Sunday, 31 August 2014

FIRST LOOK: Top Hat, currently touring around the UK

The show first toured the UK in 2011 prior to its West End premiere the following year. It went on to win three Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical.
Alan Burkitt and Charlotte Gooch both return to the show having previously performed the lead roles of Jerry Travers and Dale Tremont in the West End.
Adaped from the classic Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film, Top Hat is directed by Matthew Whiteand choreographed by Bill Deamer.
The story centres on Jerry Travers, a famous American tap dancer, who arrives in London to appear in his first West End show. Travers meets the irresistible Dale Tremont, the girl of his dreams, and follows her across Europe in an attempt to win her heart.

Where are they now? How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria?

Connie Fisher

After Winning the reality TV she went on to perform in the West End production of The Sound of Music from November 2006 until February 2008 where Summer Strallen took over the role. She went on to reprise the role of Maria in the 2009 UK tour of the show. She has released two solo albums, My Favourite Things in 2006 and Secret Love in 2009. In 2012 she played Ruth in the UK tour of Wonderful She is currently working on presenting and has recently appeared on our screens in her documentary 'I'll sing Once more'@Conniefisher1

Helena Blackman 

Since the programme she has played Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady, Maria in The Sound of Music (Kilworth House), Elsa Schraeder in The Sound of Music (Bahrain Theatre Festival), Linda in Gay's The Word (Finborough Theatre), Lily/Rose in The Secret Garden (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Helen Fogel in Saturday Night (Arts Theatre),  Nellie Forbush in South Pacific (UK Tour), Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (Leicester Haymarket), Gypsy Rose Lee in Gypsy (Millennium Centre, Cardiff), Anna in Bur First This (Watermill Theatre) Millie in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (UK tour), Blue Girl in Shout the Musical (Winter Garden Theatre, Blackpool) and most recently Caroline Neville in Titanic (Charing Cross Theatre). @helenablackman  

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Interview with leading theatre blogger, West End Wilma

So you have launched the WILMA AWARDS and they’ll be taking place in November. Are you excited?

I'm so excited! I hope it's going to be a lot of fun and so far there has been a lot of support for it which is great!

What made you create your own awards?

For a couple of years now people have been telling me I should do the Wilma Awards. I was approached by a producer who wanted to back me on it but I didn't think the time was quite right back then. I feel in a position now to be able to do it and do it properly. I would hate to do it half heartedly (what's the point?)

Looking at the list of categories I think you’ve narrowed them down to a a hand full of really good categories! What made you decide on those?

When I first started thinking about the awards my categories were completely different! I didn't want more than ten awards and so narrowing down the final ten was really difficult. I decided to combine the categories of 'Best Front of House Team', 'Best Theatre Bar' and 'Best Venue' into simply 'Most Welcoming Theatre' which I think works much more nicely. 

I really wanted to put my own little spin on the award categories, having a mix of what you would expect and something a bit different too!

Friday, 29 August 2014

NIKKI DAVIS JONES pulls out of WICKED tour and will no longer transfer to West End production

Nikki Davis-Jones, who has been starring in the UK Tour of Wicked, has had to withdraw from the production with immediate effect and will not now take over the role of Elphaba in the West End from 27 October 2014 as previously announced.

Jemma Alexander will play Elphaba for the remainder of the engagement at the Birmingham Hippodrome. Ashleigh Gray takes over the role, as previously announced, from 16 September 2014 at the Liverpool Empire and for the remainder of the UK Tour. A further casting announcement will be made about the London production in due course.

The Off-West End premiere of THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE has been postponed until April 2015

The Off West End premiere of the six-time Tony Award-winning tap dancing musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie is being postponed to 2015.

Due to star Russell Grant as the mysterious and sinister Mrs Meers and American Molly Marie Walsh in the title role of Millie Dillmount, Thoroughly Modern Millie, was booked to play at Theatro Technis, 26 Crowndale Road, London NW1 from 1 - 25 October.

It will now play at the same theatre 1 - 25 April with the full cast and creatives already been announced, subject to their availability. Tickets are being refunded and booking will open soon for the new dates.


FIRST LOOK: Ronan Keating stars in ONCE the Musical

Irish recording artist, singer-songwriter and musician Ronan Keating launched his career as a member of Boyzone in 1993 and has subsequently enjoyed a hugely successful career as a solo recording artist. With Boyzone Keating has sold over 25 million records worldwide and as a solo artist 20 million. Before joining the cast of Once, Keating has returned to Australia for a fourth year as a judge on The X-Factor.

The West End production of Once opened in April 2013 went on to win the 2014 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music.  In addition, Zrinka Cvitesic won the Best Actress in a Musical Olivier for her performance as Girl.  Once offers audiences a unique opportunity by serving theatregoers Irish drinks from the on-stage bar both before the performance and during the interval.  The Broadway production continues at the Bernard B Jacob’s Theatre.  Later this year an Australian production will open at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne while the US tour continues. The original cast recording of Once is available via Masterworks Broadway, a label of Sony Masterworks - 

Jill Winternitz to continue the role of 'Girl' in ONCE opposite Ronan Keating

Today (29 August 2014), the producers of Once announce that Jill Winternitz will be continuing in the role of Girl opposite the previously announced Ronan Keating as Guy.  Keating will be joining the Olivier award-winning musical on 17 November 2014, with press night on Tuesday 25 November 2014.   Once is currently booking at the Phoenix Theatre to 4 July 2015.

Based on the much-loved Oscar-winning film, Once bursts onto the stage with a musical celebration of love, friendship and Irish music performed by cast of actor/musicians.  A chance encounter between a girl and guy from different worlds but with a shared love of music and songwriting sparks a deep connection and a tender, unexpected romance. 

FULL CAST announced for West End transfer of URINETOWN

Simon Paisley Day (Musketeers, Doctor Who, Titanic, Sherlock, Spartacus, Being Humanwill be reprising his critically-acclaimed role as the tyrannical Caldwell B. Cladwell, the machiavellian Head of UGC (Urine Good Company) in the West End transfer of Jamie Lloyd's ground breaking, splash hit production of URINETOWN The Musical.
Returning to the show after its sell out season at The St James Theatre, rising star Matthew Seadon-Young will be taking on a new role, as Bobby Strong, Urinetown's most unlikely hero, alongside BBC's The Voice star Nathan Amziwho will be playing the role of Officer Barrel.
Further cast announced today for Urinetown The Musical are Alasdair Buchan (Swing), Christina Modestou(Swing), Kane Oliver Parry (Robbie The Stockfish) and Vicky Lee Taylor (Swing).

Neville's Island starring Adrian Edmondson, Robert Webb, Neil Morrissey and Miles Jupp will transfer to the West End

Jamie Hendry Productions is delighted to announce the West End transfer of Chichester Festival Theatre’s critically-acclaimed production of Neville’s Island which will run at the Duke of York’s Theatre from 10th October with opening night for press on 21st October 2014.

With a star-studded comedy cast featuring Adrian Edmondson (reprising his performance as Gordon from the original run at Chichester), Miles JuppNeil Morrissey and Robert WebbNeville’s Island is written by Tim Firth and directed byAngus Jackson.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

INTERVIEW: David Bedella & Sarah Ingram, soon to be starring in Sweeney Todd at the Twickenham Theatre

David Bedella is a triple award winner, named Best Actor in a Musical at the 2004 Olivier Awards, the Evening Standard Awards, and The Critics Circle Awards, for creating the role of the warm-up man Jonathan Weiruss/Satan in Jerry Springer The Opera. On television David most notably played Dr Carlos Fashola in Holby City. His other West End starring roles include Frank n Furter in The Rocky Horror Show, Billy Flynn in Chicago, and Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. In the past year he played Man 1 in the acclaimed production of Sondheim’s Putting It Together at St.James Theatre and Kevin in Into The Heights at Southwark Playhouse.

Sarah Ingram's extensive credits include Josie in TABOO (Brixton Club House), Miss Hannigan in Annie (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Roadshow (Menier Chocolate Factory), Hannah Owens in Flashdance (Shaftesbury Theatre), Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls (Kilworth Theatre, Leicester), Mrs Blair in Inherit the Wind (Old Vic), Ursula & u/s Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing (Open Air Theatre), Sarah/Naomi in Imgine This (New London Theatre & Theatre Royal, Plymouth), Lina Lamont in Singin’ in the Rain (Courtyard Theatre), Mrs O’Brien in Showboat  (Royal Albert Hall), Ado Annie in Oklahoma (Royal National Theatre & Lyceum Theatre) & Laurey in Oklahoma (UK Tour).

They will be playing Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd when it starts performances at the Twickenham Theatre


Guest presenters announced for West End Bares 'Nudedunnit?!'

Stars of stage and screen Jake Canuso, James Dreyfuss, Matt Evers, Jill Halfpenny, Helen Lederer, Harriet Thorpe are amongst the special guest presenters to be announced* for this year’s West End Bares ‘Nudedunnit?!’ gala performances at Café de Paris in London’s West End on Sunday 7 September (*further names to be announced shortly). Tickets are available from

Now in its fifth year, West End Bares sees performers from across the heart of London’s West End volunteering to put on a show and strip in aid of The Make A Difference Trust (MAD Trust) - the entertainment industry charity dedicated to helping people living with HIV and AIDS in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.

THE VERTICAL HOUR announces full cast for run at the Park Theatre

With Richard Bean’s Toast, starring Matthew Kelly, set to open in Park200, Park Theatre Artistic Director Jez Bond announces the full cast for the first London revival of David Hare’s The Vertical Hour.  Joining Peter Davison and Thusitha Jayasundera will be Cameron Cuffe in the role of Dennis Dutton, Pepter Lunkuse as Terri and Finlay Robertson as Philip.  The play, which received its UK premiere at the Royal Court in 2008, will be directed by Nigel Douglas and opens on 25 September, with previews from 23 September, running until 26 October. 

Nadia Blye knows exactly what her stance is on Iraq.  A former war reporter and Professor of International Relations at Yale, she has advised the President and seen action in Sarajevo and Baghdad.  She is sure of her place in the world and her opinion of it. 

After touring the UK, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD will play at the Barbican and will star Robert Sean Leonard

Following two hugely successful runs at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, To Kill a Mockingbird will return to London from 24 June until 25 July 2015 at the Barbican, at the end of the forthcoming UK tour. Robert Sean Leonard is thrilled to reprise the role of Atticus Finch exclusively at the Barbican. Tickets are now on sale to Barbican Red and Orange Members. 

Tickets will go on sale to the public on Tuesday 2 September at 10am.

Robert Sean Leonard is a Tony award-winning American actor and is best known for playing Dr. James Wilson in the Fox television series House and Neil Perry in the 1989 movie Dead Poets Society. Having frequently performed on and off Broadway since 1986, To Kill a Mockingbird at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in 2013 marked Robert’s critically acclaimed return to the London stage for the first time in 22 years. 

West End stars Hadley Fraser and Caroline Sheen to launch new musical BEFORE AFTER

West End stars Hadley Fraser and Caroline Sheen are to feature in the world premiere of Stuart Matthew Price and Timothy Knapman’s new romantic musical, Before After, at St. James Studio.

Everybody has one great lost love. They broke our hearts, they haunt our dreams and we will never, ever forget it. But what if fate gave you another chance? Do you think you’d get things right the second time around? In Before After, Ami (Caroline Sheen) meets Ben (Hadley Fraser) by a tree on a beautiful hillside. She reconises him instantly - he was once the love of her life. But Ben doesn’t recognise her. As we watch their love grow in both the past and the present, might they finally find their happy ever after after all? He’s the right man in the right place - but is this the right time?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Marry Me a Little will return to St. James Studio from Monday 6 – Saturday 11 October 2014

Following a critically acclaimed sell-out run this August, Stephen Sondheim’s Marry Me a Little will return to St. James Studio for an extra week of performances from Monday 6 – Saturday 11 October 2014, it was announced today. On sale now.

Marry Me A Little pieces together a selection of songs by the undisputed master of the contemporary Broadway musical to tell a charming and bittersweet tale of love, loneliness and survival as a modern singleton. Told entirely through songs written early in Sondheim’s career or previously intended for his ground-breaking Broadway musicals including A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum,CompanyFollies and A Little Night MusicMarry Me a Little is funny, moving and sophisticated musical as well as a fascinating look at "the songs that got away”.


FIRST LOOK: New cast join the UK tour of WICKED the Musical

WICKED, the global musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, have a new cast starting from 16th September; that includes Ashleigh Gray (Elphaba), Samuel Edwards (Fiyero), Steven Pinder (The Wizard and Doctor Dillamond), Richard Vincent (Boq) and Jacqueline Hughes (Standby Elphaba) will join the record-breaking UK Tour from Tuesday 16 September 2014 at Liverpool Empire Theatre. 

Emily Tierney (Glinda), Marilyn Cutts (Madame Morrible) and Carina Gillespie (Nessarose) all continue in their current starring roles. 

The tour is currently at  Birmingham Hippodrome (9 July to 6 September 2014). It will then tour to Liverpool Empire Theatre (16 September to 11 October 2014); Southampton Mayflower Theatre (21 October to 15 November 2014); Edinburgh Playhouse (19 November 2014 to 10 January 2015); Plymouth Theatre Royal (20 January to 14 February 2015); Bristol Hippodrome (18 February to 21 March 2015);Sunderland Empire Theatre (31 March to 25 April 2015); Aberdeen His Majesty's Theatre (5 to 30 May 2015) and concludes at The Lowry in Salford (3 June to 25 July 2015). Tickets are now on sale at all venues and can be booked via

Hippodrome announces full Autumn season

The Hippodrome’s live entertainment programme continues into the autumn with a varied offering of music, burlesque, cabaret and more including three nights from US YouTube sensation Christina Bianco; the return of the popular all-male stage show Circus Of Men; West End star John Barr’s celebration of legendary writer and composer Lionel Bart; musical director to the stars Laurie Holloway continues his monthly residency; and one of the world’s leading ballet dancers Fernando Montano introduces his Classical Cabaret.

Looking further ahead, much-loved singer, songwriter, author and broadcaster Cerys Matthews will be performing shows in November and December.

September 2014

Soho Burlesque Club – Wednesday 3rd September - (8.30pm / tickets from £10)
Burlesque star Miss Polly Rae (The Hurly Burly Show) turns up the temperature at the Soho Burlesque Club. This intimate rendezvous invites you seductively into Miss Rae’s ‘Boudoir’, to celebrate all things sensual, sexy and saucy. An up close and personal, hilarious burlesque cabaret that is provocative and cheeky and features some of the best performers in the business. 

Cast announced for UK premiere of ALTAR BOYZ

Hallelujah! Spread the good news, as the five boyz who will make the band lineup for the UK Premiere of ALTAR BOYZ have today been revealed!

Playing band members Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham will be Liam DoyleJonny FinesJamie-Ray Hartshorne,Faisal Khodabukus and Alex Jordan-Mills.

Liam Doyle is currently starring as Fiyero in Wicked (UK Tour). Other recent credits include Link Larkin in Hairspray (UK Tour) and Troy in High School MusicalJonny Fines’ credits include Lift (Soho Theatre), Avenue Q (UK Tour) and The Sound of Music(UK Tour). Jamie-Ray Hartshorne has appeared in the premiere of new musical The Prodigals (Belgrade Theatre) and The History Boys (National Theatre). Faisal Khodabukus’ recent credits include I Can’t Sing (London Palladium), Dirty Dancing (UK Tour) and La Cage Aux Folles (Playhouse Theatre). Alex Jordan-Mills played Billy in the 2013 revival of Taboo (Brixton Clubhouse), and most recently played Nick Piazza in Fame (UK Tour). 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

MISS SAIGON Gala Performance sells out within minutes as 18000 people try to buy tickets

The Gala Performance to celebrate 25 years of Boublil & Schönberg’s “MISS SAIGON” on Monday 22 September, has sold out within minutes of tickets going on sale this morning, Tuesday 26 August. Over 18,000 people tried to buy tickets when booking opened at 10.00am; an unprecedented amount for a single performance in a theatre with just over 1700 seats.

Fans who queued around the block at the Prince Edward Theatre managed to secure tickets at the original 1989 prices. Online demand was so overwhelming that it crashed the box office ticket system at 10.10am and the entire Delfont Mackintosh Theatre website shortly afterwards. The technical team restored the system as quickly as possible and the performance was sold out within minutes.

Menier Chocolate Factory announces it winter season

The Menier Chocolate Factory has announced its upcoming Winter season, including Assassins directed by Jamie Lloyd and An Evening with Joan Plowright.
Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins will open on 21 November, with full casting and creative team to be announced. The Tony Award-winning musical looks at various historical figures who have assassinated, or tried to, American Presidents.
The show follows a busy year for Jamie Lloyd, whose second Trafalgar Transformed season at the Trafalgar Studios has included Richard III, and other recent shows include Urinetown and The Commitments. Tickets for Assassins go on sale on 29 August for Chocolate Factory supporters and 8 September to the public.
The second show in the Menier's Winter season will be the UK premiere of Buyer and Cellar, the hit US comedy which is currently touring America. Starring Ugly Betty's Michael Urie, it follows an out-of-work actor working in Barba Streisand personal basement shopping mall.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Sweeney Todd at the Twickenham Theatre | First photo released!

Olivier Award winner David Bedella will play razor-wielding madman Sweeney Todd and Sarah Ingram his pie-making partner in crime, Mrs Lovett, in an intimate new production of the Tony Award and Olivier Award-winning musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. 

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler, will kick-off the autumn season at Twickenham Theatre in West London. It will start previews on Wednesday 10 September and runs to Saturday 4 October.

David Bedella was a triple award winner, named Best Actor in a Musical at the 2004 Olivier Awards, the Evening Standard Awards, and The Critics Circle Awards, for creating the role of the warm-up man Jonathan Weiruss/Satan in Jerry Springer The Opera. He appeared in the role at the National Theatre, in the West End, the Sydney Opera House and in New York in a concert version at Carnegie Hall. On television David most notably played Dr Carlos Fashola in Holby City and more recently guest starred in By Any Means and Inside No. 9, all for BBC, and his film credits include Alexander and Batman Begins. His other West End starring roles include Frank n Furter in The Rocky Horror Show, Billy Flynn in Chicago, and Hedwig inHedwig and the Angry Inch. He starred as Arnold in Torch Song Trilogy and Wilson Mizner in Sondheim’s Road Show, both at the Menier Chocolate Factory. In the past year he played Man 1 in the acclaimed production of Sondheim’s Putting It Together at St.James Theatre and Kevin in Into The Heights at Southwark Playhouse. 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

15 of the Hottest Men in the West End

Jeremy Taylor

Jeremy is currently playing Fiyero in the London production of WICKED. His other credits include understudy 'Galileo' in We Will Rock You (Dominion), Evita (UK tour), 'Rolf' in The Sound of Music (UK tour) and understudy 'Rolf' in The Sound of Music (Palladium).  @jeremywtaylor

David Hunter

Having previously understudying the role David is currently playing Guy in ONCE at the Phoenix Theatre. David reached the Semi-Finals of ITV’s Superstar where Andrew Lloyd Webber searched for a leading man to play the title role in Jesus Christ Superstar. His other credits include One Man Two Guvnors (National Theatre, UK tour and Adelphi Theatre); Seussical (Arts); The Who's Tommy(Prince Edward) and The Hired Man (Leicester Curve). @thedavidhunter


Thursday, 21 August 2014

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE extends run at the Noël Coward Theatre

The critically acclaimed production of Shakespeare in Love announced today that it has extended its booking period to 10 January 2015. The production is extending its run due to popular demand, releasing almost 76,000 extra tickets. Tickets will go on sale to the general public from 1 September.

Produced by Disney and Sonia Friedman Productions and based on the Academy Award®-winning screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom StoppardShakespeare in Love has been adapted for the stage by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot). Featuring a company of 28 actors and musicians, one of the largest companies ever assembled for a play in the West End, and a dog, this new play is directed by Declan Donnellan and designed by Nick Ormerod, the driving force behind the world-renowned theatre company, Cheek by Jowl.

Tickets for Shakespeare in Love at the Noël Coward Theatre are now on sale online at or by calling the box office on 0844 482 5141.  

West End Wilma announces the WILMA AWARDS in association with Freedom

The first ever Wilma Awards, in association with Freedom Bar Soho will take place on Friday afternoon, 7th November 2014 at an exclusive invite-only ceremony at Freedom Bar in Soho, hosted by Tim McArthur.

Guests will be treated to Afternoon Tea with Wilma (courtesy of The Full English) while they watch the winners be revealed and listen to some very special live performances!

"People have been telling me for years that I should do The Wilma Awards but I wanted to wait until I felt the time was right. If I'm going to do something in life, I'm going to do it properly! And if there's one thing I know how to do it's throw a good party!" - West End Wilma

OUR TOWN at the Almeida Theatre announce full casting

Casting is announced for Our Town at the Almeida Theatre.  Award-winning US actor-director David Cromer will direct and perform in this intimate version of Thornton Wilder’s iconic American play.  The cast will also include Michael Ajao,Paul Bigley, Arthur Byrne, Sidney Cole, Kate Dickie, Laura Elsworthy, Anna Francolini, Matthew Jacobs-Morgan, Daniel Kendrick, Simon Lennon, Jessica Lester, Richard Lumsden, Annette McLaughlin, Christopher Staines, Rhashan Stone and David Walmsley.

We grow-up, we fall in love, we have families and we die. That is our story.

Performed on a bare stage with minimal props, two people fall in love, marry, and live out their lives as a small American town becomes an allegory for everyday life.

Cromer’s acclaimed production of Our Town ran for over a year at the Barrow Street Theatre in New York where it won multiple awards. It has subsequently been revived in Los Angeles, Boston and Kansas City. With Cromer reprising his role as Stage Manager, this will be the UK premiere of his celebrated production of Wilder’s classic.

Michael Xaiver | Interview

Michael is currently leading the cast of The Pajama Game as Sid Sorokin at the Shaftesbury Theatre. his other credits include Captain Von Trap in The Sound of Music at The Open Air Theatre, Oliver in Love Story at The Duchess Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre (Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical), Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince in Into The Woods at The Open Air Theatre (Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical), Curly in Oklahoma! (Chichester Festival Theatre), Sir Galahad in Spamalot! (Palace Theatre), Rock Hudson in Rock (Manchester Library Theatre, Liverpool Unity Theatre and Oval House Theatre), Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre), Sky in Mamma Mia! (International Tour Original Cast), Freddy Eynsford-Hill in My Fair Lady (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane), Miss Great Plains in Pageant (Vaudeville Theatre and King’s Head Theatre), Nankipoo in The Mikado (UK Tour), Chris in Miss Saigon (Original UK Tour) and Prince Florizel in Sleeping Beauty (Corn Exchange, Newbury). Michael is a proud ambassador of the charity Action for M.E. He is also director of the Musical Theatre Sunday school West End Masterclass.

How did rehearsals go for the Pajama Game?

Rehearsals went really well, we only had three weeks so it was pretty intense. Richard Eyre was brilliant and really supporting of me joining the company and so was Stephen Mear and Gareth Valentine. They were fab to work with. 

In one sentence, how would you sell The Pajama Game to audiences?

Fun, frivolous musical comedy with fantastic singing, dancing and acting! Its a great night out! 

REVIEW: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin

With lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, ”Joseph" is perhaps one of the world's best known musicals having been staged by a multitude of professional companies as well as by thousands of schools and amateur drama groups throughout the world.  This particular production is the latest Joseph tour to make its way around the United Kingdom and Ireland bringing with it several recognisable faces. 
The show features quite a basic set and at times it felt a little like watching a pantomime. With inflatable sheep, a wooden camel head and a pull along goat on wheels it did sometimes feel quite amateurish. The costumes were a little underwhelming and, though I’m not sure why, the white sports shoes stood out the entire time and didn’t seem to fit with the costumes of the brothers. 
The lighting provided the show with lots of colour throughout and was definitely one of the best technical aspects of the show. 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

FIRST LOOK: Guys and Dolls at the Chichester Festival Theatre

This multi award-winning musical originally opened in 1950, winning five Tony Awards including Best Musical. It includes the hit numbers Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat and My Time of Day and inspired the award-winning 1955 movie which starred Marlon Brando as Sky Masterson and Frank Sinatra as Nathan Detroit.

The cast includes Peter Polycarpou as Nathan Detroit, returning to Chichester following his performance in The Pajama Game which he is leaving in June  to play this role and Sophie Thompson as Miss Adelaide. Her last appearance at Chichester was in The Chalk Garden (1986).

They will be joined by Jamie Parker/Sky Masterson: Clare Foster/Sarah Brown: Carl Sanderson/Rusty Charlie: Harry Morrison/Nicely Nicely Johnson: Nick Wilton/Harry the Horse: Nic Greenshields/Big Jule: Mark Heenehan/Lieutenant Brannigan: Ian Hughes/Benny: Melanie La Barrie/General Cartwright and Neil McCaul/Arvide Abernathy.

EMMA STONE to make Broadway debut as Sally Bowles in CABARET

Golden Globe nominee Emma Stone, known for her film work in "The Help," "Easy A" and "The Amazing Spider-Man," will make her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles in the revival of Cabaret, Roundabout Theatre Company announced Aug. 20.

Stone — who was previously considered for the role when Cabaret announced its Broadway return, but was unable to be involved due to commitments for a film project — will begin performances Nov. 11 for a run through Feb. 1, 2015.

Additionally, the production will extend its limited engagement through March 29, 2015, and Tony-winning star Alan Cumming as well as 2014 Tony Award nominees Linda Emond and Danny Burstein will extend their runs through closing.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Gala Performance to Celebrate 25 Years of MISS SAIGON on the 22 September 2014

Cameron Mackintosh is delighted to announce that on Monday 22 September 2014 at 7.00pm there will be a Gala Performance of Boublil & Schönberg’s “MISS SAIGON” to celebrate 25 years since the musical originally premiered. The new production opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in May this year and has been a triumphant success with record advance bookings. The overwhelming audience response has been just as rapturous as the original. 

The original production opened on 20 September 1989 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane where it ran for 10 years and still holds the record for the longest run at that theatre. “MISS SAIGON” has been seen by over 40 million people worldwide. After opening in London, the new production most recently opened in Japan with other productions planned to open in Korea, Australia, Europe and the U.S.

FULL CAST announced for The Angry Brigade

Artistic Directors James Grieve and George Perrin announce the cast for The Angry Brigade, co-produced with Theatre Royal Plymouth, as part of Paines Plough’s 40th Anniversary season. James Grieve directsPatsy Ferran (Anna/Henderson), Scarlett Alice Johnson (Hilary/The Girlfriend/Parker/ The Expert/Miss World), Harry Melling (Morris/Commander/Prophet/Snitch/Manager/Jim) and Felix Scott (Smith/John). The production opens on the 23 September at The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth, with previews from 19 September, and run until 4 October. Following performances in Plymouth, the production will tour to Oxford Playhouse (8 - 11 October), Warwick Arts Centre (14 - 17 October), and Watford Palace Theatre (21 - 25 October).


FULL CAST announced for Twelfth Night at the Sheffield Crucible, then touring the UK

Director: Jonathan Munby; Designer: Colin Richmond; Lighting Designer: Chris Davey; Sound Designer:  Carolyn Downing; Composer: Grant Olding; Movement Director: Lucy Hind

Sheffield Theatres and English Touring Theatre today announce the full cast for their co-production ofTwelfth Night. Jonathan Munby directs Michael Benz (Sebastian), Christopher Chilton (Sea Captain/Priest), Jonathan Christie (Valentine/Officer 2), Doña Croll (Maria), Jake Fairbrother (Duke Orsino), David Fielder (Sir Toby Belch), Colm Gormley (Fabian), Ben Hall (Curio/Officer 1), Rebecca Johnson (Olivia), Brian Protheroe (Feste), Rose Reynolds (Viola), Hugh Ross (Malvolio), Milo Twomey(Sir Andrew Aguecheek), and Ross Waiton (Antonio).  

Gangsta Granny by David Walliams to be adapted for the stage in 2015

The Birmingham Stage Company, the acclaimed producers of HORRIBLE HISTORIES, GEORGE’S MARVELLOUS MEDICINE and TOM’S MIDNIGHT GARDEN, are delighted to announce the world premiere of David Walliams’ GANGSTA GRANNY is coming to the stage for a National tour starting Autumn 2015 running throughout 2016.

Walliams’ who takes a seat on the Britain’s Got Talent panel and is remembered for the hugely popular Little Britain series has become the fastest growing author in the UK market. He began his publishing career at Harper Collins in early 2008 with his debut novel, The Boy in the Dress.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Full cast announced for UK tour of BARNUM

The national tour of Cameron Mackintosh and Chichester Festival Theatre's production of Barnum will open at Leicester Curve on 5 September 2014. The tour will star Brian Conley in the title role, alongside Linzi Hateley as Chairy.
Cy Coleman's 1980 Broadway musical follows the life of Phineas T Barnum, America's "Greatest Showman". The score includes "Come Follow The Band", "The Colours Of My Life" and "There Is A Sucker Born Ev'ry Minute".
The revival, directed by Open Air Theatre's Timothy Sheader, was first seen at Chichester Festival Theatre's temporary Theatre in the Park in July last year.

Full cast announced for West End transfer of KING CHARLES III

The complete cast of the Almeida Theatre’s acclaimed production of King Charles III began rehearsals today for the play’s West End transfer.  Directed by Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold, the world premiere of Mike Bartlett’s hit new play enjoyed a sell-out run at the Almeida earlier this year and received outstanding critical acclaim.  King Charles III will transfer to the Wyndham’s Theatre for a limited season previewing from Tuesday 2 September with a press performance on Thursday 11 September. 

Tim Pigott-Smith will once again play Charles and Oliver Chris will reprise his role as William. They will be joined by Katie BraybenRichard Goulding, Nyasha Hatendi, Adam James, Margot Leicester, Miles Richardson, Tom Robertson, Nicholas Rowe, Tafline Steen and Lydia Wilson.

ANNIE GET YOUR GUN has cancelled its final performances

Touring production Annie Get Your Gun starring Jason Donovan has cancelled its final performances at the Princess Theatre in Torquay.

The Irving Berlin musical was due to run at the venue from September 30 to October 4.

It is understood that the show’s performances at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen, from September 16 to 20, have also been cancelled and the production will now finish its tour at the New Wimbledon Theatre in London, where it runs from September 9 to 13.

JEEVES AND WOOSTER to close on the 20th September 2014

Following a critically acclaimed year-long run at the Duke of York’s theatre, Producers Mark Goucher and Mark Rubinstein have confirmed that the Olivier Award-winning comedy Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense will close on 20 September 2014. John Gordon Sinclair and James Lance will play the iconic duo on the first ever UK tour which will commence on 24September visiting Guildford, Cambridge, Newcastle, Norwich, Reading, Salford, Cheltenham, Southampton, Glasgow and Bath.  Further tour dates for 2015 will be announced soon.

Winning Best New Comedy at the 2014 Olivier Awards, the charmingly incompetent Bertie Wooster and his unflappable valet Jeeves are brought to life in this highly acclaimed comedy by brothers Robert and David Goodale. Based on and adapted from the established literary works of P.G. Wodehouse, Perfect Nonsensestarted previews at the Duke of York’s Theatre on 30 October 2013 starring Stephen Mangan and Matthew Macfayden. Due to an overwhelming audience response, the production was extended in the West End to 20 September 2014. It will begin a ten date UK tour on 24September visiting Guildford Cambridge, Newcastle, Norwich, Reading, Salford, Cheltenham, Southampton, Glasgow and Bath.  

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Jon Lee stars in the new touring production of COPACABANA

Barry Manilow’s hit musical, Copacabana will return to the UK and tour in a new production starting in October. The musical, written by Manilow and his longtime collaborators Bruce Sussman and Jack Feldman, has not been seen in the UK for ten years and will open at Harlow Playhouse on Thursday 2 October 2014 (press night Friday 3 October at 7.30pm).

Packed with original songs, dazzling costumes and dynamic choreography, this new production will reimagine the original stage version of Copacabana, which was first performed in the US in 1991 and has never before been seen in the UK.

Featuring Manilow hits including Dancin’ FoolWho Needs to DreamWelcome to Havana and of course, the Grammy Award-winning Copacabana (At The Copa), this production will have audience members dancing in the aisles.  Critics and audience members agree that Copacabana “explodes with memorable songs and dances.”   

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