Friday, May 24

Your Lie in April announces full casting for West End run


Your Lie in April which is considered one of the most popular romantic stories and greatest tearjerkers in Japanese manga history,  following a young piano prodigy who is unable to perform following his mother’s death. His life then changes when he strikes a friendship with a talented violinist.The Japanese musical, now translated, was first seen in 2022. 

With  music by Frank Wildhorn, lyrics by Carly Robyn Green and Tracy Miller, English book by Rinne B Groff, music arrangement and orchestration by Jason Howland and original book by Riko Sakaguchi,  It was first seen at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, where tit played three concerts.

Leading the show for the West End run will be Zheng Xi Yong (Spring Awakening) as Kosei Arima, Rachel Clare Chan (Oliver!) as Tsubaki Sawabe and Dean John-Wilson (The King and I) as Ryota Watari, who all starred in the concert version of the show last month at Theatre Royal Drury Lane. They are joined by Mia Kobayashi, making her professional debut, as Kaori Miyazono with  Ernest Stroud (as Takeshi, first cover Watari/second cover Kosei), JoJo Meredith (as Derick, first cover Kosei), Chris Fung (as Mi-ike, ensemble), Eu Jin Hwang (as Kaori’s Dad, Judge #1), Daniel Nardone (as swing), Ericka Posadas (as Emi/ensemble), Lucy Park (as Kosei’s Mom), Gracie Lai (as Kaori’s Mom, Judge #2), Imogen Law Hing Choy (as ensemble) and Ria Tanaka (as swing). Stroud, Meredith, Fung and Hwang are all reprising their respective roles from Drury Lane.

A fully staged iteration of the show will now play this summer at the Harold Pinter Theatre, opening late next month (28 June) and playing through to 21 September.

Further cast and creative team are to be announced. 

Tickets are now on sale

West End Revival of Roles We’ll Never Play line-up revealed

The  concert series Roles We’ll Never Play, will return to the West End for one night only on 1st July at the Lyric Theatre,

The evening, produced by Tom Duern with musical direction by Flynn Sturgeon, will see a cast of performers step into roles and songs outside their traditional casting brackets.

This year’s lineup includes Roshani Abbey, Pearce Barron, Luke Bayer, Lauren Byrne, Divina de Campo, Desmonda Cathabel, Laura Dawkes, Liam Dean, Tom Duern, Jacob Fowler, Sharlene Hector, Evelyn Hoskins, Hannah Lowther, Michael Mather, Karen Mavundukure, Rhianne-Louise McCaulsky, Nick McLean, Eve Norris, Tom Scanlon, Danielle Steers, May Tether, Tobias Turley, Rodney Vubya, and Rebecca Wickes.

Tickets are now on sale 

Wednesday, May 22

Full cast for Next to Normal’s transfer to the West End

The 2008 musical Next to Normal, which has music by Tom Kitt and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, had its  UK premiere at the Donmar Warehouse last summer, in a new production by Michael Longhurst. It follows a mother struggling with bipolar disorder.  It will now play at Wyndham’s Theatre for a 14-week run from 18th June to 21st  September 2024 with tickets on sale now

Set to appear in the West End production is  Caissie Levy (Frozen) as Diana Goodman,  Trevor Dion Nicholas (Hamilton, laddin) as Dr Madden/Dr Fine, Jack Ofrecio (From Here to Eternity) as Henry,  Jamie Parker (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) as Dan, Wolfe (Shadow and Bone) as Gabe and  Eleanor Worthington-Cox (The Secret Life of Bees) as Natalie. All of the company also starred in the Donmar run.

Joining them will be Carolyn Maitland (Woman in White) as standby Diana, having previously performed this role during the Donmar Warehouse season, alongside new cast members Ben Heathcote (The Beautiful Game) as standby Dan / Dr Madden / Dr Fine, Lizzy Parker (Heathers: The Musical) as standby Natalie and Jake Reynolds (Grease) as standby Gabe / Henry.

The production features musical supervision by Nigel Lilley, design by Chloe Lamford, movement, choreography and additional direction by Ann Yee, lighting by Lee Curran, sound design by Tony Gayle, video design by Tal Rosner, orchestrations by Michael Starobin and Kitt, vocal Arrangements by Annmarie Milazzo, associate direction by Alessandra Davidson, associate set and costume design by Helen Hebert, casting by Anna Cooper, musical direction by Nick Barstow and production management by Chris Hay.




Thursday, April 18

Just announced - new production and cast for Oliver! to open at Gielgud Theatre later this year


The new revival of Oliver!, adapted from Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist by Lionel Bart is to  transfer to the West End under the direction and choreography of Matthew Bourne, in collaboration with Cameron Mackintosh. The production opens first at Chichester Festival Theatre (from 8th July – 7th September 2024)before transferring to the Gielgud Theatre in London running  from 14th December until 6th April 2025 with priority booking beginning on Friday 26th April and full sale from 29th  April.. 

The musical  follows orphaned boy Oliver as he escapes the confines of the workhouse and finds refuge in the city’s underworld. Tunes include “Food Glorious Food”, “Consider Yourself”,” You’ve Got to Pick-a-Pocket or Two”, and “As Long As He Needs Me”.

The company for the West End features Simon Lipkin (Elf) as Fagin, Shanay Holmes (Miss Saigon) as Nancy, Aaron Sidwell (The Lord of the Rings) as Bill Sikes, Billy Jenkins (Les Miseralbes, Dodger) as the Artful Dodger, and Philip Franks (Rocky Horror Show, Art) as Mr Brownlow. Further cast is to be announced.

Oliver! is directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne and co-directed by Jean-Pierre van der Spuy, while the creative team includes designer Lez Brotherston, musical supervisor and conductor Graham Hurman, lighting designers Paule Constable and Ben Jacobs, sound designer Adam Fisher, video designer George Reeve, original orchestrator William David Brohn, orchestral adaptator Stephen Metcalfe and casting directors Felicity French CDG and Paul Wooller CDG with children’s casting director Verity Naughton CDG.

Thursday, April 11

Cast announced for Jerry’s Girls at the Menier Chocolate Factory

Casting has been announced for the Menier Chocolate Factory’s production of Jerry’s Girls which is a revue celebrating multi-award-winner Jerry Herman’s works. It is  directed by Hannah Chissick, with choreography by Matt Cole and musical supervision and arrangements by Sarah Travis, which will  include numbers from Mame, Hello Dolly!, Milk and Honey, Mack and Mabel, and La Cage aux Folles.  The set and costume designer is Paul Farnsworth, while the lighting designer is Philip Gladwell.

It runs from 18 May to 29 June in a limited season, with a cast set to feature Cassidy Janson (& Juliet), Lyn Paul (Blood Brothers) and Julie Yammanee (Clueless). 

Cassidy Janson returns to the Chocolate Factory, having previously appeared in Candide and Tick, Tick…Boom!. Her West End theatre credits include & Juliet (Olivier Award winner), Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Man of La Mancha, Wicked, Chess, The Mousetrap, Avenue Q and Once.

Lyn Paul recently completed a UK tour of Calendar Girls The Musical. Her other theatre credits include Blood Brothers both in the West End and throughout the UK, Cabaret, Footloose and Taboo. Lyn came to fame as a member of the chart-topping pop group The New Seekers who were runners-up in the Eurovision Song Contest, and whose song “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” was a number 1 hit in the UK and the US. Lyn has also performed with Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, Dionne Warwick and Shirley Bassey.

Julie Yammanee last appeared at the Chocolate Factory in Spamilton. Her other theatre credits include Bonnie and Clyde, Clueless, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Gatsby, Lazarus, Here Lives Love, Carousel, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Avenue Q. Her film credits include Matilda and A Christmas Story Christmas.

Jerry’s Girls was first created by Herman and collaborator Larry Alford in 1981, opening Off-Broadway to critical acclaim, and going on to have a national tour and a Tony-nominated run on Broadway, directed and choreographed by Wayne Cilento. It was previously presented in London in 2015, running at the St James Theatre (now the Other Palace) studio, and the Jermyn Street Theatre.

Opening Night starring Sheridan Smith to close early on 18th May

Opening Night, starring Sheridan Smith, has announced a new closing date. The production was due to run until 27 July but will now close on the earlier date of  18 May 2024.

Producers Wessex Grove said today: “It is an honour to produce this beautiful new musical in the West End, and everyone at Wessex Grove is proud to have delivered the artistic vision of Ivo Van Hove and Rufus Wainwright and their incredible team, led by the exquisite Sheridan Smith. In a challenging financial landscape, Opening Night was always a risk and, while the production may not have had the life we had hoped for, we feel immensely proud of the risk we took and of this extraordinary production.

“Our world class cast delivers a brilliant show night after night, and there are still five weeks left to see Sheridan Smith in the role of a lifetime. What is sure-fire and safe has its place. But Wessex Grove exists to produce great artists in the West End and to provide the space for original, artist-led productions in the commercial sector, productions exactly like Opening Night. We’re grateful for all of the support everyone has given us as we made this show, and look forward to celebrating the rest of the run.”

Wednesday, April 10

Full cast for Kiss Me Kate at the Barbican

The full cast has just  been revealed for the revival of Cole Porter's musical comedy Kiss Me, Kate, starring Stephanie J Block and Adrian Dunbar which is set for a 15-week run at London’s Barbican Theatre starting on 4th June 2024 and ending on 14th September, with a press night scheduled for 18th June, . Tickets are now on sale.

The cast  is led by Adrian Dunbar (Line of Duty) as Fred Graham/Petruchio wih  Tony Award winner Stephanie J Block (Into the Woods, The Cher Show and 9 to 5) making her West End debut as Lilli Vanessi/Katharine.

Also appearing are Charlie Stemp (Crazy for You) as Bill Calhoun/Lucentio, while Georgina Onuorah (The Wizard of Oz) will play Lois Lane/Bianca, alongside Nigel Lindsay (An Enemy of the People) and Hammed Animashaun (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) who play the famous gangster pairing in the show with  Peter Davison (Dr Who) as the General.

Newly announced  are Josie Benson (as Hattie), Jack Butterworth (as Paul) and Jude Owusu (as Harry Trevor/Baptista), as well as Carl Au (Hortensio/Ensemble), Jordan Crouch (Gremio/Ensemble), Gary Milner  (Ralph/Ensemble) and James Hume (as Pops/Ensemble).

Completing the company are Alisha Capon, Shani Cantor, Maya de Faria, Amelia Kinu Muus, Jacqui Jameson, Lucas Koch, Alex Lodge, Nell Martin, Anna McGarahan, John Stacey and Harrison Wilde. Swings are Robin Kent, Barry Drummond, Emily Goodenough and Maddie Harper.

Buy tickets for Kiss Me Kate

Thursday, April 4

More casting announced for new tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

The upcoming revival of the tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has announced additional casting with Adam Garcia taking on the role of Caractacus Potts in the first leg,  with  Emmerdale star Liam Fox, taking on the role of Grandpa Potts. Truly Scrumptious will be played Ellie Nunn, alongside Martin Callaghan as Baron, Jenny Gayner as Baroness, Adam Stafford as Boris, Michael Joseph as Goran and John Macaulay as The Toymaker. It has just been revealed that EastEnders´ baddie Charlie Brooks (The Ocean at the End of the Lane  Broken News) will play the Childcatcher in Southampton, Woking, Wimbledon, Newcastle, Bromley, Milton Keynes, Bradford, Belfast, Torquay, Llandudno, Crawley and Norwich.

The cast also includes Charlie Bishop, Ruaraidh Blackwood, Hadrian Delacey, Belle Kizzy Green, Tia Gyngell, Kirsty Ingram, Bibi Jay, Isabella Mason, Joe Press, Theo UK Rose, Molly Rees Howe, Callum Train and Luke Woollaston.

Jemima Potts will be played by Gracie Cochrane, Isla Ithier, Isabella Manning and Jasmine Nyenya, while Jeremy Potts will be played by Ayrton English, Charlie McGuire, Roshan Thomson and Louis Wilkins.

Casting for Caractacus Potts after Liverpool, and for the Childcatcher after Oxford, is to be announced soon.

Tuesday, April 2

Leading West End Performers announced for With All Our Hearts NHS Charity Gala in the West End

In celebration  of over 75 years of the NHS a number of leading West End performers will be taking part in  With All Out Hearts charity gala at  London´s Adelphi Theatre  on Tuesday, 9th April at 7:30pm.

Saturday, February 10

More casting news for new Wild About You Musical

Jamie Muscato
will be joining Eric McCormack, Rachel Tucker, Oliver Tompsett and Tori Allen-Martin in the new musical in concert Wild About You, which is making its World Premiere at Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 25th and 26th March.

Wild About You is a new musical with music and lyrics by Chilina Kennedy and book by Eric Holmes.

When Olivia finds herself in the hospital with limited memory, she must dig through her messy past to figure out which of the loves of her life is her emergency contact, only to understand that her desire to make everyone happy has left no one happy. Through a series of realizations, she reclaims her right to be flawed and loved in all her human complexity. However, as she regains clarity, tragedy strikes, but that is when Olivia literally moves Heaven and Earth to reconnect with her greatest love – her son.

Thursday, February 1

Full cast joining Jodie Prenger as Rose in Gypsy in Concert

The Hope Mill Theatre has 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’ campaign,  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”.

Joining Prenger on stage will be Tom Lister (as Herbie), Grace Mouat (as Louise), May Tether (as June), Divina De Campo (as Mazeppa), Harriet Thorpe (as Tessie Tura), Liz Fletcher (as Electra), Idriss Kargbo (as Tulsa), Peter Gunn (as Pop/Mr Goldstone) and Angela Lonsdale (as Miss Cratchitt), Halle Brady (as Baby June), and Amelia Munshi (as Baby Louise).

Completing the company are students from Laine Theatre Arts – Jacob Morrish, Josh Egan, Harvey Pearce, Nat Ingham, Cameron Boulter, Holly Henderson, Ynez Williams, Aisling Sharkey, Georgia Clements, and Eloise Knowles – alongside students from Stagebox Theatre Academy..

 Tickets are now on sale for Gypsy 

Friday, January 26

Todrick Hall joins cast for new Burlesque Musical

Burlesque is a  glamorous, gritty and outrageously fun new musical based on the much-loved hit movie. It  will run at Manchester Opera House from 13th-29th June 2024.
Jess Folley, known for winning The Voice Kids UK and X Factor – The Band, is set to take on the role of Ali in the stage adaptation of hit film Burlesque, originally starring Christina Aguilera. Joining her will be Todrick Hall as Sean and It’s a Sin star Michael Mather as Jackson with George Maguire as Vince, Billie-Kay as Sophia, B Terry as Georgie, Jess Qualter as Daphne, Yasmin Harrison as Brenda/dance captain, Lily Wang as Fifi, Hollie-Ann Lowe as Summer, and Alessia McDermott in the ensemble.
Tickets for the Glasgow (Wed 11 Sep - Sat 28 Sep) and second Manchester season (Thu 03 Oct - Sat 02 Nov) have just gone on sale.w Further casting information is to be announced on 5th February.

Discover a club like no other...a place beneath the city lights where the sequins sparkle, seduction shimmers, and a life can change in the flick of a feather boa.

When Ali heads to the bright lights of New York in search of her long-lost mother, she finds herself drawn into a dazzling underground world where the beat of the music and the heat of the dance moves will change her life forever. Among this unlikely family of misfits, dreamers and schemers, Ali will unwittingly find her real voice, discover her talent, and find where she really, truly belongs.

Written by Steven Antin, with additional material by Kate Wetherhead, and directed and choreographed by Nick Winston, Burlesque The Musical is a scintillating journey of self-discovery that absolutely sizzles with songs by Christina Aguilera, Sia and Diane Warren, alongside additional songs by Jess Folley and Todrick Hall.  

Buy presale tickets for Burlesque