News for March 2011



Scandal at the opening night of Cause Célèbre as a critic snores loudly throughout the play...

Composer and reality TV panelist, Andrew Lloyd Webber reveals cancer treatment has left him impotent.

Promoters of a charity gig organised to raise money for victims of the Japanese tsunami have criticised certain ticket websites for allowing people to resell tickets for profit.

The rumours have been confirmed and Matilda the Musical adapted by Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly from Roald Dahl's children's novel Matilda for the Royal Shakespeare company is to transfer to the West End later this year.

Sadler's Wells' production of The Most Incredible Thing premiered last week to a broad range of critical response. The full length ballet was adapted from Hans Christian Andersen's story of the same name and includes a musical score by the Pet Shop Boys and choreography by Olivier Award-winner Javier De Frutos.

After receiving great reviews, the producers of Flare Path at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket have announced that the production will be extended by a further week now ending on Saturday 11th June.

World wide phenomenom Tango Fire Comapny visits Sadlers Wells' Peacock Theatre for a limited run from 12th to 23rd April with it's brand new show, Flames of Desire.

DAVID WOOD'S STORYTIME AT THE ARTS Children's dramatist David Wood whose adaptations of Michelle Magorian's Goodnight Mister Tom, Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine and Aardman Animations’ Shaun the Sheep are currently on national tour, will visit the Arts Theatre, with six performances of David Wood's Storytime over the Easter holidays from 19th to 23rd April.

The award-laden British actress Helen Mirren casts her hand - and shoeprints - at Hollywood's famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

A musical extravaganza - The Vaudevillains by Les Enfants Terribles Theatre company is now coming to Charings Cross Theatre from 19th April to 14th May.

  Rocky Horror cult star Tim Curry will appear in the next production at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket as part of director Trevor Nunn's residency as artistic director, which was launched with his current production of Flare Path, starring Sienna Miller, James Purefoy and Sherian Smith that runs through to June 4.

A selection of current shows to show mama you care! If you haven't already arranged your Mother's Day gift for this coming Sunday, 3rd April, then shame on you!   However all is not lost - why not snap up some tickets for the ultimate treat for her: a night on the town to see a top West End London show!   Theatre tickets make the perfect gift as it's not always something mum would buy for herself, but you know how much she deserves a touch of glamour and fun.  She can go with you, with dad, or a friend, but either way she'll have a thrilling night out.

Anita Dobson and Greta Scacchi will bring old style Hollywood rivalry to the West End when they potray movie icons Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and their legendary feud in the world premiere of Anton Burg's Bette & Joan at the Arts Theatre from 5 May 2011.


Veteran actress and screen icon Diana Rigg has been confirmed for the role of Mrs Higgins in the upcoming Chichester transfer of Pygmalion, which comes to the West End's Garrick Theatre with previews from 12 May and official opening on May 25. Phillip Prowse designs and directs.

The Tiger Who Came To Tea comes to the West End at the Vaudeville Theatre.

The award-winning star is set to play the good wizard and lead character Prospero in The Tempest for director Trevor Nunn at the Haymarket Theatre.  Ralph Fiennes has been contracted to do a ten-week season, from August 27.

Oscar winner Colin Firth rumoured for Pinter play...

West End regular Amanda Drew is to join Dominic West in the forthcoming revival of Simon Gray’s comedy Butley, which plays at the Duchess theatre from 1 June to 27 August (press night 6 June).

Ghost Stories co-writers Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson are planning to build on the success of their first collaboration with a second play, described by Nyman as a thriller.

Kneehigh Theatre Company's adaptation of Michel Legrand's 1964 French film musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg opened at the West End's Gielgud Theatre this week (22 March, previews from 5 March), where an eclectic range of guests included the composer himself and special guest, the legendary Liza Minnelli, who once recorded a version of the Oscar-winning song "I Will Wait for You".

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET, the “feel-good musical with 
a soundtrack to die for" (The Independent) at London’s Noël Coward Theatre, proudly welcomes Oliver Seymour-Marsh to the role of Carl Perkins from Monday 28 March 2011. Robert Britton Lyons plays his final performance on Saturday 26 March 2011 before returning to the Broadway production in the Spring.

After a sell out run at the Hampstead Theatre, Mike Leigh's Ecstasy is moving into the West End for a strictly limited run at the Duchess Theatre from 12th April to 28th May.

Written on the eve of her graduation and now revised for its London Premiere two years on, Ella Hickson’s first full-length play Precious Little Talent opens at Trafalgar Studios in a new production directed by James Dacre. The four week run begins on 8 April 2011 with previews from 5 April 2011.

Dame Elizabeth Taylor, one of the 20th Century's biggest movie stars, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 79.

Stacey Solomon and Vernon Kay to front new singing competition with a twist.

Shannon Murdoch, an Australian playwright, has won the 2011 Yale Drama Series competition for her play New Light Shine, a work about four small-town lives linked through a violent crime and their hopeless attempts to erase the past and build new lives. Most recent winner Lidless has opened at Trafalgar Studios.

From 26 April 2011 Natalie Casey will join the west end cast of the Olivier award-wining Legally Blonde The Musical to play ditzy beautician Paulette Buonofonté.  She joins Susan McFadden as Elle Woods, Carley Stenson as Margot, Nicola Brazil as Serena, Siobhan Dillon as Vivienne and Peter Davison as Professor Callahan.   Natalie Casey takes over the role from Denise Van Outen, whose last performance will be Saturday 23 April.  From mid-June Lee Mead will join the west end cast to play Emmett Forrest at the Savoy Theatre.

Actress and TV chef Jane Asher orders in on the West End...

The world-premiere run of Betty Blue Eyes, a new musical based on the British film comedy "A Private Function" that was originally scripted by Alan Bennett, began at the West End's Novello Theatre on 19th March prior to the official opening on 13th April.  Betty Blue Eyes is Cameron Mackintosh's first new musical production in over 10 years.

Former Tiswas co-host and Comic Strip alumni Lenny Henry  is to tread the boards again making his National Theatre debut this November in Shakespeare's The Comedy Of Errors.

The hit show Jersey Boys at The Prince Edward Theatre in the West End, the story of Frankie Vialli and the 4 Seasons, have been performaing for 3 years and last Tuesday night welcomed 11 new cast members, including Jon Lee, who will perform as Frankie Valli at certain performances, and Matthew Wycliffe as Bob Gaudio.

Reports that Sheridan Smith will be playing the title role in the new Bridget Jones the Musical in London's West End next year...

The Chichester Festival production of Yes, Prime Minister, returns to the West End, for a run at the Apollo Theatre from 6 July 2011 to 17 Sep 2011, with the touring cast of Simon Williams (Sir Humphrey), Richard McCabe (The Prime Minister, Jim Hacker).

The transfer of Bartlett Shers' production of South Pacific from the Lincoln Center on Broadway, which won 7 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival will go ahead this summer at the Barbican Centre with the musical running from 15 August to 1 October 2011 with Samantha Womack (nee Janus) tipped to tread the boards as Nellie Forbush.

Meow Meow (no fixed address) has been named one of the top performers of 2010 by The New Yorker, Top 10 Best of Cabaret by Time Out New York, ‘cabaret diva of the highest order’ by The New York Post, ‘sensational’ by The Times and ‘a phenomenon’ by the Australian press – the ‘post-post-modern diva’ Meow Meow has wowed audiences globally with her unique brand of ‘kamikaze cabaret’ and performance art exotica.

Angela Lansbury stole the show at Sunday's Olivier Awards leading a tribue to special award winner, Stephen Sondheim.  A special tribute to the composer-lyricist’s work and contributions to theatre in London featured Tony Award winner Angela Lansbury performing “Liaisons” from A Little Night Music and Adrian Lester re-creating part of his Olivier Award-winning performance as Bobby, singing “Being Alive” from Company.

From mid-June Lee Mead will join the west end cast of the Olivier award-wining Legally Blonde The Musical to play Emmett Forrest.   He joins Susan McFadden as Elle Woods, Carley Stenson as Margot, Nicola Brazil as Serena, Siobhan Dillon as Vivienne and Peter Davison as Professor Callahan.   Alex Gaumond, who has played the role of Emmett since the UK premiere of the show, has now extended his run until mid-June when Mead will take over.

Sienna Miller is back in the West End in Trevor Nunn's Flare Path at the Theatre Royal Haymarket as part of the centenary of Terrence Rattingan's plays and it seems this time round she is has the critics on side.  The play is receiving 4 star reviews, with Miller and her co-stars all receiving positive reviews from the hard to win over critics.

Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones are reportedly set to appear in the London Theatre production of Driving Miss Daisy.

An American import, Bruce Norris' Clybourne Park, a provocative comedy about race relations and property prices in Chicago took the honor for Best New Play. Originally produced at New York City's Playwrights Horizons, it is currently running in a different production at the West End's Wyndham's Theatre after premiering at the Royal Court last year.


Telling the true story of the legendary Nigerian performer and political activist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, whose soulful Afrobeat rhythms and cutting lyrics ignited the spirit of empowerment and cultural awareness in a generation, the cast of the Fela musical are overjoyed and excited at the opportunity to take Fela home to the prestigious Eko Hotel's New Expo Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria on April 20-25, 2011.

BETTY BLUE EYES • Previewing from 19 March 2011 at the Novello Theatre • Currently booking until 22 October 2011 • First mid-week matinee Thu 21 April • First weekend matinee Sat 26 March • Performance Times: Mon – Sat at 7.30pm / Thu & Sat at 2.30pm

Best known for playing Fiona Gallagher in TV's Shameless, and Elizabeth 1 in The Virgin Queen, Anne Marie Duff is an accomplished theatre actor, who has worked extensively with the Royal National Theatre and also in London's West End - Vassa, Collected Stories, King Lear and most recently the title character in Marianne Elliott's production of Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan to great acclaim and for which she was nominated as Best Actress at the Laurence Oliver awards in 2008.  This was her second nomination as she was also in the Best Supporting Actress category in 2000 for The Collected Stories.

Hollywood's A-list queueing up to rock out on screen in the upcoming film version of the hit Broadway musical ROCK OF AGES which is soon to transfer to London's Shaftesbury Theatre.


Full results from the Laurence Olivier Awards 2011 held at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

The UK's leading dance house, Sadler's Wells & The Peacock Theatre, have got a fabulous season ahead showcasing only the best in dance from the UK and abroad.

The spooky Susan Hill  Victorian set novel is already a hit West End play so get Woman In Black tickets first at the Fortune Theatre before seeing it on the big screen from 28th October in the adaption by Kick Ass scribe Jane Goldman starring wizard Daniel Radcliffe playing young lawyer Arthur Kipps, a father and widower who encounters the ghost of a scorned woman while on business in a remote village.  The film also stars veteran thesps Ciaran Hinds and Janet McTeer. 

Shoes The Musical, written by Richard Thomas and Directed by Stephen Mear. Performing at the Peacock Theatre, London

Organisers for the Oliviers have announced that this Sunday they will be setting up a special red carpet viewing area right outside the theatre for you, the fans! You and your friends can come watch and  snap the celebrities, performers, star presenters and five-star theatrical royalty make their way down the red carpet!

The Royal Opera House's operatic dramatisation of the rise and fall of late American glamour model Anna Nicole Smith is to hit our tv screens.  Librettist Richard Thomas' previous foray fusing opera with an American icon, Jerry Springer: The Opera, was the most complained about programme in tv history when screened in 2005.  The BBC received 47,000 complaints protesting the portrayal of Jesus in the piece, mainly from outraged Christian groups.

David Suchet rumoured to appear in Eugene O'Neill's LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT in the West End.

'I’m going to give you one more chance to tell the truth. So think very carefully about what you say...' MOGADISHU AT LYRIC HAMMERSMITH

Naked Boys Singing returns to London at the Charing Cross Theatre

Ann Widdecombe and Craig Revel Horwood to star in Snow White And The Seven Dwarves.

Pygmalion, starring Rupert Everett as Professor Henry Higgins, opens at the Garrick Theatre from 12 May to 3 September 2011. The role of Eliza Doolittle will be played by Strictly Come Dancing and former EastEnders star Kara Tointon.

For the  first time since 2003 theatre goers and star gazers can enjoy the most important theatrical award ceremony, The Laurence Olivier Awards on March 13th at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.  The event will receive live coverage on BBC Red Button and BBC Radio 2 including live coverage from the red carpet.

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