Thursday, February 27

School of Rock announces 2021 tour dates and venues

As previously announced,  Andrew Lloyd Webber's School of Rock will embark on UK and Ireland tour in 2021 following the end of its West End run on 1st March.

The tour dates and venues have been announced for  School of Rock which opens in Birmingham on 23rd February 2021. Tickets are starting to go on sale now with casting news to follow.

Based on the film of the same name starring Jack Black, the piece follows Dewey Finn, a teacher who poses as his best friend to get a job as a school teacher. Lloyd Webber, Julian Fellowes and Glenn Slater's musical opened on Broadway in 2015.

The piece has a book by Fellowes, and is directed by Laurence Connor (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) with choreography by JoAnn M Hunter, set and costume designs by Anna Louizos, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Mick Potter, music supervision by John Rigby with Matt Smith as musical director.

Bat Out of Hell UK tour cast announced

The Bat Out of Hell UK tour cast has just been revealed with Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton returning to the show as Sloane and Falco respectively.  They will be joined by Glenn Adamson (American Idiot) as Strat , with Martha Kirby (Grease) playing Raven with  Jordan Frazier (Nina Simone) as Zahara, Jonathan Bishop (Hamilton) as Jagwire, Killian Thomas Lefevre (Stranger Things Secret Cinema) as Tink, Alex Lodge (The Book of Mormon) as Ledoux and Kellie Gnauck (Evita) as Valkyrie.

Also in the cast are Emily Beth Harrington as Kwaidan, Amy Matthews as Vilmos, Rebecca Lafferty as Scherrzo, Samuel Pope as Hoffmann, Andy Prosser as Markevitch, Jack Heasman as Denym, James Chisholm as Dessasuite, Andrew Carthy as Hollander, Rob Maguire as Astroganger and Billie Hardy as Goddesilla. At certain performances, the role of Strat will be played by Samuel Pope.
The tour opens in Manchester in September and will hen visit The Alexandra Birmingham, New Wimbledon Theatre, New Theatre Oxford, Glasgow King's Theatre and Liverpool Empire ith further tour dates are to be announced.

Wednesday, February 26

Casting news on Little Shop of Horrors movie starring Billy Porter

According the the Hollywood Reporter. Chris Evans is in talks with Warner Brothers to play mad dentist Orin Scrivello in Greg Berlanti's (Riverdale, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)) Little Shop of Horrors horror-musical-movie which first appeared as a film in 1986 starring Rick Moranis and Steve Martin.

With Billy Porter already signed up to play  the evil plant Audrey II, the producers  are also trying to persuade Scarlett Johansson (Evans' co-star from the Avengers films) to play the part of Audrey and Taron Egerton (star of Eddie the Eagle and Rocketman) rumuored for  Seymour.

Little Shop of Horrors follows meek florist Seymour, who works for  Skid Row Florists and falls in love with coworker Audrey. When you discover a unique fly trap type plant named Audrey II, Seymour can get more business for the ailing shop. But since the plant feeds on human blood which  grows more and more, Seymour must discover how to keep the plant happy, singing, and dancing through horror musical comedy.

The project is set to begin shooting this summer, with more casting news to follow.

Monday, February 24

Full tour cast and more dates for announced for Footloose to include Gareth Gates and Darren Day

Full casting plus eleven more venues have just been  announced for the new tour of Footloose opening at the New Wimbledon Theatre on the 24th April.

Darren Day (Summer Holiday) will play Reverend Moore  joining  the previously announced Gareth Gates as Willard for all dates until 26 September except 24 and 25 March, 29 to 6 April, 5 to 9 May, 13 to 17 May, 6 to 12 June and 10 to 15 August.

Also appearing in the show will be Geri Allen/Ethel/Betty/Coach, Holly Ashton/Vi Moore and Principal Clark, Jess Barker/Wendy-Jo, Ben Barrow/Wes/On Stage Swing, Alex Fobbester/Bickle, Josh Hawkins/Ren, Lucy Ireland/Off Stage Swing. Evie Rose Lane/Ariel, Ben Mabberley/Jeter/Cowboy Bob, Daniel Miles/Off Stage Swing, Tom Mussell/Chuck, Samantha Richards/Urleen, Dionne Ward Anderson/Rusty and Anna West Lake/Lulu/On Stage Swing.

Day said: "I'm truly happy and excited to be a part of this brilliant production. I was a teenager in the '80s, which is such an impressionable age for movies and music. This is one of the most iconic films and soundtracks from my teenage years. I can remember hearing "Footloose" on the radio for the first time and thinking… what a tune!"

Friday, February 21

Jenna Russell, Daniel Evans, Hannah Waddingham and Giles Terera in new Donmar Lates cabaret evenings

Daniel Evans and Jenna Russell, who  both won Olivier awards for their performances in Sunday In The Park With George in London and on Broadway, have joined forces  to produce a series of cabaret evenings called Donmar Lates.

Daniel and Jenna will be joined by special guests Hannah Waddingham and Giles Terera  performing their favourite songs from the world of musical theatre and beyond. They will be accompanied by a three-piece band led by Musical Director Theo Jamieson, whose recent credits include Everybody's Talking About Jamie and Funny Girl. 

Game Of Thrones’ Hannah Waddingham will play two nights at the Donmar Warehouse on  March 25th and 26th, at 9.15pm. while Giles Terera will do his sets on March 27th and 28th, at the same time.

Evans is now the artistic chief at Chichester Festival Theatre, while Russell is due to play Irene Molloy in Hello Dolly!  with  Imelda Staunton at the Adelphi in August. The twosome have curated songs with musical director Theo Jamieson for the cabaret evenings  including numbers from  Noel Coward, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Stephen Sondheim.

Tickets go on general sale on 11 March at 9:00 am

Giles Terera to star in new Sammy Davis Musical directed by Clarke Peters

It has just been announced Olivier Award-winner Giles Terera (Hamilton London) will play the title role in the new musical Sammy written by Oscar and Grammy Award winning composer, lyricist and playwright Leslie Bricusse. It will be directed by  Olivier Award-winning actor, singer, writer, and director, Clarke Peters

The new musical  open at theLyric Hammersmith  from 28th July- 19th September  2020   in a year which will mark what would have been Sammy Davis Jr's 95th Birthday.Tickets are now on sale

Clarke Peter's vision for this modern re-imagining of Bricusse's original musical played a short season in San Diego . It will examine the life and  legacy of the 20th Century's greatest entertainer, Sammy David Jr via the  music of Leslie Bricusse (Sammy's collaborator and friend) with elements of projection and dance, 

SAMMY celebrates Sammy Davis Jr. as a phenomenal talent, a cultural pioneer, and a complicated man. He recorded more than 60 songs written by Leslie Bricusse, including his only No.1 hit, "The Candy Man." Mike Dixon will be the musical supervisor for the musical which will feature new work by Bricusse as well as numbers from the Bricusse and Anthony Newley songbook, including; "What Kind of Fool Am I?" "Feeling Good", "Who Can I Turn To?" and "The Candy Man Can".

First casting for Regent's Park new musical version of 101 Dalmatians

It has just been announced that KATE FLEETWOOD will play the outrageous villian Cruella de Vil  in  Regents Park's Open Air Theatre new musical version of 101 Dalmatians which  based on the book by Dodie Smith  famously adapted into a Disney film) as is running from 16th May to 21st  June.

Actress Kate Fleetwood was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance as Lady Macbeth in Chichester Festival Theatre's Macbeth, which transferred to the West End and Broadway. She was nominated for an Olivier Award for her performance as Julie in London Road at the National Theatre. She also appeared in Maria Friedman's staging of High Society at the Old Vic.

With a book by Zinnie Harris  and music and lyrics Douglas Hodge the production will be directed by Timothy Sheader, with puppetry designed and directed by Toby Olié. Also confirmed are Katrina Lindsay (set and costume designer), Liam Steel (choreographer), Sarah Travis (musical supervisor and orchestrator), Howard Hudson (lighting designer) and Tarek Merchant (musical director). 

Thursday, February 20

Just announced: special guests on Michael Ball & Alfie Boe UK 2020 Back Together concert tour

Michael Ball and Alfie Boe have today announced special guests Johnny Mac and the Faithful and  Shaun Escoffery  as the  support acts on their new  2020 Back Together tour which opens in Glasgow on 22nd February

Celtic-folk and Americana band Johnny Mac and the Faithful will be joining them  for the first leg of the tour  at Glasgow, Aberdeen, Leeds and Manchester. Johnny Mac is better known in the music industry as John McLaughlin, the award-winning songwriter and producer who has written hits for artists including Westlife, Busted, Echo & The Bunnymen, Shane MacGowan, Sandi Thom and more recently Rod Stewart.

Shaun Escoffery will be the special guest for Nottingham, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bournemouth, Brighton and The O2 London show. He has been in the West End since he was a teenager in Chaka Khan's Mama, 'I Want to Sing'. He was nominated for an Olivier for The Donmar Warehouse's Parade and was the first black actor to play Enjolras in Les Misérables. Most recently  he been starring  as Mufasa in the Lion King for twelve years. He  will be performingmusic from his most recent album.

Six Musical open casting call for West End and touring productions

Six the musical has just announced an open casting call at the end of February for the London Arts Theatre  and touring productions

Inerested  performers should go to Pineapple Dance Studios in Covent Garden on Friday 28 February 2020 for a 930am sign in.

The casting call from Pearson Casting says the show is looking for performers who must be over 18 with "great contemporary voices" and "comedic instincts", with "gigging experience a plus". The auditions are for "all self-identifying female and non-binary performers, as long as they are comfortable playing female roles."After the initial dance auditions on 28th  February, singing auditions will take place  in March. 

The musical about the six wives of Henry VIII celebrated its first West End birthday recently, and has just opened for previews on Broadway.Six is currently booking at the Arts Theatre to 31 January  2021, with the  current tour scheduled to end in July selling out at venues  across the country.

Monday, February 17

Get Up, Stand Up! new Bob Marley musical to open in London next year

It has been announced that the New Bob Marley musical Get Up, Stand Up! is to open in the West End on  what would have been Marley's 76th birthday -  Saturday 6 February 2021  at the newly refurbished Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue.

Arinzé Kene (Misty, Girl from the North Country) will star in the new musical which is written by Lee Hall (Billy Eliott) and directed by Dominic Cooke (Follies, Hello, Dolly). It follows Marley's life as he became one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Featuring some of Marley's iconic songs including "No Woman, No Cry", "Exodus", "3 Little Birds" and "Get Up Stand Up". Further casting and creative team is to be announced.

Marley's daughter Cedella said: "Our father's music means so much to so many people around the world, we're beyond thrilled to be able to bring it to both fans and new audiences alike in a new way led by the stellar team of Lee and Dominic, and starring the fantastic Arinzé.  As a family we feel that our father would be proud to know that his legacy is a source of creative inspiration and continues to bring people together."

Kene said: "I feel absolutely honoured to be able to take on this role. It is not only an honour to be able to spread Bob Marley's message further, but to get to be him for a little while is a lifelong dream come true. I grew up on his music and his mantra and he has been one of my role models since I was a child. I feel as if he's in my DNA. He's the man, I love him."

Tickets will go on sale on 21 April 2020.

Saturday, February 15

First casting announced for tour of Bring It On

Selladoor Worldwide has just  announced that Amber Davies will star as ‘Campbell’ (the role played on Broadway by Taylor Louderman (Regina George in Mean Girls), alongside Louis Smith as ‘Cameron’ in the new  UK and Ireland tour of BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL which kicks off at Birmingham Hippodrome on 2nd June 2020. Further casting news to follow.

Winner of ITV’s Love Island in 2017, Amber Davies made her professional stage debut in 2019  as ‘Judy Bernly’ in Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 The Musical at the Savoy Theatre and subsequently on the UK tour.  Whilst training at Urdang Academy, her credits included ‘Campbell’ in “Bring It On The Musical” and ‘Downing’ in “My Favourite Year”.

 Four-time gymnastic Olympic medallist Louis Smith  won the first British gymnastic medal in 100 years at the Beijing Olympics. Following his success at the London 2012 Olympic Games Louis later won that year’s BBC Strictly Come Dancing, before going on to win the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special in 2014.  On stage he has appeared in “Rip It Up” in both the West End and on tour. 

Cheer-royalty and newly crowned Squad Captain, Campbell, should be embarking on her most cheertastic senior year at Truman High School. When she’s forced to move to the neighbouring hard-knock Jackson High, Campbell fears her life is over.  But an unlikely friendship catapults Campbell back into contention with a powerhouse squad and the fire to achieve the impossible.

Inspired by the 2000 film of the same name, BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL features an original score by the multi award winning creator of “Hamilton”, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Pulitzer Prize winning Tom Kitt, composer of “Next To Normal”. The book is written by the Tony Award winning writer of “Avenue Q”, Jeff Whitty and the lyrics are by both Lin-Manuel Miranda and writer of the stage adaptation of “High Fidelity”, Amanda Green.

BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL takes audiences on a high-flying, energy-fuelled journey which tackles friendship, jealousy, betrayal and forgiveness – wrapped up in explosive choreography and tricks.

Friday, February 14

Carrie Hope Fletcher to play Cinderella in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new musical

Producers have announced today that Carrie Hope Fletcher will play Cinderella in Andrew Lloyd Webber's  new production at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, with performances beginning on Friday 28th August (Press Night: Wednesday 23rd September), Tickets will go on General Sale on Friday 20th March.
Carrie Hope Fletcher has starred in Heathers (Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Addams Family (UK Tour), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK Tour), Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre), and is currently playing Fantine in Les Miserables at the newly named Sondheim Theatre.

Andrew Lloyd Webber said: "I'm absolutely thrilled that Carrie will be our Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre this Autumn. She has totally wowed my fellow writers and creative team and was a big success at the sing through of the show late last year.I am hugely confident that she will make this new take on Cinderella very much her own, and I'm looking forward to working and recording with her as soon as possible."

All further creative team and cast announcements regarding Cinderella will be made at a later date.