March 28

Review: Tom Gates Live on Stage!

My son loves Liz Pichon’s Tom Gates books so when I heard there was a stage version on tour I knew we’d have to go.

We saw the show at the Kings Theatre in Southsea last night – and wow, what a treat. It brilliantly brings the books to life and was hugely enjoyable.

A very likeable young cast bring the characters to life with energy and panache. Full marks for Matthew Chase as Tom, ably supported by Matthew Gordon, Ashley Cousins, Amy Hargreaves, Daniel Harkin, Alice Redmond, Justin Davies and Ebony Wong.

The fast-paced script by Liz Pichon and director Neal Foster is clever and witty, amusing both young and older alike.

I was looking forward to seeing how they would adapt the author’s highly visual stories for the stage and the answer is – with style and ingenuity. Great work by designer Jackie Trousdale.

I might sound ancient for saying it, but it really is clever what they can do on stage these days and, in the case of this show, they have combined the actors with animation, which was both technically brilliant and highly entertaining.

Composer Mark Flannery’s music is really catchy and fun and all mixed together it’s a perfect feelgood show. It really is a cracking night out for children – and their parents will have a great time too  Just one word of warning though: The show might leave you wanting to eat lots of chips – and biscuits, even fig rolls 

Tom Gates Live on Stage is on in Southsea until Sunday and then continues its tour to theatres across the country. Full list of dates can be found by clicking here.

Steve’s rating: ★★★★★

Category: Reviews
October 8

Revealed: The cast of Only Fools and Horses The Musical

Paul Whitehouse – Grandad

Tom Bennett – Del Boy

Ryan Hutton – Rodney

Dianne Pilkington – Raquel

Pippa Duffy – Cassandra

Jeff Nicholson – Boycie

Peter Baker – Trigger

Samantha Seager Marlene

Adrian Irvine – Denzil

Pete Gallagher -Danny Driscoll

Adam Venus – Tony Driscoll

Chris Keily – Mickey Pearce

Oscar Conlon-Morrey – Dating Agent

Melanie Marshall – Mrs Obuko/Wedding Fitter

Chris Bennett – Sid

Andy Mace – Mike the Barman

Lisa Bridge – Ensemble

Andrew Bryant – Swing

Samantha Lane – Swing

Bradley John – Swing

Lee Van Geleen – Ensemble

October 8

Only Fools And Horses is back – and this time it’s musical!

Only Fools And Horses is back – and this time it’s musical… and comedy legend Paul Whitehouse will be playing Grandad!

John Sullivan’s iconic and record-breaking television series has been turned into a brand-new, home-grown West End musical spectacular. With a script and original score by John’s son, Jim Sullivan and comedy giant Paul Whitehouse, prepare to get reacquainted with Britain’s most loveable rogues and experience the classic comedy brought to life once again through 20 ingenious and hilarious songs.

Paul Whitehouse will star alongside with Tom Bennett as Del Boy and Ryan Hutton as Rodney in this unique showstopper, featuring cherished material from the TV series.

Paul said: “This was the last project that John Sullivan was working on when he died – he was just starting to develop Only Fools as a musical – so when writing it, Jim and I have remained very faithful to the feel and scripts of the TV series, but also highlight some contemporary issues.

“We’re very conscious of the Only Fools legacy and that it’s so fondly remembered by people of almost all ages, so we’ve tried to incorporate everyone’s favourite moments from the TV shows and of course, all the great characters – but this time it’s with songs.”

The show takes a trip back to 1989, where it’s all kicking off in Peckham. While the yuppie invasion of London is in full swing, love is in the air as Del Boy sets out on the rocky road to find his soul mate, Rodney and Cassandra prepare to say ‘I do’, and even Trigger is gearing up for a date (with a person!). Meanwhile, Boycie and Marlene give parenthood one final shot and Grandad takes stock of his life and decides the time has finally arrived to get his piles sorted.

With musical contributions from Chas n Dave, the beloved theme tunes as you’ve never heard them before and an array of comic songs full of character and cockney charm, you’re guaranteed to have a right knees-up! Only Fools and Horses The Musical is a feel-good family celebration of traditional working-class London life and the aspirations we all share.

Directed by Caroline Jay Ranger, Only Fools and Horses The Musical will also feature many of the hugely loveable characters from the TV series: Raquel, Denzil, Mickey Pearce, Mike the Barman and the dreaded Driscoll Brothers.

Only Fools and Horses The Musical will be a truly cushty night out. Only a 42-carat PLONKER would miss it!

The show opens at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in February. Previews from 9 February 2019. Press Night 19 February 2019

Tickets are on sale from today. To book go to onlyfoolsmusical.com – you know it makes sense!