Battersea Arts Centre
18 April | Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre

An unforgettable night of live entertainment. Expect comedy, music and theatre from Stewart Lee, Tim Key, Bridget Christie, Arthur Smith, Mackenzie Crook, Jackson’s Way, Lemn Sissay, Toby Jones, Forced Entertainment, BAC Beatbox Academy, Kneehigh Band and more.

All proceeds go to support Battersea Arts Centre’s recovery following the fire.

Be a major supporter of the Phoenix Fund and buy a VIP ticket at £100, guaranteeing yourself the best seats in the house and special treats on the night.

Tweet your support using #BACPhoenix.

Booking link:

Cast announced for CLOSER TO HEAVEN at the Union Theatre




A musical by Jonathan Harvey and the Pet Shop Boys



Closer to Heaven - artworkFull casting is announced today for Closer to Heaven, a musical by Jonathan Harvey and the Pet Shop Boys, which will receive its first London revival at the Union Theatre from Wednesday 22 April 2015, with a press night on Tuesday 28 April.


The cast features Jared Thompson as Straight Dave, Katie Meller as Billie Trix, Amy Matthews as Shell, Connor Brabyn as Mile End Lee, Ben Kavanagh as Flynn, Craig Berry as Vic and Ken Christiansen as Bob. The cast also includes Ellie Mitchell, Tamsyn Blake, Grace Reynolds, Jamie Firth, Martin Harding, Ben Somerside and Alex Tranter.Jared Thompson - Dave in CLOSER TO HEAVEN


Reserved Seats will also be released online today, priced at £30 and available at selected performances. Reserved Seats are guaranteed reservations in the best seats in the theatre, which operates unallocated seating. 100% of the ticket revenue from these seats will contribute towards a profit share between the cast and creative team.

Paul Taylor-Mills Ltd said: “We are absolutely delighted that Closer To Heaven has recouped its production costs pre-opening due to an unprecedented 48 hour online sell-out. This means the entire cost of the Reserved Seats will be shared equally amongst the cast, musicians and creative team. The Off West End exists because of the good-will, risk and generosity of the people that decide to work on these shows, and in our fortunate circumstances it feels only right that any financial award is split amongst those giving their time and energy to make the work happen.

Tickets are available at


Set against the backdrop of Soho’s pulsing clubland, Closer to Heaven tells the story of Dave, just off the boat from Ireland and determined to make something of himself. He is offered a bar job at a glitzy London nightclub, where he quickly becomes part of an unconventional family including Billie Trix, a fading rock star of the sixties and mother figure to the club’s habitués, Vic, the club’s owner and a middle-aged gay father, and his daughter Shell, who Dave sparks an immediate connection with. But will Dave truly discover himself in London, or will he fall into a labyrinth of excess, false agendas and the darker side of club life?


Closer to Heaven originally premiered at the Arts Theatre in 2001, and features an original club score by the Pet Shop Boys.


Pet Shop Boys are the UK’s most successful pop duo with 12 Top Ten studio albums and 40 Top Twenty singles including four number one records. Their first single West End Girls reached number one in nine countries, with further number one hits including It’s a Sin, Always on My Mind and Heart. They have won Brit awards for Best Single, Best Group and Outstanding Contribution to Music, and Ivor Novello Awards for Songwriting and Outstanding Contribution to British Music. They have a dedicated interest in combining music with theatre and film, having collaborated on tours with artist/director Derek Jarman, David Alden and David Fielding from the ENO, theatre designers Ian MacNeil and Es Devlin and director Sam Taylor-Wood. In 2001, Closer to Heaven was produced in the West End, and in 2011 their ballet The Most Incredible Thing, choreographed by Javier De Frutos, premiered at Sadler’s Wells.


Jonathan Harvey is the multi award-winning writer of Beautiful Thing, which returns to the West End in June. He has written 20 stage plays including Corrie!, Canary, Hushabye Mountain, Babies, Boom Bang A Bang and Rupert Street Lonely Hearts Club. His theatre work has won him an Evening Standard Award, two Manchester Evening News Awards, the George Devine Award and the John Whiting Award. Television work includes the Bafta nominated sitcom Gimme Gimme Gimme, Beautiful People, Coronation Street, Shameless, Rev (Bafta, Best Sitcom), At Home With The Braithwaites, Lilies, The Catherine Tate Show and Murder Most Horrid. Jonathan has also written 4 novels, published by Pan Macmillan, All She WantsThe Confusion of Karen CarpenterThe Girl Who Just Appeared, and The Secrets We Keep.

Closer to Heaven will be directed by Gene David Kirk, whose recent credits include Me & My Friend (Drayton Arms Theatre), The Two-Character Play by Tennessee Williams (Off Broadway), Orwell: A Celebration (Trafalgar Studios), TheAsh Boy (Theatre503) and Elgar & Alice (UK Tour). Gene was Artistic Director of Jermyn Street Theatre from 2007 – 2012, winning The Stage’s Theatre of the Year Award in 2012. Gene was Executive Producer for the stage premiere of Samuel Beckett’s All That Fall starring Sir Michael Gambon and Dame Eileen Atkins, directed by Sir Trevor Nunn, which transferred to the West End’s Arts Theatre and to Off-Broadway’s 59east59 Theatre. Gene is currently Artistic Director of the Drayton Arms Theatre.


Paul Taylor-Mills Ltd returns to the Union Theatre following productions of The Beautiful Game and Bare: The Rock Musical. Other productions include In The Heights (Southwark Playhouse), Altar Boyz (Greenwich Theatre), The Cat in the Hat (UK Tour) and the forthcoming London revival of Carrie: The Musical (Southwark Playhouse).

Closer to Heaven has a book by Jonathan Harvey and music and lyrics by Pet Shop Boys. It is directed by Gene David Kirk with choreography by Philip Joel, musical direction by Patrick Stockbridge and design by David Shields. Casting is by Adam Braham. It is produced by Kylie Vilcins for Paul Taylor-Mills Ltd, by special arrangement withThe Really Useful Group.







204 Union Street, London SE1 0LX

Press Night: Tuesday 28 April 2015, 7.30pm

Performances: Tuesday – Saturday at 7.30pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2.30pm

Tickets: £20 (£17 Concessions)

Box Office: 020 7261 9876 |



Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment

Takes Families from the North East on a Captivating Adventure to

Four Magical Locations

New Production Features Dynamic Sisters Anna and Elsa

from the #1 Animated Movie of All Time Disney’s Frozen

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Also watch Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater and the crew of DisneyPixars Cars take to the ice

Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment, Feld Entertainment’s action-packed ice spectacular featuring four fun-filled Disney stories, is coming to Newcastle on Tyne in October. Worlds of Enchantment showcases beloved characters from Disney●Pixar’s Cars, The Little Mermaid, and Disney●Pixar’s Toy Story 3, along with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. Joining these cherished characters are the stars of Disney’s Frozen. Tickets for performances at The Metro Radio Arena go on sale Friday 10th April.

Audiences will enter the fantastical wintery world of Arendelle with royal sisters Anna and Elsa from the BAFTA and Academy Award® winning and number one animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen. Anna, a girl with an extraordinary heart, embarks on an epic journey with the hilarious snowman Olaf and rugged mountain-man Kristoff to find her sister, the magical Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter.

“Our re-creation of Arendelle and the visual splendor on the ice sets the stage for the magical transformation from summer to winter,” says Producer Nicole Feld. “While it might seem obvious that Frozen is well suited for the ice, this Disney On Ice production will touch audiences emotionally through innovative show elements and world-class skating.”

In Radiator Springs, life-size Disney●Pixar’s Cars characters – Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater and the crew – take their high-octane personalities to the ice. Featuring state-of-the-art, custom animatronics, their eyes and mouths move with every twist and turn on the frozen highway. Mater has amusing antics in store as the Cars characters rock the ice with jumps, spins and freewheeling fun.

“Worlds of Enchantment connects classic and new Disney stories,” says Producer Kenneth Feld. “Audiences will be blown away in Radiator Springs when they encounter the unforgettable crew of animated cars, built to scale and live on ice. They will see their all-time favourites like The Little Mermaid and Disney●Pixar’s Toy Story 3 and discover a story full of action, magic and unforgettable characters with Frozen.”

To produce Worlds of Enchantment, the Feld father-daughter duo called upon the talents of an incredible creative team consisting of Jay Smith (Director), Patty Vincent (Director Toy Story 3 and Frozen sections), Jerry Bilik (Writer/Adapter), Two-time Emmy® Award-winner Sarah Kawahara (Choreographer), Cindy Stuart (Choreographer – Toy Story 3 and Frozen sections), Cynthia Nordstrom (Costume Designer), Scott Lane (Costume Designer – Toy Story 3 section), Emmy®-nominated Gregory A. Poplyk (Costume Designer – Frozen section), Peter Morse (Lighting Designer), Alex Reardon (Lighting Designer – Toy Story 3 section), Sam Doty (Lighting Designer – Frozen section) and Jeremy Railton (Set Designer).

Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment

Metro Radio Arena

Newcastle on Tyne

6th- 11th October 2015

Ticket Hotline: 0844 493 6666

Tickets costing from £16.00 will go on sale Friday 10th 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

Tim Vine Review

Civic Theatre, Darlington – 7 April 2015

TimVineCrop_3014197bIn his first stand up tour for four years, Tim Vine arrived to a fully sold out Darlington with  “Timtiminee Timtiminee Tim Tim to You”  with the warning that the show contains wobbly props, one reference to a panda and a song about getting water in your ear after swimming.  It also has a veiled reference to Mary Poppins via the name of the show, the arrival of Vine in a chimney and his outfit (think Dick Van Dyke and the dancing penguins bit) and his leaving music of “Lets Go Fly a Kite”.

But the show was hilarious, from start to finish.  Full of puns, one liners, visual gags, ridiculous songs and the pure madness of Vine himself.  Including the epic “Pen Behind the Ear” and the joke voted funniest at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe “I’ve decided to sell my hoover… well, it was just collecting dust.” 

Tim Vine presents proper, wholesome, clean family entertainment.  No profanities, no innuendo just fast-fire, clean and corny gags.  Suitable for an audience made up of 0 to 90 year olds. No politics, sexism or put downs just silliness on a grand scale which is a welcome relief for those of us who like our comedy to be funny.

The support act was equally as brilliant – local magician John Archer who baffled with his tricks and had me as a very unglamorous assistant whilst he guessed which street I had picked out of a choice of 3 map books.  I went for Krefeld Way in Barnet because we used to live in Krefeld – how he knew I do not know.  But I do love a good magician and he was a very good magician.

The tour continues until the middle of June and you would be mad to miss it.  Tour details can be found at




A Live Nation and Zen Tiger Live presentation in association with WME Entertainment.




  • Official World Premiere: Hammersmith Apollo, London on Thursday 8 October.
  • Full Tour goes on general sale at 9am on 10 April at
  • Special appearance to celebrate the announcement: 1pm on Friday 10 April at M&S in Westfield, London W12.

Sanrio GmbH, Live Nation and Zen Tiger Live in association with WME Entertainment officially announce the forthcoming launch of HELLO KITTY LIVE – FASHION & FRIENDS. The first chapter of series of live shows starring Hello Kitty, her family and the other Sanrio characters.Hello Kitty Live - Fashion & Friends. Credit Sanrio Puroland

HELLO KITTY LIVE – FASHION & FRIENDS gives fans of all ages the first ever opportunity to physically enter the world of Hello Kitty as she takes to the stage live and in 3D for this World Premiere, the latest development in the continuing evolution of this global super brand.

A ‘Pop Show’ in the truest sense, the soundtrack features high calibre artists including Charli XCX, Bruno Mars, Kylie Minogue, Echosmith, Clean Bandit, Flo Rida and many more.

See Hello Kitty like you’ve never seen her before as this fashion icon welcomes audiences into her world in a story that highlights the value of friendship, creativity, respect for nature and a love of learning.Hello Kitty Live - Fashion & Friends. Credit Sanrio Puroland 2

The producers at Zen Tiger Live have assembled an accomplished creative team comprised of Richard Lewis, creative director of a long list of successful productions including Peppa Pig Live and Lazy Town Live; Del Mak, choreographer of TV show Got to Dance and LRNZ, one of the most acclaimed upcoming visual artists on the digital scene. Together they have created a fun-packed show, where the characters on stage and the animations on a mega HD screen interact with the public as the story unfolds.

Steve Homer, Promoter at Live Nation Entertainment, said ‘We are delighted to have Hello Kitty Live – Fashion & Friends on our roster; she is a natural addition to a line-up of Global superstars we work with including Madonna, Rihanna and Beyonce.’

Hello Kitty Meet & Greet – M&S, Westfield London W12, Friday 10 April 1pm

To celebrate the announcement of the UK Tour and tickets going on sale, Hello Kitty will be visiting M&S Westfield London in White City on Friday 10 April at 1pm. Fans and families are welcome to come along to meet Kitty in person.

Fans will also be invited to enter a competition to win the ultimate Hello Kitty fan prize – the ‘Platinum Hug’ VIP package at a venue of their choice, plus runner-up HELLO KITTY LIVE SUPER-FAN GOODY BAGprizes which will be full of exciting Hello Kitty merchandise.

An exclusive and limited series of HELLO KITTY LIVE – FASHION & FRIENDS merchandising will be available only at the show venues.

The official premiere will be in London on 8 October 2015 at the Hammersmith Apollo before the show departs for an extensive tour across the UK with future dates planned across Europe (to be announced).


Tickets can be booked online at:

See individual venue booking information on tour schedule below.


Adult tickets: £18 – £25 per ticket*
Child & Family (in sets of 4, must in include at least 1 child): £16 – £22 per ticket
Schools & Groups: £16 – £22 per ticket (11th ticket for teacher free)
* Premium ticket: £29.50 (Aylesbury and London only)


Sunderland Empire
5pm Monday 5 October 2015
0844 871 3022

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
5pm Tuesday 6 October 2015
0844 871 7607

Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
7pm Wednesday 7 October 2015
0115 989 5555

Hammersmith Eventim Apollo
7pm Thursday 8 October 2015
0844 249 4300

Bournemouth Pavilion
11am & 3pm Saturday 10 October 2015
0844 576 3000

Northampton Derngate
1pm & 4pm  Sunday 11 October 2015
01604 624811

Edinburgh Usher Hall
1pm & 4pm Tuesday 13 October 2015
0131 228 1155

Aberdeen Music Hall
12noon & 3pm Wednesday 14 October 2015
01224 641122

Dundee Caird Hall
2pm & 5.30pm Thursday 15 October 2015
01382 434940

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
1pm & 5pm Saturday 17 October 2015
0141 353 8000

Manchester Palace Theatre
11am & 2.30pm Sunday 18 October 2015
0844 871 3019

Liverpool Auditorium
5pm Monday 19 October 2015
0844 8000 400

Stoke Regent Theatre
4.30pm Tuesday 20 October 2015
0844 871 7649

New Wimbledon Theatre
4.30pm Thursday 22 October 2015
0844 871 7646

St David’s Hall Cardiff
5pm Friday 23 October 2015
029 2087 8444

Brighton Theatre Royal
1pm & 4.30pm Sunday 25 October 2015
0844 871 7650

Wolverhampton Civic Hall
11am & 3pm Monday 26 October 2015
[http://tel:0870%20320%207000]0870 320 7000

Southend Cliffs Pavilion
11am & 2.30pm Wednesday 28 October 2015
01702 351135

Portsmouth Guildhall
11am & 2.30pm Thursday 29 October 2015
0844 847 2362

York Barbican
11am & 2.30pm Saturday 31 October 2015
0844 854 2757



Interview with Sean Foley – Director of A Mad World My Masters

Can you tell us, in short, what A Mad World My Masters is about?

It’s a hilarious comedy about sex, money, and con-men.

AMW-91What was it about this particular play that drew you in and made you want to adapt and direct it?

It was the funniest, but most over-looked play I could find. A London-set rollicking good night out – a sort of joyous satire about human shortcomings, with terrific characters and some classic comic situations that I felt could be brought bang up to date.

Why did you choose to set it in 1950s Soho?

The music, the style, and the frocks! And the plot demands that posh people are in the same place as prostitutes, bent coppers, and con men - just what was happening in 1950’s Soho.

This show ran previously at the RSC’s Swan Theatre. What are the challenges of revisiting a show you previously staged successfully?

Making sure it’s just as good second time around!

This play was written by Thomas Middleton in 1605. How do you think it has maintained it relevance today?

People’s foibles about sex and money seem to be the same as they ever were… We really didn’t need to do much adapting of the play – and from the very first performance, people recognised exactly what it was about, and

You’ve added in modern music to this Jacobean play.  What does this add to the play?

AMW-6The original play had music in it – we just updated it to the time we set it. But we also added wonderful Jazz and Rythym and Blues songs for each character, and we have a fantastic singer and live band with us – it adds to the live and anarchic feel of the show. It helps create an all round evening of entertainment.

The show is touring around the UK to 9 venues.  How important is touring theatre?

I just had an email forwarded to me from a group of people that had seen the show in Blackpool… they were a group of ex-addicts and offenders, and for most of them it was their first ever visit to the theatre, but they loved it! They had a great night out. To get that reaction makes you realise the importance entertainment and culture can have in everyone’s lives – theatre should be a great nights’ popular entertainment – just like it was in Shakespeare’s day. Unless we’d toured the show, that group never would have seen it, because they would never have made the trip to Stratford or London.

You’ve won awards for writing, directing and acting, do you prefer one of them in particular?

The one I’m doing at the moment!

When did you first realise that working in theatre was a realistic dream?

… I started my own company with 2 other people at the age of 21. We were lucky that we didn’t know how hard it would be, or we wouldn’t have bothered!… But after a few years, we were still doing it, paying ourselves £40 a week… we just kept going until people had recognised what we were doing. You have to be fantastically determined, or very lucky – probably both – but it is a dream that anyone can realise if they really want to do it.

Do you have any advice for budding directors trying to get a foothold in the industry?

Don’t wait for someone to ask you – do it yourself!… You’ll get noticed if you just keep making work however you can.

A Mad World My Masters is on at Darlington Civic Theatre form Tuesday 14 to Saturday 18 April. Call the Box Office on 01325 486555 or visit

Casting announced for CARRIE: THE MUSICAL London Premiere






Full casting is announced today for Carrie, which will receive its long awaited London Premiere in The Large atSouthwark Playhouse from Friday 1 to Saturday 30 May 2015, with a press night on Wednesday 6 May. Preview performances are now sold out, following the best on-sale week of any show in the venue’s 22-year history.

Evelyn Hoskins will star as Carrie White and Kim Criswell will star as her mother Margaret.

Evelyn Hoskins played Thea in the original cast of Spring Awakening at the Lyric Theatre and in the West End, with other theatre credits including Christmas with the Stars (Royal Albert Hall), Cool Rider (Lyric Theatre), This is My Family(Sheffield Crucible) and The Secret Garden (Birmingham Rep). Television credits include the reoccurring roles Lucy inMisfits (E4) and Shona in Casualty (BBC).

Kim Criswell is an Olivier Award-nominated actress whose career spans 4 decades and both sides of the Atlantic. In America, Kim featured in the original Broadway casts of The First, Nine, Baby and The Threepenny Opera, as well as playing Grizabella in the original LA cast of Cats. In the UK, Kim’s many theatre credits include Singin’ In The Rain in Concert (Royal Festival Hall), Follies (London Palladium), Company (Hackney Empire), On The Town (Royal Festival Hall) and her Olivier-nominated performance in the title role in Annie Get Your Gun (Prince of Wales Theatre).

The cast also features Sarah McNicholas as Sue, Greg Miller Burns as Tommy, Gabriella Williams as Chris, Dex Lee as Billy, Jodie Jacobs as Miss Gardner, David Habbin as Mr Stephens, Molly McGuire as Norma, Bobbie Little as Frieda, Emily McGougan as Helen, Patrick Sullivan as George, Olly Dobson as Freddy and Eddie Myles as Stokes.

View the new trailer here:

Pray for your Salvation….

Carrie is back like you’ve never seen her before.


Twenty seven years after first wreaking havoc, the world’s most talked about Broadway musical is coming to London. Academy Award winning Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore (Fame), and original screenplay writer Lawrence D. Cohen, have transformed Stephen King’s unlikely Cinderella story into an infectiously modern musical that has gripped audiences from Australia to America with its timeless story and thrilling score.


A taunted and terrified seventeen-year-old misfit, Carrie White has a burning secret… a secret that will eventually ignite her revenge. Make your date for the Senior Prom to see who will be crowned Queen, and who will have blood on their hands. After one night with Carrie you will always remember her name.

Based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel, the musical of Carrie hasn’t been seen since the legendary original production. Produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, it first premiered in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1988 before transferring straight to Broadway, but never made it to London. In 2012, its score and book were revised by original composer Michael Gore, lyricist Dean Pitchford and librettist Lawrence D. Cohen and this newly reworked and fully re-imagined vision for Carrie will now be presented for the first time on the London stage.

The revised 2012 MCC production won Best Musical Revival by the Off-Broadway Alliance, and had its premiere cast recording released on Ghostlight/Sh-K-Boom Records, which debuted as the No. 1 selling album of the week on Billboard’s Top Broadway chart in its first week of release.

Carrie will be directed and choreographed by Gary Lloyd, director and choreographer of global hit show Thriller Live!. Gary is renowned for his crossover from music to theatre, working as Creative Director on shows including American Idoland The X Factor. Other theatre credits include 20th Century Boy at Coventry Belgrade Theatre and the UK Tour ofAspects Of Love.

Carrie is presented by Paul Taylor-Mills Ltd, who return to Southwark Playhouse following their acclaimed productions of In The Heights and Bat Boy: The Musical.



Carrie has music by Michael Gore, lyrics by Dean Pitchford and book by Lawrence D. Cohen, based on the novel byStephen King. It is directed by Gary Lloyd with Musical Direction by Mark Crossland, Design by Tim McQuillen-Wright, Lighting Design by Tim Oliver, Sound Design by Dan Samson, Music Programming by Gary Hickeson and Special Effects by Jeremy Chernick. It is presented by Paul Taylor-Mills Ltd. by arrangement with Bill Kenwright Ltd. and licensed by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe. Casting is by Will Burton.




77-85 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD

Press Night:                  Wednesday 6 May, 7.30pm

Performances:             Monday – Saturday 7.30pm, Thursday 2.30pm (except 7 May), Saturdays 3.00pm

Tickets:                         £18-22 (£12 previews)

Box Office                    020 7407 0234 |





Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap celebrated 26,000 performances at the St Martins Theatre in London on Monday 6 April. The production, which originally opened in 1952 starring the late Richard Attenborough and his wife Sheila Sim, became the world’s longest running stage production in 1958 exceeding the run of Chu-Chin-Chow after 2,239 performances.

As part of the 60th anniversary of The Mousetrap, the first ever UK tour took to the road in 2012 and has now been seen by over 600,000 people across more than 600 performances. Breaking box office records in many of the theatres around the country, the beloved murder mystery will begin the 2015 leg of its tour at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen on 28 April. The show will visit over 25 venues across the UK including a return visit to The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury from 1 – 5 September where the record-breaking tour began back in September 2012.

Mousetrap Productions has also licensed 60 productions of The Mousetrap worldwide to mark the 60th year, and many of these have also broken their records, from Cape Town to Philadelphia, Singapore to Sydney.  During this period the world’s longest running show has been seen in every continent, with professional productions in Australia, China, Korea, Turkey, South Africa, Russia, Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Scandinavia, Venezuela, and across the United States and Canada.

Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen and the cast of The Mousetrap celebrating the 26,000 performance. Credit Dave Wise.

The Mousetrap
continues at
St. Martin’s Theatre
West Street

Box Office 08444 99 1515

Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm
Matinee performances at 3.00pm on Tuesday and 4.00pm on Saturday

The Mousetrap UK Tour
The Mousetrap continues on tour in 2015, for full tour dates please visit:

Wicked Review

Empire Theatre, Sunderland – 4 April 2015

Wicked has been entertaining audiences in the West End since 2006, and this first UK tour shows just why it is so popular.

Emily Tierney (Glinda) and Ashleigh Gray (Elphaba). Photo by Matt Crockett
Emily Tierney (Glinda) and Ashleigh Gray (Elphaba).
Photo by Matt Crockett

To give it is full title – Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, is based on the 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.  This itself is based on the L Frank Baum story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the classic Judy Garland 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.  And a little trivia fact, Elphaba is named from L Frank Baum.

Although mainly green, the show is colourful and vibrant  and tells a story of love, friendship and embracing differences.

Glinda played by Emily Tierney, is saccharine sweet with a strong soprano voice and superb comic timing. Tierney’s performance of comical number ‘Popular’ provides a show highlight but her rendition of ‘Thank Goodness’ which truly allows her to shine revealing the character’s inner vulnerability.

Fiyero, Samuel Edwards, plays such an under used part.  He has a ruggedness to his acting and gives the character definition.

Marilyn Cutts was sinister and sickly and marvellously malevolent as Madame Morrible. Steven Pinder combined Doctor Dillamond with his role of the Wizard and shined in both. Carina Gillespie as the tragically beautiful Nessa Rose shows a tough side and her love hate relationship with Boq, Richard Vincent, gives her a hard edge to her character.

But it is Ashleigh Gray as Elphaba, the green skinned heroine, who steals the show  It is probably easy to learn the script and play the part but Gray has given layers and depth to her interpretation of the part.  Her careful pronunciation of her words and outstanding singing voice allow a powerful emotional intensity. And the show stopping ‘Defying Gravity’ was breath-takingly powerful

There were some lovely nods to the original Wizard of Oz.  Nessa Rose’s stripy black and white tights, the origins of the Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow. And the keeping of the original books idea’s that the shoes belonging to Nessa were silver until enchanted then they became ruby red.

Wicked is Sunderland until 25 April and then on tour round the UK and playing in the West End at the Apollo Victoria.  Full details at


Old Joint Stock Musical Theatre Company present Dogfight


Fresh from an acclaimed London run, OJSMTC present the iconic new musical, Dogfight – a story of war and loss, where love turns up in the ugliest of places.

It’s November 21, 1963. On the eve of their deployment to a small but growing conflict in Southeast Asia, three young Marines set out for one final boys’ night of debauchery, partying and maybe a little trouble. But when Corporal Eddie Birdlace meets Rose, an awkward and idealistic waitress he enlists to win a cruel bet with his fellow recruits, she rewrites the rules of the game and teaches him the power of compassion.

What the critics are saying about Dogfight:

‘This is a cleverly written and hugely enjoyable show, with a lovely folky score.’ The Guardian

‘The most enjoyable, moving and stimulating new musical that I have seen in ages … a wonderful evening and one that, in any truly discriminating theatrical culture, would win awards.” The Independent

‘A production that is beautifully underscored…The flow of the narrative almost has a cinematic quality.’ The Stage