Latest West End Show News

RHYS IFANS IS SCROOGE IN OLD VIC'S CHRISTMAS CAROL (14 AUGUST 2017)

Matthew Warchus will direct Charles Dickens' timeless classic A Christmas Carol in a new adaptation by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child's Jack Thorne, starring Rhys Ifans as Ebenezer Scrooge, running at The Old Vic from 18 November 2017 to 20 January 2018.

An uplifting story for families aged 11+, this essential festive treat is vividly brought to the stage in a big-hearted production full of music and cheer.

Rhys Ifans' work as an actor encompasses stage, television and film. His theatre credits include King Lear (The Old Vic), Protest Song, Volpone and Under Milk Wood (National Theatre), Don Juan in Soho, Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Bad Finger (Donmar Warehouse), Beautiful Thing (Duke of York Theatre), Thyestes (Royal Court), Smoke and Poison Pen (Manchester Royal Exchange). Film includes Snowdon, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Dominion, Len and Company, Under Milk Wood, Serena, Another Me, The Amazing Spider- Man, The Five-Year Engagement, Anonymous, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Greenberg, The Boat that Rocked, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Hannibal Rising, Once Upon a Time in the Midlands, Human Nature, The Shipping News, Hotel, The Replacements, Notting Hill (BAFTA nominated) and he will be appearing in The Parting Glass later in 2017. Television includes Berlin Station, Not Only But Always (BAFTA Award for Best Actor), Shakespeare Shorts, Trial and Retribution, The Two Franks, Judas and the Gimp, Nightshift, Spatz, Burning Love, Review and Gifted.

STAGE VERSION OF THE EXORCIST TRANSFERS TO WEST END (14 AUGUST 2017)

Forty-five years after William Peter Blatty's best-selling novel terrified an entire generation, The Exorcist 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.

After a premiere season last October at Birmingham Rep, The Exorcist will play a strictly limited run at London's Phoenix Theatre from 20 October 2017 to 10 March 2018. Tickets are now on sale.

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.

Director Sean Mathias has worked at the Royal National Theatre and many times in the West End and on Broadway, as well as extensively internationally. In 2009/2010 Sean's production of Waiting For Godot played two seasons at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and toured the UK and internationally. In 2013 Godot played Broadway along with his production of Pinter's No Man's Land, the latter transferring to Wyndham's Theatre in October 2017 starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, and won Best Revival at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2016.

Casting for the West End runs is still to be announced. The Exorcist will hold two evening performances on Fridays, at 6pm and at 9pm. In addition, the production carries a recommended age guidance of 18+ as it contains material which may shock and offend.

LOVE NEVER DIES STAR IS THE NEW PHANTOM (9 AUGUST 2017)

As the musical heads into its 32nd year, the producers are delighted to announce key cast changes for The Phantom Of The Opera. Joining the cast from 4 September are: Ben Lewis who will play the title role of The Phantom, Kelly Mathieson as Christine Daae and Jeremy Taylor as Raoul. Joining them is Amy Manford as the alternate Christine Daaé.

Ben Lewis played The Phantom in the original Australian production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies. His most recent theatre credits include the role of Frank Butler in the Crucible's production of Annie Get Your Gun. He was also in the original UK cast of Love Me Tender and starred in Forbidden Broadway and Candide at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

Kelly Mathieson will be making her West End debut in the production. Previously Kelly trained at the Scottish Ballet Company and the Royal College of Music. Previous Opera credits include Le Nozze de Figaro, Agrippina, Orpheus and the Underworld, Die Zauberflote and Carmen.

Jeremy Taylor's previous theatre credits include Fiyero in Wicked and Galileo in We Will Rock You, both in the West End. He also starred in the UK tours of Evita and The Sound of Music, as well as appearing in the Palladium production.

Amy Manford has sung internationally as a soloist with the London Handel, London Cello and the Perth Symphony Orchestra's. She recently graduated with a Masters of Performance in Vocal Performance from The Royal College of Music and she will be making her West End debut.

The above join Lara Martins as Carlotta Giudicelli, Sion Lloyd as Monsieur Firmin, Mark Oxtoby as Monsieur Andre, Jacinta Mulcahy as Madame Giry, Paul Ettore Tabone as Ubaldo Piangi, Georgia Ware as Meg Giry and Scott Davies as the standby Phantom.

RACHAEL STIRLING JOINS JAMES GRAHAM'S LABOUR OF LOVE (8 AUGUST 2017)

The Michael Grandage Company and Headlong have announced the full company for the world premiere of James Graham's new play Labour of Love, directed by Jeremy Herrin, which runs at the West End's Noel Coward Theatre from 15 September to 2 December 2017.

Joining Martin Freeman and Sarah Lancashire in this razor-sharp political comedy are: Rachael Stirling, Kwong Loke, Dickon Tyrrell and Susan Wokoma. Labour of Love sees the return of MGC to the West End following Photograph 51 and their acclaimed 2013/14 season, also at the Noel Coward Theatre, and for Headlong with the multi award-winning People Places and Things, 1984 and most recently James Graham's This House.

Rachael Stirling will play Elizabeth Lyons. Her theatre work includes The Winter's Tale (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), Medea (Headlong), The Recruiting Officer (Donmar Warehouse), An Ideal Husband (Vaudeville Theatre - Olivier Award nomination for Best Performance in a Supporting Role), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Rose Theatre Kingston), The Priory (Royal Court Theatre - Olivier Award nomination for Best Performance in a Supporting Role), Pygmalion (international tour), and The Taming of the Shrew and Uncle Vanya (Wilton's Music Hall). For television, her work includes Detectorists, Churchill's Secret, Capital, Letters from Baghdad, The Bletchley Circle, The Game, Doctor Who, Women in Love, Boy Meets Girls and Tipping the Velvet; and for film, Their Finest, Scottish Mussel, Sixteen, Snow White and the Huntsman, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Centurian and The Young Victoria.

DAVID SHANNON AND GINA BECK LEAD NEW MATILDA CAST (8 AUGUST 2017)

The Royal Shakespeare Company's Matilda The Musical has announced its new adult cast with David Shannon (The Phantom Of The Opera, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables) playing Miss Trunchbull alongside Gina Beck (Wicked, The Phantom Of The Opera, Show Boat) as Miss Honey and Tom Edden (Amadeus, One Man, Two Guvnors, The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui) and Marianne Benedict (Cats, Women On A Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown, The Wizard Of Oz) as Mr and Mrs Wormwood. The multi award-winning production is currently playing its sixth year in the West End and is booking until 27 May 2018.

The full adult cast includes Keisha Amponsa Banson, Richard Astbury, David Birch, Maria Graciano, Karina Hind, Peter Houston, Katie Lee, Vicki Lee Taylor, Kris Manuel, Bryan Mottram, Tom Muggeridge, Emma Robotham-Hunt, Simon Shorten, Biancha Szynal, Callum Train and Robert Tregoning. The new children's cast will be announced in due course.

Seen by over 7 million people across 60 cities and playing more than 5300 performances worldwide, Matilda The Musical is now preparing for its New Zealand premiere at The Civic in Auckland in August 2017 as well as the first UK and Ireland tour which will begin in March 2018, running alongside the continuing West End production. Winner of 86 major international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, the hit show is now the longest running production to play at the Cambridge Theatre.

CRAIG REVEL HORWOOD TO PLAY MISS HANNIGAN FOR 10 WEEKS IN ANNIE (7 AUGUST 2017)

The producers of Annie are delighted to announce that from 18 September to 26 November 2017, Craig Revel Horwood will join the West End Company to play the role of Miss Hannigan for 10 weeks. In addition, Nikolai Foster's production will extend booking at the Piccadilly Theatre to 18 February 2018.

Best known on television as a judge on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing and for a role he returns to this Autumn, Craig Revel Horwood received great critical acclaim in Foster's production of Annie that toured the UK in 2015. Previously in the West End he has performed the role of Munkustrap in Cats, was Dance Captain in Miss Saigon and played the role of Harry in Crazy for You. His production of Son of a Preacher Man will open in Bromley in September before embarking on an extensive UK tour. During his 10-week run, because of his Strictly Come Dancing commitments, Craig Revel Horwood will not play the role of Miss Hannigan on Saturdays.

Craig Revel Horwood said: "I am so pleased to be returning to the West End, especially to a role I had such a brilliant time performing on tour. Miss Hannigan is evil, sassy and fab-u-lous. It will be a real challenge for me not to take her man-hungry, wicked ways to the Strictly judging panel each Saturday night - though I am sure my fellow judges will keep me in check! I can't wait to get started."

The Annie West End Company also includes Alex Bourne as Daddy Warbucks, Holly Dale Spencer as Grace Farrell, Jonny Fines as Rooster and Djalenga Scott as Lily. The title role of Annie is shared by Madeleine Haynes, 13-years old from Hadley Wood, Barnet, Lola Moxom, 12-years old from Rochester, Kent and Ruby Stokes, 12-years old from Hampshire. They are joined by three teams of young performers who play the girls in Miss Hannigan's orphanage. Amber, a 4 year-old Labradoodle, plays Annie's dog Sandy. Completing the company are adult are Russell Wilcox, Bobby Delaney, Keisha Atwell, Sophie Ayers, Nic Gibney, Patrick Harper, Ben Harrold, George Ioannides, Megan Louch, Benjamin Mundy, Ben Oliver, Heather Scott-Martin, Anne Smith, Kate Somerset How and Katie Warsop. Miranda Hart will play the role of Miss Hannigan until 17 September 2017.

TICKETS ON SALE FOR JEREMY IRONS AND LESLEY MANVILLE IN LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (25 JULY 2017)

Following its sold out run as part of Bristol Old Vic's 250th anniversary season, Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville reprise their roles in Richard Eyre's acclaimed production of Eugene O'Neill's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, Long Day's Journey Into Night in the West End.

The production transfers to London's Wyndham's Theatre for a limited ten-week season from 27 January 2018. Tickets are now on sale.

Considered one of the most powerful American plays of the 20th century, O'Neill's semi-autobiographical drama in four acts was written in 1941-42 but not published and performed until 1956. In 1957, it won both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play. Recent West End productions of Long Day's Journey Into Night have starred Jessica Lange and Charles Dance (2000) and Laurie Metcalf and David Suchet (2012).

Jeremy Irons said: "Over forty years ago I saw Laurence Olivier play James Tyrone. I never dreamed I would one day be given the opportunity to play him myself. I am so glad I have the chance to work again with Richard Eyre and Lesley Manville on this, one of America's greatest plays."

Lesley Manville said: "Shortly after Richard Eyre and I worked together on Ghosts he asked me if I'd be interested in doing Long Day's Journey Into Night with him at Bristol. Ghosts is a big, emotional and epic play but not even that prepared me for the challenge of O'Neill's masterpiece which is, by far, the hardest play I have ever done. But at the same time thrilling. I cannot wait to play those scenes again to a wider audience. O'Neill is a genius and Richard Eyre's production gives nothing but credit to this classic American family saga."

Richard Eyre said: "I'm excited that I'm having the opportunity to revive a production that I loved. We had a wonderful time doing this play in Bristol and it's marvellous to be able to share the production with audiences in the West End."

MOTOWN NOW BOOKING TO 2019 (24 JULY 2017)

Motown the Musical has just released 500,000 new tickets for sale, taking bookings for the hit West End production into 2019 when the show will celebrate its third year in London and Motown will celebrate sixty years since the record company was founded. Tickets are available to purchase for the production which is now running at the Shaftesbury Theatre until 5 January 2019.

With music and lyrics from the Motown catalogue and book by Motown founder Berry Gordy the production features a sixteen-piece orchestra playing 50 Motown tracks including Ain't No Mountain High Enough, I'll Be There, Dancing In The Street, Stop! In The Name Of Love, My Girl and I Heard It through the Grapevine. Charles Randolph-Wright's production tells the story behind the classic hits.

Next month, on Saturday 19 August, Motown the Musical will hold children's open auditions for the role of Young Michael Jackson, Berry Gordy and Stevie Wonder. Registration will be at 9.15am, taking place at the Brixton Community Base, Talma Road, London SW2 1AS.

On 4 September 2017 David Albury and Kayi Ushe will join the cast as Smokey Robinson and as Marvin Gaye respectively. They will perform alongside Cedric Neal as Berry Gordy with Lucy St. Louis as Diana Ross. Members of the ensemble play the roles of Eddie Kendricks, Jackie Wilson, Anna Gordy, Esther, Teena Marie, Florence Ballard, Martha Reeves, Tito Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Mary Wells, Mary Wilson and Stevie Wonder. The ensemble features KM Drew Boateng, Ryan Carter, Samuel Edwards, Vanessa Fisher, Dujonna Gift-Simms, Simon Ray Harvey, Terique Jarrett, Cameron Bernard Jones, Cleopatra Joseph, Wilson Kiiru, Natasha Leaver, Kieran McGinn, Simone Mistry-Palmer, Samuel Nicholas, Brianna Ogunbawo, Matt Overfield, Jay Perry, Timothy Quinlan, Sharon Rose, Lawrence Rowe, Ashley Samuels, Brandon Lee Sears, Carl Spencer, Alex Thomas-Smith, Cherelle Williams , Richard Taylor Woods, Michael Woolston-Thomas and Jayme-Lee Zanoncelli. Nana Ageyman-Bediako, 11 years old from Haringey, London, Raphael Higgins-Humes, 11 years old from Greenwich, London, Rio Myers, 11 years old from Lewisham, London and Tumo Reetsang, 12 years old from Southwark, London share the role of Young Michael Jackson, Berry Gordy and Stevie Wonder.

ALMEIDA'S INK TRANSFERS TO WEST END; TICKETS NOW ON SALE (17 JULY 2017)

Following its current sell-out season at the Almeida Theatre, which finishes on 5 August, the premiere of Ink, written by James Graham and directed by Rupert Goold, transfers to the West End's Duke of York's Theatre for a strictly limited season. It runs from 9 September to 6 January 2018, and tickets are now on sale.

Ink will be the second new James Graham play opening in the West End in September. His play about the Labour Party, Labour of Love starring Martin Freeman and Sarah Lancashire, is at the Noel Coward Theatre from 15 September to 2 December 2017. Both new plays follow the West End season of Graham's 2012 play This House earlier this year.

Ink, with a cast led by Bertie Carvel as Rupert Murdoch and Richard Coyle as Larry Lamb, is a "ruthless, red-topped new play" that leads with the birth of this country's most influential newspaper, The Sun.

James Graham said: "It's been such a creatively rewarding experience, building this show at the Almeida. I'm in absolute awe of our actors and the creative team, led by Rupert. And grateful to the audiences who've been coming and supporting the work. After being given the chance to revive This House in the West End earlier this year, I think it's really exciting to see so many new and politically-engaged plays being given the chance to find a wider audience."

Rupert Goold said: "I'm thrilled the Almeida's production of Ink will transfer to the West End this autumn and that we are able to share James Graham's brilliant play, together with Bunny Christie's ingenious set design and our sensational company of actors, with a wider audience. Ink is a play about ambition, truth and the power of the press - and for that reason it has never felt a more timely and significant story to tell."

YEAR-LONG OSCAR WILDE SEASON ANNOUNCED (10 JULY 2017)

Classic Spring, a new theatre company from former Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe Dominic Dromgoole, have announced first casting and creatives for a year-long celebration of Oscar Wilde at the Vaudeville Theatre.

An iconoclast, a socialist and a gay Irishman in the socially conservative late-Victorian era, Oscar Wilde broke the mould in his work and in his life. Opening in the year of the fiftieth anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, this season aims to offer a much fuller picture of the man and the artist, and reveal this much-loved playwright as the brilliant renegade he was in his own time. Interspersed with the plays will be a curated series of interludes and 'Wilde Talks' that will reveal the deep current of radicalism and subversiveness that runs through all of Wilde's writing.

Eve Best will star as Mrs Arbuthnot in A Woman of No Importance from 6 October to 30 December 2017, directed by Dominic Dromgoole. Eve recently starred in Old Times on Broadway alongside Clive Owen, and Love In Idleness at the Menier Chocolate Factory and in the West End. She has won an Olivier Award, an Evening Standard Award and three Critics' Circle Awards, and been nominated for two Tony Awards.

Other early casting includes Eleanor Bron as Lady Pontefract, and William Gaunt as the Venerable Archdeacon Daubeny. Eleanor first shot to fame as Ahme in the Beatles' film Help!, and also starred in the original Alfie with Michael Caine. William's credits include King Lear opposite Ian McKellen in the West End and on film, and The Crucible at the Old Vic.

Multi-award-winning actor, director, comedian and playwright Kathy Burke will direct Lady Windermere's Fan from 12 January to 7 April 2018. Kathy starred in Gary Oldman's film Nil by Mouth, for which she won Best Actress at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. Her other screen credits include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Dancing in Lughnasa, Absolutely Fabulous and French and Saunders. She has directed at many of London's leading venues, including the Donmar Warehouse, the Royal Court and the Hampstead Theatre. Her other awards include a Royal Television Society Award, a British Independent Film Award and a British Comedy Award; she has also been nominated for six BAFTAs.

A limited run of lightly-staged performances for a new folk opera by Guy Chambers, entitled The Selfish Giant, will start in April 2018, offering a unique opportunity for audiences to see a work in progress by one of the world's most acclaimed contemporary songwriters. Guy is a long-time collaborator with Robbie Williams, having co-written many of his most popular hits, including Angels, Millennium and Let Me Entertain You. Guy has also collaborated with Kylie Minogue, Rufus Wainwright, Mark Ronson and Diana Ross, amongst others. He has won three BRIT Awards, three Ivor Novello awards and an MTV Video Music Award.

Frank McGuinness will adapt De Profundis, Wilde's letter to Lord Alfred Bosie from Reading Gaol, for the stage, for a limited engagement of 3 to 6 January 2018. Frank is an acclaimed playwright, poet and translator. He has won numerous awards and prizes throughout his distinguished career, including a Tony Award, an Irish PEN Award and the French Order of Arts and Letters.

Merlin Holland, Oscar Wilde's grandson, will give a pre-show talk on 14 October. Merlin is the author of A Portrait of Oscar Wilde and The Wilde Album.

Lady Windermere's Fan will be followed by An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest. Casting, creatives and dates will be announced in due course.

A family show based on Oscar Wilde's fairy tales, entitled Wilde Creatures and produced by Olivier Award nominated Tall Stories, will cater to everyone aged 5 - 105 and help create new generations of future theatrelovers.

Dominic Dromgoole, Artistic Director of Classic Spring, said: "My ten years as Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe allowed me to explore Shakespeare in the kind of theatre he wrote for: the thrust stage and open air of the 'wooden O'. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to do the same with Oscar Wilde, in the kind of space he wrote for: the velvety darkness and proscenium arched stage of one of the West End's most perfect playhouses, the Vaudeville, just across the road from where Wilde once lived, loved, wrote and entertained at his very first home in London."

THE FERRYMAN EXTENDS TO JANUARY 2018 (3 JULY 2017)

Following unanimous critical acclaim and overwhelming demand for tickets at the Gielgud Theatre, where Jez Butterworth's The Ferryman officially opened its West End transfer season last week, the show's producers have announced that the production, directed by Sam Mendes, will extend its run until 6 January 2018. Tickets for the new dates are now on sale.
The production won widespread critical acclaim when it opened at the Royal Court, where it opened in May, and was the fastest-selling show in the theatre's history. This phenomenal success has continued at the Gielgud Theatre where it has been playing to sold-out houses, with early morning queues on Shaftesbury Avenue for the day seats.

The Ferryman was initially booking until 7 October, with the original 38-strong Royal Court company, led by Paddy Considine. Full casting for the extension will be confirmed soon.

CAST ANNOUNCED FOR OPEN AIR'S JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (30 JUNE 2017)

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre has announced completed casting for Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, which returns to the theatre from 11 August in an extended run through to 23 September 2017. Already announced are Declan Bennett, Tyrone Huntley (who won the Evening Standard Emerging Talent Award for his performance in 2016), David Thaxton and Peter Caulfield, who reprise their roles of Jesus, Judas, Pilate and Herod. The 2016 production won the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival and Evening Standard Award for Best Musical.

Maimuna Memon takes the role of Mary. Previous credits include Winnie and Wilbur (Birmingham Rep), Lazarus (King's Cross Theatre), The Busker's Opera (Park Theatre) and Into The Woods (Royal Exchange Manchester).
Phillip Browne and Sean Kingsley play Caiaphas and Annas. Phillip's previous credits include Ain't Misbehaving (Sheffield Crucible), Anything Goes (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Piaf (Donmar) and Ragtime (Piccadilly), and he also appeared in the 2012 film Batman, The Dark Knight Rises. Sean, who recently appeared in The Grinning Man (Bristol Old Vic), reprises his 2016 performance as Annas. His previous credits include Jersey Boys (UK Tour), We Will Rock You (European Tour), Little Shop of Horrors (Birmingham Rep) and Mamma Mia! (International Tour). Tim Newman and Phil King play Simon Zealotes and Peter. Tim's credits include Memphis (Shaftesbury), Mamma Mia! (International Tour), Grease (Piccadilly), Footloose (Novello) and All The Fun of the Fair (Garrick/UK Tour) for which he received a WhatsOnStage Award nomination. Phil, who reprises his performance as Peter, composed the music for, and appeared in, To Kill a Mockingbird at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. His previous credits also include Jane Eyre (Bristol Old Vic/National) and, as a musician, he plays festivals and fayres across the UK, as well as Paris, Berlin, Barcelona and New York.

Previous cast members returning to the production are Josh Dever, Rhys Whitfield, Charlotte Riby and Sinead Long. They are joined by Mark Dugdale, Ivan De Freitas, Stevie Hutchinson, Javar Parker, Nuno Queimado, Cleve September, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda, Kirstie Skivington, Christopher Tendai, Tara Young, and Dale White. The Soul Girls are played by Kayleigh McKnight, Lauran Rae and Nicholle Cherrie.

WEST END LIVE KICKS OFF SUMMER THEATRE SEASON (29 JUNE 2017)

London theatre is celebrating following the triumphant West End LIVE 2017, which saw hundreds of thousands flock to Trafalgar Square, a testament to the enduring appeal and resilience of theatre. Now in its 13th year, the event has grown to become one of Europe's largest free performing arts festivals. The event is organised by Westminster City Council and the Society of London Theatre with support from the Mayor of London.

The weekend showcased more than 116 different songs over 58 performances, which spanned musicals, cabaret, opera and dance, and featured over 840 performers. Special guests included Dan Gillespie Sells, Ricky Wilson, Kerry Ellis, Matt Cardle, Willemijn Verkaik, Rachel Tucker, Ben Forster, Marisha Wallace, Nathan Amzi, Charlie Fink and John Owen-Jones. Presenters included Heart FM hosts, Claire Sweeney and Jason Manford. The line-up this year also saw a host of new productions making their West End LIVE debuts including Disney's Aladdin, Dreamgirls, Annie, The Wind In The Willows, Bat Out Of Hell - The Musical and School Of Rock - The Musical.

Julian Bird, Chief Executive of the Society of London Theatre, said:
"We are so proud of the West End community and the spectacular performances they gave at West End LIVE 2017. This weekend's event was a celebration of the best of London, its creativity, unity and unbeatable spirit. Our new 'Theatre Is' Campaign once again brings the theatre community together to remind people that London's theatres are open to all and to build on the success and momentum of West End LIVE and Kids Week."

NEW BRITISH MUSICAL SET FOR WEST END'S APOLLO (27 JUNE 2017)

A new British musical by a new British theatre writing and directing team, Everybody's Talking About Jamie opens at the Apollo Theatre on Wednesday 22 November 2017. It promises to be a "fearless, funny, fabulous brand new musical sensation" and features new songs by lead singer-songwriter of The Feeling Dan Gillespie Sells and writer Tom MacRae. It tells the story of a 16-year-old boy who overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight.

John McCrea will reprise his role of Jamie, alongside the majority of the Sheffield Crucible cast including: Josie Walker, Mina Anwar, Tamsin Carroll and Daniel Anthony, Luke Baker, Courtney Bowman, James Gillian, Harriet Payne, Shiv Rabheru, Lucie Shorthouse, Kirstie Skivington.

Director Jonathan Butterell, Composer Dan Gillespie Sells and writer and lyricist Tom MacRae said:
"After Everybody's Talking About Jamie was commissioned we spent three hours in a wig room in Sheffield in which we wrote the complete plot and framework for the show before catching the train back to London. The three of us just clicked and we were instantly a team. It has been a new adventure for all of us, this is our first musical and going from zero to West End has felt like a fairy tale. There is a bit of all three of us that has ended up in Jamie. We knew we needed a very specially talented performer to play him and when John McCrea walked into the room he was perfect. We hope that audiences will see a bit of Jamie in themselves too."

Producer and theatre owner Nica Burns said:
"Everybody seemed to be talking about the show so I went to see the final matinee in Sheffield with no expectations. I came out of the auditorium singing the tunes having laughed, cried, laughed again and dancing with happiness. I found the director, and immediately offered to produce the show in London at one of my theatres. It had to come to the West End. This is an uplifting musical for our times and for everyone."

EVITA RETURNS TO THE WEST END (27 JUNE 2017)

The story of an ordinary woman's meteoric rise to power at a time of extraordinary political unrest, Evita is set to captivate West End audiences again as it makes a much anticipated return to London, playing 12 weeks at the Phoenix Theatre from 28 July.

The season marks the 65th anniversary of the death of Eva Perón which will be commemorated in Argentina in July. This enigmatic figure, whose rise from humble beginnings to extraordinary wealth and power is immortalised in the musical Evita, passed away on 26 July 1952 and was laid in state exactly 65 years prior to the commencement of this latest West End season.

Taking on the iconic role of Eva Perón is one of musical theatre's most exciting young leading ladies Emma Hatton, who has performed the lead role of Elphaba in the West End production of Wicked, the principle roles of Scaramouche and Meatloaf in We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre, and Donna in the West End production of Dreamboats and Petticoats.

Leading Italian performer Gian Marco Schiaretti plays Che, a character who reflects the voice of the Argentine people. Linked to Eva by destiny; he brings balance to the story of Eva's rise to fame. Gian Marco Schiaretti most recently played the title role of Tarzan in Disney's Musical Tarzan, in Stuttgart. Prior to this he played Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet across Italy.

The cast is completed by Oscar Balmaseda, Sarah O'Connor, George Arvidson, Lewis Barnshaw, Jessica Ellen, Callum Fitzgerald, Kellie Gnauck, Dominic Adam Griffin, Joe McCourt, Jude Neill, Jordan Oliver, Chrissie Perkins, Oliver Slade, Matias Stegmann and Yuval Zoref.

With more than 20 major awards to its credit, and an Oscar winning film version starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita is iconic. Featuring some of the best loved songs in musical theatre, including Don't Cry for Me Argentina, On This Night of a Thousand Stars, You Must Love Me, and Another Suitcase in Another Hall, this spectacular production promises to be the theatrical event of the summer.

BAT OUT OF HELL ADDS A FINAL TWO-WEEK EXTENSION (25 JUNE 2017)

With wonderful reactions from audiences, standing ovations every night and audiences singing their hearts out at the end of each performance, the producers of Jim Steinman's Bat Out Of Hell - The Musical have announced a further extension to the run at the London Coliseum this summer. The production officially opened in London's West End last week, and, due to overwhelming public demand, a further two weeks of extra performances have been added. This will be the final extension - the limited season must end 22 August 2017.

Jim Steinman's Bat Out Of Hell - The Musical is a romantic adventure about rebellious youth and passionate love, set against the backdrop of a post-cataclysmic city adrift from the mainland. Strat, the forever young leader of The Lost, has fallen for Raven, daughter of Falco, the tyrannical, ruler of Obsidian.

Directed by award-winning theatre and opera director Jay Scheib, the cast is led by newcomer Andrew Polec as Strat and Christina Bennington as Raven, with Rob Fowler as Falco and Sharon Sexton as Sloane. Also starring are Aran MacRae as Tink, Danielle Steers as Zahara, Dom Hartley-Harris as Jagwire, Giovanni Spano as Ledoux and Patrick Sullivan as Blake. Also in the cast will be Jemma Alexander, Emily Benjamin, Stuart Boother, Georgia Carling, Natalie Chua, Jonathan Cordin, Amy Di Bartolomeo, Jordan Lee Davies, Olly Dobson, Hannah Ducharme, Isaac Edwards, Phoebe Hart, Linus Henriksson, Rosalind James, Kalene Jeans, Michael Naylor, Eve Norris, Tim Oxbrow, Andrew Patrick-Walker, Benjamin Purkiss, Anthony Selwyn, Courtney Stapleton and Ruben Van keer.

JULIET STEVENSON AND LIA WILLIAMS STAR IN MARY STUART (24 JUNE 2017)

All hail the queens. Following a critically acclaimed, sold-out season at the Almeida in 2016-17, Robert Icke's new adaptation of Mary Stuart transfers to the Duke of York's Theatre in London's West End from Saturday 13 January for a limited run. Tickets are now on sale. The production will then visit Bath, Salford and Cambridge.

Schiller's political tragedy takes us behind the scenes of some of British history's most crucial days. Playing both Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, Juliet Stevenson (Hamlet) and Lia Williams (Oresteia) trade the play's central roles, decided at each performance by the toss of a coin.

Juliet Stevenson has worked extensively for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and the Royal Court, winning an Olivier award for her performance in Death and The Maiden in 1991. Most recent theatre credits include starring roles in Mary Stuart and Hamlet (both directed by Robert Icke, the latter currently playing in the West End) and of course Beckett's Happy Days at The Young Vic. Her films include Truly, Madly, Deeply, Bend it Like Beckham, When Did You Last See Your Father, Being Julia, Pierrepoint, Mona Lisa Smile and Diana and Departure. Recent television work includes starring roles in One of Us for BBC1 and Sky Living's supernatural thriller The Enfield Haunting, as well as playing series regulars on two series of Atlantis and The Village.

Lia Williams most recently appeared in the Almeida's productions of Mary Stuart and Oresteia (Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress) as well as Harold Pinter's Celebration. Other theatre credits include The Revengers' Comedies in the West End, Old Times in the West End, and both Arcadia and Skylight on Broadway, at the National Theatre and in the West End. Her television credits include Strike: Silkworm, The Missing, The Crown, Secret State, Doc Martin, May 33rd (BAFTA nomination for Best Actress), The Russian Bride, Imogen's Face, A Shot Through the Heart, Flowers of the Forest, Seaforth and Mr Wroe's Virgins. Film includes The Foreigner, Jonathan Toomey, The King is Alive, Different for Girls, The Fifth Province, Firelight, Dirty Weekend and La Suite Blanche-Neige.

SENSE8 STAR FREEMA AGYEMAN JOINS STOCKARD CHANNING IN APOLOGIA (22 JUNE 2017)

Further casting has been announced for Apologia, which will begin previews on 29th July at Trafalgar Studios. Doctor Who and Sense8 star Freema Agyeman, Olivier Award-winner Desmond Barritt, and Joseph Millson will join previously announced Tony and Emmy award winner Stockard Channing in a new production of Olivier Award winner Alexi Kaye Campbell's darkly funny and haunting play about family and its secrets, directed by the multi-award winning Jamie Lloyd.

Freema Agyeman, one of the UK's most exciting young actors, has made waves on both sides of the Atlantic. She stars as Amanita in Netflix's critically acclaimed hit drama Sense8. She starred as the much-loved Martha Jones alongside David Tennant's Doctor Who, and in the hugely successful spin-off Torchwood. She also starred in the UK version of Law and Order.

Agyeman said: "I am absolutely overjoyed to be joining the cast of Apologia. It's right up my street and had me roaring with laughter! It's fun. It's clever. It's deeply insightful. And I feel I couldn't be in safer, more experienced hands for my theatre debut than those of Alexi Kaye Campbell and Jamie Lloyd. Or in better company than the inimitable Stockard Channing!"

Agyeman takes on the role of Claire, the actress girlfriend of Kristin's son.

Also announced are Olivier nominated Desmond Barrit and Joseph Millson. Barrit plays Hugh, Kristin's longtime friend and ally, while Millson takes on dual roles as both of Kristin's very different sons. Barrit's many illustrious stage credits include several Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre productions, and Sir Peter Hall's critically acclaimed Henry IV Parts I and II, for which his performance as Falstaff earned him an Olivier nomination for Best Actor. Millson is a prolific stage and screen actor, best known for his recent TV work on the BBC's hit primetime shows The Last Kingdom and Banished. He has also worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre.

ANNE-MARIE DUFF & KENNETH CRANHAM TO STAR IN HEISENBERG PREMIERE (20 JUNE 2017)

Marianne Elliott, the Olivier and Tony Award-winning director of the National Theatre's hugely successful productions of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and War Horse and producer Chris Harper's newly formed theatre company, Elliott & Harper Productions, have announced the UK premiere of their first West End show.

Simon Stephens' Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle, starring Anne-Marie Duff and Kenneth Cranham and directed by Marianne Elliott, will open at the Wyndham's Theatre on 3 October 2017 and run until 6 January 2018.

Simon Stephens said:
"I wanted to write about the most unpredictable and exciting woman I could imagine. I wanted to write a play about an older man because I'd never done that before. I wanted to write a play inspired by the way music works in the gaps between notes. I discovered 'The Uncertainty Principle' and it struck me that all life is contained within it."

THE RAT PACK ARE BACK FOR CHRISTMAS (19 JUNE 2017)

At the start of the 60s, The Rat Pack led by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. were the toast of Las Vegas. With the world's rich and famous jetting in to see them joke around and sing some of the finest songs ever written, the guys also starred together in a series of glamorous Hollywood films, set fashion trends, rubbed shoulders with the US President, politicians and mobsters... and partied hard as the coolest cats on the planet. The Rat Pack - Live from Las Vegas recreates that special time.

Prepare to drift back in time to an era of glitzy nights spent on the Vegas strip in the company of three of the world's most popular entertainers as the Olivier Award-nominated The Rat Pack - Live from Las Vegas returns in triumph to the Theatre Royal, Haymarket - home to its first West End run in 2003 - for a strictly limited season from Wednesday 13 December 2017 - Saturday 3 February 2018.

This spectacular production - with a very special Christmas theme until 6 January 2018 - celebrates the incredible singing talent of three world-famous entertainers and performers and some of the finest music and song that has ever been recorded. Frank, Sammy and Dean are once again performing in the world-renowned Copa Room at the famous Sands Hotel, supported by the fabulous Burrelli Sisters and The Rat Pack Big Band in a critically acclaimed show that clocked up over 1,000 West End performances on its West End premiere.

Frequently imitated but never bettered, The Rat Pack - Live from Las Vegas features hit after hit, including Pack favourites The Lady is a Tramp, Mr Bojangles, That's Amore, I've Got You Under My Skin, What Kind of Fool Am I?, Volare, My Way, Candyman, Everybody Loves Somebody and many, many more. From 13 December 2017 to 6 January 2018, The Rat Pack - Live from Las Vegas will have a Christmas theme and the show will include the Pack's unique take on such festive classics as Baby It's Cold Outside, Merry Little Christmas, White Christmas, Winter Wonderland, Jingle Bells and Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.

If you wish you'd swung with the hardest partying pack in town, now's your chance!

MARTIN FREEMAN AND SARAH LANCASHIRE TO STAR IN LABOUR OF LOVE (8 JUNE 2017)

The Michael Grandage Company and Headlong have announced the world premiere of James Graham's new play Labour of Love, with Martin Freeman and Sarah Lancashire leading the company this autumn. The premiere production, directed by Headlong's artistic director Jeremy Herrin, runs at the West End's Noel Coward Theatre from 15 September to 2 December 2017.

Labour of Love sees the return of MGC to the West End following Photograph 51 and their acclaimed 2013/14 season, also at the Noel Coward Theatre, and for Headlong with the multi award-winning People Places and Things, 1984 and most recently James Graham's This House. This razor-sharp political comedy reunites James Graham and director Jeremy Herrin following their previous collaboration on Headlong's This House, which was recently revived at the Garrick Theatre, following its earlier critically acclaimed run at the National Theatre.

Michael Grandage said: "This wonderful new play by James Graham is the start of a body of work that MGC will be producing over the next two years as we continue our commitment to delivering quality theatre at affordable prices in the West End. For this first production, I am delighted Jeremy Herrin and Headlong, a company I have long admired, are joining us."

Jeremy Herrin added: "I'm delighted to be working on such a funny and politically insightful play as Labour of Love, and it's a privilege to continue my creative relationship with James Graham. It's a real testament to his writing that it has attracted two perfectly matched actors, both at the height of their powers, as Martin Freeman and Sarah Lancashire. I loved working with Michael at the Donmar, and I'm really looking forward to Headlong and MGC teaming up to bring the best in contemporary theatre to the West End this autumn."

BAT OUT OF HELL ADDS TWO WEEKS TO LONDON SEASON (1 JUNE 2017)

Before the world premiere of the long-awaited Jim Steinman's Bat Out Of Hell - The Musical has even opened in London's West End, the producers have extended its season at the London Coliseum, due to overwhelming public demand. The musical will open on Tuesday 20 June 2017, following previews from 5 June, for a limited season, now extended from 22 July to 5 August 2017. Tickets for the extra performances are now on sale.

For the stage musical, the legendary and award-winning Jim Steinman has incorporated iconic songs from the Bat Out Of Hell albums, including You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth, Bat Out Of Hell, I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) and Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad, as well as two previously unreleased songs, What Part of My Body Hurts the Most and Not Allowed to Love. The show is a romantic adventure about rebellious youth and passionate love, set against the backdrop of a post-cataclysmic city adrift from the mainland. Strat, the forever young leader of The Lost, has fallen for Raven, daughter of Falco, the tyrannical, ruler of Obsidian.

Jim Steinman's previous musicals include his collaboration with Andrew Lloyd Webber on Whistle Down the Wind, including the hit single released by Boyzone, No Matter What, and the musical Tanz der Vampire, which has been running for 20 years and has been presented in Vienna, Stuttgart, Berlin, Hamburg, Paris, Budapest, Warsaw, St Petersburg and Tokyo.

THE GIRLS ENDS LONDON SEASON IN JULY (31 MAY 2017)

David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers, the producers of Gary Barlow and Tim Firth's new musical comedy, The Girls, based on the true story, the film and the award-winning play by Tim Firth, Calendar Girls, have announced that the production will return home to Yorkshire and open at the Leeds Grand Theatre on 15 August 2018 and visit 42 theatres across the United Kingdom.

The critically acclaimed and award-winning production will complete its six-month London season at the Phoenix Theatre on Saturday 15 July 2017, and, before that, this musical comedy played sold-out seasons in Leeds and Manchester.

David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers said: "We are so proud and thrilled with this production, and we want to take it to everyone who wants to see it in the country, and at prices they can afford."

Gary Barlow and Tim Firth added: "We are delighted with the reception our musical has received in Leeds, Manchester and now London, and are thrilled that the show will be visiting towns and cities up and down the country, so that more people can get a chance to see it and, we hope, will also fall in love with The Girls."

The show is inspired by the true story of a group of ladies, who decide to appear nude for a Women's Institute calendar in order to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital, in memory of one of their husbands, and have to date raised almost £5million for Bloodwise. This musical comedy shows life in their Yorkshire village, how it happened, the effect on husbands, sons and daughters, and how a group of ordinary ladies achieved something extraordinary.

EVANNA LYNCH STARS IN 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF DISCO PIGS (30 MAY 2017)

Marking the 20th anniversary of its explosive British debut, Enda Walsh's Disco Pigs comes to the West End starring Evanna Lynch (Harry Potter; My Name is Emily) and Colin Campbell (Dublin by Lamplight; Through A Glass Darkly). The new production, directed by John Haidar, runs at Trafalgar Studios for a limited season form 12 July to 19 August 2017.

When Walsh's breathtaking breakthrough play premiered, the Guardian commented that it "didn't so much debut at the 1997 Edinburgh Fringe as erupt there". It was awarded both the George Devine Award and the Stewart Parker Award.

Enda Walsh comments: "It seems shocking that Disco Pigs is 20 years old - but I trust that Evanna Lynch and Colin Campbell under the stewardship of John Haidar - will brilliantly send Pig and Runt crashing through their chaotic joint birthday."

Walsh's other accolades include the Camera d'Or for his screenplay for Hunger and the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Once.

FINAL LONDON PERFORMANCES FOR BEAUTIFUL (25 MAY 2017)

The West End production of Beautiful - The Carole King Musical, based on the early life and career of legendary singer songwriter Carole King, will complete its run at the Aldwych Theatre on 5 August 2017.

A UK tour will open in Bradford on 9 September and continues in Plymouth, Southampton, Norwich, Southend, Nottingham, Belfast, Cardiff, Birmingham, Newcastle, Hull, Edinburgh, Manchester, Dublin, Aberdeen, Sheffield, Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Woking, Sunderland, Bristol, Leeds, Stoke on Trent, Liverpool and Oxford, with all venues currently on sale.

Beautiful - The Carole King Musical received its Broadway premiere in January 2014 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre where it continues to play to packed houses. The London premiere was in February 2015 and a US tour began later that year. An Australian production will open in Sydney in September this year.

During its two and a half year run in the West End, the Olivier, Tony and Grammy award-winning show had two visits from Carole King, when on both occasions she surprised the cast and audience at the curtain call. Both times she was greeted with a standing ovation at the Aldwych Theatre as she took to the stage to sing her classic hit You've Got A Friend. Joining King for London's opening night were fellow composers Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, whose story is also told as part of the show.

The current West End cast comprises Cassidy Janson in the title role, Matthew Seadon-Young as King's husband and song-writing partner Gerry Goffin, Stephanie McKeon as song-writer Cynthia Weil, Ian McIntosh as song-writer Barry Mann, Joseph Prouse as music publisher and producer Donnie Kirshner and Barbara Drennan as King's mother Genie Klein.

F. MURRAY ABRAHAM TO STAR IN WEST END TRANSFER OF THE MENTOR

Theatre Royal Bath Productions and Nica Burns have announced that Laurence Boswell's critically acclaimed production of Daniel Kehlmann's The Mentor will have a West End run at London's Vaudeville Theatre.

The Mentor stars Academy Award-winner F. Murray Abraham as Benjamin Rubin, Daniel Weyman as Martin Wegner, Naomi Frederick as Gina Wegner and Jonathan Cullen as Erwin Rudicek. The play is directed by Olivier Award-winning Laurence Boswell who resides as Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Bath's Ustinov Studio where the play celebrated a record-breaking run earlier this year, the most successful in the studio's history. This production, translated by Academy Award-winning Christopher Hampton, marks the first time that bestselling author Daniel Kehlmann's play has been performed outside of Germany.

F. Murray Abraham won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Salieri in Milos Forman's masterpiece Amadeus. His numerous other screen credits include Homeland, Mighty Aphrodite, Scarface, Finding Forrester, Star Trek: Insurrection, The Name of the Rose, The Good Wife, Inside Llewyn Davis and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Theatre credits include It's Only A Play, Othello, Richard III and Uncle Vanya, for which he was awarded an Obie Award for Best Actor.

Tickets for The Mentor are on sale now and the production runs from 24 June to 2 September 2017.

STOCKARD CHANNING TO STAR IN APOLOGIA (21 MAY 2017)

Hollywood and Broadway icon Stockard Channing will return to the London stage this summer, to star in a new production of Alexi Kaye Campbell's acclaimed 2009 drama Apologia, directed by the multi-award winning Jamie Lloyd. The production runs at Trafalgar Studios from 29 July to 18 November 2017.

Apologia will see the Tony and Emmy Award winning actor performing in the West End for the first time in over a decade. Channing's hugely popular film and TV credits include starring roles in The West Wing, The Good Wife, her Oscar® and Golden Globe nominated role in Six Degrees of Separation, and the iconic role of Rizzo in the film Grease. An acclaimed Broadway and West End star, Channing's most recent performances on Broadway, It's Only a Play and Other Desert Cities (a "peerless" performance - NY Times, for which she was nominated for her seventh Tony Award), have affirmed her position as a true theatrical legend.

Stockard Channing says:
"I'm excited to be returning to the West End - my first time both working with Jamie Lloyd and performing at the Trafalgar Studios. I was so drawn to this unforgettably bold and uncompromising character in such a rich, moving and witty play. I can't wait for us to bring Apologia to life for the audiences."

This production also marks the return to the Trafalgar Studios of Jamie Lloyd, following his critically acclaimed productions of The Ruling Class and Macbeth starring James McAvoy and his hit production with Martin Freeman of Richard III.

Further casting is still to be announced.

NATALIE DORMER AND DAVID OAKES TO STAR IN WEST END PREMIERE OF VENUS IN FUR (15 MAY 2017)

TRH Productions will present Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones, The Tudors, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2) and David Oakes (The Borgias, The Pillars of the Earth, Shakespeare In Love) in the West End premiere of David Ives' hit Broadway play Venus In Fur this autumn for a strictly limited nine week engagement at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. This critically-acclaimed two-hander will run from 6 October to 9 December 2017. Directed by Patrick Marber, it's an intoxicating dark comedy of desire, fantasy and the innate love of fur.

An adaptation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's 1870 novel Venus in Furs that inspired the term masochism, the play was first performed off-Broadway, New York in 2010 with Nina Arianda and Wes Bentley, before transferring to the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Broadway with Nina Arianda reprising the role of Vanda Jordan alongside Hugh Dancy as Thomas Novachek. Both productions were directed by Walter Bobbie and won Arianda multiple awards including the 2011/12 Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play. In 2012, Roman Polanski directed a film version of the play, in French, starring Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric.

COLM MEANEY JOINS SIENNA MILLER AND JACK O'CONNELL FOR CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (15 MAY 2017)

Colm Meaney will join the previously announced Sienna Miller and Jack O'Connell to play Big Daddy in the Young Vic production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, directed by Benedict Andrews. The twelve-week run in the West End at the Apollo Theatre begins previews on 13 July and runs until 7 October.

Colm Meaney was last on stage in London alongside Kevin Spacey in Moon for the Misbegotten at the Old Vic. His other theatre credits include Breaking the Code, The Cider House Rules and Juno and the Paycock. Earlier this year, Meaney won the Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role in Film for his portrayal of Martin McGuinness in The Journey.

His additional film credits include all three adaptations of Roddy Doyle's The Barrytown Trilogy (The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van), Die Hard 2, Dick Tracy, The Last of the Mohicans, Far and Away, Con Air, Layer Cake, The Damned United and Halal Daddy, to be released this summer. He is best known on television for his long-running role as Chief Miles O'Brien in the hit series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

NEW CAST CONFIRMED FOR DISNEY'S LION KING (11 MAY 2017)

The London production of The Lion King welcomes eleven new cast members, including Janique Charles, Gary Jordan and Dominique Planter, who take over the principal roles of Nala, Zazu and Shenzi respectively.

The Lion King marks Janique Charles' West End debut. Born and raised in Trinidad & Tobago, Janique moved to London to join the UK touring cast in 2013. A rising star, she has travelled extensively and brings her experiences to her role as Nala. She joined the London production in May 2016 as part of the ensemble cast, but she now steps up to play the principal role of Nala.

Gary Jordan has performed in London's West End in Grease (Victoria Palace), Anyone Can Whistle (Savoy) and in the UK tours of High Society and Playdays Live. Gary is also a pianist and musical director.

Dominique Planter has been a swing in The Lion King since 2016, this marks her West End debut in a principal role.

The show also welcomes new cast members from The Philippines, Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Brazil and the UK: Lila Anderson, Owen Chaponda, Deborah Dada, Deborah Godchaser, Brian James Leys, Nathan Louis-Fernand, Nonhlanhla Makthathini, Rutendo Mushonga, Luciano Santos Souza and Karlene Wray. They join a uniquely international company, which already includes performers from 11 countries around the world. The company is led by George Asprey as Scar, Shaun Escoffery as Mufasa, Brown Lindiwe Mkhize as Rafiki, Richard Frame as Timon, Keith Bookman as Pumbaa, Nick Afoa as Simba, David Blake as Banzai and Mack McGee as Ed.

The award-winning musical is now in its 18th triumphant year at London's Lyceum Theatre. Since the UK premiere in 1999, The Lion King has entertained over 14 million theatregoers and remains the West End's best-selling stage production. It is currently the sixth longest-running West End musical of all time.

 

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