Round-up of news and treats and other interesting things

How to respond to a week such as that? Defer to those more fearlessly eloquent, and listen.

Emma Rice’s tenure at Shakespeare’s Globe is winding to its close – the outdoor season is done but there’s still a winter’s worth of programming in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse to get through. Musical Romantics Anonymous will be one to watch out for and now that casting has been released for Anders Lustgarten’s The Secret Theatre, directed by Matthew Dunster, looks to be another fascinating entry.

Aidan McArdle plays Sir Francis Walsingham, while Tara Fitzgerald plays Elizabeth I, and the rest of the cast is made up of Abraham Popoola as John Ballard, Cassie Layton as Frances, Edmund Kingsley, Sam Marks, David Partridge, Ian Redford and Colin Ryan.

I’m pleased to be able to share the first track from the Leading Ladies – Beverley Knight, Cassidy Janson and Amber Riley – in advance of the release of their debut album Songs From The Stage. It’s a glossy take on Dreamgirls‘One Night Only’ and the shimmering harmonies that kick in at 1.04 make me most excited for the possibilities of this record (which you can pre-order here).

© Mark Sepple

The Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch is proud to be producing a world premiere of a new adaptation of H.G.Wells’ sci-fi classic, The Invisible Man, which runs from 27 October – 18 November.

This new commission is written by Clem Garritty, Artistic Director of Kill The Beast. Garritty’s adaptation explores H.G.Wells’integral theme of the pursuit of knowledge and how Griffin, a smart man exploring a strand of physics, can end up going mad at the potential power it gives him. One of the ways in which Clem is utilising his aesthetic, bringing a breath of fresh-air to the iconic novella, is by creating the character of scientist Lucy, a strong female counterpart to Griffin. Set against a backdrop of a Victorian, gothic London and completed with thrilling illusions and live music, this classic thriller will be innovatively bought to life by using an ‘anything is possible’ approach.

Kill the Beast is a multi-award-winning theatre company formed in 2012. The company has mounted three full-length, critically acclaimed productions (The Boys that Kick Pigs, He Had Hairy Hands, Don’t Wake the Damp) that have played to sell-out audiences across the UK. Combining darkly comic scripts, slick physical stagecraft and inventive use of projection, the Beasts have created their own recognisable brand of exciting, original comedy theatre and are fast building a reputation in the industry.

The cast includes Matthew Spencer (1984, Playhouse Theatre & International Tour; The Woman in Black, Fortune Theatre & Tour); Paul McEwan (The Seven Acts of Mercy & The Two Noble Kinsmen, Royal Shakespeare Company) and Eleanor Wyld (Don Juan in Soho, Wyndham’s Theatre; The Alchemist, Royal Shakespeare Company).

The production is directed by internationally-renowned Ryan McBryde (Faust, Altes Schauspielhaus, Stuttgart) and designed by Lily Arnold (Snow in Midsummer, The Jew of Malta, RSC) with lighting by Nic Farman (Working, Southwark Playhouse), movement director Ellen Kane (Tony-award nomination for Best Choreography on Groundhog Day the Musical), sound and music by Rebecca Aplin (first female winner of the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme), illusions by John Bulleid (The Star, Liverpool Everyman), fight consultant Bethan Clarke (Rc-Annie Ltd) and casting by Matthew Dewsbury (Royal Shakespeare Company).

The Invisible Man runs at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch from 27 October – 18 November. Tickets are £12.50 – £29 with £10 tickets available for Under 26s at certain performances. Bookings can be made by calling the Box Office on 01708 443333, in person at the theatre or online at

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