Not up for seeing panto but still fancy getting out of the house before Omicron burns it all down? Here are some alternatives to pantomimes this month.
Lucie Jones will lead the cast in Wicked from 1 February 2022.
New Wimbledon Theatre has opened its doors with the West End smash hit production Waitress starring Lucie Jones as Jenna and ex Busted star Matt Willis in the role of Dr Pomatter. The book by Jessie Nelson tells the story about Jenna’s escape from an unhappy violent controlling relationship into the happier life that she works extremely hard to achieve. Alongside her are the two fellow waitresses Becky (Sandra Marvin), Dawn (Evelyn Hoskins) and the long-suffering diner manager Cal (Christopher D Hunt).
Created by Wild Mountain Productions and presented by Greg Barnett, a spectacular line-up was brought to the stage of the Apollo to take us through a night of vocal gymnastics, diversity, humour and just a bunch of fun in the first instalment of Monday Night at the Apollo.
The principal cast for the return of Les Misérables – The Staged Concert at London’s Sondheim Theatre on 20 May 2021 will be Jon Robyns as Jean Valjean, Bradley Jaden as Javert, Lucie Jones as Fantine, Gerard Carey as Thénardier, Josefina Gabrielle as Madame Thénardier, Shan Ako as Éponine, Harry Apps as Marius, Jamie Muscato as Enjolras and Charlie Burn as Cosette, with Dean Chisnall playing the role of Jean Valjean at certain performances.
In four previous episodes of my weekly #ShenTens podcast, and their accompanying columns here, I’ve chosen my top ten favourite leading ladies and leading men respectively in both Broadway and West End musicals. Now I turn to rising stars — the next generation of performers who are already making their mark in London. (I’ll get to Broadway when it returns to business itself).
All of the West End Musical Drive-In concerts are a joy to watch, but this particular show, with its strong line-up, great song choices and powerful performances, not to mention the enthusiasm of the performers and audience members, is one of the strongest out of the five.
New musical Treason is concise, dark and passionate – certainly worth developing further.
Performances of Les Misérables – The Staged Concert will resume performances at the the Sondheim Theatre on 20 May 2021, booking to 5 September 2021. Patrons whose bookings were affected by the Government’s previous directives will be contacted from today.
Theatre may have migrated online for now (though here’s hoping that we’ll be back in the stalls and not just our armchairs or desks soon). Even though online theatre has created a much more level playing field in terms of opportunities for people and productions to be seen, with the smallest theatres like the Barn competing with the biggest like the National for audiences, star casting is STILL a thing.
A star cast including Jacqueline Jossa, Matt Jay-Willis, Lucie Jones and Cedric Neal will join Brian Conley in the new, musical staged concert of Alan Menken, Lynn Ahrens and Mike Ockrent’s A Christmas Carol, which is set to play a strictly limited season at London’s Dominion Theatre from 7 December 2020 to 2 January 2021 (press night is 14 December).
Covid-19 may have cut her time in Waitress short but Lucie Jones Live at the Adelphi is a great reminder of the leading lady she is and will surely continue to be.
The Theatre Channel showcases classics from musical theatre in a variety of settings for the digital age, so fans can enjoy their favourite songs and stars from the comfort of home.
New musical #ZoologicalSociety, written by Vikki Stone and Kate Mulgrew, gets a well-timed concept album release.
The producers of Waitress have announced that the West End production at the Adelphi Theatre has closed. The multi-award-winning Broadway transfer had been originally booking until 4 July 2020, with Lucie Jones and David Hunter returning to the lead roles of Jenna and Dr Pomatter on 23 March.
As with last year, there were too many brilliant performances to restrict this to one combined list – so once again I’ve split them up into male and female performances.
Sara Bareilles, who wrote the music and lyrics for the hit musical Waitress, will be making her West End debut next year in the show, reuniting with Olivier and Tony Award-winning actor Gavin Creel following their acclaimed reception in the Broadway production.
Three new cast members have joined the Waitress diner at the Adelphi Theatre to form the second West End cast.
British television star Blake Harrison, best known for playing Neil Sutherland in the BAFTA-winning E4 comedy The Inbetweeners, will join the cast of Waitress as Ogie from 17 June 2019.
From 17 June 2019 Ashley Roberts will be making her West End debut as Dawn in Sara Bareilles’ hit musical Waitress for a strictly limited summer season, while it has also been confirmed that Lucie Jones will take over the role of Jenna from that date.