Beverley Knight may be known as the Queen of Soul, but she is on track to becoming a true West End theatrical icon. Knight set the box office alight when she made her West End debut in The Bodyguard and went on to receive an Olivier Award nomination for her performance in Memphis The Musical (currently running at the Shaftesbury Theatre).
Now it has been revealed that she will star as Grizabella when Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber returns to the London Palladium later this year for a limited run from 23rd October 2015 until 2nd January 2016. Knight will belt out ‘Memory’ eight times a week in London’s most iconic West End theatre.
Speaking of her casting, Knight said: “I am really looking forward to transforming into Grizabella with her fabulous costume and amazing make up and to be playing the role at the London Palladium. Working with Andrew will be a real privilege.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber is certainly keeping busy at the moment. As well as bringing Cats back to the West End, he has been working on his new musical adaptation of School Of Rock. Although the show is set to premiere on Broadway, Lloyd Webber recently told the New York Post that he plans to bring School of Rock to London after it has opened in New York. Watch this space for updates!
In other gossip, John Cameron Mitchell has revealed that his musical Hedwig And The Angry Inch is “definitely coming to the West End”. Whilst speaking to press at the Tony Awards, Cameron Mitchell said they are “trying to get the right person” to star in the show, teasing that the person “isn’t a Brit…but could very well be.”
Brits triumphed at the Tony Awards which took place at the Radio City Music Hall earlier this month. The National Theatre's production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens won five Tonys, including Best Play. To celebrate, the West End production has extended its booking period at the Gielgud Theatre to 13th February 2016.
Chichester's production of Guys and Dolls will transfer to the Savoy Theatre later this year. Performances will begin on 10th December with Sophie Thompson and Jamie Parker reprising their acclaimed performances as Miss Adelaide and Sky Masterton. The production follows Gypsy starring Imelda Staunton, which also transferred to the Savoy from Chichester.
Derren Brown's new show Miracle will transfer to the Palace Theatre later this year following a sell-out 105-date national tour. The production replaces The Commitments at the Palace Theatre from 11th November for a limited run until 16th January 2016. Miracle is said to have a more philosophical flavour, inviting audiences to look at ways of thinking that might make us all happier. Brown's West End outings are always fascinating and absolutely unmissable.
In other news, Jersey Boys has extended booking at the Piccadilly Theatre to February 2016, Blue’s Simon Webbe and BGT’s Alison Jiear will star in The Three Little Pigs at the Palace Theatre and Liza Minnelli will play the London Palladium for one-night-only in September – not to be missed (early booking advisable).