July 20, 2011
Andrew Lloyd-Webber told the New York Times’s Patrick Healy last week that the failure of Love Never Dies in the UK – and more notably the success of a new production of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, has led him to consider that, “what I might do is to have nothing to do with my shows for the foreseeable future.”
He admits in the interview that “anything I get involved with seems to go wrong… I’ve come to this new conclusion. I’ll just smile and turn up at opening nights.”
June 24, 2011
West End Live 2011 photos including Ramin Karimloo from Love Never Dies and the cast of Billy Elliot The Musical.
June 17, 2011
Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s multi-million pound sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, has announced its closure in the West End.
Rumours have circulated for some time that the show, which is produced by Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group and is housed in one of the company’s theatres, jointly owned with the Nederlanders, was losing a significant amount of money and would struggle to continue unless it saw a sharp rise in box-office receipts.
The National Theatre’s hit new show One Man, Two Guvnors starring Gavin and Stacey’s James Corden will move in to the venue from mid-November 2011.
It is unclear whether Love Never Dies will continue with its international roll-out, including a production in Toronto and a Broadway opening.
The show did open last month in Melbourne to fair reviews, with the Herald Sun giving the show four stars but saying that, “While Love Never Dies sets a visual design standard that will be difficult to surpass, it is disappointing that the narrative and music fail to reach the same lofty heights”. Australian National newspaper The Age said that, “An inspired, often ravishing production for sure, though of a sequel that doesn’t make a strong enough musical or narrative argument for its own existence.”
Lloyd Webber wanted to the show to be completely revisited for the Melbourne opening, recruiting New Zealand director Simon Phillips to work on the show. The hope was that a good production in Melbourne could act as the template for future international productions.
Love Never Dies got off to a decidedly shaky start in the UK, with creative differences between the director Jack O’Brien and Lord Lloyd Webber, prompting the composer to close the show for four days in November 2010 to allow friend and producer Bill Kenwright to make a number of changes.
It had been rumoured that the show would close again for two weeks in September 2011, when the current cast was to change, to incorporate some of the changes made by Simon Phillips from the Melbourne production.
In May, Baz Bamigboye reported in the Daily Mail that Really Useful Group were struggling with £4 million loses from the show despite significant cost cutting.
Other shows that had been thought to be lining up for the Adelphi included a Robert Lindsay-led revival of Camelot directed by David Leveaux.
- Show: Love Never Dies
- Theatre: Adelphi Theatre
- Date closing: 27 August 2011
- Stars: Ramin Karimloo, Celia Graham, David Thaxton
- Composer: Andrew Lloyd Webber
- Director: Jack O’Brien / Bill Kenwright
Photos of the unveiling of the Alan Jay Lerner memorial plaque at St Paul’s Church Covent Garden by Liz Robertson
June 16, 2011
Alan Jay Lerner memorial plaque unveiled at St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden.
My Fair Lady composer Alan Jay Lerner was honoured this Wednesday, 14 June 2011, with the unveiling of a plaque in St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden.
Twenty-five years after his death, the plaque was unveiled by his widow, Love Never Dies actress Liz Robertson, during a service which celebrated the successful composer’s life and work.
Friends and family attended the ceremony, including a number of theatre names including lyricists Don Black and Tim Rice, and actors Anthony Andrews, Russ Abbott, Jasper Britton and Tony Britton.
The venue, which is informally known as the Actor’s Church, was especially appropriate given than Alan Jay Lerner’s most famous musical, My Fair Lady, opens with Eliza Doolittle selling flowers from the portico of St Paul’s Church. My Fair Lady was based on the George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion, which is currently running at the Garrick Theatre in London.
In a touching moment during the ceremony, six actress who have all played Eliza in the past, including Alan Jay Lerner’s wife Liz Robertson and Katie Knight-Adams, Jill Martin, Jean Scott, Amy Nuttall and Sally Ann Howes, all came together to sing ‘Wouldn’t it be Loverly’.
Alan Jay Lerner’s work includes Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, Camelot, Gigi and On A Clear Day You Can See Forever. Liz Robertson is currently starring as Madame Giry in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies.
Photos by Roy Tan.
March 17, 2011
Olivier Award winner David Thaxton in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies
Welsh actor David Thaxton won a Best Actor in a Musical Olivier Award in 2011 for his standout performance as Giorgio in Passion at the Donmar Warehouse.
And now he has followed Joseph Millson into the role of Raoul in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre – the composer’s follow-up to The Phantom of the Opera.
David trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Performances in the West End include playing Enjolras in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre. He has also sang at the opening gala for the Wales Millennium Centre, and played roles in Trial by Jury, The Tailor’s Daughter, The Rake’s Progress, Sweeney Todd, The Cunning Little Vixen and Warchild.
He joins the cast of Love Never Dies alongside Ramin Karimloo as the Phantom, Celia Graham as Christine and Haley Flaherty as Meg.
March 7, 2011
Major cast changes tonight, 7 March 2011, as Love Never Dies and Priscilla Queen of the Desert issue in new stars.
LOVE NEVER DIES: The new cast starts tonight in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre. David Thaxton, who is nominated in this year’s Olivier Awards for his role in Passion, replaces Joseph Millson as Raoul, Celia Graham takes over from Sierra Boggess as Christine and Haley Flaherty will replace Summer Strallen as Meg. Ramin Karimloo stays on as the Phantom.
PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT: It is also all-change over at the Palace Theatre as Richard Grieve takes over from Ben Richards tonight in the lead role of Tick in Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Richard’s past roles include Jonny Foster in Emmerdale, Dr Lachlan Frazer in Home & Away and Sam Kratz in Neighbours. Also joining the cast is Mark Moraghan as Bob the mechanic. Mark is best known for playing Owen Davies in Holby City. They join existing stars of the show Don Gallagher as Bernadette and Oliver Thornton as Adam.
March 4, 2011
Production photos of Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre
Andrew Llloyd Webber’s LOVE NEVER DIES continues the story of ‘The Phantom’, who has moved from his lair in the Paris Opera House to haunt the fairgrounds of Coney Island, far across the Atlantic. Set ten years after the mysterious disappearance of ‘The Phantom’ from Paris, this show is a rollercoaster ride of obsession and intrigue…in which music and memory can play cruel tricks…and ‘The Phantom’ sets out to prove that, indeed, LOVE NEVER DIES.
February 22, 2011
Andrew Lloyd Webber confirms cast change for 7 March: Ramin Karimloo to stay as Phantom, David Thaxton joins as Raoul
Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre in London has confirmed that its cast will change on 7 March, with Sierra Boggess, who plays Christine, and Summer Strallen as Meg, both leaving the show.
They will be replaced by Celia Graham as Christine, who is currently in the ensemble of the show and understudies Sierra in the role, and Haley Flaherty, who recently played Janet in the UK tour of The Rocky Horror Show, as Meg,.
Ramin Karimloo, who originated the role of the Phantom in the new show, will stay on in the musical, to be joined by David Thaxton, who will replace Joseph Millson in the part of Raoul.
Other new cast members include Tracey Penn as Fleck and Charles Brunton as Gangle. Liz Roberton and Adam Pearce will continue in the show.
Love Never Dies was recently nominated for seven Olivier Awards, including best new musical, Ramin for best actor in a musical and Sierra Boggess for best actress in a musical. Love Never Dies also did well at Sunday’s Whatsonstage Awards, with Ramin Karimloo wining best actor in a musical and Joseph Millson winning best supporting actor in a musical.
David Thaxton joins the cast after his critical success last year in Passion at the Donmar Warehouse, alongside Elena Roger. He has also been nominated for a best actor in a musical Olivier Award for his part in Passion.
Andrew Lloyd Webber said that, “I’m absolutely thrilled that Love Never Dies has finally been recognised in this way.”
The initial criticism for Love Never Dies faced by Lloyd Webber from a group of loyal Phantom of the Opera fans was also referenced by the compsoer, who thanked “our loyal ‘Phans’, who have been so supportive of the show since it opened.”
He also paid tribute to the cast and company who, “have worked so hard throughout and have embraced the changes to the show, which have proved so successful.” Since opening Love Never Dies, Lloyd-Webber has brought in Bill Kenwright to make a number of changes to director Jack O’Brien’s original staging, and has tweaked some of the book and songs.
Sierra Boggess will leave Love Never Dies and go to Broadway, to star alongside Tyne Daly in a new production of Terence McNally’s play Master Class about the great opera diva Maria Callas. Summer Strallen will star in a new production of classic movie musical Top Hat with Tom Chambers. Joseph Millson will star in the National’s new production of Clifford Odets’s Rocket to the Moon, directed by Angus Jackson, alongside Keeley Hawes.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of The Wizard of Oz is currently previewing at the London Palladium starring Danielle Hope, Michael Crawford and Hannah Waddingham. The show opens on 1 March.
New Casting Announced For “Love Never Dies” Recently Nominated In 7 Major Categories For The 2011 Laurence Olivier Awards Now Winner Of Two 2011 Whatsonstage.Com Awards
February 22, 2011
Hot on the heels of garnering 7 major nominations for the 2011 Laurence Oliver Awards, with two wins at the 2011 Whatsonstage.com awards, and following the show’s recent redirection and ensuing critical acclaim, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “LOVE NEVER DIES” today announces new casting.
Ramin Karimloo, nominated for Best Actor in a Musical Olivier, will continue to star as ‘The Phantom’, with Tam Mutu as his alternate. Celia Graham will take over the role of ‘Christine’ from Sierra Boggess, nominated for Best Actress in a Musical. Liz Robertson will continue to star as ‘Madame Giry’, and Haley Flaherty will join to star as ‘Meg Giry’. David Thaxton, also nominated the Best Actor in a Musical for his recent role in ‘Passion’ at the Donmar Warehouse will star as ‘Raoul’. Adam Pearce will continue to play ‘Squelch’ and Tracey Penn will join as ‘Fleck’ and Charles Brunton as ‘Gangle’, with Jack Costello, Daniel Dowling and Harry Polden sharing the role of ‘Gustave’.
The company also includes Nick Blair, Dale Branston, Abigail Brodie, Kieran Brown, Nick Crossley, Natalie Edmunds, Chris Gage, Lucy Van Gasse, Mirela Golinska, Daniel Gourlay, Simon Ray Harvey, Grace Holdstock, Lucinda Lawrence, Vanessa Leagh-Hicks, Louisa Lydell, Lisa Mathieson, David McMullan, Colette Morrow, Ashley Nottingham, Mira Ormala, Rae Piper, Alexa-Jayne Robinson, Andrew Rothwell, Simon Storey, Tim Walton and Zara Warren.
The winners of the 2011 Whatsonstage.com Awards were announced at the Awards Concert in the West End on Sunday 20 February. Ramin Karimloo won Best Actor in a Musical, and Joseph Millson won Best Supporting Actor in a Musical. “LOVE NEVER DIES” has also gained Olivier Award nominations in the following categories: Best Performance in a Supporting Role for Summer Strallen, Best Lighting Design for Paul Constable, Best Set Design and Best Costume Design for Bob Crowley.
Andrew Lloyd Webber said, “I’m absolutely thrilled that “LOVE NEVER DIES” has finally been recognised in this way. I would like to pay tribute to our wonderful company, who have worked so hard throughout and have embraced the changes to the show, which have proved so successful. I’d also like to thank our loyal ‘Phans’, who have been so supportive of the show since it opened. I’m particularly happy about the timing of this announcement, given that my new show, “THE WIZARD OF OZ”, has just started previews.”
“LOVE NEVER DIES” continues the story of ‘The Phantom’, who has moved from his lair in the Paris Opera House to haunt the fairgrounds of Coney Island, far across the Atlantic. Set ten years after the mysterious disappearance of ‘The Phantom’ from Paris, this show is a rollercoaster ride of obsession and intrigue…in which music and memory can play cruel tricks…and ‘The Phantom’ sets out to prove that, indeed, “LOVE NEVER DIES”.
ADELPHI THEATRE. “LOVE NEVER DIES” is now booking until January 2012. The first performance of the new company will be on Monday 7 March at the Adelphi Theatre. The 2011 Laurence Olivier Awards, sponsored by MasterCard, will take place on Sunday 13 March at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Release issued by: Peter Thompson Associates
February 21, 2011
Legally Blonde picks up four awards; Shakespeare’s Globe wins best new play for Anne Boleyn
The Whatsonstage Awards were announced last night, 20 February 2011, at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London. Musical Legally Blonde at the Savoy Theatre won four awards including best new musical and best actress in a musical for Sheridan Smith, who played leading lady Elle Woods in the show until last month.
It was also a good night for outdoor London venues as best new play went to Howard Brenton’s Anne Boleyn at Shakespeare’s Globe, which is returning to the venue this summer, and best director went to the Open Air Theatre’s artistic director Timothy Sheader for his 2010 summer productions of Into the Woods and The Crucible.
Other big winners included Les Miserables, which grabbed best ensemble performance and best theatre event of the year for its 25th anniversary concert at the O2, and best musical revival for the national touring production which ended its run at the Barbican theatre last autumn; and best West End show went to Wicked at the Apollo Victoria, with the show’s current star Rachel Tucker winning best takeover in a role.
Best actress was awarded to Zoe Wanamaker for her performance in All My Sons at the Apollo Theatre, alongside her co-star David Suchet, who picked up best actor. Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, also won two awards, with Ramin Karimloo taking home best actor in a musical, joined by Joseph Millson as best supporting actor in a musical.
Other highlights included Yes, Prime Minister, which beat current best play award winner and Olivier Award best play favourite Clybourne Park in the best comedy category, Meera Syal named best solo performance for Shirley Valentine, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof winning best play revival, Joanna Scotcher winning best set design for The Railway Children at Waterloo Station and American actor Jonathan Groff taking home London newcomer of the year for his role alongside Simon Russell Beale in Deathtrap at the Noel Coward Theatre.
Finally, in the only category to celebrate National theatre, Craig Revel Horwood’s new production of Chess won best regional production.
The annual awards, which are voted for by members of the public, saw 45,000 votes registered this year. See a full list of winners here.
Public voting is now under way for the Olivier Awards Audience Award, to be announced on 13 March. See WestEndTheatre.com’s new Olivier Awards microsite for further information.