Saturday, 22 September 2018

West End Theatre News This Week

RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Michelle Visage to join Everybody’s Talking About Jamie cast
RuPaul’s Drag Race star Michelle Visage is set to make her West End debut in the London production of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie next month.
From 18th October, Visage will take on the role of Miss Hedge, a teacher at a Sheffield school where one boy, Jamie New, wants to wear a dress to his secondary school prom.
Visage is best-known for acting as a judge on the Emmy Award-winning TV series RuPaul’s Drag Race, as well as Ireland’s Got Talent. She began her career as a member of the pop group Seduction, and had hits with songs like “Two to Make It Right” and “Lovely Day”. In 2015, she appeared on the British version of Celebrity Big Brother, reaching the final.
On joining the cast of the musical, Visage said: “The reason I chose this show, in particular, is because of the very important message it tells. It is a great show with great music and talent but more importantly, it's about love, truth and the tenacity of the human spirit.
“I can't wait to help audiences to fall in love with the show the way I did when I saw Everybody’s Talking About Jamie for the first time and understand why everyone really is talking about Jamie!”
The musical transferred to the West End’s Apollo Theatre last year following a successful run at Sheffield Crucible in 2017. With music by The Feeling songwriter Dan Gillespie Sells and book and lyrics by Tom MacRae, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is based on the true story of Jamie Campbell, who was the subject of a BBC Three documentary in 2011.
On the casting of Visage, producer Nica Burns said: “Michelle blew us away with her fantastic singing voice, her excellent characterisation of the part and her charismatic stage presence.
“We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Michelle Visage to the cast.”

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time to return to the West End this Christmas
The National Theatre’s production of Simon Stephens’ play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will return to the West End this Christmas, it has been announced.
Stephens’ play, which last ran at the Gielgud Theatre until last year, will open at the Piccadilly Theatre on 29th November, and run until 23rd February 2019. Tickets go on sale on Friday 21st September at 9.30am.
Curious Incident... is a story about a 15-year-old boy called Christopher Boone, who describes him as a “mathematician with some behavioural difficulties", who lives at home in Swindon with his mother, and discovers the body of his neighbour’s dog.
The play, which is based on the 2003 novel by Mark Haddon, was first published in 2003, and opened to the National Theatre’s Cottesloe Theatre in 2012, winning seven Olivier Awards following its transfer to the West End – a record for a play in the West End at the time.
A New York transfer followed, where it became the longest-running play on Broadway in over a decade, winning five Tony Awards along the way. It recently ran on a UK-wide tour, and it is currently being staged in schools around the country.
On the show’s return, Stephens said: “I am stunned and inspired by the return of Curious Incident to the West End. It is a story that means the world to me. Mark Haddon's exquisite imagination twisted into shape and infused with life by Marianne Elliott and her incredible team.
“After travelling the country and seeing the world Christopher Boone is coming back home. I’m mainly thrilled because I get to see it again”.
Directed by Marianne Elliott, whose production of Stephen Sondheim’s Company is set to open at the Gielgud, Curious Incident has designs by Bunny Christie, with lighting by Paule Constable, and video design by Finn Ross, movement by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, with music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph. Casting is yet to be announced.

Fame the Musical to get West End run in 2019
The 30th-anniversary tour of Fame the Musical is set to stop in the West End next year as it celebrates three decades since the original Miami production.
Based on the ‘80s hit film, Fame the Musical tells the story of students at New York City's High School of Performing Arts and features songs such as “Pray/Hard Work”, “Bring On Tomorrow” and “Bring On Tomorrow”.
Following the success of the film, and a six-season TV series that followed, the musical was developed by David De Silva and premiered in Florida in 1988 with music by Steve Margoshes and lyrics by Jacques Levy.
Produced by Selladoor, who have recently toured productions of Footloose, Avenue Q, Little Shop of Horrors and Flashdance, the production will run at the Peacock Theatre from 11th September to 19th October 2019.
Fame was first seen in the West End in 1995 at the Cambridge Theatre, where it was nominated for three Olivier Awards. It subsequently ran at the Victoria Palace, Prince of Wales, and Aldwych Theatres. The show was last seen in the West End in 2007 at the Shaftesbury Theatre, starring Natalie Casey and Ian H Watkins.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

West End Theatre News This Week

Injury delays the return of Denise Van Outen to Chicago The Musical 

Due to receiving a stress fracture in her heel during rehearsals, Denise Van Outen has unfortunately been forced to delay her scheduled run in Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre.
Van Outen, who previously starred in the musical as Roxie Hart back in in 2001, had been scheduled to take on the role of Velma Kelly from September 24th to November 17th.
New dates for her return to the show are to be announced shortly, as will her replacement in the hit show.
Van Outen was set to star alongside Alexandra Burke and Duncan James in the musical.

Stephen Mangan and Lara Pulver join the Guys and Dolls cast at Royal Albert Hall
Stephen Mangan and Lara Pulver have joined the cast of Guys and Dolls which will showcase three special performances at the Royal Albert Hall this October.
Mangan is the cast as the narrator, and arrives after a stint performing in Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party as part of the 'Pinter at the Pinter' season. Lara Pulver takes on the role of Sarah Brown in the show. She was recently the recipient of the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress for her starring role in 'Gypsy' at the National Theatre.
West End veteran Paul Nicholas also joins the cast alongside Sharon D Clarke who will star in the show prior to taking on her role in the upcoming West End production of Caroline, or Change.
Leading the all star cast is Adrian Lester, who plays the part of Sky Masterson with Jason Manford starring as Nathan Detroit, and Clive Rowe reprising his role in the 1997 West End revival of the show as Nicely-Nicely Johnson.
Also featuring in the cast will be Stephane Anelli, Cory English, Dan Burton, Julian Forsyth, Nia Jermin, Alexis Owen Hobbs, Ross Mclaren, Sévan Stephan, Matthew Whennell-Clark, Davide Fienauri, Stevie Hutchinson,  Rachel Stanley, Ebony Molina, Jo Morris, Cris Penfold, Meow Meow, Jak Skelly, Joe Stilgoe and Alexandra Waite-Roberts.
Guys and Dolls has never before been performed in its entirety at the iconic venue and tells the story of New York’s super slick gamblers and nightclub dancers, and includes some of Broadway’s best known hit songs, including You’re Rocking the Boat”, "Sit Down" and “Luck Be a Lady Tonight”.
Heathers the Musical to star Nathan Amzi
Joining the cast of Heathers the Musical at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until November 24th is Nathan Amzi who is to take on the roles of Big Bud Dean and also Coach Ripper.
Amzi's recent stage credits include 'Prom Queen', 'Aladdin', and 'In the Heights'.  He also appeared in the 2014 TV talent show The Voice and will join a cast that includes Carrie Hope Fletcher playing the part of  Veronica Sawyer and Jamie Muscato as Jason Dean. The three Heathers in the show will be played by T’Shan Williams, Jodie Steele and Sophie Isaacs.
To purchase tickets securely online to any of these shows or for other West End theatre tickets please visit  www.theatretickets-london.co.uk/


Saturday, 8 September 2018

Theatre News This Week


Mamma Mia extends West End Run at Novello Theatre

A new extension has been announced for smash-hit ABBA musical Mamma Mia!
The Novello Theatre, will continue to host Mamma Mia! which will now take bookings until 14th September 2019. This latest extension period will also welcome the 20th birthday of the smash hit show on 6th April 2019.
Mamma Mia! tells the story of Sophie who invites her three potential fathers before her wedding to Sky to finally learn who her father is, whilst keeping her mother Donna on her side. The show features a host of ABBA's timeless hits including “Waterloo”, “Super Trouper” and “Dancing Queen”, Mamma Mia! is the ultimate feel-good musical of the West End.
The London cast of Mamma Mia! stars Sara Poyzer as Donna, Kate Graham as Tanya, Ricky Butt as Rosie, Richard Trinder as Sam, Neil Moors as Harry, Stephen Beckett as Bill, Georgia Louise as Sophie, Charlotte O’Rourke as Ali, Alec Porter as Sky, Leah St Luce as Lisa, Damian Buhagiar as Pepper and Eamonn Cox as Eddie. Caroline Deverill plays the role of Donna Sheridan at certain performances.
Also in the cast are Chloe Ames, Chloe-Jo Byrnes, Adam Clayton-Smith, Adam Davidson, Luke Hall, Lauren Hampton, Jack Heasman, Jennifer Hepburn, Stuart Hickey, Zoe Humphryes, Mark Isherwood, Tyler Kennington, Robert Knight, Chanel Mian, James Willoughby Moore, Natasha O’Brien, Dean Read, Beth Relf, Annie Southall and Katy Stredder.
Cast announced to join Kit Harington in new West End production of True West 
Further casting has now been announced for the upcoming West End production of True West, starring Kit Harington (Game Of Thrones) at the Vaudeville Theatre. 
Sam Shepard’s play, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1983, is about a Hollywood writer working on his latest blockbuster script, when his unruly brother appears and convinces the producer to make a different film based on his idea instead. It runs at the Vaudeville Theatre from 23rd November. 
Harington, plays screenwriter Austin while Johnny Flynn, best known for appearing in the Netflix series Lovesick, will take the role of his brother Lee. 
American actor Madeleine Potter (Broken Glass, Tricycle Theatre) and Donald Sage Mackay ('Modern Family') will star alongside Harington. They are expected to play the roles Mom and producer Saul Kimmer, respectively.

Playwright Natasha Gordon to take role of Lorraine in her play Nine Night
As her play Nine Night transfers to the West End from the National Theatre, playwright Natasha Gordon is set to play a role in the production at Trafalgar Studios this winter. 
Nine Night based on the Caribbean mourning tradition, which sees friends and family of the deceased gather for an extended wake period to share memories and share stories of loved ones. It centres on Gloria, a Windrush immigrant on her deathbed, and the care she gets from her daughter Lorraine, who is now based in London, and the appearance of sibling Judy from Jamaica. 
Gordon, who becomes the first ever black British female playwright to have a play staged in the West End, will take on the role of Lorraine, a woman who gives up her job to look after her dying mum. She is joined by Oliver Alvin-Wilson (Robert), Michele Greenidge (Trudy), Hattie Ladbury (Sophie), Rebekah Murrell (Anita), Cecilia Noble (Aunt Maggie) and Karl Collins (Uncle Vince) who completes the West End cast. 
Michael Gambon lends his voice to the first production of Jamie Lloyd’s Pinter at the Pinter season.
As part of Mountain Language - which is a play about four prisoners who are not allowed to speak their own language - the legendary actor’s voice will be used in the part of The Guard.
Gambon, whose many credits include playing Professor Dumbledore in all-but-one of the Harry Potter films, also starred in the premiere of the play opposite Miranda Richardson in 1988 at the National Theatre, as well as several other Pinter’s plays, Betrayal, Old Times and The Caretaker.
His part has been pre-recorded for the production, and he will not appear on stage in the production, which stars Paapa Essiedu, Kate O'Flynn, Jonjo O'Neill, Antony Sher and Maggie Steed. 
To purchase tickets securely online to any of these shows or for other West End theatre tickets please visit  www.theatretickets-london.co.uk/

West End Theatre News This Week

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