Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a magical and enchanting moral tale of kindness prevailing, wrapped up in an eccentric, sugar coated world of imagination
NEWS: Arion Productions announces actor Annette Badland announced as new patron
Arion Productions has announced actor Annette Badland as a new patron. She joins composer Howard Goodall CBE and playwright Martin Sherman as champions of the London-based theatre company, under the artistic direction of MyTheatreMates contributor Andrew Keates.
Escaped Alone reunion, Hippodrome cabaret & other news, treats & interesting titbits
Next week sees the 9th Gay Art Festival GFEST start, an eclectic showcase of art, films, and performance work by LGBTQI artists from London, UK and beyond. There’s all sorts to choose from – full details here – with this year’s theme being OUT [in the Margins] and some of the things piquing my interest are European films Jonathan and Brothers of the Night, at Rich Mix and Arthouse Crouch End respectively, and trans documentary The Pearl on at Rich Mix on 15th November. You might be interested in their performance night at the RADA Studio on the 19th November too, a 2 hour double bill of LGBTQI music and dance narratives. Visit their website at www.gaywisefestival.org.uk.
One of the more exciting pieces of casting news was the announcement that the original cast of Caryl Churchill’s Escaped Alone – the glorious Deborah Findlay, Linda Bassett, Kika Markham, and June Watson, will be reuniting for the show’s revival early next year. Escaped Alone (my review here) will play a short run in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs 25 January – 11 February 2017, skip over the Atlantic for a wee run at BAM Harvey Theater, New York starting on 15 February and then returns to the UK to go on a national tour 7 March – 26 March to The Lowry, Salford Quays; Cambridge Arts Theatre and Bristol Old Vic.
I suppose a few people might be interested in the return of David Tennant to the stage in Don Juan in Soho… 😉
I’m not 100% in love with the venue, more for the journey through the casino to get to the room, but Leicester Square’s Hippodrome Casino has announced a star-laden set of concerts to follow up on recent successes including Jeremy Jordan, Titus Burgess and Michael Ball. You’ll be able to see Murder Ballad’s Kerry Ellis on 20th December, Memphis’ Matt Cardle on 17th February, Sharon D Clarke – so good in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – on 10th March, and the luscious Oliver Tompsett, recently in Guys and Dolls, on 24th March. More info here.
Congratulations to Andrew Thompson, whose play In Event of Moone Disaster was announced as the winner of the biennial Theatre503 Playwriting Award. Chosen from a shortlist of five and from a longlist that stretched over 52 different countries, Thompson won a nifty £6,000 and will see his play produced as part of his prize.
Hang out the bunting too for the New Diorama Theatre, who won this year’s Empty Space Peter Brook award.
And an interesting snippet from across the pond about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Broadway version of the show, starring Christian Borle as Charlie and scheduled to open Spring 2017, will cleave closer to the Gene Wilder-starring film with Willy Wonka appearing “much earlier in the production, starting the show by welcoming children and guests to his sweetie empire” and “more classic songs from the film that were left out of the London production, as well as new songs by Shaiman and Wittman. Audiences can expect yodeling from Augustus Gloop as he enjoys a mid-breakfast snack of 50 chocolate bars, plus a number called ‘Strike That, Reverse It’ highlighting Wonka’s constant mental frenzy”.
NEWS: Charlie & the Chocolate Factory enters final year at Drury Lane, booking to 7 Jan
The award-winning West End production of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Sam Mendes, continues to capture the imagination of audiences as it enters its fourth and final year at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane. A Broadway production will open in New York in the 2016-2017 season and tickets for a UK-wide tour will go on sale next year.
Pure Imagination: Leslie Bricusse on searching for the perfect song
How well do you know the work of composer-lyricist Leslie Bricusse? How many songs can you name by this living legend… apart from “Pure Imagination” (and the “Oompa Loompa” theme) from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. How about, for starters, Bond classics “Goldfinger” and “You Only Live Twice”, “If I Ruled the World”, “What Kind of Fool Am I?”, “The Candy Man”, “This Is the Moment”, “Can You Read My Mind?” (from Superman), “My Old Man’s a Dustman”, “The Pink Panther” and “Talk to the Animals” (from Doctor Doolittle)? And that really is, only for starters.
Diary of a theatre addict: Re-visiting shows and theatre trolls
I’ve had a ‘slow’ week — or at least a slower one! By tonight, I’ll have seen just seven shows — but also three readings, too, so perhaps that makes ten. I’ve also done two big interviews — with singer Jane McDonald, ahead of her season in Cats in Blackpool, and with actor David Suchet, as he returns to the West End in The Importance of Being Earnest this coming week, both of which will run in The Stage on July 9.
NEWS: 500,000 head to West End Live, Full line-up announced for 20-21 June
West End LIVE in association with MasterCard takes place in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June 2015. Now in its 11th year, this free annual event – the largest event of its type in the world – is organised by Westminster City Council and Official London Theatre and offers fantastic free family entertainment from London’s top theatre productions and attractions.
Where’s SOLT when you need it?
I came out of a matinee today at the Vaudeville to find that bus routes to take me from the Strand back across the river had been suspended: there was a fire in Holborn (see inset), and none were operating. After a few minutes, a bus arrived that was going as far as Waterloo — so I jumped on board that to get me part of the way. On the other side of Waterloo Bridge, it got held up in traffic — just as the northbound lanes of the bridge were being shut off.
Oops. It looked like a controlled kind of chaos was about to hit the West End. And as ever, it seemed that Twitter was providing (some of) the answers. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tweeted, “Due to incident at Holborn, tonight’s 7.30pm performance of @CharlieChoc_UK has been CANCELLED.” On The Lion King’s website, they posted this update at 16:22: “Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have been left with no option than to cancel this evening’s performance.”
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