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Sixty-Second Theatre News Roundup -May 24th

This week’s video is available on YouTube:

This week’s news includes:

The Curve Theatre reopened to live audiences with a season launch evening.

The Season Launch event was held on Thursday 20 May at 7pm. The evening will included performances, special guest interviews, announcements and more. It was the first time welcoming a live audience back to Curve since closing the doors on the 16 March 2020.

The evening was hosted by Geeta Pendse and Matt Hemley, who were joined by Cheif Executive Chris Stafford. Nikolai Foster was absent due to recovering from surgery.

Performances came from Jessica Daley, Tim Rogers, Laura Pitt-Pulford, Sheep Soup, Melanie La Barrie and Emma Williams.

They were also joined by Curve Associate Company Serendipity Founder, CEO and Artistic Director Pawlet Brookes. Curve Associate Aakash Odedra. Writers of AmDram: A Musical Comedy Katie Lam and Alex Parker. .

It was followed by two nights of work curated by Curve Resident Creatives and local artists. Celebrating the outstanding local and national artists with a showcase of new work and performances from Curve Associate Artists and Curve Resident Creatives. All artists share a commitment to making work at Curve and in the Midlands and performances will include songs from new musicals, extracts from original plays and newly choreographed dance pieces from Kathak to Hip-Hop. The evenings were hosted by Curve Associates Sheep Soup.

Shows coming up include a new comedy musical, acclaimed dance and a Made at Curve concert inspired by the life and career of Andrew Lloyd Webber, these reopening plans have been made possible by a second grant from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport's Culture Recovery Fund.

As recently seen in streamed productions of Sunset Boulevard and The Color Purple, by raising the walls between its theatre spaces, Curve will reopen as a 533-seat socially distanced auditorium, with audiences enjoying live performances from all four sides of the stage.

To ensure audiences are able to safely enjoy a return to Curve, the theatre has implemented a number of Covid-Safe measures, including a one-way system, increased ventilation, additional cleaning, temperature checks and allocated entry times to the building. Further information can be found here. Curve has been certified by both UK Theatre as part of its 'See it Safely' initiative and Visit England's 'We're Good to Go' accreditation and audiences will be notified of further Covid-safety measures and protocols in advance of attending a performance.

Celebrated dancer, choreographer and Curve Associate Artist Aakash Odedra returns to the stage with his performance of Rising on 24 and 25 May. First performed in 2011 and now revisited in the Company's 10th anniversary year, Rising is an unprecedented pairing of world-renowned contemporary choreographers and one of the most talented British South Asian dancers of his generation. The programme will feature several short works choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant and Aakash himself.

From 27 to 29 May, Katie Lam and Alex Parker's AMDRAM: A Musical Comedy comes to Curve. The Great Osterley North Amateur Dramatic Society - or GONADS, as they're known - reign supreme over the village hall. The arrival of a new contender for leading lady and a professional director throw their amateur production into chaos. A hilarious new musical about friendship, theatre and community, Am Dram will be performed by an incredible cast including Janie Dee, Laura Pitt-Pulford, Raj Ghatak, Debbie Chazen, Sharan Phull, Jordan Lee Davies and Wendy Ferguson.

The culmination of this season will be The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, a spectacular concert performance featuring music and memories from the extraordinary life and career of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Directed by Nikolai Foster (Sunset Boulevard - at Home, West Side Story, My Beautiful Laundrette) and running from 7 to 19 June, experience some of musical theatre's all-time triumphs as we join the Phantom, Grizabella, Eva Peron, the Lord himself* and a host of iconic characters performing Andrew's greatest songs from The Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats, The School of Rock, Tell Me on a Sunday, Sunset Boulevard, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and more. Full casting will be revealed in due course. *Andrew Lloyd Webber appears in pre-recorded video.

Curve Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Nikolai Foster said:

"After over a year of closure, we are delighted to be welcoming audiences safely back to Curve with an exciting programme celebrating artists, our community and Leicester's passion for musical theatre. We are proud to present a season of work drawing together new musical theatre writers with the canon of Andrew Lloyd Webber, contemporary dance with the work of Leicester legend Aakash Odedra and new writing alongside established voices.

"We cannot wait to bring our communities, artists and audiences together in our specially-adapted socially distanced auditorium. Although we recognise some audiences may be nervous returning to live events, health and safety remains our priority and we have invested significantly in implementing measures to ensure everyone working with us and visiting our theatre is safe.

"Through reopening our theatre we are not only able to make live work once more and employ 100s of freelancers, but we are able to play an active role in helping our city begin to recover from the impact of Covid. We would like to say a heartfelt thank you to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for our second Culture Recovery Fund grant which is enabling us to reignite the mighty Curve engines and operate with social distancing in place. We'd also like to thank everyone who's supported us during the closure, in particular our principal funders Arts Council England and Leicester City Council- this crucial public funding has kept our theatre operating during the pandemic."

Curve's reopening plans are only possible due to grant funding received from the government's Culture Recovery Fund and the ongoing support of Arts Council England and Leicester City Council.

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England said:

"We're delighted to be investing in Curve through the Government's Culture Recovery Fund. This funding will offer this highly-acclaimed theatre the opportunity to plan for the future and prepare for reopening in the coming months. Curve plays a vital role in Leicester, producing and touring bold and diverse musicals and plays, running community choirs and youth programmes.

"The Government's package is hugely welcome, providing much of the sector with resources to reopen safely. Rebuilding a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. Now that we're hopefully on the road to recovery, there is much to look forward to as organisations get ready to reopen their doors, welcoming back audiences and making plans for the future."

In line with the government roadmap, the theatre will fully reopen on 1 July with performances of Peter James' Looking Good Dead. Last week Curve revealed a host of shows set to visit and open tours in Leicester in the coming months including Mischief's Magic Goes Wrong, the Made at Curve production of Grease, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Derren Brown: Showman and The Osmonds: A New Musical.

Alongside plans to welcome audiences back to its building, Curve is also providing audiences with opportunities to enjoy theatre at home whilst restrictions remain in place. From 10 to 15 May Curve will once again share its acclaimed production of Sunset Boulevard – at Home, with all proceeds in support of The Andy Nairn Bursaries in Technical Theatre. From 31 May to 1 June, the theatre will host the digital tour of Aidy the Awesome, a new aerial theatre show for families from Curve Resident Creatives The Gramophones. Commissioned by Curve, the streamed production follows the action-packed adventures of Aidy and her super granny. Tickets for Sunset Boulevard at Home are on sale now with tickets for Aidy the Awesome available to purchase soon.

Tickets for The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, AMDRAM, Rising and Resident Creatives New Work are on sale to Curve Friends from Friday 16 April, with Supporters able to book from Mon 19 April and Members from Tuesday 20 April. Tickets will be on general sale from Thusday 22 April, all at 12 noon. Tickets can be purchased online at

Casting has been announced for Singin’ in the Rain at Sadler’s Wells from 30 July.

Joining the previously revealed Adam Cooper will be Kevin Clifton as Cosmo, Faye Tozer as Lina, Charlotte Gooch as Kathy and Cavin Cornwall as RF Simpson.

Further casting includes Sandra Dickinson, who will appear as Dora Bailey, Michael Matus as Roscoe Dexter and Imogen Brook as Zelda Zanders.

The ensemble features Briana Craig, Alistair Crosswell, Lavinia Fitzpatrick, Alex Given, Ryan Gover, Ashleigh Graham, Harriet Samuel-Gray, Molly Rees Howe, Thomas Inge, Robin Kent, Sam Lips, Joshua Lovell, George Lyons, Heather Scott Martin, Amonik Melaco, Ashleigh Morris, Peter Nash, Megan Spiers, and Ellie May Wilson.

The piece, which has book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, follows Lockwood, a Hollywood silent movie star who has a tricky time when the talkies are invented. It features numbers by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed, including "Make ‘em Laugh", "Good Morning", "Moses Supposes" and "Singin' in the Rain".

Singin' in the Rain was released in cinemas in 1952, before being adapted into a stage show in the 1980s, first running in the West End.

The piece will be directed by Jonathan Church, with choreography by Andrew Wright. The production is designed by Simon Higlett, with lighting by Tim Mitchell. Stuart Burt is casting director, with further creative team members to be confirmed by the production.

The show will also tour in 2023 with casting for the tour to be revealed.

Tickets are available here:

Casting has been announced for Wonderful Town at Opera Holland Park.

The classic Leonard Bernstein musical runs for a strictly limited season from 1 to 4 July 2021.

The show centres on sisters Ruth and Eileen Sherwood as they arrive in 1930s New York and are thrown into a world of madcap adventures, zany characters and endless possibilities.

Wonderful Town first premiered in New York in 1953 where it won five Tony Awards including Best Musical. It has a book by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

Joining Louise Dearman (Ruth) and Siubhan Harrison (Eileen) will be: Ashley Daniels (Appopolous), Roger Dipper (Frank Lippencott), Tamsin Dowsett (Mrs Wade), Gregory Haney (Speedy Valentine), Emma Harrold (Helen), Jason Kajdi (Officer Lonigan), Alex Lodge (Chick Clark), Ako Mitchell (Bob Baker), Billy Nevers (The Wreck), Jade Albertsen and Giles Surridge.

The production is directed by Alastair Knights, with choreography by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, musical direction by Alex Parker and orchestrations by Jason Carr.

Wonderful Town is produced by Quick Fantastic in association with Opera Holland Park.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie: The Movie will be released on Amazon Prime instead of cinemas.

The big screen adaptation will be available in September 17th.

Originally set to be distributed by 20th Century Studios in cinemas on 23 October last year, the rights were acquired by Amazon during the pandemic. It will now debut on Amazon's streaming service on 17 September 2021 in countries worldwide.

The musical is based on the story of Jamie Campbell, as featured in the documentary Drag Queen at Sixteen. The documentary was adapted for the stage back in 2017, and follows a young boy, Jamie New (renamed for the show) who aspires to be a drag queen while tackling a turbulent time growing up in Sheffield. Songs include "And You Don't Even Know It" and "He's My Boy."

The film stars newcomer Max Harwood in the titular role. Lauren Patel, also making her big screen debut, plays Jamie's best friend Pritti Pasha. Richard E Grant plays Hugo / Loco Chanelle, with Sarah Lancashire as Jamie's mum Margaret.

Margaret's best friend Ray is played by Shobna Gulati (who appeared in the stage show) while Sharon Horgan takes on the role of Jamie's teacher Miss Hedge.

Other members of the cast include Ralph Ineson (a TV veteran) as Jamie's dad, Samuel Bottomley as Dean Paxton, Ramzan Miah as Zayn, and the original Jamie from the stage show, John McCrea, will play the Young Loco Chanelle.

The Everybody's Talking About Jamie film reunites the stage production's creative team: Jonathan Butterell returns as director, the screenplay and lyrics are by book writer Tom MacRae, and the score is composed by Dan Gillespie Sells and Anne Dudley. Christopher Ross is cinematographer.

"I am thrilled that our film - the story of taking your place in the world with joy, pride and acceptance - will be winging its way across the world with the Amazon Family," said Butterell. "Let's come together to celebrate the glorious and fabulous uniqueness of each and every one of us."

The Show Must Go On! LIVE! At the Palace Theatre will be streamed for free.

The final performance of the sold-out run will now be streamed as a LIVE broadcast on Sunday 6 June at 7pm.

Theatre fans will be given further opportunity to enjoy the show in its entirety as it is made available to watch on ‘The Shows Must Go On!’ YouTube channel for the seven days following the LIVE broadcast.

Filmed by National Theatre Live, the world’s most iconic musicals return to the West End

stage with a stunning concert performance that audiences can watch from the comfort of their homes for free; exclusively via the hugely popular ‘The Shows Must Go On!’ YouTube channel:

The Show Must Go On! LIVE! At the Palace Theatre is set to be the biggest celebration of musical theatre this year with 18 of the biggest musicals in London West End all performing! Including TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL, Dear Evan Hansen, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, SIX, Hamilton, The Book of Mormon, WICKED, Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical, & Juliet, Les Misérables, Disney’s The Lion King, The Prince of Egypt, Come From Away, The Phantom Of The Opera, Mary Poppins, MAMMA MIA!, Back to the Future The Musical and Pretty Woman The Musical along with a thrilling line-up of West End talent, a multi award winning creative team and the finest musicians in London.

The LIVE broadcast is announced after a record breaking on-sale and follows an incredible year for The Theatre Support fund+, raising over £900,000 for theatre charities from their renowned ’The Show Must Go On!’ merchandise. All profits from the concert will go to Acting for Others and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s charity, Fleabag Support Fund. Audiences watching the broadcast can donate to Theatre Support Fund+ via the website, or Text ‘THEATRE’ followed by the amount you want to donate to 70460.

Chris Marcus and Damien Stanton from Theatre Support Fund+ said today, ‘We wanted to give audiences who missed out on tickets and theatre fans worldwide the opportunity to watch and be a part of this celebration of the West End, in this once in a lifetime concert! It’s been 15 months since many of these shows have performed and this is a great way to kick off the re-opening of the West End, with performances from so many fantastic names in our industry. Our ‘The Show Must Go On!’ campaign has been supported by people from 72 countries so we are delighted to be working with ‘The Shows Must Go On’ YouTube channel and NT Live on bringing this broadcast to people’s homes all over the world and want to thank them for everything they have done to make this all possible’.

The concert will be hosted by musical theatre legends, Bonnie Langford (“9 to 5 the Musical”, “42nd Street”) and Trevor Dion Nicholas (“Hamilton”, “Aladdin”). Performances and casting include:

Aisha Jawando in a performance from TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL, Marcus Harman in a performance from Dear Evan Hansen, Sharan Phull in a performance from Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Collette Guitart and Hana Stewart who will alternate in a performance from SIX, Trevor Dion Nicholas in a performance from Hamilton, Dom Simpson and Tom Xander in a performance from The Book of Mormon, Laura Pick in a performance from WICKED, Tilly-Raye Bayer, Imogen Cole, Alyssa D’Souza, Alex Munden and Carly Thoms in a performance from the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical, Jordan Luke Gage in a performance from & Juliet, John Owen Jones in a performance from Les Misérables, Kayi Ushe and Janique Charles in a performance from Disney’s The Lion King, Christine Allado and Alexia Khadime in a performance from The Prince of Egypt, Alice Fearn in a performance from Come From Away, Lucy St Louis and Rhys Whitfield in a performance from The Phantom Of The Opera, Zizi Strallen in a performance from Mary Poppins and Mazz Murray in a performance from MAMMA MIA! In addition, Olly Dobson in a performance from Back to the Future The Musical and Aimie Atkinson in a performance from Pretty Woman The Musical. There will also be a choir of 16 which is made up of Musical Theatre 2020 graduates.

The concert will also include a brand-new opening number, written by West End musical writing duo Stiles & Drewe called ‘The Show Must Go On!’ which celebrates the theatre industry in these current times.

The multi-award winning creative team includes: Luke Sheppard and Anna Fox, who will direct the concert, Stephen Brooker as musical supervisor, set design by Soutra Gilmour, lighting design by Howard Hudson. Sound design by Adam Fisher, video design by Fray Studio and Stuart Morley as musical director.

The Show Must Go On! LIVE! At the Palace Theatre is produced by Chris Marcus & Damien Stanton for the Theatre Support Fund+ with Executive Producers, Jack Maple & Brian Zeilinger-Goode for MZG Theatre Productions.

All details for the concert can be found via the website

For more theatre content or for information on The Shows Must Go On! YouTube channel visit:

The Hope Mill Theatre have announced outdoor summer festival Hope Fest from 16th July to 8th August.

Manchester's Hope Mill Theatre will launch a three-week festival in Ancoats this summer, HOPE FEST, with a programme of arts and cultural events from 16th July – 8th August.

The festival will take place inside a large theatre tent which will accommodate 250 capacity, based beside New Islington Tram Station (one stop from Piccadilly Station) on the junction between Pollard Street and Great Ancoats Street.

HOPE FEST, in association with Electric Park, has been made possible through collaboration and an ambition to champion the cultural arts post-covid with a unique programme of community-centric events.

The festival line up offers something for everyone including family theatre, comedy, music, plays and musical theatre as well as one off special community events.

The new pop-up summer venue will include an onsite bar and eating area, with BBQ. Offering a range of local beers and spirits and good grub!

Hope Mill Theatre are also launching a special FANCOATS scheme for local residents, offering ticket discounts and an invite to a one-off residents gathering, bringing the local community together.

Current Hope Fest line-up includes, information can be found at

  • Matt and Phreds Music Sessions: Matt & Phred's presents 5 of the outstanding bands who play at their Northern Quarter venue. From Brazilian Jazz and Pop, to Swing, to Live Looping, to full-on Funk/Soul/Hip-Hop party-starters; there's something for everyone. The carefully curated line-up has been selected to reflect the vast array of styles of music that Matt & Phred's regularly and proudly showcases. With each performance boasting superb musicianship and a sound sure to leave audiences in pure admiration of the talent on-stage, these afternoon gigs are the perfect entertainment for audiences of all ages.

  • Other music events: include Jersey Boys tribute, 'The Other Guys present The 4 Sea Sons' A Tribute to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. This award-winning act combines the iconic harmonies and unrivalled showmanship of one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's most prestigious groups, ensuring their legacy continues to live on. featuring a collection of classics such as 'Sherry', 'Walk Like A Man' and 'Oh What a Night'. The UK's number one Dolly Parton tribute act Kelly O'Brien brings The Dolly Show, featuring the best dolly hits from I Will Always Love You to Jolene. There will also be a silent disco, with music by Manchester afrobeat inspired rock-funk band, Agbeko.

  • Comedy: Jason Manfords Comedy Club will host an evening of some of the region's most exciting comedians. Yes Queens, the West End's first female-led improvised comedy night, featuring top UK impro talent from such Olivier Award-winning productions as Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, Austentatious and Mischief Theatre. Yes Queens is interactive theatre at its best, with the audience playing a key role in a night of games, scenes, sketches and songs – all improvised from their suggestions. The Hope Fest Comedy Gala in association with Nodding Dog Comedy will host a line-up of comedians from across the UK including Boothby Graffoe, Elf Lyons, Mike Newall and Vince Atta.

  • Family and kids Events: including the tour of Stiles & Drewe's Three Little Pigs The Musical. From Stiles and Drewe, the award-winning musical team behind Honk! and Broadway's Mary Poppins, comes The Three Little Pigs, a "very curly musical tail" that is perfect for the whole family! This new version of the classic story is full of catchy songs, clever rhymes and silly charm, but also has some very smart things to say about home and family. There will also be a sing a long film showing of the much loved movie, Frozen.

  • Touring productions: including, Judy & Liza. Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli are back together again thanks to a sensational musical experience, Judy and Liza. This dazzling production tells the turbulent tale of Hollywoods biggest stars against the backdrop of their infamous 1964 London Palladium concert.

  • Community Events – Dog Fest: in partnership with The Barkside Manchester doggy day care, Betty and Butch doggy food and treat store and dog training company CB Dogs. This event will be hosted by Hope Mill Theatre Patron Hayley Tamaddon and is open to owners and dogs and includes fancy dress competitions and a doggy Dj. The venue will also run one of their Play Reading sessions, which allows people to come together to read a play.

  • Film Screenings: There will be a film showing of cult classic movie, Coyote Ugly, which will offer movie goers a cocktail and the opportunity to get on those denim shorts and cowboy boots and dance. Coyote Ugly is a 2000 American romantic musical comedy-drama film based on Coyote Ugly Saloon. Aspiring songwriter Violet Sanford, after getting a job at a women-run NYC bar, comes out of her shell.

  • Industry Minds Awards and Grad Fest: The previously postponed Industry Minds Awards will team up with Grad Fest to bring together a night celebrating those in the industry over the past year who have gone over and above to support the industry and artists. Grad Fest will showcase newly graduated performers as part of the awards evening.

  • Through the Mill: Hope Mill Theatre's annual playwriting prize which launched last year and received over 500 submissions will see the finalists come together for an evening. The 12 finalists will share an excerpt of their pieces in front of an industry panel and mentor Jonathan Harvey, where the winning play will be announced.

  • Up Ere Productions present Who killed the Lollypop Man: After the success of 'Who Killed the Lollipop Man?' UP 'ERE are back with a brand new interactive murder mystery – this time in person and set during late 19th century Salford. There has been a murder at Mill and it's up to you to find out who did it!

  • Manchester Culture: Manchester ADP will relaunch their Scripts Aloud evening of new writing and Your Mcr will host an evening of music and interviews with celeb guests with presenters Belinda Scandal and Michelle Eagleton. The Sunday Boys Choir, Manchester's LGBTQ+ choral group will host a concert of music. Entr'acte's and Encore's, Ever wondered how your favourite movie and theatre characters would be seen through queer eyes? Well look no further!Donna Trump, co-founder of 'Queeriosity - Manchester's Curious Cabaret', presents an evening of movie and theatre icons through interpretations of drag, burlesque and performance. Come join us for some classic staples, hidden gems and showstoppers in ways that you would never expect them in.....

  • A celebration of Musical Theatre: Hope Mill Theatre produces a new show celebrating the history of Musical Theatre, which will take the audience on a musical journey of song and dance. Directed by Kirk Jameson.

William Whelton, Executive Director at Hope Mill Theatre, said: "After a year of closure and uncertainty we have been working hard to bring together a festival of outdoor work in our local area. This is an opportunity for us to bring together our audiences in a new and exciting way as well as engaging with a whole new audience. The New Islington area and surrounding community has been our home for over 5 years now and has many diverse and creative residents. With HOPE FEST we also have a varied and diverse line up of arts and culture available, which offers a special opportunity for us to bring together the local community under one roof, or tent! It is important to us that HOPE FEST has something for everyone, whether it be a Sing A Long Frozen for families, music from Matt & Phreds a celebration of Musical Theatre or a dog friendly event, this is an incredible opportunity for our organisation, in a very exciting phase for the New Islington and Electric Park area."

Ben Cross from Electric Park: "The pandemic had an immediate and substantial impact on the arts and cultural sector and is, unfortunately, likely to be the slowest in its recovery. And so, in that context, we're immensely privileged and proud to play our part in supporting this incredible grassroots organisation at a time when it is needed most. Through their exciting programme of accessible events, HOPE FEST will celebrate the best homegrown talent Manchester has to offer. And everyone's welcome because we're all about bringing people together and providing best-in-class social and cultural amenities at Electric Park. It's a place where everything's possible."

Further line up and shows will be announced over the coming weeks.

The Almedia is reviving Spring Awakening with Amara Okereke and Laurie Kynaston.

The production will be directed by Rupert Goold and run from 14 December to 22 January (previews from 30 November).

Winner of the Tony and Olivier awards for best musical, Spring Awakening tells a story of adolescent anarchy, set to a score by Duncan Sheik (music) and Steven Sater (book and lyrics).

It sees a group of teenagers – silenced and controlled by a censorious society – discover a new world of feeling and freedom outside the classroom, with beautiful and devastating consequences.

The cast includes Amara Okereke (Les Misérables) as Wendla and Laurie Kynaston (The Son) as Melchior. The will also reportedly include a number of new drama school graduates, in recognition of the difficulties they have faced finding work during the pandemic.

New British musical Sweet Bloody Mary is being workshopped.

The cast included Emma Norman, Tom Lloyd, Matt Bond, Keoni Blockx, Gregory George, Michael Howe, Emma Dransfield, Emma Chesterton, Elena-Marie Pando, Elizabeth Chadwick, Lewis Dragisic, and Kudzai Mangombe.

With book and story and additional lyrics by James Baker. Music and Lyrics by Austin Fitzsimmons. Additional material written by Lucy Burke.

The new musical is seeking investment. Please contact

Follow on Twitter @ThatMaryMusical

She Stoops To Conquer will open the Guildford Shakespeare Company’s 15th open-air season on 17th June to 3rd July at Guildford Castle Gardens.

Director TOM LITTLER: "A year later than planned, I'm over the moon to return to Guildford Shakespeare Company with She Stoops to Conquer. Oliver Goldsmith's evergreen comedy combines romance, farce, satire and wit. It's a perfectly constructed play with memorable, larger-than-life characters. We're relocating the action from the 18th century to the between-the-wars world of PG Wodehouse, so you can expect a jazzy night out under the stars."

Oliver Goldsmith’s magnificent Georgian play is one of the best-loved and most-performed of English comedies. This outdoor production transports the play to the 1930s country house world of Jeeves and Wooster, replete with fearsome aunts, hapless young men, determined debutantes and hilarious misunderstandings.

The play takes place over the course of a single night, when Marlow, a debonair man-about-town, is led to believe that his future bride's rural family home (the Hardcastles, whom he has never met), is in fact a country inn. When confronted with the elegant Kate Hardcastle, Marlow's swagger melts away, and so to conquer his heart and keep up the pretence, the tenacious Kate poses as a barmaid.

Tom Littler is the Artistic Director of Jermyn Street Theatre, London, and returns to Guildford following his 2019 production of All’s Well That Ends Well (‘A beautiful, magical production. 5 stars doesn’t do it justice.’ – London Theatre 1), which was GSC’s first London transfer, and was nominated for five Off-West Awards.

It will have been 15 months since GSC’s last full-scale show (Macbeth, Feb 2020), and 21 months since their last open-air season. This will also be the theatre company’s 45th production, and returns to the venue where it began in 2006.

MATT PINCHES (GSC Co-Founder and Producer): GSC is a family, albeit a very large one! Every artist and audience member are part of our extended family, and like so many of us over the last year, we have missed our family very much. This moment has been a long-time coming, and we are taking every precaution to ensure our audiences, artists and staff are able to return safely with confidence to share once again the thrill and magic of live theatre in the open-air.”

In August last year GSC piloted Guildford’s only outdoor event in association with Guildford Borough Council, bringing over 800 people to the town’s Castle Gardens. During the last 12 months GSC have continued to stage original shows online, producing 9 live productions, seen by over 4000 households worldwide. Together with their ongoing education and outreach work, the theatre company created 145 jobs for freelance artists, and winning a number of local awards for their commitment to the community.

With rehearsals starting next week for Guildford Shakespeare

Company’s return to the stage, they are proud to announce the cast for their 15th open-air season.

Cast across both plays, the company will perform Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT in July and begin the summer with SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER.

Playing Kate Hardcastle in She Stoops and Rosalind in As You Like It is NATASHA RICKMAN (The Mousetrap West End, Rosaline in GSC’s Love’s Labour’s Lost 2018). Natasha has also directed with the RSC and Shakespeare’s Globe, and is Co-founder of Women at RADA, an initiative campaigning for gender equality in theatre.

ROBERT MASKELL (Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Alban in Le Cage aux Faux and The Sound of Music, all West End) returns to GSC to play Kate’s father Mr Hardcastle and Duke Senior. GSC’s actor-manager and co-founder SARAH GOBRAN plays Mrs Hardcastle/Jacques.

Joining the company for the first time are RACHEL SUMMERS (original West End cast of Upstart Crow by Ben Elton) and COREY MONTAGUE-SHOLAY (King John, The Whip RSC). They play Miss Neville/Celia and Tony Lumpkin/Audrey/Le Beau in the season.

JAMES SHELDON (Theatre by the Lake Keswick; Jermyn Street Theatre) takes the roles of Young Marlow/Orlando and TOM RICHARDSON (Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Tilted Wig) plays Hastings/Silvius/Oliver. Both have enjoyed previous open- air seasons with GSC. Completing the cast is MATT PINCHES (GSC’s co-founder and actor-manager) as


In July, the company moves to the former chalk quarry in Guildford’s town centre for AS YOU LIKE IT. Now a luscious green oasis, Racks Close is a fitting setting for Shakespeare’s sunniest play. Director CAROLINE DEVLIN follows her hugely popular The Merry Wives of Windsor from 2019 with a 1930s-set production. Both productions will be designed by long-time GSC collaborator NEIL IRISH.


General booking 30 April | Priority Booking 26 April

Full £26 Concessions £23 (over 65, students, Equity, Jobseekers, Reg Disabled) Children £16.50 (under 16)


Henry: Queen of Squats is coming to the Pleasance Theatre on 24th June, with performances at 18:30 and 20:30.

Nominated for Best Comedy at the 2019 Brighton Fringe, queer Australian comedian Henry Moss brings HENRY: QUEEN OF SQUATS to FRINGE FUTURES FESTIVAL presented by Pleasance and VAULT Creative arts. "Henry Moss takes you into his world of deluded celebrity and he does it with charm and talent". - The Latest

Henry Moss’s comedy has evolved into a tour de force with his viral TikTok series that follows the hilarious inner workings of drama schools, musical theatre and more.

Henry's recent solo-show Quadruple Threat, was an LGBTQ+ pick at VAULT Festival last year and he is now thrilled to be making his stand-up debut at Pleasance.

As an avid self-help book reader, Henry investigates how to balance being a loving boyfriend, new dog mum and full-time marketing gay. With his female spiritual guides including Dame Judi Dench, this is a love letter to all the fierce women who have shaped him. "he utterly nails both the persona and intonations... simply magnificent, and frankly, it’s worth attending this show just for that". - London Theatre1

It is a "work in progress stand-up show, punctuated by heartbreaking and hilarious song and dance, the campest 50-minutes of your life", says Henry.

Inspired by Henry Moss's move to London five years ago, this is a hilarious reflection of the Australian’s who have made it big in the UK; Kylie Minogue, Hugh Jackman, not to mention millennial pop sensation Troye Sivan (a friend of a friend of Henry’s - he’s not bitter at all).

"Magnetic level of enthusiasm and energy. It’s nigh on impossible not love everything he does... 50 minutes of pure unadulterated laugh-out-loud laughter and escapism".

- Dress Circle Antics

TikTok: @mrhenrymoss

Instagram: @mrhenrymoss twitter: @mrhenrymoss facebook:


The Cher Show will tour next year directed by Arlene Phillips and choreographed by Oti Mabuse.

A new production of The Cher Show that closed on Broadway on August 18th 2019 after five months, will tour the UK and Ireland next year, with a creative team led by director Arlene Phillips, choreographer Oti Mabuse and costume designer Gabriella Slade.

The tour will open at the Leicester Curve on 15 April 2022, and continue until 1 April 2023.

The Cher Show show was first seen on Broadway in 2018. With a book by Tony and Olivier Award-winning Rick Elice (Jersey Boys, The Addams Family, Peter and the Starcatcher) it features a raft of Cher hits including "Turn Back Time", "I Got You Babe", "Strong Enough", "The Shoop Shoop Song" and "Believe".

Arlene Phillips said: "I have been a fan of Cher since I first heard 'I Got You Babe' in the mid-60s and cannot wait to direct her musical. I love stories about strong inspirational legends like Cher and I am proud to be joined in the creative team by two women who have already made a huge impact in their careers.

"This exciting show will be a non-stop journey of Cher's rollercoaster life, bringing to the audience Cher's iconic songs, glorious dance numbers, unique costumes and her epic drama. All they need to do is come along and Believe."

Phillips' many West End credits include Starlight Express and We Will Rock You. She is former head judge on Strictly Come Dancing, the show that shot Oti Mabuse to fame as one of its winning dancers. Gabriella Slade's recent West End design credits include Six and Curtains.

The production, which marks the show's European premiere, will visit: Sunderland, Hull, Sheffield, Manchester, Belfast, Blackpool, Nottingham, Canterbury, Plymouth, Dublin, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Southend, Cardiff, Stoke, Woking, Dartford, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Wolverhampton, Bradford, Brighton, York, Ipswich, Southampton, Northampton, Liverpool, Bristol, Wimbledon, Darlington, Torquay, Oxford, Llandudno, Norwich and Carlisle.

The Cher Show will have lighting design by Ben Cracknell and sound design by Dan Samson. It's produced by Tom de Keyser and Hamish Greer of Royo Entertainment.

Forever Plaid at Upstairs at the Gatehouse opens next week.

The cast include Christopher Short, Cameron Burt, Alexander Zane, and George Crawford.

This is the first post lockdown production from Upstairs at the Gatehouse and will play between 1st and 27th June with performances every night at 7.30pm (except Sundays and Mondays) There will be matinees on Sundays at 4pm and one Saturday matinee at 3pm on 26th June. The show runs for 80mins with no interval

On Tuesday 22nd June there will be a special Highgate Festival performance, with a post-show talk with cast and creatives.

They have taken many precautions to keep their audiences safe from the virus. At our one and only performance (since 16th March 2020) – the open dress rehearsal of ‘Forever Plaid’ on 15th December – the audience were temperature checked on arrival and everyone wore masks throughout the performance. They had a ‘full house’ of 40 people who all sat socially distanced and we received many favourable comments, not only about the show, but also about how safe people felt in our auditorium whilst watching live entertainment.

These protocols will stay in place for the first three weeks of the run of Forever Plaid. After 21st June we will refer to government guidelines regarding socially distanced seating.

‘Monday Night Magic’ has been rescheduled to Monday 28th June at 7.30pm

‘Margaret: Rebel Royal’ to Wednesday 30th June at 7.30pm

‘The Yalta Game’ & ‘After-play’ are rescheduled for 6th – 11th July

‘Naked Justice’ is scheduled for 14th – 18th July

‘A Modest Little Man’ is rescheduled for 31st August – 5th September

All tickets are now on sale:

You Are Here starring Wendi Peters and Rebecca McKinnis is on at the Southwark Playhouse now until 12th June 2021.

You Are Here is the UK premiere of an intimate, hilarious and heart-breaking tour-de-force musical that will leave you cheering for the resilience of the human spirit.

July 20, 1969. On the night of the moon landing, Chicago housewife Diana (Wendi Peters) walks out of her comfortable suburban life for no real reason. She sees the astronauts taking that great step and is struck by the realisation that some people lead exciting lives. Suddenly alone in a fast-changing world, she finds a series of unexpected encounters can turn one small step into a giant, life-changing leap.

The show features Music & Lyrics by Neil Bartram and a Book by Brian Hill (Theory of Relativity, Story of my Life, Bedknobs and Broomsticks).

The cast also includes Phil Adéle (The Lion King) and Jordan Frazier (Bat Out of Hell).

Directed by Matthew Rankcom the Musical Director is Laura Bangay.


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