Mark Shenton: First of all, apologies that I was missing-in-action yesterday. I was in London — and at a hotel without desk space in the rooms, so unable to write. (And the dog ate my homework, too). So no, that’s not the entirety of my excuse. But sometimes I need to take a break, too. There may be days when the newsletter fails to materialize!
This weekly column keeps track of the shows that are coming back, or are newly being announced, as theatres start reopening from tonight (17 May) in London and at other theatres in the UK.
The list of nominees has been revealed for this year’s UK Theatre Awards, the only nationwide awards to honour and celebrate outstanding achievements in theatre throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Best New Play nominees are Laura Wade’s The Watsons, Ulster American by David Ireland and Life Of Pi, adapted by Lolita Chakrabarti from Yann Martel’s novel, while Best Musical …
Jeremy Sams and his creative team have delivered theatrical magic in Oklahoma! at Chichester Festival Theatre.
If the overall effect of Oklahoma! at Chichester Festival Theatre is more of a puzzle-play than a lollipop romp, so much the better.
This year Chichester Festival Theatre is taking on Oklahoma! with their usual mix of respect for the piece and urge to find a new viewpoint on it.
Local Hero, the Lyceum’s co-production with the Old Vic, has the authenticity and drive one would expect considering the source material, but fails to add much that is new.
Olivier Award-winner David Thaxton will play Arthur in London Musical Theatre Orchestra’s forthcoming concert version of Camelot at the London Palladium on Saturday 6 October 2018 alongside Savannah Stevenson as Guenevere and internationally renowned opera star Charles Rice as Lancelot.
There’s nowt so queer as folk, at least not in Simon Godwin’s version of Illyria here. A gender-swapped Malvolia longs after her mistress Olivia, hipster-fop Sir Andrew Aguecheek is entirely smitten by a flirtatious Toby Belch, Antonio follows up his snog with Sebastian by inviting him to a rendez-vous at local drag bar The Elephant.
Also giving up precious time before Christmas in aid of a good cause, is this motley crew to the left. Rufus Hound will be hosting a concert featuring them at The Actor’s Church in Covent Garden in aid of Children with Cancer UK on Sunday 18th December from 7.30pm.
Final casting has now been announced for NEW SONGS 4 NEW SHOWS, which runs for one night only at the West End’s Lyric Theatre on Monday 28 November. Olivier Award winner Sally Dexter and Clive Carter, both Wicked West End alumni, and rising star Katie Bernstein join the line-up.
NEW SONGS 4 NEW SHOWS will give the West End a unique experience of seeing star performances of songs from four new musicals in a one-off Gala Concert at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue on Monday 28 November 2016. Stars participating include The Great British Bake-Off’s Mel Giedroyc, Douglas Hodge (performing from a musical he has also written), Haydn Gwynne and Caroline Quentin (playing Joan Littlewood).
UK Theatre has announced the nominations for the UK Theatre Awards 2016, which celebrate the breadth and depth of outstanding talent and achievement in theatre and the performing arts throughout the United Kingdom, on and off stage. Show Boat, which recently finished its West End run, receives the most nominations for a production (four), while fellow Sheffield Theatres’ musical Flowers for …
The limited season of Daniel Evans’ five-star Sheffield Crucible production of Show Boat will now play its final West End performance on 27 August 2016. Show Boat began West End previews at the New London Theatre on 9 April 2016, with opening night on 25 April 2016 after which Evans’ production was the recipient of a second set of five-star reviews. It had initially been booking until 7 January 2017.
From the beginning, what makes this musical so perfect is the way in which it manages to balance between the seriousness and heart-wrenching moments such as when Julie and Steve are forced to leave the show boat due to some ‘questionable’ parentage with some genuinely uplifting and entertaining moments – usually involving Queenie and Joe.
In 1927, Jerome Kern shifted the shape of musical theatre from twee operetta to a tighter fusion of music with drama. He also designed Show Boat as a slap in the face to complacent audiences with its startling opening line ‘Niggers all work on the Mississippi’. In the Daniel Evans’ production which has arrived with bells and whistles and five-star accolades from Sheffield we have a version which is both polished and sanitized.
Transferring down south after its successful run in Sheffield and directed by Daniel Evans – can the show stay afloat or does it sink? Show Boat is booking at the West End’s New London Theatre until 7 January 2016.
ROLLING ALONG, CARRYING ALL BEFORE IT Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly – you gotta laugh and you gotta cry. And believe me, you won’t help loving this stunning, flawless, celebratory production. Swooping down from a five-star run in … Continue reading →
Malcolm Sinclair (Capt. Andy Hawks) and Chris Peluso (Gaylord Ravenal) will join original Sheffield cast members Gina Beck (Magnolia Hawks), Lucy Briers (Parthy Ann Hawks), Rebecca Trehearn (Julia La Verne), Emmanuel Kojo (Joe), Sandra Marvin (Queenie), Alex Young (Ellie May Chipley) and Danny Collins (Frank Schultz) in the West End cast of Daniel Evans’ five star production of Show Boat.
Review extracts from four shows that got 5-star reviews: The Lorax at the Old Vic, Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Donmar, Show Boat at Sheffield’s Crucible & The Dazzle at Found111.
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