Gypsy Confirms Transfer, Kerry Ellis Cats Gossip + More #WestEndUpdate
| By Andrew Tomlins
After months and months of speculation it has finally been confirmed that that Imelda Staunton will star as Momma Rose in the West End transfer of Jonathan Kent’s Chichester Festival Theatre production of Gypsy! Tickets are now on sale for the musical with performances beginning at the Savoy Theatre on 28th March 2015.
Gypsy reunites Staunton with director Jonathan Kent. The pair previously worked together on Sweeney Todd (Chichester) and Good People (Hampstead) with both productions transferring to the West End. Further casting for the Gypsy West End transfer is yet to be announced.
Gypsy was last seen in the West End in 1973 with Angela Lansbury in the leading role. Staunton received tremendous critical acclaim for her portrayal of Momma Rose during Gypsy’s run in Chichester earlier this year, her performance is an absolute must-see!
The Daily Mail has suggested that Kerry Ellis – the first lady of the West End – is in line to take over as Grizabella in Cats at the London Palladium from 9th February 2015. Nicole Scherzinger plays her final performance on 7th February.
Ellis has starred in some of the biggest musicals in West End history, including Les Miserables, Oliver, My Fair Lady and We Will Rock You. Most notably she was the first British actress to star as Elphaba in the West End and Broadway productions of Wicked. Earlier this year she reprised her celebrated performance for a limited run. Cats is currently booking until 28th February but is likely to extend.
Whilst on the subject of Wicked, from February there will be a new green witch in town! Former Rock Of Ages star Natalie Andreou is joining the London company from 2nd February 2015 as the new standby Elphaba when the current standby, Emma Hatton, assumes the role full-time. Savannah Stevenson and Jeremy Taylor continue as Glinda and Fiyero.
Whilst the touring production of Wicked continues to sell out in cities around the UK, the West End production continues to go from strength to strength. Wicked has been seen by 6 million people in London. It is the 10th longest-running show currently in the West End and the 13th longest-running musical in West End history.
The Commitments is still going strong at the Palace Theatre where it has extended its booking period to 13th September 2015. New changes have recently been made to the show and a new cast have brought a fresh vibe to the production. Featuring many classic soul songs including ‘In The Midnight Hour’, ‘Try A Little Tenderness’ and ‘Mustang Sally’, The Commitments provides an electrifying night out.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels has confirmed that its West End run at the Savoy Theatre will conclude on 7th March 2015. The show will then embark on a UK Tour with international productions planned for Australia, Korea and Germany. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels has been seen by 200,000 people since opening in the West End earlier this year. Robert Lindsay and Bonnie Langford will continue to lead the cast for the remainder of its West End run.
In other news, Urinetown – one of my favourite shows of 2014 – has brought its closing date forward to Saturday 3rd January 2015 and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown has begun previews at the Playhouse Theatre ahead of its official opening on Monday 12th January 2015. Starring Tamsin Greig, Haydn Gwynne, Anna Skellern and Willemijn Verkaik, the musical has been completely re-workshopped since its Broadway run.