Edinburgh’s Hogmanay revamped street party announces jam packed night of entertainment

Edinburgh's Hogmanay18
Edinburgh's Hogmanay1

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 18

Distinctly Scottish traditions form heart of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party.

Team of top international event creatives re-design Street Party bringing in over 80 additional performers to pack the night full of fun and surprises.

Tickets still available (£26 incl booking fee) from www.edinburghshogmanay.com

From the moment revellers arrive at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay front doors on 31st December it will be clear that this year is different. Traditional tenement doors will give way to acrobats greeting those arriving.

Step inside and giant Granny puppets over 3 metres high will welcome you, and teams of dancers will show you the steps to the Gay Gordons and Dashing White Sergeant ahead of the Big Dance happening a little later in the evening.

In the tradition of First Footing, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will welcome friends, family and strangers into its home for a night to remember, full of entertainment, music, dancing, old friends and new and a spectacular midnight moment.

Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam directors of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay said, “We want to create a sense of welcome the best Scottish tradition. As people arrive at the front door, they’re going to get a traditional greeting and, at the same time, feel the impact of this fresh new execution of one of Scotland’s great events. We’re incredibly lucky to have this team of fantastic creative minds working on the Street Party to make an experience over the course of 6 hours which will blow everyone’s socks off.”

The doors close at 10.30pm, but organisers advise getting there early to get the full experience of this brand new show, designed and directed by a team of creatives who have a wealth of both theatre and event ceremonies under their belt.

This year’s Street Party has its own Director, Struan Leslie (RSC, Babs BBC One, Casanova with David Tennant). Under the guidance of Executive Producer Martin Green (2012 Olympic Ceremonies, Hull 2017 UK City of Culture) Lighting Designer Durham Marenghi (Opening and Closing Ceremonties of Rio Olympic, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, The Wall for Roger Waters in Berlin), Sound Designer and film composer Dan Jones (Shadow of the Vampire, Max, Sky Orchestra and Kursk) and Set Designer and architect Ala Lloyd (Head of Design 2012 Olympic Ceremonies) and TV Production Director James O’Brien (Head of Sport Presentation for LOCOG, Production Executive MTV Networks Europe, Head of Production Rapido TV) come together to design and animate the arena through the use of light, sound, new stages and performers.

Two music stages bring six terrific music acts to Edinburgh, from the best of modern Scottish bands such as Sacred Paws (winners of Scottish Album of the Year) to Isle of Skye’s Niteworks, and UK acts from hotly tipped Barns Courtney to retro classic Human League, the furiously impressiveTreacherous Orchestra and the ever colourful Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5.

Arching high over the party goers, the brand new elevated DJ stage in Castle Street brings club cool with sets by Huey Morgan and The Mac Twinsand am immersive sound system to complement the DJs and pick up the party.

Three podium stages (each 9m x 5m) with ribbons of psychedelic swirls in Hogmanay pink and explosions of colour reaching skyward sit along the length of Princes Street to form new performance zones with moving lights and surround sound creating a superb outdoor performance experience.

Local parkour artists, Cyr wheel specialists Alula Cyr, fire, circus and physical theatre company Delightersfire acrobats Pyroceltica and SPARK! rotate across the new podium stages with visually spectacular acts.

Straps, trapeze, aerial hoop and and other skyward darings are on display spinning and swinging from the aerial tower on the Mound showing off the skills of some of the UK’s finest aerial artists.

Buildings along Princes Street will be animated as never before as All Or Nothing, Scotland’s ground-breaking aerial performance company, take audiences by surprise throughout the night culminating in a massed choreography to tracks performed live by Rag’n’Bone Man at Concert in the Gardens.

In Hogmanay’s dazzling tartan, comedian Sanjeev Kohli hosts the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay’s own TV show relayed onto screens around the arena.

Roaming live with his own TV crew Sanjeev will drop in and report from Concert in the Gardens, Ceilidh under the Castle with Edinburgh Gin, Hogmanay HQ, and stages and spots across the Princes Street arena to share the whole event with party goers. As Hogmanay Host he’ll keep the party going all night long and bring everyone together for big shared moments.

Freshly clued up on Scottish country dancing revellers will be encouraged to join the Big Dance topping off the first hour. Scottish bands and artists from 1970s through to today form the soundtrack to the second hour between 8pm and 9pm. Louise Marshall (Lord Provost’s Piper) has formed the killer all-girl Diva and Districts Pipes and Drums especially for the Street Party. They’ll play traditional tunes and covers of chart hits while marching from one end of the street while LED drummer group SPARK! march in from the other. Where they meet the Drum-Off will look and sound spectacular.

Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam continued,  “We’re delighted that so many local performers are part of our Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations this year from parkour to acrobats and musicians, all of whom are making a huge contribution to this year’s Street Party. The night will have lots of feature moments as well as great bands and artists on the stages from Human League and Huey Morgan to Sacred Paws and Treacherous Orchestra. We’re delighted to have more stages to animate, as well as the buildings! And of course the soundscaped fireworks at the midnight moment are going to be spectacular. We’re excited seeing it coming together and the build already beginning in Edinburgh’s city centre. Book your tickets now and say ‘I was there’.”

Edinburgh’s Got Soul lead the Big Sing shortly before 9pm getting everyone going with a pop anthem singalong, launching activity on the podium stages set to continue until the Bells.

A Big Disco moment and a look back at 2017 are other moments that will unite the arena for moments ahead of the midnight fireworks.

At 9pm10pm and 11pm fireworks will be launched from Edinburgh Castle in a rousing countdown to the midnight moment, which sees Edinburgh’sfirst commissioned soundscaped fireworks, for which music by Niteworks and Dan Jones has been written in collaboration with fireworks gurus Titanium to create a spectacular choreographed display full of light and shade which will entertain the audience for the first 9 minutes of 2018.

Auld Lang Syne follows before the pace picks up and confetti, glitter and banging tunes from The Mac Twins make sure the Street Party kicks on through to 1.00am.

Tickets to the Street Party are still available (£26 incl booking fee) from www.edinburghshogmanay.com

Throughout the night revellers will be encouraged to be generous and donate by text to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Official Charity Partner One City Trust. The Trust fulfils its mission in Edinburgh by initiating and funding projects in many areas, including education, social welfare, human rights, inequalities and poverty seeking to run initiatives which actively bring people together from across divides, have long-term social inclusion benefits, are low-cost but high-impact and offer innovative and collaborative methods for addressing social exclusion.

Special FREE night buses (till 4am) and trams (till 5am) running after midnight on New Year’s Day morning until 4am will take people home safely after the event thanks to Offical Transport Providers Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams, in association with City of Edinburgh Council.

Councillor Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said, “The countdown to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is on and one thing is for certain – this will be like no other celebration you’ve been to before. From aerial acrobatics to parkour, audiences will enjoy entertainment wherever they turn with podiums placed all over the arena and bands and DJs performing live all night. Be quick to get your ticket and first-foot it into 2018 with us, as we host a distinctly Scottish tradition in a bold new way for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.”

Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam concluded, “We would like to thank everyone who has come together and worked so hard to transform this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party. Please do give generously on the night to One City Trust to support their work throughout the year in Edinburgh. And have a very happy Hogmanay.”

Edinburgh is the world’s festival city with internationally renowned festivals year-round and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay kicks them off at the beginning of every year.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2018 is supported by City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Government through the Edinburgh Festival’s Expo Fund, EventScotland International Events Programme and Scotland’s Winter Festivals Fund and the Year of Young People 2018 Events fund, all working together to create a bold new Hogmanay for Scotland.





Nottingham Playwright Mufaro Makubika wins 2017 Alfred Fagon Award

Mufaro Makubika - How to Breath Rehearsal

Mufaro Makubika – How to Breath Rehearsal

NOTTINGHAM local Mufaro Makubika has won the 2017 Alfred Fagon award for best new play by a black British playwright.

His award-winning play, Shebeen, which centres on Nottingham’s Caribbean community in the late 1950s, will have its world premiere at Nottingham Playhouse in June 2018.

Mufaro said: “Shebeen is a play about the place I live – St Ann’s in Nottingham. It’s about the community of St Ann’s, and a history that you might not know, but I felt it was important to shine a light on.”

Mufaro, who was born in Zimbabwe and came to England when he was 16, fell in love with the theatre after seeing his first play at the age of 18.

Set in the hot, humid summer of 1958 when tempers are flaring and Teddy Boys are on the march, Shebeen is inspired by Mufaro’s family and neighbours, and is about a community under siege and the sacrifices people make for love.

Stephanie Sirr, Chief Executive of Nottingham Playhouse which commissioned Mufaro’s award-winning play, said: “We have been working with Mufaro for a number of years now including premiering his first full length play, How to Breathein the Neville Studio at Nottingham Playhouse in 2015.



“We are pleased to present Shebeen, Mufaro’s first main stage production at Nottingham Playhouse, before it enjoys a run at Theatre Royal Stratford East.  Receiving the award is a marvellous achievement and we are very proud of Mufaro.”

Mufaro was presented with his award by screenwriter and director Amma Asante at a ceremony at the National Theatre in London. Named after esteemed black British playwright Alfred Fagon, the award is given to a new play by a writer of Caribbean or African descent who is resident in the UK.

Shebeen Listings

Nottingham Playhouse

Friday 1 June – Saturday 16 June

Matinees 1.30pm or 2.30pm

Evenings 7.30pm

There is also an audio described performance at 7.30pm on Thursday 14 June, a sign interpreted performance on 7.30pm on Friday 15 June, and a performance which is both captioned and audio described, at 2.30pm on Saturday 16 June.

Press night Tuesday 5 June 7pm


Nottingham Playhouse


Box office 0115 941 9419


Theatre Royal Stratford East

Wednesday 20 June – Saturday 7 July

Matinees 2.30pm

Evenings 7.30pm

Olivier Award Nominee, Tyrone Huntley confirmed for Philip Ridley show at Southwark Playhouse

Tyrone Huntley
Tyrone Huntley

Tyrone Huntley

Chronicles Of Narnia Star, Georgie Henley, Olivier award nominee Tyrone Huntley will star in the world premiere of Philip Ridley’s new monologues, Angry, next February at Southwark Playhouse.

Henley and Huntley will perform the series of five gender-neutral monologues on subjects as diverse as refugees, millennial anger, and interstellar travel. All five monologues will be performed by each actor over the course of the run, but which actor performs each individual monologue will alternate night-to-night.

A spaceship hurtles towards a black hole. A book-loving couple flee a burning city. A bloodshot eye conjures up kisses and wild animals.  Angry is a menacing, magical, and darkly comedic collection of stories that vibrate with the lingering unease of our times.

Philip Ridley developed Angry over a four-year period in a close partnership with director Max Lindsay.
“Phil and I started exploring things that made us, well angry, and the play sort of grew out of that.” says Lindsay, “We were drawn to this idea of what it means to be a man and to be a woman in the modern world, and where the differences are. Having the same words said by both a man and a woman over the course of the run will give the audiences the chance to see the how the same events can have a very different impact.

“What’s incredible is how relevant Angry feels today. Phil wrote it before President Trump, Weinstein and #MeToo but it feels like it could have been a direct response to current events. He’s always a dozen steps ahead of the rest of us, it’s part of his genius.”

Georgie Henley shot to worldwide fame aged eight when she was cast as the lead, Lucy Pevensie, in the Oscar-winning Chronicles of Narnia series. She took time out of acting to study English at Cambridge before returning to star opposite Ella Purnell in indie film Access All Areas.

Tyrone Huntley most recently reprised his critically acclaimed role as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar at Regents Park Open Air Theatre for which he received an Olivier Award nomination and was featured by ES Magazine as one of 10 of London’s hottest new talents to watch in 2016. He also won the Evening Standard Award for Emerging Talent at last year’s Awards.

The show is being produced by Tramp, whose Offie-nominated production of Tennessee Williams’ Confessional broke Southwark Playhouse’s box office record last year for their studio space, The Little.
Jack Silver, Artistic Director of Tramp, said:

“It’s amazing to be back at Southwark Playhouse with such an incredible piece of writing. When I first read it I was just blown away, but it wasn’t until we started auditions that I realised quite how incredible Phil’s writing is. Seeing so many actors give their take on the monologues was mesmerising. It gives the actors a blank canvas and yet there’s a magnetic rhythm to the words.”

Programme announced for Beam2018 – the biennial industry showcase of new British Musical Theatre



Musical Theatre Network and Mercury Musical Developments today announced the programme selected from their pitching days held around the UK between September and November for BEAM2018. Fifty-eight of the new British musicals pitched at these days have been selected to be shared at the biennial industry showcase which will next year be held at Theatre Royal Stratford East on 1 and 2 March. BEAM is designed for anyone in a position to help develop and stage new British musicals to attend, bringing the most exciting musical theatre projects together from around the UK for industry professionals to grab the opportunity to become involved from the early stages of development.

The pitching days, spanning 250 miles across the UK, saw 298 applications, more than double the applications for BEAM2016. Writers have been selected for BEAM2018’s 58 slots at the showcase in March, made up of fifty 10-minute pitches and eight 25-minute extracts from new musicals, constituting the largest national showcase of new British musicals in development. BEAM is presenting a programme consisting of 50% gender split/parity and 20% writers of BAME heritage. Of the work shared at BEAM2016, 60% have since received further development or been fully staged.

Each writing team has created a short video about their piece which have just gone live on twitter – and you can see using the hashtag#BEAM2018

A few examples are:






Executive Director of Musical Theatre Network, James Hadley and Executive Director of Mercury Musical Developments, Victoria Saxton said today “Having travelled across the UK we can say with certainty that there is a renaissance of talent and confidence and craft in new British musical theatre writing. The overall rise in level of quality in the pitches we saw were evidence that we are no longer in the shadow of the American Broadway tradition. Artists around the UK are developing their own distinct voices as writers of original musical theatre. The pitches we saw were significantly more diverse compared to two years ago, both in terms of artists’ cultural heritage and in terms of the musical styles pitched. The work that grass root organisations such as ours are doing, along with the increase in artistic directors and producers putting long term investment into the development of new musical theatre, is paying off. We cannot wait to share the work of the writers we have discovered with the industry at BEAM2018.”

The programme consists of 58 new British musicals in development: announced  ‘Bollywood Rose’ by Sumerah Srivastav and Ajay Srivastav, ‘Christmas Already’ by Jim Barne and Kit Buchan, ‘The Wind Singer’ by Teresa Howard and Sarah Llewellyn, ‘Lucky Petra’ by Christopher Ash and Carl Miller, ‘The Bow’ by Finn Anderson, ‘F**ked in Marrakech’ by Alex Young and Kate Marlais, ‘Mammoth’ by Matthew Herbert andAlexandra Wood, ‘My Marcello’ by Rosabella GregoryDina Gregory, and Corey Burnish, and fifty new musicals pitched by their writers: Dylan WynfordSevan K GreeneJohn VictorEmily Rose SimonsEmily ClaireSchmittNatasha HodgsonZoe RobertsHarry BlakeAmir ShoenfeldStan HodgsonMeghan DoyleGetrude VeremuMark PowellBen OcchipintiGavin BrockNichola Rivers, Dom JamesTom RyllsStephanie SingerLaurel HainesRebecca ApplinPete AshmoreCoco MbassiGreg DavidsonChris CoxonSonali Bhattacharyya Theo Jamieson Firdos AliIzo FitzroyMatt BorgattiMary ErskineWill DollardRoss MillardMaria CrockerKatherine GottsMaureen ChadwickDonald RiceEva RiceCraig Adams, Lee WhitelockGabriela GarciaJack MurrayShonagh MurrayKirsty FindlayNaomi StirratMike Scott-HardingRob CastellFrancine MorganCordelia O’DriscollTom Williams Paul MontgomeryGraeme CameronStephen SmithPaul MilliganMark AspinallTasha Taylor-JohnsonPhil CornwellAdam TaylorDillie KeaneJulie ClareCarol RussellChristian CzornyiRebecca GrantGiles FernandoSara EkerShane SolankiTim ConnorSue PearseLiam O’RaffertyAndrew DyerHannah Jarret-ScottShona WhiteLisbee Stainton, Benjamin TillJay CameronEmily AboudDougal IrvineElizabeth CarterJosef Pitura-RileyShuang TengMatthew LimMingyu LinBarnaby HallamTamara SaringerDavid TseChris ChanGus RowlandDavid KentDarren ClarkeRhys Jennings and Eamonn O’Dwyer.

Musical Theatre Network brings people and resources together to improve infrastructure and opportunities for new musical theatre in the UK. Its membership is a national network of venues, producers, colleges, organisations and individuals. In partnership with its members, MTN works to strengthen and diversify the new musical theatre sector nationwide, and so support development of the artform.

Mercury Musical Developments is the UK’s only membership organisation dedicated to developing new musical theatre writing. We nurture and support the work of bookwriters, lyricists and composers through a series of initiatives including workshops, masterclasses and showcasing opportunities. Join our growing community of over 400 members and be part of the conversation shaping the future of musical theatre writing.

BEAM2018                                                                                                                                                   Listings

BEAM2018 – 2-day showcase
Thursday 1 and Friday 2 March 2018

Theatre Royal Stratford East
Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 1BN

Tickets to BEAM2018 are now available via Theatre Royal Stratford East’s website

Box Office: 020 8534 0310


Facebook: theatreroyalstratfordeast

Twitter: @stratfordeast #givemesomethingnewtosing
Instagram: theatre_royal_stratford_east


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Louis Maskell, interview: “The Grinning Man has an almost Tim Burton spikiness to it… Like a really intense experience at a nightclub.”

The lead role in The Grinning Man, Bristol Old Vic’s blockbuster, is the big break Louis Maskell was waiting for. The modest actor explains why he wants to act for ever.


Louis Maskell as Grinpayne

Based on the Victor Hugo (Les Mis) novel and cult silent movie ‘The Man Who Laughs’, this macabre musical fairy-tale features ingenious puppetry and a perfect marriage of the alternative and the discordant mainstream. As well as being expertly written the majority of the songs are skilfully structured. How would he describe the show? “People have a preconceived of Victor Hugo novels; they immediately think it’s going to be long and dark and sombre,” Maskell says.


“This piece has elements of that but it is incredibly funny. The best way is to describe it is that it has got humour and an incredibly touching narrative at its heart, it has an almost Tim Burton spikiness to it,” says Maskell. “New British musicals like The Grinning Man and Everyody’s Talking About Jamie deserve attention – dare to see them, I promise you that you won’t be disappointed,” he says sweetly.


The Grinning Man is directed by Tom Morris (War Horse) – Maskell has nothing but love for his director. “Tom is a genuinely incredible director, it doesn’t surprise me he is artistic director of a theatre like Bristol Old Vic, because he is such a keen builder,” Maskell says.

“Tom rarely ever gets annoyed and his rehearsal room is very collaborative – we have revised the show and then organically created the piece with our new cast members and in turn created a new family of grinning men and women,” he adds.  


On the topic of regional theatre, he is full of praise for the risk-taking happening outside of the capital. “The only way that you can create really good and dynamic musical theatre or plays is by going down the regional theatre road – because in the west end you rarely get anyone putting on a new production; the best theatre is in the regions – all of these really good regional theatres like Sheffield, Leicester Curve and Chichester Festival Theatre, deserve a lot of praise.”

I saw the original production of The Grinning Man at Bristol Old Vic and attended a preview recently. I was struck by how young the audience were, the enthusiasm and affection for the show was palpable. Has he noticed this? “I was very intrigued as to what kind of audience we were going to get but what we’ve found is there is a real hunger from a younger audience for this particular piece. I think it’s because the show feels almost like a really intense experience at a nightclub – it’s got that kind of energy to it,” says Maskell.


He trained at Guilford School of Acting, how important was his time there, I ask. “Massively – it gave me the base for what I do now – it gave me lots of skills to build upon,” he says. “I remember when I first graduated, I found it difficult to crack getting that first job… I did everything that I did at Guilford every day. So, I would warm up and work on my voice and the more I did that the better I became. I found more confidence and I got more jobs. Guilford gave me lessons to implement outside of college.”


What are his favourite musicals? “The shows that I’ve done are the ones that I was obsessed with growing up: My Fair Lady, West Side Story and Fiddler on The Roof. I think Hamilton is an absolute beast… I’ve got quite an eclectic taste,” Maskell says, with a laugh.  

Maskell’s star is in the ascendant. I ask him how he would best sum up 2017. “I’d describe it as a year in which a lot of dreams became a reality,” Maskell says.

Louis is taking it all in his stride. “I’ve got my feet on the ground; being a leading role in a show in London is something that I’ve always aspired to do. To be here doing a new musical is something that I never envisaged achieving; I’m embracing every moment because everything will end at some point,” he says. 

He adds: “Once you’ve achieved a goal you’ve then got to set new goals – I know that I need to now work even harder I love musical theatre. I want to act forever.”

The Grinning Man runs at Trafalgar Studios, London.

Casting announced for world premiere of The Toyboy Diaries at Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester

The Toyboy Diaries
The Toyboy Diaries

The Toyboy Diaries

The cast and creative team has been announced for the World Premiere of The ToyBoy Diaries, the new British musical that is to be the first production staged in 2018 at the critically-acclaimed Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester.

The production, adapted from the best-selling memoirs by Wendy Salisbury, runs from Thursday 18 January to Saturday 10 February 2018 and is the first of five in-house musicals next year from the successful collaboration between Joseph Houston and William Whelton, co-founders of Hope Mill Theatre and producer Katy Lipson, of Aria Entertainment.

This new musical comedy charts the hilarious and sometimes heart-breaking sagas of mid-life dating.

When twice-divorced Lily inadvertently finds herself under a much younger man, it opens the door to a wild new world of inappropriate relationships. From Tom the Tender to Sam the Submissive, via Paul the Policeman, Hat Trick Patrick and Matt the Monstrous (with Old Willy and Philandering Phil mixed in along the way) Lily finally finds Ben the Bountiful.

The ToyBoy Diaries has a book by Simon Warne, music and lyrics by Andy Collyer and is based on the best-selling memoirs of Wendy Salisbury. Directed by Tania Azevedo.

The cast has now been announced for The ToyBoy Diaries. The lead role of Lily will be played by Johanne Murdock.  Recent stage roles include Brutus in Julius Caesar and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (Guildford Shakespeare Company), Anne Hathaway in The Other Shakespeare (Pitchfork Productions). Film and television credits include Chameleon and Holby City.

The production also features Olivier Award-nominee Nicola Blackman (Destiny Rides Again, Babe the Sheep Pig, Gilgamesh and Just to Get Married) as Lily’s best friend Penny. Matt Beveridge (The Frontier TrilogyTitanic – Toronto and House of Therapy – Off Broadway) plays ToyBoy 1. Sharif Afifi (Mamma Mia: Here We Go AgainWonderland – UK Tour) is ToyBoy 2. Alistair Higgins (Dreamboats and Petticoats – UK Tour, Sweeney Todd – Brighton, Charlotte’s Web) plays ToyBoy 3.

The ToyBoy Diaries has music and lyrics by Andy Collyer (Little Women and Pippin Orchestrations – Hope Mill Theatre, The Verb, ‘To Love’ – Old Red Lion Theatre, Claus – Landor Theatre) and a book by his regular collaborator Simon Warne (Claus – Landor Theatre, Truth Talks – Southwark Playhouse, Double Effect – Finborough, and Original Spin – New End Hampstead.)

Director Tania Azevdeo’s recent credits include Tenderly (New Wimbledon Theatre) XY (Page to Stage – The Other Palace) Paper Hears (Edinburgh Fringe and International Tour), Hello Again – Hope Theatre.)

The ToyBoy Diaries has musical direction by Andrew Griffiths, choreography by Sam Spencer-Lane, design by Jason Denvir, lighting design by Ben M Rogers, sound design by Calum Robinson,

Following The ToyBoy Diaries at Hope Mill Theatre is a new revival of the acclaimed modern Broadway hit Spring Awakening (Thursday 29 March to Thursday 3 May 2018) and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic Aspects of Love (Thursday 5 July to Thursday 9 August 2018). Two more yet-to-be announced productions will follow in Autumn/Winter.

The ToyBoy Diaries runs from Thursday 18 January to Saturday 10 February 2018 and is on sale now.



The ToyBoy Diaries

Hope Mill Theatre

Hope Mill, Ancoats, 113 Pollard Street

Manchester, M4 7JA

Tickets from £16. Visit www.hopemilltheatre.co.uk

Press Night Wednesday 24 January 2018.

WEBSITE: www.hopemilltheatre.co.uk

FACEBOOK: Hope Mill Theatre

TWITTER: @Hopemilltheatr1 @ToyBoyDiaries

Underbelly’s Southbank festival returns for 10th year with Circus Abyssinia and circus heavyweights Circa to headline

Circus Abyssinia
Circus Abyssinia

Circus Abyssinia

Underbelly Festival runs from 6th April – 30th September

  • Tickets on general sale Tuesday 19th December
  • Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams – 6th April – 20th May
  • Circa’s Peepshow – 27th June – 18th August

Underbelly today announced the return of Underbelly Festival for 2018, which will see them mark 10 years on London’s Southbank having broken through the one-million ticket barrier in 2017.

Over the past decade Underbelly’s occupancy of the Southbank has been a sure-fire sign that summer is on its way, and its mix of electric live entertainment and some of the capital’s most buzzing outdoor drinking spaces has made it one of London’s most popular festivals.

Underbelly Festival 2018 will run from 6th April to 30th September with the first details of two spectacular headlining shows from world class international circus troupes, Circus Abyssinia and Circa, also revealed today.

Fresh from taking the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe by storm and starring in this year’s Royal Variety Performance (airing this Tuesday 19th December) extraordinary Ethiopian troupe Circus Abyssinia will make their debut on the Southbank with the London premiere of their hit show Ethiopian Dreams. An unashamedly joyful mix of astonishing stunts, astounding circus skills and enchanting adventure, Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams follows the magical journey of two little Ethiopian brothers, Bibi & Bichu, who dream of joining the circus.

Ethiopian Dreams – what the critics said:

“Sensational entertainment” ★★★★ The Times

“Needs to be seen to be believed… Pure circus gold” ★★★★ The Scotsman

The second company bringing a sensational new show to the Southbank will be Circa, the Australian giants of high-concept theatrical circus, who will present the UK premiere of a brand-new circus-cabaret Peepshow having previously performed on the Southbank with Beyond and Close Up.

Peepshow turns cabaret on its head, literally, lurching from the thrillingly acrobatic to the comically playful. Expect teetering towers of balanced bodies, extreme bending and devilishly precarious aerials from a company whose legendary productions have attracted over a million people since their inception three decades ago.

These two shows will be joined by another mystery headliner to be named soon alongside a host of the very best talent from the worlds of comedy, cabaret, circus and family entertainment, all taking place across two unique venues set beside some of the capital’s coolest outdoor bars.

Underbelly Directors Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood said:

“It’s our tenth year on the Southbank and the announcement of today’s headline shows are a statement of our intent to make it the best ever.

 “Circus Abyssinia were the talk of this year’s Fringe and rightly rewarded with a spot on the Royal Variety Performance so it’s a joy to be giving them their first London run, while Circa are legends in the circus world and it’s a huge privilege to have them with us once more with what could be one of their most breathtaking shows ever.

 “Beyond this we’ve got some very special plans for our tenth year on the Southbank, more of which will be revealed in early 2018, watch this space.”


Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams

by Circus Abyssinia

6th April – 20th May 2018

Ticket from £14.00

Running time: 60 minutes



by Circa

27th June – 18th August 2018

Tickets from £10.00

Running time: 70 minutes


Underbelly Festival

6th April – 30th September 2018

More info




Jonathan Hyde and Daniel Rigby lead the company for the regional première of Peter Morgan’s Frost/Nixon

Jonathan Hyde
Jonathan Hyde

Jonathan Hyde

Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres Robert Hastie today announced that Jonathan Hyde and Daniel Rigby will lead the company for Kate Hewitt’s regional première production of Peter Morgan’s Frost/Nixon. Hyde returns to Sheffield Theatres, where he recently played the title role in Hastie’s production of Julius Caesar, to play Richard Nixon, with Daniel Rigby as David Frost. The full company will be announced in the new year.

‘To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. I have never been a quitter.’

In 1974 Richard Nixon became the only US President in history to resign from office, immersed in one of the biggest scandals in American political history: Watergate.

Daniel Rigby

Daniel Rigby

For David Frost, international socialite and well-known chat show host, an access all areas interview with a fallen President is the career-defining opportunity of a lifetime.

Nixon seeks absolution, Frost is pushing for confession. Both want to control the story, only one can emerge the victor.

A captivating dramatization of the post-Watergate TV interviews, Kate Hewitt directs this landmark play in the first British production since its award-winning 2006 debut. The play was later adapted into a major feature film.

Peter Morgan’s other work for theatre includes The Audience. His television work includes The Crown, The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, The Jury, The Special Relationship, Longford, Colditz, Henry VIII and The Deal; and for film, Rush, 360, Hereafter, State of Play, The Damned United, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Last King of Scotland and The Queen.

Jonathan Hyde returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Richard Nixon – he previously appeared in the title role of Robert Hastie’s inaugural production as Artistic Director, Julius Caesar.  His theatre credits include Travels With My Aunt (Menier Chocolate Factory), The King’s Speech(UK tour and Wyndham’s Theatre), Rattigan’s Nijinsky (Chichester Festival Theatre), King LearThe Seagull (international tour), JumpersSleep With Me (National Theatre), Antigone (The Old Vic), The Rehearsal, Scenes from an Execution (Almeida Theatre), Julius CaesarThe Alchemist, ‘Tis Pity She’s A WhoreLes Liaisons Dangereuses (RSC) and Macbeth (Lyceum Theatre).  His recent television work includes The StrainTrollhuntersTokyo TrialIsaan Newton: The Last MagicianSpooks; and for film, BreatheTheaCrimson PeakThe Mummy and Titanic.

Daniel Rigby plays David Frost. For theatre, his work includes Twelfth Night (National Theatre), Breaking the Code (Manchester Royal Exchange), Holes (Arcola Theatre and Edinburgh Festival), One Man, Two Guvnors (National Theatre and Broadway) and Ninagawa’s Hamlet(Barbican). His television work includes Plebs, Gap Year, Sick Note, Flowers, Jericho, Big School Cardinal Burns, Eric and Ernie (BAFTA Television Award for Best Actor) and The Street; and for film, Flyboys.

Kate Hewitt directs. She was the inaugural recipient of RTST Director Award Scheme and her production of Tribes opened earlier this year at Sheffield Theatres. Her other theatre work includes Kiki’s Delivery Service, Tomcat (Southwark Playhouse), Romeo and Juliet (NYT at Ambassador’s Theatre), Portrait (Edinburgh Festival, UK Tour and Bush Theatre’s RADAR Festival), and in 2014 she won the JMK Director’s Award for her production Far Away (Young Vic). As associate director, her work includes Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Medea (Headlong and UK tour), Electra (Gate Theatre and Latitude Festival 2011), and One Love: The Bob Marley Musical (Birmingham Rep).


Twitter: @crucibletheatre @SheffieldLyceum

Sheffield Theatres                                                                                                                                    Listings

Crucible Lyceum Studio 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield, S1 1DA

Box Office 0114 249 6000 – Mon – Sat 10.00am to 8.00pm

On non-performance days the Box Office closes at 6.00pm.



Sheffield Theatres:


Until 20 January 2018



Until 23 December 8.00pm

Press night: 14 December



8 February – 3 March

Press night: 14 February



21 February – 17 March

Press night: 26 February



27 March – 7 April

Press night: 28 March


Sat 12 – Sat 19 May



7 June – 23 June

Press night: 12 June



28 June – 14 July

Press night: 2 July



18 July – 21 July

Press night: 18 July



West End:


Apollo Theatre

6 November 2017 – 21 April 2018


David Hare’s The Moderate Soprano to have West End engagement

Nancy Carroll
Jeremy Herrin,

Jeremy Herrin, Credit Johan Persson

  • Jeremy Herrin’s acclaimed production of David Hare’s The Moderate Soprano to have West End premiere in April 2018, following a sold out run at Hampstead Theatre in 2015.
  • Roger Allam and Nancy Carroll will reprise roles of Glyndebourne founder John Christie and his wife Audrey Mildmay with further casting to be announced.
  • Multi award-winning Bob Crowley engaged to design the West End production.
  • Tickets go on sale to the general public on Tuesday 19 December at 10am.

David Hare’s critically acclaimed play The Moderate Soprano will make its West End premiere next spring at the Duke of York’s Theatre, with performances from 5 April to 30 June 2018 and opening night for press on 12 April 2018.

Roger Allam

Roger Allam

Jeremy Herrin, whose celebrated production enjoyed a sold out run at Hampstead Theatre in 2015, will return to direct the play with brand new set and costume designs by the multi award-winning theatre and opera designer, Bob Crowley.

Olivier Award winners Roger Allam and Nancy Carroll will reprise the roles of Glyndebourne founder John Christie and soprano Audrey Mildmay. Further casting for the West End is still to be announced.

The two great passions in John Christie’s life were opera and a beautiful young soprano, Audrey Mildmay, with whom he was completely smitten. Together with his formidable drive, they fuelled what many first saw as a monumental folly in the South Downs. Glyndebourne was triumphantly born amidst stiff manhattans, rolling lawns and the sound of sheep from across the HaHa. It was to become revered the world over. 

David Hare’s new play, first seen at Hampstead Theatre, is the story of an intense love affair and the unrelenting search for artistic excellence in the face of searing scrutiny, sacrifice and the impending Second World War.

Nancy Carroll

Nancy Carroll

David Hare said: “Few people know the extraordinary story of how an eccentric English schoolmaster bumped accidentally into three refugees from Hitler’s Germany, and formed one of the world’s great opera houses in the 1930s in the middle of the English countryside. But even fewer know that Glyndebourne’s true founder was John Christie’s adored wife, Audrey Mildmay, whom he called ‘the moderate soprano.

Gus Christie said: I am delighted that David Hare’s play about the origins of Glyndebourne, which sheds light on my grandparents’ extraordinary vision and the creative tensions that existed in pulling it off, is coming to the West End in the Spring“.

The Moderate Soprano is produced in the West End by Matthew Byam Shaw, Nia Janis and Nick Salmon for Playful Productions, Caro Newling for Neal Street Productions, Karl Sydow and Greg Ripley-Duggan for Hampstead Theatre, in association with Raymond Gubbay and Bob Bartner.


Glyndebourne’s Original Love Story
By David Hare
Directed by Jeremy Herrin

Duke of York’s Theatre, St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4BG

First performance: Thursday 5 April
Opening Night: Thursday 12 April at 7pm
Final performance: Saturday 30 June

Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm
Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm (first Thursday matinee 19 April)

Box office details
0844 871 7623
Prices  from  £15

Twitter: @ModerateSoprano
Facebook: @TheModerateSoprano
Instagram: @themoderatesoprano

The Gate Theatre Starts 2018 with two ground-breaking international productions

Nina Bowers

Actor Nina Bowers will play over 20 characters in a new production of Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, Anna Deavere Smith’s ground-breaking piece of verbatim theatre.

Jude Christian, Associate Artist at the Gate, will direct and perform in Trust, an anarchic celebration of broken relationships, complex negotiations and the tyranny of capitalism, by Falk Richter.

Ellen McDougall’s critically acclaimed first season continues at the Gate Theatre with two groundbreaking international productions.Artistic Director Ellen McDougall said,

‘Nina Bowers and Ola Ince are two thrilling new talents – they have formed an incredible partnership to present this essential verbatim piece. Jude Christian is one of the most exciting artists currently working in theatre, and will direct and perform in her production of Trust’

This morning the venue announces that actress Nina Bowers will play over 25 roles in the new production of Anna Deavere Smith’s TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES, 1992.  The play, directed by Ola Ince, opens on 11 January (press night 15 January). Rehearsal images here.

This is a city at war with its own children.

When the policemen accused of assaulting young, black taxi driver Rodney King were acquitted, deadly riots broke out across LA, laying bare the recurring pattern of racial oppression and police brutality in America.

For this ground-breaking piece of verbatim theatre, Anna Deavere Smith interviewed hundreds of people from police commissioners to Rodney King’s family about those devastating few days in the summer of 1992.  These are their words.

Nina Bowers made her acting debut in Tomorrow I’ll Be Twenty for Complicite. She wrote and co-devised Nina Talks About Her Values which was performed at Camden People’s Theatre as part of the Camden Fringe 2017. She is a co-founder of the theatre duo Two Much Company.

Anna Deavere Smith, also an actor, is perhaps best known for playing Nancy McNally in The West Wing and Gloria Akalitus in Nurse Jackie. Her plays include Fires in the MirrorHouse ArrestLet Me Down Easy and The Arizona Project. Her playwriting process involves interviews with scores of individuals. Her writing primarily focuses on a topic of civic and political interest. Smith is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the National Humanities Medal, presented to her by President Obama in 2013. She has been the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Award, The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, two Obie Awards and two Tony Award nominations. She was runner up for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her play Fires in the Mirror. Honorary degrees include those from Yale University, Juilliard, Barnard, the University of Pennsylvania, Radcliffe, Wesleyan, Williams College and Northwestern University, as well as many others.

Director Ola Ince was the 2016 Genesis Future Director Award winner and Artistic Associate at Lyric Hammersmith and Theatre Royal Stratford East. Her directing credits include Start Swimming (Young Vic & Summerhall), White Sky (RWCMD & Gate Theatre), Broad Shadow (National Theatre), Dutchman(The Clare, Young Vic Theatre) and Rachel, The Soft of Her Palm (Finborough Theatre).  As Associate Director, her credits include Bugsy Malone (Lyric Hammersmith), Tipping the Velvet (Lyric Hammersmith & Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh), Fog (UK tour). As Assistant Director her credits include Shakespeare Trilogy (Donmar Warehouse & St. Ann’s Warehouse), Ma Rainey’s Black BottomDaraA Taste of Honey (National Theatre), Porgy & Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Josephine & I (Bush Theatre) and Wild Swans (Young Vic Theatre).

Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 is designed by Jacob Hughes.  Jacob graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2011 and was a finalist in the Linbury Prize for Stage Design that same year. He has since been nominated for Best Set Designer in the Off West End awards, Wales Theatre awards and has exhibited his work in the Society of British Theatre Designers exhibition Make:Believe.  In 2016 Jacob became the National Theatre’s first recipient of the Max Rayne Design Bursary Award. Design credits include Broad Shadow (National Theatre), Start Swimming at The Young Vic andTreasure Island at Watford Palace.

Lighting design is by Anna Watson whose theatre credits include: Box of Delights (Wilton’s Music Hall); King Lear (Shakespeare’s Globe) Becoming: Part One (Donmar);  Snow in Midsummer (RSC); The Seagull, Shopping and Fucking (Lyric Hammersmith); Dutchman / The Secret Agent / Fireface / Disco Pigs / Sus (Young Vic) You for Me for You / Plaques & Tangles / A Time to Reap (Royal Court) The Chronicles of Kalki (The Gate); The Roaring Girl (RSC); Bank on it (Theatre-Rites / Barbican); ; Salt, Root and Roe (Donmar); On the Record / It felt empty when the heart went at first, but it’s alright now (Arcola); Paradise / Salt (Ruhr Triennale, Germany); Gambling / This Wide Night (Soho Theatre);  Rutherford and Son / Ruby Moon (Northern Stage);  … Sisters (Headlong); King Pelican / Speed Death of the Radiant child (Drum, Plymouth).  Opera credits include: Don Carlo (Grange Park) Orlando ( WNO and Scottish Opera); Ruddigore (Barbican, Opera North and UK Tour); Critical Mass (Almeida); Songs from a Hotel Bedroom / Tongue Tied (Linbury ROH); The Bartered Bride (Royal College of Music); Against Oblivion (Toynbee Hall).   Dance credits include: Mothers (The Place); Refugees of a Septic Heart (The Garage); Soul Play (The Place); View from the Shore / Animule Dance (Clore ROH ).

Sound Designer Max Perryment is a London, U.K. based Composer and Sound Designer who has composed music for numerous television commercials. Recent clients include: Nokia, London and Partners, Johnnie Walker, Land Rover, The Singleton, Godiva, The Co-op, Raffles, Volvo, Thomson’s Holidays, Amazon, Magnet Kitchens, GQ, Booking.com, Liverpool One, Continental, Berkley Homes, Jacamo, Barclay’s, Simply Be, Neville Johnson and Zoopla.

He has composed music and sound designed productions at The Young Vic, The Bristol Old Vic, Hampstead Theatre, The Other Palace (formerly St James’ Theatre), The Gate, Southwark Playhouse, Orange Tree Theatre, The Vaults, Hope Mill Theatre, The Bunker, Ovalhouse and Theatre 503.   Max also writes music for contemporary dance and has been the resident composer for Made By Katie Green since 2010.Max is a founding member of the band Escapists who have played Reading and Leeds Festival as well as supporting Manic Street Preachers and Imagine Dragons on their U.K. tours.

TRUST, Falk Richter’s anarchic celebration of broken relationships, complex negotiations and the tyranny of capitalism opens on 22 February (press night 26 February).  Jude Christian’s production will use the theatre space in a completely new way for her production that asks the question; are we really going to settle for a system that we can’t trust?  The cast will include Pia Laborde Noguez, whose recent credits include The Tempest at Norwich and Norfolk Festival, Boat (Theatre N16), Current Location (Summerhall) and In The Beginning Was The End (dreamthinkspeak) and Zephryn Taitte who has recently appeared on stage in The Tempest (Stafford Shakespeare Festival), Result (Pleasance Theatre) and Rachel(Finborough Theatre).

It’s about me. It’s not about you.

Leave or stay.  Speak up or keep silent.  Slam the door or keep the peace.  Walk out tonight or stick it out for another week, a month, a year.  Drain your bank account and get out while you still can or keep on saving for the holiday, the house, the car.  Destroy all existing structures and begin entirely again – or get hitched to the person who betrayed you.  Begin a revolution or just keep calm and carry on – things aren’t so bad, are they?

Falk Richter is one of the most important German playwrights and directors of his generations. His work has been translated into more than 25 languages and produced all over the world.  His plays include For the Disconnected ChildRausch(written with Anouk van Dijk), Play LoudMy Secret Garden (written with Stanislas Nordev), Damaged YouthState of EmergencyThe DisturbanceSeven Seconds (In God We Trust) and God is a DJ.  Apart from writing and directing his own plays, Richter has directed Shakespeare, Chekhov, Schiller, Brecht and contemporary writers including Caryl Churchill, Harold Pinter, Martin Crimp, Sarah Kane and operas by Tchaikovsky, Strauss and Weber.

The text is translated by Maja Zade, a dramaturg at the Schaubühne Berlin, where she has worked with directors such as Thomas Ostermeier, Ivo van Hove, Luk Perceval, Benedict Andrerws and Marius von Mayenburg.  Her translations into German include works by Lars von Trier, Arnold Wesker and Caryl Churchill, and she has translated into English works by Marius von Mayenburg, Roland Schimmelpfennig, Lars Norén and Falk Richter.

As a director, Jude Christian‘s theatre productions include Parliament Square (Bush Theatre and Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Lela & Co (Royal Court), The Darkest Corners (Transform), The Path (HighTide), Blue (RWCMD), Split/Mixed(Summerhall), How Do You Eat An Elephant / BWYTA Ellifant, Sut Mae Gwneud Hynnydwedwch? (National Youth Theatre of Wales), Happy and The Mushroom (Pentabus Young Writer’s Festival).  Jude’s work also includes Nanjing which she wrote and performed in. Jude is the Artistic Associate at the Gate Theatre.

Trust is designed by Bethany Wells with sound design by Ben and Max Ringham and lighting design by Joshua Pharo.