CRISIS IN THE NHS? Pre-election post-show Q&A at new play Blood Orange with writer & guests @ Old Red Lion Theatre
Dec 10 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Blood Orange at the Old Red Lion Theatre

Blood Orange runs from 10 December 2019 to 4 January 2020 at London’s Old Red Lion Theatre

This may be the Brexit election, but YouGov polling shows that, after Brexit (and hardly mutually exclusive), the British public say that the NHS is the most important issue facing the nation, which will influence their voting.

It’s certainly the most important issue for writer and performer Tania Amsel, whose new play Blood Orange shines a light on pressures on NHS staff. To focus the mind ahead of the ballot box, we’ll be discussing the issues and political ramifications at a special pre-election post-show Q&A two days before #GE2019.

“I knew I wanted to be a doctor when I became fascinated with poking holes in oranges to see if blood would come out…”

It’s Christmas Eve in Swansea A&E and Amy has just vomited all over a hot doctor’s shoes. Amy is not a patient at the hospital, she’s a Junior Doctor… Hoping to secure a transfer to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, Amy can handle the long hours, the overtime, and even the shame of vomiting on her colleague’s shoes.

But when assigned to the case of a boy with cancer, Amy is confronted with childhood memories she thought she’d forgotten and the pressure begins to take its toll. When helping others is at the heart of your career, what happens when you are suddenly the one who needs help?

Blood Orange is a new one-woman play that explores themes of love, loss and childhood trauma with pathos, dry wit, and a twist of dark comedy.

Tania Amsel was inspired to write Blood Orange after the 2016 junior doctors’ strike. It was researching with doctors and other medical staff, looking at how their workload creates stress in a medical context and, added to that, how caring for patients emotionally often takes priority over personal well-being. The run supports two charities: Great Ormond Street Hospital and SANE.

After the performance of Blood Orange on Tuesday 10 December 2019, I’ll be joined by Tania Amsel and special guests. Any questions? Join us!

CHARLES DICKENS STORY RARELY SEEN ONSTAGE The Signalman: Post-show talk with adaptor, director and cast @ Old Red Lion Theatre
Dec 11 @ 8:30 pm – 10:00 pm
The Signalman runs at London's Old Red Lion Theatre from 10 December 2019-4 January 2020

The Signalman runs at London’s Old Red Lion Theatre from 10 December 2019-4 January 2020

A Christmas Carol – in all its myriad guises – isn’t your only Charles Dickens festive option this year…

I’m so intrigued by this new adaptation of The SignalmanCharles Dickens‘ mystery story that was first published in the Christmas edition of Victorian periodical All the Year Round in 1866. And I’m very pleased to be returning to the Old Red Lion after my post-show talks for Anomaly, Bromley Bedlam Bethlehem and Danelaw this year…

A signalman is haunted by a mysterious figure standing at the mouth of a train tunnel. He’s sure it’s a warning – but what is it warning against?

The Signalman was Charles Dickens‘ final completed work, written after the writer himself had survived a train crash. The story was famously adapted by the BBC in the 1970s as one of the popular Ghost Stories for Christmas, starring Denholm Elliott as the signalman.

This Paragon Theatre Collective adaptation by Martin Malcolm (Warped, VAULT Festival 2019) remains faithful to the original text but also incorporates other aspects of Dickens’ writing, including the introduction of Joe the crossing sweeper, who listens as the signalman’s tale unfolds.

At the Old Red Lion Theatre, Tim Larkfield and Helen Baranova star. The production is directed by Sam Raffal.

Following the 8.30pm performance (50 minutes) of The Signalman on Wednesday 11 December 2019, I’ll be joined by writer, director and cast. Any questions? Join us!

WEST END PREMIERE OF KANDER & EBB’s Curtains: Post-show talk with Jason Manford and co-stars @ Wyndham's Theatre
Dec 15 @ 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Jason Manford stars in Curtains

Curtains runs at the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre from 13 December 2019 to 11 January 2020

Kander & Ebb’s 2007 Broadway musical whodunnit CURTAINS at last gets its West End premiere with a strictly limited month-long festive season at Wyndham’s Theatre, starring Jason Manford.

Curtains on

Get all social media for Curtains & its cast on

It’s murder putting on a new musical – literally! Jessica Cranshaw, star of the new Broadway-bound musical Robbin Hood, has been murdered on stage on opening night. The entire cast and crew are suspects.

Time to call in the local detective, Frank Cioffi, who just happens to be a huge musical theatre fan. With a nose for crime and an ear for music, Frank has his work cut out trying to find the killer whilst giving the show a lifeline.

From the creators of Cabaret and Chicago, Tony Award-winning backstage murder mystery musical CURTAINS has had audiences on tour laughing and guessing right to the final curtain. It’s a hilarious whodunnit is packed full of catchy songs, unforgettable characters and plot twists galore.

In this new production, comedian, actor and singer Jason Manford (The Producers, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Guys and Dolls) stars as detective Frank Cioffi, along with a top-notch cast that also features Carley Stenson, Rebecca Lock, Samuel Holmes, Andy Coxon, Leah West and Alan Burkitt.

Following the 3pm matinee of CURTAINS on Sunday 15 December 2019 at the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre, I’ll be joined by the stars of the show for this unmissable post-show talk. Any questions? Join us!

Show trailer

MISCHIEF SERIES: Post-show talk at the world premiere of Magic Goes Wrong @ Vaudeville Theatre
Jan 23 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Mischief Theatre's Magic Goes Wrong

Magic Goes Wrong runs 14 December 2019 to 15 March 2020 at the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre

In the latest of a monthly series of Mischief Theatre post-show talks in the West End, I’ll return to the Vaudeville Theatre, where, following Groan Ups, the company’s year-long season of new work continues with a brand-new ‘goes wrong’ comedy.

Created with magic legends Penn & Teller, Mischief Theatre conjure up an evening of grand illusion in Magic Goes Wrong. In the next ‘Goes Wrong’ comedy to hit the West End, the original Mischief company play a hapless gang of magicians presenting a charity event. As the accidents spiral out of control, so does their fundraising target!

The Magic Goes Wrong cast features original Mischief Theatre’s Bryony Corrigan (as Spitzmaus), Roxy Faridany (Eugenia), Dave Hearn (The Blade), Henry Lewis (Mind Mangler), Henry Shields (Sophisticato), Jonathan Sayer (Mickey) and Nancy Zamit (Bear). The cast is completed by Natasha Culley, Laurence Pears, Sydney K Smith and Liv Spencer.

The new comedy is written by Mischief’s Jonathan Sayer, Henry Lewis and Henry Shields with Penn & Teller, directed by Adam Meggido, with set design by Will Bowen, costumes by Roberto Surace, lighting by David Howe and sound by Paul Groothuis, music by Steve Brown, movement by Ali James, video and projection by Duncan McLean, with Ben Hart as magic consultant and Hannay Sharkey as associate director.

After the 7.30pm performance of Magic Goes Wrong on Thursday 23 January 2020, I’ll be joined by Mischief Theatre creatives and cast members. Any questions? Join us!

WORLD PREMIERE POLITICAL DRAMA For the Sake of Argument: Post-show talk with writer/director and cast @ Bridewell Theatre
Jan 30 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
For the Sake of Argument runs at London's Bridewell Theatre from 28 January to 8 February 2020

For the Sake of Argument runs at London’s Bridewell Theatre from 28 January to 8 February 2020

How much responsibility should journalists take for the words they write? Are we all ‘citizen journalists’ now? How much responsibility should we take for the information we share and the arguments we make online?

In world premiere drama For the Sake of Argument, written and directed by Harry Darell, Eleanor Hickock is a passionate and argumentative polemical journalist who becomes the Iraq War’s chief evangelist. For her, conversations are a battleground and words are tools for manipulation.

Eleanor’s stance on the US-UK led 2003 invasion to oust Saddam Hussein persuades one young reader, Mark, to enlist. When Mark’s mother seeks out the journalist who convinced her son to die for his country, sparks fly and violent confrontations ensue. Eleanor is faced with a family in mourning and is asked to answer for it.

This hard-hitting new play interrogates the power and danger of language. In our world of clickbait and instantaneous reaction on social media, people formulate entire beliefs based on 240 characters and the headlines of pieces they’ve barely read. This play looks to promote the value of compassion and understanding, highlighting the dangers of flippantly taking radical positions on important issues. It encourages patience rather than knee-jerk reaction.

In For the Sake of Argument, Ashleigh Cole stars as Eleanor Hickock alongside Georgie Farmer, Greg Snowden, Paula Cassina, Ella May, Arthur Velarde, Harry Eaton-Mercer, Lucia France, Matt Weyland and Harry Farmer.

After the 7.30pm performance on Thursday 30 January 2020, I’ll be joined by writer/director Harry Darell and members of the For the Sake of Argument. Any questions? Join us! 

PSYCHOLOGICAL PORTRAIT OF ‘The Little Tramp’ Chaplin: Post-show talk with Arrows & Traps writer and director Ross McGregor @ Brockley Jack Theatre
Feb 7 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Arrows & Traps' new play Chaplin premieres at London's Brockley Jack Studio Theatre in February 2020

Chaplin runs at London’s Brockley Jack Studio Theatre from 4 to 22 February 2020

After my post-show talk to Jekyll & Hyde in September, I’m delighted to return to Brockley Jack Theatre for Chaplin, another Arrows & Traps production – and more exciting still, a brand-new play, written and directed by artistic director Ross McGregor.

“What a sad business, being funny” Limelight (1952)

For over 100 years, Charlie Chaplin has been the world’s best-loved clown.  His brilliant comic creation of “The Little Tramp” is the first and most recognisable cinematic icon in history. But his remarkable story of stardom and success has a darker side.

Raised in the horrific, grinding poverty of a Victorian slum, Charlie never knew the security of a stable family.  Whilst his parents destroyed themselves with disastrous ambition and unshakeable vice, Charlie was thrown at the mercy of the workhouse. Desperate to escape his feral existence on the streets of South London, Charlie became captivated by the shining lights of vaudeville, and gradually began to see a way out.

Arrows & Traps return to Brockley Jack with the premiere of Chaplin, an examination of the relationship between experience and creativity. You’re invited to discover how Charlie Chaplin spun personal tragedy into universal comedy, in a psychological exploration of one of the world’s most remarkable lives.

Critically-acclaimed, 17-time Offies-nominated Arrows & Traps’ many other sell-out hits at Brockley Jack include Jekyll & Hyde, One Giant Leap, Dracula, The White Rose, Frankenstein and Crime & PunishmentChaplin is once again written and directed by artistic director Ross McGregor. It’s produced by Christopher Tester.

After the 7.30pm of Chaplin on Friday 7 February 2020, I’ll be joined by the play’s writer and director Ross McGregor and members of the Arrows & Traps cast. Any questions? Join us!

UK PREMIERE OF AWARD-WINNING DRAMA Never Not Once: Post-show talk with director and company @ Park Theatre
Apr 8 @ 7:45 pm – 10:15 pm
Never Not Once runs at London's Park Theatre from 1 to 25 April 2020

Never Not Once runs at London’s Park Theatre from 1 to 25 April 2020

After my 2019 event to Katharine Farmer’s revival of 1980s Wall Street satire Other People’s Money, I’m delighted to reunite with the director on another serving of American theatre, this time the UK premiere of an award-winning new play, Carey Crim’s Never Not Once.

A poignant new drama about the families we choose and the secrets that can pull them apart.

In Never Not Once, all-American college student Eleanor wants to know who her father is. Her two mums can’t agree. But everything changes when Eleanor’s boyfriend Rob hires a private investigator to find her biological father. The family are forced to confront an unexpected and explosive answer to the question: “Where do I come from?”

Written by young American playwright Carey CrimNever Not Once won the 2017 Jane Chambers Playwriting Award and was a finalist for the 2018 Eugene O’Neill Award. Crim’s other plays include Conviction, Paint Night, Growing Pretty, Wake and Some Couples May. Her work has been produced and workshopped at theatres across the United States.

“With a multi-racial cast of well-defined characters, complex development, and a nuanced lens on sexuality, non-traditional family and taking responsibility, this play is theatrically satisfying and socially urgent” – Jane Chambers Award committee

The UK premiere production of Never Not Once is directed by Katharine Farmer and presented by Blue Touch Paper Productions in association with Park Theatre. Casting and further creatives is still to be announced.

After the 7.45pm performance of Never Not Once on Wednesday 8 April 2020, I’ll be joined by director Katharine Farmer and the members of the company. Any questions? Join us!