Category Archives: Shows

The Kite Runner

‘a seriously good piece of storytelling’

‘a fighting kite that will come up winning’

‘an enthralling tale beautifully told’

Giles Croft’s production of Khaled Hosseini’s award-winning novel The Kite Runner returns to London, following an acclaimed run at Wyndham’s Theatre. Flying into the Playhouse Theatre for a second West End run, the award-winning stage production originally premiered in 2013 at Nottingham Playhouse, before embarking on a successful UK tour.

Adapted for the stage by Matthew Spangler, The Kite Runner is the pertinent tale of childhood friends Hassan and Amir, who are ripped apart as a violent war engulfs Afghanistan. When the pair attend a kite flying tournament, a horrifying incident shatters their lives forever, bringing in to question their inseparable friendship.

A heart-wrenching, gritty tale that remains startlingly relevant today, The Kite Runner has had international success, becoming an A-Level studied text and selling over 31.5 million texts across the world. In 2007, the story was adapted into an award-winning film, before later becoming an award-winning play. A powerful story of human emotion, the importance of family and the detrimental effects of war, The Kite Runner plays a limited season at the Playhouse Theatre from June 8th to July 29th 2017.

Cast and Creative

The Kite Runner is adapted for the stage by Matthew Spangler, from Khaled Hosseini’s award-winning novel. Previous Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse, Giles Croft, directs.

Casting includes David Ahmad as Amir, Andrei Costin as Hassan/Sohrab, Emilio Doorgasingh as Baba, Karl Seth as Rahim Khan/Dr Schneider/Omar Faisil, Lisa Zahra as Soraya/Mrs Nguyen, Umar Pasha as Kamal/Zaman, Ezra Faroque Khan as Ali/Farid, Ravi Aujla as General Taheri/Raymond Andrews and Bhavin Bhatt as Asseff, alongside Oliver Gyani, Hanif Khan, Jay Sajjid and Danielle Woodnutt.

Show Lengths and Times

The Kite Runner plays at the Playhouse Theatre London for a limited season, from June 8th to July 29th 2017. Performances are at 7:30pm every day, excluding Sundays, with matinees on Thursday and Saturday at 2:30pm.

Show running time is 2 hours and 40 minutes, including an interval.

Suitable for Children?

The Kite Runner contains unsettling scenes and is recommended for ages 14 and up.

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Tickets

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Reviews

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David Baddiel – My Family: Not the Sitcom

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‘rivetingly revealing and it says a lot about the man himself’

‘like a therapy session crossed with a hilarious TED talk’

‘bubbles with love and unexpected joie de vivre’

Due to incredible demand, David Baddiel’s rollicking comedy My Family: Not the Sitcom transfers to the Playhouse Theatre, following two successful stints at the Menier Chocolate Factory and Vaudeville Theatre last year. Packed with family anecdotes and brutally honest humour, the production runs for a limited season, opening March 2017.

My Family: Not the Sitcom is Baddiel’s hilarious comedy, detailing stories of his late mother Sarah and his dementia-ridden father Colin. Both riotous and thought-provoking, the show covers topics such as memory, ageing, infidelity, gay cats and an over-sensitive moral culture.

Described by Baddiel as a massively disrespectful celebration of his parents, the show examines why, when family members die, we only have good things to say about them. After all, even though family members are gone, we might remember that they weren’t always angelic!

Opening at the Playhouse Theatre London for a limited season, My Family: Not the Sitcom received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike, delving into family secrets we really shouldn’t know, with a refreshing, brutally honest humour. The show runs from March 28th to June 3rd 2017.

David-SitcomCast and Creative

My Family: Not the Sitcom is written and performed by writer and comedian David Baddiel. Best-known for his collaborations with Frank Skinner, including Fantasy Football League, as well as the hit film and play The Infidel, Baddiel has had previous success with his play FAME: Not the Musical.

Show Lengths and Times

My Family: Not the Sitcom opens at the Playhouse Theatre London on March 28th for a limited run until June 3rd 2017. Performances are at 8pm every day, excluding Sundays, with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 3pm.

Show running time is 2 hours, including an interval.

Suitable for Children?

My Family: Not the Sitcom is recommended for those aged 16 and up, due to explicit language and adult themes.

Tickets

Tickets for My Family: Not the Sitcom at the Playhouse Theatre London are now on sale. Select your tickets by using the search form at the top right of the page.

Reviews

Have you seen My Family: Not the Sitcom? If so please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

An Inspector Calls

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‘a remarkable spectacle’

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‘it grips and holds’

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‘thrilling and pertinent theatre’

Stephen Daldry’s multi-award winning production of An Inspector Calls returns to the West End, exactly 70 years after it was first staged in the UK. Famously revived by Daldry at the National Theatre in 1992, An Inspector Calls has since won 19 major awards across the globe. An Inspector Calls is set to begin previews at London’s Playhouse Theatre on November 4th 2016.

Written by J. B. Priestley, An Inspector Calls is a darkly sinister play which is widely considered to be a classic in mid-20th century contemporary theatre. Set in Brumley, a fictional industrial city in the midlands, a wealthy upper-middle class family’s dinner party is interrupted when they receive an unexpected visit from the mysterious Inspector Goole. Soon, the entire family are questioned about potential involvement in the death of Eva Smith, a young and innocent working-class lady. Following lengthy interrogation, the audience are forced to question their own conscience as the investigation reaches a terrifying climax.

Seen by over 4 million people worldwide, An Inspector Calls has earned multiple awards, most notably the Olivier Award for Best Revival, as well as Critic’s Circle Awards for Best Director and Best Design. An Inspector Calls is known across the globe, and is usually studied at GCSE level due to the strong social and political commentaries within Priestley’s text.

Daldry said of the production’s return to London: “Each time we have mounted this production it seems more relevant than the last, with the refugee crisis, the European referendum debate and American elections, you can’t fail to see the genius of Priestley’s writing.”

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Stephen Daldry has achieved legendary status for his extensive work across theatre and film. Best-known for his Academy Award-nominated film Billy Elliot, as well as the hugely popular stage production, Daldry’s work has seen across the globe. Further notable work includes his multi-award winning version of An Inspector Calls, as well as The Audience and Skylight. Previous productions of An Inspector Calls have included award-winning design from Ian MacNeil.

Casting includes Clive Francis (The Missing) as Mr Birling, alongside Liam Brennan (Diary of a Madman) as Inspector Goole and Barbara Marten as Mrs Birling. Further cast members include Matthew Douglas as Gerald Croft, Carmela Corbett as Sheila Birling, Hamish Riddle as Eric Birling and Diana Payne-Myers as Edna.

Show Lengths and Times

An Inspector Calls opens at the Playhouse Theatre London on November 4th for a limited run until March 25th 2017. Performances are at 7:30pm every day, excluding Sundays, with matinees on Wednesday and Thursday at 2:30pm and Saturday at 3pm.

Show running time is 1 hour and 50 mins, without an interval.

Suitable for Children?

An Inspector Calls has no age restrictions, but is recommended for those ages 12 and up.

Videos

Tickets

Tickets for An Inspector Calls at the Playhouse Theatre London are now on sale and you can book them above, by using the search form on the right of the page.

Reviews

Have you seen An Inspector Calls? If so please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

1984

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‘a thrilling production bursting with ideas’

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‘ a playful and provocative take on the grim goings-on’

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‘raising serious questions’

Headlong’s highly acclaimed adaptation of George Orwell’s famously chilling novel 1984 returns to London for a limited season, revived by Olivier Award-winning director Robert Icke and Olivier Award-nominee Duncan Macmillan.

Originally premiering at the Nottingham Playhouse in 2013, 1984 has enjoyed international tours and returns once more to the West End for 12 weeks beginning in June, at the Playhouse Theatre London. 1984 is the smash-hit exploration of a dangerous and damning society, which remains frighteningly relevant today.

Published in 1949, Orwell’s darkly dystopian novel continues to be highly pertinent and is often described as the definitive text of the 20th century, examining the detrimental effects of surveillance, identity and control. 1984 follows a group of historians as they discover Winston Smith’s diary and must determine whether it is fictional or a sinister snapshot of reality. Ministry of Truth employee, Winston, lives in a controlling world, where an invasive government and Big Brother keep a close and watchful eye on their citizens. When Winston suddenly falls in love, he finds himself beginning to think independently and soon must face the consequences.

Receiving critical acclaim for its previous run at the Playhouse Theatre, 1984 is set to return for an equally successful run, opening June 14th and running until September 3rd. Similarly to its last run, the show will sell 101 tickets for a price of £19.84, promising to leave audiences on the edge of their seats.

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1984 is adapted and directed by Robert Icke (Oresteia)Duncan Macmillan (People, Places and Things) and Daniel Raggett.  Produced in collaboration with Headlong, Almeida Theatre and Nottingham Playhouse, the popular production features design by Chloe Lamford, lighting by Natasha Chivers, sound by Olivier Award-winning Tom Gibbons (People, Places and Things) and video design by Tim Reid.

Andrew Gower (Being Human, Outlander) makes his West End debut as Winston, alongside Rosie Ede (Call the Midwife) as Mrs Parsons. Further cast members include Joshua Higgott (Oresteia) as Syme, Richard Katz (Nell Gwynn) as Charrington, Anthony O’Donnell as Parsons, Daniel Rabin as Martin, Catrin Stewart as Julia and Angus Wright as O’Brien. Child will be alternated by Eve Benioff Salama, Cleopatra Dickens, Amber Fernee and India Fowler.

Show Lengths and Times

1984 returns to the Playhouse Theatre London on June 14th and will play a limited season until October 29th 2016. Performances are at 7:30pm every day, excluding Sundays, with matinees on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at 2:30pm.

Show running time is 1hour and 40mins, without an interval.

Suitable for Children?

1984 contains unsettling scenes which are not suitable for children and is recommended for ages 14 and up. Please note that there are several loud noises and flashing lights throughout the production.

Videos

   

Tickets

Tickets for 1984 at the Playhouse Theatre London are now on sale and you can book them above, by using the search form on the right of the page.

Reviews

Have you seen 1984? If so please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Spamalot

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Monty Python’s Spamalot transferred to the Playhouse Theatre London on 12 November 2012. The production was called back into London after it’s initial stint at the Palace Theatre a successful UK tour and a revival at the Harold Pinter Theatre in the summer of 2012.

Based on the cult 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the uproariously funny musical follows King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table on a jaunty quest to find the renowned relic. Original Monty Python member Eric Idle wrote the music and lyrics, and had a prominent place a the 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony singing “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” which features prominently in the musical. Other musical highlights include “The Song That Goes Like This,” “Knights of the Round Table,” and “The Diva’s Lament (What Happened to My Part?).” The show first opened on Broadway, winning the 2005 Tony Award for Best New Musical. Its subsequent West End production opened in 2006 at the Palace Theatre and ran for just over two years, featuring among its cast Tim Curry, Simon Russell Beale, Hannah Waddingham, Peter Davison, Marin Mazzie, and Sanjeev Bhaskar.

Monty Python are considered comedy pioneers, with their TV series Monty Python’s Flying Circus running for five years starting in 1969 on the BBC and subsequently being exported throughout the world. Alongside Idle, original members included John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, and Terry Jones.

Cast and Creative Information

Monty Python’s Spamalot features a book and lyrics by Eric Idle, with music by John du Prez and Eric Idle. Directed by Christopher Luscombe, the current cast includes Carley Stenson and Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood (aka TV’s “Dick and Dom.”) The pair play King Arthur and Patsy respectively. 

Critics’ Reviews

‘I’d go so far as to say that it should be prescribed to all on the NHS. It’s not just a singalong bout of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” that sends an essential fillip of happiness coursing through you – it’s every ruddy scene.’
Dominic Cavendish, The Daily Telegraph

 

“The show earns a sizable thumbs-up.”
Kate Bassett, The Independent

 

 

“I enjoy the silliness of sketches such as the opening Fisch Schlapping Song and the rude, raspberry-ripping Frenchies who hurl insults from a castle wall.”
Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

 

Synopsis and Song List

King Arthur and his loyal servant Patsy set out on a quest to find knights to join his Round Table. Along the way he manages to collect a ragtag band of misfits including Sir Robin, Sir Lancelot, and Sir Not-Appearing-in-this-Show (who understandably only makes a brief appearance). After they manage to repel a French invasion before encountering the Black Knight, who insists they come up with a musical and take it to Broadway, and the Knights are only too happy to comply.

Act I

  • Overture
  • “Historian’s Introduction to Act I” – Historian
  • “Finland” / “Fisch Schlapping Dance” – Mayor and Company
  • “Monk’s Chant” – Company
  • “King Arthur’s Song” – King Arthur, Patsy
  • “I Am Not Dead Yet” – Not Dead Fred, Lance, Robin, and Bodies
  • “Come With Me” – King Arthur, Lady of the Lake, and Laker girls
  • “Laker Girls Cheer” – Laker Girls
  • “The Song That Goes Like This” – Sir Galahad and Lady of the Lake
  • “All for One” – King Arthur, Patsy, Sir Robin, Sir Lancelot, Sir Galahad and Sir Bedevere
  • “Knights of the Round Table” – Company
  • “The Song That Goes Like This” (Reprise) – Lady of the Lake
  • “Find Your Grail” – Lady of the Lake and Company
  • “Run Away!” – Company

Act II

  • “Historian’s Introduction to Act II” – Historian
  • “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” – Patsy, King Arthur, Knights, and Knights of Ni
  • “Brave Sir Robin” – Sir Robin and Minstrels
  • “You Won’t Succeed On Broadway” – Sir Robin and Ensemble
  • “The Diva’s Lament (Whatever Happened to My Part?)” – Lady of the Lake
  • “Where Are You?” – Prince Herbert
  • “Here Are You” – Prince Herbert
  • “His Name is Lancelot” – Sir Lancelot, Prince Herbert, and Ensemble
  • “I’m All Alone” – King Arthur, Patsy, and Knights
  • “Twice in Every Show” – Lady of the Lake and King Arthur
  • “The Holy Grail” – King Arthur, Patsy, Sir Robin, Sir Lancelot, Sir Galahad, Sir Bedevere, and Knights*
  • “Act II Finale” – Company
  • “Always Look On the Bright Side of Life” – Company and Audience

Show Length and Times

Evening performances for Spamalot will run Tuesday through Saturday at 8pm, with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2:30pm . The running time is 2 hours including a 15 minute interval.

Official Tickets

Official tickets for Spamalot can be purchased by using the search form at the top left-hand corner of this page.

 

The Mystery of Charles Dickens

The Mystery of Charles Dickens tickets

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Simon Callow brought his acclaimed one-man show The Mystery of Charles Dickens to the Playhouse Theatre for a limited run through 10 November 2012.

Written by Peter Ackroyd, the play tells the story of one of Britain’s most celebrated authors who wrote beloved classics such as A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, and Nicholas Nickleby. Taking inspiration from the recitals Dickens himself gave all around the world, the production gave a taste of Victorian life in the words of the man who described it best. In this exhilarating tour de fource, Callow brought Dickens’ story to life, as well as 49 of his well-known characters from Bill Sikes to Miss Havisham. The Mystery of Charles Dickens first premiered in 2000 before being revived in 2002. This production marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens.

There was a post-show Q&A with Simon Callow after all Wednesday matinee performances from 26 September to 24 October.

Cast Information

Simon Callow’s exceptional career in theatre includes playing Mozart in the original production of Amadeus, The Woman in White, Waiting for Godot, and Equus. His film and television appearances include Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love, The Phantom of the Opera, Acts of Godfrey, Jamie’s Dream School, and Doctor Who, while he has also appeared as a judge on Popstar to Operastar. His most recent appearance in the West End was in his one-man show Being Shakespeare, which played at the Trafalgar Studios after a successful international tour. He also appeared in a one-man production of A Christmas Carol last year at the Arts Theatre.

Show Length and Times

Evening performances for The Mystery of Charles Dickens began at 7.30pm from Monday to Saturday, with matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2:30pm. The running time was 2 hours including an interval.

Dreamboats and Petticoats

Dreamboats and Petticoats tickets

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Dreamboats and Petticoats is a musical based on a best-selling compilation album of the same name based on classic 1950s and early 1960s rock ‘n’ roll songs. It was first introduced to the London stage in July 2009 for 3 months at the Savoy Theatre, and the Playhouse Theatre is now hosting this fun and nostalgic musical. Dreamboats and Petticoats tickets can be purchased for its limited run at the Wyndham’s Theatre beginning in October 2012.

Written by Maurice Gran and Laurence Marks, famous for creating TV sitcom Birds of a Feather, Dreamboats and Petticoats is set in 1961 and tells the story of Norman and Bobby, young musicians who compete with each other to win fame in a song writing competition, as well as the eyes of girls Sue and Laura. Bobby soon realises that Laura has musical talent of her own, and rock ‘n’ roll fame awaits them along with romance and love. Dreamboats and Petticoats features classic tracks from Roy  Orbison, Chuck Berry and many, many more.

 

Critics Reviews

“What’s extraordinary about both the up-tempo rockers and the hauntingly maudlin ballads of the period (circa 1956-62) is how evocative, melodic and fresh this music still seems. Noël Coward would have hated these songs, but his remark in Private Lives about the potency of cheap music might have been coined to describe Dreamboats and Petticoats.”
Charles Spencer at the Daily Telegraph

 

“The whole thing is pacy, as shallow as a paddling pool, and innocent fun – particularly for those who lived through the songs first time round.”
Quentin Letts at The Daily Mail

 

“Audiences will be pleased to see Scott Bruton from The X Factor bopping as Bobby, Jennifer Biddall from Hollyoaks ruling the roost as Runaround Sue and pert newcomer Daisy Wood-Davis as Laura getting Bobby in a twist again, like she did last summer.”
Michael Coveney at the Independent

Our Review

Great rock ‘n’ roll songs from the early 60s fill The Playhouse Theatre with nostalia, laughter and fun.

Dreamboats and Petticoats bursts with energy and nostalgia, and is full of fun, laughter and of course, great 1960s rock ‘n’ roll tunes. If you are not from this era and aren’t as familiar with the songs, then you may not enjoy it as much, as there are countless throughout, but you will still laugh along with the storyline and connect with the characters.

The musical is set in 1961 and tells the story of youth club members Bobby and Norman. Bobby is young, innocent and ‘uncool’, whereas Norman is older and has the ladies all over him. They compete with each other in more ways than one, as they battle it out in a song writing competition as well as fighting for the love of sex-siren, Sue. Bobby soon realises that she is not the one for him, and sets his sights on Laura, the youth club geek. Soon enough, he realises that Laura possesses musical talent of her own and they soon get caught up in a whirlwind of music, romance and love.

With brilliant set designs that see the group riding on bumper cars and playing ten-pin bowling, Dreamboats and Petticoats will take you back to a simpler time, before The Beatles arrived and shook up the music industry. Being a 90s child myself, I was unfamiliar with most of the songs, and only knew the most classic of tunes such as Sam Cooke’s ‘Wonderful World’, but I still had a fun time and enjoyed the set designs and costumes.

Bobby, played by Alexis Gerred, was brilliant in his portrayal of a 17 year old boy who is trying to impress the most popular girl at the youth club. His vocals were impressive and he was a highlight of the show for me, along with Megan Jones who plays Laura. Laura goes through a transformation, both physically as the class nerd to a pretty 16 year old, and emotionally, as she grows in character. Her voice was also phenomenal, and I enjoyed her performance. Other notable actors include Emma Stephens who has previously performed in the West End stage version of Grease. Emma plays the character of Sue who has both Bobby and Norman lusting after her. Norman is performed by Bradley Clarkson who was impressive with his big ego and challenging demeanour.

Other characters that captivated me were the two female saxophonists who would hover in the background and enter the foreground whenever a musical number would arise. In fact, all of the musicians were brilliant and they played live on stage throughout the whole show. Classic songs by artists such as Chuck Berry and Roy Orbison were featured, plus many more that are on the album of the same name that was released before the musical came to light.

Although I enjoyed the show, I am very familiar with Grease, which is set in the same era as Dreamboats and Petticoats and featured similar costumes and sets, but I felt like the storyline was not as strong and was only really bolstered by its music. It was fun and cheesy however, although I think I would have enjoyed it more had I been more familiar with the songs. If you were young in the late 50s or early 60s, or you are just drawn to these eras, then go and see it because the music, sets, costumes and jokes, especially the one about the ‘new’ soap Coronation Street not lasting, will make your theatre trip a very entertaining one.

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