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The stars came out to shine in full force for London Theatre Direct's lavish Birthday party at Cafe de Paris on Thursday 3rd August to mark the company's 18th birthday.   London Theatre Direct threw the glittering event both as a celebration and also a thank you to their extended West End family.  The star-studded charity gala event was held in conjunction with the Make A Difference Trust, which raises money to fight HIV and AIDS in the UK and sub-Saharan Africa.

Doctor Who favourite Freema Agyeman is currently starring alongside Tony and Emmy Award winner Stockard Channing, Downtown Abbey's Laura Carmichael, The Last Kingdom's Joseph Millson and Olivier Award winner Desmond Barrit in Alexi Kaye Campbell's Apologia.   Wickedly funny but packing a real bite, the play about a family and its layers of secrets is directed by the Trafalgar Studios' fairy godfather Jamie Lloyd.   We caught up with Freema to chat about her experience.

Gin & Juice at Jay's! On a balmy July evening in London, I had the pleasure of attending the residence of the charismatic Jay Gatsby for a night of decadent partying. I was looking forward to having the ability to immerse myself in all that theatre has to offer. Upon entering the secret location I was handed a Copperhead Gin in the 1920's Speakeasy, women in Flappers dresses and men in bow ties and waistcoats greeted me ready for a night's entertainment. Calls of "c'mon in guys, can I get you a drink, hey, good to see you" were welcoming and all inclusive.

The eternally effervescent Sandra Dickinson is currently charming both audiences and critics alike alongside Matthew Scott in Lee Tannen's I Loved Lucy at the Arts Theatre.  The fascinating play is based on Tannen's memoirs of the time he spent with Hollywood legend Lucille Ball in the last ten years of her life.  We caught up with Sandra after she and Matthew joined us at our 18th Birthday celebrations at Cafe de Paris.

Sienna Miller is currently tantalising audiences at the Apollo Theatre in Benedict Andrews' take on the Tennessee Williams classic Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.   She stars as the frustrated and unfulfilled Maggie trying to rebuild a connection with Jack O'Connell's tormented and most likely repressed Brick.   Much has been made of both stars' nudity during the show, but Miller herself has implored audiences that although Andrews' staging is a bold and eye-catching opening to the production, she hopes to be ultimately judged on her performance.​

Queen Anne is a gripping, beautifully written piece of theatre – a standard, brilliant RSC historical drama. Whilst the play is fairly complex (you have to concentrate to pick up on all the sinews of the story), there is a good amount of satire injected into the performance, so you don't get bogged down. Add a few well-placed, lively songs, and you're left with a production that is tense and full of depth, but also continuously engaging.

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