Michael Fenton Stevens, Graham Kent, and Laura Harrison

 join principal cast from Tuesday 12 March 2024


WICKED, the West End and Broadway musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, will welcome Michael Fenton Stevens (The Wizard), Graham Kent (Doctor Dillamond), and welcome back former cast member Laura Harrison (Standby for Elphaba) to London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre from Tuesday 12 March 2024.

Mark Curry (The Wizard), Steven Pinder (Doctor Dillamond), Amy Webb (Standby for Elphaba), Yuki AbeKofi Aidoo-AppiahFergus DaleNicola EspallardoDanny FogartyRoss HarmonHarry MillsDaniel ParrottChristine Tucker, and Jaydon Vijn will all depart the company on Sunday 10 March 2024.

Alexia Khadime (Elphaba), Lucy St. Louis (Glinda), Ryan Reid (Fiyero), Sophie-Louise Dann (Madame Morrible), Caitlin Anderson (Nessarose), Joe Thompson-Oubari (Boq), Lisa-Anne Wood (Standby for Glinda), Conor AshmanJessica AubreyJoshua ClemetsonEffie Rae DysonKate LeiperJemima LoddyJoshua LovellRory MaguirePaddyJoe MartinMillie MayhewAiesha Naomi PeaseJeanie RyanNatalie SpriggsJames TitchenerMicaela Todd, and Taela Yeomans-Brown all continue.

One of the most successful musicals of all time” (BBC News) and the winner of more than 100 global awardsWicked is already the 11th longest-running production in West End history.

From Tuesday 12 March 2024, Wicked will star Alexia Khadime (Elphaba), Lucy St. Louis (Glinda), Ryan Reid (Fiyero), Sophie-Louise Dann (Madame Morrible), Michael Fenton Stevens (The Wizard), Caitlin Anderson (Nessarose), Graham Kent (Doctor Dillamond), Joe Thompson-Oubari (Boq), Laura Harrison (Standby for Elphaba), Lisa-Anne Wood (Standby for Glinda), Conor Ashman, Jessica AubreyJeremy Batt, Felipe BejaranoAsmara Cammock, Joshua Clemetson, Effie Rae Dyson, Aimee Hodnett, Kate Leiper, Jemima Loddy, Joshua LovellRory Maguire, PaddyJoe Martin, Darnell Mathew-JamesMillie MayhewAyden Morgan, Rishard-Kyro NelsonAston Neman HanningtonAiesha Naomi PeaseJeanie RyanNatalie SpriggsCharlotte Anne SteenJames Titchener, Micaela Todd, Taela Yeomans-Brown, and Jacob Young.

Michael Fenton Stevens (The Wizard), the famed British actor and comedian, has been a popular and enduring presence on television, radio, and stage since the early 80s. His prolific career has ranged from providing voices for the original Spitting Image series (including voicing the UK Number 1 hit ‘The Chicken Song’) to playing ‘Dr John Radcliffe’ in the RSC production of Helen Edmundson’s Queen Anne in Stratford-upon-Avon and London. His many hundreds of television appearances include ‘Sir Henry’ in Benidorm (ITV); ‘Ronnie Green’ in Hapless (Netflix) with Tim Downie; ‘Mr. Griffith’ in My Family (BBC);‘Home Secretary’ in Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s My Dad’s The Prime Minister (BBC); ‘Reverend Gordon Fox’ in Julia Davies’ Nighty Night (BBC); ‘Richard Johnson’ in Mike Bassett: Manager (ITV), with Ricky Tomlinson; ‘Hank Millbeck’ in The Legacy of Reginald Perrin (BBC); and the voice of ‘Mr. Beakman’ in Josh Selig’s 3rd & Bird animated series (CBeebies). For radio, Michael starred in the long-running BBC Radio 4 comedy series Radio Active, which was also developed into the popular television series KYTV; played ‘Paul Morgan’ in 60 episodes of The Archers; the title character in Inspector Steine; and appeared inDouglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. His many stage appearances have included: Yes, Prime Minister (in the West End as ‘Simon Chester’, and on tour as ‘Jim Hacker’); and William Congreve’s Love For Love (RSC). Together with Angus Deayton and Philip Pope, he founded the parody pop group The Hee Bee Gee Bees in the early 80s. He currently hosts the popular podcast series, My Time Capsule.

Graham Kent (Doctor Dillamond) was most recently seen in the UK & Ireland Tour of Conor McPherson’s Girl from the North Country and on television as ‘Albert Quirk’ in Julian Fellowes’ Belgravia (ITV). His London stage appearances have included ‘Mr. Price’ in Kinky Boots (and in the live capture by Broadway HD); Herge’s Adventures of Tintin (Barbican), and Miss Saigon (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane).

Laura Harrison (Standby for Elphaba) is currently appearing in Jamie Lloyd’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard. Laura returns to Wicked having previously been part of the 2022/23 ensemble cast, during which time she performed the role of ‘Elphaba’ on many occasions to huge acclaim. Laura trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Performances begin Tuesday – Saturday at 7.30pm, and Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2.30pm. The performances on Sunday 24 December 2023 and Sunday 31 December 2023 will begin at the earlier time of 1.00pm. The following six added shows are also now on sale: Thursday 28 December 2023Thursday 15 February, Thursday 4 April,Thursday 1 AugustThursday 15 August and Thursday 31 October 2024 all at 2:30pm. Doors open 90 minutes prior to the start of all performances.

Whilst continuing its West End run, Wicked will embark on a third tour of cities in England, Scotland, Wales, and the Republic of Ireland, opening at the Edinburgh Playhouse on 7 December 2023 and continuing to Bristol Hippodrome, Birmingham Hippodrome, Bradford Alhambra Theatre, Southampton Mayflower Theatre, Liverpool Empire, Dublin Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Sunderland Empire, Cardiff Wales Millennium Centre, and Manchester Palace Theatre.

Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman’s celebrated musical is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire and imagines a beguiling backstory and future possibilities to the lives of L. Frank Baum’s beloved characters from ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, revealing the decisions and events that shape the destinies of two unlikely university friends on their journey to becoming ‘Glinda The Good’ and the ‘Wicked Witch of the West’.

Wicked has music and lyrics by multi-Oscar and Grammy Award winner Stephen Schwartz (‘Godspell’, ‘Pippin’, ‘The Prince of Egypt’, Disney’s ‘Pocahontas’, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ and ‘Enchanted’)It is based on the multimillion-copy best-selling novel ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ by Gregory Maguire and written by Emmy and Tony Award nominee Winnie Holzman (creator of the landmark American television series ‘My So-Called Life’). Musical staging is by Tony Award-winner Wayne Cilento with direction by two-time Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello.

Wicked is produced by Marc PlattUniversal Stage ProductionsThe Araca GroupJon B. Platt, and David Stone. Executive Producer (UK) Michael McCabe.

The Apollo Victoria Theatre, Wilton Road, London, SW1V 1LG

Official UK website: www.WickedTheMusical.co.uk

X: @WickedUK  |  Facebook: /WickedUK  |  Instagram: @WickedUK

Stick Man Review

Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield – runs until 25th November 2023

Reviewed by Sophie Dodworth


If you are a parent then you more than likely have read a book of Julia Donaldsons, which Axel Scheffler illustrates. These books are often fabulous, written so well, with great rhyming verse throughout. Stick Man is one of her top titles (as the majority of them are) and is just such a lovely, feel-good story, written with such great imagination. This adaptation of the story by Freckle Productions, works perfectly and stops at the Sheffield Lyceum for three days with shows at varied times throughout the day for all the family.

The poor stick man heads off on quite the misadventure, going through the motions of living like a typical stick would do! He has a dog wanting to play fetch with him, swans making a nest with him and even almost ends up as firewood. All the while he is missing his family dearly, as are they him…will he get home in time for Christmas? There is of course an appearance from Father Christmas which turns the show in to a real festive treat.

The actors are cast really well and there is some super talent on the stage. Between the three they can all sing, dance and act flawlessly. With an extra wow to Ben Williamson-Jones who can seemingly play almost every instrument under the sun. He is responsible for the music for the songs as well as all the sound effects, all this while singing and dancing himself.

The set is simple with not much on stage but works really well, the actors use props like umbrellas and sheets to create realistic effects. Everything being so well-polished makes their efforts worthwhile.

A really solid, fun family show, which the adults can also enjoy.




First look at our new Queens: Nikki Bentley (Wicked – West End) as Catherine of Aragon, Thao Therese Nguyen (Miss Saigon – West End and UK & Ireland Tour) as Anne Boleyn, Kayleigh McKnight (Heathers the Musical – The Other Palace) as Jane Seymour, Reca Oakley (SIX – NCL) as Anna of Cleves, Inez Budd (Heathers the Musical – The Other Palace) as Katherine Howard and Janiq Charles (Disney’s The Lion King – West End & UK Tour) as Catherine Parr. They are joined by Gabriella Stylianou (The Great British Bake Off Musical – Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham & West End) as Alternate Aragon/Seymour and Dance Captain, Naomi Alade (Beautiful – The Carole King Musical – UK Tour) as Alternate Boleyn/Cleves, Hannah Lowther (The SpongeBob Musical – Southbank Centre, London & UK Tour) as Alternate Howard/Parr, Meg Dixon-Brasil (SIX – NCL) as Super Swing and Natalie Pilkington (SIX – UK & Ireland Tour, South Korea, NCL) as UK Super Swing.

Think you know the six Wives of Henry VIII? Think again… 

 Prepare to lose your head and experience the Tudor Wives’ lives as they turn back the clock and take to the stage to reclaim their crowns and retell their stories of love, loss and the infamous ex they all have in common.  

Join Aragon, Boleyn, Seymour, Cleves, Howard and Parr, backed by their fierce on-stage band, 

the Ladies in Waiting, and Get Down to a royal retelling of the sassiest story in British Her-story.  

The crowning glory of the West End, Broadway and beyond, SIX, created by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, is currently booking in the West End until 28 April 2024 at the Vaudeville Theatre.  As recently announced, the Queendom has hit 1.5million followers globally – across YouTube, Instagram, X, TikTok and Facebook in the UK, US, Australia, Korea and beyond.

Winner of over 35 international awards, including two 2022 Tony Awards, a Whatsonstage award, and nominated for five Oliviers, SIX can also be seen live on stage worldwide: on Broadway at the Lena Horne Theatre in New York, across the UK on its current sell-out, record-breaking tour, with two concurrent North American tours, a recent Australian tour and forthcoming productions due to play Korea, Holland and Canada. 

The show’s 2018 debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe hastened its West End transfer in January 2019 at the Arts Theatre. In 2020, SIX transferred for a short West End season at the Lyric Theatre before opening at its current home, the Vaudeville theatre in November 2021.  

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. 







The Unfriend

A person, often met on holiday, who doesn’t understand that “let’s keep in touch” means “goodbye.” Sometimes a murderer.

Producers Playful Productions are delighted to announce the full cast for the West End return of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ record breaking collaboration The Unfriend. Rehearsals began today ahead of performances beginning at the Wyndhams’ Theatre on 16 December, with a press night on 9 January 2024.

As previously announced, the cast is led by award-winning comedian and actor Lee Mack (Would I Lie To You, Not Going OutInside No. 9) as Peter, Sarah Alexander (Jonathan CreekGreen Wing, Smack The Pony and Coupling) as Peter’s wife, Debbie, Frances Barber (Silk and Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool) as Elsa Jean Krakowski and Nick Sampson (Witness for the ProsecutionAnthony and Cleopatra) as The Neighbour.

They are joined by Muzz Khan (Behind The BeautifulTen (Stop The War)) as PC Junkin, Maddie Holliday (AfterlifeThe Unfriend at the Criterion) as Rosie and Jem Matthews as Alex in his West End debut. The company is completed by Christopher Jordan (Hedda Gabler at The Old Vic, The Unfriend at the Criterion) as understudy Peter/The Neighbour, Cathy Walker (Witness for the Prosecution, The Unfriend at the Criterion) as understudy Debbie/Elsa, Charlie Richards (The Play That Goes WrongFour Score Years And Ten) as understudy Alex/PC Junkin and Poppy Shepherd (Our Generation) as understudy Rosie.

Lee Mack said: “I’m delighted to be joining The Unfriend with the brilliant Sarah Alexander and the wonderful Frances Barber, and of course all the other amazing cast. It’s such a fantastically written play by Steven Moffat that I might even go the whole hog and learn the words.”

While on holiday Peter and Debbie befriend Elsa: a lusty, Trump-loving widow from Denver, USA. She’s less than woke but kind of wonderful, so they agree to stay in touch – because no one ever really does, do they?

When Elsa invites herself to stay with the family a few months later, they decide to look her up online. But it’s too late: on learning the truth about Elsa Jean Krakowski, the deadly danger is already on a flight to London! What began as a casual holiday friendship is suddenly a threat to all their lives. 

Peter and Debbie now face the ultimate challenge of the modern world – how do you protect all that you love from mortal peril without seeming a bit impolite?

Because guess who’s coming… to MURDER.

Director, Mark Gatiss, said; “You can’t keep a good serial killer down! I’m absolutely delighted that Elsa Jean Krakowski has found a home at the beautiful Wyndham’s theatre and very much look forward to bringing Steven’s hilarious play back to the West End”.

Writer, Steven Moffat said: “It’s a real thrill to welcome a couple of comedy legends on board The Unfriend, for our new run at the Wyndhams Theatre.  Lee Mack is one of the funniest men in the country and someone I’ve been wanting to work with for years. And Sarah Alexander is not just brilliant and hilarious, she’s an old friend from our days together on Coupling. Can’t wait to get started all over again.

Steven Moffat is a six-time BAFTA award-winning writer, whose hit television series include Doctor WhoSherlock and Dracula – the latter two co-written with the actor and writer Mark Gatiss, who directs this production. Mark Gatiss is a member of the sketch comedy team The League of Gentlemen. Gatiss’ recent directing credits include The Mezzotint and The Amazing Mr Blunden for Sky Max, in which he also starred. He also recently adapted A Christmas Carol at Nottingham Playhouse and Alexandra Palace. Most recently he won huge acclaim for his role as John Gielgud in The Motive and the Cue at the National Theatre.

The Unfriend is designed by Robert Jones, with lighting by Mark Henderson, sound by Ella Wahlström, video design by Andrzej Goulding and casting by Charlotte Sutton CDG. The Unfriend by Steven Moffat was originally developed by Playful Productions.

The Turbine Theatre Is Ashamed To Present The Cast of The Nutcracker, A Very Adult Pantomime



This (naughty) Christmas, we are joined by Amy Anzel, Holly Ashman, Theo Walker and Grace Whyte as the full cast in The Nutcracker!

Forget what you think you know about the Christmas classic, and this year be taken to distant lands (like Winter Wonderland…and M&M World!) by way of the Turbine Theatre. For a limited time this Christmas, audiences will get to enjoy the very adult pantomime, The Nutcracker.

This new pantomime is for audiences 18+ and the perfect Christmas tale about learning to love after heartbreak …and seeking revenge.

Carlie’s had a terrible year: her love rat ex has ghosted her, her father died in a collision with a Just Stop Oil protest and now her Mum is insistent on still throwing their annual festive party. A typical year in the 2020’s some may say, but thanks to a prezzie from her inappropriate, local drunk uncle – this Christmas will be anything but typical!

The Nutcracker is written by Joshua Coley, with Direction by Luke Byrne, Design by Andy Robinson, Musical Direction by Ben Tomalin, Lighting Design by Oliver McNally, Sound Design by Richard Carter and Costumes by Janet Huckle.


29 FEBRUARY – 30 MARCH 2024

Antic Productions, Bristol Old Vic, Longshot Films and Playtone today announce the final casting for new musical Starter for Ten. Acclaimed actress, presenter, comedian and writer Mel Giedroyc is to join the cast of the musical based on David Nicholls’ book and cult film which will run at Bristol Old Vic from 29 February – 30 March.

Mel will play the role of Brian’s mum, ‘Irene Jackson’.  She recently starred in The Crown Jewels at the Garrick Theatre in London with other theatre credits including Company (Gielgud); Much Ado About Nothing (Rose); Luce (Southwark Playhouse); New Boy (Trafalgar Studios); Eurobeat (Novello and UK tour); Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith) and Jack and the Beanstalk (Barbican).

Her numerous TV credits include Let it Shine; The Great British Bake Off (BAFTA Award Winner); Light Lunch; Unforgivable; Handmade: Britain’s Best Woodworker; How To Build A Girl; Miranda; Mel and Sue Show; and the Strictly Come Dancing Xmas Special.

Mel said: “David Nicholls’ coming of age story is a classic that everybody can identify with; I was taken right back to being a gawky suburban teen finding my feet at Uni in the 80s. The sights and smells of student life – Impulse body spray, backcombed Robert Smith hairdos, questionable food from a one-ring hob, cheap cigarettes, dance floors sticky with snakebite and black!  Starter for Ten is especially meaningful to me and I’m ecstatic to be a part of bringing this brand-new musical version – full of heart, comedy and Strongbow – to a brand-new audience.”

She is joined by Robert Portal in the role of legendary quizmaster ‘Bamber Gascoigne’. Robert is a familiar face on stage and screen, known for his role as Paul Critchley on the BBC television series The Amazing Mrs Pritchard (2006), his role as the Duke of Richmond on the ITV drama series Belgravia (2020) and film work including the King in The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016), My Week with Marilyn (2011) and Six Days (2017). His extensive stage credits include the role of Hannay in the West End production of The 39 StepsThe Boy Friend (Menier Chocolate Factory); Calico (Duke of York’s); Noises Off (Piccadilly); Private Lives and The Deep Blue Sea (Theatre Royal, Bath) as well as numerous productions for Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre.

Additional casting announced today includes Gemma Knight-Jones in the role of ‘Professor Bowman’. Her extensive theatre credits include A Christmas Carol (Old Vic); Come From Away (Phoenix Theatre); The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Gielgud & Piccadilly Theatres), The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre); Sister Act and Hairspray (both UK tour). 

Also, Luke Johnson takes the role of ‘Des’His credits include Close-Up (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Light Princess (National Theatre), Wizard of Oz (London Palladium), The Lord of the Rings (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane) and Chicago (Cambridge Theatre).

Natasha O’Brien plays ‘Mrs Harbinson’. Her musical theatre credits include Aspects Of Love (Apollo Theatre), Mamma Mia! (Novello Theatre & International Tour) and Falsettos (The Other Palace).

The cast is completed by Finlay Blackman, William Hall and Rockingham Ooi-Griffiths sharing the role of Young Brian.

They join previously announced Adam Bregman as the Southend-born, Bristol-bound undergraduate, ‘Brian Jackson’ (Sing Street – Huntington Theatre; Bar Mitzvah Boy – Upstairs At The Gatehouse). Making her stage debut, Eubha Akilade as Rebecca Munro’, Stephenson Ardern-Sodje as ‘Spencer Lewis’ (‘Spike’ in Rock Follies – Chichester Festival Theatre; ‘Simba’ in Disney’s The Lion King and Hamilton – Cameron Mackintosh Ltd), Miracle Chance as ‘Lucy Davies’ (The Witches – National Theatre), Emily Lane as ‘Alice Harbinson’ (‘Anna’ in Frozen  – West End), and Will Jennings in the role of ‘Patrick Watts’, (Les MiserablesThe Mousetrap and Avenue Q – all West End).  

Starter for Ten has book and lyrics co-written by Emma Hall and Charlie Parham, Artistic Directors of Antic Productions. The 80s-inspired original score and lyrics are composed by queer, pop-punk composers Tom Rasmussen (who is currently on tour across the UK, and recently supported Rina Sawayama and Self Esteem on tour with their debut album, Body Building) and Hatty Carman.  A music video for “Touched by an Angel“, the first track to be released from the new musical, can be viewed here: Starter for Ten | ‘Touched by an Angel’ Music Video – YouTube

Starter for Ten will be directed by Charlie Parham, choreographed by Shelley Maxwell, with set and costume design by Olivier Award-nominee Frankie Bradshaw, sound design by Gregory Clarke and casting by Will Burton for GBC.

Fingers on buzzers! Here’s your Starter for Ten…

What is eighteen-year-old Brian Jackson’s proudest achievement to date? His A-level results. His idol? Kate Bush. His lifelong dream? To compete on legendary TV quiz show University Challenge. It’s 1985 and, leaving Southend to start his first year at Bristol University, Brian soon discovers that falling in love and growing up take a lot more than general knowledge…

Featuring an irresistible original soundtrack inspired by the riotous student scene of the 80s, Starter for Ten is a bright, big-hearted coming-of-age comedy about love, belonging and the all-important difference between knowledge and wisdom.






Lolita Chakrabarti’s dazzling Olivier Award-winning stage adaptation of Life of Pi, starring an extraordinary life-size puppeteered Bengal Tiger today confirms that it will follow its year-long UK and Ireland tour with an international tour. Engagements begin at the Royal Theater Carré in Amsterdam in August 2024, where it plays from 28 August – 8 September 2024, followed by engagements internationally.




Earlier this year, the spellbinding show made its Broadway premiere at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater where it opened on 9 March 2023 and – having opened to celebratory reviews – added three Tony Awards to its impressive number of trophies, scooping Best Scenic Design of a Play (Tim Hatley & Andrzej Goulding) and Best Lighting Design of a Play (Tim Lutkin) and Best Sound Design of a Play (Carolyn Downing) at the 2023 awards.

Life of Pi won five Olivier Awards in April 2022. As well as Best New Play, and Best Actor for Hiran Abeysekera (the original Pi); in a historic first for the Olivier Awards – the seven performers who puppeteer the Tiger ‘Richard Parker’ were collectively awarded Best Actor in a Supporting Role. The production also picked up awards for set (Tim Hatley, Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell), and lighting design (Tim Lutkin and Andrzej Goulding).

Of the production’s international extension, Producer, Simon Friend says: “We have been enormously grateful for, and excited by, the interest in Life of Pi by theatres internationally. While our show will encounter many different cultures on its travels, this wonderful story which celebrates human resilience against adversity is entirely universal. It also seems that lots of people love puppets.”



Life of Pi began its first-ever tour of the UK and Ireland at Sheffield’s Lyceum theatre this August and is currently playing an extended season at the Chichester Festival Theatre. Following its Christmas season at The Lowry, Salford, the UK and Ireland tour then continues to:  Leeds Grand Theatre; Bristol Hippodrome; Newcastle Theatre Royal; Birmingham Hippodrome; GrandOpera House; Belfast, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin; Theatre Royal Plymouth; Curve Leicester; Churchill Theatre, Bromley; Hull New Theatre; Derngate Theatre, NorthamptonCoventry Belgrade; Nottingham Theatre Royal; Wolverhampton Grand Theatre; Liverpool Empire; Severn Theatre Shrewsbury; Mayflower Theatre, Southampton; Hall For Cornwall, Truro; Everyman Theatre, CheltenhamGlasgow Theatre Royal; and finally the Edinburgh Festival Theatre in June 2024.

Life of Pi, which concluded its West End run on 15 January 2023, first opened to critical acclaim at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in 2019. Previous international commitments for the show include its North American Premiere at the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University where it ran from 4 December 2022 to 29 January 2023, followed by its Broadway premiere at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater where it opened on 9 March 2024.



The production is Directed by Max Webster, Set and Costume Designer is Tim Hatley, the Puppet Designers are Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell, the Puppet and Movement Director is Finn Caldwell, the Video Designer is Andrzej Goulding, the Lighting Designer is Tim Lutkin, theSound Designer is Carolyn Downing, the Composer is Andrew T Mackay, Dramaturgy is by Jack Bradley, the Casting Director is Polly Jerrold, the Associate Director is Leigh Toney, the Associate Puppetry and Movement Director is Scarlet Wilderink, the Associate Set Designer is Ross Edwards, the Associate Puppet Designer is Caroline Bowman,  the Costume Supervisor is Sabrina Cuniberto and the Props Supervisor is Ryan O’Conner.  

Based on one of the best-loved works of fiction – winner of the Man Booker Prize, selling over fifteen million copies worldwide – Life of Pi is a breath-taking new theatrical adaptation of an epic journey of endurance and hope.

After a cargo ship sinks in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, there are five survivors stranded on a single lifeboat – a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, a sixteen-year-old boy and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. Time is against them, nature is harsh, who will survive?



Award-winning writer Yann Martel’s works include The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios (1993), Self (1996), We Ate the Children Last (2004), Beatrice and Virgil (2010) – a New York Times Bestseller and a Financial Times Best Book, 101 Letters to a Prime Minister (2012) – a collection of letters to the prime minister of Canada; and The High Mountains of Portugal (2016).  

Life of Pi is produced by Simon Friend in association with Playing Field and Tulchin/Bartner.



Hampstead Theatre has today announced both its programme for Spring 2024 and the launch of a £1.25m fundraising appeal as it continues its commitment to nurturing, commissioning and producing new plays. 

Spring 2024 will see four world premieres, one UK premiere, and one English language  premiere by acclaimed writers including April De Angelis, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Christopher Hampton and Richard Nelson alongside rising playwrights Sarah Power and Richard Molloy. Tickets for the new season will go on sale to members from today, Thursday 23 November, and to the public on Thursday 30 November. 

The season opens with the world premiere of a brand-new play The Divine Mrs S by April De Angelis, directed by Anna Mackmin,which celebrates arguably the greatest theatre actress of all time – Sarah Siddons, the ‘Queen of Drury Lane’ at the end of 18th Century.  

Michael Longhurst returns to Hampstead Theatre, following his final season as Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, to direct the UK premiere of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Pulitzer Prize winning Between Riverside and Crazy.  

Concluding the season on the main stage is Academy Award-winner Christopher Hampton’s Visit from an Unknown Woman, an adaptation of a short story by Stefan Zweig, which will be directed by Clare Lizzimore

The Hampstead Downstairs programme is to include, Grud, a first play by Sarah Power, directed by Jaz Woodcock-Stewart. Sarah wrote the play last year while on Hampstead Theatre’s INSPIRE programme for playwrights.  

Following his debut and Olivier Award-nominated play Every Day I Make Greatness Happen at Hampstead Theatre, Richard Molloy returns to Hampstead and reunites with Associate Director Alice Hamilton for the world premiere of The Harmony Test

Also receiving its world premiere is a new play by Olivier Award-winner Richard NelsonAn Actor Convalescing In Devonwritten for and performed by Paul Jesson and directed by Clarissa Brown in collaboration with Richard Nelson. 

Also announced today is the #HampsteadAhead campaign, a £1.25m philanthropic appeal, to propel Hampstead Theatre as it continues to nurture and commission writers, produce new plays and offer significant ticket subsidies to thousands of young people. The appeal has already been given a significant boost with £1m pledged by a small number of Hampstead’s supporters and trustees. Also lending their support and voices to the #HampsteadAhead campaign are artists including Tamsin Greig, David Suchet, Jemma Redgrave and Roy Williams OBE.  

Greg Ripley-Duggan, Producer and Chief Executive at Hampstead Theatre said: 

“We’re thrilled that, as we approach the end of our first year without government subsidy, we can still offer such a rich and varied programme of new plays for our audiences to enjoy.  

“Taking the Main Stage and Downstairs together, we start with a celebration of acting and the art of the theatre through contrasting plays by April De Angelis and Richard Nelson. Stephen Adly Guirgis’ and Richard Molloy’s brilliant plays then offer complementary views of contemporary life, before the building celebrates work created at different ends of writing careers, via riveting pieces from debutant Sarah Power and veteran playwright Christopher Hampton.” 

“Hampstead’s aim has always been to present outstanding new plays and champion original talent and so it is wonderful that we are able to continue with that aim in our Spring 2024 programme. Philanthropy is at the heart of Hampstead’s future and with £1m already pledged towards our new £1.25m #HampsteadAhead appeal we want to say thank you for the rock-solid support of our patrons, audiences and trustees.” 

Artists supporting the #HampsteadAhead appeal have said: 

“It pleases me no end that Hampstead Theatre are still, in spite of the troubles they’ve had, punching a way through and still have the INSPIRE initiative in the building to support new writers. The #HampsteadAhead appeal is vital to its continued success.”  Roy Williams OBE 

“Just being here at Hampstead Theatre makes me feel the necessity of theatres like this, not just surviving but flourishing. It’s a lot to do with succeeding generations of writers and that’s why the #HampsteadAhead appeal is important.” Tom Stoppard 

“Hampstead Theatre so deserves to be supported by its audience and by its patrons and by everybody who cares about and loves theatre.” Jemma Redgrave 

“This country is blessed with many brilliant writers from Osborne to Pinter to Stoppard to Lucy Prebble and Laura Wade and they all had to start their careers somewhere and Hampstead Theatre is the perfect platform for new writers. This theatre needs your support now.” Robert Lindsay


World Premiere

The Divine Mrs S  

By April De Angelis 

Directed by Anna Mackmin 

Friday 22 March 2024 – Saturday 27 April 2024 

Press Night: Thursday 28 March, 7pm 

‘Stop writing? This was your first play. Did Shakespeare let Titus Andronicus put him off? An experimental tragedy about a pie? You’ve just begun’

Drury Lane, 1800. Mrs Sarah Siddons, universally acclaimed as the greatest actress of all time, holds complete sway over public and critics alike. But she is herself subject to direction from the men in her life – her bone-headed brother who runs the theatre and chooses her roles, and her faithless husband who signs her contracts and collects her fees. Siddons decides it’s time become the leading lady of her own life, harnessing her star power as the world’s first female celebrity and taking control of her own destiny – but she reckons without the absurdly comic plot-twists of a life on the stage…

April De Angelis’ hilarious backstage comedy recalls the origins of celebrity culture – before fame automatically granted wealth and power. Her other plays include Playhouse CreaturesMy Brilliant Friend and Jumpy.

Anna Mackmin returns to Hampstead for the first time since directing Di and Viv and Rose, which transferred from Downstairs, to Main Stage and eventually the West End. Her other productions include Dancing at LughnasaThe Real Thing and Hedda Gabler (all Old Vic).

The Divine Mrs S is a Hampstead Theatre/AKO Foundation Next Decade commission. 


Between Riverside and Crazy  

By Stephen Adly Guirgis 

Directed by Michael Longhurst
Friday 3 May 2024 – Saturday 15 June 2024 

Press Night: Monday 13 May, 7pm 

‘Son, that girl, she’s a nice girl, but she don’t study accounting. Her lips move when she read the horoscope – that ain’t the mark of a future accountant!’

Since his wife died, ex-cop Walter ‘Pops’ Washington has filled his palatial rent-controlled apartment in one of Manhattan’s most desirable areas with an oddball extended family of petty criminals. So now he’s besieged by the landlords, who want him out, the NYPD, who want him to settle his lawsuit against them, and the ladies from the local church, who want to save his soul…  But Pops, calm at the eye of the storm, is going to do precisely what Pops wants to do…

Stephen Adly Guirgis’ fast-moving Rabelaisian tragicomedy was a Broadway hit and won multiple awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  His other plays include Jesus Hopped the A-Train, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and The Motherf**ker with the Hat.

Michael Longhurst returns to Hampstead following his triumphant productions of Caroline or ChangeGloriaand The Blackest Black. His other productions include Next to Normal, The Band’s Visit and Constellations (all Donmar).

‘Astonishing… as it flips between comedy and tragedy on its way to the truth in between’ New York Times 

English LanguagePremiere

Visit from an Unknown Woman  

A play by Christopher Hampton
Based on the short story by Stefan Zweig 

Directed by Clare Lizzimore 

Friday 21 June 2024 – Saturday 27 July 2024 

Press Night: Monday 1 July, 7pm 

‘There’s this monstrous idiot – this monstrouselected idiot – who keeps telling his fellow-idiots to throw my books on a bonfire and beat me up in the street…’ 

Vienna 1934. Stefan is one of the world’s most successful authors – widely read, universally admired, and translated into every language. His is the life of a wealthy playboy, enjoying only the finest things in life – from luxurious world travel to the company of his most dazzling contemporaries in Europe’s most fashionable restaurants. Only two things cloud his prospects: the rise of the Nazi Party, and the sudden appearance of a woman who he clearly knows… but who he cannot, for the life of him, remember.

Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of the short story by Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) receives its English Language premiere following a triumphant run at Vienna’s Josefstadt Theater. Winner of multiple awards including two Oscars, Hampton’s plays include Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Tales from Hollywood, and The Philanthropist, and he is celebrated for his translations of Reza and Zeller.

Clare Lizzimore’s previous productions at Hampstead include Amy Rosenthal’s On the Rocks and Nick Payne’s first play Lay Down Your Cross. Other recent productions include Closer (Lyric Hammersmith), Snowflake (Kiln) and Bull (Young Vic), for which she won an Oliver Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre. 


World Premiere

An Actor Convalescing in Devon 

By Richard Nelson  

Directed by Clarissa Brown in collaboration with Richard Nelson 

Friday 5 April 2024 – Saturday 11 May 2024 

Press Night: Thursday 11 April, 7pm 

‘It’s not that I’m scared to get back onstage. Maybe my friends think that. I think they do… But it’s not that at all…’ 

An actor boards a train from Waterloo, opting for the meandering, romantic route to the West Country for a weekend with an old friend. As the Devonshire countryside slips past the carriage window, his mind’s eye is filled with memories of a happy summer spent there with his late partner and fellow actor, Michael. As the train rolls towards his destination, our narrator takes us on our own journey – through his stories and thoughts about Shakespeare, friends, his career and the trials of his own health.

Olivier Award winner Richard Nelson’s funny and compelling new play, written specially for Paul Jesson, is a beautiful rumination on the healing power of art and the healing art of theatre. His other plays include Good Night Children EverywhereTwo Shakespearean Actors (RSC) and Farewell To The Theatre (Hampstead Theatre). 

World Premiere

The Harmony Test  

By Richard Molloy 

Directed by Alice Hamilton 

Friday 17 May 2024 – Saturday 22 June 2024
Press Night: Thursday 23 May, 7pm 

‘He says, if we really wanna conceive now, he’s got a little something he can sell me under the counter at a very reasonable price. It will not fail!’ 

Newlyweds Zoe and Kash are ready to start a family. Zoe wants to take a practical approach: fertility plans, vitamin supplements and a strict diet. Kash, on the other hand, would rather follow the advice of an intriguing man he just met in Holland and Barrett. 

Empty-nesters Naomi and Charlie have been living in matrimonial bliss for twenty odd years – or at least they had been according to Charlie. Frustrated and lonely, Naomi heads to the gym in search of a new lease of life. Instead, she finds Rocco – a much younger personal trainer willing to take a hands-on approach to the job…  

Richard Molloy’s hilarious comedy explores life’s positives and negatives, from starting families, to ending marriages, and everything that comes in between. The Harmony Test is directed by Alice Hamilton, Hampstead Theatre’s Associate Director and is her second collaboration with Richard Molloy following the hugely successful Olivier Award-nominated Every Day I Make Greatness Happen, which played Downstairs in 2018. 

World Premiere


By Sarah Power 

Directed by Jaz Woodcock-Stewart 

Friday 28 June 2024 –Saturday 3 August 2024
Press Night: Monday 8 July, 7pm 

‘Hey I know you! You’re the one that’s always in the back of the library. Like a little library gremlin. Eating up knowledge. And Haribo’  

It’s a new term at college and, for most of the Sixth Form students, all that matters are mocks, UCAS applications and whether or not Elliot Park and Georgia Smith had sex in the study room at lunchtime.   

After losing the election for student president, Aicha is throwing all her energy into the school’s ‘Extended Physics Project’ – or, as she calls it, Space Club. One afternoon, Aicha is surprised by the appearance of the usually introverted and distant Bo, doubling the membership of Space Club. Whilst Aicha is thrilled to have a mysterious new friend, Bo is distracted by the black hole at the heart of her home life. She’s worked so hard to launch herself into bigger and better things – but will Grud eclipse her efforts and pull her off course? 

Sarah Power is an alumnus of Hampstead Theatre’s INSPIRE 2022 programme for emerging playwrights. Her credits include Pig at Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre and Mandrake which was longlisted for the Woman’s Prize for Playwriting, the Papatango New Writing Prize and was a finalist in the Hope Mill Theatre’s Through the Mill playwriting competition. Jaz Woodcock-Stewart makes her Hampstead Theatre debut, with previous credits including Paradise Now! (Bush – 2022 Olivier Award nominated), Civilisation (New Diorama, HOME Manchester, Underbelly Edinburgh) and Electric Rosary (Royal Exchange). 

Further information and tickets are available from hampsteadtheatre.com




  • New main stage productions for 2024 include Disney’s Aladdin and Blood Brothers
  • Peter Pan announced as the Hippodrome’s 2024 Pantomime
  • New works to be staged in the Patrick studio include Hippodrome Produced workshop performances of This is a Love Story

Birmingham Hippodrome has today (Thursday 23 November), announced a new season of shows for 2024.

Willy Russell’s legendary Blood Brothers (Tue 30 Apr – Sat 4 May) will return to the Hippodrome stage in April, telling the captivating and moving tale of twins who separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with fateful consequences. Recently announced, Disney’s spectacular Broadway and West End musical Aladdin (Wed 9 Oct – Sun 3 Nov 2024) will fly into Birmingham in October 2024. Featuring the iconic music by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice, this exuberant production is filled with unforgettable magic, comedy, and breathtaking spectacle.

Birmingham Hippodrome have also announced that next year’s pantomime will be the swashbuckling family favourite Peter Pan, starring panto legend Matt Slack(Sat 21 Dec 2024 – Sun 2 Feb 2025).

The 2024 season in the Patrick Studio features a host of events showcasing new talent alongside thought provoking dance and family friendly productions.

In January, two events will platform new writing and comedy starting with Enter.Stage.Write. (Thu 25 Jan 2024) an electrifying night of new writing and Amplified (Fri 26 Jan 2024) a brand-new Black and Asian comedy writing competition celebrating extraordinary talent from diverse backgrounds.

In February, audiences can experience a first look at a new musical in the making with the workshop performances of This is a Love Story (Thu 1 & Fri 2 Feb 2024); a brand-new pop musical produced by the Hippodrome, telling the 200,000 year love story between Earth and Humanity. With a high-energy pop score and razor-sharp lyrics, this show shines a fresh light on the climate crisis and our relationship with the planet.

Amina Khayyam Dance will present a double bill One|Bird in February (Wed 28 & Thu 29 Feb 2024). Using the cyclic phenomenon of South Asian classical dance, Amina’s solo performance ONE tells contemporary stories of migrants tarnished by media and politicians. With high energy Kathak weaving the story to a specially commissioned live music score, BIRD poses a question that crosses the mind of many women stuck in abusive relationships: “Where will I go?” “Will anyone believe me?”.

British Youth Music Theatre in partnership with Birmingham Hippodrome will bring together young performers and musicians from across the country for a reimagined production of Animal Farm (Fri 5 – Sun 7 Apr 2024). In May, Stan’s Café present Community Service (Wed 8 – Sat 11 May 2024); an emotional and uplifting theatre show, full of live music and wit inspired by the life of community hero Trevor Prince.

Jon Gilchrist, Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer at Birmingham Hippodrome said: “2024 marks 125 years of Birmingham Hippodrome providing that ‘goosebumps’ feeling through memorable and extraordinary experiences. Next year’s line up of spectacular productions across all of our stages feels extra special.

“I am particularly excited that there are so many fantastic opportunities to both experience and be part of the new work that we are proudly developing here at the Hippodrome; something which will only go from strength to strength now that our New Work & Artist Development and New Musical Theatre teams are up and running.”

There will be a range of Audio Described, Captioned, BSL interpreted and relaxed performances throughout the season, to find out more head to the Hippodrome’s accessible performances web page.

Tickets for all new season showswill go on sale to Friends of Birmingham Hippodrome on Thursday 23 November at 11am and on general sale on Monday 27 November at 11am

Tickets for Peter Pan go on sale to Friends of Birmingham Hippodrome on Tuesday 12 December at 11am and on general sale on Friday 15 December at 11am.

Tickets for all shows can be booked at www.birminghamhippodrome.com or by calling 0844 338 5000*

 *0844 calls will cost you 4.5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

I’m Sorry Prime Minister, I Can’t Quite Remember Review

Cambridge Arts Theatre, Cambridge – until Saturday 25th November 2023

Reviewed by Steph Lott


Jonathan Lynn’s “I’m Sorry Prime Minister, I Can’t Quite Remember,” featuring Christopher Bianchi as Jim Hacker and Clive Francis as Sir Humphrey Appleby, is a delightful theatrical romp that seamlessly blends satire with sharp wit. Lynn, renowned for his work in the television series “Yes, Minister,” successfully transports the iconic characters to the stage with a script that is nostalgic yet fresh.

The production opens with Jim Hacker, played with impeccable comedic timing by Christopher Bianchi, grappling with yet another disastrous situation of his own making. He’s now Lord Hacker, in his eighties, and residing as Master of Hacker College, which was named after him after he raised the funds to build it. However, having made too many unfortunate remarks, he is being asked to resign. What can he do? Call on Sir Humphrey Appleby for help of course!

As the titular character, Bianchi has successfully embodied Hacker’s bumbling charm and earnestness, into the future as an old man, drawing the audience into his tangled web of nonsense. Opposite Bianchi, Clive Francis as Sir Humphrey Appleby is a masterclass in deadpan humour and bureaucratic cunning. Francis channels the essence of the original character, maintaining the polished and calculated demeanour that made Sir Humphrey an iconic figure in political satire. The chemistry with Bianchi does work, and by the end creates a dynamic reminiscent of the beloved television series. Michaela Bennison brings a lot of charm to her portrayal of Sophie, Jim’s care worker. She provides an excellent counterfoil to the 2 old men struggling to make sense of their changed circumstances as they age and are no longer public figures.

Lynn’s script is a clever amalgamation of intrigue and farcical humour, capturing the essence of the original series while adding new layers to the narrative. Lynn’s keen understanding of the political landscape both in private and public life, allows the satire to resonate with contemporary audiences, drawing parallels between the fictional world of Jim Hacker and the real world. He has also managed to bring that world into the current day and the themes of old age, loss, and the struggle to keep up with the current day resonate with many, I’m sure.

The set design by Lee Newby is lovely, capturing Jim Hacker’s new surroundings beautifully. The only issue for me was I think the positioning of the armchairs on the stage meant that the faces of the characters on one side of the stage could not be seen.

I’m Sorry Prime Minister, I Can’t Quite Remember” is a testament to the enduring appeal of political satire and the timeless characters created by Jonathan Lynn. With stellar performances by Christopher Bianchi and Clive Francis, the production successfully brings the wit and charm of “Yes, Minister” to the stage. It’s a must-see for both fans of the original series and newcomers looking for a laugh-out-loud theatrical experience that cleverly reflects the absurdities of modern life. Lynn’s adaptation is a triumph, proving that some things are indeed unforgettable.