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Elf & Kinky Boots Confirm West End Runs; Michael Flatley To Make Final London Stage Appearance + More #WestEndUpdate

By Andrew Tomlins

Following months and months of rumours and speculation, both Elf the Musical and Kinky Boots have confirmed all the details of their highly anticipated West End transfers.

Elf & Kinky Boots Confirm West End Runs; Michael Flatley To Make Final London Stage Appearance + More #WestEndUpdate

Elf begins performances at the Dominion Theatre on 24th October for a strictly limited 10-week season until 2nd January 2016. The show received its UK and Ireland premieres in Plymouth and Dublin last year starring ITV Superstar winner Ben Forster. Casting for the Elf the musical West End run is yet to be revealed.
 
Meanwhile, following the closure of Made In Dagenham, Kinky Boots is heading to the Adelphi Theatre from 21st August 2015. The show’s director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell says “Kinky Boots is very close to my heart” and he is “delighted” to see it arrive in London. Mitchell has also confirmed that he is currently searching for an all-British cast to star in the Broadway musical’s London run.
 
Michael Flatley has announced that he will make personal appearances in selected performances of Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games when it transfers to the Dominion Theatre from 13th March after a successful run at the London Palladium last year. He will take to the stage between 13th and 24th March, paving the way for upcoming performer James Keegan who stars in the title role.
 
The Theatre Royal Bath have announced full casting for the Hay Fever West End transfer. Lindsay Posner’s production of Noël Coward’s comedy of bad manners comes to the Duke of York’s Theatre from 29th April starring the previously announced Felicity Kendal as Judith Bliss. Kendal is said to showcase a career defining performance.
 
The play will also star Simon Shepherd (Peak Practice/The Duck House) as David, Michael Simkins (Yes, Prime Minister/Oh What a Lovely War) as Richard Greatham and Sara Stewart (Heartbreak House/Enron) as Myra Arundel. The cast is completed by Alice Orr-Ewing as Sorel Bliss, Edward Franklin as Simon Bliss, Celeste Dodwell as Jackie Coryton, Edward Killingback as Sandy Tyrrell and Mossie Smith as Clara.

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical and A View From The Bridge have both begun previews at the Aldwych and Wyndham’s Theatres. After only a handful of performances I have already heard reports that Katie Brayben is blowing people away as Carole King in Beautiful. Mark Strong stars in A View from the Bridge which transfers to the West End following an acclaimed run at the Young Vic.
 
Emma Hatton has taken over as Elphaba in the West End production of Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. Hatton, who previously understudied the role, has also taken to the stage in shows including We Will Rock You and Dreamboats and Petticoats. Former Rock Of Ages star Natalie Andreou has joined the cast as the standby for Elphaba.
 
Former green-girl Kerry Ellis has begun performances as Grizabella in Cats at the London Palladium. The first lady of the West End, who is known for starring in Oliver, Miss Saigon and Les Miserables, is said to be blowing the roof off the London Palladium with her rendition of ‘Memory’. According to the Daily Mail, we could see a Cats Christmas run at the London Palladium after its current limited season ends in April.
 
John Owen-Jones, who has one of the finest male voices in musical theatre, has joined the stellar cast of Lonny Price's production of Sweeney Todd at the London Coliseum. The show runs for just 13 performances between 30th March and 12th April starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson as Sweeney and Mrs Lovett. Philip Quast plays Judge Turpin.
 
In other news, Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre), War Horse (New London Theatre), Sunny Afternoon (Harold Pinter Theatre) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Gielgud Theatre) have all extended their West End runs. Hundreds of thousands of extra seats are now on sale for all four shows which continue to bring audiences to their feet night after night. There are not shows to miss!
 
Finally, Ghost Stories will end its current West End run at the Arts Theatre on 15th March 2015 after nearly 1,000 performances. The show opened at the Arts Theatre in February 2014 where it has broken all box office records in its history. See it if you dare!

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By Andrew Tomlins

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