Latest West End Show News

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.

NEW CAST ANNOUNCED FOR MAMMA MIA! THIS JUNE (11 MAY 2017)

Mamma Mia! has announced the full West End cast who will join the show at the Novello Theatre from 12 June 2017.

Previously announced new cast members Sara Poyzer, Kate Graham, Jacqueline Braun, Richard Trinder, Alasdair Harvey, Dugald Bruce-Lockhart, Georgina Castle, Christopher Jordan-Marshall, Bobbie Little, Harriet Bunton, Damian Buhagiar, Nye Rees and Caroline Deverill will be joined by Alishia-Marie Blake, Stuart Hickey, Mark Isherwood, Matt Jordan-Pidgeon, Tyler Kennington, Madeleine Leslay, Natasha O'Brien, Alice O'Hanlon, Alexanda O'Reilly, Adam Paul-Robertson, Oli Reynolds and Katy Stredder. They will be joining Tabitha Camburn, Adam Clayton-Smith, Katy Day, Katy Hards, Jennifer Hepburn, Robert Knight, Stacey Leanne Mills and Robbie Scotcher, who are already in the Ensemble.

From West End to global phenomenon, the hit show is Judy Craymer's ingenious vision of staging the story-telling magic of ABBA's timeless songs with an enchanting tale of family and friendship unfolding on a Greek island paradise. To date, it has been seen by over 60 million people in 50 productions in 16 different languages grossing more than $2 billion at the box office. It recently celebrated its 18th anniversary in London.

DECLAN BENNETT AND TRONE HUNTLEY REPRISE ROLES IN OPEN AIR'S JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (10 MAY 2017)

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre has announced that four principal cast members from the 2016 Olivier and Evening Standard Award-winning production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar will be reprising their performances this summer. The theatre has also added additional dates, with Jesus Christ Superstar now playing 11 August to 23 September 2017.

Coinciding with his appearance at Magic at the Musicals at the Royal Albert Hall last week, Declan Bennett (Once, Taboo, BBC's EastEnders) is confirmed to return to the role of Jesus in the Open Air Theatre production. Also returning this summer are Tyrone Huntley (Memphis, The Book Of Mormon, Dreamgirls) with his award-winning performance as Judas, and David Thaxton (Passion, Les Miserables, Love Never Dies) and Peter Caulfield (One Man, Two Guvnors, Into the Woods, Enron) as Pilate and Herod.

With direction by Timothy Sheader, Jesus Christ Superstar was a sell-out in 2016, and went on to win the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical and the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival. It also received a further five Olivier Award nominations, for Best Theatre Choreography, Best Lighting, Best Sound, Outstanding Achievement in Music and Best Actor in a Musical (for Tyrone Huntley).

HALF A SIXPENCE POSTS CLOSING NOTICES FOR SEPTEMBER (10 MAY 2017)

First presented at Chichester's Festival Theatre last summer, the Olivier Award-nominated revival of Half A Sixpence will play its final performance at the West End's Noel Coward Theatre on Saturday 2 September 2017, having extended its limited season twice. When the show ends its run in London, it will be the longest running West End transfer from the Chichester Festival Theatre since Singin' in the Rain, which ran for 16 months at the Palace Theatre in 2012 and 2013.

Acclaimed by audiences and critics as a dazzling reinvention of the original musical and winning plaudits for both production and cast, the role of Arthur Kipps in Half A Sixpence, which made Tommy Steele a star 54 years ago, has now well and truly launched the career of newcomer Charlie Stemp with his sensational award-winning performance, which netted him an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.

Producer Cameron Mackintosh says: "I'm delighted that this new production has been greeted so rapturously by audiences and critics and discovered a new star in Charlie Stemp. It is most gratifying that this long neglected David Heneker and Beverley Cross musical, brilliantly re-written by Julian Fellowes, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, now has a new lease of life with interest for several other productions in discussion."

KINKY BOOTS GETS A NEW LOLA AND EXTENDS TO 2018 (8 MAY 2017)

Kinky Boots, the winner of every major Best Musical award, has announced that Simon-Anthony Rhoden will take on the role of Lola and Verity Rushworth, popular with TV viewers for her role as Donna Windsor in ITV's Emmerdale, will star as Lauren from Monday 10 July 2017. The hit show, which recently played its 700th performance at London's Adelphi Theatre, has also announced the opening of a new booking period until Saturday 24 March 2018.

Also joining Kinky Boots from 10 July will be Jed Berry, Momar Diagne, Lauren Drew, Dale Evans, Jordan Fox, Rosie Glossop, Keith Higham, Ben Jennings, Georgia Louise, Emma Odell, Antony Reed and Tom Scanlon. Continuing with the show are current cast members David Hunter (Charlie Price), Alan Mehdizadeh (Don), Cordelia Farnworth (Nicola), Michael Hobbs (George), Suzie McAdam, Jemal Felix, George Grayson, Robert Grose, Melissa Jacques, Robert Jones, Jane Milligan, Robin Mills, Sean Needham, Jon Reynolds and Dominic Tribuzio.

Matt Henry (Lola) and Elena Skye (Lauren) will play their final performances on Saturday 8 July 2017.

Kinky Boots has become a favourite with UK theatregoers having won three Olivier Awards for Best New Musical, Best Costume Design and Best Actor in a Musical for Matt Henry who plays Lola. The show also won the London Evening Standard BBC Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical as well as three WhatsOnStage Awards for Best New Musical, Best Actor in a Musical and Best Choreography.

THE SIMON & GARFUNKEL STORY HEADS FOR THE WEST END (4 MAY 2017)

After touring to every corner of the world, The Simon & Garfunkel Story is now heading into London's West End from September 2017. Coming to the Lyric Theatre for a special four month season, the internationally acclaimed immersive production will take audiences through the story of Simon & Garfunkel's incredible career.

Having formed in 1957 as Tom & Jerry, Simon & Garfunkel went on to become the world's most iconic folk rock group. Revealing the incredible journey shared by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, the show takes the audience through their meteoric highs and lows.
From their humble beginnings, right through their worldwide successes and bitter break-up, culminating with a stunning recreation of their 1981 Central Park reformation concert, audiences can re-live the moments that justified their ten Grammy Awards and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. It not only tells the tale of the legendary musicians, but relives their journey within a time capsule of contemporary newsreels, adverts and film footage from the 1960s and beyond.

Led by Sam O'Hanlon (Paul Simon) and Charles Blyth (Art Garfunkel), a full live band and brass ensemble will rekindle all the duo's classic hits including: Mrs Robinson, Cecilia, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Homeward Bound, The Sound of Silence and many more.

KILLIAN DONNELLY AND CARLEY STENSON JOIN LES MIS CAST (4 MAY 2017)

From Monday 12 June 2017, there will be major cast changes at the West End production of Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre, which is now in its record breaking 33rd year.

Killian Donnelly will star as Jean Valjean, joining the cast fresh from Broadway where he is currently playing the lead role of Charlie Price in Kinky Boots. West End leading lady and former Hollyoaks star Carley Stenson will join the company as Fantine, and Hayden Tee returns to play Javert from 17 July, having performed the role at the Queen's Theatre until 22 April this year.

Killian Donnelly originated the role of Charlie Price in Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre in the West End in 2015, for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award. His other theatre credits include: Huey in the original London cast of Memphis at the Shaftesbury Theatre, for which he was also nominated for an Olivier Award; Deco in The Commitments at the Palace Theatre; Tony in Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre; and Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre.

Carley Stenson's West End credits include Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical and Lady of the Lake in Spamalot. She is probably best known for playing the regular role of Steph Cunningham in Channel 4's Hollyoaks, for which she was nominated for several awards during her 10 years with the show.

Also joining the company are Steven Meo as Thenardier; Karis Jack as Eponine, Jacqueline Tate as Madame Thenardier and Hyoie O'Grady as Enjolras. Paul Wilkins will continue in the role of Marius and Charlotte Kennedy will continue in the role of Cosette, having both originally joined the company in 2015.

CAST ANNOUNCED FOR OLD VIC'S GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY (4 MAY 2017)

Casting has been announced for the world premiere of Girl from the North Country, an electrifying new work from esteemed playwright Conor McPherson along with classic songs from Bob Dylan. The show runs at The Old Vic from 10 July to 7 October 2017.

The full cast are: Sheila Atim (Marianne Laine), Ron Cook (Doctor Walker), Bronagh Gallagher (Mrs Burke), Shirley Henderson (Elizabeth Laine), Ciaran Hinds (Nick Laine), Claudia Jolly (Katherine Draper), Arinze Kene (Joe Scott), Debbie Kurup (Mrs Neilsen), Kirsty Malpass (Ensemble), Jim Norton (Mr Perry), Tom Peters (Ensemble), Karl Queensborough (Ensemble), Sam Reid (Gene Laine), Michael Shaeffer (Reverend Marlowe), Jack Shalloo (Elias Burke), and Stanley Townsend (Mr Burke).

The story is set in Duluth, Minnesota in 1934, with a community living on a knife"edge huddled together in the local guesthouse. The owner, Nick, owes more money than he can ever repay, his wife Elizabeth is losing her mind and their daughter Marianne is carrying a child no-one will account for. When a preacher selling bibles and a boxer looking for a comeback show up in the middle of the night, things start to spiral beyond the point of no return...

Brought to life by a 20-piece company of actors and musicians, award-winning playwright Conor McPherson beautifully weaves the iconic songbook of Bob Dylan into this new show full of hope, heartbreak and soul.

Bob Dylan is one of our culture's most influential and ground-breaking artists. Born in Duluth, Minnesota in 1941; self-taught on piano, guitar and harmonica, he travelled to New York City in 1961, quickly establishing himself as an explosive performer in the Greenwich Village music scene. More than half a century later, Dylan continues to perform almost 100 concerts each year. He has released more than 50 albums and written over 600 songs. He's sold more than 125 million records and is the holder of 11 Grammy Awards. His songs have been covered more than 6000 times by artists as diverse as Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, Guns N' Roses, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley and Adele. He is also an accomplished visual artist and author, and in 2016 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature - the first songwriter to receive such a distinction.

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS EXTENDS BOOKING TO 2018 (2 MAY 2017)

Christopher Wheeldon's reinvention of the Oscar® winning film An American In Paris has been ecstatically received by audiences and critics since opening at the restored Dominion Theatre in March. The production has now extended booking, with tickets on sale until Saturday 27 January 2018.

The sumptuous new musical about following your heart and living your dreams is written by Craig Lucas and features the timeless music and lyrics of George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, including I Got Rhythm, 'S Wonderful, I'll Build a Stairway To Paradise and They Can't Take That Away from Me, together with George Gershwin's sweeping compositions including 'Concerto in F' and 'An American in Paris'.

The cast is headed by the original, award-winning Broadway stars Robert Fairchild (as Jerry Mulligan) and Leanne Cope (as Lise Dassin), together with Haydn Oakley as Henri Baurel, Zoe Rainey as Milo Davenport, David Seadon-Young as Adam Hochberg and Jane Asher as Madame Baurel. Ashley Day is the alternate Jerry Mulligan (and he will assume the role from Monday 19 June 2017).

JULIAN CLARY AND NIGEL HAVERS RETURN FOR PALLADIUM PANTO (25 APRIL 2017)

Initial casting has been announced for the London Palladium production of Dick Whittington. Following the success of Cinderella last year, the production will see the return of Julian Clary who will play Spirit of the Bells, Paul Zerdin as Idle Jack and Nigel Havers as Captain Nigel. The show will run at the Palladium for five weeks only over the festive season from Saturday 9 December 2017 to Sunday 14 January 2018.

Julian Clary returns to the London Palladium following his triumphant success last Christmas as Dandini in Cinderella. Having begun his career as a camp comic thirty years ago, and despite the fervent wishes of the general public, he shows no signs of slowing down. His TV debut came in 1989 with ITV quiz show Trick or Treat and Channel 4's Sticky Moments. Julian Clary is a best-selling author, a regular panelist on Radio 4's Just a Minute and last year toured his one man show The Joy of Mincing.

Ventriloquist Paul Zerdin took the US by storm when he won America's Got Talent, which was swiftly followed by his own residency at the legendary Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Also a household name in the UK, Zerdin has appeared on The Royal Variety Performance no less than three times, was seen on Michael McIntyre's Big Christmas Show (BBC1) and last year appeared as Buttons in the London Palladium's Cinderella.

Nigel Havers is one of the country's best known actors thanks to his roles in Chariots of Fire, Passage to India, Empire of The Sun, Don't Wait Up and Man Child. More recently his TV credits include Coronation Street and Downton Abbey, whilst his numerous West End appearances include Art, The Importance of Being Earnest, and last year played the Lord Chamberlain in the pantomime Cinderella.

ROSS NOBLE, LESLEY JOSEPH AND HADLEY FRASER LEAD IN MEL BROOKS' YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (25 APRIL 2017)

Ross Noble, Lesley Joseph and Hadley Fraser will lead the cast of Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, the classic comedy musical based on the Oscar-nominated smash hit movie, which opens in the West End on Thursday 28 September 2017 at the Garrick Theatre.

Hadley Fraser will play the title role of Dr Frederick Frankenstein, immortalised by Gene Wilder in the 1974 movie. Hadley's widely acclaimed stage credits include Marius in the West End production of Les Miserables, a show to which he returned in the role of Javert. He was in the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company for The Winter's Tale and Harlequinade at the Garrick Theatre, and starred alongside Tom Hiddleston in the Donmar Warehouse production of Coriolanus, and performed there again in City of Angels, The Vote and Saint Joan.

Ross Noble will play the hilarious role of the hunchbacked, bug-eyed servant Igor. Ross is one of the UK's most original and exciting performers: a stand-up comedian since the age of 15, his countless accolades include Time Out award winner for best live stand-up, Barry Award winner, Perrier Award nominee and several Chortle Awards. Unveiling a new sell-out show every year for the last 20 years, his worldwide travel as a stand-up has been the subject of his own BBC Radio 4 programmes, and he is a regular guest star on TV programmes including Live at the Apollo, QI, Just A Minute, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue and Have I Got News for You.

Lesley Joseph is Frau Blucher, the forbidding housekeeper to the Frankenstein family estate in Transylvania. Lesley is best known for playing Dorien Green, the neighbour from hell, in the ITV1 sitcom Birds of a Feather, watched at its height by 23 million people. Lesley has a wealth of theatrical experience to her credit; most recently in the 2016 UK tour of Annie, in which she played the role of Miss Hannigan. In 2016, Lesley donned her dancing shoes and sequinned dresses as one of the contestants in Strictly Come Dancing with dance partner Anton du Beke.

Dianne Pilkington (Wicked), Summer Strallen (Top Hat, The Sound of Music) and Patrick Clancy (The Producers, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) will also feature. The production will play a pre West End season in Newcastle from this August.

2017 OLIVIER AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED (12 APRIL 2017)

The winners of this year's Olivier Awards, the most prestigious event in the UK theatrical calendar, were announced this weekend at London's Royal Albert Hall.

The biggest awards yet, the ceremony was hosted by Jason Manford. Performers on the night included Gary Barlow and Tim Firth with the company of The Girls and the Women's Institute Choir, Amber Riley from Dreamgirls, Tim Minchin from his musical Groundhog Day and the companies of School Of Rock The Musical, Jesus Christ Superstar and Matthew Bourne's production of The Red Shoes. Six-time Tony Award-winner, Audra McDonald, performed exclusively as part of the In Memoriam section.

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child collected a record-breaking nine Olivier Awards, overtaking Matilda and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time as the most decorated production in the ceremony's history. Jamie Parker, who plays Harry Potter, was named Best Actor while Noma Dumezweni and Anthony Boyle won Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Actor in a Supporting Role respectively. The play was also named Virgin Atlantic Best New Play and went on to win the White Light Award for Best Lighting Design, Best Sound Design, Best Costume Design, Blue-i Theatre Technology Award for Best Set Design and Best Director.

The National Theatre of Scotland's production of Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour, which transfers to the West End in May was named Best New Comedy.

In the musical categories, Groundhog Day, written by Tim Minchin and Danny Rubin, was named Mastercard Best New Musical. Amber Riley, who performed a show-stopping rendition of And I Am Telling You, was named Best Actress in a Musical, while her co-star Adam J Bernard won Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical for Dreamgirls. Rebecca Trehearn won Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical for Show Boat, which transferred to the West End from Sheffield Theatres.

Two shows composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber also received awards, with School Of Rock The Musical winning Outstanding Achievement in Music for the three children's bands who play instruments live every night at New London Theatre and Jesus Christ Superstar winning Magic Radio Best Musical Revival.

Kenneth Branagh was this year's recipient of the Special Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to British theatre. Presented by Mark Rylance, he was joined on stage by sixty of the actors who appeared in the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company's Plays at The Garrick season.

This year's ceremony will be broadcast on ITV on Tuesday 11 April at 8:00pm. Viewers outside the UK will be able to stream the ceremony at the same time via Facebook and YouKu in China.

2018 WEST END TRANSFER ANNOUNCED FOR KISS ME KATE (11 APRIL 2017)

New 2018 dates at the London Coliseum have been announced for Opera North's award-winning production of Cole Porter's classic musical comedy, Kiss Me, Kate. Running from 20 ' 30 June 2018, it is the first time this hit production has been seen in the West End.

Casting will bring together top talent from the worlds of both opera and the West End, with the full-scale Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North bringing the magical sound of Broadway and the golden age of MGM musicals back to life on stage. Tickets are now on sale.

Richard Mantle, General Director of Opera North said:
"Kiss Me, Kate is a real treat of a show, boasting what is probably Cole Porter's richest, most accomplished theatrical score, brought to life by the talented forces of the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North, and combining the best opera and musical theatre performers. We are thrilled to announce this new transfer to the heart of the West End following two hugely successful runs in the repertoire of Opera North and our co-producers Welsh National Opera. We are especially pleased during this trip to the capital to be heading to the London Coliseum, a magnificent venue which is the home of our good friends at ENO, and revisiting our roots as - originally - English National Opera North."

The London run of Kiss Me, Kate will follow performances at Leeds Grand Theatre in May 2018.

MAMMA MIA! MARKS 18TH BIRTHDAY WITH NEW CAST AND EXTENSION (10 APRIL 2017)

Fresh from playing Donna Sheridan in the first-ever UK tour of global smash hit musical Mamma Mia!, Sara Poyzer (Billy Elliot, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) will play the role at London's Novello Theatre from Monday 12 June 2017, along with fellow Dynamos, Kate Graham as Tanya and Jacqueline Braun as Rosie.

The show's creator and producer Judy Craymer is also delighted to be able to announce that, in the week of the musical's 18th birthday in London, the booking period in London will extend to 3 March 2018, with tickets on sale now.

From Monday 12 June, Georgina Castle will be promoted from the ensemble and First Cover Sophie Sheridan, to playing the role in her own right. She will be joined by Christopher Jordan-Marshall, making his West End debut as Sky. Also new to the cast from 12 June will be Bobbie Little as Ali, Harriet Bunton as Lisa, Damian Buhagiar as Pepper and Nye Rees as Eddie, with Caroline Deverill playing the role of Donna Sheridan at certain performances. They will be joining Richard Trinder, who plays Sam, Alasdair Harvey who plays Harry and Dugald Bruce-Lockhart who plays Bill.

Mamma Mia! is Judy Craymer's ingenious vision of staging the story-telling magic of ABBA's timeless songs with an enchanting tale of family and friendship unfolding on a Greek island paradise. The hit show originally opened in London at the Prince Edward Theatre in April 1999, before transferring to the Prince of Wales Theatre in 2004, and then to the Novello Theatre in 2012. The London production has been seen by nearly 8 million people, played over 7,500 performances and has broken box office records in all three of its London homes.

THE COMEDY ABOUT A BANK ROBBERY EXTENDS TO 2018 (6 APRIL 2017)

As Mischief Theatre takes New York by storm with the Broadway premiere of their first hit, The Play That Goes Wrong, their latest London hit, The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, has extended its booking period - again.
Due to continued high demand, the critically acclaimed and Olivier Award nominated comedy marks its first birthday in the West End by announcing a further extension until 1 April 2018.

The extension is the next cause for celebration for Mischief Theatre, who are thrilled to receive their third successive nomination for the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy as the original company opens on Broadway with The Play That Goes Wrong.

Mischief Theatre was founded in 2008 by graduates of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Starting as an improvised theatre group on the London and Edinburgh fringes, they have grown into one of the UK's leading theatre companies, winning the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy for The Play That Goes Wrong, and licensing their productions worldwide. In December 2016, Mischief made their TV debut on the BBC with Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Olivier Award Nominee 2016) which has also just finished a West End run.

FULL CAST ANNOUNCED FOR OUR LADIES TRANSFER (5 APRIL 2017)

The full cast has been announced for the West End run of Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, which transfers to the Duke of York's Theatre this spring following a critically-acclaimed opening at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, subsequent UK tour and sell-out run last summer at the National Theatre. The production opens at the Duke of York's Theatre on 15 May 2017, with previews from 9 May.

Olivier Award-nominated for Best New Comedy and Best Supporting Actress for the entire company, Vicky Featherstone's smash-hit production of Lee Hall's adaptation of Alan Warner's The Sopranos sees original cast members Caroline Deyga (Chell), Karen Fishwick (Kay), Kirsty MacLaren (Manda), Frances Mayli McCann (Kylah) and Dawn Sievewright (Fionnula) reprise their roles, with Isis Hainsworth joining the company as Orla.
Joining the company on stage are: Amy Shackcloth (Musical Director/Keyboard), Lilly Howard (Assistant Musical Director/Keyboard), Emily Linden (Guitar) and Becky Brass (Percussion).

From the creator of Billy Elliot (Lee Hall) comes the uplifting and moving story of six Catholic school girls from Oban, let loose in Edinburgh for the day. Funny, raucous and heart-breaking, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour is adapted from Alan Warner's brilliant novel about six young friends on the cusp of change. Featuring, amongst others, the songs of ELO, Our Ladies is a glorious anthem to friendship, youth and growing up disgracefully.

 

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