Stage Spy

WINNER! Ben Forster | ITV Superstar

WINNER: Ben Forster has won the final in Superstar, ITV and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search to cast Jesus in his new Arena production of Jesus Christ Superstar

ITV’s Superstar | The Judges

ITV’s Superstar | The Judges | Andrew Lloyd Webber searches for a SUPERSTAR to play Jesus in his new Arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.

ITV’s Superstar | The Contestants

ITV’s Superstar | The Contestants | Andrew Lloyd Webber searches for a SUPERSTAR to play Jesus in his new Arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.

ITV’s Superstar | The TV Show

ITV’s Superstar | The TV Show | Andrew Lloyd Webber searches for a SUPERSTAR to play Jesus in his new Arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.

West End Live Timetable: Sunday 24 June 2012, Trafalgar Square

WEST END LIVE TIMETABLE – Saturday 23 June 2012, Trafalgar Square. Back for its 8th year, West End Live – the spectacular celebration of West End theatre – returns to Trafalgar Square and for the first time will feature every single West End musical over the two days of the event.

West End Live Timetable: Saturday 23 June 2012, Trafalgar Square

WEST END LIVE TIMETABLE –
Saturday 23 June 2012, Trafalgar Square. Back for its 8th year, West End Live – the spectacular celebration of West End theatre – returns to Trafalgar Square and for the first time will feature every single West End musical over the two days of the event.

Les Miserables Movie: the excitement mounts for new movie musical starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe

The big-screen version of hit musical Les Miserables will be coming to a cinema near you by the end of the year – and fans around the world are starting to get seriously excited. Produced by the stage show’s producer Cameron Mackintosh and Working Title Films, with distribution by Universal, the movie is directed by The King’s Speech Oscar-winner Tom Hooper and stars Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Russell Crowe as Javert, Sacha Baron Cohen as Thernardier, Eddie Redmayne as Marius, Aaron Tveit as Enjolras, Amanda Seyfried as Cosette, Samantha Barks as Eponine, and Helena Bonham Carter as Madame Thenardier.

Ghost The Musical 48 Hour Sale: Save £25 on tickets

Book Ghost tickets during our 48 hour Sale and save over £25 on top price seats – only £39.50 each (usually £65).†But hurry – this great deal ends on Thursday 26 April at 9.30am. So don’t miss out – book your seats right away.

48 HOUR MEGA SALE: 50% off Rock of Ages

48 HOUR MEGA SALE: HALF PRICE tickets to see Rock of Ages at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London.
£57.50 tickets reduced to £28.75. Tickets must be booked Friday by 24 February 9.30am.

Rock of Ages at the Shaftesbury Theatre
The smash-hit Broadway musical Rock of Ages is rocking London at the Shaftesbury Theatre, starring Shayne Ward and Justin Lee Collins.

Bill Kenwright receives honorary degree

Three cheers for Bill Kenwright, who collected an honorary degree from the University of Liverpool yesterday. The hard-working West End theatre impresario was said to be “delighted” after picking up the honour at the city’s Philharmonic Hall. His partner, the actress Jenny Seagrove, said that she was “very proud”. The Liverpudlian, who was born in Wavertree, started as an actor before setting up Bill Kenwright Ltd, which has become one of the world’s most prolific theatre production businesses. His production of Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers has played in the West End since 1988. He is also Chairman of Everton football club. His

Joanna Lumley to return to the West End in The Lion in Winter?

Trevor Nunn will round-off his first year as artistic director of the Theatre Royal Haymarket with a new production of James Goldman’s 1966 play The Lion in Winter.

Joanna Lumley will star as Eleanor of Aquitaine in the period production, alongside Robert Lindsay as Henry II.

Shafting the incumbent: When shows gazump

In the business world, it always feels slightly wrong when a company heralds the arrival of a fabulous new executive whilst their predecessor is still sat at their desks. And it happens in the theatre world too. In casting, there’s rarely a chance for the hoofer sweating away night-after-night to announce their departure before the press release goes out about the bright young thing taking their place (Legally Blonde recently announcing that Carley Stenson is to replace Susan McFadden as Elle Woods caused much gasping, least of all from the rest of the cast, who read it first on Twitter!)

West End transfer for Singin’ in the Rain?

A heavy-weight cast has been announced for the Chichester Festival Theatre’s new production of Singin’ in the Rain. Jonathan Church is directing the classic MGM musical with a cast that includes Adam Cooper (Guys and Dolls), Daniel Crossley (Hello, Dolly!), Scarlett Strallen (Passion), Michael Brandon (Jerry Springer The Opera), Sandra Dickinson (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and Katherine Kingsley (Aspects of Love). Given the quality of the cast and the buzz surrounding the show, our transfer-o-meter has been running wild on rumours that the show may get a West End run. The show runs at Chichester from 27 June  to

Million Dollar Quartet – Save £23

Million Dollar Quartet – Save £23. Million Dollar Quartet is the hugely successful Broadway musical that has now made its way to the West End’s Noel Coward Theatre.

Anthems with Brian May and Kerry Ellis – Save £11

Save £11 on tickets to Anthems with Brian May and Kerry Ellis. Save £11ANTHEMS: The Concert is the brand new, specially created, live version of Anthems, the stunning Kerry Ellis hit debut album produced by Brian May. This Gala Concert brings together West End and Broadway singing sensation Kerry Ellis (We Will Rock You, Wicked, Chess in Concert and Oliver!) and legendary Queen star Brian May in their first full-length performance.

London offers: Grand Designs Live

Save up to £5 on tickets to Grand Designs Live at the Excel London
The UK’s number one, award-winning home show is back! Grand Designs Live London returns to ExCeL from the 30th April to 8th May packed with design and inspiration for your home.

Betty Blue Eyes and Free Dinner Offer

SPECIAL OFFER: Enjoy a delicious free dinner at either Porter’s English restaurant or Maxwell’s restaurant – both in Covent Garden – when booking a full price £59.50 ticket to see Betty Blue Eyes.

The Day I Met… Noël Coward

British playwright Noël Coward’s plays and musicals are in continuous production around the world, including Thea Sharrock’s current West End revival of Blithe Spirit at the Apollo Theatre, starring Alison Steadman.

Here, journalist and author Clive Hirschhorn remembers a meeting with the ‘Master’ in the 1960’s, an immodest encounter in which the man offered an opinion on just about everything.

Alternative casting for Bette & Joan at the Arts Theatre

On the back of news that a new play is heading to the West End about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and their time spent filming classic movie Whatever Happened To Baby Jane, Binkie thought it would be helpful to provide the producers with some alternative casting advice lest Anita Dobson or Greta Scacchi drop out!

When Piers Met Andrew Lloyd Webber: TMI

Producers of the Michael Ball Show, Spun Gold Productions, have kept the theatrical theme going by bringing us the forthcoming ALW scoop When Piers Met… Andrew Lloyd Webber (this Sunday 9 April 2011, 9.10pm on ITV1).

Benedict Cumberbatch to take After The Dance to Broadway?

Thea Sharrock’s award-winning production of Terence Rattigan’s drama After The Dance at the National Theatre may be Broadway-bound.
And its star – Benedict Cumberbatch, who is currently wowing audiences at the National Theatre in Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein, may be heading with it.

The Book of Mormon musical by South Park creators West End bound?

It’s their first Broadway musical and it’s a smash! South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have written an hilarious new musical about a pair of teenage Mormon boys sent on a mission to a dangerous part of Uganda to spread the word. The show is written with Tony Award-winning Avenue Q writer Robert Lopez and is a riot of song and dance numbers mixed with profanity and outrage!

J Edgar Hoover musical to come to London?

Harry Shearer, who co-created and starred in cult movie This Is Spinal Tap and is the voice of 21 Simpsons characters, is in discussions with various London theatres and producers to bring his 2003 show J. Edgar! The Musical to the West End.

Sunday clash: Chalk Garden vs Oliviers

A great big sigh of irritation that the BBC has scheduled Michael Grandage’s radio version of his acclaimed Donmar Warehouse production of The Chalk Garden at the same time as the Oliviers. Yes I know that those with computers can also listen later on BBC iPlayer, but both deserve exciting live listening me thinks.

Shoes The Musical – Save £11.50

Save £11.50 on tickets to Shoes The Musical at the Peacock Theatre. Richard Thomas and Stephen Mear’s fabulously original new dance show returns to London after a smash-hit run at Sadler’s Wells. “It’s shiny, exuberant and consciously naughty. A high-spirited night out” (The Independent).

Taymor speaks out over Spider-Man

Another week, another Spider-Man update! In the ongoing saga of the world’s most expensive, and possibly most previewed, musical its director Julie “The Lion King” Taymor has now spoken out about the Spidey woes.

Sign of the Times – Save £28.50

Save £28.50 on tickets to Sign of the Times at the Duchess Theatre. Tim Firth (Calendar Girls) brings his warm and witty play into the West End starring Matthew Kelly as a disillusioned sign erector whose life is changed by a clumsy teenager – played by Shameless star Gerard Kearns.

New cast of Love Never Dies?

Following the news that Sierra Boggess, currently playing Christine in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre, will leave the role on 5 March to head to Broadway, more rumours are circulating over the cast changes for the show.

Sierra Boggess to play Broadway

Sierra Boggess, who is currently starring as Christine in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre, is to go to Broadway in the Spring. She will star alongside Tyne Daly (Cagney and Lacey) in a revival of Terence McNally’s play Master Class about the great opera diva Maria Callas.

Sondheim’s Follies to return to West End?

Exciting news for Sondheim fans. Trevor Nunn is taking over as artistic director of the Theatre Royal Haymarket, and one of the muted productions for his first season is a revival of classic musical Follies.

Me and My Girl to the Shaftesbury?

Anna Mackmin’s fun new production of Me and My Girl, which has been running over Christmas at the Sheffield Crucible (until 29 January) looks set to come to London.

APASSIONATA at the O2 Arena – Save £12

Experience the magic of APASSIONATA, featuring more than 40 horses, fast-paced action and an amazing sound track – all in the spectacular setting of the O2 Arena in London.

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