What’s News Around Britain

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. The UK premiere of the musical “Rothschild & Sons”, written by Broadway songwriters Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock (creators of Fiddler On the Roof, She Loves Me) and Tony-nominated writer Sherman Yellen, will open the new season at London’s Park Theatre from 24 January until 17 February 2018. Pop legend Tina Turner has just announced that Adrienne Warren will be portraying her in “Tina the Musical” which starts  previews at the Aldwych Theatre next March; Warren’s previous credits include ‘Shuffle Along’ at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway, for which she received a Tony nomination, ‘Bring it On the Musical; at St James Theatre, ‘Dreamgirls’ at the Apollo Theatre, which was followed by a National Tour, and ‘The Wiz’ at Encores City Centre. Following a third sell-out tour, “All Or Nothing – The Mod Musical”, based on the story of the Small Faces, will play a limited West End season at the Arts Theatre, London from 6 February to 11 March 2018 to coincide with the release of a 29-track cast recording, as well as a limited edition 15-track blue vinyl LP, available from venues hosting the show. “Madagascar” the Musical (based on the animated Dreamworks classic) is to tour the UK from next July starting at Wimbledon Theatre before moving on to Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, Sunderland, Bridlington and Bristol. Hayley Tamaddon is to play  the lead role in the new tour of  “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, which starts at Richmond Theatre on 27th March next year and then plays Sunderland, Oxford, Torquay, Stoke and Wolverhampton. Casting has been announced for the new tour of “Jersey Boys” which kicks off in Birmingham on 16th December and tours throughout 2018 and currently set to finish in Southampton on 30th March 2019 – Michael Watson will be playing Frankie Valli, Simon Bailey will be Tommy De Vito, Declan Egan will be Bob Gaudio and Lewis Griffiths will be Nick Massi.  “Groundhog Day” is currently being revised with plans for a return to the West End with the addition of some new songs from Tim Minchin, and a re-writing Danny Rubin’s book. Producer Howard Panter has announced that The  Lincoln Center Theater’s production of “The King And I” starring  Kelli O’Hara  as Anna Leonowens and  Ken Watanabe as the King of Siam is heading to the  London Palladium next June for a limited 14-15 week run and that following the run in the UK he will take the show to Japan, Korea and Australia.