MARYLEBONE THEATRE PATRON MARK RYLANCE TO PERFORM VENUS AND ADONIS ALONGSIDE DEREK JACOBI AS PART OF A GALA FUNDRAISER – 17 NOVEMBER 2024

MARYLEBONE THEATRE PATRON MARK RYLANCE TO PERFORM VENUS AND ADONIS ALONGSIDE DEREK JACOBI

AS PART OF A GALA FUNDRAISER

17 NOVEMBER 2024

THEATRE CELEBRATES FIRST TWO YEARS WITH DETAILS OF FULL AUTUMN / WINTER SEASON,

PLUS, AN INCREASED SEATING CAPACITY FROM OCTOBER

Marylebone Theatre Artistic Director Alexander Gifford alongside new Executive Director Hannah Henderson are pleased to announce that Mark Rylance – the venue’s Patron – will perform Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis alongside Derek Jacobi on Sunday 17 November at 7.00pm, as part of a fundraiser in aid of the theatre. Tickets are on sale now via the theatre’s website.

The fundraiser is part of an autumn / winter season which includes The Last Word  (5 – 21 September) – a searing multimedia performance based on the last words of women accused of political crimes in Russian courts; What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank   (4 October – 23 November) – a serious comedy written by Nathan Englander, directed by Patrick Marber and starring Joshua Malina; and culminating with A Sherlock Carol  ‘a winning crossover mystery’ (The Guardian), which returns to Baker street for a third Christmas following two sold-out runs. Singer songwriter Nerina Pallot also brings her first one-woman show, I Digress, to the Marylebone Theatre for two performances only (2 & 9 December). Audiences can also enjoy the exhibition Long Shadows, Bright World, on display until 1 December – a collaboration between Sir Ben Okri and Rosemary Clunie, bringing together the worlds of painting and poetry, image and text.

In response to high demand for tickets and a wish to expand the venue’s commercial potential. the theatre will also be increasing its seating capacity in late September from its current 200 seats up to 266 seats.

Mark Rylance said, “In the early 1990’s I was a month away from performing Venus and Adonis when the production had to be cancelled. Thirty years later, I am excited to be revisiting my plans to play Shakespeare’s first known published work as part of a gala fundraiser for the Marylebone Theatre. This excellent new venue, of which I am a patron, stages original, wonderful plays, often in verse. I am delighted that my dear friend Derek Jacobi will be joining on stage to support a venue with a unique calling to explore and refresh the great classical tradition.”

Since opening in autumn 2022 with Dmitry by Peter Oswald, the Marylebone Theatre has presented an eclectic programme of theatre, spoken word, music and events. To date, it has welcome over 50,000 people through its doors, been awarded the Off West End award for Best Production and received numerous four and five-star reviews for shows including, The Dry House, a world premiere by Eugene O’Hare, the poignant and moving dramas Grenfell: System Failure, and the hit-show, The White Factory. 2024 highlights have included The Most Precious of Goods, translated and directed by Nicolas Kent, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, starring Greg Hicks, and The Government Inspector, a brand-new adaptation of Gogol’s masterpiece.

Marylebone Theatre Artistic Director Alexander J Gifford said,“As the Marylebone Theatre approaches its second birthday, I am proud to be announcing a season which combines the urgently political with the eternally poetic. Venus and Adonis is perhaps the most exquisite long poem in the English language. Performed by two of Shakespeare’s greatest modern interpreters, Sir Mark Rylance and Sir Derek Jacobi, it will be the centre-piece of a gala fundraiser, whose goal is to secure the Marylebone’s future as a major, new producing house. Alongside it, we will be presenting two UK premieres, delivered by world-class directors, Maxim Didenko and Patrick Marber. I hope our new season consolidates our reputation as an important, new venue and that more and more people come through our doors to enjoy our unique offering of relevant, potent and artistically excellent work.”

Full Cast Announced for the UK Tour of JB Priestley’s AN INSPECTOR CALLS

FULL CAST ANNOUNCED FOR THE UK TOUR OF

J B PRIESTLEY’S CLASSIC THRILLER

AN INSPECTOR CALLS

OPENING

FRIDAY 30 AUGUST 2024

AT ALEXANDRA PALACE, LONDON

BEFORE VISITING 26 VENUES ACROSS THE UK

PW Productions is delighted to announce the full cast for the 2024-25 UK Tour of Stephen Daldry’s multi award-winning National Theatre production of JB Priestley’s AN INSPECTOR CALLS, opening at Alexandra Palace on Friday 30 August, where it will play for 3 weeks. The tour will then visit Stoke, Darlington, Bristol, Belfast, Leicester, Eastbourne, Liverpool, Aylesbury, Salford, Norwich, Southampton, Shrewsbury, Hull, Cardiff, Blackpool, Wolverhampton, Truro, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Sunderland, Sheffield, Bradford, Birmingham, Llandudno, Milton Keynes and Wimbledonwww.aninspectorcalls.com

Tim Treloar will play ‘Inspector Goole’, alongside Jackie Morrison as ‘Mrs Birling’, Jeffrey Harmer as ‘Mr Birling’, Tom Chapman as ‘Gerald Croft’, Leona Allen as ‘Sheila Birling’, George Rowlands as ‘Eric Birling’ and Alice Darling as ‘Edna’. Katy Dean, Michael Gukas, Pena Iiyambo, Simon Pothecary and Philip Stewart complete the cast.

Tim Treloar’s theatre credits include Richard II, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet, all at the RSC. His other theatre credits include Henry V at the National Theatre, Mountain Language at the Royal Court, Rose Rage at Theatre Royal, Haymarket and King Lear and Twelfth Night at the Chichester Festival Theatre. Tim also appeared in Macbeth at the Chichester Festival Theatre, and when it transferred to the Gielgud Theatre in the West End and the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway.

Jackie Morrison’s theatre credits include the US and Canada Tour of The Last Ship, and West End productions of Dirty Dancing at the Dominion Theatre, and on a UK Tour, After Mrs Rochester at the Duke of York’s Theatre, When We Are Married at the Savoy Theatre and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie at the Strand Theatre. Jackie’s other theatre credits include Coriolanus at the RSC, Oh What A Lovely War! at the National Theatre and The Roundhouse, Peribanez at the Young Vic, and Local Hero at the Chichester Festival Theatre.

Jeffrey Harmer returns to An Inspector Calls having played the role of Mr Birling during previous UK and USA tours. His other theatre credits include Bird Song for the Original Theatre Company, Fox on The Fairway, Donkey’s Years, Romeo & Juliet and As You Like It, all at Vienna’s English Theatre, Aladdin at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford and an international tour of Mamma Mia!.

Tom Chapman’s theatre credits include The Box of Delights and Cymbeline at the RSC, and As You Like It, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Voices In The Dark, all at Shakespeare’s Globe.

Leona Allen’s theatre credits include A Christmas Carol at Alexandra Palace and Nottingham Playhouse, The Meeting at Chichester Festival Theatre, Anansi The Spider, Christmas In The Sunshine and Girls Like That, all at the Unicorn Theatre, Pride and Prejudice at the Crucible and Sheffield Theatres, and UK Tours of After Birth and Holes.

Yellow Belly

George Rowlands returns to An Inspector Calls having previously played the role of Eric Birling during the 2022-23 UK and Ireland tour. George’s previous theatre credits include Parliament Square at The Unicorn Theatre, The Boy With The Bee Jar at The Hope Theatre, As You Like It at Garden Shakespeare and Macbeth at Bromley Churchill Studio. 

Alice Darling graduated from The Scottish Institute of Theatre, Dance, Film and Television in 2022. During training, her credits included The Grain in the Blood, Twelfth Night, The Sweet Science of Bruising, and The Comedy of Errors. Since graduating she performed in Hamlet at the Edinburgh Festival.

When Inspector Goole arrives unexpectedly at the prosperous Birling family home, their peaceful dinner party is shattered by his investigations into the death of a young woman. His startling revelations shake the very foundations of their lives and challenge us all to examine our consciences. More relevant now than ever, this is a must-see for a whole new generation.

Since 1992, Daldry’s seminal production of An Inspector Calls has won a total of 19 major awards, including four Tony Awards and three Olivier Awards, and has played to more than 5 million theatregoers worldwide.

Stephen Daldry is an award-winning Theatre, Film and Television Director & Producer. He has directed theatre productions for London’s West End & New York’s Broadway, including Billy Elliot, The Inhertiance & An Inspector Calls, winning multiple Olivier & Tony awards.  His latest play Stranger Things: The First Shadow opened at London’s Phoenix Theatre in December 2023.

Stephen has directed 6 feature films which have all been nominated for major industry awards. He served as Executive Producer on Netflix’s The Crown and directed the last episode. Stephen served as Producer on the opening & closing ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympics and was Artistic Director on Vogue World London in 2023.

Stephen is the Chairman of refugee arts charity Good Chance and was the director of their award-winning production The Jungle.  He serves on the board of The Perlman Performing Arts Center in NY.

AN INSPECTOR CALLS UK TOUR – 2024/2025 TOUR LISTINGS

https://aninspectorcalls.com

FRIDAY 30 AUGUST – SATURDAY 21 SEPTEMBER 2024

ALEXANDRA PALACE

www.alexandrapalace.com/whats-on/an-inspector-calls/

ON SALE NOW

WEDNESDAY 25 – SATURDAY 28 SEPTEMBER 2024

REGENT THEATRE, STOKE

https://www.atgtickets.com/venues/regent-theatre

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 1 – SATURDAY 5 OCTOBER 2024

DARLINGTON HIPPODROME

www.darlingtonhippodrome.co.uk

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 8 – SATURDAY 12 OCTOBER 2024

BRISTOL HIPPODROME

https://www.atgtickets.com/venues/bristol-hippodrome

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 15 – SATURDAY 19 OCTOBER 2024

GRAND OPERA HOUSE, BELFAST

www.goh.co.uk

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 29 OCTOBER – SATURDAY 2 NOVEMBER 2024

LEICESTER CURVE

www.curveonline.co.uk

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 12 – SATURDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2024

EASTBOURNE CONGRESS THEATRE

www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk/venue/congress-theatre

ON SALE SOON

TUESDAY 19 – SATURDAY 23 NOVEMBER 2024

LIVERPOOL EMPIRE

https://www.atgtickets.com/venues/liverpool-empire

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 26 – SATURDAY 30 NOVEMBER 2024

AYLESBURY WATERSIDE THEATRE

https://www.atgtickets.com/venues/aylesbury-waterside-theatre

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 7 – SATURDAY 18 JANUARY 2025

THE LOWRY, SALFORD

www.thelowry.com

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 21 – SATURDAY 25 JANUARY 2025

THEATRE ROYAL, NORWICH

www.norwichtheatre.org

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 28 JANUARY – SATURDAY 1 FEBRUARY 2025

MAYFLOWER THEATRE, SOUTHAMPTON

www.mayflower.org.uk

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 4 – SATURDAY 8 FEBRUARY 2025

THEATRE SEVERN, SHREWSBURY

www.theatresevern.co.uk

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 11 – SATURDAY 15 FEBRUARY 2025

HULL NEW THEATRE

www.hulltheatres.co.uk

ON SALE SOON

TUESDAY 18 – SATURDAY 22 FEBRUARY 2025

WALES MILLENNIUM CENTRE, CARDIFF

www.wmc.org.uk

ON SALE SOON

TUESDAY 25 FEBRUARY – SATURDAY 1 MARCH 2025

BLACKPOOL GRAND THEATRE

www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 4 – SATURDAY 8 MARCH 2025

WOLVERHAMPTON GRAND THEATRE

www.grandtheatre.co.uk

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 11 – SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2025

HALL FOR CORNWALL

www.hallforcornwall.co.uk/

ON SALE SOON

TUESDAY 25 – SATURDAY 29 MARCH 2025

HIS MAJESTY’S THEATRE, ABERDEEN

www.aberdeenperformingarts.com

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 1 – SATURDAY 5 APRIL 2025

KING’S THEATRE, GLASGOW

https://www.atgtickets.com/venues/kings-theatre-glasgow

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 8 – SATURDAY 12 APRIL 2025

SUNDERLAND EMPIRE

https://www.atgtickets.com/venues/sunderland-empire

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 15 – SATURDAY 19 APRIL 2025

SHEFFIELD LYCEUM

www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk/whats-on/lyceum

ON SALE SOON

TUESDAY 29 – SATURDAY 3 MAY 2025

BRADFORD ALHAMBRA

www.bradford-theatres.co.uk/alhambra-theatre

ON SALE SOON

TUESDAY 6 – SATURDAY 10 MAY 2025

NEW ALEXANDRA THEATRE, BIRMINGHAM

https://www.atgtickets.com/venues/the-alexandra-theatre-birmingham

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 13 – SATURDAY 17 MAY 2025

CYMRU LLANDUDNO

www.venuecymru.co.uk

ON SALE SOON

TUESDAY 20 – SATURDAY 24 MAY 2025

MILTON KEYNES THEATRE

https://www.atgtickets.com/venues/milton-keynes-theatre

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 27 – SATURDAY 31 MAY 2025

NEW WIMBLEDON THEATRE

https://www.atgtickets.com/venues/new-wimbledon-theatre

ON SALE NOW

Cast announced for Alan Ayckbourn’s ‘Bedroom Farce’ at The Mill at Sonning Theatre

Cast announced for Alan Ayckbourn’s
‘Bedroom Farce’ at The Mill at Sonning Theatre
The production reunites Director Robin Herford and Designer Michael Holt – the creative team behind The Woman in Black, which ran 33 years in the West End and 13 UK tours

Georgia Burnell, Allie Croker, Antony Eden, Stuart Fox,
Rhiannon Handy, Julia Hills, Damien Matthews, Ben Porter

Bedroom Farce
by Alan Ayckbourn

Director Robin Herford

1 August – 21 September

Filled with witty dialogue, cleverly constructed situations and Alan Ayckbourn’s signature blend of charm and chaos, Bedroom Farce is a roller-coaster ride of laughter, love, and lunacy.

Director Robin Herford, who most recently helmed How The Other Half Loves and Barefoot in the Park at The Mill at Sonning returns to direct Ayckbourn’s uproarious play – an hilarious and chaotic world of misunderstandings, mishaps and marital mayhem. Together with designer Michael Holt they were the creative team behind The Woman in Black, which ran 33 years in the West End and has completed 13 UK tours. Antony Eden, Damien Matthews and Ben Porter in the cast all starred in The Woman in Black.

Over one night we follow the comically entangled lives of four couples as they navigate an evening of bedroom hopping, heart-to-hearts, and tangled relationships.

Ernest and Delia, a middle-aged couple, are trying to celebrate their wedding anniversary in peace. Malcolm and Kate are dealing with a strained marriage and a malfunctioning bed. Newly engaged Jan and Nick find themselves in the middle of the chaos as they try to navigate the challenges of commitment. Troubled pair Trevor and Susannah are at the centre of the chaos as they meet the other couples, creating havoc wherever they go, leading to a side-splitting cascade of comic events.

Cast:

Georgia Burnell (Jan) was in Alan Ayckbourn’s Constant Companions, Truth Will Out, Family Album and The Girl Next Door (Stephen Joseph Theatre).

Allie Croker (Susannah) was in The Inquisition of Queen Elizabeth and Hitler On Trial (UK Tour), Much Ado About Nothing (Sun and Moon Theatre), Not Half Bard (Hotspur Theatre), Days of Wine and Roses and Around The World in Eighty Days (Theatre By The Lake).

Antony Eden (Malcolm) was in Welcome to The Family (Old Laundry Theatre), Family Album, (Stephen Joseph Theatre) for which he won Best Supporting Performance in a musical or a play at the UK Theatre awards, 2023, The Woman in Black (West End, National and international tour), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (West End), Ten Times Table (Mill at Sonning).

Stuart Fox
 (Ernest) previously appeared at The Mill at Sonning in How The Other Half Loves, Ten Times Table, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Educating Rita and Time of My Life.

Rhiannon Handy (Kate) was in 2:22 A Ghost Story (West End), Ten Times Table (UK Tour), The Comedy of Errors (RSC, UK Tour); The Jew of Malta, Love’s Sacrifice and Volpone (RSC); Gaslight, Ten Times Table, Improbable Fiction (The Mill at Sonning).

Julia Hills (Delia) is best known for playing Rona in eight series of the BBC’s 2 Point 4 Children and starring in the C4 comedy sketch show Who Dares Wins. She is an Olivier Award nominee (The Hired Man) and played Ruth in the original cast of Calendar Girls (Chichester Festival Theatre, UK Tour and West End. Theatre includes: Drop The Dead Donkey – The Reawakening (UK Tour), How The Other Half Loves (The Mill at Sonning), The Mirror Crack’d (UK Tour).

Damien Matthews (Nick) was in Sweet Bird of Youth (National Theatre), The Philadelphia Story (The Old Vic), The Mousetrap (St Martin’s), The Woman in Black (Fortune Theatre, UK & international tours).

Ben Porter (Trevor) was in The Indian Queen (Europe), The Woman in Black (West End, New York and US tour), 1984 (West End) Visitors (Oldham Coliseum), Time of My Life, Absurd Person Singular (Stephen Joseph Theatre), Orwell (Trafalgar Studios).

Creative team:

Director Robin Herford
Set Designer Michael Holt
Costume Designer Natalie Titchener
Lighting Designer Graham Weymouth
Sound Design The Mill at Sonning Technical Team

The Mill at Sonning Theatre
Set majestically on the banks of the River Thames, the Mill at Sonning Theatre is celebrating more than 40 years of entertainment. Uniquely, as one of the only dinner theatres in the United Kingdom, it has gained unrivalled praise both nationally and internationally, winning awards such as the 2023 UK Theatre Award Winner for the Best Musical Production for GYPSY, and The Most Welcoming Theatre 2016, 2017 and 2018. The intimate theatre seats 217. The elegant restaurant, separate from the theatre but within the premises, with views over the river Thames has the friendliest young staff of waiters and waitresses. A spinning waterwheel features in the gorgeous bar. Only a short taxi journey from the Elizabeth Line (Reading Station or Twyford Station), The Mill at Sonning Theatre is the perfect day trip from London. A two-course meal, coffee and tea, and a beautiful programme are included in the price of the tickets

LISTINGS INFO

Bedroom Farce
by Alan Ayckbourn

Directed Robin Herford

The Mill at Sonning Theatre
Sonning Eye
Reading
RG4 6TY

www.millatsonning.com

1 August  – 21 September

Fra Fee Joins the Shamrock Tenors Live in London at the Adelphi Theatre on 30 July

FRA FEE, UNITY IRISH DANCE & MORE SPECIAL GUESTS

JOIN

SHAMROCK TENORS “LIVE IN LONDON”

AT THE ADELPHI THEATRE IN LONDON ON TUESDAY 30 JULY 2024

Direct from performing to 35,000 people at West End Live in London’s Trafalgar Square the Irish Music Supergroup SHAMROCK TENORS will be “LIVE IN LONDON” at the Adelphi Theatre on Tuesday 30 July.

SHAMROCK TENORS will be joined on stage by a host of guests including Irish actor and singer Fra Fee and the renowned Unity Irish Dance.

Performing classic Irish folk songs as you’ve never heard them before, the SHAMROCK TENORS are Ireland’s most exciting new music sensation. Their infectious energy, combined with bags of Belfast charm, brings new life to classics including Danny Boy, Black Velvet Band, Whiskey in the Jar and The Wild Rover, as well as some original new music.

Fra Fee has most recently been seen on TV in the acclaimed BBC Series Lost Boys & Fairies. Other screen roles include Hawkeye (Marvel), Rebel Moon (Netflix) & Animals. Fee’s numerous stage roles include the world premiere of Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman directed by Sam Mendes (Royal Court Theatre, West End & Broadway) for which he won a What’s On Stage Award, As You Like It (National Theatre); Romeo & JulietMy Cousin Rachel (Gate Theatre, Dublin); Candide (Menier Chocolate Factory); Follies (Opera de Toulon) and Les Misérables (West End).

The multi-award-winning Unity Irish Dance Company is based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Founded in 2018 by Irish dance champions; Kevin Goble & Edel Kearney, Unity has quickly become known for its exciting and innovative productions that showcase the beauty and grace of Irish dance.

Other guests are rising star Jasmine Gardiner, a multi-instrumentalist and performer from the North Coast of Northern Ireland and Cara-Gael, an Irish Dance school based in London, showcasing the future talent of Irish Dance.

With their first two debut singles charting at Number 1 on the iTunes World Music Charts and with more than six million views online, the SHAMROCK TENORS are Ireland’s most sensational musical export. “Irish music for the 21st Century” (LoveBelfast).

St Patrick’s Day 2024 saw the group release their debut St Patrick’s Day Concert special on BBC 2 and BBC 4 in the UK ahead of its North American release on PBS in November 2024.

Currently touring the island of Ireland, the SHAMROCK TENORS have headlined festivals in the USA; performed in over 30 countries and sold-out venues including the Ulster Hall, the Grand Opera House (twice) and Birmingham Symphony Hall, England. The group is also set to embark on a 10-week coast to coast American Tour in the spring of 2025, the biggest ever tour for a Northern Irish band.

The five-strong group are performers who represent both sides of the community in Northern Ireland; five extraordinary talents including the country’s best multi-instrumentalists, a champion Irish dancer and musical theatre stars. Created by Belfast performer, Raymond Walsh (Les Misérables – West End/UK Tour/Staged Concert) and proudly supported by Tourism Ireland, the SHAMROCK TENORS are: Tom Brandon (Original Cast – Choir of Man), Matthew Campbell (Choir of Man, Australia), Jimmy Johnston and brothers Jack and Raymond Walsh.

Join them on a journey through Ireland’s most beloved songs, in beautiful five-part harmony, as they share their love of home and their pride in how far it has come in recent years.

Tickets: https://lwtheatres.co.uk/whats-on/shamrock-tenors/

Follow the Shamrock Tenors on Facebook, Twitter/X and Instagram @shamrocktenors

Visit from an Unknown Woman Review

Hampstead Theatre, London – until 27th July 2024

Reviewed by Celia Armand Smith

3***

Based on the short story Letter from an Unknown Woman by Stefan Zweig, Christopher Hampton’s 70 minute adaptation is more homage than faithful retelling. Hampton sets Visit from an Unknown Woman in 1934, when Austria is in the grip of rising Nazism, and the writer in the story, named Stefan by Hampton, is at odds with his place in the world. Culture is being moulded into something unfamiliar, and as Zweig himself experienced, the books are being burnt and concerts cancelled because Stefan is Jewish. Into his life tumbles a woman whom he has met at a bar. As the story unravels, we discover that she is called Marianne and is not a stranger but someone who has been present in and around his life for years. Even though he is at the centre of this tragedy, it isn’t really about Stefan, but about infatuation, and about being trapped by an obsessive love for someone who doesn’t feel the same way or even know you exist.

Natalie Simpson as Marianne is the intense beating heart of the play, and is skillful in her depiction of someone being both childlike and manipulative in their pursuit of what they want. James Corrigan as Stefan is charming and conflicted, but also mainly there to be on the receiving end of Marianne’s very intense monologue. He is all at once highly likeable and hugely unlikeable, but that is lotharios for you. Nigel Hastings as Johann as the butler/help provided some punctuation and served as a more reliable witness to the timeline of events.

The nature of the adaptation meant that all of the action could take place in one place, Stefan’s Vienna flat. Designed by Rosanna Vize, it is sparingly furnished, and the framed structure in which it sits provides a way for the cast to interact with space, memory and each other. A younger version of Marianne played by Jessie Gattward haunts the stage, wandering the corridors and rooms. She is graceful and though she never utters a word, her silent straight faced torment is unnerving and strangely beautiful. There is a huge pile of dying white roses to one side on which she sits, a reference to the anonymous bouquets sent to Stefan on his birthday every year.

Chelsea Walker’s production of Visit from an Unknown Woman is beautiful and strange, but also slightly frustrating. The cast are excellent, and the set is beautiful, however there a few loose ends. Threads that could do with being trimmed or in some cases pulled out completely.

Awful Auntie Review

Darlington Hippodrome – until Sunday 14 July 2024

4****

It’s a snowy December, 1933 when twelve year old Stella Saxby wakes from her bed in Saxby Hall, the families large estate, she discovers that she is wrapped in bandages and her Aunt Alberta informs her that she has been in a coma and that both her parents died following a tragic car accident. Stella is sole heir to Saxby Hall, however Aunt Alberta has other ideas and is plotting to trick Stella to sign the Hall over to her and will stop at nothing to achieve her goal. Along with her trusted companion – Wagner, a giant owl the evil Alberta certainly lives up to her name as being awful, showing no sympathy and lacking morals, having chosen to fight on the German side in World War One, simply because she preferred the colours of their uniforms!

Birmingham Stage Company have done it again. Producing a quality production specifically for children. Anything that brings children into the theatre is always a winner for me. I’ll say it constantly – the children of today are the audiences of tomorrow and we need to give them amazing productions to introduce them to magic of live theatre.

The stage set mainly comprises of three large “pillars” which rotate to change from doors to staircases and the rooms of Saxby Hall. It’s really quite difficult to describe the set (designed by Jacqueline Trousdale) but visually it’s utter genius and whisks you into the weird and wonderful world of eccentric Aunt Alberta and makes you feel like you’ve done a sort of Alice In Wonderland trick and fallen into some magical world. Another favourite in the set, other than the fabulous puppetry of Wagner the owl by Emily Essery and the puppets (Yvonne Stone) of Alberta, Stella and Soot, is the splendid replica vintage Rolls Royce in which Stella attempts to make her escape in.

When Stella meets Saxby Hall ghost Soot, a cockney chimney sweep who ended up “brown bread” (that’s “dead” to you and I!) when someone lit a fire whilst he was cleaning the halls chimney and “burnt mi’ bum!’, the pair, realising something isn’t quite as it seems with the so called accident which resulted in her parents death and her Aunts attempts to get Stella to sign over Saxby Hall to her, the pair decide to turn into their own version of Sherlock Holmes and Watson to solve the mystery once and for all and attempt to break free from the awful Aunt and save Saxby Hall.

The production was made enjoyable by Neal Foster as the title character – the comical tartan bloomers and matching suit jacket and the copper hair which seemed to have a mind of its own who even seemed scary to the adults! Aunt Alberta is a towering inferno of a woman and Foster really brings out the scary wicked side of Aunt Alberta, this deranged cold hearted woman who thinks of her own desires before her family. Her niece and orphan Stella Saxby (Annie Cordoni) – was brilliantly vibrant and the audience loved it. Matthew Allen on the other hand as ghost Soot was loveable, portraying a young boy beautifully, from his voice to his mannerisms you soon forgot that the role was obviously played by somebody much older than the character portrayed.

Full of laughs and fart jokes, it was Zain Abrahams as Gibbon, the eccentric and slightly deranged Butler of Saxby Hall, who gave a few more laughs. Granted not the best Butler in the world, constantly getting things wrong, from hoovering the carpet with a lawn mower .

If you or your child are a fan of David Walliams’ books then this is most certainly worth catching on tour. If you’re not a fan yet, then go and see this and soon become one

SIX THE MUSICAL (UK STUDIO CAST RECORDING) AND BROADWAY’S SIX LIVE ON OPENING NIGHT – ONE BILLION STREAMS

SIX THE MUSICAL

CAST RECORDINGS HIT

ONE BILLION STREAMS!

SIX THE MUSICAL (UK STUDIO CAST RECORDING) AND BROADWAY’S SIX LIVE ON OPENING NIGHT

The producers of Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss’s Tony Award®-winning global smash hit musical SIX are proud to announce that SIX the Musical (UK Studio Cast Recording) and the Grammy Award®-nominated SIX: LIVE ON OPENING NIGHT,the first Original Broadway Cast Recording ever recorded live on opening night, have collectively been streamed over 1 billion times.

SIX The Musical (UK Studio Cast Recording) – first recorded in 2018 – features Renée Lamb (Catherine of Aragon), Christina Modestou (Anne Boleyn), Natalie Paris (Jane Seymour), Genesis Lynea (Anna of Cleves), Aimie Atkinson (Catherine Howard), Izuka Hoyle (Catherine Parr). The recording features orchestrations by Tom Curran and is produced by Sam Featherstone, Toby Marlow, Lucy Moss and Joe Beighton, with executive producers George Stiles and Paul Lisberg.

In February 2020, the UK Studio Album hit 100,000 streams, and then one year later, the album was released on vinyl, with the original recording Queens received gold discs at a VIP event at the historic Banqueting House – livestreamed by the global Queendom by TikTok. Album available to stream here or purchase here.  

SIX: LIVE ON OPENING NIGHT was nominated for a 2023 Grammy Award® for Best Musical Theater Album. The original Broadway cast recording debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard cast album charts and has been streamed 104 million times to date. SIX: LIVE ON OPENING NIGHT is produced by Paul Gatehouse, Toby Marlow, Lucy Moss, Sam Featherstone, and Tom Curran.

SIX: LIVE ON OPENING NIGHT features 18 tracks, including the original Broadway cast of SIX: Adrianna Hicks, Andrea Macasaet, Abby Mueller, Brittney Mack, Samantha Pauly, and Anna Uzele, plus a bonus track by the original Broadway Alternates: Keirsten Nicole Hodgens, Nicole Kyoung-Mi Lambert, Courtney Mack, and Mallory Maedke. The album also features the band, “The Ladies in Waiting”: Julia Schade (Music Director/Keyboard), Michelle Osbourne (Bass), Kimi Hayes (Guitars), Elena Bonomo (Drums), and Mariana Ramirez (Percussion).

SIX: LIVE ON OPENING NIGHT is available now in streaming and digital formats through Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon Music, and more. The physical CD of the Original Broadway Cast Recording is available online on Amazon, and at select brick and mortar locations. Click here to stream or buy.

From Tudor Queens to Pop Icons, the SIX wives of Henry VIII take the microphone to remix five hundred years of historical heartbreak into a Euphoric Celebration of 21st century girl power! This new original musical is the global sensation that everyone is losing their head over!

SIX is written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, with direction by Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage, Choreography is by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, with set design by Emma Bailey, costume design by Gabriella Slade, lighting design by Tim Deiling, sound design by Paul Gatehouse, musical orchestration by Tom Curran, and musical supervision by Joe Beighton.

Winner of over 35 international awards, including two 2022 Tony Awards, three WhatsOnStage awards, and nominated for five Oliviers, SIX can also be seen live on stage worldwide: SIX is currently playing at the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End, on tour in the UK (with new 2025 dates just announced), and on tour throughout Europe. An Australian tour is set to launch in August 2024. An engagement in Manilla begins in October 2024, and in Singapore in November 2024.  SIX is currently playing at Broadway’s Lena Horne Theatre (256 W 47th St, NYC). SIX celebrated its official Broadway opening night on Sunday, October 3, 2021. The Boleyn tour of SIX launched in Las Vegas at The Smith Center on September 20, 2022, and is playing cities throughout the US. Earlier this year, the show achieved 1.5million followers globally – across YouTube, Instagram, X, TikTok and Facebook in the UK, US, Australia, Korea and beyond. 

Tickets to all international productions of SIX are available via https://sixthemusical.com/

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Cast Announced

CASTING ANNOUNCEMENT: Cast announced for Royal Exchange’s electrifying production of Shakespeare’s legendary comedy

A Royal Exchange Theatre production 
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Stef O’Driscoll
6 September – 12 October

Shakespeare as you’ve never seen it before – welcome to the hedonistic and captivating world of Stef O’Driscoll’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. Making her Royal Exchange directorial debut, O’Driscoll brings a contemporary vision to life, celebrating Manchester’s synonymous links with dance, music and rave culture in a whirlwind of sweaty dance-offs to drum and bass love anthems. This electrifying production runs at the Royal Exchange Theatre from 6 September until 12 October 2024.

Director Stef O’Driscoll said, “Blending the worlds of Shakespeare and Manchester’s current rave scene, I wanted to celebrate that music in this production and highlight Manchester’s many gifted artists, rappers, and MCs alongside Shakespeare. To me, they all are the greatest wordsmiths and storytellers around. While the show is often described as a comedy, this production delves into the darker side of obsessive love and the lengths people go to, to get what they want.

I’m excited that heaps of young people across Manchester will come where it will feel as close to the energy and vibe I imagine it was in Shakespeare’s time: you will know if they are enjoying it, and you will know if they are not! It’s a celebration of music, storytelling, and the vibrant spirit of Manchester.”

Fresh from playing the main stage at Parklife 2024 and making an on-stage appearance as The Moon is exciting emerging Manchester-based artist SALO, who’s tipped to take the music world by storm with her collaborations, new releases and appearance on Channel 4’s THE PIANO.

Orchestrators of magic and mischief, the fairies blur the lines between reality and fantasy for themselves and others. Natalie Casey (TWO PINTS OF LAGER AND A PACKET OF CRISPS, BBC; STEPPING OUT, Vaudeville Theatre; THINGS I KNOW TO BE TRUE, Lyric Hammersmith/UK Tour) plays the dual roles of Hippolita and Titania, alongside Guy Rhys (A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, Royal Exchange Theatre; MOTHER COURAGE, National Theatre; THE WITCHER: BLOOD ORIGIN, Netflix) as both Egeus and Oberon. The mischevious Puck is played by Harry Egan (BREAKING THE CODE, Royal Exchange Theatre; TRUE WEST, Vaudeville Theatre; PASSENGER, ITV), who also takes on the role of Theseus.

The lovers are at the centre of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, encapsulated by the intoxicating forest and all that lies within it. Melissa James (MOULIN ROUGE, Piccadilly Theatre; THE MAGICIAN’S ELEPHANT, RSC; GYPSY, Royal Exchange Theatre) takes on the role of Helena, with Joe Usher (FALKLAND SOUND/THE EMPRESS, RSC; ROCK PAPER SCISSORS, Sheffield Theatres) as Demetrius. Alongside them are Alicia Forde (WATERLOO ROAD, Warner Bros/BBC; TIME, BBC) as Lysander, and Ntombizodwa Ndlovu (CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF/THE MOUNTAINTOP, Royal Exchange Theatre) as Hermia.

With comedic performances, the Mechanicals manoeuvre the high stakes of their play-within-a-play. David Mumeni (BRIDGERTON, Netflix; STATH LETS FLATS, Channel 4; BARBIE, Warner Brothers) brings Bottom to life, alongside LJ Parkinson (MODEST, UK Tour/Kiln Theatre; COWBOIS, RSC/Royal Court; JOAN, Camden People’s Theatre/Edinburgh Fringe) as QuinceSam Black (ANIMAL FARM, UK Tour; CYRANO DE BERGERAC, West End/Broadway) takes on the role of Flute, with Rebecca Hayes (CORAM BOY, Chichester Festival Theatre/The Lowry; TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, Gielgud Theatre; A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Bristol Old Vic) as Snug and further cast.

The creative team for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM includes Designers Mila Clarke & Rosie Elnile, Lighting Designer Mark Distin Webster, Sound Designer Dom Kennedy, Movement Director Annie-Lunnette Deakin, Movement Associate Hayley Chilvers, Intimacy and Fight Director Yarit Dor, Composers Dom Kennedy & Salo, Casting Director Olivia Barr, Casting Assistant Francesca Tennant, Birkbeck Assistant Director Elizabeth Laurence, Production Manager Helen Mugridge, Dramaturg Richard Neale, Voice & Dialect Coach Gurkiran Kaur and Text Consultant Simon Trinder.

FIRST LOOK: New Production Images for the UK & Ireland Tour of & JULIET

& JULIET stars Matt Cardle as Shakespeare, Gerardine Sacdalan as Juliet, Lara Denning as Anne, Sandra Marvin as Angelique, Jordan Broatch as May, Kyle Cox as Francois, Jack Danson as Romeo and Dr Ranj Singh as Lance.

Also in the cast are Michael Nelson as Henry, Liam Morris as Richard, Rosie Singha as Judith, Nia Stephen as Imogen, Psalms-Nissi Myers-Reid as Lucy/Alternate Juliet, Andilé Mabhena as Augustine / Dance Team, Harriet Caplan-Dean as Eleanor, Alexander Kranz as Lennox, Aaron Shales as Gregory / Dance Team, Toni Paise as Violet and Samuel Wilson-Freeman as Fletcher / Resident Director and Dance Captain. 

There is life after Romeo!

Get whisked away on a fabulous journey as Juliet ditches her famous ending for a fresh beginning and a second chance at life and love—her way. Created by David West Read, the Emmy-winning writer from “Schitt’s Creek,” this hilarious new musical flips the script on the greatest love story ever told and asks, what would happen next if Juliet didn’t end it all over Romeo?

Juliet’s new story bursts to life through a playlist of pop anthems as iconic as her name, including Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time,” Katy Perry’s “Roar”and chart toppers “Since U Been Gone,” “It’s My Life,” “I Want It That Way,” and “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” — all from Max Martin, the genius songwriter/producer behind more #1 hits than any other artist this century, and his collaborators. Break free of the balcony scene and get into this romantic comedy that proves there’s life after Romeo. The only thing tragic would be missing it.

Giovanna Fletcher to Lead UK Tour of The Girl on the Train

GIOVANNA FLETCHER IS

MAJOR UK TOUR OPENS AT

RICHMOND THEATREMONDAY 13 JANUARY, 2025

www.thegirlonthetrain.com

Simon Friend Entertainment and Josh Andrews Productions today confirm that actor, writer, broadcaster and 2020 I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here winner, Giovanna Fletcher* is set to star as Rachel Watson in a new UK tour of the smash-hit Wiltshire Creative Production of The Girl on the Train. The gripping thriller, based on the internationally acclaimed number one best-selling novel by Paula Hawkins opens at Richmond TheatreLondon on Monday 13 January 2025.

Rachel Watson longs for a different life. Her only escape is the perfect couple she watches through the train window every day, happy and in love. Or so it appears. When Rachel learns that the woman she’s been secretly watching has suddenly disappeared, she finds herself as a witness and even a suspect in a thrilling mystery in which she will face bigger revelations than she could ever have anticipated.

The international phenomenon – which has sold over 20 million copies worldwide and inspired the Dreamworks film starring Emily Blunt – enjoyed a box-office record-breaking theatrical tour in 2019 and, following it’s 2025 Richmond dates, will then tour to: Nottingham, Theatre Royal; Glasgow, Theatre Royal; Norwich,Theatre Royal, Salford, Lowry Theatre; SheffieldLyceum TheatreShrewsburySevern TheatreBromley,Churchill TheatreCheltenhamEveryman Theatre; WokingNew Victoria Theatre; Birmingham, Alexandra Theatre; Southend, Palace Theatre; Liverpool, Playhouse Theatre; Leicester, Curve Theatre; Cardiff, New Theatre; Brighton, Theatre Royal; Milton Keynes, Milton Keynes Theatre; Aberdeen, His Majesty’s Theatre and Leeds, Grand Theatre.

*Giovanna performs as Rachel Watson until Saturday 29 March (Cheltenham). Further dates and full casting to be announced.

Giovanna says of her casting in the role: “I am delighted to be leading the company of The Girl on the Train as Rachel Watson at venues across the UK next year. Paula Hawkin’s psychological thriller has gripped millions of readers worldwide with its Hitchcockian tale of suspense and mystery. What better place than the theatre to take us through its voyeuristic window and deep into Rachel’s story?”

Rachel Wagstaffand Duncan Abelwho have adapted The Girl on the Train for the stage add: “Since opening in the UK in 2018, The Girl on the Train has been performed around the world, so we’re thrilled that it’s coming back for this UK wide tour. We’re really excited to be working with Giovanna Fletcher, playing the leading role of Rachel Watson, in Loveday Ingram’s powerful and stylish production.”

Giovanna Fletcher’s theatrical credits include leading the recent UK tour of Peter James’ Wish You Were Dead. Other acting credits include 2:22 A Ghost Story and Ivanov, both for the West End, as well as A Christmas CarolBackbeat and The Christmasurus. Giovanna also appears in the feature film The Boat That Rocked.

Giovanna is also a hugely successful author, podcast host and Queen of The Castleafter winning I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here in 2020. In 2013, Giovanna published her first fiction book, Billy and Me, and has recently published her sixth novel Walking On Sunshine. Together with her husband Tom Fletcher, the pair have combined their love of writing to pen a trilogy of Sunday Times best-selling books. Giovanna’s first non-fiction book Happy Mum, Happy Baby was a No.1 bestseller that she later turned into an award-winning podcast with Pixiu, which has so far enjoyed 145 episodes and counting, and over 20 million listeners. Adding to her non-fiction work in 2020, Giovanna wrote Letters on Motherhood, another bestseller.

Giovanna is a proud patron for Breast Cancer Awareness charity CoppaFeel! and an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust and Tommy’s.

Produced by Simon Friend Entertainment and Josh Andrews Productions, the Wiltshire Creative Production of The Girl on the Train is written by Paula Hawkins, adapted by Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel, and is directed by Loveday Ingram.

The Girl on the Train 2025 Tour

* Giovanna Fletcher plays Rachel Watson until Saturday 29th March

Richmond Theatre *

13 – 18 Jan 2025

www.atgtickets.com/venues/richmond-theatre/

Nottingham, Theatre Royal *

21 – 25 Jan 2025

www.trch.co.uk

Glasgow, Theatre Royal *

28 Jan – 1 Feb 2025

Theatre Royal Glasgow Box Office | Buy Tickets Online | ATG Tickets

Norwich, Theatre Royal *

4 – 8 Feb 2025

www.norwichtheatre.org

Lowry Theatre, Salford *

11 – 15 Feb 2025

www.thelowry.com

Sheffield, Lyceum Theatre *

4 – 8 March 2025

www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

On Sale Soon

Shrewsbury, Severn Theatre *

11 – 15 March 2025 

www.theatresevern.co.uk

Bromley, Churchill Theatre *

18 – 22 March 2025

https://trafalgartickets.com/churchill-theatre-bromley/en-GB

Cheltenham, Everyman Theatre *

25 – 29 March 2025

www.everymantheatre.org.uk

Chester, Storyhouse

15 – 19 April 2025

www.storyhouse.com

Woking, New Victoria Theatre

22 – 26 April 2025

www.atgtickets.com/venues/new-victoria-theatre

Birmingham, Alexandra Theatre

29 April – 3 May 2025

www.atgtickets.com/venues/the-alexandra-theatre-birmingham

Southend, Palace Theatre

6 – 10 May 2025

https://trafalgartickets.com/palace-theatre-southend/en-GB

Liverpool, Playhouse Theatre

13 – 17 May 2025

www.everymanplayhouse.com

Leicester, Curve Theatre

20 -24 May 2025

www.curveonline.co.uk

Cardiff, New Theatre

27 – 31 May 2025

trafalgartickets.com/new-theatre-cardiff/en-GB

Brighton, Theatre Royal

3 – 7 June 2025

www.atgtickets.com/venues/theatre-royal-brighton

Milton Keynes Theatre

10 – 14 June 2025

www.atgtickets.com/venues/milton-keynes-theatre

Aberdeen, His Majesty’s Theatre

24 – 28 June 2025

www.aberdeenperformingarts.com/his-majestys-theatre

Leeds, Grand Theatre

1 – 5 July 2025 

www.leedsheritagetheatres.com