A bite size round-up of the week’s top  West End, London and Theatre news stories 

7/8 – Hair to bare all. An immersive produciton of the iconic rock musical is to hold a ‘clothing optional performance’ during its run at the Vaults in London.

7/8 – Matilda The Musical announces new casting. From 12 September 2017 David Shannon (Phantom of the Opera) and Gina Beck (Show Boat) will join the production as Miss Trunchbull and Miss Honey alongside Tom Edden and Marianne Benedict as Mr and Mrs Wormwood.

7/8 – The Dominion Theatre confirms completion of its multi-mllion pound, three year refurbishment.

7/8 – Former star of light entertainment, Michael Barrymore gets the musical theatre treatment.  Described as a “cross between Jersey Boys and Anna Nicole” the new musical charts the entertainers rise and all-too-public fall from grace into addiction and accusations of murder. The production will have 2 performances on 26-27 September at the Pleasance Theatre.

7/8 – Joe Orton’s Loot will be staged uncensored for the first time ever by the Park Theatre. The play was censored by the Lord Chamberlain more than 50 years ago for references to homosexuality, blasphemy and S&M. The produciton runs at from 17 August until 24 September at the Park Theatre.

8/8 – Broadway legend Barbara Cook dies from respiratory failure aged 89. Cook was widely recognized as premier interpreter of musical theatre songs expecially those by Stephen Sondheim. The Tony award winner was a regular on Broadway in the 50s & 60’s before succesfully moving into cabaret and concert performances.

8/8 – The Old Vic opens up its development programme to include practitioners from all disciplines including DJs, choreographers and sound designers.

8/8 – The RSC announces a massive jumble sale to be held on 23 September in Stratford-upon-Avon. The proceeds will go towards a new multi-million pound costume workshop. The event will have over 10,000 items including coats used in the 2008 production of Hamlet starring David Tennant, costumes from 2015 production of Othello starring Hugh Quarshie and the Greg Hicks led Julius Caesar.

8/8 – It was announced musical theatre and opera director Lee Blakeley had died of a heart attack aged 45 on 5 August.

8/8 – Matthew Barker, Kirsty Oswald, Cate Hamer, Seline Hizli, John McArdle and Arthur Wilson will star in the UK tour of Things I Know To Be True.

9/8 – The stage adaptation of The Exorcist will transfer to London’s Phoenix Theatre for a limited run.

9/8 – The Wind In The Willows at the London Palladium announces it will close 1 week earlier than originally scheduled. The comedy musical will now conclude its run on 2 September.

10/8 – EastEnders’ Aaron Sidwell will play Fiyero in the UK tour of Wicked

11/8 – Andrew Lloyd Webber is to stage a workshop / concert production of Starlight Express at The Other Palace Theatre.

11/8 – An arson attack forces Britain’s first permanent puppet theatre, the Harlequin Puppet Theatre in Rhos-on-Sea,to cancel its summer season.