertainment across practically every musical genre. If you don’t hear something that you like move along to another venue and try another taste of the Solfest experience.


Multi-award-winning and Mercury Music Prize nominees The Unthanks are among the most highly-regarded of all traditional acts. Their reputation reaches far beyond the folk genre. Kathryn Tickell is the foremost exponent of the Northumbrian pipes, a composer, performer and successful recording artist whose work is deeply rooted in the landscape and people of Northumbria. Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sam Kelly was runner up in Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 but has gone on to make a name for himself in folk and roots music. He forged his links with the music through the Gaelic songs that his Irish grandfather taught him.Peatbog Fearies have built a reputation over two decades with their dazzling and hugely infectious fusion of Celtic traditional music and dance music bringing elements of jazz, hip hop and reggae to their musical table.The Lancashire Hotpots return to Solfest by popular demand with their wonderfully self-deprecating blend of folk rock comedy that lovingly pokes run at their own culture and the modern world.


The festival bounces back on a smaller scale and with a new, fresher attitude after taking last year off. Organisers wanted to “return to our roots” with a more intimate event, but retaining the key features that has made it so popular over the past eleven years.


Solfest marketing officer Tom Kay explains: “We  made a conscious decision to distance our festival from more commercial events, moving away from big headline names in order to put our resources into giving people the best festival experience over a full weekend rather than just a couple of hours each evening. As always we aim to keep prices down, avoiding hidden extras like over the top booking fees, extra charges for vehicles and camping.  We’ll still allow you to bring your own booze and still charge sensible prices at our bars, which means that you get a fantastic weekend without breaking the bank. This year’s Solfest will look and feel different, we’ve made some big decisions like, losing what was the main stage in favour of more venues offering an even wider range of music to tantalise your ears.  One big dance tent will become the all new Electric Village with a wider range of sounds to suit all tastes. We are looking forward to showcasing some exiting and interactive artworks around the site which has been redesigned for a totally new feel. Even Solfest regulars can have fun getting lost again.”


“Solfest is a festival run by festival goers, between us, we’ve seen it all, from huge events with hundreds of thousands of people to tiny first time parties with just a few hundred revellers. We like to think this gives us a unique insight into what makes a great festival tick.”


Solfest takes place at Tarns, near Aspatria, over the bank holiday weekend August 28-30.


Ticket prices range from £10 for children’s tickets to £110 for a full adult weekend.  For full details see our website

Tickets will be available to purchase right on our very own website www.solfest.org.uk


For more information, go to the Solfest Facebook page www.facebook.com/Solfest or www.solfest.org.uk



Award-winning soap star Charlie Hardwick is set to join the cast of the North East’s biggest panto, Dick Whittington at the Theatre Royal. Charlie joins Danny Adams, Clive Webb and Chris Hayward who have delighted Newcastle audiences for over a decade and broken box office records every year.


Charlie-Hardwick-Spirit of the Tyne - Theatre Royal NewcastleFollowing today’s announcement that she will be leaving Emmerdale, Charlie is delighted to confirm that she will be playing at Newcastle Theatre Royal for the panto season from Tuesday 24 November 2015 until Sunday 17 January 2016.


Charlie has been a regular on the ITV1 soap since 2004 and in that time she has proved a hit with soap fans and critics alike and was nominated six times for Best Comedy Performance at the British Soap Awards, an accolade she won in 2006.


Hailing from Newcastle, Charlie has also appeared in the films Purely Belter, Billy Elliot and The Scar (for which she won the Best Actress award at the Monte Carlo Film Awards). She also appeared in the UK tour of Cooking with Elvis alongside Frank Skinner and The Awkward Squad. Charlie will be starring as the Spirit of the Tyne, waving her magic wand and ensuring our hero, Dick Whittington, achieves fame and fortune!


Charlie joins Danny Adams and Clive Webb, who make their eleventh consecutive pantomime appearance at the Theatre Royal. With their much-loved and hilarious slapstick, physical comedy and slosh routines, audiences are guaranteed to be in stitches at the award-winning father and son duo. Danny plays the title role of Dick Whittington, while Clive plays Councillor Fitzfenwick.


Making his ninth appearance in Newcastle alongside Danny and Clive, Chris Hayward also returns, complete with his glittering array of costumes and wigs, all of which he designs himself. Playing the role of Dame Rita Fitzfenwick, Chris will provide all of the glamour and sparkle Newcastle theatregoers have come to expect from the North East’s premiere pantomime.


Dick Whittington also comes complete with spectacular special effects, once again provided by The Twins FX, the award-winning company behind previous years’ looping reindeer sleigh, flying helicopter and magic carpet. Audiences will also be delighted by the welcome return of amazing 3D special effects.


Charlie Hardwick said: “I’m really excited to be making my pantomime debut, especially in front of a home crowd in Newcastle. I know I’ll be in very safe hands alongside Danny, Clive and Chris and I can’t wait to help Dick Whittington become Lord Mayor of Newcastle”.


Director and Executive Producer of the Theatre Royal’s pantomime Michael Harrison said: “Adding Charlie to our wonderful line-up will guarantee Newcastle audiences yet another spectacular pantomime season. Visitors to the Theatre Royal won’t be disappointed by the hilarious comedy routines, spectacular sets and special effects, music and dance. Tickets are already selling fast so early booking is advisable”.

Already 55,000 tickets have been sold for the panto, a full six months before opening – a new record best for the region’s favourite Christmas show.

Dick Whittington is produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s largest pantomime producer, which will stage 24 productions throughout the UK this Christmas. With ticket prices to suit all pockets, audiences won’t have to head to London to seek their fortune in order to enjoy spectacular pantomime at Newcastle Theatre Royal this Christmas!

Dick Whittington appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Tuesday 24 November 2015 until Sunday 17 January 2016. Tickets are available from £12.50, (save 50p per ticket by booking online). Tickets can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or select your own seat and book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk










Monday 19 – Saturday 24 October 2015


This summer, DREAMBOATS AND MINISKIRTS returns to theatres to showcase the greatest hit songs of the 60s.


It is the sequel to DREAMBOATS AND PETTICOATS, which premiered in Bromley in 2009, and became a musical phenomenon having played to more than two million people across the UK. Inspired by Universal’s multi-million selling album series which now boasts seven double compilation albums and a myriad of one off special releases!


It’s 1963 and the Petticoats gang are growing up and facing new challenges. Bobby and Laura’s first single, Dreamboats and Petticoats, went to the top of the charts, but they haven’t been able to repeat that success with any further records. Norman and Sue have settled down to non-marital bliss – and a baby! And Ray and Donna seem blissfully happy in their professional lives… but are they really?


The advent of the Beatles and the Merseyside sound is inspirational. But will it inspire Bobby and Laura to have one more shot at stardom, Norman to “get off the drains” and find that hit parade voice he has longed for, and Ray to realise his ambition and manage a really top pop act?


All will be revealed in a follow up with the same wit, charm, and great songs as Dreamboats and Petticoats.


Dreamboats and Miniskirts is written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, the team behindGoodnight Sweetheart, Birds of a Feather, The New Statesman, Shine on Harvey Moon, Save the Last Dance For Me and of course, Dreamboats and Petticoats, and is produced by Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield in association with Universal Music.

Featuring hit after hit from Twist & Shout to Handy Man to Pretty Woman, One Fine Day and many more, Dreamboats and Miniskirts is happiness guaranteed.

Tour Dates:

23-27 Jun 2015 – Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

29 Jun-4 Jul 2015 – Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

6-11 Jul 2015 – Cliffs Pavilion, Southend

13-18 Jul 2015 -The Grand Theatre, Leeds

21-25 Jul 2015 – The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

27 Jul-1 Aug 2015 – Hippodrome Theatre, Bristol

3-8 Aug 2015 – Kings Theatre, Southsea

10-15 Aug 2015- Kings Theatre, Glasgow

18-22 Aug 2015 – His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

24-29 Aug 2015 – Empire Theatre, Liverpool

7-12 Sep 2015 – Mold Clwyd Theatre, Cymru

14-19 Sep 2015 – Grand Theatre, Swansea

21-26 Sep 2015 – Grand Theatre, Blackpool

28 Sep-3 Oct 2015 – Swan Theatre, High Wycombe

5-10 Oct 2015 – Churchill Theatre, Bromley

12-17 Oct 2015 – Corn Exchange, Kings Lynn

19-24 Oct – Grand Opera House York



image002 (1)Following their smash hit success with The Play That Goes Wrong which was at Leeds Grand last year and is now playing to packed houses in the West End, award-winning Mischief Theatre bring their riotous new spin on a timeless favourite to Leeds Grand Theatre next week.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong. Dress RehearsalThe Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society set out to present J.M. Barrie’s classic tale of Peter Pan, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong does. The accident prone thesps embark on a thrilling adventure to Neverland, with hilariously disastrous results.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong comes to Leeds Grand Theatre from Wednesday 17th to Saturday 20th June

Tickets are on sale now priced from £18.50 to £30.50

Book online at leedsgrandtheatre.com or call Box Office on 0844 848 27 00

Gary Barlow on Hunt For Leeds Star


Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new musical THE GIRLS, based on Calendar Girls, opens this November with its world premiere in Leeds and they are looking for a 17 year-old actor to play the son of Miss September; Tommo is described as ‘a great lad – a sportsman, good looking, cocky and girl mad!’

Gary Barlow & Tim Firth credit Matt Crockett (1)The auditions, which will be held on Wednesday 17 June at Leeds Grand Theatre, will be taken by the show’s director, Roger Haines, and its producer, David Pugh.  The first auditions will be filmed for Gary and Tim to watch and select actors for a second audition.

David Pugh, the multi award-winning West End and Broadway producer, whose shows include EQUUS starring Daniel Radcliffe, said, “This is an incredible opportunity for a young actor to play such a smashing part that Tim and Gary have written in this wonderful new musical.”

Tim Firth & Gary Barlow credit Matt CrockettGary and Tim said, “We want a proper Northerner to play this role and where better to look than Leeds and Manchester where there is such an enormous wealth of talent – best of luck lads!

THE GIRLS is inspired by the true story of a group of ladies, who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar in order to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital, in memory of one of their husbands.  This musical comedy shows life in their Yorkshire village, how it happened, the effect on husbands, sons and daughters, and how a group of ordinary ladies achieved something extraordinary.

Interested parties should email the casting director, Rebecca Jenner: [email protected] / 020 7292 0390 for an audition script and appointment time.


Gary Barlow and Tim Firth require a young actor to play a 17 year-old boy called Tommo.

Auditions will take place at the Leeds Grand Theatre from 2pm to 6pm on Wednesday 17 June

Interested parties should email the casting director, Rebecca Jenner: [email protected] / 020 7292 0390 for an audition script and appointment time.