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Prepare for a plethora of pomp and a cavalcade of circumstance as Last Night At The Proms comes to Darlington Civic Theatre on Monday 27 July.

Join the British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and soloists Anna Clark Monk and Andrew Forbes Lane as they celebrate great British achievements from sporting events, inventions, music and the arts to world and human achievement.

This upbeat concert will feature well known British music from Elgar, Sullivan, Monckton, Parry, Wood and so many more. Including of course the traditional Pomp and Circumstance finale of whistle blowing flag waving proms music with Rule Britannia, Land of Hope and Glory, Jerusalem, Sailors Hornpipe and many, many more.

This is your opportunity to flag wave, raise the roof and be proud of our heritage in this fun concert for everyone.

Last Night At The Proms is at Darlington Civic Theatre on Monday 27 July. Tickets* are £21 and £19.

*Includes £1 restoration levy

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit


Civic Theatre Hi Res Logo

The master of mayhem and mischief, The Cat In The Hat, will bound onto the Darlington Civic Theatre stage on Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 July.

From the moment his tall, red-and-white-striped hat appears around the door, Sally and her brother know that The Cat in The Hat is the funniest, most mischievous cat they have ever met. With the trickiest of tricks and craziest of ideas, he turns a rainy afternoon into an amazing adventure. But what will mum find when she gets home? Based on the much-loved book by Dr Seuss, The Cat in The Hat is a lively and engaging first theatre experience for young children aged 3+.

The Cat in The Hat was first published in 1957 as Dr. Seuss’s second book for children. It marked the transition of Theodor Seuss Geisel from successful advertising executive and political cartoonist, to world-famous illustrator and children’s author. The curious and intricate rhyming found in The Cat in The Hat is still adored decades later with over 250 million copies sold worldwide in more than 20 different languages.

A special The Cat In The Hat workshop will be taking place on Tuesday 28 July at 10am. Join author Tracey Iceton and artist Yvonne Preston in creating your own book inspired by The Cat In The Hat; create some whacky rhymes and a cover for your new creation. Tickets £5.50 (age 4-7). Call the box office on 01325 486555.

The Cat In The Hat is at Darlington Civic Theatre on Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 July. Tickets are £12 adults, £8 children, family ticket £32. Recommended age 3+

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit

Tony award-winning IN THE HEIGHTS transfers to King’s Cross Theatre






The 2014 Southwark Playhouse company of IN THE HEIGHTS. Photo Credit Robert WorkmanTony Award-winning Broadway musical In The Heights will return to London this year following a critically acclaimed sell-out UK premiere at Southwark Playhouse in 2014. The production will transfer to King’s Cross Theatre on 3rd October 2015 and is booking for a strictly limited four week period until 1st November 2015. Tickets go on sale at 10.00am on Friday 10th July 2015.

In The Heights is an uplifting and exhilarating journey into Washington Heights, one of Manhattan’s most vibrant communities – a place where the coffee is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggle can be deciding which traditions to take with you, and which ones to leave behind. With a gripping story and unforgettable Latin and hip-hop infused score, In The Heights is a ground-breaking contemporary musical about what it takes to make a living, what it costs to have a dream, and what it means to be home.

In The Heights opened at Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre in 2008 where it was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards, winning four for Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations. It also won the 2009 Grammy Award for its Original Broadway Cast Album and was nominated for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

Lin-Manuel Miranda is the Tony-winning composer-lyricist of In the Heights. He also originated the lead role of Usnavi for which he received a Tony-Award nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. Lin-Manuel is currently starring in the title role in his newest musical Hamilton, which had its world premiere at The Public Theater in January 2015 before transferring to Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre in July 2015. The production has so far received a record-breaking 10 Lortel Awards, 3 Outer Critic Circle Awards, 8 Drama Desk Awards, the 2015 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best New Musical and the 2015 OBIE Award for Best New American Play.

In The Heights is directed by Luke Sheppard whose recent credits include Oliver! (Watermill Theatre), Adrian Mole (Curve Theatre, Leicester), Next Fall (Southwark Playhouse), Peter Pan (Beck Theatre), Mort (Rose Theatre), Bed And Sofa (Finborough Theatre) and Jet Set Go! (Jermyn Street Theatre). Luke is also Associate Director of Matilda in the West End and on Broadway.

It is choreographed by Drew McOnie, who won the 2015 Off West End Award for Best Choreography for his work on In The Heights at Southwark Playhouse. Recent credits include Bugsy Malone (Lyric Hammersmith),Oklahoma! (UK Tour), Chicago (Curve Theatre, Leicester) and Drunk (Bridewell Theatre). Drew is also the Artistic Director of The McOnie Company and an Associate Artist at The Old Vic, for which he is currently creating a new dance-thriller version of Jekyll and Hyde.

Luke Sheppard said today: “We were overwhelmed by the response at Southwark and it’s a real privilege to be able to revisit this extraordinary musical. We’ve thought long and hard about the right way to bring the show back to London whilst keeping the experience up close and personal, and this is a brilliant space for us to take over and immerse our audience in the sounds and sweat of this passion-infused piece”.


Tickets start at £19.50, with a selection of best seats available for Under 25s at a special rate of £15 at every performance.

In The Heights is conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda with Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and a Book by Quiara Alegría Hudes. It is directed by Luke Sheppard with choreography by Drew McOnie,musical supervision by Tom Deering (Made In Dagenham, From Here To Eternity), set design by takis(Chicago, Curve Theatre), costume design by Gabriella Slade (Alice in Wonderland, Oxford Playhouse), lighting design by Howard Hudson (Adrian Mole, Titanic) and sound design by Gareth Owen. Casting is byWill Burton. It is produced in London by Tristan Baker and Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment Ltd and Paul Taylor Mills Ltd.


King’s Cross Theatre is a brand new purpose built theatre at King’s Cross Station. The venue is currently home to The Railway Children which has just extended its run until 3rd January 2015 and will continue to play in rep with In The Heights. King’s Cross Theatre will also be opening a late night bar to coincide with the run of In The Heights, opening an hour before every performance until late, with live music and DJs after certain performances. 

Casting to be announced.

Twitter @InTheHeightsLDN



Saturday 3 October – Sunday 1 November 2015


Good’s Way, King’s Cross, London, N1C 4UR

Press Night: TBC

Performances: Monday Tuesday Thursday Friday 8.00pm, Friday 3.00pm, Saturday 8.30pm, Sunday 6.00pm (except for Sun 4 and Sun 11 October at 2.30pm)

Tickets: From £19.50 (with a guaranteed selection of £15 tickets per performance for U25)

Box Office: 0844 871 7604 |


b68669a68840c25b_100x100arAcclaimed by audiences and critics alike, Scotch & Soda must end its debut London season on 2 August. London Wonderground’s decadent Spiegeltent hosts this glamorous evening of debauched and deadly fun, jam-packed with jaw-dropping lunacy, incredible feats and live beats.

A dusty desert bar. A chance encounter. A spectacular clash of spellbinding misfits, Scotch & Soda is a guaranteed whiskey-soaked evening of breathtaking feats, blinding charm and beatnik soul. Scotch & Soda features gravity-defying circus from some of Australia’s finest acrobats with previous appearances including Cantina, La Clique, Cirque and Tom Tom Crew, and music from the renowned Crusty Suitcase Band.

b34d77807823969c_100x100arScotch & Soda is a collaboration between Ben Walsh’s Crusty Suitcase Band and David Carberry and Chelsea McGuffin – the creators of the internationally acclaimed show Cantina. Having previously collaborated on several occasions, Scotch & Soda is the first time that all of these artists have formally come together to present this brand new production.

London Wonderground is the brainchild of Underbelly and Southbank Centre. A dazzling playground for all, London Wonderground is a spectacular slice of circus in the centre of London. Back for a fourth year, the festival is renowned for hosting the best circus and cabaret from across the world in an enchanting riverside venue, complete with a magnificent 1920s Spiegeltent and various rides and attractions. London Wonderground is part of Southbank Centre’s Festival of Love this summer.



At London Wonderground
Tickets from £12.50
14 May – 2 August

Suitable for ages 12+
To book phone: 0844 545 8282

7.30pm Tuesday to Sunday
4pm Saturday Matinees
No performances Monday
No performances on 14 July and 28 July.

London Wonderground
7 May – 27 September

Jesus Christ Superstar Review

Grand Theatre, Leeds – 8 July 2015

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Religious tour de force arrives in Leeds over 40 years since it was first performed, and written when Lloyd Webber and Rice were still in their teens.

This version directed by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright is a much simplified version from the Arena tour a few years ago.  Set back in biblical times, the set is just scaffold and movable steps with a giant crown of thorns hanging over the stage the whole performance.  The crucifix is raised up from the stage floor.

But no matter how good a production looks, Jesus Christ Superstar can only work if the score is properly served. Bob Broad as Musical Director makes sure the music is spot on and from the opening bars, it’s a roller-coaster of love, hope, betrayal, politics and pain — brought to loud, rock-opera life by the incredible score.

The wonderfully talented child cast who made Hosanna and Superstar so moving, deserve huge praise

The show explores the last seven days of Jesus, through the eyes of Judas Iscariot, revealing the torment of a man who loves his leader but fears the myth that goes before the man.

It’s a huge, challenging vocal part — but Tim Rogers’ rock vocals delivered, expertly capturing Judas’ despair as he betrays Christ and battles with his guilt.   Judas came across as the more interesting character – conflicted about Jesus’ claims to be the son of God and constantly challenging him to be the leader he wanted him to be.

Rachel Adedeji is a rather simpering Mary Magdalene with a likeable enough voice, but Adedeji seems unsure as to whether she is an opera or musical singer and moves between the two.  Her rendition of Could We Start Again Please  which was sung as if in a musical was much better than her defining number: I Don’t Know How to Love Him, rather arrives out of nothing and leaves it as it found it. The music and lyrics are all there, but the meaning is not brought out as it might be.

Tom Gilling’s King Herod completely stole the spotlight in the show’s only comic number, with wonderful choreography and just the right amount of camp – naked to the waist apart from tasselled nipple pasties – has a ball with Herod’s Song, lasciviously tempting Jesus to perform a miracle for him and sending him back when he refuses.

Unfortunately, Glenn Carter as Jesus seemed smug and unctuous in Act One, making Judas even more sympathetic.  But Carters can sing and his smooth, calming vocals switched to tortured, shrieking falsetto was awe-inspiring, particularly in Gethsemane.

The intensity of Jesus arrest, trial and crucifixion made for appropriately uncomfortable viewing, and the production’s clever use of lighting with a minimalist set excelled in the final scenes.

Carter was powerful and haunting – his suffering was almost too painful to watch.  His fears for His own death – even though He believes that it will lead Him to salvation.  The crucifixion was, brutal.

In Leeds until Saturday 11th July and on tour around the UK

Sherlock Holmes and the Ripper Murders Review

Civic Theatre, Darlington – 7 July 2015

Arriving in Darlington this week, Brian Clemens weaves an interesting and quite tangled tale in “Sherlock Holmes and the Ripper Murders.” During the Autumn of 1888, London is plagued by a rash of terrible murders all being committed by Jack the Ripper. Sherlock Holmes soon becomes embroiled in the investigation and learns that there is more to these murders than meets the eye.

Its a interesting tale, using the Walter Sickert/Royal Marriage angle to tell this interpretation.  But with all theories pertaining to the Ripper this version is easily as plausible as any other.

The first half of the play is very slow but gathers momentum in the second half reaching a crescendo of a finale and nice neat ending.  The way it plods along at first is like the slow pacing of Sherlock’s mind as he slowly fits together the clues and ideas and once one bit comes together the rest tumble into place – an ingenious piece of writing.

On a whole, the story is very nicely executed. The music, sound and lighting effects heighten suspense and the simple but effective set helps to set the scene nicely . The acting is also very nicely done too. Samuel Clemens makes for a wonderful Sherlock Holmes, giving him depth and personality. George Telfer is very nice as Watson. Threatening to write his memoirs. Actress Lara Lemon is very convincing as Miss Katherine Mead, a medium who acts as Holmes’ assistant in this venture.

Michael Kirk’s Netley, Andrew Paul’s Sir William Gull and Neil Roberts’ Anderson are all convincingly evil and whilst much is made of the “brotherhood” to which they all belong, the author was very careful not to mention the Freemason’s by name.

Katy Dean is muti-talented playing a variety of different street walkers and Kim Taylforth’s Mrs Hudson is very Mrs Doyle-esq with her continuing need to make tea.

There are niggles, the show descends into the realm of Monty Python with a scene including a blind beggar and there is far too much screaming from women who have had their throat cut.  But there is a lightness and humour and this theory on a classic story is most enjoyable with some 5 star performances

In Darlington until Saturday 11th July and on tour around the rest of the UK

Rehearsals start for The Railway Children

Actors arrive in York as The Railway Children returns after world-wide success

The Railway Children

31st July – 5th September

The cast arrive for The Railway Children credit Anthony RoblingThe cast of The Railway Children have arrived in York for rehearsals and started the day taking a look at their biggest co-star, the Great Western Railway Pannier Tank 5775, the steam locomotive used in the classic film, which rolls to a majestic halt in front of the audience during the show.

The long-awaited homecoming of The Railway Children to York marks a new milestone in the seven-year partnership between the National Railway Museum and York Theatre Royal. The production forms part of York Theatre Royal’s residency at the Museum whilst the theatre undergoes its £4.1m refurbishment, and will run from 31 July to 5 September 2015.

Taking over from the eagerly anticipated In Fog and Falling Snow, the latest theatrical collaboration between two of York’s best-loved cultural institutions promises to be bigger and better than ever before. The 2015 adaptation will see The Railway Children not only reunited with the Museum where it originated, but also with the purpose-built 1,000-seat Signal Box Theatre in which it delighted Canadian audiences during its 2011 run in Toronto.

The show has won extensive critical praise for its use of a live steam locomotive in a thrilling set-piece, and for the first time the 2015 adaption will feature the same locomotive as the well-loved original film – the Great Western Railway Pannier Tank 5775. Pannier Tank is definitely one of the biggest guest stars ever to grace the UK stage, and has been repainted specifically for the production to reflect the fictional caramel-brown livery from the film.

This is the third time that the Theatre and the Museum have collaborated on The Railway Children, but the first time that the theatre and the museum have worked in full partnership to deliver a summer of activities for the whole family to enjoy. The production is directed by York Theatre Royal’s Artistic Director Damian Cruden, and will feature beloved York pantomime favourites Martin Barrass and Berwick Kaler in the respective roles of Mr Perks and the Old Gentleman.

The Railway Children was the first of the National Railway Museum’s joint ventures with York Theatre Royal, and played to sell out audiences in 2008 and 2009. It went on to delight sell-out audiences at Waterloo and in Toronto in 2010 and 2011, and most recently has enjoyed a successful run at London Kings Cross station. With such a history of critical acclaim and audience praise behind the show, anticipation for its York homecoming is running high. Over 24,000 people saw The Railway Children in 2008, and demand for tickets was so great that the last three weeks of the show was completely sold out, meaning hundreds of people had to be turned away.

Jim Lowe, Head of Operations at the National Railway Museum, said:

The partnership between the Museum and York Theatre Royal is flourishing during the Theatre’s residency here, and both organisations are delighted to welcome The Railway Children back to its original home. We think audiences will love the latest adaptation of this wonderful production, and will be as excited as we are to see Bobbie and her siblings reunited with the instantly recognisable Pannier Tank locomotive from the iconic film.

York Theatre Royal’s Chief Executive, Liz Wilson, commented: Part of The Railway Children’s popularity is its ability to appeal to a wide audience, as previous sell–out runs in York, Waterloo and Toronto have proved. York Theatre Royal and the National Railway Museum are delighted to be bringing the production back.

Rehearsals start as the York Theatre Royal production’s run at London’s King Cross is extended to January 2016. The Railway Children runs from 31 July to 5 September 2015. Tickets are priced between £10 and £32.50 and can be bought by calling the Box Office on 01904 623568, securely online at or in person at York Theatre Royal’s new box Office in De Grey Rooms, St Leonard’s Place.

Listings Information:

York Theatre Royal and National Railway Museum present

E Nesbit’s The Railway Children

Friday 31 July – Saturday 5 September 2015

Directed by Damian Cruden

Written by Mike Kenney

Tickets: £32.50 – £10

Box Office 01904 623568

The Mentalists

The Mentalists

Written by Richard Bean

Directed by Abbey Wright


Production images have been released of BAFTA and Golden Globe Award-winning writer, comedian and actor Stephen Merchant (The Office, Extras, Hello Ladies) and critically acclaimed actor Steffan Rhodri (Gavin & Stacey, Harry Potter, Posh) in The Mentalists. This sharply written and darkly comic play by Richard Bean (writer of the smash hit comedy One Man, Two Guvnors), which is directed byAbbey Wright, is currently playing at the Wyndham’s Theatre until 26 September, with official opening night  for press on 13 July.

The Mentalists. Stephen Merchant and Steffan Rhodri. Photo credit J.Brooks and Helen Maybanks.jpgTed (Stephen Merchant) has a master plan to revolutionise the world – and with help from his best friend Morrie (Steffan Rhodri) and his trusty video camera, it may just go global! But Morrie begins to suspect that Ted’s in trouble as unpaid bills and cryptic phone calls start to mount; and as the world closes in on their hotel room in this poignant and touching comedy, there is only one way out.

The Mentalists. Stephen Merchant and Steffan Rhodri. 2. Photo credit J.Brooks and Helen Maybanks.jpgWell-known for his collaborations with Ricky Gervais, including popular television shows The Office,Extras, Life’s Too Short and An Idiot Abroad, Stephen Merchant recently starred in Dan Mazer’s hit British comedy film I Give It A Year alongside Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall. Merchant wrote, directed and performed Hello Ladies, an international stand-up comedy tour which he went on to re-create as a television series for HBO including HBO special Hello LadiesThe Movie. In a career that has seen Merchant accept four BAFTA awards, four British Comedy Awards, a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award for his television work, The Mentalists will mark both his theatrical and West End debut.

Steffan Rhodri was last seen in the West End in Laura Wade’s Posh and Alan Ayckborn’s Absent Friends, both in 2012. On television, Rhodri became a household name portraying Dave Coaches in Gavin & Stacey for three years between 2007 and 2010. Most recent television credits include Under Milk Woodfor the BBC and Channel 4’s Cucumber and the critically acclaimed Shakespeare’s Hollow Crown seriesHenry VI and Richard III for the BBC.

Since writing The Mentalists, originally part of the Transformation season in 2002 at the National Theatre, Richard Bean has gone on to score West End successes with One Man, Two Guvnors and Great Britain, both directed by Nicholas Hytner. Most recently, Bean wrote the book for Made In Dagenham, which premiered at the Adelphi Theatre in 2014, starring Gemma Arterton and directed by Rupert Goold.

Directed by Abbey Wright, The Mentalists will feature Scenic Design by Richard Kent, Lighting Design by David Plater, and Casting by Anne Vosser.

The Mentalists is produced by Old Vic Productions, Smith & Brant Theatricals, Steven Harris andSam Levy in association with Jimmy Jewell Ltd and Caitlin Albery Beavan.

THEATRE:     Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0DA
BOX OFFICE: 0844 482 5120
TWITTER:      @MentalistsPlay  
DATES:         3 July – 26 September 2015
Monday – Saturday 7.45pm
Wednesday and Saturday 3pm
Monday 13 July PRESS NIGHT at 7pm

TICKETS:       Preview Prices* (from 3 – 16 July)
£49.50, £29.50 £39.50 & £15
Standard Prices* from 17 July – 26 September
£59.50, £49.50 & £19.50
*All ticket prices include a £1.25 theatre restoration levy and a £2.25 online booking fee. An additional 50p will be added to telephone bookings

A Trip Back In Time



Inspired by the seven smash hit multi-million selling albums


Dreamboats and Miniskirts UK Tour - Elizabeth Carter as Laura and Alex Beaumont as Bobby - credit Darren BellA sensational new musical is set to hit town next week showcasing the greatest hit songs of the 60s.Dreamboats and Miniskirts, the sequel to the sell-out Dreamboats and Petticoats, comes to Leeds Grand Theatre next Monday 13th July and runs until Saturday 18th.


Since its premiere in 2009 Dreamboats and Petticoats has become 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! Now the creative team reunite for the sequel.

Dreamboats and Miniskirts UK Tour - Elizabeth Carter as Laura - credit Darren Bell (2)It’s 1963 and the world is changing. The advent of the Beatles and the Merseyside sound is inspirational but will it stir our three couples to follow their dreams into the world of pop?  This hit show has the same wit, charm and songs that audiences have loved – featuring hit after hit from Twist & Shout to Handy Manto Pretty Woman, One Fine Day and many more.


Dreamboats and Miniskirts is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 13th to Saturday 18th July.


Tickets are on sale now priced from £18.50 to £34.


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


The Tale of Mr Tumble at Manchester International Festival

92ede08de5891dd9_orgThe Tale of Mr Tumble will be a funny, engaging and visually exciting show that will give children the chance to see Mr Tumble live and up close as he and his family share some of their fondest memories.

Audiences will find out how he became the joyful entertainer familiar to so many, following his journey from bouncing baby Tumble (with his bright red nose already in place), through his singing and dancing school years, right up to the present day.

zOpt_Justin Fletcher in rehearsal for The Tale of Mr Tumble at MIF15. Credit Robert Day. 3519Justin Fletcher, known to millions as CBeebies Mr Tumble, will be joined by Ronni Ancona as Miss Eerie the Headmistress – a force to reckoned with who likes to take things very, very seriously. Other cast members include Samuel Buttery, Samantha Dorrance, Connor Elliott, Lizzie Franks, Tom Mackley, Nicholas McLean, Samuel Parker, Katia Sartini, Kai Savage, Ben Stock and Lauren Storer. The company will be joined on stage by a Makaton signing choir who will perform alongside their hero Mr Tumble.

zOpt_Ronni Ancona in rehearsal for The Tale of Mr Tumble at MIF15. Credit Robert Day. 3897Written by Will Brenton, with design by Hayley Grindle, The Tale of Mr Tumble will be a real opportunity to step inside the colourful world of one of our most cherished TV characters.

Commissioned by MIF Creative. Produced by Manchester International Festival.
Supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, The Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust and MIF Creative Circle.  In association with CBeebies.zOpt_The cast of The Tale of Mr Tumble at MIF15 in rehearsal. Credit Robert Day. 8912


14 PERFORMANCES, 11 – 19 JULY 2015

All children’s tickets £12
Adults £18.25 – £26.25
Concessions £5 off
Schools £8.50 / Teachers are free
£12 tickets for Greater Manchester residents on a lower wage, available on a first come first served honest basis
Babes In Arms up to 18 months are welcome. For children over 18 month tickets must be purchased.

Box Office: | 0844 871 7654