Monday, December 10

Nativity! The Musical announces 2019 tour

After sold out performances this year the producers of NATIVITY! THE MUSICAL are delighted to announce the return of a UK tour for 2019, opening at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre on 29 October 2019 with tour dates so far including Aylesbury, Waterside Theatre , Canterbury, Marlowe Theatre , Wales Millennium Centre,  Theatre Royal, Plymouth  and Southampton, Mayflower Theatre from where it currently ends on 7th  December.

Saturday, December 8

Seth Rudetsky hosting Broadway @ Leicester Square Concerts with Jenna Russell and Judy Kuhn

Music director/host Seth Rudetsky will be joined by four-time Tony Award nominee Judy Kuhn and Olivier Award winner Jenna Russell for two separate intimate Broadway @ Leicester Square Theatre concert appearances at 16:00 and 20:00  on February 3rd.

Russell will join Rudetsky at the 4:00 pm show , with Kuhn set to appear later at 8:00 pm. While they are not announced to appear together, the actors both played  Helen Bechdel in the original New York and London productions of the Tony-winning musical Fun Home.

Kuhn created the role in the musical’s 2013 Off-Broadway world premiere, receiving a Tony nomination for her performance in the 2015  Broadway transfer. Russell originated the role in the UK premiere of Fun Home at the Young Vic earlier this year.

Broadway @ Leicester Square Theatre began in 2013 with Patti LuPone and returned with Audra McDonald in 2016 and John Barrowman and Ramin Karimlooo earlier this year. They offer a mix of intimate behind-the-scenes stories from Broadway's biggest stars - prompted by Rudetsky's probing, funny, revealing questions with a  spontaneous mix of of hilarity and show-stopping songs that is not to be missed.

Friday, December 7

Tracie Bennett to star in Mame directed by Nick WInston

Katy Lipson of Aria Entertainment and Joseph Houston and William Whelton of Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester have just announced Hope Aria Productions' 2019 Season which includes award winning Tracie Bennett (Judy, She Loves Me, High Society, End of the Rainbow, Hairspray, Blood Brothers, Coronation, Scott & Bailey) starring in the title role in Jerry Herman's musical MAME  from 27th September-9th November.

This will be the first time the piece has been in the UK since the original West End production in 1969.  It will be directed and choreographed by Nick Winston (director and choreographer of The Royal Variety Performances whose current productions include  UK tours of Fame the Musical, Rock of Ages, Club Tropicana plus |An American in Paris Landestheater Linz and Cats at Kilworth House Theatre

Buy tickets for Mame

Shane Richie to join Everybody's talking About Jamie in January

Shane Richie is  joining the cast of the hit West End Musical, Everybody's Talking About Jamie from January 29th- 4th May  taking over from Lee Ross the dual role   of dress hire shop owner Hugo Battersby — who by night becomes drag queen Loco Chanel.The timing coincides with the current Jamie,  John McCrea, due to leave the show with his replacement still to be announced.
Richie has played a number of  roles on stage and screen and including musicals Boogie Nights, the 1993 London revival production of Grease plus UK tours of One Flew over The Cuckoo's Nest and Scrooge: The Musical,   He has released two albums, and had a number 2 hit in the UK Singles Chart in 2003, with his Children in Need cover version of Wham!'s "I'm Your Man". He  is now  best known for his role as Alfie Moon in BBC TV's EastEnders. 

Shane is no stranger to the world of drag queens, having fronted Shane Richie's Ladies Night back in the early Eighties., featuring two drag queens in lock-ins above pubs. 

Richie said: "Everybody's Talking About Jamie is a terrific show so I jumped at the chance to play Hugo / Loco Chanelle. It's so different to any role I've played before and too good an opportunity to miss. I started my career in night clubs and cabaret pubs – the kind of world Hugo inhabits – where I met some wonderful characters. So in a sense I feel like I've met Hugo / Loco Chanelle before. I've had lots of ideas about how to portray the character and sing the songs. As for my dress and heels, hang onto your handbags!"

Tuesday, December 4

More Casting announced for Waitress Musical

More casting has just been announced for  Waitress the Musical which starts previews at the Adelphi Theatre in February.  Joining the previously announced Katherine McPhee as Jenna is  Marisha Wallace/Becky (a sassy and tough waitress), Laura Baldwin/ Dawn (anxious yet lovable waitress) , Peter Hannah/Earl (Jenna's abusive Husband) and David Hunter/Dr Jim Pomatter (gynaecologist who Jenna has an affair with) with more casting news to follow.

Marisha Wallace recently made her West End debut playing Effie White in Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre after playing the role at the Tony winning regional theater Dallas Theater Center. Since landing in London she has performed in numerous concerts at The Royal Albert Hall, the Palladium, and she’s a part of Broadway and West End Divas. She recently performed the role of Celie in The Color Purple in Concert at Cadogan Hall and had two sold out nights at Zedel.

Laura Baldwin theatre credits include Janey in Eugenius! (The Other Palace), Story Sandra in Big Fish (The Other Palace), Sam in The Little Beasts (The Other Palace), Wendy in Peter Pan (The Gordon Craig Theatre), Teen Fiona/Red Riding Hood in Shrek (UK Tour), Veronica/Ensemble in Betty Blue Eyes (UK Tour), Alice in Alice in Wonderland (The Lichfield Garrick)

Peter Hannah stage credits include: The Devil in The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (National Theatre of Scotland, Spoletto Festival, & McKittrick, New York - Drama Desk Award winner 2017 for unique Theatrical Experience); Captain Ridley in Cockpit (Royal Lyceum Theatre); Mac in the Greater Game (Southwark Playhouse); Thomas Highgate in The 306 (National Theatre of Scotland); Company in Shakespeare in Love (Noel Coward Theatre); Michael in Four Play (Theatre503); Alex in A Clockwork Orange (Nottingham Playhouse); Sean in One Arm (Southwark Playhouse) & Sam in Mock Tudor (Pleasance Courtyard).

David Hunter's  West End credits include Kinky Boots (Adelphi), Once (Phoenix), One Man, Two Guv'nors (Adelphi), Tommy (Prince Edward) and Seussical (Arts).Film credits include NATIVITY 3 and he has recently filmed an episode of Holby City for BBC1.

Monday, December 3

Whitney - Queen of the Night West End premiere at The Savoy Theatre in March

It has just been announced that  Whitney - Queen of the Night is to get its West End premiere with an exclusive performance at The Savoy Theatre on Sunday March 24th Buy tickets for Whitney-Queen of The Night at the Savoy

Whitney – Queen Of The Night will star Elesha Paul Moses (Whitney – Queen Of The Night tour, What’s Love Got To Do With It?, The Voice, The X Factor) supported by a s live band.

The  concert production has toured extensively across the UK and Europe for the past three years and promoters Cuffe and Taylor are delighted to be giving the show its West End premiere ofering three decades of nostalgic hits, including I Wanna Dance With Somebody, One Moment In Time, I’m Every Woman, I Will Always Love You, My Love Is Your Love, So Emotional Baby, Run to You, Saving All My Love, How Will I Know, Million Dollar Bill,  and The Greatest Love Of All.

Speaking about playing Whitney Houston, Elesha said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be bringing Whitney – Queen Of The Night to the West End. It is a magnificent show, celebrating the life and music of a phenomenal performer.I’ve toured with the production in the past, and now to step into the limelight and perform as Whitney on the West End stage singing these incredible songs is an amazing opportunity, and one I’m really looking forward to.

Friday, November 30

Michael Ball announces Coming Home To You tour for next Spring

Michael Ball has just announced a new 21 date UK tour, in  support of his new  studio album Coming Home To You which is due for release on 22nd March 2019. The  Olivier Award winner will kick off at Nottingham Royal Concert Hall  in April 2019 and tour the UK until the end of May next year

Michael has  received great critical acclaim for his performances in the West End and on Broadway in shows including Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Sweeney Todd and the smash hit musical Hairspray. He has  sold millions of albums and toured all over  the world.

The Classic BRIT Award winner's album Together with Alfie Boe was Christmas Number 1 in 2016 and their second album Together Again in 2017 went straight to number one.  Now Michael is set to embark on his next live solo project with a 2019 UK tour to the following venues:

Tickets go on sale on 7th December at 0:900 for the following dates

Sat April 20 2019 - NOTTINGHAM Royal Concert Hall
Sun April 21 2019 - YORK Barbican
Tue April 23 2019 - GLASGOW Royal Concert Hall
Wed April 24 2019 - HULL Bonus Arena
Thu April 25 2019 - GATESHEAD Sage
Sat April 27 2019 - BRISTOL Hippodrome
Sun April 28 2019 - LIVERPOOL Empire Theatre
Tue April 30 2019 - LONDON Palladium
Fri May 03 2019 - SHEFFIELD Palladium
Sat May 04 2019 - MANCHESTER Bridgewater Hall
Mon May 06 2019 - IPSWICH Regent Theatre
Wed May 08 2019 - BRIGHTON Centre
Fri May 10 2019 - SOUTHAMPTON O2 Guildhall
Sat May 11 2019 - OXFORD New Theatre
Sun May 12 2019 - BIRMINGHAM Symphony Hall
Wed May 15 2019 - BOURNEMOUTH Windsor hall
Fri May 17 2019 - PORTSMOUTH Guildhall
Sat May 18 2019 - PLYMOUTH Pavilions
Sun May 19 2019 - CARDIFF St Davids Hall
Tue May 21 2019 - BLACKPOOL Opera House
Wed May 22 2019 - LEICESTER De Montfort Hall

Tickets for Michael Ball Coming Home To You go on general sale  on Friday 7th December at 09:00 

Avenue Q Tour Cast Announced

Casting has been announced for the 2019 UK Tour of Avenue Q which opens  at the Kings Theatre Portsmouth on 25th January 2019 before embarking on an extensive UK tour.

The cast includes  Megan Armstrong/Mrs T/Bad Idea Bear, Nicholas McLean/Friday Feeling Saori Oda, Cecily Redman/Lucy the Slut, LawrenceSmith/Princeton and Rod , Oliver Stanley/Brian, Tom Steedon/Nicky and Trekkie  with ensemble members and covers Chloe Gentles, Robbie Noonan, Ellis Dackombe and Jasmine Beel.

Bonnie Langford joins Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 Cast

Dolly Parton has  announced full casting for 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL at the Savoy Theatre, London for a strictly limited season from 28th January – 31st  August 2019. Bonnie Langford will play ‘Roz Keith’, joining the previously announced Louise Redknapp as ‘Violet Newstead’, Amber Davies as ‘Judy Bernly’, Natalie McQueen as ‘Doralee Rhodes’ and Brian Conley as ‘Franklin Hart’.

The cast also includes Victoria Anderson, Alexander Bartles, Ashford Campbell/Dwayne, Simon Campbell, Rhiane Drummond, Demmileigh Foster, Llandyll Gove/Dick, Lucinda Lawrence, Jenny Legg, Christopher Jordan Marshall, Natasha Mould, Sean Needham, Jon Reynolds,  James Royden-Lyley, Giles Surridge, Sasha Wareham and Emily Woodford.

Bonnie Langford was recently seen as Carmel Kazemi in  BBC's EastEnders for which she won a 2015 British Soap Award and is currently playing  Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Her other West End credits include the original cast of “Cats”, “Me and My Girl”, “Sweet Charity”, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and “Spamalot”. She played ‘Roxie Hart’ in “Chicago” at both the Adelphi and Cambridge theatres as well as on Broadway. Her touring credits include “Fosse”, “Guys and Dolls” and “9 to 5 The Musical”. She appeared in the 2006 series of ITV1’s “Dancing On Ice”, skating her way to the final and returning for the All Stars season in 2014.

Louise Redknapp most recently starred as ‘Sally Bowles’ in the national tour of “Cabaret”. In 2016 she reached the final of “Strictly Come Dancing”. As a musician Louise has sold millions of records. She was a member of the band Eternal before embarking on a highly successful solo career, with her first live shows in 15 years selling out all over the UK.  Amber Davies graduated in 2016 with a Diploma in Musical Theatre from the Urdang Academy. Her credits whilst training include “Bring It On”, “My Favourite Year” and “Memphis”. Last year, Amber was the winner of the hit ITV reality series “Love Island”. Natalie McQueen is currently appearing in the West End as ‘Lauren’ in “Kinky Boots” at the Adelphi Theatre. Her other credits include “Murder Ballad” at the Arts Theatre, “Wicked” at the Apollo Victoria and “Les Misérables” at the Palace Theatre. Natalie has also appeared in the UK and Ireland tour of “Wonderland”. Brian Conley’s many West End credits include ‘Edna Turnblad’ in “Hairspray” at the Shaftesbury Theatre, ‘Caractacus Potts’ in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” at the London Palladium, the title role in “Jolson” at the Victoria Palace and ‘Bill’ in “Me and My Girl” at the Adelphi Theatre. His touring credits include the title role in “Barnum” and ‘Fagin’ in “Oliver!”. Brian’s TV credits include “An Audience with Brian Conley”, “The Grimleys” and “The Brian Conley Show”, all for ITV.

Hugh Jackman to perform 4 UK solo concerts in 2019

Hugh Jackman will stop off in the UK as part of a world tour and play dates in the UK and Ireland as part of his upcoming The Man. The Music. The Show world tour.

The stage and screen star will embark on his world tour in Spring 2019. He  will perform with  a live orchestra singing hit songs from films including The Greatest Showman and shows like Les Misérables (as well as other Broadway and film classics).

 Jackman  made his UK stage debut as Curly in Trevor Nunn's revival of Oklahoma! in 1998, and was nominated for an Olivier Award for his performance. He is now best known for his roles in The Greatest Showman, X-Men, Logan, the stage adaptation of Les Misérables, Jez Butterworth's The River and A Steady Rain.

He will appear  at Manchester Arena on 24th  May, followed by the Birmingham Resorts World Arena on 27th May, Dublin's 3 Arena on 30th May and London's O2 Arena on 2nd & 3rd June and

Tickets go on sale at 09:00 am on Friday 7 December

Charlie Stemp to appear in Rough Crossing Tour

The career of the very talented Charlie Stemp, (who turns 25 today) goes from strength to strength.  It ha just been announced that he is to appear in his first play as unorthodox cabin steward Dvornichek in Bill Kenwright's  touring production of Tom Stoppard’s 1984 comedy Rough Crossing which begins a ten-date tour at the Theatre Royal, Windsor, from January 30th .

Kenwright told Rachel Kavanaugh, the play’s director, and said he wanted someone with a twinkle in their eye but also the comic physicality of a Norman Wisdom or Lee Evans, for the part. She recommended Stemp, whom she had directed in Mackintosh’s Chichester Festival Theatre and West End production of Half A Sixpence.

Kenwright said: It was an inspired choice. We had to run it by Tom Stoppard, and he’s very pleased with the casting of Charlie.

Stemp has a busy year ahead.  He recently returned from Broadway after receiving rave reviews opposite Bette Middler in Hello Dolly, and is currently rehearsing the part of the Prince in the  Palladium panto Snow White . He also due to play Bert opposite  Zizi Strallen in Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward in the autumn.
He told he Mail's Baz that  he’s thrilled but nervous about the new job because ‘I’ve never done a play before — but it’s something I’ve wanted to do’.‘There’s some dancing to be done,’ he said, cheerfully. And the comedy appealed to him, too.

Rough Crossing tour dates and booking links  here

Mean Girls heading for London in Autumn 2020?

Tina Fey's  hit Broadway  slick and very funny musical Mean Girls is headed to the West End around autumn 2020 according to the  Mail's Baz Bamigboye.

Based on the film starring Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams, trhe musical is about tribal gangs of high school girls, and gossipy goings-on in and out of class. The show’s heroine Cady arrives in the US after being home-schooled by her zoologist parents in Africa but her life changes when when  a trio of snooty Alpha girls known as ‘The Plastics,grudgingly let her join them. Fey has added a lot of her own observations, particularly how schoolgirls (and boys) use ostracism as a weapon.

The show - directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw (The Book Of Mormon, Dreamgirls and Aladdin already in London's West End) - is looking to open around  autumn 2020 with an an executive on the New York production telling Baz: "We are sniffing around for a theatre".