Day: 23 April 2010

AWARDS: Ayckbourn to receive Tony Award

Sir Alan Ayckbourn, one of the UK’s greatest living playwrights, is to be awarded a special Tony award in June to recognise his life’s work. The Special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre will be presented to Alan Ayckbourn at the ceremony in New York on 13 June. Ayckbourn, who is 71, has written 74 full-length plays, and saw a revival of his play The Norman Conquests win a Tony Award last year. His 1975 play Bedroom Farce is currently playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London. He will collect his honour at a ceremony in …

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CASTING: Sister Act and Legally Blonde

It’s the great boy-band takeover of the West End as ex-Blue singer Simon Webbe and actor and pop singer Richard Fleeshman head to Theatreland. SISTER ACT Duncan James may be currently wowing them in Legally Blonde, but fellow Blue band mate Simon Webbe will be following in his footsteps later this year, by joining the cast of Sister Act at the London Palladium. Webbe, who has appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and is also a singer-songwriter, manager and recording artist, has had a few acting parts over the last few years but nothing as big …

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Jason Donovan to leave Priscilla

Jason Donovan to leave hit musical Priscilla. The Bill star Ben Richards to take over as Tick. Jason Donovan, the star of Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Palace Theatre in London, is to leave the show this June. Donovan, who led the first UK cast of the show in the starring role of Tick, has appeared in the musical since March 2009. The role of Tick will be taken over by Ben Richards, best known for playing hunky PC Nathaniel Roberts in ITV drama The Bill. Britain’s longest-running police drama, The Bill was recently axed by ITV in …

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CASTING: Billy, Mamma and Chicago

Three big West End shows have announced new cast members, including EastEnder’s Emma Barton joining the cast of Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre. BILLY ELLIOT From 31 May Genevieve Lemon will join the cast of Billy Elliot in London at the Victoria Palace Theatre. She will play Billy’s dance teacher Mrs Wilkinson, played in the movie by Julie Walters. Australian actress Lemon has appeared in numerous musicals and plays including Billy Elliot in Sydney. Also 12 year old Aaron Watson from King’s Lynn, Norfolk, will join the cast to become the 23 young boy to play the title role of …

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