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Ambassador Theatre Group

KING IN CLOSE-UP Martin Freeman

BEST IN SHOW Jason Donovan Emma Williams

Fops, flappers & tomfoolery JEEVES & WOOSTER

hotlist! Martin Jarvis & Nigel Havers Riviera chic Jersey Boys

gold dust Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Summer 2014


of the best

goodwood revival Experience the glamour of historic motor racing at this unique meeting with competitors and spectators dressed in period style together with pre-1966 live music & entertainment. 12 - 14 September 2014

wedding dresses 1775 - 2014 Prepare to sigh over the most romantic and extravagant wedding dresses from the V&A’s superb collection in this fascinating exhibition with gowns from Worth, Hartnell, Galliano, Lacroix and Vivienne Westwood.

jersey boys Winner of 54 major awards worldwide including the 2009 Olivier award for Best New Musical. Watch the crowd go wild for Jersey Boys at the Piccadilly Theatre in London’s West End and on a UK tour from September.

ANNIE GET YOUR GUN Bull’s-eye! The Tony award-winning version of Irving Berlin’s musical masterpiece features an explosive collection of Broadway classics including There’s No Business Like Showbusiness & Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better - on tour this summer starring Jason Donovan, Emma Williams and Norman Pace.

martin freeman Star of Sherlock, Fargo and The Office, the intriguing Martin Freeman returns to the stage for the first time since 2010 to play Shakespeare’s Richard III as part of the Trafalgar Transformed season directed by Jamie Lloyd.

summer style Orange, white and taupe pin-tuck shirt from One Season £125


1 RIVIERA ROMANCE ‘Glamorous, sexy, funny, irreverent’ Samantha Bond from Downton to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels



Martin Freeman stars as Shakespeare’s ‘damaged and

self-doubting’ king in Richard III



hit the spot in Annie Get Your Gun



Jason Donovan & Emma Williams

Cue the hottest summer season ever Dirty Rotten Scoundrels


The timeless appeal of Jersey Boys

10 GET READY TO ROCK Air guitars optional - win a night

out with friends at Rock of Ages

11 PERFECT GENTLEMEN Bertie finds himself ‘knee-deep in

the bisque’ as Jeeves & Wooster

wows the West End


The funniest play ever - Martin Jarvis

and Nigel Havers on The Importance

of Being Earnest

15 cannes do Rock of Ages

Jersey Boys

We’re crazy about Côte d’Azur style

this summer


Where painters met poets Ambassador Group productions / Ambassador Theatre Group LONDON Theatres Apollo Victoria 0844 871 7615 Donmar Warehouse 0844 871 7624 Duke of York’s Theatre 0844 871 7623 Fortune Theatre 0844 871 7626 The Harold Pinter Theatre 0844 871 7622 Lyceum Theatre 0844 871 7615 Phoenix Theatre 0844 871 7629 Piccadilly Theatre 0844 871 7630 Playhouse Theatre 0844 871 7631 Savoy Theatre 0844 871 7687 Trafalgar Studios 0844 871 7632 Ambassador Theatre Group REGIONAL Theatres Aylesbury Waterside Theatre 0844 871 7607 New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham 0844 871 3011 Theatre Royal Brighton 0844 871 7650 Bristol Hippodrome 0844 871 3012 Churchill Theatre Bromley 0844 871 7620 Edinburgh Playhouse 0844 871 3014 Leas Cliff Hall Folkestone 0844 871 3015 Kings Theatre Glasgow 0844 871 7648 Theatre Royal Glasgow 0844 871 7647 Grimsby Auditorium 0844 871 3016 Empire Theatre Liverpool 0844 871 3017 Palace Theatre & Opera House Manchester 0844 871 3019 Milton Keynes Theatre 0844 871 7652 New Theatre Oxford 0844 871 3020 Richmond Theatre 0844 871 7651 Southport Theatre & Convention Centre 0844 871 3021 Regent Theatre & Victoria Hall Stoke-on-Trent 0844 871 7649 Sunderland Empire 0844 871 3022 Princess Theatre Torquay 0844 871 3023 New Wimbledon Theatre & New Wimbledon Studio 0844 871 7646 Ambassadors Cinemas Woking 0844 871 7643 New Victoria Theatre & Rhoda McGaw Theatre Woking 0844 871 7645 York Grand Opera House 0844 871 3024 Online booking at Broadway Theatres The Lyric Theatre (formerly Foxwoods) Jessamy Hadley Editor Pat Westwell, Nancy Groves, Benedict Nightingale, Chrissy Iley, Victoria Kingston, Al Senter, Mark Bouman, Jo Caird, David Bradbury, Laura O’Toole Contributors Shaun Webb Design Design and Art Direction John Good Ltd Print The Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd 39 - 41 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H OAR

The views expressed in this magazine are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd. Cover photograph by Jay Brooks

inspirational ways to spend time

this summer


Samantha Bond



Samantha Bond falls for London’s big, new hit the hugely entertaining Dirty Rotten Scoundrels


ho wouldn’t want to spend their days

Well, perhaps hot-footed isn’t the word. ‘Every

at Downton Abbey & their evenings

night I climb into a car that’s waiting outside the

on the French Riviera? Such is

Savoy stage door,’ Bond confesses. ‘I have a sandwich

Samantha Bond’s enviable lifestyle,

and a bag of crisps and they drive me down to

as nightly she takes to the stage in Jerry Mitchell’s

Interview by Nancy Groves

Photography by Johan Persson 1

Newbury to what is a very quiet hotel because all

sizzling, star-studded Côte d’Azur-set musical, Dirty

the other members of the cast are fast asleep.’ Even

Rotten Scoundrels, but not before having hot-footed

Maggie Smith? ‘Even Maggie Smith. And then, when

it from Hampshire’s imposing Highclere Castle where

we’ve finished filming the next day, another car

she is currently filming Downton’s fifth series.

arrives and whisks me back to London.’

Rufus Hound and Robert Lindsay

★★★★★ The former Ms. Moneypenny, eating a bag of

heiress (Katherine Kingsley). ‘Robert and Rufus have

Monster Munch? But we’ll allow it, as what sounds

the most amazing bromance you’ve ever seen, on

positively Hollywood-esque (limos, hotels, legendary

stage and off,’ reports Bond. ‘Their chemistry is

co-stars) is in reality rather hard work. And plus ça

electrifying.’ As, according to reviews, is her own with

change for the 52-year-old actress, who’s barely

John Marquez, who plays the flamboyant French chief

stopped since she graduated from Bristol Old Vic

of police to her buttoned up English tourist in the

theatre school: on stage (a young Juliet opposite

show’s romantic subplot.

Kenneth Branagh’s Romeo); on television (from

‘Since I was a little girl, I’ve loved Ginger Rogers,’

Rumpole of the Bailey to Auntie Angela in

she says. ‘And there’s this great moment when John

Outnumbered), and, of course, on the big screen

and I do this full-out Fred and Ginger number. Standing

opposite Pierce Brosnan in four James Bond films.

on stage, it feels so thrilling.’ Bond is at pains to point

musical. ‘It’s true! I haven’t sung in public since I was in panto at Bristol Old Vic and I hadn’t really danced since I was 15 in dance class. So when someone said to

sunday telegraph


daily telegraph | Sunday Times the Guardian | Evening Standard Mail on Sunday

out that Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Yet somehow, incredibly, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is her first

A stonking great hit!

‘a masterclass in how to put on a musical’ Daily mail

has got what it takes to take the West End by storm. ‘It’s out and out glamorous, sexy, funny, irreverent. And the numbers! Our dancers are second to none. Those kids are out there kicking their legs over their

my agent, ‘Why don’t we meet Sam for the part?’ it was the most terrifying audition

shoulders and singing the most fabulous songs at the

I’d ever been in. I felt about six-years-old.’

same time. Jerry has worked them all very hard. Each

On stage, the glamorous Bond more than holds her

step, each arm movement is what he meant it to be.’

own. A 2004 hit on Broadway, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Albeit a long way from Julian Fellowes’s world of

is based on the 1988 Michael Caine and Steve Martin

Downton Abbey, in which Bond plays another aunt.

savoy theatre

movie of the same name. Only here it’s three time

‘From glorious Broadway glamour to a very restrained

Olivier and Tony award-winner Robert Lindsay and

post-Edwardian drawing room!’ she laughs. ‘But

comedy legend Rufus Hound playing suave conman

actually, it’s lovely to do both.’ Sophisticated, suave

dirty rotten scoundrels

Lawrence Jameson and his buckstart young rival

and seductive - it’s no wonder Samantha has

Freddy Benson, out to see who can fleece an American

fallen for the stage. ■


Starring Robert Lindsay, Rufus Hound, Katherine Kingsley Samantha Bond and John Marquez Box Office 0844 871 7687 Online booking at Supported by

Normally valued at £100.50. Valid Mon - Fri until 18 July. Please quote Mail01 at time of booking. Subject to availability. No cash alternative. Soft drink alternative available. Alcohol will only be served to those over the age of 18+.

ATG Magazine / 2


King A Close Up to a

Director Jamie Lloyd on Martin Freeman in Richard III

lways expect the

This promises to be unexpected too.

unexpected with Jamie Lloyd.

Shakespeare’s play won’t come with ruffs or jerkins.

He’s affable and unpretentious but

It occurs in an alternative England, an imaginary and

this is a boy who went paddling with

somewhat dystopian place where a military coup has

pythons in a swimming pool, and, at 33, he’s the man

brought Edward to power and then seen him replaced

who has become Britain’s most exciting young director.

by what Lloyd calls ‘the runt of the litter, a man who

Last year he created a season at Trafalgar Studios whose

is not a natural ruler and, once he’s got to the top,

highlight was the brilliantly inventive Macbeth that

sees it all dismantled very quickly’.

brought James McAvoy into a weird, fractured, futuristic

That’s an unorthodox view of a Richard usually

Interview by Benedict Nightingale

Scotland - and this year he’s likely to thrill us again with

played, as Lloyd says, as ‘big, grandstanding, showy,

his second Trafalgar Transformed season with Martin

obnoxious, and seriously impressive’. But maybe he’s

Johan Persson

Freeman as Richard III.

a damaged, self-doubting man, rejected by his mother,

Photography by Jay Brooks and


who ‘is almost trying to be king to prove he can be

mother divorced before marrying a guitarist. Before

king’. For Lloyd, there’s psychological depth here,

that, she ran a fancy dress shop in Poole, hiring out

meaning an opportunity to ‘get into the mind of a

costumes of Bugs Bunny or Marilyn Monroe, and had

dictator who does great evil’. And who better to

a lodger who was a snake charmer - and took Jamie

embody that than Freeman, the unshowy actor whose

paddling with his slithery pets.

roles have included Watson to Benedict Cumberbatch’s

Though Jamie put on plays with his cousins, and

Holmes and Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit?

played a flying monkey and a Lost Boy in Poole

‘He’s a stunning performer,’ says Lloyd. ‘He can

productions of The Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan, he

say so much by doing very little and always gives

didn’t become a serious theatregoer until he was 17,

you a sense of a rich inner life. There’s a feeling that

when he saw a revival of Othello at the National. There

everything is bottled up: volcanic emotion put in a

followed study at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts

jar with the lid tightly in place. It’s lurking beneath

and a career whose successes have been as different

the surface even if it rarely explodes. That’s very,

as She Stoops to Conquer at the National, Cyrano on

very compelling.’

Broadway and Urinetown and The Commitments in the

Lloyd never forgets that Trafalgar Studios are in

West End. Next year he’ll be adding a musical version

Whitehall, only yards from the centre of British power.

of Back to the Future to his work at Trafalgar Studios.

That’s one reason why his regime specialises in plays

There, he’s made important changes. On Mondays

with a political dimension, like last year’s productions

every seat is £15, bringing in huge numbers of first-time

of Pinter’s The Hothouse, set in a crazed state asylum,

playgoers. Elsewhere, too, he has reached out to

and Alexi Campbell’s The Pride, a play about sexual evolution that coincided with the debate about gay marriage. And later this year he’ll stage a revival of Ayub Khan Din’s East Is East starring Jane Horrocks, with the author playing the character he based on his

‘He’s a stunning performer. There’s a feeling that everything is bottled up: volcanic emotion put in a jar with the lid tightly in place.That’s very, very compelling’

own father: Zahir ‘Genghis’ Khan, who dominates a

Jamie Lloyd

audiences as theatrically deprived as he once was, for instance by reconfiguring the main studio to make it more intimate, less like a conventional West End theatre. The audience is now closer to the actors,

trafalgar studios Jamie lloyd productions presents

some of it seated at the

back of the stage, meaning (says Lloyd) that some must

dysfunctional Salford family.

have felt McAvoy’s sweat, even got splashed with his

‘For me plays must chime with the times,’ says Lloyd.

blood, as that bold, brave actor’s Macbeth met his end.

‘Not dry political plays, not worthy plays aimed at

So it will surely be with Martin Freeman’s Richard III,

earnest people, but plays that not only entertain but

since the theatre is now especially friendly to actors

in some way analyse the psyche of our age. Plays that

accustomed to the screen’s close-ups, subtleties,

richard iii

enter into a conversation with their audiences.’

and ruthless exposure of emotional falsity. ‘Yes, I

Lloyd himself wasn’t originally much of an audience

hope there’ll be danger and tension and the sense that

Starring Martin Freeman 1 July - 27 September

member, though there was entertainment galore in a

everyone’s got a secret, everyone’s looking over their

distinctly bizarre childhood. His father was a truckdriver

shoulders,’ says Lloyd. ‘There’s something visceral

and a drummer who managed a tribute band called

about the space.’ ■

east is east

Shadivarius. The stepfather who succeeded him was a

Starring Jane Horrocks 4 October - 3 January Box Office 0844 871 7632

children’s entertainer called Uncle Funny, whom his

Online booking at ATG Magazine / 4


An Absolute

Blast A sharpshooting, gun-toting humdinger of a show - ANNIE GET YOUR GUN rolls into town



here is a feeling of excitement, an urgency.

an incredible musical - there are lots of great songs

I am downstairs in the caverns of an old

that people will recognise but not necessarily realise

church in North London. Above we hear

come from this show, so it will be good to show

dancing feet and the familiar tune There’s

audiences how they tie in to the story of Annie Get

No Business Like Show Business, from the Irving

Your Gun.’

Berlin classic Annie Get Your Gun.

And there are plenty of dance numbers in the show,

It’s a major new six month UK tour of the Tony

meaning that Jason will be dancing as well as singing,

award-winning show - from the producers of Dirty

which doesn’t faze him as much as it would have done

Rotten Scoundrels, West Side Story and South Pacific

in the past. ‘I am more relaxed about choreography

- based on the true story of Annie Oakley, an incredible

than I’ve ever been thanks to Strictly!’

sharpshooter, and her romance with rival marksman

How does Jason find working with Emma Williams?

Frank Butler. They both worked for Buffalo Bill’s Wild

‘It’s all about good chemistry as performers. You know,

West Circus. Buffalo Bill was a soldier, bison hunter

we get along in abundance. I do think that a good

and the ultimate showman. Hence the song.

emotional performance comes from the acting and

Annie, who sings Anything You Can Do I Can

that is the basis for me, and the chemistry. And yes,

Do Better, was a 19th century proto-feminist.

also the fact that she has an incredible voice and an

She is played by the equally gutsy two-time Olivier nominee Emma Williams. Frank Butler is played by Jason Donovan. ‘The characters have a special

incredible talent make it a joy working with her.’ Buffalo Bill is played by comedian Norman Pace, half of the successful TV comedy duo

chemistry,’ Emma says.

Hale and Pace. Director Ian

‘We have been having

Talbot confirms he is an absolute perfectionist.

an absolute blast. I have

Norman laughs it off;

an array of weaponry in the show - rifles,

‘My biggest

pistols and I’m having

contribution to the

a whale of a time

entire show is that

playing with them.

I’ve managed to grow

I don’t know if I’d

my own facial hair for

trust myself with any

the part. I’ve got one of those moustaches

real ammo.’ ‘Annie was a real trick

that you have to twiddle

shot. She used to shoot

at the end and a long thin

over her shoulder using a mirror and she could hit things without looking. She does this amazing trick and unfortunately it’s the one thing that may make her lose Frank,

beard that is somewhere down to my knees.’ The original Buffalo Bill was a war hero and King of the Wild West. To train for Buffalo Bill did he have to shoot

the love of her life, when she thinks it’s going to be

deer or pigeon? ‘No animals were killed during the

the thing that will make him fall at her feet.’

making of this show. I don’t do any shooting. I’m in

Emma is excited to be working with Jason Donovan.

charge of the Wild West show and I make other people

‘On the first day of rehearsals we were doing a duet

shoot on my behalf. At the time of the show - and it

from the show. It’s glorious. There’s this amazing swell

is based on real life - my shooting days as a character

in the music, then the director said, ‘This is where you

are over. I am an impresario.’

kiss.’ Bear in mind I have known him for four hours at

‘I do sing There’s No Business Like Show Business.

this point and I am thinking, ‘Jason Donovan is kissing

It’s when they try to persuade Annie to join them.

me!’ I was supposed to come back in but I forgot what

They sing to her to say you’re going to have a great

I was supposed to say. Getting to work with someone

time, this is what happens in show business.’

who is as lovely as Jason is an absolute privilege and

It sounds as if he could put his heart and soul into


that song. ‘Well I can because I spent the last 35 years

Jason is excited too. He’s now a musical theatre

doing it, so I have no trouble in believing the truth

veteran, from Joseph to Priscilla and he’s keen to point

of it. It’s been a great journey for me.’ ■

Starring Jason Donovan alongside West End leading lady Emma Williams with Norman Pace edinburgh playhouse 17 - 21 June Box Office 0844 871 3014 new theatre oxford 24 - 28 June Box Office 0844 871 3020 new alexandra THEATRE birmingham 1- 5 July Box Office 0844 871 3011 churchill THEATRE bromley 15 -19 July Box Office 0844 871 7620 aylesbury waterside THEATRE 22- 26 July Box Office 0844 871 7607 empire THEATRE liverpool 5 - 9 August Box Office 0844 871 3017 new victoria THEATRE woking 12- 16 August Box Office 0844 871 7645 THEATRE royal brighton 26 - 30 August Box Office 0844 871 7650 THEATRE royal glasgow 2 - 6 September Box Office 0844 871 7647 new wimbledon THEATRE 9 - 13 September Box Office 0844 871 7646 princess THEATRE torquay 30 September - 4 October Box Office 0844 871 3023 Online booking at Jonathan Wilkes will star instead of Jason Donovan in Bromley and on the following dates: 14, 20, 21 June, 5 July, 2, 16 August

out the timeless appeal of Irving Berlin’s writing. ‘It’s

Interview by Chrissy Iley Production photography by Alistair Muir ATG Magazine / 6

atg ti

A SPARKLING SEASON OF LIVE THEATRE ACROSS THE UK THIS Summer ROCK OF AGES Get ready to salute the gods of rock in this 80’s themed hilarious smash-hit direct from the West End. ‘A sexy smasher that will have you laughing and rocking in equal measure’ Daily Star


★★★★‘A master class in how to put on a musical’ Daily Mail

★★★★‘Slick, funny and beautifully staged entertainment’ Daily Express

ANNIE GET YOUR GUN From the producers behind the Barbican revival of South Pacific & the return of West Side Story to Sadlers Wells comes this glorious gun-toting Irving Berlin classic starring Jason Donovan, Emma Williams & Norman Pace.

WAR HORSE An unforgettable theatrical experience, the National Theatre’s internationally acclaimed production of War Horse comes to Stoke’s Regent Theatre in September. ‘A landmark theatre event’ Time

Playhouse Theatre 0844 871 7631

1984 ‘This production turns Orwell’s dystopian head games into a powerful, visually audacious multimedia production’ S. Times

WICKED ON TOUR Casting a magical spell over Liverpool and Edinburgh later this year, Wicked promises technical wizardry, bewitching costumes and a show-stopping score. ‘A wicked and wonderful vision of Oz’ Evening Standard

Duchess Theatre 0844 871 7615

BAKERSFIELD MIST Kathleen Turner & Ian McDiarmid star in Stephen Sachs’ play asking vital questions about what makes art and people truly authentic.

Book your tickets online 7

ickets Apollo Victoria 0844 871 7615

Savoy Theatre 0844 871 7687


dirty ROTTEN

There has never been a better time to experience ‘the hit musical with brains, heart and courage’ (Sunday Telegraph) as it flies into its seventh spellbinding year.

SCOUNDRELS Olivier Award-winning actor Robert Lindsay stars alongside Rufus Hound, Olivier Award nominee Katherine Kingsley & Downton Abbey’s Samantha Bond in this brand new musical comedy.

Trafalgar Studio 1 0844 871 7632 Trafalgar Transformed Season 2

Richard III BAFTA Award-winning Martin Freeman and Gina McKee star in the opening production.


Jane Horrocks stars in this modern comedy classic about growing up in multi-racial England.

Harold Pinter Theatre 0844 871 7622

the importance of being earnest Starring Rosalind Ayres, Niall Buggy, Nigel Havers, Martin Jarvis

Piccadilly Theatre 0844 871 7630

Lyceum Theatre 0844 871 7615 Disney’s

jersey boys

The Lion King

Worldwide smash-hit musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

With a cast of over 40 actors, singers and dancers. ‘A beautiful dazzle of invention and imagination’ Evening Standard

Noel Coward Theatre 0844 871 7615

shakespeare in love This romantic comedy is teeming with vibrant colours, characters, music and life.

Phoenix Theatre 0844 871 7629

once - a new musical Based on the Oscar-winning film, an extraordinary joyous celebration of love, friendship and music.

Donmar Warehouse Theatre 0844 871 7624

The Prince of Wales Theatre 0844 871 7615

Fortune Theatre 0844 871 7626

fathers & sons

the book of mormon

Lyndsey Turner returns to direct Brian Friel’s thrilling dramatisation of Turgenev’s masterpiece.

The hilarious 5-star Broadway musical from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

One of the most exciting and gripping theatre events ever staged. ‘A truly nerve-shredding experience’ Daily Mail

the woman in black

at Your One Stop Shop *Studio 2 has been made possible by a generous donation from Christina Smith

ATG Magazine / 8


jersey boys The worldwide smash-hit musical. Winner of 54 major awards world wide including the 2009 Olivier award for Best New Musical! piccadilly theatre Box Office 0844 871 7630 palace theatre manchester 4 September - 4 October Box Office 0844 871 3019 edinburgh playhouse 8 - 25 October Box Office 0844 871 3014 regent theatre stoke-on-trent 28 October - 8 November Box Office 0844 871 7649 sunderland empire 25 November - 6 December Box Office 0844 871 3022 NEW ALEXANDRA THEATRE, BIRMINGHAM 9 December - 3 January 2015 Box Office 0844 871 3011

Oh I

what a night! why jersey boys ticks all the boxes

t’s no surprise that Jersey Boys is still one of the

of a runaway success with a unique sound.

West End’s hottest tickets. Since it moved to

How do you tell their story, warts and all, when

London’s Piccadilly Theatre in March, where it

they’re still in the public eye and looking over your

celebrated its sixth birthday, it has continued to

shoulder, I ask him? How do you keep everyone

enjoy phenomenal success. Winner of 54 awards, it

happy but also keep artistic freedom intact? ‘This

has now been seen by 19 million people worldwide -

was very much in our minds,’ he admits. ‘Frankie is

and from September it will tour the UK for the first time.

very closely involved with the show and so is Bob

The true story of 60’s megastars Frankie Valli and the

Gaudio, the principal songwriter for the group. They

Four Seasons, Jersey Boys is brimming with their hits,

had very strict approvals, so whatever Marshall and

instantly recognisable even if you weren’t around then:

I wrote, they had to see it first. It wasn’t easy. We

Walk Like a Man, Can’t Take My Eyes off You, Big Girls

always needed their yes vote. But we were all happy

Don’t Cry - these are now part of rock and roll legend.

with the result. It’s a ripping yarn and their input gave it more truth, more authenticity.’

sheer musical razzmatazz! s. express

The cast is young and energetic, the songs are infectious, it’s a show full of nostalgia and joy. But it’s more than that. It’s also an incredible story about reaching the heights of success, even when you have nothing to start with, even when all the odds

Written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, the

are against you. ‘People have sat around camp fires

show tells the gritty story of four New Jersey lads

in caves for centuries, listening to stories that kept

who found their way to stardom in spite of coming

them enraptured,’ says Rick. ‘This story is like that.’

Online booking at

from the wrong side of the tracks. They grew up

Wonderful story, wonderful songs. What more

among gangsters, did time in prison and could easily,

could you want from a night at the theatre? ■

Photography by Brinkhoff & Mîgenburg

as Rick tells me, have become ‘two-bit thugs’ instead

Feature by Victoria Kingston



get ready to


with this incredible prize


fter five air guitar-ing, mullet-shaking

the best seats in the house at the ATG venue

years on Broadway and a further three

of their choice, along with the full VIP treatment

years of hell-raising in London’s West

including champagne, ice-cream and programmes.

End, the now legendary Rock of Ages

To get your hands on this great prize simply answer

is heading to a venue near you! Whip out those fishnet

the following question:

stockings, don those leather jackets, and prepare to rock the night away on this fierce ride through some of the most well-loved anthems of the 1980s including Don’t Stop Believin’, We Built This City, Wanted Dead or Alive & The Final Countdown. Starring Ben Richards (9to5 The Musical, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Guys & Dolls), Noel Sullivan (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, We Will Rock You), and Cordelia Farnworth (Rock of Ages West End,

A sexy smasher that will have you laughing & rocking in equal measure Daily Star

What is the missing word from this famous anthem title, released by ‘Foreigner’ in 1984? I want to know what is? a rock b love c soul Please return your answer, not forgetting your name, address and telephone number/ email to Laura O’Toole, The Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd., 39 - 41 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0AR before Friday 4 July 2014 ■

Mamma Mia!), Rock of Ages follows the story of full-time dreamer Drew, and small-town girl Sherrie as they embark on the journey of a lifetime to L.A.’s Sunset Strip, determined to see their names in lights. In a classic tale of big-time dreaming and the power of love, this hilarious musical will be sure to have you laughing and rocking in equal measure! We’re offering one lucky reader plus three friends

Terms & conditions One winner will be drawn at random after the closing date. The prize includes four tickets (Mon - Thu performances only) to see Rock of Ages at the ATG venue of your choice, plus one bottle of champagne, 4 house programmes and 4 ice creams. Prize is subject to availability, non-transferable and non-redeemable for a cash value. Not open to employees of Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd. Editor’s decision is final.

Still rocking after 5 years on Broadway and following 3 years of ovation-inducing performances in London’s West End, the legendary Rock of Ages now heads out on a UK Tour. churchill theatre bromley 16 - 21 June Box Office 0844 871 7620 aylesbury waterside theatre 30 June - 5 July Box Office 0844 871 7607 bristol hippodrome 7 - 12 July Box Office 0844 871 3012 regent theatre, stoke-on-trent 14 - 19 July Box Office 0844 871 7649 empire theatre liverpool 21 - 26 July Box Office 0844 871 3017 sunderland empire 28 July- 2 August Box Office 0844 871 3022 king’s THEATRE GLASGOW 4 - 9 August Box Office 0844 871 7648 THEATRE royal brighton 11 - 16 August Box Office 0844 871 7650 milton keynes theatre 18 - 23 August Box Office 0844 871 7652 new victoria theatre, woking 25 - 30 August Box Office 0844 871 7645 york grand opera house 1 - 6 September Box Office 0844 871 3024 new theatre oxford 20 - 25 October Box Office 0844 871 3020 new wimbledon theatre 17 - 22 November Box Office 0844 871 7646 Online booking at Photography by Manual Harlan

ATG Magazine / 10


Perfect Gentlemen Characters, cow creamers and assorted hare-brained schemes - it’s Jeeves and Wooster in perfect nonsense


Interview by Al Senter

Photography by Uli Weber 11

t the Drones’ Club they can talk of little

show at the Duke of York’s.

else. Who would have thought that Bertie

The success of Perfect Nonsense underlines the

Wooster of all people would have had the

extraordinary durability of the characters created

brains to put himself, his man Jeeves and

by PG Wodehouse nearly a century ago. Jeeves and

a bevy of assorted notables on the West End stage?

Wooster feature in eleven novels and more than thirty

It was jolly clever of him and the public are queuing

short stories and yet they have not aged in almost

in their droves to see the Olivier award-winning

a hundred years: Wodehouse’s world of deranged

aristocrats, simpering flappers, gorgonesque aunts

‘I remember hearing about a young actor in a play

and silly young asses has scarcely aged (Made in

who had only one line - something like may I have a

Chelsea anyone?). The characters and the language

cup of tea,’ begins Lance. ‘Oh no. Not another

may speak of long-distant decades but the realm they

theatrical anecdote,’ groans Sinclair in mock horror.

inhabit has achieved a timeless quality, appealing to

Lance ignores him. He continues: ‘He was terribly

new generations who savour the wit while yielding

nervous and on the first night when he said his line,

to the charm.

there was a huge laugh from the audience. But on the

Although it must be a daunting task to measure up

second night when he said his line, there was complete

to the public expectations of such iconic characters,

silence. The same thing happened on the next night

actors are keen to take up the challenge (most

and the next. So he asked an old actor in the company


daily mail | Daily telegraph evening standard financial times | Independent daily express

An inventive evening of bonkers comedy Daily mail

Wodehouse’s world of deranged aristocrats, simpering flappers, gorgonesque aunts and silly young asses has scarcely aged. recently Matthew Macfadyen/Stephen Mangan and

for his advice. And this is what he said to him. The first

Mark Heap/Robert Webb). The latest duo is James

time you asked for a cup of tea: the next time you

Lance as Bertie and John Gordon Sinclair as Jeeves.

asked for a laugh,’ Do Messrs Lance and Sinclair have

‘I was peripherally aware of Fry and Laurie as Jeeves

any similar thoughts for the audience? ‘Help!’ cries

and Wooster but I hadn’t read any of the books so

the latter. ‘Could each member of the audience bring

I’ve been making up for lost time’ says Lance. ‘They

a copy of the script with them, please’ requests Lance.

are incredibly witty, of course, but what I also like is

‘But if I do forget my lines, I shall simply turn to

the friendship which the two men have - it’s an early

Gordon and ask - what happens now, Jeeves?’ ■

A too-rare, 22-carat demonstration of silliness as one of the great English virtues financial Times

bromance and it is just delightful. It was once said of Wodehouse that whenever he had a negative feeling, he wished it away, and Bertie Wooster doesn’t dwell on any feelings of negativity or resentment either. It comes down to light and dark and in Wodehouse’s world, the light will always win out over the darkness, even over Spode, the Darth Vader figure.’ For Sinclair, Wodehouse has been something of a closed book - until now. ‘It might have been due to my growing up in Scotland but he wasn’t really on my radar. Now that word has spread about my playing Jeeves, all these people have come out of the woodwork to say how much they are fans of his wit, of his humour. One guy told me that he always takes a Wodehouse with him on the train journey into work. It seems that Wodehouse can even take the horror out of commuting.’ Lance and Sinclair, strangers to each other before they were brought together for Perfect Nonsense, have quickly developed an amiable, bantering relationship that bodes very well for the health of the show. ‘I’m very much a method actor and so already John has started to run my bath,’ reveals Lance, straight-faced. ‘I’d love to have a gentleman’s gentleman. Apparently Churchill couldn’t dress himself without the help of his valet and his man would always put Churchill’s tea-cup on the windowledge so that it would collect the softer rainwater for Churchill’s tea. I’m hoping that Gordon will do the same for me.’ ‘Then don’t be surprised if it turns rather a yellow colour at times,’ retorts Sinclair. ‘I’d be very uncomfortable with a butler. I’m far too working class. Even having a cleaner makes me feel like a class traitor.’ Lance and Sinclair compare notes about learning the lines: ‘If we can crack it, it will be fantastic, a riot and I don’t mean the audience demanding their money back,’ says Sinclair. ‘You can’t help but do it, despite the challenges, ’adds Lance. ‘It’s such a treat to be able to bask in Wodehouse’s humour.’

duke of york’s theatre

jeeves & wooster in perfect nonsense Starring James Lance & John Gordon Sinclair. The world premiere of the new stage play featuring P.G. Wodehouse’s iconic double act. Until September 2014 Box Office 0844 871 7623 Online booking at ATG Magazine / 12



Return Wilde to the

Martin Jarvis and Nigel Havers revisit the ultimate ‘trivial comedy for serious people’


ilde is timeless,’ asserts Martin Jarvis.

the audience are not. Gielgud used to say, ‘I cry quite

‘Some of the lines in The Importance

easily on stage, but I find the more I cry, the less the

of Being Earnest could have been

audience cry.’ He had to be very careful - he cried at

written yesterday. No matter how

the drop of a hat!’

many times you’ve seen the play, you still laugh.’ I

Martin Jarvis OBE is a well-known and much loved

agree; I’ve seen the play perhaps a dozen times over

actor/director, whose work encompasses every aspect

the years - but this production has a new twist. The

of the industry: films and television, radio drama, audio

cast is to die for: Martin Jarvis, Nigel Havers, Rosalind

book recording, voiceovers. He and his wife Rosalind

Ayres, Siân Phillips, Cherie Lunghi - only you find

Ayres run the highly successful Jarvis and Ayres

yourself wondering who is going to play the young

Productions which has produced many award-winning

leads: Algernon and John, Gwendoline and Cecily.

plays for BBC Radio, National Public Radio in America

Martin has the answer. It all began in 1982, when

and international audio books. His Just William

he and Nigel played John and Algernon at the National

recordings are worldwide bestsellers. Recently, he has

Theatre. ‘It was regarded as a kind of revelation on

enthralled audiences with BBC radio productions of

how to approach Wilde’ recalls Martin. ‘We threw

Shaw, Mamet and Ayckbourn - also Ian Fleming and

out previous approaches where the actor is being clever and witty in a knowing way - the more seriously you say the lines, the funnier it is.’ The two young leads remained good friends and so when Nigel rang Martin last autumn to suggest doing the play again, Martin was sure he would be asked to play Canon Chasuble. No, no, Nigel insisted - reprising

Martin Jarvis Nigel Havers

many PG Wodehouse

‘The thing I have learned from playing Wilde so early in my career is that tightening the screws of the seriousness, tightens the brilliance of the comedy. If the actors are laughing, quite often the audience are not’

their old parts.

adaptations in which he plays the perfect Jeeves. Recently, he has been on screen in Endeavour, Miss Marple, Poirot, Law and Order and Stargate. His first major role was as Jon in the ground-breaking BBC television series The Forsyte Saga, and in the years that followed he was sought after for the classics: The Pallisers, Nicholas Nickleby,

An eccentric idea, but the more they discussed

Little Women, The Moonstone. He confesses, with

it, the more appeal it had. ‘I remember suggesting,’

a grin, that many years ago, he played an insect in

Martin says, ‘that we should be The Bunbury Company,

Doctor Who.

an amateur dramatic group, who have been doing the

He has been called the man of a thousand voices

play for 30 years or have perhaps played it once and

- and it’s absolutely true. His voice is part of the fabric

have never been able to get our diaries together in

of our lives in TV commercials, documentary

order to play it again - something like that. So now we

voiceovers and children’s programmes. There is

are determined to do it, even though it’s 30 years on.

nothing more pleasant than to sit back, enjoying his

The play is being dress rehearsed in the great drawing

theatrical anecdotes, complete with the voices of Edith

room of the lady playing Lady Bracknell - which will

Evans, John Gielgud, Richard Burton, Laurence Olivier

be Siân Phillips. The scenario I favour is that we did the

- and even Nigel Havers, I discover. He slips effortlessly

play once and now we want to do it again. We may be

from one voice and one character, to another: small

too old, but we shall press on and give it our best shot.

children, American directors, pompous men, posh

the importance of being earnest Oscar Wilde’s much loved and brilliantly witty masterpiece starring The Bunbury Company of Players comprising Rosalind Ayres, Niall Buggy, Patrick Godfrey, Nigel Havers, Martin Jarvis, Christine Kavanagh, Cherie Lunghi and Siân Phillips. Directed by Lucy Bailey the harold pinter theatre From 27 June Box Office 0844 871 7622 theatre royal brighton 29 September - 4 October Box Office 0844 871 7650 aylesbury waterside theatre 6 - 11 October Box Office 0844 871 7607 richmond theatre 13 - 18 October Box Office 0844 871 7651

So that’s the runway we are launching it from. The

ladies, menacing villains. ‘I’ve always had this

important thing to note is that we won’t be sending

imagination,’ he says. ‘And if I believe myself to be

the play up - I think that joke would get quite stale

the character, I think the audience will too.’

after 15 minutes.’

What then, in Martin’s view, is the secret of Wilde’s

‘The thing I have learned,’ he tells me, ‘from playing

comedy? He considers this. ‘Well, he’s a great observer

new alexandra theatre birmingham 20 -25 October Box Office 0844 871 3011

Wilde so early in my career - and from directing

of course. His timing is sensational. Even if you’ve heard

Online booking at

Wodehouse and other Wilde plays - is that tightening

those lines many times, it’s as if they’re newly minted.

the screws of the seriousness, tightens the brilliance

The lines seem spontaneous and natural. It’s as if the

of the comedy. If the actors are laughing, quite often

words have never been said before.’ ■

Interview by Victoria Kingston Nigel Havers photograph courtesy of Rex Features ATG Magazine / 14


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Feature by Mark Bouman

canne 15

es do

savoy theatre

dirty rotten scoundrels Starring Robert Lindsay, Rufus Hound, Katherine Kingsley Samantha Bond and John Marquez Box Office 0844 871 7687 Online booking at

ATG Magazine / 16

going out Immerse yourself in art, crafts and literature on a day out inspired by some of the UK’s greatest artists and cultural movements. Take a tour of locations that made it into some of our best loved works of art, visit artists’ homes and kick back at their favourite pubs. From Wedgwood to Woolf and Robert Burns to Burne-Jones, there’s enough to keep you busy all summer long.

Dream Monks House - the writing lodge East Sussex



Get to know Scotland’s National Bard, Robert Burns,

on a walking tour of locations that appear in Lowry’s

with a visit to the poet’s hometown and the locations

works (14 August; private tours also available on

that inspired his works. The Robert Burns Birthplace

request), or recreate a day in the painter’s life by

Museum in Alloway is set over 10 acres and includes

watching his beloved Manchester City play.

the humble Burns Cottage, where the writer of Auld Lang Syne was born, the ruins of Alloway Auld Kirk, where Burns set his 1790 poem Tam O’Shanter and


a modern museum dedicated to his life and work

As the centre of the UK’s pottery industry since the

where performances of song and poetry take place

18th century, Stoke-on-Trent offers a great day out

hourly. Burns learnt to dance, founded a debating

for craft fans. The most famous name in these parts

club and became a Freemason at the Bachelors’

is Josiah Wedgwood - learn about him and the

Club, in nearby Tarbolton - the property is now run

company he founded in 1759 at the Wedgwood

by the National Trust of Scotland. See the chair

Museum, or take a tour of the factory to get an insight

and desk where he wrote his last works at Robert

into the making process. A more modern take is on

Burns House in Dumfries, and have a pint at

offer at the Emma Bridgewater Factory, where tours

the poet’s favourite pub, the Globe Inn.

run Monday to Friday. The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery and the Gladstone Pottery Museum provide

manchester L.S. Lowry lived and worked in Manchester all his

a broader view of the development of the pottery industry in the area and together hold an enormous collection of local, British and international ceramics.

life and the city is home to the largest collection of his paintings and drawings in the world. The gallery that bears his name has a collection of over 400

Gladstone Pottery Museum Stoke-on-Trent 17


works, including seven of the artist’s rare ‘mannequin’

Birmingham may not look like the sort of place to

sketches, which show a darker, erotic side to the UK’s

incubate an artistic movement, but that’s exactly what

greatest ever painter of industrial and urban life. Put

happened in the second half of the 19th century when

your visit in context by joining local expert Ed Glinert

Edward Burne-Jones and fellow artists from the area

Birmingham Cathedral Birmingham Duncan Grant’s studio, Charleston farmhouse East Sussex

Gladstone Pottery Museum Stoke-on-Trent Berwick Church East Sussex Robert Burns House Scotland The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery Stoke-on-Trent

joined forces with William Morris to create the Arts

some beautiful frescoes by Vanessa Bell and

and Crafts Movement. The Birmingham Museum

Duncan Grant.

and Art Gallery holds the largest public collection of pre-Raphaelite works in the world and currently


has around 35 paintings, sculptures, watercolours

and applied works on display in two dedicated galleries.

Charles Dickens lived most of his life in London but

You can see stained glass by Edward Burne-Jones

it was on the Kent coast that he spent some of his

in Birmingham Cathedral and the Royal Birmingham

happiest times. Gad’s Hill Place, the country house

Society of Artists is presenting an exhibition on the

outside Rochester where he lived from 1857 until his

pre-Raphaelites in October.

death, is now a school, but the building is open to the

public on selected dates throughout the summer. In

east sussex

Rochester itself you’ll find Restoration House, the fine

The Bloomsbury Group artists Vanessa Bell and

for Satis House in Great Expectations. Dickens tours

Duncan Grant moved to Charleston, a pretty

take place regularly at the Historic Dockyard Chatham

17th-century farmhouse near Lewes in East Sussex

nearby, offering insights into the writer’s relationship

in 1916. It soon became an important meeting place

with the place from the days when his father worked

for their literary and artistic circle, attracting the

there while along the coast in Broadstairs, the Dickens

likes of Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Clive Bell and

House Museum is located in the cottage that inspired

E.M. Forster. Charleston has been restored and you

Betsy Trotwood’s house in David Copperfield. ■

late 16th-century mansion that served as the inspiration

can tour the house to see a huge amount of work

by the Bloomsbury Group, including murals, painted furniture, ceramics, paintings and textiles. Also in

the perfect finale Continue the cultural theme

the area is Monks House, where the Woolfs lived

with the best plays, musicals, opera & ballet at ATG’s

from 1919. As well as paintings by Bloomsbury

theatres in Glasgow, Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent,

artists including Roger Fry, you can see Virginia’s

Birmingham, Brighton & Folkestone, Kent. For full

writing desk. Visit nearby Berwick Church for

details of what’s on visit Feature by Jo Caird ATG Magazine / 18

ATG Magazine Summer 2014  
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