Wednesday, November 20

Just announced cast and booking details for Fame Musical at new Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre

New casting is announced for the extended run of the  30th Anniversary production of Fame the Musical playing for a strictly limited season at the newly opened Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre,  in  North West London from 23rd December – 26th Januay 2020.

Cast members Keith Jack, Hayley Johnston, Molly McGuire, Jamal Crawford, Louisa Beadel, Simon Anthony,  Alexander Zane, Katie Warsop, Duncan Smith, Spencer Lee Osborne, Courtney George, Tom Mussell, Ryan Kayode, Lauren Crooks,  Daisy Edwards, Jay Le Marrec will remain with the company in their current roles.

New cast include Kira Malou (Iris Kelly), Josie Benson (Miss Sherman) Georgia Tapp (Carmen 
Diaz) Joshua Steel (Joe Vegas) Rebecca French and Eddie Myles (Ensemble).

Featuring the Oscar-winning title song and a cast of outstanding dancers, singers, musicians and rappers as they transform from star struck pupils to superstars. Fame is Directed and Choregraphed by Nick Winston with Design by Morgan Large, Lighting design by Prema Mehta and Sound Design by Ben Harrison. Mark Crossland is Musical Supervisor.

Fame the Musical is presented by Selladoor Productions (Footloose, Avenue Q, Little Shop of Horrors and Flashdance -  The Musical) with Gavin Kalin Productions, Dan Looney & Adam Paulden, Stephen McGill Productions and Jason Haigh-Ellery in association with BrightLights Productions and Big Dreamer Productions.

Tickets are on sale now at Troubadour Theatres

Tuesday, November 19

Let’s Hear it for the Girls featuring some of most impressive female voices of the West End.

SMC productions, the producers behind the  successful West End Live Lounge, Unplugged at Crazy Coqs, and Here Come The Girls,  return to the Crazy Coqs on Sunday 12th January (3:00pm and 7:00pm)  with Let’s Hear it for the Girls -  an evening showcasing some of the most impressive female voices of the West End featuring some of musical theatre’s finest leading ladies including Emma Hatton, Christina Bennington, Jodie Jacobs, Sejal Keshwala, Nicole Raquel Dennis and many more in an evening  hosted by Sooz Kempner, with musical direction by Sam Coates celebrating some of the most iconic songs from the world of theatre and popular music.

Full line-up (subject to availability):

Christina Bennington, Erin Caldwell, Nicole Raquel Dennis, Jenny Fitzpatrick, Emma Hatton, Jodie Jacobs, Claudia Kariuki, Sejal Keshwala, Evie Rose Lane, Emma Lindars, Kayleigh McKnight.

Proceeds from this event will go to the Maya Centre- a charity for women, run by women. The Maya centre are a London based charity, providing support for vulnerable women who have been effected by trauma, deprivation and forms of physical and mental abuse.

For tickets visit:

Joel Montague to take over role of Ogie in Waitress Musical

Waitress the Musical  is delighted to welcome Joel Montague (Falsettos, School of Rock and Funny Girl) to the company of the hit West End musical as Ogie with his first performance taking place on 2nd  December. He takes on the role from Joe Sugg who has performed the role  since 9th September.

Joel Montague will join lead cast members Lucie Jones as Jenna, Hannah Tointon as Dawn, Sandra Marvin as Becky, David Hunter as Dr. Pomatter, Tamlyn Henderson as Earl and Andrew Boyer as Old Joe.

Joel Montague’s theatre work includes: Mendel in Falsettos (The Other Palace); Nicely-Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls (Théâtre Marigny, Paris); Gangster 2 in Kiss Me Kate (Sheffield Crucible); Kevin in Fat Friends (UK Tour); U/S Dewey Finn in School Of Rock (Gillian Lynne Theatre); Eddie Ryan in Funny Girl (Menier Chocolate Factory + Savoy, West End) Dance captain & U/S Leo Bloom in The Producers (UK Tour); Swing/ U/S Bobby Strong in Urinetown (St. James Theatre & Apollo Theatre); Eddie & Dr. Scott in Rocky Horror Show (UK Tour); Ensemble & U/S Joey in Sister Act (UK Tour); Dick in Dick Whittington (Milton Keynes); Swing in Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace, West End); Riff in West Side Story (Royal Northern College of Music). TV and Film Credits include: Tagging Man in Girlfriends (ITV); Featured Performer for Move Like Michael Jackson (Trailer) for BBC 3; Jim in Coronation Street (Granada Television);  Dean in Girls in Love (ITV); Philip in Grange Hill (BBC Television); World in Action (ITV); Small Boy in ‘In Suspicious Circumstances’ (ITV); Commercials include Dreams & Best Buy.

Waitress celebrated its official opening night at the Adelphi Theatre on 7 March 2019 and the Tony-nominated musical also announced a further extension this week with the show now booking until 28 March 2020. 

The full Waitress company includes, Piers Bate, Cindy Belliot, Andrew Boyer, Tamlyn Henderson, David Hunter, Lucie Jones, Sandra Marvin, Joel Montague, Olivia Moore, Ben Morris, Nathaniel Morrison, Rosemary Nkrumah, Sarah O’Connor, Leanne Pinder, Matthew Rowland, Laura Selwood, Richard Taylor Woods, Hannah Tointon, Lucia De Wan, Mark Willshire and Madison Worley.

Monday, November 18

Full cast announced for new tour of Once the Musical

The full cast has just been announced for he new tour of Once the Musical which kicks off at  Croydon in December of this year.

The cast will be led by Daniel Healy as Guy and Emma Lucia as Girl, who return to the roles following the production's 2018 run at the New Wolsey Theatre. They will be joined by Dan Bottomley as Billy, Matthew Burns as Eamon, Ellen Chivers as Reza, Rosalind Ford as Ex-Girlfriend, Lloyd Gorman as Svejc, David Heywood as Emcee, Samuel Martin as Bank Manager, Peter Peverley as Da, Susannah Van Den Berg as Baruska and James William-Pattison as Andrej. The cast also includes Emma Fraser, Seán Keany, Hanna Khogali and Conor McFarlane. Listen to Falling Slowly Performed by Daniel Healy and Emma Lucia

All star West End line up announced for Footballers’ Wives - The Musical

Big Broad Productions - the producers of  Footballers’ Wives - The Musical have just announced a cast of leading West End stars this week for a workshop presentation to be held on Friday 22nd  November as the new musical,  based on the iconic TV series and featuring 23 original songs, moves towards a full production. The performers include Simon Bailey (Jason),  Natasha J. Barnes (Donna), Norman Bowman (Frank), Liam Doyle (Kyle), Alice Fearn (Tanya), Emma Hatton (Chardonnay), Emmanuel Kojo (Ian),Wendi Peters (Nurse Dunkley) and Dean John Wilson (Salvo)

A musical comedy noir, with book by Maureen Chadwick, (co-creator of the original TV series) and music & lyrics by Kath Gotts (also co-creators of ‘Bad Girls - The Musical’), Footballers’ Wives - The Musical is based on  the first TV series, and follows the fall and rise of captain’s wife and old school femme fatale and super-bitch Tanya Turner -   as she struggles to keep her marriage afloat to footballer and lothario, Jason Turner, amidst groupies, meddling club chairmen, deception, betrayal and murder.

It’s 2002.  Premier League Football is the new Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Earls Park FC wives are living it to the max. These WAGs have the designer gear, the palatial homes, the flash cars and the handsome superstar husbands - and the press pack on their kitten heels at every turn.

Footballers’ Wives - The Musical contains scenes of an adult nature and absolutely no football, along with disastrous hen and stag nights, a fairy tale wedding, deception, betrayal, Catholic guilt, and murder – plus a surprisingly happy ending.

Simon Bailey as Jason (Raoul in ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, Liam, ‘I Can’t Sing! The X-Factor Musical’, both West End)

Natasha J. Barnes as Donna (Fanny Brice in ‘Funny Girl’, West End & tour, Anna, ‘Spring Awakening’, West End, Charlotte Brontë, ‘Wasted’)

Norman Bowman as Frank (‘42nd Street’, Sky Masterson in ‘Guys and Dolls’, Mack Sennett in ‘Mack and Mabel’)

Liam Doyle as Kyle (Sam Wheat in ‘Ghost’; Tony in ‘West Side Story’; Fiyero in ‘Wicked’; Warner in ‘Legally Blonde’, Kurt in ‘Heathers the Musical’)

Alice Fearn as Tanya (Elphaba in ‘Wicked’, Nancy, ‘Oliver!’, Renee, ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’, Rapunzel, ‘Into The Woods’)

Emma Hatton as Chardonnay (Eva Peron in ‘Evita’, Elphaba in ‘Wicked’)

Emmanuel Kojo as Ian (Joe in ‘ShowBoat’ - UK Theatre Award Nomination - Best Supporting Performance - Jud Fry, ‘Oklahoma!’ - UK Theatre Award Nomination - Best
Supporting Performance - ‘Girl from the North Country’)

Wendi Peters as Nurse Dunkley
(Mrs Baskin in ‘Big the Musical’ and Martha Watson in White Christmas, both West End and national tours of ‘Salad Days’, ‘Quartet’, ‘Wonderland’ and ‘Oh What a Lovely War’)

Dean John Wilson as Salvo (Aladdin in ‘Disney’s Aladdin’, ‘The King and I’, both West End, ‘Cruel Intentions’)

Friday, November 15

Sondheim's Follies to be made into a movie

According to  Playbill, The musical Follies by Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman is being made  into a big-screen film.

Set within a decaying theatre, Follies centres on a reunion of former follies girls who reunite to relive their past,  rehashing old wounds and regrets. Sondheim's score,  made up of pastiche numbers paying homage to the great pop composers of the early 20th century, includes the tunes  "I'm Still Here," "Broadway Baby," and "Losing My Mind."

Dominic Cooke, who directed the excellent version at the National Theatre (the first fully staged major London production of Follies to present the original, one-act Broadway version of the show, won two 2018 Olivier Awards: Best Revival and Best Costumes) has started to adapt the show - .   But producer Rosie Alison, who is  working  with David Heyman (at Heyday Films) and Rose Garnett (head of BBC Films), stressed the movie is not based on the NT production. Saying  We’re going to translate it for the cinema,’ in the  hope Cooke can start filming in 2021.

Sondheim said Over the years, there have been many attempts to bring Follies to the screen, but not until Dominic Cooke’s brilliant production at the National Theatre of Great Britain did it seem like it could be a real movie. I’m more than delighted, I’m thrilled, that it’s finally going to happen.

In Cooke's NT production Four-time Olivier Award winner Imelda Staunton starred as Sally, opposite Olivier and Obie winner Janie Dee as Phyllis, three-time Olivier winner Philip Quast as Ben, Peter Forbes as Buddy, and two-time Olivier winner Tracie Bennett as Carlotta Campion. Joanna Riding and Alexander Hanson took over as Sally and Ben respectively when the production returned to the National for a 2019 remount. No word yet on casting for the movie but there are several plum roles and Ms Alison said they will be looking for ‘special talents’ from the US and UK.

Noah Thomas announced as new lead in Everybody's Talking about Jamie

Noah Thomas, a  student from Mountview Theatre School has landed the title role in West End musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

The highly successful show is currently booking until 29th August 2020  with new cast rehearsals starting  on Monday. Noah has admitted that he’s ‘as excited as I am terrified . . . you need a little bit of fear in you to get through’.

The 20-year-old South Londoner, who started acting lessons when he was five, will play  the part of 16-year-old Jamie  on January 6th at the Apollo Theatre. He will take over  from Layton Williams, who will lead a touring production   which kicks off in Shefffield in February.

Killian Donnelly to lead new cast in new Phantom of the Opera Tour

Killian Donnelly is to  play the masked composer in a new touring production of The Phantom Of The Opera. He ends his very successful run as Jean Valjean in a tour of Les Miserables in Southampton tomorrow night. Prior to this ,he originated the role of Charlie Price in Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre in 2015 and also played the role on Broadway.  His other theatre credits include: Jackie Day in Donegal  a new play by Frank McGuinness, at The Abbey Theatre, Dublin and Huey in the original London cast of Memphis at the Shaftesbury Theatre . He created the role of Deco in The Commitments at the Palace Theatre and has also played Tony'in Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace as well as Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's. He first joined the company of Les Misérables in 2008, going onto play the role of Enjolras from 2009 to 2011. In 2010, he played Courfeyrac in the 25th Anniversary Concert at The O2 Arena and also played Combeferre in the 2012 multi-award-winning film of the show.

Jess Koravos, CEO of the Really Useful Group, said that this touring  production of the show  is an exact replica of the original West End and Broadway production,  right down to the famous chandelier. It  is the last version  that director Hal Prince worked on before he died in July. .

The tour begins at the Leicester Curve on February 22nd. Killian Donnelly is playing the Phantom at Leicester, Manchester, Dublin and Birmingham Hippodrome.  Casting for the role from Edinburgh onwards to be announced in due course. He will be joined by Holly-Anne Hull as Christine Daaé, Rhys Whitfield as Raoul, Saori Oda as Carlotta Giudicelli, Adam Linstead as Monsieur André, Matt Harrop as Monsieur Firmin, Francesca Ellis as Madame Giry, Greg Castiglioni as Ubaldo Piangi and Ellie Young as Meg Giry. In certain performances Christine will be played by Anouk Van Laake.

Holly-Anne Hull is currently appearing in the concert of Les Misérables at the Gielgud Theatre. She has also appeared in the International tour of the show and the West End production at the Queen’s Theatre. Her other credits include the UK tour of Copacabana and Loserville at the Union Theatre.

Rhys Whitfield recently appeared in Summer and Smoke at the Duke of York’s Theatre in the West End and as Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. His other credits include Close to You at the Criterion Theatre and the UK tour of The Commitments.

Saori Oda’s many West End credits include Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre, The King and I at the London Palladium, Wicked at the Apollo Victoria, The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre, Carousel at the Coliseum and The Wizard of Oz at the Southbank Centre.

Adam Linstead most recently appeared in Fiddler on the Roof at the Playhouse Theatre in the West End. His other West End credits include Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera and Cats.

Matt Harrop has appeared in the West End productions of Chess and Les Misérables. His other theatre credits include the European tour of Cats, the national tour of My fair Lady and Me and My Girl at Chichester Festival Theatre.

Francesca Ellis most recently appeared in the West End production of Company at the Gielgud Theatre. She has also appeared as Donna in the International tour of Mamma Mia!, The Duckhouse at the Vaudeville and The Railway Children at Waterloo Station. She has also appeared in the national tours of Les Misérables and Oklahoma!

Greg Castiglioni most recently appeared in The Woman in White and Titanic The Musical, both at the Charing Cross Theatre. His other credits include Fiddler on the Roof at Chichester Festival Theatre and the International tour of Cats. He has also appeared as Magaldi in Evita at the Adelphi Theatre and the 25th Anniversary tour of The Phantom of the Opera.

Ellie Young graduated from the Royal Ballet School this year and made her professional debut in the recent International Tour of Cats.

The cast is completed by Brad Barnley, Cassiopeia Berkeley-Agyepong, Corina Clark, Edward Court, Vinny Coyle, Lily De-La-Haye, Hywel Dowsell, Connor Ewing, Erin Flaherty, James Gant, Lydia Gerrard, Daniel Hall, Eilish Harmon-Beglan, Yukina Hasebe, Hettie Hobbs, Jacob Hughes, Grace Hume, James Hume, Michaela Leisk, Janet Mooney, Ian Mowat, Michael Robert-Lowe, Anna Simmons, Nikki Skinner, Anouk Van Laake, Louis Van Leer, Jasmine Wallis and Andrew York.

Thursday, November 14

Full cast announced for Back to the Future Musical at Manchester

The rest of the performers have today been revealed  joining the already announced Olly Dobson ( Bat Out of Hell and Matilda)  as Marty McFly,  Hugh Coles (The Festival) as George McFly with Cedric Neal (Chess) as Goldie Wilson and Rosanna Hylan (Sister Act) as Lorraine Baines. Tony Award-winner Roger Bart (The Stepford Wives) makes his UK stage debut as Doc Brown.  The full cast of Back to the Future musical will also feature Courtney-Mae Briggs as Jennifer Parker, Aidan Cutler as Biff Tannen,  Will Haswell as  Dave McFly and Emma Lloyd as  Linda McFly, 

Also in the cast are Rhianne Alleyne, Amy Barker, Owen Chaponda, Jamal Crawford, Nathanael Landskroner, Bethany Rose Lythgoe, Cameron McAllister, Alessia McDermott, Laura Mullowney, Oliver Ormson, Mark Oxtoby, Katharine Pearson, Jemma Revell, Jake Small, Justin Thomas and Mitchell Zhangazha.

Back to The Future - The Musical will open at the Manchester Opera House on 20th February running until 17th May 2020 for a strictly limited 12-week season, ahead of a planned transfer to the West End - the details of which are still to be announced. 

Buy tickets for Back to the  Future at Manchester Opera House

Monday, November 11

More venues for new tour of The Phantom of the Opera

Three new tour dates have been announced for the  new  Phantom of the Opera tour which  opens at Leicester Curve on 24th February 2020. The latest dates take the tour into 2021.
The new dates are for Sunderland Empire (4th November -5th December 2020), Wales Millennium Centre (9th December-16th January 2021) and Plymouth Theatre Royal (20th January- 20th February 2021).

Full casting is still to be announced.

Friday, November 8

Ruthie Henshall to join Eric and Ern in the West End

West End Leading lady Ruthie Henshall (Cats, Miss Saigon, Les Misérables, Chicago) will  join Eric and Ern in the West End. The Morecambe and Wise duo Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens will return to the West End as Eric & Ern with special guest Ruthie Henshall to  play two dates at the Duke of York's Theatre on 2nd and 9th  February

Ashpitel and Stephens will perform a collection of classic Morecambe and Wise sketches, as well as new material that has been created with the blessing of the Morecambe and Wise estates. The duo will perform  and will be joined on stage by Henshall as a special guest. The show was nominated for a Olivier Award in 2014 in the Best Entertainment and Family category.

Henshall said of the guest appearance: "I'm really looking forward to working with the boys again and their fantastic portrayal of Morecambe & Wise and what a thrill to be on stage with them at the Duke of York's Theatre in the West End!"

Ashpitel and Stephens added: "We've worked with the amazing West End star Ruthie Henshall a couple of times now and we are both really looking forward to performing with her on the London stage – and getting back the fiver she owes us!"

Buy tickets for Eric and Ern

Jason Donovan and Jac Yarrow returning to Joseph at the Palladium next Summer

News this morning is that Jason Donovan and Jac Yarrow will be returning to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamboat at the Palladium next year for a limited 10-week season  from July 2nd  to September 6th  2020, with a gala night on 16th  July.

Jac, who made his professional stage debut in the iconic role,  returns alongside original Joseph star, Jason Donovan, who will also re-join the cast in the role of Pharaoh.

Donovan said of his return: "This year was an absolute joy. Joseph has such a special connection with its audience and it has a huge emotional connection for me. Quite simply the show is pure musical magic. To be able to lean on the past yet build something new for the role of Pharaoh is an opportunity that cannot be done just once, and for performer or audience member alike, it just doesn't get much better than the Palladium experience.''

Yarrow added: "Playing the iconic role of Joseph at its spiritual home, The Palladium, last summer was what I thought was a once-in-a-life-time opportunity. When I was asked to step back into the Dreamcoat for a second time, I couldn't quite believe it. I can't wait to be back!"