Tuesday, June 19

First casting news for new tour of Rock of Ages

Dan Looney, Adam Paulden, Jason Haigh-Ellery, Selladoor Worldwide and Gavin Kalin have just  announced initial casting for the forthcoming UK and Ireland tour of ROCK OF AGES opening at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley on 20th September 2018. 

Kevin Kennedy will play ‘Dennis’, Zoe Birkett ‘Justice’, Jodie Steele ‘Sherrie’, Luke Walsh ‘Drew’, Lucas Rush ‘Lonny’, Andrew Carthy ‘Franz’, Vas Constanti ‘Hertz’ and Rhiannon Chesterman ‘Regina’ with further casting to be announced soon.

Kevin Kennedy is probably best known for his portrayal of ‘Curly Watts’ in “Coronation Street”. His West End theatre credits include ‘Amos’ in “Chicago” at the Adelphi Theatre and “We Will Rock You” at the Dominion Theatre. Kevin has played both ‘Caractacus Potts’ and ‘The Child Catcher’ in the hit musical “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, becoming the first actor to have played both roles. He has also appeared in the national tours of the musicals “The Rocky Horror Show”, “The Commitments” and most recently Kay Mellor’s “Fat Friends”.

Zoe Birkett is probably best known as the highest placing female contestant in ITV’s Pop Idol, 2002. She most recently appeared as ‘Rachel Marron’ in the UK tour of the “The Bodyguard The Musical”. She has also appeared in the West End productions of “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” and originated the female lead in “Thriller Live”. Her other theatre credits include the ‘Acid Queen’ in “Tommy” and ‘Maureen’ in “Rent”. She can currently be seen in Channel 5’s “Get a Holiday Body”.

Jodie Steele has appeared in the UK and International tour of “Wicked”, “War of the Worlds” in the West End at the Dominion Theatre, “Heathers the Musical” and “Myth”, both at The Other Palace, “Legally Blonde” at Kilworth House and the national tours of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Fame”.

Luke Walsh has appeared in many shows including “Boybands Forever” in Germany and ‘Caesar’ in “Antony and Cleopatra”, ‘Billy’ in “The Rabbit King” and “Smorgasbard”, all at Another Way Theatre. He has also appeared in the independent film “Don’t Let Go”.

Lucas Rush appeared as ‘St Jimmy’ in “American Idiot”, both in the West End and on tour. For this role he received a WhatsOnStage Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical. His West End credits include ‘Roger’ in “Grease” at the Piccadilly Theatre and “We Will Rock You” at the Dominion Theatre. He has also appeared in the World Arena Tour of “Jesus Christ Superstar”, ‘Joe Vegas’ in the national tour of “Fame” and most recently the national tour of “Thoroughly Modern Mille”.

Andrew Carthy has appeared in the West End productions of both “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Loserville”. His other credits include “Guys and Dolls” at Kilworth House, the UK tour of “The Wedding Singer” and “Wicked” in Germany.

Vas Constanti’s many West End credits include “In the Heights” at King’s Cross Theatre, “Miss Saigon” at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and ‘Riff Raff’ in “The Rocky Horror Show” at the Duke of York’s Theatre. He has also appeared in the national tours of “Oklahoma!” and “Flashdance – The Musical”.

Rhiannon Chesterman was in the original cast of the musical “Mrs Henderson Presents” at the Theatre Royal Bath and then the Noel Coward theatre in the West End. Rhiannon has also appeared in the UK tours of “Grease” and “Hairspray”.

More casting announced for Follies at National next year

Further casting has been announced for Dominic Cooke's production of Follies, which returns to the National Theatre next year (opening night after its Olivier Award-winning run at the theatre last year.

Replacing Imelda Staunton as Sally will be two-time Olivier Award-winner Joanna Riding, most recently seen in Romantics Anonymous and The Girls. Alexander Hanson (Stephen Ward) will play Ben, taking over from Philip Quast. Janie Dee and Peter Forbes reprise their roles with further casting to be announced.

Buy tickets for Follies 

Monday, June 18

Louise Dearman Ria Jones Alexia Khadime & Rachel Tucker There is Nothin’ Like a Dame Concert

There is Nothin’ Like a Dame is A celebration of 100 years of women in music theatre by four of the West End’s leading ladies being performed at the Cadogan Hall at 7:30 pm on Thursday 30 August 2018.

Louise Dearman, Ria Jones, Alexia Khadime and Rachel Tucker journey through the last century of musicals with their never-before-heard renditions of some of your favourite songs:  From Porter to Lloyd Webber, Hammerstein to Schwartz, hear these ultimate musical show-stoppers sung by some of the best actresses of our time.

Tickets for There is Nothin Like A Dame

Friday, June 15

Steph Parry to take over lead role of Dorothy Brock from Lulu in 42nd Street

Steph Parry is to take on the role of Dorothy Brock in the West End production of 42nd Street. The part is currently being played by Lulu who comes to the end of her limited engagement. Steph's first performance is on 9th July.

Parry, who already understudies Brock,  shot to fame last week and made the headlines  when she stepped up from understudy in one show to suddenly play the starring role in  Mamma Mia! just down the road, after the leading lady was forced off stage with an injury

Full cast for Six at the Arts Theatre

Final casting has just been  announced for the  West End premiere of new British musical SIX by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss at the Arts Theatre from Thursday 30 August - Sunday 23 September.

Prior to the West End run, SIX will open at Norwich Playhouse (11-15 July) before Cambridge Arts Theatre (17-21 July) and following last year’s sell-out run it will return to the Edinburgh Fringe to the main Underbelly purple cow in George Square (1-27 August) with further UK tour dates to be announced.

The SIX wives of Henry VIII finally take the mic to tell their tale, remixing 500 years of  her-storical heartbreak into a 75-minute celebration of sisterly sass-itude.Powered by an all-female band and with songs including Ex-Wives, Haus of Holbein and Don’t Lose Ur Head, this high-octane pop concert musical by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss is widely tipped to be one of the most exciting new West End shows of 2018.

  • Jarneia Richard-Noel (Catherine Of Aragon) was in The Color Purple in Concert at  Cadogan Hall
  • Millie O’Connell (Anne Boleyn) recently appeared in the UK tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie and was understudy Peggy Sawyer, 42nd Street, Theatre Du Chatelet, Paris;  
  • Natalie Paris (Jane Seymour) was Louise in Sunday in the Park with George at the Menier  
  • Alexia McIntosh (Anna Of Cleves) was Rosa, in Godiva Rocks at Belgrade Theatre; 
  • Aimie Atkinson (Katherine Howard) was Daniela in In The Heights at Kings Cross Theatre and originated the lead role of Luisa in Zorro the Musical (UK Tour); 
  • Maiya Quansah-Breed (Catherine Parr) has just graduated from Guildford School of Acting; 
  • Grace Mouat  completes the cast as swing/dance captain, has also just graduated from GSA.

SIX is a co-production between Kenny Wax and Global Musicals. Wendy Barnes of Global Musicals said: “Kenny, Andy and I saw the previous production independently of each other but we were all immediately blown away by the funny, relevant humour and infectious score that these two young talents had created. We are proud to debut their first musical and begin an ambitious and exciting journey for the piece, which is particularly timely as we strive for female equality and empowerment. These women were so much more than history would have us believe.

Directed by Lucy Moss & Jamie Armitage.  Choreographer Carrie-Anne Ingrouille. Set Design: Emma Bailey. Costume Design: Gabriella Slade. Lighting Design: Tim Deiling. Sound Design: Paul Gatehouse. Musical Supervisor: Joe Beighton. Orchestrations Tom Curran.

Matt Ford and Victoria Hamilton-Barritt in new tour of Simply Sinatra

In a new tour of Simply Sinatra, Matt Ford,  regarded as the finest big band singer in the UK and West End star and actress Victoria Hamilton-Barritt are joined by a  27-piece show band and ballroom champions Chris & Emma Burrell for an evening  of music, song and dance in a special tribute to the legendary entertainer.  The programme will include signature Sinatra songs : ‘Come Fly with Me’; ‘Somethin’ Stupid’, ‘The Lady Is A Tramp; ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’; ‘Fly Me to The Moon’; ‘Luck Be A Lady Tonight’; ‘Mack The Knife’; ‘Moon River’; ‘New York, New York’, and ‘My Way’.

Simply Sinatra 2018 tour dates:

Sat 3 Nov 7:30pm De Montfort Hall LEICESTER *
Sun 4 Nov 3:00pm The Bridgewater Hall MANCHESTER **
Fri 9 Nov 7:30pm Royal Festival Hall LONDON *
Sat 10 Nov 7:30pm Usher Hall EDINBURGH ***
Sun 18 Nov 3:00pm Symphony Hall BIRMINGHAM *
Fri 23 Nov 7:30pm Philharmonic Hall LIVERPOOL **
Sun 25 Nov 3:00pm Royal Concert Hall GLASGOW ***
Fri 30 Nov 7.30pm Royal & Derngate NORTHAMPTON *
Sun 9 Dec 3:00pm Royal Concert Hall NOTTINGHAM *

Accompanied by London Concert Orchestra Show Band */ Manchester Concert Orchestra Show Band **/Scottish Concert Orchestra Show Band ***

Buy tickets for Simply Sinatra

New Genie in Aladdin this summer

A new Genie will be taking up residency in Aladdin  this summer as Trevor Dion Nicholas temporarily leaves the West End  to take on the role of Genie for a leg of the US tour while Scott performs in the West End.

Michael James Scott, who currently plays the same role in the US touring production of the show, will play the role  at the Prince Edward Theatre between 17th August and 30th September.

Speaking of the announcement, Nicholas said: "Being presented with the chance to perform this phenomenal show as Genie in Pittsburgh is something I cannot pass up. In a city so close to where I grew up, having an audience full of family and friends, is another dream come true."

Scott returns to the West End for the first time in eight years after performing in the Broadway transfer of Hair at the Gielgud Theatre in 2010. Before performing in the touring production of Aladdin, he was the standby Genie in the original Broadway production in 2014 and originated the role in the Australian production.

Alexandra Burke cancels The Truth Is September Concert Tour

Alexandra Burke has cancelled her The Truth Is September Concert Tour. due to "scheduling issues." She was set to embark on a 13-date tour around the UK performing songs from her new album The Truth Is , after recently ending a stint playing Svetlana Sergievsky in the West End revival of Chess.

The X Factor winner took to Twitter last night to post a message telling fans  'I just got back from the UK after a few days away. I'm really sorry to announce that sadly I had to cancel The Truth Is tour in September. The timing just wasn't right. I'm really sorry to anyone who has been inconvenienced by this decision. I love performing more than anything and can't wait to reschedule more live shows in the future. There will be more news coming from me soon. Thank you for all your support and understanding.

Ticketholders should contact their point of sale for a refund.

Thursday, June 14

Stephen Mear Directing and Choreographing semi staged version of Guys & Dolls in October

Two-time Olivier Award-winner Stephen Mear is directing  and choreographing a semi-staged version of the classic musical comedy, Guys and Dolls at The Royal Albert Hall on Friday and Saturday 19th & 20th October 2018 at 7:30 pm plus a Saturday matinee at 2:30 pm.
Join the Sky Masterson,  Miss Adelaide, Nathan Detroit and Sarah Brown for this unmissably feel-good show, presented by the Hall and Fiery Angel. Though songs from the show have been performed at the Hall by artists including Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli and Sammy Davis, Jr., this is the first time Guys and Dolls has ever been presented in its entirety at the venue Entertainment.

All-star casting will be announced soon, but the venue has confirmed the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra for the three shows in October, as well as musical director James McKeon, and designer Morgan Large.

Stephen Mear won Olivier Awards for his choreography on Mary Poppins (with Matthew Bourne) and Hello, Dolly!, with West End shows  including Singin’ in the Rain, Sweet Charity and the acclaimed revival of Gypsy, starring Imelda Staunton.

James McKeon’s credits include last year’s UK tour of Miss Saigon, Evita at the Adelphi Theatre, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium. He was also the organist at the famous 25th anniversary Phantom of the Opera concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

The work of acclaimed designer Morgan Large can currently be seen in Ruthless at the Arts Theatre, and Death Takes a Holiday at the Charing Cross Theatre. His previous credits include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Novello Theatre), Othello (Sheffield Crucible) and Room on the Broom (worldwide).

Priority Booking for Friends & Patrons available on Thursday 14 June at 10:00 am and general  sale from 10:00am on Friday 15th June 2018 at www.royalalberthall.com

Tuesday, June 12

Kinky Boots to end its run at Adelphi on 12th January

The West End production of Kinky Boots will close at the end of its current booking period on 12 January 2019 after a successful run of more than 1400 performances at the Adelphi Theatre.

The cast has just undergone a change and now  features Oliver Tompsett as Charlie Price, Natalie McQueen as Lauren and Simon-Anthony Rhoden as Lola.

There is an extensive  Kinky Boots UK tour, which will kick off at Northampton  Royal and Derngate  on 19th September.

Cast announced for Spamilton at Menier Chocolate Factory

The cast has just been announced for Spamilton:An American Parody,  The Menier Chocolate Factory's summer musical running from 12th July-8th September. The company will include  Marc Akinfolarin, Sophie-Louise Dann, Jason Denton, Eddie Elliott, Damian Humbley, Liam Tamne and Julie Yammanee.

Marc Akinfolarin  previously appeared in Assassins and The Color Purple at the Menier. His other theatre credits include Spamalot (UK tour), Peter and The Starcatcher (Royal and Derngate, Northampton), Floyd Collins (Wilton's Music Hall), Sweeney Todd (English National Opera) & Porgy and Bess (Royal Danish Opera).

Sophie-Louise Dann previously appeared in both productions of Forbidden Broadway at the Menier. Her other theatre work includes The Girls (Olivier Award nomination), Bend it Like Beckham (both Phoenix Theatre), Oliver! (Grange Park Opera), Made in Dagenham (Adelphi Theatre), Closer than Ever (Jermyn Street Theatre) & Lend Me a Tenor (Gielgud Theatre – Oliver Award nomination).

Jason Denton’s theatre work includes School of Rock (New London Theatre), Showboat (New London and Sheffield Theatres), Save The Last Dance For Me (UK tour), Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Stephen Ward (both at the Aldwych), Hot Stuff, Hello Dolly! & Piaf (Curve Theatre, Leicester).

Eddie Elliott
’s theatre work includes Motown (Shaftesbury Theatre), Dry Cleaned (Intermission Theatre), Cinderella (Hackney Empire), South Pacific (Barbican and UK tour), Five Guys Named Moe (Theatre at the Mill), We Will Rock You (UK tour), The Music Man (Chichester Festival Theatre) and The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre).

Damian Humbley returns to the Menier having appeared in Merrily We Roll Along (also Harold Pinter Theatre and Huntington Theatre Company, USA), Life of the Party (also TheatreWorks SV - Bay Theatre Award), Forbidden Broadway (also Vaudeville Theatre) and The Last 5 Years. His other theatre work includes Lend Me A Tenor (Gielgud Theatre), The Woman In White (Palace Theatre) & Fiddler on the Roof (Savoy Theatre).

Liam Tamne’s theatre work includes Working (Southwark Playhouse), The Rocky Horror Show (UK tour), The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre), Departure Lounge -- the Musical (Perfect Pitch), Hair (Gielgud Theatre), Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre) and Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre).

Julie Yammanee’s theatre credits include Lazarus (King’s Cross Theatre), Priscilla Queen of The Desert (international tour), Here Lies Love (National Theatre), Avenue Q (UK tour), The World Goes Round (Yellow Glass Theatre) and Rapunzel (Theatre Royal Stratford East).

Monday, June 11

Full Cast for West End Does Bond

Following their inaugural concert, The Magic of Animation, West End Does has announced the casting for West End Does: Bond, performed at the Leicester Square Theatre on 1st July by an impressive line up of West End stars including John Owen-Jones (Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables), Marisha Wallace (Dreamgirls), Rebecca Trehearn (Showboat), Tyrone Huntley (Jesus Christ Superstar), Oliver Saville (Wicked), Rob Houchen (Les Misérables), Claudia Kariuki (Wicked), Emma Lindars (Groundhog Day) and Jamie Lambert  from Collabro.

Supported by a Big Band led by musical director Ryan Mackenzie,  they will perform all your favourite classic theme songs from Bond movies over the years. Including hits by Sam Smith, Adele, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Sir Paul McCartney, Carley Simon and Louis Armstrong.

Tickets for West End Does Bond