The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s Romeo and Juliet, will be broadcast live to cinemas worldwide on 7 July

Fiery Angel presents




The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company in partnership with Picturehouse Entertainment, will broadcast Romeo and Juliet to more than 1200 cinemas worldwide live from the West End’sGarrick Theatre at 19:00 on Thursday 7 July. Participating cinemas and screening dates can be found at

The broadcast of Romeo and Juliet follows that of The Winter’s Tale on 26 November 2015, which topped the UK cinema box office when it was broadcast to 520 cinemas across the country.

Reuniting the stars of the celebrated film Cinderella, Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford direct Shakespeareʼs heartbreaking tale of forbidden love. The full cast of Romeo and Juliet, the sixth production in the Plays at the Garrick season includes Lily James (Juliet), Richard Madden(Romeo) and Derek Jacobi (Mercutio) and Meera Syal (The Nurse).

The cinema broadcast of Romeo and Juliet will be presented in high-contrast black and white, and is directed by Benjamin Caron who has also recently collaborated with Kenneth Branagh on the final series of Wallander (BBC).

Lily James, who plays Juliet, said, “The live broadcast is so exciting because it gets the play out of the Garrick Theatre and across the world, opening it up to an entirely different audience.  It’s great to get a younger audience in too, with the cheap tickets available for students. My brother will be watching in Australia! 

When Ken first talked to me about Romeo and Juliet he described how we would really try and capture the thriller aspect of the story and set it in 1950’s Italy, firmly in the world of la dolce vita. The feel would be monochromatic, like those beautiful old black and white movies of that time, and it all immediately felt very filmic anyway. Howard Hudson has done such a brilliant job with the lighting and Christopher Oram’s set is so atmospheric and realistic, so hopefully the play will translate well to the cinema. 

I really think it’s so exciting to see Shakespeare on film and to watch plays displaced from their original setting into a new medium. I can’t wait!

The full cast includes Marisa Berenson (Lady Capulet), Jack Colgrave Hirst (Benvolio), Tom Hanson (Paris), Matthew Hawksley (Anthony), Derek Jacobi (Mercutio), Lily James (Juliet),Taylor James (Prince), Ansu Kabia (Tybalt), Richard Madden (Romeo), Racheal Ofori (Potpan),Nikki Patel (Balthasar), Chris Porter (Lord Montague), Zoë Rainey (Lady Montague), Michael Rouse (Lord Capulet), Meera Syal (The Nurse), Sam Valentine (Friar Laurence) and Kathryn Wilder (Peter).

John Osborne’s The Entertainer, which will be the final production in the Plays at the Garrick season (20 August – 12 November) and will star Kenneth Branagh, Jonah Hauer-King, John Hurt, Sophie McShera and Greta Scacchi, will be broadcast to cinemas live on Thursday 27 October 2016.

The Winter’s Tale, Harlequinade / All On Her Own, Red Velvet, The Painkiller, Romeo and Juliet and The Entertainer make up the seven-play season of work for the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company. For more information please see

Jessie Wallace at Leeds Grand Theatre


Leeds Grand Theatre is delighted to announce that one of Britain’s most love soap stars, Jessie Wallace (Kat Slater, EastEnders) is to join the cast of CHICAGO when it takes to the stage from Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 26th November.

Cast already announced are John Partridge as Billy Flynn, Hayley Tamaddon as Roxie Hart, Sophie Carmen-Jones as Velma Kelly, Neil Ditt as Amos Hart and A.D. Richardson as Mary Sunshine.


Other cast include Daniele Arbisi,  Nicola Coates, Frances Dee, Adam Denman, Francis Foreman, Waylon Jacobs, Justin-Lee Jones, Dann Kharsa, Chelsea Labadini, Ellie Mitchell, Peter Nash, Helen Siveter, Kerry Spark, Lindsey Tierney and Emily Warner.  


Jessie Wallace is best known for playing Kat Slater in EastEnders, a role for which she has won numerous awards. Her other TV credits include Amy Kriel in Wild at Heart and Pat Phoenix in The Road to Coronation Street, for which she was nominated for a Bafta Award. Her theatre credits include Maureen in Rent Remixed in the West End, Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be at the Theatre Royal Stratford East and Sylvia in the national tour of Stepping Out.

John Partridge is probably best known for playing the role of Christian Clarke in EastEnders. His many musical theatre credits include Rum Tum Tugger in Cats in the West End, on tour and the official film of the show, John in Miss Saigon on the first UK national tour and most recently Zach in A Chorus Line at the London Palladium. John was also a judge on BBC1’s Over the Rainbow, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search to find a Dorothy for the musical The Wizard of Oz.

Hayley Tamaddon has just finished playing Andrea Beckett in Coronation Street. She also played Del Dingle in Emmerdale. Her numerous theatre credits include The Lady of the Lake in Spamalot and Janet in The Rocky Horror Show. Hayley also won the 5th series of ITV1’s Dancing on Ice. Sophie Carmen-Jones’ many West End credits including Jersey Boys, Wicked and We Will Rock You. She will also appear in the forthcoming Disney film Beauty and the Beast. Neil Ditt has appeared in many West End productions including Mary Poppins and Betty Blue Eyes. His other theatre credits include creating the role of George Mole in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole at Leicester Curve and High Society and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, both at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. A.D. Richardson’s many theatre credits include the International tour of The Pirates of Penzance, the UK tour of HMS Pinafore, the RSC’s Cyrano De Bergerac and Scrooge The Musical at the New Theatre Oxford.

Based on real life events back in the roaring 1920s, nightclub singer Roxie Hart shoots her lover and along with cell block rival, double-murderess Velma Kelly, they fight to keep from death row with the help of smooth talking lawyer, Billy Flynn.

Created by the musical theatre talents of John Kander (music), Fred Ebb (lyrics) and legendary choreographer Bob Fosse, CHICAGO’s sexy, sassy score includes All That Jazz and Razzle Dazzle. With 6 Tony, 2 Olivier, 1 Grammy, 2 Bafta and 6 Academy Awards, CHICAGO truly is “The sharpest, slickest show on the block” (The Times). A nightclub singer, a double-murderess, a smooth-talking lawyer and a cell block of sin: it would be a crime to miss it.

CHICACO is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 27th November


Tickets are on sale now priced from £23 to £47


Book online at or call Box Office on 0844 848 2700

Liza’s Back! (is broken) at London Wonderground




At the London Wonderground

From Wednesday 31 August to Saturday 3 September 2016

After wowing audiences in Liza (on an E) in 2013, Trevor Ashley is bringing everyone’s favourite diva back to London in a brand new show Liza’s Back! (is broken), playing at the London Wonderground at the Southbank Centre for three performances only from Wednesday 31 August to Saturday 3 September 2016.


There is no doubt about it; Liza Minnelli is a true Broadway legend. But her appearances on the musical stage have been few and far between. So what would happen if Liza decided to perform all the great Broadway roles she never got to play, in one special night?  Liza’s Back! (is broken) explores the parts that Minnelli should have played over the last forty years – those great leading lady roles from Grizabella to Norma Desmond, and all the others in between. Ever wanted to see Liza tackle Wicked? Then this is the show for you!


Direct from rehab, and live with a 7-piece big band, don’t miss Liza singing Broadway’s greatest hits, including I Have Confidence, Memory, Send in the Clowns, Le Jazz Hot plus her own classics Maybe This Time, Cabaret and New York, New York!


Trevor Ashley is an Australian performer and cabaret artist.  His musical theatre credits in Australia include creating the role of Miss Understanding in the world premiere production of Priscilla Queen of The Desert – The Musical; Edna Turnblad in Hairspray and Monsieur Thenadier in Les Miserables. Trevor also created and starred in his one-man-show Diamonds are for Trevor, a tribute to Dame Shirley Bassey. Liza (On an E) has played sell-out seasons all over the world, including a week-long residency at the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End.


Ashley is a master of his art. He catches every essence of Minnelli.”



Presented by Showqueen and MEI theatrical.

Rent Breaks Box Office Records at London’s St. James Theatre







The 20th Anniversary production of Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning musical RENT is the fastest selling show in the history of the St. James Theatre, having sold the most tickets not only in a 24-hour period after on-sale, but also in the first week of an on-sale period. RENT also breaks the record for the most amount of money taken on the first day of sales, beating the theatre’s previous fastest selling show record-holders, Sideways and The Pianist of Willesden Lane.

Producer Robert Mackintosh said, “I am delighted that the reaction to the 20th Anniversary production of RENT, by way of ticket sales, has been so strong, especially for my first venture with co-producers Ingrid Sutej and Miguel Esteban.”

RENT will play the St. James Theatre in London from 8 December 2016 to 28 January 2017, with a press night on Tuesday 13 December, following a limited run at Theatr Clwyd and a three-week tour.  2017 tour dates are to be announced.

The cast includes Ross Hunter as Roger Davis, Billy Cullum as Mark Cohen, Ryan O’Gorman as Tom Collins, Shanay Holmes as Joanne Jefferson, Layton Williams as Angel Schunard, Philippa Stefani as Mimi Marquez and Lucie Jones as Maureen Johnson, with Katie Bradley, Jordan Laviniere, Bobbie Little, Christina Modestou, Jenny O’Leary and Kevin Yates. Casting for the role of Benjamin Coffin III will be announced shortly. 

Jonathan Larson’s musical, inspired by Puccini’s opera La Bohème, won four Tony Awards, six Drama Desk Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1996. Ben Brantley’s New York Times review was a love letter to the show, calling RENT an “exhilarating, landmark rock opera”. RENT ran on Broadway for 12 years, from 1996 to 2008. The show premiered in London’s West End in 1998 at the Shaftesbury Theatre, where it ran for 18 months. It was adapted into a film in 2005.   


Larson’s world is inhabited by a group of bohemian artists who struggle to maintain their friendships and their non-conformist ideals in New York’s East Village. Facing their problems head on, they make personal self-discoveries and find what really matters most in life. The poignancy of the story was heightened when Jonathan Larson died of an aortic dissection on 25 January 1996, the night before the show’s first off-Broadway performance at New York Theatre Workshop.

The much-loved score features songs such as Seasons of Love, Take Me or Leave Me, One Song Glory, La Vie Bohème, Without You, I’ll Cover You, Out Tonight, I Should Tell You and the title song.

RENT is produced by Robert Mackintosh and Idili Theatricals Limited, in association with Theatr Clwyd and Wales Millennium Centre.

The new production will be directed by Bruce Guthrie with Choreography by Lee Proud, Set Design by Olivier Award-winner Anna Fleischle and Costume Design by Loren Elstein, with Lighting Design by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Rick Fisher, Sound Design by Olivier Award-winner Mike Walker, Video Design by Andrzej Goulding, Musical Supervision and Direction by Phil Cornwell and Casting by Will Burton Casting.  

RENT has Book, Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson, Musical Arrangements by Steve Skinner, Original Concept and Additional Lyrics by Billy Aronson, Music Supervision and Additional Arrangements by Tim Weil, and Dramaturg is Lynn Thomson.  RENT was originally produced in New York by New York Theatre Workshop and on Broadway by Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum, Alan S. Gordon and New York Theatre Workshop. 

RENT is presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Ltd.

For more information, visit

Twitter:  @RentOnStage





21 October to 12 November 2016

Theatr Clwyd




Box Office:  01352 701521


On sale soon


15-19 November 2016

His Majesty’s Theatre

Rosemount Viaduct

Aberdeen AB25 1GL

Box Office:  01224 641122


Now on sale

22-26 November 2016

Malvern Festival Theatre

Grange Road

Malvern WR14 3HB

Box Office:   01684 892277


Now on sale

29 November to 3 December 2016

Wycombe Swan

St. Mary Street

High Wycombe HP11 2XE

Box Office:  01494 512 000


Now on sale


8 December 2016 to 28 January 2017

St. James Theatre

12 Palace Street

London SW1E 5JA

Box Office:  0844 264 2140


Now on sale 

Lloyd Webber’s Cats Prowl into Leeds





Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking 2015 Olivier Award-nominated musical Cats is coming to Leeds Grand Theatre direct from its sell-out seasons at the London Palladium.


Based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the show first returned to the West End in December 2014 reuniting the original creative team – Director Trevor Nunn, Associate Director and Choreographer Gillian Lynne, Designer John Napier and Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.


On just one special night of the year, all Jellicle cats meet at the Jellicle Ball where Old Deuteronomy, their wise and benevolent leader, makes the Jellicle choice and announces which of them will go up to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.

Cats, one of the longest-running shows in West End and on Broadway, received its world premiere at the New London Theatre in 1981 where it played for 21 record-breaking years and almost 9,000 performances.  The production was the winner of the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical.  In 1983 the Broadway production became the recipient of seven Tony awards including Best Musical, and ran for eighteen years.  Since its world premiere, Cats has been presented in over 30 countries, has been translated into 10 languages and has been seen by over 50 million people world-wide.  Both the original London and Broadway cast recordings won Grammy Awards for Best Cast Album.  The classic Lloyd Webber score includes Memory which has been recorded by over 150 artists from Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis to Liberace and Barry Manilow.


Cats is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 20th June to Saturday 2nd July

Tickets are on sale now priced from £23 to £47.50

Book online at or call box office on 0844 848 2700

Stars Bring Back the Good Old Days to Leeds







In September, City Varieties Music Hall begins its Autumn season of The Good Old Days and it’s shaping up to be one of the most highly anticipated of recent times.

Over three weekends, each Friday & Saturday is headlined by a hugely popular entertainer and the bill is rounded out with the cream of variety talent from comedians, jugglers, singers, magicians and illusionists… accompanied by The Good Old Days “Orchestra” and presented by your worthyChairman, Mr Johnny Dennis.

These live stage shows have now been held for over 25 years… almost as long as the original record-breaking BBC light entertainment show which ran from 1953 to 1983 and is being re-screened on BBC4 most Fridays.

Fri 23 & Sat 24 September

Hugely popular Irish comedian known for his “come’ere” and “…there’s more” catchphrases as well as his trademark wellies & silly hat!

With support from…

Helen Watson – singalong songs

Andrew Van Buren – escapology & juggling

Maurice Kachuk – classic song & dance routines

Wendy King  – Leeds’ original “Ukulele Girl”

Fro 30 Sept & Sat 1 Oct
starring BARRY CRYER

Leeds’ own variety legend and comedy writer extraordinaire who made his professional debut right here on this very stage, Barry Cryer – who’s still going strong on BBC Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue after more than 45 years!

With support from…

Anita Elias – comedy characters & singalong songs

Jon Udry – juggling & diablo

Julia Sutton – singalong songs

John Styles – magic & comedy characters

Fri 8 & Sat 9 October

Matinee Idol Jess Conrad OBE has had a hugely successful career on both stage and screen, scoring several chart hits, lighting up the West End stage as well as regularly appearing in Are You Being Served and several feature films.

With support from…

Peter John –comedy characters & music hall favourites

Norville & Josephine – magic & illusion

Judith Hibbert – singalong songs

Desiree Kongerod – contortion & “silks”

Andy Eastwood – ukulele singalong songs

The Good Old Days are at City Varieties Music Hall
for 3 weekends this Autumn

Evening performance at 6.30pm on Fridays

Tickets from £16*
plus Saturday matinees at 12 Noon and 4.30pm

Tickets from £20*


Online Booking:

Box Office: 0113 243 0808


(*includes £1 booking fee)



Sheffield Theatres, in partnership with Evolution Pantomimes, are searching for girls to be part of the Junior Ensemble for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, this year’s fun-packed family pantomime, which runs from Friday 9 December to Sunday 8 January at the Lyceum Theatre.

The young ensemble will perform in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs alongside Coronation Street’s Wendi Peters, children’s favourite Phil Gallagher (CBeebies’ Mister Maker) and Sheffield pantomime legend Damian Williams.

A great opportunity for any child interested in performing, auditions will take place on Sunday 19 June at the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield. Registration will take place from 10.30am with the auditions starting at 11.00am.   Auditions are expected to last approximately 2 hours but successful auditionees may need to stay longer.

Auditionees should arrive at the main entrance of the Lyceum Theatre in Tudor Square with a parent (for completion of registration paperwork) and must bring a completed application form with them, available to download from Unaccompanied auditionees may be turned away and unable to audition.

The audition is for the dancing ensemble, so all those attending should wear comfortable clothes and soft/dance shoes (not bare feet) and bring bottled drinking water.

Girls who wish to audition must be between the ages of 9 – 15 years inclusive on 1 September 2016 and must be 5ft 4” or shorter.  Successful auditionees must be available throughout the entire rehearsal and production period from Saturday 25 November  – Sunday 8 January 2016 inclusive.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, is the tenth pantomime that Sheffield Theatres will co-produce with Evolution Pantomimes and follows on from last years’ box office record-breaking production ofAladdin.

For further information, please go to the auditions page at

Auditions for the junior ensemble take place on Sunday 19 June at the Lyceum Theatre from 10.30am. Tickets for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs are on sale now, priced from £12.00 and can be purchased from Sheffield Theatres’ Box Office in person, by calling 0114 249 6000, and online at A transaction fee of £1.50 (£1.00 online) applies to all bookings made at the Box Office, excluding cash.

Airswimming Review

Bread & Roses Theatre June 21 – 25.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

Charlotte Jones’ Airswimming portrays the friendship that develops between two women inside St Dymphna’s Hospital for the Criminally Insane. This doesn’t sound like a barrel of laughs, but Jones has managed to interweave bittersweet comedy and tragic revelations to create a life affirming piece of theatre that also includes Doris Day’s greatest hits – what’s not to love?

Persephone (Alison Nicol) is admitted to St Dymphna’s in the 1920’s, unsure of why she is there. For an hour each day, she is given “polishing duty” with Dora (Tanya Chainey) – an “unhinged, cigar smoking monomaniac transsexual”. Initial dislike turns to a strong love and the play follows the co-dependent relationship over 50 years, as they are left to rot in the institution by their families.

The story jumps through time from the 20s to the 70s – signalled by lighting changes and increasingly less subtle changes in the characters’ demeanour. This can get very confusing, and I occasionally lost track of which decade was being visited, but it helps the audience share some of the characters’ loosening grip on reality and empathise with Dora’s fretting over not knowing which year it was.

When the reasons for Persephone’s family committing her are eventually revealed and she reads the doctor’s diagnosis of “moral imbecile”, the injustice, brutality and hypocrisy of pre-war Britain are laid bare.

Alison Nicol portrays Persephone’s disintegration from uptight, but hopeful young lady to childlike fantasist and Doris Day superfan with a delicate touch. The impish look on her face as she puts on her Doris wig is a wonderful contrast to her heartbreaking performance as she talks about her lost child.

Tanya Chainey channels Lt. George from Blackadder goes forth to give Dora an upbeat and annoyingly cheerful air in the 20s. Dora’s unravelling over the years is more shocking, as this strong woman seemed to find a silver lining in every situation. (Her admiring account of St Dymphna’s tragic life is ridiculously funny.) Watching her decide to trepan herself so that she can feel happy is awful, but very funny.

The actors have a wonderful chemistry and time their responses and looks to perfection.

Nothing really happens in this play – instead we just watch these two remarkable women find ways to cope with their fate. Their fantasies and memories merge and become magical moments, none more so than their airswimming – a wonderfully simple yet effective piece of gentle and precise choreography matched by deliciously evocative music.

The switching back and forth in time feels right for the story, until the end, where it becomes a little muddled and feels a bit like the end of The Lord of the Rings film, where there appears to be ending after ending ad infinitum. Apart from this, which left me a little underwhelmed, Airswimming is a clever and absorbing play that ultimately celebrates the human spirit that is well worth seeing.

That’s Entertainment Review

Grand Opera House York.  Reviewed by Michelle Richardson

That’s Entertainment celebrates musical favourites from the 1940s and 50s through song and dance. With tuxedo’s, sparkling dresses and feather fans it took you back that golden era.

We were introduced to a special guest star for the night, Becky O’Brien, a former Britain’s Got Talent contestant. Her rendition of Over the Rainbow seemed to be marred with either an instrument out of tune, or the music being slightly too loud, I’m not sure which, but her vocals were spot on. She has 3 sets over the duration of the show and certainly packs a punch with her vocals for one so small (she looks tiny). I believe a different special guest is performing at different venues.

From songs by “The Rat Pack”, Judy Garland to Knees Up Mother Brown, we were taken through a variety of song and dance, with many costume changes, including the Pearly Kings and Queens. The costumes and dancing are great throughout, and the standout for me is the tap dancing, very impressive.

I personally prefer a plot and story to be behind a show, but it still made for an enjoyable evening with the audience clapping and singing along.

Chip Shop the Musical Review

Reviewed by Michelle Richardson

Who knew that a musical could be held in a chippy? Well it certainly is now. The setting was Whackers fish and chip shop, York and is touring various Yorkshire fish and chip shops.

We were treated to a light supper of small fish and chips, with mushy peas and a cup of tea with no idea what to expect, or how the show was going to be performed, or in fact if it was ever going to work, how was it going to work?

With no pomp or ceremony a man appears, is he part of the show, or just a spectator? Looking drab and downtrodden the radio goes on and he starts singing. This is Gram (Darren Southworth) struggling to live up to his late father’s expectations, wanting to do things exactly the way they have always been done and wandering whether or not he needs an assistance. With a note in the window asking for help along come Ayla (Remmie Milner), a teenager unhappy at home wanting to be a grime vocalist.

They clash and their feelings are expressed through their different styles of vocals and use of props, salt and vinegar, plates and tablecloths. They are like chalk and cheese, will they come together and will there ever be fish and chips?

The show was on for less than an hour, which was just about right. Both actors fitted their roles and appeared very Yorkshire. This was a very physical play in such a small intimate space and you really felt part of the action. The only criticism is the amount of unnecessary swearing, which at some points is quite a lot and raised some eyebrows.

Overall a good show and worked well in the surprising location, and the added bonus of