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Funny Girl at the Menier Chocolate Factory theatre

June 24, 2015 

Sheridan Smith stars in the Menier Chocolate Factory production of Broadway hit musical Funny Girl

Forever associated with Barbra Streisand, Funny Girl return’s to the London stage this Winter starring Sheridan Smith in the Menier Chocolate Factory theatre production. With classic songs including ‘People’ and ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’  Funny Girl is a Broadway hit musical based on the life and career of comedienne, film and Broadway star Fanny Brice.


The musical is set in and around New York City just prior to and following World War I.  Ziegfeld Follies star Fanny Brice, awaiting the return of her husband, Nick Arnstein, from prison, reflects on their life together, with their story told through flashbacks.


Sheridan Smith stars as Fanny Brice with further casting to be announced.


Funny Girl is a musical with a book by Isobel Lennart, music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Bob Merrill.

The London creative team is yet to be announced.


Coming soon

Sheridan’s a Funny Girl

June 18, 2015 

Sheridan’s a Funny Girl – Sheridan Smith is to star in a Menier Chocolate Factory production of Funny Girl

It seems the Menier Chocolate Factory have a secret Barbra Streisand crush. Hot on the heels of the hilariously funny Buyer and Cellar starring Michael Urie they are now planning a production of Funny Girl – starring no less than National Treasure in the making Sheridan Smith.  It’s a tall order taking on a role made famous by Barbra Streisand but with her comic timing, beautiful voice and love of musical theatre Smith would make a brilliant Fanny Brice.

Whilst Smith is reportedly still in negotiations, one issue is what happens to the show after the Menier run – the Menier and the Broadway director Michael Mayer would like it to live on however the West End rights are owned by Sonia Freedman productions. No doubt these ‘minor’ details will be ironed out and you can expect to see Smith singing memories at the Chocolate Factory later this year. Bring on Christmas!


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Sheridan Smith to star in Easter Parade?

January 9, 2015 

Sheridan Smith, Alex Gaumond and director Jerry Mitchell to reunite on Irving Berlin’s Easter Parade?

Alex Gaumond and Sheridan Smith in their Legally Blonde days

Alex Gaumond and Sheridan Smith in their Legally Blonde days

Gossip is swirling through theatreland that Broadway director Jerry Mitchell’s next project with Ambassador Theatre Group may be Irving Berlin’s Easter Parade.

The show would be part of Mitchell’s new prod co with ATG’s Howard Panter, their first project being Dirty Rotten Scoundrels currently playing at the Savoy Theatre starring Robert Lindsay and Alex Gaumond.

Jerry Mitchell and ATG had previously partnered on Legally Blonde The Musical at the Savoy, which starred Sheridan Smith and Alex Gaumond.

Now all three – Mitchell, Smith and Gaumond – are set to reunite on a new production of Irving Berlin’s classic musical Easter Parade.

The show will feature a new book by US playwright Ken Ludwig, who has good form on reviving classic American musicals due to his award-winning work on Crazy For You.

A workshop of the show will be held shortly, and will also include Dan Burton (Gypsy in Chichester) and Sophie Isaacs (Made in Dagenham).

The famous 1948 movie version of Easter Parade starred Judy Garland, and the show will feature all of the songs from the movie plus some other classic from the Irving Berlin catalogue.

Jerry Mitchell’s current smash-hit production of Kinky Boots is still doing great business on Broadway and is set to come to London in late 2015 or 2016.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels directed by Jerry Mitchell is playing at the Savoy Theatre until 7 March 2015.

Gossip source: Daily Mail (9/1/15)


Book tickets to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy Theatre

New Year honours for Kristin Scott Thomas, Sheridan Smith, James Corden, John Hurt

December 31, 2014 

Acclaimed stage and screen actress Kristin Scott Thomas has been recognised in the 2015 New Year honours list.

Kristin Scott Thomas made a Dame

Kristin Scott Thomas made a Dame

The celebrated actress, who recently starred in Electra at the Old Vic and will shortly star as The Queen in Peter Morgan’s revival of his play The Audience at the Apollo Theatre in April, will be made a dame.

Actor John Hurt, one of the most prominent screen actors of his generation, has also been honoured with a much overdue knighthood for work including The Elephant Man, Midnight Express and The Naked Civil Servant.

Joan Collins has also been awarded a damehood, for all of her charitable and philanthropic work, under the diplomatic and overseas honours list for 2015.

Other West End figures to be honoured in the New Year list include CBEs for Meera Syal MBE who is currently starring in David Hare’s new play Behind the Beautiful Forevers at the National Theatre, the Southbank Centre’s artistic director Jude Kelly, opera and theatre director Richard Jones and Chief Executive of the Arts Council England, Alan Davey.

Actors and actresses in the list include James Corden and Sheridan Smith, both of whom get an OBE. The pair starred together in TV comedy Gavin and Stacey and both have impressive stage and screen credits including Corden’s current Hollywood movie of Sondheim’s Into the Woods and his award-winning stage role in Richard Bean’s One Man Two Guvnors, and Smith’s screen work in recent ITV drama Cilla and acclaimed West End roles including Legally Blonde The Musical.

Actress Emily Watson is also honoured with an OBE.

Two prominent theatre designers are celebrated on the list, with Olivier Award winner Es Devlin getting an OBE for work that includes Chimerica and forthcoming West End transfer The Nether, and an MBE for theatre designer Tom Piper who designed the Poppies installation at the Tower of London and is an RSC associate designer.

Theatre creatives honoured include OBEs for Barrie Rutter, founder and artistic director of Northern Broadsides, Jeanetta Laurence, associate director of the Royal Ballet, Joseph Seelig, co-Founder of the London International Mime Festival and Faith Liddell, director of the Festivals Edinburgh; Also MBEs for outgoing artistic director of the Curve Theatre in Leicester, Paul Kerryson, Graeme James Phillips, artistic director of the Unity Theatre  and John Woolf, Head of Music at the Royal Shakespeare Company.


2015 New Year Honours list in full


Book tickets to The Audience at the Apollo Theatre starring Kristin Scott Thomas

Photos: Olivier Awards 2013 – Awards night and winners

April 29, 2013 

Photos from the 2013 Olivier Awards at the Royal Opera House in London.

Helen Mirren, best actress winner at the 2013 Olivier Awards

Helen Mirren, best actress winner at the 2013 Olivier Awards

See photos from this year’s Olivier Awards including:

  • Luke Treadaway from The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time
  • Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton from Sweeney Todd
  • The cast of Top Hat
  • Helen Mirren from The Audience
  • The cast of Billy Elliot The Musical
  • The cast of A Chorus Line
  • Will Young from Cabaret
  • Special Award winners, playwright Michael Frayn and choreographer Gillian Lynne
  • Glee stars Matthew Morrison and Idina Menzel
  • Hosts Sheridan Smith and Hugh Bonneville
  • Presenters Damian Lewis, Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Crawford and Kim Cattrall
  • Performer Petula Clarke
  • Heather Headley from The Bodyguard

Viewing this on a tablet or mobile? Click here to see photos


View all winners of the Olivier Awards 2013


Winners of the 2013 Olivier Awards announced

April 28, 2013 

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time scoops 7 awards at this year’s Olivier Awards.

Luke Treadaway wins Best Actor

Luke Treadaway wins Best Actor

At a glamorous event at the Royal Opera House in London, the Society of London Theatre’s annual Olivier Awards were held this evening, Sunday 28 April 2013, hosted by Sheridan Smith and Hugh Bonneville.

The show of the night was undoubtedly the National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, which is now playing at the Apollo Theatre in London. The show, based on Mark Haddon’s acclaimed novel, won 7 awards including best new play, best director for Marianne Elliot, best actor for Luke Treadaway and best supporting actress for Nicola Walker. The show equaled that of last year’s big winner, Matilda the Musical.

The leading musicals of the night were Chichester Festival Theatre’s Sweeney Todd and Top Hat at the Aldwych Theatre, which both won 3 awards. Sweeney Todd won best musical revival, best actor in a musical for Michael Ball and best actress in a musical for Imelda Staunton, and Top Hat scooped best new musical, best theatre choreographer for Bill Deamer and best costume design for Jon Morrell.

Helen Mirren wins Best Actress for The Audience

Helen Mirren wins Best Actress for The Audience

Helen Mirren won a best actress award for her role as The Queen in Peter Morgan’s play The Audience at the Gielgud Theatre, alongside her co-star Richard McCabe, who won best supporting actor.

Billy Elliot The Musical won the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award, voted for by members of the theatregoing public. Other awards included Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre to the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court for its Season of New Writing, Best Revival for A Long Day’s Journey Into Night at the Apollo Theatre, Best Entertainment and Family for Goodnight Mr Tom at the Phoenix Theatre and Leigh Zimmerman won Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her role in A Chorus Line at the London Palladium.

Playwright Michael Frayn and dancer and choreographer Gillian Lynne were presented with Special Awards at the event. Roger Allam gave Michael Frayn his award, and David Suchet and Michael Crawford presented Gillian Lynne with her Special Award.

Olivier hosts Hugh Bonneville and Sheridan Smith

Olivier hosts Hugh Bonneville and Sheridan Smith

Live musical performers included Matthew Morrison, Idina Menzel, Michael Ball, Tim Minchin, Sheridan Smith and Petula Clark, with the casts of Cabaret, A Chorus Line, The Bodyguard and Top Hat included in the night.


View all winners of the Olivier Awards 2013

View a clip of Billy Elliot The Musical – live from the Olivier Awards

Hugh Bonneville announced as co-host of the Olivier Awards

March 8, 2013 

Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville will join Sheridan Smith as hosts of this year’s Olivier Awards.

The star of stage and screen will join double Olivier Award-winning actress Smith on stage at the stunning Royal Opera House on 28 April to oversee the most prestigious event in the theatre awards calendar.

Making his professional debut at the Regent’s Park Open Air theatre in 1986, Bonneville is a fitting choice to join Legally Blonde star Smith, with the actor boasting numerous theatre credits over the course of his acclaimed career.

While arguably best known for his screen roles as Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham and in a host of popular television programmes including Twenty Twelve and Rev, the Notting Hill star is also a seasoned stage performer, his early career seeing him work extensively at the National Theatre and another equally prestigious institution, the Royal Shakespeare Company, earning him an Ian Charleson Award nomination.

In more recent years, Bonneville appeared in Sam Mendes’ production of Habeas Corpus, the Kevin Spacey-directed Cloaca at the Old Vic theatre and was last on stage as part of last year’s star-studded gala performance of The Mousetrap.

The announcement comes as the excitement for the most eagerly awaited night in London theatre builds. On the night theatre fans will be able to listen live to the ceremony on BBC Radio 2, watch a special highlights programme on ITV following the ceremony or gather to watch a live relay on big screens at the Covent Garden piazza event, which returns for 2013 with live performances to be announced.

Whatsonstage Awards winners announced

February 18, 2013 

The winners of the Whats On Stage awards have been announced, including The Bodyguard winning Best New Musical.

Heather Headley and the cast of The Bodyguard perform at this year's Whatsonstage Awards. The Bodyguard scooped Best New Musical. Photo: Peter Gibbons

Heather Headley and the cast of The Bodyguard perform at this year’s Whatsonstage Awards. The Bodyguard scooped Best New Musical. Photo: Peter Gibbons

At a ceremony last night, 17 February 2013, at the Palace Theatre in London a host of West End stars gathered for the annual awards, voted for by members of the theatregoing public.

Hosted by Mel Giedroyc and Rufus Hound, over 60,000 people voted for this year’s awards.

Big winners included Chichester’s West End transfer of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, with Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton both taking home awards for Best Actor and Best Actress in a Musical. The show also picked up gongs for Best Musical Revival, Best Director for Jonathan Kent and Best Lighting Designer for Mark Henderson.

Other musicals to take home prizes last night included The Bodyguard, which against stiff competition scooped the Best New Musical award. The arena tour production of Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar saw Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical awards go to  Tim Minchin and Melanie C respectively.

And hot on the heels of the new film version of Les Miserables, Cameron Mackintosh’s original London production at the Queen’s Theatre won Best West End Show and Best Takeover for Ramin Karimloo for his performance as Jean Valjean.

In other musical awards, pop star Will Young received the London Newcomer of the Year award for his West End debut performance as the Emcee in Cabaret at the Savoy Theatre. Broadway star Idina Menzel, the original Elphaba in Wicked, scooped Best Solo Performance for her West End concert last year, Boy George musical Taboo at Brixton Club House won Best Off-West End Production, and Green Day’s Broadway musical American Idiot took Best Regional Production for its autumn tour.

In drama, Sheridan Smith continued her awards run as she took Best Actress in a Play for Hedda Gabler at the Old Vic. Best Supporting Actress in a Play went to Natalie Casey, currently starring in the National tour of 9 to 5 The Musical, for her performance in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s revival of Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party, which also won Best Play Revival.

Best Actor in a Play went to Rupert Everett for his current theatrical performance as Oscar Wilde in The Judas Kiss at the Duke of York’s Theatre.

Shakespeare’s Globe’s Richard III and Twelfth Night double-bill earned earned three awards: Best Ensemble Performance for the company, Best Shakespearean Production for Twelfth Night and Best Supporting Actor in a Play for Stephen Fry as Malvolio in Twelfth Night.

The National Theatre’s stage adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time was named Best New Play ahead of its transfer to the Apollo Theatre in the West End, and Graham Linehan’s stage version of the Ealing comedy The Ladykillers won Best New Comedy.

In other awards, Danny Boyle’s Olympics Opening Ceremony was rewarded with the Theatre Event of the Year gong. And the late Marvin Hamlisch was honoured in the Best Original Music category for his score for Sweet Smell of Success, which received its UK premiere in October at London’s Arcola Theatre. Hamlisch’s musical A Chorus Line is now running at the London Palladium.


Whatsonstage Awards 2013 – complete list of winners


Highlights of the Whatsonstage Awards 2013

The Olivier Awards 2013 with MasterCard to be broadcast by ITV and BBC Radio 2 on Sunday 28 April 2013

January 29, 2013 

• The Olivier Awards 2013 with MasterCard to be broadcast by ITV and BBC Radio 2
• Awards will be co-hosted by Sheridan Smith, with a voiceover from Julia McKenzie
• Public voting now open for the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award
• Free live event for the public returns to the Covent Garden piazza
• Nominations to be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 on Tuesday 26 March

ITV will be the official television broadcast partner for the 37th Olivier Awards with MasterCard, the UK’s highest stage honours, which take place on Sunday 28 April 2013 at the prestigious Royal Opera House.

The agreed broadcast package includes an Olivier Awards ceremony highlights programme broadcast on the night, shortly after the ceremony ends. Exact broadcast time will be confirmed nearer the date. Executive Producer for the Society of London Theatre will be Julian Bird, and Lee Connolly and Fiona Clark for ITV Studios.

As the official Olivier Awards radio partner, BBC Radio 2 will be broadcasting live radio coverage of the ceremony as in previous years. The programme, to be presented by Ken Bruce, will be broadcast from 6pm.

The Olivier Awards are delighted to announce the first details of the line-up for the ceremony, with news that one of the hosts will be double Olivier Award winner, Sheridan Smith (winner in 2011 and 2012). Julia McKenzie, another double Olivier Award winner, will provide this year’s Awards voiceover.

Further details of the Olivier Awards ceremony will be announced nearer the date but will include performances from some of the nominated  musicals, tributes to this year’s Special Award winners and some very special guests. 2013 sees the return of the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award for the Most Popular Show, the only Olivier Award decided entirely by members of the public. Voting was launched on the Elaine Paige on Sunday programme on 27 January and will close on Monday 18 March. Visit www.olivierawards.com to place your vote.

Theatre-loving members of the public are invited to gather in the Covent Garden piazza for a free Olivier Awards celebration, where there will be a relay of the awards ceremony show on big screens as well as live performances on the Radio 2 stage from top West End shows, celebrity hosts, special guests, red carpet fashion tips and much more.

On Tuesday 26 March, for the first time, BBC Radio 2 will broadcast the 2013 Olivier Award nominations live at 11.30am from a theatre industry reception at the Mayfair Theatre at London’s Mayfair Hotel. The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Matilda The Musical, winner of a record seven Olivier Awards in 2012, will perform at the nominations event.

Amphitheatre tickets to The Olivier Awards 2013 with MasterCard are on sale at www.pricelesslondon.co.uk (as of 9am, Tuesday 29 January).
To keep up with the latest Olivier Awards news and engage with the Awards online visit Facebook.com/olivierawards, Twitter and Instagram @OlivierAwards #oliviers.

Journalists and bloggers will be able to share any press photos and video media via the Oliviers live-streaming Wall by tagging content with #oliviers via Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or Tumblr. The Wall launches via the Oliviers website and Facebook on 11 February: www.olivierawards.com/thewall

Release issued by: Society of London Theatre Press Office:


Olivier Awards 2013 – microsite

Olivier Awards official site

ITV to broadcast Olivier Awards 2013

January 29, 2013 

The Society of London Theatre has announced that this year’s Olivier Awards will be broadcast on television by ITV.

Former Olivier Award winner Sheridan Smith, who will co-host the 2013 awards

Former Olivier Award winner Sheridan Smith, who will co-host the 2013 awards

In what is widely believed to be a coup for new Society of London Theatre chief executive Julian Bird, the awards will be covered by a major UK channel for the first time since 2003. Last year’s awards were broadcast by the BBC via their red button service.

However, ITV will not be broadcasting the event live, but rather a highlights programme airing shortly after the ceremony ends. It is not yet clear which channel ITV will use for the event, and how long the highlights package will be.

The awards will continue to be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2, presented by Ken Bruce. For the first time this year Radio 2 will also broadcast the Olivier Award nominations, at 11.30am on 26 March live from the Mayfair Hotel.

The 37th awards will be held on 28 April 2013 at the Royal Opera House, with the event also screened at a free public event in Covent Garden.

Former Olivier Award winner Sheridan Smith has been chosen as one of the hosts of the event, joined by Julia McKenzie providing the voiceovers.

Voting for the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award for the Most Popular Show is currently underway, with voting closing on 18 March 2013.

The awards will continue to be sponsored by MasterCard.


Olivier Awards 2013 – microsite

Olivier Awards official site

Olivier Awards 2012 winners and photos

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