Tuesday, January 28

Disney delays Frozen priority on-sale bookings

Disney has delayed  Frozen priority on-sale by a week due to  "issues with partner's ticketing platform"
 
The  musical is expected to be met by massive demand when the show goes on sale, which was due to take place this week, but has now been delayed until next week. All members who have signed up for the event have been notified.

With music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and book by Jennifer Lee, the musical will open the newly restored Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London, which is currently undergoing a £60 million restoration project and has been dark since 5 January 2019 after the closing of 42nd Street.

It was recently announced that Samantha Barks would star in the show as Elsa, with further casting to be announced.
 
The statement from Disney:"Disney has made the difficult decision to delay the Frozen priority on sale due to issues that have arisen with our partner's ticketing platform for the Theatre Royal Drury Lane over the last 24 hours.

"Priority booking will now take place next week. Disney wants you to have the best and smoothest booking experience possible, and we have therefore come to the conclusion that it is better to wait a few more days and resolve any outstanding problems.

"Please be assured, there will be just as many tickets available for you to book when priority booking does take place. Please keep an eye out for another email by the end of this week with more information."

Peter Andre joins new Grease 2020 tour with more venues announced

Peter Andre is to  star in the 2020 UK tour of Grease returning to the role of Teen Angel he  performed in 2019, while also taking on two new roles ofVince Fontaine and the Sergeant. He joins a cast led by Dan Partridge, with further members to be revealed. (Andre is currently scheduled to perform at certain performances in Northampton, Eastbourne, Liverpool, Nottingham, Manchester, Canterbury, Norwich, Blackpool, Dartford, Wolverhampton, Aylesbury, Ipswich and Stoke. Customers are advised to check their local websites for specific dates)

The show has also announced that it has added dates at Norwich Theatre Royal from 17 to 22 August, Theatre Royal Plymouth from 24 to 29 August, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from 20 to 24 October and Ipswich Regent Theatre from 17 to 21 November. The new production is directed by Nikolai Foster and choreographed by Arlene Phillips, with designs by Colin Richmond, orchestrations and musical supervision by Sarah Travis, lighting design by Ben Cracknell and sound design by Tom Marshall, initially ran at Curve in Leicester over Christmas 2016. It is the first new production of Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey's iconic musical in 25 years, with Jacobs and Casey's work turned into a hit film starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta.

Andre said "I'm absolutely thrilled to be returning to the UK tour of Grease and to the iconic role of Teen Angel this year. I had the most wonderful time last year working with our genius director Nikolai Foster and the incredible Arlene Phillips, helping create a new, slick, sexy version of this timeless musical with the most talented cast. I'm delighted to be given the opportunity to also perform 2 additional roles this time round: Vince Fontaine and the Sergeant. I truly cannot wait for more of the UK to see this new production and look forward to making more amazing memories on and off stage in 2020!"


.

Monday, January 27

Just announced: FIRST EVER UK TOUR OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER’S LOVE NEVER DIES

David Ian and the Really Useful Group are delighted to announce the first ever UK tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s LOVE NEVER DIES. Following on from the sell-out North American tour, the  sequel to The Phantom of the Opera will open at Leicester Curve on Saturday 26 September 2020 where it will play until Saturday 10 October 2020. The show will then play Manchester Opera House from Wednesday 14 – Saturday 24 October 2020, with further venues and casting to be announced soon.  Tickets go on sale on 29 and 31 January

This production of the show was first seen in Australia, before embarking on the hugely successful tour of North America and received acclaim from both audiences and critics alike. It is directed by Simon Phillips, with set and costume design by Gabriela Tylesova, choreography by Graeme Murphy and sound design by Mick Potter.

LOVE NEVER DIES has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater, book by Ben Elton, based on The Phantom of Manhattan by Frederick Forsyth, additional lyrics by Charles Hart, orchestrations by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.



Friday, January 24

Only Fools and Horses The Musical extends West End run to 27 June 2020.

Only Fools and Horses The Musical is to  extend its West End run for the fourth time to  27th June 2020.
The musical began its run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in February 2019  led by Tom Bennett as Del Boy, Paul Whitehouse as Grandpa and Ryan Hutton as Rodney. Tickets for the new booking period are on sale now.

Whitehouse said: "After a bit of a break from the show I was itching to return to the stage and it's a great feeling to be back in Grandad's armchair. After almost a year we're still playing to packed houses throughout the week at the Theatre Royal Haymarket!"
.

Adam Pascal, Kerry Ellis, Ricardo Afonso and Debbie Kurup among line up for Best of Rock Musicals

There will be two more concerts of The Best of Rock Musicals for the benefit of the Starlight Children’s Foundation on Sunday 14th  June 2020 at London’s Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith.

As previously announced The Best of Rock Musicals will feature New York’s Adam Pascal (Rent); Europe’s Kristina Love (Tina), Sabrina Weckerlin (Wicked), Elvie Ellis (The Little Shop of Horrors), Christian Lund (Phantom of the Opera) and David Michael Johnson (Jesus Christ Superstar); Kerry Ellis (Wicked), Ricardo Afonso (Jesus Christ Superstar), Patrick Smyth (Strictly Come Dancing) and Debbie Kurup (The Prince of Egypt) together with a host of Broadway and West End talent, the West End Chorus and  the City of London Philharmonic AllStars.  The Best of Rock Musicals will include songs from Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair, Evita, Frozen, Chess, Aida, RENT, Tommy, We Will Rock You, The Rocky Horror Show, The Little Shop of Horrors, Wicked and The Lion King.

The Starlight Children’s Foundation brightens the lives of seriously ill children by granting wishes-of-a-lifetime and providing fun, laughter and entertainment to children in hospitals and hospices across the UK.  

With musical directors Stuart Morley (We Will Rock You, Big, and Only Fools and Horses) and Kevin Amos (Jesus Christ Superstar), and choreographer Kevan Allen (Jesus Christ Superstar), The Best of Rock Musicals will again be devised and directed by Hugh Wooldridge who says “This event is a must for all who love rock musicals and musical theatre.  With the very best artistes in the world coming together to celebrate the very best in rock musicals from the last 50 years.  Come along again on our 21st birthday and join in the fun and support this most splendid charity, whilst raising the roof of the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith.”

Further performers will be announced in due course. 

TICKETS ON SALE NOW

Casting announced for revival of The Last Five Years at Southwark

Casting has been announced for the  revival of Jason Robert Brown's cult  musical The Last Five Years which previews at Southwark Playhouse on 28th  February, and runs until 28 March.
The musical was first seen in 2001 and ran off-Broadway in 2002, being  turned into a film in 2014 starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. Directed by Jonathan O'Boyle (Rain Man, The View UpStairs), it follows a five-year relationship between lovers Jamie and Cathy,   told in reverse chronological order for one of the pair.

Molly Lynch (Wasted, The Light in the Piazza) will play  Cathy, with  Oli Higginson (The Haystack) as Jamie. The  revival is an actor/musician production, with Lynch and Higginson accompanying one another's solo numbers. The pair will be accompanied by a four-piece band led by Dyer.

The creative team will include choreographer Sam Spencer-Lane, set and costume designer Lee Newby, lighting designer Jamie Platt and sound designer Adam Fisher. Musical direction and orchestration are by George Dyer.


Mean Girls musical to be made into movie, with West End plans for 2021

Tina Fey has announced plans to turn the Mean Girls musical into a new movie, with details about West End plans for the show announced.

The Broadway show based on Fey's 2004 cult classic film officially opened in New York in 2018. In a statement released today, Fey said: "I'm very excited to bring Mean Girls back to the big screen...It's been incredibly gratifying to see how much the movie and the musical have meant to audiences. I've spent 16 years with these characters now. They are my Marvel Universe, and I love them dearly."
 
She will  write the film script  (having earning a Tony nomination for her musical book), with Lorne Michaels (SNL) producing. Michaels adeed : "It has been a joy to work on Mean Girls and to watch it go from film, to musical, and now to musical film. I am very proud that Tina's story and characters continue to resonate with new generations. We are all excited to continue to work with Sonia Friedman and her team as we prepare for London."

According to producers, there are plane for the the show to be  in the West End in late spring 2021.



Michael Ball & Alfie Boe Back Together tour to be shown in Cinemas in March

The  musical duo, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe,  will bring their final performance of their UK tour Back Together  at  London's O2 Arena to cinemas for one weekend only on 28th & 29th March 2020. 

Presented by CinemaLive, leading producers and distributors of event cinema, Michael Ball & Alfie Boe: Back Together, will be shown in over 1,000 screens in cinemas across the UK and Ireland, including major multiplexes and many independent cinemas and arts centres 

Tickets are on sale now. For more information visit ballandboeincinemas.com.

Paul Merton to play Wilbur Turnblad in Hairspray! at Coliseum as full cast announced

Hairspray! the musical has just announced that actor and quick witted comedian Paul Merton (best known  BBC's Have I Got News For You and Radio 4's Just A Minute) will be joining the cast as joke-store owner and hopeless romantic Wilbur Turnblad (husband to Michael Ball’s insecure  and agrophobic laundress Edna Turnblad).
The impressive  cast that already includes original Hairspray UK star Michael Ball as Edna Turnblad, Lizzie Bea (Kinky Boots West End, Becoming Nancy) as Tracy Turnblad and powerhouse Marisha Wallace ( Aladdin, Dreamgirls London) as the one and only Motormouth Maybelle!

Also appearing in the show will be Rita Simons (EastEnders) as Velma von Tussle and Jonny Amies (Sex Education) as Link Larkin.

The full company includes Georgia Anderson (Amber von Tussle), Kimani Arthur (Little Inez), Dermot Canavan (Wilbur), Lori Haley Fox, Mari McGinlay, Ashley Samuels, Michael Vinsen and Imogen Bailey (Shelly), Pearce Barron, Jordan Benjamin, Nicholas Collier, Joel Cooper, Luke George, Christopher Gopaul, Winny Herbert, Chris Howell, Lily Laight, Hannah Grace Lawson, Madeleine Lawton, Holly Liburd, Will Luckett, Mireia Mambo, Kody Mortimer, Robyn Rose, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda, Kibong Tanji, Amy West and Natalie Woods.


The show's original creative team: director Jack O'Brien, choreographer Jerry Mitchell and producer Adam Spiegel are to reunite for the production which begins performances on April 23rd, 2020 at the London Coliseum for a limited  18 week season.

Thursday, January 23

Rachel Tucker to star in Come from Away on Broadway

Rachel Tucker has just revealed that she will return to Broadway this spring reprising her London role as Beverly Bass in Come From Away from  March 3rd, 2020 replacing Becky Gulsvig, who will play her final performance at the Schoenfeld Theatre on March 1st. Rachel's final performance in  the Phoenix Theatre production is on 8th February with Alice Fearn due to take over the role on the 10th.
Her many theatre credits include: Two (Bridge House Theatre); The Last Ship (Neil Simon Theatre, New York and Bank of America Theatre, Chicago); Communicating Doors (Menier Chocolate Factory); Farragut North (Southwark Playhouse); Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre, London and Gershwin Theatre, New York) and We Will Rock You (Dominion). She will headline a special London gala performance of The Pirate Queen at the Coliseum next month.

Wednesday, January 22

10th Anniversary Concert of Love Story musical starring Emma Williams, Michael Xavier and Peter Polycarpou

Tickets go on sale today for a 10th Anniversary Concert of the musical Love Story at the Cadogan Hall on Sunday 17 May 2020 at  18:30.

It will star the original lead performers from the 2010 Chichester Minerva Studio's production which transferred into  the Duchess Theatre in  London’s West End : Emma Williams and Michael Xavier are again playing the doomed lovers Jenny Cavilleri and Oliver Barrett IV with Peter Polycarpou as Jenny's Father Phil. 
 
Love Story is about Harvard graduate Oliver Barrett IV who comes from a wealthy family who meets and falls in love with Jennifer CavIlleri who is a working-class, quick-witted student. The two decide to marry against the wishes of Oliver's father who severs all ties with his son.

Without his father's financial support the couple struggle to pay Oliver's way through Harvard Law School with Jenny working as a private school teacher. Graduating third in his class Oliver joins New York law firm and the couple decide to have a child. After trying for some time they consult a medical specialist who informs Oliver that Jenny has leukaemia and does not have long to live.

Love Story is a celebration of love and life which contains the inspired line “Love means never having to say you're sorry”

The musical has been adapted from Erich Segal’s best-selling iconic novel and the very successful tear-jerking romantic film of the same name which starred Ryan O'Neal and Ali McGraw back in the 1970s. The score for the musical is by the Emmy and BAFTA award winning composer Howard Goodall with lyrics by Stephen Clarke. This concert performance is presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Ltd.

Buy tickets for Love Story

Sunday, January 19

Sheridan Smith has confirmed she will be reprising her role as Cilla Black on stage.

Sheridan Smith has confirmed via her Instagram page that she will be reprising her role as Cilla Black and bringing the true life story  to the stage. She received rave reviews for her portrayal of the icon in ITV mini-series Cilla in 2014 and wrote: I'll be bringing Cilla to the stage later this year! Can't wait to see u all there I hope!'
Sheridan, who is heavily pregnant with her first child (a boy) which is due in the Spring was recently seen in the company of writer Jeff Pope and producer Bill Kenwright (pictured). They  toured  the show very successfully  in 2018 starring Kara Lily Hayworth as  Cilla, who was cast in the role after fighting off thousands of hopefuls at open auditions all over the UK. 

It's still early days yet, but it's thought that once the baby is born Sheridan could start bringing together plans for Cilla. More news to follow ...