Page 1

Ambassador Theatre Group

spring 2012

Zach Braff All New People

Mr & Mrs Theatreland

Rosemary Squire Howard Panter

David Suchet

A hero’s return

Here We Come The Monkees Musical


Oliver! / Glam Rocks Seduced by Scotland

Things to do, people to see

The Ambassador Theatre Group

2 1 3

1 Long Day’s Journey Into Night 2 All New People 3 Dawyck Botanic Garden


Scrubs, sad Jews in New Jersey and Zach Braff’s sensationally funny new play

Working Partners

More Please! ATG Tickets



All In The Family

A Knight to Remember at Spamalot


A mesmerising return to the West End for David Suchet

Sweet Sensation 7


Your one-stop shop for the world of entertainment

Theatreland’s ‘power couple’ balance showtime and married life



We can’t get enough of Oliver!


Glam Rocks


Stompingly hot styles which nod to the dark side

Spring Into Action


From firth to froth… Scottish destinations from scenery to the seriously frivolous


It’s delicious - it’s Nutcracker!

The madcap Monkees musical hits Manchester

Ambassador Group productions Ambassador Theatre Group LONDON Theatres Apollo Victoria 0844 871 7615 The Harold Pinter Theatre (formerly The Comedy Theatre) 0844 871 7622 Donmar Warehouse 0844 871 7624 Duke of York’s Theatre 0844 871 7623 Fortune Theatre 0844 871 7626 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 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 3018 Milton Keynes Theatre 0844 871 7652 New Theatre Oxford 0844 871 3020 Richmond Theatre 0844 871 7651 Southport Theatre & Convention Centre 0844 847 2380 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 Jessamy Hadley Editor Pat Westwell, Jasper Rees, Benedict Nightingale, Al Senter, Natalie Anglesey, Nancy Groves, Mark Bouman, Neena Dhillon, David Bradbury, Alice Gimblett Contributors Shaun Webb Design Design and Art Direction John Good 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 Hugo Glendinning Long Day’s Journey Into Night photograph by Sheila Rock

Life’s A Beach


I am very aware of the lottery win that is getting a hit TV show and I was never ever anything but appreciative of it. I miss the people and the going to work every day and just cracking up. That’s why I’m glad to be doing All New People. It puts you back in the world a little bit

characters have something in

a decade. As a boy he was taken to

Shakespeare on the back of which

common it’s that they are having

the theatre in Manhattan by his

he decided to try his luck in LA.

trouble dealing with that. And

father, a committed amateur actor

It didn’t work and, like his

it’s about what rescues them.

from whom Zach caught the bug.

character in Garden State,

In the case of Garden State it

One summer at 13 he was sent to

he ended up waiting tables.

was true love. And in the case

a prestigious theatre camp in

An audition for a new Albee

of this it’s the friendship and

New York State.

play took him back to New York

the kindness of strangers.’

‘I would weep when I left. It was

and when he didn’t get that he

Braff is keen to advertise that

heaven. I went for four summers.

was all set to throw in the towel

there not only be structural

Six weeks each. You put on a show

when his agent persuaded him

surprises, but also laughs - lots of

every three weeks and took

to return to LA for one last pilot

them. ‘That’s my favourite type

classes.’ Early on a talent scout

season. ‘First thing I went in on

of tone, where you can vacillate

spotted him, became his manager

was Scrubs. And it was that

between belly laughing and turn a

and put him up for auditions.

decision that changed my whole

corner and something quite serious

He read for a role in Big, in

life.’ Does he miss it? ‘I am very

in someone’s life has happened.’

Parenthood and then landed a

aware of the lottery win that

It’s a thematic tightrope walk that

part in a pilot produced by Bruce

is getting a hit TV show and I

won’t be entirely unfamiliar to

Paltrow which also starred his

was never ever anything but

Scrubs fans, with its trapeze-like

teenage daughter Gwyneth.

appreciative of it. I miss the people

swings between fantasy sequences

‘She was the gorgeous senior

and the going to work every day

and bedside trauma. ‘I always

and I was the dorky freshman.

and just cracking up. That’s why

felt Scrubs was like a comic strip.

And it didn’t get picked up, much

I’m glad to be doing All New

People think of the characters as

to my shock. At 14 I didn’t fully

People. It puts you back in

their friends. They just want to

get it but it actually was a great

the world a little bit.’ Following

check in with them for half an

lesson to learn very early on.’

sell-out weeks in Manchester and

hour. And that’s why the show

He decided he wanted to be a

Glasgow All New People arrives

worked so well.’

filmmaker and went to film school

at the Duke of York’s Theatre,

Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke

By the time he landed the role

in Northwestern University in

London in late February.

and Donald Faison in Scrubs

of JD at the age of 25 - he is now

Chicago. When he graduated

36 - Braff had been acting for over

he landed a series of roles in

courtesy of Rex Features

‘Sensationally funny. The jokes are delivered with the precision of ace dart throwers in this slick and lively comedy’ New York Times

life’s a beach Zach Braff heads out to The Island

Interview by Jasper Rees Photography by 1

Hugo Glendinning

Zach Braff is overwhelmingly

film and we were all set to go

it opened Off Broadway. Now a UK

known as the star of Scrubs, the

and then some amazing actor’s

production with a predominantly

hugely popular American hospital

schedule shifted and they

British cast, alongside Braff who

comedy which came with a side

couldn’t do it.’

as in Garden State plays another

order of surrealism. But fans of

When Scrubs finished he was

lonely Jersey boy. When the curtain

low-budget indie cinema will

free to pursue other avenues, the

goes up Charlie is attempting to

also know Braff for Garden

first of which was a play. The idea

forget that it’s his 35th birthday,

Duke of York’s Theatre

State, which he wrote, directed

came to him when he was looking

only to be interrupted by a young

and starred in alongside

for a summer house to rent for his

female English letting agent with

All New People

Natalie Portman.

father on Long Beach Island. ‘You

visa problems (Torchwood’s Eve

After this promising debut in

go down in the winter to pick one

Myles), an over-educated fireman

film, Braff retreated into silence.

out. It was so desolate and spooky.

and an extremely expensive escort.

Pinioned for nine seasons in a

I was so taken by the isolation and

‘Sad Jews in New Jersey is my

contract which made him available

the loneliness and it was like a

speciality,’ he advises. ‘If there’s a

for other work for only four

eureka moment: I want to set it

common thread it’s navigating

months of the year ‘scheduling

in a beach house in the dead of

loneliness. Ultimately you are still

things became difficult,’ he

winter.’ He wrote All New People

going though this journey of life

explains. ‘I tried to make another

over five months and last summer

on your own. If both the leading

Written by and starring Zach Braff with Eve Myles, Paul Hilton and Susannah Fielding Directed by Peter Dubois 22 February - 28 April Box Office 0844 871 7627 Online booking at



broadcasting Private Eye records

meant’. And so she did, working

co-productions galore, including

from a radio he and his chums

in box offices in Nottingham

one with major repertory theatres

secretly built and worshipping

and Southampton, becoming a

in Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool

the Peter Cook of that great

part-time accountant and house

and Glasgow that means financing

1960s revue, Beyond the Fringe.

manager at London’s Albery

the discovery and development

Unsurprisingly, his scientist father

Theatre, rising to be General

of fresh local talent - ‘I can’t

wearily agreed when he asked to

Manager of the then Maybox

believe there aren’t any poets,

go to drama school - and, after

group of theatres at the age of 28

lyricists and musicians out there

doing everything from lighting

and, the very day they fired her

wanting to tell their stories’, says

David Storey’s plays at the Royal

while she was on maternity leave

Howard - and staging the results in

Court to helping Tony Richardson

with her second child, being rung

ATG’s large houses. A partnership

direct Nicol Williamson’s Hamlet,

up by a sympathetic and indignant

with the brilliant American

Howard became the producer he

Howard. So began a joint journey

director and choreographer Jerry

still is.

that saw their organisation grow

Mitchell should see other new musicals developed in New York

Rosemary concentrates on the business side and Howard is the creative one: ‘we both passionately care about live theatre’ they agree, ‘and complement each other’

and initially staged in London. Brighton’s Theatre Royal will become a hub of straight-play productions, starting with revivals of Pinero’s hilarious Dandy Dick and Bernard Pomerance’s Elephant Man. A musical about the Monkees and Zach Braff in his

Meanwhile, Rosemary had

and grow. In 2009 they were able

own comedy, All New People, are

decided on her future while

to spend £90 million acquiring

among impending London arrivals.

visiting her local rep, Nottingham

Live Nation’s 16 British theatres,

Commissions, notably a play by

Playhouse, where Richard Eyre

including the London homes

Penelope Skinner for Romola

was running a memorably

of The Lion King and Wicked.

Garai, should bring several more,

exciting theatre: ‘I stood on the

And that means ATG is large

How do they divide the work?

steps in the foyer after a great

enough to weather economic

Rosemary, who admits to being

party there and said, ‘I want to

storms, spread risks and take

good at maths, concentrates on

be a theatre manager’ without


the business side and Howard

really knowing what it was or

These currently include

is the creative one: ‘we both passionately care about live theatre’ they agree, ‘and complement each other’. And how do they manage at home? ‘It’s hard on the kids when you’re

working partners The married couple at the top of Theatreland’s power list

arguing about your work over

Manchester Opera House

the porridge at breakfast’ says

Legally Blonde The Musical

Rosemary, whose third child, Kate,

Simon Callow in Being Shakespeare

is Howard’s daughter, ‘but it means you can make decisions fast.’ ‘The shorthand is terrific,’ adds Howard. ‘I can tell from a pause and the way she’s pausing what Rosemary is thinking.’ And arguments? ‘We have our Richard and Judy moments,’ says Rosemary. ‘Not quite Who’s Afraid

Interview by Benedict Nightingale Photography by 3

Paul Clapp

This is the third year running

again. Howard Panter and his

Howard smoking at the back of

they’ve been joint number one,

wife Rosemary Squire are as

the auditorium owned by her then

ahead of Andrew Lloyd Webber

unpretentious and affable as

boss, Ian Albery - and tied the knot

and Cameron Mackintosh, in what

power people come.

in 1994 after ATG had begun its

The Stage calls ‘Theatreland’s

They met in 1979. Rosemary,

climb to success with an award-

power list’. And, yes, they share

who had just graduated with a

winning Carmen Jones at the Old

the post of Chief Executive of the

First in Modern Languages from

Vic and the acquisition of London’s

Ambassador Theatre Group, the

Southampton University, was

Duke of York’s Theatre.

largest theatre company in the UK,

working in the box office of

Actually, at school Howard

with a portfolio of 39 London and

the Shaftesbury Theatre where

might once have been voted boyleast-likely-to-succeed. He went to

regional theatres and productions

Howard, then a novice producer,

currently ranging from the Lincoln

was presenting what he cheerfully

a Gordonstoun-influenced school,

Center’s South Pacific to Matthew

remembers as ‘a complete

which meant short trousers even

of Virginia Woolf? I’m glad to

Producer, venue owner, ticketing operator ATG is unique in the range and quality of what it has to offer

say,’ adds Howard. ‘We’re quite competitive, each of us likes to be right,’ says Rosemary. ‘And Rosemary always is right of course,’ adds Howard. Cue a long burst of relaxed married laughter.

Bourne’s Nutcracker! But if this

disaster’. They became friends and

for sixth-formers, cold showers,

Caissie Levy and Richard Fleeshman

makes you think nervously of

fellow professionals - Rosemary

and freezing cross-country

in Ghost The Musical. Photograph

ferocious moguls, please think

remembers being sent to stop

runs. There he became a rebel,

by Sean Ebworth Barnes.

Online booking at



it was only to be published

‘The play is an epic’ says Suchet.

Journey Into Night, he will return

twenty-five years after his death

‘It’s about addiction and there’s

to Poirot to fulfil his long-held

- presumably because it was so

a lot I have to discover about the

ambition to complete the Poirot

personal. He said nothing about

character’s alcoholism. The play

canon - every novel, short story or

the play being staged. In reading

is a huge, emotional mountain to

piece of writing in which Agatha

it, I realised that in effect I’d be

climb for us but to have this sort

Christie placed the Belgian sleuth

playing James O’Neill, Eugene’s

of challenge at this stage of my

(with one exception). The prospect

father. I’d be a voice for O’Neill in

career is really what gets me out

of bidding farewell to a character

his play and providing a voice for

of the house in the morning.

which he’s been playing, with

the writer is how I’ve always seen

Fortunately I’m in good health -

the occasional hiatus, since the

my job as an actor.’

you have to be fit to take on this

mid-1980s, is understandably

The scale of Eugene O’Neill’s

sort of role. When playing parts


ambition in Long Day’s Journey

like James Tyrone, you have to be

‘I do have mixed feelings

Into Night places particular

a bit like a mountaineer and like

about it and already I’m a little

demands on the actor and, to

a climber, you have to take the

emotional at the thought of

an extent, on the audience who

ascent bit by bit and you never

completing the last of the five’

are asked to accompany the

look up at the summit!’

admits Suchet. ‘I started playing

Tyrone family on a gruelling

Once Suchet concludes the

Poirot when I was forty and I’ll

voyage of self-discovery.

West End run of Long Day’s

finish playing him when I’m

sixty-six. I’m very pleased that I’ve persuaded them to film the

The play is a huge, emotional mountain to climb for us but to have this sort of challenge at this stage of my career is really what gets me out of the house in the morning.

last story first: I didn’t want us to make the films in the order they were written. There’s nothing

egotistical about it: when we finish there’ll be the sense of a lifelong achievement for all of us.’

David Suchet and Laurie Metcalf

Of more immediate concern is

in Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Long Day’s Journey Into Night

David Suchet in All My Sons

and Suchet is delighted to be

courtesy of Rex Features

taking the production on the road prior to its arrival in the West End. ‘The better known an actor becomes, the more important it is for that actor to tour and to be seen outside London. Everywhere I’ve played recently, there has been such a wonderfully warm welcome from the audience, an appreciation that for once we were coming to them, rather than them coming to see us in London. We have a

All in the Family

wonderful cast and now we have to make sure that the production is as right as it can be. All credit to the producers for having the

David Suchet in Eugene O’Neill’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece

courage to put on a play of this scale and of this weight in the year of the Olympics - it’s a huge privilege to be part of it.’

Interview by Al Senter Photography by 5

Sheila Rock

On the face of it, it’s a puzzle to

‘Ironically, I was looking to

actor who relishes carrying out

test even Hercule Poirot’s powers

follow All My Sons with a really

research, he’d so far contented

of deduction. Why should actor

good stage comedy!’ says Suchet

himself with reading several

‘This enthralling play - heartbreaking, tender, even funny’ Financial Times

‘The finest and certainly the most emotionally raw of American plays’ The Times

Long Day’s Journey Into Night starring David Suchet and Laurie Metcalf Directed by Anthony Page

Richmond Theatre 22 February - 3 March Box Office 0844 871 7651

David Suchet, fresh from last year’s

with a smile. ‘Then Kim Poster

biographies of O’Neill and turning

triumphant West End revival of

and Nica Burns, the producers,

to the internet.

Milton Keynes Theatre

Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, wish

came up to me and asked would

Having seen other Tyrones,

to leap back into the saddle so

I be interested in doing the play?

including Jack Lemmon and Olivier

12 - 17 March Box Office 0844 871 7652

quickly? Having given such a

I hesitated at first and then I

‘who was sixty-three when he did

gripping performance as the

realised that at my age (sixty-five),

the play and not in good health’,

guilt-ridden Joe Keller in the Miller

it was going to be increasingly

Suchet was surprised to discover

classic, he’s now limbering up to

unlikely that I’d be asked to

that the play had such a strong

tackle yet another monumental

play such parts again.’

autobiographical element.

role - that of the alcoholic actor

Talking in the first week of

‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night

James Tyrone in Eugene O’Neill’s

rehearsal, Suchet was only at the

was not performed in O’Neill’s

mighty Long Day’s Journey

outset of the process of exploring

lifetime’ Suchet explains. ‘In fact,

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot

Into Night.

the play and the character. An

he gave specific instructions that

courtesy of ITV

Theatre Royal Glasgow 26 - 31 March Box Office 0844 871 7647

Apollo Theatre 3 April - 18 August Online booking at



producer Michael Rose and actor

heard the first few bars of Hey,

band of

turned playwright Peter Benedict,

Hey We’re The Monkees, people


are hoping for the same success

were clapping along to the music


story with Monkee Business The

even before curtain up.


Musical. Peter’s particularly

‘My son, now in his twenties,

and sets,

delighted that his long-term

thinks the songs are fun and that

the four

project - an upbeat, feel-good

to me is a good test that the music

leads are

entertainment using the hit songs

is acceptable to a wide age range.

aware that

of The Monkees - is finally coming

For those too young to

this could be a

to fruition.

remember the famous pop group,

golden opportunity. They’ve been

‘Nine years ago when touring

Peter explains the appeal. ‘The

catching up with The Monkees’

with my production of Satyricon,

Monkees were a fresh-faced pop

past history on YouTube and are

I bunged a tape in the deck of my

group consisting of Manchester’s

enthusiastic about the up-beat

car and within seconds had a smile

Davy Jones with Americans Mickey

story and already passionate about

on my face which lasted the rest

Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael

the music.

of my journey. The Monkees hits

Nesmith. At one time they sold

Ben Evans, like Davy Jones, was

I’m A Believer, Last Train to

more records than both The

a child star recently seen in Jersey

Clarksville and Daydream Believer

Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Boys. ‘We’ve bonded already and

captured my imagination - and

They were huge. But this is not just

we’ve only been rehearsing a

the idea of this musical was born.’

a tribute show nor do we tell their

week,’ he laughs. Tom Parsons,

Having the idea and making it

story. It’s set in the sixties so think

seen in Avenue Q, was surprised

happen are of course two very

Around The World in 80 Days

by the musical range. ‘Some of The

different things as Peter was to

and A Hard Day’s Night.’

Monkees’ early hits were written

discover. Would today’s paying

Monkee Business The Musical

by the likes of Neil Diamond and

‘In Monkee Business The Musical a frantic world tour leads to entanglements with a glamorous Russian spy, a Tower beefeater and a railway carriage full of nuns’

Carole King.’ Relative newcomer Oliver Savile has already toured in Mamma Mia. ‘My dad’s even more excited than I am because The Monkees are his generation,’ he beams. While Stephen Kirwan, who’s played the title role in Joseph adds,‘I gather The Beatles described them as a mix of the Marx Brothers and music - say no more!’ Peter Benedict’s quick to point out: ‘There’ll also be other songs

monkeemania! Feature by Natalie Anglesey The Monkees photograph 7

courtesy of Rex features

from that era including Millie’s My Boy Lollipop and Dusty

Monkee Business The Musical

Springfield’s You Don’t Have to Say

Opera House Manchester

audiences be interested in a 60s

tells the story of four innocent

You Love Me so I’m hoping we’ll

Exotic locations, far out cars, bad-ass chicks & The Monkees biggest hits!

boy band with an Emmy award-

boys who fall prey to an

have something for everyone.’

29 March - 14 April Box Office 0844 871 3018

winning TV series? The Monkees’

unscrupulous producer and are

While Howard Panter impresses

When Howard Panter, Joint Chief

shows, would prove so successful.

‘While Ghost was germinating

huge international fan base filled

tricked into impersonating one of

‘In times like these audiences are

Executive of the Ambassador

‘Ghost was the first of what we

and overnight changes were

the Royal Albert Hall on their

the most famous pop groups in the

looking for pure escapist, family

Theatre Group, launched the

hope will be many musicals to

being made so the product was

last UK tour but would anyone

world. As they struggle to conceal

entertainment and that’s exactly

Manchester Gets It First initiative

enjoy a world premiere there. It

streamlined and, at the same

below a certain age even know

their own personalities, a frantic

what we’re hoping to provide with

last year with the world premiere

provides a terrific opportunity for

time, we enjoyed over 100,000

who they were? Howard Panter

world tour leads to entanglements

Monkee Business The Musical!’

of Ghost - The Musical, even he

the creators to see what does and

ticket sales. Ghost repeated this

has the answer.

with a glamorous Russian spy, a

had no idea that premiering

doesn’t work for an experienced

success in London and is about

‘I attended a London workshop

Tower beefeater and a railway

musicals in the city, once known as

audience who’ve seen the best

to open on Broadway!”

of the musical to test its viability

carriage full of nuns.

the birthplace of many great

- and the rest.

Now ATG, in tandem with

and the moment the audience

With a cast of twenty, a live

King’s Theatre Glasgow 17 - 21 April Box Office 0844 871 7648

Sunderland Empire 24 - 28 April Box Office 0844 871 3022 Online booking at



Dickens’ novel. ‘It’s such a dark

Nor was Barks fazed by coming

subsequent brush with the

piece. So when you add the proper

third, bagging the role of Sally

paparazzi has left her sceptical of

West End tunes, that’s what

Bowles in a UK tour of Cabaret

celebrity. ‘It’s something I’d never

creates something so special. The

and then the part of Eponine in

seek. I’d like to be respected for

biggest thrill is still acting the

the West End production of

doing good things and working

character and telling the story.’

Les Miserables, reprising the role

hard. Fame is just a by-product.’ Which is why, when Oliver!

I adore this character, a character who loves someone so passionately she will stand for things you shouldn’t stand for. She’s a strong woman but she puts up with a lot for Bill Sykes. He’s her absolutely everything

came knocking again, it seemed like the right fit. Did she hesitate over a second serving? No, says Barks. ‘When I did I’d Do Anything in 2008, I was really young to play Nancy. By this time last year I was thinking: ‘I feel ready to

At first reading, Barks’ own story

at the show’s 25th anniversary

play this role.’ A few weeks later,

can sound a bit Dickensian: the

concert at the O2. So impressed

they got in touch!’

young country girl who moved to

was producer Cameron Mackintosh

She enjoys sharing the stage

the city to make herself a star. Just

that he has now cast her in Tom

with children and adults. ‘Nancy

16 when she left her native Isle of

Hooper’s forthcoming film version,

is this motherly figure to the boys.

Man, Barks was in her first year at

breaking the news to Barks live on

And yet she’s also rough and ready,

Arts Ed Chiswick when she was

stage after an Oliver! performance

a prostitute who knows how to

selected for I’d Do Anything where

at the Palace Theatre, Manchester

sing a number in the pub.’ Barks’

despite being the baby, she

in January.

favourite song? ‘Oom Pah Pah,

impressed public and industry

Rumour has it she beat Taylor

because I really get to interact

alike, not least her mentor, Wicked

Swift to the role and will star

with the crowd.’ Not to mention

star Idina Minzel. ‘I enjoyed being

alongside A-listers including

the lyrics: ‘She was from the

pushed and the challenge a show

Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway.

country / But now she’s up a

like that presents,’ says her

But Barks is determined to stay

gum-tree ... She’s glad to bring

mini-me. ‘Auditioning live in front

grounded. The O2 Les Miserables

the coin in / And join in this song!’

of the nation you learn to receive

was where she met - and

Would Barks be heading to

criticism in front of millions and it

subsequently dated - American

Hollywood without I’d Do

makes you a stronger person.’

pop star Nick Jonas - and her

Anything? ‘You never know,’

‘Lionel Bart’s masterpiece’ Sunday Times

‘Oliver! is a smash-hit’ Evening Standard

‘More oom-pah-pah than ever! Astounding entertainment’ Magic FM

she replies philosophically. ‘Some people get lucky; some people don’t. Some people just work hard. I always say: stay positive. You have to work your arse off in this industry but you also have to believe that the right thing will come your way. And when it does, don’t stop there. Work even harder.’

More please!

Not the same blushing rose, that’s for sure. But, like Nancy, I doubt this girl ever was.

A second helping of Dickens with Oliver! on tour

Interview by Nancy Groves Photography by 9

Alastair Muir

From the bicentenary of Charles

Oscars at the last count. The recent

who loves someone so passionately

Dickens to this summer’s Olympic

revival at Theatre Royal Drury Lane

she will stand for things you

Games, London is throwing a lot of

was seen by almost 1.5 million

shouldn’t stand for. She’s a strong

parties in 2012. But the capital is

people after its Nancy was cast

woman but she puts up with a lot

not the only place celebrating. Just

live on BBC talent show, I’d Do

for Bill Sykes. He’s her absolutely

as the Olympic Torch will be

Anything. And now the same

everything. Then all of a sudden

heading out on the road, so too is

production is back for a UK tour,

this young boy comes into her life.’

Palace Theatre Manchester

Dickens in the shape of Oliver!, the

starring finalist Samantha Barks,

For a performer, says Barks,

smash hit musical based on the

soon to be seen as Eponine in

Nancy’s contradictions are a dream.

Neil Morrissey stars as Fagin Until 10 March Box Office 0844 871 3019

Edinburgh Playhouse

tale of Oliver Twist. Never has the

the big-screen version of

‘Making people feel what she

line ‘Please sir, can I have some

Les Miserables.

feels: the clash of her maternal

more’ seemed so appropriate.

‘I’m just having the best time,’

instinct and that woman’s instinct

Many a mantelpiece is required

says the 21-year-old actress, finally

to stand by her man. Does she turn

for all the awards Lionel Bart’s

able to swap her Saturday night

her back on Bill to do what is right

show has won over its five decades:

blue dress for Nancy’s red one. ‘I

for Oliver?’ Whenever she needs

three Tonys, one Olivier and six

adore this character, a character

inspiration, Barks returns to

Brian Connolly stars as Fagin 30 May - 23 June Box Office 0844 871 3014 Online booking at


|Best availability on over 1000 events in the West End & across the UK | Straightforward seat selection & booking | Tickets you can trust

Your first stop for theatre, arts & entertainment ticketsin the West End and beyond!

Apollo Victoria 0844 871 7615

Wicked s

There has never been a better time to experience

‘the hit musical with brains, heart & courage’ (S. Telegraph) as it flies into its sixth spellbinding year.

aTG theatre card

Winner of 7 Tony Awards, this smash hit sold out at London ’s Barbican and received huge critical acclaim - now on tour for a strictly limited period.



legally blonde the musical

The hot ticket on tour this Spring. Winner! Best New Musical 2011 Olivier Awards. ‘Right up there alongside Mamma Mia and Hairspray’ The Daily Telegraph

absent friends

by Alan Ayckbourn Alan Ayckbourn’s classic comedy of manners serves up a slice of deliciously black humour.

s Buy an

south pacific uk tour

Harold Pinter Theatre 0844 871 7622

today and join the 100 000 theatre lovers across the UK who are already enjoying priority tickets and great savings. You can use your ATG Theatre Card at 39 venues, including 12 theatres in the West End - all for £30!

Donmar Warehouse 0844 871 7624

Duke of York’s Theatre 0844 871 7623

by George Farquhar An unashamed celebration of love, lustiness and victory in battle and in the bedroom.

A new play written by and starring Zach Braff with Eve Myles, Paul Hilton and Susannah Fielding

the recruiting officer

all new people

Lyceum Theatre 0844 871 7615


The Lion King With a cast of over 40 actors, singers and dancers.

‘A beautiful dazzle of invention and imagination’

Fortune Theatre 0844 871 7626

The Woman in Black

Evening Standard

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

The Old Vic 0844 871 7628

The duchess of malfi

Eve Best returns to The Old Vic in John Webster’s great Jacobean tragedy

Piccadilly Theatre 0844 871 7630

The dazzling new musical based on the phenomenal Oscar winning film is a timeless fantasy about the power of love.

the lion, the witch and the wardrobe

Adapted for the stage by Rupert Goold Kensington Gardens 8 May - 9 September

‘Exhilarating. One of the best musicals ever written’ Sunday Times

Savoy Theatre 0844 871 7687

legally blonde the musical

ghost the musical

s Threesixty presents C. S. Lewis’

Phoenix Theatre 0844 871 7629

Blood Brothers

Playhouse Theatre 0844 871 7631

Best New Musical 2011 Olivier Awards.

Dreamboats and Petticoats

HHHH ‘Tremendous, tub thumping fun, it brought the house down’ Sunday Telegraph


Royal Horticultural Society

RHS Show Cardiff 20 - 22 April RHS Chelsea Flower Show 22 - 26 May RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 3 - 8 July RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 18 - 22 July

Savoy Theatre 0844 871 7687

Trafalgar Studio 1 0844 871 7632

Trafalgar Studio 2* 0844 871 7632

Trafalgar Studio 2* 0844 871 7632

by Neil Simon starring Danny DeVito & Richard Griffiths.

starring Simon Callow. Simon Callow reprises his celebration of the world’s most renowned playwright

starring Russell Tovey and Jamie Winstone.

A deliciously offensive fourhander comedy starring Ed Stoppard and Agyness Deyn

The sunshine boys

Book your tickets online

being shakespeare

sex with a stranger

the leisure Society

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

Harold Pinter Theatre 0844 871 7632

South downs / tHE bROWNING VERSION

Terence Rattigan’s one-act masterpiece and David Hare’s specially commissioned companion piece.

Sweet Sensation

Competition Spamalot


Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! is a feast for the senses.

Grand Opera House York 20 - 25 February Box Office 0844 871 3024

Regent Theatre Stoke-on-Trent 27 February - 3 March Box Office 0844 8717 649

King’s Theatre Glasgow

If you’re missing the selection

journey from a hilariously bleak

Anthony Ward’s unforgettable sets

boxes already, this delicious

Christmas Eve at Dr. Dross’

and fabulous costumes combine

theatrical feast has family-sized

orphanage through a shimmering,

with sizzling choreography from

helpings of choreographer

ice-skating winter wonderland to

the acclaimed Matthew Bourne

Matthew Bourne’s trademark

the scrumptious candy kingdom

to create a dazzling extravaganza

wit, pathos and magical fantasy.

of Sweetieland.

of dance.

Dip into Clara’s bittersweet

Tchaikovsky’s glorious score and

12 - 17 March Box Office 0844 8717 647

Edinburgh Playhouse 19 - 24 March Box Office 0844 871 3014

New Alexandra Theatre Birmingham

‘Utterly delicious a dazzling extravaganza’

26 - 31 March Box Office 0844 871 3011

Richmond Theatre

Sunday Telegraph

2 - 7 April

‘Devilishly clever imaginative wit this Nutcracker cannot be faulted’

Box Office 0844 8717 651

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre 9 - 14 April Box Office 0844 8717 607

Sunderland Empire

Financial Times

16 - 21 April

‘Truly, truly scrumptious’

Box Office 0844 871 3022

Bristol Hippodrome

Independent on Sunday

23 - 28 April Box Office 0844 871 3012

Churchill Theatre Bromley 30 April - 5 May Box Office 0844 8717 620

Opera House Manchester 21 - 26 May Box Office 0844 871 3018 Full casting details and online

A Great Knight Out Win tickets to see the delightfully silly Spamalot

booking at

l-r: Steven Pacey, Todd Carty and Bonnie Langford

TERMS AND CONDITIONS One winner will be drawn at random after the closing date. The prize includes 4 tickets (Mon - Thu perfs only) to see Spamalot at an ATG venue near you plus one bottle of champagne, two house programmes, a signed poster and Spamalot merchandise. 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. 13

Don’t miss a ‘great knight out’ at

Featuring show girls, cows, killer

receive an exclusive signed poster

the most infectiously funny musical

rabbits and French people, not

by the cast and crew of Spamalot!

Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! King’s Theatre Glasgow Tue 21 - Sat 25 February Box Office 0844 871 7648

of the millennium. This is your

to mention hilarious songs and a

To get your hands on this

chance to catch the delightfully

great cast starring Steven Pacey,

amazing prize, simply fill in the

New Wimbledon Theatre

silly show that has had audiences

Bonnie Langford, Jodie Prenger

blank in these famous song lyrics:

around the world roaring with

and Todd Carty, you’d be mad

Tue 13 - Sat 17 March Box Office 0844 871 7646

laughter, and we’ve got a fantastic

to miss it!

‘_________ look on the bright

prize to keep you looking ‘on

We’re offering one lucky winner

side of life’

New Theatre Oxford

the bright side of life’!

and three friends the best seats

Lovingly ripped off from

in the house at a venue of their

Please return your answer, not

Tue 10 - Sat 14 April Box Office 0844 871 3020

Monty Python and the Holy Grail,

choice on the Spamalot tour, and

forgetting your name, address

Spamalot is the Tony award-

we’ll also treat you to a bit of

and telephone number to Alice

Bristol Hippodrome

winning musical by Eric Idle and

VIP luxury with complimentary

Gimblett, The Ambassador Theatre

John DuPrez which tells the

champagne, programmes and

Group Ltd., 39 - 41 Charing Cross

legendary tale of King Arthur and

merchandise. To make it a truly

Road, London, WC2H 0AR before

the Knights of the Round Table.

unforgettable night out, you’ll also

Monday 12 March.

Tue 17 - Sat 21 April Box Office 0844 871 3012 Online booking at







GLAM ROCks 1 Sequined & chained purse Zara £29.99

2 Love necklace Travel Diamond £139

3 Stretch crepe and lace dress Dolce & Gabbana £635

4 Feather cocktail dress Sass & Bide £280

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Black skinny jeans Topshop £38


Silver jersey t-shirt Topshop £30

6 Brave red lipstick Mac £13.50

7 Crystal sandals Jimmy Choo £995


8 Pigalle heels Christian Louboutin £375

9 Leather knot wallet Topshop £16

10 Lace bustier River Island £28

11 Black chain trainers Ash £105 (







All prices quoted are given as a guide only and may be subject to change by individual retailers.

Feature by Mark Bouman


Going Out

Spring into Action

Images top l-r: Dawyck Botanic Garden Scottish Whisky Experience David Livingstone Centre

Scotland beckons with a feast of culture, nature and indulgence Stravaigin is a quirky West End

Royal features the cream of

Enticing Edinburgh

coffee shops and tearooms. Try

alike need only look north for

bar/restaurant where the ‘Think

home-grown talent with Scottish

Scotland’s capital can’t be beaten

Loopy Lorna’s Tea House at the

short breaks designed to refresh

Global, Eat Local’ ethos encourages

Opera’s The Rake’s Progress in

for designer shopping, so why not

Church Hill Theatre for its

diners to wander off the beaten

March and Scottish Ballet’s A

splash a little cash at cosmopolitan

home-made cakes and specially

track through a menu that

Streetcar Named Desire in April.

Multrees Walk? The very definition

blended loose-leaf teas. A

of luxury shopping, this desirable

diversion here will allow you to

street is the home to global brands

explore the well-heeled suburb of

showcases Scottish produce next to dishes from more exotic climes.

The Great Outdoors

Islay scallops and Perthshire pigeon

A visit to Scotland would not be

and hip fashion labels, from

Morningside, known locally for

vie for attention alongside spice

complete without experiencing its

Armani and Mulberry to Firetrap

specialist shops and small

route curries and Thai-style

stunning countryside. Accessible

and Reiss. Scotland’s only Harvey


mussels, all conceived by a culinary

from both Glasgow and

Nichols should also prove

Finish a special day with an

team that has been praised by

Edinburgh, Loch Lomond & The

irresistible so complete a spending

evening spent enjoying the world

Michelin for serving great food

Trossachs National Park covers 720

spree with a well-deserved martini

class musical theatre staged at the

at moderate prices.

square miles of gorgeous scenery,

bats, owls and foxes.

at the Forth Floor Bar, overlooking

Edinburgh Playhouse. Celebrities

For a privileged insight into

from rolling lowland landscapes in

Found east of Edinburgh, in a

the distant Firth of Forth.

from Marlene Dietrich to U2 have

the work of Glasgow-born Charles

the south to high mountains in the

superb location overlooking the

If your preferred tipple has a

visited the entertainment venue

Rennie Mackintosh - the renowned

north, with an abundance of lochs

sea and sandy beaches of North

distinctly Scottish flavour, head

since it opened back in 1929, so

Art Nouveau architect and

and rivers, forests and shaded

Berwick, the Scottish Seabird

to the Scotch Whisky Experience

you’ll be in good company.

designer - take a tour of the

woodlands in between. The daily

Centre uses state-of-the-art cameras where a new Morning Masterclass,

Scotland’s largest city refuses to

private interiors of The Glasgow

waterbus service, running from

to beam live close-up images of

scheduled daily at 10am between

play second fiddle, entertaining

School of Art. Demand is high

April, is a good way to visit key

marine birds and wildlife back to

Monday and Friday, invites

millions of visitors with a heady

for the guided walks around the

destinations around Loch Lomond.

its Discovery Centre. Those seeking

participants to explore the

mix of world-class art, imposing

Mackintosh Building, so booking

Queen Elizabeth and Argyll Forest

a more personal encounter can

characteristics of lesser-known

architecture, vibrant nightlife and

in advance is advised if you want

Parks, meanwhile, offer excellent

enjoy one of the ‘seafari’ boat trips

whiskies. Ideal for small

fine cuisine. Fittingly Glasgow is

to discover the place that heralded

woodland cycling and walking

out to renowned island sanctuaries

groups, there is a chance to

also home to Scotland’s AA Hotel

the birth of a new style of 20th

trails for everyone from families

accompanied by knowledgeable

learn some of the stories

of the Year. Formerly the

century architecture.

to experienced mountain bikers.


behind the record-breaking

headquarters of the Royal Scottish

One of the country’s most

Within easy reach of Glasgow,

Dawyck Botanic Garden, near

collection of Scotch whisky

Automobile Club, Blythswood

historic theatres, The King’s has

the David Livingstone Centre in

picturesque Peebles in the Scottish

stored carefully onsite. Then

Square has been lovingly

been entertaining appreciative

Blantyre celebrates the

Borders, is the perfect antidote

it’s time for an hour-long

transformed into a five-star city

audiences for over a hundred

achievements of the Scottish

to city life. This breathtaking

tasting and nosing, followed

centre property replete with

years. This March sees the venue

explorer and hero of the Victorian

arboretum blooms in spring, with

by a fun sensory perception

Georgian panelling, objets d’art,

hosting a range of stand-up

age. Livingstone’s legacy is

swathes of snowdrops and daffodils

test. If the idea of a stiff drink

Deco-style chandeliers and an

stars as part of the Glasgow

highlighted in the museum, which

complementing sumptuous displays

first thing is too much however,

award-winning spa.

International Comedy Festival.

is nestled in 20 acres of adjoining

of rhododendrons, azaleas and

Edinburgh also has its fair

Another Glaswegian favourite,

Meanwhile, the Glasgow Theatre

parkland, a haven for resident

blue Himalayan poppies.

share of outstanding For details of The King’s Theatre, Theatre Royal Glasgow and Edinburgh Playhouse see Feature by 17

Neena Dhillon

National Park

Urbanites and country lovers

and revive.

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs


Glasgow in Style

Loopy Lorna’s Tea House

Below: Puffins on the Isle of May Scottish Seabird Centre Photo by Greg McVean

ATG Magazine Spring 2012  

Ambassador Theatre Group Magazine Spring 2012

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