Waitress to have UK premiere in spring 2019

The Original Broadway Production of Waitress Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
The Original Broadway Production of Waitress Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The Original Broadway Production of Waitress Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

  • Opening at London’s Adelphi Theatre spring 2019
  • Waitress serves up the first all-female creative team on a West End musical
  • Tickets will go on sale this autumn please visit for more information

It is announced today that the Tony Award-nominated smash hit musical Waitress will have its official UK premiere in the West End next spring. Currently playing its third year on Broadway, the show will bring with it an all-female creative team – a West End musical first – when it begins performances at the Adelphi Theatre in February 2019. The London cast, along with full booking information, will be announced in due course.

Waitress opened on 24 April 2016 at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theater. Based on the 2007 motion picture written by Adrienne ShellyWaitress is the first Broadway musical in history to have four women in the four top creative team spots, with a book by Jessie Nelson, a score by six-time Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, choreography by Lorin Latarro and direction by Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus. The production is currently touring the US and has also recently announced it will have its Australian premiere in 2020 at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.

Waitress tells the story of Jenna, an expert pie maker in a small town, who dreams of a way out of her loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a new life, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes to happiness. But Jenna must find the courage and strength within herself to rebuild her life. This American musical celebrates friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie.

Sara Bareilles said: “I cannot contain my excitement that we will be bringing Waitress to the West End!! This is a dream come true! And I must say, to be hosted in a theatre co-owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the Nederlander Group makes this very sweet moment even sweeter. We are so proud of this beautiful show, and can’t wait to share the story of Jenna with a whole new audience and welcome them into the world of Waitress with open arms and plenty of pie.”

Diane Paulus said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Waitress is coming to the beautiful Adelphi Theatre! It is a dream come true to share this musical with London audiences.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber, who co-owns the Adelphi Theatre with the Nederlander Group, said: “I am a massive fan of Sara Bareilles both as a writer and a performer.  I’m thrilled that she has earned an Emmy nomination for her performance as Mary Magdalene in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live earlier this year and absolutely delighted that Waitress is to be seen in the West End.”

On its Broadway opening, Waitress was nominated for four Outer Critics’ Circle Awards, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical; two Drama League Award Nominations, including Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical; six Drama Desk Nominations, including Outstanding Musical; and four Tony Award Nominations, including Best Musical.

Waitress is produced by Barry and Fran Weissler and Norton and Elayne Herrick.

The Adelphi Theatre
The Strand,
London WC2R 0NS
Twitter: @WaitressLondon


First Look: Production Photographs for King Lear in the West End

KING LEAR in the West End announces £5 tickets for 16-25 year olds as part of Chichester Festival Theatre’s Prologue scheme

Ian McKellen in the title role of KING LEAR at Chichester Festival Theatre. © Manuel Harlan
Ian McKellen in the title role of KING LEAR at Chichester Festival Theatre. © Manuel Harlan

Ian McKellen in the title role of KING LEAR at Chichester Festival Theatre. © Manuel Harlan

Chichester Festival Theatre’s highly successful Prologue scheme, which enables 16-25 year olds to purchase £5 tickets across all productions in the theatre’s Festival season, has been extended to include the eagerly anticipated West End run of Shakespeare’s King Lear.

With an ensemble cast including Ian McKellen (King Lear), Sinéad Cusack (Kent), Danny Webb (Gloucester) and Kirsty Bushell (Regan), this critically-acclaimed production, directed by Jonathan Munby, will run at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London for 100 performances only from 11th July to 3rd November 2018, following a sold-out season at Chichester Festival Theatre last year.

The limited number of £5 Prologue tickets to King Lear can be purchased by 16-25 year olds, on the day of performance and in person from the Duke of York’s Box Office, when proof of age ID will be required.

Chichester Festival Theatre is committed to providing affordable tickets to world-class theatre, and particularly in reaching and growing younger audiences with the aim of encouraging independent theatregoing and kick-starting a life-long love of theatre in young people. Under the leadership of Daniel Evans (Artistic Director) and Rachel Tackley (Executive Director), the price of Prologue tickets for 16 to 25 year olds has been brought down to £5 with tickets made available for all productions in the Festival season including talks with casts and creatives, late night cabarets and other social events for young theatregoers.

For further information and to sign up to the Prologue scheme, visit the Chichester Festival Theatre website.

The cast of King Lear at the Duke of York’s Theatre will include Kirsty Bushell (Regan), Richard Clews (Gentleman Informer / Old Man), James Corrigan(Edmund), Sinéad Cusack (Kent), John Hastings (Curan / Doctor), Anthony Howell (Albany), Lloyd Hutchinson (Fool), Jake Mann (Burgundy / Lear’s Knight), Michael Matus (Oswald), Ian McKellen (King Lear), James MillardJohanne MurdockJessica Murrain, Claire Price (Goneril), Daniel Rabin (Cornwall), Caleb Roberts (King of France), Scott Sparrow (Albany’s Man), Luke Thompson (Edgar), Anita-Joy Uwajeh (Cordelia), John Vernon, and Danny Webb (Gloucester).

It is also announced that King Lear will be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK and internationally on Thursday 27th September with National Theatre Live. NT Live currently screens to 2500 venues across 60 countries.

Two ageing fathers – one a King, one his courtier – reject the children who truly love them. Their blindness unleashes a tornado of pitiless ambition and treachery as family and state are plunged into a violent power struggle with shocking ends.

Tender, brutal, moving and epic, King Lear is considered by many to be the greatest tragedy ever written.

ATG Productions, Chichester Festival Theatre, Gavin Kalin Productions and Glass Half Full Productions present Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of King Lear by William Shakespeare which is directed by Jonathan Munby, designed by Paul Wills with lighting by Oliver Fenwick, music and sound by Ben Ringham and Max Ringham, with movement direction by Lucy Cullingford and fight direction by Kate Waters.


By William Shakespeare
Directed by Jonathan Munby

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

Website | Twitter |Facebook

Performance schedule:

First performance: 11th July 2018
Final performance: 3rd November 2018
Opening Night: 26th July 2018

Tuesday – Saturday evenings at 7pm
Saturday matinee at 1.30pm

Running time: 3 hours and 20 minutes including one interval

Box office details:

Telephone: 020 8544 7469
Prices from: £25 (Prologue tickets for 16-25 year olds are £5)
No late admittance


Falling into the roses and coming out smelling of shit

Guest Review by Ollie Cole

Journalist • Broadcaster • Producer • Photographer

What happens when you cross a plot that’s thinner than Donald Trump’s hairline with a NOW album of rock ballads? Knights of the Rose, apparently. Describing itself as a classic rock musical ‘of Shakespearean proportions’, the song list of this new jukebox musical prompted the Daily Express to ask, “is this the most epic rock musical ever?” It is not.

Firstly there’s some housekeeping to be done before we even get into the production’s many confused, cliche, and cringeworthy parts. This is a 2018 West End premiere of a new musical, and the whole cast is white and there’s just not an argument out there that could justify it. The medieval-themed tale also consists of the men constantly talking about swords and battles and honour, while the women sit at home with nothing to do except be hopelessly devoted to their men. From the outset this show isn’t just regressive, it’s pointless.

Both of these things may have been more glaring and troublesome had Knights of the Rose actually contained any depth, with a book that feels it would easily fit onto a side or two of A4 if you cut out the ‘thees, thines and thous”. It’s the tale of two love triangles; one seeing the princess loving a knight but another knight wanting to kill him to get the princess, and the other seeing a knight falling in love with the princess’ friend, then ending up with her when her ‘true love’ dies in battle (the friend gets over that one remarkably quickly). Yes, quite, yawn.

The writing is mostly made up of poetic and literary references from Shakespeare, Keats, Chaucer and others. These are delivered in a way that used to send you to sleep in a GCSE English lesson, so why anybody thought it would make for an interesting rock musical I’m unsure.

Around these cliche phrases and monologues are some of the most well-known rock anthems and ballads of our time, from Bon Jovi to Bonnie Tyler. Though these are sung solidly by an undeniably talented group of actors, they’re shoehorned into the show with an incredible lack of ease, fluidity, and self-awareness. Each is like a square peg in a round hole, with a sense that it was only picked because the first lyric or two made some sense in the context.

With the weird balancing act this show tries to achieve between a very old-time story and a very punchy karaoke score, the audience can’t fail to laugh at each and every song choice (the most important word there being ‘at’, not with). As Sir Hugo, played by Oliver Savile, attempts to ‘woo’ Katie Birtill’s Princess Hanna with a rendition of Enrique Iglesias’ Hero, and the death of Prince Gawain (Andy Moss) is mourned through He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother and REM’s Everybody Hurts, one starts to wonder whether Knights of the Rose is supposed to be a comedy, a kind of rock Spamalot.

Other elements of the production descend into a kind of cheap farce too, with a decent looking but flimsily built set that wobbles each time a character sits down. One piece of the set’s dressing even fell down during the press night performance, leading me to wonder if it was put together by the same people who did Theresa May’s speech at the Tory Party conference.

The costuming is pleasing enough to the eye but again very confused, with the Knights clad in a mix of armour and skinny jeans, while the ladies are thrown into full period costumes but with shoes that look like they’ve just been picked up from Topshop.

Despite their bonkers surroundings, the cast do get the chance to turn out some excellent performances. Racky Plews’ direction and choreography is sound, and the piece is visually exciting even if the content is not, with a lot of eye-catching effects thrown in to the battle scenes (excusing the cheap plastic horses). Adam Pearce, who plays King Aethelstan, showcases an enchantingly good voice, while Chris Cowley’s raw talent for rock music shines through. Matt Thorpe’s Sir Horatio gives off some strong comedic turns and adds a glimmer of hope to an otherwise very flat book.

The female trio of Katie Birtill, Rebekah Lowings, and Bleu Woodward gave some real stand-out renditions of the classic rock score too, leaving me wanting any one of them to finally get a solo number that wasn’t cut across halfway through by some attempt at foreshadowing or plot development.

In summary, this musical takes all the possible pitfalls of a jukebox musical and lays them bare on the Arts Theatre stage. The piece takes itself far too seriously, without a whiff of self-awareness, leaving audiences baffled and simply laughing to fill the awkwardness. The song list is cliche, the orchestrations boring, and the book’s humour barely existent. It’s very hard to quite string a sentence together to describe this production when it doesn’t even seem to know itself, so I’ll leave you with an audience comment I heard while leaving the auditorium last night, “It was like it was written over a weekend with a few beers”.

The smash-hit & box office breaking Heathers The Musical starring Carrie Hope Fletcher transfers to London’s West End



After smashing all box office records with its European premiere at The Other Palace, the sold-out production of Heathers – The Musical will make its highly anticipated West End transfer this Autumn. The 2018 Class of Westerberg High will be graduating to the Theatre Royal Haymarket for a strictly limited 12-week run, from 3 September 2018, with Carrie Hope Fletcher reprising her role as Veronica Sawyer.

Heathers – The Musical is now the highest grossing show at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Other Palace and St. James’ history having sold over 20,000 tickets across the run and having sold out prior to its opening gala performance. It is the first show in the theatre’s history to move from a studio workshop to a main house production and it now becomes The Other Palace’s first West End transfer, having reached a brand new audience; 70% of which are under the age of 30. The production will continue to develop and celebrate its younger and more diverse audience by offering over 15,000 seats at £25 across the West End run.

 Greetings, salutations. Welcome to Westerberg High, where popularity is so very a matter of life and death, and Veronica Sawyer is just another of the nobodies dreaming of a better day.

 But when she’s unexpectedly taken under the wings of the three beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers, her dreams finally start to come true.

 Until JD turns up, the mysterious teen rebel who teaches her that it might kill to be a nobody, but it’s murder being a somebody…

Based on one of the greatest teen films of all time, the 1988 cult classic starred Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. The award-winning writing team, Laurence O’Keefe (Legally Blonde, Bat Boy) and Kevin Murphy’s (Reefer MadnessDesperate Housewives) hit musical adaptation has enjoyed successful runs in Los Angeles and New York, and finally arrived in the UK for its European premiere on 9 June 2018, following a rapturous response to its 2017 workshop at The Other Palace.

The musical is directed by acclaimed screen and stage director Andy Fickman, with choreography by Gary Lloyd, design by David Shields, lighting by Ben Cracknell, sound by Dan Samson and casting by Will Burton. The full cast of Heathers – The Musical will be announced in due course.

Heathers – The Musical is currently running at The Other Palace until 4 August and is produced by Bill Kenwright and Paul Taylor Mills.







Production Images: Can be downloaded HERE – Pamela Raith Photography.

Press Performances:

Tuesday 11 September – 7.45pm

Wednesday 12 September – 7.45pm

Thursday 13 September – 3.00pm

Thursday 13 September – 7.45pm

*Reviews embargoed until 00.01 on Friday 14 September*


Monday – Saturday – 7.45pm

Thursday & Saturday – 3.00pm

Ticket Prices: From £25.00

Address: 18 Suffolk Street, London, SW1Y 4HT

 Box Office: 020 7930 8800





West End Theatres to dim lights in memory of Dame Gillian Lynne

l-r Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gillian Lynne, Cameron Mackintosh, photo by Craig Sugden
l-r Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gillian Lynne, Cameron Mackintosh, photo by Craig Sugden

l-r Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gillian Lynne, Cameron Mackintosh, photo by Craig Sugden

Theatres across London’s West End will be dimming their lights at 19:00 tonight (2 July) in memory of the British choreographer Dame Gillian Lynne, who died on Sunday evening aged 92.

Before this evening’s performances begin, lights will be dimmed for one minute as a tribute by the theatre industry and audience members to the legendary choreographer, who began her career as a ballet dancer and went on to work on more than 60 shows across the West End and Broadway, including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running musicals Cats and The Phantom of the Opera.

Dame Gillian received a Special Olivier Award in 2013 for her contribution to theatre. Last month, the New London Theatre (current home of Lloyd Webber’s School Of Rock The Musical) was renamed the Gillian Lynne Theatre – making her the first non-royal woman to receive this honour.

The tradition of dimming theatre lights has long been performed in the West End to pay respects to theatre’s most renowned contributors.

Julian Bird, Chief Executive of Society of London Theatre, said:

‘Dame Gillian Lynne’s contribution to theatre was inestimable. Her career, which spanned over seven decades, encompassed performance, choreography and directing. She worked across so many of the West End and Broadway’s top venues and productions, and won numerous awards and accolades. We are proud to celebrate her extraordinary legacy tonight in the West End.’

The sold-out Bush Theatre production of Arinzé Kene’s ‘Misty’ transfers to the West End

Arinze Kené in Misty © Helen Murray
Arinze Kené in Misty © Helen Murray

Arinze Kené in Misty © Helen Murray

Following its sold-out run at the Bush Theatre, Arinzé Kene’s acclaimed Misty transfers to London’s Trafalgar Studios for six weeks only from 8 September 2018 (press night 13 September). Tickets go on sale at 10am on 29 June.

Through a blend of theatre, gig and performance poetry, Arinzé delivers an epic, heartfelt and playful exploration of creative freedom, set against a pulsating vision of modern London.

Misty is directed by Bush Theatre Associate Director Omar Elerian (NASSIM, One Cold Dark NightIslands) and features an original musical score performed live during the show.

‘Here is the city that we live in

Notice that the city that we live in is alive

Analyse our city and you’ll find that our city even has bodily features

Our city’s organs function like any living creature

Our city is a living creature

And if you’re wise enough, you’ll know not all of us are blood cells…

Some of us are viruses.’

Screen International UK Star of Tomorrow, actor and writer Arinzé Kene was raised in London to Nigerian parents. His most recent plays include good dog, which tiata fahodzi theatre company toured throughout the UK in 2017, God’s Property, a co-production with Talawa, whichran at Soho Theatre in 2013 and Little Baby Jesus, directed by Che Walker at the Oval House Theatre, where his play Estate Walls was also produced. Arinzé was named ‘Most Promising Playwright’ at the Off West End Theatre Awards for Estate Walls in 2011, which was also nominated for Best New Play.

His original feature film, Seekers, is on the Brit List and currently in development. Arinzé was also involved in the development of the second series of Big Talk’s Youngers for E4, in which he played the part of Ashley.

On screen he appeared in new E4/Netflix Original series Crazyhead and took the lead of ‘Ade’ in the film The Pass opposite Russell Tovey for which he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 2016 BIFA’s and won the Best Supporting Actor award at the 2016 Evening Standard Film Awards. On stage he played soul singing legend ‘Sam Cooke’ in One Night in Miami at the Donmar Warehouse and in Girl from The North Country in the West End. Next he takes the lead role opposite Micaela Cole in Netflix’s acquired feature film, Been So Long and in the BBC’s new thriller, opposite Paddy Considine, Informer.

Omar Elerian is an award-winning Italian / Palestinian theatre director, deviser and performer who trained at Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School in Paris.  He joined the Bush in 2012 alongside Madani Younis and since then has been the resident Associate Director.  His directing credits for the Bush include NASSIM by Nassim Soleimanpour, One Cold Night by Nancy Harris, Islands by Caroline Horton and Leave Taking by Winsome Pinnock.  As Associate Director he has worked alongside Madani Younis on the Bush’s productions of The RoyalePerseverance Driveand Chalet Lines.  Other credits include acclaimed site-specific production The Mill – City of Dreams, Olivier Award-nominated You’re Not Like the Other Girls ChrissyTesta di Rame (Italy), Les P’tites Grandes Choses (France) and L’Envers Du Décor (France).

Misty is the fourth theatre production Shiloh Coke has musically directed after having previously worked on the Donmar’s Shakespeare Trilogy (Julius CaesarHenry IV and The Tempest) for both stage and screen (including the New York transfer of The Tempest).

Shiloh’s acting stage credits include Into The Woods (Stratford Circus), Tomorrow’s World (Theatre Centre), The Litter (Bargehouse), Henry IV(Donmar Warehouse), The Chaplain (Yard Theatre), Henry IV (St Ann’s Warehouse NYC), The Tempest (Shakespeare Trilogy), Julius Caesar(Shakespeare Trilogy), Henry IV (Shakespeare Trilogy), The Tempest (St Ann’s Warehouse NYC).

Musical Director and musician Adrian McLeod has worked with various artists such as Toddla T, Chronixx, Sway and Plan B.

Rajha Shakiry is a freelance theatre designer and maker, who works across the spectrum of scripted and devised theatre, dance, musical theatre, and opera. Born in Iraq and educated in England, Rajha’s work has most recently been exhibited at the V&A (Make:Believe, 2015) and as a finalist at World Stage Design 2013.

Recent projects include: The Mountaintop (Young Vic/JMK), Mobile (The Paper Birds), The Head Wrap Diaries (Uchenna Dance) and Muhammad Ali & Me (Mojisola Adebayo). Rajha’s current collaborations include projects at the National Theatre, the Bush Theatre, and The Place.

Kirsty Housely is a theatre director, writer, dramaturg and an associate of Complicité. Work with Complicité includes: The Encounter (UK/International Tour – Co-Director), Seen and Not Heard (Southbank Centre), A Pacifists Guide to the War on Cancer (National Theatre – Dramaturg) and War and War (Pleasance). Other recent directing includes: The Believers Are But Brothers (Edinburgh Fringe and Bush Theatre); Wanted (Chris Goode and Company /Transform Festival/West Yorkshire Playhouse), Walking The Tightrope (Offstage andTheatre Uncut), All I Want (Live Theatre, Leeds Libraries and Jackson’s Lane) and Mass (Amy Mason / Bristol Old Vic / CPT). She is currently collaborating with Bryony Kimmings, Complicité, The Unicorn and the Bush Theatre. Her play Myth (written with Matt Hartley, from an original idea from Kirsty) was performed at the RSC in Spring 2017.

Sound Designer Elena Peña designed the sound for Hir by Taylor Mac and Islands by Caroline Horton at the Bush Theatre. Other theatre credits include: The Caretaker (Bristol Old Vic, Royal & Derngate); Pixel Dust and Wonder (Edinburgh Festival); The Bear/The ProposalFlashes (Young Vic); The Lounge (Soho Theatre – Offie Nomination For Best Sound Design); Boat (Company Three, Battersea Arts Centre); Years Of Sunlight (Theatre 503); Sleepless (Shoreditch Town Hall, Staatstheater Mainz); I Call My Brothers (Gate Theatre); Patrias (Sadlers Wells Theatre, Eif); Thebes Land, Brimstone And Treacle (Arcola Theatre); The Christians (Gate Theatre, Traverse Theatre); Brainstorm (ICT, National Theatre); The Kilburn PassionArabian Nights (Tricycle Theatre); Not Now Bernard (Unicorn Theatre); Pim & Theo (Nie With Odsherred Teater, Denmark, Unicorn Theatre); Mass Observation (Almeida Theatre); Village Social (National Theatre Wales); Quimeras (Sadlers Wells, Eif); The 13 MidnightChallenges Of Angelus Diablo (RSC); Gambling (Soho Theatre); My Name Is Sue (Soho Theatre, Bristol Old Vic); Under Milk Wood (Royal & Derngate).
Elena’s sound installation includes: Have Your Circumstances Changed? and Yes These Eyes Are The Windows (Artangel). Television/Online includes: Brainstorm Live at Television Centre (BBC4 and iPlayer); The Astro Science Challenge (Online Television Episodes, Unlimited Theatre).Radio includes: The Meet Cute (Recordist /Sd/Editor/Musician, BBC R4) Twelve Years (Recordist / SD / Editor, BBC R4).

Jackie Shemesh is a designer of lighting and space. He works internationally in dance, theatre, music and with performance and visual artists. Most recently he has designed for projects as part of Manchester International Festival 2017 (Yael Bartana – What if Women Ruled the World and Phil Collins – Ceremony); for new work by Ben Duke for Rambert Dance Company; and The Almeida’s productions of Robert Icke’s Mary Stuartand Uncle Vanya.

Jackie has designed for many theatre productions in the UK including works for Lyric Hammersmith; Bristol Old Vic; Duchess theatre and Trafalgar Studios West End; The Young Vic; Bush Theatre; Curve Theatre, Leicester and more. Jackie has designed the lighting for many dance companies including Batsheva Ensemble, Ballet Boyz, Arthur Pita/Sadler’s Wells, National Dance Company Wales, Scottish Dance Theatre, CanDoCo, Protein and Avant Garde among others. Other collaborations around Europe include the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Steirischer Herbst Festival Austria and several productions for the Hebbel Theatre Berlin.

Daniel Denton is a London based Video Designer and Animator and associate of video design collective Mesmer. A graduate of the University for the Creative Arts his background was originally in illustration and experimental film. He has gone on to animate and design visuals for a range of different media from theatre, opera, music, fashion, web and broadcast.

His original designs include: Alice in Winterland (The Rose Theatre); Flashdance: The Musical (UK Tour); As You Like It(Theatre By The Lake); To Love Somebody Melancholy (UK Tour); Ready Or Not (Arcola Theatre and UK Tour); Peter Pan(Exeter Northcott); Bumblescratch(Adelphi Theatre); Biedermann and the Arsonists (Sadler’s Wells).


8 September – 20 October at 7.30pm

Matinees on Thursdays and Saturdays at 2.30pm

Audio described performance on 24 September at 7.30pm

Captioned performance on 1 October at 7.30pm

Age guidance – 14+, please note that strong language is used in this production

Ticket prices from £10


Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London SW1A 2DY

0844 871 7632 (Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge)


A catch up with Cat from The Lieutenant of Inishmore: ‘It could have really gone tits up.’

Due to popular demand I caught up with Cat in between rehearsals for The Lieutenant of Inishmore.

The revival of Martin McDonagh’s play opens in the West End next month. It stars Poldark’s Aidan Turner and is directed by Michael Grandage.

Originally performed by the RSC in 2001, McDonagh’s black comedy is set in Ireland in the early 1990s, and satirises nationalism and terrorism in the modern day

Here is what happened.

Hello again. How are you?

I’m doing well. This weather is quite tedious; I find a quiet place in between rehearsals to cool – hot on the top, cold at the bottom, you know how it is.

Let’s not discuss our private lives. How are the rehearsals for The Lieutenant of Inishhmore going?

It is going very well. I have to confess I was pretty bruised that I did not feature in any of the rehearsal shots. I mean I would have liked some for my portfolio but the PR is wary of me, she’s threatened, she’s trying to ruin my moment. A bit petty in my opinion but what can you do.

The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Noel Coward Theatre

The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Noel Coward Theatre

The last time we spoke you mentioned that you thought that your co-star Aidan Turner may have allergies. Turner recently confessed that he is, in fact, allergic to cats. How has this impacted your working relationship?

It could have really gone tits up… Luckily, it has been fine. I adore Aidan, he spills over with emotion, continually taking the company in unexpected directions. His accent is exuberant and it helps that he is pretty buff and it has been a joy to take him to the theatre as my guest.

Interesting. I know that you are close to Nick Hytner; have you been to The Bridge?

I saw Nightfall recently; the whole thing seemed like a lot of effort for not much reward. It wasn’t my cup of tea, to be honest. I think the two Nicks are trying to find their War Horse or Curious Incident; I’m not sure anything else in the current programme really fits the bill. I have a feeling that in a few years we’ll probably look back on the first ten years as the Nicks finding their feet, and it’ll be the second decade that really make the most sense. If it isn’t a Pret a Manger by then.

Have you seen Orlando Bloom in in ‘Killer Joe’?

I know Katy Perry very well so we attended the dress rehearsal together. I am usually wary of star vehicles and stunt casting. Mind you, I think it can be a good thing for theatre because it so often brings new audiences through the door who may have never been to that theatre before. Sometimes, though, all I crave to see is a really good actor. But I thought that Bloom was quite good, so critics are invited to sit the fuck down.

What most drives you to be brilliant – fear of failure or thirst for success?

I try not to take this industry too seriously. I constantly want to outdo the last thing I’ve done.

With Harvey Weinstein being arrested and the #MeToo movement finally having its Hurricane Katrina moment. How widespread is abuse and bullying in theatre?

The thing is, most of the people in power who work in this industry are total bell-ends. I am currently working on an initiative: #MiaowToo – It is important that cats are afforded the same watershed moment to expose theatre-land thugs; I was at an audition recently. I was picked up, stroked and dropped on the *concrete* floor without consent. Anyway, it is mostly men in power abusing that power, habitually and with the belief that they will never be revealed. This careless grooming has to stop.

Do you lead or follow?

I definitely lead.

Is it hard work doing all that leading? It must be a lot easier to just sit around copying people.

No, it’s not hard work, it’s part of who I am. I love to strive to do things differently. That’s part of why I love what I do.

Are you in this for the long run?

I’ve just done an interview with The Guardian with a ‘fresh new voice’ that has replaced Lyn Gardner. Don’t get me started… I’m still furious about it. Anyway, ‘How long do you think you’ll do it?” asked the fresh new voice; I can’t remember her name, I think they used to be a stand-up comic. “A year?” Maybe I’ll stretch it to two, I purred.

Finally, is there anything that you’d like to add?

I’d like to say that The UK’s theatre exports are pretty much restricted to Sonia Friedman, James Graham, Michael Grandage and Caryl Churchill. I am currently looking at a KickStarter to supply emergency subsidies to any theatre company developing half-decent UK theatre talent. Also, please come and see The Lieutenant of Inishmore; it boasts an outstanding cast. It is superbly cast, written and acted with ruthless and icy force. There are no weak links. Martin McDonagh squeezes every gorgeous horrible drop out of the violence. Cheers!

The Lieutenant of Inishmore runs at the Noel Coward Theatre 23 June – 8 September 2018

Read the first interview with Cat from ‘The Lieutenant of Inishmore’ HERE


 First Look: West End production of Killer Joe


First Look: Harry Potter And The Cursed Child new West End cast character portraits 

The Granger-Weasleys, l-r Nicola Alexis (Hermione Granger), Helen Aluko (Rose Granger-Weasley) and Thomas Aldridge (Ron Weasley), Photo by Charlie Gray
The Potters, l-r Susie Trayling (Ginny Potter), Joe Idris-Roberts (Albus Potter) and Jamie Ballard (Harry Potter), Photo by Charlie Gray

The Potters, l-r Susie Trayling (Ginny Potter), Joe Idris-Roberts (Albus Potter) and Jamie Ballard (Harry Potter), Photo by Charlie Gray

Ahead of the new cast’s first performance at London’s Palace Theatre on Wednesday (23 May 2018), the Producers of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child release a first-look set of portraits by Charlie Gray.

Seen in character for the first time are Jamie Ballard as Harry Potter, Susie Trayling as Ginny Potter, Nicola Alexis as Hermione Granger, Joe Idris-Roberts as Albus Potter and Jonathan Case as Scorpius Malfoy.  They are joined by Thomas Aldridge as Ron Weasley, Helen Aluko as Rose Granger-Weasley and James Howard as Draco Malfoy.

The Granger-Weasleys, l-r Nicola Alexis (Hermione Granger), Helen Aluko (Rose Granger-Weasley) and Thomas Aldridge (Ron Weasley), Photo by Charlie Gray

The Granger-Weasleys, l-r Nicola Alexis (Hermione Granger), Helen Aluko (Rose Granger-Weasley) and Thomas Aldridge (Ron Weasley), Photo by Charlie Gray

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John TiffanyHarry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Jack Thorne, directed by John Tiffany with movement by Steven Hoggett, set by Christine Jones, costumes by Katrina Lindsay, music & arrangements by Imogen Heap, lighting by Neil Austin, sound by Gareth Fry, illusions & magic by Jamie Harrison, music supervision & arrangements by Martin Lowe and casting by Julia Horan CDG.\

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage.  The critically acclaimed production received its world premiere in June 2016 at the Palace Theatre in London.

The Malfoys, l-r James Howard (Draco Malfoy) and Jonathan Case (Scorpius Malfoy), photo by Charlie Gray

The Malfoys, l-r James Howard (Draco Malfoy) and Jonathan Case (Scorpius Malfoy), photo by Charlie Gray

Since its premiere, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has won twenty-four major British theatre awards including the Evening Standard Best Play Award as well as a record-breaking nine Olivier Awards – including Best New Play and Best Director – the most awarded production in the history of the Oliviers. The Broadway production officially opened to equal critical acclaim at the Lyric Theatre last month and has subsequently received numerous Broadway accolades, including ten Tony Award nominations, eight Drama Desk Award nominations, three Drama League Award nominations and is the winner of six Outer Critics Circle awards.  In early 2019 the Australian production will open at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre.


 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is produced by Sonia Friedman ProductionsColin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions.