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Preview: Kinky Boots at Newcastle Theatre Royal


Kinky Boots
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Monday 29th October – Saturday 10th November 2018

Everybody say yeah! The count-down has begun as the feel-good show which took the West End and Broadway by storm Kinky Boots will be hot-footing it to Newcastle Theatre Royal for the first time ever in just over one month’s time.  With score by Cyndi Lauper and an all-star cast, the multi-award winning Kinky Boots is set to be the musical highlight of the year.

With a book by Broadway legend and four-time Tony® Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage aux Folles), and songs by Grammy® and Tony® winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots is a joyous musical celebration about the friendships we discover, and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind.

The all-star cast includes Paula Lane, best known for her role as Kylie Platt in long-running ITV soap Coronation Street, who will play Lauren alongside award-winning Callum Francis who plays Lola and Joel Harper-Jackson who takes the role of Charlie.

Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots whisks audiences from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos!

With direction and choreography by two-time Tony® Award-winner Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde, Hairspray), Kinky Boots is the winner of every major Best Musical award including three Olivier Awards, three WhatsOnStage Awards as well as six Broadway Tony® Awards.

Paula Lane (Lauren) has appeared on stage in Be More Martyn (Southwark Playhouse) and The Bengal Lily (Manchester Royal Exchange). Her television and film credits include Coronation Street; Doctors; Heartbeat; The Royal; Going Postal and War Wounds.
Callum Francis (Lola/Simon) most recently starred as Lola in the Australian Tour of Kinky Boots - for which he won the 2017 Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Musical - direct from the Original London Production at the Adelphi Theatre. His other theatre credits include Miss Saigon (Prince Edward Theatre); The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre); Ghost (Piccadilly Theatre); Hair (European Tour); Ultimate Broadway (Shanghai Culture Square Theatre); Naked Boys Singing (Charing Cross Theatre) and Fame (Manchester Opera House).

Joel Harper-Jackson (Charlie Price) has numerous theatre credits including Pieces of String (Mercury Theatre); Myth: The Rise and Fall of Orpheus (The Other Palace); The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (UK Tour), Jesus Christ Superstar (Regents Park Open Air Theatre); Beautiful - The Carole King Musical (The Aldwych Theatre); Little Women (Hope Mill Theatre); Picture Perfect (St James); Pacific Overtures (Union Theatre); Rent (UK Tour) and West End Women (UK Tour). His film credits include The Curse and Abu Ghraib.

Kinky Boots is produced by Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig and Playful Productions, in association with Cameron Mackintosh.

Photos: Matt Crockett

Kinky Boots plays at Newcastle Theatre Royal Monday 29 October – Saturday 10 November 2018, evenings at 7.30pm (Mon – Thu & Sat), 8.30pm (Fri) and matinees on Fri 5pm and Sat 2.30pm. Tickets are from £20.00 and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge) or book online at

Preview: Reflections from the Amazon at Darlington Hullabaloo

Explorer Pip Stewart reveals life affirming tales from her time in the Amazon at her talk in Darlington

Reflections from the Amazon: Human impact on a remote region
Darlington Hipp@The Hullabaloo
Tuesday 6th November 2018

Explorer and journalist Pip Stewart will be continuing her UK theatre tour this autumn at the The Hullabaloo, revealing tales of her Amazonian adventure, a trip inspired by her curiosity and drive to communicate local people’s struggles and stories.

Pip is an adventurer, journalist and presenter who has travelled to some of the wildest corners of the planet. Her most recent project involved multiple expeditions to the Amazon to get an in-depth understanding of the critical issues in the region. These include gold mining, cattle ranching and deforestation.

Pip has cycled along Brazil's Trans Amazonian Highway, lived with Indigenous communities in Peru, and paddled Guyana's Essequibo River from source to sea, a world first, accompanied by the Wai Wai tribe. Through her adventures Pip has seen first-hand the potential destructive nature of modernity, and why protecting wild places and the rich cultures that exist within them is increasingly important.

In this talk, the audience will be introduced to some of the people Pip met along the way, including incredibly hospitable locals, and the heart-breaking story of Diana Rios in Peru whose father was murdered by illegal loggers. Mrs Rios is now trying to raise awareness of the need for Indigenous communities to have more land rights to protect their homelands.

When asked what attendees can expect from her UK tour, Pip answered: “Guests can expect raw, honest emotion. My time in the Amazon has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be human - from feeling abject fear as a jaguar walked through camp to the heart-breaking tales of the people that live there. I hope the audience will walk away knowing more about the issues but also more about themselves and how they function in the 21st century. At least that’s the plan...”

Pip’s talk is part of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Regional Theatres Programme. Events are open to all and RGS-IBG members enjoy a reduced ticket price.

Photos: Jon WIlliams

‘Reflections from the Amazon: Human impact on a remote region’ appears on Tuesday 6th November at 8.00pm
Hipp@The Hullabaloo, Borough Road, Darlington, DL1 1SG


REVIEW: The Fulstow Boys at South Shields Customs House

The Fulstow Boys
South Shields Customs House
Until Saturday 29th September 2018

Gordon Steel and the Steelworks Theatre Company follow up 2016’s Grow Up Grandad with a poignant look at the impact of the Frist World War on a small Lincolnshire village.

You may have spotted that there has been an abundance of productions about the Great War in the 100th anniversary of the conflict, however, this story, based upon factual events, compares the events with a 21st century reaction. In addition, at a time when it is pointed out how few films and theatrical productions have strong female leads, we have a show with 2 strong leading female characters. Not only that: it is men who are asking “now what do we do?”

The Fulstow Boys has two timelines – with the single cast involved in roles both during the war and in 2005. The distinction between these eras is easily spotted by the costume design by Foxton. Even when a WW1 character remains on the stage it is obvious when the focus swings to nearly 100 years later. Writer and director Gordon Steel manages this effectively and the wrapping around the single set keeps the pace moving. The two hours, plus interval, fly by.

The 2005 story centres on a small village committee discussing the reasons behind the lack of a war memorial and the need to remedy the matter. Laura Mould plays the strong-willed Nicola Pike who has spotted the anomaly and feels that a memorial needs to be erected. Arguing over the fine detail is the equally strong-minded Moira (Katy Federman). Making up the numbers in the committee, and at times pushed around by the women, are Graham (Simeon Truby) and Maurice (David Nellist). These male characters are often the source of the humour and lighter moments in the piece.

Meanwhile in 1914-1919 the male characters are more dominant. Charles Kirman (Joshua Hayes) is ready to set off to fight and his father Francis (Simeon Truby) is very stoic about the matter. 16-year-old George Marshall Jnr (Ash Matthews) is very keen to join the fight but his father George Snr (David Nellist) is determined to keep him in Blighty as he is underage.  Adding to the mix Charles’ fiancé is pregnant and so he quickly marries before being shipped across to France. Charles has medals from previous conflicts, so he forms part of the British Expedition Force that was the first to fight in 1914. Of course, the war was supposed to be over by Christmas 1914…

Back in 2005 the issue of the memorial goes from a letter in the Telegraph to the arrival of numerous television news crews as the story is picked up. It is clear we are dealing with the story of normal real people with emotional attachment to the issues. This provides a significant juxtaposition to the powerful story, though routine for a WW1 drama, happening at the front. Having said that, the predictable conclusions of events 100 years ago are no more palatable as they unfold.

This is a powerful, well-executed example of new writing. Laura Mould and Katy Federman lead an emotional ride as resolute, strong women. The male actors shine most strongly in the war era. David Nellist and Simeon Truby are fathers that expected respect from the younger generation. Joshua Hayes is convincing as the hero in a hell hole whilst Ash Matthews is one to watch in his supporting role.

A tight cast work well together to produce a very watchable drama. As we left, we recalled the impact that the first show that we ever saw at the Customs House, Gordon Steel’s Like A Virgin had on us. We also thought that this was a perfect companion piece to The Man And A Donkey which graced the Customs House stage back in 2015. This show is worth a trip to South Shields.

Review by Stephen Oliver.




The global phenomenon, WICKED is currently defying gravity at Sunderland Empire for a limited and final North East engagement, and cast members Steven Pinder, Iddon Jones, Nikki Bentley, and Daniel James Greenway have supported the launch of ‘Smoke & Mirrors’, an exciting and ambitious new theatre project tackling the themes of bullying and social media.

The national project led by the Ambassador Theatre Groups, Creative Learning and Community Partnerships teams in SUNDERLAND, Glasgow, Liverpool, Stoke, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury, Brighton, Richmond and London’s West End will see THOUSANDS of young people & young adults from across the UK engage with the innovative new project through locally led creative projects to address the poignant themes of the award-winning production.

Throughout the project at Sunderland Empire young people will be empowered to take the lead and use their own ideas and perspectives for the creation of an original piece of theatre that addresses the theme of the national project, with the support of theatre professionals. Young people will be encouraged to think about the impact of different behaviours which are prevalent in the production, whilst also developing important transferable life skills such as confidence, communication, leadership and team working skills.

Anthony Hope, Creative Learning & Community Partnerships Manager, Sunderland Empire said: “We are extremely excited and privileged to launch this project in Sunderland. The themes of Wicked are particularly resonant with young people today and the production expresses these in such an inspirational and accessible way.

We will be working with young people from across Sunderland to explore the themes of social media and bullying and how this effects young people on a daily basis. Our Youth Theatre group (Fusion Project) are the first to connect with the project whilst Wicked is here and we have developed an inspired programme including weekly workshops, master classes and creative writing sessions to support this exciting journey.”

Social Media
is at the heart of this project and groups from across the UK will embark on a social media project that proudly supports WICKED’s anti bullying campaign which is run in partnership with the Anti-Bullying Alliance, one of WICKED’s FOR GOOD charities.

Michael McCabe, Executive Producer, Wicked said: “We are incredibly proud to be able to support and champion the Ambassador Theatre Groups inspiring national project, particularly as it mirrors our own long-standing commitment to raising the profile of the devasting effects of bullying in schools and society. We hope that all of the young people who take part enjoy this fantastic opportunity to freely and safely express themselves and share their experiences and ideas in order to address that bullying in any form is not acceptable.”

Hollie Coxon, Head of UK Creative Learning & Community Partnerships, Ambassador Theatre Group said: “This exciting project will see young people from nine localities across the UK engage creatively with their theatres to address the prominent and important topic of social media and bullying.

Partnership is firmly at the heart of what we do, and we are ecstatic that our teams will work with local partners across the UK, as well as Wicked on tour and in London, alongside their fantastic Learning team on this new national project. The synergy between the theme of the project and Wicked will provide incredible opportunities to inspire and inform the experiences of the local young people who engage with this project.

In the iconic and inspiring words of Wicked ‘Everyone deserves a chance to Fly!’, and this incredible creative learning work, aims to engage a diverse range of participants to connect with their local theatre; nurturing the next generation of theatre makers and contributing towards building the audiences of the future.”

Sunderland Empires Youth Theatre (Fusion) have a limited number of additional places for ages 11-16yrs. For further information about how to be part of this exciting project contact


Wicked continues until Saturday 29th September at Sunderland Empire.  Some seats are still available from Monday – Wednesday performances. Check for returns, single seats and standing tickets for weekend performances. Tickets from £17.50.

Tickets available in person at the Box Office on High Street West, from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022* or online from our affiliate ATG Tickets at  *
*Calls cost 7p per minute plus your plus your phone company's access charge. Booking and transaction fees may apply.

Group Bookings: 08448717655
Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company's access charge.

Preview: Dracula: The Travesty at South Shields The Customs House


Dracula: The Travesty
South Shields The Customs House
Wednesday 31 October - Saturday 3 November 2018

Panto star David John Hopper is sinking his teeth into a new theatrical challenge – a comic take on Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

David John Hopper
The actor is swapping his colourful Arbuthnot costume for something more macabre in Dracula: The Travesty, which runs at The Customs House from Halloween on Wednesday, 31 October, to Saturday 3 November.

The comedy has been written by award-winning playwright Stewart Howson, with additional material provided by Hopper, who plays Dracula in the play.

Alfie Joey
He will be joined on stage by BBC Radio Newcastle presenter and one half of The Mimic Men, Alfie Joey, and newcomer Sophia Catleugh, a recent graduate of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA).

The three actors will play 20 characters in total – what could possibly go wrong?

Sophia Catleugh
Hopper said: “I’m really pleased to have Alfie on board. He is referred to by many as ‘the nicest man in showbiz’ and it’s clear to see why on stage and off-stage. He is someone who I have wanted to collaborate with in a while.  Sophia is also a great addition to The Customs House team, a recent graduate from LIPA. I expect this will be one of many amazing performances we will see from her.”

Howson is an experienced playwright with many professional productions to his name. His work has been nominated for the Northern Electric award and he is a LWT/TMA Plays on Stage award winner.  He is also an experienced actor in film, TV, radio and theatre, appearing in the West End run of Up ‘n’ Under, Love Actually and several series of Emmerdale and Byker Grove.  He said: “Dracula: The Travesty is exactly what the original meaning of the word travesty was – a comedic send up of a serious piece. It has elements of physical theatre, stand-up and comedy routines dating back to commedia only now seen in panto. Some bits are just plain daft, however despite the daftness, the piece does hold the Bram Stoker novel, if not in respect, than never in contempt. The climatic flight at The Borgo Pass is read straight from the book by the cast and genuinely holds an audience with its tension and drama.”

Dracula: The Travesty is produced by The Customs House, in association with Northumberland Theatre Company, which first toured the play in 2016/17.
Performances are at 7.30pm, with a 2.30pm Saturday matinee. The recommended age is 12+ due to the amount of fake blood used on stage.
Tickets, priced from £15, are available from the box office on (0191) 454 1234 or online at

Preview: Butterflies at Stockton ARC

Inspirational and engaging family show comes to ARC

Stockton ARC
Saturday 13th October 2018

Tangled Feet and Half Moon theatre companies are bringing their beautiful and inspirational show, Butterflies, to ARC in Stockton on Saturday 13th October.

A story about friendship, working together, and facing your fears; Butterflies is a family show suitable for children aged between three and eight-years-old.

Butterflies was created following a Dramatherapy programme that Tangled Feet ran with young people who suffered severe anxiety and who also acted as ‘creative consultants’ for the project.

Nathan Curry, from Tangled Feet said: “Recent reports suggest that 1 in 8 young people have struggled with anxiety and we wanted to find a way of addressing this using theatre but with an uplifting, fun, and touching story.”

When three friends embark on an exciting adventure to chase their butterflies away, they cross new seas to uncharted lands, on a journey filled with discovery. The only trouble is they’re all a bit worried about it.

During their voyage the group ride the waves, walk high bridges, skirt deep caves and climb to the sky, before reaching dry land braver than ever before.

Join the three intrepid characters as they step into the unknown in an uplifting tale of friendship, courage and facing your fears, told using innovative staging, breath-taking physicality, touching humour and a specially commissioned musical score.

Photos: Stephen Beeny

Butterflies is at ARC on Saturday 13 October at 11.30am and 2.30pm
Tickets are priced at £6. Groups of 6 people or more can purchase t tickets for £4.50 per person.


Preview: Clear White Light at Newcastle Live Theatre

Stellar Cast and Creative team announced for World Premiere

Clear White Light
Newcastle Live Theatre
Thursday 18th October - Saturday 10th November 2018

Written by Paul Sirett
With the songs of Alan Hull of Lindisfarne
Musical Direction and performed live by Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell

Clear White Light, a modern Gothic story set at St. Nicholas’ hospital in Gosforth, written by Olivier Award nominated writer Paul Sirett has its World Premiere at Live Theatre between Thursday 18 October and Saturday 10 November.

Inspired by Alan Hull’s time working as a psychiatric nurse at St. Nick’s and set against the backdrop of cuts to the 70-year-old NHS, the play features many of the hit songs he wrote for Lindisfarne at that time, including Winter Song, Lady Eleanor and Clear White Light that will be played by a live band on stage including Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell of Lindisfarne.

Ray Laidlaw said: ‘'We've been working with the wonderfully creative team at Live Theatre for a long time, searching for the perfect vehicle for Alan's great songs which doesn't rely on cliché. Clear White Light is just that - it's fresh and inventive, and I'm sure it'll introduce Alan's music to a whole new audience.”

Billy Mitchell added: “Alan was profoundly touched by his time at St. Nick's, caring for people with mental health issues. The music he wrote around then - often while on duty - has stood the test of time. Unfortunately, the NHS hasn't fared so well, something Clear White Light addresses head-on.”

The cast includes Charlie Hardwick, who makes her return to Live Theatre’s stage after starring in Emmerdale, Live Theatre regular Joe Caffrey who was most recently seen in Live Theatre productions Iris and Cooking with Elvis, and Bryony Corrigan who recently starred in Live Theatre’s popular romantic comedy, My Romantic History, alongside newcomers to Live Theatre, actor Dale Jewitt, and actors and musicians Phil Adèle and Alice Blundell.

Actor Charlie Hardwick said: “I am over the moon to be performing at Live Theatre after 16 long years away.  Clear White Light is a belter of a play and I get to sing the brilliant songs of Lindisfarne’s Alan Hull.  How could I resist?  I first saw Live Theatre in my home town of Wallsend in 1980 and they inspired me to become an actor.  In 1988 I landed my first job with Live and went on to perform in over twenty glorious productions.  Some of my happiest times have been working in that intimate little jewel of a theatre on the Quayside.  I can’t wait to be there again.”

Clear White Light is a modern interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story The Fall of the House of Usher. Originally commissioned by Max Roberts, Live Theatre’s Emeritus Artistic Director, it is the first play at Live Theatre to be directed by its new Artistic Director, Joe Douglas with Max and Joe working closely together to bring the play to life.

Also on board are designer Neil Warmington and Lighting Designer Ali Hunter who has previously worked on the lighting for Rattle Snake at Live Theatre and on tour earlier this year.

Max Roberts, Emeritus Artistic Director explains: “This play has been in development for a number of years, as I have worked with Ray to find the right story to bring the life and music of Lindisfarne’s Alan Hull to the stage. Working with Olivier Award nominated writer Paul Sirett enabled us to combine the elements into a play that has drama, suspense and of course the fabulous music of Lindisfarne, which we hope will be appreciated by those that already love their music and by a whole new generation.”

Joe Douglas, Artistic Director added: It is an honour to be able to work with Max in such an in-depth, creative way on Paul Sirett’s new play - a poignant, contemporary story set at St. Nick’s hospital in the year which marks the 70th birthday of our NHS. For me, it exemplifies what a Live Theatre play should be: funny, moving, entertaining and a bit political. It’s pretty eerie too, in time for Halloween, and we are echoing that gothic feel in the set design. We have a cracking team of actors and creatives to realise this fantastic play, as my first full length production here at Live Theatre.” 

Written by Paul Sirett
With the songs of Alan Hull of Lindisfarne
Musical Direction and performed live by Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell
Directed by Joe Douglas
Designed by Neil Warmington
Dramaturgy by Max Roberts
Lighting Design by Ali Hunter
Sound Design by Dave Flynn


Clear White Light is at Live Theatre from Thursday 18 October to Saturday 10 November.

Writer Paul Sirett will give a free post show talk after the 2pm show on Saturday 20 October and Musical Directors Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell will take part in a post show talk after the 7.30pm performance on Wednesday 24 October. Both talks are free for ticket holders for that performance and will be recorded and available to listen again at

There will also be a number of additional talks and events linked to the play.


For more information or to book tickets which are between £12 and £26, and concessions from £10 call Live Theatre’s Box Office on (0191) 232 1232 or see


Preview: Romeo and Juliet at Newcastle People’s Theatre

“These violent delights have violent ends”

Romeo and Juliet
By William Shakespeare
Newcastle People’s Theatre
Tuesday 2 to Saturday 6 October 2018

Famous as a romance about two “star-crossed” lovers, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is also a bloodthirsty tragedy that pulls no punches in its portrayal of feuding families, doomed love and violent confrontations.

Craig Fairbairn as Romeo and
Emma Jane Richards as Juliet.
Inspired by hit television series Peaky Blinders director Anna Dobson and the team have created a gritty and stylish backdrop to tell this legendary story.

Like Peaky Blinders, the production is set just after WW1, and expect a blisteringly contemporary and edgy soundtrack.

The Romani gypsy culture present in Peaky Blinders helps to create a world where a belief in fate and the stars makes sense and the violence and corruption so rife in the TV show helps to depict the ‘ancient grudge’ between families Montague and Capulet.

They’ve got the haircuts, the suits, the caps and the music. But... it’s Shakespeare’s words.

Redevelopment update –

Over the last four years we have raised £1.6 million to complete the biggest update to their building since moving here in 1963. The results of this effort - including an improved exterior and a new foyer, bar and gallery and full access to all areas of the venue for wheelchair and mobility restricted users - can now be enjoyed by all their visitors.

They continue to fundraise for exciting and necessary projects, including enhancing the new Studio Theatre to an even higher standard for exciting and varied performances and upgrading the ladies toilets to do away with queues at busy times.

To find out how you can help them continue the improvements, visit

Photos: Paula Smart

Tickets:     £14 (Concessions £11.50)
Box office: 0191 265 5020 or online from


Preview: Stick Man Live at Newcastle Tyne Theatre

Scamp Theatre presents:
Stick Man Live
Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House
Thursday 11th – Saturday 13th October 2018

Touching, funny and utterly original, Scamp Theatre’s delightful adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Stick Man is coming back to Tyne Theatre & Opera House this October, after a hugely successful run of shows in October 2017.
What starts off as a morning jog becomes quite the misadventure for Stick Man: a dog wants to play fetch with him, a swan builds a nest with him, and he even ends up on a fire! How will Stick Man ever get back to the family tree?

This award-winning production, from the team behind The Scarecrows’ Wedding, features a trio of top actors and is packed full of puppetry, songs, live music and funky moves.

★★★★★ 'Wonderfully exuberant and imaginative! Our 3 year old was engrossed from start to finish' - Time Out Critics’ Choice

★★★★Zesty and delightful. A clever compelling treat’ - Independent

★★★★ 'More fun than you can shake a stick at' - Daily Mail 

★★★★ 'Julia Donaldson's miniature epic.  Sally Cookson and her team recreate the book with vigour and imagination' - The Times

‘Scamp Theatre’s productions are a pleasure for the child in us all’ - Evening Standard
‘Scamp Theatre send shivers down my spine. They are so lively and innovative. I love their production of Stick Man and so do the audiences’
- Julia Donaldson, author and former Children’s Laureate

Tyne Theatre & Opera House Director Joanne Johnson says: “I’m so thrilled to welcome back Stick Man Live to the Tyne Theatre stage! When Scamp Theatre brought the show to the theatre in October 2017 it was absolutely delightful, and I hope this gives people who missed it the first time another chance to catch it.”.

Most suitable for all aged 3+ but all ages welcome.

Tickets: £14.50 adults, £12 under 16s, £48 family (2 adults, 2 children or 1 adult, 3 children). School groups Buy 10 get 2 free. (Please note that children 18 months or younger classify as babes in arms and will not need a ticket. Children over 18 months old will need a ticket, even if you want to keep them on your lap.)

Tickets available from the theatre box office and from our affiliate Eventim_UK: .

Preview: POT at Hexham Queen’s Hall

Ambreen Razia, Ovalhouse and Rua Arts present:


Hexham Queen’s Hall Arts Centre
Tuesday 2nd October 2018

Written by Ambreen Razia
Directed by Sophie Moniram

From the writer of Diary of a Hounslow Girl, a restless new thriller reveals the hidden lives of Britain’s invisible children, adrift in the care system at the mercy of gang culture

“A sophisticated, moving and often very funny piece of writing”
The Stage (on Diary of a Hounslow Girl)

In the year that has seen knife crime in the UK soar to an unprecedented level, writer and actress Ambreen Razia, whose hugely successful Diary of a Hounslow Girl has been commissioned by BBC Three for a pilot, presents the corrupt and violent world of inner city gang culture. Ambreen will once again be collaborating with director Sophie Moniram, one of The Old Vic 12 class of 2018.

POT delves into the lives of Britain’s invisible children, adrift in the care system and inadvertently impacted by gang culture.16-year-old Louisa wakes up in a flat on her estate with her erratic and unstable boyfriend Josh missing and a notorious drug dealer on her back. A young man, Miles, who is clearly concealing his own troubled past has been appointed her protector. Time is running out as Louisa must decide whether to do the right thing whilst a series of revelations suggest everything is not as it seems.

Ambreen Razia said, “POT is a raw tale set in inner-city London and it pulls no punches. It raises questions about why young people who leave care, form families on the streets. I want to capture these stories which go untold, the voices which echo from the underbelly of our cities; nobody should be exempt from seeing themselves reflected back at them. I believe that through theatre we can help tell stories which centre around young people who are unheard, mis-represented or exploited, enabling us to break down misconceptions and dismantle damaging stereotypes.”

Rehearsal Photo by Suzy Corker
Ambreen Razia is an actress & writer from South London. Her critically acclaimed debut play Diary of a Hounslow Girl, commissioned by Ovalhouse, toured nationally with Black Theatre Live and House Theatre, featured at Alchemy Festival, Southbank and has been commissioned as a TV pilot for BBC Three. Awards include Best Newcomer, Asian Media Awards 2016 and Eastern Eye Emerging artist award, 2017. Ambreen was nominated for the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 'Women of the World' festival earlier this year. Credits include: On the Middle Day (Old Vic Theatre); Words and Women (Edinburgh Fringe); Diary of a Hounslow Girl (Black Theatre Live National UK Tour) ; Mind the Gap (National Theatre); No Guts, No Heart, No Glory (Perth International Arts Festival Australia / BBC 4) Random Acts (Channel 4); Murdered by my Father (BBC Three); Finding Fatimah (British Muslim TV); Ladies Day (Sky), Ilford Lane (BFI), Killed by my Debt (BBC).

Rehearsal Photo by Suzy Corker
Director Sophie Moniram was an Assistant Director on the critically acclaimed production of Yerma at the Young Vic and is a Creative Associate at the Gate Theatre. Directing credits include Diary of a Hounslow Girl by Ambreen Razia (national tour), The Five Stages of Waiting by Caro Dixey (Tristan Bates Theatre), Creditors by August Strindberg (in a version by David Greig) (Cockpit Theatre), Fucking Outside the Box by Jessica Burgess (VAULT Festival: The Vaults).

POT has been commissioned by Ovalhouse and supported by Stratford Circus Arts Centre.

Ovalhouse is a lively theatre on the Kennington Oval, opposite the famous cricket ground. For the past 50 years, Ovalhouse has been part of the London fringe, providing development and performance space to experimental, radical and overlooked artists. Whether you love a show or not there is always so much talk about after a performance here! Today Ovalhouse is known for theatre and performance that speaks to a world beyond the mainstream, and continues to be a vital home for boundary-pushing art and artists with an eye on the future.

Rehearsal Photo by Suzy Corker
Stratford Circus Arts Centre is a vibrant place to create and experience art through world-class theatre, dance, music and circus and visual exhibitions and we present work for families, young people and adults. We support national, international and East London artists to create new work that is relevant to local people, connecting artists and audiences to help them find authentic voices.

On The Web:
Running Time: 90 minutes, no interval
Suitable for ages 14+ (references to drugs and alcohol)

Cast & Creatives

Directed by Sophie Moniram                           
Written by Ambreen Razia

Dramaturgy by  Neil Grutchfield                     

Produced by Maeve O’Neill (Rua Arts)

Design & Costume by Alison Neighbour       
Sound design by Jonny Wharton
Lighting design by Jamie Platt                       
Production management by Andy Shewan
Photography by Suzi Corker                           
Graphic design by Nick Thompson

Cast: Gamba Cole, Sophia Leonie and Wahab Sheikh

Tickets are available online from and from the box office: 01434 652477