Casting News - James Mortmain in I Capture the Castle at Watford Palace

Tuesday 7th February 2017

Casting has been announced for Watford Palace Theatre’s world premiere presentation of the musical version of Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle.

A co-production with the Octagon Theatre Bolton and Kevin Wallace Limited, the musical is due to play the Palace from Friday 31 March until Saturday 22 April, with a press night on Wednesday 5 April. The production will then play the Octagon Theatre from Wednesday 26 April until Saturday 6 May.

Watford Palace’s artistic director Brigid Larmour directs Suzanne Ahmet (Peter Pan, National Theatre), Kate Batter (This Little Life of Mine, Park Theatre), Theo Boyce (professional theatre debut), Luke Dale (Flowers for Mrs Harris, Sheffield Crucible), Lowri Izzard (Much Ado About Nothing, Faction Theatre), Isaac Stanmore (Peter Pan in Scarlet, Oxford Playhouse), Julia St John (Larkrise, Almeida Theatre), Ben Watson (Jack and the Beanstalk, Watford Playhouse) and Shona White (The World Goes Round, Stephen Joseph Theatre).

Based on the much-loved first novel by Smith, the writer of One Hundred and One Dalmatians, the new musical has a book and lyrics by Teresa Howard and original music by composer Steven Edis.

Unveiling details of the production, director Larmour said: “There is something magical about Dodie Smith’s story about finding your way into adulthood. Steven and Teresa have written a fresh, passionate adaptation, and it is exciting to be reimagining this extraordinary book as a piece of contemporary music theatre.”

Set in 1930s Bohemian England, the comingof age saga was made into a film in 2003 featuring a cast that included Romola Garaj, Bill Nighy, Rose Byrne, Tara Fitzgerald and an early big screen appearance from Superman star Henry Cavill.

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'Smee was world class' - Hastings Observer Review

Monday 19th December 2016

Review from The Hastings Observer (Malcom Robinson)

'Ben Watson as Smee was world class and pops up throughout the pantomime engaging with the children with his boundless enthusiasm. 

For me as the Observer reviewer the star of the show was once again Ben Watson as Smee who put on the performance of his life, he was simply outstanding.'

Read more at:

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History Of Everything to play White Rock, Hastings

Wednesday 10th August 2016

"Peter Pans Mr Smee washes up on the shores of The White Rock Theatre a week early this Christmas. “Serial Hastings panto legend” Ben Watson performs his one man comedy show, fresh from its sell-out successes in London and Brighton. Silly, surreal and satirical, this fast-paced comic adventure through history takes you from the dawn of time to the present day. From Ancient Rome to the Millennium Dome, Telegraphy to the mobile phone, Tudors, Trump and Tory capers, Persians, peace signs and The Panama Papers.

Suitable for audiences, time-travellers and historians over the age of 14.

“Packed with laughs from start to finish, yet delivering a subtle emotional impact too, this superb performance is worth 60 minutes of anyone’s day.” - Fringe Guru ★★★★

“Part Lee Evans and part Jim Carrey – a manic performance of the first order” – The Stage

“His rapport with the audience is textbook perfect” – The Sussex Newspaper

“One to watch out for” - Broadway Baby ★★★★"

(Taken from The White Rock Theatre's website)

To book tickets:


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Fifth year in a row for Panto!

Monday 6th June 2016

(Posted by The White Rock Theatre, Hastings)

We are delighted to announce that comedy favourite Ben Watson will return to the White Rock Theatre stage for his fifth panto appearance in a show packed full of fantastic music, laugh-out-loud comedy and a pirate ship full of audience participation.
Ben is joined by boyband sensation and Union J star Jaymi Hensley who, as previously announced, will star as the high-flying hero Peter Pan in Hastings’ swashbuckling pantomime adventure!
Sussex audiences will be thrilled to learn that the White Rock funny man is back once again, reprising his role of Smee, the bumbling sidekick to Neverland’s dastardliest pirate Captain Hook, a character he last played in 2012.
Having previously delighted audiences appearing as Buttons in Cinderella, Wishee Washee in Aladdin and Simple Simon in Dick Whittington, Ben has starred alongside Louie Spence, Jessie Wallace, Sheila Reid and Paul Nicholas and won legions of local fans who return to see him year after year."

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History Of Everything - Brighton Fringe Reviews ★★★★

Sunday 29th May 2016

Ben performed his self-penned one man comedy show "The History Of Everything In 60 Mins (more or less)" at The Rialto Theatre at this years Brighton Fringe Festival. Gaining sell-out shows and 4 star reviews: 

Broadway Baby - **** "One to watch out for


Fringe Guru **** "Packed with laughs from start to finish, yet delivering a subtle emotional impact too, this superb performance is worth 60 minutes of anyone’s day."


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'Serial Hastings panto legend' - The Stage ★★★★

Wednesday 23rd December 2015

The Stage review for Cinderella (Katie Columbus)

'Serial Hastings panto legend Ben Watson returns to the White Rock Theatre to play Buttons, and it’s his best yet. Channelling his inner David Walliams, Watson’s cheeky humour and character-compere skills translate brilliantly to adults and children alike. He carries the show, ensuring that “everything is awesome” and that the audience are having the time of their lives.'

Full review here:

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