Not a Safe Space, Love and Chai, Friends For All, Matilda

This is Not a Safe Space – tour starts 1 March

Written and performed by queer disabled poet, performer and theatre maker Jackie Hagan, This is Not a Safe Space examines the impact of benefit cuts.

Half the people in poverty are disabled or live with a disabled person and this work is based on interviews about class, mental illness and disabilities with more than 80 people from the margins of society. This is Not a Safe Space uses DIY Puppetry, poetry and standup comedy to bring together their stories.

Unlimited and Big Feast present the tour of This is Not a Safe Space originally commissioned by and previewed at Contact Manchester and Unlimited.

Hagan is a Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellow. Her play Cosmic Scallies was seen at last year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe and her solo show Some People Have Too Many Legs won the 2015 Saboteur Award for Best Spoken Word Show.

All performances will be BSL interpreted.

This is Not a Safe Space visits Creation Space Basingstoke, DeStress Fest at University of Leicester, Lawrence Batley Theatre Huddersfield and Camden People’s Theatre London.

The Game of Love and Chai – tour starts 1 March

Actor, comedian, novelist and playwright Nigel Planer has created a new adaptation of Marivaux’s classic French farce The Game of Love and Chance, moving the action from 1730s France to twenty-first-century England with the proposed marriage between two modern-day Asians.

Directed by Tara Arts artistic director Jatinder Verma, the show blends French farce with contemporary comedy and Bollywood.

The plot involves Rani arranging a test for Raj, to whom she is betrothed, by swapping with her cousin Sita but little does she know that Raj is doing the same, swapping places with his driver, Nitin.

The cast is made up of Ronny Jhutti, Kiren Jogi, Devan Modha, Goldy Notay, Adam Samuel-Bal and Sharon Singh.

The Game of Love and Chai has its world première at Tara Theatre then visits The Lowry, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, Belgrade Theatre Coventry and West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Friends For All – tour starts 3 March

In Friends For All, poet and rapper Simon Mole tells a story about 8-year-old Lexi, who doesn’t make friends easily, so decides to fight the powers that be, namely her class teacher, Mr Marsh, and the class bully, Suzy.

It is a tale about having the confidence to be yourself and stand up for what you believe in, suitable for those aged five and over; it features rapping, dancing and video projections.

Mole co-created Friends For All with theatre-maker Peader Kirk, video projections are by Andrew Crofts and the original soundtrack is composed by Jonny Wharton.

Friends For All was originally commissioned by the V&A as part of the Family Art Fun Programme, inspired by their You Say You Want a Revolution exhibition and developed with support from Apples and Snakes, the Albany, University of Bedfordshire and Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre. The show is produced by Half Moon Presents, the producing arm of Half Moon.

The show visits The Hat Factory Luton, Z-Arts Manchester, Norden Farm Centre for the Arts Maidenhead, Waterman Arts Centre Brentford and Marlowe Theatre Canterbury with further dates to be announced.

Matilda The Musical – tour starts 5 March

The Royal Shakespeare Company's Matilda The Musical will start its tour at Leicester Curve with the title role shared between Annalise Bradbury, Lara Cohen, Poppy Jones and Nicola Turner.

Craige Els will reprise the role of Miss Trunchbull, Carly Thoms plays Miss Honey and Sebastien Torkia and Rebecca Thornhill play Mr and Mrs Wormwood.

Three teams takes the roles of Bruce, Lavender, Amanda and the rest of the pupils at Crunchem Hall: Louella Asante-Owusu, Isobelle Chalmers, Shaquahn Crowe, Kiana Dumbuya, Madeline Gilby, Sheldon Golding, Jobe Hart, Raphael Higgins-Humes, Dylan Hughes, Sam Lovelock, Tayah Marshall Brewster, Jaden Meek, Alfie Murray, Nicholas Seal, Daisy Sequerra, Elliot Stiff, Lyla Toplass, George Varley, Scarlett Weegram, Maisy-May Woods-Smeeth, Harrison Wilding and Sophie Young.

Other grown ups include Joe Atkinson, Nina Bell, Peter Bindloss, Oliver Bingham, Emily Bull, Matthew Caputo, Samara Casteallo, Matt Gillett, Michelle Chantelle Hopewell, Sam Lathwood, Steffan Lloyd-Evans, Charlie Martin, Anu Ogunmefun, Taylor Walker, Adam Vaughan and Dawn Williams.

A new education programme, Change My Story, will be rolled out alongside the tour, involving whole school takeovers and a travelling library of stories.

Matilda The Musical is based on Roald Dahl’s book, Matilda and is written by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin; Matthew Warchus directs. The show has won awards the world over including 16 for Best Musical.

The West End production continues at the Cambridge Theatre.

After Leicester Curve, Matilda The Musical visits Dublin Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Sunderland Empire Theatre, Milton Keynes Theatre, Birmingham Hippodrome, Manchester Palace Theatre and Wales Millennium Centre with further dates and venues to be announced.