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Thursday, 18 May 2023

INTERVIEW: Bronté Barbé, currently starring as Katherine in NEWSIES at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre

Bronté is currently playing the role of Katherine Plumber in the London premiere production of Newsies at the Troubadour Theatre in Wembley.  

Bronté’s work in theatre includes 'Kathy' in Kathy & Stella Solve a Murder (Edinburgh Festival), 'Mary' in What's New Pussycat' (Birmingham Rep), ‘Ado Annie’ in Oklahoma at Chichester, starring as ‘Carole King’ in the first UK tour of the musical Beautiful, ’Jane’ in the concert version of Girlfriends at the Bishopsgate Institute, ‘Nadine' in Drew McOnie’s production of The Wild Party at The Other Palace, ‘Little Match Girl’ in Striking 12 at the Union Theatre, ‘Helen/Vinnie’ in The Donkey Show (Proud London) and ‘Princess Fiona’ in the UK tour of Shrek, and ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ before this. She started performing at a very young age in her hometown of Macclesfield. In 2010 she was selected as one of the final 10 in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search for Dorothy - Over the Rainbow’. Following this, Bronté attended Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts where she gained the Gyearbuor Asante prize for Acting and graduated with first-class honours.

After finishing Mountview she made her professional debut as ‘Odette’ in Carnival of the Animals (Riverside Studios).

We caught up with Brontè about her time in Newsies! 

You are currently playing Katherine in the long-awaited and now Olivier award-winning production of Newsies. Thinking back to when you got the audition, how did you feel about potentially playing this part when you were going through that process? 

I saw Newsies on Broadway around 2014 / 15 and it was my first trip to New York - and I think it was the first musical that I watched there. I just remember being blown away and thinking ‘If that ever comes over, that is the Disney part that I want to do, she’s so strong and so interesting and I love to tap and it’s a period piece with such an important message’ so it was my dream show. 

I remember I flew back to London from a different holiday and the audition came through. I was chuffed because I’d worked with Max and Jane before in Oklahoma and I’d heard they were going to be doing it but I’d been waiting for ages. I’d been asking my agent ‘please get me seen for it when it comes here!’ I’d heard people had gone in for the Newsies and I hadn’t gotten an audition through, so I was worried I wasn’t going to be seen!

Saturday, 15 April 2023

INTERVIEW: Michael Ahomka-Lindsay, currently starring as Jack Kelly in NEWSIES! at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre

Michael is currently originating the role of Jack Kelly in the London production of Disney's Newsies. After training at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Michael has since appeared as Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde (Regents Park Open Air Theatre); Benjamin “Benny” Coffin III RENT (Hope Mill Theatre); Paul Stephenson in To the Streets (China Plate & Birmingham Hippodrome) Maugrim in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (UK/Ireland Tour).

The show is running until the 30th of July and whilst in the middle of a cast change, we caught up with Michael. 

You are currently playing Jack in the long-awaited and now Olivier winning production of Newsies. Thinking back to when you got the audition, how did you feel about potentially playing this part when you were going through that process? 

You’ll hear/see a lot of actors say they know when a part “works” or “feels right”. Right through auditions I felt like I could connect to the character and his beliefs and perspectives. Every time I read/sang for it, Jack grew a bit more in my mind. So honestly it was a fun experience to keep on going in and building on the previous round. I still remember Bronté and I’s chemistry read - we went for a coffee afterwards just to talk/debrief about it as we’d had such a good time! 

And please tell us about what happened when you got the part! 

I was walking to work to an evening show for Legally Blonde. So there I was, walking through serene Regents Park, yelling down the phone. It’s so lovely to think about those special moments you have with your agents when they bring in the good news. Then I had to just sit on the secret for months before they made the announcement. 

Friday, 9 December 2022

REVIEW: Disney's Newsies at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre

The moment UK theatre fans have waited for, the London transfer of the hit Broadway musical Newsies! This much anticipated new production of the Disney 1992 film premiered on Broadway 10 years ago and after 10 long years of waiting, London audiences finally have a chance to experience this show in the flesh. 

Sold as an immersive and in-the-round production, I can't say it really does either. In the original press releases, it was stated that it would be performed in the round but it's actually in thrust with the majority of the audience sitting in the traditional proscenium arch layout. Immersive is a word that's thrown around a lot in modern theatre but I question if it's lost all meaning. There was an effort to create an immersive show, but within the performance, there were no immersive elements. Just because performers enter and exit through the audience, doesn't make something immersive. 

Sunday, 27 August 2017

10 Broadway shows that need to come over to the West End!


This production has only recently opened on Broadway, its run has only spanned over a few months but the rumours are already spreading about possible international productions, London being one of them! We love the film and the new cast recording is one of our most played albums so we can not wait to see this one! 


A London production of Waitress is allegedly in the works to open next year, we are a huge fan of the music and hope to see it open soon! Who could star in the lead role though? We asked our readers and here are some of the top suggestions!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

NEWSIES to close on Broadway on August 24

Intended initially for a limited run, and turning into a 2+ year hit, Newsies, featuring a score with music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman, with a book by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein, will play its final performance at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre on Sunday, August 24, 2014 prior to launching its national tour in October. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, Newsies is directed by Jeff Calhoun and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli.
When it opened on March 29, 2012 Newsies was intended for a Broadway run of just 101 performances. The show's fiercely devoted fans had other ideas, however: they propelled the show to a run that will total 1005 performances, attendance of more than 1 million and a gross of over $100M. At the time of Newsies' closing, only the landmark musical Rent will have played the Nederlander Theatre longer in its 93 year history.
The Newsies North American tour launches in October 2014 and will play 25 cities over 43 weeks during the 2014-15 season.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

15 Broadway musicals that should come to the West End

The West End has a bunch of musicals playing that have transferred over from Broadway including Wicked, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Pajama Game, The Book Of Mormon, Jersey Boys and Memphis to name a few. I look at some productions that have played on Broadway that should come to the West End... Take a look and see if you agree! Have I missed any? Tweet me the ones you'd like to see come to London! @PocketSizeBoy


Dreamgirls made its broadway premiere in late 1981 and closed on August 11 1985, after 1,521 performances. Around the time it was on Broadway a film version was in the works with names such as Whitney HoustonLauryn Hill and Kelly Price in the mix to star. However it didn't actually happen until  2006 with Jamie FoxxBeyoncé KnowlesEddie MurphyDanny Glover and Jennifer Hudson starring. The production has never actually made it over to London. You'd think with the success of the film that it would be a perfect time to produce it. I'd love for this show to come to London, I think it would do pretty well and with the right creative team it could be incredible! 


Aida made its Broadway premiere in 2000, the show has music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice and was produced by Disney. The show closed after 1,852 performances and two national tours followed.  The show has never been professionally performed in the UK, with the composers both originally from the UK its seems London would be a great place to bring the production to. The soundtrack is unbelievable and I am convinced the West End would be a perfect place for it. 

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