West End Theatre.com - London Theatre Online

Tag results for Starlight Express:

Photos: Starlight Express UK Tour

May 12, 2012 

Production photos of Starlight Express UK Tour at the New Wimbledon Theatre.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s roller-skating musical makes a UK comeback this year as Bill Kenwright takes the show on tour.

Originally performed at the Apollo Victoria in London in 1984, the show ran for over 7,000 performances – and is still running in Bochum, Germany after 25 years.

Starring Kristofer Harding and Mykal Rand, this new production is directed and choreographed by Arlene Phillips based on Trevor Nunn’s original, and has kicked off its tour at the New Wimbledon Theatre (until 19 May) and is then rolling off around the UK.

Photos by Roy Tan.

LINKS

For tickets visit the website

VIDEO



 

Jesus Christ Superstar TV talent show

January 8, 2012 

It’s no secret that Andrew Lloyd Webber was pretty excited about the new production of Jesus Christ Superstar mounted by the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada last year. The show then transferred to the La Jolla Playhouse in California and is now slated for Broadway, opening at the Neil Simon Theatre on 22 March starring Paul Nolan as Jesus and Josh Young as Judas.

Jesus Christ Superstar - coming to Broadway and now London?

Jesus Christ Superstar – coming to Broadway and now London?

But the Great Lord has other plans for the show.

Rumours of a London revival of this Des McAuff production have been circulating for a while, but The Sun has now broken the story that Lloyd Webber is defecting from the BBC to ITV to run another TV talent search, this time to find a Jesus and Judas for his new London production of Superstar.

Lloyd Webber’s TV talent searches have all been for the Beeb, most recently Over The Rainbow which resulted in Danielle Hope being cast in his multi-million pound production of The Wizard of Oz, still playing at the London Palladium.

But ITV is keen to poach Lloyd Webber for its own channel. ITV ran Grease talent search Grease Is The Word in 2007 to cast Danny in Sandy in David Ian’s Grease revival but it was a ratings flop. ITV’s head of programmes Peter Fincham is believed to consider a Lloyd Webber-fronted show would fare much better.

Rumours are also circulating that a UK tour of Lloyd Webb’er s1984 musical Starlight Express, which kicks off at the New Wimbledon Theatre on 10 May 2012 produced by Bill Kenwright, may also come into town at some point.

In other ALW news, excitement is mounting on Broadway for the Michael Grandage helmed production of Evita at the Marquis Theatre starring Ricky Martin and Elena Roger, which starts previews on 12 March 2012.

LINKS

Book tickets to Jesus Christ Superstar at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York
Book tickets to EVITA at the Marquis Theatre in New York
Book tickets to The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium in London

Apollo Victoria Theatre – History

October 12, 2010 

Apollo Victoria Theatre

Apollo Victoria Theatre

Apollo Victoria Theatre

History of Apollo Victoria Theatre

The Apollo Victoria originally opened as a cinema called the New Victoria on 15 October 1930 showing George Arlis movie Old English. It cost £250,000 to build – quite significant at the time. Despite being built as a cinema, the venue has always staged shows from its very opening – with a host variety and big bands playing at Apollo Vic. In 1933 a Royal Matinee for King George V was staged at the theatre and in June 1939 the cinema presented a live relay of the Epsom Derby, in an early experiment in “event cinema” which is only now starting to take off with the advent of digital cinemas.

In the 1950s the theatre was nearly demolished but was saved and continued to play host to ballet, live shows and films.

However, the New Victoria cinema finally closed down in 1976, finding it hard to compete with TV and video. The building was empty for five years and then bought by Apollo Leisure, who reopened it as a dedicated theatre space -the Apollo Victoria – in 1981.

A mixed bill of film and variety at the New Victoria in the 1940s

A mixed bill of film and variety at the New Victoria in the 1940s

It re-opened with a Shirley Bassey concert, followed by The Sound of Music starring Petula Clark. In 1982 Camelot opened starring Richard Harris but it was not a success. Wayne Sleep was up next with his dance show Dash in 1983, and then Topol returned to London to play Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. The theatre was then transformed in 1984 when Andrew Lloyd Webber opened Starlight Express, removing 1,000 seats to accommodate giant roller-skating ramps that weaved through the stalls. The show ran for 18 years and over 7,400 performances.

When Starlight closed it was an opportunity to refurbish the theatre and architects Jaques Muir and Partners came in to restore the auditorium. As part of this they removed over 3,500 power-hungry incandescent lamps and replaced them with 88,000 LEDs – a first for theatre auditoriums.

Following Starlight, Lloyd Webber was back at the theatre in 2002 with Bombay Dreams, which ran for 1,500 performances, closing in 2004. Saturday Night Fever opened next, from July 2004 to October 2005, followed by a short run of Movin’ Out, featuring the music of Billy Joel, in 2006.

Starlight Express at the Apollo Victoria

Starlight Express at the Apollo Victoria

The Apollo Victoria’s current show is a smash-hit – on Broadway, in London and around the world. Wicked opened on 27 September 2006 with Idina Menzel, Helen Dallimore, Nigel Planer, Adam Garcia, Miriam Margolyes, Katie Rowley Jones, James Gillan and Martin Ball, and has continued to pack them in at the theatre.

Apollo Leisure sold the Apollo Victoria to Live Nation in 2000. This year the theatre was sold by Live Nation to the Ambassador Theatre Group.

The Apollo Victoria’s design

The building is widely believed to be the most important and architecturally interesting cinema building ever erected in the UK.
The New Victoria was designed by E. Wamsley Lewis in 1929, with W E Trent also onboard as architect to Provincial Cinematograph Theatres – who owned the site. The theatre has two impressive Germanic Art Deco facades – one on Wilton Road and one on Vauxhall Bridge Road. Both are linked with a single foyer. Originally the facades were lit up at night by concealed neon tubes – something that has been brought back in recent years. The theatre is faced in Portland stone, with two bas-relief panels by sculptor Newbury Abbot Trent on either side of the Wilton Road entrance. Also look out for a small Charlie Chaplin figure carved into the wall. Newbury Abbot Trent also produced a relief paying homage to the movies and movie stars, which is on the main foyer staircase.

The auditorium in the 1930s

The auditorium in the 1930s

The auditorium -which is rumoured to have been inspired by “a mermaid’s dream of heaven” consisted of pale blue and green marine life with technically ambitious lighting effects of pink, green and blue. A dolphin used to adorn the walls but has long since disappeared – but some of the aquatic features can still be seen today, including a rather sexy mermaid above the Gents toilet door. The circle had the design of an ocean liner with port holes on the doors.

Book tickets to see Wicked at the Apollo Victoria in London

THEATRE INFO

MORE INFORMATION about the Apollo Victoria Theatre, including directions, maps, seating plans and what’s on

LINKS

Cinema Treasures – Apollo Victoria
Wikipedia – Apollo Victoria
Arthur Lloyd – Apollo Victoria

The auditorium today

The auditorium today

Further reading:

The Great Theatres of London
London’s Theatres
Scene/Unseen: London’s West End Theatres

Theatre of the month: Apollo Victoria Theatre

October 12, 2010 

Apollo Victoria Theatre

The Apollo Victoria Theatre in London celebrates its 80th birthday this year. Celebrations have included an all-star charity gala featuring the cast of the venue’s current show, Wicked, and past productions including Starlight Express. The theatre’s birthday forms part of a historic year for West End theatres, with a number of venues celebrating their 80th anniversaries this year.

Apollo Victoria Theatre

Apollo Victoria Theatre

History of Apollo Victoria Theatre

The Apollo Victoria originally opened as a cinema called the New Victoria on 15 October 1930 showing George Arlis movie Old English. It cost £250,000 to build – quite significant at the time. Despite being built as a cinema, the venue has always staged shows from its very opening – with a host variety and big bands playing at Apollo Vic. In 1933 a Royal Matinee for King George V was staged at the theatre and in June 1939 the cinema presented a live relay of the Epsom Derby, in an early experiment in “event cinema” which is only now starting to take off with the advent of digital cinemas.

In the 1950s the theatre was nearly demolished but was saved and continued to play host to ballet, live shows and films.

However, the New Victoria cinema finally closed down in 1976, finding it hard to compete with TV and video. The building was empty for five years and then bought by Apollo Leisure, who reopened it as a dedicated theatre space  -the Apollo Victoria – in 1981.

A mixed bill of film and variety at the New Victoria in the 1940s

A mixed bill of film and variety at the New Victoria in the 1940s

It re-opened with a Shirley Bassey concert, followed by The Sound of Music starring Petula Clark. In 1982 Camelot opened starring Richard Harris but it was not a success. Wayne Sleep was up next with his dance show Dash in 1983, and then Topol returned to London to play Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. The theatre was then transformed in 1984 when Andrew Lloyd Webber opened Starlight Express, removing 1,000 seats to accommodate giant roller-skating ramps that weaved through the stalls. The show ran for 18 years and over 7,400 performances.

When Starlight closed it was an opportunity to refurbish the theatre and architects Jaques Muir and Partners came in to restore the auditorium. As part of this they removed over 3,500 power-hungry incandescent lamps and replaced them with 88,000 LEDs – a first for theatre auditoriums.

Following Starlight, Lloyd Webber was back at the theatre in 2002 with Bombay Dreams, which ran for 1,500 performances, closing in 2004. Saturday Night Fever opened next, from July 2004 to October 2005, followed by a short run of Movin’ Out, featuring the music of Billy Joel, in 2006.

Starlight Express at the Apollo Victoria

Starlight Express at the Apollo Victoria

The Apollo Victoria’s current show is a smash-hit – on Broadway, in London and around the world. Wicked opened on 27 September 2006 with Idina Menzel, Helen Dallimore, Nigel Planer, Adam Garcia, Miriam Margolyes, Katie Rowley Jones, James Gillan and Martin Ball, and has continued to pack them in at the theatre.

Apollo Leisure sold the Apollo Victoria to Live Nation in 2000. This year the theatre was sold by Live Nation to the Ambassador Theatre Group.

The Apollo Victoria’s design

The building is widely believed to be the most important and architecturally interesting cinema building ever erected in the UK.
The New Victoria was designed by E. Wamsley Lewis in 1929, with W E Trent also onboard as architect to Provincial Cinematograph Theatres – who owned the site. The theatre has two impressive Germanic Art Deco facades – one on Wilton Road and one on Vauxhall Bridge Road. Both are linked with a single foyer. Originally the facades were lit up at night by concealed neon tubes – something that has been brought back in recent years. The theatre is faced in Portland stone, with two bas-relief panels by sculptor Newbury Abbot Trent on either side of the Wilton Road entrance. Also look out for a small Charlie Chaplin figure carved into the wall. Newbury Abbot Trent also produced a relief paying homage to the movies and movie stars, which is on the main foyer staircase.

The auditorium in the 1930s

The auditorium in the 1930s

The auditorium -which is rumoured to have been inspired by “a mermaid’s dream of heaven” consisted of pale blue and green marine life with technically ambitious lighting effects of pink, green and blue. A dolphin used to adorn the walls but has long since disappeared – but some of the aquatic features can still be seen today, including a rather sexy mermaid above the Gents toilet door. The circle had the design of an ocean liner with port holes on the doors.

Book tickets to see Wicked at the Apollo Victoria in London

LINKS

Cinema Treasures – Apollo Victoria

Wikipedia – Apollo Victoria

Arthur Lloyd – Apollo Victoria

Further reading:

The auditorium today

The auditorium today

The Great Theatres of London
London’s Theatres
Scene/Unseen: London’s West End Theatres

BBC Radio 2 – The Musical

September 9, 2010 

Don’t miss this excellent new series on BBC Radio 2 all about the musical.

Sian Phillips, presenter of episode one of The Musical

Sian Phillips, presenter of episode one of The Musical

The eight part series started on Monday, 6 September 2010, at 10pm UK time (listen again here) and each week will cover a different aspect of the world of musical theatre and its 80 year history.

The Musical is presented by a different name in musical theatre each week – with this Monday’s show voiced by award-winning actress Sian Phillips.

This first programme, “Stories with Songs”, revealed the importance of a good book – or story – in a musical, and the contradiction between this and why so few musicals choose to adapt existing stories rather than originate their own. Shows used to demonstrate include The Boy Friend, A Chorus Line, Chess, Starlight Express and Sunday In The Park With George, with lots of showbiz contributions from the likes of Stephen Sondheim, Patti Lupone, John Barrowman, Elaine Stritch, Maria Friedman, Sandy Wilson, Ruthie Henshall, Tim Rice, Elaine Paige, Marvin Hamlisch and Michael Grandage.

Episode two, “Drawn From Life” will be presented by musicals star, Sondheim aficionado and current artistic director of Sheffield Theatres, Daniel Evans, and covers some of the life-stories of real people used in musicals, from Gypsy and Evita to The King and I.

The Musical is produced by Malcolm Prince, who also produces Elaine Paige’s Sunday show on Radio 2.

A number of other theatrical documentaries will come to Radio 2 this autumn including a look at the history of the London Palladium in its centenary year.

LINKS

Listen to The Musical – Episode 1

BBC Radio 2 – The Musical

Apollo Victoria celebrates 80 years

August 12, 2010 

A charity gala is being held at the Apollo Victoria this October to celebrate the West End theatre’s 80th birthday.

Starlight Express at the Apollo Victoria

Starlight Express at the Apollo Victoria

Opened on 15 October 1930, the Art Deco theatre was designed by E. Wamsley Lewis with W.E. Trent and originally built as a super cinema.

To celebrate its 80th birthday, a special gala concert will be held on 10 October 2010 featuring the cast of the venue’s current show, Wicked, alongside a number of musicals stars from shows including Saturday Night Fever, Bombay Dreams, Movin’ Out and Jersey Boys. Also a reunion of some of the cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express, which played at the theatre from 1984 for 18 years, is also promised. Celebrities to appear include Wicked’s Lee Mead and Oliver Thompsett, Sharon D Clarke and Patina Miller from Sister Act.

All proceeds from the evening will go to Cancer Research UK, plus a raffle will be held in aid of the Entertainment Artiste’s Benevolent Fund.

The gala is being put together by Wicked’s UK Associate Director Petra Siniawski and Dance Supervisor Adam Murray. Other events at the theatre on 10 October include talks, tours and a curated display of the theatre’s history.

Tickets are on sale from tomorrow, Friday 13 August 2010, on 0844 847 2288.

WestEndTheatre.com
  • UK
  • Danmark - London Theatre
  • Nederland - London Theatre
  • Portugues - London Theatre
  • France - London Theatre
  • Deutschland - London Theatre
  • Italia - London Theatre
  • Norge - London Theatre
  • Sverige - London Theatre
  • Espana - London Theatre
Facebook Twitter YouTube Pinterest