Chicago the Musical Review

Leeds Grand Theatre – 22/11/16 to 26/11/16

I have a soft spot for Chicago the Musical, I once had to write a 3000 word assignment on Reciprocity and I quoted heavily from Kander and Ebb’s finest.  I was clearly marked by a kindred spirit though, as in my feed back I was told my essay had “Razzle Dazzle”

And that is what we had in Leeds last night – a lot of Razzle Dazzle.  Steamy, sultry and sexy – this tour of Chicago showed the show’s brilliance by stripping the production back to its bare bones, with a fabulous band on stage, minimal costuming and a few chairs. As an audience member, you get a chance to hear Kander and Ebb’s glorious score and to get the essence of Bob Fosse’s incredible choreography.

Telling the story of how Roxie Hart gets away with murder with the help of slick lawyer Billy Flynn. Her time in prison with the notorious Velma Kelly, duping her ever loving husband Amos and being good to Mama Morton while in Prison. It is based on a true story from the 1920’s.

With three of the principal characters played by people previously in soap operas this seems like stunt casting. Using the past characterisations of the actors to fill the seats rather than relying on the musical itself to fill theatres.  But soap actors they may have been – musical star performers there are now

Sophie Carmen-Jones shows her abilities well with a wonderful version of Velma Kelly, singing All That Jazz with vocals that are thrilling and simply wild, sexy and breathtaking, stealing every scene she is in. Until Roxie establishes herself, Velma is the big shot amongst the female felons – bitchily bossy and breathtakingly balletic. Her legs go on for ever and teach us that perpendicular is somewhere else.

Billy Flynn is the slick, consummately devious lawyer who uses the old ‘razzle-dazzle’ of sheer showmanship to wow a gullible media and promote the causes of his various- usually culpable- clients. From the first moment he appears, satirically framed by a circlet of feather boas, Flynn is at the centre of the action and you need a performer of strong presence – and persuasive charm- to carry off the role. John Partridge oozes panache and has a rich, smooth voice that perfectly fits the character’s synthetic sincerity.

Surprise of the night for me was Jessie Wallace’s powerhouse performance of prison Matron (Mama) Morton who takes a cut from every known exploitation, except the crime of murder which epitomises the wrongdoing of every bird of passion in her latter-day Alcatraz.  Wallace seemed to be channelling the late Pat Phoenix in appearance but wow, what a phenomenal voice

Roxie is a role you’d kill for – and she does – kill I mean – in the opening scene. Hayley Tamaddon proved she can sing and dance her way through the role but while Roxie is devious using people as she needs them, Tamaddon comes across as too nice and it’s hard to take her role seriously.However, she still impresses and shows great skill and talent.

Neil Ditt is fabulous as Amos Hart and is definitely the most sympathetic character on stage.  Pathetically pleasing and deserving of her love and ours, but he is, as he explains in the lyrically strong song Mister Cellophane, an easy figure to ignore. When he is finally forced to admit Roxie’s treachery and asks for his exit music, he has to walk off in total silence. Hard on a man.

This is without doubt one of the hottest shows. It is a breathtaking musical extravaganza that is simply brilliant. It has some catchy and wonderful songs, like ‘All That Jazz’, ‘Razzle Dazzle’, ‘Class’, ‘All I Care About’ and the wonderful ‘Mister Cellophane’. It has superb dance routines that are original and exciting.The dancing is as impressive, as the excellent band. Leon Charles conducts with precision and unmistakable skill, and the band seems to enjoy themselves.  In short, it’s the sweetest, funniest, sexiest murder story ever.

In Leeds until Saturday 26 November and on tour around the UK

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WEST END TRANSFER ANNOUNCED FOR THE BOYS IN THE BAND

WEST END TRANSFER ANNOUNCED FOR

The Boys in the Band

BY MART CROWLEY

 

FOLLOWING A SELL-OUT RUN AT PARK THEATRE AND SHORT UK TOUR

 the-boys-in-the-band

Producers Tom O’Connell and James Seabright are thrilled to announce a West End transfer for their sell-out production of Mart Crowley’s ground-breaking play, THE BOYS IN THE BAND, opening at the Vaudeville Theatre on 7 February 2017, playing for a limited two week season until 18 February, with a press night on Wednesday 8 February.

There’s a party about to commence when nine men gather in a New York apartment for a birthday celebration. Harold, a self-confessed ‘Jew fairy’, receives a surprise birthday gift – a beautiful male hustler dubbed Cowboy. Meanwhile, party host Michael gets an unwanted surprise of his own in the shape of a figure from his past. As the booze is drunk and the dope smoked, the mood swings from hilarity to heart-break.

 

Mark Gatiss brings stinging superciliousness to landmark gay play.’ ★★★★ Daily Telegraph

‘Raucous laughter… thoroughly fulfilling.’ ★★★★ The Independent

The Boys in the Band sold out its entire five week run at Park Theatre, garnered critical and public acclaim, and subsequently enjoyed a brief UK tour to Salford, Brighton and Leeds. Directed by Adam Penford (A Small Family Business & One Man Two Guvnors’, and recently appointed Artistic Director of the Nottingham Playhouse), the production stars Olivier Award winner Mark Gatiss as ‘Harold’ alongside his husband Ian Hallard as ‘Michael’ – this will represent the first time in West End history that a male married couple will appear on stage together.

‘Still timeless and universal.’ ★★★★ Mail on Sunday

‘Out on stage and proud. Glorious!’ ★★★★ Metro

West End musical theatre star Daniel Boys plays alongside them as ‘Donald’, Jack Derges, recently seen as the mysterious ‘Andy Flynn’ in EastEnders, plays ‘Cowboy’, Miranda star James Holmes plays ‘Emory’, Midsomer Murders’ John Hopkins plays ‘Alan’, Greg Lockett plays ‘Bernard’, Primeval’s Ben Mansfield plays ‘Larry’, and Undercover’s Nathan Nolan plays ‘Hank’.

Producer Tom O’Connell said, “James and I are thrilled that audiences have taken this show to their hearts in such a big way; with limited availability from our stellar cast I am pleased that we have found a suitable West End home for this fantastic production. We also have over 150 tickets available at every performance at £20, making it accessible for all to enjoy. With only 15 performances, this really is the last chance to catch the play which shook the LGBT world.”

‘I was rapt. Parties that go wrong are often the stuff of great drama and this play, directed with panache by Adam Penford, is no exception.’ ★★★★ Observer

Mark Gatiss and Ian Hallard said, “We’ve had an amazing time bringing this great play to a whole new generation of theatre-goers. The response from audiences, young and old, gay and straight has proved that ‘Boys’ retains its power to move people to laughter and tears. It’s wonderful to say that we’ll be capping the experience with a West End transfer – so the party continues!”

From the producers of the critically acclaimed revivals of Beautiful Thing, Our Boys and Another Country, and the forthcoming stage adaptation of Brokeback Mountain, comes this eagerly anticipated revival of Mart Crowley’s seminal piece, which premiered in 1968 just before the Stonewall riots. This witty, dark American play which changed the landscape of gay theatre was adapted into a film in 1970, becoming a cult hit. The play was last revived in New York in 2010, and this UK revival marks almost 20 years since the last West End production.

The production is produced by Tom O’Connell and James Seabright, in association with Kings Head Theatre, Jack Maple and Park Theatre. Design by Rebecca Brower, with Sound design by James Nicholson and Lighting design by Jack Weir; casting is by Stephen Moore CDG.

The production has partnered with Gay Times, Stonewall & Balans Soho Society, and has worked closely with Chester Barrie, Delicious Junction and Gabicci as fashion partners.

Tag the production on social media:

@BoysBandPlay

www.facebook.com/boysbandplay

BoysBandPlay.com

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STRICTLY TOUR – FIRST CELEBS ANNOUNCED

STRICTLY COME DANCING

10TH ANNIVERSARY

LIVE TOUR

20 JANUARY – 12 FEBRUARY 2017

images-1LOUISE REDKNAPP, DAISY LOWE & DANNY MAC

ARE THE FIRST CELEBRITIES

ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2017 TOUR

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

Presenter and singer Louise Redknapp, model Daisy Lowe and actor Danny Mac are the first celebrity contestants announced to appear on the 10th anniversary Strictly Come Dancing Live UK Tour, which kicks off in Birmingham on 20 January 2017.

Louise, Daisy and Danny will join new tour host, Anita Rani and the new live tour judging panel of Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood (who also directs the tour) and former Strictly professional dancer and winner of the 2006 series, Karen Hardy for the 30 date live arena tour extravaganza. They will also be reunited with more celebrities and professional dancers from this year’s BBC One series, as they tour the biggest entertainment venues across the UK, recreating their dazzling moves and the magic of the TV show. Further names will be announced soon.

TV presenter, singer and fashion blogger Louise Redknapp first rose to fame as part of the pop group Eternal, one of the best-selling girl groups of the 90s, before embarking on a successful solo career. Her debut album sold over one million copies. Her extensive television presenting credits include The Clothes Show (UKTV), and ITV documentary The Truth About Size Zero. Louise, who received a score of 39 for her Argentine Tango, said: “I really can’t wait to dance my way around the UK! I’m loving every minute of Strictly, so continuing my journey into 2017 is going to be a brilliant way to kick off the New Year!”

Daisy Lowe is one of fashion’s most recognizable faces, having worked with Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs. Daisy said: “I’m so lucky to be joining the tour and keeping my Strictly dream alive. I loved my time on the TV series, but now I’m really looking forward to getting out on the road to keep dancing and improving. Roll on January!”

Danny Mac, best known as Mark ‘Dodger’ Savage in Hollyoaks, has been acting since the age of 10. He has been nominated three times for a National Television Award. Danny said: “Wow – what an amazing opportunity to perform in front of the huge arena audiences all over the country. I’ve heard how amazing the live tour is and I can’t wait to get out there!”

The 30 show spectacular, Strictly Come Dancing Live UK Tour, will open at the Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham on 20 January 2017. The tour will then visit the biggest entertainment venues across the UK: Metro Radio Arena Newcastle, Sheffield Arena, The SSE Arena Glasgow, Motorpoint Arena Nottingham, First Direct Arena Leeds, Manchester Arena, Liverpool’s Echo Arena, The SSE Arena Wembley, before culminating at The O2 in London on 12 February.

Tickets for STRICTLY COME DANCING THE LIVE TOUR 2017 are on sale now

20 – 22 January Birmingham: The Barclaycard Arena 0844 338 8000

(Friday 20th at 7.30pm, Saturday 21st at 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Sunday 22nd at 1.30pm & 6.30pm)

24 January Newcastle: Metro Radio Arena 0844 493 6666

(Tuesday 24th at 2.30pm & 7.30pm)

25 – 26 January Sheffield Arena 0114 256 5656

(Wednesday 25th at 7.30pm, Thursday 26th at 7.30pm)

27 – 29 January Glasgow: The SSE Hydro 0844 395 4000

(Friday 27th at 7.30pm, Saturday 28th at 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Sunday 29th at 1.30pm)

31 January – 1 February Nottingham: Motorpoint Arena 0843 373 3000

(Tuesday 31st at 7.30pm, Wednesday 1st at 2.30pm & 7.30pm)

2 – 3 February Leeds: First Direct Arena 0844 248 1585

(Thursday 2nd at 7.30pm, Friday 3rd at 7.30pm)

4 – 5 February Manchester Arena 0844 847 8000

(Saturday 4th at 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Sunday 5th at 1.30pm)

7 – 8 February Liverpool: Echo Arena 0844 8000 400

(Tuesday 7th at 7.30pm, Wednesday 8th at 2.30pm & 7.30pm)

9 – 10 February London: The SSE Arena, Wembley 0844 815 0815

(Thursday 9th at 7.30pm, Friday 10th at 7.30pm)

11 – 12 February London: The O2 0844 856 0202

(Saturday 11th at 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Sunday 12th at 1.30pm & 6.30pm)

Ticket costs: £35 – £65 (bands venue dependent)

The O2 prices are £36 – £66 (Inclusive of a £1 per ticket venue facility fee)

All ticket prices are subject to a booking fee

To book tickets please contact the venue or call 0844 875 8758 For online bookings visit www.ticketzone.co.uk or www.ticketmaster.co.uk For more information visit www.strictlycomedancinglive.com

Twitter: @scd_live_tour Facebook: www.facebook.com/strictlylive

STRICTLY COME DANCING THE LIVE TOUR is produced by Stage Entertainment and Phil McIntyre Entertainments, in association with BBC Worldwide.

 

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Samantha Womack, Les Dennis & Carrie Hope Fletcher to star in THE ADDAMS FAMILY

SAMANTHA WOMACK, LES DENNIS & CARRIE HOPE FLETCHERthe-addms-family

TO STAR IN THE UK & IRELAND PREMIERE OF

THE ADDAMS FAMILY, A MUSICAL COMEDY

NEW TOURING PRODUCTION TO OPEN ON 20 APRIL 2017

 

Samantha Womack, Les Dennis and Carrie Hope Fletcher will star as Morticia, Fester and Wednesday Addams in the UK & Irish premiere of THE ADDAMS FAMILY, a musical comedy, with book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, based on the characters created by Charles Addams.  Further casting is to be announced. 

 

The UK & Ireland Tour will open at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh on 20 April 2017, with a national press night at the New Wimbledon Theatre on Tuesday 16 May.  New tour dates have been added (please see schedule below).

 

Samantha Womack will take on the role of Morticia Addams fresh from leaving BBC1’s EastEnders after nearly a decade as Ronnie Mitchell.  Samantha has also played Tanya Dawson for three series of the hit comedy Mount Pleasant (Sky1) and, on film she will be reprising her role next summer as Michelle Unwin in Kingsman: The Golden Circle.  Her stage credits include Nellie Forbush in the Lincoln Center Theater’s Tony Award-winning production of South Pacific (Barbican Theatre & UK Tour), Michael Grandage’s West End production of Guys & Dolls opposite Patrick Swayze (Piccadilly Theatre) and Peter Hall’s production of Pinter’s Betrayal (Theatre Royal Bath).

 

Les Dennis spent the last three years playing burglar-turned-Romeo, Michael Rodwell, in ITV’s Coronation Street.  Immediately prior to starring in THE ADDAMS FAMILY, he will appear at the Menier Chocolate Factory in the musical She Loves Me.  Les’s other stage credits include the musicals Me & My Girl, Chicago, Monty Python’s Spamalot and Hairspray.  He took a hit one-man play Jigsy, to the Edinburgh Fringe and, in 2016, produced and starred in the sell-out 40th anniversary production of Alan Bleasdale’s Down the Dock Road at the Royal Court Liverpool.

 

Carrie Hope Fletcher’s recent theatre credits include Eponine in Les Misérables (London and Dubai), Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK & Ireland Tour), Beth in Jeff Waynes Arena Tour War of the Worlds, and Wind in the Willows (Regent‘s Park Open Air Theatre).  In 2015, Carrie released her first book, All I Know Now: Wonderings and Reflections on Growing Up Gracefully, and her second book, On the Other Side, was released in July 2016.

 

Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and has a shocking secret that only Gomez knows; she’s fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family! Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia.  Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.  All the usual clan are present – Uncle Fester, Lurch, Pugsley et al.

 

Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice co-wrote the book for the multi award-winning Jersey Boys. Marshall wrote or co-wrote the film screenplays for Sleeper, Annie Hall, Manhattan, Manhattan Murder Mystery, For the Boys and Intersection, and was head writer for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Rick’s play, Peter and the Starcatcher, received nine nominations and won five 2012 Tony Awards.  Andrew Lippa wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical, Big Fish, the music for the Broadway production of Aaron Sorkin’s play The Farnsworth Invention and the book, music and lyrics for the Drama Desk award-winning musical The Wild Party.  He wrote the song called ‘Evil Like Me’, which was sung by Dove Cameron and Kristin Chenoweth in the 2015 Disney film Descendants.

 

The UK & Ireland Tour will be directed by Matthew White, who is currently directing She Loves Me at the Menier Chocolate Factory, where he also directed Candide, Sweet Charity (and West End) and Little Shop of Horrors (and West End).  Other recent directing credits include the UK Tour of The Producers and the UK Tour and West End run of Top Hat.  Choreography will be by Alistair David,who directed and choreographed Robbie Williams’s worldwide concert tour Swings Both Ways, and whose recent theatre credits include Two Noble Kinsmen (Royal Shakespeare Company), Show Boat(Sheffield Crucible Theatre and New London Theatre) and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers(Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre).  The production will be designed by Diego Pitarch, with musical supervision by Richard Beadle, lighting design by Ben Cracknell and musical direction by Andrew Hilton.

 

THE ADDAMS FAMILY UK & Ireland Tour is produced by United Theatrical, Aria Entertainment and Music & Lyrics Limited, in association with the Festival Theatre Edinburgh, and is presented through special arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

 

For further information, please visit www.theaddamsfamily.co.uk Twitter: @AddamsFamilyUK

 

 

2017 TOUR SCHEDULE

 

20-29 April 2017                               Festival Theatre, Edinburgh                                          on sale

                                                         www.edtheatres.com                                                     0131 529 6000

 

9-13 May 2017                                 Royal & Derngate, Northampton                                   on sale  

                                                         www.royalandderngate.co.uk                                        01604 624811   

 

16-20 May 2017                               New Wimbledon Theatre                                              on sale

                                                         www.atgtickets.com/venues/new-wimbledon-theatre    0844 871 7646

                                                        

23-27 May 2017                               Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury                                       on sale  

                                                         www.marlowetheatre.com                                             01227 787787

 

 

30 May – 3 June 2017                      Cliffs Pavilion, Southend                                               on sale

                                                         www.southendtheatres.org.uk                                      01702 351 135

 

6-10 June 2017                                Birmingham Hippodrome                                               on sale                                                                                                                                                                www.birminghamhippodrome.com                                0844 338 5000

 

13-17 June 2017                              Theatre Royal, Bath                                                      on sale

                                                         www.theatreroyal.org.uk                                               01225 448844  

 

20-24 June 2017                              Hall for Cornwall, Truro                                                 on sale  

                                                         www.hallforcornwall.co.uk                                             01872 262466

 

27 June – 1 July 2017                      Nottingham Theatre Royal                                            on sale

                                                        www.trch.co.uk                                                             0115 989 5555

                                                                                                                                                      

4-8 July 2017                                   The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford                                  on sale

                                                         www.bradford-theatres.co.uk                                        01274 432000

 

18 – 29 July 2017                             Mayflower Theatre, Southampton                                 on sale

                                                         www.mayflower.org.uk                                                  02380 711811

 

1-12 August 2017                             Cardiff, Wales Millennium Centre                                 on sale

                                                         www.wmc.org.uk                                                           029 2063 6464

 

15-26 August 2017                           Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin                                on sale 21 November

                                                         www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie                                     0844 847 2455

 

29 August – 9 September 2017        The Lowry, Salford                                                       on sale

                                                         www.thelowry.com                                                        0843 208 6000 

 

12-16 September 2017                    Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield                                           on sale 26 November

                                                         www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk                                         0114 249 6000

 

19-23 September 2017                    Bristol Hippodrome                                                       on sale soon

                                                         www.atgtickets.com/venues/bristol-hippodrome           0844 871 3012

 

26-30 September 2017                    New Victoria Theatre, Woking                                       on sale soon                                                                                                                                                        www.atgtickets.com/venues/new-victoria-theatre          0844 871 7645

             

10-14 October 2017                         Glasgow King’s Theatre                                                on sale soon     

                                                         www.atgtickets.com/venues/kings-theatre                    0844 871 7648

 

17-21 October 2017                         Wolverhampton Grand                                                  on sale 25 November

                                                         www.grandtheatre.co.uk                                               01902 429 212

 

24-28 October 2017                         Milton Keynes Theatre                                                 on sale soon

                                                         www.atgtickets.com/venues/milton-keynes-theatre       0844 871 7652

 

31 October – 4 November 2017       Orchard Theatre, Dartford                                            on sale 24 November

                                                         www.orchardtheatre.co.uk                                            01322 220000

 

 

Further tour dates to be announced.

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Chicago The Musical at The Grand

image002 (9)

CHICAGO THE MUSICAL SET TO RAZZLE DAZZLE ‘EM

AT LEEDS GRAND THEATRE NEXT WEEK

 

chicago-hayley-tamaddon-as-%27roxie-hart%27-john-partridge-as-%27billy-flynn%27-and-jessie-wallace-%27mama-morton%27-image-byBased on real life events back in the roaring 1920s, nightclub singer Roxie Hart shoots her lover and along with cell block rival, double-murderess Velma Kelly, they fight to keep from death row with the help of smooth talking lawyer, Billy Flynn.

CHICAGOThis star-studded cellblock of sin stars John Partridge (Eastenders) as Billy Flynn, Hayley Tamaddon(Emmerdale) as Roxie Hart and Jessie Wallace (Eastenders) as corrupt Matron, Mama Morton alongside Sophie Carmen-Jones as Velma Kelly, Neil Ditt as Amos Hart and A.D. Richardson as Mary Sunshine.

A story of murder, fame, corruption, celebrity and spin Chicago is now in its 20th year on Broadway and has been honoured with 6 Tony Awards®, 2 Olivier Awards ® a Grammy and thousands of standing ovations.

Chicago The Musical is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 26th November

 

Tickets are priced from £23 to £47

 

Book online at leedsgrandtheatre.com or call Box Office on 0844 848 2700

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Stephen Schwartz Musical Receives European Premiere at Southwark Playhouse in 2017

EUROPEAN PREMIERE OF

poster-lowWORKING

A MUSICAL

AT SOUTHWARK PLAYHOUSE 

FOR A STRICTLY LIMITED SEASON

FROM 2 JUNE TO 8 JULY 2017

The European Premiere of WORKING will open at Southwark Playhouse on 7 June 2017, with previews from 2 June, for a strictly limited season ending 8 July 2017.

 

From the book by Studs Terkel

Adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, the creators of Godspell and Rags

With additional contributions by Gordon Greenberg

Songs by Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Rodgers & Susan Birkenhead, Stephen Schwartzand James Taylor

Performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Ltd

 

Directed by Luke Sheppard

Choreographed by Fabian Aloise

Casting to be announced

 

WORKING is the extraordinary genre-defining musical from Grammy and Academy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz(Wicked, Godspell) based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with the American workforce: Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do.

 

This highly original and universal portrait of the American workday is told from the perspective of those that the world so often overlooks – the schoolteacher, the housewife, the fireman and the waitress amongst many – whose daily grind and aspirations reflect the truths of the people that make up a nation.  WORKING employs a range of musical styles and genres from contributing composers, including five-time Grammy Award-winner James Taylor and Pulitzer Prize-winner Lin Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In The Heights). 

           

WORKING is being produced by up-and-coming theatre producers Jack Maple, Ramin Sabi & D.E.M. Productions.

  

Stephen Schwartz said of his new producers, “I am delighted that such a talented and distinguished theatre company will be presenting WORKING in London. I look forward to collaborating with them to ensure that the show is both entertaining and relevant to the contemporary British audience.”

Stephen Schwartz is best known for writing and composing the Tony, Olivier and Grammy Award-winning musical Wicked. Other shows for which he wrote music and lyrics include PippinThe Baker’s Wife and Children of Eden. In film, he collaborated with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney’s Enchanted, as well as the animated features Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and wrote the songs for the DreamWorks animated feature The Prince of Egypt.  Schwartz has won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics, three Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards and has been nominated for six Tony Awards.  He received the 2015 Isabelle Stevenson Award, a special Tony Award, for his commitment to serving artists and fostering new talent. 

 

Luke Sheppard directed the Olivier Award-winning production of In the Heights (King’s Cross Theatre and Southwark Playhouse), for which he was nominated for Best Director at the Whatsonstage Awards, Night Must Fall (UK Tour) Stig of the Dump (UK Tour), Casa Valentina (Southwark Playhouse), The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ (Curve, Leicester) and the forthcoming European premiere of Peter and the Starcatcher (Royal & Derngate, Northampton).  Luke is the Associate Director of Matilda (Stratford-Upon-Avon, West End, Broadway).

 

WORKING first opened on Broadway in 1978, under the direction of Stephen Schwartz, with a cast including Patti LuPone, Bob Gunton, Joe Mantegna, David Patrick Kelly and Rex Everhart. The show has since undergone several revisions, with additional songs by Lin Manuel Miranda being introduced in 2009. WORKING was last performed off-Broadway in December 2012, under the direction of Gordon Greenberg (Holiday InnGuys and Dolls, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris).

 

The new production at Southwark Playhouse will have choreography by Fabian Aloise. Fabian was most recently resident choreographer on Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre, and Associate Choreographer on the Australian production. Prior to this, Fabian was Associate Choreographer to Arlene Phillips on We Will Rock You in Belgium, and Associate Choreographer to Ann Reinking for US and International tours of Fosse. He choreographed The 24 Hour Musical At The Old Vic for Kevin Spacey and Jamie Lloyd, and Off-West End productions of Bright Lights Big City and The Drowsy Chaperone. Fabian will be choreographing the upcoming UK National Tour of Our House.  Casting will be by Will Burton CDG. It is performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited.

 

LISTINGS INFORMATION

2 June – 8 July 

 

Southwark Playhouse

77-85 Newington Causeway

London SE1 6BD

 

Performance Times:

Monday – Friday 7.30pm

Saturday 3.00pm & 7.30pm

N.B Tuesday 4 July – Additional matinee at 3pm

 

Tickets: £25 and £20 concessions (from £14 during previews) 

Box Office:  020 7407 0234

Website:  southwarkplayhouse.co.uk  / www.workingthemusical.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthwarkPlayhouse

Twitter: @swkplay

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New images and UK Tour announced for THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW after West End run

First images released of the UK cast

And a 2017 UK Tour announced for

 

THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW

Four stories from the wonderful world of Eric Carle

 

Live on stage and in the West End for the first time

 

At the Ambassadors Theatre

From Friday 2 December 2016 to Sunday 8 January 2017

 

sarah-hamilton-in-the-very-hungry-caterpillar-show-photo-credit-pamela-raith-photography 

First images are released today of the UK cast of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, which opens for a limited 5-week season at the Ambassadors Theatre from Friday 2 December 2016. It is also announced today that, once The Very Hungry Caterpillar has made his West End debut, the show will then embark on a major UK Tour in 2017, opening at Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestoneon Saturday 28 January. Full tour schedule attached.  

 

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show will feature a menagerie of 75 enchanting puppets during a magical 60-minute show that faithfully adapts four of Eric Carle’s best loved books for the stage: The Artist Who Painted a Blue HorseMister SeahorseThe Very Lonely Firefly and one of the most iconic characters in children’s literature, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

 

Eric Carle’s books have captivated generations of readers with their iconic hand-painted illustrations and distinctively simple stories, introducing millions of children to a bigger, brighter world, and to their first experience of reading itself. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has nibbled its way into the hearts of millions of children all over the world. It has been translated into 62 languages and sold over 43 million copies, remaining one of the top ten bestselling children’s books of all time. Since it was first published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than seventy books, most of which he also wrote, and more than 138 million copies of his books have sold around the world.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show is adapted for the stage by director Jonathan Rockefeller, whose production sees four master puppeteers weave their way through Eric Carle’s stories, bringing to life 75 magical puppets that faithfully recreate the wonderfully colourful world of Carle’s illustrations.

 

The cast features Andrew Cullimore (Charlie and Lola, UK Tour), Sarah Hamilton (Charlie and Lola, Australian Tour), Katie Haygarth (In The Night Garden Live) and Adam Ryan (The Smurfs Live, World Tour).

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show first premiered in Australia in 2015 before opening in New York at the Acorn Theatre in January 2016. It is currently nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience, and returns next month for a second run due to popular demand. The New York production broke box office records and attracted celebrities with families including Chelsea Clinton, Emily Blunt, Neil Patrick Harris and Diane Sawyer.

Bedazzling. This production will mesmerize audiences” New York Times

“Colourful, Engaging, Charming” Huffington Post

www.HungryCaterpillarShow.com

Facebook.com/HungryCaterpillarShow

  

LONDON LISTINGS

 

Friday 2 December 2016 Sunday 8 January 2017

THE AMBASSADORS THEATRE

West Street, London WC2H 9ND

Press Performance: Saturday 3 December, 11.00am

Performances: 11.00am and 2.00pm (see website for daily schedule)
Tickets: £12.50-19.50 (£26.60 Premium Seats)

Box Office: 0207 395 5405 | www.hungrycaterpillarshow.com

Running time: 60 minutes

 

UK TOUR LISTINGS

 

Sat 28 – Sun 29 January 2017                                         Mon 30 – Tue 31 January 2017

FOLKESTONE, Leas Cliff Hall                                        BIRMINGHAM, New Alexandra Theatre

Weds 1- Fri 3 February 2017                                          Sat 4 February 2017

NORTHAMPTON, Theatre Royal                                    COLCHESTER, Charter Hall

Tue 7- Weds 8 February 2017                                         Thurs 9 February 2017

EASTBOURNE, Devonshire Park Theatre                      WELLINGBOROUGH, The Castle

Sat 11 – Mon 13 February 2017                                       Weds 15 – Thurs 16 February 2017

NORWICH Playhouse                                                     NEWBURY Corn Exchange

Sat 18 – Sun 19 February 2017                                        Weds 22 – Sat 25 February 2017

SOUTHPORT, Atkinson Theatre                                    SALFORD, The Lowry

Fri 10 – Sat 11 March 2017                                             Tues 14 March 2017

BRIDGWATER, McMillan Theatre                                   MANSFIELD, Palace Theatre

Thurs 16 March 2017                                                      Fri 17 March 2017

ILKLEY, The Kings Hall                                                 STANTONBURY Theatre

Sat 18 March 2017                                                         Weds 22 – Thurs 23 March 2017

KETTERING, The Lighthouse                                         ST ALBANS, The Alban Arena

 

Fri 24 – Sat 25 March 2017                                             Sun 26 March 2017

HERTFORD Theatre                                                      CAMBRIDGESHIRE, Burgess Hall

Sat 1-Thurs 6 April 2017                                                Sat 8 April 2017

FINCHLEY, Arts Depot                                                  BURY ST EDMUNDS, Theatre Royal

Sun 9 April 2017                                                            Tue 11 April 2017

LINCOLN, Theatre Royal                                               BLACKBURN, King George’s Hall

Weds 12 April 2017                                                        Thurs 13 April 2017

CREWE Lyceum                                                            SOLIHULL, The Core

Fri 14 – Sat 15 April 2017                                               Tues 18 – Weds 19 April 2017

WIRRAL, Floral Pavillion                                               WINCHESTER, Theatre Royal

Thurs 20 April 2017                                                       Fri 21 – Sat 22 April 2017

SALISBURY Arts Centre                                                WORTHING, Connaught Theatre

Sun 23 April 2017                                                          Thurs 27 April 2017

GREENWICH Theatre                                                    BRECON, Theatre Brycheiniog

Fri 28 – Sat 29 April 2017                                               Sun 30 April 2017

SWANSEA, Grand Theatre                                            TAUNTON, The Brewhouse

Wednesday 3 May                                                          Thurs 4 – Sun 7 May 2017

UPPINGHAM School Theatre                                         CHESTERFIELD Pomegranate

Weds 10 – Thurs 11 May 2017                                         Fri 12 – Sun 14 May 2017

BISHOPS STORTFORD, Rhodes Arts Complex                 BRIGHTON FRINGE, The Warren

           

Thurs 18 – Fri 19 May 2017                                             Sun 21 May 2017

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, Northern Stage                    SWINDON, Wyvern Theatre

Mon 22 May 2017                                                           Weds 24 – Thurs 25 May 2017

STAFFORD Gatehouse                                                  MALVERN, Forum Theatre

Sat 27 May 2017                                                            Sun 28 May 2017

BIRMINGHAM, Town Hall                                               BEXHILL, De La Warr Pavilion

Tue 30 May 2017                                                           Weds 31 May – Sun 4 June 2017

BASINGSTOKE, The Haymarket                                     KINGSTON, Rose Theatre        

Weds 7 – Sun 11 June 2017                                             Tues 13 June 2017

YORK, Grand Opera House                                           HERTFORDSHIRE, Radlett Arts Centre                         

Weds 14 June 2017                                                        Thurs 15 June 2017

DARLINGTON, The Majestic Theatre                            LIVINGSTON, Howden Park Centre

 

Fri 16 June 2017                                                            Sat 17 June 2017

FALKIRK, Town Hall                                                     WORKINGTON, Carnegie Theatre

Sun 18 June 2017                                                          Mon 19 June 2017

MIDDLESBOROUGH Theatre                                          GRIMSBY Auditorium

Thu 22 – Fri 23 June 2017                                              Weds 28 June 2017

CORBY, The Cube                                                         SOUTHEND, Palace Theatre

 

Fri 30 June 2017

SOUTHPORT, Civic Theatre

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LEE MACK WILL MAKE HIS WEST END DEBUT IN THE MISER ALONGSIDE PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED GRIFF RHYS JONES

  • LEE MACK WILL MAKE HIS WEST END DEBUT IN THE MISER ALONGSIDE PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED GRIFF RHYS JONES
  • SEAN FOLEY IS TO DIRECT THE NEW PRODUCTION OF MOLIÈRE’S CLASSIC COMEDY
  • TICKETS FOR THE WEST END RUN OF THE MISER ARE ON SALE NOW

Producer Mark Goucher today announced that BAFTA winning comedian Lee Mack will make his West End debut in a major revival of Molière’s classic comedy The Miser in early 2017. Mack joins Griff Rhys Jones who is returning to the London stage after five years to lead the ensemble cast. The play, newly adapted by Sean Foley and Phil Porter, will be presented at Bath Theatre Royal and Richmond Theatre, prior to opening at the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End on Wednesday 1st March 2017, with an opening night on Monday 13th March 2017.

Best known for television and stand-up work, Mack is widely recognised as one of the country’s favourite comedians and has won multiple awards. He is the writer and star of hit BBC One comedy, Not Going Out, which has run for seven series and holds the accolade of being the BBC’s longest running sitcom.  He is a team captain on popular BBC panel show Would I Lie to You, the host of Duck Quacks Don’t Echo on Sky One and a regular guest on panel shows, including Have I Got News for You, Nevermind the Buzzcocks and 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. Lee has also toured the country with multiple sell-out stand up shows.

Griff Rhys Jones is a two-time Olivier award-winning actor, writer, presenter and comedian. On stage, he has appeared as Fagin in Cameron Mackintosh’s Oliver! (West End), the title role inCharley’s Aunt (West End) and in Feydeau’s An Absolute Turkey (The Globe). In a long-lasting comedy partnership with Mel Smith, his television credits include Not the Nine O’Clock News(BBC), Alas Smith and Jones (BBC), The World According to Smith and Jones (ITV), Smith and Jones in Small Doses (BBC) and Smith and Jones (BBC).

Sean Foley is an award-winning actor, writer and director. He co-founded The Right Size, creating over 10 original comedies for the theatre including the Olivier Award-winning and Tony-nominated production of The Play What I Wrote (Best Comedy 2002), Do You Come Here Often? (Best Entertainment 1999), and Ducktastic! (Albery Theatre – Best Entertainment nomination 2006). As director his work includes The Dresser, The Painkiller, Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense (Best New Comedy 2014), The Walworth Farce (The Olympia Theatre, Dublin), the multi Olivier-nominated The Ladykillers (Liverpool Everyman, Gielgud Theatre, UK Tour), A Mad World My Masters (Royal Shakespeare Company & Barbican), What The Butler Saw (Vaudeville Theatre), The Painkiller (The Lyric Theatre, Belfast), Arturo Brachetti – Change (Garrick – Best Entertainment nomination 2010) , The Critic/The Real Inspector Hound (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Armstrong and Miller Show Live UK Tour and I Can’t Sing! (London Palladium). Foley’s first film Mindhorn was released this autumn.

Mark Goucher has previously collaborated with Sean Foley on the hugely successful production of Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense which played in the West End and on tour and is currently under option for a Broadway season.

The Miser will be produced with long term producing partner Mark Rubinstein Ltd.

Listings information

The Miser

Bath Theatre Royal, Wed 8 – Sat 18 Feb  www.theatreroyal.org.uk
Richmond Theatre, Tue 21 – Sat 25 Feb www.atgtickets.com/richmond

Followed by
Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0HH
First preview: Wednesday 1st March 2017
Opening night: Monday 13th March 2017
Final performance: Saturday 10th June 2017
Box Office: 0330 333 4811
TheMiserThePlay.com
Tickets from: £25, with £10 off all price bands during preview performances

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Salisbury Playhouse premieres new Barney Norris play as part of spring/summer 2017 season

SALISBURY PLAYHOUSE PREMIERES NEW BARNEY NORRIS PLAY AS PART OF SPRING/SUMMER 2017 SEASON

                                                                                                                                                                                          

  • Season includes new plays by Barney Norris and Hattie Naylor
  • The return of Worst Wedding Ever by Broadchurch-creator Chris Chibnall
  • Theatre Fest West 2017 – the sixth annual celebration of theatre from the south west
  • General booking opens on Friday 18 November 2016

 

Salisbury Playhouse’s spring/summer 2017 season has been announced and includes a brand new commission from award-winning playwright Barney Norris.

Barney Norris’ new play, Echo’s End (Main House – 29 March to 15 April), is set on the edge of Salisbury Plain in 1915 as a young couple finds itself caught up in the turmoil of World War I. Directed by Alice Hamilton, Echo’s End is a story of two families and the seismic changes which altered their lives and the identity of their county forever. Norris (winner of the Critics Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright) and Hamilton are former members of Salisbury Playhouse’s Stage 65 Youth Theatre and jointly run Up in Arms theatre company. Recent productions together include Visitors and Eventide. Norris’s The Rest of Your Life was staged earlier this year by The Bush as part of its This Place We Know season.

As part of Salisbury Playhouse’s continuing commitment to its Original Drama programme it has also commissioned Hattie Naylor (Radio 4’s The Diary of Samuel Pepys) to write As the Crow Flies – a co-production with Pentabus Theatre Company (The Salberg – 28 March to 8 April). Based on a true story of a woman who struck up an unlikely friendship with a wounded crow, this is a heart-warming story of healing and kindness. As the Crow Flies is directed by Elizabeth Freestone and opens at Bromfield Village Hall, Shropshire (7 March) before embarking on a rural tour (dates to be announced).

Following a sell-out run in 2014, Salisbury Playhouse’s first Original Drama production, Worst Wedding Ever, returns in a co-production between Salisbury Playhouse, New Wolsey Ipswich and Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch. Written by Broadchurch-creator Chris Chibnall, Worst Wedding Ever is once again directed by Salisbury Playhouse’s Artistic Director, Gareth Machin and runs in the Main House at Salisbury Playhouse from Thursday 2 to Saturday 25 February 2017 before playing in Ipswich (1 to 11 March) and Hornchurch (15 March to 1 April).

The cast includes Olivier Award nominated Julia Hills (Calendar Girls, Chichester Festival Theatre, West End and national tour; 2point4 Children) and Lloyd Gorman (Sunny Afternoon, West End). Appearing alongside them will be Elizabeth Cadwallader, Ben Callon, Derek Frood, Kieran Hill and Chris Talman. Full casting will be announced at a later date.

Now in its sixth year, Theatre Fest West (10 to 25 February) will celebrate theatre from across the south west region. Performances will take place across Wiltshire at Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury Arts Centre, The Pound Arts Centre Corsham and Trowbridge Arts. Companies taking part this year include Theatre Alibi, Pipeline Theatre and, for family audiences, Stuff and Nonsense.

The season also sees Salisbury Playhouse produce a revival of Rodney Ackland’s Before the Party (4 to 27 May). Based on the short story by Somerset Maugham, this sizzling portrayal of the upper middle classes adjusting to post-war life is directed by Ryan McBryde.

Salisbury Playhouse will also be welcoming a range of top touring productions including The Play That Goes Wrong (27 February to 4 March), The Verdict starring Clive Mantel, Jack Shepherd and Richard Walsh (6 to 11 March), Showstopper! The Improvised Musical (20 to 22 April) and The Watermill Theatre’s production of Twelfth Night (20 to 24 June).

 

Artistic Director Gareth Machin says: “Salisbury Playhouse continues to balance high quality revivals of classic English drama with a bold commitment to new work that celebrates the unique perspective of the South West region. Alongside this home produced work we are proud to offer our audience the very best in touring theatre on the small and mid-scale.”

General booking opens on Friday 18 November. For tickets or more information please contact the Ticket Office on 01722 320333 or visit www.salisburyplayhouse.com.

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Full Monty at Leeds Grand Theatre

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THE FULL MONTY GEARS UP FOR LEEDS

EXTRA PERFORMANCE ADDED

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In 1997, a British film about six out-of-work Sheffield steelworkers with nothing to lose, took the world by storm becoming one of the most successful British films ever made.  The story still resonates today, probably more so now than ever.

Now Simon Beaufoy’s THE FULL MONTY is getting its hat on ready to hit the Leeds stage from Monday 28thNovember to Saturday 3rd December and has added an extra performance on Thursday 1st December at 2.30pm.

The cast is led by Gary Lucy as Gaz, with Andrew Dunn as Gerald, Louis Emerick as Horse, Chris Fountain as Guy and Kai Owen as Dave.  Anthony Lewis is now playing the role of Lomper, as Joe Absolom had to withdraw due to contractual filming commitments.

Anthony Lewis hails from Leeds and is best known as regular Marc Reynolds in Emmerdale.  As a teenager, he played the title role in the children’s TV series Adam’s Family Tree and Scott Morris in Children’s Ward, the children’s TV series created by Paul Abbott and Leeds own Kay Mellor.  His films includes A Passionate Woman, Boy A, Girls’ Night and This Is Personal: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper.

The cast also includes Andrew Ashford, Adam Beresford, Pauline Fleming, William Ilkley, Jonathan McGarrity, Charlotte Powell, Jess Schofield and Fiona Skinner.  The role of Nathan is shared by Reiss Ward, James Burton, Monty Poole and Felix Yates.

The Full Monty is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 28th November to Saturday 3rd December with Matinee performances on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday

 

Tickets are priced from £14 to £38.50

 

Book online at leedsgrandtheatre.com or call Box Office on 0844 848 2700

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