With glowing reviews and a hugely successful UK tour behind it, Calendar Girls is proving a runaway smash-hit in the West End. And now westendtheatre.com brings you a very special offer on tickets to see this feel-good show. Save up to £14.50 on tickets, valid Monday to Friday performances until 3rd July.
Based on the successful film, this is the uplifting and inspiring true story about a Women’s Institute group who spark a global phenomenon.
Quirky, poignant and hilarious, Calendar Girls stars Lynda Bellingham, Patricia Hodge, Sian Phillips, Gaynor Faye, Brigit Forsyth, Julia Hills and Elaine C. Smith
- “A marvellous, uplifting night at the theatre” Daily Mail
- “A show whose feel-good factor is sky high” The Guardian
The West End production of Legally Blonde has gone on sale, with the multi-million pound production opening on 5 December 2009 at the Savoy Theatre.
Already a major hit on Broadway, the show is based on the 2001 film starring Reese Witherspoon about a Californian college girl who follows her ex-boyfriend to Harvard Law School in an attempt to win him back.
TV star and Olivier Award winner Sheridan Smith (Little Shop of Horrors, Gavin and Stacey, Two Pints of Lager) will star as Elle Woods, alongside ex-Blue pop star Duncan James (Chicago) and Alex Gaumond (Guys and Dolls).
The show will be directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell and written by Heather Hach with music and lyrics by Nell Benjamin and Laurence O’Keefe, and songs include the infamous Bend and Snap song!
Sheridan Smith is also set to play the lead role of Samantha in a new BBC remake of 1960s classic sitcom Bewitched.
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, today launched a major new initiative to boost visitors to London. The plan will include discounts at shops and restaurants, free live events and traffic-free days in the West End.
Boris Johnson said that there was “no time for complacency” in terms of attracting visitors to the capital. He announced a £400,000 cash injection from four central London boroughs to the London tourism campaign, following plans announced last month for a new £2m Visit London campaign to promote the capital to the rest of the UK and abroad last month.
The initiative sees the launch of “West End – It’s Time” in Covent Garden – billed as a unique initiative to drive visitors into the centre of London, and the first in a series of unique events under the “Only in London” umbrella.
Theatres in London have already gone on the offensive to capitalise on the influx of tourists visiting the UK with discounts and special offers on a wide range of shows in London.
Tourism is one of the largest industries in London worth approximately £16.6bn with estimates of over 25 million tourists visiting the capital each year. Shopping, restaurants and theatre remains a major draw to UK and overseas tourists to London.
For the latest list of shows running on a Sunday – plus special offers and discounts – visit our Sunday Shows page here.
An increasing number of London shows are now running on a Sunday, allowing theatregoers from London, the UK and overseas to maximise their weekends.
On Broadway most shows run on a Sunday and skip the Monday performance and this trend seems to be catching on in the West End. Even the National Theatre recently announced that they would start Sunday performances from September.
See a full list of shows playing on a Sunday here.
Sunday Shows: Sundays at 2.30pm
The Lion King is Disney’s spectacular and multi award-winning musical based on the animated film, now playing at the Lyceum Theatre in London.
Lyceum Theatre. SPECIAL MEAL & SHOW TICKETS AVAILABLE
Sunday Shows: Sundays at 5pm
Jersey Boys follows the rags-to-riches tale of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and features such hits as Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You and Oh, What a Night.
Prince Edward Theatre. SPECIAL MEAL & SHOW TICKETS AVAILABLE
Sunday Shows: Sundays at 3pm and 7pm
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles, the world’s most successful rock ‘n’ roll band, in this electrifying live show featuring over twenty of The Beatles’ greatest hits! Relive The Beatles’ meteoric rise from Liverpool’s Cavern Club, through their Hamburg years to Beatlemania and beyond.
Prince of Wales Theatre. SPECIAL OFFER ON TICKETS
Sunday Shows: Sundays at 3pm
Winner of 7 awards at the 2012 Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical, the RSC’s bold, enchanting and ingenious new production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda is directed by Matthew Warchus and written by Dennis Kelly and award-winning musician and comedian Tim Minchin.
Cambridge Theatre. BOOK TICKETS
Sunday Shows: Sundays at 3pm and 6pm
The internationally renowned, explosive and energetic combination of theatre, dance, comedy and percussion.
Ambassadors Theatre. SPECIAL OFFERS AVAILABLE – BOOK TICKETS
Sunday Shows: Sundays at 3.30pm and 7.30pm
Thriller Live is an amazing musical celebration of the daninge and music of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 featuring a spectacular two-hour show
Lyric Theatre. SPECIAL OFFERS AVAILABLE – BOOK TICKETS
Article update: For the latest list of shows running on a Sunday – plus special offers and discounts – visit our Sunday Shows page here.
Exciting news for fans of the musical Chess. Following the cult musical’s brief concert revival at the Royal Albert Hall in London in December 2008, the show will be released on DVD and CD by Warner Music (16 June in USA and Canada, 15 June rest of world).
The concert version of the hit 80s show will also be broadcast by public TV station PBS in the USA from 17 June.
Written by Tim Rice and ABBA’s Benny Anderson and Björn Ulvaeus, the recording will air as part of PBS’ Great Performances strand. Chess originally played at the Prince of Edward Theatre in London in the late 1980s and also enjoyed a brief run on Broadway.
Chess in Concert was a star-studded two nighter at London’s prestigious venue, starring an acclaimed list of music talent including Idina Menzel as Florence, Adam Pascal as Frederick Trumper, Josh Groban as Anatoly Sergievsky, Kerry Ellis as Svetlana, David Bedella as Molokov, Marti Pellow as The Arbiter and Clarke Peters as Walter.
Brian Conley is to join the cast of Hairspray, replacing Michael Ball as Edna Turnblad, from Monday 27 July. Also joining the cast will be newcomer Chloe Hart playing Tracy Turnblad and Liam Tamne (Wicked) as Link Larkin.
Recently Nigel Planer (The Young Ones) and Verity Rushworth (Emmerdale) joined the Hairspray team. The musical continues to break all box office records at the Shaftesbury Theatre and is booking until April 2010.
Brian Conley is one of the UK’s biggest entertainment stars with credits spanning musicals, television, film, comedy and variety. His career highlights include multiple series of “The Brian Conley Show” for ITV, regular appearances at “The Royal Variety Show”, television comedies “The Grimleys” and “Time After Time” and lead roles in hit musicals “Me & My Girl”, “Jolson” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, as well as many sold-out comedy and music tours and pantomimes.
In a recent press announcement by the production, Brian said: “I’ve done a lot in my career, but wearing a dress and heels every night and being married to Nigel Planer weren’t things I was expecting to be doing all at the same time, and in front of thousands of people! I’m absolutely delighted to be back in the West End and joining one of the most uplifting, happy and, not to mention, successful shows in town. Being part of something that brings a smile to people’s faces, especially in these troubled times, is a real treat and I can’t wait to get on stage at the Shaftesbury.”
Save £15 on tickets to see Jason Donovan in the smash-hit new musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Monday-Thursday Evenings and Thursday Matinees until the 27th May
Priscilla Queen of the Desert has just celebrated its first fabulous year at the Palace Theatre in London, flushed with critical acclaim and audience adoration. Based on the Oscar winning film, Priscilla is a spectacular new musical about three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus named Priscilla and take their show to the middle of the Australian outback.
Britain’s very own adopted Aussie Jason Donovan stars as Tick and handsome young leading man Oliver Thornton plays Adam in this crowd-pleasing spectacular.
This multi-million pound production includes 500 outrageous costumes from the movie’s Oscar-winning designers Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner and 28 of the most glamorous and talented performers in the West End, with songs including I Will Survive, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Shake Your Groove Thing, Don’t Leave Me This Way and Finally. Priscilla Queen of the Desert is a must-see, fabulous evening in London theatre and a West End theatre smash-hit.
Save £15 on tickets to see Jason Donovan in the smash-hit new musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Monday-Thursday Evenings and Thursday Matinees until the 27th May
Two major new musicals have opened in London in the past few weeks, both transferring in to the West End from fringe venues. To celebrate Westendtheatre.com presents great value special offers on Spring Awakening and A Little Night Music.
Spring Awakening comes to the Novello Theatre following its five star success at the Lyric Hammersmith. Michael Mayer’s European premiere of the award-winning Broadway show is based on Frank Wedekind’s groundbreaking 1890s play – a daring exploration of teenage sexual awakening set against a backdrop of religious and parental repression. Acclaimed writer Steven Sater and songwriter Duncan Sheik’s award-winning new musical version retains the period setting of the original and introduces a superb collection of contemporary songs that serve to express the private anguish and ecstasy of the young characters. Stunning 21st century design and superb performances by the predominantly young cast combine to create an exhilarating energy that drives a remarkably compelling and timeless story.
Westendtheatre.com offers £20 off best seats to Spring Awakening, valid Monday to Thursday performances until 30th June. Book discount tickets to Spring Awakening.
A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC
Another show that has enjoyed success outside of the West End and has now transferred in is the critically acclaimed, sell-out Menier Chocolate Factory production of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s musical A Little Night Music. Directed by Trevor Nunn, it opened at the Garrick Theatre yesterday for a strictly limited season.
Based on Ingmar Bergman’s film Smiles of a Summer Night, the show is set in 19th Century Sweden where affairs of the heart are uppermost in everyone’s thoughts. Hailed as a witty and stylish celebration of romance the story centres on the elegant actress Desiree Armfeldt and the spider’s web of sensuality, intrigue and passion that surrounds her and features the classic “Send in the Clowns”.
The cast is led by Jessie Buckley, Kaisa Hammarlund, Alexander Hanson, Maureen Lipman, Kelly Price, Alistair Robins, Gabriel Vick and Hannah Waddingham.
Westendtheatre.com offers £22.50 off best tickets to A Little Night Music, valid Monday to Thursday performances. Book discount tickets to A Little Night Music.
London theatre is pulling out all of the stops this summer to ensure that the capital’s theatre scene remains a chief attraction for millions of UK and overseas visitors.
A host of big hitting stars and large scale musicals are lined up to showcase a range of new productions, including performances by Jude Law, Helen Mirren, Ethan Hawke, Gillian Anderson and Ian McKellen.
The death of drama in the West End has been greatly exaggerated given the wide ranging slate of classic and contemporary plays premiering this summer. One of the most high profile will be Jude Law, taking to the stage in Shakespeare’s most famous play, Hamlet, directed by Michael Grandage as part of his Donmar in the West End season. A strong supporting cast includes Penelope Wilton as Gertrude and Kevin McNally as Claudius, from 29 May at the Wyndham’s Theatre.
From Danes to Dames and Helen Mirren returns to London and the National Theatre from 4 June in Racine’s tragic play Phedre. The play concerns a woman (Mirren) consumed by passion for her stepson, which is highly plausible given that the stepson is played by hot young thing and Mamma Mia! The Movie star Dominic Cooper.
Helen Mirren starred in successful British movie Calendar Girls – which is now coming to the stage in a brand new production starring Patricia Hodge and Sian Phillips. Written by Tim Firth, the story of a group of middle-aged Women’s Institute members who pose for a calendar with a difference is playing at the Noel Coward Theatre.
Stage legends Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are reuniting after their onscreen antics in the X-Men movies to give us Waiting for Godot at the Haymarket Theatre from 20 April, in what promises to be a standout production of Samuel Beckett’s classic.
Talents from New York and London will converge at The Old Vic from 23 May for The Bridge Project – a three year partnership between The Old Vic, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Neal Street Productions. Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes will direct a new version of The Cherry Orchard plus Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, in a cast that features Ethan Hawke, Simon Russell Beale, Sinead Cusack and recent star of Woody Allen’s Vicky Christina Barcelona, Rebecca Hall.
The Cherry Orchard is a new translation by Tom Stoppard, who will also see his 1993 play Arcadia revived in a new production at the Duke of York’s Theatre starring his son Ed Stoppard and Samantha Bond and Dan Stevens. In its first run at the National Theatre the play won a slew of awards including Critics’ Circle, Evening Standard and Olivier Awards.
Other notable players making their way into town include Prunella Scales (Fawlty Towers) in Carrie’s War at the Apollo Theatre, and Gillian Anderson, who will star in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House at the Donmar Warehouse, joining a stellar cast that includes Christopher Eccleston, Toby Stephens, Tara Fitzgerald and Anton Lesser.
Musical theatre is firmly “based on a film” this year as a blockbuster stage production of Sister Act joins a West End brimming with adaptations of movies, including recent addition Priscilla Queen of the Desert starring Jason Donovan and long-runners Hairspray with Michael Ball, Dirty Dancing, The Lion King, Billy Elliot, Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Sunset Boulevard – and Grease, which will star Dancing on Ice winner Ray Quinn as Danny from 11 May.
Sister Act, which runs from 7 May at the London Palladium, is produced by the film’s original star Whoopi Goldberg and features Sheila Hancock and rising star Patina Miller, with music courtesy of Alan Menken (Disney’s Beauty & The Beast).
Other movie-to-stage shows on the horizon include the Broadway production of Legally Blond opening at the Savoy Theatre at the end of the year and a stage adaptation of Oscar winning film Ghost, directed by Matthew Warchus, set for 2010.
Chief amongst the new musicals opening in London in the later part of 2009 will be Andrew Lloyd Webber’s world premiere of The Phantom of the Opera sequel Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre in early November. The show is set to star current London Phantom Ramin Karimloo and will follow its London opening with productions in Toronto, Shanghai and then Broadway.
A number of shows that have run successfully in other venues are also making their way into the West End including Juliet Stevenson (Truly Madly Deeply) and Henry Goodman in Duet For One at the Vaudeville Theatre; the acclaimed production of Steven Sondheim’s A Little Night Music starring Maureen Lipman at the Garrick Theatre; the National Theatre’s War Horse, a family drama set during World War I about a boy’s adventures to find his beloved horse, at the New London theatre; and following its smash-hit run on Broadway – a new UK production of uber hip musical Spring Awakening at the Novello Theatre.
Other long running musicals that continue to extend their runs and pack them in include Avenue Q – now at the Gielgud Theatre, Blood Brothers, We Will Rock You, Chicago, Wicked, Jersey Boys, Stomp, Oliver!, Mamma Mia!, Les Miserables, Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Joseph, Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Carousel, Thriller Live featuring the songs of Michael Jackson and an award-winning production of La Cage Aux Folles.
Finally, the V&A Museum in London has opened its new Theatre and Performance galleries following the closure of the Theatre Museum in Covent Garden in 2007. The new galleries will celebrate the UK’s heritage in culture and performance with hundreds of exhibits including costumes, set models, stage props, original posters and playbills, theatrical prints, paintings and photographs from some of London’s most famous theatrical productions.
The publicity for ‘Burnt by the Sun’ speaks of the Great Terror which took place in Russia towards the end of the 1930s – Stalin’s repression of all his enemies, real and imagined, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of executions, not to mention the wholesale transportation of Socially Harmful Elements to labour camps, where they were literally worked to death.