Newies Fansies Q and A

Newsies Fansies Q&A Special Edition

Newsies Fansies

Disney’s Newsies has been the front headline at the Troubadour Theatre since November of last year. With its final week, there was a special Fansies evening featuring a Q&A with the Cast and Directors. I was lucky enough to attend this fantastic evening.

Matt ColeChoreographer and Director

Natalie Pryce – Costume Designer

Morgan LargeSet Designer

Ryan O’ConnerProps Supervisor

Simon HaleOrchestrator

Nigel Lilley – Music Supervision & Dance Arrangements


Newsies Fansies

How did the idea of Newsies come about?

“The show came about during lockdown, when the world had stopped theatre, and we were all sat at home thinking, what are we going to do next? I thought, what could I have a go at and I loved the show Newsies. I saw clips of it online and thought, I’d love to do that. I asked my friend Morgan (Morgan Large) if he’d want to look at Newsies. We approached Disney and introduced ourselves and asked, can we do Newsies. They didn’t reply back, so I emailed again and eventually, they replied back and said, what would you do that is different to the version that we had in America?

I knew of the Troubadour Theatre space when there was nothing in it and thought, we could do a really special version of that in here. I spoke with Morgan and Nigel (Nigel Lilley), if we could do something different by changing the dance arrangements, and could we make it our own version. We put together a pitch document to Disney, and sent it off to them and said, this is what we want to do, and they said yes! It started and it just kept going and that’s how we ended up here; It was a journey”. Matt Cole 


“When the big band and company come together for the first time it’s a very special presence.For me especially, watching everyone’s faces. It was so special working with Nigel on brilliant dance arrangements, to add something new to the show with this production. Seeing everyone’s response, I was watching up there with Nigel and the band it was truly special”. Simon Hale

Costume Design

“I had a meeting with Matt over a year ago, before we knew the cast or anything and we were just talking about the style that he wants to create. We wanted it to be really authentic and to bring it back to the grit of New York to have it just as it was back in 1899. Have them all sewn down and have their knees all torn. It just places the audience into where we are, it is really immersive in that way as well as the amazing choreography. Natalie Pryce

Set Design

“We started with a blank box and worked out where the seats were going to go and thought, how can we tell this story in a unique way? I wanted to make sure we made a rabbit warren, so Newsies can appear at any point around you throughout the stage. You never know when you’re going to be sat next to a Newsie, or if a Newsie is going to be sliding down beside you. Or swinging from a lampshade above your head.

That was one of our starting points. I also wanted to be able to kind of tell the story from Jack’s point of view. What is his dream and how can we visualise his dream. Why is he so desperate to get out. We wanted to have references to Santa Fe around the stage, and we made the version of the big yellow moon that he sings about in the song, but we make out his desire with the New York windows”. Morgan Large

How are we going to do the stacks of Newspapers?

“We wanted to do it in an eco friendly insensitive way. We didn’t want to waste stacks of newspapers. What I am really glad at is, we have been able to do those throwaways per show. I love it, it’s so great for me that I get to do something where, the audience gets to be excited about props. I do love it when you’re all grabbing the papers”. Ryan O’Conner

Ryan also pointed out to us that there is also a hidden Mickey included somewhere in the set design which, was rather special to hear. Fansies was a great addition at the end of the show. Some questions were asked to the audience and one question in particular was “Is Newsies transferring to the West End or going on tour?” to which Matt Cole hinted “It will be going on a little break, but it may becoming back”.

It is very exciting that we could see this return after its run from the Troubadour Theatre in Wembley Park. It has been fantastic having this adaptation of Disney’s Newsies.

Newsies Fansies

Newsies Fansies

Newsies Fansies

Blogger about all things Disney Parks related. Finalist for a Photography award. Living in London but, you can find me in Paris most of the time.

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