In the early hours of this morning it was (finally) confirmed that Gemma Arterton will star in the West End premiere of Made In Dagenham. Tickets are on sale now for the musical which begins previews at the Adelphi Theatre on 9th October ahead of an official opening on 5th November.
Arterton has revealed she is “beyond thrilled" to be creating the role of Rita on stage and director Rupert Goold has teased he has some “big ideas” for the show up his sleeve. “From my first watch of Made in Dagenham I knew it was a piece I wanted to be involved in bringing to the stage" Goold explained, "It’s such an engaging, relatable and vital story and I’m convinced as a musical we can bring even more to it when we mount our production at the Adelphi.”
The West End is a very busy place this week with shows re-opening, beginning previews and casts members joining and leaving. Firstly, new musical Lost Boy re-opens at the Charing Cross Theatre tonight (Monday 3rd March 2014). Phil Willmott’s show, a dark sequel to Peter Pan reuniting JM Barrie's characters as young adults on the eve of the First World War, began its journey at the Finborough Theatre before its transfer to the Charing Cross in January.
Lost Boy has just had a two week break ahead of tonight’s re-opening, allowing Willmott to tweak and fine tune the production. West End regular Jodie Jacobs also joins the cast from tonight, taking over as Tinker Bell. Jacobs is an incredibly gifted performer who was most recently seen starring in the West End production of Rock Of Ages.
X Factor musical I Can’t Sing begins previews at the London Palladium this week. The production was originally scheduled to begin performances last week but the first show was pushed back to this Wednesday (5th March 2014) following technical difficulties.
An integral part of the stage mechanism for the show’s set was not operating correctly which needed to be resolved. It’s not unusual for big new musicals to postpone previews as West End shows become bigger and increasingly inventive. Only last year Sam Mendes’ production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory postponed previews due to technical difficulties with the glass elevator.
Ushers: The Front of House Musical begins previews at the Charing Cross Theatre on Friday (7th March 2014) following a run at the Hope Theatre last year. The new musical, which was a finalist in West End Producer’s ‘Search For A Twitter Composer’ competition, will play 10.15pm performances Thursdays - Saturdays until Saturday 19th April 2014.
This week is bittersweet for Once fans who bid farewell to original cast member Declan Bennett, who leaves the West End musical on Saturday (8th March 2014), but prepare to welcome Doctor Who star Arthur Darvill to the company. Bennett has described his time in the Tony Award winning show as “an incredible journey”. He said: “This job has given me one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I will only have fond memories and great recollections of my time in the show.”
Also this week Ghosts at Trafalgar Studios and Tell Me On A Sunday at the Duchess Theatre close and Being Shakespeare and Twelve Angry Men enter their final weeks at the Harold Pinter and Garrick Theatres.
Finally, this week is the end of an era for Jersey Boys as it ends its run at the Prince Edward Theatre ahead of its transfer to the Piccadilly. The jukebox musical opened at the Prince Edward in February 2008. Original West End Frankie, Ryan Malloy, will also give his final performance this Sunday at which promises to be an emotional performance.
Photo Credit: Alex James