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London Show News
  FINAL CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR WEST END RETURN OF NEW MUSICAL SIX (18 JUNE 2018)  
             
  Final casting has been announced for the West End return of new British musical Six at the Arts Theatre from 30 August to 23 September 2018.

From Tudor queens to pop princesses, the SIX wives of Henry VIII finally take the mic to tell their tale in Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss' 75-minute high-octane pop concert musical powered by an all-female band. Songs include 'Ex-Wives', 'Haus of Holbein' and 'Don't Lose Ur Head'.

Jarneia Richard-Noel (Catherine Of Aragon) was in The Color Purple in Concert at Cadogan Hall; Millie O'Connell (nne Boleyn) recently appeared in the UK tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie and was understudy Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street, Theatre Du Chatelet, Paris; Natalie Paris (Jane Seymour) was Louise in Sunday in the Park with George at the Menier Chocolate Factory; Alexia McIntosh (Anna Of Cleves) was Rosa, in Godiva Rocks at Belgrade Theatre; Aimie Atkinson (Katherine Howard) was Daniela in In The Heights at King's Cross Theatre and originated the lead role of Luisa in Zorro the Musical (UK tour); Maiya Quansah-Breed (Catherine Parr) has just graduated from Guildford School of Acting. Grace Mouat, who completes the cast, as swing/dance captain, has also just graduated from GSA.

Six is a co-production between Kenny Wax and Global Musicals. Wendy Barnes of Global Musicals said:
"We are proud to debut their first musical and begin an ambitious and exciting journey for the piece, which is particularly timely as we strive for female equality and empowerment. These women were so much more than history would have us believe."
 
             
  CAROLINE, OR CHANGE TRANSFERS TO WEST END'S PLAYHOUSE THEATRE (18 JUNE 2018)  
             
  Olivier Award-winning actress Sharon D. Clarke will reprise her much acclaimed performance in the title role of the current production of Caroline, or Change when the musical transfers to the West End this autumn.

The celebrated musical, written by Tony Kushner with a score from Tony Award-winning Jeanine Tesori, will transfer into the West End's Playhouse Theatre from 20 November 2018 to 9 February 2019.

Directed by Michael Longhurst, this five-star production received critical praise when it opened at Chichester Festival Theatre last year and again following its transfer to Hampstead Theatre, where it is currently sold out until 21 April.

Winner of the 2007 Olivier Award for Best New Musical, Caroline, or Change is a playful, funny, and deeply moving portrait of America at a time of momentous social upheaval, set to a profound score of soul, blues, classical and traditional Jewish folk music.

Sharon D. Clarke (Caroline Thibodeaux) has enjoyed a long-established stage career with credits including Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and The Amen Corner (National Theatre), Ghost The Musical (Piccadilly Theatre), The Life (Southwark Playhouse), Porgy and Bess (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre) and We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre). On TV, Clarke is known for playing Lola Griffin in BBC's Holby City.

Longhurst is joined in the creative team by designer Fly Davis, choreographer Ann Yee, musical director Nigel Lilley, lighting designer Jack Knowles and sound designer Paul Arditti, with casting by Charlotte Sutton CDG and children's casting by Debbie O'Brien.
 
             
  UK PREMIERE OF GLORIA ESTEFAN MUSICAL AT THE LONDON COLISEUM IN SUMMER 2019 (7 JUNE 2018)  
             
  The UK premiere of On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan will play a limited season at the London Coliseum from 14 June to 31 August 2019, following seven performances at Curve, Leicester from 3- 8 June 2019.

On Your Feet! is the true love story of Emilio and Gloria and charts their journey from its origins in Cuba, onto the streets of Miami and finally to international superstardom. The show features some of the most iconic pops songs of the era, including 'Rhythm is Gonna Get You', 'Conga', 'Get On Your Feet', 'Don't Want To Lose You Now' and '1-2-3'.

Gloria Estefan has sold over 100 million records worldwide and is the most successful Latin crossover performer in the history of pop music. In addition to her 38 number 1 hits across the Billboard charts, Gloria recorded the Oscar-nominated song 'Music of My Heart' and has received numerous honours and awards over the course of her illustrious career. Emilio Estefan is a founding member of the pioneering Miami Sound Machine, who created a brand new Latin crossover sound - fusing infectious Cuban rhythms with American pop and disco. Combined, they have won a staggering 26 Grammy awards.

Gloria Estefan said: "The UK has not only been an important source of beautiful music for our world, but has also played an integral role in my own personal musical history. To have our life story playing on the stage of the iconic London Coliseum is a dream I could never have imagined coming true. I am thrilled and excited beyond words!"

Producer Jamie Wilson added: "After watching On Your Feet! on Broadway three years ago, we immediately knew we wanted to bring the show to the UK. The story of how Emilio and Gloria brought their music from Cuba to Miami and the world is truly inspirational. We can't wait for UK audiences to watch, enjoy and have fun at On Your Feet!"

The Tony Award-nominated show ran on Broadway for two years, playing for more than 750 performances. It is currently on a two year US tour, whilst the production in Holland continues until August.

Stuart Murphy, CEO of English National Opera, said: "The London Coliseum is one of the UK's great entertainment landmarks. As well as being the home of English National Opera, our iconic Frank Matcham-designed theatre, the largest in the West End, has played host to variety theatre, music hall and a cinema. Its original intention that it be pro bono publico (for the public good) has remained central to our work since ENO made its home here in 1968 and its history as the "people's palace of entertainment" makes it perfect for hosting a whole range of different types of musical storytelling. We are delighted to welcome the UK premiere of On Your Feet! and know that audience members will have a brilliant night out."

On Your Feet! is directed by two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde), with choreography by Olivier Award-winner Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys) and book by Academy Award winner Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman).
 
             
  DREAMGIRLS ANNOUNCE FINAL DATE FOR SAVOY RUN (6 JUNE 2018)  
             
  Sonia Friedman Productions have announced that Dreamgirls, which opened in December 2016 at the Savoy Theatre to widespread critical acclaim, will give its final performance on Saturday 12th January 2019, completing a run of more than two years. Details for a forthcoming UK tour will be announced in due course.

Dreamgirls is Directed and Choreographed by Olivier and Tony Award®-winning Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Disney's Aladdin and Something Rotten!), with Set Design by Tim Hatley, Costume Design by Gregg Barnes, Lighting Design by Hugh Vanstone, Sound Design by Richard Brooker and Hair Design by Josh Marquette. The Musical Supervisor is Nick Finlow, the Orchestrator is Harold Wheeler, with Additional Material by Willie Reale.

With Book and Lyrics by Tom Eyen and Music by Henry Krieger, the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls, Directed and Choreographed by Michael Bennett opened in 1981 and subsequently won six Tony Awards®. The original cast recording won two Grammy awards for Best Musical Album and Best Vocal Performance for Jennifer Holliday's 'And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going.' In 2006 it was adapted into an Oscar winning motion picture starring Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx.

Meet The Dreams - Effie, Lorrell and Deena - three talented young singers in the turbulent 1960s, a revolutionary time in American music history. Join the three friends as they embark upon a musical rollercoaster ride through a world of fame, fortune and the ruthless realities of show business, testing their friendships to the very limit.

Moya Angela, Asmeret Ghebremichael, Brennyn Lark and Marisha Wallace are appearing with the support of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation, pursuant to an exchange program between American Equity and UK Equity.
 
             
  SOPHIE THOMPSON WILL PLAY LADY BRACKNELL IN CLASSIC SPRING'S THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (31 MAY 2018)  
             
  Classic Spring has announced that Olivier Award winner Sophie Thompson (recently on stage in Guys and Dolls (Chichester), and well-known for her film roles, including: Four Weddings and a Funeral, Emma, Gosford Park and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1) will play Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest at London's Vaudeville Theatre (20 July to 20 October). Directed by Michael Fentiman, the production also stars Jeremy Swift (best-known for his role in ITV's Downton Abbey) in the role of Reverend Chasuble and Sinéad Matthews (currently at the National Theatre in Absolute Hell) as Gwendolyn Fairfax.

The Importance of Being Earnest is the last in a cycle of productions celebrating Wilde, which has included all four of the writer's major social comedies, a solo performance of De Profundis by Simon Callow, now transferring to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a reworking of Wilde's fairy tales for children presented by Tall Stories, and a musical version of The Selfish Giant, presented in Northampton and London. These productions have been seen by over 120,000 people in the Vaudeville, and 80,000 more on cinema screens.

Dominic Dromgoole, artistic director of Classic Spring, said: "We have brought thousands of people new to Wilde, and many new to the West End, into the glittering and liberating confusions of his world. It has also been a massive pleasure to work with so many great actors. It is with delight and excitement that we look forward to this continuing celebration of writer and actors with The Importance of Being Earnest."
 
             
  BEVERLEY KNIGHT, JOHN DAGLEISH & CARLY BAWDEN ARE CAST IN SUFFRAGETTE MUSICAL SYLVIA (30 MAY 2018)  
             
  The cast of Sylvia at The Old Vic, which has its world premiere at The Old Vic on 11 September 2018 (previews from 3 September) will include Delroy Atkinson, Carly Bawden, Verity Blyth, John Dagleish, Jade Hackett, Todd Holdsworth, Izuka Hoyle, Beverley Knight, Genesis Lynea, Jaye Marshall, Tachia Newall, Maria Omakinwa, Karl Queensborough, Ross Sands, Witney White and Elliotte Williams-N'Dure.

One hundred years after the first women in Britain were granted the vote, Kate Prince combines dance, hip-hop, soul and funk to shed new light on a remarkable story at the heart of the Suffragette movement. Sylvia is a modern musical celebrating the life of Sylvia Pankhurst, her pivotal role in the campaign for women's rights and the price of the passion and politics that tore her family apart. The musical has a book by director and choreographer Kate Prince and Priya Parmar, music by Josh Cohen and DJ Walde, and lyrics by Prince, Cohen and Walde.

Matthew Warchus, artistic director of The Old Vic said: "I am delighted to be welcoming the invigorating company, ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company, onto the Old Vic stage. This exciting new production, Sylvia, stands as the highlight in a range of projects celebrating the centenary of the first women in Britain getting the vote. The Old Vic turns 200 this year and was originally established by two brilliantly tenacious and visionary women - Emma Cons and Lilian Baylis - so it is particularly gratifying to be celebrating Sylvia Pankhurst's world-changing achievements in the advancement of democracy and equality during this anniversary."

Kate Prince added: "Sylvia's story was a compelling read from the moment I started looking into the Pankhurst family. I greatly admire her determination and I believe she hugely contributed to women getting the vote, just as much, if not more than, her mother. Politics and families are a tricky combination, and in the case of the Pankhursts, it severed ties between them. Ultimately we are telling the story of the price each of the Pankhurst family paid for their political purpose. To be given the opportunity to bring this idea to life in a year that is so important for women both historically and in terms of today's women's movement is brilliant. I hope we can do this extraordinary story justice.'

Sylvia will be ZooNation's third original musical (Some Like it Hip Hop, The Mad Hatter's Tea Party) and sees Prince working with long-term collaborators Josh Cohen and DJ Walde on the music, set and costume designer Ben Stones, and associate choreographer Carrie-Anne Ingrouille.
 
             
  WEST END LIVE 2018 LINE UP ANNOUNCED (30 MAY 2018)  
             
  The full list of shows for West End LIVE 2018, which returns to Trafalgar Square on 16 and 17 June 2018, has been released. A packed schedule of productions will be performing, featuring popular crowd-pleasers Disney's The Lion King, Wicked, Les Miserables, Mamma Mia!, The Phantom Of The Opera, Disney's Aladdin, Dreamgirls, Bat Out Of Hell The Musical, Kinky Boots, Matilda The Musical, Motown The Musical, Everybody's Talking about Jamie and Thriller Live.

Several new arrivals to London's West End will also be making their West End LIVE debuts, including Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, Strictly Ballroom The Musical, Eugenius!, Brief Encounter, Little Shop Of Horrors, Chicago, Heathers The Musical, Kiss Me, Kate, Knights Of The Rose, Six, Circolombia and Madagascar - A Musical Adventure.

The showcase - the largest free event of its kind and now in its 14th year - will culminate in a performance from Britain's Got Talent winners Collabro on Saturday 16 June, and an exclusive cabaret of West End stars on Sunday 17 June.

Produced and organised by Westminster City Council and Society of London Theatre (SOLT), with support from the Mayor of London, West End LIVE is an annual highlight of London's cultural calendar.

Julian Bird, chief executive of SOLT and UK Theatre, said: "We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with the City of Westminster to bring the casts of London's great shows to Trafalgar Square, giving theatre fans the chance to see exclusive performances for free. West End Live is a unique celebration of our world-leading theatre industry, and this year promises to be as diverse and entertaining as ever."

For the first time, West End LIVE has partnered with Magic Radio, and top Magic presenters Ruthie Henshall, Emma B, Harriet Scott, Richard Allinson, Paul Hayes, Tom Price and Lynn Parsons will be hosting the weekend and introducing performances from the West End LIVE stage. The event will be BSL interpreted by Sue MacLaine and Marco Nardi.
 
             
  JAMIE GOES FROM THE WEST END TO THE BIG SCREEN (29 MAY 2018)  
             
  Everybody's Talking About Jamie, the award-winning feel good new musical sensation, is to be made into a major film by Sheffield based production company Warp Films completing the fairy-tale journey from a 16-year-old approaching a documentary maker to hit West End Show and now the big screen.

Once upon a time there was a 16-year-old boy who had a secret he wanted to tell...

So, he wrote a film script, sent it to documentary film makers and asked if they would help him tell it. The resulting documentary was seen by theatre director Jonathan Butterell and it inspired him to create a musical. Sheffield Theatres backed him. He then bumped into a famous musical theatre star who introduced him to a well-known pop composer who was working with a lyricist and book writer. The theatre put on the production. A major producer saw it and offered them a West End theatre. A host of 5-star reviews, 7 theatre awards and 5 Olivier Award nominations later, Everybody's Talking About Jamie has released an official cast album, is being screened live over 510 cinemas across the UK and Ireland and now: a film! Everybody's Talking About Jamie has now extended its booking period at the Apollo Theatre in the West End until 6 April 2019.

Warp Films (This Is England, Ghost Stories, The Last Panthers), known for their distinctive multiaward winning film and television, will be revealing further details about the film on Wednesday the 30th May at a live launch event at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. The film, directed by Jonathan Butterell, written by Tom MacRae and with music by Dan Gillespie Sells, will be inspired by the musical and is being developed in conjunction with Film4.

Filming is expected to commence in Spring 2019.

Jonathan Butterell, Director of the stage production and film said: "I couldn't be more thrilled that Warp are producing the film of Everybody's Talking About Jamie. We were inspired by Jamie Campbell to tell this open hearted story of a boy looking to take his place in the world without shame or prejudice supported by the unflinching love of his Mum. Warp Films like Sheffield, the city in which they were founded, reflect the diverse and vibrant city that we chose to set our story in. For me it's a coming home."

Nica Burns, Producer of the West End production of Everybody's Talking About Jamie said: "Everybody's Talking About Jamie has captured the hearts of the public and critics in record time. Thanks to them, we will soon be celebrating our second year in the West End and you can now book your tickets as far ahead as April 2019. We are so excited to be announcing the film: Warp Films, with their fantastic track record for telling compelling stories of Britain today, are the perfect filmmakers for this contemporary true story."

Jamie Campbell, the boy who inspired the story: "All I originally wanted was to go to my school prom in a dress. Then Firecracker made the documentary. My story then inspired a West End musical. Now it's a film! It's incredible. Even I couldn't have dreamed it."

Mark Herbert, Joint CEO and Producer, Warp Films said: "Back in February 2017 I became aware of the show because literally everyone I knew was talking about Jamie. From work colleagues to friends, the reception was incredible. Everyone at Warp Films went to see the show in Sheffield and instantly fell in love with it. Two weeks later Jonathan, the director, and Dan, the composer, were sat in our Sheffield offices talking about how we could adapt the show into a film. It ticks every box for a Warp Film; a great central character; diversity at its core; and a massive amount of heart. We can't wait to start"

Robert Hastie, Sheffield Theatres Artistic Director said: "The response to Everybody's Talking About Jamie when it originated here at the Crucible was absolutely overwhelming. This show perfectly captures what it means to be a young person growing up in this vibrant diverse city. Its authenticity and sheer feel-good energy has secured a dedicated fan base in Sheffield, which has now expanded further still, thanks to its successful transfer to London's West End. We're so proud of all that the show has achieved so far and of how it represents our city. It's fantastic that Warp Films are beginning the next chapter of Jamie's story, back here in Sheffield. This project is a testament to the creative industry in the city, and the passion of its residents."

The official West End cast recording of Everybody's Talking About Jamie was released digitally worldwide and on CD in the UK on 27 April and reached #28 in the UK album charts, and #12 in the iTunes charts. On Thursday 5 July 2018 Everybody's Talking About Jamie will be screened live from the Apollo Theatre in London's West End to over 510 cinemas across the UK and Ireland by More2Screen followed by a worldwide roll-out in the autumn.
 
             
  REGENT'S PARK OPEN AIR THEATRE ANNOUNCE CASTING FOR AS YOU LIKE IT (23 MAY 2018)  
             
  Regent's Park Open Air Theatre have announced casting for As You Like It. Directed by Max Webster, the production plays from 6th to 28th July.

Olivia Vinall and Edward Hogg take the roles of Rosalind and Orlando, with Keziah Joseph and Beruce Khan in the roles of Celia and Oliver. Danny Kirrane plays Touchstone with Maureen Beattie as Jaques.

With original music by former 'Noah and Whale' frontman Charlie Fink, also joining the cast are Amy Booth-Steel (Audrey/Singer), Me'sha Bryan (Amiens/Singer), Joanne McGuinness (Phoebe/Singer), Jacade Simpson (Silvius/Singer), Jack Beale (Le Beau/Actor Musician) and Silas Wyatt-Barke (William/Actor Musician).

Completing the cast are: Simon Armstrong (Duke Fredrick/Duke Senior), Gary Lilburn (Adam/Martext), Kristian Phillips (Charles the Wrestler/Jaques De Boys) and John Stahl (Corin).

In the mythical Forest of Arden, a world of transformation where anything is possible and anything permissible, two young people discover what it really means to be in love. This warm, open-hearted production promises adventure, sibling rivalry, mistaken identity and romance - Shakespeare comedy as you like it.

Other productions in the 2018 season at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre are Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie (until 15 June), Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw in a co-production with English National Opera (22 - 30 June), Dinosaur World Live for ages 3+ (14 August - 09 September) and the mean green monster musical, Little Shop of Horrors (03 August - 15 September).
 
             
  MARTIN KEMP TO STAR AS BILLY FLYNN IN CHICAGO (23 MAY 2018)  
             
  Martin Kemp will star as smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn in the multi award-winning Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre in London's West End from Monday 2 July for a limited season until Saturday 1 September 2018. The rest of the cast who will be appearing alongside Martin Kemp are still to be announced.

Martin Kemp's acting credits include Reggie Kray alongside his brother Gary as Ronnie Kray in the film The Krays, Steve Owen in EastEnders, and Sam Phillips in the UK tour of Million Dollar Quartet. He is also, of course, one quarter of the band Spandau Ballet, and his book, True - An Autobiography of Martin Kemp, spent several months in The Sunday Times best sellers list. He also appeared as a judge on the BBC's Let It Shine, alongside Dannii Minogue and Gary Barlow.

Following a successful UK and international tour, and after a 5-year absence from London, the multi award-winning Kander & Ebb musical, winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy, began performances at the Phoenix Theatre in London in March. The current booking period is until 6 October 2018.

The cast for the first booking period, from 26 March to 30 June 2018, is led by Cuba Gooding Jr, Sarah Soetaert, Josefina Gabrielle, Ruthie Henshall and Paul Rider as Billy Flynn, Roxie Hart, Velma Kelly, Mama Morton and Amos Hart respectively.