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).
The Old Vic has announced its Back Together season, the seventh from artistic director Matthew Warchus, which will run from July 2021 to July 2022 and combines both streamed and live shows.
The Band Played On, the latest show from Chris Bush, is a tuneful celebration of stoicism, resilience and humour.
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).
Romantics Anonymous is a story predicated on equality, mutual support and finding your own path as individuals (and as a couple) rather than waiting for someone else to come and save you from your life – implications that after years of rom coms and social messaging is subtly but usefully employed through a charmingly conceived but nonetheless carefully structured story.
Wise Children, Bristol Old Vic and Plush Theatricals has announce that Emma Rice’s critically-acclaimed Romantics Anonymous will be performed live to a socially distanced audience for the final performance of their ‘digital tour’ on 27 September 2020 at Bristol Old Vic.
A line-up including a new work from playwright James Graham will feature in Nottingham Playhouse Unlocked, Nottingham Playhouse’s three-week reopening season which runs from 21 October to 7 November 2020.
There’s a rather lazy trope around ‘unlikely subjects’ for a musical which accompany any show that deviates from the apparent norm. Yet given that the Best New Musical Olivier award winners over the past few decades have covered Argentinian politics, Scouse twins, confused animals, missionaries in Africa and post-Impressionist painters, I’m not entirely sure what counts for normal here!
The Donmar Warehouse today announces full casting for The Public Administration and Constitution Affairs Committee Take Oral Evidence on Whitehall’s Relationship with Kids Company, a new documentary musical which premieres in July.
There may be few real surprises to be had at Stepping Out but what Maria Friedman’s production here at the Vaudeville does, is to conjure a marvellously congenial atmosphere which is ideally suited to the play.
It is both Amanda Holden and Tracy-Ann Oberman who for me totally steal the show as busybody Vera and Maxine respectively. Holden is delightfully over the top only to crushingly bring you to realise the truth behind her need to be seen as the perfect wife.
Maria Friedman’s loving redirection of this gentle classic comedy poses no questions of understanding. We merely spend a couple of hours (plus wholly comprehensible interval) in the company of seven women and a lone man, amateurishly learning tap at evening class.
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.
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.
Stepping Out is very much an ensemble piece, no individuals character can be classed as the lead. It is clear that this all-star ensemble – including Amanda Holden and Tamzin Outhwaite – are very comfortable working together.
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.
Show Boat at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre was the best musical that I saw last year and its London transfer is setting a very high bar for 2016. Daniel Evans’ production, mounted on Lez Brotherston’s spectacularly evocative set doesn’t just reprise one of Broadway’s greatest ever musicals, it recreates America’s Southlands and Midwest at the turn of the 20th century, with a spine-tingling intensity.
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.
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