Immersive Dinner Theatre: A Christmas Carol At The Arts Theatre 

A Christmas Carol

December 12th – December 31st 2016, Arts Theatre

Press Night: Dec 13th/14th 2016, 7.30pm

Hartshorn – Hook Productions and The Flanagan Collective team up for the sixth year running to present a rousing rendition of this timeless classic, served over a two-course Christmas feast. A heart-warming, foot-stomping immersive production, created by writer Alexander Wright and director Tom Bellerby. This seasonal show is presented in partnership with The Big Issue Foundation.
(((( “The whole experience is as merry and magical as Christmas itself” The Stage

A tale of ghouls, ghosts and – with your help – barrels of festive cheer. We join Marley over a sumptuous two course feast, and some potent potion to keep off the winter chill. Through parlour games, Christmas songs and a little spirited trickery, we must warm the heart of the bah-humbugging miser, everyone’s favourite festive misanthrope, Scrooge. A show about Christmas spirit, caring for those we love, and having a damn good knees up couldn’t be a more perfect way to warm a cold winter’s evening. 

“If you feel you’ve had your fill of A Christmas Carol, think again” York Press

Catering comes from chef Danny Jack, and his project The Humble Kitchen. The full two-course sharing feast includes all the trimmings for the perfect Christmas dinner (with hot beef mince pies and a pumpkin, kale and goats cheese vegetarian option), alongside a late license bar. (Special dietary requests are gladly catered for and should be advised at least 48 hours in advance of the performance by email to

 “A Christmas miracle (…) enthralling, captivating, laugh-out-loud theatre”      Yorkshire Times

Hartshorn – Hook Productions is a London-based producer of theatre and live events, best known for American Idiot (West End Premiere, associate producer), Urinetown (associate producer) and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (starring Julie Atherton and Simon Lipkin, 2015). Regular collaborators The Flanagan Collective are based in Yorkshire, and typically create work in non-traditional performances spaces. They are best-known for The Great Gatsby (Theatre Deli, York Theatre Royal), Beulah, BABYLON, Some Small Love Story and the nationwide Little Festival of Everything. 

Tiata Fahodzi Join The Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme  


tiata fahodzi are one of five theatre companies across England to join up with the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme (RTYDS), the country’s longest running and most influential training scheme for new directors. RTYDS helped launched the careers of Ken Loach, John Tiffany, Vicky Featherstone and Rupert Goold amongst others. 

Established in 1960, RTYDS works with theatres across the country to provide talented new directors with the opportunity to develop their skills as directors and artistic leaders.
New Director, Ajjaz Awad-Ibrahim, will be joining tiata fahodzi on a three-month placement where she will gain an invaluable insight into the work of a theatre director and develop her own career opportunities at the same time. Ajjaz will be mentored by Natalie Ibu – Artistic Director of tiata fahodzi, director of good dog and RTYDS alumni – and the production team for tiata fahodzi’s spring 2017 world premiere of good dog by Arinzé Kene.

Ajjaz comments 

I can’t wait to get started on good dog. I’m looking forward to seeing how a monologue play is brought to life; I’ve never worked on one before so this will be a new learning experience. I’m also interested to see how a production is created so that it can tour and what this means from a directorial point of view. I feel very privileged to be given this opportunity to work with and learn from some very talented people from the industry.

Natalie Ibu comments, 

We pride ourselves in inspiring, identifying and nurturing up and coming creative talent, often giving the first professional production to under-represented African- heritage actors and writers. It’s a great privilege to partner with RTYDS in supporting Ajjaz in developing her craft and confidence as a theatre director. It is because of RTYDS’ support of founder Femi Elofowoju Jnr. in the 90s that tiata fahodzi exists at all and because of their support of me in 2008 that I now run this company, 8 years on.

*Other recipients of Programme Funding this November are Prime Theatre, Swindon; Open Clasp Theatre Company, Newcastle upon Tyne; Greyscale Theatre Company, Newcastle upon Tyne; Tamasha and Belgrade Theatre, Coventry; Queen’s Theatre, Essex; New Vic Theatre, Newcastle under Lyme.

The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus by Tony Harrison, Will Play At Finborough Theatre

Jimmy Walters returns to the Finborough Theatre with a new production of Tony Harrison’s The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus in its first London staging for nearly 30 years. It will run from Tuesday 3rd – Saturday 28th January 2017.

Egypt, 1907. Two archaeologists, Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt, are searching for ancient fragments of poetry and plays, next to an old rubbish heap, when the Greek God, Apollo, descends from the skies. Apollo is furious that they have failed to unearth the fragmentary text of a lost satyr play by Sophocles. As he forces the two papyrologists to find the lost play, Grenfell and Hunt become part of the story they have discovered.  

Multi-award-winning poet and playwright Tony Harrison remakes the ancient Greek original into a play for our times, with a cast led by BBC’s Hollow Crown star Tom Purbeck and Richard Glaves, who is best known for his role in King Charles III.


Ella Hickson’s BOYS At LOST Theatre 23rd-26th November 

Ella Hickson’s critically acclaimed dark comedy about suicide, Boys, comes to the LOST Theatre, Stockwell, this November. This new revival is directed by James Thacker, new associate director, following his full-length directorial debut, Mojo by Jez Butterworth, at LOST in 2015.“(James Thacker) addresses the script with ingenuity and common sense” Paul Vale in The Stage on The Dumbwaiter (2014)

On an unusually hot summer’s night, Benny and his band of compatriots – a punk, a prodigy and a poet – drink to the end of an era. With revolution and resolutions the order of the day, and time quickly running out, Benny just wants to fix everyone’s problems – and ignore his own demons at all costs. Amidst a sanitation strike in Edinburgh, the garbage keeps mounting, but there is more than the smell of rotting rubbish hanging in the air. Nostalgia soon turns to soul-searching and division as everyone’s dirty laundry is aired one last time.

★★★★ “Savage and beautifully detailed (…) a work of colourful chaos” What’s On Stage

Ella Hickson’s first play, Eight, produced by the Edinburgh University Theatre Company, won a Fringe First, the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award and the NSDF Emerging Artists Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2008, with subsequent tours to New York and London. Boys debuted in 2010 at the Soho Theatre, produced by Headlong. Her current play Oil premiered at Almeida in October 2016.

★★★★ “Fearless emotional immediacy and tight comic timing” Time Out

James Thacker joined LOST in 2013 as a designer and costumier, and since then has progressed to become associate director with the company. His directing credits include Omar for the 5 Minute Festival, Harold Pinter’s The Dumbwaiter for the One Act Festival, and Jez Butterworth’s Mojo in his full length directorial debut in 2015.

“an erratic, enigmatic, gripping guessing game”                

Feeling YPTS? We All Do

Yes, you sit there in your fleece pjamas, eating jaffa cakes with a big mug of tea and start pondering… I wish I was five years younger. If only I looked like that, who really wants someone like me when there is a much more attractive and successful version out there?! Familiar? This is what is known as YPTS

Younger, Prettier and more Talented Syndrome 
I am certain that everyone has suffered from this affliction on many occassion, unless you are a robot. This is nothing to be ashamed of, as we all have times of self doubt and think that anyone that wants us professionally or personally, can do a whole lot better. How can we compete with someone who appears flawless in every way, with so much talent that they are literally the ideal, the dream? 

Social media doesn’t help, we see endless filtered selfies that make others look so well, perfect. No one is perfect, we are all human and have insecurities, never lose sight of that. So what if someone has a glowing CV and been in every classic play under the sun? Who is that botherered, if that video on Youtube is of a Maria Callas reincarnated? These people have no direct influence on your life, so focus on you.

Remember You have unique skills no one else has!!! If you are overlooked for someone who is seemingly all these things of YPTS, please remember this fact. They do not have your individual skills and character. Learn to appreciate what makes you stand out from the crowd, rather than why you think others do. Have faith in you and not rely on others approval. 

You’ve Got That Dwelling Feeling…

I wish I had just….NO stop right there!

We all have days where we dwell, yes dwell, as it is a very melancholic word and conjures up a storm filled day, where we just can’t shake that feeling. When we feel like that, it’s hard to focus on being a creative, performing, writing. We of course “get on with it”, as we feel we have to, but our mind is full of those wrongs, rather than the rights in our lives.

What triggers feeling like this? Everything. I say that because there is no definitive answer to why, anyone feels reflective and well, sad. Realise though, everyone does at some point. If everyone was happy all the time, it wouldn’t leave room to know what being joyful feels like.

It makes it that little bit more difficult with what we do as artists, to shake it off, when we just feel like just listening to Celine Dion, mid to late ninties power ballads on loop (amazing songs by the way). My answer to helping break the hypnotic reflection, on things you can not change is….

Motivate Yourself

What is your next project? Who would you like to work with in the future and what have you acheived recently? Ask yourself these questions. It will help you to refocus on the positives rather than whatever is playing on your mind right now.

There is no quick fix to stop thinking about how you wish you could change the distant past or recent past, who ever says there is, will be telling whoppers.We all do it and never feel ashamed not to feel OK, in the Arts we need to encourage eachother, to know that. Be kind to You and don’t push yourself on those days, you are feeling stuck in a rut. Focus on the future and all you have to offer it.

It’s Beginning To Feel A Lot Like…A Christmas Theatre Summary!

An Inspector Calls – Playhouse, 4 November 2016 – 4 February 2017
Press night: Thursday 10th November 2016

Stephen Daldry’s multi award-winning production of JB Priestley’s An Inspector Calls makes its much-anticipated return to the West End this winter. This will mark the 70th anniversary of the first UK staging of the play and the 25th anniversary of its first appearance at the National Theatre. JB Priestley’s brilliantly constructed masterpiece powerfully dramatises the dangers of casual capitalism’s cruelty, complacency and hypocrisy.

Scrooge and the Seven Dwarves – Theatre503, 22 November 2016 – 7 January 2017 Press night: Monday 28th November 2016

The pantomime Scrooge and the Seven Dwarves is brought to you from award-winning Sleeping Trees who return to Theatre503 following the sold-out success of Cinderella and the Beanstalk last year.

Sleeping Trees recreate every character you’d expect to meet in a pantomime, as well as some you might not – from Scrooge, Snow White, the Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, the seven dwarves, Harry Potter and, of course, Father Christmas. The show is a huge Christmas mash up!

Pride and Prejudice ­– Jermyn Street Theatre, 30 November – 21 December 2016
Press Night: Thursday 1st December 2016

Hot on the heels of a highly successful 2016 tour, this richly praised and enchanting retelling of the nation’s favourite novel comes to London in the run-up to Christmas. Over 200 years after it was first published, Joannah Tincey’s adaptation brings Pride and Prejudice to life with just two actors.

Licensed to Ill – Southwark Playhouse, 30 November – 24 December 2016
Press night: Friday 2nd December 2016

Thirty years since the Beastie Boys first made headlines with their album of the same name, Licensed to Ill will return to London following a sell-out run at Camden People’s Theatre in 2015 and a highly successful UK tour. Originally released in November 1986, the album Licensed To Ill put these unlikely stars on the map and introduced rap music to a far wider audience than ever before. Now the story of the Beastie Boys, hip-hop’s most notorious pranksters, is revealed in this big-hearted, brash new production.

Benighted – Old Red Lion Theatre, 6 December 2016 – 1 January 2017
Press night: Thursday 8th December 2016

Originally published as a novel in 1927, Benighted was the first real introduction to the world of a then unknown J.B. Priestley. Now the world premiere of its stage production, adapted by Duncan Gates, will be staged at the Old Red Lion this Christmas.

Muted – The Bunker, 7 December 2016 – 7 January 2017
Press night: Friday 9th December 2016

Interval Productions present new musical Muted, described by Stephen Fry as ‘stunning’ and Mark Shenton as ‘the British equivalent to Rent’. Written by Sarah Henley, with music and lyrics by Tim Prottey-Jones (Once, Phoenix Theatre; Kinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre; finalist on ITV’s Superstar) and Tori Allen-Martin, Muted is a story of grief, guilt, self-discovery, forgiveness and the thing we can’t do without – love.

Muted is the first musical to be played at The Bunker – London’s newest underground theatre.

Why the Whales Came – Ovalhouse, 22 – 31 December 2016
Press afternoon: Thursday 22nd December, 2pm

Children Gracie and Daniel have been forbidden to go near the mysterious and seemingly dangerous Birdman. But messages and clues intrigue them and, after being lost at sea in the fog and stranded on his tiny island, they begin to unravel the Birdman’s secrets, the villagers’ fears and superstitions and learn why the whales came to the island. With Wizard Presents, multi-award winning performer and storyteller Danyah Miller vividly brings to life this enchanting tale by Michael Morpurgo.