First Look: Tom Hiddleston as Hamlet

Star cast announced for Fringe First-winning ‘Nassim Plays’ at the Bush Theatre



In a celebration of his work, the Bush Theatre brings together four of Iranian theatre-maker Nassim Soleimanpour’s plays this September: NASSIMcommissioned by the Bush Theatre, directed by Omar Elerian and a Fringe First winner at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe; international hit White Rabbit Red RabbitBLANK (Bush Theatre’s RADAR 2015 and Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016), and new play Cook, co-created by Soleimanpour and the Danish director Jesper Pedersen. All four plays will play in repertory over two weeks.

Soleimanpour’s work requires no rehearsals, no preparation, just a sealed envelope and a different actor each night reading a script for the first time.  For each performance, a different cultural figure will take the stage. Performers for the London run include Tim CrouchHari DhillonKate FleetwoodDeborah Frances-WhiteMel GiedroycDenise GoughPaterson JosephJosie LawrenceAndi OshoVinay Patel,ScotteeMeera SyalMark Thomas and Dominic West.

Artistic Director Madani Younis said ‘We’re thrilled to bring together all four of Nassim’s plays in a retrospective, supported by an array of exciting performers working across theatre, film and television. The act of programming a retrospective of a relatively young, living artist is deliberate: for me it’s a statement on the influence and importance of Nassim Soleimanpour’s work. His theatrical experiments are also powerful antidotes to the recent political events that continue to shake us.’

Nassim Soleimanpour’s play White Rabbit Red Rabbit was produced as part of the Bush Theatre’s annual new writing festival, RADAR, in 2014. It went on to receive global acclaim, being translated into 15 different languages and performed over 1000 times by some of the biggest names in theatre and film including Sinead Cusack, Ken Loach and Whoopi Goldberg.

 BLANK was performed at the RADAR festival in 2015 and NASSIM – directed by Omar Elerian with design by Rhys Jarman – was first performed at the Bush Theatre in July 2017 prior to receiving further critical acclaim and a Fringe First award when it appeared at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh this August. Performers in Edinburgh included Nina Conti, Monica Dolan, Inua Ellams, Richard Gadd and Josie Long.Cook, Soleimanpour’s latest work, involves cooking a recipe on stage in a story of how food brings ingredients and people together.

Nassim Soleimanpour’s work is NOT overtly political, and should not be portrayed as such. It operates on a deeper, metaphoric level, and very expressly avoids overt political comment. All media and press agents have to keep in mind that the playwright’s home is Iran, as are his friends and family. We therefore ask the press to be judicious in their reportage.


7 – 16 September, Bush Theatre


Four Plays, One Writer, No Preparation.

  • Nassim, a Bush Theatre commission
  • White Rabbit Red RabbitBLANK, and Cook, presented by the Bush Theatre in association with Aurora Nova
  • Cook is co-created by Nassim Soleimanpour and Danish writer Jesper Pedersen


Standard tickets: from £20

Count Me In: £10

Count Me In tickets are available for performances in the Theatre. These are unreserved tickets which will be allocated by Box Office on the day of performance. You might not be sitting next to people you booked with but you will be guaranteed a seat.

Phone: 020 8743 5050
In person: 
Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 8LJ


Nassim Soleimanpour (playwright and performer) is an independent multidisciplinary theatre maker best known for his multi award-winning play White Rabbit Red Rabbit. Nassim’s play BLANK premiered in the UK at the Bush Theatre’s RADAR festival in 2015, also playing in Amsterdam and Utrecht with further performances all over the world including in Argentina, Australia and India. Further plays include Blind Hamlet which premiered at LIFT Festival 2014 prior to a UK tour and productions in Bucharest and Copenhagen. Nassim now lives in Berlin and has been commissioned to write a new play for Teater Momentum (Denmark).

 Omar Elerian (director) is Associate Director at the Bush Theatre where he directed One Cold Dark Nightby Nancy Harris and Islands by Caroline Horton. He also co-directed the Olivier nominated You’re Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy at the Bush Theatre alongside Daniel Goldman. He was also Associate Director onThe Royale by Marco Ramirez, Perseverance Drive by Robin Soans and Chalet Lines by Lee Mattinson. Other directing credits include acclaimed site-specific production The Mill – City of Dreams (Bradford, Yorkshire), Testa di Rame (Festival Inequilibrio, Italy) and Les P’tites Grandes Choses (Maison de Arts du Cirque et du Clown, France).

 Rhys Jarman (Designer) previously designed the set for MONEY: The Game Show at the Bush Theatre. He was one of the winners of the 2007 Linbury Biennial Prize, for his design of Varjak Paw for the Opera Group.  Further stage design credits include James and the Giant Peach and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz(Northern Stage)The Time of Your Life (Gecko/ Battersea Arts Centre/ BBC), The Dreamer (Gecko/ Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre)The Machine Stops (Pilot Theatre/ York Theatre Royal), Hurling Rubble at the Sun, Hurling Rubble at the Moon (Red Ladder Theatre Company/ Park Theatre), Institute and Missing(both Gecko/ World Tours), The Nutcracker (Nuffield Theatre), Holes (Edinburgh Festival Fringe/ Arcola Theatre) and Three Way (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). Forthcoming work includes Alice in Wonderland(Northern Stage), How I Hacked My Way to Space (Unlimited Theatre) and The Wedding (Gecko). He also designs work for outdoor events, opera and television.

Final Casting for Dick Whittington 2017 Palladium Pantomime

Dick Whittington
Dick Whittington

Dick Whittington

Emma Williams and Lukus Alexander complete the principle casting for the London Palladium Pantomime this Christmas playing the role of Alice Fitzwarren and Eileen the Cat respectively.  They will join the previously announced Julian Clary (Spirit of the Bells), Elaine Paige (Queen Rat), Ashley Banjo (The Sultan) and Diversity (The Sultan’s Special Advisors), Paul Zerdin (Idle Jack), Nigel Havers (Captain Nigel), Gary Wilmot (Sarah the Cook) and Charlie Stemp (Dick Whittington).

Dick Whittington will run at the London Palladium for five weeks only over the festive season from Saturday 9 December 2017 to Sunday 14 January 2018, with press night on Wednesday 13 December 2017 at 7pm.

Dick Whittington is produced by Nick Thomas and Michael Harrison for Qdos Entertainment, the team behind last year’s twice Olivier-nominated London Palladium production of Cinderella, which broke box office records for the highest grossing week in West End theatre history. Dick Whittington is written by Alan McHugh, directed by Michael Harrison, choreographed by Karen Bruce with musical supervision and orchestrations by Gary Hind, lighting by Ben Cracknell, set designs by Ian Westbrook, 3D Creations, costumes by Hugh Durrant, visual special effects by The Twins FX, projection design by Duncan McLean and sound design by Gareth Owen.

Emma Williams completes an award-winning run as Helen Walsingham in Half A Sixpence at the Noël Coward Theatre tomorrow having also played the role at Chichester Festival Theatre alongside Charlie Stemp. She returns to the Palladium where she made her West End debut as Truly Scrumptious in the original cast of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  Her other theatre credits include Mrs Henderson Presents at the Noël Coward Theatre, Zorro at Garrick Theatre and Love Story for Chichester Festival Theatre as well as in the West End.  Her television credits include Silent Witness, Casualty, Bleak HouseDoctors, Marple: The Body in the Library, Heartbeat and Where the Heart Is.

Lukus Alexander’s recent theatre credits include the UK Tour of The Who’s TommyDick McWhittington at the SECC, Glasgow, Dick Whittington at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Guys and Dolls at Cambridge Arts Theatre and Doctor Atomicat the London Coliseum.

As the world’s biggest pantomime producer, over the past 35 years Qdos Entertainment has established itself as one of the largest entertainment companies in Europe. Over the past three decades the pantomime giant has staged 684 pantomimes and this season expects over two million people will see one of its shows this season.



Theatre:                           London Palladium, Argyll St, London W1F 7TF

Dates:                              9 December 2017 – 14 January 2018

Press night:                       13 December 2017 at 7pm

Box Office:                        0844 874 0667 (no booking fee)

All ticket prices include a £1.25 Theatre Restoration Levy


Twitter:                            @DWhittingtonLDN

NTLive broadcast for Cat On A Hot Tin Roof


CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF © Johan Persson

The Young Vic’s highly praised West End production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, currently playing to capacity each night at the Apollo Theatre, will be broadcast to cinemas around the world on 22 February 2018 marking the fourth collaboration between the Young Vic and National Theatre Live.  Tickets will be released for sale on Monday 25 September 2017.  The National Theatre’s ground-breaking project broadcasts plays live from the stage to over 700 cinemas in the UK and over 60 countries internationally.Cat On a Hot Tin Roof concludes its 12 week limited West End run on 7 October 2017.

The cast includes Sienna Miller (Maggie), Jack O’Connell (Brick), Colm Meaney (Big Daddy), Lisa Palfrey (Big Mama), Hayley Squires (Mae), Brian Gleeson (Gooper), Richard Hansel (Doctor) andMichael J. Shannon (Reverend).  Directed by Benedict Andrews, this twelve-week limited run at the Apollo Theatre, which had its official opening night on 24 July, has its final performance on 7 October 2017.  Set designs are by Magda Willi with costumes by Alice Babidge, lighting by Jon Clark, music byJed Kurzel and sound design by Gareth Fry.

The truth hurts. On a steamy night in Mississippi, a Southern family gather at their cotton plantation to celebrate Big Daddy’s birthday.  The scorching heat is almost as oppressive as the lies they tell.  Brick and Maggie dance round the secrets and sexual tensions that threaten to destroy their marriage. With the future of the family at stake, which version of the truth is real – and which will win out?

For this production there are seats at £10 for under 25s for each performance booked through the Young Vic Box Office.  Cat On A Hot Tin Roof is the Young Vic’s first production to debut in the West End and is presented by the Young Vic and The Young Ones.

Details of all NTLive screenings can be found at

Launched in 2009, National Theatre Live broadcasts have been seen by an audience of over 7 million people at 2500 venues in 60 countries. The first season began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production of Phédre starring Oscar winner Helen Mirren. Recent broadcasts include Angels in America with Andrew Garfield, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with Imelda Staunton and Conleth Hill, Rosentcrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead with Daniel Radcliffe, Hedda Gabler with Ruth Wilson and Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart in No Man’s Land, Sky Arts is the UK sponsor for National Theatre Live.


Theatre:                  Apollo Theatre, 31 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7ES

Box Office:              Apollo 0330 333 4809, Young Vic 020 7922 2922


Bryony Hannah and Ayve Leventis present sci-fi adventure Laika at the Unicorn



A Unicorn Production


By Bryony Hannah and Avye Leventis

Designed by Verity Quinn

Composer is Adam Pleeth with Sound Design by Alma Kelliher and Lighting by Marty Langthorne

Sunday 24 September – Sunday 12 November 2017



Laika is a new Unicorn sci-fi adventure, created by performers Bryony Hannah and Ayve Leventis, using puppetry, music and movement, about a young boy, his astronaut Mum and Laika, the space dog.

Laika, the first living creature to orbit earth, took part in the Soviet space programme. That was in 1957. Today it’s 2057, and Sami lives with his mum, an astronaut who thinks there could be a future out in space. But Sami’s doesn’t understand why she has to leave as his life is on planet earth.

Written and directed by renowned theatre-makers Bryony Hannah and Avye Leventis, Laika is the first show they have made together. This richly inventive and subtly complex space odyssey, created for ages 6 – 12-year-olds, gently examines what lies at the heart of our lives – is it desire for adventure and the unknown or are we happier when we can have those closest and most familiar around us.

The cast includes Nima Taleghani as Sami, Anna Martine as Val and Josie Daxter as Laika.

Bryony Hannah is an award-winning actress from stage and screen. Her many theatre credits include Blurred Lines(National Theatre), The Children’s Hour, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award, Earthquakes in London(Headlong/NT), Irregular Breathing (The Gate), The Winter’s Tale (Headlong) and War Horse (NT).  Her television credits include playing series regular, Cynthia Miller in Call the Midwife (series 1-6) BBC, Unforgotten (BBC), Dead Boss and Life’s Too Short.

Avye Leventis is an actor, puppeteer and movement artist.  Her previous work at the Unicorn includes The Iron ManSomething Very Far Away and At The End of Everything Else.  Her most recent stage credits include Venus and Adonis(RSC), The Elephantum (National Theatre), Brief Encounter (Kneehigh), A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings(Kneehigh/Little Angel).  Film credits include GravityFantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemJungle Book and Stephen Spielberg’s soon to be released Ready Player One.

Age guide:  6 – 12 / Duration: Approx 1 hr


Unicorn Theatre 147 Tooley Street London SE1 2HZ
Box Office: 020 7645 0560

Twitter: @unicorn_theatre

Under 18s £10 – £12 / Adults £10 – 18 (includes Preview Prices)


Relaxed Performances are open to everyone but focus on supporting those on the autism spectrum and those with learning disabilities. Wed 18 Oct, 10.30am / Sun 5 Nov, 2pm

Pre-Show Touch Tours offer a chance for those with visual impairments to explore the set, costumes and props.  Wed 1 Nov, 10.30am / Sat 4 Nov, 11am