George Stagnell and Sam Hird in Stephen Dolginoff's Thrill Me

"Pick Me Up Theatre are not only remarkably prolific but their work is consistently outstanding"

That’s what Charles Hutchinson, Arts Editor of the York Press, says about us!


And he’s backed it up with a string of five star reviews – including for our hugely popular sellout production of Stephen Dolginoff’s Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story starring Sam Hird and George Stagnell.


In his annual Hutch Awards in 2018 he also named our one-man staging of Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful as York Production of the Year – and George Stagnell as Performer of the Year for his "remarkable" portrayal of Tommo and 20-odd other characters. The production also attracted five-star reviews and sellout audiences when it appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe, alongside performances of  George Butterworth's Songs from A Shropshire Lad by Sam Hird and Sam Johnson.

George Stagnell as Tommo in Pick Me Up's production of Private Peaceful

Other five-star successes have included a powerful staging of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, which kicked off our residency at @41monkgate – revitalised as one of York’s most exciting theatre venues under the chairmanship of Jim Welsman and the work of our artistic director Robert Readman. From left: Jonny Holbek, George Stagnell, Alexa Chaplin, Juliet Waters, Mark Hird, Simon Radford, Connor Mellor, Craig Kirby.  Photo by Matthew Kitchen.

Stephen Sondheim's Assassins

Assassins was paired with a thrillingly intimate production of Sweeney Todd, which went back to Sondheim's original vision for a smaller 'chamber' piece that would "scare people". Susannah Baines as Mrs Lovett and Nick Lewis as Sweeney. Photo by Matthew Kitchen

Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd

That same intimacy was used to great effect in our recent production of Sondheim’s Follies, where audience members felt like guests at Weismann’s reunion party. Angie Millar, in a review for York Mix, said it was a “special experience” that drew the audience into the world of the central characters. From left: Tracey Rea, Juliet Waters, Maggie Smales, Beryl Nairn, Sonia Skelton, Susannah Baines, Sandy Nicholson.

Stephen Sondheim's Follies

Another very special @41monkgate production was the UK premiere of the hilarious off-Broadway musical Disenchanted! – when we were joined by the show’s creator Dennis T Giacino for the last night. From left:  Hayley Bamford, Maya Bartley O'Dea, Maren Fagerås Nævdal, Elanor Dunn, Maya Tether, Alexa Chaplin, Victoria Lightfoot and Katie Melia, with Dennis and his lovely mother.

Dennis T Giacino's Disenchanted!

York premieres have included two pieces by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe – an intimate production of Betty Blue Eyes, based on Alan Bennett's A Private Function, and a spectacular staging of Peter Pan: A Musical Adventure –  as well as The Addams Family, Ghost, Dogfight and The Pitmen Painters. Photo: Betty Blue Eyes and her creator and puppeteer Elanor Dunn, with Chris Speight  as Mr Allardyce.

Stiles and Drewe's Betty Blue Eyes

We stage larger scale shows every year at York's Grand Opera House – recent productions have included Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, the  RSC version of The Wizard of Oz, and Lerner and Lowe's classic musical My Fair Lady .

Magical Mister Mistoffelees – Nathan Mundey

Photo by Matthew Kitchen: Nathan Mundey (as Mister Mistoffelees) and the cast of Cats

My Fair Lady York Grand Opera House

Photo by Matthew Kitchen: Toni Feetenby as Eliza Doolittle, Sandy Nicholson as Mrs Pearce, and Rory Mulvihill as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady.


Take a look at more photos from past productions here.