Tag Archives: Sario Solomon




Charing Cross Theatre

ALLEGIANCE at the Charing Cross Theatre



“The cast was absolutely outstanding, with not a single weak performance amongst them”


It is an interesting choice to hold Allegiance at The Charing Cross Theatre. The small, quirky theatre was recently home to From Here to Eternity, a stunning musical which told the story of American soldiers stationed in Hawaii during the Pearl Harbour Attack. Allegiance feels rather like a sequel to From Here to Eternity, telling the story of the aftermath from the perspective of the Japanese Americans.

George Takei’s touching musical tells the true story of the Japanese Americans forced into internment camps following the Pearl Harbour attack. A place where Takei spent a large portion of his childhood. It is clear that this musical is written from personal experience and was filled with heart. It is a moving story and a stark portrayal of the racism that was ingrained in society at the time, and a warning signal for the modern era.

The music (Jay Kuo) was cleverly written, with traditional Japanese themes intertwined with American Big Band style, and much like the cultures in the show, these styles were at times complementing each other, and at others appearing to clash somewhat.

The cast was absolutely outstanding, with not a single weak performance amongst them. A few stand outs  were Telly Leung as Sammy Kimura, a young Japanese American feeling torn between his citizenship and his heritage. The song Allegiance, led by Sammy and his father (Masashi Fujimoto) was sublime. Patrick Munday as Frankie Suzuki led another fantastic performance in the song Paradise. However, the showstopper for me was Aynrand Ferrer, a powerhouse vocalist whose performance was filled with emotion. Her ballad Higher was truly breath-taking.

Given the heart-breaking subject matter, I was surprised to find some genuinely very funny moments in the show – George Takei is a great comic actor, with the humorous moments heightened by the hopeless situation that the characters were in at the time.

The set (Mayou Trikerioti) was simple and effective, however with the traverse staging, it sometimes felt like one side of the audience or another was being left out of the action a little, or that the performers were trying to find a happy medium, and at times appeared to be performing to the walls between the audience sections.

Allegiance is an incredibly powerful show that highlights an important and often overlooked part of history, and holds a vital lesson for the modern era to prevent history from repeating itself.



Reviewed on 17th January 2023

by Suzanne Curley

Photography by Tristram Kenton



Previously reviewed at this venue:

Pippin | ★★★★ | July 2021
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike | ★★★ | November 2021
Ride | ★★★★★ | August 2022
The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore | ★★★ | October 2022
From Here To Eternity | ★★★★ | November 2022


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The Band – Full Cast

The full cast are now announced for David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and Take That’s UK Tour of Tim Firth’s new musical, THE BAND, with the music of Take That. The tour will begin at Manchester Opera House on 8 September, with a national press night on Tuesday 26 September 2017.

The advance box office for the tour has now topped a record-breaking £10million.


Katy Clayton, Nick Carsberg, Curtis T Johns, Faye Christall, Rachelle Diedericks, AJ Bentley, Sario Solomon, Sarah Kate Howarth, Yazadan Qafouri, Lauren Jacobs
LtoR Jayne McKenna, Emily Joyce, Rachel Lumberg, Alison Fitzjohn
LtoR Lauren Jacobs, Katy Clayton, Rachelle Diedericks, Faye Christall, Sarah Kate Howarth
Back LtoR Nick Carsberg, Sario Solomon, Yazdan Qafouri; Front LtoR Curtis T Johns, Jayne McKenna, Emily Joyce, Rachel Lumberg, Alison Fitzjohn, AJ Bentley
LtoR Curtis T Johns, Nick Carsberg, AJ Bentley, Yazdan Qafouri, Sario Solomon
LtoR Lauren Jacobs, Katy Clayton, Rachelle Diedericks, Faye Christall, Sarah Kate Howarth
LtoR Jayne McKenna, Emily Joyce, Rachel Lumberg, Alison Fitzjohn
Katy Clayton, Nick Carsberg, Curtis T Johns, Faye Christall, Rachelle Diedericks, AJ Bentley, Sario Solomon, Sarah Kate Howarth, Yazadan Qafouri, Lauren Jacobs



Joining the previously announced AJ Bentley, Nick Carsberg, Curtis T Johns, Yazdan Qafouri and Sario Solomon, collectively known as 5 to 5, winners of BBC’s Let It Shine, who will play The Band, Rachel Lumberg as Rachel and Faye Christall as Young Rachel, will be Emily Joyce as Heather, Alison Fitzjohn as Claire, Jayne McKenna as Zoe, Katy Clayton as Young Heather, Sarah Kate Howarth as Young Claire, Lauren Jacobs as Young Zoe, Rachelle Diedericks as Debbie, Martin Miller as Jeff and Andy Williams as Dave.

AJ Bentley studied dance before taking part in Let It Shine. Nick Carsberg was a classic car restorer before taking part in Let It Shine. Curtis T Johns has been a songwriter for the last eight years, writing for artists such as Matt Cardle and Ray Quinn. He also owns and runs a rugby club in his home city of Leeds. Yazdan Qafouri is originally from Iran, but was raised in the North East of England. Sario Solomon made his professional debut at the age of 11 in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Rachel Lumberg’s most recent tours include This Is My Family, The Full Monty, Dandy Dick and Calendar Girls. Faye Christall’s theatre credits include Broken Biscuits (Paines Plough), Gone Viral (St James Theatre) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), and she is part of the Cirque Du Soleil Company.

Emily Joyce’s television credits include series regulars Jill in My Almost Famous Family, Sarah Fletcher in Mutual Friends and Janet Dawkins in My Hero. Her most recent theatre includes Judy in the West End production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. Alison Fitzjohn has just finished as assistant director and performer in David Walliams’s tour of Gangsta Granny. She also played The Queen of Hearts/Duchess in the Olivier-nominated immersive production of Alice’s Adventures Underground by Les Enfants Terribles. Over the past 12 years, Alison has performed all over the world in Horrible Histories, Barmy Britain and Horrible Science. Jayne McKenna’s recent theatre credits include Rose Naracott in War Horse in the West End, Sylvia in This Happy Breed for the Peter Hall Company, Lily Gibb in Men Should Weep at the National and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth at the Northcott Theatre. She also appeared in the film version of the National Theatre’s production of London Road as Imelda.

Katy Clayton made her first TV appearance at the age of six on Coronation Street. She appeared in various TV shows such as Casualty, Shameless and Waterloo Road and played series regular Samantha Booth in Where the Heart Is for four years. Sarah Kate Howarth’s theatre credits include Copycat (Southwark Playhouse), Whistle Down The Wind (Union Theatre), Tess of the D’Urbervilles (New Wimbledon Theatre) and Spring Awakening (Edinburgh Fringe). Lauren Jacobs and Rachelle Diedericks will be making their professional debuts in THE BAND.

Martin Miller’s recent theatre includes Antonio in The Revenger’s Tragedy and Keith Haines in Darkness, both for Nottingham Playhouse, two UK tours of The Full Monty as Dave, and Alfred Hitchcock in The Lovesong of Alfred J Hitchcock (Leicester Curve, UK Tour and Brits Off Broadway). Andy Williams’s recent theatre credits include Arnold in Hir (Bush Theatre), Giles/Captain in Emma Rice’s production of Rebecca (Plymouth Theatre Royal/Tour), The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre), Ted Narracot in War Horse (New London Theatre) and Albert/Fred/Stephen in Kneehigh Theatre’s Brief Encounter.



For further show information and full tour details please visit: