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Lizzie – Greenwich Theatre

Lizzie continues at the Greenwich Theatre, London until 12 March. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Nothing about this show particularly screams out ‘musical theatre.’ It’s more like a live punk rock concert with four lead singers with big voices and even bigger hair. Lizzie is making its UK premiere, following a […]

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Performance Preparation Academy – The Life

The Life was performed by the Performance Preparation Academy at the Bellerby Theatre, Guildford. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ The quality of work produced by musical theatre students continues to amaze. In the same week as an outstanding Guys and Dolls by the long-established Guildford School of Acting was wowing audiences […]

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Madalena Alberto – Live At Zédel

Madalena Alberto at Live At Zédel, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Not even Storm Doris could keep them away from Madalena Alberto’s one-nighter at Piccadilly nightspot Live At Zédel, even if it did leave her percussionist stranded in Manchester. The strong-voiced Portuguese songbird has a growing reputation in musical theatre […]

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Cilla Black musical begins tour at Liverpool Empire in September

Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield will present the Cilla – The Musical, a new musical about the life and legend of Cilla Black, which will open in her hometown at the Liverpool Empire from 7 to 16 September before embarking on a nationwide tour. Cilla’s son, Robert Willis, will be the executive producer. Cilla – […]

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Sunday in the Park With George – Hudson Theatre, New York

Sunday in the Park With George continues at the Hudson Theatre, New York until 23 April. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Has any work of art ever been more imaginatively celebrated by another work of art than in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday in the Park With George? In Act I, […]

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The Girls – Phoenix Theatre

The Girls continues at the Phoenix Theatre, London. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Musical adaptations of films are nothing new. Nor are adaptations of plays. Adaptations of plays that were themselves based on plays are rarer – but having the film, play and now musical written by the same person is unique. […]

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Lloyd Webber and Ayckbourn musical By Jeeves part of Old Laundry Theatre’s 25th anniversary celebrations

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alan Ayckbourn’s light-hearted, fun musical By Jeeves will be the highlight of the Old Laundry Theatre’s 25th anniversary season 2017, opening at the venue in Bowness-on-Windermere on 6 October and running until to 4 November (press night is 9 October). By Jeeves will bring back together the original creative team from the […]

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The Sorrows of Satan – Tristan Bates Theatre

The Sorrows of Satan continues at the Tristan Bates Theatre, London until 25 March. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ The souls of Luke Bateman and Michael Conley were bared at the preview of their brand new musical, The Sorrows of Satan at the Tristan Bates Theatre. I am happy to report that […]

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Newsies – The Broadway Musical – UK cinema screening review

Newsies – The Broadway Musical was screened in the UK on 19 February. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ As far as live-action musicals go, Disney’s 1992 film Newsies was a commercial failure. The film, which was released in the UK as The News Boys, applied the song and dance treatment to a unique period […]

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Dreamboats and Petticoats – Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury and Touring

Dreamboats and Petticoats continues at the Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury until 25 February and then tours until 2 September. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ Nostalgia for the ‘good old days’ played a rather influential role in the UK’s decision to tick the yes-to-Brexit box last year. The debate about whether those memories of post-war Britain […]

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Guildford School of Acting – Guys and Dolls

Guys and Dolls, performed by Guildford School of Acting final-year students at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, continues until 25 April. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ It’s probably sacrilege to say so, but this remarkable student revival of one of the greatest musicals ever written leaves for dead the much-praised Chichester Festival […]

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The Wild Party – The Other Palace

The Wild Party continues at The Other Palace, London until 1 April. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ So farewell, St James Theatre. Hello, The Other Palace – Victoria’s third theatre being rebranded after its purchase by Andrew Lloyd Webber and repositioned as a home for the nurturing of new musicals. To […]

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Actor-musican version of Honk! – with puppetry – to play the Union Theatre

This Easter, Honk! the musical returns to London in a brand-new, actor-musician adaptation, filled with puppetry, magic and illusions. And water guns… The production will open at the Union Theatre on Wednesday 29 March and runs until Saturday April 22. Press night is Saturday 1 April. Honk!, produced by Paul Virides and Lian Wilkinson for […]

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WhatsOnStage Awards 2017 – Half a Sixpence celebrates triple win

The winners have been announced at the Prince of Wales Theatre for the 17th annual WhatsOnStage Awards, presented by Simon Lipkin and Vikki Stone, celebrating the best of the UK’s theatre over the past year. The awards are the only major theatre prizes to be voted for entirely by the audience. Half a Sixpence was […]

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Sunset Boulevard – Palace Theatre, New York

Sunset Boulevard continues at the Palace Theatre, New York until 25 June. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ In her latest incarnation, Norma Desmond is totally heart-breaking. The narcissistic ferocity of the queen of silent movies has been softened. Her eccentricities are at times almost endearing rather than frightening. She can be haughty […]

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Prom Kween – The Vaults

Prom Kween continues at The Vaults Theatre, London until 19 February. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Every Fringe festival has its shambolic musicals – those shows where the zero budget aesthetic is fully embraced, which like to project an air of being put together at the very last minute and every […]

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Extra performance of Jersey Boys added before West End production closes

Due to overwhelming public demand, there will be an extra performance of the West End musical Jersey Boys in its final week at the Piccadilly Theatre on Thursday 23 March at 3pm. This week – commencing 13 February 2017 – the show has broken the house record for ticket sales in the history of the Piccadilly […]

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The Girls – 67-year-old understudy makes West End debut in leading role

In spite of intensive medical treatment, Michele Dotrice, who has never missed a performance in her entire career, has been diagnosed with acute bronchitis and is therefore unable to perform for the time being. The part of Jessie in Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new British musical The Girls will now be played by Judith […]

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Hope Mill Theatre’s Hair transfers to The Vaults

The acclaimed Hope Mill Theatre production of the iconic rock musical Hair transfers to London in autumn 2017, celebrating its 50th anniversary year. Directed by Jonathan O’Boyle, the show plays The Vaults from 4 October to 3 December (press night is 10 October). The production of Hair created a huge buzz in Manchester when it opened […]

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Crazy For You tour – Caroline Flack joins Tom Chambers in cast

Caroline Flack will make her stage debut as Irene in the national tour of the Watermill Theatre’s acclaimed production of classic George and Ira Gershwin musical Crazy For You. Flack joins the previously announced Tom Chambers as Bobby. From the producers of Sister Act and Nativity! The Musical, the national tour of Crazy For You […]

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La Strada – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry and Touring

La Strada continues at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry until 18 February before embarking on a national tour (the show receives its London premiere in July as part of the newly announced season at The Other Palace). Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Possibly it would be apt treat La Strada, based on one […]

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Interview – Frances Ruffelle invites you to a Wild Party at The Other Palace

FRANCES RUFFELLE has one of the most idiosyncratic voices of any singer in the West End or Broadway. Hers is a husky, sultry sound, with an unmistakeable rawness and vulnerability that is sure to make her the perfect fit for the role of Queenie in composer-lyricist Michael John LaChiusa’s version of The Wild Party, which opens […]

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Miranda Hart confirmed as Miss Hannigan in West End Annie

Multi award-winning comedy writer, actor and author Miranda Hart, will make her West End Theatre debut as Miss Hannigan in Annie, opening in the West End in May 2017. Previews at the Piccadilly Theatre will begin on 23 May 2017 with opening night on 5 June. The production, directed by Nikolai Foster, will be produced by […]

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Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie continues at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield until 25 February. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Michael Ball makes a curious entry into the story of the development of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. In a telephone conversation with director Jonathan Butterell he suggested a meeting with composer Dan Gillespie […]

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Honeymoon in Vegas – Samantha Barks and Arthur Darvill cast in LMTO concert

After the success of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s State Fair at the Cadogan Hall in November last year and the concert of Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens’ A Christmas Carol (Lyceum Theatre, December 2016), initial casting has been announced for The London Musical Theatre Orchestra’s first concert of the 2017 season, the hit Broadway musical Honeymoon […]

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The Phantom of the Opera – Ben Forster to continue in title role until September

Ben Forster will extend his run as The Phantom until Saturday 2 September in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical The Phantom of the Opera.  Now in its 31st year at Her Majesty’s Theatre in the West End, the show also stars Celinde Schoenmaker as Christine Daae and Nadim Naaman as Raoul. They are joined by […]

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Anyone Can Whistle – Union Theatre

Anyone Can Whistle continues at the Union Theatre, London until 11 March. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Like the asylum inmates that populate the show, Anyone Can Whistle – Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents’ experimental musical of 1964 – gets let out for a brief spell of fresh air. And just as […]

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Anyone Can Whistle at the Union Theatre – new gallery of images

Details of the full cast and creative team have been revealed for a rare revival of Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurent’s musical satire Anyone Can Whistle and Musical Theatre Review’s official photographer Roy Tan has taken a whole new gallery of production images. The show will feature in the Phil Willmott Company’s new season at the Union Theatre (8 […]

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My Land’s Shore – Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre

My Land’s Shore continues at the Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre, London until 26 February. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ This new musical by Christopher J Orton (music and lyrics) and Robert Gould (book and lyrics), based on a true story, is well-worth a visit. From the powerful opening number, ‘Burning’, […]

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Singin’ in the Rain at the Grand Palais for Paris Christmas treat

The Theatre du Chatelet’s obsession with bringing the great American musicals to Paris in their original language is stalled for the next two years while the place undergoes a massive refurbishment – but it doesn’t mean the city will be starved of one of its favourite shows. While it is shut, the Chatelet is sending […]

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Fast food, singing staff – Leon Shaftesbury Avenue’s West End venue opens its doors

Shaftesbury Avenue is one of the main arteries of London’s theatreland. It is also one of its borders: as the street curves northeastwards from Piccadilly Circus to Cambridge Circus, theatres from the Lyric and Apollo up to the Palace adorn its northern side while to the south, cafés and restaurants abound, occasional displays of paper […]

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Thriller Live – Lyric Theatre

Thriller Live continues at the Lyric Theatre, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ After a whopping 3,358 performances in the West End, Thriller Live celebrated at the gorgeous Lyric Theatre as the show becomes the 15th longest-running musical in West End history. A party was certainly had at the venue. The cast […]

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Andrew Lloyd Webber celebrates four musicals on Broadway

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber celebrated four musicals playing simultaneously on Broadway when Sunset Boulevard opened at the Palace Theatre yesterday (9 February 2017). Three of Lloyd Webber’s musicals rang in 2017 by breaking house records at the Winter Garden (School of Rock – The Musical), Majestic (The Phantom of the Opera) and Neil Simon (Cats) […]

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The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Ambassadors Theatre

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice at the Ambassadors Theatre, London. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, based on a poem by Goethe which also inspired Disney’s groundbreaking Fantasia, wielded its magic at the Ambassadors Theatre in a one-night-only concert presentation. In the story an old sorcerer goes out, leaving his apprentice behind […]

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The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin – Theatre Royal Stratford East

The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin continues at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, London until 11 March. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Hopefully one day, we will not have to meet a Viveca. A character, initially, without any sense of self or purpose; shaped by what others want her to […]

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Spotlight on musical theatre in Sweden – winter and spring seasons

Renate Stridh throws the spotlight on musical theatre productions featured in the current and upcoming seasons in Sweden. The winter season in Sweden is well under way. The autumn saw some exciting productions and there are some equally exciting opening nights ahead. The Book of Mormon The Book of Mormon opened at the end of January at China […]

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Sunset Boulevard UK and Ireland tour – details of dates

The UK and Ireland tour of the Curve production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Sunset Boulevard, starring Ria Jones as Norma Desmond and directed by Nikolai Foster, will open at Curve on 16 September 2017 (press night is 28 September) before touring the UK and Ireland. Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award-winning show is based on Billy Wilder’s film, accompanied by Don […]

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Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – Five Questions with actor Charles Dale

Many readers will be familiar with actor CHARLES DALE following his long tenure as Big Mac in BBC1’s Casualty and before that as Dennis Stringer in ITV1’s Coronation Street. Less well known may be his theatre work such as Blue Remembered Hills at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre , or even (for lovers of trivia) that he once fronted an R&B […]

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You Win Again – The Story of The Bee Gees – Leicester Square Theatre and Touring

You Win Again – The Story of The Bee Gees at the Leicester Square Theatre, London before continuing a national tour until 20 April. Star rating: one star ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ You Win Again – The story of The Bees Gees was premiered at Leicester Square Theatre in front of a celebrity audience and Bee Gees fans, ahead […]

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Cautionary Tales For Daughters – Jermyn Street Theatre and Touring

Cautionary Tales For Daughters continues at the Jermyn Street Theatre, London until 11 February and tours until 24 July. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Tanya Holt has a delightful way of packing emotion and accents into song and her voice is like rich cream complete with fresh, sweet strawberries. She resonates in the […]

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Singer-songwriter Anton Stephans on being Brave in new solo show

Coming to Live At Zédel on 8 February actor, singer-songwriter, poet and former X Factor contestant ANTON STEPHANS will present Brave, his own one-man show, drawing on his experience in musical theatre and his working with some of the best musicians in the business. Here is his story so far… You have been involved in musical theatre since […]

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Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards – Groundhog Day comes out on top

The Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical (new or revival) went to the Old Vic production of Groundhog Day at the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards 2016 held today at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London. Written by Matilda the Musical’s Tim Minchin and directed by Matilda and Ghost director Matthew Warchus, Groundhog Day features a […]

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Murder For Two – Watermill Theatre, Newbury

Murder For Two continues at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury until 25 February before transferring to The Other Palace Studio, from 2-18 March. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Musical parody is hardly a new initiative but in the hands of Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair it provides a quirky new genre of comedy. […]

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Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox – Lyric Hammersmith

Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox continues at the Lyric Hammersmith, London until 19 February and then tours until 9 July. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Most adaptations of Roald Dahl’s spikey, often  subversively uplifting, children’s stories are plays with songs. This entertaining, energy-packed version (a co-production between Southampton’s Nuffield Theatre and Curve Leicester in […]

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Wonderland – Edinburgh Playhouse and Touring

Wonderland continues at the Edinburgh Playhouse until 28 January, before embarking on a UK tour until 19 August. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ In returning Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to the UK, this first touring production of 2011 American musical Wonderland has a lot going for it in terms […]

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Lucie Jones wins chance to represent UK at Eurovision Song Contest

RENT star Lucie Jones has come out on top in the battle to represent the UK at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. The Welsh singer, currently winning rave reviews for her performance in the 2oth anniversary production of Jonathan Larson’s innovative musical, won over the judges and the voting public with her performance of the ballad ‘Never […]

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Thoroughly Modern Millie – Milton Keynes Theatre and Touring

Thoroughly Modern Millie continues at Milton Keynes Theatre until 28 January before touring until 24 June. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ It’s ironic really that at the core of Thoroughly Modern Millie is a character who lives for being a ‘modern’ and keeping up with current trends, and yet the show is so […]

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The Life at Southwark Playhouse – casting details

Full casting has been revealed for the Broadway musical The Life which makes its long awaited London debut, directed by the show’s original Broadway director Michael Blakemore, at Southwark Playhouse from 25 March to 29 April 2017, with press night on 29 March. The cast includes John Addison (Jojo), David Albury (Fleetwood), Jalisa Andrews (Chichi), Matthew Caputo (Oddjob), Lawrence Carmichael (Snickers), Omari Douglas (Slick), Aisha Jawando (Carmen), Thomas-Lee Kidd (Bobby), Charlotte Reavey (April), Jo Servi (Lacy), Lucinda Shaw (Tracy), Johnathan Tweedie (Theodore), T’Shan Williams (Queen) and Joanna Woodward (Mary). […]

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