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Photos: Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be at Theatre Royal Stratford East

May 20, 2014 

Production photos of Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be at Theatre Royal Stratford East

Jessie Wallace in Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be

Jessie Wallace in Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be. Photo: Roy Tan

Jessie Wallace, Ryan Molloy and Gary Kemp are currently starring in Lionel Bart’s musical Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be at the Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Developed in 1959 by Joan Littlewood and her Theatre Workshop Company at Theatre Royal Stratford East, the show transferred into the Garrick Theatre where it ran for 886 performances and won an Evening Standard Award for Best Musical.

The show started life as a play before Littlewood engaged musicals supremo Lionel Bart (Oliver!) to pen songs for the show.

This brand new revival of the show is adapted by award-winning composer and writer Elliot Davis, who has taken Frank Norman’s original script and added new material and songs from the Lionel Bart back catalogue, including If I Say I Love You Do You Mind?, Living Doll and Sparrers Can’t Sing.

The show is directed by Terry Johnson (La Cage Aux Folles) with set and costume design by William Dudley.

The cast includes Jessie Wallace (EastEnders) as Lil, Gary Kemp (The Krays, Spandau Ballet) as PC Collins, Ryan Molloy (Jersey Boys) as Horace, Sarah Middleton as Rosie, Ruth Alfie Adams as Brenda, Will Barton as Percy, Suzie Chard as Betty, Mark Arden as Fred, Stefan Booth as Tosher, Christopher Ryan as Red Hot, Vivian Carter as Myrtle, Stevie Hutchinson as Ted/PC 2, John Olohan as Paddy, Gary Watson as Norman/PC 1 and Joanna Woodward as Margaret.

Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be at Theatre Royal Stratford East runs until 8 June 2014

LINKS

Theatre Royal Stratford East website

Photos: Oh What A Lovely War at the Theatre Royal Stratford East

February 11, 2014 

Production photos of Oh What A Lovely War at the Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Caroline Quentin in Oh What A Lovely War. Photo: Roy Tan

Caroline Quentin in Oh What A Lovely War. Photo: Roy Tan

Timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the First World War, Theatre Royal Stratford East presents a new production of Oh What a Lovely War.

Now in its 50th year, this extraordinary musical entertainment show was first performed at Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1963 and was an immediate hit, transferring to the West End in June 1963 and opening on Broadway in 1964.

The brand new production stars an ensemble cast including Caroline Quentin, and is directed by Terry Johnson and Lez Brotherston.

Photos by Roy Tan.

LINKS

Theatre Royal Stratford East website

The Duck House at the Vaudeville Theatre

September 21, 2013 

Ben Miller and Nancy Carroll star in outrageous new comedy The Duck House at the Vaudeville Theatre.

Tony and Olivier Award winner Terry Johnson directs the hilarious political satire The Duck House, written by acclaimed TV writers Dan Patterson and Colin Swash.

An all-star cast includes Ben Miller as Robert Houston, MP, Olivier Award winner Nancy Carroll as Felicity Houston, Debbie Chazen as Ludmilla, James Musgrave as Seb Houston, Simon Shepherd as Sir Norman Cavendish, MP and Diana Vickers as Holly.

This wickedly funny new comedy is set in May 2009 as Gordon Brown’s government goes into meltdown and ambitious MP Robert Houston (Ben Miller) decides to jump ship from Labour to Tory. But suddenly the Expenses Scandal breaks and a world of dodgy receipts results in Houston and his family in Parliamentary and personal panic.

The Duck House is directed by award-winning writer and director Terry Johnson, designed by Lez Brotherston, with lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by John Leonard.

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Theatre: Vaudeville Theatre

Tracie Bennett to star as Judy Garland on Broadway: End Of The Rainbow to transfer

April 19, 2011 

The acclaimed production of End of the Rainbow, currently playing at the Trafalgar Studios in London until 21May 2011, will transfer to Broadway.

Tracie Bennett as Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow

Tracie Bennett as Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow

The play by Peter Quilter will follow its London run with a UK tour before opening at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis on 18 January 2012. The show will then transfer to Broadway.

Tracie Bennett will star in the show, with her acclaimed performance as Judy Garland already creating a significant buzz in New York.

End of the Rainbow, which opened at the Trafalgar Studios in November last year, is directed by Terry Johnson and also stars Hilton McRae as Anthony, Stephen Hagan as Mickey Denes and Robin Browne as Radio Interviewer, Porter and Stage Manager.

The show enjoyed rave reviews from the critics when it opened in London. End of the Rainbow is set in London in 1968 and follows the drama of Garland’s final performances in London and her controversial life off stage.

LINKS

SPECIAL OFFER on tickets to End of the Rainbow at the Trafalgar Studios

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Last Chance To See Tracie Bennett As Judy Garland In West End Hit End Of The Rainbow

April 19, 2011 

After a record breaking run at the Trafalgar Studios Peter Quilter’s End of the Rainbow must end on 21 May prior to a UK tour and US opening at the Guthrie, Minneapolis on 18 January 2012. The production will then transfer to Broadway, further details to be announced shortly.

End of the Rainbow, directed by Terry Johnson, stars Laurence Olivier award nominees Tracie Bennett as Judy Garland and Hilton McRae as Anthony. They are accompanied by Stephen Hagan as Mickey Denes and Robin Browne as Radio Interviewer, Porter and Stage Manager, and a six piece band.

The five star critically acclaimed End of the Rainbow opened in Northampton in February 2010 and transferred to the West End in November where it has received standing ovations at every performance since opening night.

Set in London in 1968 and featuring her most memorable songs including The Man That Got Away, Come Rain or Come Shine, The Trolley Song and Somewhere Over the Rainbow, End of the Rainbow combines humour and heartbreak to capture both the drama of Garland’s final performances in London and her controversial life off stage.

End of the Rainbow is designed by William Dudley with sound design by Gareth Owen, lighting by Simon Corder and musical direction by Gareth Valentine and is presented in the West End by Lee Dean, Jenny Topper, Laurence Myers, Charles Diamond and Hilary Williams in association with Royal & Derngate, Northampton.

Release issued by: Premier PR

LINKS

SPECIAL OFFER on tickets to End of the Rainbow at the Trafalgar Studios

Photos: Tracie Bennett as Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow

March 19, 2011 

Photos of End of the Rainbow at the Trafalgar Studios in London starring Tracie Bennett as Judy Garland.

The acclaimed production of End of the Rainbow is currently playing at the Trafalgar Studios in London until 21May 2011. Written by Peter Quilter, Tracie Bennett puts in a critically acclaimed and hugely powerful performance as Judy Garland in the play.

End of the Rainbow, which opened at the Trafalgar Studios in November last year, is directed by Terry Johnson and also stars Hilton McRae as Anthony, Stephen Hagan as Mickey Denes and Robin Browne as Radio Interviewer, Porter and Stage Manager.

Set in London in 1968, End of the Rainbow follows the drama of Garland’s final performances in London and her controversial life off stage.

LINKS

SPECIAL OFFER on tickets to End of the Rainbow at the Trafalgar Studios

More news on End of the Rainbow


End Of The Rainbow To Extend West End Run Due To Public Demand

January 7, 2011 

Following 5 star reviews for Tracie Bennett’s performance as Judy Garland, Peter Quilter’s End of the Rainbow will extend its West End run taking bookings at the Trafalgar Studios until 16 April 2011. Directed by Terry Johnson, End of the Rainbow combines humour and heartbreak to capture both the drama of Garland’s final performances in London and her controversial life off stage. End of the Rainbow, which opened in Northampton in February last year, transferred to the West End in November where it has been receiving standing ovations at every performance since opening night.

Set in London in 1968 and featuring her most memorable songs including The Man That Got Away, Come Rain or Come Shine, The Trolley Song and Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Tracie Bennett is joined by Hilton McRae as Anthony, Garland’s devoted Scottish pianist and musical director, Stephen Hagan as about to be husband number five Mickey Deanes, Robin Browne as Radio Interviewer, Porter and Stage Manager, plus a six piece on stage band.

End of the Rainbow is designed by William Dudley with sound design by Gareth Owen, lighting by Simon Corder and musical direction by Gareth Valentine, End of the Rainbow is presented in the West End by Lee Dean, Jenny Topper, Laurence Myers, Charles Diamond and Hilary Williams in association with Royal & Derngate, Northampton.

In her hotel room, with a new young fiancé at her side, Garland battles with drugs and alcohol as she undertakes an exhausting series of concerts at the Talk of the Town in a bid to reclaim her crown as the greatest talent of her generation. Despite a series of failed marriages and a ruined Hollywood career, she remains a tough and remarkable woman, armed with a legendary razor-sharp wit and a real understanding of the demons that possess her. Yet, within six months, she will be dead at the age of just 47, her body wrecked by the legendary amounts of drink & drugs she had been consuming since a teenager.

Multi award-winning Tracie Bennett’s extensive theatre credits include Jacqueline in Terry Johnson’s production of La Cage Aux Folles at the Playhouse Theatre, and Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre for which she won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Role in a Musical. Her other theatre credits include Les Miserables at the Queens Theatre, Sex Chips and Rock n Roll for the Royal Exchange Manchester, High Society at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Guys and Dolls, Educating Rita and Spring Awakening all for Sheffield Crucible and a national tour of Billy Liar. On television she is best known for her role as Sharon Gaskell in Coronation Street. Her other television credits include Dalziel and Pascoe, Casualty, Vincent and The Royal. On film she played Millandra in Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine.

Release issued by: Premier PR

LINKS

Book tickets to End of the Rainbow at the Trafalgar Studios in London

End of the Rainbow enjoys rave reviews

November 24, 2010 

A new play about the last months of screen and music legend Judy Garland has received rave reviews in the West End

Tracie Bennett in End of the Rainbow

Tracie Bennett in End of the Rainbow

Award-winning actress Tracie Bennett stars as Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow, which has  transferred to London following a successful run at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton earlier this year.

The show opened at the Trafalgar Studios on Monday, directed by Terry Johnson, who directed Bennett in La Cage Aux Folles at the Playhouse Theatre and recently directed a new production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at the Vaudeville.

Peter Quilter’s touching play is set in London in 1968 and features some of Garland’s most memorable songs including The Man That Got Away, Come Rain or Come Shine, The Trolley Song and Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Tracie Bennett stars alongside Hilton McRae as Anthony, Garland’s devoted pianist and musical director and Stephen Hagan as soon-to-be husband number five Mickey Deanes.

Tracie Bennett gives a career-defining performance in the show, and is tipped to win a number of high profile awards with her sensitive and powerful portrayal of Garland, in a role that showcases her acting and singing ability with an uncanny physical and vocal resemblance to the star.

Charles Spencer in the Telegraph and Libby Purves in the Times awarded the show five stars, with Spencer saying that, “there are moments in the theatre when you lean forward in your seat with shivers racing down the spine, and realise there is nowhere on God’s earth you’d rather be. End of the Rainbow is one such occasion”. Henry Hitchings gave it four stars in the Evening Standard, praising Bennett’s performance as, “courageous — raw, emotional and astonishingly energetic. It’s much more than a skilful impersonation; it feels as if she has assimilated the essence of Garland’s personality”. Paul Vale in the stage hailed Terry Johnson’s direction as “practically flawless”.

SPECIAL OFFER: Save £15 on tickets to End of the Rainbow at the Trafalgar Studios in London

LINKS

Read an interview with Tracie Bennett

End of the Rainbow – Reviews Round-up

November 23, 2010 

A round-up of press reviews for End of the Rainbow: Olivier Award winner Tracie Bennett puts in a career-defining performance as Judy Garland in Peter Quilter’s new musical play based on the star’s final days, directed by Terry Johnson.

Book tickets to End of the Rainbow at the Trafalgar Studios

Opening this week: Rainbow and Fela!

November 15, 2010 

This week’s West End openings include End of the Rainbow, FELA! and The Master Builder.

End of the Rainbow

End of the RainbowToday, Monday 15 November, sees the start of previews for End of the Rainbow at the Trafalgar Studios. Tracie Bennett gives an outstanding performance as Judy Garland in Peter Quilter’s touching play about the drama of Garland’s final performances in London and her controversial life off stage.

Set in London in 1968, the play features some of Garland’s most memorable songs including The Man That Got Away, Come Rain or Come Shine, The Trolley Song and Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Olivier award-winner Tracie Bennett gives a career-defining performance as Garland, alongside Hilton McRae as Anthony, Garland’s devoted pianist and musical director and Stephen Hagan as soon-to-be husband number five, Mickey Deanes.

End of the Rainbow is directed by Terry Johnson, who directed Bennett in La Cage Aux Folles at the Playhouse Theatre and recently directed a new production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at the Vaudeville. Read an interview with Tracie Bennett.

SPECIAL OFFER: Save on tickets to see End of the Rainbow at the Trafalgar Studios

FELA!

FELA!Opening this week, on Tuesday 16 November, is the Broadway production of FELA!, which comes to the National Theatre for a limited run. In New York Fela! started off-Broadway before raves reviews propelled it on to the Great White Way where it continues to pack in audiences.

A unique hybrid of dance, theatre and music, the show explores the extravagant, decadent and rebellious world of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Co-written, directed and choreographed by Bill T Jones (Spring Awakening), Fela! exposes Kuti’s controversial life as an artist, commune founder, polygamist and political activist, set against the backdrop of his pioneering music, which fuses  jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies.

The stars of the Broadway production, Sahr Ngaujah and Kevin Mambo, have come to London for the show, and will alternate in the roles of Fela, alongside a brand new British cast including UK stage star Paulette Ivory (The Lion King, Aida) who plays American political activist Sandra Izsadore.

LINK: National Theatre

The Master Builder

On Wednesday, Gemma Arterton and Stephen Dillane open in the Almeida’s new production of Ibsen classic The Master Builder. The play is directed by Travis Preston, an internationally celebrated theatre and opera director who is also Artistic Director of the Center for New Performance at the California Institute of the Arts.

LINK: Almeida Theatre

And coming soon

Opening next week… End of the Rainbow gets its official first night on 22 November. Also on Monday Maureen Nolan takes over from Lyn Paul as Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers, and happy 80th birthday Sir Peter Hall. Tuesday 23rd see Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles open in The Rivals at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, and on Wednesday kid’s show The Gruffalo returns to the West End for Christmas. Previewing from 27 November is Chichester’s movie-to-musical Love Story at the Duchess Theatre, produced by Michael Ball.

In two weeks… Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella makes a glamorous return to Sadler’s Wells on 30 November. Also on the 30th, the RSC takes residence at the Roundhouse for the Winter season with Romeo & Juliet, Anthony & Cleopatra, The Winter’s Tale, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, King Lear, Hamlet and The Comedy of Errors; plus Derek Jacobi gives his King Lear at the Donmar (3 December) and Tom Hollander starts previews of A Flea in Her Ear at the Old Vic (4 December).

In three weeks… Love Story gets its official opening night at the Duchess starring Emma Williams and Michael Xavier on 6 December; those CBBC rascals Dan and Jeff bring Pantomime mayhem to the Vaudeville with Edinburgh family hit Potted Panto on 10 December; and on the same night English National Ballet open their seasonal production of The Nutcracker at the London Coliseum in a sumptuous new production by Artistic Director Wayne Eagling to celebrate the Company’s 60th birthday.

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