The new cast announced for new West End musical & Juliet features Cassidy Janson; Oliver Tompsett; Arun Blair-Mangat; Melanie La Barrie; Jordan Luke Gage and Tim Mahendran.
Come mid-January, the Strand will look a fair bit different for theatregoers as both Kinky Boots and Dreamgirls have posted advance closing notices, leaving the Adelphi and the Savoy respectively on the same date, Saturday 12 January 2018.
The structure of The Best of James Bond is simple but effective, taking each film in turn, with the occasional digression into the wider cultural context, which makes for an entertaining and satisfying tribute to the continuing influence of the franchise.
I have to admit that I wasn’t much enamoured by the prospect of a Bob Dylan musical but when I stopped to think about it, I don’t know why I was worried because I’ve long been of the opinion that Dylan’s songs are best sung by other people.
With book and lyrics by Sean Grennan and music by Leah Okimoto and a rare talent for attracting a top-notch cast – this two-hander stars Olivier award-winning George Maguire and Rachael Wooding – the scene is set for this alternative festive fare.
DISASTER!, the Broadway musical comedy spoof of star-studded 1970s jeopardy movies like The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake and Airport, premiered in London for two glittering gala concert charity performances to raise funds for The Make a Difference Trust.
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”.
The West End is coming to Bridge House Theatre this Christmas with the UK premiere of the festive American musical Another Night Before Christmas, starring Olivier Award winner George Maguire and Rachael Wooding.
GUYS AND DOLLS has posted closing notices at the West End’s Phoenix Theatre for 21 August 2016, ahead of plans for an international tour. It had been booking in London until 7 January 2017.
In Mark Shenton’s regularly updated list of top ten ticket recommendations, new entries this week include The Spoils, Blue/Orange, The Deep Blue Sea and The Go-Between.