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Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Britannia High: Where are they now?


Britannia High was the British answer to High School Musical, Fame and Glee! Whilst some may not have even heard of this TV, for some of us it was a huge thing in our younger years. The TV show only lasted one series but the stars of the TV show have gone onto some wonderful careers, as part of our 'Where are they Now' series, we look at where the young cast of Britannia high are today! If you like this series, why not check out some of our others? Our 'Where are they now' series features TV shows like How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria (Search for Maria in The Sound of Music), Any Dream Will Do (Search for Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), I'd Do Anything (Search for Nancy in Oliver), Over the Rainbow (Search for Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz) and Grease is the Word (Search for Danny and Sandy in Grease) and Fame: The musical (the search for Nick and Serena in Fame). 

Matthew James Thomas 

Thomas played Jez, whose actual name is Jeremy but he chooses the nickname to sound 'cooler' and to hide his rich background. After appearing in the show Matthew went on to appear in Midsummer Murders and also was featured in a musical adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray at the Leicester Square Theatre. He then moved over to America where he got cast in Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark as the alternate to Reeve Carney, they both played the lead role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. He then went on to play the title role in the Broadway revival of Pippin on Broadway. He played Fenwick in the musical adaption of Diner and played Riff in the Hollywood Bowl production of West Side Story.


Georgina Hagen

Hagen played Lauren, the character who was discovered singing in an ABBA tribute band at a wedding. Georgia had a successful career in the arts as a child appearing in Annie at the Victoria Palace, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium, playing Rebecca in Tracey Beaker and the voice of Control in Starlight Express. After the TV series she went onto play Meat in the touring production of We Will Rock You before appearing in Starlight Express in the Bochum production of the show. She played Dinah for a year in the show before taking over the lead role of Pearl, a role she played for 3 years before reprising her role in the 30th-anniversary production. Her other theatre credits since Britannia High include Shelley Parker in Bat Boy (Southwark Playhouse), Ashley in Like Me (Waterloo East Theatre), Judy - The Songbook of Judy Garland (UK Tour), Nancy in Groundhog Day (Old Vic Theatre) and The Sound of Music (UK Tour). 

Twitter: @geebeesmooch
Instagram: @georginahagen77
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Friday, 13 November 2020

Outside the Spotlight: Barbican flair with Jed Berry | Captured by Liz



Outside the Spotlight is brought to you by Captured by Liz in partnership with Pocket Size Theatre, this series of articles is sponsored by Pointe & Flex, a stylish and motivational stationery brand created for dancers, dance teachers and everything in between! From diaries to notebooks, pens to pencils, planners to action lists, Pointe & Flex are here to make sure you stay on top of everything so you can thrive in your industry. Click here to find out more

A quiet concrete oasis in the middle of the capital. Things have been busy for Jed, but a trip to the Barbican Centre helps to clear the mind and just breathe. “I love being in London. I moved back home for a while because I gave up my place here when I went on tour, but I recently got back for the show, and I’ve really missed it”, he says as we wander around the Centre trying not to get lost. When lockdown and the closure of theatres was announced, Jed was on tour around the UK with The Book of Mormon, which only started in June last year. Jed recently performed in Fanny and Stella at the Garden Theatre, Eagle London, a new open air venue in the specially renovated garden of The Eagle. In fact, Jed has been trying to keep busy all through lockdown working on an online cabaret with Kinky Boots Angels and Lola’s from all over the world and Jerry Mitchell, choreographer of Kinky Boots. The cabaret aired in July and raised money for Acting For Others, Broadway Cares Covid-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, Black Ticket Project and Broadway Advocacy Coalition. 

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Thursday, 12 November 2020

Your 2020 Christmas List: Supporting small businesses in our community


This year has been a rollercoaster for us all, but no more than our creatives and performers who have been failed by a system that is there to protect them. However, as natural hustlers, people have popped up with small businesses all over the place and we wanted to celebrate that. Over the past month, I have been taking note of some businesses that are definitely worthy of being on everyone's Christmas list. Take a look at some of the people who we have found, and why not have a little search around social media to see if you could buy any gifts from people in our industry, helping them out could really make a difference. This list we have created is a start, but please actively search for not only independent and small business but also those that have been set up by people who have been left without work in our industry. 

Banner artwork by Justin Williams.  



These stylish and stunning digital custom portraits are truly one of a kind. With a background in Ballet, Jamie Shields has also appeared in musicals like Cats and We Will Rock You. He creates these fabulous minimalistic sketches that are super stylish and would fit into a modern design home perfectly. Get an icon to add some unique art to your walls or perhaps slide into Jamie's DMs to commission a personalised portrait. 




With credits such as Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Titanic, Les Miserables, The Barricade Boys, Pipe Dream, Chess and many more, Kieran Brown is no stranger to the West End stage. What you may not know about him is that he is a very talented photographer who has taken this one step further. He has set up his own website where you can purchase any of the gorgeous images he has taken, but why not go the extra mile and get the pictures on facemasks, on a mug or even on a coaster?! What makes purchasing one of these images even better, is that 10% of every sale goes to Acting for Others. All information can be found on his website. 

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Wednesday, 8 April 2020

15 Production Shots that describe the struggles of a Lockdown



With all this spare time we now have we have decided to bring back our most popular article to date but this time, with a twist. So here it is: 15 Production Shots that describe the struggles of being in a Lockdown! (P.S. before you all come for me, I know this isn't an official lockdown. It's just catchier than Quarantine. Ok thanks.) Enjoy! 


View Part 1 and Part 2 of the Production Pictures articles!


When your partner tries to make you go to the supermarket for supplies but you're too scared. 

Alistair Brammer and Laura Pick in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre 
When the supermarket is out of bread. AGAIN. 

Jon Robyns in Les Miserables at the Queens Theatre
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Saturday, 28 March 2020

10 of the Best Theatre related Guinness World Records!


Longest theatre performance - individual

The longest marathon theatre performance by an individual lasted 110 hr 46 min and was achieved by Adrian Hilton (UK) when he recited the complete works of Shakespeare in a 'Bardathon' at the Shakespeare Festival, South Bank, London, UK between 16-21 July 1987. Adrian's chosen spot on the South Bank was the location of the original Globe Theatre.

Most expensive theatre production

“Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”, the musical based on the legendary comic superhero, is the most expensive production in the history of the theatre. As of 14 June 2011, the show’s record cost climbed to $75 million, the largest investment ever for not only a Broadway production but for the West End or anywhere in the world where there has ever been a stage.

Highest-grossing Broadway show

As of the week ending 1 March 2020, Disney’s The Lion King had grossed $1,680,389,582 (£1,310,480,000) since opening on Broadway in October 1997. A total of 15,696,974 seats have been sold for the musical across 9,292 performances (including 33 previews). It is now the third-longest running show on the Great White Way, behind the 1996 revival of Chicago and 1988's The Phantom of the Opera.
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Tuesday, 24 March 2020

10 Songs that are used in more than one musical


Inspired by the release of the Moulin Rouge musical cast recording, we noticed that quite a few of the songs have been used in more than one musical. Following some research, we've pulled together a list of 10 songs that are featured in more than one musical, from Jukebox to Rodgers and Hammerstein theres some surprises! 


Whats Love Got to Do with It

The Song was originally sung by Tina Turner and released in 1984, the song went to number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for three weeks. This song is, of course, featured in the musical TINA: The Tina Tuner Musical. This musical tells the story of Turners life and originally opened in London in 2018 with a Broadway production planed to open in November 2019. The song is also sung by Miss Understanding in the musical version of the Australian film, Priscilla Queen of the Desert. It is also featured briefly in the musical version of Moulin Rouge in the Elephant Medley.

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Monday, 30 December 2019

Shortest Running musicals of the last Decade


As we move into the new decade, we thought we'd look back at the past 10 years of theatre. Some of the most memorable theatrical moments of the decade were some of the less successful shows. We looked back and picked out some of the shortest musical runs of the past 10 years, excluding shows that played and fulfilled limited runs, we looked at shows that closed early. So take a look! Do any of these shows deserve revivals? Tweet us and tell us your favourite one! 


The Umbrellas of Cherbourg


This musical started life in the UK with a try-out at the Leicester Curve in early 2011 before opening at the Gielgud Theatre in London's West End on the 5th March 2011 with a cast that included Joanna Riding, Carly Bawden, Andrew Durand, Dominic Marsh, Meow Meow and Cynthia Erivo. The show closed on the 21 May 2011, making the run just over two months long.

Lend Me a Tenor


The musical, based on the play of the same name, played an out of town try out in Plymouth in 2010 before opening at the Gielgud Theatre in Londons West End on the 2 June 2011 with a cast that included Cassidy Janson, Matthew Kelly, Joanna Riding, Michael Matus, Damian Humbley, and Sophie-Louise Dann. The show closed on the 6 August, making the run just over 2 months.
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Sunday, 15 December 2019

Pantomime preview 2019/20


As we head through November towards Christmas all over the country venues are launching their final theatre ticket sales push and cast and technical teams gather for rehearsals ahead of the first opening of this season's Pantomimes. This wonderful British family Christmas tradition is so important to the financial health of the venues and offers so many young children their first live theatre experience. Wherever you live there will be a professional pantomime within a short drive of your home and every family should go to at least one this season. 


In the recent Pocket Sized survey we looked at the range of titles and ticket prices for this year's offering but the best known cast and highest ticket prices do not always guarantee the best shows. GB Pantomime Awards is now in its fourth year celebrating the talent that bring these shows to the public and its awards are one pointer to the best shows. 
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Sunday, 15 September 2019

20 Production shots that describe the struggles of being in a Musical | Part 2


Following our overwhelming response to our article last year, we have decided to bring this back! Production Pictures that describe the struggles of being in a musical smashed all of our records last year and we had such fun creating it, so here's another one! We hope you all like it as much as last year and enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it. 

Please note, this article is merely light-hearted entertainment. We respect and adore all the performers and shows involved in this and hope that it is viewed in the same way. 
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Sunday, 25 August 2019

Hardest Female roles in Musical Theatre


Being a musical theatre performer is not easy in the slightest; from the auditions to getting a job, to the constant rehearsals and finally recreating an incredible performance to a paying audience night after night. This is even before you look at some of the challenges some roles might have within them; either emotionally, physically or vocally. Here at Pocket we have teamed up with our friends at LondonBoxOffice.co.uk and we've put together a list of roles we think are among some of the hardest. And don't just take our word for it, we've had help from some of our performer friends who have played the roles to give you an insight to what it was like from their perspective. 

There are so many more that could be on this list so if we've missed any, tweet us what you think should be on it! @PocketSizeBlog
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Friday, 16 August 2019

Top 10 Things to see at the Edinburgh Fringe


At this year's Edinburgh fringe I saw 35 shows, around 1% of the total on offer but here are my top recommendations. There were a couple of notable shows that did not quite make the top 10 recommendations: “Keith Moon: the real me” for Who fans, “Now that is what I call Brexit” for musical satire fans and “Paris de Nuit” for circus fans but here are my favourites ten.


The Dots are a sophisticated singing trio, elegantly dressed, stylishly choreographed and word perfect ..at least they were until the soprano stormed out and the mezzo died. The remaining Dot Helen played by Helen Colby decides to carry on with under rehearsed understudies, Macey Cherett who wants to incorporate magic and Nerine Skinner an enthusiastic amateur. The joy of this show is that they each totally inhabit these comic creations.


It is devised and performed by the Founders of Hot Coals Theatre, Clare-Louise English and Jo Sargeant who work so well together. You hardly notice that there are no words as they use movement and facial expressions synchronised with the beautiful underscore to tell their story. With their comical noses and Harris's sumptuous beard, so much of the emotion is expressed through their eyes and they exploit this wonderfully, never rushing the moment and always aware of the audience watching them. 
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Sunday, 14 July 2019

Theatre Tickets: Every West End shows top and lowest price ticket!


Theatre has been critiqued a lot over the past few years at how expensive the tickets are so we thought we'd take a look at the official box offices and compare their highest price ticket to the lowest. What can you get for your money in the West End? Lets find out!

To make it fair, we looked at the same date (August 17th 2019, 7.30pm) for every show and have compared the most expensive seat available to the cheapest available for this day. 

Hamilton tops and bottoms both our lists, its the most expensive theatre ticket in London at £250 and has the most expensive cheapest ticket which comes in at £100. If you are on the UK minimum wage (£8.21, for someone 25 and over) you would have to work about 30 hours to afford a premium seat. A family of 4 would cost £1,000, equal to about 122 hours of work on minimum wage. 

The Lion King closely follows as one of the most expensive at £228.50 followed by Wicked and The Book of Mormon at just over £202 each. 

If we look at the cheapest seats available through official box offices School of Rock, Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Only Fools and Horses are all priced at £15 closely followed The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ and Six at £19.50. 

For £20 (Almost 2 and a half hours work on the national minimum wage) you can see Everybody's Talking About Jamie, The Lion King, Fiddler on the Roof, Matilda and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

This article was written in July 2019. Ticket prices may have changed or altered since our research. 
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Sunday, 7 July 2019

DREAM CASTING: The Little Mermaid


Having noted down some ideas for this musical casting when I was listening to the album a while ago, I've recently seen the casting for the new Disney movie which I had no idea was happening! And as the musical has never made it over to the West End, we thought we'd put together our dream casting! The Little Mermaid opened on Broadway in November 2007 and closed in August 2009.  Here are some of our ideas, have any more suggestions? Tweet us! @PocketSizeBlog

Ariel | Miriam Teak-Lee

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Saturday, 18 May 2019

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK: How do we break the stigma? Writing a Mental Health Musical


Mental Heath Awareness week was started by the Mental Heath Foundation, who are in their 70th year, in 2001. Combating issues such as stress, relationships, loneliness, altruism, sleep, alcohol and friendship with this years theme being body image. 

Here at Pocket we put some feelers out to some of our friends who responded with such bravery and pride. Working in this industry we call 'show business' is tough at the best of times, Mental Health Awareness week is our chance to educate people and help us understand one another. 

Our mission as people who are in and adore this industry is to support and help everyone in it. To promote Mental Health Awareness week we have been joined by a few of our friends who have written some wonderful guest posts for us. The more we speak about this, the better. 

Matthew Rankcom is a recent graduate of the Guildford School of Acting and is also one of the writers of mental health musical, Perfectly Ordinary
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Friday, 17 May 2019

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK: 10 Tips for Artists to maintain their Mental Health


Mental Heath Awareness week was started by the Mental Heath Foundation, who are in their 70th year, in 2001. Combating issues such as stress, relationships, loneliness, altruism, sleep, alcohol and friendship with this years theme being body image. 

Here at Pocket we put some feelers out to some of our friends who responded with such bravery and pride. Working in this industry we call 'show business' is tough at the best of times, Mental Health Awareness week is our chance to educate people and help us understand one another. 

Our mission as people who are in and adore this industry is to support and help everyone in it. To promote Mental Health Awareness week we have been joined by a few of our friends who have written some wonderful guest posts for us. The more we speak about this, the better. 

Click here to view them all. 


Alex Spiridakis is a recent graduate of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, having graduated in 2018. Alex, talking from the perceptive of a working acting, writes about her experiences in the industry and has formed her top 10 tips for Artists to maintain a mental health. 

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Thursday, 16 May 2019

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK: Reflections on a Changing Industry


Mental Heath Awareness week was started by the Mental Heath Foundation, who are in their 70th year, in 2001. Combating issues such as stress, relationships, loneliness, altruism, sleep, alcohol and friendship with this years theme being body image. 

Here at Pocket we put some feelers out to some of our friends who responded with such bravery and pride. Working in this industry we call 'show business' is tough at the best of times, Mental Health Awareness week is our chance to educate people and help us understand one another. 

Our mission as people who are in and adore this industry is to support and help everyone in it. To promote Mental Health Awareness week we have been joined by a few of our friends who have written some wonderful guest posts for us. The more we speak about this, the better. 

Click here to view them all. 


Paula Brett is an actor, musical theatre performer, puppeteer and mental health activist. As a working actor, she shares her experience in a guest post for Mental Health Awareness. 

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Wednesday, 15 May 2019

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK: Philip Joel's 5 Tips for a Healthy Mind for Graduates


Mental Heath Awareness week was started by the Mental Heath Foundation, who are in their 70th year, in 2001. Combating issues such as stress, relationships, loneliness, altruism, sleep, alcohol and friendship with this years theme being body image. 

Here at Pocket we put some feelers out to some of our friends who responded with such bravery and pride. Working in this industry we call 'show business' is tough at the best of times, Mental Health Awareness week is our chance to educate people and help us understand one another. 



Our mission as people who are in and adore this industry is to support and help everyone in it. To promote Mental Health Awareness week we have been joined by a few of our friends who have written some wonderful guest posts for us. The more we speak about this, the better. 


Philip Joel is a Choreographer but also teaches around drama schools in the UK. He has but together a little guide to help graduates maintain a healthy mind whilst battling with the upcoming challenges that they may face upon finishing drama School. 
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Tuesday, 14 May 2019

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK: Gregory Hazel's Story


Mental Heath Awareness week was started by the Mental Heath Foundation, who are in their 70th year, in 2001. Combating issues such as stress, relationships, loneliness, altruism, sleep, alcohol and friendship with this years theme being body image. 


Here at Pocket we put some feelers out to some of our friends who responded with such bravery and pride. Working in this industry we call 'show business' is tough at the best of times, Mental Health Awareness week is our chance to educate people and help us understand one another. 


Our mission as people who are in and adore this industry is to support and help everyone in it. To promote Mental Health Awareness week we have been joined by a few of our friends who have written some wonderful guest posts for us. The more we speak about this, the better. 



We'd like to introduce you to Gregory Hazel, a London based performer who has recently performed as Vivienne De Vil in the 5 star production of With One Look. He has very kindly shared his story with us. 



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Monday, 13 May 2019

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK: Industry Minds 6 steps to Boosting & Helping Mental Health


Mental Heath Awareness week was started by the Mental Heath Foundation, who are in their 70th year, in 2001. Combating issues such as stress, relationships, loneliness, altruism, sleep, alcohol and friendship with this years theme being body image. 


Here at Pocket we put some feelers out to some of our friends who responded with such bravery and pride. Working in this industry we call 'show business' is tough at the best of times, Mental Health Awareness week is our chance to educate people and help us understand one another. 

Our mission as people who are in and adore this industry is to support and help everyone in it. To promote Mental Health Awareness week we have been joined by a few of our friends who have written some wonderful guest posts for us. The more we speak about this, the better. 


Upon recommendation, we got in touch with the wonderful Cathy and Scarett at Industry Minds to ask them to share their wisdom. Since launching in 2018 they have already provided so much help to those in the performing arts industry. Check them out on twitter and visit their official website
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Sunday, 28 April 2019

If the SIX Queens were RuPaul's Drag Race contestants


Whilst watching an episode of RuPaul's Drag Race after having seen SIX the musical at the Arts Theatre, we wondered who we'd like to see in the All Stars version! Now this is the lip sync we'd love to see... Tweet us who you'd like to see play each Queen! 

Catherine of Aragon | Bob the Drag Queen 


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