Sunday, September 28

Nicole Scherzinger to play Grizabella in Cats at London Palladium

The rumour has finally been confirmed that ex Pussycat Doll and X Facor judge Nicole Scherzinger will be making her West End stage debut playing  Grizabella in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking musical Cats.  It is returning to the West End for a strictly limited run at the London Palladium from 6th  December (press night 11th December) to 28th February.She will be joined by Cameron Ball (Macavity/Admetus), Kathryn Barnes (Tantomile), Cassie Clare (Cassandra), Ross Finnie (Skimbleshanks), Charlene Ford (Bombalurina), Adam Lake (Alonzo), Paul F Monaghan (Bustopher Jones/Asparagus/Growl Tiger), Joel Morris (Carbucketty), Natasha Mould (Jemima), Benjamin Mundy (Coricopat), Joseph Poulton (Quaxo/Mistoffelees), Nicholas Pound (Old Deuteronomy), Sophie Ragavelas (alternate Grizabella), Clare Rickard (Jellylorum/ Griddlebone), Adam Salter (Bill Bailey), Laurie Scarth (Jennyanydots),  Hannah Kenna Thomas (Victoria/White Cat), Callum Train (Munkustrap), Zizi Strallen (Demeter) and Dawn Williams (Rumpleteazer) with swings Ryan Gover, Barry Haywood, Alice Jane, Grace McKee, Dane Quixall and Libby Watts.
Nicole Scherzinger said:   “I am really thrilled to be making my West End debut in such an iconic show and I couldn’t be more excited.  To have the opportunity to work with Andrew, Trevor and Gillian is a dream come true.  I grew up listening to Andrew’s extraordinary music and was lucky enough, a couple of years ago, to record Cats’ beautiful song Memory.   Andrew’s score is breathtaking and I am truly honoured to have been asked to take part in what I know will be a very special time in my career.  I can’t wait to begin rehearsals.


Friday, September 26

New promo video for Miss Saigon 25th Anniversary Gala

The  exraordinary 25th Anniversary performance of Miss Saigon took place at the Prince Edward Theatre on Monday 22nd September.  There  will now be a broadcast  of the entire show on BBC Radio 2 on Friday 3rd October at 9:00 pm including  streamed footage of the celebratory finale as the cast of the current production are joined by members of the original company.

During the interval Michael Ball goes  backstage  and talks to some of the people involved in the show.

View new promo video for Miss Saigon 25th Anniversary Gala


Photos of Killian Donnelly & Beverley Knight from Memphis Musical

Photos (courtesy Daily Mail) from new production of Memphis the Musical starring Killian Donnelly and Beverley Knight which starts previews  at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 9th October.


Carole King cast for new musical Beautiful

Actress Katie Brayben is playing Carole King in the new musical Beautiful which is due to open at the Aldwych in the West End next February.

Miss Brayben is currently portraying Diana, Princess of Wales in the satirical play King Charles III at the  Wyndham's Theatre and has recentl  been in the Almeida's American Psycho with previous acting credits including  Sophie Sheridan in Mamma Mia! in the West End and on Tour as well as A Midsummer Night's Dream and Ragtime at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. She is also a singer-songwriter, plays the piano and cello, and writes and performs her own compositions - all  making her perfect for the role of King.

Beautiful  tells the story of Carole King's journey from school girl to superstar featuring classics including "Take Good Care of my Baby", "Up on the Roof" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman".

Further casting includes Alan Morrissey, (I Can't Sing!)  as King's first husband Gerry Goffin, Glynis Barber (Dempsey  Makepeace) as King's mother, Lorna Want (Parade - Donmar Warehouse, Dreamboats and Petticoats - West End) and Gary Trainor (I Can't Sing!)


Thursday, September 25

Craig Revel Horwood playing Miss Hannigan in new tour of Annie

Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood will star as Miss Hannigan in a year long UK and Ireland tour of the musical Annie which opens in Newcastle's Theatre Royal on 11th  July 2015 before visiting Llandudno, Southampton, Southend, Eastbourne, Norwich and Cardiff, with more dates to be announced.

With its award-winning book and score, this stunning new production includes the unforgettable songs ‘It’s the Hard Knock Life’, ‘Easy Street’, ‘I Don’t Need Anything But You’ and ‘Tomorrow’.

Horwood is best knows as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing. His West End theatre credits include  Munkustrap in Cats (New London) and Harry in Crazy for You (Prince Edward) as well as appearing in Miss Saigon (Drury Lane)

This  new production of the musical has music and lyrics by Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin and a book by Thomas Meehan. It  will be directed by Nikolai Foster,(recently announced as the new artistic director of Leicester’s Curve), and is produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian.


Wednesday, September 24

Gina Beck, Daniel Boys & David Burt to star in Jacques Brel at Charing Cross Theatre

Jacques Brel is being presented at the Charing Cross Theatre from 1st-30th November.

 It will star Gina Beck (Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables), Daniel Boys (Avenue Q, Spamalot, Love Story, BBC’s Any Dream Will Do, 2007), David Burt (Kiss Me Kate, The Merchant of Venice, The Beggars People, Plague Over England) and Eve Polycarpou (In The Heights, Mother Courage, Jacques Brel - National Theatre, 1970s) This new production of the hit revue Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris is at the Charing Cross Theatre for a strictly limited season.

Often haunting, sometimes funny, heart-wrenching and vividly poetic, the songs of Jacques Brel explore the human condition through honest storytelling, with themes of joy and sorrow, love and loss, war and peace and life and death.

Directed by Andrew Keats, whose  production of Dessa Rose has just finished a sellout run at Trafalgar Studios, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris is a musical revue of the greatest works by one of the most prolific, Belgian, singer-songwriters of all time, with what are regarded as the definitive English translations of his works by Mort Shurman and Eric Blau and fresh orchestral arrangements by Eric Svejcar from the award winning 2006 Off Broadway production.

Tickets for Jacques Brel


New tour of Oklahoma! starring Belinda Lang and Gary Wilmot

A new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! is to  tour the UK and Ireland next year, opening at the Derngate Theatre in Northampton on 19th February 2015 and currently ending at the Wyombe Swan in August.

It will be Directed by Rachel Kavanaugh (The Sound of Music at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park and Love Story, which ran in both Chichester and the West End) with new choreography by Drew McOnie (In the Heights at Southwark Playhouse) , musical direction from Steve Ridley, set and costume design by Francis O'Connor, lighting by Tim Mitchell and sound by Ben Harrison.

It features a cast of 20 and a live orchestra and will star Belinda Lang (School for Scandal, Ladies in Lavender) as Aunt Eller, Gary Wilmot (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Pajama Game) as Ali Hakim, Ashley Day (The Book of Mormon, The Wizard of Oz) as Curly, Charlotte Wakefield (The Sound of Music, Mamma Mia!) as Laurey and Nic Greenshields (Guys and Dolls, Billy Elliot) as Jud Fry.

It was revived at the National Theatre in 1998 where it ran for 2 years starring  Hugh Jackman and Maureen Lipman.

Oklahoma! tells the story of two sets of star-crossed lovers: cowboy Curly McLain and his romance with farm girl Laurey Williams ans cowboy Will Parker and his flirtatious fiancée, Ado Annie. in Oklahoma territory in the early 1900s. It features the classic numbers Oh What a Beautiful mornin', The Surrey with the Fringe on Top, People Will Say We're in Love and of course Oklahoma


Monday, September 22

Jennifer DiNoia is new Elphaba in Wicked!

Jennifer DiNoia will be taking over the role of Elphaba in Wicked! at the Apollo Victoria from 27 October to 31st January 2015 (Kerry Ellis leaves on 25th October)

Jennifer DiNoia first joined the cast of WICKED in 2006 and has subsequently performed the role of Elphaba to huge acclaim across North America in the national tour, in both the Broadway and Chicago productions, and internationally in Seoul and Sydney. She will make her West End debut in the rolei October  marking the fourth country and sixth company  in which she will have performed the role.