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Friday, 31 August 2018

Denise Van Outen to take over the role of Velma in Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre

Denise Van Outen, who has previously played the role of Roxie on the West End and Broadway, will return to the show at the Phoenix Theatre as Velma Kelly according to the Daily Mail. 

Her other theatre credits include Tell Me on a Sunday, Rent Remixed and Legally Blonde. She is also a judge on Irelands Got Talent. 

Denise said ‘I’m really excited about it. I remained very good friends with the producers of the show, because when I did the show on Broadway I actually lived in their apartment.

It’s one of those things, it was such a big piece of my life. I was the first celebrity to do Chicago, so it was quite a big gamble for them and because it kind of worked out and went well and I was well received in New York by the Press and the critics, I’ve always had that real love for the show.’

Saturday, 18 August 2018

THEN AND NOW: Chicago the Musical

Making its return to the West End stage, Chicago is one of the most famous musicals around the world. The show has attracted some very famous names to it including Ruthie Henshall (who is the only Woman to play all three leads), Bebe Neuwirth, Brandy, Jerry Springer, Mel B, Todrick Hall, Wendy Williams, Tase Diggs, Ashlee Simpson, Melanie Griffith, Patrick Swayze and most recently on the West End, Alexandra Burke. In this edition of 'Then And Now' we look back on the original Broadway production, the 1996 Broadway revival, the 2013 revival at the Leicester Curve, the current West End production and we also look back to numerous cast members who have featured in the West End run of the 1996 revival. Take a look and share your favourite moments of the show with us on Twitter! @PocketSizeBlog #PocketThenNow

Roxie Hart 

Gwen Verdon (1975), Ann Reinig (1996), Bonnie Langford (2006), Gemma Sutton (2013) & Sarah Soetaert (2018)
Velma Kelly 

Chita Rivera (1975), Bebe Neuwirth (1996), Leigh Zimmerman (2001), Verity Rushworth (2013) & Josefina Gabrielle (2018)

Saturday, 24 May 2014

FIRST LOOK: New cast joins Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Alex Jennings stars as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he is joined by new cast members Barry James, Josefina Gabrielle, Richard Dempsey and Kirsty Malpass. 

In the new cast Barry James plays the role of Grandpa Joe, Josefina Gabrielle plays Mrs Teavee and Richard Dempsey and Kirsty Malpass play Charlie’s parents Mr and Mrs Bucket. They join Clive Carter (Mr Salt), Jasna Ivir (Mrs Gloop), Paul J Medford (Mr Beauregarde), Billy Boyle (Grandpa George), Roni Page (Grandma Josephine) and Myra Sands (Grandma Georgina) who all are original cast members. 
New ensemble members include: Dan Cooke, Divine Cresswell, Connor Dowling, Gemma Fuller, Robert Jones, Matthew Rowland, Rebecca Seale, Gregory Sims, Paulo Teixeira and Laura Tyrer.

Monday, 10 March 2014


Barry James, Josefina Gabrielle, Richard Dempsey and Kirsty Malpass will join the previously announced Alex Jennings (Willy Wonka) in the cast of the record-breaking West End production of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
At today’s Olivier Awards nomination announcement, it was revealed that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is nominated for seven awards, in the following categories
  • MasterCard Best New Musical
  • Best Actor in a Musical (Douglas Hodge)
  • Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Nigel Planer)
  • Best Theatre Choreographer (Peter Darling)
  • XL Video Award for Best Set Design (Mark Thompson)
  • Best Costume Design (Mark Thompson)
  • White Light Award for Best Lighting Design (Paul Pyant)

Friday, 10 May 2013

Merrily We Roll Along the Musical: Theatre Review

Based on the 1934 play of the same name, Merrily We Roll Along originally opened on Broadway in 1981 to a very poor reception. It officially opened on the 16th November 1981 to mostly negative reviews but the score by Sondheim was widely praised. It closed after only 16 performances and 52 previews. An off-West End production opened (with Maria Friedman) in 1992 at the Haymarket Theatre, Leicester and ran for three weeks. A West End production opened at the Donmar Warehouse in 2000 where it won the Olivier Award for Best Musical and it now has returned to the West End, this time transferring to the Harold Pinter Theatre from the Menier Chocolate Factory directed by Maria Friedman. 
Merrily We Roll Along follows three best friends, Franklin Shepard, Mary Flynn and Charles Kringas. It’s a story of friendship and how working with your friends can destroy and strengthen relationships. Throughout the show Franklins love life is one of the main stories, showing his relationships crumble and blossom with Beth and Gussie and of course Mary and Charles. The show actually goes backwards, so the last scene is first and the first scene is the last. This may sound confusing but the way Sondheim has written the show it flows really well and is clearly stated what and where they are in each scene. 
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