Sardines Magazine


Here is the latest news from Sardines, the magazine for Amateur Theatre,


Many readers will recall the Amateur Stage Expo, which was due to take place in London three years ago but saw itself unfortunately cancelled at short-notice just before the event’s opening. Despite the disappointing outcome, the original idea of mounting a dedicated celebration of amateur theatre featuring live performances from societies as well as relevant exhibitors, workshops, educational performance and open discussion groups proved to be an extremely popular one with amateur societies, their members… and Sardines.

Three years on and Sardines is excited to report that we are in discussions with the UK’s foremost and best-established performing arts events – Move It & Perform – with a view to providing a much greater and focused coverage for the amateur theatre sector at Perform 2016 next March. This will be represented by an enhanced programme of events and exhibitors relevant to the amateur sector.

Back in 2012 the following companies were listed to exhibit at the Amateur Stage Expo prior to the event’s cancellation: Samuel French; Dress Circle Costumiers; Drama Association of Wales;The Little Box Office; Cutting Edge Combat; Prosceneium; Regents College; Cressrelles Publishing; Nick Hern Books; UK Academy of Television, Film & Theatre; Stage Scripts; The Really Useful Group; International Theatre & Music;; Josef Weinberger;Sardines Magazine; Amateur Stage Magazine; The Royal Shakespeare Company; The Stage Management Association; Right On Cue; Stage Presence; Orbital Sound; Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts; Scenery Hire; NODA and The Stage Events, among others….

Sardines will be working closely with Upper Street Events (organisors of Move It & Perform) throughout the year in an attempt to build a similarly impressive list of exhibitors and programme of events as well as some very special guests. So, watch this space for more news including your opportunity to attend or even take part in what will hopefully be an historic event for UK amateur theatre.

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The next issue of Sardines is out in two weeks and, as always, will be bursting with goodies for anyone in and around the amateur theatre sector.

As well as our regular features we interview Queen of the West End Kerry Ellis who has recently been starring in CATS at the London Palladium.
Five years after hitting our Saturday night TV screens, Over the Rainbow winner Danielle Hopetakes time out of the current Sound of Music tour to talk with us about that show and her whirlwind career.
Our annual Summer School feature gives advice and information for the more ambitious readers who may be looking to fine-tune their skills or even develop a professional career.
PLUS… lots more including all our regular features.

1 Year (4 issues) £12.00 | 2 Years (8 issues) £22.00
(single issue purchase also available)

OR… subscribe to our digital version via the FREE Sardines app

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LEGALLY BLONDE is the latest addition to UK Productions’ stunning collection of sets and costumes available for hire.

The production has been designed and constructed for the Aberystwyth Arts Centre professional summer season which runs from the 24th July to the 29th August. Should you wish to see the show and have a tour of the set and costumes afterwards we can arrange discounted tickets.

This is what the press said about our Sister Act production (also available for hire) which came out of Aberystwyth last year:

“The sets and costumes have been beautifully designed and executed” Walesonline

“Superb and ingenious sets….this production could quite easily transfer to the West End tomorrow and not look out of place” The Public Reviews


The set has been designed to be extremely flexible and we will be happy to advise you as to its suitability for your venue. Still under construction the pictures show the model box to give you an idea of what to expect in all its pinkness.
Don’t forget our catalogue of sets and costumes includes, Oliver!, Jekyll & Hyde, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, 42nd Street, South Pacific, Oklahoma!, La Cage aux Folles, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Whistle Down the Wind, Carousel, Fiddler on the Roof, Singin’ in the Rain, Yes Prime Minister and a range of popular pantomimes.

For more information email or call 01483 423600

UK Productions – Producing excellence in Musical Theatre for 20 years.

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If you don’t already receive the Samuel French email newsletter, we’d like to invite you to subscribe now. Our occasional newsletters are the best way to be the first to know about releases on new plays to perform, as well as getting insider tips and recommendations from our expert staff, hand-picked selections of the best new plays, acting and theatre books, and great competitions and offers.
Everyone who subscribes to our newsletter will be entered into a draw to win £75 to spend at Samuel French, sosign up now. Good luck!

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If you love the performing arts, working with young people and dream of having your own business that rewards you for doing both; then Razzamataz has the perfect opportunity for you!

2015 is a GREAT year for Dragons’ Den success story Razzamataz and all our Principals. With international partnerships with holiday giants First Choice and great relationships with the like ofThe Top Talent Agency, Razzamataz is going from strength to strength.

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Hayley Limpkin, Principal of Razzamataz Medway and Maidstone recently said “The journey to building my two successful schools over the last 5 years has been immense (and I’m just about to renew for another 5 years!) I’ve never done something that is so challenging, in terms of testing my skills and work/home life balance, especially since my little boy Finlay came along, but I feel extremely lucky to do something I love and make a living from it!
“My students make every hard day in the office worthwhile. They along with my fabulous team work tirelessly to build and maintain a culture at our schools based on trust, commitment and support for each other. I work with some fantastic people both in my team and within the Razzamataz network and that is something that is really special.
“I now have over 370 students across both of my territories! My top tip; don’t be afraid to be ambitious!”


If you think you have the #RazzFactorand would like to come along and join us at one of our informal Discovery Dens contact:

or call +44 (0) 7793 054 233

…and take the first steps on your #Razztastic journey

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Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts is world renowned for its training of actors, directors and musical theatre performers. Graduates include Ken Stott, Brendan Coyle and Eddie Marsan, West End stars Connie Fisher and Oliver Thornton and directors Maria Aberg, Michael Longhurst and Hampstead Theatre’s Artistic Director Ed Hall.
Less well-known is that Mountview also runs a series of summer schools specifically for amateur actors and directors.


Mountview’s Summer School for amateur actors runs over three days and is a must for all performers looking to learn new skills and experience professional drama school training. Six half-day master classes look at Shakespeare, stage combat, text and character, improvisation, voice and singing. Taught in small groups to mirror an authentic conservatoire experience, the course costs £360 and runs from 23-25 July.

Amateur Theatre Training at Mountview  c  Robin Savage

The directors’ weekend introduces experienced amateur directors to techniques and practices used by professionals. The course focuses on the key responsibilities of a theatre director: the vision, script, actors and staging with workshops covering voice technique, ‘page-to-stage’ exercises, getting the most out of your actors and lighting, sound and digital production. This course runs on 24 and 25 July and costs £240 and will equip you with all the skills to put on your next production.

The courses take place at Mountview’s studios in Wood Green, north London.

For more details or to book call 020 8826 9217 or visit our website here

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If you would like the chance to give an honest, constructive and entertaining appraisal of amateur, fringe and professional productions then we would like to hear from you.
Sardines receives requests to review amateur shows from all over the UK as well as touring and West End productions. Reviewers usually receive two press tickets, a programme and sometimes even a glass of wine with reviews uploaded to the Sardines website within 24 (professional) or 48 (amateur) hours.
If you would like to know more please email Mrs Sardines or call 01689 853980.

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Societies have until midnight, Sunday 19 April to upload all their upcoming productions to theirSardines Directory profiles – in order to appear in print inside the next issue of Sardines.


Any news items sent into (unless already booked) will now appear in the August 2015 (no.27) issue as no.26’s Your News pages are now closed.

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Sardines magazine: 01689 853980 | email:


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