West End Theatre at the Royal Variety Performance including Dame Edna and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
November 29, 2013
This year’s Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium saw the West End’s Dame Edna make a surprise appearance, and the casts of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Hill’s I Can’t Sing! – The X Factor Musical and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Stephen Ward perform.
The annual Royal Variety Performance in aid of the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund was held this Monday 25 November 2013 at the London Palladium attended by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Hosted by comedian and actor John Bishop, the show saw Dame Edna, who is currently performing at the Palladium in Eat, Pray, Laugh! Barry Humphries’ Farewell Tour, surprised the Royal guests by appearing in the Royal Box at the start of the show. She also did an onstage set.
West End theatre casts that performed during the night included new musical I Can’t Sing! The X-Factor Musical, which opens at the London Palladium on 27 February 2014. Harry Hill, the show’s writer, introduced a musical segment from the show, with Nigel Harman as Simon Cowell being lowered God-like down on to the stage, and the show’s star Cynthia Erivo, who plays Chenice, proving that she can definitely sing!
The Royal Variety Performance also included a number from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new show at the Aldwych Theatre, Stephen Ward, featuring Alexander Hanson and Charlotte Spencer. The segment was introduced by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Also the cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, including Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka, did a set from the show that is currently running at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Other artists who performed on the show included Strictly Come Dancing champion Flavia Cacace and the cast of Dance ‘Til Dawn, Britain’s Got Talent winners Attraction, Mary J. Blige, Gary Barlow, Jessie J, Rizzle Kicks, Olly Murs, Robbie Williams, John Newman, Caro Emerald, Chas & Dave, Bryn Terfel, Gareth Malone with his new choir Voices and Torvill & Dean.
Comedy came from Jason Byrne, Hal Cruttenden, Jimmy Carr and Seann Walsh.
The event will be screened on ITV1 at 7.30pm on Monday 9 December 2013.
Book tickets to Barry Humphries’ Farewell Tour at the London Palladium
Book tickets to Stephen Ward at the Aldwych Theatre
Book tickets to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Book tickets to I Can’t Sing! The X-Factor Musical at the London Palladium
Watch a sneak preview of the Royal Variety Performance including Dame Edna
November 20, 2013
Broadway’s longest-running show, and winner of seven Tony Awards, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical masterpiece The Phantom of the Opera is a timeless story of seduction and despair.
November 4, 2013
Production photos of Keeler at the Charing Cross Theatre.
You wait ages for a Profumo-themed show, and then two come along at once.
Richard Eyre is currently busy rehearsing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical Stephen Ward, which centres on the society Osteopath at the heart of the very British 60′s scandal the Profumo Affair for a forthcoming Aldwych Theatre opening.
But over at the Charing Cross Theatre Keeler mania is in the shape of a new play by Gill Adams based on Christine Keeler’s autobiography The Truth At Last. With veteran performer Paul Nicholas as Stephen Ward, Sarah Armstrong as Christine Keeler and Stacy Leeson as Mandy Rice-Davies, this Paul Nicholas-directed play promises to give ALW’s show a run for its money.
September 26, 2013
In “A Theatre Life” we ask some of the most important and influential people within the
London theatre business to reflect on their life and work.
Sir Tim Rice
Sir Tim Rice is arguably (and if you are talking to us then definitely) the world’s greatest living lyricist. His writing partnership with Andrew Lloyd Webber is the stuff of musical theatre legend and resulted in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, three of the most popular and successful shows of all time. Tim has also worked with composers including Elton John and Alan Menken on the lyrics for a number of Disney animated movies including The Lion King and Aladdin, and ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson on the musical Chess. Next week sees previews start for his major new musical From Here To Eternity at the Shaftesbury Theatre, his first totally new show for 13 years.
What was your earliest ambition?
To swim the channel. Not achieved to date.
How do you spend the first hour of your day?
Worrying about the next 12.
How physically fit are you?
Average for my advanced years.
Are you political?
On certain topics.
What’s your biggest extravagance?
Hardback books; first class travel.
Personal wealth or reputation? Which is more important?
Reputation (by miles).
What is your most treasured possession?
Parents’ wartime diaries.
Is London the world’s greatest location for theatre?
Equal first with New York.
In what place are you happiest?
Cover point or mid wicket.
Who do you most admire? Actors or theatre practitioners?
Don’t really know what theatre practitioners are.
What ambitions do you still have? What drives you on?
What is the single greatest achievement in your life so far?
2 daughters and a son.
If your 18 year old self could see you now, what would they say?
You look like my dad.
How would you like to bow out of your career?
Does theatre really matter?
Which London theatre holds the strongest memories for you?
* * * * * * * * *
From Here to Eternity starts previews at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London from 30 September 2013. Based on the novel by James Jones, the musical unites the writing talents of Tim Rice (lyrics), Stuart Brayson (music) and Bill Oakes (book), and is directed by Tamara Harvey, designed by Soutra Gilmour and choreographed by Javier De Frutos. The show features a cast that includes Robert Lonsdale, Darius Campbell, Ryan Sampson, Siubhan Harrison and Rebecca Thornhill.
Stephen Ward cast announced | Alexander Hanson, Charlotte Spencer, Charlotte Blackledge, Anthony Calf and Joanna Riding
September 6, 2013
The cast has been announced for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical Stephen Ward, including Alexander Hanson, Charlotte Spencer, Charlotte Blackledge, Anthony Calf, Daniel Flynn and Joanna Riding.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Christopher Hampton and lyricist Don Black’s new musical STEPHEN WARD, about the 1960′s Profumo scandal, is set to have its world premiere at the Aldwych Theatre on 19 December 2013 (previews from 3 December 2013).
Richard Eyre directs a principle cast that includes Alexander Hanson (Jesus Christ Superstar) as Stephen Ward, Charlotte Spencer (Mary Poppins) as Christine Keeler, Charlotte Blackledge as Mandy Rice Davies, Anthony Calf (Private Lives) as Lord Astor, Daniel Flynn (Bracken Moor) as John Profumo and Joanna Riding (The Pajama Game) as Valerie Hobson.
Other cast include Ian Conningham as Ivanov, Chris Howell as Murray, Ricardo Coke Thomas as Lucky Gordon and Wayne Robinson as Johnny Edgecomp, plus Martin Callaghan, Kate Coyston, Jason Denton, Julian Forsyth, Amy Griffiths, Paul Kemble, Emma Kate Nelson, Carl Sanderson, Emily Squibb, John Stacey, Helen Ternent and Tim Walton.
Stephen Ward has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and a book and lyrics by Christopher Hampton and Don Black. Design will be by Rob Howell and choreography by Stephen Mear.
Set in 1963, the musical centres on the rise and fall of society osteopath Stephen Ward and his role in the scandal that rocked the UK government. With film stars, spies, models, government ministers and aristocrats embroiled in the scandal, including the young and beautiful Christine Keeler, the musical tackles one of the great scandals of 20th century Britain.
MAJOR CAST CHANGES IN THE SMASH HIT ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER MUSICAL “THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA” AT HER MAJESTY’S THEATRE, LONDON FROM MONDAY 2 SEPTEMBER 2013
August 2, 2013
- GERÓNIMO RAUCH TO STAR AS ‘THE PHANTOM’
- SEAN PALMER AS ‘RAOUL’
- ANDY HOCKLEY AS ‘MONSIEUR FIRMIN’
- MARTIN BALL AS ‘MONSIEUR ANDRÉ’
- CLAIRE MOORE AS ‘CARLOTTA’
- JACINTA MULCAHY AS ‘MADAME GIRY’
- AND CAT LANE AS ‘MEG GIRY’
Major cast changes will take place in the smash hit Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA” at Her Majesty’s Theatre in the West End from Monday 2 September 2013. Fresh from his success as Jean Valjean in “Les Misérables” at the Queen’s Theatre Gerónimo Rauch will join the cast as ‘The Phantom’. At the same time Broadway leading man Sean Palmer will join as ‘Raoul’. They will be joined by Andy Hockley as ‘Monsieur Firmin’, Martin Ball as ‘Monsieur André’, Claire Moore as ‘Carlotta’, Jacinta Mulcahy as ‘Madame Giry’, Cat Lane as ‘Meg Giry’ and Olivia Brereton and Harriet Jones who will both play ‘Christine’ at certain performances.
“THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA” will continue to star Sofia Escobar as ‘Christine’ and Jeremy Secomb as ‘Piangi’.
Gerónimo Rauch is an Argentinian singer and actor who has recently finished playing ‘Jean Valjean’ in the West End production of “Les Misérables”, having played the same role in the New 25th Anniversary production of “Los Miserables” in Barcelona. He has also played ‘Feuilly’ and ‘Marius’ in “Les Misérables” in Argentina, as well as taking part in the 25th Anniversary celebration of “Les Misérables” at The 02. In 2002 Gerónimo took part in the Buenos Aires version of TV talent show “Popstars” and was successfully chosen to become a founder member of the band Mambrú, whose debut album went Triple Platinum. Previous theatre credits include ‘Doody’ in “Grease” at Astral Theatre in Buenos Aires, ‘Jesus’ in “Jesus Christ Superstar” at the Teatro Lope de Vega in Madrid, and ‘Mary Sunshine’ in “Chicago” at the Teatro Coliseum in Madrid.
Broadway leading man Sean Palmer was most recently seen as ‘Bobby’ in the Olivier award-winning production of “Crazy for You” at the Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park, and its subsequent West End transfer to the Novello Theatre. His Broadway credits include creating the role of ‘Prince Eric’ in “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” and the original cast of “Fosse”. Sean’s film and television roles include Stanford Blatch’s boyfriend ‘Marcus’ in “Sex and the City”.
Andy Hockley played ‘Monsieur Firmin’ in the recent tour of “The Phantom of the Opera”. His other theatre credits include “Hello Dolly” at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park and “The Music Man” at Chichester Festival Theatre.
Martin Ball most recently played ‘Horace’ in the West End production of the Olivier Award-winning “Top Hat”. His other West End credits include ‘Thénardier’ in “Les Misérables”, ‘Harry Bright’ in “Mamma Mia!” and ‘Dr. Dillamond’ in the original cast of “Wicked” at the Apollo Victoria. Martin also played ‘George Banks’ in the UK tour of “Mary Poppins” for which he was awarded a TMA Theatre Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Touring Musical.
Claire Moore created the role of ‘Ellen’ in the original cast of “Miss Saigon”. Her numerous West End credits include the alternate ‘Christine’ in the original cast of “The Phantom of the Opera”, ‘Anna’ in “The King and I”, ‘Fantine’ and ‘Madame Thénardier’ in “Les Misérables” and ‘Nancy’ in “Oliver!”. Claire was most recently seen in the critically acclaimed “London Road” at the National Theatre.
Jacinta Mulcahy’s theatre credits include playing ‘Baroness’ in the recent national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s and David Ian’s production of “The Sound of Music”. Her other theatre credits include ‘Cosette’ in “Les Misérables” in the West End.
Cat Lane made her West End debut in “Grease” at the Piccadilly Theatre. She most recently played ‘Meg’ in the Asian and South African tours of “The Phantom of the Opera”.
Olivia Brereton recently made her stage debut as the alternate ‘Christine’ in the UK tour of “The Phantom of the Opera”. Whilst training her credits included ‘Clara Johnson’ in “The Light in the Piazza” and ‘Lucinda’ in “Into the Woods”.
Harriet Jones is making her West End debut after graduating with a First Class Honours Degree in classical voice from the Royal College of Music in London. Opera credits include ‘Flora’ in “Turn of the Screw” at Grimeborn Opera Festival, ‘Zerlina’ in Woodhouse Opera’s “Don Giovanni” and Classic FM’s 20th Birthday Celebration concert.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA became the longest running show in Broadway history on 9 January 2006 when it celebrated its 7,486th performance, surpassing the previous record holder “Cats”. This coincided with the Broadway and the US national touring company celebrating an unprecedented 20,000 performances in the United States. In January 2013 the Broadway production celebrated an amazing 25 years on Broadway. In October 2011 the London production celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a spectacular staging of “The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall” which was screened live in cinemas all over the world and subsequently released on DVD and in March 2013 the show celebrated 11,000 performances in the West End.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has won 70 major theatre awards, including seven Tonys on Broadway and three Olivier Awards in the West End. It won the ‘Most Popular Musical Audience Award’, voted by the public, in the 2002 Laurence Olivier Awards. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, which opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre on 9 October 1986 starred Michael Crawford as ‘The Phantom’ and Sarah Brightman as ‘Christine.’ It is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Theatre Company Limited.
Worldwide, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has grossed over £3.2 billion. The box office revenues are higher than any film or stage play in history, including “Titanic”, “ET” and “Star Wars”. It has been seen in 151 cities in 30 countries and played to over 130 million people. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is currently showing in London, New York, Budapest, Tokyo and Singapore. A new US Tour will open in November.
Performance times for “THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA” are Mondays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets are priced from £21 – £67.50 and are available from Her Majesty’s Theatre box office on 0844 412 2707 or visit “THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA” website www.thephantomoftheopera.com.
June 30, 2013
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical Stephen Ward, about the society osteopath caught up in the Profumo Affair of the 1960′s, at the Aldwych Theatre starring Alexander Hanson, Charlotte Spencer and Charlotte Blackledge.
Richard Eyre directs the world premiere of Stephen Ward at the Aldwych Theatre, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, book and lyrics are by playwright Christopher Hampton and lyricist Don Black, design by Rob Howell and choreography by Stephen Mear.
The principle cast includes Alexander Hanson (Jesus Christ Superstar) as Stephen Ward, Charlotte Spencer (Mary Poppins) as Christine Keeler, Charlotte Blackledge as Mandy Rice Davies, Anthony Calf (Private Lives) as Lord Astor, Daniel Flynn (Bracken Moor) as John Profumo and Joanna Riding (The Pajama Game) as Valerie Hobson. Other cast include Ian Conningham as Ivanov, Chris Howell as Murray, Ricardo Coke Thomas as Lucky Gordon and Wayne Robinson as Johnny Edgecomp, plus Martin Callaghan, Kate Coyston, Jason Denton, Julian Forsyth, Amy Griffiths, Paul Kemble, Emma Kate Nelson, Carl Sanderson, Emily Squibb, John Stacey, Helen Ternent and Tim Walton.
In 1963 a scandal shocked British society to its core.
And behind the scandal that hit John Profumo, the disgraced Minister for War, his mistress Christine Keeler, and the fatally wounded Conservative government of Harold Macmillan, sat Stephen Ward, the society osteopath whose private libertarian experiments blew up in his own and everyone else’s face.
In a trial that came to symbolise Britain in the Sixties, Ward became the targeted scapegoat of a furiously self-righteous Establishment. A reluctant martyr rather than a hero, and caught between an unholy alliance between the press and the police, he inadvertently became the hinge between two worlds as the revolution of manners, music and morals of the Sixties triumphed over the ordered, stuffy, respectful universe of the Fifties.
Stephen Ward promises to be a fascinating new musical from one of Britain’s most respected composers.
Theatre: Aldwych Theatre
April 22, 2013
The Sunday Times has published its annual Rich List of the UK’s wealthiest people. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2013, the Rich List is the definitive guide to the wealthiest people in Britain and Ireland.
Based on this year’s Rich List, we’ve put together the richest movers and shakers in the West End Theatre industry, including producers and theatre owners, musicians and writers.
|£825m||UP £100m||Cameron has had a good year with the movie version of Les Miserables proving a critical and box-office success, and giving a boost to the London show. Les Mis wlil also make a return to Broadway in 2014. His new production of Barnum playing at Chichester this summer is expected to transfer into the West End. Also expect more movie musicals.|
Andrew Lloyd Webber
|£620m||UP £30m||The Phantom of the Opera continues to do good business for Lloyd Webber with the West End and Broadway productions still running, and Tokyo, Budapest, Hamburg and UK and US tours bringing in money. Last year’s Evita on Broadway starring Ricky Martin did well, as did the UK arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar off the back of an ITV talent search. His recent sale of the Palace Theatre has boosted cash. New musicals in the pipeline include Profumo affair show Stephen Ward and a stage version of School of Rock.|
|£375m||We add Simon Fuller into the West End Rich List this year through his involvement in the Spice Girls musical Viva Forever! at the Piccadilly Theatre. Simon Cowell (worth £250m) will earn a place in the list next year when his new musical “X Factor – It’s Time To Face The Musical!” launches in 2014.|
|£240m||UP £20m||Elton John’s musical of Billy Elliot continues to perform well in London and on a North America tour, as does Disney’s The Lion King, for which John wrote the music. His forthcoming biopic Rocketman – a movie musical about his early life, through his film company Rocket Pictures, could also make the move to the stage.|
|£149m||Tim Rice has been busy on his first new musical for over a decade, a stage adaptation of From Here To Eternity, opening at the Shaftesbury Theatre in September 2013. His work with Andrew Lloyd Webber on musicals such as Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar, and with Elton John on Disney’s The Lion King, continue to bring in money for the lyricist.|
Brian May & Roger Taylor
|£95m, £90m||Queen’s rock musical We Will Rock You, based on the band’s back catalogue, continues to defy expectations at the Dominion Theatre in London as it passed its 10 year mark last year and has kicked off a massive World Tour this February. More international productions are planned.|
|£65m||Judy Craymer’s attempt to replicate the enormous success of Mamma Mia!, which is playing at the Novello Theatre in London, as well as on Broadway and in multiple other territories, has proved a challenge. Her new musical, Viva Forever! at the Piccadilly Theatre, based on the music of The Spice Girls, didn’t get the same critical and audience reaction as Mamma Mia!, but continues to run and is building its own fanbase.|
April 12, 2013
Theatre impresario and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has been listed as the second richest person in music in the Sunday Times Rich List 2013.
Lloyd Webber, with a £620 million fortune, is pipped to first place by former Beatle Paul McCartney, who is worth £680 million, the richest musician in the UK and Ireland.
Irish rock band U2 (£520 million) and singer Elton John (£240 million), who wrote the music for Billy Elliot The Musical, also make the Sunday Times Rich List 2013, to be published on Sunday 21 April 2013.
Recent revivals of Lloyd-Webber’s hugely successful stage shows, including Evita on Broadway and an arena tour of Jesus Chirst Superstar spun out of a TV talent show, have helped boost the composer and theatre owner’s fortune. The Phantom of the Opera also continues to pull in audiences in the West End, New York and around the world.
Also in the list, Rolling Stone Mick Jagger came joint fifth at £200 million alongside former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham and husband David Beckham. Viva Forever!, the musical that features the songs of the Spice Girls, continues to play at the Piccadilly Theatre in London.
Jesus Christ Superstar UK Arena Tour: O2 Arena London, Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham
January 7, 2013
The new arena production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s acclaimed musical Jesus Christ Superstar heads back on the road to The O2 Arena in London, plus Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Nottingham. Stars Tim Minchin, Melanie C, Chris Moyles and Ben Forster.
Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s legendary rock classic Jesus Christ Superstar returns to tour the UK this Autumn in a unique Arena Tour production.
Following sell-out performances last year, this spectacular arena musical sees the return of multiple award-winning performer Tim Minchin as Judas, pop icon and former Spice Girl Melanie C as Mary Magdalene and BBC Radio 1′s Breakfast Show host Chris Moyles as King Herod.
Plus the role of Jesus will be played by Ben Forster, winner of ITV’s SUPERSTAR talent show.
The show will tour to the O2 Arena in London, Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Nottingham.
THE HYDRO, GLASGOW
METRO ARENA, NEWCASTLE
CAPITAL FM ARENA, NOTTINGHAM
MANCHESTER ARENA, MANCHESTER
THE O2, LONDON
ECHO ARENA, LIVERPOOL