Thursday, August 16

Menier Chocolate Factory announce Fiddler on the Roof as Christmas production

The Menier Chocolate Factory has just announced a new staging  of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, which will run there from 23rd November 2018 - 9th March 2019 with tickets  going  on sale to Supporters from Tuesday 28th August and  public booking open on 5th  September.

TREVOR NUNN will direct the production which has a book by JOSEPH STEIN, lyrics by SHELDON HARNIC and music by JERRY BOCK

One of the world’s most-beloved musicals of all time, Fiddler on the Roof is the  heart-breaking story of the travails of Tevye the milkman and his wife and five daughters features such classic songs including  “Sunrise, Sunset,” “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Matchmaker, Matchmaker”.

Motown The Musical to end its run at the Shaftesbury next April

It has just been announced that  Motown the Musical is to end its run at the Shaftesbury Theatre in  the West End on 20th  April 2019.

It had its world premiere in April 2013 in New York and  opened in London in February 2016 having celebrated over 1330 performances. It is  closing next year so that some much needed scheduled major refurbishments can take place. A UK tour starts in October of this year and next  January  the record label celebrates its sixtieth birthday.

The show tells the story of Motown's Barry Gordy, who went from being a boxer to music mogul with the help of $800 lent to him by his family. He launched the careers of Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson and the show features songs including "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", "I'll Be There", "Dancing In the Street", "Stop! In the Name of Love" and "I Heard It on the Grapevine".
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Wednesday, August 15

Cast and new song revealed for Heathers Musical West End transfer

The final details have been announced for the West End transfer of Heathers the Musical, which opens at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in September  following a sell out  run at The Other Palace.

Joining the cast will be Hugh Maynard (Miss Saigon) as Ram's Dad, John Lumsden (Les Misérables) as Hipster Dork and Merryl Ansah (Beautiful) as Drama Club Drama Queen.

Continuing in the cast is Carrie Hope Fletcher as Veronica, Jodie Steele (Chandler), T'Shan Williams (Duke) and Sophie Isaacs (McNamara) as the Heathers, with  Jamie Muscato as Jason Dean. The cast is completed by Chris Chung (Kurt Kelly), Dominic Anderson (Ram Sweeney), Jenny O'Leary (Martha Dunnstock), Rebecca Lock (Ms. Flemming), Jon Boydon (Kurt's Dad), Alex James Hatton (Officer Milner), Charlotte Jaconelli (Stoner Chick), Lauren Drew (New Wave Girl), Olivia Moore (Young Rerepublicanette), and Sergio Pasquariello (Officer McCord).

The production will also feature a new song for Veronica called "I Say No", and an updated script, - both of which were added in the final week of performances at The Other Palace.

Laurence O'Keefe and Kevin Murphy's musical has direction from Andy Flickman, choreography by Gary Lloyd, design by David Shields, lighting by Ben Cracknell and sound by Dan Samson.


Tuesday, August 14

Andrew Polec to leave Bat Out of Hell on 1st September

Andrew Polec who plays the lead character Strat in Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical   is leaving the  show on 1st September 2018 having  been involved with it  since the beginning. More exciting news about Andrew's future plans  will be announced shortly with his replacement being announced in the next few days.

He said : “Bat Out of Hell – The Musical has changed my life – it’s a true gift. I’ve never felt so warmly welcomed and loved by so many thoughtful, generous people who hold Jim Steinman and Meat’s music so close to their hearts. It’s been an honour being part of this show, and phenomenal to work with this amazing cast and team. Plus – I get to sing this brilliant music night after night for the best fans in the world!During the Dominion’s first preview, we were met with a full standing ovation. As I walked onto the stage, I thought the roof of the theatre was going to blow off. As Steinman says ‘I was lost, till you were found’. ‘For Crying Out Loud’, I love you all and I’ll miss you dearly. I’m eternally grateful, thank you. Keep rocking and loving – I will always carry you in my heart.” –

Adrian Lester, Jason Manford, Clive Rowe, Meow Meow and Joe Stilgoe to lead cast of Guys & Dolls at Royal Albert Hall

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. Musical director James McKeon, and design by  Morgan Large.
Initial casting has just been announced with  Adrian Lester starring  as Sky Masterson wth  Jason Manford as Nathan Detroit and Meow Meow as Miss Adelaide. While the supporting cast is headed by acclaimed jazz singer and pianist Joe Stilgoe as Benny Southstreet, and Clive Rowe reprising the role of Nicely Nicely Johnson for which he won an Olivier in 1997. Rowe’s other West End credits include The Ladykillers (Gielgud Theatre) and Kiss Me, Kate (The Old Vic). Accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, the production will feature showstoppers including "Luck Be a Lady", "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" and "My Time of Day".

Adrian Lester is best known for the BBC’s Hustle and his performance as Othello at the National Theatre in 2013, which won him Best Actor at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. His musical-theatre credits include Sweeney Todd (also at the National) and his Olivier-winning performance in Sam Mendes’ production of Company at the Donmar Warehouse and in the West End. He said: "It's been a few years since I've been on stage and quite a few more since I've been in a musical, but singing at the Royal Albert Hall, backed by the Royal Philharmonic, is an opportunity too good to miss. I'm really looking forward to singing Sky Masterson as part of a great company."

Jason Manford is one of the UK’s leading stand-ups, who made his stage debut in Sweeney Todd, opposite Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton. This led to a starring role in The Producers and a year-long run in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He hosted the Olivier Awards at the Hall last year.
International cabaret star Meow Meow  initiated the role of the Maîtresse in the Gielgud Theatre adaptation of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.
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 was recently 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).

Buy Tickets for Guys & Dolls at  www.royalalberthall.com

Carrie Hope Fletcher, Michael Xavier and Sharon D Clarke confirmed for UK's first StageCon

A number of West End stars have just been confirmed for UK's first  StageCon theatre convention which will run on 3rd and 4th November this year at Shoreditch Town Hall. The format will be similar to New York's theatre convention BroadwayCon representing all aspects of theatre, from musicals to plays, opera and dance and those who develop theatre as well as performers.

It will feature appearances from West End stars including Carrie Hope Fletcher, Christina Bennington, Cameron Blakely, Samantha Bond, Sharon D Clarke, Sophie Evans, Cherrelle Skeete and Michael Xavier. Louise Dearman, Alice Fearn, David Hunter, Debbie Kurup, Scott Paige, Steph Parry, Stuart Matthew Price, Caroline Sheen and Charlotte Wakefield. Plus events including live performances, sing-a-longs, discussions, cast reunions, panels, games, previews, workshops, meet and greets and showcases. There will be a Villageof stalls offering  goods, merchandise and theatrical services. Vendors included are National Theatre Bookshop, Zeat Art, The Royal Theatrical Fund and WhatsOnStage. 

A portion of profits from StageCon will be donated to The Royal Theatrical Fund. The Presidents Robert Lindsay, said: "We are looking forward to being involved with this new and exciting opportunity for the theatre community. It is important that we let those in our industry know about the range of assistance we provide, including benefits advice and help with financial problems. "

More names and events will be announced in due course. A day ticket for the event costs £85 and a weekend ticket costs £160.

Monday, August 13

Cast announced for West End Does:Halloween Concert I Screamed A Scream


Tickets are now on sale for the concert West End Does: Halloween I Screamed A Scream at the Fortune Theatre on 28th October at 6:30 pm.

Featuring an all star West End Cast including Carrie Hope Fletcher (Heathers), Craig Mather (Wind in the Willows) and Rob Houchen (Eugenius), alongside Emma Kingston (Evita), Jordan Lee Davis (Bat Out Of Hell), Charlotte Kennedy (Les Miserables) and Jenny O’Leary (Heathers) with more special guests still be announced.

Forty Four Productions presents West End Does: Halloween featuring an all star West End Cast, celebrating all things spooky with spine tingling songs from hit West End Shows & pop culture, whilst also giving you chills, bumps & screams throughout this 2 hour concert (with 20 minute interval). Dressing up is encouraged, although not compulsory. This Concert will be supporting The Make A Wish Foundation UK.
Previous Concerts include West End Does: The Magic of Animation and West End Does: Bond
Any people with a particularly nervous disposition are encouraged to not sit in the Stalls. 

Tickets for West End Does:Halloween



New Cast for Matilda West End just announced

New casting has been announced from 11th September 2018 for the West End production of Matilda the Musical , which is booking until October 2019 at the Cambridge Theatre,

Gina Beck will stay on  for a second year as Miss Honey. She will be joined by Hayden Tee (Les Misérables, South Pacific) as Miss Trunchbull, with Rob Compton (Wonder.land) and Holly Dale Spencer (Annie) playing Mr and Mrs Wormwood. 

The full adult cast includes Alex Louize Bird, Gina Beck, Rob Compton, Holly Dale Spencer, Jaye Elster, Glen Facey, Alex Hammond, Peter Houston, Jessica Joslin, Bethany Kate, Sammy Kelly, Ben Kerr, Bryan Mottram, Malinda Parris, James Revell, Gemma Scholes, Simon Shorten, Hayden Tee, Callum Train and Robert Tregoning. 

Isobel Hubble and Francesca McKeown will join Sarah Munday and Olivia Wells as the titular role. The other young performers announced today join the London company in the three teams who play the roles of Bruce, Lavender, Amanda and the rest of the pupils at Crunchem Hall and are as follows: Lois Abercrombie, Tom Brown, Emilia Bosi, Toby Brandon, Quincy Miller-Cole, Lottie Cook, Imogen Darwen, Jimmy Fordham Reed, Clara Freeman Alves, Stella Haden, Jobe Hart, Noah Leggott, Archie Lewis, Henry Littell, Austen Phelan, Marley Quinlan-Gardner, Daisy Statham, Cherry Vaughn-White and Rochelle Wyatt. 

Jacob Bland, Mia Byers, Sadie Victoria Lim, Asher Ezequiel, Darmani Eboji and Sam Winser will continue in the roles of Bruce, Lavender, Amanda and the pupils at Crunchem Hall.


The show is also on a UK and Ireland tour until August 2019.

Thursday, August 9

Danielle Hope and Sam Ferriday to join the cast of tour of ROCK OF AGES


It has just been announced that Danielle Hope and Sam Ferriday will join the cast of the tour of  ROCK OF AGES which opens at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley on 20th September

Danielle won BBC One’s ‘Over the Rainbow’, which lead to her professional debut in the lead role of Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of “The Wizard Of Oz” at the London Palladium. Since then she  has starred as Éponine in the West End production of “Les Misérables”, as Maria in the UK tour of “The Sound Of Music”, and recently finished touring the UK as Sandy in “Grease”.

Sam Ferriday’s previous theatre credits include “The Jersey Boys” and “GHOST The Musical” UK Tours. He toured with “The Blue Man Group” across the USA and appeared in the Prodigals musical at Coventry Belgrade.

Danielle will play role of ‘Sherrie’ until 24 November and from 26th  November Jodie Steele will play the role after starring in ‘Heathers The Musical’ at the Royal Haymarket this autumn.

Sam Ferriday will play the role of ‘Stacee Jaxx’ until 9th December.

Danielle and Sam will join the previously announced Kevin Kennedy who will play ‘Dennis’, Zoe Birkett ‘Justice’, Luke Walsh ‘Drew’, Lucas Rush ‘Lonny’, Andrew Carthy ‘Franz’, Vas Constanti ‘Hertz’ and Rhiannon Chesterman ‘Regina’.Also joining the cast are Erin Bell, Alexander Day, Joshua Dever, Paris Green, Sinead Kenny, Ryan Lee-Seager, Adam Strong, Saran Webb and Bobby Windebank.

Linzi Hateley to lead new cast of Blood Brothers tour

Olivier Award nominated  Linzi Hateley is to play  Mrs Johnstone in the next tour of Willy Russell's Blood Brothers which opens at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley on 4th September.  She said, "Mrs Johnstone is an iconic role that I've always secretly dreamed of playing. I'm thrilled to finally get the chance to fulfill a dream - and to perform it to audiences right across our country."

Linzi has performed in many West End productions:  most recently as Donna in Mamma Mia! At just seventeen years old, she was cast in the title role of CARRIE: THE MUSICAL, which took her to Broadway. She went on to star as The Narrator in the London Palladium production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, with  Jason Donovan as Joseph with other West End roles including Éponine in Les Misérables, Roxie Hart in Chicago, Rizzo in Grease and Winifred Banks in Mary Poppins. She also starred as Helen in the National Theatre's revival of London Road.

Other cast member s joining her for for Blood Brothers includes Sarah Jane Buckley/Mrs Lyons , Sean Jones/Mickey, Mark Hutchinson/Eddie, Robbie Scotcher/Narrator, Danielle Corlass/Linda, Tim Churchill/Mr Lyons, Graham Martin/Policeman/Teacher, Amy Jane Ollies, Alison Crawford/Brenda, Graeme Kinniburgh/Bus Conductor, Andy Owens/Perkins and Josh Capper/Neighbour.

Tuesday, August 7

Alexandra Burke to star in the new tour of THE BODYGUARD

Producers, Michael Harrison and David Ian have just announced  that Alexandra Burke will return to the starring role of Rachel Marron in the new  tour  of  THE BODYGUARD  which opens  at Glasgow Theatre Royal on Monday 3 December 2018. Further casting news is to follow.
 
Alexandra  returns to the role of Rachel Marron following her triumphant run in the show in both the West End and the subsequent sell out 2015/2016 tour. She first rose to fame after winning the fifth series of The X Factor and her debut number one single Hallelujah sold over one million copies in the UK, a first for a British female soloist. She most recently appeared as Svetlana in Chess at the London Coliseum and will soon appear as Roxie Hart in Chicago at the  Phoenix Theatre. Last year she reached the final of “Strictly Come Dancing”. Her other theatre credits include ‘Deloris Van Cartier’ in the national tour of the musical “Sister Act”. 

Alexandra Burke will perform the role of ‘Rachel Marron’ at all evening performances only.


Friday, August 3

Dein Perry's Tap Dogs returns to London in October

Dein Perry's Tap Dogs returns to the London stage with its trademark blend of live music and tap dance. Combining high voltage, rugged, raw talent Tap Dogs has taken the world by storm.

The winner of over 11 international awards including an Olivier. Tap Dogs will be at the Peacock Theatre in Holborn from 23rd October-10th November 2018 with tickets from £15

Tap Dogs is the ultimate visual tap dance spectacular with world-class dancers performing upside down or even on water. Dressed in boots and jeans, the six muscular Tap Dogs men tap, stomp, jump and splash their way through the show that combines workman poser with precision, high energy, and raw and raunchy routines.

Following its premiere at the Sydney Festival in 1995, Tap Dogs went on be a huge hit at the Edinburgh Fringe before making its sell-out debut at Sadler’s Wells. It returned to Sadler’s Wells in 2001 to celebrate five years of continuous touring around the globe.The global smash hit has appeared in over 330 cities on six continents and has been seen live by over 12 million people. A worldwide television audience of over 3.4 billion saw 1,000 Tap Dogs performing in the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympics.