First Look at Rehearsals for Bakkhai at the Almeida Theatre


a new version by Anne Carson
directed by James Macdonald

23 July – 19 September 2015
Press Night 30 July, 7pm

Bakkhai Rehearsals Ben Whishaw and cast by Marc BrennerRehearsal images are released today for Bakkhai directed by James Macdonald, the second play in the Almeida Greeks Season.

Anne Carson’s new version of Euripides’ hedonistic, visceral tragedy echoes the original Ancient Greek performance model by using three actors and a chorus. Ben Whishaw makes his Almeida debut as Dionysos alongside Kevin Harvey and Bertie Carvel who returns to the Almeida as Pentheus. The Bakkhai include Amiera Darwish, Aruhan Galieva, Eugenia Georgieva, Kaisa Hammarlund, Helen Hobson, Hazel Holder, Melanie La Barrie, Elinor Lawless, Catherine May and Belinda Sykes.

Bakkhai Rehearsals cast by Marc Brenner 2Pentheus has banned the wild, ritualistic worship of the god Dionysos. A stranger arrives to persuade him to change his mind.  Euripides’ electrifying tragedy is a struggle to the death between freedom and restraint, the rational and the irrational, man and god.

Bakkhai Rehearsals Bertie Carvel by Marc BrennerDesign is by Antony McDonald, with light by Peter Mumford, sound by Paul Arditti, composition byOrlando Gough and musical direction by Lindy Tennent-Brown. Choreography is by Jonathan Burrowsand Gillie Kleiman. Casting is by Anne McNulty CDG.Bakkhai Rehearsals cast by Marc Brenner

Alongside the main stage productions of Oresteia, Bakkhai and Medea, the Almeida will be hosting a festival of work including performances, events, talks and readings throughout the Almeida Greeks season.  An array of contemporary artists will interrogate the Ancient Greek canon inspired by the ancient Festivals of Dionysos.Bakkhai Rehearsals Kevin Harvey, Ben Whishaw and Bertie Carvel by Marc Brenner



Access                 Audio Described performance by VocalEyes Saturday 5 September at 3pm, Touch Tour 1.15pm and Friday 11 September at 8pm, Touch Tour 6.30pm
Captioned performance Friday 4 September at 8pm

Address             Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street, London, N1 1TA

Café Bar            The Almeida Café Bar is open from 11.30am -11pm, Monday to Saturday

Box Office         Phone 020 7359 4404 (10am – 8pm Monday to Saturday)

In person 10am – 7pm, Monday to Saturday
Prices £10 – £38, concessions available
Preview prices £10 – £30
Islington First* (if you live or work in Islington) £23, 23 July – 1 August
Under 30s* £19 available for every Monday of the run
Day seats (2 per person) will go on sale at 11am on day of performance, in
person from Box Office for all performances from 31 July
*Conditions apply – check website for details

Performances Monday – Saturday at 8pm
Saturday matinees at 3pm from 1 August
Wednesday matinees at 3pm from 5 August – 9 September

Talkback           Post-show discussion with members of the Bakkhai company
Tuesday 18 August
Free to same-day ticket holders



Slava’s Snowshow Returns to Royal Festival Hall this Christmas





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The multi-international award-winning SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW returns to London’s Southbank Centre for a fifth consecutive Christmas season, playing the Royal Festival Hall from 16 December 2015 to 3 January 2016.

_MG_0819A combination of theatrical clowning and breath-taking visual effects, it is a show unlike anything you have ever seen before – a world of wonder, in which a bed becomes a boat, a web of cotton envelops the audience and one tiny piece of paper becomes a snowstorm that will, quite literally blow you away. SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW is a stunning spectacle, which combines the unbridled silliness of slapstick with visual extravagance and beauty, all of which has established its creator, Slava Polunin, as a creative genius of international acclaim.

SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW is performed by a world-renowned company of clowns led by Slava Polunin, the Artistic Director of the St Petersburg Circus.  Influenced by artists such as Chaplin, Marcel Marceau and Engibarov, Slava and his company have taken clowning out of the world of circus, and brought it to a far wider audience.  In its 22 years, the show has been performed in 120 cities in 30 countries to more than 3 million spectators.

SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW is the internationally acclaimed winner of the Time Out, Olivier and Drama Desk awards for most unique theatrical experience. It had its UK premiere at the Edinburgh Festival in 1994, and has since toured all over the country, delighting audiences of all ages.

SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW was created and is staged by Slava Polunin, directed by Viktor Kramer and Slava Polunin, with set design by Viktor Plotnikov and Slava Polunin, costume design and special effects by Slava Polunin, and sound by Roman Dubinnikov and Slava Polunin.

SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW is produced at the Royal Festival Hall by Matthew Gale, Mark Goucher and Jenny King.

For further information, visit


16 December 2015 to 3 January 2016

Royal Festival Hall

Southbank Centre

Belvedere Road

London SE1 8XX

Box Office:  0844 847 9910

Tickets:  £20 – £55 (Premium tickets are also available at £75.)

Recommended for children 8 years and over, and strictly no children under 3 will be permitted.


Performance Schedule:


Wed       16        Dec                         7.30pm

Thu        17        Dec                         7.30pm

Fri          18        Dec      2.30pm        7.30pm

Sat         19        Dec      2.30pm        7.30pm

Sun        20        Dec      2.00pm        5.00pm

Tue        22        Dec      2.30pm        7.30pm

Wed       23        Dec      2.30pm        7.30pm

Thu        24        Dec      2.30pm

Sat         26        Dec      2.30pm        7.30pm

Sun        27        Dec      2.00pm

Mon        28        Dec      2.30pm        7.30pm

Tue        29        Dec      2.30pm        7.30pm

Wed       30        Dec      2.30pm        7.30pm

Fri          1          Jan                         5.00pm

Sat         2          Jan      2.30pm        7.30pm

Sun        3          Jan      2.00pm        5.00pm



Sophie Ward is to star in a new stage adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World at Darlington Civic Theatre from Tuesday 10 to Saturday 14 November.

Touring Consortium Theatre Company and Royal & Derngate Northampton present the world premiere of a brand new stage adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s seminal novel BRAVE NEW WORLD.

Brave New World, widely considered to be one of the finest and most prophetic dystopian novels of the twentieth century, bursts into life on stage in an adaptation by award-winning playwright Dawn King.

Sophie Ward will star as ‘Margaret Mond – the Regional World Controller for Western Europe’, which in Huxley’s novel is a male character. Dawn King said, “I took this decision primarily because as a feminist, I wanted to increase the gender equality of the show. I also felt that having a female world controller of Western Europe is more representative of our world today, and of a world of the future. In the novel the character is called ‘Mustapha Mond’, but in my adaptation I chose the name Margaret, for its obvious allusions. I think Sophie Ward is a great choice to play the role because ‘Mond’ is a person who has had to make hard decisions, has a strong sense of her own personal morality, and has real steely authority – qualities I think Sophie will accentuate.”

Sophie Ward’s extensive screen credits include series regular roles in Land Girls, Heartbeat and Holby City, and appearances in acclaimed TV dramas Dinotopia, A Dark Adapted Eye (opposite Helena Bonham Carter), A Village Affair and Secret State, and films including Jane Eyre, Book of Blood, Out of Bounds, Crime and Punishment, Wuthering Heights, and Young Sherlock Holmes.

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World was first published in 1932, and is widely seen to be one of the most important novels of the 20th century, anticipating developments in reproductive technology, psychological manipulation and behavioural conditioning. Set 600 years in the future human life has been almost entirely industrialised, and humans are created and conditioned in a lab according to a strict caste system, in a World State whose motto is “Community, Identity, Stability”. Monogamy, the family unit and the ‘natural’ process of giving birth, are considered horrific and unnatural, and material comfort and physical pleasure – provided by the drug soma and recreational sex — represent society’s highest good.

Dawn King also said, “Huxley’s novel is over eighty years old, but his vision of the future is shockingly familiar. In many ways, we already live in Brave New World: a glittering dystopia built on inequality, where people keep themselves distracted with empty pleasures, chemical stimulants and consumer goods. Adapting this huge work for the stage has been as tough and stimulating as anything I’ve ever done and a huge pleasure.

Brave New World is at Darlington Civic Theatre from Tuesday 10 to Saturday 14 November. Tickets* are priced from £17.40

*All ticket prices include a £1 restoration levy.

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

Husband and Wife Star in The Railway Children

It’s the same performance but different tracks for acting couple

People walking round York have seen a lot of Actor Andrew Dunn lately. Recognisable not just for his role as ‘Tony’ in Victoria Wood’s Dinnerladies, playing Alastair Campbell for seven years in Bremner, Bird and Fortune as well as Roger Stiles in Coronation Street from 2007 to 2008, Andrew has recently been nicknamed ‘Mr Yorkshire’ as the face of the new travel campaign iTravel York. London, however, is where Andrew is now headed to take up the role of Mr Perks in York Theatre Royal’s The Railway Children, currently playing at London’s Kings Cross.

Andrew’s wife will also be joining The Railway Children cast, but when the production returns to its original home at the National Railway Museum in York on 31 July. Andrina Carroll will be playing the children’s mother. The productions will run simultaneously over the summer holidays. With two performances a day at both locations, husband and wife will have just one day a week where they are able to spend time together, fortunately Andrew is now well versed in transport around York to speed up getting home to his family!

Andrew has appeared in numerous television series and his extensive theatre work includes the UK tours of Brassed Off and The Full Monty. Andrew was also in the original casts of John Godber’s Up ‘n’ Under, Bouncers and Catherine Cookson’s Fifteen Streets.

Film credits include Whoops, The Knife That Killed Me, Mr Right, Popcorn, The Jealous God, Ali G Indahouse and Between Two Women.

Andrina performed in The Railway Children at the world premiere at the National Railway Museum in 2008. She has also been part of the York Theatre Royal ensemble season when she appeared in The Crucible, Peter Pan and Forty Years On.

Both she and Andrew performed together in York Theatre Royal’s iShandy in 2013, and she also starred in film The Knife That Killed Me. Her television credits include the BBC’s Casualty,Doctors, Hands, and 55 Degrees North, ITV’s Heartbeat, Peak Practice, and Emmerdale, and Channel 4’s North Square and In Suspicious Circumstances.

Andrina will be performing to a bigger audience this time as a purpose built 1,000-seat theatre, complete with a railway track and platforms, and with a state of the art air conditioning and heating system, has been specially created on the site at the National Railway Museum. Named the Signal Box Theatre, York Theatre Royal, which has taken up residency at the museum whilst the theatre undergoes a £4.1 million redevelopment, shipped the theatre over from Canada where it was used for the award winning production in 2011. This is an increase of 400 seats compared to the theatre used in the 2008 and 2009 staging.

She said of her return

I am absolutely delighted to be returning to play Mother, one of my all-time favourite roles in one of the most exciting, vibrant productions I’ve ever been lucky enough to be involved in.

The Railway Children, returned to London on 16 December, it re-opens at its original home at the National Railway Museum in York from 31 July 2015. It is directed once again by York Theatre Royal’s Artistic Director Damian Cruden. 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.



National Youth Theatre presents
created by Omar El-Khairy and Nadia Latif
12 – 29 August 2015
Press Night 14 August

9534cb951f55f695_orgIn February of this year three regular school girls left Bethnal Green Academy to travel to Syria and join ISIS.  As part of the National Youth Theatre’s 2015 season director Nadia Latif (Carrot, Even Stillness Breathes Softly Against A Brick Wall) and playwright Omar El-Khairy (The Keepers of Infinite Space, Sour Lips) have responded, creating a brand new site specific promenade production exploring the implications of radicalism and extremism on the people and communities behind the headlines.

The world premiere of the site specific show will take place inside Swiss Cottage’s UCL Academy with a cast of 112,  one of the biggest in London this year. Homegrown, in part a verbatim piece, will feature interviews with members of the Bethnal Green community amoungst others.

On the production’s inception and creation Latif and El-Khairy said: We had a number of reservations about making ‘a play about British Muslims going to join ISIS’. For so long, we had both resisted playing along with games of identity politics. So when the opportunity to do Homegrown came up we felt to give ourselves fully and honestly to this piece we had to try to redefine the terms on which it was to be made. Homegrown isn’t For Us By Us. The drive behind the production is to create a piece of theatre which unsettles preconceived ideas people come with to this subject matter.

We don’t have an agenda, or seek to offer a solution but we hope that audiences will leave the piece feeling something within them shift. The opportunity to work alongside so many young people to create this piece and to be able to put the production on inside a working school has been fundamental to it’s development. Consequently the poltics of Homegrown can be found in its form as much as any message it may hold in regards to Islamic extremism, radicalisation or Islamophobia.

The NYT is also to return to the Ambassadors Theatre in London’s West End later this year with three new productions, one of them documented in development as part of a new collaboration with Sky Arts. The 10-week rep season will feature: Consensual – a brand new play about consent and sex education; Wuthering Heights, in a new adaptation of Emily Brontë’s novel and The Merchant of Venice – Shakespeare’s play abridged especially for schools by Tom Stoppard. Performances will start on 18 September 2015, with press performances on 6 and 7 October 2015.

Omar El-Khairy is a writer for theatre and television. He was recently awarded the 2013 Leverhulme Associate Playwright award at the Bush Theatre and his most recent play The Keepers of Infinite Spacepremiered at the Park Theatre in 2014. Other theatre credits include: Return to Sender (Orange Tree Theatre), Sour Lips (Oval House), Soundbites (The Lyric, Hammersmith), Eyelids (Unicorn Theatre),Longitude (Public Theater, New York), Given the Times (Finborough Theatre), The Ark (Arcola Theatre) and Writer X (Soho Theatre).

Nadia Latif was Associate director for Theatre503, during which she directed various productions including Carrot at Latitude Festival, Wild Horses and Slaves. Other directing credits include: Even Stillness Breathes Softly Against A Brick Wall (Soho Theatre), but i cd only whisper (Arcola) and Hand Me Down (Almeida Theatre Projects). Nadia was also assistant director for Decades, directed by Rupert Goold.  This September she will be directing Octagon at the Arcola.

More information at



UCL Academy, NW8 6HX
12 – 29th August
Press Performance: 14 August
Age restriction: 14+

Ambassadors Theatre, WC2H 9ND
18 September – 4 December 2015

Consensual Press Performances 6 & 7 October, 7:30pm
Matinee performance (2:30pm):18 September
Evening performances (7:30pm):, 29, 30 September; 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 October; 3, 4, 10, 11, 18, 24 November; 2 December

Wuthering Heights Press Performance 6 October, 2:30pm
Matinee performances (2:30pm):
25 September; 2, 6, 13, 14, 23, 30 October; 6, 10, 11, 24, 27 November; 1, 4 December
Evening performances (7:30pm):
27, October; 17, 25 November;

The Merchant of Venice Press Performances 7 October (2:30pm) & 9 October (2:30pm)
Matinee performances (2:30pm):
29, 30 September; 7, 9, 16, 20, 26, 27 October; 3, 4, 13, 17, 18, 25 November; 2 December
Evening performances (7:30pm):
1 December

Box Office
08448 112 334
020 7452 3000


Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera cast joined by footballer Dennis Wise

IMG_2410 bFormer Chelsea and England footballer Dennis Wise joined cast members from Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera on stage at The Queen’s Theatre to give some footballing tips prior to their final showdown match on 2nd August at Bromley Football ClubThe match sees the two giants of the West End, Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera, leaving the West End stage behind and heading down to Bromley Arena, not for a singing show down, but for a football match.  Following on the success of the last two years they are planning a third and final MAD Match to see who will be the ultimate champion! The match, played to raise funds for the Make A Difference Trust, promises to be a mix of football and fun for all. 

D5D36040-2The West End Teams will be joined on the day by celebrities and professional footballers to add to the excitement.  The afternoon will open with a concert at 1.30pm with performances from stars of the West End including, Killian Donnelly, Kerry Ellis, Rachelle Ann Go, John Owen Jones, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Geronimo Rauch. Full line-up to be announced 


The game kicks off at 3.00pm and players will include Southampton legend Francis Benali and goal keeper Paul Jones. EastEnders’ Jonny Labey and Hollyoaks and Emmerdale star, Ayden Callaghan. More names to be announced. James Ward-Prowse, the England under 21 captain, will also be joining the fun. Having coached the England Ladies team to their victory over Germany and bronze medal at the World Cup, Mark Sampson will be turning his attentions to the Phantom team. Managing Les Mis, ex West Brom manager Alan Irvine will be hoping to guide his team to a win 


The day promises to be a fabulous fun day for all the family with face painting, bouncy castle, stalls and a raffle. Food and drink will be available to make for a fabulous summer day out for all of the family. 


A donation from the event will also be made to Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of Melanie Oakley-Dow, the former Les Misérables wig mistress.

For more information and tickets visit 



Gregory Porter Review

International Centre, Harrogate – 11 July 2015

Gregory Porter played a sold out gig to over 2000 people in Harrogate, but his voice is so rich and his manner so personal it was if he had played over 2000 individual gigs, one to each person there.

Porter has it all: the soul of Bill Withers, the smooth class of Nat King Cole and the energy of Sammy Davis Jr, but his finest talent is him and his genuine warmth.  A unique fusion of soul and jazz. Accompanied by of four stunning supporting musicians -Yosuke Sato on alto sax, Chip Crawford at the piano, Aaron James on bass and Emanuel Harrold behind the drum kit, Porter performed a selection of songs from the albums ‘Water’, ‘Be Good’ and ‘Liquid Soul’.  An evocative songwriter, he builds close relationships with listeners, whether poignantly reflecting on his childhood with an inspirational single mother, or facing the fight for racial equality.  The venue clapped together to Liquid Spirit and hearts melted to Hey Laura. Porter’s generosity to his band allowed each to shine as he stepped into the shadows.

His voice is silky , heart rending and smooth .His material is both political , romantic and deeply thoughtful.  When stripped down to just him and piano, Porter’s voice connected with every one in the room.  Such a beautiful smooth voice of molten gold

His minimalist style is the key to the success of this performance. The ethos of every note having a place, and a reason for being played is all too easily misplaced in the quest for technical dexterity- it is wonderful to find a musician so committed to putting the storytelling nature of music to the fore.  The stage was bare. No tour bus nor convoy of trucks outside. Only the International Centre’s bulbs in use. The band set up as if to play an intimate club.

The music and the vocals felt so good throughout a set that was just under 2 hours long long. The vocal power that exudes from Mr. Porter is amazingly charismatic, his voice is emotional, he is humorous with a sexy ‘Southern Charm’. Controlling the band and guiding us to hand clap, he had Harrogate rocking

Porter is a Gospel, Blues, Jazz and Soul singer in one package..who has a gift to share, and celebrate his message of Freedom and love for all…and time generous too.  Meeting and chatting and posing for photo’s with the long line of fans waiting for him.  Still happy to speak more than an hour after the concert had finished



15216--71b6fde3dc1898e02e2fbd32bb815446The 80’s are back! Tony Denton Promotions bring together four of the decade’s most memorable artists to tour together for the first time ever. The 80’s Invasion tour features the cream of music from some of the most popular artists – Big Country, Midge Ure, Nick Heyward & Curiosity Killed The Cat, and will be touring throughout March 2016. The acts will perform their biggest hits – with record sales of over 20 million, 200 gold, platinum & silver discs and numerous awards between them this is THE 80’s show not to be missed! The tour takes in 15 dates starting at Southsea’s Kings Theatre on 1st March and culminating at Edinburgh’s The Playhouse Theatre on 20th March

MARCH 2016

Wednesday 2nd

 SOUTHSEA Kings Theatre

Box office: 02392 828282

Thursday 3rd

BRADFORD St Georges Hall

Box office: 01274 432 000

Friday 4th


Box Office: 01604 624811

Saturday 5th

LONDON indigo at The 02

Box office: 0844 856 0202

Sunday 6th

LIVERPOOL Philharmonic Hall

 Box office: 0151 709 3789

Wednesday 9th

WATFORD Colosseum

Box office: 0845 075 3993

Thursday 10th

POOLE Lighthouse

Box office: 0844 406 8666

Friday 11th

LEICESTER De Montfort Hall

Box office: 0116 233 3111

Saturday 12th


Box office: 01256 844244

Sunday 13th

CHATHAM The Central Theatre

Box office: 00634 338 338

Monday 14th


Box office: 0844 871 3018

Wednesday 16th

PORT TALBOT Princess Royal Theatre

Box office: 01639 763 214

Friday 18th


Box Office: 0121 345 0600

Saturday 19th


Box office: 0191 277 8030

Sunday 20th


Box office: 0844 871 3014

Tickets on sale Now

Tickets also available at:

Kings of Broadway: Herman, Sondheim & Styne

Alistair Brammer, Michael Colbourne, Janie Dee & Richard Fleeshman + more to star in Kings of Broadway

Casting has been announced for Kings of Broadway: Herman, Sondheim & Styne.
Playing the Palace Theatre on 29th November 2015, the show will celebrate the music of Broadway composers Jerry Herman, Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne.
The cast includes: Alistair Brammer (Miss Saigon/War Horse), Michael Colbourne (Les Miserables), Janie Dee (The Seagull/Hello, Dolly), Richard Fleeshman (Urinetown/Ghost) andJamie Parker (High Society/Guys and Dolls).
The cast also includes: Zoe Doano, Emma Kingston, Peter Lockyer, Bradley Jaden, Celinde Schoenmaker, Andy Conaghan, Deborah Crowe, Fra Fee, Claudia Kariuki, Nadim Naaman, Anna O’Byrne, Laura Pitt-Pulford, Anne Reid, Caroline Sheen, Laura Tebbutt and Alex Young.
Alastair Knights with musical direction from Alex Parker. Music from Hello Dolly, La Cage Aux Folles and Gypsy will be featured in the show which marks the inaugural production from the newly formed Alex Parker Theatre Company.
Tickets go on sale at 10am on Monday 13th July.


logoNorth Tyneside Council presents
Seaside Special:
& The Middens

Friday 16th October

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It is with great pleasure that we announce a new gig presented by North Tyneside Council. On Friday 16th October the PLAYHOUSE will host punk rock band Penetration and The Middens as a ‘Seaside Special’ event.

Penetration released their first single, the punk classic Don’t Dictate in 1977 on Virgin Records and were an exciting live band respected by both peers and dedicated fans. Their first album Moving Targets was released in1978 to critical acclaim and commercial success as the band had expanded both musically and creatively.

Fast forward to 2015, when Blamire organised a campaign with crowd funding site Pledge Music for the band to record an album, their first in 36 years. The response was overwhelming and the album Resolution, is released in September. John Maher (Buzzcocks, Invisible Girls drummer) has joined the line up and original guitarist Fred Purser has assisted in the recording process and makes a guest appearance on the track Beat Goes On. The album retains the essential

components of Penetration but brings the sound up to date and sees them moving forward.

Penetration are only doing a few live shows this year, so this will be an exclusive gig from a unique band with a long and interesting history playing songs from their new album as well as old favourites.

Local Shields band The Middens will join the line up, known for a superb live show, full of energy, blending punchy rock with a new wave bent, The Middens appeal to a wide demographic. Vive Le Rock have quoted the band as being part of the ‘New Mod’ genre. These four (very!) young and eminently capable lads from North Shields, seem to defy their youthful looks with their mature and vibrant style of New Wave/Mod influenced rock, executed brilliantly with passion and verve.

Additionally, The Middens were approached in January by North Shields FC, to record a cover version of a song originally written in 1926 which was a No1 for Al Jolson. The song Red Red Robin was used as the official ‘Road to Wembley’ song for the club, who incidentally went on to win the FA Vase at the hallowed Wembley Stadium in May 2015.

So with a fantastic line up the first ‘Seaside Special’ at the PLAYHOUSE Whitley Bay with the hilarious Geordie comedian Gavin Webster comparing the event you really will Wish You Were Here…

Tickets are on sale now priced at £15

Tickets are available from the Box Office open Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm, Saturday 10.30am -2.30pm plus until show start on event days. Tickets can also be purchased on the booking hotline 0844 248 1588 or online at