Friday, November 28

Ross Noble joining cast of The Producers Tour

Ross Noble is joining previously announced cast members Jason Manford and Louie Spence in the Tour of the Producers  from 18th May. He is playing Franz Liebkind who is a short tempered, carrier pigeon keeping former Nazi who has written  an admiring musical tribute to Adolf Hitler, titled Springtime for Hitler.

Noble is  award-winning comedian, king of improvisational comedy and actor who rose to  popularity through making appearances on celebrity quiz shows including  Have I Got News for You. He has also released DVDs of several of his 14 sell-out worldwide tours.  His previous acting credits include playing Stitch the clown in a horror comedy movie of the same name. But this is the first time he will have appeared in a musical.

Noble said "“It’s going to be a lot of fun. Jason and I are in a very similar position. We worked together on the circuit, and then what happens is once you start doing your own tours, you don’t get to hang out with other comics the same way you used to.So it’s funny that we’re working together again, but in a completely different context. If you’re going to branch out and do stuff a little left field, you should properly take people by surprise. I think it’s quite funny, I’ll make horror films, I’ll do musicals. Don’t follow the usual path!I love The Producers. And I thought, the chance to be in that show, and especially the part I’m doing, a mad German who has written this show, Springtime For Hitler, and wears this mad helmet all the way through, is great.And I get to do an outrageous German accent, too.



Monday, November 24

Tickets for Scarlett Strallen & Michael Xavier Radio 2 Christmas Special Concert

BBC's Radio 2 Friday Night is Music Night is presenting  a Christmas spectacular of  music, poetry and readings with Jeremy Vine presenting an all star cast including actors Dervla Kirwan (Injustice; Ballykissangel) David Harewood (Homeland); West End stars Scarlett Strallen (Candide; A Chorus Line) and Michael Xavier (The Pajama Game; The Sound Of Music) with Mike Dixon conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra  with a 16 voice choir from the Royal Academy of Music.

The  Christmas Special programme of music  features favourites including  'White Christmas', 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas', and 'The Christmas Song', together with classical favourites Prokofiev's 'Troika' and Victor Healy Hutchinson's arrangement of 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' from his Carol Symphony. With poetry and prose from Dickens to Dylan to Benjamin Zephaniah. 

Te concert will be recorded at the Mermaid Theatre, London on Wednesday 17th December at 20:00 to be broadcast on Radio 2 before Xmas

You can apply for tickets here


Sting replacing Jimmy Nail in The Last Ship on Broadway

Sting is joining the cast of  his musical The Last Ship for a limited run from December 9th to January 10, 2015. He is  replacing actor Jimmy Nail (who is believed to be happy about the move).  According to the New York Times, the show has been  losing $75,000 a week since performances began on 29th September when it  needs to gross at least $625,000 a week to break even and to sustain a Broadway run.

Sting is due to due to join Paul Simon on a tour of  New Zealand on January 30, 2015, making any further extensions unlikely.

The Last Ship  is a new musical with an original score by 16-time Grammy Award® winner Sting inspuired by his  by Sting's own childhood experiences.


Friday, November 21

Aladdin heading for Palladium

The Tim Rice Broadway hit  show Aladdin is due to open at the London Palladium in early 2016.

According to Baz in today's Mail,  Disney were meeting with Palladium executives this week for another round of discussions to seal the deal.

The musical Cats starring Nicole Scherzinger who is due to play a very glamorous Grizabella (pictured below) is  opening there on 6th December for a limited run to 7th Febuary.

Apparently The Andrew Lloyd Webber show has close to £6M in advance box office sales already with £6.5M forecast by the first preview which is  phenomenal for a 12-week run.


Imelda Staunton's Mama Rose heading for Savoy?

​Imelda Staunton just finished playing the her critically acclaimed definitive 'Mama Rose' in Chichester Festival Theatre's production of the Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim musical Gypsy.

The  Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye is today reporting that the show is in negotiation for a late March transfer into the Savoy where Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is currently booking until 7th March.

Her co-stars at Chichester were Lara Pulver and  Kevin Whately Lewis (ITV) who  made his Chichester debut as Herbie. They  will transfer with the production if y heir busy schedules allow.

Based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Gypsy is considered by many to be the greatest of the Broadway musicals. Featuring classics including "Let Me Entertain You," "Rose's Turn" and "Everything's Coming Up Roses,"


Thursday, November 20

Maria Friedman to direct High Society at the Old Vic

London's Old Vic is presenting Cole Porter's High Society which is being directed in the round by multi-award-winning director and musical star Maria Friedman (Merrily We Roll Along, Olivier Award-winner for Best Musical Revival, Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical).
High Society is based on The Philadelphia Story and the 1956 MGM film musical starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra. Featuring classic numbers including ‘True Love’, ‘You’re Sensational’ , ‘Well did you Evah!’ and  ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’

Casting is to be announced and the production  will run from Wed 30th April – Sat 22nd August 2015 with priority booking opening at 12 noon today and tickets going on sale to the general public on 4th December.


Friday, November 14

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to Tour next year

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is currently booking at the Savoy Theatre until 7th March next year.

It is then going on the UK tour The dates I have so far are 5-16th May/Birmingham New Alexandra: 20th-30th May/ Opera House Manchester: 9th-20th June/Sunderland Empire: 23rd June-4th July/ Glasgow King's : 7th-18th July/Liverpool Empire: 21st-25th July /Torquay Princess; 28th July-1st August/Stoke Regent:  4-8th August/Oxford New Theatre, 15th-26th September/Edinbugh,Playhouse

More dates and casting news to follow  


West End Musicals Performing on Children in Need

The West End musicals performing on BBC's Children in Need fund raising marathon tonight are Part 1 between 19:30-22:00: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and in the final Part 3  from 22:35 Gemma Arterton and the cast of Made in Dagenham, plus  Sunny Afternoon and a preview of Ronan Keating who opens in Once shortly.