Performers from Stevenage and Hitchin set their sights on West End stage this weekend for TV talent show satire

Stevenage performer Podge Blacksmith

Stevenage performer Podge Blacksmith - Credit: Archant

Performers from North Herts are heading up to the big city this weekend to perform on the stage at London’s famous Leicester Square Theatre.

Hitchin singer Georgia Dulcie Sheed

Hitchin singer Georgia Dulcie Sheed - Credit: Archant

Podge Blacksmith, best known as the voice of Stevenage-based covers band Rockface, and Hitchin singer Georgia Dulcie Sheed both have a key part to play in comedian/author Johnny Tait’s latest production Factor 2025.

And on Saturday afternoon they’ll be stepping on to the stage at the theatre, which has a reputation for featuring cult comedy.

The show looks 10 years into the future, to a time when TV talent shows have hit rock bottom and a desperate producer is ready to sink to any depths to revive his format, which once topped the rankings but is slipping badly in status.

It’s set during the initial audition stages for the show, which has been shunted from its prime-time Saturday night showcase to a Thursday afternoon satellite channel slot.

Alex Reid

Alex Reid - Credit: Archant

Podge, known to some as plain Dave Smith, and classically-trained Georgia are among the hopefuls who soon realise that the producer isn’t interested in talent but wants to pick out vulnerable souls that he can manipulate in order to boost viewing figures. Sounds far-fetched, doesn’t it?

Also due to feature in the show is celebrity cagefighter Alex Reid, known by millions as the former partner of glamour model and media magnet Katie Price.

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Factor 2025 promises to be a comical, cynical and controversial look at TV talent shows, and is fearlessly trampling on the same subject matter as last year’s notorious Harry Hill flop musical I Can’t Sing, which cost backers including megabucks talent search Svengali Simon Cowell a packet.

The 3pm matinee is a pilot show, with fingers crossed that it may catch the eye and be picked up for a West End run.

Despite the afternoon time slot, the show contains adult content and isn’t suitable for children. Find out more and book tickets at