Latest News

Comedy Star Ross Noble joins The Producers in Glasgow

Written By Lisa Davidson on Friday, 28 November 2014 | 11:30

Following 14 sell-out worldwide tours, award-winning comedian and king of improvisational comedy, Ross Noble will make his musical theatre debut in the 2015 UK Tour of The Producers coming to the Theatre Royal Glasgow on Monday 15 June 2015 for one week only.

Ross Noble joins the cast of The Producers from Monday 18 May as Franz Liebkind; the short fused, carrier pigeon keeping, former Nazi, brought on board by Max Bialystok and Leo Bloom (Jason Manford) to help them in their plot to put on the worst musical of all time.

Based on Mel Brooks’ beloved Academy Award winning movie, The Producers is a hilarious musical comedy that has taken Broadway and the West End by storm, winning a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards and 3 Olivier Awards; it opens its UK tour in March 2015.

Ross said of his role; “I am very excited about appearing in The Producers. I am a huge fan of the show and for anyone who loves comedy, the chance to perform the work of Mel Brooks is amazing!”

Master surrealist Ross Noble has been performing as a stand-up comedian since the age of 15. His countless accolades include Time Out award winner for best live stand-up, Barry Award winner, Manchester Evening News Theatre Award, Perrier Award nominee and several Chortle Awards. Unveiling a new sell-out show every year for the last 15 years Ross is one of the most successful comedians of our time exuding an on-stage presence unlike any other. Ross’ worldwide travel as a stand-up was the subject of his own BBC Radio 4 programs Ross Noble Goes Globaland Ross Noble On and series FreeWheeling on DAVE earlier this year. He joins The Producers fresh from his UK and Australian tour Tangentleman.
Impoverished by a string of flops, New York producer Max Bialystock recruits downtrodden accountant Leo Bloom (Jason Manford) to help him pull off Broadway's greatest scam. Together they aim to produce the worst show ever and run away to Rio with millions, but they learn that Showbusiness can always find a way to kick you in the teeth. Featuring a riotous mix of eccentric characters and the all-time classic song ‘Springtime For Hitler’, The Producers is the funniest Broadway musical of all time.

The Producers is at the Theatre Royal Glasgow from 15th - 20th June. Tickets are on sale now from: ATG Tickets

Danielle Hope brings the hills alive with The Sound of Music

Written By Lisa Davidson on Thursday, 27 November 2014 | 17:30

One of the greatest musicals of all time returns to the stage in a magnificent new production which opens on Thursday 15 January at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley and then embarks on a major national tour, coming to the King’s Theatre from Monday 16 until Saturday 28 February 2015.

Playing the iconic role of Maria von Trapp is DANIELLE HOPE, who captured the hearts of the country when she won BBC Television’s Over the Rainbow and made her professional debut as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium. Danielle has since played Eponine in Les Misérables in London’s West End and Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Produced by Bill Kenwright, directed by Martin Connor, choreographed by Olivier Award winner Bill Deamer, musical direction by David Steadman, this wonderfully lavish new staging of the classic musical coincides with the 50th anniversary of the film version - the most successful movie musical in history.

It all began with the story of the Trapp Family Singers and Baroness Maria von Trapp’s 1949 autobiography, which inspired Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse to create a Broadway musical in 1959. The Sound of Music tells the true story of the world-famous singing family, from their romantic beginnings and search for happiness, to their thrilling escape to freedom as their beloved Austria becomes part of the Third Reich at the start of WWII.

The unforgettable score features some of the most memorable songs ever performed on stage, including ‘Edelweiss’, ‘My Favourite Things’, ‘Do-Re-Mi’, ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’, ‘So Long, Farewell’ and of course, the title song, ‘The Sound of Music’.

The Sound of Music is at the King's Theatre from 16th - 28th February 2015. Tickets are on sale now from ATG Tickets

Musical stars Kerry Ellis, Louise Dearman and Ben Forster unite on The Route to Happiness

Three of the UK’s most popular and internationally successful musical theatre stars have joined forces to record a critically acclaimed new British musical.

Kerry EllisBen Forster and Louise Dearman appear on the new recording of Alexander S. Bermange’s three-person musical The Route To Happiness, which was embraced by critics and audiences alike during its run at London’s Landor Theatre last year. This album of the complete show includes new and re-conceived material that BBC comic songwriter Bermange has created for the musical since its premiere production, and is produced by Mike Dixon, one of the UK’s foremost Musical Supervisors.

The Route To Happiness charts the individual and interweaving experiences of three present-day Londoners in pursuit of their respective dreams: finding love, making money, and becoming famous. A musical with humour and heart, listeners will be amused, moved, and possibly even made to question their own desires and goals.

The Route To Happiness is to be releasedon Monday 8th December 2014 on the Spectacular Music label. It will be available both as a deluxe 2 CD set from Amazon and Dress Circle, and to download from iTunes and all major digital platforms. A trailer can be viewed at

To coincide with the release of The Route To Happiness, the recording of Alexander S. Bermange’s earlier musical Shadowless is to be released digitally on the same date. The show, which won two awards at the Musical Festival Graz in Austria, tells the story of a man who sells his shadow to the devil, and the recording features seasoned West End performers James GillanSarah Lane,Michael CormickRachel IzenAlan RuscoeTony KempCaroline Deverill,Susan StevensJohn TallentsAndrew HutchingsMelitsa MaceChristopher Middlebrook and Melanie Tate.

Warren Brown steps into the role of Captain Hook for King's Theatre panto

Written By Lisa Davidson on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 | 11:30

Leading TV actor Warren Brown will be stepping into Captain Hook’s boots for this year’s King’s Theatre pantomime, Peter Pan. Warren, who is best known to TV viewers for his role as DS Ripley in the BBC crime drama Luther, will be joining the cast after Gavin Mitchell, a King’s panto regular, has had to withdraw from the show for medical reasons.

James HaworthGeneral Manager of the King’s Theatre said: “We would like to extend a warm King’s welcome to the newest addition of our panto family,Warren Brown. The much-loved member of our panto team Gavin Mitchell will be sadly missed. On behalf of all the King’s staff, Peter Pan cast and crew, I would like to wish Gavin a full and speedy recovery, but I know Warren will do a brilliant job as the dastardly Captain Hook.

“Warren is an excellent addition to our talented Peter Pan cast which includesGreg McHugh, Des Clarke, Scott Fletcherand Joanne McGuinness. I have no doubt this strong line up will deliver the family fun-filled Christmas magic which has become synonymous with the King’s Theatre. Our 50th Pantoversary promises spectacular sets, breath-taking flying sequences, dazzling costumes and a pirate crew that will have you rolling in the aisles with laughter.”

Theatre Review: Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense - Theatre Royal, Glasgow ✭✭✭✭


Review by Anna Ireland

In the second last of its UK tour dates, Jeeves and Wooster brings its West End show to GlasgowWelcome to upper class1930s England, as Bertie Wooster enlists the help of his butler Jeeves to stage a play of antics and misdemeanours.

Jeeves (John Gordon Sinclair) and Wooster (Joel Sams) are entertaining in their contrast, one that is expertly played with for for comic valueJeeves saves the latter from his social ineptitude; he is rich and intelligent, but breezes through life blissfully unaware (he takes a bubble bath mid-show), whilst Jeeves cleans up his messes and ensures his respectability. As leads they are both excellent, and Sinclair’s ability to chop between characters (at one point he is dressed half male half female, to great audience appreciation) is remarkable. Butler Seppings (Robert Goodaleis the only additional actor in a play that becomes one of fast-paced rotation through costumes and set.

This idea of a ‘play within a play’ allows much of the humour to derive from the audience witnessing prop erecting and costume changes on stage. Indeed Jeeves, when needing to present a female character, tears down a curtain and places a lampshade on his head to do so. Throwing a stolen policeman’s hat into the crowd to prevent its discovery on stage also only works to their advantage. From there, the humour is inclusive, playful and very effective.

The names and characters and places of the plot merge into one frenetic ball - something to do with a weekend at a country house and the stealing of a silver cow creamer.However, it is spirited, energetic and oh-so-jolly enjoyable, as long as you absorb yourself in the mind-set of laughing at and not with. The audience had no qualms about this, with slapstick humour that erred just on the right side of sophisticated to secure their approval. Even in moments where it was a little too physical in its comedy, it wasn’t cringe-worthy but perhaps deliberately mocking.

Wooster’s intelligence is diminished by the power of his extraordinary butler; when things go awry, Jeeves saves the day. The duo and their sidekick Seppings are a delightfully entertaining trio, ending the play with a 30s dance routine that secured its feel good factor. Even if this would not be your traditional cup of tea, I would recommend you see it as a humorous delve into the pompous life of upper class 1930s England. Old chap.

Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense is at the Theatre Royal until Saturday 29th November

Full cast announced for 2015 UK Tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein's OKLAHOMA

Written By Steve Stubbs on Monday, 24 November 2014 | 10:51


The full cast has been announced for the new production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical OKLAHOMA! presented by Music & Lyrics Limited and Royal & Derngate Northampton.

From the award-winning producers of the highly successful tours of The King and I and Fiddler on the Roof, this new production of one of the great classic American musicals will feature Lucy May Barker as Ado Annie, James O’Connell as Will Parker, Paul Grunert as Andrew Carnes, Kara Lane as Gertie Cummings, Christopher D Hunt as Cord Elam and Barnaby Thompson as Ike Skidmore. Also in the cast are Simon Anthony, Christina Bennington, Robbie Boyle, Katie Marie-Carter, Lisa Dent, Emilie du Leslay, Ian Gareth-Jones, Hannah Grace, Ross Lee Fowkes, Perry O’Dea, Sasi Strallen and Gabriella Stylianou. They join the previously announced Belinda Lang as Aunt Eller, Gary Wilmot as Ali Hakim, Ashley Day as Curly, Charlotte Wakefield as Laurey and Nic Greenshields as Jud Fry.

The production, directed by Rachel Kavanaugh and with new choreography by Drew McOnie, will tour the UK and Ireland next year, opening at the Derngate Theatre Northampton on 19 February 2015. There will be a live orchestra with Musical Supervision by Stephen Ridley. Set and costumes will be designed by Francis O’Connor, with lighting by Tim Mitchell and sound by Ben Harrison.

OKLAHOMA!, with music by Richard Rodgers and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, was based on the Lynn Riggs play Green Grow the Lilacs and was the first musical written by the duo. It was originally produced on Broadway in 1943 and the Academy Award-winning film was released in 1955. Set in the Oklahoma territory in the early 1900s, the musical tells the story of two sets of star-crossed lovers. Cowboy Curly loves Laurey, Aunt Eller’s niece, but Curly’s rival is the mysterious and dangerous hired hand Jud Fry. Meanwhile, Ado Annie is torn between cowboy Will and peddler Ali Hakim. Their stories are told with the help of some of the best loved songs in musical theatre history, including Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’, I Cain’t Say No, The Surrey With the Fringe on Top, Kansas City, People Will Say We’re in Love and the title song.

The UK & Irish tour of OKLAHOMA! will be presented through special arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe.



19–28 February          NORTHAMPTON             Derngate Theatre                      01604 624811   
3–7 March                  WOLVERHAMPTON        Grand Theatre                           01902 429212 
17–21 March              SALFORD                       The Lowry                                0843 208 6000 
24–28 March              DUBLIN                          Bord Gais Energy Theatre         0818 719 377    
**7–11 April                EASTBOURNE                Congress Theatre                     01323 412000  
14–18 April                 BRADFORD                    Alhambra Theatre                      01274 432 000 
21–25 April                 EDINBURGH                   Festival Theatre                        0131 529 6000 
28 April–2 May           NOTTINGHAM                 Theatre Royal                           0115 989 5555
5–9 May                     SOUTHAMPTON             Mayflower Theatre                    023 8071 1811 
12–16 May                 CRAWLEY                      The Hawth                                01293 553636 
19–23 May                 BATH                              Theatre Royal                           01225 448 844       on sale soon
26–30 May                 TRURO                           Hall For Cornwall                      01872 262 466       on sale soon
2–6 June                    CHELTENHAM                Everyman Theatre                     01242 572573        on sale soon
**8–13 June                DARTFORD                    Orchard Theatre                        01322 220000    
16–20 June                CANTERBURY                Marlowe Theatre                       01227 787787
23–27 June                NEWCASTLE                  Theatre Royal                           0844 811 2121
30 June–4 July           BIRMINGHAM                 Hippodrome                                                         0844 338 5000                                
**14–18 July               BRISTOL                         Hippodrome                             0844 871 3012    
21 July–1 August        SHEFFIELD                    Lyceum Theatre                                                    0114 249 6000
4–8 August                HIGH WYCOMBE            Wycombe Swan                       01494 512 000       on sale soon

**Newly announced date

TOTO announce May 2015 gigs in Glasgow, Manchester and London



Monday 24th November - Legendary LA rockers Toto have today announced that they will be returning to the UK as part of a massive world tour where they will unveil some songs from their new album due in Spring 2015, share some deep tracks from past Toto albums, and perform all the hits their fans have come to love and expect. The band are set to play three shows on British soil in Glasgow, Manchester and London on the 21st, 25th and 26th of May 2015. Toto tickets are on-sale from 10am on Friday 28th November and are available from

Few ensembles in the history of recorded music have individually or collectively had a larger imprint on pop culture than the members of Toto. As individuals, the band members can be heard on an astonishing 5000 albums that together amass a sales history of a HALF A BILLION albums. Amongst these recordings, NARAS applauded the performances with more than 200 Grammy nominations.

With over 38 years together and thousands of credits and accolades to their names, Toto remains one of the top selling tour and recording acts in the world. They are the benchmark by which many artists base their sound and production, and they continue to transcend the standards set by the entire music community, being simply synonymous with musical credibility.

Band members have been South Park characters, and their repertoire continues to be current via high profile usage on broadcast television. In May, 2012, Family Guy utilized "Africa" within the plot of the season finale "Internal Affairs" which can be viewed here: http:// Last March, Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake offered a light-hearted homage via a comedy sketch with the track that has now been viewed 3.8 million times on YouTube: They are pop culture, and are one of the few 70’s bands that have endured the changing trends and styles, and more than 35 years in to a career enjoy a multi- generational fan base.

In April 2014 Toto released their 35TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR - LIVE IN POLAND CONCERT DVD. The DVD was #1 worldwide and is still going strong today. Filmed on June 25, 2013 in Lodz, Poland, the offering captures the band in the midst of a standing-room-only European tour of 29 cities staging successful concerts Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Toto World Tour 2013 featured Luke, David Paich, Steve Porcaro on keyboards, and singer Joseph Williams, who sang the hits "Pamela" and "Stop Loving You" on the worldwide platinum release The Seventh One (1988). Williams is also featured on the platinum certified Fahrenheit (1986), Toto XX (1998), and also appeared on the multi- platinum release Past to Present 1977-1990 issued in 1990.

Toto has been hard at work in 2014 on a new studio album that is planned for release in Spring 2015, their first since Falling In Between (2006). Keyboardist and founding member David Paich recently shared, "The repertoire is coming together so naturally it is as though we never took a break from creating as Toto in the studio. For the fans who have been waiting patiently and continually showing the band support and love over the last decade or so, this one's for you. Collectively we can't wait to share these recordings with The World." In April 2014, they returned to Japan for a seven show headlining sold-out arena tour that takes them through Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, Sendai and Sapporo. Late- Summer 2014, the band staged their most extensive and successful North American tour in years as a co-headliner with Michael McDonald.

Toto is:
Steve Lukather (Guitar, Vocals) David Paich (Keyboards, Vocals) Steve Porcaro (Keyboards, Vocals) Joseph Williams (Vocals)



Toto tickets are on-sale from 10am on Friday 28th November priced at £38.50 / £43.50 in Manchester and £40.00 / £45.00 in London (subject to per-ticket charge plus order processing fee) and are available from

Spend CHRISTMAS WITH LEE MEAD in London's West End at the Garrick Theatre on 7th December


Lee Mead will return to the West End stage on Sunday 7 December for a very special seasonal concert celebrating Christmas at London’s Garrick Theatre(   The show concludes a busy year of theatre concerts for Lee who has been touring the UK with his live show alongside appearing in BBC One’s Casualty series. 
Lee will celebrate the festive season by performing a selection of Christmas classics and carols amongst which will be Winter WonderlandI’ll Be Home For ChristmasBlue ChristmasRockin’ Around The Christmas Tree and Silent Night.   

Lee, who shot to fame when he won the coveted West End role of Joseph in TV’s  Any Dream Will Do and went on to star in Wicked and   Legally Blonde,  will also be performing songs from these shows along with favourites from   Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera,  and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory amongst others.  Added to this there will be selections from Lee’s three solo albums and material from his new album set for release next year which will include songs from Guys n DollsSouth Pacific and Singin’ In The Rain.

Lee will be joined on stage by special guests – Amanda Henderson, who also stars in Casualty and who has appeared in various musicals including Cameron Mackintosh’s most recent London production of Oliver and the recent Les Miserables movie and Stephen Rahman Hughes who founded the group Teatroand went on to appear with Lee in the hit show West End Men.

Lee will be accompanied on stage by a 7 piece band led by MD Mason Neely

Join Eric the Elf for a Chaotic Christmas at the Citizens Theatre

Written By Lisa Davidson on Sunday, 23 November 2014 | 12:00

The Citizens Theatre presents Eric the Elf’s Chaotic Christmas, a Christmas show for little ones in the theatre’s Circle Studio from Thursday 11 – Wednesday 31 December. Written specially for 3 – 6 year olds, Eric the Elf’s Chaotic Christmas is devised, composed and directed by Andy McGregor. Eric the Elf’s Chaotic Christmas is a fun-filled, interactive, inspiring musical adventure featuring lots of laughs and songs to sing along with and is an ideal introduction to the magic of theatre.

Created especially for a younger audience, Eric the Elf’s Chaotic Christmas is about a wee elf on a big mission to save Christmas. It’s Eric first year in Santa’s grotto and he is very excited. He was busy creating toys for children all around the world when disaster struck! He’s been left all on his lonesome with a huge list of presents to make. The future of Christmas rests on his rather small shoulders. Luckily for him boys and girls from Glasgow and beyond have arrived to help him meet Santa’s Christmas deadline.

Citizens Theatre welcomes back Andy McGregor whose score for last year’s Christmas Show for young audiences Bauble Trouble delighted children and their families. This year, as well as creating a host of brand new songs to join in with, Andy has created a show filled with festive joy and wonder. Santa’s workshop is transported to Glasgow in Neil Haynes’ set design. Haynes also worked on last year’s Bauble trouble creating a cosy winter home in the intimate Circle Studio. Harry Ward plays the lead role of Eric the Elf.

Eric the Elf’s Chaotic Christmas is presented alongside A Christmas Carol, a festive show for families aged 6+ on the main stage. Join the world’s most notorious miser Ebenezer Scrooge on his remarkable journey to discover the true spirit of Christmas in a bold, theatrical adaptation filled with classic Christmas carols to capture the original heart of Charles Dickens’ beloved tale.

For tickets and information visit

Theatre Review: Wicked (tour) - Edinburgh Playhouse ✭✭✭✭✭(✭)

Written By Lisa Davidson on Saturday, 22 November 2014 | 12:30

Review by Anne Mackie & Graeme Shield

Oh my Oz. Is it possible to give a show 6 stars? If we could, we would make it a spellbinding first after the thunderously incredible West End and Broadway smash hit, ‘Wicked’ flew into the Edinburgh Playhouse (for a limited 8-week run) and blew the emerald-hungry audience away with its dazzling spectacle and astonishing sound.

Yep… Brace yourselves, and prepare your goosepimples…
Fresh from a whirlwind tour of the UK, this is the first production of the show to have left its West End routes. And holy ‘Shiz’, it certainly benefits from the freshness and vigour afforded it by its blithe and talented cast of actors.

WICKED is based on the acclaimed best-seller ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ by Gregory Maguire, inspired by L Frank Baum’s original characters from the Wizard of Oz. Maguire re-imagines what happened before, during and after ‘the farm girl’ dropped into Oz with her house. The songs are crafted by Stephen Schwartz (notable for plenty of Broadway hits as well as Disney classics Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame) with the playful adaptation by Winnie Holzman slicing out the heavier and darker elements of the novel.

And for those of you who have been living in the Thousand Year Grasslands of The Outer Vinkus, let us give you the gist. Green-skinned Elphaba is a talented yet socially awkward girl who ends up caring for her sister Nessarose at university. There she meets the effervescent socialite Glinda (‘the Gah is silent, you know’) and an extraordinary friendship unfolds as they dance through life, love and rebellion in the Land of Oz.

Leading the production as the misunderstood and misrepresented Elphaba is Edinburgh’s own Ashleigh Gray. Gray commands the role, planting her broomstick in the ground and claiming the Edinburgh Playhouse as her own. She has an astonishing vocal talent with the ability to both belt and riff on a note at the same time (‘briffing’, if you will) which undoubtedly defies all pre-conceived ideas of biological vocal mechanics. Stunning. The pinnacle number ‘Defying Gravity’ (closing Act 1) was quite simply, tear-jerkingly sensational. Or ‘facemeltingly good’, for want of a better expression.

Not to be out-done, Emily Tierney’s Glinda is a comical yet emotive performance. Notebly, Tierney’s portrayal is less puerile and haughty than other interpretations of the ditzy blonde, allowing an instant warmth and affection towards to the role. Wonderfully, Gray and Tierney complement each other perfectly. The unexpected arrival of ridiculously hunky Fiyero (played with truth by ridiculously hunky Samuel Edwards) causes a change in dynamic that allow all three to explore the light and shade of their characters, fulfilling the promise of the show.

In addition, there is sterling work by Carina Gillespie as Nessarose (feisty and bitter), Steven Pinder as the Wizard (saccharine yet powerful) and Richard Vincent as Boq. Credit must also go to Marilyn Cutt for her comedic yet stern performance as Madame Morrible, whose interpretation hinted at the more menacing undertones of the character from the novel. It seems also prudent to mention the ensemble who, moreso than their counterparts in London, seem to have developed a real chemistry and give a gritty performance which is both playful and sinister.

Every element of this touring production is completely breathtaking. Eugene Lee's spectacular set, Susan Hilferty's stunning costumes, Kenneth Posner's dazzling lighting design... The list goes on. Special mention however must go to Musical Director Dan Jackson and his brilliant orchestra who brought the exquisite musicality of Stephen Schwartz's melodies to life from the depths of the pit. Fab-ul-OZ.

All this begs the concluding cardinal question: Could this production be esteemed *better* than its West End counterpart? *whispers* Yes.

Historically, Wicked has changed the face of musical theatre since it’s inaugural debut on Broadway in 2003, and the 2014 tour is no exception. This is cateogrically ‘One Short Day (or night) in the Emerald City’ you won’t regret visiting. Beg, borrow or steal a ticket to this undeniable masterpiece of theatrical and musical genius. If you do one thing this winter, make it Wicked...

‘Everyone deserves the chance to fly’, after all…

Wicked runs until Saturday 10th January 2015 at the Edinburgh Playhouse. For more information on tickets, go to
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