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But First This – A Musical Homage to Radio 4

New musical about BBC reporters comes to the Watermill Theatre.

But First This

The Watermill Theatre is delighted to announce details of the premiere of But First This, a musical homage to Radio 4, written by BBC newsreader Kathy Clugston. It’s to play from Thursday 23rd October to Saturday 8th November 2014. Tickets are on sale now.

Along with the countryside and freedom of speech, Radio 4 is in the top seven Best Things About Britain Today, according to a recent poll. But a new Controller is out to destroy the cherished institution! Can the intrepid team of presenters foil her wicked plan? Written by BBC newsreader Kathy Clugston with music by Desmond O’Connor, But First This is a witty and lovingly irreverent new musical set in the world of Woman’s Hour, The Shipping Forecast, The Today Programme, Big Ben and, of course, the Pips. Just a Minute, make sure you’re on the Front Row, Today, Saturday Live or Midweek, not at Broadcasting House but at The Watermill Theatre. It’s guaranteed to be livelier than Book at Bedtime.

Just a Minute is written by Kathy Clugston and marks her musical theatre writing debut, inspired by 9 years of firsthand experience behind the microphone as a newsreader for BBC Radio 4. Kathy is also known as the Posh Radio 4 Lady (PR4L) in her regular appearances on The Scott Mills Show on Radio 1.

Desmond O’Connor is an internationally renowned and award winning composer, lyricist and performer with over twenty years’ experience in cabaret, comedy and musical theatre. Recent shows include Once Bitten at Glasgow Cabaret Festival, hosting The Terror Season at Soho Theatre and Scott Mills the Musical and And the Devil May Drag You Under at Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The cast features Michael Fenton Stevens as John Humphrys, Louise Plowright as Selina, Helena Blackman as Anna, Neil Ditt as Will and Jonathan Dryden Taylor as Jim, with James Beal on piano.

Michael Fenton Steven’s career spans four decades and includes theatre, television, radio, film, musicals, revue, stand-up, and a number one hit single in Britain and Australia with Spitting Image and “The Chicken Song”. Louise Plowright is known for her work in musicals including originating the role of Tanya and later playing Donna in Mamma Mia! at the Prince Edward Theatre, Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, Oklahoma! and 42nd Street at Chichester Festival Theatre and the UK Tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

But First This is written by Kathy Clugston with music by Desmond O’Connor. It is directed by Michael Kingsbury. It is produced by The Watermill in association with Act Productions Ltd.

Tickets available at


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