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  Matthew Warchus will direct Charles Dickens' timeless classic A Christmas Carol in a new adaptation by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child's Jack Thorne, starring Rhys Ifans as Ebenezer Scrooge, running at The Old Vic from 18 November 2017 to 20 January 2018.

An uplifting story for families aged 11+, this essential festive treat is vividly brought to the stage in a big-hearted production full of music and cheer.

Rhys Ifans' work as an actor encompasses stage, television and film. His theatre credits include King Lear (The Old Vic), Protest Song, Volpone and Under Milk Wood (National Theatre), Don Juan in Soho, Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Bad Finger (Donmar Warehouse), Beautiful Thing (Duke of York Theatre), Thyestes (Royal Court), Smoke and Poison Pen (Manchester Royal Exchange). Film includes Snowdon, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Dominion, Len and Company, Under Milk Wood, Serena, Another Me, The Amazing Spider- Man, The Five-Year Engagement, Anonymous, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Greenberg, The Boat that Rocked, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Hannibal Rising, Once Upon a Time in the Midlands, Human Nature, The Shipping News, Hotel, The Replacements, Notting Hill (BAFTA nominated) and he will be appearing in The Parting Glass later in 2017. Television includes Berlin Station, Not Only But Always (BAFTA Award for Best Actor), Shakespeare Shorts, Trial and Retribution, The Two Franks, Judas and the Gimp, Nightshift, Spatz, Burning Love, Review and Gifted.
  Forty-five years after William Peter Blatty's best-selling novel terrified an entire generation, The Exorcist will be unleashed onto the West End stage for the very first time in a uniquely theatrical experience directed by Sean Mathias and adapted for the stage by John Pielmeier.

After a premiere season last October at Birmingham Rep, The Exorcist will play a strictly limited run at London's Phoenix Theatre from 20 October 2017 to 10 March 2018. Tickets are now on sale.

Widely considered the scariest movie of all time, the film adaptation of The Exorcist sparked unprecedented worldwide controversy when it was released in cinemas in 1973. Winner of two Academy Awards, William Friedkin's masterpiece saw audiences petrified to the point of passing out and went on to become one of the top ten highest grossing films of all time.

Director Sean Mathias has worked at the Royal National Theatre and many times in the West End and on Broadway, as well as extensively internationally. In 2009/2010 Sean's production of Waiting For Godot played two seasons at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and toured the UK and internationally. In 2013 Godot played Broadway along with his production of Pinter's No Man's Land, the latter transferring to Wyndham's Theatre in October 2017 starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, and won Best Revival at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2016.

Casting for the West End runs is still to be announced. The Exorcist will hold two evening performances on Fridays, at 6pm and at 9pm. In addition, the production carries a recommended age guidance of 18+ as it contains material which may shock and offend.
  As the musical heads into its 32nd year, the producers are delighted to announce key cast changes for The Phantom Of The Opera. Joining the cast from 4 September are: Ben Lewis who will play the title role of The Phantom, Kelly Mathieson as Christine Daae and Jeremy Taylor as Raoul. Joining them is Amy Manford as the alternate Christine Daaé.

Ben Lewis played The Phantom in the original Australian production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies. His most recent theatre credits include the role of Frank Butler in the Crucible's production of Annie Get Your Gun. He was also in the original UK cast of Love Me Tender and starred in Forbidden Broadway and Candide at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

Kelly Mathieson will be making her West End debut in the production. Previously Kelly trained at the Scottish Ballet Company and the Royal College of Music. Previous Opera credits include Le Nozze de Figaro, Agrippina, Orpheus and the Underworld, Die Zauberflote and Carmen.

Jeremy Taylor's previous theatre credits include Fiyero in Wicked and Galileo in We Will Rock You, both in the West End. He also starred in the UK tours of Evita and The Sound of Music, as well as appearing in the Palladium production.

Amy Manford has sung internationally as a soloist with the London Handel, London Cello and the Perth Symphony Orchestra's. She recently graduated with a Masters of Performance in Vocal Performance from The Royal College of Music and she will be making her West End debut.

The above join Lara Martins as Carlotta Giudicelli, Sion Lloyd as Monsieur Firmin, 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.
  The Michael Grandage Company and Headlong have announced the full company for the world premiere of James Graham's new play Labour of Love, directed by Jeremy Herrin, which runs at the West End's Noel Coward Theatre from 15 September to 2 December 2017.

Joining Martin Freeman and Sarah Lancashire in this razor-sharp political comedy are: Rachael Stirling, Kwong Loke, Dickon Tyrrell and Susan Wokoma. Labour of Love sees the return of MGC to the West End following Photograph 51 and their acclaimed 2013/14 season, also at the Noel Coward Theatre, and for Headlong with the multi award-winning People Places and Things, 1984 and most recently James Graham's This House.

Rachael Stirling will play Elizabeth Lyons. Her theatre work includes The Winter's Tale (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), Medea (Headlong), The Recruiting Officer (Donmar Warehouse), An Ideal Husband (Vaudeville Theatre - Olivier Award nomination for Best Performance in a Supporting Role), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Rose Theatre Kingston), The Priory (Royal Court Theatre - Olivier Award nomination for Best Performance in a Supporting Role), Pygmalion (international tour), and The Taming of the Shrew and Uncle Vanya (Wilton's Music Hall). For television, her work includes Detectorists, Churchill's Secret, Capital, Letters from Baghdad, The Bletchley Circle, The Game, Doctor Who, Women in Love, Boy Meets Girls and Tipping the Velvet; and for film, Their Finest, Scottish Mussel, Sixteen, Snow White and the Huntsman, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Centurian and The Young Victoria.
  The Royal Shakespeare Company's Matilda The Musical has announced its new adult cast with David Shannon (The Phantom Of The Opera, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables) playing Miss Trunchbull alongside Gina Beck (Wicked, The Phantom Of The Opera, Show Boat) as Miss Honey and Tom Edden (Amadeus, One Man, Two Guvnors, The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui) and Marianne Benedict (Cats, Women On A Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown, The Wizard Of Oz) as Mr and Mrs Wormwood. The multi award-winning production is currently playing its sixth year in the West End and is booking until 27 May 2018.

The full adult cast includes Keisha Amponsa Banson, Richard Astbury, David Birch, Maria Graciano, Karina Hind, Peter Houston, Katie Lee, Vicki Lee Taylor, Kris Manuel, Bryan Mottram, Tom Muggeridge, Emma Robotham-Hunt, Simon Shorten, Biancha Szynal, Callum Train and Robert Tregoning. The new children's cast will be announced in due course.

Seen by over 7 million people across 60 cities and playing more than 5300 performances worldwide, Matilda The Musical is now preparing for its New Zealand premiere at The Civic in Auckland in August 2017 as well as the first UK and Ireland tour which will begin in March 2018, running alongside the continuing West End production. Winner of 86 major international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, the hit show is now the longest running production to play at the Cambridge Theatre.
  The producers of Annie are delighted to announce that from 18 September to 26 November 2017, Craig Revel Horwood will join the West End Company to play the role of Miss Hannigan for 10 weeks. In addition, Nikolai Foster's production will extend booking at the Piccadilly Theatre to 18 February 2018.

Best known on television as a judge on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing and for a role he returns to this Autumn, Craig Revel Horwood received great critical acclaim in Foster's production of Annie that toured the UK in 2015. Previously in the West End he has performed the role of Munkustrap in Cats, was Dance Captain in Miss Saigon and played the role of Harry in Crazy for You. His production of Son of a Preacher Man will open in Bromley in September before embarking on an extensive UK tour. During his 10-week run, because of his Strictly Come Dancing commitments, Craig Revel Horwood will not play the role of Miss Hannigan on Saturdays.

Craig Revel Horwood said: "I am so pleased to be returning to the West End, especially to a role I had such a brilliant time performing on tour. Miss Hannigan is evil, sassy and fab-u-lous. It will be a real challenge for me not to take her man-hungry, wicked ways to the Strictly judging panel each Saturday night - though I am sure my fellow judges will keep me in check! I can't wait to get started."

The Annie West End Company also includes Alex Bourne as Daddy Warbucks, Holly Dale Spencer as Grace Farrell, Jonny Fines as Rooster and Djalenga Scott as Lily. The title role of Annie is shared by Madeleine Haynes, 13-years old from Hadley Wood, Barnet, Lola Moxom, 12-years old from Rochester, Kent and Ruby Stokes, 12-years old from Hampshire. They are joined by three teams of young performers who play the girls in Miss Hannigan's orphanage. Amber, a 4 year-old Labradoodle, plays Annie's dog Sandy. Completing the company are adult are Russell Wilcox, Bobby Delaney, Keisha Atwell, Sophie Ayers, Nic Gibney, Patrick Harper, Ben Harrold, George Ioannides, Megan Louch, Benjamin Mundy, Ben Oliver, Heather Scott-Martin, Anne Smith, Kate Somerset How and Katie Warsop. Miranda Hart will play the role of Miss Hannigan until 17 September 2017.
  Following its sold out run as part of Bristol Old Vic's 250th anniversary season, Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville reprise their roles in Richard Eyre's acclaimed production of Eugene O'Neill's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, Long Day's Journey Into Night in the West End.

The production transfers to London's Wyndham's Theatre for a limited ten-week season from 27 January 2018. Tickets are now on sale.

Considered one of the most powerful American plays of the 20th century, O'Neill's semi-autobiographical drama in four acts was written in 1941-42 but not published and performed until 1956. In 1957, it won both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play. Recent West End productions of Long Day's Journey Into Night have starred Jessica Lange and Charles Dance (2000) and Laurie Metcalf and David Suchet (2012).

Jeremy Irons said: "Over forty years ago I saw Laurence Olivier play James Tyrone. I never dreamed I would one day be given the opportunity to play him myself. I am so glad I have the chance to work again with Richard Eyre and Lesley Manville on this, one of America's greatest plays."

Lesley Manville said: "Shortly after Richard Eyre and I worked together on Ghosts he asked me if I'd be interested in doing Long Day's Journey Into Night with him at Bristol. Ghosts is a big, emotional and epic play but not even that prepared me for the challenge of O'Neill's masterpiece which is, by far, the hardest play I have ever done. But at the same time thrilling. I cannot wait to play those scenes again to a wider audience. O'Neill is a genius and Richard Eyre's production gives nothing but credit to this classic American family saga."

Richard Eyre said: "I'm excited that I'm having the opportunity to revive a production that I loved. We had a wonderful time doing this play in Bristol and it's marvellous to be able to share the production with audiences in the West End."
  MOTOWN NOW BOOKING TO 2019 (24 JULY 2017)  
  Motown the Musical has just released 500,000 new tickets for sale, taking bookings for the hit West End production into 2019 when the show will celebrate its third year in London and Motown will celebrate sixty years since the record company was founded. Tickets are available to purchase for the production which is now running at the Shaftesbury Theatre until 5 January 2019.

With music and lyrics from the Motown catalogue and book by Motown founder Berry Gordy the production features a sixteen-piece orchestra playing 50 Motown tracks including Ain't No Mountain High Enough, I'll Be There, Dancing In The Street, Stop! In The Name Of Love, My Girl and I Heard It through the Grapevine. Charles Randolph-Wright's production tells the story behind the classic hits.

Next month, on Saturday 19 August, Motown the Musical will hold children's open auditions for the role of Young Michael Jackson, Berry Gordy and Stevie Wonder. Registration will be at 9.15am, taking place at the Brixton Community Base, Talma Road, London SW2 1AS.

On 4 September 2017 David Albury and Kayi Ushe will join the cast as Smokey Robinson and as Marvin Gaye respectively. They will perform alongside Cedric Neal as Berry Gordy with Lucy St. Louis as Diana Ross. Members of the ensemble play the roles of Eddie Kendricks, Jackie Wilson, Anna Gordy, Esther, Teena Marie, Florence Ballard, Martha Reeves, Tito Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Mary Wells, Mary Wilson and Stevie Wonder. The ensemble features KM Drew Boateng, Ryan Carter, Samuel Edwards, Vanessa Fisher, Dujonna Gift-Simms, Simon Ray Harvey, Terique Jarrett, Cameron Bernard Jones, Cleopatra Joseph, Wilson Kiiru, Natasha Leaver, Kieran McGinn, Simone Mistry-Palmer, Samuel Nicholas, Brianna Ogunbawo, Matt Overfield, Jay Perry, Timothy Quinlan, Sharon Rose, Lawrence Rowe, Ashley Samuels, Brandon Lee Sears, Carl Spencer, Alex Thomas-Smith, Cherelle Williams , Richard Taylor Woods, Michael Woolston-Thomas and Jayme-Lee Zanoncelli. Nana Ageyman-Bediako, 11 years old from Haringey, London, Raphael Higgins-Humes, 11 years old from Greenwich, London, Rio Myers, 11 years old from Lewisham, London and Tumo Reetsang, 12 years old from Southwark, London share the role of Young Michael Jackson, Berry Gordy and Stevie Wonder.
  Following its current sell-out season at the Almeida Theatre, which finishes on 5 August, the premiere of Ink, written by James Graham and directed by Rupert Goold, transfers to the West End's Duke of York's Theatre for a strictly limited season. It runs from 9 September to 6 January 2018, and tickets are now on sale.

Ink will be the second new James Graham play opening in the West End in September. His play about the Labour Party, Labour of Love starring Martin Freeman and Sarah Lancashire, is at the Noel Coward Theatre from 15 September to 2 December 2017. Both new plays follow the West End season of Graham's 2012 play This House earlier this year.

Ink, with a cast led by Bertie Carvel as Rupert Murdoch and Richard Coyle as Larry Lamb, is a "ruthless, red-topped new play" that leads with the birth of this country's most influential newspaper, The Sun.

James Graham said: "It's been such a creatively rewarding experience, building this show at the Almeida. I'm in absolute awe of our actors and the creative team, led by Rupert. And grateful to the audiences who've been coming and supporting the work. After being given the chance to revive This House in the West End earlier this year, I think it's really exciting to see so many new and politically-engaged plays being given the chance to find a wider audience."

Rupert Goold said: "I'm thrilled the Almeida's production of Ink will transfer to the West End this autumn and that we are able to share James Graham's brilliant play, together with Bunny Christie's ingenious set design and our sensational company of actors, with a wider audience. Ink is a play about ambition, truth and the power of the press - and for that reason it has never felt a more timely and significant story to tell."
  Classic Spring, a new theatre company from former Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe Dominic Dromgoole, have announced first casting and creatives for a year-long celebration of Oscar Wilde at the Vaudeville Theatre.

An iconoclast, a socialist and a gay Irishman in the socially conservative late-Victorian era, Oscar Wilde broke the mould in his work and in his life. Opening in the year of the fiftieth anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, this season aims to offer a much fuller picture of the man and the artist, and reveal this much-loved playwright as the brilliant renegade he was in his own time. Interspersed with the plays will be a curated series of interludes and 'Wilde Talks' that will reveal the deep current of radicalism and subversiveness that runs through all of Wilde's writing.

Eve Best will star as Mrs Arbuthnot in A Woman of No Importance from 6 October to 30 December 2017, directed by Dominic Dromgoole. Eve recently starred in Old Times on Broadway alongside Clive Owen, and Love In Idleness at the Menier Chocolate Factory and in the West End. She has won an Olivier Award, an Evening Standard Award and three Critics' Circle Awards, and been nominated for two Tony Awards.

Other early casting includes Eleanor Bron as Lady Pontefract, and William Gaunt as the Venerable Archdeacon Daubeny. Eleanor first shot to fame as Ahme in the Beatles' film Help!, and also starred in the original Alfie with Michael Caine. William's credits include King Lear opposite Ian McKellen in the West End and on film, and The Crucible at the Old Vic.

Multi-award-winning actor, director, comedian and playwright Kathy Burke will direct Lady Windermere's Fan from 12 January to 7 April 2018. Kathy starred in Gary Oldman's film Nil by Mouth, for which she won Best Actress at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. Her other screen credits include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Dancing in Lughnasa, Absolutely Fabulous and French and Saunders. She has directed at many of London's leading venues, including the Donmar Warehouse, the Royal Court and the Hampstead Theatre. Her other awards include a Royal Television Society Award, a British Independent Film Award and a British Comedy Award; she has also been nominated for six BAFTAs.

A limited run of lightly-staged performances for a new folk opera by Guy Chambers, entitled The Selfish Giant, will start in April 2018, offering a unique opportunity for audiences to see a work in progress by one of the world's most acclaimed contemporary songwriters. Guy is a long-time collaborator with Robbie Williams, having co-written many of his most popular hits, including Angels, Millennium and Let Me Entertain You. Guy has also collaborated with Kylie Minogue, Rufus Wainwright, Mark Ronson and Diana Ross, amongst others. He has won three BRIT Awards, three Ivor Novello awards and an MTV Video Music Award.

Frank McGuinness will adapt De Profundis, Wilde's letter to Lord Alfred Bosie from Reading Gaol, for the stage, for a limited engagement of 3 to 6 January 2018. Frank is an acclaimed playwright, poet and translator. He has won numerous awards and prizes throughout his distinguished career, including a Tony Award, an Irish PEN Award and the French Order of Arts and Letters.

Merlin Holland, Oscar Wilde's grandson, will give a pre-show talk on 14 October. Merlin is the author of A Portrait of Oscar Wilde and The Wilde Album.

Lady Windermere's Fan will be followed by An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest. Casting, creatives and dates will be announced in due course.

A family show based on Oscar Wilde's fairy tales, entitled Wilde Creatures and produced by Olivier Award nominated Tall Stories, will cater to everyone aged 5 - 105 and help create new generations of future theatrelovers.

Dominic Dromgoole, Artistic Director of Classic Spring, said: "My ten years as Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe allowed me to explore Shakespeare in the kind of theatre he wrote for: the thrust stage and open air of the 'wooden O'. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to do the same with Oscar Wilde, in the kind of space he wrote for: the velvety darkness and proscenium arched stage of one of the West End's most perfect playhouses, the Vaudeville, just across the road from where Wilde once lived, loved, wrote and entertained at his very first home in London."