Wednesday, December 6

First casting news for 2024 tour of Calendar Girls Musical

First casting news for the 2024 leg of the tour of Calendar Girls the musical is that it will include Laurie Brett (EastEnders)/Annie, Helen Pearson (Hollyoaks)/Celia, Samantha Seager (Coronation Street)/Chris, Maureen Nolan (The Nolans, Blood Brothers)/Ruth, Lyn Paul (The New Seekers, Blood Brothers)/Jessie and Honeysuckle Weeks (Foyle’s War)/Cora who are joined by Liz Carney (Marie), Colin R Campbell (John), Andrew Tuton (Rod), Jayne Ashley and Victoria Hay.

It restarts  at Bromley in January

Sunday, December 3

Julian Clary to play Herod at more Jesus Christ Superstar tour dates

photo by Paul Coltas

Julian Clary has confirmed additional performances as Herod  in the Jesus Christ Superstar tour next year.

He is now due to perform during a selection of dates in Bromley in late February, Bristol in mid-March, Southampton in late March and Llandudno and Southend in early July. At each venue  Clary will perform from Thursdays to Saturdays.

Friday, November 24


WICKED  have just announced that they will welcome Michael Fenton Stevens (The Wizard), Graham Kent (Doctor Dillamond), and  former cast member Laura Harrison (Standby for Elphaba) to London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre from Tuesday 12th March 2024.

Mark Curry (The Wizard), Steven Pinder (Doctor Dillamond), Amy Webb (Standby for Elphaba), Yuki Abe, Kofi Aidoo-Appiah, Fergus Dale, Nicola Espallardo, Danny Fogarty, Ross Harmon, Harry Mills, Daniel Parrott, Christine Tucker, and Jaydon Vijn  all depart the company on Sunday 10th March 2024.

Alexia Khadime (Elphaba), Lucy St. Louis (Glinda), Ryan Reid (Fiyero), Sophie-Louise Dann (Madame Morrible), Caitlin Anderson (Nessarose), Joe Thompson-Oubari (Boq), Lisa-Anne Wood (Standby for Glinda), Conor Ashman, Jessica Aubrey, Joshua Clemetson, Effie Rae Dyson, Kate Leiper, Jemima Loddy, Joshua Lovell, Rory Maguire, PaddyJoe Martin, Millie Mayhew, Aiesha Naomi Pease, Jeanie Ryan, Natalie Spriggs, James Titchener, Micaela Todd, and Taela Yeomans-Brown all continue

Michael Fenton Stevens (The Wizard), the famed British actor and comedian, has been a popular and enduring presence on television, radio, and stage since the early 80s. His prolific career has ranged from providing voices for the original Spitting Image series (including voicing the UK Number 1 hit ‘The Chicken Song’) to playing ‘Dr John Radcliffe’ in the RSC production of Helen Edmundson’s Queen Anne in Stratford-upon-Avon and London. His many hundreds of television appearances include ‘Sir Henry’ in Benidorm (ITV); ‘Ronnie Green’ in Hapless (Netflix) with Tim Downie; ‘Mr. Griffith’ in My Family (BBC); ‘Home Secretary’ in Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s My Dad’s The Prime Minister (BBC); ‘Reverend Gordon Fox’ in Julia Davies’ Nighty Night (BBC); ‘Richard Johnson’ in Mike Bassett: Manager (ITV), with Ricky Tomlinson; ‘Hank Millbeck’ in The Legacy of Reginald Perrin (BBC); and the voice of ‘Mr. Beakman’ in Josh Selig’s 3rd & Bird animated series (CBeebies). For radio, Michael starred in the long-running BBC Radio 4 comedy series Radio Active, which was also developed into the popular television series KYTV; played ‘Paul Morgan’ in 60 episodes of The Archers; the title character in Inspector Steine; and appeared in Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. His many stage appearances have included: Yes, Prime Minister (in the West End as ‘Simon Chester’, and on tour as ‘Jim Hacker’); and William Congreve’s Love For Love (RSC). Together with Angus Deayton and Philip Pope, he founded the parody pop group The Hee Bee Gee Bees in the early 80s. He currently hosts the popular podcast series, My Time Capsule.

Graham Kent (Doctor Dillamond) was most recently seen in the UK & Ireland Tour of Conor McPherson’s Girl from the North Country and on television as ‘Albert Quirk’ in Julian Fellowes’ Belgravia (ITV). His London stage appearances have included ‘Mr. Price’ in Kinky Boots (and in the live capture by Broadway HD); Herge's Adventures of Tintin (Barbican), and Miss Saigon (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane).

Laura Harrison (Standby for Elphaba) is currently appearing in Jamie Lloyd’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard. Laura returns to Wicked having previously been part of the 2022/23 ensemble cast, during which time she performed the role of ‘Elphaba’ on many occasions to huge acclaim. Laura trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Friday, November 17

The Addams Family with Ramin Karimloo, Michelle Visage and Lesley Joseph in concert at The London Palladium

The Addams Family  coming to the West End in concert for two nights only at The London Palladium on 12th and 13th February 2024,

It  is set to star Michelle Visage (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie) as Morticia Addams and Ramin Karimloo (Funny Girl) as Gomez Addams while Lesley Joseph (Sister Act) will play the role of Grandma. Further casting is to be announced.

Following the  dysfunctional family  the piece’s book is by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, based on the characters created by Charles Addams.

The show will be directed by Matthew White, with choreography by Alistair David, production design by Diego Pitarch, orchestrations by Richard Beadle, lighting design by Ben Cracknell, sound design by Richard Brooker and casting by Jane Deitch.

Buy tickets for The Addams Family

Thursday, November 16

Adam Garcia to lead cast as Caractacus Potts in new tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Casting news just announced is that Adam Garcia is set to take on the lead role of Caractacus Potts in the new tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang which kicks off in Southampton next April  

 Garcia is best known for his recent portrayal of Julian Marsh in 42nd Street at Leicester Curve and Sadler’s Wells. Other credits include Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever and Bill Calhoun in Kiss Me, Kate, while Garcia has appeared in various films, including Death on the Nile, Murder on the Orient Express, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Coyote Ugly, and Riding in Cars with Boys. He had a recent stint as a finalist on the UK series of The Masked Dancer.

Just announced: Casting for Hadestown in London

Casting has just been confirmed for the West End premiere of multi award-winning  musical Hadestown which will open at the Lyric Theatre, London with performances from Saturday 10th February 2024.

Winner of 8 Tony® Awards including ‘Best Musical’ and a Grammy® Award for ‘Best Musical Theatre Album’, Hadestown returns to London five years after its sold-out run at the National Theatre in 2018.

The West End cast will include Dónal Finn (Orpheus) known for playing Mat Cauthon in Series 2 of Prime’s The Wheel of Time, Grace Hodgett Young (Eurydice) who is currently starring as Betty Schaefer in Sunset Boulevard at the Savoy Theatre, Grammy® Award-winner Zachary James (Hades) who originated the role of Lurch in The Addams Family at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Broadway and the role of Abraham Lincoln in the world premiere of Philip Glass Opera The Perfect American at Teatro Real in Madrid, Musical Theatre actress and singer Melanie La Barrie (Hermes) whose many credits include originating the roles of Mrs. Corry in Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre and Nurse in & Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre, and Gloria Onitiri (Persephone) who originated the role of Fairy Godmother in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, Princess Desiree in Upstart Crow at the Apollo Theatre and who previously performed in Hadestown at the National Theatre.

Bella Brown, Madeline Charlemagne, and Allie Daniel will play the Fates and Lauren Azania, Tiago Dhondt Bamberger, Beth Hinton-Lever, Waylon Jacobs, and Christopher Short will play the Workers, with Lucinda Buckley, Ryesha Higgs, Miriam Nyarko, and Simon Oskarsson as Swings.

Tuesday, November 14

Shrek tour to move into London next summer

After concluding its tour Shrek the Musical is set to transfer to Hammersmith's  Eventim Apollo  for six weeks from 19th July-31st August  2024 with tickets now on sale.

The tour cast of Antony Lawrence as Shrek, Joanne Clifton as Princess Fiona, James Gillan as Lord Farquaad, Brandon Lee Sears as Donkey and Cherece Richards as Dragon will reprise their roles for the London run. The ensemble cast of Shrek the Musical will be announced in due course. 

The creative team includes acclaimed director and choreographer Nick Winston (Bonnie and Clyde, Arts Theatre; Beauty and the Beast, UK tour), co-director Sam Holmes (Club Tropicana the Musical), who returned to the swamp having played Lord Farquaad in the previous UK tour, set and costume designer Philip Witcomb (Bonnie & Clyde, Garrick Theatre; Jack & The Beanstalk, Everyman Theatre Cheltenham). Further creative team includes Ben Cracknel (lighting), Jim Arnold (casting), Ben Harrison (sound) and Nina Dunn (projection design).

Antony Lawrence plays Shrek. His previous credits include Scar in The Lion King, (International Tour) Mary Poppins (National Tour), Matilda the Musical (Cambridge Theatre/RSC) and We Will Rock You (International Arena Tour).

Joanne Clifton, best known for her time as a professional dancer on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, plays Fiona.  She joined the iconic TV show after winning the World Professional Showdance Champion and the European Professional Ballroom Championship. During her time on the show, she won the Christmas Special with McFly’s Harry Judd and went on to win the glitterball trophy as the 2016 champion with her partner Ore Oduba. On stage Joanne Clifton was most recently seen in Windfall (Southwark Playhouse) and The Addams Family (UK Tour). 

Olivier Award-nominee James Gillan (Lord Farquaad) most recently created the role of Tray in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue) – a role he stayed with through the show’s entire West End run. He has also performed in productions of Wicked, Starlight Express and Taboo!

Brandon Lee Sears (Donkey) most recently played the role of Jimmy Early in Dreamgirls (UK tour).  His previous theatre credits include the original West End productions of Be More Chill (Shaftesbury Theatre), Come From Away (Phoenix theatre); Heathers (Theatre Royal Haymarket); Motown the Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre); and On The Town (Regents Park Open Air Theatre).

Full cast for new tour of The Wizard of Oz


The UK and Ireland tour of The Wizard of Oz is now in rehearsals and revealed complete casting for its forthcoming run.

Produced by Michael Harrison and the Really Useful Group, the tour  kicks off at the Liverpool Empire on 13 December 2024, and currently runs until 7 January 2025.

The recently announced cast includes JLS star Aston Merrygold as The Tin Man (Liverpool only), Craig Revel Horwood and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK winner The Vivienne as The Wicked Witch of the West, and Gary Wilmot as The Wizard  (Allan Stewart (Stones in His Pockets) and Alex Bourne (Annie) will play the part at certain dates .

It has just  been revealed that Jason Manford will reprise his role as the Cowardly Lion in Manchester only. Other principal cast members appearing during the tour include Aviva Tulley (The Book of Mormon) as Dorothy, Benjamin Yates (Jersey Boys) as The Scarecrow, Nic Greenshields (Les Misérables) as The Cowardly Lion and Emily Bull (9 to 5) as Glinda the Good Witch. Abigail Matthews (War Horse) will portray Toto.

The company is completed by David Burrows, Adam Craig, Cole Dunn, Tyler Ephraim, Olivia Kate Holding, Thomas Kalek, Sadie Levett, Kelsie-Rae Marshall, Martin McCarthy, Rose Ouellette, Fanja Parent, Alexandra Regan, Nathan Routledge and Sydney Spencer.

Monday, November 13

New tour of Dear Evan Hansen just announced

Ambassador Theatre Group Productions and Nottingham Playhouse have just announced a tour of a new production of the Olivier, Tony and Grammy award-winning Best Musical DEAR EVAN HANSEN Which will be directed by Nottingham Playhouse’s Artistic Director Adam Penford. It will open at the Nottingham Playhouse on 9th September 2024, ahead of an extensive UK tour with casting to be announced.

Jodie Prenger to play Rose in Gypsy in Concert

The Hope Mill Theatre has just announced a one-night concert production of Gypsy, featuring Jodie Prenger as Rose on 25th  February 2024, at the Opera House in Manchester. The concert aims to raise funds for Hope Mill Theatre’s ‘Hope for the Future’ fcampaign,  to secure the future life of the award-winning Manchester venue.

Directed by Joseph Houston and choreographed by William Whelton, co-founders of Hope Mill, the production will explore a new model for Hope Mill productions and aims to bring their work to a larger scale.

Gypsy, a musical fable with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, tells the story of Rose (Prenger) and her daughters navigating the showbiz world. The show includes well-known songs such as “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”, “Together (Wherever We Go)”, “You Gotta Get a Gimmick”, and “Rose’s Turn”.

Prenger said today: “I am beyond thrilled to be a part of the upcoming Gypsy concert! It’s a dream role for anyone in the theatre world, and I am honored to have the opportunity to bring this iconic character to life. I can remember to this day playing the overture as teenager. Tears welling in my eyes and goosebumps on my forearms.But what makes this concert even more special is that it is in support of Hope Mill Theatre. This fabulous theatre has been instrumental in nurturing and shaping future generations of theatergoers. They provide a platform for emerging talent and continuously push the boundaries of creativity. I can’t wait to step on that stage and be part of something so truly special.

Further cast and creative team are to be revealed.

 Tickets are now on sale for Gypsy 

Friday, November 10

Little Shop of Horrors new UK tour announced

A new production of the  musical Little Shop of Horrors is to  tour the UK in 2024.

It is a co-production between the New Wolsey Theatre, Octagon Theatre Bolton, Hull Truck Theatre and Theatre By The Lake. Little Shop of Horrors is by Disney’s Beauty and the Beast writers Howard Ashman (book and lyrics) and Alan Menken (music).

Downtown on Skid Row, weedy flower shop assistant Seymour is down on his luck until he stumbles across a mysterious new plant with killer potential. Fame and fortune follow but will this win the attention of the girl of his dreams, or will the insatiable appetite of his carnivorous plant get out of control?!

Little Shop Of Horrors is based on the film by Roger Corman, which had a screenplay by Charles Griffith. The musical was originally produced on Broadway by the WPA Theatre, David Geffen, Cameron Mackintosh and the Shubert Organization.

The musical will play the New Wolsey in Ipswich from 1 to 23 March 2024 and then tour, with more dates and venues to be announced.

Ruth Jones to join Sister Act in London playing Mother Superior

The producers  of SISTER ACT THE MUSICAL have just  announced that Gavin and Stacey's Ruth Jones will play ‘Mother Superior’ at the Dominion Theatre from Friday 15 March 2024.

She  joins the multi-award-winning music star and Olivier Award winning performer Beverley Knight, reprising her performance as Deloris Van Cartier, until Saturday 8 June 2024. From 10 June 2024, the role of Deloris Van Cartier will be played by Number One best-selling artist and musical theatre star Alexandra Burke, with further casting to be announced.

Ruth Jones said, “I’m proper chuffed to be making my West End debut in Sister Act next March playing the legendary Mother Superior at the Dominion Theatre. It’s a crackin’ role and a crackin’ show. Who knew wearing a habit could feel so fabulous! I can’t wait!”

 Ruth Jones is best known for playing ‘Nessa Jenkins’ in the award-winning BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey, which she also co-created and co-wrote with James Cordon. Her other screen credits include the titular role in Stella, which she also created and co-wrote, Kelly in Fat Friends, Myfanwy in Little Britain, Magz in Saxondale and Linda in Nighty Night. Ruth was last seen on stage as Maggie in Theatre Royal Bath’s touring production of The Nightingales. Her previous theatre credits include Under Milk Wood at the National, A Winter’s Tale for the RSC, Roots for Oxford Stage Company and Educating Rita at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff. In recent years, Ruth has become a Sunday Times best-selling author of three novels, Never Greener, Us Three and Love Untold. She is currently writing her fourth.

 Ahead of making her West End debut, Ruth will join the UK and Ireland tour of SISTER ACT when it plays the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin from 13 - 24 February 2024.