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Producers of the Rising Stars Festival with Nica Burns (middle front). Not pictured are Alice Fearn, Jamie Lambert and Eliza Jackson, David O’Reilly. (Photograph by David Levene)

Nimax Theatres to stage West End debuts of 23 producers in Rising Stars Festival

Published 26 April 2021

Twenty-three young theatre producers are being given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to present their work in the West End for the first time.

Their 17 productions – plays, musicals, concerts and one-off events – have attracted wonderful performers from emerging talent to popular West End stars. The Rising Stars Festival will run from May to September in Nimax’s six theatres (the Apollo, Duchess, Garrick, Lyric, Palace and Vaudeville).

Announcing Nimax’s festival, Nica Burns, Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted to be welcoming into the spotlight a galaxy of talented young producers – our rising stars making their West End debuts. Entrepreneurial, adventurous, creating shows during our lockdown days to entertain and inspire, attracting stellar performers. Usually behind the spotlight, few understand what a producer does.Without them, there are no shows. If these enterprising producers are the future of the West End, it’s looking good.”

The Rising Stars Festival runs alongside Nimax’s long-running shows and new summer programme.

Nica Burns added: “A big thank you to Oliver Dowden and the DCMS for awarding us a Cultural Recovery Fund grant which has enabled us to re-open all six of our theatres with social distancing, support the Rising Stars Festival and create hundreds of new jobs.”

Check out our video below where we talk to the first-time producers and find out more about their exiting shows.


If you’d like to see the work of these incredibly talented producers on stage, take a look at the schedule for the Rising Stars Festival below and book your tickets now:

17 – 19 May : Drag Queens of Pop (Vaudeville Theatre)  – Producer David O’Reilly

The best live singing drag queens performing some of their solo releases & some pop classic covers to get you singing, not lip syncing along. Starring RuPauls Drag Race Season 1 winner The Vivienne, S2 Fans Fav Tia Kofi & S2 Rusical Winner Veronica Green + more queens to be added.

18 May – 13 June: Cruise, (Duchess Theatre) – Producers: Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment, Jamie Lambert and Eliza Jackson for Lambert Jackson Productions


This new play brings to life the true story of Michael Spencer who, after being diagnosed with HIV, is told he’ll have four years to live – at most. Featuring a stunning uplifting 80s electronic soundtrack, Cruise will make you laugh, cry and feeling inspired to make the most of everything that life has to offer.

19 May – 11 July: Death Drop (Garrick Theatre) Producers Ameena Hamid, Jamie Chapman Dixon and John-Webb Carter for Carter Dixon Productions

Starring RuPaul’s Drag Race legends Willam and Latrice Royale alongside Britain’s Got Talent 2020 semi-finalist Myra Dubois, this brand-new comedy is a West End first bringing together a full cast of leading drag performers, in a hilarious murder mystery like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

22 & 23 May: Roles We’ll Never Play (Vaudeville Theatre) – Producer Thomas Duern

Roles We’ll Never Play will see two star studded casts (a different cast each night) singing songs outside of their casting brackets. Notable performances in the last concert included a show stopping ‘All Male’ version of ‘Ex-Wives’ from Six The Musical and power house leading lady Alice Fearn ending the show with an incredible rendition of Santa Fe from Disneys Newsies.

24 May: An Evening with Kathy Burke (Lyric Theatre) – Producer David O’Reilly

For one night ONLY Kathy Burke will appear live at The Lyric Theatre, Shaftsbury Avenue where she will be interviewed by TV Presenter and recent winner of Celebrity Master Chef Riyadh Khalaf in an up close and personal interview about her life and career.

24 May: Intermissions Live (Vaudeville Theatre) – Producers Alice Fearn & Kirk Jamieson

Following the huge success of last year’s digital shows ALICE FEARN is back with Intermissions, but this time live and in person at London’s Vaudeville Theatre! For one night only the Intermissions team including superstar vocalist EMMA LINDARS and musical director NICK BARSTOW, will reunite onstage for an evening of live music, interviews and very special guest appearances.

24 May, 14 June & 5 July: Monday Night at the Apollo (Apollo Theatre) – Producers Greg Barnett and Hugh Summers for Wild Mountain Productions Ltd

Monday Night At The Apollo

An intimate evening of conversation and song hosted by Greg Barnett, Monday Night at the Apollo will see some of the West End’s best-known performers sing an eclectic mix of music from their favourite genres.

27 -30 May: Public Domain (Vaudeville Theatre) – Producer Adam Lenson

Public Domain is a dark, funny, verbatim musical about the internet: Those who own it; those who live in it; and YOU!

2 – 6 June: The Show Must Go On! (Palace Theatre)- Producers Chris Marcus and Damien Stanton for Theatre Support Fund+ and Jack Maple and Brian Zeilinger for MZG productions

THE SHOW MUST GO ON! LIVE AT THE PALACE THEATRE, is a concert which will celebrate the wealth of West End talent with all profits going to Acting For Others and The Fleabag Support Fund. All of the 16 shows which appear on the iconic ‘The Show Must Go On!’ design are confirmed to perform and these include,

7 – 13 June: Alyssa, Memoirs of a Queen! (Vaudeville Theatre) – Producers Robin Rayner and James Quaife for New Frame Productions

For one week only, experience the magic of Alyssa Edwards as she sashays her way into London’s glittering West End from 7 – 13 June!

7 June: An Evening With Arlene Phillips (Duchess Theatre) – Producer David O’Reilly

Expect an evening of stories and “hot gossip,” from Arlene’s time working in TV & Theatre, and who knows – maybe a dance move or two!

10 – 13 June: West End Musical Celebration (Palace Theatre) – Producers Shanay Holmes and Chris Steward for West End Musical Productions

West End Musical Celebration

The West End’s biggest stars, including Sophie Evans, Alice Fearn, Ben Forster, Rachel John, Jamie Muscato, Shanay Holmes, Trevor Dion Nicholas, & Layton Williams, welcome you back with an all singing, all dancing extravaganza, featuring the most famous and celebrated songs of musical theatre. As with all our shows we invite the audience to ‘step into the world of musicals’ and ‘become the cast’ in this immersive and interactive concert!

14 June: West End Live Lounge (Lyric Theatre) – Producer Shaun McCourt

What started off as a one-off concert in 2017, has fast become one of the staple events in the theatrical calendar. This series of concerts showcases an array of talent from the world of theatre, all performing some of the most iconic songs from the world of popular music and beyond.

21 June & 28 June: The Distance You Have Come (Apollo Theatre) – Producers Sarah Evans for Sevans Productions and Krystal Lee

In a song cycle of his most acclaimed works, sung by some of the best voices in the west end, award winning composer and lyricist Scott Alan leads us through a year in the intertwined lives of six people facing the joy and heartache of the human experience, as they each search for their own version of happiness – which is, after all, what it’s all about.

28 June: The Wonderbirds Live (Duchess Theatre) – Producer David O’Reilly

The hit YouTube Chat Show ‘The Wonderbirds’ starring Sherrie HewsonHarriet ThorpeDebbie Arnold and Dee Anderson will take to the Duchess Theatre in the West End for one magnificent night. They will bring all the best bits from their YouTube series and so much more.

15 July – 30 August: Wonderment (Palace Theatre) – Producers Stephen McGill, McGill Productions, John-Webb Carter and Jamie Dixon, Carter Dixon Productions, Piers Cottee-Jones, Piers Cottee-Jones Entertainment

WONDERMENT brings together some of the greatest illusionists live on stage in a breath-taking display of magic and illusion that will electrify, surprise and leave theatregoers in awe at what they are seeing.

17 September – 13 October: The Last 5 Years (Vaudeville Theatre)
Producers Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment, Edward Prophet and People Entertainment Group, with Dan Looney, Adam Paulden and Jason Haigh-Ellery for DLAP GROUP

Jason Robert-Brown’s award-winning musical The Last Five Years, returns to London’s West End for the first time in over ten years, after two sensational sell-out seasons at Southwark Playhouse, and an internationally streamed performance watched by audiences worldwide.

Full of romance, wit and vivid storytelling, Jamie shares his story from the spark of their relationship’s giddy beginning, whilst Cathy’s side is told in reverse, from the end of their turbulent partnership. The two characters cross paths just once, as their stories collide during the middle of the show.


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Alyssa cruise Death Drop monday night at the apollo nimax theatres public domain Rising Stars Festival the last five years The Memoirs Of A Queen Wonderment Magic and Illusions

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