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West End sisters are doing it for themselves

Just when you thought that Viva Forever! had put Girl Power back about 40 years in the West End, the women of Theatreland are rising up – and it’s about time too.

West End Theatre gets a battering

We may think that West End Theatre is the best in the world, but not everyone does!… and that includes Louis Walsh.

Dress Circle: Calling all theatre owners

It’s sad news that theatrical institution Dress Circle is set to close this month, on 15 August 2012, after 33 years in business.

Hal Prince happy with new Phantom touring show?

We would love to know how Hal Prince feels about Cameron Mackintosh’s new touring production of The Phantom of the Opera, celebrating the show’s 25th anniversary.

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 …

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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!) …

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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).

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.

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.

Spider-Man: critics right to feel aggrieved

Spider-Man: critics are right to feel aggrieved. Why wait to review a show when hundreds of thousands of audience members have seen it before you?

SOLT finally get BBC back on board

The Society of London Theatre has finally managed to secure TV coverage for it’s annual Olivier Awards event.

Baz and Love: The saga continues

I feel bad for Baz Bamigboye, the Daily Mail’s showbiz guru. He loved Loved Never Dies and feels as disappointed and betrayed as a scorned lover

Love never dies but does take rests

Are Andrew Lloyd Webber and Bill Kenwright best buddies or what? It’s like a true West End bro-mance. And now we hear that Bill is assisting the Lord in doing a bit of light tinkering with Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre.

Celebrity Endorsement : The Musical

Celebrity Endorsement : The Musical – Bette Midler, Michael Ball, Whoopi Goldberg, Will Smith… is celebrity endorsement of musicals the future of theatre?

Luvvie Watch: Baz Luhrman

We were delighted to read that Baz ‘Moulin Rouge’ Luhrmann is to bring his first movie – Strictly Ballroom – to the stage.

Spider-Man: Turn off the jibes

There is nothing easier than talking down a show before it has even opened – which is what The Independent’s feature this Sunday, “Spider-Man, world’s most expensive musical, set to fall on its £40m face”, was all about.

BBC Radio 2 – The Musical

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

Michael Grade turns attention to West End

Michael Grade, of the legendary Grade and Delfont entertainment dynasty, is eyeing up the West End as his next conquest: buying four London theatres.

Fantasy Transfers #432: Follies

Is there no end to the number of Sondheim productions whizzing around in celebration of his 80th? Up next year is a sparkly new production of Follies, with none other than Broadway goddess – and current A Little Night Music star – Bernadette Peters in the lead as Sally, at Washington’s Kennedy Center (7 May to 5 June 2011).

Avenue Q, the magic will live on

One of the furry characters from Avenue Q has knocked out a new project to keep him busy after the show closes at the Wyndham’s Theatre on 30 October.

“Stephen Sondheim” the HBO drama?

New HBO pilot The Miraculous Year, starring Susan Sarandon and Norbert Leo Butz, comes pretty close to the life of Stephen Sondheim.

Howard Panter: Fame and fortune

We read with interest Ambassador Theatre Group co-owner Howard Panter’s spread in the Sunday Times Money section this weekend, “Fame and fortune: I put my savings on the stage”, in the hope of getting some tips.

Baz falls out of love with Love

The UK’s leading entertainment correspondent, Baz Bamigboye from the Daily Mail newspaper, has finally broken ranks and ranted his frustration at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new Phantom sequel, Love Never Dies.

Dirty Dancing – Hot New Cast

We are very impressed with the new cast of Dirty Dancing, playing at the Aldwych Theatre in London.

Give theatre some media credit

The MediaGuardian has published its annual ONE HUNDRED featuring the 100 most powerful and influential media people in the UK.

Barricades at dawn

We are happy to hear that Nick Jonas, one third of global boyband Jonas Brothers and currently starring in Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre, is feeling the strain of doing 8 shows a week.

Nick Jonas finds musicals hard work

We are happy to hear that Nick Jonas, one third of global boyband Jonas Brothers and currently starring in Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre, is feeling the strain of doing 8 shows a week.

VIDEO: Jonathan Groff in action

Here’s a sneaky peak of Jonathan Groff singing Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now at Joe’s pub in New York this week.

Tonys tension as Broadway bitches back

It’s interesting to read that there has been much grumbling from some sections of Broadway about the invasion of Hollywood at this year’s Tony Awards (Variety: 18 June). Even a Facebook group called “Give the Tonys Back to Broadway” has been formed by Broadway actor Hunter Foster, and now has over 7,000 members.

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