Producer Mark Goucher today announced that BAFTA winning comedian Lee Mack will make his West End debut in a major revival of Molière’s classic comedy The Miser in early 2017. Mack joins Griff Rhys Jones who is returning to the London stage after five years to lead the ensemble cast. The play, newly adapted by Sean Foley and Phil Porter, will be presented at Bath Theatre Royal and Richmond Theatre, prior to opening at the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End on Wednesday 1st March 2017, with an opening night on Monday 13th March 2017.

Best known for television and stand-up work, Mack is widely recognised as one of the country’s favourite comedians and has won multiple awards. He is the writer and star of hit BBC One comedy, Not Going Out, which has run for seven series and holds the accolade of being the BBC’s longest running sitcom.  He is a team captain on popular BBC panel show Would I Lie to You, the host of Duck Quacks Don’t Echo on Sky One and a regular guest on panel shows, including Have I Got News for You, Nevermind the Buzzcocks and 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. Lee has also toured the country with multiple sell-out stand up shows.

Griff Rhys Jones is a two-time Olivier award-winning actor, writer, presenter and comedian. On stage, he has appeared as Fagin in Cameron Mackintosh’s Oliver! (West End), the title role inCharley’s Aunt (West End) and in Feydeau’s An Absolute Turkey (The Globe). In a long-lasting comedy partnership with Mel Smith, his television credits include Not the Nine O’Clock News(BBC), Alas Smith and Jones (BBC), The World According to Smith and Jones (ITV), Smith and Jones in Small Doses (BBC) and Smith and Jones (BBC).

Sean Foley is an award-winning actor, writer and director. He co-founded The Right Size, creating over 10 original comedies for the theatre including the Olivier Award-winning and Tony-nominated production of The Play What I Wrote (Best Comedy 2002), Do You Come Here Often? (Best Entertainment 1999), and Ducktastic! (Albery Theatre – Best Entertainment nomination 2006). As director his work includes The Dresser, The Painkiller, Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense (Best New Comedy 2014), The Walworth Farce (The Olympia Theatre, Dublin), the multi Olivier-nominated The Ladykillers (Liverpool Everyman, Gielgud Theatre, UK Tour), A Mad World My Masters (Royal Shakespeare Company & Barbican), What The Butler Saw (Vaudeville Theatre), The Painkiller (The Lyric Theatre, Belfast), Arturo Brachetti – Change (Garrick – Best Entertainment nomination 2010) , The Critic/The Real Inspector Hound (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Armstrong and Miller Show Live UK Tour and I Can’t Sing! (London Palladium). Foley’s first film Mindhorn was released this autumn.

Mark Goucher has previously collaborated with Sean Foley on the hugely successful production of Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense which played in the West End and on tour and is currently under option for a Broadway season.

The Miser will be produced with long term producing partner Mark Rubinstein Ltd.

Listings information

The Miser

Bath Theatre Royal, Wed 8 – Sat 18 Feb  www.theatreroyal.org.uk
Richmond Theatre, Tue 21 – Sat 25 Feb www.atgtickets.com/richmond

Followed by
Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0HH
First preview: Wednesday 1st March 2017
Opening night: Monday 13th March 2017
Final performance: Saturday 10th June 2017
Box Office: 0330 333 4811
Tickets from: £25, with £10 off all price bands during preview performances

Salisbury Playhouse premieres new Barney Norris play as part of spring/summer 2017 season



  • Season includes new plays by Barney Norris and Hattie Naylor
  • The return of Worst Wedding Ever by Broadchurch-creator Chris Chibnall
  • Theatre Fest West 2017 – the sixth annual celebration of theatre from the south west
  • General booking opens on Friday 18 November 2016


Salisbury Playhouse’s spring/summer 2017 season has been announced and includes a brand new commission from award-winning playwright Barney Norris.

Barney Norris’ new play, Echo’s End (Main House – 29 March to 15 April), is set on the edge of Salisbury Plain in 1915 as a young couple finds itself caught up in the turmoil of World War I. Directed by Alice Hamilton, Echo’s End is a story of two families and the seismic changes which altered their lives and the identity of their county forever. Norris (winner of the Critics Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright) and Hamilton are former members of Salisbury Playhouse’s Stage 65 Youth Theatre and jointly run Up in Arms theatre company. Recent productions together include Visitors and Eventide. Norris’s The Rest of Your Life was staged earlier this year by The Bush as part of its This Place We Know season.

As part of Salisbury Playhouse’s continuing commitment to its Original Drama programme it has also commissioned Hattie Naylor (Radio 4’s The Diary of Samuel Pepys) to write As the Crow Flies – a co-production with Pentabus Theatre Company (The Salberg – 28 March to 8 April). Based on a true story of a woman who struck up an unlikely friendship with a wounded crow, this is a heart-warming story of healing and kindness. As the Crow Flies is directed by Elizabeth Freestone and opens at Bromfield Village Hall, Shropshire (7 March) before embarking on a rural tour (dates to be announced).

Following a sell-out run in 2014, Salisbury Playhouse’s first Original Drama production, Worst Wedding Ever, returns in a co-production between Salisbury Playhouse, New Wolsey Ipswich and Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch. Written by Broadchurch-creator Chris Chibnall, Worst Wedding Ever is once again directed by Salisbury Playhouse’s Artistic Director, Gareth Machin and runs in the Main House at Salisbury Playhouse from Thursday 2 to Saturday 25 February 2017 before playing in Ipswich (1 to 11 March) and Hornchurch (15 March to 1 April).

The cast includes Olivier Award nominated Julia Hills (Calendar Girls, Chichester Festival Theatre, West End and national tour; 2point4 Children) and Lloyd Gorman (Sunny Afternoon, West End). Appearing alongside them will be Elizabeth Cadwallader, Ben Callon, Derek Frood, Kieran Hill and Chris Talman. Full casting will be announced at a later date.

Now in its sixth year, Theatre Fest West (10 to 25 February) will celebrate theatre from across the south west region. Performances will take place across Wiltshire at Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury Arts Centre, The Pound Arts Centre Corsham and Trowbridge Arts. Companies taking part this year include Theatre Alibi, Pipeline Theatre and, for family audiences, Stuff and Nonsense.

The season also sees Salisbury Playhouse produce a revival of Rodney Ackland’s Before the Party (4 to 27 May). Based on the short story by Somerset Maugham, this sizzling portrayal of the upper middle classes adjusting to post-war life is directed by Ryan McBryde.

Salisbury Playhouse will also be welcoming a range of top touring productions including The Play That Goes Wrong (27 February to 4 March), The Verdict starring Clive Mantel, Jack Shepherd and Richard Walsh (6 to 11 March), Showstopper! The Improvised Musical (20 to 22 April) and The Watermill Theatre’s production of Twelfth Night (20 to 24 June).


Artistic Director Gareth Machin says: “Salisbury Playhouse continues to balance high quality revivals of classic English drama with a bold commitment to new work that celebrates the unique perspective of the South West region. Alongside this home produced work we are proud to offer our audience the very best in touring theatre on the small and mid-scale.”

General booking opens on Friday 18 November. For tickets or more information please contact the Ticket Office on 01722 320333 or visit www.salisburyplayhouse.com.

Full Monty at Leeds Grand Theatre

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In 1997, a British film about six out-of-work Sheffield steelworkers with nothing to lose, took the world by storm becoming one of the most successful British films ever made.  The story still resonates today, probably more so now than ever.

Now Simon Beaufoy’s THE FULL MONTY is getting its hat on ready to hit the Leeds stage from Monday 28thNovember to Saturday 3rd December and has added an extra performance on Thursday 1st December at 2.30pm.

The cast is led by Gary Lucy as Gaz, with Andrew Dunn as Gerald, Louis Emerick as Horse, Chris Fountain as Guy and Kai Owen as Dave.  Anthony Lewis is now playing the role of Lomper, as Joe Absolom had to withdraw due to contractual filming commitments.

Anthony Lewis hails from Leeds and is best known as regular Marc Reynolds in Emmerdale.  As a teenager, he played the title role in the children’s TV series Adam’s Family Tree and Scott Morris in Children’s Ward, the children’s TV series created by Paul Abbott and Leeds own Kay Mellor.  His films includes A Passionate Woman, Boy A, Girls’ Night and This Is Personal: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper.

The cast also includes Andrew Ashford, Adam Beresford, Pauline Fleming, William Ilkley, Jonathan McGarrity, Charlotte Powell, Jess Schofield and Fiona Skinner.  The role of Nathan is shared by Reiss Ward, James Burton, Monty Poole and Felix Yates.

The Full Monty is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 28th November to Saturday 3rd December with Matinee performances on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday


Tickets are priced from £14 to £38.50


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








Bill Kenwright presents the highly anticipated first ever UK tour of the Tony and Olivier award winning LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, which opens at New Oxford Theatre on Thursday 5th January. Award-winning starMARTI WEBB, will join the previously announced JOHN PARTRIDGE and ADRIAN ZMED.

marti-webb-la-cage-aux-follesOne of the West End’s most revered leading ladies’, TV star and recording artist MARTI WEBB will play ‘Jacqueline’, friend to ‘Albin’ and ‘Georges’, and owner of the restaurant ‘Chez Jacqueline’. Webb has played leading roles in numerous West End and touring musicals including Evita, Godspell, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Blood Brothers, Oliver, Oklahoma, 42nd Street, and Half-a-Sixpence. She received huge critical acclaim for her unforgettable performance in Tell Me on a Sunday, which was written specifically for her by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black. She has recorded nine solo albums and had many hit singles, including Always There, the theme from the hit BBC series ‘Howard’s Way’ and the smash hit Take That Look off Your Face.

JOHN PARTRIDGE will play the iconic role of ‘Albin’, who moonlights as star drag act Zaza at the infamous La Cage aux Folles nightclub. Partridge’s extensive theatre credits include the West End productions of A Chorus Line at the London Palladium, Cats, Starlight Express and Chicago. He is also well known for playing the loveable Christian Clarke in BBC’s EastEnders and as a judge on TV’s Over The Rainbow.

ADRIAN ZMED will play ‘Georges’, partner of Albin and owner of the nightclub. Zmed co-starred with William Shatner as ‘Officer Vince Romano’ in the 80’s hit TV show T.J. Hooker, which ran for 90 episodes over 5 years, and for playing ‘Johnny Nogerelli’ in the cult classic film Grease 2. This will be his first stage appearance in the UK although he is no stranger to Broadway musicals having previously led the casts ofGrease, no fewer than 3 times, Falsettos and Blood Brothers.

Joining them on stage as Les Cagelles will be Jordan Livesey, Matthew Ives, Louie-George Daniels, Liam Paul Jennings, Micah Holmes and Richard Leavey.


Written by Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman, and based on the 1973 French play of the same name by Jean Poiret, La Cage Aux Folles follows the story of Georges, the manager of a Saint Tropez nightclub, and his partner, Albin, a drag artiste and the club’s star attraction. They live an idyllic existence in the south of France but behind the curtains of this sparkling extravaganza, all may be about to change when Georges’ son Jean-Michel announces his engagement to the daughter of a notorious right-wing politician determined to close down the local colourful night-life. Drama and hilarity ensue when a meeting of the parents forces them to cover up their vibrant lifestyle. Will Albin be able to play the role of his life to ensure that Jean-Michel can marry his love?

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES is a multi-award winning musical. The original Broadway production became an instant smash hit when it opened in 1983. It received nine nominations for Tony Awards and won six, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. The success of the musical spawned a London Palladium production and several international runs. The 2004 Broadway revival won the Tony Award for Best Revival, and the 2008 London revival garnered the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival.

Setting out on its first ever UK tour, this brand new production is produced by Bill Kenwright, directed byMartin Connor, choreographed by Olivier Award Winning Bill Deamer, designed by Gary McCann, Sound by Dan Samson (the team responsible for the sumptuous current hit, The Sound of Music), and musical direction by Mark Crossland. This lavishly funny tale of unconditional love and family values, will leave you feeling the need to celebrate that life’s not worth a damn ‘till you can say I am what I am.’

This show-stopping score includes The Best of Times, Song on the Sand and the iconic I Am What I Am,which has been recorded by musical legends Gloria Gaynor, Shirley Bassey and Tony Bennett.

The production tours the UK from 5th January 2017, opening at the New Theatre Oxford.

Dates currently on sale at www.kenwright.com. Further casting and dates to be announced.

Crimes Against Christmas

Interview/Q+A with Heather Westwell and Feargus Woods Dunlop, the husband and wife team behind theatre company New Old Friends, bringing Crimes Against Christmas to Lichfield and Bath this festive season.

How are preparations for Crimes Against Christmas going?

Fearg: Really well thanks. The set is designed, built and ready for get in. The script has been written and re-written after a week of R&D rehearsals. The score is coming along very nicely and tickets are selling very well.

Heather: Casting was really difficult but only because we had so many great actors apply. We’re thrilled with the cast we have and can’t wait to start rehearsals on the 21st November. Not long now.

What’s the show about?

Heather: The show is about an art investigator who is sent to a remote island.

Fearg: He is sent there to prevent an art theft but quickly the case changes into something else.

Heather: The rest of the story is a comedy thriller, murder mystery all themed around Twelve Days Christmas.

Fearg: Loosely.

How do you come up with the ideas for your shows and then how do you create them?

Fearg: It varies to be honest.

Heather: Our last show was an adaptation of a book that we both fell in love with after Fearg ran a workshop based upon it.

Fearg: For Crimes Against Christmas we struck a relationship with Tim Ford (Artistic Director of the Garrick) at Edinburgh and he invited us to pitch an idea for his studio space at Christmas.

Heather: We produced an alternative Christmas show in 2010 for Bath’s Rondo Theatre which was a big success and pitched Tim a similar concept; a pantomime story told in the real world.

Fearg: Tim liked the idea of an alternative Christmas show, but the panto angle wasn’t quite right. So we went back to the drawing board.

Heather: We spent an afternoon in our garden with loads of sheets of paper and post-its and came up with the story that became Crimes Against Christmas.

The show is described as “Made in Lichfield”, what does that mean?

Fearg: We are passionate about regional theatre. The vast majority of the country doesn’t have easy regular access to the West End so the majority of their theatre exposure comes in Regional playhouses.

Heather: Because of this we are thrilled that we are co-producing with The Garrick and doing all of our rehearsals there. We held the auditions in Lichfield and are delighted to have cast an actor still based in the Midlands.

Fearg: The show really has been a true co-production and the Garrick have been incredible partners to have.

Heather: We are looking forward to getting to know Lichfield well. Any local suggestions that are not to be missed, hit us up on Twitter (@newoldfriends)

Who would you say your greatest influences are?

Fearg: From a theatre point of view, I fell in love with The 39 Steps and have seen it countless times, and recently the work of Mischief Theatre is massively inspirational.

Heather: Victoria Wood, Julie Walters and Kim Cattrell are big heroes of mine. Billy Crystal is always funny in his movies. I loved Groundhog Day at The Old Vic this year, it’s one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.

Fearg: Morecombe & Wise, Ronnie Barker and Sorry I Haven’t a Clue were my first comedy inspirations. Followed by Billy Connolly, Bottom and Jim Carey. Now I’m in awe of the work of Tim Minchin and Eddie Izzard.

Heather: We’re both also always inspired and influenced by the work of our friends and shows that we see at our local theatres as well as the big well known companies like Kneehigh, RSC, Propeller and Shared Experience.

How did your company, New Old Friends, come about?

Fearg: It wasn’t part of some grand plan to be honest. I graduated from Bretton Hall in 2008 and I knew I wanted to make theatre eventually, but was just looking for a job. I got a role as Assistant Director on the Theatre Royal Bath’s Young People’s Theatre’s production of His Dark Materials which meant I was in and around the theatre all the time. Through various happenings I ended up being offered a full week of the incredible young person’s studio there called the egg. The only catch was I had to come up with a company name, show title, image and synopsis within about 5 days. So New Old Friends was born. The first show was a very ‘laddy’ comedy called Mate with me, Josh Golga (who I graduated with) and an actor called Andy Dawson. It was fun, but very rough.

Heather: I actually worked front of house on that show.

Fearg: Yeah it was around this time that Heather & I were getting to know each other and New Old Friends didn’t really find its groove until Heather joined and brought with her the importance of visual style and polished performance to go along with all my word gags.

How do you find working together as a husband and wife team? Does talking about theatre ever end?

Heather: We met through the theatre so we’ve always had that in common from the start.

Fearg: People often ask us that, and seem shocked that we get on really well when working together. We have a good sense of when we’re about to have a disagreement and can generally avoid it early.

Heather: We work hard to not let conversations about the latest show or tour bleed too much into our personal time. But at the same time, we love what we do so do end up talking about it a lot.

What’s next for New Old Friends?

Heather: Perhaps another Christmas show next year, if this one continues to be successful.

Fearg: Maybe even two! Or more likely this one again on tour and a new one.

Heather: We’re also having talks about maybe creating some more family shows (our last show was for a family audience)

Fearg: And then we’ll just see what else comes up. We’ve been really lucky with the people we’ve met and the opportunities we’ve had so far, so hopefully that can continue.

Three reasons to see Crimes Against Christmas…

1 – It’s a brand new piece of theatre. You’ve got a cast of four taking on multiple characters, a set doing all sorts, an original score and a story that will (maybe) have you guessing right up to the end.

2 – It’s properly funny. There are loads of jokes in it, great characters, and visual humour too. Even our work-in-progress previews brought out big laughs. Hopefully it’ll be as funny as watching a good stand-up without the fear of being picked on.

3 – It’s a night just for adults. It’s not hugely rude or sweary, but it is a comedy for adults to be enjoyed with other adults. And maybe a festive glass or two. Book a babysitter and round up your friends for a very different Christmas show.

New Old Friends present Crimes Against Christmas A cracking Christmas comedy crime caper inspired by Christie. The Lichfield Garrick, 9 – 31 December 2016 Theatre Royal Bath Ustinov, 3 – 7 January 2017

Crimes Against Christmas is a comedy thriller for an adult audience. The plot is loosely based around Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None with an apparently random group of people mysteriously invited to a Christmas party on a remote island. Once on the island, the guests start to die in suspiciously Christmassy ways: Pipers whilst piping, Lords whilst leaping, Maids whilst milking – and guest of honour Peter Artridge doesn’t like the look of the rope in the pear tree one bit.

An alternative Christmas show to conventional panto, it features a host of characters brought to life by just four actors, sweeping the audience along with a fast based narrative and enough hints (and red herrings) to have them wondering just who the villain is to the very end. Basically it’s Agatha Christie meets 12 Days of Christmas meets 39 Steps.

@newoldfriends | #CrimesAgainstChristmas | www.newoldfriends.co.uk

Running Time: 90mins plus interval | Suitable for ages 14+

Company Information

Directed by Craig Sanders Designed by Carl Davies Lighting Designed by Liz Porrett Musical direction by Paul Dodgson

Perfomers: Heather Westwell, Feargus Woods Dunlop, Dan Winter and Jonathan Maclean.

Listings information

9 – 31 Dec 2016 Lichfield Garrick Theatre (not 12-14, 19 or 25) Castle Dyke, Lichfield WS13 6HR

8pm (4pm matinees – please see website for details)

All tickets £20

www.lichfieldgarrick.com | 01543 412121

3 – 7 Jan 2017 Theatre Royal Bath’s Ustinov Studio Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath BA1 1ET 8pm (Sat mat 5pm) Tickets £14/£10 www.theatreroyal.org.uk | 01225 448844

Ghost The Musical Review

Grand Theatre, Leeds – 14 to 19 November 2016

Based on the hit 1990 film, of the same name, Ghost the Musical is, obviously, a musical with book and lyrics by Bruce Joel Rubin and music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard.

Ghost the Musical brings us into the world of couple Molly and Sam, who’ve just moved into an apartment together in New York. Sam’s a banker, and works with friend Carl in a fast-paced world that never stops moving. Everything seems perfect for the couple. However, one night when they’re returning to their apartment, Sam is murdered, and his spirit becomes trapped between our world and the afterlife. It isn’t long before he uncovers the true motives of his old friend Carl, and enlists the help of psychic Oda Mae Brown to warn his love of the dangers coming for her.  Andy Moss as Sam and Kelly Hampson (covering for the much maligned and missing Sarah Harding) as Molly provide a suitably handsome and attractive couple to steer events along.  Jacqui Dubois provides the humour as psychic Oda Mae Brown and also shows-off her own vocal prowess to great effect. But Sam Ferriday and Leo Sene prove genuinely sinister as the villains of the piece, while the show’s ending – “the love inside – you take it with you” proves unexpectedly touching and is magically staged.

In films, you can make anything happen. In the theatre, it takes real ingenuity to summon up ghosts and physical disturbances from beyond the grave. Director Bob Tomson succeeds spectacularly, here with the help of the illusionist Richard Pinner.

Portraying a disembodied spirit as one of the main characters, provides plenty of opportunities for effects and tricks. Particularly effective are the instances where Sam and mugger, Willie, die and become ghosts instantly switching between their corpses on the floor and their ghostly incarnations. There’s also a neat trick when Sam walks through a door, and the scenes in the subway are quite brilliantly realised.  The stage props were simple and pared down, as not to distract from the performances.

There’s a lot to like about this production, and Bill Kenwright has again showcased his fantastic ability for breathing life into high-energy musicals. The vocal performances from all principal cast members are awesome, with lyrics being laced with clarity and emotion, adding to the diverse melting pot of vibrant atmospheres. Music comes in at just the right moments to pinpoint significant changes in a character’s emotional state, as well as heightening the actions and stakes. A notable example is during Act Two, when Sam realises he has to focus all of his will and strength into making physical objects move with his new otherworldly powers – musical interludes from the Subway Ghost (Garry Lee Netley) here add to the tension nicely.

The legendary pottery wheel sequence is toned down. However, the use of Unchained Melody as a simple refrain, rather than an in-your-face number, was sweet and heartbreaking at the same time.

The end scene, when Sam makes his final ascension into Heaven is effective and beautiful, causing a few moist eyes in the house.

If you were a fan of the film, the story will have you hooked all over again. The songs, although not memorable, add to the suspense and emotion of the characters. Although a lot has been done to tone down the content for younger theatregoers, there is sexual content at the beginning, and the odd swear word let loose during the action sequences.  But if you want an enjoyable night out then this is a good show to go to

In Leeds until Saturday 19 November and on tour around the UK

The Beggar’s Opera Review

Brockley Jack Studio Theatre 8th November – 3rd December.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

Lazarus Theatre Company returns to The Jack Studio Theatre with a new version of John Gay’s 1728 satire. With new lyrics and music by Bobby Locke and Chris Drohan, but with large chunks of Gay’s original text, this version (“We’ve kept some things and changed some things and modernised the plot”) Macheath tells us falls somewhere between The Threepenny Opera and Dougal Irvine’s The Busker’s Opera in tone.

Polly Peachum has fallen for, and married, the highwayman Macheath – a fast-talking, manipulative, but charming opportunist – and her parents aren’t happy. They conspire with Macheath’s bitter ex-mistress to have him captured and sent to Newgate Jail for execution. In Newgate, Macheath’s bribery of the jailer, Lockit, fails to work, and he persuades her daughter Lucy to free him so they can marry, but Macheath soon recaptured to meet his fate.

Yes – all that. In one act, 90 minutes. The hectic pace means that prior knowledge of the original plot is helpful, but the show has great moments, even if you’re not too sure what exactly is going on.

The corrupt and self-serving establishment keeping the poor and dispossessed in their place that Gay wrote about don’t need that much modernisation, although a Trump mask does appear at one point just to make sure we get that. The handkerchiefs and snuffboxes that Filch filches for Peachum become documents and baggies of suspicious white powder, but Dukes wisely doesn’t try to modernise too much. The set is minimal, with the cast moving around ladders, tables and chairs to define areas, and using rolls of sticky tape to mark the prison cell and manacle Macheath. The sticky tape is used to shocking effect in the final scene, but the logistics were a little tricky, with a few mishaps and falling props on the night I attended. Although I am sure these will be ironed out throughout the run.

The music and choreography are energetic and spiky, fitting the mood of the production perfectly. This is the first musical production I’ve seen by Lazarus, and, because of the inclusion of choreographed numbers, the actual acting and dialogue, although stylised, seems calmer and stiller. The only people moving around the stage are the actors in the scene, rather than the distracting parades that the company has used in earlier productions.

The committed cast give their all, with Michaela Bennison and Elizabeth Hollingshead as Polly and Lucy giving standout performances as Macheath’s women, strong both in their softer vulnerable moments and their bitchy confrontation number. Sherwood Alexander’s Macheath is best when reacting to the other characters, with wonderful facial expressions and physical comedy. Mr and Mrs Peachum, while both fantastic, seem to be appearing in a different play to the rest of the cast. Their delivery is completely unlike the rest of the cast, and while this may be intentional to signal their difference (like their orange colour scheme), it doesn’t feel coherent. Although I LOVED Natalie Barker’s Hyacinth Bucket-like portrayal as she spat insults at poor Polly, as well as metal-helmeted Josie Mills as Lockit, using her megaphone to great effect.

Considering that the cast have only had three weeks of rehearsals, the result is phenomenal. Full of life, energy and dark humour. Not quite the polished and finished article, but a promising and exciting start to the life of the show.



Autumn is here and the countdown to Christmas has begun. The spectacular Mary Poppins continues at the Alhambra Theatre until Saturday 10 December and we are getting ready to take a trip to Neverland when the magical pantomime adventure Peter Pan arrives in town from Saturday 17 December.

We are excited to announce our spring 2017 season with dance, drama, music, comedy and musicals to suit all tastes. Some highlights at the Alhambra Theatre include Anton & Erin Swing Time, Sunny Afternoon, Anita and Me, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Joe McElderry and two operas from Ellen Kent Productions. At King’s Hall, Ilkley there are delights such as We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and Ruby Wax – Frazzled. Plus comedy fans should definitely visit our newly refreshed Studio with Patrick Monahan, Tom Allen and Suzi Ruffell all making appearances. For classical music lovers the 29th Bradford Chamber Season continues at the beautiful Bradford Cathedral.

Adam Renton, General Manager Bradford Theatres says:

‘As this year draws to a close, we are now looking ahead to exciting times in 2017 at Bradford Theatres, with a diverse and vibrant selection of shows. As ever, you can continue to enjoy the best in live entertainment at the Alhambra Theatre, including opera; musicals, dance, drama; and don’t forget our pantomime runs until the end of January 2017.

There is still time to find the perfect festive gift and if you’re not quite sure which show your friends and family members want to see, why not treat them to a Bradford Theatres Friends Membership package or Gift Vouchers. Alternatively you could treat them to a pre-show meal in our very popular Restaurant 1914 or an upgrade to the Laidler Lounge VIP bar.’


Peter Pan- The Swashbuckling Pantomime Adventure – Saturday 17 December 2016 – Sunday 29 January 2017, Alhambra Theatre. Signed: Thur 22 Dec 2.30pm, Audio Described: Wed 4 Jan 2pm & 7.15pm, Captioned: Sun 15 Jan – 1pm, Relaxed Performance –Tue 17 Jan, 7.15pm Take a trip to Neverland with the Alhambra Theatre’s magical family pantomime adventure, Peter Pan. King of Yorkshire pantomime funny-man Billy Pearce returns to lead a star cast including actor, singer and television presenter Darren Day, Emmerdale soap-star Charlie Hardwick and pop and musical theatre sensation Jon Lee.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – Tuesday 17 & Wednesday 18 January, King’s Hall, Ilkley (Recommended for ages 3+)

Fidelio Trio – Friday 27 January, Bradford Cathedral – Part of Bradford International Classical Concert Season 2016/17: Bradford 29th Chamber Season

Del & Rodney & Edmund & Queenie The Comedy Dinner Shows – Monday 30 January & Tuesday 31 January, Restaurant 1914 at The Alhambra Theatre. Entertainment by Laughlines Comedy Entertainment. Includes a three course dinner.


Aida & La Boheme – Sunday 5 & Monday 6 February, Alhambra Theatre Opera & Ballet International proudly presents two Ellen Kent productions, with international soloists, highly praised chorus and full orchestra. Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Anton & Erin Swing Time – Tuesday 7 & Wednesday 8 February, Alhambra Theatre Join the nation’s favourite ballroom couple Anton du Beke & Erin Boag when they return with an exciting new show for 2017!

Omid Djalili -Schmuck For a Night – Friday 10 February, Alhambra Theatre (Suitable for ages 16 +)

Ruby Wax – Frazzled A Guide to Mindfulness – Thursday 16 February, King’s Hall, Ilkley

Gerry Cross the Mersey – Tuesday 21 February, King’s Hall, Ilkley

The King is Back – Ben Portsmouth is Elvis – Saturday 18 February, Alhambra Theatre Internationally renowned as one, if not the best Elvis tribute in the world today, Ben Portsmouth will bring his unique style, charisma and tenpiece band to show you why he is regarded as the best in the business.

Sister Act – Monday 20 – Saturday 25 February, Alhambra Theatre Signed: Thur 23 Feb 7.30pm, Captioned: Fri 24 Feb 7.30pm, Audio Described: Sat 25 Feb 2.30pm This all new critically acclaimed production of the Broadway and West End smash hit musical comedy starring Alexandra Burke (The X Factor, The Bodyguard) is coming to Bradford for one week only! Directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood, Sister Act is the feel-amazing show based on the movie starring Whoopi Goldberg and Maggie Smith.

John Shuttleworth – My Last Will and Tasty Mint – Monday 27 February, King’s Hall, Ilkley

Sunny Afternoon – Tuesday 28 February – Saturday 4 March, Alhambra Theatre Signed: Thur 2 Mar 7.30pm, Captioned: Fri 3 Mar 7.30pm, Audio Described: Sat 4 Mar 2.30pm Sunny Afternoon tells the captivating tale of how one of Britain’s greatest bands, The Kinks, rose to stardom. Featuring the iconic hits You Really Got Me, Waterloo Sunset, Dedicated Follower of Fashion, All Day and All of the Night, Lola, Sunny Afternoon and many more.


Croft & Pearce – Are Not Themselves – Friday 3 March, The Studio

You’ve Got A Friend – The Music of James Taylor and Carole King – Friday 3 March, King’s Hall, Ilkley

Count Arthur Strong – The Sound of Mucus – Saturday 4 March, King’s Hall, Ilkley (Recommended age 14+)

Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games – Tuesday 7 – Sunday 12 March, Alhambra Theatre Celebrating 20 years since he debuted Lord of the Dance, Flatley’s UK tour will star his protégés James Keegan, Morgan Comer and Matthew Smith in the role of the Lord of the Dance. The show is produced, choreographed and directed by Michael Flatley.

Emily Sun (Violin) & Jennifer Hughes (Piano) – Friday 10 March, Bradford Cathedral – Part of Bradford International Classical Concert Season 2016/17: Bradford 29th Chamber Season

The Full Monty – Monday 13 – Saturday 18 March, Alhambra Theatre Captioned: Fri 17 Mar 7.30pm, Audio Described: Sat 18 Mar 2.30pm Based on his smash hit film and adapted for the stage by Oscar-winning writer Simon Beaufoy, this hilarious and heartfelt production stars Gary Lucy, Andrew Dunn, Louis Emerick, Chris Fountain, Anthony Lewis, Kai Owen and a cast of fourteen and is directed by Jack Ryder.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show – Thursday 16 March, King’s Hall, Ilkley The timeless classic makes its way off the page and onto the stage in this wonderful production, featuring a menagerie of 75 loveable puppets. (Suitable for ages 3+)

Pub Quiz For Kids with Patrick Monahan – Saturday 18 March, The Studio (Recommended age 5+)

Patrick Monahan – That 80s Show – Saturday 18 March, The Studio (Recommended age 16+)

Miles Jupp -Songs of Freedom – Monday 20 March, King’s Hall, Ilkley

Anita and Me – Tuesday 21 – Saturday 25 March, Alhambra Theatre Captioned: Wed 22 Mar 7.30pm, Audio Described: Sat 25 Mar 2.30pm Meera Syal’s much-loved novel bursts on to the Alhambra stage after sell-out runs at Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Stratford East. With Shobna Gulati (Coronation Street, Dinnerladies) as Daljit.

Rob Beckett – Mouth of the South – Tuesday 28 March, King’s Hall, Ilkley

Matthew Bourne’s Production of The Red Shoes – Tuesday 28 March – Saturday 1 April, Alhambra Theatre Matthew Bourne’s magical adaptation of the classic Powell and Pressburger film. An intoxicating drama where life imitates art with fateful consequences; The Red Shoes will dazzle your senses and break your heart.


Menopause The Musical – Sunday 2 April, Alhambra Theatre Starring Cheryl Fergison (EastEnders), Maureen Nolan (The Nolans), Rebecca Wheatley (Casualty) and Ruth Berkeley (Penny Dreadful)

The Matt Monro Story – The Singer’s Singer – Wednesday 5 April, King’s Hall, Ilkley

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – Tuesday 4 – Saturday 8 April, Alhambra Theatre Audio Described: Thur 6 April 2pm, Signed: Thur 6 April 7.30pm Retelling the Biblical story of Joseph, his eleven brothers and the coat of many colours, this magical musical is full of unforgettable songs including Those Canaan Days, Any Dream Will Do and Close Every Door. Starring Joe McElderry.

European Union Chamber Orchestra With Bradford Cathedral Choir – Friday 7 April, Bradford Cathedral – Part of Bradford International Classical Concert Season 2016/17: Bradford 29th Chamber Season

Dick and Dom Live! Tuesday 11 April, Alhambra Theatre Dick & Dom are touring the UK in a show that promises to get the whole family on their feet. The performance will be full of madcap challenges and audience participation games that will guarantee to have you in stitches. This is a show you won’t want to miss! On public sale Mon 21 November 2016.

An Evening with Boycott & Aggers 2017 – Friday 14 April, Alhambra Theatre Following their first run of hugely popular events, the extraordinary odd couple return again by popular demand to enthral, dazzle and entertain. On public sale Mon 21 November 2016.

Justin’s Party – Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 April, Alhambra Theatre Justin’s Party is a brand new show which is packed full of fantastic songs, dances and hilarious games guaranteed to make it the party of the year! There will be lots of exciting surprises along the way and you’ll get to meet Justin’s adorable new puppy Engelbert! (Age suitability 2+)

Tez – Saturday 22 April, The Studio Following a smash-hit run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, join Tez Ilyas as he leads you on a truly unique journey through his silly, smart and subversive take on life in his Britain.

Tom Allen & Suzi Ruffell – Hit the Road! Saturday 29 April, The Studio

The Wedding Singer – Tuesday 25 – Saturday 29 April, Alhambra Theatre Captioned: Fri 28 Apr 8.30pm, Audio Described: Sat 29 Apr 2.30pm Don’t miss your chance to join the party of the year – with a musical that promises to get you up dancing faster than your Dad at a wedding, packed with songs which capture all the fun and energy of the Adam Sandler smash-hit film. Starring Ray Quinn, Ruth Madoc and Roxanne Pallett.


Buttershaw St Paul’s Amateur Operatic Dramatic Society presents Fiddler on the Roof – Thursday 2 – Saturday 4 February, Alhambra Theatre

Bradford Dance Network presents Exchanges – Saturday 11 February, Alhambra Theatre The Dance Bradford network stages its inaugural dance event Exchanges – an evening of dance performed by hundreds of young people and six professional dance artists from the Bradford district in a creative dance exchange.

To book for all of these shows please contact the Box Office on 01274 432000 or visit our website: bradford-theatres.co.uk

Booking fees apply:

Phone/Counter – £1 per ticket plus postage charge where applicable. Online – £1.50 per ticket plus £1 per transaction for postage.

Harry Potter Star Matthew Lewis visits THE FULL MONTY UK Tour

ltor-matthew-and-anthony-lewis-on-stage-at-the-liverpool-empire-credit-papionewsLast night, Harry Potter star, Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) took a trip to the UK tour of THE FULL MONTY at The Liverpool Empire, where his brother, Anthony Lewis, is playing one of the lead roles of Lomper. The UK tour runs until 15 April next year and also stars Gary Lucy, Chris Fountain, Andrew Dunn, Kai Owen and Louis Emerick.





As previously announced, the 2016/17 UK Tour of Simon Beaufoy’s THE FULL MONTY is led by Gary Lucy as Gaz, with Andrew Dunn as Gerald, Louis Emerick as Horse, Chris Fountain as Guy and Kai Owen as Dave. Anthony Lewis is now playing the role of Lomper, as Joe Absolom had to withdraw due to contractual filming commitments.

Anthony Lewis is best known as regular Marc Reynolds in Emmerdale. As a teenager, he played the title role in the children’s TV series Adam’s Family Tree and Scott Morris in Children’s Ward, the children’s TV series created by Paul Abbott and Kay Mellor. His films includes A Passionate Woman, Boy A, Girls’ Night and This Is Personal: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper.

Also in the cast are Andrew Ashford, Adam Beresford, Pauline Fleming, William Ilkley, Jonathan McGarrity, Charlotte Powell, Jess Schofield and Fiona Skinner. The role of Nathan is shared by Reiss Ward, James Burton, Monty Poole and Felix Yates.

THE FULL MONTY won the UK Theatre Award for Best Touring Production. The 2016/17 UK Tour began in Bournemouth on 21 September 2016 and finishes at the Sheffield Lyceum on 15 April 2017. The advance box office for the tour of over £5 million is breaking records at theatres around the country and extra performances have already been added at Birmingham Hippodrome and the Leeds Grand Theatre.

Jack Ryder directs THE FULL MONTY and his credits include national tours of Tm Firth’s play Calendar Girls and the short film Act of Memory with Claire Skinner, Owen Teale and Anna Massey, which was officially selected for nine international festivals around the world including the Cannes Film Festival. As an actor, Jack is probably best known as Jamie Mitchell in EastEnders, a role he played for four years.

Gary Lucy is best known for his roles as Danny Pennant in EastEnders, DS Will Fletcher in The Bill, Kyle Pascoe in Footballer’s Wives and Luke Morgan in Hollyoaks, and was a past winner of Dancing on Ice. Andrew Dunn is best known as Tony in Dinnerladies and for his regular appearances playing Alastair Campbell on Bremner, Bird and Fortune. Louis Emerick played Mick Johnson in the long-running soap Brookside and PC Walsh in the even longer-running Last of the Summer Wine. Chris Fountain played regulars Justin Burton in Hollyoaks and Tommy Duckworth in Coronation Street, and he was runner-up of Dancing on Ice. Kai Owen is best known for his portrayal of Rhys in Torchwood and recently played Pete in Hollyoaks.

In 1997, a British film about six out-of-work Sheffield steelworkers with nothing to lose, took the world by storm becoming one of the most successful British films ever made. The story still resonates today, probably more so now than ever.

Simon Beaufoy, the Oscar- and BAFTA-winning writer of the film, has adapted his own screenplay for this hilarious and heartfelt stage production, which features the iconic songs from the film by Donna Summer, Hot Chocolate and Tom Jones.

THE FULL MONTY is Simon Beaufoy’s first work for the theatre. His screen credits include The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Salmon Fishing in Yemen, 127 Hours and Slumdog Millionaire, as well as The Full Monty.

The UK Tour of THE FULL MONTY has design is by Robert Jones, choreography by Ian West, lighting by Tim Lutkin and sound by Sarah Weltman, with casting by Marc Frankum.

The 2016/17 UK Tour of Simon Beaufoy’s THE FULL MONTY, based on the Fox Searchlight Pictures motion picture, is presented by David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and is a Sheffield Theatres production.

For further details, visit www.fullmontytheplay.com

Facebook: The Full Monty UK Twitter: FullMontyPlay / #fullmonty


7-12 November LIVERPOOL Empire 0844 871 3017 www.atgtickets.com/venues/liverpool-empire

14-19 November BIRMINGHAM Hippodrome 0844 338 5000 www.birminghamhippodrome.com

21-26 November CARDIFF Wales Millennium Centre 029 2063 6464 www.wmc.org.uk

28 Nov – 3 Dec LEEDS Grand Theatre 0844 848 2700 www.leedsgrandtheatre.com

16-21 Jan NORTHAMPTON Royal and Derngate 01604 624811 www.royalandderngate.co.uk

23-28 Jan CAMBRIDGE Arts Theatre 01223 503333 www.cambridgeartstheatre.com

30 Jan – 4 Feb BELFAST Grand Opera House 028 9024 1919 www.goh.co.uk

6-11 February SHREWSBURY Theatre Severn 01743 281281 www.theatresevern.co.uk

13-18 February DARTFORD Orchard Theatre 01322 220000 www.orchardtheatre.co.uk

20-25 February CANTERBURY Marlowe Theatre 01227 787787 www.marlowetheatre.com

27 Feb – 4 March GLASGOW King’s Theatre 0844 871 7648 www.atgtickets.com/venues/kings-theatre

6-11 March LEICESTER De Montfort Hall 0116 233 3111 www.demontforthall.co.uk

13-18 March BRADFORD Alhambra Theatre 01274 432000 www.bradford-theatres.co.uk

20 – 25 March 2017 SUNDERLAND Empire Theatre 0844 871 3022 www.atgtickets.com/venues/sunderland-empire

27 March – 1 April LLANDUDNO Venue Cymru 01492 872000 www.venuecymru.co.uk

3-15 April SHEFFIELD Lyceum Theatre 0114 249 6000 www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk










The Touring Consortium Theatre Company and Birmingham Repertory Theatre are pleased to announce thatShobna Gulati (Coronation Street, Dinner Ladies) will star as ‘Daljit’ in the new tour of ANITA AND ME, opening at the Wolverhampton Grand on 14 February 2017, and touring the UK until April. Adapted by multi award-winningTanika Gupta from the book by Meera Syal, directed by Roxana Silbert and designed by Liz Ashcroft, with original music by the Ringham Brothers, ANITA AND ME will play Wolverhampton, Cheltenham, Blackpool, Nottingham, Bradford and Edinburgh. Further casting to be announced.


The professional company will perform alongside eight actors drawn from the local community, with auditions taking place in individual venues. Lighting design is by Chahine Yavroyan, sound Design by Ben and Max Ringham, original choreography by Ann Yee, Setand costume design is by Bob Bailey.


This poignant coming-of-age tale follows Meena, a young girl growing up in the only Punjabi family in a 1970s Black Country mining village. Meena spends her days happily getting into scrapes with the other local children until one day the impossibly cool Anita enters her life.


Suddenly Meena knows exactly who she wants to be but is Anita all that she seems? Soon Meena’s world is turned upside down as she is caught between two very different cultures.


Anita And Me paints a comic, poignant, compassionate and colourful portrait of village life in the era of flares, power cuts, glam rock, decimalisation and Ted Heath.

Meera Syal said, “I’m delighted that Anita and Me is touring the UK.    It is amazing to think of so many people engaging in this story – particularly young people, who like me as a child, may be wondering how they fit in!”

Critical praise for the original production at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 2015:

★★★★”Hilarious” The Independent

★★★★ Very funnyBirmingham Mail

“EntertainingThe Times

Uplifting, humorous and poignant, Anita And Me is a beautifully staged production” BroadwayWorld.com

This show has a sizeable heartThe Stage

“Impressive” British Theatre Guide

Created by producer Jenny King, The Touring Consortium Theatre Company celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2016, producing both highly successful tours of A Tale of Two Cities and Of Mice and Men.


Jenny King said, “The company was created in 1996 in response to a need expressed by chief executives of several of the UKs leading touring venues for quality text based drama that reached out to new, young audiences as well as sustaining the interest of core theatre goers.  Since its creation we have produced over twenty five productions and played to over a million people, involving some 25,000 young people in our workshops and creative learning programmes.”

In 2012 TCTC were awarded over one million pounds from the ACE Strategic Touring Fund (one of the largest grants given) to support a programme of productions to be presented on tour over two and half years, with the specific aim of reaching out to new audiences. These included a world premiere production of To Sir with Love, directed by Mark Babych, adapted by Ayub Khan Din, with Matthew Kelly; a new production of Brassed Off directed by Damian Cruden with John McArdle; a world premiere production of Regeneration adapted from Pat Barker’s Booker nominated novel by Nicholas Wright, directed by Simon Godwin with Stephen Boxer; A View from the Bridgedirected by Stephen Unwin with Michael Brandon and Jonathan Guy Lewis; a world premiere production of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, adapted by Dawn King, with original music from These New Puritans, directed by James Dacre with Sophie Ward, a tour of Of Mice and Men featuring Dudley Sutton, and most recently a tour of A Tale of Two Cities, also directed by James Dacre.

On the back of the success of the initial programme of work the company have again been awarded a substantial grant from the ACE Strategic Touring fund to extend their programming until 2018 with four further productions planned and further Audience development projects.   TCTC continues to form links with literacy projects around the country, as each production has an affiliated writing project run from its resources website THEATRECLOUD.

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Facebook: /TouringConsortium