Arnold Ridley’s The Ghost Train pulls into Darlington Civic Theatre from Tuesday 30 June to Saturday 4 July


Arnold Ridley’s The Ghost Train pulls into Darlington Civic Theatre from Tuesday 30 June to Saturday 4 July.

Talking Scarlet theatre company brings a star-studded cast to Darlington Civic Theatre as part of a spine-tingling summer thriller season.

The Ghost Train is the classic comedy thriller that follows a group of travellers (including a newlywed couple, an estranged couple, a self-indulgent young dandy and an elderly spinster with a parrot) stranded in the waiting room of an isolated railway station on a dark and stormy night. They are warned by the stationmaster that they will die if they see the ghostly train that haunts the line. Ridley’s inspiration came after becoming stranded overnight at Mangotsfield station in Bristol, now a disused station on the Midland Railway main line.

The production stars Jeffrey Holland (Hi-de-Hi!, You Rang, M’Lord?, Oh, Doctor Beeching!), Tom Butcher (The Bill, Doctors), Sophie Powles (Emmerdale), Judy Buxton (General Hospital, On the Up) and David Janson (Get Some In!, ‘Allo ‘Allo!, Keeping Up Appearances).

The Ghost Train runs at Darlington Civic Theatre from Tuesday 30 June to Saturday 4 July. Followed the week after by Sherlock Holmes and The Ripper Murders from Tuesday 7 to Saturday 11 July.

Tickets* for both productions are priced from £12.60 with a double ticket offer to see both thrillers and save up to £10.

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

*All ticket prices include a £1 restoration levy.


image-one-beverley-knight-with-tickets-for-troops-members-and-team-v6Queen of British Soul, Beverley Knight invited troops and their families to watch her West End hit show Memphis the Musical on 25th June in celebration of Tickets For Troops’ 750,000th donated ticket.

The charity has now distributed ‎three quarters of a million FREE tickets for sports, music, theatre, cultural and entertainment events across the UK.

The charity recognise the troops’ commitment, drive and dedication by offering them, on behalf of their donors, tickets to events which they can share with their loved ones, as a small acknowledgement of the work they do on our behalf.

The milestone, which also falls ahead of Armed Forces Day (27th June) has been marked at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London by Beverley Knight, the British recording artist, radio presenter and musical theatre actress.

Beverley has a very personal connection with the Armed Forces with a member of her extended family having lost both his legs and left arm in an IED attack whilst on patrol in Afghanistan in 2009.

She approached the charity directly to ask how she could help with a donation of tickets and was delighted to be able to help them celebrate their milestone and meet so many troops and their guests before they watched her show.

Beverley Knight said: “It is a real honour to meet so many brave servicemen and women and be able to perform in front of them in such an important week for the Armed Forces.

Tickets For Troops provides thousands of opportunities for troops to enjoy theatre shows, sports matches, music gigs and days out with their families and friends and I am very proud to be supporting such a fabulous charity.”

Veronica Bamford, Director of Operations at Tickets For Troops said: “We are extremely proud to have been able to distribute 750,000 free tickets to our marvellous Armed Forces which clearly demonstrates the enormous support and respect our fabulous donors and UK industries have for our military men and women.

We are also very grateful to Beverley Knight for helping us mark this occasion and hope our members enjoyed watching her musical, Memphis the Musical last night in the West End.”

Sgt Major Kevin Murray, Royal Military Police who met Beverley before the show said: “It was a fantastic privilege to be in the audience for Memphis the Musical tonight, Ms Knight’s warm words prior to curtain up, acknowledging her appreciation and support for HM Forces was truly humbling. She and the entire cast delivered a stellar and very moving performance. Truly outstanding.”

Beverley Knight stars as club singer ‘Felicia Farrell’ in the award-winning MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL, a role she originated in the West End. From 6 July, Beverley and the cast will be joined by recording artist Matt Cardle in the role of ‘Huey Calhoun’.

Inspired by true events from the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL ( follows the fame and forbidden love of a radio DJ who wants to change the world and a club singer who is ready for her big break.

Photo credit: Rupert Frere



On Monday 8 June, there were major cast changes for MAMMA MIA! in London. Mazz Murray joined the cast as Tanya, Jo Napthine as Rosie, Gabriella Williams as Sophie Sheridan and James Darch as Sky. Also joining the cast from 8 June were Louise Young as Ali, Stephanie Fearon as Lisa, Dan Partridge as Pepper and Rory Phelan as Eddie. Dianne Pilkington continues to star as Donna Sheridan, with Richard Trinder as Sam, Alasdair Harvey as Harry and Charles Daish as Bill. At certain performances, the role of Donna Sheridan is played by Shona White.

Mazz Murray is the daughter of songwriter Mitch Murray (who won two Ivor Novello Awards and wrote or co-wrote five UK and three US chart-topping records). She makes up one third of vocal group Woman, who have supported Earth Wind and Fire and Billy Ocean on their UK national tours. As an actress, Mazz played Killer Queen in We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre for seven years, and other theatre includes Maureen in the UK tour of Rent, the UK tour and West End production of Fame and the UK tour of Smokey Joe’s Café.

Jo Napthine’s theatre credits include Made in Dagenham (Adelphi Theatre), Urinetown (St James Theatre), Sister Act and The Sound of Music (London Palladium), The Woman in White (Palace Theatre), Jerry Springer – The Opera (National and Cambridge Theatre), Kiss Me Kate (Victoria Palace Theatre) and Les Misérables (Palace Theatre).

MAMMA MIA! marks Gabriella Williams’s West End debut. She will be graduating this summer from Arts Educational Schools. She made her professional debut in Carrie at Southwark Playhouse. James Darch’s previous theatre work includes White Christmas at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Kiss Me Kate at the Royal Albert Hall and the UK tour of Cats.

Also in the cast from 8 June are Tom Bowen, Adam Clayton-Smith, Jasmin Colangelo, Kate Coysten, Stephen John Davis, Katy Day, Olivia Kate Holding, George Ioannides, Alex Jordan-Mills, Craig Anthony Kelly, Sorelle Marsh, George Miller, Stacey Leanne Mills, Fergal McGoff, Ella Nonini, Katy Osborne, Robbie Scotcher, Brad Veitch, Caitlin Ward and Sasha Wareham.

The global smash hit musical MAMMA MIA! at London’s Novello Theatre has now extended its booking period until 23 April 2016, taking the show through to its 18th playing year in London.

From West End to global phenomenon, MAMMA MIA! is Judy Craymer’s ingenious vision of staging the story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs with an enchanting tale of family and friendship unfolding on a Greek island paradise. To date, it has been seen by more than 54 million people in 49 productions in 16 different languages grossing more than $2 billion at the box office.

MAMMA MIA! originally opened in London at the Prince Edward Theatre on 6 April 1999, before transferring to the Prince of Wales Theatre in 2004. The musical re-opened at the Novello Theatre in 2012.

The London production of MAMMA MIA!, which celebrated its 16th birthday on 6 April, has been seen by more than 10% of the entire UK population. The show has celebrated over 6,500 performances in London and has broken box office records in all three of its London homes. In 2011, it became the first Western musical ever to be staged in Mandarin in the People’s Republic of China.

Produced by Judy Craymer, MAMMA MIA! The Movie, starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan, is the highest grossing live action musical film of all time.

With music & lyrics by Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus, MAMMA MIA! is written by Catherine Johnson, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast. The production is designed by Mark Thompson, with lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Andrew Bruce & Bobby Aitken, and musical supervision, additional material & arrangements by Martin Koch.

MAMMA MIA! is produced by Judy Craymer, Richard East & Björn Ulvaeus for Littlestar in association with Universal.


Novello Theatre


London WC2B 4LD

Monday to Friday Prices: £65.00, £37.50, £20.00, £15.00

Saturday Prices: £67.50*, £52.50, £39.50, £25.00, £15.00

*£69.50 from 26 October 2015

Please note: Saturday pricing applies to all performances 25-30 May, 27 July-29 August and 26-30 October 2015, 28 December 2015 – 2 January 2016, 15-20 February and 25 March – 9 April 2016

A £2.25 per ticket booking fee applies to tickets booked online, and a £2.75 per ticket booking fee applies to tickets booked by phone. No booking fee on tickets purchased in person at the Novello Theatre Box Office.

All prices include £1.25 restoration levy.

Early Bird Pricing – anyone booking four months or more in advance of the performance they are attending (Monday to Thursday performances only) will be able to purchase £65 tickets for £45, a saving of £20 on the regular top price, but only through Delfont Mackintosh Theatres, either online, in person at the theatre, or by calling the Novello Theatre Box Office.

Performance Times:

Monday – Saturday 7.45pm

Matinees – Thursday & Saturday 3.00pm*

*extra Tuesday matinees on 11 August & 27 October 2015 & 16 February 2016

Christmas 2015/16 Performance Schedule

Monday 21 December 7.45pm

Tuesday 22 December 3.00pm and 7.45pm

Wednesday 23 December 3.00pm and 7.45pm

Thursday 24 December NO PERFORMANCE

Friday 25 December NO PERFORMANCE

Saturday 26 December 3.00pm and 7.45pm

Monday 28 December 3.00pm and 7.45pm

Tuesday 29 December 3.00pm and 7.45pm

Wednesday 30 December 3.00pm and 7.45pm

Thursday 31 December 3.00pm

Friday 1 January 7.45pm

Saturday 2 January 3.00pm and 7.45pm

Currently booking to 23 April 2016

The performance lasts 2 hours and 35 minutes (including a 15-minute interval)

Box Office: 0844 482 5115


Charlie-And-The-Chocolate-Factory--At-The-Theatre-Royal,-Drury-Lane_1435317046The award-winning West End production of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Sam Mendes, last night marked its second anniversary with a gala performance and party for cast, crew and special guests.

Zachary Loonie (one of the four talented young actors who plays Charlie Bucket) led the curtain call at the end of the show with Jonathan Slinger (Willy Wonka) and fellow cast members, before all attending a party at Sway Bar Holborn.

Also present were guests Kara Tointon, Hannah Tointon, Tom Pellereau, Indira Varma, Claudie Blakely, Killian Donnelly and more.

A new trailer for the show is available to view at

Full-Cast-And-Crew-At-The-2nd-Anniversary-Gala-Performance-Of-Charlie-And-The-Chocolate-Factory._1435315187Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has quickly become one of the West End’s most popular and successful stage musicals. It won two Olivier awards in April 2014, and has broken records at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, where it has been seen by over 1,400,000 people since it opened in June 2013. It is currently taking bookings until 4 June 2016.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is directed by Sam Mendes. Featuring ingenious stagecraft, the wonder of the original story that has captivated the world for almost 50 years is brought to life with music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, a book by award-winning playwright and adaptor David Greig, set and costume designs by Mark Thompson and choreography by Peter Darling.

The Official Cast Recording album is available on Sony Records, on CD and download.

This world premiere musical is produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Neal Street Productions and Langley Park Productions.

Jonathan-Slinger-(Willy-Wonka,-Centre)-With-Noah-Crump,-Johnny-Evans-Hutchison,-Zachary-Loonie-A_1435315226Full cast: Jonathan Slinger, Barry James, Ross Dawes, Josefina Gabrielle, Jasna Ivir, Paul J. Medford, Lara Denning, Derek Hagen, Roni Page, Myra Sands, Kraig Thornber, Joe Allen, Meg Astin, Joel Baylis, Andy Brady, Simon Campbell, Georgia Carling, Andrew Carthy, Collette Coleman, Dan Cooke, Divine Cresswell, Billy Cullum, Connor Dowling, Kelly Edwards, Gemma Fuller, Kate Graham, Sam Lathwood, Lucinda Lawrence, Mark Oxtoby, Matthew Rowland, Rebecca Seale, Steven Serlin, Gregory Sims, Robert Tregoning, Tara Verloop, Michelle White, Mark Williamson.
Box Office: 0844 858 8877
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, WC2B 5JF
Booking until 4 June 2016


DianaVickers-newsX Factor finalist and star of the stage version of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Diana Vickers will star in the role of Janet Weiss alongside Emmerdale actor, Ben Freeman, who will play the role of Brad Majors. S Club 7 star, Paul Cattermole, will join Ben and Diana by playing Eddie and Dr. Scott. Following his huge success in over 900 performances of the 40th Anniversary Global Tour of The Rocky Horror Show, Kristian Lavercombe returns as Riff Raff. Further casting to be announced soon.

Diana Vickers (Janet) first came to public attention in 2008 when she was a finalist on The X Factor, before signing a record deal with RCA Records and getting a number one single and album. After her second album, Diana starred in the West End production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, for which she received excellent reviews from the press and the role won her the Theatregoers’ Choice Awards ‘London Newcomer of the Year’. She then went on to star in the West End production of Duck House alongside Ben Miller and Simon Shepherd.

Ben Freeman (Brad) is best known for playing the role of Scott Windsor in Emmerdale, but he also starred on stage in the West End productions of Legally Blonde, Dreamcoats and Petticoats and Wicked. He has also starred as The Fonz in the UK touring production of Happy Days.

Paul Cattermole (Eddie / Dr. Scott) has just completed the sold out S Club 7 Bring It All Back 2015 UK Tour with the other members of S Club 7 after they reformed at the start of the year. The group initially shot to fame in 1999 and had four number one singles and a number one album, as well as a series of TV shows including Miami 7, LA 7, Hollywood 7 and Viva S Club. Paul and the rest of S Club 7 also performed at Party At The Palace as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubliee celebrations on 1 June 2002.

Kristian Lavercombe (Riff Raff) delighted fans when he starred in over 900 performances of The Rocky Horror Show as Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Show’s 2013 / 2014 40th Anniversary World Tour in 2013, before continuing in the role as part of the global 40th Anniversary Tour.

Harry Potter play to open at Palace Theatre in 2016

JK Rowling’s boy wizard will hit the stage in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, written by Jack Thorne and directed by John Tiffany at the Palace Theatre, London in Summer 2016.

Thorne and Tiffany worked together on John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In, which ran at the Apollo Theatre last year, and are now set to tell the story of Potter’s pre-Hogwarts years in a production co-produced by Rowling along with Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender.

According to the Daily Mail, one of the play’s themes will be exploring what happened to Harry’s parents before they were killed by Lord Voldemort.

John Tiffany’s other directing credits include Once, Black Watch and The Glass Menagerie on Broadway. Jack Thorne’s other plays include Bunny, When You Cure Meand an adaptation of Friedrich Duerrenmatt’s The Physicists.

The Harry Potter series, comprising of seven books, has sold over 450 million copies since the first one – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – was released in 1997.


The world famous Royal Shakespeare Company will return to Newcastle next week with an energetic new production for 8-13 year olds – The Famous Victories of Henry V. The production plays the Theatre Royal on Tuesday 30 June, and in schools in the North East between 1-3 July.


FVH 0259The Famous Victories of Henry V is a 90 minute adventure condensing the three great plays of Henry IV Parts I and II and Henry V, and is the perfect first encounter with Shakespeare for young audiences.


Using Shakespeare’s original language, The Famous Victories of Henry V introduces us to notorious bad boy Prince Hal as he swaps his rebellious life on the streets of London for the battlefields of France to become one of the most famous heroes in British history. Hal’s epic journey into adulthood will lead its young audience through a life of scandal, parties, friendships, family feuds, rebellion and new responsibilities, ending in glorious victory as the once infamous Prince of England becomes the brave and noble King Henry V.


The production takes place in the 600th anniversary year since the battle of Agincourt, and complements the RSC’s recent History plays.  The title of The Famous Victories is taken from an early play that may have inspired Shakespeare to write theHenry plays.

The cast includes: Daniel Abbott (Mistress Quickly/King of France); Martin Bassindale (Henry V); Nicholas Gerard-Martin(Dericke/Constable); Dale Mathurin (John/Warwick); Evelyn Miller (Rakehell/Hotspur/Sheriff/Dauphin); Leigh Quinn(Poins/Prince John/Katherine); and Simon Yadoo (Falstaff/Henry IV/Erpingham).


Directed by Owen Horsley, the production celebrates the RSC’s commitment to creating live theatre for young audiences and is part of its First Encounters with Shakespeare programme.


Owen was recently Assistant Director on Gregory Doran’s productions of Richard II and Henry IV Parts I and II.  He is Artistic Director of Eyestring Theatre Company, and in 2010 became Associate Director for Cheek by Jowl, after being Declan Donnellan’s Assistant Director on a number of productions.


Talking about the production, Owen said: “The Famous Victories of Henry V weaves Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I and II andHenry V together to produce the ultimate coming of age story.  Our production, which tells of how the wayward Prince Hal becomes a heroic and valiant King, is bold, dynamic and fun.  With the help of our young audience we hope to create a lively show that celebrates the power of imagination and the wonder of theatre.”


Other members of the creative team include: Simon Anthony Wells (designer), Jon Lawrence (Sound), Polly Bennett(Movement), and Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown (fights).


The tour of The Famous Victories of Henry V forms part of the RSC’s Learning and Performance Network (LPN), a three year touring and education partnership with ten regional theatres and their local schools including:  Hull Truck, Hull; New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under Lyme; Theatre Royal, Newcastle upon Tyne; Curve, Leicester; and the Hall for Cornwall, Truro.


Erica Whyman, RSC Deputy Artistic Director, said:  “Many of us have our first encounter with Shakespeare at school and that experience can define our attitude to live theatre and to Shakespeare for the rest of our lives.  This tour brings the thrill and excitement of these extraordinary plays right to the heart of schools, regional theatres and communities.  Most importantly, those schools and theatres are long term partners with us here at the RSC, all working to ensure children and young people have vivid, accessible and memorable experiences of theatre and Shakespeare.”


The Famous Victories of Henry V appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal for two performances only on Tuesday 30 June 2015 at 10am & 1.30pm. Tickets are available priced at £11, and only £6 for under 18s (save 50p per ticket by booking online) and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or select your own seat and book online


There are also public performances of the production in the following schools:
St Michael’s Primary School
Wednesday 1 July, 9.30am, 1.30pm

Sacred Heart Catholic High School
Thursday 2 July, 7pm

Crook Primary School, County Durham
Friday 3 July, 6pm


Sara Pascoe joins line-up at Manchester International Festival

92ede08de5891dd9_orgManchester International Festival invites Sara Pascoe to perform her latest show The Museum of Robot Pussycats at the Pavilion Theatre at Festival Square on 10 July 2015.

An exploration of the stories that nobody wants to tell; the first drafts, the scribbled-outs and the haven’t-got-an-endings. Learn about the girl whose face was so oily that the U.S. went to war with her, the man who tips over bins, and what happens to monkeys when you replace their mothers with robots. NOT TO MENTION PUSSY CATS.

9b631824f8ec40a3_orgSara Pascoe is an acclaimed comedian and actress who began performing stand-up in 2007. In 2014 Sara performed at the Edinburgh Festival and toured the UK for the first time with the show Sara Pascoe Vs History, the show was subsequently nominated for the prestigious Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award 2014 for Best Comedy Show. Sara’s television credits include Stand Up For The Week, The Thick of It, Mock The Week, Live at the Apollo, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, Campus, Being Human, Twenty Twelve and W1A. Additionally Sara will be bringing out a book next spring, published by Faber and Faber.



Sara Pascoe – The Museum of Robot Pussycats
Pavilion Theatre
Friday 10 July 7.30pm
£12 (£5 off for Limited Concessions) – Wheelchair Accessible
Box office: | 0844 871 7654
MIF15 Members priority booking Friday 26 June 10am
0844 871 7658

Tickets go on sale on Saturday 27 June 10am

Gigi at The Tabard Theatre

GIGI by Colette and Anita Loos

Tabard Theatre, London W4 28th October– 21st November 2015

The Tabard Theatre in West London plays host to Colette and Anita Loos’ GIGI for a limited run, Wednesday 28th October – Saturday 21st November. Last seen in London almost 60 years ago, this production is directed by veteran New York and London producer/director Mark Giesser.

Paris, 1900. Bright, vivacious Gigi lives the carefree life of a schoolgirl in a family of modest means. She particularly enjoys card games with her much-older friend Gaston, a wealthy playboy. But her life is a bit different from that of an ordinary sixteen-year-old. Gigi is the next generation of a family of courtesans. Her grandmother and Aunt Alicia, the family matriarch, are determined that Gigi succeed where her mother failed. When Gaston notices more about Gigi than her eagerness to play cards, aunt and grandmother set their sights on an arrangement. Gigi has other ideas about her future. Will she prove as adept at romance as at cards?

‘Mark Giesser’s satirical take on the events leading to the infamous Battle of the Alamo … lights up with moments of inspired lunacy.’ Time Out (4 Stars) on Good Morning, Alamo!

Colette’s classic story was adapted as a Broadway comedy in 1951 by Anita Loos (GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES), which then inspired the film and stage musicals. This original version of GIGI debuted in the West End in 1956. It returns to the professional London stage under the direction of Mark Giesser, whose production of Alan Alda’s RADIANCE played a record-setting run at the Tabard earlier this year.

‘It works quite beautifully … The hands of the director carry the timing to perfection.’

London Theatreviews on RADIANCE: The Passion of Marie Curie

Mark Giesser has written, directed and produced in numerous theatre venues in both London and

New York. London credits include his plays HOW TO BUILD A BETTER TULIP, the UK premiere of CODE OF THE WEST and the world premiere of GOOD MORNING, ALAMO! (Tabard Theatre); the revival of BELL, BOOK & CANDLE (Greenwich Playhouse); the UK premieres of the Abbey Theatre’s BLACKWATER ANGEL (Finborough Theatre) and Alan Alda’s RADIANCE: THE PASSION OF MARIE CURIE. Off-Broadway productions of his plays include HOW TO BUILD A BETTER TULIP, CODE OF THE WEST, HANSEN’S CAB, THE NIGHT THEY BURNED WASHINGTON, PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.

GIGI is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, LTD.



Venue: Tabard Theatre, 2 Bath Road, London W4 1LW

Dates: Wednesday 28th October – Saturday 21st November, 2015

Times: Tuesday – Saturday, 7.30pm; Sunday matinees, 2pm on 8th & 15th November

Press night: Friday 30th October, 7pm

Tickets: £18/ £16 (concessions)

Box Office: 020 8995 6035/


West End musical Motown to hold open auditions

Open auditions will be held for the upcoming West End production of Broadway hit musical Motown.

The show, which follows the career of producer and songwriter Berry Gordy and the creation of Motown Records, opens at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 11 February 2016.

Auditions will take place at the London Welsh Centre (157-163 Gray’s Inn Road, London, WC1X 8UE) on 7 July, with registration from 10am until 1pm, and will give people the opportunity to play the “iconic artists of Motown” in the show.

Featuring hits including “My Girl,” “What’s Going On,” “Dancing in the Street,” “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, the show premiered on Broadway in 2013.

Motown is currently booking until 22 October 2016. Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, it has music supervision by Ethan Popp, co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Bryan Cook, dance arrangements by Zane Mark and music direction by Gareth Weedon.