Thursday, January 29

West End Sings for Comic Relief at Playing our Part

At Playing our Part this year the West End Sings for Comic Reflief Red Nose Day at the Cadogan Hall on 1st March at 6:00 pm.

The line up will include stars from West End shows including The Phantom of the Opera, Sweeney Todd, Memphis and Wicked! and will feature pefomers including  Gina Beck, Wendy Ferguson, Steph ParryLaura Pitt-Pulford, Laura Tebbutt, Simon Bailey, Killian Donnelly, Chris Howell, Adam Linstead, Nadim Naaman and Jeremy Secomb.

Buy tickets for Playing Our Part 

Julian Ovenden, Singular Sensations at Charing Cross Theatre

Edward Seckerson (formerly the presenter of BBC Radio 3’s long-running musical theatre show Stage &Screen) continues his Singular Sensations series of in-depth encounters with stars of musical theatre at London’s Charing Cross Theatre.

His next show Will feature West End leading man and Downton Abbey star Julian Ovenden (currently appearing in My Night with Reg) in a live gig with chat at 3:00 pm on February 8th at the Charing Cross Theatre. He will be accompanied by Scott Frankel of Grey Gardens fame who will be flying in from AMerica.

Tickets for Julian Ovenden-Singular Sensations

Louise Dearman hosts Let's Hear It for the Boys with the West End's leading men

West End leading lady Louise Dearman is hosting a concert in aid of the Alzheimer's Society at the Grove Theatre in Dunstable on Sunday 10th  May at 7:00 pm

Following the success of Here Comes The Girls, Let’s Hear It For The Boys is a  community performance featuring a stellar line up of the West End’s leading men including Daniel Boys, Killian Donnelly, Ben Forster, Alex Gaumond, Daniel Koek, Tom Lister, Hugh Maynard, Lee Mead, John Owen Jones, Ben Richards, Jon Robyns, Niall Sheehy, Oliver Tompsett and Michael Xavier.

Tickets for Let's Hear it For the Boys.


Saturday, January 24

Michael Xavier and Anna Francolini join Assassins at Menier

Anna Francolini and Michael Xavier are to  join the cast of the already sold out  Assassins playing John Wilkes Booth and Sara Jane Moore at the Menier Chocolate Factory from 10th  February 2015.

The pair will replace Aaron Tveit, who is leaving due to filming commitments and Catherine Tate, who will be out of the show for two weeks before returning on 24th February to complete the run which  ends on 7th March.

Anna Francolini has theatre credits including Our Town (Almeida Theatre), The Day We Sang, A View From the Bridge (Royal Exchange) and Mare Rider (Arcola Theatre).

Michael Xavier has appeared in The Pajama Game (Shaftesbury Theatre), The Sound of Music, Into the Woods (Open Air Theatre) and Soho Cinders (Soho Theatre).

The rest of the cast includes  Carly Bawden, Stewart Clarke, Simon Lipkin, Mike McShane, Harry Morrison, Andy Nyman, Jamie Parker, David Roberts, Melle Stewart, Marc Akinfolarin, Adam Bayjou, Greg Miller Burns and Aoife Nally.

2015 Copacabana Tour starring Jimmy Osmond Cancelled

A tour of the musical Copacabana planned for 2015 has been completely cancelled. The 2014 leg of the musical, starring Jon Lee, was cancelled before the end of its run with performers, musicians and suppliers  owed money and  Equity and the Musicians’ Union announcing they were taking legal action against production company Dancing Fool Theatrical.

In a statement, Dancing Fool has now said that paying people from the 2014 leg was the “optimum priority” and added that continuing with plans for a 2015 tour would not “allow the required substance to resolve this matter swiftly-Therefore the decision to cancel the remaining engagements, even with strong advance sales, is deemed the correct step to move forward. Despite the best efforts of all involved continually working to keep the production moving forward, it has reached the point where certain criteria could not be met and regrettably the production cannot be mounted for 2015.”

The statement added that the producers, including Antony Stuart-Hicks, “would like to sincerely apologise to the cast, crew, musicians and the many fans of this iconic show that had been greatly excited by its planned revival”. The Fairfield Halls in Croydon and St Helens Theatre Royal had already cancelled planned runs of the show. but  Jimmy Osmond who was due to appear in the production, has still  not been contacted by the producers about its future.


Friday, January 23

Warchus and Minchin's Groundhog Day heading for Old Vic?

Matthew Warchus and Tim Minchin, are planning a second workshop in March to test out ideas for their planned new musical  of Groundhog Day, which starred Bill Murray in the movie as a TV weatherman who kept living the same day over and over again.

If the musical goes ahead the plan is that  it will run at the Old Vic next year.


More Casting for Gypsy the the Savoy

As already mentioned Lara Pulver is again playing stage-shy Louise who transforms into seductive stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and joining Imelda Staunton as her battling stage mother Rose, in the highly acclaimed Chichester production of musical Gypsy Rose Lee when it transfers into the Savoy Theatre in March.

Kevin Whately, who played agent  and suitor Herbie at Chichester, can’t make the London transfer because he has to film Lewis. Peter Davison, the former Doctor Who who has extensive TV credits and has appeared in West End musicals including Spamalot and Legally Blonde,  will take the role.

Producers Michael Harrison and David Ian are currently finalising the rest of the cast for the Savoy with rehearsals starting next month.

Thursday, January 22

Casting for the Tour of The Bodyguard

Casting has just been announced for the tour of The Bodyguard which starts in Southampton on 12th February..

Joining Alexandra Burke playing Rachel Marron and Zoe Birkett (Alternate)will be Stuart Reid /Frank Farmer: Melissa James/Nicki Marron:Mensah Bediako /Bill Devaney: Adam Venus/Sy Spector: Siôn Lloyd/Tony Scibelli: Mike Denman/The Stalker: Glen Fox/ Ray Court with Elliot Aubrey, Jhayheim Davis Mark Jones & Xhanti Mbonzongwana, Chiesa Musonda and Seito Smith alternating the role of Fletcher.

With ensemble members Jade Albertsen , Omari Bernard, Edward Clarke , Jamal Crawford, Lydia Fraser , Jamie-Ray Hartshorne , Annie Kitchen , Sophie Usher Matthew Wesley and Emmy Willow and  swings  Lisa Darnell , Kieran Donovan , Lucia Gonzalez, Oliver Roll and  Mark Willshire