The husband and wife who built a theatre empire

The husband and wife who built a theatre empire

Hit musical BRITAIN’S GOT BHANGRA returns for 2015 UK Tour

David Hutchinson and Phillip Rowntree for Sell a Door Theatre Company present





After acclaimed runs in 2010 and 2011, the five-star hit musical Britain’s Got Bhangra will return for a UK Tour this Autumn in a brand new production, opening at Manchester Palace Theatre on Thursday 3 September, with a press night on Monday 7 September.


Charting the rise of British Bhangra from the sequin-clad 80s through to the RnB fusion in today’s charts, Britain’s Got Bhangra follows Twinkle, a farmer’s son from Punjab, India who comes to England to make a better living for himself and his wife. A gifted singer, he goes from making a living as a van driver in Southall to becoming a rising star in the fast-growing Bhangra music scene. Winner of the ‘People’s Favourite Musical’ at the 2010 Offie Awards, this imaginative musical takes a journey though multicultural Britain and the evolution of a music scene.


‘An exuberant celebration”

The Times


Britain’s Got Bhangra is written and directed by Pravesh Kumar of award-winning British Asian Theatre Company Rifco Arts. Rifco’s other productions include The Deranged Marriage, Happy Birthday Sunita and Break the Floorboards.

Britain’s Got Bhangra is produced by Sell a Door Theatre Company. Formed in 2007, Sell a Door creates touring productions aimed at engaging young adults in live theatre. Current productions include the UK Tours of Avenue Q, The History Boys and Jekyll and Hyde.

Britain’s Got Bhangra is written and directed by Pravesh Kumar, with music and Bhangra direction by Sumeet Chopra.English Lyrics are by Dougal Irvine with Punjabi lyrics by Bittu Denowalia. Britain’s Got Bhangra is produced by Sell a Door Theatre Company, and was originally co-produced by Rifco Arts and Theatre Royal Stratford East in association with Warwick Arts Centre.


David Hutchinson from Sell a Door Theatre said today: “We are delighted to be opening our autumn season at Manchester Palace Theatre with this critically acclaimed smash hit musical. The writers have created a fantastic celebration of dance and culture within the modern narrative of a talented artist aspiring to fulfil their dreams. In the reality TV age, his story taps into the aspirations of so many, against the colourful backdrop of the British Asian community. We look forward to reaching out to new and returning audiences across the UK with Britain’s Got Bhangra.”

Casting to be announced.




Thursday 3 – Saturday 12 September 2015

MANCHESTER Palace Theatre

Press Night: Monday 7 September, 7.30pm

Box Office | 0844 871 3019


Monday 14 – Saturday 19 September 2015

BRISTOL Hippodrome

Box Office | 0844 871 3012


Monday 21 – Saturday 26 September 2015

GLASGOW King’s Theatre

Box Office | 0844 871 7648


Monday 28 September – Saturday 3 October 2015


Box Office | 0844 871 7646


Monday 12 – Saturday 17 October 2015

BIRMINGHAM Alexandra Theatre

Box Office|0844 871 3011


Monday 19 – Saturday 24 October 2015

WINDSOR Theatre Royal

Box Office | 01753 853 888


Monday 26 – Wednesday 28 October 2015

WATFORD Colosseum

Box Office | 0845 075 3993


Thursday 29 – Saturday 31 October 2015


Box Office | 01274 432000




  • Mark Arends, Pearl Chanda, Harry Melling and Lizzy Watts announced
  • The Bush Theatre presents a Paines Plough and Theatre Royal Plymouth production
  • Thriller about political extremism in 1970s Britain
  • Written by James Graham, directed by James Grieve
  • Runs 30 April – 13 June 2015; Press night 6 May

Casting is today announced for The Angry Brigade, James Graham’s political thriller, directed by James Grieve.

The cast of The Angry Brigade will include Harry Melling, best known for his role as Dudley Dursley inHarry Potter and currently starring in Peddling at the Arcola, Mark Arends, whose credits include Headlong’s 1984 and the RSC’s Two Gentlemen of Verona, Pearl Chanda who recently appeared inCrave at Sheffield Crucible and Godchild at Hampstead Theatre, and Lizzy Watts, who last appeared at the Bush in Mike Bartlett’s Artefacts.

The Angry Brigade sees Paines Plough return to the Bush Theatre, following the success of Jumpers for Goalposts in 2013. The Angry Brigade opened at The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth, and is the story of modern Britain’s first home-grown terrorist group. Set against a Britain of spending cuts, high unemployment and economic instability, The Angry Brigade tells the story of a group of four British anarchists who terrorised the country in the 1970s, and the police manhunt that tracked them down.

Directed by Paines Plough’s Artistic Director James Grieve as part of the company’s 40th anniversaryThe Angry Brigade is co-produced with long standing partner Theatre Royal Plymouth – an association which began in the 1980s. Previous co-productions include The Straits (2003), Mercury Fur (2005) andLove, Love, Love (2010).  James Grieve and James Graham previously collaborated at the Bush on The Whisky Taster in 2010.

Mark Arends’ theatre credits include Two Gentlemen of Verona (Royal Shakespeare Company), 1984(Almeida Theatre) (Headlong/Nottingham Playhouse), At the End of Everything Else (Unicorn Theatre),Cat in the Hat (Theatre de la Ville) (National Theatre/Young Vic), Macbeth (Liverpool Everyman) andBeauty and the Beast (National Theatre).  His television credits include New Tricks (Wall to Wall/BBC),Skins Series 4 (Company Television Productions) and Silent Witness (BBC).

Pearl Chanda recently appeared in Crave and 4.48 Psychosis as part of the Sarah Kane Season (Sheffield Theatres), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Royal Shakespeare Company), Godchild (Hampstead Theatre) and The Seagull (Headlong). On screen she has appeared in Arthur and George (Buffalo Pictures/ITV) and Mr Turner (Thin Man Films).

Harry Melling is currently starring in Peddling at the Arcola (also HighTide/NYC). His other theatre credits including King Lear (Chichester Festival Theatre/New York), The Hot House When Did You Last See Your Mother? (Trafalgar Studios) and Women Beware Women (National Theatre). On screen he is known for playing Dudley Dursley in Harry Potter (Warner Brothers) as well as roles in Merlin (Shine TV/BBC) and Joe Mistry (Hartswood/ITV).

Since graduating from Royal Welsh College of Music and Dance, Lizzy Watts has appeared on stage inMerit (Plymouth Drum), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’sGlobe International Tour), BLINK(Soho/Nabokov), Wasted (Paines Plough/Camden Roundhouse and UK Tour) and Artefacts (Bush Theatre/UK Tour/NewYork Run).

James Graham’s recent work includes The Coalition (Channel 4), X and Y (Origin Pictures/BBC Films),This House (National Theatre), Privacy (Donmar) and the book for the new Broadway musical Finding Neverland, with music by Gary Barlow. His play The Vote at the Donmar Warehouse will open on the night of the 2015 election and air in real time on Channel 4.

James Grieve is Joint Artistic Director of Paines Plough. He was formerly co-founder and Artistic Director of nabokov and Associate Director of the Bush Theatre. Recent directing credits for Paines Plough include An Intervention, Love, Love, Love , Hopelessly Devoted and Jumpers for Goalposts. Further directing credits include Translations (Sheffield Theatres/ETT/The Rose, Kingston), A Nobodyby Laura Dockrill (as part of the Bush Theatre’s Sixty-Six Books), and The Whisky Taster by James Graham.

For the Bush Theatre Lucy Osborne designed Jumpers for Goalposts and Artefacts (Nabokov).  Her recent theatre credits include Lampedusa (Soho Theatre/Hightide Festival), Hello Goodbye and In the Vale of Health (Hampstead Theatre), The Roundabout Season (Paines Plough), An Intervention (Paines Plough/Watford Palace Theatre/UK Tour), Privacy and Coriolanus (Donmar Warehouse).


30 April – 13 June 2015
By James Graham
Directed by James Grieve
Designed by Lucy Osborne
Lighting Design by Charles Balfour
Sound Design by Tom Gibbons
Movement Direction by Polly Bennett

Press night 6 May, 7pm

Cast: Mark Arends, Pearl Chanda, Harry Melling, Lizzy Watts

Bush Theatre
7 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 8LJ

Box Office: 020 8743 5050 /

Ticket prices:
Evenings: £20

  • £12.50 concessions (registered unemployed and disabled)
  • £15.50 for Senior Citizens
  • £12.50 for students/under 26s
  • 10% off for Bush Local members

Previews: £15.50

  • £10.50 concessions (registered unemployed and disabled)
  • £12.50 for Senior Citizens
  • £10.50 for students/under 26s
  • £12.50 for Bush Local members

Matinees: £15

  • £10.00 concessions (registered unemployed and disabled)
  • £10.00 for students/under 26s
  • £10.00 for Senior Citizens
  • 10% off for Bush Local members

Season Offers*

Season 3 for 2
See 3 shows for the price of 2. Valid for top price tickets only, shows must be purchased at the same time. Not valid for previews, matinees or RADAR.

Live or work locally – Join our free local membership scheme Bush Local for £12.50 preview tickets, 10% off all other performances and a 10% discount at the Cafe Bar. For more information and to become a member, visit

Educational Groups – Schools tickets are £10 (matinees) and £12.50 (evenings), plus one teacher goes free with every 10 pupils. To reserve tickets, please call the Box Office between 12 – 8pm.

Bush Connect scheme – A free membership scheme for students and under 26s, BUSH CONNECT offers its members £10-£12.50 tickets for all Bush Theatre productions, a 10% discount at the Cafe Bar, special offers, giveaways and competitions, and exclusive events and networking opportunities.

Group Bookings – Book for a group of 11 or more people and the 11th person will go for free.

*Terms and conditions apply, see the Bush website for further information.

20 Questions with ….. Steven Furst

Steven Furst is currently appearing in the amazing Made in Dagenham at the Aldephi Theatre in London.  This show is ending far tragically early on the 11th of April so be quick and see it before its too late

download (1)

Favourite show (whether you have been in it or not)?

Oooh hard one. I would say Guys and Dolls is up there but for me Jesus Christ Superstar will always be a favourite.

Favourite book?

Always love PG Woodhouse, anything by JP Donleavy. Just finished The Bees by Laline Paul – extraordinary.

Favourite theatre?

The National.

Favourite song?

Spinning Wheel. Its a tune I have sung for over 20 years as my alter ego Lenny Beige. Written by Blood Sweat and Tears and covered by many many people.

Favourite music?

Music is my main passion. It would be impossible to say a favourite genre. I adore Northern Soul, funk, easy listening, chamber pop, old school heavier rock like Led Zep, just so many. And because my parents were classical musicians this is also a genre I love.

Favourite food?

Another passion. I do like the simplicity of Greek food. A a Jew I love Chinese food. Woody Allen once said Jews know two things; suffering and where to get great Chinese food.

What is your favourite role?

MY own favourite  was playing Stuart in a play called Wet Weather Cover about 2 actors in a caravan on a film set in Spain.

What was your first role?

I was 13 in the Hampstead Garden Suburb Amateur Dramatic Society playing a young boy in Alan Bennett’s 40 Years On.

And what role would you really like to play?

I’ve never really done Shakespeare and very open to that idea. The Fool perhaps in Lear. I would also love to do a Pinter, love the dark dark humour of his stuff.

You’re clearly very talented and had a varied career, do you prefer writing or performing?

OH performing. Always performing. I try to write but find it a constant struggle. I am good at writing bits and bobs and gags for various characters and shows but sit-coms or films, not good.

So to follow on, do you prefer TV or Theatre?

I adore both. I love the family feeling of being in a company but I like the initmacy of doing television. I am lucky in that I seem to do both

Can you tell us about Lenny Beige and the Mayor of Kentish Town?

Lenny Beige has been in my life for more than 20 years. He’s an old school all-round cabaret entertainer. He’s based largely on my hero Anthony Newley, of of this country’s greatest all rounders. Beige has allowed me to do some amazing work with some extraordinary people over the years. The Mayor is my newest creation and is loud, brash, and going down very well. I am about to do some live gigs as him, and we have a YouTube full of little films we shot last years. He is potentially the most appealing character I have ever done.

If you weren’t a performer what would you be?

I would probably have gone into music production. I play many instruments and have a good ear.

What advice would you give 16 year old Steve?

Learn the piano. And practice. Lots of practice for whatever you want to do. I spent too many gigs being ill-prepared.

What was the last stage show you saw and really enjoyed?

I adored Clarence Darrow with Spacey. A masterclass.

You were in the Orange adverts, did people think you were a real studio exec rather than an actor?

Ha ha. Not really. But those were some very very happy days shooting over 30 commercials.

And you were in the Legend of Dick and Dom, do you have a large child/teen/student fan base now because of it?

There are a few fans of that show. And the biggest fans of it were those of us in it. Another beautiful working experience. We are all still in touch and we still hold out hope for another series

Can you tell us what you will be up to next?

Lots of live gigs, Lenny is doing his 21st Anniversary Show back in his old venue, plus London Wonderground in August. The Mayor is doing lots of stand up gigs and we are releasing a Mayor/Lenny Beige Rap Battle single called ‘Bring The Ruckus/30 Years A Beige’ available for download on the 30th April.


A big thank you to Steven for answering the questions

Sunderland Empire – Summer Season at a Glance

Sunderland Empire

Summer Season at a Glance

Following a momentous 2014 which brought North East premieres of War Horse, The Lion King and Jersey Boys to the region, the 2015 summer season at Sunderland Empire continues to deliver the West End to the North East with an array of dazzling and mesmerising productions.


Audiences will be transported to the French Riviera and its decadent underworld this Summer, when Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (9-20 June) hits the stage, direct from the West End. Based on the classic comedy film starring Sir Michael Caine and Steve Martin,sophisticated and suave with a good dash of mischief Dirty Rotten Scoundrels follows two seasoned swindlers as they attempt to hoodwink a millionaire heiress, as the pair compete in the true art of the con. Soon realising the town ain’t big enough for the both of them, the two find themselves going head to head in the con of their lives!


The glamour of Hollywood’s golden age is then set to dazzle as Top Hat (24 June – 4 July) brings the glorious, tap-dancing magic of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to the stage. Packed with Irving Berlin’s greatest hits including, Cheek to Cheek, Top Hat, White Tie & Tails, Let’s Face the Music & Dance and Puttin’ on the Ritz, this uplifting and hilarious romantic comedy dazzles with over 200 beautiful costumes, breathtaking dance and a love story that will set the pulse racing!


From the producers of Hairspray, Midnight Tango, West Side Story and The Rocky Horror Show comes Love Me Tender (13-18 July)is a hilarious, feel-good musical featuring Elvis Presley’s greatest hits. In a small town in 1950’s America, a guitar-playing, hip-swivelling stranger rides his motorbike into town. Is he The Devil In Disguise or a Hound Dog in his Blue Suede Shoes? The townsfolk are about to be All Shook Up and could be headed for Heartbreak Hotel, but for Natalie, the love-struck, tomboy mechanic, it really is Now or Never. Packed with 25 of the best loved songs by The King himself, Love Me Tender, by the writer of the award-winning West End and Broadway smash hit Memphis, is a funny and moving tale of hope, second chances and the healing qualities of Rock ‘n’ Roll.


Winner of seven 2013 Olivier Awards, the highly-acclaimed National Theatre production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (11-15 August) returns to the North East as part its nationwide tour. Christopher, fifteen years old, has an extraordinary brain – exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion of killing Mrs Shears’ dog, it takes him on a journey that upturns his world. This thrilling new stage play based on the award-winning novel by Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by Marianne Elliott.


End the summer with the ultimate party as Priscilla Queen of the Desert (31 August – 5 September) is back by overwhelming popular demand. Based on the smash-hit movie, the feel-good international hit sensation Priscilla is the heart-warming, uplifting adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship and end up finding more than they could have ever dreamed of. With a dazzling array of outrageous costumes and a hit parade of dance floor classics including It’s Raining Men, I Will Survive, Hot Stuff, Finally, Boogie Wonderland, Go West, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and I Love The Nightlife, this wildly fresh and funny hit musical will take you on a journey to the heart of fabulous!


All topped off by the return the hugely popular Broadway and West End phenomenon Jersey Boys (8-19 September). This smash hit musical has won 55 major awards worldwide, including the Olivier Award for Best New Musical and continues to play at the Piccadilly Theatre, London. Jersey Boys tells the true life story of four boys from the wrong side of the tracks who wrote their own songs, invented their own unique sound, and sold 175 million records worldwide. Featuring hit after legendary hit including Beggin’, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Oh What A Night, Sherry, Walk Like A Man, Bye Bye Baby, Big Girls Don’t Cry and many more.


Ahead of the summer season, Wicked flies into Sunderland (31 March – 25 April 2015) to make it’s North East debut for a limited 4 week engagement,  with  thrilling technical wizardry, stunning costumes and show-stopping songs, the global phenomenon is set to leave audiences spellbound. Agatha Christies’ The Mousetrap (5-9 May) is back by popular demand laced with intrigue and mystery. Famous around the world as being the longest running show of any kind in the history of British theatre – with over 25,000 performances it’s a play to be proud of.


Smash hit Broadway musical, The Producers (11-16 May) is a hilarious musical comedy featuring a riotous mix of eccentric characters including award-winning comedian Jason Manford and legendary funny man Phill Jupitus. Based on Mel Brooks’ much loved Academy Award winning movie, The Producers has taken Broadway and the West End by storm, winning a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards and 3 Olivier Awards. Impoverished by a string of flops, New York producer Max Bialystock recruits timid accountant Leo Bloom to help him pull off Broadway’s greatest scam. Together they aim to produce the worst show ever and run away to Rio with millions. Filled with fabulous costumes, glamorous dancing girls, hysterical show tunes – including the all-time classicSpringtime For Hitler – and an incredible live band.


Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot (18-23 May) gallops back direct from three years in the West End to theatres across the land (to the sound of banging coconut shells). Spamalot is a kind-of-new musical with a book by Eric Idle and an entirely new score for the new production (well, almost), created by Eric Idle and John du Prez.


Having confessed that performing live on stage gives him the greatest pleasure, the multi-award winning acknowledged master of psychological illusion Derren Brown: Miracle (25-30 May) is, once again, looking forward to the challenge that comes with being acknowledged as one of the world’s most renowned live performers; a dark manipulator of magic and mind control. This will be Derren’s seventh show since 2003. Since then he has toured every year and been watched by an estimated audience of over one and a half million people. He has won two prestigious Olivier Awards, for Something Wicked This Way Comes (2006) and Svengali(2012). His last show, Infamous, was universally acclaimed by critics and audience alike.


Looking further ahead Cole Porter’s classic, multi-award winning musical-comedy Anything Goes (29 September – 3 October) sails into town, followed by the hit West End and Broadway production of Shrek the Musical (11-22 November) stomping by. Ballet’s greatest love story returns in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s lavish production of the timeless classic Swan Lake (22-24 October) and a gem of a pantomime returns with Aladdin (11 December – 3 January).

Following a record-breaking worldwide tour Richard O’Brien’s classic the Rocky Horror Show (15-20 February 2015) is ready to thrill you once again with its frothy fun and naughty moments! Bursting at the seams with timeless classics, including Sweet Transvestite, Damn it Janet, and of course, the pelvic-thrusting Time Warp, Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror show is a non-stop party!


Complemented by a host of one night spectaculars from comedy greats including with Jimmy Carr (11 July) and Paddy McGuiness(31 January 2016) stunning vocals from The Carpenters Story (10 July), The Drifters (23 July) and The Rat Pack (3 June) to name a few this season is brimming with a variety of phenomenal showstoppers to thrill and entertain the region!



For more information call the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022*, visit* or call into our Box Office on High Street West.


All tickets can be purchased in person from the Box Office on High Street West, Sunderland, the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022* and online at*

*A transaction fee applies to telephone and online sales.


Sunderland Empire Information:

Sunderland Empire is managed by Ambassador Theatre Group on behalf of the Sunderland Empire Trust and is supported by Sunderland City Council.




With special guests Black Star Riders

Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

Wednesday 9th December 2015

Rock icons Def Leppard and Whitesnake today announce a joint headline UK & Irish arena tour with support from Black Star Riders arriving into the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle on Wednesday 9th December 2015.

Speaking about the co-headline tour, Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott said: “I am very excited to be working with Whitesnake again; we had such a wonderful time when we did it back in 2008. It’s a great experience for rock fans to be able to see two great live bands on the same stage on the same night.”

Formed in Sheffield, Def Leppard have been hailed as the UK’s greatest-ever arena rock band. They have sold over 100 million albums worldwide in a career that spans three decades and have a highly anticipated new self-titled studio album coming in late 2015. Def Leppard’s influential career includes countless hit singles and ground-breaking multi-platinum albums – including two of the best-selling records of all time, “Pyromaniaand “Hysteria”, both of which have been given the elusive Diamond Award. These two albums alone contain 10 hit singles including the classic Leppard tracks “Rock of Ages,” “Animal,” Pour Some Sugar On Me” and “Foolin’.” Def LeppardJoe Elliott (vocals), Vivian Campbell (guitar), Phil Collen (guitar), Rick “Sav” Savage (bass) and Rick Allen (drums) – continue to be one of the most important forces in rock music. The group’s spectacular live shows, filled with powerful melodic rock anthems, continue to sell out venues worldwide. Def Leppard’s epic live shows and arsenal of hits have become synonymous with their name, leading the Rock Legends to be heralded as an institution in both the music and touring industry.

“Ohh, have you got trouble…Brother Joe & The Lepps?…DC & The Snakes?… Them Black Star Riders?…On the same night???…I can’t wait!!…SEE YOU THERE!!!” said Whitesnake’s David Coverdale on the forthcoming tour.

Co-headlining the tour are the legendary Whitesnake who carry a rightful & righteous reputation as one of the world’s leading rock’n’roll bands. Founded by former Deep Purple singer David Coverdale, the band have earned multi-platinum albums and multiple top 10 hits worldwide, including 2 number 1 singles with Here I Go Again and Is This Love as well as the unforgettable hammer of Still Of The Night. Bombast, bravado, talent and passion have helped establish Whitesnake as the perennial platinum favourite they have become and they’re back with a vengeance in 2015. The world-renowned group featuring David Coverdale (vocals), Reb Beach (guitar), Joel Hoekstra (guitar), Michael Devin (bass) and Tommy Aldridge (drums), will release their 12th studio record The Purple Album, a tribute to the band and to the music Coverdale wrote and recorded with Deep Purple Mark 3 & 4, followed by a world tour, culminating with the co-headline UK dates.

Tickets costing £45.00 will go on sale 10.00am Wednesday 1st April 2015 and are available online, from the booking hotline number 0844 493 6666 or in person from the Metro Radio Arena Box Office.

Tickets are available from:-

Credit Card Booking and Information Line 0844 493 6666

The Metro Radio Arena Newcastle Box Office (Mon – Fri: 10.00am 4.00pm, Sat: 11.00am – 2.30pm)

Internet Site:-

Group Bookers should call (0191) 260 6006

Accessible Bookings should call (0191) 260 6066 for further details





WICKED, the West End and Broadway musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, flies in to theSunderland Empire on Tuesday (31 March 2015). The limited 4-week engagement runs until Saturday 25 April.  With almost 50,000 tickets already sold for the run, prices start at just £15 with best ticket availability for midweek matinees.


The spectacular, critically acclaimed, multi record-breaking UK & Ireland Tour has sold over 1 million tickets since its premiere in 2013 at the Palace Theatre in Manchester and played over 500 performances.


Wicked stars Ashleigh Gray (Elphaba), Emily Tierney (Glinda), Samuel Edwards (Fiyero), Marilyn Cutts (Madame Morrible),Steven Pinder (The Wizard and Doctor Dillamond), Carina Gillespie (Nessarose), Richard Vincent (Boq) and Jacqueline Hughes (Standby for Elphaba).


Recently acclaimed as “one of the greatest musicals of our time” (Daily Mail) and “the hugely clever, insanely popular riff on the witches from The Wizard of Oz” (The Times), this “big-hearted musical extravaganza about the land of Oz” (Time Out London) is now the 10th longest-running show in the West End, where it continues its open ended run. The London production has now been seen by more than

6.5 million people and recently played its landmark 3500th performance.


Around the world, Wicked has been seen by 45 million people in 13 countries and won 100 international awards. The original Broadway production remains “Broadway’s biggest blockbuster” (The New York Times) after more than 11 years at the Gershwin Theatre.


Wicked has music and lyrics by multi GRAMMY® and Academy Award® winner Stephen Schwartz, a book by Winnie Holzman, musical staging by Wayne Cilento and is directed by two-time Tony Award® winner and Olivier Award nomineeJoe Mantello. Wicked is based on the novel ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ by Gregory Maguire.


Wicked is produced by: Marc Platt, Universal Stage Productions, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and

David Stone. Executive Producer (UK): Michael McCabe.


Official UK website:


Sunderland Empire

High Street West

Sunderland SR1 3EX











Best ticket availability currently at Monday to Thursday performances, including midweek matinees.




0844 871 3022



0844 871 3042


Performance Times

Monday-Saturday at 7.30pm, matinees Wednesday & Saturday at 2.30pm.

Extra Easter matinee on Thursday 9 April 2015 at 2.30pm.


Ticket Prices

Monday-Thursday: £52.50, £42.50, £32.50, £25.00, £20.00, £15.00

Friday-Saturday: £55.00, £47.50, £35.50, £27.50, £22.50

Premium seats available at all performances (£62.50 – £75.00)


Senior Citizens: £30 for best available

*Valid on Wednesday matinee only. Excludes premiums and school holidays.


Dates, times and prices subject to change without notice. Discounts are strictly subject to availability and may be withdrawn without any prior notice. Only one discount applies at any one time. Bookings are subject to a £2.85 transaction fee if booked online or via the call centre. Please note £1 of the ticket price goes to the Sunderland Empire restoration levy.


Wicked is suitable for a general audience. As a guide to parents and guardians, it is recommended for ages 8+. All persons entering the theatre, regardless of age, must have a ticket. Children under 3 years of age will not be admitted.




Gregory Maguire’s ‘WICKED: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ is published in the UK by Headline.The book is recommended for readers aged 16+


The GRAMMY® award-winning Original Broadway Cast recording on DECCA BROADWAY


James Bolam & Steve John Shepherd in Bomber’s Moon









James Bolam and Steve John Shepherd will star in the play BOMBER’S MOON by William Ivory at Trafalgar Studios 2, previewing from Monday 20 April, with a press night on Friday 24 April, for a strictly limited season until Saturday 23 May.  This follows a critically acclaimed run at Park Theatre in 2014.


Former RAF gunner Jimmy finds his routine disrupted when sensitive care assistant David arrives – and his cantankerous outlook and colourful language seem to be more than David can handle.  As Jimmy increasingly snaps back to the adrenaline-fuelled terror of his WWII bombing raids, and David’s new found faith is tested to breaking point, both men discover that a lasting peace is not easily won.  With acerbic wit and searing honesty, BOMBER’S MOON is a bittersweet tour-de-force, full of gritty realism and razor-sharp humour.


James Bolam is best known for his television work, including New Tricks (BBC), Born and Bred (BBC), Second Thoughts (LWT), The Beiderbecke Connection/Tapes/Affair (YTV), Only When I Laugh (YTV), When the Boat Comes In (BBC) and The Likely Lads (BBC).  His most recent theatre credits include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Semi Detached, both at Chichester, and Wild Oats at the National.


Steve John Shepherd is best known as Michael Moon in EastEnders and for his breakthrough role as Jo in This Life.  His most recent theatre credits include Albion (Bush Theatre), Piaf (Donmar Warehouse & West End) and Five Wives of Maurice Pinder (National Theatre).


William Ivory wrote the screenplay for the film Made In Dagenham.  His television writing credits include episodes of ITV’s Minder and, for the BBC, Common as MuckThe SinsNight FlightA Thing Called LoveFaith and Burton and Taylor.


BOMBER’S MOON will be directed at Trafalgar Studios 2 by Matt Aston, with original design by Laura McEwen, original lighting design by James Farncombe, sound design by Damian Coldwell and choreography by Emma Annetts.  Dean Sudron will be associate designer and lighting designer at Trafalgar Studios 2.


BOMBER’S MOON is presented at Trafalgar Studios 2 by Engine House Theatre in association with Park Theatre.  General Management is by Colin Blumenau and Emily Slack for The Production Exchange.  Associate Producers are Arden Entertainment. 






20 April – 23 May


Trafalgar Studios 2

14 Whitehall

London SW1A 2DY


Performances:  Monday-Saturday at 7.45pm*, Thursday & Saturday at 3.00pm

*7.00pm on Friday 24 April


Running Time:  1 hour, 45 minutes (including interval)


Tickets:  £15.00 – £25.00 plus £3.00 transaction fee


Box Office:  0844 871 7632

Access Number: 0844 871 7677

Group Bookings: 0844 871 7644







Monday 12 – Saturday 17 October 2015



Tickets on sale Tuesday 2 April at 10am


Jesus Christ Superstar exploded onto the musical scene in 1971 – stunning audiences and changing the face of musical theatre forever. Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera tells the story of the last seven days in the life of Jesus through an extraordinary, groundbreaking score. As compelling today as it was at its inception over forty years ago, Jesus Christ Superstar has some of musical theatre’s most legendary songs from I Don’t Know How to Love Him, Everything’s Alright, and Gethsemane through to, of course, Superstar.

Produced by Bill Kenwright and the creative team behind numerous blockbuster musicals, Jesus Christ Superstartells the world’s oldest story with the superb theatricality they have brought to Evita, Joseph, Cabaret, Blood Brothers and Whistle Down the Wind to mention only a few.


Cast to be announced at a later date.


Performances: Mon – Sat 7:30pm  Wed & Sat mats 2:30pm

Tickets: £17.50 – £45.00

Box Office: 0844 871 3024

Online Booking:





Edward Bennett   Niamh Cusack   Jamie Glover   Katherine Kingsley

THE REHEARSAL by Jean Anouilh
Translated by Jeremy Sams
Director Jeremy Sams

8 May – 13 June
Minerva Theatre, Chichester

A distinguished cast including Edward Bennett, Niamh Cusack, Jamie Glover and Katherine Kingsley has been announced for Chichester’s sumptuous revival of Jean Anouilh’s savagely witty dissection of love, deception and the secret roles people really want to play. Due to popular demand, an extra week of performances is now on sale.

The Count, better known as Tiger, is planning another of his spectacular parties, including an evening of amateur dramatics. But as soon as rehearsals begin, it’s clear that his play will unleash just as much passion, shock and intrigue off stage as it will on.

Edward Bennett plays Hero. His theatre credits include Love’s Labour’s Lost and Love’s Labour’s Won, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet (all for the RSC) and One Man, Two Guvnors (UK tour).

Niamh Cusack plays The Countess. Her theatre credits include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time(National Theatre and West End), The Playboy of the Western World, and Cause Célèbre (for the Old Vic).

Jamie Glover plays The Count. His acting credits include Chichester’s Festival 2014 production of An Ideal Husband,and All’s Well That Ends Well and Edward III (both for the RSC).

Katherine Kingsley plays Hortensia. Her theatre credits include Chichester’s Singin’ in the Rain (also West End), and West End productions of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The cast also includes Joseph Arkley (whose credits include Brilliant Adventures and Titus) as Villebosse, Gabrielle Dempsey (whose credits include Kindertransport and Spring Awakening) as Lucile, Simon Dutton (whose screen credits include Jupiter Ascending and Suite Française) as Damiens and Ben Lydon as Valet.

Beginning in 1966 with The Fighting Cock, Chichester has a tradition of bringing notable works by Jean Anouilh to the stage including Dear Antoine, Eurydice, Wild Orchids and The Waltz of the Toreadors.

Jeremy Sams directs this production of The Rehearsal, having also provided the celebrated translation. His numerous other translations include Mary Stuart (National Theatre) and The Threepenny Opera (Donmar Warehouse). Directing credits include Noises Off at the National Theatre and The Water Babies at Chichester. Sams is also an acclaimed orchestrator, musical director, film composer, and lyricist.

Design is by William Dudley, whose numerous credits include Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare’s Globe), Fortune’s Fool (Old Vic), The Winter’s Tale (RSC) andUncle Vanya (The Print Room).

Lighting Design is by Chichester Associate Tim Mitchell, whose credits include Festival 2015’s Way Upstream,  as well as the Olivier Award nominated Taken at Midnight (also West End), Guys and Dolls and Amadeus.

Sound Design is by Fergus O’Hare whose credits include Festival 2015’s Way Upstream, as well as An Ideal Husband,King Lear (and New York), and Another Country (and West End/UK tour).

The Rehearsal is sponsored by Conciair.

Director and translator Jeremy Sams will be in conversation with novelist and CFT biographer Kate Mosse on Thursday 28 May at 6pm. Tickets free but advance booking essential.

There will be the chance to meet some of The Rehearsal company at a post-show discussion hosted by author Simon Brett on Monday 25 May.

Booking information
An extra week of performances is on sale for The Rehearsal at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester which now runs from 8 May – 13 June. Evenings 7.45pm (except for Press Night, Thursday 14 May at 7pm), matinees 2.45pm. Tickets: Previews/Press Nights £20, £25, all other performances £25, £34. To book, go to or contact the Box Office on 01243 781312.

Special Prices for 16 – 25s
An allocation of tickets for 16 – 25 year olds priced at just £8.50 for all performances of The Rehearsal  will go on sale on 8 April. These may be booked on 01243 781312, online at or in person.