Michael Flatley Prepares For West End Return, Miss Saigon Gala Sells Out Plus More #WestEndUpdate
| By Andrew Tomlins
Last week Michael Flatley welcomed press to the London Palladium where his final West End show, entitled Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games, opens next Monday (1st September) for a limited run. Flatley’s productions have sold out in theatres around the world for years, and he insists this is due to such positive word of mouth.
Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games will guest star former Girls Aloud band member Nadine Coyle who was also at the launch and revealed she is “delighted” to be joining the cast of the show. “I have been a fan of Michael and the Lord of the Dance since I first ever saw it” Coyle explained.
“Everything Michael has done just gets better and better every time. When we first met and Michael asked me to be part of the show I couldn’t believe it, I was on cloud nine… and I still am! I can’t thank Michael enough for this opportunity.”
Flatley, who couldn’t speak more highly of the cast and team working on the show, also revealed he hopes bringing Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games to the West End will introduce his work to new audiences. The show uses the latest technology, including holographic-effect projections and new costumes as well brand new choreography.
The cast of Memphis have begun rehearsals this week ahead of the show’s opening in October. The stellar cast is led by soul queen turned acclaimed West End diva Beverley Knight (recently seen in The Bodyguard) alongside West End regular Killian Donnelly (currently starring in The Commitments).
The cast also includes Rolan Bell, Tyrone Huntley, Claire Machin, Jason Pennycooke and Mark Roper. The original Broadway production of Memphis won four 2010 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The show has a Grammy Award-winning original score by Bon Jovi and book by Joe DiPietro.
Several cast members will play their final performances in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre on Saturday (30th August). From next week Liam Tamne, John Ellis and Alicia Beck will take over as Raoul, Piangi and Meg. Gerónimo Rauch and Harriet Jones will continue to star as The Phantom and Christine.
Several shows are closing over the coming days including I Believe in Unicorns at the Vaudeville Theatre, Dessa Rose at Trafalgar Studios 2 and The Bodyguard at the Adelphi Theatre. Forbidden Broadway also played its final performance at the Menier Chocolate Factory this weekend before opening in the West End at the Vaudeville Theatre on Tuesday 9th September.
Earlier this week the Miss Saigon 25th Anniversary Gala sold out within minutes of tickets going on sale. Over 18,000 people tried to buy tickets when booking opened at 10.00am. However, the Prince Edward Theatre only seats 1,700 patrons. If you haven’t yet seen this new production of Boublil & Schönberg’s masterpiece you absolutely must book tickets to see it over the coming months. Ahead of the anniversary celebrations, there is certainly a special Miss Saigon buzz in the air!
Producers of Motown the Musical have seemingly revealed that the show is heading to the West End. When announcing the closure of the Broadway production, Nick Scandalios (Vice-President of the Nederlander Organization) confirmed that they would "like Motown The Musical to open in London next year at the Dominion Theatre." Keep your eyes peeled for further information!
Finally, Shakespeare in Love has extended its booking period at the Noël Coward Theatre to 10th January 2015. From next week, 76,000 extra tickets will be released for the new booking period. The show has proved a huge hit in London and is rumoured to be transferring to Broadway.