Wednesday, 30 November 2016

CATS the musical announces new cast for UK & European tour

A new cast has been announced for the UK & European touring production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical CATS.

The cast includes Robin Lake (Alonzo), Aaron Hunt (Bill Bailey), Charlie Johnson (Bombalurina), Enric Marimon (Carbucketty), Natalie Bennyworth (Cassandra), Agnes Pure (Demeter), Joanna Ampil (Grizabella), Tony McGill (Gus), Charlotte Scott (Jellylorum), Grace Swaby (Jemima), Joanna Lee Martin (Jennyanydots), Jak Allen-Anderson (Macavity/Admetus), Joe Henry (Mungojerrie), Matt Krazan (Munkustrap), John Ellis (Old Deuteronomy), Daniel Corthorn (Quaxo/Mistoffelees), Pepe Munoz (Rum Tum Tugger), Meg Astin (Rumpelteazer), Lee Greenaway (Skimbleshanks), Eilish Hormon-Beglan (Tantomile) and Sophia McAvoy (Victoria/White Cat).

Monday, 28 November 2016

The Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) announce Tony Ball as new Chairman

29 November 2016, London: The Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), the global leader in live theatre, is delighted to announce the appointment of a new Chairman, Tony Ball. Tony has had a long and successful career in the media and entertainment industries in the UK and internationally. His appointment follows the announcement of Mark Cornell as Group Chief Executive Officer of ATG earlier this year.

Tony is a former Chief Executive of Sky, was Chairman of the Supervisory Board at KabelDeutschland and has been a senior advisor of Providence since 2012.

Tony Ball replaces Greg Dyke who is to step down as Chairman at the end of November after seven years in the role.

Tony Ball, Chairman of ATG said: “I am hugely excited to take up this role. ATG is a British success story with great potential for further growth. I look forward to working with Mark Cornell and his team to deliver excellent live theatre for our customers and excellent results for our shareholders.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Lets hear it for the Reality Stars!

Within the theatre industry we could all name at least five major shows who have stunt casting in them; wether thats an Ex-Girls aloud member or a TOWIE star trying to make a name for themselves.  Reality TV stars have a bad reputation for coming into musical and 'stealing' other peoples jobs, so we decided to take a look at the reality TV stars who are NAILING it in the world of Theatre.  Take a look and let us know what you think... Tweet us your thoughts! @PocketSizeBlog 

Alexandra Burke 

Alexandra won the 2008 series of The X Factor, she later appeared in the West End and international touring productions of The Bodyguard. She is currently playing Deloris Van Cartier in the UK tour of Sister Act. 

Darius Campbell 

Darius appeared on Pop Idol in 2002, since then he has gone on to appear in many West End musicals including Chicago, Guys and Dolls, From Here to Eternity and most recently Funny Girl alongside Sheridan Smith. 

Friday, 25 November 2016

FIRST LOOK: Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre, starring Amber Riley

Sonia Friedman Productions has today released brand new production photography for the long-awaited UK premiere of DreamgirlsPreview performances are currently running at the Savoy Theatre with Opening Night on Wednesday 14 December 2016.

American actress and singer Amber Riley stars as ‘Effie White’ and is joined in Dreamgirls by Liisi LaFontaine as Deena Jones and Ibinabo Jack as Lorrell Robinson making up the soulful singing trio ‘The Dreams’. Joe Aaron Reid plays Curtis Taylor Jr, Adam J. Bernard plays Jimmy Early, Tyrone Huntley plays C.C. White, Nicholas Baileyplays Marty and Lily Frazer plays Michelle Morris with Ruth Brown and Karen Mavalternating the role of Effie White at performances when Amber Riley is not scheduled to perform.

The cast of Dreamgirls also includes Michael Afemaré, Jocasta Almgill, Callum Aylott, Hugo Batista, Samara Casteallo, Chloe Chambers, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Joelle Dyson, Kimmy Edwards, Candace Furbert, Nathan Graham, Ashley Luke Lloyd, Gabriel Mokake, Siân Nathaniel-James, Sean Parkins, Kirk Patterson, Ryan Reid, Rohan Richards, Noel Samuels, Durone Stokes and Tosh Wanogho-Maud.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Half A Sixpence extends booking until 22 April 2017

Following rave reviews for both the show and its leading man Charlie Stemp, Cameron Mackintosh announced today that booking for the Cameron Mackintosh and Chichester Festival Theatre production of “HALF A SIXPENCE” at the Noël Coward Theatre has been extended to 22 April 2017.

Tickets are priced from £12.50 - £77.50. A limited number of £20 seats are released each day from 10.00am in person at the box office.
The entire Chichester cast have transferred to the West End, starring newcomers Charlie Stemp as ‘Arthur Kipps’ and Devon-Elise Johnson as ‘Ann Pornick’ – alongside three times Olivier-nominated actor Ian Bartholomew as ‘Chitterlow’ and three times Olivier-nominated actress Emma Williams as ‘Helen Walsingham’.

INTERVIEW: Lee Proud, Choreographer of the 20th Anniversary production of RENT

Lee Proud choreographed the new 20th Anniversary production of RENT which is currently touring the UK, making a stop at the St. James Theatre in London over December. His other credits include The Producers (UK tour), The Smallest Show on Earth (UK tour), Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace), Allegro (Southwark Playhouse) and Grand Hotel (Southwark Playhouse). 

You’ve choreographed for many different types of spaces, which ones have been the most challenging?
I think most spaces offer some challenges, but there was one show I did two years ago Off- Broadway and there was only one entrance/exit on stage right as stage left was just a brick wall! It was hideous!!! I had to attempt to create patterns and illusions with the choreography which didn't look like everyone constantly marching off to one side after every number. It was awful!! People also often say to me that it must be hard choreographing in small spaces but I love the challenges and problem solving this involves. I also love the idea of the audience literally feeling the breeze on their face as a performer dances past. Traverse I like as it always offers an interesting perspective which you can keep moving and changing so no one misses out on the story telling. 
Do you prefer anyone of those?
I don't have a particular preference, I always try to play to the strengths of the space and rehearse things well so the actors feel comfortable.

Monday, 21 November 2016

INTERVIEW: Layton Williams, currently playing Angel in the 20th Anniversary production of RENT

Layton Williams is currently starring in the 20th Anniversary production of the cult classic RENT which tours the UK with a stop in London's St James Theatre from 8th December - 28th January. His other credits include Hairspray (UK tour), Thriller! Live (Lyric Theatre) Billy in Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace), The Car Man (UK tour) and on television Bad Education and Beautiful People. 

You came into the professional theatre business rather early, as one of the original Billy Elliots in the West End. How was that whole process?
It was pretty special. My story is very much the Billy Elliot story - I auditioned with very little experience when I was 11. I hadn't done a ballet class or had any professional training but they must've seen potential I guess.

What is it like to have such pressure at such an early age? Did you realise at the time what big a deal it was?
I absolutely had no clue. When I speak with people now about it they say they remember all the talk and controversy about this new "Black Billy"! I was just enjoying the ride as a child and luckily it never really stopped.

INTERVIEW: Ross Hunter, currently playing Roger in the 20th Anniversary production of RENT

Ross Hunter is currently starring in the 20th Anniversary production of the cult classic RENT which tours the UK with a stop in London's St James Theatre from 8th December - 28th January. Ross has previously been in The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales) played Drew in Rock of Ages (Garrick & Shaftesbury Theatre) and Legally Blonde (Savoy Theatre). 

Let's start with We Will Rock You, pretty early on in your career you understudied Galileo for a while, and must have rocked out with Queen's Brian May a fair few times... how was that?
It was my first job out of drama school and to play the role at just 21 years old was incredible. The show itself means a lot to me, and the anniversary shows with Brian May and Roger Taylor were fantastic.

Then you jumped ship to the "other" rock musical, Rock Of Ages... what was your time like with that show? 
Physically demanding, vocally demanding but the most fun I have ever had on a job. The audiences were always brilliant and it’s a show that I think the West End misses. Not just a great show but a top night out!

Friday, 18 November 2016

REVIEW: Curl Up and Die at The Questors Theatre

The Questors Theatre, in Ealing Broadway, has been by far my most exciting theatrical discovery of 2016. Opened in 1929, this is one of the largest amateur theatres in Europe and has around 1500 members. The building contains a 350-seat playhouse, a studio, various rehearsing rooms and a vintage tearoom which I shall definitely visit again.

Curl Up and Die is hosted in the spacious 90-seats studio. When we enter, the open set reproduces a 50's hair parlour in the finest detail, with its pastel-pink wallpaper and the rows of funny-shaped bottles aligned on many shelves. A 'fermé' sign hung on the door suggests a wacky attempt at sophistication but everything around looks shabby and outdated.

Samantha Womack, Les Dennis & Carrie Hope Fletcher to star in THE ADDAMS FAMILY

Samantha Womack, Les Dennis and Carrie Hope Fletcher will star as Morticia, Fester and Wednesday Addams in the UK & Irish premiere of THE ADDAMS FAMILY, a musical comedy, with book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, based on the characters created by Charles Addams.  Further casting is to be announced.  

The UK & Ireland Tour will open at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh on 20 April 2017, with a national press night at the New Wimbledon Theatre on Tuesday 16 May.  New tour dates have been added (please see schedule below).

Samantha Womack will take on the role of Morticia Addams fresh from leaving BBC1’s EastEnders after nearly a decade as Ronnie Mitchell.  Samantha has also played Tanya Dawson for three series of the hit comedy Mount Pleasant (Sky1) and, on film she will be reprising her role next summer as Michelle Unwin in Kingsman: The Golden Circle.  Her stage credits include Nellie Forbush in the Lincoln Center Theater's Tony Award-winning production of South Pacific (Barbican Theatre & UK Tour), Michael Grandage's West End production of Guys & Dollsopposite Patrick Swayze (Piccadilly Theatre) and Peter Hall's production of Pinter's Betrayal(Theatre Royal Bath).

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre announce next season of shows

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre have today announced details of Timothy Sheader’s 10th season as Artistic Director.

The season opens on 19 May 2017 with the musical On The Town (19 May – 1 July) directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie. With music by Leonard Bernstein and book and lyrics by Betty Comdenand Adolph Green, including the hit song “New York, New York”, On The Town will be the biggest dance musical ever staged at the Open Air Theatre. Drew McOnie scored a hit with his choreography for Jesus Christ Superstar in 2016 and, in addition to In The Heights for which he won the Olivier Award as Best Theatre Choreographer, he has also choreographed Jekyll and Hyde and The Lorax (Old Vic), Bugsy Malone (Lyric Hammersmith) and Hairspray and Chicago (Curve, Leicester). He is currently directing and choreographing Strictly Ballroom at West Yorkshire Playhouse.


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

INTERVIEW: Nadim Naaman, currently starring as Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera

Nadim Naaman is currently playing Raoul in the London production of Phantom of the Opera, just after celebrating the shows 30th Anniversary we talk to Nadim about his experiences as an actor, his future and his two albums he has released. His other credits include Charles Clarke in Titanic (Princess of Wales, Toronto), Anthony Hope in Sweeney Todd (Harrington’s Pie & Mash Shop), One Man, Two Guvnors (NT at The Theatre Royal, Haymarket), The Phantom of The Opera (Her Majesty’s), The Sound of Music (The Palladium), Cinderella (The Harlington), Titanic (Southwark Playhouse), Chess (Union), Marguerite (Tabard), Thirteen Days (Arcola), Knight Crew (Glyndebourne), James and The Giant Peach (Watermill) and The Last Five Years (Pleasance).

Being in a long running show and performing 8 times a week is obviously one of the challenges to being an actor, how do you keep it fresh every show?
For me, this is all down to approach. Being in a long runner is very different to the jobs that last six, eight or ten weeks, for example.  The first thing is to accept that doing a role eight times a week for a long run is difficult, and that you have you find a way to divide a week’s worth of energy evenly between the eight shows so that you don’t come unstuck by Friday or Saturday. Being physically fit and looking after yourself in terms of what you eat and drink during the week makes a big difference too. But the mental side is more important to me. 

I do my very best to enjoy every moment, and give all my energy, whilst I’m on stage; then, backstage, try to keep calm and relaxed whilst being focused. When I go home every night, I try and leave work at the Stage Door, and forget about it until I arrive for the following performance. It is your job, after all, and no job is healthy if it is all-consuming. No matter how big your role, if you add up the minutes any character is actually on stage, it’s manageable if you have the right attitude. If you get it right, it is the time spent backstage, and the routine of prep, make-up, warm-up etc that might feel more tiring and repetitive, whilst your performance can remain alive and fresh. 

Stephen Schwartz Musical, WORKING, Receives European Premiere at Southwark Playhouse in 2017

WORKING is the extraordinary genre-defining musical from Grammy and Academy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz(Wicked, Godspell) based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with the American workforce: Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do.

This highly original and universal portrait of the American workday is told from the perspective of those that the world so often overlooks – the schoolteacher, the housewife, the fireman and the waitress amongst many – whose daily grind and aspirations reflect the truths of the people that make up a nation.  WORKING employs a range of musical styles and genres from contributing composers, including five-time Grammy Award-winner James Taylor and Pulitzer Prize-winner Lin Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In The Heights). 
WORKING is being produced by up-and-coming theatre producers Jack Maple, Ramin Sabi & D.E.M. Productions.

Donmar Warehouse announces 2017 Spring season

The Donmar Warehouse announces today its new 2017 Spring Season. Playwright Steve Waters returns to the Donmar, following his acclaimed play Temple last year, with a searing new drama Limehouse. Set in 1981, the play imagines what happened when the ‘Gang of Four’ met to break from the Labour party and form the SDP. The production is directed by Olivier-award-winning Polly Findlay, who makes her Donmar debut.  [Limehouse is a fictionalised account of real events.  It is not endorsed by the individuals portrayed.]

Following this, Lenny Henry will also make his Donmar debut as Arturo Ui, in Bertolt Brecht’s satirical masterpiece The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, given a new translation by Bruce Norris and directed by Simon Evans.

Monday, 14 November 2016

The Play That Goes Wrong announces Broadway transfer with JJ Abrams as a co-producer

Producers Kevin McCollumJ. J. AbramsKenny WaxStage Presence Ltd. and Catherine Schreiber have announced that the Mischief Theatre production of The Play That Goes Wrong, the Olivier Award winning West End hit comedy, will arrive on Broadway this spring.

The Play That Goes Wrong will begin performances Thursday, March 9 and officially open Sunday, April 2, 2017 at The Lyceum Theatre (149 West 45 Street).

Special $25 pre-sale tickets are now available in all orchestra and front mezzanine seats and $15 balcony seats during preview performances. This special pre-sale offer ends Wednesday, November 23 and is available online at or by calling 212-239-6200.

Full cast announced for ANYTHING GOES at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, opening on 16 December 2016

Full casting has been announced for the upcoming revival of Cole Porter's Anything Goes which runs at Upstairs at the Gatehouse pub theatre in north London from 14 December 2016 to 29 January 2017, with an official opening on 16 December 2016.
Taryn Erickson will lead the cast in the role of Reno Sweeney, making her UK musical theatre debut. Jack McCannwill play Billy Crocker, opposite Jack Keane and Samantha Dorsey as Sir Evelyn Oakleigh and Hope Harcourt. They are joined by David Pendlebury, Nova Skipp, Timothy Booth, Chloe Adele Edwards, Lucas James, Lewis McBean, Lucie Horsfall and Chloe Porter.

Marti Webb joins John Partridge and Adrian Zmed in La Cage Aux Folles, full cast announced

Bill Kenwright presents a spectacular new production of the much-loved musical LA CAGE AUX FOLLES with West End leading lady MARTI WEBB announced today in the role of ‘Jacqueline’.

She joins the previously announced JOHN PARTRIDGE as ‘Albin’ and ADRIAN ZMED as ‘Georges’ at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from Tuesday 27 June – Saturday 1 July 2017. Tickets are now on sale.

One of the West End’s most revered leading ladies’, TV star and recording artist MARTI WEBBwill play ‘Jacqueline’, friend to ‘Albin’ and ‘Georges’, and owner of the restaurant ‘Chez Jacqueline’. Webb has played leading roles in numerous West End and touring musicals including EvitaGodspellThoroughly Modern MillieBlood BrothersOliverOklahoma42ndStreet, and Half-a-Sixpence. She received huge critical acclaim for her unforgettable performance in Tell Me on a Sunday, which was written specifically for her by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black. She has recorded nine solo albums and had many hit singles, includingAlways There, the theme from the hit BBC series ‘Howard’s Way’ and the smash hit Take That Look off Your Face.


JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR to return to Regent's Park in August

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre have today announced that, following its overwhelming sell-out success in 2016, Jesus Christ Superstar returns for just 41 performances in 2017 (11 August – 16 September), giving audiences one final chance to see the production in its original home. 

With direction by Timothy Sheader, design by Tom Scutt, choreography by Drew McOnie, musical direction by Tom Deering, lighting design by Lee Curran and sound design by Nick Lidster for Autograph, the production won the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical in the Evening Standard Awards and has received 15 nominations in the BroadwayWorld Awards, including Theatrical Event of the Year. 

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Michael Xaiver & Siobhan Dillon to star in Broadway production of SUNSET BOULEVARD with Glenn Close

Glenn Close, soon to star in the Broadway transfer of Sunset Boulevard, has confirmed that Michael Xaiver and Siobhan Dillon will also star in the Broadway revival. 

Three-time Tony winner Glenn Close, who created the role of Norma Desmond in the original 1994 Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard, will return to the part in 2017 at Broadway's Palace Theatre. 

Direct from a sold-out engagement earlier this year at the English National Opera, which marked Close’s West End debut, this production of the musical—which is based on Billy Wilder's classic film of the same name—will feature a 40-piece orchestra. Directed by Lonny Price, previews will begin February 2, 2017, with an official opening night set for February 9. The production will play a limited 16-week engagement.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Casting announced for PROMISES, PROMISES at Southwark Playhouse

Final casting is today announced for the first London production in 20 years of the hit Burt Bacharach/Hal David/Neil Simon Broadway musical Promises, Promises, based on the Billy Wilder film The Apartment.

A triumph of 1960s sexual work-place politics, with a quick witted script and unforgettable songs including Knowing When To Leave, Promises, Promises, Say A Little Prayer For You, A House Is Not A Home and I’ll Never Fall in Love Again, this Tony Award nominated, Grammy Award winning musical comes to Southwark Playhouse from Friday 13 January to Saturday 18 February.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

REVIEW: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is one of the most loved family films of all time, it is one of those films that has stayed with us all as we have grown up and has been carried through our adult lives. Its a challenging show to take on tour but this production have aced it! This production brings magic to the New Victoria Theatre. This show has set the bar on the quality of touring shows. 

The show seems to have the same structure as a Pantomime; it has a love story, villains, a comedy duo and magic. I feel like there is a very fine line to when a show becomes too panto like but this was done in the most classy way and has to be the best touring show on the road at the moment and best one around for a long time. 

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

THE CAT IN THE HAT returns to London for festive season at Pleasance Theatre

Following a run at the Pleasance Theatre, Islington in 2014 and two sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the acclaimed stage adaptation of Dr Seuss’s The Cat In The Hat will return to London this festive season from Tuesday 6 December 2016 to Monday 2 January 2017. On sale now.

There will be press performances on Friday 9 December at 10.30am and 1.30pm, and Saturday 10 December at 11.00am and 2.00pm. 

From the moment his tall, red-and-white-striped hat appears around the door, Sally and her brother know that the cat in the hat is the funniest, most mischievous cat they have ever met. With the trickiest of tricks and craziest of ideas, he turns a rainy afternoon into an amazing adventure. But what will mum find when she gets home? 

Based on the much-loved book by Dr Seuss that has captivated generations of readers, The Cat in the Hat is a lively and engaging first theatre experience for young children aged 3+. 

Paul Hawkyard to play Final Mr Perks in the Olivier Award-winning production of The Railway Children

Paul Hawkyard will have the onerous duty of making sure the last train leaves King’s Cross Theatre on time, when he takes over as Mr Perks in the Olivier Award-winning production of Mike Kenny’s stage adaptation of E. Nesbit’s novel The Railway Children – Live on Stage from 23 November 2016 until 8 January 2017, when this critically and publically acclaimed show must come to an end. This follows more than two glorious years of performances at King’s Cross Theatre, where it opened on 14 January 2015, following previews from 16 December 2014.  

Paul Hawkyard is best known for the popular Cbeebies programme Old Jack’s Boat, in which he plays the character Ernie Starboard and co-stars with Bernard Cribbins, the original Mr Perks. His theatre credits include A Christmas Carol (Rose Theatre), War Horse (New London/National Theatre), Birdsong (The Comedy Theatre), Oliver! (London Palladium), Mamma Mia! (Prince of Wales Theatre), South Pacific (National Theatre), Les Misérables  (Palace Theatre), Jesus Christ Superstar (The Lyceum Theatre) and Miss Saigon (Theatre Royal Drury Lane). 

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

REVIEW: Fool for Love at Found 111

In the last decade, the presentation of exhibitions and performances in dismissed venues has seen its status changing from pioneering to mainstream. Long gone are the times when companies like Secret Cinema and Punchdrunk were considered ground-breaking for introducing the rescue of abandoned buildings as a significant part of their mission. 2015 was the year that saw London Fashion Week move from the spacious courtyard of Somerset House to the low ceilings of Brewer Street Car Park and the derelict 180 Strand become a sanctuary for designers and arts exhibitors alike. Therefore, it didn’t come as a complete surprise when Soho Theatre announced the launch of a pop-up space in the heart of the West End, at the top of the building that originally housed the Central St Martins School of Art.

Monday, 7 November 2016

The smash hit production of HAIRSPRAY will embark on a further major tour opening in Summer 2017

Today, producer Mark Goucher has confirmed that following the phenomenal success of the recent UK tour, the smash hit production of Hairspray will embark on a further major tour opening on 16 August 2017 at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff. The big, bold and beautiful production of this much loved musical comedy will visit more than 30 venues across the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland until early summer 2018. Star casting will be announced in due course.

Producer Mark Goucher said: “I am incredibly proud of this production of Hairspray and thrilled that it will be travelling the country again. The universal appeal of this heart-warming show has continued to delight us all, with families and musical theatre lovers alike packing out theatres night after night.”

Friday, 4 November 2016

FULL CAST announced for 42nd Street at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

Sheena Easton - the Grammy Award winning artist who has sold over 20 million records around the world - is to make her West End debut in the forthcoming production of 42nd Street.
Easton, who remains the only artist in history to have top five records on five major Billboard charts, will perform the iconic role of 'Dorothy Brock' in this new production of 42nd Street, the dazzling and romantic homage to the world of musical theatre.
The role of 'Julian Marsh' will be performed by Tom Lister, who played 'Carl King' in Emmerdale for 8 years and has recently been starring as 'Wild Bill Hickok' in the UK Tour of Calamity Jane. Clare Halse, who most recently appeared in the acclaimed production of Gypsy as 'Marjorie May' at the Savoy Theatre, will play 'Peggy Sawyer'.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

INTERVIEW: Lorna Want, Olivier Award winning Actress currently in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Lorna is currently playing Cynthia Weil in Beautiful: The Carol King Musical, a role she won the 2015 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical. She made her West End debut at the age of 15 in Romeo & Juliet the Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre and her other credits include Footloose (Novello/UK Tour), Evita (Adelphi), Parade (Donmar), The Fantasticks (Duchess), Dreamboats and Petticoats (Playhouse), Annie Get Your Gun (UK Tour), Robin Hood (Cambridge Arts), Anything Goes (Kilworth House), Peter Pan (Manchester Opera House & New Victoria Woking), High School Musical (UK Tour), Sleeping Beauty (Bromley Churchill), Les Miserables (Birmingham Hippodrome). Television credits include: CasualtyHolby CityDoctors and I Dream (all for the BBC), Arcadia (ITV). Workshops include: The Little Prince (Savoy Theatre), Defect (Finborough Theatre), The Piper (Savoy Theatre), Bauhinia (National Theatre Studio).

The show has been running for a while now, what changes have you noticed to your performance from the beginning of the run?
That's an interesting question! A huge part of my job is to keep things fresh every night, as though I'm saying the words for the first time, and to tell the story in the correct way, so I've definitely found new things along the way & I'd like to think I've got better, but equally I hope that the performance has the same energy it had on opening night.

If we think back to the beginning of the process, were you aware of the show before you auditioned?
Once I got the call from my agent about auditioning, I did some research on the show and saw how successful it was on Broadway. I was obsessed with the soundtrack for the following weeks, & knew instantly that I wanted to be in it! 


REVIEW: Sunny Afternoon: The Kinks Musical at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking

Fresh from its run at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End, Sunny Afternoon, the hit musical based on the music of The Kinks launched it new tour at Woking’s New Victoria Theatre in outstanding fashion.

Sunny Afternoon was the recipient of four awards at the 2015 Olivier Awards including Best New Musical and Outstanding Achievement in Music for Ray Davies. Sunny Afternoon features some of The Kinks best-loved tracks including You Really Got Me, Lola, Waterloo Sunset, Tired of Waiting For You, Sunny Afternoon, Dedicated Follower of Fashion and more!

Full cast announced for BAT OUT OF HELL - THE MUSICAL

The world premiere of the long-awaited Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical will take place in London’s West End at the London Coliseum, opening on Tuesday 20 June 2017, following previews from 5 June, for a limited season until 22 July 2017.  This follows previews at Manchester Opera House from 17 February to 8 April 2017.

As with many great works of art, the genesis of the Bat Out Of Hell album occurred across a number of years.  One of the songs was written while Steinman was an undergraduate at Amherst College in the late 1960s.  In the 1970s, Steinman wrote a theatrical musical that was presented in workshop in Washington D.C. in 1974 and featured many of the songs that would ultimately appear on the Bat Out Of Hell album, which was released in 1977.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

REVIEW: Disappearing Acts at The Place

Brainchild of the ground-breaking company Flexer & Sandiland – led by award-winning choreographer Yael Flexer and digital artist Nic Sandiland – Disappearing Acts is not only a contemporary dance performance but a multi-sensorial installation where the public is an integral part of its configuration. Its main purpose is to explore the concepts of ‘visibility and ‘disappearance’ through an elaborate and fast-paced physicality, spoken word, silly magician numbers and continuous variations on the texture of the performing space, thanks to the use of haze and some eerie sound and lighting effects.

When the doors of The Place auditorium open, we are invited to walk in semi-darkness towards centre stage, where four dozen swivelling stools have been disposed in a large circle. A row of traffic warning lights lays in its middle and produces a haunting noise when it’s activated.

DAVID TENNANT returns to the West End in Patrick Marber’s Don Juan in Soho

David Tennant returns to the West End in March 2017 to play the title role in Patrick Marber’s Don Juan in Soho.  

The production will preview at Wyndham’s Theatre from 17 March 2017, with press night on 28 March 2017.  It will complete its strictly limited eleven week run on 10 June 2017.  Tickets go on public sale today, 2 November 2016, at 1pm.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

REVIEW: Airswimming at The Vaults

There is something special about Airswimming which is quite hard to describe. The running time of 110 minutes without interval is ambitious. The lighting is dim and suggests the shift of characters with a discreet variation of cold and warm shades. The set never changes. Two of the side walls are covered by a powder blue curtain and against the other two are aligned the audience seats. In the middle of the room is a white bathtub, two green chairs and three metal buckets. Very little actually happens on stage, the acting isn’t physically challenging and the two women spend most of the time sat or standing still. Nonetheless, I couldn’t take my eyes off them and the end of the performance arrived sooner than I thought.

NEW CAST announced for Beautiful - The Carole King Musical from 28 November 2016

On 28 November 2016 Matthew Seadon-Young and Barbara Drennan will join the West End cast of Beautiful - The Carole King Musical to play Gerry Goffin (Carole King’s husband and song-writing partner) and Genie Klein (King’s mother) respectively.  

Cassidy Janson continues in the title role as well as Lorna Want as song-writer Cynthia Weil, a role for which she won the 2015 Olivier for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical and Ian McIntosh as song-writer Barry Mann.  Joseph Prouse, who recently joined the company, plays Donnie Kirshner (music publisher and producer).


INTERVIEW: Ben Richards, currently starring in THE BODYGUARD at the Dominion Theatre

Ben Richards is currently playing Frank in The Bodyguard at the Dominion Theatre opposite soul Queen, Beverley Knight. His other credits include laddin (Shaw Theatre); Rock of Ages (UK tour); Oliver!(Sheffield Crucible); 9 to 5 (UK tour); Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Palace Theatre), Guys And Dolls (Piccadilly Theatre); Grease (Victoria Palace Theatre and UK tour); The Full Monty (Prince of Wales Theatre); Saturday Night Fever (London Palladium); Smokey Joes Café(Prince of Wales Theatre) and Grease (Dominion Theatre). On TV he has played Ben Bradley in Hollyoaks; Mr Kit in Doctors; PC Nate Roberts in The Bill; Justin in Holby City; Gayle Tuesday; Bruno Milligan in Footballers WivesFootballers Wives Extra Time; and Dad.

First of all, how is it being back at the Dominion Theatre? It's been a little while since Grease...
It's great being back at the Dominion Theatre, this place holds a lot of great memories and where I got my break into playing roles when I took over the role of Kenickie in Grease

You're no stranger to a jukebox musical, or those based on movies, how do you prepare for a show like this? Do you watch the movie or keep well away and create your own character?
I did watch the movie just to remind myself of it and to get a feel of it, but as with all projects be it film, tv, or theatre, I will go through a process during rehearsals or in my own time to make the character and get my performance up to speed.


REVIEW: Pride and Prejudice at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

Following sell-out performances at Regent's Park Theatre, Pride and Prejudice features the Olivier award-winning Matthew Kelly (Of Mice and Men) and Felicity Montagu (Alan Partridge, Bridget Jones's Diary, The Durrells) as Mr and Mrs Bennet. Kelly is a wonderful presence in this production and his comedic timing is spot on. Montagu is also superb – her “woe is me” Mrs Bennet was a crowd favourite, and she really binds the show together, with ease too I might add.
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