Casting announcement for the world première of the stage adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s Room

Theatre Royal Stratford East and Abbey Theatre Dublin today announces the full cast for the world première of Emma Donoghue’s bestselling novel Room. Previously adapted by Donoghue for the screen, winning multiple awards, she now brings the story to the stage featuring songs by Scottish songwriter Kathryn Joseph and Cora Bissett. Bissett directs Stephen Casey(Grandpa/Doctor), Fela Lufadeju (Big Jack), Liam McKenna (Old Nick), Lucy Tregear (Grandma) and Witney White (Ma). The role of Little Jack will be shared by Darmani Eboji, Taye Kassim Junaid-Evans and Harrison Wilding. Opening on 10 May, the production previews from 2 May and runs until 3 June. Following its run in Stratford, Room will then play at Abbey Theatre, Dublin and Dundee Rep.

Kidnapped as a teenage girl, Ma has been locked inside a purpose-built room in her captor’s garden for seven years. Her five-year-old son, Jack, has no concept of the world outside and happily exists inside Room with the help of Ma’s games and his vivid imagination where objects like Rug, Lamp and TV are his only friends. But for Ma the time has come to escape and face their biggest challenge to date: the world outside Room.

Emma Donoghue is an award-winning writer, living in Canada with her family. Donoghue is an accomplished playwright with her plays being performed both sides of the Atlantic. Theatre credits include I Know My Own Heart, Trespasses, Don’t Die Wondering, Ladies and Gentlemen. She also wrote a monologue for Signatories, a play of monologues commissioned by University College Dublin to celebrate the centenary of the Easter Rising and her play Trespasses is currently being developed as an opera. Her first full-length feature film, Room (adapted from her international bestselling novel of the same name which was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange Prizes), won Donoghue Best Adapted Screenplay nominations for the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, the Critics’ Choice Awards and the BAFTAs. The film starred Brie Larson who received the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Actress. Currently Donoghue is adapting her novel Frog Music into a feature film for Monumental Pictures Limited and her latest novel, The Wonder about a ‘fasting girl’ in 1850s Ireland, was shortlisted for Canada’s Giller Prize. Her first novel for children The Lotterys Plus One, will be published on 20 April 2017. Other novels include The Sealed Letter, Life Mask, Slammerkin, Landing, Hood and Stir-fry. Short-story collections include Astray, Three and a Half Deaths, Touchy Subjects, The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits, and Kissing the Witch; and literary history includingInseparable, We Are Michael Field, and Passions Between Women.

Cora Bissett is a director, actor, musician and Artistic Director of Pachamama. She returns to Theatre Royal Stratford East after last year’s production of Glasgow Girls. Following a career in music, she has worked extensively in theatre, television and film including the Palme D’Or-winning feature Red Road. She won the Arches Award for ‘New Directors’ in 2008 and devised and directed her first piece Amada, which went on to tour nationally. Pachamama was launched with Roadkill at the 2010 Edinburgh Festival Fringe garnering 9 major awards. It toured to Glasgow, London, Paris, Chicago and New York, winning an Olivier Award for Outstanding Production. Her collaborative music/theatre project with The Arches, Whatever gets You through the Night, was a sell-out success at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and won the Theatre Award in the Creative Scotland Awards in 2012. She recently directed other Music-Theatre project GRIT-The Martyn Bennett Story and Janis Jopin-Full Tilt which garnered 5 star reviews in its 2 Festival and London runs. She is currently Associate Director at the National Theatre of Scotland for whom she directed Rites about the sensitive issue of FGM in 2015.

Kathryn Joseph is a Scottish songwriter. Her debut album, Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I’ve Spilled, won Scottish Album of the Year award. Previous credits for writing for theatre include The Ballad.

Stephen Casey plays Grandpa/Doctor. His theatre credits include Mametz and Silly Kings (National Theatre Wales), Animal Farm (Peter Hall Season at Bath Theatre Royal), Journey’s End, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Tempest (UK tour) Of Mice And Menand As You Like It (Old Vic), Andorra (Young Vic), Henry V, Comedy Of Errors, A Jovial Crew, Two Shakespearean Actors, King Lear, The Pretenders, Richard II, Don Juan, The Odyssey, Tamburlaine, and The Changeling (Royal Shakespeare Company); and for television, Mount Pleasant, Love and Marriage, Jericho and Da Vinci’s Demons.

Fela Lufadeju plays Big Jack. For theatre his credits include The Importance of Being Earnest (Curve, Leicester & Birmingham Rep), Kiss Me Kate (Theatre Du Chatalet), Beautiful (Aldwych Theatre) and Dessa Rose (Trafalgar Studios).

Liam McKenna plays Old Nick. For theatre his credits include Flowering Cherry (Finborough Theatre), Asking Rembrandt (Old Red Lion), Hamlet (Rose Theatre Kingston), Magpie Park and Tender Dearly (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and Money, SummerFolk, The Merchant of Venice, The Villian’s Opera and Peter Pan (National Theatre). For television his credits include The Bastard Executioner, Hustle, Battlefield Britain, Dirty War, The Greatest Heist, Ultimate Force, Stick With Me, Kid, Elington and Kiss & Tell; and for film, The Riot Club, Maleficent, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Metamorphosis, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, Eastern Promises, Venus, Like Minds, Chromophobia, The Libertine, Vanity Fair, To Kill A King, Uprising and The Ice House.

Lucy Tregear plays Grandma. Her theatre credits include The Middlemarch Trilogy, Seven Year Twitch, The Conspirators, Lips Together Teeth Apart, Flora The Red Menace (Orange Tree Theatre), The Country Wife (Haymarket Theatre), Coriolanus, A Woman Killed With Kindness, The Merry Wives Of Windsor, The Two Gentlemen Of Verona (Royal Shakespeare Company), By Jeeves (Scarborough/Duke Of York/Lyric) and Three Sisters (Chichester Festival Theatre); and for television, The Robinsons, Peak Practice and Between The Lines.

 Witney White plays Ma. Theatre credits include (National Theatre), Dusty (Charring Cross Theatre), Snow White (Fairfield Halls) and Loserville (West Yorkshire Playhouse & Garrick Theatre).

The Abbey Theatre is Ireland’s national theatre. It was founded by W.B. Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory. Since it first opened its doors in 1904 the theatre has played a vital and often controversial role in the literary, social and cultural life of Ireland. Room will be part of Neil Murray and Graham McLaren’s first season as new directors of the Abbey Theatre.

Room plays at Abbey Theatre, Dublin, from 24 June – 22 July 2017

Theatre Royal Stratford East hosts New Musical Development Collective in its inaugural year

Theatre Royal Stratford East is proud to announce a year-long partnership with the New Musical Development Collective (NMDC), a brand new company focused on dramaturgy and development of British musicals and artists. The NMDC launches this month with its inaugural Musical Theatre Lab (MT-Lab) on 7 March 2017 and will be in residence at Theatre Royal Stratford East for a full year, ending with a public sharing of work on 9 March 2018.

One of NMDC’s goals is to foster and develop new British musicals that respond to the modern world and contemporary life with a focus on enriching the fabric of British theatre making and stories. Each year the NMDC plans to be in residence at an organisation with an interest in producing new musicals. Through the in-kind support of these theatres, the NMDC will be able to nurture composers, songwriters, lyricists, and playwrights from all backgrounds with an interest in creating work for the stage that brings together words and music.

The MT-Lab writers will receive a £1000 stipend, year-long dramaturgy and development, industry and skills masterclasses and workshops, a work-in-progress sharing at The Other Palace, an excerpt sharing at Theatre Royal Stratford East, a 12-month membership to Mercury Musical Developments, free tickets to Theatre Royal Stratford East productions, and access to hot desks and rehearsal rooms.

The inaugural 2017 NMDC MT-Lab writers, chosen from an open call for applications, will include Zara McFarlane, Amber Hsu, Stu Barter, Firdos Ali, Nikki Burnhope, Shireen Mula, Joe Von Malachowski, and David Austin Grey. These 8 artists come from across the UK with backgrounds in theatre, music and fine arts.

As part of its residency at Theatre Royal Stratford East, NMDC will be producing two EMERGE concerts, showcasing the talent of new/emerging acting and writing talent, as well a Think Tank Roundtable series revolving around diversity in the British Musical Theatre.

The NMDC is supported by Arts Council England, Mercury Musical Developments, Musical Theatre Network and The Other Palace and will be mentored and supported by Theatre Royal Stratford East during its year-long residency.

Kerry Michael, Artistic Director at Theatre Royal Stratford East said:

Musical theatre is a key priority for Theatre Royal Stratford East, being an art form that has the power to bridge gaps across cultures and develop new audiences. We are excited to support and mentor the New Musical Development Collective with our shared vision to break new ground with British musicals. As an organisation that has always had musical theatre development as one its cores, we are excited to share our knowledge and expertise with the NMDC as they respond with us to the rallying call for new British musicals.

 Sevan Tavoukdjian, NMDC co-founder, said: What started as an idea in the back of my head a year ago has grown into something I didn’t think possible. I was lucky to meet Adam and Aaron who then agreed to jump on board with me. I feel we’ve created something really special. I couldn’t be more thrilled that Theatre Royal Stratford East agreed to be our first host organisation. They have much to teach us and we’re ready to learn. We hope to play a part in the growing wave of new British musicals in the UK.

 Adam Lenson, NMDC co-founder, said: I am thrilled to be working with a group of artists from such diverse creative practises and am looking forward to forming a unified collective that can debate, argue and learn together and who can form challenging, innovative and well-crafted new British musicals. As artists we saw the gaps and the needs and wanted to respond to them in a way that supported the artists and the industry.

 Aaron Rogers, NMDC co-founder, said: With the incredible support of the Arts Council England we are able to offer a creative working environment for these eight writers. Theatre Royal Stratford East as our host theatre and MTN, MMD and The Other Palace as our supporters, gives us the ability to support our artists as they write four brand new British musicals. Our sole aim as a company is to offer platforms where we hope to encourage writers to be bold & brave with their storytelling.

Social Media – Theatre Royal Stratford East

Facebook:              theatreroyalstratfordeast

Twitter:                 @stratfordeast


Social Media – New Musical Development Collective

 Facebook:              NewMusicalDevelopmentCollective

Twitter:                 @NewMTDev

Instagram:             newmtdev

Hashtag:               #NMDC2017



A People’s Theatre

This famous producing theatre, located in the heart of London’s East End on the edge of the new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, prides itself on creating world class work that reflects the concerns, hopes and dreams of its community. A prolific developer of new work, this award-winning theatre attracts artists and audiences often not represented in other venues. Through a continuous loop it inspires and is inspired by its vibrant, young and diverse audience.

Musical Theatre 

An important aspect of its work is the development of new musical theatre. The Theatre’s vision is to break new ground with musicals that bring contemporary and urban music into the mainstream of British theatre. This has led to the production of a broad spectrum of acclaimed sell-out musicals with its work transferring nationally and internationally. Recent productions include: The Infidel The MusicalFings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be (first performed in 1959), the Olivier-nominated Oh What a Lovely War (restaged in 2014 for its 50th anniversary year, with a national tour to follow in 2015), the UK Theatre Award-nominated Glasgow Girls (with National Theatre of Scotland and Citizens Theatre in association with Richard Jordan Productions Ltd, Pachamama Productions and Merrigong Theatre Company (Australia)), Wah! Wah! Girls (with Sadler’s Wells and Kneehigh), the Olivier Award winning Pied Piper (with Boy Blue Ents), Britain’s Got Bhangra (with Rifco Arts & Warwick Arts Centre), Reasons to be Cheerful (with Graeae Theatre Company and New Wolsey Theatre), Clockwork Orange, Takeaway, Come Dancing (Best Off West End Production – What’s On Stage Awards), The Blacks, The Harder They Come (including West End and North American tour), the Olivier nominated The Big Life, Da Boyz and Baiju Bawra.


Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Sinbad The Sailor best selling pantomime in the theatre’s history

Sinbad The Sailor

Sinbad The Sailor

Theatre Royal Stratford East’s production of Sinbad The Sailor has broken all box office records with the highest income and attendance for any show in the theatre’s history. Over 27,000 people have already booked tickets to see Sinbad The Sailor this year of which over 10,000 were first time visitors. In addition, 3,690 local school children attended as part of Newham’s Every Child A Theatre Goer scheme and on 29 December 2016 the pantomime was streamed live to the children’s ward at Newham University Hospital and Richard House Children’s Hospice.

Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, Kerry Michael, said today ‘We’re thrilled that people from all over London return to see our pantos year after year. 63% of this year’s bookers are returning visitors and we’ve welcomed over 10,000 new visitors through our doors. We first presented Sinbad the Sailor back in 1888, then again in 1981, and I’ve loved reimagining it for today’s audiences. During Christmas week we streamed a performance live to Richard House Children’s Hospice and the children’s ward at Newham University Hospital, so that families were able to watch it together. We also look forward to presenting our first relaxed panto performance (Tue 10 Jan at 2pm). With two weeks to go Sinbad the Sailor is already our bestselling panto to date. We hope to share our original take on a classic story with many more people over the coming weeks, and to welcome them all back for Rapunzel next year!’

With heaps of surprises along the way, join Sinbad and his friends on a voyage to mysterious places as they strive to successfully complete their perilous quest.

Sinbad the Sailor has been written by Paul Sirett with music and lyrics by Wayne Nunes and Perry Melius. Directed by Kerry Michael the pantomime runs at Theatre Royal Stratford East until 21 January 2017.

Theatre Royal Stratford East                                                                                                                       Listings

Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 1BN

Box Office: 020 8534 0310

Facebook: theatreroyalstratfordeast

Twitter: @stratfordeast #SinbadTheSailor

Access Performances:

Signed: Sat 7 Jan 2pm

Audio-description: Sat 14 Jan 2pm

Captioned: Fri 6 Jan 7pm

Relaxed: Tue 10 Jan 2pm

Dates: Playing until Sat 21 January 2017

Prices: Mon-Sat £10-£25.50 (Concessions from £8)


Season at a glance

The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin1 February – 11 March 2017

Thisbe21 – 25 February 2017

Black4 April – 8 April 2017

Smother13 April & 15 April 2017

Room2 May – 3 June 2017

Tommy7 – 17 June 2017

My Country; A Work in Progress19 June – 3 July 2017

Summer In London8 July – 29 July 2017

Rapunzel27 November 2017 – 13 January 2018

Theatre Royal Stratford East’s celebrated pantomime to be enjoyed by children in east London hospitals, supported by Galliard Homes

Theatre Royal Stratford East today announces that their acclaimed pantomime will be live streamed to children at Newham University Hospital and Richard House Children’s Hospice on 29th December. Using the latest digital technology, the theatre will share this year’s seasonal treat, Sinbad the Sailor. This special project has been made possible thanks to generous support from Galliard Homes.

Galliard Homes commented: “Galliard are delighted to work with Theatre Royal Stratford East and hope that the pantomime provides Christmas joy to as many children as possible. We sincerely hope our association with the theatre continues for many years to come. We are always glad of worthwhile opportunities to work and engage with the local community.”

The panto will be beamed live from Theatre Royal Stratford East to enable children who otherwise would not have opportunity, to enjoy a traditional Christmas pantomime. Children will be able to come together in communal spaces at both venues to have fun together with their families, making it a special event. Additionally, the experience will be augmented in a variety of ways to make it something truly memorable; including cast visits, a pre-broadcast message from the Dame and programmes full of activities for each child.

Kerry MichaelArtistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, said: “We are really excited to be able to use digital technology to be able to share the panto outside of the theatre and bring joy to children who are unwell and their families this Christmas. Galliard Homes sponsored our pantomime for the last year and are sponsoring Sinbad the Sailor. We are really delighted and immensely grateful that they have decided to extend their support to include the live stream event; they have made the project possible”.

With a tradition of featuring original music, hilarious audience participation and comedy for all ages, it’s no surprise that a Theatre Royal Stratford East pantomime is regarded as one of the best in London.

Sinbad the Sailor has been written by Paul Sirett with music and lyrics by Wayne Nunes and Perry Melius. The show will be directed by Kerry Michael and runs at Theatre Royal Stratford East from 28 November to 21 January 2017.

With heaps of surprises along the way, join Sinbad and his friends on a voyage to mysterious places as they strive to successfully complete their perilous quest.

Theatre Royal Stratford East announces new 2017 season



With Sinbad the Sailor opening on Monday and Rani Moorthy’s Whose Sari Now? currently playing in Gerry’s studio space, Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, Kerry Michael today announces the theatre’s forthcoming Spring/Summer 2017 season.

The season opens with the European première of Kirsten Childs’ funny and moving award-winning musical The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin. The story follows Viveca, a young African American girl from LA, who has to fight racism and sexism and goes on to learn her self-worth and follow her dreams. This marks celebrated director and actress Josette Bushell-Mingo’s return to London.

 Following that the theatre welcomes its first visit from cabaret legend Le Gateau Chocolat with his life portrait Black, and 201 Dance Company’s queer hip-hop dance piece Smother which opens in April after an acclaimed sell-out run at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and an international tour.

 May brings the world première of the stage adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s book Room featuring original songs by songwriter Kathryn Joseph and Cora Bissett. Donoghue adapts her bestseller into a play which she previously adapted into a multi-award winning film. Room is a Co-Production between Theatre Royal Stratford East and Abbey Theatre, Dublin in association with National Theatre of Scotland and Covent Garden Productions.

 The Who’s multi-award winning rock musical Tommy runs from 7 – 17 June after premièring at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and will be directed by Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Artistic Director Kerry Michael. This marks the second production from Ramps on the Moon following last year’s success with The Government Inspector. It features a cast of 22 disabled and non-disabled performers and practitioners.

 The National Theatre’s new production My Country; A Work in Progress opens at Theatre Royal Stratford East on 19 June and marks the only other London date on the tour. Rufus Norris directs Carol Ann Duffy’s dramatisation of accounts from people around the UK and Ireland in response to the EU Referendum result. The production premières at the National Theatre’s Dorfman Theatre in February.

 Concluding the season in the main house is the world première of Rikki Beadle-Blair’s new play Summer in London – a romcom with an all transgender cast described as a cross between On The TownRoman Holiday and The Inbetweeners.

 In addition, Thisbe runs at Gerry’s from 21 – 25 February. Samantha Sutherland’s follow up to A Midsummer Night’s Dream has BSL built in to every performance and features an original score.

 The theatre’s renowned pantomime has been confirmed as Rapunzel starting in November 2017. There are also return visits from National Theatre Connections, MonologueSlam UK and Stratford East Singers.

 Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, Kerry Michael said today, “Our new season is a chance to give attention to those voices on the fringes of the mainstream, to celebrate the genius of outsiders and shine a light on those with an alternative story to tell. This season highlights diverse communities and cultures with the aim of making theatre as inclusive as it possibly can be. In a time of huge change around the world, which for some brings uncertainty and fear, we salute the theatre makers working in this new season, striving to create unique stories and exceptional shows that can help us understand our neighbours, bringing us together and in our own small way make our world a better place.”

Theatre Royal Stratford East announces specially adapted production of Rani Moorthy’s Whose Sari Now?

Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, Kerry Michael today announces a specially adapted production of Rani Moorthy’s one woman show Whose Sari Now? to open at the theatre this November direct from a UK tour. The theatre’s studio space – Gerry’s will house this brand new production which is the centrepiece of a wider line-up of bold and topical pieces being staged in the studio. Other productions include Angelic TalesAfter Orlando: Pulse, and ThisbeWhose Sari Now? opens on 25 November, with a preview on 24 November, and runs until 17 December.

Whose Sari Now?

Whose Sari Now?

  • Angelic Tales will showcase new pieces of writing from five writers. The theme of this year’s festival is Kingdom United.
  • One-off charity event After Orlando: Pulse is an evening of short plays in response to the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida with all profit from the evening going to Stonewall – a charity for LGBT equality.
  • Door Ajar Theatre Company’s award-winning production of Thisbe opens on the 21 February for a limited run.
  • Further productions to be announced.

Kerry Michael said today“We are so very excited to be launching the new line-up at our studio space – Gerry’s. This flexible theatre space gives us the opportunity to expand our programming. Going forward we hope to encourage companies new and old to bring their work to Gerry’s, which will then allow us to put on more shows to sit alongside and complement the programming of our main house. The space is now another venue on the London map to showcase some of the best UK artists and companies as well as attracting an even more varied theatre audience than we already do. Our current line-up is extremely diverse, popular, exciting and political. Highlights include Rasa’sWhose Sari Now? A one-woman show that explores real and complicated relationships with the sari. It’s a bold and powerful piece of theatre that takes you beyond the Bollywood wet sari. Overall, we hope the shows in Gerry’s will prove to be just as popular as our main stage shows and we also have a great new café and bar offering locally sourced hot food, wine and craft beer.”


Theatre Royal Stratford East & Team Angelica Present

Angelic Tales
Tuesday 25 – Saturday 29 October

All Tickets £8

Angelic Tales will showcase new pieces from five writers in response to this year’s theme Kingdom United.

Plays include:

Dagger Lane by Duncan Macinnes

Tuesday 25 October

A retired police detective battles Alzheimer’s, determined to solve an historic crime and finally right a miscarriage of justice against Jamaican migrant back in 1950’s Yorkshire. A brilliantly atmospheric whodunit, bursting with combined Northern and Caribbean charm.

I Ain’t Dumb by Thomas Wright

Wednesday 26 October

A tough inner-city school, proud of its multi-culturalism suddenly explodes into a rapidly escalating race-war. Sex-secrets, hip-hop and hope fight for centre stage in this vibrant, in-yer-face, Generation Grime, real-talk rollercoaster.

Martenitsa by Fiona Whitelaw

Thursday 27 October    

A middle-aged woman searching for her birthmother falls into an unexpected relationship with a handsome youngBulgarian. Touchingly romantic, heart-breaking yet ultimately uplifting.

Block of Seagulls by Sophie Olivia Ali

Friday 28 October
The residents of a rundown south coast tower block find their lives intertwining in a series of startling ways. Vivid, fast paced and electrifyingly outrageous.

My Big Fat Greasy Kebab by Alexander Theo

Saturday 29 October

A young Greek Cypriot struggles to balance his cultural and sexual identity in the Instagram culture. Funny, teary, sexy and wildly romantic.


Chaskis Theatre Present in conjunction with Missing Bolts Productions and NoPassport Theatre Alliance & Press, supported by Theatre Royal Stratford East
After Orlando: Pulse

Thursday 3 November

All Tickets £10

Chaskis Theatre presents After Orlando: Pulse, an evening to commemorate this year’s tragic nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. For one night only, Gerry’s Studio at Theatre Royal Stratford East will become PULSE nightclub in memory of the 49 lives lost there on 12 June 2016.

 After Orlando is a global theatre action in response to the fatal Orlando attacks: a playwright driven project comprising over sixty short plays specifically written and curated by emerging and established international voices in theatre. They will be read across the US and UK throughout the Autumn.

The event will include staged readings of 25 plays and poems influenced by the Orlando shootings, plus live music and dancing. All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to London LGBT charity Stonewall.

About Chaskis Theatre

Chaskis Theatre is a transcultural theatre company collaborating with playwrights from America to share new stories, practices and cultural perspectives.


Rasa Productions Ltd
Whose Sari Now?

Written and performed by Rani Moorthy

Directed by Kimberley Sykes

 Thursday 24 November – Saturday 17 December
Press performance: 25 November 7:30pm

Tickets £13/£9

Rani Moorthy’s brand new one woman show explores real and complicated relationships with the sari. The production directed by Kimberley Sykes comes to Gerry’s direct from a UK Tour and opens on 25 November with previews from 24 November and runs until 17 December.

Six yards of cloth, wound round tight
Or draped seductively
Or practically, for breastfeeding
Or pulled between thighs to walk like a man
Or wildly thrown together, with Doc Martin boots
A modest proposal or a political act or a defiant one

Bold and powerful theatre that takes you beyond the Bollywood wet sari!

By turns funny and poignant, 5 characters share their sari tales; from an old Asian woman whose saris are like her second skin, a young mother giving birth in a war zone wrapping her twin babies in her wedding sari, a Malaysian historian connects the sari with mythology, a transgender reflects on his girlfriend’s sari obsession, a low caste weaver and a character who contemplates the sari in her final hours.

Rasa is a Manchester based theatre company, renowned for its high quality, critically acclaimed work that aims to artistically celebrate the migrant experience. Rasa has toured extensively in the UK and taken work to Malaysia, Sri Lanka, USA, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mauritius and Singapore.

Door Ajar Theatre Present
Tuesday 21 – Saturday 25 February

Fourteen years have passed since the fateful night Thisbe’s parents, Helena and Demetrius, were lost in the woods. The only thing they remember is waking up completely in love with one another. But as their love becomes obsession, where does this leave their neglected and confused daughter, Thisbe?

Cue the prankster Puck and his fairy flunkeys who love nothing more than to meddle with the mortal world. With the promise of solving all of her problems, they lure Thisbe into the woods where it isn’t long before she finds herself embroiled in their roguery.

Intoxicated with magic and adventure, has Thisbe gone too far this time? Can she stop her family falling apart? And does she even want to?

BSL interpreted and with an original score, this play is full of playful wit and boisterous theatricality.

Theatre Royal Stratford East                                                                                                                       Listings

Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 1BN

Box Office: 020 8534 0310

Facebook: theatreroyalstratfordeast

Twitter: @stratfordeast

Productions in the main space include:

Ballet Black

6 October – 8 October

Press night: 6 October 8pm

Ticket prices 

Thur – Sat £10 -20

Concessions from £7

The Hotel Cerise

20 October – 12 November

Press night: 25 October 7pm

Ticket Prices

Previews £12, £15

Tue – Sat £8 – 25

Concessions from £6

Sinbad the Sailor

28 November – 21 January

Press performances: 8, 9 or 10 December 7pm

Ticket prices

Newham Discount Night £2.50

Mon – Sat £10 – £25.50

Concessions from £8

Sinbad the Sailor is sponsored by Galliard Homes

The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin

1 February – 11 March

Press night: 8 February 7pm

Ticket prices 

Newham Discount Night £2.50

Previews £12, £15

Tues-Sat £8 – £26

Concessions from £6


Full cast announced for Theatre Royal Stratford East’s annual Pantomime – Sinbad The Sailor

Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, Kerry Michael today announces the cast for the company’s annual pantomime –  Sinbad the Sailor by Paul Sirett. He directs Johnny Amobi (Nurse), Michael Bertenshaw (Prince Naw-Ze Uzz), Julian Capolei (Sinbad), Rina Fatania (Green Genie Uzz), Ben Goffe(Sultan), Alim Jayda (Captain Greenbeard), Josephine Melville (Clanker), Marianna Neofitou (Princess),Gemma Salter (Funky) and Gabby Wong (Sinbadda). The production runs from 28 November, until 21 January, with press performances on 8, 9,10 December.

With a tradition of featuring original music, hilarious audience participation and comedy for all ages, it’s no surprise that a Theatre Royal Stratford East pantomime is one of the best in London.

With heaps of surprises along the way, join Sinbad and his friends on a voyage to mysterious places as they strive to successfully complete their perilous quest.

Paul Sirett is an Olivier-nominated, award-winning playwright, dramaturg and musician. Sirett has a long association with the Theatre Royal Stratford East where many of his plays have been produced including hit musical The Big Life which subsequently transferred to the West End. He has also worked extensively as a dramaturg for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Soho Theatre, Royal Court, National Theatre and for West End and Broadway producers. He is currently Associate Dramaturg of the Ambassador Theatre Group. Sirett is also an Associate Artist of Soho Theatre, an Associate Teacher of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and an Associate Fellow at the University of Warwick.

 Johnny Amobi plays Nurse. His theatre credits include Starlight ExpressMiss SaigonJoseph, Five Guy’s Named Mo, Notre Dame de Paris, Once On This Island and Dancing In The Streets (All West End). Alongside his West End credits Amobi has achieved success as a composer and featured artist. He also collaborated with producer George Martin on a concept album for the BBC.

Michael Bertenshaw plays Prince Naw-Ze Uzz. For Theatre Royal Stratford East, Bertenshaw has performed in various pantomimes including Robin Hood and Dick Wittington as well as the forthcoming The Hotel Cerise. Other theatre credits include The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, All’s Well That Ends Well, Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII (Shakespeare’s Globe). For television his credits include The Crown, Miliband, Criminal Justice, Murderland, The Worst Christmas of My Life, Messiah III, William and Mary and The Brief; and for film,The Da Vinci Code, Flyboys, Bust, Another Life, Intimate Relations, Giving Tongue and Paper Mash.

Julian Capolei plays Sinbad. This production marks his professional acting debut.

Rina Fatania plays Green Genie Uzz. Her theatre credits include Love N Stuff (Theatre Royal Stratford East),Dead Dog in a Suitcase (Kneehigh Theatre Company UK & international tour), The Empress (RSC, The Swan Theatre), Dick Whittington and Cinderella (Hackney Empire), Wah! Wah! Girls (Sadler’s Wells/ UK Tour), The House of Bilquis Bibi (Hampstead Theatre & UK tour), Britain’s Got Bhangra, It Aint All Bollywood, Meri Christmas and The Deranged Marriage (Rifco Arts), Wuthering Heights, A Fine Balance, The Child of Divide andStrictly Dandia (Tamasha), Bombay Dreams (Apollo Victoria) and Arabian Nights (Midland Arts Centre); and for film, Raabta, Mumbai Charlie and The Travel Londoner.

Ben Goffe plays Sultan. His theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC), Beauty and the Beast(New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich), The Threepenny Opera (Nottingham Playhouse /Graeae/ West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Arts Theatre), Aladdin (New Victoria, Woking), Peter Pan (Liverpool Empire) and Dick Whittington (New Wimbledon Theatre); and for film, AmStarDam and Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban. In addition to this he portrayed the Michael Jackson character Mekill Hacksaw in the bandBeatfreakz. They released two singles, Somebody’s Watching Me and Superfreak.

Alim Jayda plays Captain Greenbeard. His theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe), Annie The Musical (UK Tour), Britain’s Got Bhangra, Break The Floorboards and Mummyji Presents(Rifco Arts), Blockbuster (UK tour), Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, Jack and the Beanstalk and Puss in Boots(Greenwich Theatre). His television credits include The Last Leg Takeover and Bremner, Bird And Fortune; and for film, Kismet Diner.

Josephine Melville plays Clanker. For Theatre Royal Stratford East her credits include Moon Over A Rainbow Shawl, Party Girls, Red Riding Hood, Pinocchio, Blaggers and Funny Black Women on the Edge. Other theatre credits include, Dick Whittington (Greenwich Theatre), Hair (Theatre Clywd), O Babylon and Unfinished Business(Talawa Theatre Company), Fruit Salad (Greenwich Theatre / Hackney Empire), Forty and Aladdin (Hackney Empire) and The Coup (National Theatre). Her television credits include L8R Youngers, Rapping at the Royal,Prime Suspects 2 and Downtown Lagos.

Marianna Neofitou plays Princess. Her theatre credits include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (West End), We Will Rock You (European tour), The Waterbabies (Curve), Dusty (Charing Cross Theatre), Smurfs Live(International tour) and Peter Pan (Hazlitt theatre).

Gemma Salter plays Funky. For Theatre Royal Stratford East her credits include Come Dancing, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk. Other theatre credits include Dreamboats and Petticoats (Playhouse Theatre), One Man Two Guvnors (Theatre Royal Haymarket, West End), Made in Dagenham (Adelphi Theatre, West End), The Taming of the Shrew (New Wimbledon Theatre); and for television, Rock and Chips and Call the Midwife.

Gabby Wong plays Sinbadda. For Theatre Royal Stratford East her credits include Takeaway.Other theatre credits include Doctor Faustus (Duke of Yorks Theatre), Volpone, Jew Of Malta andLove’s Sacrifice (RSC), Numbers Of Memory/ Venuse Flytrap (Tamasha), Beat My Time Machine Skipped (Soho Theatre) and Othello (Shakespeare’s Globe).

Kerry Michael directs. Michael has been Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East for 12 years. Under him the theatre has been nominated for numerous Olivier Awards and his production of Cinderella was the first pantomime ever nominated in the award’s history. Other nominations included You Me Bum Bum Train and the remount of Oh What A Lovely War. TRSE have also won Oliviers for its hip-hop production of Boy Blue’s Pied Piper in association with the Barbican and for Cora Bissett’s immersive theatre experience Roadkill. Michael has pioneered many unique and diverse projects including IFEA, an international artists exchange, where 30 countries participated in sending over to London a few of their most aspiring young artistes to work together and create new work. Kerry’s most recent directing credits include I Was Looking At the Ceiling, Then I Saw the Sky,Battle of Green Lanes, The Great Extension, The Harder They Come (Barbican/Playhouse Theatre & North America tour), Come Dancing, Takeaway, Robin Hood and Love N Stuff.

Theatre Royal Stratford East presents
Book and Lyrics by Paul Sirett
Music and Lyrics by Wayne Nunes and Perry Melius
Director: Kerry Michael; Designers: Jenny Tiramani & Harriet Barsby;
Musical Director: Robert Hyman; Lighting Designer: David Plater; Sound Designer: Andrew Johnson Special Effects: Scott Penrose
28 November21 January
Press performances: 8, 9 or 10 December 7pm

Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 1BN
Box Office: 020 8534 0310
Facebook: theatreroyalstratfordeast
Twitter: @stratfordeast #SinbadTheSailor
Access Performances:
Signed: Sat 7 Jan 2pm
Audio-description: Sat 14 Jan 2pm
Captioned: Fri 6 Jan 7pm
Performance times
28 November21 January
Press performances: 8, 9 or 10 December 7pm
Ticket prices
Newham Discount Night £2.50
Mon – Sat £10 – £25.50
Concessions from £8
Season at a glance:
Ballet Black
6 October – 8 October
Press night: 6 October 8pm
The Hotel Cerise
20 October – 12 November
Press night: 25 October 7pm
Sinbad the Sailor
28 November21 January
Press performances: 8, 9 or 10 December 7pm
Sinbad the Sailor is sponsored by Galliard Homes
The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin
1 February – 11 March
Press night: 8 February 7pm