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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.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Pocket Size Theatre | Whats opening in 2019

There's a lot of things going on next year in the world of theatre; revivals of much loved shows, Broadway transfers, UK transfers, returns of shows previously in London, new writing and so much more! So here's our guide to the theatrical highlights of 2019! Get your diaries out... 

Aspects of Love | Southwark Playhouse | 7th January 

Six the Musical | Arts Theatre | Opens 16th January


Thursday, 17 August 2017

FIRST LOOK: Jesus Christ Superstar returns to the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park

Following its overwhelming sell-out success in 2016, Jesus Christ Superstar returns this summer (11 August – 16 September), giving audiences one final chance to see the production in its original home.

Declan Bennett, Tyrone Huntley (who won the Evening Standard Emerging Talent Award for his performance in 2016), David Thaxton and Peter Caulfield, reprise their roles of Jesus, Judas, Pilate and Herod. The 2016 production won the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival and Evening Standard Award for Best Musical. 

Maimuna Memon takes the role of Mary. Previous credits include Winnie and Wilbur (Birmingham Rep), Lazarus (King’s Cross Theatre), The Busker’s Opera (Park Theatre) and Into The Woods (Royal Exchange Manchester). 

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

FIRST LOOK: In Rehearsal with the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Following its overwhelming sell-out success in 2016, Jesus Christ Superstar returns this summer, 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 and musical supervision by Tom Deering, the production won the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards and has received 3 nominations in the WhatsOnStage Awards, includingBest Musical Revival

Declan Bennett will return to the role of Jesus in the Open Air Theatre production. Also returning this summer are Tyrone Huntley with his award-winning performance as Judas, and David Thaxton and Peter Caulfield as Pilate and Herod.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Where are they now? Superstar

Following on from the original BBC produced reality shows How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria, Any Dream Will Do, I'd Do Anything and Over the Rainbow. Other programme also include Grease is the Word (The search for Danny and Sandy) and Fame: The musical (the search for Nick and Serena). Andrew Lloyd Webber moved the programme over the ITV and produced 'Superstar', the search for Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar for the UK Arena Tour. Jason Donovan, Melanie C and Dawn French headed the judging panel with Amanda Holden hosting. If you are a theatre geek like me, you'll remember these TV shows! And if you don't, you'll certainly know some of the contestants. So, where are they now? 

Ben Forster

After winning the ITV show Superstar, Ben went on to star as Jesus in the arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar and later reprised his role in the North American tour (which was later cancelled). He went on to play Brad in the 40th Anniversary tour of the Rocky Horror Show and the televised production at the Playhouse Theatre, Magaldi in Evita (Dominion Theatre); Buddy in Elf (Dominion Theatre); the title role in The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty's); A Night at the Musicals (Wales Millennium Theatre) and The Best of the West End (Royal Albert Hall). @thebenforster

Rory Taylor

After coming in second to Ben Forster in the competition, Rory went on to play Simon and covered the role of Jesus in the Arena tour. He was also apart of the Australian tour and North American tour of the show. He went on to play Roger in the 20th Anniversary tour of RENT and most recently appeared in the UK & European tour of Thriller Live! where he also appeared in the West End production. @RoryTaylor54321

Roger Wright

After coming third on Superstar, Roger wrote his own show which premiered at the Leicester Square Theatre in October 2012. He has since appeared in the feature film Meet Pursuit Delange, as Paul Robeson in Genius 2 (National Geographic) and as a guest entertainer in the cabaret Feel Good Show which, as well as touring, played a stint at the Other Palace. @Rogerwright1

David Hunter

David Hunter was most recently seen playing Dr. Pomatter in the Broadway transfer of Waitress at the Adelphi Theatre. His other credits include Charlie Price in Kinky Boots (Adelphi Theatre); Horton the Elephant in Seussical (Arts Theatre); Tommy in Concert (Prince Edward Theatre); John in The Hired Man (Leicester Curve and Colchester Mercury) and starred as Guy in Once (Phoenix Theatre). David released his EP in 2018, entitled Silver Linings which is available on iTunes. @thedavidhunter ‏ 

Nathan James

After coming 5th on the TV show, he was scouted by the Trans Siberian Orchestra, he was flown to the USA to audition and went on to go to America to join the band for their Arena tour and appeared in UK stage show Bohemian Rhapsody: The Music of Queen. He is currently in the band 'Inglorious' who have recorded three albums and have been touring since forming in 2014. In 2018, he performed in the UK Arena tour of War of the Worlds. @TheNathanJames

Jeff Anderson

After the programme, Jeff was chosen to be the understudy to Jesus in the touring production of the show. In 2014, he appeared on the Voice but failed to go past the audition stages. In 2016 he was charged with 15 sexual offences dating between 2005 and 2013. 

Jon Moses

Jon released his album entitled 'Journey' in 2017, he also released his debut EP 'Better Man' in 2012. Jon is a Director of a successful performing arts school based in Leeds called Stage Door Performing Arts, and also runs a company that helps vulnerable people throughout the UK ( B-Vocal ). Jon played the role of Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar at Gloucester Cathedral and also has appeared in pantomimes Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Beauty And The Beast and Rapunzel. @jonmosesvocals

Niall Sheehy

Since leaving the show, Nialls credits incude ensemble and cover Enjolras in Les Miserables (Queens Theatre); Johnny in Cool Rider (Lyric Theatre); ensemble and covered Chris in Miss Saigon (Prince Edward Theatre); the world premiere of Pure Imagination (St. James Theatre), Barrett in Titanic the Musical (Charing Cross Theatre and International Tour); Sam Wheat in Ghost (UK Tour) and most recently he was seen in the West End cast of the Les Miserables staged concert at the Gielgud Theatre. He's also just played the Prince in Cinderella on tour around Ireland. @niallsheehy

Tim Prottey-Jones

Although Tim missed out on the chance to play Jesus, he was cast in the tour of the show in the ensemble and understudy to the role of Judas. His credits since then include Michael in I Do! I Do! (Arts House International); Cover to Mark and Roger in RENT (UK Tour); Christian in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (The Old Joint Stock Theatre); Billy in Once (Phoenix Theatre) and Mutt and Cover Don, George & Mr Price in Kinky Boots (Adelphi Theatre). As well as theatre, he is a singer, songwriter, musician and producer. @TimProtteyJones

Dirk Johnson

Dirk currently resides in Germany. He went on to play Sky in Mamma Mia in Stuttgart at the Palladium theatre, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and played Gabe in the German production of Next to Normal. He now is the co-director of business Épique, a Raw Pâtisserie. 

Afnan Iftikhar

Now known as Afnan Prince, he is an accomplished Singer/Songwriter. He is Regularly featured on BBC Introducing, Featured as part of ‘the best live sessions' of 2015 by BBC Introducing, Award nominated songwriter ('Truth and season'- Best single @ UBEAT awards, 'She'-Songwriting Competition UK), he was the Winner of 'Best new artist of the year 2015' by Darkus Magazine and Afnan Prince's song “She” was used on the ITV show 'Diamond Geezers and Gold dealers'. @Afnan_prince


Wednesday, 28 June 2017

FULL CAST announced for Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre has today announced completed casting for Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar, which returns to the theatre from 11 August in an extended run through to 23 September 2017. Already announced are Declan BennettTyrone Huntley (who won the Evening Standard Emerging Talent Award for his performance in 2016), David Thaxton and Peter Caulfield, who reprise their roles of Jesus, Judas, Pilate and Herod. The 2016 production won the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival and Evening Standard Award for Best Musical.

Maimuna Memon takes the role of Mary. Previous credits include Winnie and Wilbur(Birmingham Rep), Lazarus (King’s Cross Theatre), The Busker’s Opera (Park Theatre) and Into The Woods (Royal Exchange Manchester).

Thursday, 21 July 2016

FIRST LOOK: Jesus Christ Superstar at Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park

The show stars Declan Bennett who plays the role of Jesus. Declan was the original lead in the London cast ofOnce (Phoenix), and has also appeared in Boy George’s musical Taboo (Venue Theatre), RENT (US tour and Broadway), American Idiot (Broadway) as well as on BBC’s EastEnders as Charlie Cotton. As a solo singer-songwriter, his album Record:BREAKUP was released as a live acoustic version in 2013.  He achieved five UK Top 20 singles and a UK Top 20 album with Brit Award nominated band Point Break.  

The cast also includes Tyrone Huntley will play Judas, with Anoushka Lucas as Mary Magdelene, David Thaxton as Pilate, Cavin Cornwall as Caiaphas, Peter Caulfield as Herod, Phil King as Peter, Joel Harper-Jackson as Simon Zealotes and Sean Kingsley as Annas.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

REVIEW: Jesus Christ Superstar at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking

Jesus Christ Superstar, by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, tells one of the World’s most well-known and important stories. The show has been wowing audiences all over the globe since the 1970s and this touring production arrives in Woking at a topical time of year with Easter just days away.  Opening with Judas and his concerns with the influential Jesus and culminating with his crucifixion, the show tells rather than preaches. The writers knew this musical was a risk when it was being developed but the audience on opening night here clearly disagreed, rising to their feet.
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