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London Show News
  JAY MCGUINESS, KIMBERLEY WALSH & DANIEL CASEY STAR IN THE WORLD PREMIERE OF SLEEPLESS (19 FEBRUARY 2020)  
             
  Jay McGuiness, Kimberley Walsh and Daniel Casey will star as Sam, Annie and Walter respectively in Sleepless, A Musical Romance, based on the original screenplay Sleepless in Seattle. They are joined by Harriet Thorpe as Eleanor, Tania Mathurin as Becky and Jake Sharp as Rob. Sleepless will premiere in London on 1 April 2020 at the newly opened Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, London, with previews from 24 March.

Sleepless is a new musical with a book by Michael Burdette and music and lyrics by new British writers Robert Scott and Brendan Cull and will feature a 12-piece jazz orchestra.

Also in the cast are Charlie Bull, Colin Burnicle, Christie-Lee Crosson, Laura Darton, Leanne Garretty, Matt Holland, Ross McLaren, Gary Murphy, Dominique Planter, Annie Wensak and Benjamin Wong. Theo Collis, Mikey Colville and Jack Reynolds will share the role of Jonah.

Jay McGuiness came to fame as part of the successful boy band The Wanted. His fame widened when he won Strictly Come Dancing in 2015 with professional dancer Aliona Vilani. He and fellow bandmate Siva won the celebrity version of Channel 4's Hunted in 2018, raising money for Stand Up To Cancer. Jay is also a regular contributor to the BBC's The One Show and most recently starred in Rip It Up - The 60's and BIG The Musical in London's West End.

Kimberley Walsh rose to prominence in the record-breaking girl band Girls Aloud. During their 10 years together, the group achieved twenty consecutive top ten singles in the UK, including four number ones, with over 4.3 million single sales and 4 million albums sold in the UK alone. In 2012, Kimberley was runner up in Strictly Come Dancing. She has starred as series regular Rebecca in Disney's The Lodge, played Claire Butterworth in the second series of Channel 4's Ackley Bridge, and appeared in children's movies Horrid Henry and All Stars. In the West End she starred as Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical, Jovie in Elf the Musical, joined Denise Van Outen for a week-long run at Cadogan Hall in Sweet Charity and most recently starred in BIG The Musical at the Dominion Theatre.

Daniel Casey is best known for playing DS Gavin Troy in the first six seasons of Midsomer Murders (ITV 1). He most recently played regular characters in Emmerdale (ITV 1), EastEnders (BBC 1) and Coronation Street (ITV 1). His theatre work includes The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre), Yes, Prime Minister (Theatre Clwyd) and Abigail's Party (UK tour).

Harriet Thorpe is best known for her roles as Carole in the BBC's The Brittas Empire and Fleur in Absolutely Fabulous. Harriet has performed extensively with French and Saunders, in Girls on Top, Mirrorball and The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle. She also worked with Victoria Wood in Victoria Wood's Mid Life Christmas. She recently finished a critically acclaimed run in Mame opposite Tracie Bennett, which played Hope Mill Theatre Manchester, Northampton Royal & Derngate and Salisbury Playhouse. Her West End credits include The Dresser, Great Britain, Wicked, Cabaret, Crazy for You, Mamma Mia! and Les Miserables. Films include The Writers Group, The Lady in the Van, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Calendar Girls, Zeffirelli's Young Toscanini, Greystoke: the Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes and Merchant Ivory's Maurice.

Tania Mathurin most recently appeared in the West End musical Come From Away. Other recent theatre includes Day of the Living (RSC), The Comedy About A Bank Robbery (Criterion), The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales) and Porgy & Bess (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre).

Jake Sharp is currently the alternate Dewey Finn in School of Rock at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. He previously played Bill Austin in Mamma Mia! and Ben in Going Out West (which he co-wrote for the New Diorama, London/Just The Tonic, Edinburgh Fringe).
 
             
  DAVID TENNANT STARS IN DOMINIC COOKE'S REVIVAL OF NAZI GERMANY-SET GOOD (18 FEBRUARY 2020)  
             
  Former Royal Court Theatre artistic director Dominic Cooke and executive director Kate Horton are launching their production company Fictionhouse with a new West End revival of CP Taylor's 1981 play Good, starring David Tennant as a 'good' man who questions what the right thing to do is as Hitler takes power in Nazi Germany.

Good, which also stars Fenella Woolgar and Elliot Levey, runs at the West End's Playhouse Theatre for a strictly limited season from 6 October to 19 December 2020, with a press night on 14 October. Tickets are now on sale.

Olivier Award-winning director Dominic Cooke reimagines one of Britain's most powerful, political plays with David Tennant returning to the West End, for ten weeks only. Speaking about making his West End return, David Tennant said:
"Dominic is one of the UK's all-time great theatre directors. I am really inspired and delighted to finally get a chance to work with him, and especially on a wonderful play like CP Taylor's Good - a fantastic bit of writing that is more pertinent and resonant now than it has ever been."

Speaking about launching Fictionhouse with Good in the West End, Dominic Cooke said:
"I have known David Tennant since he was a student and have wanted to work with him ever since. He is one of our finest actors and has the ideal combination of wit, warmth and charisma to bring John Halder vividly to life. I can't wait to start work with him and the amazing Elliot Levey and Fenella Woolgar on this dazzling play. CP Taylor's modern classic about the perils of moral compromise is an apposite fable for our troubled times and it feels like an exciting first project for Fictionhouse. Ever since we left the Royal Court, the incredible Kate Horton and I have been plotting about how we could find a way to work together again. Fictionhouse has been a long time coming and I couldn't be happier to be developing the successful partnership Kate and I built together at Sloane Square."
Speaking about the launch of Fictionhouse, Kate Horton said:
"Dominic, David, Fenella, Elliot and the entire Good creative team are the best people I could imagine coming together to realise CP Taylor's extraordinary, vital play. Good encompasses all we hope for with our work at Fictionhouse - brilliant and absorbing writing that illuminates our world, made by our greatest actors, directors and designers. As well as being a remarkable artist of rare and brilliant talent, Dominic Cooke is my favourite creative and business partner. I am overjoyed that our many happy years of collaborating are starting again with Fictionhouse."

Good is the first stage production for Fictionhouse, the newly formed commercial producing partnership of Dominic Cooke and Kate Horton. Their long and fruitful working relationship, which began at the Royal Shakespeare Company, developed into a celebrated partnership at the Royal Court Theatre. Whilst at the Royal Court they produced over 100 new plays, including the world premieres of Jerusalem, Constellations, Posh and UK premier of Clybourne Park all of which they transferred to the West End. Their productions have been nominated for 210 major awards, winning 59 and their partnership saw the development and launch of an exciting new generation of playwrights including Mike Bartlett, Polly Stenham, Bola Agbaje, Nick Payne, Lucy Kirkwood and Tarell Alvin McCraney.

Good is produced in the West End by Fictionhouse and Playful Productions.
 
             
  RUFUS HOUND & KATY BRAND WILL JOIN THE WEST END CAST OF EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE (17 FEBRUARY 2020)  
             
  Actor, comedian and presenter Rufus Hound and actor, writer and comedian Katy Brand will be joining the cast of Everybody's Talking About Jamie in March 2020 to play Hugo/Loco Chanelle and Miss Hedge at the Apollo Theatre in London's West End.

Katy Brand said:
"Joining the cast of Everybody's Talking About Jamie is a truly thrilling opportunity for me. If I could tell my teenage self that I would one day have the chance to perform in a huge hit show on the West End stage, that girl would pinch herself. Jamie gets to realise his dream every night, and now so do I!"

Rufus Hound added:
"I'm absolutely thrilled to be going into the cast of Everybody's Talking About Jamie - a brilliant, brave and British smash hit. I have been waxing for the last year in anticipation and am currently so tucked I may as well be a Ken doll. Bring. It. On."

Brand will play Miss Hedge from 3 March until 20 June 2020 and Hound will play Hugo/Loco Chanelle from 16 March until 30 May 2020. They join current cast members: Noah Thomas (Jamie New), Melissa Jacques (Margaret New), Sejal Keshwala (Ray), Hiba Elchikhe (Pritti Pasha), David O'Reilly (Laika Virgin), James Gillan (Tray Sophisticay), Leon Craig (Sandra Bollock), Marlon G Day (Dad), Jordan Ricketts (Dean Paxton), Alexander Archer (Mickey), Zion Battles (Levi), Zahra Jones (Becca), Emily Kenwright (Vicki), Keenan Knight (Sayid), Jordan Laviniere (Cy), Harriet Payne (Bex), Tilly La Belle Yengo (Fatimah), Rico Bakker (Swing), Ebony Clarke (Swing), Rachel Seirian (Swing), Joe Wolstenholme (Swing), Gillian Forde (Alternate Miss Hedge/Understudy Margaret/Ray) and Brian James Leys (Understudy Jamie's Dad/Drag Queens).

Rufus Hound is an award-winning actor, presenter and comedian. His extensive list of stage credits include Freddy in the original West End production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Francis Henshall in One Man Two Guv'nors (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Toad in Wind In The Willows (London Palladium) and more recently Sancho Panzo in Don Quixote (Garrick Theatre). He has also appeared in Utopia (Soho Theatre); Neville's Island, What The Butler Saw, Present Laughter (Chichester Festival Theatre); The Wars Of The Roses (Rose Theatre); Dusty and The Provoked Island (RSC). Hound originated the role of Dad in the recent RSC production of The Boy In The Dress.
On screen Hound has appeared as a series regular in the hit comedies Zapped (Dave) and Trollied (Sky). His other TV credits include Doctor Who, Cucumber, A Touch Of Cloth and as the eponymous hero in the BBC's Hounded.

Katy Brand devised and starred in her award-winning ITV sketch show Katy Brand's Big Ass Show which ran for three series and later became a nationwide tour. She won a British Comedy Award for the show in 2008. During this time, she also co-wrote and performed in Mouthtrap with Katherine Parkinson which ran for two series on BBC Radio 4. Her acting credits cover a wide array of TV, film and radio shows.
In 2016, Brand took her first stand-up comedy show I Was A Teenage Christian to the Edinburgh Fringe and later toured with it nationwide. She returned to the Fringe in 2017 with the follow-up show, I Could've Been An Astronaut. Her debut play 3Women starring Anita Dobson opened at Trafalgar Studios 2 in May 2018.
 
             
  THE SHARK IS BROKEN WILL PLAY A STRICTLY LIMITED RUN AT THE AMBASSADORS THEATRE IN THE WEST END (11 FEBRUARY 2020)  
             
  Cape Cod, 1974: shooting on JAWS has stalled. The film's lead actors - Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss - are stuck on a boat, frustrated by foul weather and a faulty mechanical co-star. Awash with alcohol and ambition, three great white sharks start to bare their teeth...

The Shark is Broken reveals the hilarious and moving behind-the-scenes drama on one of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters.

Sonia Friedman Productions is delighted to announce its second production at the Ambassadors Theatre in 2020. After a sell-out, critically acclaimed premiere at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe, Ian Shaw and Joseph Nixon's brilliantly funny play will arrive in the West End from May 11th. Tickets are now on general sale.
 
             
  MAGIC GOES WRONG HAS NEW CAST AT THE VAUDEVILLE THEATRE FROM MARCH 2020 (10 FEBRUARY 2020)  
             
  From March 2020 a new cast will star in the West End production of Magic Goes Wrong, the box office hit created by Mischief Theatre with Penn & Teller, currently running at the Vaudeville Theatre.

Mischief Theatre, the Olivier Award-winning company behind The Play That Goes Wrong, presents their latest 'Goes Wrong' comedy in the West End, created with magic legends Penn & Teller. In Magic Goes Wrong, a hapless gang of magicians present a charity event. As the accidents spiral out of control, so does their fundraising target! Tickets are on sale until 30 August 2020.

In the cast will be Laurence Pears as Sophisticato (31 March-31 May), Lauren Ingram as Spitzmaus (from 31 March), Sydney K Smith as Mickey (from 5 April), Kazeem Tosin Amore as The Blade (from 7 April), Laura Kirman as Bear (from 7 April), Harry Kershaw as Mind Mangler (from 5 May) and Tom Babbage as Sophisticato (from 2 June).

The company is completed by Saskia Vaigncourt-Strallen and Christian James with additional casting to be announced.
 
             
  HIRAN ABEYSEKERA WILL REPRISE THE LEAD ROLE IN WEST END TRANSFER OF LIFE OF PI (4 FEBRUARY 2020)  
             
  Hiran Abeysekera will return in the title role when the celebrated five-star Sheffield Theatres production of Life of Pi transfers to London this summer.

Lolita Chakrabarti's adaptation of Yann Martel's award-winning book will transfer to the Wyndham's Theatre where, for the first time ever, the historic theatre will be transformed to fully accommodate the magnificent elements of the production. Performances will begin on 28 June 2020 (press night is 15 July). The production is directed by Max Webster.

The full company includes: Mina Anwar (Everybody's Talking About Jamie, Apollo theatre and Sheffield Crucible), Sagar Arya (Casualty), Alex Chang (Golden Shield, Soho Theatre and Yellow Earth Theatre), Fred Davis (Ocean at the end of the Lane, National Theatre), Tom Espiner (Berberian Sound Studio, Donmar Warehouse), Kirsten Foster (Much Ado About Nothing, New English Shakespeare Company and Dubai Opera House), Daisy Franks (The Gruesome Twosome, The Place), Raj Ghatak (The Kite Runner, Best Actor Winner, UK Tour), Nuwan Hugh Perera (Side Show, Southwark Playhouse), Romina Hytten (The Lorax, The Old Vic and The Royal Alexander Theatre, Toronto), Sarah Kameela Impey (Much Ado About Nothing, Northern Broadsides), Tom Larkin (Bury the Dead, Finborough Theatre), David K.S. Tse (Chimerica, Almeida & Harold Pinter Theatre), Syreeta Kumar (Equus, English Touring Theatre), Deeivya Meir (Warlords & Tyrants, Rada Festival and Fireraisers), Habib Nasib Nader (Downtown Paradise, Welsh Fargo Theatre Company) and Scarlet Wilderink (Treasure Island, Stephen Joseph Theatre).

Winner of the Man Booker Prize, Yann Martel's award-winning book sold over 15 million copies worldwide.

The extraordinary animals are brought to life by puppet ' movement director Finn Caldwell, who began his career in the original company of the National Theatre's international phenomenon War Horse. He is the artistic director of his own company Gyre & Gimble.

Also in the creative team are set and costume designer Tim Hatley, puppet designers Finn Caldwell and Nick Barnes, video designer Andrzej Goulding, lighting designer Tim Lutkin, sound designer Carolyn Downing, composer Andrew T Mackay and casting director Polly Jerrold.
 
             
  MISCHIEF'S MAGIC GOES WRONG EXTENDS ITS WEST END RUN TO AUGUST 2020 (29 JANUARY 2020)  
             
  Mischief Theatre, the Olivier award-winning company behind The Play That Goes Wrong, has announced a new booking period for Magic Goes Wrong, with tickets now on sale until 30th August 2020. Created with magic legends Penn & Teller, this is the second production as part of Mischief Theatre's residency at London's Vaudeville Theatre.

In the latest 'Goes Wrong' comedy to hit the West End, the original Mischief company play a hapless gang of magicians presenting a charity event. As the accidents spiral out of control, so does their fundraising target.

The Magic Goes Wrong cast includes: Bryony Corrigan, Roxy Faridany, Dave Hearn, Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, Henry Shields and Nancy Zamit. The cast is completed by Natasha Culley, Lauren Ingram, Laurence Pears, Sydney K Smith and Liv Spencer.

Magic Goes Wrong is directed by Adam Meggido, designed by Will Bowen with costume designs by Roberto Surace. Lighting design is by David Howe, with sound design by Paul Groothuis and video and projection design by Duncan McLean. Ben Hart is the magic consultant. The composer is Steve Brown, alongside movement director Ali James and associate director Hannah Sharkey.

Mischief Theatre's other current London productions are The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, performing at the Duchess Theatre and Criterion Theatre respectively. They also currently have a six-part series called The Goes Wrong Show on BBC1.
 
             
  MISCHIEF'S COMEDY ABOUT A BANK ROBBERY POSTS CLOSING NOTICES FOR 3 MAY (28 JANUARY 2020)  
             
  Mischief Theatre's long-running heist hit The Comedy About a Bank Robbery has posted closing notices at the West End's Criterion Theatre. It will finish on 3 May 2020, at the end of its current booking period, after a four-year run.

In The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, it's summer 1958 at Minneapolis City Bank, which has been entrusted with a priceless diamond. An escaped convict is dead set on pocketing the gem with the help of his screwball sidekick, trickster girlfriend... and the maintenance man. With mistaken identities, love triangles and hidden agendas, even the most reputable can't be trusted. In a town where everyone's a crook, who will end up bagging the jewel?

The current cast features Sean Carey (as Sam Monaghan), David Coomber (Neil Cooper), Julia Frith (Caprice Freeboys), George Hannigan (Everyone Else), Liam Jeavons (Mitch Ruscitti), Damian Lynch (Robin Freeboys), Killian Macardle (Officer Randal Chuck), Jon Trenchard (Warren Slax) and Ashley Tucker (Ruth Monaghan).

Mischief Theatre's multi-award-winning The Play That Goes Wrong continues at the Duchess Theatre, where it recently celebrated its fifth birthday. And the company's year-long residency at the Vaudeville Theatre continues with Magic Goes Wrong, just extended to 30 August 2020. Onscreen, Mischief's six-part series The Goes Wrong Show is currently airing Fridays on BBC One.
 
             
  COMEDY ICON PAUL MERTON TO MAKE WEST END MUSICAL DEBUT IN HAIRSPRAY (27 JANUARY 2020)  
             
  Paul Merton - one of the UK's greatest comedians and star of the BBC's renowned programme Have I Got News For You - is to join the new production of Hairspray the Musical.

Merton, who will be making his West End musical debut as Wilbur Turnblad, will star alongside Michael Ball, who returns to his legendary, Olivier Award winning role of Edna Turnblad, as the huge hearted, multi-award-winning smash hit musical plays at the magnificent London Coliseum for 18 weeks only, beginning performances on Thursday 23 April 2020.

Lizzie Bea will star in the iconic role of Tracy Turnblad. Lizzie recently performed in the UK Tour of Kinky Boots and has just returned from Atlanta, performing in the world premiere production of Becoming Nancy (Alliance Theatre).

Acclaimed West End star Marisha Wallace will take the role of Motormouth. Marisha won rave reviews when she took over from Amber Riley in the smash hit Dreamgirls (Savoy Theatre), and also starred in the original West End cast of Waitress (Adelphi Theatre).

Rita Simons (Eastenders' Roxy Mitchell) and Jonny Amies (Granchester on ITV; Sex Education on Netflix/Eleven Film) will also join the cast as Velma Von Tussle and Link Larkin respectively.

Paul Merton is a founder member of The Comedy Store Players, and still appears at the Comedy Store in London most Sundays. He is a resident guest on BBC Radio 4's Just A Minute and is an established face on TV shows such as the hugely popular Have I Got News For You, Room 101, Paul Merton Looks at Alfred Hitchcock (BBC4/2), Paul Merton's Birth of Hollywood (BBC 2) and his travel series for Channel Five, Paul Merton's Adventures which covered his travels in India, China and Europe. His Autobiography, Only When I Laugh reached the Sunday Times bestseller Top 10. Paul's Anthology of funny stories, Funny Ha Ha was named Sunday Times Humour Book of the year in 2019. His first Channel 4 series, Paul Merton The Series, is due to be released on DVD this Spring.

The full company includes Georgia Anderson, Kimani Arthur, Dermot Canavan, Lori Haley Fox, Mari McGinlay, Ashley Samuels, Michael Vinsen and Imogen Bailey, Pearce Barron, Jordan Benjamin, Nicholas Collier, Joel Cooper, Luke George, Christopher Gopaul, Winny Herbert, Chris Howell, Lily Laight, Hannah Grace Lawson, Madeleine Lawton, Holly Liburd, Will Luckett, Mireia Mambo, Kody Mortimer, Robyn Rose, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda, Kibong Tanji, Amy West and Natalie Woods.
 
             
  SIX EXTENDS BOOKING AS FIRST WEST END BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS BEGIN (20 JANUARY 2020)  
             
  A new booking period for the hit London production of Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss' musical Six will run until 31 January 2021, with over 90,000 extra seats now on sale to mark the show's first West End birthday at the Arts Theatre.

Plus, on 21 January, the West End Queendom welcomes a new royal as Sophie Isaacs will wear the crown for the first time as Katherine Howard. Sophie starred as Heather McNamara in the cult West End hit musical Heathers and recently was Goldilocks in Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the London Palladium.

The current West End Queendom are Jarneia Richard-Noel (Catherine of Aragon), Courtney Bowman (Anne Boleyn), Natalie Paris (Jane Seymour), Alexia McIntosh (Anna of Cleves), Danielle Steers (Catherine Parr), with Zara MacIntosh (alternate Catherine of Aragon and Katherine Howard), Cherelle Jay (alternate Anne Boleyn and Anna of Cleves), Hana Stewart (alternate Jane Seymour and Catherine Parr) and Collette Guitart (dance captain/understudy).

The Six soundtrack stormed the charts with 400,000 streams per day across the Spotify and Apple Music platforms, now amassing over 90 million streams since its release, making it the second highest streamed theatre cast album in the world. The Australian production, which opened this week at Sydney Opera House, will tour to Melbourne and Adelaide, and the Broadway staging begins on 13 February, ahead of opening night on 12 March. A successful 33-venue UK tour continues to summer 2020.

Later this year, Six will also return to Chicago, where it made its North American premiere, for an open-ended run from 8 July.

Six is written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, with direction by Moss and Jamie Armitage, choreography by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, set design by Emma Bailey, costume design by Gabriella Slade, lighting design by Tim Deiling, sound design by Paul Gatehouse, musical orchestration by Tom Curran and musical supervision by Joe Beighton. Also in the team are associate choreographer Freya Sands, musical director Katy Richardson and associate musical director Arlene McNaught.