As the summer holidays come to an end, the West End is returning back to normal with a handful of big announcements and openings. Firstly, later this week leading lady Denise Van Outen returns to the West End with the transfer of her one woman musical Some Girl I Used To Know.
Running for 24 performances between Friday 22nd August and Saturday 13th September 2014, Denise co-wrote the show with Terry Ronald. The West End run at the Arts Theatre follows a successful UK Tour which I managed to catch earlier this year and hugely enjoyed.
Denise wrote Some Girl I Used To Know because she felt nobody else was writing for ladies in their late 30s/early 40s. It’s completely different to anything else on in London at the moment; whilst watching the show it almost feels as if you've popped round to your best friend’s house for a good natter.
There has been no shortage of exciting casting news recently. It has been announced that The West Wing star Richard Schiff and renowned West End stage actor Nigel Lindsay will star opposite US celebrity Lindsay Lohan in Speed-The-Plow. The highly anticipated production runs at the Playhouse Theatre between Wednesday 24th September and Saturday 29th November.
It has also been revealed that Lucy Punch will replace Billie Piper in the West End transfer of Richard Bean’s incredible new play Great Britain. Punch returns to the UK where her previous theatre credits include Boy Gets Girl (Royal Court) and The Graduate (Gielgud), whilst on screen she has been seen in St Trinian’s, Bad Teacher and Disney’s upcoming film adaptation of Into The Woods.
Great Britain, which begins performances at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on Tuesday 9th September 2014 for a limited run until Saturday 10th January 2015, transfers to the West End following its acclaimed premiere at the National Theatre. I’ve already seen the play at the National and absolutely loved it; I can’t wait to see Punch take on the leading role next month.
Finally, full casting has been confirmed for the West End transfer of King Charles III. Tim Pigott-Smith will once again play Charles alongside Oliver Chris as William. Directed by the Almeida's Artistic Director Rupert Goold, King Charles III begins previews at the Wyndham's Theatre on Tuesday 2nd September. Mike Bartlett's play explores the people underneath the crowns, the unwritten rules of our democracy, and the conscience of Britain's most famous family.
In other news there are rumours that Shakespeare in Love, which recently opened at the Noel Coward Theatre to rave reviews, is heading to Broadway whilst Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense will now close at the Duke of York's Theatre on Saturday 20th September 2014.
Cameron Mackintosh will present a gala performance of Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre on Monday 22nd September 2014 to celebrate the show's 25th anniversary. Members of the original company will join the current cast onstage during a special finale. The performance will be recorded for BBC Radio 2 and will be broadcast in its entirety on Sunday 28th September.
As we prepare to welcome lots of new productions to London – such as Made in Dagenam , Evita and Cats – several shows are entering their final weeks, including: 1984 (Playhouse), Daytona (Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Bodyguard (Adelphi) and Dessa Rose (Trafalgar Studios 2).