Category Archives: M

Musicals staring with letter M

Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia! is the smash-hit musical based on classic songs from pop band ABBA. Continuing to play to packed-out audiences in the West End, Mamma Mia! combines the hit songs with a heart-warming story of Sophie, a young girl about to be married. Wishing to be walked down the aisle by her father, she first needs to find out who her father is, and invites them all to her mother’s tavern on a Greek island. Ever-popular, Mamma Mia! is also a 2008 film starring Meryl Streep, including the famous songs such as “Waterloo”, “Dancing Queen” and “Voulez-Vous” amongst many, many more. A popular show for ABBA fans, Mamma Mia! continues to huge success, combining some smashing songs with a story of family and true love.


Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus

Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus

Catherine Johnson

ABBA's greatest hits

Catherine Johnson

Judy Craymer and Richard East

Phyllida Lloyd

Anthony Van Laast


Original London Production

Prince Edward Theatre, Prince of Wales Theatre, Novello Theatre - Opened 6 Apr 1999, closed 4 Mar 2017

Cast: Original London Cast: Siobhan McCarthy (Donna Sheridan), Jenny Galloway (Rosie), Louise Plowright (Tanya), Hilton McRae (Sam Carmichael), Nicolas Colicos (Bill Austin), Paul Clarkson (Harry Bright), Lisa Stokke (Sophie Sheridan), Andrew Langtree (Sky)


Original Broadway Production

Winter Garden Theatre, Broadhurst Theatre - Opened 18 Oct 2001, closed 12 Sep 2015, 5773 performances

Cast: Original Broadway Cast: Louise Pitre (Donna Sheridan), Judy Kaye (Rosie), Karen Mason (Tanya), David W. Keeley (Sam Carmichael), Ken Marks (Bill Austin), Dean Nolen (Harry Bright), Tina Maddigan (Sophie Sheridan), Joe Machota (Sky)

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


Twitter Synopsis:

ABBA’s legendary musical is an all-night celebration of their hits, alongside a moving story of friendship, family and love.

Add your own Twitter style synopsis (140 characters only!) in the comments box

Set on an exotic Greek island, Mamma Mia! follows 20 year-old Sophie, who is preparing to marry her fiancé Sky. More than anything, Sophie wishes to be walked down the aisle by her father, but must first find out who he is. In her mother’s old diary she discovers three men who could fit the description. Inviting Sam, Bill and Harry to her wedding, she hopes to figure out who it is when she meets them – the only problem is that she hasn’t quite told Donna, her mother, that they are coming!

Donna’s best friends Tanya and Rosie arrive at the island for the celebrations and reminisce about their prior lives as girl group “Donna and the Dynamos”. Sophie’s potential fathers also arrive and she tells them not to tell Donna that she invited them. Donna sees her ex-lovers and leaves in tears. Meanwhile, Sophie thought that she would recognise her father on seeing him and attempts to tell Sky, but he tells her that he is the only man she could ever need.

At Sophie’s hen party, Donna and the Dynamos make a reappearance and perform “Super Trouper”. Sam, Bill and Harry walk into the party and the guests persuade them to stay. Sophie pulls Sam away for a chat, but when he asks why he has been invited, Sophie runs away to talk to Harry. Harry asks if he is Sophie’s father, and she tells him about inviting them all. When she talks to Bill, it is revealed that he has an Aunt Sophia who left all her money to Donna’s family. Bill finds out that Donna built the Greek tavern with money she inherited from a friend, and both think that means Bill is Sophie’s father.

Sophie asks Bill to walk her down the aisle, but he wants to talk to Donna first. No one yet knows that not even Donna knows who Sophie’s father is. Sophie pleads with the three not to tell Donna anything and they agree. After the party, Sam pulls Sophie aside and tells her that he thinks he is her father and promises to walk her down the aisle. Harry approaches Sophie and offers the same thing, also convinced that he is her father. Sophie leaves the party, more confused than ever.

Act II begins with Sophie having a nightmare that her three fathers fight over the right to walk her down the aisle. Sophie is upset and Donna assumes that she wants to cancel the wedding. Sophie tells her that her own children will never grow up without knowing who their father is and storms from the room. When she leaves, Sam enters and tries to tell Donna that Sophie may have invited them. Donna reveals that she has always loved Sam, despite him leaving her to get married.

Back at the beach, one of the bartenders, Pepper, begins to flirt with Tanya, and she rebuffs him with “Does Your Mother Know”. Sky discovers that Sophie invited Sam, Harry and Bill and accuses her of only wanting a large white wedding so that she can find out who her father is. He leaves, hating that she kept a secret from him. Sam enters and attempts to give Sophie some fatherly advice, telling her of his own failed marriage.

Harry offers to pay for the wedding, and Donna and Harry reminisce about their fling. Donna helps Sophie dress and cannot believe how grown up she seems. She admits that her own mother disowned her when she was pregnant, and the pair reconcile, with Sophie asking Donna to walk her down the aisle. Sam once more appears and Donna asks him to leave, telling him that he broke her heart when she found out that he was engaged. It is revealed that the two are still very much in love.

As Rosie makes final preparations for the wedding, she comes across Bill, who is upset not to be walking Sophie down the aisle. Bill affirms his commitment to single life, but Rosie urges him to change his mind, with the pair ending up locked in a passionate embrace. As the wedding begins, Donna walks Sophie down the aisle and tells everyone that Sophie’s father is present, realising that it was her who invited them all. Everyone agrees that it really doesn’t matter who the father is, as Sophie loves all three. Harry is revealed to be in a committed gay relationship.

Sophie admits she is not ready to be married, and Sky agrees. Sam proposes to Donna and finds out that he called off the wedding to his fiancé because of Donna. Donna accepts his proposal and Sky and Sophie depart on a round-the-world trip. Mamma Mia! ends with a rousing reprise of “Mamma Mia!”, “Dancing Queen” and “Waterloo”, with Donna and the Dynamos appearing in ABBA style costumes.


Act I

  • “Overture/Prologue” – Sophie
  • “Honey, Honey” – Sophie, Ali and Lisa
  • “Money, Money, Money” – Donna, Tanya, Rosie, Pepper and Company
  • “Thank You for the Music” – Sophie, Sam, Harry and Bill
  • “Mamma Mia” – Donna and Company
  • “Chiquitita” – Tanya, Rosie and Donna
  • “Dancing Queen” – Tanya, Rosie and Donna
  • “Lay All Your Love on Me” – Sky, Sophie and Male Ensemble
  • “Super Trouper” – Donna, Rosie, Tanya and Female Ensemble
  • “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” – Female Ensemble
  • “The Name of the Game” – Sophie and Bill
  • “Voulez-Vous” – Company

Act II

  • “Entr’acte” – Orchestra
  • “Under Attack” – Sophie and Company
  • “One of Us” – Donna
  • “S.O.S.” – Donna and Sam
  • “Does Your Mother Know” – Tanya, Pepper and Company
  • “Knowing Me, Knowing You” – Sam
  • “Our Last Summer” – Harry and Donna
  • “Slipping Through My Fingers” – Donna and Sophie
  • “The Winner Takes It All” – Donna
  • “Take a Chance on Me” – Rosie and Bill
  • “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do” – Sam, Donna and Company
  • “I Have a Dream” – Sophie

2003 Touring Broadway Award: Best Musical Score

2002 Theatre World Awards: Outstanding Debut Stage Performance (Louise Pitre)

2000 Olivier Awards: Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Jenny Galloway)


UK: Josef Weinberger

USA: Musical Theatre International

Motown the Musical

Motown the Musical is the Broadway and West End musical that has enjoyed rave audience reviews since first opening in 2013. Documenting Berry Gordy’s founding of the Motown sound, the musical includes hit songs from artists such as Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5 and Marvin Gaye amongst many others. As the Motown sound hits the streets, Gordy’s artists make it big, ensuring that Motown will remain famous forever. Featuring over 50 songs, from full-length to short snippets, Motown the Musical includes hits such as “ABC”, “War”, “I’ll Be There” and “Dancing in the Street” as well as many others.


Motown artists

Motown artists

Berry Gordy, Jr.

Berry Gordy's founding of the Motown movement

Kevin McCollum and Doug Morris

Charles Randolph-Wright

Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams


Original Broadway Production

Lunt-Fontanne Theatre - Opened 14 Apr 2013, closed 18 Jan 2015, 738 performances

Cast: Brandon Victor Dixon (Berry Gordy), Valisia LeKae (Diana Ross), Charl Brown (Smokey Robinson), Bryan Terrell Clark (Marvin Gaye)


Original London Production

Shaftesbury Theatre - Opened 11 Feb 2016, closed 28 Oct 2017

Cast: Cedric Neal (Berry Gordy), Lucy St. Louis (Diana Ross), Charl Brown (Smokey Robinson), Sifiso Mazibuko (Marvin Gaye) Replacements: Obioma Ugoala (Smokey Robinson)


Broadway Revival (2016)

Nederlander Theatre - Opened 12 Jul 2016, closed 31 Jul 2016

Cast: Chester Gregory (Berry Gordy), Allison Semmes (Diana Ross), Jesse Nagar (Smokey Robinson), Jarran Muse (Marvin Gaye)


US Tour (2017)

US Tour - Opened 17 Jan 2017, closed 20 Aug 2017

Cast: Chester Gregory (Berry Gordy), Allison Semmes (Diana Ross), Jesse Nagar (Smokey Robinson), Jarran Muse (Marvin Gaye)

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


Twitter Synopsis:

Featuring an abundance of smash-hit songs from the Motown era, Motown the Musical charts Berry Gordy’s founding of the musical movement.

Add your own Twitter style synopsis (140 characters only!) in the comments box

Motown the Musical documents the real story of the Motown sound that hit the airwaves in 1959, changing music culture forever. Following the life of Berry Gordy, credited as the founder of Motown, the musical charts his journey from boxer to music mogul, discovering talents such as Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5 and Smokey Robinson.

Opening in 1983 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, stars are gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Motown with performances of popular songs founded in the era. Quickly, the musical rewinds to see a very young Berry Gordy watching his neighbours dancing in the streets of Detroit. In 1957, Gordy forms his own record label, alongside Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson. As the musical continues, Gordy gradually begins to discover The Supremes and Diana Ross, with whom he begins a tumultuous relationship.

Towards the end of the musical, Gordy begins to falter as Motown becomes a second-class sound after the emerging era of pop. Struggling to get his records played at local record stations, Gordy also finds that his popular acts such as Diana Ross are straining to break free from his management. When Motown begins to fall apart, Gordy does all he can to keep it together.

Popular numbers from artists such as The Miracles, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Jackie Wilson, Diana Ross and The Temptations feature throughout the musical, as well as original songs created specifically for a the production.


Motown the Musical contains over 50 snippets of Motown songs, listed below in alphabetical order:

  • “ABC” – The Jackson 5
  • “A Breathtaking Guy” – The Supremes
  • “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” – Diana Ross
  • “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” – The Temptations
  • “Baby I Need Your Loving” – The Four Tops
  • “Ball of Confusion” – The Temptations
  • “Brick House” – The Commodores
  • “Buttered Popcorn” – Diana Ross and the Supremes
  • “Bye Bye Baby/Two Lovers” – Mary Wells
  • “Can I Close the Door” – Original Song
  • “Cruisin’” – Smokey Robinson
  • “Dancing in the Street” – Martha and the Vandellas
  • “Do You Love Me” – The Contours
  • “Get Ready” – The Temptations
  • “Give It to Me Baby” – Rick James
  • “Good Morning Heartache” – Diana Ross
  • “Got a Job” – The Miracles
  • “Happy Birthday” – Stevie Wonder
  • “Hey Joe (Black Like Me)” – Original Song
  • “I Can’t Get Next to You” – The Temptations
  • “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” – The Four Tops
  • “I Got the Feeling” – The Four Tops
  • “I Hear a Symphony” – The Supremes
  • “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye
  • “(I Know) I’m Losing You” – The Temptations
  • “I Want You Back” – The Jackson 5
  • “I’ll Be There” – The Jackson 5
  • “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)” – Marvin Gaye
  • “It’s What’s in the Grooves That Counts” – Original Song
  • “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” – Teena Marie
  • “Lonely Teardrops” – Jackie Wilson
  • “Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone” – Diana Ross and the Supremes
  • “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” – Marvin Gaye
  • “Money (That’s What I Want)” – Barrett Strong
  • “My Girl” – The Temptations
  • “My Guy” – Mary Wells
  • “My Mama Done Told Me” – The Miracles
  • “Please Mr Postman” – The Marvelettes
  • “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” – Diana Ross
  • “Reach Out I’ll Be There” – The Jackson 5
  • “Reet Petite” – Jackie Wilson
  • “Remember Me” – Diana Ross
  • “Shop Around” – The Miracles
  • “Shotgun” – Jr. Walker and the All Stars
  • “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” – Stevie Wonder
  • “Square Biz” – Teena Marie
  • “Stop! In the Name of Love” – The Supremes
  • “Stubborn Kind of Fellow” – Marvin Gaye
  • “Super Freak” – Rick James
  • “The Happening” – Diana Ross and the Supremes”
  • “The Love You Save” – The Jackson 5
  • “To Be Loved” – Marvin Gaye
  • “War” – Edwin Starr
  • “What’s Going On” – Marvin Gaye
  • “Where Did Our Love Go” – The Supremes
  • “Who’s Lovin’ You” – The Miracles
  • “You’re All I Need to Get By” – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
  • “You’re Nobody til Somebody Loves You” – Diana Ross and the Supremes
  • “You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me” – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

2013 Tony Awards: Nominated for four Tony Awards

Matilda the Musical

Matilda the Musical is the Olivier and Tony Award-winning musical that began its life in Stratford-Upon-Avon as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s season. With award-winning music and lyrics by comedienne Tim Minchin and an award-winning book by Dennis Kelly, Matilda is one of the West End’s most successful musicals. With an abundance of now memorable songs including “Naughty”, “Quiet” and “Revolting Children”, the musical has since proved a smash-hit in Australia, winning a record-breaking number of awards. Based on Roald Dahl’s children’s book of the same name, Matilda the Musical follows five year-old Matilda, who discovers that she can do very strange things with her mind!


Tim Minchin

Tim Minchin

Dennis Kelly

Roald Dahl's children's book

Robin Swicord and Nicholas Kazan

Royal Shakespeare Company

Matthew Warchus

Peter Darling


Original London Production

Cambridge Theatre - Opened 24 Nov 2011, closed 28 May 2017

Cast: Cleo Demetriou, Eleanor Worthington Cox, Sophia Kiely, Kerry Ingram (Matilda Wormwood), Bertie Carvel (Miss Trunchbull), Lauren Ward (Miss Honey), Paul Kaye (Mr Wormwood), Josie Walker (Mrs Wormwood), Peter Howe (Michael Wormwood), Melanie La Barrie (Mrs Phelps), Michael Rouse (Rudolpho), Matthew Malthouse (The Escapologist), Emily Shaw (The Acrobat) Replacements: David Leonard, Alex Gaumond, Craige Els (Miss Trunchbull), Haley Flaherty, Lara Denning, Miria Parvin (Miss Honey), Steve Furst, James Clyde, Michael Begley (Mr Wormwood), Annette McLaughlin, Kay Murphy, Rebecca Thornhill (Mrs Wormwood)


Original Broadway Production

Shubert Theatre - Opened 11 Apr 2013, closed 1 Jan 2017

Cast: Sophia Gennusa, Oona Laurence, Bailey Ryon, Milly Shapiro (Matilda Wormwood), Bertie Carvel (Miss Trunchbull), Lauren Ward (Miss Honey), Gabriel Ebert (Mr Wormwood), Leslie Margherita (Mrs Wormwood), Taylor Trensch (Michael Wormwood), Karen Aldridge (Mrs Phelps), Phillip Spaeth (Rudolpho), Ben Thompson (The Escapologist), Samantha Sturm (The Acrobat) Replacements: Craig Bierko, Chris Hoch, Ben Thompson, Christopher Sieber (Miss Trunchbull), Jill Paice, Alison Luff, Allison Case (Miss Honey), Matt Harrington, Rick Holmes (Mr Wormwood), Amy Spanger (Mrs Wormwood)


US Tour (2015)

US Tour - Opened 7 Jun 2015, closed 12 Feb 2017

Cast: Gabby Gutierrez, Mia Sinclair Jenness, Mabel Tyler (Matilda Wormwood), Bryce Ryness (Miss Trunchbull), Jennifer Blood (Miss Honey), Quinn Mattfeld (Mr Wormwood), Cassie Silva (Mrs Wormwood), Danny Tieger (Michael Wormwood), Ora Jones (Mrs Phelps), Jaquez Andres Sims (Rudolpho), Justin Packard (The Escapologist), Wesley Fauncher (The Acrobat) Replacements: David Abeles (Miss Trunchbull)

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


Twitter Synopsis:

Tim Minchin adapts Roald Dahl’s well-known story of a very small girl with a very big mind.

Add your own Twitter style synopsis (140 characters only!) in the comments box

Matilda the Musical opens at a children’s party, with the children and their parents obsessing over the miracles that they possess. Meanwhile, Mrs Wormwood is rushed to hospital before she jets off to Spain to compete in ballroom dancing. Thinking she is fat, she asks the doctor what is wrong and he tells her that she is about to have a baby. Giving birth, both Mrs Wormwood and Mr Wormwood make it very clear that the child is not wanted, especially because she’s a girl.

Five years later, Matilda is super intelligent, an avid book reader and lives unhappily with her parents and brother. The Wormwoods frequently shout at her and Matilda often questions their morality. When Mr Wormwood attempts to sell some very used cars at a very disproportionate price, she retaliates by adding her mother’s peroxide to her father’s hair gel, leaving Mr Wormwood with luminescent green hair. Matilda regularly attends the library and talks to Mrs Phelps, telling her stories about an Acrobat and Escapologist.

Matilda attends her first day of school, and the older children warn everyone that school is not what it seems. Matilda and her friends meet Miss Honey, who is in awe of Matilda’s intelligence and goes to the headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, to tell her that she thinks Matilda should be in the top class. Upon entering, Miss Trunchbull tells her how much she hates children, dismissing Miss Honey’s request by lecturing her on the importance of rules.

Back at home, Mr Wormwood blames his loss of sale on Matilda and rips up one of her library books, causing her to superglue his hat. At school, Matilda and her friends learn of Miss Trunchbull’s scary punishments, including the chokey. After being accused of pouring treacle on Miss Trunchbull’s chair, Nigel is scared and hides from her. Matilda sticks up for him, telling Miss Trunchbull that Nigel suffers from narcolepsy and has been asleep for an hour, so it can’t have been him. Miss Trunchbull takes her anger out on young Amanda, spinning her by her pigtails and hammer-throwing her across the field.

Miss Honey visits the Wormwood family to inform them that Matilda is very talented. Mrs Wormwood introduces her to her dance partner, Rudolpho, and tells her that she needs to lighten up. Miss Honey realises that the Wormwood’s do not care about their daughter. Meanwhile, Matilda returns to the library to tell Mrs Phelps more about the Acrobat and Escapologist. The Acrobat’s sister is a hammer-throwing champion who hates children and forces the acrobat to perform, even though she is pregnant. Matilda stops the story there. Returning to school, Bruce Bogtrotter has stolen a slice of Miss Trunchbull’s cake and she is out for blood. Punishing him by forcing him to eat the whole cake, the entire student body cheers him on, including Miss Honey. He eats the whole cake, enraging Miss Trunchbull, who drags him away to the chokey.

Act II begins with Mr Wormwood telling the audience of the dangers of reading and Matilda’s friend Lavender letting the audience know that she plans to put a newt in Miss Trunchbull’s water jug. The schoolchildren gather together and dream of what life will be like when they are grown-ups. Matilda returns to the library to tell Mrs Phelps more of her story. The Acrobat performs the trick, despite her pregnancy, and injures herself, staying awake just long enough to give birth to their child. The Escapologist invites the Acrobat’s sister to move in and help him look after his daughter, but she is very cruel to the little girl. Matilda realises that she does not know how the story ends and promises to return to Mrs Phelps with more.

When Mr Wormwood returns from work, pleased to have sold his worn-out cars to Russian dealers, Matilda scolds him for his deceit and he locks her in her bedroom. Matilda continues her story of the Acrobat and Escapologist, revealing that one night the Escapologist returns home to find his daughter weeping at the extent of the abuse. He promises that he will protect her, but the next morning he is gone.

Back at school, Miss Trunchbull subjects the children to a gruelling lesson of physical education, in an attempt to discover who is rebelling against her. When she finds the newt that Lavender placed in the jug, she accuses Eric and begins to punish him. Matilda colds Miss Trunchbull, who begins to shout at her and Matilda soon discovers that she can move objects with her mind, tipping the water jug over and onto Miss Trunchbull. Terrified of the newt, Miss Trunchbull leaves and Miss Honey sends the children home. After Matilda shows Miss Honey her powers, Miss Honey invites her over for tea.

At Miss Honey’s small and humble home, she tells Matilda of her childhood and the abusive aunt who looked after her when her parents died. As she tells the story, she produces a scarf that Matilda recognises from her own tales of the Acrobat and the Escapologist. She realises that her story is in fact true, and is the story of Miss Honey’s childhood, with the wicked aunt being Miss Trunchbull. Soon, she realises that Miss Trunchbull must have killed Magnus, Miss Honey’s father, out of fear of what he might do.

Matilda returns to school, and Miss Trunchbull conducts a spelling test, informing the children that if they misspell a word, they will be sent to the chokey. She issues made-up words to ensure that they will spell them wrong. All the children begin to misspell words, telling her that she can’t take them all to the chokey. Matilda begins to use her powers to write on the blackboard, writing that it is the ghost of Magnus returning and demanding that she gives Miss Honey back her house. Miss Trunchbull runs away, never to be heard of again. A few days later, the will of Miss Honey’s parents is found, leaving all of their money to her. Miss Honey becomes headmistress and asks the Wormwoods if Matilda can live with her.


Act I

  • “Overture” – Orchestra
  • “Miracle” – Children, Entertainer, Doctor, Mrs Wormwood, Mr Wormwood and Matilda
  • “Naughty” – Matilda
  • “School Song” – Children and Company
  • “Pathetic” – Miss Honey
  • “The Hammer” – Miss Trunchbull, Miss Honey and Children
  • “Loud” – Mrs Wormwood, Rudolpho and Company
  • “This Little Girl” – Miss Honey
  • “Bruce” – Children

Act II

  • “Telly” – Mr Wormwood, Michael
  • “Entr’acte – Orchestra
  • “When I Grow Up” – Children, Miss Honey, Matilda and Company
  • “I’m Here” – Matilda and Escapologist
  • “The Smell of Rebellion” – Miss Trunchbull and Children
  • “Quiet” – Matilda
  • “My House” – Miss Honey, Escapologist
  • “Revolting Children” – Children and Company
  • “When I Grow Up (Reprise)” – Company

2014 WhatsOnStage Awards: Best West End Show

2013 Tony Awards: Best Book of a Musical (Dennis Kelly), Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Gabriel Ebert), Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Rob Howell), Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Hugh Vanstone), Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre (Sophia Gennusa, Oona Laurence, Bailey Ryon, Milly Shapiro)

2013 Outer Critics’ Circle Awards: Outstanding Book of a Musical, Outstanding Set Design (Rob Howell)

2013 Drama Desk Awards: Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Book of a Musical (Dennis Kelly), Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Bertie Carvel), Outstanding Lyrics (Tim Minchin), Outstanding Set Design (Rob Howell)

2013 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards: Best Musical

2013 Theatre World Awards: Theatre World Award (Bertie Carvel)

2012 Olivier Awards: Best New Musical, Best Actor in a Musical (Bertie Carvel), Best Actress in a Musical (Cleo Demetriou, Kerry Ingram, Eleanor Worthington Cox, Sophia Kiely), Best Director (Matthew Warchus), Best Theatre Choreographer (Peter Darling), Best Set Design (Rob Howell), Best Sound Design (Simon Baker)

2012 WhatsOnStage Awards: Best New Musical, London Newcomer of the Year (Tim Minchin), Best Choreographer (Peter Darling), Best Set Designer (Rob Howell)

2011 Evening Standard Awards: Best Musical

2011 Theatre Awards UK: Best Musical, Best Performance (Bertie Carvel)

2011 Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards: Best Musical


UK: Musical Theatre International

USA: Musical Theatre International

Murder Ballad

Murder Ballad is the startling Off Broadway musical that makes its way to London’s West End. Written and conceived by Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash, Murder Ballad is the dark rock musical that documents a deadly love triangle in the heart of New York. Narrated by a bartender, Murder Ballad follows Sara as she struggles to choose between her racy relationship with the devilish Tom and her reliable husband Michael. When the illicit affair is discovered, it is certain that blood must be spilled. But whose? Making its West End premiere at London’s Arts Theatre, the original cast included Kerry Ellis, Ramin Karimloo, Norman Bowman and Victoria Hamilton-Barritt.


Juliana Nash

Juliana Nash, Julia Jordan

Julia Jordan

Daniel Hinchcliffe and Johnny Wood for Soundcheck Productions

Sam Yates


Original London Production

Arts Theatre - Opened 30 Sep 2016, closed 29 Oct 2016

Cast: Kerry Ellis (Sara), Victoria Hamilton-Barritt (Narrator), Ramin Karimloo (Tom), Norman Bowman (Michael)

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


Twitter Synopsis:

Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash’s passionate, treacherous musical Murder Ballad follows a doomed love triangle with a deadly climax.

Add your own Twitter style synopsis (140 characters only!) in the comments box

Set in the dark streets of New York, Murder Ballad centres on an illicit love triangle that leaves one lover much worse off than the others. Following Sara, the musical focuses on her love-struck relationship with edgy ex-boyfriend Tom and safe, reliable husband, Michael. Narrated by a darkly sexy bartender, she documents Sara’s torrid affair with the dangerous Tom.

Accompanied by a range of rock songs, the Narrator takes the audience between Sara’s passionate relationships with Tom, to a more intimate, love-filled lust after quiet poet Michael. An actor and bartender, Tom is much more gritty and she is instantly drawn back to him. When the relationship ultimately splits, Sara finds herself back in the safe arms of Michael.

But Sara quickly begins to long for the danger her old life brought and begins to struggle with her downtown past and uptown future. Is it worth risking everything for the one that got away? Struggling to decide between the two men, the musical leads to a treacherous, murderous and bloody climax.


Act I

  • “Murder Ballad” – Narrator, Sara, Michael and Tom
  • “Narrator 1” – Narrator, Sara and Tom
  • “I Love NY” – Sara and Tom
  • “Narrator 2” – Narrator
  • “Little by Little” – Michael and Sara
  • “Troubled Mind/Promises” – Michael and Sara
  • “Narrator 3” – Narrator
  • “Turning into Beautiful” – Michael and Sara
  • “Crying Scene Theme” – Narrator
  • “I Love NY (Reprise 1)/Narrator 4” – Tom and Narrator
  • “Prattle 1/Narrator 5” – Michael, Sara and Narrator
  • “Coffee’s On” – Sara and Narrator
  • “Prattle 2” – Michael and Sara
  • “Narrator 6” – Narrator
  • “Sara” – Tom, Narrator and Sara
  • “Narrator 7” – Narrator
  • “Mouth Tattoo” – Sara, Tom and Narrator
  • “Narrator 8” – Narrator, Sara and Tom
  • “Sugar Cubes and Rock Salt” – Michael
  • “Prattle 3” – Michael, Sara and Tom
  • “My Name” – Tom and Sara
  • “The Crying Scene” – Narrator
  • “Coffee’s On (Reprise)” – Michael, Sara and Tom
  • “Built for Longing” – Sara, Michael, Tom and Narrator
  • “Answer Me” – Sara, Tom and Michael
  • “You Belong to Me” – Tom and Sara
  • “Narrator 9” – Narrator
  • “Troubled Mind (Reprise)” – Sara and Michael
  • “I Love NY (Reprise 2)” – Tom and Narrator
  • “Prattle 4” – Sara and Michael
  • “I’ll Be There” – Tom and Narrator
  • “Prattle 5” – Michael, Tom and Sara
  • “Little by Little (Reprise)” – Michael and Sara
  • “Narrator 10/You Belong to Me (Reprise)” – Sara, Narrator, Michael and Tom
  • “Crying Scene (Reprise)” – Narrattor
  • “Narrator 11” – Narrator
  • “Walk Away/Promises (Reprise)” – Sara and Michael
  • “Clubs and Diamonds/Prattle 6” – Narrator and Sara
  • “Finale” – Narrator, Michael, Sara and Tom

UK: Josef Weinberger

USA: Musical Theatre International

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

The Mystery of Edwin Drood, or ‘Drood’ as it is known to some is a unique musical in which the audience have the chance to choose the outcome. Based on the unfinished novel of the same name by Charles Dickens, the show concerns a murder mystery plot, leaving the audience to select the offender from a range of suspects. The quirky play within a play setting of the musical, along with the different outcome every night helped this musical win the Tony Award for Best Musical, going on to achieve cult status. The show was first seen in the 1980s but has been revived in 2012 in both London and New York, to coincide with the bicentenary of Charles Dickens’ birth.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Rupert Holmes

Rupert Holmes

Rupert Holmes

Charles Dickens' unfinished novel of the same name

The New York Shakespeare Festival (Joseph Papp, Producer)

Wilford Leach

Graciela Daniele

The Mystery of Edwin Drood Original Broadway

The Mystery of Edwin Drood - Original Broadway Production

Imperial Theatre - Opened 2 Dec 1985, closed 16 May 1987

Cast: George Rose, Cleo Laine, John Herrera, Howard McGillin, Patti Cohenour, and Jana Schneider

The Mystery of Edwin Drood Original London

The Mystery of Edwin Drood - Original London Production

The Savoy Theatre - Opened 2 Dec 1987, closed 1 Jan 1970

Cast: Ernie Wise, Lulu, Julia Hills, David Burt, Mark Ryan

The Mystery of Edwin Drood London Revival

The Mystery of Edwin Drood - London Revival

The Landor Theatre, The Arts Theatre - Opened 18 May 2012, closed 1 Jan 1970

Cast: Wendi Peters

The Mystery of Edwin Drood Broadway Revival

The Mystery of Edwin Drood - Broadway Revival

Studio 54 - Opened 13 Nov 2012, closed 10 Mar 2012

Cast: Stephanie J Block, Will Chase, Chita Rivera, Andy Carl

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


The show opens onstage at London’s Music Hall Royale where the cast are preparing for their nightly version of “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”. The travelling band of players explain to the audience that the novel was never finished by Charles Dickens, as he died before the mystery could be solved. The audience are told that they will play a part in deciding the outcome of the show. The vulgar Master of Ceremonies encourages the audience to be loud and rowdy as everyone joins in on the opening number and the play within a play starts to unfold.

We are introduced to John Jasper, a respectable member of London society who suffers from internal demons. His nephew Edwin Drood (played by a female, Alice Nutting) arrives and tells his uncle about his upcoming marriage to Rosa Bud. Rosa is working at a seminary, and Jasper acts as her music teacher and has composed a song for her to perform for him. As she sings, two orphans arrive and she faints as she hears the lustful lyrics contained within the song. It becomes obvious that Jasper is in love with her, along with Neville Landless, one of the orphans.

The next character to be introduced is Princess Puffer who runs an opium den – a venue that is frequented by Jasper. Jasper dreams of Edwin and Rosa. The gravedigger Durdles enter to make a grave for the wife of Mayor, but the actor playing his assistant is too drunk to partake, and the Master of Ceremonies has to step in and take over.

The Reverend introduces Edwin to the Landless twins. Drood tells them about his plan to create a highway in the Egyptian desert, but Neville takes offence and it seems clear that the two are set to be rivals. The Mayor arrives and warns the audience that often things are not exactly what they may seem…

Jasper visits the cemetery where he steals the key to the Mayor’s Wife’s tomb. Edwin and Rosa are both worried about their upcoming wedding and decide to break off the engagement. They agree not to share the news until after Christmas. The next day they gather for a Christmas dinner where each character’s rivalries and motivations are revealed to the audience. Edwin is followed by Neville to the river, borrowing Jasper’s coat.

On Christmas Day we find out that Edwin has gone missing. Bazzard, the Detective’s assistant (who is given a small moment in the spotlight) finds Jasper’s bloodied coat and it is assumed that Drood has been murdered. Neville is the first suspect and is arrested, before being later released. Jasper admits to Rosa that he loves her, but she ignores his advances and their heated debate leads to a reprise of the song he wrote for her, ‘Moonfall’.

The second act begins six months later and Edwin is still missing. Princess Puffer is joined by Dick Datchery to help solve the crime, as the Master of Ceremonies reminds the audience that they must pay attention to all of the clues. Puffer tells Rosa that she must not give up her search to find Drood and the show stops abruptly, and it is explained that this is as far as Dickens got in writing the novel. The cast reveal that the female impersonator Alice Nutting who has been playing Drood has also been playing Datchery, and she insists that Drood is not dead. The cast vote in favour of him being dead, and she storms off the stage, convinced they are jealous of her talents. The audience then are left to vote for who they think Datchery is – and the actor they choose goes to prepare for the final scene.

Next comes the voting of the murderer. The audience is divided into sections, and vote for the murderer out of the potential suspects: Bazzard, Crisparkle, Helena, Neville, Puffer, Rosa or Durdles? Puffa’s confession reveals that she had previously been Rosa’s nanny and the identity of Datchery is made known after the audience vote has been counted. Whoever is playing Datchery says why they wanted to find the murderer and points the finger at Jasper. He confesses that he has killed his nephew whilst high on opium. Durdles stops the show and says that he witnessed the killing, revealing exactly who is to blame from the suspects. The chosen suspect delivers their confession. The audience then get to pick who they want to end up as lovers, before Edwin arrives back onstage and paints the writing on the wall.



  • “There You Are” – Chairman, Angela, Deirdre, Alice, Clive and Company
  • “A Man Could Go Quite Mad” – Jasper
  • “Two Kinsmen” – Jasper and Drood
  • “Moonfall” – Rosa
  • “Moonfall Quartet” – Rosa, Helena, Alice and Beatrice
  • “The Wages of Sin” – Puffer
  • “Jasper’s Vision” – Dream Ballet*
  • “Ceylon” – Drood, Rosa, Helena, Neville and Company
  • “Both Sides of the Coin” – Sapsea and Jasper
  • “Perfect Strangers” – Rosa and Drood
  • “No Good Can Come from Bad” – Jasper, Rosa, Drood, Neville, Helena, Crisparkle and Waiter
  • “Never the Luck” – Bax / Bazzard and Company
  • “The Name of Love” / “Moonfall” – Jasper, Rosa and Company


  • “Settling Up the Score” – Puffer, Datchery and Company
  • “Off to the Races” – Sapsea, Durdles, Deputy and Company
  • “Don’t Quit While You’re Ahead” – Puffer, Datchery and Company
  • “Don’t Quit While You’re Ahead” (Reprise) – Company*
  • “Settling Up the Score” (Reprise) – Chairman, Suspects and Company*
  • “The Garden Path to Hell” – Puffer
  • “Puffer’s Revelation” – Puffer
  • “Out on a Limerick” – Datcherys
  • “Jasper’s Confession” – Jasper
  • “Murderer’s Confession”
  • “Perfect Strangers” (Reprise)
  • “The Writing on the Wall” – Drood and Company

UK: Music Scope UK

USA: Tams-Witmark




Mame is based on the 1955 novel and subsequent play ‘Auntie Mame’ by Patrick Dennis. The musical version features a book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. The show is set in New York during the Great Depression and focuses on the eccentric bohemian Mame Dennis. Her ridiculous lifestyle is upset when her young nephew comes to stay with her, which leads to all sorts of misadventures. The musical was made into a film by Warner Brothers pictures which starred Lucille Ball, after taking over the role from Angela Lansbury.


Jerry Herman

Jerry Herman

Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee

the novel Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis and the play by Lawrence and Lee

Gene Saks

Onna White

Mame Original Broadway

Original Broadway Production

Winter Garden Theatre - Opened 24 May 1966, closed 3 Jan 1970, 1508 performances

Cast: Angela Lansbury, Beatrice Arthur, Jane Connell, Willard Waterman & Frankie Michaels

Mame Original London

Original London Production

Theatre Royal Drury Lane - Opened 1 Jan 1969, closed 1 Jan 1970

Cast: Ginger Rogers

Mame Broadway Revival

Broadway Revival

George Gershwin Theatre - Opened 24 Jul 1983, closed 28 Aug 1983

Cast: Angela Lansbury

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


Mame is a larger-than-life personality living the high life in the Roaring Twenties in New York City. She has a collection of eccentric, wealthy society friends and her life is one endless party. Her brother in Iowa dies suddenly, and she suddenly finds herself the guardian of his 10 year-old son, Patrick.

Mame is thrilled to have Patrick in her life, but the executor of her brother’s estate, the stuffy Dwight Babcock, is less than pleased about a child being raised as part of her bohemian lifestyle. Mame encourages Patrick to “Open a New Window” and enrols him in a liberal free-thinking school. When Babcock finds out, he has Patrick sent to a private boarding school far away from the bright lights of the city.

Devastated to lose Patrick, things are about to get even worse for Mame when the stock market crashes, and she loses her entire fortune. She tries to find a job for the first time in her life, by working in a theatre with her friend Vera Charles, but when she upstages Vera, she is fired. Mame is destitute, but her servants pay her bills to ensure she survives.

Not one to give up, Mame sings “We Need a Little Christmas,” which arrives in the form of a wealthy Southern gentleman, Beauregard Jackson Picket Burnside. He is immediately besotted and proposes marriage, but Mame must impress his Southern family. They are initially hostile to her, but she manages to win them over during “The Fox Hunt.” She and Beau get married and set off on an around-the-world tour.

Beau tragically falls off the Matterhorn on their honeymoon, and Mame returns to New York in a deep depression, only to be cheered up by her old friends. Patrick has become a member of the old boys club at his preppy boarding school and becomes engaged to stuffy society girl Gloria Upson. Mame visits her family and finds that they are deeply prejudiced against the lower classes or anyone who is different. Mame confronts Patrick, saying Gloria is not right for him, and he storms off.

Mame decides to make up with Patrick by hosting an engagement party for him and Gloria and invites her family along. They are unimpressed by her wild party of friends and outraged when Mame’s pregnant friend Agnes reveals she is unmarried. The Upson family’s reaction to Mame and her friends is enough to convince Patrick that Gloria is not right for him and he breaks off their engagement. He catches the eye of Mame’s decorator Pegeen instead, and it is revealed that they ultimately get married. The play ends with Mame embarking on an adventure to India with Patrick and Pegeen’s 10 year-old son.

  • Mame
  • Light The Candles
  • We Need A Little Christmas
  • St. Bridget
  • It’s Today
  • It’s Today (Reprise #1)
  • The Moon Song
  • We Need a Little Christmas (Reprise)
  • The Fox Hunt
  • Finale – Act I
  • Opening Act II
  • My Best Girl (Reprise)
  • Bosom Buddies
  • Bosom Buddies (Reprise)
  • Gooch’s Song
  • That’s How Young I Feel
  • It’s Today (Reprise #2)
  • Finale Act II
  • If He Walked Into My Life
  • Open A New Window
  • My Best Girl

1966 Tony Awards: Best Leading Actress (Lansbury), Best Featured Actor, Best Featured Actress


UK: Music Scope UK

USA: Tams-Witmark

Man of La Mancha

Man of La Mancha was one of the most popular stage musicals of its day, clocking up an impressive 2,328 performances for its original production. Countless Broadway revivals have each achieved varying levels of success, and the 2002 production was particularly popular. The show features music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion, and some of its songs have become Broadway standards such as ‘The Impossible Dream’ that has been recorded by artists all over the world and translated into languages ranging from Hebrew to Japanese. The book is inspired by Cervante’s novel ‘Don Quixote’ and tells the story of a mad knight during the Spanish Inquisition.

Man of La Mancha Original Playbill

Mitch Leigh

Joe Darion

Dale Wasserman

the novel Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes

Albert Marre

Jack Cole

Man of La Mancha Original Broadway

Original Broadway Production

Anta Washington Square Theatre and Martin Beck Theatre - Opened 22 Nov 1965, closed 1 Jun 1971, 2329 performances

Cast: Joan Diener, Irving Jacobson, Richard Kiley, Ray Middleton, Robert Rounseville

Man of La Mancha Original London

Original London Production

Piccadilly Theatre - Opened 24 Apr 1968, closed 1 Jan 1970, 253 performances

Man of La Mancha 1st Broadway Revival

First Broadway Revival

Vivian Beaumont Theatre - Opened 22 Jun 1972, closed 1 Jan 1970, 140 performances

Man of La Mancha 2nd Broadway Revival

Second Broadway Revival

Palace Theatre - Opened 15 Sep 1977, closed 1 Jan 1970, 124 performances

Man of La Mancha 3rd Broadway Revival

Third Broadway Revival

Marquis Theatre - Opened 24 Apr 1992, closed 1 Jan 1970, 108 performances

Man of La Mancha 4th Broadway Revival

Fourth Broadway Revival

Martin Beck Theatre - Opened 5 Dec 2002, closed 1 Jan 1970, 304 performances

Cast: Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Ernie Sabella, Mark Jacoby, Don Mayo

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


The show opens in Spain in the late 16th Century. Miguel de Cervantes has been thrown into prison after the Spanish Inquisition with his manservant. The other inmates threaten them and take their possessions, but they decide to set up a mock trial. If found guilty they will have to give over all of their possessions. Cervantes agrees to this except for a manuscript that he wants to preserve. He decides to deliver his defence in the form of a play, and pulls out a make up trunk to transform himself into Alonso Quijana, a Knight. He renames himself Don Quixote and sets out to find adventure with his trusty squire Sancho Panza. The pair are always in danger and under attack from Quixote’s enemy the evil Enchanter. This puts them on edge and they mistakenly attack a windmill and are defeated by it. Quixote thinks it is because he hasn’t properly been made a knight, so as he spots a castle he tells Panza to announce their arrival. The castle is really an inn, and Cervantes makes the other prisoners play the parts of serving wenchs, as well as part time prostitute Aldonza. As Quixote enters the inn, he mistakes Aldonza as the lady Dulcinea whom he swore everlasting loyalty to and serenades her.

Antonia, Quixote’s niece seeks advice from a local priest who realises that the girls are concerned with the knight’s madness and the shame it will bring the family. Antonio’s fiance is a bitter and cynical man who is upset at the prospect of having a madman in his extended family. Antonia convinces him that it would be a welcome challenge to cure him, so they decide to look after Quixote and bring him home.

Aldonza continues to be taunted by the male shepherds and is upset at her position. She questions why Sancho follows his master, and he admits to really liking him. Quixote is determined to be made a knight and asks the innkeeper to knight him. He agrees to do so if Quixote stands guard all night. That night he explains to Aldonza why he behaves the way he does, with the main song from the show, ‘The Impossible Dream’. Aldonza’s customer Pedro is furious she is late for their meeting and hits her, prompting a fight between the shepherds and Quixote who is later asked to leave the inn, but not before he is knighted by the Innkeeper. With his new title, he is determined to help the shepherds, who capture and rape Aldonza whilst Quixote remains unaware.

Don Quixote and Sancho leave the inn to join a troupe of Gypsies who steal everything from them, including their horse and donkey. They return to the inn and Quixote swears to avenge Aldonza, but she begs him to leave her alone. His mortal enemy the Enchanter arrives prompting combat. He forces him to see himself how everyone else sees him – as a fool and a madman. Cervantes tells the prisoners that his story has come to an end, but everyone is dissatisfied with the ending and force him to tell a final scene.

Quixote is lying in a coma surrounded by his friends and a priest is called as he believes himself to be dying. Aldonza rushes in to see him, but he fails to recognise her. She sings Dulcinea to him to jog his memory and he rises, asking once again to be the Man of La Mancha. Mid song, he breaks down and dies.

Cervantes is brought from the prison to face trial as the prisoners sing a reprise of ‘The Impossible Dream’ to wave him off.


Act I 

  • Overture
  • Man Of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote)
  • The Windmill
  • It’s All The Same
  • Dulcinea
  • I’m Only Thinking Of Him
  • I’m Only Thinking Of Him (Reprise)
  • I Really Like Him
  • What Does He Want
  • The Barber’s Song
  • Golden Helmet Of Mambrino
  • To Each His Dulcinea (To Every Man His Dream)
  • The Impossible Dream (The Quest)

Act II 
  • The Combat
  • Little Bird, Little Bird
  • The Dubbing
  • Knight Of The Woeful Countenanc
  • The Abduction
  • Moorish Dance
  • Aldonza
  • The Knight Of The Mirrors
  • A Little Gossip
  • Dulcinea Reprise
  • Impossible Dream (Reprise)/Man Of La Mancha (Reprise)
  • The Psalm
  • Finale (The Impossible Dream)
  • Bows
  • Exit Music

1966 Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor, Best Direction, Best Original Score, Best Scenic Design.


Mack and Mabel

Mack and Mabel features a book by Michael Stewart with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, and features the Broadway standards ‘I Won’t Send Roses’ and ‘Tap Your Troubles Away’. The show follows the relationship between film director Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand in the roaring twenties and the early days of the Hollywood film studios. The show has had many successful outings on Broadway, including benefit concerts starring actors such as Robert Preston, Bernadette Peters and Francis Roufelle. A recent London revival at the Southwalk Playhouse received rave reviews for its simplicity and casting.

Mack and Mabel Original Playbill

Jerry Herman

Jerry Herman

Michael Stewart

a true story

David Merrick

Gower Champion

Gower Champion

Mack and Mabel Original Broadway

Original Broadway Production

Majestic Theatre - Opened 6 Oct 1974, closed 1 Jan 1970, 66 performances

Cast: Robert Preston and Bernadette Peters

Mack and Mabel London Concert

London Concert

Theatre Royal Drury Lane - Opened 21 Feb 1988, closed 1 Jan 1970

Mack and Mabel Original London

Original London Production

Piccadilly Theatre - Opened 7 Nov 1995, closed 29 Jun 1996

Mack and Mabel London Revival

London Revival

Southwark Playhouse - Opened 5 Jul 2012, closed 25 Aug 2012

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


In 1938, Mack Sennett revisits his old film studio where he made a number of successful silent movies. Seeing a new talking picture being filmed, Mack reminisces about his career and the golden era of silent films, when “Movies Were Movies.”

The musical flashes back to 1910, when Mack first meets Mabel, a waitress at a delicatessen. The actress Mack is with, Lottie, is unable to pay for her sandwich, and Mabel tells her off. Impressed by her histrionic reaction, Mack thinks she has what it takes to become an actress and offers her a role. She turns him down at first, but then becomes starry-eyed by her potential good fortune (“Look What Happened to Mabel”).

Mabel manages to become a major film star, and she and Mack manage to move to a larger studio. Lottie and the rest of the crew are thrilled that they’ve made it to the “Big Time.” Mabel develops feelings for Mack, but he is too busy to think about romance (“I Won’t Send Roses”). Still, they sleep together, but when Mack leaves in a hurry, Mabel realises he won’t be with her for the long haul.

Mabel wants to star in a dramatic role, but Mack only wants to make comedies (“I Wanna Make the World Laugh”). Mabel meets a different director, William Desmond Taylor who falls for her and agrees to direct her in a serious movie. Mack tries to convince her that the project is a bad idea, but after they argue Mabel decides she does not want to be with him anymore and, in fact, wants to be “Wherever He Ain’t.” Mack convinces himself that Mabel is replaceable, and that there are “Hundreds of Girls” he can make just as successful.

Mabel decides to return to Mack’s company and everyone lights up “When Mabel Comes in the Room.” Mack agrees to direct her in a drama after all, but he cannot help himself and tries to add his own comic flair. Mabel is livid and decides to go back to Taylor, who encourages her to take heroin to forget all about Mack. She decides to try it, and though she is heartbroken over Mack she decides “Time Heals Everything.”

Mack’s career takes off, but Mabel’s life spirals out of control and she becomes a drug addict. When Taylor is murdered, she becomes the number one suspect. Mack finally decides that he wants to reunite with Mabel, but unfortunately she has died in the meantime. Mack tries to imagine how their lives could have been different (“I Promise You a Happy Ending”)



  • Overture
  • Movies Were Movies
  • Look What Happened to Mabel
  • Big Time
  • I Won’t Send Roses
  • I Won’t Send Roses (Reprise)
  • I Wanna Make The World Laugh
  • Mack & Mabel
  • I Wanna Make The World Laugh (Reprise)
  • Wherever He Ain’t
  • Hundreds of Girls


  • Entr’acte
  • When Mabel Comes In The Room
  • Hit ‘Em on the Head
  • Time Heals Everything
  • Tap Your Troubles Away
  • I promise you a Happy ending


  • Mack & Mabel
  • Hit ‘Em On The Head


  • My Heart Leaps Up

1975 Tony Award Nominations: Best Musical, Best Book, Best Leading Actor, Best Leading Actress, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Choreography, Best Direction


UK: Samuel French

USA: Samuel French


The Music Man

The Music Man tells the charming story of con man Harold Hill and his 76 Trombones has been parodied by various forms of media over the past half a century. Meredith Wilson’s 1957 musical was one of the biggest Broadway hits that year, winning the Tony Award for Best Musical. In small town America, con artist ‘Professor’ Hill convinces the town of Rock Island that he can create a boy’s band, getting them to part with their money. He falls for the stubborn librarian Marian Paroo and attempts to charm her and her whole family. The show starred Robert Preston in the lead role alongside Barbara Cook who brought the memorable score to life, which included the songs ‘Till There Was You’, ‘Iowa Stubborn’, ‘Seventy Six Trombones’ and ‘Shipoopi’. The show was last revived on Broadway in 2000 by director and choreographer Susan Stroman.

The Music Man

Meredith Willson

Meredith Willson

Meredith Willson

story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey

Kermit Bloomgarden

Morton Da Costa

Onna White

The Music Man Original Broadway

The Music Man - Original Broadway

Majestic Theatre, The Broadway Theatre - Opened 19 Dec 1957, closed 15 Apr 1961

Cast: Robert Preston (Hill), Barbara Cook (Marian), Eddie Hodges (Winthrop), Pert Kelton (Mrs Paroo), Iggie Wolfington (Marcellus), David Burns (Mayor Shinn).

The Music Man Original London

The Music Man - Original London

Adelphi Theatre - Opened 16 Mar 1961, closed 1 Jan 1970

The Music Man Broadway Revival

The Music Man - Broadway Revival

Neil Simon Theatre - Opened 27 Apr 2000, closed 1 Jan 1970

Cast: Craig Bierko (later Eric McCormack) as Harold Hill, Rebecca Luker as Marian.

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


During the summer of 1912, a group of travelling salesmen travel aboard a train leaving Rock Island Illinois. They have an argument about selling goods (“Rock Island”) and begin to talk about a con-man known as Harold Hill who has been travelling around towns and scamming communities. The train arrives in Iowa, and we see a gentleman leave the train and read from his suitcase that his is Professor Harold Hill.

The townsfolk of River City Iowa sing about their stubborn nature (Iowa Stubborn) and Hill finds an old friend Marcellus who lives in the town. He knows about Hill’s trick where he convinces the town to invest in a musical band, and takes their money for instruments and uniforms, before leaving them and taking the money with him. Hill notices the town gathering at the new local billiard parlour and uses it to tell the town that the pool table will only cause trouble (“Ya Got Trouble”) and whips them into a frenzy. Marcellus points out Marian Paroo, the librarian and musician who gives piano lessons. Her lisping brother Winthrop lives with her and doesn’t speak. Marian returns home and her mother Mrs Paroo questions her about the new man in town (“Piano Lesson/If You Don’t Mind Me Saying So”). Her piano pupil Amaryllis asks her who she can wish goodnight on the evening star, and Marian wishes “Goodnight, My Someone”, longing to find a sweetheart.

On Independence Day, Hill uses the celebration to show the crowd what trouble the billiard table can cause, as a local lout Tommy sets off a firecracker. He reminds them they have trouble in their midst and the only way to change this is with a band, (“Ya Got Trouble Reprise/Seventy Six Trombones”). The town are set on the idea of a band, and Mayor Shinn tells the school board to get Hill’s qualifications. As they ask, he turns them into a Barbershop Quartet and they are distracted (“Ice Cream/Sincere”). The mayor’s daughter Zaneeta is set up with Tommy whilst Harold tells Marcellus that he is hoping to woo Marian, (“The Sadder But Wiser Girl For Me”). The women of the town are gossiping (“Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little”) and warn Harold that Marian is vulgar as she advocates dirty books in her library. He charms them (“Goodnight Ladies”) and heads to the Library to charm Marian, who ignores he adances (“Marian the Librarian”). She dances with him and slaps him when he tries to kiss her, missing and hitting Tommy instead. Harold signs up Winthrop to the band, and Mrs Paroo asks her daughter why she is so mean to Harold. She explains she is looking for “My White Knight” before the town go into overdrive as “The Wells Fargo Wagon” arrives with the band instruments. Marian has researched Hill’s old college, and goes to present her findings to Mayor Shin, but as she sees how happy the new cornet has made her brother, she tears that page out.

The second act opens with the ladies rehearsing for the dance in the school gym, (“It’s You”) and Marcellus interrupts with a dance number (“Shipoopi”). As Hill is under pressure to bring the school band together, he explains his ‘think system’ where instead of knowing the notes, you just think them. The school board attempt to get his credentials once again but he slips away “Lida Rose”. Marian is warming to Harold, “Will I Ever Tell You?” and Winthrop returns from rehearsal to tell his sister and mother about Hill’s home town “Garry, Indiana”. Charlie, a salesman arrives and warns Marian about Harold and tells her he has a girl in every county in Illinois. She decides to confront him and they meet at the footbridge where she tells him what a difference he has made in their lives, (“Till There Was You”). Marcellus tells Harold that the band uniforms have arrived and his time to run off with the money is now. Harold tells him he is going to stay, and as he hears Marian singing he realises he is in love with him.

Charlie arrives at the Ice Cream Social and tells the town that Harold is a fraud. The town, and Marian are furious and they begin to search for him. He is arrested as he tells Marian that he loves her. At the high school gym Mayor Shinn is crying for the band. The boys march in and play using their ‘think system’ and as the parents are so proud, Harold runs into Marian’s arms.


Act I

  • Overture
  • Rock Island
  • Iowa Stubborn
  • Ya Got Trouble
  • Piano Lesson and If You Don’t Mind My Saying So
  • Goodnight, My Someone
  • Ya Got Trouble (Reprise)
  • Seventy-Six Trombones
  • Sincere
  • The Sadder But Wiser Girl
  • Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little
  • Goodnight Ladies
  • Marian The Librarian
  • Seventy-Six Trombones
  • My White Knight
  • The Wells Fargo Wagon
  • Finale — Act One

Act II

  • Entr’acte
  • It’s You
  • Shipoopi
  • Lida Rose
  • Will I Ever Tell You?
  • Gary, Indiana
  • Till There Was You
  • Goodnight, My Someone Seventy-Six Trombones (Double Reprise)
  • Till There Was You (Reprise)
  • Minuet In G
  • Finale

1958 Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Leading Actress, Best Featured Actress, Best Choreography, Best Featured Actor.


UK: Musical Theatre International

USA: Josef Weinberger


My Fair Lady

My Fair Lady features music by Frederick Loewe along with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and is based on the play ‘Pygmalion’ by George Bernard Shaw. The show follows cockney flower girl Eliza Doolitte who takes speech lessons from Professor Henry Higgins, who boasts that he can pass her off ‘as a Duchess’. The show was extremely popular on both Broadway and in London and has played many successful runs around the world. The original cast included Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison, and the impressive film starred Audrey Hepburn.

My Fair Lady Original Playbill

Frederick Loewe

Alan Jay Lerner

Alan Jay Lerner

the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

Herman Levin

Moss Hart

Hanya Holm

My Fair Lady Original Broadway

My Fair Lady - Original Broadway

Mark Hellinger Theatre, Broadhurst Theatre, The Broadway Theatre - Opened 15 Mar 1956, closed 29 Sep 1962, 2717 performances

Cast: Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews and Stanley Holloway, Robert Coote, Cathleen Nesbitt, John Michael King, and Reid Shelton.

My Fair Lady Original London

My Fair Lady - Original London

Theatre Royal Drury Lane - Opened 30 Apr 1958, closed 1 Jan 1970, 2281 performances

My Fair Lady Broadway Revival

My Fair Lady - Broadway Revival

St James Theatre, Lunt Fontanne Theatre - Opened 25 Mar 1976, closed 20 Feb 1977

My Fair Lady 1st London Revival

My Fair Lady - London Revival

Adelphi Theatre - Opened 1 Oct 1979, closed 1 Jan 1970

My Fair Lady 2nd London Revival

My Fair Lady - National Theatre Revival

National Theatre, Theatre Royal Drury Lane - Opened 15 Mar 2001, closed 30 Aug 2003

Cast: Martine McCutcheon, Jonathan Pryce. Later in the run; Alex Jennings, Joanna Riding.

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


In Edwardian London, members of the upper class are exiting the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle tries to sell some of her flowers, but causes a raucous when she notices a man writing down everything she is saying. An older gentleman, Colonel Pickering, buys a flower and then confronts the man, who reveals himself to be Professor Henry Higgins who is an expert in phonetics. He explains that he studies a variety of accents and wonders “Why Can’t the English” learn to speak properly. He bets that he could change Eliza into a high society lady in six months just by correcting her way of speaking. Pickering turns out to be a linguist as well and has just returned from studying Indian dialects. Higgins invites Pickering to stay at his house, and the two head off, ignoring Eliza.

Eliza imagines how her life would be different if she had a better fortune (“Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?”). Eliza’s father Alfred Doolittle arrives the next morning to ask her for money so he can go drinking with his friends. She reluctantly gives some to him, and he explains he doesn’t worry about his state of poverty as he has always gotten by “With a Little Bit of Luck.”

Higgins and Pickering are discussing linguistic theories when Eliza turns up unexpectedly, declaring that she has come for speech lessons so she can get a position in a flower shop. Higgins is at first revolted, but Pickering bets that he cannot change her accent in just six months. Amused, Higgins takes the bet and has Eliza move into his house so they can work on her accent constantly.

Doolittle hears that Eliza has moved in with a rich professor and sees an opportunity to make a bit of cash. He arrives at the Higgins residence and is under the impression that the Professor has had her move in for lecherous purposes, but makes it clear he’ll look the other way provided he is paid for her. Higgins finds Doolittle’s speech patterns and views on morality fascinating, and on a whim decides to recommend him to an American who has just written asking for a lecturer on English moral values.
Eliza has a torturous time trying to improve her English, and Higgins is relentless. She grows to despise him for keeping her awake at all hours repeating vowels over and over again (“Just You Wait”). Late one night, she finally nails an upper-class accent (“The Rain in Spain”) and celebrates with Higgins and Pickering. Eliza is so excited by her success she is unable to sleep (“I Could Have Danced All Night”).

Higgins decides to try Eliza out with her new accent and brings her to the Ascot Race, where he springs her upon his mother at the last minute. Though her pronunciation is correct, Eliza retains the slang and inappropriate mannerisms of her former dialect, to the shock of Mrs. Higgins guests. She does manage to attract the attention of Freddy Eynsford-Hill, who becomes infatuated with her and begins calling on her every day. She refuses to see him, but he still spends his days on her street (“On the Street Where You live”).

Finally the ball arrives, and Eliza has transformed into an elegant woman. She passes the test with flying colours, and one of Higgins’ former phonetician Zoltan Karpathy is so fooled by her disguise that he declares she must be Hungarian royalty. Higgins and Pickering declare the event a tremendous success, but do not even think to give Eliza any credit whatsoever (“You Did It”). Eliza feels that she was used and confronts Higgins, who does not understand why she is upset. Furious, Eliza flees the house and runs into Freddy, who declares his love for her. She has had enough of words and demands actions instead (“Show Me”). They head to Covent Garden, where Eliza’s old friends do not even recognise her. She runs into her father, who reveals he has received a fortune from the American millionaire looking for lecturers on morality, and now that he is rich, his girlfriend is forcing him to make an honest woman out of her by getting married (“Get Me to the Church on Time”).

The next morning, Higgins is surprised at Eliza’s behaviour and wishes that women could be more like men (“A Hymn to Him”). He heads to his mother’s house to ask her advice, only to find Eliza there having tea with Mrs. Higgins. Eliza reiterates to Higgins that she was being treated like a servant and declares she will marry Freddy. She defiantly insist she will have no problems carrying on without Higgins (“Without You”). Higgins is delighted by the passion Eliza has displayed and requests that she stay with him, but she refuses.

On the walk home, Higgins realises how much he depends on Eliza (“I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face”). By the time he reaches home, he is devastated to lose her. He turns on recordings he made of her very first visit. Eliza quietly enters the room and turns off the phonograph, finishing the sentence her former self began. Higgins smirks when he realises she has returned, and cheekily asks her to find his slippers.


Act I

  • Overture
  • Why Can’t The English
  • Wouldn’t It Be Loverly
  • With A Little Bit Of Luck
  • I’m An Ordinary Man
  • Just You Wait
  • Poor Professor Higgins
  • The Rain In Spain
  • I Could Have Danced All Night
  • Ascot Gavotte
  • On The Street Where You Live

Act II
  • The Embassy Waltz
  • You Did It
  • Show Me
  • Show Me Reprise
  • Get Me To The Church On Time
  • A Hymn To Him
  • Without You
  • I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face

1957 Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Leading Actor (Harrison), Best Direction, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume, Best Musical Director

2002 Olivier Awards: Outstanding Musical Production, Best Actress in a Musical (McCutcheon), Best Choregraphy.

2003 Olivier Awards: Best Actress in a Musical (Riding), Best Actor in a Musical (Jennings)


UK: Music Scope UK

USA: Tams-Witmark

Miss Saigon

From the writers of Les Miserables came one of the most successful musicals of the 1990s – Miss Saigon. Originally opening in London, the show was a huge success running for over 10 years at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The Broadway production had the largest advance in history, and was almost called off after controversy with Actors Equity and the casting on non-asian actors in Asian roles. The show is a modern retelling of ‘Madame Butterfly’, relocated to the Vietnam War.

Miss Saigon

Claude-Michel Schönberg

Richard Maltby Jr & Alain Boublil

Alain Boublil

Madame Butterfly by Puccini

Cameron Mackintosh

Nicholas Hytner

Bob Avian

Miss Saigon Original London

Original London Production

Theatre Royal Drury Lane - Opened 20 Sep 1989, closed 20 Oct 1999, 4264 performances

Cast: Lea Salonga, Jonathan Pryce, Simon Bowman, Peter Polycarpou, Claire Moore

Miss Saigon Broadway

Original Broadway Production

The Broadway Theatre - Opened 11 Apr 1991, closed 28 Jan 2001, 4092 performances

Cast: Lea Salonga, Jonathan Pryce, Willy Falk, Hinton Battle, Liz Callaway

Miss Saigon Poster 100x150

Miss Saigon - London Revival

Prince Edward Theatre - Opened 3 May 2014, closed 25 Oct 2014

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


Twitter Synopsis:

American GI falls in love with Vietnamese bar girl, leaving her with a child after helicopter rescue. Attempts to reunite end in death.

Add your own Twitter style synopsis (140 characters only!) in the comments box

In Vietnam during the outbreak of war with America, we are welcomed into a seedy nightclub called ‘Dreamland’ by an Engineer. As the bar girls prepare themselves for a night of making money, the curtain rises on a group of American GI’s hoping for one last good time before leaving for America. Chris has been dragged along by his friend John who wants to buy him a girl, and Chris meets Kim, a new 17 year old girl who has arrived from the country to work at the bar. As Gigi wins the title of ‘Miss Saigon’, the girls all wish for their GI partners to take them to a better life in America. The Engineer sells Kim to Chris for a night of passion as the two dance. Chris can’t believe he has found Kim so close to him leaving Vietnam for the USA. As Kim and Chris begin to fall in love, they enter into a cultural wedding ceremony and Kim is given the title of ‘Miss Saigon’ by her peers. Thuy, Kim’s cousin arrives to take her home and is disgusted to find her with Chris, saying he is betrothed to her. As their parents are both dead Kim tells him this is not true, and Chris and Thuy fight, before he leaves them to join the North Vietnamese Army. Chris promises to come back to Vietnam to find Kim after the war is over.

Three years later Vietnam is celebrating the fall of Saigon and the new Ho Chi Minh City. Thuy demands that the army find the Engineer, and that he brings Kim to him. He finds her living in poverty with her child, Tam. Back in America Chris is sleeping with his new wife Ellen, and she has a nightmare as the two girls sing together. Thuy attempts to kill Tam, but Kim fights back, running away from the city. The Engineer decides to help her once he finds out Tam is Chris’ child and could be his passport to the USA. They set off for Bangkok amongst other refugees, with the Engineer posing as Tam’s uncle.

Over in Atlanta, Georgia, John now works for an aid organisation that attempts to connect children conceived during the war (Bui-Doi) with their American fathers. He finds out that Kim is still alive and tells Chris, who is forced to reveal to Ellen about Kim and his child. They travel to Bangkok to try and find them. The Engineer is working for seedy nightclubs once again and Kim works as a dancer. As John finds the pair, Kim is overjoyed to hear the news about Chris, and John can’t bear to tell her that he is now married with a wife. She is convinced he has come to take them both to America. Kim is haunted by a nightmare of the night that Saigon fell. She dreams about the confusion of that evening, where Chris attempted to find her amongst the crowds, but was put in the last helicopter out of Saigon. The ghost of Thuy taunts her that Chris never loved her.

Kim tries to find Chris but instead comes across Ellen first. Kim finds out that he has married and runs away, hurt. She tries to give away her son to Ellen and Chris to give him a better life. Ellen tell Chris that he has to make up his mind, and they reaffirm their love, saying they will send money to Bangkok to support both Kim and Tam. Kim lies to the Engineer about the situation and he is overjoyed at the prospect of going to the USA. As John, Chris and Ellen are led to Kim, the Engineer shows Chris his child. Kim goes behind a curtain and shoots herself, sacrificing herself so Tam can become an American. Chris holds Kim in his arms before she dies and they share a final kiss as the curtain falls.


Act I

  • Overture
  • The Heat is on in Saigon
  • The Movie in my Mind
  • Dance, The
  • Why God Why?
  • This Money’s Yours
  • Sun and Moon
  • Telephone Song, The
  • Deal, The
  • Ceremony, The (Dju Vui Vai)
  • What’s This I Find?
  • The Last Night Of the World
  • Morning Of The Dragon, The
  • I Still Believe
  • This is the Hour
  • If You Want To Die In Bed
  • Let Me See His Western Nose
  • I’d Give my Life for You
Act II
  • Bui-Doi
  • Revelation, The
  • What A Waste
  • Please
  • Fall Of Saigon, The
  • Room 317
  • Now That I Have Seen Her
  • Confrontation, The
  • The American Dream
  • Sacred Bird, The
  • Finale

Tony Awards Won 1991: Best Actor (Jonathan Pryce), Best Actress (Lea Salonga), Best Featured Role (Hinton Battle) 



UK: Josef Weinberger

USA: Musical Theatre International


Merrily We Roll Along

Merrily We Roll Along is one of Sondheim’s most undervalued work, with an infamous original production of only 16 performances. Featuring a book by George Furth, the show is based on a 1934 play by George S Kaufman and Moss Hart. The narrative runs backwards, and further revisions have attempted to make the structure fully cyclical. Although the score features some of Sondheim’s most popular work, audiences have often struggled with the over ally concept and book and the show has never been a commercial success.

Merrily We Roll Along

Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim

George Furth

A Play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart

Lord Lew Grade, Martin Starger, Robert Fryer and Harold Prince

Harold Prince

Larry Fuller

Merrily We Roll Along Original Broadway

Original Broadway Production

Alvin Theatre - Opened 16 Nov 1981, closed 1 Jan 1970

Cast:  Jim Walton (Franklin Shepard), Lonny Price (Charley Kringas), Ann Morrison (Mary), Terry Finn (Gussie), Jason Alexander (Joe), Sally Klein (Beth), Geoffrey Horne (Franklin Shephard age 43), David Loud (Ted), Daisy Prince (Meg), Liz Callaway (Nightclub Waitress), Tonya Pinkins (Gwen), and Giancarlo Esposito (Valedictorian)

Merrily We Roll Along Donmar

Original London Production

Donmar - Opened 11 Dec 2000, closed 1 Jan 1970

Merrily We Roll Along Menier 2012

London Revival

Menier Chocolate Factory - Opened 16 Nov 2012, closed 9 Mar 2013

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


Twitter Synopsis:

The price of Hollywood fame is spelled out backwards through a group of high school friends who each struggle as artists and to find love. 

Add your own Twitter style synopsis (140 characters only!) in the comments box

The show begins in 1980 and journeys back in time rather than forward. The show opens with Franklin Shepard who has become a successful film producer and songwriter, earning lots of money and living the Hollywood lifestyle. We travel back to 1976 to LA as Frank celebrates after the premiere of his latest blockbuster. His fair weather friends are there to celebrate with him, but his long term friend Mary Flynn is disgusted at Frank’s new lifestyle and what he has allowed himself to fall into. She attacks Frank for giving up on writing ‘real’ music, instead selling out for commercial gain. Frank admits he knows what he has done but wants to get better and better. Mary’s words begin to affect him and he realises that he has focused his life on being a success, and everything he once loved has now gone. He decides to leave his wife Gussie, who later attacks Meg who Frank has been having an affair with. Gussie was a performer in one of Frank’s earlier shows and she is disgusted with his behaviour.

The years roll back to 1973 where Frank and his best friend Charley are being interviewed for TV regarding their new work. Mary comes along to support her friends, although Charley admits to her that Frank has very little time for him any more and the two reminisce about what their college friendship was like. As the TV interview begins, Charley launches into an attack on Frank, saying he has transformed himself into ‘Franklin Shepherd Inc.’ Frank storms out saying their friendship is over.

Back to Frank’s apartment in 1968 and the gang are arguing over Frank’s decision to do a film version of one of their musicals. Charley is against the project artistically, but Frank is attracted by the fame and money. Mary tries to keep the peace before Joe and Gussie arrive, with whom Frank has been having an affair.

In 1966 Beth is divorcing Frank and they argue about custardy of their son. Beth tells him she knows about him cheating on her with Gussie and says she has to leave him. Mary and Charley convince him that he will be okay and can start afresh.

Act II

It is the opening night of one of Frank and Charley’s shows and Gussie has realised that Frank likes her. She is the star of the musical, and Joe, Mary and Beth are excited that the show has been such a hit. We go backwards the 1962 to see how the idea for the show came about, as Gussie throws a party in her husband Joe’s apartment to persuade him to producer Frank’s show. The trio perform one of the song’s to the crowd, and tensions between Charlie and Frank begin to bubble.

In 1960 we see Charley, Frank and Beth beginning their lives post-college in a small nightclub, trying to make a name for themselves. As they perfom, they are noticed by producer Joe and his wife Gussie who takes an instant liking to Frank. We see the group a year before in 1959 trying to write songs and make it big. They are told to write more memorable songs so they decide to create a cabaret, and meet Beth.

The show ends in 1957 with Charley, Frank and Mary on the roof of an apartment building watching the satellite Sputnik as it passes the city. They see it as a symbol that anything is possible.


Act I

  • Overture
  • Merrily We Roll Along
  • That Frank
  • Transition 1
  • Old Friends-Like It Was
  • Franklin Shepard, Inc.
  • Transition 2
  • Old Friends
  • Growing Up I
  • Growing Up II
  • Transition 3
  • Not A Day Goes By I
  • Now You Know
Act II
  • Entr’acte
  • Opening Act II
  • It’s A Hit
  • Transition 4
  • The Blob I
  • The Blob II
  • Growing Up (Act Two)
  • The Blob III
  • Good Thing Going
  • The Blob IV
  • Transition 5
  • Bobby and Jackie and Jack
  • Not A Day Goes By (Act II)
  • Transition 6
  • Opening Doors
  • Transition 7
  • Our Time I
  • Our Time II
  • Our Time III
  • Bows
  • Exit Music

UK: Josef Weinberger

USA: Musical Theatre International



Memphis is a Tony Award winning musical featuring music and lyrics by David Bryan and Joe DiPietro. What happens when a 1950′s Memphis DJ with white listeners decides to play African-American music? Is Memphis ready for it? Is America? The story was inspired by the legendary DJ Dewey Phillips and the music that became known as “rock ’n’ roll.” The show was a hit in New York in 2009 and clocked up an impressive number of performances, finally recouping all its original investments. The show has been videoed and released commercially, and is rumoured to be travelling to the West End in 2013.


David Bryan

Joe DiPietro and David Bryan

Joe DiPietro

Christopher Ashley

Sergio Trujillo

Memphis Original Broadway

Original Broadway Production

Schubert Theatre - Opened 19 Oct 2009, closed 5 Aug 2012, 1166 performances

Cast: Montego Glover, Chad Kimball, J. Bernard Calloway, James Monroe Iglehart, Cass Morgan, Derrick Baskin, Michael McGrath, Jennifer Allen, Brad Bass, Tracee Beazer, Kevin Covert, Hillary Elk, Dionne Figgins, Rhett George, John Jellison, Sydney Morton, Vivian Nixon, John Eric Parker, Jermaine R. Rembert, LaQuet Sharnel, Ephraim Sykes, Cary Tedder, Danny Tidwell, Daniel J. Watts, Katie Webber, Charlie Williams, Dan’yelle Williamson.


Memphis Original London Production

Shaftesbury Theatre - Opened 9 Oct 2014, closed 1 Jan 1970

Cast: Beverley Knight, Killian Donnelly, Rolan Bell, Claire Machin, Jason Pennycooke, Mark Roper and Tyrone Huntley.  

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


Twitter Synopsis:

A 1950s DJ is the first to play African-American music to white listeners and soon falls in love with a talented black singer. 

Add your own Twitter style synopsis (140 characters only!) in the comments box

The place is 1950s Memphis. The show opens with a party at Delray’s, an underground African-American Rock and Roll bar. A white gentleman Huey arrives and as the regulars begin to leave he begs them to stay, saying he is there to hear the music. He is on the verge of being fired from work at a local department store, but makes a bargain with his boss saying that if he can sell 5 records by playing them over the loudspeaker he can work for the sales department. He plays a Rock and Roll record, but despite selling 29 of them in minutes, he is fired for playing ‘obscene’ music. He then returns to the club and flirts with Felicia, promising her he can get her on the radio. He applies for jobs at local white radio stations. He is invited into one run by Mr Simmons, and he hijacks the airwaves playing another rock’n’roll African-American song. He is about to be fired when dozens of people call the station to demand more music from Huey. He is then taken on for a 2 week trial. He is later asked to advertise Beer on the air, but as he can’t read he can’t follow the script and ends up improvising using the word ‘Hockadoo!” Again he is almost fired, but the Beer company call saying that sales increased and employ him to do all of their future adverts. The station begins to gain popularity thanks to Huey and his new catchphrase. He begins to invite white people to visit black churches and they begin to.

Delray has saved enough money to get Felicia’s voice on the radio and travel to Huey’s house to make the record, where he promises to play it the next day. His mother is prejudice and breaks the record, upsetting Felicia. Huey gets her to sing live on air instead and is an instant sensation. The two become closer and closer although Delray threatens Huey and wants to make sure nothing happens to his sister. Their music continues to bring people together and two years later Huey proposes to her. She turns him down as she is worried what people might say. As they kiss, a white gang see them and beat Felicia with a bat. Delray is furious with Huey and as they push her into an ambulance the community sings a prayer for change.

Some time passes and Huey is getting ready to open up a new TV show which features African-American dancers. Felicia is set to be the first guest but she backs out and Bobby fills in bringing down the house. Felicia’s popularity begins to grow around Memphis and people start accepting her relationship with Huey. They are both spotted by a New York agency who invites them to come and compete for a national TV show. Huey is offered the job providing he doesn’t use African-American dancers. He is furious and kisses Felicia live on air and she tells him she loves him. Huey is fired.

Delray takes Felicia away to try and save her career whilst Huey contemplates leaving Memphis all together. Four years pass and Felicia is a big star and Huey is presenting a small radio show. Felicia tells him she is engaged to marry a man named Bill and invites him to perform with her one final time. Huey is worried no one will remember him, but as he gets onstage he is met with rapturous applause.


Act I 

  • Underground – Delray, Felicia and Company
  • The Music of My Soul – Huey, Felicia and Company
  • Scratch My Itch – Wailin’ Joe and Company
  • Ain’t Nothin’ But a Kiss – Felicia and Huey
  • Everybody Wants to Be Black on a Saturday Night – Company
  • Make Me Stronger – Huey, Mama, Felicia and Company
  • Colored Woman – Felicia
  • Someday – Felicia and Company
  • She’s My Sister – Delray and Huey
  • Radio – Huey and Company
  • Say a Prayer – Gator and Company
Act II
  • Crazy Little Huey – Huey and Company
  • Big Love – Bobby
  • Love Will Stand When All Else Falls – Felicia and Company
  • Stand Up – Delray, Felicia, Huey, Gator, Bobby and Company
  • Change Don’t Come Easy – Mama, Delray, Gator and Bobby
  • Tear the House Down – Huey and Company
  • Love Will Stand/Ain’t Nothin’ But a Kiss (Reprise) – Felicia and Huey
  • Memphis Lives in Me – Huey and Company
  • Steal Your Rock ‘n’ Roll – Huey, Felicia and Company

2010 Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Book, Best Original Score, Best Orchestrations.


USA: Musical Theatre International


Mary Poppins

Disney Theatrical and Cameron Mackintosh present Mary Poppins based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney Film. Featuring direction by Richard Eyre and choreography by Matthew Bourne, this production features new songs by Geroge Stiles and Anthony Drewe, supplementing the original classic Robert and Richard Sherman tunes. The show was a hit for Mackintosh in the West End and successfully transferred to Broadway where it still continues to play to packed houses. Directed and choreographed by Richard Eyre and Matthew Bourne, this fantastic show is engaging and entertaining. 

Mary Poppins

Richard M. Sherman And Robert B. Sherman; with additional music by George Stiles

Richard M. Sherman And Robert B. Sherman; with additional lyrics by Anthony Drewe

Julian Fellowes

the stories of P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film

Thomas Schumacher for Disney Theatricals

Richard Eyre

Matthew Bourne

Mary Poppins Prince Edward 2004

Original London Production

Prince Edward Theatre - Opened 15 Dec 2004, closed 12 Jan 2008

Cast: Laura Michelle Kelly, David Haig, Gavin Lee, Linzi Hateley, Rosemary Ashe, Jenny Galloway

Mary Poppins New Amsterdam 2007

Original Broadway Production

New Amsterdam Theatre - Opened 16 Nov 2008, closed 13 Aug 2013

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


Bert the chimney sweep introduces the audience to Cherry Tree Lane in Edwardian London. George and Winifred Banks live at number 17 with their rambunctious children, Michael and Jane and their many servants. The children are so out of control that their latest nanny quits in a fury. The children write their own advertisement for “The Perfect Nanny,” but an enraged George rips it up and throws it in the fire.

Mary Poppins flies in by umbrella and immediately takes charge of the children as their new nanny, assuring them that she is “Practically Perfect” in every way. She takes them on their first outing to the park, where they meet Bert. At first they are scared by his dirty appearance, but she teaches them to look beyond appearances by bringing the park’s statues to life (“Jolly Holliday”).

Meanwhile in the Banks household, Winifred is struggling with “Being Mrs. Banks,” and George seems embarrassed by his wife’s ineffectiveness. She decides to surprise him by organising a tea party, and when the children inadvertently wreck her plans, Mary teaches them to fix it with a “Spoonful of Sugar.” She then brings the children to visit George at the bank where he works. George is trying to decide between two investment opportunities: a simple factory pitched by a poorer man and a larger-scale scheme proposed by a richer man. When the children remind him of simpler times and his own childhood values (“A Man Has Dreams”), George decides to choose the factory for investment.

Mary takes the children to “Feed the Birds” outside St. Paul’s Cathedral, and to a magic shop that sells words (“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”). When they return home, they discover that George’s investment has gone horribly wrong, and the bank has suspended him. He furiously sends the children to their room, and they bicker and fight with each other. Mary tries to teach them how to take better care of their toys (“Playing the Game”), but realising they still have much to learn, she decides to leave them for a while.

Winifred decides to prove to George that she can manage the family’s affairs by hiring his childhood nanny, Miss Andrew, to replace Mary. Unfortunately, she did not know that Miss Andrew is a brutal, nasty woman who George has been terrified of ever since. The children are equally afraid of her and run to the park to escape her, where they find Bert, who cheers them up with a bit of kite-flying (“Let’s Go Fly a Kite”). Mary returns to surprise them.

After his suspension, George feels he is “Good for Nothing.” Winifred tries to find a way to comfort him. Mary returns home with the children and confronts Miss Andrew, freeing her beloved bird from its cage and banishing her in a birdcage of her own. Winifred and George come home and are relieved to find that Miss Andrew has left and Mary is back in charge. Bert leads his chimney sweep friends in “Step in Time.” which causes a mess in the Banks’ house.

George receives a telegram summoning him to a meeting at the bank and assumes he will be fired. He sets off to the bank, and Winifred decides to follow him for support, and Mary follows with the children. When he arrives, the bank manager informs George that he has not been fired, but in fact his investment in the factory has made millions. Winifred arrives to explain why the bank manager should not fire George and is delighted to find that they are promoting him instead.

Finding the family reunited and happy, Mary decides it is once again time for her to leave, and she flies off on her umbrella.


Act I 

  • Chim Chim Cher-ee (Opening) – Bert
  • Cherry Tree Lane Part 1 – George and Winifred Banks, Jane and Michael, Mrs. Brill, and Robertson Ay
  • The Perfect Nanny – Jane and Michael
  • Cherry Tree Lane Part 2 – George and Winifred Banks, Jane and Michael, Mrs. Brill, and Robertson Ay
  • Practically Perfect – Mary Poppins, Jane, and Michael
  • Chim Chim Cher-ee (Park Reprise)* – Bert
  • Jolly Holiday – Bert, Mary Poppins, Jane, Michael, Neleus, and the Statues
  • Cherry Tree Lane (Reprise) / Being Mrs Banks / Jolly Holiday (Reprise) – George, Winifred, Jane, and Michael
  • A Spoonful of Sugar – Mary Poppins, Jane, Michael, Robertson Ay, and Winifred
  • Precision and Order* – Bank Chairman and the Bank Clerks
  • A Man Has Dreams* – George Banks
  • Feed the Birds – Bird Woman and Mary Poppins
  • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – Mary Poppins, Mrs. Corry, Bert, Jane, Michael, Fannie, Annie, and Customers
  • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (Encore)* – Bert and Customers
  • Chim Chim Cher-ee (Ups and Downs Reprise)* – Bert
  • Temper, Temper (Playing the Game)^ – Valentine, William, Mr. Punch, the Glamorous Doll, and other Toys
  • Chim Chim Cher-ee (Rooftop Duet) – Bert and Mary Poppins
Act II
  • Entr’acte: Run Away – Orchestra
  • Cherry Tree Lane (Reprise)* – Mrs. Brill, Michael, Jane, Winifred, Robertson Ay, and George
  • Brimstone and Treacle Part 1 – Miss Andrew
  • Let’s Go Fly a Kite – Bert, Park Keeper, Jane, and Michael
  • Good for Nothing – George
  • Being Mrs Banks (Reprise) – Winifred
  • Brimstone and Treacle Part 2 – Mary Poppins and Miss Andrew
  • Practically Perfect (Reprise)* – Jane, Michael, and Mary Poppins
  • Chim Chim Cher-ee (Rooftop Reprise)* – Bert
  • Step in Time – Bert, Mary Poppins, Jane, Michael, and the Sweeps
  • Step in Time (Encore)* – Bert, Mary Poppins, Jane, Michael, and the Sweeps
  • A Man Has Dreams / A Spoonful of Sugar – George and Bert
  • Anything Can Happen – Jane, Michael Mary Poppins, and the Company
  • A Spoonful of Sugar (Farewell Reprise) / A Shooting Star – Mary Poppins and Orchestra

2005 Olivier Awards: Best Actress in a Musical (Laura Michelle Kelly), Best Choreographer (Matthew Bourne)

2007 Tony Awards: Best Scenic Design (Bob Crowley)

Drama Desk: Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Gavin Lee)

Outstanding Set Design (Bob Crowley)