Another busy week, full of openings and closings, lies ahead this week in London’s theatreland. Tomorrow (25th March 2014) sees the official opening of the world stage premiere of Fatal Attraction at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Written by James Dearden, the highly anticipated production is directed by Trevor Nunn.
The cast of Fatal Attraction is led by movie star Natascha McElhone as Alex Forrest with Mark Bazeley as Dan Gallagher and Sex and the City actress Kristin Davis as his wife Beth. Designs are by Rob Jones with lighting by Paul Pyant and sound by Paul Groothuis, and after having a sneaky peek at the show’s production images, it looks as if Fatal Attraction will be absolutely stunning.
This week’s second exciting opening is I Can’t Sing!, which opens its doors to press and high profile VIP guests on Wednesday (26th March 2014) at the London Palladium following a lengthy preview period. Producers have cast some of the West End’s biggest stars in the show, including Nigel Harman (Shrek The Musical), Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple), Simon Bailey (The Phantom of the Opera) and Simon Lipkin (Rock Of Ages).
At a press event last week, Lipkin revealed that working on I Can’t Sing! has been “a great experience” as the show has changed every day. Erivo explained that producer Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh have already seen the show and loved it, but she can’t wait for Cheryl Cole and Dermot O'Leary to see it.
Harry Hill and Steve Brown's brand new musical comedy features 19 original songs. The show is said to give audiences an exclusive look behind the scenes at the UK’s most talked about television programme – The X Factor.
Another Country begins previews at Trafalgar Studios 1 on Wednesday evening. The production, which has transferred following a successful run in Chichester last year, comes to the West End for a limited season until Saturday 21st June 2014.
When the original production transferred to the West End in 1982 it helped launch the careers of Rupert Everett, Kenneth Branagh, Daniel Day Lewis and Colin Firth. In 1984 it was adapted for the screen, starring Everett and Firth as Bennett and Judd.
Also beginning previews this week is Let The Right One In, marking the re-opening of the Apollo Theatre following last year’s high profile ceiling collapse during a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (which re-opens at the Gielgud Theatre in June). As well as repairs to the ceiling and balcony, the auditorium, front of house and backstage areas have all been refurbished.
Based on the Swedish novel and cult hit film by John Ajvide Lindqvist, John Tiffany’s production of Let The Right One In marks the National Theatre of Scotland’s West End debut and follows the show’s sell out success at the Royal Court Theatre. It is described as a "chilling tale of loneliness, love and legend".
Saturday (29th March 2014) is a busy day for show closures. Tim Rice, Stuart Brayson and Bill Oakes's new musical From Here to Eternity ends its West End run. The musical is based on James Jones's 1951 debut novel that's best known for the 1953 Oscar-winning film that starred Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra, Montgomery Clift, Ernest Borgnine, Deborah Kerr and Donna Reed. The production stars Darius Campbell, Robert Lonsdale, Ryan Sampson, Siubhan Harrison and Rebecca Thornill.
Also closing on Saturday is Andrew Lloyd Webber, Christopher Hampton and Don Black’s new musical Stephen Ward. Based on the Profumo scandal, producer Robert Fox has revealed that although the show’s West End run is concluding he “firmly believes this piece will be seen by many audiences in the future.”
The Act (Trafalgar Studios 2), The Duck House (Vaudeville Theatre) and The Full Monty (Noel Coward Theatre) also close on Saturday.
Photo Credit: Tristram Kenton
By Andrew Tomlins