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Thursday, 25 August 2022

INTERVIEW: Michael Pickering, currently starring as Frankie Valli in the UK tour of Jersey Boys

Michael Pickering is currently touring the UK in the smash hit musical Jersey Boys playing the role of Frankie Valli.

Michaels's other credits include Mellors in Lady Chatterley’s Lover (Shaftesbury Theatre, West End), Simeon in Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (London Palladium, West End), Rusty in Starlight Express (Germany), Gremio in Kiss Me Kate (Royal Albert Hall), Rick Moon in Good Morning Hong Kong (Hong Kong), Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar (World Arena Tour), Robin in Batman Live (World Arena Tour), Doody in Grease (Piccadilly Theatre, West End), D’Artagnan in The Three Musketeers (Rose Theatre, Kingston) Jack in All The Fun of The Fair (Garrick Theatre, West End), Ensemble cover Pepper in Mamma Mia (International Tour), Ryan in High School Musical (Hammersmith Apollo, West End) and Ensemble cover Boq in Wicked (Apollo Victoria, West End). 

You were previously part of the Jersey Boys company on a previous tour, how does it feel to be back in the show reprising the role of Frankie Valli?

The role of Frankie Valli is a constant challenge, especially whilst travelling. It’s incompletable, so I am very happy to be back playing the role.

You’ve had a while to settle into this tour now, looking back to 2015 when you were part of the show before, how has your interpretation adapted and changed?

The show as a whole hasn’t changed, but there are some very different flavours due to a different and extremely talented cast.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

REVIEW: Jersey Boys at the Trafalgar Theatre

The Trafalgar Theatre reopens in its newly refurbished state with the smash-hit musical Jersey Boys. Returning to the West End after a four-year absence it's clear why this show is still entertaining audiences. The show ran for nine years in London before closing in 2017 and with its return comes a fresh remounting of the original production. 

This jukebox musical follows the story of the Four Seasons, from the groups' original conception right through to their break up and reunion. A true rags to riches story, this is a moving, exciting and interesting telling of the Four Seasons back story. Using the four men's different accounts of what happened, the show manages to move incredibly fast but always keeps the audience with them and at no point do you feel you’ve missed something or are lagging behind. An example of perfect storytelling that many musicals like this should take a couple of notes from. 

As a huge fan of the music, it feels so wonderful to hear it live again in this newly refurbished theatre. The Trafalgar, formerly Trafalgar Studios, has been changed from having a main space and a studio space to being one larger two-level theatre. Although the space is still fairly small compared to other West End houses, it means the piece becomes more intimate from wherever you’re sitting. At times it feels the music needs to be played in a bigger house to get the full effect of the incredible songs but the smaller auditorium also works in the shows favour as it brings the story and characters closer to the audience, almost as if we’re all living through the story with the characters. 

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

COMING HOME: Adam Bailey, soon to star in the West End production of Jersey Boys at the Trafalgar Theatre

Pocket Size Theatre and Liza Heinrichs (Captured by Liz) have teamed up again and created our new series 'Coming Home'. In this new piece, we look at the reopening of Theatres in London and around the country and celebrate our industry coming back. We got together some performers who will be some of the first to return to theatres and created this piece to bring some positivity to the theatre industry which has been through one of the toughest years in our lifetime. Whilst it is important to acknowledge the hardships we've all gone through, it's important we pull together as a community and celebrate our beloved industry finally coming back!

Even though the theatre world has a long way to go until we’re fully back, there are so many exciting things happening which we mustn’t forget about, long-running West End favourites reopening their doors along with new pieces of theatre and even revivals. Jersey Boys being one of them. Last seen in the West End in 2017, this much-loved show returns, playing in the newly refurbished Trafalgar Theatre. 

Adam Bailey, last seen in the West End production of The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre (where our shoot took place), will play the role of Bob Gaudio in the shows return to London. Before the pandemic hit, Adam was a Swing and first cover Elder Price in the West End musical. The Book of Mormon was Adams West End debut, which was a long time coming! His CV is extensive and we were surprised the West End hadn’t snapped him up sooner! Prior to appearing in the Book of Mormon, he had played Morgan in the UK tour of the Dusty Springfield Musical ‘Dusty’, played Munkustrap in the South Korean tour of Cats and played the lead role of Adam/Felicia in the UK tour of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. His long CV also includes Starlight Express, Chicago, Bare, Grease, Taboo, Jest End and Edges. 

Friday, 19 October 2018

REVIEW: Jersey Boys at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking

Jersey Boys is a jukebox musical, packed full of smash hits from Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The programme even features a list of “the ones that got away” – thankfully, not every song was played or we would have been there until Christmas! You’ll hear your favourite tunes – ‘December 1963 (Oh What a Night)’, ‘Sherry’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ and ‘My Eyes Adored You’ to name but a few.

Scaled down from its West End home at the Piccadilly Theatre, this touring production wows with its music but it lacks a certain … oomph.

Jersey Boys is unique as not only is it a jukebox musical, but it’s the real story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. It’s a remarkable story, however this production is somewhat clunky in its composition. A narration heavy production, which plods through history in a formulaic to-and-fro between speech and song. “But a to-and-fro between speech and song? That’s practically every musical ever written” I hear you say… Yes, I agree but this production relies so heavily on its narration to tell the story, the songs don’t actually aid it – they are used more like punctuation which is a total injustice to the music. With the exception of only two or three numbers, the songs are not used to tell the story – only to highlight where we are in The Four Seasons timeline … “and now, this song was released so we’re going to sing it for you”. Yes, the music is fantastic and the performances from the four Jersey Boys in particular were fantastic but the show itself lacks lustre.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

INTERVIEW: Simon Bailey, currently playing Tommy De Vito in the UK tour of Jersey Boys

Simon is currently reprising the role of Tommy De Vito in the new UK tour of Jersey Boys after having previously played the role in West End Production. His other credits include Whisper House (The Other Palace), Reverend Billy Hightower in Bat Boy (Southwark Playhouse), Man in Marry Me A Little (St. James Theatre), Liam in I Can't Sing! The X-Factor Musical (London Palladium), Raoul in Phantom of the Opera (London & National Tour) and Enjolras in Les Miserables (Queens Theatre). He took the time out of rehearsals before the show kicked off its new tour to speak to us about this upcoming production of Jersey Boys. 

You’re returning to the role of Tommy DeVito in Jersey Boys after playing it in the West End, now on tour. What made you want to return to this role and show?

Jersey Boys has been one of, if not my favourite show, since it opened. Tommy is such a great character to play. After the show closed in London, I didn’t feel I was done with him! I’m so grateful to be asked back.

How do you think your interpretation of the role could change this time round? 

Well, we’ve had 8 months off so it feels fresh again – I’m also with different actors this time, so I listen and respond to them differently. That’s the best part of my job.

Monday, 8 January 2018

INTERVIEW: Lewis Griffiths, currently playing Nick Massi in the UK tour of Jersey Boys

Lewis is currently reprising the role of Nick Massi on the UK tour of Jersey Boys, having previously played the role on the 2014 UK tour. His other credits include Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing (UK tour), cover Carl in Ghost (UK tour), Chad/Dewey/Kyle & Cover Warner in Legally Blonde(UK tour), Frank in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Palace Theatre), cover Benny in Rent Remixed (Duke Of York Theatre) and Clarence in Whistle Down The Wind (Aldwych Theatre). He took the time out of rehearsals before the show kicked off its new tour to speak to us about this upcoming production of Jersey Boys. 

You are returning to playing Nick Massi after playing him on the last UK tour, what made you want to return? 

Call it unfinished business. Nick Massi is an enigmatic character to play, so I wanted to honour that and build on what I already knew.

After already going on tour with the show, what are you expecting from audiences this time round? 

Who knows, some regional audiences will turn out in droves, due to the success of the last tour, but you can’t take that for granted. Hopefully they will re-love Jersey Boys all over again.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Pocket Size Theatre 5th Anniversary: Our Top 10 News Stories!

Our News features and articles are one of our most popular things to post, our readers love being kept in the loop and we've been known to break the news first for quite a few big things! Heres a list of our most popular news articles, some of them surprised us! Follow us on twitter to keep up to date with all of our future news posts! 

"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.... " 

"Selladoor Worldwide is delighted to announce that they will tour a brand-new production of The Producers this Autumn. The laugh-out-loud musical spectacle opens at Shanghai Culture Square, prior to a 14 week tour of China. This tour marks Selladoor Worldwide’s 8th International tour since 2014..."

"The Union Theatre is thrilled to announce the cast for the upcoming production of Irving Berlin's ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. GEMMA MACLEAN will head up the company as the infamous, sharp shooting Annie Oakley. Gemma most recently starred as Liz Imbrie in "High Society" at Sonning Mill not long..."


Friday, 13 October 2017

JERSEY BOYS Tour Full Cast & Extra Dates

Due to overwhelming demand, a further 12 dates have been announced for the second UK & Ireland Tour of the Tony, Olivier and Grammy Award-winning musical JERSEY BOYS, taking the tour through to March 2019. 

The newly announced 2018/19 dates are The Marlowe Canterbury (2 – 13 October 2018), New Victoria Theatre Woking (16 – 27 October 2018), Bristol Hippodrome (30 October – 17 November 2018), Leeds Grand Theatre (20 November – 1 December 2018), New Theatre Oxford (18 December 2018 – 5 January 2019), Wales Millennium Centre (16– 26 January 2019), Palace Theatre Manchester (29 January – 16 February 2019), Edinburgh Playhouse (19 February – 2 March 2019), Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin (5 – 16 March 2019) and Mayflower Theatre Southampton (19 – 30 March 2019).
The producers are also delighted to announce that Michael Watson will be playing Frankie Valli, Simon Bailey will be Tommy De Vito, Declan Egan will be Bob Gaudio and Lewis Griffiths will be Nick Massi. Michael, Simon, Declan and Lewis have all previously performed their roles in JERSEY BOYS to great acclaim: Michael and Simon in the West End, Declan in the West End and Australia, and Lewis in the first UK and Ireland tour. Dayle Hodge will return to the production to play Frankie Valli at certain performances.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

JERSEY BOYS UK tour launches in Birmingham ahead of run at the New Alexandra Theatre

The producers of the UK and Irish tour of the Tony, Olivier and Grammy Award-winning Best Musical JERSEY BOYS, are delighted to bring the UK tour of JERSEY BOYS to the New Alexandra Theatre from 9 December 2014 - 4 January 2015.
Tim Driesen stars as Frankie Valli with Stephen Webb, Sam Ferriday and Lewis Griffiths as Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi.  Matt Corner will play the role of Frankie Valli at certain performances. Also in the cast are Sean Kingsley as Gyp DeCarlo, Matt Gillett as Bob Crewe, Nathaniel Morrison as Barry Belson, Dominic Smith as Norm Waxman, Damian Buhagiar as Joey Pesci, Henry Davis as Hank Majewski, Leanne Garretty as Lorraine, Amelia Adams-Pearce as Mary Delgado and Sinead Long as Francine, with Dan Krikler, Dayle Hodge, Luke Morton and Charlie Allen.

JERSEY BOYS has been seen by over 19 million people worldwide and is firmly established as one of the West End's longest running and most popular shows, where it continues to play at its new home of the Piccadilly Theatre.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

PRESS NIGHT PICTURES! Jersey Boys opens at the Manchester Palace

Tim Driesen, Stephen Webb, Sam Ferriday and Lewis Griffiths star as Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi in the UK tour of Jersey Boys.  Matt Corner will play the role of Frankie Valli at certain performances. Also in the cast are Sean Kingsley as Gyp DeCarlo, Matt Gillett as Bob Crewe, Nathaniel Morrison as Barry Belson, Dominic Smith as Norm Waxman, Damian Buhagiar as Joey Pesci, Henry Davis as Hank Majewski, Leanne Garretty as Lorraine, Amelia Adams-Pearce as Mary Delgado and Sinead Long as Francine, with Dan Krikler, Dayle Hodge, Luke Morton and Charlie Allen.
Due to the illness of Tim Driesen, the role of Frankie Valli was played by Matt Corner on press night (the alternate Frankie Valli).

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Top 10 jukebox musicals

Mamma Mia 

Priscilla Queen of the Desert 


Monday, 14 July 2014

JERSEY BOYS UK tour cast announced

The producers of the UK and Irish tour of the Tony, Olivier and Grammy Award-winning Best Musical JERSEY BOYS, are delighted to announce the full cast joining previously announced West End star Tim Driesen as Frankie Valli.

Stephen Webb, Sam Ferriday and Lewis Griffiths will star as Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi respectively.  Matt Corner will play the role of Frankie Valli at certain performances. Also in the cast will be Sean Kingsley as Gyp DeCarlo, Matt Gillett as Bob Crewe, Nathaniel Morrison as Barry Belson, Dominic Smith as Norm Waxman, Damian Buhagiar as Joey Pesci, Henry Davis as Hank Majewski, Leanne Garretty as Lorraine, Amelia Adams-Pearce as Mary Delgado and Sinead Long as Francine, with Dan Krikler, Dayle Hodge, Luke Morton and Charlie Allen.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

TIM DRIESEN to star in Jersey Boys UK Tour

Tim Driesen will lead the cast of the upcoming UK tour of Jersey Boys, which opens in September at the Manchester Palace Theatre.
Jersey Boys, based on the story and songs of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, is the winner of 55 major awards worldwide. The show originally opened on Broadway in 2006, receiving the Tony Award for Best Musical.
Tim Driesen is currently starring in the Dutch production of Jersey Boys, and has previously played Frankie Valli in the West End. Previously he was in the West End cast of Rock of Ages playing Joey Primo, alternating Drew and understudying Stacee Jaxx. His other credits include: Young Ken Barlow in Coronation Street Of Dreams (MEN Arena), Galileo in We Will Rock You (Antwerp), Adrian Banks/Mark Owen in Never Forget (Savoy/UK tour), Mark in Rent in Concert (Garrick), Starlight Express (UK tour), The Rocky Horror Show (European Tour), Bat Boy- the musical (Shaftesbury Theatre), Mamma Mia (Prince Edward Theatre) and Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK Tour).

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

RYAN MOLLOY to make Broadway debut in JERSEY BOYS

Ryan Molloy as Frankie Valli in 'Jersey Boys'

Ryan Molloy, who originated the role of Frankie Valli in the West End production of Jersey Boys, will make his Broadway debut when he reprises the role at the August Wilson Theatre beginning July 29. He will join the Great White Way company for a limited engagement through October 19. Molloy will succeed Joseph Leo Bwariein the role.

Molloy is currently appearing in Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be at Theatre Royal Stratford East. In addition to Jersey Boys in the West End, for which he received an Olivier nod, his stage credits include The Pickled CerebrumMacbethBetrayalThe Merchant of VeniceTaboo, On the Town andJerry Springer The Opera.


Thursday, 27 December 2012

Jersey Boys the Musical: Theatre Review

Before making it over the West End, Jersey Boys was already a hit over in the States. The Broadway production opened in 2005 and is now the 19thlongest running Broadway show. The show started its first National Tour at the end of 2006 and after this, productions opened in Chicago, Las Vegas, Australia and New Zealand.
The West End production opened in 2008 at the Prince Edward Theatre where it is still playing. The show features songs from the Four Seasons and Frankie Valli to tell the story of their journey to stardom; you see how the group was formed, their rise in fame and eventually their breakup.
The show has been divided up cleverly into 'four seasons' in which each member of the group narrates each section.
The production is directed by Des NcAnuff who seems to really understand how to stage a production, he really worked with this show well and his direction really complemented the story, as did Sergio Trujillo's choreography.
The scenic design was interesting, at first I thought it looked a bit pants but the lights, screens and other small pieces of scenery made each location different and in the end it really worked, Klara Zieglerova did a great job. Very Clever.
Jess Goldstein did a perfect job on the costume design, everything seemed spot on and I kind of wanted to take some of the outfit's home!

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