A compelling mix of drama, family shows, comedy and music will feature in Chichester Festival Theatre’s Winter 2015 season.

Penelope Keith returns in the world premiere of ‘Mrs Pat’ from 15 October – 7 November. This one-woman play about the celebrated 19th and 20th century actress Mrs Patrick Campbell is written by Anton Burge and directed by Alan Strachan. This production reunites the actress and director who worked together on Festival 2006’s Entertaining Angels.

Also receiving its world premiere is Walter & Lenny, which documents the delightful friendship between composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein and the Dean of Chichester Cathedral, Walter Hussey. Their collaboration led to the composition of The Chichester Psalms, a choral work performed at the Cathedral in 1965. Devised by Peter McEnery and directed by Julia St John, this new production marks the 50th anniversary of the Cathedral performance. The play runs from 11 – 14 November.

As well as brand-new work, the drama offerings also include the 60th anniversary production of a classic thriller, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap from 23 – 28 November. The setting is a country house cut off by snow where a group of people discover there is a murderer in their midst.

The Olivier award-winning drama King Charles III runs from 30 November – 5 December, following acclaimed seasons at the Almeida Theatre and in the West End. This provocative exploration of power, democracy and the conscience of Britain’s most famous family is by Mike Bartlett, directed by Rupert Goold with Whitney Mosery. The cast features Robert Powell as King Charles III.

Also exploring the enduring fascination with royalty (and Russian spies) is an award-winning double bill by Alan Bennett. Single Spies chronicles the lives of Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt, two of the ‘Cambridge Five’ spy ring in the 1950s. Following the success of The King’s Speech, Chichester Festival Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre collaborate again for this co-production, directed by Olivier-nominated Rachel Kavanaugh, which runs from
4 – 13 February.

Chichester’s ongoing commitment to staging high quality work especially for children and young people is a key aspect of this season. Following its highly acclaimed promenade production of Running Wild this summer, the Youth Theatre returns to the Festival Theatre stage with a revival of its much-loved production of A Christmas Carol from 18 December – 2 January, adapted by Bryony Lavery and directed by Dale Rooks and Jake Smith.

Hetty Feather is an enchanting story about a young girl’s adventures following her escape from a Victorian Foundling Hospital. Based on a novel by Jacqueline Wilson, adapted for the stage by Emma Reeves and directed by Sally Cookson, this production uses songs, live music and circus skills to glorious effect and runs from 27 – 31 January.

Thrills are also on offer from Dinosaur Zoo which brings an array of prehistoric creatures to life ranging from cute baby dinos to ravenous reptiles. This interactive show for all the family includes a 15-minute ‘meat and greet’ with the dinosaurs! Ages 3+. The show runs from 16 – 20 February.

Moscow City Ballet – one of Russia’s most successful touring companies – returns to herald the New Year with two classic productions accompanied by a live orchestra from 5 – 10 January. Swan Lake is the powerful story of a tragic love affair, performed to Tchaikovsky’s evocative score, coupled with The Sleeping Beauty’s magical characters and opulent costumes.

The dark art of juggling will be unleashed by Gandini, making their Chichester debut on 20 January with an unforgettable mix of circus, dance and theatre. They have been at the forefront of contemporary performance for over 20 years, and have performed in over 40 countries. Their mesmerising juggling show Smashed is inspired by the work of modern dancer, choreographer and director Pina Bausch.

Comedy lovers can enjoy two singular performers with highly distinctive styles. Having entertained audiences for over 40 years, Pam Ayres returns on 14 February with her wry and gently humorous look at the detail of everyday life, following her latest book,You Made Me Late Again!

Stewart Lee has also won critical acclaim and a devoted following, thanks to his unique deconstruction of his own comedy routines. He brings his new live show A Room With A Stew to Chichester on 20 February with fresh material, in advance of his next BBC2 series of Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle. Age guidance 14+.

There’s music for lovers of all genres ranging from iconic pop to classical concerts.  Joan Armatrading plays a solo gig on 20 November as part of her final major world tour. It’s the chance to experience a live performance of career defining songs such as Love And Affection, Me Myself I and Willow.

As part of a long-established tradition in Chichester, the Christmas Concerts will return to the Festival Theatre from 7 – 12 December offering a festive mix of carols old and new alongside readings, anecdotes and poems.

The BBC Concert Orchestra returns to its regional home at Chichester for two dates. The Orchestra joins forces with award-winning folk duo Nancy Kerr and James Fagan to reinterpret traditional material on 18 November. This will be followed by a celebration of musical productions at Chichester Festival Theatre including hit songs from The Music Man, Kiss Me, Kate and Sweeney Todd on 22 January, conducted by Keith Lockhart and presented by Ken Bruce for a live Radio 2 broadcast.

There will also be musical offerings from The Band and Bugles of The Rifles whose concert will feature some of Britian’s best loved pieces such as Nimrod and Land of Hope and Glory on 21 November, and Southern Pro Musica’s popular Children’s Concert which includes musical classics and audience participation compered by magician-extraordinaire Neil Henry and conducted by Jonathan Willcocks on 19 January.

HMS Pinafore In Concert conducted by Martin Handley features a cast of the country’s finest G&S singers and an orchestra on 21 January, while one of the world’s most famous brass bands, the Black Dyke Band performs well known classical pieces, military marches and film music on 23 January, and Spotlight On the Edge, a charity concert in support of Children on the Edge will be an evening of music, song and dance on 24 January.

Priority booking for Friends of Chichester Festival Theatre opens:
Monday 14 September (online and booking forms only)
Thursday 17 September (phone and in person)

Public booking opens:
Monday 21 September (online only)
Thursday 24 September (phone and in person)

Box Office 01243 781312; Online

16 – 25s Ticket Scheme
An allocation of tickets priced at just £8.50 are available for 16 to 25 year olds for most plays in the Festival Theatre. These will be available one month before each production opens.




by Anton Chekhov
in new versions by David Hare
Director Jonathan Kent
28 September – 14 November



The first pictures are released today for a major new season of Anton Chekhov’s early works atChichester Festival Theatre. Newly adapted by David Hare and directed by Jonathan Kent, the productions present a unique theatrical event which will see a repertory cast of 23 actors performing 50 parts in Platonov, Ivanov and The Seagull. For the first time ever on this scale audiences will be given the opportunity to see all three shows in close proximity performed by the same group and with the same creative team.

Adrian Lukis in rehearsal for Chichester Festival Theatres Young Chekhov season dir by Jonathan Kent Photo Johan Persson (2).jpgWhen the season begins previews in September, the Young Chekhov cast will have worked together on the productions for three months. The cast includes Emma Amos, Nebli Basani,Lucy Briers, Pip Carter, Anna Chancellor, Jonathan Coy, Nicholas Day, Mark Donald, Peter Egan, Col Farrell, Joshua James, Beverley Klein, Adrian Lukis, Des McAleer, James McArdle, Mark Penfold, Brian Pettifer, Nina Sosanya, Sarah Twomey,  David Verrey, Olivia Vinall, Samuel West and Jade Williams.

Nicholas Day Jade Williams and Joshua James in rehearsal for Chichester Festival Theatres Young Chekhov season dir by Jonathan KEach of the three plays can be seen as a single performance or they can be enjoyed as one event, either over different days or as one intense theatrical experience on Trilogy Days. With over 5,000 tickets at £10 available across the Young Chekhov season, audiences can see all three plays for as little as £30.

Lucy Briers and Adrian Lukis in rehearsal for Chichester Festival Theatres Young Chekhov season dir by Jonathan Kent Photo Johan This season within a season is anchored by a trio of talent – Chekhov himself, playwright David Hare, and director Jonathan Kent, returning to Chichester following his triumphant production of Gypsy in Festival 2014. Young Chekhov reunites Kent and Hare who have previously collaborated on productions for the Almeida Theatre.

Nina Sosanya James McArdle and Joshua James in rehearsal for Chichester Festival Theatres Young Chekhov season dir by Jonathan KThese three plays, written when Anton Chekhov was young, offer a new perspective on the dramatist, revealing a youthful anger and romanticism that is very different to his mature, more familiar work.

Olivia Vinall and James McArdle in rehearsal for Chichester Festival Theatres Young Chekhov season dir by Jonathan Kent Photo JoThe central character in Platonov is a debt-ridden schoolteacher who is about to lose his home, yet remains irresistible to women. This freewheeling comedy set in the middle of nowhere explores the traps of conventionality and moral hypocrisy.
Sarah Twomey and James McArdle in rehearsal for Chichester Festival Theatres Young Chekhov season dir by Jonathan Kent Photo Joh Nikolai Ivanov is a councillor and landowner who has tried to live in a bold new way, taking  risks in everything from business to romance. Now his estate is failing and his wife is dangerously ill. Ivanov is an angry and outspoken satire, full of a passion that Chekhov would forego in his later plays.

In The Seagull, a bold new play by a young writer is about to be staged. What happens during the performance, and in the days that follow it, will change the lives of everyone involved. The best known of the Young Chekhov trilogy is a meditation on love and art that’s both comic and tragic.

Anna Chancellor plays Irina Arkadina in The Seagull. She was last at Chichester in Private Livesand South Downs/The Browning Version (both of which transferred to the West End). Other credits include The Wolf from the Door (Royal Court Theatre) and The Last of the Duchess(Hampstead Theatre).

James McArdle plays the title role in Platonov and Yevgeni Lvov in Ivanov. He previously appeared at Chichester in A Month in the Country. Other credits include The James Plays at the Edinburgh Festival and National Theatre, and the West End production of Chariots of Fire.

Samuel West plays the title role in Ivanov and Boris Trigorin in The Seagull. He was last seen at Chichester in Enron and Doctor Faustus. Other acting credits include the West End production ofUncle Vanya, as well as Betrayal and Family Reunion (both for the Donmar Warehouse).

Lucy Briers plays Zinaida Savishna in Ivanov and Polina in The Seagull. She last appeared at Chichester in Top Girls (also West End). Other credits include the RSC productions of Wolf Halland Bring Up the Bodies (also West End and Broadway), Behud (Soho Theatre) and The Voysey Inheritance (National Theatre).

Pip Carter plays Sergei Yoynitzev in Platonov and Medvedenko in The Seagull. His credits include the West End production of Posh, The Cherry Orchard, The White Guard, Gethsemaneand Present Laughter (all for the National Theatre) and Tiger Country (Hampstead Theatre).

Peter Egan plays Shabyelski in Ivanov and Sorin in The Seagull. His Chichester credits includeThe Cherry Orchard, The Rivals and Caesar and Cleopatra. Other credits include Other Desert Cities (The Old Vic), People, Noises Off and Engaged (all for the National Theatre) and the West End production of Art.

Adrian Lukis plays Evgeny Dorn in The Seagull. His credits include Versailles (Donmar Warehouse) Pygmalion, The Winslow Boy (Theatre Royal, Bath), The Philadelphia, Cloaca (Old Vic), The Relapse, Sleep with Me (National Theatre) and Private Lives in the West End. Television credits include Peak Practice, Fresh Meat and Pride and Prejudice.

Brian Pettifer plays Timofei Bugrov in Platonov and Kosych in Ivanov. His credits include screen roles in Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrell, The Musketeers and Bleak House, as well as stage roles in Yer Granny (National Theatre of Scotland) and The Fairy Queen at Glyndebourne.

Nina Sosanya plays Anna Petrovna in Platonov and Ivanov. Her theatre credits include the The Vote, Privacy and The Vortex (all for the Donmar Warehouse), the West End production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Love’s Labour’s Lost for the RSC. Television credits include W1A and Last Tango in Halifax.

Olivia Vinall plays Soyfa Yegorovna in Platonov, Sasha in Ivanov and Nina Zarechnaya in The Seagull. Her credits include The Hard Problem, King Lear and Othello (all for the National Theatre).

The cast of Platonov in rehearsal for Chichester Festival Theatres Young Chekhov season dir by Jonathan Kent Photo Johan PerssonThe cast also includes Emma Amos as Marfusha Babakina in Ivanov, Nebli Basani as Yakov inPlatonov, Piotr and a Guest in Ivanov and Yakov in The Seagull, Jonathan Coy as Porfiri Glagolyev in Platonov and Pavel Lebedev in Ivanov, Mark Donald as Kiril Glagolyev in Platonov,Col Farrell as Marko in Platonov and First Guest in Ivanov, Joshua James as Nikolai Triletsky inPlatonov and Konstantin in The Seagull, Beverley Klein as Katya in Platonov and Avdotya Nazarovna in Ivanov, Des McAleer as Osip in Platonov, Mikhail Brokin in Ivanov and Shamraev inThe Seagull, Mark Penfold as Vasili in Platonov and Gavrila in Ivanov, Sarah Twomey as Maria Grekova in Platonov and a Guest in Ivanov, David Verrey as Pavel Shcherbuk in Platonov and Third Guest in Ivanov, and Jade Williams as Sasha Ivanovna in Platonov and Masha in The Seagull.

Playwright David Hare in rehearsal for Chichester Festival Theatres Young Chekhov season Photo Johan Persson.jpgDavid Hare’s numerous credits include the world premiere of South Downs at Chichester (also West End), the National Theatre’s trilogy of plays about British institutions, Racing Demon,Murmuring Judges and The Absence of War, adaptations such as The Blue Room (Donmar Warehouse and Broadway), and most recently Behind The Beautiful Forevers, also for the National Theatre. He is also an acclaimed screenwriter and has received Academy Award nominations for The Hours and The Reader.

Director Jonathan Kent returns to Chichester following his acclaimed productions of Gypsy,Private Lives and Sweeney Todd, all of which transferred to the West End. Other credits includeGood People (Hampstead Theatre and West End), Oedipus (National Theatre), Don Giovanni andThe Fairy Queen (both for Glyndebourne).

Design is by Tom Pye whose credits include Mother CourageMajor Barbara, and Measure for Measure (all for the National Theatre), Happy Days (National Theatre, BAM and World Tour),The Wolf from the Door, The Low Road, and NSFW (all for the Royal Court Theatre) and the West End production of Sinatra (West End).

Costume Design is by Emma Ryott whose credits include The Great Gatsby (Dresden), Anna Karenina (Oslo and Moscow), The Heart of Robin Hood (RSC and international tour), and Rock ‘n Roll (Royal Court Theatre, West End and Broadway).

Lighting Design is by Mark Henderson whose Chichester credits include Gypsy, Sweeney Toddand Private Lives (all of which transferred to the West End) and ENRON (also Royal Court Theatre, West End, Broadway and tour), West End productions of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as well as The History Boys and The Habit of Art (National Theatre).

Sound Design is by Paul Groothuis, Chichester’s Associate Sound Designer. Chichester credits include Festival 2015’s A Damsel in Distress, as well as Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, The Pajama Game, Private Lives, Kiss Me, Kate, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, all of which transferred to the West End.

Composition is by Jonathan Dove whose credits include Trelawny of the ‘Wells’, Wild Oats, Mother Courage and Peter Pan (National Theatre)  Zenobia and A Midsummer Night’s Dream(RSC) and ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (Young Vic).

Young Chekhov: The Birth of A Genius is sponsored by Wiley. The Seagull is sponsored by De’Longhi.


Writer David Hare and director Jonathan Kent will be in conversation with novelist and CFT biographer Kate Mosse at a pre-show talk on Thursday 15 October at 5.45pm. Tickets are free but booking is essential.

Meet some of the Young Chekhov company at a post-show talk hosted by writer Simon Brett on Wednesday 21 October.

There will be a rehearsed reading of Anton Chekhov’s Swan Song on Saturday 31 October at 11am. This vaudeville piece about an old actor and his prompter was adapted from one of Chekhov’s own stories, and established his reputation in the theatre in 1888.

Join the technical crew and creative team for 90 minutes of insight, demonstration and discussion on the making of the Young Chekhov trilogy at a Schools Theatre Day on Wednesday 4 November at 11am. Tickets £13.50, which includes the matinee performance.

Booking information
The Young Chekhov season is at the Festival Theatre, Chichester from 28 September – 14 November. Performance times vary. Tickets from £10. To book, go to or contact the Box Office on 01243 781312.

Special Prices for 16 – 25s
An allocation of tickets for 16 – 25 year olds priced at just £8.50 for all performances of theYoung Chekhov season are now on sale. These may be booked on 01243 781312, online at or in person.


The Velma Celli Show


Railway Institute York for one night only!

Friday 18 September at 8pm

“A stand out turn”

Mark Shenton

The Velma Celli Show was the first drag show to have a residency at the London Hippodrome, one of the UK’s most prestigious Cabaret venues. York’s very own Ian Stoughair is bringing his drag show to York for the very first time and it promises to cause a sensation.  He will transform the Railway Institute into an exciting venue for his award nominated show.

Ian has enjoyed a varied career in TV, Film and Musical Theatre. Just this year he appeared in feature film Night Of the Lotus (Hubbard Casting) and Eastenders.   His appearance as Angel Dumott Schunard in the 20th Anniversary Concert Tour of RENT gained him critical acclaim. He has also appeared in hit West End shows Cats, Fame and Chicago!

“A sensational performer at the height of his game”

West End Frame

Ian recently made an appearance in Eastender as his alter-ego, Cabaret Star Velma Celli following his starring role of Irish O’Flanagan in Times Square Angel at The Union Theatre, London.

His award winning sell-out show Divallusion which he co-wrote with internet sensation Christina Bianco was not only a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe festival, 2014 but gained Ian the coveted spot of the closing act on the BBC’s Best of the festival concert.

“Ian gives an impressive performance”

What’s On Stage

Velma was nominated for best vocal act in the 2013 & 2014 London Cabaret Awards. This world-class Cabaret star really is the talk of London Town


“Velma Celli is a STAR!”

Attitude Magazine

Tickets: £10 – £15

To book go to

Free Events at The Grand


Dress Circle Corridor 3As part of Heritage Open Days, England’s biggest heritage festival, Leeds Grand Theatre will open its doors to all, free of charge, this Sunday 13th September.

Heritage Open Days celebrates the country’s fantastic history, architecture and culture; offering people the chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences” explains Catherine Hayward, Heritage & Learning Officer at The Grand.

LGT Auditorium ResizeLeeds Grand Theatre is a Victorian venue in the heart of the city that opened in 1878.  Today it prides itself on bringing the West End to West Yorkshire having recently hosted the international hit Wicked, Shrek the Musical, Cameron Macintosh’s Phantom of the Opera and Oliver! to its stage alongside a host of dramas including The National Theatre’s Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

This November it is set to host the World Premiere of Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s brand new musical The Girls.

Through the years The Grand it has seen countless stars grace its stage including Sir Richard Attenborough, Elton John, Julie AndrewsMorecambe & Wise, Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh to name but a few. Its new season welcomes Pixie Lott in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Strictly Come Dancing stars Flavia & Vincent in their final tour together The Last Tango and Derren Brown’s Miracle to name but a few.

The National Theatre is a regular to The Grand and its resident companies, Opera North and Northern Ballet, are internationally renowned.

“We have planned a whole host of activities for people all ages” Catherine continues.  “Visitors can explore behind the scenes of this magnificent theatre, discover its story through our Archives Display, meet technicians and even perform in a dance workshop with our resident company, Northern Ballet. It promises to be a great day.”


It promises to be a great day,” Catherine continues. “And, of course, it’s all free!”



Leeds Grand Theatre opens its doors free to all on Sunday 13th September. 

No booking necessary.

Doors open at 10.30am, closing at 4pm with last entry at 3.30pm.


Avenue Q Review

Churchill Theatre, Bromley 8th – 12th September.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

This is your classic boy meets monster love story, with puppets, porn, foul language… and Gary Coleman.  

Basically everything you need for a great night out.

The inhabitants of Avenue Q are a mixed bunch – the humans are hysterical stereotypes, with child star Gary Coleman working as their building super. The puppet population are the relatives that the Muppets pray the Daily Mail will never find. Instead of Bert and Ernie we have Rod and Nicky – with Rod the Republican struggling to come to terms with his homosexuality. Cookie Monster is replaced by Trekkie Monster, a porn loving bundle of matted fur that will have you crying with laughter. The set is a grubbier version of Sesame Street, and the choreography and musical style takes you back to hung over Saturday mornings in front of the TV.

The puppeteers are astounding. At first, you don’t know whether to watch the puppet or the actor’s face, but very soon they become one; with the actors’ body movements adding expertly to the whole character. The whole cast gave brilliant performances.

The course of puppet love is littered with obstacles, the most curvaceous being Lucy the Slut. Along the way Princeton learns valuable life lessons, mostly through fabulous little cartoon and parodies of Sesame Street’s educational clips. The songs and jokes manage to insult every minority group under the sun, creating more belly laughs than I’ve ever heard in a theatre. Song titles include: If You Were Gay, Everyone’s a little Bit Racist, I’m Not Wearing Underwear Today, and my favourite – The Internet is For Porn. If using public transport on the way home, it’s best not to be singing these – I got some very strange looks.

There’s even a very energetic sex scene – which got the biggest cheers of the night. Very educational.

Full of joy, laughs and twisted morality, Avenue Q is well worth checking out – just don’t take your mother!

UK tour dates until 21st May 2016


image001 (7)

A host of exciting new shows have been added to Sheffield Theatres’ forthcoming season, including a special fundraising event with one of the country’s most respected and recognised actors, Richard Wilson, a brand new musical about Tom Jones and a spectacular trilogy of plays on tour for the first time.  The new shows, already on sale to Centre Stage Members, go on sale to the general public on Saturday 12 September.

Acclaimed actor, captivating raconteur and Sheffield Theatres’ own Associate Director, Richard Wilson will provide a fascinating and humorous insight into his life in An Evening with Richard Wilson on Friday 23 October at the Crucible.  Talking about the highs and lows of playing Victor Meldrew, Richard will reprise the legendary comedy character performing scenes from One Foot in the Grave, as well as answering questions on his extensive television and theatre career. As Sheffield Theatres is a registered charity, this event will raise vital funds to support Sheffield Theatres’ ongoing work on stage and with people across the City Region.

Fresh from this years’ Edinburgh Festival Donald Robertson is not a Stand-Up Comedian visits the Studio Theatre on Wednesday 30 September. Donald Robertson has no mates and he isn’t funny but with guidance from his new mentor Gary, he hopes that is all about to change.  A clever mix of theatre and stand-up, writerGary McNair’s widely acclaimed monologue deftly merges a classic coming-of-age story with a pinpoint deconstruction of the darker side of stand-up comedy.

Looking ahead to spring 2016, the Lyceum Theatre plays host to the highly-acclaimed, powerful trilogy The James Plays (Saturday 7 – Sunday 8 May 2016).  Presented by National Theatre of Scotland, Edinburgh International Festival and National Theatre of Great Britain, The James Plays bring to life the story of three generations of Stewart Kings who ruled Scotland in the tumultuous fifteenth century.  Written by award-winning playwright Rona Munro, and performed by an ensemble of 20 actors, audiences can experience these exceptional plays as a complete trilogy (or individually) on either Saturday 7 or Sunday 8 May. Meal packages are also available to book for each day from the theatre.

Dance lovers will be delighted with the return of Northern Ballet to the Lyceum stage with their modern take on iconic classic Swan Lake (Tuesday 15 – Saturday 19 March).  Haunted by the tragic death of his brother and confused by his feelings towards his two best friends, Anthony looks to the water for answers – in whatever form they take. This tale of love and obsession is performed to Tchaikovsky’s beautiful and moving score.

TOM. A Story of Tom Jones. The Musical (Monday 11 – Saturday 16 April) is a new musical celebrating the life of a legend.  Step back in time to the dance halls, working men’s clubs and recording studios of the ’60s where a Valleys boy with a heart-stopping voice dreamt of making the big time, no matter what it took.  Featuring Tom’s many chart hits including It’s Not Unusual and Delilah, this show promises to be an unmissable treat.

The new shows go on sale to the public on Saturday 12 September from 10.00am.  For more details and to book tickets or dining packages, call the Box Office on 0114 249 6000 or visit 


Line-up announced for RADAR 2015
Bush Theatre’s Festival of New Writing
11-26 November 2015

New works and works-in-progress including:

  • Blank by Nassim Soleimanpour
  • The Ground is on Fire by Nasim Aghili
  • If I Were Me by Antler
  • In A Vulnerable Place by Steve Waters
  • Labels by Worklight Theatre
  • Misty by Arinze Kene
  • No More Worries by Simon Mole
  • Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me) by Ben Duke and Lost Dog
  • Pheasant Plucker by Lily Bevan
  • Portrait by Racheal Ofori and Fuel
  •  Solo by Curious Directive
  • This Is How We Die by Christopher Brett Bailey

The Bush Theatre today announced the line-up for RADAR its annual festival of new writing and works-in-progress.

Artistic Director Madani Younis has said today:

‘RADAR is a true microcosm of our vision as a theatre. In the four short years that the festival has taken place, RADAR artists have gone on to become major voices in the theatre industry and continue to make some of the most exciting work in the new writing world.

‘To spend an evening with any of the artists taking part in RADAR this year is a pleasure: they are cool, they are entertaining, and they are unafraid to confront difficult questions facing not just our present, but also our future.

‘As ever, RADAR is a festival of ideas, and this year’s will be the bravest, strongest, and most urgent, to date.’  

Acclaimed Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour returns to RADAR with the UK premiere of his new play Blank, featuring a different performer reading a sealed script every night. For the first time, the Bush Theatre will produce two shows in the festival: In A Vulnerable Place, written and performed by Steve Waters, takes on a personal journey through climate change from the Norfolk Broads to the Mongolian Steppes, while playwright and actor Arinze Kene will share a work-in-progress of his lyrical urban tale Misty, directed by Bush Theatre Associate Director Omar Elerian.

Other work in the line-up include Racheal Ofori’s debut show Portrait: a frank, fun and provocative look at the trials and tribulations of modern life as seen through the eyes of a young black woman from one of the most exciting new talents in the country.

Swedish writer Nasim Aghili will present the UK premiere of her contentious play The Ground Is On Fire about racism and police violence across the world, which sparked outrage in Sweden last year and now embarks on a world tour to London, Paris, Oakland and Stockholm.

Physical theatre company Antler return with a humorous and absurdist new show, If I Were Me, after the success of Where The White Stops in 2013. Simon Mole, one of Britain’s leading spoken-word artists, presents his new show No More Worries. Christopher Brett Bailey will perform his widely acclaimed motor-mouthed monologue This Is How We Die. Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me) by Ben Duke is a gripping and playful exploration of Milton’s poem and the burdens of creation through dance and text. Straight from the fringe Lily Bevan, a member of the Bush Theatre’s Emerging Writers Group, will bring her hit-show Pheasant Plucker; also a fringe hit is Labels by Worklight Theatre, about growing up in rural Devon as a boy of mixed heritage. Finally, award winning Curious Directive will preview a work-in-progress of their new project merging science and theatre – Solo.

Each night of the festival two shows will be presented in a double bill under one ticket. As in previous years, RADAR CONNECT will run alongside the festival – a series of free practical workshops for postgraduate students, led by a cohort of professionals working in the industry.

RADAR is a festival presenting the Bush’s annual snapshot of the very best of contemporary new writing, from London to the rest of the UK and beyond. Embracing a wide range of voices, styles and experiences, the aim of RADAR is to champion a new generation of artists, to present them to a wider audience, to offer a testing ground for new work, and to begin and nurture long-term relationships between the Bush and emerging artists.

RADAR 2015 will see the Bush embrace new artists such as Racheal Ofori and Ben Duke, as well as welcoming returning writers and companies such as Steve Waters, Nassim Soleimanpour and Antler.

RADAR 2015
11 – 26 November 2015
Bush Theatre, London

All shows presented in double bills, starting at 7.30pm

Wed 11 Nov
Misty by Arinze Kene
RADAR Festival Launch

Thu 12 Nov
No More Worries by Simon Mole
Misty by Arinze Kene

Fri 13 Nov
No More Worries by Simon Mole
This Is How We Die by Christopher Brett Bailey

Sat 14 Nov
No More Worries by Simon Mole
This Is How We Die by Christopher Brett Bailey

Mon 16 Nov
Portrait by Racheal Ofori/Fuel
Labels by Worklight Theatre

Tue 17 Nov
Portrait by Racheal Ofori/Fuel
If I Were Me by Antler

Wed 18 Nov
Portrait by Racheal Ofori/Fuel
If I Were Me by Antler

Thu 19 Nov
Blank by Nassim Soleimanpour
If I Were Me by Antler

Fri 20 Nov
Blank by Nassim Soleimanpour
Paradise Lost by Ben Duke/Lost Dog

Sat 21 Nov
Blank by Nassim Soleimanpour
Paradise Lost by Ben Duke/Lost Dog

Mon 23 Nov
In A Vulnerable Place by Steve Waters
Solo by Curious Directive

Tue 24 Nov
In A Vulnerable Place by Steve Waters
The Ground Is On Fire by Nasim Aghili

Wed 25 Nov
In A Vulnerable Place by Steve Waters
The Ground Is On Fire by Nasim Aghili

Thu 26 Nov
The Ground Is On Fire by Nasim Aghili
Pheasant Plucker by Lily Bevan


Bush Theatre
7 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 8LJ

Box Office: 020 8743 5050 /

Early bird tickets £10
Standard tickets £15

RADAR Off Script £4 per debate and discounts available for multiple bookings


Initial casting announced for celebrity satire play Dark Tourism

98980Initial casting has been announced for the premiere of Dark Tourism, which opens at the Park Theatre later this month.

The debut play by Daniel Dingsdale will be directed by Adam Lenson and will also feature the playwright in the cast.

Joining Dingsdale will be Hollyoaks actress Tamaryn Payne, Jill Winternitz (Once,Dirty Dancing), Huw Parmenter (The Ballad of Lost Dogs) Rebecca Brewer (The Merchant of Venice, Almeida), Josie Dunn (James and the Giant Peach) and Tom Maller (The Mousetrap, St Martins).

Billed as “a biting cultural satire on media cynicism and the world of celebrity”, the play explores how far people will go for fame and reputation and how much of what we see in the media is truth.

“You might complain about people saying stuff about you, but you’d complain a lot more if no one said anything at all.”

The production will feature movement by Polly Bennett, composition by Luke Bateman, set design by William Fricker and sound by Mike Thacker.

Further casting is yet to be announced.

Dark Tourism runs at the Park Theatre from 1 October to 24 October.

Graham Norton to present West End Bares

98982Graham Norton has been revealed as the host of the 2015 West End Bares concert, which will take place at the Café De Paris later this month.

Joining Norton will be Memphis star Beverley Knight, Ru Paul’s Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio, comedian Joe Lycett, Strictly Come Dancing stars Robin Windsor and Lisa Riley, cabaret stars Velma Celli and The Supreme Fabulettes, TOWIE star Charlie King, actor/presenter Andrew Hayden-Smith and actress Harriet Thorpe.

The show will also feature cast members from West End productions and music by Emmy award-winning composer and lyricist Lance Horne.

Now in its sixth year, the annual event – based on the original concept Broadway Baresby legendary Broadway and West End director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell – combines the naughtiness of burlesque along with the razzle dazzle of the West End.

Jerry Mitchell said, “This is the sixth incarnation of West End Bares and it’s growing and growing and growing. The thing that’s most important about the show and the Stripathon fundraising campaign is that it’s an opportunity for the London theatre community to come together and make a difference.

“The money that’s raised goes to help people living with HIV and AIDS and that’s what’s fabulous about the West End Bares and MAD Trust and the great work they do.”

The show will feature cast members from West End productions including American Idiot, Cats, Gypsy, Memphis and Wicked, with choreography from the likes of Racky Plews (American Idiot), Mitch Leow (Miss Saigon) and Stuart Rogers (The Bodyguard).

West End Bares takes place at the Café De Paris on Sunday 20 September 2015, at 9.30pm and Midnight. Tickets are available from

Stage Columnist and Award Winning Director promote new Art Talent

Two correspondent illustration students have won their work being printed in a West End Venue. Multi-award-winning director Adam Morley (Inspector Morse, Dracula) has been working alongside renowned illustrator and the Stage Columnist John Byrne to promote new and unknown artistic talent. Both Morley and Byrne are passionate about helping artists of all kinds make an effective living from their skills in addition to developing the skills themselves.

The competition was run through John Byrne’s correspondent illustration course and asked the students to create artwork for Conor McPherson’s The Birds based on the Daphne de Maurier book, which will be at The Leicester Square Theatre 24 September to 17th October. The standard of entries was extraordinarily high but the final two were picked for their eye-catching ‘curb’ appeal.

The two winners are Sarah Inkpen and Rory Donald. Their two images have been combined by graphic artist Paul Pierce-Couch to make a special poster which will be seen in print at Leicester Square Theatre. Their individual entries will form the programme artwork for the show and both have been invited in to the show to meet the cast and director as well as the team at Leicester Square Theatre. Both students were thrilled at winning the competition and to have the chance to see their work in print.

Glenn McCrory (IBF Cruiserweight champion of the World, Undefeated British & Commonwealth Cruiserweight Champion, BSKYB Commentator, Quayside) makes his THEATRICAL DEBUT in Conor McPherson’s THE BIRDS. He joins Alice Marshall (BBC Radio New Comedy Award) and Emma Taylor (Theatre Person of the Year) in this classic thriller brought to life by one of the worlds greatest modern writers Conor McPherson (The Weir, The Seafarer) and directed by multi-award-winning director Adam Morley (Inspector Morse, Dracula).

This atmospheric post apocalyptic chiller is set in a world where society has collapsed and the birds, for reasons unknown, attack humans at every given opportunity. Three strangers with dark pasts and many secrets, find themselves thrown together trying to survive this harsh new world… Hiding in a boarded up house where danger comes from the skies above and also from within.

Directed by Adam Morley
Cast: Glenn McCrory (Nat), Emma Taylor (Diane) Alice Marshall (Julia)
John Byrne has been a professional cartoonist and writer for over 20 years. John’s cartoons and comic strips have appeared in a wide range of publications ranging from Private Eye, The Guardian and The Stage to The Bookseller, Christian Herald Media Week and Tesco’s in-house newspaper The One. His book ‘Learn to Draw Cartoons’’ has now passed it’s 10th edition.

Listings Information
Leicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place
24 September to 17 October 2015
Tuesdays-Saturdays 7pm
Tickets £15 & £12 concs
Box Office: 02077342222