July 7, 2014
Photos of the Cats press launch at the London Palladium with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gillian Lynne and Trevor Nunn.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical CATS is returning to London this Christmas in a re-imagining of the iconic stage show.
Running for a limited 3 month season at the Palladium, the show will see the original creative team of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, choreographer Gillian Lynne, director Trevor Nunn and designer John Napier reunite to oversee this new production, based on the current UK touring production.
At the press launch on 7 July 2014 the cast of the touring production performed a sequence from the show, and the creative team discussed the new production.
Photos by Dan Wooller
July 7, 2014
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of CATS was launched today at the London Palladium.
The iconic musical, which opens on 6 December 2014 at the London Palladium, is getting a makeover courtesy of the show’s original creative team – composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, choreographer Gillian Lynne, director Trevor Nunn and designer John Napier.
Lloyd Webber, Lynne and Nunn were all at the London launch today, 7 July 2014, along with the show’s producer David Ian (The Bodyguard).
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking show, which is based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, will run for a limited 12 week season at the Palladium.
The composer will re-write the music to two of Eliot’s poems, including setting Rum Tum Tugger to a rap. He told the launch audience that, “hopefully its’ going to be a brand new cats”.
Gillian Lynne also hinted at introducing different and more contemporary dance styles in the show’s makeover. She jokingly revealed that the hugely physical show, which is one of the only musicals that is dominated by dance, has been responsible for giving her two metal hips and a metal knee. She said that the musical, told through dance, was “not like any other show at all”.
John Napier will re-imagine and update the design of the original production.
Chrissie Cartwright, who is the long term Associate Director of Cats, will work with Nunn and Lynne in re-directing the production for the London Palladium.
Given that the show will run over the Christmas season, the producers are going to lay on a full “Cats Experience” at the theatre including using the Val Parnell Bar to host kid’s activities including Cats face painting and a photo-booth where the audience can have their picture taken as a cat!
The original West End and Broadway runs of the show both claimed the “longest-running musical” records, and Cats has gone on to tour to over 300 cities worldwide, making it one of the world’s most successful shows. Its awards include Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical and seven Tony Award wins.
Cats was originally produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group Limited, with this new staging – which is based on the current UK tour – produced by David Ian.
This is the second Andrew Lloyd Webber show this month that has announced its return to London, with the current touring production of Evita starring Marti Pellow coming to the Dominion Theatre for a limited season from 16 September 2014.
Casting for Cats is to be announced in September.
July 3, 2014
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s powerful musical Evita returns to the West End starring Marti Pellow.
Epic musical Evita by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice returns to London in a major production from Bill Kenwright and Really Useful Group.
Starring Marti Pellow as Che and Madalena Alberto as Evita, the show comes into the Dominion Theatre following a hugely successful UK tour.
Evita will be the first production to reopen the Dominion Theatre following a lavish, multi-million pound refurbishment.
Evita features many of Rice and Lloyd Webber’s biggest hit songs including Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, On This Night Of A Thousand Stars, Another Suitcase In Another Hall, Oh What A Circus and many more.
Running for only 55 performances from 16 September 2014, don’t miss this extraordinary, powerful musical in the West End.
Evita is directed by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright, with design by Matthew Wright and choreography by Bill Deamer.
Evita tells the dramatic story of Eva Peron, wife of Argentine dictator Juan Peron, from her humble beginnings and childhood in poverty to extraordinary wealth, power and iconic status as the spiritual leader of the Argentine nation.
Marti Pellow stars as Che Guevara. Marti has enjoyed huge success as a pop star, first with Wet Wet Wet and then as a solo artist. His West End and stage credits include The Witches of Eastwick, Chess, Jekyll & Hyde, Chicago and Blood Brothers.
Madalena Alberto stars as Eva Person. Madalena’s musical theatre credits include Piaf at the Curve Theatre, Leicester, Fantine in the 25th Anniversary production of Les Misérables, Lucy in Jekyll and Hyde (Union Theatre, London), Carmen Diaz in Fame (UK Tour), Sam in Over the Threshold (Edinburgh and London) and Sonia in Godspell (Union Theatre, London).
Reviews from the current UK touring production
“A monumental show” The Sunday Express
“Everything about this production is spectacular” What’s on Stage
“I defy anybody who sees this production to say they have seen a better one” The Stage
“A show with passion, endless emotion and style” Daily Post
“Evita Triumphs – A Dazzling Success” The Echo
“A truly magnificent show, with a truly magnificent star” What’s on Stage
“A stunning performance that richly deserved its standing ovation” The Stage
June 27, 2014
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking musical CATS returns to London this Christmas.
One of the greatest and most successful musicals of all time is returning to its original home city of London this Christmas, as CATS comes to the London Palladium for a limited 12 week season.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s huge international hit show has been staged in over 26 countries worldwide and seen by millions. The original London production smashed all box-office records, playing for 21 years and becoming the world’s longest-running musical.
And now the show that won Best Musical at the Olivier and Tony Awards returns to London for a 12 weeks season from 6 December 2014.
Based on T. S. Eliot’s much-loved Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the show’s original creative team of Andrew Lloyd Webber, director Trevor Nunn, choreographer Gillian Lynne and designer John Napier will reunite for this brand new production. Chrissie Cartwright, long term Associate Director of Cats, will work with Trevor Nunn and Gillian Lynne in re-directing the production for the London Palladium.
An extraordinary score by Andrew Lloyd Webber includes 20 timeless melodies including hit song “Memory”, and the show will feature spectacular sets, stunning costumes and breathtaking choreography.
Tickets to the show will also include a unique “Cats Experience” for kids, including Cats face painting.
Experience this legendary musical phenomenon in London this Christmas.
This magical blend of fantasy, drama and romance is set on the night that the Jellicle Cats meet for the Jellicle Ball.
On just one special night of the year, all Jellicle cats meet at the Jellicle Ball where Old Deuteronomy, their wise and benevolent leader, makes the Jellicle choice and announces which of them will go up to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.
Casting information to be announced shortly.
June 27, 2014
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals CATS and EVITA are to return to the West End this year.
Two of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most successful musicals are both to return to the West End this year, with the UK touring production of Evita coming to the Dominion Theatre in September starring Marti Pellow, and Cats coming to the London Palladium this Christmas.
Cats at the London Palladium
One of the West End and Broadway’s longest-running shows is to return to London this Christmas as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS comes to the London Palladium for 12 weeks.
Running from early December 2014 for 12 weeks, tickets go on sale on 7 July 2014.
Based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot, the original show was directed by Trevor Nunn, choreographed by Gillian Lynne and designed by John Napier. Chrissie Cartwright, long term Associate Director of Cats, will work with Trevor Nunn and Gillian Lynne in re-directing the production for the London Palladium.
The show premiered at the New London Theatre in 1981 and played for 21 years in the West End – over 9,000 performances! – and scooped Olivier and Evening Standard Best Musical awards. The Broadway production won 7 Tonys.
Cats has been produced in over 26 countries and is currently touring the UK and Europe.
Expect Elaine Paige, who starred in the original show and became an overnight success in the role of Grizabella singing the hit song “Memory”, to be at the opening night!
The next big show on at the London Palladium is Michael Flatley’s new dance epic Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games. Also a number of comedians and musicians will be playing the Palladium over the next year including John Barrowman on 24 May 2015.
Evita at the Dominion Theatre
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s classic musical Evita is to return to London this September.
Evita, which has been touring the UK, will open at the Dominion Theatre from 16 September 2014, for a strictly limited run until 1 November 2014.
The show will star former Wet Wet Wet pop star Marti Pellow as Che and rising talent Madalena Alberto as Evita.
Evita features many of Rice and Lloyd Webber’s biggest songs including Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, On This Night Of A Thousand Stars, Another Suitcase In Another Hall, Oh What A Circus and many more.
The musical is directed by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright.
Following Evita at the Dominion will be festive favourite White Christmas starring Aled Jones and Tom Chambers.
May 18, 2014
The Sunday Times has published its annual Rich List of the UK’s wealthiest people. The Rich List is the definitive guide to the wealthiest people in Britain and Ireland and includes a list of the richest entertainment and music industry professionals.
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.
The big news this year is that theatre impressario Cameron Mackintosh has made it on to the UK’s billionaires list (Read More).
West End Theatre Rich List
|£1,000m||UP £175m||Cameron opens his new revival of Miss Saigon this week at the Prince Edward Theatre, and if all goes well expect a Broadway production and further international roll-out, plus a possible big-screen adaptation. His movie version of Les Miserables not only earned him significant revue, helping him achieve billionaire status for the first time this year, but the show has also recently returned to Broadway. Investment in restoring his 7 West End theatres has also increased these assets, plus UK tours of Barnum and Betty Blue Eyes and continuous productions of Phantom and the rest of his stable of hits will guarantee his billionaire status for a while.|
Andrew Lloyd Webber
|£640m||UP £20m||Not a fabulous year for Lloyd Webber with his new West End show Stephen Ward closing after only four months. But his former hits including The Phantom of the Opera, Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar continue to perform well, and a forthcoming Rocket Pictures (owned by Elton John) animated version of Joseph is in the works. Lloyd Webber is also planning a stage version of School of Rock – probably for Broadway, and his assets include a number of West End theatres including crown jewels the London Palladium and Theatre Royal Drury Lane.|
|£300m||£50m||Simon Cowell gets to go in this year – in the place that his rival Simon Fuller took last year. Both have dallied with the dangerous game of West End musicals – and came unstuck. Fuller invested in Spice Girls musical Viva Forever! at the Piccadilly Theatre – a show based on a TV talent show – and it flopped. This year Simon Cowell did the same, backing Harry Hill’s musical parody of The X Factor, I Can’t Sing! That show, which closed earlier this month, proved an even bigger flop than Viva!, lasting only a few weeks in the West End. This won’t damage Cowell much with the eighth series of Britain’s Got Talent now back on UK screens and the return of The X Factor later in the year.|
|£260m||UP £20m||Elton John’s musical of Billy Elliot continues to perform in London (now starring West End leading lady Ruthie Henshall), as does Disney’s The Lion King, for which John wrote the music. There’s no further news about his planned biopic Rocketman – a movie musical about his early life, through his film company Rocket Pictures, which could also make the move to the stage. Elton is one of the UK’s biggest charity doners, having given away £24m in 2013.|
|£149m||–||Tim Rice has done well working with other Rich Listers – including Andrew Lloyd Webber on Joseph, Jesus Chirst Superstar and Evita, and Elton John on Disney’s The Lion King. That also goes for a number of other Disney shows he has contributed to including Aladdin – which is currently a big hit on Broadway and there are plans to bring it over to London sooner rather than later. He has been less successful working with others, with his recent new musical From Here To Eternity at the Shaftesbury Theatre only lasting a few month and failing to find favour with large audiences.|
Brian May & Roger Taylor
|£105m, 1000m||£10m, £10m||This may be the last time Queen bandmates May and Taylor appear in our West End rich list for a while as their rock musical We Will Rock You, based on the band’s back catalogue, ends its run at the Dominion Theatre at the end of May. That is unless rumours of a sequel prove true! Outside of theatre they are working on a new album and continue to tour.|
|£65m||–||The dust has now settled over the failure of Judy Craymer’s new musical, Viva Forever!,, and the successful impressario has refocused on Mamma Mia!, with the London production continuing to do well at the Novello Theatre in London, as well as on Broadway and in multiple other territories, including a recent return to La Vegas. A possible movie sequel to Mamma Mia!, which might have also spawned a new musical, has stalled.|
FUTURE WEST END RICH LIST
Next year’s West End Theatre Rich List might include the following, if new stage projects go to plan:
Harvey Weinstein (£115m), Gary Barlow (£65m)
Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who is married to British fashion-designer Georgina Chapman, has reworked his musical adaptation of Finding Neverland. Originally staged in Leicester, the show has been reworked by a new creative team including songwriter Gary Barlow and director Diane Paulus. The show will premiere in July 2014 as part of the 2014-15 season at the American Repertory Theater, and if a success will move to Broadway and then the West End.
JK Rowling (£570m)
Writer of the Harry Potter series of books, JK Rowling, is collaborating on a new stage play based on Harry Potter’s early years. With Once director John Tiffany rumoured to be directing, alongside Let The Right One In adapter Jack Thorne writing the show, it could be in the West End by 2015.
March 20, 2014
Andrew Lloyd Webber may be planning a Broadway production of Love Never Dies.
Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, may be getting a Broadway transfer after all.
The show had a disappointing debut in London, lasting only 18 months at the Adelphi Theatre from February 2010 to August 2011. A planned Broadway transfer for Spring 2011 was subsequently cancelled.
However, in an interview with Broadway.com last week Lloyd Webber confirmed that he is now aiming for an American premiere of the show.
The change of heart has been the critical and artistic success of a subsequent production of Love Never Dies directed by Simon Phillips in Melbourne in 2010, shortly after the Jack O’Brien-helmed original West End production opened.
Simon Phillips joined Lloyd Webber for the interview, as the pair work together on the Japanese production of the show, which is now running at the Nissay Theatre in Tokyo.
Simon Phillips had reworked the show substantially for Melbourne and his production has now travelled to Vienna, and may also open in Germany’s musicals capital, Hamburg.
Lloyd Webber told Broadway.com that, “It’d be great to get it into America now… [the new production] matches the music entirely. It’s seamless, absolutely of one piece.”
Lloyd Webber is also going to rework the ending of the show for Broadway.
Watch the Google Hangouts video with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Simon Phillips, below.
March 1, 2014
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera continues to delight millions of people around the world – including the original production at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London.
One of the most famous and successful musicals of all time, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera is a jaw-dropping spectacle featuring a beautiful score, extraordinary scenery and effects and a timeless tragic love story.
Since the musical opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre on 9 October 1986 starring Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, the show has travelled to world and entertained millions of people, with the original extraordinary production having captivated audiences for over 11,000 performances.
Beneath the beauty of the Paris Opera House lurks the Phantom, living in a shadowy existence. A man utterly shamed by his physical appearance and feared by everyone, the only love he holds in his heart is for his beautiful protégée Christine Daaé; a love so strong that even she cannot resist him despite her affections for the handsome Raoul.
The current cast includes Gerónimo Rauch as The Phantom, Olivia Brereton and Harriet Jones alternating in the role of Christine Daaé, Sean Palmer as Raoul, Lara Martins as Carlotta, Andy Hockley as Monsieur Firmin, Martin Ball as Monsieur André and Jacinta Mulcahy as Madame Giry.
The Phantom of the Opera opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London on 9 October 1986.
Theatre: Her Majesty’s Theatre
February 24, 2014
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical Stephen Ward has posted closing notices at the Aldwych Theatre.
The new musical, which premiered on 19 December 2013, will end its run at the Aldwych Theatre on 29 March 2014.
The show about society osteopath Stephen Ward and the Profumo Affair of the 1960′s stars Alexander Hanson in the title role alongside Charlotte Spencer as Christine Keeler and Charlotte Blackledge as Mandy Rice Davies.
The show closes on the same day as Lloyd Webber’s former writing partner Tim Rice’s new musical From Here to Eternity closes at the Shaftesbury Theatre, highlighting the tough conditions for new musicals in the West End.
Stephen Ward’s producer Robert Fox said in a statement that he was “very proud of the show and our wonderful Company” and that, “Andrew has never been afraid to embrace difficult and challenging subject matters”.
Directed by Richard Eyre, Stephen Ward features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book and lyrics by Christopher Hampton and Don Black.
February 3, 2014
Video: A new trailer for Stephen Ward The Musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber at the Aldwych Theatre
A brand new trailer has been released for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical Stephen Ward at the Aldwych Theatre.
The show stars 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.
Stephen Ward – Trailer