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Almeida Theatre Spring 2012

September 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Theatre Press Releases







Bijan Sheibani will direct Shohreh Aghdashloo in Federico Garcia Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba running at the Almeida Theatre from 19 January – 10 March 2012, with press night on 26 January at 7pm. In a new version by Emily Mann The House of Bernarda Alba has designs by Bunny Christie, with lighting by Jon Clark and sound by Dan Jones. Further casting is to be announced shortly.

Following her husband’s funeral in rural Iran, powerful matriarch Bernarda Alba decrees to her five daughters that the household will enter a period of eight years mourning. The only one it seems will escape this fate is the eldest daughter, Angustias, who is already betrothed to the village’s most eligible bachelor. In the strict confines of the house, jealousy and suppressed sexuality rise to the surface. As Bernada’s oppression of her daughters increases it is more than the girls’ liberty that is in danger.

Relocating one of Lorca’s best known works to rural Iran, Iranian stage and screen actor Shohreh Aghdashlo will be leading the cast as Bernarda Alba. This will mark her British stage debut; her television credits include Sajida in House of Saddam for the BBC/HBO, a role for which she won the 2009 Emmy® for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a mini-series or movie. She was named Best Supporting Actress by the Independent Spirit Awards, the New York Film Critics, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association for her role in House of Sand and Fog. Her other film credits include The Stoning of Soraya M, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, The Nativity Story, The Lake House and X-Men: The Last Stand, as well as Persian language films Gozaresh and Sute-Delan. She has made regular guest appearances on 24, ER and Will & Grace. On stage her credits include Rainbow on tour in the USA and extensive work with the Drama Workshop of Tehran. Aghdashloo is the co-founder of LA based Theatre Company Workshop 79.

Bijan Sheibani is an Associate Director at the National Theatre where he has directed Arnold Wesker’s The Kitchen as well as Greenland and Our Class. As Artistic Director of Actors Touring Company (2007 to 2010) his productions include Eurydice and The Brother’s Size at the Young Vic and Ghosts of Those Who Return at the Arcola. His Laurence Olivier award-winning production of Gone Too Far was produced by the Royal Court. Earlier this year he directed Harold Pinter’s Moonlight for the Donmar Warehouse. The House of Bernarda Alba is Sheibani’s second production for the Almeida, after The Fixer part of WRITE Playwriting Festival in 2006.

Spanish poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca’s first play Mariana Pineda was staged in 1927. As well as The House of Bernarda Alba his other plays include Blood Wedding, staged by the Almeida in 2005 directed by Rufus Norris and starring Gael Garcia Bernal, and Yerma. His first volume of poems, Gypsy Ballads, was published in 1928.


Michael Attenborough will direct Samantha Spiro in Eduardo de Filippo’s Filumena in a new English version by Tanya Ronder running at the Almeida from 15 March – 12 May 2012, with press night on 22 March at 7pm. Designs are by Rob Jones, with lighting by Tim Mitchell and sound by John Leonard. Casting will be announced shortly.

In the balmy heat of late ‘40s Naples, Filumena Marturano lies on her deathbed waiting to marry Domenico Soriano, the man who has kept her as his mistress for twenty-five years. But no sooner has the priest completed the ceremony, than Filumena makes a miraculous recovery. As he reels in shock, Domenico discovers that this brilliant, iron-willed woman has a few more surprises for him.

Olivier award-winning Samantha Spiro will make her Almeida debut in the title role. She has most recently been seen on stage at the Royal Court in Arnold Wesker’s Chicken Soup with Barley where she was also seen in The Family Play. Her previous theatre credits include Hello Dolly, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Lady Be Good, Macbeth and The Boys from Syracuse all for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Twelfth Night for the Donmar Warehouse at Wyndham’s Theatre, Funny Girl for Chichester Festival Theatre and Two Thousand Years and Cleo, Camping, Emanuelle and Dick for the National Theatre. Her television credits Rock and Chips, Grandma’s House, After You’ve Gone, Coupling and Cold Feet and her film credits include A Running Jump, Tomorrow La Scala, From Hell, Cor Blimey and Beyond Bedlam.

Tanya Ronder previously wrote a new version of Lorca’s Blood Wedding for the Almeida as well as Or Nearest Offer, a new play for the Almeida Youth Theatre and Chain Play II, a fundraising event for the Theatre. Her adaptation of Vernon God Little was produced by the Young Vic who also staged Ronda’s version of Peribanez. Her stage adaptation of Peter Pan was presented at Kensington Gardens. For the Royal Shakespeare Company she wrote a new version of Ionesco’s Macbett.

Michael Attenborough is Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre where his productions have been The Mercy Seat, Five Gold Rings, Brighton Rock, The Late Henry Moss, Enemies, There Came A Gypsy Riding, Big White Fog, Awake and Sing!, The Homecoming, In a Dark Dark House, When the Rain Stops Falling, Measure for Measure, Through A Glass Darkly and, most recently, The Knot of the Heart. Previously, he was Associate Director at, Mercury Theatre, Colchester (1972-74), Leeds Playhouse (1974-79), Young Vic (1979-80) and Artistic Director at, Palace Theatre, Watford (1980-84), and Hampstead Theatre (1984-89), and was Principal Associate Director for the Royal Shakespeare Company (1990-2002). On leaving the Royal Shakespeare Company he became an Honorary Associate Artist. Attenborough‘s freelance work includes productions at the National Theatre, the Royal Court, in the West End and on Broadway. His production of Neil LaBute’s Reasons To Be Pretty will open at the Almeida in November this year.

Italian playwright, actor, screen writer, poet and author Eduardo De Filippo’s plays include Filumena, Napoli Milionaria, La Grande Magia, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and The Syndiacte.


Jeremy Herrin will direct the world premiere of Matthew Dunster’s Children’s Children running at the Almeida from 17 May – 30 June 2012, with press night on 24 May. Designs are by Robert Innes Hopkins with lighting by Neil Austin and sound by Ian Dickinson. Casting will be announced shortly.

Michael and Gordon have been best friends since acting college. Now, 20 years later, Michael is Mr Saturday Night TV but failing actor Gordon is struggling with enormous debts. Meanwhile Gordon’s daughter Effie couldn’t care less about her Dad’s problems – she is far more interested in the film that her cool boyfriend is making and setting up an ecologically sound clothing label. When Gordon asks Michael to lend him a large sum of money it sets in motion a series of events that reveal irreparable cracks in the characters’ relationships.

Playwright, director and actor Matthew Dunster’s writing credits include a new adaptation of Saturday Night Sunday Morning which opens at the Royal Exchange Theatre in February 2012. Previously his adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Most Incredible Thing was produced at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. His play You Can See The Hills received its world premiere at the Royal Exchange Theatre before a transfer to the Young Vic. His production of Doctor Faustus ran at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre this summer and his production of Mogadishu opened at the Royal Exchange before transferring to the Lyric Hammersmith. For the National Theatre he has directed Love The Sinner.

Jeremy Herrin is Associate Director of the Royal Court where he directed the UK premiere of David Hare’s The Vertical Hour as well as Richard Bean’s The Heretic and Polly Stenham’s award-winning That Face which subsequently transferred to the West End. His production of Much Ado About Nothing opened at Shakespeare’s Globe earlier this year and next month his production of Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden will open at the Pinter Theatre. Herrin will direct Joe Penhall’s Haunted Child for the Royal Court opening in December. His production of David Hare’s South Downs is currently playing at Chichester Festival Theatre. Children’s Children marks Herrin’s directorial debut at the Almeida.


Michael Attenborough will direct Jonathan Pryce as William Shakespeare’s King Lear running at the Almeida Theatre from the 31 August – 3 November 2012, with press night 11 September. Designs are by Tom Scutt with lighting by Jon Clark and sound and music by Dan Jones. Further casting will be announced shortly.

When Lear asks each of his daughters to profess their love for him, he is flattered by the false hyperbole of Regan and Goneril. When his youngest daughter Cordelia confesses to love him simply as a daughter should, his pride is dented and he casts her out of his kingdom. Too late to realise his mistake, and forced from power by his offspring, an increasingly impotent and frail Lear descends into madness.
Tony and Olivier award-winning actor Jonathan Pryce made his Almeida debut playing Martin in Edward Albee’s The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? His extensive theatre credits includes The Caretaker for Liverpool Everyman and the Trafalgar Studios, Glengarry Glen Ross at the Apollo Theatre, A Reckoning for Soho Theatre and My Fair Lady at the National Theatre and the Theatre Royal Drury Lane as well as Oliver at the London Palladium, Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Uncle Vanya and The Seagull in the West End, Hamlet for the Royal Court, Measure for Measure at the Royal Shakespeare Company and Comedians at the Old Vic. His film and television work includes Cranford, Hysteria, Pirates of the Caribbean, Tomorrow Never Dies, What a Girl Wants, Victoria and Albert, Evita, Unconditional Love, Brazil and Carrington.

Michael Attenborough directs.

King Lear is sponsored by Coutts & Co.

King Lear is part of the World Shakespeare Festival. The festival, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company for London 2012, will showcase the best of the UK and international creative talents, exploring the contemporary relevance of Shakespeare.


The Almeida Theatre is grateful to its Principal Partner Aspen whose new three year commitment started this summer, building on the existing long term relationship between the two companies. Aspen’s commitment to the Almeida Theatre will ensure continued bold programming, artistic endeavour and risk taking. Aspen, established in 2002, is a leading specialty insurance and reinsurance company with over 670 employees in eight countries. www.aspen.bm

The Almeida Theatre is supported by Arts Council England.

Release issued by: Premier PR


Almeida Theatre website

Ghost The Musical: Theatre Announced For Broadway Production

September 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Theatre Press Releases

Following the success of its London opening, a New York production of Ghost The Musical is to open on Broadway on 23 April 2012 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, with previews beginning in March.   Casting for the Broadway production will be announced at a later date.  Matthew Warchus’ stage production based on the Oscar® winning film is currently booking in London to October 2012 with the recent release of over 350,000 tickets at the Piccadilly Theatre.

Ghost the Musical has a new original score by Grammy Award winners Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard, as well as featuring the iconic song Unchained Melody.  Bruce Joel Rubin has adapted his Academy Award winning original screenplay for the stage.  Set and costume designs are by Rob Howell, choreography is by Ashley Wallen with musical supervision and arrangements by Christopher Nightingale, illusions by Paul Kieve, lighting by Hugh Vanstone and projection design by Jon Driscoll.

A timeless story about the power of love, Sam is trapped as a ghost between this world and the next trying to communicate with his girlfriend Molly through a phoney psychic in the hope of saving her from his murderer. Ghost, based on the Oscar® winning Paramount pictures film.

Ghost, the highest grossing film in the UK in 1990, starred Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Tony Goldwyn and Whoopi Goldberg and was directed by Jerry Zucker. Winning two Academy Awards®, Bruce Joel Rubin’s script won the Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay and Whoopi Goldberg won the Oscar® for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.  The film’s iconic love scene at a potter’s wheel was famously performed to The Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody.

Ghost The Musical will be produced on Broadway by Colin Ingram Productions Limited and Hello Entertainment/David Garfinkle, Adam Silberman, Land Line Productions, Donovan Mannato, Michael Edwards & Carole Winter in association with Paramount Pictures Corporation and ATG/Robert G. Bartner.

Release issued by: Premier PR


Book tickets to Ghost The Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre in London

Nominations announced for Theatre Awards UK 2011

September 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Theatre Press Releases

The Theatrical Management Association (TMA) is delighted to announce the nominations for its Theatre Awards UK 2011. The re-launched annual Theatre and Theatre Management Awards are given to honour creative excellence and the outstanding work seen on stages throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Theatre Awards UK will be presented at a lunchtime ceremony at the Banqueting House, Whitehall, one of the five Historic Royal Palaces, on Sunday 30 October 2011. The unique and brilliantly inventive ventriloquist Paul Zerdin, described as ‘a ventriloquist for the South Park generation’, will be compère for the afternoon. Zerdin is currently on a sold-out tour of his one-man show at theatres around the UK and he will be familiar with audiences at many of the TMA venues which are recognised by the awards. Presenters and other special guests will be announced shortly.

Julian Bird, Chief Executive of the TMA who will be producing the awards, commented:

“The nominations for the 2011 Theatre Awards UK demonstrate the strength and excellence of theatre, dance and opera throughout the UK. From new plays to innovative site specific theatre to some truly outstanding performances, all are represented in this year’s shortlists. Also encouraging is the regional and geographical spread of nominated theatres, and we look forward to honouring someone’s exceptional lifetime contribution to regional theatre throughout the UK.”

For the first time ever, the awards will jointly celebrate performance and management success, which had previously been recognised at two separate events, and the winners of the five management awards will be announced on the day.

Rachel Tackley, President of TMA, said “The 2011 event is a timely reminder of the huge diversity and extraordinary quality of artistic talent that is found across the United Kingdom. Their work is proof of the continued value of public investment in the arts.”

Marianne Oldham for THE YEARS BETWEEN: a Royal & Derngate, Northampton production at the Royal & Derngate, Northampton
David Haig for THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III: a Peter Hall Company production at the Theatre Royal, Bath and on tour
Derek Jacobi for KING LEAR: A Donmar Warehouse production at the Grand Opera House, Belfast and on tour

Kenneth Alan Taylor for THE PRICE: an Octagon Theatre Bolton, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough and Hull Truck Theatre production on tour
Clarke Peters for FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE: a Theatre Royal Stratford East production at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East
Claire Price for THE PRIDE: A Sheffield Theatres production at the Crucible, Sheffield

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE: a Theatre Royal, Plymouth and Paines Plough production at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth and on tour
MOGADISHU: a Royal Exchange, Manchester production at the Royal Exchange, Manchester and on tour.
HERDING CATS: a Theatre Royal, Bath production in the Ustinov Studio

WHITE: a Catherine Wheels production at the Theatre Royal, Bath
SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS: a Bristol Old Vic production at the Bristol Old Vic
THE MONSTER IN THE HALL at Citizens Theatre, Glasgow and on tour

ME AND MY GIRL directed Anna Mackmin: a Sheffield Theatres production at the Crucible, Sheffield
MATILDA THE MUSICAL directed by Matthew Warchus: an RSC production at the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN directed by Jonathan Church: a Chichester Festival Theatre production at Chichester Festival Theatre

THE TEMPEST directed by Declan Donnellan a Chekhov International Festival and Cheek By Jowl production, on tour
RICHARD III and THE COMEDY OF ERRORS directed by Edward Hall: both Propeller productions, on tour
THE BIG FELLAH directed by Max Stafford-Clark: an Out of Joint and Lyric Hammersmith production on tour

HAPPY DAYS designed by Lizzie Clachan, lighting design by Natasha Chivers: A Sheffield Theatres production at Sheffield Studio
‘TIS PITY SHE’S A WHORE designed by Mike Britton, lighting design by Oliver Fenwick: a West Yorkshire Playhouse production at the West Yorkshire Playhouse
THE DUCHESS OF MALFI designed by Ruth Sutcliffe, lighting design by Philip Gladwell; a
Royal and Derngate, Northampton production at the Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Erica Wyman for WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? A Sheffield Theatres and Northern Stage co-production at Sheffield Theatres and Northern Stage.
Muriel Romanes for AGE OF AROUSAL: a co-production between Stellar Quines and the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, on tour
Michael Sheen and Bill Mitchell for THE PASSION a National Theatre Wales/Wild Works co-production

Tony Hasnath for THE JUNGLE BOOK: at Lyric Theatre, Belfast
Jemima Rooper for ME AND MY GIRL: A Sheffield Theatres production at the Crucible, Sheffield
Bertie Carvel for MATILDA at the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

New Adventures for an outstanding revision of CINDERELLA
Luca Silvestrini’s Protein Dance for LOL – an ingenious multi-media blending of choreography with text.
Hofesh Shechter’s POLITICAL MOTHER – a powerful piece by a choreographer on a controversial theme.

OPERA NORTH for the variety of its repertoire this season
MUSIC THEATRE WALES for its production of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek
GERALD FINLEY for his performance as Hans Sachs in Glyndebourne Festival’s production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Release issued by: The Society of London Theatre


TMA website

Rock of Ages at the Shaftesbury Theatre starring Shayne Ward – Reviews Round-up

September 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews Round-up

A reviews round-up of Rock of Ages at the Shaftesbury Theatre. The smash-hit Broadway musical comes to the  Shaftesbury Theatre starring Shayne Ward and Justin Lee Collins.

Book tickets to Rock of Ages at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London

Shayne Ward in Rock of Ages

Shayne Ward in Rock of Ages



Full Casting Announced For Trevor Nunn’s Theatre Royal Haymarket Production Of James Goldman’s The Lion In Winter

September 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Theatre Press Releases

Joining Robert Lindsay (Henry II) and Joanna Lumley (Eleanor of Aquitane) in Trevor Nunn’s production of James Goldman’s The Lion in Winter are Tom Bateman (Richard), Sonya Cassidy (Alais), Joseph Drake (John), Rory Fleck-Byrne (Philip) and James Norton (Geoffrey). The Lion in Winter, produced by the Theatre Royal Haymarket Company, runs from 5 November 2011 – 28 January 2012, with press night on 15 November 2011. Set and costume designs are by Stephen Brimson Lewis with music by Steven Edis, sound by Paul Groothuis and video design by Ian William Galloway.

A family Christmas becomes a family at war. Henry II, not so young as he was, invites his estranged wife Eleanor of Aquitane, and his three sons, Richard, Geoffrey and John, to spend the festive season with him, his mistress Princess Alais, and her brother, the young King Philip of France. Will Henry name who is to be his successor as King of England? Their yuletide celebration turns into a combat zone of deceit, betrayal, bitter power games and scabrous wit.

Robert Lindsay returns to the Theatre Royal Haymarket where he was last seen playing the title role of Cyrano de Bergerac. Previously he has been seen as Archie Rice in The Entertainer at the Old Vic, he played the title role in Richard III at the Savoy Theatre, Fagin in Oliver! at the Palladium for which he won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical, and Bill Snibson in Me and My Girl for which he won major theatre awards on both sides of the Atlantic. Most recently he played the title role in Onassis at the Novello Theatre. Lindsay played Ben Harper opposite Zoë Wanamaker in the hugely successful BBC television series My Family. His other television credits include The Trial of Tony Blair, Citizen Smith and GBH, for which he won a BAFTA Award for Best Actor. His films include Wimbledon, Divorcing Jack and Remember Me.

Comedienne and actress Joanna Lumley is best known for playing Patsy Stone in the award-winning BBC television series, Absolutely Fabulous. Previously her television appearances included Purdy in The New Avengers as well as major roles in Sapphire and Steel, Jam and Jerusalem and Sensitive Skin. Following a run in the West End, Lumley recently made her Broadway debut in La Bête. Her other screen appearances include Shirley Valentine, Trail of the Pink Panther and Curse of the Pink Panther and she starred opposite Ben Kingsley as Mrs Lovett in The Tale of Sweeney Todd. Author of several best-selling books and a human rights and animal welfare activist, Lumley headed a successful campaign in recognition of the Gurkhas. Lumley was awarded an OBE in 1995.

Tom Bateman made his professional debut as Claudio in Josie Rourke’s production of Much Ado About Nothing which has recently completed its run at the Wyndham’s Theatre. Bateman graduated from LAMDA in summer 2011.

Sonya Cassidy has previously been seen in The Prince of Homburg at the Donmar Warehouse, Brighton Beach Memoirs at the Palace Theatre Watford and Trevor Nunn’s production of Inherit The Wind at the Old Vic. Her television credits include Vera, Midsomer Murders, The Tudors and Lewis.
Joseph Drake’s theatre credits include The Deep Blue Sea and Nijinsky both for the Chichester Festival Theatre, Vernon God Little for the Young Vic and New Earth for Bristol Old Vic. On television his credits include Doctors and Dangerfield.

Having graduated from RADA, Rory Fleck-Byrne joined the cast of the Janet Suzman’s Liverpool Playhouse production of Antony and Cleopatra. His other theatre credits include Bonfires for the Arcola, Cause Célèbre for the Old Vic and Disco Pigs for the Young Vic.
James Norton made his professional West End debut as Stanhope in Journey’s End at the Duke of York’s Theatre. Other theatre credits include That Face at Sheffield Crucible and Posh at the Royal Court.

The Lion in Winter premiered in New York at the Ambassador Theatre in 1966 with a cast lead by Rosemary Harris and Christopher Walken. The Broadway revival in 1999 starred Stockard Channing and Laurence Fishburne and was directed by Michael Mayer. Anthony Harvey directed the 1968 film version starring Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins and Peter O’Toole. In 2002 a television version was directed by Andrey Konchalovskiy starring Patrick Stewart, Glenn Close, Jonathan Rhys Myers and Ralph Small.

Trevor Nunn was the longest-serving Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Shakespeare Company (1968 to 1986). During that time he directed most of the Shakespeare canon, as well as Nicholas Nickleby and Les Misérables. He returned to the RSC to direct King Lear and The Seagull. From 1997 to 2003 he was Director of the National Theatre where his 21 productions included award-winning revivals of The Merchant of Venice, Summerfolk and The Cherry Orchard, as well as Oklahoma! and Anything Goes. He has directed the world premieres of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, The Coast of Utopia and Rock ‘n’ Roll, and of Cats, Starlight Express, Aspects of Love, Sunset Boulevard and The Woman in White. More recently his theatre credits include A Little Night Music for the Menier Chocolate Factory, in the West End and on Broadway, Cyrano de Bergerac for Chichester Festival Theatre, Inherit the Wind for The Old Vic and Birdsong at the Comedy Theatre.

Trevor Nunn’s opening production as Artistic Director of the Theatre Royal Haymarket Company was Flare Path. This was followed by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Nunn’s production of The Tempest starring Ralph Fiennes completes its run on 29 October.

During the run of The Lion in Winter historian, writer and broadcaster Helen Castor will give three pre show talks unravelling the story of Henry II, his formidable wife Eleanor of Aquitane and their unruly sons. The 45 minute pre show talks will take place at 6pm on 14 November and 19 December 2011 and 16 January 2012 at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Tickets are £10.50.

There will be a Charity Performance of The Lion in Winter on 10 November 2011 with tickets priced between £125 and £350. All proceeds will be donated to the Lord Mayor of Westminster’s three charities – Veterans Aid, Kidscape and the Mayhew Animal Home.

Release issued by: Premier PR


Book tickets to The Lion In Winter at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

Wicked celebrates 5th birthday plus other anniversaries coming up

September 27, 2011 by  
Filed under News

Mega-hit musical Wicked celebrates 5 years at the Apollo Victoria Theatre

When it opened at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in London on 27 September 2006 the reviews for Broadway musical Wicked were decidedly lukewarm, with Paul Taylor of the Independent declaring that “I enjoyed very little…”

Rachel Tucker in Wicked

Rachel Tucker in Wicked

Fast-forward five years and the show’s reign as one of the most successful musicals in London theatre history continues unabated, having taken over £145m at the box office and about to welcome its four millionth visitor in the next couple of months.

The show premiered on Broadway in 2003, where it also continues to pack them in and appear week after week at the top of the box office charts. Stephen Schwartz’s musical is based on Gregory Maguire’s best-selling novel, which in turn is inspired by L Frank Baum’s classic story Wizard of Oz, which is also running in the West End at the Palladium Theatre.

The book and musical tell the “untold” story behind Baum’s classic, envisioning the Wicked Witch starting life as a good, green-skinned girl who turns evil due to the prejudice of those around her, notably her spoilt sister Glinda, who later becomes the Good Witch.

The show enjoys enormous levels of support from a loyal fanbase, many of whom have seen the musical countless times.

A new cast will join the show from 12 December this year, including Gina Beck as Glinda and and Matt Willis as Fiyero, plus Desmond Barrit returning to the show to play The Wizard, alongside current Wicked stars Rachel Tucker as Elphaba and Julie Legrand as Madame Morrible.

Wicked recently played its 2000th performance at the Apollo Victoria Theatre and has won numerous awards including the 2010 Olivier Award for Most Popular Show. Long may the success continue.

Book tickets to Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in London


Autumn is always a big time for theatre anniversaries, being prime season for the opening of new shows. Already this month we’ve seen The 39 Steps celebrate its 5th birthday at the Criterion Theatre on 20 September and STOMP celebrate its 9th birthday on 25th September, having opened in the West End in 2002.

Coming up, Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre turns 26 on 8 October 1985 and is still riding on a massive high following its 25th anniversary celebrations last year and continuing news and gossip about the upcoming Hollywood movie version of the show.

Last year may have been all about Les Mis but this year it’s The Phantom of the Opera’s turn to bask in the spotlight as the show turns 25 on 9 October. The show, which has played continuously at Her Majesty’s Theatre since 1986, and subsequently all around the world, will celebrate with a special The Phantom of the Opera 25th anniversary concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

Also in October Disney’s The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre turns 12 on 19 October.


Book tickets to Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in London

Photo Exclusive: The Baker’s Wife at the Union Theatre

September 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Show - Photos

Photo Exclusive: The Baker’s Wife at the Union Theatre

Lisa Stokke (Guys and Dolls, Mamma Mia!) and Michael Matus (Lend Me A Tenor) star in Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz’s The Baker’s Wife at the Union Theatre in London, until 15 October 2011.

With a book by Joseph Stein (Fiddler on the Roof), based on La Femme du Boulanger by Marcel Pagnol and Jean Giono, this musical love story is set in 1935 in a small French village and explores the nature of marriage and relationships.

Direction is by Michael Strassen.

Photos by Roy Tan.


Union Theatre website

Billy Elliot Ticket Offer – Save 31%

September 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Offers

Winner of 10 Tony awards, BILLY ELLIOT is the worldwide smash-hit musical based on the acclaimed film.

SPECIAL OFFER: Save 31% on tickets to Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London

Based on the Oscar nominated film, Billy Elliot the Musical is an inspirational story of one boy’s dream to realise his ambitions against the odds.  A funny, heart-warming and feel-good celebration of one young boy’s dreams, Billy Elliot the Musical features music by Elton John alongside the award-winning creative team behind the film – writer Lee Hall, director Stephen Daldry and choreographer Peter Darling.

This original story captured the hearts and minds of the world when the movie was released in October 2000. Nominated for 3 Oscars and 13 Bafta awards this poignant film broke box office records across the world.

“Billy Boy – this is the greatest musical yet” Daily Telegraph.

“Brit Musical of the decade has arrived” Daily Express.

“Billy’s a whizz! He’ll lift your spirits, make you cry and send you home high with hope” Daily Mail.

SPECIAL OFFER: Save 31% on tickets to Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London

Book your tickets now >


West End Transfer Confirmed For Critically Acclaimed Production Of Singin’ In The Rain Starring Adam Cooper, Daniel Crossley, Scarlett Strallen & Katherine Kingsley

September 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Theatre Press Releases

Jonathan Church’s new production of Singin’ in the Rain is to transfer to the Palace Theatre following its critically acclaimed, sell-out run at Chichester Festival Theatre. Church’s production of Singin’ in the Rain, with choreography by Andrew Wright, is based on the classic 1952 MGM film and produced in the West End by Stage Entertainment UK and Chichester Festival Theatre, and is booking at the Palace Theatre from 4 February 2012, initially through to 29 September 2012. The production will open on TUESDAY 15 FEBRUARY, with tickets on public sale from MONDAY 26 SEPTEMBER 2011.

The West End cast is led by Adam Cooper as Don Lockwood, Daniel Crossley as Cosmo Brown, Scarlett Strallen as Kathy Seldon and Katherine Kingsley as Lina Lamont, with Michael Brandon as RF Simpson and Sandra Dickinson as Dora Bailey/Miss Dinsmore, all of whom will reprise their roles from the original Chichester production.

Singin’ in the Rain features songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed, including Make ‘em Laugh, Good Morning, Moses Supposes and Singin’ in the Rain, original screenplay and adaptations are by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. With choreography by Andrew Wright, the production is designed by Simon Higlett, with sound by Matt McKenzie and lighting by Tim Mitchell. Church’s production of Singin’ in the Rain opened on 27 June 2011 at the Festival Theatre, Chichester, where it played to capacity houses and extended its run to cope with demand. The 1952 MGM film of the same name, which will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its release next year, starred Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds and is considered one of the most beloved and enduring movie musicals of all time.

Don Lockwood is a silent movies star with everything he could want – fame, adulation and even a well-publicised ‘romance’ with his co-star Lina Lamont. But Hollywood is about to change forever. There is rumour in the studio of a new kind of film, where the actors actually talk… and sing… and dance.

The full West End cast is Michael Brandon, Adam Cooper, Daniel Crossley, Brendan Cull, Flora Dawson, Sandra Dickinson, Jaye Juliette Elster, Peter Forbes, Gemma Fuller, Francis Haugen, Katherine Kingsley, David Lucas, Scott Mobley, Ebony Molina, Gillian Parkhouse, Sherrie Pennington, Lisa Ritchie, Scarlett Strallen, and Nancy Wei George.

Multi award-winning Adam Cooper’s theatre credits include Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre, Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, On Your Toes and The Wind in the Willows at the Royal Festival Hall and Zorro on tour in the UK. With the Adventures in Motion Pictures Company as well as playing the Angel in Cinderella, he created the award-wining role of the Swan in Swan Lake, which, after opening at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, transferred to the West End, LA and Broadway. As a member of the Royal Ballet Company (1989-97) his numerous credits include Romeo and Juliet, Myerling, The Judas Tree, Onegin and La Ronde.

Daniel Crossley’s theatre credits include Me and My Girl and A Chorus Line for Sheffield Theatres, Anything Goes and Love’s Labour’s Lost for the National Theatre, Kiss of the Spider Woman for Hull Truck Theatre, The Snow Queen for Derby Theatre, Hello, Dolly!, As You Like It, Oh! What a Lovely War and Romeo and Juliet for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Mary Poppins on tour in the UK. His television credits include Doctors, Heartbeat and Coronation Street.

Scarlett Strallen’s theatre credits includes The Music Man at Chichester Festival Theatre, Passion for the Donmar Warehouse, the title role in Mary Poppins in the West End and on Broadway, The Merry Wives of Windsor for the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Witches of Eastwick at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium and HMS Pinafore, Twelfth Night and Cymbeline for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Her film credits include Beyond The Sea and The Snow Queen.

Katherine Kingsley’s theatre credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for the Donmar Warehouse, Aspects of Love at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Piaf at the Donmar Warehouse and Vaudeville Theatre, (Olivier Award nomination) High Society at the Shaftesbury Theatre, The Canterbury Tales at Bristol Old Vic and The 39 Steps at the Liverpool Playhouse and on UK tour. Her film credits include Days of the Siren, Now We Are Three and 100 Second Marriage.

Michael Brandon’s UK theatre credits include the title role in Jerry Springer – The Opera which opened at the National Theatre and transferred to the West End, Wet Weather Cover at the Arts Theatre, Speed The Plow for the Theatre Royal Lincoln and On the Waterfront for the Hackney Empire. On television he is known for playing Dempsey opposite Glynis Barber in Dempsey and Makepeace. His other television credits include roles in Hustle, The Last of the Lehman Brothers, Doctor Who, New Tricks, Trial and Retribution and Ally McBeal. His film credits include Captain America – The First Avenger, Me and Orson Welles and Presumed Dangerous.

Sandra Dickinson’s theatre credits include A Woman of No Importance for Salisbury Playhouse, the UK tour of Anything Goes, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium, The Graduate at the Gielgud Theatre, Orpheus Descending at the Donmar Warehouse and Not About Nightingales for the National Theatre. Her television credits include White Van Man, Two Point Four Children, New Tricks, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who. Her film credits include Tormented and Malice in Wonderland.

Jonathan Church has been Artistic Director of Chichester Festival Theatre since 2006. In the West End he has directed Of Mice and Men at the Savoy and The Old Vic, The Witches at Wyndham’s and A Busy Day at the Lyric Theatre. His productions at Chichester include The Real Inspector Hound, The Critic, The Grapes of Wrath, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Hobson’s Choice, The Circle and Pravda.

Previously for Chichester Festival Theatre award-winning Andrew Wright has choreographed 42nd Street. His other choreography credits include By Jeeves for the Landor Theatre, Almost Like Being In Love at the National Theatre, Naked Boys Singing at the King’s Head and Arts Theatre and The Showgirl Within at the Garrick Theatre. As well as many pantomimes he has choreographed six performances of The Night of 1000 Voices at the Royal Albert Hall, Sunday Night at the Theatre Royal and Evita for Leeds Grand Theatre.

Stage Entertainment is one of the world’s largest theatrical producers and venue owners, with bases across Europe and in New York. Previous UK credits include the multi Olivier Award winning Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre and UK tour, Sister Act at the London Palladium, the Broadway Theater in New York and UK tour, Strictly Come Dancing Live! UK arena tours, Disney’s High School Musical 1 & 2 (Hammersmith Apollo and UK tours), Fame at the Shaftesbury Theatre and UK tours, The Full Monty at the Prince of Wales and UK tour, Contact at the Queen’s Theatre and Blue Man Group at the New London Theatre.

Chichester Festival Theatre is one of this country’s most prolific and successful producing houses having transferred many productions to the West End and beyond, including recently the multi-award winning productions of Macbeth and ENRON (which both also transferred to Broadway), the world premiere of Yes, Prime Minister, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead which recently completed a run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Chichester’s critically acclaimed revival of Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls is currently playing at London’s Trafalgar Studios. Chichester Festival Theatre celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2012.

Singin’ in the Rain is based on the classic Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film and produced by arrangement with Maurice Rosenfield, Lois F Rosenfield and Cindy Pritzker Inc. This production is by special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc. Music Published by EMI.

Release issued by: Premier PR


Book tickets to Singin’ in the Rain at the Palace Theatre in London

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s Highly Acclaimed Production Of The Gershwin Musical Crazy For You Transfers To London’s West End

September 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Theatre Press Releases


“Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s production of CRAZY FOR YOU is simply glorious and I’m so delighted it’s transferring to the West End, where even more people will have the opportunity to enjoy it as thoroughly as I did”. – Dame Judi Dench, Board Member, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

The Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre smash hit Gershwin musical CRAZY FOR YOU will transfer to London’s West End, opening at the Novello Theatre on Friday 7 October. Cameron Mackintosh, who was full of praise when he saw the show in Regent’s Park, is thrilled to be able to play host to the production in one of his theatres. CRAZY FOR YOU reunites director Timothy Sheader and choreographer Stephen Mear, who were responsible for the multi-award winning production of Hello, Dolly!.

CRAZY FOR YOU, with book by Ken Ludwig, is one of the most joyous musicals, with a Gershwin score containing some of the brothers’ most beautiful and memorable songs, including I Got Rhythm, Someone to Watch Over Me, Embraceable You, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Shall We Dance, But Not For Me, and Nice Work If You Can Get It.

The entire company of the Regent’s Park production will star in the West End run, led by theatre veterans Harriet Thorpe and David Burt, and introducing to the British stage the highly respected Broadway performer, Sean Palmer as Bobby Child, alongside Clare Foster as Polly Baker, Kim Medcalf as Irene Roth and Michael McKell as Lank. The sets and costumes are by Peter McKintosh, who also designed the Open Air Theatre’s Hello, Dolly!, as well as The 39 Steps, Butley, Love Story and Luise Miller, amongst others. Lighting design is by Tim Mitchell.

The Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production of CRAZY FOR YOU is being produced in the West End by Mark Goucher, Adam Spiegel and William Village.

Release issued by: Amanda Malpass PR


Book tickets to Crazy For You at the Novello Theatre in London

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