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Sarah & Duck’s Big Top Birthday - Polka Theatre and on tour

Sarah & Duck’s Big Top Birthday

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE enchanting world of CBeebies’ hit animated series Sarah & Duck will be brought to life on stage for the first time this Spring.

Featuring a host of wonderful characters from the BAFTA Award-winning show embarking on a brand new adventure, Sarah & Duck’s Big Top Birthday will visit Polka Theatre from Thursday, April 6 to Sunday, May 14, 2017, as part of a UK Tour.

Join Sarah and Duck, along with all their favourite friends including The Ribbon Sisters, The Shallots, John and Flamingo and Umbrella, as they plan a circus-themed birthday party for Scarf Lady in their garden. But when the weather turns windy and the big top is blown away, will Sarah and Duck be able to save the day?

Told through a blend of inventive puppetry, charming storytelling and toe-tapping music, Sarah & Duck’s Big Top Birthday will take families and children on a magical theatrical adventure.

Following the gentle adventures of a wide-eyed, 7-year-old girl and her feathered best friend, Sarah & Duck has been a huge hit since its debut in 2013, winning a BAFTA for ‘Best Pre-School Animation’ in 2014 and regularly appearing in CBeebies’ Top Ten programmes for viewers aged 4-15. Now in its third series, it is shown in over 100 counties around the world.

Sarah & Duck’s Big Top Birthday is written by Peter Glanville, artistic director of Polka Theatre, and directed by Roman Stefanski, with set and puppet design by Laura McEwen. It is presented by MEI Theatrical in association with Polka Theatre.

Sarah & Duck is a Karrot Entertainment production for CBeebies UK and BBC Worldwide.

Recommended for children aged 3-6.

The tour opens at The Castle, Wellingborough (April 1 and 2) before continuing to London, Eastbourne, Kettering, Portsmouth, Swansea, Leamington Spa, Stantonbury, Redbridge, Bromsgrove, Nottingham, Luton, Bishops Stortford, Hertford, Birmingham, Kirkcaldy, Howden, Falkirk, Dumfries, Darlington, Winchester, Milton Keynes, Bridgwater, Wantage, Shoreham-By-Sea, Letchworth, Chesterfield, Lincoln and Middlesbrough.

Official Website.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child triumphs at the 2017 WOS Awards

Theatre news

THE winners of the 17th annual WhatsOnStage Awards have been announced in a ceremony at the Prince of Wales Theatre and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child came out on top with eight awards, including Best New Play and Best Actor in a Play for Jamie Parker.

No Man’s Land, which starred Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, won Best Play Revival; while Funny Girl took Best Musical Revival.

And although Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new show School of Rock won Best New Musical, it was Half a Sixpence that took home the most awards in the musical categories – Best Actor in a Musical for Charlie Stemp, Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for Emma Williams and Best Choreography for Andrew Wright.

Billie Piper received her second WhatsOnStage Award in three years, winning Best Actress in a Play for the Young Vic production of Yerma and Amber Riley was named as Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as Effie White in Dreamgirls.

Marking 50 years in theatre, Cameron Mackintosh was honoured with a special award, the Equity Award for Lifetime Achievement (So Far).

The WhatsOnStage Awards are the only major theatre awards voted for by the audience.

The Awards in full (winners in bold):

Best Actor in a Play, sponsored by Radisson Blu Edwardian

Ian Hallard for The Boys in the Band
Ian McKellen for No Man’s Land
Jamie Parker for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Kenneth Branagh for The Entertainer
Ralph Fiennes for Richard III

Best Actress in a Play, sponsored by Live at Zédel

Billie Piper for Yerma
Helen McCrory for The Deep Blue Sea
Lily James for Romeo and Juliet
Michelle Terry for Henry V
Pixie Lott for Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Best Actor in a Musical, sponsored by The Umbrella Rooms

Andy Karl for Groundhog Day
Charlie Stemp for Half a Sixpence
Michael C Hall for Lazarus
Michael Xavier for Sunset Boulevard
Ramin Karimloo for Murder Ballad

Best Actress in a Musical, sponsored by The Hippodrome Casino

Amber Riley for Dreamgirls
Carrie Hope Fletcher for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Devon-Elise Johnson for Half a Sixpence
Glenn Close for Sunset Boulevard
Sheridan Smith for Funny Girl

Best Supporting Actor in a Play

Anthony Boyle for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Derek Jacobi for Romeo and Juliet
Freddie Fox for Travesties
Jonjo O’Neill for Unreachable
Paul Thornley for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Best Supporting Actress in a Play, sponsored by Tonic Theatre

Jenna Russell for Doctor Faustus
Meera Syal for Romeo and Juliet
Noma Dumezweni for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Poppy Miller for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Vanessa Redgrave for Richard III

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, sponsored by Encore Radio

Adam J Bernard for Dreamgirls
Ian Bartholomew for Half a Sixpence
Joel Montague for Funny Girl
Trevor Dion Nicholas for Disney’s Aladdin
Tyrone Huntley for Jesus Christ Superstar

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, sponsored by Newman Displays

Amy Lennox for Lazarus
Emma Williams for Half a Sixpence
Rebecca Trehearn for Show Boat
Sophia Anne Caruso for Lazarus
Victoria Hamilton-Barritt for Murder Ballad

Best New Play, sponsored by JHI Marketing

The Comedy About A Bank Robbery
The Flick
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures or iHo
The Mother

Best New Musical, sponsored by Shine Creative Solutions

Disney’s Aladdin
Dreamgirls
Groundhog Day
Half a Sixpence
School of Rock

Best Play Revival

The Boys in the Band
The Deep Blue Sea
The Dresser
No Man’s Land

Travesties

Best Musical Revival, sponsored by R&H Theatricals Europe

Funny Girl
Jesus Christ Superstar
Ragtime
Show Boat
Sunset Boulevard

Best Direction

Casey Nicholaw for Disney’s Aladdin
John Tiffany for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Matthew Warchus for Groundhog Day
Michael Mayer for Funny Girl
Rachel Kavanaugh for Half a Sixpence

Best Choreography, sponsored by Encore Radio

Andrew Wright for Half a Sixpence
Casey Nicholaw for Disney’s Aladdin
Casey Nicholaw for Dreamgirls
Drew McOnie for Jesus Christ Superstar
Peter Darling and Ellen Kane for Groundhog Day

Best Costume Design

Gregg Barnes for Disney’s Aladdin
Gregg Barnes for Dreamgirls
Katrina Lindsay for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Matthew Wright for Funny Girl
Paul Brown for Half a Sixpence

Best Set Design

Bob Crowley for Disney’s Aladdin
Christine Jones for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Lez Brotherston for Show Boat
Miriam Buether for Wild
Rob Howell for Groundhog Day

Best Lighting Design, sponsored by White Light

Charlie Morgan Jones for Little Shop of Horrors
Hugh Vanstone for Groundhog Day
Jack Weir for The Boys in the Band
Natasha Katz for Disney’s Aladdin
Neil Austin for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Best Video Design, sponsored by PRG XL Video

Andrzej Goulding for Groundhog Day
Finn Ross and Ash Woodward for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Finn Ross for The Tempest, RSC
Laura Perrett for Murder Ballad
Tal Yarden for Lazarus

Best Off-West End Production, sponsored by Les Misérables

The Boys in the Band (Park Theatre)
Grey Gardens (Southwark Playhouse)
The Last Five Years (St James Theatre)
Side Show (Southwark Playhouse)
Ragtime (Charing Cross Theatre)

Best Regional Production, sponsored by MTI (Europe)

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (National Tour)
Flowers for Mrs Harris (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield)
The Girls (National Tour)
The Grinning Man (Bristol Old Vic)
Rent (National Tour/St James Theatre/Theatr Clwyd)

Best West End Show, sponsored by Capezio

Kinky Boots
Les Misérables

Matilda the Musical
The Phantom of the Opera
Wicked

Equity Award for Lifetime Achievement (So Far)

Cameron Mackintosh

A 20th anniversary production of Honk! comes to the Union Theatre for Easter

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THIS Easter, Honk! the musical returns to London in a brand-new, actor-musician egg-stravaganza. Filled with puppetry, magic, illusions and water guns, it runs at the Union Theatre from Wednesday, March 29 to Saturday, April 22, 2017.

This heartwarming reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling tells the story of Ugly, a plucky little bird who gets picked on by the other farmyard animals because he’s different. Pushed out of the flock, he embarks on an adventure across the marsh, meeting an array of characters who teach him that it takes all sorts to make a world, and that he is much more than just his fowl looks.

Surprising everyone – including its own composers Stiles and Drewe – by pipping The Lion King and Mamma Mia! to the post to win the 2000 Olivier Award for Best New Musical, Honk! has gone on to receive over 8,000 productions around the world, and is now returning to London in its 20th anniversary year.

Glaswegian Liam Vincent-Kilbride, who will be making his London stage debut as Ugly, trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has played Che in Evita and Mark Cohen in Rent. Joining him in Honk! are:

Emily Goad (Maureen/Henrietta/Penny/Lowbutt/Pinkfoot), whose previous roles include Rosemary in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Julie Jordan in Carousel.

Emma Jane Morton (Grace/Dot/Queenie/Mother Swann), whose credits include Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theatre Royal Windsor) and Leader of the Pack (Waterloo East Theatre).

Ellie Nunn (Ida, Ugly’s mother), whose stage work includes Shakespeare in Love (West End) and Lady Windermere in Lady Windermere’s Fan (King’s Head Theatre).

Robert Pearce (Turkey/Bullfrog/Jack Daw), who was Col. Chambers in The Glenn Miller Story (Tommy Steele No1 UK tour) and Jitters in Hoods! The Musical, directed by Craig Revel-Horwood, at the Arts Theatre.

Leon Scott (Drake, Ugly’s father), who played Thor in Norseome (UK tour) and Montano in Othello (Shakespeare’s Globe).

Sam Sugarman (Cat), whose credits include Stephen Sondheim’s Road Show (Union Theatre) and Smee in Stiles & Drewe’s Peter Pan: A Musical Adventure.

Liam Vincent-Kilbride

Anthony Drewe said: “Hans Christian Andersen has been described as ‘a tall, ugly boy with a big nose and big feet, and when he grew up with a beautiful singing voice and a passion for the theatre he was cruelly teased and mocked by other children’. Sadly, cruel teasing and mocking is still prevalent today whenever someone is perceived as being ‘different’, and it’s not only children who perpetrate this injustice. Some truly ugly attitudes revealed themselves in the lead up to the Brexit vote, and recent events in the US have only served to shake our wonderfully diverse, multicultural society.

“When George and I wrote Honk! it was, in part, in response to the reaction that my young mixed–race nephews were receiving at school, because their skin was of a different colour. But bullying is not limited to racial diversity. A recent study in the UK found that 45% of 13 to 18 year-olds have experienced bullying by the age of 18, with the majority saying the primary reason was their physical appearance.

“It’s a sobering fact that 1 in 10 teenagers bullied at school have attempted to commit suicide, and at least half of the suicides among young people are related to bullying. Sadly, it is true that the victims of bullying are most likely to become bullies themselves. Maybe one day this vicious cycle will be broken, then we will all have something to quack about.

“I think the reason Honk! has enjoyed such success and been seen in so many productions around the world is that everyone can relate to the plight of an outsider trying to fit in – we have all felt it at some point in our lives. We wanted to write a musical about acceptance – a celebration of being different, where diversity is welcomed and embraced, and where everyone plays their own part in a multicultural community, albeit on a duck pond.”

Produced by Paul Virides and Lian Wilkinson for Dot By Dot Productions, Honk! is directed by Andy Room and designed by Anna Reid, with musical direction by Oli Rew, choreography by Lily Howkins and puppet design by Phoebe Hill.

Image (bottom): Liam Vincent-Kilbride.

A rare revival of Stephen Sondhiem and Arthur Laurent’s musical satire Anyone Can Whistle continues at the Union Theatre until March 11. It will be followed – from March 14 to March 25, 2017 – by the return of Threesome, Jamie Patterson’s comedy for adults.

Wombmates - Theatre N16

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FULL Pelt Theatre are presenting their new show Wombmates at Theatre N16. Described as a fast paced, bizarre new ‘ultrasound’ comedy about pregnancy, it runs from March 7 to March 11, 2017.

It’s a story not of boy meets girl but of boy meets boy; in this case brother meets brother in a womb, making it more like sperm meets egg, which becomes a foetus and then a baby… or, in this case, babies, meaning one mother is in for a big surprise.

All that time in the womb gives these two little Geordies a chance to explore, discover and ponder some questions, among them: when their nine months are up, is there really life after birth?

Using clowning, shadow puppetry and physical comedy, Full Pelt Theatre show pregnancy in a whole different light. With a lot of time together, full bellies from “womb” service, and the impending doom of birth, these two boys don’t quite know what is outside for them.

Wombmates is directed by Allie Munro and written and performed by Aaron Dart and Adam Mort.

Full Pelt Theatre’s first show The Going Away Days, written by Aaron Dart and directed by Aidan Napier, was selected for the Pulse Festival in Ipswich and the Plymouth Fringe Festival in May 2016. In November 2016, they had a sell-out run at The New Diorama Theatre as part of their Two-Night Stand scheme, supported by the Emerging Companies Fund.

Wombmates is suitable for ages 14+.

Tickets: £12, £10 concessions – available online at lineupnow.com/event/wombmates.

Times: March 7 – 10 at 9.15pm and March 11 at 9pm.

Running Time: 50 minutes.

Also at Theatre N16: Swifties, a new play about Taylor Swift, Instagram and having no money (February 28 to March 11, 2017).

At Last - The Etta James Story - Cadogan Hall and on tour

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE smash-hit show, At Last – The Etta James Story, is set to tour next spring. Starring Vika Bull, it makes its UK debut on March 28, 2017, when it opens at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre. It will also visit Cadogan Hall in London on Friday, April 7.

Since its world premiere in Melbourne in 2013, At Last – The Etta James Story has packed theatres throughout Australia and New Zealand. In 2016, the show returned to Melbourne for a sell-out season at The Arts Centre and July saw the show triumph for a third season at The Sydney Opera House.

At Last – The Etta James Story tells the story of soul legend Etta James’ turbulent life and features some of her most beloved songs including Tell Mama, Something’s Got A Hold On Me, Sugar On The Floor, the heart rending I’d Rather Go Blind, and her iconic signature song At Last.

Vika Bull is joined on stage by some of Australia’s finest and funkiest musicians.

During a long and tumultuous career that saw her win six Grammy Awards and a star on The Hollywood Walk Of Fame, Etta James has influenced a vast array of artists from Diana Ross, Janis Joplin, Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart and is acknowledged as inspiring the careers of a new generation of singers from Christina Aguilera, Joss Stone, Adele and the late Amy Winehouse.

Sadly, Etta James’ frantic recording and touring schedule coincided with her ever-growing addiction problems and over time she not only sang the blues – she lived the blues. Mercifully, her passion for life and strength of character saw her conquer her demons and she continued to record and perform into her seventies.

Following Liverpool, At Last – The Etta James Story will continue to Cardiff, Leamington Spa, Birmingham, Bristol, Tunbridge Wells, Eastleigh, London, Norwich, Manchester, Corby and Bury St. Edmunds.

Photo credit: Veronica McLaughlin.

The Missing Light, a puppetry show for ages 7+ at The Old Vic

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

AS PART of its programme for families, The Old Vic is presenting The Missing Light. An enchanting puppetry show for ages 7+, it runs for 12 performances only – from March 23 to April 4, 2017.

Created by Mark Arends for Make Mend and Do, The Missing Light is about hopes, dreams and true friendship.

You’re never too old for hopes and dreams…there’s always time for plans and schemes.

When Warple moves into a small fishing village by the seaside, he discovers his neighbour, Hilda, looking out towards the horizon each night, searching for a glimpse of her long-lost husband. When loneliness, curiosity and a far-off flickering light brings them together, the two elderly friends embark on a surprising journey to reconcile their pasts and find what might lie within their futures.

Using music, puppetry and film, the company work together to create enchanting animation live on stage.

The Missing Light is a daytime production and will play on the main stage.

Puppetry designer is Claire Harvey, lighting designer is Declan Randal and puppeteers/devisors are Samantha Arends, Sam Clark and David Emmings. Original music is written and performed by Mark Arends.

Tickets: Children: £6; Adults: £12. To book, call 0844 871 7628 or visit www.oldvictheatre.com/.

Times: 11.15am and 1.30pm.

Running Time: Approximately 40 minutes.

Stephen Unwin directs his new play All Our Children at Jermyn Street Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

WRITTEN and directed by Stephen Unwin, All Our Children runs at Jermyn Street Theatre from May 2 (previews from April 26) to June 3, 2017.

I used to be scared of them. They seemed so different. They don’t scare me anymore. They’re just children, aren’t they? Just children.

January 1941. Snow is falling. A terrible crime is taking place in a clinic for disabled children. The perpetrators argue that it will help struggling parents and lift the financial burden on the mighty German state.

One brave voice is raised in objection. But will the Doctor listen?

A gripping new play probing one of the darkest episodes in recent history, Stephen Unwin’s elegant debut work shows a world caught in a spiral of horror and examines a brutal system which sanctioned mass murder for those who led what the Nazis called ‘lives unworthy of life’.

An astonishing and chilling story of courage, betrayal and humanity, Unwin tells a rich dramatic narrative, and explores cultural, moral and social arguments which still rage today.

Stephen Unwin is one of the UK’s leading theatre directors. He founded the English Touring Theatre in 1993 and opened the Rose Theatre Kingston in 2008 becoming Artistic Director until 2014. His many credits include King Lear with Timothy West (Old Vic), Hedda Gabler (Donmar Warehouse), Hamlet with Alan Cumming (again at the Donmar Warehouse), Man to Man with Tilda Swinton and The Conquest of the South Pole with Alan Cumming (both at the Royal Court) and Sandra/Manon with Simon Russell Beale (also at the Donmar Warehouse).

All Our Children is Unwin’s first original play although he has written eight books on theatre and drama and translated several plays.

He is a campaigner for the rights and opportunities of people with learning disabilities and was appointed the Chair of Kids in November 2016, the national charity providing services to disabled children, young people and their families.

All Our Children is designed by Simon Higlett, with lighting design by Tim Mascall and sound design by John Leonard. Full casting will be announced shortly.

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 020 7287 2875 or visit www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk/.

Also at Jermyn Street Theatre: Beau Brummell – An Elegant Madness (until March 11) and the UK premiere of The Frogs (March 14 to April 8, 2017).

Casting announced for Killology at the Royal Court Theatre

Casting news

CASTING has been announced for Gary Owen’s new play Killology, which runs at the Royal Court Theatre from May 25 to June 24, 2017, following its debut at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff (March 24 to April 8).

The line up comprises Seán Gleeson, Richard Mylan and Sion Daniel Young.

Sion Daniel Young comes to the show following his lead role as Christopher in Marianne Elliot’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night -Time in the West End. His previous credits include Albert in War Horse (National Theatre/West End) and Siegfried Sassoon in Mametz (National Theatre of Wales) directed by Matthew Dunster.

Seán Gleeson’s numerous theatre roles include Ed Boone (Christopher’s Father) in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Brendan in The Weir at the Royal Court Theatre. He was also a cast regular in the BBC’s Doctors.

Richard Mylan has worked extensively in theatre, film and television (including playing Oliver in the cult BBC sitcom Coupling) since his West End debut in 1992, in particular in several productions with Frantic Assembly. He first worked with Gary Owen and Royal Court Theatre Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone on Crazy Gary’s Mobile Disco for Paines Plough in 2001.

Killology reunites the award-winning writer/director team behind Iphigenia in Splott – Welsh playwright Gary Owen and Sherman Theatre’s Artistic Director Rachel O’Riordan. Tackling the experiences faced by young men in contemporary society, Killology is about a controversial new gaming experience that is inspiring a generation. In Killology, players are rewarded for torturing victims, scoring points for “creativity”.

Gary Owen returns to the Royal Court Theatre following his award-winning (Evening Standard Theatre Award 2015, Critics’ Circle Award 2016 and Olivier Award 2016) play Violence and Son in 2015. His previous play for Sherman Theatre, Iphigenia in Splott was directed by Rachel O’Riordan and received the UK Theatre Award for Best New Play 2015, the James Tait Black Prize and the Stage Award for Acting Excellence at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015. It was also nominated for the Evening Standard Awards for Best Actress for Sophie Melville’s portrayal of Effie.

Director Rachel O’Riordan said: “I am delighted to be partnering with the powerhouse Royal Court theatre on Killology, and to be part of this extraordinary season of new work. Getting brilliant actors and a brilliant writer together is a powerful mix; and this team features some of our most exciting talent.”

Playwright Gary Owen added: “Since taking over at the Royal Court, Vicky has worked hard to bring new voices to its stages. So it’s entirely unsurprising that the Royal Court’s first co-production with a Welsh theatre should happen under her reign. We’ve got a fantastic gang of actors, and I can’t wait to see what Rachel’s going to do with them.”

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 020 7565 5000 or visit www.royalcourttheatre.com/.

Wisdom of a Fool - LOST Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

JACK Lane’s acclaimed emotional roller-coaster one-man play about comedian Norman Wisdom, Wisdom of a Fool, visits LOST Theatre from March 8 to March 11, 2017, as part of a UK tour.

Norman Wisdom dominated British film and theatre during the 1950s, playing to packed audiences across the country. For more than six decades his warmth and boundless energy won the hearts of millions. His cloth cap, ill-fitting suit and classic underdog character led Charlie Chaplin to describe him as his ‘favourite clown’.

In Wisdom of a Fool, Jack Lane takes audiences behind Norman Wisdom’s well-known character to reveal a tough and lonely childhood. After joining the Army, Wisdom discovered a passion for comedy; and the world of post-war Music Hall and Variety embraced his manic slapstick routine, catapulting him to stardom in the early 1950s. Success on the silver screen, including the hit song, Don’t Laugh at Me, sealed his fame. But fame came at a price…

Jack Lane plays 30 characters throughout this tour de force performance. The Gump costume that features in the play belonged to Norman and has been generously loaned to the production by his son and daughter, Nicholas and Jacqueline Wisdom.

LOST Theatre are also presenting, with the BFI, a long-thought “lost” episode of Norman Wisdom’s variety show before the Saturday matinee of Wisdom of a Fool, introduced by Richard Dacre and followed by a Q and A with Dacre and Jack Lane.

In 2010, Jack Lane founded Engine Shed Theatre Company and went on to adapt three episodes and two Christmas specials of the classic BBC sitcom Steptoe and Son, which met with approval from the original writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. Lane took the role of Albert Steptoe whilst producing and designing the productions.

Tickets: £20 – available by calling 020 7720 6897 or visiting www.losttheatre.co.uk/.

Times: Wednesday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Saturday matinee at 3pm.

Rehearsal images released for Chigger Foot Boys at Tara Theatre

Suzette Llewellyn

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

WRITTEN by Patricia Cumper and directed by Irina Brown, Chigger Foot Boys receives its world premiere at Tara Theatre, where it runs from February 24 (previews from February 22) to March 11, 2017.

Patricia Cumper, renowned playwright and former Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre, draws inspiration from personal and historical stories in her latest play, set in a rum bar by the docks in Kingston, Jamaica 1914.

Oblivious of the impact that the distant war in Europe will have on them, their island and the future of the British Empire, a soldier, a hunter, a scholar and a lover are playing a game of dominoes whilst trapped by a thunderstorm. Amongst them is a young Norman Manley, future statesman and National Hero of Jamaica.

In a series of flash forwards, Chigger Foot Boys delves into the fate that awaits them and many other Jamaicans who volunteered and fought on the fronts of World War One.

The cast includes Ike Bennett, Stanley J Browne, Jonathan Chambers, John Leader, Suzette Llewellyn and Matthew Truesmith.

Produced by Pauline Walker, Chigger Foot Boys is designed by Louis Price, with lighting by Kevin Treacy and music and sound by Dominique Le Gendre.

The production is suitable for ages 14+.

Rehearsal images.

Tickets: £15.50, £14 concessions – available by calling 020 8333 4457 or visiting www.tara-arts.com/.

Times: 7.30pm (Monday to Saturday), 3pm (Saturday, March 11).

Running Time: 120 minutes.