What the critics say....

 Arabian Nights, Sherman Theatre

'There is a fine, multiskilled ensemble of actor-musicians.... Joanna Hickman in particular makes a mark as Ali Baba’s snobby sister-in-law, a jealous sister and a sorceress. A lovely reminder of the transformative power of storytelling.'

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

'Joanna Hickman, playing her sister Dinarzad, amongst other roles, is an accomplished cellist and dancer—especially chilling in the tale of the woman who refuses to eat except under certain grisly circumstances.'

Othniel Smith, British Theatre Guide  


As You Like It, Southwark Playhouse

'I longed for theatrical magic and happily found myself in Narnia…. 

There's a wonderfully funny turn from Joanna Hickman as a West Country Phebe. Phebe is arguably one of Shakespeare's more pointless characters, but her presence is ultimately validated by Hickman's brilliant, snotty performance..

 …Ten beautiful performances and a delectable Shakespearean escape from London's gloomy September'

E L Hardy, Postscript Journal 

The Witches of Eastwick

'The tremendous title trio of Tiffany Graves, Joanna Hickman and Poppy Tierney are equal to their West End's predecessors'

Mark Shenton, The Stage

 'Waiting for the music to begin', although very racy, is performed brilliantly by Hickman and Bourne'

Naomi Stevens, The Public Reviews 

'The three women are each given a distinct persona as artist, writer and musician, with songs to match. It's a delight to watch Hickman singing and dancing while playing the 'cello, to hear Graves belting out her numbers and to see Tierney leading the girls making one hell of a mess in a stage-manager's nightmare involving potter's clay.'

Judi Herman, Whatsonstage 

'The three leading ladies are Tiffany Graves, Poppy Tierney and Joanna Hickman, all accomplished actresses who not only bring depth and nuance to each of the women they portray, but also excellence in their acting and vocal work. The story is pure comic-book fiction, yet each actress portrays her two dimensional character with canny three dimensional depth. Billed as a musical comedy, these performers work their seductive skills upon the entire audience and in an unashamedly sexual staging, Revel Horwood extracts performances from his Witches that lustfully sizzle, yet remain on the right side of decency throughout the show, just....

Licensed by Cameron Mackintosh, this show represents by far and away the best musical revival to be staged out of town this summer and the producers would do well to consider how its glorious spirit can be transferred to London come the autumn.

The ingenious effects of Revel Horwood's staging are not smoke and mirrors. Close up, we can all see how everything's done, but for once, that really doesn't matter. The magic of this show lies not in its special effects, but rather in the crafted talent and beauty that Revel Horwood has inspired his entire company to deliver. You won't see a better cast this year.

Jonathan Baz Reviews 


Angels and Insects

'As Race tells the beginning of this story, he is accompanied on cello by Joanna Hickman. Hickman's playing is beautifully flexible, and the selection of melodies is apt and adds texture to the storytelling. But this is not simply a one-man storytelling show, and slowly the enigmatic figure portrayed by Hickman begins to contribute in other ways to the tale... 

There are clever and apt uses of shadow puppetry and paper cut-outs, as well as a multitude of accompaniments from the versatile instrument manoeuvred round the stage by the ethereal, quirkily captivating Hickman.'

British Theatre Guide, Mark Smith, 19.4.13.

'Director Juliet Forster needs two strong, reliable actors to bring this stage adaptation to life, and in Joanna Hickman and Jonathan Race she has them....

The dual role of Matty and musical accompaniment is one performed by Joanna Hickman with great passion. The performance requires both flamboyant musical skills and a reserved, almost brittle charisma, which Hickman pulls off with aplomb.'

 York Mix, Steve Shooter, 19.4.13. 

'Despite the fact that this emotion is initially driven by the leading character voiced by Race, I find myself instinctively watching the girl in the corner, who so secretly yet so passionately creates our accompaniment. I say girl because, despite her age, the way that she seems to be trapped in a world of her own gives her an air of innocence, no more than that of a girl. In her silences, she seems to voice the internal pain of the girl who should be our leading focus, yet when she speaks she is bolder, more curious, voicing the prominent character of Matty Crompton, a character who seems to fulfil the role of the woman who never speaks, in many ways a position that is meant to be, yet is also somehow wrong.' 

 Hannah Smith, Joseph Rowntree school ambassador, 19.4.13.

 Spread a little Happiness

'One experiences many swings in mood; poignant, rousing, patriotic fervour, and in some parts, great hilarity. The four artistes balance each other perfectly and the a cappella singing is sublime.

Personal highlights include; 'Mad Dogs and Englishman', superbly enunciated and acted by Graham Lappin, 'Tell Me It's Not True' tragic and soulfully performed by Joanna Hickman, the hysterical and romping duet of 'The Ballard of Barry and Freda (Let's Do It) by Jenni Bowden and Graham Lappinoriginally written and sung by Victoria Woodand an interesting jazz adaptation of 'Any Dream Will Do' by Matthew Crowe.

Although the show ends on a tender reprise of 'We Said We Wouldn't Look Back' we are so pleased you did.'

Veronica Crowley, Whatsonstage 

The Marriage of Figaro

'Hickman makes a fine wench of Fanchette'

'(The audience) should enjoy the originality of Sarah Travis' incidental music, especially as played on Joanna Hickman's plangent cello'

Judi Herman, Whatsonstage.com

Chess no 1 Tour:

'To describe these super talented people as actor-musicians is an understatement; they act, they sing, they dance and at the same time they play a full range of musical instruments, producing a sound just as good as I've heard from any traditionally seated theatre orchestra.

There are some incredibly strong voices within the cast, and the score they have to perform is full of incredibly powerful music, some of it with a choral quality that wouldn't sound out of place in a cathedral, some of it almost operatic, and some of it pure rock ballad.'

Vivienne Kennedy, Guide2Bristol 

'This production... is clearly on crystal meth and styled by Lady Gaga, a whirlwind of pop-culture elements.. The show-stealing ensemble are dressed as flamboyant, Westwood-esque chess pieces, with black-bobbed, black lipped pawns in military dress.  Christopher Woods' incredible designs animate the politics of the chessboard, each piece vivid and charismatic in its own right.'

Lucy Thackray, The Public Reviews

Grimm Tales:

'The production moves along at a perfect pace like a well-engineered piece of machinery. The actors work as a perfect ensemble, all telling stories, acting and playing instruments to a very high standard. It may be a reviewers' cliché, but it really is impossible to pick out any individuals from a cast that works so perfectly as an ensemble: Peter Ashmore, Angela Bain, Jack Beale, Sarah Groarke, Joanna Hickman, Jack Lord, Sophia Nomvete and David Ononokpono plus musician Mark Aspinall.

There are no concessions at all to this being a children's show as the tales contain death, violence and some grisly images (mostly told rather than seen but still present) acted with realistic emotions and with none of the 'Disneyfication' of these stories that later occurred due to a misguided attempt to protect children from anything mildly upsetting in fiction leaving them unprepared for upset in real life. Conor Mitchell's music certainly doesn't come close to the jolly pop music of many other Christmas shows, using string, woodwind and percussion to produce sounds that vary from lush and tuneful to harsh and atonal.

That doesn't mean that it is unsuitable for children; far from it. It adds up to a perfect marriage of music, movement, acting, storytelling and visual imagery in a slick and superbly-performed piece of theatre that is appropriate for all ages and is about the perfect length for this type of production.'

David Chadderton, British Theatre Guide

Saturday Night:

'Helena Blackman and Joanna Hickman are compelling female leads', Norman Lebrecht, Bloomberg News

Dorian Gray:

'There is a mesmerising performance from Joanna Hickman, who brings a haunted quality to both the doomed Sibyl Vane, who falls in love with Dorian, and the servant boy, Leaf, who is corrupted by creeping knowledge' Lyn Gardner, The Guardian.


'Other performances of note are that of Joanna Hickman and Oliver Hume. Hickman impressively switches between the irritatingly virginal Lucy; a lustful vampette brazenly dropping to the floor baring teeth and hissing; and backseat role of cellist.'

Kathleen Hall, Whatsonstage

'Joanna Hickman's Lucy is also a nice young gal, with a brief but dangerous vicious moment when she bares her teeth in her vampire transformation'

Howard Loxton, The British Theatre Guide 

'Alex Loveless's musical adaptation of Bram Stoker's vampire classic has one really excellent

sequence. In life, Lucy (Joanna Hickman) is a bit of a pallid simperer. Vampirisation brings about a dramatic improvement: when Van Helsing digs up her coffin to cut off her head, in place of Arthur Holmwood's insipid old fiancée he discovers an alluring, fully-fledged femme fatale.'

Robert Shore, Time Out

Merrily We Roll Along:

'Joanna Hickman's sweetly trusting Beth turns spiteful, agonised avenger in the wake of Frank's infidelity.' 
Sam Marlowe, The Times
'At one point, Beth plays the cello as if she is sawing off her husband's head.'
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

 'Joanna Hickman is the knockout performance as Frank's first wife, Beth.  Her transformation from bitter divorcee to naive, fresh faced youth is the most convincing and also the most apparent' Damian Sandys, The Public Reviews

'At the same time, the performance of the night in some ways is Joanna Hickman's Beth, here holding a cello almost bigger than she is and attired in a virginal, bridal white as if in constant rebuke to the Franklin who flung her aside for Rebecca Jackson's predatory, flaming-haired Gussie.'

Matt Wolf, Theater News Online , 

Sweeney Todd reviews:

'....other eye-catching performances include blonde Joanna Hickman as a Du Pre-like, cello-playing Johanna, and Gemma Page on clarinet as a stooping Beggar Woman like Mrs Overall from Acorn Antiques'

See The Stage, 15/2/06

'Outstanding was Joanna Hickman as Sweeney's long lost daughter Johanna'

Manchester Confidential

Peter Pan reviews:

'Justine Koos, however, is a tough, touslehaired Peter, Joanna Hickman a sweet Wendy'

Charles Spencer, see The Daily Telegraph  

 'The entire cast showcases its musical and acting talent... As Wendy, Joanna Hickman enchants with her naive smiles and sweet songs'

Jon Lewis, see here

Putting It Together

'It's nigh impossible to single anyone out in this word-perfect, pitch perfect production - extremely likeable performers Joanna Hickman, Hannah Whittingham, Matt Woodgate, Christopher Berry and Al Brookshaw all have luscious voices, they move well, raise the spirits with the comedy numbers, tear at the heartstrings with the sadder songs, and I can't remember the last show in which there was so much smouldering (especially in the sexy Bang - grrrrrrrr doesn't begin to cover it)...

The cast of this show have the audience in the palm of their hands from the start and never let go'

The Scotsman

CSSD showcase:

'There are, however, a few notable solo spots for Joanna Hickman, grabbing Miss Marmelstein from I Can Get it for you Wholesale and making it her own'

Mark Shenton