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Thursday, 10 June 2021

COMING HOME: Emma Mullen, about to star in Mamma Mia at the Novello 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! 

In April of this year, MAMMA MIA! Hit the big ’21’. Opening at the Prince Edward Theatre in 1999 and later moving to the Prince of Wales Theatre, the current home of the show is the Novello Theatre in which the show will return to the West End and re-open its doors on the 25th August 2021. The show is currently the 7th longest-running show ever in London, and the West End wouldn’t feel right without it. 

Emma Mullen was playing the role of Sophie Sheridan in the UK touring production of the show and will open in the London production when it returns. She found out in March last year she would be making her West End debut in the show in June 2020 and a week later, all theatres across the UK closed their doors due to the pandemic. Almost a year on from her cancelled West End debut, she is preparing to finally get the chance to do it! 

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

The Real Housewives of Musical Theatre

If you're anything like me, you would have fallen in the Real Housewives trap. Over this pandemic there hasn't been a lot to do, so of course watching Real Housewives was on the top of my list. But this got me thinking, who would be the Real Housewives of Musical Theatre? Well, let's find out... 

Madame Morrible 

No doubt she'll stir the pot without any of the others knowing, until all is revealed and her evil ways are exposed. 

Monday, 14 October 2019

INTERVIEW: Harriet Thorpe, currently starring in MAME at the Hope Mill Theatre

Harriet Thorpe is best known for her roles as Carole in the BBC’s The Brittas Empire and Fleur in Absolutely Fabulous. Harriet has performed extensively with French and Saunders, in Girls on Top, Mirrorball and The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle. Most recently, Harriet has appeared on television as guest lead Miranda Hill in Doctors (BBC One), Betty in Hollyoaks (Channel 4), Casualty, Our Friend Victoria, The Three Musketeers, Celebrity Antiques Road Trip alongside Gok Wan, The Secrets – The Conversation, Doctors, Material Girl and Midsomer Murders. She also worked with Victoria Wood in Victoria Wood’s Mid Life Christmas. Her extensive theatre credits include Mamma Mia, Wicked, Crazy for You, Ruthless!, Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables, Cabaret, The Girls, The Dresser, All my Sons, Richard II, Great Britain and many more. 

You’re starring in the first professional revival MAME at the Hope Mill Theatre, with a short tour following. How does it feel to be a part of this production?

It’s an honour and a joy. It has a wonderful cast and creative. It’s spellbinding and heartwarming. 

And for those who don’t know, tell us a bit about the show. 

It’s a classic 60’s musical about friends, love and purpose in life. 

You’re playing the role of Vera, could you tell us a bit about her? 

She’s a lovely lush with a lot of laughs.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

INTERVIEW: Dianne Pilkington, currently starring in The Only Fools and Horses and soon to star in Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Dianne Pilkington is currently playing Raquel in the musical version of The Only Fools and Horses at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. She will soon be appearing in the semi-staged concert version of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella at the Cadogan Hall with Take Two Theatricals and Club 11. Her other credits include Elizabeth in Young Frankenstein (Garrick Theatre); Aunt Lily in Whisper House (The Other Palace); Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia! (Novello Theatre); Sophie De Palma in Master Class (Vaudeville Theatre); Amalia in She Loves Me (Minerva Theatre, Chichester); Pamela/Margaret/Annabella in The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre); Glinda in Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre); Grizabella in Cats (National Tour); Mary in Tonight’s the Night (Victoria Palace); Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast (National Tour), Kim in the original cast of Boy George’s Taboo;  Protestant Girl in The Beautiful Game (Cambridge Theatre) and understudied and played Fantine and Cosette in Les Miserables (Palace Theatre).

You’re appearing in a semi-staged concert version of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella at the Cadogan Hall with Take Two Theatricals and Club 11, tell us a bit about the show and what we can expect from this production.

The show is a classic, and has some of Roger & Hammerstein’s most beautiful songs in the score. It has been updated and will be the first time this new version has been performed here.

And you’re playing Marie, tell us a bit about her.

She’s pinned as a crazy lady, and all is not as it seems! She’s a wise woman, and wants to reward goodness and kindness.

You’re playing another Fairy, pretty close to the role that many people will know you from! How is it to return to a magical role again?

Ah, but she’s a Fairy, not a Witch! I can’t wait. At least this time I should be good at the magic bit...

Sunday, 6 October 2019

10 Long running shows that didn't win Best Musical at the Oliviers


The original production of Chicago in 1979 lost out on the Best Musical Award to Songbook. However the revival did win Best Musical revival in 1998. The original production ran for 600 performances at the Cambridge Theatre. The show was also nominated in two other categories at the 1979 Olivier Awards; Antonia Ellis (Roxie) for Best Actress in a Musical and Ben Cross (Billy Flynn) for Best Actor in a Musical. However The Awards went to Virginia McKenna (The King and I and Anton Rodgers (Songbook).

Starlight Express

This long running show at the Victoria Apollo ran for 7,409 performances over 18 years. The show is currently the ninth longest running West End show in History and remains the Apollo Victoria Theatres longest running show. The musical lost out on the Best Musical Award to 42nd Street in 1984. Lon Satton, who played Poppa in the original London production, was also nominated for Best Actor in a Musical but the award went to Paul Clarkson for The Hired Man.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

REVIEW: Mamma Mia! the Party at the O2

After a hit musical winning the world over and two hugely successful films, Mamma Mia! has extended its franchise yet again with a completely new and original idea, Mamma Mia! The Party. This has come over from very successful run in Stockholm, where it is in its 4th year. 

This takes place at the O2 in North Greenwich, as you walk around the restaurants make sure you keep your eye out as I almost missed it but as you walk through the doors you’re teleported into somewhere that definitely doesn't feel like the corner of the O2! This is a fully rounded experience; within the ticket you get a welcome drink, a four course meal, a show and a disco to finish it off. However don’t forget, this is still a theatre environment so if you purchase other drinks make sure you read the prices first! 

We’ll start with the environment; although this is sold as being transported to a taverna on Skopelos, the Greek island where the first movie was filmed, it doesn’t necessarily feel like this. Instead it feels like being on a huge set, although this is a beautiful setting and nothing has been left out of the design. Designed by Bengt Fröderberg, the attention to detail is fantastic and every single person who walked in was impressed with the extent of it.

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. 

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

INTERVIEW: AJ Bentley, currently in Mamma Mia! The Party at the O2

AJ won Gary Barlow's BBC’s talent search Let It Shine, with his band Five to Five. From this, he embarked on an 18-month UK tour in The Band Musical, including an eight-week run in London’s West End. AJ Bentley plays Adam in Mamma Mia! The Party at the O2.

Mamma Mia! The Party is set in a taverna on the island of Skopelos, where most exteriors of the first MAMMA MIA! film were shot. Nikos and his wife Kate run this exotic and wonderful restaurant together with their family and friends. Told through dialogue and ABBA songs, a warm, romantic and funny story evolves and unfolds during the evening, taking place around the guests as they sit at their tables enjoying a delicious Greek meal. The evening ends with the main floor transforming into a 1970s disco, where audience members are welcome to stay to sing and dance to original ABBA recordings.

Mamma Mia! The Party is going to be an experience like no other, tell us a bit about the concept for this show.

Mamma Mia! The Party is an immersive theatrical dining experience, set on the magical island of Skopelos - the same island the Mamma Mia! movies are set. You arrive at ‘Nikos Taverna’ and immediately you feel like you’ve been transported to a Greek Island. During your evening you will enjoy a three course Greek meal, a three act show written by the amazing Sandi Toksvig and featuring the music of ABBA, and an ABBA disco at the end. The show happens around you... You’re not just coming to see this show, you are IN this show, and that’s what adds to the magic! 

Tell us a bit about the story that centres around the immersive experience.

The story follows an action packed evening in ‘Nikos Taverna’. Nikos and his wife Kate run the restaurant, with Nikos’ mother (Grandma) overlooking the action from her balcony. Nikos’ daughter Konstantina and Kate’s nephew Adam (who both work in the restaurant) have fallen for each other - much to the dismay of Nikos and Grandma who think Adam is just trouble. As the evening goes on, tensions rise and the story evolves whilst everyone frantically attempts to keep the restaurant running smoothly for the guests.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Full Cast for MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY in London

Executive producer Björn Ulvaeus and producer Ingrid Sutej are delighted to announce the cast for MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY, the new immersive theatrical and dining experience opening in a specially adapted venue within The O2 London this summer, with performances beginning on 29 August 2019.

The London cast will include Fed Zanni as Nikos, Steph Parry as Kate, Joanna Monro as Debbie, AJ Bentley as Adam, Julia Imbach as Kostantina, Elin König Andersson as Bella, Kimberly Powell as Nina, Pauline Stringer as Grandma, Gregor Stewart as Fernando, with Linda John-Pierre playing Debbie at certain performances and Allie Ho Chee playing Bella at certain performances. Also in the cast are Molly Cleere, Jessica Spalis, Dawn Spence and Matthew Wesley. The musicians will be John Donovan, Luke Higgins, Kathryn Tindall, Steve Rushton and Mark Pusey.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

INTERVIEW: Mazz Murray, currently starring as Donna in Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre

Mazz Murray is best known for her run as the Killer Queen and longest serving cast member in the West End musical, We Will Rock You. She is currently playing Donna in Mamma Mia at the Novello Theatre after having previously played Tanya in the same production. She has also not long finished playing Mama Morton in Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre. She made her theatre debut playing Patsy Cline in The Roy Orbison Story across the UK and has appeared in Rent, Smokey Joe's Café, Fame, Only The Lonely, Boogie Nights and Pippin.

You’re returning to MAMMA MIA! after having previously played Tanya. What made you want to return to this show? 

The opportunity to play Donna.

And how is it seeing the show from a different characters perspective? 

It’s like a completely different show and experience. 

What are your favourite moments from the show to perform as Donna and which ones did you love doing as Tanya? 

It’s so new at the moment - I’m enjoying all of it, especially singing the songs.

What have you enjoyed most about returning to this show? 

Gosh, seeing the wonderful friends again that are still here – both backstage/ onstage and front of house.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

New casting announced for Mamma Mia! the musical in London's West End

The global smash hit musical MAMMA MIA! celebrated its 20th anniversary in London’s West End at the Novello Theatre on Saturday 6 April. Now, in the musical’s 21st year, the producers are delighted to announce some major cast changes in the London production from Monday 10 June 2019. Mazz Murray, who has previously played Tanya in the London production, will be returning to the musical, but this time as Donna, and Kirsty Hoiles will join her as Tanya. Also new to the musical will be Cameron Burt as Sky, Melissa Nettleford as Ali, Sophie Matthew as Lisa, Taylor Bradshaw as Eddie and Danny Nattrass as Pepper. They will be joining Ricky Butt as Rosie, Richard Trinder as Sam, Neil Moors as Harry, Stephen Beckett as Bill and Lucy May Barker as Sophie. Caroline Deverill continues to play the role of Donna at certain performances.

Also new to the cast will be Natasha Agnew, Daniel Clift, Jonathan Cordin, Amelia-Rose Fielding, Shailan Gohil, Callum Heinrich, Frankie Jones, Grace Moorhouse, Jodie Nolan, Dan O’Brien, David O’Mahony, Rochelle Sherona, Megan Speirs, Garrett Tennant, Michael Tyler, Harrison Wilde and Simon Willmont, who will be joining Chloe Ames, Lauren Hampton and Jennifer Hepburn.

Friday, 6 April 2018

MAMMA MIA! celebrates its 19th Birthday with a New Booking Period and New Cast!

The global smash hit musical MAMMA MIA!is celebrating the show’s 19thbirthday in London today, Friday 6 April, by opening a new booking period from Monday 22 October 2018 to Saturday 2 March 2019. The cast celebrated with a birthday cake on stage at London's Novello Theatre – see photo attached. 

In addition, the producers are delighted to announce some major cast changes in the London production from Monday 11 June 2018. Joining Sara Poyzer as Donna, Kate Graham as Tanya, Richard Trinder as Sam and Damian Buhagiar as Pepper, will be Ricky Butt as Rosie, Neil Moors as Harry, Stephen Beckett as Bill, Georgia Louise as Sophie, Alec Porter as Sky, Charlotte O’Rourke as Ali, Leah St Luce as Lisa and Eamonn Cox as Eddie. Caroline Deverill continues to play the role of Donna Sheridan at certain performances.

Also new to the cast will be Chloe Ames, Chloe-Jo Byrnes, Adam Davidson, Luke Hall, Lauren Hampton, Jack Heasman, Zoe Humphryes, Chanel Mian, James Willoughby Moore, Dean Read, Beth Relf and Annie Southall, who will be joining Adam Clayton-Smith, Jennifer Hepburn, Stuart Hickey, Mark Isherwood, Tyler Kennington, Robert Knight, Natasha O’Brien and Katy Stredder. 

Sunday, 11 March 2018

10 Most Iconic Mothers in Musical Theatre | Mothers Day Special

Mamma Rose in Gypsy 

Donna in Mamma Mia 

Diana in Next to Normal 


Monday, 12 February 2018

Best Couples in Musical Theatre!

Elphaba and Fiyero from WICKED

George and Albin from LA CAGE AUX FOLLES 


Friday, 19 January 2018

INTERVIEW: Richard Trinder, currently playing Sam Carmichael in London's Mamma Mia!

Richard has been playing Sam Carmichael in the London production of Mamma Mia! since 2013. His other credits include Vince in Way Upstream (Salisbury Playhouse), Lignière in Cyrano de Bergerac and Brocklehurst in The Admirable Crichton (Chichester), Cornwall in Lear, Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet, Francisco in Hamlet (Sheffield Crucible), Burgundy in King Lear (Almeida) and Gruber in As You Desire Me (West End). He took some time off from the island to speak to us about his time in the hit West End show. 

When did you get into performing? What was your first exposure to theatre?

I grew up very close to Theatr Clwyd around the time it opened, and my first memory of theatre is being in the front row for a production of '3 Men In A Boat'. I must have been about 9 and I clearly remember the sudden realisation that here were grown-ups playing around pretending to be in a boat - and that was their job! It seemed too good to be true.

I did a couple of school plays but drama school wasn't really on the radar in an 80's comp so I drifted down to London and did terrible student shows instead of lectures. Then I went to the Poor School and realised how hard those 3 blokes had worked to be allowed to mess around in that boat.

Monday, 1 September 2014

MAMMA MIA! will play the Liverpool Empire for the first time next year

The MAMMA MIA! International Tour will perform for the first time ever at the Liverpool Empire from Friday 20 February to Saturday 14 March, with Liverpool being the only UK mainland date outside of London to host the production in 2015. Tickets go on sale on Tuesday 2 September at 1pm. There will be a Gala Performance on Tuesday 24 February at 7.30pm. The show enjoyed a hugely successful sell-out season at Echo Arena Liverpool in 2010.

MAMMA MIA! is Judy Craymer’s ingenious  vision of staging the story-telling magic  of ABBA’s timeless songs with an enchanting tale of family and friendship unfolding on a Greek island paradise. To date, it has been seen by more than 54 million people in 39 productions in 14 different languages. MAMMA MIA! The Movie is the highest worldwide grossing live-action musical film of all time and one in four households in the UK has the DVD, which is now Amazon UK’s biggest selling DVD ever.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Top 10 jukebox musicals

Mamma Mia 

Priscilla Queen of the Desert 


Friday, 25 July 2014

MAMMA MIA! Breaks Box Office History in Blackpool

International smash hit musical MAMMA MIA! has broken box office history with more than £2million in ticket sales in just six weeks.
The figure, released today, makes MAMMA MIA! Blackpool’s highest ever grossing show.
It is more than 10 years since Blackpool hosted a full Summer Season but with the MAMMA MIA! International Tour in the town for a 12-week run, theatre bosses at the Winter Gardens are confident this is a bright new start for the resort.
Michael Williams, Managing Director of the Winter Gardens, said he is delighted with ticket sales so far and is looking forward to seeing the continued success of the Summer Season.
He said, “When we announced last year that MAMMA MIA! was coming to Blackpool for a whole Summer Season we were quietly confident that it would be a success but you never know what is going to happen. We are now thrilled to announce that ticket sales have reached more than £2million in the first six weeks of the run. This is absolute proof that MAMMA MIA! is right for Blackpool and that Blackpool is more than capable of attracting such a show and the audiences to support it.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

FIRST LOOK: New cast joins MAMMA MIA! London

MAMMA MIA! originally opened in London at the Prince Edward Theatre on 6 April 1999, before transferring to the Prince of Wales Theatre in 2004. The musical re-opened at the Novello Theatre in 2012.
From West End to global phenomenon, the London production of MAMMA MIA! has been seen by more than 10% of the entire UK population. The show has celebrated over 6,300 performances in London and has broken box office records in all three of its London homes.  This summer, the MAMMA MIA! International Tour will play an exclusive UK Summer Season at the Blackpool Opera House from 20 June to 14 September 2014. Blackpool will be the only UK venue outside of London to host the worldwide hit musical this year.
The cast includes Dianne Pilkington as Donna, Rebecca Lock as Rosie, Kim Ismay as Tanya and Richard Trinder as Sam, Alasdair Harvey as Harry, Charles Daish as Bill, Alice Stokoe as Sophie Sheridan, Lloyd Green as Sky, Rosanna Bates as Ali, Brodie McBride as Lisa, James Alexander Gibbs as Pepper, James Evans as Eddie, Stephen John Davis as Father Alexander and Shona White as Alternate Donna/Ensemble. 


Thursday, 19 June 2014

FIRST LOOK: International tour of MAMMA MIA!

The MAMMA MIA! International Tour is led by real-life husband and wife, Richard Standing and Sara Poyzer, with Sara playing Donna Sheridan and Richard playing Sam Carmichael. The MAMMA MIA! International Tour also stars Victoria Serra as Sophie (Niamh Perry plays Sophie in Blackpool), Geraldine Fitzgerald as Tanya, Sue Devaney as Rosie, Michael Beckley as Bill Austin, Keiron Crook as Harry Bright, Bart Edwards as Sky, Sally Frith as Ali, Jasmin Colangelo as Lisa, Kade Ferriaiolo as Pepper and Ashley Luke Lloyd as Eddie. The role of Donna is played at certain performances by Natalie Langston. 

Also in the cast of the MAMMA MIA! International Tour are Craig Anthony-Kelly, Laura Benazaize, Jay Bryce, Matthew Collyer, Frances Dee, James-Royden Lyley, Gemma Lawson, Megan Louch, Scott Mobley, Aaron Ashley Parker, Ashley Russell, Robbie Scotcher, Tom Stanford-Wheatley, Anna Stolli, Lucy Wilkerson, Sarah Wilkie and Jamie Wilkin. 

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