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Looking forward: 20 fringe & regional shows to see in 2018 > #theatre2018

In International, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Ian FosterLeave a Comment

There are all sorts of big productions arriving in the months to come (Long Day’s Journey Into Night, the return of Amadeus, PATTI LUPONE!), but I’m using this spot to highlight some of the shows on the London fringe and around the UK (and Amsterdam…) that have piqued my interest and which I hope to get to review.

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NEWS: UK Theatre Awards announce 12 most welcoming theatre winners

In London theatre, Musicals, Native, News, Plays, Press Releases, Regional theatre by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

Being nice really does pay off! UK Theatre has announced the 12 regional and national winners of the UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre 2017 in association with Smooth Radio. This award, which is voted for by the public, is an opportunity for audiences to celebrate their local theatre. In 2016, the overall winner was The Mill at Sonning. This year, over 172 theatres …

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NEWS: Female playwrights lead Best New Play nominations in UK Theatre Awards 2017

In Awards, Inspiring people, London theatre, Musicals, Native, News, Press Releases, Quotes, Regional theatre, Sticky by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

Industry body UK Theatre has announced the nominations for the annual UK Theatre Awards, which celebrate creative excellence and the outstanding work seen on stages throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Notably, for the first time in the Awards history, all nominations for Best New Play are written by female playwrights.

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NEWS: Hampstead hosts Caroline, Or Change transfer & Dry Comedy UK premiere

In London theatre, Native, News, Plays, Press Releases, Regional theatre, Sticky by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

Hampstead Theatre has announced its first two productions for 2018: the UK premiere of Sarah Burgess’ “high finance comedy” Dry Powder and the Chichester Festival transfer of Tony Kushner’s and Jeanine Tesori’s celebrated musical Caroline, or Change, with Sharon D Clarke reprising her title role,

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What would The Life characters say to their peers in Guys & Dolls and 42nd Street?

In Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Quotes, Reviews, Ticket recommendations by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

of the three American musicals set in the locale that we’ve seen in London recently – Guys & Dolls, which is now touring after an extended West End run; 42nd Street, recently opened with royal fanfare at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane; and The Life, in its final week at Southwark Playhouse – only one of them, 42nd Street, revolves around the theatre district.

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THE LIFE – Southwark Playhouse

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

In The Life, drug-dealing Guys and rent-by-the-hour Dolls walk a side of 42nd Street far shadier than the tapdancing one at Drury Lane. The daily grit and the nightly grind are underpinned with a spectacularly revitalized score from Cy Coleman fusing jazz and blues with his musical theatre roots, and some spunky new dialogue from still-got-it-baby veteran Michael Blakemore who directed the Broadway version a mere 38 years ago.

THE LIFE – Southwark Playhouse

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

In The Life, drug-dealing Guys and rent-by-the-hour Dolls walk a side of 42nd Street far shadier than the tapdancing one at Drury Lane. The daily grit and the nightly grind are underpinned with a spectacularly revitalized score from Cy Coleman fusing jazz and blues with his musical theatre roots, and some spunky new dialogue from still-got-it-baby veteran Michael Blakemore who directed the Broadway version a mere 38 years ago.

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NEWS: Daniel Evans announces star-studded inaugural Chichester season

In Festivals, Musicals, Native, News, Plays, Press Releases, Quotes, Regional theatre, Sticky by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

Daniel Evans and Rachel Tackley announce Chichester Festival Theatre’s 2017 summer festival season – the first under their leadership as Artistic Director and Executive Director. Highlights include: Chichester’s Festival 2017 embraces classic and contemporary plays and musicals, with headline actors including Sharon D. Clarke, Omid Djalili, Marcia Gay Harden, Ian McKellen, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Brian J. Smith and Richard Wilson New …

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Escaped Alone reunion, Hippodrome cabaret & other news, treats & interesting titbits

In Broadway, Cabaret, Concerts, London theatre, Musicals, Native, News, Opinion, Plays, Ticket recommendations by Ian FosterLeave a Comment

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”.