Rehearsals are underway for The Red Lion at Live Theatre, Newcastle, a play written by Patrick Marber set in the locker room of a Northern lower league football club

Thursday 6 April to Saturday 6 May 2017

A Live Theatre Production
The Red Lion

Written by Patrick Marber
Directed by Max Roberts

Designed by Patrick Connellan
Starring Stephen Tompkinson, John Bowler and Dean Bone



Actors Stephen Tompkinson (DCI Banks) John Bowler (Auf Wiedersehen Pet) and Dean Bone (The Savage) have started rehearsals for Live Theatre’s new production of The Red Lion written by Oscar Nominated writer Patrick Marber, which runs at the Newcastle quayside based theatre from Thursday 6 April to Saturday 6 May 2017.


Following its critically acclaimed first run at the National Theatre in 2015, The Red Lion has been specially adapted by writer Patrick Marber for Live Theatre and the North East, where it will be directed by Live Theatre’s Artistic Director Max Roberts.  The play is set in the locker room of a North Eastern lower league football club in the ultra-competitive twilight world of semi-professional football. The Red Lion is a powerful, funny and touching drama that reaches beyond the beautiful game, exploring contrasting ideas about loyalty, ambition and what it takes to win, from three different generations.  If you thought that badge-kissing mercenaries, wide-boy agents and dodgy deals were confined to the Premier League, think again.


Stephen Tompkinson, well known for his TV appearances as DCI Banks, and who previously appeared at Live Theatre as the lead in Faith & Cold Reading, is re-united with Harrigan co-star John Bowler. John started his TV career in the film Ha’way the Lads playing Sunderland footballer Jimmy Seed. He then went on to feature in Auf Wiedersehen Pet and has since starred in The Bill, EastEnders and Coronation Street. John, who grew up in Newcastle, will be making his first appearance at Live Theatre. They will be joined by up and coming actor Dean Bone cast as the young football player, Jordan. Dean, originally from Gateshead, has had lead roles in Live Theatre’s recent productions The Savage and The Terminal Velocity of Snowflakes having started in Live’s Youth Theatre.


Stephen Tompkinson, actor, said:


“Performing at Live Theatre in Shaun Prendergast’s Faith & Cold Reading, was one of the best experiences in my career. I am delighted to be back at Live Theatre, in Patrick Marber’s brilliant play The Red Lion.”

John Bowler, actor, said:

“I was attracted to the part of Yates by Max Roberts, Steven Tompkinson, Patrick Marber and football – not necessarily in that order!  I have always been a fan of Live Theatre and the work Max has created over the years so to be invited to work with him opposite the wonderful Stephen Tompkinson in this brilliant play by Patrick Marber proved irresistible!”

Dean Bone added:

“It’s always an absolute privilege to work at Live Theatre. I cannot wait to get started on a project about football, something I feel passionately about. And working with two excellent, experienced professional actors such as Stephen Tompkinson and John Bowler is something any young actor would jump at the chance at!”

Max Roberts, Artistic Director, Live Theatre said:


“I am delighted to be working with Patrick Marber, directing his play The Red Lion. I am also pleased to welcome back Stephen Tompkinson to Live Theatre’s stage, and to have cast alongside him well-established actor John Bowler who will be making his first appearance here, and rising talent Dean Bone who has starred in two recent Live Theatre productions having started here in Live’s Youth Theatre.”


Patrick Marber, writer of The Red Lion said:


“I am thrilled to be making my Live Theatre debut. It’s been a great and exciting opportunity to revise the play with Max Roberts at the helm. I’m greatly looking forward to seeing this version of the play in Newcastle.”


‘Marber’s dressing room drama is a remarkable three-hander about a sport he clearly knows intimately’ ★★★★ The Guardian

‘a triumph’ The Telegraph


A series of FREE post show talks accompany the play. 

Writer Patrick Marber and Director Max Roberts take part in a free Meet the Writer talk after the 2pm performance on Saturday 8 April; actors Stephen Tompkinson, John Bowler and Dean Bone discuss their roles in a free Meet the Cast talk after the 7.30pm performance on Wednesday 19 April, and in a Football Panel Discussion sports writers Harry Pearson (The Far Corner) and George Caulkin (The Times) join director Max Roberts and industry professionals in a discussion about the importance of amateur football in the North East and issues raised in the play after the 7.30pm performance on Wednesday 26 April. All post show talks include a question and answer session, are free but must be pre-booked.


Live Theatre is fully accessible and offers a range of additional assisted interpretation at specific performances of The Red Lionaimed at improving the theatre experience for all audience members. These include British Sign Language Interpretation at the performance on Wednesday 26 April, 7.30pm, Captioning on Thursday 27 April, 7.30pm and Audio Description on Saturday 6 May, 2pm.  A Free Touch Tour on Saturday 6 May, 1pm is a ‘hands on’ tour of the set describing props, costumes, characters and the visual style of the show ahead of the performance with additional audio description especially for visitors with visual impairments.


The 2pm matinee on Thursday 27 April is designated as a Relaxed Performance which allows a more laid back approach to noise or movement from the audience, with audience members being able to leave and come back in again and don’t have to be quiet. This is suitable for young people with special educational needs, or anyone who many benefit from a more relaxed environment.  These services are offered at no extra cost for service users. Performances with extra interpretation should not affect the performance for other audience members, although Relaxed performances may have more noise and movement from other audience members.

The Red Lion is suitable for ages 16+ and is at Live Theatre, Newcastle from Thursday 6 April to Saturday 6 May 2017. Tickets for The Red Lion cost between £10 and £26 with concessions from £6 and group discounts available. For more information or to book tickets visit or contact Live Theatre’s box office on (0191) 232 1232.

On The Town Casting Announcement





Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre announce casting for the opening production of their 2017 season, On The Town (19 May – 01 July).

Danny Mac, Fred Haig and Jeremy Taylor take the roles of the three sailors, Gabey, Chip and Ozzie, originally played in the film version by Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munshin. Siena Kelly, Lizzy Connolly and Miriam-Teak Lee take the roles of Ivy, Hildy and Claire, originally played in the film version by Vera-Ellen, Betty Garrett and Ann Miller. Also joining the cast are Maggie Steed as Madame Dilly, Naoko Mori as Lucy Schmeeler, Rodney Earl Clarke as The Workman and Mark Heenehan as Judge Pitkin.

Danny Mac (Gabey) was a finalist in Strictly Come Dancing 2016 and, with dancing partner Oti Mabuse, has recently completed the Strictly Come Dancing Live arena tour. Following his training at Arts Educational Schools he played Mark ‘Dodger’ Savage in Hollyoaks, and went on to join the cast of Wicked (Victoria Apollo).

Fred Haig (Chip) is a recent graduate of LAMDA. Jeremy Taylor (Ozzie) recently played Fiyero in Wicked (Victoria Apollo), and has previously appeared in We Will Rock You (Dominion), The Sound of Music (Palladium and UK tour) and Evita (UK tour).

Siena Kelly (Ivy) and Miriam-Teak Lee (Claire) are both recent graduates of Arts Educational Schools and make their professional West End debuts. Lizzy Connolly (Hildy) is currently appearing in The Wild Party (The Other Palace) having previously appeared in Once In A Lifetime (Young Vic) and as Ellie Goulding in the TV series The Windsors.

Maggie Steed (Madame Dilly) has enjoyed an extensive career on film, television and stage. Film and television highlights include Florence Foster Jenkins, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassis, The Painted Veil, Larkrise to Candleford, Jam and Jerusalem, Pie in the Sky, Victoria Wood’s As Seen On TV and the E4 series, Chewing Gum. Her stage career includes roles at the National Theatre, RSC and Royal Court, and recent credits include Richard II (Trafalgar Transformed), The Birthday Party (Manchester Royal Exchange), The School for Scandal (Bath Theatre Royal) and Trelawney of the Wells (Donmar Warehouse).

Naoko Mori (Lucy Schmeeler) played the role of Kim in Miss Saigon (Theatre Royal Drury Lane) and Christmas Eve in Avenue Q (Noel Coward). Her extensive TV credits include Toshiko Sato in Torchwood, Sarah (aka Titikaka) in Absolutely Fabulous, Doctor Who, Humans, Vexed, and Yoko Ono in Lennon Naked. Her film credits include Everest, Topsy Turvy, Spiceworld, and the upcoming film Life.

Rodney Earl Clarke (The Workman) has appeared in productions of The Marriage of Figaro, Cosi fan Tutte and in the title role of Don Giovanni. He has appeared as Jake in Porgy and Bess for the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, debuted the role of Crown with The Royal Danish Opera, Copenhagen, and took the title role with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Sante Cecilia, Rome. In the UK he has performed the Bernstein Mass with the London Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop and Carmen Jones at the Royal Festival Hall

Mark Heenehan (Judge Pitkin) most recently played Gyp in Jersey Boys (Piccadilly), with previous credits including Fiddler on the Roof (Grange Park Opera), Guys and Dolls (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Kiss Me Kate (Chichester Festival Theatre/Old Vic)

Completing the cast are: Michelle Andrews, Myles Brown, Matthew Caputo, Edward Chitticks, Lavinia Fitzpatrick, Cristina Hoey, James Leece, Jacob Maynard, Rachel Muldoon, Melissa Nettleford, Emily Ann Potter, Mollie Melia Redgrave, Lisa Ritchie, Barnaby Thompson, Sam Salter and Brandon Lee Sears

Playing 19 May to 1 July 2017, On The Town is based on a concept by Jerome Robbins with music by Leonard Bernstein and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, including the hit song “New York, New York (it’s a helluva town)”. It is directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie who won the Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreography for In the Heights before scoring a hit with his choreography for Jesus Christ Superstar in 2016, for which he is nominated in The Olivier Awards 2017. He has also choreographed Jekyll and Hyde and The Lorax (Old Vic), Bugsy Malone (Lyric Hammersmith) and Hairspray and Chicago (Curve, Leicester), as well as directing and choreographing Strictly Ballroom (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and The Wild Party (The Other Palace).

On The Town is designed by Peter McKintosh, whose previous credits for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre include Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Sound of Music, Hello, Dolly! and Crazy for You (Olivier Award for Best Costume Design). Musical Supervision is by Tom Deering (Jesus Christ Superstar, Open Air Theatre /, National / In the Heights, Southwark Playhouse and King’s Cross Theatre) and, completing the Creative Team, are: Lighting Designer Howard Hudson (Romeo and Juliet, Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company / Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Linbury Studio/ In the Heights, Southwark Playhouse and King’s Cross Theatre); Sound Designer Nick Lidster for Autograph (Olivier Nominated for Jesus Christ Superstar, Open Air Theatre); Fiona Dunn (Associate Director); Ebony Molina (Associate Choreographer); Kevin Amos (Associate Musical Director); Barbara Houseman (Associate Director, Voice and Text) and James Orange (Casting Director).

The season continues with Dickens Uncovered, celebrating the greatest storyteller of London life, Charles Dickens: Artistic Director Timothy Sheader directs A Tale of Two Cities (7 July – 8 August), a new play by Matthew Dunster adapted from the original Dickens novel and, developing their programme of work made especially for families, Caroline Byrne directs Oliver Twist created for everyone aged six and over adapted by Anya Reiss (17 July – 5 August). Completing the 2017 season, Jesus Christ Superstar returns for just 41 performances (11 August – 16 September), giving audiences one last chance to see the production in its original home. The musical, directed by Timothy Sheader, won the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical, and is currently nominated for six Olivier Awards.

Bunny Review

White Bear Theatre 7 – 25 March.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

Jack Thorne has gone on to great things since writing Bunny, not least writing the phenomenon that is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but this new production serves as a reminder of his skill in finding ridiculously funny and dangerous situations in mundane lives.

Catherine Lamb stars as Katie, an intelligent middle class (her parents read The Guardian) white girl from Luton. Her older, black boyfriend Abe works in the office at the Vauxhall factory, but manages to walk her home from school most days. The embarrassment the two feel about their success, and their reversed aspirations – to be working on the factory floor with “their kind of people”- colour their every decision, and while moaning about Luton, rather than wanting to escape their situation, all they want to do is fit in.

Trying to impress factory workers Asif and Jake, Abe and Katie get sucked into a chase through Luton, ending up in a siege situation where nobody can back down. All because a kid on a bike knocked Abe’s ice-cream off its cone.

The narrative is constantly interrupted by Katie talking about her family, school and friends in a brilliantly authentic scattergun fashion of teenage conversation. Lighting changes and sound effects mark some, but not all transitions, adding to the shared feeling of confusion and panic building in Katie’s mind. The interruptions piece together Katie’s mental state, with tales of hopelessly helpful parents, bullying, being bullied, revenge and her easy, naïve promiscuity revealing that she is the Bunny in the fox’s eye, not the kid they are chasing.

This all sounds deep and meaningful, but it is also very, very funny. One liners and fantastic stories will have you howling with laughter, in between squirming uncomfortably as the foursome’s actions become more and more sinister.

Catherine Lamb is a convincing teenager, full of coy glances and bubbling energy. Her constant movement ramps up the tension in the quieter moments, and her physicality during the car chase is sublime. The House Of Pain sequence is full of joyful abandon and I think most of the audience wanted to jump up and join her.

The abrupt and ambiguous ending seemed to annoy a few members of the audience, but most, like me, thought it entirely appropriate – Katie chose suspense, and lets the audience imagine which path she takes. Brilliant.

Funny, still fresh, and fantastically written and performed, Bunny is a play well worth seeing.

Footballers’ Wives and Hollyoaks star Phina Oruche brings Identity Crisis to London’s Ovalhouse | 8 – 14 May 2017

Identity Crisis by Phina Oruche

Ovalhouse, 52-54 Kennington Oval, London SE11 5SW

Tuesday 9 th – Sunday 14th May 2017

Press Night: Tuesday 9 th May, 7.45pm

Following highly successful runs at the Edinburgh Fringe 2016, International Slavery Museum Liverpool, and The Wardrobe Theatre in Bristol, Identity Crisis by Phina Oruche (ITV’s Footballers’ Wives, Channel 4’s Hollyoaks) transfers to London’s Ovalhouse. This hilariously funny one-woman show explores identity struggles that are common to us all.

The play was born out of a real life story of the sudden death of Oruche’s 19-year-old niece in her home in 2011 from a brain aneurysm. This distressing time was followed by a series of racial and international incidents happening throughout the world and in Oruche’s life. Identity Crisis helped her turn a mess into a message

Identity Crisis focuses on nine characters all of whom are having their own identity crises; they are black, white, old, young, male and female. The audience are taken through sixty images of Oruche when she worked in the world of fashion, providing an illuminating exposition of life on the catwalk. Starting with the media’s telling of when tragedy struck, this laugh-out-loud show examines Oruche’s own observations on others conceptions of black people in the media via her life as she worked as a fashion model, actress, radio presenter and then writer.

Through its simple staging, the cast is brought to life; from Amy Tan, a working-class white girl with a Scouse brow and a taste for spray tans and black lads, to Antonio de Silva, a football crazy Italian living in LA who is missing his mum.

Phina Oruche comments, I created Identity Crisis for two reasons. My life stopped when tragedy struck and I plunged into a deep, dark, interminable grief. The range of emotions and the questions I posed about my life and its value at times made me feel like I was in a crisis. This show has given me the freedom to play characters I would never get cast as. All my characters are vulnerable, flawed, and struggling with who they are. Identity Crisis has proved cathartic to me and has restored my joy and faith in humanity.

In addition to the run at Ovalhouse, Phina Oruche will bring Identity Crisis to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017.

Stellar cast announced for award-winning Pete ‘n’ Keely | Tristan Bates Theatre

Pete ‘n’ Keely

Tristan Bates Theatre, 1a Tower Street, London WC2H 9NP

Tuesday 2 nd – Saturday 20th May 2017

Press Night: Thursday 4th May 2017, 7.30pm

The European Premiere of the off-Broadway musical hit Pete ‘n’ Keely comes to Tristan Bates Theatre – a string of hits, a cast of two, ‘Forever Plaid’ meets ‘I Do, I Do’. Katie Kerr (Little Shop of Horrors, Menier Chocolate Factory; Fat Pig, Comedy Theatre; Sweeney Todd, English National Opera) and David Bardsley (Titanic, Charing Cross Theatre; Guys and Dolls, National Theatre; The Fix, Donmar Warehouse) lead this award-winning musical, featuring unforgettable renditions of the era’s popular favourites.

It’s 1968. America’s Swingin’ Sweethearts, Pete Bartel and Keely Stevens, are performing live on national television! The only catch? They haven’t spoken to each other in five years. Through a non-stop parade of song hits from the 50s and 60s – highlighted by elaborately staged flashbacks – Pete and Keely relive the roller coaster ride that got them where they are today… divorced! Pete and Keely have some unfinished business and the tension bubbling beneath the show’s glitzy surface threatens to boil over at any moment in a confrontation that will definitely not be ready for prime time.

As the inevitable blow-up gets closer, the songs become increasingly double- edged. History repeats itself, live and in full colour, as Pete and Keely head towards a conclusion that’s at once uproariously funny and surprisingly touching.

Director Matthew Gould (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Arts Theatre; The Glass Protégé, The Park Theatre; I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On The Road, Jermyn Street Theatre) comments From the moment I was introduced to Pete ‘n’ Keely last year all my childhood memories of illicitly watching American comedy sketch on my tiny black and white TV in my bedroom came flooding back. Memories that were in black and white but now will be realised in full bodied 60s colour as we embrace the joy, laughter and sheer bloody talent of Pete and Keely as they reunite for one final TV spectacular.

Stylishness and charm few Broadway musicals can begin to match (New York Magazine).




Northern Broadsides and New Vic Theatre to visit York Theatre Royal with a swashbuckling new adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac


Tuesday 11 – Saturday 15 April



Northern Broadsides have joined forces with the award-winning New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, and will be visiting York Theatre Royal with an exciting new adaptation by award-winning playwright Deborah McAndrew (An August Bank Holiday Lark) of Edmond Rostand’s classic romantic comedy Cyrano de Bergerac. It is directed by Northern Broadsides resident director Conrad Nelson.

Cyrano is a brilliant poet and dashing musketeer who is deeply in love with the beautiful Roxane. Afraid of revealing his feelings – for who could love a man with such an enormous nose – he woos her from afar with heartfelt declarations of love, delivered to Roxane from the mouth of the handsome Christian. Cyrano’s exquisite poetry captures her heart, but is it Christian or Cyrano who wins the prize of love?

Set in the golden age of musketeers, Deborah McAndrew’s lively new adaptation brings fresh vigour to this swashbuckling tale of unrequited love.

Add to this Northern Broadsides’ musical panache, acclaimed charisma and exuberant performance style and you have a delightful evening of pure drama that will lift your spirits and make your heart ache.

Resident Director, Conrad Nelson is renowned for his bold approach to comedy, eliciting exquisite performances from the cast and bringing freshness, immediacy and vitality to classic texts that is unparalleled, resulting in highly accessible productions. Nelson says: “The adaptation embraces the poeticism of Rostand’s drama … in this vibrant, funny, romantic and heartbreaking adaptation. Debbie McAndrew has created a carefully crafted version that marries the energy and vibrancy of youth with the romance and classicism of the original.”


“Northern Broadsides sniff out a winner” The Guardian


“Delightful and passionate…” The Stage


“funny, bawdy romp which has exuberance and passion at its core.” British Theatre Guide


Tickets for Cyrano are priced at £30 – £14 and can be purchased at the Box Office on 01904 623 568 or online at

Performances: Evenings, Tuesday – Saturday 7.30 pm, matinees Thursday 2pm, Saturday 2.30pm







The Bush Theatre reopens this week following the biggest capital project in the theatre’s history. The £4.3million, year-long revitalisation of the venue by award-winning architects Haworth Tompkins has turned an old library built at the turn of the 20th Century into a fully accessible, modernised cultural building.

Upon re-opening, the new building will be more sustainable and entirely accessible, with a new entrance, front-of-house area and exterior garden terrace to the main street.  A new studio space and attic rehearsal room will allow the Bush to work with a further 200 artists each year and allow over 50% increase in produced, co-produced and commissioned productions.  This is a remarkable growth for the theatre since moving from above a pub on Shepherd’s Bush Green in 2011.

Madani Younis, Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre said:

“Following this landmark capital project, we couldn’t be more excited to re-open our building to the world. We’re looking forward to welcoming audiences old and new to this incredible space. It was important to me that we re-open with a week of celebrations that embrace the diversity of the world we live in.  ‘Black Lives, Black Words’ is a bold statement about one of the most important movements of our time: #BlackLivesMatter. This, followed by Rajiv Joseph’s award-winning ‘Guards at the Taj’ directed by Jamie Lloyd, sets the tone of the stories we want to tell in our beautiful new home.”

Steve Tompkins, Director of Haworth Tompkins, said:

“Working with the Bush Theatre team over the past few years has been a real pleasure. It has been particularly interesting for us to work with successive artistic directors in evolving the theatre’s physical identity to meet changing needs and priorities. We’re looking forward to the building coming back to life as audiences, artists and staff make themselves at home again.”

The Bush redevelopment has been driven by the aim of realising Artistic Director Madani Younis’ vision for a theatre that reflects the diversity and vibrancy of London today.  The new building will nurture, develop and showcase the best of new artists and their work; reflecting local, national and international communities and encouraging the diversification of artists and artistic leadership in the UK.  The new studio will become a home for emerging artists and producers including associate artists Milk Presents, Deafinitely Theatre and ANTLER.  They will work alongside three Project 2036 practitioners (a programme that will offer a Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee playwright, director and producer a £10,000 bursary each year) and the Bush’s Emerging Writers’ Group.

Two local organisations will also join the Bush as Community Associate Companies where they will form a long-term collaborative, creative relationship with the theatre and work closely with artists to create a centre piece project.  Nubian Life Resource Centre, a care provider for African and Caribbean older people living with complex health conditions, will work with Cressida Brown, Artistic Director of political theatre company Offstage Theatre.  Shepherds Bush Families Project, an organisation who work with families in housing need, will work with physical theatre ensemble Tangled Feet.


Black Lives, Black Words, Theatre, 23 – 25 March
The new building will be launched by a week of celebrations from 18 March.  At the heart of this is Black Lives, Black Words, a series of short plays in the main theatre responding to the question ‘Do black lives matter today?’  Initiated by award-winning American playwright Reginald Edmund, the international project has explored the black diaspora’s experiences in some of the largest multicultural cities in the world, Chicago, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Baltimore and London.

The Bush Theatre will contribute four new commissions by black British writers to the Black Lives, Black Words canon.  These are: The Interrogation of Sandra Bland by Mojisola Adebayo,My White Best Friend by Rachel De-Lahay, The Principles of Cartography by Winsome Pinnock and Womb by Somalia Seaton. The programme will also include previously performed pieces by American writers: #Matter by Idris Goodwin and The Bitter Earth by Harrison David Rivers.  The plays will be performed by actors and, in the spirit of protest, most of the audience will stand and move with the performance.  Poet Anthony Anaxagorou will perform his poems If I Told You,This is not a Poem and Master’s Revenge each night.  An anthology of all the works performed as well as a select number from the existing Black Lives, Black Words canon will be published by Oberon Books and edited by Reginald Edmund.

Guards at the Taj, Theatre, 7 April – 20 May, Press Night 12 April
Jamie Lloyd directs the European premiere of Guards at the Taj, written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph and designed by Soutra GilmourDanny Ashok will play Humayun and Darren Kuppan will play Babur.  Guards at the Taj takes an enduring legend about the Taj Mahal and prompts audiences to explore questions about art, privilege and duty. The play premiered at the Atlantic Theater in New York to great acclaim in 2015 and is the recipient of both the Obie Award for Best New American Play and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play.

A Bush Theatre, Up In Arms and Farnham Maltings co-production
While We’re Here, Studio, 26 April – 27 May
The world premiere of Barney NorrisWhile We’re Here directed by Alice Hamilton will open the new Bush Theatre Studio.  Co-Directors of the multi award-winning touring company Up In Arms, Norris and Hamilton last collaborated at the Bush on the critically acclaimed Visitors, for which Norris won the Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright. The play will be performed by Tessa Peake-Jones and Andrew French.

Hir, Theatre, 15 June – 22 July, Press Night 20 June
This explosive play by Taylor Mac (24-Decade History of Popular Music) one of America’s most dynamic and distinctive voices comes to London in a new production by Nadia Fall (Disgraced). Mac, an artist at the forefront of alternative responses to American culture, subverts all notions of the modern American family in this clash of wild absurdity and stark realism.

Nassim, Studio, 24 – 29 July
Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour returns to the Bush with an audacious theatrical experiment that explores the power of language to unite us in unknown, uncertain times.  Directed by Bush Associate Director Omar Elerian, Nassim will feature the playwright himself.

Ramona Tells Jim, Studio, 20 September – 21 October
Sophie Wu (Kick Ass, Fresh Meat) will be the first graduate of the Bush’s Emerging Writers’ Group, which launched in 2015, to have a full commission produced at the Bush, with the premiere of Ramona Tells Jim which will be directed by Mel Hillyard.

A Bush Theatre and Sheffield Theatres co-production
Of Kith and Kin,Theatre,18 October – 25 November, Press Night 20 October
Sheffield Theatres Artistic Director Robert Hastie (My Night With Reg, Splendour) directs this gripping new comedy by Chris Thompson (Albion).  The pair previously collaborated onCarthage at the Finborough Theatre.  Of Kith and Kin, a Bush Theatre and Sheffield Theatres co-production, poses the question what does family mean in the 21st century?




Simon Beaufoy’s hilarious award-winning production of The Full Monty brings its UK tour to a close at Sheffield Lyceum, from Monday 3 – Saturday 15 April, with Gary Lucy, returning to the Steel City, in the role of Gaz.


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 and with a heart-felt story that still resonates today.

Led by Gary Lucy (Danny Pennant in EastEnders, DS Will Fletcher in The Bill, Kyle Pascoe in Footballer’s Wives, Luke Morgan in Hollyoaks, winner of Dancing on Ice) the cast also includes Anthony Lewis (Marc Reynolds in Emmerdale) as Lomper, Andrew Dunn (best known as Tony in Dinnerladies and for his regular appearances playing Alastair Campbell on Bremner, Bird and Fortune) as Gerald, Louis Emerick (Mick Johnson in Brookside and PC Walsh in Last of the Summer Wine) as Horse, Chris Fountain (best known for his role as Justin Burton in Hollyoaks, runner-up of Dancing on Ice) as Guy and Kai Owen (best known for his portrayal of Rhys in Torchwood and recently Pete in Hollyoaks) as Dave.

Packed full of iconic songs from the film by Donna Summer, Hot Chocolate and Tom Jones, drop absolutely everything to get a ticket!

The Full Monty comes to the Lyceum Theatre from Monday 3 – Saturday 15 April.  Tickets can be purchased from Sheffield Theatres’ Box Office in-person, by phone on 0114 249 6000 or online at and are priced from £21.00.  Concessions and group discounts are available.



The Lowry to dazzle theatregoers with unique, digital art installation commissioned from Marshmallow Laser Feast

The Lowry to dazzle theatregoers
with unique, digital art installation commissioned from
Marshmallow Laser Feast

The Lowry’s vast 1,700-seat Lyric theatre is set to be taken over by a visually stunning feast of light, sound, colour and technology.

Before select theatre performances, audiences will experience IRIS – a unique digital art installation, created using the latest in robotic and laser technology. This technology is manipulated to form a mass of light that creates moving shapes out of the darkness. A performing light sculpture that will mesmerise audiences with its hypnotic beauty, it is by one of Europe’s pioneers of digital art, Marshmallow Laser Feast – a London-based creative studio that harnesses technology to launch visually striking and emotionally charged installations.

IRIS is a Week 53 commission by The Lowry, the latest in an impressive programme of newly-commissioned artworks specifically for The Lowry’s biennial Week 53 Festival and interim years.

Premiering with free public viewings over the weekend of 27 – 28 May, its pre curtain-up run will commence the following week – the first event being the stand-up comedian, Jon Richardson.

The decision to present Marshmallow’s work in the void of The Lowry’s main theatre auditorium is part of The Lowry’s commitment to introducing new art forms to its visitors.

Julia Fawcett OBE, chief executive of The Lowry, said: “Digital is now a very well established artistic genre. It has a huge representation in the cultural calendars of places like Amsterdam, Berlin and Toronto and this commission forms part of our drive to lead Salford, Greater Manchester and the wider-North West’s offering in this field.

“Marshmallow Laser Feast has an excellent reputation for delivering work that pushes boundaries and redefines expectations – so they were the natural partner for this project. Our hope is that by presenting their work to audiences attending performances of everything from stand-up comedians to contemporary dance we can introduce, from scratch, an art form they might not have ever considered before.”

Ersin Han Ersin, creative director of Marshmallow Laser Feast, said: “Immersing audiences using technology can be tracked right back to the ancient Romans, who used puppeteering to make actors look like gods on stage, technology in the theatre space has evolved but our relationship with the stage largely remains the same – we sit and look forward.

“The beauty of IRIS, a kinetic light sculpture, and our collaboration with The Lowry is that we manipulate our relationship with the stage by making the whole auditorium our canvas, the architecture and audience become part of the performance and evolves our relationship with the stage from ephemeral to tangible.”

People wishing to view the artwork that are not attending another show at The Lowry can do so at special, free viewings on: (The piece lasts for approximately seven minutes and will be shown every 15 minutes.)

27-28 May (11am – 4pm)
10, 17 & 24 June (11am – 12pm)
8 & 14 July (11am 12pm)

Theatre Témoin’s The Marked to tour the UK’s regional homeless hotspots

Theatre Témoin presents

The Marked

International Tour: Friday 31st March – Wednesday 14th June 2017

Following 5-star sell-out successes at Edinburgh Fringe 2016 and an acclaimed run at London’s Ovalhouse, Theatre Témoin’s The Marked will tour the UK’s regional homeless ‘hotspots’, using mask, puppetry and physical theatre to navigate a haunting, mystical world inspired by real-life stories of homelessness.

As a boy, Jack lived in a world of monsters and invisible guardians, as he fought to protect the people he loved. Now grown up, his life on the streets of London is less fantastical. But when a ghost from his past turns up, Jack must harness the power of forgotten myths to defeat her.

At its heart, The Marked is a story about the link between trauma in childhood and homelessness in adulthood, exploring the vivid internal landscapes that we create and discover through pain and healing.

This is an emotional rollercoaster ride that pulls no punches…there are touches of humour that are welcome relief… The three cast members…give stellar performances in a moving, thoughtprovoking play (British Theatre Guide).

In 2016, Government street counts estimated around 4,134 people sleeping rough on any one night across England. Since 2010, homelessness has increased nationwide by 55%, with an unprecedented 100% increase in rough sleepers in London. With ongoing cuts to services, this trend is expected to continue. Theatre Témoin feel that it is vital that the most vulnerable in our communities have a voice on stage.

The Marked was developed alongside community consultants with experience of homelessness from St. Mungo’s Recovery College and Cardboard Citizens, who participated in Mask Theatre workshops delivered with the generous support of Big Lottery’s Awards for All scheme.

Theatre Témoin has an engagement-centred approach to devising, working with community partners and consultants at every stage of the process. Devising Director Ailin Conant comments, While researching The Marked and listening to the stories of people experiencing homelessness, it became increasingly clear to me that for some people fantastical beliefs are a matter of urgency, of vital necessity. When you have lived through powerful experiences, you need an equally powerful language and framework to describe those experiences.

The Marked has been developed in co-production with Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, with support from The Wellcome Trust, Arts Council England, Awards for All, The Pleasance Islington, Queen Mary University of London, and Camden People’s Theatre.

Tour Dates

31st March The Newcastle Puppetry Festival, Northern Stage, Newcastle, 8pm

4th May Courtyard Theatre, Hereford, 7.30pm

11th – 13th May Tobacco Factory, Bristol 8pm (2pm matinee on Fri 12th)

19th May Hat Factory, Luton, 7.30pm

20th May The Lowry, Manchester, 8pm 4th June The Hub, Salford, 5pm

7th June Norwich Playhouse, 7.30pm

13th – 14th June Mini Midi Maxi Festival, Norway