Former Eastenders star turns story of Manor Park rock band Small Faces into a West End show

PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:34 15 January 2018

Carol Harrison and the cast of All or Nothing Picture: Phil Weedon

Carol Harrison and the cast of All or Nothing Picture: Phil Weedon

Phil Weedon

A former EastEnders star is bringing the turbulent true story of one of east London’s most famous rock bands to the West End.

The cast of All or Nothing Picture: Phil Weedon The cast of All or Nothing Picture: Phil Weedon

All or Nothing is based on the story of Small Faces, one of the defining bands of the Mod movement despite being together for just four years.

It takes its name from the band’s 1966 chart-topper and is written and directed by Carol Harrison, who has had a connection to the band from a young age.

She first met frontman Steve Marriott when she was just eight years old, when he visited her house as her cousin played in a band with him.

“I grew up in Upton Park, and my cousins lived in Manor Park, just round the corner from Steve,” she said.

Carol Harrison Carol Harrison

“He was the epitome of Mod for me. It was clear that if I was writing something about Mods then it should be their style, their music.”

That research led to Carol bringing the “classic rock and roll story” of Small Faces to the stage.

Steve met fellow founder member Ronnie Lane in 1965 at the J60 Music Bar, a now long-gone music shop in High Street North, Manor Park.

They recruited their friends Kenney Jones and Jimmy Winston to join their band and rehearsals began at The Ruskin Arms, a pub just a few hundred metres further along High Street North that belonged to Jimmy’s parents.

Carol Harrison as Kay Marriott and Chris Simmons as Old Steve Marriott Picture: Phil Weedon Carol Harrison as Kay Marriott and Chris Simmons as Old Steve Marriott Picture: Phil Weedon

Soon, they were signed by Decca Records and released their debut single, Whatcha Gonna Do About It, the same year, reaching the top 20.

In 1966, Jimmy left the band and was replaced by Ian McLagen, and the first single released by the new line-up, Sha-La-La-La-Lee, peaked at number three in the UK singles chart.

The band rapidly rose in popularity, becoming regulars on Top of the Pops, but after a financial dispute split with Decca and signed with the newly established Immediate label.

Success in both the singles and album charts followed, but the band came to an abrupt end in 1968 after Steve quit the group.

He continued to make music, both with other bands and as a solo artist, until his death in a house fire in 1991.

Carol, who is perhaps best known for her role as Tiffany Mitchell’s mum Louise Raymond in EastEnders, will be starring in the play herself as Steve’s mum Kay Marriott.

“I met her several times when I was researching the play,” she explained. “I also spoke to Steve’s sister, also called Kay, and his daughter Mollie, who’s a vocal coach on the show.”

She admitted that it was “very difficult” to cast the band, as they needed people who were both talented musicians and actors.

“Another thing was that we needed people who were small, because the band were all under 5ft 6,” she explained.

“We’ve got Chris Simmons, who used to be in The Bill, playing older Steve Marriott, and the young band, they’re just amazing.”

And at an earlier stage of the show’s development, it featured one of Canning Town’s most famous sons portraying one of Manor Park’s biggest stars.

“We did some try-outs, we did some excerpts from it on the beach in Brighton in 2013, and we had Danny Dyer doing the part of Steve Marriott,” Carol explained.

The show has embarked on three national tours since debuting in 2016, with that success playing a part in bringing it to the West End.

“A lot of people who I went to school with have come to the show,” said Carol, who attended the now-demolished Harold Road School.

“They’ve said, ‘do you remember me’, and we have a great reminisce about 1967. That’s been fantastic, a real bonus.”

All or Nothing - The Mod Musical is at the Arts Theatre, Great Newport Street from Tuesday, February 6 until Sunday, March 11.

Tickets cost between £19.50 and £80 and are available from


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Newham Stories

The Bobby Moore Academy has appointed a new executive headteacher to oversee both sections of the all-through school.

Elizabeth Olympic

Lakeside Hammers maintained their immaculate home record with a comfortbale win over Edinburgh at Purfleet on Saturday.


Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.


Amber Rudd had to resign as home secretary after the Windrush scandal. Sajid Javid replaced her. I was in the House of Commons on April 30 for the new home secretary’s first appearance.

Home Office

Footballers are set to swap the pitch for the pavement when they take on a 10km run for charity.

Elizabeth Olympic Park
Yesterday, 20:27

Former Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini appeared to move a step closer to taking over at West Ham after Hebei China Fortune confirmed he was leaving the Chinese Super League club.

Premier League
Yesterday, 16:00

Have you ever wanted to perform on stage at Theatre Royal Stratford East?

Yesterday, 14:21

Essex Eagles continue the Royal London One-Day Cup schedule with a visit to Bristol to face Gloucestershire on Sunday.

Jamie Porter

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Read more

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Read more

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now