Tony! [The Tony Blair Rock Opera]
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‘Look anyone will tell you, I’m a pretty straight sort of guy.’ Tony Blair
A reckless reappraisal of the life of former Ugly Rumours front man and Britain’s first pop Prime Minister Tony Blair.
I was laughing so much I struggled to swallow my beer”
★★★★★ Daily Mail
The story of how one man went from peace-loving, long-haired hippy and would-be pop star to warmongering multimillionaire in just a couple of decades. Throw in a stellar cast of larger-than-life characters – Cherie Blair, Princess Diana, John Prescott, Peter Mandelson, Alastair Campbell, Osama bin Laden, George W Bush, Saddam Hussein and Gordon Brown- it’s Yes, Minister meets The Rocky Horror Show! and a musical like no other.
Harry Hill puts the party into politics”
This hilarious new show by Harry Hill and Steve Brown received critical acclaim and following a sold-out run in London now embarks on an eagerly awaited UK tour. A hilarious tragedy of political intrigue, religion, power, and romance that plays fast and loose with the facts, owing as much to Citizen Kane as it does to The Marx Brothers – Karl and Groucho.
Pure satire that is eccentrically British, with a great rock’n’roll soundtrack and original humour”
★★★★★ Theatre Weekly
Approximately 2 hours 10 mins including an interval
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Multiple award-winning comedian, presenter and author Harry Hill has been one of the UK’s most respected and inventive entertainers for nearly thirty years. Starting with his own ingenious comedy series on BBC2 and Channel 4, he went on to create the hit, multi-award winning ITV series Harry Hill’s TV Burp, which ran for ten years. More recently, he has created and starred in three series of ITV’s Harry Hill’s Alien Fun Capsule, and BBC2’s Harry Hill’s World of TV. He is the longstanding voice of ITV’s You’ve Been Framed and is the presenter of Channel 4’s Junior Bake Off. As an author, he has written several best-selling joke books and, amongst others, the popular children’s series Matt Millz. He is also an artist and has shown his work at the Royal Academy. In 2022, he embarked on a brand new live tour, Pedigree Fun. He has won the Perrier Best Newcomer Award, eight British Comedy Awards, three BAFTAs and a Level 4 BAGA Gymnastics Award (forward roll, cartwheel, crab and roundoff).
Steve is a composer, lyricist, arranger and record producer who’s written extensively for TV, including all the music arrangements for Harry Hill’s radio, TV and film work since 1997. He’s worked with some of the biggest names in British TV, radio, theatre, comedy and music, including Steve Coogan, Lenny Henry, Spitting Image, Grayson Perry, Lee Mack, The Goes Wrong Show and Ant & Dec, for whom he wrote the immortal Wonky Donkey theme. Theatre includes music/lyrics for the musicals Spend Spend Spend (Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Musical), the X Factor musical I Can’t Sing! (London Palladium), It’s a Wonderful Life with Francis Matthews (New Wolsey, Ipswich) and Magic Goes Wrong (Vaudeville). He produced triple platinum album Seasons of My Soul by Rumer (Atlantic records), followed by acclaimed MOBO-winning artist Laura Mvula’s debut Sing to the Moon for RCA, having discovered both artists, and Little Black Book by Sarah Walk (One Little Indian).
Peter Rowe is a director and writer, with a particular interest in music theatre, often working with an ensemble of actor-musicians. He was Artistic Director of the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich between 2000 and 2022. He has directed Boyband and Return to the Forbidden Planet in the West End and on national tours, together with his own musical, Leader of the Pack. Peter’s work as a writer includes nine record-breaking ‘rock n roll pantomimes’, which are currently being produced annually at the New Wolsey Theatre, Theatr Clwyd, Stafford Gatehouse Theatre and Leeds City Varieties. He has also written the books for Songs from a Hotel Bedroom, a setting of Kurt Weill songs produced at Watford Palace Theatre and the Linbury Studio at the Royal Opera House and 20th Century Boy, a musical inspired by the life of Marc Bolan and incorporating the songs of T.Rex, which has played a major national tour.
Jack Whittle’s theatre credits include the West End company of Mischief Theatre’s The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, first playing Sam Monaghan and later Mitch Villiers, the first UK Tour of Laura Wade’s Posh, playing Harry Villiers, and Mischief Theatre’s multi-award winning West End production of The Play That Goes Wrong at The Duchess Theatre.
Jack graduated from The Guildford School of Acting in 2017 with First Class honours. After graduation, he joined the West End company of Mischief Theatre’s The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, playing the leading role of Sam Monaghan.
Upon leaving Bank Robbery in 2019, he joined the first UK Tour of Laura Wade’s Posh, playing Harry Villiers. The start of 2020 saw Jack briefly return to The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, this time playing Mitch Ruscitti. Jack then reunited with Mischief, performing in their multi-award winning, West End production of The Play That Goes Wrong at The Duchess Theatre.
Jack is thrilled to be given the opportunity to play Tony Blair in this exciting, new comedy written by a comedian he grew up admiring in Harry Hill.
As always, he would like to thank his Mum, Dad and sister for all their love and support.
Other theatre includes: The Stephen Sondheim Student Performer Of The Year (2017 Finalist – Noel Coward Theatre); No Bird (rehearsed reading – Arcola Theatre); Unbelievable (Workshop).
Film includes: Gold (2018).
Howard Samuels was in the original cast of TONY! [The Tony Blair Rock Opera] when it premiered at Park Theatre last year. His recent credits include Jewish Hollywood (Upstairs at the Gatehouse), Max Detweiler in The Sound of Music (UK Tour), Nigel Bishop in The Cereal Cafe (The Other Palace) and his cabaret Unleashed (The Crazy Coqs). His West End Theatre credits include Jorge in Tonight’s the Night (Victoria Palace Theatre), Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Show (Duke of York’s Theatre) and Fyedka in Rebel in Paradise (Young Vic).
Training: Arts Educational Schools (ArtsEd).
Recent work includes: Jewish Hollywood (Upstairs at the Gatehouse); The Newsreader in Waving (TankTop Films); Max Detweiler in The Sound of Music (UK Tour); Nigel Bishop in The Cereal Cafe (The Other Palace) and his cabaret Unleashed (The Crazy Coqs).
West End Theatre credits include: Chummy MacGregor in The Glenn Miller Story (London Coliseum); Jorge in Tonight’s the Night (Victoria Palace Theatre); Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Show (Duke of York’s Theatre); Knucklemouth in Dear Anyone (Cambridge Theatre) and Fyedka in Rebel in Paradise (Young Vic).
Regional Theatre credits include: Cat in Stiles and Drewe’s Honk! (original production, Watermill Theatre); The Sunshine Boys (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh); Chips with Everything (Leeds Playhouse); Design for Living (Harrogate Theatre); Company (Oldham Coliseum); Grease and Jesus Christ Superstar (New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich) and West Side Story (Perth Playhouse).
Other Theatre credits include: On The Twentieth Century (Union Theatre); A Catered Affair (London Theatre Workshop, London Premiere); The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, London Premiere) and Invade My Privacy (Riverside Studios).
UK Tours include: Can’t Smile Without You (Bill Kenwright Productions); One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Nimax Productions) and The Rocky Horror Show (RHS London Productions).
Television credits include: The Nativity and Just Good Friends (BBC); A Tale of Two Cities (PBS); Brighton Belles (LWT) and the award-winning video New Frontier (Warner Bros).
Film credits include: Shane in Nail; Jack the Ripper in Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart (Luc Besson Films) and Max Headroom (Jankel and Morton).
Tori Burgess was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role as Mary Bennet /Mister Collins/Lydia Bennet/Anne in Pride & Prejudice* (*Sort Of) at the Criterion Theatre. Her other theatre credits include Beryl (Oldham Coliseum), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh) and Margaret Saves Scotland (Traverse Theatre).
Tori trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Theatre includes: Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of) (Criterion Theatre, Tron Theatre & UK Tour), Beryl (Oldham Coliseum), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh), Margaret Saves Scotland (Traverse Theatre, Oran Mor, Lemon Tree).
Film and TV includes: I, Blondey (Renowned Films), Royal History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley (BBC4/ PBS America), Tell it to the Bees (Reliance Entertainment), Royal History’s Biggest Fibs (BBC & PBS).
Radio includes: Off Grid (BBC Radio 4), A Tale of Two Giants (Oldham Coliseum), This is Yesterday (Manic Chord Theatre).
Phil Sealey’s theatre credits include Robin Hood (Greenwich Theatre), Rehab The Musical (Playground Theatre, London), The Railway Children (Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton), Sounds and Sorcery (The Vaults), Fatbusters The Musical (Park Theatre) and Alice’s Adventures Underground (Les Enfants Terribles).
Phil’s theatre credits include Robin Hood (Greenwich Theatre); Rehab The Musical (Playground Theatre,
London); Elephant’s Graveyard (TPE TV); The Railway Children (Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton) Jack
and the Beanstalk (Mercury Theatre, Colchester); Sounds and Sorcery (The Vaults); A Christmas Carol
The Musical (Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton); The Illness Should Attend (Bunker Theatre) Fatbusters The
Musical (Park Theatre); Alice’s Adventures Underground (Les Enfants Terribles).
TV credits include Con Passionate (Apollo TV).
Feature Film: Shadow (Kulture Vulture).
Short Film: Disconnected; Dirty Rotten Liars (Wilder Films); Holy F**ck (Wilder Films); Theatreland
(Arcadian Field Pictures); The Box (Lamb Shank Productions.
Martin Johnston was in the original cast of TONY! [The Tony Blair Rock Opera] when it premiered at Park Theatre last year. His other credits include Lindsay Turner’s acclaimed production of The Crucible (Olivier Theatre and NT Live), Mike Richards in the feature film Room 7 (won Best Actor in a Feature Film Award at the BSI Film Festival), the original cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II (Palace Theatre, London), the original West End cast of Footloose – The Musical (Novello Theatre) and The Postman Always Rings Twice (Playhouse Theatre, West End) opposite Val Kilmer.
Martin is delighted to be returning to TONY! The Tony Blair Rock Opera having been in the original cast at The Park Theatre, Finsbury Park.
He is an original cast member of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II, (Palace Theatre, London) where he played the Station Master and regularly played the roles of Professor Dumbledore and Amos Diggory, as well as various Wizards and a Muggle! A seasonal regular in Greenwich Theatres award winning pantomimes; Robin Hood; Sleeping Beauty; Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk.
Original West End cast of Footloose – The Musical (Novello Theatre),The Postman Always Rings Twice (Playhouse Theatre, West End) opposite Val Kilmer. Martin originated lead roles in the new British musicals; The Queen and I; 24/7 (TwentyFour Seven) Passport To Pimlico!; and the industry workshop staging of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole.
On tour he has played Herbert Parchester, the Family Solicitor in; Me and My Girl (Original UK National Tour). The Secret Garden (UK Concert Tour). Eugene Krabs in the SpongeBob SquarePants – The Musical (UK Tour); It’s A Wonderful Life (UK Tour); Footloose – The Musical (UK and Ireland Tour). Annie – The Musical (Aberystwyth Arts Centre). The leading role of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, in Jekyll & Hyde (Tour); On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (Bridewell Theatre, London); Sweethearts (Finborough Theatre); The Most Humane Way to Kill a Lobster (Theatre503); Snow White and the
Seven Dwarfs (Millfield Theatre, London and Towngate Theatre, Basildon). TV and Film work includes; Cradle To Grave playing Mr. Launchberry opposite Peter Kay. Two episodes of The Tudors IV playing the Sergeant at Arms. Other TV includes; Criminal Justice 2 (BBC) and The
Queen (Channel Four). Film; Best Geezer (Bert); Love Tales (Douglas), and the short films; Broke, One Last Laugh, Scum, Ten Tiny Plays and Born Yesterday.
Early in his career, Martin worked extensively in drama, theatre-in-education and community theatre with companies such as; Leicestershire Schools Theatre Company; Rent-a-Role Drama Service, Plymouth; Roundabout Theatre Company, Nottingham; Action Transport Theatre, Cheshire and Theatre Van, Harlow. In his youth he appeared for several seasons with the Royal Opera Company at Covent Garden in productions of; ‘Turandot’, ‘Boris Godunof’, ‘Tosca’, ‘Rigoletto’ and ‘Peter Grimes’, in which he had a role specifically created for him, Hobson’s Apprentice, and one which he repeated at La Scala Opera House, Milan.
Rosie Strobel was in the original cast of TONY! [The Tony Blair Rock Opera] when it premiered at Park Theatre last year. Her other theatre credits include Sister Mary Patrick in Sister Act, My Fair Lady and Me And My Girl (Kilworth House Theatre) and Katisha in The Mikado, Iolanthe, HMS Pinafore, Trial By Jury (Charles Court Opera). For eight years, Rosie was the lead vocalist with the London Breakbeat Orchestra, the UK’s first EDM 32-piece orchestra, performing at major UK festivals, recording two ‘Live at Maida Vale’ sessions for BBC Radio 1 and collaborating with superstar DJs, Swedish House Mafia and Goldie.
Training: Trinity College of Music
Theatre includes: Sister Mary Patrick in Sister Act, My Fair Lady and Me And My Girl (Kilworth House Theatre); Do I Hear A Waltz (Park Theatre); Dolly in One Man,Two Guvnors (Derby Theatre); Grimms’ Fairy Tales (Guildford Shakespeare Company) ; Nurse in Romeo And Juliet (International Tour); Candide (Maida Vale Singers/Royal Festival Hall) ; Brave New World (European Tour); Katisha in The Mikado, Iolanthe, HMS Pinafore, Trial By Jury (Charles Court Opera) ; Mrs Otis in The Canterville Ghost (South East Asia Tour) ; Florinda in Into The Woods (Greenwich Theatre); Brunch (Tete a Tete Opera Festival).
Radio performances include: In Tune With Sean Rafferty (BBC Radio 3); Annie Nightingale Presents (BBC Radio 1)
Awards: Merseyside Voice of the Year
For 8 years, Rosie was the lead vocalist with the London Breakbeat Orchestra, the UK’s first EDM 32 piece orchestra, performing at major UK festivals, recording two Live at Maida Vale sessions for BBC Radio 1 and collaborating with superstar DJs, Swedish House Mafia and Goldie.
Rosie regularly collaborates with composer/producer Dan Samsa, most recently as a vocalist on his album ‘Contours’ released by Apollo Records featuring on Gilles Peterson’s BBC Radio 6 Music show. Joining forces with The London Contemporary Orchestra, Alison D’Souza and choreographer Ukweli Roach, the work SPECTRUM premiered at the Albany Theatre in 2021.
Sally Cheng’s theatre credits include A Christmas Carol (RSC), The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 and 3/4 The Musical (Queen’s, Hornchurch), The Play That Goes Wrong (West End), Shadowlands (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Twelfth Night (RSC).
THEATRE INCLUDES: Richard II (GSC) A Christmas Carol (RSC) The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 and 3/4 The Musical (Queen’s, Hornchurch); The Play that Goes Wrong (West End); A Christmas Carol, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Scoot Theatre); The Wind in the
Willows (Jermyn Street/GSC); The Last of the Pelican Daughters (The Wardrobe Ensemble/ Complicite/Bristol Old Vic); A Christmas Carol, The Emperor and the Nightingale (Theatre by the Lake); For Services Rendered (Jermyn Street); Shadowlands (Chichester Festival Theatre); A Christmas Carol (RSC),Macbeth (Watermill Theatre); Twelfth Night (RSC)Love’s Labour’s Lost, Robin Hood (Guildford Shakespeare Company); Footprints on the Moon (Finborough Theatre); Singin’ in the Rain (Bolton Octagon/ Salisbury Playhouse/New Vic Theatre).
Emma Jay Thomas
Emma Jay Thomas has appeared as Cleo/Stuzzi/Emily Greenleaf in The Talented Mr Ripley (Faction Theatre Company: Wilton’s Music Hall, Vaults Festival and tour); Goddess u/s Miranda in The Tempest and Iras u/s Octavia/Charmian (RSC); the original company of Mamma Mia! (Prince Edward Theatre); Mimi and Gigi u/s Ellen in Miss Saigon (Theatre Royal Drury Lane and Tour); Meg in Merrily We Roll Along (Donmar Warehouse and Queen’s Theatre); Sarah in Ragtime (Piccadilly Theatre).
Emma Jay trained at University College London and Mountview Theatre School.
Credits include: Mrs. Darling/Ethel Mermaid in Peter Pan (Fairfield Halls), Prince of Spades/Fairy in The Queen of Hearts (Greenwich Theatre), Cleo/Stuzzi/Emily Greenleaf in The Talented Mr. Ripley (Faction Theatre Company: Wilton’s Music Hall, Vaults Festival and tour); Demon Queen in Mother Goose (Millfield Theatre); Goddess u/s Miranda in The Tempest and Iras u/s Octavia/Charmian for The Royal Shakespeare Company. Original company of Mamma Mia! (Prince Edward Theatre); Mimi and Gigi u/s Ellen in Miss Saigon (Drury Lane and Tour); Godspell (Tour); King Cotton (The Lowry); Charlene in Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Harrogate Theatre); The Girl on Blues in the Night (Birmingham Rep); Meg in Merrily We Roll Along (Donmar Warehouse and Queens Theatre); Sarah in Ragtime (Picadilly Theatre); Alexi Darling u/s Mimi in Rent (Olympia Theatre Dublin); Maid Marion in Robin Hood and Suzie Dean in The Good Companions (Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich); Princess Jasmine in Sinbad (Warwick Arts Centre); Beauty in Beauty and The Beast, Hebe in HMS Pinafore and Kate in The Pirates of Penzance (New Victoria Theatre, Stoke); Virtue in Mother Goose (Oxford Playhouse); Ronnette in Little Shop of Horrors (English Theatre, Frankfurt) and Princess So-Shy in Aladdin (Greenwich Theatre).
TV, Film and radio credits include The Obstetrician in Holby City for the BBC, short film The Fantastical Millepede, Isabel in Josh Howie’s Losing it for BBC Radio 4 and Dr. Stephanie Thrower in Star Cops for Big Finish Audio.
William Hazell’s theatre credits include The Choir Of Man (NCL), Doctor Who Live (UK arena tour), Bayside The Musical (The Other Palace), Dinosaurs In The Wild (Birmingham NEC) and Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare’s Globe). He has worked extensively with a number of different vocal harmony groups, most notably The Kings, The Eastcoast Boys, The Brit Tones, The Somebodys and The Four Harmonies.
Originally from Manchester, Will studied History at Durham University, before graduating from the Royal Central School Of Speech And Drama in 2006.
Theatre credits include The Choir Of Man (NCL); Season’s Greetings; The Railway Children; Waiting For God; Communicating Doors; The Secret Garden; Yes, Prime Minister (all Leatherhead and Swanage Rep Theatre); Blues Brothers Approved (UK tour); Doctor Who Live (UK arena tour); New Jersey Nights (UK and China tours); Pinocchio (UK Tour); Bayside The Musical (The Other Palace); Dinosaurs In The Wild (Birmingham NEC); The Last Five Years (The Rag Factory); The Hound Of The Baskervilles (Theatro Technis); Reefer Madness (Bridewell Theatre); and Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare’s Globe).
He has worked extensively with a number of different vocal harmony groups, most notably The Kings, The Eastcoast Boys, The Brit Tones, The Somebodys, and The Four Harmonies. He has been fortunate enough to perform around the world, and on many luxury cruise ships, including Cunard, Seabourn, NCL, and Royal Caribbean.
Will is a regular pantomime dame (oh yes he is!), and has been fortunate enough to work across a wide variety of other projects and genres, including voiceovers, audio plays, short films, and corporate role play.
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