New production of classic Brecht piece by Lazarus Theatre Company

Lazarus Theatre Company presents

The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht in a version by Frank McGuiness

Tuesday 23 February to Saturday 12 March

A girl must make a choice… to take the child and run, or leave him behind in the fury of civil war.

Brecht’s thrilling and revolutionary play follows a young girl who makes the biggest decision of her life. Set against the back drop of war and mutiny, Grusha seeks refuge and asylum. Her crime: saving the son of the fleeing establishment. Her reward: The Chalk Circle.

This inventive ensemble production draws on Brecht’s pioneering techniques and thrilling text, set to an original score. Launching their 2016 season, The Caucasian Chalk Circle marks Lazarus Theatre’s return to The Jack Studio after their sell out productions of The Revenger’s Tragedy and The Merchant of Venice.

Listings Information

Venue: Brockley Jack Studio Theatre

410 Brockley Road, London, SE4 2DH

Box office:

or 0333 666 3366 (£1.50 fee for phone bookings only)

Dates: Tuesday 23 February to Saturday 12 March 2016

Performances at 7.45pm

Tickets: £14, £12 concessions

(23rd, 24th February all tickets £10)

Theatre website:

Rocky Horror Show Review

Empire Theatre, Sunderland – 15 February 2016

With just a jump to the left and step to the right the Rocky Horror show dances its way into Sunderland this week.  And over 43 years later this tour is still as fresh as ever.

Whilst previous leads have played Frank as sophisticated and mysterious, Liam Tamne gave a fresh, vibrant and brilliantly scandalous performance as Frank ‘n’ Furter, with spot on comic timing.  Excitable like a child in a sweet shop his vocals – especially in his final solo piece – were outstanding and he seemed to love the audience as much as they loved him, interacting well.

The narrator in Rocky Horror can make or break a performance as the interaction with the audience is a crucial part of the show.  Steve Punt is fabulous in the show dealing with the hecklers and shouting, with witty asides and never putting down or insulting the audience.

Brad and Janet are played by Ben Freeman and Diana Vickers, both have excellent voices and portray young and naive with perfect charm.  Paul Cattermole was unfortunately indisposed but Zachary Morris gave us his superb version of Eddie/Dr Scott.

Filling the shoes of Richard O’Brien is Kristian Lavercombe, a near perfect version of Riff Raff.  His mannerisms, acting and comic timing show why he has played the role more times than his creator.

There isn’t a weak link in this show at all, performers, musicians and outstanding production make this one of the best version of Rocky Horror to tour in a long time.

It’s a fan favourite, full of innuendo, an adult pantomime, camper than Christmas, and a guaranteed standing ovation when the audience rises as one to do an encore of the Time Warp.

Time capsule buried by York Theatre Royal’s Youth Theatre under rebuilt stalls

Youth Theatre bury time capsule under auditorium

York Theatre Royal’s Youth Theatre Forum preserves memorabilia for future generations

Members of York Theatre Royal’s Youth Theatre have buried a time capsule under the theatre’s auditorium containing trinkets and letters addressed to a Youth Theatre of the distant future.

The Youth Theatre Forum – representatives from 12 Youth Theatre groups, aged between 8 and 18 – took the opportunity of the theatre’s ongoing redevelopment work to bury the capsule under the stalls, so future audiences will sit directly above it while watching shows.

Stored in the capsule are costumes and scripts from Youth Theatre productions, including scripts of upcoming shows The Holding Place and The Trojan Women, signed by each production’s cast and creative team. Letters, poems and drawings by members of the Youth Theatre to their future equivalents were also preserved. The letters give an account of the current state of York Theatre Royal and its youth groups, and ask about the world of those who will one day open the capsule.

Questions range from “What is the theatre like today?” to “Can you read our writing?” and “Is Berwick Kaler still the panto dame?” Another requested: “After you open this can you put some stuff back in the capsule for another 50-100 years?”

The Youth Theatre Forum members also included stage props and memorabilia from their shows, ranging from a Barbie doll to a Youth Theatre T-shirt.

Youth Theatre Director Kate Plumb, who helped collect the material, contributed a letter to whoever holds her post when the time capsule resurfaces, in which she described the highlights

of working with young actors in 2016 and wondered how her future equivalent’s role would compare.

Kate said:

We’ve had a wonderful time reflecting on the essence of our Youth Theatre and thinking about what we would like to share with a Youth Theatre of the future. We hope that it’s sealed for at least a hundred years, and that once it’s opened, they will get a real sense of the fun we’ve had in 2016, and over the last decade of our Youth Theatre.

York Theatre Royal’s ongoing restoration work is nearing completion: front-of-house and Box Office areas have been rebuilt, a flat stage has been installed and new raked stalls have been built, ready for a brand new set of seats to hold audiences from 22 April 2016 onwards. On that day the theatre will reopen with a world premiere of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, adapted by Bryony Lavery.

Darlington Civic Theatre – Thriller Live


Direct from London’s West End, Thriller Live – celebrating the music of Michael Jackson, comes to Darlington Civic Theatre.

Direct from London’s West End where it is now in its record breaking seventh year, Thriller Live is a spectacular concert created to celebrate the career of the world’s greatest entertainer.

Seen by over three million people in over thirty countries, Thriller Live continues to moonwalk around the world, taking you on a visual, audio and electrifying journey through the magic of Michael Jackson’s 45 year musical history.

You will experience over two hours of non-stop hits from pop to rock, soul to disco as the cast play homage to Jackson’s legendary live performances and innovative dance moves executed with flair, precision and passion, this is a show that you will never forget.

Expect your favourite songs delivered by an exceptionally talented cast and band, including: I Want

You Back, ABC, Can You Feel It, Off The Wall, The Way You Make Me Feel, Smooth Criminal, Beat It, Billie Jean, Dirty Diana, Bad, Rock With You, They Don’t Care About Us, Dangerous and Thriller plus many more!

Thriller Live is at Darlington Civic Theatre from Monday 29 February to Saturday 5 March. Tickets* are priced £21.80 to £33.50, discounts are available.

*All prices include a £1 restoration levy

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

Rocky Horror Narrator announced for York






Comedian Norman Pace will be joining the cast of the smash hit musical Rocky Horror Show next month.  He will join fellow comedian Steve Punt and Coronation Street star Charlie Condou to share the legendary role of The Narrator on the UK tour which is currently smashing box office records in venues from Brighton to Liverpool, Birmingham to Sunderland.

Following critically acclaimed performances on the tour earlier this year, Steve Punt will reprise the role in Cardiff, Sunderland, Southampton, Wimbledon, York, Aylesbury, Nottingham, Richmond, Malvern and Stoke. In Bradford – back by popular demand – following his hilarious performance in Manchester, Charlie Condou will be slipping his suspenders back on for two performances on Friday 18th March.

Norman Pace will make his Rocky Horror Show debut in Torquay, and will then perform in Bradford, Edinburgh, Belfast, Dartford, Wolverhampton, Sheffield, Woking, Leicester, Watford, Bristol, Milton Keynes, Canterbury, Glasgow, Southend and Bournemouth.  The unique show also stars Diana Vickers, Ben Freeman and Liam Tamne.

Steve Punt has been half of Punt and Dennis for many years and has co-hosted The Now Show on Radio 4 since its inception in 1998. Steve also presents the university quiz The Third Degree and the light-hearted investigative show Punt PI for Radio 4. Steve’s TV writing and performing credits include Canned Carrott,The Mary Whitehouse Experience, Punt and Dennis, Mock the Week and Horrible Histories. In 2011 Steve played Eric Idle in BBC4’s Holy Flying Circus.

Norman Pace, one half of comedy duo Hale and Pace, has become an accomplished actor in his own right, with guest lead roles in BBC’s Casualty and ITV’s The Last Detective.  He made his West End debut as ‘Amos Hart’ in Chicago in 1999 and has since gone on to perform in the UK tours of Honk, A Slice Of Saturday Night, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, Satin ‘N’ Steel, Breakfast With Johnny Wilkinson, Donkeys Ears, Our Man In Havana, Dry Rot, Charley’s Aunt, Annie Get Your Gun and most recently One Man Two Guvnors.

Charlie Condou is best known for playing Marcus Dent in Coronation Street for four years and his successful column ‘The Three of Us’ in The Guardian. Charlie’s other television credits include Me, You, and The Apocalypse, The Impressionists and Midsomer Murders. On the silver screen, Charlie has starred in Good,Fred Claus and Charlotte Grey, while some of his theatre roles include Next Fall (Southwark Playhouse),Dying for It (The Almeida), The Changeling (Southwark Playhouse) and Shopping and F***king (UK Tour).

Since its first appearance at the Royal Court Theatre in June 1973, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Showhas become the world’s favourite Rock N’ Roll musical. It has been performed worldwide for over 40 years in over 30 countries, selling out in Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Austria, and has been translated into more than 20 languages. Director Christopher Luscombe created a stunning new production to celebrate the 40th Anniversary, which famously combines science-fiction, horror, comedy and music and encourages audience participation. This critically acclaimed version of the classic show, which tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet – two squeaky clean college kids who meet Dr Frank’n’Furter by chance when their car breaks down outside his house – is back by popular demand, embarking on a year-long national adventure starting in Brighton next month.

This musical extravaganza features all of its famous musical classics including “Science Fiction/Double Feature”, “Dammit Janet” and of course, the timeless floor-filler, “The Time-Warp”.

Many stars, including Russell Crowe, Tim Curry, Jerry Springer and Meatloaf have appeared in The Rocky Horror Show over the past four decades. Ready to thrill you with fun and naughty moments, O’Brien’sRocky Horror Show is the boldest bash of them all. Be warned, this show has rude parts!

What the press have said about The Rocky Horror Show:

“Fresh, subversive, essential” – Daily Telegraph


“Panto for grown-ups – colourful, in your face, relentlessly energetic and high on audience participation” – The Times


“Hard to think of another musical quite as unique as this.” – Mail on Sunday


“So fast, so funny, so sexy”Daily Mail


“Still the sexiest and funniest show in town” – Evening Standard



The Rocky Horror Show 2016 UK Tour Dates                                   



08 – 13 February 2016                    Cardiff: New Theatre                                     0292 087 8889       Steve Punt

15 – 20 February 2016                    Sunderland: Empire Theatre                       0844 871 3022     Steve Punt

22 – 27 February 2016                    Southampton:  Mayflower Theatre          0238 071 1811     Steve Punt

29 February – 5 March 2016         Wimbledon: New Wimbledon Theatre                    0844 871 7646      Steve Punt

07 – 12 March 2016                          Torquay: Princess Theatre                           0844 871 3023    Norman Pace

14 – 19 March 2016                          Bradford: Alhambra Theatre                        0127 443 2000    Norman/Charlie (18th)

28 March – 2 April 2016                  Edinburgh: Playhouse Theatre                    0844 871 3014    Norman Pace

4 – 9 April 2016                                  Belfast: Grand Opera House                        028 9024 1919       Norman Pace

11 – 16 April 2016                             York: Opera House                                        0844 871 3024    Steve Punt

18 – 23 April 2016                             Aylesbury: Waterside Theatre                    0844 871 7607    Steve Punt

25 – 30 April 2016                             Nottingham: Theatre Royal                         0115 989 5555   Steve Punt

02 – 07 May 2016                              Richmond: Richmond Theatre                    0844 871 7651      Steve Punt

09 – 14 May 2016                              Malvern: Malvern Theatres                          01684 892277    Steve Punt

23 – 28 May 2016                              Stoke: Regent Theatre                                  0844 871 7649   Steve Punt

6 – 11 June 2016                               Dartford: Orchard                                             01322 220000     Norman Pace

13 – 18 June 2016                         Wolverhampton: Wolverhampton Grand 01902 429212     Norman Pace

20 – 25 June 2016                             Sheffield: Sheffield Lyceum                        0114 249 6000    Norman Pace

27 June – 3 July 2016                       Woking: New Victoria Theatre                    0844 871 7645        Norman Pace

4 – 9 July 2016                                    Leicester: Curve                                                 0116 2423595       Norman Pace

11 – 16 July 2016                               Watford: Watford Colosseum                    01923 571 102     Norman Pace

18 – 24 July 2016                               Bristol: Hippodrome                                       0844 871 7652    Norman Pace

25 – 30 July 2016                               Milton Keynes: Milton Keynes Theatre    0844 871 7652    Norman Pace

1 – 6 August 2016                             Canterbury: Marlowe Theatre                      01227 787787   Norman Pace

8 – 13 August 2016                           Glasgow: King’s Theatre                                 0844 871 7648   Norman Pace

15-20 August 2016-01-25               Southend: Cliffs Pavillion                                              01702 351135    Norman Pace

22 – 27 August 2016                        Bournemouth: Pavilion                                   0844 576 3000   Norman Pace

05 – 10 September 2016                Aberdeen: His Majesty’s Theatre                             01224 641122    TBC

12 – 17 September 2016                Norwich: Theatre Royal                                                 01603 630000    TBC

19 – 24 September 2016                Eastbourne: Congress Theatre                     01323 412000    TBC

26 Sept – 1 October 2016             Oxford: New Theatre                                       0844 871 3020   TBC

3 – 8 October                                     Dublin: Bord Gais Energy                                +353 (1) 677 7999 TBC

10 – 15 October 2016                      Birmingham: New Alexandra Theatre       0844 871 3011    TBC


Further dates and details to be announced

Please note that Diana Vickers, Ben Freeman, Paul Cattermole and Liam Tamne will perform through to 28 May 2016.

For online bookings and show times please visit

Ticket prices range from £10 – £51.90 (with additional booking fee)

Additional discounts are available for ATG Theatre Card Holders and Millennium Club Members.

Dynamo brings his Seeing Is Believing Tour to Sheffield Arena next week for an incredible 6 performances






Dynamo will bring his fist ever UK live tour to Sheffield Arena next week from Wednesday 24th-Sunday 28th February. 

Due to phenomenal ticket sales, an additional performance has been added and Dynamo will now perform an incredible 6 shows at Sheffield Arena.  The additional performance will be a 2.30pm matinee on Saturday 27th February.

The event is taking place in the intimate theatre setting of the Sheffield Arena’s Steel Hall.  Fans will have the opportunity to see his magic skills up close and personal in what promises to be a spectacular and unique live stage production.

Dynamo, whose real name is Steven Frayne, hit our screens just three years ago with his first series of Magician Impossible, in that short time he has quickly established himself as one of the world’s most known and most loved magicians, with his series airing in over 180 countries worldwide reaching over 250 million cumulative viewers across the world. He was recently awarded the highest accolade by the magic circle with his promotion to Member of the Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star, a position only held by 300 magicians worldwide, including HRH Prince of Wales.

Dynamo said of his new venture, “After four series of Magician Impossible I was ready for a new challenge and for a long time I have wanted to take my show to the stage. I am hoping that like I did for magic on TV, I can reinvent the live magic show and produce something fans have never seen before. This is something I have been working towards for the last 20 years and I can’t wait to amaze audiences what I have in store for them”.  

Tickets for Dynamo at Sheffield Arena are on sale now, priced £43.45 & £35.75, including booking fee when booked online or in person. Tickets purchased in person at the Arena Box Office are priced £41.48 & £34.13 including booking fee.

Tickets are available in person at the Arena Box Office, by phone on 0114 256 5656 or online 

Empire Cinemas announces monthly film music playlists

image001 (17)Empire Cinemas, the largest independently-owned cinema chain in the UK, has announced that from February 2016 they will be releasing a monthly Spotify playlist, showcasing the very best film music and scores of that month – all in one place.

These unique film music playlists will be released mid-month, ensuring cinemagoers and music lovers are kept completely up to date with the stunning soundtracks that accompany all the latest UK film releases. This new offering kicks off on February 15th, with a playlist consisting of music from the likes of Goosebumps (Danny Elfman), Dad’s Army (Charlie Mole), Trumbo (Theodore Shapiro) andThe Forest (Bear McCreary).


Empire Cinemas prides itself on offering a range of screenings that span across both mainstream blockbusters and art-house independents; meaning these playlists will give listeners the chance to not only enjoy cinematic symphonies from mainstream masters such as Hans Zimmer, but also discover new, up and coming artists or unknown artists.

Jon Nutton Marketing Director of Empire Cinemas said: “We’re very excited to announce the launch of the Empire Cinemas film music playlists. Music is such a huge aspect of film, which shouldn’t go unnoticed. We want to be the cinema that puts all these fantastic movie soundtracks into one easily-accessible place for our filmgoers.”


February playlist embed code:

For further ticketing information visit or call 08714 714 714.

Whistleblower – the story of Edward Snowden

 Waterloo East Theatre  9 February – 6 March.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

This play made me worry about my political leanings. By the end I was rooting for the NSA – at least they were funny and had the best lines.

Snowden and the journalists come across as grey and joyless. Snowden’s motivation was ethical and patriotic but here his repeated justifications for his actions become trite and sanctimonious. The jumps between key events following 9/11 and in Snowden’s career influencing his decision to go public are jarring and the whole thing becomes a mishmash of good dialogue lost among a misjudged cacophony of noise and movement that becomes increasingly more irritating. The security briefings amuse at first, with endless mind-numbing acronyms and tubthumping rhetoric, but feel overused (a lovely exception being the GCHQ man with his schoolboy one-upmanship), and the difference between Snowden’s idea of patriotism and his colleagues’ more gung-ho attitude is hit home with a sledgehammer far too many times.

The second act is a little calmer and more coherent (apart from revisiting the worst excesses of act one verbatim to signal where we are in the timeframe – you’ll wish they hadn’t), dealing with the lead up to publication of the leaked material. There are moments of tension and humour but then it all gets a bit meta and sermon like at the end. Thankfully the cast all deal admirably with what they are given and just about carry it off.

This story is relevant, interesting and should be told – just not like this please. I for one was glad when the final whistle was blown.


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Party Photos – Tour Opening at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

The production is directed by James Brining, Artistic Director of West Yorkshire Playhouse, and stars Jason Manford (Caractacus Potts), Martin Kemp (the Childcatcher), Michelle Collins (Baroness Bomburst), Phill Jupitus (Baron Bomburst), Amy Griffiths (Truly Scrumptious) and Andy Hockley (Grandpa Potts).

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, curtain call, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, curtain call, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, curtain call, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, curtain call, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, curtain call, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, curtain call, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, curtain call, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, curtain call, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, curtain call, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, curtain call, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, curtain call, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, curtain call, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, curtain call, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, curtain call, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, curtain call, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, curtain call, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.




The RSC production of Henry V, directed by Artistic Director Gregory Doran, is now available to pre-order on DVD and Blu Ray. Henry V was broadcast live from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on 21 October 2015. The DVD is priced at £19.99 and the Blu Ray is £24.99.

Henry V is also available as part of a box set entitled King and Country: Shakespeare’s Great Cycle of Kings, also containing Gregory Doran’s productions of Richard II and Henry IV Parts I and II, priced £49.99 in DVD format and £59.99 in Blu Ray format.

Henry V and the King and Country box set will be released on 1 April 2016 and are available to pre-order from

On 29 January the DVD and Blu Ray of The Merchant of Venice, directed by Polly Findlay, was released. The Merchant of Venice was broadcast live from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on 22 July 2015. The Merchant of Venice is on sale now from and through various retailers.

The broadcasts played to over 450 cinemas each across the country, whilst also being available in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Europe. As well as the full stage productions, both DVDs contain extras including a Director’s Commentary and a Cast Gallery.

These are the latest recordings released by the RSC in collaboration with Opus Arte, in an ongoing series of RSC productions filmed live on stage.

CDs of the music and speeches from the plays are also available from iTunes and the RSC online shop.

As part of the 2016 celebrations to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the British Library will also collaborate with Opus Arte to re-release The Essential Shakespeare Live. Originally released in two volumes in 2005 and 2009, the re-release will be packaged as one 4-CD box set with an RRP of £19.99.

Selected by RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran from an extensive collection of recordings made by the British Library Sound Archive, this set features scenes and speeches from some of the most celebrated Shakespeare productions in the history of the Royal Shakespeare Company, including performances by Laurence Oliver, Peggy Ashcroft, Paul Scofield, Paul Robeson, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, David Tennant and many more.