Friday, October 19

Dame Judi Dench to star in film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats

Dame Judi Dench is to play Old Deuteronomy, ancient leader of the Jellicle tribe,  in the film version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats - 40 years after injury saw her withdraw from the original production after she tore her Achilles tendon when she was due to play the faded glamour puss Grizabella  and Elaine Paige stepped into the role.  She will appear  in the Tom Hooper directed film with a star studded cast so far including Jennifer Hudson/Grizabella , Idris Elba/Macavity the Mystery Cat, Sir Ian McKellen/gus the theatre cat, James Corden and Taylor Swift.

The movie has a shceduled release dae for 20th December 2019 with rehearsals for the large ensemble of singers and dancers  already under way.  Dame Judi  is due to join them in a couple of weeks. But first she will get her singing voice in shape and learn the songs with Lord Lloyd Webber and screenwriter Lee Hall currently discussing how to update her verses, as the part was originally written for a man (Brian Blessed in the original production).

Thursday, October 18

Casting news for new tour of American Idiot

Green Day's  rock musical American Idiot is returning to mark the show's 10th anniversary and the 15th anniversary of the Grammy Award winning original album. 

The new anniversary tour is being presented by  Selladoor Productions (Flashdance, Fame, Avenue Q and Little Shop of Horrors) and opens on 17th January 2019 at the Grove Theatre, Dunstable, with press night at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton on Thursday 24th January.

Casting includes Tom Milner (Waterloo Road) Luke Friend (X Factor 3rd place runner up) and Sam Lavery (X Factor finalist ) as Johnny, St Jimmy & Whatsername respectively.

The cast is completed by Glenn Adamson (Sleeping Beauty the Musical) as Theo, Laura Marie Benson (Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Lesley, Jennifer Caldwell (Knights of the Rose) as Swing, Joshua Dowen (Footloose) as Tunny, Raquel Jones (Hairspray) as Extraordinary Girl, Daniel Law (Aladdin) as Swing, Rory Maguire (Summer Holiday) as Gerard, Shekinah McFarlane (Hair) as Alysha, Siobhan O'Driscoll (making professional stage debut) as Heather, Samuel Pope (All or Nothing) as Will, Alexandra Robinson (La Cage aux Folles) as Libby and Christian Tyler-Wood (Jersey Boys) as Declan.

Tickets for Michael Ball Live From The Savoy In Aid Of BBC Children In Need

Michael Ball will be performing his BBC Radio 2 show live from the London’s  Savoy Theatre on Sunday 18th November in aid of BBC Children in Need, along with his special guests including Alfie Boe, Boyzone and the Kingdom Choir.

After the show, Michael will be hosting an intimate lunch with a selection of Radio 2 presenters and some of the guests from Michael’s show hosting their own tables raising money for BBC Children In Need. If all the tickets sell the profit is expected to be at least £20,000. BOOK YOUR TICKETS TO JOIN MICHAEL AND GUESTS

Details for the  day are:

Michael Ball Show
  •     10.30am Arrive at the Savoy Theatre

  •     11.00am-1.00pm Michael Ball Live from the Savoy Theatre

Michael Ball’s Children In Need Lunch (limited tickets)
  •     1.15 pm Champagne Reception (lunch ticket holders only)

  •     2.00 pm Children In Need Lunch (lunch ticket holders only)
  •     Intimate live performance from Michael
  •     Children in Need Auctions
  •     5.00pm Carriages

Dress code for drinks and lunch: Smart Casual

Wednesday, October 17

Sheridan Smith announces one off O2 Concert in March

Following her debut UK tour that included a  show at the Royal Albert Hall, Sheridan Smith and has today announced a ONE NIGHT ONLY show at The O2 Arena at 6:30 pm on Saturday 30th March.

On this special one off show Sheridan will be performing  tracks from her discography as well as new music from her new album A Northern Soul, which is to be released on 2nd November. Sheridan’s debut album saw huge success and shot into the charts at #9 where it commenced a seven-week run in the Top 20, and it subsequently reached Gold status with over 140,000 sales. Despite being released in November it became one of the ten best-selling debut albums of 2017, and was the year’s second biggest debut from a British female artist after Dua Lipa. The album is today previewed with the release of the lead single ‘Priceless’.

Sheridan is also notably known for her prominence on television for her roles in comedy shows Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Love Soup, Gavin & Stacey, Grownups, Benidorm and her BAFTA award-winning role in Mrs Biggs (in which she played Ronnie Biggs’ wife).

I’ve loved getting back into the music,” says Sheridan. “It feels great to be able to sing a song while telling a story in three minutes.  I’ve been working with some amazing people who can get inside my head and help me write these great songs about my life.”

Buy tickets which go on   general sale at 09:00 Friday 19 October  

Tuesday, October 16

Beverley Knight, Tom Chaplin and Peabo Bryson Friday Night Is Music Night Shows At The London Palladium

BBC Radio 2 has announced a star line-up For Friday Night Is Music Night Shows At The London Palladium in November with  Beverley Knight, Keane's Tom Chaplin and Peabo Bryson celebrating the music of Stevie Wonder, Queen and Barry White in concerts being recorded for broadcast in January 2019
Backed by a 24-piece orchestra, Tom Chaplin,  front man of Keane, will  perform the songs of Queen on November 7th , while multi-Grammy-winning US soul star Peabo Bryson is paying homage to Barry White on 21st November and platinum-selling Beverley Knight celebrates the songs of Stevie Wonder on 22nd November.

Tickets go on sale at 9:00 am on Friday October 12th and are available from and

Monday, October 15

Casting news for Chicago the Musical

Alexandra Burke and Duncan James have extended  their runs in CHICAGO the Musical  which will end its run at the Phoenix Theatre on 5th January 2019

Alexandra Burke will play Roxie Hart until 10th November 2018 ( Sarah Soetaert between 15th – 24th October 2018) and Duncan James will play Billy Flynn until 17th November 2018. Laura Tyrer plays Velma Kelly until 20th October followed by Josefina Gabrielle who returns to the role from 22nd October until the production ends its run. Mazz Murray continues to play Mama Morton and Paul Rider continues to play Amos Hart.

 NB:  Alexandra Burke will not appear between 15 – 24 October 2018 when  Sarah Soetaert will play the role.Duncan James will not appear between 6 - 12 November 2018.

More casting announced for Fiddler on the Roof at the Menier Chocolate Factory

Further casting has just been announced for  Fiddler on the Roof, at  the Menier Chocolate Factory in a new staging by Trevor Nunn which runs from 23rd November 2018 - 9th March 2019 .

Joining the previously announced ANDY NYMAN  who is playing Tevye,  the local milkman in the village of Anatevka are JUDY KUHN as his sharp-tongued wife, MOLLY OSBOURNE as Tzeitel the oldest daughter, HARRIET BUNTON as Hodel the intelligent and spirited middle daughter, KIRSTY MACLAREN as Chava their shy book loving youngest daughter , DERMOT CANAVAN as Lazar Wolf the Butcher,  JOSHUA GANNON is Motel Kamzoil, a poor but hardworking tailor,MATT CORNER is   Fyedka a Christian and Chava's eventual husband, STEWART CLARKE is Perchik a scholar and Bolshevik revolutionary and LOUISE GOLD plays the gossipy village matchmaker Yente with further cast details to be released shortly.

Andy Nyman returns to the Menier Chocolate Factory having previously performed in Assassins, Abigail’s Party and Terrible Advice. Other theatre work includes Hangmen (Wyndham’s Theatre) and Ghost Stories (Duke of York’s Theatre/Arts Theatre).

Harriet Bunton's theatre credits include Mamma Mia! (Novello Theatre) and Sunny Afternoon (Harold Pinter Theatre).

Stewart Clarke last appeared at the Menier Chocolate Factory in Assassins. Other theatre credits include The Rink (Southwark Playhouse) and A Streetcar Named Desire (Leicester Curve).

Joshua Gannon's theatre credits include Cilla - The Musical (UK tour) and The Wind in the Willows (London Palladium).

Louise Gold returnsthe Menier Chocolate Factory after having performed in Pippin. Other theatre credits include Gypsy (Chichester Festival Theatre/Savoy Theatre), Oliver (Theatre Royal Drury Lane) and Follies (Royal Festival Hall).

Judy Kuhn's numerous Broadway credits include Fun Home, Les Misérables, She Loves Me and Chess. She sang the title role in Disney's Pocahontas.

Kirsty MacLaren's theatre credits include Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour (International Tour/National Theatres of Scotland and Great Britain/West End) and The Crucible (Royal Lyceum Theatre).

Molly Osborne will be making  professional debut. She a recent graduate of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Friday, October 12

Bryn Terfel and Kelsey Grammer to appear in ENO Concert Version of Man Of La Mancha?

According to Baz Bamigboye in today's Mail,  Kelsey Grammer (best known for his  portrayal of psychiatrist Dr Frasier Crane in  sitcoms Cheers and Frasier, Broadway's La Cage Aux Folles and Finding Neverland) and opera star Bryn Terfel (Lincoln Center Sweeney Todd) are currently in negotiation to join a concert production of the musical Man of La Mancha being presented by the English National Opera at the  London Coliseum, produced by Michael Linnit and Michael Grade.

Based on the classic tale of Don Quixote. Terfel is in talks to play Quixote (his bass-baritone is perfect for the show's signature song The Impossible Dream), with Grammer up for the role of his companion Sancho Panza.
Man of La Mancha is famous both for its inspiring story exploring the noble themes of idealism and courage in the face of despair with  classic numbers including  Dulcinea,  It's All The Same and The Impossible Dream.

Charlie Stemp and Danielle Hope to play Prince and Snow White in Palladium panto

Baz in the Mail has just announced the final bit of casting for Snow White which is the at  Palladium panto this year running for a limited period from Saturday 8 December 2018  until Sunday 13 January 2019. Snow White has so far sold a staggering 100,000 seats for its five-week run, taking nearly £6 million.

Charlie Stemp is returning  to the London Palladium to star as Prince Charming  opposite Danielle Hope who is playing  the title role.

They will join  Dawn French who is starring as The Wicked Queen with  Julian Clary as The Man in The Mirror, Paul Zerdin as Muddles,Nigel Havers as The Understudy and Gary Wilmot as Mrs Crumble with Strictly Come Dancing's Vincent Simone  and Flavia Cacace as The King and  Queen,and Josh Bennett, Simeon Dyer, Craig Garner, Ben Goffe, Jamie John, Blake Lisle and Andrew Martin as The Magnificent Seven.
Charlie Stemp has just appeared on Broadway as Barnaby Tucker in the hit revival of Hello Dolly! starring Bette Midler and Bernadette Peters. He received  critical acclaim for his  performance in the West End revival of Half A Sixpence and is due to play Bert in the new production of Mary Poppins which opens at the Prince Edward heatre nest autumn.
Danielle Hope made her professional debut as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium, after winning the BBC’s smash hit Over The Rainbow.  She went on to play Eponine in the West End production of Les Miserables, the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (National Tour); Maria Rainer in The Sound of Music (National Tour); and Sandy in Grease (National Tour). She is currently playing Sherrie until 24th November in the new Rock of Ages Tour

Thursday, October 11

Eugenius! cancels transfer to Ambassadors Theatre

According to Matt Hemley of  The Stage, it has been confirmed that the musical Eugenius! has cancelled a planned West End transfer to the Ambassadors Theatre where it was due to run from  October 27th until January 5th, 2019.

Producer Kevin Wood revealed that a key investor had pulled out at the last minute due to the wider economic conditions saying: "The past few days has been spent frantically trying to replace them but time has run out. In the New Year we will take stock and come again.  We have spent too much time and money on this project to just let it die."

Eugenius! written by Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins,will continue its current run at the Other Palace until October 21st.

Ticketholders should contact their point of sale for a refund.

BUTTONS new musical film starring Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury, Robert Redford and Kate Winslet

Buttons is a new musical fairy tale film which is like the old MGM classics. It is set during a time of robber barons, mills, and rising industry, with  two orphaned children meeting two unexpected visitors (Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury) who turn the tide of events and change their lives forever.

The proceeds of the film will go to benefit Kate Winslet's Golden Hat Foundation, helping those living with autism.

It includes a cast featuring Abigail Spencer, Jane Seymour, Roma Downey, Ioan Gruffudd, Katie McGrath, Robert Picardo, Charles Shaughnessy, Paul Greene and  John de Lancie with  "Nova" a song written by Sir Paul McCartney. It has narration by Robert Redford and Kate Winslet.

Following the film, there is a one off tribute to legendary dancer, director, and choreographer Gene Kelly, hosted Patricia Ward Kelly who is Kelly’s wife and biographer,  .

The film is being shown for one night only on Saturday December 8th.

Joe McElderry leading cast in tour of Club Tropicana

The cast has just been announced for the new tour of Club Tropicana which starts in Bromley on 24th January.  

It will star X Factor Winner, Joseph and musical theatre star Joe McElderry as Garry, Neil McDermott (EastEnders, Eugenius!) as Robert, Kate Robbins (The Imitation Game) playing Consuela, Emily Tierney (Eugenius! Wicked) as Christine and former Sugababe star Amelle Berrabah makes her professional stage debut playing Serena.

They will be joined by Karina Hind/Lorraine, Calvin Hudson/ensemble/cover Robert/Olly, Cellen Chugg Jones/Olly, Megan Louch/swing/dance captain, Rebecca Mendoza/Tracey, Alexanda O'Reilly/swing, Joshua Pearson/ensemble/cover Garry, Rory Phelan/Drew, Nye Rees/ensemble/Cover Drew/Blaine, Camilla Rowland/ensemble/cover Serena/Christine, Christina Shand/ensemble/cover Tracey/Consuela, Courtney-Brogan Smalley/ensemble/cover Lorraine/Andrea, Tara Verloop/Andrea and Kane Verrall/Blaine.

Joe McElderry

In the decade since he stormed to victory in The X Factor watched by 19.7 million viewers, Joe has become the sweet-singing hero and heart-throb of hundreds of thousands of fans aged from five to 95. He is the first The X Factor winner to release four albums - with sales of 550,000 in just a single year - he has sold out 60-date concert tours and was recently hailed as the greatest Joseph ever in Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. On TV he also won Popstar To Operastar with a landslide victory taking 80% of the votes, and Channel Four’s dangerous skiing programme The Jump.

Neil McDermott

Neil is a household name as Ryan Malloy in EastEnders, which saw him nominated Most Popular Newcomer at the National Television Awards. He has received rave reviews and an Off West End Award nomination as Evil Lord Hector in Eugenius! the Musical at The Other Palace. His previous West End roles include Chief Weasel in The Wind in the Willows and Lord Farquaad in Shrek the Musical. He was Bill Sykes in Oliver! at Grange Park Opera.

Kate Robbins
Kate is a fabulous funny actress known for her amazing impressions for a decade on Spitting image and most recently  ITV’s The Imitation Game. She has featured in iconic TV shows such as The Harry Enfield Show, Last Of The Summer Wine, Phoenix Nights, Holby City, Citizen Khan and Victoria Wood’s Dinnerladies, where she famously played Babs from Urmston

Emily Tierney

Emily has just starred as Super Hot Lady in Eugenius! the Musical. She was Glinda in Wicked (Original UK No.1 tour); Glinda in the original cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Wizard Of Oz (London Palladium), she was in All The Fun Of The Fair in the West End and Molly Jensen in Ghost (Asia Tour). On TV she played the lead character of Lydia in the Channel 5 series Push.

Amelle Berrabah

Amelle  is best known as one third of the girl group the Sugababes, who had worldwide success selling over 12 million albums, with 26 top 10 singles, including two number one hit records. Amelle is also the first - and only - member of the group to achieve a solo number one with ‘Never Leave You’ - her collaboration with Tinchy Stryder, which was the biggest selling single of 2009. She appeared in the movie Plastic, starring Game of Thrones star Alfie Allen. She has presented TV shows including the BBC’s Tumble. Club Tropicana The Musical is her musical theatre stage debut.
Directed by Nick Winston and Samuel Homes, the show features  of some of the most iconic, chart-topping pop anthems of the decade all performed live on stage, including: ABC's The Look of Love, Bucks Fizz’s Making Your Mind Up, Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Relax, Tight Fit’s Fantasy Island, A-ha’s Take On Me, Culture Club’s Church of the Poison Mind and Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes Up Where We Belong.