Alice Fearn to star in premiere of new musical Then, Now & Next by Christopher J Orton and Jon Robyns

New musical Then, Now & Next will make its world premiere at London’s Southwark Playhouse.

The piece is written by Christopher J Orton (My Land’s Shore) and Jon Robyns (currently playing the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera) in a first-time collaboration for the pair.

Directed by Julie Atherton (Ordinary Days) and starring Alice Fearn (Come From Away, Wicked), the production from Paul Virides Productions will run from 28 June – 29 July, with previews from 23 June.

Completing the cast are Tori Allen-Martin, Justin Brett, Peter Hannah and Joaquin Pedro Valdes.

Struggling with a difficult past, Alex Shaw is attempting to take steps forward. We follow her journey over twenty years, through two loves – young, adventurous idealist, Stephen, and the older, reliable and charming Peter – as she gathers the scattered chapters of her life, in the hope of re-building her story and asking if she will ever be more than just “fine”.

Through Alex’s experiences, her uplifting story questions how relationships can change over time and explores what it takes to truly heal.

Accept what was. Embrace what could be.

The production has orchestrations, arrangements and musical supervision by Ben Goddard-Young with musical director Honor Halford-MacLeod, movement director Alexzandra Sarmiento, set and costume designer Bob Sterrett, lighting designer Adam King, sound designer Raffaela Pancucci, production manager Titch Gosling and dramaturgy by Kate Golledge.

Christopher J Orton and Jon Robyns said: “We started work on early drafts of this show together almost ten years ago, and eagerly revisited it in April 2020. It got us both through lockdown with no expectation of the show turning into what it is today. We came out the other side with a piece that speaks to how we all feel now about moving forward and what it means to belong.

“We are strong advocates of new, original British musicals, and are delighted to have our debut show produced at Southwark Playhouse; a proven breeding ground for new innovative writing. Alice Fearn has beautifully embodied the character of Alex Shaw through several workshops, and we’re extremely excited for audiences to see her bring this brand-new musical to the stage for the first time”

Julie Atherton added: “I’m beyond excited and feeling very lucky to be working with such an innovative and passionate creative team on this beautiful moving story written by my old friends and colleagues, Jon & Chris. I just can’t wait to get in that rehearsal room.”

For more information and tickets, visit

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


Follow us