NEWS OF THE WEEK

“Bat Out Of Hell” has finished it’s limited run at London’s Coliseum and is heading off to Toronto where it will play until December, but it is coming back to the West End and it is rumoured to be lining up the Dominion replacing “An American In Paris” when its current booking period finishes at the end of January 2018. Gordon Greenberg (Guys and Dolls) will direct the first major London revival of Cy Coleman, Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble’s Tony Award-winning musical “Barnum” with choreography by Rebecca Howell, design by Paul Farnsworth and musical direction by Alex Parker, will play at the Menier Chocolate Factory from 5th December to 3rd March, with previews from 25th November. Really Useful Group is to partner with Shanghai Media Group Live in a new initiative pairing the UK and the Chinese musical theatre industry and have announced the first Chinese language and Chinese produced staging of the composer’s “Tell Me on a Sunday”. With Neil Eckersley’s Speckulation Entertainment allegedly in financial difficulties leading to the curtailment of the “Wonderland” tour, its been announced that their next production a tour of of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Bring It On” has been put on ice. Stephen Sondheim will be in London to talk “FOLLIES” at the National Theatre on 22nd August. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “STARLIGHT EXPRESS” is to make a return to London  in  three concert-style workshop performances at The Other Palace from 14th-16th September. Aaron Sidwell (Grey Gardens, American Idiot, Loserville) will play Fiyero on the forthcoming major UK and Ireland tour of “WICKED” across all 2018 dates. U.S.-based musical theatre stars Kevin Hack and Jenna Burns lead the triple threat cast of the 60th-anniversary production of “WEST SIDE STORY”, which premiered in Germany and is now playing in Paranaque City, The Philippines before touring across Asia. X Factor’s Stevi Ritchie and Stacey Franks are to star in the musical “THE SWORD AND THE DOPE” at the Waterloo East Theatre from 5th Sept to 1st Oct.