Friday, October 21

New Encore Musical Theatre Radio Station

ENCORE RADIO is a new 24-hour 7-day-a-week radio station which will be dedicated solely to Musical Theatre music. It launches at 1.00pm on Monday 24th October, presenting a mix of West End and Broadway favourites, playing hits from musicals and films

The presenter line-up will include West End star and Blue singer Duncan James and ex-ClassicFM DJ JAMIE CRICK as a presenter & Content Director.

ENCORE RADIO will also provide all the showbiz news, weather and other features with a host of well-known presenters, including “Hollyoaks”, Blue and West End Star Duncan James (for three hours every Sunday morning from 10:00 am), national radio name Jamie Crick, who had a 20-year career as one of Classic FM’s best-known presenters, and TV and radio personality Liz Wickham.

Encore Radio will be available 3 ways:

Through its free app for tablet, iphone  and android smartphones

Online via

On DAB digital radio across London and the South East

Kerry Ellis and Brian May cancel December Candlelit Christmas Concert tour due to illness

Queen's Brian May has cancelled his planned Candlelit Christmas concert tour dates with Wicked star Kerry Ellis due to what he described as a 'persistent illness'. May said that he is fighting: "a persistent illness which is destroying my energy and my will," adding that he was 'gutted' to let fans down but that doctors have advised rest.

On the news, Ellis, who is currently starring in Murder Ballad at the Arts Theatre, said: Brian is a dear friend of mine and obviously his health must come first. I was so looking forward to touring the UK again with Brian. I know so many of you had bought tickets for an early Christmas treat, and I am truly sorry that we are letting so many of you down. But we will be back next year for sure, with new music for you all to hear."

Anthems II, a newly recorded studio album featuring May and Ellis, will be released in March 2017.

On sale dates announced for Hamilton

As previously announced, HAMILTON, the critically acclaimed and multi-award winning Broadway musical will open at the end of 2017 in London at the Victoria Palace,which is currently undergoing an extensive multi-million-pound refurbishment. 

The producers have just confirmed that tickets for the London production will go on sale in January 2017. Previews commence in November 2017. Full details of prices, booking information and performance schedule will be announced in January 2017.

People who have registered for the priority on-sale will have the opportunity to purchase tickets from 16th January 2017 ahead of the general on-sale on 30th January 2017. Registration for priority on sale is still open until 31 October 2016 at

Oliver Tompsett, Sally Ann Triplett, Jodie Jacobs, Alice Fearn and Sandra Marvin in Disaster!

West End stars Oliver Tompsett, Sally Ann Triplett, Jodie Jacobs, Alice Fearn and Sandra Marvin join the original Broadway cast members Jennifer Simard and show creator Seth Rudetsky for the London premiere of Broadway musical DISASTER!

Oliver Tompsett  plays Chad (a ladies man still carrying a torch for his ex-fiance). He  has just played Sky Masterson in Guys & Dolls at the Phoenix Theatre. His other West End starring roles include Galileo in We Will Rock You, Fiyero in Wicked and Drew Boley in Rock of Ages.

DISASTER! the Broadway musical comedy spoof of star-studded 1970s jeopardy movies like The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake and Airport, will premiere in London for two gala concert charity performances at 4:00  and 7:30 pm  at Charing Cross Theatre on Sunday 20th November to raise funds for The Make a Difference Trust.

It’s 1979 and New York’s hottest A-listers are lining up for the opening of a floating casino and discotheque. But what begins as a night of boogie fever quickly changes to panic as the ship succumbs to multiple disasters, such as earthquakes, tidal waves and infernos. As the night turns into day, everyone struggles to survive and, quite possibly, repair the love they’ve lost…or at least escape the killer rats! Set in the wildest decade ever, DISASTER! is packed with unforgettable 70s dancefloor hits including “I Will Survive”, “Knock On Wood,” “Hooked On A Feeling,” “Sky High,” “I Am Woman” and “Hot Stuff”.

Jennifer Simard is recreating her Tony-nominated role as gambling-addicted nun, Sister Mary Downy. Seth Rudetsky is once again playing Ted Scheider, the professor and “disaster expert” who tries to warn the others of the impending doom.

Buy tickets for Disaster

Miss Saigon`s 25th anniversary performance sets UK box office record

The cinema screening of Miss Saigon's 25th anniversary performance has broken a UK cinema box office record grossing  £2.03 million - overtaking 2014's release of Billy Elliot the Musical Live, making it the biggest ever debut for a screening of its kind.

Producer Cameron Mackintosh said he was thrilled by the overwhelming response. With fans embracing the live film as a uniquely cinematic, theatrical and absorbing experience, it is a wonderful gift in my 70th birthday week.The record breaking box office results for the film prove appetite for this story is as strong as ever with many people experiencing Miss Saigon for the first time on the big screen.

The film adaptation was recorded at the Prince Edward Prince Edward Theatre, and will released on DVD, Blu-ray and available to download on 24th October.

After the success of the film, it is expected many cinemas will announce encore screenings in the coming weeks.

Alistair Brammer to join Miss Saigon Broadway

It has just been revealed that Alistair Brammer will recreate his London performance as young American GI Chris in Cameron Mackintosh’s January 2017 Broadway revival of the musical Miss Saigon.

He joins his previously announced West End co-stars Eva Noblezada, as Kim, and Jon Jon Briones, the Engineer, and Rachelle Ann Go as Gigi with Katie Rose Clarke as Ellen, Nicholas Christopher as John and Devin Ilaw as Thuy.

Brammer starred in the West End as Marius in Les Misérables and in the film version of the musical as Jean Prouvaire. Other theatre credits include Billy in War Horse (West End), Follies (Royal Albert Hall), Billy in Taboo (Brixton Club House), and the Les Miserables 25th anniversary concert.

Previews for Miss Saigon begin March 1st at the Broadway Theatre with  an official opening March 23rd playing a limited engagement to January 14th, 2018, before launching a North American tour later in the year.

Casting announced for She Loves Me at the Menier over Christmas

As already announced Scarlet Strallen returns to the Menier Chocolate Factory to take the leAD AS Amalia in She Loves Me from 25th November to 4 March.  

With rehearsals starting on Monday, she will be joined by Mark Umbers as Georg Nowack: second-in-command at the Budapest parfumerie. Amalia and Georg are in love - but of course they don't know it. Katherine Kingsley has been cast as Ilona Ritter, the bombshell with a broken heart with her real life partner Dominic Tighe  playing  love rat Steven Kodaly; while Callum Howells is the aspirational delivery boy Arpad Laszlo. Les Dennis is to play Mr.Maraczek the shy parfumerie owner

Killian Donnelly to appear in Kinky Boots on Broadway

West End leading man Killian Donnelly, is currently starring in Donegal, the new Frank McGuinness play  at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.

Next year he is Broadway bound reprising the role of Charlie which he created in Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre in London's West End. He will play the same part in the Broadway production from December 6th for a limited six-month run until late May.

Thursday, October 20

Andy Karl confirmed for Groundhog Day Broadway

London critics and audiences raved about  Tony nominee Andy Karl,  as he headlined Groundhog Day at the Old Vic, it is now confirmed that Karl will lead the the production when it  opens at the August Wilson Theatre where the  stage adaptation of the 1993 film is set to begin previews on March 16  and  open on April 17th .

Karl received Tony nominations  for his two most recent Broadway performances: On the Twentieth Century and Rocky. His additional Main Stem credits include The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Jersey Boys, 9 to 5, Legally Blonde and Wicked. He recently appeared on Law & Order: SVU as Sergeant Mike Dodds, playing son to his former On the Twentieth Century co-star Peter Gallagher.

Directed by Matthew Warchus, the musical features a score by Matilda's  Tim Minchin and a book by Danny Rubin (who co-wrote the original film). No word yet on further casting; Karl played Phil in London opposite Carlyss Peer as Rita.

Friday, October 14

School of Rock Broadway Cast Change

Andrew Lloyd Webber's new hit musical School of Rock starts previews in the West End  at the New London Theatre on 24th October.  The production is still running on Broadway where it has just announced a cast change: Tony nominee Alex Brightman and several other cast members will depart on November 6th. Producers have announced that  Brightman, who originated the role of Dewey Finn, will be replaced on November 7th  by Eric Petersen, a veteran of Shrek: The Musical, Elf, and Peter and the Starcatcher.

Also joining the show on November 7th  at the Winter Garden Theatre are Rachel Katzke as Katie the bass player and Walden Sullivan as Lawrence the keyboardist, with  Olivia Chun as band manager Summer, Steven Booth as Ned, Annabelle Wachtel as Marcy, Terrance Bell Jr. as Mason, Chloe Bryan as Madison and Ellie Kim as a swing.

The company also includes Will Blum as the Dewey alternate, Jenn Gambatese as Rosalie Mullins, Becky Gulsvig as Patty, Bobbi MacKenzie as Tomika, Luca Padovan as Billy, Brandon Niederauer as Zack the guitarist and Raghav Mehrotra as Freddy on drums. The adult ensemble includes Emily Cramer, Natalie Charle Ellis, John Arthur Greene, Michael Hartney, Merritt David Janes, Nehal Joshi, Lulu Lloyd, Jaygee Macapugay, Cassie Okenka, Patrick O'Neill, Morgan Rose, Jesse Swimm, Josh Tower, and J. Michael Zygo. The kids ensemble features Paul Luke Bonenfant, Ava Della Pietra, Gabby Gutierrez, Gianna Harris, Jason Kisare, and Jersey Sullivan

Thursday, October 13

Tom Parker from The Wanted to play Danny Zuko in Tour of Grease

Tom Parker fromThe Wanted boy band , will make his theatre debut as Danny Zuko in a UK tour of Grease.

Parker recently finished third on Channel 4'sThe Jump, and will lead the touring cast as Danny Zuko which opens at the Palace Theatre, Manchester in March 2017. Further casting is to be announced.

The production will be directed by David Gilmore (Happy Days, Footloose) and choreographed by former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips.

Wednesday, October 12

Evening Standard Awards Best Musical shortlist

The shortlist has been announced for the Best Musical Award in this year's Evening Standard Theatre Awards which  take place at the Old Vic on 13th November. The shortlist was decided by a panel including Evening Standard critic Henry Hitchings and Radio 2 head of programmes Lewis Carnie.

West End favourites Funny Girl, Guys and Dolls and Sunset Boulevard, are up against the Old Vic's Groundhog Day, the Open Air Theatre's Jesus Christ Superstar and Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour at the National Theatre. Last year's winner was Kinky Boots.

The competition was launched on the Elaine Paige on Sunday show last weekend and voting will close at the end of the same programme on Sunday, October 23rd.  You can register  your vote at