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Jan 31st

Graham Fellows on…John Shuttleworth’s ‘Out of Our Sheds’ tour

By Sue Casson

As John Shuttleworth, the former sweet factory security guard from Walkley, South Yorkshire, turned radio, TV and recording star, embarks on a national tour, accompanying songs such as ‘Pigeons in Fight’ on his Yamaha keyboard and sharing his thoughtful observations on village shops, the joys of midweek, and supermarket check-out etiquette, Graham Fellows, his alter ego,  found time for a quick chat backstage just before a preview at Stamford Arts Centre.

GF          I started doing 20 minute spots with John in comedy clubs in London and decided to get an hour-long show together. I performed John Shuttleworth’s ‘Guide to Stardom’ at the Edinburgh Festival in 1992 and was lucky enough to get nominated for the Perrier Award (he was pipped to the post by Steve Coogan and John Thompson), so then I was off doing gigs and tours and that’s kind of what I’ve done ever since. I used to do them once a year and now it’s every two years but this one is sort of stretching out. Other tours have been called ‘Miditations’, ‘One Foot in the Gravy’, ‘Pillock of the Community’, ‘2000 & John’, The ‘Minor Tour - and other Mythological Creatures’ - I just love a good pun (or a bad one). For this tour, I saw the Rolling Stones’ ‘Out of our Heads’ album cover, and thought of the title ‘Out of our sheds’ with John talking about sheds but, in the end, he doesn’t talk that much about sheds. I keep trying to introduce more shed material. In fact, tonight, I’ll try to.

SC          What do you enjoy most about being John?

GF          Well, the facetious answer would be not being him any more when I come offstage and pull off his sweater, but that’s unfair and untrue because John’s been very good to me. You see – I talk about him in the third person which is a bit frightening! It’s a lovely escape from one mundane world into another because, on paper. John’s life is very drab and suburban but I love playing places like this. It’s great. You get free, complementary sandwiches and everyone is great and you get up on stage, hopefully make people laugh and you come off and get paid for it! I trained as an actor and performed in theatre for several years with moderate success. I never got to the RSC, which I wanted to do. I’m still waiting for the call, but my big problem is remembering lines. I had some hypnosis for memory loss, which worked to some extent but, of course, with John Shuttleworth, it doesn’t matter if I forget the words to some extent because that’s part of the character.

SC          Anything you dislike about playing John?

GF          If I do him too much, my head goes a bit, but the only thing that gets me down about touring is the travelling. Everyone says that but it’s true. You’re in the car a lot of the time. We try to pace it so that’s it’s perhaps three gigs then you go home for a couple of days but there’s a stretch coming up with about nine gigs in a row down in the south west so that’s going to be a bit tiring.

SC          Do audiences around the country react differently to John?

GF          No. They don’t. All I would say is that they are more reserved in some areas and more up for it and interactive in others. In Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, and Glasgow, the big cities, audience is more likely to be quite raucous. I played Pocklington as a warm up the other day and now Stamford. The audiences are more reserved in smaller towns, but seem to enjoy the show just as much.

SC          Does the show evolve much during the tour?

GF          I try and change it every night. One of the reasons for that is that I’m a perfectionist and I’ve never got it right yet. Sometimes I feel I get close, but I always come off stage and think, ‘Oh, why didn’t I say that? It’d have been funnier if I’d said that’, if something goes wrong. I’m always trying to hone little stories that I have. You always try to add new bits to old material and see if they can improve it and sometimes some old material will suddenly not feel right any more so I’ll drop it.

SC          Finally, is there anything you’d like to do with John that you haven’t done yet?

GF          We’re trying to put him in a cartoon and I’d like to make another feature film. We’ve done two films so far - ‘It’s Nice up North’ and ‘Southern Softies’.  Both were bought by Sky Arts and are still available on DVD. A guy called Keven Baldwin has been doing drawings of John for ages and he made a short film called ‘Unaccompanied Lady’ which is quite nice and appeared at a few film festivals. We’re trying to develop it into a full-length cartoon so that we can get a TV series but it isn’t easy. Very few cartoons are commissioned in Britain. This one would be very cheap to make because I’d be providing all the voices and he’s doing all the drawings so if we can get it to a certain length, hopefully we can get commissioned to do more. I’m trying to get another radio series at the moment and there will be more tours, so who knows? I’m still enjoying doing him. I’m probably catching him up. I’m 53 now and John’s about sixty (I try to be non-specific about his age), but when I started, I was 25 and he was 46, so you see how we’ve narrowed the gap. Will that do you? I’d better go and get ready.

John Shuttleworth ‘Out of our Sheds’ tours until 30th May.

For further details, please see or follow John’s comments on Twitter (@johnshuttlewrth)

February 2013

Fri 1st SHEFFIELD Crucible 0114 249 6000
Sat 2nd LIVERPOOL Playhouse 0151 709 4776
Sun 3rd BRISTOL Tobacco Factory 01179020060
Mon 4th BATH Komedia 0845 293 8480
Tues 5th GREAT TORRINGTON,Plough 01805 624624
Weds 6th FALMOUTH Princess Pavilion 01326 211222
Thu 7 WIMBORNE Tivoli 01202885566
Fri 8th WINCHESTER, Theatre Royal 01962 840440
Sat 9th CANTERBURY Gulbenkian
Tues 12th LEEDS, City Varieties 0113 2430808
Thu 14 LEICESTER Little Theatre 0116 255 1302
Fri 15th BUXTON Opera House 0845 127 2190
Sat 16th HERTFORD Hertford Theatre 01992 531500
Tues 19th/Weds 20th/Thurs 21st LONDON Leicester Square Theatre 08448 733433
Fri 22nd NEWCASTLE, Tyne Theatre 0844 4939999
Weds 27th LOUTH Riverhead 01507 600350 (ALL PROCEEDS TO FROGLIFE)
Thurs 28th DURHAM Gala 0191 332 4041

March 2013

Sun 3rd March CHELTENHAM, Town Hall 0844 576 2210
Mon 4th NEWCASTLE UNDER LYME New Vic 01782 717962
Weds 6th March YORK Grand Opera House 0844 847 2322
Thursday 7th March CAMBRIDGE Junction 01223 511 511
Tues 19th COLCHESTER Arts Centre 01206 500900
Fri 22nd LANCASTER, Dukes Theatre 01524 598507
Thursday 28th March GLASGOW Citizens Theatre 0141 429 0022
Friday 29th March STIRLING Macrobert Arts Centre 01786 466666

April 2013

Thu 25th SCARBOROUGH, Spa Theatre 01723 357 869
Fri 26th TUNBRIDGE WELLS, Trinity 01892 678678
Sat 27th WORTHING, Connaught 01903 206206

May 2013

Weds 8th WOLVERHAMPTON Civic Hall 0870 3207000
Thurs 9th HEREFORD Courtyard 01432 340555
Thurs 30th OLDHAM Coliseum 0161 6242829 

Jan 3rd

Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” - 60TH ANNIVERSARY UK TOUR

By Cameron Lowe

For over 50 years, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has been the world’s longest running stage production. The first ever tour of the record-breaking production tours through to 2014, and it is coming to The Regent Theatre from Monday 18 – Saturday 23 February.

The Mousetrap - UK Tour

Due to extraordinary demand, extra performances have now been added in Canterbury, Cardiff, Manchester, Southampton, Malvern and Newcastle. Overall, the tour has sold well over 100,000 tickets so far.

The cast includes: Steven France (Eastenders, The Bill) as Christopher Wren, Thomas Howes (Downton Abbey, The History Boys (National Theatre UK Tour)) as Sgt Trotter, Karl Howman (Brush Strokes) as Mr Paravicini, Bruno Langley (Coronation Street, Doctor Who) as Giles Ralston, Graham Seed (Yes, Prime Minister UK Tour, BBC Radio 4’s The Archers) as Major Metcalf and Jemma Walker (Family Affairs, Eastenders) as Mollie Ralston. Jan Waters will reprise her west end role as Mrs Boyle and Clare Wilkie (Eastenders) will play Miss Casewell.

This classic murder mystery play is now in its 60th year in London’s West End, and on 18 November 2012 celebrated the actual 60th Birthday with a gala in aid of Mousetrap Theatre Projects.

Mousetrap Productions has licensed 60 productions of The Mousetrap world-wide to mark the 60th year. During this period the world’s longest running show will be seen in every continent, with professional productions scheduled for Australia, China, Korea, Turkey, South Africa, Russia, Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Scandinavia, Venezuela, and across the United States and Canada.

As part of the 60th year celebrations, Mousetrap Theatre Projects will run an educational writing project for Year 6 pupils at 60 primary schools across London. Pupils will be encouraged to write their own short mystery. The best stories or plays will be read by professional actors on the set of The Mousetrap at the St. Martin’s Theatre. Thousands of year 6 pupils will attend matinee performances of The Mousetrap as part of the project.

For tickets please visit The Regent Theatre Box Office counter, call 0844 871 7649 or visit or BOOK OTHER VENUES
Nov 30th

Disney's Lion King Tour Adds 3 More Weeks in Manchester

By Cameron Lowe

Disney’s legendary musical THE LION KING will begin performances tonight at Manchester’s Palace Theatre, in advance of its official opening on Thursday 6th December. This will mark the first time that Julie Taymor’s internationally celebrated production will have played in the city.


Lion King TourCoinciding with the first performance, The Walt Disney Company today announced that following record-breaking sales in the city, THE LION KING will extend its Manchester season by three weeks. The show will now finish its run on Saturday 20th April, 2013.


An international cast of 52 performers from 17 different countries are today undergoing final preparations for their debut in Manchester, where excitement has been building across the region since the season was announced in February. A fleet of 23 trucks has been utilised to transport Disney’s enormous production to Manchester, making it the largest theatre production ever to tour Europe.


The company is led by 11 principals; Gugwana Dlamini as Rafiki, Cleveland Cathnott as Mufasa, Meilyr Sion as Zazu, Stephen Carlile as Scar, Gbemisola Ikumelo as Shenzi, Daniel Norford as Banzai, Philip Oakland as Ed, John Hasler as Timon, Mark Roper as Pumbaa, Nicholas Nkuna as Simba and Carole Stennett as Nala.


Nicholas Nkuna as Simba

"After years of planning, we are thrilled that tonight the curtain will go up on our first performance in Manchester," said Fiona Thomas, Vice President, Live Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company EMEA
 . "Our company is already  thoroughly enjoying their time in this vibrant city, and they cannot wait to share Julie Taymor's extraordinary production with Manchester audiences who have welcomed them so warmly."


Four years in development, this first ever UK tour of Disney’s THE LION KING will now play a 21-week season in Manchester. The award-winning production will then play seasons in Dublin and Birmingham, with additional cities to be announced shortly. In total, the production will visit 10 cities in the UK and Ireland over two and a half years.


The acclaimed stage adaptation of Disney’s 1994 animated film was first seen on Broadway in 1997, where it recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. The production has now been seen by over 65 million people across five continents and the acclaimed West End production continues to sell out at London’s Lyceum Theatre in its 14th triumphant year.
Nov 23rd

Hormonal Housewives 2013 Tour

By Cameron Lowe


Spring Tour 2013 Announced Today


Hormonal Housewives

Following 2012's celebrated reception as they caused mayhem and mania in theatres across the land, the irrepressible Hormonal Housewives are back and return this spring to commence a second national tour. Opening at Bromley's Churchill Theatre the show tours through to May.

"Ticked all the right boxes. The audience loved it." Edinburgh Evening News


The show for all the women out there whose man more James May than Christian Grey, Hormonal Housewives is a hilarious comedy written by husband and wife team Julie Coombe and John McIsaac. Following on from their hugely successful 2012 tour, The Hormonal Housewives are back with hilarious all-new sketches, as well as all the very best bits from last time round, covering everything that makes today's woman tick (or ticked off) - from the joys of teenagers, to the challenge of IKEA, the madness of holiday reps and the insanity of DIY.


A side-splitting evening - what they can't teach you about modern womanhood isn't worth knowing!


With previous Hormonal Housewives including Margi Clark and Carol Smillie, this year, the ladies are led by British pop icon Toyah Willcox and writer Julie Coombe, with further casting to be announced.


From punk princess to high priestess of TV, Toyah is a uniquely gifted performer. Charismatic, outspoken and impossible to categorise, she is one of Britain's iconic household names - an award-winning rock legend as well as a much-loved actress and music composer.


In a career spanning thirty years Toyah has had thirteen top 40 singles, recorded twenty albums, written two books, appeared in over forty stage plays, made ten feature films and presented television programmes as diverse as The Good Sex Guide Late, Watchdog and Songs Of Praise.


Anyone who caught last year's tour will need no introduction to Hormonal Housewives hilarious writer and star - Julie Coombes. Since graduating in 1992 Julie has enjoyed a varied career in theatre, radio and television in productions ranging from Shakespeare to new writing to pantomime. Julie has also been a regular at Scotland's number one comedy venue, The Stand Comedy Club in Edinburgh, for the past ten years. She and her husband, John, run a monthly new comedy writing night there called 'Melting Pot,' which offers a platform to aspiring authors.

Full tour listings available at
Nov 6th


By Cameron Lowe

The 39 Steps

The 39 Steps, currently celebrating its sixth year at the West End’s Criterion Theatre, will tour the UK in 2013. Based on John Buchan’s 1914 spy thriller The Thirty Nine Steps, and adapted for the stage by Patrick Barlow (Desmond Oliver Dingle/The National Theatre of Brent), the Olivier and Tony Award winning production will launch an extensive tour at the Cambridge Arts Theatre on 19 January 2013.


Follow handsome hero Richard Hannay in this blissfully funny comedy thriller featuring four fearless actors playing 139 roles in 100 minutes of fast-paced fun. Complete with stiff upper lip, British gung-ho and devastatingly beautiful women, The 39 Steps is a must see!


The 39 Steps is directed by Maria Aitken, with design by Peter McKintosh, lighting by Ian Scott, sound by Mic Pool and movement by Toby Sedgwick. It is presented by Edward Snape for Fiery Angel and Tricycle London Productions with the West Yorkshire Playhouse.


The 39 Steps has played all over the world in countries including Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Korea, Poland, Spain, South Africa, South America and Turkey. The production has also run on Broadway and toured North America.  The 39 Steps has won many awards including an Olivier and for Best Comedy, two Tony Awards for Best Lighting and Best Sound Design, two Drama Desk Awards for Unique Theatrical Experience and Outstanding Lighting and the Molière award for Best Comedy.
Oct 22nd

'RENT' Concert to Tour the UK starring Kerry Ellis

By Cameron Lowe


The Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent



JP Productions have today announced that they are producing a UK tour of smash-hit Tony Award winning Broadway musical 'Rent'. Celebrating 20 years since its first staged performance, West End and Broadway leading lady Kerry Ellis stars in this iconic concert of the smash-hit Tony Award winning musical 'Rent'. The production will also star runner up of ITV's 'Superstar', Rory Taylor. The show will visit The Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent on Thursday 2nd May 2013.


Set in the East Village of New York City, RENT is about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this musical has become a pop cultural phenomenon with songs that rock and a story that resonates with audiences of all ages. Based loosely on Puccini's La Boheme, the show follows a year in the life of a group of friends struggling to make it in the big city under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.


Rent includes songs Seasons of Love, Out Tonight, Without You, Will I and Finale B.


Kerry Ellis 
Broadway Star, Kerry Ellis

Rent last toured the UK in 2001 and was last in the West-End in 2007.

A film of the musical was released in 2005 starring original Broadway cast members Idina Menzel and Adam Pascal.

The Broadway production closed on September 7, 2008 after a 12-year run of 5,124 performances, the ninth-longest-running Broadway show of all time. The production grossed over $280 million. The show still plays off-Broadway.

Tickets go on sale on Monday 22nd October at 9.00am.

To book tickets:

BOX OFFICE: 0844 871 7649

Groups: 0844 871 7619

Sep 19th

DRIVING MISS DAISY - National Tour to Open in Guildford

By Cameron Lowe

Driving Miss Daisy

FOLLOWING critically acclaimed sell-out runs on Broadway and in the West End, Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre is thrilled to open the National Tour of Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Driving Miss Daisy on Wednesday, October 10.  The production stars Gwen Taylor, Don Warrington and Ian Porter, and runs until Saturday, October 13.

When Daisy Werthan, a widowed, 72 year-old Jewish woman living in mid-century Atlanta, is deemed too old to drive, her son Boolie hires Hoke Coleburn, an African American man, to serve as her chauffeur. What begins as a troubled and hostile pairing soon blossoms into a profound, life-altering friendship that transcends all the societal boundaries placed between them.


Gwen Taylor – who is most recently known for playing Anne Foster on screen in Coronation Street – stars as Daisy Werthan.  Other notable TV credits include: Peg in Heartbeat; the title role in Barbara; Rita in A Bit of A Do; Margaret in Belonging and Gen in Conjugal Rites.  Gwen’s many stage credits include: The Butterfly Lion for Leicester Curve; Calendar Girls on tour; Prick Up Your Ears at the Comedy Theatre; Shirley Valentine on tour; Heritage at Hampstead Theatre, and Clouds and Ripen Our Darkness at the Royal Court Theatre. Her film work includes Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Richard’s Things.

Best known for playing Philip Smith in the hit TV series Rising Damp alongside Leonard Rossiter, Don Warrington plays Hoke Coleburn.  Other television credits include: Red Dwarf; Lovejoy; Doctor Who; Casualty; The Crouches; New Street Law; Waking the Dead and Death in Paradise.  His stage credits include: A Statement of Regret and The Mysteries for the National Theatre, Elmina’s Kitchen at the Garrick Theatre and The Merchant of Venice at Birmingham Repertory Theatre.


Ian Porter plays the part of Boolie Werthan.  His previous theatre credits include: Slim in Of Mice and Men at the Watermill Theatre; August: Osage County at the National Theatre; The Exonerated at the New Players Theatre; The Archbishops Ceiling and You Can’t Take It With You at Southwark Playhouse and Voices From September 11th at the Old Vic.  Ian’s screen credits include: Saving Private Ryan; Bourne Ultimatum; Mr Bean’s Holiday; Hotel Babylon; The Jacket; Doctor Who; Bonekickers and Moonshot.


Driving Miss Daisy recently won the 2012 Award for Best Play Revival voted for by over 10,000 theatregoers.

Alfred Uhry wrote the play in 1987 and the same year it debuted Off-Broadway at the Playwrights Horizons Theater.  Two years later the play was made into a film with Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy. Uhry received an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay while the film was awarded Best Picture.

Tour Dates

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford from 10-13 October

Croydon Ashcroft Theatre from 16-20 October

Richmond Theatre from 23 - 27 October

Bath Theatre Royal from 30 October–3 November

Malvern Festival Theatre from 6 - 10 November

Brighton Theatre Royal from 13 - 17 November

Derby Theatre from 20 - 24 November

Southend Palace Theatre from 27 November - 1 December 2012


Sep 18th


By Cameron Lowe


Millions ploughed into capital projects to enhance the customer experience

Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) has today announced details of how it is investing £15 million into capital projects which includes a major overhaul of the company’s Front of House areas, bars and toilets, in order to improve facilities for customers. 

The company has unveiled five refurbished luxury bars that have been redesigned by ATG’s interior designer, George Couyas, to capture some of the Group’s beautiful, unique theatre architecture with an elegant, modern twist.  These include the Piano Bar at the Piccadilly, the Moonlight Bar at the Harold Pinter, the Apollo Victoria’s Elixir Bar, the Terrace Bar at the Duke of York’s and the Piano Bar at the New Wimbledon. Further rollout is planned for Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Milton Keynes and the Lyceum in London. 

The Front of House investment is heavily supported by an ambitious customer service programme, “Be A Star” and the introduction of exciting new product ranges. 

“It all comes down to our company vision statement, Making Theatre Magic,” says ATG’s Managing Director of Venues, Nick Potter. “Enhancing the theatrical experience for our customers is about ensuring that every visit is a special occasion. We are creating these incredible spaces where our customers can relax in a totally unique and comfortable setting.”  

David Blyth, ATG’s Property Director, says, “The development of our Front of House areas is the latest chapter in an extensive ongoing ATG restoration programme where our overall aim is to dramatically increase the customer experience and preserve our beautiful, historic buildings for future generations.”

The Harold Pinter Theatrenot only underwent a name change but has benefitted from a £550,000makeover and the fabulous new Moonlight Bar. Auditorium refurbishment included repairs to the decorative plaster, new carpets and a project including the strengthening of the grid and installation of a double purchase flying system. The Duke of York’s also benefitted from technical improvements, improving the facilities for Producers and technical staff.

Working closely with Foster Wilson Architects,John Muir and Conisbee Structural Engineers a £500,000refurbishment of the Fortune Theatre was carried out including major repairs to the concrete façade, repairs to the existing leadwork, windows and roofing, reinstatement of the original canopy, new show and theatre signage and new LED coloured lighting designed by Hoare Lea Lighting.

Again working with Foster Wilson Architects and John Muir, other ATG West End capital projects have included a £300,000 restoration of the Charing Cross Road façade of the Grade II listed Phoenix Theatre, including the reinstatement of the original canopy, replacement signage and new lighting on both facades of the theatre, also designed by Hoare Lea Lighting, to enhance the visibility of the theatre at night.

The Piccadilly Theatre underwent an extensive £150,000 refurbishment which involved the redecoration and restoration of the original colour schemes, enhancement of the theatre’s original features using modern technology and the development of the Piano Bar in the Royal Circle.

The Apollo Victoria has undergone a major Foyer refurbishment and there has been considerable investment at Trafalgar Studios to ensure wheelchair access to both studio spaces. 

In 2011, ATG became the first theatre company in the world to install the new ProBax ergonomic seating at its Fortune Theatre in Covent Garden.  The innovative Probax seats (also used in Lotus carsand currently under development with leading car companies and aircraft makers worldwide) dramatically increase the comfort experience for the user because they encourage an anatomically correct posture in the seat occupant. Added health benefits from the seats include reduced back ache and muscle fatigue, improved circulation and respiratory flow and higher concentration levels. The plan is to roll out the ProBax seats across all of ATG’s 39 UK venues.

ATG currently has over 1,200 toilet cubicles for audience use across the Group’s 39 venues, plus another 200 back stage for artists. The company has embarked on a project of upgrading and refurbishing and where it is possible, increasing the number of facilities. This year ATG has installed a new set of male and female toilets at the Bristol Hippodrome to complement the Piano Bar. Further improvements and upgrades have taken place at Trafalgar Studios, Richmond Theatre, Playhouse Theatre (London) and the Fortune Theatre.

In the Regions, a new tea room and café, “The Parlour”, was introduced at Theatre Royal Brighton, in Manchester the exterior of the Opera Houseunderwent a £500,000 refurbishment and the Revue Bar at the Palace Theatre was redeveloped, a new Box Office was installed at the Bristol Hippodrome costing £80,000and the New Theatre Oxford saw a £250,000 investment to transform its Front of House and Box Office areas. The next project earmarked in the regions in the replacement of the pavement outside the Edinburgh Playhousecosting £95,000.

Upcoming West End projects include replacement of the A/C units at the Lyceumat £175,000 to improve customer comfort, installation of a new roof at the Fortune costing £100,000 and replacement of the seats at the Harold Pinter costing £150,000.

Co-founded by Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire in 1992, the Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd (ATG) is the largest owner/operator of theatres in the UK with 39 venues and an internationally recognised theatre producer and a leader in theatre ticketing services through ATG Tickets.

Current and recent ATG co-productions include Posh/Jumpy/Constellations (Royal Court at the Duke of York’s), South Pacific, All New People, Dandy Dick, Blue/Orange, Ghost the Musical, 9 to 5 the Musical, Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker!, Legally Blonde the Musical, Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Misanthrope, West Side Story, Elling, Guys and Dolls, The Mountaintop, Exit the King and The Rocky Horror Show.
Aug 16th

9 to 5 Musical Cast Announced

By Cameron Lowe

9 to 5 Musical
Howard Panter for Ambassador Theatre Group and Bob Bartner have announced full casting for the first leg of the tour of 9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL, opening at the Manchester Opera House on Friday 12 October 2012. As previously announced, the show will star Natalie Casey as Judy Bernly, Jackie Clune as Violet Newstead, Bonnie Langford as Roz Keith, Amy Lennox as Doralee Rhodes and Ben Richards as Franklin Hart. Tour schedule attached.


The full company includes Andrew Waldron, Ashley Andrews, Gemma Maclean, Hayley Ainsley, James Lacey, Lauren Stroud, Lisa Bridge, Lori Haley Fox, Mark Willshire, Marlon Moore, Nyroy Dixon, Persephone Fitzpatrick, Peter McPherson, Philip Bertioli, Sasi Strallen, Sinead Kenny and Tom Andrew Hargreaves.


Natalie Casey is probably best known as ‘Donna’ in nine series of “Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps”. Her theatre credits include “Oklahoma!” at Chichester Festival Theatre and “Legally Blonde” in the West End. She is currently appearing as ‘Ange’ in “Abigail’s Party”, also in the West End. Jackie Clune’s West End credits include the leading role of ‘Mrs Wilkinson’ in “Billy Elliot” and ‘Donna’ in the International Tour of “Mamma Mia!”. Bonnie Langford’s many theatre credits include ‘Roxie Hart’ in “Chicago” on Broadway, US tour and in the West End. Her other West End credits include ‘Charity’ in “Sweet Charity” and the original cast of “Cats”. She recently played the ‘Lady of the Lake’ in “Spamalot” on tour, a role she will be reprising in the West End next month. In 2006 she reached the final of ITV1’s “Dancing on Ice”. Amy Lennox recently played the role of ‘Elle Woods’ in the UK tour of “Legally Blonde”. Her West End credits include ‘Liesl’ in “The Sound of Music” at the London Palladium. Ben Richards recently starred as ‘Tick’ in “Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ in the West End. His other West End credits include ‘Sky Masterson’ in “Guys and Dolls”, ‘Danny’ in “Grease”, ‘Tony’ in “Saturday Night Fever” and ‘Jerry Lukowski’ in “The Full Monty”. His TV credits include playing ‘PC Nate Roberts’ in “The Bill”.


Dolly Parton said:  "I am so excited that 9 to 5 the Musical is coming to the UK. I'm hoping you have as much fun watching it as I had writing the music for it. 9 to 5 the Musical is perfect for anyone that's ever wanted to string up their boss, which is almost all of us. So come join the fun! "


With an estimated 100 million album sales the song writer, film and television star and worldwide icon, Dolly Parton is one of greatest selling music artists of all time.  A multi Grammy award winner, which includes the most prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, Golden Globe Award winner and Tony Award nominee.  The 2008 Backwoods Barbie tour (which features in 9-5 The Musical) completely sold out in the UK as well as her most recent 2011 UK tour, which was Dolly Parton’s most successful to date. 


As a songwriter with over 3000 songs written and honoured into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame, Dolly penned the global chart topper I Will Always Love You sung by Whitney Houston, which is the best selling single written and performed by a woman, ever. 


One of Dolly’s biggest solo hits 9-5 was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, the hit song topped the pop and country charts winning 2 Grammy Awards including best Country Song of the year. 


9 TO 5: THE MUSICALis a hilarious new musical comedy, based on the hit movie and centres on three office workers who turn the tables on their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot of a boss. They conspire to take control of the company and learn there’s nothing they can’t do. Outrageous, thought-provoking and even a little romantic, 9 TO 5: THE MUSICALis about teaming up and taking care of business. Feisty, fun and oh so fabulous! This show features Dolly Parton’s original hit title song, “9 to 5” which won her an Oscar nomination and 4 Grammy Award nominations along with her new Tony and Grammy nominated score. With 18 original Dolly Parton numbers, including numbers from her last two albums “Backwoods Barbie”, “Shine Like the Sun”, “Get Out and Stay Out” and “Let Love Grow”.


9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL is written by Patricia Resnick, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton. It is directed by Jeff Calhoun who has just directed the Tony Award winning ‘Newsies - The Musical’ for Disney on Broadway. 9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL is based on the 20th Century Fox Picture and features Dolly Parton from her desk in Dollywood.


9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL is the fourth production to open in Manchester, following “Ghost - The Musical”, “All New People starring Zach Braff ” and “Monkee Business” as part of The Ambassador Theatre Group’s ‘Manchester Gets it First’ initiative, the company’s commitment to bringing the biggest new musicals and plays to Manchester before London and other major cities.

Tickets available online:  HERE

Aug 2nd

Rough Justice Comes To Glasgow's Theatre Royal

By Cameron Lowe



Rough Justice

The author of the triumphant worldwide smash hit comedy
There’s a Girl in My Soup, brings us a very different treat – a murder story, a courtroom drama, a suspenseful thriller.

Tom Conti is one of the country’s most popular actors and was recently voted, along with Dame Judi Dench, as the Most Popular Actors in the West End in the last 25 years. His recent television roles include Lark Rise to Candleford and Miranda. He won an Olivier Award in the West End and a Tony Award on Broadway for his performance in Whose Life is It Anyway? And was nominated for an Oscar as Best Actor for his role in Reuben Reuben. He currently shares the screen with Christian Bale in The Dark Knight Rises.

Television journalist James Highwood has made his career out of challenging the British Justice system. Now, suddenly, he finds the system challenging him as he is charged with murder. Highwood admits the killing but chooses to defend himself, pushing the tolerance of the court to its limits and framing his defence in terms calculated to incense the judge. With more than its share of surprising twists and turns, it will keep you guessing until the very end - not to be missed!

Listings Info:

Wed 29


th Aug – Sat 1 Sept

Wed – Sat eves 7.30pm

Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm

Tickets: £12 - £27

Box Office 0844 871 7647 (Bkg fee)