London Show News
|TWIN DOCTORS STAR IN CBBC HIT OPERATION OUCH IN WEST END (16 AUGUST 2018)|
|Based on the hit CBBC television series, Operation Ouch! is live on stage for the first time in the UK, opening at the Apollo Theatre in London's West End on Sunday 9 December 2018, following previews from 6 December. The strictly limited season must end on 6 January 2019.
Packed with crazy experiments and amazing facts, Dr Chris and Dr Xand will explore the world of biology and share their favourite bits from the television show.
Dr Chris and Dr Xand van Tulleken are identical twins who grew up in London and trained in medicine at Oxford University, graduating in 2002. They both still work in medicine: Dr Chris is based at University College London Hospital and Dr Xand is the Helen Hamlyn Senior Fellow at Fordham University's Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs.
This work is done concurrently with their media work, appearing together on shows such as The Human Body: Secrets of Your Life Revealed, Frontline Doctors: Winter Migrant Crisis, Horizon, Is Binge Drinking Really That Bad?, Blow Your Mind, Horizon, Sugar V Fat, Which Doctor?, The Secret Life of Twins, Medicine Men Go Wild, as well as their popular children's series, Operation Ouch!, which has won two BAFTAs and the seventh series of which will be shown on CBBC early 2019.
The European premiere of Operation Ouch! Live on Stage is written by Chris and Xand van Tulleken and directed by Peter Adams, with lighting by Richard Dinnen.
|LEE EVANS STEPS OUT OF RETIREMENT TO PERFORM IN PINTER SEASON (16 AUGUST 2018)|
|In what promises to be an exciting event within the Pinter at the Pinter season, Lee Evans will appear in an eclectic mixed bill alongside stage and screen favourite Meera Syal. They join the previously announced Keith Allen and Tamsin Greig from 25th October to 8th December, for 23 performances only.
Evans will perform the poignantly witty Monologue and a selection of Pinter's most hilarious comedy sketches. Evans and Syal will perform, amongst other pieces, the sketch Apart From That, whilst Syal also joins Allen and Greig in A Kind of Alaska. The play, performed alongside Landscape, movingly captures the oneiric nature of memory.
A multi-award-winning actor and comedian, Evans last performed Pinter's work in 2007 when he starred in The Dumb Waiter at Trafalgar Studios.
He said: "Working with Harold Pinter was one of the most incredibly exciting experiences of my life. Of course, I found Harold to be, along with his incredible wife Antonia, two of the most generous, kind and considerate people one could ever wish to meet; a couple so desperately keen to pass on anything they could to encourage and help young actors and directors, no matter who, what or where you might be from. It didn't matter to Harold - the most important thing to him was the work. Most of all, Harold loved it when his work allowed you, the performer, to shine. Thanks, Harold - my hero."
Landscape is a minimalist marvel: a woman is locked in a beautiful memory and her husband demands to be heard. In A Kind of Alaska, Deborah awakes from a twenty-nine-year sleep and is suspended between the conscious and unconscious worlds. In Monologue, a loner addresses an absent friend who disappeared many years ago.
Clarence Derwent Award-winner Jonjo O'Neill (The Prudes, Unreachable) joins Paapa Essiedu, Kate O'Flynn, Sir Antony Sher and Maggie Steed in the explosive opening of the season, which features plays including One For The Road and Ashes to Ashes. O;Neill will appear in Mountain Language and The New World Order, as well as the first major revival of the sketch Press Conference, originally performed by Harold Pinter himself, and the World Premiere of The Pres and an Officer. The evening plays for 23 performances only from September 6th.
Marking the 10th anniversary of the revered playwright's death, Pinter at the Pinter features all Pinter's short plays, alongside a selection of his poems and sketches, in the theatre that bears his name. They have never been performed together in a season of this kind. Each play runs for a limited number of performances.
The season will be presented in repertoire by a world-class cast, many of whom were Harold Pinter's friends and frequent collaborators. The cast includes Keith Allen, Jessica Barden, Ron Cook, Phil Davies, Danny Dyer, Paapa Essiedu, Lee Evans, Martin Freeman, Rupert Graves, Tamsin Greig, Jane Horrocks, Celia Imrie, John Macmillan, Emma Naomi, Tracy Ann Oberman, Kate O'Flynn, Jonjo O'Neill, Abraham Popoola, Sir Antony Sher, John Simm, Hayley Squires, Maggie Steed, David Suchet, Meera Syal, Luke Thallon, Russell Tovey, Penelope Wilton and Nicholas Woodeson.
|BAT OUT OF HELL ANNOUNCES SINGALONG AND COSTUMED SHOWS (9 AUGUST 2018)|
|The producers of Jim Steinman's Bat Out Of Hell - The Musical are delighted to announce five special performances when the audience will be able to sing along with the cast to the classic hits. These performances will take place on Tuesday 28 August, Tuesday 25 September, Wednesday 31 October, Tuesday 27 November and Monday 31 December. On Halloween (31 October) and New Year's Eve (31 December), the audiences will also have the option to come dressed as their favourite character from the show or from one of Meat Loaf's iconic videos. The best dressed audience member on each night will go home that evening with a Bat Out Hell - The Musical poster signed by Meat Loaf himself.
The show is providing a surtitle screen that will allow everyone who wants to, to sing along with the show.
Nick Evans, the Associate Director of the London and German productions, said, "Bat Out of Hell - The Musical has brought the legendary music of Jim Steinman to the heart of the West End. It's become clear just how much these songs mean to people. Our Singalong Nights will be a celebration of that; a chance for our energetic, passionate audiences to be a step closer to our talented cast. These unique performances promise to become very sought after ....a night at the theatre, a party and a rock concert all in one!"
The winner of the Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical 2017 began previews at the Dominion Theatre in April and is now booking through to 5 January 2019.
|TIM HOWAR LEADS PHANTOM CAST INTO ITS 33RD YEAR (3 AUGUST 2018)|
|As The Phantom of the Opera heads into its 33rd year at London's Her Majesty's Theatre, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh are delighted to announce that Tim Howar will play The Phantom for an initial run from 3 September to 8 December 2018.
Also joining the cast on 3 September 2018 will be Kimberly Blake as Carlotta Giudicelli and Ross Dawes as Monsieur Firmin. Continuing in the show will be Kelly Mathieson as Christine Daade, Jeremy Taylor as Raoul, Amy Manford as the alternate Christine Daae, Mark Oxtoby as Monsieur Andre, Jacinta Mulcahy as Madame Giry, Paul Ettore Tabone as Ubaldo Piangi, Georgia Ware as Meg Giry and Scott Davies as the standby Phantom.
Howar joins Phantom following his recent role as Freddie Trumper in Chess at the London Coliseum. Cameron Mackintosh said:
"Tim Howar's exciting vocal take on the iconic score of the Phantom brings a contemporary fresh approach to this legendary role which blew us away at his audition."
In addition to his theatre roles and since 2010, Tim Howar has been the lead vocalist with the platinum-selling Mike and the Mechanics, touring with them worldwide. His West End theatre credits include Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages at the Shaftesbury Theatre and Garrick Theatre, Stu in Tonight's The Night at the Victoria Palace and Ozzie in On The Town at the London Coliseum. He has also appeared as Roger in Rent on Broadway.
The cast is completed by Matthew Barrow, Matt Bateman, James Bisp, James Butcher, Bridget Costello, Sophie Cottrill, Hadrian Delacey, Morven Douglas, Paul Erbs, Hannah Grace, Philip Griffiths, Katy Hanna, Hettie Hobbs, Grace Horne, Lily Howes, Ellen Jackson, Adam Robert Lewis, Kris Manuel, Tim Morgan, Danielle Pullum, Rebecca Ridout, Anna Shircliff, Emily Smith, Rachel Spurrell, John Stacey, Andrei Teodor Iliescu, Claire Tilling, Victoria Ward and Danny Whitehead.
|ALEXANDRA BURKE TO STAR AS ROXIE HART IN CHICAGO (25 JULY 2018)|
|Alexandra Burke will join the West End cast of Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre, playing the role of Roxie Hart from Monday 13 August through to Saturday 14 October 2018.
She will join Martin Kemp as Billy Flynn, Mazz Murray as Mama Morton, Josefina Gabrielle as Velma Kelly and Paul Rider as Amos Hart. Martin Kemp will be staying in the London production until 1 September 2018. The show is booking until Saturday 5 January 2019.
Alexandra Burke rose to fame in 2008 after winning the 5th series of ITV's The X Factor. Her winner's single, Hallelujah, reached number one in the UK Christmas Chart and went on to be crowned the top-selling single of 2008 and sold over 1 million copies in the UK alone. Her theatre roles include Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard (London & UK tour), Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act (UK Tour), and, most recently, Svetlana Chess in the five-week revival of Chess at the London Coliseum. In 2017, Alexandra was a finalist in BBC 1's Strictly Come Dancing. Earlier this year, Alexandra released her third album, The Truth Is.
The multi award-winning Kander & Ebb musical, winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy, returned to London's West End in March this year.
|CAST CHANGES ANNOUNCED FOR WEST END PREMIERE OF NEW MUSICAL BROKEN WINGS (23 JULY 2018)|
|With just over a week until opening night, there has been a major cast change to the eagerly awaited West End premiere of Broken Wings.
Nikita Johal, fresh from playing the lead role of Wendla in the acclaimed Spring Awakening at Manchester's Hope Mill Theatre, is replacing Hiba Elchikhe (Princess Jasmine in the Australian production of Disney's Aladdin) as Selma. Hiba has withdrawn from the production for personal reasons.
Broken Wings, an autobiographical tale of tragic love based on Lebanese-born poet Kahlil Gibran's 1912 masterpiece, with Book Music & Lyrics by West End star Nadim Naaman (The Phantom of the Opera) and Music and Lyrics by Dana Al Fardan, one of the Middle East's leading contemporary composers, will premiere as a semi-staged production with 9-piece orchestra, at the Theatre Royal Haymarket from August 1 - 4.
Co-Writer Nadim Naaman leads the cast as the iconic Gibran, the show's narrator, with Rob Houchen (Marius in the West End production of Les Miserables and Titanic at Charing Cross Theatre) as Gibran's teenage self. Nadim said: "Nikita, who was preparing to understudy the role, will now play Selma. It feels wonderful to have promoted from within the company, she is an amazing talent and we are delighted that Broken Wings will mark her West End debut."
The rest of the cast features Adam Linstead (Old Deuteronomy in Cats at the London Palladium and International Tour) as Farris, Soophia Foroughi (Elena in Tiger Bay, Wales Millennium Centre and Lady of The Lake, Spamalot, English Theatre Frankfurt) as Mother, Nadeem Crowe (Doug/ Mr.Spencer Williams in School of Rock at The Gillian Lynne Theatre and Sunset Boulevard, London Coliseum) as Karim, Irvine Iqbal (currently playing Sultan in the West End production of Disney's Aladdin) as Bishop Bulos Galib and Sami Lamine (Laila:The Musical, West Yorkshire Playhouse and UK Tour) as Mansour Bey Galib with Robert Hannouch (Godspell, UK Tour, Miracle on 34th Street, UK Tour) and Lauren James Ray (Rebecca in Imagine This, Union Theatre and understudied and played both Glinda and Nessarose in the West End production of Wicked) as ensemble.
Writer Kahlil Gibran, whose seminal work The Prophet was an interational best-seller, remains the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Laozi. What inspired him to write? And what moved him to such profound philosophy in his later life? The events in Broken Wings highlight key social issues of the time - the fight for gender equality, the freedom to love who we love, tradition versus modernity, wealth versus happiness, immigration and the importance of 'home' - yet these themes are increasingly relevant today, over a century later.
Nadim Naaman continues: "Kahlil Gibran is the Shakespeare of The Middle East, and the third best-selling poet of all time. His views transcend nationality, politics and background, read by all faiths and all ages. He was spiritual, but wouldn't dedicate his life to one particular organisation of religion. Instead, he took the best of all faiths, championing humanity, tolerance and love above all else. I still can't believe that the book hasn't already been adapted for the stage; it is structured like a play, and is awash with musical references. Much like Kahlil Gibran's life, the creation of this show has been a fusion of both The Middle East and The West, so to be presenting this piece in London, at the stunning Theatre Royal Haymarket, is both fitting and overwhelming."
Dana Al Fardan said: "Kahlil Gibran felt strongly about the universal language of music, often referring to it as the language of the soul. Our musical aims to offer the audience a deeper understanding of both Gibran's work and the man behind it. We hope it will be both enjoyable and enlightening."
|JONATHAN BAILEY & ALEX GAUMOND WILL PLAY GAY COUPLE IN REIMAGINING OF COMPANY (19 JULY 2018)|
|Jonathan Bailey will play Jamie (originally written as the female character, Amy) and Alex Gaumond will play his devoted fiancee Paul in Marianne Elliott's new production of George Furth and Stephen Sondheim's Company which opens at the Gielgud Theatre from 26 September 2018.
Stephen Sondheim and Elliott have been working closely together on the script and have re-imagined these two characters as a gay couple for the very first time.
Director Marianne Elliott said:
"I could not be more thrilled that Stephen Sondheim agreed to turn Amy into Jamie. I hope it makes this production feel very, very now. We are keeping the existing dialogue, and not changing the famous scene in which the character gets cold feet about their impending marriage and sings the iconic 'Getting Married Today'. The characters of Jamie and Paul feel like a lot of the contemporary gay male friends I know."
Jonathan Bailey's recent television work includes: Broadchurch, WIA, Chewing Gum and Doctor Who. His theatre credits include The York Realist, King Lear with Ian McKellen for the Chichester Festival Theatre, American Psycho at the Almeida and Othello at the National Theatre. His films credits include The Mercy, Christ the Lord, Testament of Youth and St Trinians.
Alex Gaumond's West End musical credits include Miss Trunchbull in the RSC's Matilda, We Will Rock You, and Legally Blonde - The Musical. Other theatre credits include ENO's Sweeney Todd with Emma Thompson, Taming of the Shrew at the Globe, Caroline or Change at the Chichester Festival Theatre and A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic. His films include The Hustle and Hampstead.
Also announced today is Daisy Maywood as Susan. Her theatre credits include The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk at Wilton's Music Hall and on tour, Promises Promises at Southwark Playhouse, Wonder.Land and Carrie Cracknell's Medea for the National Theatre and A Chorus Line at the London Palladium. She also appeared in Rufus Norris' film London Road.
The complete cast for Company is: Rosalie Craig as Bobbie, Patti LuPone as Joanne, Mel Giedroyc as Sarah, Jonathan Bailey as Jamie, George Blagden as PJ, Ashley Campbell as Peter, Richard Fleeshman as Andy, Alex Gaumond as Paul, Richard Henders as David, Ben Lewis as Larry, Daisy Maywood as Susan, Jennifer Saayeng as Jenny, Matthew Seadon-Young as Theo and Gavin Spokes as Harry. Joining them are: Michael Colbourne, Francesca Ellis, Ewan Gillies, Grant Neal and Jaimie Pruden.
|CRAIG GALLIVAN & LAURA TEBBUTT LEAD YEAR THREE CAST OF LONDON'S SCHOOL OF ROCK (18 JULY 2018)|
|From 22 August 2018 term will begin for the year three cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Olivier Award-winning production of School of Rock - The Musical at the newly named Gillian Lynne Theatre. A further 350,000 tickets for the West End production have been released and the show is now booking to 20 October 2019.
Based on the iconic film of the same title, School of Rock - The Musical sees the kids from Dewey's band compete in the legendary Battle of the Bands and embrace the power of rock.
Craig Gallivan will lead the cast in the role of Dewey Finn (he was previously the alternate) with Laura Tebbutt as Rosalie Mullins, Alan Pearson as Ned Schneebly, Michelle Francis as Patty DiMarco and Jake Sharp who will play Dewey Finn at certain performances. The remaining adult cast comprises John Addison, Nick Butcher, Rob Falconer, Martina Isibor, Claudia Kariuki, Jessica Louise Parkinson, Richard Morse, Andy Rees, Hannah Stratton, Alex Tomkins and James Wolstenholme with swings Paul Kemble, Jessica Kirton, Billy Mitchell, Catherine Morris and Andy Prosser.
As well as the show entering its third year in the West End, in October this year an Australian production of School of Rock - The Musical will open at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne. The Broadway production continues at the Winter Garden Theatre and the US national touring production is currently booking to September 2018.
|BONNIE LANGFORD JOINS THE CAST OF 42ND STREET (18 JULY 2018)|
|Star of stage and screen Bonnie Langford is to join the cast of 42nd Street as the production extends its residency at Theatre Royal Drury Lane for a final time, through to Saturday 5 January 2019.
Langford will join the show on Monday 3 September, straight from her headline-making role as Carmel Kazemi in BBC's EastEnders. Her previous starring credits in the West End include Gypsy, Chicago and the original London production of Cats.
Following the conclusion of 42nd Street's residency at Theatre Royal Drury Lane on Saturday 5 January 2019, the refurbishment of the theatre (announced earlier this year) will commence.
This new production of the show opened in April 2017 and has since been seen by almost one million people and has won numerous awards. It recently celebrated its 500th performance.
Langford will star alongside Tom Lister who plays the role of Julian Marsh, Clare Halse, who plays Peggy Sawyer and Ashley Day as Billy Lawlor. The cast also includes: Jasna Ivir is Maggie Jones, Graeme Henderson is Andy Lee, Christopher Howell is Bert Barry, Bruce Montague is Abner Dillon, Mark McKerracher is Mac/Doc/Thug, Emma Caffrey is Anytime Annie and Matthew Goodgame is Pat Denning.
|REBECCA MCKINNIS & LEE ROSS ARE CAST IN EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE (17 JULY 2018)|
|The producers of the award-winning Everybody's Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre have announced that this week Rebecca McKinnis (Mamma Mia!, We Will Rock You) is stepping into the role of Margaret New and Lee Ross (EastEnders) is joining the cast to play Hugo.
Nica Burns, producer of the show, said:
"It's a big milestone saying goodbye to two of our terrific leading actors, Josie Walker and Phil Nichol. Josie has played Margaret New superbly from the very first workshop four years ago and Phil has brought his wonderful comic touch to the role of Hugo/Loco at the Apollo. I am delighted to reveal that Rebecca McKinnis - who has deputised brilliantly for Josie on a number of occasions - now makes Margaret New all her own. A big welcome to the talented Lee Ross who is putting on his heels to play the role of Hugo/Loco."
Rebecca McKinnis currently plays understudy Margaret in Everybody's Talking About Jamie. Her theatre credits include Mamma Mia! (Novello Theatre), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Playhouse Theatre), A Small Family Business (National Theatre Olivier), Viva Forever! (Piccadilly Theatre), Les Miserables (25th Anniversary Tour), We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre), Fat Pig (Trafalgar Studios), Three Hours After Marriage (Union Theatre), The Taming of the Shrew (Changeling Theatre Company), Beggars' Opera (Changeling Theatre Company), Taboo (UK Tour) and Starting Here Starting Now (Upstairs at the Gatehouse) Half a Sixpence and Kitty in Charley's Aunt (CMC).
Lee Ross' work on stage has mainly been for the Royal Court where he originated leading roles for Joe Penhall, David Eldridge, Kevin Hood and Simon Stephens. He earned an Olivier Award nomination for his performance of Jack Firebrace in Birdsong (West End) and his most recent stage performance was the solo show 36 Phone Calls (Hampstead Theatre). Other recent theatre credits include Our Country's Good (National Theatre), In Basildon (Royal Court) and Whipping It Up 'Bush Theatre and West End).
Continuing with the show are current cast members: John McCrea (Jamie), Shobna Gulati (Ray), Tamsin Carroll (Miss Hedge), Lucie Shorthouse (Pritti Pasha), Alex Anstey (Laika Virgin), Luke Baker (Dean Paxtonv), Luke Bayer, Courtney Bowman (Fatimah), Marvyn Charles, Ken Christiansen (Jamie's Dad), Jordan Cunningham (Sayid), Daniel Davids (Levi), James Gillan (Tray Sophisticay), Ryan Hughes (Mickey), Daniel Jacob (Sandra Bollock), Cherelle Jay, Harriet Payne (Bex), Chloe Pole, Shiv Rabheru (Cy), Lauran Rae (Becca) and Kirstie Skivington (Vicki).
Everybody's Talking About Jamie, which originally opened at the Sheffield Crucible in 2017, has new songs by lead singer-songwriter of The Feeling Dan Gillespie Sells and writer Tom MacRae. It's directed and conceived by Jonathan Butterell, who saw the Firecracker documentary film Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, which is the story of Jamie Campbell and his mother Margaret, and was inspired him to create this fictionalised musical.