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Open Air’s Seven Brides cast announced

Alex Gaumond and Laura Pitt-Pulford’s have collected a family of West End siblings to join them in the forthcoming revival of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

 Seven Brides

The outdoor theatre’s always much-anticipated annual musical offering will arrive from 16 July and marks acclaimed director Rachel Kavanaugh’s return to the venue following 2013’s triumphant The Sound Of Music.

Adapted from the 1956 MGM film, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers tells the story of a family of – you’ve guessed it – seven brothers who decide simultaneously they are in the market for a wife or two… or seven… even if they have to turn to dubious means in order to find them.

Boasting a huge cast of potential matches and town folk from the show’s West coast American setting, the previously announced leading pair will be joined by a host of actors who have previously appeared in West End hits.

Leading the way for the girls are Rosanna Bates (Mamma Mia!), Charlene Ford (Cats), Frankie Jenna (Sweeney Todd, London Coliseum), Natasha Mould (The Sound Of Music), Karli Vale (Made In Dagenham), Annie Wensak (Jail House Rock) and Emma Woods (Sister Act, Dirty Dancing) 

In the boys corner are David Burrows (My Fair Lady), Matthew Clark (White Christmas), Leon Cooke (Miss Saigon), Steve Fortune (La Cage Aux Folles), Bob Harms (Merrily We Roll Along), James Leece (Singin’ In The Rain), Phillip Marriot (Singin’ In The Rain, Dirty Dancing), Ryan Pidgen (Evita), Adam Rhys-Charles (Top Hat) and NT regular Trevor Michael Georges (Moon On A Rainbow Shawl, Home).

The cast also includes and a host of London stage newcomers including Angela Caesar, Eammon Cox, Jacob Fisher, Bethany Huckle, Dylan Mason, Peter Nash and Sam O’Rourke, many of whom will be making their professional debuts in the musical.

Coinciding with the show’s summer opening, a new recording of songs from the show will be released by JAY records featuring the show’s stars including Pitt-Pulford, Gaumond and O’Rourke.

Kavanaugh’s production will follow the Janie Dee-led The Seagull into the venue. The Chekov classic will run from 19 June to 11 July.

Fra Free and Laura Tebbutt star in Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years

Fra Fee and Laura Tebbutt are set to star in Jason Robert Brown’s award-winning The Last Five Years at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast from 24 June to 4 July 2015, playing the roles the two performers have dreamt of since they met at the Royal Academy of Music back in 2009.

fra feee laura tebbutt

Fra Fee read music at the University of Manchester before training at the Royal Academy of Music and becoming an associate of the academy in 2014. He has since played Marius in Les Misérables and led the actor-musician production of A Man of No Importance at the Salisbury Playhouse. Last year he played the title role in Candide at the Menier Chocolate Factory, and he is perhaps best-known for playing Courfeyrac in Tom Hooper’s film adaption of Les Misérables alongside recent Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne. Before this production at the Lyric, Fee will star as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet which opens at the Gate Theatre, Dublin on 31 March.

Laura Tebbutt recently starred in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s West End run of Forbidden Broadway at the Vaudeville, has understudied and played the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium and also understudied the role of Fantine in the 25th anniversary international tour of Les Misérables. She performs regularly as a soloist, most recently at the Royal Albert Hall in a solo concert with Raymond Gubbay’s Christmas Season.

The production is directed by Stephen Whitson whose current projects include Little Women (Old Rep Theatre, Birmingham) and Elegies (Criterion Theatre, London). He is also currently the associate director for Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Barnum. Musical direction is by Mark McGrath and design by Conleth White.

The Last Five Years premiered at Chicago’s Northlight Theatre in 2001 and was subsequently produced at Off-Broadway’s Minetta Lane Theatre in 2002. The UK premiere at the Menier Chocolate Factory in 2006 starred Lara Pulver and Damian Humbley, with a gala staging at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in 2008 featuring Paul Spicer and Julie Atherton.

A film adaptation starring Oscar-nominated Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan was released in the US in February 2015, the movie will receive an exclusive two-week theatrical run at The Empire Leicester Square from 17 April before being released on VOD (Video on Demand) on 1 May and DVD on 4 May. The show revolves around the relationship between the young talented novelist Jamie and an aspiring actress Cathy with a clever storytelling device; all of Cathy’s songs begin at the end of their marriage and move backwards in time while Jamie’s songs start at the beginning of their affair and move forward to the end of their marriage. They physically meet on stage only once, at their wedding.

The TONY’S – the winners, the losers and the REAL losers!

Well, let’s get it out of the way – and the winners are:

2015-tonys alan and kristin

Here is a complete list of the winners of the 69th Annual Tony Awards, representing the best of the 2014-15 Broadway season (?)

  • Best Musical: Fun Home
  • Best Play: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  • Best Revival of a Musical: The King and I
  • Best Revival of a Play: Skylight
  • Best Original Score: Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron for Fun Home
  • Best Book of a Musical: Lisa Kron for Fun Home
  • Best Direction of a Musical: Sam Gold for Fun Home
  • Best Direction of a Play: Marianne Elliott for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  • Best Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon for An American in Paris
  • Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical: Kelli O’Hara for The King and I
  • Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical: Michael Cerveris for Fun Home
  • Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play: Helen Mirren for The Audience.
  • Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play: Alex Sharp for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical: Ruthie Ann Miles for The King and I
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical: Christian Borle for Something Rotten!
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play: Annaleigh Ashford for You Can’t Take It With You
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play: Richard McCabe for The Audience
  • Best Scenic Design for a Play: Bunny Christie and Finn Ross for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Best Scenic Design for a Musical: Bob Crowley and 59 Productions for An American in Paris
  • Best Costume Design for a Play: Christopher Oram for Wolf Hall, Parts 1 & 2
  • Best Costume Design for a Musical: Catherine Zuber of The King and I
  • Best Lighting Design for a Play: Paule Constabile for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Best Lighting Design for a Musical: Natasha Katz for An American in Paris
  • Best Orchestrations: Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky and Bill Elliott for An American in Paris
  • Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre: Tommy Tune
  • Special Tony Award: John Cameron Mitchell
  • Regional Theatre Tony Award: Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Isabelle Stevenson Award: Stephen Schwartz
  • Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre: Arnold Abramson, Adrian Bryan-Brown, Gene O’Donovan
  • Excellence in Theatre Education Award: Corey Mitchell


….and a tally of the winners:

  • Fun Home: 5
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: 5
  • An American in Paris: 4
  • The King and I: 4
  • The Audience: 2
  • Skylight: 1
  • Something Rotten!: 1
  • Wolf Hall Parts 1 & 2: 1
  • You Can’t Take It With You: 1


Naturally disappointment was all pervasive; however, no matter how bitter the cast of Something Rotten were at missing out on Best Musical, the casts of The Visit and Gigi turned up for work to find that closure notices had been posted. I guess awards mean that much at the box office. Sometimes it might be better not to be nominated than to be nominated and not win.

The Smallest Show On Earth with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin set for UK opening in September

The Smallest Show on Earth is a brand new musical comedy inspired by the hilarious 1950’s film starring Peter Sellers, spliced with classic songs by Irving Berlin (Blue Skies, Shakin’ the Blues Away, Steppin’ Out With My Baby), starring Liza Goddard (Bergerac) and Brian Capron (Coronation Street).

Smalles Show On Earth


Also in the cast are Haydn Oakley as Matthew Spenser, Laura Pitt-Pulford as Jean Spenser, Ricky Butt as Ethel Hardcastle, Philip Rham as Albert Hardcastle, Christina Bennington as Marlene Hardcastle, Sam O’Rourke as Tom Fazackalee and Matthew Crowe as Robin Carter, with Leo Andrew, Jacob Chapman, Matthew Dale, Nova Skipp and Leah West.


The Smallest Show on Earth will open at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester on September 25, before playing Coventry, High Wycombe, Glasgow, Plymouth, Crewe, Swansea and Malvern.

Stunned to discover they have inherited the Bijou cinema, two innocent newly-weds have their hopes dashed when they discover it is a total flea-pit. To restore it to its former glory and stop the wrecking ball, they need to get the eccentric manageress, Mrs Fazackalee (Goddard) and Mr Quill (Capron), the unreliable projectionist, to help them with their ambitious plans. Directed by Thom Southerland, written by Thom Southerland and Paul Alexander

Will they manage to make it a Blockbuster or will the whole venture Fade to Black?

Ashley Day and Tiffany Graves star in Opera North’s Kiss Me Kate

‘Another Op’nin’, Another Show:  ‘As previously reported Opera North’s momentous 2015/16 kicks off to a dazzling start with a classic American musical comedy – Cole Porter’s 1948 iconic Kiss Me Kate’.

Ashley Day in rehearsals for the National tour of OKLAHOMA! credit Pamela Raith


Set both on and off-stage during the production of a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew, the plot revolves around the tangled love lives of actor-manager Fred Graham, his leading lady (but ex-wife) Lilli Vanessi, ingénue Lois Lane and her boyfriend Bill – not to mention a couple of gangsters who somehow get caught up in the show. 

The show premieres at Leeds Grand on 21st September then visits Newcastle Theatre Royal on the 6th & 7th Nov,  Salford Quays 13th & 14th Nov, ending at Nottingham Theatre Royal on the 20th & 21st November.

Studded with gems as various as ‘So in Love’, ‘Wunderbar’, ‘Always True to You in My Fashion’ and ‘Too Darn Hot’, Kiss Me, Kate is a deliciously witty confection graced by what is probably Cole Porter’s richest, most accomplished theatrical score.

Opera North’s new production which is co-produced with Welsh National Opera is conducted by David Charles Abell, who has prepared a new critical edition of the score, and directed by Jo Davies, who is responsible for a string of recent Opera North successes, including Ruddigore, Carousel and The Marriage of Figaro. 



Principal casting has been announced with Ashley Day taking the role of Bill/Lucentio and Tiffany Graves playing his love interest Lois/Bianca.

Ashley Day, currently playing Curly in Music and Lyric’s production of Oklahoma!, has played Elder Price in the West End production of The Book Of Mormon and took the lead role in the extensive UK tour of High School Musical. Other credits include Dream Gabey in On the Town (London Coliseum), original revival cast of Evita (Adelphi Theatre), original cast of Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre), Liquorice Man in Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker (Sadlers Wells), Dream Curly in Oklahoma! (Cardiff International Festival of Musical Theatre and Peacock Theatre), Creation (Edinburgh Festival), Oliver! (London Palladium) as well as featuring on the cast albums of Mary Poppins and Evita.

Tiffany Graves is best known for her performance of Velma in Chicago at London’s Adelphi and Cambridge Theatres, having become the first actress to play the leading roles of both Roxie Hart and then Velma Kelly. She was alternate lead in Matthew White’s acclaimed production of Sweet Charity at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, having been Helene/cover Charity at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Currently Tiffany is in the touring production of The Producers.

Other iconic leading roles have included Killer Queen in We Will Rock You, Marlene Dietrich in Piaf, and Sukie Rougemont in Witches of Eastwick, as well as taking part in the momentous 50 Year celebration at the National Theatre. As a member of the final cast of Cats at The New London Theatre, Tiffany appeared in a variety of roles including Cassandra, Jellyorum, Griddlebone and Bombalurina; she joined Grange Park Opera productions of La Traviata and Anything Goes, as well as appearing in Follies as The Royal Festival Hall. She made her professional stage debut at the age of 11 in The Nutcracker with the English National Ballet at the Royal Festival Hall. She also performed with the National Youth Music Theatre at the Edinburgh Festival in Annie as Grace Farrell and as Dick in Poppy, appeared in Disney’s Magical Moments, and recorded a Christmas album as a soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Wilton’s Music Hall announces first season after £4m redevelopment

Wilton’s Music Hall has unveiled its first season following a multi-million pound redevelopment, which includes a stage adaptation of David Ward’s 1973 film The Sting.


 The autumn season also includes the venue’s first pantomime, Dick Whittington, written by and starring Roy Hudd, and Box Tale Soup’s Casting the Runes.

 Wilton’s is set to reopen in September after a four-year redevelopment process, which included repairing the main auditorium as well as creating new studio and workshop spaces, offices and catering facilities.

The repair work, which cost around £4 million in total, also includes four accessible dressing rooms and lift and disabled access to all floors.

 The Sting will be adapted for the stage by David Rogers and will open the season, running from September 9 to October 17. It will have a press night on September 14. A stage adaptation of M R James’ Casting the Runes will run from October 27 to 31, with press night on October 28. Directed by Robert Soulsby-Smith, the show is created and performed by Box Tale Soup.

 Hudd will star in Dick Whittington, which will run from December 1 to 31 and be directed by Debbie Flitcroft.

 The season also includes an opera – l’Ospedale – directed by James Hurley and conducted by James Halliday. It will run from November 10 to 21, with press night on November 10.

 A dance theatre production of The Odyssey by Mark Bruce Company will run in February 2016, while a family music weekend in October and Wilton’s Strike! Dance Festival complete the programme.


Pixie Lott to star in Curve’s first West End production

Leicester’s Curve Theatre have announced that the final show in their 2015/16 season will be Breakfast at Tiffany’s, starring Pixie Lott as Holly Golightly. Nikolai Foster’s production, described as a ‘play with music’, will feature an onstage band and have music composed by Grant Olding (One Man, Two Guvnors). Truman Capote’s novella is being adapted for the stage by Tony and Olivier Award-winning playwright Richard Greenberg.


Breakfast at Tiffany’s, will run on the main stage at Curve from February 29 to March 12, 2016. It will then tour the UK, before playing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Colin Ingram will co-produce the production.

This will be the first UK and Ireland tour of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, brought to life so memorably by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 film. The tour includes Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre where it will play from Monday 25 – Saturday 30 April 2016.

“The goal of this version is to return to the original setting of the novella, which is the New York of the Second World War, as well as to resume its tone – still stylish and romantic, yes, but rougher-edged and more candid than people generally remember,” Richard Greenberg explained. “Capote was a great writer and a natural maker of plots and Breakfast at Tiffany’s has a drive that makes it very alluring to dramatise.”

Based on Truman Capote’s beloved masterwork, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is set in New York in 1943. Fred, a young writer from Louisiana, meets Holly Golightly, a charming, vivacious and utterly elusive good-time girl.  Everyone falls in love with Holly – including Fred.  But Fred is poor, and Holly’s other suitors include a playboy millionaire and the future president of Brazil.  As war rages on in Europe, Holly begins to fall in love with Fred – just as her past catches up with her.

Artistic Director of Curve, Nikolai Foster said, “I am thrilled Pixie Lott will lead the company in our production of Richard Greenberg’s beautiful adaptation of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Developing new audiences for drama and presenting plays which are socially relevant, are things we feel passionately about at Curve. I am very proud Pixie, Richard and our first class creative team will be joining us in Leicester for my inaugural season.”

Pixie Lott said, “I am so excited to play Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s on tour and in my first West End play. I absolutely love her style, and free spirit; she has always been an icon to me and I can’t wait to bring my own personality to the role. Alongside music, I’ve always wanted to be in a play, and getting the opportunity to be in one of my all-time favourites and play this fabulous character is a dream come true.”

Pixie Lott began studying at Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts at the age of 11, and whilst there appeared in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium.  Breakfast at Tiffany’s will mark her acting debut in a theatre play.  Pixie Lott’s debut single, Mama Do, was released in June 2009 and went straight to number one in the UK Singles Chart.  Her second single, Boys and Girls, also topped the UK chart in September 2009.  Lott’s debut album, Turn It Up, was released the same month and reached number six in the UK Albums Chart, spawning five consecutive top twenty singles and selling over 1.5 million copies.  Lott’s second album, Young Foolish Happy, was released in November 2011. The lead single, All About Tonight, became her third UK number one. Her self-titled third studio album was released in August 2014. Its lead single, Nasty, was her sixth top ten single in the UK.  A collection of her biggest and favourite songs to date, Platinum Pixie, was released in November 2014.  She was a quarter finalist in Strictly Come Dancing 2014.

Nikolai Foster directs Breakfast at Tiffany’s as part of his inaugural season as Artistic Director of the Curve Theatre, Leicester which is announced today. As part of his first season he will also direct a production of Tennessee Williams’s seminal work A Streetcar Named Desire and a stage adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic The Witches (also touring across the UK and to Hong Kong). His other recent productions include Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (West Yorkshire Playhouse), the 20th anniversary production of Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing (Curve and Nottingham Playhouse), Calamity Jane (Watermill Theatre, Newbury & UK tour) and a major new production of the Broadway musical, Annie (West Yorkshire Playhouse & UK tour).

Sting musical The Last Ship plans London production and an international journey

The Last Ship, the new musical starring 16-time Grammy winner Sting that ended its Broadway run Jan. 24 after just under four months of performances at the Neil Simon Theatre, will play several Scandinavian venues over the next two years. Discussions are also advanced for productions in London as well as Germany and Eastern Europe.

Last Ship Poster


The musical, nominated for two 2015 Tony Awards — Best Score and Best Orchestrations — will play Oslo in 2016 and Stockholm and Helsinki in 2017, according to the New York Times. Each country will perform the musical, inspired by Sting’s childhood, in its native language.


In a statement Sting said, “Working on The Last Ship has been pure joy for me, and of course it is in the nature of ships that they move around the world, so I’m looking forward to our proud ship finding many a new berth sailing in international waters.”


Directed by Tony winner Joe Mantello (Casa Valentina, Wicked), The Last Ship opened Oct. 26, 2014, to mixed reviews. Read the critics’ reviews here. It arrived at Broadway’s Neil Simon Theatre Sept. 29 following a Chicago world-premiere engagement last summer.

Despite struggling to stay afloat at the box office, the $15 million musical — featuring music and lyrics by Sting — remained open and welcomed its Grammy-winning songwriter to the cast Dec. 9 for a limited engagement. Sting took over one of the show’s central roles (Jackie White, replacing original cast member Jimmy Nail, who has been with the production since Chicago) to boost ticket sales through Jan. 24, which ultimately became the closing date for the musical.


Although the production saw some of its highest-grossing week’s during Sting’s run, producers found that advance sales for the serious-minded production dwindled following the Grammy winner’s scheduled exit.


The Last Ship played 29 preview performances on Broadway and 105 regular performances.


The new musical has a book by Tony winner John Logan (Red) and Pulitzer Prize winner Brian Yorkey (If/Then, Next to Normal). Choreography is by Olivier Award winner and Tony nominee Steven Hoggett (Rocky, Once).


Tony Awards will feature its largest production number ever; Musical numbers announced!

More than 175 performers will join Josh Groban onstage for a special performance — the most performers in a single number in Tony Awards history — at Radio City Music Hall June 7 for the 69th Annual Tony Awards, which will be broadcast live on CBS beginning at 8 PM ET.


The evening, as previously reported, will feature performances from the 2015 Tony-nominated shows in the Best Musical and Best Revival of a Musical categories. What each show will be performing has been confirmed as follows:


  • A medley of “Life Is Like A Train,” “On the 20th Century,” “I’ve Got It All” and “Babette,” featuring 2015 Tony nominee and Tony Awards co-host Kristin Chenoweth and the cast of On the Twentieth Century
  • “Getting to Know You” and “Shall We Dance?” from The King and I, featuring 2015 Tony nominees Kelli O’Hara, Ken Watanabe and Ruthie Ann Miles
  • “Ring of Keys” from Fun Home, featuring 2015 Tony nominees Sydney Lucas, Michael Cerveris and Beth Malone
  • “A Musical,” featuring 2015 Tony nominees Brian d’Arcy James, Brad Oscar and the cast of Something Rotten!
  • A medley of “An American in Paris (pas de deux),” “S Wonderful” and “I Got Rhythm,” featuring 2015 Tony nominees Leanne Cope, Robert Fairchild, Brandon Uranowitz, Max von Essen and the cast of An American in Paris
  • “Love and Love Alone” and “I Would Never Leave You,” featuring 2015 Tony nominee Chita Rivera and the cast of The Visit
  • A medley of “Lonely Town,” “New York, New York” and “Times Square Ballet” featuring 2015 Tony nominee Tony Yazbeck and the cast of On the Town


Broadway’s biggest night will also include performances of

  • “The Night They Invented Champagne,” featuring Vanessa Hudgens, Corey Cott, 2015 Tony nominee Victoria Clark and the cast of Gigi;
  • “Stronger” from Finding Neverland, featuring Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer; and
  • “Jenny’s Blues” from It Shoulda Been You, featuring Lisa Howard, Adam Heller and past Tony Award winner Tyne Daly.


In celebration of its 10-year anniversary on Broadway, the Broadway cast of Jersey Boys will perform “Oh What A Night.”

Hosted by Chenoweth and Alan Cumming, the 2015 Tony Awards will feature appearances by Bradley Cooper, Neil Patrick Harris, Jim Parsons, Amanda Seyfried, Ashley Tisdale, Bryan Cranston, Joe Manganiello, Kiefer Sutherland, Anna Chlumsky, Larry David, Jason Alexander, Misty Copeland, Sting, Corey Stoll, David Hyde Pierce, Debra Messing, Jennifer Nettles, Marg Helgenberger, Rita Wilson, Rose Byrne, Thomas Sadoski, Bernadette Peters, Sutton Foster, Taye Diggs, Taylor Schilling, Bobby Cannavale and Tommy Tune, among others.


The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

Unfortunately the TONYS will not be aired in the UK – not by terrestrial broadcasters, satellite channels nor across internet media. However there is a possibility that with the TVUplayer you may be able to pick up a CBS stream at around 4.30 am. Other than that wait 24 hours and pick up segments that will no doubt proliferate on YouTube.

Xanadu musical to premiere at Southwark Playhouse

Musical Xanadu will receive its UK premiere at the Southwark Playhouse in October.


The show, based on the film of the same name starring Olivia Newton-John, has a book by Douglas Carter Beane, with music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar. It will be directed by Paul Warwick Griffin, with design by Morgan Large, choreography by Nathan M Wright and sound by Richard Brooker.

Xanadu runs from October 16 to November 21, with press night on November 3. The musical, which originally ran on Broadway in 2007, is produced by Xanadu Theatre Productions.

House of Mirrors and Hearts new musical to star Graham Bickley and Gillian Kirkpatrick

The House of Mirrors and Hearts is a new musical by Eamonn O’Dwyer and  Rob Gilbert which will preview at the Arcola Theatre from 2nd-5th July (runs until 31st July).

 house of mirrors

Starring Graham Bickley (David), Gillian Kirkpatrick (Anna), Grace Rowe (Laura), Molly McGuire (Lily) and  Bart Edwards  as Nathan, it is directed Ryan McBryde, with Musical Direction by  David Randall and Set And Costume Design by  David Woodhead.

The House of Mirrors and Hearts is a contemporary British story about a dysfunctional family haunted by their past. Keeping secrets is a kind of art…When Anna’s husband is killed in a tragic accident at their home, her family’s life is changed forever. Seven years pass and, torn apart by grief, Anna has drunk herself numb .Her daughters, Lily and Laura, exist in a world of secrets and lies. They spend their days in bitter silence and suspicion, until Nathan, a new lodger studying the works of a forgotten poet, forces them to confront their past. Tensions within the family build, threatening to shatter this already broken household once and for all.

Beverley Knight will take on the role of Grizabella in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats revival

Queen of British Soul and Memphis’ leading lady Beverley Knight will headline the previously reported return engagement of Cats in the West End! The revival, which ended its engagement at the London Palladium in April, will once again play the venue this Christmas. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic show will run October 23 through January 2, 2016. Cats is expected back on Broadway in 2016.

 Beverly Kinght1.168981

Knight will play Grizabella, the role which has previously been taken on in the musical’s latest life by Nicole Scherzinger then Kerry Ellis. Knight made her West End debut in The Bodyguard and received an Olivier nod for performance in Memphis; no word yet on who will be replacing her in the tuner, which is set to close on October 31. Known as the Queen of British Soul, she has sold over a million albums in the U.K., scoring several top 10 hits and four gold certified albums. Knight has released six studio albums to date and her hit singles will include “Greatest Day,” “Get Up!” and “Come as You Are.” She appeared on BBC One’s Just the Two of Us and performed at London’s 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony.

Cats, featuring a score by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by T.S. Eliot, Trevor Nunn and Richard Stilgoe, ran for 21 years in London and 18 years on Broadway. It won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Based on Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the tuner tells the story of the Jellicle cats and each cat’s individual quest to be selected as the lucky one who will ascend to “the Heaviside Layer.”

With direction by Nunn, Cats is designed by John Napier with choreography by Gillian Lynne.