Monday, December 9

Be More Chill casting announced

Casting has been announced for the UK premiere of Be More Chill which runs at The Other Palace from 12th February to 3rd  May 2020.

Featuring a Tony-nominated score by Joe Iconis, a book by Joe Tracz and inspired by the novel by Ned Vizzini, the show follows a teen who takes a pill to become more popular. It became a huge cult sensation following millions of plays online after an initial production in 2015.

The musical, which ran on Broadway earlier this year, will be staged in a new production by director Stephen Brackett, choreographer Chase Brock, set designer Beowulf Boritt, costume designer Bobby Frederick Tilley, lighting designer Tyler Micoleau, sound designer Ryan Rumery and projection designer Alex Basco Koch wih m usical supervision and orchestrations are by Charlie Rosen.

The leads roles of Jeremy Heere will be played by Scott Folan (Mother of Him) and Michael Mell by Blake Patrick Anderson (Closer to Heaven). They will be joined by two former dtars of Six  e Musical Renee Lamb and Millie O'Connell.

Joining them are Miracle Chance as Christine Canigula, Stewart Clarke as The Squip, Eloise Davies as Brooke Lohst, James Hameed as Rich Goranski, Miles Paloma as Jake Dillinger, Christopher Fry as Mr Heere and Mr Reyes and Eve Norris (swing). Further company members are syill to be announced.

Buy tickets for Be More Chill

Lucie Jones, Ramin Karimloo and Jac Yarrow starring in The Secret Garden concerts

Concert performances of The Secret Garden will run on Saturday 4th  April at 3:00 pm and 7.30pat the London Palladium starring Lucie Jones, Ramin Karimloo and Jac Yarrow (Dickon)

The production is adapted from Frances Hodgson Burnett's Victorian classic novel by Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon. The performances will be directed by Nick Winston with more cast and creative team to be announced in due course.

Lucie Jones is currently starring as Jenna in Waitress (Adelphi Theatre). Her previous theatre credits include A Christmas Carol (Lyceum Theatre), Girlfriends (Bishopsgate Institute), Legally Blonde, The Wedding Singer (UK tour), RENT The Musical (The Other Palace, UK tour), American Psycho (Almeida Theatre), We Will Rock You, Ghost: The Musical (international tours), The Prodigals (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), and Les Miserables (Queen's Theatre).

Ramin Karimloo's previous concert credits for Lambert Jackson Productions include Dr Zhivago (Cadogan Hall). His other theatre credits include Chess in Concert (Umeda Arts Theatre), Jesus Christ Superstar in Concert, Evita (Theatre Orb Tokyo), Chess (The Kennedy Centre), Anastasia (Broadhurst Theatre, Broadway), Murder Ballad (Arts Theatre), Les Miserables (Imperial Theatre, Broadway - for which he was nominated for the 2014 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical; Princess of Wales Theatre, Queens Theatre, Palace Theatre), The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary (Royal Albert Hall), Love Never Dies (Adelphi Theatre - for which he was nominated for the 2011 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical), Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert (O2 Arena), The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty's Theatre), and Miss Saigon (UK tour).

Jac Yarrow's theatre credits include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (The London Palladium - for which he won the 2019 The Stage Debut Award and was nominated for Best Actor in a Musical, and will reprise the role in 2020), and Rogers + Hammerstein's Cinderella In Concert (Cadogan Hall).

Nick Winston's previous credits as director and choreographer include Mame (Hope Mill Theatre), Cats (Kilworth House Theatre), Club Tropicana (UK tour), An American In Paris (National Theatre, Linz), Rock of Ages (UK and international Tour), Fame (UK & European Tour), Guys & Dolls (Kilworth House Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Curve Theatre), The Wedding Singer (UK tour / Korea), Bugsy Malone (Curve Theatre), Flashmob (Sadler Wells and UK tour), and Tomorrow Morning (New End Theatre). His credits for television include director and choreographer of The Royal Variety Performance 2017, and choreographer of Sondheim at 80 and Shakespeare Live! from the RSC.

On sale dates:
Wednesday 11th December: Priority Lloyd Webber Theatre sign ups
Thursday 12th December: Ticketmaster
Friday 13th December: General

Friday, December 6

Breaking news: Samantha Barks to play Elsa in Frozen London which will have a new duet added to score

Breaking news this morning is that Pretty Woman and Les Miserables star Samantha Barks will play Elsa in Disney's FROZEN when it opens in London's Drury Lane Theatre  next October.

It has also been announced that a brand-new duet titled, "I Can't Lose You"  between sisters Anna and Elsa and will make its debut on the national tour at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre before being added to the score of the West End production. According to director Michael Grandage, more 'bespoke' changes are on the way for the show's West End mounting.
The iconic role of Elsa, the snow queen of Arendelle, was originated by Idina Menzel in the film and later reimagined by Caissie Levy in the Broadway production.The UK production team are to meet again in late January to hold final auditions for the co-starring role of Elsa's sister, Anna.

Barks recently completed a run as Vivian in the Broadway adaptation of the classic comedy, Pretty Woman. She garnered rave reviews and acclaim for her performance as Éponine in Universal's film adaptation of Les Misérables, directed by Tom Hooper starring alongside Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, and Anne Hathaway.

The production will reopen the newly refurbished Theatre Royal Drury Lane, with previews commencing in October 2020. With music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, and book by Jennifer Lee, Frozen - directed by Michael Grandage - opens for priority booking late January 2020, with general on sale on 6 March 2020. Groups and schools booking opens on 24 February 2020.

Thursday, December 5

New cast announced for extended run of Soho Cinders

Soho Cinders, a deliciously naughty satirical twist on the Cinderella fairy tale by multi award-winning Stiles and Drewe  and Elliot Davis, will run at Charing Cross Theatre from 24th  October to 11th January 2020. (extended  from 23 December 2019)
When impoverished student Robbie (Michael Mather) becomes romantically involved with engaged London Mayoral candidate James Prince (Lewis Asquith), his lap-dancing step-sisters become the least of his problems! James and Robbie’s worlds collide forcing them to fight for their own fairy-tale ending. Celebrating London’s most colourful district and mixing politics, sex-scandals and true love,
Michael Mather and Livvy Evans are to lead the extension cast of Soho Cinders at Charing Cross Theatre.

Michael Mather (Hades in the world premiere of ‘Mythic’ at Charing Cross Theatre, Jimmy in ‘Flashdance’) will step into Robbie’s “Glass Slippers” alongside Livvy Evans (‘Motown’, ‘Ghost’, ‘Sister Act’) as Velcro when the show extends from 23 December 2019 to 11 January 2020.

Another addition to the cast and taking over the role of William George is Dayle Hodge (‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Jersey Boys’, ‘Les Misérables’). He joins the previously announced Hollie Taylor (‘Matilda’, ‘Betty Blue Eyes’, ‘Oliver!’) who performed her first show as Dana earlier this week.

Continuing in their roles will be Tori Hargreaves as Marilyn Platt, Lewis Asquith as James Prince and Michaela Stern as Clodagh. The role of Lord Bellingham is still to be announced.

New to the ensemble will be Liam McHugh (‘Saturday Night Fever’, ‘We Will Rock You’) who joins Melissa Rose, Luke Byrne, Savannah Reed, Thomas Ball, Laura Fulgenzi and Jade Bailey who will all remain with the show until the end of its extended run.

New London cast for Everybody's Talking About Jamie

A new cast for Everybody's Talking About Jamie has been announced for the West End where it is currently booking at the Apollo Theatre until 29th August 2020.

Joining the previously announced Noah Thomas from 6th  January 2020 will be Hiba Elchikhe, making her West End debut playing the role of Pritti Pasha, David O'Reilly in the role of Laika Virgin, Leon Craig as Sandra Bollock and Jordan Ricketts also makes his West End debut playing Dean.

Other new  cast members joining  them include Zion Battles (Levi), Keenan Knight (Sayid), Ebony Clarke (Swing/Dance Captain), Joe Wolstenholme (Swing) and Brian James Leys (Understudy).

Continuing with the show are current cast members: Melissa Jacques (Margaret New), Preeya Kalidas (Miss Hedge), Sejal Keshwala (Ray), Roy Haylock/Bianca Del Rio (Hugo/Loco Chanelle), James Gillan (Tray Sophisticay), Marlon G. Day (Dad), Alexander Archer (Mickey), Zahra Jones (Becca), Emily Kenwright (Vicki), Jordan Laviniere (Cy),  Harriet Payne (Bex), Tilly La Belle Yengo (Fatimah), Marvyn Charles (Swing), Rachel Seirian (Swing) and Gillian Ford (Understudy).

The hit show is also due to go on en extensive  UK tour opening in Sheffield next February. 

Wednesday, December 4

Broadway's Laura Osnes, Susan Egan and Courtney Reed starring in Broadway Princess Party

Broadway’s original Cinderella, Belle, and Jasmine star in this hit Broadway Princess  Party concert, direct from NYC Two-time Tony-nominee Laura Osnes (Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella), Tony-nominee Susan Egan (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and voice of ‘Meg’ in Hercules), and Grammy-nominee Courtney Reed (Disney’s Aladdin) host the festivities alongside their Fairy Godfairy (musical director extraordinaire), Benjamin Rauhala (Broadway’s Fiddler on the Roof).

On Friday 15th and Saturday 16th May at Leicester Square Theatre Four knockout voices will sing the petticoats off every princess song in the book, sharing hilarious and heartfelt stories of their royal antics backstage, on stage, and beyond! Catch the carriage and embrace the adventure – bring anyone who will be tempted to sing along. (Kids ages 6+ please) 

Tickets for Broasway Princess  Party

Tuesday, December 3

Theatre Royal Drury Lane to be renamed

It has just been announced today that the Theatre Royal Drury Lane's name will be shortened to The Lane and form part of a complex of buildings known as "The Lane" ahead of the West End premiere of Disney's Frozen The Musical which opens for previews in October 2020.

The venue has been closed for nearly 11 months with a multi-million-pound refurbishment  now underway. Originally reported to cost £45 million, the ambitious 20-month-long renovation project has now been estimated to cost about £60 million.In addition to the new name, the renovation works will mean more comfort for theatregoers.

Originally having a capacity of 2,196 seats, the theatre's seating will now be reduced by about 200 in order to provide wider seats with better visibility and more legroom. Once the project is complete, there will be the option of having an in-the-round or proscenium arch configuration. The Lane will also offer new cafes, restaurants, and bars  accessible for both theatregoers and non-theatre attendees.

Magic Mike Live extends booking to June 2020

Due to continuing high ticket demand and overwhelming success in London, the booking period for Magic Mike Live has been extended to 28 June 2020. Also  due to the high demand on weekends, the show schedule will change to accommodate more patrons. 

This comes as the show celebrates its first birthday in the West End. Tickets for the new booking period go on sale at 10.00am on Wednesday 4 December.

Les Misérables concert to be screened in cinemas later this month.

Following its live broadcast last night from the Gielgud Theatre, it has been announced that the all-star Les Misérables concert will be screened in cinemas later this month.

The hit concert, which features Alfie Boe, Michael Ball, Matt Lucas, John-Owen Jones, Carrie Hope Fletcher, Shan Ako, Rob Houchen and more, will return to the silver screen in over 400 cinemas across the UK and Ireland on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 December with tickets now on sale.

Cameron Mackintosh has also announced an album and DVD release in early 2020 and that the concert production will tour the UK and overseas later in 2020 and in 2021.

The full production will return to reopen the newly refurbished and renamed Sondheim Theatre (previously the Queen's) on 18th December.

Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! to return to London and tour in 2020

New Adventures have just announced that Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker!is returning to London for a limited Christmas season at Sadler’s Wells in December 2020.

Nutcracker! follows Clara’s bittersweet journey from a darkly comic Christmas Eve at Dr. Dross’ Orphanage, through a shimmering, ice-skating winter wonderland to the scrumptious candy kingdom of Sweetieland.

The production, featuring the music of Tchaikovsky, was first produced in 1992 and was last seen in 2012, when it celebrated its 20th birthday. Bourne said today: The long-awaited return of New Adventures' Nutcracker! after nine years, is certainly cause for celebration! My very first full-length production dates from 1992 and remains the most singular interpretation of Tchaikovsky's masterpiece, back in 2020 to delight a new generation of theatre and dance fans. Featuring the extraordinary designs of Anthony Ward and a cast of beloved characters that are unique to this version of the classic Hoffmann tale. It's time to say hello again to the yobby Gobstopper Boys, the cheeky Marshmallow Girls, the seductive Knickerbocker Glory and the flamenco stylings of The Liquorice Allsorts in the Kingdom of Sweetieland presided over by King Sherbert and Queen Candy! I'm thrilled to showcase a new generation of New Adventures stars in this now classic show that holds a very special place in our Company's history and in the hearts of our audiences.

Tickets for Sadlers Wells go on sale on 10th February , with a UK tour being announced in January 2020 (with tickets on sale in February 2020).

Samantha Barks, Luke Bayer, T'Shan Williams, Jodie Steele, Louise Dearman and Tyrone Huntley Christmas Concerts at Turbine

The Turbine Theatre has just announced a series of Christmas concerts featuring Samantha Barks, T'Shan Williams and Tyrone Huntley.

The one-off events will run from 8th-22nd December at the  venue managed by artistic director Paul Taylor-Mills. The Turbine Theatre is currently playing High Fidelity until 7th December, before the Dr Seuss' The Cat in the Hat which will run from 11th December -11th January.

On 8th December Luke Bayer (Everyone's Talking About Jamie, Soho Cinders) and Natalie Paris (Six) showcase a selection of film favourites.

On 16th December, Samantha Barks (Les Misérables, Pretty Woman) performs songs from her previous shows while sharing stories about her career to date.

On the morning of 19th December, T'Shan Williams (The Life), Jodie Steele (Rock Of Ages) and Sophie Issacs (Cruel Intentions) will reunite for a workshop focusing numbers from Heathers the Musical, as well as discussing their experiences of being involved in the show.

On 20th  December, Side Show stars Louise Dearman (Wicked) and Laura Pitt-Pulford (Falsettos) will perform shows from the musical in a one-off evening with Taylor-Mills.

On 22nd  December Tyrone  Huntley (Jesus Chris Superstar, Memphis) will conclude the concert series with songs from his career to date.

Other events include a burlesque and cabaret night with Rumour Mill on 12th December, a show with singing teacher Matthew Shaw on 13th December and the stars of the London production of In The Heights – Carnaval del Barrio – in concert on 15th  December.

Paul Taylor-Mills commented, "I'm over the moon that we are marking our first Christmas at the Turbine with a series of special one off events. These events will compliment our main Christmas offering which is the family favourite, The Cat in the Hat. I'm going to be joined by some of the most incredible artists who have informed my career to date and to have them with us at The Turbine for our first Christmas is a real honour."

Christmas Shows and Pantos Listing of West End and musical theatre stars

Christmas Shows and Pantos Listing of  West End and musical theatre stars including Gareth Gates, Lee Mead, David Essex, Duncan James, JoeMcElderry and Brian Conley listing where they are apearing in Christmas Shows and pantos in 2019/2020.