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Interview – West Yorkshire Playhouse artistic director James Brining on flying cars and telling stories

Since returning to his hometown of Leeds and becoming artistic director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse, James Brining has directed The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, The Crucible, Enjoy, Talking Heads and Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. He recently re-created Sweeney Todd for Welsh National Opera at the Wales Millennium […]

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Interview – Gina Beck embraces the sweeping melodies of Show Boat at the Crucible Sheffield

Show Boat, this year’s Christmas production at Sheffield Theatres, opens tonight (16 December). Spanning 40 pivotal years in American history, the epic musical by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II follows the lives and loves of three generations aboard a show boat as it plies the Mississippi River. Among those characters is Magnolia Hawks, played by actress and […]

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Interview – Gillian Bevan goes Into the Woods via Manchester

Officially opening this week at the Manchester Royal Exchange is a new production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s dark fairytale mash-up, Into the Woods. In the central role of The Witch is local lass GILLIAN BEVAN, who was born just seven miles down the A6 in Stockport. As one of the UK’s most experienced Sondheim proponents, […]

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Interview – Marilyn Cutts on playing Mrs Brice in Funny Girl and why she still loves Doctor Theatre

This week has been all about the Menier Chocolate Factory’s production of Funny Girl which has not only broken box office records at its current London home, the Menier Chocolate Factory, but has extended its West End run at the Savoy Theatre where it will transfer in April 2016. Actress and singer MARILYN CUTTS is a crucial part of that very production, playing […]

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I Want My Hat Back at the National – writer Joel Horwood on hats, children, and why he is secretly a rabbit

JOEL HORWOOD made his mark as a writer back in 2005 with a madcap musical, Mikey the Pikey. Now an associate artist at the Lyric Hammersmith, his portfolio spans the Royal Court, Bristol Old Vic, the BBC, the Almeida, the Old Vic, and, most recently, the National Theatre. It is for the National that Horwood […]

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Interview from Austria – Sona MacDonald plays Billie Holiday in new play Blue Moon

Acclaimed Austrian-American actress and singer SONA MACDONALD is about portray the role of Billie Holiday in a Blue Moon, a brand new play by Torsten Fischer, who also directs, and Herbert Schäfer (who alongside Vasilis Triantafillopoulos is in charge of sets and costumes). The play will pay tribute to the famous jazz singer and will […]

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Interview – Cassie Compton makes her debut at Crazy Coqs

Actress and singer/songwriter CASSIE COMPTON came to our notice in the first series of The X Factor, since when she has gone from strength to strength on stage, in film and television and music tours. In the West End her many starring roles include Eponine in Les Misérables, Nessarose in Wicked, Jean in American Psycho opposite Matt Smith, and the […]

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Interview – Richard Fleeshman celebrates the Kings of Broadway

Singer, actor and songwriter RICHARD FLEESHMAN will be appearing in Kings of Broadway, a special concert celebrating legendary composers Jerry Herman, Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne, at London’s Palace Theatre on Sunday 29 November. The latest show from Alex Parker and Alastair Knights, the creative team behind the staging of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music which played the Palace […]

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Interview – Let’s Dance Again! choreographer Nick Winston celebrates Hollywood hoofers

Let’s Dance Again!, celebrating the golden years of Hollywood dance films, comes to the Royal Festival Hall on Friday 13 November. Choreographer NICK WINSTON sets the scene for the evening’s tribute to those iconic hoofers up on the screen… Although musical films are still being made, emphasis now is less on the dance element. Do you […]

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Interview – Millicent Martin returns to London for Sondheim Birthday Gala

MILLICENT MARTIN is making a rare visit to London this Sunday 25 October to appear on stage at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in Hey, Old Friends! An 85th Birthday Tribute to Stephen Sondheim. Born in Romford, Essex, Martin first trod the boards in the children’s chorus at the Opera House in Covent Garden, and later turned up […]

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A Little Night Music at Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre – we chat to Sarah Waddell and Jamie Birkett

Actresses SARAH WADDELL and JAMIE BIRKETT are currently appearing in All Star Productions’ staging of Hugh Wheeler and Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music at the Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre in Walthamstow, London until 31 October. The show reunites the creative team behind last year’s critically acclaimed staging of Into the Woods. Theatre credits for Sarah Waddell, who plays Desiree Armfeldt, include: Into the Woods (Ye Olde […]

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The Roar of the Greasepaint – Interview With Leslie Bricusse – Part Two

Prolific and well-loved British film and musical theatre songwriter LESLIE BRICUSSE has been busy in recent weeks. Not only has the composer, lyricist and librettist revealed that he’s working on a major new musical about the life of his close friend, legendary entertainer, Sammy Davis Jr, but he has been in London celebrating the world premiere of Pure Imagination– The […]

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Interview – Sam Bailey – a passion for musical theatre leads to dream West End concert

SAM BAILEY, the 2013 winner of X Factor, is to perform a one-off concert of musical theatre songs, Sam Bailey – Live in the West End, at London’s Lyric Theatre on 12 October, with guest stars including Collabro, Michael Xavier and Scott Alan. She talked to Ollie Wilson about the show and her love of musical theatre. How did […]

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Triple threat writer Leslie Bricusse on what inspires his Pure Imagination. Interview – Part One

Prolific and well-loved British film and musical theatre songwriter LESLIE BRICUSSE has been in the news this week. Not only has the composer, lyricist and librettist revealed that he’s working on a major new musical about the life of his close friend, legendary entertainer, Sammy Davis Jr, but he has been in London celebrating the world premiere of Pure Imagination– […]

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Interview – Jonathan Butterell on why See What I Wanna See has made him want to act again

JONATHAN BUTTERELL, who choreographed the original production of Michael John LaChiusa’s Off-Broadway hit See What I Wanna See at New York’s Public Theater, has joined the cast of its London premiere at the Jermyn Street Theatre after a 22-year break from acting (in recent times he has been mainly concentrating on directing). Jonathan also directed the premieres of Michael John LaChiusa’s other works Giant and Tres Nińas. […]

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Interview – American actress Alexandra Silber back in the UK making her cabaret bow at Crazy Coqs

August has already been a big month for the American (but Scottish-trained) soprano ALEXANDRA SILBER as she’s just landed the part of Tzeitel in the Broadway revival of Fiddler On the Roof which opens on 12 November – eight years after she sang Hodel in the same show in the West End. And it’s going to get even […]

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Composer and lyricist Alexander S. Bermange brings his own style of wit and whimsy to The Pheasantry

ALEXANDER S. BERMANGE is a prolific composer and lyricist who has written nine musicals and contributed music for a further nine titles, as well as writing material for BBC Radio 4 and the World Service. His songs, both comic and dramatic, have been sung by a variety of artists including Kerry Ellis, Ramin Karimloo, Lara Pulver, […]

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Interview – Kerry Ellis and Louise Dearman prepare for their one-off London concert in September

If this interview is anything to go by, KERRY ELLIS and LOUISE DEARMAN’s one-off concert on 27 September is bound to be a fun-filled evening of great songs, fantastic anecdotes and a lot of laughs. Both actresses have an association with the musical Wicked, Dearman being the first person ever to play both Elphaba and Glinda in the […]

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Interview – Grand Hotel composer/lyricist Maury Yeston on his musical theatre vision

Maury Yeston is not just a Tony-Award-winning composer/lyricist: he’s a passionate teacher and advocate of new musical theatre writing. Forget the aphorism that “those who can’t, teach”– his first two shows on Broadway – Nine and Titanic – both secured the Tony for Best New Musical, and both shows continue to delight audiences. He is […]

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Interview – George Stiles and Anthony Drewe on being partners in rhyme

This summer has seen the opening of The 3 Little Pigs, the brand new family musical from multi award-winning British songwriting duo GEORGE STILES and ANTHONY DREWE. Stiles (music) and Drewe (book and lyrics) have put their own musical twist on the retelling of this classic fairy tale which will play at the Palace Theatre until Sunday 6 September […]

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Interview – Alex Gaumond feels blessed to be in Seven Brides For Seven Brothers at Regent’s Park

ALEX GAUMOND is playing Adam Pontipee in the current Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, heading up the cast with Laura Pitt-Pulford as Milly. The Canadian actor and singer recently took on the role of Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd at the ENO, played opposite Robert Lindsay in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Savoy), and portrayed Miss Trunchbull in Matilda the […]

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Interview – Matt Cardle – from X Factor to Memphis the Musical

X Factor winner, multi-platinum selling recording artist and songwriter MATT CARDLE has joined Beverley Knight in the cast of David Bryan and Joe DiPietro’s Memphis the Musical. He took over the role of radio DJ Huey Calhoun from Killian Donnelly (opposite Knight as Felicia Farrell) on 6 July and will continue in the show until the end of its run […]

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Interview – Robert J. Sherman reveals new musical Love Birds at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe

ROBERT ‘ROBBIE’ J. SHERMAN is the son of Robert B. Sherman (1925–2012), one half of the Academy-Award-winning songwriting partnership (with brother Richard) responsible for the unforgettable numbers in classic movie musicals such as Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Jungle Book, The Aristocats and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. His grandfather Al Sherman also enjoyed a successful […]

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Interview – look what happened to Rebecca LaChance in Mack & Mabel at Chichester

After an extensive search, American actress REBECCA LaCHANCE was cast as Mabel Normand alongside Michael Ball’s Mack Sennett in Chichester’s summer musical, Mack and Mabel, which opens tonight at the Festival Theatre (playing until 5 September, and then touring across the UK and Ireland). Based on the true romance between Hollywood legends Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand, this musical comedy (book […]

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Interview – Luke Sheppard brings a new dimension to Oliver! at the Watermill Theatre

LUKE SHEPPARD, a young director with a varied – and critically lauded – handful of shows under his (relatively) newly-donned belt, talks to Musical Theatre Review’s Oliver Beatson about his latest production, the Watermill Theatre’s up-and-coming production of Oliver! In what looks to be Oliver! with a twist – the production (playing at the Newbury venue from 31 July to 19 September) will offer the theatre’s signature integrated-musician […]

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Interview – Andy Barnes on why Perfect Pitch is dedicated to new British musical theatre

When new British chamber musical The House of Mirrors and Hearts had its official opening at the Arcola Theatre this week, it was partly due to the backing of Perfect Pitch, the UK company dedicated to the creation and development of new British musicals. Perfect Pitch executive producer ANDY BARNES took time out to give Musical Theatre […]

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Interview – Kyle Riabko on the inspiration behind What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined

KYLE RIABKO is the 27-year-old actor-musician Canadian behind the Menier Chocolate Factory’s upcoming production, What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined. As the title suggests, it’s a show that explores the contribution that songwriter Burt Bacharach has made to popular music, but rather than a jukebox rehash of this unparalleled songbook, it’s a respectful and impassioned reworking, performed by a small […]

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Sibling Revelry: an Exclusive interview with the Callaway sisters

EXCLUSIVE! Sibling Revelry: An interview with ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY and sister LIZ. Seventeen years after bring their Sibling Revelry show over from New York to form part of the Divas At the Donmar series, the Callaway sisters, Ann Hampton and Liz, are back in London from 7–11 July with an updated version at the Hippodrome. […]

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Face the Music – interviews with Samuel Haughton and Joanne Clifton

All Star Productions is presenting the first UK stage production of Irving Berlin and Moss Hart’s musical comedy Face the Music at Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre, Walthamstow until 3 July. In the cast are JOANNE CLIFTON (World and European Professional Ballroom Dancing Champion, Strictly Come Dancing pro dancer 2014) as the Street Walker and actor/singer SAMUEL HAUGHTON (Wind in the Willows, […]

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Onstage Acts – Julie Atherton on the musical theatre course which backs new writing

After great success last year, West End performers Paul Spicer and Julie Atherton are bringing back Onstage Acts, a summer course exploring contemporary musical theatre (running from 27 to 31 July and featuring masterclasses from theatre practitioners who work in all areas of the industry). The programme is presented by Spicer’s production company, Stage Acts Productions. Onstage Acts, developed as an […]

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Interview – Dougal Irvine, composer of Teddy at the Southwark Playhouse

Teddy is an original piece of writing set around London’s Elephant and Castle in the 1950s. Opening tonight at the Southwark Playhouse, just a minute’s walk from the Elephant’s infamous roundabout, the piece is described as a play with an original score and new songs. The show, produced by Snapdragon Productions and Theatre Bench, is the brainchild […]

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Interview – Sally Ann Triplett doing what she loves in A Damsel in Distress at Chichester

Actress and singer SALLY ANN TRIPLETT is currently starring in a major new stage version of A Damsel in Distress at Chichester Festival Theatre. Directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford, the musical comedy has songs by George and Ira Gershwin, and is based on the novel by P.G. Wodehouse 
and the play by Wodehouse and Ian Hay (also […]

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West End actress Joanna Strand in cabaret mode at the Crazy Coqs

Jazz vocalist and West End actress Joanna Strand is at London’s Crazy Coqs from 2 to 4 June, with some special guests. She has had a versatile career in jazz, cabaret and musical shows including Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Lyric, Belfast), Hello, Dolly!, Jekyll and Hyde (Union Theatre), Master Class with […]

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Interview – actor and MD Ben Stock presents his one-man show at the Crazy Coqs

West End and UK theatre actor BEN STOCK presents his new show And There Was Music, a celebration of the songs and music that have influenced his career and life to date, this week at London’s Crazy Coqs (26 to 28 May). His debut solo album with SimG Records, also entitled And There Was None, is released on 1 June. From […]

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Interview – rising star Ellie Bamber having a ball in High Society at the Old Vic

ELLIE BAMBER is the rising star who plays the role of 14-year-old Dinah Lord in Maria Friedman’s effervescent revival of Cole Porter’s High Society at The Old Vic (opening tonight, Thursday 14 May). Ellie made her screen debut at the age of 15 alongside Martin Clunes in the ITV drama A Mother’s Son, having earlier appeared on stage […]

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Interview – Howard Samuels celebrates the genius of Fran Landesman in Invade My Privacy at the Crazy Coqs

Lisa Martland writes: This week (starting today, Tuesday May 12!) HOWARD SAMUELS and LUCY DIXON return to London’s Crazy Coqs for three performances of their sell-out show Invade My Privacy, a cabaret devoted to the genius that is and was Fran Landesman. Dixon and Samuels first met in the Sondheim musical Company and worked together again in the […]

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Interview – composer Scott Alan reunites with Cynthia Erivo at the London Festival of Cabaret

New York-based composer Scott Alan (Home; Dreaming Wide Awake) and Broadway-bound actress and singer Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple; I Can’t Sing!) will join forces for Home Again, three special concerts (4–6 May) at the St James Studio, London as part of the London Festival of Cabaret 2015 (28 April to 11 May). Audiences can expect to hear Erivo […]

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Interview – Richard LaGravenese, director of The Last Five Years movie

RICHARD LaGRAVENESE is the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of, among many other hit movies, The Fisher King (which was nominated for ‘Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen’ at the 1992 American Academy Awards), The Bridges of Madison County, PS I Love You and, most recently, The Last Five Years, a film that he also directed and […]

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Interview – Jeremy Jordan, star of The Last Five Years movie

Starring alongside Anna Kendrick in the lead role of Jamie Wellerstein in the big screen adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years is the Grammy and Tony-nominated JEREMY JORDAN, who’s best known as a leading man on Broadway, having appeared as Jack Kelly in Alan Menken and Jack Feldman’s Newsies (2012) and as […]

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Interview – Miss Saigon’s Hugh Maynard chats about his new solo album

Actor, singer and musician HUGH MAYNARD made his West End debut in Jesus Christ Superstar (the actor and singer was studying at Arts Ed when he got the call) and has gone on to play Simba in The Lion King as well as performing in the casts of Notre-Dame De Paris, Follies, Dancing in the Streets and […]

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Interview – Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary on making Adrian Mole into a musical

It’s a big week for up and coming British musical theatre writers JAKE BRUNGER and PIPPA CLEARY, with their adaptation of Sue Townsend’s best-selling book The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ opening in its premiere production at Leicester Curve (new artistic director Nikolai Foster has declared Curve’s intention to be ‘the British home of […]

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Interview – Be Bop a Lula! star Gavin Stanley plays Eddie Cochran and Billy Fury

GAVIN STANLEY speaks to Derek Smith about playing Eddie Cochran and Billy Fury in the rock‘n’roll show Be Bop a Lula!, something of a labour of love for the actor, singer and producer. The production is regularly playing at London’s Ambassadors Theatre and throughout the UK in the months to come. Fans of rock‘n’roll who like their music stripped back to basics, played […]

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Janie Dee performed at the St James Theatre Studio as part of the London Festival of Cabaret

Interview – New Mrs Henderson Janie Dee on returning to cabaret at the Crazy Coqs

Double Olivier Award-winner JANIE DEE is currently in the news for being cast in the title role of the new musical version of Mrs Henderson Presents at Theatre Royal Bath later this year. Below, the actress and singer talks to Barrie Jerram as she prepares to return to the world of cabaret at the Crazy Coqs: […]

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Interview – Tiffany Graves having a gigglefest on tour with The Producers

Actress and singer TIFFANY GRAVES is playing Ulla in the new UK tour of The Producers (based on Mel Brooks’ beloved movie), alongside comedian Jason Manford, as timid accountant Leo Bloom, and Cory English (reprising his role as Max Bialystock). Also in a high profile cast are David Bedella, Louie Spence, Ross Noble and Phill Jupitus (the latter two share a role at […]

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Interview – Lloyd Daniels on tour in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

LLOYD DANIELS is making his musical theatre debut playing the title role in the current UK tour of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The youngest contestant in 2009’s X Factor, Lloyd got to the final five out of 250,000 entrants and performed in front of ten million TV viewers. He then went on to perform as part […]

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Actor Craig Berry talks It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman

All Star Productions originally presented the UK premiere of It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman in March 2014 at Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre on the London Fringe, and its success has meant the production will take up residence from 10-21 February 2015 at the Leicester Square Theatre for a limited run of just ten performances. CRAIG BERRY plays Superman/Clark Kent […]

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Interview – Maria Friedman celebrates New Year’s Eve with special musicals gala

It’s an understatement to say that Olivier Award-winning actress and director MARIA FRIEDMAN is busy. Along with performing her acclaimed cabaret shows and making plans to stage the Cole Porter musical High Society at the Old Vic next year, she is regularly filming BBC1’s EastEnders (playing the character of Elaine Peacock). So one would imagine that […]

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Interview – Todd Carty dusts down his coconuts for the Spamalot tour

Lisa Martland writes… In a few weeks time, when the post-Christmas blues are kicking in, there will be an antidote in the shape of Monty Python’s Spamalot which is galloping back out on tour from January 2015, bringing the recent London production directed by Christopher Luscombe to theatres across the UK. Dusting off his coconuts and […]

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Interview – Michael Ball chats about his new album and musical theatre challenges

MICHAEL BALL’s new solo album If Everyone Was Listening… is released on Monday 17 November. Lisa Martland has a story to tell… I have a confession to make, and don’t worry, it’s nothing scandalous about double Olivier Award-winner Michael Ball. It is more to do with what happened just a few days after I had the […]

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Interview – Carly Bawden and Simon Lipkin on Sondheim’s Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory

When asked to name his favourite self-penned musical, Stephen Sondheim’s response, if he deigns to answer such a trite question, is often Assassins, the show he wrote with book writer John Weidman. “I wouldn’t change a thing,” he says of this 1990 revue-style musical about the people who’ve made attempts on the lives of American […]

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