London Show News
|CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR THE EXORCIST (20 SEPTEMBER 2017)|
|Full casting has been announced for The Exorcist, which 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. It will play a strictly limited run at the Phoenix Theatre from 20 October 2017 to 10 March 2018.
Reprising their performances from the play's premiere in Birmingham last year, Jenny Seagrove will play Chris MacNeil opposite Peter Bowles as Father Lankester Merrin, Adam Garcia as Father Damien Karras, Clare Louise Connolly as Regan, Todd Boyce as Doctor Strong, Mitchell Mullen as Doctor Klein, and Tristram Wymark as Burke. Elliot Harper joins the cast as Father Joe.
Jenny Seagrove will be playing the role of Chris, the mother of Regan, who suffers emotional turmoil in the search to find help for her daughter's ever increasing strange behaviour. Her prolific theatre career has seen her play the lead in almost every West End playhouse, with recent credits including Alan Ayckbourn's How The Other Half Loves at the Haymarket, Brief Encounter, Volcano, Tennessee Williams' Night Of The Iguana, David Rabe's Hurlyburly and The Country Girl with Martin Shaw. Jenny recently appeared as Louisa Gould in the film Another Mother's Son but perhaps is best known to TV viewers as QC Jo Mills in ITV's BAFTA award winning Judge John Deed.
Peter Bowles will play Father Lankester Merrin - the Exorcist of the title. Peter's West End theatre credits include Hay Fever with Judi Dench at Theatre Royal Haymarket, and several leading roles in classic plays for Sir Peter Hall. He is probably best remembered for playing the role of Richard DeVere in the hit BBC comedy series To The Manor Born as well as leading roles in The Irish RM, The Bounder, Rumpole of the Bailey and Only When I Laugh. Peter can currently be seen on ITV's Victoria as the Duke of Wellington.
Adam Garcia plays Father Damien Karras. Adam is a two-time Olivier Award nominee, was last seen in the West End in the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company's The Winter's Tale (Garrick). Musical stage credits include Kiss Me Kate (Chichester/Old Vic); Fiyero in the original London cast of Wicked (Apollo Victoria), Chip in On The Town (London Coliseum) and Saturday Night Fever(London Palladium). He gained international recognition for leading roles in films including Coyote Ugly and Riding in Cars with Boys, and he appears in Kenneth Branagh's forthcoming film adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express.
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.
|TINA TURNER MUSICAL CONFIRMED FOR WEST END (19 SEPTEMBER 2017)|
|TINA, a new musical based on the life of legendary artist Tina Turner, will open at the West End's Aldwych Theatre in April 2018. Previews are expected to begin on 21 March, with a press night on 17 April.
Tina Turner said: "I am so excited to be bringing my musical to the West End! London is a place that means so much to me and had such a big impact on my music and my life. Returning now to tell my full story, in the city I love, feels like an important chapter and is truly exciting."
From humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her transformation into the global Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, Tina Turner didn't just break the rules, she rewrote them. This new stage musical, presented in association with Tina Turner herself, reveals the untold story of a woman who dared to defy the bounds of her age, gender and race.
With a career that has spanned more than half a century, the legendary rock performer Tina Turner is one of the world's best-selling artists of all time. She first rose to fame in the 1960s partnering with her then-husband Ike Turner, achieving great acclaim for their live performances and catalogue of hits. Later, Turner enjoyed an international solo career with her 1984 album Private Dancer earning her widespread recognition and numerous awards, including three Grammys. She went on to deliver more chart-topping albums and hits, receiving a further eight Grammy Awards and reportedly selling more concert tickets than any other solo performer in history. The revered singer was introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and has often been voted as one of the most successful female Rock 'n' Roll artists of all time.
Tickets are released for public sale at 10am on 22 September 2017.
|DOCTOR WHO STAR PEARL MACKIE JOINS CAST OF THE BIRTHDAY PARTY (18 SEPTEMBER 2017)|
|Pearl Mackie will join the cast of a new production of Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party, in her first role since playing Bill Potts in the latest series of the BBC's Doctor Who.
Mackie will perform alongside recently announced cast members Toby Jones, Stephen Mangan and Zoe Wanamaker for this major revival directed by Ian Rickson. The production will run at the Harold Pinter Theatre, 60 years since the play's debut, from 9th January to 14th April 2018. Tickets are now on sale. Further casting is still to be announced.
Mackie currently stars opposite Peter Capaldi in the BBC's Doctor Who as the Doctor's companion, Bill Potts. Her final appearance will be in this year's Christmas Special, which will air on 25th December. Pearl's casting was announced in the original short film Friend from the Future, written by Steven Moffat. Also starring Matt Lucas and Michelle Gomez, the tenth series of the globally popular show premiered in April 2017 to critical acclaim.
From 2015-6, Pearl appeared in the National Theatre's Olivier and Tony award-winning The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. She has also starred as Nina in Theatre503's 2012 play Only Human and co-starred in the European premiere of Aurin Squire's Obama-ology at the Finborough Theatre. In 2013, Pearl appeared alongside Martin Freeman, Michael Socha and Maxine Peake in the comedy film Svengali, directed by John Hardwick. Further theatre credits include: A Mad World, My Masters (2015); Hello Kind World (2014); Crystal Springs (2014);Home (2012); The Crucible (2010); And The Comedy of Errors (2010).
Pearl Mackie said: "I'm delighted to be back in the West End working with such a prolific director like Ian Rickson - and an incredible cast - on this rich, dark and enthralling play. I love how Pinter creates character and I feel very lucky to work on one of his best-known plays."
|TOBY JONES, ZOE WANAMAKER & STEPHEN MANGAN TO STAR IN PINTER'S THE BIRTHDAY PARTY (14 SEPTEMBER 2017)|
|A new production of Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party will run at the West End's Harold Pinter Theatre, 60 years since the play's debut, from 9 January to 14 April 2018. Tickets are now on sale.
Following critically-acclaimed productions of Pinter's Betrayal and Old Times, Ian Rickson returns to direct this new production of Harold Pinter's landmark play. Starring in this comedy of menace are trio of Olivier Award winners, Golden Globe Award-nominated Toby Jones (The Girl, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Infamous), Tony Award-nominated Stephen Mangan (The Norman Conquests, Jeeves and Wooster, Episodes) and Tony Award-nominated Zoe Wanamaker CBE (Electra, Passion Play, My Family).
This will be the seventh Harold Pinter play that Sonia Friedman has produced, three of which have been directed by Ian Rickson, who also directed Pinter himself in his last performance as an actor in Krapp's Last Tape. It is also the ninth production directed by Ian Rickson that Sonia Friedman has produced.
Ian Rickson said:
"I knew Harold from when I ran the Royal Court and he was a great mentor to me. Doing The Birthday Party is particularly thrilling because as with the best first major plays - like first albums, and first novels - it has the intense DNA of the writer's inner life; their yearnings, their obsessions, their longings. There's something about The Birthday Party, in particular, that's so raw and committed - it has this kind of anarchic, punk spirit and I'm just so excited about directing it."
|BAZ LUHRMANN'S STRICTLY BALLROOM GETS WEST END PREMIERE IN 2018 (13 SEPTEMBER 2017)|
|Strictly Ballroom The Musical will get its West End premiere at the Piccadilly Theatre in 2018. Following the success of its UK premiere at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2016, the opulence and glamour of Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom The Musical will open in London on Wednesday 11 April 2018, following previews from 16 March.
Based on the multi award-winning movie, the first instalment from Baz Luhrmann's acclaimed Red Curtain Trilogy, the musical production is a kaleidoscope of colour and fun. When maverick championship ballroom dancer Scott defies all the rules of competition to follow his heart, he teams up with left-footed partner Fran to win the National Championship his way. Featuring the film's classic break-into-song numbers such as Love is in the Air, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps and Time After Time, Strictly Ballroom The Musical will also include electrifying songs from a host of internationally acclaimed artists.
Drew McOnie (whose dazzling choreography for In The Heights earned him the 2016 Olivier Award) will direct and choreograph the production. The show is based on the original Australian musical created by Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, with a book by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce. Casting is yet to be announced.
Carmen Pavlovic, CEO, Global Creatures said:
"I'm thrilled that we are bringing Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom The Musical to the West End. The film's irresistible heart and humour were immediately embraced around the world and 25 years later remains a beloved title. We are delighted that audiences can now enjoy live on stage the uplifting story of how one boy following his heart, triumphs over oppression and changes the lives of everyone around him for the better. Drew McOnie's direction and choreography has brought further vitality to Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin's original vision. Together they've reimagined the story for audiences of today and created a show full of joy and celebration."
This uplifting and courageous tale originated as a stage play that Baz Luhrmann devised with a group of students in Sydney, Australia, in 1984. The film was discovered in Cannes, and when it was released in Australia, Strictly Ballroom swept the field at the 1992 Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards, gaining 13 nominations and winning in eight major categories. It also won three awards at the 1993 BAFTA awards, received a 1994 Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture, and eventually went on to become one of the most successful Australian films of all time, earning more than $80 million at the box office.
|LA SOIREE RETURNS FOR CHRISTMAS (12 SEPTEMBER 2017)|
|The multi-award-winning and much-loved La Soiree returns to its favourite city this Christmas from 24 November to 3 February 2018. This Christmas the global cabaret hit will reside at the West End's recently refurbished Aldwych Theatre.
Formed with artists who had previously appeared in Edinburgh Fringe hit La Clique, La Soiree debuted in 2010 in London, where its previous runs have been at the Roundhouse and specially erected big top tents on the South Bank and in Leicester Square.
Prepare to be captivated by the irresistible La Soiree as its motley crew of talented cabaret performers and circus sideshow misfits revel in their posh new surroundings.
Expect La Soiree's heady cocktail of intimate cabaret, new burlesque, circus sideshow and contemporary variety in a grander, plusher home. This Christmas will also be the first time that La Soiree is offering La Petite Soiree, a family-friendly, fun and daring hour-long show for cabaret fans of all ages. La Petite Soiree will play at 3pm on Saturdays and throughout the Christmas holidays.
A full line up of artists for La Soiree and La Petite Soiree to be announced soon.
|THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG MARKS THIRD BIRTHDAY WITH WEST END EXTENSION (11 SEPTEMBER 2017)|
|The Play That Goes Wrong, the Olivier Award-winning box office hit, celebrates its third birthday in the West End by announcing a new booking period with tickets going on sale until 30 September 2018 at London's Duchess Theatre.
The production's exceptional popularity looks sets to continue as The Play That Goes Wrong will also embark on a national tour from January 2018 hoping to astound audiences all over again.
Awarded the 2014 Whatsonstage.com Best New Comedy, the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and a Tony award for the Broadway transfer, The Play That Goes Wrong continues to thrive in the West End. The remarkable rags-to-riches story shows no signs of slowing down for a play which started its life at a London fringe venue with only four paying customers at the first performance. Since then, it has played to an audience of over a million. This Autumn The Play That Goes Wrong will be playing simultaneously in twelve countries.
Mischief Theatre was founded in 2008 by a group of graduates of The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and began as an improvised comedy group. Mischief Theatre performs across the UK and internationally with improvised and original scripted work. Their other production The Comedy About A Bank Robbery is currently at the Criterion Theatre whilst The Play That Goes Wrong completed a UK national tour in July 2017, an Australian tour in June 2017, and is currently running on Broadway, booking until December 2017.
|CHRISTIAN SLATER RETURNS TO WEST END IN GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS (8 SEPTEMBER 2017)|
|Christian Slater (Mr Robot, True Romance, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), Robert Glenister (Hustle, Spooks), Kris Marshall (Death in Paradise, Love Actually, My Family), Stanley Townsend (Girl from the North Country, The Nether) and Don Warrington (Death in Paradise, Rising Damp) are the 'deal chasing' cut-throat sales team in David Mamet's masterpiece, Glengarry Glen Ross. This trailblazing modern classic, directed by Sam Yates, runs at the West End's Playhouse Theatre for a strictly limited 14-week season from 26 October to 3 February 2018.
Glengarry Glen Ross has won every major dramatic award on both sides of the Atlantic, making it an extraordinary theatrical success story. Its sensational world premiere at the National Theatre in 1983, earned it the Olivier Award for Best Play, whilst its 1984 Broadway premiere garnered multiple Tony Award nominations and just a year later, it won the Pulitzer Award for Drama. In 1992 the play was adapted by Mamet into an Academy Award nominated film featuring an all-star cast including Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey and Jonathan Pryce. The last major West End revival starred Game of Thrones' Aidan Gillen (as Ricky Roma) and Jonathan Pryce (as Levene) in 2007 at the Apollo Theatre.
|JENNIFER SAUNDERS JOINS SAMANTHA SPIRO AND KEVIN BISHOP FOR LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN (7 SEPTEMBER 2017)|
|Samantha Spiro and Kevin Bishop will star in Classic Spring's forthcoming production of Lady Windermere's Fan at the Vaudeville Theatre. Director Kathy Burke brings together a talented comedic cast from her previous work on Absolutely Fabulous and Psychobitches, including Jennifer Saunders guest starring as the Duchess of Berwick. This marks Jennifer's return to the West End stage for the first time in over twenty years.
It follows A Woman of No Importance, the launch production in Classic Spring's year-long Oscar Wilde season, directed by former Shakespeare's Globe artistic director. A Woman of No Importance, starring Eve Best, runs 6 October to 30 December 2017.
Samantha Spiro plays Mrs Erlynne. Samantha first came to fame playing a young Barbara Windsor in Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick at the National Theatre, a role she recently reprised for the BBC drama Babs. Her other stage credits include The House They Grew Up In (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare's Globe) and Chicken Soup with Barley (Royal Court). She won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Merrily We Roll Along at the Donmar Warehouse. Her other screen credits include Carnage, Psychobitches and Grandma's House.
Kevin Bishop plays Lord Darlington. Last year, Kevin starred in the BBC's remake of the classic comedy Porridge, which has now been confirmed for a six-part series. His other screen credits include Tracey Ullmann's Show, Rebel Wilson's Super Fun Night and Peep Show. He also co-wrote and starred in Channel 4's The Kevin Bishop Show, which ran for two series. His recent stage credits include a one-man show, Fully Committed, at the Menier Chocolate Factory, and Once In A Lifetime at the Young Vic.
Comedian, screenwriter and actor Jennifer Saunders guest stars as the Duchess of Berwick. Jennifer is best known for writing and starring in the sketch show, French and Saunders, for which she and Dawn French received a BAFTA fellowship in 2009, and the BBC sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, which won international acclaim, a BAFTA and an Emmy. Her other recent stage and writing credits include the BBC series Jam & Jerusalem and Blandings.
Lady Windermere's Fan runs from 12 January to 7 April 2018.
|EMMA WILLIAMS REUNITES WITH CHARLIE STEMP FOR DICK WHITTINGTON (6 SEPTEMBER 2017)|
|Emma Williams and Lukus Alexander complete the principal casting for the London Palladium Pantomime this Christmas playing the role of Alice Fitzwarren and Eileen the Cat respectively. They will join the previously announced Julian Clary (Spirit of the Bells), Elaine Paige (Queen Rat), Ashley Banjo (The Sultan) and Diversity (The Sultan's Special Advisors), Paul Zerdin (Idle Jack), Nigel Havers (Captain Nigel), Gary Wilmot (Sarah the Cook) and Charlie Stemp (Dick Whittington).
Emma Williams just completed an award-winning run as Helen Walsingham in Half A Sixpence at the Noel Coward Theatre, having also played the role at Chichester Festival Theatre alongside Charlie Stemp. She returns to the Palladium where she made her West End debut as Truly Scrumptious in the original cast of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Her other theatre credits include Mrs Henderson Presents at the Noel Coward Theatre, Zorro at Garrick Theatre and Love Story for Chichester Festival Theatre as well as in the West End. Her television credits include Silent Witness, Casualty, Bleak House, Doctors, Marple: The Body in the Library, Heartbeat and Where the Heart Is.
Lukus Alexander's recent theatre credits include the UK Tour of The Who's Tommy, Dick McWhittington at the SECC, Glasgow, Dick Whittington at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Guys and Dolls at Cambridge Arts Theatre and Doctor Atomic at the London Coliseum.
Dick Whittington will run at the London Palladium for five weeks only over the festive season from Saturday 9 December 2017 to Sunday 14 January 2018. It's produced by Qdos Entertainment, the team behind last year's twice Olivier-nominated London Palladium production of Cinderella, which broke box office records for the highest grossing week in West End theatre history.