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London Show News
  KATHLEEN TURNER RETURNS TO THE LONDON STAGE (21 FEBRUARY 2018)  
             
  Two-time Tony Award nominee and two-time Golden Globe Award winner Kathleen Turner brings her one woman show Finding My Voice to London. Produced by Fane Productions, the first preview is April 17th and the show will run for three weeks at The Other Palace, before touring six regional venues.

Lending her voice to classic tunes from the American songbook, Kathleen interweaves songs including Let's Fall in Love, I'd Rather be Sailing, On the Street Where you Live, Every time we Say Goodbye and many more, with stories from her remarkable life and career. Accompanied by Mark Janas, the show is directed by Andy Gale.

Turner, who supplied the voice of temptress Jessica Rabbit in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, was nominated for Tony's in 1990 for playing Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and in 2005 for her performance as Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opposite Bill Irwin. She's also known for her starring role in Friends.

Screen icon Kathleen Turner has garnered critical acclaim for her performances in movies including Body Heat, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe; Romancing The Stone and Prizzi's Honor, which earned her a Golden Globe Award for each; Peggy Sue Got Married, which brought Turner both an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe nomination; and War of the Roses, and yet another Golden Globe nomination. Turner's extensive film credits also include The Man with Two Brains, with Steve Martin; Jewel of the Nile, with Michael Douglas; The Accidental Tourist; V.I. Warshawski; John Waters’ Serial Mom; Naked in New York; Moonlight and Valentino; The Real Blonde; and Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides. More recently, Ms. Turner had a major recurring role playing the role of Sue Collini on Showtime's hit series, Californication as well as the starring role in an independent film called The Perfect Family. More recently on stage, Ms Turner starred as Molly Ivins in Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins at Philadelphia Theater Center, The Geffen in LA and Arena Stage in DC. She also starred on Broadway as a nun in High and took the show on tour for some of 2011 and 2012. Her most recent film, Dumb & Dumber To with Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels was in theatres in 2014 and made nearly $200 million dollars worldwide. In 2015 she starred opposite Ian McDiarmid in Bakersfield Mist in the West End and following that she went to Berkeley Rep to do the Molly Ivins play. Last year she was back at Arena Stage performing in Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking.

Kathleen Turner's 'Finding My Voice' will run at The Other Palace from April 17th to May 6th, before touring in Salford, Bury, Horsham, Colchester, Worthing and Edinburgh.
 
             
  NEW YORK'S MUSICAL SPOOF RUTHLESS TO OPEN IN WEST END (21 FEBRUARY 2018)  
             
  Long-running New York spoof Ruthless! The Musical opens in March at the Arts Theatre for a strictly limited 14-week run. Joel Paley and Marvin Laird's award-winning all-female character 'camp killer cult classic' has played Off-Broadway over the past 25 years. The new UK production, directed by Richard Fitch, will run at the Arts Theatre from 16 March to 23 June 2018.

Ruthless! The Musical tells the story of the beautiful and talented eight-year-old Tina Denmark who will do anything to play the lead in her school play... ANYTHING! Ruthless! started Off-Broadway in 1992 and discovered young performers including Britney Spears and Natalie Portman. The show famously spoofs Broadway musicals from Gypsy to Mame as well as iconic films including The Bad Seed and All About Eve.

The London cast will be announced shortly. The production is choreographed by Rebecca Howell and designed by Morgan Large, with lighting by Tim Lutkin, sound by Gregory Clarke and musical supervision by Gareth Valentine. The Menier Chocolate Factory will act as Executive Producer and General Manager for the UK premiere.
 
             
  EDWARD & FREDDIE FOX TO STAR WITH FRANCES BARBER IN AN IDEAL HUSBAND (19 FEBRUARY 2018)  
             
  Real-life father and son, Edward and Freddie Fox, will play fictional father and son, the Earl of Caversham and Lord Goring, in An Ideal Husband, as part of the year-long Oscar Wilde season at the West End's Vaudeville Theatre. Also starring, in the role of Mrs Cheveley is Frances Barber.

Directed by Jonathan Church, An Ideal Husband will play at the Vaudeville Theatre 20 April to 14 July 2018, before opening the Theatre Royal Bath Summer Season on 18 July.

The Rolls-Royce of English comedies, Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband, brings an act of political sin into the heart of the English home. An ambitious government minister, Sir Robert Chiltern's smooth ascent to the top seems assured. Until Mrs Cheveley appears in London with damning proof of his previous financial chicanery.

Edward Fox will play the Earl of Caversham. Among his many stage and screen credits, Edward has appeared as Winston Churchill in The Audience (West End) and performed T.S. Eliot's 'Four Quartets' (Riverside Studios). Most recently on screen in Taboo (BBC), Edward is best-known for his performances in The Day of the Jackal and Edward & Mrs. Simpson (ITV). Screen credits also include A Bridge Too Far, The Dresser, and Gandhi.

Freddie Fox will play Lord Goring. He played Wilde's lover Lord Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas in The Judas Kiss (Hampstead Theatre, West End). Other credits include Travesties (Menier Chocolate Factory, West End), Cucumber (Channel 4), Banana (E4), Boy George (BBC) and The Three Musketeers. Following cast injuries, Freddie took the role of Romeo to great acclaim in Kenneth Branagh's Romeo and Juliet (Garrick Theatre).

Frances Barber plays Mrs Cheveley. Best-known for her role as Caroline Warwick in Silk (BBC), her many screen and stage credits include Mr. Holmes, Vicious (ITV), and Death in Paradise (BBC). Her numerous stage appearances have included playing Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra (Shakespeare's Globe), Arkadina in The Seagull (RSC), and Julius in Phyllida Lloyd's all-female Julius Caesar (Donmar Warehouse).

Classic Spring is a new theatre company from former Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe Dominic Dromgoole. The company is staging an unprecedented year-long celebration of Oscar Wilde at the Vaudeville Theatre, including runs of all four of his major plays, plus a series of 'interludes' and 'Wilde talks' intended to give a complete picture of his life and work. Dromgoole's production of A Woman of No Importance, starring Eve Best and Anne Reid, ran successfully through the end of last year. Lady Windermere's Fan, starring Kevin Bishop, Samantha Spiro and Jennifer Saunders and directed by Kathy Burke, plays at the Vaudeville until 7 April 2018.

Next to open in the season is Guy Chambers' new folk opera, The Selfish Giant. The production will be co-produced by Royal & Derngate, Northampton, and directed by multi-award-winning director Bill Buckhurst. The limited run of lightly-staged performances will run at Royal & Derngate 4 April - 7 April, before moving to the Vaudeville from 10 - 14 April.

Guy Chambers 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.
 
             
  THREE LEADING LADIES CONFIRMED FOR CHICAGO'S WEST END RETURN (19 FEBRUARY 2018)  
             
  Sarah Soetaert, Josefina Gabrielle and Ruthie Henshall will be joining Oscar winner, Cuba Gooding Jr, in the multi award-winning Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre in London's West End. Following a successful UK and international tour, and after a 5 year absence from London, Chicago, the winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy, will begin performances at the Phoenix Theatre on Monday 26 March.

Sarah Soetaert will be recreating the role of Roxie Hart, the role she previously played at the Cambridge and Garrick Theatres. Her other theatre work includes Cats, Carousel, Fame, Kiss Me Kate, On the Town, The Sound of Music and The Glenn Miller Story.

Josefina Gabrielle played the role of Roxie Hart at the Adelphi and Cambridge Theatres. She will now be making her debut as Velma Kelly. Josefina played Laurey Williams in Trevor Nunn's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! at the National Theatre, in the West End and on Broadway, and she holds the distinction of being the first ever Laurey in any production of Oklahoma! to dance her own Dream Ballet, recreated especially for her by choreographer Susan Stroman. Josefina's other London and West End credits include The Witches of Eastwick, Hello, Dolly! opposite Samantha Spiro, Sweet Charity, Maria Friedman's production of Merrily We Roll Along, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the Musical.

Ruthie Henshall has the honour of being the only British actress to have played all three leading female roles in Chicago, having originated the role of Roxie Hart when the show first opened in London in 1997, then returning to play Velma Kelly, and now returning to the show to play Mama Morton. She also played Roxie and Velma on Broadway. Ruthie's musical theatre career spans four decades, beginning with Cats at the New London, followed by Miss Saigon, Children of Eden, Les Miserables, Crazy For You, Oliver!, She Loves Me (for which she won the Olivier Award), Peggy Sue Got Married, The Woman in White, Marguerite, and, most recently, Billy Elliot.

Further casting for Chicago is to be announced.
 
             
  THE FERRYMAN FINISHES WEST END RUN IN MAY AHEAD OF BROADWAY TRANSFER (13 FEBRUARY 2018)  
             
  The final performance of the West End run of Jez Butterworth's The Ferryman, directed by Sam Mendes, will take place at the Gielgud Theatre on 19 May 2018, prior to its Broadway transfer.

The production won widespread critical acclaim when it opened at the Royal Court and was the fastest-selling show in the theatre's history. Butterworth was recently recognised for Best New Play at the prestigious UK Theatre Critics' Circle Awards and last year received four nominations at the annual London Evening Standard Theatre Awards, winning three honours for Best Play (Jez Butterworth), Best Director (Sam Mendes) and the Emerging Talent Award (Tom Glynn-Carney).

Due to overwhelming demand, the production extended its run to 19 May 2018 and the current company includes Rosalie Craig (As You Like It, The Threepenny Opera, The Light Princess and London Road, National Theatre) in the role of Caitlin Carney, Owen McDonnell (Single-Handed, RTE/ ITV; Paula, BBC) playing Quinn Carney, and Justin Edwards (The Thick of It, BBC; The Man Who Invented Christmas; The Death Of Stalin) as Tom Kettle.

Further new cast members include Stella McCusker as Aunt Maggie Far Away, Siân Thomas as Aunt Pat, Declan Conlon as Muldoon, Dean Ashton as Frank Magennis, Terence Keeley as Diarmaid Corcoran, Sean Delaney as Michael Carney, Francis Mezza as Shane Corcoran, Kevin Creedon as JJ Carney, Laurie Kynaston as Oisin Carney and Saoirse-Monica Jackson as Shena Carney. Catherine McCormack continues in her role as Mary Carney, along with Charles Dale as Father Horrigan, Mark Lambert as Uncle Pat and Glenn Speers as Lawrence Malone. The full company comprises 37 performers: 17 main adults, 7 covers, 12 children on rota and 1 baby.

Sonia Friedman Productions and Neal Street Productions will transfer The Ferryman to Broadway at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, opening in October 2018.
 
             
  JONATHAN PRYCE AND EILEEN ATKINS TO STAR IN UK PREMIERE OF THE HEIGHT OF THE STORM (12 FEBRUARY 2018)  
             
  Jonathan Pryce and Eileen Atkins will star in The Height of the Storm, a new play by Florian Zeller, the internationally acclaimed writer of The Father. Directed by Jonathan Kent, the play will open at Richmond Theatre on 1 September and play Cambridge Arts Theatre and Bath Theatre Royal, before transferring to London, opening at Wyndham's Theatre on 2 October.

Jonathan Pryce is an award-winning actor on stage and screen. His extensive theatre work includes Comedians in London and on Broadway, for which he won a Tony Award; the Royal Court production of Hamlet, for which he received an Olivier Award; and Miss Saigon in which he starred on both sides of the Atlantic, winning further Olivier and Tony awards. His recent work includes Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The Man Who Invented Christmas and The Wife opposite Glenn Close. He is currently filming upcoming Netflix feature The Pope alongside Anthony Hopkins, directed by Fernando Meirelles.

Eileen Atkins is a three-time Olivier award-winning actress, and four-time Tony Award nominee. Atkins' many stage appearances in the West End include Honour, Ellen Terry, Three Tall Women and The Female of the Species. She has also played starring roles on Broadway in Retreat from Moscow with John Lithgow, and All that Fall with Michael Gambon, Indiscretions with Jude Law, The Killing of Sister George and Vivat! Vivat! Regina!. She has been seen most recently as Queen Mary in Netflix's The Crown.

This major new play from the writer of Olivier Award-winning The Father (translated by Christopher Hampton) brings together Pryce and Atkins on stage for the first time.
 
             
  MOTOWN CELEBRATES 2ND YEAR IN WEST END AND ANNOUNCES NEW CAST (12 FEBRUARY 2018)  
             
  The hit West End production of Motown the Musical this month celebrates its second birthday at the Shaftesbury Theatre and announces that from 6 March the West End cast will be led by Jay Perry as Berry Gordy, Natalie Kassanga as Diana Ross and Carl Spencer as Marvin Gaye. They join David Albury who continues in the role of Smokey Robinson. Cruz Lee-Ojo, 11 years old from Uxbridge also joins the Company to share the role of Young Michael Jackson, Berry Gordy and Stevie Wonder with Tumo Reetsang, 12 years old from Southwark, London.

Jay Perry's previous theatre credits include Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Whistle Down The Wind both at the Aldwych Theatre, Hairspray at the Gordon Craig Theatre and he currently plays lead Temptation as part of the Motown the Musical West End Company. He was an original member of pop group S Club Juniors.

Natalie Kassanga returns to the West End having last been seen on stage as an original cast member of Cameron Mackintosh's Oliver! at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. She made her West End debut as Young Nala in The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre.

Carl Spencer is an original member of the Motown the Musical West End Company. His previous theatre credits include The Scottsboro Boys at the Young Vic and Garrick Theatre.

Ensemble members comprise Chanice Alexandra-Burnett, KM Drew Boateng, Timothy Benjamin, Ryan Carter, Ricardo Castro, Amandla Elynah, Livvy Evans, Segun Fawole, Angela Marie Hurst, Cameron Bernard Jones, Cleopatra Joseph, Nathan Lorainey-Dineen, Mireia Mambo, Matt Overfield, Adam Philpott, Ainsley Hall Ricketts, Lawrence Rowe, Jaime Tait, Kyle Turner, Anna Van Ruiten, Cherelle Williams, Lashane Williams, Michael Woolston-Thomas, Jayme-Lee Zanoncelli and Mitchell Zhangazha.

Currently booking until 5 January 2019, Motown the Musical, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, tells the story behind the legendary classic hits. Later this year, a tour of Motown the Musical will play simultaneously around the UK.
 
             
  FULL CAST CONFIRMED FOR BAT OUT OF HELL (7 FEBRUARY 2018)  
             
  With the show's stellar leads, Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington, previously announced, the full company has now been cast for the 2018 West End run of Jim Steinman's Bat Out Of Hell - The Musical, winner of the Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical 2017. Performances will begin at the Dominion Theatre in London on 2 April, with a Gala Night on Thursday 19 April.

The cast will be led by Andrew Polec, winner of the Joe Allen Best West End Debut in the Stage Debut Awards 2017, as Strat and Christina Bennington as Raven, with Rob Fowler as Falco and Sharon Sexton as Sloane. Also starring will be Alex Thomas-Smith as Tink, Danielle Steers as Zahara, Wayne Robinson as Jagwire, Giovanni Spano as Ledoux and Patrick Sullivan as Blake. At certain performances the role of Strat will be played by Simon Gordon or Jordon Gage. Also in the cast will be Kyle Anthony, Emily Benjamin, Christopher Cameron, Georgia Carling, Natalie Chua, Jonathan Cordin, Rob Copeland, Hannah Ducharme, Isaac Edwards, Collette Guitart, Eric Hallengren, Vicki Manser, Rhianne-Louise McCaulsky, Aston Newman Hannington, Eve Norris, Joseph Peacock, Kyle Roberts, Craig Ryder, Dawnita Smith, Courtney Stapleton, Julie Stark, Charlotte Anne Steen and Sam Toland.

Jim Steinman's Bat Out Of Hell - The Musical is a romantic adventure about rebellious youth and passionate love, set against the backdrop of a post-cataclysmic city adrift from the mainland. Strat, the forever young leader of The Lost, has fallen for Raven, daughter of Falco, the tyrannical, ruler of Obsidian.
 
             
  MEL GIEDROYC JOINS ROSALIE CRAIG AND PATTI LUPONE IN COMPANY (5 FEBRUARY 2018)  
             
  It's been announced that Mel Giedroyc will join the cast of Elliott & Harper's highly anticipated new production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Tony award-winning musical, Company, directed by Marianne Elliott. It will run at the Gielgud Theatre from 26 September 2018 for a limited run.

Mel Giedroyc, one of the UK's most loved performers, will play Sarah, and joins Rosalie Craig as Bobbi, a role re-imagined for the first time as a woman, and Broadway star Patti LuPone as Joanne.

Mel Giedroyc said: "I am absolutely thrilled to be playing Sarah in Marianne Elliott's upcoming production of Sondheim's Company in the West End. It's been an ambition of mine to be in a Sondheim show, and to be working alongside Rosalie Craig and Patti LuPone and to be directed by the genius director that is Marianne Elliott is just the icing on the cake."

Marianne Elliott added: "I am so pleased that Mel is going to join our Company to play Sarah. She has all the qualities I was looking for in the role of Sarah. She is a unique and gifted comic actress and another amazing and talented woman to add to the cast. I can't believe my luck - we are going to have so much fun."

Mel Giedroyc recently co-presented seven series of The Great British Bake Off for the BBC alongside her long-time comic partner Sue Perkins, co-presented Let It Shine with Graham Norton and Gary Barlow and presents for the BBC at Eurovision. Other TV credits include: The Sound of Music Live, Would I Lie to You?, Big Fat Quiz of the Year, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Richard Ayaode's Travel Man. Mel will soon be playing Beatrice in Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing at the Rose Theatre, Kingston. Other theatre credits include: Luce at Southwark Playhouse, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Playhouse), Eurobeat (Novello), and New Boys.

Rosalie Craig is currently performing in Jez Butterworth's award-winning play, The Ferryman at the Gielgud Theatre. Other theatre credits include: Marianne Elliott's production of The Light Princess, for which she won the Evening Standard Award for Best Actress in a Musical and was nominated for an Olivier Award, Rosalind in As You Like It, The Threepenny Opera and London Road - all for the National Theatre. Other theatre includes: City of Angels for the Donmar, Lady Macduff in Macbeth for Manchester International Festival, directed by Kenneth Branagh, Sylvia in the musical Finding Neverland and the title role in Miss Julie at Chichester Festival Theatre. Her film and TV credits include: London Road, Spooks, and Casanova.

Patti LuPone, who this week performed Don't Cry for me Argentina at the Grammy's returns to London to make her first appearance in a West End musical for over 25 years with this production of Company. Her previous London theatre credits include originating the role of Fantine in Les Miserables, an Olivier-award winning role in The Cradle will Rock and creating the role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. Her numerous Broadway credits include: originating the role of Eva Peron in Evita, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, Anything Goes, and Master Class. Her many films include: Heist, Driving Miss Daisy and Witness. TV includes: American Horror Story, Glee, Ugly Betty, Will & Grace (as herself), Frasier (1998 Emmy nomination) and Law & Order. LuPone, who is a graduate of the first class of the Drama Division of New York's Juilliard School and a founding member of John Houseman's The Acting Company, is the author of the The New York Times bestseller Patti LuPone: A Memoir.

The multi-award winning musical comedy about life, love and marriage includes Stephen Sondheim's iconic songs, The Ladies who Lunch, Being Alive and Side by Side.
 
             
  MARTIN SHAW LEADS ALL-STAR CAST IN POLITICAL DRAMA (3 FEBRUARY 2018)  
             
  Martin Shaw stars in the West End premiere of Gore Vidal's sharp political drama The Best Man. Following a UK tour, the production, directed by Simon Evans, transfers to the West End's Playhouse Theatre for a limited season from 24 February to 12 May 2018.

Written and produced on Broadway nearly 60 years ago, long before the battles of Trump vs Clinton and May vs Corbyn, The Best Man never achieved a West End transfer at the time because it was thought that American politics were of no real interest to London audiences.

Martin Shaw (Judge John Deed, Inspector George Gently and The Professionals) is William Russell, esteemed ex-Secretary of State and US presidential candidate, with something of a philandering reputation. Jeff Fahey (The Lawnmower Man, Grindhouse, Lost) is Joseph Cantwell, an ambitious populist newcomer, opposing Russell for the party nomination. Running neck and neck, the only thing that might separate the candidates are endorsements from a respected Ex-President (Jack Shepherd) and party big-wig (Maureen Lipman). As the race heats up the campaign gets personal, involving Russell's estranged wife Alice (Glynis Barber) and Cantwell's wife Mabel (Honeysuckle Weeks). But where does compromise end and corruption begin? How far will they each go to become the most powerful man in the world? And who in the end will be proven to be "the best man"?

The play mirrors the often surprising results of campaigning, and the all-too-often unscrupulous world of politics.