Bristol Old Vic’s “Messiah” to be screened at over 300 cinemas this Easter

Image from 2017 Bristol Old Vic revival of "Messiah"
Image from 2017 Bristol Old Vic revival of "Messiah"

Image from 2017 Bristol Old Vic revival of “Messiah”

CinemaLive are to release Handel’s Messiah from Bristol Old Vic in cinemas across the UK and Ireland on Wednesday 28 March 2018.

Bristol Old Vic is delighted to announce their partnership with Event cinema specialists CinemaLive to deliver the theatre’s critically acclaimed 2017 production of Handel’s Messiah to cinema audiences for Easter 2018. It is due to be screened in over 300 cinemas on the 28 March, including Bristol’s Vue Cinemas (Cribbs Causeway and Longwell Green), The Everyman and Bristol Showcase Cinema De Lux.

This dramatised production of Messiah is staged by Bristol Old Vic’s Tony Award-winning Artistic Director Tom Morris. It features internationally-renowned soloists Catherine Wyn Rogers and Julia Doyle, The Erebus Ensemble (Songs of Hope) and Europe’s most celebrated Baroque orchestra The English Concert, under the revered baton of Conductor Harry Bicket. Jamie Beddard (actor and Artistic Director of Bristol company Extraordinary Bodies) reprises his role from the 2017 theatre production as he performs the central non-speaking role of The Beloved.

Recorded in April 2017, Messiah returned to Bristol Old Vic following its sell-out debut at Bristol Proms in 2013. UK Theatre Web, Stage Talk, Classical Source, and The Reviews Hub all gave the production five-star reviews. The Times said “Director Tom Morris makes good use of the Old Vic’s intimate auditorium for this direct and impactful interpretation of Handel’s oratorio”. The Stage called it a “astonishingly beautiful” and “a relatable and very human story of loss and grief.”

Positioned between opera and theatre, this powerfully accessible interpretation of Handel’s seminal work explores the drama and struggle of faith, showing a bereaved community whose grief at the loss of their leader is transformed into hope through a narrative of resurrection. Inspired by early performances of the work, which were staged in theatres and concert halls rather than churches, including its first performance at Bristol Old Vic in 1782, it is a rare treat for connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike.

CinemaLive Director Janelle Mason commented: “We’re absolutely delighted to be working with Bristol Old Vic to bring such a highly acclaimed and powerful production to our cinema audiences for Easter.”

Tom Morris, Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic and director of Messiahsaid: “The Bristol Proms, staged in our ancient Georgian theatre set out to bring live audiences closer to classical music. For this staging of Messiah, we collaborated with the peerless English Concert and some of the world’s finest vocalists: Catherine Wyn-Rogers, Joshua Ellicott, Brindley Sherratt and Julia Doyle, alongside the charismatic actor Jamie Beddard.  Our aim was to explore the emotional drama of Handel’s music in the unique intimacy of our theatre, and thanks to the talents of film director Nick Wickham, a broader audience beyond our theatre can now also feel this intimacy from a cinema seat.”

For more information, ticketing and a list of all participating cinemas in the UK and Ireland, please visit

, , , ,

The Gate, Ellen McDougall: ‘There is an unconscious bias in the way that we categorise people and often that is invisibly prejudiced.’


Ellen McDougal

Ellen has just come from rehearsals for the world premiere of Effigies of Wickedness, a project that she is directing, in collaboration with English National Opera. The cabaret includes a number of songs banned by the Nazis in the ’30s. During the Nazi reign, the Weimar cabaret performed the songs as a celebration of difference but were later exiled. What can audiences expect from this unlikely collaboration? “For me success will be opportunity to bring together different worlds: opera, there’s also the cabaret scene in London that some of the artists we are working with are really connected with. When the music was first written it came out of a very strong queer community from Weimar, Berlin. What I don’t want it to be is a chocolate box all escape to the 1930’s. That said, the satire and wit in the music is incredibly joyous,” says McDougall.


Effigies for Wickedness 

For most of our time together, McDougall, artistic director of the Gate, Notting Hill looks me right in the eye and gives long, careful answers. Where does she get her confidence? “I don’t know… I don’t know that I’ve got loads of confidence,” she says.

” remember writing Purni Morell an email after I left the studio at the Unicorn, where I was director in residence very early on in my career. She’d sent me to Vienna to see shows. I wrote her this email saying: ‘having you believe in me helped me to believe in myself’. I think that is definitely one example of where confidence can be found. By being backed by somebody that you truly admire.”

I ask Ellen whether her gender has ever held her back professionally. “It’s impossible to answer that question as I’m not the person giving me opportunities, I guess,” she says thoughtfully. “But I would say that I haven’t always been very front-footed as a director. I think there is sometimes a structure in theatre where directors are expected to be loud, confident and demanding; in terms of getting pitches listened to or getting people’s attention and that’s never been something I’m comfortable doing or doing very well. I think those structures are founded on patriarchal patterns but the idea that that favours men is probably true,” she says.

McDougall is leading the way in a renaissance in fringe and pub theatre that is often a stomping ground for radical emerging artists. But with conversations currently raging around fair pay on the fringe, does she think that the fringe model is broken? “There are big important questions about diversity, about who is getting the chance to make work and then there is a conversation about who is privileged enough to be able to afford to work for free,” she explains. “The thing of treating artists badly and expecting too much of them and putting demands on them in structures that exclude anyone on low income; the subsidised sector is as much to blame, I would say, probably across the board. We need to be interrogating those structures more rigorously and thinking about the way we talk to artists and we need to be including them in those conversations. That’s a more useful debate to be having, I think.”

What is her best quality? “I like to think that I’m collaborative and that I’m good at listening,” she says. “I’m definitely rigorous, borderline perfectionist. I like to think that I am imaginative. I went to an artist talk in the summer as part of the Shubbak Festival and the panel were female artists from the Arab world and one of them said that she hadn’t noticed initially but she’d suddenly realised that her work was often described in the terms that you would use to describe settings on a washing machine – such as delicate or soft. But that idea that somehow the way her work was being viewed was gendered. The serious thing that she was pointing out was that there is an unconscious bias that goes on in the way we categorise people and often that is invisibly prejudiced,” says McDougall.


Ellen McDougall 

In 2011 Ellen received an Olivier Award nomination for her first show, Ivan and The Dogs. What, I ask, does she think of the 2018 nominations? “I think that the idea that there is a best is weird,” she says with a smile. “The idea that art can be quantified and compared is really weird. When I went to the Olivier’s in 2011, I was nearly sick everywhere because I was so nervous. I mean, they announced the category my show was nominated in after a performance by Barry Manilow. Sean Holmes’ production of Blasted won and he spoke about Sarah Kane and what she might have made of it all after the reception that show had when it first opened. Having said that, getting people excited about all forms of theatre is really brilliant, and it definitely does that.”

At this point, we discuss climate change, rising CO2 levels, melting of ice caps and the wildlife TV series Blue Planet. It is a subject that is very close to McDougall’s heart. “The context of making theatre in the knowledge of climate change: how the way we make stuff, the stories we tell. The structures need to change in order to account for that. I feel like it is something that should be on the agenda all the time – it often gets dropped off because it requires deep thought and a willingness to experiment. But we’ve got to talk about it and think about it because it relates to everything. To me, it underpins so much of what is happening in the world. Brexit, the swing to the right… And somewhere I think the knowledge that we all have that climate change is happening and it is fucking terrifying is in conversation with all that.”

Pia Laborde Noguez 2 Trust, Gate Theatre.

Trust, Gate Theatre. Photo credit: Ikin Yum 

She’s not finished. “I’m proud that Trust had a set that was largely recyclable or reusable and some of the things that weren’t recyclable or reusable are things they have recycled from a previous show at the Gate. There is an economy that is starting to happen within what we are doing in our season that means we are trying to lower the impact of our footprint with the shows and that is something we will continue to do and interrogate. I think there is something incredibly exciting about empowering artists to think about how the things they make are made.”

Effigies for Wickedness (Songs banned by the Nazis) runs 03 May to 02 June.

Box Office 020 7229 0706


 Almeida Theatre: Figures Of Speech series 3 launched

FOS series 3
FOS series 3

FOS series 3

The Almeida Theatre today launched the third and final series of Figures of Speech, its major digital film project exploring the vitality of speech, the power of performance, and what visionary leadership sounds like.

The first instalment of series three is released today with Andrew Scott delivering American laywer and judge Edith Sampson’s 1965 speech ‘Choose One of Five’ and continues over the next three weeks with films featuring Amanda AbbingtonPearl MackieTobias Menzies and Iwan Rheon. They will perform significant speeches from pioneers, politicians and activists throughout history. The new films continue to examine what leadership means and the power of the spoken word in the 21st century.

 A divided politics, a divided country, a divided people.

 We’ve never needed leaders more.

 Figures of Speech places history’s greatest speeches centre stage through an anthology of films read by a range of actors released online, building a concert of dynamic voices and ideas from across the world as a dramatic response to social crisis.

The project launched in May 2017 and the first two series have featured speeches delivered by American politician Harvey Milk spoken by Ian McKellen; Virginia Woolf spoken by Fiona Shaw; Malcolm X spoken by Cush Jumbo; and American aviator Charles Lindbergh spoken by Russell Tovey.

Figures of Speech is available for free via a dedicated mini-site:

Alongside a growing anthology of films, the microsite features additional material exploring the speeches, the context within which they were first delivered and the choice to revive them. The site features guest-authored articles and filmed reactions from performers and audiences of people from local communities with direct connections to the themes explored. To complement the films, inspiring young leaders aged 15 – 25, from Bristol, Manchester, Cardiff and Liverpool, have been invited to respond with a speech of their own, crafted through an Almeida Participation programme, inviting previously unheard voices to share the platform. The Participation team will continue to work with young people in these regions offering leadership classes and workshops.

Figures of Speech series one and two have so far received a combined total of a quarter of a million views, both from clips on the Almeida’s social media channels and the full-length films on YouTube. Ian McKellen’s reading of Harvey Milk’s ‘Hope Speech’ has had over 70,000 views through social media and YouTube. Overall Figures of Speech has reached over a million people through its social channels alone.

Figures of Speech is conceived by Rupert Goold and directed by Anthony Almeida. It is the Almeida’s third major digital theatre event, following day-long durational readings of The Iliad and The Odyssey in 2015, which inspired audiences of over 50,000 people across the UK and around the world.

Winners of the second annual Tonic Awards announced recognising women across the theatre industry

Tonic Awards
Tonic Awards

Tonic Awards

Recipients of the second annual Tonic Awards were announced tonight at an awards ceremony held at the May Fair Theatre hosted by Dame Jenni Murray. The awards celebrate the achievements of game-changing women in theatre and the performing arts, and significant organisations, projects and productions that redefine the role of women in the performing arts, both on and off stage. The recipients honoured in this evenings event were: Emma de SouzaClean Break theatre companyWalking the FeministsThe Royal Exchange Theatre ManchesterSteffi Holtz and Gina AbolinsKully ThiaraiLyn GardnerCaryl Churchill and Katie Mitchell.

Lucy Kerbel, Director of Tonic Theatre, said: ‘I’m delighted that we’ve been joined by colleagues from across the theatre industry tonight to celebrate the work of inspirational women who are changing our industry. It’s a great opportunity to bring people together, creating new partnerships and sharing ideas. This last year has shown that a shared voice can make profound change, and the atmosphere of community here tonight reflects that.’

Sita McIntosh, Chair of Tonic’s Board of Trustees, said: “Tonight has been about celebrating the success stories, and this brilliant group of women have achieved extraordinary things, leading the way for a new generation. The Tonic Awards is an inspiring and unique event, and we’re thrilled with the support its had from across the industry. It shows a desire to platform the success stories and come together to drive for further change and greater representation of women across the theatre industry.”

This year’s recipients were:

Emma de Souza, for her tireless commitment to bringing new audiences into London’s West End through Kids Week, which offers families the opportunity to experience theatre together at an affordable price.

The award was presented to Emma by Caro Newling, Vice President of the Society of London Theatres. 

Clean Break theatre company, for forty years of work on the theme of women and the criminal justice system, giving opportunities to generation after generation of female creatives, and giving voice to women whose experiences are all too often silenced by society.

The award was presented to Chief Executive Lucy Perman MBE and other representatives of Clean Break theatre company by Jennifer Joseph, an actor and Clean Break theatre company member.

Waking the Feminists, for a brave and creative campaign to effect positive change in regard to representation of women in Irish theatre. The campaign was ultimately successful in its clear demands, and has gone on to effect wider change across the theatre industry in Ireland and beyond.

The award was presented to Lian Bell on behalf of Waking the Feminists by playwright Ursula Rani Sarma.

The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, for the consistency with which the theatre has programmed and foregrounded work about women, and within that, the diversity of women’s experiences. It has acted as a beacon of enlightened, exciting and nuanced programming.

The award was presented to Sarah Frankcom, Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre, by actress Maxine Peake, whose recent credits at the Royal Exchange include A Streetcar Named Desire, The Striker and Hamlet, and who will shortly appear in Beckett’s Happy Days at the venue.

Steffi Holtz and Gina Abolins, for their brave decision to speak up about inappropriate behaviour in their workplace, in spite of potential personal and professional repercussions, giving voice to the often unseen and unheard experiences of those working behind the scenes and in less high profile positions.

The award was presented to Steffi and Gina by Vicki Featherstone, Artistic Director at the Royal Court Theatre.

Kully Thiarai, for her achievements and ethos as an artistic director. In particular, her dedication and energy to creating theatre and artistic experiences for the communities around which the organisation she has led are based.

The award was presented to Kully by theatre director and Soho Theatre Associate Charlotte Bennett.

 Journalist Lyn Gardner, for her dedication to showcasing new voices and productions as a theatre critic and her thoughtful contributions to debate within the theatre industry as a journalist.

The award was presented to Lyn by Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director of the Young Vic.

Caryl Churchill, for an extraordinary career, in particular her consistent daring to defy form, leading the way for a new generation of female playwrights, breaking down walls within the theatre industry.

The award was presented by playwright and screenwriter Moira Buffini.

Director Katie Mitchell, for her game-changing artistic work, proactive support of younger female theatre artists, and dedication to foregrounding feminism on stage.

The award was presented to Katie by Lucy Kerbel, Director of Tonic Theatre.

Attending the ceremony tonight were senior figures from across the UK theatre industry including Gemma Arterton, Haydn Gwynn, Tracy Ann Oberman, Dame Rosemary Squire and Timberlake Wertenbaker. The Tonic Awards will return in March 2019 with another cohort of recipients.

 The Tonic Awards were made possible by the generosity of our headline sponsor White Light Ltd, and the following sponsors: Boom Ents, Dewynters, JHI Marketing, Kate Morley PR, The May Fair Hotel, Nick Hern Books and WhatsOnStage.


FIRST LOOK: Production Images – Caroline, or Change at Hampstead Theatre

Multi Olivier Award-winning director and choreographer Arlene Phillips to launch a major search to discover 10 young stars for the UK premiere of the musical “A Little Princess”

Little Princess
Arlene Philips © Wolfgang

Arlene Philips © Wolfgang

Multi Olivier Award-winner and Tony Award nominee Arlene Phillips CBE is directing A Little Princess and is searching for her 10 amazing new child stars.

Arlene said: “I am thrilled to be part of the biggest casting search for a child star since my worldwide search for the film of Annie. I am searching for 10 young stars for the UK premiere of A Little Princess the musical. This will be a huge and exciting casting search for the title role of Sara Crewe and friends who will lead this production. The book had deep meaning for me as a child but I realise it is more relevant than ever as it touches on themes of love, loss, bullying, friendship, poverty and hope.”

Open auditions are being held by the production team with Keston & Keston Children’s Casting in London on Sunday 25 March.

A Little Princess is by Tony-nominated US composer/lyricist Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family, The Wild Party) who will fly in to conduct the one-off semi-staged concert performance by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, with abridged narration by Brian Crawley (Violet) at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall on Bank Holiday, Monday 28 May at 7:30pm

It will  be directed by multiple Olivier Award-winner and Tony Award nominee Arlene Phillips CBE.

The musical based upon Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic childhood novel tells the story of Sara Crewe, as she is sent from her home in Africa to boarding school in London and separated from her father. As young Sara’s world is turned upside down, she must rely on her friends and imaginative powers to overcome her strict headmistress Miss Minchin and prove that every little girl deserves to be a princess.

Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday 28 March at

Sign up for more information at

Full casting to be announced. 

What is Director Arlene Phillips looking for?

10 extraordinary girls aged between 6-14 years old to play the roles of SARA CREWE, BECKY, LOTTIE & FRIENDS in the UK premiere of A Little Princess.

We will audition children for the role of Sara & her friends who are aged 6 to 14 years old (by the date of open calls).

All children must be 5ft 2 or under

All children must be exceptional and confident singers & actresses with strong movement skills

All children must be commutable to London (within 1 hour travel time) for rehearsal and production dates.

We strongly encourage children from all ethnic backgrounds to audition (Schedule 9, Part 1 of the Equality Act 2010 (Occupational Requirements) applies)

Children cast must be fully available to rehearse from week commencing 23 April 2018 with the performance on 28 May 2018.

When are the auditions for Sara and her friends? 

Open Auditions: Sunday March 25

How do I register my child to audition?

To audition you must pre-register your child via with Keston and Keston (Children’s Casting Directors) via

1.The iOS App (Keston Casting- downloadable at the app store free of charge)

or via the website

All children who fall within the criteria as above will be sent an invite with full information, preparation material and the location for the audition. Children must present this email to be permitted into the building.

Where will the auditions be held? 

Auditions will be held in London.The audition location will be disclosed by email after pre-registration to ensure child protection and a lovely audition experience for all.

What if I have any another questions?

Please email [email protected]

First Look: Production images: The Great Wave at the National Theatre

Full cast announced for world stage première of Mike Bartlett’s Not Talking

Not Talking
Not Talking

Not Talking

Defibrillator and Arcola Theatre, today announced cast for world stage première of Mike Bartlett’s, Not Talking. Artistic Director of Defibrillator James Hillier directs David Horovitch (James), Gemma Lawrence (Amanda), Kika Markham (Lucy) and Lawrence Walker (Mark). The production opens at the Arcola Theatre on 1 May, with previews from the 25 April, and runs until 2 June.

“If I don’t want to tell anyone, it’s up to me, right?”

Lucy knows James has avoided the battle. Mark knows Amanda has fought for her life. But speaking the truth could bring everything crashing down.

What happens if we live a life of not talking?

In his gripping and lyrical first play Olivier Award-winning, Mike Bartlett, unlocks a culture of silence, and gives voice to the human casualties when things are easier done than said.

Not Talking was first broadcast as a radio play on BBC Radio3 in 2007 and went on to win the Imison and Tinniswood Awards.

Mike Bartlett’s Olivier Award-winning plays for the theatre include King Charles III, Bull and Cock. His other credits include Albion (Almeida Theatre), Wild (Hampstead Theatre), Game (Almeida Theatre), King Charles III (Almeida Theatre/Wyndham’s Theatre/Music Box Theatre, New York), An Intervention (Paines Plough/Watford), Bull(Sheffield Theatres/Off-Broadway/Young Vic), Medea (Headlong/Glasgow Citizens/Watford Palace Theatre/Warwick Arts Centre), Chariots of Fire (Hampstead Theatre/Gielgud Theatre), 13 (National Theatre), Decade (co-writer Headlong), Earthquakes in London (Headlong, National Theatre), Love, Love, Love (Paines Plough/Plymouth Theatre Royal/Royal Court Theatre/Roundabout Theatre Company, New York), CockContractionsMy Child (Royal Court Theatre), Artefacts (Bush Theatre/nabokov). Plays for the radio: King Charles IIICockHeartThe CoreFamily ManLove Contract (BBC Radio 4) and The Steps.

David Horovitch plays James. His theatre credits include Absurd Person SingularWhen We Are Married (Garrick Theatre), Losing Louis (Trafalgar Studios), Taking Sides and Collaboration (Duchess Theatre), Bedroom Farce (Duke of York’s Theatre), Mary StuartLife is a Dream (Donmar Warehose), CymbelineMuch Ado About NothingLove’s Labour’s Lost (RSC), Spinning into ButterSeven Jewish Children (Royal Court Theatre), Hysteria (Hampstead Theatre), The TempestMajor Barbara (Manchester Royal Exchange) and Grief (National Theatre). For television he is perhaps most well known for his role as Inspector Slack in Miss Marple and further television credits includePiece of CakeGreat ExpectationsBognorHold the Back PagePiece of CakeLove HurtsWestbeachJust William and Ivanhoe; and for film, Mr TurnerSolomon and GaenorCassandra’s Dream and The Infiltrator.

Gemma Lawrence plays Amanda. Her theatre credits include Wasted (Orange Tree Theatre), All My Sons (Hong Kong Arts Festival), The Tempest (Southwark Playhouse), As You Like It, Children Of The Sun (National Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe), Gaslight (Salisbury Playhouse), Lee Harvey Oswald (Finborough Theatre), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Redgrave Theatre), The Wild Party (Bristol Tobacco Factory) and Rough Cuts: The Lion’s Mouth (Royal Court Theatre). For television her credits include Luther, Misfits, Stir It Up, All About George and Ahead Of The Class. Her film credits include FrailA Bunch of Amateurs and Enlightenment.

Kika Markham plays Lucy. Her recent theatre credits include Escaped Alone and Tribes (Royal Court Theatre), The Last Yankee (The Print Room), On The Record (Arcola Theatre), Bloody WimminHandbagged and You, Me And Wii (Tricycle Theatre), Bufonidae (Bush Theatre), Homebody/Kabul (Young Vic Theatre), The Vagina Monologues(Ambassadors Theatre), A Wedding Story (Soho Theatre and UK Tour) and Song At Twilight (Kings Head Theatre). For television her credits include Fearless, Mr Selfridge, New Tricks, Spooks and Born and Bred; and for film, Franklyn, Paint It Yellow, The Fever, Esther Khan, Killing Me Softly and Wonderland.

Lawrence Walker plays Mark. His theatre credits include OthelloMy Mother Medea, The Owl Who Was Afraid othe Dark (Unicorn Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Wendy and Peter Pan (RSC) and Back Down (Birmingham Rep). Television credits include Our Girl and Find Me in Paris; and for film his credits include Alfie.

James Hillier is Artistic Director of Defibrillator. His directing credits include, A Lie of The Mind by Sam Shepard (Southwark Playhouse), Terry Johnson’s Insignificance at Langham Place, New York; the première production of Tennessee Williams’ The Hotel Plays at the Grange Hotel in 2012 and The Langham, London in 2014; The Armour (also The Langham, winner of an award at Le Miami Rebels), and Hard Feelings (Finborough Theatre).  Hillier has directed a number of short films, including How To Make A Good First Impression Part 1 which went on to win awards at Tribecca Film Festival and Cannes.  As an actor, he has worked at the Royal Court Theatre, National Theatre, Almeida Theatre, Bush Theatre, Manchester Royal Exchange and the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. He has worked extensively as an actor in theatre, film and television and currently can be seen in series one and two of The Crown.

The King and I – New Casting & Final Booking Period Extension Announcement

King and I
King and I

King and I

Dean John-Wilson (who starred in the title role of Disney’s original West End production of Aladdin) and Na-Young Jeon (Fantine in Les Misérables in the West End and Gigi in Miss Saigon on world tour) join the West End cast of THE KING AND I as the young lovers, Lun Tha and Tuptim. They will join Tony Award winner and “Broadway musical’s undisputed Queen” (Sunday Times) Kelli OHara as Anna, Tony and Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe as The King and Tony award-winning Ruthie Ann Miles as Lady Thiang.  Rodgers & Hammerstein’s multi-award winning musical transfers from Broadway to the London Palladium on 21 June(Press Night 3 July).

THE KING AND I also today announces that the London Palladium engagement will extend for a final three weeks until Saturday 29 September.  This is the very last opportunity West End audiences will have to see the Broadway stars reprise their original roles on the London stage, as Kelli O’Hara will return to Broadway to star inKiss Me Kate and Ken Watanabe has filming commitments.

 Five extra matinees on Thursdays (30 August, 6, 13, 20 and 27 September) have been added to the London Palladium performance schedule.  This follows continued unprecedented demand for tickets, with early performances already sold out.  Much like it’s acclaimed 16 month run at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater and record-breaking sold out USA tour, The King & I is tipped to be London’s must-see musical of 2018 

Dean John-Wilson played the title role in Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre and was a semi-finalist on Britains Got Talent in 2008.  His other theatre credits include:  Miss Atomic Bomb and Songs For a New World at The St James’ Theatre, Aquino in Here Lies Love at the National Theatre, Tim Rice’From Here to Eternity at the Shaftesbury Theatre and Sister Act: The Musical UK Tour.

Netherlands born Na-Young Jeon played Gigi in the international tour of Miss Saigon and Fantine in Les Misérables in South Korea and in the West End.  Other theatre work includes Esmerelda in Notre Dame de Paris in South Korea and Bianca in Kiss Me Kate in Amsterdam.  On TV she played the lead in Conny and Clydeand Bo in Van Hier Tot Tokio and her films include The Calling and Hitomi.

 Acclaimed Tony Award-winning Bartlett Sher will direct the production, hot on the heels of his work on The Lincoln Center Theater’s World Premiere of J.T. Rogers’ smash hit play Oslo, which opened on Broadway and then transferred via the National Theatre to London’s Harold Pinter Theatre in October last year to rave reviews.  He, along with the celebrated creative team behind the award-winning production of South Pacific and the Lincoln Center Theater production of My Fair Lady which began previews this week, will reunite to bring this majestic production to life at the London Palladium.  

 With music by Richard Rodgers, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, this masterpiece – one of their finest works – boasts a score featuring such beloved classics as Getting To Know You, Hello Young Lovers, Shall We DanceI Have Dreamed, and Something Wonderful.   Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, whom the imperious King brings to Siam to tutor his many wives and children.

What the USA press have said about The Lincoln Center Theater broadway production of The King And I

 “I’ll doubt I’ll ever see a better production in my lifetime.”


“Something wonderful indeed. Breathtaking. Exquisite. Remarkable.”


“Five stars. Grand and glorious.”


“A landmark production and a shot of purest rapture. I never wanted it to end.”


“Too beautiful to miss! An astonishing achievement.”


“Absolutely stunning. Kelli O’Hara is ravishing. Ken Watanabe is powerfully seductive. Chalk up another triumph for Lincoln Center Theater.”


“Magnificent. A sweepingly romantic production. How good to be getting to know the show all over again.”


“Simply divine. You can’t overstate how stunningly beautiful, how achingly well sung this new revival is.”


“This splendid revival emerges as majestic and intimate simultaneously. Grandeur and grace fill each scene and song. O’Hara and Watanabe share warm chemistry.”


“Splendid! This just may be, in fact, the finest staging of a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in my experience.”



Casting announced for MAYFLY at the Orange Tree Theatre



Evelyn Hoskins, Simon Scardifield, Irfan Shamji and Niky Wardley will appear in the world premiere of Joe White’s debut play Mayfly. Directed by Guy Jones, the production is designed by Cécile Trémolières, the Lighting Designer is Christopher Nairne and Jon Ouin,who was a member of the band Stornoway, is Sound Designer and Composer.

In a season of plays at the Orange Tree set outside the metropolis, this new drama looks at life in rural Shropshire as a family searches for new beginnings.

Joe White is a former member of the Orange Tree Writers Collective, an important part of the lifeblood of the OT. The Collective is an opportunity for a group of establishing writers to share skills, techniques and obsessions, and to fire up conversations and collaborations. It is run by the Orange Tree’s Literary Associate Guy Jones (who also directs Mayfly) alongside masterclasses from practitioners making work at the theatre.

“The mayfly hatches in the morning, mates in the afternoon, dies at night: a lot can happen in a day.”

Ben thinks they might be better off without him, but his wife Cat has read her stars: “Today a very special person will appear from out the blue.”

Their daughter Loops is getting ready for a date. It’s her first one, and she has everything crossed.

 “People think that cos you’re from a small village, everyone will know you. But we can still go missing. Even out here.”

An ethereal family drama, Joe White’s debut play Mayfly explores rebirth in the aftermath of tragedy.

Joe White was the Channel 4 Playwright on Attachment at Pentabus Theatre Company and member of the Old Vic 12.

 Guy Jones is Literary Associate at the Orange Tree and has been an Associate Artist of Company Three. His directing credits include Spokesong (Finborough Theatre).

Evelyn Hoskins’ (Loops) theatre includes: Bonnie & Clyde (The Other Palace); Mrs Henderson Presents (Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto); Hero’s Welcome (UK tour/59E59, New York); Carrie (Southwark Playhouse); This Is My Family (Sheffield Crucible/tour); The Secret Garden (Birmingham Rep); and Spring Awakening: The Musical (Lyric Hammersmith/West End).

TV includes Doctors, The Sound of Music Live, Kerry, Misfits, Casualty and Holby City.

Simon Scardifield’s (Ben) theatre includes The Cherry Orchard and The Lower Depths (Arcola); Citizen Puppet (Blind Summit, Winner of a Fringe First, Edinburgh Festival); The White Devil, Goodnight Children Everywhere, The Tempest, Twelfth Night (RSC); The Double (Theatre Royal Bath, nominated for a UK Theatre Award for Best Performance); The Real Thing (ETT/West Yorkshire Playhouse); Fewer Emergencies (The Print Room); Chekhov in Hell (Soho); 1984 (Blind Summit/BAC); and with Propeller, including performances at the Watermill, in the West End, New York and international tours: The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, The Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Rose Rage.

TV includes Endeavour, What Remains, Twenty Twelve, Kingdom, Minder, Broken News, Time Gentleman Please, and Ever After. Films include High Heels and Low Lifes.
Irfan Shamji’s (Harry) recently graduated from RADA.  His theatre includes Hamlet (Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company). TV includes It’s Me Sugar and Informer. Films include Red Joan and Murder on the Orient Express.

Niky Wardley’s (Cat) theatre includes Twelfth Night and A Small Family Business, Much Ado About Nothing (National Theatre); The Catherine Tate Show Live (UK tour);The Same Deep Water As Me (Donmar); Bedroom Farce (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Making Waves (Stephen Joseph, Scarborough); The Three Sisters (Theatre Royal Bath); Our Country’s Good (Nuffield, Southampton); and A Servant to Two Masters (Young Vic/RSC/world tour).

TV includes Citizen Khan, Are You Being Served?, Catherine Tate’s Nan, Asylum, The Spa, Love and Marriage, In With the Flynns, Coronation Street, Little Crackers, Shameless, Life of Riley, All the Small Things, Parents of the Band, How Not to Live Your Life, Peep Show, Benidorm, My Family, and Love Soup. Films include Nativity 3, Hello You, The Affair of the Necklace and Really.

Listings Information
19 April – 26 May 2018

Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm (except 23 Apr 7.00pm)
Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm (not 19 & 21 Apr)
No performance 7 May

Post-show talks Wed 25 April 7.30pm & Thu 3 May 2.30pm

Audio-Described performances Thu 17 May 7.30pm & Sat 19 May 2.30pm

Stagetext Captioned Performance Wed 23 May 7.30pm

Relaxed Performance Sat 12 May 2.30pm

Ticket Prices (NO BOOKING FEES)
Preview £15 (19, 20, 21 April)
Mon – Thu evenings & matinees £22.50
Fri & Sat evenings £25

A limited number of tickets at £18 are available for all performances for over 65s, students, recipients of state benefit and members of theatre unions and guilds on presentation of proof.

Under 30s £12
A limited number of under 30s £12 tickets are available for all performances. Proof of ages must be shown when collecting tickets.

£15 tickets available for disabled patrons plus one escort at the same rate on all performances.
£12 tickets available for blind or partially sighted patrons and an escort at the same price for audio described performances.
£12 tickets for deaf or partially hearing patrons at Captioned performances.