First Look at TONY! THE TONY BLAIR ROCK OPERA at Theatre Royal Brighton

First Look at TONY! THE TONY BLAIR ROCK OPERA at Theatre Royal Brighton

Following it’s run in London’s West End at the Leicester Square Theatre, Harry Hill and Steve Brown’s musical, TONY! [The Tony Blair Rock Opera] is currently on a UK tour. The production will be stopping off in Brighton at Theatre Royal Brighton from 27 June to 1 July.

Check out photos from the production below!

Ahead of the show’s arrival in town, Jack Whittle who plays Tony Blair and Tori Burgess who plays Cherie Blair spent the day down by the sea in Brighton, seeing some of our most iconic sights. They took a trip on The Volk’s Electric Railway, a spin around the seafront Carousel and of course, stopped off at the world famous Brighton Palace Pier.

Completing the cast are Howard Samuels as Peter Mandelson, Phil Sealey as Gordon Brown, Martin Johnston as Neil Kinnock, Rosie Strobel as John Prescott, Sally Cheng as Robin Cook, Emma Jay Thomas as Princess Diana and William Hazell as on-stage cover.   Other characters featured in the musical, who are played by the cast, include Saddam Hussein, Liam Gallagher, Alastair Campbell, Osama Bin Laden and many more.

The musical tells 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.

Please note: Neither Tony Blair, the Tony Blair Institute, nor any other person featured in this production have endorsed the production or its marketing materials and are in no way affiliated with the production.

Harry Hill and Steve Brown said, “After the great response from audiences on its launch this summer, we’re thrilled that TONY! is going on the road in 2023. It’s a show for Tony Lovers and Haters everywhere – and everyone in between – don’t expect a history lesson – in our world Tony’s born singing and dancing, Saddam Hussein is played as Groucho Marx and Gordon Brown occasionally turns into the Incredible Hulk – let’s just say all the facts are there… but not necessarily as they occurred!  Tony hasn’t yet replied to our invite to see the show, but we do hope he’ll pop along to his old stomping ground of Sedgefield to give his verdict when we open there at the Parish Hall. Tony? If you’re reading this we’ve put a couple of tickets in your name on the door.”

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TONY! [The Tony Blair Rock Opera] is directed by Peter Rowe, with set and costume design by Libby Watson, lighting design by Mark Dymock and choreography by Francesca Jaynes.  The Park Theatre production of TONY! [The Tony Blair Rock Opera] is produced in the West End and on tour by Nicholson Green Productions.

TONY! [The Tony Blair Rock Opera] plays Theatre Royal Brighton from Tuesday 27 June to Saturday 1 July 2023. Tickets are available at Click Here.


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. 

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).

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). 

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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). 

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. 

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.  

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). 

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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). 

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.

Theatre Royal Brighton

Built in 1807, Theatre Royal Brighton is one of the oldest and most distinguished theatres in the country. The auditorium of the Grade II* listed building, which is located at the heart of the city’s cultural quarter, represents an example of the finest regency architecture. The venue continues to delight audiences with a wide range of pre and post West End touring plays and musicals, as well as ballet, opera, music, comedy and children’s shows.

Theatre Royal Brighton is part of the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG). A world leader in live entertainment, ATG is the world’s number one live theatre company, covering every discipline in the industry, operating venues, running major ticketing platforms and producing award-winning shows.

  • June 25, 2023