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First Look Photos: All-male Iolanthe at Wilton’s Music Hall

March 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Show - Photos

Exclusive photos of the all-male production of Iolanthe at Wilton’s Music Hall

Founder of the Union Theatre, Sasha Regan, has transferred her critically acclaimed all-male production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe to the Wilton’s Music Hall from 30 March 2011, for a limited season.

Iolanthe at Wilton's Music Hall

Iolanthe at Wilton's Music Hall

Originally at the Union Theatre last year, the production is set in a boy’s public school and features a cast that includes Christopher Finn as Iolanthe, Alex Weatherhill as Fairy Queen, Louis Maskell as Strephon and Alan Richardson as Phylis.

Design is by Stewart Charlesworth, choreography by Mark Smith of Deaf Men Dancing, musical supervision by Michael England and musical direction by Chris Mundy.

The show follows the Union Theatre’s production of Pirates of Penzance, which also transferred to the Music Hall last year and won the Best Off-West End Production in the Whatsonstage Awards 2010.

LINKS

Wilton’s Music Hall website

Photos: Anne-Marie Duff in Cause Celebre at the Old Vic Theatre

March 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Show - Photos

Production photos of Terence Rattigan’s Cause Celebre at the Old Vic Theatre

Anne-Marie Duff in Cause Celebre at the Old Vic

Anne-Marie Duff in Cause Celebre at the Old Vic

Thea Sharrock (Blithe Spirit) directs Terence Rattigan’s final play, Cause Celebre at the Old Vic Theatre, starring Anne-Marie Duff and Niamh Cusack.

The play is based on the  true story of Alma Rattenbury (Anne-Marie Duff), who was put on trial in 1935 along with her 18-year-old lover, accused of killing her husband. Vilified by the public as much for her seduction of a younger man as the murder of her husband, the play examines the role of passion, guilt and loyalty in 1930s England. Niamh Cusack plays socially and sexually repressed jury forewoman of the trial, Edith Davenport.

The play also stars Lucy Black, Timothy Carlton, Simon Chandler, Richard Clifford, Oliver Coopersmith, Rory Fleck-Byrne, Freddie Fox, Jenny Galloway, Patrick Godfrey, Nicholas Jones, Tommy McDonnell, Lucy Robinson, Tristan Shepherd, Richard Teverson, Sarah Waddell, Michael Webber and Tristram Wymark.

LINKS

Book tickets to Cause Celebre at the Old Vic Theatre in London

Cause Celebre – news and photos

Cause Celebre – Reviews Round-up

March 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews Round-up

A round-up of reviews for Cause Celebre at the Old Vic Theatre in London

Anne-Marie Duff in Cause Celebre at the Old Vic

Anne-Marie Duff in Cause Celebre at the Old Vic

Terence Rattigan’s final play, Cause Celebre, has opened at the Old Vic Theatre in London starring Anne-Marie Duff and Niamh Cusack.

The play is based on the  true story of Alma Rattenbury (Anne-Marie Duff), who was put on trial in 1935 along with her 18-year-old lover, accused of killing her husband. Vilified by the public as much for her seduction of a younger man as the murder of her husband, the play examines the role of passion, guilt and loyalty in 1930s England. Niamh Cusack plays socially and sexually repressed jury forewoman of the trial, Edith Davenport.

Thea Sharrock, who directed an Olivier award-winning production of Rattigan’s After the Dance at the National Theatre last year, directs the play following her recent revival of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit at the Apollo Theatre.

The play also stars Lucy Black, Timothy Carlton, Simon Chandler, Richard Clifford, Oliver Coopersmith, Rory Fleck-Byrne, Freddie Fox, Jenny Galloway, Patrick Godfrey, Nicholas Jones, Tommy McDonnell, Lucy Robinson, Tristan Shepherd, Richard Teverson, Sarah Waddell, Michael Webber and Tristram Wymark.

Read reviews from the Times, Telegraph, Hollywood Reporter, Express and Evening Standard, below.

LINKS

Book tickets to Cause Celebre at the Old Vic Theatre in London

Cause Celebre – news and photos

People to Watch: Interview with Bryony Hannah, star of The Children’s Hour

March 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Interviews

Interview: People to Watch

Libby Purves in The Times said that she “acts the stars right off the stage”. Charles Spencer in the Telegraph thought her “memorably sly and horrible”. We thought it was time to catch-up with Bryony Hannah, who is currently wowing the West End playing Mary in Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour at the Comedy Theatre in London, alongside Keira Knightley, Elisabeth Moss and Ellen Burstyn.

Bryony Hannah, in rehearsals for The Children's Hour. Photo: Johan Persson

Bryony Hannah, in rehearsals for The Children's Hour. Photo: Johan Persson

What was your first theatre experience, as an audience member and on stage?

I saw The Ginger Bread Man and apparently wept at the interval because I thought it was over. My first role was as a sugarplum fairy at playschool. I was terribly shy and would only go on if I could wear my sheriff badge and gun holster.

If someone could only see one musical or play before they die, what should it be?

Gosh that’s an impossible question. Um… well I saw Billy Elliot not long ago and I was awash with emotion. The political backdrop gave the story depth and the imaginative dance sequences were superb. They sang because speaking wasn’t enough anymore.

What’s your favourite West End theatre and why?

Being the home of my West End debut in The Children’s Hour, the Comedy Theatre will now always have a special place in my heart. It’s a lovely warm house, not too overwhelming, and the staff are very friendly too.

The press have made much of how you pulled pints five years ago in a pub and are now a star. Is this implicit snobbery on their part or just a good human-interest story?

I guess every story needs an angle, but most young actors have had to do odd jobs in order to fund their careers; I’m not unique in that way. Working at The Hampshire Bowman was a golden time for me and helped shape who I am today.

Peggy Rogers (Eve Ponsonby) Mary Tilford (Bryony Hannah) and Evelyn Munn (Lisa Backwell). Photo: Johan Persson

Peggy Rogers (Eve Ponsonby) Mary Tilford (Bryony Hannah) and Evelyn Munn (Lisa Backwell). Photo: Johan Persson

What dream acting job would make you feel like you’d made it to the very top of your profession?

The lure of being an actor is that there is no “made it” moment. There is always a challenge to be tackled that you’d rather shy away from. To perhaps one day have been in someone’s mind while they were writing a new play though, that truly would be an honour.

Which do you love best? The first day of rehearsals, the first night of the show or the last night?

They are all pretty nerve wracking occasions to be honest! The first night is always magical though. Swapping cards and little presents gives a festive flavour to the evening. Nerves are always rife but if you can harness that energy and play it through your character it can be an exciting ride.

What would be your profession if you hadn’t chosen the theatre and entertainment industry?

I would have liked to have been either a firewoman or a marine biologist. I think the latter probably stems from watching Free Willy as a kid.

Is it important for an actor to like the characters they play, even if they are perceived as malevolent?

I can’t imagine any other way of approaching a role. That doesn’t mean that your character can’t dislike themselves though. With my character in The Children’s Hour, Mary Tilford, for example, all of her actions do cost her. She’s not gleefully scheming; she’s retaliating to perceived dangers. Hopefully that keeps her plausible and human.

Book tickets to The Children’s Hour at the Comedy Theatre in London

Shrek The Musical & The Prince’s Foundation For Children & The Arts Announce A Royal Gala Performance In The Presence Of Hrh The Prince Of Wales

March 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Theatre Press Releases

TICKETS ON SALE TODAY

THE ROYAL GALA MARKS THE START OF AN ONGOING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE NEW STAGE MUSICAL AND CHILDREN & THE ARTS

SHREK THE MUSICAL® and The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts today announced that a Royal Gala performance will be held on Wednesday 8 June at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, President of The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts, will attend this special performance, hosted by Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chief Executive Officer of DreamWorks Animation SKG, which will be in support of Children & the Arts.

Tickets are now on sale. Prices start from £20. To book online visit www.shrekthemusical.co.uk

The Royal Gala performance marks the beginning of an ongoing relationship between DreamWorks and Children & the Arts. The cast, creative team and producers of SHREK THE MUSICAL® will work closely with Children & the Arts to jointly develop a new educational project that aims to introduce young people to the art of musical theatre and to encourage participation in all aspects of production.

‘We’re absolutely delighted to have a Royal Gala performance in the presence of our President, His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales for possibly the year’s most anticipated West End opening.

But this is much more than just a single performance. This is the start of an exciting joint effort between Children & the Arts and SHREK THE MUSICAL, where we will combine our knowledge and experience to run activities that will inspire, challenge and develop those children who have had very little access to the arts.’ – Jeremy Newton, Chief Executive, The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts.

“DreamWorks is thrilled to bring Shrek The Musical to London’s West End and we are honored to welcome His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to the Gala performance at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on the 8th of June,” commented Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chief Executive Officer of DreamWorks Animation. “We look forward to further extending DreamWorks’ relationship with Children & The Arts on an educational program that focuses on the development of core musical theatre skills, which we hope will contribute to the Foundation’s commendable work for years to come.”

Children & the Arts champions the power of the arts to transform lives and strives towards a future where all children in the UK gain access to the arts. The Charity reaches out to the many children who, through social or economic disadvantage, are denied access to cultural venues and to high-quality arts activity. They have worked with over 100,000 children since 2006, and hope to substantially increase this figure over the next few years.

Further information on the education collaboration between Children & the Arts and SHREK THE MUSICAL® will be announced in the next few weeks.

SHREK THE MUSICAL® opens at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on June 14 2011 (previews from May 6) starring Nigel Lindsay as Shrek, Richard Blackwood as Donkey, Nigel Harman as Lord Farquaad and Amanda Holden as Princess Fiona. Produced by DreamWorks Theatricals and Neal Street Productions, the new stage musical is based on the story and characters from William Steig’s book Shrek! and the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation feature film Shrek, the first chapter in the series of irreverent fairy tales.

The Anglo-American creative team is led by directors Jason Moore and Rob Ashford and includes David Lindsay-Abaire (Book and Lyrics), Jeanine Tesori (Music), Tim Hatley (Scenic, Costume and Puppet Design), Hugh Vanstone (Lighting Design), Peter Hylenski (Sound Design), and Josh Prince (Choreography).
Tickets for the Royal Gala and all other performances are now on sale.
For more information about The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts please visit www.childrenandarts.org.uk

Release issued by: The Corner Shop PR

LINKS

Book tickets to the Shrek The Musical Royal Gala in aid of the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts

Book tickets to Shrek The Musical

Photos: Natasha Hamilton in Blood Brothers at the Phoenix Theatre

March 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Show - Photos

Production photos of Natasha Hamilton in Blood Brothers at the Phoenix Theatre

Former Atomic Kitten star Natasha Hamilton has followed follow Spice Girl Melanie C into the West End playing the lead role in Blood Brothers at the Phoenix Theatre.

Hamilton, 28, is the youngest actress to play the lead role of Mrs Johnstone at the Phoenix Theatre in London. She told the Liverpool Echo that by the end of the show “I’ve been sobbing, crying my eyes out when my sons are dead on the floor. It’s just hard not to feel that emotion. The play’s so powerful and it tugs at those heart strings so much.”

Natasha joins a roll call of famous theatrical ladies who have played the part of Mrs Johnstone including Mel C, Barbara Dickson, Petula Clark, Kiki Dee, X-Factor runner-up Nikki Evans and most recently Maureen Noaln.

Photos by Roy Tan

LINKS

SPECIAL OFFER: Enjoy Half Price tickets to see Blood Brothers at the Phoenix Theatre

Photos: The Kissing Dance at the Jermyn Street Theatre

March 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Show - Photos

Production photos of The Kissing Dance at the Jermyn Street Theatre

Beverley Klein, Gemma Sutton and David Burt in The Kissing Dance. Photo: © Roy Tan

Beverley Klein, Gemma Sutton and David Burt in The Kissing Dance. Photo: © Roy Tan

A joyful musical adaptation of Oliver Goldsmith’s classic comedy She Stoops to Conquer by Howard Goodall and Charles Hart at Jermyn Street Theatre. Stars David Alder, Gina Beck, David Burt, Lila Clements, Greg Herst, Beverley Klein, Samuel Martin, Harriet Oughton, Jack Shalloo, Lauren Storer, Gemma Sutton, Dylan Turner and Ian Virgo.

Until 23rd April 2011 at the Jermyn Street Theatre

Music by Howard Goodall
Lyrics & Book by Charles Hart
Directed by Lotte Wakeham
Musical Direction by Tom Attwood
Designer Samal Blak
Lighting Designer Christopher Nairne
Costume Designer Karen Frances
Choreography by Tim Jackson

Photos by Roy Tan

LINKS

Jermyn Street Theatre website

Bette & Joan world premiere at Arts Theatre with Anita Dobson and Greta Scacchi

March 29, 2011 by  
Filed under News

The world premiere of a new play based on the long-running feud between Hollywood movie stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford is to come to London this Spring.

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Bette & Joan by Anton Burge will star Anita Dobson and Greta Scacchi as the famous movie icons, at the Arts Theatre from 5 May to 25 June 2011. The show will be directed by Bill Alexander, whose credits include the RSC, National Theatre and annual West End Christmas show The Snowman.

Anton Burge is returning to a subject he covered in 2008 with his first play Whatever Happened to the Cotton Dress Girl?, which starred Paula Wilcox as Bette Davis at the New End Theatre.

Bette & Joan is set during the making of their 1961 movie Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and revisits their infamous fifty-year feud.

A Radio 4 play, Bette and Joan and Baby Jane, ran last year starring Catherine Tate and written by Tracy-Ann Oberman and also told the story of the making of  Baby Jane and of the origins of their deep seated hatred.

The play forms part of a new season at the Arts, with other shows including Park Avenue Cat by Frank Strausser, directed by Glen Watford. Current shows at the venue include Woody Sez, which ends its run this Saturday, 2 April 2011, and A Guide to Sexual Misery starring Wolfgang Weinberger.

LINKS

Book tickets to Bette & Joan at the Arts Theatre in London

Lincoln Center Theater Production of South Pacific at the Barbican on sale now

March 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Theatre Press Releases

‘Rapturous and revelatory!’ New York Times

‘Gorgeous! SOUTH PACIFIC doesn’t just float; it soars!’ USA Today

‘The best Rodgers and Hammerstein in a generation’ Washington Post

Breathtaking and lavish, this Lincoln Center Theater production which reinvented the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, won seven Tony Awards in 2008, played to sold-out houses on Broadway for two years and is currently selling out across North America.

This international hit now has its European premiere at the Barbican. Tickets for the Barbican run, which plays from Monday 15 August – Saturday 1 October, go on sale today.

Set on a tropical island during World War II, this is the sweeping romantic story of two couples, threatened by the realities of war and by their own prejudices. Its portrayal of Americans stationed in an unfamiliar culture in wartime remains as relevant today as when it first thrilled audiences.

Considered one of the finest musicals ever written, the score includes Some Enchanted Evening, I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair and There is Nothin’ Like a Dame.

Featuring a cast of 40 and an orchestra of 25, this landmark production arrives at the Barbican for a strictly limited seven-week London season. South Pacific is directed by Bartlett Sher, Musical Staging is by Christopher Gattelli, Sets are by Michael Yeargan, Lighting is by Donald Holder, Costumes are by Catherine Zuber, Sound is by Scott Lehrer, Music Direction is by Ted Sperling and Original Orchestrations are by Robert Russell Bennett.

Release issued by: Barbican

LINKS

Book tickets to South Pacific at the Barbican in London

South Pacific tickets at the Barbican

March 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Shows - Archive

Bartlett Sher’s Tony award-winning Lincoln Centre production of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical gets its European premiere this summer at the Barbican, featuring a cast of 40.

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