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New Plays, Books & Musicals

New Plays, Books & Musicals

Our regular up-to-date selection of recently published books as well as new or re-released plays and musicals, many of which are now available for amateur performance.
Show listings are not proof that respective titles are available for amateur performance. Please make appropriate enquiries with respective licensors.


F: ConcordShows | T: @ConcordUKShows

Samuel French

HADESTOWN by Anaïs Mitchell

Full-Length Musical / F5, M3 / Fantasy / 978 0 573 70885 5 / £10.99

This intriguing and beautiful folk opera delivers a deeply resonant and defiantly hopeful theatrical experience. Following two intertwining love stories — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of immortal King Hades and Lady Persephone — Hadestown invites audiences on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Inspired by traditions of classic American folk music and vintage New Orleans jazz, Mitchell’s beguiling sung-through musical pits industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love.


HEATHERS THE MUSICAL by Laurence O’Keefe, Kevin Murphy

Full-Length Musical / F9, M8 / 1980s, Westerberg High School, Ohio / 978 0 573 70382 9 / £10.99

Heathers The Musical is the darkly delicious story of Veronica Sawyer, a brainy, beautiful teenage misfit who hustles her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique at Westerberg High: the Heathers. But before she can get comfortable atop the high school food chain, Veronica falls in love with the dangerously sexy new kid J.D. When Heather Chandler, the Almighty, kicks her out of the group, Veronica decides to bite the bullet and kiss Heather’s aerobicised ass… but J.D. has another plan for that bullet.
Brought to you by the award-winning creative team of Kevin Murphy (Reefer Madness, “Desperate Housewives”), Laurence O’Keefe (Bat Boy, Legally Blonde) and Andy Fickman (Reefer Madness, She’s the Man). Heathers The Musical is a hilarious, heartfelt, and homicidal new show based on the greatest teen comedy of all time. With its moving love story, laugh-out-loud comedy, and unflinching look at the joys and anguish of high school, Heathers will be New York’s most popular new musical. Are you in, or are you out?


IN THE HEIGHTS by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Quiara Alegría Hudes

Full-Length Musical / F6, M6 / Contemporary, Present Day / DIG0000000438 / £4.00 (digital perusal score rental)

In the Heights tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighbourhood – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.


ONE GOOD TURN by Una McKevitt

Full-Length Play / F4, M2 / Present Day / 978 0 573 13270 4 / £9.99

Brenda wants Frank to do his exercises, Aoife wants to go to a wedding of all things, Fiona doesn’t know what she wants and Frank is looking for the gun.
One Good Turn brings us a family on the brink who are keeping the show on the road any which way they can. It is a wry and life-affirming exploration into the ups and downs of family bonds.



SIX by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss

Full-Length Musical / F6 / Present Day, 16th Century – Elizabethan

This title is not currently available for performance. To be informed as soon as it becomes available in the future, please submit a license application.
The Electrifying New Musical Phenomenon! From Tudor Queens to Pop Princesses, the SIX wives of Henry VIII take the mic to reclaim their identities out of the shadow of their infamous spouse, remixing five hundred years of historical heartbreak into an exuberant celebration of 21st-Century girl power.Nominee:

  • Five 2019 Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical
  • Winner! 2019 Whatsonstage Award for Best Off-West End Production
  • Winner! 2019 BBC Radio 2 Audience Award for Best West End Musical

Rodgers and Hammerstein

PAL JOEY by Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, John O’Hara

Full-Length Musical / F4, M2 / 1940s – WWII / DIG0000000500 / £4.00 (digital perusal score rental)

The penultimate Rodgers & Hart collaboration introduced the first anti-hero to propel a musical. Joey is an opportunistic cad, but he always seems to land on his feet. He elbows his way into a job at a seedy Chicago nightclub and is soon juggling the affections of a naive chorus girl and a wealthy society dame who just happens to be married. Once Joey has charmed the socialite into setting him up in his own joint, he ditches the chorine and is riding high, playing the big-time operator. When a punk threatens to spill the whole business to the socialite’s husband, she decides that she’s bored with Joey anyway, dumping him and the club. Having had a taste of his own medicine, you’d think Joey would head back to the sweet kid who really loves him. Wrong. Some things never change, but you know what? He’s still on his feet.


SHOW BOAT by Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II, Edna Ferber

Full-Length Musical / F8, M9, 1 Girl / 1920s, 1910s – WWI, 1900-1910, 18th Century / DIG0000000522 / £4.00 (digital perusal score rental)

Spanning the years from 1880 to 1927, this lyrical masterpiece, centered around the Mississippi show boat Cotton Blossom, concerns the lives, loves and heartbreaks of three generations of show folk and their lifelong friends. Show Boat follows the story of the Hawkes family, including the captain’s naive daughter Magnolia, who wants to be a performer, as she marries a gambler and moves with him to Chicago. When his debts compound, he deserts her and their young daughter. Magnolia’s selfless best friend Julie, a performer on the Cotton Blossom, faces arrest on charges of miscegenation, which is illegal, and she spirals into despair. The passing of time reunites Magnolia and her now-grown daughter with Magnolia’s estranged husband, who returns offering a second chance at familial happiness.



Tams Witmark

BARNUM by Cy Coleman, Michael Stewart, Mark Bramble

Full-Length Musical / F3, M2 / 1835 – 1880. America and major capitals of the world / DIG0000000360 / £4.00 (digital perusal score rental)

P.T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman on Earth, combines razzle-dazzle with charm and brass to sell “humbug” to cheering crowds. A joyful and moving musical portrait of the nineteenth century’s greatest show-biz legend, Barnum is a colorful, dynamic spectacle with heart. Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart’s rousing score includes “There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute,” “Join the Circus,” “The Colors of My Life,” and “Come Follow The Band.”
Concord Theatricals has collaborated with Subplot Studio to create high-quality artwork that complies with your license. Promoting your show has never been easier!


PORGY AND BESS by George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward, Dorothy Heyward, Ira Gershwin

Full-Length Musical / F4, M4 / Charleston, South Carolina. The early 1930s

Known worldwide as a masterpiece and an “American Folk Opera,” Porgy and Bess® was George Gershwin’s final work for the musical stage. Based on DuBose and Dorothy Heyward’s play Porgy, Porgy and Bess® combines elements of jazz, classical, and American folk music. Musical numbers include “Summertime,” “A Woman Is a Sometime Thing,” “My Man’s Gone Now,” “I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” “Bess, You Is My Woman Now,” and “I’m On My Way.”


TITANIC by Peter Stone, Maury Yeston

Full-Length Musical / F14, M23 / The RMS Titanic, between 10 – 15 April 1912 / DIG0000000299 / £4.00 (digital perusal score rental)

Titanic is available for licensing in two versions:

  • Titanic (Original): Designed for a large cast, with 14 lead roles and at least 23 supporting roles. Presented on Broadway with a cast of 37 performers.
  • Titanic – Ensemble Version: Designed for a total of 20 actors, with performers doubling or tripling on roles.

Concord Theatricals has collaborated with Subplot Studio to create high-quality artwork that complies with your license. Promoting your show has never been easier!

The sinking of the Titanic in the early hours of April 15, 1912, remains the quintessential disaster of the Twentieth Century. A total of 1,517 souls – men, women and children – lost their lives (only 711 survived). The fact that the finest, largest, strongest ship in the world – called, in fact, the “unsinkable” ship – should have been lost during its maiden voyage is so incredible that, had it not actually happened, no author would have dared to contrive it.
But the catastrophe had social ramifications that went far beyond that night’s events. For the first time since the beginning of the industrial revolution early in the 19th Century, bigger, faster and stronger did not prove automatically to be better. Suddenly the very essence of “progress” had to be questioned; might the advancement of technology not always be progress?
Nor was this the only question arising from the disaster. The accommodations of the ship, divided into 1st, 2nd and 3rd Classes, mirrored almost exactly the class structure (upper, middle and lower) of the English-speaking world. But when the wide discrepancy between the number of survivors from each of the ship’s classes was revealed – all but two of the women in 1st Class were saved while 155 women and children from 2nd and 3rd (mostly 3rd) drowned – there was a new, long-overdue scrutiny of the prevailing social system and its values.
It is not an exaggeration to state that the 19th Century, with its social stricture, its extravagant codes of honor and sacrifice, and its unswerving belief that God favored the rich, ended that night.
The musical play Titanic examines the causes, the conditions and the characters involved in this ever-fascinating drama. This is the factual story of that ship – of her officers, crew and passengers, to be sure – but she will not, as has happened so many times before, serve as merely the background against which fictional, melodramatic narratives are recounted. The central character of our Titanic is the Titanic herself.
Peter Stone


Musicals: Youth & Teen Editions

AMÉLIE: TEEN EDITION by Craig Lucas, Daniel Messé, Nathan Tysen & Daniel Messé, Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Guillaume Laurant

Full-Length Musical / F5, M7, 1 Girl / 1970s & 1990s Paris and the mind and imagination of Amélie Poulain / 978 0 573 70865 7 / £10.99

Amélie is an extraordinary young woman who lives quietly in the world but loudly in her mind. She covertly improvises small but surprising acts of kindness that bring joy and mayhem. But when a chance at love comes her way, Amélie realizes that to find happiness she’ll have to risk everything and say what’s in her heart. Be inspired by this imaginative dreamer who finds her voice, discovers the power of connection, and sees possibility around every corner.


Nick Hern Books

T: 020 8749 4953
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F: NickHernBooks | T: @NickHernBooks

Alexander Technique for Actors: A Practical Course by Penny O’Connor

Theatre book / 978 1 848 42758 7 / £14.99 (£11.99 direct from publisher)

Written by an experienced teacher of the Alexander Technique, this comprehensive, supportive and highly practical book takes you step by step through a series of eleven guided lessons, each exploring different elements and principles of the technique. With dozens of exercises and assignments to help you immediately put what you’ve learned into practice, and featuring illustrations throughout, this is the ideal introduction to everything the Alexander Technique has to offer – and its potential to benefit not just your work and career, but your entire life.
‘Penny O’Connor’s approach to the Alexander Technique is mindful and meaningful. She brings great skill, experience, wit and humanity to her work. I have learnt a great deal from her.’
Jeannette Nelson, Head of Voice, National Theatre.


Getting, Keeping & Working with Your Acting Agent: The Compact Guide by JBR

Theatre book / 978 1 848 42941 3 / £8.99 (£7.19 direct from publisher)

Perfect for any talented and committed amateur actor looking to make the leap into working professionally, this empowering, informative guide explains everything actors need to know about agents – how to find one, what they do, and how to work with them effectively to help you succeed if you want to make acting your career. Also included are invaluable tips on how to write a great CV; obtain attention-grabbing headshots, showreels and voicereels; prepare for and excel at auditions; embrace social media; protect your mental health; and much more.



Hamilton and Me: An Actor’s Journal by Giles Terera. Foreword by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Theatre Book / 978 1 848 42999 4 / £16.99 (£13.59 direct from publisher)

A unique, personal account of researching, rehearsing for and performing in the London production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash-hit musical Hamilton – by Giles Terera, the actor who won an Olivier Award for his performance as the West End’s Aaron Burr. It offfers an honest, intimate and thrilling look at everything involved in opening a once-in-a-generation production – the triumphs, breakthroughs and doubts, the camaraderie of the rehearsal room and the moments of quiet backstage contemplation – as well as a fascinating, in-depth exploration of now-iconic songs and moments from the musical, as seen from the inside.
‘Masterful and excellently written… offers audiences and readers the chance to not only be in the “room where it happens” but also to smell the sweat, feel the pulsing hearts and hear the resonance… deserves a permanent place on aspiring musical theatre performers’ bookshelves’
The Reviews Hub


How Plays Work (revised and updated edition) by David Edgar

Theatre book / 978 1 839 04031 3 / £14.99 (£11.99 direct from publisher)

In this fascinating masterclass for playwrights and playmakers, distinguished playwright David Edgar examines the mechanisms and techniques which dramatists throughout the ages have employed to structure their plays and to express their meaning. This new edition brings the book right up to date with analyses of many recent plays, as well as explorations of emerging genres and new innovations in playwriting practice.
‘An essential accompaniment for anyone fascinated by the craft of dramatic storytelling’
John Yorke



Learning Your Lines: The Compact Guide by Mark Channon

Theatre book / 978 1 848 42971 0 / £8.99 (£7.19 direct from publisher)

This accessible, systematic guide will teach you how to memorise your lines quickly and effectively, and let go of the fear of forgetting them – helping you build confidence and focus, and reducing anxiety and stress around auditions, rehearsal and performance. Discover dozens of tips, tricks and techniques, along with exercises and examples to illustrate how they work in practice.



What Country, Friends, Is This?: Directing Shakespeare with Young Performers by Max Hafler

Theatre Book / 978 1 848 42803 4 / £14.99 (£11.99 direct from publisher)

A highly practical, comprehensive guide to exploring Shakespeare with young people, or indeed performers of all ages – ideal for directors, youth-theatre leaders, workshop facilitators and teachers. Beginning with a series of workshops that introduce the skills and principles of voice and acting, this book sets out, step by step, how to use devising, develop short scenes, explore soliloquies, and unlock the themes, characters, stories and language of the plays. There is also useful advice on preparing for a production, editing and transposing the text, rehearsing scenes, and fostering an ensemble.
‘A must-own… full of exercises and advice to explore’
Teaching Drama on Max Hafler’s book Teaching Voice: Workshops for Young Performers


Music Theatre International (Europe)

T: 020 7580 2827
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F: mtieurope | T: mtieurope

Hans Christian Andersen Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser. Book by John Fearnley, Beverley Cross and Tommy Steele

Countless generations of children have been raised on the fairytales of Hans Christian Andersen. From “The Ugly Duckling” to “The Little Mermaid.” Now with music by legendary composer Frank Loesser, Hans Christian Andersen is a musical storybook that brings the timeless tales (and the man who created them) to life onstage.
A struggling cobbler in Denmark, Hans Christian Andersen is better at making stories than shoes. As he discovers his potential as a storyteller and writer, he ultimately gets the help he needs from the people who love him to make a future for himself.
A family-friendly show with generous ensemble roles for both adults and children, Hans Christian Andersen is a timeless treasure. It is based on the 1952 film starring Danny Kaye and features classic songs such as “I’m Hans Christian Andersen,” “Thumbelina,” “Anywhere I Wander,” and more!


A KILLER PARTY: A Murder Mystery Musical Music by Jason Howland. Lyrics by Nathan Tysen. Book by Kait Kerrigan and Rachel Axler

A Killer Party: A Murder Mystery Musical is an online, performance-ready show based on the successful streaming musical. This hilarious and irreverent send-up of the classic Murder Mystery features an all-star creative team that includes music by Jason Howland (Little Women), lyrics by Nathan Tysen (The Burnt Part Boys), and a book by the illustrious Kait Kerrigan and Rachel Axler.
MTI’s licensable version of this online show is a 90-minute, single piece designed to be pre-recorded and edited together for a streaming production shown on the platform.
When Varthur McArthur, the artistic director of a failing theater in Duluth, invites his troupe of disgruntled actors and collaborators to the first read of an “immersive murder mystery dinner party,” no one knew that he would be the victim. Or did they? Enter the eager, determined, and untested Detective Case. After sequestering the guests into separate rooms (because, you know, social-distancing), she gets down to finding out whodunnit, uncovering secret affairs, life-long grudges, backstage drama, and a lot of musical theater song and dance. Sifting through lies and red herrings and a truly baffling murder mystery script left by the deceased, Case vows to find the truth and secure her future as a great detective.


A-Wop Bop A-Loo Bop: A jukebox celebration of the early days of Rock & Roll! Book by Mark Brymer and John Jacobson

A-Wop Bop A-Loo Bop takes us back to the late 1950’s as Rock & Roll is taking the airwaves by storm. Roberta “Ruby” Lester and her friends are spunky teenagers with dreams of making it big in the music business. But sometimes dreams don’t go as planned. When the local radio station announces that “Rock‘n’Roll has got to go”, the kids take a stand for the music they love.
A-Wop Bop A-Loo Bop offers plenty of roles, along with a flexible ensemble you can tailor to your casting needs. Featuring hit songs like ‘Rock Around The Clock’, ‘Jailhouse Rock’, ‘Tutti Frutti’, ‘Up On the Roof’, ‘The Loco-Motion’, ‘I’m Sorry’ and ‘Land of 1000 Dances’, this new jukebox musical will get a whole new generation of rockin’ around the clock!


Surface Press / BANDCAMP


WILD TIME: a radical novelisation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, Rose Biggin, Keir Cooper


Paperback, signed paperback, e-book:
Ebook (Amazon):

Both funny and sexy on an astronomical scale. The Perfect Summer Read!
Rose Biggin and Keir Cooper’s Wild Time “breaks as many rules as it can”, sparking rave reviews, a must-read for those looking for an hilarious new twist in the tale that packs a punch.
As the theatre industry opens up this season we are seeing many productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (one of the world’s most beloved plays), as theatres around the UK welcome back their audiences.
Two award-winning theatremakers have made a “theatrical novel” Wild Time, a witty riff that rewrites the action of Dream, and begins a conversation about the sexual politics of this famous and frequently performed piece, in a wholly unique way.
Their theatrical bookclub at Camden People’s Theatre made the Guardian’s hotlist and Lyn Gardner’s Pick of the week.
Authors Rose Biggin and Keir Cooper offer us a mischievous ride into myth and magic, taking liberties with Greek gods and literary idols as if nothing is sacred.
A witty reinvention of Shakespeare for 21st Century politics and sex-positivity. An ideal world to get lost in this Summer.
The Duke of Athens and the Amazon Queen are getting married in the morning. It’s going to be a big one, and everyone’s invited. The King and Queen of the Fairies arrive into ancient Athens, ready to be guests of honour at the party of the age.
There’s a gifted new Changeling in town — a uniquely talented human who’s attracting some attention. Titania has plans, Oberon’s wound up about it, there’s a long night ahead and naturally it all comes down to who does what. The planets have their own ideas, and elsewhere, deep within the forest, we see a leatherworker and part-time male stripper rehearsing a play that’s ahead of its time…
This is A Midsummer Night’s Dream as you’ve never known it before. A punk revision of Shakespeare’s narratives of pleasure and power, WILD TIME is a new world composed of erotic and theatrical acrobatics, taking liberties with Greek gods and literary idols like nothing is sacred. It’s funny, it’s sexy, and you’ve got a front row seat.

“WILD TIME is a genuinely intoxicating night in the woods. Generous and witty, sexy and extremely smart, it torments Shakespeare with such lascivious glee and trips nimbly through the theatrical canon… To see the universe expanded out in prose, but also subverted and punked and stripped down and re-focussed is a constant joy. I’ve never read anything like it.”
Stewart Pringle, Dramaturg, National Theatre.

“A lusty reimagining of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, WILD TIME spins you at arm’s length in the middle of its heated embrace. Transgression is at its heart: this new version does its best to rip off the shackles of its originator, but pays homage to it too by breaking as many rules as it can – just as Puck and his cohorts are wont to do. It’s like being in a really fun, messy party where I want to be friends – and maybe more – with them all… erotic and direct, joyful and funny, WILD TIME entices as much as it shocks. There are dangerous pleasures to be had here… if you’re bold enough.”
Honour Bayes, Writer & Critic

“Funny and mischievous, WILD TIME is a delightful reinvention… a treat for lovers of theatre and the fantastical”
EJ Swift

“Boldly experimental and daring, not to mention fabulously entertaining… One of the most remarkable aspects of this book is the way it honours its source material: the bawdiness, the humour, the word play, the theatrical chaos – they’re all here, all mined knowingly and inventively and to delightful effect. The authors’ willingness to be bold and innovative in terms of language and form adds extra verve, and their understanding of and appreciation for *theatre* in every sense of the word results in a work that almost demands to be adapted for the stage. The poetry, humour and sheer joy… a book that will raise a sorely needed smile as these dark days encroach.”
Nina Allan

Rose Biggin & Keir Cooper are two experimental theatre artists who work with radical adaptation, literature and histories: between them, productions include a Don Quijote remix (**** Guardian, Time Out Critics Choice), queer flamenco-theatre on the Spanish Revolution, and a performance of poledance and electric guitar, feat. live art veteran Penny Arcade.

WILD TIME is their debut novel. Rose’s short fiction has been published by Jurassic London, Abaddon Books & Egaeus Press.
Their second theatrical novel has been funded by Arts Council England and is currently in development.


Neville Teller

T: 01625 879508
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MORE AUDIO DRAMA by Neville Teller

£11.99 paperback / £4.99 ebook (Amazon)

Neville Teller’s generous second helping of plays for audio. Charging no performance rights or royalties, More Audio Drama author Neville Teller gifts ten beautifully crafted literary classic adaptations for radio and audio to podcast producers looking for prepared audio scripts.
Following the success of the author’s unique first collection of ten radio plays published in 2019, veteran audio dramatist Neville Teller returns with his second helping of plays – More Audio Drama – to delight lovers of radio drama as well as producers, actors and podcasters everywhere.
In these 10 plays inspired by literary classics, Neville’s expert and finely tuned writing skills are displayed to full effect. Whether you are a podcast producer seeking fully realised audio drama scripts, or one of the worldwide listening audience who love radio drama with its power to create images in the mind’s eye, More Audio Drama is a book to treasure and enjoy.
Neville is a veteran radio dramatist, with more than 50 BBC radio plays under his belt and scores more produced and broadcast across America by the San Francisco-based Shoestring Radio Theatre.
Back in 2019 he published his first collection of ten radio plays, Audio Drama. They have been so welcomed that he decided to make another ten available. Here they are – 10 more of Neville’s plays for radio and podcast, all of which have been produced and broadcast. As in his first book, these scripts are offered to podcast producers with no strings attached. The books on which they are based are all literary classics in the public domain. No performance rights are required.
Whether you are a podcast producer seeking fully realised audio drama scripts, or one of the worldwide listening audience who love radio drama with its power to create images in the mind’s eye, More Audio Drama is a book to treasure and enjoy.
Neville says: “These easy-to-read radio scripts provide lovers of radio drama with the chance to create in their own minds the sort of radio drama that they enjoy. As for the worldwide community of podcast producers, here are 10 audio-ready scripts, offered with no strings attached.
“No royalties, no performance rights.”
Neville Teller is a veteran radio dramatist, with more than 50 BBC radio plays under his belt and scores more produced and broadcast across America by the San Francisco-based Shoestring Radio Theatre. Back in 2019 he published his first collection of ten radio plays, Audio Drama. They have been so welcomed that he decided to make another ten available. Here they are – 10 more of Neville’s plays for radio and podcast, all of which have been produced and broadcast. As in his first book, these scripts are offered to podcast producers with no strings attached. The books on which they are based are all literary classics in the public domain. No performance rights are required. Whether you are a podcast producer seeking fully realised audio drama scripts, or one of the worldwide listening audience who love radio drama with its power to create images in the mind’s eye, More Audio Drama is a book to treasure and enjoy.



T: 01625 879508
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What goes on in the Pantheon by John Waterhouse

Full-Length Comedy / F6, M6 (or 3m, 3f with doubling)

Free preview script via Stage Scripts at
The Greek Gods have enjoyed centuries of relative stability under the rule of Zeus, notwithstanding a few affairs and shenanigans along the way. All seems well apart from the fact that Artemis, Goddess of the Moon and the Hunt (as well as chastity) has not been seen for a while.
Karen, a holiday-maker climbing Mount Olympus, enters a portal accidentally left open by the messenger God Hermes on a trip down to the underworld of Hades. Karen bears a strong resemblance to Artemis, albeit with much shorter hair, and the rest of Gods assume she has simply changed her appearance a little (which Gods can do).
Having quickly learnt there are dire consequences for mortals who enter the Pantheon, Karen decides to pose as the missing Goddess. This suits Hades perfectly, who has Artemis a prisoner in his underworld kingdom, as he plots to challenge the power of Zeus on Olympus.



Available at and for Sardines readers at a special price of £8 + £2 p&p by using code: GhostClub8

Despite the mind fog of these Covid times, can you, like me, just about remember the 16 March 2020? That’s when the first lockdown started and shows, even those that had survived multiple cast changes, came to a grinding halt.

I’m a freelance Company Stage Manager and like the vast majority of my fellow workers in the business had to accept I had even more time on my hands than usual.

The belief things would improve in a couple of months turned from hope to despair at times but I was cheered by a consistent story in the theatre’s trade papers and websites.

It seemed that though actors and audiences had vanished, there was still one thing performing nightly as long as managements had paid their electricity bills. It was that age old symbol of stage superstition, the Ghost Light. Every theatre now seemed to have one defiantly alight, keeping the dark shadows of dread and emptiness at bay.

Their stories made me want to emulate them. I wanted to do something positive to help lift my spirits and an idea began to form. As I couldn’t partake in shows or watch live performances, what about dead ones? It so happened that I had been collecting ghost stories of the theatre for most of my career and I saw this as an ideal opportunity to tell some of them. There was no lack of variety. After all, if I added up all the casts of Les Mis, Phantom, Mamma Mia! and The Mousetrap, they still couldn’t top my Chorus Line of ghosts.

I started going through my collection and quickly realised it would be unfair to only concentrate on past performing phantoms. I needed to broaden my outlook more widely. And so I added stories from backstage and also from the auditoriums. After all, spectral spectators abound throughout the land.

My list of sightings and experiences grew and grew and to accommodate a selection of the best I decided to divide my book in two. Starting in the West End, it visits many playhouses where multiple hauntings have been reported including the Adelphi, the Haymarket and Wyndham’s.

An interval is next where individual stories are related, and afterwards the book goes on tour around the country, before ending of course with a finale set in the most famous haunted theatre of them all, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
The end result is entitled Stage Ghosts and Haunted Theatres. It’s an illustrated paperback with a foreword by Richard O’Brien of The Rocky Horror Picture Show fame. It covers over fifty theatres and includes a host of terrors and apparitions that have been seen, felt, heard and even smelt. Those lonely lights onstage may be beginning to be turned off now as shows are cautiously re opening, but that does not mean the ghosts themselves have ever left the buildings…



If your society has done something special, gone the extra mile or perhaps one step beyond! then please let us know and you could be featured in Sardines.

Email us here at: and please don’t forget to take plenty of photos…

Our second One Step Beyond! features a strong never-say-die attitude and should serve as an example to us all that we shall not fade away but will, instead, come back stronger than before!

Based in Essex, Early Doors Productions has been going for just over ten years. Non-professional in status, the theatre company is headed up by LAMDA-trained, ex-professional actress, vocalist and dancer, Amy Clayton.

Amy likes to surround herself with fellow ex-professionals (such as her husband, Justin Cartledge, who often collaborates with Amy on adapting films into plays and/or musicals) but is also very keen to push new ideas at festivals and fringe events and give aspiring amateur actors in the area the chance to develop their skills with them.

Arguably like a myriad of other theatre companies across the country, EDP is determined to pick up where it left off before the pandemic so rudely burst on the scene and put a stop to the performing arts on 16 March last year.

Just before the worst fifteen months of our lives began, EDP performed the controversial and violent A Clockwork Orange at the start of March 2020 to great acclaim at regular venue – The Brentwood Theatre (read Michael Gray’s review for Sardines).

Rather than wait for the world to wake back up, Amy has been steadily becoming more and more active theatre-wise this year. After live-streaming two original one-act dramas (Caillte Lighthouse and Paperclip) back in November 2020, EDP doggedly continued to push on through the craziness with a live-streaming week of Raft (a one-act musical) and reduced audience performances of Alfie at the start of 2021. Raft – is also being taken to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe next year (where West End hits, such as Six first breathed life). Justin Cartledge is also coming to The Brentwood Theatre on 21 Aug (for one day only) with Alfie. So you may wish to see one of the two performances on that day. According to the blurb… “After a special request from the rights holders for the show to air a repeat, the ultimate swinger is excited to return – but beware: this time when he’s gone, he’s gone!”

Elsewhere, the EDP crew have put their writing talents to the test and are planning to debut Blue Morpho, another one-act original musical written by Justin Cartledge and starring Amy Clayton. This challenging piece will be performed on 16-17 Sep 2021 and will be co-directed by Neil Gray, Laura-Leigh O’Donoghue and Darren Matthews. A venue is still to be comfirmed so the website will hopefully let you know as soon as details can be confirmed.

Halloween (EDP’s favourite time of the year for a classic horror – mild or otherwise!) sees Sleepy Hollow galloping across Brentwood Theatre’s stage from 28-30 Oct. Expect humour, hilarity, horror and ‘headlessness’ (is that even a word!). Some new blood is welcomed to the EDP cast for this one, although not literally. Colin Richardson and Jack Dobre will be joining Early Doors’ ranks for the run in Essex.

Finally for 2021, EDP’s NHS charity music night of Soul, Jazz & Blues will be held in Chelmsford at Ingatestone Hall on 12 & 13 Nov. 100% of ticket profits will go towards the NHS whose staff have played the biggest part in making all of the above possible. Here here! For the special concert, Amy Clayton will perform with Jennifer Bell, Ben Martins and Victoria Russell, faithfully accompanied by Darren Matthews.

Limited tickets are available by emailing EDP at



Heathers The Musical
Open now until 11 Sep 2021
Theatre Royal Haymarket, London SW1Y 4HT
and touring from 5 Aug – 11 Dec 2021
F: heathersthemusical / T & I: @HeathersMusical
Our latest coverstar, Jodie Steele, steals the show, deserving of its 5-star review (we attended on the third time of asking due to restrictions). The tour is produced by Bill Kenwright and Paul Taylor-Mills (also in this issue) and will be running while the West End production is still playing. The show is a cult hit and, true to form, has fans dressing up as the dastardly Heathers at each performance.

Jersey Boys
Open now until 2 Jan 2022
Trafalgar Theatre, London SW1A 2DY
F: JerseyBoysLondon / T & I: @JerseyBoysUK
The famous Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning smash hit musical is led by Ben Joyce as Frankie Valli, Adam Bailey as Bob Gaudio, Benjamin Yates as Tommy De Vito and Karl James Wilson as Nick Massi, at the new multi-million pound reinstated Trafalgar Theatre. There are way too many hit numbers to list here!

The Phantom of the Opera
Open now, booking until 13 February 2022
Her Majesty’s Theatre, London SW1Y 4QL
F: ThePhantomOfTheOpera / T & I: @PhantomOpera
If the rumours are to be believed, the Phantom orchestra size has been cut in half during its mysterious closure. During the pandemic, Cameron Mackintosh appeared to announce the show was definitely closing permanently. Then, after a huge public backlash Andrew Lloyd Webber seemed to backtrack saying it would be back.
The new Christine, Lucy St Louis, is the first black woman to play the phantom’s love interest. Killian Donelly returns as the phantom himself while Rhys Whitfield takes on Raoul.


Open now, booking until 12 Dec 2021
Savoy Theatre, London WC2R 0ET
F & T: @PrettyWomanUK / I: prettywomanmusicaluk
Aimie Atkinson plays ‘Vivian Ward’ and Danny Mac as ‘Edward Lewis’ – two roles that Julia Roberts and Richard Gere made famous.
The songs famously come from Grammy winners Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance while choreography comes from the egendary Jerry Mitchell.

Open now, booking until 26 June 2022
Aldwych Theatre, London WC2B 4DF
F, T & I: @TinaTheMusical
Another show that is back to 100% capacity and the stars are loving it just much as the audiences.
Aisha Jawando and Jammy Kasongo play Tina and Ike Turner respectively – the couple destined to part company. / This year the real Tina Turner was inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Previously in 1991 she was only inducted as part of a duo alongside Ike Turner. All the hits are in the show and it’s one you really don’t want to miss.


Open now until 5 Sep 2021
Charing Cross Theatre WC2N 6NL
F: Pippin-On-Stage / T: @OnPippin / I: pippinonstage
Grammy winner, three-time Oscar winner and musical theatre giant, Stephen Schwartz’s smash-hit musical has extended its ‘immersive’ stay at the Charing Cross Theatre until 5 September.
Set in the ‘Summer of Love’ of 1967, we follow Pippin, a young prince with extraordinary dreams and aspirations on his quest to find passion, fulfilment and meaning.

‘John & Jen’
Open now until 21 August 2022
Southwark Playhouse, London SE1 6BD
F: SouthwarkPlayhouse / T: @swkplay / I: @swkplayawood
This production is the world premiere of a brand-new, updated version of the show by Andrew Lippa and Tom Greenwald.
It’s an emotional rollercoaster of a musical that explores the dynamics of family relationships. 1985. John & Jen, brother and sister, born seven years apart, grow up together, totally inseparable. 2005. Jen, alone in Canada with her baby boy whom she has named John, a living memorial to the brother she failed to protect.

Open now until 4 September 2021
The Watermill Theatre, Newbury RG20 8AE
F: thewatermilltheatre / T: @WatermillTh / I: thewatermilltheatre

Garden Theatre Summer Festival
1 – 14 Aug 2021
St Gabriel’s Halls, London SW1V 3AA
A festival of exciting and eclectic work in a new pop-up theatre at St. Gabriel’s Halls in Pimlico. Headlining the season is a sexy all-male modern ballet based on Delibes’ classic Coppelia


& Juliet
Reopening on 24 Sep 2021 – Booking until 12 February 2022
Shaftesbury Theatre, London WC2H 8DP
F, T & I: @JulietMusical
Miriam-Teak Lee – who was awarded the Olivier Award for Best Actress in 2020 for her performance as Juliet – leads a cast including Cassidy Janson, who also won an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Anne Hathaway, Oliver Tompsett as William Shakespeare, David Bedella, who also won an Olivier Award for his performance in the show as Lance, Jordan Luke Gage as Romeo, Melanie La Barrie as Nurse, and Tim Mahendran as Francois. Alex Thomas-Smith will be joining the principal cast in the role of May.
The show is packed with pop anthems including: …Baby One More Time, Since U Been Gone, Roar, It’s My Life, I Want It That Way, and Can’t Stop the Feeling!


Touring now until 27 November 2021
F, T & I: @greaseuktour
Directed by Nikolai Foster and choreographed by Arlene Phillips the world’s best-known (and arguably best-loved if you’re of a certain age) musical is back. Starring Peter Andre at certain venues as Teen Angel and Vince Fontaine, the show that is a lot more ‘adult’ than you think promises to rock your socks off. Featuring a whole host of hits including Summer Nights, Greased Lightnin’, Sandy, Hopelessly Devoted to You , You’re The One That I Want and, of course, the title number, you’d be hard-pressed not to come out humming something from the show.


Opening on 15 November 2021 –
booking until 5 March 2022
Kit Kat Club, Playhouse Theatre, London WC2N 5DE
F, T & I: @kitkatclubLDN
Shrouded in mystery upon its launch, Cabaret, starring Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley, is going to be playing at a transformed Playhouse Theatre. The blurb says “In a time when the world is changing forever, there is one place where everyone can be free… welcome to the Kit Kat Club. This is Berlin. Relax. Loosen up. Be yourself.” Interesting…


Opening on 25 August 2021 –
booking until 13 February 2022
Gillian Lynne Theatre, London WC2B 5PW
F, T & I: @alwcinderella
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s infamous rant was probably justified when, only days from its opening night, the entire cast and crew had to self-isolate because of a single postive Covid test result.
Anyway, it’s not easy to fight the government and the show has a new opening date – slbeit over four weeks later than planned. But they do say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, and this show has had a lot of publicity… not to mention some lovely photos, such as this one of Carrie Hope Fletcher.


Opening on 25 August 2021 –
booking until 2 April 2022
Novello Theatre, London WC2B 4LD
F, T & I: @mammamiamusical
Now in its 23rd year in London, producer Judy Craymer is “delighted to be welcoming people back to once again dance, jive and have the time of their lives!” Returning to the cast will be Mazz Murray as Donna, Richard Trinder as Sam, Neil Moors as Harry, Stephen Beckett as Bill and Sophie Matthew as Lisa. Since premiering in London in 1999, the show has now been seen live on stage by 65 million people across the world and been turned into two record-breaking movies.


Opening on 19 August 2021 –
booking until 2 April 2022
Victoria Palace Theatre, London SW1E 5EA / F, T & I: @HamiltonWestEnd
Arguably still the hottest ticket in town, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and featuring a brand-new cast – although Karl Queensborough is returning to play the title role of Alexander Hamilton.

9 – 23 October 2021
Newcastle Theatre Royal then… opening 4 Nov 2021 (Booking until 26 March 2022)
Garrick Theatre, London WC2H 0HH
F & T: @thedriftersgirl / I: @thedriftersgirlmusical
Adam J Bernard, Tarinn Callender, Matt Henry and Tosh Wanogho-Maud will play The Drifters in a brand new musical also starring Beverley Knight, which tells the remarkable story of one of the world’s greatest vocal groups and the woman who made them.


Opening 7 Aug 2021
Booking until 13 Feb 2022
Prince Edward Theatre, London W1D 4HS
F & T: @marypoppins / I: marypoppinsmusical
Cameron Mackintosh and Disney are relaunching their Olivier award-winning production. Zizi Strallen remains as Mary Poppins and Charlie Stemp as Bert. Petula The magical story of the world’s favourite Nanny arriving on Cherry Tree Lane has been brought alive with “dazzling choreography, incredible effects and unforgettable songs.” The stage version, adapted from the stories by PL Travers and the Disney film, continues to be a hit since its opening 17 years ago.

Opening 1 Oct 2021 / Booking until 3 Apr 2022
Lyric Theatre, London W1D 7ES / F, T & I: @GetUpStandUpLDN
Arinzé Kene will play Bob Marley with a book by award-winning Lee Hall. All of the back catalogue is there to take you to a reggae paradise.

17 Sep – 17 Oct 2021
Garrick Theatre, London WC2H 0HH
F, T & I: @L5YearsUK
Jason Robert Brown’s Drama Desk Award-winning musical is directed by Jonathan O’Boyle. Molly Lynch and Oli Higginson will reprise their roles as Cathy and Jamie, following a critically acclaimed run at Southwark Playhouse last year.

22 Oct – 27 Nov 2021 / Southwark Playhouse, London SE1 6BD
F & I: indecentproposalmusical / T: @indecentmusical
After two postponements, the company will be thrilled to get back to creating this ambitious and modern musical inspired by the Jack Engelhard novel (on which the iconic 1993 film was also based).

Opening 16 Sep 2021
Booking until 13 Feb 2022
Cambridge Theatre, London WC2H 9HU
T: @matildamusical / F & I: matildathemusical
Celebrating ten years since the multi award-winning show opened in London, this iconic British musical has won 99 international awards including 24 for Best Musical and has been seen by more than 10 million people across more than 90 cities worldwide.
The RSC show is written by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and developed and directed by Matthew Warchus. Roald Dahl’s story is about an extraordinary little girl with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind.

Until 29 Aug 2021
Lyric Theatre, London W1D 7ES then…opening 29 Sep ’21
Booking until 1 May 2022
Vaudeville Theatre, London WC2R 0NH
F, T & I: @sixthemusical
The electrifying musical phenomenon by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss will move to it’s ‘forever home’ in the West End when it transfers to the Vaudeville Theatre on The Strand

10 Dec 2021 – 8 Jan 2022
Southwark Playhouse, London SE1 6BD
T: @TheRhythmics_
This new show explores the crisis of masculinity via a collection of oddballs belting their way through a thrillingly catchy guitar-led score.
Hapless single-dad Grey is in a rut. Teenage daughter Silva packs him off to revive his rockstar dreams, successfully auditioning for ‘Nick & the Rhythmics’ only to realise… he’s actually signed up for an All-male Rhythmic Gymnastics troupe. Against the odds these burly blokes make it as far as the World Championships.

Touring from 24 August 2021
T: @9to5musicaluk / F & I: 9to5themusicaluk
Louise Redknapp will reprise her role as ‘Violet Newstead’ in the forthcoming UK tour of Dolly Parton’s musical hit.
The show tells the story of Doralee, Violet and Judy – three workmates pushed to boiling point by their sexist and egotistical boss. Concocting a plan to kidnap and turn the tables on their despicable supervisor, will the girls manage to reform their office – or will events unravel when the CEO pays an unexpected visit? Inspired by the cult film this hilarious new West End production is about teaming up, standing up and taking care of business!


Touring 11 Sep 2021 – 5 Nov 2022 / F, T & I: @BatTheMusical
Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf’s greatest hits (and the highest selling album of all time in Australia!). Songs include: ‘You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth’, ‘Bat Out Of Hell’, ‘I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)’ and ‘Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad’.

Touring 11 Sep 2021 – 30 Jul 2022
F: chicagothemusical / T & I: @ChicigoMusical
Darren Day will play ‘Billy Flynn’ in the forthcoming UK and Ireland tour of the international musical sensation. He joins the previously announced Faye Brookes as ‘Roxie Hart’, Sinitta as ‘Mama Morton’, Divina De Campo as ‘Mary Sunshine’, Djalenga Scott as ‘Velma Kelly’ and Joel Montague as ‘Amos Hart’.
Created by the musical theatre talents of John Kander, Fred Ebb and legendary choreographer Bob Fosse, Chicago’s sexy, sassy score includes the show-stopping songs “Razzle Dazzle”, “Cell Block Tango”, and “All That Jazz”. Winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy, it is the longest running American musical in Broadway and West End history.


Touring 19 Aug 2021 – 18 Jun 2022
F: rockofagesthemusical
T: @rockofagesuk / I: rockofsgesmusicaluk
Kevin Clifton is best known known for being a professional dancer on BBC1’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. In seven years on the show he has reached the final a record five times, winning four glitter balls including the main Glitterball trophy in 2018 with Stacey Dooley before leaving in 2019. Since then, Kevin has gone on to appear in many other theatre productions including, ‘The Wedding Singer’ and ‘Singin’ in the Rain’.
He returns to the role of Stacee Jaxx at selected performances of this new tour. Luke Walsh, Rhiannon Chesterman, Joe Gash, Ross Dawes, Gabriella Williams and Jenny Fitzpatrick also star.


Touring from 26 Nov 2021 – 30 Jul 2022
including Southbank Centre, London SE1 8XX
from 8 Dec 2021 – 22 Jan 2022
F, T & I: @bringitonuktour
Producers Selladoor Worldwide is delighted to cheer on Amber Davies as ‘Campbell’ and four-time Olympic medallist Louis Smith as ‘Cameron’.
Inspired by the 2000 film of the same name, the show features an original score by the multi-award-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda and Pulitzer Prize winning Tom Kitt. The book is written by the Tony Award winning writer of ‘Avenue Q’, Jeff Whitty, and the lyrics are by both Lin-Manuel Miranda and writer of the stage adaptation of ‘High Fidelity’, Amanda Green.

Touring 19 Aug 2021 – 19 Mar 2022
F & I: TheAddamsFamilyUK / T: @AddamsFamilyUK

Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Touring 14 Aug 2021 – 1 May 2022 / F, T & I: @bedknobsonstage
Dianne Pilkington will star as Miss Eglantine Price, the mysterious lady that the three orphaned Rawlins children are evacuated from wartime London to live with. A Disney classic

6 Aug – 19 Sep 2021
Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester M4 7JA
F & I: HopeMillTheatre / T: @hopemilltheatr1
Hope Mill Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of the classic rock musical RENT is to return with live performances at the Manchester venue.
Jonathan Larson’s book, written in 1996, is loosely based on Puccini’s opera ‘La Bohème’.


Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Filmed in June for streaming later in the year
Shaftesbury Theatre, London WC2H 8DP
Composer: John Robinson, book: Phil Willmott, direction: Sasha Regan, production design: Andrew Exeter, costume design: Jasmine Swan.

tick, tick…BOOM!
Globally launches on Netflix and in select cinemas this Autumn
Lin-Manuel Miranda directs and Andrew Garfield stars in TICK, TICK… BOOM!, a new film based on RENT creator Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical musical about one man’s race against time to create something extraordinary.

INCIDENTAL: Music For The Stage
Royal & Derngate Theatres and Atlantic Screen Music have announced the release of a contemporary classical and electronic music album INCIDENTAL: Music For The Stage featuring original compositions for theatre inspired by some of the most famous plays and novels in the English Language. The charity compilation album will contain original music from stage productions by composers such as White Lies, Anne Dudley, These New Puritans, Rachel Portman, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Isobel Waller-Bridge, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Renell Shaw alongside spoken performances from actors including Judi Dench, Amanda Seyfried, David Harewood, Felicity Jones, Giles Terera, Patricia Routledge, James Norton, Sharon D Clarke, Iain Glen, Lesley Sharp, Stephen Fry, Indira Varma, Maxine Peake, Roger Allam, Anton Lesser and Simon Russell Beale.


Andrew Lloyd Webber has brought
together an 81-piece orchestra to record
new symphonic suites from three of his
best-loved musicals.


The Theatre Channel
Episode 7: Rodgers & Hammerstein
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London NW1 4NU
The Theatre Channel collaborates with Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre for Episode 7. The episode is brought to life by two-time Olivier Award-nominee Michael Xavier, Josefina Gabrielle and Caroline Sheen. Further casting includes Daniel Koek, Amara Okereke, Ethlinn Rose and Tavio Wright as well as The New Café Five.





Kay Mellor’s smash hit FAT FRIENDS THE MUSICAL will return to tour the UK and Ireland opening at Dartford Orchard Theatre on 14 January 2022. With original music by Nicholas Lloyd Webber, the show will star Lee Mead as ‘Paul’ with further casting to be announced soon. The tour will visit venues including Cardiff New, Leeds Grand, Edinburgh Festival, Dublin Bord Gais Energy Theatre, The Lowry, Salford, Southampton Mayflower, Wolverhampton Grand, Canterbury Marlowe and Newcastle, Norwich and Plymouth Theatre Royals.


Selladoor Productions confirm that the previously announced Darren Day will remain in the role of Reverend Moore in Footloose The Musical and will be joined on stage by newly cast Dancing on Ice Winner and Theatre star Jake Quickenden. Having been previously cast in the 2020 tour which was postponed due to Covid 19 Darren tells us: “I am so delighted to be able to stay with the tour of Footloose for the 2022 tour. I was a teenager in the 80s, which is such an impressionable age for movies and music. This is one of the most iconic films and soundtracks from my teenage years. I can remember hearing Footloose on the radio for the first time and thinking… what a tune! I’m really looking forward to seeing you there”



THE OSMONDS: A New Musical will receive its world premiere at Leicester’s Curve on 3 February 2022, as part of a UK & Ireland Tour, which will run through to 3 December 2022. The with story is by Jay Osmond who tells the true story of the five brothers from Utah who were pushed into the spotlight as children and went on to create smash hits, decade after decade.


There is going to be a brand-new UK tour of Jim Cartwright’s The Rise And Fall of Little Voice directed by Bronagh Lagan (Cruise, West End). Two-time Drama Desk nominee Christina Bianco, whose extraordinary diva videos have been viewed over 25million times on YouTube to great international acclaim, will play LV.
Shobna Gulati, whose work includes Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (West End/film), Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith), Coronation Street and Dinner Ladies will play Mari Hoff.
While Ian Kelsey, much loved for his many leading roles in the West End and on TV including Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Doctors and Casualty will play Ray Say.



Recently, we asked you to send us details of your production plans to reopen and welcome your audiences back into theatres up and down the UK.
You haven’t disappointed us. In fact we almost received too many shows to list.
There are two points why this news is so big:

  1. You must all be confident that audiences are ready to come back into theatres.
  2. Your own societies, casts & crews must also be ready to launch back into performing with aplomb.

We must admit to fearing a bigger level of hesitancy whilst, it turns out, all along, you’ve been waiting to get back to where you belong.
The next thing you need to do id check that your society’s contact ‘Admin’ has uploaded the production to our website. Here are some of your shows:

With somewhere in the region of over 10,000 amateur theatre societies in the UK, this obviously a tiny snapshot of what is going on across the length and breadth of the country.
Many of the societies shown here are listed on the Sardines website directory. However, some have merely responded to our video shoutouts on YouTube and sent us details of their reopening shows, plays and pantos.
If you spot your own society here then why not look on the Sardines website to see if the society and show are listed?

The website can be reached by visiting:

That said, not everybody will be able to upload information to the website. So here are the basic points:

  1. Individuals must register on the website before being able to do anything. However, it’s very quick and easy.
  2. Once registered you can add a society, a new service supplier profile, comment on any post or add a new post of your own. Just click on the ‘Add/Upload/Me’ link once you log in to add or edit something.
  3. Only the main society ‘Admin’ can update and add new details to a society page. This is usually the person who created the original society page, but not always. Email us ( with any queries or special ‘Admin’ requests you may have.
  4. Anybody can apply to be a ‘Co-Admin’ of a society page which means – if approved by the existing ‘Admin’ – they will be able to add productions, auditions and request a Sardines review for a production they have added.
  5. Any registered user can also ‘follow’ a society to receive notifications of additions, changes and uploads made to any particular theatre group.

If you get stuck our YouTube channel has a ‘Video Tutorials’ playlist to help out. Search YouTube for ‘Sardines Magazine’.



by Matthew Malthouse

To most people when they think of auditions, they think of X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent. No matter what level you perform at, auditions are part of an actor’s life – the school nativity, part-time drama group, local amateur dramatics society or even West End professional, one thing that remains consistent throughout is auditioning.
Whether you love or hate them, thrive under the pressure, or crumble every time, the reality is, auditions will always exist for actors.
According to Wikipedia: ‘Audition’ is rooted in the Latin verb ‘audire’, meaning ‘to hear’, and was first used in the late 16th Century to refer to the power or sense of hearing. … It wasn’t until late 19th Century that the noun ‘audition’ began being used for an entertainer’s trial performance.

I love the description ‘trial performance’ it conjures up the image of proving yourself to a jury, which is exactly how an audition can sometimes feel!

What is an audition?
If you are reading this, I imagine you are very familiar with auditions. If you have never had to audition… lucky you!
The format of auditions remains exactly the same no matter what level you are at.
They tend to follow this pattern:

  • Wait outside audition room pacing nervously.
  • Walking in the room – it suddenly feels the length of a football pitch.
  • Couple of minutes of awkward nervous chat.
  • Three to five minutes performing your songs, scenes or monologues – at this point your own internal monologue is going haywire. Clogging your brain with a series of unhelpful
  • Awkward goodbye and long walk to exit.
  • Spend the next few days agonising over what you should or could have done better.

Sound familiar? The problem with auditions is there is no real alternative to them. Many directors and casting directors have expressed that they feel auditions sometimes don’t get the best out of actors, but they just don’t have another viable alternative. I say viable with caution as that word can be triggering to actors… remember Fatima?

Self-tapes have become more and more popular for professional actors and drama schools. They are great as a first round as they allow casting directors to see more actors and save money on room-hire costs, meaning more people get the opportunity to audition even if it is remotely.

Don’t know what a self-tape is? Here is a tutorial I did to make a professional looking self-tape…

A lot of professional actors prefer self-tape auditions because you get the chance to re-do them if you aren’t happy with how you perform.

The majority of the time you will still be required to have an in-person audition to secure the job/part/ role or a place at drama school.

An in-person audition gives the creative team/panel a chance to see what your working relationship would be like and how you respond to direction and notes. This is especially important in drama school auditions where they will be working with you for three years.

Why are auditions important?
Auditions allow every actor an equal opportunity to secure a role. We all get our five mins to show what we would do with the part, or in a college audition situation we get five mins to showcase what skills we have to offer.
Yes, in drama groups or amateur societies, often, it turns out that the same people get all the best roles, but having an audition process means that occasionally someone gets cast in a part you would never expect. Without holding an audition this wouldn’t be possible.
So how do you get more comfortable and confident with auditions?

Here are my… ‘Top-5 Audition Tips’


When it comes to auditions at any level I believe the the old saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin and used by the army: “failing to prepare is preparing to fail” is key.
You can never do too much preparation before your audition. What that preparation would need to include, depends on the situation.
If you are auditioning for a role you should do some general research:

  • Composer
  • Lyricist
  • Writer
  • Previous productions

Next, you want to read the full script. Too many actors at every level make the mistake of only reading the section of the production that they have to perform for their auditions.
Take the time to source and read the full play. It will contain all the information you need about your character.
I can’t emphasis this point enough – read the full script!
The script will give you an idea of the style of the piece and the time period it is set in. You want to be looking for things like your characters:

  • Age
  • Job
  • Relationships
  • Social Class
  • Accent
  • Upbringing
  • Interests

This information will influence your physicality and the way you talk to others in the scene.
Everything the writer believes is important for your character will be in the writing.
It is essential to note where in the play your scene takes place and how it fits within the story arch. This will guide you to what the main objective of the scene is.
Whatever action has happened just before a scene can sometimes be the biggest influence to your characters mood, energy and motivation.
For classic plays like Shakespeare, reading the play can often be arduous, time-consuming work or, with some old musicals, finding a copy of the script can be difficult. In these situations you could watch a movie version – but be warned don’t copy the acting. You have to create your own character for a memorable performance.

Drama school audition preparation
Each college has their own audition specifications. Make sure you double-check that the pieces you choose match those requirements. Some colleges can be very specific – a play written post-1990 by a British playwright for example. If you are planning on auditioning for multiple colleges I would recommend you source all the requirements from the various schools before picking your monologues so you can use the same piece at multiple auditions.
I would also recommend doing some research on the college. Recent graduates, full-time teaching faculty, course content. Most of this information is available from their websites. Often you will be asked about this at the interview stage.
Don’t overlook the audition interview, it can be the deciding factor on whether you get a place or not. Knowing information about the college and teachers will convey the image of a professional, conscientious applicant.
I can’t overstate the importance of preparation. It is often the difference between failure and success.

Ignore the panel

The panel can be unbelievably distracting during your audition. If they start talking to each other as you perform, your internal monologue will start going crazy.
“They look bored”, “they hate me”, “I am rubbish” … (Very rarely does your internal monologue give you praise.)
Don’t worry. If the panel starts to talk, it is normally a good thing – they are discussing where they think you would fit within the production or they could be saying they like your energy and are seeing if the others panellists agree.
Panels don’t need to talk if they aren’t interested as there is nothing to discuss. Or if they have time on their side they will discuss you once you leave the room. You really never can tell, so don’t look into what you think the panel are thinking.
My top tip is to place your focus and eyeline just above the panels heads. That will mean they will be in softer focus and less distracting.

Stay present in the room

It can be easy to become distracted in the room. Your mind can start to wander thinking “that bit wasn’t very good” or “maybe I need to do a gesture.”
If you find these thoughts flying around your head you aren’t present in the moment.
The more you concentrate on the words and story of the monologue/song you are performing, the more you will stay in the moment. This will lead to a more engaging truthful performance.
To help get into character or in ‘the zone’ take your time before you start. Auditions can be nerve wracking which leads to a surge of adrenaline and increased heart rate. This can cause you to rush and get over excited. Take a few breaths and a moment to get into character before you start. Taking ten secs to prepare will feel like an eternity to you in the room but the panel won’t notice.
Be brave and take that time as it can make a big difference.
Think about it as a performance

Auditions are a chance to perform. We act because we like to escape and play characters. Most of us start to act because above all it is fun and enjoyable. If you treat auditions as a chance to enjoy acting and performing, the pressure on them immediately decreases.
Acting and art is subjective. What someone thinks about your performance is down to their personal taste. How many times do you love an actor, singer or band and a friend isn’t as impressed?
The panel are the same. You can’t change their individual preferences. You can only show them your ability, show them what you would do with the role and let them decide.
Brian Cranston from Breaking Bad famously said of auditions: “You aren’t going there to get a job. You are going to present what you do.”…

Always remember the audition panel is on your side. Brilliant performers are wanted in their shows or drama schools. Don’t be scared or intimidated by them. They want you to do well.

Forget about it!

Once the audition is over you can’t change it. Don’t beat yourself up over what went wrong or the silly thing you said. It is done and you can’t go back.
Allow yourself time to be upset but don’t wallow for a sustained period of time.
When enough time has passed think about what you could have done better. Be objective and make those changes before any future auditions.
The more you audition, the less alien the situation becomes. With time they may even become enjoyable.

Need more Audition help?

Matt Malthouse is founder of Chiron Audition Prep… which has a goal to provide a programme that would have “benefited us when we auditioned for drama school.”

Before auditioning many students need to take extra tuition to prepare. If you need any help with an upcoming drama school audition Chiron Audition Prep offers 4 x Online courses: Acting, Singing, Dance and Musical theatre.

All courses have been designed after discussions with some of UK’s top drama schools to guarantee courses only contain the most relevant up to date audition specific content.

Head over to to find out more and sign up to receive a free audition guide.

YOUR NEWS – ChiChi Fit Sweeping the UK

YOUR NEWS – ChiChi Fit Sweeping the UK

Endorsed by Strictly Come Dancing judge, Craig Revel Horwood, ChiChi Fit is the latest fitness craze to be sweeping the UK.

ChiChi Fit, the dance fitness class with a musical theatre twist. ChiChi Fit lets you be the star of your own show as you step into the spotlight and get fit dancing to your favourite show tunes!
It is a fun fitness experience that fuses the magic of Broadway with cardio and strength training to give you a full-body workout! Featuring hit songs such as You Can’t Stop the Beat (Hairspray), Defying Gravity (Wicked), Circle of Life (The Lion King) and Fame (to name a few).

It is guaranteed to lift your spirits and become your healthiest addiction.

ChiChi Fit was developed by Danella Mercati, an entrepreneur from Cheltenham whose background is rooted in musical theatre and dance.

She trained in Musical Theatre at the Guildford School of Acting and, shortly after graduating, a job offer took her to the Caribbean to work at the exclusive Parrot Cay resort where she worked alongside many well-known performers.

While working at Parrot Cay, Danella met Sir Paul McCartney who urged her to follow her dreams. “During his three-week stay, we chatted a lot and he took a real interest in my career aspirations. He talked about the challenges of the performing industry and encouraged me to pursue my dream of opening a stage school where I could use my skills to their full potential – teaching, choreography and directing.”

Danella returned to Cheltenham, and in 2003 opened up her own stage school, CAMEO. “Soon after opening my school, I was offered a job teaching drama and musical theatre at the Cheltenham Ladies College. I only intended staying a year or two, but it fitted so perfectly around building my stage school and popping out a couple of kids that I’m still teaching part-time 18 years on! It’s a wonderful school and I adore the girls.”

The idea for ChiChi Fit came about when parents of the children who attended Danella’s stage school, began asking if she offered musical theatre classes for adults. “So many parents expressed an interest, so I combined my three greatest passions; musical theatre, dance and fitness and ChiChi Fit was born.”

Danella is keen to point out that ChiChi Fit is for everyone. “We dance to songs from all the best musical shows and the easy to learn choreography makes it suitable for all ages. You don’t need to be a dancer.”

For such a showbiz-centric workout, Danella made it her mission to collaborate with someone she felt embodied the fun and sparkle of her unique offering; enter Craig Revel Horwood. “Strictly Come Dancing was on TV at the time and Craig Revel Horwood was the first celebrity to come to mind. It took 12 months to find a way of getting in front of him and, when I finally did it paid off as he loved the idea and jumped on board. Together, we developed the programme and the huge vision for ChiChi’s future.”

It’s evident that a ChiChi Fit class is fun, but what are the health benefits? “A ChiChi Fit class provides a great cardio workout that’s good for your heart, makes you stronger, more flexible and more co-ordinated, and it’s a great calorie burner too.” Danella claims. “It’s equally as good for your mental health as the music and movement take you on an emotive journey, to feel happier, to feel more positive, to feel healthier, to dazzle like the star of your own show. There’s no better feeling in the world!” ChiChi Fit is a sociable workout which provides a great way to meet likeminded people. “You’ll have fun, laugh and sing to your favourite Broadway and West End hits!”

During the pandemic, Danella had no other choice but to move her classes online, and with much success. “Classes were forced online when we went into lockdown last year and I was so concerned they wouldn’t translate over screen as the live experience is so incredible. Thankfully, I had no need to worry. They have been a huge success and really beneficial to all those stuck at home. I even moved our training courses online which opened the door to training up new ChiChi Fit instructors from all over the world. “Our first instructors from Australia and the USA are launching their classes this week. Moving online has made trainings easily accessible as many of our instructors are mums with young kids, so being able to train online means they don’t need to travel or get childcare, so it really has been a win, win. I’m so grateful and so excited that ChiChi Fit classes are popping up all over the country taught by so many, wonderful, sparkly women!”
F: chichidancefit T: @chichi.dancefit

YOUR NEWS – PROMS MAGIC for Cheshire Charity

YOUR NEWS – PROMS MAGIC for Cheshire Charity


Top tenor Russell Watson helped launch the 2021 Hale Barns Carnival when he headlined an evening of Proms favourites.
The Salford-born superstar singer took centre stage in the middle of July to kick off the annual weekend festival which returned bigger and better than ever after being postponed in 2020.
Due to the weekend falling into the Government’s 4-week delay to restrictions being lifted, the carnival went ahead as planned but with a 50% capacity only and all appropriate Covd-safe restrictions in place.
The man dubbed ‘The Voice’ had said he couldn’t wait to return to live performing and entertain Hale Barns audiences – while raising vital funds for charity at the same time.
This year’s carnival took place across the weekend of Friday, 16 to Sunday, 18 July 2021 – with demand for tickets meaning the live music was extended to three evenings for the first time in the carnival’s history.
Alongside Watson, other headline acts included disco legends Boney M – featuring Maizie Williams, Katrina and the Waves and 5 Star featuring Denise Pearson.
But it was the very special Proms with Russell Watson that officially opened Hale Barns Carnival 2021.
The 54-year-old former bolt cutter, who started singing in working men’s clubs in his spare time, is the UK’s best-selling classical artist.
2021 marks the 21st anniversary of his debut solo album The Voice reaching no.1 – a position it held for a world record fifty-two weeks, catapulting the singer to international stardom.
With his band he sang a specially curated set full of Proms classics, including stirring anthems like Jerusalem and Rule Britannia, as well as Puccini’s aria Nessun Dorma.
The Friday night concert supported The Seashell Trust, with all profits from the evening being donated to the Cheshire charity which helps young people with complex needs and communication challenges.
Watson said prior to performing: “When I get onstage at Hale Barns it will be my first live concert for eighteen months. It’s going to be an emotional experience, both for me and for the musicians performing with me.
“I used to live not far away, in Plane Tree Road in Hale, so it’s a really nice place to start performing again. And The Seashell Trust is a fantastic local charity which does important work with young people in the area. Charities have been hit hard in the last year, so I’m also really pleased that money raised on the evening will be going towards it being able to continue providing those vital services.
“Last year was meant to be my 20th anniversary tour, but everything was postponed because of the pandemic. After Hale Barns Carnival I’ll be performing a small number of other outdoor Proms concerts, and then my rescheduled tour will start in the autumn – now marking my 21st anniversary!
“When lockdown started last spring, I gave my voice a complete rest for five or six months, and as a result it’s soaring and feeling really fluid.
“Now I can’t wait to get back on stage and entertain people again. I’ll be performing Proms favourites along with a selection of the repertoire that I’ve recorded over the last 20 years.”
The live concerts were once again complemented by a two-day free Hale Barns Carnival family event on Saturday, 17 and Sunday, 18 July.
The carnival weekend was staged with Covid-safe measures in place, including space and hand sanitizer stations, to ensure a relaxed and safe event for all the family.
Organiser Max Eden from Hale Barns Events said: “Russell was due to perform at the 2020 Carnival which had to be postponed because of the Coronavirus pandemic, so I’m absolutely delighted he’s able to join us this summer instead.”
Facebook: @HaleBarnsCarnival
Twitter:​ @HaleBarnsEvents

Hamilton and Me – Giles Terera

Hamilton and Me – Giles Terera

Giles Terera and company as Alexander Hamilton’s nemesis and killer, Aaron Burr.

Photo: Matthew Murphy

Giles Terera is one of those actors who landed not only the role of a lifetime in what has become the hottest multi-award-winning show in the world right now, written by the hottest and most celebrated musical theatre writer of his generation. But to top it all, he was then duly recognised for his performance by winning the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
The first super exciting piece of news is that Giles kept a journal throughout his entire Hamilton journey. That journal is soon to be published, in hardback, on 1 July – and it’s brilliant. I’ve read it. I know. Sardines readers are able to pre-order Hamilton and Me at a specially heavily discounted rate of just £10.99. All the details are at the end of this article so make sure you order yourself a copy. And if you need another reason?

The second piece if news – that should REALLY get you excited – is that Giles Terera used to be like you and I, performing with his local amateur dramatics group in Stevenage. In Giles’ case it was the Lytton Players… a time which brings back some fond memories for the man who went on to play Aaron Burr, the historical figure who killed Alexander Hamilton.

“The camaraderie of being in an amateur company and going on that journey when you put a show on together is not that dissimilar to the journey I went on when I wrote my journal for Hamilton,” Giles told me over the phone, mid-lockdown.

After reading the book in a single weekend and realising this guy is the real deal, I mentioned to Giles that as an amateur performer, and representing the entire ‘amateur’ sector for a moment, it would be very difficult to apply that much scrutiny to an amateur performance… such as auditioning and finding out you’ve got the part a whole year prior to opening night. We simply don’t have enough hours in the day.

“Yes, but speaking about ‘amateur’ most of the people who I know and have worked with started off in their local amateur dramatics company,” the West End performer-come-author tells me. “That’s the natural way to start. We like it at school and then find the local amateur dramatics society. That’s certainly what I did. I went with my friend to the one group that was in town, and that’s where we did it, where we started.”

“The amount of dedication you see us applying is really just down to curiosity about a particular character who should really interest you,” continues Giles before reminiscing. “It takes me back; I remember starting out with my amateur dramatics company, we weren’t getting paid anything. So in order to get up there and do it you must really, really want to do it. You’ve got to love what you’re doing. ‘Amateur’. You have to be a lover of what you’re doing; you have to get up there and do it every week, make the costumes sometimes, build the set sometimes. It’s the whole thing. It’s that level of commitment that we strive for in the professional theatre. That’s why I’ve never understood the negative connotation in calling someone an ‘amateur’. You simply have to have the passion for what you’re doing. Otherwise, why else are you there?”

I really like this guy. He’s genuinely genuine. I’ll let him continue: “For me, it was just an extension of that; getting the same feeling as when I was 10 or 12 years old. I was with the Lytton Players Amateur Dramatic Society in Stevenage, and I loved it. We’d get there early and stay behind afterwards. We would even go round to people’s houses for some extra practice if we felt we needed it. Obviously now we are contractually employed by someone to do it but the reason why you do it – at the very core – it’s because I really like doing it. I love it. And to be honest I don’t think that’s very different, whether you are a professional or an amateur.”

Back to that contractual employment then and that little show called Hamilton. I bet he’s pleased he kept a journal? “The journal helps me in rehearsals and with my work process anyway,” discloses Giles. “I came back to it last summer and, when I read it through, I thought that it was something I would have liked to have had to read when I was training. It would have been really useful. Hopefully, people will be able to get a lot of things from it.”

The Victoria Palace Theatre.

Actually, the words “contractual employment” don’t get used once in the book. It’s as if Giles is still an amateur – something Ian McKellen always used to refer to himself as – I mean just because you’re getting paid it doesn’t mean you can’t still ‘love’ what you do. Speaking with Giles I got the feeling that – despite a strong body of professional work in the biog bank – being cast in Hamilton must have felt like achieving the role-of-a-lifetime.

“It doesn’t always happen like that,” is the response I was half expecting. “With Hamilton I think, like the show itself, my journey to it was a ‘coming together’ of lots of different things. I know that we are all passionate about our work and different jobs mean different things at different times in our lives, but for some reason at that point in my life, and taking into account the career I’d had up until then, as well as things in my personal life – everything came together in that one role. I had to draw on all those different things to perform that role and tell that story.”

“It’s like the book,” explains Giles further. “When I was doing the show I noticed a lot of Shakespeare comparisons in there, in terms of storytelling, the depth of the characters, and even their flaws. I’ve done quite a lot of Shakespeare and so I was able to draw on a lot of that experience as well as music performing. But yes, everything kind of came together for that one role.”

“Sometimes you become part of a play and you’ll know what you’re doing straightaway,” Giles told me to clarify his previous point. “‘I know why I have been cast as that person.’ And you just sort of do it. But with this I soon realised it was going to take everything that I’d got. It was very much an all-consuming thing. But I quite liked that about it.”

The genius behind Hamilton almost needs no introduction. Lin Manuel Miranda has also written the foreword to Giles Terera’s Hamilton and Me. Such a move is testament to giving the upcoming publication your final blessing. Giles was and still is in awe of the show’s creator, and even hails him as a modern-day bard: “Ha ha! You know what? When I was looking through the journal I noticed a lot of similarities,” laughs Giles before getting serious. “Lin Manuel is an extraordinary writer and an extraordinary storyteller… and so was Shakespeare. With Shakespeare, whether he’s writing about Hamlet, who’s younger, Lear, who’s older or Othello, who’s black, what we’re basically saying is ‘What do we deal with, as human beings?’ And really, that’s all Shakespeare is interested in. And I think Lin Manuel is exactly the same. Yes, he’s talking about history and yes, he’s talking about politics… but he’s also talking about brothers and fathers, sons, children. I think that’s why Shakespeare comes up a lot. Like any brilliant storyteller, they’re all going for the same thing.”

You might as well just say it, Giles… “I think Lin Manuel definitely compares to the Bard; I think he’s our Shakespeare.” Ok you said it, and time will tell I guess. “Shakespeare wrote about stories that existed,” enthuses the actor. “He hardly made anything up himself. Lin does the same thing. ‘I’ve got this story that exists. How can I connect it to an audience now?’ That’s one of the big things I loved about doing the show.”

Giles Terera accepting the 2018 Olivier Award for ‘Best Actor in a Musical’ as Alexander Hamilton’s nemesis, Aaron Burr. Photo: Televised screenshot

“Also, Lin says – as Shakespeare did – ‘I’m going to use whatever is available and make it connect to an audience now. Today,” continues Giles. “Shakespeare used a lot of jokes and songs of the time that he knew the audience would know. And Lin does the same thing, which is why we get a lot of hip-hop. You use whatever you can to get your story across to today’s audience.”

Speaking of music, Hamilton does appear to have Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical stamp all over it. But the score isn’t entirely rap and hip-hop. My personal favourite is called The Room Where It Happens which has more of a Blues and Boogie feel. And if you were to ask Mini Sardines he’d happily quote you some of Lin Manuel’s non-rap musical numbers from the animated film, Moana.
“When I first heard anything about the show I thought what everyone thinks, that it was all rap and hip-hop. But then when I listen to it… Wow!” adds Giles. “Lin Manuel knows as much about the classics of musical theatre as he does about rap and hip-hop. It’s all in there; Gershwin, Rogers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Lowe, Frank Loesser – Guys and Dolls. All of that stuff is in there as well, in addition to Lin’s Latin American roots. So it’s not just one thing at all. And he’s able to craft how a song works rather than just giving it a catchy melody; how the song builds and whether the character who is singing it changes or not. Technically, how to build a song is one of the great skills.”

Our last mention of Mr Miranda comes from a moment Giles experienced during his pre-audition visit to see the show on Broadway. “Funnily enough when I went to see the show in New York – that’s where I auditioned for it – I was really moved by the fact that the theatre next door is where Les Misérables is playing. There is no Hamilton without Les Mis, and it goes way beyond the subject matter; French or American Revolution. Just in terms of, historically, what a musical theatre production can do really moved me. Lin Manuel is absolutely an incredible scholar of musical theatre, as he is with rap and hip-hop. You wouldn’t necessarily think of the American Revolution coupled with, rap and hip-hop; how do you go about putting the two together? But he’s managed to do it.”

Prince Harry and Meghan went to see one of the performances of Hamilton, accompanied by Lin Manuel Miranda. Giles Terera (left) and the cast look on after the show as Prince Harry gives his thank-you speech.

As you can guess generous Giles likes to talk about other people before himself. Luckily there’s no shortage of talent or surreal experiences to mention, such as the incredible bond formed within the entire company, something that doesn’t always occur: “Those special moments do not happen every time,” confides Giles. “You do some things that really have a magic about them and they just come together and are very special. It’s probably like anything, any endeavour you undertake. For some reason, at that moment, with that group of people, coming together has a certain thing. No, it’s not always like that. I think it depends on the quality of the work; sometimes it can involve a different factor. But with Hamilton, the work is so rich and there’s so much to do such as the journeys of the characters, let alone the execution of it – the singing, the dancing. It takes so much that we all knew what each other was also going through… and that’s when those special moments can happen. It’s definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done, Hamilton. But knowing that there were other people who understood that meant there was a really strong bond as well.”

“Plus, it was a really funny group of people. Brilliantly skilled and, at the same time, really nice people,”Giles remembers warmly. “Also it’s testament to the creatives of the show and especially Tommy Kail who directed it. He was very specific about the kind of person he wanted to keep in the company. During the auditions I remember he asked about who you are as a person, what’s your background, where you come from and what you care about. So it’s actually more than just singing and dancing well in the show; it’s about who you are as a person. That’s very important to all of them. And the more we did the show, as the year went on, the more I appreciated the really amazing people in the company. And we all still talk. There are only a few people in the original West End company who are still in the show but, two years later, we’ve still got our WhatsApp group and we still meet up. As I’ve said, it’s not always like that but with Hamilton everything was very, very special.”

No wonder it’s the most in-demand show of the moment. It makes you want to put it on doesn’t it? Although Cameron Mackintosh doesn’t give out his performing rights very often – maybe to schools though? “I would hope so,” agrees Giles Terera. “I know that in America certainly they have a whole education program linked to the production called ‘EduHam’ which is available to schools. I would imagine the natural progression of all of that would be to release some sort of performing rights.”

“One of the things I never got over in Hamilton was how much young people connected to it. There were videos being uploaded all over the place with young people doing bits from the show, so I hope it does happen. As I say, it certainly would feel like the natural progression for it to be released at some point in the future.”

Like all theatres the newly renovated Victoria Palace Theatre (Hamilton) has been closed for over a year. Giles spent a year in the show and was away with twelve months to spare: “I left Hamilton at the end of 2018 so I was out for a whole year before the pandemic hit everything,” he says in a sombre mood which lightens as he remembers his award. “I left in December and was lucky enough, in April 2019, to win the Olivier award. We were also asked to perform at the Olivier’s and we had to rehearse an adapted version of the opening in March. It all happened fairly quickly. There was quite a few of us who’d finished after the year was up, with some staying on for a second year. Then, they finished too just before lockdown happened… and then of course all the shows closed. But it’s starting up again soon. August I think.”

How one follows up a show like Hamilton is not a question I was expecting a happy answer to… although: “Erm… [long pause] I’ve written a play which I’ve been writing and developing over the last few years with Bristol Old Vic,” I’m a little surprised, but I don’t know why. “In fact the reason I was slightly late for our interview was because of a production meeting about it. We’re trying to do something in the autumn this year. They haven’t actually announced anything yet so I don’t know if I should say any more at the moment, but it’s almost official so hopefully it’ll be announced very soon and we can talk about it properly.”

SPECIAL OFFER FOR SARDINES READERS – Save £6.00 off the book price*

Hamilton and Me: An Actor’s Journal
by Giles Terera

…is published on 1 July.

Pre-order your copy for just £10.99 plus delivery (RRP £16.99) when you order direct from publishers Nick Hern BooksJust head to and enter discount code SARDINESHAMILTON * at checkout for the extra £1 pre-order discount.

This discount also applies to copies signed by Giles Terera, which are exclusively available to pre-order via the Nick Hern Books website.

*This code is valid until Thursday 1 July.




Strike Up the Band! is our regular delve into selected productions from the professional musical theatre industry.
With all restrictions still on target for being eradicated from 21 June it would seem that the entire West End has announced its intention to reopen. So let’s hope nothing changes that!
This is a good thing for the amateur sector because wherever the pros tread, we amateurs are sure to follow.
We can’t physically fit the entire UK show-list into these pages so, instead, here are some highlights for you. But with the industry still in a delicate state of flux we urge you to check any relevant websites before purchasing tickets.

Reopening 19 August 2021 and booking until 13 February 2022
Victoria Palace Theatre, London SW1E 5EA / F, T & I: @HamiltonWestEnd
Arguably the biggest show in town, produced in the West End by Jeffrey Seller and Cameron Mackintosh, Lin Manuel Miranda has written everything; book, music and lyrics. It just makes our latest cover star, Giles Terera and his new book, ‘Hamilton and Me’ even more relevant.

Reopening 27 July 2021 booking to 13 Feb 2022
Her Majesty’s Theatre, London SW1Y 4QL
/ F, T & I
Andrew Lloyd Webber has bowed to public pressure and reversed Cameron Mackintosh’s decision to close the iconic, long-running show, thank goodness.

Reopening 15 September 2021
and booking until 22 November 2022
Apollo Victoria Theatre, London SW1V 1LG / F, T & I: @WickedUK
The show marks its 15th anniversary later in the year and will host a celebratory performance on 28 September 2021.
Music and lyrics are by legendary composer Stephen Schwartz with a book by Winnie Holzman, based on the novel, ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’, by Gregory Maguire. The show has played to over 10 million people in London alone and is the winner of over 100 major international awards.

Les Misérables – The Staged Concert
Reopened 20 May 2021, limited season until 5 September 2022
Sondheim Theatre, London W1D 6BA / F, T: @lesmisofficial & I: @lesmizofficial
The pre-curser to the opening of the new production includes Jon Robyns as Jean Valjean, Bradley Jaden as Javert, Lucie Jones as Fantine, Gerard Carey as Thénardier, Josefina Gabrielle as Madame Thénardier, Shan Ako as Éponine, Harry Apps as Marius, Jamie Muscato as Enjolras, Charlie Burn as Cosette and, on certain dates, Dean Chisnall will play the role of Jean Valjean.

Reopening 29 July 2021, booking until 3 Apr (individuals) / 22 October 2022 (groups)
Lyceum Theatre, London WC2E 7RQ / F: TheLionKingUK / T: @thelionking  / I: thelionkinguk
14 new members will be included in the cast of over 50 actors, singers and dancers when it reopens its doors at the end of July.
Julie Taymor’s internationally celebrated stage adaptation first opened on Broadway in 1997 and has entertained more than 100 million theatregoers in 25 productions worldwide. The London production has played to over 16 million people alone over the last two decades.
When the pandemic hit it was the West End’s best-selling stage production and the sixth longest-running West End musical of all time.

Mary Poppins
Reopening 7 August 2021 and booking until 13 February 2022
Prince Edward Theatre, London W1D 4HS / F, T: marypoppins & I: marypoppinsmusical
Cameron Mackintosh and Disney’s Olivier Award-winning production will see Zizi Strallen and Charlie Stemp reprise their roles as as ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘Bert’ respectively. Timeless music and lyrics come from the Sherman brothers, with additional songs from Stiles and Drewe, and a Book by Julian

Reopening 16 September 2021
and booking until 13 February 2022
Cambridge Theatre, London WC2H 9HU / F, I: MatildaTheMusical & T: @MatildaMusical
Adapted from Roald Dahl’s much loved 1988 book, the RSC’s production premiered at the RSC’s Stratford-upon-Avon home in 2010, before transferring to the West End in October 2011.
The story of an extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a super-sharp mind, who dares to take a stand and change her own destiny, has been written for the stage by Dennis Kelly, boasts music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, and has been directed by the Old Vic’s artistic director, Matthew Warchus.

Only Fools and Horses The Musical
Reopening 1 October 2021 and booking until 26 February 2022
Theatre Royal Haymarket, London SW1Y 4HT / F: OFAHMUSICAL, T: @OFAHMusical & I: ofahmusical
Paul Whitehouse will return to star as Grandad, alongside Tom Bennett as Del Boy and Ryan Hutton as Rodney in this 5-star musical extravaganza. The re-opening of the show will form part of this year’s 40th anniversary celebrations of the legendary BBC sitcom – which first aired in 1981.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CINDERELLA
Previews 25 June 2021, Opens 14 July 2021
Gillian Lynne Theatre, London WC2B 5PW / F, T & I: @alwcinderella
Apart from music by Lloyd Webber, the show has a book by ‘Killing Eve’ co-writer and Academy Award winning Emerald Fennell (Best Original Screenplay Oscar) and lyrics from David Zippel.

Come From Away
Reopening 22 July 2021 and booking until February 2022
Phoenix Theatre, London WC2H 0JP / F, T & I: @ComeFromAwayUK
Winner of every major Best Musical award when it opened in the West End in March 2019, ‘Come From Away’ tells the remarkable and inspiring true story of 7,000 stranded air passengers during the wake of 9/11, and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but as uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Previews 1 July 2021. Opens 15 July 2021
The London Palladium, London W1F 7TF / F: JosephAndTheAmazingTechnicolorDreamcoat / T & I: @josephmusical
Alexandra Burke will play The Narrator in the celebrated musical, while Linzi Hateley – who was nominated for an Olivier Award for her performance as the Narrator, starring alongside Jason Donovon in the original London Palladium production – will perform again in the role on special dates. Jason Donovan returns to the role of Pharaoh while Jac Yarrow returns to the title role which earned unanimous acclaim and an Olivier Award nomination.

Dear Evan Hansen
Reopening 26 October 2021 and booking until 13 February 2022
Noël Coward Theatre, London WC2N 4AP / F, T: @DEHWestEnd & I: dehwestend
The 2020 Olivier Award-winning show for Best Musical will hold a special night in its first weeks of performances to honour mental health care workers and volunteers, who will be invited to attend as guests.
The show opened at the Noël Coward Theatre in November 2019 and, apart from winning the Best New Musical gong, it also picked up two other Olivier Awards. The show’s now-iconic blue polo and arm cast are part of the permanent collection of the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

Hairspray the Musical
Previews 21 June 2021, Opens 29 June 2021
London Coliseum, London WC2N 4ES / F, T: @hairspraylondon / I: @HairsprayLondon
Les Dennis will now play the role of Wilbur Turnblad after Paul Merton was forced to withdraw from the pandemic-hit production due to other pre-agreed, long-term work commitments.
Still in the show, Michael Ball, returns to his Olivier Award-winning role of Edna Turnblad while Lizzie Bea stars as Tracy Turnblad, Marisha Wallace takes on Motormouth, ex-EastEnder, Rita Simons is Velma Von Tussle and Jonny Amies plays Link Larkin.

Reopening 28 July 2021 and booking until 26 June 2022
Aldwych Theatre, London WC2B 4DF / F, T: TinaTheMusical & I: @tinathemusical
The musical based on the life of legendary artist Tina Turner and produced in association with Tina herself. When the critically acclaimed production received its world premiere in April 2018 in London it subsequently broke all Box Office records at the Aldwych Theatre.
Aisha Jawando and Jammy Kasongo are set to return to their pre-Covid roles as Tina and Ike Turner respectively.

Reopened 20 May 2021, limited season until 25 September 2021
The Criterion Theatre, London W1V 9LB
F, T & I: @ameliethemusicaluk


The Shaftesbury Theatre, London WC2H 8DP until 6 June 2021… and then touring until 30 October 2021
F: AbbaMania T: @realABBAMANIA I: abbamaniaofficial
Read our 5-star review from our visit to the Shaftesbury Theatre


Heathers the Musical
Opens 21 June 2021 for 12 weeks (Theatre Royal Haymarket SW1Y 4HT)
…then touring from 28 July 2021
F: heathersthemusical T: @HeathersMusical I: heathersmusical


Forever Plaid
1 – 27 June 2021
Upstairs at the Gatehouse, London N6 4BD
F: UpstairsAtTheGatehouse / T: @GatehouseLondon
The socially distanced production comes back once more to The Gatehouse. The blurb says: “This ‘Heavenly Musical’ is one of our favourites with its ‘square’ songs from the Fifties.”

17 September – 13 October 2021
Vaudeville Theatre, London WC2R 0NH
F: L5YearsUK / T & I: @l5yearsuk
Following last year’s run at Southwark Playhouse and a successful stream with the award-winning musical will play a limited season in the West End.

30 July – 5 September 2021
Sadler’s Wells EC1R 4TN
F: SadlersWells T: @sadlers_wells


Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Previews 12 November Opens 8 December 2021
Piccadilly Theatre, London W1D 7DY
F & I: moulinmusicalUK / T: @moulinmusicaluk
The cast has yet to be announced and tickets are on sale (auditions on left). The show features a lavish, immersive set and follows aspiring writer Christian and dancer Satine as they fall in love.

Hot Gossip!
1 performance only on Monday, 7 June
Duchess Theatre, London WC2B 5LA
F: NimaxTheatresLondon / T: @NimaxTheatres


Opens in November 2021
The Kit Cat Club, London’s West End
Sign up for emails at
F: @kitkatclubLDN T: @kitkatclubLDN
Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, Tony and Olivier winner Eddie Redmayne as ‘Emcee’ and Bafta Nominee & British Independent Film winner Jessie Buckley as ‘Sally Bowles’.

Beauty and the Beast
Touring from 25 August 2021
F: beautyandthebeastmusical / T: @BeautyMusical / I: beautymusical
A re-imagined and re-designed new production of the Disney show sees Courtney Stapleton and Emmanuel Kojo preparing to play the iconic lead roles (see right); spectacular new designs and state-of-the-art technology fuse with the classic story.

Express G&S
23 June – 2 July 2021 (Pleasance Theatre, London N7 9EF)
…and touring until 15 September 2021
Touring now until 30 August 2021 / F & I: charlescourtopera / T: charlescourt

6-track EP and film now on YouTube – Online and from Little Angel Theatre N1 2DN
F, T & I: @mettatheatre
Written and recorded in lockdown, an album has spun into a short film retelling Antoine De Saint Exupery’s much-loved story using shadow puppetry.


14 June & 5 July 2021
Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7EZ / F: thespie, T: @Thespie & I: thespie_
The June concert of the series will be performed in front of a socially distanced audience and simultaneously livestreamed to viewers at home via Thespie. Shan Ako, Arthur Darvill, Sophie Evans, Sandra Marvin and Oliver Tompsett. The July line up is still to be confirmed.

Reopens on 1 July 2021, booking until 8 January 2022
Dominion Theatre, London W1T 7AQ / F & I: PrinceOfEgyptUK / T: @princeofegyptuk
Based on the classic DreamWorks Animation film, ‘Tracy Beaker’ star Clive Rowe will join the company as ‘Jethro’ for a limited engagement until 16 October 2021. The musical tells the story of how Moses delivered the Israelites from slavery.

Digital UK tour until 4 July 2021
The Turbine Theatre, London SW11 8AB / F: TurbineTheatre, T & I: @turbinetheatre
We had intended on running an interview we have done with Turbine Theatre’s Paul Taylor Mills but we’ve had to move it into the following issue due to lack of space.

2 – 6 June 2021
Palace Theatre, London W1D 5AY
F & I: thetheatresupportfund / T: @theatre_support
18 West End shows and an all-star musical cast come together, hosted by Bonnie Langford & Trevor Dion Nicholas.

7 – 19 June 2021
Curve Theatre, Leicester LE1 1SB
F: CURVEtheatreLeicester T: @CurveLeicester



The Addams Family A MUSICAL COMEDY
Touring 17 August 2021 – 5 March 2022
F: TheAddamsFamilyUK / T: @AddamsFamilyUK / I: theaddamfamilyuk
Samantha Womack and Cameron Blakely will revive their roles as Morticia and Gomez Addams, based on the characters originally created by Charles Addams.
Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and has a shocking secret that only Gomez knows; she’s fallen in love.

23 July 2021 – 17 October 2021
Barbican Theatre, London EC2Y 8DS
F & I: anythinggoesuk T: @AnythingGUK
Sutton Foster replaces Megan Mullally (injury) and reprises her Tony Award-winning role as she joins Robert Lindsay, Felicity Kendal and Gary Wilmot.

Touring from 30 July – 27 November 2021
F: greaseUKTour / T & I: @greaseuktour
With Nikolai Foster directing & Arlene Phillips choreographing, Peter Andre stars as ‘Teen Angel’ and Vince Fontaine at certain venues. Both Patrick Swayze & John Travolta appeared in the stage show, with Richard Gere understudying before starring as Danny Zuko in London.

Touring from 24 June 2021 – 2 April 2022
F & T: @HairsprayUKTour / I: hairsprayuktour
Brenda Edwards will star as Motormouth Maybelle while Norman Pace takes on Wilbur Turnblad and Alex Bourne will pop a frock to play Edna Turnblad. Paul Kerryson directs with choreography from the multi-talented Drew McOnie.

Touring from 24 November 2021 –
14 January 2023
F & T: @lesmisofficial / I: lesmizofficial
Dean Chisnall plays ‘Jean Valjean’, Nic Greenshields, ‘Javert’ and Katie Hall takes on ‘Fantine’. If this giant of a show is coming to a town near you, make sure you see it.

Touring from 26 January – 30 July 2022
F: BringItOnUKTour / I & T: @bringitonuktour
The tour follows a Christmas season at London’s Southbank Centre. The cast is led by ‘Amber Davies as ‘Campbell’ and Louis Smith as ‘Cameron’. Lin-Manuel Miranda co-writes music & lyrics.

Touring 25 November 2021 – 12 November 2022
F: JerseyBoysLondon / T & I: @JerseyBoysUK
Famously remembering the music & inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.


Matthew Bourne’s THE MIDNIGHT BELL
Touring 9 September 2021 – 27 November 2021
F: MBNewAdventures / T: @new_adventures / I: mbnewadventures



Touring 23 June – 30 October 2021
F: PriscillaTourUK / T & I: @priscillatouruk
Mark Goucher and Jason Donovan produce the glittering hit musical full of fabulous feathers and a non-stop parade of dance-floor disco classics.


Touring 19 August 2021 – 18 June 2022
F: rockofagesthemusical / T: @rockofagesuk
The musical comedy lavished with over twenty-five classic rock anthems, including ‘Don’t Stop Believin’, ‘We Built This City’, ‘The Final Countdown’, ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’, ‘Here I Go Again’, ‘Can’t Fight this Feeling’.

Touring 4 Sep 2021 – 20 Aug 2022
F, T & I: @waitressuk
Lucie Jones reprises her role as ‘Jenna’, Sandra Marvin plays ‘Becky’ and Evelyn Hoskins takes on ‘Dawn’ (right) while Matt Willis plays ‘Dr Pomatter’. Jones was previously in the West End production at the Adelphi Theatre.

Touring 7 September 2021 – 13 August 2022
F: schoolofrockmusical / T: @schoolofrockuk / I: Schoolofrockuk
Based on the movie starring Jack Black, children are currently being auditioned for the onstage band. While 14 new songs have been written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, original favourites such as ‘Stick It to the Man’ have stayed. Julian Fellowes has written the book.

Touring 7 June – 11 July 2021
F: somethingaboutsimonconcerts
T: @SimonAbout / I: SomethingAboutSimon
The life and music of legendary singer-songwriter Paul Simon returns to the British stage this summer.

Dorian A Rock Musical
Streaming 4 – 26 June 2021
F: RubyInTheDustTheatre / T: @_RUBYINTHEDUST_ / I: ruby_in_the_dust_theatre
Following the success of Gatsby A Musical, filmed and streamed at Cadogan Hall, Ruby in the Dust now presents a rock adaptation of the Oscar Wilde classic for you to stream at home.


Touring from 15 June – 16 November 2021 / F & I: tellmeontour / T: @Tellmeontour
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black’s classic musical will get the Jodie Prenger treatment this year.
It charts the romantic misadventures of a young English girl in New York in the heady days of the 1980s.


Touring 15 April 2022 – 18 March 2023
F & T: @TheCherShowUK / I: thechershowuk
A trio of female power sees Arlene Phillips direct the show due to open next year while choreography comes from Strictly chamion Oti Mabuse and the all-important costume design is by Gabriella Slade (see right).

New Theatre Peterborough has been working with writers Katie Lam and Alex Parker and director Tinuke Craig to host a workshop of a new musical adaptation of David Ebershoff’s novel. There was of course also an Academy Award-winning 2015 film starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander – a fictionalised account based on the real life of Lili Elbe.



Concept Album – Summer 2021
F & I: fortonightmusical / T: @For_Tonight_
Music book and lyrics are by Shenelle Salcido & Spencer Williams, with additional book by Whitney Rhodes. The show is inspired by writer Spencer Williams’ three times great grandfather’s handwritten journal and blends traditional Welsh choral, indie-pop, folk and Romani-inspired melodies.

New musical production company Perfect Pitch and worldwide theatrical licensing house Broadway Licensing have announced a new partnership that will see the commission, development, production and licensing of four new British musicals. Perfect Pitch founders, Wendy & Andy Barnes are producers of ‘SIX’, Seven existing Perfect Pitch titles have joined the Broadway Licensing catalogue.



Released in cinemas 18 Jun 21
F: InTheHeightsMovieTH / T: @intheheights
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s music and lyrics capture a world very much of its place but universal in its experience.


Previews 1 Oct, Opens 20 Oct 21
Lyric Theatre, London W1D 7ES
F & T: @GetUpStandUpLDN / I: getupstandupldn



Lady Chatterley’s Lover
18 – 19 June 2021
Shaftesbury Theatre, London WC2H 8DP / T: @LadyCMusical
The new musical adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s infamous literary classic.


Reopens 1 Oct 2021 …and currently booking until 3 Apr 2022
The O2, Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX
F, T & I: @mammamiapartyuk