Sir Timothy O’Shea, on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, is delighted to announce the appointment of Shona McCarthy as Chief Executive.


Shona was Chief Executive of the Culture Company, which was responsible for leading on Derry-Londonderry’s year as the inaugural UK City of Culture. She was Chief Executive at Imagine Belfast 2008, Chief Executive of Cinemagic, the international film festival for young people, and Director of the Foyle Film Festival. More recently she’s been working internationally as a freelance cultural consultant and from 2009 to 2011 she was Director of the British Council Northern Ireland. Shona was a recipient of a NESTA cultural leadership award and was awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship for Innovation 2014. She will take up the post in early March.


The Chair of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, Sir Timothy O’Shea, said:


“I am delighted Shona will be joining the team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society; she brings with her an exceptional resume of experience in the cultural sector and is an experienced and successful chief executive.


“The Fringe Society’s role is to support and nurture the Fringe – the world’s largest and best arts festival – a festival which has seen continual growth for a number of years. In response to that, and under Kath Mainland’s leadership, the Fringe Society has expanded its services for both participants and audiences. As the Fringe approaches its 70th anniversary year, I have no doubt Shona will provide the vision and leadership to continue and further develop the work the Society does, supporting the Fringe’s reputation as a world leading arts festival.”


Shona McCarthy said of her appointment: “I am thrilled to be appointed Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, an organisation I have long admired. I have spent 25 years working in the cultural sector and have seen up close and personal the transformative power that art can have on people, on cities and on wellbeing. I passionately believe in personal and collective creativity as a force for good in a turbulent world.


“I have visited Edinburgh and the Fringe on many occasions and there is no better outlet for creative expression than the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the greatest open access arts festival in the world, and I can’t wait to work with and support all those who make up such a wonderful festival.  


“Kath Mainland has done a terrific job and there is a brilliant team already in place, I look forward to joining them.”

2016 auditions for Oklahoma!

Auditions being held February for 2016 Stage Experience: OKLAHOMA!

The Grand Opera House York announces their 2016 Stage Experience OKLAHOMA!  Auditions will be held on Sunday 28 February at 9am at the theatre.

Stage Experience is an intensive two week project for ten to 21 year olds, who will be directed by professional director and choreographer Louise Denison, who will be joined by the musical director Adam Laird.

The project will run from Saturday 23 July, culminating in four performances from Thursday 4 to Saturday 1 August. As well as budding actors, Stage Experience welcomes young and aspiring theatre technicians, who will work with the professional team on sound, lighting, set, props and costumes.

Stage Experience this year is going back to America, and for the first time in the history of the Grand Opera House we are presenting ‘Oklahoma!’.

The first show ever written by the Rodgers and Hammerstein team guarantees to be another blockbuster for our stage experience team, and has something for everyone – a good story, big songs, catchy tunes, dance routines, and love interests – all of which will showcase the enormous wealth of talent in our cast and crew”.  Clare O’Connor, Producer.

Be sure not to be miss what has been billed as Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most innovative show – on for 3 days only!.

Applicants can get the application form from box office or by contacting Stage Experience producer Clare O’Connor on 01904 678702 or email [email protected] .  Please note that should you be successful there will be a fee to take part in the project.



Ground-breaking American play A Raisin in the Sun begins its UK tour in the Studio Theatre from Thursday 28 January to Saturday 13 February.  A co-production between Sheffield Theatres, Sheffield-based Eclipse Theatre Company and Belgrade Coventry, the play, written by Lorraine Hansberry on the cusp of the civil rights era, tackles issues of injustice, discrimination and family tensions.

The powerful drama centres on the Youngers who are awaiting the arrival of a cheque for a life changing $10,000. Driven to conflict as they encounter issues of inequality, housing and lack of opportunity that continue to resonate today, the play acts as a stark warning to anyone who measures happiness and personal worth in capital gain.

Ashley Zhangazha plays Walter Lee Younger, one of the great roles of American theatre. Widely regarded as one to watch following performances in Henry V for the Michael Grandage Company and alongside Lenny Henry in Fences in the West End, Ashley won the 2013 Ian Charleson Award for his performance in Macbeth at the Crucible. He will be joined by Angela Wynter as Mama, well-known to audiences for her many TV roles including Yolande Trueman in EastEnders. Completing the company are Alisha Bailey (Lewis, Doctor Who) as Ruth Younger, Aron Julius (Puppy Love) as Joseph Asagia/George Murchison, Mike Burnside as Karl Lindner, Everal A Walsh as Bob andSusan Wokoma (Chewing Gum) as Beneathea Younger.

Following its debut on Broadway in 1959, Lorraine Hansberry adapted her play into a critically-acclaimed film starring Sidney Poitier as Walter. Testament to its continuing power and relevance, A Raisin in the Sun has been revived numerous times in the intervening years and this production provides a timely re-evaluation of her work as one of the most significant American playwrights of the period.

Tickets for A Raisin in the Sun can be purchased from Sheffield Theatres’ Box Office in-person, by phone on 0114 249 6000 or online at and are priced from £12.00 (Concessions, school and group discounts available).  A transaction fee of £1.50 (£1.00 online) applies to all bookings made at the Box Office (excluding cash).




Theatre Royal Haymarket                            Monday 8th February – Saturday 19th March


Time Out, Telegraph, Independent, Financial Times, Evening Standard, Sunday Times


Due to popular demand, Theatre Royal Bath Productions, Kenny Wax and Theatre Royal Haymarket Productions are delighted to announce the return of Joshua Harmon’s BAD JEWS to the West End, at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket. The critically-acclaimed production will run from 8thFebruary until 19th March 2016, following sell out runs at Ustinov Studio, Bath, St James Theatre and The Arts Theatre, London.

“Superb performances, under Michael Longhurst’s direction, make this a gripping production”  The Observer

A beloved grandfather — and Holocaust survivor — has died, and a treasured family heirloom with religious significance is up for grabs. But who is most deserving of it? Bossy, overbearing, fanatically religious Daphna? Her wealthy cousin Liam, who’s just returned from skiing with his non-Jewish girlfriend Melody? Or Jonah, his brother, who would prefer not to get involved in the fight? A cramped Manhattan apartment becomes the setting for a viciously hilarious brawl over family, faith and legacy as the contenders set at each other’s throats on the night after the funeral.

“Blisteringly funny…”  Sunday Times

The cast features Ilan Goodman reprising his role of Liam and new cast members, Ailsa Joy as Daphna, Antonia Kinlay as Melody and Jos Slovick as Jonah.

 “Ferociously clever… a visceral thrill”  Evening Standard

Ilan Goodman’s theatre credits include Intimate Apparel (Theatre Royal Bath/The Park Theatre London), Shiver (Watford Palace Theatre), Paper Dolls (Tricycle Theatre), Red Light Winter (Theatre Royal Bath), Tartuffe (ETT), Chicken Soup With Barley (Royal Court); Danton’s Death (National Theatre), Six Degrees Of Separation (Old Vic), Breaking The Silence and All Quiet On The Western Front (Nottingham Playhouse), Little Wolf’s Book of Badness (Hampstead Theatre), Dorian Gray(Leicester Sq Theatre), The Glass Menagerie (New Wolsey Ipswich), and Border (Old Vic).

Feature films include ‘The Imitation Game’, ‘A Long Way Down’, ‘Diana’, ‘That Woman’, ‘The Echelon Conspiracy’ and television includes ‘Call the Midwife’, ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ and ‘Lost Cosmonauts’ and ‘Broadside’.

Ailsa Joy trained at RADA. Her theatre credits include: TimePlays (Hampton Court Palace), Berenice(The Space), The Wind in the Willows (Polka Theatre), Fast Track, Cake, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Peer Gynt (The North Wall), Much Ado about Nothing, The Arabian Nights, Pride and Prejudice (Drill Hall), The Crucible (Oxford Playhouse), The Siren’s Call, Mira Mira (Watermill Theatre), Seeing Things (Shakespeare Week).

Antonia Kinlay trained at RADA. Her theatre credits include Lady Anna: All at Sea (The Park Theatre);The Three Lions (St James Theatre & tour); A History of Falling Things (New Vic Theatre); Arms and the Man  (Theatre Clwyd); Mr Whatnot  (Northampton Royal Theatre); As You Like It (Theatre Clwyd); When did you last see my Mother? (Trafalgar Studios); Carrot (Theatre 503); Moliere(National Theatre Studio / Finborough); The Eternal Not (National Theatre); Arden of Faversham (The Globe).

Jos Slovick’s theatre credits include The Snow Queen (Nuffield Theatre), Once -The Musical (Dublin and West End), Lost in Yonkers (Watford Palace), The Secret Garden (Edinburgh Festival Theatre), The Human Comedy (The Young Vic & Watford Palace Theatre), Love Story (Chichester Festival), Spring Awakening (West End & Lyric Hammersmith) and Stiles & Drewe’s Soho Cinders. His film credits include ‘The Addicted’ and ‘Les Miserables’.

Director Michael Longhurst’s previous productions include Nick Payne’s Constellations at The Royal Court Theatre and New York and Adam Brace’s Stovepipe. He is an Associate Director of the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton and is also a recipient of the Jerwood Director’s Award at the Young Vic (Dirty Butterfly) and a Fringe First (Guardians).

Playwright Joshua Harmon’s other work includes Significant Other, A Boy Named Alice, Love in the Time of Channukah, Princess Bubonic and Terese Raquin.



Venue:                Theatre Royal Haymarket, Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4HT

Dates:                 Monday 8th February – Saturday 19th March

Times:                 Monday- Saturday, 8pm; Thursday and Saturday Matinees, 3pm

Tickets:              £15 – £49.50

Box Office:       020 7930 8800/

Darlington Civic Theatre – Joe Brown

Civic Theatre Hi Res Logo (1)NO ORDINARY JOE

Rock ‘n’ roll legend Joe Brown to perform at Darlington Civic Theatre on Monday 25 January.

Legendary entertainer Joe Brown will bring his five piece band to Darlington for a night of musical nostalgia.

Packed with timeless classics, rockabilly, gospel, country, folk and rock ‘n’ roll, the styles are as diverse as Joe’s musical talents. With his effervescent delivery and humorous reminiscences, this sensational show is a musical treat not to be missed.

Joe is a one off, a compelling and unique performer with a rare and singular track record, an extraordinary talent and a truly enduring rock legend.

Joe Brown comes to Darlington Civic Theatre on Monday 25 January. Tickets* £24.50 & £26.50

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

*All prices include a £1 restoration levy

Darlington Civic Theatre – The Russian State Ballet


Raymond Gubbay presents The Russian State Ballet with three wonderful ballets; traditional favourites, The Snow Maiden, The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake.

The Snow Maiden opens this spectacular trio on Thursday 28 January at 7.30pm. Based on a traditional folk-tale, set in the snow covered landscape of rural Russia. Protected from the outside world by Father Frost, the exquisite Snow Maiden plays innocently amongst the dancing snowflakes in the enchanted Land of Frost.

The Sleeping Beauty – every child’s favourite fairy tale – is on Friday 29 January at 7.30pm. It is the classic story of love and innocence, mystery and magic set to Tchaikovsky’s sublime score. Stunning choreography, sumptuous costumes and wonderful sets form the fantasy world in which the Lilac Fairy struggles against the evil Carabosse.

Swan Lake follows on Saturday 30 January at 2.30pm & 7.30pm and Sunday 31 January at 2.30pm. The greatest romantic ballet of all time is brought to life by Tchaikovsky’s haunting and unforgettable score. From the impressive splendour of the palace ballroom to the moon-lit lake where swans glide in perfect formation, this compelling tale of tragic romance has it all.

Formed in 1981, the Russian State Ballet of Siberia has quickly established itself as one of Russia’s leading ballet companies and has built an international reputation for delivering performances of outstanding quality and unusual depth. The soloists and corps de ballet are superb, and never fail to delight audiences with their breathtaking physical ability and dazzling costumes.

Tickets* are priced £28.50 to £36, discounts available.

*All prices include a £1 restoration levy

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

Antony Costa to come to Leeds







Antony Costa Leeds Grand TheatreLeeds Grand Theatre is delighted to announce that Antony Costa is to take the role of Milton in Save the Last Dance for Me this June.  Costa has previously appeared on stage in Blood Brothers (West End) andBoogie Nights (UK Tour). He is best known as one of the members of Blue, the biggest British boy band of the Noughties, who enjoyed chart success with three number one albums, and 11 Top Ten singles, including their debut song All Rise.

From the team that brought you the huge success that is Dreamboats and Petticoats, Save the Last Dance for Me brings to the stage the music and magic of the early 60s, a time when each passing week brought another Rock ‘n’ Roll classic. This nostalgic, feel-good journey transports audiences back to music’s golden era as they follow two teenage sisters through the summer of ’63.

AntonyCosta in Save the Last Dance... at LGTFor the first time without their parents, the sisters embark on a holiday to the seaside. Full of freedom and high spirits they meet a handsome young American who invites them to a dance at the local U.S. Air force base… But young love and holiday romance is never as simple as it sounds, and the sisters soon realise that while the world around them is still watching itself in black and white, life and love can be much more colourful.

Save the last Dance for Me is at Leeds Grand Theatre from 13th to 18th June this year

Tickets go on pre-sale for priority members on Wednesday 20th January and general sale on Wednesday 27th January

Book online at or call Box Office on 0844 848 2700

Michael Watson, Edd Post, Jon Boydon & Gary Watson to leave Jersey Boys

2 LtoR Edd Post,  Jon Boydon, Michael Watson and Gary Watson in JERSEY BOYS credit Brinkhoff & MögenburgBye Bye Baby! Michael Watson, Edd Post, Jon Boydon and Gary Watson have announced that they are leaving the West End production of Jersey Boys.
The actors will give their final performances as Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi respectively on Sunday 13th March 2016. New casting and further information will be announced over the coming months.
Michael Watson said: “It has been an honour and privilege to take on this massive role! It has been a crazy 3 years on this show and I just want to thank you for all your support.. It is time for me to try new challenges now! Thank you to Jersey Boys UK and all the cast.. I leave with wonderful memories.. Let’s go out with a bang love to you.”
Jon Boydon said: “After nearly 6 years and more than 2000 performances, the time has come for me to say goodbye to Tommy Devito and Jersey Boys London. It has been a life changing experience working on the show, a job I have been passionate about from the first day, and remain so – I could never have imagined that I would be part of it for so long. But I cannot stand still forever, and they say that all good things must come to an end. I regard it as a very positive career decision, that I’m sure you will support.
“I am thrilled to have played my part in Jersey Boys’ history, and look forward to new and exciting projects throughout 2016. The show will go from strength to strength with its new Seasons, and I hope that you will show them the same love and support that you have kindly bestowed on me as they take the helm of this wonderful production and steer it toward its Decennial celebration. So here’s to my final 9 weeks! Thank you all. Now where did I put my golf clubs….?”
Sandy Moffat who alternates the role of Frankie will also leave the production on Sunday 13th March. He will give his final scheduled performance as Frankie at the matinee on Saturday 12th March 2016.
Jersey Boys opened in London in 2008 and has been seen by nearly 23 million people worldwide. Now celebrating its eighth year in London, a second production is currently touring the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Jersey Boys tells the true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their rise to stardom from the wrong side of the tracks.The show is packed with their hits, including Beggin’, Sherry, Walk Like A Man, December, 1963 (Oh What a Night), Big Girls Don’t Cry, My Eyes Adored You, Bye Bye Baby, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Working My Way Back to You and Fallen Angel.

Full casting announced for Nell Gwynn West End transfer

Michele Dotrice, Michael Garner, Peter McGovern and Nicholas Shaw will join the original cast and previously announced Gemma Arterton for the West End transfer of Jessica Swale’s new play Nell Gwynn.

The transfer sees Arterton take over the title role following Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s acclaimed performance, with the full cast including Paige Carter, Michele Dotrice, Matthew Durkan, Michael Garner, Greg Haiste, George Jennings, Ellie Leah, Peter McGovern, David Rintoul, Anneika Rose, Nicholas Shaw, David Sturzaker, Jay Taylor, Sasha Waddell and Sarah Woodward.

Directed by Christopher Luscombe, Nell Gwynn is set in 1660 after the restoration of Charles II to the throne. Billed is an “effervescent celebration of life in the theatre”, it charts the rise of Gwynn from her roots in Coal Yard Alley to her success as Britain’s most celebrated actress and the king’s consort.

Following its sell-out run at Shakespeare’s Globe, Nell Gwynn will run at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue from 4 February 2016.

Round and Round The Garden

British farce at its finest in Alan Ayckbourn classic

Playwright Alan Ayckbourn’s hilarious farce is set to delight audiences new and old as a new production of his award-winning play prepares to tour the UK.

Round GardenRound and Round the Garden, which comes to Darlington Civic Theatre from 18 – 20 January, follows assistant librarian Norman, his in-laws and the local vet over one summer weekend in a Sussex country house.

Norman is intent on making all the women in his life happy by simultaneously Kevin Pallisterattempting to seduce his sister-in-law Annie, charm his brother’s wife Sarah and still keep his own wife, Ruth, happy.

But, oblivious to the repercussions of his actions, Norman leaves a trail of havoc, misunderstandings and comedy consequences.

At times wildly comic, and at times poignant Round and Round the Garden brilliantly portrays the complicated relationships amongst these six intertwined characters.

natasha-grayThis new production is the joint creation of Talking Scarlet and Jordan Productions, in association with Eastbourne Theatres, and stars Natasha Gray and Kevin Pallister from ITV soap Emmerdale.

Round and Round the Garden runs at Darlington Civic Theatre from Monday 18 to Wednesday 20 January.

Tickets* £12.60 to £20, discounts available.

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

*All prices include a £1 restoration levy