Archive for Notices

News…News….News

  • “Motown the Musical” – Berry Gordy’s show will embark on a UK and Ireland tour opening at Birmingham’s New Alexandra on 11th October before moving out across the country and continuing into 2019 while it continues its run at London’s Shaftesbury.
  • “The Grinning Man” – has extended its run at the Trafalgar Studios until 14th April.
  • “Fame – the musical” – returns to tour the UK in the summer opening at Manchester Palace on 20th July and then touring to 2nd February 2019 in Shrewsbury.
  • “Calendar Girls –  the musical” – tour dates following the Leeds opening on 15th August then calling at Canterbury, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Leicester, Salford, Southampton and Cardiff.
  • “The Band” – more dates have been added to the current tour which will finish back at Southampton’s Mayflower on 16th March 2019 in what promises to be a star studded final night.
  • “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” – is extending it’s booking period by adding a further six months to its run at London’s Apoll“Chicago” – the production opening at London’s Phoenix on 26th March is to star Academy Award Winner Cuba Gooding in the role of Billy Flynn.
  • “Bayside” – a new musical parody based on the popular TV comedy Saved By The Bell makes its UK debut at The Other Palace on 9th March and run through the 17th March. Having extended seven times off Broadway, it brings all the characters from the show to the stage. Penned by Bob and Tobly McSmith, creators of “Friends The Musical Parody”, which is currently playing Off-Broadway. American actor Ben Campbell (A Futile & Stupid Gesture, Netflix) has been cast as Zack Morris, a role made famous by Mark-Paul Gosselaar.
  • “The Secret Garden” – the American musical by Marsha Normand and Lucy Simon will be directed by Dominic Shaw and open at Cirencester’s new Barn Theatre on 19th March (previews from 16th) and run until 15th April.
  • “Heaven on Earth” – performers, creatives and venues are among those owed an estimated £2.6 million (one of the largest ever in relation to a collapsed theatre production) by producers of the musical which was to star Kerry Ellis and Hugh Maynard, which was cancelled in November three weeks before it was due to open at Arena Birmingham ahead of a 5 month UK arena tour.

News….News….News

  • “Bayside” – a new musical parody based on the popular TV comedy Saved By The Bell makes its UK debut at The Other Palace on 9th March and run through the 17th March. Having extended seven times off Broadway, it brings all the characters from the show to the stage. Penned by Bob and Tobly McSmith, creators of “Friends The Musical Parody”, which is currently playing Off-Broadway. American actor Ben Campbell (A Futile & Stupid Gesture, Netflix) has been cast as Zack Morris, a role made famous by Mark-Paul Gosselaar.
  • “The Secret Garden” – the American musical by Marsha Normand and Lucy Simon will be directed by Dominic Shaw and open at Cirencester’s new Barn Theatre on 19th March (previews from 16th) and run until 15th April.
  • “Heaven on Earth” – performers, creatives and venues are among those owed an estimated £2.6 million (one of the largest ever in relation to a collapsed theatre production) by producers of the musical which was to star Kerry Ellis and Hugh Maynard, which was cancelled in November three weeks before it was due to open at Arena Birmingham ahead of a 5 month UK arena tour.
  • “The Last Ship” – Jimmy Nail, who in October when tickets first went on sale was hailed as the star will not be appearing in Sting’s musical which is to have its UK premiere in Newcastle on 12th March. The announcement came from theatre company Northern Stage which stated that his part, as shipyard foreman Jackie White, would now be performed by Liverpool-born actor Joe McGann who will be joined by Charlie Hardwick, Richard Fleeshman and Frances McNamee.
  • Historic West End restaurant J Sheekey has announced a series of in discussion dining events with stars of stage and screen starting on 29 January with BAFTA and Golden Globe-winning actress Leslie Caron, whose film roles include Lise Bouvier alongside Gene Kelly in An American in Paris (1951) and the title role in Gigi (1958), to be followed by an evening with West End leading man Ben Forster. Forster who starred in Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Phantom of the Opera and Elf. The final evening will feature Jemma Redgrave who appeared in a West End production of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters, The Great Game at New York’s Public Theater, as well as her TV roles including Doctor Who and Holby City. Tickets for each event cost £100 per person and include a three-course meal, glass of champagne and half a bottle of wine – feature a discussion with the actors followed by an open Q&A session.
  • Ashley Day (hot from leading the cast of An American In Paris) and Emma Williams will be joining the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra to perform “The Great American Songbook” on 31st January at Thailand’s Cultural Centre in Bangkok.
  • “An American In Paris” – will be showing in cinemas around the world on May 16th (except for Japan and the USA) the production was recorded early in its run at London’s Dominion and features the original London cast led by New York’s Robert Fairchild.

NEWS UPDATE

  • Ashley Day (hot from leading the cast of An American In Paris) and Emma Williams will be joining the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra to perform “The Great American Songbook” on 31st January at Thailand’s Cultural Centre in Bangkok.
  • “An American In Paris” – will be showing in cinemas around the world on May 16th (except for Japan and the USA) the production was recorded early in its run at London’s Dominion and features the original London cast led by New York’s Robert Fairchild.
  • “CATS” – the classical musical is one step closer to the big screen as Andrew Lloyd Webber tells that he has composed a new song for the movie adaptation, which would be sung by the kitten Victoria. The composer is also toying with the idea of adding more new numbers to the score. The film collaborators are exploring techniques which would use live actors with computer generated images. Director of Les Miserables movie, Tom Hooper, is in talks to direct the adaptation for Universal Studios and Working Title, which has to be given the official green light.
  • One of Britain’s most successful and prolific lyricists, Don Black, and award-winning musical theatre star Marti Webb will join a host of West End and Broadway favourites aboard the UK’s first specialist musical theatre festival at sea on board the Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas which launched from Southampton in October. The glittering line-up of talent include double Olivier Award winner Michael Ball; popular musical theatre group Collabro; soul singer turned stage star Beverley Knight; Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera leading man John Owen-Jones; two West End favourites who first found fame on TV talent searches, Lee Mead (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Wicked) and Sophie Evans (The Wizard of Oz, Wicked); and gifted impressionist Christina Bianco. Produced by Floating Festivals with assistance from Royal Caribbean the Stages cruise also features a unique performance of the Olivier Award-winning West End production Showstopper! The Improvised Musical.

HAPPY NEWs YEAR

  • The Queen’s new year’s honours list – recognises key figures in the arts including Rosemary Squire, Hugh Laurie and Michael Morpurgo. Squire, who was founder, co-owner and joint chief executive of The Ambassador Theatre Group is already an OBE, has been made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her services to theatre and to philanthropy. Author Morpurgo is given a knighthood for his services to literature and charity. His works include War Horse, The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips and Private Peaceful (all adapted for the stage) and between 2003 and 2005 was the third British children’s laureate. Comedian and actor Laurie is made Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to drama. Musical theatre star Julia McKenzie and the Emmy Award-winner Susan Hampshire are both also made Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Playwright and screenwriter Peter Nichols (A Day in the Death of Joe Egg) receives the same honour, also for his services to drama. Director John Tiffany, who directed Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the recent National Theatre production of Pinocchio, is made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to drama. Writer and playwright John Godber (Up ‘n’ Under, Teechers, Shafted) and Jane Claire, a producer at the English Touring Theatre both receive the same honour. Kinky Boots star and singer Matt Henry, who won an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Lola, is made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his services to musical theatre. Scottish actor James Cosmo receives the same honour for his services to drama.
  • Strictly Ballroom” – The opening of Baz Luhrmann’s musical will be delayed by two weeks with the first preview will now taking place on Thursday 28th March, with opening night of Thursday 24th April, due to an unforeseen schedule conflict.

Latest News

  • “Elf – The Musical” – starring Ben Forster is to be shown on Channel 5 this Christmas. The production, currently running at the Lowry in Salford, will be broadcast on December 23, and repeated on Christmas Day. It also stars Liz McClarnon, Joe McGann and Jessica Martin. It has been filmed live at the venue together with a special backstage programme airing on December 23, which will feature the cast getting ready for performance.
  • “The Christmasaurus” – the new musical from pop band McFly’s Tom Fletcher based on his book, which premieres at the Eventim Hammersmith Apollo on 21st December is being made into a major Hollywood film. Michael Gracey, director of the new Hugh Jackman musical “The Greatest Showman” confirmed that his film of the musical “The Christmasauras” will be complete in time for a Christmas 2018 release.
  • “Chicago” – the musical is to return to London’s West End after five years. Based on the UK and internationally touring production it will open at the Phoenix Theatre initially for one year beginning 26th March 2018. 
  • “Dirty Dancing” – will head out on tour again next year from Brighton Theatre Royal on 20th September travelling across the country running well into 2019.
  • “EUGENIUS!” – a new musical is set to open for a limited run at The Other Palace from 22nd January-3rd March 2018. Producers Warwick Davis and Kevin Wood have announced that American born Liam Forde will make his London theatre debut in the lead role of ‘Eugene’ alongside Laura Baldwin who will play Eugene’s love interest- ‘Janey’.
  • “La La Land “ – the Academy Award-winning film starring  Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone is to be screened at Theatre Royal Drury Lane with a live orchestra at 18:30 on 27th  May 2018.
  • “Nativity – the musical” – following sold out performances at The Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith this Christmas, Birmingham Repertory’s production will return in 2018 opening at the Belgrade Coventry on 23 October 2018 and will then visit Liverpool, Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Oxford before finishing the tour at The Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith from 19th-31st December.
  • “Bring It On” – the cheerleading musical, which has music by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, will be part of The British Theatre Academy 2018 summer season which will move from its usual home at the Ambassadors Theatre to Southwark Playhouse it will play the large space at Southwark Playhouse from 2 August to 1 September. Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s Tony Award-winning musical “Spring Awakening”, will run at The Stockwell Playhouse from 14 to 19 August. Based on Frank Wedekind’s 1891 play of the same name, it tells of teenagers discovering their sexuality and will be directed by Dean Johnson. Completing the season will be a unique production of Kander and Ebb’s “Chicago” at the open air Minack Theatre in Cornwall (24 to 28 September.)
  • “42nd Street” has been confirmed as the final production at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, ahead of a major renovation programme now that plans have been approved by Westminster City Council. The plans aim to secure the historic building for the future and include renovations to the auditorium, which has a capacity of 2,196.
  • Leonard Bernstein – 25th August 2018 will mark the centenary of his birth – the BBC Proms will be celebrating with performances of two of his best known works to be led by John Wilson – “West Side Story” and “On The Town” will both be included in the Royal Albert Hall summer season.
  • “Dick Whittington” has been announced as the first pantomime that will play the newly refurbished Southampton Mayflower for the 2018-19 Christmas season with booking opening on Saturday 16th December 2017.
  • “Bat Out Of Hell” – Jim Steinman’s musical went on sale on Monday and has already broken box office records at London’s Dominion Theatre, taking £350,000 on the first day. It is currently running in Toronto until 7th January 2018. Andrew Polec, winner of the Joe Allen Best West End Debut in the Stage Debut Awards 2017, and Christina Bennington are looking to recreate their London lead roles.

December latest news

  • Leonard Bernstein – 25th August 2018 will mark the centenary of his birth – the BBC Proms will be celebrating with performances of two of his best known works to be led by John Wilson – “West Side Story” and “On The Town” will both be included in the Royal Albert Hall summer season.
  • “Dick Whittington” has been announced as the first pantomime that will play the newly refurbished Southampton Mayflower for the 2018-19 Christmas season with booking opening on Saturday 16th December 2017.
  • “Bat Out Of Hell” – Jim Steinman’s musical went on sale on Monday and has already broken box office records at London’s Dominion Theatre, taking £350,000 on the first day. It is currently running in Toronto until 7th January 2018. Andrew Polec, winner of the Joe Allen Best West End Debut in the Stage Debut Awards 2017, and Christina Bennington are looking to recreate their London lead roles.
  • QDOS censors its pantomimes – amid sexual harassment allegations within the theatre sector the producer of the UK’s biggest pantomimes is to remove a longstanding routine from its 30-plus shows. A routine based on an old Morecambe and Wise sketch – where a male character looks up a female performer’s skirt – has been removed from the company’s pantomimes; last Christmas it was in nearly every panto in the land, including the Palladium, and it got a massive laugh. This year it just feels wrong. Everybody is a little bit more mindful of that kind of thing a spokesman said.
  • “Teddy“ a revival of Tristan Bernays and Dougal Irvine’s musical which turns the clock back some 60 or so years to a postwar Elephant and Castle, is a game changer that pushes the integrated musical play forward and will run at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury from 11 January to 10 February, and then tour to Salford’s Lowry, Bury St Edmunds, NST Southampton, Chesterfield, Ipswich before opening at the Vaults, London.
  • “Blood Brothers” – Lyn Paul is to return to the role of Mrs Johnstone in the musical for the show’s 2018 tour. Paul performed the role in the final nights of the show’s run at the Phoenix Theatre in London. The tour includes return dates in Belfast, Edinburgh, Southampton and Manchester.
  • Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has backed plans for a £41 million development in the centre of the town that will include a 1,200-seat theatre, a civic centre, an underground car park, and new office space.
  • “The Sound of Music” – a new tour of Bill Kenwright’s production opens at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin on 19th December with Lucy O’Byrne as Maria and Neil McDermott as Captain von Trapp.
  • Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2017 – view the full list of winners –https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2017/ferryman-triumphs-london-evening-standard-theatre-awards/
  • “White Christmas” – a brand new adaptation of Irving Berlin’s festive favourite will be the 2018 christmas musical at Leicester’s Curve working in partnership with Jamie Wilson and his team with the expectation that it will be seen around the UK for many Christmases to come.

First News In December

  • “The Sound of Music” – a new tour of Bill Kenwright’s production opens at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin on 19th December with Lucy O’Byrne as Maria and Neil McDermott as Captain von Trapp.
  • Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2017 – view the full list of winners –https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2017/ferryman-triumphs-london-evening-standard-theatre-awards/
  • “White Christmas” – a brand new adaptation of Irving Berlin’s festive favourite will be the 2018 christmas musical at Leicester’s Curve working in partnership with Jamie Wilson and his team with the expectation that it will be seen around the UK for many Christmases to come.
  • “Hamilton” – theatregoers can apply for a maximum of two £10 lottery tickets each day via the Hamilton app or online. Each lottery opens at 4pm and closes at 2pm the following day. Within an hour of the lottery closing, winners will be notified via the app or by email.
  • “Bat Out Of Hell” – confirmation that the multi-award nominated musical will return to the West End opening at the Dominion Theatre on 2nd April 2018.
  • 18th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards – Nominations have been announced with Bat Out of Hell and 42nd Street each leading the shortlist with eight nominations, including Best Musical and Best Musical Revival respectively. The full list of nominations can be viewed at http://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/news/whatsonstage-awards-nominations-18-annual-voting_45258.html . The winners of the awards will be announced at a ceremony at the Prince of Wales Theatre on 25 February 2018 and public can buy tickets to attend the awards.
  • “Doctor Dolittle” – confirmation that the new stage adaptation of Leslie Bricusse’s film musical (he has distanced himself from the stage productions) will embark on a UK tour starting in Bromley next year, before touring to Salford, Wolverhampton, Newcastle, Hull, Aberdeen, Northampton, Nottingham, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Bradford, Dublin, Canterbury, Cardiff, Southampton, Blackpool and Birmingham, with further venues to be announced.
  • “The Little Match Girl” – opens at the London’s Tabard Theatre on 7 December, based on the Hans Christian Andersen story the musical tale will be directed by its composer Keith Strachan. First performed 40 years ago at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, the musical was famously adapted for television in 1986 in an HTV production that featured Twiggy and Roger Daltrey. The score includes the Ivor Novello Award-winning song ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ which went on to become a Christmas No.1 single for Cliff Richard in 1988.
  • “Finding My Voice” – the Tony Award nominee and Golden Globe Award winner Kathleen Turner is performing  her debut cabaret, at  The Other Palace for 3 weeks next Spring from 17th April-6th May.
  • “Rock of Ages” – a national tour of the musical  will open at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley on 20 September 2018 and then visit Manchester Opera House (25-29 September), Wycombe Swan Theatre (2-6 October), Darlington Hippodrome (8-13 October), Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin (16-20 October), Liverpool Empire Theatre (23-27 October), New Theatre, Cardiff (6-10 November), New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham (13-17 November), Orchard Theatre, Dartford (20-25 November), and Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield (26 November to 1 December).

NEWS UPDATE – NOVEMBER 27th

  • “Finding My Voice” – the Tony Award nominee and Golden Globe Award winner Kathleen Turner is performing  her debut cabaret, at  The Other Palace for 3 weeks next Spring from 17th April-6th May.
  • “Rock of Ages” – a national tour of the musical  will open at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley on 20 September 2018 and then visit Manchester Opera House (25-29 September), Wycombe Swan Theatre (2-6 October), Darlington Hippodrome (8-13 October), Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin (16-20 October), Liverpool Empire Theatre (23-27 October), New Theatre, Cardiff (6-10 November), New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham (13-17 November), Orchard Theatre, Dartford (20-25 November), and Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield (26 November to 1 December).
  • “Bat Out Of Hell” looks likely to follow Chinese dance spectacular “Shen Yun” into London’s Dominion in the spring.
  • “Tina The Musical” based on the life and career of  Tina Turner, will feature Adrienne Warren as Tina Turner with Kobna Holbrook Smith as singer and music arranger Ike Turner, best known for his work in films such as Doctor Strange, Paddington 2 and  will also be seen in Mary Poppins Returns and Justice League, with Madeline Appiah and Jenny Fitzpatrick (alternate Tina), Gerard McCarthy with Ryan O’Donnell and Lorna Gayle.
  • “The King & I”, the Lincoln Center production will preview at the London Palladium from 21st June with a press night on 3rd July and run until 4th August.
  • “Billionaire Boy” a new musical by David Walliams and Miranda Cooper will premiere at Southampton’s Nuffield Theatre (Campus) on 19th November 2018 and will run until 6th  January 2019, directed by Luke Sheppard (In The Heights), as part of an ambitious season which includes the opening of a new 500 seater theatre and 150 seat studio space in the heart of the City.
  • “Son of Rambow” a musical adaptation of the cult film is under development by  Nuffield Southampton Theatres director Samuel Hodges and will workshop at The Other Palace in May and Hodges will be joined at by two new associates at NST – Olivier Award-winning director and choreographer Drew McOnie, and poet and playwright Inua Ellams.

November News Update

  • “Bat Out Of Hell” looks likely to follow Chinese dance spectacular “Shen Yun” into London’s Dominion in the spring.
  • “Tina The Musical” based on the life and career of  Tina Turner, will feature Adrienne Warren as Tina Turner with Kobna Holbrook Smith as singer and music arranger Ike Turner, best known for his work in films such as Doctor Strange, Paddington 2 and  will also be seen in Mary Poppins Returns and Justice League, with Madeline Appiah and Jenny Fitzpatrick (alternate Tina), Gerard McCarthy with Ryan O’Donnell and Lorna Gayle.
  • “The King & I”, the Lincoln Center production will preview at the London Palladium from 21st June with a press night on 3rd July and run until 4th August.
  • “Billionaire Boy” a new musical by David Walliams and Miranda Cooper will premiere at Southampton’s Nuffield Theatre (Campus) on 19th November 2018 and will run until 6th  January 2019, directed by Luke Sheppard (In The Heights), as part of an ambitious season which includes the opening of a new 500 seater theatre and 150 seat studio space in the heart of the City.
  • “Son of Rambow” a musical adaptation of the cult film is under development by  Nuffield Southampton Theatres director Samuel Hodges and will workshop at The Other Palace in May and Hodges will be joined at by two new associates at NST – Olivier Award-winning director and choreographer Drew McOnie, and poet and playwright Inua Ellams.
  • “Strictly Ballroom” – the producers have announced casting  for the  West End production of Baz Luhrmann’s  musical which will be directed by Drew McOnie and open at London’s Piccadilly Theatre on 11th April with Jonny Labey and Zizi Strallen leading the cast, while Will Young takes on a specially created role of a band leader.
  • “Heaven on Earth” a new arena tour musical starring Kerry Ellis, Hugh Maynard and Russell Watson as the Voice of God which was due to open next month has been cancelled; directed and choreographed by Racky Plews (American Idiot), it retold  the Bible story of Adam and Eve and was due to open at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham in December before touring the UK.
  • Moonfleet”  a major new musical based on classic adventure story is set to be one of the highlights of the spring/summer 2018 season when it premieres at the Salisbury Playhouse featuring a book and lyrics by the Playhouse’s artistic director Gareth Machin and music by Russell Hepplewhite the show will run from 19 April until 5 May.

November News Update

  • “Strictly Ballroom” – the producers have announced casting  for the  West End production of Baz Luhrmann’s  musical which will be directed by Drew McOnie and open at London’s Piccadilly Theatre on 11th April with Jonny Labey and Zizi Strallen leading the cast, while Will Young takes on a specially created role of a band leader.
  • “Heaven on Earth” a new arena tour musical starring Kerry Ellis, Hugh Maynard and Russell Watson as the Voice of God which was due to open next month has been cancelled; directed and choreographed by Racky Plews (American Idiot), it retold  the Bible story of Adam and Eve and was due to open at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham in December before touring the UK.
  • Moonfleet”  a major new musical based on classic adventure story is set to be one of the highlights of the spring/summer 2018 season when it premieres at the Salisbury Playhouse featuring a book and lyrics by the Playhouse’s artistic director Gareth Machin and music by Russell Hepplewhite the show will run from 19 April until 5 May.
  • “The Band” the Take That/Tim Firth musical goes from strength to strength, during its 2 week run at Southampton’s Mayflower the show played to more that 2300 people at most performances with many performances completely sold out including all the standing boxes across the three tiers; it’s international fame grows as one performance was attended by the principals of the Shubert Organisation who operate seventeen Broadway theatres, as well as Telecharge which handles tickets for 70 theatres.
  • “Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert” will be revived at the Queens Theatre, Hornchurch from 27 April to 19 May as part of their 65th anniversary season,  it will be directed by the venue’s artistic director Douglas Rintoul, the musical is written by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott.
  • “Five Guys Named Moe” the new production of Clarke Peters’ Olivier Award-winning and Tony-Award nominated musical, has extended its run at the custom-built Marble Arch Theatre into March 2018.
  • “Summer Holiday”  is being launched by  Now Spirit Productions as a feel-good stage musical next summer based on the legendary 1963 film starring Cliff Richard and The Shadows, opening at Liverpool Empire on 8th May.
  • “The Girls”, Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s musical  is being renamed ahead of its UK tour which will set off from Leeds Grand on 15th August 2018, it will now be titled “Calendar Girls the musical”.
  • “Doctor Dolittle”, a completely new production of Leslie Bricusse’s musical  is set to tour the UK in 2018 and 2019 playing the Lowry in Salford for the 2018 Christmas season.
  • “2017 Royal Variety Performance” will be hosted by Miranda Hart at the London Palladium on 24th November, becoming the first-ever solo female presenter of the show, which will feature  performances featuring Kelsey Grammer and the cast of “Big Fish,” casts from   “Annie” and “42nd Street” as well as ‘The Leading Ladies’ – a  trio of West End divas Amber Riley, Beverley Knight and Cassidy Janson and together again, Alfie Boe and Michael Ball.
  • “The Christmasaurus” a new musical by McFly musician, performer and writer Tom Fletcher based on his first bestselling children’s novel  is coming to London’s Eventim Apollo from 21st-28th December; the book was nominated for the Children’s Book of the Year and follows the life of young boy’s  adventures across the North Pole.
  • “Girl from the North Country” which originally opened at the Old Vic earlier this year transfers to the Noel Coward Theatre from 29th December 2017 to 24th March 2018 and joining the production is Hannah Azuonye, Mary Doherty, David Ganly as Mr Burke, Adam James as Dr Walker, Karl Johnson as Mr Perry and Emmanuel Kojo.They will join the returning cast which includes Sheila Atim, Ciaran Hinds, Shirley Henderson, Arinze Kene, Tim McMullan and Debbie Kurup.

NOVEMBER NEWS HEADLINES

  • Now Spirit Productions are launching “Summer Holiday” as a feel-good stage musical next summer based on the legendary 1963 film starring Cliff Richard and The Shadows opening at Liverpool Empire on 8th May.
  • Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s musical “The Girls” is being renamed ahead of its UK tour which will set off from Leeds Grand on 15th August 2018, it will now be titled “Calendar Girls the musical”.
  • A completely new production of Leslie Bricusse’s musical “Doctor Dolittle” is set to tour the UK in 2018 and 2019 playing the Lowry in Salford for the 2018 Christmas season.
  • Miranda Hart is to host the “2017 Royal Variety Performance” at the London Palladium on 24th November becoming the first-ever solo female presenter of the show which will feature  performances featuring Kelsey Grammer and the cast of “Big Fish,” casts from “Annie” and “42nd Street” as well as ‘The Leading Ladies’ – a  trio of West End divas Amber Riley, Beverley Knight and Cassidy Janson and Alfie Boe and Michael Ball.
  • McFly musician, performer and writer Tom Fletcher announced that his musical based on his first bestselling children’s novel “The Christmasaurus” is coming to London’s Eventim Apollo from 21st-28th December, the musical is based on Fletcher’s 2016 novel of the same name, which was nominated for the Children’s Book of the Year and follows the life of young boy’s  adventures across the North Pole.
  • “Girl from the North Country” which originally opened at the Old Vic earlier this year transfers to the Noel Coward Theatre from 29th December 2017 to 24th March 2018 and joining the production is Hannah Azuonye, Mary Doherty, David Ganly as Mr Burke, Adam James as Dr Walker, Karl Johnson as Mr Perry and Emmanuel Kojo.They will join the returning cast which includes Sheila Atim, Ciaran Hinds, Shirley Henderson, Arinze Kene, Tim McMullan and Debbie Kurup.
  • Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre has announced its 2018 season which will feature a musical version of “As You Like It” and a new production of “Little Shop of Horrors”.
  • The Hope Mill Theatre’s production of “Pippin” is to run in London at Southwark Playhouse between 23 February and 24 March 2018.
  • Emma Rice debuts her new musical “Romantics Anonymous” in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe this week.
  • Matthew McKenna has been unmasked as the star and handsome hero of “Bananaman the Musical” and will be attempting to save the world at London’s Southwark Playhouse this Christmas from 15 December 2017 to 20 January 2018.
  • The West End production of “The Grinning Man” which  runs at Trafalgar Studios from 18th  December to 17th February and previews from 6th December will feature four principal returning cast members: Louis Maskell: Julian Bleach:  Sean Kingsley  and Ewan Black.
  • Jerry Bock, Sherman Yellen and Sheldon Harnick’s musical “Rothschild & Sons” which runs  at the Park Theatre from 29th January to 17th February and previews from 24th  January will star Tony Award-nominee Robert Cuccioli and Glory Crampton reprising the roles they created in New York.
  • “Chess the Musical”, by Tim Rice, Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus will be revived by English National Opera in the West End for the first time in 30 years, for five weeks from 1st  May until 2nd June 2018 featuring English National Opera’s award-winning 48 piece orchestra and Chorus directed by Laurence Connor, with choreography by Stephen Mear and this production precedes a potential Broadway revival of the show.
  • Tony and Olivier Award-winning Best Musical, “Kinky Boots”, is to go on a UK  tour appropriately starting in  Northampton from September 2018 whilst the London production of “Kinky Boots” will continue.
  • Sting’s highly personal debut musical “The Last Ship” will launch a four-week season at Northern Stage in Newcastle, beginning on 12 March 2018, which will be followed by a major UK and Ireland tour that will include runs in Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Salford and York.
  • The Bishopsgate Institute will celebrate the centenary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein with concert performances of his classic West Side Story next summer which will also mark the centennial of Broadway legend Jerome Robbins who directed and choreographed the original production over 60 years ago, the show will play The Great Hall, from 26 June until 1 July 2018.

News Update 23 October 2017

The first London revival in 20 years of  “The Rink” by the Tony and Olivier Award-winning John Kander (music) and Fred Ebb (lyrics) will play at the Southwark Playhouse for a limited season from 25 May to 23 June 2018, with a national press night on Tuesday 29 May. “Miss Saigon” has added new dates to its current tour with visits to Bradford (Sept 19), Sunderland (Oct 24) before heading to Zurich where it will run from Nov 28 to Jan 13, 2019. The first dates and venues have been announced for the upcoming tour of “Dusty”, new musical about Dusty Springfield, starring Katherine Kingsley opening at Bath Theatre Royal on 23rd June 2018 it will then visit Sheffield, Newcastle and Salford. A new London cast for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “School of Rock” includes alternate Stephen Leask who will now lead the cast in the the role of Dewey Finn from 15th November with Alan Pearson playing Ned Schneebly, with current ensemble member Michelle Francis playing Patty Di Marco, Craig Gallivan will play the alternate Dewey Finn and Florence Andrews will continue as the school’s principal Rosalie Mullins. British comedian, writer, playwright, singer, journalist, producer and actress  Meera Syal will be taking over the role of Miss Hannigan from Craig Revel Horwood in the West End production of “Annie the Musical”. Amber Riley will make her last performance as Effie  in “Dreamgirls” at the Savoy Theatre on 18th November, with new Effies Marisha Wallace, Moya Angela, and Karen Mav alternating the role from 20th November – Angela played the role during its North American revival tour; Wallace joined the show earlier this year, while Mav made her professional debut as the character in London last year. Ray Fearon will appear in the UK’s first all-black cast production of “Guys and Dolls” at Manchester’s Royal Exchange from December 2 to January 27, 2018 also featured are Ashley Zhangazha, Abiona Omonua and Lucy Vandi (Could this pave the way for an all-white production of “Porgy and Bess”?). Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” will extend its run in the West End to September 2018, after opening at the Garrick Theatre last week. The UK and Ireland tour of “Matilda” will begin at Leicester Curve on 5th  March 2018 with  Craige Els in the role of Miss Trunchbull (a part he played in the West End for three years) Carly Thoms as Miss Honey, Sebastien Torkia as Mr Wormwood and Rebecca Thornhill as Mrs Wormwood, before travelling to Dublin, Sunderland, Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff and Southampton.