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“Gobsmackingly good.” The Times ****

Music by Steve Brown
Book & Lyrics by Steve Brown and Justin Greene
From the book by Viv Nicholson and Stephen Smith


“Another summer, another terrific small-scale musical revival from The Watermill.” The Guardian ****

“Gobsmackingly good.” The Times ****

“This was the sort of experience the West End is supposed to deliver – and so rarely does. A really, really good night out.” Theatre World

“This is one of the theatrical "must sees" of the summer.” Broadway World.Com

Thu 09 Sep 2010 - Sat 25 Sep 2010

Winner of 2010 TMA award for Best Musical 
Kirsty Hoiles (young Viv) TMA award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical.

“Another summer, another terrific small-scale musical revival from The Watermill.” The Guardian ****

"...a gloriously warm, in-yer-face revival that fits the intimate Watermill like a glove.” What’s On Stage *****

“Written from the heart by the lead character herself, this touching story is as relevant today as it was in 1961 when Viv Nicholson won the Pools.” The Stage

Following its sensational run at The Watermill last year, this award-winning production returns before touring to theatres around the UK.

Scraping by on seven quid a week with her husband and three kids in a tiny terraced house in Castleford, Yorkshire, Viv Nicholson’s life was as near rock bottom as it could get. Until that day in 1961 when Viv borrowed money from her Mam to play the Pools and she was catapulted from obscurity to fame with the biggest win ever - £152,319 (£5 million today). From rags to riches and back to rags again, the extraordinary musical journey of a brash and naïve, northern lass.

The cast
Greg Barnett                           Keith
Jack Beale                              Matt/Estate Agent
Rob Cousins                          Show MD
Neil Ditt                                    Brucie/Bank Manager
Kirsty Hoiles                           Young Viv
T J Holmes                             Graham/Various
Graham Kent                          George
Karen Mann                             Viv
Jane Milligan                           Viv’s Mother
Tara Nelson                            Sue/Tart/Various
Susannah Van Den Berg      Mrs Waterman/Florrie
Tom Yeates                              Policeman/Tax Inspector

From £13.50 to £25

Performance Running Times
First Act           1hour
Interval             20 mins
Second Act     1 hour

Reactions from audience members...

“I laughed so much it hurt, yet also found it very moving”.

 “Wow wow wow!! I laughed, cried, and didn't want it to end.”

“I will be recommending it to everyone - and am planning to come back and see it again!”

“The vitality, versatility and talent of the players left me speechless.  What more could anyone want from a night out?” 

Please note that this production contains strong language and there may be smoking on stage during the performance.

Click on the 'View movie' link above to see an extract from the show.

Go to our On Tour section for a list of tour dates and venues.


Performance times
Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm
Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm
(please note there is no matinee performance on Thursday 9 September)
Saturday 25 September performances at 1.30pm and 6.30pm

Directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood
Musical Supervisor and musical arrangements by Sarah Travis
Designed by Diego Pitarch
Lighting designed by Nick Richings
Sound designed by Clement Rawling
Associate Director Robin Colyer